37 American Cruise Lines Queen of the Mississippi Senior Cruise Reviews

On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have ... Read More
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have to find our own way there. No company rep nor a bus was at the dock to update us and transport us to Red Wing, though they did say they would pay for the taxi ride (I'm still waiting for reimbursement as the ship's staff said they were unable to refund directly to me). Our Uber driver agreed to take us there, and I tipped him generously because he would have to go back to the city empty. But the most irritating aspect of this is that the ship apparently hasn't been able to dock in St. Paul for quite some time, perhaps all season, and it wasn't a "last minute" change. And even if it was, they should have called us. We finally arrived at the ship at lunch time, and no one greeted us or apologized for the situation, or offered any reasons (or compensation) for the foul up. As we met other guests during the cruise, we found that others had been left in the lurch just as we had. Our cabin, no. 209, smelled strongly of mildew, and our towels (which we were encouraged to reuse) never dried out overnight; when I reported it on the mid-cruise questionnaire, a dehumidifier was delivered to our room; however the room steward didn't know how to empty it so I figured it out myself... I also reported how dirty our veranda was, and though they said they would clean it, that never happened. It was covered with spider webs and dead bugs, which made it unpleasant to sit out there. I don't understand why the room steward didn't have time to at least sweep it, because all she had to do in our room each day was make the bed (they don't change the sheets during the week), deliver dry towels, wipe down the shower and sink and empty the waste baskets. Though the Queen of the Mississippi is only in her 6th year of service, she is suffering from some deferred maintenance. There is chipped paint, dirty windows and balconies, scuffed upholstery, stained lamp shades, and stained carpets, all contributing to a general aura of shabbiness. There is simply no excuse for this level of neglect on a cruise for which you've paid nearly $10K for a week. We've been on 4 European river cruises (with Viking and Vantage) and several ocean cruises (with NCL and Cunard), and one thing they all have in common in constant maintenance. They're always pressure washing or painting or cleaning something, without interfering with the guest experience. ACL seems to have decided not to do this type of maintenance during the season. The room was quiet and spacious enough, with the typical tiny bathroom, but storage, both in the room and bathroom was more than adequate. Wifi was slow, and we usually had decent tv reception, though the screen is tiny. There were a few places along the river where we had no cell phone reception, but that was okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quiet the boat is while cruising at night. Even when we were going through locks, I was rarely disturbed by noise or motion during the night. There are many lounges and decks on the ship, and you could easily find a place to socialize or sit quietly and read or contemplate the beautiful scenery. Cocktail hour at 5:30 each evening was also lively and fun, with generous pours of beer, wine and liquors. A nice assortment of hors d'ouevres was also offered each evening. After dinner, we enjoyed a variety of entertainers in the lounge; a guitar singer one night, a motown duo for 2 nights, a barbershop quarter another night. The onboard lecturer, Dale, was fun and entertaining and filled us with information about the Mississippi and each of the ports we visited and even conducted a few sing-alongs. At every port, except the first day in Red Wing, we docked very early in the morning and had the whole day to visit the town. We were warmly welcomed by local guides in each town, and they genuinely seemed happy to have us there. Fort Madison has recently been added to the itinerary, and they were especially gracious, though there was a scheduling issue and the visit to the old penitentiary was cancelled while we were actually on the bus on the way there. They have some kinks to work out in their tours. We had a nice dose of warm, mid-western hospitality at each port. Most of the tours were rather heavy on bus time rather than actual on-the-ground touring, but perhaps this is in deference to the rather advanced age of the typical traveler on this cruise. I wish they would use buses that have 2 doors, because waiting for all the people with canes and walkers to exit the bus at each stop was very time consuming. Food service varied from barely acceptable to very nice. We learned to get to the dining room promptly when they opened at 7:30 each morning; any later and you could wait a long time for your entree. They really should offer a buffet for breakfast, because the wait staff becomes quickly overwhelmed and they seem to not have enough short-order cooks in the galley. Lunch seemed a bit less hectic; perhaps because the limited number of entrees offered were pre-cooked and just needed to be plated. Dinner also featured uneven service. If you arrived promptly at 6:00 when they started to serve, you might get served quickly. But people are allowed to wander in any time from 6:00 to 7:30, so one couple at a table might be finishing up dessert just as another couple joined the table. ACL should adopt the strategy utilized by the European cruise lines that we've traveled (Vantage and Viking), who seem to have