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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in ... Read More
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in American Cruise Lines. The cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. We booked one of the Owner Suites because the American advertisement stated they were up to 450SF and had a “Full-Size Bathroom.” I should have been suspect when I could not find a single picture of their Full-Size Bathroom. Now I know why no pictures. It was literally three steps by five steps (size 11 shoe) and a shower at the end with a door that could not be closed for use unless you were in the shower! My picture is attached for future buyers. I hate to think what the size of the bathrooms were in all the room categories below the owner suite. We took the pre-hotel package at the Battery Warf hotel in Boston. It was adequate and located just outside the North End areas. The transfers to the ship the next morning where well organized and fortunately arrived at the pier after a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for disembarkation. American docks on Pier 8 in Charlestown. There is no cover between the parking lot and the 100-yard walk along the pier to the ship. The morning of disembarkation we had torrential rain and got soaked making the walk to the parking lot where our luggage was under a kitchen fly tent getting wet with blowing rain. It took two days for some items to dry out! The dining experience was disappointing. The serving staff could not take and deliver an order without multiple errors. My wife has a food allergy and tried ordering meals not specified on the meal option card as available. She got totally frustrated with what was delivered for her meals. The food portions were small, and I didn’t think one could get prime rib ¼ of inch thick—but I was wrong. The way we got great meals was to eat lunch off the ship and select some of the best seafood restaurants in out port of calls. Thanks Miss Google! We never saw the captain introduced himself during any of the functions/meals. Did not see much of him about the ship (only 164 passengers on board) and after he blew the docking at Martha’s Vineyard and we had to go to an alternate port (New Bedford) we did not see him again. The day after New Bedford there was a different captain onboard the ship until we returned to Boston! The good part about the experience was the neat New England ports we visited along the way. The included shore excursions options were educational and the optional ones we bought were priced reasonably. A plus. Of the ten evenings, the entertainment was good for four or five nights. Local talent got on the ship, entertain and then departed. The other nights we departed the area after a few minutes. The resident local expert on board provided good insight into the region. There were basically no other activities. The workout area was a total loser. The low ceiling would not allow treadmills or elliptical devices. All that was there were variants of incumbent bikes. They did learn a lesson from earlier reviews and did not run out of food during the pre-diner “happy hour.” Some evenings they had nice choices. In summary, the cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. Read Less
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Sail Date: July 2018
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the ... Read More
Boat and service was very good at first. But did not follow the itinerary and had to disembark a day early and was bussed 4 hrs to Pittsburgh. The itinerary called for cruising at night but captain would not. If they won’t follow the basic itinerary in ACL Cruise Guide then change it. Lost a full day aboard ship. Letter of complaint was not responded to. Sad. We did very much enjoyed the accommodations, food, service and would have liked to see the 3 ports we missed. Our dissatisfaction is with the home office and the captain. He claimed that the river was too high and strong current. But river heights were normal. He also claimed there was too much drift wood in the river. I and other passengers saw none. The trip should have started in Louisville in order to make it to Pittsburgh. This was our second cruise on ACL. The first was of Maine coast. Excellent Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar ... Read More
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar experience. WRONG! We had complimentary night at the InterContinental in New Orleans before the cruise and when we went down to breakfast with the other passengers we were given some insight into what was to come. Many of the passengers were on walkers or canes. The loading of the buses to travel to the boat took 45 minutes - really haven't the cruise line done this before?? We got onboard to find our cabin on the 4th. deck was adequate but when we stepped out onto our balcony we found the dividing partition was missing and we shared a balcony with the next door neighbour, ( who were nice), but not what we expected. The dining room was open seating which meant we got to meet many other passengers, nearly all from the US, l many older than our 71 years, but interesting to speak with. The food was not up to cruise ship standard and certainly not up to the 6 star price we paid. The service staff were pleasant and tried to please. The lecturers were interesting and were well informed. The included excursions were OK with the Vicksburg day being a highlight to us as non US citizens. We would not cruise with ACL again but the company will probably continue to prosper as they have a captive audience of Americans who wont travel out of their country and don't realise how bad value their cruises are. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The decor seems like it is from the 1950’s in the cabins and public areas. The “multi-purpose” room lounge is tiresome. It seems like we spent way too much time for announcements, coordination of activities, education, cocktail hour, entertainment, and selling future cruises in the same room. We created several of our own shore excursions because the ones offered were not interesting. Again, on past experiences the cruise line offered shore experiences exclusively for the those who were passengers on the cruise and we could review the itinerary ahead of time and know the pricing. American Cruise Lines did not clearly explain options and pricing, both online and even on a daily basis. Security basics were lacking, not even safes in the cabins. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise for a smaller ship, on board lecturer, fewer passengers. We had to miss our first port due to hurricane damage and that was understandable. We missed another port due to engine problems but nothing was said until we ... Read More
