2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most ... Read More
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most important part of our nations past, forged in part by these two infamous explorers. Great shore excursions and presentations by the River Historian added to the experience. The hospitality of the ship and crew was outstanding. The food and drink was excellent. It should be noted that the Queen of the West is the line's oldest ship and the rooms and bathroom are smaller than newer ships. But so little time is spent in the room, we found the accommodations to be adequate. The one difficulty was a high step into the bathroom which may be difficult for an elderly person. We enjoyed the entire cruise so much that we immediately signed up for another cruise next year! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it ... Read More
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it but to sleep. Several places where you can sit, watch the scenery, read or visit with the new friends you meet daily. Crew very attentive and Edgar to please. First morning we boarded at 10:30 AM snakes and open bar has we were oriented to our boat. Meals have been delicious! Who doesn’t like a root beer float or ice cream sundae at 8 PM?? As we travel we learn more about the history of the area we are in. Loved Astoria’s quaint look. Houses on hills like San Francisco but then you seen a doe with her fawn meandering down the street or tucked under a 300 foot fir. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin ... Read More
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin was a little small, but as a single it was adequate. The common areas were lovely; very comfortable furniture and a great place to just relax. The captain was exceptional; personable and accessible. He often came to dinner to mingle with the passengers. He shared his stories with us and was very gracious in asking us to share our stories. The cruise director was such a lovely person. So much personality and eager to help proactively ensuring that all was well. The crew was exceptional; friendly and courteous, quick to help and easy to find when necessary. The food was delicious and varied. The portions were just right. You could always ask for more, but it seems that waste of food was minimized. The dining staff was wonderful; prompt service, quick to respond to requests, and always cheerful and friendly. The service from the entire crew could not have been better. The shore excursions ranged from interesting to spectacular. The highlights were Astoria, waterfalls, Mt. St. Helens, and the jet boat tour down the Snake River. The geography on the river was so interesting and unusual. All in all, I am very glad that I took this cruise. It was a wonderful, relaxing week. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because it offered an opportunity to see parts of the US that we had not visited. We specifically chose this itinerary because it gave us a chance to reunite with old friends in our embarkation city of Portland, OR. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it offered an opportunity to see parts of the US that we had not visited. We specifically chose this itinerary because it gave us a chance to reunite with old friends in our embarkation city of Portland, OR. This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines and I have to say that they have improved their service since our first cruise almost 10 years ago. Specifically, they have increased their staffing so that they have teams that handle each aspect of the cruise, i.e., wait staff, housekeeping, and boat handling; on our first cruise, each crew member handled all of those duties, so they were really taxed. The complimentary hotel stay at the origin city was pretty good and convenient to the embarkation of the ship. Embarkation process was flawless. The ship is in pretty good shape overall, but you can tell that it has been some time since it was renovated; good news is that they have added usb ports in the staterooms. Food was generally excellent and flavorful; they have added an option to choose 1/2 portions at meals (great idea). The crew did an excellent job throughout the cruise; wait staff was especially good. Always enjoyed the daily happy hour before dinner. On board entertainment and activities were very good. Shore excursions were OK, but in several cases, e.g., Mt St Helen's, provided only a limited time to take in everything. As expected, scenery was excellent, although it was unseasonable hot and we encountered smoke from fires in OR twice. We would recommend this cruise and vessel. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
This was the last cruise of the season, Portland R/T, with only the western half of the Columbia River. The weather was OK, often cloudy & rainy, some sun, but to be expected in mid-October in Oregon. The tours/guides were excellent, ... Read More
