68 American Cruise Lines Queen of the West Cruise Reviews

The Queen of the West docked at the Red Lion Hotel at Jantzen Beach in Portland. Boarding was easy with our bags picked up from our room in the hotel. We boarded about 10:30 am and joined our new shipmates in the lounge. Our room was ready ... Read More
The Queen of the West docked at the Red Lion Hotel at Jantzen Beach in Portland. Boarding was easy with our bags picked up from our room in the hotel. We boarded about 10:30 am and joined our new shipmates in the lounge. Our room was ready about noon and lunch was served at 12;30. The meals are good and include wine or beer at lunch and dinner. They had a cocktail hour every day at 5:30 with free drinks and dinner at 6:30. Most of the cruise passengers are older and well traveled. They were a great group. The cabins are small, but have plenty of storage space for a weeks cruise. The bathrooms are very compact and there is plenty of hot water. Snacks, coffee and soft drinks are available in the lounges any time you want them. The staff was well trained and a great group of hard working young people from all over the U.S. There were shore excursions included with the cruise and also premium excursions that cost extra. Debarkation was well organized with most people using the bus transfer to Spokane, WA. ($75/ea) as there are few flights from Lewiston, ID. Rental cars are available at the Lewiston Airport (10am on Saturday) and the cost with drop off fees are about $150. plus gas, for 24 hours. We had local entertainment that was excellent.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
It rained the first 3 days of the trip which was not the fault of ACL.This meant we could not go to Astoria. They didn't seam to know what to do and we traveled about 35 miles in 3 days. The cabins on this boat are so small that the ... Read More
It rained the first 3 days of the trip which was not the fault of ACL.This meant we could not go to Astoria. They didn't seam to know what to do and we traveled about 35 miles in 3 days. The cabins on this boat are so small that the bed takes up about 75% of the room. The tv is on desk next to the bed with no place to sit to watch it. A lamp next to the bed was connected to an extension that went across the room to a outlet. This was in front of the door that led to the small balcony. If you wanted to sit and read you had to go to the library as there was no room in the cabin. I called ACL twice to find out the cost of excursions and they said you will find out when you board the ship. The booklet said $20 to $90. They charged $40 to $120. The per diem cost of the cruise was more than some luxury cruises we have taken. Some the most scenic parts of this cruise were traveled at night or during a lunch or dinner hour. The food choice was minimal but basically well prepared The kids serving the meals also cleaned the rooms. They were hard working and enjoyable. In summary this the most over priced bare bones cruise we have ever gone on. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
Cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers, from Clarkston, WA to Portland, OR, on the Queen of the West, our fifth trip with American Cruise Lines (ACL), was fascinating. The scenery was often breath-taking, especially in the Columbia Gorge, ... Read More
Cruising the Columbia and Snake Rivers, from Clarkston, WA to Portland, OR, on the Queen of the West, our fifth trip with American Cruise Lines (ACL), was fascinating. The scenery was often breath-taking, especially in the Columbia Gorge, and the many examples of the awesome power of Nature were humbling, particularly learning about the formation of the gorge and the Mt. Saint Helens eruption. Most impressive of the shore excursions were the Mt. Saint Helens interpretive center, especially the two videos, the Astoria maritime museum and Ft Clatsop. The Queen of the West, while not quite as impressive as ACL's new Queen of the Mississippi, was very comfortable and immaculately maintained, the staterooms had all the comforts one would wish. As always, the relaxed but pampered experience provided by the staff was a highlight. The friendly, skilled and caring attitude of the staff has been one of the best features of all our cruises with ACL. The small number of passengers (106 on this trip), open seating dining and the wonderful cocktail hour enabled meeting lots of new people in a very convivial setting. As on previous cruises, we met people with whom we'll keep in touch and cruise again. All in all, it was a very enjoyable cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
The Columbia River scenery was nice, the locks and dams were interesting. The pros: Laid back Quiet not crowded Casual The cons: Cabins are really small Food is very marginal and little choice Snacks are very salty, pretzels etc., ... Read More
The Columbia River scenery was nice, the locks and dams were interesting. The pros: Laid back Quiet not crowded Casual The cons: Cabins are really small Food is very marginal and little choice Snacks are very salty, pretzels etc., not good for seniors Waiters are really young and inexperienced. Some real surprises here. Shore tours are pricey, save your money Not much to do on board, just relax and read Entertainment was really lacking Mostly old folks, some friendly, some are not Grossly unfair? They allowed some folks to reserve tables, bummer Hot food is cold, service is really poor Young kids who do not really fit in, some of them are trying Actually, the kids are overworked, do food handling then the restroom cleaning Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
