Even if you’re an avid cruiser like me, you’ll find there’s little to compare to the American Queen. It can’t be compared to a river cruise vessel in Europe. The largest paddlewheeler ever built, the six-deck American Queen is nearly 2.5 times wider than those river cruisers. Spanning 90 feet across, she offers multiple restaurants, including a gorgeous two-story main restaurant, lots of public rooms, a variety of staterooms and suites, a small pool, gym and, of course, a giant paddlewheel to propel the riverboat.
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The American Queen paddles through the heartland of America on a variety of itineraries. If the thought of international travel fails to excite you, then you’ll feel good about coming home to the American Queen. The crew is all American. In fact, interactions with staff leave the impression of genuine Southern hospitality. The crew members, a lot of them from Memphis, Tennessee, are just downright friendly.
Perhaps the most impressive component of the American Queen is the array of senses that it stirs. I’ve taken to calling her the Americana Queen. See Paddlin’ Up The Mississippi On The “Americana” Queen.
I enjoy the nostalgia of this vessel, including its handsome lounges and parlors and the rocking chairs and swings. For many travelers, a journey along the great inland waterways of America is a rite of passage, and the American Queen offers a way to do that trip comfortably, stylishly and affordably.
Staterooms range from cozy interiors to spacious suites, making it easy to find not only a space where you will enjoy living but a price point that meets your budget.
American Queen’s cuisine has been better than anything I’ve experienced on a river, thanks to the efforts of Regina Charboneau whose creations include Bananas Foster on Texas Toast. Beer and wine (some that I consider premium wines) are included with dinner, and there are many other inclusives in this product: internet, soft drinks, specialty coffees (using Starbucks beans), popcorn and ice cream.
You’ll also enjoy some fun entertainment. There’s something on every evening, plus there’s a movie theater and a good selection of bars and lounges, including the popular Engine Room Bar.
As an added bonus, I really enjoyed the Hop-On, Hop-Off steamcoaches. For no additional charge, they allowed me to get a guided overview of the port towns and the freedom to hop off and explore on my own.
The American Queen defies comparison. It overlays the best aspects of an ocean liner on a river cruise vessel cruising through the heartland of America. Well, that’s enough for now. It’s time to get back out and enjoy the slow paddle along a mighty river. I’m Ralph Grizzle on the American Queen. I’ll see you on another Avid Cruiser voyage.
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