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LDVinNC

The Mighty Mississippi - well, almost!

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We recently returned from a three week trip on the American Queen.  It was supposed to be "The Mighty Mississippi" but due to high water, we diverted on to the Ohio River and ended up in Cincinnati.  We were not pleased with the change, but what could they do?  AQSC did well by us, we think.  They changed our return transportation arrangements at no cost to us, gave us a 25% credit towards another trip, a 5% or 10% credit for booking that trip while onboard, and an onboard credit for that future trip. We booked a Great Lakes cruise next year on Victory Cruise Line,  AQSC's sister line.

 

Boat and Accommodations:

 

      We have been on the AQ several times before, last in 2016.  The boat is in good shape, and our cabin (B category, 415) was generally fine.  The shower head needs replacement: it sprayed me in the face and could not be adjusted.  They have put a loveseat where a couple of Victorian chairs used to be, and I liked that.  Our cabin attendant was great.

 

Transportation:

 

      The Hop On - Hop Off bus system works very well.  They are proud of the new "river coaches", but I wonder if the designers took into consideration the age of their typical passenger.  The buses have a new center side entry door with about 5 steep steps up into the bus.  I am not disabled but found those steps hard to use, so I continued to use the front entry door.  Most of the others did, too.

 

Food and Beverage:

 

      There were some issues in the main dining room.  At first it was just about impossible to get beef cooked properly.  My request for steak cooked medium twice brought very rare meat, and once almost burned.  One night the veal was literally inedible.  I could not even cut it.  The serving staff did their best, but some nights there were considerable delays with food leaving the kitchen.  It did improve after the first week.

 

      The Front Porch casual dining venue has changed from our last trip.  It used to be that most of the entrees from the main dining room were available at the buffet, but now it is prime rib and one other entree every night.  Not an improvement in my opinion. Also, when the management of the venue changed after the first week, the new manager decided to change the arrangement of silverware, napkins, etc.   Unnecessary and annoying to all but him.


        They offered a beverage card for 10 drinks for $50 - a good deal as most drinks were almost $10.  Wine and beer are still free at dinner and soda is always free.


          They formerly gave out bottles of water but now have "hydration stations".  They give you an un-insulated metal bottle for your personal use and in various locations on the boat are machines you can use to fill the bottles.  Not a fan - the water heats up quickly when outside and you have to drag the bottle around with you even when it is empty.  I do understand the ecological reason for the change, but we bought bottles of water several times in port and we saw many fellow passengers carrying plastic bottles around.  Maybe if the bottles were insulated it would work better.

 

Communication:

 

      I don't know what they have done to the internet on the boat.  It was fine 3 years ago but now it is BAD.  Completely unacceptable in 2019.

 

      There used to be just one desktop computer but now there are 4.  There was nearly always one available when we wanted to use it.

 

      And if you are not using one of the major cell carriers you may have issues texting and calling.  We have Consumer Cellular and it was non-functional for much of the trip.

 

Laundry:

 

     There is a tiny laundry room with 2 washers and dryers on deck 4.  It was usually fully in use!  They offer a laundry service - stuff a bag for $20.  You can get a lot in the bag if you try!  It was returned, nicely folded or on hangers, the same day.  We used it three times and were very pleased.

 

Entertainment:

 

     There were shows every night, ranging from good to excellent.  The 4 person ensemble performed together or separately a number of nights, and they brought onboard all sort of other entertainers.  We were pleased.

 

      There were lectures by the Riverlorian, bingo a few times, gatherings for games, crafts, etc. Pretty low-key.

 

 

      If you have any questions, I will be happy to try to answer them for you.

 

 

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3 hours ago, LDVinNC said:

We recently returned from a three week trip on the American Queen.  It was supposed to be "The Mighty Mississippi" but due to high water, we diverted on to the Ohio River and ended up in Cincinnati.  We were not pleased with the change, but what could they do?  AQSC did well by us, we think.  They changed our return transportation arrangements at no cost to us, gave us a 25% credit towards another trip, a 5% or 10% credit for booking that trip while onboard, and an onboard credit for that future trip. We booked a Great Lakes cruise next year on Victory Cruise Line,  AQSC's sister line.

 

Boat and Accommodations:

 

      We have been on the AQ several times before, last in 2016.  The boat is in good shape, and our cabin (B category, 415) was generally fine.  The shower head needs replacement: it sprayed me in the face and could not be adjusted.  They have put a loveseat where a couple of Victorian chairs used to be, and I liked that.  Our cabin attendant was great.

 

Transportation:

 

      The Hop On - Hop Off bus system works very well.  They are proud of the new "river coaches", but I wonder if the designers took into consideration the age of their typical passenger.  The buses have a new center side entry door with about 5 steep steps up into the bus.  I am not disabled but found those steps hard to use, so I continued to use the front entry door.  Most of the others did, too.

 

Food and Beverage:

 

      There were some issues in the main dining room.  At first it was just about impossible to get beef cooked properly.  My request for steak cooked medium twice brought very rare meat, and once almost burned.  One night the veal was literally inedible.  I could not even cut it.  The serving staff did their best, but some nights there were considerable delays with food leaving the kitchen.  It did improve after the first week.

 

      The Front Porch casual dining venue has changed from our last trip.  It used to be that most of the entrees from the main dining room were available at the buffet, but now it is prime rib and one other entree every night.  Not an improvement in my opinion. Also, when the management of the venue changed after the first week, the new manager decided to change the arrangement of silverware, napkins, etc.   Unnecessary and annoying to all but him.


