🚢 America, land of the beautiful! CP Travel Ambassador Melissa Shanks takes us onboard the American Countess

Posted on: Jul 29, 2022 2:23:55 PM

If you haven't been on American river cruise yet, you're missing out! It's a great way to see the beauty and history of America, with luxurious accommodations and entertainment every step of the way. Join CP Travel Ambassador Melissa Shanks as she takes us on a paddlewheel boat cruise along the Mississippi River for a grand adventure in America's backyard with American Queen Voyages aboard American Countess.

What specific cities and /or countries did you visit? USA - Cape Girardeau and Kimmswick, MO; Clarksville and Nashville, TN; Alton, Illinois

What was your favorite memory from this trip? My favorite memory from this trip was touring the elegant American Queen and spending lots of time getting to know some Cruise Planners friends better.

Top excursions and landmarks/sites to visit: Clarksville, TN: Tennessee Valley Brewing Company + Beachaven Winery + Old Glory Distillery. De Soto, MO: LaChance Vineyards tour and food pairings. Sailing past St. Louis at sunset was lovely as well. 

Were there any standout restaurants or foodie must-haves on this trip? LaChance Vineyards is a 5-star vineyard and eatery. They host an incredible food and wines pairing experience, events, and locally grown products. The grounds are vast and lovely with special areas designed for small and large indoor and outdoor venues. Their products are unique. The owners and hosts are gracious and welcoming.

Did you travel via cruise ship? If so, please describe the experience and some of the standout features that you were excited about. We sailed on the American Countess. Standout features:  

  1. The entertainment was phenomenal! The singers and house band performed a variety of genres and several shows a day. They were some of the best entertainers I've ever seen.
  2. The crew and staff were very personal in relating to all of us and did their best to get to know us and serve us.
  3. The bartenders made extra effort to supply us with our favorite cocktails and encouraged us to try new things.
  4. Learning about the river was a top priority for our group and we enjoyed the Riverlorian all week.
  5. A celebrity guest was present and she not only contributed to the menus, but she did several demonstrations and got to know us personally.

From Alisa Farber, Cruise Planners Sales Account Manager: I recently had the pleasure of hosting our elite group of Cruise Planners onboard the beautiful American Countess, with American Queen Voyages for a sailing on the Mississippi river.

I love that American Queen Voyages is truly an all-inclusive experience.  It includes beverages, hop on-hop off buses in each city and a pre-night stay for every sailing.  This makes the entire onboarding experience hassle-free.  We checked in at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center and once settled we went and pre-checked in for the boat at the hospitality desk.  The next day you hop on the air-conditioned motor coach and straight on to your cabin where you meet your luggage. The American Countess is a paddlewheel boat that has a contemporary feel, with a southern charm.   The cabins were spacious and had the largest bathrooms I’ve ever experienced on a cruise.

While the boat only holds 245 passengers, you never felt crowded. The open areas of the lounges, bars and dining rooms were all very spacious and have floor to ceiling windows, which ensured you didn’t miss any of the beautiful scenery while sailing on the river. 

In the evenings, I looked forward to gathering with our CP’ers and friends we met onboard to listen to the amazing entertainment.  The band played music of all genres and each song they played was better than the last.

The dining room servers were great, and the food was EXCELLENT!  Speaking of dining, we were lucky to have a culinary experience with Chef Regina Charboneau onboard.  We were treated to her cooking during several of her demonstrations including the best Nashville hot chicken tacos I’ve ever had.  The menu’s onboard feature many of her delicious recipes. One evening I had her chicken pot pie that was scrumptious. 

This river cruise experience was a fun and relaxing way to see some of our historical cities in our beautiful country.  It was the perfect way to step back in time of our American history along the Mississippi River. 

Thank you to the entire staff onboard along with Barbara Davis, Director of Product Training and the entire American Queen Voyage sales team for allowing us this opportunity and treating all of us CP’ers onboard like VIP!  

To experience the heart of America for yourself with American Queen Voyages, click here to reach out to your nearest Cruise Planners travel advisor.