For the past two weeks, the Avid Cruiser’s Ralph Grizzle has been sailing aboard the American Queen along the mighty Mississippi River. Here, he takes us on a photo-tour of some of the spectacular accommodation choices available on this one-of-a-kind sternwheeler, the largest ever constructed.
Accommodations on the American Queen range from cozy interior staterooms to spacious suites with verandas, making it easy to find not only a space where you will enjoy living during your cruise on the river but also a price point that falls within your budget. However, figuring out what’s best for you among the more than one dozen categories may require a little guidance. Help is here.
Missed our coverage so far?
- Paddlin’ Up The Mississippi On The “Americana” Queen
- In My Viewfinder: Life On The Mississippi River
- One Day, Two Stark Contrasts Of Paddlewheelin’ Up The Mississippi River
Among the most popular categories are the suites with verandas, and there are several flavors of those. The largest are in the LS and AAA categories, and all of these are situated on Deck 5, the Promenade Deck.
The forward-facing Mark Twain Suite (501) and Captain W. Lawrence Keeton Suite (502) are the largest suites on the American Queen. Each is elegantly furnished, featuring Victorian era antique furniture and bedding that you might expect to find in a fine antebellum mansion.
Both are in the LS category, along with the aft-facing Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen suites on Deck 3. Suites in the LS category range from 350 square feet to 500 square feet.
They are part of a quad of suites at the front of the American Queen that include the Natchez Suite (503) and the Belle of Louisville Suite (504). These AAA-category suites also occupy desirable real estate up top and forward on American Queen, with similar furnishings, sitting areas and large flat-panel televisions.
There are 16 other suites in the AAA category, measuring 230 square feet, all on Deck 5, the Promenade Deck. I should point out that there are many bathroom configurations on American Queen. Some staterooms come with tub and shower, others with shower only.
On Deck 3, Texas Deck, from midships to aft, are a stretch of staterooms with private verandas. While many of the veranda staterooms on American Queen are front-porch style, opening onto shared deck space, the private-veranda staterooms offer passengers their own private perch to admire the river just a step outside their bedrooms. These AA-category staterooms measure 190 square feet with a veranda measuring 40 square feet.
Some of the aft-facing staterooms also feature private balconies, and a few of those offer views of the paddlewheel.
Cabin Deck, situated on Deck 2, features bay windows in place of verandas in these D-category accommodations measuring 190 square feet.
Decks 3, 4 and 5 also feature inside cabins, primarily in the F, G and H categories. Measuring up to 140 square feet, these cabins are cozy but adequate for those seeking value and comfortable accommodations. If you plan to spend more time enjoying the amenities of the American Queen than time in the room, this category can represent the best value. I stayed in one of these on the first leg of our trip and found it to be comfortable and adequate. There are also smaller staterooms (80 square feet) for single travelers.
On decks 3, 4 and 5 are outside cabins featuring those shared, front-porch style verandas. Measuring 140 square feet to 210 square feet, these staterooms feature windowed French doors that provide views of the river.
With such a variety of staterooms and suites on American Queen, it’s easy to find the space you desire at a price you appreciate. So which did I choose for the second leg of our journey? Number 311, with the shared veranda and the views of the river from those French doors, a perfect choice for those who want to open the door and step out for great views of the river and beyond.