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190 American Queen Steamboat Company North America River Cruise Reviews

We picked this cruise because it had a swing dance band. The band members were each outstanding musicians and wonderful to listen to, but this was not a dancers band. Some songs went 8 minutes or were jazz pieces that were hard to dance ... Read More
We picked this cruise because it had a swing dance band. The band members were each outstanding musicians and wonderful to listen to, but this was not a dancers band. Some songs went 8 minutes or were jazz pieces that were hard to dance to. The floor was crowded for the one waltz played-but they never played another waltz that night. It was crowded for danceable swing numbers-but band played far too few. Far better to have a good DJ with a play list of popular dance tunes. What was good: The food-variety, quality, portions, presentations all excellent. The cafe is open 24/7 which is wonderful for early birds and night owls alike. The dining room is noisy. The entertainment was mixed. All musicians were excellent. Phil plays piano well, but has long stories that were largely uninteresting and a very poor voice. There was nothing opposite him-which was most unfortunate-but I state the scheduling was poor on this ship. The shipboard dancers and singers were outstanding. My favorite was the Broadway Show tunes and dances. Costuming stunning and amazing! Needed: More dance hosts. With an elderly crowd of 2 women who wanted to dance for every man, line dancing lessons should have been offered on a dance cruise. I am a college dance instructor-who offered to teach line dance for free. They gave me my choice of a poor floor or poor times at the show lounge-missing some shore time. The scheduling on this ship was rather poor and unresponsive to the passengers needs. My group of 13 wanted to dance every night. Dancing was put on from 9:30-10:30 pm. and only 2/3 (at first only 1/2) the dance floor was opened up for dancing. One man changed the concert venue to a dance floor-it took him a full hour to do this. If 5 organized men-could have been done in under 10 minutes with far more dance time-even if to canned music. This is a great cruise for those over 75 years old. At 64, I am sooooo glad I did not try to take this cruise earlier in my life-wished I waited another 10 years. Everything happens slowly in this part of the world. They talk slow, react slow, move slow, do everything slowly. Also Internet is not always available-was down 14 hours one day, and you must constantly reboot and start over. Too few activities, no fitness activities-with a fitness center that consists of a couple exercize bikes and weights. The pool is small, laundry room inadequate for needs-but it is free which is delightful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
My husband and I finally decided to take the American Queen on a round trip lower Mississippi cruise. My expectations were a slow boat down a muddy river. Boy howdy was I wrong. The ship was elegant but not overstated. The staff, ... Read More
My husband and I finally decided to take the American Queen on a round trip lower Mississippi cruise. My expectations were a slow boat down a muddy river. Boy howdy was I wrong. The ship was elegant but not overstated. The staff, everyone we encountered totally delightful. The entertainment as good as it gets, a professional 8 piece Dixieland jazz band, 4 very talented song and dance performers, and a piano man extradoaire. I wish the food wasn't so good. The maitre d, Dana handled the dining room with grace and true hospitality. The front porch buffet was cheerful and served prime rib every evening. Weather cooperated enough to dine outside. We tried to compare this cruise to other cruise experiences and we could not. The American Queen stands alone. We especially liked the hop on hop off bus. It allowed the best possible experiece of the historical towns we visited. A stand out is the civil rights museum and the basillica in Natchez, the Kidd and Lousiana state Museum in Baton Rouge. Our balcony cabin had plenty of room and the bathroom roomy with a full tub. My husband loved watching the commerce on the lower Mississippi. The cabin was refreshed twice daily. We never had to ask for ice. Embarkation was very easy from the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans. One thing that stood out in my mind was how kind the employees were to folks with moblility issues. Golf carts were available to access the levees. The excursions gals were excellent. The riverlorian, Bobby was a great banjo player and story teller. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this trip because it was a Big Band Cruise on the Mississippi. We were also very interested in the stay in New Orleans and in the tours that were offered at the various ports. The ship itself was very attractive and ... Read More
We chose this trip because it was a Big Band Cruise on the Mississippi. We were also very interested in the stay in New Orleans and in the tours that were offered at the various ports. The ship itself was very attractive and comfortable.The furnishings in the public areas were authentic period pieces and some of the most interesting I have ever seen. I cannot review this trip without mentioning the incredible crew. Both the ship's crew and the touring company staff were extremely friendly and most helpful throughout the trip. Both went out of their way to do everything they could make our stay memorable! Highlights: The two that stand out for us on this trip were the entertainment and tours. The entertainers were Broadway level performers who provided spectacular shows every evening. The Big Band music is some of the best we ever experienced! The second were the shore excursions. During the orientation it was mentioned that they were rated #1 in the World in Cruise Tours. I understood immediately why they received that distinction. They were extremely well organized and we were provided with some of the most knowledgeable and interesting guides we had ever met on any trip that we have taken in the US or abroad. When the tour was completed, we felt that we had truly experienced the culture and character of that area. My husband and I can’t wait until we can board the American Queen again to experience more of our great country. We are hoping next to take a trip on the American Queen Empress which sails in the Northwest. Lots more great tours to take! Thank you American Queen and Shore Excursions for providing us with a trip long remembered! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
