1. Home
  2. Cruise Lines
  3. Blount Small Ship Adventures
  4. Blount Small Ship Adventures Cruise Reviews

22 Blount Small Ship Adventures USA Cruise Reviews

We traveled the Great Lakes from Chicago to NYC via the Welland Canal, 4 Great Lakes, Erie Canal, Lake Sinclair. Only Lake Huron was a bit rough for a day. Our cabin was basic 8 by 10. Separate shower and stool, 2 drawers and about 15 ... Read More
We traveled the Great Lakes from Chicago to NYC via the Welland Canal, 4 Great Lakes, Erie Canal, Lake Sinclair. Only Lake Huron was a bit rough for a day. Our cabin was basic 8 by 10. Separate shower and stool, 2 drawers and about 15 hangars. Next time I would upgrade to the 10 by 13. Food was outstanding. Yogurts, rolls, fruit, hot cereal and then 2 warm dishes either, waffles, French toast, eggs, sausage, bacon etc. Lunch was a soup and a sandwich and a huge cookie. Dinner was always 2 choices meat or seafood. Tuna, Mahi mahi, scallops, catfish, NY strip, prime rib, chicken, pork etc. Beer and wine were offered for dinner and lunch. Soda all day. On board lecturer did about 5 lectures, some evenings a movie, a dice game. One morning a bloody mary bingo. We had 65 passengers so there was always room in the lounge to sit and read, socialize. Passengers were very well traveled. It is a BYOB policy for happy hour with the ship hosting two happy hours. We never felt claustrophobic as there was room. Shore excursions were in addition and well attended. Jasmine was our cruise director and she was excellent. The ladies who were the wait staff and the room attendants were very accommodating. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to travel the Erie Canal, meet like minded people who do not expect a cruise liner atmosphere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was my first small cruise, determined not to go on a ship with a thousand other people. Overall I found it relaxing. However, though I had anticipated a small single cabin as not being very large, to call it small would be an ... Read More
This was my first small cruise, determined not to go on a ship with a thousand other people. Overall I found it relaxing. However, though I had anticipated a small single cabin as not being very large, to call it small would be an understatement. What was particularly galling was the ship I was told, was designed for 80 persons and many of the double cabins were empty, as there were only 38 passengers on board. I could easily have been upgraded along with the other singletons to a larger cabin. The Ac was very noisy and erratic. My sleep was constantly disturbed. For this reasons regarding the cabin I would not go on another Blount cruise. Furnishings in the room were a bit shabby. Most of the other passenger were pleasant and friendly, except for one or two who expressed their right-wing opinions loudly. One could sit with different people at meals. Food was served plated and there was always two choices, including fish,for dinner. We had fresh lobster twice. The kitchen was always willing to make accommodations for me as I am pescatarian. Over all the food was very good. One could bring your own tipple on board and wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner at no extra cost. Excursions were very overpriced. All in all, was a bit expensive for what was provided cabin wise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Wanted to see scenic, interesting destinations that would also be accessible to travel with brother who has somewhat limited mobility. Small-ship cruising is ideal, especially to explore America, so that we can continue to explore, ... Read More
Wanted to see scenic, interesting destinations that would also be accessible to travel with brother who has somewhat limited mobility. Small-ship cruising is ideal, especially to explore America, so that we can continue to explore, discover, have marvelous travel experiences, without the concern or hassle of long-distance air travel, packing/unpacking, driving, checking in/out of hotels. The itinerary - which they changed around on the spot because of bad weather at sea - brought us from Warren RI, to Bristol, Newport, New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard (where we stayed an extra day), Nantucket before returning to Warren. Each port is fabulous to visit and the ability to return to the ship when one got fatigued was great. Small ship cruising means we get to dock (except for Nantucket), and simply walk on/off. The days pass so pleasantly: there is an early bird breakfast put out at 6:30 am (coffee and freshly baked goods), breakfast at 8 am. Touring and exploring. Lunch at 12:30 pm (if you want to return to the ship). 5:30 cocktails (it’s BYOB except for welcome and farewell cocktail parties with an open bar and delicious hors d’oeurves); 6:30 dinner; then an evening activity at 8:30 pm– a movie, live performance (we had a trio on one night and a Martha’s Vineyard native, folksinger Mark Alan Lovewell, doing sea chanties before we came to Nantucket), and one night when we played a rollicking game of “LCR” (everyone puts up three $1 bills, rolls dice, and at the end, whoever still has a bill, wins the pot). The food on board is excellent and the menus, which reflect the region and use locally sourced comestibles, feature New England classics: a lobster bake with clams & mussels was a definite highlight; New England clam chowder; lobster bisque). The baked goods including fresh breads and scones, are outstanding. Three meals are provided daily. There are beverages and snacks available all day. Dietary restrictions are accommodated. We are encouraged to Bring Your Own Beverages aboard which we can put in a cooler or at a bar, and each evening there is a 5:30 cocktail hour when all the fixings are provided (house wine and beer are provided at no charge at lunch and dinner), but there is also a welcome aboard and farewell cocktail party with an open bar and delectable hors d’oeurves. The ship is modest, unpretentious, but is very comfortable, very clean and well maintained (it was refurbished in 2009), and has everything you need. There is a pleasant lounge ringed with windows; an expansive dining room (also with windows along the walls on both sides) an open sitting area (with fitness machines) on the back deck, and an open air top deck with lounge chairs and a canvas cover for rain and sun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We (3) went on this cruise because it was an expanded version of the same cruise we took last year. Spent several hours at the Warren dock before departure because the low tide was unexpected? I thought tide tables were published in ... Read More
We (3) went on this cruise because it was an expanded version of the same cruise we took last year. Spent several hours at the Warren dock before departure because the low tide was unexpected? I thought tide tables were published in advance. Unfortunately, just like last year, we spent the first night in an unplanned destination (Bristol, RI), and then did not go to Cuttyhunk, MA as planned. Overall, the food, served family style, was very good. It was the best part of the trip. Tours were okay, although the tour director lost one passenger on the 12 meter sailboat cruise. She was just not paying attention. Also, the Block Island visit was a bust because there was no transportation available into town. Again, the cruise director could have done a better job just by communicating was was and what was not available. I think she needs a lot of additional training. All the stops were enjoyable, but I liked Nantucket and Newport the best. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We were looking for a tour in the United States as we had traveled in France on the Canal du Midi last year. We were interested in seeing parts of the country we had never visited and enjoyed traveling the Great Lakes, Erie Canal and ... Read More