figured this all out. Sometimes entrees were delivered lukewarm; sometimes the lettuce in the salad was soggy and appears to have been pre-dressed. Both the lunch menu and the dinner menu changed each day, and you had to make your selection in the morning at breakfast so the cooks could plan accordingly. The only item that was consistently good were the desserts, though one in our party complained that the tres leches cake was still frozen. Many on the wait staff are very young and inexperienced, and it was actually the first time serving for some of them. It was painful to watch one young man try to nervously balance a tray of drinks without dumping them down the back of a guest... We heard that they pulled quite a few from the staff to populate the new ship that is coming on line next week, leaving our ship with a very inexperienced crew. Similar to the beginning of the cruise, we were advised on the next-to-last day that we wouldn't actually dock in St. Louis (for reasons not divulged), and would instead dock in Alton, Illinois and be bused into St. Louis for our afternoon excursion. We sat in Alton all morning with nothing to do, no shuttle bus and no excursions or suggestions offered. It was a 30-45 minute drive each way, time we would have liked to spend enjoying the city rather than on a freeway. I do realize that the shipping lines can't be held responsible for the ever-changing conditions on the river that cause itineraries to be altered. What was lacking was their communication of such changes and the reasons for the changes. If they said high water or flooding made it too dangerous, everyone would have understood. They haven't been able to dock in St. Paul or St. Louis at all this season, so why are they still advertising this as a St. Paul to St. Louis tour? It's actually a Red Wing to Alton tour. Disembarkation was the smoothest part of the process. We had to put our tagged bags out at midnite, and the bus to the airport was scheduled at 7:30. We walked off the ship, identified our bags out on the tarmac, and got on the bus. The combination of inadequate communication, being stranded in St. Louis and having to make our own way to Red Wing, the smelly room, the dirty windows and balcony, the uneven food service, and the unprofessional service in general, added up to a less-than-exceptional experience for us. We are experienced travelers used to "going with the flow", but the negatives on this cruise somewhat outweighed the positives for us. Seeing the magnificent Mississippi River from the perspective of a grand river boat, and the quaint small towns along the way, was memorable and interesting, but the overall experience with the ship itself was rather disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are ... Read More
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are enjoying their experience. I have taken 7 ocean cruises and on rivercruise (20 years ago). If you are expecting in your face activities and craziness, pick something other than a river cruise. This was a celebration cruise for my husband and I, and when greeted when boarding the boat, we were congratulated and on the second day, after returning from a shore excursion, we found champagne and strawberries in our cabin! Every crew member is there to serve you and extend extraordinary customer service, which was evident every minute of the day (we had to ask someone to thread a needle, and they did so with a smile!). When crew members say they love their jobs, that says something about a company! Because the river was running high, a last minute change of itinerary was made and I thought it gave us an even better experience; also, Because we were in the height of Mardi Gras season, instead of staying in a hotel pre-cruise (part of your fare), we stayed on the boat - we were greeted by a lovely buffet and drinks. We were not able to dock at Houmas House or Oak Alley, but those excursions were changed to days when we were in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We cruised up to St. Francisville instead on the first day, and had the choice of three additional excursions (only 2 of the many offered were premium at an extra charge, by the way...). Also in Baton Rouge, which is not the most exciting stop, they added a walking tour by their river guide, which made is all worth while. And because we returned to New Orleans a half day early, excursions to the WW2 museum and a French Quarter walking tour were added! I think this was all handle exceptionally well!!! On the ACL cruises, beer and wine are included at Lunch, cocktail hour, dinner and during the evening entertainment, so you are not running up a tab. The food was excellent and you could request half portions. There were also snacks, coffee, tea, fruit, juice and soda always available in two of the lounges. My husband had never cruised before and I knew that an ocean cruise was out of the question - he thoroughly enjoyed this and we are considering other itineraries in the future. The cost seems high at first, but when I compared it to an ocean cruise with similar accommodations (balcony), and considering that there is no charge for adult beverages, no tipping, free excursions, free WIFI, the cost is comparable. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
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
This was my second cruise with American Cruise Lines. I was a solo female traveler. I gave myself two days in downtown Pittsburgh and enjoyed myself very much. I stayed at the same hotel as the cruise line's designated night-before ... Read More
