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35 American Cruise Lines Juneau Cruise Reviews

My husband hates to travel and hates crowds. Having been on a large cruise with thousands of passengers and lots of "extras" tacked onto the original price of the cruise I wanted something different for our cruise together. ... Read More
My husband hates to travel and hates crowds. Having been on a large cruise with thousands of passengers and lots of "extras" tacked onto the original price of the cruise I wanted something different for our cruise together. American Cruiselines provides a different experience. We sailed with several individuals who have sailed with American Cruiselines repeatedly. The population on the cruise was generally older. It's not a cruise for children. There were two teenagers and two young adults who seemed to enjoy the cruise. The cruise is slower paced and staff worked to make adaptations necessary for anyone with mobility issues. The ship is small but cabins are spacious.The total passengers on our cruise was 172. Our staff commented that there were less than 130 passengers on in the previous week. The atmosphere is intimate. We probably talked with at least 60% of the passengers and the majority of the "front of the house" staff including the various departmental managers, first mate and pilot. There's at least 1-2 excursions that are "complimentary" in each port. We found each of those to be worthwhile. We paid extra for two additional excursions--the raft ride and fishing expedition. Both were interesting and fun. The raft ride was calm and no one got wet. The complimentary excursions were generally informational and related to the history or industry in the port. A naturalist traveled on the boat and gave daily presentations and was available throughout the cruise to take questions or provide additional information related to each port. When in Glacier Bay a park ranger and two Tligit native Alaskans joined the cruise for two days and a night. Both presented additional information and were available for questions and interacted with the passengers. The views were stupendous. We saw seals, sea lions, eagles puffins, whales and bears either along the shoreline or as we walked along various paths. The food was plentiful and well prepared. Service was a little slow probably due to the fact that most of the 172 passengers tended to descend into the dining room at the same time. We would definitely do this again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around announcing which side he would spot whales, or bear, or mountain goats, or otters, seals, etc. The staff were friendly and personable and interacted well with the passengers. Most of the excursions were included and well directed. The 'extra' excursions fill up fast, even if you sign up early you may not get to participate, which can be disappointing. Cabins were nice, each with a private balcony. Meals were served with menus and several choices of food. Entertainment was specific to the region, we learned a lot about the culture of Native Alaskans and the Klondike Gold Rush. I would not recommend this ship for children or teens, there is not a pool or other activities for young adults. We were very happy with our trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I ... Read More
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I certainly wouldn't give it that rating. A clean road side motel more accurately describes the "Prospector" now owned by Ramada Wyndham As others have noted the onboard dining experience left a lot to be desired. Diner entrée choices where down to three and the portions were small. One could ask for more but there would be a time delay and when dining with others that would be problematic. The entrees were mediocre at best. One night was a vegetarian stuffed pepper. It was only a small slice of pepper overlaid with a tasteless couscous and I ended up having a piece of chocolate cake for dinner instead. The absence of a snack bar onboard was very apparent that day. The ship's heating units were all mounted high on the walls and because heat rises the decks were drafty all the time. The outside temperatures were running in the 50s and 60s so it was very uncomfortable. There was some problem with the ship wide computer system and we had to be logged on and off the ship by paper the entire cruise. I understand the cell service and wifi are spotty in Alaska but the brochure offered free wifi during the cruise and it was rare when we had access outside Juneau. After dinner we were stuck with our overly bubbly cruise director reading us the next day's itinerary from the same sheet that was delivered to our stateroom. She often ran over her allotted time so the entertainment didn't start until late. The music stopped at about 9:45PM so it was a short night. The good? the staff, they were great without exception (wish the cruise director would be a bit more mature and professional) Boarding and debarkation was smooth. Alaska was, what can I say? Gorgeous. The ship's captain stopped the vessel several times to view wildlife (whales, bears and orcas) and really made the cruise. I'm not big on walking tours so I passed on several excursions. The bus tours, the river rafting and the White Pass RR were great. Would I recommend this cruise? Probably not. They really have to upgrade their dining options and when it gets cold in Alaska the ship is uncomfortable. Back to the bigger ships for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and ... Read More
