We sailed the Columbia/Snake River cruise. The American Song is a beautiful ship with spacious staterooms and very comfortable design and furnishings. The public deck areas are exceptionally nice with probably the most comfortable deck ... Read More
We sailed the Columbia/Snake River cruise. The American Song is a beautiful ship with spacious staterooms and very comfortable design and furnishings. The public deck areas are exceptionally nice with probably the most comfortable deck furniture I have experienced on a cruise ship. The crew was very personable, friendly and accomodating. The hotel director went above and beyond to ensure guests needs were met. The onboard historian brought the river alive with storytelling that made you appreciate what your were seeing and experiencing. It was more than just a cruise, it was an educational experience. The other passengers were very compatible and friendly and it made for a very pleasant journey. The itinerary was very good with a good selection of shore excursions that made it interesting and enjoyable. Going through the locks at each of the Dams was fascinating and interesting. Overall, I give American very high marks. We would definitely cruise with them again. Read Less
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are ... Read More
First, the cruises offered by ACL are geared towards mature audiences - 60's and up, although there very people much younger on this cruise. Actually who's on the cruise really doesn't matter to me, as long as people are enjoying their experience.
I have taken 7 ocean cruises and on rivercruise (20 years ago). If you are expecting in your face activities and craziness, pick something other than a river cruise.
This was a celebration cruise for my husband and I, and when greeted when boarding the boat, we were congratulated and on the second day, after returning from a shore excursion, we found champagne and strawberries in our cabin!
Every crew member is there to serve you and extend extraordinary customer service, which was evident every minute of the day (we had to ask someone to thread a needle, and they did so with a smile!). When crew members say they love their jobs, that says something about a company!
Because the river was running high, a last minute change of itinerary was made and I thought it gave us an even better experience; also, Because we were in the height of Mardi Gras season, instead of staying in a hotel pre-cruise (part of your fare), we stayed on the boat - we were greeted by a lovely buffet and drinks. We were not able to dock at Houmas House or Oak Alley, but those excursions were changed to days when we were in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. We cruised up to St. Francisville instead on the first day, and had the choice of three additional excursions (only 2 of the many offered were premium at an extra charge, by the way...). Also in Baton Rouge, which is not the most exciting stop, they added a walking tour by their river guide, which made is all worth while. And because we returned to New Orleans a half day early, excursions to the WW2 museum and a French Quarter walking tour were added! I think this was all handle exceptionally well!!!
On the ACL cruises, beer and wine are included at Lunch, cocktail hour, dinner and during the evening entertainment, so you are not running up a tab. The food was excellent and you could request half portions. There were also snacks, coffee, tea, fruit, juice and soda always available in two of the lounges.
My husband had never cruised before and I knew that an ocean cruise was out of the question - he thoroughly enjoyed this and we are considering other itineraries in the future.
The cost seems high at first, but when I compared it to an ocean cruise with similar accommodations (balcony), and considering that there is no charge for adult beverages, no tipping, free excursions, free WIFI, the cost is comparable. Read Less
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people ... Read More
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people on-board which gives ample opportunity to meet new people. There were some traveling alone, some in groups as well as couples. The ship was kept immaculate and our room was a nice size. We enjoyed the view from our balcony. We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There was more than enough to eat and drink at all times! There was accommodation for those that needed accommodation to reach the tour buses and tour destinations. We also were very satisfied with the hotel the first night in New Orleans that was part of the cruise package. Loved that the food and entertainment was inclusive of the local area of the cruise. We highly recommend taking this cruise! Read Less
We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently ... Read More
