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1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I was always looking at Mississippi River cruises, but they seemed too expensive. My husband and I usually cruise in the Carribean on ships that have a lot of attractions. Oasis,Allure) Then,Cruise Critic advertised this cruise The ... Read More
I was always looking at Mississippi River cruises, but they seemed too expensive. My husband and I usually cruise in the Carribean on ships that have a lot of attractions. Oasis,Allure) Then,Cruise Critic advertised this cruise The American Queen is small compared to large cruise ships (425 abt.) but all the luxuries were there. Great food in the dining room, the informal buffet at dinner time always had prime rib, and a great fish and chicken offerings The entertainment was superb. The troop may only had four people, but they were extremely talented. The ship had resident jazz band who played at the shows, and late nights sessions in one of the bars. The historian on board was also good We embarked in New Orleans, and the ship provided one night in a central hotel. When we got to a port, we were provided with a hop/on bus which brings you to the attractions, with the entry feee already paid. We could not get to all the attractions. The ship is decorated in high Victorian style Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I chose this cruise because a group of 18 of us wanted to cruise on a riverboat. This group cruises frequently but never a riverboat. Nothing about this cruise line is current. You can't even make online reservations. We had planned ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a group of 18 of us wanted to cruise on a riverboat. This group cruises frequently but never a riverboat. Nothing about this cruise line is current. You can't even make online reservations. We had planned and booked everything before boarding, premium excursions, private cocktail reception. After boarding no one at the customer service desk or tour desk seemed to know what they were doing. Everyday our group had to go to the desk about issues. We paid top price for a private reception before the cruise, they didn't have this booked onboard, even after we confirmed and went to the room for the reception, they still didn't know anything about it. The cabins are so tiny, dingy, lack of storage and not worth the price that we paid for this cruise. The dining room service was horrible, they simply didn't care. The towns that we stopped in are mostly small and not much to see. Glad we booked premium tours that actually went somewhere else. Disembarkation was very confusing, they really didn't tell you what to do, you just followed other cruisers that kind of knew what to do. The 'Local riveratarion' turned out to be the same man that does the lighting in the theater!! Nothing local about that, he shared his very political opinions, that were not always appropriate. Sorry American Queen our group won't be back. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I took this cruise as a celebration of our 25th anniversary. We cruised from New Orleans to Memphis. Pros: excellent food and wait staff. large variety of entrees and dietary needs met. clean staterooms, ... Read More
My husband and I took this cruise as a celebration of our 25th anniversary. We cruised from New Orleans to Memphis. Pros: excellent food and wait staff. large variety of entrees and dietary needs met. clean staterooms, common areas (except the sticky laminate flooring) variety of hourly activities variety of Premium Excursions Cons: Only one location for dinner, even though alternate venue was advertised average age of cruisers on our cruise looked to be 75 activities geared more to the older crowd, including musical shows in evening cost of Premium Excursions included excursions need to be updated. Several stops had little to see 18.5% per person per day gratutites added at end of voyage(not included in cost) Hotel in New Orleans (included) was filthy This was our first cruise and didn’t know what to expect. There was a lot of “hurry up” then wait, especially since there were so many cruisers with mobility issues.We will not return. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
As experienced ocean cruisers we chose this cruise up the Mississippi in late April to see some southern states before the summer heat. This year the heavy spring rains within the Mississippi watershed had created major upstream flooding; ... Read More
As experienced ocean cruisers we chose this cruise up the Mississippi in late April to see some southern states before the summer heat. This year the heavy spring rains within the Mississippi watershed had created major upstream flooding; however, the only impact to our cruise was two of our docks were damaged and unusable and one of our planned stops was canceled. Overall, the cruise was great and certainly met my expectations. The staff was great. The entertainment exceeded my expectations and the river historian dded a lot of knowledge to the cruise. The food was good and with great variety. Only complaint was a couple of servings on the lukewarm side. Also, serving sizes were noticeably smaller which did not impact me in the slightest. There certainly was plenty of food. Our cabin was good and very comfortable. The bathroom was good size with a great shower! The internet services were free and far superior to our ocean cruises. The highlight of the shore excursions was the visit to Chef Regina Charboneau's home in Natchez. She is absolutely delightful, a very entertaining guest, and we got a beautifully autographed copy of her latest cook book! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
We (my wife, myself, my daughter and her spouse) had always wanted to try a US Cruise Ship on the Mississippi River, We started at New Orleans and traveled to Menmphis, the hotel the ship chose was a part of the pre trip was excellent ... Read More