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and dinner. Crew was on target, baggage in our room when we arrived onboard after a morning at Mendenhall Glacier to have lunch onboard. We saw multiple types of glaciers. Presentations onboard for identifying whales readily and their habits. Also information from Alaskan native tribe and National Forest Service about what we would see in the 2 days in Glacier Bay. Stops in small towns were different and varied in their purpose. Train available to Yukon up the path taken by miners thru White Pass. Kayaks, rafting, who could want more? Accommodations were spacious, and food too often available as snacks between meals. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each afternoon, wine and beer with meals. Services were personalized and consistent. We added an extra day to wander and absorb the flavor of Juneau before boarding which was a good decision. Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau is a must for King Crab like a local! Leaving was smooth transition in early morning with assistance of crew to make early flights necessary to get to East Coast. Small ship experience was so much better than what my friends had on larger ships that have less access to places where we went. Now looking for another bucket list destination. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which ... Read More
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which would not be my first choice of a hotel in Juneau except for the very good restaurant connected to it. Embarkation on June 29th was welcome and flawless. Our luggage was picked up at our hotel and we were off for a morning visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. By the time we reached the ship late morning my luggage was in my large clean single balcony cabin. I had good closet and drawer space and there was a personal safe in the room. All the meals were excellent with good choices including vegetarian at every meal. In between meals soft drinks, juices and snacks were always available with warm cookies and 10:00 am every day. Happy hour horderves were delicious and plentiful. On this particular trip we had several multi-generational families traveling together so we had some young school and college age people on board which was nice, and I think even though most of the passengers were 60 + they appeared to enjoy themselves and fit in nicely. The combination of shore excursions and time on the ship in Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm was perfect. Orcas and Humpbacks entertained us, the cultural interaction in Kake informative, and the narrow gage train out of Skagway great fun. The on board lectures were OK, and many enjoyed the "art classes" which were a big hit. Our entertainment consisted on one very talented pianist who was able to play and entertain us with a full variety of music. The Hammer Museum in Haines was interesting for me as my family's antique hammers were on display. The "dock" walk in Petersburg revealed how commercial fishing is big business and the fireworks the night before spectacular. Two of the signature excursions, rafting in Haines, and fishing in Petersburg were limited so some folks were not able to participate. This was my third small ship trip to SE Alaska so my expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. While the American Constellation is one of the larger small ships to cruise SE Alaska, because of her maneuverability she was able to go where the much smaller ships go, I think our Captain enjoyed the sights as much as we did as he was expert in positioning the ship with the assistance of the bow and stern thrusters to permit maximum viewing for all. The ships officers were very professional. The all America, mostly college age, dining/cabin stewards and deckhands were delightful to get to know. Though they were not as experienced as found on ships registered and cruising outside of the United States, they were always eager to please. Our weather was perfect the entire week except for the Juneau heat and the haze from the wild fires up north, and happy hour on deck in the Alaskan sun was fun. Because there wasn't WiFi or phone service except in a couple of places, it was good to disconnect and just enjoy the trip. Many disembarked very early and took to complementary airport transfer early in the morning at 5:15 am. A second transfer was offered at 8:15 am. Because of our late flight out of Juneau we were able to wait in the lounge on board until it was time for our taxi at 10:00 am. I have taken multiple trips with American Cruise Lines, and I am booked on another. I only wish they had more places to go in the US as I'm running out of itineraries. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We always wanted to go to Alaska and wanted and intimate experience. It was an excellent ship with a wonderful crew. We saw the wonders of Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife including bears, eagles, humpback whales and orcas, sea ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Alaska and wanted and intimate experience. It was an excellent ship with a wonderful crew. We saw the wonders of Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife including bears, eagles, humpback whales and orcas, sea otters and sea lions, the native culture and people, and wonderful history of the area. American Cruise Lines does an excellent first rate job. We have already booked another cruise. Accommodations were very comfortable. The crew was friendly, caring and service oriented. Onboard entertainment and lectures included people who lived the life we were learning about. The food was outstanding throughout with many delicious choices at each meal. Happy Hour was the time to share the day's experience with new found friends. On-shore excursions offered flexibility and choices that provided comfort and interest for all. Our cruise was an experience of a lifetime. We would highly recommend this Company for "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." American Cruise Lines lives by this motto! Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Having cruised on several "big box" ships, I much prefer the small ship experience and this was our second small ship cruise. Starting in Juneau AR, the Constellation made stops in ports that the larger ships skip. We got to ... Read More