We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently decorated. Our stateroom was AAC on the third floor and it was as large as advertised as was the bathroom. The bedding was very nice and the king bed quite comfortable. The outside balcony would have been used more if the weather had been warmer. We sailed in early November and it was often quite cool and we had some rainy days. For us the trip was almost flawless and we had a wonderful time. Attire is casual but folks dressed neatly and tastefully. We were fortunate to find many congenial groups, couples, and singles to enjoy the cruise with. No young children or teenagers. The group ranged in ages 50 - 80's and was a fairly active group. The food was quite good. I am Vegan and the cruise chef was able to plan and prepare very good meals for me. My spouse enjoyed the regular cuisine. Although some crew members were quite new, the hotel (cruise) manager did a great job making sure all the parts worked really well together. She was very organized and the materials the company provides its passengers were very clear and complete. The itinery director was also organized, quite pleasant, and competent communicator. There was an onboard naturalist who gave several lectures and he was knowledgable and an entertaining presenter. The off ship excursions were enjoyable with several locals guiding us in their respective home towns. We did book another cruise while on this one as we so enjoyed it. No complaints. The crew and staff did a great job. Read Less
From my first contact by phone with the cruise agent through the debarkation, everyone and everything was a most pleasant experience. I have been on several cruises and this ranks near the top of the list. First and foremost was the ... Read More
From my first contact by phone with the cruise agent through the debarkation, everyone and everything was a most pleasant experience. I have been on several cruises and this ranks near the top of the list. First and foremost was the attentiveness and attitude of the entire crew which was directed t making our trip pleasant and enjoyable. The fact that passenger count was small (at capacity) allowed for interaction between everyone which made for a most comfortable time and conversation with all. The ship provided ready access to every public area and was clean and well manned. Our cabin was large by cruise ship standards and dining was excellent. The entertainment was good and their was always something to do. All personnel were dedicated to providing first class service to all passengers. The ports were well chosen and provided good shore experiences. I would most assuredly use American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
Our ship, the American Song, was brand new and had only been in service for two weeks before our cruise. Everything was sparkling clean and shipshape. It was a real treat to be onboard such a clean, beautiful ship. One very nice feature is ... Read More
Our ship, the American Song, was brand new and had only been in service for two weeks before our cruise. Everything was sparkling clean and shipshape. It was a real treat to be onboard such a clean, beautiful ship. One very nice feature is that our room heating/cooling system worked great. The cabin temperature controls were easy to use and the system performed well. The staff was unfailingly courteous and helpful.
Most of the complimentary shore excursions were very interesting although a little slow-paced for my wife & me. We’re in our early-to-mid-60s and prefer a more active pace. Most of their tours range from an hour to three hours and involve little walking. But most of the passengers looked older than us so the tours probably fit American Cruise Lines’ demographic well.
The onboard pilothouse tour given by the ship’s cabin was very interesting. (But I’m an old sailor so I have a bias toward anything nautical.)
Riverboat historian Bill’s lectures were terrific. They focused on riverboat history, the Civil War and the Louisiana Purchase. We found them fascinating. He has a great delivery and infuses the subjects with humor. Bill’s wife & entertainment partner is singer Laura and her tribute to women singers was great. Her knowledge of the repertoire starting back in the early 20th century and continuing up to the current day was amazing.
The food was very good but designed to appeal to the standard American palate. It’s centered around a large chunk of meat or fish and accompanied by a starch such as potatoes or white rice. Vegetables are an afterthought. I had a hard time getting veggies even when I ordered the vegan options. Salads were mostly lettuce with a very small dollop of dressing. At least, the lettuce was not iceberg. Some fruit was available on a buffet table at breakfast but some was unripe.
Dessert was available at both lunch & dinner. Alcoholic beverages flow freely starting with complimentary beer & wine at lunch. Next is happy hour with the added option of free mixed drinks. Happy hour is followed by free beer/wine/mixed drinks at dinner.
The WiFi was very slow, so slow as to be mostly unusable. I tried it in a few different locations throughout the ship. I found that I could get a faster connection by using my cellphone to set up a hotspot.
