We chose a destination with cool weather and new scenery. North Texas summers are hot, oppressively hot. We had not traveled often enough in Washington and Oregon. This cruise not only gave an opportunity to see these states but also the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the scenic mountains; Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. The river is a vista of ever-changing mountainous scenery. We went thru 8 or 9 locks (from sea leve to about 800 feet elevation at Lewiston, Idaho.) Our first day in Astoria, Oregon, was cool enough that I was concerned with not bringing enough warm clothing. The entire trip the morning weather was excellent and as we got further from the coast the afternoon weather got warmer. So if you are looking for a morning shiver with your cup of coffee during July and August, here is the trip. The food, the service, the accommodations, the entertainment, the crowd (over 70) was great. No kids, no drunks, just plain ordinary seniors, dignified, mostly well-traveled and polite. The staff & crew were well trained, very professional and would go out of their way to be friendly. Our first cruise was on the 'old Delta Queen' many years ago and this riverboat cruise was just as memorable as our first.
I believe all cabins have their own balcony. Great idea for a scenic river like the Columbia. Cabin was spacious, comfortable, and lots of storage. We were on the fourth deck, there is an elevator, but we seldom used it. The fourth deck afforded us with a better view and I appreciated this, got lots of great photos.