We were looking for a tour in the United States as we had traveled in France on the Canal du Midi last year. We were interested in seeing parts of the country we had never visited and enjoyed traveling the Great Lakes, Erie Canal and Hudson River. The boat while not luxury was very comfortable. The food was EXCELLENT as well as the servers and chefs. Snacks were always available although meals were plentiful. It was exciting to experience going through the locks and having others tend them. (We did it ourselves on the Canal du Midi). The tours we attended were excellent and well organized. We met fun and interesting people. The logistics of the trip including lowering and raising the pilot house were well planned and executed. We enjoyed visiting with the captain at the final dinner on board. He was so knowledgeable about the areas we visited and shared this information as we traveled. I would recommend this trip highly. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was ... Read More
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was given a time slot of 8:30PM and never during the long cruise days. He was helpful with the guests but not permitted to provide additional information. We only had a couple movies in the same time slot. Very little planned activity during the day. Only one TV on board and not able to use during cruising. Considering we had many days cruising. Tours were marginal at best and considering the average age on the tour was 75, many times long walks to the buses. If you wanted WIFI connection, you could not get it most of the time (Hard to believe in this day and age.). The ship looked like it needed new carpeting and an overhaul. On a positive note, the food was excellent and ample. The crew were very nice, accommodating, and worked very hard!! (Big turn over during trip.) The Captain was very good at planning for good seas and he was an excellent communicator. If you want to relax, read and eat then this cruise might be for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was ... Read More
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was mid-50's and oldest mid-90s). We were attracted by the itinerary from NYC to Chicago by transiting, canals, rivers and the Great Lakes. Most people are not aware you can do such a thing! We also liked the idea seeing small and large towns and experiencing navigating 40 locks as well as the casual no dress code and BYOB policy. We enjoyed this trip very much, but are not sure we will be repeat customers. The boat is small, clean, but showing age, and holds 80 passengers and we were 73 so it felt very full. Had we not experienced excellent weather and smooth sailing conditions I think we all would have been miserable. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time on upper deck which gave us a lot of moving around space and great views. However when the deck was closed for 2 1/2 days because the pilot house had to be lowered for us to get under the smaller bridges, or when there were too many bugs or a bit too much humidity, we felt very confined. The main lounge was crowded and there was always the dining room for cardplayers, but the two remaining outdoor areas on the main deck had limited seating and there was engine noise. Cabins were too small to spend time in. Windows were sticky and hard to open when we needed some fresh air. We would not pick an itinerary on this type of boat where weather is certain to be an issue. It just wasn't big enough. The crew was friendly and hard working and it seemed like everyone had two or three jobs. The dining room wait staff set up and served the meals, then cleaned our rooms. Two wait staff quit the first week and replacements came on board days later. The tour director, Jasmine was also very friendly, but unlike our other trips, there were no port briefings from her and most of her time seemed to be spent organizing the paid shore excursions, which were very good and affordable. Jasmine did not seem to have a deep knowledge of our ports and we were left mostly to rely on what she put on the bulletin board and maps she had available. We are not sure if this sort of "hands off" policy is Blount's or was a result of this run being fairly new to her. The crew and captain were accessible and friendly. The captain did a masterful job of keeping away from the negative weather and gave excellent navigation briefings each day along with good narrative as we traveled in the more scenic smaller areas. Very informative. Food was excellent and what we all characterized as upscale home cooking.....the kind of thing you would want to serve to company. Baked goods were exceptional down to homemade hamburger buns! Breakfast was partial buffet with fruits, hot and cold cereals, yogurts, juices and pasties. Hot items were brought to the table and were passed family style. Lunch was also family style and started with a delicious soup, then sandwiches or salad, always potato chips and pickles, ending with a tray of brownies or homemade cookies. Dinner was plated and there were generally two choices of main dish and desserts (including homemade ice cream.) We were asked to give our dinner choices at breakfast so the chef had an idea of quantity but you were not held to it. For those that needed substitutions at any meal, it could be obtained if you asked, however choices were limited. This was not announced fromally but the servers were helpful and cheerful about it and often offered. It was not easy to try to keep our group together for meals as tables cannot be reserved. We managed through trial and error. The entertainment was hit and miss and consisted of local musicians coming on board, a movie (usually themed to one of our stops) or a lecture. Some were good, others fair but it was something to do. Unlike other river and ocean cruises we've taken, the lectures by Stuart were unorganized and boring and not at all up to what we have become used to. However Stuart was great one-on-one and if asked, had lots of ideas and knowledge about the stops. He was helpful when cruise director didn't know or wasn't around. All in all, it was a good trip, we saw we wanted to see and came away a few pounds heavier, however the restricted size was an issue and would have been more so had the weather not been so cooperative. Who can count on that when you have to plan months ahead? Small ship adventures are unique and interesting but not necessarily for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We wanted a small ship that was within driving distance and found Blount. They have two older very small ships that are identical. We knew it was a small boat but weren't prepared for just how spartan that meant. It's a very ... Read More
