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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
From my first contact by phone with the cruise agent through the debarkation, everyone and everything was a most pleasant experience. I have been on several cruises and this ranks near the top of the list. First and foremost was the ... Read More
From my first contact by phone with the cruise agent through the debarkation, everyone and everything was a most pleasant experience. I have been on several cruises and this ranks near the top of the list. First and foremost was the attentiveness and attitude of the entire crew which was directed t making our trip pleasant and enjoyable. The fact that passenger count was small (at capacity) allowed for interaction between everyone which made for a most comfortable time and conversation with all. The ship provided ready access to every public area and was clean and well manned. Our cabin was large by cruise ship standards and dining was excellent. The entertainment was good and their was always something to do. All personnel were dedicated to providing first class service to all passengers. The ports were well chosen and provided good shore experiences. I would most assuredly use American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin ... Read More
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin was a little small, but as a single it was adequate. The common areas were lovely; very comfortable furniture and a great place to just relax. The captain was exceptional; personable and accessible. He often came to dinner to mingle with the passengers. He shared his stories with us and was very gracious in asking us to share our stories. The cruise director was such a lovely person. So much personality and eager to help proactively ensuring that all was well. The crew was exceptional; friendly and courteous, quick to help and easy to find when necessary. The food was delicious and varied. The portions were just right. You could always ask for more, but it seems that waste of food was minimized. The dining staff was wonderful; prompt service, quick to respond to requests, and always cheerful and friendly. The service from the entire crew could not have been better. The shore excursions ranged from interesting to spectacular. The highlights were Astoria, waterfalls, Mt. St. Helens, and the jet boat tour down the Snake River. The geography on the river was so interesting and unusual. All in all, I am very glad that I took this cruise. It was a wonderful, relaxing week. Read Less
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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My sister-in-law booked this cruise and invited my husband and I to join them. We have traveled numerous times together and have many of the same expectations and standards. Upon reading the itinerary we were excited for the ... Read More
My sister-in-law booked this cruise and invited my husband and I to join them. We have traveled numerous times together and have many of the same expectations and standards. Upon reading the itinerary we were excited for the adventure. Upon embarking, the ship smelled old! The flower arrangements were artificial and very dusty/old and tired looking. The main gathering room, The Chesapeake room, has dirty couches and broken blinds. The stateroom was one of “the larger” rooms with a king bed (actually two twins pushed together, VERY uncomfortable) was crowded. The TV was a 19” and hard to view from the bed. The brochure stated dvd’s were available, it failed to mention they were from the 1990’s and very few. Our cabin’s furniture was also very dated and soiled. Three small pillows were there, strange for a king sized bed. The bathroom was very small and cramped. On our preference sheet, we requested extra toiletries and a small fan, neither were provided. Actually, the ship RAN OUT of shampoo and they often did not replace the bar soap. On the third day of a seven day cruise, they couldn’t keep up with the towels. There were times we did NOT have ANY towels. I mentioned my concerns to hotel manager and he told me as he was walking away (over his shoulder) there isn’t any shampoo on the whole ship! He scolded me when I asked him for a replacement key and to keep it away from my cell phone. I mentioned it never worked and that it wasn’t near my phone, he just repeated my scolding louder. Tours were very disorganized and not ADA compliant. My husband had to lag behind to help other passengers as no cruise member did. The entertainment consisted of a banjo player (who was really pretty good) and several lectures! How is lecturing a bonus evening entertainment? The food was phenomenal! Jvon was our server and was fantastic, he kept us sane! There was NO room service so we never had breakfast on board. There was a coffee donut setup from 6-7 Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
A great cruise on a small boat - about 100 people. Smaller makes for more friendly. The chef told us at the beginning we would be eating lobster daily and that we did, at nearly every of the 3 meals a day. The lobster omelet was ... Read More