My husband expressed interest in a Mississippe River cruise. I booked immedately on a last minute so price was what drew me however, will definitely book again. It's a wonderful cruise. The food is excellent...a great menu ... Read More
My husband expressed interest in a Mississippe River cruise. I booked immedately on a last minute so price was what drew me however, will definitely book again. It's a wonderful cruise. The food is excellent...a great menu selection for all meals. Excellent wines are served at dinner. There are treats all over the boat ... popcorn, cookies, scones, specialty coffee and iced tea. Can;t name everything They have baked delightful gluten free desserts and scones for me. The service is excellent. The beds very comfortable. The entertainment is wonderful. The music is everywhere. The staff are so very friendly and they remember everything from one day to the next. The decor is so elegant. The Mark Twain room has fabulous furnishings with soft music playing all the time and the ladies parlour is bright and cheerful with gorgeous comfortable chairs and sittees. A wonderful place for sitting quietly reading. Highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
This was a great experience, with excellent musicians in all venues. The 12-piece big band was so good, the four production entertainers were energetic and fun--and very talented. Although I had hoped for more dance hosts, our cruise ... Read More
This was a great experience, with excellent musicians in all venues. The 12-piece big band was so good, the four production entertainers were energetic and fun--and very talented. Although I had hoped for more dance hosts, our cruise director filled in as a host. He treats everyone as though they were his special friend. We noticed that and adored him for his ability to seem like he is enjoying dancing with each lady. Alex is a real asset to your company! Food was good and too readily available. My goal was not to gain on this cruise, but I'm afraid that goal went "down the tube" from Day 1. My friend enjoyed the prime rib night after night in the Front Porch. I was happy with choices and service in the dining room. Cruising on the river is very relaxing. I have done many ocean voyages but see why people like the small, intimate feel of the AQ. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We chose this cruise because it was one high lighting Big Band music. We started out with an included night at the Riverside Hilton. Unfortunately, our stay coincided with Mardi Gras so the hotel was jammed with rowdy celebrants. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was one high lighting Big Band music. We started out with an included night at the Riverside Hilton. Unfortunately, our stay coincided with Mardi Gras so the hotel was jammed with rowdy celebrants. The hotel is a generic chain hotel -- neither good nor bad, but breakfast (included) was chaotic due to crowds. We were able to walk to the boat the next afternoon and boarded immediately. We were in Commodore Class which allowed early boarding. We settled into our AAA cabin which was pretty small, with a queen bed. The bathroom had a pedestal sink, tub/shower combo and little storage. There was an additional sink in the bedroom. The "closet" was just a built in rack near the door. Drawers were in a Victorian bureau which was authentic enough to require 2 hands to open -- no drawer runners. Based on the few other cabins I was able to see, this level is the lowest I would choose. One door opened onto a public deck, with 2 chairs and a table outside each cabin. We had no problem with noise from walkers, and rather enjoyed sitting outside and watching the river. We had main dining (8PM) with a table for 2, which we did not request. We found that if we waited until most were seated, the head waiter would find us a table to share, which we preferred. Food offering consisted of a couple of soups, a salad and about 5 main dishes. Many had a Southern slant and while the food was good, it was far from gourmet. Service was sweet and willing, but not very accomplished. One day at lunch our waiter spilled a tray of wine, replaced it and again spilled it. The bartender in the Engine Room bar dropped a bottle of wine on the bar in front of me. Lunch consisted of one hot meat (pork roast, ribs, beef roast), several kinds of cold cuts for sandwiches and various items in hot pots such as veggies, fish, and potatoes. There was also a small menu where you could order things such as burgers, chicken and waffles, salads. The soups were uniformly terrific. Breakfast was an average buffet, again with a few items on the menu. I tried the eggs Benedict and found the eggs had been pre-poached so the yolk was hard. On some mornings I could get English Breakfast tea; on others I could not. There is a buffet dining venue called the Front Porch. I found the interior to be sparse and cafeteria-like, although the outside was appealing (it was too cold to use on our trip). The hop-on hop off bus concept is brilliant. The evening before you choose your departure time and get a ticket, then hop on the bus. All attractions where the bus stopped (plantation houses, museums, etc.) were included. We found no need for optional excursions. Be aware that the towns are part of decaying America with many boarded up stores, houses for sale and a general air of defeat. The age group on this cruise is elderly. I noted great care taken with infirm passengers (wheelchairs, golf buggies to take people up the levee to the hop-on bus and patience with slow movers). We flat out loved the entertainment. Since there are 2 seatings for dinner, there are 2 duplicate shows, and on this cruise the Big Band played every evening at 9:30, and sometimes they had an extra afternoon show. The onboard entertainment, including a girl singer and a young dance couple were a great treat. Overall, we enjoyed this cruise and would take another one with one caveat -- we would have to get a great sale. We paid $1999.00 per person for a cabin that normally case $4599.00 per person -- a ludicrous amount considering level of food/service/accommodations. I would not consider a lower level cabin due to tiny size. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Fortunately, we chose the cruise for the itinerary, not the customer service. First hint regarding the lack of attention to detail throughout was that although the travel agent asked the company to send the documents directly to us due to ... Read More
