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Carol28

A few questions from a newbie to experienced American River Cruise people

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Which trip would be best to start our travels in middle America? We've already been to Nashville and Louisville and New Orleans. We enjoy walking around pretty towns.

 

Is there a Presidential library in any of the stops?

What time is early and late dinner?

What type of entertainment is on board and how often? The website says "Broadway style."

What is the average age group? 60-70? 70-80?

Are the ships well kept?

Someone mentioned that when it rained, the stateroom carpets were wet. Anyone else experience this?

Are the staffs on board terrific?

That's enough for now. I appreciate all of your responses to see if this is a cruise for us.

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Just off AQ 9/3 and can answer a few of your questions. Early dinner is at 5:15, late at 7:45. You have the option to dine at the Front Porch Buffet and in the J.M. White Dining room there is a nice buffet should you not care for the menu. Not sure about Presidential Libraries None on ours Memphis to St Louis. Entertainment not Broadway every night but very good. There is a great piano player in the Captains Bar each night and late night entertainment in the Engine Room Bar.

I would say 60-70 age group about right. The boat was in great shape, our cabin, 412 was beautiful. No rain on our trip so unable to comment. We found the Staff to the person to be excellent and very welcoming. You will love the Hop-On Hop-Off busses which offer free tours at each port. Also consider free Ice Cream, popcorn, juices and free bottled water in the cabin each day. This was our first riverboat cruise after 40+ large ship cruises. I can't wait to go back on the riverboats again. Hope this helped.

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Yes, you did! That's a very early time for dinner. We've also been on 30+ regular cruises and one European river cruise. I'm so glad you were happy.

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Hi, we are also cruising on the American Queen in Feb from New Orleans to Memphis. Lots of ocean cruises, but first river cruise and so excited.

 

I have a few questions  

We have 5.15pm dinner . Did you find it a rush to get there after the day tours? 

Do you have the same table for dinner each night & so the same table mates & waiters?

What time are the shows?

 

Thanks

 

Tanya

 

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If you mean the hop-on, hop-off tours, we never had an issue with early dinner.

We did have the same table each night.  You can go to the Front Porch if you want a more casual atmosphere and no time constraints.

Don't remember the show times but we never had a problem with timing.   We tend not to dawdle over dinner and no coffee afterwards.

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On 9/9/2018 at 8:19 PM, Carol28 said:

Which trip would be best to start our travels in middle America? We've already been to Nashville and Louisville and New Orleans. We enjoy walking around pretty towns.

 

Is there a Presidential library in any of the stops?

What time is early and late dinner?

What type of entertainment is on board and how often? The website says "Broadway style."

What is the average age group? 60-70? 70-80?

Are the ships well kept?

Someone mentioned that when it rained, the stateroom carpets were wet. Anyone else experience this?

Are the staffs on board terrific?

That's enough for now. I appreciate all of your responses to see if this is a cruise for us.


We will be going on our first one in August - 16 days from MN to NO so I have no first hand experience to offer.  But one of the best resources I had while doing the planning was the printed catalog, which they will send you for free.  Just go to their site and request one.

It not only lays out the itinerary of each cruise, it has an extensive section that goes through every port any of their cruises stop at.  For each port they lay out exactly what attractions are along the hoho bus route.  In addition some ports have premium excursions.  I'll be taking one of those - Vicksburg - as I am a civil war buff.

Anyway, great resource free for the asking.  The only cruise catalog that has ever proven useful, to me.

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On 1/22/2019 at 8:09 AM, stki said:

Hi, we are also cruising on the American Queen in Feb from New Orleans to Memphis. Lots of ocean cruises, but first river cruise and so excited.

 

I have a few questions  

We have 5.15pm dinner . Did you find it a rush to get there after the day tours? 

Do you have the same table for dinner each night & so the same table mates & waiters?

What time are the shows?

 

Thanks

 

Tanya

 

Hi Tanya

 

We were on the American Queen, Memphis to NO, a few weeks ago (over Christmas).  We did a few of the Premium Tours, one of which didn't arrive back until 4.45 pm so it was a rush for anyone with early dinner (we were on the late sitting).  When we booked we requested to be on a table for 8 and had same table mates and waiters.  Breakfast in the dining room was open seating.

 

I can't remember the times of the shows but they were arranged to co-ordinate with the dinner times.

 

We had a great time and couldn't fault anything at all, I hope you enjoy the cruise as much as we did!

