The reunion was a huge success, though our numbers were down a bit from last year. Medical problems kept some of our regulars away, while others had some concerns about possible hurricanes.
The bottom line is that everybody had a good time, and all of us are looking forward to something excellent in 2013.
The USS Rankin Association
Here, for your information, is the pre-reunion material we put up on the web site:
REUNION UPDATE - 8/2/12
Things are developing well for the reunion. It looks like we will have our usual 100 or so attendees in total, with quite a number who weren't at last year's reunion.
The latest attendee lists will be posted at www.militaryreunionplanners.com/rankin
These lists are NOT updated in real time, and they leave a bit to be desired, but they are useful for seeing who's coming and how the whole thing is progressing.
In the meantime, here's a list of those who are coming as of 7/30. Most are bringing their spouses and/or friends (Bold names are new since 7/16):
Our 2012 reunion will be held in New Orleans, Thursday through Sunday, September 13 -16, 2012. New Orleans is one of the world's most exciting cities, so make your travel plans now!
Our procedures this year will be somewhat different than before. The biggest difference is that attendees will be dealing directly with the hotel for their room arrangements, including payments, rather than with the management company as in the past.New Orleans is a special travel destination, and we've chosen a special hotel to host this year's reunion. We will be staying at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel, 739 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70130. This is an especially nice AAA Four-Diamond property, and was chosen after an extensive evaluation of New Orleans hotels by Skip Sander and representatives of our new reunion management company. Get ready for a luxurious stay with excellent service — Four-Diamond hotels are a big step above the Three-Diamond places we have stayed at in the past.
The Astor has an ideal location for a reunion: The front entrance is on Canal Street, a major business street with stores, streetcar service, and other things you would expect to find on such a street. The side entrance is on Bourbon Street, the most famous street in the French Quarter. Many of the French Quarter's attractions are within easy walking distance, and many of New Orleans' other sights are only a short streetcar ride away.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS NEW 5/17/12
You should make your hotel reservations right now. You can cancel up to 72 hours prior to arrival without penalty.
Normally you will be staying for three nights: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, September 13, 14, and 15. For those who choose to arrive early or stay late, the reunion room rate will be available three days prior and three days after, based on availability.
The room rate is $119.00 plus tax, based on single or double occupancy. This is an extremely good rate for a hotel of this quality at this time of the year.
The hotel is holding rooms until they sell out or until August 10, whichever comes first. Don't delay. Please make your reservations TODAY, either by telephone or online.
To make reservations by phone, call Astor Crowne Plaza reservations at 1-888-696-4806. Mention that you are with the USS Rankin Reunion to assure that you get our rate and we are credited with your stay. You can request special room types when you register (handicap accessible room, refrigerator for medications, especially quiet room, etc.) They will ask you for a deposit or credit card number to guarantee your reservation. You can cancel up to 72 hours before arrival without penalty. Hotel check-in time is 4:00 PM. Please don't expect to get into your room before then.
Click HERE to make reservations online. Use Group Code RNR to make sure you are associated with our group.
TRANSPORTATION CONSIDERATIONS NEW 5/17/12
You are encouraged to get to New Orleans by air or rail, and not by automobile. Parking and driving are unduly expensive and difficult there, while taxis and public transportation are efficient and inexpensive.
Rail service to New Orleans seems to be good. At least two shipmates are traveling by AMTRAK.
The closest airport is Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), served by nine airlines including low-fare Southwest and JetBlue. It is a medium-sized, no-hassle airport.
Transportation from the airport to the hotel is by taxi ($30 for two passengers) or shuttle bus ($20 per person). Car rentals are expensive, and your car will likely sit unused in a high-cost lot at the hotel.
Taxis from the hotel to other local destinations are reasonably priced ($10 from hotel to hotel for two people and baggage; metered rates everywhere else). The famous New Orleans Streetcar goes everywhere outside the French Quarter. The standard one-way fare is only $1.25, or $0.40 for seniors with ID. Unlimited passes available for $3.00 per day. The fare boxes don't make change, so exact fares are required.
Parking near the hotel is expensive and hard to find. The narrow streets of the French Quarter were designed for horses, and today are full of wide cars with crazy drivers. Even if you are also a crazy driver, you do not want to venture there with your automobile. If you do drive, you can use the hotel's valet parking for $30 per day, or you can park yourself in an adjacent garage for $20 per day with "in and out" privileges.
The Astor Crowne Plaza