Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
Bop

American Empress 9/22/2019 Sailing

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, LEAFEATER said:

The itinerary of the bus stops must have changed since we were on the cruise, as we didn’t have shopping stops..... which was fine with me as I’m not much of a shopper. There were street fairs at a couple of the towns, which were places to buy souvenirs. 

 

A couple of the stops were specific to shopping, and a couple mentioned in their downtown stop that shopping was available.  Astoria had a street fair during our stop.  Let’s just say that none except Astoria were the type of shopping my wife was interested in - and she is a marathon type shopper.  (Guess that was a benefit for me and our credit card though - 😂)

 

BE1C0F7A-8DBD-4FFE-823A-23320BBE1668.thumb.jpeg.6521714ea0cd536810ebc680839ef4f0.jpegB17CCFC4-BA18-45C6-AD29-E14B76CB12CC.thumb.jpeg.4bbc559f90bbe324d6a83258f1d2fea4.jpeg

Edited by Buck1949
Add info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

Buck summed up the cruise very well. We felt it was a very good experience and few things to complain about. The plusses definitely outweighed the minuses.  We ate everywhere and often and found most selections were good. We ate dinner in the dining room and 2 nights in the River grille. It was very noisy and a bit chilly there but service was good and friendly.

Breakfasts and lunches in the Grille were buffet style and food was good, hot, and plentiful. Great views too.

HoHo buses are a great idea and we got to see everything we wanted to with a minimum of hassle. 

We were expecting "Broadway Style "shows and we're met with a four person band and two singers. Not to worry, these kids were great and got better as the cruise progressed. Frank Chase, the piano player was a great entertainer. He is an accomplished pianist , singer and impressionist.

Each member of the band is multi -talented playing several instruments. Anna and Corey sang very well together and on their own.

Buck and I were called upon to act as "Pips" in "Midnight Train to Georgia". There is a video available for an enormous sum. Reviews were mixed.

Jet boat in Hell's Canyon was a highlight we won't soon forget.

Great cruise, boat and crew!

We will recommend AQSC to all our friends.

Jim aka Bop

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/5/2019 at 8:13 PM, DiamondDiva said:

😊

Here to thank all for the tips and suggestions.  Have much more info that I will share.

 

Still smiling from the cruise.  Ask away!

Jim

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/9/2019 at 2:42 PM, Bop said:

Here to thank all for the tips and suggestions.  Have much more info that I will share.

 

Still smiling from the cruise.  Ask away!

Jim

 

 

My question is, have you started planning a cruise on the Mississippi? 😀

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, califsealion said:

 

My question is, have you started planning a cruise on the Mississippi? 😀


.....sent this twice but did not publish.......

 

In our case we have discussed the Memphis to New Orleans cruise on the American Queen. The direction and ship were recommended to us by several employees on the Empress. 
 

Unfortunately we have a cruise already booked for 2020 along with some other plans so it looks like the earliest we could go would be in 2021 sometime. 
 

What say others here.....anyone booked or thinking of doing the American Queen cruise?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Buck1949 said:

In our case we have discussed the Memphis to New Orleans cruise on the American Queen. The direction and ship were recommended to us by several employees on the Empress. 
 

Unfortunately we have a cruise already booked for 2020 along with some other plans so it looks like the earliest we could go would be in 2021 sometime. 
 

What say others here.....anyone booked or thinking of doing the American Queen cruise?

 

We did New Orleans to Memphis, but purely based on the dates, not because we were trying for that direction.  Did they say why they thought one direction was better than the other?  We also took the Duchess.  I chose that boat purely on the small size.  My mom has mobility issues, so I figured the smaller size would be easier for her.  I haven't been on the Queen so I can't offer a comparison of the two.  Fun for us, it worked out in our favor because two of the bus driver we had on the Columbia River trip were on our Mississippi River trip also!  They had migrated over when the Duchess launched.  I'm sure the Queen would be fun, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, califsealion said:

 

We did New Orleans to Memphis, but purely based on the dates, not because we were trying for that direction.  Did they say why they thought one direction was better than the other?  We also took the Duchess.  I chose that boat purely on the small size.  My mom has mobility issues, so I figured the smaller size would be easier for her.  I haven't been on the Queen so I can't offer a comparison of the two.  Fun for us, it worked out in our favor because two of the bus driver we had on the Columbia River trip were on our Mississippi River trip also!  They had migrated over when the Duchess launched.  I'm sure the Queen would be fun, too.

