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247 American Cruise Lines Senior Cruise Reviews

We wanted to cruise over the holidays. and didn't want to fly. We live within a two-hour drive of Baltimore, and read good reviews of American Cruise Lines and its 2018-built ship Constitution. We had been to every port on the ... Read More
We wanted to cruise over the holidays. and didn't want to fly. We live within a two-hour drive of Baltimore, and read good reviews of American Cruise Lines and its 2018-built ship Constitution. We had been to every port on the itinerary, some multiple times, so thought it would be relaxing. Food ranged from fair to very good. Some of the best entrees were the lobster mac and cheese for lunch, and pot roast at dinner. Steaks were pretty good. Christmas buffet, the only buffet, thankfully, was mediocre. Lots of choices, but the roast turkey was a processed salty turkey roll, and the roast prime rib was tough. The side dishes and desserts were excellent. The young staff went out of its way to please. The wait staff was friendly and efficient. We got to know them all. Complimentary cocktails were served every evening at 5:30, along with hors d'oeuvre. Brand names were used - Makers Mark, Tanqueray, Beefeater, etc. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We selected this cruise becasue we wanted to see more of the US. This is a new ship with all American crew. So much exceeded our expectations ... the size of the cabin, the onboard entertainment and activities, the shore excursions and, ... Read More
We selected this cruise becasue we wanted to see more of the US. This is a new ship with all American crew. So much exceeded our expectations ... the size of the cabin, the onboard entertainment and activities, the shore excursions and, of course, the fabulous food. NOTE: There was lots and lots of storage space in the cabin. Tons of drawers and good-sized closet. Also, a large bathroom with nice amenities. The cruise included a pre-night hotel stay in New Orleans. We boarded before noon, and had a fabulous seafood buffet with the most incredible desserts! We knew our waistlines were in trouble!! Each port had included shore excursions that were both interesting and informative. The onboard entertainment and enrichment programs were extremely well done. Loved the size of the ship ... enought lounges and places to sit and enjoy, while being intimate and easy to meet fellow travellers. This is NOT a cruise/ship for children. Another reason we selected it. Would we go again ... ABSOLUTELY! Would we cruise with American Cruise Lines again ... ABSOLUTELY! Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
This was our second American Cruise Line experience, after loving our first cruise. But this time was definitely not as good. The ship was lovely and our cabin very comfortable. It was the uniformed officers, or managers, on the ship that ... Read More
This was our second American Cruise Line experience, after loving our first cruise. But this time was definitely not as good. The ship was lovely and our cabin very comfortable. It was the uniformed officers, or managers, on the ship that were the issue. They did not know the itinerary very well and did not properly answer questions. They alway had their heads in their phones. There were many issues with the kitchen from very slow service that caused us to be late for excursions to running out of many things. How do you forget to chill the wine then think it's OK to serve it on ice? Really? The wait staff and housekeeping were excellent - they really worked hard to try to make everything right to the best of their ability. In one port the tide was so low that it was extremely difficult to exit the tender and this company cater to an older crowd. They should have known to bring an extra set of steps to make this better. They have offered us a 20% discount if we book our next cruise by March, but after spending $15,000 on this past experience, I'm not sure I'm willing to try again. These are NOT budget cruises, therefore expectations are high and were definitely not met. There were many repeat travelers on this cruise and they were equally disappointed. It got to the point where at every meal the conversation was about what went wrong that day. That gets old real fast. This is a new relatively new ship. The sounds system for the entertainment was frustrating the speakers/entertainers as well as the audience. Aside from the Kenny and Kat, the entertainment was poor, especially compared to our first cruise where the entertainment was excellent! The dining room wait staff was great. Even with the many kitchen problems (slow, wrong order) they remained cheerful and accommodating. We had a very nice trip - it just was not "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly" as advertised and as the price would suggest. It was just "done OK". I will be shopping around before we book another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Entertainment is an interesting historian and an excellent musician. All the typical choices at breakfast along with a fresh fruit buffet, 3 main choices for lunch or dinner. The food was good, better than the larger cruise lines, ... Read More