This was my second cruise with American Cruise Lines. I was a solo female traveler. I gave myself two days in downtown Pittsburgh and enjoyed myself very much. I stayed at the same hotel as the cruise line's designated night-before stay and appreciated that the hotel transition was smoothly done (Hampton Inn Downtown). We hit a snag the first day; we had to be bused down to Marietta, Ohio (three hours) as the ship could not get into Pittsburgh (too high of water, I believe). This was my first encounter with such a drastic schedule change (this is my fourth river cruise) but I found in speaking with other passengers that it happens. My single cabin was clean and roomy enough for my stuff. I loved having my own balcony! There were lots of places on the ship to go and enjoy the River (inside and outside lounges). I loved JoAnn and Steve who showed their love of the River in their talks and they were great entertainers! I loved the food. I took full advantage of the port and shore excursions (many complimentary) and enjoyed them. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Churchill Downs. I knew next to nothing about the Kentucky Derby and enjoyed learning about it. We were not there during the racing season but got to see some horses during their morning workout. Our young lady guide was enthusiastic and knowledgeable. It is generally an older crowd and I found many pleasant table companions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the ... Read More
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the basic itinerary in ACL Cruise Guide then change it. Lost a full day aboard ship. Letter of complaint was not responded to. Sad. We did very much enjoyed the accommodations, food, service and would have liked to see the 3 ports we missed. Our dissatisfaction is with the home office and the captain. He claimed that the river was too high and strong current. But river heights were normal. He also claimed there was too much drift wood in the river. I and other passengers saw none. The trip should have started in Louisville in order to make it to Pittsburgh. This was our second cruise on ACL. The first was of Maine coast. Excellent Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was ... Read More
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was very early in the morning and luggage must be in the hall before going to bed on the last night. There were five decks and an 8 person elevator that serve them all. Only 30 percent of the 8 days was ship movement, mostly at night, on this trip. The average age of the 147 passengers was about 65 with the youngest at age 26 year. Thus, not much entertainment for children. Attractions were: Tour of the pilot's room, entertainment every evening, all costs aboard ship were included, NO tipping on the ship, motor coaches pre-arranged for on shore attractions. Admission to on shore sites were of three price categories: 1. Included such as Vicksburg Civil War battlefield admission 2. Medium price ==> $40 to $70 for plantation visits 3. High price (Elvis Pressley's Graceland at $140) The extra benefit there was VIP status which included going to the head of the line, seeing a couple of extra sites, a $15 coupon toward food, souvenirs etc. A great vacation because you can travel without unpacking. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
Location of cruise and area that interested us. Had been on New Orleans to Memphis cruise in past and wanted to try different area of river. Much different views unencumbered by the levees lower on the river. Staff was more than ... Read More
Location of cruise and area that interested us. Had been on New Orleans to Memphis cruise in past and wanted to try different area of river. Much different views unencumbered by the levees lower on the river. Staff was more than accommodating. A lock on he river was inoperable and the staff went above and beyond to redirect the boat to other destinations and made the disembarkation have many different options with hotel rooms and dinners on the company, help in changing airline flight accommodations. The staff was great and I am sure lost some sleep while rearranging destinations. Was not aware cruise was directed at seniors, most of the passengers were in there late 70's, 80's and 90's, this was not a problem and in fact was enlightening to talk and share stories with the other passengers. Staff was very friendly and easy to talk to and acknowledge each of us. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
From the moment we boarded the Queen of the Mississippi in Memphis, we enjoyed the luxury of all aspects of the ship. The directors attention to details, the room, every meal experiences and the menu choices, all the members of the crew, ... Read More
From the moment we boarded the Queen of the Mississippi in Memphis, we enjoyed the luxury of all aspects of the ship. The directors attention to details, the room, every meal experiences and the menu choices, all the members of the crew, the excursions in various ports, entertainers, the atmosphere in general all combined to make for wonderful experiences and find memories. We met some lovely people from every corner of this great country - Alaska, Calafornia, Michigan, North Carolina and enjoyed getting to know them better over our delicious meals together.(Albeit, very difficult to hear across the table in the full dining room- acoustics need improving there). Most of all the wonderful sense of calm, relaxation and security we experienced at every moment. We sharing our adventure with everyone and strongly urge them to trust this river cruise line. Thank you, American Cruise for the smooth sailing south on the beautiful Mississippi! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My husband and I have always cruised on larger ships and wanted to try the small ship cruising experience. Also, while we have traveled oversees many times, we really haven’t seen as much of the U.S as we’d liked and felt it was ... Read More
