21 Memphis Senior Cruise Reviews

Over the recent Christmas holiday, we had the privilege of cruising on the Grand American Queen Steamboat. We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed the experience. The staff and crew went out of their way to provide an absolutely ... Read More
Over the recent Christmas holiday, we had the privilege of cruising on the Grand American Queen Steamboat. We cannot say enough about how much we enjoyed the experience. The staff and crew went out of their way to provide an absolutely wonderful experience. There was some minor improvements necessary in some areas, but what holiday would be complete if everything was perfect. Ship – They call them boats on the river. We decided on an authentic paddlewheel boat as compared to some other more “modern looking” riverboats that seem to be copying the design of some European riverboats that we have sailed upon. The boat was of grand stature. The woodwork and the antiques aboard make it a floating museum. All was in good maintenance and the rooms were of good size. Some of the furniture has that Victorian era feel to it. We liked it, although the carpets in the rooms could have been a bit brighter. The wrap around veranda was so much more enjoyable than the individual private balconies we have experienced on ocean liners. We are a bit social and enjoyed finding out where people came from and their backstories. Food - The food was well done. Probably on the level of ocean liners. Service was not robotic like we get on big cruise ships, but rather very social and kind by an All-American crew. It was nice to support their jobs. They seemed to appreciate our conversation with them. The only problem is that the early seating is too early and the later seating is too late. I can’t believe they could not tighten up their service times. Entertainment - Comparable or better than most other ships. It blows the European River cruise entertainment out of the water. It was very energetic with excellent live musicians and wonderful singers. They even performed at a Christmas Gala at Nottoway Plantation off the boat one night. It was real treat. More on that later. Shore Excursions – By far this was the best part of the cruise. We took the cruise because of the area of the river and because they were offering Christmas markets. The Hop On – Hop Off Included Tour is the best system we have seen in our over 40 cruises. The organization that runs these buses and guides need to be acknowledged. They included admissions to just about EVERY attraction in the towns. The buses, (they call them River Coaches) came to each stop every 15 minutes (30 minutes in the afternoon when most guests were enjoying the other tours or taking a nap) and delivered us safely and with great narration by local guides. We were highly impressed. They also offered optional tours (Premium Excursions) that were spot on with descriptions and provided very unique experiences that we could not have booked on our own. We even went inside of a maximum security prison and had a one on one talk with an inmate serving a life sentence. VERY powerful. Christmas Markets - The cruise line provided local craftspeople at “Plantation Markets”. We had been on a European Christmas markets cruise previously and had an idea of what we might expect. We were wrong. These markets were much more personal, with locally sourced American products, and provided a great experience. It was an Americanized version of a European tradition. It was extremely well done and we met the young lady who arranged it for the cruise line. She was lovely and was working very hard and hands on to make certain we were all pleased with the shopping. Overall, we would highly recommend this cruise lines. We heard some confusion over the names of the companies providing cruises on the Mississippi. Both have American in their name, but this “Queen” lived up to her royal stature. We plan on now heading to the Upper Mississippi next with a cruise from Red Wing to St. Louis. We might try one of their other boats. Seems they are newer and have some other amenities. They do offer the Ohio and Tennessee river cruises, but they really don’t excite us. We want to see some fall foliage from the river side next! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
I was very excited to take a trip with the American Duchess as I have been on other river cruises in the past, but mostly in Europe or other parts of the world. I knew this cruise would be different being in America, but I pleasantly ... Read More
I was very excited to take a trip with the American Duchess as I have been on other river cruises in the past, but mostly in Europe or other parts of the world. I knew this cruise would be different being in America, but I pleasantly surprised with all there was to see and do in this part of the country. We started in Memphis and ended up in Nashville, TN. On board my guest cabin was very typical of a standard hotel room, clean and nice. All of the common spaces were comfortable, although times I felt like I was the only one on the boat, even as the boat was full. The entertainment at night was great and they did their best to incorporate the Christmas theme. They were a great group of kids. What surprised me most was the amount of tours that were actually included with the cruise. I'm so used to being nickel and dimed to see every tourist destination around the world, that this was a lovely chance