Entertainment is an interesting historian and an excellent musician. All the typical choices at breakfast along with a fresh fruit buffet, 3 main choices for lunch or dinner. The food was good, better than the larger cruise lines, just less choices. House wine was Woodbridge, so you might want to bring your own or buy. The staff was always helpful, cheerful, and really wanted you to enjoy your trip. There were one or two included tours at each stop and in most cases you could take the morning and afternoon tours if you wanted too. Graceland tour is WAY overpriced. Maybe because it was a cold day and the place wasn’t busy, there were no lines to get ahead of. Walked through all the displays, not crowded. Touring the mansion is chaotic in a small space. You only see the basement and main floor, upper level is off limits. The WiFi was terrible, it was either really poor reception or non-existent. Unless they get this adjusted, don’t plan on iPad entertainment. TV reception was always good. The crowd is definitely senior so if you are looking for party, party call Carnival Cruise lines. If you are looking for laid-back, nice accommodations, and meeting some interesting people, this is a cruise for you. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
We chose this cruise as we were hoping to be at the peak of fall foliage - it was moderate in most ports but you can't control the time of year when the leaves change! It was a very smooth sail - some very nice scenery and some ... Read More
We chose this cruise as we were hoping to be at the peak of fall foliage - it was moderate in most ports but you can't control the time of year when the leaves change! It was a very smooth sail - some very nice scenery and some really good tours. I could have skipped Albany and the docks are dismal. It was painful spending so much time there. We would have liked more time at Sleepy Hollow especially during the height of the Halloween season but for the most part it was very nice. Staff in general needs more information to be helpful and informative when passengers go into town(s) on their own~ Good food and staff- they go above and beyond with the information they have (hotel manager Michelle is a true professional) but many are inexperienced and overworked - Rooms are ample in size and the private balconies are a plus. Cocktail hour could be more organized but all in all, it was a great experience~ Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
Pre-cruise at Red Lion Jansen beach hotel,$ 40 cab ride from airport ,very large hotel,nice rooms ,good restaurant,boat docks at hotel,free breakfast on day of embarkation.Some confusion on day of embarkation.Onboard welcome and lunch on ... Read More
Pre-cruise at Red Lion Jansen beach hotel,$ 40 cab ride from airport ,very large hotel,nice rooms ,good restaurant,boat docks at hotel,free breakfast on day of embarkation.Some confusion on day of embarkation.Onboard welcome and lunch on boat,crowded. Had room 404 on deck 4 forward,large room, quiet,nice veranda,small but,usable.Was liformed by others that lower deck cabins were noisy at times.Breakfast in morning good,lunch also good ( see menu pics) beer and wine with lunch.Dinners also good,service and food started at level 8,but slipped to level 4or 5 by day 3 of cruise.Some servers inattentive at times,find a good one and stay with them,crew all young and nice and friendly. Food fine first 3 days,but started to be served cold quite often after that,not sure if this was a service problem or cooking one.Snacks available in all lounges all day,cookies,chips soda coffee,tea and specialty coffees. Sometimes beer and wine setup in the Sky lounge after 1:00pm.Lounges very nice,Paddlewheel cuttest,but noisy while under way,Sky lounge best,could move inside or outside as mood or weather dictates.Fith deck nice in good weather.Happy hour in Cascade lounge at 5:30 pm,any drink you want,and interesting appetizers,shrimp,crab claws,cheese ,smoked salmon ,also two servers with other appetizers.Late bar with intertainment,same drink set up ,intertainment ok ( we’re not show people) Shared boat with group from Smithsonion society,nick named them THE ROYAL FAMILY.Had their own section of dining room,own buses,left boat first,etc discouraged from associating with the second class citizens,although some broke the rules.be aware this can happen,enough said.Excursions,some additional charges not mentioned in brochures,Astoria,Fort Clatsop,if you have nothing better to do,Cape Disappointment,beautiful,well worth it,great views,Mt St.Helens very nice ,long bus ride,worth it,Multnomah falls very nice ,beautiful,Bonneville dam interesting,The Dalles ,small town,rest day for us.Cascade Cliffs winery ,small,but nice. Helles canyon boat ride was excellent.saw mule deer,rocky mountain sheep.excellent lunch,long ride ,but fascinating.Scenery on trip beautiful,be aware all lock transitions are at night or early in the morning and can be noisy at times,we could touch the lock wall from our veranda. Transfer to the Spokane airport good,Garden inn by Marriott one mile from airport free shuttle too and from hotel,very nice restaurant across parkin lot,short walk,nice hotel Biggest challenge is flying,no surprise there. in summary a good trip, but expensive compared with an ocean cruise,two or three times as much .Not for young people ,at 70 was one of younger people on board Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
