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269 American Cruise Lines North America River Cruise Reviews

This was our 5th cruise with American Cruise Line and was the most disappointing as far as services provided and the lack of knowledge of the program director, Chelsea. On our tours, there should have been an american cruise personnel on ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise with American Cruise Line and was the most disappointing as far as services provided and the lack of knowledge of the program director, Chelsea. On our tours, there should have been an american cruise personnel on each tour. In fact, on one tour a passenger handed out the lunches! The staff was very disorganized and unavailable. Our waiter, Kurk was exceptional and the food was prepared well. The entertainment on board was just satisfactory. The tours were good but not exceptional. We were disappointed with the cleanliness of our stateroom. In the future, we tried to book another tour on board which no one was able to help us with. We tried to booked a future cruise on board, and when we went to leave a deposit we were told that the room was no longer available. We are disappointed with the staff and the Home Office has not been satisfactory with helping us book this new trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We arrived in New York City 5 days prior to the cruise so we could explore the city as we hadn't been back there for almost 15 years. Stayed at Embassy Suites Midtown, great location for walking and taking the subway. Embarkation ... Read More
We arrived in New York City 5 days prior to the cruise so we could explore the city as we hadn't been back there for almost 15 years. Stayed at Embassy Suites Midtown, great location for walking and taking the subway. Embarkation was easy and quick. Just dropped off the bags and they had pedi-cabs to take us to the ship around the corner. We had an AC cabin with balcony. Had nice amount of space, and of course small bathroom (no bathrooms are big on ships). Food was excellent with lots of lobster, scallops, shrimp even thought this wasn't a New England cruise. The entertainment was low key, with local singers, comedians brought on board as we cruised. Service was excellent and crew really tried hard. The "river historian" or whatever the overall guide is called had emergency gall bladder surgery so didn't show up, can't blame her! In mid cruise we had a new guide, Robert who was excellent. Lots of background on the places we were going and very entertaining. All of the shore excursions were excellent. We did FDR's mansion, Vanderbilt mansion, West Point, Sleepy Hallow and lots more. Good guides throughout. The only negative with this cruise is the price. It's an American built ship, two years old, American Crew, and good American food. So everyone gets paid American wages instead of the low paid crews of the international ships. This was the most expensive one week cruise we've ever done, and we did it for the itinerary. Most all of their other routes, we've done either as a land vacation or big ship experience, so we didn't book a future cruise. We had a very enjoyable time. If you can afford it, we'd recommend the experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise because the ship was brand new!!! It was beautiful, spacious, clean and the crew was fabulous. All food was great except for a few times. The cabin was large. The entertainment was pretty basic and I would have liked ... Read More
I chose this cruise because the ship was brand new!!! It was beautiful, spacious, clean and the crew was fabulous. All food was great except for a few times. The cabin was large. The entertainment was pretty basic and I would have liked more band music for dancing, more, more, more. One entertainer was on 3 nights which was too much. She was good but more variety would have been better. Singing by an on board person was not great. They should have listened to her before they let her sing two numbers. Very amateur. The service was always top notch. Shore excursions climbing over the levies was hard for some people, rough walking. The Plantation tours were wonderful but the town shuttles were a little bit less than I had anticipated for things to see and do in each town. The towns were small so guess I couldn't expect a lot more. Again, the crew, fabulous!!! Thank you. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it ... Read More
I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it didn’t seem they had much training. The food was 5 out of 10; a great disappointment. If you like being lectured, that was the primary entertainment although a Mark Twain imitator was a very good storyteller. Our suite was very nice and the highlight. On and off was easy. Even though the food was lackluster, I liked the idea that we could order 1/2 orders. I am a light eater and hate to waste food so saw this as something other cruise lines would be smart to emulate. The decor in the public areas is beautiful and comfortable, however, when it rained, none of the cushions were removed from the rain therefore they were “unsittable” for quite some time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose this cruise line because they had the itinerary we were interested in. The seaside towns and islands visited were quaint and picturesque. Everything we were hoping for. The ship, however, was horrible. I found the crew to be ... Read More