This was the last cruise of the season, Portland R/T, with only the western half of the Columbia River. The weather was OK, often cloudy & rainy, some sun, but to be expected in mid-October in Oregon. The tours/guides were excellent, altho we wished for more time at Mt St Helens and some of the Lewis & Clark sites. The ship was charmingly decorated in traditional paddlewheel style. The cabin/bathroom were quite small but adequate since you didn't spend much time there. The crew was outstanding, from deckhands to housekeeping to servers to ship management and office staff. All of our arrangements were handled efficiently, professionally and cheerfully. Another couple had to change their scheduled cruise date due to medical issues, and it was done without problems or extra fees. What other travel company does that? The lounges and dining room were very nice, with coffee/tea/snacks always available. The food was outstanding, both at regular meals and evening cocktail hour. Wine/beer and liquor was free-flowing during cocktail time, with wine/beer available at lunch/dinner. Evening entertainment was low-key, a singer of musical duo. A nice feature was having a hotel night (Raddisson Airport was OK) in Portland the night before embarking. This gave us a chance to meet other passengers, a nice touch. Pre/post transfers were handled perfectly. The passengers were "senior citizens" who have the time & money to travel on ACL. The group was very friendly & compatible, with interesting people to share stories and meals. Would I go on ACL again? Maybe. The Queen of the West is the smallest, oldest boat in the group, and I think their other ships would be nicer and have larger cabins. Even at a special sale rate, it was $500+/day/person. While they hyped their other cruises in an sales session, I'm inclined to spend the money in other tours (self or escorted). That said, it was a very good choice for the older passengers who need everything arranged for them. I might consider an Alaskan cruise because of the ability to get into places that larger ships can't reach. It's a trade-off of $$ vs convenience. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The scenery on the Colombia River is outstanding. The sites were interesting but didn't get to stay long enough at Mt. St. Helen’s and the Rose Park in Portland. There was a lot to do in these two areas that warranted more time. ... Read More
The scenery on the Colombia River is outstanding. The sites were interesting but didn't get to stay long enough at Mt. St. Helen’s and the Rose Park in Portland. There was a lot to do in these two areas that warranted more time. The overall pace of the cruise is geared for seniors. Though I am one ( mid sixties and fortunately healthy, I would have preferred a bit more activity. Since most folks were in their 80’s I think the pace worked well for them. There was nightly entertainment starting at Happy Hour though nothing through out the day. Some afternoons there were lectures on Lewis and Clark that were quite infomative. Food was good and plentiful but don't expect gourmet. The ship itself was one of the older ones in American Cruise’s fleet. I was glad to hear that this trip was the last until refurbished. When traveling again, I would definitely opt for one of their newer ships that has updated furnishings and better accommodations. The Staff was very friendly especially the ship manager who went out of her way to be accommodating to your needs. Headquarters also was responsive to my concerns. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
My 92 year old mom wanted to do this, so my sister and I took her. It was wonderful. We stayed in Room 401 on Queen of the West, which held the three of us easily. (They moved out the large bed and gave us three twins: perfect!) ... Read More
My 92 year old mom wanted to do this, so my sister and I took her. It was wonderful. We stayed in Room 401 on Queen of the West, which held the three of us easily. (They moved out the large bed and gave us three twins: perfect!) Mom's vision is very limited, so it was mostly about staying aboard and enjoying the time together as we leisurely moved along the Columbia River. The room had a refrigerator, Keurig, sofa, desk, easy chairs...was so comfortable, and the view from our picture windows (on both sides of the room/ship) so delightful that we were able to comfortably be in the room with mom as needed during the day. Food was so delicious, and portions were appropriate (you could ask for half portions). Late afternoon cocktail hour (with appetizers) provided the time to mingle with other guests as desired. Service was delightful...any request we made was quickly accommodated, and we felt pampered. The hotel the night before (Red Lion) was very nice, with a good restaurant on site. Boarding/deboarding went smoothly and efficiently. We would definitely do this again!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I am 62 years old and went with my 89 year-old mother who is still very mobile. Parts of the cruise were interesting and others not. First of all, let me tell you that the accommodations were very nice. Unfortunately, we didn't pay ... Read More