CABIN: see "Cabin Review" below "Raitings" DINING: If you are a foodie, expect to be disappointed. The food was generally good and the quantity sufficient. The service was inconsistent and often sloppy. Mostly ... Read More
CABIN: see "Cabin Review" below "Raitings" DINING: If you are a foodie, expect to be disappointed. The food was generally good and the quantity sufficient. The service was inconsistent and often sloppy. Mostly young adults who work long hours and try hard, but do not have adequate training and supervision. EMBARKATION: The usual cattle car of moving us from the hotel to the boat (there being by tradition no "ship" on an inland waterway in the USA). When we got to the ship we were left to ourselves to find our own cabin. ENRICHMENT ACTIVITIES: The lecturers were generally knowledgeable. They often doubled as the evening's entertainers. ENTERTAINMENT: Appropriate for the size of the vessel. They brought aboard some fun acts. FITNESS & RECREATION: There is a small but reasonably well equipped exercise room. Other than back-n-forth in a passageway, there is no place to do walking laps of any significant distance without incorporating staircases. ONBOARD EXPERIENCE: Their slogan is "Small ship cruising done perfectly." My wife and I have cruised on HAL, Oceania, Regent, NCL and Sebourn. This set a high bar for "done perfectly" that our experience aboard did not come anywhere close to achieving. The staff was mostly young, often well-educated young adults, at least several of of whom are working the job to make more so they could return to school. They generally had a pleasant, helpful attitude, but the experience they delivered was inconsistent. For example, we ordered a fairly basic breakfast (generally yogurt, fruit, English muffin, bacon and juice) in our cabin about six times during the course of the cruise. It was delivered by at least four different staff members. Not once was everything we ordered with accompanying items (e.g. one day there was no bowl into which to pour box of cereal). And on one occasion our order got misplaced so we received no cabin service. On balance, we are not foodies. We would rather have friendly, well-intentioned service than snooty, precise service. What was most important to us was seeing cruising the river. While major itinerary changes (discussed further down) were a significant disappointment, the boat itself is a great platform on which to tour the American heartland. It's ability to nudge up again the shore and drop its bow gangway so that we could go ashore was excellent. It was wonderful to watch the shoreline scroll by. Had we been trapping under cover by bad weather the experience would have been a serious disappointment, but like high water on the Mississippi, that is beyond ACL's control. PUBLIC ROOMS: The boat has three not counting the dining room. In particular, the one on the second deck aft was cozy. On both the second and forth deck aft there was always an assortment of snacks, iced water, ice and soft drinks available. The public space on the fourth deck aft also made a coffee maker for cappuccinos, lattes, etc. that worked about 50% of the time. SERVICE: (Read ONBOARD EXPERIENCE above.) Again, most of the staff was young and seemed inexperience, but was friendly and wanted to be helpful. I can forgive a lot of technical mistakes in exchange for a friendly, can-do attitude. SHORE EXCURSIONS: We did several. As with tours the world over, they varied depending on subject matter and guide. My wife went on one tour she described as awful. Talking to people at dinner who had been on two other buses, they had enjoyed the same tour. None of the tours were 'special access' or anything we could not have done on our own if we had been land-cruising in our car. VALUE FOR MONEY: This was an expensive trip. Our expectations of it were set high both by the original cruise itinerary and ACL's assurance of "Small ship cruising done perfectly." The shortfall in the latter having been covered above, I will focus on the former. Our cruise itinerary was badly compromised by the high level of water in the upper Mississippi River. During the first week of our two-week trip, new bits of bad news were rolled out to us almost daily. This was not done well, nor were the solutions for cancelling three ports on the Mississippi imaginative, instead turning the boat into a very expensive hotel by elongating our stay in a couple of cities. Intellectually I can appreciate to logistical issues ACL faced, but in the end what saved the trip was good weather so that we could enjoy our top priority of seeing the river. - - - - - When I think about the numerous trips we have taken all over the world, my primary metric is the overall experience from the time we leave our home until the time we return. There are always good and bad components. Some of each involve arrangements we have made ourselves that are totally beyond the control of the primary service provider - in this case American Cruise Lines. In this review I have tried to remove such influencers from my review to distill out what was within ACL's reasonable control. - When booking the trip, we wanted to arrive at the hotel from which we would embark a day early. Unlike any other cruise line we have ever worked with, ACL categorically refused to help with extending