By Dori Saltzman, News Editor
Queen of the Mississippi Overview
Put your feet up, grab a book, and let the scenery soothe you. There's just something about gliding down one of the United States' greatest rivers that calms the soul.
But sailing the Mississippi (or Ohio) River onboard Queen of the Mississippi isn't just relaxing. Exploring some of the country's most storied cities like St. Louis, Memphis and Louisville, as well as small towns most passengers have never heard of, is like taking a little bite out of the proverbial American apple pie. It's a taste of America few on the country's edges ever get to see, and it's the best that home has to offer for those from mid-America.
Onboard, the service is superb, which is somewhat surprising, considering American Cruise Lines' employment policy limiting waiter/room attendant contracts to three months per any nine-month period. The mostly young crew, therefore, is new to the job, though they make up for any lack of experience with friendliness, an eagerness to serve and a genuine interest in your well-being.
The food is excellent, the accommodations spacious and comfortable, and your fellow passengers, of which there are only 150, are keen to meet you and chat. With no assigned tables, you quickly get to know the majority of others on the boat.
It might feel unbelievably small to anyone who's only been on a giant cruise ship. If you're looking for a lot of activity, you're not going to find it here. Onboard life is geared toward the older crowd. All activities are seated, from listening to lectures and enjoying some golden oldies tunes to participating in a marathon jigsaw puzzle contest. At times, we craved a stroll around a nice promenade deck.
But despite our occasional need to get up and move, we found it quite enjoyable to sit at the front of the boat in a rocking chair watching for birds, chatting with new friends or reading a book.
Queen of the Mississippi Fellow Passengers
American Cruise Lines attracts an older demographic. (The average age is probably 72 or so.) The fact that the ship has an elevator is a highlight for many. Hailing from all over the United States -- Alabama, California, the Carolinas, Ohio, Florida -- passengers represent a geographic cross section of the country. More than 40 percent of the passengers have been on at least one American Cruise Lines cruise before.
Queen of the Mississippi Dress Code
Casual resort attire is de rigueur, both on the ship and ashore. For dinner, men's clothing might include a sport shirt and slacks with a sport coat or sweater. Women might find a sweater and slacks or a dress appropriate. American Cruise Lines also recommends you bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, light rain wear and a jacket for cool evenings.
Queen of the Mississippi Gratuity
Gratuity is at your personal discretion. Tips are generally given to the Hotel Manager near the end of the cruise. They are then divided equally among the stewards and deckhands. Tips generally average about $125 per person for a seven-night cruise. Stewards and deckhands do not expect and cannot accept tips directly. Credit cards, personal or travelers checks, and cash are accepted. If you choose to pay by credit card, please contact the Hotel Manager at least one day before the end of your cruise.
Queen of the Mississippi Member Reviews 14 Reviews
I have read some of the less than satisfactory reviews of the Queen of the Mississippi and felt compelled to comment. I thought is was a wonderful trip and I am seriously considering another cruise with the line as soon as possible. I booked a ...continue
We accompanied my 88 yr old parents on a 7 nite cruise NOLA to NOLA. We had originally booked a 4 nite, but the duration changed to 7 with no price increase.
Let me stop and say how delightful the Captain, Officers, Stewards, Servers, ...continue
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Many years ago, my partner, John, and I sailed from St. Louis to New Orleans on the American Queen... I always felt that trip was 'unfinished' as we missed the 'upper river'. When John died over a year ago, I decided to 'finish' our trip by ...continue