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34 North America River Family Cruise Reviews

To the Cruise Reviewers…Here’s a Breaking News story….The American Steamboat Company’s American Queen is NOT A CARIBBEAN CRUISE FUN SHIP…..That’s the rewarding thing about this wonderful Steamboat…..So don’t disparage this ... Read More
To the Cruise Reviewers…Here’s a Breaking News story….The American Steamboat Company’s American Queen is NOT A CARIBBEAN CRUISE FUN SHIP…..That’s the rewarding thing about this wonderful Steamboat…..So don’t disparage this ‘Gem of the Mississippi ‘where you can slow down and take a leisurely cruise on America’s Premiere and Historical River. My wife and I booked the American Queen Steamboat cruise up the Mississippi for the first full week of September 2019 sailing from New Orleans up to Memphis. We’ve been fortunate to have cruised on ships of many sizes and many locations and have even cruised down the Danube River several years earlier but this time we were seeking a trip back through time and history on an authentic Steamboat that still travels the waters of the Mississippi here in the United States. The American Queen is a ship that fits the profile of a slower paced travel and the Mississippi presents a good travelogue of stories about ‘The Old Man River” and adventures in the deep south of the United States. This is not a trip for families with children but a trip for adults of many ages. Ship Features Built in 1995, The American Queen is the largest Steamboat ever constructed at 418 feet long and 89 feet wide with a draft of approximately 8 feet. She’s a true stern-wheeler with and array of modern improvements for navigation on the Mississippi. The beauty of steamboat travel is the slower pace of cruising on a river and how the passengers arrive at the towns on the cruise’s itinerary on the gangways stowed at the front of the steamboat. There’s a wonder steam calliope at the Top Deck River Grill & Bar played by the ship’s Master Pianist and Calliopist Phil Westbrook who hold court nightly at the Main Deck lounge with music and stories to entertain all. There’s a small pool on the top Sun Deck where travelers can also access the small Fitness Center. For late night, guest’s can be entertained at the Engine Room Bar with lively music and dancing, if one desires , lead by two of the ship’s versatile entertainment staff, Norman Bergen and Jim Schweikert. The main guest entertainment is held at the Grand Saloon Theater space, complete with balcony box seats and vaudeville styled main stage. There is also a smaller movie style theater on the Deck 3 – Texas Deck. With that said the ships company of performers and musicians all well versed in their art and provided great entertainment nightly. The Cruise Director, Ryan Faino and his Assistant Cruise Director, Ashley Edwards along with fellow performers Michaelyn Oby and Glenn Springs made evening entertainment a real pleasure for such a small troupe of performers and their equally talented band know as the Steamboat Syncopators. The J. M. White Dining area is a wonderful old world steamboat styled double story dining venue. There is one drawback experience in the dining room which is the ventilation noise that emanates from below deck and at window level due to the ship’s ventilation system on the port side forward of the dining, room. Our dining seating was on the opposite side of the dining room so our dining experience was not impacted by that noticeable mechanical noise. The Buffet dining area known as the Front Porch Café, is located on Deck 3 forward – Texas Deck with dining for guests inside and in a wrap around deck outside this eatery The real masterpieces of the Queen can be found on Deck 2 – Cabin Deck where guests find the Mark Twain Gallery & Lounge along with Men’s and Ladies Parlor Rooms. These spaces or well decorated with period pieces, artwork, photographs, river and steamboat artifact, charts and models an internet café area and a specialty coffee machine with a well stock fresh cookie cabinet. A more unique space in the ship is the areas above the Front Porch Café in a space know as The Chart Room, where Riverlorian, Jerry Hay, weaves the tales of the river and its historic ebb and flow that are an integral part of the heartland of America. Lastly, take some time to walk around all the decks of the ship to a catch a bit of the flavor of what river travel life might have been on some grand stern-wheeler of the 19th Century, like the American Queen, on the muddy water of the Mississippi. Food and Excursions Our food & dining experience on board the American Queen was wonderful. High tech has made its way into dining service in the J. M. White Dining Room with wait staff texting orders to the kitchen for prompt preparation and delivery to the dining guests. The food quality was very good, but don’t hesitate to bring to the attention of the dining room staff anything that is not up to what you, as the diner, might consider substandard. Service was tops and food was well prepared. Food up at the Front Porch Café buffet was also of the same quality and caliber except here’s where self serve ice cream could be found along with a full service bar and guest beverages area. Although the lower Mississippi river does not possess the charm of the enchanting river towns of the European river waterways, you will find the Antebellum South and Historic river towns of Natchez and Vicksburg on this cruise. Vicksburg battlefield is a must trek. The Steamboat Company provides well apportioned coaches that run like clockwork for travel around each the river towns where the ship stops. With regards to the other river town stops on this cruise (St. Francisville and Greenville) they are a look into typical river town life that that have survived the trials and tribulations of the Mighty Mississippi River. Conclusion The American Queen Steamboat cruise may not be a cruise for every traveler but this great ship and cruise does give its guests plenty of river time to slow down and unwind on this Great American River treasure or to pick up the pace to explore the finer elements of Southern Living. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the ... Read More
