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Sail Date: October 2018
Although the leaves had not turned yet, the cruise was very enjoyable. The crew was great, the food was quite good, the entertainment was very good (some were better than others) and the excursions were excellent. A tour of Albany, a ... Read More
Although the leaves had not turned yet, the cruise was very enjoyable. The crew was great, the food was quite good, the entertainment was very good (some were better than others) and the excursions were excellent. A tour of Albany, a chairlift ride up Hunter Mountain, a tour of West Point, a walk across the Hudson River on what used to be a railroad bridge, a tour of Hyde Park (Franklin Roosevelt's historic home), a tour of Lyndhurst Gothic Mansion (all decked out for Halloween!) and a bus tour of NYC, including a stop at the 9/11 Memorial, were the excursions I enjoyed. They are reasonably priced too. I travelled by myself and meeting people on American Cruise Ships is really easy because they are smaller and more intimate. Since it's a smaller ship, you tend to see familiar faces in the dining room, during the cocktail hours every evening (which are included) and on excursions. I really like the "everything's included" feature so I don't have to figure out who to tip how much and I don't have to worry about how much I'm spending on drinks, alcoholic or otherwise. The crew is all American so there isn't a language barrier. My single cabin was quite adequate sizewise and so was the storage space. The bathroom was larger than some on other cruise ships. All in all, it was a great cruise! I have another, my third American Cruise, lined up next May to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
First American Cruise Lines cruise and wanted to experience a cruise close to home and looked forward to the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and its history. Shore excursions were great but I would like to have participated in more of ... Read More
First American Cruise Lines cruise and wanted to experience a cruise close to home and looked forward to the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and its history. Shore excursions were great but I would like to have participated in more of them. Fall color was unfortunately behind schedule but we did see some by the end of the trip. The new ship was excellent with a great staff. Public rooms were awesome. I would have liked more history lectures on the Hudson River Valley. The tour of New York State Capitol, Sunnyside, West Point, the FDR estate were excellent.I have already booked my next cruise with American Cruise Lines to Southeast Alaska. American has an excellent selection of cruises all over the USA. I would like to do the Columbia and Snake River cruise as well as the Mississippi River cruise. Overall I was very impressed with my first American Cruise Lines cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organized and went smoothly. The cruise was well run, the ship is well maintained and extremely clean. Our cabin was more than adequate with space for all our gear. The food service was pure gourmet. Menu choices were provided each morning at breakfast for the day but you were not held to your choices if there was a change of mind. Entertainment and on board activities were adequate with Happy Hour being a delight. There was an on board lecturer who made a few historic blunders but to my knowledge no one called her on them. She came off as an absent minded professor type. We selected a few of the provided excursions but elected to go out on our own at a few ports. All in all it was a great trip. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was always windy and it rained 2 days and even snowed one morning. River cruising means very little motion, therefore no one was ever sea sick. There were only 80 passengers on board, so the ratio of service persons to passengers was excellent. All drinks were included in the fare and happy hour was held each night with wine/beer provided at lunch and dinner. If you're looking for a fast paced, party atmosphere, this is NOT the cruise for you. It is slow paced and relaxing, perfect for retreating from a hectic paced life. I would say the average age of the passengers was upper 60s. The ship has multiple areas for social gatherings and playing games (pack your playing cards). If you're sending post cards, they are mailed every day and you do NOT need stamps. The ship had reading material for our destinations and some lectures; but it would have been helpful if we had studied up a bit prior to the cruise. All of the cabins are incredibly spacious, larger than our master suite at home. Cabins do NOT have safes, so plan accordingly, though we felt secure the entire time on board. All cabins have TV/cable service and DVD players. The ship's library had a limited selection of DVDs; we watched old John Wayne movies in our room each night after the social hour of pleasant, entertainment (geared for the age group on board). For our next cruise, we'll pack a few of our favorite DVDs. We would take this cruise again, but perhaps go a week earlier, though being able to predict peak leaf time is difficult since weather is unpredictable. However, the farther we traveled up river, the more variety and vivid the leaves became. The best part of the cruise was the friendliness of the crew and service personnel. Since the amount of passengers is relatively small, we were able to get to know many of the passengers who were happy to be traveling. The relaxing atmosphere on board, made for great fellowship. I did not see one passenger complain or whine. We also made some life long friends aboard and are planning future trips with them. As with any experience, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. The food was superior and the chef accommodated special needs or requests whenever able. Gratuities are included in the fare, so that made it convenient. Travel to and from the Manhattan port was expensive and traffic is always congested; try to share taxis whenever possible and avoid LaGuardia which is undergoing some pretty extensive construction for all gates and parking. The internet connections were often sketchy, but if you're cruising, you need to unplug anyway. There are computers with printers on board for accessing your plane tickets and pre printing boarding passes. Be sure to include an overnight bag for your last night on board, it will make luggage transfer go very smoothly. Have a great time, sit back, and enjoy the ride. You'll return with a lowered blood pressure and a few extra joyfully gained pounds, and hopefully some wonderful new friends! Autumn will become your favorite season! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and ... Read More
