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Cruise Ship Information
Queen of the Mississippi is an overnight riverboat owned and operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL). She was built in 2012 by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland for overnight river cruising within the continental United States. The vessel accommodates 150 passengers in her 77 staterooms. Of these, 65 have private balconies. All have private baths, windows, Wi-Fi, and interior entrances.
 
Mississippi River cruises with American Cruise Lines are an exceptional way to discover American history and culture as you travel the Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. Enjoy luxurious accommodations and finely-tailored, personal service aboard two new paddle wheeler river boats built specifically for Mississippi River cruising. Cruise from New Orleans, Memphis, Nashville, and St. Paul and more with a variety of one, two and three week itineraries.
 
Atmosphere on board
Forget art auctions or poolside games; you won't even find low-impact activities such as dance lessons aboard these sedate ships. In the main lounge, passengers might read or play a quiet board game, and you're almost sure to find at least one game of bridge in the two smaller lounges. Most passengers seem content to just sit on deck and chat. Guest lecturersspeak most evenings, and spend days pointing out passing sights. On one night, a local musician might be brought on board for a concert, or bingo could be slotted in place of the nightly lecture. Besides an occasional documentary film shown in the lounge, a tour of the ship's bridge, or a once-per-week teatime, there really aren't any other organized activities, though some summer itineraries may feature kite flying from the stern on one afternoon. In port, about half the passengers choose the reasonably priced shore excursions, which are usually bus tours to museums, areas of natural beauty, or historic homes. Active excursions simply aren't offered, which is just fine for this crowd.
 
The ship deck plans:
 
1st Deck - 11 double and 1 single occupancy staterooms; dining room
2nd Deck - 15 double and 4 single occupancy staterooms, all with private balconies; three lounges
3rd Deck - 3 owners suites, 20 double and 6 single occupancy staterooms, all with sliding doors to private balconies; library
4th Deck - 3 owners suites, 13 double and 1 single occupancy staterooms, all with sliding doors to private balconies; two lounges
5th Deck - Pilot house, promenade, shaded public area, sundeck, putting green
 
Queen of the Mississippi entered service in 2012, joining her sister boat Queen of the West.
Her stern-mounted 20-ton paddlewheel is driven by a hydraulic motor, powered by diesel engines. This is augmented by two Z-drive units to provide a higher cruising speed and more maneuverability than typical riverboats.
 
Queen of the Mississippi delivers an experience unlike any other riverboat. Launched in 2012 and modeled after traditional Victorian-style riverboats of the late 1800s, she was the first paddlewheeler built for the Mississippi River in nearly 20 years. Queen of the Mississippi offers passengers modern amenities and comforts including large staterooms with private balconies, hotel-style bathrooms, complimentary room service, WiFi, and more.
 
Transporting guests back in time in the most elegant fashion, the experience aboard Queen of the Mississippi is a seamless blend of old and new. Beneath her historic décor, gleaming woodwork and brass fixtures is a framework of modern cruise ship technology that provides passengers with the most comfortable and upscale vacation imaginable on the Mississippi River.
 
Put your feet up, grab a book, and let the scenery soothe you. There's just something about gliding down one of the United States' greatest rivers that calms the soul.
 
But sailing the Mississippi (or Ohio) River onboard Queen of the Mississippi isn't just relaxing. Exploring some of the country's most storied cities like St. Louis, Memphis and Louisville, as well as small towns most passengers have never heard of, is like taking a little bite out of the proverbial American apple pie. It's a taste of America few on the country's edges ever get to see, and it's the best that home has to offer for those from mid-America.
 
Onboard, the service is superb, which is somewhat surprising, considering American Cruise Lines' employment policy limiting waiter/room attendant contracts to three months per any nine-month period. The mostly young crew, therefore, is new to the job, though they make up for any lack of experience with friendliness, an eagerness to serve and a genuine interest in your well-being.
 
The food is excellent, the accommodations spacious and comfortable, and your fellow passengers, of which there are only 150, are keen to meet you and chat. With no assigned tables, you quickly get to know the majority of others on the boat.
 
It might feel unbelievably small to anyone who's only been on a giant cruise ship. If you're looking for a lot of activity, you're not going to find it here. Onboard life is geared toward the older crowd. All activities are seated, from listening to lectures and enjoying some golden oldies tunes to participating in a marathon jigsaw puzzle contest. At times, we craved a stroll around a nice promenade deck.
 
But despite our occasional need to get up and move, we found it quite enjoyable to sit at the front of the boat in a rocking chair watching for birds, chatting with new friends or reading a book.
 
