My husband has wanted to cruise the Mississippi since growing up on it as a kid. We chose this line because friends had a great experience on the Columbia River. This was the worst-run cruise we have ever been on, made worse by the steep price. One reviewer had called it a nursing home on water, which was a pretty good description, with the average age of passengers probably at least 75. The good was the scenery, especially on the upper Mississippi, and the excellent river laureates in Steve Marks and JoAnn Funk. The food was good, but not great and the service was uneven. Our wait staff skipped my husband at least three times and we were served cold fish stew, which we sent back. We were told that American had just launched a new ship and moved a bunch of our staff to it so they wouldn't have all new staff. So we had a bunch of new, poorly trained staff members. One waiter told us he'd joined the ship when we embarked and had one day of training before they sent him out. It was also the cruise director's first cruise. She was very nice, but didn't really know what she was doing and wasn't empowered to do much. The result was that they ran out of such necessities as toilet paper, milk, butter, and bottled water for shore excursions, which meant that there was no water on an excursion to a plantation when the outside temperature was nearly 100 degrees. The ship had mechanical problems three times, requiring longer stays in port. They had no way to let people in town know this, nor did they provide transportation into town during the extra hours we were in port. That meant we got the the next port late, so they shortened afternoon excursions for all so accommodate those who got back late from morning excursions. It got so bad that it was almost funny and the passengers were joking about what would go wrong next. The worst part was that there were many sick people on the ship and they didn't so much as remind people to wash their hands and cover their months when they coughed, so I ended up developing bronchitis right after we got home and my husband got pneumonia. We wrote a bad review and asked them to contract us about our experience and got no response. Out travel agent also wrote to them and she got a "we're sorry" response, but no compensation. Needless to say, we will never sail with them again. I didn't rate them "terrible" only because we like the scenery and Mark and Joann.
The cabin was small, but larger than one we had on a European river cruise. It was neat and about the size of a small cabin on an ocean cruise.