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98 New Orleans to U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

We choose this cruise #1 because it sailed Christmas week. This was our 8th cruise on American Cruise Lines (ACL). The Harmony was launched in 2019. It had many lounges small and large to use. The ship was decorated beautifully for ... Read More
We choose this cruise #1 because it sailed Christmas week. This was our 8th cruise on American Cruise Lines (ACL). The Harmony was launched in 2019. It had many lounges small and large to use. The ship was decorated beautifully for Christmas. The management team was great, always accommodating and always smiling. Courtney was our cruise director and she was always smiling no matter the time of day . . . and they put in long hours. She had events going all the time . . . decorating gingerbread houses, making holiday cards, ugly sweater contest, White Elephant gift exchange, etc, etc. ACL gave all passengers lovely gifts throughout the week and brought "sweet treats" to our stateroom every day. Many shore excursion choices. Entertainment was excellent! Food choices were abundant and yummy. Happy hour every night with appetizers before dinner. It was a fun-filled way to spend Christmas. 194 passengers maximum. These ships are built in the USA with an all American crew and mature passengers 50 and up. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
This was our second river cruise - the first was a few years ago down the Danube in August. The American Queen is a very special ship,not only because of the beautiful furnishings, collectibles and artwork which is abundant, but because ... Read More
This was our second river cruise - the first was a few years ago down the Danube in August. The American Queen is a very special ship,not only because of the beautiful furnishings, collectibles and artwork which is abundant, but because of the paddlewheel. Its power is ever present, and is mesmerizing. Visits to the engine room are encouraged. We cruised from New Orleans to Memphis. The printed material they distributed were clear and well-presented, from the daily newsletters to the material you receive pre-cruise. There were some discouraging reviews that I read prior to departing, so was ready for anything, but I found most everything about this cruise to be very satisfying and agreeable. Our room was excellent - well located, comfortable and beautifully decorated. The shower had good water pressure and plenty of hot water. The steward made up the room twice daily and left Godiva chocolate on the pillows nightly. The beds were very comfortable. The food - the menus were varied and changed daily - everything labeled with information for cruisers with allergies or other special diets. The food came out hot, if a bit too quickly. I often ate fish, and my husband beef, and no complaints about either. The staff looks a bit disheveled, but everyone was friendly and aimed to please. We sat at a table for 2 (this was not requested) so were a bit disappointed about that. When we asked to change, we were led to a table on the opposite side of the room which was above the engine room. DO NOT sit here (left side rear when walking in). We had one meal here and returned to our original table - it was so noisy that you had to strain to hear anyone speaking. We took breakfast and lunch on the Front Porch, which had excellent food even though it was a buffet. There were not an endless amount of choices, but enough and of good quality. The staff assigned to work there were helpful and kept everything very clean. I found the coffee to be just OK, including the self-serve cappuccino. The soft-serve ice cream deserves special mention - I am not a fan usually, but this was really good, available 24/7, toppings with it, and choice of cone or cup. Daily excursions - The hop on - hop off bus was an excellent way to get around and all pre-paid tours were indicated on the map of the town. There was more to do than we were able, even though we got off the boat early (it was also hovering at 100 degrees every day, so we could not move very fast!). Natchez was my favorite port while cruising. There were 8 hours of port time at each stop, except for St. Francisville. We couldn't stop at Greenville due to heavy traffic coming down river because of dredging. My husband did the optional excursion to Vicksburg battlefield, which he said was excellent. I was happy with the ones included. Entertainment - Without question, the best on any cruise. The shows each night were not to be missed. There were 4 performers which included the Cruise Director and Asst. Cruise Director (Ryan and Ashley), and all were very good to excellent. The back up band was excellent. There was nightly music in the Engine Room bar (rock and roll) and in the lounge pre-dinner for each seating. He had sing-a-longs booklets for all, played with a flourish, as well as being an engaging storyteller. All music on the ship was live. On-board activities - We spent 2 full days cruising instead of one because of the river traffic traveling south. The options are limited, but the staff does have some organized activities that were enjoyable. I like to read and there was a larger pool than anticipated, so was pleasantly surprised and kept cool in there. There was a small gym with 4 pieces of equipment (usually unoccupied) and mats for stretching. I do yoga, so found that to be ideal for me. There were many board games, puzzles, daily crosswords and sudoku, and tables for playing. The chart room was always open and you could borrow books about the river and history of the South. Jerry, the Riverlorian, gave daily talks, and was very knowledgeable and engaging. He also gave daily tours of the Control Room. I learned quite a bit about the river, the history of the Civil War, and the many nuances that we did not learn in school. Service - I was happy overall - service was good, not flawless.I am not a fan of mandating gratuities, and thought $18.50/day was high. Overall - This trip was on my bucket list and well worth doing. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it for "older" clientele, even those with physical limitations. Also, they have you arrive one day prior to embarkation in New Orleans. I would recommend you spend at least an additional day there, as well as an additional day or 2 in Memphis. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
My wife and I did the three week Complete Mississippi cruise with American Cruise Line on August 3, 2019 and we were greatly disappointed. We spent two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans prior to the cruise which were ... Read More
