As frequent river (Europe) and ocean cruisers, we came with high hopes for a top notch ship to equal the price paid. We knew the ship was old; we weren't prepared for lack of quality care of the vessel (save the engineering which was relatively new) over the years. Upon entering our cabin for the first time, the window covers (mini blinds) were warped from mishandling over time. The wall covering was peeling; the outdoor balcony was filthy (and remained so the entire trip). It was unusable anyway since the generator or engine noise was deafening on the balcony. Recovering from this "drive up" appearance, I sat on the bed (which was comfortable) and looked up at the ceiling. The air conditioning return vent (which is very large), was weeping dust and dirt accumulated for many months, if not years. Fine, housekeeping came up and "dusted" the exterior but did not have any filters onboard to complete the job. Next day, filters were purchased and the job was completed. I assisted the young crewman as it was more than a one man job. The filters were so black with mold and other crud it, I cannot describe just how bad they were.
But we were there for the week and we were going to enjoy ourselves. So we return to the cabin after the first dinner and the housekeepers had done turndown service. Great! We expected that. What we didn't expect was to find relatively fresh blood on the duvet! Again, guest services was notified and a new duvet was received.
Guest services was very responsive to our concerns. The hotel staff and a corporate supervisor were very attentive, listened to our issues all week and made corrections where corrections could be made.
Here's the bottom line or takeaway. The housekeeping and restaurant staff are the same young men and women. They are well chosen and delightful to be around. However, they are US college kids or from similar backgrounds that are onboard for summer jobs. They serve, essentially, the entire summer season. I understand they receive 4 days of formal training and on the job training from there. They are not the professional and experienced staff you have on cruise lines that are operated outside the US. Until American Cruise Lines has a professional complement of staff dedicated full time to customer service, the housekeeping and other service issues we faced will be a continuing matter. The service experienced on this ship would not be acceptable to any other cruise line we have experienced. There were other matters which could be written up but I've already run on too long.
On the positive side, there was coffee, teas and sodas available with chips and things 24/7 in two common areas. Breakfast was dependably good and the many fish served at lunch and dinner were well prepared. The deck crew busted their butts making sure the less mobile passengers got off and on the boat safely. The captain was great. The Columbia and Snake Rivers are incredible. The 4th deck was wonderful for viewing.
That said, drive it, RV it, and use local guides. The Queen of the West is not a good value.
The bed was very comfortable; the storage good. Otherwise, it should be renovated top to bottom on all decks. It is a physical wreck.