Cruising the Mississippi with Al & Sunny Lockwood

If you love travel, beauty, history, fabulous food, and genuine old-fashioned fun, you’ll love this amazing paddle wheel adventure along the mighty Mississippi River.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I’d like to travel down the river on a paddle wheeler while all my cares drift away. Until I have the opportunity to make that dream a reality, though, I’ve come pretty darned close while reading CRUISING THE MISSISSIPPI, an account of Al and Sunny Lockwood’s trip from New Orleans to Memphis aboard the American Queen.

Jolted by a near-miss with the Grim Reaper, Al and Sunny wisely rearranged their priorities, moved Someday to Right Now, and started living their dreams. They’d enjoyed several ocean cruises and visited a number of foreign countries, but had overlooked a lot of their native land. This book is a pleasantly readable account of their first all-American river cruise.

They noticed right away that a river cruise costs as much or more than an ocean cruise, or so it appears. Given that the cruise fee includes food, room, travel, a series of on-shore excursions and events, and (as Sunny points out) the bonus of only having to unpack once, and the price becomes far more reasonable.

Al and Sunny were charmed by the Victorian-inspired American Queen, its crew, the accommodations, and the resident riverlorian (an on-board expert in the history and culture of the area in which they traveled).

In addition to being avid travelers, these two are also outstanding reporters. They’ve included details that will prove helpful to anyone thinking about this or a similar cruise, and at the same time, they’ve captured the quirks of cities like New Orleans, the rhythm of the river, and the camaraderie of the travelers.

This journey is wrapped up in a friendly and tight narrative that still manages to shine a light on two personalities that positively sparkle. Now that Al and Sunny have tweaked my interest, I’m ready for a river cruise. Preferably one that they’re on, because I can’t imagine better companions for any such journey.

From a vibrant New Orleans’ Jazz concert at famous Preservation Hall, to the largest plantation mansion on the Mississippi (Nottoway Plantation), to eye-opening Civil War battlegrounds, this lively travel memoir brings American history and Southern culture to life.

The paddlewheeler itself is an enchanting antebellum masterpiece. Period furnishings. Tiffany lamps. An authentic steam calliope. And a huge front porch with comfy rocking chairs where you can relax and enjoy the natural wonder of America’s greatest waterway.

Riverside cities offer their own unique attractions, steeped in history and plantation grandeur.

In this warm and personal travel memoir you’ll learn things about America you never knew before.


“Cruising the Mississippi gives the reader a genuine sense that they are also on board the American Queen, exploring the small towns that line the river and luxuriating in an atmosphere that exudes the glories of a bygone era.” 

— 5-stars Readers’ Favorite Book Review

“If it’s a ‘you are there’ experiential survey of thepaddlewheeler environment that is desired, along with . . . Mississippi history and culture . . . thenthere could be no better virtual tour than Cruising the Mississippi.”

–D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, MidwestBook Review 

“Without ever boring the reader, the authors present . . . manyabsorbing facts and events that simply jump off the page. From the luxury . . .of travelling on a paddlewheeler to the history of the river and many of theexciting spots they travel to . . . . I was thoroughly engaged to the lastpage.” 

–Wishing Shelf Book Review 



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