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5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we ... Read More
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we understood a small vessel simply had to be more expensive. The cruise met or exceeded many expectations, friendliness of staff, cleanliness and size of state rooms and other spaces, interesting ports, good shore excursions and generally good + food quality, variety and presentation. BUT, the food service was barely acceptable and the server we had would not last a day at a restaurant like Cracker Barrel. Aside from the captain, first mate, chef and hotel manager, the entire staff appeared inexperienced. While the staff were invariably polite, respectful and helpful, the lack of experience/training was obvious. I will not take another trip with them and certainly not recommend it to anyone....at half the price it would be decent. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need ... Read More
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need of refurbishing. The salesperson I spoke with said it had been done. The cabin was clean enough, but I have traveled on much older vessels that were more updated. I was told that the Spirit would be the next ship to be replaced. The fitness equipment on board was pitiful. The equipment was outdoors and not plugged into power. The salesman said there would be freeweights similar to what you find in a hotel fitness room. There were none. While we appreciated the size, it is a very noisy little ship. Our cabin was on the stern, and engine noise is deafening at times. We were next to the rear outdoor steps, and ship personnel would run up and down at all hours. I finally caught and discussed the door slamming with one of the housekeeping staff. Cabin 321 should be converted to storage.This is an upper level priced cabin. For this price some shore excursions should be included. This was not. Warning to those going to Butchard Gardens...This is a 90 minute ferry ride, 40 minute motor coach, 90 minutes in the garden, 40 minutes back to ferry, and another 90 minutes on the ferry. The gardens are beautiful, but see them on another trip. I appreciated the dining room. We were not assigned seats. There were minimal choicees, but I was happy not to have to fight my way through a buffet to find something to eat. Read Less
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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
We heard about this line and saw a trip to New England and wanted to see small cities in Maine. Pre-cruise all went perfectly had a nice tour of Boston and boarding went off without a hitch. The expectation went downhill when we went ... Read More
We heard about this line and saw a trip to New England and wanted to see small cities in Maine. Pre-cruise all went perfectly had a nice tour of Boston and boarding went off without a hitch. The expectation went downhill when we went to dinner and found out that most of the dining room help was new with not experience. Of 17 servers 10 were brand new and had just started with little or no experience or training. Service was slow because we were told one chef left due family emergency and another was let go. Although the choices were nice one never knew what you would be served. Even though the server wrote down what we ordered there were many times what we got did not have everything we ordered or did not resemble what the menu said. When we asked doesn't anyone check the orders before they are brought to table we were told there is an expediter but they rarely checked. All in all meals were average at best. Our cabin was nice and fairly large with a nice balcony but we noticed that our sheets were not changed the whole 10 days we were on the ship. The bath towels were hardly big enough to dry a person after a shower. Towels should be larger. At one point as we were leaving our cabin we were asked by another passenger if she could borrow a roll of toilet paper as they had run out and there was not a spare roll in there cabin. Again we found out the cabin attendants are also new and little or no training on how to clean or stock a cabin. They are not given a checklist on what to do or someone to show them. We also found out that everyone from the restaurant servers, cabin attendants and deck crew are all interns who are hired for 12 - 16 weeks and then let go. And are offered a job to come back only if a managers job is available. Now we we move on to the common areas which were very pleasant a kept neat. Coffee and snacks and sodas were displayed for everyone all day. At one time my wife wanted a diet coke but none was displayed and no one seemed to know if any were provided. So I began opening cabinets and low and behold I found not only diet coke but sprite zero hidden away. Could not understand why it wasn't on the counters with the other sodas. Also if a server or anyone started to feel sick they were sent to a doctor in port and sent home immediately. It happened to our server and cabin attendant. We were in Provincetown and both were sent away on the Boston ferry to overnight in Boston with flights home the next day, which they had to pay for. The cruise line doesn't pay for this. We couldn't understand why they could not have just stayed on the ship until the next day since we were going to Boston anyway. This cruise cost us over $19,000 dollars for 10 days which is so overpriced it is unimaginable for what you get. We at this time will never plan on going on another cruise with them and let all of our friends know about our horrible experience. The only saving grace was the stops we made and towns we saw in Maine and Massachusetts and Rhode Island. We cruise at least twice a year and this was the worst service we have ever had for the price. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate knowledge of the ship. My husband is disabled and I notified the staff that we would be arriving with walker and wheelchair... no problem, they said. WRONG! The wheelchair could barely fit into the tiny, difficult elevator, there was no room service, tiny rooms, no phone to contact housekeeping for blankets or towels or special clean up needs. The staff was gracious but I had to go out of the room, wander about the ship to find some help, then request whatever we needed, clearly interrupting them from assigned tasks. This is NOT a ship for the handicapped! Fine for able bodied people who don’t mind the scheduled meals - open seating but if you miss the proper hour, you miss your meal. The staff really tried to make all better and we met a lot of nice people ( only 87 of us aboard) and the excursions were nice. Match your needs to this ship’s accommodations and you will be fine. Kudos to the staff on board who did all they could to make our lives better. Thumbs down to American Cruise Lines who could make minimal changes and market this ship to the appropriate group and solve the problems! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