Having cruised on several "big box" ships, I much prefer the small ship experience and this was our second small ship cruise. Starting in Juneau AR, the Constellation made stops in ports that the larger ships skip. We got to experience several National Parks saw 3 of Alaska's better known glaciers and witnessed the 'calvings' of large portions of glaciers. We saw wildlife up close, bears with cubs, moose and deer and on the water, whales, sea lions, seals and water birds. We threaded our way through waters dotted with brilliant blue and white glaciers. In the ports we met lots of people who are year round residents who gave us an insiders perspective on what it is to work and live in Alaska. Our days were busy and we were usually tired when we returned to the ship where all the service was excellent and we would enjoy a great evening meal and relax. Traveling on the Constellation made this a really great and memorable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
The small ship (175 pax), great itinerary and solid crew made this cruise a most enjoyable experience. The staterooms are large (300 sq ft) and well appointed. The bathrooms are well laid out and the overall condition of the ship was ... Read More
The small ship (175 pax), great itinerary and solid crew made this cruise a most enjoyable experience. The staterooms are large (300 sq ft) and well appointed. The bathrooms are well laid out and the overall condition of the ship was excellent. We even used our balcony several times, even though we were in a cool climate in Alaska. The dining was uniformly outstanding all week. If you like fresh seafood from Alaska this is the cruise for you--wow what a feast! The dining room is large and well lit and can easily fit the entire passenger complement at one sitting. The shore excursions were also well planned and with one exception were terrific. We loved the nightly entertainment. Just the right amount of quality music and fun, since most of use were quite tired after days that were packed with so much to do. The White Pass Railroad trip was a big highlight, along with two separate glacier experiences that were almost beyond description. The smaller ship was able to get up close and personal to these massive rivers of ice and the experience was stunning. I have to mention the most extravagant and fun Hot Cocoa Bar we have ever seen as well. ON one of the glacier visits ACL really pulled out all stops--what an delicious and different bit of fun--yummy!!! All in all a terrific week all around. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need ... Read More
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need of refurbishing. The salesperson I spoke with said it had been done. The cabin was clean enough, but I have traveled on much older vessels that were more updated. I was told that the Spirit would be the next ship to be replaced. The fitness equipment on board was pitiful. The equipment was outdoors and not plugged into power. The salesman said there would be freeweights similar to what you find in a hotel fitness room. There were none. While we appreciated the size, it is a very noisy little ship. Our cabin was on the stern, and engine noise is deafening at times. We were next to the rear outdoor steps, and ship personnel would run up and down at all hours. I finally caught and discussed the door slamming with one of the housekeeping staff. Cabin 321 should be converted to storage.This is an upper level priced cabin. For this price some shore excursions should be included. This was not. Warning to those going to Butchard Gardens...This is a 90 minute ferry ride, 40 minute motor coach, 90 minutes in the garden, 40 minutes back to ferry, and another 90 minutes on the ferry. The gardens are beautiful, but see them on another trip. I appreciated the dining room. We were not assigned seats. There were minimal choicees, but I was happy not to have to fight my way through a buffet to find something to eat. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and ... Read More
I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and sweet. Food: excellent. Variety, vegetarian options, seafood and red meat. Ammenities: excellent, courteous staff, well timed service Staff: Friendly, personable, uplifting, patient, fun Ship: Beautiful, clean, relaxing, 5 lounges plus a small library. Scenery: Magnificent, beautiful, interesting, educational Ports of Call: Interesting and educational: Skagway is touristy, but the train ride is cool. Haines and Petersburg are interesting and educational. Look for the trash cans in Petersburg. Entertainment: A little lacking... Would love an onboard band and more onboard activities, game nights, etc NOT for young children, but the teens and younger adults seemed to have a good and relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We have sailed with American Cruise Line before. We love the personalized touches of small ship cruising. Southeast Alaska was beautiful. The ports were fun with great activities.I would highly recommend the train tour out of Skagway. The ... Read More
