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28 American Queen Steamboat Company Family Cruise Reviews

My wife and I have taken 16 cruises and this was the worst one yet. But before I get to the problems, I will cover the general items. This cruise started in Cincinnati with an over night stay at the Hilton on June 27 then cruised the Ohio ... Read More
My wife and I have taken 16 cruises and this was the worst one yet. But before I get to the problems, I will cover the general items. This cruise started in Cincinnati with an over night stay at the Hilton on June 27 then cruised the Ohio river to Pittsburg on July 4. We picked this cruise because we were looking for something different from ocean cruising and European river cruises. When we noted it stopped in Wheeling WV, we signed on immediately because this is where my wife's ancestors settled when they came to the USA from Ireland in the early 1800s. She has three generations buried there and had been working with a historian at the library there doing research. After singing up for the cruise, we hired a historian to drive we around town to the different sights relating to my wife's ancestors. The Hilton is a nice old hotel downtown just a few blocks from where the AQ docks. I was extremely noisy until 11:30 because of bands playing at Fountain square just across the street. At check in we were told of an hospitality desk where AQ was checking people in. After standing in a hot line with no seating for over an hour, we find out that AQ is just trying to upsell excursions even though we have already selected them on line and that check in in the morning early. The next morning we go to check in and get our sea pass, picture taken, credit card scanned and pick our dining preference even though we have don it on line. Then, you guessed it , Back to the excursion desk again to try to up sale us some more. We were taking the pre-cruise tour of Cincinnati an were told to wait for the bus on the street. The hotel was trying to clear the sidewalk and get every one to wait inside but the lobby is in the second floor an you can not see when the busses are loading. The busses arrived with the passengers from the pervious cruise. That is where we found out the paddle wheel shaft had broken several days before and that the repair crew was disassembling the paddle wheel. The AQ looks nice. The State rooms are small as expected but they are nice. Food was barely average and portions were small. So I would order an extra vegetable. The front porch had a buffet with about the same foods but had a problem keeping food hot. Food service was poor. Bar tenders seem to be good but I do not use them much. Cabin stewards were ok. Bingo was good with all the money going to the prize pool. Entertainment was very good, Much better than I expected. The house band was very good and the special shows were good. THEN THE TROUBLE STARTS. The caption introduced himself at the 7:00 show and tells us we have not left port yet. (duh) He said that not only is the paddle wheel shaft broken but a generator is inoperable and we are waiting for parts from New Orleans. He also said a crew member was injured working on the generator and was taken to thr hospital. I started seeing red flags because I have read several reports of AQ generator problems on Cruise Cretic. The next day about mid morning the captain announces that we are seven hours behind schedule and will skip our first port, Maysville, Kentucky. Red flags again! We were only three or four hours late departing Cincinnati, why are we seven hours late? We pass Maysville an three hours later the boat turns around an heads back down stream, no explanation! At the seven o'clock show the captain reports a z-drive failure we will return to Maysville for repairs. Parts will be shipped from Louisiana and we might be in Maysville for two days. The red flags are getting bigger. They push the AQ op against the bank and tie it to a tree. We sign up for the premium tour to Washington, KY in the morning and were told we could do the HOHO in Maysville in the evening. But come to find out everything closed around because it was not a cruise day. At show time the captain announced that we would leave about seven am after Coast Guard inspection. We would have a tow boat to help us with speed but WOULD SKIP ALL REMANING PORTS. For compensation AQ offered: *Free bar -not much value unless you drink a lot and wine is already complimentary at dinner * $100 on board credit -bar is free, no more excursions, the only thing you can spend it on is the Spa and gift shop--- very little cost to AQ * 25% of the cost of the cruise toward a future cruise-- the think I am going to spend more money with AQ * A free return trip to Cincinnati - not a bad deal for those the can take it but again very little cost to AQ the sailing is not full therefore the only cost to AQ is a little extra food. To sum it all up I FEEL CHEATED! AQ knew several days before departure in Cincinnati that the paddle wheel world be inoperable and they made no attempt to contact us so we would have the option of canceling or postponing. In my opinion, AQ would not have been able to make the ports they advertises with the paddle wheel out of service and no other problems. The compensation AQ offered is a slap in the face after missing 75% of our ports.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