I chose this cruise line because they had the itinerary we were interested in. The seaside towns and islands visited were quaint and picturesque. Everything we were hoping for. The ship, however, was horrible. I found the crew to be uncaring and lazy. I brought our issues to the attention of the hotel manager early in our cruise, and while she was friendly, and said she would correct our issues, she did not. Our cabin steward did not clean our bathroom, and it was disgusting. I had requested our ice bucket be filled daily, and was told I could fill it in the lounge. The dining room was a total fiasco. The quality of food was deplorable. I suspect the food is prepared and frozen food that is simply re-heated. Not acceptable at all. Service was slow, and totally inept. Not a single order was correct. Not a single meal was hot. Items that should have been cold were lukewarm. When brought to the wait staff's attention they either ignored our requests or in one case, pitched a hissy fit and left the dining room. One explanation for cold food was that the food is prepared when the dining room opens, and then "just sits back there until it is served". WOW! One day the assistant dining room manager argued with a fellow passenger about whether or not her coffee was hot. I was appalled that a crew member would argue with a passenger about anything! The gangway crew did not know where we were docked, how to get into town, how long the shuttles were running, where we could find a map of the port, etc., etc., etc. The cruise director did not appear to understand what her job is. I don't know if this cruise line trains any employees before they cruise. Do yourself a favor, and book a European river cruise. THEY do small ship cruising perfectly, especially Grand Circle Travel. American Cruise Lines should be ashamed of their shoddy service! CEO Charles Robertson - CLEAN UP YOUR CRUISE LINES! So disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the ... Read More
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the Intercontinental Hotel. We and all the other passengers were bused from the hotel to the boat.The boat is only 3 years old, but shows signs of needing a paint job on the exterior. Our cabin was a good size with plenty of drawer space, but not a lot of closet space. The boat was nicely appointed in the dining room and the lounges. The food was mediocre and service was spotty. We did end up eating at one table every night with a terrific server.The ports were interesting and the tours were good. The housekeeping was spotty at best. The large mirror in our cabin was dust covered throughout the whole cruise and you could write your name on the lid of the ice bucket.The onboard entertainment was fine; no complaints.Overall, it was not worth the cost.We won't do another cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
I chose American Cruise Line because they have a good single traveler policy. The also have single cabins. The entire staff were friendly, helpful, and professional. No complaints about anything Love it. Room was clean and very nice n ... Read More
I chose American Cruise Line because they have a good single traveler policy. The also have single cabins. The entire staff were friendly, helpful, and professional. No complaints about anything Love it. Room was clean and very nice n I have sail with American Cruise Lines 4 times. I will also cruise with them. I think they are the best small cruise line. The dining experience was great. The food was excellent, the service was good and very efficiency. Very professional. The entire cruise was great. It was called the Cumberland River Cruise from St. Louis, Missouri to Nashville, Tennessee. (7 nights, 8 days). I just love small river cruising especially with American Cruise Lines (the best). The Queen of the Mississippi is a riverboat, total 150 passengers. The ship is absolutely beautiful and is run professional and efficiently. Your get your money worth. It is a beautiful cruise. The ship lounges are decorated beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked ... Read More
We were interested in trying a river cruise, a first for us after several ocean cruises on bigger ships. We chose American Cruise Lines because they feature new European-style river boats instead of the older paddle wheel style. We picked the eastbound Columbia and Snake River cruise because it was a new part of the country for us. The American Song is their newest boat. We started in Lewiston, Idaho, and booked a one-day jet boat trip down the Snake River into the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area. We did this through the cruise line as an add-on. Highly recommended. Saw so much fantastic scenery, ruins of mines, settlements and enterprises from the pioneer days, bald eagles, rocky mountain big horn sheep, beautiful cliffs, Indian petroglyphs, - just a neat day in a comfortable open air boat. Two stops for lunch and snacks at former ranch and farm, now operated for river travelers. Next day we boarded the Song. Very comfortable boat, with a wonderful scale - only 184 passengers. No long treks to the dining room or lounges as you might be accustomed to on the ocean ships. Very easy and pleasant if you have any mobility issues. No long waits for the elevators - hardly ever waited at all. Lovely cabin - even though we had the least expensive cabin - plenty of storage, nice balcony. Easy cruising with stops in small towns every day. At least three excursions were included at every stop, with at least one being complimentary. Fascinating going through the 8 locks and dams on the Columbia. Some long bus rides to get to the places of interest on the excursions, not too pleasant. We greatly enjoyed Multnomah Falls, Mount St Helens, and Cape Disappointment. They seemed to waste the day we got to Portland - arrived too late in the day to really see anything. Lecturer told us about the history of Lewis and Clark, the Columbia River - she was all right, nothing special. The entertainment on board was basically conversation with the other passengers. There was a modest musical act each at night after dinner - ranging from not too good to pretty good. I think that for quite a few passengers the main attraction of the trip was the free and unlimited wine, beer and liquor offered all day long. Food was pretty good. All meals served in open seating dining room. There was also a small snack bar called the Back Porch Cafe on upper outdoor lounge - hamburgers, hot dogs, etc. Service and attentiveness to passengers was excellent. Loved the self-service laundromats. The cruise was all-inclusive, just as advertised. Made all arrangements and transactions very trouble free. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an ... Read More
