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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We ... Read More
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We had only one morning of rain so we had a lot of time to watch as the captain and crew navigated the five story Queen through the many locks on the Mississippi as well as through the many different lift or swinging bridges. It was warm and comfortable most of the time to sit out and watch. We often arrived early to the next port of call. Chairs and tables on deck were plentiful. Snacks and beverages including sodas were always available. One could even do laundry if desired at no cost at the self-service machines provided. There were daily talks with the Riverlorian who was always on board and available often on the top deck. Steve Marking and Joanna Funk provided not only on-board musical entertainment with help with wildlife sightings and identification of birds. Joanna also played the calliope when we left ports and also for the Sunday morning hymn sings. The cocktail hour each evening was a highlight and the Hors d'oeuvres served were excellent and plentiful. We had more food on the cruise than needed! I thought it was a great touch that we could choose to have half portions at a meal. We always found the meals delicious and we had some choice as to entrees. On the downside, as a diabetic, there were limited dessert options for me. Although I met with one of the chefs to discuss ideas, those were not always available. We enjoyed different entertainment not only at cocktail hour but also after dinner each night and many were very good and entertaining. We also were up top on the 5th deck the evening of the eclipse ... and yes, the clouds opened up to be able to see a good amount of it. I would recommend the American Cruise Lines for a truly Americana venture such as the Northern Mississippi Cruise we took. They have other interesting river cruises as well. This was our first trip with them and we would consider them again. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
This was my first cruise on a small ship. The cruise itself was the 7 night New England Island Cruise. The ship was fine and the food was very good but that's a given. They offer a complementary happy hour each evening and ... Read More
This was my first cruise on a small ship. The cruise itself was the 7 night New England Island Cruise. The ship was fine and the food was very good but that's a given. They offer a complementary happy hour each evening and complementary alcoholic beverages at lunch and dinner. This ship does not have stabilizers and one morning we spent 4 hours really rocking and rolling. Many passengers and crew got sea sick and they had no Dramamine on board. Most passengers skipped breakfast and stayed in their rooms. The room and bath were fine but the "outside veranda" was 8 feet x 3 feet - barely enough for a small table and two chairs. 3 pieces of fitness equipment were on the top deck. No laundry facilities or capability. Sheets and towels are not changed throughout the trip unless requested. Free WiFi was spotty and usually worked only in common areas, not in the staterooms. The evening entertainment was a mixed bag; some good some not so much. A New England Clambake was the hit of the trip. Some shore excursions were free but I was a bit miffed by the fact some "premium" shore excursions were $50 per person. After paying almost $5,000 per person for this cruise, I felt ALL shore excursions should have been complementary. Generally a satisfactory cruise but IMHO, very much overpriced. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
With last minute change to Nashville we were treated to a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel as well as an evevning at the Grand Ole Opry. Great fun. Cruising the Cumberland River was a treat and with our Naturalist Steve Marking and ... Read More
With last minute change to Nashville we were treated to a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel as well as an evevning at the Grand Ole Opry. Great fun. Cruising the Cumberland River was a treat and with our Naturalist Steve Marking and his lovely wife adding informative narrative as we went through the narrow waterway. The trip was enjoyable until we reached the lower Mississippi and a pattern developed as we would arrive in the morning and leave at 12:30, not allowing enough time to see all of the offered excursions or the towns, and only to arrive at the next port the same afternoon or early evening. We arrived at New Orleans the afternoon prior to disembarkation the next morning. The extra cost tour of Graceland was 1 hour short and most on tour were not able to see the entire exhibit. The planners need to review this trip. The fitness equipment was in need of maintenance and repair. The food was generally very good but by most ocean cruise standards very limited in scope and selection. The quality and presentation was excellent but I have never been served a half of a sandwich at lunch. The wait staff were just wonderful and made our meals even more enjoyable as well as the cruise staff who could not have been more accomodating. The entertainment was hit and miss. One group fair the next outstanding. But all in all it was a fun trip and we booked two cruises for next year. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a ... Read More
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a capacity of about 100, though there were about 74 on our cruise. We found the cruise caters to a much older crowd than what we were looking for. Our fellow passengers were all very nice, but the average age seemed to be late 70 to 80s and some older than that. Of the approximately 74 passengers maybe 10 were under 65. The cost for the cruise is at a premium, and probably not worth the price. We had an infinitely better experience on Star Clipper for about the same cost. The biggest complaint we had, which may not be an issue to others, is there is no bar on board. Drinks at lunch and dinner with a happy hour before dinner. We've found in the past that we enjoyed getting to know fellow passengers over drinks. You could get a beer from the dining room afterward, or passengers took the leftover wine from dinner. But we were terribly disappointed at the lack of a bar in what is called "the lounge" on these ships. Arrived a day