Fortunately, we chose the cruise for the itinerary, not the customer service. First hint regarding the lack of attention to detail throughout was that although the travel agent asked the company to send the documents directly to us due to shortage of time, they were sent to the agent anyway. The boat (yes, paddle boats are just that) was very nice with comfortable staterooms and nice era-appropriated decor. Port excursions were very good, informative and well organized. The food was good, but despite the fact that the company website, the ticketing documentation and the onboard newsletter specified a "country casual" dress code for dinner in the main dining room, it was completely ignored by passengers and staff. The fact that when we got to our stateroom there was only one set of towels and no toiletries was the second hint about service aboard, which was generally slapdash. Service in public areas is unacceptable from beginning to end. First night dinner the server consistently screwed up the dishes. Most pepper shakers full of coarse ground pepper which doesn't shake out. Breakfast next day the hostess gave us one breakfast and one lunch menu, and there were no teaspoons for the coffee cups anywhere to be found, and when we ordered coffee the cup was not accompanied by a spoon -- something which continued all wee. At dinner next night we discovered that our 4-top table was occupied; the explanation proffered by the Maitresse'D was that somebody had taken the table of the people at ours and they had been reseated at ours -- a situation which, in addition to inconveniencing at least eight passengers could have cascaded further. The proper action would obviously have been for her to eject the miscreants. This unwillingness to confront passengers at the expense of others is of a piece with the complete lack of enforcement of the dinner dress code in the main dining room. Whilst the food at dinner was excellent, the service at the new table was initially completely unacceptable -- the waiter was in such a hurry to clear the table that we had to recover cutlery that we would need, and were constantly interrupted by his clearing dishes from the table. A complaint to the Maitresse'D took care of it. On Wednesday, no provison was made in the front Front Porch casual restaurant for the fact that three coachloads of people on the premium excursion would be eating at the same time (no cutlery or soup bowls, self-bussing of empty tables,etc.). Upon return from the excursion, no cups at the Mark Twain Lounge coffee machine, a reoccurring problem in a high (staff) volume location. Thursday: At breakfast, after having had to flag down the hostess in order to get service, I made the mistake of ordering an omelette; what arrived was a half-cooked scramble (an omelette consists of a wrapped filling). Friday: At breakfast, after having been told that we'd be happy to share a table, the hostess seated us at two-top "set" with napkins and water glasses. The server who brought our coffee (sans teaspoons, of course) also failed to notice this. It was cold in St. Francisville that day and on the way to breakfast, I closed the wide-open port side forward door to Deck 2. After finding it opne a couple more times, I noticed that it was getting hung up on the Welcome mat and moved the mat out a couple of inches. Had I not done so the door, which is frequently passed by the crew, would no doubt have been open all day. With the exception of the inexcusable failure to enforce the dinner dress code, any one of the foregoing issues would be relatively minor, but in sum they represent a gross failure of hotel management. The staff, which are oblivious to the needs of passengers, are improperly trained and supervised. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This cruise was OK, but not as good as other cruises I have been on. Rooms were small and needed clocks. Would have preferred open dinner seating rather than assigned seats. Riverlorian was interesting, but day time activities for those ... Read More
This cruise was OK, but not as good as other cruises I have been on. Rooms were small and needed clocks. Would have preferred open dinner seating rather than assigned seats. Riverlorian was interesting, but day time activities for those not on special excursions were substandard. Being on the Mississippi River was interesting, but I would have preferred traveling during the daytime so that I could SEE the shore sites along the river. Most of our travel was at night. Hop off and on bus tours were excellent and it was such a convenience to have such prompt busses. The narrations in the mornings were terrific. We did miss the Christmas market at Rosalie Manor since we didn't know it folded up at one. The Christmas market at Nottaway was really nice, however. Our dissappointment was on the second day at Nottaway when there really was NOTHING to do on the second as we took the house tour on the first day. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
After an interesting three days in New Orleans, it was time to join the American Queen – the largest steamboat ever built. Check in at the Hyatt Regency Hotel was a little cumbersome and whilst in theory a very good idea, in reality did ... Read More