of pace. I actually wanted to get off and explore every day. They have what's called a 'hop on and off' tour, which sounded confusing but I got the hang of the first day. You 'hop' on a large bus (which were all very nice) and have a tour guide tell you about each town you're in. You can 'hop' off at museums, shopping areas, art galleries, etc...where they all had included admission with your cruise ticket. I got to see a lot this way, more than I would have otherwise. The buses are clearly decorated with the cruise line's name and logo so you always know what bus to get on too, which was comforting. Now you can buy what they call "Premium Excursions." At first I thought I didn't need any of them because of the hop on tour, but let me tell you for a relatively small price I had one of the highlights of my trip with the 'Chitlin' Trail' excursion in Paducah, KY. This was something special. They take a small group into a hotel which was once a safe haven for African American musicians and you feel like you're back in 1950. The guides were in character and sang so well I really thought it was really was Billie Holiday. That was really worth it and I highly recommend it. We had a few days in Nashville which I was excited to see. The Grand Ole Opry Show was an included tour on this trip and wow, it was a bucket list item for me. I'm not even a country music fan but that was a good show. I enjoyed learning about Elvis and Dolly Parton too while on the city tour there. And the tour specialist on board helped me find some great BBQ downtown to try out. When it was time to leave they took me directly to the airport. They really were organized and getting off the boat was as smooth as the whole trip (I guess I didn't need my sea sickness patches after all) I'm planning to bring a friend with me next time to try a different segment of the river. She didn't think there was much to see in the middle of America, but after telling her about my trip she can't wait to go with me. She doesn't like to travel overseas either so this will be a good trip for her. I'll be back American Duchess! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This cruise was chosen by a neighbor in my community, Sun City Palm Desert California, who organizes group trips. I was fortunate to be invited to join the group, and because I was cruising without my husband (who stayed at home with our ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by a neighbor in my community, Sun City Palm Desert California, who organizes group trips. I was fortunate to be invited to join the group, and because I was cruising without my husband (who stayed at home with our dog), I was paired with a roommate who is also a neighbor in our community. There were 34 people in our group. The cruise we were on is the Lower Mississippi departing from Memphis and terminating in New Orleans with stops in Helena, Arkansas; Vicksburg, and Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, and Nottoway Plantation, Louisiana. However, because the Mississippi is flooding at this time, our itinerary was altered extensively. There were no complaints about this that I heard, and myself and everyone I talked to enjoyed every day. We spent the first night in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel; this overnight is part of the cruise package. The hotel is old, charming, and delightful especially if you are able to see the ducks paraded through the lobby and into the fountain. They stay all day and then are paraded back to their quarters on the roof of the hotel in the evening. The next morning, we were bused to Graceland for the Elvis Experience. This is an additional “Premium Tour” offered by the American Queen Steamboat Company. I highly recommend doing this tour; it is a must for anyone who ever enjoyed an Elvis song. Due to the flooding, our boat could not dock and depart from Memphis, so we were bused to Greenville, Mississippi, for our departure. This was about a two-hour bus ride. That evening, we boarded our boat, American Duchesse, and enjoyed dinner in the main dining room. The menu there is extensive, dining is leisurely and the food is delicious. Alternatives to the main dining room are a buffet for breakfast and lunch serviced in a bar called the River Club at the rear of the boat, and snacks and beverages available 24/7 in a little room called Perks at the front of the boat. Room service is also offered, but I didn’t have a need for it. The buffet meals in the River Club are outstanding and are perfect when you want a quick meal. Also, you can eat outside on the rear deck if you eat at the River Club. Fruit, soft serve ice cream, popcorn, sandwiches, cookies, pastries and all kinds of beverages are offered in Perks. You literally cannot go hungry on this boat, and the food is wonderful. Actually, we spent two nights in Greenville, then Vicksburg, Mississippi; Vidalia, Baton Rouge, New Roads, Louisiana; and the last day of our cruise was spent cruising the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Buses meet the boat at every stop offering what is called Hop On Hop Off tours of that particular area’s highlights. This service is included in the cost of the cruise. There are Premium Tours offered at every stop that seemed to range between $79-$129. These are exceptional tours and well worth the additional cost. Some are half-day and some are full-day. My roommate and I had a veranda room which I took full