My wife and I did the three week Complete Mississippi cruise with American Cruise Line on August 3, 2019 and we were greatly disappointed. We spent two nights at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans prior to the cruise which were fine. The reception staff was very helpful and friendly, especially Sarah. When we arrived on the boat, the entranceway and corridors smelled of must and mold. We also found mold and general filth in our room (#216). The bathroom had mold all around the counter, vanity, the shower and the floor was dirty and moldy. When we turned on the faucet, the water leaked through the vanity from a hole in the sink. We notified the head of housekeeping about the issues who said he didn’t know anything about the room being like this. How could he not know? Don’t they check the rooms and make sure they are fully cleaned and prepared for passengers before arrival? As his response was unacceptable, we called the hotel manager, Marcus, who took one look at the room, said the condition was inexcusable and moved us to another one (#417) for the duration of the cruise. When speaking with other passengers, many had similar, if not worse, conditions in their rooms and had also been moved to other rooms. We were lucky the boat wasn’t full as it’s hard to imagine what would have been if the boat had been full. The disgusting smell in the hallways on all decks remained throughout the cruise. There were cobwebs in the various lounges, carpets were faded, walls needed painting and the whole boat was dated. For a three year old boat, it was not well maintained at all. They were totally disorganized and unsure of what to do in a given situation. The hotel manager, Marcus, and the assistant manager, Dylan, were professional and hardworking and knew what needed to be done. The servers were, for the most part, good. They were respectful and courteous but some were young and inexperienced. The housekeeping staff assigned to our room was horrible. We had to tell her to vacuum, replace toilet paper, toiletries, towels and even change the sheets. When she finally changed the sheets after ten days, she did not change the pillow cases so we had to tell her that needed to be done as well. She was genuinely surprised when we asked her to do these things. She really didn’t know that they needed to be done. The food was pretty good for the first 12 days but then we got a new captain, the chef and some of the more experienced servers left to prepare for a cruise on a new boat. The food became mediocre and repetitive and more inexperienced servers arrived. Why should the passengers who paid a lot of money for this cruise have to settle for mediocrity because they were launching a new boat in the middle of our cruise? I was on a lounger on the upper deck when I was woken up by paint fumes. They were painting the outside railings on the decks using oil based paint. It was the fumes that were making me nauseous. The fumes from the paint were also coming inside the boat whenever anyone opened an outside door. They didn’t seem to care how it would affect their passengers. I complained to the hotel manager. He assured me that there would be no more painting on the boat while their passengers were on board. Why isn’t that type of maintenance done while the boat isn’t in use? The next day the painting resumed but he said he specifically told them not to paint and then it finally came to an end. The cruise director, Courtney, was incompetent. She didn’t have a clue as to what the duties of her job entailed and did not connect or involve herself with her passengers. While Dylan, Marcus and other managers made the rounds of tables during meals, Courtney was nowhere to be seen. The only time we saw her was right before the entertainment when she read the next day’s itinerary which was left in everyone’s room. She was more excited to inform us how many times she had to change her shirt that day because of the heat. She neglected to provide us with important information such as whether a destination would be closed on that day. This happened much too often and we found out from the tour guides on the way there. While she was not responsible for organizing the itinerary for the cruise, it was her responsibility to make sure she had all of the pertinent information. She could have called and made special arrangements, to work something out, but she didn’t make any attempt to do anything in these situations. Why didn’t American Cruise organize their cruise to coordinate that we would be in the respective ports on days they were open? It’s not like this is the first time they have done this itinerary at this time of year. The gift shop was closed on Sunday when we visited St Jude’s Children’s Hospital which we found out on the way there, a small port that was a ghost town with two small open museums and no people on the streets was a total waste of a day and port, the Trail of Tears tour had exhibits in the visitor’s center of Native American artwork but the guide told us as we were approaching the center that it was closed on Tuesdays (it was Tuesday). There was another excursion that day and we would have done that if we had known this information. The exhibits were the reason we chose this excursion. These were just a few examples. The cruise director actually joined us on that excursion and said she didn’t know it was closed. It was her responsibility to know and she wasn’t doing her job. The shore excursions were okay or wasteful. Most were simply bus tours with photo stops. Getting on the buses was done in a very disorganized manner and wasted a lot of time. The passengers should have known should have been given the bus assignment when the itinerary is given to us each night instead of waiting on a line for someone to tell us which bus as we are going on the excursions. The guides did not know how many people were supposed to be on their buses nor did they know when, or if, someone was missing. They could easily been given this information. They also know that many of their passengers have mobility issues, so how do they not arrange to use buses that have handicap accessibility? We waited almost an hour on one excursion when we were missing one person, only to find out that person changed to the other bus. It seemed the other tour guide informed our guide about this but she forgot about this important fact. At least 15-25%, if not more, of the passengers had some kind of mobility/health issues and seemed satisfied with these inactive excursions. More active passengers were bored and there was no balance in the activities, or anything else for that matter As a result, it took much too long for passengers to get on and off the buses which caused many delays. Even the use of shuttle buses to go into towns was done in a disorganized manner. In Memphis, we walked into town on our own and saw people were still waiting for the shuttle when we came back about an hour later. You couldn’t be sure where or when the shuttles would