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486 North America River Cruise Reviews

I chose this cruise because the ship was brand new!!! It was beautiful, spacious, clean and the crew was fabulous. All food was great except for a few times. The cabin was large. The entertainment was pretty basic and I would have liked ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the ship was brand new!!! It was beautiful, spacious, clean and the crew was fabulous. All food was great except for a few times. The cabin was large. The entertainment was pretty basic and I would have liked more band music for dancing, more, more, more. One entertainer was on 3 nights which was too much. She was good but more variety would have been better. Singing by an on board person was not great. They should have listened to her before they let her sing two numbers. Very amateur. The service was always top notch. Shore excursions climbing over the levies was hard for some people, rough walking. The Plantation tours were wonderful but the town shuttles were a little bit less than I had anticipated for things to see and do in each town. The towns were small so guess I couldn't expect a lot more. Again, the crew, fabulous!!! Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise line because they had the itinerary we were interested in. The seaside towns and islands visited were quaint and picturesque. Everything we were hoping for. The ship, however, was horrible. I found the crew to be ... Read More
I chose this cruise line because they had the itinerary we were interested in. The seaside towns and islands visited were quaint and picturesque. Everything we were hoping for. The ship, however, was horrible. I found the crew to be uncaring and lazy. I brought our issues to the attention of the hotel manager early in our cruise, and while she was friendly, and said she would correct our issues, she did not. Our cabin steward did not clean our bathroom, and it was disgusting. I had requested our ice bucket be filled daily, and was told I could fill it in the lounge. The dining room was a total fiasco. The quality of food was deplorable. I suspect the food is prepared and frozen food that is simply re-heated. Not acceptable at all. Service was slow, and totally inept. Not a single order was correct. Not a single meal was hot. Items that should have been cold were lukewarm. When brought to the wait staff's attention they either ignored our requests or in one case, pitched a hissy fit and left the dining room. One explanation for cold food was that the food is prepared when the dining room opens, and then "just sits back there until it is served". WOW! One day the assistant dining room manager argued with a fellow passenger about whether or not her coffee was hot. I was appalled that a crew member would argue with a passenger about anything! The gangway crew did not know where we were docked, how to get into town, how long the shuttles were running, where we could find a map of the port, etc., etc., etc. The cruise director did not appear to understand what her job is. I don't know if this cruise line trains any employees before they cruise. Do yourself a favor, and book a European river cruise. THEY do small ship cruising perfectly, especially Grand Circle Travel. American Cruise Lines should be ashamed of their shoddy service! CEO Charles Robertson - CLEAN UP YOUR CRUISE LINES! So disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We spent much more money and had much less value than we have on other cruises. The food was mediocre at best. They charge for WIFI and do not include even house wine during cocktail hour/briefings. The cabins were fine and the ship ... Read More
We spent much more money and had much less value than we have on other cruises. The food was mediocre at best. They charge for WIFI and do not include even house wine during cocktail hour/briefings. The cabins were fine and the ship appeared clean. However, for the cost, the expectation is high. They seem to pin most of their value on the on-board naturalists. They were fine, and the on-board historian was excellent. There was a lock closure that blocked the ship from going up the river. Lindblad/Nat Geo knew about it more than a week prior but did not cancel the cruise or provide a chance to cancel with refund. They sent an email which some did not receive - no phone call - two days prior to embarcation. We had to ride buses for hours and stay in sub-par accommodations. We will never take a Lindblad/National Geographic trip again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took this cruise because it is the only cruise line that goes on the Erie Canal. Cabin -- we were in the largest option -- was small,but not a problem because we knew it would be. Essentially no useful directions to embarkation point ... Read More
We took this cruise because it is the only cruise line that goes on the Erie Canal. Cabin -- we were in the largest option -- was small,but not a problem because we knew it would be. Essentially no useful directions to embarkation point in Montreal, which left our cab driver searching for 40 minutes on what should have been a 15-minute ride. The cruise is pretty well for old people, again not a problem as we are old. There were under 40 passengers on a ship that will hold over 80, so we were able to spread out and do our own thing when we wanted. I think it would be a very difficult trip, in terms of feeling crowded, if the ship were full. The best thing, which is typical for most cruises we have been on, was the crew, especially the young people working the cabins and dining rooms. Very hard workers and very sweet. The captain and officers were personable and expert. The cruise director was very efficient if not warm and fuzzy. The "expert" offering lectures and commentary was great. They make a effort to keep you entertained in the evening -- beside the lectures, there were a couple musicians, movies, game night, etc. All were pretty well geared to old people. We thought the food pretty average, but the chef was very responsive to special requests. We were satisfied in terms of our objective -- seeing the amazing canal engineering across New York state. The excursions we took were fine -- a bit overpriced, but you are paying for their service. You are pretty well on your own in terms of exploring locales where you dock. I really don't see going on this line again -- it is expensive for what you get -- unless, as with the Erie Canal, there is no other option. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
To the Cruise Reviewers…Here’s a Breaking News story….The American Steamboat Company’s American Queen is NOT A CARIBBEAN CRUISE FUN SHIP…..That’s the rewarding thing about this wonderful Steamboat…..So don’t disparage this ... Read More
To the Cruise Reviewers…Here’s a Breaking News story….The American Steamboat Company’s American Queen is NOT A CARIBBEAN CRUISE FUN SHIP…..That’s the rewarding thing about this wonderful Steamboat…..So don’t disparage this ‘Gem of the Mississippi ‘where you can slow down and take a leisurely cruise on America’s Premiere and Historical River. My wife and I booked the American Queen Steamboat cruise up the Mississippi for the first full week of September 2019 sailing from New Orleans up to Memphis. We’ve been fortunate to have cruised on ships of many sizes and many locations and have even cruised down the Danube River several years earlier but this time we were seeking a trip back through time and history on an authentic Steamboat that still travels the waters of the Mississippi here in the United States. The American Queen is a ship that fits the profile of a slower paced travel and the Mississippi presents a good travelogue of stories about ‘The Old Man River” and adventures in the deep south of the United States. This is not a trip for families with children but a trip for adults of many ages. Ship Features Built in 1995, The American Queen is the largest Steamboat ever constructed at 418 feet long and 89 feet wide with a draft of approximately 8 feet. She’s a true stern-wheeler with and array of modern improvements for navigation on the Mississippi. The beauty of steamboat travel is the slower pace of cruising on a river and how the passengers arrive at the towns on the cruise’s itinerary on the gangways stowed at the front of the steamboat. There’s a wonder steam calliope at the Top Deck River Grill & Bar played by the ship’s Master Pianist and Calliopist Phil Westbrook who hold court nightly at the Main Deck lounge with music and stories to entertain all. There’s a small pool on the top Sun Deck where travelers can also access the small Fitness Center. For late night, guest’s can be entertained at the Engine Room Bar with lively music and dancing, if one desires , lead by two of the ship’s versatile entertainment staff, Norman Bergen and Jim Schweikert. The main guest entertainment is held at the Grand Saloon Theater space, complete with balcony box seats and vaudeville styled main stage. There is also a smaller movie style theater on the Deck 3 – Texas Deck. With that said the ships company of performers and musicians all well versed in their art and provided great entertainment nightly. The Cruise Director, Ryan Faino and his Assistant Cruise Director, Ashley Edwards along with fellow performers Michaelyn Oby and Glenn Springs made evening entertainment a real pleasure for such a small troupe of performers and their equally talented band know as the Steamboat Syncopators. The J. M. White Dining area is a wonderful old world steamboat styled double story dining venue. There is one drawback experience in the dining room which is the ventilation noise that emanates from below deck and at window level due to the ship’s ventilation system on the port side forward of the dining, room. Our dining seating was on the opposite side of the dining room so our dining experience was not impacted by that noticeable mechanical noise. The Buffet dining area known as the Front Porch Café, is located on Deck 3 forward – Texas Deck with dining for guests inside and in a wrap around deck outside this eatery The real masterpieces of the Queen can be found on Deck 2 – Cabin Deck where guests find the Mark Twain Gallery & Lounge along with Men’s and Ladies Parlor Rooms. These spaces or well decorated with period pieces, artwork, photographs, river and steamboat artifact, charts and models an internet café area and a specialty coffee machine with a well stock fresh cookie cabinet. A more unique space in the ship is the areas above the Front Porch Café in a space know as The Chart Room, where Riverlorian, Jerry Hay, weaves the tales of the river and its historic ebb and flow that are an integral part of the heartland of America. Lastly, take some time to walk around all the decks of the ship to a catch a bit of the flavor of what river travel life might have been on some grand stern-wheeler of the 19th Century, like the American Queen, on the muddy water of the Mississippi. Food and Excursions Our food & dining experience on board the American Queen was wonderful. High tech has made its way into dining service in the J. M. White Dining Room with wait staff texting orders to the kitchen for prompt preparation and delivery to the dining guests. The food quality was very good, but don’t hesitate to bring to the attention of the dining room staff anything