Queen of the Mississippi Cruise Review by dbjennings
- Sail Date: April 2018
- Destination: North America River
The 8-day, 7-night package included a pre-cruise overnight hotel in downtown New Orleans, allowing some time to explore and an easy transfer to Queen of the Mississippi. To see more of New Orleans, I strongly suggest adding 1 or 2 more days in the Big Easy. There is lots to do and see in New Orleans.
The Queen is beautiful with cabins like a modern cruise ship and nearly non-stop food opportunities. We sailed with 148 guests, close to capacity. The dining room, lounges and functions accommodated us all without overcrowding.
The itinerary was New Orleans to Memphis, with stops every day but one. The river was pleasant, but carries almost exclusively commercial traffic in the lower Mississippi. Lots of tows and barges.
Most of the offered excursions were complimentary, and many of them were so-so. Some felt crowded. Ask about "signature excursions" when you call. I didn't go on the "VIP Graceland" excursion and can't comment on that one. My favorite excursion was the Vicksburg battlefield guided tour. Awesome, but would be better if you could get off the coach more often.
Dining was excellent; don't plan on losing weight. The cabin review follows. Free wireless internet is available and on par with most cruise ships. It always worked but could get pretty slow, especially during peak hours. A fitness center is available, as is a small guest laundry (free) with 2 washers and 2 dryers. Forget the casinos and swimming pools, it's a small ship.
Should you go upriver or downriver? There is a strong current in the Mississippi. It takes a lot of power to go upstream and maintain an itinerary. This means a certain amount of shaking/vibration at high power. I didn't mind, but some cruisers complained about it. A cabin toward the bow is better in this regard. Shouldn't be a issue downstream.
We had a great historian and pianist to illuminate the cruise. We also had an excellent banjo/bass combo that everyone enjoyed. The only miss (my opinion) was a jazz combo that made me think of hotel lounges and leisure suits. But they weren't bad.
Debarkation was by 8:00 am on departure day. You can book an airport transfer if you want one. If you debark in Memphis, you can expect to arrive at the close-by airport by 9:00 am.
I'm glad I took this cruise.
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