2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2016
My 4th cruise with American, first on the Mississippi. I've traveled with them 4 times because I can rely on excellent staff service, experts on the locale and an incredible way to relax and leave the noisome world behind for a while. ... Read More
My 4th cruise with American, first on the Mississippi. I've traveled with them 4 times because I can rely on excellent staff service, experts on the locale and an incredible way to relax and leave the noisome world behind for a while. This trip we had some bad fog that cost half a day in Vicksburg and the staff, all inclusive, did an exceptional job in dealing with the events and passengers' disappointment. The entertainment was terrific and I look forward to my next voyage. We started in New Orleans with a visit to the WWII Museum and it was a great way to begin. The Vicksburg Battlefield tour was excellent but wish we had more time there. The historic plantation tours were very good and provided a glimpse at what life was like for slave as well as master. The history component was my favorite, especially the presentations about the Mississippi and its role in history. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
Choose this as it was in US. Really liked the all inclusive feature of hotel the night before the cruise, tips and most shore excursions. The onboard lectures were informative of the Civil War, and the river. Entertainment were local ... Read More
Choose this as it was in US. Really liked the all inclusive feature of hotel the night before the cruise, tips and most shore excursions. The onboard lectures were informative of the Civil War, and the river. Entertainment were local musicians and their program reflected the area we were located. Staff were friendly and helpful. Food reflected the South, liked the fact one could order a half portion. Beer and wine included at lunch and dinner. Happy Hour is also included with a variety of snacks that were available. Our cabin was well appointed on the top deck with balcony. The common areas both inside and outside were well maintained and comfortable. There were 5 exercise pieces of equipment available. This is not a cruise for children as it is geared to the mature adult. Enjoyed talking with Cruise Director Robert again. We have planned our next adventure for next year with this cruise line. The cruise just completed was our third. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We did not want to leave the country.. Everything was great. Attention to details was superb The crew was very attentive and service oriented. The food was wonderful with plenty of good choices. Special requests regarding diets were ... Read More
We did not want to leave the country.. Everything was great. Attention to details was superb The crew was very attentive and service oriented. The food was wonderful with plenty of good choices. Special requests regarding diets were honored Afternoon lectures were enjoyable and diverse. We learned alot about the history of the Mississippi River, the Civil War and the famous and infamous people who shaped the area.The cocktail hour and the hor duerves were great. A good way to meet new friends.. Evening entertainment was varied and very good. Shore excursions were very informative. Enjoyed the Frogmore Cotton gin and Oak Alley Plantation, The city tour of New Orleans was wonderful thanks to our tour director Marty. We enjoyed ourselves so much that we signed on for another American Cruise Lines for next year. We would not hesitate to recommend this cruise line to anyone who is contemplating a cruise. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
A trip of a Mississippi Steam boat was an ambition we have had for a long time. WE struggled to arrange direct from the UK. An opportunity arose which we seized as it gave the opportunity to visit New Orleans and Memphis. We found ... Read More
A trip of a Mississippi Steam boat was an ambition we have had for a long time. WE struggled to arrange direct from the UK. An opportunity arose which we seized as it gave the opportunity to visit New Orleans and Memphis. We found the state rooms very comfortable and well appointed, The food and wine was excellent. Although the dinning room was a little noise which mad it difficult having a conversation with fellow guests at meal times. Out waitress on several occasions was Krystin; we found that nothing was too much trouble and she was very attentive to our needs. All the staff from deck hands to the Management Team were very friendly and helpful and made the cruise an enjoyable experience. We found the excursions interesting but not enough time to take advantage of the visits. We would have liked more time at the Civil War visitor centre to view the exhibits and similarly we were requested to leave one of the Plantations so that we could visit "a gift shop" on the way back to the ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
With last minute change to Nashville we were treated to a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel as well as an evevning at the Grand Ole Opry. Great fun. Cruising the Cumberland River was a treat and with our Naturalist Steve Marking and ... Read More