DH and I had looked forward to the "Lewis & Clark" cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers for a long time. The ship was clean and comfortable; the ports were fantastic, although for what they charged they could have cut the ... Read More
DH and I had looked forward to the "Lewis & Clark" cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers for a long time. The ship was clean and comfortable; the ports were fantastic, although for what they charged they could have cut the price for shore excursions in half!! One thing that was really nice is that tour guides/bus drivers followed the ship so we had the same bus and guide for all shore excursions. The staff is very friendly and tries to be accommodating but they are sorely in need of training and supervision: 1. Breakfast buffet every day set out milk, cottage cheese, yogurt without any provision for keeping dairy food chilled. 2. At dinner the first night the Restaurant Manager was observed combing his hair in the dining room over a buffet containing clean and uncovered water glasses. 3. Passengers fill out menu for lunch and dinner at breakfast and restaurant manager assured me that if I wanted something not on the menu to just write it in and it would be prepared. I asked for chicken soup and salad for lunch(it had been served the day before) and waited over 30 minutes for soup because they didn't start making it until I was in the dining room! I waited 30 minutes for a hamburger at dinner (it was on the lunch menu) and 40 minutes for a small dish of blueberries and cottage cheese for breakfast. 4. Passenger dropped fork and a new one was brought by server and handed to passenger handle first!! 5. All of the passengers on board were 55+ and yet when one of them fell and cut her arm there was no first aid kit/or band-aids on board! I would love to book the Mississippi River cruise with ACL, but I'm afraid to. For the money we spent on this trip, I expected better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
Complete itinerary not given until we boarded boat. Queen of the West is an older ship, but was to have been re-done in 2011. The public areas are nice, rooms are exceptionally small - had one piece of furniture removed so we could use the ... Read More
Complete itinerary not given until we boarded boat. Queen of the West is an older ship, but was to have been re-done in 2011. The public areas are nice, rooms are exceptionally small - had one piece of furniture removed so we could use the chair to put on socks. Pace is exceptionally slow even for a very senior citizen - boat was more like a nursing home than a cruise. Young people hired to serve in the dining area were exceptional. Food was unremarkable!!!! Scenery was typical NW US scenery. Certainly could have done the whole trip by flying into Portland, renting a car and driving on both sides of the Columbia River and seen much much more. Excursions were typical, but were not included in the very high price charged for the trip. The last day in Portland was a real waste of time and money! If you wanted to spend a day in Portland, go to a hotel and take the hop-on-hop off bus or public transportation system and see way more! Had a knowledgeable historian aboard who did a good job presenting programs. Other entertainment was average or less. If you stayed aboard and didn't go for an excursion, there was no information between the boat and towns as to what might be some on-shore options. Managed to find a great massage place in Stevenson, but Richland didn't offer anything - entire town was closed including the museum. The Dalles actually had a welcoming party and made us feel special to be in their town. All and all, wouldn't do the trip again nor recommend it to anyone else. Was looking at this trip for a possible trip for our senior group, but would never recommend it. Will look at a bus trip instead due to the high cost and poor food. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
A grand old lady refurbished several times but in great shape. If you are looking for music, dancing and lavish entertainment, you are on the wrong cruise. We embarked from Clarkston, WA for a very interesting and informative almost ... Read More