that is not up to what you, as the diner, might consider substandard. Service was tops and food was well prepared. Food up at the Front Porch Café buffet was also of the same quality and caliber except here’s where self serve ice cream could be found along with a full service bar and guest beverages area. Although the lower Mississippi river does not possess the charm of the enchanting river towns of the European river waterways, you will find the Antebellum South and Historic river towns of Natchez and Vicksburg on this cruise. Vicksburg battlefield is a must trek. The Steamboat Company provides well apportioned coaches that run like clockwork for travel around each the river towns where the ship stops. With regards to the other river town stops on this cruise (St. Francisville and Greenville) they are a look into typical river town life that that have survived the trials and tribulations of the Mighty Mississippi River. Conclusion The American Queen Steamboat cruise may not be a cruise for every traveler but this great ship and cruise does give its guests plenty of river time to slow down and unwind on this Great American River treasure or to pick up the pace to explore the finer elements of Southern Living. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the ... Read More
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the Intercontinental Hotel. We and all the other passengers were bused from the hotel to the boat.The boat is only 3 years old, but shows signs of needing a paint job on the exterior. Our cabin was a good size with plenty of drawer space, but not a lot of closet space. The boat was nicely appointed in the dining room and the lounges. The food was mediocre and service was spotty. We did end up eating at one table every night with a terrific server.The ports were interesting and the tours were good. The housekeeping was spotty at best. The large mirror in our cabin was dust covered throughout the whole cruise and you could write your name on the lid of the ice bucket.The onboard entertainment was fine; no complaints.Overall, it was not worth the cost.We won't do another cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose American Cruise Line because they have a good single traveler policy. The also have single cabins. The entire staff were friendly, helpful, and professional. No complaints about anything Love it. Room was clean and very nice n ... Read More
I chose American Cruise Line because they have a good single traveler policy. The also have single cabins. The entire staff were friendly, helpful, and professional. No complaints about anything Love it. Room was clean and very nice n I have sail with American Cruise Lines 4 times. I will also cruise with them. I think they are the best small cruise line. The dining experience was great. The food was excellent, the service was good and very efficiency. Very professional. The entire cruise was great. It was called the Cumberland River Cruise from St. Louis, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee. (7 nights, 8 days). I just love small river cruising especially with American Cruise Lines (the best). The Queen of the Mississippi is a riverboat, total 150 passengers. The ship is absolutely beautiful and is run professional and efficiently. Your get your money worth. It is a beautiful cruise. The ship lounges are decorated beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked the eastbound Columbia and Snake River cruise because it was a new part of the country for us. The American Song is their newest boat. We started in Lewiston, Idaho, and booked a one-day jet boat trip down the Snake River into the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. We did this through the cruise line as an add-on. Highly recommended. Saw so much fantastic scenery, ruins of mines, settlements and enterprises from the pioneer days, bald eagles, rocky mountain big horn sheep, beautiful cliffs, Indian petroglyphs, - just a neat day in a comfortable open air boat. Two stops for lunch and snacks at former ranch and farm, now operated for river travelers. Next day we boarded the Song. Very comfortable boat, with a wonderful scale - only 184 passengers. No long treks to the dining room or lounges as you might be accustomed to on the ocean ships. Very easy and pleasant if you have any mobility issues. No long waits for the elevators - hardly ever waited at all. Lovely cabin - even though we had the least expensive cabin - plenty of storage, nice balcony. Easy cruising with stops in small towns every day. At least three excursions were included at every stop, with at least one being complimentary. Fascinating going through the 8 locks and dams on the Columbia. Some long bus rides to get to the places of interest on the excursions, not too pleasant. We greatly enjoyed Multnomah Falls, Mount St Helens, and Cape Disappointment. They seemed to waste the day we got to Portland - arrived too late in the day to really see anything. Lecturer told us about the history of Lewis and Clark, the Columbia River - she was all right, nothing special. The entertainment on board was basically conversation with the other passengers. There was a modest musical act each at night after dinner - ranging from not too good to pretty good. I think that for quite a few passengers the main attraction of the trip was the free and unlimited wine, beer and liquor offered all day long. Food was pretty good. All meals served in open seating dining room. There was also a small snack bar called the Back Porch Cafe on upper outdoor lounge - hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Service and attentiveness to passengers was excellent. Loved the self-service laundromats. The cruise was all-inclusive, just as advertised. Made all arrangements and transactions very trouble free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Embarking from the port of Clarkston, Washington and disembarking in Portland, Washington aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company Empress. The staff went out of their way to assure that passengers had an enjoyable & smooth ... Read More
