23 American Cruise Lines American Spirit Senior Cruise Reviews

The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always ... Read More
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always very attentive and interesting as well as interested in the passengers. This was my third cruise with ACL and I’ve enjoyed them all. The cabins and the common areas are always clean and well cared for. The food is very good and the evening entertainment is always very good. Usually it is local talent from the different ports but they are all very talented. The ports and excursions are interesting and varied. I love the fact that the ships are all built in the USA and the staff is all American, mostly college graduates. I like the fact that everything, except some of the excursions, is included so you don’t have to worry about how much drinks cost or how much you should tip the staff. The price might be higher than some cruises, but adding the extra costs from additional expenses probably evens out in the long run. The biggest downside on this ship, the Spirit (built in 2005), is the fact that the WiFi was very poor, although it was fine on the other two ships I was on, the America and the Constitution. Would I go on another one? Absolutely! In fact I’m already scheduled a fourth trip in June/July 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had outstanding night time entertainment. We toured several 1800s port cities in the San Juan Islands including an underground tour of Port Angeles where the the level of the terrain had been raise about 10 feet putting the first floor ... Read More
We had outstanding night time entertainment. We toured several 1800s port cities in the San Juan Islands including an underground tour of Port Angeles where the the level of the terrain had been raise about 10 feet putting the first floor of all the buildings under ground.We visited Olympic National Park including Hurricane Ridge where we were snowed upon in early October. We learned about the serious impact on the area caused by the decreasing salmon runs. It's not just the loss of salmon. There are great efforts going to restore the salmon. We visited the outstanding Chihuly glass museum. Everyone should see it. Our ship was bright and clean with a super staff to care for our every need. We had twice a day housekeeping service in our nicely furnished cabins with a comfortable king sized bed. We had one sitting in the dining room for each meal at tables of 8 with great interaction between the guests. The meals were great. The weather was mostly overcast with rain on a couple of days. That did not stop the planned activities. We also had bright sun on a couple of days. It was a beautiful tour that anyone could enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date September 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
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2018
We always wanted to see the San Junan Islands of Washing state and thought this would be an effortless way to do it. Embarkation was easy. The itinerary was very good and we really enjoyed all the historical little towns and scenery. ... Read More
We always wanted to see the San Junan Islands of Washing state and thought this would be an effortless way to do it. Embarkation was easy. The itinerary was very good and we really enjoyed all the historical little towns and scenery. Our room was quite large and the king size bed was really nice and comfortable. We did not do a veranda, as they were very small and had a metal door, not a big window and other folks said they wouldn't have paid for a veranda had they known. We chose #205 which was fairly quiet and others in the aft of the ship said the engine could be noisy. There were always snacks and beverages available in the lounge and a continental breakfast for early risers. I would suggest booking a room on the starboard side, as it seemed they usually had the better view in port. Breakfast was good and had many choices. There were only 2 choices for lunch and dinner along with a vegetarian choice. I think the food was rather average, except for the last night when lobster and surf and turf was on the menu. No phones in the rooms which could be a factor in a medical emergency during the night. The ship is about the oldest in their fleet and needs a bit of updating, but was clean. There didn't seem to be stabilizers and when we encountered rough seas one day, many folks were ill, but it was only for about 5 hours or so. The wait staff along with the cruise director, etc were all great. The shore excursions and informative talks on board were enjoyable, but it would have been nice to have had a complimentary excursion in each port, such as a walking tour. The walking tour of Port Angeles was $20, but we went to the Visitor Center and got it for $12. Entertainment was just average and usually local people who lived in the particular town where we stopped for the day. This is definitely not a cruise for children, they would be bored. It was mostly 'seniors'. Disembarkation went smoothly and we paid for the airport transfer which was very reasonable. All in all, it was the perfect way to see the San Juan Islands. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
American Cruise Line is our favorite line. I love the smaller number of passengers. The ships are lovely. Service is superior. Food is delectable, and we enjoyed the 1/2 portions! The cocktail hour is a big fun plus! The elevators ... Read More
