🎰 American Cruise Lines vs. American Queen Steamboat Company

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Learn why casino gambling is a popular activity onboard cruise ships, and river gambling casinos and those run by Native American tribes.


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The main difference is that cruise ship casinos can only open when the vessel is at least 12 miles Couple enjoying the casino on a Holland America cruise.


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Learn why casino gambling is a popular activity onboard cruise ships, and river gambling casinos and those run by Native American tribes.


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Learn why casino gambling is a popular activity onboard cruise ships, and river gambling casinos and those run by Native American tribes.


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The main difference is that cruise ship casinos can only open when the vessel is at least 12 miles Couple enjoying the casino on a Holland America cruise.


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Neither line offers a casino, but American Queen Steamboat Company offers a small fitness center on almost all of its vessels, and spa treatments aboard the.


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No refurbishing old casino boats for American Cruise Lines. Each American Cruise Lines' new ship incorporates the most innovative design and is U.S. built,​.


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While other companies are repurposing old casino boats, American Cruise Lines contracts only for brand new ships to maintain its reputation.


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While other companies are repurposing old casino boats, American Cruise Lines contracts only for brand new ships to maintain its reputation.


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American Cruise Lines, which had hoped to operate the first cruise in the U.S. since mid-March, said Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana.


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Most carry about passengers. All meals on American Cruise Lines, including breakfast and lunch, are waiter served, which is another plus for the mobility challenged. American Cruise Lines' smaller vessels do not have the amenities mentioned above -- and we found that passengers were OK without them. Read on to see our take of American Cruise Lines vs. Some voyages have themes such as Elvis Presley, swing music or the Rat Pack. On all of its vessels, American Queen Steamboat Company offers an informal alternative restaurant — the River Grill - where passengers can come and go during dining hours. Both cruise lines promote folksy, low-key fun. Choose American Cruise Lines if you're a senior cruiser who is looking for a small ship cruise that is thoughtful about mobility issues and offers plenty of low-key, old-fashioned entertainment. American Cruise Lines has a complimentary cocktail hour before dinner but no bars or alcohol are for sale. American Cruise Lines offers the larger fleet, with 12 vessels offering river and coastal cruises throughout the United States. Comparing direct prices is difficult, as both cruise lines have specials and fares can vary depending on itinerary and time of year. On most sailings, all of the tours -- with the exception of those where you tour a historic home -- are done by motor coach. The two ships alternate routes on the Upper and Lower Mississippi River. Out in the Pacific Northwest, the cabins aren't quite as big, but still large by river cruising standards; Queen of the West staterooms start at square feet for a double and square feet for a single square feet if there's a balcony. Both lines do a heroic job of accommodating food allergies and preferences. There is a well-attended complimentary cocktail hour before the evening meal that boasts a full active bar; passengers are welcome to take a complimentary bottle of wine after dinner to enjoy either at the entertainment, up on deck or in their room. American Cruise Lines also offers more modern, contemporary riverboats on the Mississippi. American Queen Steamboat Company skews slightly younger and offers bikes onboard for its passengers to use in port. With much smaller vessels, American Cruise Lines has a limit on the type of entertainment its ships can provide. Without the space constraints that limit European riverboats, the vessels on American waterways are delightfully spacious. A seven-day Mississippi River cruise can cost as much as a luxury cruise with Seabourn. The line also has tables for two in its main dining rooms, which give couples a chance for a private dinner though plenty of large tables are available for those who want to mingle. We have yet to hear of a boring river historian; many of them work on both lines and have cult followings where passengers follow them from ship to ship. American Queen Steamboat Company, meanwhile, has a fleet of four classically-styled paddlewheelers. The same goes for American Duchess and the forthcoming American Countess, setting sail in American Cruise Lines' paddlewheelers pay tribute to the steamboat age, but since they are new vessels instead of refurbishments, they feel more modern and perhaps slightly more generic. One quirk of the line is that passengers are asked to place orders for lunch and dinner on cards at breakfast time; we found that you were able to get whatever you wanted, though, if you changed your mind or forgot. These include American Song , American Harmony and American Jazz — the latter launching in - all of which offer larger staterooms and a unique bow gangway system that lets these vessels dock in places normally out of reach to larger ships. Fares include gratuities, a pre-night stay at a hotel and transfers. In general, people on American Queen and American Empress seem a little more independent, and are happy to use these buses as a means to explore at their leisure. Departure Month.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Many passengers prefer these balconies, seeing them as a nice way to people- watch and socialize. Find a Cruise. With both lines, you do receive quite a bit included in your fare. Two new vessels — American Duchess and American Countess — have recently been added to the Mississippi. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}If you're looking to book a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi River, you might run into confusion when you begin to research the two main providers. The line has its own branded Hop On, Hop Off buses that travel the route with the ship, allowing passengers to do their own thing in most ports in addition to a selection of guided excursions on offer. Daily lectures with a "riverlorian" a combination storyteller and historian who sails onboard are a highlight each day. The ship plays up its historical heritage with Victorian chandeliers, wood and gingerbread trim; even the smallest cabins are a melange of polished wood, colorful Victorian patterns, framed photos that celebrate the steamship era and Victorian furnishings antiques and reproductions. Both cruise lines cater to those with mobility issues, using golf carts to assist passengers with the levees. Although considerably smaller than most oceangoing vessels, American Queen's ships have some of the amenities you expect from cruising, including a bar, lounge, multiple dining venues and other niceties. While some dancing takes place onboard, this is a ship that retires early; very little activity is seen on the boat after 9 p. The legendary American Queen carries passengers; it's the largest steamboat ever built, and offers grand interiors and public spaces to match. Keep in mind that not all veranda cabins are private; the majority open to promenade decks where people can walk by while you're using them. Queen of the Mississippi is a passenger vessel built in and styled like the grand riverboats of days gone by. Both companies offer American river cruises, not only in the heartland on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, but also in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake that run through Oregon and Washington state. American Queen Steamboat Company. That means Southern and Creole-inspired food on the Mississippi and fresh seafood, local craft beers and fruit from the Pacific Northwest on itineraries on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Neither line offers a casino, but American Queen Steamboat Company offers a small fitness center on almost all of its vessels, and spa treatments aboard the American Queen. No matter which ship you're sailing, a Mark Twain impersonator is almost a given on Mississippi sailings, while tales of Lewis and Clark are likely to crop up on Columbia and Snake River sailings. The America , which debuted in May , carries passengers and offers similar styling. The line uses this space for performances that range from big band sounds to a revue of made-in-America classics and Broadway favorites. Why do we mention this? Facebook Pinterest Twitter. Cabins on American Queen Steamboat Company's American Queen range from suites with shared verandas to square feet of space to rooms with private verandas with about square feet of space to the eight minuscule inside singles 80 square feet. In general, American Cruise Lines' prices seem to be higher than American Queen's, but keep in mind that their ships on the Mississippi are significantly smaller and cabins are larger — hence the higher prices. A similar, though modern, ship on the Columbia and Snake rivers — the American Empress — offers a paddlewheel that aids in propulsion but the ship is actually driven by a series of podded propellers known as Z-drives. The cabins on American Cruise Lines' Mississippi ships are among the largest on the river, starting at a whopping square feet on its newest paddlewheeler, America. East Coast. American Cruise Lines also has five coastal cruisers. Both lines also have included Wi-Fi. Choose American Queen Steamboat Company if you're looking for a larger vessel with bustling public areas and more active entertainment that often draws a slightly younger crowd. The company also has two paddlewhellers in the Pacific Northwest: the passenger Queen of the West and the passenger American Pride. Lawrence Seaway and the Canadian Maritimes, and the U. It's to let you know that most shore excursions on the Mississippi River are on the sedate side, with coach tours as the norm. Activities on the Mississippi, such as kite flying and sing-alongs with root-beer floats and huge ice cream sundaes, are more laid back, with almost childlike simplicity. On the American Duchess and American Countess, inside cabins are some of the best deals around. While its competitors' ships on the Mississippi have paddlewheels, they're purely for show. Because the ships are required to pay American wages and overtime to an all-American crew, fares are significantly higher than what you see in Europe or in ocean cruising. Both have ships that look like old-fashioned paddlewheelers, although only American Queen Steamboat Company's vessels actually rely upon them. Both lines offer at least one complimentary shore excursion in each port. Furnished attractively and luxuriously, these price-conscious rooms are square feet aboard American Countess and are located conveniently throughout the ship. The American Queen is a true steamboat, built for the now defunct Delta Queen Steamboat Company, and its Victorian decor and furnishings fit the authentic vibe; there's even a calliope that plays when the ship arrives and leaves port. All the cabins on the paddlewheelers are fairly large sized, and almost all have private balconies. Ship Exterior on American Queen. The line also carries bikes onboard for passengers who want to explore in port. The cruise line's riverboats are only one part of its fleet, however. On American Cruise Lines, prices include wine, beer and soda at lunch and dinner; a full bar at daily cocktail hour; Wi-Fi; and a daily shore excursion. They can also bring their own alcoholic beverages onboard. The fleet of modern riverboats offers a nice twist on what can be a nostalgic itinerary. Standard cabins with balconies are much larger than you find on European rivers and, in many cases, bigger than what you'll find on standard mainstream ocean cruises. Desserts in particular are delicious, and you'll find copious amounts of ice cream served on both lines. That's because many people, as they get older, no longer want the hassle of long flights and foreign currencies; they may also have health or mobility issues and be wary of international hospitals. Beyond that, there are significant differences in the two cruise lines. Because it's a bigger and older vessel, American Queen has a wider variety of cabins, including cozy interior and spacious river view. While the line makes a shuttle bus into town available in several ports, only a handful of passengers take advantage of it. American Cruise Lines has two riverboats on the Mississippi. Expect jazz and blues duos or magic demonstrations that are short and sweet. The boats do have plenty of lounges for reading or playing cards and extensive outdoor deck space. These vessels sail a variety of itineraries, including the Great Lakes, the St. And both like to promote a healthy dose of Americana as their chief selling point. American Cruise Lines passengers are a loyal bunch, and many go beyond river cruising to book coastal cruises with the company. As befits its larger vessels, American Queen Steamboat Company has more public spaces and amenities onboard than its competitor. American Queen has a unique approach to shore excursions. On this ship, the majority are square feet and even the solo cabins start at square feet without a balcony and square feet with one. Mississippi River itineraries, in general, draw an older passenger than what you'd find on a European or Asian river cruise. While both lines have cabins for solo travelers -- a boon for the more mature audience -- American Cruise Lines' are larger and all have at least a view, if not a private balcony. Otherwise, daily entertainment depends on the itinerary and how much free time you have on your sailing. Depending on your sailing, you might also be treated to magicians or Mark Twain impersonators.