Embarking from the port of Clarkston, Washington and disembarking in Portland, Washington aboard the American Queen Steamboat Company Empress. The staff went out of their way to assure that passengers had an enjoyable & smooth experience. The food was spectacular, tasty and service in high fashion! The lunch buffet was equally delicious....daily ethnic options were a pleasant experience and the sandwich options from the grill were made to order. Excursions were often greater than expected. Our cruise was void of ANY CHILDREN, certainly a real plus and another pleasant experience is that there were NO photographers on board other than passengers. This cruise line does not seek to exploit passengers by taking pictures at the most inopportune times and selling them for overinflated prices. The only possible negative comment would be that several ports lacked shopping options. That certainly is not the fault of the cruise line, but certainly a financial mis-opportunity for the local economy. The ship's staff from top to bottom all had perpetual smiles and friendly personalities. This did not appear fake, but a testiment to happ employees. We ditched the nightly entertainment for the spectacular evening views from the top deck of the ship....truly spectacular. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an ... Read More
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an executive chef with some imagination would be a good idea. Couldn't even make a sandwich properly. How do you run out of butter for 3 days ? No Vanilla Ice Cream for 2 days. Happy hour bars were very poorly organized. First night 5 glasses total at the aft bar. No beer on ice. Very poor veer selection and out of some brands for days. Very inexperienced staff and management ( if you can call it that ) Boarding day was very badly handled. Little to no communication from the Bridge for the first 5 days. This is sold (and priced ) as 5 star, First Class. NOT SO !! Badly planned stops. For Example: Whole day in very small ports and 1/2 day in Baton Rouge. Great opportunity for a great trip but they missed it !!! Thanks to Tiffany for her service in the dining room, and to Tom for his help in DR. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
While we knew this ship obviously caters to more elderly travelers, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and a small ship experience. We’d wanted to see this part of the country and this looked like a great way to do it. We’ve ... Read More
While we knew this ship obviously caters to more elderly travelers, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and a small ship experience. We’d wanted to see this part of the country and this looked like a great way to do it. We’ve cruised a lot, but always on large ocean-going ships. We were very pleased with our experience on Pearl Mist. The cabin was spacious with lots of storage and outlets. The staff was friendly and attentive and the menu options varied and the quality of the food was good. We enjoyed being able to literally “pull up to the curb” in our ports. Elderly passengers were well-accommodated and entertainment options definitely skewed to that population. We enjoyed the nightly cocktail hour and the wines provided at lunch and dinner. The included excursions were also very nice. Overall, we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and itinerary. We would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Victory II ship was recently renovated and they did an excellent job. The ship is fresh, clean, and very well appointed. Every staff member we have met is attentive and concerned for our satisfaction. Our cabin is more than adequate ... Read More
The Victory II ship was recently renovated and they did an excellent job. The ship is fresh, clean, and very well appointed. Every staff member we have met is attentive and concerned for our satisfaction. Our cabin is more than adequate with one exception: the shower is extremely small. Meals are quite varied. On more than one occasion we have ordered doubles of items on the menu, or we have ordered multiple items from each category, with no questions asked from the staff. All of the tours has been enjoyable, informative, and worth the time. The cruise director has done a very good job of telling us what to expect for our next day of adventure. Going through the various locks along the way has been one of the most interesting parts of this trip. I would highly recommend this cruise. I have seen criticisms of where the ship docks and my only comment to that is: this is a ship and it has to be dock at a port, and the ports are not necessarily in the best part of town…. Why would you expect a ship port to be in a beautiful part of town? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have ... Read More
