Thursday, July 13, 2023

My Thoughts as I Disembark the American Queen Steamboat Cruise

It had been a wonderful trip heading north on the Mississippi River. The American Queen Steamboat experience was like no other cruise either Lynn or I had previously experienced.

We were all packed to go and it was much easier than usual because we had my van waiting at St. Louis Airport. After a leisurely breakfast, we were able to just hang shopping bags on my scooter and head out without worrying about going through security and getting on a plane.


The other thing that was nice was not having to go through a huge cruise terminal or deal with customs. We had a leisurely breakfast, walked off the boat, and got on the bus to the airport.

A big thank you to America Queen Voyages for hosting us on this adventure. Lynn and I had a great time on this cruise. Here’s a break down of more detailed opinions:

 

 

The Boat

Elegant is probably my best description for the American Queen. The boat definitely makes you feel like you are back in the 19th century and expect to see Mark Twain walking down the hallway. There are more public spaces than you’d expect on a cruise for up to 400 people so you can always find a spot where you don’t feel crowded.

The Cabins

We were in an accessible Junior Suite. I had some issues getting my scooter in and out with the lip in the doorway, but they came and put a ramp in so it made things much easier. The room itself was nothing like any other cruise I’ve been on. The furniture was antique and the room looked a bit old, but the bathroom was huge and modern. It also had a tub, which is always a big plus for me.

The Food

There are only two restaurants on the American Queen. The front porch has snacks (ice cream, cookies) all day and a small buffet breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The main dining room is where we ate almost all our meals. I’ve lost count of how many cruises I’ve been on and I’ve never had such consistently outstanding food.

We had so many over-the-top delicious dishes I couldn’t even list them. The desserts were equally fantastic. Even though Lynn and I are allergic and couldn’t take advantage, the lobster available at every dinner was a huge draw to many people.

The Entertainment

I often skip shows on cruises because they are long and don’t grab my attention. The American Queen shows were less than an hour and we really enjoyed them. There was just one we didn’t love, but that’s certainly not something to complain about. The Broadway show was the best.

The Itinerary

The low level of the Mississippi River kept us from two ports (one was changed for something else). It was still a good itinerary, giving us the opportunity to explore five states in the Midwest. How often can you do that in a week?

Embarkation

This is the one thing I have to say American Queen Voyages could do better on. Honestly, the embarkation to the ship was fine. The problem was that they had us check-in at the hotel in the morning. That was a mess. There were no ship personnel there and information was either lacking or wrong. It took hours.

We were all able to walk onto the ship with no problem, BUT once there nearly everyone had issues with reservations, rooms, excursions, etc. because no one at the hotel could help with them. A lot of things (like dinner times) could have been done on computer or the phone before we arrived, and a table of actual AQV personnel at the boat would not have slowed down embarkation very much.

Final Thoughts

Would I do this cruise again? Absolutely, though I’d rather first check out another itinerary, such as the Lower Mississippi. I especially loved the size of this boat. Having only 300 people on board made everything we did much simpler. It also makes a trip so much better when you have everything included. All drinks, food, and hop on, hop off tours were included in the cruise fare.

I was hosted by American Queen on this voyage, but opinions are my own.

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