11 Memphis Romantic Cruise Reviews

We love American Cruise Lines and delighted to sail on newest boat Harmony. Absolutely fabulous boat, superior crew and service. Our fourth trip on this line and we signed up for another ACL destination in 2020. Seamless operation from ... Read More
We love American Cruise Lines and delighted to sail on newest boat Harmony. Absolutely fabulous boat, superior crew and service. Our fourth trip on this line and we signed up for another ACL destination in 2020. Seamless operation from embarkation until disembarkation. Spacious and well appointed cabins, excellent entertainment, service and all around fun time. Immaculately maintained at all times. Crew seemed to enjoy being aboard. Love open seating with cocktail hours and dining left to each passenger. We felt pampered by crew and cannot wait to sail again on ACL. We enjoy fun and casual atmosphere and lack of forced organized activities. Each passenger is addressed by name and crew takes pride in individualized treatment. Our very favorite cruise line by far. Perfect vacation and cannot wait for our next journey. ACL prides itself justifiably on "small boat cruising done perfectly". This is absolutely true and not an advertising ploy. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
ATV outdoor shore excursion at Natchez was the highlight for us! Well done to David and the Team for putting this outdoor adventure together. Civil War battleground tour at Vickisburg was also excellent. Our particular thanks to the ... Read More
ATV outdoor shore excursion at Natchez was the highlight for us! Well done to David and the Team for putting this outdoor adventure together. Civil War battleground tour at Vickisburg was also excellent. Our particular thanks to the thoroughly informative speakers/guides - especially the gentleman who dressed and acted the part of a soldier of the day - he really made a difference! Plantations at St Francisville were amazing - such informative guides at Rosedown and host at Catalpa willing to share her home - such wonderful hospitality! The food and the service on board the American Queen has been second to none! All of the waiters & staff have gone out of their way to make us comfortable & have the most amazing honeymoon of a lifetime! We feel truly special that we've been able to join this cruise and spend it making friends for life! We will definitely take another cruise again! Thank you & a special mention to Ambrose & Brian - the most deserving of recognition out of a truly exceptional crew Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had been recommended the American Queen by a close friend, who is quite choosy so we felt confident all would be prefect! Not quite! Disappointed with quality of some of entertainment. Particularly the lounge singer- we felt ... Read More
We had been recommended the American Queen by a close friend, who is quite choosy so we felt confident all would be prefect! Not quite! Disappointed with quality of some of entertainment. Particularly the lounge singer- we felt very poor, could have been much better. Sadly dinner service was lacking, although did improve so I guess someone at a neighbourung table may have said something? We were served wrong meals repeatedly, had to ask for drinks to be served and the attitude of some staff was very off hand. Front porch cafe- always great service and choice- both at breakfast and lunch. Top deck bar- likewise, always good. This isn't a cheap trip and expectations were so high and I have to admit we were disappointed with these areas! In other areas they excelled, organistaion around trips, both additional and standard were excellent- we did both. Ease on and off at ports was great- never been so easy! The 'Hop on/Hop off' bus service fab! In terms of value for money- depends on your point of view - I know some of my fellow dinner partners felt it wasn't. However if you use all the facilities, all the trips provided as part of package, along with buses it does feel like you know what you are paying for. I think the poor service at dinner and 'not so good' entertainment in places left it feeling wanting. We , for insatnce , seldom ate lunch- but suited ourselves and made a sandwich which we took with us when on shore for a trip. Had fruit etc to eat during the day so we gained in other ways. Satff in general really great, helpful, friendly. Staterooms as expected- really clean, comfortable and well serviced- we had a private verandah which was great. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was my wife’s first cruise so I booked the owner’s suite. Truth be told while it provided a larger cabin and a few more perks, just about every cabin on this boat has a veranda, a great hotel room experience (king size beds) and ... Read More