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the lower Mississippi river got worse. We repeatedly questioned the cruise direction inquiring about our destination considering the weather. We essentially were ignored. The decor of the rooms is average. The upper floors leaked terribly. two of our three ports were closed. The port at Baton Rouge was at flood stage and the entire city was shut down pending the coming flood. Once again we tried to get answers with no results. When then decided to disembark and catch a flight home. All the crew were first timers and inexperienced. The food was average for a cruise. The entertainment areas were small. There was one ice machine for the 100 or so passengers, The captain was relieved of duty apparently because his lack of communication with the passengers. I contacted the corporate office and their flippant response was we didn't know of any storm or problems with the America. This cruise is falsely advertised and way to expensive for what is offered. The crew is very young and inexperienced. It felt like we were on training vessel. The main office has yet to refund me any money. They offered a 1000 cruise credit which to me was an insult. If you book with this company you will regret it! Never Again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia Rivers to Astoria, then back to Portland, OR. It was a themed cruise focusing on the journeys of Lewis & Clark. We had the kids read about L&C before departing - the old Landmark and "We Were There..." books. They were the only two kids on board; otherwise I'd estimate the median age of the 150 passengers to be ~70. The on-board speaker did a good job bringing L&C's journeys to life, and tying them in to each of the attractions we visited. We had two adjoining cabins, with a door in between (405 & 407). This felt very spacious. Crew was 100% American (not that I care, as we've never experienced this before). Service was very good (equiv. to Holland America or RCCL, but not quite Regent). Bottom line - we booked a follow-on cruise on the Mississippi based upon this experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to do a paddleboat River Cruise and our friend that owns a travel agency suggested we try this ship. The ship and the crew were fantastic. However, we found no out that people that booked in the month before the sailing were ... Read More
We wanted to do a paddleboat River Cruise and our friend that owns a travel agency suggested we try this ship. The ship and the crew were fantastic. However, we found no out that people that booked in the month before the sailing were given room upgrades and up to $1000 credit. Apparently so many people cancelled due to the ports being closed because of high water levels that the line needed to fill rooms. We booked 6 months in advance and were not offered any upgrade. We took an interior room which we normally do on cruises as we are not in the room often. The room was so small my husband would shower and get dressed and leave and then I would do the same. The first port for the Oak Alley tour was closed due to high water. The Francisville and Greenville ports were a dud. We spent only 45 minutes in Greenville and Francisville was an hour. Nothing at all to see. Natchez and Vicksburg were amazing. We wish we would have had an entire day in Vicksburg as there was so much to see. We had wonderful table mates for dinner from California and Oregon. Ages 55-75. We all agreed that the terms used in the towns were racist. Tour guides pointed out where “ The Jews” settled. Not a Jewish community. Just kept saying “ The Jews” . I asked Clint our guide about seeing the Catholic Church on the list and he said don’t go on their because you will go blind. He was a native of Greenville and obviously didn’t care for Catholics. I know it wasn’t just us because it was the topic of conversation every night at our dinner table. We were all appalled and uncomfortable. The food was ok. Dinners had odd choices and was generally cold. You are better to eat on deck 3. We only ate in the dining room because we loved our table of cruisers. They were hysterical. We are happy we did the bucket list of a river cruise. But we would not suggest anyone of our friends take this particular southern route. Especially if you aren’t from the Deep South and are not used to terms such as colored, The Jews, those Catholics, etc. it was an eye opener for my family and our dinner table. Also do the reverse cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. Better ports Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
AQSC has river cruising figured out. The Duchess is an awesome vessel and continues the tradition of first class river cruising started by her mother, the American Queen. Our cruise from Nashville to Chattanooga on the Cumberland and ... Read More
AQSC has river cruising figured out. The Duchess is an awesome vessel and continues the tradition of first class river cruising started by her mother, the American Queen. Our cruise from Nashville to Chattanooga on the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers was very relaxing and historical and the scenery was beautiful. Even though the Duchess is not nearly as big as the Queen, she is very elegant and well laid out. Large cabins, sufficient public spaces, excellent dining, impeccable service and excellent entertainment are some of the attributes that make this a nearly perfect vessel to explore America's great rivers. Entertainment trio of Dustin, Courtney and Jeff did a fantastic job each night and are some of the hardest working entertainers we have witnessed. We appreciated that they performed music from the 50's and 60's. The riverlorian, Mike, gave daily informative, interesting and entertaining talks about the river history, lore, navigation and other subjects. Teresa did an awesome job with our daily shore excursions and hop on hop off itinerary. We love AQSC and always look forward to our next cruise on America's rivers on either the Queen, the Duchess and hopefully, the Empress. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Before I start, let me say that overall the cruise was OK for my wife and I. For my 87 year old mother who we brought, the cruise was better than OK and she enjoyed it a lot. Having never been on another river cruise, she had no real ... Read More