After an interesting three days in New Orleans, it was time to join the American Queen – the largest steamboat ever built. Check in at the Hyatt Regency Hotel was a little cumbersome and whilst in theory a very good idea, in reality did not really work as planned. However, once on board the boat, my luggage was already in my cabin. My cabin was cosy and very comfortable. My private veranda was particularly atmospheric. The American Queen caters very well for older guests and surprisingly well for disabled guests, with wide walkways and two elevators. Although there are no children’s facilities, there are family suites and the children on my cruise seemed perfectly content. In terms of atmosphere, the multi national guests are served by an all-American staff who were utterly faultless – perhaps due to a generous off-and-on working pattern. This is perhaps best felt in the dining experience. There’s the outdoor River Grill, the delightfully relaxed buffets of the Front Porch Café or, for a more considered experience, the J.W. White Dining Room. This being America, expect only the most generous of portions. Meals are all washed down with complimentary wine and beer while teas, coffees, juices, soft drinks and bottled water are included throughout the cruise. In between stops, there’s a whole host of activities to keep you busy. A true standout is the palatial Grand Saloon; standing at two decks tall it mirrors the small-town opera houses of the 19th century with detail modelled after Washington DC’s famous Ford’s Theatre – the site of Lincoln’s assassination. Here, the entertainment is uniformly excellent with the six-piece band – ‘The Steamboat Syncopators’ – matched only by a superbly talented four-piece song and dance ensemble. In fact, you’ll be treated to performances throughout the ship’s bars and lounges with the live music of the Engine Room playing until the last person went to bed. There was plenty more during the day, including an on-board ‘riverlorian’ – Bobby Durham. A published author on the subject, his expert lectures, quizzes and tales bring to life Victorian river life on the Mississippi. When he’s not giving lectures, he can regularly be found in the Chart Room, poring over old maps and discussing stories with guests. For something more active, there’s a well-equipped gym, an outdoor heated pool and complimentary bicycles and helmets are available to borrow at each port of call. But the voyage is all about the easy life; the dress code is country club casual, the library loans out Mark Twain and the American Queen travels at a nap-inducing 14 miles per hour. The route Our first port of call was Oak Alley, Louisiana and one of the Deep South’s most impressive sugar plantations. Named for its quarter-mile walkway of 300-year-old oak trees that all but form a tunnel of pure green, Oak Alley is a truly evocative destination. It’s a chance to gain a full appreciation of the Deep South’s chequered past from the perspective of the slaves as well as the landed gentry, with visits to both the ‘Big House’ mansion and tours of the grounds. From here, we continued to St. Francisville – the oldest town in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes. Just two miles long by two miles wide, it’s an immersive collection of 19th-century antebellum architecture and felt for all the world like being part of a bygone era. While excursions at each port are included – and aided by hop-on and hop-off coaches – I chose to take the premium option here with a visit to Angola Prison. This turned into the most memorable and humbling part of my whole trip. Once America’s most dangerous penitentiary, today it’s known as a model facility that takes great pride on the faith-based rehabilitation of its inmates – most of whom are serving life sentences. We were taken behind the barbed wire for an up-close look at the prison and the chance to meet and hear stories from its ‘lifers’. It’s no exaggeration to say that this was an utterly inspirational experience. Our next stop – on Thanksgiving no less – was Natchez. Once one of the richest towns in America, its historic wealth – predicated on cotton farming – can still be seen in yet more grand, antebellum homes. It’s the ideal spot for a horse-and-carriage ride. It also presented some of the best landscapes of the trip, with bluff-top views stretching for 30 miles along the Mississippi. Further heritage can be found at next-door Vicksburg, its high bluffs forming typical Natchez Indian territory that overlook the river. Unsurprisingly, it was the battlefield for many an American Civil War skirmish – something brought to life by our guides. Our last stop before final disembarkation was Tunica. While Natchez counted its riches Tunica was once the state’s poorest county. Today, however, casinos have turned the city’s fortunes around and our stop afforded us the chance to witness American glam at its glitziest. It’s worth noting that this was an amended route, with low water levels turning us away from Helena, Arkansas. All in all, a wonderful and very unique cruise experience, which I cannot rate too highly. A perfect choice to allow non driving visitors to the Deep South to experience an interesting taste of 'small' town America. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Loved the music. The musicians performed almost all the time. Riverlorian spoke daily about the Mississippi River, its depth, vessels, floods, accidents. Food was good, menus could be improved. Breakfast and lunch buffets were well ... Read More
Loved the music. The musicians performed almost all the time. Riverlorian spoke daily about the Mississippi River, its depth, vessels, floods, accidents. Food was good, menus could be improved. Breakfast and lunch buffets were well done. Hop on off bus gave lots of options to visit without worrying about entrance fees. Select a cabin away from the paddle wheel or you will lose sleep: it shook the cabin when the boat was at full speed.Cabin was smaller than Celebrity or Princess of similar category. Port stops were short as the boat was going up river and there was a lot of barge traffic that got the right away. If you took a premium excursion there was little or no time to tour the port. Select the Memphis to New Orleans route. Cruise director was good. his voice is amazing. Purser's station acted immediately. Many cabins had doors opening to the outside walkway Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We had sailed on this ship in 2006, when she was the Empress of the North, owned by a now defunct company. American Queen Steamboat Company has truly done an EXCELLENT job of refurbishing her. We had also sailed on the American Queen R/T ... Read More