advantage of. Nothing beats sitting on the veranda and watching the world go by. There are areas for doing this all over the boat in the front, in the back and on the very top of the boat called the sun roof. Highlights of this cruise for me were the meals, the historian who offered talks everyday about the Mississippi, the Mark Twain impersonator who performed twice, the visit to Graceland, the visit to BB King’s Museum and Bar, many beautiful sights offered by the Hop On Hop Off buses tours, and especially the Premium Tour to Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary. This last item may sound strange, but be assured it is an uplifting and eye-opening experience. Most of all, though, I enjoyed just being on the boat. The cruise staff are friendly, helpful, outgoing and accommodating. That includes the Captain, officers, pursers, performers, tour guides, bus drivers, dining staff and cleaning staff. We all got to be family for the brief week that we were together. You could do this cruise all by yourself and not be alone, or you can have all the privacy you want. The bottom line, I guess, is would I do this or any cruise on the American Queen Steamboat again; you bet I would. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Although we are listing a bunch of issues that we encountered, we had a great time on our Memphis to New Orleans cruise. The cabin, dining, staff, hop on-off and premium excursions met and/or exceeded our expectations. The Peabody and ... Read More
Although we are listing a bunch of issues that we encountered, we had a great time on our Memphis to New Orleans cruise. The cabin, dining, staff, hop on-off and premium excursions met and/or exceeded our expectations. The Peabody and Intercontinental hotel selections were excellent choices. But, as a passenger with mobility issues, the following items are presented and if remedied would make the Duchess an ideal selection for those with physical impairments. American Duchess embark process was cumbersome - lengthy lines and 2 different stations to get through. We were on the 3rd deck and got a notice in the a.m. that balconies would be washed between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. - open balcony curtain at 8 a.m. and the crew was already washing our balcony. In the afternoon we went to stern, 2nd deck, to find that the dirt from the 3rd deck was washed onto 2nd deck rockers and chairs making them unusable. The rockers were never cleaned. The bow stacks, which are for decoration only, were up and down as required for clearance. The stern stacks were stuck in a down position which, when engines engaged, blew carbon flakes on our balcony (and us, when we were sitting there). Most of the guests were senior citizens like us and a few, including me, had mobility issues. The bow elevator was closed for maintenance during the entire cruise leaving guests to walk to middle of the boat to access the only working elevators. The rug on the sun deck had significant bumpy areas which present a dangerous trip hazard even during the daylight hours. The cabin maintenance staff left their vacuum cords unsecured when vacuums were in the hallway aisles. It was a pretty common experience where we had to step over these cords. When we were still in port in Memphis the Duchess was experiencing power issues - lights flickering, etc. A beaker finally blew when we ported in Natchez, requiring us to stay in port there for an extra day, missing out on our Baton Rouge stop. While the captain and cruise crew made the extra day as comfortable as possible we did miss on of our most-looked-for destinations and our all day Cajun experience. The open bar and adding a Natchez excursion helped but we were very disappointed in missing Baton Rouge. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We both wanted to see a part of the United States that we hadn't seen before and a steamboat tour seemed the best idea. Although we knew that the weather would be hot and humid, it wasn't that terrible and most of the places were ... Read More
We both wanted to see a part of the United States that we hadn't seen before and a steamboat tour seemed the best idea. Although we knew that the weather would be hot and humid, it wasn't that terrible and most of the places were air conditioned. We spent an additional night in Memphis at the start of the cruise. Embarkation was smooth because of early check in the day before. We went on this cruise with long time friends who also thought this was one of the best cruises they had been on too. While the cabins are small, there is so much to do that you don't spend much time in your cabin. I can't say enough about the entertainment, especially the Ensemble. We went to see them each time and loved the way their voices blended together and they were in sync with their choreography. They seemed to really enjoy each other and what they were doing. Especially enjoyed watching Hannah interact with passengers. Liz in the dining room made the meals for us. She was so personable and remembered everything we told her about ourselves. We enjoyed all of our meals on the boat. While some of the ports seemed depressed, the sites that we saw on our hop on hop off buses were great. We went on the post cruise too in New Orleans and found it was well worth the money. We especially liked the World War II museum. I had not initially been planning on going there but was so glad I did. I think everyone should see this museum. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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