Before I start, let me say that overall the cruise was OK for my wife and I. For my 87 year old mother who we brought, the cruise was better than OK and she enjoyed it a lot. Having never been on another river cruise, she had no real expectations and so it was a great experience for her. For us, this was the first and probably last US based river cruise. All of our experience is on Viking which we knew going in was going to be hard to compare. As mentioned earlier, I am good with period décor and to some degree period accommodations. That said, when one pays for owner suite rooms, those rooms should at least be maintained/not dated. Suite 402 exhibited many squawks including several ceiling panels bent and one completely loose/hanging down at one end, carpet was stained, chairs were missing buttons and worn, chrome soap dish and toothbrush holder were loose, shower soap holder was chipped, outdoor candles on our balcony were all inop, back door handle was loose and back door had visible hinge wedge made out of balled up painters tape, all vertical blinds had at least one (if not several) bent vanes. These are ALL routine maintenance items that there is really no excuse for having not addressed either before or during the cruise - ESPECIALLY if one is paying extra for the owners suite. Last but not least, while I can almost rationalize the wine not being restocked daily in the owner suite, it is hard to imagine (other than lack of attention to detail) why the water and juice were not and why one of the days 1 used wine glass was taken but no new clean one left in its place. Beyond the room squawks, a suggestion I might have is to put a Suite Number sign on the outside of the back door (similar to the sign on the front door). SEVERAL times during the cruise people presumably exploring the ship either walked into our room or tried to walk in (learned after day 2 to keep door locked). A suite marker might help them understand it is not just a passage to the other side or that there is not an inside staircase down to the deck below. At the ship level, the paint has been reasonably maintained with no visible rust and/or staining noticeable - great. Upholstery throughout though was noticeably stained and worn giving a less than warm feeling about sitting on any of the furniture. This was the most noticeable in the dining room and thank heaven those chairs were completely replaced half way through the cruise. Prior to replacing them, honestly ACL, they were just plain disgusting. As for the carpet, it was mostly good except for when you come to the stairs. There were no less than three different carpet styles going from deck one to deck two and one really bad face seam going between another level. I get that it is less expensive to patch in like was done, but seriously, it LOOKS patched in and thus detracts from the sense that the ship is well maintained. Add to this the fact that there were missing and broken paddles on the paddle wheel and, well, again it detracts from the experience knowing that overall maintenance is a little lax and where done cuts corners - presumably for budget reasons. The crew does a great job of compensating for the maintenance deficiencies with helpful attitude and smiles so I give ACL credit for that. Overall however, I am sorry to say I will likely not use ACL again and would definitely not recommend the Queen of The West. I had really hoped for a better cruise experience but the maintenance and service distractions at the owner suite level were to say the least more than a little disappointing Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
there was a credit of $800.00 from a previous sailing with the American Queen Steamboat company. We wanted to try the American Queen - the biggest of the 3 ships in the American Steamboat co. We were waiting for the last minute deal ... Read More
there was a credit of $800.00 from a previous sailing with the American Queen Steamboat company. We wanted to try the American Queen - the biggest of the 3 ships in the American Steamboat co. We were waiting for the last minute deal , we found this cruise in a very short notice of departure. the ship was built in 1995 - a paddle wheeler, the steamboat built back to the Victorian history of the 1900 -including the furniture in the cabin, the theatre, dining room, lounges. entertainment -done by the ship's own members -dancers & singers, world-class musicians - organized by the Steamboat Syncopators -playing trumpet ,bass, drums ,.piano,saxophone,clarinet , flute & trombone. and also outside guests performance - Dante Vaudeville -magic show,Lainie Gulliksen -Siren Songs celebrating the Sirens of Broadway,Pop, & Opera , also the ship's own musician entertainers During the day there were River Chat ,Movie Matinee ,Bingo dinner - on the J.M. White Dining Room -we were on the 5.15pm early seating food was good service were great there was a land tour -on the ship's Hop on Hop Off busesto visit many Plantation , resorts ,museum churches. there was hardly any children Read Less
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
Sail Date August 2018
Three friends and I chose this cruise for the easy access to embarkation port, Seattle, and the itinerary of daily visits to small ports in the WA area. This experience was devastating from the initial step aboard. Had it been half the ... Read More