We wanted a small ship that was within driving distance and found Blount. They have two older very small ships that are identical. We knew it was a small boat but weren't prepared for just how spartan that meant. It's a very seniors oriented setup, max of 84 passengers in 40 cabins. The others on the boat were all born in the 1940's. The ship has no real amenities to speak of. It was very clean but badly in need of refurbishment. The dining room is downstairs and the living room is on main deck. The cabins are on either of those two decks. Living room has uncomfortable chairs and a large TV which showed a movie on one evening. A local author spoke on another night. Nothing else in way of entertainment is offered. Bring your own books. Or load movies on the iPad first. The young crew is very sweet and helpful. You can walk the outside of ship and sit on top deck. The excursions are reasonably priced at each stop. Usually just a bus tour except for Newport where you visit a mansion. The wifi is abysmal at port and nonexistent at sea. Your phone gets better service than ship's system. Yes it's free and they assume the seniors don't need internet connection. Food is very typical buffet quality. The big night is lobster bake, other nights are choice of fish or meat/ chicken. The real issue is that this isn't a very cheap cruise. For the ship you are on, the value just isn't there. I had researched American Cruise line and others seemed to like them better. Or just go with a larger cruise line unless number of passengers is really your priority. Yet over half of the passengers were repeats! Why? I think it's simply due to the very small number of passengers and non-intimidating small ship. People want small and pokey since it's very simple and easy to deal with. Less confusion all around. They ring a bell and you head downstairs to dinner, not complicated at all. Don't expect to sleep late. Breakfast is 800am and it's all gone by 830. Lunch is 1230 and dinner is 630. No assigned seating used. I won't be returning but please investigate all other options before buying this trip. Compare the price per day per person and especially consider the lack of a real cabin here, plus zero entertainment / amenities. See my details on the room below. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I wanted a small ship experience with lots of intracoastal sailing opportunities. We truly were able to "go where the big ships cannot!" My most enjoyable moments were on the various canals we traveled through - lots of neat ... Read More
I wanted a small ship experience with lots of intracoastal sailing opportunities. We truly were able to "go where the big ships cannot!" My most enjoyable moments were on the various canals we traveled through - lots of neat wildlife and landscapes to see! I particularly liked the guest lecturer on board - he was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Blount offered a cruise where we were able to explore many historical areas while sailing up the East Coast, and the lecturer was a renowned historian who added great information to our locations. The chef and his assistant both get an A+ for their meals and fresh-baked pastries, and the crew was professional and accommodating. My favorite was either the steak and lobster or seared tuna, and plenty of great dessert options were available. The Captain was a courteous, professional mariner and his crew members were incredibly accommodating. I enjoyed interacting with them and the other passengers on Grande Mariner. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We have always wanted to go to Lake Mackinac and were delighted with all you can see and do on this island including The Grand Hotel which was awesome. Payment to enter is waived for all Blount customers. All the ports were certainly ... Read More
We have always wanted to go to Lake Mackinac and were delighted with all you can see and do on this island including The Grand Hotel which was awesome. Payment to enter is waived for all Blount customers. All the ports were certainly worth seeing and all of the tour stops were great. The Captain took pains to steer around any rough weather spots on this cruise and kept us informed regularly. The staff and all of them were simply outstanding, most helpful and took great care of the passengers. We had 66 folks on board from all over the U.S. We got to know each other fairly quickly and quite a few friendships were formed. The ship brought in entertainment in the evenings which was enjoyable. The boat has an outstanding chef and the food was well prepared and well presented. Wine and beer are served with lunch and dinner. Fresh homemade Snacks were available throughout the day. While on this short cruise we had TWO open bars with outstanding appetizers. The tours were excellent. Some were free and some had a modest charge. The Grand Mariner is NOT a large river boat such as we have taken in Europe. The cabins were small and with large windows allowing you to see Lake Michigan as we cruised. To its credit, photographs were shown on the brochures of each level of cabins Our Tour Director, Lisa, was simply great. She made suggestions on what to see for each stop as well as being most helpful answering questions or solving any issues that may arise. Transportation to the airport was handled with precision and making sure you arrived at the airport with time to spare. We will certainly travel with Blount in the future. Richard and Diane Graham Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Chose this cruise for the ports we were stopping at. Knew ahead of time that the ship was old and rooms would be small, but older and smaller than expected. Limited water usage made washing hands/shower difficult. It is at the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the ports we were stopping at. Knew ahead of time that the ship was old and rooms would be small, but older and smaller than expected. Limited water usage made washing hands/shower difficult. It is at the Captain's discretion if the itinerary changes due to "weather" and we missed one of our stops. Also cancelled one of our tours at one of the major ports, then promised there would be something else "nice" to replace it, but no there wasn't. Internet access is a joke and there are no TVs anywhere on the ship. No real entertainment, just a lecturer and photographer. Very boring evenings and long days. On the positive side, staff was great, helpful and hard working. Food was good and enough at each meal. Chef baked fresh breads and deserts which was something to look forward to. Our stop at Mackinac Island was delightful. However, Sturgeon Bay (cancelled tour), Beaver Island (didn't stop weather), St. Ignace nothing there, Manitowoc, same thing. We booked our own tours in Chicago and that helped to salvage an otherwise disappointing cruise. Do not think I would cruise with Blount again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose this trip as an opportunity of leaving from near my home and visiting the N. E. Islands - Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Block Is, plus Newport RI. I had never been on a "small ship" before. Grande Caribe, ... Read More
