Having taken three previous cruises with American Queen (Upper Mississippi, Nashville to Memphis, and the Columbia River) my wife and I were expecting the same excellent cruise experience on the Ocean Navigator cruise from Chicago to Chicago (June 4-19) which we just completed. We received just the opposite. Had this been our first voyage with American Queen lines, we would not even consider cruising with them again.
Although our hotel health check-in went extremely smooth and fast, many guests said there were long lines and waiting. It would have been better to hold this in a larger room with plenty of chairs.
A major problem is the design of the ship itself. There are only two public areas: the lounge and the Tavern. Both areas are connected and constantly noisy. The Grill seating is not that comfortable. The Sun Deck is really unusable due to the high noise from HVAC system and constant smell of diesel fuel and there is no service on the Sun Deck. The Sun Deck is not available to anyone with mobility issues since access is by stairs only. Tables and chairs should be added to Observation Deck in addition to the reclining sun chairs.
Response from BriannaH, Guest Relations @American Queen Voyages
Cabin 204 was average size. Plenty of storage space: closet, drawer and shelf. Under-counter shelf in bathroom for storage. Shower size was adequate.