Food & Dining 
Sustainable cuisine allows American Cruise Lines chefs an unprecedented opportunity to create the freshest dishes for our guests while supporting local communities and ensuring a positive impact on the ecosystems cruise
American Cruise Lines offers open seating at every meal in the glass-enclosed Dining Salon on the Main Deck. The atmosphere is informal – seating is unassigned and dress is resort casual. Each table offers an incredible outside view and meals are cooked to order, making dining a great time to share your experiences with companions and build new friendships. Your masterfully skilled chef creates delectable feasts for each meal (menus announced well in advance). Carefully selected fresh seafood, meats and produce are often purchased in the regions we visit, allowing your chef to highlight the cuisine with local flavor. American Cruise Lines provides complimentary wine and beer during lunch and dinner service. A complimentary cocktail hour with full bar is hosted each evening before dinner. Glasses, ice, mixers, coffee and soft drinks are available at all times. For other liquor requests your Hotel Manager will assist you
 
Columbia and Snake Rivers cruises freshly caught Northwest salmon and sturgeon brought directly to Queen of the West -- Walla Walla onions, Astoria honey, Rainier cherries, and plump heirloom tomatoes gathered at local farmers’ markets
Local wines from vineyards on the banks of the Columbia River -- Unique ice creams produced nearby featuring mint, huckleberries, and cherries
 
Mississippi River cruises -- Steak- Certified Berkshire pork from Berkwood Farms, a local vendor in Des Moines, Iowa, Artisan cheeses made from cow, sheep, and goats’ milk, are sourced from nearby dairy farms and creameries in Wisconsin, Famous Memphis barbeque sauce
Mississippi Beer—Abita—the most famous locally-brewed beer in New Orleans, Freshly-made pralines, a New Orleans specialty
  
Southeast United States cruises -- st-michaels-crab-basket-with-corn-and-tomatoes  Maryland blue crabs are served in a variety of ways including seared, deep-fried, and roasted. Apalachicola Bay oysters, hand harvested in Florida
and served with mango pico de gallo and horseradish jelly. Fresh wild-caught Georgian Shrimp completes shrimp cocktails, seafood salads, and various entrées. Locally-grown Georgia peaches, Georgia pecans,Vidalia onions, berries, cabbage, watermelon, and Silver Queen corn
 
Northeast United States cruises, Lobsterbake  Fresh Maine lobster is offered in 28 different preparation styles. Maine Root Blueberry soda is a local specialty served onboard, made with Fair Trade organic cane juice and Maine blueberries. Craft beers such as Lobster Ale and Allagash Beer from local breweries
American Cruise Lines will work to cater any dietary needs. Please tell your cruise specialist approximately two weeks prior to your cruise so that we may plan accordingly. Refrigeration is available to store insulin or other medications requiring protectio
 
Family with Kids/Teens 
This is a cruise line for older adults, so children are extremely rare. A few families may sail on the summer New England itineraries, but the ships have no kids' programs or activities.
 
Past Passenger Programs
American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, is pleased to announce the introduction of a renewed loyalty program, featuring new premium benefits for members. The Eagle Society is the line’s way of recognizing and rewarding returning guests by providing a more personalized and enhanced cruise experience. The Eagle Society now features an expanded list of special benefits, including:
 
Complimentary cruise – Upon completion of 10 cruises with American Cruise Lines, Eagle Society members are rewarded with a complimentary cruise.
Complimentary shore excursions – After an Eagle Society member has cruised three times, shore excursion fees are waived on all cruises booked thereafter.
Special Eagle Society gifts – Member gifts range from customized officers jackets to champagne, and are always a guest favorite.
Membership identification – Customized luggage tags indicate Eagle Society belongings and special nametags indicate the number of cruises taken by each member.
Invitations to exclusive Eagle Society cruises – Each year, several dates are chosen for exclusive Eagle Society member cruises. These unique sailings are hosted by company executives and include special tours, receptions and entertainment.
Hometown VIP access – When a ship is in a port near a member’s hometown, American Cruise Lines extends a VIP invitation to come aboard for lunch or dinner.
Non-guest visitation and dining– When in port, members may invite friends or family aboard for a tour of the ship or to join them for meals.
Eagle Society-only savings and promotions – Members are privy to various special.
 
Fitness And Spa
American Cruise Lines features new state-of-the-art fitness equipment in a designated exercise area aboard every ship.  Services such as spa, hair/beauty treatments and laundry are available in port and can be fully arranged by your hotel manager onboard. Additional services such as tee-time requests and special occasion setups are available upon request.
 
Entertainment
Daytime entertainment onboard Queen of the Mississippi is limited to enrichment lectures on river ecology and history, as well as activities like sing-alongs and kite-flying. The lectures, which were always well attended, are a great way to get to know the area you're sailing and put your trip into a historical perspective. The other activities? For 40-something passengers, they were a little hokey, but many of the older passengers loved them.
 
Board games are available in two libraries for groups to play in one of the lounges, or you can grab a book and hit the rocking chairs for a relaxing afternoon on deck.
 
