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Queen of the West Cruise Review

Itinerary: Columbia River - November 2011

Queen of the West

Linda, wanted to give you a little report on our fun trip.

In talking with you we learned there are only three ships on the river. Two very small expedition ships which were not for us. This ship and experience was perfect.

As you know we arrived two days early in Portland. Lovely city and we used all your suggestions to get around. We transferred to the Red Lion Hotel the night prior to the cruise. It was fun to watch the prior cruise dock and everyone get off and we were getting on a few hours later.

Our stateroom was good size and well furnished. AAL 317. It was clean and well kept for the whole week. Lower category cabins looked small and I heard some issues of thin walls to your neighbor, but we were fine. We loved our balcony and spent more time out there than I would have expected being November. The sights along the river as you travel are so beautiful.

The food was good, I won't say gourmet, but good. Local wines were included with dinner. My husband is a diabetic and they could have been more creative of their offerings, fruit every night got a little old. I would think with the age range they would have this top notch by now, but they didn't.

On board speakers were great as was pretty much everything on board. Cocktail hour each night brought everyone together and sharing stories of your day was my favorite. We are on the same ship same places but everyone sees it differently.

Shore excursions are NOT included. We knew this because of you Linda, many others booked their cruise with travel agents who I guess didn't know. There was some crying about this the first day, I guess it got figured out. The towns are all small and quaint so the excursions are important as you can't get around on your own. We cruised up the Columbia River to Astoria and Rainer and then down the river towards Clarkston. We went through many huge locks and changes in elevation. This is an education in itself. Watching the crew prepare for entrance and departure of the locks, quite interesting. Our Hell's Canyon tip up the Snake River was fun, little calmer than the name suggests.

We had a very good time. A great escape before the Christmas rush. They talked about a number of their other cruises, Maine Coast and Harbors and Historic South stand out. They offered us a deal if we booked on the ship and they would tell you about it and send you the information. We really meant to take advantage of it, but somehow got sidetracked, forgot and didn't do it. Oh well, maybe you can help us with that when we are ready. Thank you for everything.

—Sam and Riley, Los Angeles, CA