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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2018
I want to tell you about our January trip on the American Duchess . . . To celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday, we decided to take her on a riverboat adventure! You see, Mom & Dad had, in their later years, enjoyed taking a ... Read More
I want to tell you about our January trip on the American Duchess . . . To celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday, we decided to take her on a riverboat adventure! You see, Mom & Dad had, in their later years, enjoyed taking a riverboat trip almost every year and had many wonderful memories. As Dad had passed away, we felt this would be a wonderful treat for Mom – as well as marking her 16th or 17th riverboat cruise. There were eleven of us traveling. We were especially excited about our first night stay at the Peabody Hotel – I had taken mom there before when we traveled together but never stayed there – boy, was she excited! The Peabody is a true boutique hotel and frankly, from the way we talked it up, everyone was so happy to start our adventure with a night there. Then we learned it was not going to be the Peabody but rather the Sheridan – which by no stretch of the imagination is a “boutique” hotel. However, having stayed at different Sheridan hotels before, I was hopeful that it would be fine - - it wasn’t. To put it bluntly, “The Sheridan was a dump!” Checking in was a joke as we had to wait for someone to show up (did I mention it was FREEZING out?), then they couldn’t have been more disinterested in us or less helpful if they had tried. Our room was filthy, dusty, and probably hadn’t seen a vacuum in months. There were stains on the dust ruffle, on the carpeting, and even on the lamp shade which was also broken. I would not walk in the room, or bathroom without shoes on – that is how horrid it was. The topper was, when I went to get ice there was MOLD in the ice, so obviously the ice machines were never tended – not only a health hazard but also a huge gross out. We spent the balance of the next day down at the Peabody just hanging out and having lunch and cocktails. While I realize the cruise-line has no control over the weather, we had expected temperatures in the 50s and 60s. What we got was around 9 degrees, which made using our verandas – which were covered in snow and ice – a “no go.” The first stop was not made - no access because of ice, so basically, we were on a floating hotel with lots and lots of trip hazards which we all got a taste of. Luckily, they have a medic on board. It seems strange to me that this type boat, which statistically carries “mature” patrons, would have so many places to trip over and so few views – we didn’t find that on the American Queen. With limited viewing except for the upper deck – which was closed as it had turned to an ICE RINK – there was little to do unless we came to a port. The weather was so awful that my mother chose to mostly just stay on the boat, as did the other two “more mature” women in our group. As I had pulled this trip together, I spent much of my time apologizing for it. On the third morning, Mom had slept in, and I took her to the breakfast buffet that had the deck (which was closed off due to weather), there was little left in the buffet and one of the chefs behind the counter offered to make her an omelet. I thought, “Wow, well that is nice!” She was half way through eating when I heard the fellow hacking and coughing behind the bar and my first thought was, “Oh – Please God, no.” For a day or so, everything seemed okay until one by one our group – as well as many other passengers - started to cough, and get runny noses. Since several in our party had scrimped and saved to go on this trip, we were determined to make the best of it. Bring on the DayQuil! My husband and his friend kept saying, “Well, at least we will get to go on the airboat tour of the bayou.” They felt that that would redeem some of this trip for them as there were only three men in our party, and they were holding on to this one “manly outing” – that excursion was cancelled – and last minute too. The food was great and we were, despite being in a floating hotel with very little access to views, together. On Saturday night, I sat down to dinner – yay, it was going to be lobster! Yet I soon realized I could not even sit up, the flu hit hard and fast. I had my husband take me back to our cabin where I promptly went to sleep and that is where I spent the next day as well. Ultimately, I would spend 5 days in bed once we got home but it gets worse from there. Mom had, like most of our group, contracted the Flu B virus (I am guessing from someone handling the food?) being from the west coast the flu vaccine was for flu A, and though mom had a flu shot it did no good. Unfortunately, Mom’s flu also caused respiratory failure, and pneumonia. She experienced an ambulance ride and spent over a week in the hospital and six additional weeks in a rehab center relearning how to talk, walk, communicate and feed herself. Once back from rehab she spent another three weeks with physical, speech, respiratory, and occupational therapy in the home. Then I got another surprise. My travel agent called and timidly asked if we had enjoyed the wine and on-board credit she had arranged for us. Well guess what? We never received it! And to make matters even worse, this is not the first time this has happened to us on one of the American Queen steamboat cruises! I wrote to the ship about our experiences and they sent an apology for the Sheraton and for not sending the wine and onboard credit – yet they completely ignored the fact that my mother suffered terribly from an illness contracted on their ship, not to mention that the rest of us were very sick as well. Poor follow-up American Queen - you give a lot of lip service to how much you care for your customers (who keep you employed) yet the proof is in your actions - in this case you are a fail. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2017
The American Duchess Brochure promises 'classic elegance and modern luxury' as I would expect at the Four Seasons and delivered a Holiday Inn Express but at more than 10 times the price. The menu choices were very good and the ... Read More