I am 62 years old and went with my 89 year-old mother who is still very mobile. Parts of the cruise were interesting and others not. First of all, let me tell you that the accommodations were very nice. Unfortunately, we didn't pay for a balcony and so we were on the basement floor where many of the entertainers have their rooms and it can be noisy at night. We could hear the toilets flushing constantly from the floor above and the public bathroom outside in the hallway. The free wifi and even by cell service were often not working in the room and I had to go out into the hallway or up to the library on the second floor to use the free internet or even call my wife. There was a 24 hour period on the Snake River where there was no cell service or wifi at all. There were a few teens and young couples but very sparse. The cruise is for seniors.The entertainment was very boring for us, no exercise equipment, no pool, just a library and a piano bar...snooze!. Good for old timers who like old Broadway shows or music from the 40s. The excursions for the most part were decent The food was excellent, best part of the cruise. Even though we were given the late dinner time, we were able to change it to the later time by asking the matre d, Carmen. We were even able to get into the private dining area for than the 2 times normally allowed. In the private dining area, we were able to have lobster tail, which was pretty small...so we just asked for two of them. We liked some of the excursions, and some we didn't. The trip to see Fort Clatsop and the Snake River excursion (charge) were very good. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
The size of the ship was a selling point. It wasn't large. We were able to disembark smoothly at various ports and explore them. Ships' crew was the best!. Very helpful and fantastic at what they did. We felt like royalty. ... Read More
The size of the ship was a selling point. It wasn't large. We were able to disembark smoothly at various ports and explore them. Ships' crew was the best!. Very helpful and fantastic at what they did. We felt like royalty. The cruse director Natalie kept us running smoothly. One day we played bingo on Board and we got prizes!! Dining was fantastic. Majority of food served was locally grown. We had various food choices for each meal. It was like having your own personal Chief. And if it wasn't on the menu, the Chief was very accommodating. We saw him go out the way and prepare Hot Dogs for two young ladies and pizza for another set of children. We had entertainment each night with additional desserts. We didn't have to worry about the cost of anything except for the offered Shore excursions. We would diffidently book another cruse this American Cruise Lines. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2017
Because of the length and the location. We love to cruise because it is a great way to see several places without packing and unpacking. Also, great to know where you can have great meals every day. The Columbia River area has always ... Read More
Because of the length and the location. We love to cruise because it is a great way to see several places without packing and unpacking. Also, great to know where you can have great meals every day. The Columbia River area has always been of interest to us. We were not disappointed. Even though it was early in the season, we had good enough weather to enjoy being outside at the ports. We enjoyed the tours and feel they were well-chosen. The Queen of the West was a fun ship to be on. We especially enjoyed the evening entertainment on this ship and hope they will continue to invite the artists on future voyages. We enjoyed the fact that there were only ninety-one people on board which gave us a chance to meet several very nice people. We enjoyed being able to move around at meal times and sit with different people. Read Less
26 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Wanted to visit wineries and see the nature of the area. Always wanted to go see Mount Saint Helens and Mutlanomah Falls. The ship was clean, comfortable and attractive. Plenty of public lounges to relax in. The guest rooms were ... Read More
Wanted to visit wineries and see the nature of the area. Always wanted to go see Mount Saint Helens and Mutlanomah Falls. The ship was clean, comfortable and attractive. Plenty of public lounges to relax in. The guest rooms were comfortable, but smaller than expected. We used the balcony each morning and often had coffee out there as we watched the passing scenery go by. The lecturer and historian was enriching, entertaining and engaging. He knew the history of the area as spoke a lot of the Lewis and Clark expedition. Bus drivers were also narrators that added to the tours. The tours were well organized and took us to places like Bonaville Dam, Ft. Clatsop (Lewis and Clark's camp), Pendleton and various museums and historic places. The food is a big part of the onboard experience. The food was consistently good with local seafood and local recipes used by the chefs. The dining room servers were always friendly and mostly college students. Hoping to do another American Cruise Lines trip, maybe in Alaska soon. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
