On July 7th this year, my wife and I boarded the American Cruise Line Queen of the Mississippi for what we thought was going to be a wonderful and relaxing Ohio River cruise experience as promise by the information advertised on the latest sales catalog and expecting a nice relaxing and adventurous cruise. Unfortunately, this cruise was the cruise from HELL. My wife and I are seasoned cruisers (Large Ships, European river cruising and American Cruise Line). This was the worse cruise we have ever taken as well as being taken to the cleaners by ACL.
Before you book with American Cruise line please check out “American Queen Cruises”. www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com
Please read all the negative comments and you will find mine similar to the problem’s others had.
We contracted ACL for 10 stops and a cruise itinerary that resulted in stopping at all of the schedules cities as advertised in their cruise catalog, instead we cruised the river for more than 5 days and missed stops and excursions in 4 cities and only 1 day in Louisville instead if 2.
Other MAJOR Issues:
Dining & Food served
On the first day, ACL’s the head chef came to 0ur table and told everyone if you wanted something special cooked let him know and he would prepare it: THAT WAS LIE #1. On about the 5th day for lunch I requested shrimp and grits which is a staple served on the America (another ACL BOAT). Our server (who was really wonderful and professional) came and told me he did not know how to prepare it. 2 days later it was on the menu – this time our server told us was he did not have all the ingredients the first time. Let’s break this one out – Grits, served every day at breakfast (which I had every morning) – shrimp – served with a number of meals – Cajon spices – most soups he prepared had Cajon spices incorporated in them I guess if you are going to lie to ACL’s passengers at least he needs to get his lies straight.
On this cruise, this was some of the worse meals I have ever had (this is my 10th cruise both in the US and Europe). I was unable to consume at least 5 meals served – the meals served were not fit for human consumption – other guests were also complaining about food coming out of the kitchen. In 2 of the cities we stopped at, my wife and I had to go off the ship and dine at the local establishments to get a quality meal.
ACL’s cook (he was not a chef in any stretch of the imagination) put out some of the world’s worse meals I have ever had in my life. The cook was probably fired from a CCC level diner.
Unethical & Lack of Integrity with ACL’s Personnel
Upon going to our stateroom, we were greeted by Guest Services Manager in our stateroom. We had asked her to replace the Pinot Noir wine with a Merlot which she did. Towards the end of the cruise, July 16, when I had had enough of the poor food coming out of the kitchen. So, at lunch I asked our server for a simple cheeseburger. We were discussing the cheeseburger with our server when the Guest Services Manager came up in a huff and asked what the problem was. I explained all I wanted was a simple cheeseburger. The guest services manager became ugly and tried to bully me into eating what was severed on that meal. I immediately got up and went and searched for the Hotel Manager. I was explaining to him the situation and told him I wanted to file a complaint against the guest services manager for what she did and wanted it in her personnel file. About half way through our conversation. The Guest Services Manager stomped up to us and broke into our conversation and started shooting her moth off very rudely. That was the last straw. I called and filed a formal complaint with the Manger for the Ohio and Mississippi river. Nothing happened.
Later that evening I noticed the Merlot was gone. A staff member came in our room and STOLE the wine. So, now ACL has a member of their staff entering a guest room (outside of housekeeping) without our permission and stealing our wine. So not only did they enter illegally but also committed theft.
The regional manager for the Ohio and Mississippi river came on board and talked to the passengers during the cruise trying to explain that there were issues with the river and we were going to miss some of our stops and the schedule was going to change slightly. Several passengers inquired on what authority this decision was made. The regional manager for the Ohio and Mississippi tried to evade the question and point back to corporate. The passenger’s inquiring about the source of information were getting irritated and wanted a substantial answer. I observed the regional manager for the Ohio and Mississippi and watched him continually lie through his teeth to ACL’s paying passengers. He talked to us like we were dumb and stupid and would believe whatever we were told because as he said came from corporate. The passengers asking the questions were highly intelligent people
So, is this the new ACL Company Model, take the passenger’s money, change the schedule on the fly, lie to the ACL guests, steal item’s out of their room, bully the guests, feed them food not served at any decent restaurant?
There was another couple we met that had their air conditioner leak and drip water in their bed. ACL refused to correct the issue. Their solution – put a bucket in your bed to catch the water.
The cabins were very small and the bathrooms were the size of two port-a-potties next to each other. The shower was so tiny a large person could not fit into it. House keeping made the bed and replaced the towels and nothing else. This was the poorest house keeping service I have seen in all of our cruising.
Cappuccino Machine in the Sky lounge.
A paying passenger would expect little things like a Cappuccino Machine to be functional 24x7, especially in a lounge most used by them. The Cappuccino Machine in the Sky Lounge never worked from day one and then after 5 days of complaints the crew removed and never replaced it. When guests asked the crew about when the Cappuccino Machine would be fixed – their reply was “You can use the one in the Wheel House Lounge” -- Really, go down 2 decks because ACL can’t provide something as simple as a working Cappuccino Machine.
Crews washing Sky Lounge in morning while cruising.
A couple of days while cruising the passengers were unable to sit outside of the Sky Lounge because the crew was power washing the windows and getting the outside flooring material soaking wet, which basically made the area (a shaded area) totally unusable (unless you wanted wet feet– wet socks, water absorption footwear, etc.) until it dried hours later. 3 of the 5 days while cruising the crew had a very loud compressor going around the Shy Lounge and the deck above which made it very uncomfortable to relax. The burning question I have – why didn’t the crew do the window cleaning and maintenance while in port when most of ACL’s guest were on shore or excursions? Was it necessary to disturb and irate paying customers?
The tours were grossly misrepresented and some were missed. This is another example of how ACL defrauded the passengers.
I brought all of the to the attention to the Senior executives of ACL. Neither did I hear back, they did not return my phone calls or offer us any compensation. They just wanted our money. One thing they made very clear to us and our credit card company who tried hard to get out money back – OUR LAWYERS ARE BIGGER THEN YOURS SO GOOD LUCK. So, once you give them your money it is gone for good. ACL is just a greedy corporation that care mire about revenue that their customers.
Hell will freeze over before we will cruise with American Cruise Lines again!!
Dirty, bed was 2 double beds pushed together and very uncomfortable. They never changed the sheets unless we requested it.