American Queen Cruise Review by jamanigold: Not like it was when she was new
Not like it was when she was new
We have sailed on the American Queen the first year she was built. She was really beautiful then. However, there were problems with service of food. The food was always only fair and often re-served in the midnight meal or the captain's reception. In her first year, the porch only had sandwiches and ice cream during the afternoon.
Through the difficulties of the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen, which we sailed on many times, it was clear that the ship line was not going to make it.
When we learned that the AQ was sailing again, we decided we had to go again. We went in Sept. from Louisville, KY to St.Louis, MO. The dining was miserable. Our table never got bread served, never got water served, the free wine was a joke, and dessert was never offered and finally time ran out and the dining room had to clear for the second seating. This was every night. The food was not even fair. It was awful.
Our room was not serviced and when I asked about it, the More attendant in the hall on her way into another room, said they thought we worked on the boat. I doubt employees would have been in a state room like ours. She said she would see to it, but it never was serviced.
The entertainment was really bad. It was to have been the music of the 50's. It was all bad and quite unprofessional. the entertainers working on the ship are very poor as well.
The ship had been brought back from the dead and looked still there. The furniture in the theater had only been partially recovered and not only was a bad job but was the wrong type and color of fabric. The wood furniture was in poor condition. The tables were scratched and warped, and the wood floors were badly scratched with gouges. There was still a moldy smell in the ship. We had always enjoyed the Mark Twain gallery and it originally had a cage of little birds. We missed the little birds. They had been a tradition from Mrs. White when her husband owned the steamship company with only the Delta Queen.
I December of 2013, we booked another trip on AQ to celebrate our 55 anniversary. Traditionally, we had always sailed the steamboats at Christmas time. We did our usual of New Orleans round trip for 7 nights. We were called prior to leaving to be offered an upgrade to a suite. This trip was evidence that the ship is in real trouble. There was a spare generator on the boat near the stage (gang plank). That concerned me. The ship is in ill repair. There is a lot of rusting and the decks have large chunks gone. The floor in our stateroom was so uneven you could hardly walk. There were several very large humps in the floor. The furniture was in bad condition. When the hull is rusting and the decking is going, they will lose that ship due to deterioration. The food still was poor quality as well as poorly prepared. I watched waters and waitresses milling around and doing nothing. They never wore gloves, no sneeze screen, cleaning tables was a joke to watch. When you have that many people in one spot, sanitation is a necessity. They were not careful at all with serving nor cleaning any areas. The elevators were not vacuumed the entire trip.
I hate to see what has happened to what was a really beautiful ship when we first sailed on her. I doubt she will be in service much longer unless someone comes up with some money to fix her up right. We were listening to some business men on the boat talking about buying her. It seems that currently, no one really knows who owns her and she needs too much work.
J in Texas Less
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two recent sailings on AQ has shown us how she has deteriorated greatly from when we were first on her in her first year out. No one is taking care of her.