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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.

American Cruise Lines

Queen of the Mississippi Cruise Review by chetandmary@gmail.com

31 people found this helpful
Trip Details
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.
chetandmary@gmail.com’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 331
Shook loudly due to engine vibration. Got little or no sleep on several nights.

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews