Isaac, The Uninvited Guest
August 27, 2012
By Christopher Kyte, President
As any business owner can tell you, part of running a business is expecting the unexpected. Here at the American Queen Steamboat Company in the middle of our first season on the river, we’ve learned that lesson faster than most! While we’ve had low water that has forced us to alter some itineraries to avoid getting boxed in behind grounded barges, we still managed to deliver the ports of call thanks to our fleet of private motor coaches that we call Steamcoaches. We threw parties on board and our guests barely seemed to notice the changes.
for the latest updates on Tropical Storm Isaac.
Just when we think everything is back on track, we end up with an unexpected guest named Isaac. He didn’t make a booking but has decided to crash the party anyway. As I write this, all eyes are on Tropical Storm Isaac in the Gulf of Mexico and the possibility it might reach New Orleans, LA this week as a strong Category 1 hurricane. We evaluated the situation, called together our management team, and made a few decisions.
The good news is that the American Queen is safe and sound and sailing from Memphis, TN the middle of this week when New Orleans is likely to be experiencing bad weather. So, all we needed to do was to make a few adjustment to the pre-voyage plans for our guests.
Fortunately, those guests that have pre-voyage plans in Jackson, MS will see no changes. However, anyone who was planning to stay in New Orleans prior to their Memphis voyage should make arrangements to fly into Memphis where we have made reservations for guests at a Memphis hotel. New Orleans has declared a state of emergency and evacuations are taking place right now so clearly it is not possible to continue with hotel stays in the Crescent City.
Guests arriving into Jackson, MS for their pre-voyage stay: No change in plans is required. We will be expecting you at the Hilton Garden Inn and will transport you to Memphis on August 30th as planned.
Guests arriving into New Orleans, LA for their pre-voyage stay: As a state of emergency has been declared and evacuations are already underway, you should re-arrange your flights into Memphis. We have arranged for hotel accommodations for all guests at the Marriott Memphis Downtown which is located at 250 North Main Street in downtown Memphis. The phone number is 901-527-7300.
If you were scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on the 28th, please arrange your flights into Memphis on the 28th – your hotel room will be waiting.
If you were scheduled to arrive into New Orleans on the 29th, please arrange your flights into Memphis on the 29th – your hotel room will be waiting.
All guests will be transported to the American Queen on the 30th – a letter with luggage collection, check-in process for boarding the American Queen and transfer to the boat will be provided at the hotel.
Should you have any questions, please call our dedicated hotline at 888-749-4945 between 8 AM and 7 PM Central. Please note this hotline is ONLY for guests who are booked on the August 30th voyage and who have pre-voyage plans in New Orleans. We ask that you do not call unless your vacation plans are being impacted so that the line can be kept open for those who must make changes to their travel arrangements. Thank you for your understanding.
While the information above is just a quick summary, full details are currently being communicated to all our affected guests and their travel agents.
We know many of you have questions so we wanted to provide this information about Tropical Storm Isaac as quickly as we could. If we’ve learned anything these past few weeks, it’s how to roll with Mother Nature’s punches!