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American Cruise Line vs Queen


tipsygirl
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I haven't sailed on ACL, so I can't give you that comparison.  I landed on AQSC when I was looking at cruises on the Columbia River.  The thing that sold me on the line was the hop on, hop off buses.  I liked being able to see the sites at my own pace and made it easy for my mom to do her own thing.  We did two trips with them and I'd do another in a heartbeat.

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2 hours ago, califsealion said:

I haven't sailed on ACL, so I can't give you that comparison.  I landed on AQSC when I was looking at cruises on the Columbia River.  The thing that sold me on the line was the hop on, hop off buses.  I liked being able to see the sites at my own pace and made it easy for my mom to do her own thing.  We did two trips with them and I'd do another in a heartbeat.

Pretty much our story. Sailed the Snake/Columbia River on AQSC and had a great experience. Have another AQ cruise coming up and looking forward to it. 

I know its not a comparison but, I currently have no reason to look beyond AQSC and try ACL.

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I've never been on ACL nor will I ever. And it's not because the AMERICAN JAZZ was stuck in the mud for over a week either. The owners of ACL spent nearly $1,000,000.00 with Washington, DC. lobby firm Blank Rome, LLP to keep Congress from renewing the National Historic Landmark Str. DELTA QUEEN"s exemption from SOLAS regulations. If not for all of that the DELTA QUEEN might be running today being the only overnight river cruise vessel operating from the early Twentieth Century.

 

I can comment on the American Queen Steamboat Co. though. I have been on all but the AMERICAN COUNTESS and have two cruises booked during 2022 both on the AMERICAN QUEEN. I find the food, accommodations  and entertainment on each of their boats wonderful. The Hop On Hop Off bus tours are particularly nice on their coaches that have plenty of leg room as I'm 6'4".Also right now during the Covid crisis all passengers and crew must be vaccinated, and last week while onboard the AMERICAN DUCHESS I found that particularly comforting.

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On 7/20/2021 at 7:34 PM, Calliope said:

I've never been on ACL nor will I ever. And it's not because the AMERICAN JAZZ was stuck in the mud for over a week either. The owners of ACL spent nearly $1,000,000.00 with Washington, DC. lobby firm Blank Rome, LLP to keep Congress from renewing the National Historic Landmark Str. DELTA QUEEN"s exemption from SOLAS regulations. If not for all of that the DELTA QUEEN might be running today being the only overnight river cruise vessel operating from the early Twentieth Century.

 

 


I agree 100%!

 

We have been on the American Queen (Memphis to NO). What a great cruise!

LOVE that riverboat!!

 

Have had 2 cruises cancelled due to Covid (on the Duchess). 🥲🙁

 

Looking forward to being on the Countess in June for our 55 anniversary. 
 

My neighbour has been on ACL. She was OK with it—-until she heard me talking about the Queen!

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It's hard to do a "which one is better" comparison, because there are so many facets of the cruise - one will be better at some, worse at some.

 

We've sailed on many ACL cruises and also on AQSC (have booked their Chattanooga-Memphis cruise on Countess for next year).  Because ACL is much bigger, you have a greater selection of ships and itineraries.  AQSC offers more "professional" entertainment, and their crews seems to be a bit more experienced (though with Covid-19, who knows this year).  ACL crews seemed to be more genial and enthusiastic, though not quite as thoroughly trained.

 

HOHO buses give AQSC a slight edge on excursions, but ACL's are well organized as well.

 

Overall, we tend to lean slightly towards ACL, but in the coming years we expect to give both lines plenty of business.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have taken upper Mississippi river cruises on both the American Cruise Line and the American Queen Steamboat Company. I find the two cruise lines to differ in a number of ways.

  •  AQSC cruises mostly at night and spends more time in the ports. ACL cruised mainly during the afternoons and evening and spent less time in the ports (generally leaving just after noon each day). I enjoyed the ACL in this respect as seeing the scenery along the upper Mississippi was important to me.
  • I found the dining experience to be more enjoyable on AQSC due to the staff being better trained. Also the dining room seemed more elegant and more like the traditional dining experience on ocean cruises. The dining experience on ACL was very informal and at times a bit chaotic. I was told that the dining staff signed very short contracts and at the end of the contract they left.
  • The HOHO was comparable with both companies.
  • Lastly, I found the entertainment to be superior on AQSC. 

That being said, we had a fabulous time no matter which line we selected.

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  • 1 month later...
7 hours ago, travelerdj said:

Hi all. If you like to hike/walk and other forms of exercise, is ACL or AQ a better fit (pun intended....)?

Good question. Does AQS have a walking track or walking area on board? I am not able to tell looking at the deck plan.  We sail on the Queen in November. 

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1 hour ago, midwestchick said:

Good question. Does AQS have a walking track or walking area on board? I am not able to tell looking at the deck plan.  We sail on the Queen in November. 

If memory serves me correctly you can go all the way around on deck 4.  

