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American Queen Review

4.5 / 5.0
Editor Rating
221 reviews

The Mark Twain Experience - or Gilligan's Island?

Review for American Queen to North America River
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CookieLady
6-10 Cruises • Age 70s

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Sail Date: Jul 2017
Cabin:

This was our second AQSC cruise. We chose the "Mark Twain Experience" on the American Queen from St. Louis to Minneapolis with stops in between along the Upper Mississippi. Unfortunately, we received an email the night before our flight that there will be a "slight deviation" in the itinerary due to high water in the upper Mississippi and the boat's inability to pass under those bridges. We had been so excited to see these American cities which we had never been before. What to do? We flew to St. Louis out of desperation since we could not get any information from the Cruise line ahead of time. Once in St. Louis, there were cruise representatives on our second day there. They were totally sympathetic but unable to offer us anything in the way of refund or exchange (read the fine print). We decided to embark anyway and make the best of it along with 398 other dismayed passengers. The itinerary continued to change from day to day depending on the river. It wasn't until the last day of the cruise that the company offered each passenger a 10% of their payment credit towards future cruise within the next 18 months. They also paid our airline change fees. The itinerary was pretty sad - basically circling St. Louis for 7 days with some stops at places we would have never chosen to visit. And it was so hot! We expected to be out of the heat on the third day as we sailed north, but that never happened. The only original stop was Hannibal, where we were able to absorb the Mark Twain experience at the many museums and exhibits. However, I cannot say enough about the ship, the crew, the food, and the entertainment. Our Cabin was 455, over the paddlewheel. It was the largest cabin we've had on any ship or boat...there were 6 mirrors including a full length one in the bathroom: vanity outside of the bathroom with mirror and a second sink - unheard of in a cabin except on Disney; desk with mirror; closet with mirror; bureau with mirror. There was plenty of storage space. We had 2 major cabin complaints - not the paddlewheel noise or vibration, but the deck above was the pool bar and for some reason after midnight each night they were dragging chairs around the bar area. There's no way there were passengers at the bar at that hour... we called the front desk 3 nights in a row and begged them not to move the chairs around after midnight. Best beds, but worst sleep ever on a cruise. Other complaint was that the walls, even though metal, seemed paper thin and we could hear the TV and conversation from the next cabins. Fortunately, those passengers tended to turn in early so late night was no bother. The only reason I would not rate the cabin "excellent" was that the wood furniture and countertops were in need of a good refinishing. The food was excellent and they tried their best to accommodate my food allergies each night. The entertainment was top notch in a gorgeous theater. It varied from night to night, but never disappointed us. The common areas were beautiful, in an 1890's way, as was the entire boat. Overall, these cruises are a bit expensive, but remember that it is an all-American crew and must pay American wages plus overtime. I rated "Value for Money" and "Shore Excursions" as poor due to the odd places we visited due to the "diversion". We will definitely cruise again.

Cabin Review

Cabin AA

Our Cabin was 455, over the paddlewheel. It opened to the Promenade Deck and was only accessible from the outside. It was the largest cabin we've had on any ship or boat.

There were 5 cabins over the paddlewheel which were all large. There were 6 mirrors including a full length one in the bathroom: vanity outside of the bathroom with mirror and a second sink - unheard of in a cabin except on Disney; desk with mirror; closet with mirror; bureau with mirror. There was plenty of storage space. We had 2 major cabin complaints - not the paddlewheel noise or vibration, but the deck above was the pool bar and for some reason after midnight each night they were dragging chairs around the bar area. There's no way there were passengers at the bar at that hour... we called the front desk 3 nights in a row and begged them not to move the chairs around after midnight. Best beds, but worst sleep ever on a cruise. Other complaint was that the walls, even though metal, seemed paper thin and we could hear the TV and conversation from the next cabins. Fortunately, those passengers tended to turn in early so late night was no bother. The only reason I would not rate the cabin "excellent" was that the wood furniture and countertops were in need of a good refinishing.

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