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I like river cruising. To make a comparison of the two United States based river cruise lines, I took a cruise on the American Queen from Louisville KY to St. Louis MO.(( A year ago I traveled on American Cruise Lines (the competitor) on their Columbia River cruise.)) Great pre-departure hotel in Louisville. The Brown Hotel. Location was good for walking to many tourist venues. Good organization for checking-in and transport to the ship..You are issued a boarding card that is needed to leave and return to the ship. It is like a credit card, which is scanned. Same card is used to charge gift shop items and alcoholic beverages to your room account. You do NOT have to wear an ID badge around your neck like some cruise lines. Food was excellent in the main dining room. Food was good at the self serve buffet at the Front Porch dining option. There are assigned tables and assigned guests in the main dining room. These are kept the same for the entire cruise. I was traveling solo and was seated with 5 other solo travelers. It does give shy people a way to get to know people on the ship, but I like to be able to sit with different people each night. So that is just a personal preference-not good, not bad. The common rooms on the ship are well appointed in the old Mississippi River boat ornate style. Well maintained. Crew and service people were excellent. Friendly, helpful. This ship has a nightly "broadway" type show with small live band and 4 singer/dancers. A very nice auditorium they call the Grand Saloon. Where there is drink service available. There are included excursions. Premium excursions are an extra charge. They have unique Hop On Hop Off bus that transports you to the different points of interest at each port for the included excursions. To control crowds you have to get a free ticket in the lobby to designate which bus you will take to start the excursion. This helps with organization. Once on the route, you can get on any bus that has room at the designated stops. Stops are clearly marked with signs. The cost of $69 for most of the Premium excursions seemed a little pricey. It was just a longer bus ride with a guide on the bus taking you to an attraction farther from the port. There are also a variety of activities on the ship: sometimes a movie, bingo, Historical lecture about the rive was daily, My cruise had a culinary focus so there was a food lecture, a cooking demo and a cooking competition between two staff members, similar to the show Chopped on The Food Network. The daily River Times newsletter left in the cabin each night if very helpful for planning the next days activities. Even with around 400 guests on the ship, there was enough room to move about and not feel like you were being crowded. I was impressed enough with this cruise that I booked another one. I did select another room!!

First Time Guest on American Queen

American Queen Cruise Review by TresTX

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
I like river cruising. To make a comparison of the two United States based river cruise lines, I took a cruise on the American Queen from Louisville KY to St. Louis MO.(( A year ago I traveled on American Cruise Lines (the competitor) on their Columbia River cruise.))

Great pre-departure hotel in Louisville. The Brown Hotel. Location was good for walking to many tourist venues. Good organization for checking-in and transport to the ship..You are issued a boarding card that is needed to leave and return to the ship. It is like a credit card, which is scanned. Same card is used to charge gift shop items and alcoholic beverages to your room account. You do NOT have to wear an ID badge around your neck like some cruise lines.

Food was excellent in the main dining room. Food was good at the self serve buffet at the Front Porch dining option. There are assigned tables and assigned guests in the main dining room. These are kept the same for the entire cruise. I was traveling solo and was seated with 5 other solo travelers. It does give shy people a way to get to know people on the ship, but I like to be able to sit with different people each night. So that is just a personal preference-not good, not bad. The common rooms on the ship are well appointed in the old Mississippi River boat ornate style. Well maintained. Crew and service people were excellent. Friendly, helpful. This ship has a nightly "broadway" type show with small live band and 4 singer/dancers. A very nice auditorium they call the Grand Saloon. Where there is drink service available. There are included excursions. Premium excursions are an extra charge. They have unique Hop On Hop Off bus that transports you to the different points of interest at each port for the included excursions. To control crowds you have to get a free ticket in the lobby to designate which bus you will take to start the excursion. This helps with organization. Once on the route, you can get on any bus that has room at the designated stops. Stops are clearly marked with signs. The cost of $69 for most of the Premium excursions seemed a little pricey. It was just a longer bus ride with a guide on the bus taking you to an attraction farther from the port. There are also a variety of activities on the ship: sometimes a movie, bingo, Historical lecture about the rive was daily, My cruise had a culinary focus so there was a food lecture, a cooking demo and a cooking competition between two staff members, similar to the show Chopped on The Food Network. The daily River Times newsletter left in the cabin each night if very helpful for planning the next days activities. Even with around 400 guests on the ship, there was enough room to move about and not feel like you were being crowded. I was impressed enough with this cruise that I booked another one. I did select another room!!
AQSC Marketing, Consumer Marketing Mgr. - AQSC has responded
Hi TresTX, WOW - what an awesome review! Thank you for sharing this overview of your recent American Queen river cruise. We are thrilled to hear that you enjoyed your voyage with us and look forward to welcoming you on one of our vessels again very soon! All the best, American Queen Steamboat Company
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of The Independent Traveler, Inc.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 469
This is the worst cabin on the ship. First, all Single Inside cabins are only 80 sq.ft. very tiny. The single bed is bunk-like set against one wall. The stand up shower is extremely small like one in an RV. The biggest problem with this room is that it shares a wall with the passenger laundry and ice machine. The Laundry is never closed (in spite of what I was told during my booking process) There was noise all hours of the night which made it difficult to stay asleep. It also appears the single rooms are the last to be upgraded or repaired. My shower hot water faucet had a steady stream of water running down the wall (it was fixed the day I turned in the repair order), there were scuff marks on the wall from luggage being placed on the bed. Unpatched holes in the wall where the TV was mounted. The vanity stool (only place to sit, since the bed was very high off the floor) had a very loose wooden leg, the would semi collapse if you leaned down to tie shoes. Paint kept flaking off the dresser drawers when you opened and shut them. Since these are the least expensive rooms per person on the ship, it appears no money is being spent to maintain this room.