 

 Sure sounds like you had a great time on your cruise. While on the Empress the head of housekeeping, and the bartender at the River Grill, both mentioned having worked/sailed on the American Queen ship and both suggested going southbound from Memphis to New Orleans. It was mentioned that the river and a number of ports are very  industrialized, and they thought the timed itinerary lent itself to better sightseeing going in that direction.  I did not ask specifics about their comments and I have not yet compared itineraries for going either direction.  I’m sure that AQSC offers comparable trips both ways and Southbound was just their favorite. It was also mentioned that they thought the American Queen ship was very interestingly decorated and was their favorite.  I saw information that it was the biggest in the fleet. I think the Queen has a capacity of over 400 passengers. 

 

 Isn’t it ironic what a small world it seems sometimes. You having met the same bus drivers on two different cruises in your case.   Since our cruise, myself and and an old work buddy who also was on the Empress cruise with a friend, were at our former employer recently for a planned photo session. Ironically the photographer who happens to be from a company outside of Arizona noticed my buddy was wearing an American Queen Steamboat Company polo shirt and  commented that she formerly worked on the Duchess ship and one other one along the Mississippi River. She also said that she had vacationed/cruised on the Empress ship.  You just never know who or when you might run across situations like that.  

 

BTW did you find anything in particular that you liked or disliked about your cruise from New Orleans?  Any sightseeing tips?  Also did you do any extended tours while in New Orleans or Memphis?  While we may not be able to go until 2021, I would be interested in your opinion. 

 

Take care.......also hope you are not affected by those California wildfires. 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We would also be interested in another river cruise in the states, however we’ve heard that so much of The Mississippi River is not very scenic, too industrial. What we loved about the snake/Columbia rivers were how isolated much of it was and we could cruise for days without seeing other ships.

   I’ve looked into a river cruise in the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands, but reviews of the company that does that trip haven’t been great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thinking about it, Memphis to New Orleans you may get more time in port because the boat is going to travel faster going downstream.  Means you'd get from point A to point B faster.  We did the New Orleans pre-cruise excursion and enjoyed it.  We went an extra day early and spent a little time in the French Quarter and got beignets at Cafe du Monde(?).  Also that night went to a jazz show at Preservation Hall.  That was quite fun.  We didn't do the post-excursion of Memphis, but really just because I was meeting a friend in town.  Otherwise we would have considered.

 

The visit to the Angola Penitentiary in St. Francisville is supposed to excellent, but we didn't do that one.  We did do the Civil War battlefield excursion in Vicksburg, which was good.  If you want to see the battlefield, I think it was too far from the boat to do on your own.  I did enjoy the hop on hop off buses and just poking around the little towns.  Some had more to do in town than others, like the Columbia River.

 

The river is definitely doesn't have the amazing scenery of the Columbia River.  The river is brown and the land around the river is very flat.  But the riverbanks are green and pretty.  I went one day and picked up a banana in the snackie room and literally sat at the front of the boat, banana peel in hand, for an hour just watching the river go by.  My uncle (mid-70's) was bored.  He said it all looked the same.  I think he's more the type that needs something to do.  I enjoyed the relaxation of it all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@califsealion Thanks for that information !  I copied it to refer to later should we decide to do the Memphis/New Orleans cruise. 
 

Thanks again !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi All,

 

My good friends who recommended the Lewis and Clark itinerary also did the Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis, I believe.  They expressed the same observations about the industrialization and less than scenic views.  We too are considering the Memphis to NO itinerary. I will contact AQSC and see if they would like to have Buck and me do a return engagement on stage!  TOOT TOOT.

 

I am still editing my shots of all the unique scenery from the cruise.  Got a bunch suitable for framing.  Photography is definitely a big part of my cruise enjoyment and prefer to have great subjects.  Maybe rhe Mississippi will be moved down on my priority list.

Buck, hope you have fully recovered from your cruise ailments.

 

Bop/Jim

  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎10‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 2:27 PM, Bop said:

Hi All,

 

My good friends who recommended the Lewis and Clark itinerary also did the Mississippi New Orleans to Memphis, I believe.  They expressed the same observations about the industrialization and less than scenic views.  We too are considering the Memphis to NO itinerary. I will contact AQSC and see if they would like to have Buck and me do a return engagement on stage!  TOOT TOOT.

 

I am still editing my shots of all the unique scenery from the cruise.  Got a bunch suitable for framing.  Photography is definitely a big part of my cruise enjoyment and prefer to have great subjects.  Maybe rhe Mississippi will be moved down on my priority list.

Buck, hope you have fully recovered from your cruise ailments.

 

Bop/Jim

  

 

I'm also messing with the photos now.... but have a ways to go.  That is a problem when I used a iPhone, Ipad, Canon Camera and my wife also took some photos...… putting them in some form of order.