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and full-time employees, but also the deck hands and the waitstaff/stewards. Everyone aims to please. Next, the ship is immaculate inside and out. The cabin is comfortable and fully furnished. The common areas provide amble seating and stylish decor. All areas are well-lit and welcoming. Dining on ACL is like dining in a five star restaurant. The menu is varied, with options to suit everyone. The offerings are contemporary and tastefully presented. Every meal is delicious and satisfying. We were never disappointed. The activities and shore excursions included an adequate variety, including walking tours, bus tours, and plenty of local flavor. Both Austin, the Cruise Director, and Sandy Balla, the onboard historian, interjected humor and patience in all their activities. Their insight and knowledge greatly improved the tours and onboard activities. Most of the evening guest performers were great, although some were clearly a cut above others. Finally, this was our fifth ACL vacation, and we've already booked another for next year. I'm sure a could write more, but this will do. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
There is so much history on our rivers and you can only see such beauty when cruising. American Cruise Lines is a wonderful company to cruise these rivers with. The Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Rooms are comfortable and clean. ... Read More
There is so much history on our rivers and you can only see such beauty when cruising. American Cruise Lines is a wonderful company to cruise these rivers with. The Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Rooms are comfortable and clean. The cuisine was exceptional. They took great care in the details of our cruise. Because it is not a LARGE ship, and the passenger list is small compared to larger ship cruise companies, you have a chance to meet and mingle with amazing passengers from all over. You get to know them and even become friends when the cruise is over. Passengers that would be most like you because they chose the same trip as you did. Its intimate, and personal, the staff learns quickly your wants and needs and will make every effort to make your trip a memorable one. They often call you by name, and take time to ask you how your day was. Its a good choice if you want a stress free cruise, without all the noise and chaos of larger ship. Starting with your info packette, to your arrival at port, and ending with your arrangements made for you to the airport, this cruise is for you. If you want your meals well planned and visually appealing, and flavorful, dine with American. We met many couples who were on their 4 or 5th cruise, and even some who are solo travelers on their 7th and 8th trip with American! You are well taken care of. This is a wonderful experience for those of us who are older than 55. We truly enjoyed our 1st and recently, our 2nd cruise with American. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much ... Read More
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much better to be able to have a real conversation with staff who can speak English. As a former professor I enjoyed talking to the university students who comprised most of the crew - a novel idea by the cruise line. I also like paying one tip at the end of the cruise instead of having to pay every staff member. The crew were most pleasant and helpful and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The Historian on this cruise was outstanding and I am hoping he will be on the next cruise that I am taking. The shore excursions were very enjoyable and it is so much better to go with a small group than with 3,000 or more fellow passengers. Transportation to and from the excursions was well planned and for the most part included knowledgeable guides from the local area. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures are well planned and accommodate most needs. The tour director even said good bye to us when we left at 6:00 a.m. and a crew member accompanied us the our airport transportation and helped with our baggage. Many of the passengers are senior citizens and I appreciated the fact that our special needs were met by helpful crew members. I liked the slower pace of the cruise and the recognition of us as important members of society who still like to travel Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
Marvelous cruise overall. Weather was perfect. Crew was exemplary. Ports were well chosen and of great interest for the most part. Highlights were West Point, Albany and Hyde Park. The Independence is beautifully designed, with ample ... Read More
Marvelous cruise overall. Weather was perfect. Crew was exemplary. Ports were well chosen and of great interest for the most part. Highlights were West Point, Albany and Hyde Park. The Independence is beautifully designed, with ample public rooms. Public restroom facilities were minimal to say the least. Food was very good, as were the choices offered. Soups were outstanding. Not everyone is used to a hot meal for lunch every day. While salads are a fair substitute for many people, it would be a great improvement if a sandwich could also be offered at lunch time.. Embarkation pier (61) was not as advertised (59), creating much confusion for the taxi driver. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2014
We had been on the Independence two years before going up the Maine coast. We enjoyed it so much that we signed up for the Hudson River cruise (and also have another planned for 2015 down the Mississippi). Before our trip up the Hudson we ... Read More
We had been on the Independence two years before going up the Maine coast. We enjoyed it so much that we signed up for the Hudson River cruise (and also have another planned for 2015 down the Mississippi). Before our trip up the Hudson we stayed at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and saw two Broadway shows. On Sunday morning a short taxi ride took us to the American Cruise Line ship, the Independence. I cannot say enough about the cruise. Our room was larger than on most large cruise ships, the room service was always great. The food was excellent (on both cruises). Because the ship is staffed with young people who multi-task, you have them serving your breakfast bright and early (or later if you want), and then you see them in the halls cleaning rooms and halls! They are ALWAYS pleasant and fun to get to know. And the do work very hard. Lunch and dinner are always a pleasure to look forward to. You pick your food choices for that day's meals at breakfast but if you change your mind - it is not a problem. There are educational talks daily regarding the shoreline and the state we are in plus some nightly local entertainment. All in all, it has just the right amount of free times vs. shore excursions vs. entertainment. A very relaxing and rewarding trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014