Three friends and I chose this cruise for the easy access to embarkation port, Seattle, and the itinerary of daily visits to small ports in the WA area. This experience was devastating from the initial step aboard. Had it been half the price, we would have had the attitude, "You get what you pay for." However, one can book Oceania, Crystal, Celebrity or any high end cruise for the same amount and receive what is expected. According the the ACL, this ship was commissioned in 2005. That may be the case, but the Star's interior must have been originally furnished from recycled interiors of motels, hotels, or nursing homes which were being refurbished. The furniture and lighting fixtures were from the early 80s and not available in 2005. This ship needs to be dry docked and redone from stem to stern. It is depressingly dated and in some cases unsafe - balcony doors that cannot be properly locked and an erratic elevator with a gate! 2005? I don't think so. The "gourmet cuisine" was a 3-5 on a 1-10 scale. All seemed to be previously frozen and microwaved before serving. My traveling companion has a photo of dirt in the salad greens. We have all read about extreme health effects of dirty lettuce! The staff was ready, willing yet unable to provide basic services. Sweet kids who were untrained. Same with the housekeeping staff; dirty towels left on the bed and no fresh ones replaced, duvet dumped in a chair, etc. It goes on and on and cannot be exaggerated. The "entertainment" was so bad, mostly volunteers from local groups who were probably paid a stipend, one which American Cruise Lines could deduct as a donation. Unfortunately, there is no regulatory agency controlling cruise ships. The passenger must take the risk. American Cruise Lines' advertising is actually fraudulant. PLEASE think twice before booking on this line. It is sad to think a cruise line named American could be so disrespectful and deceiving to it's passengers. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the ... Read More
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the basic itinerary in ACL Cruise Guide then change it. Lost a full day aboard ship. Letter of complaint was not responded to. Sad. We did very much enjoyed the accommodations, food, service and would have liked to see the 3 ports we missed. Our dissatisfaction is with the home office and the captain. He claimed that the river was too high and strong current. But river heights were normal. He also claimed there was too much drift wood in the river. I and other passengers saw none. The trip should have started in Louisville in order to make it to Pittsburgh. This was our second cruise on ACL. The first was of Maine coast. Excellent Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I have enjoyed well over 30 cruises on America's Inland Rivers. The American Queen Steamboat Company has perfected river cruising once again, with so many extras too numerous to mention. The scenery is beautiful, the small towns ... Read More
I have enjoyed well over 30 cruises on America's Inland Rivers. The American Queen Steamboat Company has perfected river cruising once again, with so many extras too numerous to mention. The scenery is beautiful, the small towns are quaint and the cities have revitalized water fronts. AQSC offers Premium Shore Excursions that allow you to immerse yourself in the theme of the cruise if you so choose, with the transportation provided by the companies own motor coaches. They also provide transportation during the stop to various points of interest in each town visited. Or you can stay aboard when in port and enjoy special sessions by experts or simply sit on deck. My particular cruise allowed for several hours of daylight cruising, which is not the case with other cruise lines. The crew appear to enjoy their jobs and take catering to the customer very serious. The experience in the J. M. White Dining Room compares to a fine hotel. The service was excellent, the food superb. The large variety should satisfy any taste. There is a second food venue which allows for more casual dining with extended hours and snacks throughout the day. The Grand Saloon allows for professional entertainment. An onboard Riverlorian gives informative talks and is available to answer questions. These are just the highlights. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We had sailed on the American Queen several years before and were happy to book this for a family cruise celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We were, all together, a party of 13. We sailed from Memphis to New Orleans. I cannot say ... Read More
We had sailed on the American Queen several years before and were happy to book this for a family cruise celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We were, all together, a party of 13. We sailed from Memphis to New Orleans. I cannot say enough nice things about the people on board the ship. Here are some examples. With that many people in our party, it was sad but not a surprise that two people I had put in a cabin together found it impossible to share the room. They were “thermostatically” incompatible: one wanted the room warm, the other wanted it cool. The ship was sold out. Nevertheless the purser’s office was able to somehow find us a single cabin so we could split these people up. I am so grateful as their unhappiness could have ruined the trip for everyone. Among our party were our kids and granddaughter, who was three. This is not a trip where you usually see children, but she had an absolutely fabulous time. One night we were looking at the stars and I pointed out Jupiter. She loves astronomy and had seen many pictures of the planet, but the point of light in the sky didnt look like those images. She insisted it wasn’t Jupiter. So we headed for the pilot house to see if the ship had a telescope. Not surprisingly, a crew member stopped us and said we weren’t allowed there except at special times. And that the boat