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have to find our own way there. No company rep nor a bus was at the dock to update us and transport us to Red Wing, though they did say they would pay for the taxi ride (I'm still waiting for reimbursement as the ship's staff said they were unable to refund directly to me). Our Uber driver agreed to take us there, and I tipped him generously because he would have to go back to the city empty. But the most irritating aspect of this is that the ship apparently hasn't been able to dock in St. Paul for quite some time, perhaps all season, and it wasn't a "last minute" change. And even if it was, they should have called us. We finally arrived at the ship at lunch time, and no one greeted us or apologized for the situation, or offered any reasons (or compensation) for the foul up. As we met other guests during the cruise, we found that others had been left in the lurch just as we had. Our cabin, no. 209, smelled strongly of mildew, and our towels (which we were encouraged to reuse) never dried out overnight; when I reported it on the mid-cruise questionnaire, a dehumidifier was delivered to our room; however the room steward didn't know how to empty it so I figured it out myself... I also reported how dirty our veranda was, and though they said they would clean it, that never happened. It was covered with spider webs and dead bugs, which made it unpleasant to sit out there. I don't understand why the room steward didn't have time to at least sweep it, because all she had to do in our room each day was make the bed (they don't change the sheets during the week), deliver dry towels, wipe down the shower and sink and empty the waste baskets. Though the Queen of the Mississippi is only in her 6th year of service, she is suffering from some deferred maintenance. There is chipped paint, dirty windows and balconies, scuffed upholstery, stained lamp shades, and stained carpets, all contributing to a general aura of shabbiness. There is simply no excuse for this level of neglect on a cruise for which you've paid nearly $10K for a week. We've been on 4 European river cruises (with Viking and Vantage) and several ocean cruises (with NCL and Cunard), and one thing they all have in common in constant maintenance. They're always pressure washing or painting or cleaning something, without interfering with the guest experience. ACL seems to have decided not to do this type of maintenance during the season. The room was quiet and spacious enough, with the typical tiny bathroom, but storage, both in the room and bathroom was more than adequate. Wifi was slow, and we usually had decent tv reception, though the screen is tiny. There were a few places along the river where we had no cell phone reception, but that was okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quiet the boat is while cruising at night. Even when we were going through locks, I was rarely disturbed by noise or motion during the night. There are many lounges and decks on the ship, and you could easily find a place to socialize or sit quietly and read or contemplate the beautiful scenery. Cocktail hour at 5:30 each evening was also lively and fun, with generous pours of beer, wine and liquors. A nice assortment of hors d'ouevres was also offered each evening. After dinner, we enjoyed a variety of entertainers in the lounge; a guitar singer one night, a motown duo for 2 nights, a barbershop quarter another night. The onboard lecturer, Dale, was fun and entertaining and filled us with information about the Mississippi and each of the ports we visited and even conducted a few sing-alongs. At every port, except the first day in Red Wing, we docked very early in the morning and had the whole day to visit the town. We were warmly welcomed by local guides in each town, and they genuinely seemed happy to have us there. Fort Madison has recently been added to the itinerary, and they were especially gracious, though there was a scheduling issue and the visit to the old penitentiary was cancelled while we were actually on the bus on the way there. They have some kinks to work out in their tours. We had a nice dose of warm, mid-western hospitality at each port. Most of the tours were rather heavy on bus time rather than actual on-the-ground touring, but perhaps this is in deference to the rather advanced age of the typical traveler on this cruise. I wish they would use buses that have 2 doors, because waiting for all the people with canes and walkers to exit the bus at each stop was very time consuming. Food service varied from barely acceptable to very nice. We learned to get to the dining room promptly when they opened at 7:30 each morning; any later and you could wait a long time for your entree. They really should offer a buffet for breakfast, because the wait staff becomes quickly overwhelmed and they seem to not have enough short-order cooks in the galley. Lunch seemed a bit less hectic; perhaps because the limited number of entrees offered were pre-cooked and just needed to be plated. Dinner also featured uneven service. If you arrived promptly at 6:00 when they started to serve, you might get served quickly. But people are allowed to wander in any time from 6:00 to 7:30, so one couple at a table might be finishing up dessert just as another couple joined the table. ACL should adopt the strategy utilized by the European cruise lines that we've traveled (Vantage and Viking), who seem to have figured this all out. Sometimes entrees were delivered lukewarm; sometimes the lettuce in the salad was soggy and appears to have been pre-dressed. Both the lunch menu and the dinner menu changed each day, and you had to make your selection in the morning at breakfast so the cooks could plan accordingly. The only item that was consistently good were the desserts, though one in our party complained that the tres leches cake was still frozen. Many on the wait staff are very young and inexperienced, and it was actually the first time serving for some of them. It was painful to watch one young man try to nervously balance a tray of drinks without dumping them down the back of a guest... We heard that they pulled