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Michigan
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Jamestown Houseboat Rental

Just got back from a six day, five night trip on Lake Cumberland. We rented a boat from the Jamestown Marina (the Presidential).I am posting a review here in detail since I was unable to find much information when were planning our trip. There were a total of 8 of us on the boat (4 adults, 4 kids (ages 10-13). We were scheduled to leave on Monday but had read here on TripAdvisor that you can sometimes leave a day earlier if you call to help them out with less people leaving all on the same day. I called mid week and asked if this was possible and they said "yes and that we could leave Sunday". They said this would help them out since all the Presidentials would be leaving on Monday for the upcoming holiday weekend. We arrived at the marnia on Sunday at noon. They were aware we were coming at noon and said our boat needed a new motor and would probably be ready in a half hour. In the antime since we had a $400 worth of groceries in our car and it was over a 100 degrees out we could store our food and sit in the airconditioning on the First Lady. We thought this was extremly kind of them. Taking your supplies to the houseboat from where you park your car is somewhat a pain if you don't get a great spot on the steep hill to the marnia. They have these wheebarrels to put your stuff into and roll down the steep hill to the dock! After many trips up and down to the marnia we had all of our stuff on the First Lady while we waited for our boat to get a new motor. To make a long story short that boat never became available. Another houseboat had come in early and the cleaning crew cleaned it and and by 4:30 or so we were off. Make sure before you leave you have everything. Make sure you have gas in your grill tank, ask for fly trap stickie tape and room deodorizers. Make sure the air conditioner is working as ours was not and they needed to fix that before we left (husband investigated and said the compressor wasn't working). They give you a quick driving lesson and then have a rowboat and crew escort you out of the marnia to open water. Having your phone with GPS is extremly helpful as it pinpoints exactly where you are verse the map they provide. Later on day 2 we needed this as one of our motors had stopped working. It was a very busy Monday when we called and six hours later they did come out and fix our motor. They also had to come out the following day to finish fixing the motor at 8 a.m. due to not having the right parts. The crew that came out were very nice and helpful as well. A storm was coming Monday night and they helped tie up the boat and secured it for us before they left Monday night. As for the supplies on the boat we didn't having a cutting board or a couple big pots which made cooking difficult. When we drove the boat back into the marnia on Wednesday to fill up with water, gas and to get more ice we mentioned it to them and they gave it to us right away. The worst part of the houseboat experience is the amount of nats that are on the boat. They are everywhere! Make sure you ask for the fly stickie tape to hang in the bedrooms. Room deodorizers and Febreeze is also a life savor. I think from multiple people walking on the boat with wet bathing suits that the carpet gets a musty odor. Spraying the carpet with Febreeze by the doorways helps a ton with the smell. Having kitchen spray cleaner is also a good thing to bring along to clean off countertops and tables. There are no dishtowels so having a couple of those along with handsoap, dishsoap is also helpful. We used an entire box of garbage bags (35 of them I think). We changed garbage bags frequently trying to cut down on the nats. Tinfoil, ziplock bags to store extra leftovers in was helpful as there is no tupperware to store extra food in. Having plastic silverware, plates, napkins and bowls helped a ton in preventing doing dishes ALL the time with 8 people. Moving on to the bathrooms. I have no idea how the sewage is emptied. They claim they have a septic system that breaks down the sewage with chemicals and when its broken down to almost clear water it reenters the lake. I find it hard to believe because at times when your in the coves the smell is horrible!!! You are not allowed to put toliet paper into the toliet so this can get stinky. Having ziplock bags on the floor next to the toliet is extremly helpful in helping witht the smell. You can also turn up the clorinator in the hallway in the closet if you lift up the box (we learned this from the crew that came to fix the motor). I can't exactly say this helped as the smell never really went away when your in the coves. Having the solid room deodorizers in the bathrooms also helped as well as lysol spray. There is no washing machine on the boat only a dryer. At your grocery store you can buy dryer washer sheets that supposely wash your clothes a little by heat in the dryer. We only dried to towels and between those sheets and just dryer sheets your towels smelled a little better. I would make sure you had swimming towels and shower towels. Durring the day we were thankful we had brought our shade canopy and securred it with ropes to add more shade. We did lower it at night since we had a couple storms but the extra shade helped alot. We also brought our cushions from our home from our lawn chairs etc for the boats lawn chairs. This was also a HUGE plus and made sitting comfortable for long periods of time. Having the swim noodles, rafts and innertubes was also nice when swimming. People decorate their boats with banners, flags, christmas lights so having zipties and scissors were also helpful. A first aide kit is also important. By 10 year old son was skipping rocks and actually cut himself quite deep on his hand from the sharp shale rock they were skipping. I had bandaides, perioxide and first aide cream but wished I had remember bandage tape to secure it better. Had we been home he probably would of needed a stitch or two. Some of us also brought Dramamine to help with the swaying of the boat (its not bad by any means but the older you get the more you feel it I guess :) Extra rope was also helpful because we needed it to tie the capopy down to the sides of the boat, Hand sanitizers, pam cooking spray for the pots, we also brought a crockpot and made pulled pork sandwiches, we also had 2 9x13 glass dishes which helped to cook and store food with. The ovens work but are just a little slower in cooking time. There were no cooking dishes for the inside of the oven on our boat. I don't know if this is a standard or not but having the glass dishes we brought were helpful. When going to Party Cove many people have balloon fighs and water gun fights. We bought a balloon launcher on amazon for the kids and they had a blast shooting other people (we made them ask if they could try hitting them with the balloons). Most people we very happy to be cooled off. Amazon also cells eco friendly balloons as well. Water gun fights were also used as well. Having an extra bucket with a rope attached is also a huge plus for the waterslide since our first one broke. Watershoes is a must when walking along the edges of the coves to tie up your boat! Overall we had a great trip! The scenery is beautiful! Its so neat to sometimes to be out on the lake with no one in sight and just the beautiful lake. At night we played card games, board games or watched a movie on the DVR. Hubby did set up a 3G hotspot using his phone to hook up the computers. Extra electrical cords and powerstrip were helpful as well. We also brought some extra small fans that helped at the doorways to help keep the carpet dry. Bring your own pillows as the pillows they provide are sort of gross. The beds are all queen sized and the mattress is thrown on the floor in all the rooms except the master bedroom. We also brought 2 extra blankets. I know they provide clean sheets but the blankets were not switched out or washed. We used our dryer sheets and dried the dried the blankets on hot before reusing them. Hopefully all these comments helped someone else! Being on the boat is NOT like being at a 4 star hotel. I would compare it to camping in a pop-up camper that many people had used before you. Going with that in mind you will have a great time! There were fire restrictions so we were unable to have any beach fires. The kids did fish in the coves every morning and night and caught some baby bass and sunfish using worms (catch and release). We ate and drank way to much and had a great time with our friends. We did have to go back half way in the trip to fill up with water and gas. Our total gas bill for the week was $850 so it can be expensive. We did not rent jet ski's or the speed boat available and felt we were perfectly fine without having one. The Jamestown Marnia does have a small store where groceries can be bought if needed. Checking out is pretty much the same as checking in...

1. Re: Jamestown Houseboat Rental

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Removed on: 10 July 2013, 05:47