Evening entertainment consists of one show, beginning at 8:15 p.m. and lasting about an hour, after which most passengers retire to their cabins. You might see a banjo player, smooth jazz concert, a Frank Sinatra tribute or a retrospective of 30's through 60's music, or participate in movie trivia night.
 
The evening show is always in the Deck 2 Magnolia Lounge, a large window-framed space full of comfy couches and chairs. The Gal Friday of lounges, Magnolia is where you'll find many of the lectures, Eagle Society (American Cruise Line's loyalty program) recognition presentations, the afternoon cocktail hour and more. The room rarely looks the same, as furniture is rearranged daily -- sometimes two or three times a day, depending on what's on tap for entertainment.
 
Other lounges on the boat include the Deck 2 Paddlewheel Lounge, with its dark wood and Tiffanyesque light fixtures, and the Deck 4 Sky Lounge, a much airier space with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and wicker furniture. Both lounges provide soda, water and small snacks -- like granola bars, fruit, pretzels and chips -- all day long.
 
At every port, American Cruise Line offers one or two shore excursions, with most costing well below $100. With just two exceptions, our excursions consisted of a bus ride to an attraction (typically a museum of some sort), a guided tour and then the bus ride back. Of the eight tours we were offered, only one -- a short hike in a national park -- required any real physical exertion.
 

The tour options provided by the cruise line were not passengers' only choices. If you didn't like what was on offer, the cruise director was more than happy to do some research for you to find alternatives. For instance, American Cruise Lines offered a standard museum tour at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. But we wanted to see horses, so the cruise director arranged for us to do a paddock tour. We just had to pay the cost of the tour.
Saterooms
Finely Appointed Staterooms aboard the newest and grandest paddlewheeler on the Mississippi River. This luxurious new ship features over-sized staterooms with private balconies and amenities typically reserved for the finest hotels. All American Cruise Lines’ ships have elevator service to all decks.
Stateroom sizes between 300 to 600 square feet floor to ceiling sliding glass doors to private balconies Wireless Internet ServiceSatellite TV, Breakfast Room Service, gourmet coffee brewers in all staterooms, floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, Private Balconies all interior entrances to staterooms
 
Queen of the Mississippi's cabins are some of the roomiest we've ever seen, with a comfortable hominess we enjoyed coming back to after shore excursions. Our cabin also had way more storage room than we needed -- another pleasant surprise. The boat has 78 cabins in seven categories, of which 49 are standard doubles (304 square feet) with balconies; fares for these cabins vary by deck with upper decks costing more than lower decks. There also are six Owners' Suites (352 to 600 square feet) and 11 single cabins with balconies (210 square feet), as well as 11 window-only doubles and one window-only single on the lowest deck. Owners' Suites feature large panoramic windows, providing close to 180-degree views. Three wheelchair-accessible cabins (an Owner's Suite, a standard double with balcony and a window-only double) have larger bathrooms.
 
Each cabin features a flat-screen TV with DVD players, a telephone for dialing other cabins, small digital clock, Keurig coffeemaker and one or two upholstered swivel chairs. Storage space includes a closet and one or two dressers with three drawers each. A desk also has drawer space. Beds can be configured as two singles or one king. There are no mini-bars.
 
Bathrooms, in which two adults can stand comfortably, feature showers with two small soap dishes for toiletries. There is enough room in the showers to turn around without touching the plastic shower curtain. Water pressure is excellent. Counter space is adequate for your essentials, and two drawers beneath the sink are good places for storing other items. Judith Jackson toiletries on hand include shampoo, conditioner, body wash, moisturizer and mouthwash. Bath soaps and a facial bar are also available, as is a vanity kit with Q-Tips, cotton balls and a small emery board.
 
Balconies are the same size for all cabin categories, and each features two chairs and a small table. Each cabin also features an emergency medical button that can be pushed to bring a crewmember to the cabin immediately
 
Tipping
Gratuity is at your personal discretion. Tips are generally given to the Hotel Manager near the end of the cruise. They are then divided equally among the stewards and deckhands. Tips generally average about $125 per person for a seven-night cruise. Stewards and deckhands do not expect and cannot accept tips directly. Credit cards, personal or travelers checks, and cash are accepted. If you choose to pay by credit card, please contact the Hotel Manager at least one day before the end of your cruise.
 
Fellow Passengers
American Cruise Lines attracts an older demographic. (The average age is probably 72 or so.) The fact that the ship has an elevator is a highlight for many. Hailing from all over the United States -- Alabama, California, the Carolinas, Ohio, Florida -- passengers represent a geographic cross section of the country. More than 40 percent of the passengers have been on at least one American Cruise Lines cruise before.
 
Our Recommendation
Casual resort attire is de rigueur, both on the ship and ashore. For dinner, men's clothing might include a sport shirt and slacks with a sport coat or sweater. Women might find a sweater and slacks or a dress appropriate. American Cruise Lines also recommends you bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, light rain wear and a jacket for cool evenings.