I have been investigating American Cruise Lines since we took a Mississippi River Cruise with American Queen. I think everyone should travel on American Rivers more and they were offering some appealing options. We loved our small ship ... Read More
I have been investigating American Cruise Lines since we took a Mississippi River Cruise with American Queen. I think everyone should travel on American Rivers more and they were offering some appealing options. We loved our small ship Cruise with American Queen, so I really wanted to love this company. We took the San Juan islands trip. The ship was new and their staff is very young and inexperienced, although they worked hard and were very sweet. However, these trips are very expensive. And, since that is the case, there Are many areas that need improvement. First, there was a lack of communication. They just couldn’t get messages out for changes,etc. While they did post on the message board by the dining room, we shouldn’t have to go there to get information. Dining room service was friendly but confusingly spotty. On two occasions we had to rush through meals when we had allowed plenty of time before excursions. Also, while they say they work on dietary needs, we did not find them helpful with my husbands diabetes. Unlike American Queen, there really are no paid excursions. On the last day they did offer transport into Seattle to visit Pike Market while American Queen offers a bus at every stop. Entertainment was really disappointing and the largest Lounge available was too small and poorly arranged for any real program. Finally, they must work on safety for the Ramps off the boat. They need hand rails on the ramps and on the stairs. I don’t want to sound negative, but these trips attract elderly and handicapped people and they must do a better job if they want to flourish. My hope is that they improve, but until they do, I can’t recommend them nor will I travel with them again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
The scenery on the Colombia River is outstanding. The sites were interesting but didn't get to stay long enough at Mt. St. Helen’s and the Rose Park in Portland. There was a lot to do in these two areas that warranted more time. ... Read More
The scenery on the Colombia River is outstanding. The sites were interesting but didn't get to stay long enough at Mt. St. Helen’s and the Rose Park in Portland. There was a lot to do in these two areas that warranted more time. The overall pace of the cruise is geared for seniors. Though I am one ( mid sixties and fortunately healthy, I would have preferred a bit more activity. Since most folks were in their 80’s I think the pace worked well for them. There was nightly entertainment starting at Happy Hour though nothing through out the day. Some afternoons there were lectures on Lewis and Clark that were quite infomative. Food was good and plentiful but don't expect gourmet. The ship itself was one of the older ones in American Cruise’s fleet. I was glad to hear that this trip was the last until refurbished. When traveling again, I would definitely opt for one of their newer ships that has updated furnishings and better accommodations. The Staff was very friendly especially the ship manager who went out of her way to be accommodating to your needs. Headquarters also was responsive to my concerns. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Summary: Poorly trained staff, inadequate staffing, chaotic alcohol service, mediocre cuisine and 20th century room design made this our first and last American Cruise Line experience. We had cruised on Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, ... Read More
Summary: Poorly trained staff, inadequate staffing, chaotic alcohol service, mediocre cuisine and 20th century room design made this our first and last American Cruise Line experience. We had cruised on Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, Avalon and AmaWaterways over the past 17 years. Mostly, these involved flights of over 10 hours. We searched for a domestic cruise to equal these experiences and discovered American Cruise Lines. We chose the fall New England cruise due to a nice length, a luxury description and destinations. We booked; we arrived; we cruised. The Constellation is a new ship; 2017 is its maiden year. The overall design is gorgeous. Lounges, public rooms and dining room are airy and bright. The rooms are large, with many storage locations and a tiny closet. There was a single vanity and no (!) refrigerator. The lighting was good. The TV was a standard definition monitor with SD satellite service; this is the 21st century…where is HD? The Wi-Fi barely connected, had low speed and was AWOL a good deal of the time. The safe never worked. We didn’t try room service. The service level, in general, was not up to luxury standards. While enthusiastic and energetic, stewards seem like they had little training and only National Park-level experience. The staffing level seemed to be inadequate for the required tasks. Calls to Maintenance went directly to a full voicemail message box. The cruise “directors” were called on to set-up, tend and tear down bars, manage tours, marshal complaint lines and explain deviations. The dining room stewards tried their best. Dining was disappointing. Early-riser breakfast looked like a 7-11 had exploded. Dining room breakfast was the best meal of the day with lots of fruit, pastry and cereal choices. The hot items were pretty good, too. Lunch was Applebee level, only with lobster (everyday). Dinner was uneven – the soups were uniformly good, the entrees commonplace with insipid saucing. We didn’t try the desserts. Alcohol service reflected a company in transition. (Perhaps an all-inclusive fare is in the future?) There are no bars on-board. Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner; a cocktail hour preceded dinner and accompanied the evening entertainment. These were from temporary set-ups in the two major lounges. Service was chaotic using a cattle call approach. Quality was poor with wines from Gallo predominating. They ran out of chardonnay, the most popular wine in the country. Scotch inventory dried-up. Gratis tours were okay but nothing special. However, the included lobster bake was delicious and fun. If ACL is going to charge $1000 per day per person, several levels of improvement are needed throughout the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I am 62 years old and went with my 89 year-old mother who is still very mobile. Parts of the cruise were interesting and others not. First of all, let me tell you that the accommodations were very nice. Unfortunately, we didn't pay ... Read More
I am 62 years old and went with my 89 year-old mother who is still very mobile. Parts of the cruise were interesting and others not. First of all, let me tell you that the accommodations were very nice. Unfortunately, we didn't pay for a balcony and so we were on the basement floor where many of the entertainers have their rooms and it can be noisy at night. We could hear the toilets flushing constantly from the floor above and the public bathroom outside in the hallway. The free wifi and even by cell service were often not working in the room and I had to go out into the hallway or up to the library on the second floor to use the free internet or even call my wife. There was a 24 hour period on the Snake River where there was no cell service or wifi at all. There were a few teens and young couples but very sparse. The cruise is for seniors.The entertainment was very boring for us, no exercise equipment, no pool, just a library and a piano bar...snooze!. Good for old timers who like old Broadway shows or music from the 40s. The excursions for the most part were decent The food was excellent, best part of the cruise. Even though we were given the late dinner time, we were able to change it to the later time by asking the matre d, Carmen. We were even able to get into the private dining area for than the 2 times normally allowed. In the private dining area, we were able to have lobster tail, which was pretty small...so we just asked for two of them. We liked some of the excursions, and some we didn't. The trip to see Fort Clatsop and the Snake River excursion (charge) were very good. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2017
Near to places where family lives. Wanted to go to Williamsburg. Didn't like paying for other people to drink as much as they wanted as I barely drink. Don't think I will chose a cruise with unlimited alcohol included. WiFI was ... Read More
Near to places where family lives. Wanted to go to Williamsburg. Didn't like paying for other people to drink as much as they wanted as I barely drink. Don't think I will chose a cruise with unlimited alcohol included. WiFI was awful. We did sign up for another cruise, lots of pressure to do so. Felt like a pyramid scheme. Entertainment was just average, especially compared to other cruises we have been on. Not sure we will do another one after the next one. Seemed to make excursions out of places that were not all that interesting. The 1 1/2 hr ride for the crab feed and back again was not comfortable and the lunch was not worth it. Norm on board was very funny and informative. Let's hope the person on the Lewis and Clark trip is just as informative and funny. I will be disappointed if he is not. Read Less
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
Traveling along the Columbia River is utterly beautiful and peaceful. In order to fully enjoy this cruise, however, we had to ignore that we were nowhere close to getting good value for our money. The ads say cruising done perfectly, so ... Read More
Traveling along the Columbia River is utterly beautiful and peaceful. In order to fully enjoy this cruise, however, we had to ignore that we were nowhere close to getting good value for our money. The ads say cruising done perfectly, so we were surprised that about 80% of the crew was on their FIRST job, ever. They were sweet, energetic, and polite but 18-19 year olds are naturally going to overlook hundreds of things that would make a difference. Like removing a pile of damp towels, or getting food orders right, filling up water pitchers, etc. the slightly more mature "bartenders" for cocktail hour didn't know their jobs. One customer asked for a Long Island Ice Tea, and the bartender sweetly explained that sadly they had no iced tea. There was also confusion between gin and vodka. Personally, I just drink wine, so some of the frustration I overheard didn't diminish things for me, but I definitely know people were unhappy. It's almost like most of the crew didn't know HOW to work. They were willing, but "green". The boat was old (getting shabby). For example a ceiling tile by the elevator crumbled all over the floor. When we exited the boat tge final time we literally had to step in water. The food was good -- and some of it was top notch. The wine selection was probably in the $10/bottle range. It was decent, but everyday. If I were ranking the boat and its services, I would give two stars. We paid $1400 a day as a couple, so you can see it wasn't a good value. The river part was five star. Great ports, gorgeous scenery. But for that kind of money we were paying for the privilege of being on the river. Read Less
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