As members of the Eagle Society, we are dedicated to cruising on American Cruise Lines. The Hudson River Fall Foliage Cruise was our most recent and 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We thoroughly enjoy each cruise so we continue to ... Read More
As members of the Eagle Society, we are dedicated to cruising on American Cruise Lines. The Hudson River Fall Foliage Cruise was our most recent and 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We thoroughly enjoy each cruise so we continue to explore their further offerings. Our next adventure will be the Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise. There are many reasons why we continue to cruise with American. The number one reason is that we love the small ship experience. There are always so many interesting people on board. Because the number of passengers is limited, one has an opportunity to meet everyone. The cabins are spacious and very comfortable. The service staff is most accommodating and the delicious gourmet cuisine is a reflection of the area in which we sail. The ports of call are always so interesting. The cruise is enhanced by the presence of on board historians to further the educational experience both culturally and historically. Bill Ewen further complimented our most recent trip with his in depth lectures of the area. We always find our trips with American Cruise Lines to be first rate and will continue to enjoy their hospitality. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2013
First, let me say that this was our third cruise on the American Star, and that we have already booked two more with American Cruise Lines--on the Mississippi and then in Maine. Previously we toured the New England Islands and the ... Read More
First, let me say that this was our third cruise on the American Star, and that we have already booked two more with American Cruise Lines--on the Mississippi and then in Maine. Previously we toured the New England Islands and the Intracoastal waterway from South Carolina to Florida. Although we have traveled a lot on Regent and Seabourn ships,, the far more casual atmosphere of ACL is very appealing. The food is quite good, though admittedly the selection is far more limited than on the ocean-going ships, and the service is not as professional (these are, after all, young American kids). But there's something rather nice about having them around instead of waiters who dress more formally than the guests. And the fact that there are only 100 passengers means that the staff actually knows your name in short order (the fact that you wear name tags does help everyone become acquainted in short order). Also, there is a cocktail hour every evening aboard ACL vessels, with good brands being poured, and rather freely. Furthermore, although you can order half portions at all meals, food is constantly being handed to you--cookies in the morning, if you are aboard, hors d'oeuvres at cocktail time, and then popcorn and root beer floats or sundaes in the evening with some sort of fairly casual entertainment brought aboard from a nearby town. Oh, and, of course, you are free to bring your own alcohol aboard with you as well. Now let me say something about the cruise itself. The Hudson is a very interesting river for a couple of reasons: its history, including the long-term efforts to clean it from the pollution generated by chemical dumping by corporations at a time no one was much aware of its carcinogenic potential, and the fact that the river is tidal, which means that the water flows both north and south. The foliage was gorgeous, though more subdued than one would find in the Berkshires or Vermont. One stop was Olana, the home of one of the Hudson River School painters, Frederick Church, and one can easily see why he was drawn to the location. Others stops were Albany (much more interesting a city than we had anticipated, probably because we had a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, West Point and Hyde Park, which need no comments, since they stand on their own as interesting destinations, Kingston, which was made more enjoyable because it is the town where the ship's resident expert, Sandy Balla, actually lives, and tours of the homes of both robber baron Jay Gould and Washington Irving near Sleepy Hollow. The contrast between the ostentation of Mr. Gould and homey feel of the residence of Ichabod Crane's creator was worth the visit. All in all, the trip was worth every penny and the fact that we live within driving distance means that we shall definitely return on our own. The only negatives we have to say about our experience is that driving to Chelsea Pier in Manhattan is not exactly a pleasant thing to do, but mitigated by the fact that parking is available very close to the pier. The other is that mobility is an issue to take into consideration for some folks, since there are distances to walk to some of the sites, and some stairs to climb. Those of us without that issue also had to be patient getting on and especially off buses (some were not) as those who were physically challenged slowly made their way down the aisle. Not everyone was elderly, but some were. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2007
My wife and I (ages 65, 67) just returned from a fantastic New England cruise aboard the American Spirit. The food and snacks were fabulous as was the ports Our Nantucket stop was heavenly as was all of our stops. The crew is so personal ... Read More
My wife and I (ages 65, 67) just returned from a fantastic New England cruise aboard the American Spirit. The food and snacks were fabulous as was the ports Our Nantucket stop was heavenly as was all of our stops. The crew is so personal and great they make sure everyone is happy. I've never seen passengers smiling so much, it Was wonderful. You travel so close to the ports, you really get a feel for the local histories. In New Bedford (a tiny port, right?) NO WAY! We visited their WhalingMuseum (great) A couple local bars (really great), then they had a local jazz duo come aboard and Play during cocktails. My wife made requests and we even bought their CD. If you've never cruise a smaller ship I cannot recommend this enough. It was fun Romantic and very relaxing. You could choose to be active or just lay back. Cruise director Jackie was so accommodating I swear she never sleeps We are booking another cruise next year with American Cruise Lines!! Read Less
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