My husband and I have always cruised on larger ships and wanted to try the small ship cruising experience. Also, while we have traveled oversees many times, we really haven’t seen as much of the U.S as we’d liked and felt it was time to explore our own backyard. We heard that American Cruise Lines was the best option for small ship cruising in the U.S. The overall American Cruise Lines experience was fantastic. From the food, to the staff, to the many interesting places we visited, we had an amazing time. ACL staff went out of their way to make the cruise enjoyable and would accommodate any special request such as a specific wine or a different dish than was on the menu. The quality of the food as well as the presentation was topnotch. Not only was there a great selection of southern cuisine, but a variety of other options to choose from as well. Every night there was a complimentary cocktail hour. The appetizers served were delicious, and were never repeated twice. This was also a great opportunity to meet a variety of people from all over the world. Onboard there was great nightly entertainment and knowledgeable historians who embellished our onshore excursions with their discussions. When going on shore, the small groups made it much easier to really delve into each destination. The local expert guides were very knowledgeable about each place we visited and were excellent at explaining the history to us. The staff was very organized whenever we were getting on and off the ship, not only at the beginning and end of the cruise, but also for the onshore excursions as well. They made it very easy for people who had trouble walking and had golf carts to help out. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Our friends and my husband and I always wanted to do a Mississippi River cruise. Chose American Cruise Lines. Sailed on the Queen of the Mississippi. We had a wonderful time. Cabin had ample room, balcony had room for 2 chairs and a ... Read More
Our friends and my husband and I always wanted to do a Mississippi River cruise. Chose American Cruise Lines. Sailed on the Queen of the Mississippi. We had a wonderful time. Cabin had ample room, balcony had room for 2 chairs and a table (about 30" rd). Entertainment was good. Plenty of on board activities, games, books to read, a putting green on the upper deck, some work out equipment and plenty of places to sit and relax. The dining room was impeccable, waiters/waitresses, chefs, all were more than one could ask for. The meals were fantastic. We had 2 ports of call, Oak Alley Plantation which was jaw dropping and a bus tour to St. Francisville/Baton Rouge which was okay. The service on the boat was A+. The staff from the Hotel Manager to waiters, housekeeping etc. were friendly, polite, helpful. Will consider doing the Snake River tour in a couple of years. Thank you for a memorable vacation! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose a 4 night cruise because we had not been on a cruise in the last fifty years and wanted to be sure we would like it before taking a longer one. We were treated to an overnight stay in New Orleans the night before embarkation and ... Read More
We chose a 4 night cruise because we had not been on a cruise in the last fifty years and wanted to be sure we would like it before taking a longer one. We were treated to an overnight stay in New Orleans the night before embarkation and had time to see some of the sights in the French Quarter. We were collected at our hotel and conveyed to the docks by bus. Passengers could dress as formally or casually as they wanted and still feel that they fitted in. The ship was small enough that everyone could fit into the dining room at one time. We enjoyed the entertainment provided nightly. The plantation tours were extremely good. We elected to tour the ship's pilot house which proved very interesting. The cabin had everything we needed and was well kept by staff. We especially enjoyed sitting on our balcony with the Mississippi breeze fanning us. The service was exceptional in the dining room and elsewhere. The staff acknowledged guests and greeted them at every opportunity. The food was out of this world- both in tasting good and in presentation! Menu selections were such that everyone should have been pleased. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The ship is magnifigant vessel. Very quiet and you can feel no motion of water travel.It is very roomy and has a multitude of rooms and activities. The organization is fantastic and at no time are you left uncertain or wondering what is ... Read More