One might assume that paying for the most expensive class cabin AAM Private Balcony (except for the “owners cabins”) would get you at least the largest cabins. . Not so on the boat America. Room 513 is noticeably smaller. Cabin ... Read More
One might assume that paying for the most expensive class cabin AAM Private Balcony (except for the “owners cabins”) would get you at least the largest cabins. . Not so on the boat America. Room 513 is noticeably smaller. Cabin selection from their on line deck plans..they are as it may be said “not to scale” We moved some furniture for me to get into the bathroom when my wife was sitting at the desk. There are canvas dividers that can make your deck private. If you wish a private balcony they will quickly install a divider. Fully controllable a/c unit in your room. The boast has five levels with two elevators. I thought I wanted to be on the left side going downriver to avoid the afternoon sun. Nope, they parked every which way so either side of the boat is fine. All boat staff extremely friendly and want to give you a good cruise. Our Memphis to New Orleans (175 passengers) no children, maybe a couple or two in their 50's but I would have to guess the average passenger age over 65 (I'm 79). Many infirm and slow moving people cheerfully accommodated. Cocktails and hors d'ouvre nightly at 5:30 in two different lounges with a 6:30 open seating dinner in the dining room which can hold everyone at one sitting. We received information that you could reserve a table but it had to be done before leaving on the cruise. Many tables for 6 and maybe 5 tables for 4. There will be a bottle of red and a bottle of white on your table easily exchanged for a different variety if you prefer. Nightly entertainment at 8:15 with root-beer floats, ice-cream Sundays and popcorn. The bar remains open after dinner. If you don't see a bottle of your favorite, ask, they may have it in the closet. Expensive but really well done...if you don't spend it the kids will. Read Less
Sail Date April 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
My Wif on the wanted to do a River Boat cruise. We did one in 1986 on the Mississippi Queen. She was the sister boat to the American Queen and Delta Queen. We had a great time but the average age was at least 70 plus. But we still had a ... Read More
My Wif on the wanted to do a River Boat cruise. We did one in 1986 on the Mississippi Queen. She was the sister boat to the American Queen and Delta Queen. We had a great time but the average age was at least 70 plus. But we still had a great time. We are now retired so we fit right in with all the senior citizen. The cruise started in Memphis and you could start your day with a tour of Graceland and other Memphis Stops. We were dropped off at 3 to board. We went to our cabin which was a suite on the 5th deck and our Luggage was on our bed. We unpacked and headed down for our departure party. The next morning we approached Greenville Tenn. It was very foggy and rainy, the captain navigated the narrow channel and got us landed, However the fog and drizzle was getting worse. he announced we were leaving early and had cancelled the days tour, Most all stayed aboard to meet new friends and explore the boat, Meals are served in either the main dining room with 2 seatings. The other restaurant was the Front Porch up front on Deck 3. The Main dining room is deck one as well as the theatre. The Pursers desk, gift shop, the Mark Twain lounge, the Men's parlour and the Ladies parlour are on deck 2. Cabins are on decks 2 - 5., We also s Very highly topped in Natches and Vicksburg. a tour of the battle ground was offered. We also stopped at a plantation called Nottoway.very heavily decorated for Christmas. We saw a dance demo then had dancing for the passengers, As we left to go back to the boat, they lit a bonfire on the levy. We were a day early. we saw more bonfires on the levees Christmas Eve. We spent the night and left the next afternoon, We arrived in New Orleans on Christmas Day about 1, They had a great Christmas Day buffet. They had a church Service Sunday morning and Christmas morning, There was lots to do, Talks about the river, tours of the pilot house and engine room. You were right down with the engines. The engineer on duty would come over and answer questions and you could watch the engines turn the paddle wheel. The entertainment was very good with lots of music provided, The crew was very friendly and all would speak as they passed, the entertainers did likewise and mingled with the passengers. At the end of the cruise we had a tour of New Orleans and saw everything from Bourbon and Royal and Canal Street. Also saw the Trolleys that we had passes to ride. We spent two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel. Very up scale we got vouchers for one of the Brennan's Restaurants and breakfast vouchers, Some guests stayed at the main Hilton. The cruise is slow paced. we traveled at about 15 mph as we were going down stream. There were a few passengers younger than 40 but not many. Most are 70 plus. They had golf carts to take people up the levee to the tour buses that follow the boat, If you haven't tried a river boat cruise, try the American Queen. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we ... Read More
