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175 North America River Senior Cruise Reviews

We selected this cruise becasue we wanted to see more of the US. This is a new ship with all American crew. So much exceeded our expectations ... the size of the cabin, the onboard entertainment and activities, the shore excursions and, ... Read More
We selected this cruise becasue we wanted to see more of the US. This is a new ship with all American crew. So much exceeded our expectations ... the size of the cabin, the onboard entertainment and activities, the shore excursions and, of course, the fabulous food. NOTE: There was lots and lots of storage space in the cabin. Tons of drawers and good-sized closet. Also, a large bathroom with nice amenities. The cruise included a pre-night hotel stay in New Orleans. We boarded before noon, and had a fabulous seafood buffet with the most incredible desserts! We knew our waistlines were in trouble!! Each port had included shore excursions that were both interesting and informative. The onboard entertainment and enrichment programs were extremely well done. Loved the size of the ship ... enought lounges and places to sit and enjoy, while being intimate and easy to meet fellow travellers. This is NOT a cruise/ship for children. Another reason we selected it. Would we go again ... ABSOLUTELY! Would we cruise with American Cruise Lines again ... ABSOLUTELY! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We had been wanting to try a river cruise, especially after watching the size of ocean-going cruise ships balloon until some can carry more than 6,000 passengers. The American Empress beautifully accommodates just over 221, with an ... Read More
We had been wanting to try a river cruise, especially after watching the size of ocean-going cruise ships balloon until some can carry more than 6,000 passengers. The American Empress beautifully accommodates just over 221, with an attentive crew of 88. Our Category C cabin--212--was cozy, but well laid out so that we had plenty of closet space and storage, even in the bathroom. Yes, the shower is small, but it worked just fine for us. Ours was a late-season round trip from and to Vancouver, Washington, rather than the more common one-way trip from Vancouver to Lewiston, Idaho, or vice versa. We knew that there was a high probability of rainy/cloudy/foggy weather in the Pacific Northwest in November, and we were proved correct. We did have two sunny days, and only two really rainy days, so we were content. Our fellow cruisers were, in the main, like us--Baby Boomers and older. There were a few 40-50 somethings, but we were in the majority. I would not recommend this as a honeymoon cruise, unless your other passion is Lewis and Clark. As for the Empress herself, she is a delightful home away. The food was very good, particularly the fish entrees, and of those, particularly the salmon. The lobster was also quite good, and more moist--less chewy--than on many past ocean cruises. The River Grille, on the top deck (#4), offered buffet-style cuisine at breakfast and lunch, and becomes a stylish alternative (no extra cost) dinner house at night. I was captivated by the masses of fresh berries and bacon available for breakfast, along with made-to-order omelets and other breakfast fare. Lunch was equally tasty, with hamburgers cooked to order. The Grille also offered 24/7 access to coffee, sodas, soft-serve ice cream, and cookies. The cuisine was a big two thumps-up on the Empress. The ports consisted of Vancouver, WA, Astoria, OR, te Dalles, OR, Stevenson, WA, and Portland, OR. The Hop-on-Hop-off (HOHO) buses were a wonderful included extra in every port. We opted for two optional excursions--Fort Clatsop in Astoria and the Maryhill Art Museum outside of the Dalles. I recommend both. Back to the boat . . . The entertainment was passable, but we didn't take this cruise to be entertained. The "Riverlorian" was well-intentioned and knowledgeable, but a bit dry. The lounge singer provided guitar and vocals in the Paddlewheel Lounge, and was especially effective with James Taylor covers. The staff was unfailingly cordial, professional, and attentive. Bottom line: This was a great experience, and I recommend this cruise. The only negative was the lack of soundproofing between rooms. This was not a deal-breaker, but it could be improved. A definite plus was the binoculars, robe, and slippers provided (you get to keep the slippers!). It was such a positive experience that we are hoping to book a future cruise on the lower Mississippi with American Queen Steamship Company. Well done, AQSC! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Entertainment is an interesting historian and an excellent musician. All the typical choices at breakfast along with a fresh fruit buffet, 3 main choices for lunch or dinner. The food was good, better than the larger cruise lines, ... Read More