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an executive chef with some imagination would be a good idea. Couldn't even make a sandwich properly. How do you run out of butter for 3 days ? No Vanilla Ice Cream for 2 days. Happy hour bars were very poorly organized. First night 5 glasses total at the aft bar. No beer on ice. Very poor veer selection and out of some brands for days. Very inexperienced staff and management ( if you can call it that ) Boarding day was very badly handled. Little to no communication from the Bridge for the first 5 days. This is sold (and priced ) as 5 star, First Class. NOT SO !! Badly planned stops. For Example: Whole day in very small ports and 1/2 day in Baton Rouge. Great opportunity for a great trip but they missed it !!! Thanks to Tiffany for her service in the dining room, and to Tom for his help in DR. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have ... Read More
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have to find our own way there. No company rep nor a bus was at the dock to update us and transport us to Red Wing, though they did say they would pay for the taxi ride (I'm still waiting for reimbursement as the ship's staff said they were unable to refund directly to me). Our Uber driver agreed to take us there, and I tipped him generously because he would have to go back to the city empty. But the most irritating aspect of this is that the ship apparently hasn't been able to dock in St. Paul for quite some time, perhaps all season, and it wasn't a "last minute" change. And even if it was, they should have called us. We finally arrived at the ship at lunch time, and no one greeted us or apologized for the situation, or offered any reasons (or compensation) for the foul up. As we met other guests during the cruise, we found that others had been left in the lurch just as we had. Our cabin, no. 209, smelled strongly of mildew, and our towels (which we were encouraged to reuse) never dried out overnight; when I reported it on the mid-cruise questionnaire, a dehumidifier was delivered to our room; however the room steward didn't know how to empty it so I figured it out myself... I also reported how dirty our veranda was, and though they said they would clean it, that never happened. It was covered with spider webs and dead bugs, which made it unpleasant to sit out there. I don't understand why the room steward didn't have time to at least sweep it, because all she had to do in our room each day was make the bed (they don't change the sheets during the week), deliver dry towels, wipe down the shower and sink and empty the waste baskets. Though the Queen of the Mississippi is only in her 6th year of service, she is suffering from some deferred maintenance. There is chipped paint, dirty windows and balconies, scuffed upholstery, stained lamp shades, and stained carpets, all contributing to a general aura of shabbiness. There is simply no excuse for this level of neglect on a cruise for which you've paid nearly $10K for a week. We've been on 4 European river cruises (with Viking and Vantage) and several ocean cruises (with NCL and Cunard), and one thing they all have in common in constant maintenance. They're always pressure washing or painting or cleaning something, without interfering with the guest experience. ACL seems to have decided not to do this type of maintenance during the season. The room was quiet and spacious enough, with the typical tiny bathroom, but storage, both in the room and bathroom was more than adequate. Wifi was slow, and we usually had decent tv reception, though the screen is tiny. There were a few places along the river where we had no cell phone reception, but that was okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quiet the boat is while cruising at night. Even when we were going through locks, I was rarely disturbed by noise or motion during the night. There are many lounges and decks on the ship, and you could easily find a place to socialize or sit quietly and read or contemplate the beautiful scenery. Cocktail hour at 5:30 each evening was also lively and fun, with generous pours of beer, wine and liquors. A nice assortment of hors d'ouevres was also offered each evening. After dinner, we enjoyed a variety of entertainers in the lounge; a guitar singer one night, a motown duo for 2 nights, a barbershop quarter another night. The onboard lecturer, Dale, was fun and entertaining and filled us with information about the Mississippi and each of the ports we visited and even conducted a few sing-alongs. At every port, except the first day in Red Wing, we docked very early in the morning and had the whole day to visit the town. We were warmly welcomed by local guides in each town, and they genuinely seemed happy to have us there. Fort Madison has recently been added to the itinerary, and they were especially gracious, though there was a