We had sailed on this ship in 2006, when she was the Empress of the North, owned by a now defunct company. American Queen Steamboat Company has truly done an EXCELLENT job of refurbishing her. We had also sailed on the American Queen R/T from New Orleans in 2014 so wanted to compare the two ships. They are quite different. The Astoria Dining Room has been redone and is quite elegant now and the River Grill is a nice change from the 'parlor' style eatery that was there before. The downside is that because the walls are made of glass panels that can be completely opened in nice weather, it still allows the cold weather to permeate the windows during cold weather (which we had in November). Service was excellent in both. Food in River Grill was set menu and limited to 2 dining experiences per cabin. Food in Astoria Dining Room changed nightly and was excellent - made to order and nice options. We had lunch in both dining room and buffet and both were good. River Grill buffet is a little weird in that the entrance door splits the room and the buffet line, so there can be some interesting 'traffic jams' between guests entering the room and guests going from one side of the line to the other, but not really an issue. Fresh fruit available 24/7 as was coffee and specialty drinks and soft ice cream (and the ice cream machine only broke down once during our cruise!) Hop On Hop Off Excursions were excellent - drivers VERY pleasant and cheery, local guides were very informative, but as always, they're all different, but all of them were knowledgeable, just differently. We only did one premium excursion - the pre-cruise tour of Portland and they just tried to do too much in 3 hours, so we really didn't get to see much of anything, so a little disappointing. The pre-night at the Hilton was a nice touch and made embarkation VERY smooth. The Riverlorian, Laurence, was VERY passionate about the river and had some excellent talks on Lewis and Clark and the area. Lindy and Craig, the cruise directors/entertainers were just AMAZINGLY talented. They did routines most nights and then each did a solo night, showcasing their individual talents - WOW! Eight laps around the top deck equaled a mile, so there were a number of guests up there getting in their mile(s). For us, just walking up the stairs was sufficient! haha The lounge was a little weird and difficult to avoid getting behind a pole and just with barrel backed chairs set up on a dance floor/carpeted area. They even had Kaliber, an alcohol removed beer by Guiness as well as O'Douls, but since we don't drink having Kaliber was an EXCELLENT non-alcoholic beer (O'Douls is just awful, so it's SOOO nice that they have a decent non-alcoholic option) They even had non-alcoholic wine too! Turns out this was a wine cruise, so there were additional wine tastings, but again, since we didn't drink, did not partake. The Paddlewheel lounge was the best public space for just kicking back. Comfy chairs and couches with lots of puzzles, games and reading materials available and a bartender available all day and night. Popcorn available all day also. Small gift shop with a nice selection of items. Age group was 60+ Most were well traveled and many had been on river cruises in Europe but wanting something close to home as their health was a bit challenged, but they were still going, so that was good. The captain's wife and 7 year old joined us the last two nights, so that was cute to watch them. VERY family oriented crew - you could tell they liked each other and worked as a team. Overall, an excellent cruise. Nothing really stands out as extra good or extra bad, but the weather cooperated and we didn't see rain at all until the last day. The service in the dining as well as our FABULOUS cabin steward were excellent (we joked with her daily so that was fun bantering back and forth). Everyone involved truly DID work as a team so everything ran smoothly. Even when things were a bit off, they covered it well and no-one missed out. I would recommend for older, more subdued guests as nightlife was rather tame, but still good. I would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Over a year ago, I was invited by friends to join them on this cruise. They have done many excursions of one kind or another, but not I. We chose the Memphis to New Orleans because of the cities and length of the cruise. We spent time in ... Read More
Over a year ago, I was invited by friends to join them on this cruise. They have done many excursions of one kind or another, but not I. We chose the Memphis to New Orleans because of the cities and length of the cruise. We spent time in both cities, making our vacation about 2 weeks. AQ provides clear succinct instructions and information both ahead of your cruise and every day. Even a shy novice would have no problem understanding directions or finding their way. When I asked questions, I received pleasant easy answers. The boat is immaculate, beautifully decorated, and contains many antiques and historical information regarding the Mississippi and steamboats. The food was marvelous, the cabin cozy and clean, the excursions diverse and well planned, and the entertainment fantastic--great choreography. I particularly liked the second deck and all the quiet areas to relax and muse. I would jump at the chance to go again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our second cruise on the American Queen and based on our previous cruise had high expectations. A pre-cruise one night hotel stay is included in the cruise. We stayed at the Airport Marriott and it was very nice. The next morning ... Read More
This was our second cruise on the American Queen and based on our previous cruise had high expectations. A pre-cruise one night hotel stay is included in the cruise. We stayed at the Airport Marriott and it was very nice. The next morning included a buffet breakfast and the ship check-in was done at the hotel prior to being taken to the ship. Check-in was very organized and smooth. This cruise was from Nashville to Memphis on the Cumberland, Tennessee, Ohio and Mississippi rivers. The river scenery was prettiest along the Tennessee, otherwise, nothing special. The towns that we stopped at were not that memorable. American Queen does an excellent job with their hop-on, hop-off tours in each town. The food was excellent. The ship staff is excellent and always willing to help. Our cabin steward did a great job. Our only complaint was poor service from our two dining room dinner servers. Our servers on our previous cruise were excellent. The shipboard entertainment was excellent. The shipboard internet could not be accessed inside or outside our cabin. The only good reception was in the public room where the ship computers were located. American Queen should upgrade their system so that internet is available in every cabin. There were a number of passengers using canes, walkers and wheel chairs. The crew made every accommodation to ensure they enjoyed their cruise and land tours. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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