With last minute change to Nashville we were treated to a stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel as well as an evevning at the Grand Ole Opry. Great fun. Cruising the Cumberland River was a treat and with our Naturalist Steve Marking and his lovely wife adding informative narrative as we went through the narrow waterway. The trip was enjoyable until we reached the lower Mississippi and a pattern developed as we would arrive in the morning and leave at 12:30, not allowing enough time to see all of the offered excursions or the towns, and only to arrive at the next port the same afternoon or early evening. We arrived at New Orleans the afternoon prior to disembarkation the next morning. The extra cost tour of Graceland was 1 hour short and most on tour were not able to see the entire exhibit. The planners need to review this trip. The fitness equipment was in need of maintenance and repair. The food was generally very good but by most ocean cruise standards very limited in scope and selection. The quality and presentation was excellent but I have never been served a half of a sandwich at lunch. The wait staff were just wonderful and made our meals even more enjoyable as well as the cruise staff who could not have been more accomodating. The entertainment was hit and miss. One group fair the next outstanding. But all in all it was a fun trip and we booked two cruises for next year. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
The cruise was supposed to go from St. Paul, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana but high waters in Minnesota required last minute changes in plans. American Cruise Lines (ACL) rescheduled us to start in Nashville instead which required ... Read More
The cruise was supposed to go from St. Paul, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana but high waters in Minnesota required last minute changes in plans. American Cruise Lines (ACL) rescheduled us to start in Nashville instead which required all passengers to change flight plans a few days before the start date, but ACL did reimburse us for the extra charges involved. We feel that ACL did a good job with the rescheduling. The only down side to the cruise was Kevin, the Cruise Director. He was young, brash, not very helpful, and often just a jerk. We hope that we will not meet up with him again. The rest of the staff was outstanding, friendly, and very helpful. Shore excursions were well planned out, very interesting, and first rate. The river experts were very knowledgeable and fun to be with. Steve and JoAnn were great with the local knowledge and are outstanding entertainers. This was our third cruise with ACL, and we have scheduled another for next year which also attests to our satisfaction. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I was invited by family to join them on this cruise. It was my first cruise and the whole experience was delightful.Because of the probable river surge on the Upper Mississippi the cruise had to be re-routed. This was done very well, and ... Read More
I was invited by family to join them on this cruise. It was my first cruise and the whole experience was delightful.Because of the probable river surge on the Upper Mississippi the cruise had to be re-routed. This was done very well, and the changed itinerary worked well.The flight changes needed at the end of the cruise to return us to our destinations was very well handled. The Queen of the Mississippi was very comfortable and relaxing. There was never any pressure to hurry, to "do things" or to take part in activities which were not of interest to me. The food was especially nice, with sensible sized portions and good choices for each course.The other guests mixed well and there was no-one whose company I did not enjoy.The stateroom was well appointed and comfortable with its own private balcony. It was very useful to have free laundry facilities which enabled me to return home with the minimum of dirty washing. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Never take this cruise. They talk about some great tours and cancel many of them along the way. The food is not good, the service is mostly done by interns that are learning and it is super over priced for receiving close to nothing. ... Read More
Never take this cruise. They talk about some great tours and cancel many of them along the way. The food is not good, the service is mostly done by interns that are learning and it is super over priced for receiving close to nothing. Terrible and boring cruise up the Mississippi with almost know good entertainment or activities. The boat even crashed into a sand bar at night - took about 30 minutes of pushing back and forth to get off and woke everyone up- bent the paddle wheel and made them late to arrive in Memphis so they canceled the Memphis tour? If you want a good cruise go on a Viking River cruise. The difference is like a cubic to a diamond. Our only grace was we had planned a few days on our own in the start destination and the end destination so we saw those two locations and had fun there Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
for the experience of a river cruise we chose this one. The length seemed right and we wanted to see the south. Being able to do a pre & post stay was also why we selected this cruise. We have done about 10 cruises in the past- but ... Read More
