3 American Cruise Lines Queen of the West Luxury Cruise Reviews

As frequent river (Europe) and ocean cruisers, we came with high hopes for a top notch ship to equal the price paid. We knew the ship was old; we weren't prepared for lack of quality care of the vessel (save the engineering which was ... Read More
As frequent river (Europe) and ocean cruisers, we came with high hopes for a top notch ship to equal the price paid. We knew the ship was old; we weren't prepared for lack of quality care of the vessel (save the engineering which was relatively new) over the years. Upon entering our cabin for the first time, the window covers (mini blinds) were warped from mishandling over time. The wall covering was peeling; the outdoor balcony was filthy (and remained so the entire trip). It was unusable anyway since the generator or engine noise was deafening on the balcony. Recovering from this "drive up" appearance, I sat on the bed (which was comfortable) and looked up at the ceiling. The air conditioning return vent (which is very large), was weeping dust and dirt accumulated for many months, if not years. Fine, housekeeping came up and "dusted" the exterior but did not have any filters onboard to complete the job. Next day, filters were purchased and the job was completed. I assisted the young crewman as it was more than a one man job. The filters were so black with mold and other crud it, I cannot describe just how bad they were. But we were there for the week and we were going to enjoy ourselves. So we return to the cabin after the first dinner and the housekeepers had done turndown service. Great! We expected that. What we didn't expect was to find relatively fresh blood on the duvet! Again, guest services was notified and a new duvet was received. Guest services was very responsive to our concerns. The hotel staff and a corporate supervisor were very attentive, listened to our issues all week and made corrections where corrections could be made. Here's the bottom line or takeaway. The housekeeping and restaurant staff are the same young men and women. They are well chosen and delightful to be around. However, they are US college kids or from similar backgrounds that are onboard for summer jobs. They serve, essentially, the entire summer season. I understand they receive 4 days of formal training and on the job training from there. They are not the professional and experienced staff you have on cruise lines that are operated outside the US. Until American Cruise Lines has a professional complement of staff dedicated full time to customer service, the housekeeping and other service issues we faced will be a continuing matter. The service experienced on this ship would not be acceptable to any other cruise line we have experienced. There were other matters which could be written up but I've already run on too long. On the positive side, there was coffee, teas and sodas available with chips and things 24/7 in two common areas. Breakfast was dependably good and the many fish served at lunch and dinner were well prepared. The deck crew busted their butts making sure the less mobile passengers got off and on the boat safely. The captain was great. The Columbia and Snake Rivers are incredible. The 4th deck was wonderful for viewing. That said, drive it, RV it, and use local guides. The Queen of the West is not a good value. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
We were one of the first 6 to board this ship in Lewiston. Warner kindly let us on a bit earlier as we waited in the lounge area for our rooms to be ready. Warner knew his job and we were disappointed to see him go after day one. He just ... Read More
We were one of the first 6 to board this ship in Lewiston. Warner kindly let us on a bit earlier as we waited in the lounge area for our rooms to be ready. Warner knew his job and we were disappointed to see him go after day one. He just had a way with him that made you feel special, the lass that took his place was not as confident and we found she just didn't have that personable ability that Warner had. The faux enthusiasm reminded of us of a UK comedy TV program," Hi de hi." Gladys, who had a similar job of gathering the groups to impart information to holiday makers, also spoke through a microphone with similar gusto. The rooms, although smaller than other river cruises in Europe were of a similar standard, as was the food. The Americans on board were all part of the great experience we had on this cruise. We were travelling with friends, a Texan couple, so were weren't strangers to the ways of the locals!!! Having said that, we became of interest to some Americans as we were yet again, the only New Zealanders on board. As Kiwis we are well travelled and enjoyed very much the history of the Colombia Snake river and excursions. I would like to mention Cindy one of the tour guides and driver of bus 1. What an amazing lady, so entertaining and a wealth of knowledge, and (some made up nonsence which had us in hysterics). She has the gift of the gab as we would say back here at home, and although she is contracted to do this job, don't let go of this lady, such a huge asset to have. It was a ship shape affair with all staff tending to our needs of feeding and cleaning our rooms, they must be exhausted each night, but they just carried on like troopers. All in all a most successful and interesting look into Pacific North West Area of the USA. We would highly recommend this particular boat cruise to anyone interested in the history and scenery of this area. We finally finished this trip in Portland, refreshed and satisfied with our choice. Will definitely be interested at another cruise at some stage. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
I selected ACL's cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers for several reasons: I'm interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition, I wanted to see the landscape of the Inland Northwest, and my earlier cruise with ACL (the Lower ... Read More
I selected ACL's cruise down the Snake and Columbia Rivers for several reasons: I'm interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition, I wanted to see the landscape of the Inland Northwest, and my earlier cruise with ACL (the Lower Mississippi) was such a treat that I wanted to travel with the company again. The Snake/Columbia River trip was one of the best I'd ever taken, and I have been traveling extensively for 52 years. My booking was handled politely and expeditiously by Sean at the ACL office, and I received all necessary papers and notices on time and in order before my departure. The itinerary, from Lewiston, ID, to Astoria, OR, was first rate. The excursions were diverse and fascinating, with excellent guides-- there was something for everyone. When we were under way, the staff always devised something fun to do, like sailing kites off the deck. Though the cabins on the paddlewheeler Queen of the West are somewhat smaller than on the Queen of the Mississippi, my room was perfectly acceptable --clean and comfortable. The company has, incidentally, just launched a new ship built to their specifications, so they are always upgrading. The service is excellent. You can tell immediately that the staff are very well trained: these young people are friendly, polite, and capable. In addition, the lecturers were outstanding. Because of my interest in history, I asked a lot of questions-- and got the answers. Above all, the cruise director was very responsive to our needs-- she even made special arrangements for me to fit in an extra excursion in Astoria. I especially enjoyed the afternoon happy hour, with included drinks, wine, and an extensive selection of hors d'oeuvres. It was a great chance to meet with the other passengers and compare notes. The ship is small, about 100 passengers, so you have an opportunity to meet like-minded, friendly people from all over the country. The food is excellent. I am a vegetarian, and the chef had no problem accommodating my needs. I have already signed up for my third ACL cruise, and I plan to take many more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Queen of the West Ratings
Category Editor Member

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