our stay. We were advised to make our own reservation, then ask the hotel not to move us to a different room for the pre-embarkation night. - Six days before our embarkation, I got an e-mail message advising us that the embarkation point had changed from St. Paul, MN to Louisville, KY and we should change our travel plans accordingly. When my wife called to ask if ACL could help extend our stay at the Louisville hotel, she got the same answer - NO. On the plus side, during the course of our cruise I was advised that ACL had arranged for us to be reimbursed by the hotel for our additional night. - Had I not seen the e-mail about the new embarkation point, I can only speculate about ACL's actions to communicate the change to me. I do know for a fact that the message came with not request to acknowledgement of receiving it, so ACL had not idea of who had read the e-mail making me wonder whether some passengers literally missed the boat. - As the itinerary continued to dissolve, some leadership from the captain would have been re-assuring, but we heard little from him. I speculate that in Memphis we had a change of captain, but I cannot be sure because he never said a word to us over the PA system. - Two of the itinerary changes - Cape Girardeau and St. Louis - were surprising in that they were announced at the last minute. It struck me as sufficiently odd that ACL did not have shore-side intelligence to keep them better informed of local situations. It was not as though river high changes overnight, yet in the case of Cape Girardeau, ACL would have us believe that no one knew we could not do a port visit until AMERICA was steaming along the city's flood wall. - With the numerous itinerary changes and lack of imagination in a revised itinerary it was difficult not to devolve into conspiracy theories. These were exacerbated by things such as having to be back aboard in Natchez after only a half-day there, yet arriving at our next port at 10 PM that night. Why couldn't we have spent the whole day in Natchez and cruised to the next port later into the night? I have prattled on enough for the reader to get a sense of our cruise, so I will stop. There are no doubt some spelling and grammatical errors above, but I've run out of time to edit them. Hopefully they do not interfere with the points that I have tried to make. 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 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
This was our fifth cruise with this company. We did the cruise called, "New England Islands". As usual the food was memorable. And as usual service at meals goes at a slow pace. For the first time on a cruise I had servers dump ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with this company. We did the cruise called, "New England Islands". As usual the food was memorable. And as usual service at meals goes at a slow pace. For the first time on a cruise I had servers dump food on me - twice! They also had a specific problem at breakfast. I believe most people are eager for the first cup of coffee in the morning. That was very very slow. They have a self-service buffet with fresh fruit available. I would take some fruit on my way to be seated for breakfast. Wait staff is in no hurry to approach the table. When they get there they have order pad in hand - but no coffee. They will take orders for food and drink - coffee. They MIGHT come back with coffee before the food is available (or they might not). The boat is one of the smaller and oldest in the American Cruise Lines fleet. When I asked if they had any note pads available I was told those are only available on the larger ships. They also have only one on-board "expert" while the larger ships (in my experience) have two of them. The larger ships have more staff and will serve you breakfast in your cabin. The other four cruises we took with this company were all on US rivers and the scenery was far superior to this trip. We saw fishing boats. We saw pleasure boats. We saw water. We saw islands. We had bus rides where we heard the names of wealthy folks who owned the houses along the road. Information about the shore excursions was limited and often wrong. Most of the passengers were (as usual) very senior citizens. Most of us would like to know: 1) how much walking on this excursion? 2) How challenging is the walk? 3) How long is the bus ride? 4) What is the availability of rest rooms on this excursion? This trip, like all American Cruise Lines trips, had organized activities on board. Unlike every other cruise we took, many of the scheduled activities did not happen. Other activities were bungled. With all my complaints, we signed up for another cruise with the company. 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