We chose this cruise because our love of the American west and our history on the beautiful Columbia River.The Lewis and Clark history was part of this trip with a wonderful narrator on board. We toured the Maritime Museum in Astor, Mt. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because our love of the American west and our history on the beautiful Columbia River.The Lewis and Clark history was part of this trip with a wonderful narrator on board. We toured the Maritime Museum in Astor, Mt. St. Helen's, Multhomah Falls and a pass thru the locks on the Hood River all as part of the trip. There were other side excursions available as well. We chose to spend as much time on board as possible. The staff is well trained, friendly and courteous. The Queen of the West was our first choice as this ship is small - 100 passengers and met my "bucket list" to go on a paddlewheeler. If you want a noisy casino or all night bars...this is not your cruise. If you are looking for intimate, relaxing, private and casual cruising, this is it. I can't wait to return. Oh, did I mention the food? All you could ever eat and wonderful. I'll be eating yogurt for the next couple of weeks. We're still sharing our pictures with friends and encourage them to consider this cruise line...where ever they wish to travel. American Cruise lines handled all our needs including additional hotel reservations prior to the boarding and assistance when we left. Give it a try - you'll love every minute. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
I chose this cruise because I went with a group of 20 people. The Columbia River Gorge is beaufiful and in a part of the country not visited by my husband and me before. Other members of the group has previously cruised with American ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I went with a group of 20 people. The Columbia River Gorge is beaufiful and in a part of the country not visited by my husband and me before. Other members of the group has previously cruised with American Cruise Lines; this was a first for us. I would not recommend the Queen of the West to anyone else. We managed with the room and bath but it was far less than desirable. The crew, service, and food were excellent - could not have asked for better. The excursions were excellent and tour quides very knowledgeable about the areas visited. I like the small ship crusing experience - a first for us as we had been on larger ships on other cruises (twice to Alaska). I would travel with American Cruise Lines again but would definitely choose a newer vessel with better accommodations. That's all folks! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
This was our first cruise with American Cruise Lines. We wanted to see another part of the country and this met our request. this was a unique experience for my wife and I. We celebrated our 50 th anniversary. The crew was very good, as ... Read More
This was our first cruise with American Cruise Lines. We wanted to see another part of the country and this met our request. this was a unique experience for my wife and I. We celebrated our 50 th anniversary. The crew was very good, as well as the food. We found it to be a very intimate experience. Having set down meals was a bonus. Ample food. Enjoyed the cocktail hour also. Met people from all over the country. The room was a bit small but it served its purpose. Enjoyed the various stops along the river. The scenery was worth taking of pictures. The locks always intrigued me, being from Sault Ste Marie Mich. many years ago. Enjoyed conversations with Captain Simmons, my having been in the NAVY. We have referred several of our friends to look into cruising with ACL. We are looking into the Alaska cruise possibly next year. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
I went on this cruise with my sister who is from FL. I am from Portland, OR so it was close to home for me to board the ship. While I was close to home, I had never been on the Columbia/Snake River. The scenery was beautiful and it was ... Read More
I went on this cruise with my sister who is from FL. I am from Portland, OR so it was close to home for me to board the ship. While I was close to home, I had never been on the Columbia/Snake River. The scenery was beautiful and it was wonderful to see it from the river, versus the freeway that runs along side the river. The food on the ship was very good. There was an amazing variety and the presentation was excellent. The service was good. It started out slow on the first day of the cruise, but improved from there and the servers were very nice and friendly. All the crew was friendly and concerned about our needs. The Queen of the West is an old ship, but we were very comfortable in our accommodations. I would recommend this cruise even if you live very close to the port. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
My wife and I took this cruise because we were interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition and this cruise followed their path on the Snake and Columbia rivers. This was our first trip to the Pacific Northwest (we live in the Northeast). ... Read More
My wife and I took this cruise because we were interested in the Lewis and Clark expedition and this cruise followed their path on the Snake and Columbia rivers. This was our first trip to the Pacific Northwest (we live in the Northeast). The countryside was beautiful, the Columbia River was more massive than I pictured. One shore excursion was to Mt. Saint Helens and it was awesome. Seeing that mountain (or at least what's left of it) and seeing the destruction that resulted from the eruption and landslide was mind-blowing. Pictures don't capture the reality of it as does seeing it in person. That alone was worth the cost of the trip. North-westerners (at least those we encountered) were very friendly and hospitable. The museums we visited were all top notch. The staff on the ship was very young (average age about 20) and exceptionally good at what they did. They were friendly and personable and all the passengers were impressed by their work ethic. The ship was small and didn't have a full complement of passengers so we got a chance to meet and talk with many nice folks. We found that very pleasing. Read Less