for the experience of a river cruise we chose this one. The length seemed right and we wanted to see the south. Being able to do a pre & post stay was also why we selected this cruise. We have done about 10 cruises in the past- but not a river cruise until now. We knew very little about thye geography and did not do any extra research before we came down. The cruise tours hae helped us learn alot about this part of the country and the history. The beds are comfortable and the staff have been friendly and very helpful so far. the food is pretty good too. Including wine & beer with meals is nice as well. I have had soup a couple of times that thas not been hot but most things are served at the correct temperature. I also noticed flies on the food in the buffet table- but this would be very ahrd to manage considering the heat and the open air. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They ... Read More
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They are the best of the best. The food service is assume with a variety of foods prepared by very talented chefs. Things that I usually eat such as fish dishes I loved on this cruise. Our stateroom was large and comfortable and kept very clean by the staff. If you enjoy being pampered this is an excellent venue for experiencing that treatment. We also enjoyed the on shore excursions we participated in. The ones we went on were free and very interesting. The buses were clean and nice and the interpreters were knowledgeable and open to questions from those of us in the audience. We enjoyed the homes and battlefields they took us to. We also enjoyed the local talent that entertained us each night. They gave us wonderful shows and were very talented performers. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
We were referred by a friend/colleague who had been on more than one cruise with this company. The cruise is designed for more mature passengers which was very nice. No one was loud, rude or drunk on this cruise. When I considered that ... Read More
We were referred by a friend/colleague who had been on more than one cruise with this company. The cruise is designed for more mature passengers which was very nice. No one was loud, rude or drunk on this cruise. When I considered that most of the excursions were included in the fee, it is comparable to other cruise lines. I really liked that they didn't try to "nickel and dime" you for photos, tourist mementos, etc. There were families with young children on board, but it was good. The staff service was exceptional. Most were college students doing internships or recent graduates. Its hard physical labor for them, but they demonstrate a very good attitude. The lecturers were from Minneapolis, Minnesota - Steve and Joann. They were very interesting; I highly recommend being on one of their cruises - especially the upper Mississippi near there home. We will consider using this company again. We were celebrating a retirement and loved it. Read Less
31 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We are experienced ocean cruisers who wanted to give river cruising a try, as well as stay in the USA. This was a round trip, New Orleans to New Orleans, on a paddle wheeler. The average age of the guests (about 185) was 75-80 with many ... Read More
We are experienced ocean cruisers who wanted to give river cruising a try, as well as stay in the USA. This was a round trip, New Orleans to New Orleans, on a paddle wheeler. The average age of the guests (about 185) was 75-80 with many in wheelchairs, or using walkers and canes. With no disrespect to the elderly (we are 65), we felt we were in a floating nursing home. The entertainment was boring, bingo in the evenings and sometimes a banjo player. Meal times were strictly scheduled and if you missed a meal or wanted to eat later, your only option was granola bars and bananas in the lounge. There was a complimentary cocktail hour at 5:30 which always involved a long time waiting in line for a drink. Otherwise there were no bars whatsoever. Our room was to the rear of the ship and it often shook loudly due to engine vibration. The captain and crew said there was nothing they could do and "nobody else ever complained". The food was very mediocre, sometimes even bad. The servers were very nice but inexperienced college kids who made many mistakes, forgot to bring coffee etc. In one instance I never received an entree until I complained. The staff kept encouraging us to order half portions if we weren't too hungry so as not to waste food. It was clear to all of us that they were trying to save money on food. The shore excursions were another disappointment, usually at an unattractive, dilapidated port with a visit to an old drugstore or other building that was converted to a gift shop trying to sell you overpriced souvenirs. Regarding pricing, this 7 night cruise cost us more than double what we would have paid on Royal Caribbean staying in a suite !!! We knew this when we booked but thought that, considering the price, it would be phenomenal. It was anything but. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The cruise left New Orleans, went up to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and returned to New Orleans. Highlights included 3 plantation homes (each very different), a working cotton plantation with roots going back to the late 1700s, and the ... Read More