I chose this trip as an opportunity of leaving from near my home and visiting the N. E. Islands - Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Cuttyhunk, Block Is, plus Newport RI. I had never been on a "small ship" before. Grande Caribe, and her "sister", Grande Mariner are, I am told, similar to many river cruise ships. Limited passenger numbers - max here 84, on this trip 54, small cabins, limited menus and entertainment. We left from Warren RI, Blount's "home". There was basically no "security", no hassles, no invasive X Ray machines etc. as we left from, and were only going to American ports on an American flagged and crewed vessel. At the end no Immigration, CDP, etc. just walk off, pick up your luggage arranged alongside the ship and onto your onwards transportation, which for many was a bus to Providence RI (TF Green) airport. For me, I had left my car at Blount's, the attendant brought my car up, loaded my luggage and I drove away.-how nice! Cabins are quite small - I was in the largest size category and it was only 10'8" by 8' including the small bath and separate shower compartment. Showering reminded me of my Navy Shower days - get wet, turn off water, soap up, then rinse. Why, because each cabin has its own tiny hot water heater that only can make 4 gallons at a time. Room contained two twin beds - which could be combined into a double - a small closet, drawer space and a side table - no chair. Rooms are serviced in the morning and towels replaced as desired.There ae really only three "public spaces" aboard - the Lounge, Dining Room, and top deck "Sundeck" (partially covered by an awning. Food was good I thought but with limited choices. Unfortunately meats/fish were frequently overcooked, vegetables TOO al dente for many, and served lukewarm. Problem is that the Galley is only the size of a small bedroom and so preparing and serving for 80+ at one time is taxing for the limited space available.Breakfast began with a fruit and cereal buffet, eggs etc. and a meat were placed on tables of 8 Family Style. Lunch was a Soup and Sandwich affair. At breakfast you were asked to select your dinner choice - one meat, one seafood choice available. Lobster was served in one form or another each day, and one night there was a "Lobster Bake". The ship, being as small as she is, was able to dock in every port except Nantucket where we anchored out and transferred by water taxi. A Water Taxi was also used in Newport to transfer pax from our berth at Ft Adams to downtown. Blount offered additional cost tours in each port. Evenings aboard there were either local lecturers/entertainers or a movie in the lounge. Blount has a BYOB policy during the day providing mixers, soft drinks, snacks etc,and serves beer/wine at all lunches/dinners - all complimentary. Unfortunately as Blount has a All America crew and is registered here, her fares are in the same rather expensive category of other American flag vessels, and thus are 100-150% higher than comparable "main stream" foreign flagged vessels, e.g. Carnival, RCI, NCL etc. At 77 I was perhaps the youngest passenger, most being in their 80's and some in their 90's. Children are not allowed. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had looked forward to this cruise Great American Waterways sailing from Chicago through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal Hudson River to New York finally to Rhode Island. We recently returned home after taking the above cruise with Blount ... Read More
We had looked forward to this cruise Great American Waterways sailing from Chicago through the Great Lakes, Erie Canal Hudson River to New York finally to Rhode Island. We recently returned home after taking the above cruise with Blount Small Ship Adventures on the Grande Caribe. .When I received our travel documents I called the Blount office in Warren to make reservations for some of the “optional excursions” offered.The agent booked the tours and my credit card was charged and I was told I would receive a confirmation email and vouchers for the excursions by mail. I did not receive confirmation I called Blount. The agent was extremely rude and told me as I had not made my original cruise booking directly with Blount she could or would not help and that I needed to contact my agent. When I asked why in fact the company had charged my card I was told “that’s not my problem"This certainly was not a good beginning and certainly not good customer service from the company representative. Our travel documents included the address and directions where the ship was docked in Chicago which we gave to the driver met us at O’Hare. What these instructions failed to mention was we needed to pass through three security barriers to reach the ship!!! We could see the ship but it was a long walk with luggage to carry. Eventually a member of the crew came on a bicycle and opened up each of the gates. The Grande Caribe certainly could do with some refurbishment. We did find the lounge became overcrowded when all the passengers were on board with not enough seating for everyone and when the occasional lectures or entertainment were held that we did not wish to attend the only place to go was our cabin. Service in the restaurant was often slow and the cooked breakfast served family style was often cold by the time passengers were ready to eat. Four crew members left the ship during our cruise which made service even slower and eventually two replacements arrived from the office in Warren!!! Our Cruise Director was certainly “in over her head” when dealing with passengers who were asking for information. Her daily briefings were minimal and she was only concerned with the passengers who had booked “the optional tours.” Those of us who opted out of these excursions where left to our own devices and when my husband asked for suggestions or maps was told “Blount did not provide me with any information” or when I asked for a map she told me to “take the map from the notice board saying she was in a hurry to go and buy flowers!!” The map on the board was useless!! On all the many river cruises I have taken there was always one tour included and the Cruise/Tour director always held a daily briefing before dinner each evening. We had a recurring problem of a flooded floor in the bathroom in our cabin 52B. On three occasions the bathroom floor flooded. We were told the problem was “a leaking water valve” which was supposedly replaced during the first repair!! Another leak occurred a few days later and once again the cabinet beneath the sink which contained the water heater was flooded as well as the bathroom floor. Both were drained of standing water. Over the next few days I watched the water build up again and the day before we left the ship we again asked for this leak to be fixed as we had over an inch of water on the bathroom floor. No one came and I don’t feel that the cause of the problem was ever corrected. We spent the last 24 hours of the cruise soaking up the water with towels. The water in the shower never drained away so that also was a problem. We have taken many river cruises so we expected a certain standard and have always enjoyed our experience. This is the most expensive cruise we have ever taken. We have never had to pay port charges (always included). There has always been one tour included in the price. All tours ashore are an extra charge to an already expensive cruise. We are not normally critical but this cruise certainly did not leave us feeling that we would want to take another cruise this company We have returned home very disappointed. One good thing did occur on this cruise. We met a great group of people who when talking expressed the same feelings of disappointment. I have delayed writing comments about our experience with this cruise company because since returning in August I have tried to contact Blount both by letters sent by Priority Mail and by email and phone on several occasions to try and get some answers to the problem which occurred..Two months later I am still waiting for a response!!. I certainly could not recommend a company that ls so lacking in good customer service. It makes me wonder why Blount Small Ship Adventures has such a strong following of repeat customers!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We knew the cabin would be small - around 90 square feet. What we did NOT know was that you could not walk around the double bed. You could not tell this from the cabin drawings. And we were in one of the expensive rooms! There was ... Read More
