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.
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.
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.
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.
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.