The American Queen Steamboat Company has only been operating since April of this year (2012) and with a financial contractural mandate to staff the ship with at least 30% Memphis-residents, they definitely have a learning curve regarding ... Read More
The American Queen Steamboat Company has only been operating since April of this year (2012) and with a financial contractural mandate to staff the ship with at least 30% Memphis-residents, they definitely have a learning curve regarding service and consistency to overcome. However, having said that -- the only "negative" worthy of mention -- the crew had an amazing "can fix it" attitude and went out of their way to rectify issues and please the passengers. As a simple but poignant example, they serve 24/7 on the "front Porch" food, cookies, snacks, ice cream etc. While the cookies were great, there were not any chocolate chip ones -- my favorite. I ran into the chef and asked "why not" -- and, amazingly, 15 minutes later, he personally appeared on the deck holding a tray of hot fresh-out-of-the-oven delicious chocolate chip cookies -- and provided them every day for the rest of the cruise. The food, while on that subject, was uniformly delicious with beautiful variety and great presentations -- all cooked to order -- not the "mass production" of most cruise lines. The shore excursions, most of them included in the fare, were well organized, mostly interesting and exceedingly convenient and accessible, even for those with disabilities. There was plenty of outdoor deck seating and places to simply relax and unwind as well as nightly entertainment. The cruise we took had a "Civil War Theme" and there were associated informative lectures as well. We have cruised on many lines and to many places around the world but paddlewheeling on the Mississippi and associated rivers of mid-American proved to be one of the most relaxing experiences of our lives. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We sailed from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati on July 18-22, 2012. I had sailed on the AQ when she was owned by Majestic America so I was very excited to see what changes had taken place. The food is SO MUCH BETTER than it was before, happily ... Read More
We sailed from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati on July 18-22, 2012. I had sailed on the AQ when she was owned by Majestic America so I was very excited to see what changes had taken place. The food is SO MUCH BETTER than it was before, happily the decor has stayed the same and it's the same great service. Our cabin Stewardess had worked on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen before coming to the AQ. She really knew what she was doing and took great care of us. Many of the staff had worked on the other vessels and had the experience needed to work on a ship like the AQ. FOOD: We ate specifically in the main dining room for breakfast & dinner every day, utilizing the Front Porch of America for lunch. Bananas Foster Stuffed French Toast daily for breakfast along with many buffet offerings in the main dining room! Lunch offered roast turkey or brisket sandwiches (carved on the spot), along with salads and hot dogs. The Front porch has popcorn every day and ice cream available around the clock, not just for a few hours like most cruise lines. My husband was very happy to find that out and enjoyed the ice cream daily. I am allergic to seafood and I found the dinner menu diverse enough that I never worried about what I was ordering. There was a seafood free option as well as a vegetarian option each day. ENTERTAINMENT: The shows and music offered aboard the ship was wonderful! We were traveling with my 1 yr old daughter who loves music and thoroughly enjoyed the performances by all the on board performers. I was impressed when we were tied up in Point Pleasant, WV. There was a stage set up and the entertainers put on a show for the town and the people traveling on the boat. Even with rainy weather, people were still there! SHORE EXCURSIONS: Each port has free, included shore excursions as well as excursions you could purchase. I've never been on a ship that includes shore excursions at every port! While we did not take the bus offered to each location, we grabbed a map and walked to the museums, monuments and parks noted. It was a good learning experience for me as I don't know much about the history along the Ohio River. My 1 yr old Daughter: Yes, we were brave and brought our daughter on board the steamboat. He 1st birthday was on July 20 and was celebrated in style by the crew. They decorated our cabin with balloons and streamers and even gave her gifts! At Dinner, the staff sang happy birthday and the chef baked her a special little cake to smash/eat. Traveling with a little one is tough and I was worried we would upset our fellow travelers with her crying but we ended up having a lot of friends. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
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