We paid for a couple of the “signature” excursions. One was the Atchafalaya tour; we were very disappointed by this. On the day we went the swamp boat’s steering had apparently been worked on recently and put back together backwards; i.e., steering to port sent the boat to starboard and vice versa. Watching the skipper try to leave the dock with this mechanical disability did not inspire confidence. Once away from the dock we didn’t see much wildlife and the tour narration was lacking. On the way back we had a miserable lunch in a local hole-in-the-wall diner. I’ve had better meals at Denny’s. It sounded like the people who took the free tour that day had a better experience. To top it all off when we boarded the bus to return Rush Limbaugh was on the radio, not at all what a couple of lefties like us want to hear. Read Less
This was my second cruise on the Independence and I have booked two more cruises for 2019 and 2020. We were able to take a New York City tour before sailing giving me a chance to visit the 911 Memorial, which was very important to me. ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Independence and I have booked two more cruises for 2019 and 2020. We were able to take a New York City tour before sailing giving me a chance to visit the 911 Memorial, which was very important to me. Touring West Point was such a wonderful experience and the FDR Home and Library were a highlight of the trip as well. I could have spent a whole day there.
I enjoy the atmosphere of the small ship and getting to know so many people. The age range of the passengers is more to my liking, closer to my age. And the fact that American Cruise Lines has staterooms designed for singles makes traveling a little less expensive for a single person.
The food was wonderful and the variety at each meal was a real treat. The open seating at all meals made it so easy to get to know people. The service staff and management were exceptional. Looking forward to traveling with American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin ... Read More
I wanted to experience the area from the perspective of the river itself. I have traveled with American Cruise Lines before and wanted to do it again. The ship is one of the oldest in this fleet, but it was beautiful nonetheless. The cabin was a little small, but as a single it was adequate. The common areas were lovely; very comfortable furniture and a great place to just relax.
The captain was exceptional; personable and accessible. He often came to dinner to mingle with the passengers. He shared his stories with us and was very gracious in asking us to share our stories. The cruise director was such a lovely person. So much personality and eager to help proactively ensuring that all was well. The crew was exceptional; friendly and courteous, quick to help and easy to find when necessary. The food was delicious and varied. The portions were just right. You could always ask for more, but it seems that waste of food was minimized. The dining staff was wonderful; prompt service, quick to respond to requests, and always cheerful and friendly. The service from the entire crew could not have been better.
The shore excursions ranged from interesting to spectacular. The highlights were Astoria, waterfalls, Mt. St. Helens, and the jet boat tour down the Snake River. The geography on the river was so interesting and unusual.
All in all, I am very glad that I took this cruise. It was a wonderful, relaxing week. Read Less
My wife and I sailed on the "American Constitution” on its October 6, 2018 Hudson River Cruise in Owner’s Suite 505.
For background information, we have taken many ocean cruises, primarily on Regent and Silversea ships as ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the "American Constitution” on its October 6, 2018 Hudson River Cruise in Owner’s Suite 505.
For background information, we have taken many ocean cruises, primarily on Regent and Silversea ships as well as a number of European river cruises, primarily on Tauck ships. For 2018, we wanted to try an upscale North American cruise and our travel agent spoke well of American Cruise Lines. Late last year, with high expectations, we booked our Hudson River cruise in one of the best cabins on the new (April 2018) “American Constitution”.
First, our positive comments:
Itinerary and Navigation - well thought out as to stops and to timing of night vs. day ship movement relative to the scenery. Smooth comfortable sailing, docking, and departures with a noteworthy turnaround in a relatively tight spot in our sailaway from Kingston, NY.
Crew - competent, polite, cheerful people in all areas of the ship. They are hard working and, at times, appear to be overworked due to short staffing. Fourteen-hour days, seven days a week, appear to be the norm. Turnover appears to be high.
Dining - well-prepared and presented, along the lines of traditional American classics. The menus had good variety. Overall, I would characterize the dining as three-star (Mobil/Forbes, not Michelin). In my experience, four-star is possible on river ships.
Shore Excursions - interesting, well-organized, well-guided, and held to schedule.
Now, to our issues:
Cabin Overall - good layout but with inexpensive furniture already starting to show wear (I fixed the sagging door of the refrigerator compartment with my pocket knife’s screwdriver). Comes across as mid-range motel quality. Layout would be better with a more ship-like row of built-in cabinets on the wall opposite the bed incorporating drawers, a desk surface, the minibar, and the closet. This would allow the elimination of the desk/dresser on the back wall of the bathroom in turn allowing the bathroom to be wider. Other potential improvements would include sheer curtains in addition to the blackout drapes to allow daylight into the cabin while preserving privacy. A full-length mirror should be included. Raising the minibar off the floor would allow easier access for older clientele.