We knew the cabin would be small - around 90 square feet. What we did NOT know was that you could not walk around the double bed. You could not tell this from the cabin drawings. And we were in one of the expensive rooms! There was only an area about 4' long where you could access the bed, so I had to crawl over my husband to get into or out of bed. The bed was the only place to sit, and the top of the bed hit me at mid-thigh (I'm 5'3' so not terribly short) so sitting on the bed was not an option. It would have been more leaning on the bed. A lot of the rooms were made up as two single beds, and I think it was done so you could at least have an open area where you could walk and two people could access the beds. The heating and air conditioning duct was right over the bed, and was so noisy that when we went to bed we would cool the room down, turn off the air conditoning, and wake up at 12 or 1, turn the air conditioning back on for half an hour so it would cool down, and then go back to sleep. The one good thing - our cabin was near the front of the ship. Those cabins in the the back half of the ship were INCREDIBLY noisy when the ship was cruising. I have no idea how the people slept back there. Ear plugs, but I don't know if those would have worked either. A lot of the reviews state that you don't spend much time in your cabin. How could you? There's no where to sit. Next, shore excursions. These were quite good, and very reasonably priced. We went to the Norfolk Navy base and had an entertaining tour led by a young officer, and the Breakers, a huge house built by the Vanderbilts in the early 1900s. Also a panoramic tour of NYC. In those ports where Blount offered a walking tour, we just did our own walking tour. Saw some Victorian houses, a WWII destroyer at the Nautilus Maritime museum, the ship Constellation, as well as two ships in Providence. Next, food. Dinner was served at either 6:30 or 7:00. There were only two entrees, but five nights we went down at dinner time, ate our salad, and then waited an hour for the entrees. It was like the chef didn't start cooking until we got to the dining room. Two nights the beef was so tough I couldn't eat it. They served wild rice three nights, rice three nights, some weird sweet potato concoction one night, and regular potatoes only twice. Oh yes - coucous two nights. One night it was totally unseasoned, and the other it was undercooked. Forget the el dente excuse - if a macaroni product still tastes like flour, it is undercooked. The last night it was a mixture of sweet potatoes and idaho potatoes, which would not have been my choice. For breakfast, since the hot dishes were put right on the table, and you lined up for cold items (cereal, fruit) we just sat at the first table that had hot dishes already on them, and went back later for fruit, or whatever. The staff were fantastic. Very helpful, especially there was only a crew of 19 total for 66 passengers. One thing - it appears they were sometimes TOO accommodating. One night at dinner one of the people at our table asked for a baked sweet potato, which they agreed to. Well, we had to wait while it was baked. By the time we got our food most of the other passengers were already on their dessert course. As to the demographics, at 69 I was one of the five youngest people on board. Another large group was in their mid-70s, some in their mid to late 80s, and some, from the looks of them, in their 90s. Everyone, with only a few exceptions, did not have mobility issues, which was in itself amazing. I have NEVER been on a cruise with such an old group of travelers. And we've been on 21 Road Scholar/Elderhostel tours. Most people were very pleasant. We shared tables at dinner and in the lounge with almost everyone. The lecturer was scatter-shot in his approach, and read all the time from his notes. If you know your stuff, you don't need to read from a sheet of paper. And he would sometimes talk for over an hour (1.5 hours once, 1.25 hours another), which I felt was overkill. Only attended one of the musical nights. Entertaining, but sort of a community center feel to it. To summarize, these cruises are actually fairly cheap for such a small ship and for a 12 day cruise. Personally, I will pay more in the future for more amenities and a larger cabin. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The itinerary was wonderful. The only issues were cleanliness of the bathroom, trying to board the ship from a dock in Chicago and the meals. Chef was terrible; can't express how awful...people not eating some nights because food was ... Read More
The itinerary was wonderful. The only issues were cleanliness of the bathroom, trying to board the ship from a dock in Chicago and the meals. Chef was terrible; can't express how awful...people not eating some nights because food was cold and they ordered peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!The baked goods were outstanding. Owner did not like any negative feedback...thought we were not a good match! Been on many, many cruises and never had to complain! So sad because we loved the trip. If the food had been decent, the bathroom floor clean and a way to board without waiting for someone to get us from dock J to S ...we would have been delighted with the trip. Enjoyed the staff in the dining room. Tried to cover up for the terrible meals. Have no idea how they were not complaining. The Captain told us the Chef was new and he was working with him..at our expense. Can't believe that they put a new Chef on a trip without first having him on board with a Chef that they knew was great. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had heard wonderful things about this cruise line. The idea of a smaller more intimate cruise held a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, the idea was better than reality. The rooms are tiny and continually had a sour smell. The food was ample ... Read More