Several members of my mom's family took a cruise on the American Duchess, from Memphis to New Orleans, Oct. 16-23. There was a pre-cruise hotel included in Memphis, the Peabody Hotel on the 15th. First, about the Hotel, we had 2 rooms on different floors. Both had not been vacuumed, there was debris on both of the room floors from previous occupant(s). The food was good, but the prices were high. On the American Duchess, both cabins had not been dusted or vacuumed from probably the first sailing of the vessel a few weeks before our sailing. On other cruise lines, the rooms would be vacuumed, dusted, towels changed, and beds made every day. On this boat, you had to put out a placard on the front of your door to even have the room steward change your towels. Both rooms were never dusted or vacuumed our whole trip. On the matter of being wheelchair friendly, which the cruise line publicized about this boat, you had to have a strong helper to help lift the front of the wheelchair to get out/into the cabin, from the hallway to another area, from the inside to the outside deck. There was a raised barrier to get to each area, include the dining room, Perks, the 24hr. snack room, and even the gift shop. On five other different cruise lines, I could propel myself throughout the ships with no help from anyone. Most of the Premium optional tours were not made for people with wheelchairs. I had booked a Premium tour in each port, and wasn't told until we were already on the boat, that I couldn't go on those tours. The hop on hop off bus tours, included in the price of the tour, were wheelchair friendly and they had a golf cart that was utilized to get you from the boat to the bus, which was very nice. All of the food on the boat was very good except the breakfast buffet, which had cold food, including items which should have been warm or hot. The entertainment, which were the same group of musicians and singers/dancers the entirety of our journey, were very good(four musicians, and three singers/dancers). Also, for a cruise on the Duchess that was to be for the more affluent, it didn't past muster. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
It was a great opportunity to experience the Mighty Mississippi and tour antebellum plantations and Civil War history. The America is a very comfortable boat (on the river, it's a boat!). The staterooms are generous and the balconies ... Read More
It was a great opportunity to experience the Mighty Mississippi and tour antebellum plantations and Civil War history. The America is a very comfortable boat (on the river, it's a boat!). The staterooms are generous and the balconies are perfect for taking in all the river scenery. The stewards keep the rooms immaculate. The food was excellent and the drinks were free. While there were a few extra-cost excursions, there was at least one complementary tour at every stop. My favorites were: Graceland, Vicksburg battlefield, the WWII Navy destroyer USS Kidd and the Oak Alley plantation. American Cruise Lines service from booking to departure was excellent and everything happened very smoothly with no problems. While I wouldn't recommend this for small children, teenagers and up would benefit from the historical experience. This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines (went on "Historic South" through the Inland Waterway) and we are looking forward to several of their other itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Booked while on another American Cruise. The history of the river (excellent Riverlorian on board) and it's importance in the civil war and commerce and western expansion was so interesting. Most shore excursions were free. The food ... Read More
Booked while on another American Cruise. The history of the river (excellent Riverlorian on board) and it's importance in the civil war and commerce and western expansion was so interesting. Most shore excursions were free. The food was excellent and the small capacity of the ship (150 passengers) is what we love. We booked another cruise for July on the Columbia and Snake rivers. The staff is all americans and young. Very professional and friendly. Fair includes a pre-cruise hotel stay and transport to the airport at the completion of the cruise. On both American cruises we have sailed the clientel is older than the average of cruises we have been on. I would say many of the passengers are older than 75 years of age. There are a number of canes and a few walkers but everybody seemed to be able to get on and off the boat and the busses without much difficulty. All wine and beer at meal times are included in the price as is the one hour cocktail hour before dinner. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
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
The brochure promised a week on the upper Mississippi in some comfort on a genuine stern-wheel riverboat with evening entertainment from the 50s-60s big band era. It didn't disappoint. Food and service were excellent and our top deck ... Read More