The cruise left New Orleans, went up to Vicksburg, Mississippi, and returned to New Orleans. Highlights included 3 plantation homes (each very different), a working cotton plantation with roots going back to the late 1700s, and the Vicksburg Battlefield National Park. The best thing about the cruise, though, were the staff/cruew and their service service. A cruise director overheard me mentioning how good the peanut butter cookies were, and the day they were featured, I received a plate of them, still warm, in my stateroom! Another passenger was bothered by the engine noise and he was moved to a new, upgraded stateroom. Because the river was at flood stage, some excursions had to be planned on the fly--passengers experienced no disruptions. The food was excellent all the way around. By the end of the cruise, the staff was calling me by name! I have been on 3 cruses with American Cruise Lines and everyone has been special, not only in the things we saw/experienced, but also because of the nice, friendly, helpful staff and crew. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
We had a delightful introduction to River-cruising in the USA with American Cruise Lines up the Mississippi. Their attention to every detail made the trip pure pleasure for us. And we thank their wonderful chef for accommodation to our ... Read More
We had a delightful introduction to River-cruising in the USA with American Cruise Lines up the Mississippi. Their attention to every detail made the trip pure pleasure for us. And we thank their wonderful chef for accommodation to our vegetarian meal requests. Every staff person on board was helpful, anticipating all needs even before we realized we needed them! The shore excursions at each River stop were perfectly arranged. The experts on board added immeasurably to our experience, with their lectures about the River, the Civil War, and the river-boat culture. We now know that it's all about the River! A special commendation for Bill Weimuth whose outstanding presentations and multi-faceted entertainment skills are tailor-made for River cruising in the USA. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast ... Read More
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast from lounge while lounging on balcony and watching the river sites. Locally sourced meals were prepared by top notch chefs and served to high standards. Excursions on time and high quality. Guides except for one who was ill were excellent and from the location; their knowledge was presented with humor and candor. All needs seemed to be provided for disabled folks routinely with gentle care. Crew was professional, well trained, and passenger service centered, always happy and friendly. High river level never interfered with our itenerary since Captain adjusted sailing times to fit without compromising any activities. Sailing was smooth and seemed effortless. We will sail with them again! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Everything was taken care of for us from before we arrived at the ship. We arrived and was greeted by a familiar face - a crew member that we had sailed with in the past. The service throughout the cruise is highly personalized due to ... Read More
Everything was taken care of for us from before we arrived at the ship. We arrived and was greeted by a familiar face - a crew member that we had sailed with in the past. The service throughout the cruise is highly personalized due to the intimacy and the smallness of the boat. The cruise began in New Orleans and returned 7 days later back in New Orleans. The historians onboard, Bill and Laura were also the entertainment for a couple of nights as they sang river songs. Entertainment each evening was a local resident to add to the enrichment. The historians added quite a bit to the experience onboard telling us about the area and wildlife. The shore tours were good. They ship director would take us to different plantations and museums - all very nicely organized and well planned. The tour guides were knowlegable and pleasant. Food was more local flair with a focus on creole and Cajun. Everything was very tasty, especially the dessert. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2015
This was cruise number five for us on American Cruise lines and we continue to be impressed. This time we did the upper Mississippi river from St. Paul to St. Louis. We picked the week that a Mark Twain impersonator was onboard and it was ... Read More
This was cruise number five for us on American Cruise lines and we continue to be impressed. This time we did the upper Mississippi river from St. Paul to St. Louis. We picked the week that a Mark Twain impersonator was onboard and it was entertaining and educational. We like the fact that we can explore so many beautiful areas of our country by taking the American cruises. I should say that this cruise line is aimed at the over 40 crowd of mature discerning cruisers. Our cabin, service, shore tours, and meals were top-notch. Alcoholic beverages at happy hour and at lunch and dinner are at no extra charge. The entertainment in the evening, is presented in an informal lounge with sofas and lounge chairs, and the show may be as simple as a local jazz trio from a port of call, but nonetheless it is always very good. We are looking forward to our next American Cruise lines trip. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We ... Read More