A grand old lady refurbished several times but in great shape. If you are looking for music, dancing and lavish entertainment, you are on the wrong cruise. We embarked from Clarkston, WA for a very interesting and informative almost 500 mile journey to Portland, OR. The staterooms are small but adequate for 2 with a decent shower; and a small balcony. Two large public rooms and a very small Library. As we were on the river for much of the time, the large viewing area on the top deck (covered and uncovered) was very adequate. Only 4 decks with stairs and a small elevator. The Queen holds about 120 of the most enjoyable passengers I have ever had the pleasure of cruising with; and we got to meet them all from almost all 50 states at meals (open seating) and cocktail hour which includes top drawer liquor and wines. Food was very good; and you can choose smaller portions if you desire. The service was outstanding by the stewards, wait staff, crew and the Captain who was always available. This jaunt followed the Lewis & Clarke expedition and Todd our expert and guide seemed to have known them personally. Tours were very interesting and informative handled expertly by our cruise director. Mount St. Helen's was a MUST SEE! While aboard and cruising we went through several locks which dropped us almost 100 feet at each location; quite a sight and photo op as was the wind and kite surfers at the Columbia Gorge. All in all an experience I would strongly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Thoughts of a vacation and, more specifically, a cruise came into our minds. Decision making, planning, all must be done. When that is accomplished, all-encompassing thoughts of anticipation become overwhelming. We have had many trips on ... Read More
Thoughts of a vacation and, more specifically, a cruise came into our minds. Decision making, planning, all must be done. When that is accomplished, all-encompassing thoughts of anticipation become overwhelming. We have had many trips on the large cruise ships with many thousands of passengers. While those trips were very special, we thought the novelty of experiencing a small-ship venue, and especially a Paddle Wheeler, would be most interesting. Indeed it was: For starters there is a great satisfaction in knowing our support is all toward the United States. From the vessel, its crew and food we were to experience "home grown." The hard-working staff of young people greeted us with friendly smiles and performed their tasks in a diligent and thorough manner. We would be remiss not to mention the very comfortable beds--such a plus at the end of the day. We enjoyed the menu selections and found the food to be done to perfection. The open seating of eight guests to a table allowed us to explore the diverse backgrounds and interests of each person, and when we would meet them in the stairwell or elevator, they were no longer strangers. Interestingly enough, we hope to see those who do not live too far from us. The banjo player, piano-bass combo and songs of the sea were good evenings of entertainment. And, of course, the historian flavored the trip with much educational and interesting lectures which brought the Lewis & Clark experience to reality. And this sums up our post thoughts of the cruise. Small-ship cruising is a venture we would like to continue. We enjoyed the friendliness of seeing the same people, enjoying happy hour each evening with them, not having to walk the long corridors. We are left with a keen sense of history and appreciation of the early exploration of Lewis & Clark, coupled together with touring the scenic vistas of the United States of America. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The Queen of the West looks tired. Our Veranda stateroom was small & cramped, and the door to the veranda was not all glass so the view we expected wasn't there. There were fumes so we didn't use the balcony much. The day ... Read More
The Queen of the West looks tired. Our Veranda stateroom was small & cramped, and the door to the veranda was not all glass so the view we expected wasn't there. There were fumes so we didn't use the balcony much. The day we arrived the toilet in our cabin was dirty and stained. There was zero storage in the bathroom -- no cabinets, no shelves, so I kept my toiletries on the floor. The passengers were mostly very senior; one man fell on the threshold to the lounge and broke his hip 3 hours into the trip and had to be evacuated at the first lock. Food was OK, but not much variety for vegetarians or the health conscious. On the bright side, the Columbia River was beautiful and the trip to Mount St. Helen's was good, as was the Maritime Museum in Astoria. You can ride all day on the little historic streetcar there, which was fun. We have been on the Rhine, the Yangtze, the Danube, the Mississippi on the American Queen, and the Amazon, and all offered much more quality for less money. Too bad because American Cruise Lines has other interesting itineraries in the US, but we won't be on them. Others must agree as there were just a handful of cruise line repeaters on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
After taking Amtrak from Memphis to Spokane, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport. ACL had a special rate which included the transfer to Clarkston, WA to board the Queen of the West. The drive to the port was so lovely, ... Read More
