This is our second voyage on the American Queen. Like in the past, this was just as incredible. As you step aboard the American Queen you are instantly transformed back in time. The public areas are just beautiful. The boat is well maintained and the staff from the Captain on down could not be nicer, friendlier or any more helpful!
Going down the river is about the most relaxing vacation around. And with each stop having several “Steamcoaches” with hop on and hop off capabilities, you can explore as much or as little at each stop. The driver’s on the buses are all fantastic. Some of our group had special needs and a big thank you to Abe is in order!
On Friday night we all had to wait in line to sign up for the Saturday tour. Some people complained of waiting in line for three hours and then the next morning we all had to wait in line again for our travel cards. This took a lot of time, so I would not give embarkation a very high rating.
After spending the first night of our trip in Memphis, at the Sheraton Hotel, which is included with the package, the American Steamboat Company provided a one-day trolley, pass to explore Memphis. As the trolley stop was right outside the door of the hotel, this was very convenient to check out Beal Street, Gibson Guitars, the National Civil Rights Museum and many of the other sights to explore. The following day, before leaving to board the American Queen, breakfast was provided along with a bus tour of Memphis and a trip to Graceland. There was not enough time at Graceland to experience all of the different tours that were available. We only had time to tour Graceland before heading to the boat.
This was an Elvis Presley themed trip, which was the selection on one of our traveling group members. I was told that the Elvis themed shows were very good.
After leaving Memphis our first stop was Vicksburg. This was a bit disappointing as most of the store on the Main Street shopping area where closed. There were a few very nice stores but not a lot to do at that stop.
The next stop was Natchez. This was a very nice stop. If you take the bus and go to the shopping area and stop at the Wilson-Holder Drug Company, do yourself a favor and walk up a block or less to your left and visit the Old South Trading Post (the store with the flags). This should be the bus stop as this store has and incredible variety of items and the nicest, friendliest staff! There was a lot to see, do and sample in this store!! Great products available here!
St. Francisville was the third stop, again not too much going on here, but a very nice town to see.
The fourth stop was Baton Rouge, the capital of Louisiana. There was a lot to see and do here. Check out the capitol building a take a ride to the top (27 floors) and see the views! The USS Kidd is right near the dock and there are a lot of tours with the admissions paid included.
The last port before New Orleans was Nottoway Plantation; this was a nice stop with the house being directly across the street from the boat.
The food on the American Queen is very good and it is understandable about the term of gaining weight called the “Queen Fifteen”. You can easily gain 15 pounds if you eat all of the wonderful food in the dining room or spend too much time on the Front Porch of America! Although we all thought the food was tastier on our first trip on the Queen.
Our service team in the dining room of Jake and Bobby were outstanding. And the friendly "Waffle Maker", Iesha, was absolutely delightful!
The singers and dancers did a spectacular job, the shows were wonderful.
And a special thank you to Sandy in future bookings! A real special lady!
Disembarkation was relatively smooth. Since we stayed a few days at the Hilton Riverside, which was where the boat docked, a member of the American Queen staff assisted with getting the luggage to the hotel.
We would all highly recommend a trip on the American Queen; she is the Grand Lady of the Mississippi!