In early October, 2016 we cruised on the America, which is part of the American Cruise Line from New Orleans, LA to Memphis, TN. We also thought it would be relaxing and a nice way to learn more about the history in this part of our country.
We noticed in the brochure that the Cruise Line was giving a Pre-cruise hotel stay and transportation to the boat. When I called to arrange this, they told me we booked too early and were not eligible to get the hotel stay or the transportation. I was told on the boat that it was good we stayed elsewhere because the hotel was nowhere they would normally stay....bad start.
Since we were in New Orleans a couple days early, we took a walk on Friday to see the boat. We called the American Cruise Line office to make sure it would be there Friday and they told us it was already there....NO BOAT....it was not coming in until 5 PM that day.
Anticipating first class food and service on the boat, we were disappointed. All 185 people ate at the same time in one very acoustically challenged room. It was so loud that it was impossible to have a conversation and so full, with everyone arriving at the same time, that service was poor...they need to either split the crowd at different times or have more servers available. Most of the food was okay (really liked the half-portion option) but some nights there was nothing I would/could eat so asked for a lunch option for dinner. - they served a room-temperature hamburger left over from lunch - didn't even bother to heat it to attempt to make one fresh. For $830. per person/per day, they could have heated the burger.
Most of the tours are well done and historically significant. The Vicksburg tour, very memorable. Cruising the river was wonderful and relaxing with no need for motion sickness pills. The entertainment was mostly very good (even though poorly attended) -- I really enjoyed the Victory Belles, Judy, the Comedienne and the Men in Black Band and Singer.
At the end of the cruise, I asked a fellow cruiser what his favorite part was so far and he said "The Cocktail Hour" -- Kind of sums it up!
Very clean when we embarked, but not kept great for the whole trip.