American Cruise Line is our favorite line. I love the smaller number of passengers. The ships are lovely. Service is superior. Food is delectable, and we enjoyed the 1/2 portions! The cocktail hour is a big fun plus! The elevators were most important to me. This time we went to Seattle for the Puget Sound Cruise. On a pre-cruise package, we stayed at a beautiful Sheraton Hotel on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we had a pleasant tour of Seattle and were delivered to the ship (American Spirit) for lunch. We were very lucky in that the weather was sunny and warm, about 70-80 degrees or so. My husband is an early riser and often rode the bike early in the mornings. Walking tours are not an option for me with limited mobility (cane or rollator). My husband was able to do all the tours he wanted. I got to a number of good tours, but, at times, the buses were a long walk from the ship. My favorite tours were to Hurricane Ridge and to the Suquamish Museum. The drive through the forest to the Ridge was lovely, and the views of the mountains were spectacular. The Suquamish Museum was small, but very interesting. A young Native guided us on the tour. My husband especially enjoyed the Whale Tour and the Flight Museum. For this cruise, we had a fantastic speaker, Amy Traxler. She was most dynamic with tons of energy. She mingled with all the passengers and took many of the tours. Her "talks" were truly "gems" of knowledge. I even like "slugs" after one of her talks. Ha Ha. I was very impressed with her. This is not a cruise for children. Most of the passengers are older adults. There is nothing for children to do. Could that be why I like it so much? Yes, I would like to do more with this Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This cruise was great. The small ship lent itself to stopping when a bear was spotted, getting closer to the glaciers than a larger ship would be able to do.The cabin was quite large, the bed comfortable, and the bathroom roomy. The food ... Read More
This cruise was great. The small ship lent itself to stopping when a bear was spotted, getting closer to the glaciers than a larger ship would be able to do.The cabin was quite large, the bed comfortable, and the bathroom roomy. The food was out of this world. The chef even cooked a salmon caught by a family member for our dinner! The entertainment is strongly lacking--enough so that I can't honestly recommend this cruise line to my friends under 70. Not enough fun entertainment after dinner. The lecturer, while knowledgeable, needed to be only in the afternoon, not afternoon after afternoon, and then evening, too. The service was top notch in every department. The ports were as good as could be with what towns were available.The beginning of my cruise did not go well. No one informed me that I was to meet at a hotel lobby, rather than on the ship, to go on a pre-cruise glacial tour so I missed it.All 8 in my party missed it. Disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We wanted a small ship with few passengers. This is exactly what we got. We had 15 glorious days with 60 passengers, a wonderful crew of young people, a knowledgeable permanent staff and best of all a seasoned guide in Todd Weber. The ... Read More
We wanted a small ship with few passengers. This is exactly what we got. We had 15 glorious days with 60 passengers, a wonderful crew of young people, a knowledgeable permanent staff and best of all a seasoned guide in Todd Weber. The food was plentiful, varied, creative, pleasing to the eye and delicious. If the choices for any given meal did not suit the chef would make you whatever you wanted. My only complaint was lack of sufficient fitness facilities and my husband's was lack of TV reception for most of the cruise. That said, I believe that the cruise was designed for lots of participation and not TV. I enjoyed most of our excursions and told our cruise director about those we felt were not particularly enjoyable. In closing I would like to reiterate that the staff could not have been more pleasant or accommodating. We have already scheduled another cruise with American Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We aren't interested in the large boats that travel to AND from Seattle to Alaska in 7 days. The Spirit took 14 days to go only one way. The trip was very relaxing with a good size cabin, bathroom, and balcony. We felt that the crew ... Read More
We aren't interested in the large boats that travel to AND from Seattle to Alaska in 7 days. The Spirit took 14 days to go only one way. The trip was very relaxing with a good size cabin, bathroom, and balcony. We felt that the crew was always available to grant any wish. The historian, Todd Weber, was informative and entertaining. The food was delicious and appealing to the eye...and if you weren't interested in the given choices, you could ask for whatever you wanted. We liked that our time was our own with limited activities on the ship. I say limited, but it seems like there was usually something going on. Great group areas to congregate indoors and out. You could be as active, or as inactive as you wanted in ports. Being a small ship, we got much closer to some of the scenery. We even anchored in Glacier Bay one night while a black bear looked for shellfish on the nearby beach. Cabins are serviced twice a day usually while we were dining. An elevator made the whole ship accessible to everyone. Fellow travelers tended to be over 50 and well traveled. These two week cruises are not inexpensive but I can't imagine paying less for a trip on a mega size boat. My only recommendations to American Cruise Line would be changing to a more modern/neutral look in carpets and couches. (A minor thing.) also have WIFI that works all the time. (also not a big deal.) Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We've traveled on American Cruise Lines twice before and enjoyed the service and itineraries and have always wanted to see this part of the US. We have a preference for seeing our own great country - and have been to all 50 states, ... Read More
