Posted August 20th, 2008, 11:20 AM
Last edited by Lyncruiser; August 20th, 2008 at 11:37 AM
We were just on the American Queen in June doing the lower Mississippi. My mom has mobility issues and took her scooter. The boat has elevators and we found it easy to maneuver with the scooter around the boat. Shore excursion buses had wheelchair lifts.
We had three BB aft cabins on Texas deck. They were roomy and comfortable. The verandas were pretty private, but got sprayed with water from the paddlewheel. The AA cabins one deck above probably don't have that problem.
Since we didn't have an assessible cabin, I can't tell you about those. Perhaps a roll-in shower? I would call Majestic America directly and ask.
I can tell you that you'll have no privacy with any cabin having french doors opening onto a public promenade. If you want more privacy, book a BB cabin with private verandah. Even then, you can see the people on the next verandah. The AA forward cabins may be your best bet, but they may not be wheelchair assessible. It looks like they open onto a promenade but fewer people likely will be going by.
We actually enjoyed walking along the promenade and stopping to chat with people out in their chairs near their french doors. We usually stick to ourselves on the megaliners, but enjoyed getting to know our fellow passengers on AQ.
I posted something of a review a week or so ago on one of the other threads on this board. I don't know how to link but if you check the top 5-6 threads you'll find it.
We absolutely loved our AQ cruise. The staff was welcoming and wonderful, the service very personalized and our fellow passengers a delight. Previously, we've always done the mass market megaliners and we're very spoiled now. We would love to book AQ again.
I had some concerns because she was put up for sale shortly after we made final payment. But, we didn't see any differences because of this, other than some employees we got to know quite well expressed some concern over their futures -- which is understandable.
The passengers tended to be older with a mix of problems -- walking, oxygen, etc. So, with mom having mobility issues, we fit right in.
We loved the lower Mississippi shore excursions -- we booked something every day. The upper Miss. may have fewer excursion opportunities, but we found the shore excursions excellent and reasonably priced. We were very surprised at an excursion we took on Sunday in Helena, Arkansas. It turned out to be the best one we've ever done on any trip.
Sorry, I can't be of more help on 520 specifically. You will have people passing by regularly since the elevator and stairway are right there. But, you may actually like meeting your fellow passengers. We did, which was a pleasant surprise.
Also, I can't tell you much about the J cabins. We walked by the ones that were near our aft cabins on Texas deck and they looked quite comfortable. Two single beds with a couple of chairs. I didn't have a chance to see the J's that are more forward on Texas deck. They look smaller from the deck plan. I think some cabins have two bunks -- so make sure you speak directly with Majestic America to find out what you're actually booking. We saw the AAA cabins and they are gorgeous -- very roomy and elegant.
We want to book AQ again as soon as possible -- and hope she keeps operating. If not, we're glad we had a trip on her. If she is mothballed, along with DQ (MQ already is, I think), luxury steamboating on the Miss. may be a thing of the past. That's one reason to book now.
If you book, I hope you have as wonderful a time as we did!