American Queen Cruise Review by fudgbug
- Sail Date: November 2012
- Destination: USA
Though you can not sit in your cabin, one can find plenty of places to read and use your computer throughout the boat that are comfortable.
In one review, I noticed a comment about the lack of power outlets. Yes, there are two in the bathroom, but there are two more under the vanity and was plenty enough for us to charge the computer and cell phone.
The cruise itself was really good. From the first night on board in St. Paul, the entertainment exceeded our expectations. The production show the first night set the tone by bringing you back through music and dress to the days of steamboating.
The Kingston Trio, Judy Collins, Noel Nash, Danny O'Flaherty, and the Jug Band did not disappoint. There was a wide variety of music in the lounges. The Riverlorian, Jerry, knew his rivers and history and made one eager to learn more.
A nice feature of the American Queen is the included hop on - hop off bus that meets the boat in every port. All of the guides were well informed, interesting and fun. The Shore Excursion staff had the excursions running smoothly with a take a ticket for the time that you want to get on the bus. Shortly before the appointed time you go out and get on the bus and off you go. The timing eliminates long lines and crowding. Maps with the route, stops, and sights to see are available every day.
Our first stop was in Red Wing, MN. If you like antiques, you may want to get off at the Pottery Place District. For shoes, Red Wing Shoes.
Next stop was LaCrosse, WI where we chose to visit the Chapel of St. Rose that was quite beautiful and unexpected and the Hixon House a well preserved Victorian style home from the late 1850's.
In Dubuque, don't miss St. Luke's United Methodist Church with over 100 Tiffany windows. See if you can spot the one window that isn't Tiffany. You might enjoy the Matthias Ham House too.
On a prior trip to Davenport and environs, we had visited the John Deere factory so opted for a Premium Choice Tour at $89/per out to the Amana Colonies with lunch where we learned the history of the Amana Society and visited many of the sites. A family style lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn was included and was quite tasty. Poking around the town and in various shops that are housed in historic buildings was, in our opinion, well worth the day. Before boarding the bus back to the boat, we poked around the Woolen Mill that was at the meeting point.
When we stopped in Burlington, IA, we chose another Premium Choice Tour at $39/per to visit the Bart Howard Room at the Des Moines County Heritage Center where we were treated to music written by Bart Howard. You might remember the songs "Fly Me to the Moon", "In Other Words", "If You Leave Paris" and many others. Our visit included some songs sung by some very talented artists, mimosa and orange rolls. The museum has a section set up as if it were the Blue Angel nightclub in New York.
It was really a step back in time when we arrived in Hannibal, MO. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum Complex should not be missed. From the boat, you can walk to the museum. If you want to go out to the caves for an additional $15 entry fee, take the first bus.
We enjoyed our meals in both the Front Porch for casual dining and the Main Dining Room. The food and preparation suited our taste. Service ran from spotty to very good. We appreciated the many tables for two only.
As for internet, all I can say was that connection was just awful!
We will go on the American Queen again, but not in a 132 sq. ft. inside cabin.