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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with ... Read More
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with people, but some of the food vendors had some delicious food. We boarded the ship Saturday AM and got underway at 1:00 PM heading towards Memphis, with various stops in between. We had a riverarian and a historian onboard, who gave very interesting talks about the Civil War and the history of the Mississippi. Very interesting talks. Our stateroom was very nice, clean and included a writing desk, a king size bed, 2 end tables, a small closet and an upholstered chair, enough drawer space for some clothing, but we didn’t have to take a lot because the boat had free laundry facilities for the guests. The bathroom was adequate with only a shower, but not enough towel racks or door hooks for clean clothes. We also had a small balcony, which was nice to sit and have a drink or read a book while the boat was on the move. There were plenty of excursions you could sign up for or if you wanted you could explore on your own. Some were complimentary, but most had a fee if you wanted to sign up. There was entertainment every evening after dinner, usually music or a comedy act. The dining room has open seating, so you have the opportunity to meet many people, and these small cruise ships usually have less than 200 passengers. All the servers and deck hands , kitchen staff and cruise directors, etc., are Americans, the boats/ships are all built in the USA, so there is never a problem with communication. Food is usually pretty good, but for some reason the kitchen seemed to be disorganized, therefore food service was very slow. This was our 4th cruise with ACL, and the most disorganized in general. Public areas on the boat were nice and comfortable, whether in the lounges or out on the decks. Happy hour ( 5:30-6:30). is always nice but a bit crowded, sometimes with a line of people waiting for a drink. There were servers with trays of appetizers being passed out and a table with more food and 2 servers to pass out your food of choice. Be careful or you won’t have room for your dinner ( 6:30-8:00). Overall we’ve been really happy with our cruises with ACL and have signed up for our 5th cruise next year. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I almost didn't write this review as I feel that we were not the demographic that this cruise caters to and comparing it to our other cruises might be unfair. However, if we had known a few things upfront, we could have made a better ... Read More
I almost didn't write this review as I feel that we were not the demographic that this cruise caters to and comparing it to our other cruises might be unfair. However, if we had known a few things upfront, we could have made a better decision or been more prepared for what we got. The boat: The boat is very cute. The rooms are adequate in size but furnished in a drab and cheap-looking style. Bathrooms were very small in comparison but were functional. The closet is small, there are several drawers for storage, and there is no safe in the room. There is no refrigerator or water provided in the room but you can go to one of the lounges to get water at any hour. The outside seating areas are nice when sailing although I think more comfortable seating vs. the numerous rocking chairs would have been better. There are three lounges which were used for various activities such as bingo, river talks, evening entertainment, happy hour, etc. and were open all the time. The snack selection was not very good in the lounges as there were soft drinks and packaged snacks such as cheese crackers, fig newtons, and sun chips. Water and coffee were available but no iced tea and no healthy snacks. The cookies that were brought around twice a day were good and a nice touch. The crew: Most of the crew (interior staff) were college kids who were very enthusiastic and helpful but had little to no training. They would try to do anything that was asked of them but did not have the training to provide high-level service without being prompted--not their fault but don't expect much. They were super-nice people and we enjoyed meeting many of the crew members. Dining: What needs to be clearly stated here is that when the website states "Open seating dining allows you to dine where and when you want," what it really means is that every single passenger goes to the dining room at the same time since there is a short window of service and is squeezed into a room with tables that seat large groups of people with no option to sit as a couple. The way it was done is that passengers who came first might be on dessert and passengers who came a few minutes later would be forced to join them if there were empty seats. This was obvious chaos and didn't make a nice dining experience for everyone. Some folks probably really enjoy dining with strangers and that is fine but this could have been much better organized with options for passengers who aren't comfortable joining an already-in-progress table. I have to mention the food quality although this is a tricky subject. As someone who travels in search of the best restaurants and chefs, I feel qualified to say that the quality of the food was sadly very disappointing. It may not have been for some passengers but we found it to be uninspired and bland and some dishes seemed like an experiment of things that don't go together. Maybe the cooks were students in training also. Take that for what it's worth to you as I realize that everyone has different tastes and requirements for food and this may not be the opinion of some. Breakfast was probably the better meal and our room service (only offered at breakfast) was delivered promptly each morning. Dinner is at 5:30 pm and is over by 7:30. Happy hour was also disorganized with a long line for drinks and staff who were doing double duty and weren't really bartenders. Only a few knew how to properly mix drinks. They could have made it easier by having waitstaff take orders or having two lines and having the staff who didn't know how to make the drinks just pour wine and beer and soft drinks. But again, they were willing to try and