The American Queen was modeled after the impressive steamboat palaces of the 19th century is a blend of vintage appeal and modern design. It looks just like what I always imagined a steam boat should look, like the riverboats you see on TV and in the movies.
The American Queen has the largest collection of Tiffany-style stained-glass lamps I've ever seen. The pilot house is topped by a lacy, ornate cupola. The river boat has two huge black smokestacks. It was quite surprising to see the smoke stacks lowered down to a horizontal position so we could pass under a bridge!
Crew members, in antebellum dress, greet guests with refreshing drinks. At the bow of the vessel a sweeping exterior staircase leads to the entrance foyer of Cabin Deck off which is the masculine, book-filled, leather-furnished Gentlemen's Card Room. In the other direction enter the Ladies' Parlor, an elegant Victorian-style drawing room. Past both rooms is the antiques-laden Mark Twain Gallery, which over looks the dining room and is perfect for reading or relaxing.
Our Mississippi river cruise started in New Orleans (where we spent three wonderful days beforehand) and made stops in Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Natchez, The Oaks Plantation and finished up in New Orleans. All of our stops were filled with interesting sights to see and things to do. We even got to hold a baby alligator on one of our swamp side tours.
In the evenings we especially enjoyed the shows in the engine room bar. There was dancing afterward and with the cozy settings it's easy to make new friends.
The food was exceptionally good. It was always difficult to decide whether to eat at the main sitting, or sample the buffet on the bow of the river boat. That is if you had room after the chili dog snack you had an hour ago. I don't believe I've ever had better service either.
One of our favorites was the hot dog stand on the stern of the boat. There are steam calliope concerts on the back as well. Nothing like kicking back with a hot-dog topped with your favorite condiments, your favorite beer, and listen to the calliope.
We ended up with a handicap fitted state room. If you get the chance get the handicap stateroom! The room is bigger and has more space to accommodate wheel chairs, and the bathroom was enormous. On this boat the handicapped rooms had a little deck area just outside the door...almost like a private balcony. It was great!
In conclusion, if you like to relax during the day, party in the evenings, eat fantastic food and lots of it, the American Queen is in our opinion, the best of the best in river boat cruising!