6 American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

Embarking from the port of Clarkston, Washington and disembarking in Portland, Washington aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company Empress. The staff went out of their way to assure that passengers had an enjoyable & smooth ... Read More
Embarking from the port of Clarkston, Washington and disembarking in Portland, Washington aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company Empress. The staff went out of their way to assure that passengers had an enjoyable & smooth experience. The food was spectacular, tasty and service in high fashion! The lunch buffet was equally delicious....daily ethnic options were a pleasant experience and the sandwich options from the grill were made to order. Excursions were often greater than expected. Our cruise was void of ANY CHILDREN, certainly a real plus and another pleasant experience is that there were NO photographers on board other than passengers. This cruise line does not seek to exploit passengers by taking pictures at the most inopportune times and selling them for overinflated prices. The only possible negative comment would be that several ports lacked shopping options. That certainly is not the fault of the cruise line, but certainly a financial mis-opportunity for the local economy. The ship's staff from top to bottom all had perpetual smiles and friendly personalities. This did not appear fake, but a testiment to happ employees. We ditched the nightly entertainment for the spectacular evening views from the top deck of the ship....truly spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The trip was recommended to us by a longtime friend and we wanted a paddle boat experience. The trip was was a very enjoyable experience. The evening shows were super with some very talented performers. The food was above our general ... Read More
The trip was recommended to us by a longtime friend and we wanted a paddle boat experience. The trip was was a very enjoyable experience. The evening shows were super with some very talented performers. The food was above our general expectations. We have sailed many times on river boats and ocean liners and this was an easy match to our other cruises. There were very interesting and informative lectures throughout the trip. The entire staff was friendly and helpful, they made the trip special. We will be going on other cruises with American Queen Cruise Line in the future. The American Queen is a beautiful ship and well kept. It is very comfortable The officers of the American Queen are very friendly and managed the ship very well., But the exception is that this trip is not for everyone if you want Diamond International and a ship that contains a casino this is not a cruise line for you. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose a destination with cool weather and new scenery. North Texas summers are hot, oppressively hot. We had not traveled often enough in Washington and Oregon. This cruise not only gave an opportunity to see these states but also ... Read More
We chose a destination with cool weather and new scenery. North Texas summers are hot, oppressively hot. We had not traveled often enough in Washington and Oregon. This cruise not only gave an opportunity to see these states but also the beautiful Columbia River Gorge and the scenic mountains; Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Adams. The river is a vista of ever-changing mountainous scenery. We went thru 8 or 9 locks (from sea leve to about 800 feet elevation at Lewiston, Idaho.) Our first day in Astoria, Oregon, was cool enough that I was concerned with not bringing enough warm clothing. The entire trip the morning weather was excellent and as we got further from the coast the afternoon weather got warmer. So if you are looking for a morning shiver with your cup of coffee during July and August, here is the trip. The food, the service, the accommodations, the entertainment, the crowd (over 70) was great. No kids, no drunks, just plain ordinary seniors, dignified, mostly well-traveled and polite. The staff & crew were well trained, very professional and would go out of their way to be friendly. Our first cruise was on the 'old Delta Queen' many years ago and this riverboat cruise was just as memorable as our first. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was our first American river boat cruise. We have done Europe and Russia. We were very pleased with the boat and the cruise overall. We left from Spokane where we did a pre-cruise tour of the city and then went by bus to Richland ... Read More
This was our first American river boat cruise. We have done Europe and Russia. We were very pleased with the boat and the cruise overall. We left from Spokane where we did a pre-cruise tour of the city and then went by bus to Richland where we embarked. The cruise was to be from the Snake River to the Columbia River ending in Vancouver, WA. However, due to excessive rains and flooding, the Snake River portion was not possible, so we started in Richland, WA. Despite this disappointment, it was a wonderful cruise. The very pleasant and attentive staff, comfortable and clean cabin and excellent meals made it a thoroughly enjoyable experience. THe entertainment was top-notch for such a small boat. We had a large cabin with a private verandah, which was so pleasant. We would highly recommend this cruise and this company. In fact, we just booked a future cruise while on board. Read Less
Sail Date June 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
Sail Date April 2017
we were on the Snake and Columbia rivers following their trail.. It is amazing to see this terrain and in awe on how they navigated it over 200 years ago with the rapids etc., The Mt St. Helens volcano extra trip was interesting . I did ... Read More
we were on the Snake and Columbia rivers following their trail.. It is amazing to see this terrain and in awe on how they navigated it over 200 years ago with the rapids etc., The Mt St. Helens volcano extra trip was interesting . I did not know that this was not the typical lava flow eruption. The hop on and off trips were enlightening with the on bus guides, and stops. The desert area was a surprise and the locks a nice experience. Seeing the Manhattan project site was an eye opener. the food was okay. one has to realize that unlike big cruise ships, food is only served at certain times so if you miss the meal times you can not get food otherwise on the boat. the entertainment was simple was but delightful even the ones they brought on board were entertaining, cowboy songs and illusionist. they try very hard to make you feel at home with learning the passengers names. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
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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