We've traveled on American Cruise Lines twice before and enjoyed the service and itineraries and have always wanted to see this part of the US. We have a preference for seeing our own great country - and have been to all 50 states, in addition to traveling to several other countries. The small ship experience (just over 80 passengers this time) allows us to get to know the crew, the staff, and our fellow passengers. The itinerary allowed us several opportunities to meet "the locals" and have a little experience of "living on the islands". We were especially lucky to have clear skies in Seattle, giving us a chance to see Mount Rainier, and then another bit of luck - on our whale-watching side-trip, we found ourselves in the middle of five (!) pods of orcas. The guest speaker, a naturalist who makes her home on one of the San Juan Islands, was knowledgeable, personable and engaging. Our service staff made sure that our every need and want was satisfied. The Captain was accessible and engaging - and very skilled. We don't have any disabilities, so I can't speak to that personally, although my sense from talking to others who did have disabilities, the ship has some cabins that are designed to accommodate certain disabilities. For those with severe disabilities, I'd encourage discussing these with the booking staff - the small ship configuration may or may not be the best choice - there were days when the ramp to get on and off the ship was rather steep, because of tidal differences. This wasn't a problem for us, but could be if you have significant mobility issues. I'd highly recommend this cruise and American Cruise Lines! We plan to travel with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I have always wanted to go into British Columbia to see the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria. This was a perfect way to do it. From the time that we arrived at the ship until we got off the experience was ... Read More
My husband and I have always wanted to go into British Columbia to see the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria. This was a perfect way to do it. From the time that we arrived at the ship until we got off the experience was wonderful. The staff, the food, even the rooms were great...American Cruise line has a good grasp of knowing what the more mature folks want in a cruise for length, the ports of calls where easy for us to get around, the folks that were at the Ports of Call were very knowledgeable. This being our first time on a small sailing vessel, it was a wonderful experience, you had a better chance on knowing the other people who were sailing, they were not just someone you passed in the hallway, but someone you got to know. Would love to take another cruise with this company in the New England states next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We were planning to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Seattle this spring, and we chose this cruise so that we could do both. From the embarkation on, everything went beautifully. We enjoyed the ports, the food, the comfort, the ... Read More
We were planning to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Seattle this spring, and we chose this cruise so that we could do both. From the embarkation on, everything went beautifully. We enjoyed the ports, the food, the comfort, the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, and meeting people on the cruise with us. Our hotel manager invited us to invite our daughter and son in law aboard for dinner the last night, and facilitated our "early checkout" so we could go home with them that night instead of getting up early the next morning and having them drive all the way back out to the ship to pick us up. I thought that was just the nicest and friendliest thing to do. To add to the fun, it turned out my daughter and son in law had mutual connections with the hotel manager from the island of Lanai, Hawaii! We are already talking about our next trip with American Cruise lines! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and ... Read More
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and love to be pampered. ACL did everything possible to make our trip amazing. Attendants were ready to unload our bags and put them in our stateroom when we first arrived. Food was outstanding. All dietary concerns by other passengers were met and as we had no dietary restrictions we were able to enjoy all they offered, which was more than generous. Every meal had numerous selections and we didn't find any that weren't delicious. You couldn't go wrong. Service was by young people very obviously training for the hospitality industry. If they made a mistake, which was rare, it was promptly and pleasantly corrected. On board entertainment was more than adequate, very enjoyable. Quite a bit of jazz music but of good quality. We would have loved to hear a little gospel or country music interspersed, but what we did have was very good. So, just a personal preference, sure others were completely satisfied with onboard entertainment. Amy, the onboard naturalist was outstanding. Shared all her knowledge with us in an informative yet very understandable and NOT boring manner. Excursions were well worth taking, all of them, even the freebies!! This was a tulip themed cruise and the tulips were gorgeous. The few complaints we heard onboard were from the same people each time...you know those people that no one can please. The captain mingled with the guests and was a joy to be around. Cruise director extremely helpful and immediately took care of any needs. Only recommendation we might give is to take a long a few extra hangers. There were 12 in our closet and they probably would have furnished us more if we had asked, but we were glad we'd brought some. Do think it was a little "pricey" but there also were no gratuities to the onboard staff...basically prepaid...love that. Snacks in the lounge area were the best we've ever seen. Plenty of sodas, coffees (even decaf), fruits and packaged snacks + hot cookies every morning. We're going again. Can't wait. Met 3 other couples that we're going with. Enough said! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Puget Sound and wanted to take my husband's sis and bro in law on their first ever cruise. Plus it is an American ship with an American crew and a small ship. There were 86 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Puget Sound and wanted to take my husband's sis and bro in law on their first ever cruise. Plus it is an American ship with an American crew and a small ship. There were 86 passengers onboard on our cruise. The ship accommodates 100. We loved the itinerary and enjoyed the tours offered. The top deck of the ship is very conducive to reading, relaxing, and enjoying the scenery. The cabins were clean, spacious and we did not spent much time in ours. The lounge area is bright and cheery and a nice way to also enjoy the scenery. The crew were friendly and helpful and they work very hard. The dining room service is not the most polished but we loved talking to the young people working onboard. Many if not most of them are college students taking a semester off to earn their tuition. They are friendly and lean over backwards to be of service. We have cruised on big ships, med sized ships and river ships. This ship was a very satisfying experience and we look forward to additional cruises with ACL and Pearl Seas Cruises. There is so much to see in the USA and Canada. We love the smaller ships and the personalized service. The cruise was not inexpensive but everything except some of the tours were included in the price. Including tips. That was a welcome feature. We weren't nickeled and dimed to death. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Northwest area. We enjoyed the small towns on the itinerary, however, the cruise line had scheduled a tour of Seattle (which we took) during rush hour traffic on Fri. PM. The other tour ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Northwest area. We enjoyed the small towns on the itinerary, however, the cruise line had scheduled a tour of Seattle (which we took) during rush hour traffic on Fri. PM. The other tour to the Flight Museum turned back to the ship (prudently) The "guide" dumped us at Pike's Place, fortunately, all made it back to the bus. Some never left it! The service at breakfast was slow, and food was mediocre - lukewarm or cold. Coffee was lukewarm or cold, and at the end of the week, we were getting our own coffee. The service crew seemed worn out. Lunches and Dinners were good, with the exception of Thursday nite, when the entree choices were "bar-b-q" short ribs (overcooked chuck") and duck. This would have been a good time to go into town for dinner. Overall, the cruise was average. The food was pretty good, towns were lovely. Scenery was great. Olympic National Park was beautiful. Gardens were gorgeous - very crowded. I think the last tour in Seattle left a bad impression. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Small ships, great itineraries and wonderful, cheerful service. Free wine and beer with lunch and dinner. A full-bar happy hour every day before dinner with great appetizers! Starting in Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier, the Tracy Arm ... Read More
Small ships, great itineraries and wonderful, cheerful service. Free wine and beer with lunch and dinner. A full-bar happy hour every day before dinner with great appetizers! Starting in Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier, the Tracy Arm cruise with Watson Glacier and the huge icebergs were beautiful. The historic walking tour of Petersburg gave us a glimpse of real life in Alaska. Out of Wrangell, the Jet boat tour on the Stikine River and Chief Shake Glacier provided up close viewing of the Glacier with a great addition of Mountain Goats 200 yards away! The local town tour of Wrangell was great, beautiful museum and entertaining guides. Duckboat tour of the harbor in Ketchikan. Cruising the Queen Charlotte Straits was a beautiful 3 days. San Juan Island tour in Friday Harbor, Jet boating in Anacordes through Deception Pass. Walking tour in Port Townsend was great and informative. Did I mention that ALL of these tours are FREE on American?!!! Our Naturalist on board was very informative and helpful in identifying Humpback whale behavior and spotting a lone Orca (Sea Panda)! While everything wasn't perfect, the combination of a smaller ship and cheerful staff made our 8th cruise on American all we could expect. We have 2 more cruises booked and will relish our 11th cruise FREE. What a great benefit to have on American Cruise Lines!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't ... Read More