We chose this cruise for a smaller ship, on board lecturer, fewer passengers. We had to miss our first port due to hurricane damage and that was understandable. We missed another port due to engine problems but nothing was said until we had sat unmoving for several hours and then had to turn back to the previous port. No compensation provided. Embarkation/debarkation went smoothly. The ship is only 10 years old but is decorated like the 50s with plastic flowers, cheap decor. Dining service was ok but staff not only served your food but cleaned the cabins, etc. Not a good thing in my estimation. Young, not so well trained, not in uniforms or with gloves, etc. Attempt at gourmet only met unpeeled, inedible garnishes such as a tiny piece of kiwi on each plate. Food was stacked instead of side by side as other gourmet restaurants seem to do better in this effort. Entertainment brought in was local and excellent. On the missed port day the only activity provided was a Family Feud type of game, very old dvds and books to borrow. One computer provided a printer. Internet service was very poor and you had to keep your stateroom door open for minimal power. Ports were fine but missing two out of five wasn't good. Passengers were older as we are and many were repeat travelers. We asked why and many felt intimidated by larger ships and also liked that the ship was built and is staffed by Americans. This didn't matter to us at all. We would not sail with American Cruise again although they do have nice US itineraries and several folks love the line and the ship. The cruise cost more than twice what we normally pay on larger ships with same size rooms but those have many, many more amenities and activities. We felt for the cost we should at least have had quality decor and furnishings and far, far better service and housekeeping. Oh yes, the "fitness center" consists of three pieces of equipment on the windy deck and two were not working. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria ... Read More
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria meals, No great choices , breakfast was a small table with two types of pastries, with a limited menu ,Dinners and lunch were nothing to talk about.Lots of pork not much chicken dishes and not great veggie dishes. American queen steamboat company had a huge table with unlimited amt of choices and great choices for meals. The difference between the two companies are like day and night, American cruise line hasn't even got a pursers office, the maid service is done by the staff that serves you at the restaurant, not very professional, and their outfits are the look like blue scrubs that you see in hospitals,how unprofessional is that. I was at the owners suite thinking it would be beautiful since I paid almost twice the price as the other rooms , what a shock that was, The Star is an old ship , it was so drab.No colors on the long hallways to your rooms One shore excursion was on an island in which they had an oyster bake, you would think the ship would let the guest know that we would get bit by certain bugs and warn us about it. Lots of us got home all bit up ,I was scratching for a week after ,I still have marks on my arm American cruise line has the monopoly on the eastern coast and probably doesnt care since it has no competition. I would not recommend anyone to cruise with them at this time .Although they were very nice and polite and service was great , I was very disappointed. I spends thousands of dollars and did not feel I at all got my moneys worth. .. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Wanted a local, small river cruse for personal service. I'm 91 and the Snake River cruse was on my bucket list. Cruse line changed my early arrival hotel which was right across the street from the ship to a hotel that was over 20 ... Read More
Wanted a local, small river cruse for personal service. I'm 91 and the Snake River cruse was on my bucket list. Cruse line changed my early arrival hotel which was right across the street from the ship to a hotel that was over 20 miles away. That hotel had no restaurant and we had to have sandwiches delivered for dinner. I had to get a cab to the ship. Cruse line was to provide baggage transfer. When I arrived at the ship, NO baggage. Cruse lines didn't bother to find my bags or assist in locating them. Cruse lines didn't bother to assist getting me a ride to a local store to buy some clothes. Without any baggage, I had no coat and couldn't attend and off ship excursions due to the chilly weather. NO help from the staff. Spent lots of time in the ship laundry cleaning the clothes on my back. Stuck on board. The airline was able to reunite me with my bags at the airport when I departed to come home. Cruse lines refused to provide any type of refund or even a letter of apology. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly ... Read More
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly personalized service" and an "accommodating crew will anticipate your every need and provide you with an unequal level of attention". The cruise up the Maine coast was geared to an older clientele . The entertainment was a joke and had a singer with an awful voice, talks, videos and piano player for approximately 1 hr, after dinner. The food was good, but should you want a drink or anything else to eat outside of meal time, you had to hunt for someone to ask as there are no phones in the rooms for any room service. The rooms themselves were very bare with a minimum of amenities. All the shore excursions cost extra except for a complimentary lobster bake that was the highlight of the week. The ports were okay, but only bus tours or walking tours were offered. The dining and cleaning staff were very pleasant but were young men and women working for the summer and the Manager, Cruise Director and Housekeeping Supervisor were not friendly. This is not a cruise for families and definitely aimed at the elderly. We were very disappointed as the cruise was very pricey and any expectations were not met. We will not be travelling with American Cruise Lines in the future. Other passengers expressed the same thing. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four ... Read More
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four couples that complained and the cruise line sent a director of hotel operations to talk with us on the fifth day of the cruise. He listened to our complaint and said he was sorry and would see if he could do something for us once he talked to the home office and would get back to us after the cruise. That was 9 days a go so I feel like I was lied too. We were told the college age people working the ship were on 12 weeks contracts and than let go, that's why we felt service like eating at a IHOP and the place was dirty. We have been on river boat cruises in Europe that cost the same $10,000 that have been fantastic and twice as long for the same amount of money. The food was OK but for the cost of the 7 days I thought it could have been much better. We felt this cruise was a waste of money. Read Less
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