37 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
Here's a rundown of the passengers! About 15% of the passengers on the Columbia/Snake River Cruise departing from Portland, Oct 10th, had significant physical disabilities, such as walking with a cane, walker or needing the ... Read More
Here's a rundown of the passengers! About 15% of the passengers on the Columbia/Snake River Cruise departing from Portland, Oct 10th, had significant physical disabilities, such as walking with a cane, walker or needing the supportive assistance of a spouse or adult child. About 50 % of the passengers, myself included were not physically fit enough to walk comfortably more than 2 miles on a flat surface, or less than 2 miles on an incline. Average age estimated to be about 73. For persons living an active lifestyle such as biking or vigorous hiking the activity level of the cruise will not be challenging enough in my opinion. I arrived at the boat in Portland by cab. The young man taking my bags at the pier did not welcome me onboard. He was sullen. When I got inside the boat, Jessica did welcome me but did not have a name tag for me. She said someone else had gotten it by mistake. The boat while charming on the exterior is actually run down and somewhat depressing on the interior. My cabin while it was clean enough was pretty pitiful considering what I paid for a single person. I have traveled with ACL to the Puget Sound & my cabin on that trip was considerably better. On this cruise I had a single bed which looked smaller than most single beds. More like a youth bed. The comforter was worn and limp and did not provide enough warmth. I had to pile some of my sweaters on the bed to sleep. The pillows were embarrassing. Maybe 2 inches thick and ready for the rag pile. Other passengers experienced similar pillows. It was great to have the little balcony however. Bring bug spray because you will need it for mosquitoes. The walls are so thin between cabins that just about everything is heard on the other side-coughing, conversations, nose blowing. Passengers are very considerate of each other in this regard. I did not feel that the crew addressed safety issues while the ship was in port. While in the port of Stevenson, an older passenger fell while negotiating her way into town from the dock by herself. But walking alone is not the only issue. There are 3 train tracks between the dock and the boat that must be crossed. Trains barrel around the bend very frequently and heaven forbid one of the passengers fell on these tracks and could not get up when a train is coming. Considering the frail nature of some of the passengers and that they may be hard of hearing it is a real possibility. It would be very helpful for the crew to have an informational talk regarding safety while in port. Passengers should travel together in groups at the very least. There were train tracks to be crossed also in the Dalles if one wanted to venture into town. Ian was on board, an Australian expert in all things Louis and Clark. He gave a couple of excellent talks about the Corps of Discovery. But the first afternoon out of Portland, Ian got on the microphone and was giving a blow by blow description of everything we passed by and such info as how to pronounce the town name of Kalama. Passengers in their individual cabins could not turn the sound down and some of us were very aggravated. Sometimes you just want to quietly meditate & watch the scenery go by without someone yelling incessantly. The first few days of the trip were beautiful while the last couple of days closer to Clarkston were not pleasant. In short, it stunk to high heavens! It was hard to figure out what smelled so bad but someone said it was a paper factory. However, the ship also began to smell like sewage in certain areas too. When I settled my account and left a generous tip, I was not even thanked. Great way to treat a passenger. I had also requested information on the Ohio River cruise-twice and never got it. I think an element of burnout was taking over with a couple of the staff. I fit right in with most of the passengers-age wise, interest wise, activity level. I feel comfortable at meals conversing with the other passengers. I enjoyed the excursions. But I will really weigh my options before going on another ACL trip. Read Less
20 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We spent a week on this boat and I can safely say that as a veteran of many European and American River Cruise ships, this is by far the worst I have ever encountered. We had previously traveled with American Queen up the Mississippi and ... Read More