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't be pleased. Here are some overall comments from our experience. The most important being - my husband and I who are in our 50's had a wonderful week of peace and quiet. We took walks together when on shore and met some truly wonderful people. If you're looking for casinos and a 24 hour bar, this isn't the ship for you. But if you are looking for a perfect trip to shut off the phones and just watch some spectacular views from your balcony - this is the ship. This is a very understated cruise, which was perfect for us. 1. Food. Food was great. With the exception of a dry pork chop one night - overall the quality of the food was excellent. You are able to special order to some extent if you don't like what's on the menu. It is a set menu and you do make your choices in the morning. Keep in mind this is a small ship so they carry everything. 2. Activities. There is a speaker that goes on the cruise who is very educated about the area and gives talks at different points in the cruise. Our speaker also led several tours. The evening activities are kinda bad. So my best advice is to skip it and sit up on the observation deck or enjoy your balcony. Tours were good. 3. Service. This is where people get unnecessarily mean. The staff is comprised of college students who are serving 13 week internships. They are young and they will goof occasionally (forgetting your toast or serving right to left). But they are enthusiastic and hard working. Some will go on to terrific careers in the hospitality industry, others won't. One of our favorites on the ship is preparing to enter the Peace Corp. Another one was so excited to have landed his first big interview with an airline because of the internship and was excited to share that he had gotten his first car and apartment. It really is part of the charm of the cruise to interact with these young adults. 4. Management. Is excellent. Every effort is made to accommodate the passengers. The director of western operations made two different appearances on our cruise to inquire earnestly about where they could improve. My only response was "I want a coffee maker in my room." 5. WiFi. WiFi isn't particularly great. But we didn't have a problem because we used my husband's phone as a hotspot. Which would be my suggestion to all who need to get online. Overall we had such a great time. So good that we before the cruise was over we booked the Juneau roundtrip for 2017. Even booked the same room! There is always room for improvement - but overall we think it was money well spent. Read Less
Sail Date October 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
Sail Date September 2015
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are ... Read More
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are seasoned travelers. The young staff wait tables all 3 meals and clean the rooms and are temporary for 3 months at time and are enthusiastic but overworked. Amy Traxler our naturalist was outstanding and was always willing to help and answer questions. At the end of the cruise the last night Amy presented a power point slide show of photos with music that she created for us. Something, that I would expect of the ACL Cruise Directors on ship to do every cruise. Our Captain, Capt Hexlrod ?? was personable and mingled with the passengers and on the last day in Seattle even helped load supplies. We were very impressed with the Captain and the crew who always helped passengers on and off the ship. We did like the free WiFi. The Hotel Manager , Chelsea was always willing to answer questions and would help the servers in the dining room. Amy the housekeeping manager always seemed to be helping somewhere. Several of the passengers had cruised before with ACL and are very committed to small ship cruising in the USA. I wonder if Viking comes in as I hear rumor will in 2017 if ACL will lose business from those of us who would like a more upscale cabin and less non-refundable administrative fees of $250/person and cheaper trip insurance. I would guess that many of the people that chose ACL will leave and go to Viking. The scenery is beautiful!! The negatives: The overworked staff and managers who seem to work non-stop day and evening. This made many of us feel uncomfortable to see them working so hard and not getting to rest. ACL's accommodations are pricey starting at $3985 for a basic cabin on the 1st floor which can have an obstructed view depending on the pier. This is for 7 night cruise or over $8,000 for 2 people, plus air fare etc.. A tiny balcony that can barely accommodate 2 chairs is almost $1,000 per person more to go to the 2nd level. The 1st level has considerable engine noise and vibration. Compare this with our 10 day Alaska Cruise, 2017 round trip from San Francisco in a mini-Suite on Princess for $6400 for both us for a longer cruise & includes insurance There is a $250.00 /person administrative fee to cancel which is buried in fine print. This is regardless of how far out the trip is cancelled unlike the big ship lines like Princess. The ACL insurance runs about $900 which I found high and bought from Travel Guard for about $600 for the week. On Princess for a 10 day cruise the insurance is $395 VS $900 for ACL. Tipping is requested at $125/person which seems beyond the $11 per day /person that we pay on Princess. $88 for a week on Princess VS $125 for ACL. There is no phone or call button in the cabin which is a serious safety deficit, especially for a ship with seniors . There is no announcement or clear directions on how to call for help and the expectation would be find the numbers for the hotel manager or cruise director on the ship to shore guide and call by cell phone. a number of the passengers mentioned this as a worrisome issue. There doesn't seem to be any security system ( cameras) on board and there is no tracking of passengers going on or off ship in ports or screening of