were very polite and friendly. Entertainment: The evening entertainment that was provided was very enjoyable. It began at 8:15 and lasted about an hour. The first two nights were a musical and comedy show from the Riverlorians on board that gave educational talks in the afternoon and sang in the evenings. They were lovely people and were good singers and a lot of fun. We liked them a lot. The third night was a wonderful jazz duo with a piano player and a trumpet player. Both were amazing and we loved that they played songs we all knew as well as gave us tidbits of education about the music and the writers and famous performers of it. The last night was a cute show with the Victory Belles, three ladies who were performers based at the WWII museum in New Orleans and they did appropriate music for the time period and were very entertaining. Drinks, popcorn, and root beer floats were served. Daytime entertainment consisted of river talks, bingo, and such but that was fine for the size of the boat and the relaxing pace. Excursions and the cruise: One thing to know is that river cruises can change with the conditions of the river and excursions are sometimes changed or cancelled. The Mississippi is very high right now which prevented docking at some of our predetermined stops. This means we missed Oak Alley plantation but Rosedown Plantation was substituted in its place. It also meant that we docked for two nights at Baton Rouge and were bussed out to Houmas House on a longer drive than we would have been. I wish we would have been sailing at night instead of docked but I think that was largely beyond the control of the captain and crew. Both plantations were very nice with Houmas House being our favorite. Our guide there was wonderful and the owner was greeting guests on site which was nice. The grounds are spectacular. There wasn't any communication about these changes beforehand and I think there should have been but they did try to do as much as possible with the situation. Fellow passengers: As others have stated, most passengers are in the over 60-plus category with several over 80. We were younger but always enjoy meeting nice people and everyone was very nice. There is nothing for kids to do and excursions will not interest kids if they have no understanding of the history of the area. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2019
Even though the weather the beginning of March was not optimum, we enjoyed this cruise. Unusual cold front and towns we visited had temperatures only in low to mid 50's. Certainly not American cruise lines fault. A little rain and ... Read More
Even though the weather the beginning of March was not optimum, we enjoyed this cruise. Unusual cold front and towns we visited had temperatures only in low to mid 50's. Certainly not American cruise lines fault. A little rain and overcast. But it was a sightseeing cruise not a beach one. Weather didn't cancel anything (except a little too chilly to sit on balcony). Pre-cruise night was spent on ship instead of hotel. It was Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. Hotel didn't want to put ships passengers up. We got an extra day on ship with meals and entertainment. Food was good. Variety on menu adequate. It was suggested we preorder lunch and dinner at breakfast. We never did this. Always had room service breakfast. Never a problem for us at lunch or dinner not preordering. Wait staff was excellent as were everyone else who worked on the ship. Top rate. Can't praise them high enough. Cabin was a nice size as was the bathroom. It was clean. Only problem was the balcony, there were a few balconies with drains (if I knew i would have requested one). Because of all the rain a few days before the cruise, the balcony had at least an inch of water on it. Maintenance came twice to sweep it out. But as I stated previously, it was a little too cold to sit out on the balcony anyway. Entertainment was good. Beer, wine, soft drinks included with lunch and dinner. Open bar and cocktail hour with appetizers at 5:30 p.m. in lounge before diner. Open bar again at 8:00 p.m. before entertainment in lounge that continued till about 10:00 p.m. Then everyone (including us) went with last drink in hand to cabins. You weren't chased out of lounge. Could have stayed there. People just didn't. As for the age group of the passengers. We are both retired in our 70's, mobil without use of cane or walker. I would say the majority of the passengers were like us. Our dinner table was comprised of six people. Youngest was 63. Oldest was 83. Other four 70ish. So passengers were seniors, but a dancing bunch (had bands with dancing two nights) who also wanted to enjoy themselves and not sit home and vegetate. The few with walkers (I think I saw two wheelchairs) were at the cocktail hours and entertainment. There were very interesting lectures about the civil war and the Mississippi River. Art classes, card games. A small fitness room. Ellipticals, bikes, other exercise equipment. It was lacking a treadmill. On the review I gave to the cruise line, i told them my one complaint was no treadmill. one was needed. Actually it is my only complaint. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2019
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are ... Read More