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We had only one morning of rain so we had a lot of time to watch as the captain and crew navigated the five story Queen through the many locks on the Mississippi as well as through the many different lift or swinging bridges. It was warm and comfortable most of the time to sit out and watch. We often arrived early to the next port of call. Chairs and tables on deck were plentiful. Snacks and beverages including sodas were always available. One could even do laundry if desired at no cost at the self-service machines provided. There were daily talks with the Riverlorian who was always on board and available often on the top deck. Steve Marking and Joanna Funk provided not only on-board musical entertainment with help with wildlife sightings and identification of birds. Joanna also played the calliope when we left ports and also for the Sunday morning hymn sings. The cocktail hour each evening was a highlight and the Hors d'oeuvres served were excellent and plentiful. We had more food on the cruise than needed! I thought it was a great touch that we could choose to have half portions at a meal. We always found the meals delicious and we had some choice as to entrees. On the downside, as a diabetic, there were limited dessert options for me. Although I met with one of the chefs to discuss ideas, those were not always available. We enjoyed different entertainment not only at cocktail hour but also after dinner each night and many were very good and entertaining. We also were up top on the 5th deck the evening of the eclipse ... and yes, the clouds opened up to be able to see a good amount of it. I would recommend the American Cruise Lines for a truly Americana venture such as the Northern Mississippi Cruise we took. They have other interesting river cruises as well. This was our first trip with them and we would consider them again. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
I chose back to back one week trips for this adventure. I have traveled on American Cruise Lines many times on many ships and have never been disappointed. This trip was on the paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. I flew to Memphis ... Read More
I chose back to back one week trips for this adventure. I have traveled on American Cruise Lines many times on many ships and have never been disappointed. This trip was on the paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. I flew to Memphis two days early in order to stay at the legendary Peabody Hotel, a grand old hotel, and was glad that I did. Since the ship holds a max of 150 passengers, embarkation was very easy and was handled by one of the Cruise Directors at the end of the gangplank. My lovely cabin was ready. I chose Deck four for its quiet nature. Those who like a little more activity might choose Deck two which has two large lounges, a small lounge and the Hotel Manager's Office. There is one large dining room which holds everyone at once. Open seating is the rule at all meals. The food is quite good and abundant. Half portions are always available. In the morning, passengers are given menu choices for lunch and dinner. Several choices are always available, and special requests can be written at the bottom of the menu card. These cards are collected and given to the chef. I had several special requests during the journey which were always honored. Almost every day there were shore excursions which, on this cruise, were complementary. I took all of them because I think that there is something to be learned everywhere. The local guides were, for the most part, very knowledgeable. This is a journey for adults, not for children. The daily complementary cocktail hour before dinner was always well attended and the accompanying hors d'ouvres were excellent! I was sorry to disembark. The transfer to the airport was done with ease. I am looking forward to my next river cruise with American Cruise Lines. Read Less
25 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
With just 24 hrs. Notice and no chance to respond, we were advised our cabin was being changed to a "slightly smaller" one on the same floor. when we boarded, we were shown to a single cabin stuffed to the walls with a queen ... Read More
With just 24 hrs. Notice and no chance to respond, we were advised our cabin was being changed to a "slightly smaller" one on the same floor. when we boarded, we were shown to a single cabin stuffed to the walls with a queen bed. since the boat was fully booked, we had no other choice but to grin and bear it. we have never in all our travels ever been downgraded!!!!! the food was adequate. the service spotty at best because the inexperienced help is only hired for 3 mos. And cannot sign up again for a year. this makes for mistakes in dining room orders, as well as service. also, our room was not cleaned for 2 of the 7 days. the leg on one of the beds was broken and went unrepaired. a fellow passenger was allowed to play his trumpet nightly after 9:30 p.m. passenger complaints were ignored for 2 days. having taken over 125 cruises (including 15 river cruises), this was our first and last acl cruise. be forewarned!! This is the trip from hell!!!!!!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Traveling from a northern plain state we cruised from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans, LA. It was interesting to see the differences in the history and cultural influences as we moved further south. The shore excursions were great ... Read More
