I booked my first river cruise on the Lower Mississippi River for March 2023 back in May 2022 on the American Countess. I was concerned about what level of service to expect given the pandemic. I proceeded hoping that things would settle down back towards normal as the embarkation date approached. I am a manual wheelchair user and require an ADA cabin. I knew the number of accommodating cabins would be limited, so booking early assured that I would get my desired category of cabin. I booked one of the two outside cabins with an open veranda. I chose the Countess based on the fact that it is the only boat in the AQV fleet that has roll-in showers. The pre-cruise stay at The Peabody Hotel went smoothly, along with the cruise check in. I was accommodated in an ADA room that was more than adequate. After breakfast and seeing the ducks at the hotel, we enjoyed the music bus tour of Memphis prior to embarking on Tues, March 28, 2023. Embarkation was smooth and orderly. The deck crew did an excellent job of assisting anyone that needed additional help boarding the boat. This was true throughout the entire cruise. I could count on there always being someone ready to assist. Coach Captains were also excellent throughout the journey. They were friendly and ready to accommodate. They even kept chilled water bottles on the bus and regularly offered them to guests. There were a variety of stops on the hop-on-hop-off excursions along the itinerary of stops. Not all were wheelchair accessible, but there was always at least one attraction available. All of the premium excursions featured great tour guides. The cabin accommodation was actually quite good for a wheelchair user. It was more spacious and better laid out than many ADA hotel rooms I’ve stayed in. Cabin and dining room service was outstanding. The food was delicious, with a variety of regionally-inspired dishes. They no longer offer lobster tail every evening in the dining room, but lobster was incorporated into several entrees and appetizers throughout the week. The lobster corn dogs were delish. My only suggestion for improvement was that a few of the entrees were served at less than ideal temperature. Bar service was likewise very good. There was entertainment each evening, with a different show each evening. I really enjoyed the magician and the talented musicians. The cruise director and excursion coordinator both did a great job. The staff were always pleasant and ready to help. Disembarkation went quick and orderly. We directly boarded the the coach for the New Orleans city tour once we exited the boat. In summary, it was a great cruise. My initial concerns when I booked regarding lack of good service were unfounded. I’m sorry for those that had less than experiences in the early months once travel resumed. River cruising with AQV is a great option for travelers that use a wheelchair. AQV will take good care of you! I would eagerly book another river cruise with AQV.
Response from BriannaH, Guest Relations @American Queen Voyages