quite a few from the staff to populate the new ship that is coming on line next week, leaving our ship with a very inexperienced crew. Similar to the beginning of the cruise, we were advised on the next-to-last day that we wouldn't actually dock in St. Louis (for reasons not divulged), and would instead dock in Alton, Illinois and be bused into St. Louis for our afternoon excursion. We sat in Alton all morning with nothing to do, no shuttle bus and no excursions or suggestions offered. It was a 30-45 minute drive each way, time we would have liked to spend enjoying the city rather than on a freeway. I do realize that the shipping lines can't be held responsible for the ever-changing conditions on the river that cause itineraries to be altered. What was lacking was their communication of such changes and the reasons for the changes. If they said high water or flooding made it too dangerous, everyone would have understood. They haven't been able to dock in St. Paul or St. Louis at all this season, so why are they still advertising this as a St. Paul to St. Louis tour? It's actually a Red Wing to Alton tour. Disembarkation was the smoothest part of the process. We had to put our tagged bags out at midnite, and the bus to the airport was scheduled at 7:30. We walked off the ship, identified our bags out on the tarmac, and got on the bus. The combination of inadequate communication, being stranded in St. Louis and having to make our own way to Red Wing, the smelly room, the dirty windows and balcony, the uneven food service, and the unprofessional service in general, added up to a less-than-exceptional experience for us. We are experienced travelers used to "going with the flow", but the negatives on this cruise somewhat outweighed the positives for us. Seeing the magnificent Mississippi River from the perspective of a grand river boat, and the quaint small towns along the way, was memorable and interesting, but the overall experience with the ship itself was rather disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working ... Read More
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working and did an excellent job. The food was great and plentiful. The history of the area, following the path of Lewis and Clark, was fascinating and the geology and scenery in the area was so interesting. We loved floating down the river and seeing Washington and Oregon from a different perspective. The shore excursions were mostly included in the price of the cruise. We especially enjoyed seeing Mt St Helen. Most of the ports were in rural areas, which was fine. There’s something interesting to see everywhere. Overall we would highly recommend this cruise. Although the cost is on the high end, it is all-inclusive and we would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack ... Read More
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack of time. Entertainment started out pretty good, by the end of trip it is not so good. People were nice, however, they were always apologizing for lack of serve or how dirty everything was. According to some of the crew we talked to, they just did not have enough staff and prior to us boarding, did not have enough time to clean up. The Boat advertised free Wi Fi, which really meant no Wi Fi. It was so poor, most of the time we were unable to send or receive until we got into port. Best part of this cruise was we met some very nice people and in each of the stops, found the town people very nice and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We so enjoyed our “Civil War” cruise on the Duchess that we booked this trip “In the Footsteps of Mark Twain”. Two days before departure we were told due to the high waters the trip was changed -every port was different except the ... Read More
We so enjoyed our “Civil War” cruise on the Duchess that we booked this trip “In the Footsteps of Mark Twain”. Two days before departure we were told due to the high waters the trip was changed -every port was different except the starting point of St Louis. The Queen is much larger and the room we had chosen #502 was in the front of the ship-nice & roomy but so noisy we could not stay. The smokestack was laying on the deck so the boat could clear the bridges. A gigantic noisy exhaust fan was constantly running all right by the bedroom window. We moved to a lovely room in the middle of the boat #514 and were given a refund as a voucher for use on a future cruise in addition to shipboard credit. The staff is wonderful and could not have been nicer to us. However, the itinerary is rather boring, not much to see. The dinners have been a disappointment-the buffets at breakfast and lunch are nice as are the Front Porch snack options-a soft serve machine with toppings, cookies, coffee machine and popcorn.There is a small pool and Fitness Center. We are enjoying the lectures and the music/entertainment staff are good. The boat is very cold so bring a warm jacket and long sleeves. If I travel again I will stay with the smaller ship. If on this boat remember to choose a room in the center not in the front or back as both are extremely noisy. Also be aware that dining times are assigned -either too early or too late for us-5:45 or 7:45. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
What a wonderful week we had as we sailed down the Snake and Columbia Rivers aboard the American Empress! This was our first cruise with the American Steamboat Company and there was so much about the cruise that didn’t disappoint. We ... Read More