Enjoyed our previous Lower Mississippi and Columbia River cruises. Should have a good time and cultural experience with this Upper Mississippi cruise. We especially enjoyed the carefree and relaxing hop on and hop off excursions. ... Read More
Enjoyed our previous Lower Mississippi and Columbia River cruises. Should have a good time and cultural experience with this Upper Mississippi cruise. We especially enjoyed the carefree and relaxing hop on and hop off excursions. Unfortunately, due to the weather conditions, we were not able to land in two ports. This is 40% of the hop on and hop off's. The ship accommodation was similar to our previouse America Queen cruises and very good. However, the inside, public area temperature was set too low, seems to be in the 60's while the outside temperature was in the 80's. The big difference could get some passengers sick. We suggest that we lower the difference so that medium temperature would be around 74 degrees F. We liked the River Grill in the Columbia cruise. We wish that the front porch lounge can offer the same. Then we can have freshly cooked lobster/steak/fish instead of a mass production dining room food. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The brochure promised a week on the upper Mississippi in some comfort on a genuine stern-wheel riverboat with evening entertainment from the 50s-60s big band era. It didn't disappoint. Food and service were excellent and our top deck ... Read More
The brochure promised a week on the upper Mississippi in some comfort on a genuine stern-wheel riverboat with evening entertainment from the 50s-60s big band era. It didn't disappoint. Food and service were excellent and our top deck cabin spacious and comfortable. The evening entertainment was of a surprisingly high standard - a group of four talented singers and dancers who featured in shows of a West End/Broadway standard. The promised big band was an eleven piece live band of musicians playing Glen Miller / Duke Ellington style arrangements for dancing or just listening to. They were first class. We cruised from Memphis to St Louis: the river is wide and there is not a lot to see on the banks, but for us the experience of being there was enough. The hop-on hop-off bus service at the riverside towns was efficient and for those with a genuine interest in American history a great help in getting to museums and places of local interest. This a not a trip for those who want to spend time shopping as most of the shopping in the US is now done at 'out of town shopping centres' and the Main Streets are quiet, populated by hairdressers, cafes, second-hand shops etc. We were two Brits doing a trip designed for a mainly American clientel. We didn't enjoy the day trip to Graceland (from Memphis) which we thought had become a tourist theme park - too crowded, expensive and a bit tacky, We complained about having to put hot buffet breakfast food on cold plates - but this seems common in the US and was a small issue. It was a great week and a unique experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
The cruise was great. The food was excellent. I can not say enough about the entertainment. The best I have ever seen on a cruise. Phil, the piano player knows just about any song you could ever think of. If he doesn't know it, hum ... Read More
The cruise was great. The food was excellent. I can not say enough about the entertainment. The best I have ever seen on a cruise. Phil, the piano player knows just about any song you could ever think of. If he doesn't know it, hum a few bars and he will take it from there. All of his shows were a lot of fun and extremely entertaining. The entertainment at night with four siners and a band was also great. My only complaint is that the shore excursions were so short. We generally had to be back onb board by 12:30 pm. I was told that it was because going up river takes so much longer than going down and they would not bbe able to keep up with the schedule otherwise. I would recommend taking the boat from north to south for that reason. You get to stay on shore longer. Otherwise, an excellent cruise. All the crew on board were very friendly and helpful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My husband and I wanted a quiet river cruise, and, thought the website for this Mississippi River cruise made the Steamboat cruise sound ideal for us. We also wanted to tie the cruise in with visits to both Memphis and Nashville. We ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a quiet river cruise, and, thought the website for this Mississippi River cruise made the Steamboat cruise sound ideal for us. We also wanted to tie the cruise in with visits to both Memphis and Nashville. We liked the idea of chugging down the mighty Mississippi and learning all about the American Civil War, which, as British travellers, we knew very little about. So...firstly the good points. The boat is beautiful, especially the dining room. It is really elegant and the food served is of a very high standard. The towns we stopped at were very pretty and very quaint and were so, so interesting. Also, the crew of the AMERICAN QUEEN made booking the tours exceptionally easy, and were extremely efficient if we had any problems. Help was always available for those passengers with mobility problems, and at every stop Hop-on-Hop -Off buses were available at regular intervals (all with knowledgable guides) , making it impossible to miss out on anything you want to see. Another plus was the entertainment. Mostly excellent.....with a couple of small exceptions!!! Our fellow passengers were, like us, mostly older holiday makers, and we found them to be extremely friendly.....so this is definitely not a trip that would appeal to young party-goers!! Bad points now!! When we first boarded the American Queen, our first impression was that this boat had so much character and was totally different to any other cruise boat we had been on before. Then we arrived at our cabin! Oh dear. The cruise company call it "cosy". We think it was "poky". Hardly any drawer-space, and just a fitted clothes-rail. The door of our cabin opened up onto the deck (which we liked, as we could sit outside our room and watch the world go by), but that also meant that the room felt damp from the humidity outside. And the beds were tiny. I would recommend anyone thinking of booking this cruise to upgrade to a bigger cabin. A larger cabin would have cost about $250 and would have been worth every dollar. But our biggest grouse about this otherwise delightful cruise was the disappointing standard of some of the waitresses/ waiters/catering staff. We put in a couple of complaints whilst we were on the cruise, as did several other passengers, and have followed this up by contacting The American Steamboat Company. We hope to hear from them soon. Nearly all the dining staff were terrific, but unfortunately the two serving our table were VERY short of the mark. Thankfully the boat's manager organised for replacement waitresses, and they proved to be first class. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Wanted to revisit the NW and felt that this was an excellent way to do it. The staff was pleasant and knowledgeable. The food was plentiful, but mediocre in quality. Music in the lounge was so loud that it intruded into our cabin and ... Read More
