Had I read their description on your site, I might have been a little more prepared for what I experienced and may have decided not to take the trip. The attraction for me initially was the Puget Sound/San Juan Islands itinerary. The delightful time I had last year on a European riverboat cruise drove me to replicate the experience in the U.S. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, but my expectations were driven by my experience last summer.
The cruise is quite expensive based on the amenities. American Cruise Lines attributes that to higher American salaries and higher taxes on the cruise line than boats/ships registered under foreign flag. Also, I'm not sure there's another American cruise line to drive competition.
As it states in the profile, it truly does have a niche market with an older demographic. But I mean MUCH older, probably averaging 80 years old. The excursions are tailored to that age group as are the onboard activities/entertainment (or lack thereof). The boat is really QUIET by 10 p.m.
The crew, though really friendly and helpful, were young people for whom this is not necessarily a career. With the exception of the "managers," the remainder of the crew have a 3-month contract, so there's a lot of turn over and not much depth.
I agree with the person who described the cabins as reminding them of a hospital room. That really captures it. I had thought sort of as a relatively inexpensive motel room.
So in terms of value for $$, I won't be traveling American Cruise Lines again.