arrive. The shuttle driver in Natchez was the driver in a few towns with us and was excellent as was the one in Fort Madison. The entertainment was good for the most part but performers were confined to end by 9:30 (very early) and everything closed down for the night. The entire cruise (excursions and on board activities, even the times for entertainment, etc.) were designed for people with issues. I am 69 years old, my wife is 66 and we felt we were too young for this cruise. We agree with a review where the passenger described the cruise as a “floating nursing home”. They pride themselves on their motto “small ship cruising done perfectly”. They better take another look at what they are selling, and how. They are disorganized, activities are poorly planned, the ship is badly maintained and some of the housekeeping staff and our cruise director need to be retrained in the responsibilities of their jobs. They need to step up their game before they can use the words “small ship cruising done perfectly”. Until they do, we will continue to use the cruise companies we have used before that truly know what the slogan means and follow through. Research thoroughly before you decide to cruise with them and check those reviews. As compensation, corporate offered me a 30% discount on a future cruise. I responded by telling them that there is nothing they could do that would entice me to take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We (my wife, myself, my daughter and her spouse) had always wanted to try a US Cruise Ship on the Mississippi River, We started at New Orleans and traveled to Menmphis, the hotel the ship chose was a part of the pre trip was excellent ... Read More
We (my wife, myself, my daughter and her spouse) had always wanted to try a US Cruise Ship on the Mississippi River, We started at New Orleans and traveled to Menmphis, the hotel the ship chose was a part of the pre trip was excellent and we actually booked it via separate reservations a day early, The room on board was nice, however our steward was at best poor, in fact the ship changed him out after the 3rd night of almost no service. The staff, were all USA residents, and the lower staff, were often indifferent to most. They seemed to get better as the trip neared its end. Food, was at best, medium. On the first night I ordered a baked potato, it was cold and would not melt the butter. They brought me a second "15 minutes later", it was colder then the first, they then sent the assistant head waiter over, he went and found a 3rd baked potato, again this took "15 minutes", by then I had finished my meal. It never got better.... The value for $$$ was far below what I expected. The dining room chairs were broken and most had extremely stained seats. Not at all what I expected for a US cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with ... Read More
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with people, but some of the food vendors had some delicious food. We boarded the ship Saturday AM and got underway at 1:00 PM heading towards Memphis, with various stops in between. We had a riverarian and a historian onboard, who gave very interesting talks about the Civil War and the history of the Mississippi. Very interesting talks. Our stateroom was very nice, clean and included a writing desk, a king size bed, 2 end tables, a small closet and an upholstered chair, enough drawer space for some clothing, but we didn’t have to take a lot because the boat had free laundry facilities for the guests. The bathroom was adequate with only a shower, but not enough towel racks or door hooks for clean clothes. We also had a small balcony, which was nice to sit and have a drink or read a book while the boat was on the move. There were plenty of excursions you could sign up for or if you wanted you could explore on your own. Some were complimentary, but most had a fee if you wanted to sign up. There was entertainment every evening after dinner, usually music or a comedy act. The dining room has open seating, so you have the opportunity to meet many people, and these small cruise ships usually have less than 200 passengers. All the servers and deck hands , kitchen staff and cruise directors, etc., are Americans, the boats/ships are all built in the USA, so there is never a problem with communication. Food is usually pretty good, but for some reason the kitchen seemed to be disorganized, therefore food service was very slow. This was our 4th cruise with ACL, and the most disorganized in general. Public areas on the boat were nice and comfortable, whether in the lounges or out on the decks. Happy hour ( 5:30-6:30). is always nice but a bit crowded, sometimes with a line of people waiting for a drink. There were servers with trays of appetizers being passed out and a table with more food and 2 servers to pass out your food of choice. Be careful or you won’t have room for your dinner ( 6:30-8:00). Overall we’ve been really happy with our cruises with ACL and have signed up for our 5th cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining ... Read More
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining Room with a very good selections or in the Grill Room/Terrace buffet. Most of us chose the Main Dining Room for dinner, wine and beer is included with dinner. and the Grill Room for breakfast and lunch. Weather was good enough for enjoying the meals on the open terrace. Cabins are very comfortable and there are suites with separate sitting area, even two story suites with seating below and sleeping area up the stairs. Lectures and tours are included, with experienced and enthusiastic guides. Free Hop on/off busses are at every port. There was good entertainment with a four piece band and three singers performing every night. Music in the Lounge during the cocktail hour and after the show. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I was invited to join friends on this cruise. New Orleans is a great place to visit pre-cruise. Our hotel was within walking distance of many attractions. Cabin was small but compact, clean and orderly. The bathroom was good size and ... Read More
