Mississippi River Cruise Aboard the Queen of the Mississippi

A New Orleans to Memphis Mississippi River cruise is filled with history, culture and of course southern food.

I’m heading north on the Big Muddy aboard American Cruise Line’s Queen of the Mississippi. Our 7-night Mississippi River cruise begins in New Orleans with a night of jazz on Bourbon Street and will end with a night of blues along Beale Street in Memphis.

Cruise the Mississippi River aboard the Queen of the Mississippi.

A full packet of info for our Mississippi River cruise was waiting in my stateroom.

The Adventure Begins
I followed my own advice and arrived the night before my cruise.  American Cruise Lines can vary the hotel but for this cruise it was The Whitney Hotel, conveniently located in the heart of downtown New Orleans.

Walking along New Orleans on Friday night before my cruise.

Walking along Bourbon Street on Friday night before my cruise.

In an 1880’s converted bank building, The Whitney was charming and the staff and service exceeded my expectations.  Breakfast wasn’t so special, but you’re in New Orleans! Hop on the Garden District street car to La Madeleine’s for a local New Orleans full breakfast, under $12.

My first glimpse of the Queen of the Mississippi at the Riverwalk in New Orleans.

The Queen of the Mississippi is ready for passengers, at the Riverwalk in New Orleans.

At 10:30am, the motor coach picked up all 44 of us at the hotel for a short ride to the busy riverfront. As our bus lumbered through the narrow roads to the port, I had my first glimpse of the Queen of the Mississippi.

A bright light blue sky was the perfect backdrop for the ship’s gleaming white hull and candy-apple red paddlewheel.  Red, white and blue banners hung from balcony rails.

A member of the ship’s staff boarded our bus, looked at our identification and gathered our boarding passes.  That was it.  Off the bus and onto the ship.  Our staterooms were unlocked and our keys on the bed. Nice.

My stateroom 307 was one of the largest "non-suite" staterooms I've ever had, river or ocean ships.

My stateroom 307 was one of the largest “non-suite” staterooms I’ve ever had, river or ocean ships.

First Impressions
The rooms are enormous by almost any standard.  Certainly bigger than most mainstream cruise ships. There are plenty of dresser drawers and hangers, too.  Bathrooms are large, great lighting and ample-sized, walk-in showers.

Our Mississippi River cruise was underway at 1:30pm.  We would have departed New Orleans sooner but we were waiting for a few late arrivals. It’s different on a river cruise.  With a maximum of 150 guests, as soon as everyone is onboard, the ship is on the move.

Lunch was followed by a short safety brief and a “meet the staff” introduction.  Before we knew it…it was 5:30pm and time for the first of seven complimentary cocktail hours throughout the week.

No one seems to miss the complimentary cocktail hour each night.

I don’t think anyone missed the complimentary cocktail hour each night.

When the old-fashioned dinner gong was played everyone slowly proceeded to the dining room.

When the old-fashioned dinner gong was played everyone slowly proceeded to the dining room.

At sunset we docked in front of the impressive entrance to Oak Alley Plantation.  Tomorrow morning guests would walk the live oak covered path to the beautifully restored plantation house for a short tour.

Eerie lighting at Oak Alley Plantation makes you wonder about life there over 150 years ago.

Eerie lighting at Oak Alley Plantation makes you wonder about life there over 150 years ago.

The Week Ahead
Our Mississippi River cruise will take us 600 river miles upstream to Memphis. Along the way, we’ll pass smokestacks belching flames and quiet cat-tailed marshes. Pastel-colored plantation homes stand high above the river. Civil War battlefields and quiet downtowns are on our agenda.  It’s going to be a fascinating week on the Mississippi River…especially for this Yankee gal.

Mississippi River cruise aboard Queen of the Mississippi River boat

It’s a slower pace of life on The River.  Sit. Let your mind drift. Relax.  

Subscribe to receive my cruise and travel newsletter and you’ll get my review and photos from my weeklong Mississippi River cruise aboard the Queen of the Mississippi.

Disclaimer: I was a sponsored guest aboard the Queen of the Mississippi.  As always, all opinions are my own, as are the photos, unless otherwise given credit.

 

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10 Comments

  1. Kimberly Coie
    June 30, 2014 / 11:55 am

    Would love to see your review of the cruise.

  2. Margie
    August 9, 2014 / 11:56 am

    Would like to be able to see your review of Queen of the Mississippi as I am soon going on one.

    • Sherry Laskin
      August 10, 2014 / 9:50 pm

      I’m putting the review together. It’s a terrific ship and I like that it holds only 150 passengers. If you are subscribed to my site, you’ll receive the post as soon as it’s published. Have a wonderful cruise!

  3. Vicki Bennett
    January 28, 2015 / 4:06 pm

    This sounds like so much fun! History and relaxation, great combo. I’ll send my mother-in-law the link and we’ll start working on our husbands to book a river cruise on the Mississippi!

    • Sherry Laskin
      January 28, 2015 / 8:54 pm

      Hi Vicki,

      It IS a fun cruise. Have a wonderful time and thanks for reading my article.

      Sherry

  4. Dale Blanshan
    April 25, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    Hi, Sherry:

    How can I get the full article about the New Orleans to Memphis Queen of the Mississippi cruise? Is it archived somewhere?

    Dale Blanshan

    • Sherry Laskin Kennedy
      April 25, 2015 / 2:40 pm

      Hi Dale, Thank you for the reminder. I’m working on the rest of the cruise and will upload as soon as possible. Please subscribe (if you’re not already) to my newsletter and it’ll include the trip in its entirety as soon as it’s published. Thanks, again.

  5. Greg
    June 8, 2016 / 10:16 am

    It’s a shame you never wrote more. This article ranks pretty well for “Mississippi River cruise review” on Google, and if it had another part attached it might move up even higher.

    • Sherry Kennedy
      June 8, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Hi Greg, Thanks for your comment. I have more parts for the Mississippi River cruise review in the works. Stay tuned…
      Sherry

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