What a wonderful week we had as we sailed down the Snake and Columbia Rivers aboard the American Empress! This was our first cruise with the American Steamboat Company and there was so much about the cruise that didn’t disappoint. We have sailed many larger cruise ships but never a riverboat. The crew was the most friendly crew we have experienced. The Captain was visible and friendly too. The accommodations were excellent. Our room steward Gina was superb and quick to respond when we had questions or concerns. The ship was chilly and a large majority or passengers wore light jackets, sweatshirts or sweaters while on board. We did have two problems with our cabin while on board. On the second day our safe would not open. They responded quickly, opened our safe but were unable to fix it. However, later in the day the safe was removed and another safe was installed and it worked well for the remainder of the trip. At 2:30 am the next to last day of our cruises I saw a spark somewhere in the ceiling near our door. Smoke began to come out of the ceiling smelling like an electrical fire. When I called the main desk 3 people came to our cabin immediately, one with a fire extinguisher in hand. One of the crew opened a door in the ceiling where the air conditioner was located and began looking around. It was a bit dirty up there, which was noted by one of the crew. Smoke was still in the room. I asked if they cared if I opened the door to the outside. So I did. With the door to the hall open and the door to our balcony open the smoke began to filter out of the room. After a few minutes they determined that the motor of the air conditioner had burned out and said that it could not be replaced until morning. They said we should leave our 2 doors open to get the smoke out of our cabin and they left. We do wish the crew had checked to see if that was an option conducive to sleeping, since it was now after 3:00 am. The wind coming through the cabin sounded like a freight train coming through the cabin. So we closed the door to the hall and laid back down. Then the door to the deck was banging so it was impossible to sleep. We closed that door too, even though there was still some smoke in the room. By 4:00 am we were able to drift off to sleep. By 7:00 am we were leaving our cabin and met a crew member coming down the hall to replace the motor. He said he was leaving and needed to do that before he left. Good thing we were heading out for the day and didn’t get awakened again for the repair. When returning to our cabin after breakfast our cabin door was left open and no one was in the cabin which was a little unsettling. In the end our air conditioner was fixed and worked fine for the remainder of our trip. I still wonder what they can do to keep the area around the ac units cleaner. We were breathing that dust in our cabin and the dirt could have contributed to a fire. I thank the quick response of the crew. But I do wish that they had offered us a way to secure the balcony door so we could have left it open. And why was our cabin left unsecured? Even though we were a little tired that day we didn’t let that stop our tours and enjoyed the day and the remainder of our trip Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from the captain to the officers to the servers and housekeeping staff. The dining room and snack food was tasty, plentiful and frequent, but not at a gourmet level and featured meats over chicken and local seafood. The casual cafe needs improved offerings and food preparation. Rolls, muffins, pastries and other bakery items were especially good. The wine choices--mostly local-- were varied and very drinkable, One entertainer (2 nights) was excellent, one put us to sleep and two entertainer couples were very pleasant. On board daytime activities were not for us and too many involved alcohol. The scenery was quite beautiful. A small onboard gift shop with logo souvenirs and a small toiletries selection, as well as a library would be nice additions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the ... Read More
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the lower Mississippi river got worse. We repeatedly questioned the cruise direction inquiring about our destination considering the weather. We essentially were ignored. The decor of the rooms is average. The upper floors leaked terribly. two of our three ports were closed. The port at Baton Rouge was at flood stage and the entire city was shut down pending the coming flood. Once again we tried to get answers with no results. When then decided to disembark and catch a flight home. All the crew were first timers and inexperienced. The food was average for a cruise. The entertainment areas were small. There was one ice machine for the 100 or so passengers, The captain was relieved of duty apparently because his lack of communication with the passengers. I contacted the corporate office and their flippant response was we didn't know of any storm or problems with the America. This cruise is falsely advertised and way to expensive for what is offered. The crew is very young and inexperienced. It felt like we were on training vessel. The main office has yet to refund me any money. They offered a 1000 cruise credit which to me was an insult. If you book with this company you will regret it! Never Again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We wanted to experience the pacific northwest and travel with some good friends. The literature advertised this as upscale, all inclusive. We've taken many ocean cruises (15+) but never a river cruise anywhere. I'm not sure ... Read More