Entertainment is an interesting historian and an excellent musician. All the typical choices at breakfast along with a fresh fruit buffet, 3 main choices for lunch or dinner. The food was good, better than the larger cruise lines, just less choices. House wine was Woodbridge, so you might want to bring your own or buy. The staff was always helpful, cheerful, and really wanted you to enjoy your trip. There were one or two included tours at each stop and in most cases you could take the morning and afternoon tours if you wanted too. Graceland tour is WAY overpriced. Maybe because it was a cold day and the place wasn’t busy, there were no lines to get ahead of. Walked through all the displays, not crowded. Touring the mansion is chaotic in a small space. You only see the basement and main floor, upper level is off limits. The WiFi was terrible, it was either really poor reception or non-existent. Unless they get this adjusted, don’t plan on iPad entertainment. TV reception was always good. The crowd is definitely senior so if you are looking for party, party call Carnival Cruise lines. If you are looking for laid-back, nice accommodations, and meeting some interesting people, this is a cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We just finished Uncruise's Rivers of Adventure cruise along the Snake and Columbia rivers (departure Oct 12 from Clarkston WA). It was a lovely cruise through a beautiful area of the country, that I think alot of people don't ... Read More
We just finished Uncruise's Rivers of Adventure cruise along the Snake and Columbia rivers (departure Oct 12 from Clarkston WA). It was a lovely cruise through a beautiful area of the country, that I think alot of people don't know about, but should. The canyon scenery was really spectacular. Also, this is great cruise for people who like to hike. We did 3 good hikes: the falls at Palouse State Park, the Rowena Plateau, and Dry Creek Falls. There was also a jet boat ride into the Hells Canyon Recreation area that was just great! We saw bald eagles, curly horn mountain goats, petroglyphs, and a fisherman hauling in a huge sturgeon. We also did a white water rafting ride on the Deschutes River that was alot of fun (we had never done this before), and an interesting visit to the Bonneville Dam (Do not miss Herman the Sturgeon at the nearby fish hatchery - ~ 75 yrs old, 11 ft long, and ~500 lbs)!. There was also a free kayak afternoon, in addition to the guided kayak. I really appreciated the free kayak, since I like to paddle around, but am not so good about keeping up, The canyon scenery was just beautiful on this one. The guides are really good at judging what people can do and setting the pace accordingly. The lounge area is very spacious and had nice appetizers every day at 5:30, and interesting cocktails. Its an open bar (included in the fare). Food is very good; nice wine list. Meals are all sit down. Servers are very friendly and accommodating of dietary restrictions. I think there could have been a bit of more variety at breakfast: There is a choice of the Chef's Special, and an omelet, though they are very accommodating about making other things. The special was pancakes once, french toast once, and the rest of the time it was another egg & meat based dish. I would have appreciated lighter specials. This may be a result of the logistics of the kitchen. Once could always get oatmeal (which I did). Overall, I can't say enough good things about the crew and guides: So friendly, knowledgeable,and helpful. This was our second Uncruise Adventure, and virtually everyone on the boat was a repeat customer (up to 7 cruises!). This is the best endorsement to have. We would sail with them again in a heartbeat! Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pre-cruise at Red Lion Jansen beach hotel,$ 40 cab ride from airport ,very large hotel,nice rooms ,good restaurant,boat docks at hotel,free breakfast on day of embarkation.Some confusion on day of embarkation.Onboard welcome and lunch on ... Read More
Pre-cruise at Red Lion Jansen beach hotel,$ 40 cab ride from airport ,very large hotel,nice rooms ,good restaurant,boat docks at hotel,free breakfast on day of embarkation.Some confusion on day of embarkation.Onboard welcome and lunch on boat,crowded. Had room 404 on deck 4 forward,large room, quiet,nice veranda,small but,usable.Was liformed by others that lower deck cabins were noisy at times.Breakfast in morning good,lunch also good ( see menu pics) beer and wine with lunch.Dinners also good,service and food started at level 8,but slipped to level 4or 5 by day 3 of cruise.Some servers inattentive at times,find a good one and stay with them,crew all young and nice and friendly. Food fine first 3 days,but started to be served cold quite often after that,not sure if this was a service problem or cooking one.Snacks available in all lounges all day,cookies,chips soda coffee,tea and specialty coffees. Sometimes beer and wine setup in the Sky lounge after 1:00pm.Lounges very nice,Paddlewheel cuttest,but noisy while under way,Sky lounge best,could move inside or outside as mood or weather dictates.Fith deck nice in good weather.Happy hour in Cascade lounge at 5:30 pm,any drink you want,and interesting appetizers,shrimp,crab claws,cheese ,smoked salmon ,also two servers with other appetizers.Late bar with intertainment,same drink set up ,intertainment ok ( we’re not show people) Shared boat with group from Smithsonion society,nick named them THE ROYAL FAMILY.Had their own section of dining room,own buses,left boat first,etc discouraged from associating with the second class citizens,although some broke the rules.be aware this can happen,enough said.Excursions,some additional charges not mentioned in brochures,Astoria,Fort Clatsop,if you have nothing better to do,Cape Disappointment,beautiful,well