 

Brenda

 

 

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On 1/30/2019 at 8:54 AM, Toofarfromthesea said:


We will be going on our first one in August - 16 days from MN to NO so I have no first hand experience to offer.  But one of the best resources I had while doing the planning was the printed catalog, which they will send you for free.  Just go to their site and request one.

It not only lays out the itinerary of each cruise, it has an extensive section that goes through every port any of their cruises stop at.  For each port they lay out exactly what attractions are along the hoho bus route.  In addition some ports have premium excursions.  I'll be taking one of those - Vicksburg - as I am a civil war buff.

Anyway, great resource free for the asking.  The only cruise catalog that has ever proven useful, to me.

 

Too late for us, we leave on Sunday for New Orleans. Any other recommendations besides Vicksburg?

Edited by stki

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15 hours ago, Lady Meer said:

Hi Tanya

 

We were on the American Queen, Memphis to NO, a few weeks ago (over Christmas).  We did a few of the Premium Tours, one of which didn't arrive back until 4.45 pm so it was a rush for anyone with early dinner (we were on the late sitting).  When we booked we requested to be on a table for 8 and had same table mates and waiters.  Breakfast in the dining room was open seating.

 

I can't remember the times of the shows but they were arranged to co-ordinate with the dinner times.

 

We had a great time and couldn't fault anything at all, I hope you enjoy the cruise as much as we did!

 

Brenda

 

 

Thanks Brenda, we are really looking forward to this cruise.  We are doing a Caribbean cruise first on NCL Breakaway, before this river cruise. Coming from Australia, have to make the most of it. Coming from Temps in Sydney of 105 F, so will be a tad cooler 🙂

 

Cheers

 

Tanya

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On 1/31/2019 at 12:36 AM, stki said:

 

Too late for us, we leave on Sunday for New Orleans. Any other recommendations besides Vicksburg?


I can't recommend anything because I'm not going until Augudt.

However, while it might be too late to get the paper catalog, you can grab the PDF version at this link. And then maybe print the pages for the stops you're interested in?

https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/aqsc/media/Design/Brochures/PDF/2019_DeluxeBrochure_v1_WEB_1.pdf  

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On 1/31/2019 at 6:43 PM, stki said:

Thanks Brenda, we are really looking forward to this cruise.  We are doing a Caribbean cruise first on NCL Breakaway, before this river cruise. Coming from Australia, have to make the most of it. Coming from Temps in Sydney of 105 F, so will be a tad cooler 🙂

 

Cheers

 

Tanya

Hi all 

 

I know the poster has already done their cruise but I am glad to see other aussies doing the mississsippi and an ocean cruise. We too a group of 4 are doing this cruise first and then one out of New York to Bermuda.  It should be good weather for us. Hope you enjoyed your cruises.  We have booked the first dinner because we dont want to miss the shows, and also the premium excursion for hubby for Vicksburg and for us both  for BB King Inn(?) in our last port before Memphis.  Has anyone else done that premium excursion? It certainly looks good  Our cruise starts New Orleans on April 28 ( ship leaves April 29) 

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Bit of a Johnny come lately to this thread, but in response to the OP, we have done a number of cruises on the old Delta Queen and much prefer the Upper Mississippi to the lower, i.e. St Paul to St Louis.  The Mississippi become very commercial and very brown below Paducah.  The folks in the small town on the Upper Mississippi are super receptive to the riverboats, bands on the dock, turn of 20th century costumes, etc.  We also very much like Nashville to Paducah and back to Chattanooga. Looking forward to Racing on the River on American Duchess this summer. 

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10 hours ago, LeonieC said:

Hi all 

 

I know the poster has already done their cruise but I am glad to see other aussies doing the mississsippi and an ocean cruise. We too a group of 4 are doing this cruise first and then one out of New York to Bermuda.  It should be good weather for us. Hope you enjoyed your cruises.  We have booked the first dinner because we dont want to miss the shows, and also the premium excursion for hubby for Vicksburg and for us both  for BB King Inn(?) in our last port before Memphis.  Has anyone else done that premium excursion? It certainly looks good  Our cruise starts New Orleans on April 28 ( ship leaves April 29) 

We had a wonderful cruise on the American Queen. We found first dinner at 5.15pm too early, so changed to 7.45pm. There was a show at 6.15pm, then we watched the piano man from 7.15 to 7.45pm which was perfect for us. Then there was often something at 9.30pm which we also did. We also did the Grammy museum and BB king mueum tour in Grenville which was fabulous. As usual not enough time allocated at each, but well worth it. The HOHO buses in each town were also great. 

