American Queen Cabins
Most of the 202 stateroom and suites onboard American Queen are decorated with a melange of polished wood, colorful Victorian patterns, framed photos that celebrate the steamship era, and Victorian furnishings (antiques and reproductions). These cabins have a lot more personality than those on most other ships on which we've traveled. Beds are superbly comfortable and beautifully dressed in crisp linens. Most cabins have two twin beds that can be converted into a queen.
Cabins range from the 22 relatively airy suites with verandahs (with about 500 square feet of space) to the eight minuscule inside singles (80 square feet), but the fact that there are accommodations for solo travelers will come as a relief to those who wish to travel so. In fact, in the 2013 upgrade, a new category of cabin -- singles with verandahs -- was introduced. While the singles are indeed small, they're as beautifully outfitted as other cabins, and they're quite cheerful and cozy.
The rest of the cabins are also small by big-ship standards (but fairly in line with river vessels), from 130 square feet for the 24 inside cabins to 190 square feet for the 95 deluxe outside staterooms with verandahs. There are 25 superior outside staterooms with verandahs located on the top deck; though they have a bit more space (230 square feet), the decor is largely identical to that found in the deluxe outsides.
There are two types of verandah cabins on American Queen. On Deck 3, a handful of staterooms (Category A) have the kinds of private balconies passengers are used to on oceangoing vessels. The majority, however, open to promenade decks; each is still equipped with two chairs and a cocktail table. While not private, these balconies are actually quite a nice way to people-watch and socialize.
For those who want a view but don't care so much for an outdoor area, the 24 deluxe outside cabins (190 square feet) are absolutely delightful, with large bay windows (perfect for curling up in to watch the river pass by) instead of outside space.
The suites have more breathing room, of course, and each is furnished with a sofa bed, easy chair and cocktail table. Ornate antique beds are the rooms' centerpieces, and there are wardrobes for extra storage. All have verandahs (some private, others opening out onto the promenade deck).
There's plenty of space under the beds for luggage. All cabins have safes, free bottled water, hair dryers and flat-screen TVs that feature a decent number of basic cable options and, oddly enough, New York City network affiliates. The boat's free Wi-Fi isn't always functional, but when it was, we were able to access it in our cabin. (Company executives told us they'd made a big investment in improving Wi-Fi in 2013, but it was still highly unpredictable.) The best location for reception is the Mark Twain Gallery, which has electrical outlets and tables for laptops.
All cabins have bathrooms, some of which are shower-only; suites have separate showers and tubs. Bathrooms are black-and-white-tiled affairs that reminded us of Grandma's house, but beware: Though company literature promises all outside cabins have showers and tubs, some have only large walk-in showers. If a tub is important to you, be sure your cabin has one when you book. We loved the big mirror, the stand-alone shelves that could hold way more toiletries than we carried onboard, and the gargantuan tubes of American Queen-branded lotion, soap and shampoo.
We were particularly fond of the self-regulated air-conditioning that was so powerful it kept our bottled water chilled -- a good thing for muggy days on the Big Muddy. Soundproofing is decent, but, if you're a light sleeper, you might want to avoid a cabin near the stern: you'll feel the tug and pull of the steel arms controlling the paddlewheel.
ADA-accessible cabins are available in all categories except singles.
Next: American Queen Dining
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