We have sailed with American Cruise Line before. We love the personalized touches of small ship cruising. Southeast Alaska was beautiful. The ports were fun with great activities.I would highly recommend the train tour out of Skagway. The cruise line paid for one night pre-cruise stay at a hotel in Juneau then picked us up the next morning for a tour of Mendenhall Glacier. When we arrived at the ship, our luggage was already in our cabin. We saw other glaciers up close. We also saw humpback whales, Orca, otters, mountain goat and sea lion. The captain would announce any wildlife sightings and just where to look. He would also steer the ship in order for all passengers to have the opportunity to have a sighting. The cuisine was amazing. The service was impeccable. The dining salon has open seating and every server was efficient and friendly. The cabins are very large as are the balconies. Our balcony was large enough for three chairs and a table as well as maneuvering room. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate knowledge of the ship. My husband is disabled and I notified the staff that we would be arriving with walker and wheelchair... no problem, they said. WRONG! The wheelchair could barely fit into the tiny, difficult elevator, there was no room service, tiny rooms, no phone to contact housekeeping for blankets or towels or special clean up needs. The staff was gracious but I had to go out of the room, wander about the ship to find some help, then request whatever we needed, clearly interrupting them from assigned tasks. This is NOT a ship for the handicapped! Fine for able bodied people who don’t mind the scheduled meals - open seating but if you miss the proper hour, you miss your meal. The staff really tried to make all better and we met a lot of nice people ( only 87 of us aboard) and the excursions were nice. Match your needs to this ship’s accommodations and you will be fine. Kudos to the staff on board who did all they could to make our lives better. Thumbs down to American Cruise Lines who could make minimal changes and market this ship to the appropriate group and solve the problems! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. ... Read More
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. For people with mobility issues the smaller ship is good as there is less walking around the ship.The ship being small could go to ports like Petersburg where the larger cruise ships cant go. An added surprise was overnighting in Glacier Bay and being able to go off ship at Barlett Cove and walk around. Again something that the big ships cant do. When we saw whales the Capt stopped for some time and then rotated the ship so everyone could see.. The ship is all inclusive with no shops, casino or spa. We like this as opposed to the big ships that can push sales constantly. There is no mail box or name on the cabin door so no worries about having to cull advertisements out constantly like on some ships PLUS & MINUS: The food is good but rich and the desserts are constantly pushed, cookies at 10 am, desserts at lunch & dinner. Happy hour with treats then dinner and for the night's program root beer floats & sundaes. For anyone struggling with a sweet tooth or watching sugar intake has a constant temptation. Snacks are kept out. ACL has started room service for breakfast which we didn't use. A highlight was our Tlingkat Native interpreters that came on board in Glacier Bay Barlett Cove with the Ranger for 24 hours. Captain, Capt Brown who was retired Coast Guard.Capt Brown was very pleasant and conscientious .Our hotel manager Nico was excellent always working and determined to please. MINUS: The vast majority of the staff are younger students.We found this to be true on the other 2 cruises we took with ACL. This was a problem that wait staff needed better training and meal service could be very chaotic. Even the Cruise Directors were young so we see ACL as a training ground for students going into the hospitality field. I would like ACL to include and pay higher wages to some seasoned waiters to mentor the young waiters. The waiters try but it can be frustrating to see the chaos and their stress. Internet was sporadic and we lost it in Glacier bay for several days which met that people could not check in with home or use their cell phones except for the 3 hour stop at Barlett Cove in Glacier Bay. When we cruised Tray Arm again the loss of internet & cell from about 3 am the last day until about 8 pm when we arrived back in Juneau..I think ACL needs to improve their WIFI which we found to be slow. People with health issues have on the larger ships access to medical clinic with doctors. On ACL there was a medic I believe but no medical clinic. I believe a heart attack in Glacier Bay could be a major issue for a medical evacuation. ACL does cater to the older crowd with a higher probability of health issues. There is no cable TV and some of the videos shown on the ACL channel were very dated at least 20-30 years old. there were movie videos but the lack of updated videos on the Alaska channel was disappointing. Excursions are mainly walking tours and the fishing, float and Kayak tours had limited space and sold out. I would like ACL to have more variety with their tours and increase the capacity for float, kayaking and fishing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The purpose of the cruise was to enjoy the vistas and wildlife of coastal Alaska in relaxation and comfort. This cruise was perfect. The small ship allowed the captain to alter course and speed to provide optimal viewing for orcas,humpback ... Read More