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers with experience on Seabourn, Regent, Ama Waterways & SilverSea. A two week journey down the Mississippi River. St. Paul Minn to NOLA, was a completely different type of cruising. Expect to ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers with experience on Seabourn, Regent, Ama Waterways & SilverSea. A two week journey down the Mississippi River. St. Paul Minn to NOLA, was a completely different type of cruising. Expect to learn more about American history; exploration, wars and expansion conflicts....the pioneers vs Indian tribes, mining and lumber industries. Music. Heartland Cuisine. It was an adventure and we enjoyed seeing the beautiful upper Mississppi River florishing Eagle population. The people we met living in the Mississippi River towns were absolutely charming and gracious. So many colorful characters willing to share their stories of living on the Mississippi River and proud of their towns. Do not have high expectations because the company labels it as a Luxury cruise. It is Not. Go for the adventure, and travel down river....start on the Upper Mississippi which is manjestic and stunning. Less industrialized than the lower Mississippi. 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
My husband has wanted to cruise the Mississippi since growing up on it as a kid. We chose this line because friends had a great experience on the Columbia River. This was the worst-run cruise we have ever been on, made worse by the steep ... Read More
My husband has wanted to cruise the Mississippi since growing up on it as a kid. We chose this line because friends had a great experience on the Columbia River. This was the worst-run cruise we have ever been on, made worse by the steep price. One reviewer had called it a nursing home on water, which was a pretty good description, with the average age of passengers probably at least 75. The good was the scenery, especially on the upper Mississippi, and the excellent river laureates in Steve Marks and JoAnn Funk. The food was good, but not great and the service was uneven. Our wait staff skipped my husband at least three times and we were served cold fish stew, which we sent back. We were told that American had just launched a new ship and moved a bunch of our staff to it so they wouldn't have all new staff. So we had a bunch of new, poorly trained staff members. One waiter told us he'd joined the ship when we embarked and had one day of training before they sent him out. It was also the cruise director's first cruise. She was very nice, but didn't really know what she was doing and wasn't empowered to do much. The result was that they ran out of such necessities as toilet paper, milk, butter, and bottled water for shore excursions, which meant that there was no water on an excursion to a plantation when the outside temperature was nearly 100 degrees. The ship had mechanical problems three times, requiring longer stays in port. They had no way to let people in town know this, nor did they provide transportation into town during the extra hours we were in port. That meant we got the the next port late, so they shortened afternoon excursions for all so accommodate those who got back late from morning excursions. It got so bad that it was almost funny and the passengers were joking about what would go wrong next. The worst part was that there were many sick people on the ship and they didn't so much as remind people to wash their hands and cover their months when they coughed, so I ended up developing bronchitis right after we got home and my husband got pneumonia. We wrote a bad review and asked them to contract us about our experience and got no response. Out travel agent also wrote to them and she got a "we're sorry" response, but no compensation. Needless to say, we will never sail with them again. I didn't rate them "terrible" only because we like the scenery and Mark and Joann. 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
We went on the Grand New England Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines and enjoyed it very much. The Lobster Bake in Rockland, ME was wonderful...from music to our lobster. In fact, we found every port interesting especially visiting ... Read More
We went on the Grand New England Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines and enjoyed it very much. The Lobster Bake in Rockland, ME was wonderful...from music to our lobster. In fact, we found every port interesting especially visiting the Portland, ME Lighthouse, and the excursions we signed up for (Lobster and Lighthouse in Camden, ME and Schooner Sail in Gloucester, MA). We found the ship and our stateroom very clean. Weather made it impossible to tender at Bar Harbor, but safety of passengers should be the main concern which it was. The food was delicious and we were thrilled with all the seafood offered. The waitstaff, for the most part, was excellent. The crew was very friendly and attentive especially our Cruise Director. We also enjoyed the on board Historian. This was our first cruise experience and would go again with American Cruise Lines. We met some wonderful people and will have great memories. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and ... Read More
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and service is excellent. We have done the big ship cruises (3000+ + passengers, and swore we will never do another big ship again!) We discovered ACL last summer when we did their New England Island cruise, and loved it. We have already signed up for our third cruise with ACL for Nov. 2020. It was fun to be able to mix and mingle and sit with different people at every meal. Since many passengers, like us, were older, retired people, and from a variety of states, cities, businesses and professions, mealtimes were always interesting and entertaining. American Cruise Lines have smaller ships so they can visit more of the coastal and river ports than the big ships, so we you get to see more of the country up close and personal. Landing in port, there are at most only 100 passengers who disembark or go on shore hikes and excursions vs. 3000 people descending on a port at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I ... Read More