We spent a week on this boat and I can safely say that as a veteran of many European and American River Cruise ships, this is by far the worst I have ever encountered. We had previously traveled with American Queen up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and both were excellent. We had heard though that their recently acquired Empress of the West, just did not compare to the American Queen. In looking at the ads for the Queen of the West it appeared from the pictures and the description of the largest cabins in the US that for the same price we get what looked to be something comparable to the American Queen. How wrong we were! First of all the pictures of the cabins must have been taken on some other boat, and if this boat was renovated in 2011, it must have been a total dump to start out with! The cabins were nowhere near what was pictured in their ads. The twin beds were custom made and were 5 inches narrower than a standard twin bed, but that was necessary so they could get a night stand beside the bed and allow a bit of walking room between the beds. We waited 2 days to get a wash cloth. Three pieces of "gunk" were on our cabin floor the entire trip and three times the cabin attendant left our cabin not only unlocked, but wide open with no workers in sight in the halls. The food was pretty bad. We did have a good batch of pancakes one morning and my Oso Bucco on the first night was delicious, but tasted suspiciously like the frozen ones I get at Costco. All seafood was dry. There were only two options each day for lunch and dinner. All salad dressings were Vinaigrette so I stuck to the soups. They were obviously ladled up way in advance and held in a warming oven as each and every time there was a thick "crust" on the top of the cup. Breakfast sausage was often lukewarm and portions of food were quite small. Duck Breast one night consisted of three pieces of duck about as big around as your thumb and forefinger. Strawberry shortcake was so hard it was almost impossible to break into it. I asked for some extra sauce thinking that would help. They brought me a whole cupful of berries and sauce and it was still so dry I could not cut it without a knife. They employ college age kids and it appeared to me that it was on the job training, shadowing someone who had been there for a while. The maximum time they can work the boat is 12 weeks, so the turnover is high. They do try hard but lack of experience is obvious. There are about 30 on the staff and they suggest that tips for a week should be $160.00 per person. That comes out to over $600.00 per steward. From talking to the kids they usually clear about $1200 every 2 weeks, so their base pay must be pretty low. One of their executives was on board for the last two days. I attempted to talk to him and outline problems as I saw them. He conveniently got a phone call that he "had to take" and despite the fact that he saw me at least 10 times after I attempted to talk to him, he never asked if we had finished the conversation or if I needed to talk some more. He simply ignored me. We did have a marvelous Historian on board who gave talks about Lewis & Clark along the way. He was excellent. Probably the best part of the cruise. You will be lucky if you get Ian. Entertainment was 2 nights of a guy with a guitar, and two nights of a duo on piano and bass. They were all pretty good. The final night was a Nez Perce Indian who was geared more towards children than adults. Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
As frequent river (Europe) and ocean cruisers, we came with high hopes for a top notch ship to equal the price paid. We knew the ship was old; we weren't prepared for lack of quality care of the vessel (save the engineering which was ... Read More
As frequent river (Europe) and ocean cruisers, we came with high hopes for a top notch ship to equal the price paid. We knew the ship was old; we weren't prepared for lack of quality care of the vessel (save the engineering which was relatively new) over the years. Upon entering our cabin for the first time, the window covers (mini blinds) were warped from mishandling over time. The wall covering was peeling; the outdoor balcony was filthy (and remained so the entire trip). It was unusable anyway since the generator or engine noise was deafening on the balcony. Recovering from this "drive up" appearance, I sat on the bed (which was comfortable) and looked up at the ceiling. The air conditioning return vent (which is very large), was weeping dust and dirt accumulated for many months, if not years. Fine, housekeeping came up and "dusted" the exterior but did not have any filters onboard to complete the job. Next day, filters were purchased and the job was completed. I assisted the young crewman as it was more than a one man job. The filters were so black with mold and other crud it, I cannot describe just how bad they were. But we were there for the week and we were going to enjoy ourselves. So we return to the cabin after the first dinner and the housekeepers had done turndown service. Great! We expected that. What we didn't expect was to find relatively fresh blood on the duvet! Again, guest services was notified and a new duvet was received. Guest services was very responsive to our concerns. The hotel staff and a corporate supervisor were very attentive, listened to our issues all week and made corrections where corrections could be made. Here's the bottom line or takeaway. The housekeeping and restaurant staff are the same young men and women. They are well chosen and