scheduling issue and the visit to the old penitentiary was cancelled while we were actually on the bus on the way there. They have some kinks to work out in their tours. We had a nice dose of warm, mid-western hospitality at each port. Most of the tours were rather heavy on bus time rather than actual on-the-ground touring, but perhaps this is in deference to the rather advanced age of the typical traveler on this cruise. I wish they would use buses that have 2 doors, because waiting for all the people with canes and walkers to exit the bus at each stop was very time consuming. Food service varied from barely acceptable to very nice. We learned to get to the dining room promptly when they opened at 7:30 each morning; any later and you could wait a long time for your entree. They really should offer a buffet for breakfast, because the wait staff becomes quickly overwhelmed and they seem to not have enough short-order cooks in the galley. Lunch seemed a bit less hectic; perhaps because the limited number of entrees offered were pre-cooked and just needed to be plated. Dinner also featured uneven service. If you arrived promptly at 6:00 when they started to serve, you might get served quickly. But people are allowed to wander in any time from 6:00 to 7:30, so one couple at a table might be finishing up dessert just as another couple joined the table. ACL should adopt the strategy utilized by the European cruise lines that we've traveled (Vantage and Viking), who seem to have figured this all out. Sometimes entrees were delivered lukewarm; sometimes the lettuce in the salad was soggy and appears to have been pre-dressed. Both the lunch menu and the dinner menu changed each day, and you had to make your selection in the morning at breakfast so the cooks could plan accordingly. The only item that was consistently good were the desserts, though one in our party complained that the tres leches cake was still frozen. Many on the wait staff are very young and inexperienced, and it was actually the first time serving for some of them. It was painful to watch one young man try to nervously balance a tray of drinks without dumping them down the back of a guest... We heard that they pulled quite a few from the staff to populate the new ship that is coming on line next week, leaving our ship with a very inexperienced crew. Similar to the beginning of the cruise, we were advised on the next-to-last day that we wouldn't actually dock in St. Louis (for reasons not divulged), and would instead dock in Alton, Illinois and be bused into St. Louis for our afternoon excursion. We sat in Alton all morning with nothing to do, no shuttle bus and no excursions or suggestions offered. It was a 30-45 minute drive each way, time we would have liked to spend enjoying the city rather than on a freeway. I do realize that the shipping lines can't be held responsible for the ever-changing conditions on the river that cause itineraries to be altered. What was lacking was their communication of such changes and the reasons for the changes. If they said high water or flooding made it too dangerous, everyone would have understood. They haven't been able to dock in St. Paul or St. Louis at all this season, so why are they still advertising this as a St. Paul to St. Louis tour? It's actually a Red Wing to Alton tour. Disembarkation was the smoothest part of the process. We had to put our tagged bags out at midnite, and the bus to the airport was scheduled at 7:30. We walked off the ship, identified our bags out on the tarmac, and got on the bus. The combination of inadequate communication, being stranded in St. Louis and having to make our own way to Red Wing, the smelly room, the dirty windows and balcony, the uneven food service, and the unprofessional service in general, added up to a less-than-exceptional experience for us. We are experienced travelers used to "going with the flow", but the negatives on this cruise somewhat outweighed the positives for us. Seeing the magnificent Mississippi River from the perspective of a grand river boat, and the quaint small towns along the way, was memorable and interesting, but the overall experience with the ship itself was rather disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working ... Read More
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working and did an excellent job. The food was great and plentiful. The history of the area, following the path of Lewis and Clark, was fascinating and the geology and scenery in the area was so interesting. We loved floating down the river and seeing Washington and Oregon from a different perspective. The shore excursions were mostly included in the price of the cruise. We especially enjoyed seeing Mt St Helen. Most of the ports were in rural areas, which was fine. There’s something interesting to see everywhere. Overall we would highly recommend this cruise. Although the cost is on the high end, it is all-inclusive and we would do it again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack ... Read More