We wanted to experience the pacific northwest and travel with some good friends. The literature advertised this as upscale, all inclusive. We've taken many ocean cruises (15+) but never a river cruise anywhere. I'm not sure I'd say this is upscale, and I'm not convinced its worth the additional monies versus what you'd pay for a large vessel cruise. The Hop On/Hop Off bus is a nice feature, as is the wine and beer with dinner, but it's an expensive gimmick, not worth the extra money you pay. The cabins are nicely appointed but small, just like a larger ship. The intimate size (200+ passengers) was quite nice, but most were very elderly and the things to do were very limited. Food was good. Quantity was good, you could have extras. The number of menu selections were limited compared to a larger ship. The River Grill menu covers a wide range of items but it doesn't compare to a "for-fee" restaurant on a larger ship. The ambiance was not there. The guest performers were terrific. The on-board assistant cruise directors, who also performed, were not of the same caliber of talent. We all said we enjoyed this and we are very glad we did it. We just would not do another river cruise at this point. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my biggest disappointment, and initially I thought I must be on the wrong ship. The food was very good. It was American cuisine, unpretentious, and better than most cruise lines. I think the food was their strongest selling point. We had a lecturer that spoke several times about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and he was quite good. They also had a guitarist-singer who portrayed a cowboy one night and a sailor another. He was also quite enjoyable. Aside from that entertainment was lacking. The lounges were nice and attractive. The personnel were all American and very nice. Unfortunately, they lacked training in the service industry. You may find yourself without the proper eating utensils, and the waiter will never notice, or forget to bring them. I was told that I could not have a certain flavor of ice cream for lunch because it was frozen solid. (?) The age of the passengers looked to be mostly over 70, and many had difficulty walking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I ... Read More
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I was looking forward to some beautiful countryside views. It was fun to do a lot of the traveling during the day instead of at night so we could see more scenery. We went with friends and the cruise line made sure our balconies were connected (they removed the partition between them) even before we boarded the ship. Lots of personal attention from the staff made the cruise fun and pleasant. The artists on board were FABULOUS and gave art lessons to those of us who weren't as interested in history. The small size of the ship, made it easy to get to meals, cocktails, the decks and lounge, coffee, etc. The pre-cruise hotel, Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington was an unexpected delight with its architecture and history and fine dining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but ... Read More
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but take this shorter cruise. I was disappointed with the quality of the cabin, no fridge, no bathrobe for when you want to sit on the balcony and the bed was too soft! Due to the high water level of the Mississipi we only stopped in Baton Rouge and were bussed to the various plantation houses. Some of the local guides were not up to scratch. Some of the wait staff were very inexperienced and were struggling, definitely more training is needed. Most of the entertainment was good but not being American we felt the last show, Andrew Sisters impersonation, was a bit too patriotic. This cruise line is geared for the American market. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland ... Read More
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland was unrealistic so we rented a car and drove 6 hours. Once we were inClarkston it was well organized. (Car was returned to Lewiston airport hotel provided shuttle back to hotel.) Embarkation went smoothly. Just a short walk to ship ...hotel staff took our luggage to ship. My cabin was as expected. Neat clean lots of room and drawer space. HINT. When you leave it is requested you leave your key card on the desk ....no card on my desk.. plenty of staff available to get me a new card. *****Key cards are magnetized so I had problems with it demagnetizing when it was near my IPAD. Cruise was great I researched ahead of time so I knew the guests would be a mature group. The tours were adequate for the remote areas we cruised. The crew went out of their way to make sure slower guests disembarked for tours safely and with dignity.. This was my first River Cruise and there will. Be many to follow. I am not a fan of the huge cruises with thousands of guests. Yes ACL cruises are expensive. I read lots of reviews and knew what to expect Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia Rivers to Astoria, then back to Portland, OR. It was a themed cruise focusing on the journeys of Lewis & Clark. We had the kids read about L&C before departing - the old Landmark and "We Were There..." books. They were the only two kids on board; otherwise I'd estimate the median age of the 150 passengers to be ~70. The on-board speaker did a good job bringing L&C's journeys to life, and tying them in to each of the attractions we visited. We had two adjoining cabins, with a door in between (405 & 407). This felt very spacious. Crew was 100% American (not that I care, as we've never experienced this before). Service was very good (equiv. to Holland America or RCCL, but not quite Regent). Bottom line - we booked a follow-on cruise on the Mississippi based upon this experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019

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