didn’t have a telescope either. And yet, the very next morning that crew member tracked us down and said there was a kids’ science museum at an upcoming port of call which the granddaughter might enjoy. That’s going way beyond the call of duty. And she, in fact, loved the museum when we got there. We had planned a party one night to celebrate the anniversary. The food and drink and service were perfect. What wasn’t perfect was the weather. Just as the party started we hit a squall. Two of our friends were trapped inside their cabin by the wind and rain. Immediately two stalwart members of the crew hurried down there with muscle and umbrellas and escorted our friends to the party. I could go on and on, but you can see how impressed we all were. And the food and amenities were of course lovely. My only gripe was the pricing. I had hoped to get a price break by booking early and including such a large party. Nope. Not much of a break. In fact, a few months before our sail date there was a sale on cabins, but I would have had to cancel my cabins, pay a fee, and then rebook to take advantage of the break. The remaining savings were too small to be worth the trouble. Come on, American Queen. You can do better! They did upgrade our cabin, but I would have rather saved more money. Still, we would sail with them again whenever we can. Looking forward to the autumn cruise up the Tennessee River. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was ... Read More
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was very early in the morning and luggage must be in the hall before going to bed on the last night. There were five decks and an 8 person elevator that serve them all. Only 30 percent of the 8 days was ship movement, mostly at night, on this trip. The average age of the 147 passengers was about 65 with the youngest at age 26 year. Thus, not much entertainment for children. Attractions were: Tour of the pilot's room, entertainment every evening, all costs aboard ship were included, NO tipping on the ship, motor coaches pre-arranged for on shore attractions. Admission to on shore sites were of three price categories: 1. Included such as Vicksburg Civil War battlefield admission 2. Medium price ==> $40 to $70 for plantation visits 3. High price (Elvis Pressley's Graceland at $140) The extra benefit there was VIP status which included going to the head of the line, seeing a couple of extra sites, a $15 coupon toward food, souvenirs etc. A great vacation because you can travel without unpacking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we ... Read More
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we had 2 rooms on different floors. Both had not been vacuumed, there was debris on both of the room floors from previous occupant(s). The food was good, but the prices were high. On the American Duchess, both cabins had not been dusted or vacuumed from probably the first sailing of the vessel a few weeks before our sailing. On other cruise lines, the rooms would be vacuumed, dusted, towels changed, and beds made every day. On this boat, you had to put out a placard on the front of your door to even have the room steward change your towels. Both rooms were never dusted or vacuumed our whole trip. On the matter of being wheelchair friendly, which the cruise line publicized about this boat, you had to have a strong helper to help lift the front of the wheelchair to get out/into the cabin, from the hallway to another area, from the inside to the outside deck. There was a raised barrier to get to each area, include the dining room, Perks, the 24hr. snack room, and even the gift shop. On five other different cruise lines, I could propel myself throughout the ships with no help from anyone. Most of the Premium optional tours were not made for people with wheelchairs. I had booked a Premium tour in each port, and wasn't told until we were already on the boat, that I couldn't go on those tours. The hop on hop off bus tours, included in the price of the tour, were wheelchair friendly and they had a golf cart that was utilized to get you from the boat to the bus, which was very nice. All of the food on the boat was very good except the breakfast buffet, which had cold food, including items which should have been warm or hot. The entertainment, which were the same group of musicians and singers/dancers the entirety of our journey, were very good(four musicians, and three singers/dancers). Also, for a cruise on the Duchess that was to be for the more affluent, it didn't past muster. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We've always wanted to cruise the full length of the Ohio River and this cruise was a wonderful opportunity to do so. The ship is small enough to get to know passengers and very comfortable. Built specifically for American Cruise ... Read More
We've always wanted to cruise the full length of the Ohio River and this cruise was a wonderful opportunity to do so. The ship is small enough to get to know passengers and very comfortable. Built specifically for American Cruise Lines, the cabins are generous in size and well designed. Food was excellent. We appreciated the option of half-sized portions of the main course at noon and evening meals. Our riverlorians were quite knowledgeable and presented appropriate and informative talks. A surprise hatch of mayflies became an occasion for a presentation on the many aspects of this interesting species. The tours were well-organized with good choices but the option of just relaxing on the boat was also very welcome. My husband moves slowly and with some difficulty. He had no trouble getting around. All the excursions were able to accommodate even someone in a wheelchair. Deckhands were always available to assist when we left and reboarded the boat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Ours was an amazing cruise filled with delectable food, eye-opening side trips, awesome new friends, attentive service, enjoyable entertainment, magnificent river views, a wide array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic free drinks which all ... Read More