The brochure promised a week on the upper Mississippi in some comfort on a genuine stern-wheel riverboat with evening entertainment from the 50s-60s big band era. It didn't disappoint. Food and service were excellent and our top deck cabin spacious and comfortable. The evening entertainment was of a surprisingly high standard - a group of four talented singers and dancers who featured in shows of a West End/Broadway standard. The promised big band was an eleven piece live band of musicians playing Glen Miller / Duke Ellington style arrangements for dancing or just listening to. They were first class. We cruised from Memphis to St Louis: the river is wide and there is not a lot to see on the banks, but for us the experience of being there was enough. The hop-on hop-off bus service at the riverside towns was efficient and for those with a genuine interest in American history a great help in getting to museums and places of local interest. This a not a trip for those who want to spend time shopping as most of the shopping in the US is now done at 'out of town shopping centres' and the Main Streets are quiet, populated by hairdressers, cafes, second-hand shops etc. We were two Brits doing a trip designed for a mainly American clientel. We didn't enjoy the day trip to Graceland (from Memphis) which we thought had become a tourist theme park - too crowded, expensive and a bit tacky, We complained about having to put hot buffet breakfast food on cold plates - but this seems common in the US and was a small issue. It was a great week and a unique experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We decided to take this cruise up the Mississppi River over the 4th of July; one, to celebrate the holiday, and two to see a bit of our country. The passengers were a bit older crowd and the overall dress was a little less causal when ... Read More
We decided to take this cruise up the Mississppi River over the 4th of July; one, to celebrate the holiday, and two to see a bit of our country. The passengers were a bit older crowd and the overall dress was a little less causal when compared to most of the ocean-going cruise-lines I've been on. They have a cruise up the Columbia River that would be very nice...not so hot and humid...and beautiful scenery. The scenery on the river from Memphis to St Louis was pretty unremarkable with a fair amount of commerce on the shores and barges on the river. Overall it had the type of elegance you might think of when you think of people traveling that way 100 years ago. Food: the food in the main dining room was excellent at dinner and lunch, not all that great for breakfast. Breakfast was the usual type of buffet or you could order off that day's menu. Unfortunately the food from the menu was either overlooked and/or cold. We never tried the room service...the room was far too small. The front porch offered a buffet breakfast and lunch. We never went there for dinner. It was totally self-serve in the Front Porch but it was very pleasant setting out on the covered open seating at the front of the boat. There was also a very friendly bar on deck five aft that had hot dogs everyday. Entertainment: they had lecturers during the day that were very knowledgable about the river and steamboats. There were also lectures about the civil war and the small towns we visited along the Mississippi River. There were lounge shows in several venues throughout the boat and a nightclub but we didn't visit any of them. The evening shows were at 6:15 for those dining at 8:00 and another show at 8:00 for those dining at 5:15. The 8:00pm time working out very well. We would go the show then spend a good amount of time chitchatting over coffee and desert before strolling along the decks and then bed. The shows were absolutely top notch with really good entertainers. I was pleasantly surprised! Staff: without exception, all of the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. If you so much as hinted that you might want or need something they went well out of their way to see it happen. We kept thinking that this was the definition of southern hospitality. Itinerary: the best part of the itinerary was watching the river flow by...very relaxing. The Steamboat company had they're own hop-on, hop-off buses in each small town and the buses and entrance fees to museums and such were all free. The ports were very rustic and small town America so not much to see at each stop. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
On a tour group..was staff tour director for cruise. This cruise was billed, like all American Queens...as a 5 star tour.....food, accommodations, activities. I'm giving it a 3 at best and that's pushing it. Nice enough people ... Read More
On a tour group..was staff tour director for cruise. This cruise was billed, like all American Queens...as a 5 star tour.....food, accommodations, activities. I'm giving it a 3 at best and that's pushing it. Nice enough people on board but lacking in some major areas: abysmal disembarking for guests...Many of whom need special assistance. Just incredulous at how poor a job was done . ..even witnessed as staff watched other clients helped each other on and off ship. Terrible. Food....average at best. Nothing special I could see. Quail, duck, pork lion, ziti ( if you can even believe that!)........typical breakfast fare. Wait staff tries hard... Accommodations...hmmm, depends on what you choose. Single canon tiny...no place to sit down. Activities- marginal. A four game bingo? Mark twain character was washed up and unbelievable. A Mr. Bojangles dance and sing set? really? Shore excursions....simple, uninspired and lacking in depth. For what one pays for this company's tours...hmm, I think I'd suggest waiting to see if the new Viking ship staff can do a better job. The American Queen needs competition and Viking is just the company to step up to the plate. Suggestion: learn to take care of the little things! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They ... Read More