This was my wife’s first cruise so I booked the owner’s suite. Truth be told while it provided a larger cabin and a few more perks, just about every cabin on this boat has a veranda, a great hotel room experience (king size beds) and all of the perks that American provides - impeccable service, great food, and full access to a virtually unlimited supply of top shelf alcohol and great wines - with no upcharge for anything. Most tours are included and the evening enmterttgainment is excellent. This is a small boat so there is NO waiting in line for anything. The Hotel Director - Steve Benson - was in touch with us prior to the cruise and very helpful, from then until the moment that we departed in New Orleans. I just read a criticism of American Cruise Lines as generally as too expensive and comparable in “cost” to an ocean cruise. This had to have been written by someone who has never cruised on American and apparently unaware of the up charges for about everything on an ocean cruise and the crowds on these boats - not to mention their cost for a veranda cabin. I had read some of these reviews and in an email exchange I told the Hotel Director that I hoped to be able to write. “10” rating fairness the cruise. Truth be told - it’s a “9.9” - horrendous Wi-Fi/Internet on board. The acid test - we booked our next cruise while on board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Created from a 1995 hull, 340 foot-long paddlewheeler, American Duchess, features four decks and employs 80 American crew to run the boat and manage its 80 suites—the first all-suite paddlewheeler to cruise U.S. rivers. The maximum ... Read More
Created from a 1995 hull, 340 foot-long paddlewheeler, American Duchess, features four decks and employs 80 American crew to run the boat and manage its 80 suites—the first all-suite paddlewheeler to cruise U.S. rivers. The maximum passengers she will sail with is only 166, so the crew-to-passenger ratio is quite high. Our cruise was sold out; however, the boat never felt crowded at any time, even in the show lounge where there were always plenty of seats. (There were 165 seats available, including the chairs that line each wall.) One of the reasons there was always so much space to roam was the fact that the suites range in size from 180 square feet (for an interior cabin like ours) to 550 square feet for a two-story loft suite featuring 19-foot ceilings. Those suites (and the Owner’s Suite) had their own “River Butler” to spoil them rotten, so I’m guessing those passengers spent a lot of time in their cabins! For those passengers who had the “Commodore Services” included with their suite and had a butler, he was available for them throughout the ship. We saw him everywhere, and he made sure his passengers knew it. Have you heard of helicopter parents? Well, he was a helicopter butler. Although the décor of the boat wasn’t to my taste, the abundance of blown and fused glass artwork was. Bruce and I absolutely loved it, especially since Bruce is a glass artist and glass is our favorite art medium. The American Duchess had a modern boutique hotel feel to it, rather than a traditional riverboat ambiance. In all honesty, we preferred the 1800’s motif of the American Queen, built and decorated to replicate the paddlewheelers of their heyday. Most notably, the Duchess lacks a promenade deck, a must for open air enjoyment of the views, especially for a sunset stroll. Of course, Winter Storm Inga didn’t allow for much of that; however, I would have sorely missed a promenade deck had the weather been better. (The Duchess does have a large sun deck; however, it just doesn’t have the appeal of the top deck space on the American Queen.) Sadly, the Duchess also lacked a calliope, a charming feature I enjoyed so much on the American Queen. The most impressive area of the Duchess was the bar, dining room, and stairs leading up to the Lincoln Library. The dining room layout was similar to the American Queen in that it had tall ceilings on each side with a lower ceiling in the center. Without a doubt, the dining room on the Duchess was nicer, though, because even though the boat was sold out (like it was when we were on the Queen), there was much more room in between the tables. In addition, there was only one seating; however, you could be seated any time within the open hours (5:30 – 8:00 PM for dinner) and dine either alone or with others. There was no assigned seating, and they accepted reservations for parties of six or more. Since the American Queen Steamboat Company has an executive chef who creates the menus for all three of their boats, the menus were similar to what we enjoyed on the Queen, and the food was similar—fabulous on both boats. The service on the Duchess was better, though, and much more relaxed. (By the way, we had the same Maitre D’ on both cruises! Oscar boarded the Duchess the same day we did.) The desserts (at least the chocolate ones!) were better on the Duchess, though. Rachel did a great job! I especially liked the creative little birthday dessert that was left in my cabin along with a card. I also received an incredible piece of chocolate ganache cake in the dining room for dessert! In addition to the dining room, the River Club and Terrace was a more casual option for meals. Breakfast and lunch were buffets, whereas dinners were table service. We enjoyed a lobster tail there on our first night