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Cruising the Ohio River~on the American Queen~General a Leisurely Trip! – All Issues Cruise

ON THE OHIO RIVER_As our river cruise on American Queen concludes, listed below are some general impressions — our first time to cruise a U.S. waterway — that may hopefully assist determine if this cruise is best for you.

Based mostly on our conversations with different friends, and the actual fact American river cruising has been one of many business’s fastest-growing segments over the previous few years, it’s clear the recognition of touring one’s personal nation’s waterways is on the rise. A part of the explanation you possibly can in all probability attribute to COVID, and the reluctance of vacationers to face the uncertainty of going abroad. We heard that greater than as soon as.

Then there’s the attract of recreating that Golden Age of steamboating, when it was the preeminent technique to go from one city to a different. American Queen has embraced that need and introduced it up-to-date with trendy facilities and know-how. However the fundamental concept stays the identical: A leisurely trip on a river the place, in case you like, you possibly can sit in a chair and watch the world go by.

That’s the essence of a river cruise, and American Queen delivers that have.

Some takeaways:

— We favored {that a} pre-cruise resort night time was included within the cruise. You not solely get an opportunity to fulfill your fellow passengers, but in addition they deal with your switch to the boat. Your baggage is prepared and ready to unpack in your room, making boarding is a breeze.

— Most of our fellow vacationers are all senior residents, a number of with mobility points. The boat is properly outfitted to assist those that want it, and even accommodates service canines, of which we’ve seen a number of, all well-behaved. It appears most friends hail from the mid-West and plenty of are repeat prospects. The temper is pleasant and it’s simple to strike up conversations.

— Our room is a junior suite, and accommodates a queen mattress. The vintage furnishings, fixtures and work mirror the “Golden Age” motif. The bathtub is roomy however might use an up to date bathe head. Storage was satisfactory nevertheless it may very well be difficult if we needed to pack for an extended time aboard (they do have a laundry). It was good to have a writing area for my PC. There are two USB plugs and further plugins bedside, however we at all times want extra, so pack an extension wire. Rooms even have a choice of music channels you possibly can play by twisting a knob to the music of your selection. As talked about earlier than, most rooms don’t have non-public balconies, however have two chairs and desk in a communal sitting space on the deck. Once more, it promotes meet and greets.

— We discovered the service excellent. Pleasant, environment friendly, accommodating. Particular shoutouts to Richard, our room attendant, Daniel, the Meals and Beverage Supervisor, Jasmin, Sherman and Shelly on the eating room wait workers and Manuela, the Chief Purser.

— The meals has been glorious general. The Entrance Porch Cafe (it actually does resemble a traditional entrance porch) and the J.M. White Principal Eating Room serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. The previous serves its meals buffet-style, whereas the latter has buffets for breakfast and lunch, with a extra formal seating at dinner. The vast majority of friends on our crusing opted for early eating, which stars at 5:15 pm (for us, that’s like a late lunch). We select late eating, which begins at 8 pm. In between, the Entrance Porch gives tasty cookies, popcorn, self-serve ice cream and all of the fixings, plus fruit and different snacks. Pam liked the espresso stations positioned across the boat. Room service can also be free and obtainable till 11 pm. After the eating room closes, that’s just about your solely meals possibility in case you crave a late-night snack.

— Drinks, alcoholic and in any other case, are included in your fare, together with the essential excursions, meals and WiFi. There are some premium, extra-charge drinks, however we didn’t go there. You’ll discover bars on the Entrance Porch, the Captain’s Bar, outdoors the primary eating room, the Engine Room Bar on deck 2 (the place you get a view of the spinning paddlewheels by way of the port holes) and the River Grill and Bar, aft on deck 5. A few of the bartenders might use somewhat mixology assist, however in order for you it finished proper, see Soli on the River Grill. She’ll take nice care of you.

— The leisure within the Grand Saloon earns an “A.” They’re a small however mighty group that is aware of the best way to sing, dance and preserve an viewers engaged with out the good thing about flashy productions and surroundings modifications, with assist from lighting and sound guru, Mike. Norman Bergen leads the Steamboat Syncopators home band, with Jay, Sean and Logan on piano, guitar and keyboards. I discovered the day by day lectures by ship Riverlorian Chris Westey informative and fascinating.

— Probably the most spectacular features of the cruise are the excursions. Effectively-organized and executed, the “hop on, hop off” buses take friends to locations of curiosity at each port cease. The buses truly comply with the boat, so you could have the identical drivers, which is good. Native guides and docents had been on web site to supply knowledgeable insights, and all of it ran like clockwork, beginning with getting eight tour occasions to select from. Premium tour choices are additionally obtainable for an additional cost.

— The primary attraction for almost all of friends is the boat itself. Faithfully modeled after the grand steamboats of the 1800s, and 60 % powered by steam, it’s the biggest steamship working on the planet. Hanging on its partitions are traditional steamboat work, and river-related memorabilia are on show within the Mark Twain Gallery and different public areas. Its six decks are simple to navigate, and the most well-liked gathering areas are the entrance Porch ahead on deck three and the remark space on deck 4. Leisure is featured within the Grand Saloon and movie show. There’s a small pool and health middle, designated areas for people who smoke, a small spa and a library within the Chart Room. Adjoining to the Mark Twain Gallery are Women and Gents recreation rooms. Apart from the TVs within the rooms, you can simply see your self transported again in time.

— Don’t count on the free WiFi to be at all times obtainable. As I’ve famous, our room occurred to be situated in a lifeless spot, so we not often bought service there. There are computer systems and a printer within the Mark Twain Gallery, and that’s the place I went to ship these missives. I guess even Mark Twain would have favored to have had that obtainable for his use.

— Though ours was the final cruise to require pre-cruise COVID testing, the boat highlights well being consciousness by putting sanitizing and hand washing stations all through. Masks should not required, however a number of friends had been sporting them. There was just one cease on the excursions we took that required a masks — The Fortress in Marietta, OH. Every room can also be given two refillable water bottles to chop down on plastic waste. Refill stations are situated by all of the elevators.

Backside line: I requested one visitor who had taken virtually 20 river cruises why he and his spouse preserve coming again to American Queen. In a phrase, he stated, “Custom.” Principally, it’s the one technique to expertise the type of romantic journey that enraptured Individuals greater than 150 years in the past.

                                            River Sundown

In order for you an actual break from the hectic, workaday world, and don’t thoughts in case you can’t examine your e-mail each 10 minutes, embrace settling again in a chair with the drink of the day, take pleasure in being pampered by an attentive workers and need to get misplaced in thought whilst you watch the world slowly go by, that is the cruise for you. Should you attempt it, I feel you simply may prefer it. We did.

PHOTOS by Gerry Barker

  • Evening view of the Chart Room (Cowl Picture)
  • American Queen Steamboat
  • The deck outdoors the staterooms
  • Reboarding at considered one of our tour stops
  • The Grand Saloon
  • The Gents’s Card Room
  • A river sundown
  • Contained in the Chart Room
  • Work enhance the hallways
  • Our Riverlorian
  • Water refill station

See American Queen and different steamboat cruises right here American Queen Voyages (

See all of our earlier American Queen steamboat cruise posts right here:

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