 

Jim..... beginning to wonder if we need to get an "agent" to handle the potential calls and bookings that might come if our entertainment is seen by others and the requests begin pouring in?  Know any good ones?  :classic_biggrin:

 

I really think that we will be looking at doing the Memphis to New Orleans cruise in 2021.....since we have a cruise booked with our Daughter in Law and Granddaughter next year.  I guess the ports and the Queen ship is worth the trip overall from what I have been told.  We had been doing 2 cruises a year, but think we want to cut back a little and spend more time in the cooler mountains of Arizona during the summer, so we only have one cruise planned next year.  Sure hope you guys give some consideration to doing the Memphis cruise also.

 

I have finally gotten over the sinus infection that got hold of me the last day of the cruise.  Those things last about 2 weeks....even with the meds that I take. I don't think it helped that I sat outside the Jet Boat on the Snake River tour...with the wind and occasional splashing water getting to me.

 

Anyway.... I am a bit sad to see this cruise/thread come to an end..... I do hope that if any of the posters here have more information or plan a cruise with AQSC in the future that they will put out the information so that I could follow along to see how that goes.

 

Take care all !!

Edited by Buck1949

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We completely enjoyed our time on Empress, but will probably not do a Mississippi cruise.  We are Chicagoans by birth, have traveled the northern route area extensively with family in the area, and have been to all but one of the southern route ports.  Getting older and “choosier” on where we travel now. 

We continue to recommend the Lewis and Clark route to others and I have certainly enjoyed our interaction on this forum.  

Happy and safe sailings to you all!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, DiamondDiva said:

We completely enjoyed our time on Empress, but will probably not do a Mississippi cruise.  We are Chicagoans by birth, have traveled the northern route area extensively with family in the area, and have been to all but one of the southern route ports.  Getting older and “choosier” on where we travel now. 

We continue to recommend the Lewis and Clark route to others and I have certainly enjoyed our interaction on this forum.  

Happy and safe sailings to you all!

 


I totally understand your reasoning and being choosier as you mature (grin).  We did Europe early on knowing that later it would be tougher on us physically.  
 

We have been to Alaska 3 times but find that every time we go that there are different things that we have not seen before, or has changed a lot, or maybe we missed it completely so we keep going back.  In fact we are booked for another cruise to Alaska for next August. 
 

We thoroughly enjoyed the Empress cruise and already have mentioned it to friends.  Sure do thank you for your comments, and insight from your experiences before we did our cruise. 
 

Who knows maybe we will cross paths in the future...you just never know.  
 

Take care and best to you in your future travels. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are more than welcome.  We have all learned from this site for our own  travels and it is good to then "pass it on" by doing the same for others. 

We too just finished our 3rd Alaska...all water-based this trip rather than the more inland, back country visits 20 + years ago. 

Some places we revisit for a variety of reasons.  But there are still other spots to go visit and with age and agility changes, we are having to be a bit pickier now.  But have 5 new already begun...and we shall go till we must stop. 

 

Enjoy.....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, DiamondDiva said:

You are more than welcome.  We have all learned from this site for our own  travels and it is good to then "pass it on" by doing the same for others. 

We too just finished our 3rd Alaska...all water-based this trip rather than the more inland, back country visits 20 + years ago. 

Some places we revisit for a variety of reasons.  But there are still other spots to go visit and with age and agility changes, we are having to be a bit pickier now.  But have 5 new already begun...and we shall go till we must stop. 

 

Enjoy.....


You have 5 more cruises in the works?  If so....that doesn’t sound like slowing down 😳!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, including a family one for our 50 th anniversary.  But 5 over 2 1/2 years and none too far away now.  This past August’s long plane flights with huge layovers are not easy on these senior bodies anymore, so staying closer to home.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, DiamondDiva said:

Yes, including a family one for our 50 th anniversary.  But 5 over 2 1/2 years and none too far away now.  This past August’s long plane flights with huge layovers are not easy on these senior bodies anymore, so staying closer to home.  

 

I can relate for sure.... .Heck next month will be our 52nd Anniversary.....  

And it seems like what we used to do.... instead of coming home from a trip, unpacking, sorting dirty clothes, starting the wash, looking at photos, and literature we have amassed..... it now is...... coming home from the trip.... putting the suitcases in the bedroom, and unlocking them... hoping to get to unpacking the next day (maybe  - with laundry starting sometime that day) and heck looking at the photos/literature is something I hope to get to within the next week or so.  👨‍🦳  but we still enjoy ourselves, none the less........ and we hope to do the traveling for a while longer, but maybe just not quite as much.

 

Take care,

Edited by Buck1949

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...