 

If you have any more questions please ask.

 

Cheers

 

TAnya

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Thank you Tanya.  We are certainly looking forward to it, and will definitely see the Piano man and one of the shows.  I am pleased the excursion in Geenville was a hit.  It certainly sold me. 

 

Leonie 

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Posted (edited)

I know this isn't my thread but can I ask a few questions (says a Princess cruiser wanting to seeing interior USA):

1. How much are gratuities / excursions 

2. Is there a solo supplement 

3. Would there be other solos

Edited by Ombud

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4 hours ago, Ombud said:

know this isn't my thread but can I ask a few questions (says a Princess cruiser wanting to seeing interior USA):

1. How much are gratuities / excursions 

2. Is there a solo supplement 

3. Would there be other solos

 Hi Ombud. 

I have not yet done the cruise, but the gratutities came out at $97 a person on the New Orleans to Memphis trip.  Excursions range from free for the HOHO buses which look huge and beautiful, to $69 ish for some of the premium excursions up to $120 or more for those that do all day. Sorry cannot be precise because it is all packed as I leave for the first part of the trip on Saturday early morning.  I thought the prices for premium were for most part reasonable given  the comparison with prices of ocean excursions. Hope that helps. 

 

 As for the people who go on the river cruises I cant help  nor with the solo supplement.  I do know the indoor cabins are much cheaper than those with shared balcony or private balcony  ( we paid for an inside cabin less than one person in twin share paid for private balcony) and they do have I think very small in size and number solo cabins if memory serves me but I am not 100%. We also paid in full and saved $500 per couple, so you could look out for that if it suits.  We paid for this April cruise in full in July last year. 

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Thanks ... I still think this might be a good addition to ocean cruising 

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On 4/10/2019 at 9:02 AM, Ombud said:

I know this isn't my thread but can I ask a few questions (says a Princess cruiser wanting to seeing interior USA):

1. How much are gratuities / excursions 

2. Is there a solo supplement 

3. Would there be other solos

 

I'm not sure if there is a solo supplement, but my mom and I just did the lower Mississippi on the Duchess last fall and there were at least two solo travelers that I met.  The ships are small and the other passengers are friendly, and they never seemed lonely!

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This was an absolutely horrendous experience. We have been on over 90 cruisers and are very careful to book way in advance to get handicap accessible cabins and accessible boats. for American Queen, The  Dutchess,  is advertised on line, in their brochure, by them personally, as ADA accessible as is the cabin that we book. Neither is true. Just briefly, the cabin was not ADA accessible especially the bathroom; it was a joke. And it was almost impossible to maneuver around the boat as I have multiple sclerosis and I am in a small ladies scooter.  There are a high “lips” that you have to go over to get from common room to common room and I was unable to do that as I can’t walk. Also to get outside to enjoy the outdoor common area as well, was not possible, as there is a full step and I am not able to do, as I am confined to a scooter. The scooter just bottoms out and is unable to go any further from room to room or outside, and can get damaged. We were trying to figure out how to get off the boat and what to do and as my spouse was handling this with the horribly egregiously inappropriate, rude and unkind hotel director, I had to go to the bathroom and was told that one certain public  bathroom  was ADA accessible. I went in with my small scooter and no basket and could not leave as NOT accessible, and had to be rescued by the EMT on board. We are appalled beyond words that this company is allowed to advertise and sell products that they do not have. This is also the same company that we went on The Queen (same company, another boat) last  year which was handicap accessible and we were told The Duchess was and it is advertised as such. We did have a few bad experiences on that boat and while we did take care of the worse one with the Coast Guard, we are now going to publicly have our experience told. What happened was on August 2, 2018 at the southern border of Iowa on the Mississippi river where many of us passengers saw a continuously running oil leak off the boat, flowing into The Mississippi and we were told by the deckhand that it it was a hydraulic oil fluid leak. We all watched it for two hours and I also took photos and videos. I wanted to make sure that this was reported because I remembered how bad other cruise lines like Princess have been with the ocean; wow I never thought that the American Queen steamboat company would not report a spill like this! I wanted to make sure that this was reported so a few days later we decided to call the Coast Guard who was in charge of that part of the river. We were shocked as he was to find out that this was never reported and he asked for the videos and the pictures which we sent onto them. Other problems, were with our Safety, like blocking off thee fire door closets, making it TOO Cold on the boat, and listing food as gluten free, when it was not.  Ai would never recommend this company for a multitude of reasons. The Dept of Justice is now investigating them.

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