The purpose of the cruise was to enjoy the vistas and wildlife of coastal Alaska in relaxation and comfort. This cruise was perfect. The small ship allowed the captain to alter course and speed to provide optimal viewing for orcas,humpback whales, and other wildlife as well as the flexibility to visit small communities and approach to within yards of glaciers. The food, service, cabins, public spaces and organization were all excellent. The only negative about the trip was the absence of a tour of Juneau itself, the city of embarkation. We happened to arrive early in the day , 24 h before embarkation and were able to take advantage of a hop on hop off bus tour which included visits to the salmon hatchery [in the middle of the salmon run], a beautiful Russian Orthodox church, a wonderful local museum and a tram ride to the top of an adjacent mountain giving initial perspective to the capital city. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We always wanted to see the San Junan Islands of Washing state and thought this would be an effortless way to do it. Embarkation was easy. The itinerary was very good and we really enjoyed all the historical little towns and scenery. ... Read More
We always wanted to see the San Junan Islands of Washing state and thought this would be an effortless way to do it. Embarkation was easy. The itinerary was very good and we really enjoyed all the historical little towns and scenery. Our room was quite large and the king size bed was really nice and comfortable. We did not do a veranda, as they were very small and had a metal door, not a big window and other folks said they wouldn't have paid for a veranda had they known. We chose #205 which was fairly quiet and others in the aft of the ship said the engine could be noisy. There were always snacks and beverages available in the lounge and a continental breakfast for early risers. I would suggest booking a room on the starboard side, as it seemed they usually had the better view in port. Breakfast was good and had many choices. There were only 2 choices for lunch and dinner along with a vegetarian choice. I think the food was rather average, except for the last night when lobster and surf and turf was on the menu. No phones in the rooms which could be a factor in a medical emergency during the night. The ship is about the oldest in their fleet and needs a bit of updating, but was clean. There didn't seem to be stabilizers and when we encountered rough seas one day, many folks were ill, but it was only for about 5 hours or so. The wait staff along with the cruise director, etc were all great. The shore excursions and informative talks on board were enjoyable, but it would have been nice to have had a complimentary excursion in each port, such as a walking tour. The walking tour of Port Angeles was $20, but we went to the Visitor Center and got it for $12. Entertainment was just average and usually local people who lived in the particular town where we stopped for the day. This is definitely not a cruise for children, they would be bored. It was mostly 'seniors'. Disembarkation went smoothly and we paid for the airport transfer which was very reasonable. All in all, it was the perfect way to see the San Juan Islands. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
I prefer small ship cruises, and this line seemed to meet all my expectations. Friends had traveled on it and recommended it highly. The only problem seemed to be choosing from a lot of exciting and inviting destinations. My son and I ... Read More
I prefer small ship cruises, and this line seemed to meet all my expectations. Friends had traveled on it and recommended it highly. The only problem seemed to be choosing from a lot of exciting and inviting destinations. My son and I chose the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands cruise and were not disappointed.. Everything was outstanding, from the pre-cruise package which gave us a night in Seattle and transportation to the ship to our disembarkation with the promise of a future voyage. Our single cabins were roomier than expected with plenty of closet and drawer space for clothes. We even had balconies, although I didn't use mine. The only problem was the bed which was narrower than I had expected. But I managed. Food was very good, and we enjoyed the fact that seating was not reserved, so that we had a chance to meet a lot of our fellow passengers. The late afternoon cocktail hour was another opportunity to mix. Because I have mobility problems, I found I couldn't take some of the shore excursions, but my son did and enjoyed them very much. I especially enjoyed seeing the Burchardt Gardens for the third time in my life and my visit to the Suquamish Museum. And even if I couldn't take advantage of the actual trips, I enjoyed David Stephens talks about the area, the people, and the tribal customs. I highly recommend both this cruise line and the ship we traveled on. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Prior experience with American Cruise lines on the Columbia and Snake river combined with a desire to see parts of Alaska were combined with this nice small ship Alaska arrangements. American Cruise lines handled everything very well - ... Read More