The ship is magnifigant vessel. Very quiet and you can feel no motion of water travel.It is very roomy and has a multitude of rooms and activities. The organization is fantastic and at no time are you left uncertain or wondering what is happening or about to happen. Cabins are comfortable enough but a few additions such brighter lights in the batrooms and possibly an exhaust fan to reduce humidity. Alarm clocks in the cabin would also be an added benefit. Dining is exquisite. Fantastic menus ample to eat and unbelievable desserts. The dining staff were all incredable always pleasing and very professional and gracious. Jeremy was our special delite and pleasure and will surely be missed. The entertainment is continual amd excellent with diversity to satisfy all. Room service was punctual and always accomodating. Rooms were kept neet, clean and tidy with endless supply of water and ice and of course the special chocolate treats on ones pillow at night. Ports were fine departure and busing superbly organized. Very professional drivers and guide service and excellent naration. It would be a benefit if the communities and tour lines could work out better arrangements for the communities to have stores supplying more clothing and souveniers. Yes we will be looking at additional cruises in the future. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The cruise was supposed to go from St. Paul, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana but high waters in Minnesota required last minute changes in plans. American Cruise Lines (ACL) rescheduled us to start in Nashville instead which required ... Read More
The cruise was supposed to go from St. Paul, Minnesota to New Orleans, Louisiana but high waters in Minnesota required last minute changes in plans. American Cruise Lines (ACL) rescheduled us to start in Nashville instead which required all passengers to change flight plans a few days before the start date, but ACL did reimburse us for the extra charges involved. We feel that ACL did a good job with the rescheduling. The only down side to the cruise was Kevin, the Cruise Director. He was young, brash, not very helpful, and often just a jerk. We hope that we will not meet up with him again. The rest of the staff was outstanding, friendly, and very helpful. Shore excursions were well planned out, very interesting, and first rate. The river experts were very knowledgeable and fun to be with. Steve and JoAnn were great with the local knowledge and are outstanding entertainers. This was our third cruise with ACL, and we have scheduled another for next year which also attests to our satisfaction. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast ... Read More
Best experience anyone could imagine unless their are more hours in a day. Staterooms, bath, and balcony were exactly as advertised with room to share for two. Ideal to be able to listen (or not) to river historian on ship radio broadcast from lounge while lounging on balcony and watching the river sites. Locally sourced meals were prepared by top notch chefs and served to high standards. Excursions on time and high quality. Guides except for one who was ill were excellent and from the location; their knowledge was presented with humor and candor. All needs seemed to be provided for disabled folks routinely with gentle care. Crew was professional, well trained, and passenger service centered, always happy and friendly. High river level never interfered with our itenerary since Captain adjusted sailing times to fit without compromising any activities. Sailing was smooth and seemed effortless. We will sail with them again! Read Less
Sail Date March 2016
This was cruise number five for us on American Cruise lines and we continue to be impressed. This time we did the upper Mississippi river from St. Paul to St. Louis. We picked the week that a Mark Twain impersonator was onboard and it was ... Read More
This was cruise number five for us on American Cruise lines and we continue to be impressed. This time we did the upper Mississippi river from St. Paul to St. Louis. We picked the week that a Mark Twain impersonator was onboard and it was entertaining and educational. We like the fact that we can explore so many beautiful areas of our country by taking the American cruises. I should say that this cruise line is aimed at the over 40 crowd of mature discerning cruisers. Our cabin, service, shore tours, and meals were top-notch. Alcoholic beverages at happy hour and at lunch and dinner are at no extra charge. The entertainment in the evening, is presented in an informal lounge with sofas and lounge chairs, and the show may be as simple as a local jazz trio from a port of call, but nonetheless it is always very good. We are looking forward to our next American Cruise lines trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We ... Read More
We embarked from a dock very near to the St. Louis Gateway Arch. The walk down to the boat was somewhat steep but assistance was offered and we left our luggage with crew near the roadway. River travel is laid back and easy. We had only one morning of rain so we had a lot of time to watch as the captain and crew navigated the five story Queen through the many locks on the Mississippi as well as through the many different lift or swinging bridges. It was warm and comfortable most of the time to sit out and watch. We often arrived early to the next port of call. Chairs and tables on deck were plentiful. Snacks and beverages including sodas were always available. One could even do laundry if desired at no cost at the self-service machines provided. There were daily talks with the Riverlorian who was always on board and available often on the top deck. Steve Marking and Joanna Funk provided not only on-board musical entertainment with help with wildlife sightings and identification of birds. Joanna also played the calliope when we left ports and also for the Sunday morning hymn sings. The cocktail hour each evening was a highlight and the Hors d'oeuvres served were excellent and plentiful. We had more food on the cruise than needed! I thought it was a great touch that we could choose to have half portions at a meal. We always found the meals delicious and we had some choice as to entrees. On the downside, as a diabetic, there were limited dessert options for me. Although I met with one of the chefs to discuss ideas, those were not always available. We enjoyed different entertainment not only at cocktail hour but also after dinner each night and many were very good and entertaining. We also were up top on the 5th deck the evening of the eclipse ... and yes, the clouds opened up to be able to see a good amount of it. I would recommend the American Cruise Lines for a truly Americana venture such as the Northern Mississippi Cruise we took. They have other interesting river cruises as well. This was our first trip with them and we would consider them again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