Ours was an amazing cruise filled with delectable food, eye-opening side trips, awesome new friends, attentive service, enjoyable entertainment, magnificent river views, a wide array of alcoholic and non-alcoholic free drinks which all added up as a week in Utopia that no one seemed to want to end. We found a group of eight people with which we immediately bonded at our first lunch and ate almost all of our meals together especially because our server Lara made us all feel so special and we did not want to miss that! Oh our meal! Salmon and steak and shrimp oh my! My favorites were the baked crispy chicken and fried green tomatoes. Desserts? Yes that too. How about pecan bourbon pie or layers and layers of chocolate in one cake. My husband got any kind of beer or wine he asked for-- at no cost. Breakfast was made to order as well as a pastry and parfait and fruit bar. There was room service too. There was a daily cocktail hour with any kind of hors d'oeuvre one would want. I loved the baked Brie with vegetables. My husband loved the garlic shrimp. Every night was different. We had one complimentary trip each day. We visited three plantations each with its own focal point. One gave us FREE mint juleps. We also visited the Gettysburg battlefield and the WWII museum. Yes, there was nightly entertainment with root beer floats, sundaes, and drinks. The entertainment usually revolved around music and laughter. Afternoons had lectures about the area as well as tea time. The lounges always had soda, snacks, and cookies available. Everything aboard ship was free. There was a beautiful library across from us. Books and magazines were abundant around the ship. The lounges were peaceful and beautiful. People read, socialized, relaxed, and used the stationary bikes there. I loved our private deck for watching the views go by, change, or otherwise entice. After celebrating a new friend's birthday the last evening, we all hugged and said we did not want it to end Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My dad chose this cruise for our family. He has traveled extensively and taking a river cruise on the Mississippi has been something he has wanted to do. He made it possible for the 14 family members to go on this trip. This was my ... Read More
My dad chose this cruise for our family. He has traveled extensively and taking a river cruise on the Mississippi has been something he has wanted to do. He made it possible for the 14 family members to go on this trip. This was my husband and my first small cruise ship experience. The smaller ship experience allows you to get to know the staff better and your fellow passengers. Our experience in the dining room was so personable with our dining stewards and the hotel managers. The cuisine was excellent and the pastry chef went out of her way to make our 2 six year old nieces kid friendly desserts. The other chefs made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chicken strips, chocolate milk surprises for the kids. We were all impressed at their creativity and desire to make these girls trip a good one. You'll never go hungry on this cruise. There aren't too many options for excursions on the lower Mississippi so what was available was nice. The history lessons we received from these excursions were interesting. Overall a very nice experience Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
I just returned from a wonderful cruise onboard ACL's Queen of the Mississippi. We sailed from New Orleans to Memphis and were blessed with outstanding weather for 6 of the 7 days. I was travelling with my dad and was about 30 ... Read More
I just returned from a wonderful cruise onboard ACL's Queen of the Mississippi. We sailed from New Orleans to Memphis and were blessed with outstanding weather for 6 of the 7 days. I was travelling with my dad and was about 30 years younger than all of the passengers, but I still had a great time. This is a VERY relaxing cruise- there are no nightclubs or casinos and the evening show ends around 9pm. I found this to be a nice change of pace from every other cruise I have been on; I loved sitting on the top deck with a glass of wine and a book and watching the world pass by. Our balcony cabin was much larger than I expected and the bathroom was huge. The bathroom was stocked with lots of nice amenities, which were replenished daily. There was a Keurig coffee maker in the cabin, which was a nice touch. The balcony was a good size and there was plenty of storage in the cabin. Our cabin was 315, which was right next to the stairs, but I didn't hear any noise throughout the cruise. Food: I usually cruise on luxury lines and have been spoiled by the food on Crystal, however, ACL didn't disappoint. I thought the food was very tasty; it is regionally inspired, so we saw a lot of Cajun offerings. My dad isn't a big fan of Cajun food, so he could request something else, like a cheeseburger, and the chef would prepare it for him. They were very accommodating with special requests and dietary needs. Wine and beer flowed freely at lunch a dinner. Cocktail hour was from 5:30-6:30pm each night in the main lounge. This was a fun way to get to know the other passengers and talk about what went on during the day. During this hour, it was an open bar and our cruise kept the bartenders very busy. :) Tours: I did the city tours in Baton Rouge and Memphis and my dad did the military tour in Vicksburg. We thought the tours were well planned out and everyone seemed to enjoy them. Service: The service onboard was great. Captain Robert Hopkins was very friendly and interacted well with the passengers. Patrick, the Hotel Director was awesome, as was Christopher, who was training. The Cruise Staff were all very friendly and did a great job. DeMarus, in Housekeeping, was also the bartender at night and kept my glass full and remembered that my dad liked 2 cherries in his drink. Entertainment: Honestly, I was surprised at how good the entertainment was. I think most cruise ship entertainment is cheesy, but these were mostly local artists and whoever found them did a great job. The comedian was hilarious and the musical acts were very entertaining. All in all, this was a great trip and one that I will remember with my dad for a lifetime. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise was a small boat cruise, with about 120 passengers onboard. We had a great time. We have cruised on large ships, but really enjoyed the smaller ship and getting to know the people we were traveling with. The meals were ... Read More
