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4 American Queen Steamboat Company Portland (Oregon) Cruise Reviews

In November I traveled with a small group of 10 on the American Empress steamboat-style Cruise. The group absolutely LOVED the trip and the ship! The food was incredible- truly top notch! We even had lobster tail! The meals were always ... Read More
In November I traveled with a small group of 10 on the American Empress steamboat-style Cruise. The group absolutely LOVED the trip and the ship! The food was incredible- truly top notch! We even had lobster tail! The meals were always artfully prepared and served by the kindest, warmest staff I’ve encountered on a cruise ship. Every meal was an event. During our scenic rides cruising the river, we were even served appetizers and hot toddies while watching sea lions play and eagles soar- it was like a scene out of the movies. There were daily included shore excursions. This was done in such a uniquely genius “hop on hop off” way. The beautifully wrapped coaches would pick up at the boat and make a loop around town, taking us to any number of attractions. We could decide where we wanted to get off, visit the attraction, then get on the next passing coach. What a great idea!! This made it so easy to take a group of varying travelers. Those who wanted to go exploring and see everything could easily do that, and those who only had the energy or desire to visit one spot, could do that and come back to relax on the boat. There were also “Premium excursions” available at an additional cost. We participated in a few of these and found them to be very reasonable and enjoyable. Of particular note was the tour to Multnomah Falls and the Lewis and Clark experience. Both of these were well worth the price. On our sailing, we had an extra bonus and the ship included the WAAM museum of antique planes and cars. What a hidden gem this turned out to be!! One of our group even went on a ride in an antique plane which he loved! All of the staff onboard went out of their way to be friendly and unobtrusive. Our housekeeper and wait staff could not have been more accommodating. Somehow they managed to not be in our room when we were, and knew when to chat with us at dinner and when to disappear so we could have a chance to visit amongst ourselves. Another note worth mentioning was the excellent, talented performers who put on the evening shows. The house band is terrific! We had the good fortune of having a few special performers who came onboard just for a night. They were a husband and wife who performed different nights and were both spectacular! I only wish they could work out the timing of the dinner/show combination better. The early seating was at 5 and the show was at 8! Way too much time to kill in between. A few nights most of us went to our rooms and never made it to the show. Conversely, the late seating was at 8 and the early show at 5:30- again too much time in between. This seems like it could be an easy fix. All in all, our group RAVED about the trip and are looking forward to going on another American Queen Steamboat tour in the future- hopefully on the Mississippi River. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We wanted to experience the pacific northwest and travel with some good friends. The literature advertised this as upscale, all inclusive. We've taken many ocean cruises (15+) but never a river cruise anywhere. I'm not sure ... Read More
We wanted to experience the pacific northwest and travel with some good friends. The literature advertised this as upscale, all inclusive. We've taken many ocean cruises (15+) but never a river cruise anywhere. I'm not sure I'd say this is upscale, and I'm not convinced its worth the additional monies versus what you'd pay for a large vessel cruise. The Hop On/Hop Off bus is a nice feature, as is the wine and beer with dinner, but it's an expensive gimmick, not worth the extra money you pay. The cabins are nicely appointed but small, just like a larger ship. The intimate size (200+ passengers) was quite nice, but most were very elderly and the things to do were very limited. Food was good. Quantity was good, you could have extras. The number of menu selections were limited compared to a larger ship. The River Grill menu covers a wide range of items but it doesn't compare to a "for-fee" restaurant on a larger ship. The ambiance was not there. The guest performers were terrific. The on-board assistant cruise directors, who also performed, were not of the same caliber of talent. We all said we enjoyed this and we are very glad we did it. We just would not do another river cruise at this point. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After traveling with the American Queen Steamboat Company on the American Duchess, we had such an enjoyable experience that we decided to book a trip on the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest; and it was so worth it! From the smooth ... Read More
After traveling with the American Queen Steamboat Company on the American Duchess, we had such an enjoyable experience that we decided to book a trip on the American Empress in the Pacific Northwest; and it was so worth it! From the smooth check in process at the hotel to easy and enjoyable disembarkation day options, the whole week ran so seamlessly We never had to worry about a thing! The consistency in each of the tours and onboard activities made the whole trip that much more memorable and the knowledge and expertise of the staff and drivers was undeniable. In our previous travels with this company we took full advantage of all the included tours offered in each port, and we did the same with this trip however the premium touring options looks so interesting and unique, we chose to pass up some of the included tours in order to take the premiums. I feel we definitely made the right choice. We chose not to do the included tour in Clarkston so that we could join the jet boat tour of Hell’s Canyon and that was hands down one of the best trips I’ve ever taken on a vacation. The scenery is beyond beautiful and the jet boat captains were funny and captivating. The boat had a bathroom on it and we did make a pit stop half way through the tour for some refreshments and to use the bathroom there if needed. It was well thought out, comfortable, and didn’t leave me feeling like I missed out on anything. We also chose to do the full day tour to Mt. Hood out of Stevenson instead of doing the included tour, which again, I feel was absolutely worth it. We got to see the beautiful Multnomah Falls, took an informative and stimulating tour of the Bonneville Damn, and made our way up to Mt. Hood. We stopped for lunch on the way at the Parkdale Grange and had what felt like a family style Thanksgiving meal, with an assortment of really delicious pies for dessert... I even purchased a cookbook there with the recipes of the pies..yes, they were THAT good! We finished the tour at the Timberline Lodge with wine and beer tasting, and came back to the boat after what felt like the perfect day with good food, interesting commentary, and beautiful scenery of the mountain. The included tours that we did take were also just as enjoyable as they were on my previous travels with this company and ran the same way – gold star for consistency! We chose to do the Hop on Hop off tours in the ports we were able to and with so many included stops and the freedom to get on and off where we wanted, it allowed the opportunity for us to craft the perfect day! Having travelled with this company before we were more familiar with the process of how the Hop on Hop off tours worked but when we found ourselves struggling to plan out our day, we utilized the help of our drivers and shore excursions specialist onboard. They were a huge help to us on the American Duchess and just as helpful on this vessel as well. Same with the other boat staff! From the cruise directors to housekeeping staff, everyone was so hospitable and friendly that it almost felt like a home away from home. I definitely will be travelling on the American Empress again! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose this cruise to see the Pacific Northwest. It was good, except for the nightmarish first day with no air conditioning and a toilet that did not work! UGH! We were moved (to a lesser room) and after that things were OK. The ... Read More
We chose this cruise to see the Pacific Northwest. It was good, except for the nightmarish first day with no air conditioning and a toilet that did not work! UGH! We were moved (to a lesser room) and after that things were OK. The company offered no compensation for this awful experience. The company is still working things out with meals, excursions, but acceptable. The waiter spilled beer all over my wife's clothing one night and she had to leave the dinner. I wrote to the CEO and never received even the courtesy of a response. Thus this review. I would be fearful of using the ship again. The Riverlorian and entertainment were very good. We are veteran travelers and not much gets our attention, but this surely did, what a way to run a business!! The Pacific Northwest is rich in nature and natural sights, but sparse in tourist destinations, most seem forced with little to offer, although they are trying. For the money, and no consideration when they screw up, the value is not there Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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