We sailed from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati on July 18-22, 2012. I had sailed on the AQ when she was owned by Majestic America so I was very excited to see what changes had taken place. The food is SO MUCH BETTER than it was before, happily the decor has stayed the same and it's the same great service. Our cabin Stewardess had worked on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen before coming to the AQ. She really knew what she was doing and took great care of us. Many of the staff had worked on the other vessels and had the experience needed to work on a ship like the AQ.
We ate specifically in the main dining room for breakfast & dinner every day, utilizing the Front Porch of America for lunch. Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast daily for breakfast along with many buffet offerings in the main dining room! Lunch offered roast turkey or brisket sandwiches (carved on the spot), along with salads and hot dogs. The Front porch has popcorn every day and ice cream available around the clock, not just for a few hours like most cruise lines. My husband was very happy to find that out and enjoyed the ice cream daily. I am allergic to seafood and I found the dinner menu diverse enough that I never worried about what I was ordering. There was a seafood free option as well as a vegetarian option each day.
The shows and music offered aboard the ship was wonderful! We were traveling with my 1 yr old daughter who loves music and thoroughly enjoyed the performances by all the on board performers. I was impressed when we were tied up in Point Pleasant, WV. There was a stage set up and the entertainers put on a show for the town and the people traveling on the boat. Even with rainy weather, people were still there!
Each port has free, included shore excursions as well as excursions you could purchase. I've never been on a ship that includes shore excursions at every port! While we did not take the bus offered to each location, we grabbed a map and walked to the museums, monuments and parks noted. It was a good learning experience for me as I don't know much about the history along the Ohio River.
My 1 yr old Daughter:
Yes, we were brave and brought our daughter on board the steamboat. He 1st birthday was on July 20 and was celebrated in style by the crew. They decorated our cabin with balloons and streamers and even gave her gifts! At Dinner, the staff sang happy birthday and the chef baked her a special little cake to smash/eat. Traveling with a little one is tough and I was worried we would upset our fellow travelers with her crying but we ended up having a lot of friends.