This cruise was a small boat cruise, with about 120 passengers onboard. We had a great time. We have cruised on large ships, but really enjoyed the smaller ship and getting to know the people we were traveling with. The meals were excellent with a wide choice of locally sourced selections for the daily menu. Breakfast was off the menu with a selection that allowed everyone to eat as if they were at home. There was a small baked goods and fruit buffet as part of the breakfast. Lunch offered a soup, salad, entrée and dessert. Dinner was soup, salad, a choice of entrees and a choice of desserts. There were fresh cookies each morning at about ten o'clock in the two lounges and an included open bar cocktail hour every day before dinner. There was a free excursion event at each port as well as featured excursions, which were additional. The excursions, free or paid, were very good and highlighted those events and locations along the Columbia River. There was nightly entertainment provided by local talent, which lasted at least an hour. It was mostly music, with three different musicians, and a local Native American Nez Perce entertainer. There was also a Lewis and Clark Expedition Historian, Todd Weber, who over four different discussion/briefing periods covered the Lewis and Clark Expedition, from the beginning to the west coast (Cape Disappointment) and back to St Louis, MO. The American Pride, is a paddle wheel boat, only a few years old. It is in excellent shape, with a young, energetic, and helpful crew. Embarkation and disembarkation was well coordinated and bags were at our room or on the ramp in an easy to find organized arrangement. Being a small boat cruise, there is not as much to do on board as a large ship, and the passengers, mostly older (45 and above) were self motivated and made excellent use of the shore excursions. There were no children on this ship. We enjoyed this small cruise well enough to sign up for another next year in Alaska. Thank You America Cruise Lines and the Crew of the American Pride for a Very Nice Time. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
A wonderful look at America's heartland on a beautiful steamboat! Food is excellent - the grilled salmon was moist, and the bread pudding with whiskey sauce a real treat! The cabins are clean, and chocolates on one's bedtime ... Read More
A wonderful look at America's heartland on a beautiful steamboat! Food is excellent - the grilled salmon was moist, and the bread pudding with whiskey sauce a real treat! The cabins are clean, and chocolates on one's bedtime pillow is a sweet touch. The Hop-on, Hop-off busses transport passengers to amazing historic towns and villages. Tours of historic homes and museums, along with access to local businesses, make each stop a desirable destination. Daily talks by the Riverlorian provide local history and geography; access to a lending library, binoculars, and bicycles provide additional activities. The staff offers top-notch customer service - it is especially helpful that housekeeping, wait staff, and the boat crew are willing to stop and answer questions regarding any aspect of steamboating. Whether socializing on the Front Porch, watching superb talent in the Grand Saloon, or enjoying quiet moments on the deck watching the river and the ever-changing scenery, it's a cruise that creates fun moments and very happy memories. This is my fourth cruise on the American Queen & I wouldn't change a thing!! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
American Star, Fall Foliage tour. Unfortunately, the leaves were not turning so everything was green. My wife and I accompanied her parents for their anniversary. My wife was one of the youngest at 57; the average age is 80+, not a ... Read More
American Star, Fall Foliage tour. Unfortunately, the leaves were not turning so everything was green. My wife and I accompanied her parents for their anniversary. My wife was one of the youngest at 57; the average age is 80+, not a bad thing but not a party boat, which was fine with me. The boarding was good as was the room; plenty large with nice bathroom. We were on the second level and had a balcony. The part that makes the trip are the staff; mostly young men and women in their 20s who have signed up for a 16 week tour. They do the waiting on tables, they clean the rooms and the do the general cleaning. All were great with a positive attitude in a job that required them to work 12-14 hours a day. They received an hour or two break. Food was good. Typically three choices for dinner with appetizers and of course wine or beer. Lunches and breakfast were typical fare. Always a good desert or ice cream. One thing to know is if you want two entrees, ask for them, they are fine with it. It's not an either or choice, do both, you're paying for it. Happy hour was from 5:30-6:30 and had a full bar and great appetizers. Tours, unless you're on your fourth trip, you pay around $50 person; the several ports we visited were fair but West Point was great. Sandy our tour guide was very knowledgeable and fun to talk with. Over all, trip was good, but expensive. Expect to be pampered. Shout out to: Josh, Sandy, Val, Amanda, Cori, D'lynn, Regan, Nick, Trevon, Nathan, Sophie and all the others. Captain Dennis was very personable; do the bridge tour (captain's bridge). Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We were first thinking about a Mississippi River cruise, but having just spent some time in Memphis, we decided that the scenery along the Columbia River would be much nicer. In fact this was a terrific trip all round. The staff was ... Read More