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack of time. Entertainment started out pretty good, by the end of trip it is not so good. People were nice, however, they were always apologizing for lack of serve or how dirty everything was. According to some of the crew we talked to, they just did not have enough staff and prior to us boarding, did not have enough time to clean up. The Boat advertised free Wi Fi, which really meant no Wi Fi. It was so poor, most of the time we were unable to send or receive until we got into port. Best part of this cruise was we met some very nice people and in each of the stops, found the town people very nice and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from the captain to the officers to the servers and housekeeping staff. The dining room and snack food was tasty, plentiful and frequent, but not at a gourmet level and featured meats over chicken and local seafood. The casual cafe needs improved offerings and food preparation. Rolls, muffins, pastries and other bakery items were especially good. The wine choices--mostly local-- were varied and very drinkable, One entertainer (2 nights) was excellent, one put us to sleep and two entertainer couples were very pleasant. On board daytime activities were not for us and too many involved alcohol. The scenery was quite beautiful. A small onboard gift shop with logo souvenirs and a small toiletries selection, as well as a library would be nice additions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the ... Read More
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the lower Mississippi river got worse. We repeatedly questioned the cruise direction inquiring about our destination considering the weather. We essentially were ignored. The decor of the rooms is average. The upper floors leaked terribly. two of our three ports were closed. The port at Baton Rouge was at flood stage and the entire city was shut down pending the coming flood. Once again we tried to get answers with no results. When then decided to disembark and catch a flight home. All the crew were first timers and inexperienced. The food was average for a cruise. The entertainment areas were small. There was one ice machine for the 100 or so passengers, The captain was relieved of duty apparently because his lack of communication with the passengers. I contacted the corporate office and their flippant response was we didn't know of any storm or problems with the America. This cruise is falsely advertised and way to expensive for what is offered. The crew is very young and inexperienced. It felt like we were on training vessel. The main office has yet to refund me any money. They offered a 1000 cruise credit which to me was an insult. If you book with this company you will regret it! Never Again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my biggest disappointment, and initially I thought I must be on the wrong ship. The food was very good. It was American cuisine, unpretentious, and better than most cruise lines. I think the food was their strongest selling point. We had a lecturer that spoke several times about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and he was quite good. They also had a guitarist-singer who portrayed a cowboy one night and a sailor another. He was also quite enjoyable. Aside from that entertainment was lacking. The lounges were nice and attractive. The personnel were all American and very nice. Unfortunately, they lacked training in the service industry. You may find yourself without the proper eating utensils, and the waiter will never notice, or forget to bring them. I was told that I could not have a certain flavor of ice cream for lunch because it was frozen solid. (?) The age of the passengers looked to be mostly over 70, and many had difficulty walking. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but ... Read More
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but take this shorter cruise. I was disappointed with the quality of the cabin, no fridge, no bathrobe for when you want to sit on the balcony and the bed was too soft! Due to the high water level of the Mississipi we only stopped in Baton Rouge and were bussed to the various plantation houses. Some of the local guides were not up to scratch. Some of the wait staff were very inexperienced and were struggling, definitely more training is needed. Most of the entertainment was good but not being American we felt the last show, Andrew Sisters impersonation, was a bit too patriotic. This cruise line is geared for the American market. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I ... Read More
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I was looking forward to some beautiful countryside views. It was fun to do a lot of the traveling during the day instead of at night so we could see more scenery. We went with friends and the cruise line made sure our balconies were connected (they removed the partition between them) even before we boarded the ship. Lots of personal attention from the staff made the cruise fun and pleasant. The artists on board were FABULOUS and gave art lessons to those of us who weren't as interested in history. The small size of the ship, made it easy to get to meals, cocktails, the decks and lounge, coffee, etc. The pre-cruise hotel, Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington was an unexpected delight with its architecture and history and fine dining. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 ... Read More
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 minute bus ride for 60 minute visit, but DVD on bus about eruption helped. Pendleton excursion definitely not worth it, would have preferred to remain on board. We enjoyed the locks and the lecturer gave commentary in the lounge. Really no other commentary or map described the areas we were passing by. We kept changing tables in the dining room until we found a server we liked - they usually cover the same 3 or so tables. Usually only a couple choices of appetizer/salad, main course and dessert. They try really hard to accommodate dietary issues, we had none. Snacks and all kinds of sodas/juices always available in several lounges. Jet boat ride on Hells Canyon did not include the sheer canyon walls I expected, but did see an eagle and big horn sheep. Three free washers/dryers with soap pods and dryer sheets provided. Embarkation is walk on from Red Lion Hotel and disembarkation was well organized. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia Rivers to Astoria, then back to Portland, OR. It was a themed cruise focusing on the journeys of Lewis & Clark. We had the kids read about L&C before departing - the old Landmark and "We Were There..." books. They were the only two kids on board; otherwise I'd estimate the median age of the 150 passengers to be ~70. The on-board speaker did a good job bringing L&C's journeys to life, and tying them in to each of the attractions we visited. We had two adjoining cabins, with a door in between (405 & 407). This felt very spacious. Crew was 100% American (not that I care, as we've never experienced this before). Service was very good (equiv. to Holland America or RCCL, but not quite Regent). Bottom line - we booked a follow-on cruise on the Mississippi based upon this experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland ... Read More
My first river cruise. Choose Columbia River for the scenery. Clarkston, WA ..to Portland, OR. Travel from Houston to the cruise was a challenge. Easy to get to Portland. Getting to Clarkston,WA. Or Spokane by plane from portland was unrealistic so we rented a car and drove 6 hours. Once we were inClarkston it was well organized. (Car was returned to Lewiston airport hotel provided shuttle back to hotel.) Embarkation went smoothly. Just a short walk to ship ...hotel staff took our luggage to ship. My cabin was as expected. Neat clean lots of room and drawer space. HINT. When you leave it is requested you leave your key card on the desk ....no card on my desk.. plenty of staff available to get me a new card. *****Key cards are magnetized so I had problems with it demagnetizing when it was near my IPAD. Cruise was great I researched ahead of time so I knew the guests would be a mature group. The tours were adequate for the remote areas we cruised. The crew went out of their way to make sure slower guests disembarked for tours safely and with dignity.. This was my first River Cruise and there will. Be many to follow. I am not a fan of the huge cruises with thousands of guests. Yes ACL cruises are expensive. I read lots of reviews and knew what to expect Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it ... Read More
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it but to sleep. Several places where you can sit, watch the scenery, read or visit with the new friends you meet daily. Crew very attentive and Edgar to please. First morning we boarded at 10:30 AM snakes and open bar has we were oriented to our boat. Meals have been delicious! Who doesn’t like a root beer float or ice cream sundae at 8 PM?? As we travel we learn more about the history of the area we are in. Loved Astoria’s quaint look. Houses on hills like San Francisco but then you seen a doe with her fawn meandering down the street or tucked under a 300 foot fir. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We choose this cruise along with another couple because we wanted to sail the Mississippi River. The cost was about $11,000 per couple for the AAM Room Category and for the price, we expected a first class experience. The boat, food and ... Read More
We choose this cruise along with another couple because we wanted to sail the Mississippi River. The cost was about $11,000 per couple for the AAM Room Category and for the price, we expected a first class experience. The boat, food and most tours were a big disappointment. To start, according to the ACL brochure, the AAM category room is advertised as 326 sq. ft.. Having 20 lifetime cruises under my belt, I immediately knew this was incorrect.So I measured the room, #519, including the balcony and came up with 260 sq. ft. The other couples room, #513, advertised as the same AAM category was 240 sq.ft. This may seem like a minor complaint to some, but when you pay a premium price for a larger room you should not be deceived. There was mold behind the bathroom faucet and outside the shower area. The paint on the balcony floor was peeling and we looked at the same spider webs for 7 days on the table, outside chairs and railing. One day the maid knocked 3 quick times and just barged in for the evening turn down service. Well I just got out of the shower, so that encounter didn't go well. The boat holds 185 guests which is nice. The four travelers in our group are in the mid 60's. When we first boarded the boat, we experienced a culture shock. The average age of the other travelers had to be 75 - 80 years old. A lot of canes and few wheelchairs. So my advise to future travelers is be aware of the age group that cruise ACL. Food choices were few and not top shelf. The college age servers in the dining room are excellent. They were one of the few positives on this trip. No bar to purchase drinks. You have to wait for meals, cocktail hour and entertainment to get a drink, or bring your own!!!! I think for $11,000 a couple, there be a bar set up all day. The day of just cruising the river was boring as hell. Thank God it didn't rain. The entertainment was mediocre at best. We could not wait to disembark. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always ... Read More
