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3 American Cruise Lines Boston Cruise Reviews

I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 ... Read More
I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 passengers. We stayed overnight in Boston because we have had bad experiences with airlines and missed connections. Much less stress to be at port the day before. We took a taxi to the port at about 11 am. City traffic, but no problems. Embarkation was perfect. Our cabin was ready soon after we got on. The ship is almost new (2018) and it showed. This was the largest stateroom we have ever seen in almost 60 cruises on various lines. We had more than enough drawer space and a full closet, large bed with two nightstands, spacious balcony with table and two chairs, good bedding. Bathroom was larger than most with good lighting and ample storage. Shower space was good, but no hand shower. I learned from another passenger that it was available upon request. Throughout the cruise, our cabin was kept clean and serviced almost as soon as the "make up the room" sign was up. The fabrics used in drapes, upholstery throughout the ship were lovely ( I sew and notice things like that immediately). They have opted for a coastal feel to interiors and it is appropriate . I loved the itinerary, although rainy weather interfered with some of my plans. There are several included tours and even the optional ones are reasonably priced. I loved the mansions tour in Newport and the botanical gardens in Maine. The lobster boat excursion was fun. I now know how to tell the sex of a lobster. That covers the good stuff. Now, the mediocre. Food. I do not go on a cruise to eat food from Costco that I have in my freezer and those were the appetizers served at the cocktail hour until I complained to the hotel manager and then we had freshly prepared items. I wish I had done so earlier in the cruise. The cocktails were poured with a heavy hand, stronger than on most cruise limes and lots of wine, beer and sodas etc. available all day. Lots of lovely lobster and seafood of all sorts served, as I expected, in the dining room. Stick to the seafood; everything else was overcooked, over salted and disappointing. My bean soup was watery and had 3 beans in broth. Steak was thin and overcooked, no matter how we ordered it. Pasta was mushy, chicken parm inedible. The vegetables varied from tender crisp and good to dried out and tough. They ran out of basic items from time to time. There's no excuse for no skim milk at breakfast when we are in American ports with supermarkets a short walk from the pier. That said, breakfast was usually the best meal of the day (unless there was lobster). Lots of fresh fruit. One funny story. My husband ordered 3 eggs and three pancakes, but apparently, the kitchen only uses even numbers. He could get two and two or four and four, not three and three. Dining room service was very spotty, but they tried hard and worked hard. There were only one or two servers that seemed to be experienced; for the others, it was on-the-job training. They were all friendly and courteous and I am sure they will improve with time. The Backporch Grill on deck 4 was very good. Because the dining room food, etc. was disappointing, many used the grill option and the men working there were often overworked. Excellent hamburgers and hot dogs. They also had pizza and chili, with Klondike bars and other delicious ice cream sandwiches. The entertainment was spotty. I only remember two nights with really good performers, a banjo player early in the cruise and a duo in Martha's Vineyard. The others were amateurish at best. The lecturer was a pleasant man who knew New England well, but wasn't particularly exciting as a speaker. The exercise room and equipment was less than your average motel. No treadmill, but a stepper and bikes, yoga mats and a few hand weights. Other cruisers assured us that the line's other itineraries were better, especially the Snake River Lewis & Clark one, but even they said this cruise needed improvement. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in ... Read More
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in American Cruise Lines. The cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. We booked one of the Owner Suites because the American advertisement stated they were up to 450SF and had a “Full-Size Bathroom.” I should have been suspect when I could not find a single picture of their Full-Size Bathroom. Now I know why no pictures. It was literally three steps by five steps (size 11 shoe) and a shower at the end with a door that could not be closed for use unless you were in the shower! My picture is attached for future buyers. I hate to think what the size of the bathrooms were in all the room categories below the owner suite. We took the pre-hotel package at the Battery Warf hotel in Boston. It was adequate and located just outside the North End areas. The transfers to the ship the next morning where well organized and fortunately arrived at the pier after a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for disembarkation. American docks on Pier 8 in Charlestown. There is no cover between the parking lot and the 100-yard walk along the pier to the ship. The morning of disembarkation we had torrential rain and got soaked making the walk to the parking lot where our luggage was under a kitchen fly tent getting wet with blowing rain. It took two days for some items to dry out! The dining experience was disappointing. The serving staff could not take and deliver an order without multiple errors. My wife has a food allergy and tried ordering meals not specified on the meal option card as available. She got totally frustrated with what was delivered for her meals. The food portions were small, and I didn’t think one could get prime rib ¼ of inch thick—but I was wrong. The way we got great meals was to eat lunch off the ship and select some of the best seafood restaurants in out port of calls. Thanks Miss Google! We never saw the captain introduced himself during any of the functions/meals. Did not see much of him about the ship (only 164 passengers on board) and after he blew the docking at Martha’s Vineyard and we had to go to an alternate port (New Bedford) we did not see him again. The day after New Bedford there was a different captain onboard the ship until we returned to Boston! The good part about the experience was the neat New England ports we visited along the way. The included shore excursions options were educational and the optional ones we bought were priced reasonably. A plus. Of the ten evenings, the entertainment was good for four or five nights. Local talent got on the ship, entertain and then departed. The other nights we departed the area after a few minutes. The resident local expert on board provided good insight into the region. There were basically no other activities. The workout area was a total loser. The low ceiling would not allow treadmills or elliptical devices. All that was there were variants of incumbent bikes. They did learn a lesson from earlier reviews and did not run out of food during the pre-diner “happy hour.” Some evenings they had nice choices. In summary, the cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We stayed at Wharf hotel. the ship sent over 4 buses......three were very old without any mike. Most of the folks were 65 to 96 and needed help just to climb in these buses that did not lower to the curb. We wait a good hour to get on and ... Read More
We stayed at Wharf hotel. the ship sent over 4 buses......three were very old without any mike. Most of the folks were 65 to 96 and needed help just to climb in these buses that did not lower to the curb. We wait a good hour to get on and have all our bags put on. The air conditioning was not working and it was in the 90's. After a tour we finally got near the ship but had to wait for other buses to be unloaded. Due to being close to heat exhausting we all got off and walked a few blocks to get water and get on the ship. They just told us to go to our room where the doors will be open. Minimal security. Young people working summer jobs in the dining room and house keeping. Our intiniery was changed without notice. Tours were changed without notice and mostly one or maybe two per day and some were extra, This is an expensive trip .$10,500 for doing the islands of New England. Some were good and some weren't . We were on our own to Uber or take public transportation On Martha's Vineyard. I felt so bad for the elderly without have transportation available just to go shopping. Food was pretty good but every night they ran out of dessert. One time seating for everyone. Entertainment was minimal. One crude comedian who most walked out on. For those staying on board during the day there were no activities except for a speaker occasionally. I did enjoy seeing the island even though they were so congested. I don't know what the draw is. Cabin room was bigger than most cruise ship. No pool of course. But did meet a ton of wonderful people and enjoyed our happy hours Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
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