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are enjoying their experience. I have taken 7 ocean cruises and on rivercruise (20 years ago). If you are expecting in your face activities and craziness, pick something other than a river cruise. This was a celebration cruise for my husband and I, and when greeted when boarding the boat, we were congratulated and on the second day, after returning from a shore excursion, we found champagne and strawberries in our cabin! Every crew member is there to serve you and extend extraordinary customer service, which was evident every minute of the day (we had to ask someone to thread a needle, and they did so with a smile!). When crew members say they love their jobs, that says something about a company! Because the river was running high, a last minute change of itinerary was made and I thought it gave us an even better experience; also, Because we were in the height of Mardi Gras season, instead of staying in a hotel pre-cruise (part of your fare), we stayed on the boat - we were greeted by a lovely buffet and drinks. We were not able to dock at Houmas House or Oak Alley, but those excursions were changed to days when we were in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We cruised up to St. Francisville instead on the first day, and had the choice of three additional excursions (only 2 of the many offered were premium at an extra charge, by the way...). Also in Baton Rouge, which is not the most exciting stop, they added a walking tour by their river guide, which made is all worth while. And because we returned to New Orleans a half day early, excursions to the WW2 museum and a French Quarter walking tour were added! I think this was all handle exceptionally well!!! On the ACL cruises, beer and wine are included at Lunch, cocktail hour, dinner and during the evening entertainment, so you are not running up a tab. The food was excellent and you could request half portions. There were also snacks, coffee, tea, fruit, juice and soda always available in two of the lounges. My husband had never cruised before and I knew that an ocean cruise was out of the question - he thoroughly enjoyed this and we are considering other itineraries in the future. The cost seems high at first, but when I compared it to an ocean cruise with similar accommodations (balcony), and considering that there is no charge for adult beverages, no tipping, free excursions, free WIFI, the cost is comparable. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people ... Read More
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people on-board which gives ample opportunity to meet new people. There were some traveling alone, some in groups as well as couples. The ship was kept immaculate and our room was a nice size. We enjoyed the view from our balcony. We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There was more than enough to eat and drink at all times! There was accommodation for those that needed accommodation to reach the tour buses and tour destinations. We also were very satisfied with the hotel the first night in New Orleans that was part of the cruise package. Loved that the food and entertainment was inclusive of the local area of the cruise. We highly recommend taking this cruise! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
4 night cruise from New Orleans, enjoyed the ports very much, though not a lot of a variety of things to do at each one, to be expected on this itinerary. Visited a few very nice plantation houses, plus Baton Rouge. For those who have ... Read More
4 night cruise from New Orleans, enjoyed the ports very much, though not a lot of a variety of things to do at each one, to be expected on this itinerary. Visited a few very nice plantation houses, plus Baton Rouge. For those who have cruised on the larger ships, this cruise will come as a bit of a shock. The ambiance is very low key, no fancy décor, with basically no activities and nothing to do while on the ship. After dinner for 3 nights a banjo player performed for an hour, that was it for the evening entertainment. Seeing this once was fine, but it got old fast, and I didn't need to see it all 3 nights. Other than that, after dinner there was nothing to do, no schedule activities. The daily happy hour at 5:30 with tasty snacks and open bar was a nice touch, as well as the daily fresh baked cookies, and always available snacks and beverages. The ship staff and crew are friendly, dining room service was fine too. The boat is small, which means no crowds, no lines, getting on and off simple. My overall rating would actually be "good" if that was offered between very good and average. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We got to New Orleans the day before our trip. Two members of our party spent the day at the WWII museum, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The rest of us took the trolley to shop at the French market and enjoy beignets. We were picked up ... Read More
We got to New Orleans the day before our trip. Two members of our party spent the day at the WWII museum, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The rest of us took the trolley to shop at the French market and enjoy beignets. We were picked up at the hotel by the cruise company. Our bags were loaded for us onto the bus. We rode to the ship, where we embarked for snacks at 11:00. Our bags were transferred to our room for us during the welcome aboard! The ship was beautiful, clean, and roomy. The food was FANTASTIC!! There was always a seafood, two different meats, and vegan option for each meal. Meal service was smooth with beautiful table settings. The excursions were interesting and informational about our history. We visited various plantations, and historic towns. The onboard activities featured a river laureate, jazz music, and a sweet and funny comedian. The crew met our every want and need with a smile. It was a spectacular time. We are making plans to travel with America Cruise Line again on a different river. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Our ship, the American Song, was brand new and had only been in service for two weeks before our cruise. Everything was sparkling clean and shipshape. It was a real treat to be onboard such a clean, beautiful ship. One very nice feature is ... Read More