delightful to be around. However, they are US college kids or from similar backgrounds that are onboard for summer jobs. They serve, essentially, the entire summer season. I understand they receive 4 days of formal training and on the job training from there. They are not the professional and experienced staff you have on cruise lines that are operated outside the US. Until American Cruise Lines has a professional complement of staff dedicated full time to customer service, the housekeeping and other service issues we faced will be a continuing matter. The service experienced on this ship would not be acceptable to any other cruise line we have experienced. There were other matters which could be written up but I've already run on too long. On the positive side, there was coffee, teas and sodas available with chips and things 24/7 in two common areas. Breakfast was dependably good and the many fish served at lunch and dinner were well prepared. The deck crew busted their butts making sure the less mobile passengers got off and on the boat safely. The captain was great. The Columbia and Snake Rivers are incredible. The 4th deck was wonderful for viewing. That said, drive it, RV it, and use local guides. The Queen of the West is not a good value. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2014
My family of six (88, 61, 59, 29, 25, & 18 years old) took the two Owner's cabins, which each can hold three people and are located on the top deck, next to the captain's cabin. The captain was always at the helm or corner ... Read More
My family of six (88, 61, 59, 29, 25, & 18 years old) took the two Owner's cabins, which each can hold three people and are located on the top deck, next to the captain's cabin. The captain was always at the helm or corner pilots stations when we traversed locks or did anything tricky, and his mate was usually there, also. The captain was also very friendly, making a point to greet all the passengers and often welcoming us back to the ship. I would guess that the average age of passengers was upper 70's. There was only one other person in the younger age group at 45 years old. The age of passengers only mattered because it limited the activities on excursions significantly. Most excursions only allowed an hour and a half to do anything. We took a 4 hour round trip to the Mount St. Helen's observatory (too cloudy to see), but only had a little over an hour there because that was the most any passengers would have liked except our group. We were the only ones who went walking on the trails. This made for pretty dull sight seeing. Even at a museum, everyone (except us) was pretty pooped after an hour and wanted to go before the allotted time was up. This should be taken into consideration when considering this cruise. If you aren't pretty sedentary, you'll probably find the trip more relaxing than you'd want. The most enjoyable trips were Multnomah Falls and walking the trails at Mount St. Helens, although we had to walk quite fast since the visits were short. We also really enjoyed the Bonneville Dam visit. Going through the locks was quite memorable, and I think we traversed 8 of them. The staff are young and personable. Actually, they're the friendliest hospitality employees I've ever encountered. However, they are not competent. The food service was incredibly slow. We took to bringing water into the dining room at lunch when we would otherwise have to wait for drinks service because we would get too thirsty. The waits were interminable. The same people who served meals also cleaned the cabins. They were very poor at this. I don't know if the staff weren't trained well or if there were too few of them, but I would have expected better. The food itself was not good. It was generally bland. Fish like salmon and steelhead trout were overcooked, as was chicken. The only protein I had that was really well cooked was duck. We had lots of salads, and they had a couple of dressings that were very good. The worst dish was an entree they called deviled crab. It was a gratinee dish full of some creamy liquid and a few very tiny pieces of crab. We didn't really take much advantage of the available entertainment as it wasn't to our taste. That doesn't mean it might not have been done very well. I wouldn't take another American Cruise Lines trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2014
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. The only negative is that the cabins were much smaller than advertised though still ample. The balconies were small and not private being shared with two other cabins. Nonetheless, the efficiency ... Read More
This cruise exceeded all our expectations. The only negative is that the cabins were much smaller than advertised though still ample. The balconies were small and not private being shared with two other cabins. Nonetheless, the efficiency and personal touches of the cruise lines was evident in the reception, tours, social hours, evening programs, and especially the meals. I told the chef personally that we had a wonderful epicurean experience that happened to occur on a cruise. The cleaning and wait staff were personable, intelligent and hardworking attesting the thorough hiring criteria of the company. Most had college degrees or were college students and easily interacted with the passengers, most of whom were retired professionals. We were so pleased we booked another cruise next year. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2013
