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Live from the Queen of the West

 
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Old 07-28-2007, 04:02 PM
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 16
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There is one thing I tell my friends when I’m taking a river cruise. First I have to explain to them what a river cruise is and then we have to talk about the itinerary and the “ambiance” of a river boat. People are always interested in them, but I always caution them that it is nothing like a big ship cruise. I always point out that we, again, were one of the youngest couples on the boat. I joke that we are the next generation of passengers. Also, I make sure they understand that they don’t entertain you all day every day. One of the reasons I love the river boat, is I can always catch up on my reading.

We love the concept of “river time” and laid back attitude of the river boats. I know there has been a lot of talk of the changes that Majestic has brought to the line, but if I compare my two trips on MQ and this trip on the Queen of the West, I have to say that they were equivalent. This boat was in much better shape than the MQ. Of course, it was newer and had actually been refreshed recently, unlike the last season of the MQ. We thought the cruise was great and of course would do another one again. We of course are going to have to do the Northwest Rivers again since we didn’t make it to the Lewiston/Clarkston stop (and Hell’s Canyon). Our next one though will probably be on the DQ though.

There are only 2 entertainers, but the dance floor on the Queen of the West was not very big so that was fine for this boat. Yes the shows are only 45 minutes long and the band stops playing at 11:00 pm, but to be honest, this is not us anyway. We go to most shows but not to the dancing after. If anything we would go to Paddlewheel lounge before dinner.

Yes, the rooms were expensive, but boat was sold out. It was also sold out for at least the previous week and for the next 2 weeks we were told. I don’t know how much discounting they had on those trips, but when I booked mine, I got 30% off the book rate.

Our stateroom (a BB) was very nice. We had plenty of room and a nice balcony. We were forward on the starboard side (203). The beds are very high but extremely comfortable. One item I will make sure I take with me next time is a short piece of a 2x2. We wanted to prop open the door to our balcony because the weather was so good, but you had to put a chair in the door.

My mom was in an EE stateroom. Talk about small! But it was only one person in there. They did have a drop down bed, but the storage room was next to none existent in her room. It was enough for 1, but would never work with 2 people. She had trouble with the bed height. They gave her a baby stool. It worked, but they need another solution. Other people could not even get that help.

The rooms had a regular TV (no flat panels in the rooms) and a DVD player. They had DVDs available in the Paddlewheel lounge. There was a run on them immediately, so I don’t know what the selection was. The towels were some of the best I have ever used and I travel a lot! Never tried the robe, but I know the shop ran out of them for sale.

The staff was interesting. Every person, with the exception of the top staff worked at least two jobs. All of the room stewards and bar personnel worked in the dining room during dinner as the assistant waiter. The hotel manager, Joe, and the Maitre d’, Forest, were excellent. Overall they did a good job, but the time the room was turned down was variable due to the need for the room steward to work the dining room for dinner. Also on our floor, there were only 2 room stewards working 38 rooms. They would start at breakfast and not finish until after lunch.

Our waiter was very good, but they have too many tables (5 tables with 30 people). Some days the server was fast, but other days it was slow. Basically they rotated the table that was first to be served. Overall the food was good. Salad was always on the table when we got to dinner. There was always a hot soup on the menu. The Entrée’s were always pretty much a meat or chicken dish, a fish/seafood dish and a vegetarian dish. Never tried the vegetarian dish, but the others were consistently good. My major complaint was the quantity of food. For example we had lasagna one day. It was a three layer piece that was only 3x3 in size. I have never had a dish so small in my life anywhere. It was also not possible to get 2 entrees or a double portion. It was just ignored or misinterpreted. It did not matter who the waiter was (this happened during lunch also). Overall we thought the food was good, just the portions were a bit small.

Hope this answers all your questions, if not; please post them and I will try to answer them. Look forward to seeing you on the river!

Alan
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