worth it,great views,Mt St.Helens very nice ,long bus ride,worth it,Multnomah falls very nice ,beautiful,Bonneville dam interesting,The Dalles ,small town,rest day for us.Cascade Cliffs winery ,small,but nice. Helles canyon boat ride was excellent.saw mule deer,rocky mountain sheep.excellent lunch,long ride ,but fascinating.Scenery on trip beautiful,be aware all lock transitions are at night or early in the morning and can be noisy at times,we could touch the lock wall from our veranda. Transfer to the Spokane airport good,Garden inn by Marriott one mile from airport free shuttle too and from hotel,very nice restaurant across parkin lot,short walk,nice hotel Biggest challenge is flying,no surprise there. in summary a good trip, but expensive compared with an ocean cruise,two or three times as much .Not for young people ,at 70 was one of younger people on board Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We arrived in New York City 5 days prior to the cruise so we could explore the city as we hadn't been back there for almost 15 years. Stayed at Embassy Suites Midtown, great location for walking and taking the subway. Embarkation ... Read More
We arrived in New York City 5 days prior to the cruise so we could explore the city as we hadn't been back there for almost 15 years. Stayed at Embassy Suites Midtown, great location for walking and taking the subway. Embarkation was easy and quick. Just dropped off the bags and they had pedi-cabs to take us to the ship around the corner. We had an AC cabin with balcony. Had nice amount of space, and of course small bathroom (no bathrooms are big on ships). Food was excellent with lots of lobster, scallops, shrimp even thought this wasn't a New England cruise. The entertainment was low key, with local singers, comedians brought on board as we cruised. Service was excellent and crew really tried hard. The "river historian" or whatever the overall guide is called had emergency gall bladder surgery so didn't show up, can't blame her! In mid cruise we had a new guide, Robert who was excellent. Lots of background on the places we were going and very entertaining. All of the shore excursions were excellent. We did FDR's mansion, Vanderbilt mansion, West Point, Sleepy Hallow and lots more. Good guides throughout. The only negative with this cruise is the price. It's an American built ship, two years old, American Crew, and good American food. So everyone gets paid American wages instead of the low paid crews of the international ships. This was the most expensive one week cruise we've ever done, and we did it for the itinerary. Most all of their other routes, we've done either as a land vacation or big ship experience, so we didn't book a future cruise. We had a very enjoyable time. If you can afford it, we'd recommend the experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it ... Read More
I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it didn’t seem they had much training. The food was 5 out of 10; a great disappointment. If you like being lectured, that was the primary entertainment although a Mark Twain imitator was a very good storyteller. Our suite was very nice and the highlight. On and off was easy. Even though the food was lackluster, I liked the idea that we could order 1/2 orders. I am a light eater and hate to waste food so saw this as something other cruise lines would be smart to emulate. The decor in the public areas is beautiful and comfortable, however, when it rained, none of the cushions were removed from the rain therefore they were “unsittable” for quite some time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We took this cruise because it is the only cruise line that goes on the Erie Canal. Cabin -- we were in the largest option -- was small,but not a problem because we knew it would be. Essentially no useful directions to embarkation point ... Read More
We took this cruise because it is the only cruise line that goes on the Erie Canal. Cabin -- we were in the largest option -- was small,but not a problem because we knew it would be. Essentially no useful directions to embarkation point in Montreal, which left our cab driver searching for 40 minutes on what should have been a 15-minute ride. The cruise is pretty well for old people, again not a problem as we are old. There were under 40 passengers on a ship that will hold over 80, so we were able to spread out and do our own thing when we wanted. I think it would be a very difficult trip, in terms of feeling crowded, if the ship were full. The best thing, which is typical for most cruises we have been on, was the crew, especially the young people working the cabins and dining rooms. Very hard workers and very sweet. The captain and officers were personable and expert. The cruise director was very efficient if not warm and fuzzy. The "expert" offering lectures and commentary was great. They make a effort to keep you entertained in the evening -- beside the lectures, there were a couple musicians, movies, game night, etc. All were pretty well geared to old people. We thought the food pretty average, but the chef was very responsive to special requests. We were satisfied in terms of our objective -- seeing the amazing canal engineering across New York state. The excursions we took were fine -- a bit overpriced, but you are paying for their service. You are pretty well on your own in terms of exploring locales where you dock. I really don't see going on this line again -- it is expensive for what you get -- unless, as with the Erie Canal, there is no other option. