American Spirit Cruise Review by matron#1: San Juan Islands/Puget Sound on American Spirit
San Juan Islands/Puget Sound on American Spirit
This was my first cruise on American Cruise Lines. In comparison to large ships that I have been on, the accommodations are bare boned and stark. Do not expect luxury. The furniture resembles something from a University dorm room. But the bed was comfortable and the shower always had plenty of hot water. The rooms are serviced twice a day so there are always fresh towels and no accumulation of trash. One of the biggest advantages was the window sliding open for fresh air and a very small balcony for close up viewing of marine life. (The balcony was so small it was hard to sit on without crushing your legs but two people could easily stand outside.)
This is the perfect cruise for the over 60 crowd and there were about 25% on board with special needs or disabilities. By that I mean the need for walkers, canes, assistance getting on and off the ship. The ships crew is very accommodating for people requiring help. However, they only had two wheelchairs on board. If you think you More may need a wheelchair I suggest you bring your own. The average age I guess to be about 73 on the cruise that I was on. There were about 80 passengers on board. There were several cases of 50 something adult children traveling with 80 something year old parents.
I loved the ports that we visited. My travel agent had not informed me however that the shore trips were an extra expense. (From other cruises I had been on, I knew this was not going to be the case.) In fact, she erroneously told me that she thought all was included. There was only one complimentary walking tour. Everything else ranged from $15.00 to $90.00. One pays for the shore excursions at the end of the trip along with a standard tip which they consider to be $125.00 per person. If one forgoes the shore excursions, you will miss a lot the areas have to offer such as the two trips to Olympic National Park. Some individuals on our trip hired a private cab at the ports to drive them around.
While the staff was friendly, some of them seemed stressed out at the amount of work they were doing. It was also the beginning of the season and possibly they had not gotten the hang of it.
The food was above average but not superb in my opinion. Sometimes it was not served at the proper temperature. My French toast that I ordered for breakfast was usually lukewarm. The final dinner on the ship, had some moldy rolls in the bread basket. The wait staff did special things for Birthdays-singing and a cake.
The big advantage to this ship is the casual atmosphere, no dressing up for dinner etc. Another advantage
for some would be the relative small amount of cruising on relatively calm waters. Every night the ship was docked in a port-the longest cruise time between Islands is 4-5 hours. Not much chance of getting sea sick on this boat.
I guess it is all about expectations. If you are expecting a room like you might have with Cunard you will be disappointed. If you expect some beautiful sights, marine life, Native American history of the region and friendly people with similar interests you will have a great time. Less
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Furniture was outdated and campy. Bed was comfortable. Room was large enough and loved having a balcony . Walls are very thin and this impacted me on one side, hearing a TV and voices at night.Suggest trying to book an end cabin on top level. I brought my own hangers and needed them.