I was invited to join friends on this cruise. New Orleans is a great place to visit pre-cruise. Our hotel was within walking distance of many attractions. Cabin was small but compact, clean and orderly. The bathroom was good size and the walkin shower excellent. Amenities included were shampoo, lotion, shower gel, nice size bar of hand soap. The food was plentiful, many choices, and of excellent quality. For breakfast and lunch you could order from the menu or eat from the buffet. Dinner consisted of appetizer choice, soup and/or salad, choice of entrée and dessert. Wine, beer, soda, coffee, tea included with dinner. The included shore excursions were very interesting. There were enough places to visit in each town using the Hop-On Hop-Off tour buses that you didn't really need to pay for extra premium excursions. I did opt to purchase the Vicksburg, On The Front Lines of the Civil War, excursion. I felt that it was well worth the money. I was not impressed with the evening entertainment, but there were always other choices. The only downside was the fact that the Mississippi was the highest it has ever been. Consequently, we could not dock at several ports. However, we still visited most of the same towns, We could not get under the bridges leading to Memphis, so we had a long bus ride to the Memphis airport. We all made our flights on time. The staff of the cruise boat did a fine job of dealing with the swollen river and the problems it presented. Since I have visited Memphis many times, I did not stay over there. I would recommend doing so if you have not been there. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
After having taken three ocean cruises, the cruise aboard the American Queen was a very nice change. We enjoyed the more personal service that is possible with a maximum capacity of 430 passengers. We appreciated the helpfulness and ... Read More
After having taken three ocean cruises, the cruise aboard the American Queen was a very nice change. We enjoyed the more personal service that is possible with a maximum capacity of 430 passengers. We appreciated the helpfulness and pleasant demeanor of all the staff we encountered. The boat and its furnishings are very nice and seemed to be well maintained. The only equipment problem I noted was that one of the two treadmills in the gym was non-operational. That was not a problem for us as we never encountered anyone else in the gym when we were there. Our cabin #332 included a private veranda. Although we have stayed in larger suites before, we found this one to be quite comfortable and to meet all our needs. Unfortunately, we had a problem with cigarette and apparent pipe smoke being very noticeable from our veranda several times when we wanted to use it. On the second day I reported it to the Purser's office and they sent a security staff member to our cabin. He also smelled smoke but said he could not determine from where it was coming. I was later told by a different staff member that it was probably coming from the staff deck below. Sure enough, when I looked down at that deck from my veranda I saw several cigarette butts on the decking below our cabin. When I later mentioned that to the Purser's office I got the distinct impression that they were aware of the issue from prior experience but just chose not to take corrective action. I consider that to be very inconsiderate that they do not at least advise passengers where this problem might be encountered so they can make a good choice of cabin. We found the food to be of very good quality. We ate half of our dinners at the Front Porch Café because we enjoyed the more casual service style here. The staff there was excellent and quick to address any service requests. We did not take any of the premium excursions and found the hop-on hop-off bus system to be well organized and easy to use. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people ... Read More
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people on-board which gives ample opportunity to meet new people. There were some traveling alone, some in groups as well as couples. The ship was kept immaculate and our room was a nice size. We enjoyed the view from our balcony. We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There was more than enough to eat and drink at all times! There was accommodation for those that needed accommodation to reach the tour buses and tour destinations. We also were very satisfied with the hotel the first night in New Orleans that was part of the cruise package. Loved that the food and entertainment was inclusive of the local area of the cruise. We highly recommend taking this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up ... Read More
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up to the cruise, Teri always returned my calls or e-mails within a few minutes. I have never had a more honest, organized, and sincere agent, that I had with Teri. The Cruise on the American Duchess was very good, as we moved up the river day after day taking the Hop On-Hop Off, American Queen Buses for tours of the cities. The Drivers Karen, Tami, & Mark were so professional, funny, and had a great personality. They were so fun to be with. Angie the Golf Cart driver who drove Handicap people from the docked Duchess, up the ramps when getting off the boat, was very nice. In side the boat, our stateroom was cleaned very nicely everyday by Cleon & Francis. The American Duchess also provided us with outstanding one day complementary laundry service, once a week. Michael the bar tender in the Grand Lobby Bar was so good, as he visited with guests, and mixed great drinks everyday. In the Main Dinning Room Jeremy the Maitre d, and servers Kenneth, Sidney, and Soufian were very nice and professional. Gerald the Butler, who did a little of everything on the boat, was very funny, and worked hard pleasing everyone. At the front desk Purser Shayna Tatz was so nice and worked a lot of hours with a Big smile on her face. Teresa Marcou the Shore Excursion Specalist was such a hard worker, making sure all of the Shore Excursions, and Hop On-Hop Off buses were working on time. The Riverlorian/Stage Manager Mike Chapman was very knowledgeable, interesting, and entertaining, as he gave his daily lectures on the history of the Mississippi River. The Entertainment on the American Duchess was OUTSTANDING ! Lead by the Cruise Director, Lead Singer, and Entertainer Dustin Cunningham, his wife Courtney Cunningham, & Jeff Hudson who were also Asst. Cruise Directors/Entertainers. Their Singing and Stage performing was outstanding. The four man American Duchess Band was so good, and was lead by Band Leader/Drummer David O'Connell, Bass Player Will Wagner, Pianist, Adam Marchand, and Sax/Reed Player Ike Spivak. There were also 9 different entertainers who came on the American Duchess to entertain us. My favorite walk on shows were the comedian and magician " Dante," and the Different Instrument playing and singers Dave Para and Cathy Barton, who were so different and entertaining. One of the major highlights of our 23 day cruise was attending a special educational lecture in the Pilot House by Aaron Sidora the American Duchess Chief Mate. Later that night we also had a private dinner with Aaron for 2 hours. Aaron was so nice, very smart, and answered all of the questions we had during our dinner. That was very special. My wife and I had a great relaxing time on this 23 day cruise, as we learned a lot of History about the Mississippi River and cities around it, and we met some great people. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ... Read More