aboard, when we joined the other Steamboat Society of America members (repeat cruisers with the company) for an invitation-only dinner. The final option for food was in Perks, a little café with a self-serve cappuccino machine, juice dispenser, popcorn maker, and windows to sit and watch the river. Those were all well and good; however, it was the fresh-baked chocolate chunk cookies I was after. Yeah, there were other varieties, too, but it was always extra special when I could nab my favorite! (In the morning, they had pastries, and fresh fruit was always available.) Entertainment included “Riverlorian” talks during the day, as well as the usual bingo, Name That Tune, trivia, etc. What we enjoyed the most, however, were the lounge shows each evening. Max (also the cruise director), his wife, Darcy, and Matt were three talented and personable singers who performed each night backed by a top-notch band. We had a few chats with Scott, the bass player, and it turned out we new several of the same San Diego-based jazz musicians! By far, the best feature of the American Duchess was its crew, from the captain on down. They bent over backwards to make every passengers’ experience a memorable one—especially when we were hit with snow and temperatures that averaged twenty degrees below normal. The day after the blizzard, Captain Joe McKey was out on the River Club Terrace scraping snow off the deck and cleaning things up. (Yes, you read that right; the captain!) In the dining room, Executive Chef Jeff Warner constantly came out to the “front of the house” (in restaurant speak) to help serve or pick up plates. He was very personable and made sure all his passengers were happy. Read the book Waiter Rant, and you will soon learn that is not typical. I know, because I worked in the restaurant/ hospitality business for several years, most notably at the University Club in San Diego for my last seven years. Unless it was to take a bow at an event or receive kudos from a requesting club member, the chef never left his comfortable domain of the kitchen. One thing that brought a smile to my face one late evening in the Lincoln Library was seeing one of the bartenders playing Monopoly with a young passenger who had nobody her age to pal around with on board. At another table, the Riverlorian was playing a card game with some other passengers. Whether that was permitted by the hotel manager or not, I don’t know; but, I sure hope they didn’t get reprimanded. As a matter of fact, I hope they will be encouraged in the future to do more of the same! It is an example of the congenial atmosphere that is evident between the crew and passengers, and it was, in a word, special. I hope they always keep the magic they have created. American Queen Steamboat Company has a winning formula down to every detail. The success they have had and the awards they have won are well-deserved. It is my hope they can sustain it and never cut back or cut anything out like what has happened with several of the large cruise ship lines. Ask any of the long-time cruisers with Princess Cruises or Royal Caribbean Cruise Line what I mean, and they will tell you. As a former guest lecturer with both companies, I speak from experience. When you start cutting back, people notice, and you will lose your most loyal customers. More importantly, word gets around. American Queen Steamboat Company, you have a great thing going. May it always stay that way!" Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
My wife and I have done 29 cruises, mostly ocean but several European river cruises. My wife likes new ships so we decided to do the American Duchess. Overall, the ship is fine but we seemed to notice that dinning room service was ... Read More
My wife and I have done 29 cruises, mostly ocean but several European river cruises. My wife likes new ships so we decided to do the American Duchess. Overall, the ship is fine but we seemed to notice that dinning room service was lacking. We couldn’t quite determine the problem. Not sure if the dinning room was poorly designed in that the tables were too far from the kitchen or maybe they were under staffed or even poorly trained. It didn’t matter which meal it was all the same. For breakfast it took for ever to get that first cup of coffee and a refill later was sparse. We had to ask for juice always. The waiters seemed to be very busy despite the dinning room being less that half full. In fact some of them walked very fast back and forth from some where but nothing seemed to get done. The waiters were very kind and friendly and apologized often for late food, etc. I have one suggestion, and that would be to hire a helper or two for the waiter staff just to fill coffee, water glasses, rolls, juice, and bus some dirty tables. Some tables were left cluttered the whole time we were in there. The buffets were not any better, sometimes there were no plates or bowls or they were out of soup or salad item,etc. Overall dinning seemed to be very disorganized and at best I would have to rate it 2star. Other guests we talked to concurred. At times my wife and I would bet each other on whether we would get that dinner roll or that second cup of coffee,etc.. Overall, the ship is in good shape, the cabins are large for a river boat, and the staff is very friendly. It is just the dinning experience is not any thing close to 5star. These cruises are expensive, and when paying over $1000 per day per cabin plus tips you should expect good dinning service. In short, we did not find this good value for the money. I think we will stick to European rivers and the Ocean. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