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked the eastbound Columbia and Snake River cruise because it was a new part of the country for us. The American Song is their newest boat. We started in Lewiston, Idaho, and booked a one-day jet boat trip down the Snake River into the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. We did this through the cruise line as an add-on. Highly recommended. Saw so much fantastic scenery, ruins of mines, settlements and enterprises from the pioneer days, bald eagles, rocky mountain big horn sheep, beautiful cliffs, Indian petroglyphs, - just a neat day in a comfortable open air boat. Two stops for lunch and snacks at former ranch and farm, now operated for river travelers. Next day we boarded the Song. Very comfortable boat, with a wonderful scale - only 184 passengers. No long treks to the dining room or lounges as you might be accustomed to on the ocean ships. Very easy and pleasant if you have any mobility issues. No long waits for the elevators - hardly ever waited at all. Lovely cabin - even though we had the least expensive cabin - plenty of storage, nice balcony. Easy cruising with stops in small towns every day. At least three excursions were included at every stop, with at least one being complimentary. Fascinating going through the 8 locks and dams on the Columbia. Some long bus rides to get to the places of interest on the excursions, not too pleasant. We greatly enjoyed Multnomah Falls, Mount St Helens, and Cape Disappointment. They seemed to waste the day we got to Portland - arrived too late in the day to really see anything. Lecturer told us about the history of Lewis and Clark, the Columbia River - she was all right, nothing special. The entertainment on board was basically conversation with the other passengers. There was a modest musical act each at night after dinner - ranging from not too good to pretty good. I think that for quite a few passengers the main attraction of the trip was the free and unlimited wine, beer and liquor offered all day long. Food was pretty good. All meals served in open seating dining room. There was also a small snack bar called the Back Porch Cafe on upper outdoor lounge - hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Service and attentiveness to passengers was excellent. Loved the self-service laundromats. The cruise was all-inclusive, just as advertised. Made all arrangements and transactions very trouble free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an ... Read More
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an executive chef with some imagination would be a good idea. Couldn't even make a sandwich properly. How do you run out of butter for 3 days ? No Vanilla Ice Cream for 2 days. Happy hour bars were very poorly organized. First night 5 glasses total at the aft bar. No beer on ice. Very poor veer selection and out of some brands for days. Very inexperienced staff and management ( if you can call it that ) Boarding day was very badly handled. Little to no communication from the Bridge for the first 5 days. This is sold (and priced ) as 5 star, First Class. NOT SO !! Badly planned stops. For Example: Whole day in very small ports and 1/2 day in Baton Rouge. Great opportunity for a great trip but they missed it !!! Thanks to Tiffany for her service in the dining room, and to Tom for his help in DR. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Victory II ship was recently renovated and they did an excellent job. The ship is fresh, clean, and very well appointed. Every staff member we have met is attentive and concerned for our satisfaction. Our cabin is more than adequate ... Read More
The Victory II ship was recently renovated and they did an excellent job. The ship is fresh, clean, and very well appointed. Every staff member we have met is attentive and concerned for our satisfaction. Our cabin is more than adequate with one exception: the shower is extremely small. Meals are quite varied. On more than one occasion we have ordered doubles of items on the menu, or we have ordered multiple items from each category, with no questions asked from the staff. All of the tours has been enjoyable, informative, and worth the time. The cruise director has done a very good job of telling us what to expect for our next day of adventure. Going through the various locks along the way has been one of the most interesting parts of this trip. I would highly recommend this cruise. I have seen criticisms of where the ship docks and my only comment to that is: this is a ship and it has to be dock at a port, and the ports are not necessarily in the best part of town…. Why would you expect a ship port to be in a beautiful part of town? Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
While we knew this ship obviously caters to more elderly travelers, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and a small ship experience. We’d wanted to see this part of the country and this looked like a great way to do it. We’ve ... Read More