We (my wife, myself, my daughter and her spouse) had always wanted to try a US Cruise Ship on the Mississippi River, We started at New Orleans and traveled to Menmphis, the hotel the ship chose was a part of the pre trip was excellent and we actually booked it via separate reservations a day early, The room on board was nice, however our steward was at best poor, in fact the ship changed him out after the 3rd night of almost no service. The staff, were all USA residents, and the lower staff, were often indifferent to most. They seemed to get better as the trip neared its end. Food, was at best, medium. On the first night I ordered a baked potato, it was cold and would not melt the butter. They brought me a second "15 minutes later", it was colder then the first, they then sent the assistant head waiter over, he went and found a 3rd baked potato, again this took "15 minutes", by then I had finished my meal. It never got better.... The value for $$$ was far below what I expected. The dining room chairs were broken and most had extremely stained seats. Not at all what I expected for a US cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
I always wanted to visit New Orleans and my companion had always wanted to go down/up the Missisipi River. This cruise offered the best of both worlds. Unfortunately i was disapointed to find that the food was not always of good quality ... Read More
I always wanted to visit New Orleans and my companion had always wanted to go down/up the Missisipi River. This cruise offered the best of both worlds. Unfortunately i was disapointed to find that the food was not always of good quality and did not cater well for vegetarians. Unfortunately there was also a lot of fried fish rather than fresh fish. There were also times when the boat ran out of basics such as English Breakfast tea and some herbal teas. Most of the staff however were very good, very helpful and friendly. The hop on and off tours were rather interesting however in some of the towns; Greenville especially there was not much to see, and what we did see while being of some interest had been covered earlier on in the tour some museums were random and disjointed in there collections. Perhaps if you stayed in one of the bigger towns for longer of even arrived earlier in Memphis. However i have had overall a good experience. The staff were especially welcoming and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining ... Read More
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining Room with a very good selections or in the Grill Room/Terrace buffet. Most of us chose the Main Dining Room for dinner, wine and beer is included with dinner. and the Grill Room for breakfast and lunch. Weather was good enough for enjoying the meals on the open terrace. Cabins are very comfortable and there are suites with separate sitting area, even two story suites with seating below and sleeping area up the stairs. Lectures and tours are included, with experienced and enthusiastic guides. Free Hop on/off busses are at every port. There was good entertainment with a four piece band and three singers performing every night. Music in the Lounge during the cocktail hour and after the show. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
I was invited to join friends on this cruise. New Orleans is a great place to visit pre-cruise. Our hotel was within walking distance of many attractions. Cabin was small but compact, clean and orderly. The bathroom was good size and ... Read More
I was invited to join friends on this cruise. New Orleans is a great place to visit pre-cruise. Our hotel was within walking distance of many attractions. Cabin was small but compact, clean and orderly. The bathroom was good size and the walkin shower excellent. Amenities included were shampoo, lotion, shower gel, nice size bar of hand soap. The food was plentiful, many choices, and of excellent quality. For breakfast and lunch you could order from the menu or eat from the buffet. Dinner consisted of appetizer choice, soup and/or salad, choice of entrée and dessert. Wine, beer, soda, coffee, tea included with dinner. The included shore excursions were very interesting. There were enough places to visit in each town using the Hop-On Hop-Off tour buses that you didn't really need to pay for extra premium excursions. I did opt to purchase the Vicksburg, On The Front Lines of the Civil War, excursion. I felt that it was well worth the money. I was not impressed with the evening entertainment, but there were always other choices. The only downside was the fact that the Mississippi was the highest it has ever been. Consequently, we could not dock at several ports. However, we still visited most of the same towns, We could not get under the bridges leading to Memphis, so we had a long bus ride to the Memphis airport. We all made our flights on time. The staff of the cruise boat did a fine job of dealing with the swollen river and the problems it presented. Since I have visited Memphis many times, I did not stay over there. I would recommend doing so if you have not been there. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
After having taken three ocean cruises, the cruise aboard the American Queen was a very nice change. We enjoyed the more personal service that is possible with a maximum capacity of 430 passengers. We appreciated the helpfulness and ... Read More
After having taken three ocean cruises, the cruise aboard the American Queen was a very nice change. We enjoyed the more personal service that is possible with a maximum capacity of 430 passengers. We appreciated the helpfulness and pleasant demeanor of all the staff we encountered. The boat and its furnishings are very nice and seemed to be well maintained. The only equipment problem I noted was that one of the two treadmills in the gym was non-operational. That was not a problem for us as we never encountered anyone else in the gym when we were there. Our cabin #332 included a private veranda. Although we have stayed in larger suites before, we found this one to be quite comfortable and to meet all our needs. Unfortunately, we had a problem with cigarette and apparent pipe smoke being very noticeable from our veranda several times when we wanted to use it. On the second day I reported it to the Purser's office and they sent a security staff member to our cabin. He also smelled smoke but said he could not determine from where it was coming. I was later told by a different staff member that it was probably coming from the staff deck below. Sure enough, when I looked down at that deck from my veranda I saw several cigarette butts on the decking below our cabin. When I later mentioned that to the Purser's office I got the distinct impression that they were aware of the issue from prior experience but just chose not to take corrective action. I consider that to be very inconsiderate that they do not at least advise passengers where this problem might be encountered so they can make a good choice of cabin. We found the food to be of very good quality. We ate half of our dinners at the Front Porch Café because we enjoyed the more casual service style here. The staff there was excellent and quick to address any service requests. We did not take any of the premium excursions and found the hop-on hop-off bus system to be well organized and easy to use. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Seeing the mighty Mississippi has been on our list, if only for the size and its place in history. We travelled from Australia to cruise on the American Queen for a 9 night Lower Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis itinerary. Cruise ... Read More
Seeing the mighty Mississippi has been on our list, if only for the size and its place in history. We travelled from Australia to cruise on the American Queen for a 9 night Lower Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis itinerary. Cruise included a first night stopover in New Orleans at the very convenient Riverfront Hilton, which had a pre-checkin facility, which was easy to do. We did our own exploring rather than used the optional premium tours. First view of the boat tied up was impressive, the Queen is certainly a big boat and certainly looks like a riverboat of bygone days. On boarding day we climbed aboard and went directly to our state room, Dining was a treat, the Dining room was well appointed and we had a set 2 person table for dinner, which was a mixed thing in that we did not mix with other guests much. Staff attention was good and the food very good to excellent, with nicely sized portions. All the bar staff were very good and the River Grill/Calliope Bar on deck 5 became a favourite, where you can view the large river and all on it and the mesmerizing rear paddle wheel. Ensure that you go down to the engine room to actually see the steam engines at work, again the duty staff were just too happy to answer questions. Dining options also include the more casual Front Porch with a nice open air and some inside dining tables which often was the lunch choice, to enjoy the outside weather and views of the river. On our trip we chose only a couple of the option excursions, both of which were quite good, with the Laura Plantation at the Nottoway stop being a standout. The Vicksburg Battlefield tour gave a great overview of the siege of 1863. Included Hop on Hop tours at the ports of call cover the stops quite nicely, but we chose to walk into most ports of call, but caution some of these are some distance so this method is not for everybody. We are a late 50's couple so the demographic of the cruisers on our trip was largely quite senior, which was largely within expectations, met some really nice folks from all over the US, Canada and fellow Antipodeans. Highly recommend the daily Riverlorian talks, Bobby Durham, the Riverlorian on our trip was terrific and very entertaining with his presentations on river history, geographics, commerce and folk lore. The entertainment was not quite our scene but the 4 performers and resident band were able to put on a good show for the presentations we attended, with the timings set so that both dinner sittings could partake if they desired. This type of cruise is a more laid back type, there are vast stretches of river where all you see is riverside forest with occasional industrial works and many, many working barges. The Mississippi is still largely a working river. There are not a lot of riverside towns, What was fascinating to watch the way that the often very large barges and their Tow navigate this winding river. Disembarkation appeared to be quite seamless, we chose the independent option, where our bags were moved to the Memphis terminal, we walked off and picked them up and proceeded off to our hotel, not choosing the post cruise options We feel we would quite possibly travel American Queen Steamboat again. Our expectation was to watch this river go by and get an appreciation for the part the Mississippi played in driving the US expansion and economy in the 1800's and indeed today. That is exactly what the cruise provided. Having a great room, great food and terrific staff was a bonus. Read Less
Sail Date: August 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We sailed aboard the Duchess from New Orleans to Minnesota departing July 16th. The Duchess is a beautiful boat with room for 166 guests. The design of all the rooms is pleasing to the eye and very airy with high-ceilings. We ... Read More
We sailed aboard the Duchess from New Orleans to Minnesota departing July 16th. The Duchess is a beautiful boat with room for 166 guests. The design of all the rooms is pleasing to the eye and very airy with high-ceilings. We entered the boat into the room where Pursuer is located. Access to the bar and grand dining from the Purser is through a hallway lined with beautiful replicas by Monet masterpieces. The bar area is spacious, centered by the staircase accessing two decks. Large Austrian chandeliers hang from the ceiling, an abundance of blown and fused glass artwork line the walls there, in addition there are cozy seating areas outfitted with sofas and chairs. The dining room is large enough to hold all the guests. Breakfast (6:30 to 9) Lunch (11:30 to 1) and Dinner (5:30 to 8:00) all meals are open setting, an option that allows guests to eat meals at their leisure. The food was delicious, varied and often local. The service was exceptional, the dining room staff is friendly, professional and willing to go the extra mile. In addition to the grand dining room there is a smaller dining area, River Club and Terrace, on the second deck serving buffet style breakfast and lunch with open setting. Dinners are table service and require reservations. Perks, a little café, is also located on the 2nd deck with a self-serve cappuccino machine, soft serve ice-cream with toppings, juice dispenser, popcorn maker, soda and delicious cookies. Since the Duchess is a river boat and not