We had heard wonderful things about this cruise line. The idea of a smaller more intimate cruise held a lot of appeal. Unfortunately, the idea was better than reality. The rooms are tiny and continually had a sour smell. The food was ample but not much better than what you get at the home of a not very good cook. They advertise serving wine with lunch and dinner but wine out of a box should be reserved for camping. The staff was pleasant but the cleaning system definitely needed an overhaul. It took a really long time for staff to make up the cabins! The worst thing about the trip was that more than half of the trip was scrubbed due to weather. Chicago is a beautiful city but we didn't anticipate having to spend four days moored at the Navy Pier. The two days we actually sailed and the one port we visited was enjoyable. We fully appreciate that you get what you pay for and we were very grateful that we had taken advantage of the two for one option. However, others on the Cruise paid the full price. While, anyone can understand that weather is a factor it should have been made clearer in the information that with a small ship on a big lake it doesn't take much of a wind to keep you in port! We were very disappointed that the cruise line made no effort to compensate the passengers for the cruise that wasn't! It was insulting to be offered 20% off our next cruise when it is almost always possible to book at the two for one rate. The other passengers were a great bunch of people and those who stayed to complete the trip made every effort to make the best out of the experience. We knew that most of the passengers would be retirement age but we were surprised how elderly most of the passengers were. We are in the hospitality business and appreciate that it is difficult to always please the consumer. We would much prefer to be giving this cruise a glowing recommendation as we really thought that it would be a great experience...never again. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Background: Blount Small Ship Adventures truly marches to a different drummer in the cruise industry. A family owned company, the term family will come up often, and I typically use the term in the way real families actually work, not some ... Read More
Background: Blount Small Ship Adventures truly marches to a different drummer in the cruise industry. A family owned company, the term family will come up often, and I typically use the term in the way real families actually work, not some stylized version of the term. Founder Luther Blount was the company's guiding influence for 40 years, leaving his mark right up to his death in 2006. His daughter Nancy is now President and has added some woman's touches but the family tradition still continues. Despite the company's minuscule size (it's 2 ships have a TOTAL capacity of 190 passengers), there are almost 2 distinct companies, and most passengers are fiercely loyal to one or the other with little intermixing. The Caribbean side centers on water activities, primarily swimming and snorkeling, while the North American itineraries center on scenic cruising and history. For those who have sailed with Blount (formerly ACCL) in the past, changes from recent years are that wine is included with lunch and dinner and there are now choices for both dinner entrees and deserts. Embarkation: The ship was docked at the North end of the Port of New Orleans beyond the bridges and near the Port Administration Building and Mardi Gras World. As I approached the gangway a deck hand took my bags and headed for my cabin. Check-in is handled in the lounge where I gave a crew member my ticket and my choices for dinner and picked up a name tag. Normally one of the stewardesses will escort a passenger to the cabin and point out the features; Im pretty much a Blount regular and that wasnt deemed necessary. Ship info: All of Blount's ships are designed to cruise New York's Erie Canal, which has several bridges with about 17 foot vertical clearance. They have a retractable pilot house which normally sits on the topmost deck but can be lowered to the deck below. One unfortunate consequence of the design for low bridges is that the ceilings are low (approximately 6'3") which would be a consideration for people over that height. The Grande Caribe, and near twin Grande Mariner, have 2 ½ inside decks, with 6 cabins and crew areas on the lowest deck, and cabins and dining room on the middle deck, and cabins and lounge on the upper deck. There is a walk around the outside of the upper deck, about 15 laps per mile, although walking is really better done ashore. An open upper deck is on top, except when transiting the Erie Canal. Staterooms: The cabins are tiny, basic, and functional. Most are approximately 80 square feet, and have a small sink and toilet. The space between the sink and toilet serves as the shower, with the shower head mounted on the wall, and a curtain which comes into place on the other 3 sides containing the spray in the shower space. It's very nontraditional but quite functional. A few cabins now have separate showers. There are generally 2 beds sitting at right angles, cabinet space and a writing desk. One thing that may surprise newcomers is that the cabin doors do not lock from the outside. With the small, family atmosphere I've never heard of this causing a problem, but it is certainly unusual. Most of the Niagara Prince cabin doors face interior hallways and are sliding fabric, much like sliding room dividers. Each cabin has an individual heat-ac unit, much like a room air conditioner. Rooms are not equipped with television or phones. Crew: Since these are US flag ships, the crew is all American, and generally young. We had a crew of 16: Captain, First officer, Engineer, Cruise Director, Hotel Director, Chef and assistant, 5 Stewardess and 4 deck hands. The entire crew from Captain on down is closely engaged with the passengers and will all typically address the passengers by name. We are much more on our own than on a typical cruise ship (for example, if we want a mid-afternoon cup of coffee we pretty much need to pour it ourselves), but the service is very personal and professional. Dining: All meals are served in the dining room. In the tradition of real family dining, there are set meal times, generally 8am, noon, and 6pm. Also, as with real families, the chef sets the menu of the day, with a choice usually of a meat or seafood and 2 deserts for dinner. The menu is posted the night before in the dining room. People who see something on the menu they don't like will speak to the chef a meal in advance and a substitution will be offered. The tables are for 6 or 8, and at the appointed time we pick a vacant seat. In the course of the cruise I shared a table at least once with nearly every other passenger. Breakfast starts with a buffet line for fruit, milk, juice, and hot and cold cereal. Cooked entrees are served family style (large platters are passed around the tables). Lunch is also served family style, while dinner is served traditionally. Between meals there are snacks available in the lounge and dining room, self service soft drinks in the lounge and a coffee station in the dining room. Blount serves drinks on the Captains welcome aboard and farewell nights and wine with dinner. At other times the policy is BYOB. There is storage space, including a refrigerator, for passenger liquor in the lounge and drink setups are always furnished. Activities and entertainment: Formal entertainment is fairly limited. The Cruise Director organizes a couple of games each day but the emphasis is on either ports or scenic cruising. An onboard naturalist gave presentations on environmental topics, and was out on deck pointing out wildlife. In the evening there is either a movie in the lounge or a local entertainer when in port. There is no casino and very little shopping. The ship's store with Blount items is opened once each cruise. Other shopping needs will have to be met on shore, and the cruise director will help find the right places at each port. Children: Children are generally not encouraged. The policy is a minimum age of 14 years although I have seen younger mature children on a case-by-case basis. Disembarkation: A breeze. Since there are few onboard expenses, we settled our bills the day before arrival in St. Petersburg, and the cruise director collected our departure information