After taking Amtrak from Memphis to Spokane, I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn at the airport. ACL had a special rate which included the transfer to Clarkston, WA to board the Queen of the West. The drive to the port was so lovely, driving through "dune-like" wheat fields. We boarded and after a lovely lunch started cruising the Columbia River. I loved my spacious stateroom which had the feeling of a bedroom complete with comfy bedding. The bathroom is roomy and I enjoyed all the storage space including a closet. I was impressed with housekeeping. My room was always kept very neat and clean. The toiletry items were always replaced without asking. I have to say that the boat is kept immaculate. Dining service was impeccable and the menu was adapted to the itinerary. The salmon was delicious. I like mine well-done and it was always served the way I liked it. I like a lot of vegetables which I got. In fact all the items were wonderful. One thing I liked was the fact that I could have half-portions when desired. I couldn't stay away from the desserts. Unfortunately, I put back the weight I lost before I went on the cruise. There were fitness machines on the top deck. I should have taken advantage of them. The hotel staff was great. Questions were always answered promptly. This included the captain who was so friendly and accessible to passengers when the boat was not underway. The cruise director and lecturer must be commended. Chris, the cruise director played a great game of bingo as well as making fun during other varied activities. Wish he could have sung for us. He has a broadway-style voice. Todd, the lecturer was unbelievable. Each day, he took us from the beginning of the Lewis & Clark journey to the end...often in costume. I'm planning on going to Alaska on ACL's American Spirit next year. He said he may be there as a lecturer. I enjoyed the banjo player who performed one evening. He reminded me of Eddie Peabody. The audience loved his talent. What a fantastic itinerary. The scenery is absolutely beautiful...from forests to desert to gorges of rock. Tours were well planned. Unfortunately, Mt St Helens was snow-bound so we couldn't get to the visitor's center but it still was a wonderful tour. A real highlight was coming into Portland on the Willamette River, turning my head left to right...I saw 4 snow-covered mountains...Mt Adams, Mt Hood, Mt Ranier and Mt St Helens. When we got to Portland, someone was playing the calliope. It's always a joy to hear it. I definitely want to take this cruise again...maybe in reverse such as Portland to Clarkston. I guess the review is supposed to include pros and cons but I can't think of any negative comments to make. The cruise was beautiful, relaxing and fun. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
First a disclaimer, we are devoted to the Delta Queen and compare any river cruise to our wonderful experiences sailing on her. The Queen of the West resembles a paddlewheel steamer but it's an illusion. She is screw powered with a ... Read More
First a disclaimer, we are devoted to the Delta Queen and compare any river cruise to our wonderful experiences sailing on her. The Queen of the West resembles a paddlewheel steamer but it's an illusion. She is screw powered with a paddlewheel for looks. It's not the same. American Cruise LInes (ACL) strives to provide the "best vacations experience ever." This is an ambitious objective and likely is not often achieved. Our week on board the Queen of the West was a great experience, from the accommodations, the entertainment and the itinerary to the jet boat to Hell's Canyon, (now the inevitable) but something was missing. I cannot put my finger on it but will try as this review continues. Upon embarkation we received a wonderful surprise, an upgrade from a standard cabin to one marked "owner's suite." The cabin was spacious, with remarkable storage space and an extremely comfortable bed and a magnificent view to the side and forward. A brief detour here, ACL has a crew of stewards who double in the dining room and as cabin attendants. They rotate duties so there is no "cabin attendant" as on ocean cruises, or the old Delta Queen for that matter. The young crew of stewards are friendly, competent and helpful but they lack the polish of professional service personnel. One gets the impression of students on summer jobs and it detracts from the overalll experience of the cruise. Please, do not take this as criticism of the stewrds themselves; they were all great but the policy of ACL in rotating the tasks and even rotating the crews so that most are on a vessel only once does not lead to the kind of identification with the ship that makes for loyalty. Cuisine was excellent but not outstanding. The line did a good job in utilizing local ingredients at lunch and dinner, and with one exception the meals were very good. The portions were appropriately sized down given the frequency with which food was made available. ACL provides local to the area wines and beers at meals and a nicely done cocktail hour, also comp soft drinks and expresso throughout the day. These touches contribute to an overall positive impression the the catering on the boat Entertainment was exceptional. Todd Webber, a Lewis and Clark specialist and generally knowledgeable about the region, was a font of information and presented his information in a most entertaining manner. For this cruise, ACL had obtained the services of a professor of wine making from a local college to lead a wine appreciation component of the cruise. Reg was excellent and was a fine counterpoint to the history presented by Todd. Evening entertainment was high quality. What was missing?? For us, despite all the excellent features, we