a ship, one cannot expect the same type of entertainment and activities. However, the entertainment overall was very good. Day time activities were offered by the activities staff and an excellent river laurate. On several occassion a movie was shown and several people arrived with popcorn. A 4-piece band entertained each day before dinner, during the nightly shows and in the evening after the shows. The nightly shows were provided by the activities staff and/or local talent offering an enjoyable way to spend an hour or so each night. I cannot walk, so I traveled with a scooter. The Duchess has done a wonderful job in making it easy for those who must travel with a wheelchair or scooter to navigate the boat by adding slight inclines everywhere there is a door jam. The halls ways were wide enough for me to scoot down even with people coming in the opposite direction. The walls are lined with art work depicting river cruising. There are 2 spacious elevators available at each level which allowed me in my scooter and up to 6 other passengers to ride the elevator. At each port, a Hop On Hop Off bus tour was included,the stops were varied and interesting. Each day we were given a data sheet with details of each stop and an indication which stops were wheelchair (or scooter) accessible. Each bus is outfitted with a lift, so I was able to go on all the tours in my scooter. The bus drivers were wonderful loading me on the bus and off the bus as often as I wanted. They eliminated any concern I had about taking the tours and made me feel safe going up and down the lift. I suggest if you know anyone who has a mobility problem, they will be pleased with taking a cruise aboard the Duchess. We were in a wheelchair accessible cabin in the aft of the boat, which we were excited about as we could sit on the balcony and watch navigating the Mississippi from both sides and up close and personal seats as we went through the locks. They installed a ramp under the carpet which enabled me to access the balcony with ease. (If I were to make a suggestion, I would ask that they provide the same type of ramp outside the doors on the observation decks, as the height of the door jam was too high for me to get back into the boat without someone manually lifting my scooter). The room was large enough for me to navigate with my scooter and the bathroom had a large roll-in shower. The only problem with our room was the noise from the paddlewheel was sometimes annoying and there were nights we were wakened by that noise. If you are considering a cruise aboard the Duchess and desire either a wheelchair accessible cabin or one at the aft, just bring earplugs and/or sound abatement equipment. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
Engine noise and vibration in our cabin and on the aft dining deck were bad. We had several equipment failures, delays getting off the boat in several ports and having to miss one port totally. Our tie-up in Hannibal was on the wrong side ... Read More
Engine noise and vibration in our cabin and on the aft dining deck were bad. We had several equipment failures, delays getting off the boat in several ports and having to miss one port totally. Our tie-up in Hannibal was on the wrong side of the river as the American Queen got the better spot, really? Otherwise we could have walked right off and into town, one of the few ports whee the walk is so short and easy. This was totally bogus. Dining waitstaff was way below par, you can get better service and professionalism in Denny's. They seemed untrained and unhappy; perhaps overworked? After a few days their coats and cuffs had food stains all over them, ugh! Food was nothing special, sometimes lukewarm or cold. Never asked "how is everything" had to ask for another roll or condiments for baked potato. Entertainment was pretty good for the first two weeks then the Cruise Director and his two assistants (also entertainers) left and were replaced by one "Assistant Cruise Director" who was a big disappointment. Things continued downhill from there. The dining service, the entertainment and the noise and vibration plus being late off the boat, or not off at all made this a poor cruise for what could have been all very good to excellent category reviews. For example the Hop-on Hop-off buses and local guides were all very good or excellent but but being late, or at bad tie-ups lowered the rating. If you chose a similar cruise get a forward cabin, on deck 3 and go down river. But first, check more reviews for a more professional and happy dining waitstaff. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up ... Read More
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up to the cruise, Teri always returned my calls or e-mails within a few minutes. I have never had a more honest, organized, and sincere agent, that I had with Teri. The Cruise on the American Duchess was very good, as we moved up the river day after day taking the Hop On-Hop Off, American Queen Buses for tours of the cities. The Drivers Karen, Tami, & Mark were so professional, funny, and had a great personality. They were so fun to be with. Angie the Golf Cart driver who drove Handicap people from the docked Duchess, up the ramps when getting off the boat, was very nice. In side the boat, our stateroom was cleaned very nicely everyday by Cleon & Francis. The American Duchess also provided us with outstanding one day complementary laundry service, once a week. Michael the bar tender in the Grand Lobby Bar was so good, as he visited with guests, and mixed great drinks everyday. In the Main Dinning Room Jeremy the Maitre d, and servers Kenneth, Sidney, and Soufian were very nice and professional. Gerald the Butler, who did a little of everything on the boat, was very funny, and worked hard pleasing everyone. At the front desk Purser Shayna Tatz was so nice and worked a lot of hours with a Big smile on her face. Teresa Marcou the Shore Excursion Specalist was such a hard worker, making sure all of the Shore Excursions, and Hop On-Hop Off buses were working on time. The Riverlorian/Stage Manager Mike Chapman was very knowledgeable, interesting, and entertaining, as he gave his daily lectures on the history of the Mississippi River. The Entertainment on the American Duchess was OUTSTANDING ! Lead by the Cruise Director, Lead