A great cruise on a small boat - about 100 people. Smaller makes for more friendly. The chef told us at the beginning we would be eating lobster daily and that we did, at nearly every of the 3 meals a day. The lobster omelet was especially tasty. The on land trips were informative and we were allowed time to go out on our own as well. The cruise director Chelsea was just full of enthusiasm and made the week go by too fast. My wife and I really enjoyed getting close enough to 19 lighthouses to take identifiable photos of them. Even got to walk up to 3 of them.The entertainment during the evenings was enjoyable, especially the group of 10 college youth signing oldies and goodies.Watching the boat dock and depart the dock was also a first event for myself. You should go; you will enjoy it for sure. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Small ship cruise up the Mississippi River on the "America." This ship has a capacity of about 175 passengers, but it wasn't full so there was only about 150 guests. My single cabin was very spacious. It contained a desk ... Read More
Small ship cruise up the Mississippi River on the "America." This ship has a capacity of about 175 passengers, but it wasn't full so there was only about 150 guests. My single cabin was very spacious. It contained a desk with 6 ample drawers, a short bureau with 3 large drawers and a TV on top, a twin bed, a small bedside table, a desk chair, and a swivel chair. The bathroom was adequate and efficient with 2 drawers next to the sink, though the shower stall was a little cramped. Grab bars in the bathroom and shower were nicely placed. Marine toilet was fine. Balcony had a table and 2 chairs. Everything was very well cleaned and maintained. The food was very, very good. Many meals were excellent, a couple were marginal, but overall we were not disappointed. The dining room was open seating -- you could sit anywhere and with whoever you want at all meals. You sat with various strangers and became friendly traveling companions and then friends. The dining room served breakfast (7:30am to 9:00am), lunch (12:30pm) and dinner (6:30pm). Breakfast could be anything you wanted to order (no buffet). They served a limited menu at lunch and dinner; basically 4 selections with a choice of meat (beef or pork or lamb), chicken, fish, and a vegetarian dish. If you didn't like anything on the menu, you could ask for a hamburger or a sandwich. They were very accommodating. Appetizers were either soup or a salad (and these were always excellent!). You usually got a choice of 2 delicious desserts, and there was always ice cream. You did have to pre-select your lunch and dinner choices in the morning at breakfast so the chef would know how many of what item to prepare. (I always forgot my selections so took a picture of the selection card with my smartphone to review later!) Shore excursions were hit or miss. So much depended on the tour guide. Some guides were good, others not so good. This was a 3-week cruise so we stopped at about 20 cities. There were days that we had 2 excursions, and days that we only had one, depending on the schedule. Overall, the tours were worthwhile. I would have liked spending more time in each port city, but that's the nature of any cruise -- you only get a taste of what you are visiting, and then you are on your way to the next stop. The majority of excursions are included in the price of the cruise. There were some that you had to pay extra for. Evening entertainment was limited, but extremely talented. They brought in singers or musicians every night to entertain us for an hour or so. Remember, this is a small ship so don't expect Broadway or Las Vegas productions! It was simple but fun. I highly recommend American Cruise Lines. This was my 3rd cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple ... Read More
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple of places that the large ships go, but mostly we went to places that the larges ship to not visit, Haines, AK, Petersburg, AK and the Lodge at Glacier Bay National Park. We flew into Juneau, AK day early so that we could do some additional whale watching with Harv and Marv's Whale Watching Tours. American Cruise Lines did extra work to ensure that our personal hotel reservation was tied to the precruise hotel, which allowed us not change hotels or rooms. Getting onboard and getting started was seamless. Our bags were in our room when we arrived. The Cabin on the American Constellation was large than the cabin on the large ship. The bathroom was also larger, with full sized shower. Dining was excellent, and while there wasn't a 24 hour buffet, no one went hungry. Onboard entertainment was local talent, from the places we stopped, so we were also able to discuss living in the remote parts of Alaska with several different people, from several different places. None of them regretted being remote. There were complimentary shore excursions, which were well planned and always accommodated everyone. There were also additional paid excursions which were on topic for Alaska. Rafting, kayaking, etc. We did not travel with children. In fact this type of small boat cruising tends to attract the senior crowd. We have already scheduled our next small ship cruise. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have been investigating American Cruise Lines since we took a Mississippi River Cruise with American Queen. I think everyone should travel on American Rivers more and they were offering some appealing options. We loved our small ship ... Read More
