American Spirit Activities

Editor Rating:  3.0
75% of cruisers loved it

Why Choose American Spirit?

  • Onboard relaxation and beautiful scenery are pretty much a guarantee.
  • Minimal entertainment and limited land excursions will leave active cruisers bored.
  • Good for older travelers who need a slower paced cruise experience.
American Spirit

American Spirit Entertainment

Editor Rating

With the ship in port every single day of every itinerary, going ashore is the most popular activity. Reasonably priced shore excursions are available, and they usually focus on an historical or cultural sight or a place of natural beauty. (On my Hudson River cruise, excursions visited Washington Irving's home, the Hudson River Maritime Museum and the US Military Academy at West Point in addition to other stops.)

When underway for the short periods during the day, life is casual and laid back with few organized activities. The onboard lecturer might sit in the lounge and answer questions or narrate on passing destinations to anyone who is interested, or on some summer sailings, the crew arrange kite flying from the top deck. Otherwise activities are mostly self-started and include reading, Bridge, napping, or chatting to other passengers. Afternoon tea combined with apple tasting one day might provide a culinary diversion.

In the evening, everyone gears up (and dresses up a bit too) for the 5:30 p.m. cocktail hour. This is the social highlight of the day and the room is abuzz with mingling passengers. Following dinner, the onboard lecturer for the week will give a 45-minute talk that speaks about the region and usually ties in with what you will see the next day. One night might also feature a Bingo game or a local entertainer brought in to sing some shanties or geographically appropriate music.

Editor's Note: When choosing on which ship to cruise, remember that the American Spirit carries twice as many passengers as her smaller running mates. When visiting the smaller destinations or shore excursions, I found that some tours would have been easier and quicker if we only had half as many people. With the smaller ships offering the same facilities and service, I might be tempted to try them next time. Others, however, preferred the bigger ship because it offered a greater variety of people. The odds are better at finding companionable travelers amongst 100 passengers rather than only 49.

American Spirit Public Rooms

Editor Rating
Public Rooms

Despite the ship's diminutive size, there are three dedicated lounges onboard. The Chesapeake Lounge is located forward just below the Bridge and consists of a dark blue carpet and some cream colored couches and chairs. Three sides of large windows, however, keep the room bright and draw your eyes to the surrounding vistas.

On the port side all the way aft, a large TV plays the latest football or baseball game, and while the volume is kept low, it seems a bit out of place, especially given that every cabin has (an admittedly small) satellite TV. Also in the lounge is a small bar, with snacks, fruit and drinks always complimentary.

In addition to the main lounge, there are two cozy, cabin-sized spaces (one of which is designated the library and features a small collection of books) with a few couches, chairs and a card table. While these alternate lounges are minimal, they do offer a welcome option for quiet reading or looking out the window when the main lounge is busy. Unfortunately, all rooms, and in fact, all three ships, are decorated with much of the same furniture, carpets and colors as the main lounge. Much like a generic chain hotel lobby, it is not neither memorable nor hardly offensive. A little effort in terms of decor or design would go a long way to making them feel more distinctive!

There is no Internet or e-mail service available to passengers onboard, but with the ship in port every day, this doesn't pose much of a problem.

American Spirit Spa & Fitness

Editor Rating
Spa & Fitness

Fitness facilities are very, very limited, consisting of an exercise bike and a step machine sitting on one of the aft decks overlooking the wake. Despite what the deck plan shows on their Web site and brochure, there is no small putting green or exercise area on the American Spirit's top deck. Opportunities for independent walking ashore are available every day, though for those who choose not to take the (usually sedentary) shore excursions.

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36 American Spirit Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Member Since 2015
6 reviews
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. Our first was on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This one, like the first one, did not disappoint. The ship, while small, was quite comfortable and our cabin was quite spacious with a ... Read more
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and love ... Read more
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Puget Sound and wanted to take my husband's sis and bro in law on their first ever cruise. Plus it is an American ship with an American crew and a small ship. There were 86 passengers ... Read more
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