Singer, and Entertainer Dustin Cunningham, his wife Courtney Cunningham, & Jeff Hudson who were also Asst. Cruise Directors/Entertainers. Their Singing and Stage performing was outstanding. The four man American Duchess Band was so good, and was lead by Band Leader/Drummer David O'Connell, Bass Player Will Wagner, Pianist, Adam Marchand, and Sax/Reed Player Ike Spivak. There were also 9 different entertainers who came on the American Duchess to entertain us. My favorite walk on shows were the comedian and magician " Dante," and the Different Instrument playing and singers Dave Para and Cathy Barton, who were so different and entertaining. One of the major highlights of our 23 day cruise was attending a special educational lecture in the Pilot House by Aaron Sidora the American Duchess Chief Mate. Later that night we also had a private dinner with Aaron for 2 hours. Aaron was so nice, very smart, and answered all of the questions we had during our dinner. That was very special. My wife and I had a great relaxing time on this 23 day cruise, as we learned a lot of History about the Mississippi River and cities around it, and we met some great people. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We have long wanted to visit New Orleans and explore towns along the lower Mississippi, so this itinerary was perfect. We opted for the add-on "City Stay" offered by the cruise line. Only one other couple chose this option...it ... Read More
We have long wanted to visit New Orleans and explore towns along the lower Mississippi, so this itinerary was perfect. We opted for the add-on "City Stay" offered by the cruise line. Only one other couple chose this option...it was pricey and did not really offer much more than the basic trip (One night hotel stay is included with the trip, so in effect, this choice only added on one more day.) There were vouchers for a dinner, and admission to some local attractions, as well as a hotel more centrally located and a New Orleans Highlights excursion before embarkation. Embarkation and disembarkation was perhaps the smoothest we've ever witnessed. The ship itself is wonderful, and the staff was extremely friendly and helpful. Service was top notch, as was the entertainment. It was interesting to visit the towns where we docked. We sometimes opted for the included "Hop on-Hop off" bus, and also purchased additional premium excursions at two of the ports, Nottoway and Vicksburg. You get a real feel for the way of life in these towns, and the residents were very friendly and accommodating. Having read some reviews that criticized the food on board, we were not sure what to expect in this regard. However, these fears were misplaced, because every meal was absolutely delicious...as good if not better than what we have experienced on other upscale cruises. Overall, we found this entire experience to be excellent, and are already looking into our next trip with American Queen Sreamboat Company. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We have always wanted to cruise the Mississippi River and go on a small ship so this seemed perfect. Pro's Food was very good with a nice variety to choose from each night. Wait staff was excellant. Shows were the same ... Read More
We have always wanted to cruise the Mississippi River and go on a small ship so this seemed perfect. Pro's Food was very good with a nice variety to choose from each night. Wait staff was excellant. Shows were the same 3 people each night but they were very good and gave us quite a variety. Hop on hop off bus and drivers were great. Used those at every port as they were included in price of cruise. All ports but Greenville were interesting. Con's Ship very small and not much to do. Room was at back of ship near the paddlewheel and was very noisy! The port of Greenville was a total waste of time-there has to be some place else they could stop. Only thing there was a very small casino. To give you an idea-one of the stops on the hop on hop off bus was the Dollar Store! I don't really feel this cruise was worth the price we paid, but it was something different than the othere cruises we normally go on. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
We chose this cruise because it was on my “bucket list,” and the safety of the United States. The boat is beautiful, but could use some maintenance, as far as paint, etc. We were in the Owner’s Suite with ample room, elevated ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was on my “bucket list,” and the safety of the United States. The boat is beautiful, but could use some maintenance, as far as paint, etc. We were in the Owner’s Suite with ample room, elevated amenities, private veranda, special balcony seating during entertainment in theater. The mattress on the double bed was not comfortable. The butler was very attentive, personable, and efficient. Dining was good but not exceptional. Breakfast and lunch options were buffet or from menu in the main dining room. The dinners were top-notch. Buffet dining was always available at another venue. The bars were tended by very good mixologists. Entertainment was good, considering the size of the boat. Lectures and other activities, such as bingo, were interesting and enjoyable. Service was probably the best part, though some dining staff had some attitude problem. A statement in its brochure said that the boat had an all American staff, and that was a bit of a stretch. The staff was very personable and warm, for the most part. The stops at Nottoway Plantation, Natchez, and Vicksburg were very nice and interesting, but the lower Mississippi doesn’t offer a lot of choices. Perhaps Baton Rogue should be considered. The boat glides smoothly along, pushed by its paddle wheel. It’s very relaxing and calming. Would we do it again? Absolutely, but with lower expectations and a mid range cabin. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
I have long wanted to travel the Mississippi river and finally did it. Picked the American Queen steamboat which is a real steam powered riverboat. Passenger capacity is 450, on this trip there were 358 passengers. Crew was 175. Staff ... Read More