Our ship, the American Song, was brand new and had only been in service for two weeks before our cruise. Everything was sparkling clean and shipshape. It was a real treat to be onboard such a clean, beautiful ship. One very nice feature is that our room heating/cooling system worked great. The cabin temperature controls were easy to use and the system performed well. The staff was unfailingly courteous and helpful. Most of the complimentary shore excursions were very interesting although a little slow-paced for my wife & me. We’re in our early-to-mid-60s and prefer a more active pace. Most of their tours range from an hour to three hours and involve little walking. But most of the passengers looked older than us so the tours probably fit American Cruise Lines’ demographic well. The onboard pilothouse tour given by the ship’s cabin was very interesting. (But I’m an old sailor so I have a bias toward anything nautical.) Riverboat historian Bill’s lectures were terrific. They focused on riverboat history, the Civil War and the Louisiana Purchase. We found them fascinating. He has a great delivery and infuses the subjects with humor. Bill’s wife & entertainment partner is singer Laura and her tribute to women singers was great. Her knowledge of the repertoire starting back in the early 20th century and continuing up to the current day was amazing. The food was very good but designed to appeal to the standard American palate. It’s centered around a large chunk of meat or fish and accompanied by a starch such as potatoes or white rice. Vegetables are an afterthought. I had a hard time getting veggies even when I ordered the vegan options. Salads were mostly lettuce with a very small dollop of dressing. At least, the lettuce was not iceberg. Some fruit was available on a buffet table at breakfast but some was unripe. Dessert was available at both lunch & dinner. Alcoholic beverages flow freely starting with complimentary beer & wine at lunch. Next is happy hour with the added option of free mixed drinks. Happy hour is followed by free beer/wine/mixed drinks at dinner. The WiFi was very slow, so slow as to be mostly unusable. I tried it in a few different locations throughout the ship. I found that I could get a faster connection by using my cellphone to set up a hotspot. We paid for a couple of the “signature” excursions. One was the Atchafalaya tour; we were very disappointed by this. On the day we went the swamp boat’s steering had apparently been worked on recently and put back together backwards; i.e., steering to port sent the boat to starboard and vice versa. Watching the skipper try to leave the dock with this mechanical disability did not inspire confidence. Once away from the dock we didn’t see much wildlife and the tour narration was lacking. On the way back we had a miserable lunch in a local hole-in-the-wall diner. I’ve had better meals at Denny’s. It sounded like the people who took the free tour that day had a better experience. To top it all off when we boarded the bus to return Rush Limbaugh was on the radio, not at all what a couple of lefties like us want to hear. 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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
American Cruise Line Complaint List 1. Four of us took this cruise line for the Mississippi River Cruise. Upon arrival in my room, the bathroom draws were dirty with long dark hairs and tissues that contained makeup residue. I asked ... Read More
American Cruise Line Complaint List 1. Four of us took this cruise line for the Mississippi River Cruise. Upon arrival in my room, the bathroom draws were dirty with long dark hairs and tissues that contained makeup residue. I asked for it to be cleaned. The second day my room was not cleaned when I returned to port. The bathroom had not been touched and used bath towels were still on the floor. I asked the Cruise Manager to have it cleaned and he said he did not have anyone because the cleaning staff is finished at 2PM. This was 3:30 PM. I asked how often the bedding is changed and was told only when necessary. The balcony was filthy with bird droppings, and soot on the chairs and table and spider webs on the railings. It took three days before it was cleaned. There were no outside privacy barriers in place between suites. They attached the canvas barriers on day 5. 2. On the second day the toilet overflowed and water surged into the room. They had to wetvac and use dehumidifiers to contain and control it. When asked what happened we were told “this happens often.” We had to stay out of our rooms for the whole day. 3. Our Travel agent had requested, and was told that a Mah Jongg set would be on board for us. The Mah Jongg set was not on board as promised. The Cruise Director did not seem to have any idea of a request for it. She said she would order it the next day. Two days later we received the Chinese version, which we are not able to play. After several attempts to have someone order the American version (there were several excuses as to why they could not get it) it arrived on Thursday afternoon the second last day of the cruise. 4. The interior décor of the ship was extremely dated and furnishings, fabrics, and accessories were the cheapest quality available. It had the appearance of assisted living facilities from 25 to 30 years ago. Most furniture was very uncomfortable to sit and relax in. 5. The food was terrible. Other guests at the table complained as well. It was tasteless, heavily salted, and lacked a nice presentation. Nothing like the pictures or statements in the brochure. The wine was of the cheapest quality available. The brochure states that premium wines are available if asked for. The Cruise Manager said they did not have any on board. When asked if we would be able to have a better wine selection he said he would see if he could purchase some in port. I had to give him some names since he was not familiar with better quality wines. Several of us, as well as other guests, had problems with hand and feet swelling due to the enormous amount of salt placed in the food. The wait for food was exceptionally long at most meals. 6. The state of the dining room was deplorable. Chairs were dirty with several food spots/stains all over each chair, the chairs were frayed and worn, wood parts were scratched and unstained. The windows were dirty, cobwebs were in all the corners and utensils were not clean. When asked why the flatware was dirty we were told that the dishwasher breaks often and they have to wash by hand (this is a health issue). When we requested ice, they said the ice machine breaks down from time to time. Some of us requested Arnold Palmers with lunch and when they came they looked like lemonade. When we asked to put more ice tea in the drinks they said they were out of ice tea. When 1/2 & 1/2 or cream was requested for coffee they were unable to supply it most of the time. They ran out of it several times and explained they would have to get some at the next port. This is unacceptable to run out of staple items that should be part of their pantry. 