What took me so long? A Mississippi River cruise.

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#1
New Jersey
3,603 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
On a short, taster cruise on American Queen from Memphis to Cape Girardeau, Missouri (the cruise actually ends at St. Louis but I have to get off early) the thought that keeps rolling around in my head is: What took me so long to give the Mississippi a try? After all, at Cruise Critic we've been determined to cover every aspect we can think of (more's coming) when it comes to Europe, Russia, the Mekong, Yangtze. But the US? Eh.

It's eh no longer. I've been on two nights and have to say -- this is every bit as amazing as any Europe cruise I've done. I've met two really well-traveled couples, one from England's Isle of Wight, the other from Australia's Brisbane, and when I asked them what their favorite river cruises have been both said this one (they're on the longer version that started in New Orleans) ranks up there. As an American who knew our own Mississippi was as exotic as Burma's Irrawaddy, or the Rhine, Rhone, Seine etc.? Who knew?!

Now I do --

I'm chronicling the trip over on Cruise Critic's Facebook for now, mostly through photos, and will follow up after the trip with an updated review of American Queen, and various other pieces. Happy to answer any questions I can if you have 'em here, as well, but I hope you'll take a look at our Facebook photo album (and if you have photos of your own you'd like to share, send 'em to me, with a photo credit and any description, and I'll add them to the "book"). My email: [email protected]. Please put AQ in the subject line to help me ID them quickly.

A big thanks to Steamboats who can legitimately tell me "I told you so" (but who's probably too nice to do so

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic

Link to photo album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6071766&type=1

Other photos also appear sporadically throughout our Facebook feed at Facebook.com/CruiseCritic.
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#2
Germany
12,892 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Originally posted by [email protected]
A big thanks to Steamboats who can legitimately tell me "I told you so" (but who's probably too nice to do so
Carolyn,

No, I won´t I just couldn´t resist quoting you .

Great to hear that you´ve enjoyed your short trip! But next time you have to chose an itinerary with locks (UMR or Ohio river). Scenery and lock wise the Columbia river was even more impressive!

steamboats
#3
Colorado
135 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Hi

I am thinking of giving this cruise a try in 2014. I hope you can help me.
I am thinking of going New Orleans to Memphis but read some reviews that it is a boring part of the river.

One of the cruises has two days on the water - not in port - what is there to do? I think it was an 8 day or 7 day cruise.

Also was wondering can you bring wine on board?

Is the wine free flowing at dinner like on the river cruises?

Did it seem like too many people - 430 vs 150?

Was the river rough or just smooth like the ones in Europe?
Food good?

It looks like the entertainment is good!

Thanks so much for your help
Briody
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#4
Germany
12,892 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
Briody,

I try to answer a few of your questions:

Yes, New Orleans to Memphis is not the nicest part of the river. It´s mainly flat land, industry up to Baton Rouge and levees. But there you got the wonderful plantation homes like Oak Alley or Houmas House and lot´s of history and beautiful homes in St. Francisville, Natchez and Vicksburgh. So it won´t be for any breathtaking scenery but for the ports this part is interesting.

There´s still a lot to do on steamboating/cruising days. You will have lectures by the riverlorians (river historians), you can play the calliope, you can fly a kite, you can listen to the music... or you can just sit and relax, read a good book or whatever...

I´ve never tried to bring wine onboard. But let´s say there´s no scanner and no one checking you for "fluids".

Personally I didn´t feel much difference between 150 and 430 passengers. Yes, you will know your fellow passengers by the second day with only 150 others. You may need a day more with 430. But it´s definitely not crowded onboard the American Queen.

Can´t say anything about wine for dinner or food as I haven´t been onboard with the new company.

The river is smoothe although there aren´t any locks on the lower Mississippi. No waves, no worries to get seasick.

Entertainment is good (many of the former entertainment staff has returned with the new owners).

steamboats
#5
Colorado
135 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Thanks Steamboats for your quick reply. I think I will get the rooma with the bay view instead of the ones with the veranda - any opinion on that.

Do you know if they offer additional post stays. I would like to stay in Memphis a day or two and I didnt see that. I could just do on my own.

Do they have movies on the tv? I love to read so sea days I am fine but my husband doesn't.

I was thinking of the Delta Blues because my husband is such a blues fan but wish there were one less sea day.

Thanks again
Briody
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AMA Waterways - Paris/Normandy May 2013
RCI - Canada/New England - October 2013
RCI - Baltics - July 2015
#6
New Jersey
3,603 Posts
Joined Nov 2005
Hi, great questions, Briody.

*We did Memphis to St. Louis and I think this is a bit of a low-key itinerary (but enjoyed). I hear that New Orleans/Memphis is much more interesting, with the plantations and such, and it's the next one I want to try.

*There are activities on "sea" days but there's nothing that beats reading a good book, having a nice long lunch, taking naps, etc.

*You can bring wine onboard. I was really happy with the dinner selections and they were incredibly free-pouring!

*River: Smooth. And we had rough weather!

*Food awesome

*Ship never, ever felt crowded.

Happy to answer more, Briody.

Carolyn


Originally posted by briody
Hi

I am thinking of giving this cruise a try in 2014. I hope you can help me.
I am thinking of going New Orleans to Memphis but read some reviews that it is a boring part of the river.

One of the cruises has two days on the water - not in port - what is there to do? I think it was an 8 day or 7 day cruise.

Also was wondering can you bring wine on board?

Is the wine free flowing at dinner like on the river cruises?

Did it seem like too many people - 430 vs 150?

Was the river rough or just smooth like the ones in Europe?
Food good?

It looks like the entertainment is good!