didn't make an attachment to the boat, to the line or to the personnel. They were all friendly but did not seem to themselves have an attachment to the boat or the river. It was symptomatic, at least to our minds, that the captiain was never introduced to the passengers assembled, nor did she talk about the river and its navigational challenges. Dare I say, the overall feeling was a nice week on the river, worthwhile and pleasureable but not compelling or extraordinary. The ports of call are not listed among Cruisecritic's so I will cover them here. Astoria OR is a worthwhile experience, visiting Ft Clatsop, the turnaround point of the L&C expedition and a realy find maritime museum. Ranier OR is only a jumping off place for Mr. St Helens, and seeing it on the shore excursion is hit or miss, we missed. Stevenson OR is a fine small town with some interesting vineyards in the vicinity and Bonneville dam close by. Richland is notable for CHREST museum about theHanford nuclear expeience. Clarkson WA is the jumping off place for the jet boat excursions to Hell's Canyon, a not to be missed excursion. Unlike the growing trend on the MIssissippi and on European rivers, shore excursions are not included in the cruise fare. Excursions run from $40 to $110 (for hell's canyon) per person. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
When folks ask us why we booked American Cruise Lines Queen of the West, we reply that we did it to have the experience of traveling on the Snake and Columbia Rivers from Clarkston Washington to Portland Oregon. We wanted to travel on a ... Read More
When folks ask us why we booked American Cruise Lines Queen of the West, we reply that we did it to have the experience of traveling on the Snake and Columbia Rivers from Clarkston Washington to Portland Oregon. We wanted to travel on a paddle wheel river boat even though the paddle wheel is now just for looks and atmosphere. We wanted to view the scenery and nature, to learn about the history of the area and the Lewis and Clark Expedition and to have time away from work, telephones, television and noise. This is a very slow paced trip with few activities for young, active people. Nothing at all for children and teens. The bus tours (cost extra on most trips) are easy going with few physical demands. The passengers are generally very senior. Very! We were among the youngest passengers. A highlight of our trip was the on board historian Todd Weber who does a series on presentations on Lewis and Clark and the history and nature of the area, but he is not on every trip. If you want to hear and see him, verify before making your booking. The open seating meals are a good idea, but the times listed are not exactly as stated because you really need to get into the dining room at the opening time as the pacing of the meal service is slow. Even though we booked one of the more expensive rooms on the ship (mid-3 deck) it was a tight fit, especially the bathroom and closet. The balcony is tiny with very small chairs and cocktail table. Large suitcases do not fit under the bed so you have to live with them as furniture. We managed to get a 27 inch suitcase into the closet which is about 32 inches wide. The shower is small and water pressure varies but is never good. We had mostly hot water. Travel with at least a couple of friends (most people seemed to) so you will have company. The large groups didn't socialize outside the people they came on board with. Drinks at the cocktail hour are generous. The entertainment is very old fashioned. We gave up on it. Being on the great rivers is very interesting, but our first few days out of Clarkston, the scenery was dry, beige and vacant of wildlife. It all changes down the Columbia when suddenly the world becomes green and lush. As we passed Portland (to return the next day to overnight there) and went down to Astoria Oregon, we had a good idea of how big and busy the river is at that point. The overnight on the boat in Portland seemed like an expensive way to add a day to the trip with few benefits. Would we do this exact same trip again? No. Once is enough. When we return to that part of the US we will do our own driving. Would I pay that much money for a similar trip? No. It wasn't a good value for money although we were pleased to support an American owned and staffed cruise line. We needed a lot more activities and photo opportunities. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
Last month I had the pleasure to experience a cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest aboard American Cruise Lines "Queen of the West". The itinerary included ports of call on both the Washington ... Read More