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13 hours ago, midwestchick said:

Does AQS have a walking track or walking area on board? I am not able to tell looking at the deck plan.  We sail on the Queen in November. 

I guess you asking specifically about the AQSC's American Queen, but I have not been on that ship.  If memory serves me right, there was limited walking on the top of American Duchess.

 

Since this forum is "ACL vs AQSC," I'll go ahead and add what I know about walking on ACL ships.

 

On ACL newest ships (Jazz, Harmony, Melody, Symphony) there is a lighted track running around the perimeter of the entire ship on the top deck.  On the older ships, there is room to walk on the top deck, but it is limited.

 

ACL does offer excursions specifically for walking, but these are relatively few. 

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1 hour ago, DaveinCharlotte said:

I guess you asking specifically about the AQSC's American Queen, but I have not been on that ship.  If memory serves me right, there was limited walking on the top of American Duchess.

 

Since this forum is "ACL vs AQSC," I'll go ahead and add what I know about walking on ACL ships.

 

On ACL newest ships (Jazz, Harmony, Melody, Symphony) there is a lighted track running around the perimeter of the entire ship on the top deck.  On the older ships, there is room to walk on the top deck, but it is limited.

 

ACL does offer excursions specifically for walking, but these are relatively few. 

The Duchess just has the completely open "Sun Deck", Deck 4 with a few benches and "fold-up" canopies. I was on the Duchess beginning of August and it gets hot up there if no shade is provided. You also have the two (real) exhaust stacks to be aware of towards the aft part of the boat (different than the fake fold-down stacks). None of the other decks have an outside around the boat promenade.

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7 minutes ago, TinCan782 said:

The Duchess just has the completely open "Sun Deck", Deck 4 with a few benches and "fold-up" canopies. I was on the Duchess beginning of August and it gets hot up there if no shade is provided. You also have the two (real) exhaust stacks to be aware of towards the aft part of the boat (different than the fake fold-down stacks). None of the other decks have an outside around the boat promenade.

I’m specifically asking about the Queen. Thanks.

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On 9/26/2021 at 9:43 PM, midwestchick said:

Good question. Does AQS have a walking track or walking area on board? I am not able to tell looking at the deck plan.  We sail on the Queen in November. 

Yes, both the Observation Deck and Promenade Deck can be fully circled.  Neither are designed for running or jogging. The former though can get some spray at the stern from the paddlewheel while the boat is running, but the guards (the river term for the open deck running down along the side between the superstructure and the railings.) are wide and easy to pass other passengers. The Promenade Deck's  guards are not as wide and there is an area forward that is under cover that you have to carefully go through due to stairs from the pilothouse and a hallway intersecting the deck there.

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5 hours ago, Calliope said:

Yes, both the Observation Deck and Promenade Deck can be fully circled.  Neither are designed for running or jogging. The former though can get some spray at the stern from the paddlewheel while the boat is running, but the guards (the river term for the open deck running down along the side between the superstructure and the railings.) are wide and easy to pass other passengers. The Promenade Deck's  guards are not as wide and there is an area forward that is under cover that you have to carefully go through due to stairs from the pilothouse and a hallway intersecting the deck there.

Thank you.

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Hi again..the original poster here///  Actually I had a broader question... in terms of off boat time and excursions,  as well as the tiny on board gym etc,  which line has more options for  exercise such as hiking and walking off boat.. I am thinking of the Columbia/Snake River trips.  So it would be the American Empress, vs the American Harmony or American Pride... but I do understand that none of these boats really have onboard exercise to speak of... just thought that one line may have more options off boat than the other... thanks again for all the responses 

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I think the walking or hiking alternatives would be similar on both lines. I can only speak to the Empress but I walked the towns and the river walks in several ports.  They also have bikes that you can check out.  I rode 8 or 10 miles at a couple of stops after the hoho and lunch.  They're Trek bikes so not junk but they are rather heavy and certainly not road bikes.  

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2 hours ago, TinCan782 said:

If you forgo excursions, you can do whatever you want, go wherever you want - walk, etc. The Duchess, in early August, had walking sticks and bicycles available for use by passengers.

Are you close enough to activities when you dock that you don’t need transportation to get to those spots? We love river walks. Dubuque IA and Gutenberg IA have beautiful river walks. We really try to stay as active as possible.  It helps make up for the extra calories and extra cocktails.😉 😄😂😂

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2 hours ago, midwestchick said:

Are you close enough to activities when you dock that you don’t need transportation to get to those spots? We love river walks. Dubuque IA and Gutenberg IA have beautiful river walks. We really try to stay as active as possible.  It helps make up for the extra calories and extra cocktails.😉 😄😂😂

On the Mighty Mississippi cruise in August, many of the docking areas were pretty much in town, several less so. Besides a river walk, many of the communities are walkable from where the boat is tied up. You would have to check maps to see what is accessible from the boat (walking, biking). Also, on the hop on, hop off tours you are free to wander from any of the stops. You can walk between stops if you want. Just remember to catch the last bus back!

Don't know what "activities" you are looking for.

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