I chose back to back one week trips for this adventure. I have traveled on American Cruise Lines many times on many ships and have never been disappointed. This trip was on the paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. I flew to Memphis ... Read More
I chose back to back one week trips for this adventure. I have traveled on American Cruise Lines many times on many ships and have never been disappointed. This trip was on the paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi. I flew to Memphis two days early in order to stay at the legendary Peabody Hotel, a grand old hotel, and was glad that I did. Since the ship holds a max of 150 passengers, embarkation was very easy and was handled by one of the Cruise Directors at the end of the gangplank. My lovely cabin was ready. I chose Deck four for its quiet nature. Those who like a little more activity might choose Deck two which has two large lounges, a small lounge and the Hotel Manager's Office. There is one large dining room which holds everyone at once. Open seating is the rule at all meals. The food is quite good and abundant. Half portions are always available. In the morning, passengers are given menu choices for lunch and dinner. Several choices are always available, and special requests can be written at the bottom of the menu card. These cards are collected and given to the chef. I had several special requests during the journey which were always honored. Almost every day there were shore excursions which, on this cruise, were complementary. I took all of them because I think that there is something to be learned everywhere. The local guides were, for the most part, very knowledgeable. This is a journey for adults, not for children. The daily complementary cocktail hour before dinner was always well attended and the accompanying hors d'ouvres were excellent! I was sorry to disembark. The transfer to the airport was done with ease. I am looking forward to my next river cruise with American Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Our first cruise with American was on the Columbia River. We were so pleased we signed up for another cruise before we left the Columbia. This most recent cruise was from Minneapolis/St Paul to St Louis in August, 2015. The food service ... Read More
Our first cruise with American was on the Columbia River. We were so pleased we signed up for another cruise before we left the Columbia. This most recent cruise was from Minneapolis/St Paul to St Louis in August, 2015. The food service was below average. Every single breakfast was a crap shoot. In 7 days we received a) the breakfast we ordered; b) warm or hot; and c) in less than 50 minutes exactly one time. We were nearly late for every tour. Lunches were mediocre. Dinners were quite nice, but taste was an ordinary cajun. The hotel manager seemed to be experienced, but she was largely unresponsive to complaints. John and Narda were standouts in service. Gustavo not so much. The BEST part of the cruise was the Mark Twain impersonator and the young, very capable couple both of whom entertained us every day. Both were worth the price of admission each day. The shore tours were poorly organized. For example, our first tour in Red Wing started at the Red Wing Retail store. Surprise! The store was closed. Go figure. Lacrosse was great as was Hannibal. St Louis was, well, St Louis. We won't go back. Avoid this cruise unless you are an entertainment fan. The Mark Twain impersonator and the young couple who cruised with us made the cruise for us. p.s. do not get a cabin forward on the starboard side, main deck. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and we enjoyed it just as much as the first two. The coast of Maine is beautiful and the excursions they had chosen for us to chose from were great. The entertainment on board was enjoyable and loved the ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and we enjoyed it just as much as the first two. The coast of Maine is beautiful and the excursions they had chosen for us to chose from were great. The entertainment on board was enjoyable and loved the sing along. we never miss out on much onboard and love that there is plenty of time to rest and relax also. We really enjoyed the Lobster Bake. It was fun and much more enjoyable to eat the lobster out of doors. The servers onboard were confident in helping you with any thing that you may need. Cannot wait to try another cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
NEVER, EVER AGAIN! If you book a cruise after reading my review below, all I can say is “I warned you.” We booked back-to-back Mississippi River Cruises in August, 2015. First one was from St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO: the second ... Read More
