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American Duchess Cruise Review
4.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
34 Reviews

Very disappointing

American Duchess Cruise Review by clive.kemp1

2 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2018
  • Destination: North America River

We chose this cruise as a way of exploring the deep south in some luxury. It was very expensive at over £1000 per night per cabin but we thought that the quality of service would be at least equivalent to a European river cruise or an American sea cruise such as Holland America or Princess. It was nowhere near up to this standard, especially the catering and waiting staff.

Firstly, the positives. A great way to see the Mississippi and absorb the history and culture. Our balcony room was good, the entertainment was fine.

The food was decidedly average apart from 2 delicious evening meals, a steak on the first night and a fish dish half way through.

When attending for a meal, you have to wait to be seated, quite often 10 minutes standing first in line whilst the manager serves water or hands out menus. Despite waiting long times for service, food was often served lukewarm or sometimes cold. We saw numerous occasions when waiting staff were on their mobiles (no, Steamboat Company, this was not the food ordering devices, we can tell the difference).

We constantly had to ask for rolls, cutlery etc. This is not the staffs' fault but that of the management who either didn't care about high standards or didn't know what it was (difficult to imagine since we were in America). I don't think there was a single tea spoon on the boat, had to stir coffee with the knife handle!

Enough on catering, except to say that the upstairs evening dining room was freezing cold and very uninviting. booking is required despite it being half empty. We only went once.

Half way down the river, the boat broke down. A common theme it seems. There were power cuts every day even after the "fault" had been fixed. So we were stranded in the quietest part of the river with nothing to do but read all afternoon. That meant that we missed out on Baton Rouge, the largest town (city) on the trip downriver. I later discovered that the boat was only 22 miles from BR so why on earth did they not hire some coaches to transport us in and back. Not difficult but, as far as I am aware, not even considered. I just wish I had had the foresight to ask. So we were just supposed to accept a major port was excluded. Compensation? A free bar for an hour (2 drinks) and 1 opportunity to win $500 dollars at bingo.

Think carefully about this cruise line that seem to accept that you are a captive audience and they have very little competition so, why bother?

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