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Sail Date: June 2012
My wife and I are retired teachers. We took several cruises on large ships and enjoyed them, but always felt as if we were just another number. We especially did not like the stress of boarding and departing and the large crowds that ... Read More
My wife and I are retired teachers. We took several cruises on large ships and enjoyed them, but always felt as if we were just another number. We especially did not like the stress of boarding and departing and the large crowds that always seemed to be present when going to or returning from shore excursions. Then we read about small ship cruising. Our first small ship cruise was with American Cruise Lines. We took what was then called the Antebellum South cruise, now called the Historic South and Golden Isles cruise. We enjoyed meeting everyone on our ship and liked the food. The small groups for shore excursions and the interesting lectures and informative presentations made this a new and unique experience. Since then, we’ve taken three more cruises with American Cruise Lines, including New England Islands, Hudson River Fall Foliage and most recently, the Philadelphia-Potomac cruise. We again enjoyed the ports, the other passengers and the attention to detail that we had come to expect with American Cruise Lines. Several of the people we ate dinner with mentioned that they would like to have a tour of Washington, D.C., which was where the cruise ended. Such a tour was not listed as a possibility for a shore excursion, but when the cruise director found that there was interest in such an excursion, she arranged a tour for us. Besides the wonderful ports and excellent meals we were impressed with the young people who served our meals, took care of our cabin and were so pleasant and thoughtful. The casual dress and non-assigned seating at meals made it easy to meet every other person on the ship. It was relaxing to spend each evening moored rather than at sea. When I speak to friends about small ship cruising, I tell them that while the per day expense is usually higher than large ship cruising, the interesting lectures and small group excursions are much more informative and less stressful. Boarding and leaving the ship is also much easier and more relaxed. The cabin size is generally larger than cabins on large cruise ships and the individual attention given to each passenger makes each cruise a truly wonderful experience. American Cruise Lines does things right. They listen to suggestions and do all they can to make cruising with them a special treat. Without hesitation, I can recommend American Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2010
The brochure says "professional staff" but we had college students on their first cruise. Most of the wait staff had never waited tables before! I have been a "training tourist" at a resort and received better service. ... Read More
The brochure says "professional staff" but we had college students on their first cruise. Most of the wait staff had never waited tables before! I have been a "training tourist" at a resort and received better service. Food was so bad that I sent back three plates and I have NEVER sent food back to the kitchen before. Oysters Rockefeller were a solid mass encrusted to the shell. Many items were overcooked or burnt. Eggs were consistently undercooked even when ordered medium or hard. Some food was quite good, but for the price I expected every meal to be outstanding. Our cruise director had never been to three of the six ports of call and couldn't answer questions about them. Rooms were OK, but sort of felt like hospital room decor. The illustration of the room in promo materials appears much more spacious than reality. At least there was adequate storage--however bathroom storage was awkward. The main activity on this ship is small talk with other guest, especially at meals. The acoustics in the dining room made this difficult (impossible at times). This cruise was quite expensive. I would have been disappointed at 1/4 the price. Read Less
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