and arranged taxis/shuttles as appropriate. Luggage went outside our doors the morning we disembarked. After breakfast it was arranged in the lounge sorted by departure time. When we were ready we simply walked off the ship. I had a taxi to meet my Amtrak departure. It arrived a few minutes ahead of the reservation. I was paged, walked off the ship, and found the crew had already loaded my luggage in the taxi. Summary: Blount is not for everybody. People who want a big menu of activities, those who want to be pampered in luxury and those who have a preset idea of what a cruise should be are likely to be disappointed. Those who are open to a new and intimate experience can have a wonderful time. Prices tend to be on the high side reflecting the lack of economy of scale and the fact that the crew is earning American wages. Ports: Shore tours are not included in the fare, but are moderately priced. On this cruise they ranged from $29 to $85 with an average of about $60. New Orleans: Blount sometimes allows embarkation a day early, and I was able to board a day ahead of time with dinner and breakfast included. There were no ship activities on the general embarkation day and I went for a cruise on the Natchez, a steam paddlewheel riverboat. It was very enjoyable with views of the waterfront, French Quarter, Algiers, and sites from the War of 1812 and Civil War. I did not partake but a lunch was available which looked quite nice. The next day the ship offered 2 shore excursions. The morning tour was a city and Katrina tour where we visited cemeteries, various styles of architecture and toured the canal system and areas where the system failed. We had a refreshment stop at the Art Museum park. The afternoon tour was an airboat tour on the bayous where we saw lots of wildlife including closeup views of alligators and bayou cabins. It was excellent. A local R&B group entertained in the evening. We were supposed to leave New Orleans at 7 the next morning but our departure was delayed until 8:45, probably because we had to pass through a flood control gate that would be closed until noon. I had time for a morning walk where I found excellent internet at a Starbucks near the most downstream cruise terminal. Biloxi: We docked with yachts at a marina which may have been attached to a casino. We had a train tour which visited the main sites and stopped at the final home of Jefferson Davis. A highlight was the Katrina Sculpture Park where a chainsaw artist used some trees destroyed by Katrina to create beautiful sculptures of birds and sea life. The evening we docked a local historian told Stories of Biloxi. Mobile: Our visit here was just a morning. The ships tour went to Bellingrath Gardens and Home, although I skipped it in favor of a visit to a local Laundromat. We docked behind the Convention center, right in the midst of the downtown area. A free shuttle hits the major downtown sites about every 15 minutes. Most Blount stops in Mobile spend the day there and a great option is the USS Arizona Battleship. That visit requires a taxi. Pensacola: We docked at the Plaza de Luna, staying from about 9PM for a full day and overnight, leaving early the 2nd morning. We were greeted by a welcoming party of drummers in period costumes. The location was convenient to the center of town and museums. There were again morning and afternoon tours. I skipped the morning tour which toured the sites and museum complex. The afternoon tour visited the National Naval Aviation Museum, an astounding collection of historic military aircraft spread over 2 huge hangers. We also visited Fort Barrancas, one of several forts which protected the harbor entrance, and the Pensacola light house, where 177 steps provided a superb view of the area. A local music group performed that evening and we left early the next morning. Pensacola was a real gem. There are not facilities for large cruise ships but I think it would be a great alternative to Key West for ships like Silversea, Seabourn, or Azamara. Panama City: This was essentially a rest stop for the officers as the crew size does not work well with multiple overnight cruises. We docked at the local marina around dinner time. Panama City appeared to be a nice, quaint small town, but it was pretty much closed up on a Sunday evening. A local blues singer came aboard to perform. Carabelle: A first call for Blount, Carabelle was a bit of a disappointment. A tour was planned for a nature experience at Tates Hell State Forest, but the tour operator ended up with a capacity of only 4. A local historian gave an evening presentation, and offered his van for the afternoon to escort people to th local museums and shopping places. Tampa: We docked at the Westin Harbor Island. I passed on the morning tour to the H.B. Plant Museum. In the afternoon there was a shuttle to local attractions on the waterfront, Tampa History Center, Florida Aquarium, or the American Victory. I visited the American Victory. Victory ships are a WWII upgrade of the Liberty Ship and was a very interesting ship. These attractions are all very close to the Tampa Cruise Port. We had an evening performance by violinist Leah Rothe who played mostly classical music but sampled several styles. St. Petersburg: Our disembarkation stop was just a stones throw from Tampa. We docked at the port of Tampa and were all given day passes for the looper trolley. Points of interest there were the Dali Museum, the city pier (about to be demolished), Fine Arts Museum, Holocaust Museum, and a unique open air post office.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Very friendly staff (everyone) the captain and all passengers the food was good the fruit and bread always freshly baked and top notch there was always plenty of food 24 hours a day complimentary soda,juices and snacks 24 hours a day being ... Read More
Very friendly staff (everyone) the captain and all passengers the food was good the fruit and bread always freshly baked and top notch there was always plenty of food 24 hours a day complimentary soda,juices and snacks 24 hours a day being a small boat we were able to get into the ports and just walk off all of them except Nantucket. The ports were great and the Captain was always available to answer ALL of our questions. The passengers for from as far away as France to local Dedham and Watertown MA I highly recommend Blount to anyone looking for great food and different ports that the big ships can not get into. WE had a larger cabin 54B which had plenty of room and a large window. You bring your own liquor so you save alot of money and you just put a label on it keep it in the shared refrigerator and no one ever touches yours . Having cruised over 95 times I am amazed that I have missed such an incredible gem, BLOUNT small ships I have no negatives just remember it is not luxury if you are looking for great ports and DO NOT want to get dressed up even at dinner than this is the line for you we LOVRD it and can not wait to go to Belize in February and all the towns from Boston to Florida and enjoy all the destinations no other ship goes to in 2013 with lunch and dinner you will get complimentary beer and wine with lunch and dinner. Look at there website and then call your travel agent to book a great vacation with Blount it will be a great adventure whichever one you decide I can not wait to experience them all and they are owned by a local family. Being a small ship they have many advantages and can stay later in ports and almost do whatever they need to keep the passengers like us VERY HAPPY I hop[e to sail real soon. LOVED BLOUNT!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