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ocean cruises and very nicely appointed. Dining is everyone at one time which is nice. It starts at 7:30 am for breakfast, 12:30pm for lunch and 6:30 for dinner. The food is outstanding with "different" and better recipes than the ocean cruise lines. Entertainment is a little lacking but understandable. Service was excellent. The ship is manned by mostly college aged people. They did an outstanding job and I was impressed. I do not believe I would do any part of the Mississippi river again but I think the Snake River would be interesting. The Mississippi lacked scenery for one thing and the river is mostly commercial traffic. The shore excursions provided at no cost by the ship were very interesting. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to meet the other passengers and relax after an interesting day. The included excursions are informative and fun. The entertainment is varied and good. I was especially impressed with number of areas on the ship for relaxation, entertainment, early coffee, playing games or just conversing -- both inside and out. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in the history of the south -- especially the Civil War period. The only thing to take into consideration is the age of the passengers. I am 75 and think I was average or below the age of most of the guests. That may be a factor for some, but people who still want to travel at that age are interesting and vibrant even if they do not move as well as they once did. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. ... Read More
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. He had previously done this cruise, many years ago, so he said all good things about it. It was a lot of fun, cabin was spacious, lots of room, king size bed, with balcony; bathroom was nice, with ADA compliant features. Shower had good water pressure. We were only a short walk to either one of different lounges, plus 1 floor above dining room. All very convenient and never got lost. This ship had 5 decks. Staff was exceptional, and always willing to help, and the Captain invited groups to tour the pilot house, where he explained what happens, while steering up/down the river. He was very informative, and we learned a lot. Dining room was always nice, clean, pretty linens/napkins, and our waiter, Jonathan, was OH SO GREAT!!! and AWESOME!!! and HELPFUL, friendly, and saw to anything that was needed, during the meal. He was also knowledgeable about foods and aimed to please. Entertainment nightly, was the flavor of New Orleans jazz and blues; All entertainers we saw were very professional, and they put on great shows for us, lasting about 1 hour 30 mins. Had good variety of onshore excursions to pick from, mostly plantations and a battlefield, in Vicksburg. Plantations on this trip were Oak Alley, Rosedown Plantation, and Houmas House, with couple of city tours, too. Only "negative" was the Vicksburg bus tour, through the battlefields, tended to be a bit drawn out, (long time to sit on bus), with narrator being a bit long winded. Most of tours were built-in to price of cruise, but had a few extra ones, that had an additional charge. Embarking and disembarking was a cinch -- so easy, with no waiting in lines!!! This is definitely the main reason why small ships are best. No MEGA SHIPS for us!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I took this cruise in February of 2018. I am under 40 and from Australia. Overall, I really enjoyed many aspects of this cruise. However, I feel, for the amount of money spent, AQSC really needs to up its game in some aspects. Booking: ... Read More
I took this cruise in February of 2018. I am under 40 and from Australia. Overall, I really enjoyed many aspects of this cruise. However, I feel, for the amount of money spent, AQSC really needs to up its game in some aspects. Booking: The company does not allow online bookings for international travellers. This is one of the most ridiculous things ever. In the digital age I really don't think they understand how many customers they lose by not having this function. This forces us to go through local agents who charge commissions and don't have access to the cheaper rates the company advertises online for US passengers.WHY?! This really needs to change. Demographics: Most of the people on this cruise were senior citizens from the US,. Personally, I had no problem socialising with the older crowd at dinner and such. Saying that, in some ports I gave up using the free bus and just walked between attractions as the loading/unloading of the bus was slowed down by the elderly. I also noticed the ship was dead of life after dinner/show. Cabin: I had single inside cabin next to the laundry. I found this more than ample for what I needed. I had no noise from the laundry which was one of my biggest concerns. The room was very clean. I thoroughly enjoyed that they played both Gone with the Wind and Showboat during the voyage. My only negative was the shower. I am 180cm (5ft 10) guy and the shower was very small - I was nearly touching the ceiling. Public Rooms: FANTASTIC. So full of character and delight. Surprisingly, I found not many people used the rooms other than just before dinner. Most seemed to retire to their cabins. I think this may be to do with the lack of onboard activities. Onboard Activities: There really wasn't much to do on board. I found the shows pretty bad for the price you pay for the cruise. The river talks always seemed to be at a time that when you couldn't attend. It would be great if they could introduce more onboard activities like art classes, or games etc Dining: YUM! I found the food just as good as many of the sea cruises I have completed. The wait staff were so friendly and amazingly helpful. Dining was always a treat and I am not sure why other reviews have said it was bad. I could not fault the dinner service. Ports: I loved all the ports. We spent appropriate times in all ports except Baton Rouge. The boat arrived on a day where everything was closed and we were there for two days. This was pretty bad planning by the AQSC. The free bus service is great (although refer to my previous comments about walking instead in some ports). Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
This was our 4th river cruise on the American Queen. Each one was a very special treat and we love the experience. However, on this trip, we noticed more superior level of crew friendliness, service and attitude. Our compliments to John ... Read More