Last month I had the pleasure to experience a cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest aboard American Cruise Lines "Queen of the West". The itinerary included ports of call on both the Washington and Oregon shores. ACL offered many interesting land excursions along the way. The most memorable stops for me on this cruise were the trip to Mount St Helen and the Jet Boat ride in Hells Canyon on the Snake River. The onboard lecturer kept the passengers informed about the local history of the areas we were visiting. The food was great and we were offered a choice of two or three entrees for lunch and dinner. The chef would prepare a "special order" if necessary. Snacks and soda's are available 24 hours. The staterooms on the Queen of the West are roomy, however the bathrooms are not as large as on ACL's other ships and they lack storage space. Each room has individually controlled heating and air conditioning and satellite TV. They have large picture windows, but unfortunately they do not open. Many of the staterooms have a small veranda which is great for viewing the scenery. The ship also has a passenger elevator and there is always a crew member willing to assist with wheelchair operation on and off the ship. Many of the passengers I have sailed with feel the same as I, they like the informal "SMALL SHIP" experience of sailing the rivers of America with ACL. Most of the passengers were retired and many, like me, were repeat passengers. We enjoyed discussing the itineraries and our experiences on the various cruises we had taken in the past. The staffs on the ACL ships go out of their way to meet your every need and make your cruise vacation a memorable experience. I was reacquainted with four staff members with whom I have previous sailed. It was great seeing those familiar faces. Most of the cruises I have taken were with my mother or another family member, however I have felt completely comfortable traveling alone with ACL as a single lady. If you are looking for a casino, swimming pool, or nightly "show" entertainment, American Cruise Lines is probably not for you, but if want a nice relaxing vacation aboard a small cruise ship with other passengers who have the same interest, they cannot be beat. I am currently booked for my 34th ACL cruise which will be Memphis to Nashville on their new boat the "Queen of the Mississippi" in the summer of 2012. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This is our 3rd small ship cruise with American Cruise Lines in the last 4 years. We enjoy the cultural, educational aspect of these cruises and the small ship ambiance. The average age of their passengers range from the mid-50's to ... Read More
This is our 3rd small ship cruise with American Cruise Lines in the last 4 years. We enjoy the cultural, educational aspect of these cruises and the small ship ambiance. The average age of their passengers range from the mid-50's to 80's. Seasoned travelers for the most part. Everyone seemed to enjoy the itinerary, nightly happy hours, presentations by the on-board historian who travels with you throughout the cruise giving information that you would never know about and in this case, this cruise was all about the Lewis and Clark Expedition from 1803-1806. Local entertainment joins you for happy hour and sometimes after dinner. Experiencing going through the locks on this cruise was quite a sight if you have never done this before. American Cruise Lines has an all american college age crew. On the Queen of the West ship that we most recently sailed on we had a female captain. She was very personable and knowledgable. You are served 3 sit down meals per day, no buffets.For the most part, the meals ranged from good to very good. This particular ship, Queen of the West was purchased from another company that used to do this itinerary and is no longer in business. This being said, the cabins were not of the size of the other American Cruise Line ships. Each port has 1, 2 or 3 excursions throughout the day. There is something for everyone's taste. When going on your excursions, you are met at the dock by the same bus company and bus drivers who were excellent not only when it comes to your personal safety, but also their sense of humor and knowledge of the area. Although American Cruise Lines does a very good job,there is always room for improvement. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My wife and I had a great time on the seven-night ACL cruise from Portland to Astoria, OR and then back up the Columbia and Snake Rivers to Clarkston, WA. We both love history, scenery, and small ship cruising, so this trip was a perfect ... Read More
My wife and I had a great time on the seven-night ACL cruise from Portland to Astoria, OR and then back up the Columbia and Snake Rivers to Clarkston, WA. We both love history, scenery, and small ship cruising, so this trip was a perfect fit. As always with ACL, greeting, embarkation, and orientation were very friendly and well managed. There were three individuals handling "cruise director" types of functions, thus overall organization of the the trip was outstanding. Our cabin was excellent--clean, well-maintained, and properly furnished. The dining room was fairly well managed. Service was slow at times, and the chef "missed the boat" on a few dishes. All-in-all, these were not major problems. Inclusion of wine with lunch and dinner and a full-scale cocktail hour every evening before dinner is an ACL tradition. We thought the shore excursions were very well planned and executed and that the prices were fair. The trip to mount St. Helens was a particular highlight as was the one to the Lewis and Clark fort outside Astoria. We have always had a good experience on ACL and look forward to Alaska next year. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My wife and I had a wonderful cruise on the Queen of the West on the Columbia River. The accommodations were comfortable and the ship's staff could not have been any better. The cruise is well planned, with a variety of activities on ... Read More