        They offered a beverage card for 10 drinks for $50 - a good deal as most drinks were almost $10.  Wine and beer are still free at dinner and soda is always free.


          They formerly gave out bottles of water but now have "hydration stations".  They give you an un-insulated metal bottle for your personal use and in various locations on the boat are machines you can use to fill the bottles.  Not a fan - the water heats up quickly when outside and you have to drag the bottle around with you even when it is empty.  I do understand the ecological reason for the change, but we bought bottles of water several times in port and we saw many fellow passengers carrying plastic bottles around.  Maybe if the bottles were insulated it would work better.

 

Communication:

 

      I don't know what they have done to the internet on the boat.  It was fine 3 years ago but now it is BAD.  Completely unacceptable in 2019.

 

      There used to be just one desktop computer but now there are 4.  There was nearly always one available when we wanted to use it.

 

      And if you are not using one of the major cell carriers you may have issues texting and calling.  We have Consumer Cellular and it was non-functional for much of the trip.

 

Laundry:

 

     There is a tiny laundry room with 2 washers and dryers on deck 4.  It was usually fully in use!  They offer a laundry service - stuff a bag for $20.  You can get a lot in the bag if you try!  It was returned, nicely folded or on hangers, the same day.  We used it three times and were very pleased.

 

Entertainment:

 

     There were shows every night, ranging from good to excellent.  The 4 person ensemble performed together or separately a number of nights, and they brought onboard all sort of other entertainers.  We were pleased.

 

      There were lectures by the Riverlorian, bingo a few times, gatherings for games, crafts, etc. Pretty low-key.

 

 

      If you have any questions, I will be happy to try to answer them for you.

 

 

 


Thanks for that rundown.  We board next month for 16 days.

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Why do people have to quote an entire post just to say thanks. 🤔

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Toofarfromthesea:  If that was your intent, you've succeeded!

 

stoneman56:  Good question.  Sometimes, it's necessary to indicate which post is being responded to, but 90% of the time it's not.  And for that 10%, I don't think folks realize they can keep a few lines of the quote and delete the rest, or they don't care to take the time to do that.  Just MHO.

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Since OP asked, in another thread, I'll share some thoughts on our 16 day Mighty Mississippi (North to South version) a couple of weeks ago.

Over all we had a great time.  We had no high or low water issues.

The food was good, at times excellent.  

Entertainment is even more a matter of personal taste than food.  And I didn't care for most of the entrrtainment, although most people enjoyed it.  There was a good show in the theater with a guest performer named Joyce Cob(b?) who had a voice and knew what to do with it.  For the rest of the theater entertainment I didn't care for the dhows, neither the design nor the execution.  It all just seemed plastic and phony to me.  But lots of people really liked the shows a lot, so YMMV.

But we managed to find entertainment we liked.  Our favorite nighttime hangout was the Engine Room Bar.  There was a guitarist named Will Kiefer and a keyboard guy named Jay Chalmers who, for the most part, were very good and much more to my taste.  The cocktail waitress was Cassandra and besides being one of the most upbeat people on the boat had a voice and knew what to do with it.  Jay and Will would have her up most nights to do a song or two.  When she did Midnight Train to Georgia a guy jumped up and started doing the hand motions and all, and when he returned to his seat he said he just fulfilled his lifelong dream of being a Pip.  There was also Anthony, a delightful young man who was the bartender the first week and server the second.

The boat itself was lovely.  I spent a lot of time during the day in the Gentleman's Card Room.  The furnishings included some spectacular carved wooden chairs.  It was a great place to hang out because it was comfortable, quiet, had a nearby coffee machine (that didn't work the first week but was fixed for the second week) and was just a stairway away from the Front Porch.

There were, however 2 absurdities I encountered.  The first arose on about the fourth night when I decided to take advantage of the 24 hour room service at about 1:00 AM.  I dialed the number and let it ring about 30 times with no answer.  Tried again twice at 10-15 minute intervals.  No answer.  Next day I go to the Pursers desk and ask what the Room Service hours were.  She told me it was 24 hours.  I related my experience and she told me that for safety reasons they shut the phones off from 11 PM to 6AM when passing through locks.  So I said then that really isn't 24 hour room service, to which she replied that it was, since someone was always there to provide it.  She suggested ordering ahead for a late delivery, but I am kind of an in the moment late eater so that wouldn't work.  She did have a bottle of wine put in my room, which was nice.  And the second week, when we were done going through locks, late night room service was fine.

The other absurdity had to do with the grill bar on deck 5.  The first couple of days I went there and had a nice glass of red wine.  Then on the third day when I ordered the same the bartender took the bottle out of the refrigerator.  When I asked why, after declining the wine, he said it was too hot (it is an outdoor bar) and the wine would spoil.  So instead of having the wine spoil they made it undrinkable.   But the worst was when the great Ra, who thought himself the cat's whiskers (even staff members said he thinks he knows everything about everything) tried to give me some BS story about there being a crossover temperature at which both reds and whites are drunk.  I understand the wine storage problem with heat, but this was an absurd response.

But despite these absurdities, we had a wonderful time and are now looking forward to our 13 days on Victory 2 from Montreal to Boston in about a month or so.

I'd be happy to try to answer any question anyone might have.

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Thanks, toofar!  Did your trip go as scheduled or did they delay you a week?  i thought they were all messed up for a while after we got off in Cincinnati instead of Red Wing on July 15.

 

We saw Joyce Cobb, too, and thought she was great.

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