4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Beautiful Location, short trip, excellent small boat with personal service and great entertainment. Food selections were varied and fresh. Unfortunately our trip included several wet and misty days, but knowing this ahead of time, we ... Read More
Beautiful Location, short trip, excellent small boat with personal service and great entertainment. Food selections were varied and fresh. Unfortunately our trip included several wet and misty days, but knowing this ahead of time, we dressed appropriately. The well appointed rooms on the boat are very comfortable and the boat includes 2 dining rooms and 2 lounges. We had plenty of time to get outdoors and exercise our legs, but the well organized hop off, hop on buses were a great alternative. Local Guides were well informed. I Would recommend to elderly, couples or families, although no young children. Each port of call had interesting museums, river walks and information about the local area. Shopping wasnt as good as I expected. A cruise like this is a great getaway to spoil yourself, get refreshed and learn about another part of the country. We look forward to booking a Missippi River cruise in a couple of years. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We had never been to the Pacific Northwest and wanted to experience the beauty and grandeur that Lewis & Clark discovered. The ship is small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to enjoy quiet areas without waiting in lines. The ... Read More
We had never been to the Pacific Northwest and wanted to experience the beauty and grandeur that Lewis & Clark discovered. The ship is small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to enjoy quiet areas without waiting in lines. The staff was friendly and, by and large, loved their jobs. The entertainers were top-notch, including the instrumentalists in the band and piano. Our woman captain presented her ship in a bridge tour and was proud of every detail. The food was exceptional. Wine is included with dinner and though it was not expensive wine, neither was it cheap; it was drinkable, often local, and enhanced the food. My wife has mobility limitations and the entire staff, including the hop on-hop off bus drivers were most accommodating and helpful. The premium shore excursions were excellent. We were a bit concerned about the Hell's Canyon Jet Boat experience, but are so glad that we went. Our jet boat captain was exceptional and the experience was not to be missed.The "Riverlorian" chats could be improved, but the lady was exceptionally knowledgeable. The art throughout the boat was amazing. We will go again, but want to enjoy other American Queen vessels first. One of the benefits of river cruising over ocean cruising is the smooth sailing; no motion-sickness and much easier to walk about. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
I chose this cruise for two reasons 1) I had traveled on the American Queen and had a great time and 2) the Snake and Columbia Rivers were places I wanted to explore. That being said, one must be philosophical about river travel. This ... Read More
I chose this cruise for two reasons 1) I had traveled on the American Queen and had a great time and 2) the Snake and Columbia Rivers were places I wanted to explore. That being said, one must be philosophical about river travel. This spring the water in the Snake has been too high for some weeks. Unfortunately, mine was one of those weeks. So two of the reasons I signed up for the tour, the Snake River and the Dalles were cancelled. However, this cruise still gets 5 stars because everything that is the control of the on board staff and crew is perfect! The food, the service, the boat, the entertainment cannot be topped. Our Riverlorian, Laurence, was outstanding. The entertainment crew was top notch. In the evenings when I should have been watching the river go by, I was enjoying the entertainment at both ends of the boat. There are not enough superlative words to describe the level of talent on the Empress. The size of the boat is perfect.It is smaller than the AQ but so intimate. After two or three days the crew knows your name, and you have made friends with folks from all over. A few tips:1) If you are traveling with a friend and sharing a room, see if you can get a room where the beds are perpendicular to each other. If I had known this was option I would have requested it as the rooms are very small for two people to move around in. 2) For those of us mechanically challenged, a card in near the shower with instructions as to how to operate it would have been very helpful. 3) Get to know the deck crew. I was lucky to have met Terry. From him I learned that to see one of the best river lock/dam systems anywhere in the world, the John Day, I would need to be at the bow of the boat at 3am. He arranged a wake up call and I was there with a few other hearty folks. It was amazing! 4) Get a bike at the ports where you can bike along the river. 5) On a rainy day, get the art brochure from the pursers office and take yourself on a tour of the art on the boat. It is really nice stuff. Shore Excursions and Ports of Call: One suggestion for the AQ company, is for more time in Astoria. One day was not nearly enough. We spent two days in a smaller port where there was much less to see. Would I go again? YES but only if I could be sure that I would be able to be on the Snake River and see the Dalles. Time of year might make a difference and I would check on that before I booked. I embarked in Spokane a lovely city, with a fine book store with craft shop attached. Loved the Davenport Hotel. I disembarked in Portland. Both processes went smoothly. Read Less
American Empress Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.4
Dining 4.5 4.5
Entertainment 4.5 4.5
Public Rooms 4.5 4.4
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.5 4.4
Enrichment 5.0 4.5
Service 5.0 4.7
Value For Money 4.0 4.2
Rates 4.0 N/A

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