I have been investigating American Cruise Lines since we took a Mississippi River Cruise with American Queen. I think everyone should travel on American Rivers more and they were offering some appealing options. We loved our small ship Cruise with American Queen, so I really wanted to love this company. We took the San Juan islands trip. The ship was new and their staff is very young and inexperienced, although they worked hard and were very sweet. However, these trips are very expensive. And, since that is the case, there Are many areas that need improvement. First, there was a lack of communication. They just couldn’t get messages out for changes,etc. While they did post on the message board by the dining room, we shouldn’t have to go there to get information. Dining room service was friendly but confusingly spotty. On two occasions we had to rush through meals when we had allowed plenty of time before excursions. Also, while they say they work on dietary needs, we did not find them helpful with my husbands diabetes. Unlike American Queen, there really are no paid excursions. On the last day they did offer transport into Seattle to visit Pike Market while American Queen offers a bus at every stop. Entertainment was really disappointing and the largest Lounge available was too small and poorly arranged for any real program. Finally, they must work on safety for the Ramps off the boat. They need hand rails on the ramps and on the stairs. I don’t want to sound negative, but these trips attract elderly and handicapped people and they must do a better job if they want to flourish. My hope is that they improve, but until they do, I can’t recommend them nor will I travel with them again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was ... Read More
I wanted to learn more about life on the lower Mississippi now compared to Huck Finn's era, the use of paddle boats and southern plantations. Embarkation was smooth, luggage was treated well and delivered promptly. Disembarkation was very early in the morning and luggage must be in the hall before going to bed on the last night. There were five decks and an 8 person elevator that serve them all. Only 30 percent of the 8 days was ship movement, mostly at night, on this trip. The average age of the 147 passengers was about 65 with the youngest at age 26 year. Thus, not much entertainment for children. Attractions were: Tour of the pilot's room, entertainment every evening, all costs aboard ship were included, NO tipping on the ship, motor coaches pre-arranged for on shore attractions. Admission to on shore sites were of three price categories: 1. Included such as Vicksburg Civil War battlefield admission 2. Medium price ==> $40 to $70 for plantation visits 3. High price (Elvis Pressley's Graceland at $140) The extra benefit there was VIP status which included going to the head of the line, seeing a couple of extra sites, a $15 coupon toward food, souvenirs etc. A great vacation because you can travel without unpacking. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose this trip as it focused on Civil War and traveled with two other couples. The ship was a wonderful paddle wheel replica on the Mississippi River. The crew was fantastic, always smiling. The food was fantastic and included lots ... Read More
We chose this trip as it focused on Civil War and traveled with two other couples. The ship was a wonderful paddle wheel replica on the Mississippi River. The crew was fantastic, always smiling. The food was fantastic and included lots of local recipes as well as a general menu, lots of choices. The entertainment and lectures were very informative and given by experts. The off boat tours were interesting especially at Vicksburg. The tour director was well organized; everyone was on and off the boat, on and off the buses, in and out of the tour sites in a very orderly fashion. They thought of everything from bottled water to golf carts for those who needed some assistance. Most of the passengers were retirees of varying physical abilities and the crew was able to handle everyone in a dignified, non-obtrusive manner. All the crew was well trained, from cleaning the rooms to serving the meals. Would definitely recommend. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a 2nd cruise with American and while it was not quite as enjoyable as cruising the Chesapeake Bay on the brand new Constellation, it was still worth the cost. Our trip was a "Lobster" cruise and Lobster it was. Lobster ... Read More
This was a 2nd cruise with American and while it was not quite as enjoyable as cruising the Chesapeake Bay on the brand new Constellation, it was still worth the cost. Our trip was a "Lobster" cruise and Lobster it was. Lobster was available on every menu and it was real Maine Lobster. If you ever want to see how much lobster you can eat in a week this is the cruise for you.While the Independence is a smaller and older ship it is in good shape, the rooms were clean and everything worked.On the Constellation our room was a Suite 502 and on the Independence we had 323 which was at the aft of the ship. Both rooms were sufficient in size and for the money I preferred 323. I would recommend that if you make this trip try and reserve a room on the starboard side because with the tide level you will be looking into a harbor wall when you are in port, especially Portland. Also avoid at all cost taking this cruise if you end up in Bar Harbor as we did on Labor day. The crowds were horrible and Arcadia Park was such that you could not see the landscape for the people standing in front of you. This is a quite tour for the older crowd. The entertainment was not Broadway performances but all had a good time and I did learn a lot about Maine and its history. We enjoyed all the small towns and the trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was a highlight. The service was excellent with the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director going up and above the call of duty to see that all were in the right place at the right time and that all were having a good time. My wife and I have already booked two American Cruise line tours for 2018 so I guess you can say I recommend American Cruise Lines Read Less
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