While we knew this ship obviously caters to more elderly travelers, we chose this cruise for the itinerary and a small ship experience. We’d wanted to see this part of the country and this looked like a great way to do it. We’ve cruised a lot, but always on large ocean-going ships. We were very pleased with our experience on Pearl Mist. The cabin was spacious with lots of storage and outlets. The staff was friendly and attentive and the menu options varied and the quality of the food was good. We enjoyed being able to literally “pull up to the curb” in our ports. Elderly passengers were well-accommodated and entertainment options definitely skewed to that population. We enjoyed the nightly cocktail hour and the wines provided at lunch and dinner. The included excursions were also very nice. Overall, we enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and itinerary. We would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
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
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the ... Read More
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the lower Mississippi river got worse. We repeatedly questioned the cruise direction inquiring about our destination considering the weather. We essentially were ignored. The decor of the rooms is average. The upper floors leaked terribly. two of our three ports were closed. The port at Baton Rouge was at flood stage and the entire city was shut down pending the coming flood. Once again we tried to get answers with no results. When then decided to disembark and catch a flight home. All the crew were first timers and inexperienced. The food was average for a cruise. The entertainment areas were small. There was one ice machine for the 100 or so passengers, The captain was relieved of duty apparently because his lack of communication with the passengers. I contacted the corporate office and their flippant response was we didn't know of any storm or problems with the America. This cruise is falsely advertised and way to expensive for what is offered. The crew is very young and inexperienced. It felt like we were on training vessel. The main office has yet to refund me any money. They offered a 1000 cruise credit which to me was an insult. If you book with this company you will regret it! Never Again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 ... Read More
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 minute bus ride for 60 minute visit, but DVD on bus about eruption helped. Pendleton excursion definitely not worth it, would have preferred to remain on board. We enjoyed the locks and the lecturer gave commentary in the lounge. Really no other commentary or map described the areas we were passing by. We kept changing tables in the dining room until we found a server we liked - they usually cover the same 3 or so tables. Usually only a couple choices of appetizer/salad, main course and dessert. They try really hard to accommodate dietary issues, we had none. Snacks and all kinds of sodas/juices always available in several lounges. Jet boat ride on Hells Canyon did not include the sheer canyon walls I expected, but did see an eagle and big horn sheep. Three free washers/dryers with soap pods and dryer sheets provided. Embarkation is walk on from Red Lion Hotel and disembarkation was well organized. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland ... Read More
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland was unrealistic so we rented a car and drove 6 hours. Once we were inClarkston it was well organized. (Car was returned to Lewiston airport hotel provided shuttle back to hotel.) Embarkation went smoothly. Just a short walk to ship ...hotel staff took our luggage to ship. My cabin was as expected. Neat clean lots of room and drawer space. HINT. When you leave it is requested you leave your key card on the desk ....no card on my desk.. plenty of staff available to get me a new card. *****Key cards are magnetized so I had problems with it demagnetizing when it was near my IPAD. Cruise was great I researched ahead of time so I knew the guests would be a mature group. The tours were adequate for the remote areas we cruised. The crew went out of their way to make sure slower guests disembarked for tours safely and with dignity.. This was my first River Cruise and there will. Be many to follow. I am not a fan of the huge cruises with thousands of guests. Yes ACL cruises are expensive. I read lots of reviews and knew what to expect Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise to get a lifetime experience on the Mississippi River. The advertising of the cruise was very effusive about the standard of the service and the experiences that were to be enjoyed. But, let me tell you what really was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to get a lifetime experience on the Mississippi River. The advertising of the cruise was very effusive about the standard of the service and the experiences that were to be enjoyed. But, let me tell you what really was experienced. Meals: The restaurant setting is comfortable but crowded. The furniture needs a good clean. The meals were presented in a haphazard style with little appeal to the presented food, it was just placed on the plate. The menu selection on some of the days was appalling. Rooms: Our room was comfortable but included basic furniture. The bed was too short ( I am 179 cm or 5'11") and my feet hung over the end of the bed. The linen was a good quality. Entertainment: This was the highlight of the cruise. Variety and energy were the keys to keeping us entertained. Very good standard of delivery was held throughout the cruise. Gym: A very basic and barely adequate gym and pool is on board. Service: This was the most disappointing aspect of the cruise. After paying $AUS1,000+ per day for a cabin leading onto the veranda, service delivery was very poor. We had to continually request shampoo, soap and other bathroom amenities be maintained. The service in the dining room was appalling. Food was plonked on the table without any of the normal etiquette processes, wine was sloshed into glasses, orders were forgotten, explanation of selections was very poor and there was no continual supervision of the table. Excursions: The complementary shuttle bus service was very welcome and appreciated. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it ... Read More
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it but to sleep. Several places where you can sit, watch the scenery, read or visit with the new friends you meet daily. Crew very attentive and Edgar to please. First morning we boarded at 10:30 AM snakes and open bar has we were oriented to our boat. Meals have been delicious! Who doesn’t like a root beer float or ice cream sundae at 8 PM?? As we travel we learn more about the history of the area we are in. Loved Astoria’s quaint look. Houses on hills like San Francisco but then you seen a doe with her fawn meandering down the street or tucked under a 300 foot fir. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always ... Read More
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always very attentive and interesting as well as interested in the passengers. This was my third cruise with ACL and I’ve enjoyed them all. The cabins and the common areas are always clean and well cared for. The food is very good and the evening entertainment is always very good. Usually it is local talent from the different ports but they are all very talented. The ports and excursions are interesting and varied. I love the fact that the ships are all built in the USA and the staff is all American, mostly college graduates. I like the fact that everything, except some of the excursions, is included so you don’t have to worry about how much drinks cost or how much you should tip the staff. The price might be higher than some cruises, but adding the extra costs from additional expenses probably evens out in the long run. The biggest downside on this ship, the Spirit (built in 2005), is the fact that the WiFi was very poor, although it was fine on the other two ships I was on, the America and the Constitution. Would I go on another one? Absolutely! In fact I’m already scheduled a fourth trip in June/July 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I've read many reviews about many cruise lines. I believe that people that are dissatisfied are way more likely to post a review than those who are completely happy with their experience. I'm going to be as objective as I know ... Read More
I've read many reviews about many cruise lines. I believe that people that are dissatisfied are way more likely to post a review than those who are completely happy with their experience. I'm going to be as objective as I know how. The only area in which I'd give a low mark is the internet connection ability. It was slow to non-existent as well as unpredictable. If you're a person who needs high speed internet service all the time, you'll be unhappy. If you have an old flip-phone and use it only occasionally, this deficiency won't matter to you. Our room, 421, largest choice for a cabin, was excellent. Spacious and comfy. Full sized bath, fantastic shower, king sized bed. The food offerings were very tasty and satisfying. If there was a weak area, I'd say it was the bread and pastries. There was no problem making up any assortment of choices three meals a day. Snacks, colas, great assortment of soft drinks were free gratis all day as well as a hot beverage machine that had every kind of hot drink imaginable. (Looked up its price and it's in the $10,000 neighborhood and they had 2). Wine, beer, heavier snacks were available between 5:30-6:30 before dinner. Bottled water and soft drinks were put in the room refrigerator daily as well as the presence of a Keurig coffee pot with a variety of pods. Rooms were cleaned twice daily. Service people were competent and friendly in all areas, dining as well as cleaning. Laundry service was complimentary. Excursions at each port on the Canadian Maritime and St. Lawrence Seaway were also complimentary. Bus tours were well planned for people with disabilities. Help was always available at a moment's notice. On the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay cruise a few had a charge, but many were complimentary. Some may complain that the price is higher than many cruise lines, but I believe when you weigh the amenities the price is well worth it. We think it's the best cruise we've been on. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This Cruise Line was recommended to us, We had studied their literature carefully. I use a cane and scooter and was with my husband. It all worked out very well for me. The crew assisted me with my scooter on and off the Riverboat. ... Read More