This was our 4th river cruise on the American Queen. Each one was a very special treat and we love the experience. However, on this trip, we noticed more superior level of crew friendliness, service and attitude. Our compliments to John Waggoner and his staff for hiring, training and maintaining a fantastic crew. We actually felt like we interacted more with the crew than with fellow passengers. That is a great compliment to your fine cruise experience. Although there are many crew that we really enjoyed, we'd especially like to thank Jessie, cabin steward; waiters Burnel & Nick; maitre'd Joe & Oscar; pilot Lucas who we met several years prior when he was a cadet; watchman Kelso, front porchers Kim & Shanay and finally, the great entertainment staff including riverlorian, Bobby. This is a cruise if you want to relax, if you want to stay extremely busy, if you enjoy American history, if you enjoy a wonderful selection of great food, if you like fantastic entertainment, if you like great personal and friendly service, if you want to stay in and see America and if you want what could be the best cruise experience you could find. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We enjoyed a fabulous on this line's competitor ACL and decided to try this company on same route. We were sorely disappointed from first boarding! Other line allowed our son to aid mobility limited father to get settled in room and ... Read More
We enjoyed a fabulous on this line's competitor ACL and decided to try this company on same route. We were sorely disappointed from first boarding! Other line allowed our son to aid mobility limited father to get settled in room and these folks were abrupt and rude to son, refusing to let him help and said boarding area was for ticked passengers only. Passengers were herded in groups and put into staging areas. One such area was in narrow alley way with busses belching fumes in our faces. Several folks asked if they could preboard as could not stand for thirty minutes and were refused. Crew acted as if passengers were a burden and in their way. Once on board things didn't improve. The Purser was a very nice lady who tried her best with crew and passengers. Gift shop lady snapped at a passenger who was going through a stack of tee shirts and told guest the pile had just been straightened and not to mess them up. Gift shop lady didn't offer to find correct size as she was busy straightening other merchandise. Several of us decided we didn't need anything from gift shop! The dining staff appeared to be trained by Carnival as they were in to mob feeding and not small boat guests. No personality, very perfunctory, assigned tables and waitstaff did not like folks at our table as we liked to sit in different chairs each evening to get to know fellow travellers. Although free wine was listed in literature, waitstaff kept bottles off table and it was difficult to have a second glass of wine. Buffet service was encouraged at breakfast and lunch, although table service was advertised. My husband was having mobility issues and we asked for menues. Our waiter said to look at buffet and choose items. When husband asked waiter for table service, waiter pointed to me and said "she can get it for you"! Needless to say we were unimpressed with service. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional ... Read More
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional pay extra excursions and thought some over priced. additionally,would like to have heard more commentary on the "passing parade" given that we sailed more than 1600 miles amongst one of the great waterways of the world. note this is just a suggestion, not a criticism on what was truly a wonderful travel experience , great ship and superb all- american crew who looked after we guests who were allseniors as if we were family. After dinner musician entertainers were mostly themselves seniors who played the stuff relished by our own generation. as a former muscian i rate most of what i heard as "intrumental virtuoso". Well done american cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in ... Read More
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in 2016; has 185 passenger capacity but we had only 137 passengers on board. The Cruise Critic's professional review (https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1182 ) was spot on but I would add my observations and opinions: • The itinerary was FANTASTIC for us (a photographer and an American history buff). DW shot about 300 photos on her phone and more on her professional camera (numerous eagles, herons, pelicans, cormorants, and others plus wonderful antebellum houses). Every port had interesting aspects; some were stunning! I loved the discussions (lectures) and the ports. The excursions were well done with very good local tour guides and with a Cruise Director or an Asst. CD accompanying on the buses (with restrooms). • Clientele is “older”! We had maybe 2 under 60 and several over 90. Many with mobility issues; the staff handled the situations well. Clientele was also “well-heeled”, well-traveled and congenial. • The formal entertainment was very enjoyable. The on-board “Riverorians” were terrific (better than Smithsonian’s lecturers on Regent Seven Seas Cruises) – discussions were about the Louisiana Purchase, cotton/slavery, Civil War, steam boats, immigration to the West, and controlling the Mississippi River water via dam/locks and dredging. Discussions were held in a spacious, comfortable, family room-like venue. The after dinner entertainment (about an hour) was music (jazz, Dixieland, blues, country, and “oldies”- that had some fantastic performers). • Cabin was best that we had on a river cruise – spacious, quiet, bright, with lots of storage drawers and a small but adequate closet. Bathroom is “cozy” but well-lit and well-ventilated with adequate storage and a nice shower with instant hot water. • Food (of course subjective) for us was good; baked goods were SUPERB, per my wife the baker and me the taster. Breakfast was better for me than what I had on "Luxury" cruises. Lots of complimentary wine (mostly California) and beer (some local) during lunch, “Happy-hour”, and dinner service. • Downsides? Yes! -The staff is American college “kids” for which service is surely not going to be a career. We came to expect at least one gliché per day in either dining or house-keeping. -The cruise is “pricey” as it is an American- registered boat that must meet all U.S. maritime regulations. - There is no Doctor or Nurse aboard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed ... Read More