Traveling from a northern plain state we cruised from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans, LA. It was interesting to see the differences in the history and cultural influences as we moved further south. The shore excursions were great history lessons. The activities while cruising were okay, but not to my interest. Our jazz themed cruise had some great entertainment, but I would have liked more jazz. The food was great and the staff were great. Our stateroom was roomy and nice. Disembarkation was quick and simple. We made our own pre and post-cruise arrangements. If we had received the information sooner, we would have looked at theirs, but by the time we received the notice it was too late. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We followed the Lewis and Clark Trail on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. We are veteran river cruisers (Europe) but this was our first with ACL and first in the USA. The open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner gave us an opportunity to ... Read More
We followed the Lewis and Clark Trail on the Snake and Columbia Rivers. We are veteran river cruisers (Europe) but this was our first with ACL and first in the USA. The open seating for breakfast, lunch and dinner gave us an opportunity to mix and mingle with passengers from all over the USA and Canada. Meals and service were outstanding. Todd Weber, Lewis and Clark expert, made history come alive in his presentations throughout the week. The captain was personable as well as informative as he sailed us through 8 locks on the rivers. Scenery was spectacular and shore excursions were varied - from town visits, interpretative centers, museums, Multomah Falls & Bonneville Dam, Mt. St. Helens, Rose Gardens in Portland, OR. So many wonderful photo opportunities. Evening musical entertainment was chosen appropriately for the theme and quite enjoyable. Our cabin was located just two doors from the lounge making early morning coffee, snacks and pastries very convenient. This was a cruise I would surely recommend to my friends. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
Our first cruise with American was on the Columbia River. We were so pleased we signed up for another cruise before we left the Columbia. This most recent cruise was from Minneapolis/St Paul to St Louis in August, 2015. The food service ... Read More
Our first cruise with American was on the Columbia River. We were so pleased we signed up for another cruise before we left the Columbia. This most recent cruise was from Minneapolis/St Paul to St Louis in August, 2015. The food service was below average. Every single breakfast was a crap shoot. In 7 days we received a) the breakfast we ordered; b) warm or hot; and c) in less than 50 minutes exactly one time. We were nearly late for every tour. Lunches were mediocre. Dinners were quite nice, but taste was an ordinary cajun. The hotel manager seemed to be experienced, but she was largely unresponsive to complaints. John and Narda were standouts in service. Gustavo not so much. The BEST part of the cruise was the Mark Twain impersonator and the young, very capable couple both of whom entertained us every day. Both were worth the price of admission each day. The shore tours were poorly organized. For example, our first tour in Red Wing started at the Red Wing Retail store. Surprise! The store was closed. Go figure. Lacrosse was great as was Hannibal. St Louis was, well, St Louis. We won't go back. Avoid this cruise unless you are an entertainment fan. The Mark Twain impersonator and the young couple who cruised with us made the cruise for us. p.s. do not get a cabin forward on the starboard side, main deck. Read Less
48 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
NEVER, EVER AGAIN! If you book a cruise after reading my review below, all I can say is “I warned you.” We booked back-to-back Mississippi River Cruises in August, 2015. First one was from St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO: the second ... Read More
NEVER, EVER AGAIN! If you book a cruise after reading my review below, all I can say is “I warned you.” We booked back-to-back Mississippi River Cruises in August, 2015. First one was from St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO: the second one from St. Louis to New Orleans. We had the same cabin for both cruises. As other travelers have mentioned, new passengers can come on board at 1030 a.m., but have to cool their heels in a lounge until the cabins are ready two hours later. Why not just push the boarding time back to 1230 and have the rooms ready? We got to our cabin, complete with an EIGHTEEN-inch TV. Really? 18-inch? My computer screen is larger. I had to clean the cobwebs off the sliding glass doors before my wife would go out on the “veranda”. Cobwebs and fingernail clippings on the floor of the veranda were good indications that this company doesn’t bother to clean the outside of the boat. On the second day we realized the crew only has one set of washcloths on board. You can’t get replacement washcloths until 330 p.m. each day, and bath towels are only available after 1030 a.m. For the first few days we told crew members, including the hotel manager, we needed replacement towels, and all said we would get them, but that didn’t happen. For first few days we had to go down and get our own. One day instead of two bath towels, we got two bathmats! Some days we got one washcloth and one hand towel per cabin. How much would it cost to have 2-3 sets on board? We had a Keurig-like coffee maker in our room but nothing to drink the coffee out of for first week. I decided to wait and see how long it would take before the steward noticed. It took a week. Other comments on the room: The cabin wasn’t vacuumed even once in the two weeks we were on board. The volume control on the wall for the public address system was stuck on full blast. Result: every time an announcement was