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Just disembarked Queen of Mississippi


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Long time lurker, first time poster! I also posted this in the actual reviews but I know that takes some time for it to appear…….


We just returned from a cruise on Queen of the Mississippi ship on the New Orleans to Memphis route. Overall it was an enjoyable cruise, but I will agree with some other comments I’ve seen on these boards that it seems the biggest struggle for ACL is having a crew that is trained and retained. All of the crew were very well meaning and well intentioned, but there is an obvious lack of standard. The managers seem very young, though they were training a few new managers who seem to be a bit more seasoned.


We had two or three options for our meals at each service, and everything was presented well. Service was sometimes a little slow because of the open concept, meaning you may sit down with others who are already on their entree so the server’s job was made to be a little erratic. They also seemed short staffed for the amount of passengers onboard, as it seems has been well-documented in other posts. Our Chef even did a cooking demonstration on Cajun and creole cooking which was very interesting. No galley tours like on the ocean liners. There are two snack bars in lounges with sodas, coffee, water and pre-packaged snacks was a nice touch for a sweet tooth craving. Sometimes the water container or the ice machine was empty, which was a little uncomfortable when coming back from the hot southern afternoon if you happened to forget to grab a cold bottle from the entryway when returning. Again, perhaps the short staffing issue is rearing it’s head once again in this way.


Shore excursions were a big highlight. Really fantastic opportunities each and every day. The “local loop” was a fun option to get a general overview of the port after doing a guided tour earlier in the day to see a specific highlight of the area. Dawn and Abbi were our shore excursions guides interchangeably and were very personable and helpful. I wish they had more than one golf cart to help get from the ship to the excursion buses and vice versa. A lot of the landings were on slopes that were a little challenging to walk and they only had one golf cart that could take 2-3 people up at a time. 


They do a good job at providing engagement throughout the shipboard time. ACL even hosted a guest artist who led art classes throughout the week and the ship displayed all of the art at the final reception. Entertainment was a few local musicians giving regional examples of styles of southern music, and an in-house Jack-of-all-trades named Mac. He was very entertaining: Dancing, singing, piano, comedy and leading karaoke on the last night which was so much fun! Carrie our Cruise Director kept our full day on the water filled with many activities like a watercolor painting class, line dancing lesson, and trivia games. Our onboard lecturer Tim was very knowledgeable and personable, and was a wonderful addition to the cruise. My only suggestion with the onboard experience would be to start dinner slightly earlier as we sometimes felt rushed to finish our meal to get to the nightly shows on time, and don’t put a lecture right before cocktail hour because we can’t really enjoy the end of the talk as people start going to the bar.


Our cabin was a bit on the plain side and the furnishings could use some updating. The bathroom was a nice size compared to ocean cruises, and the overall size of our room was very comfortable. Our housekeeper was very sweet with turndown service twice a day, and always had our Keurig stocked with K-cups. 


Our main disappointment was that this cruise happened during the Fourth of July and we did not stop to see any proper fireworks. You could see some in the distance along the bank as we traveled, but nothing pre organized for us to view.


Overall it was an enjoyable experience, and considering the cost of these American cruises, we might do this again on a different river in another year or two… especially as the company gets a better grasp on a return to service, which there still seems to be some growing pains.

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We were on the same cruise. All the wait staff and housekeepers and deckhands were so friendly and welcoming. I loved being able to sit our balcony and enjoy the view. Would be interested in cruising on the Columbia River. We really enjoyed our trip.

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