Cruised on the Mississippi River, started in New Orleans and ended in Memphis. The cruise itself was great, no complaints and enjoyed cruising with predominately an older, more mature crowd. Ship is not recommended for someone traveling with small children or teenagers. Food was excellent and crew was very accommodating for my Celiac food allergy. Menu in the fine dining was clearly marked for common allergies\restrictions such as wheat, dairy, seafood & vegan. Cherry pie was a passenger favorite and that flew off the buffet in the Front Porch dining area, this was a frequent out of stock item. We enjoyed the on-board entertainment and the enrichment sessions where we learned more the Mississippi river lore and history. Ship included guest laundry and laundry detergent, two washers and two dryers. This was a nice option for those who like to travel light. The pool was small, but fine for cooling off. The fitness room was small as well, but often both the pool and fitness center were empty of passengers.
All of the on-shore excursions had excellent travel guides, they were extremely knowledgeable. Ship also included golf carts to transport passengers over the levees, which could be steep at times.
Opportunities for the cruise line to improve is the Customer Service provided before the cruise, correct the on-line and printed documentation and more coordination with the port locations. When we were reviewing the cruise options, spoke\emailed with multiple American Queen Voyages (AQV) Customer Service representatives requesting a cruise catalog. Catalog was never received and typically hold time averaged 20 minutes or more. Much of AQV on-line documentation and printed documentation had conflicting information, which prompted the many calls to Customer Service to clarify these conflicting points. As an example, the website says the gratuities are included but the travel guide says $19.50 per day per guest will be charged. Via the Customer Service call prior to the trip we learned if you booked after January 1st 2023, gratuities are included. During the trip we learned the included gratuities covered the AQV crew members only, NOT the local on-shore local guides. Travel guide is also missing in the Amenities section that the ship includes hydration stations to refill water bottles and state room includes refillable water bottle, shampoo, conditioner, soap, bathrobe & slippers. For the comment regarding more coordination with the port, we had purchased the post-cruise city stay (Memphis) which included tickets for the local trolley line. During the dates we were there the trolley line was under construction and shut down. This was not known until we were waiting at the trolley stop and discovered too late the trollies were not running. Had we known earlier, we would have booked another night at the hotel and changed our flights to leave one day later. For the Vicksburg port, there is a City Passport book that nearly all of the stops on the hop-on\hop-off included tour were part of this book. Once you get 5 stamps in the book, you get a free Vicksburg T-shirt. We noticed this book too late in our stops and didn't have time to circle back to get the stamps.
Response from BriannaH, Guest Relations @American Queen Voyages
The bay window made a huge difference for space and would stay with this room category. We booked state room category D (Deluxe Outside Stateroom with Bay Window), 190 sq. ft. room and this was plenty of space for two people. Room also included in room safe, shampoo, conditioner, soap, bathrobe and slippers and robe can be used as a pool cover-up. The passengers who had rooms near the paddlewheel changed rooms due to the too much noise caused by the paddlewheel.
I'd book the same room category again. There are plenty of areas in the common spaces to sit and relax, plus liked having the extra seating space within the state room.