NEVER, EVER AGAIN! If you book a cruise after reading my review below, all I can say is “I warned you.” We booked back-to-back Mississippi River Cruises in August, 2015. First one was from St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO: the second one from St. Louis to New Orleans. We had the same cabin for both cruises. As other travelers have mentioned, new passengers can come on board at 1030 a.m., but have to cool their heels in a lounge until the cabins are ready two hours later. Why not just push the boarding time back to 1230 and have the rooms ready? We got to our cabin, complete with an EIGHTEEN-inch TV. Really? 18-inch? My computer screen is larger. I had to clean the cobwebs off the sliding glass doors before my wife would go out on the “veranda”. Cobwebs and fingernail clippings on the floor of the veranda were good indications that this company doesn’t bother to clean the outside of the boat. On the second day we realized the crew only has one set of washcloths on board. You can’t get replacement washcloths until 330 p.m. each day, and bath towels are only available after 1030 a.m. For the first few days we told crew members, including the hotel manager, we needed replacement towels, and all said we would get them, but that didn’t happen. For first few days we had to go down and get our own. One day instead of two bath towels, we got two bathmats! Some days we got one washcloth and one hand towel per cabin. How much would it cost to have 2-3 sets on board? We had a Keurig-like coffee maker in our room but nothing to drink the coffee out of for first week. I decided to wait and see how long it would take before the steward noticed. It took a week. Other comments on the room: The cabin wasn’t vacuumed even once in the two weeks we were on board. The volume control on the wall for the public address system was stuck on full blast. Result: every time an announcement was made, I jumped about six inches off whatever I was resting on. While the wall switch supposedly gave us a choice of background music, etc., it was inoperable. The best thing about the room was Ivan Levashov’s painting of white irises. Amazing. Cruise staff told me that average age of passengers was 65-75. Not true by at least a decade. I know that American Cruise Lines has no control over who buys tickets, but the entertainment advertised should reflect that. We had World War 2 vets, Korean War vets (they wore hats advertising such), etc. One night’s entertainment was advertised as “Old Time Rock and Roll”, but the first tune we heard as we entered the room was “Bye Bye Blackbird”, followed by “I Fall to Pieces”, “In the Mood” and “Sentimental Journey”. Bluegrass another night act was not bluegrass music. I could go on and on, but that is illustrative. Even the cruise director admitted to me that they had “misrepresented” the entertainment. Some nights the talent advertised didn’t show up, and afternoon activities on three days included kite flying and BUBBLE BLOWING on the top deck. Be still my heart. PORTS OF CALL: Oh, boy! Where do I start? The ports they advertise only have a casual relationship with what you get. Personally, I don’t think three hours on land counts as a port call. Passengers are herded onto buses, sometime for three hours, with no breaks. Local tours too often are a tour bus driving up and down the streets of small towns, looking at the outsides of vintage houses and touring vacant lots and closed store fronts with the tour guide saying “This lot/store used to be……….” The highlight of a couple of tours was a stop at the top of a bluff overlooking the town. Almost every port call ended, like at Disneyland/ Disney World, at a gift shop. The first port of call was Red Wing, MN, home of the famous Red Wing Shoes, but we were there on a SUNDAY, when the factory and store are closed. Clearly American Cruise Line knows this. Result: a bus “tour” around this tiny town with a stop at a pottery-centered gift shop. We didn’t stop at Davenport, Iowa; Oak Alley, LA or Baton Rouge, LA, with no public acknowledgement of why. Instead we landed at tiny towns like Burlington, IA and St. Francisville, LA; both of which are ill equipped for and can not be considered an “attraction”. Don’t assume you are going to get to see Elvis’s bedroom at Graceland or the exhibits at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where MLK, Jr. was killed. Didn’t happen. Also, excursion on another day was to a button museum. I couldn’t make this stuff up. ACL has no way of keeping track of which passengers are on the boat and who are not at any given stop. Consequently, for example, in Memphis, one passenger was left behind at the tour stop at St. Jude’s Hospital; a CREW member was left behind at the afternoon excursion, and a couple who had gone into town for dinner was left behind as the boat took off down the river at 7 p.m., instead of at the advertised time of 8 p.m. After sailing for 30 minutes, the boat had to turn around and go back to Memphis to pick the couple up. Crew error. When we told crew that we would be off the boat for one night, nothing (to my knowledge) was written down either upon our departure or return. A final insult was my wife and I being literally left in the parking lot in New Orleans as the shuttle to the airport drove away early. Again, crew error. Result: cruise director unsuccessfully chasing after shuttle on foot, followed by an 80-90 mph taxi ride to the airport to catch up with the bus which had our luggage. Most exciting and entertaining (although stressful) part of the trip. FOOD: Breakfast was well handled, but food to table for lunch and dinner occasionally had only a casual relationship with menu choices. Worst, the ice cream served was “soup” at every meal. Passengers complained on first half of cruise and ice cream was firm for next two days, followed by 10 days of melted ice cream. You could have consumed it with a straw. VALUE: For what we spent on two weeks with ACL on the Mississippi, we could have flown to Europe and had an all-inclusive river cruise or ocean cruise. Please note that ACL price doesn’t include tips or airline tickets. Those are on you. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
