Having just completed an 11 day new England cruise I am compelled to warn anyone looking to cruise with American Cruise lines to think again! We came all the way from Australia believing the glossy advertisements only to be sadly disappointed. Worst cruise vessel we ever experienced by far.
AML claim to be voted the best small ship line in the world, nothing could be further from the truth and this claim is totally false.
A highly priced cruise and advertised as being of a high standard on a modern vessel, personal service by experienced staff and great food and wine.. blatent misrepresentation in our view.
The ship is a absolute disgrace! 13 years old and apparently its had no maintenance other than mechanical refit in 2012.
Totally worn out interior and outdated decor with rust bubbling out of the floors and walls. The beds were hard and worn out and the food, advertised as first class with experienced staff, was the worst I ever encountered on a cruise. Anything not eaten was served up the next day and the day after as well, same food different name and a lot of it was inedible! the wine was cheap rubbish and a very small selection, it was included in the price.
The crew, mostly hired just a day or two before the cruise departed was totally inexperienced. The only crew with any marine qualifications or experience were the Captain and the first mate. He was on his first job from marine college! The rest of the deckhands had never set foot on a ship and had no qualifications. They worked hard and did their best with little help or instruction.
The service crew were also totally without experience and did not know the difference between a Merlot and a Chardonnay, "Oh is that a red or a white I was asked??" none had any waiting experience and had no idea on how to serve.
The cruise director and assistant had no clue of how to run a cruise and although every query was answered with "absolutely" the truth was a McCales navy of ineptitude and bumbling.
This company has employed young and inexperienced people, (off the internet)then pay them almost nothing and work them 17 hours a day tied into a 3 month contract.
We felt very sorry for them because they tried very hard but with no experience and no support or training, it was an uphill battle and blatant exploitation of young people trying to make a start.
The safety aspects were of such a concern I contacted the coastguard when we boarded to check the ship was even licenced to carry passengers in open waters. (it apparently was certified in 2012, must have been by a blind man.
The only safety equipment consisted of very old life jackets and some old worn out small rubber dinghys with net floors which were rotting. No EPIRBs and no way of launching the rafts.
The crew had not been trained and the safety demo by the first mate was scary. He did not know if there were safety rafts or where they were when asked.
No engineer on board and 2 only marine qualified personnel. 45 passengers mostly in their late 60's and 70's, this ship is a disaster waiting to happen.
I asked the first officer what would happen if there was a mechanical problem at sea. He said he had no mechanical knowledge so he would phone a shore based engineer and ask him how to fix it.. "if its difficult we will send a text photo to... scary stuff when navigating in treacherous waters with only 2 qualified crew!!
The Captain was experienced but he was really a one man band and its hard to believe that this ship qualifies to carry passengers in open waters with only 2 qualified crew.
American Coastguard, you need to investigate!
This vessel would not be allowed to operate in any other civilised country and would not even be licenced to operate in closed waters in Australia.!
The places visited on the cruise and the scenery and ports we saw certainly very nice, its a lovely part of the USA but no way worth the high cost compared to any other cruise we have been on.
The final, but not surprising ineptitude was the 20 or so elderly passengers, including one in a wheelchair, left for over 3 hours on the Portland dock waiting for a bus. Oh its been "delayed in traffic" they were told but in reality the bus had been booked for the wrong day!
This happened on some shore excursions as well.
Many of these passengers missed connecting flights from Providence as a direct result of this.
Constant changing schedules due to mismanagement, no communication from the cruise personnel and lots of lame excuses was the order of the day!
So if you are planning to cruise with this Company, my advice is DONT risk it.
Find another company who have some standards because this company has none!
"American Glory?" No, "American Disgrace" more like it..
What a piece of ship!!.