Wanted to revisit the NW and felt that this was an excellent way to do it. The staff was pleasant and knowledgeable. The food was plentiful, but mediocre in quality. Music in the lounge was so loud that it intruded into our cabin and despite 3 requests to have the volume lowered, nothing was changed. We couldn't hear the TV and it was impossible to read with the loud music - and we were halfway down the hall from the lounge! They tout that they offer free wine and beer throughout the cruise, but that is only with meals, and if you have the late dinner seating (7:45 PM) it's really too late to drink wine. Dining at the Grill is strictly limited to 2 visits per week, so you have no choices as to alternate dining arrangements. Our tour guide on the Ultimate NW Experience shore excursion was talkative to the point of almost being "yappy", and had no knowledge of the local flora/fauna when asked a question. A second bus on the same excursion had a totally different itinerary and our friends on that bus had a very different experience - it sounded very poleasant compared to our experience. We had considered doing another cruise with this company, on the Mississippi, but after our experience here, we will not do it. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We wanted to see the northern fall colors along the Mississippi River. Even though the cruise itinerary was changed due to weather conditions, the modified excursion was relaxing and very enjoyable. The wait staff in the dining room, Ky ... Read More
We wanted to see the northern fall colors along the Mississippi River. Even though the cruise itinerary was changed due to weather conditions, the modified excursion was relaxing and very enjoyable. The wait staff in the dining room, Ky and Cornel, were fabulous. The stay in port the night before the cruise was helpful to get ready for a great cruise and a way to experience the culture of the departing port. We felt as though we were cruising with Mark Twain with all the memorabilia on board! All the staff on the ship were exceptional and friendly. Any problem we had with keys, tours, etc were taken care of immediately by the staff. We couldn't ask for a better experience in cruising. I am planning to book the Columbia River cruise and hope it is equal or better than the Mississippi Queen experience. Thank you for a wonderful vacation and a Happy 90th Birthday celebration for my mother. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
My river cruise on the American Queen was one of the best things I've ever done and that's saying a lot after a 35-year airline career! A Mississippi River paddlewheeler has been on my bucket list since the Delta Queen and ... Read More
My river cruise on the American Queen was one of the best things I've ever done and that's saying a lot after a 35-year airline career! A Mississippi River paddlewheeler has been on my bucket list since the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen (predecessors to the American Queen) had been plying the same waters. The pre-departure day in St. Louis afforded me the opportunity to go up in the Gateway Arch, another check-off on my bucket list, so I was already happy before I even boarded the beautiful American Queen the next afternoon. The AQSC has thought through all of the details and logistics which were carried out without a hitch from bus transfers to and from the boat on both ends to the Hop-on-Hop-off buses which followed us on the road as we cruised the river overnight and were waiting for us each morning at the next port-of-call to take us on the city tour, narrated by knowledgeable locals. The steamboat is beautifully appointed yet comfortable and homey. The bed was one of the most comfortable I've slept in away from home and the full-sized bathroom fixtures were a welcome surprise. My favorite place to eat was the Front Porch Cafe. Looked forward to the oversized cookies and a Coke after my city tours and soft-serve iced cream quickly became a bedtime snack. The meals were delicious and the staff friendly and attentive. In fact, staff throughout the boat was professional, friendly and helpful. Can't wait to plan my next itinerary on another portion of the river with AQSC...soon! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We were on the American Empess on the Columbia and Snake River. This is an excellent cruise. The staff is the best, and the food is out of this world. They do everything so well from the hop on hop off tours to the premiun tours. It ... Read More
We were on the American Empess on the Columbia and Snake River. This is an excellent cruise. The staff is the best, and the food is out of this world. They do everything so well from the hop on hop off tours to the premiun tours. It was a ery stress free trip. I heartily recommend it. The Riverlorian, Mary, gave rxcellent , informative talks about the journey of Lewis and Clark to fi a passage across the United States. Greg and Lindey gave so much of thereselves to make this cruise a fun time for all the passengers, On the days we were not touring, we played bingo, trivia, name that tune, and there was always something going on in the lounge. We have sailed on the American Queen and also loved that ship and would reommend either boats to anyone wanting to have a relaxing, fun, and great food trip. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We have cruised extensively over the last decade, but this was the first time we cruised in US waters. My husband is mobility impaired and I was shocked to discover that nobody on board really seemed to notice and to try to assist my ... Read More