Prior experience with American Cruise lines on the Columbia and Snake river combined with a desire to see parts of Alaska were combined with this nice small ship Alaska arrangements. American Cruise lines handled everything very well - including the loss of WiFi (which was a bit of an irritant at points - but overall not a deal breaker) The cruise included several small towns that much larger ships could not have berthed at - and so kept us from just being another ship in port. Great onboard staff!!! really went out of the way all the time to be friendly. OBTW - they do NOT work for tips - and such are clearly not encouraged. Room was modern - clean at all times - dining was excellent with a very engaged chef - who really did want to know your special dietary needs. Not sure how his staff did it every day - three times a day + the lounge bar hours (this is an open bar ship - no alcohol charges!) Tours were available often twice a day and accommodations for all levels of ability covered. And they were not extra - with the exception of a fishing trip. Most highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
The only reason I didn't give this cruise a one out of five is because a few things went well, including embarkation and disembarkation; plus, the poorly trained staff at least tried (for the most part). Our crew were all in ... Read More
The only reason I didn't give this cruise a one out of five is because a few things went well, including embarkation and disembarkation; plus, the poorly trained staff at least tried (for the most part). Our crew were all in training, but this was not a training priced cruise. $11,000 per suite (double occupancy). Crew experience was 16 weeks or less, except for a handful that were asked back and promoted! All were about college age and while nice, not trained or knowledgeable about what it took to do a good job. Very frustrating. The ship looked very old (1980s décor), but it was actually built in 2005. It looked like a retirement home. My room key was a frustration from the very start. Every time I used it I had to pull it out a bit from the lock, get it just right, then turn it, so it would lock or unlock. No room safes, and on top of that, I was told there was no safe on the entire boat!!!! I always locked my door to my balcony when I left my room, but several times, while docked, I arrived back and the room door out to my balcony was not only unlocked, but actually open so anyone could walk right in (I believe this was a housekeeping issue). After being gone all day long and not having a safe to hold things, it was very disconcerting. The food was adequate, but nothing special – at all. The food was not plated well - just thrown on. It was not appetizing. All the menus were gone well before lunch (not a breakfast eater), so I couldn’t see what we were going to be having later in the day to know if I needed to special order. One day I found the extra menus in the garbage in the big room and dug one out (they were supposed to be available most of the day). Food - inconsistent serving portions. The most glaring example was the strawberry shortcake. It looked like a wonderful, healthy, serving size when we saw the first trays coming out. Then, when it came time to get ours, it appeared as though they had run out when putting all the other portions together. Hardly any strawberries, vs flowing over in the first that came, and tiny portions when ours arrived! We had the same issue with entrees, even at the same table. Some were almost double that of others. We originally thought people were ordering half sizes, but they were not, and people were disappointed (I was one of those several times). No portion control. I had a salad at lunch and the lettuce was dirty – caked in dirt in the crevices. It had not been washed. Very gritty, unsanitary and nasty. A couple of the servers could not pour without spilling. One server, at least, could never get orders (food and drink) to correct person at lunch. Cocktail hour food was nothing I ever wanted to eat. The gym was a joke. Three pieces of equipment stuck outside on the back of the boat. I don’t even know what to say about that, except I was planning on being a user and never tried them once. There were cracked ceiling tiles in my bathroom and the bathroom floor corners were nasty – not really sure if dirty or bad job on grouting (or more likely both). Entertainment? What a joke. From bingo to music that was straight from the 50s, and not high-end. Photos we saw ahead of time did not match our ship. This trip was misrepresented. I felt cheated. If I was paying $2500 for our suite, and been told it was a training crew, I would have expected what I got – 3rd rate service, food, rooms, balcony, gym, everything. I am posting an online review so others who are smarter than I (because they will do more research) will know to stay away. I relied on the person making the reservations, and they relied on the cruise line’s word and brochures. MISTAKE. Read Less
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2018
I picked this cruise based on the availability of a 'solo' cabin, by the time the cruise was over had decided to again sail with ACL again next May. The ship was clean and well run, the Hotel Manager, Natalie Pozdol, and the ... Read More