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I certainly wouldn't give it that rating. A clean road side motel more accurately describes the "Prospector" now owned by Ramada Wyndham As others have noted the onboard dining experience left a lot to be desired. Diner entrée choices where down to three and the portions were small. One could ask for more but there would be a time delay and when dining with others that would be problematic. The entrees were mediocre at best. One night was a vegetarian stuffed pepper. It was only a small slice of pepper overlaid with a tasteless couscous and I ended up having a piece of chocolate cake for dinner instead. The absence of a snack bar onboard was very apparent that day. The ship's heating units were all mounted high on the walls and because heat rises the decks were drafty all the time. The outside temperatures were running in the 50s and 60s so it was very uncomfortable. There was some problem with the ship wide computer system and we had to be logged on and off the ship by paper the entire cruise. I understand the cell service and wifi are spotty in Alaska but the brochure offered free wifi during the cruise and it was rare when we had access outside Juneau. After dinner we were stuck with our overly bubbly cruise director reading us the next day's itinerary from the same sheet that was delivered to our stateroom. She often ran over her allotted time so the entertainment didn't start until late. The music stopped at about 9:45PM so it was a short night. The good? the staff, they were great without exception (wish the cruise director would be a bit more mature and professional) Boarding and debarkation was smooth. Alaska was, what can I say? Gorgeous. The ship's captain stopped the vessel several times to view wildlife (whales, bears and orcas) and really made the cruise. I'm not big on walking tours so I passed on several excursions. The bus tours, the river rafting and the White Pass RR were great. Would I recommend this cruise? Probably not. They really have to upgrade their dining options and when it gets cold in Alaska the ship is uncomfortable. Back to the bigger ships for me. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and ... Read More
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and dinner. Crew was on target, baggage in our room when we arrived onboard after a morning at Mendenhall Glacier to have lunch onboard. We saw multiple types of glaciers. Presentations onboard for identifying whales readily and their habits. Also information from Alaskan native tribe and National Forest Service about what we would see in the 2 days in Glacier Bay. Stops in small towns were different and varied in their purpose. Train available to Yukon up the path taken by miners thru White Pass. Kayaks, rafting, who could want more? Accommodations were spacious, and food too often available as snacks between meals. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each afternoon, wine and beer with meals. Services were personalized and consistent. We added an extra day to wander and absorb the flavor of Juneau before boarding which was a good decision. Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau is a must for King Crab like a local! Leaving was smooth transition in early morning with assistance of crew to make early flights necessary to get to East Coast. Small ship experience was so much better than what my friends had on larger ships that have less access to places where we went. Now looking for another bucket list destination. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
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
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 enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most ... Read More
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most important part of our nations past, forged in part by these two infamous explorers. Great shore excursions and presentations by the River Historian added to the experience. The hospitality of the ship and crew was outstanding. The food and drink was excellent. It should be noted that the Queen of the West is the line's oldest ship and the rooms and bathroom are smaller than newer ships. But so little time is spent in the room, we found the accommodations to be adequate. The one difficulty was a high step into the bathroom which may be difficult for an elderly person. We enjoyed the entire cruise so much that we immediately signed up for another cruise next year! 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
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, ... Read More