My wife and I had a wonderful cruise on the Queen of the West on the Columbia River. The accommodations were comfortable and the ship's staff could not have been any better. The cruise is well planned, with a variety of activities on board and on shore to keep everyone busy and active. The food is wonderful with a variety that should please anyone. I was pleased that smaller portions were available if requested. We met many interesting people from all over the U.S. at meals and cocktails. Cocktail hour is open bar, quite nice really. Some other highlights: bus tour to Mt. St. Helen's, jet boats on the Snake River, traversing five or six huge river locks, wildlife spotting like bighorn sheep and bald eagles, the views on the Columbia River, lectures on history and and geology by the ship's experts on the area. Great time, well worth the money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
This cruise was generally quite enjoyable. We embarked in Portland, Oregon, then cruised downriver to Astoria Oregon. did a tour of Astoria and a second one of the Oregon Coast. We then proceeded upriver, and did tours of MT St Helens (~90 ... Read More
This cruise was generally quite enjoyable. We embarked in Portland, Oregon, then cruised downriver to Astoria Oregon. did a tour of Astoria and a second one of the Oregon Coast. We then proceeded upriver, and did tours of MT St Helens (~90 minute bus ride each way), the Bonneville Dam, Multnomah Falls, Indian Cultural centers, etc. Unfortunately, the Snake river was running too high, and we were not able to go up the Snake, so spent 1 1/2 days at Richland, Washington -- the cruise director did arrange a couple of special tours there (at no charge!). We had a roomy suite in the front of the boat. Room maintenance was quite good, although the bathroom was typically small. One thing to be aware of with this cruise line -- the passengers were mostly age 65+, with only a handful of people not yet retired (we are in our late 50'3), and almost no one under age 40. Having said that, the passengers are generally a very well traveled bunch, and we enjoyed the discussion at meals. People also were very good at getting back to the tour bus on time (best we have ever seen on a cruise). Pluses: The informality of the check-in and check-out process, friendliness of the crew, hosted cocktail hours every night, free cookies, snacks, coffee, soda all day, and an absolutely terrific port lecturer (Laurence). Minuses: Only one key to the stateroom; food was very average the first few days, although it improved over the course of the cruise; small bathroom; cruise was pricey; several crew members were brand new and "learning the ropes". Some tours were not so great & didn't allow enough time at stops (i.e., Mt St. Helens) This was our second cruise on American Cruise Lines (the first being the New England Islands in 2010), and we have already signed up for the Charleston to Jacksonville cruise next year. If you enjoy smaller ships (~100 passengers), older well traveled passengers, convenient access to ports, and the informality of a smaller cruise line (vs the often frustrating experiences aboard the large ship cruise lines), you should consider these cruises. They are also adding Alaska and Mississippi river cruises next year. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
A scenic River Cruise sounded great, but, in the end, it was one of the worst experiences of our lives (and definitely the most expensive). The Queen of the West is an old renovated ship and did not have many (or should I say ... Read More
A scenic River Cruise sounded great, but, in the end, it was one of the worst experiences of our lives (and definitely the most expensive). The Queen of the West is an old renovated ship and did not have many (or should I say "any"??)amenities. The "exercise facility" consisted of one stationary bicycle and one elliptical which were found on the top deck in a public seating area. The rooms were TINY and the staff was extremely inexperienced. Staff were all college kids and nice enough, but with very little experience. The cost of the cruise was EXORBITANT. No choices for Shore excursions--You either went or you didn't, with no options. Staying on the boat was not really an option either since there was NOTHING to do--no shops, no cafes, just a makeshift library with one computer (which was never available)and two lounges with chairs and magazines. Shore excursions were pricey and definitely tailored to the elderly. NO active excursion options for kids. Entertainment after dinner consisted of an hour or so of local musicians. By 8:30 PM the entertainment was over and evidently, it was bedtime for all!!! Food was sub-par, but, in all fairness, did get better as the week progressed. I am appalled at how much money I paid for this family vacation. Definitely NOT worth the price. Will NEVER cruise with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Queen of the West Ratings
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