Loved this river cruise from the moment we stepped on board in Memphis to a Dixie band welcome, to the moment we stepped off at the end in New Orleans.
The boat is lovely with superb décor throughout, lots of polished wood and brass and a Mark Twain theme. One thing I learnt was that our vessel was a boat and not a ship as boats travel on rivers and ships travel on the sea!
Our cabin on the Observation deck was very good with comfy bed, under bed storage for cases, and bathroom with shower, nice toiletries, bathrobes and slippers.
The best thing though was that the doors opened out onto the deck where you could sit enjoying a drink and chatting to your neighbours and people walking by. It was all very social and a great way to make new friends. I certainly would not have swapped it for a more expensive private balcony, and in fact a few people with those did say they wished they'd booked the deck cabins!
Near our cabin was a free laundry which was a brilliant facility and well used by everyone.
Food on board was of a high quality with menus developed by famous chef Regina Charboneau whom we had the pleasure of meeting at her house on one of the on shore excursions. Both formal and informal dining was available, plus a 24 hour soft swirly ice cream machine with loads of toppings!
All the staff we encountered seemed to work hard and were friendly and helpful. This includes those in the bars & restaurants and cabin cleaning staff.
The Mississippi was quite high during our cruise so we had to miss a couple of our stops as we couldn't dock but this didn't detract from the overall experience.
At the places we did stop there were hop on hop off buses which were of a high standard, ran every 15 minutes, and were a great way to see places of interest at our own pace. We were given maps so that we could easily find our way around.
Entertainment in the theatre and around the boat was of a very good quality. We particularly liked the Dixieland band. I also loved the calliope steam pipes on the ship that tooted out famous tunes very loudly and sometimes off key! They usually played as we left port and really made you feel you were on a genuine Steamboat!
I would recommend the American Queen Steamboat to anyone looking for a very special experience. It’s fairly expensive but as they say, you get what you pay for.