I have long wanted to travel the Mississippi river and finally did it. Picked the American Queen steamboat which is a real steam powered riverboat. Passenger capacity is 450, on this trip there were 358 passengers. Crew was 175. Staff was excellent. They made every effort to make you happy. My table waiters were absolute professionals and accommodated any variation of the dinner meal that was possible. All of the staff were cheerful, pleasant, happy people to be around. My cabin was a luxury cabin that included two writing desks, closet, a couch, arm chair, glass table with 3 chairs, large screen TV and all the drawer space that could possibly be used by two people. The on board entertainment was well worth watching as well as live music in several of the bars on board. Food was good to great with an informal buffet area called the Front Porch open if you didn't wish to go to the main dinning area. The menu was somewhat different between the main dinning area and the Front Porch increasing the food options. The Front Porch had a different version prime rib every night along with chicken or fish. Wine or beer is included with the dinner meal. The boat was clean and well maintained with elevators for those that didn't want to use the stairs to move between decks. There were open seating areas at both the front and rear of the boat for watching the river and boat traffic. On this trip it was cool most days so a light jacket was needed. I spent a lot of time on the observation deck watching the river. The main froward observation area was just out side the Front Porch so you could duck in and get hot coffee, fresh cookies, tea etc, at any time. There was an observation area with bar at the rear of the boat with shade and sun tables, free hot dogs and a great view of the river. There is a small heated pool and an exercise equipment room. And of course the boat has a steam calliope that was played each time we left a dock. The shore activities included extra cost tours that were well received by those the took them according to the folks I talked to. I did not take any of those because the boat had a free sightseeing tour bus at each stop. This was a new arrangement to me called Hop on, Hop off. The buses had a circular route with 4 to 6 stops at various sights. The bus would stop and allow passengers to get off and go see the sight or just wander around town. The next bus would be by in 15 to 20 minutes and you could get back on and go back to the boat or to which ever stop you wanted to visit next. These buses ran continuously for the duration of the stop. I found this a great idea that allowed me to visit those things I wanted and get off the beaten path when I wanted to walk around and explore. Due to the high river levels some of the scheduled stops were changed or shortened. The on board activities included presentations by the "Riverlorian". He spoke about the history of the river, the towns that we were stopping at, stories of life on the river etc. I found those presentations well worth the time and a very interesting. Those were always well attended. Another interesting thing about the boat was the observation are down in the engine room. You could go down there any time of day or night and watch the 1932 steam engines and talk to the one of the watch staff about any of the technical sides of the boat. There were two shows every evening in the Grand Saloon. That provided an opportunity for each of the two dinner seatings to catch the show each night. I enjoyed all the shows I attended. The age group was mostly retired people. I saw one child on the boat who was with his grandparents. He had picked this trip out of several offered by his grandparents. The passengers were a friendly group that seemed to be interested in meeting new people. It was always easy to find a good conversation. Getting on and off the boat was well handled and as painless as is possible. The trip included an overnight stay at the Hilton Riverside. Your bags were picked up from your room and deliver to your stateroom by the time you boarded the boat. A similar system was used on disembarkation day. You placed your bags outside your stateroom the night before and they were on the shore close to your preferred method of transportation as you got off the boat. All in all I rate the experience as very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 2018
I took this cruise in February of 2018. I am under 40 and from Australia. Overall, I really enjoyed many aspects of this cruise. However, I feel, for the amount of money spent, AQSC really needs to up its game in some aspects. Booking: ... Read More
I took this cruise in February of 2018. I am under 40 and from Australia. Overall, I really enjoyed many aspects of this cruise. However, I feel, for the amount of money spent, AQSC really needs to up its game in some aspects. Booking: The company does not allow online bookings for international travellers. This is one of the most ridiculous things ever. In the digital age I really don't think they understand how many customers they lose by not having this function. This forces us to go through local agents who charge commissions and don't have access to the cheaper rates the company advertises online for US passengers.WHY?! This really needs to change. Demographics: Most of the people on this cruise were senior citizens from the US,. Personally, I had no problem socialising with the older crowd at dinner and such. Saying that, in some ports I gave up using the free bus and just walked between attractions as the loading/unloading of the bus was slowed down by the elderly. I also noticed the ship was dead of life after dinner/show. Cabin: I had single inside cabin next to the laundry. I found this more than ample for what I needed. I had no noise from the laundry which was one of my biggest concerns. The room was very clean. I thoroughly enjoyed that they played both Gone with the Wind and Showboat during the voyage. My only negative was the shower. I am 180cm (5ft 10) guy and the shower was very small - I was nearly touching the ceiling. Public Rooms: FANTASTIC. So full of character and delight. Surprisingly, I found not many people used the rooms other than just before dinner. Most seemed to retire to their cabins. I think this may be to do with the lack of onboard activities. Onboard Activities: There really wasn't much to do on board. I found the shows pretty bad for the price you pay for the cruise. The river talks always seemed to be at a time that when you couldn't attend. It would be great if they could introduce more onboard activities like art classes, or games etc Dining: YUM! I found the food just as good as many of the sea cruises I have completed. The wait staff were so friendly and amazingly helpful. Dining was always a treat and I am not sure why other reviews have said it was bad. I could not fault the dinner service. Ports: I loved all the ports. We spent appropriate times in all ports except Baton Rouge. The boat arrived on a day where everything was closed and we were there for two days. This was pretty bad planning by the AQSC. The free bus service is great (although refer to my previous comments about walking instead in some ports). Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