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, quite new and offering a good range of river boat amenities, a hardworking and a very pleasant crew. But we felt it was overpriced, and had some weak points. Embarkation We boarded shortly before noon at a marina in Seattle, and the check-in was very fast. We were handed names tags on a ribbon and encouraged to wear them all the time. We were given the usual room key, but were not asked to provide a credit card imprint – a first in our experience. The Captain was there to greet us; and helped with the luggage. We had a snack in the main “Cascade” Lounge on deck three and then went to our cabin. The Stateroom, This is a quite new ship, and the stateroom was in excellent condition. It was quite roomy for a river boat with plenty of drawer space and a small but adequate closet. The bathroom was about the same size as on most cruise ships. The verandah has a sliding glass door, two chairs and a small table. The walls were painted a nice beige shade. There were two armchairs as well as a desk with its chair. Almost all the staterooms were the same, the price differential was according to location. We were on Deck 2, but since it is a small vessel, it was not inconvenient. We were just a few steps from the center of the boat. The Ship If you are on a cruise ship, you are told to call the river vessels “boats”. But American Constellation really looks like a small cruise ship with six decks and a sharp prow. It was built for sailing on open waters, and, as we saw on our visit to the bridge, is controlled by a navigation system that matches the oceangoing vessels we have been on. The top deck is open, with a small putting green. Deck 5 has the “Owners Suites”, a fitness room and a rear sun deck. Deck 4 has staterooms with a library/computer room and the Sky Lounge aft with an open deck. Deck 3 has the main Cascade Lounge forward and staterooms as well as a lounge. Deck 2 is all staterooms except for a lounge. The Main Deck has the Office and Dining Room, as well as some rooms without verandahs. All the decks except the top deck were connected by two roomy elevators in addition to a stairway. The Crew The crew, with one exception, was entirely American. Captain Brown had served in the Coast Guard for many years. He was most pleasant and helpful for the entire cruise. The Cruise Director, Annie was also outgoing and helpful, and most of her comments on the ports were accurate. The wait staff in the main dining room was cheerful and tried their best, but still lacked the skill of those found on the major cruise line. The only non-American on the whole ship was the pianist, from England, appropriately named Jon England. Fellow Passengers As noted, all our fellow passengers were from the United States. We were actually provided with a list of everyone’s names and staterooms. Those who had sailed with American Cruise Lines had their names marked with a star. While the ship would carry up to 175 passengers, we only had 112 on board. Of these 73 had sailed with the cruise line before. Since the company has only been around for a few years, this shows a high degree of loyalty. Since it is easy to forget the names of one’s fellow passengers, the list was quite helpful. As usual, virtually all our fellow passengers were of “a certain age”. The meals were all with open seating, but after a day or two we found a small group with whom we usually ate. The name tags and passenger list did help with recalling people. By and large we were a cheerful lot, and happy to share our differing port experiences and past cruising histories. Dining This was the first cruise in which all meals were served by the wait staff. Each diner was provided with an individual menu, and the back side asked for our choices for lunch and dinner. There was a partial buffet for breakfast, but the hot items were obtained only by ordering them. Actually the breakfast had the widest selection of “main” servings. The lunches were somewhat inadequate in term of choices offered; but it was possible to order items not on the menu. One of our table regulars always had chicken tacos for lunch. I tried them, but this Arizonan with a wide experience in Mexican food, found the Constellation version to be lacking in true south of the border flavor. The dinners were generally pretty good, although no boat this size can match the cuisine on a cruise ship; even smaller ships like the Oceania Regatta or the Crystal Serenity and Symphony. In fact, these smaller cruise ships, including Marina and Riviera as well as the Viking ocean going vessels, set the mark for cruise dining. But the efforts on our trip were commendable, with three main dinner entrée choices plus a vegetarian option for my wife. Desserts were limited, but the baker did an excellent job, and treats were available almost all the time all over the boat. One nice feature was the ability to order half-size portions. As we noted in the “Crew” section, the inexperience of the wait staff led to some mixed-up orders, and on one occasion, a delay of half an hour in getting the lunch main meal served after the appetizers. Shipboard Entertainment This facet of the trip was not bad for a riverboat. We had three pretty good female singers and a five piece band in addition to Jon England and his piano offerings. There was supposed to be a Dixieland band the final night but they did not make it. The Ports Ports and their excursions are normally the highlight of “river” cruises. However the options offered in the Puget Sound area were somewhat limited for first time passengers and the complimentary excursions very restricted, unless you were a prior passenger. We received a one page “Captain’s