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed chance to meet other travelers. The excursions to. several plantations was a positive experience, especially the Houmas Hosee were the tour guides were especially engaging to help understand the story of the time. Meals aboard the ship were plated, well presented and of moderate quantity which was helpful. Throughout the day the breakfast, lunch and dinner meals were augmented with warm cookies at 10 am, tea and sweets at 3 pm, cocktail hour and heavy h'odouvres at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6:30. If that wasn't enough, during entertainment, ice cream sundaes and popcirn were offered. No one went hungry. It was a great ship experience and this cruise line paid attention to all the small details to give us a great experience. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I have wanted to cruise the Mississippi River for several years and I liked the American Cruise Lines information I read. We left from New Orleans, after staying and touring one night in the great city, and disembarked in Memphis, TN. ... Read More
I have wanted to cruise the Mississippi River for several years and I liked the American Cruise Lines information I read. We left from New Orleans, after staying and touring one night in the great city, and disembarked in Memphis, TN. From the first day to the last day of the trip, everything was just great!! The whole ship was clean, the cabin was like a hotel room (bathroom a little small), the dining experience was excellent, the onboard activities, entertainment, tours and excursions were really good. We were greeted at the hotel by a cruise staffer, helped by deckhands with our luggage, and taken to the ship, and everything was so organized. From the time we were greeted on board by a cruise director to the time we disembarked and said goodbye to the gangway deckhand, every cruise member were the best!! They were friendly, always smiling, always willing to help, answer our questions, or just to hang out with us during the sunsets when they were off duty to tell us about their past cruises on the river. Even the Captain, when he was off duty, would stop, chat for a few minutes and answer questions. He sat at our table during the Captain's Dinner night, which was a pleasant surprise. The tours and excursions were real good and historically informative, except we wish some were longer, but that was to be expected. This was our first river cruise with ACL, and we are booked to do another with them next Fall on the Columbia & Snake Rivers, because we liked this one so much. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I always wanted to visit the birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, Memphis, and this seemed the ideal way to get there from another of our favourite spots, New Orleans. From the time we checked out of our pre cruise hotel we were very well ... Read More
I always wanted to visit the birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, Memphis, and this seemed the ideal way to get there from another of our favourite spots, New Orleans. From the time we checked out of our pre cruise hotel we were very well taken care of by one one the American Cruise Lines hostesses who escorted us onto our transfer bus and from there we were welcomed aboard with a glass of "Bucks Fizz" and music from a small jazz combo. From there on it was all fun, good food, drink and entertainment. Every member of the staff was warm and friendly, the stops and tours were most interesting, backed up by Bill, an interesting "Riverlorian" who told tales of that river and the history of the civil war. He really was a first class entertainer. The highlight if each day was the cocktail hour at 5.30 every day where one could drink any kind of beverage for an hour and nibble away at delicious hot and cold snacks. Indeed, so good were the snacks it sometimes made it difficult to do justice to the excellent fare on offer for the evening meal at 6.30. As Europeans we found cocktails and dinner were served a little earlier than we were normally used to, but as they say "When in Rome do as the Romans do!" It wasn't that much of a hardship, in fact all the meals were excellent, good sized portions, well prepared food and drinks included in the package. It really was an all inclusive trip. The only small criticism we had was that it was sold to us in the UK as "Jazz Themed Cruise" and although there was some jazz it somehow got changed to a "Music Cruise" which was a little disappointing, though a comedienne/singer called Judy Davis was the outstanding star of the week. It was my 80th birthday during the week and again all the waiting staff went out of their way to ensure that I had a truly memorable dinner. In summary we would rank it as one of the best holidays we have taken. Thank you American Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I have been on many cruises and even a European river cruise and this one is unlike anything I have ever done. It was the most relaxing vacation I have ever taken. The music and food were outstanding. The personnel were most ... Read More
I have been on many cruises and even a European river cruise and this one is unlike anything I have ever done. It was the most relaxing vacation I have ever taken. The music and food were outstanding. The personnel were most accommodating. The rooms however were different, which for me was good but would not be for all. We were with many another couples who agreed with us but wondered if our other friends would enjoy it as much. It is a paddleboat, decorated in Victorian style with tiffany glass and old style furniture. Each stateroom is different. I can tell you that our stateroom was at the back of the ship with two sinks and a dressing table, # 456 …which was a total surprise. We had worried that the would be a problem but vibration and sound from the wheel did not bother us. Most rooms were not like that, they all look out onto the deck, which is how you enter the room and balcony seating is outside the door, which can be an issue or are inside and very small. No two rooms seem to be the same. The ship was recently updated so the bathrooms were quite modern. Hop on hop off buses were included at each port and were wonderful even though some of the cities were a stretch to find places to talk about. It was a look at an America we had never seen. I can’t say enough about the entertainment. This cruise had a theme, Music of America, No Faux broadway or cirque here…just pure musicians and singers…blues, old school standards, southern rock, Dixieland etc. I would imagine the quality of the entertainment would be the same even with a different theme. Food choices were good, something for everyone. The only problem we had was uneven service, but the workers tried hard to please. One more thing...average age of cruisers was about 70. Overall, I recommend American Queen if you would like to try something different. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We don't like big ships and researched river boat cruises leaving from New Orleans and chose this cruise line as we had heard good reports from precious passengers.We were pleased with our owners suite, the dining was excellent and of ... Read More
