American Empress Cruise Reviews - Reviews

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Great River Cruise by Cruiser80437224

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

We had a very good cruise - especially after we were at 1st told we would not go to/through The Bonneville Locks nor to Astoria as the locks were not fully repaired. The night before our cruise to Stevenson where we were to spend 2 plus days we were given the good news that the locks had opened and our trip would be completed as planned. We were somewhat fortunate in that the premium tour to Multnomah Falls and the Vista house had been canceled initially, but once the locks reopened American Queen company decided to make the Falls an excursion at NO cost and credited us for our Premium tour monies. They could not do the Vista house however due to scheduling issues at that point. As to the ship itself - we liked the layout, the rooms were a bit small but very comfortable and the veranda had plenty of space. The public areas were clean and we were impressed with the ‘on your honor’ gift shop and availability of assistance at the Pursers Office. We dined every evening in the Astoria dining room except for Friday when we had made reservations at the River Grill. It was our lucky night as it was also lobster night in the grill. Meal variety in the Astoria dining room was very good and we were pleased with everything offered. We utilized the River Grill and Astoria dining room for both breakfast and lunch depending on our mood and time available. We were greeted everywhere on board by staff with a friendly face and pleasant attitude. Everyone seemed to ‘have’ a minute to answer a question or to say hi or to ask how we were doing. The entertainment was unbelievably good and while the Empress Quartet did a great job - we really liked Anna Carroll as well as Greg and Lindy who were our favorite singers. We went to the Paddlewheel lounge every evening to hear Frank Chase the piano player/comedian - and felt he was one of the best we had ever seen. As far as the Hop On Hop off buses - they did a great job, were on time and very accommodating, especially with those that required a little more time or assistance due to mobility issues. The itinerary at each port was very good and interesting Except the ‘shopping’ stops in all the ports except Astoria left a lot to be desired. For example in Richland, Wa. the shopping stop included 2 small restaurants (yes we ate at Porters BBQ (of Diners Drive In and Dives fame). There was a Small 2nd hand women’s clothes boutique, a bakery, a furniture store, a couple of insurance offices, a tattoo shop, and several empty or under construction buildings. The weather was perfect all along the way until the Stevenson area and remainder of the cruise. The weather turned very cool, a little rainy, and windy until we were on tour in Portland when it was milder. Overall we we truly were happy that we did this trip, and were impressed enough that we are now talking of doing the Memphis to New Orleans cruise on the American Queen - as also several staff said it was a bigger and very elegant vessel and great cruise.

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Met expectations by kay50dee

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

We took this cruise specifically for the Lewis and Clark expedition. It met that requirement. We were fortunate that we had great weather the entire time. I enjoyed river cruising, got a different perspective from that of driving or training. Glad we did the cruise, would not do another.

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A big disappointment by Cruiser92787934

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends

I would not recommend this cruiseline. The staff for all intents and purposes are unprofessional and untrained. The ship is older and not well maintained. It is NOT worth the price they charge.

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2 Comments
4.9

Exciting northwest USA rivercruise by Ruth2019

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

I really enjoyed this cruise. Easy on easy off for all excursions, well organized. The entertainment quality & variety was very enjoyable. The staff catered to all our needs. I liked the quality & variety of foods. I wish I could have eaten more. The ship/river historian supplied us with a copious amount of information, he was much appreciated.

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4.1

Wish we had done it the other way by gogogeo

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

I would recommend this cruise for the Lewis and Clark expedition history. We learned a lot about such a significant event in US history. I recommend doing the cruise east to west to better follow the expedition trail and end the cruise in more interesting ports. The American Empress doesn't have the elegance of its sister ship, the American Queen, but it's fine for this journey. Staff was friendly and eager to please.

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1.3

Lousy Experience for Premium Price: Traveler Beware!! by divecruiser

Sail date: / Traveled as: Singles/Friends

A ruinous experience. Old badly maintained ship. Staff was unsympathetic to plight of passengers sailing through smoke and fire. Way too expensive for what they offer. Wrote a letter to President of company. On the phone we were offered future cruise credit which I assumed would be price we paid. Ended up with $1000 per person. I would never suggest this cruise to clients!!

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3.0

The Devil Is In The Detail by ODJ

Sail date: / Traveled as: Couple

What could have been an incredible experience turned out to be "only" OK. While the crew was exceptionally polite and well intentioned, they were not always well informed/trained or perhaps too few. This was particularly evident in the food/beverage service areas. It seemed that managers were too busy "working" and not managing their staff.

We had a balcony cabin on deck three forward which was surprisingly spacious even for its small size. It was nicely furnished and maintained. 

The food was good but not extraordinary. The meals were of comparable quality to those on Princess or Norwegian. We enjoyed the daily wine selection and the generous pours.

The square four person metal dining tables on deck four were terrible. The table legs were positioned so they wound up between your knees. You invariably bumped a leg and spilled something. This was exacerbated by the pitch in the deck which made the chairs and tables slant and often wobble. 

   

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