7. The wait help is inexperienced, untrained, and unable to provide proper dining room service. The other help lacks appropriate training as well. No one seems to communicate with each other and that affects the quality of the cruise. 8. The dining room apparently had no dress code as people came in unshaven, hair uncombed, in jogging shorts, dirty tees and some wore revealing clothes. 9. In order to appease our protests, by the way which were justified, we were given a private tour of a mansion and we learned that were labeled “the four pests,” to put it mildly. 10. The Atchafalaya Bayou tour was awful. We were told we would be in pontoon boats and when we arrived the boats were metal flatboats with plastic roofs and sides were a hard plastic. The air circulation was extremely poor and it was 93 degrees outside. The metal seats were filthy and we used our hands to wipe the smoot off. There were dead insects all over the boat. The tour was boring and uneventful with an awful lunch that followed. 11. The last night of the trip one of us got violently ill with stomach cramps and uncontrollable diarrhea, probably from the unclean utensils. They had no access to medical care which, by the way is a liability while traveling. I had to take her to the Tulane University ER at 5:30 AM. I had to get a cab and haul two suitcases out to the cab as well. No one offered to help. 12. At 8:15AM I called the tour director to tell her that I would be getting a cab to make the 8:30 AM New Orleans Tour with transport to the airport. She said they were about to leave. I asked her to call the bus and ask them to wait since I would be there shortly. She said the bus won’t answer their phone and suggested that I just go to the airport and wait for my flight which was at 2:50 PM. I could not believe her disinterest and cold, and uncaring manner. 13. They put early breakfast out in the two lounges at 6:30 AM for what they called “early risers.” The supplied coffees, teas, and muffins. You ended up making the large coffee pot yourself because they never arrived at 6:30 AM and of course there was no cream, only milk. The display of muffins was so sparse, usually 5 to 6, that if you did not get there on time you were out of luck. 14. On our return trip at the airport we meet fellow passengers who volunteered experiences of the cruise. Major criticisms were: the terrible food and wines; the inexperienced and untrained help; the dated décor of the ship and rooms; as well as mediocre shore excursions. The main complaint was the price of the trip and what was received in return. All said they would not recommend this trip to others. 15. This was the worst and most unprofessional travel experience my friends and I have ever encountered! On their web site they state “The gracious hospitality and personalized service of the American Cruise Lines staff is what we are known for, as is the exquisite cuisine prepared each day by our master chefs. On board and ashore, we work with our guests to accommodate specific interests, tastes, and needs.” Our motto is Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly. ® This is FALSE ADVERTISING and far from the truth. We contacted the company for compensation and they put us off and never returned our calls. They are unprofessional disinterested in their clientele. They take your money and don't care about providing a an appropriate experience. Be cautious with this cruise line.! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I just got back a few days ago from a cruise on the America. I was on the four night Highlights of the Mississippi, which is a round trip out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. I will do this in sections: I’m a solo traveler, not a ... Read More
I just got back a few days ago from a cruise on the America. I was on the four night Highlights of the Mississippi, which is a round trip out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. I will do this in sections: I’m a solo traveler, not a foodie, who was looking to this trip to simply relax. Not really into excursions and certainly not a foodie. I have the taste buds of 12 year old. The room: I had a single balcony. Compared to rooms on standard cruises, it was a palace. It was larger than a standard stateroom. For those who share my coffee addiction, the room had a Keurig to make your own coffee in. The walls are thin though, so if you are the “early to bed” type, bring some decent ear plugs. For those of you used to regular cruises, the bathroom will be a pleasant surprise. It was a decent sized and had a real shower with a glass door. I had read how unreliable the wi-fi was, but had good luck with it except for one morning. The boat: It was nice, and plenty of comfortable places to relax. With only around 180 people on the boat, no place was ever crowded and if you wanted solitude you could find it. There were 2 lounges which the staff did an excellent job of keeping stocked. Coffee, soda, juices and snacks (Sun Chips, peanut butter crackers, breakfast bars, that type of thing), and an ice machine. The ship had laundry facilities – 2 washers, 2 dryers, Tide pods and dryer sheets. Exercise room. 2 bikes and 2 elliptical machines, plus 2 other machines for weight training. The food: This was the only negative for me, and there isn’t much to do about it. There is only one choice on the ship, and that is to eat in the dining room. I did miss being able to choose just having a quick lunch at the buffet or the deli on a regular cruise. When you eat on the boat, you are making a commitment to typically 60-90 minutes as you have an appetizer, entrée and dessert to get through. Each evening dinner was at 6:30 p.m. and at 5:30 you could get drinks and snacks in one of the lounges. At dinner, there was a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine on the table. You can bring whatever alcohol you like on board. They don’t have any place to purchase drinks. The food itself was OK (I’m not a foodie). You typically had 2 choices for the appetizer, 4 for the entrée (one being Vegan), and 2 choices for dessert. The wait staff worked hard. You could get room service breakfast, and I never did that so can’t speak to it. Usually an hour before breakfast in the dining room, they put out muffins and juice in the lounges, so that ‘s what I ate. I only did breakfast in the dining room once. I was very concerned about the dress code, and some people did dress up for dinner in the dining room, but not everyone. Where what makes you happy. The hotel before the cruise: I stayed at the Intercontinental in New Orleans. Very nice hotel and a great experience. When I checked in I was given a packet with my cruise information. I could get into my room right away, and there was even a fruit plate, a bottle of water and a piece of chocolate waiting for me. Not sure why as no one else seemed to get this (maybe left from the previous guest Read Less
