American Star Cruise Review by 7960Ken: Not your typical cruise - and proud of it
Not your typical cruise - and proud of it
First, we chose this cruise based on its destination and ports. We wanted to visit Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, but did not want to drive in the local traffic. As avid cruisers, this looked like the perfect option. With that said, everyone else on this cruise seemed to choose this cruise based upon the cruising style - very small ship and crowd. The majority of our shipmates were 65-85 with no desire to cruise on major ships with larger crowds - there were 94 passengers. On this point, we disagreed with them as we will be on Carnival Magic in August with our children and grandchildren. This trip was definitely targeted to a slower pace and specific clientele.
The nightly entertainment was informative on certain nights and talent on other nights. The information was good, but the entertainers were weak. One girl tried to sing some old swing numbers with here pianist and was a real flop. The other entertainer used an electronic band and did a fair job on Sinatra and the More sort. The one item in common were they all started around 8:30 and ended before 10:00. With no other options, we usually went back to our room and watched movies off the satellite.
As for the ship, it is compact and easy to get around - how can you get lost on 3 decks. With cabins on all decks, the community areas are on deck 1 and 2. Deck 1 holds the dining room with round tables of 6-8. Each meal (breakfast and dinner) found us with different guests, the vast majority of whom were congenial and talkative. In fact, on day 6 we went to town and ate lunch alone and really enjoyed not telling "our story" again. Deck 2 holds the parlor which is open around the clock and hosts the evening cocktail hour - 5:30 each day. With daily appetizers and bar with premium choices, it was a very popular event every day. The parlor was also stocked with soft drinks and snacks that were available at any time.
The cabins are not great. With the beds pushed together as a king, there was 3-4 feet next to the exterior wall and next to the closet and dressing table. At the foot of the bed there was 5-6 feet a space for the television (very small) and a chair. In size, it was much smaller than cabins on larger ships. The bath was standard and the fixtures were looking "dated". We had 2 maintenance issues with the bathroom - the first we have ever experienced on a ship. One item took 2 days to remedy - even though it seemed very minor. For the price they charge, the room should be much nicer. This is not luxurious.
The crew was made up of young people who had little experience but lots of enthusiasm. I could tell they were working hard. Experienced staffers work hard but make it look easy. The captain and first mate were veterans that seemed to be doing a lot on on the job teaching.
The highlight of the week was the food. I enjoy cooking and recognize good "chow" when I eat it. Nearly all the meals were terrific, and the rest were good. We especially enjoyed the lobster bake put on for the group at Newport. The lobster rolls and crab cakes on board were as good as any on shore.
Overall we had a really good time and enjoyed our week. We simply were not expecting to spend our week with such an "experienced" crowd. While this ship does not offer things the big ones do (shows, bars, pools) it does provide a good way to experience the New England Islands. Less
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Cabin review: AAL323
Small closet for hanging clothes. Plenty of drawers for a week of clothing. Last cabin on the rear of deck 3.No problem with engine noise, but more side roll when the seas got rough.