We had sailed on the American Queen several years before and were happy to book this for a family cruise celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We were, all together, a party of 13. We sailed from Memphis to New Orleans.
I cannot say enough nice things about the people on board the ship. Here are some examples.
With that many people in our party, it was sad but not a surprise that two people I had put in a cabin together found it impossible to share the room. They were “thermostatically” incompatible: one wanted the room warm, the other wanted it cool. The ship was sold out. Nevertheless the purser’s office was able to somehow find us a single cabin so we could split these people up. I am so grateful as their unhappiness could have ruined the trip for everyone.
Among our party were our kids and granddaughter, who was three. This is not a trip where you usually see children, but she had an absolutely fabulous time. One night we were looking at the stars and I pointed out Jupiter. She loves astronomy and had seen many pictures of the planet, but the point of light in the sky didnt look like those images. She insisted it wasn’t Jupiter. So we headed for the pilot house to see if the ship had a telescope. Not surprisingly, a crew member stopped us and said we weren’t allowed there except at special times. And that the boat didn’t have a telescope either.
And yet, the very next morning that crew member tracked us down and said there was a kids’ science museum at an upcoming port of call which the granddaughter might enjoy. That’s going way beyond the call of duty. And she, in fact, loved the museum when we got there.
We had planned a party one night to celebrate the anniversary. The food and drink and service were perfect. What wasn’t perfect was the weather. Just as the party started we hit a squall. Two of our friends were trapped inside their cabin by the wind and rain. Immediately two stalwart members of the crew hurried down there with muscle and umbrellas and escorted our friends to the party.
I could go on and on, but you can see how impressed we all were. And the food and amenities were of course lovely.
My only gripe was the pricing. I had hoped to get a price break by booking early and including such a large party. Nope. Not much of a break. In fact, a few months before our sail date there was a sale on cabins, but I would have had to cancel my cabins, pay a fee, and then rebook to take advantage of the break. The remaining savings were too small to be worth the trouble. Come on, American Queen. You can do better! They did upgrade our cabin, but I would have rather saved more money.
Still, we would sail with them again whenever we can. Looking forward to the autumn cruise up the Tennessee River.