Thanks so much for your help
Briody
#7
Colorado
135 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Thanks Carolyn and Steamboats for all your help

Briody
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RCI - Bahamas 1999
RCI - Bahamas 2001
RCI - Alaska 2004
Oceania- Greece 2009
RCI - Southern Carib 2010
AMA Waterways - Legendary Danube 2011
AMA Waterways - Paris/Normandy May 2013
RCI - Canada/New England - October 2013
RCI - Baltics - July 2015
#8
Vancouver BC, CANADA
1,244 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by [email protected]
On a short, taster cruise on American Queen from Memphis to Cape Girardeau, Missouri (the cruise actually ends at St. Louis but I have to get off early) the thought that keeps rolling around in my head is: What took me so long to give the Mississippi a try? After all, at Cruise Critic we've been determined to cover every aspect we can think of (more's coming) when it comes to Europe, Russia, the Mekong, Yangtze. But the US? Eh.

It's eh no longer. I've been on two nights and have to say -- this is every bit as amazing as any Europe cruise I've done. I've met two really well-traveled couples, one from England's Isle of Wight, the other from Australia's Brisbane, and when I asked them what their favorite river cruises have been both said this one (they're on the longer version that started in New Orleans) ranks up there. As an American who knew our own Mississippi was as exotic as Burma's Irrawaddy, or the Rhine, Rhone, Seine etc.? Who knew?!

Now I do --

. My email: [email protected]. Please put AQ in the subject line to help me ID them quickly.

A big thanks to Steamboats who can legitimately tell me "I told you so" (but who's probably too nice to do so

Carolyn

Carolyn Spencer Brown
Editor in Chief
Cruise Critic

Link to photo album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...6071766&type=1

Other photos also appear sporadically throughout our Facebook feed at Facebook.com/CruiseCritic.
pardon my ignorance but what companies do the mississippi cruises? and is there a link/forum here on CC for just North American river cruises?
why spend the time and big bucks to fly if there are great river experiences here closer to home.

any links would be appreicated. thanks in advance.
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1961 P&O Orsova -Hawaii- Vancouver, 1962 P&O Orcades -Hawaii-Vancouver
1974 – Island Princess – Coastal, 1996- Regal Princess – Coastal
2001- Viking KD Deutschland- Rhine Cruise, 2002- Ocean Princess – Alaska
2003- Sun Princess – Coastal,
2005- RCI Vision of the Seas- Coastal, 2005- Sapphire Princess – Coastal
2006- Star Princess – Western Caribbean, 2006- Diamond Princess- Coastal
2007– RCI Serenade of the Seas- Alaska,
2008 - Caribbean Princess – Eastern Caribbean, 2008- Golden Princess – Hawaii Roundtrip
2009- Uniworld River Empress –Holland/Belgium
2011- Emerald Princess – TA/Northern Europe, 2011- Island Princess – Alaska
2012- Ruby Princess – Grand Med, 2012- Viking Njord – Danube
2013- Star Princess – Coastal, 2013- Caribbean Princess- New England/Canada
2014- Star Princess- Coastal
2015-Viking Odin 'Rhine Rhapsody'
2016- Private Land Tour Ireland 14 days...no cruise this year!
2017- CANCELLED Majestic Princess 28 days Rome to Singapore
BOOKED INSTEAD Royal Princess 17 days TA FLL to Barcelona
#9
Germany
12,892 Posts
Joined Oct 2004
remydiva,

There are currently two companies offering river cruises in the US:

American Queen Steamboat Company (there´s an extra sub forum on here) who are currently operating the paddlewheel steamboat American Queen on the Mississippi river system and have recently aquired the Empress of the North (to be renamed American Empress) and will sail on the Columbia river system by next year.

American Cruise Lines who are operating several vessels. The new Queen of the Mississippi is plying the Mississippi river system. The Queen of the West is on the Columbia river system. They do operate other small ships out of US harbors.

steamboats
#10
Vancouver BC, CANADA
1,244 Posts
Joined Feb 2006
Originally posted by steamboats
remydiva,

There are currently two companies offering river cruises in the US:

American Queen Steamboat Company (there´s an extra sub forum on here) who are currently operating the paddlewheel steamboat American Queen on the Mississippi river system and have recently aquired the Empress of the North (to be renamed American Empress) and will sail on the Columbia river system by next year.

American Cruise Lines who are operating several vessels. The new Queen of the Mississippi is plying the Mississippi river system. The Queen of the West is on the Columbia river system. They do operate other small ships out of US harbors.

steamboats
Thanks I will check them out.
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1961 P&O Orsova -Hawaii- Vancouver, 1962 P&O Orcades -Hawaii-Vancouver
1974 – Island Princess – Coastal, 1996- Regal Princess – Coastal
2001- Viking KD Deutschland- Rhine Cruise, 2002- Ocean Princess – Alaska
2003- Sun Princess – Coastal,
2005- RCI Vision of the Seas- Coastal, 2005- Sapphire Princess – Coastal
2006- Star Princess – Western Caribbean, 2006- Diamond Princess- Coastal
2007– RCI Serenade of the Seas- Alaska,
2008 - Caribbean Princess – Eastern Caribbean, 2008- Golden Princess – Hawaii Roundtrip
2009- Uniworld River Empress –Holland/Belgium
2011- Emerald Princess – TA/Northern Europe, 2011- Island Princess – Alaska
2012- Ruby Princess – Grand Med, 2012- Viking Njord – Danube
2013- Star Princess – Coastal, 2013- Caribbean Princess- New England/Canada
2014- Star Princess- Coastal
2015-Viking Odin 'Rhine Rhapsody'
2016- Private Land Tour Ireland 14 days...no cruise this year!
2017- CANCELLED Majestic Princess 28 days Rome to Singapore
BOOKED INSTEAD Royal Princess 17 days TA FLL to Barcelona