13 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ... Read More
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ocean cruises and very nicely appointed. Dining is everyone at one time which is nice. It starts at 7:30 am for breakfast, 12:30pm for lunch and 6:30 for dinner. The food is outstanding with "different" and better recipes than the ocean cruise lines. Entertainment is a little lacking but understandable. Service was excellent. The ship is manned by mostly college aged people. They did an outstanding job and I was impressed. I do not believe I would do any part of the Mississippi river again but I think the Snake River would be interesting. The Mississippi lacked scenery for one thing and the river is mostly commercial traffic. The shore excursions provided at no cost by the ship were very interesting. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to meet the other passengers and relax after an interesting day. The included excursions are informative and fun. The entertainment is varied and good. I was especially impressed with number of areas on the ship for relaxation, entertainment, early coffee, playing games or just conversing -- both inside and out. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in the history of the south -- especially the Civil War period. The only thing to take into consideration is the age of the passengers. I am 75 and think I was average or below the age of most of the guests. That may be a factor for some, but people who still want to travel at that age are interesting and vibrant even if they do not move as well as they once did. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar ... Read More
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar experience. WRONG! We had complimentary night at the InterContinental in New Orleans before the cruise and when we went down to breakfast with the other passengers we were given some insight into what was to come. Many of the passengers were on walkers or canes. The loading of the buses to travel to the boat took 45 minutes - really haven't the cruise line done this before?? We got onboard to find our cabin on the 4th. deck was adequate but when we stepped out onto our balcony we found the dividing partition was missing and we shared a balcony with the next door neighbour, ( who were nice), but not what we expected. The dining room was open seating which meant we got to meet many other passengers, nearly all from the US, l many older than our 71 years, but interesting to speak with. The food was not up to cruise ship standard and certainly not up to the 6 star price we paid. The service staff were pleasant and tried to please. The lecturers were interesting and were well informed. The included excursions were OK with the Vicksburg day being a highlight to us as non US citizens. We would not cruise with ACL again but the company will probably continue to prosper as they have a captive audience of Americans who wont travel out of their country and don't realise how bad value their cruises are. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. ... Read More
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. He had previously done this cruise, many years ago, so he said all good things about it. It was a lot of fun, cabin was spacious, lots of room, king size bed, with balcony; bathroom was nice, with ADA compliant features. Shower had good water pressure. We were only a short walk to either one of different lounges, plus 1 floor above dining room. All very convenient and never got lost. This ship had 5 decks. Staff was exceptional, and always willing to help, and the Captain invited groups to tour the pilot house, where he explained what happens, while steering up/down the river. He was very informative, and we learned a lot. Dining room was always nice, clean, pretty linens/napkins, and our waiter, Jonathan, was OH SO GREAT!!! and AWESOME!!! and HELPFUL, friendly, and saw to anything that was needed, during the meal. He was also knowledgeable about foods and aimed to please. Entertainment nightly, was the flavor of New Orleans jazz and blues; All entertainers we saw were very professional, and they put on great shows for us, lasting about 1 hour 30 mins. Had good variety of onshore excursions to pick from, mostly plantations and a battlefield, in Vicksburg. Plantations on this trip were Oak Alley, Rosedown Plantation, and Houmas House, with couple of city tours, too. Only "negative" was the Vicksburg bus tour, through the battlefields, tended to be a bit drawn out, (long time to sit on bus), with narrator being a bit long winded. Most of tours were built-in to price of cruise, but had a few extra ones, that had an additional charge. Embarking and disembarking was a cinch -- so easy, with no waiting in lines!!! This is definitely the main reason why small ships are best. No MEGA SHIPS for us!! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the ... Read More
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the flowers, trees, statuary (and very unusual and quirky statues) swan pond, fountains, and the house was gorgeous as well. Oak Alley Plantation was beautiful as well, and on our swamp tour we saw some gators, one up close, and even had one of the flying fish land on our boat, a most unusual happening we are told! New Orleans was delightful. Loved the Cathedral and French Quarter, Cafe Monde has great beignets and chicory coffee. The food onboard was top drawer, amazing chef. I particularly loved the soups. I would highly recommend this tour. Also, my husband uses a cane and walks slowly, and he never felt like he had to hurry on this cruise to catch up. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. ... Read More