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always very attentive and interesting as well as interested in the passengers. This was my third cruise with ACL and I’ve enjoyed them all. The cabins and the common areas are always clean and well cared for. The food is very good and the evening entertainment is always very good. Usually it is local talent from the different ports but they are all very talented. The ports and excursions are interesting and varied. I love the fact that the ships are all built in the USA and the staff is all American, mostly college graduates. I like the fact that everything, except some of the excursions, is included so you don’t have to worry about how much drinks cost or how much you should tip the staff. The price might be higher than some cruises, but adding the extra costs from additional expenses probably evens out in the long run. The biggest downside on this ship, the Spirit (built in 2005), is the fact that the WiFi was very poor, although it was fine on the other two ships I was on, the America and the Constitution. Would I go on another one? Absolutely! In fact I’m already scheduled a fourth trip in June/July 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
My wife and I were on your Jazz and Blues Themed Cruise (May 11 - 18, 2019) on the America that went from New Orleans to Memphis. Unfortunately, this lower Mississippi River cruise was anything but the music-themed cruise that had been ... Read More
My wife and I were on your Jazz and Blues Themed Cruise (May 11 - 18, 2019) on the America that went from New Orleans to Memphis. Unfortunately, this lower Mississippi River cruise was anything but the music-themed cruise that had been marketed. Here is a description of what this cruise was supposed to be from the ACL website: “Delight in the sounds of Jazz and Blues that fill the air as we cruise the Mississippi River and pay tribute to the musicians and the regions that helped influence American music. On this theme cruise, enjoy special onboard performances, guided shore excursions to influential destinations, and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours. Learn about the importance of New Orleans to the birth of Jazz and how Memphis played an instrumental role in the foundation and popularity of Rock n’ roll.” The following is a review of how each major point was handled on our cruise. Special Onboard Performances The performers on this cruise barely played music that even fell into the jazz and blues genres. The bands at embarkation and on the last night played in a style akin to Muzak. Nothing about their performances was "special" and they were a poor representation of the musical stylings of both New Orleans and Memphis. Dan Knowles is a great banjo player and performer. However, Dan Knowles doesn't play jazz or blues. Dan plays old-timey, traditional American folk music. Steve and Joanne were great resources to have on this trip. Their discussions about the River and the towns along it were extremely informative and helpful as we visited each port. While Joanne is a wonderful pianist, their performances of American Standards and Broadway show tunes barely touched jazz and blues. Guided Shore Excursions to Influential Destinations There were none. This omission was especially egregious in New Orleans and Memphis, two cities that have numerous excursion opportunities that highlight jazz and blues. Fortunately, my wife and I created our own music excursion in Memphis. We Ubered from the ship to Sun Studio for a tour. We then took the free Sun Studio shuttle to the Rock 'n Soul Museum for a tour. We followed that up with a short, leisurely walk to Beale Street where we saw live blues and soul music for free. None of the activities on our made-up music excursion were recommended or even mentioned in the ACL Things-to-do-in-Memphis preview sheet. Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Tours There were none. In a previous email to ACL, I asked what differentiated this jazz and blues cruise from other lower Mississippi River cruises. The ACL answer was a vague reference to onboard entertainment. As I've explained above, American Cruise Lines missed the mark on that one completely. This cruise advertised one thing and delivered another. We contacted American Cruise Lines (Hotel Director; Executive Sales Director; Marketing Director) about our disappointing experience. It took a second email to receive a canned response. More disappointment for a luxury $11K, supposedly jazz and blues themed music cruise. Despite the lack of anticipated jazz and blues onboard entertainment and related excursions, the staff was great and the food was excellent. With the right improvements, we would still consider American Cruise Lines for a future river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We explored Portland, OR for a couple of days prior to boarding the ship, which enriched our cruise experience, since the cruise did not include a shore excursion there. Embarkation was very easy, as the ship was docked right behind our ... Read More
We explored Portland, OR for a couple of days prior to boarding the ship, which enriched our cruise experience, since the cruise did not include a shore excursion there. Embarkation was very easy, as the ship was docked right behind our hotel. All our documents and information was well organized. The ship was new, clean and beautiful, less than a year old, and decorated very nicely. Our cabin was spacious and included a private balcony. We were favorably impressed with the size of the bathroom compared to the other cruise we had taken (on a different cruise line). The staff was friendly, helpful and efficient. Food was excellent with plenty of choices, including vegetarian. Our nightly entertainment included some very talented (and funny) people. We had numerous shore excursions to choose from, something to fit everyone's interests and fitness levels. We especially enjoyed Multnomah Falls and Cape Disappointment State Park. We definitely plan to travel with American Cruise Lines again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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