It rained the first 3 days of the trip which was not the fault of ACL.This meant we could not go to Astoria. They didn't seam to know what to do and we traveled about 35 miles in 3 days. The cabins on this boat are so small that the ... Read More
It rained the first 3 days of the trip which was not the fault of ACL.This meant we could not go to Astoria. They didn't seam to know what to do and we traveled about 35 miles in 3 days. The cabins on this boat are so small that the bed takes up about 75% of the room. The tv is on desk next to the bed with no place to sit to watch it. A lamp next to the bed was connected to an extension that went across the room to a outlet. This was in front of the door that led to the small balcony. If you wanted to sit and read you had to go to the library as there was no room in the cabin. I called ACL twice to find out the cost of excursions and they said you will find out when you board the ship. The booklet said $20 to $90. They charged $40 to $120. The per diem cost of the cruise was more than some luxury cruises we have taken. Some the most scenic parts of this cruise were traveled at night or during a lunch or dinner hour. The food choice was minimal but basically well prepared The kids serving the meals also cleaned the rooms. They were hard working and enjoyable. In summary this the most over priced bare bones cruise we have ever gone on. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2013
The Columbia River scenery was nice, the locks and dams were interesting. The pros: Laid back Quiet not crowded Casual The cons: Cabins are really small Food is very marginal and little choice Snacks are very salty, pretzels etc., ... Read More
The Columbia River scenery was nice, the locks and dams were interesting. The pros: Laid back Quiet not crowded Casual The cons: Cabins are really small Food is very marginal and little choice Snacks are very salty, pretzels etc., not good for seniors Waiters are really young and inexperienced. Some real surprises here. Shore tours are pricey, save your money Not much to do on board, just relax and read Entertainment was really lacking Mostly old folks, some friendly, some are not Grossly unfair? They allowed some folks to reserve tables, bummer Hot food is cold, service is really poor Young kids who do not really fit in, some of them are trying Actually, the kids are overworked, do food handling then the restroom cleaning Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2012
The Queen of the West looks tired. Our Veranda stateroom was small & cramped, and the door to the veranda was not all glass so the view we expected wasn't there. There were fumes so we didn't use the balcony much. The day ... Read More
The Queen of the West looks tired. Our Veranda stateroom was small & cramped, and the door to the veranda was not all glass so the view we expected wasn't there. There were fumes so we didn't use the balcony much. The day we arrived the toilet in our cabin was dirty and stained. There was zero storage in the bathroom -- no cabinets, no shelves, so I kept my toiletries on the floor. The passengers were mostly very senior; one man fell on the threshold to the lounge and broke his hip 3 hours into the trip and had to be evacuated at the first lock. Food was OK, but not much variety for vegetarians or the health conscious. On the bright side, the Columbia River was beautiful and the trip to Mount St. Helen's was good, as was the Maritime Museum in Astoria. You can ride all day on the little historic streetcar there, which was fun. We have been on the Rhine, the Yangtze, the Danube, the Mississippi on the American Queen, and the Amazon, and all offered much more quality for less money. Too bad because American Cruise Lines has other interesting itineraries in the US, but we won't be on them. Others must agree as there were just a handful of cruise line repeaters on this ship. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2011
My wife and I had a wonderful cruise on the Queen of the West on the Columbia River. The accommodations were comfortable and the ship's staff could not have been any better. The cruise is well planned, with a variety of activities on ... Read More
My wife and I had a wonderful cruise on the Queen of the West on the Columbia River. The accommodations were comfortable and the ship's staff could not have been any better. The cruise is well planned, with a variety of activities on board and on shore to keep everyone busy and active. The food is wonderful with a variety that should please anyone. I was pleased that smaller portions were available if requested. We met many interesting people from all over the U.S. at meals and cocktails. Cocktail hour is open bar, quite nice really. Some other highlights: bus tour to Mt. St. Helen's, jet boats on the Snake River, traversing five or six huge river locks, wildlife spotting like bighorn sheep and bald eagles, the views on the Columbia River, lectures on history and and geology by the ship's experts on the area. Great time, well worth the money. Read Less
Queen of the West Ratings
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