This was our 4th river cruise on the American Queen. Each one was a very special treat and we love the experience. However, on this trip, we noticed more superior level of crew friendliness, service and attitude. Our compliments to John ... Read More
This was our 4th river cruise on the American Queen. Each one was a very special treat and we love the experience. However, on this trip, we noticed more superior level of crew friendliness, service and attitude. Our compliments to John Waggoner and his staff for hiring, training and maintaining a fantastic crew. We actually felt like we interacted more with the crew than with fellow passengers. That is a great compliment to your fine cruise experience. Although there are many crew that we really enjoyed, we'd especially like to thank Jessie, cabin steward; waiters Burnel & Nick; maitre'd Joe & Oscar; pilot Lucas who we met several years prior when he was a cadet; watchman Kelso, front porchers Kim & Shanay and finally, the great entertainment staff including riverlorian, Bobby. This is a cruise if you want to relax, if you want to stay extremely busy, if you enjoy American history, if you enjoy a wonderful selection of great food, if you like fantastic entertainment, if you like great personal and friendly service, if you want to stay in and see America and if you want what could be the best cruise experience you could find. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
8 night 'big band' round trip from New Orleans to Vicksburg.Feb March 2018. If you like nostalgia and an unusual cruise, this is great. American Queen is quite new, so good plumbing, but all her features are 19th Century style. ... Read More
8 night 'big band' round trip from New Orleans to Vicksburg.Feb March 2018. If you like nostalgia and an unusual cruise, this is great. American Queen is quite new, so good plumbing, but all her features are 19th Century style. You can watch the river go by in peace and enjoy quality evening meals in the main restaurant. Not quite top menus. I find Southern Creole not to my taste. But there were other choices and the fish was always beautiful. Our dinner service was not great, otherwise 5*. Hop on-hop off bus was excellent and the planning was first class. Maps provided the night before and entrance fees included to a range of historical sites. Not world class sites but well delivered with lots of local enthusiasm. Very hospitable and English language (almost). A lot of 'antebellum' mansions to visit, so worth an evening prepping the US civil war. Little walking needed as the town was usually alongside-Baton Rouge, Natchez, Oak Alley Plantation, or the bus took you the short distance-St Francisville.. Entertainment was varied and good quality. The theatre is a joy, as are the lounges , with antiques (and wifi). I found a book autographed by Mark Twain on the shelves. We particularly liked the 'riverlorian' who gave daily talks on the river and its history. Other cruises go further north so you might get Memphis/Elvis if you wish. We would go again, probably further north next time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2018
Liked the idea of a jazz cruise. Ballroom dancing and historic ports on the river. Our RIVERLAURIEN was a great source of information. The food was superb and the service amazing. We will never go on another huge ocean liner. ... Read More
Liked the idea of a jazz cruise. Ballroom dancing and historic ports on the river. Our RIVERLAURIEN was a great source of information. The food was superb and the service amazing. We will never go on another huge ocean liner. The American Queen has spoiled us for anything else but river cruising. Our stateroom was decorated in period style. Bay window was useful for watching the night lights as we traveled. Passing barges and towns provided an amazing light show. The other public rooms were equally lovely. The Replica of Fords Theater was great and so was the Mark Twain lounge. The cookies were my nemesis! We were lucky to have flood stage on the river so it was amazing to get into ports rather easily right on the levees. A bit of added adventure. Our entertainment every evening was tops! We will be doing another trip on this boat ....perhaps the upper Mississippi next time. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
First, I want to say that the Duchess is a lovely boat and the AQSC does everything possible to make journeys enjoyable. Of course, there are occasional glitches but none that should deter anyone from taking a cruise on the Duchess. ... Read More
First, I want to say that the Duchess is a lovely boat and the AQSC does everything possible to make journeys enjoyable. Of course, there are occasional glitches but none that should deter anyone from taking a cruise on the Duchess. Accommodations: We had booked one of the deluxe suites which are located near the rear of the boat. There is a living area with a dining table and four chairs, a bedroom area, a double-sized balcony, and a bath and a half. All are tastefully decorated and there is also a refrigerator and coffee maker in the living area. There are two TVs and that provided one of the few glitches in that changing the channels on the TV in the living room, turned on the TV in the bedroom area. Once we learned to close the doors between the two areas, that was no longer a problem. The only real negative to the room was the bath/shower combination which was difficult to step in and out of. In addition, the shower curtain was so long that one had