I picked this cruise based on the availability of a 'solo' cabin, by the time the cruise was over had decided to again sail with ACL again next May. The ship was clean and well run, the Hotel Manager, Natalie Pozdol, and the Cruise Director, Jean Vielman (be sure and ask her to make you a Green Goddess) were truly outstanding, quickly responding to any problems, and arriving at rapid solutions. I had a 'solo' cabin, which was very comfortable, and had a balcony, which I made great use of watching the world pass, and seeing sights that I would not normally see. The professionalism from the entire staff was truly remarkable. Added highly to the enjoyment of the cruise. The ship's galley turned out some outstanding meals. The size of the ship allowed some really close-up visist to some interesting locations, especially the glacier, and to sail close to some of the wildlife, seals, whales, etc. The cruise was so enjoyable that I signed up for a cruise on the Queen of the West in May of 2018. I can honestly tell you to bring a size larger garment to wear when the cruise is over, the food is just that good, and the little extras insure that you will never be hungry. The open-seating and single time dinning allows for the easy making of new friends, and some great conversation. The trips ashore were very interesting, and of just the right length. This cruise was designed for us 'older folks,' and there is very little to do for young children. That about takes care of the review, to sum up,. a great cruise, staffed by some great people. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First time cruising family. We looked for a small ship with an elevator to take our 97 year old mom back to Alaska where she lived for a year in 1947. American Cruise Lines fit the bill. I can't say enough nice things about ... Read More
First time cruising family. We looked for a small ship with an elevator to take our 97 year old mom back to Alaska where she lived for a year in 1947. American Cruise Lines fit the bill. I can't say enough nice things about the ship, American Spirit, its Captain, and crew. The cabin and bathroom were much bigger than expected. Very comfortable bed and very clean. Each cabin had a large window you could open and look out. The large main lounge, with a 180 degree view, and the top deck had comfortable seating for watching the passage, visiting, reading or napping. The meals were excellent. The menu varied daily with wonderful options and preparations. Portions were perfect. We didn't come away overstuffed or wanting. This is an adult cruise. Not enough entertainment for young kids or some adolescents; no video games or play areas, no movie theater or pool. And limited wifi. Perfect for those of us who want to unplug, decompress, and enjoy the unbelievable scenery. Some shore excursions are included in the booking. They have activities to suit everyone, from wheelchair and walker to hiker, runner, fisherman, and kayaker. I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the ... Read More
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the experience and really enjoy BEING there. He had us surrounded by Orcas at one point and was able to cut engines so we could see them up close and one even swam under the bow. The icing on the cake was the Bald Eagle perched on the top of the ice berg as we passed the last iceberg. Everyone began to suspect that they had cued the animals as we passed. MAGICAL!!! Thank you for taking such great care of our Dad and helping to get him off the ship and exploring the sights. Perfect weather was the cherry on top. I don't know how it could have been better. Loved Bill and Laura, Ranger Jenny, and Gary. The food was great - even with my quirky special diet (I believe I put on pounds). Safe travels to you all. Hope to join you again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
A friend recommended this cruise line. We enjoyed both the itinerary and the small ship experience. It was more casual than we expected - comfortable and friendly. The captain was flexible and would stop or turn around if he spotted ... Read More
A friend recommended this cruise line. We enjoyed both the itinerary and the small ship experience. It was more casual than we expected - comfortable and friendly. The captain was flexible and would stop or turn around if he spotted wildlife we would enjoy seeing. The staff definitely wanted to please us. The on-ship entertainment was perfect; no big productions, mainly a couple of multi-talented performers. Excursions were educational - some more interesting than others. Living in a flat-land Midwestern state, we were awed by the vistas every day of the cruise. The other passengers were as enthusiastic as we were spotting bears, mountain goats, seals, sea lions, eagles, puffins, otters, and icebergs. It was thrilling to hear the "thunder" prior to seeing a piece of a glacier fall and plunge into the sea. Birds rushed to that location to feast on the small fish that were brought to the surface. Our best cruise yet. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This cruise was great. The small ship lent itself to stopping when a bear was spotted, getting closer to the glaciers than a larger ship would be able to do.The cabin was quite large, the bed comfortable, and the bathroom roomy. The food ... Read More
This cruise was great. The small ship lent itself to stopping when a bear was spotted, getting closer to the glaciers than a larger ship would be able to do.The cabin was quite large, the bed comfortable, and the bathroom roomy. The food was out of this world. The chef even cooked a salmon caught by a family member for our dinner! The entertainment is strongly lacking--enough so that I can't honestly recommend this cruise line to my friends under 70. Not enough fun entertainment after dinner. The lecturer, while knowledgeable, needed to be only in the afternoon, not afternoon after afternoon, and then evening, too. The service was top notch in every department. The ports were as good as could be with what towns were available.The beginning of my cruise did not go well. No one informed me that I was to meet at a hotel lobby, rather than on the ship, to go on a pre-cruise glacial tour so I missed it.All 8 in my party missed it. Disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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