This was our first cruise with ACL. We had a great time visiting small towns like Petersburg, Kake, Haines, Skagway and sailing through Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. The trip was fun and educational with local experts on board providing ... Read More
This was our first cruise with ACL. We had a great time visiting small towns like Petersburg, Kake, Haines, Skagway and sailing through Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay. The trip was fun and educational with local experts on board providing information on Alaska, glaciers and all the wildlife we saw (bald eagles, whales, sea lions, otters, etc.). Most of the shore excursions on this trip are included in the cost of the cruise. There are guided historical walking tours, guided nature tours, hiking, whale watching, train trip included in the trip. Additional cost tours are salmon fishing and kayaking. Most of the ports were a short walk to town but transportation was always available if you didn't want to walk. We sailed on The American Spirit with approximately 85 total passengers. There were 4 children on this trip ranging in age from 8 years to teenagers. There were some 30 & 40 year old couples but the majority of passengers were seniors. The cabins are roomy and very clean. Soap, shampoo, etc are all provided along with a hair dryer. There is a DVD player in the room and a library supply of movies to watch. There is no cable on board and limited internet capability since most areas of the trip are remote. Breakfast is plentiful and good with lunch & dinner being average quality and small portions. We had a great time but and would recommend trip to others. Would not recommend for young children or those whole require a swimming pool. Airfare and transportation to and from the ship are not included in the cost of the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our first cruise with ACL. It was wonderful! I enjoyed our cabin-with a view of the coast of Maine. It was just stunning. Watching Maine go by with the lighthouses was like being in a movie. In fact, the city of Bath was used ... Read More
This was our first cruise with ACL. It was wonderful! I enjoyed our cabin-with a view of the coast of Maine. It was just stunning. Watching Maine go by with the lighthouses was like being in a movie. In fact, the city of Bath was used in a movie. Entertainment was just my speed. Not to slow and not to fast and loud. Enjoyed the first night with the trumpet & guitar player. Their music was easy to listen too. The next night a lady with a drummer came on board. She help to lead us through the history of Broadway. Songs and stories where a highlight of her entertainment. The Lobster man was interesting, but he could leave out that he is divorced and what he pays for his ex to live on. The banjo player made magic come out of banjo! He was incredible! My husband loved eating lobster once, twice, three times a day sometimes. I enjoyed the view from the dining room plus the food. Yes, my clothes are a bit snug this week after all the wonderful food from last week. Service on board was good. When there was something we needed, it was taken care of in a timely manner. Loved being on the ship. Watching the fireworks for the 4th off the coast was nice. First time I had a sweater on to watch the event. Wish we could of been a bit closer, but the weather was wonderful and the view was good. Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
We embarked the Queen of the Mississippi in New Orleans, this was our first small boat cruise, what a wonderful experience, no lines or waiting EVER. The boat went north on the river up to Memphis, they had interesting & informative ... Read More
We embarked the Queen of the Mississippi in New Orleans, this was our first small boat cruise, what a wonderful experience, no lines or waiting EVER. The boat went north on the river up to Memphis, they had interesting & informative shore excursions that were included in the price for the most part, except for Graceland in Memphis. The rooms were very roomy and comfortable and all have a deck with table & chairs, the service on this boat is excellent by everyone on this boat. The food was wonderful, they offer have cocktails & hors de oeuvres 5:30-6:30 and then dinner! After dinner there is always entertainment by different performers. They offer breakfast, lunch & dinner selections & you can also get half portions. The nice thing about this cruise is your not slammed with a bill at the end for alcohol, shore excursions etc. This is an older crowd as there really isn't much to do for younger children, no pools, clubs, activities etc. We liked it so much we booked another cruise with them for next year & would recommend it to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Queen of the Mississippi Ratings
Category Editor Member
Entertainment N/A 4.1
Public Rooms N/A 4.5
Fitness Recreation N/A 3.3
Family N/A 3.3
Shore Excursion N/A 4.2
Enrichment N/A 4.1
Service N/A 4.5
Value For Money N/A 4.0
Rates N/A 3.6

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