. We particularly enjoyed the entertainment and felt that the actors and musicians were superior to nearly all the acts we have experienced on many cruise ships. The service, from the all American Staff, was mostly very good and the ... Read More
. We particularly enjoyed the entertainment and felt that the actors and musicians were superior to nearly all the acts we have experienced on many cruise ships. The service, from the all American Staff, was mostly very good and the food was plentiful and good, without being outstanding with the exception of the cookies to die for. The front porch cafe was often busy at peak times but we were always able to find somewhere to sit and there were plenty of places where you could sit and watch the Mississippi go by. The hop on hop off bus run by the ship in every port of call was well organised and very good: it gave us flexibility and an idea of the places worth a visit. In short we had a most enjoyable trip: any issues, and there were a few, were dealt with quickly and effectively with the minimum of fuss. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was my 4th trip on the American Queen this year. Quite frankly, I found the music to be addictive! The whole experience is quite nice, but the music is the biggest draw for me. All the musicians are top notch. I especially enjoy ... Read More
This was my 4th trip on the American Queen this year. Quite frankly, I found the music to be addictive! The whole experience is quite nice, but the music is the biggest draw for me. All the musicians are top notch. I especially enjoy Greg Lupton, who plays piano in the Captain's Bar twice a night. He is so engaging, with his sing-a-longs and warm humor. He's also a very, very talented musician. He makes everyone feel welcome and happy. Also terrific are the twice-nightly staged shows, the blues jam, the afternoon dixieland jazz show, and the late night dance music. The boat itself is really classy without being snooty. You will feel comfortable in casual clothes. The food is quite good, and quite varied. The staterooms are mostly very nice (though there are a few issues with water and room temperatues that need to be sorted out; I expect that those will have been remedied when the boat comes out of dry dock next season). The stops are very interesting, and some good options for side trips are provided. I especially recommend the BB King Museum! The ship is large enough that no one will feel claustrophobic, but not so large that it feels impersonal. The crowd tends to be seasoned and relaxed. We may all enjoy some wine with their dinner, and the occasional cocktail, but this is not a ship of drunken fools. The riverlorian lectures are quite interesting, and other onboard activities are available as well. The staff are friendly and helpful. Overall, I would highly recommend this boat, assuming they can take care of those few repair glitches. And, as fun as the Memphis to New Orleans route is, I actually prefer the run up to Red Wing (a charming port of call). Whichever route you take, you're bound to have a good time. Don't forget to catch Greg's act! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Best trip of our lives! The quality was superb! The staff was of the highest quality as was the food and entertainment. I was shocked by the excellence of everything. From the songs of Michaelyn Obry to Kris who let us off the boat in ... Read More
Best trip of our lives! The quality was superb! The staff was of the highest quality as was the food and entertainment. I was shocked by the excellence of everything. From the songs of Michaelyn Obry to Kris who let us off the boat in such a chipper manner every day, there was no hiccup. Everything was fabulous. American Steamboat has a Hop on Hop off bus meet you at each port to ensure you see the sites. I cannot recommend this company enough! THEY ARE OUTSTANDING! They provided a stay at the Sheraton in Memphis that did not have our rooms ready. To apologize, the steamboat company gave us each $150 shipboard credit. They are a class act. There is nothing more pleasant than lying in an air-conditioned stateroom , watching the shoreline float by. This was our first Steamboat, but now we want to do ALL OFF THEM and use American Steamboat! OUTSTANDING! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is my first cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company. Although it is only my 2nd day I have had many requests and they have all been fufilled. I have some food allergies and requests and they were all taken seriously, although it ... Read More