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. From the hotel stay the night before (The Intercontinental in New Orleans) to the Old Southern Plantations we visited all along the way, we had just the best time. The ship is smaller than ocean going vessels and we found that we really loved that. It was easy to make friends fast and by the end of the cruise you felt that you had an extended family. I personally had about 6 of the staff that I wanted to adopt. Just so enjoyable and fun! The crew was simply amazing and the food was to die for (and I mean delicious beyond words!). Absolutely the best food I've ever had...not just on any other cruise...just ever! All meats and produce are fresh and locally sourced. And you can request "anything" and the chef will make it for you. Anytime we needed anything, the crew was quick to provide it. For this trip we would have liked a bit more on board entertainment and we found that for some of the excursions there was a hic up on the buses running on time but those were minor to our overall enjoyment. Everyone worked very hard to make your time extra special. There was just that personal touch about everything. I would most definitely take a small boat cruise again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We are quite elderly and didn't want the hassle of flying to Europe - this was a perfect solution for us - and it was easy and pleasant and educational - the amenities were excellent as was the service - altogether a delightful trip! ... Read More
We are quite elderly and didn't want the hassle of flying to Europe - this was a perfect solution for us - and it was easy and pleasant and educational - the amenities were excellent as was the service - altogether a delightful trip! We also met nice people on board - fun to sit with different ones every meal. We would certainly consider another trip on American Cruise Lines. There were no children on our cruise, but I am sure children would love it too - the waters were smooth and no one got seasick - and the boat was big enough so that children would never be a nuisance by being under foot. We loved the whole idea of this trip and would certainly consider going again to another part of the United States - in fact I am looking forward to doing that soon! A great vacation! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
We wanted a ‘celebratory’ glass of wine on our arrival, but no, bar is locked down until 5:30. REALLY! Food was served like you would expect in a nursing home. Luke warm because it was dished up so early. Second morning it took ... Read More
We wanted a ‘celebratory’ glass of wine on our arrival, but no, bar is locked down until 5:30. REALLY! Food was served like you would expect in a nursing home. Luke warm because it was dished up so early. Second morning it took 45 minutes for 2 fried eggs. Ridiculous! Wait staff was generally very nice but under trained. Worst staff were the supervisors. Some were most rude. We considered leaving the ship early, but as there are 6 of us, we decided we would make the best of it. We travel extensively and never, never have we had such a dreadful trip. I would strongly recommend you avoid this cruise line at all cost. If they offered to give me a suite at no cost, I would not accept. This is only a small amount of our complaints, and there were many other complaints heard from others passengers. Entertainment—The worst ever. Finally, at the end of the week we had Judy, fabulous! Jazz Band, great! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
I find it hard to believe that the performance of this company rates any more than one star. The service is poor purely because virtually all the staff have been with the company for either a few days or at best a few weeks. Alcohol is ... Read More
I find it hard to believe that the performance of this company rates any more than one star. The service is poor purely because virtually all the staff have been with the company for either a few days or at best a few weeks. Alcohol is included but victims, sorry I meant guests are only allowed a drink during brief windows of opportunity. The food is worse than I had at school and having said that I went to the same school as Oliver Twist. All of this looks great when compared to the in house entertainment. Quite simply until the last couple of nights it was non existent. The husband and wife team were not appropriate for such a highly priced cruise. Many guests felt as we did although some were prepared to overlook all of the above because we stopped at some nice places. My advice would be do go up the Mississippi and do visit New Orleans but until American Cruise line improve dramatically avoid them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2018
I am an experienced cruiser who knows the coasts and many international destinations, but never have been on or around the Mighty Mississippi. This cruise offered a comfortable ship with an interesting itinerary. The 8-day, 7-night ... Read More