This Cruise Line was recommended to us, We had studied their literature carefully. I use a cane and scooter and was with my husband. It all worked out very well for me. The crew assisted me with my scooter on and off the Riverboat. This was quite helpful, so I did not miss a thing. We enjoyed meeting new people, many interesting and from all over the USA. We found the group fun and stimulating having shared many of the same experiences in life. The Riverboat,The American Song was new. The furnishing and lounges were quite nice with large windows. This was a Food and Wine Cruise so we raved about the Food Selections and Wines. My husband, in particular had seafood at each meal. I tried other menu selections. We found the lectures interesting and stimulating. We found two of the evenings of entertainment most enjoyable. The entire crew made our experience the Best! The shore excursions were fabulous, the small towns in the Pacific Northwest, the Museums we visited, the magnificent Columbia and Snake Rivers were Wonderful to see. The terrain and locks were so impressive to us having lived mostly in the East, Midwest and South. We are from Atlanta, Georgia and signed on for the Alaska Cruise for next Summer in August 2020. Praises to the American Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Cruised before on the American Queen. Loved the service and staff. 5 stars. Thought the Empress might be similar and it was just as good, maybe considering the scenery, better. First, the cabin. Knowing that the cabins on these boats ... Read More
Cruised before on the American Queen. Loved the service and staff. 5 stars. Thought the Empress might be similar and it was just as good, maybe considering the scenery, better. First, the cabin. Knowing that the cabins on these boats tend toward being a bit smaller and knowing that the weather would be cold and rainey, we opted for one of the biggest cabins onboard, 704. Cabin was large and comfortable, well decorated, lots of storage. Yes, you've heard that the bathrooms are small - they are, but certainly not the big deal that some reviewers thought. Not an issue for us in the least. Yes, the walls are thin and you can hear next door's TV and the toilets flush. Again, not a biggie, and not bothersome for us. You know these things going into this cruise and if you think it is a problem (it is not), well it just comes with the territory. Some of the TV bleed through could be avioded if the speakers were not inside the TV cabinet, against the wall where they would use the wall as a sounding board. But again, it did not impact upon this 5-star cruise. Food was mostly excellant. Never had a meal that was less than a 9+, and most were a "10." Had lobster 3 nights (two in the River Grill). Steaks were supurb. Wines were very good, although I thought the house red could have been better. That said, we had the drink package and had the upgraded wine list to choose from. I'm nit picking here, but if you were on the drink package and wanted the better wines, it took the staff forever to get it to our table. Again, this is nit picking. Service: It simply does not get any better. We have been on 40+ cruises, mostly on upscale lines, and American Queen and Empress are the best. Never saw anything but smiles, and they were real. Staff seemed to enjoy themselves as much as the guests. Their simply was nothing that they could not do to make your cruise even better. As an example, American Airlines as usual lost our luggage for a couple of days. The hotel manager (purser's office) actually drove back from Clarkston to Spokane in the middle of the night (a four-hour round trip) to retrieve our luggage. We actually had a similar experience on the "Queen" several years back that sold us on this company. On board entertainment was certainly not Broadway (you will need RCCL large ships for that), but considering the venue, the singers and band - supurb. If you like 50s, 60s, and 70s music, this is for you. Throughly enjoyed every evening's entertainment. Tours: First, the scenery is absolutely spectacular throughout the entire trip. Jet boat to Hell's Canyon had great staff, lovely scenery and commentary, but I though it was an hour or so too long. Still, well worth while. The trip to the nuclear plant was again great, although the guides explanation was a bit too technical for me, and I was a physics major, The lunch boxes are made in China would you believe. The Falls: again some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever viewed. Well worth while. The HOHO bus tours: The first couple of towns were really small, not much for us to see and do. Astoria, however, was well worth walking the downtown area. I've given Fitness and recreation only one star, but that really is not fair, as I knew going into this that there was not gym (thankfully). It is really as "n/a." Would I do this again? In a heartbeat! Thank you AQSSC. Frank. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise was chosen by a neighbor in my community, Sun City Palm Desert California, who organizes group trips. I was fortunate to be invited to join the group, and because I was cruising without my husband (who stayed at home with our ... Read More