This is my first cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company. Although it is only my 2nd day I have had many requests and they have all been fufilled. I have some food allergies and requests and they were all taken seriously, although it limited my choices. There is a historian on board (Riverlorian as he is called) and love the talks. They are not always at a time when we can make it. I am relaxed and happy. This is a much better feeling than the other large cruise lines. I wish I still drank wine because that was really flowing last night.. all included. The entertainment is much better than I imagined. The post cries stay hotel in New Orleans is awesome. am looking to take the Colombia River Cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Taking the Civil War paddle-wheel cruise down the Mississippi has been my US Army Ret. history-buff husband's dream (and mine) for many years- his father actually did a "Huck Finn" thing as a young man, shoveling coal on a ... Read More
Taking the Civil War paddle-wheel cruise down the Mississippi has been my US Army Ret. history-buff husband's dream (and mine) for many years- his father actually did a "Huck Finn" thing as a young man, shoveling coal on a Mississippi steamboat! This was a very expensive but wonderful cruise, and I highly recommend it for people interested in American history and literature, and for those who really want to see the USA from a totally different perspective than you will see it by driving or flying. We had been to several of the ports on this cruise, but arriving by paddle-wheel steamboat makes for a Totally unique way to see and enjoy them. The American Queen herself is extraordinary- she was built around a real 1926 steam engine, and the charming crew is (justly) proud of her, and will give you an in-depth tour of her! The bright red paddle-wheel is fabulous in and of itself- I still have Tina Turner singing "Proud Mary" going through my head!- and yes, one of the ship's entertainers DID sing it on this cruise! We especially loved the bar that's right by the paddle-wheel, where they had live (and excellent) music every evening, and we LOVED the real steam calliope, which the pianist played as we left port in the late afternoon! The entertainment was excellent- both the nightly musicals and the "period" Civil War entertainment, which included live music, and talks by both an historian, and AQ's "Riverlorian", and my husband and I danced more on this cruise than on any other cruise we've taken! The ship is beautifully appointed in period style, with original Tiffany glass, books, antiques, and reproductions, and the public rooms are truly gorgeous. The towns we visited as we cruised slowly down the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans were very interesting and fun to visit, and we got to see some fabulous things, including original Tiffany Glass church windows, a number of interesting museums, and historic sites. We took a variety of AQ's excursions, to Vicksburg, the Frogmore Cotton Plantation, the Louisiana "Swamp Tour", etc., and used AQ's free "hop on-hop off" bus, as well, and were pleased with both. Natchez was especially fun, with many things to see and do, including the Charboneau Distillery, and historic Kings Tavern next door where we had a delicious lunch (and bought their rum, of course!), and the fun & historic "Natchez Under-The-Hill Saloon", which was right where the boat was docked! The service aboard the ship was excellent (as it needs to be with an older clientele), our stateroom was very tiny but also very lovely (we booked a cabin on the "public" balcony), wine with dinner was complimentary, unlimited, and Very nice, and the food was excellent- even better than the very good food we've enjoyed on Celebrity cruises. Searching high and low I managed to find one (wonderful) travel agent who was able to get us several hundred dollars in on board credit- as AQ gives nothing, I Definitely suggest you look for a travel agent when you are ready to book an AQ cruise! It is an "older person's" sort of cruise- while there is a lovely little pool, there are no water slides or games or things for active children to do, and the average age was over 60. I am 57 and my husband is 69, and there were WWII Veterans on our cruise who were over 90, which was very cool! I will say that the cruise was made up of a VERY active & intrepid group of seniors- we all tromped through the rain and mud around the Frogmore Plantation, and through pouring rain Baton Rouge, as well! As we are in the hospitality business- we have an inn in West Virginia, and I have a travel/food blog- I blogged about the cruise- and the Civil War history/"foodie" road trip we did through Tennessee to get to Memphis for the cruise, and then New Orleans at the end of the cruise- extensively on my "We Live In The Country!" blog with lots of photos and links to all the many things we did and enjoyed. Read Less
Sail Date March 2016

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click