made, I jumped about six inches off whatever I was resting on. While the wall switch supposedly gave us a choice of background music, etc., it was inoperable. The best thing about the room was Ivan Levashov’s painting of white irises. Amazing. Cruise staff told me that average age of passengers was 65-75. Not true by at least a decade. I know that American Cruise Lines has no control over who buys tickets, but the entertainment advertised should reflect that. We had World War 2 vets, Korean War vets (they wore hats advertising such), etc. One night’s entertainment was advertised as “Old Time Rock and Roll”, but the first tune we heard as we entered the room was “Bye Bye Blackbird”, followed by “I Fall to Pieces”, “In the Mood” and “Sentimental Journey”. Bluegrass another night act was not bluegrass music. I could go on and on, but that is illustrative. Even the cruise director admitted to me that they had “misrepresented” the entertainment. Some nights the talent advertised didn’t show up, and afternoon activities on three days included kite flying and BUBBLE BLOWING on the top deck. Be still my heart. PORTS OF CALL: Oh, boy! Where do I start? The ports they advertise only have a casual relationship with what you get. Personally, I don’t think three hours on land counts as a port call. Passengers are herded onto buses, sometime for three hours, with no breaks. Local tours too often are a tour bus driving up and down the streets of small towns, looking at the outsides of vintage houses and touring vacant lots and closed store fronts with the tour guide saying “This lot/store used to be……….” The highlight of a couple of tours was a stop at the top of a bluff overlooking the town. Almost every port call ended, like at Disneyland/ Disney World, at a gift shop. The first port of call was Red Wing, MN, home of the famous Red Wing Shoes, but we were there on a SUNDAY, when the factory and store are closed. Clearly American Cruise Line knows this. Result: a bus “tour” around this tiny town with a stop at a pottery-centered gift shop. We didn’t stop at Davenport, Iowa; Oak Alley, LA or Baton Rouge, LA, with no public acknowledgement of why. Instead we landed at tiny towns like Burlington, IA and St. Francisville, LA; both of which are ill equipped for and can not be considered an “attraction”. Don’t assume you are going to get to see Elvis’s bedroom at Graceland or the exhibits at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where MLK, Jr. was killed. Didn’t happen. Also, excursion on another day was to a button museum. I couldn’t make this stuff up. ACL has no way of keeping track of which passengers are on the boat and who are not at any given stop. Consequently, for example, in Memphis, one passenger was left behind at the tour stop at St. Jude’s Hospital; a CREW member was left behind at the afternoon excursion, and a couple who had gone into town for dinner was left behind as the boat took off down the river at 7 p.m., instead of at the advertised time of 8 p.m. After sailing for 30 minutes, the boat had to turn around and go back to Memphis to pick the couple up. Crew error. When we told crew that we would be off the boat for one night, nothing (to my knowledge) was written down either upon our departure or return. A final insult was my wife and I being literally left in the parking lot in New Orleans as the shuttle to the airport drove away early. Again, crew error. Result: cruise director unsuccessfully chasing after shuttle on foot, followed by an 80-90 mph taxi ride to the airport to catch up with the bus which had our luggage. Most exciting and entertaining (although stressful) part of the trip. FOOD: Breakfast was well handled, but food to table for lunch and dinner occasionally had only a casual relationship with menu choices. Worst, the ice cream served was “soup” at every meal. Passengers complained on first half of cruise and ice cream was firm for next two days, followed by 10 days of melted ice cream. You could have consumed it with a straw. VALUE: For what we spent on two weeks with ACL on the Mississippi, we could have flown to Europe and had an all-inclusive river cruise or ocean cruise. Please note that ACL price doesn’t include tips or airline tickets. Those are on you. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2015
This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and we enjoyed it just as much as the first two. The coast of Maine is beautiful and the excursions they had chosen for us to chose from were great. The entertainment on board was enjoyable and loved the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and we enjoyed it just as much as the first two. The coast of Maine is beautiful and the excursions they had chosen for us to chose from were great. The entertainment on board was enjoyable and loved the sing along. we never miss out on much onboard and love that there is plenty of time to rest and relax also. We really enjoyed the Lobster Bake. It was fun and much more enjoyable to eat the lobster out of doors. The servers onboard were confident in helping you with any thing that you may need. Cannot wait to try another cruise with this company. Read Less
Queen of the Mississippi Ratings
Category Editor Member
Entertainment N/A 4.1
Public Rooms N/A 4.5
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.3
Family N/A 3.3
Shore Excursion N/A 4.2
Enrichment N/A 4.2
Service N/A 4.5
Value For Money N/A 4.0
Rates N/A 3.6

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