The American Duchess Brochure promises 'classic elegance and modern luxury' as I would expect at the Four Seasons and delivered a Holiday Inn Express but at more than 10 times the price. The menu choices were very good and the food quality acceptable. The dining room staff was chronically short-handed with Officers pitching in to bus tables. The suggested dress was country club casual but I never saw sweat pants worn to Christmas dinner at a Country Club. The entertainment was every good and delivered as a clever and well-delivered show every night. We have cruised with Tauck Tours on the Rhone River and on the "Windstar" from Istanbul to Athens ...and 5 day cruise in Patagonia to Cape Horn on the Stella Aurelius so we know luxury/adventure cruising when we see it. The American Duchess is not a luxury cruise. I do not believe the American Duchess delivers a "new world of class and sophistication" as advertised. Certainly not $22,000 worth for 8 days.... a far higher price than any of the above noted cruising experiences. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2017
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we ... Read More
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we had 2 rooms on different floors. Both had not been vacuumed, there was debris on both of the room floors from previous occupant(s). The food was good, but the prices were high. On the American Duchess, both cabins had not been dusted or vacuumed from probably the first sailing of the vessel a few weeks before our sailing. On other cruise lines, the rooms would be vacuumed, dusted, towels changed, and beds made every day. On this boat, you had to put out a placard on the front of your door to even have the room steward change your towels. Both rooms were never dusted or vacuumed our whole trip. On the matter of being wheelchair friendly, which the cruise line publicized about this boat, you had to have a strong helper to help lift the front of the wheelchair to get out/into the cabin, from the hallway to another area, from the inside to the outside deck. There was a raised barrier to get to each area, include the dining room, Perks, the 24hr. snack room, and even the gift shop. On five other different cruise lines, I could propel myself throughout the ships with no help from anyone. Most of the Premium optional tours were not made for people with wheelchairs. I had booked a Premium tour in each port, and wasn't told until we were already on the boat, that I couldn't go on those tours. The hop on hop off bus tours, included in the price of the tour, were wheelchair friendly and they had a golf cart that was utilized to get you from the boat to the bus, which was very nice. All of the food on the boat was very good except the breakfast buffet, which had cold food, including items which should have been warm or hot. The entertainment, which were the same group of musicians and singers/dancers the entirety of our journey, were very good(four musicians, and three singers/dancers). Also, for a cruise on the Duchess that was to be for the more affluent, it didn't past muster. Read Less
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was a major disappointment. Booked the loft suite level which is the Commodore level that comes with a butler. That concept was a joke. Never was given a tour of our suite and how to operate the mechanical drapes plus other perks ... Read More
This was a major disappointment. Booked the loft suite level which is the Commodore level that comes with a butler. That concept was a joke. Never was given a tour of our suite and how to operate the mechanical drapes plus other perks that are outlined in their brochure. Food was marginal (my husband was served an untoasted english muffin) that was on the cold side already. Waiters messes up alot of our orders despite the fact that we had a table for two. Never got night replenishment of used towels and our balcony was never swept the whole time we were on the cruise. Had plenty of dead gnats to see. I wouldn't recommend this boat or cruise line to anyone. For the cost of this cruise ($15,000 plus); I had expected better. Leisure time activities were virtually non existent. The only good thing about the cruise is that our cabin had two full bathrooms. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
My wife and I selected this cruise as we have traveled the world, yet never have seen our own backyard and wanted to check off the bucket list by visiting the Mississippi River. The riverboat was evidently a converted casino boat that was ... Read More
My wife and I selected this cruise as we have traveled the world, yet never have seen our own backyard and wanted to check off the bucket list by visiting the Mississippi River. The riverboat was evidently a converted casino boat that was nicely redone and well appointed, although still needed work in some areas. Entertainment was decent during the evening shows. Some of the entertainers were step on from a port and evidently their selection of entertainers were lackluster. The menu items were nicely chosen, but was consistently served cold. The waiters and waitresses were kind, cheery and always wanted to do their best, but lacking in training. Many of them worked on the river elsewhere and decided to come on the new ship. The ports of call were mostly interesting. The various towns that we stopped in did not have much to offer, which was not the fault of the cruise lines. Shuttles were provided into town, yet not much to see or do in most places. Greenville was a waste. Memphis, Natchez and Vicksburg were superb as was New Orleans. The premium shore tours were expensive, but worth taking. Although parts of the cruise were nice, we would not return as we do not feel as though we received a value for what we paid for and the ship still had several kinks to work out. Read Less
American Duchess Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.5 3.8
Dining 4.0 3.9
Entertainment 4.5 4.0
Public Rooms 5.0 3.9
Fitness Recreation 3.5 3.0
Family 1.0 3.0
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.6
Enrichment 4.0 3.8
Service 4.5 3.7
Value For Money 4.0 3.0

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