This cruise was chosen by a neighbor in my community, Sun City Palm Desert California, who organizes group trips. I was fortunate to be invited to join the group, and because I was cruising without my husband (who stayed at home with our dog), I was paired with a roommate who is also a neighbor in our community. There were 34 people in our group. The cruise we were on is the Lower Mississippi departing from Memphis and terminating in New Orleans with stops in Helena, Arkansas; Vicksburg, and Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, and Nottoway Plantation, Louisiana. However, because the Mississippi is flooding at this time, our itinerary was altered extensively. There were no complaints about this that I heard, and myself and everyone I talked to enjoyed every day. We spent the first night in Memphis at the Peabody Hotel; this overnight is part of the cruise package. The hotel is old, charming, and delightful especially if you are able to see the ducks paraded through the lobby and into the fountain. They stay all day and then are paraded back to their quarters on the roof of the hotel in the evening. The next morning, we were bused to Graceland for the Elvis Experience. This is an additional “Premium Tour” offered by the American Queen Steamboat Company. I highly recommend doing this tour; it is a must for anyone who ever enjoyed an Elvis song. Due to the flooding, our boat could not dock and depart from Memphis, so we were bused to Greenville, Mississippi, for our departure. This was about a two-hour bus ride. That evening, we boarded our boat, American Duchesse, and enjoyed dinner in the main dining room. The menu there is extensive, dining is leisurely and the food is delicious. Alternatives to the main dining room are a buffet for breakfast and lunch serviced in a bar called the River Club at the rear of the boat, and snacks and beverages available 24/7 in a little room called Perks at the front of the boat. Room service is also offered, but I didn’t have a need for it. The buffet meals in the River Club are outstanding and are perfect when you want a quick meal. Also, you can eat outside on the rear deck if you eat at the River Club. Fruit, soft serve ice cream, popcorn, sandwiches, cookies, pastries and all kinds of beverages are offered in Perks. You literally cannot go hungry on this boat, and the food is wonderful. Actually, we spent two nights in Greenville, then Vicksburg, Mississippi; Vidalia, Baton Rouge, New Roads, Louisiana; and the last day of our cruise was spent cruising the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Buses meet the boat at every stop offering what is called Hop On Hop Off tours of that particular area’s highlights. This service is included in the cost of the cruise. There are Premium Tours offered at every stop that seemed to range between $79-$129. These are exceptional tours and well worth the additional cost. Some are half-day and some are full-day. My roommate and I had a veranda room which I took full advantage of. Nothing beats sitting on the veranda and watching the world go by. There are areas for doing this all over the boat in the front, in the back and on the very top of the boat called the sun roof. Highlights of this cruise for me were the meals, the historian who offered talks everyday about the Mississippi, the Mark Twain impersonator who performed twice, the visit to Graceland, the visit to BB King’s Museum and Bar, many beautiful sights offered by the Hop On Hop Off buses tours, and especially the Premium Tour to Angola Louisiana State Penitentiary. This last item may sound strange, but be assured it is an uplifting and eye-opening experience. Most of all, though, I enjoyed just being on the boat. The cruise staff are friendly, helpful, outgoing and accommodating. That includes the Captain, officers, pursers, performers, tour guides, bus drivers, dining staff and cleaning staff. We all got to be family for the brief week that we were together. You could do this cruise all by yourself and not be alone, or you can have all the privacy you want. The bottom line, I guess, is would I do this or any cruise on the American Queen Steamboat again; you bet I would. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We sailed the Columbia/Snake River cruise. The American Song is a beautiful ship with spacious staterooms and very comfortable design and furnishings. The public deck areas are exceptionally nice with probably the most comfortable deck ... Read More
We sailed the Columbia/Snake River cruise. The American Song is a beautiful ship with spacious staterooms and very comfortable design and furnishings. The public deck areas are exceptionally nice with probably the most comfortable deck furniture I have experienced on a cruise ship. The crew was very personable, friendly and accomodating. The hotel director went above and beyond to ensure guests needs were met. The onboard historian brought the river alive with storytelling that made you appreciate what your were seeing and experiencing. It was more than just a cruise, it was an educational experience. The other passengers were very compatible and friendly and it made for a very pleasant journey. The itinerary was very good with a good selection of shore excursions that made it interesting and enjoyable. Going through the locks at each of the Dams was fascinating and interesting. Overall, I give American very high marks. We would definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date March 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

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