My wife and I sailed on the Grande Mariner from June 16th to June 23rd out of Navy Pier in Chicago. The cruise took us to a number of different ports including Mackinaw, Sturgeon Bay and Milwaukee. For a small ship, 69 passengers and 18 ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the Grande Mariner from June 16th to June 23rd out of Navy Pier in Chicago. The cruise took us to a number of different ports including Mackinaw, Sturgeon Bay and Milwaukee. For a small ship, 69 passengers and 18 crew, it was well maintained and the food was excellent. The baked goods were consistently some of the best I have ever eaten. Most of the passengers were older than us but we had a great time talking with them. They are all young at heart. Our cabin was in the second to the best tier, room 40B. Small but quite comfortable and perfectly located. The crew was professional, the captain was seasoned, Lisa the cruise director was on top of things and the baker Kristen was friendly and as previously mentioned one of the best bakers I have ever come across. If you are looking for a quiet and relaxing time with great food I would recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Just found the reviews for Blount on CC and want to praise them. Loved our Magical Lake Michigan trip in 2011 on the (now retired) Niagara Prince. Easy and comfortable way to see a part of the USA that would take way too much driving for ... Read More
Just found the reviews for Blount on CC and want to praise them. Loved our Magical Lake Michigan trip in 2011 on the (now retired) Niagara Prince. Easy and comfortable way to see a part of the USA that would take way too much driving for us. Small enough to make you feel at home, just with extra spoiling by everyone. Local entertainment some nights, optional tours arranged. No glitz or frills, just a great way to visit beautiful areas of our country for those who don't require a casino, spa, theaters or bright lights! Nice to be able to sit up on top deck and see the stars so clearly and not worry about noise. The clientele tends to be older and I think no children under 14 were allowed (don't remember exact age requirement). The food was excellent, Chef Donovan prepared special request just to our liking. Meals were always fresh and I loved all the fruit offerings. Cruise director Jennifer was amazing - a Jill of all trades, always with grace and a smile! First time we've ever hugged a cruise director good-bye and some passengers were tearful at having to leave! Wonderful captain and crew and we happily anticipate several of them will be on the 2013 Lake Superior voyage on Grand Mariner this year. Biggest drawback is the small size of cabin but it's cozy and comfortable even if not fancy and certainly easy to understand on this size ship. That's part of the charm. If you're tired of being of being one of the herd on the big traditional cruise ships, recommend you check Blount and get a taste of being treated like one of the family. Hope to be able to go with Blount again in 2014. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
I can't say enough about the food YUM!! My husband and I are 52 and almost 50 we were young here. We met the greatest people and had the best time!! The food was GREAT! They serve family style 8am, noon, and 5 or 6 with cocktail hour ... Read More
I can't say enough about the food YUM!! My husband and I are 52 and almost 50 we were young here. We met the greatest people and had the best time!! The food was GREAT! They serve family style 8am, noon, and 5 or 6 with cocktail hour before. Everyone wears their name tags and you get to know them and make new friends. The cabins are small but ours was comfortable. We were on the sun deck by the lounge (very handy) We had room for everything. Very casual dressing. The shower was separate from the toilet. The beds were comfortable. We were in the hallway by the stairs and the lounge and it was quiet, once in awhile we could hear people in the next room but every one goes to bed early. The air conditioner is a bit noisy but by the second day I never noticed it. You can lock your door from the inside but not the outside this was no problem. The crew were great, everyone was nice as can be and helpful This is a very relaxed and laid back cruise to small towns with interesting history. We had a photographer on board that gave talks about taking pictures and photography, he was great about giving tips and private talks to anyone. There was an historian on board that gave Civil War talks. Also some other interesting folks came aboard for talks and demos one was a low country boil YUM! Loved the byob policy! There was really only one negative for us and that was my fault for not researching the towns before the cruise- We would have liked to have more choices of things to do but we are maybe a little more active than the typical passenger. That was a very minor negative! Also we didn't stay in port very long on a couple of stops. The cruising was mostly done during the day. This cruise was on the spendy side but worth it for the no worries relaxation and good company! All in all we just unwinded and really enjoyed our vacation!!!! I would take another cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was our first experience with river cruising. We have done 5 ocean cruises on Regency, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were not sure what to expect on such a small ship but we were VERY pleasantly surprised. Our biggest ... Read More
This was our first experience with river cruising. We have done 5 ocean cruises on Regency, Princess, Royal Caribbean and Celebrity. We were not sure what to expect on such a small ship but we were VERY pleasantly surprised. Our biggest concern was whether or not we could survive in a cabin that was 8 x 13. It turned out to be a non-problem at all. Yes, the shower was small and yes the cabin was small but we spent so little time there that it was never a problem. The cruise itself was absolutely wonderful!! Mother nature did not always cooperate but that did not deter any of us from having a good time. The ports of call were very interesting and there was a good amount of time allocated for excursions. You did not have a plethora of excursions to choose from but the ones that were there really highlighted the items of interest in the ports we visited. We stopped in Kingston, NY, Troy, NY, Sylvan Beach, NY, Oswego NY, Alexandria Bay, NY, Montreal and Quebec. From our point of view, Quebec was the highlight of the trip. Very interesting city. Will definitely go back there. Our ship had a capacity of 100 and there were 56 of us on board so we were really spoiled from that perspective. Without a doubt, the highlight of the cruise was the food. How the staff could prepare the variety of meals that we were served and the quality of food is a real testament to the chefs on board. Let there be no doubt that we will cruise with ACCL again. The service was friendly, courteous and wonderful. The food was great and the total experience was MUCH better than many we have had on BIG ships. Hooray for ACCL. Read Less
Sail Date September 2009
Already Booked?

Get to know who you’ll be sailing with

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click