We were first thinking about a Mississippi River cruise, but having just spent some time in Memphis, we decided that the scenery along the Columbia River would be much nicer. In fact this was a terrific trip all round. The staff was more than obliging, and we were able to get close to Mt. St. Helens and Multnomah Falls. My husband pulled something in his knee when disembarking in the Dalles, and one of the staff actually bought him a cane. Meals were varied and interesting. There was often keyboard entertainment during dinner. There was also a lecturer on board who gave fascinating talks about the Lewis and Clark expeditions. Overall we couldn't have asked for a nicer cruise experience. A typical dinner menu included appetizers, a choice of entrees, and a choice of desserts. They also included wine free with dinner as well as a choice of coffee or tea. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The boat was fantastic, the serving staff were quite good(Troy in particular was very funny, personable and attentive). The efforts that people went to for my wife and daughter to satisfy their dietary requirements was excellent. Getting ... Read More
The boat was fantastic, the serving staff were quite good(Troy in particular was very funny, personable and attentive). The efforts that people went to for my wife and daughter to satisfy their dietary requirements was excellent. Getting on and off the boat could not have been made any easier so well done. The food quality and quantity was excellent. The ship was in excellent condition and the stateroom that we were in(category b) was very comfortable and served our purpose well. The shore excursions that I went on were excellent(Angola prison, Swamp visit, Plantation and Reginas). I would do them all again except for Regina's house, only because I was not personally interested in the cooking demo. Regina herself and the setting was lovely. The bad points(and some of these are totally out of AQ's control) 1. The destination towns were almost always closed on our trip(most shops, cafes etc did not open early enough for us to visit with them. 2. it was not explained to us that travelling up the river meant less time off the boat when visiting the ports. 3. The River grill bar needs to stay open if there are people around the bar(not a strict policy of closing it at 5PM). I thought a bar full of people willing to pay for drinks would be enough of a reason to stay open and continue to serve customers. 4. A big clean up of the Engine room bar would not go astray. The glassware is filthy. 5. The onboard tipping/gratuities could be simplified and explained better. 6. While the food quality was excellent, the variety at breakfast buffet was a bit repatiscious. Some cold cuts, smoked salmon, cheeses would have been a great addition. The site of all the sugary buns/slices etc etc being packed up every day at the end of the service should point out that there is too much sweets in the morning. We travelled with our 15 year old daughter and she enjoyed herself. Ithink any younger than 15 and the children would get quite bored. There is not a great deal onboard that they are interested in. Overall, I am happy that my family has done this trip on the AQ. We have truly enjoyed the experience. I would recommend it to other people. I would look at coming on the boat again(different ports), but would research the ports more next time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They ... Read More
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They are the best of the best. The food service is assume with a variety of foods prepared by very talented chefs. Things that I usually eat such as fish dishes I loved on this cruise. Our stateroom was large and comfortable and kept very clean by the staff. If you enjoy being pampered this is an excellent venue for experiencing that treatment. We also enjoyed the on shore excursions we participated in. The ones we went on were free and very interesting. The buses were clean and nice and the interpreters were knowledgeable and open to questions from those of us in the audience. We enjoyed the homes and battlefields they took us to. We also enjoyed the local talent that entertained us each night. They gave us wonderful shows and were very talented performers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Service and people are outstanding. Food is also outstanding. During our meals, the service was outstanding with a lot of personal attention. The offshore events were more interesting than I anticipated. Personal attention was around ... Read More
Service and people are outstanding. Food is also outstanding. During our meals, the service was outstanding with a lot of personal attention. The offshore events were more interesting than I anticipated. Personal attention was around the clock. The crew was very friendly and highly expert. No complaints. Will recommend this to anyone. The dining was outstanding with impacable service. Given that the purpose of the cruise is to experience what it was like 200 years ago, the passengers were on the older side. Met passengers from other parts of the world and throughout the United States. Wife got ill, and the service was outstading. Whenever we needed anyting, the crew provided it with a smile on their faces. They were very pleasent and eager to please. The scenery was highly interesting. We throughouly enjoyed the sights and outings. We would recommend this trip to anyone. This has been a very leasurely and pleasent experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016

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