We don't like big ships and researched river boat cruises leaving from New Orleans and chose this cruise line as we had heard good reports from precious passengers.We were pleased with our owners suite, the dining was excellent and of course the service was as well. The staff were courteous at all times and made sure that your questions were answered in a gracious way. We were so pleased with this Mississippi River cruise and are already looking in another cruise on another river in the future. The small amount of passengers was what drew us to this small boat. We were never crowded and were able to meet many people on board. The staff were always greeting us with a smile.We were spoiled and will not only recommend this cruise line for friends but looking forward to our next adventure. It was slow paced and what we needed to enjoy our time together. We were never bored and enjoyed the many lectures by Bill. His wife Laura was also a delight. I am afraid if I started naming the many staff that went out of their way to help us in any way, I would leave someone out, so just rest assured that each person made us feel special. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
After over 100 ocean cruises (and two European River Cruises), we wanted to see more of the United States, via our preferred mode of travel (cruising). We originally booked with a different river cruise company, before doing due diligence ... Read More
After over 100 ocean cruises (and two European River Cruises), we wanted to see more of the United States, via our preferred mode of travel (cruising). We originally booked with a different river cruise company, before doing due diligence information gathering. The more we learned, the more consideration we gave to American Cruise Lines (ACL), before finally casting our lot with them. We finally settled upon the seven night, round trip itinerary offered by ACL, aboard the paddle wheeler America. Here are some of our findings/opinions. The folks at ACL's Connecticut Home Office are extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. We received quick, timely and (as we learned) correct answers to our questions, without being shuttled to different folks for complete answers. All the information we received proved to be "spot on" We chose to book and schedule our own air transportation (creatures of habit). Not even sure if there was an option to book through the cruise line. We did choose, and enjoy, the complimentary pre-cruise night at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans. The included complimentary transfer from hotel to boat was handled efficiently and without any major snafus. We found the on-board cabin accommodations very comfortable and space efficient, not in the least bit cramped. The housekeeping was very thorough and efficient, without being at all bothersome (sort of magically invisible). The dining experience was excellent. We had absolutely no complaints concerning the quality of the menu choices, nor the quality of the service. Granted, these are very individualistic observations/gradings, but seemed to be echoed by most, if not all the other passengers we discussed them with. Another seemingly popular aspect was the complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks offered at lunch and dinner seating. The boat seemed immaculately clean at all times, and the entire crew were extremely friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. This was a Civil War themed cruise, so there were a number of lectures/talks presented on that period of history. Additionally, there was a resident Riverlorian aboard giving daily (and a few extra) presentations on the historical impact of the river upon travel, commerce, exploration and development of this part of the country, and the overall history of the United States. There were three lounges (on this boat) for passenger use, when other events were not scheduled in them. Two of these had complimentary pre-packaged snacks (chips. cookies and such) as well as beverages: coffee, tea, sodas, juices, water -- available 24/7. Additionally, there was entertainment each evening provided by on-board entertainers, and also some local artists brought aboard at various ports of call. All were very entertaining and enjoyable -- again, from our personal perspective. Each evening, in specified lounges, before dinner, there was a complimentary cocktail hour, offering varied hors d'oeuvres, and beer, wine, assorted spirits and cordials, sodas -- as well as the coffee, tea and juices that are available 24/7. Most folks seemed to enjoy this opportunity to mingle, meet, and chat with fellow passengers, and various members of the crew and staff. There was also a Library which had two computers and a printer for passenger use. Boat-wide Wi-Fi was also available (complimentary), although a tad slow. There was at least one complimentary excursion at each port of call, and sometimes additional specialized excursions were offered, at an additional cost. We were so impressed with the overall experience that we booked two additional cruises with American Cruise Lines, and have placed a few others on our "possible to do" list. Booking future cruises onboard also offers some nice incentives. On this cruise the benefits were a 15% discount off per-passenger pricing, plus making the "Port Charges and Fees" complimentary. Sorry for the length of this. I hope you find this useful. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This is a fantastic cruise company for seniors or people who like a slower pace, (perfect for me, as I love taking photos). They accommodate physical disabilities as much as possible throughout the trip. Children were rare, but the crew ... Read More
This is a fantastic cruise company for seniors or people who like a slower pace, (perfect for me, as I love taking photos). They accommodate physical disabilities as much as possible throughout the trip. Children were rare, but the crew made a special effort to find activities and food they would enjoy. Special diets can be accommodated. The locations they stop include plantations, museums and national parks. There is time to go to the local towns, with shuttle service. You will never be hungry on this trip: breakfast, warm cookies at 10:00, lunch, Tea Time, Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres and dinner. Open seating in the dining room. Balcony for every stateroom. On board they have bingo, lectures, and evening entertainment. It was a Christmas trip to remember: carolers greeted us as we boarded, decorations, food, the opportunity to attend Christmas Eve service and even gifts! The crew was the most cheerful and attentive I have experienced with any cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016

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