My husband and I traveled on the Queen of the Mississippi with ACL and I couldn't wait to get home and share my experience with my friends and family. I am 56 and my husband is 61 and although I believe we were the youngest passengers onboard, we still enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers and the activities that were planned.
The ship is still new, built in 2012, and the room we had was very spacious and accommodating. Our favorite was the private balcony with a full sliding glass door which allowed us a great view of the passing scenery whether inside or outside. We were impressed with the water pressure in the shower onboard. Being a coffe drinker, I enjoyed having the Keurig machine in the room however I'd suggest using bottled water because even though you can drink the water from the sink, I think the taste would have been better with bottled water. The coffee in the dining room and lounges was terrific! I liked that there were public powder rooms near the rooms we spent the most time in (outside the dining room and the Magnolia Lounge), which was nice since our room was on the 3rd deck. Another thing we enjoyed was the assortment of snacks and drinks that were available in the lounges for us to take at any time at no additional charge. I especially liked access to laundry facilities on the top deck. On more than one occasion I needed to wash a few items and access to complimentary soap/bleach and machines was very helpful.
We enjoyed dining with other passengers during a single seating at meal times. We were always served promptly and the food was well prepared and visually appealing. There were several choices of appetizers, entrees, and desserts each day. I never needed to ask for anything outside of the menu. The menu seemed to feature a lot of local specialties and my favorite lunch was the Po' Boy sandwich and favorite dinner was the very tender lamb. Cocktail hour was a great time to try unique hors d' oeuvres, as if we didn't have enough to eat. They also served us cookies every morning, tea service in the afternoon, and get this, popcorn, ice cream sundaes and root beer floats after dinner!
The tours were well planned and efficient. Many of the tours gave interesting facts about the area that we wouldn't have known otherwise. Our Riverlorian/Historian and his wife (Bill Weimuth and Laura Sable), were with us the entire week and provided fantastic insight to the history of the river including Civil War history and the beginning of riverboats and steamboats and how they affected industry along the river. He was not only informative but also added humor to every lecture which helped keep my attention and made these topic interesting. I'd love to sail with Bill and Laura again.
One last thing that made our cruise so memorable was the efficiency of the young staff onboard and their ability to stay cheerful despite the many responsibilities they had. They were especially in tune to the needs of all passengers and accomodated special requests. It was great to see that the Captain made several rounds during meal time and happy hour and talked with many of the passengers. Our Cruise Director, Andrea, was tireless and was very professional at all times. She was such a pleasure to have met. During happy hour, we had several of the managers tending bar. I was impressed that they remembered my name and drink of choice before having to ask for it. They too were a pleasure to visit with onboard.
Our overall experience with American Cruise Lines by far exceeded our expectations and we look forward to cruising with them again.