Before I start, let me say that overall the cruise was OK for my wife and I. For my 87 year old mother who we brought, the cruise was better than OK and she enjoyed it a lot. Having never been on another river cruise, she had no real expectations and so it was a great experience for her. For us, this was the first and probably last US based river cruise. All of our experience is on Viking which we knew going in was going to be hard to compare.
As mentioned earlier, I am good with period décor and to some degree period accommodations. That said, when one pays for owner suite rooms, those rooms should at least be maintained/not dated. Suite 402 exhibited many squawks including several ceiling panels bent and one completely loose/hanging down at one end, carpet was stained, chairs were missing buttons and worn, chrome soap dish and toothbrush holder were loose, shower soap holder was chipped, outdoor candles on our balcony were all inop, back door handle was loose and back door had visible hinge wedge made out of balled up painters tape, all vertical blinds had at least one (if not several) bent vanes. These are ALL routine maintenance items that there is really no excuse for having not addressed either before or during the cruise - ESPECIALLY if one is paying extra for the owners suite. Last but not least, while I can almost rationalize the wine not being restocked daily in the owner suite, it is hard to imagine (other than lack of attention to detail) why the water and juice were not and why one of the days 1 used wine glass was taken but no new clean one left in its place.
Beyond the room squawks, a suggestion I might have is to put a Suite Number sign on the outside of the back door (similar to the sign on the front door). SEVERAL times during the cruise people presumably exploring the ship either walked into our room or tried to walk in (learned after day 2 to keep door locked). A suite marker might help them understand it is not just a passage to the other side or that there is not an inside staircase down to the deck below.
At the ship level, the paint has been reasonably maintained with no visible rust and/or staining noticeable - great. Upholstery throughout though was noticeably stained and worn giving a less than warm feeling about sitting on any of the furniture. This was the most noticeable in the dining room and thank heaven those chairs were completely replaced half way through the cruise. Prior to replacing them, honestly ACL, they were just plain disgusting. As for the carpet, it was mostly good except for when you come to the stairs. There were no less than three different carpet styles going from deck one to deck two and one really bad face seam going between another level. I get that it is less expensive to patch in like was done, but seriously, it LOOKS patched in and thus detracts from the sense that the ship is well maintained. Add to this the fact that there were missing and broken paddles on the paddle wheel and, well, again it detracts from the experience knowing that overall maintenance is a little lax and where done cuts corners - presumably for budget reasons.
The crew does a great job of compensating for the maintenance deficiencies with helpful attitude and smiles so I give ACL credit for that. Overall however, I am sorry to say I will likely not use ACL again and would definitely not recommend the Queen of The West. I had really hoped for a better cruise experience but the maintenance and service distractions at the owner suite level were to say the least more than a little disappointing
See review in body of main review. NO excuse for poorly maintained "owners suite"