Sailing Instructions” sheet which detailed all our various arrivals and departures. As on all river cruises, there was a session in the main lounge each night with Annie going over all the shore options for the following day. We had already received a printed sheet of these choices in our cabins after dinner in the daily “Ship to Shore” sheet. We had also been provided on arrival with three pages of all the off-ship offerings and another document showing the prices. Many of these options were too strenuous for me, but the ones we took we did enjoy. Our highlights included a visit to an alpaca farm in Friday Harbor, and a “game farm” near Port Angeles where we fed a variety of large animals such a bears, llamas, bison and deer from the bus. Anacortes, north of Seattle, was our first stop with an interesting history and some tours. We arrived at 8:00 P.M. the first day after a 1:30 P.M. sail-away, stayed all the next day and sailed the following morning west for a two hour trip to Friday Harbor. Whale watching was offered there twice a day, in addition to the alpaca farm, but only the afternoon group saw more than one kind of whale. Friday Harbor is on San Juan Island, one of the San Juan group of islands which are actually northeast of Vancouver Island and Victoria, B.C. The islands became part of the United States after a long running dispute with Canada. It was here we did a tour of the island which included a delightful visit to Krystal and her alpaca farm, where we got to feed and pet the alpacas. We also had a visit to a lighthouse and the town of Roche Harbor. We stayed overnight at a small harbor nearby and then sailed south the next day to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula arriving in the afternoon. There we enjoyed a view of the snow covered Olympic Range. The following day was spent in Port Angeles, because this was the spot from which people could take a boat to Victoria and visit Butchart Gardens, a somewhat pricey trip requiring a passport. Since we had seen the gardens a few years prior to this cruise, we skipped this adventure and instead enjoyed the visit to the game farm in nearby Sequim [which should always be pronounced “Skwim”]. We left Port Angeles early the next morning and sailed east to Port Townsend, which is at the northeast corner of the peninsula, arriving at 10:00 A.M. and again spending the night there. Not too much was offered there by way of excursions except a complimentary walking tour. We sailed early the next morning to Paulsbo, just off Puget Sound, where we tendered ashore on a small ship’s launch and visited the Squamish Museum and Chief Seattle’s grave site. This is a small but very well done museum containing a great deal of history concerning the Native American tribes which inhabited this area. We left Paulsbo in the afternoon and sailed south, arriving in Tacoma at 6:00, spending the night and the next day there. This is a good sized city, but the ship offered only a complimentary excursion and two museum tours. The excursion was by bus and was enjoyable. We left the next morning, sailing north to Bremerton on the west side of Puget Sound. We arrived at noon and left at noon the next day. The only item of any interest in Bremerton is the Puget Sound Navy Museum (free), and that is a somewhat limited venue. Annie had said there was a nice shopping area, but one of our table companions who visited the area said most of the shops were closed. We had a small rain shower here, the only bad weather we encountered on the cruise until our return to Seattle the next day. Back there in the afternoon we took a complimentary bus ride (with a very inexperienced bus driver) to the Pike Place Market area, which was of some interest. We returned to the boat for the final evening and packing. The next day we simply got aboard a complimentary bus (with a much better driver) to the airport and home. We had received our statement the night before with three excursions, and no other charges on it. They have just today appeared on my computer credit card listing. Overall As we noted at the beginning of this review, we felt this cruise was very expensive for what was offered. We have been on some higher end cruise ships; but felt that we got our money’s worth on them. Not so on this cruise. The simple fact is that the food selection was not up to that of an ocean going ship, and it never can be on a riverboat. The entertainment was also far short of what one gets at sea. A friendly crew is nice, but this is true on ships in which the skill and experience of the crew is far better than what we experienced on this cruise. The fact that we were at small ports limited our on shore options. It is also true that most American ports offer fewer tours that can be booked on linethan overseas venues. We noted on our European river boat trips that the vast majority of shore excursions were complimentary, with only a few trips carrying small extra charges. All this being noted, did we enjoy this cruise. Yes, we did. American Constellation is a very nice boat with lovely staterooms, a delightful crew and very attractive small towns on its itinerary. The food was quite good, and the entertainment not bad. We are glad we took this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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