early to visit with a friend in Providence. Stayed at the Wyndham Garden which is within walking distance of the embarkation point for the ship. Unfortunately the Wyndham Garden is undergoing a major renovation to convert it to to a Hilton, so there was no restaurant on site. They did provide a shuttle if you wanted it. Embarkation on the Independence was effortless: drop off your bags and go to your room. Bag was delivered within minutes. The staterooms are large, though nothing spectacular. We stayed on the third level and had a balcony and a window that slip open. Though on a cruise you tend to stay in your room only to change and sleep. The ship was nice enough. Other reviewers commented on the dated decor, which I didn't notice too much, but my wife did. Fabric on a chair in our room was torn, the sofas in the lounge (more on that later) were like those at Grandmother's house. The crew was terrific from the Captain to the wait staff. The crew was all from the US and the wait staff work very hard both serving meals and cleaning rooms. Meals were generally very good. All meals are open seating at set times, though an early breakfast is available. A little awkward in that you choose your lunch and dinner selections at breakfast. They will prepare something just for you if none of the three (at dinner) selections are to your liking. Entertainment was marginal. Good lectures about upcoming ports of calls, etc. Other entertainment was along the lines of Dean Martin and Andrews Sisters imitators, a very rude sea shanty singer, bingo, etc. Ports and excursions were all at an additional charge, at least until you sail 3 or 4 times with ACL. For some bizarre reason we spent an entire day in New Bedford, MASS, which had little other than an outstanding whaling museum. Contrast that to a short stay in Newport, RI where there were several things to see and do and little time to do them. You could tell that this was the first cruise of the season as there were several hiccups such as proper docks for the ship's shuttle. Also, the ship seemed to dock at locations that weren't accessible to the most interesting parts of the islands. An example is Martha's Vineyard, where you need to take a bus or taxi to Oak Bluffs where restaurants and shops are located. This cruise is NOT recommended for children because they would be bored to tears. Frankly I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone much younger that 65 or 70. Perhaps I'd recommend this cruise in 20 years but I wouldn't not right now; price too high for what you get and the activity level is way too low. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Wanted to see the northwest and brochures for American Cruise lines was inviting. The queen of the West American Cruise Line trip was very disappointing. The ship was old, food mediocre, overpriced, noisy going through the locks. The young ... Read More
Wanted to see the northwest and brochures for American Cruise lines was inviting. The queen of the West American Cruise Line trip was very disappointing. The ship was old, food mediocre, overpriced, noisy going through the locks. The young staff, wait staff, while they try hard are only part timers. The stops were boring, except for the Snake River jet boat. , sad to pay so much and be let down. The entertainment was not good, except for Kevin Neil, who was great !!! They could have him every night. Not the fault of the line, but the smoke from the California and Canadian fires really obstructed our views. Even when you get to a excursion you like, there is not enough time to stay. Breakfast was the only meal that was ok ( as a cook myself, hard to mess up breakfast). Queen of the West was supposed to be refurbished. They put new carpeting on the top deck and new chairs. Save your money. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria ... Read More
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria meals, No great choices , breakfast was a small table with two types of pastries, with a limited menu ,Dinners and lunch were nothing to talk about.Lots of pork not much chicken dishes and not great veggie dishes. American queen steamboat company had a huge table with unlimited amt of choices and great choices for meals. The difference between the two companies are like day and night, American cruise line hasn't even got a pursers office, the maid service is done by the staff that serves you at the restaurant, not very professional, and their outfits are the look like blue scrubs that you see in hospitals,how unprofessional is that. I was at the owners suite thinking it would be beautiful since I paid almost twice the price as the other rooms , what a shock that was, The Star is an old ship , it was so drab.No colors on the long hallways to your rooms One shore excursion was on an island in which they had an oyster bake, you would think the ship would let the guest know that we would get bit by certain bugs and warn us about it. Lots of us got home all bit up ,I was scratching for a week after ,I still have marks on my arm American cruise line has the monopoly on the eastern coast and probably doesnt care since it has no competition. I would not recommend anyone to cruise with them at this time .Although they were very nice and polite and service was great , I was very disappointed. I spends thousands of dollars and did not feel I at all got my moneys worth. .. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four ... Read More
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four couples that complained and the cruise line sent a director of hotel operations to talk with us on the fifth day of the cruise. He listened to our complaint and said he was sorry and would see if he could do something for us once he talked to the home office and would get back to us after the cruise. That was 9 days a go so I feel like I was lied too. We were told the college age people working the ship were on 12 weeks contracts and than let go, that's why we felt service like eating at a IHOP and the place was dirty. We have been on river boat cruises in Europe that cost the same $10,000 that have been fantastic and twice as long for the same amount of money. The food was OK but for the cost of the 7 days I thought it could have been much better. We felt this cruise was a waste of money. Read Less
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