to stand on it while showering. Dining: The real highlight of the cruise was the exceptional dining. We ate most often in the grand dining room which was elegant. Breakfast was served there with about seven or eight selections that changed daily. The dinner menu in the grand dining room typically involved four courses -- Appetizer, Soup or salad, entree, and dessert. There were always three appetizers listed, about five or six choices of soup or salad, seven or eight entrees, and about half a dozen desserts. Like the breakfasts, the dinner menu changed daily. The one exception to the timing involved the “Thanksgiving Feast” that was served mid-day with “leftovers” available in the evening. The appetizers were elaborate including such things as fried artichokes, mushroom tart, and olive bruschetta. Soups were memorable with entries like lobster bisque, crab and corn chowder. Among our main course entrees were lamb chops, lobster tail, a variety of fish dishes, pastas, and strip steak. The presentation of the entrees always included sauces and vegetable accompaniments. The kitchen was very accommodating in deleting any items from the presentation that one did not want. And, complimentary wine was included with dinner with a choice of either a red or white wine. We also had one dinner (reservations required) and several breakfasts in the River Grill and Bar, a far more informal space. Both breakfast and lunch there are served buffet style and the breakfast buffet seemed to include the same selections each day. No matter the restaurant or the time of day, a highlight of all meals involved the baked goods – breads and pastries were especially delicious. Room service was also available, but we used it just once on a day when my stomach rebelled at all of the rich food. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich. Excursions: One of the reasons we chose the AQSC cruise was the opportunity to view the ports via a HOHO bus. Our ages preclude long walks and standing for a long time listening to a tour guide. Instead the HOHO busses that followed the ship allowed one to see each community and get off according to one’s interests. The cruise line had prepaid admission to the key attractions in each community and one could hop off to see anything that appealed and get back on when a later bus arrived. (The busses circulated on a 15 or 20 minute schedule.) There was a guide on each bus who described special features of the port. The evening prior to the port stop, one was provided with the route of the bus with stops indicated. In addition, the map included information about the main attractions like museums, shopping stops, restaurants, restrooms, and almost anything else one might want to know. I should add that there are also premium (extra-cost) excursions which many people selected. Getting to and from the boat was easy as a golf cart would shuttle you up and down the often steep banks of the river. AQSC should also be commended for its relationships with the major attractions as many were willing to open to accommodate those on the HOHO busses at times when they would normally be closed such as early in the morning or on Thanksgiving Day. Entertainment: Each day there was a talk by the Riverlorean and a show in the evening. The Riverlorean talks lasted anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes and covered such topics as terminology about the boat, characteristics of the Mississippi river, major floods on the river, and common phrases that originated from the old river boats such as “hitting rock bottom.” All of these lectures were quite interesting. The evening shows varied with two caberet style performances, an evening of jazz, another of country music, and one focusing on Broadway showtunes. The American Duchess showband of four or five musicians accompanied all performers. They were quite versatile and also provided music at occasional receptions and/or special programs. There were also games scheduled throughout the day though we did not participate in any. Service: Without exception, the staff were hard-working and very pleasant. By the end of the week you felt like they were new friends. Embarkation and Disembarkation: We flew to New Orleans and spent two nights there before boarding the boat. One of the nights was at the Hotel Roosevelt, the hotel used by the cruise line. We took a tour of New Orleans during the day of embarkation which began at the hotel and ended at the boat. Disembarkation involved taking a tour of Memphis before being dropped off at the airport. Both embarkation and disembarkation went relatively smoothly. Clientele: The average age of those on the cruise would be late 60's. The boat was about 2/3rds full and thus it was very easy to get seating in the dining rooms and space on the HOHO busses. It appeared that many cruisers came with families or travel groups-- far fewer couples than we have experienced on ocean cruises. 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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This river cruise was to be the highlight ending a great tour of the Eastern USA. New Orleans and the Roosevelt hotel were great to experience. I found the American Duchess a poorly designed ship.The only access to our cabins was ... Read More
This river cruise was to be the highlight ending a great tour of the Eastern USA. New Orleans and the Roosevelt hotel were great to experience. I found the American Duchess a poorly designed ship.The only access to our cabins was stairs at the front of the boat and this meant lots of walking the whole length of the boat to get to the public and dining areas at the stern.We were not allowed to use the mid or back stairs-crew only. The outside seating was hard wooden rocking chairs and there was no shade. not enough seating.No shade at all on the top deck. The dining staff were very good but the food was below standard sometimes and we sent some back. Bar staff were poorly trained and uninterested. The shore tours were good and very interesting. There were no activities on board except for bingo on river sailing day. Sailing along looking at the great views was a myth. we went under some interesting bridges but there was no way to find out information about them. Read Less
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