Thin walls make TV’s and conversation from next cabin quite audible. One evening at 11:30 P.M. I could clearly hear the baseball playoff game next door. I had to call to ask that it be turned down.
Cabin Bathroom - the biggest single dissatisfier on the ship. Please see photo above. It’s just too small, particularly in the shower area. The shower is a narrow fiberglass module with a fixed-position, fixed-flow head. With the shower door closed, it was impossible for my petite wife to get away from the flow thus subjecting her to a hair-washing whether she wanted one or not. By contrast, to show what's possible and what we expected, pls. see above picture of the shower from our 2015 Rhine River cruise cabin on Tauck’s “M.S. Inspire”. Please note the tile finishes and the fact that the shower is about double the width of the one on the “American Constitution”. There is both a rainfall shower head (dark square on ceiling) and a handheld shower head with an adjustable-height mounting. The shower door is hinged at the wall and swings both ways. Shower flow and temperature can be adjusted from the doorway prior to getting in. There’s a fold-down seat for handicapped passengers on the right side. Partly visible in the reflection on the shower glass is the sink and countertop.
Hygiene - the public bathrooms near the central stairwell on the ship are simply not cleaned frequently enough. My wife noticed dirty spots on the floor that had been there 24 hours earlier. This gives us rise to concern about the cleanliness of areas of the ship that passengers don’t see. We saw railings on the central stairway being cleaned only once. The only fixed hand sanitizer dispenser we noticed was at the entrance to the dining room, not at the bottom or top of the gangway or in the lounges. We were concerned about the silverware in the dining room being placed directly on plastic table mats that we weren’t sure were changed after every service. I think the ship is at some risk of a Norovirus outbreak without sanitation being improved.
Supply Outages - on Wednesday, October 10, the ship ran out of milk, first 2%, then whole and skim. Big problem for tea drinkers. The coffee and tea supplies in the lounges on decks 3 & 4 often ran out of insulating sleeves and sometimes cups and some varieties of tea bags.
In summary, we were quite disappointed with our experience. At more than $1000/person/day (roughly the same as Tauck’s best European river cruise cabins), our cruise was not a good value. What we expected on the ship was Four Seasons and what was delivered was closer to Holiday Inn. We left the ship in Yonkers two days before the end of the cruise.
I spoke with both the Cruise Director and the Hotel Director prior to our departure from the “American Constitution”. While the Cruise Director was both interested and concerned about our reasons for leaving, her boss, the Hotel Director, did not seem to be, instead projecting an attitude best-described by the phrase “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”. With both of them, I quietly conveyed our concerns making it clear I was not angry, just disappointed. In addition, I e-mailed ACL's East Coast Hotel Director, Christopher Nailon, and ACL's owner, Charles Robinson, with my comments as noted above. After two weeks and one week, respectively, I've had no response.
We think American Cruise Lines has a long way to go to truly fulfill its slogan of “Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly”. In the meantime, save your money and avoid major disappointment. Read Less
I had a wonderful time on the initial cruise on the American Song. The food was like a 5 star restaurant and there were plenty of choices available. The staff was friendly and very interested in making sure your every need was met. The ... Read More
I had a wonderful time on the initial cruise on the American Song. The food was like a 5 star restaurant and there were plenty of choices available. The staff was friendly and very interested in making sure your every need was met. The accommodations were first class and they addressed any concern immediately. The cabins were spacious and it had a surprisingly large bathroom.
We took this trip as our honeymoon! Our honeymoon was celebrated by the staff by sending us champagne and chocolate covered strawberries.
The onboard entertainment could use some improvements, but was adequate.
I was extremely impressed that the owner and his sons visited us while we were onboard. He spoke to the group, addressed any concerns and agreed that they are working on improving the onboard entertainment.
I was very impressed with this river boat cruise line. I hope to sail with them again and would recommend this cruise line to my friends and family. Read Less