We had been wanting to try a river cruise, especially after watching the size of ocean-going cruise ships balloon until some can carry more than 6,000 passengers. The American Empress beautifully accommodates just over 221, with an attentive crew of 88. Our Category C cabin--212--was cozy, but well laid out so that we had plenty of closet space and storage, even in the bathroom. Yes, the shower is small, but it worked just fine for us.
Ours was a late-season round trip from and to Vancouver, Washington, rather than the more common one-way trip from Vancouver to Lewiston, Idaho, or vice versa. We knew that there was a high probability of rainy/cloudy/foggy weather in the Pacific Northwest in November, and we were proved correct. We did have two sunny days, and only two really rainy days, so we were content.
Our fellow cruisers were, in the main, like us--Baby Boomers and older. There were a few 40-50 somethings, but we were in the majority. I would not recommend this as a honeymoon cruise, unless your other passion is Lewis and Clark.
Response from JaneF, Guest Relations Manager
Our veranda cabin on deck 2 was well appointed and comfortable.
We stayed an extra night at the Vancouver Hilton pre-cruise, and it was delightful. The hotel is a comfortable businessman-friendly accommodation. We felt welcomed by the friendly staff, and the food at the hotel restaurant was very good, if a bit pricey. Across the street were two excellent casual restaurants--Loowit Brewery and Pub and Smokin' Oak BBQ restaurant. Both were excellent and highly recommended, along with the Syrup Trap, just a 10-minute walk away in downtown Vancouver, and a most excellent breakfast spot that specializes in Belgian waffles. Our second day in Vancouver we walked to Fort Vancouver where we strolled along Officers' Row. If you have time, don't hesitate to visit.