I am an experienced cruiser who knows the coasts and many international destinations, but never have been on or around the Mighty Mississippi. This cruise offered a comfortable ship with an interesting itinerary. The 8-day, 7-night package included a pre-cruise overnight hotel in downtown New Orleans, allowing some time to explore and an easy transfer to Queen of the Mississippi. To see more of New Orleans, I strongly suggest adding 1 or 2 more days in the Big Easy. There is lots to do and see in New Orleans. The Queen is beautiful with cabins like a modern cruise ship and nearly non-stop food opportunities. We sailed with 148 guests, close to capacity. The dining room, lounges and functions accommodated us all without overcrowding. The itinerary was New Orleans to Memphis, with stops every day but one. The river was pleasant, but carries almost exclusively commercial traffic in the lower Mississippi. Lots of tows and barges. Most of the offered excursions were complimentary, and many of them were so-so. Some felt crowded. Ask about "signature excursions" when you call. I didn't go on the "VIP Graceland" excursion and can't comment on that one. My favorite excursion was the Vicksburg battlefield guided tour. Awesome, but would be better if you could get off the coach more often. Dining was excellent; don't plan on losing weight. The cabin review follows. Free wireless internet is available and on par with most cruise ships. It always worked but could get pretty slow, especially during peak hours. A fitness center is available, as is a small guest laundry (free) with 2 washers and 2 dryers. Forget the casinos and swimming pools, it's a small ship. Should you go upriver or downriver? There is a strong current in the Mississippi. It takes a lot of power to go upstream and maintain an itinerary. This means a certain amount of shaking/vibration at high power. I didn't mind, but some cruisers complained about it. A cabin toward the bow is better in this regard. Shouldn't be a issue downstream. We had a great historian and pianist to illuminate the cruise. We also had an excellent banjo/bass combo that everyone enjoyed. The only miss (my opinion) was a jazz combo that made me think of hotel lounges and leisure suits. But they weren't bad. Debarkation was by 8:00 am on departure day. You can book an airport transfer if you want one. If you debark in Memphis, you can expect to arrive at the close-by airport by 9:00 am. I'm glad I took this cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
This was our 11th cruise with American Cruise Lines so we are clearly fans of the concept and experience. You have to understand what you are buying into - same price as Silversea, etc. but a totally different vibe. Yes, wine and beer at ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise with American Cruise Lines so we are clearly fans of the concept and experience. You have to understand what you are buying into - same price as Silversea, etc. but a totally different vibe. Yes, wine and beer at lunch and dinner, but nothing high end and very limited selection. One day the bulk chardonnay was not unpacked and the next day it was not chilled. Yes, some top shelf spirits at 5:30 cocktail hour. You book this cruise line for a domestic cruise experience without international airports, very small ships, the opportunity to socialize with other well traveled adults, and get acquainted with the robust young American staff. We will go again - already booked for September in New England - but there were some niggling problems this trip which made my overall rating Very Good instead of Excellent. The chef on this trip was excellent and the food was wonderful. Beverage service, i.e. water and coffee was slow and sometimes we had to ask multiple times for refills or even first cup of coffee with dessert. Pastry chef was great - don't miss the chocolate fudge layer cake, now seems to be a weekly American Cruise Lines tradition on any trip. We picked the same waitress at most meals and she was sweet but undertrained and we had to ask several times for butter, hot sauce and other things which should have been on the table. Ports were small southern towns and there was lots of scenery and quiet traveling. The musical entertainment every night was special and professional - we loved the Victory Belles and the Dan Knowles/Eddie Coffey duo. A real plus this year was extra golf carts in the ports for transport over rough terrain (river levees) to the tour buses - a much needed benefit for a somewhat older traveling crowd. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2018
Had always dreamed of going to New Orleans and visiting the South. This cruise seemed to include most places we wanted to see and we were not disappointed. It exceeded our expectations with the ports of call and excursions. We ... Read More
Had always dreamed of going to New Orleans and visiting the South. This cruise seemed to include most places we wanted to see and we were not disappointed. It exceeded our expectations with the ports of call and excursions. We enjoyed the small ship feeling but our single staterooms were very roomy with all of the amenities needed. The food was superb, best seafood I have had in along time. Best crab cakes I've ever eaten. There were a lot of choices, even for the Vegans. The crew were so enthusiastic and did a great job of looking after us. The positive attitude of everyone was a breath of fresh air and they were very professional even though most of them were new to the cruise. Kudos to the Hotel Manager, Jason, who kept everything under control. We enjoyed the experience so much that have booked another cruise for 2020. We look forward to travelling with American Cruises 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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2018
We had been on ACL America and LOVED the experience. Then we tried their competitor which was really awful. We returned to ACL and enjoyed such a lovely time, we booked another cruise while on board. The staff is so very friendly and ... Read More
We had been on ACL America and LOVED the experience. Then we tried their competitor which was really awful. We returned to ACL and enjoyed such a lovely time, we booked another cruise while on board. The staff is so very friendly and treat passengers as welcomed guests. Every crew member went the extra mile to make certain each person enjoyed their vacation. Open bar serving top shelf mixed drinks, delicious and varied hors oeuvres. Excellent wine on tables during supper with wine offered during lunch. Entertainment was excellent. Every night root beer floats, sundaes and popcorn were served right before floor show--fun treat! Since Mississippi river was unusually high, boat was unable to dock in some ports. Crew made arrangements for us to be bussed to activities and went above and beyond to make certain we enjoyed our experience. We were pampered and all enjoyed the casual and personal attention. It is clear this ship line knows how to cater to an older more refined, well travelled group. Read Less
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