Long time lurker, first time poster!
We just returned from a cruise on Queen of the Mississippi ship (actually at the airport - flight delayed! Thank you American Airlines!) on the New Orleans to Memphis route. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise, but I will agree with some other comments I’ve seen on these boards that it seems the biggest struggle for ACL is having a crew that is trained and retained. All of the crew were very well meaning and well intentioned, but there is an obvious lack of standard. The managers seem very young, though they were training a few new managers who seem to be a bit more seasoned.
We had two or three options for our meals at each service, and everything was presented well. Service was sometimes a little slow because of the open concept, meaning you may sit down with others who are already on their entree so the server’s job was made to be a little erratic. They also seemed short staffed for the amount of passengers onboard, as it seems has been well-documented in other posts. Our Chef even did a cooking demonstration on Cajun and creole cooking which was very interesting. No galley tours like on the ocean liners. The snack bar with sodas, coffee, water and pre-packaged snacks was a nice touch for a sweet tooth craving. Sometimes the water container or the ice machine was empty, which was a little uncomfortable when coming back from the hot southern afternoon if you happened to forget to grab a cold bottle from the entryway when returning. Again, perhaps the short staffing issue is rearing it’s head once again in this way.