We have cruised extensively over the last decade, but this was the first time we cruised in US waters. My husband is mobility impaired and I was shocked to discover that nobody on board really seemed to notice and to try to assist my efforts to walk with him or to participate in excursions with him. On the ONE excursion we finally tried, although we were in the handicap seat at the front of the bus, NO-ONE OFFERED to help me get him off or back on the bus. The driver and excursion leader stood at the bottom of the stairs and watched him and me struggle with his cane and with his unbalanced attempts to take those steps. Throughout the cruise, as we entered dining or program rooms, no-one from the ship ever made even one attempt to help me get him seated or in or out of the public room. We had to call the EMT while on the ship as my husband fell in the cabin, and no-one , except the EMT, from the crew ever followed up nor was additional support offered in any way after that event. Transfers to and from the cruise ship were also unacceptable. No-one from the cruise company was available in the lobby of the Doubletree Hotel in Lewiston, ID and I was left to my own devices to manage our luggage while I was assisting him. Finally, someone did come to our aid, BUT IT WAS A FELLOW PASSENGER - NO-ONE FROM THE HOTEL OR CRUISE COMPANY OFFERED ANY ASSISTANCE. For the return transfer to the Portland OR airport, I discovered the luggage cart machine wasn't taking any form of payment, so I asked the bus driver to please help me find a porter. She said, and I quote, "I am not really familiar with this airport and would not know how to make that happen." I made the same request of some person on the bus who had been identified as a company person, and he gave me the same answer. So I, by myself, had to find a way to get the luggage and the two of us into the terminal. The only assistance we received was from the SAME FELLOW PASSENGER I mentioned earlier. who took pity on our plight and accompanied us to our room while managing the luggage for us. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
North American River Cruise on American Empress: Positives-Lovely Riverboat. Very wide hallways. Large staterooms. Staff very customer-service oriented. HOHO buses in every port. Delightful cruise director team. Bikes available ... Read More
North American River Cruise on American Empress: Positives-Lovely Riverboat. Very wide hallways. Large staterooms. Staff very customer-service oriented. HOHO buses in every port. Delightful cruise director team. Bikes available for slow times onboard. Bus drivers and tour guides friendly. Buffet option for breakfast and lunch. Evening shows were very entertaining. Negatives-Cost is very high compared to other vacation options. A lot of 'add-ons' increased the total cost. There was a 3 hour lag time after checking out of hotel and boarding the boat...only options were to pay for a premium excursion. Food on this very expensive vacation was B-B+. Not great. Tho presentation was A. Dining room very crowded with servers pushing between chairs to move around. Many people were unhappy with the late 7:45pm dinner seating. The highest cost rooms had no privacy on the balcony. This was the only walkway on the ship for exercise, and you walked right past, and could see into those rooms. The rooms on the 2nd and 3rd floors in the back half of the boat could hear the music and singing from the Paddlewheel Lounge late into the nite. Many little errors on the premium excursions. Overheard a few negative comments by staff on the last morning, regarding 'the boss'. Overall impression: It was worth taking the trip, but I wouldn't do it again. The natural beauty of the region is amazing. There are other ways to travel this route that are much less expensive, but the pampering was nice! There is some work that needs to be done to make this a 5-star vacation. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Cincinnati was not an option on this website to make a review, but cruise was Cincinnati to St. Louis. Loved every aspect of this trip. So much to see and do from Cincinnati along the Kentucky Bourbon trail towards Louisville and points ... Read More
Cincinnati was not an option on this website to make a review, but cruise was Cincinnati to St. Louis. Loved every aspect of this trip. So much to see and do from Cincinnati along the Kentucky Bourbon trail towards Louisville and points southwest. The cities and towns we visited were super. Lots to see and do. Not overwhelming where we felt rushed or, the other hand, lacking in things to see or do. Sandra in the gift shop was very friendly, and Benjamin at the sales desk was cordial and never pushy. Purser's desk also very helpful and open early/late as an added bonus. Excursions window was less than available and was either bombarded with a line or closed. The theme of this cruise was 'politics' but nothing too one-sided or swaying to favor any political party, candidate or persuasion. Enjoyed the Abraham Lincoln presentations and Mark Russell Q&A more than the show. Easier to understand. There are four singers and dancers who handle the main brunt of the load in the Grand Saloon... Glen, Michaelynn, Hannah and Matt. All are very versatile and genuine. Shows were better than major cruise or ocean liners. Late Night Sock Hop was a lot of fun. Band is also very good and lounge performers are all fun and engaging. Phil was very charming. Loved them recognizing a little girl and another devoted passenger as 'honorary crew members'. Room 3xx was by the Front Porch... a casual buffet and partial-service eating venue. Very convenient for mid-day snacks, drinks and always staff nearby to help or answer a question. Staff there was A+. Was a little underwhelmed by menu selection in main dining room, and put off by Maitre D. We heard he was leaving (for another job or just for a vacation?) and he seemed 'checked out'. Tried to write this review on the computers onboard as they leave these screens up and have signage encouraging you to do so. Problem is the internet is slow or disconnected so we couldn't review while onboard. All in all, a very fun cruise for us and we might try another part of their itinerary in the future. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
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