If you want to be around other people and develop new friendships this is the cruise line for you. We also loved the fantastic service given from the crew from very friendly crew members that are recruited from colleges across the US. They are the best of the best. The food service is assume with a variety of foods prepared by very talented chefs. Things that I usually eat such as fish dishes I loved on this cruise. Our stateroom was large and comfortable and kept very clean by the staff. If you enjoy being pampered this is an excellent venue for experiencing that treatment. We also enjoyed the on shore excursions we participated in. The ones we went on were free and very interesting. The buses were clean and nice and the interpreters were knowledgeable and open to questions from those of us in the audience. We enjoyed the homes and battlefields they took us to. We also enjoyed the local talent that entertained us each night. They gave us wonderful shows and were very talented performers. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We were the 3rd group to be on America. She is a beautiful ship and the decor reminds me of an upscale country home. From the moment we walked down the gang plank to go on board and recognized Kevin our cruise director from last ... Read More
We were the 3rd group to be on America. She is a beautiful ship and the decor reminds me of an upscale country home. From the moment we walked down the gang plank to go on board and recognized Kevin our cruise director from last summer's cruise on ACL's ship, Spirit for Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, we felt welcomed and valued. Cruising on ACL is just so civilized compared to the big ships and certain companies that bombard passengers with photographers coming on and off the ship, art auctions and junk to purchase in the Piazza. We were able to eat dinner with out these photographers interrupting us. Once on board everything is all inclusive and there was no tipping. Most excursions were included . There is a constant stream of delicious food, warm cookies at 10:30 am, H'ordueves at Happy Hour and the sinful root beer floats and sundaes offered during the evening entertainment. Snacks are left out with soft drinks and coffee & tea on decks 2 and 4. There are upscale coffee makers in the cabins. . Having just cruised on Princess in February & March, I appreciated the fresh blackberries and strawberries that weren't offered on Princess. We have become real fans of small ship cruising and have just cancelled a cruise, 10-16 on a large ship of 3100 passengers. I left behind a pair of prescription sun glasses and they were mailed to me at no cost which I appreciated. The only concern was the acoustics in the dining room need improvement to reduce the sound as its difficult to hear cruisers across the table. Another area that ACL excels in is the way passengers with mobility problems are catered to. There is a golf cart at the end of the gang way to transport passengers when leaving the ship and when going back on board. There are no long wait lines to go on or off ship for excursions. EVERTYHING is just so easy and hassle free as compared to the big ships over 2000 passengers. I do wish that ACL had a reduced booking deposit for passengers wishing to book future cruises and would reduce the $250/person administrative charge to cancel even 6 months prior to sailing and the ACL insurance was less costly. We will definitely go on ACL again, probably the Hudson River . Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Wow, was I impressed with the amazing job they have done on refurbishing the American Queen. What an amazing vessel. I had taken a bunch of people with me and we all enjoyed the food for sure, loved the attitude of the dining room waiters ... Read More
Wow, was I impressed with the amazing job they have done on refurbishing the American Queen. What an amazing vessel. I had taken a bunch of people with me and we all enjoyed the food for sure, loved the attitude of the dining room waiters and staff, we loved the care everyone took to keeping the vessel's wood and paint looking like new. We liked the fact that there was the Front Porch dining if you wanted to eat more casual, but the food was outstanding there as well. The entertainment in the Grand Saloon was better than even many huge ocean liners. They had a great band to listen and dance to. And the song and dance group were quite talented and generally performed themes that a senior group could relate to. Though the Staterooms are not large, they were elegantly decorated. Our stateroom had plenty of space for us to unpack. We also loved the fact that when we went to breakfast in the morning the room stewardess would clean our room before our return. And the boat was full. We really enjoyed our room stewardess. We never heard sounds from adjoining rooms. And the warmth and vitality of the people in the purser's office to the room stewards made you feel like they cared about you enjoying this 7 days of paddle-wheeling. You could just imagine President Andrew Jackson toasting to a great journey south to New Orleans with all the lamp lights lite. We will definitely be back again. 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

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