lugguge. A crew member stands by the gang plank to monitor passengers and help but there is no electronic badge system or sign out process. The keys to our cabins were metal like our house keys not the electronic ones which can also monitor when a passenger or staff person enters and leaves the cabin. This is a low tech operation that doesn't seem to use tools like computer tablets to track excursions etc. Our bill was a narrow strip of paper with a box for each excursion to be checked with a total at the end and the tipping had to be added by hand. This was the 1st time that I have ever cruised with out an itemized computer print out of the bill . We had to check out the last day by using our credit card , check or cash unlike like other cruise companies which have it on file to expedite the check out process. Port Excursions are usually a town tour or some type of bus ride to view the sights or a museum with the exception of the jet boat in Anacortes and Whale watching in Friday Harbor. The Victoria excursion which we didn't take but got lots of feedback on from other disappointed passengers was a let town only 2 hours in Butchart Gardens and 45 mins in Victoria before returning via Ferry to Port Angeles. We wished for some more creative excursions and did get bored and restless as there is a lot of time spent in ports. There was only 3 pieces of work out equipment and no pool or hot tub on board. The cabin is bare bones with blond future which could use updating. Again no call button or phone . I missed a mini-fridge and fresh ice water being maintained. While this is advertised as cruising, most of the time is spent in ports even over nighting in ports. Entertainment: Mixed bag that was geared to the more Senior crowd but seemed to be enjoyed. We had one grand child on board about 11 years with her grandmother. She was smart and had picked this trip. We were all amazed how well she interacted with us and definitely held her own in dinner conversations. Meals as I mentioned is a sit down at a table of 8 and there is no horizon court for a quick meal which I missed. There is an early bird continental breakfast in the lounge starting at 6:30 am with rolls, coffee, Juice etc. Will we return to ACL maybe in a few years to take the Hudson River Cruise in a hopefully updated ship with more reasonable insurance and administrative fees. With ACL rolling out a new ship a year and not updating Spirit or its computer technology , I wonder how long this expansion can be maintained? I don't want ACL to suffer the same fate as Cruise West the small ship company that went bankrupt. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We wanted a small ship. We enjoyed that there were fewer passengers and the opportunity with open dining for every meal to meet and socialize with most of the passengers, The staterooms were very spacious and larger than some of the bif ... Read More
We wanted a small ship. We enjoyed that there were fewer passengers and the opportunity with open dining for every meal to meet and socialize with most of the passengers, The staterooms were very spacious and larger than some of the bif cruise ships. We liked that the passengers were couples our age, either retired or a few years til retirement, We liked that ACL had great personal service and that the smaller ship allowed us to go places the big ships could not. The destinations and shore tours were great, The chef and the food was fantastic. Everyday we had fresh local foods, particularly alaska seafood. The wait staff were college age kids who were very cheerful and work hard to do a great job. We liked that we could interact with college kids from all around the country. Favorite port stops for us were Skagway, the ships captain adjusted the schedule so we would be the only ship docked in Skagway that day. We took a tour bus up into Canada and them traveled the historic train back to skagway following the route taken my gold miners. We had a very knowledgable historian and naturalist on board names Todd Weber who gave several very interesting after dinner presentations about the northwest pioneers. Probably the best day of the cruise was the day we spent in Glacier Bay National Park. The wildlife that we saw and the glaciers we spectacular Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, along with the deer grazing on the hillside. The American Spirit is one of the older boats but the staff kept it clean and neat throughout the trip. Plenty of room in our cabin with lots of places to hang clothes and drawers for other things. Stewards kept rooms clean and neat. Some of the entertainment was better than others. They have local talent from the port we are in come on board to entertain. Food was plentiful and if you didn't like what they had the menu you could ask for something else and if they didn't have something they suggested a similar dish. Being on a small boat (93 passengers) is a plus. Even though some of the people were a little older than us we were able to learn many things from their vast experiences. This is not a cruise for children or young adults. There isn't a lot for them to do. For people who just want to sit and enjoy the scenery while traveling along Puget Sound and seeing a few orcas along the way, and a seal in one of the ports, this would be a trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We embarked from the Shillsole Marina about 6 miles north of downtown Seattle (some taxi drivers seem to have a hard time finding it). Ports visited were all in Washington state -- Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, ... Read More
We embarked from the Shillsole Marina about 6 miles north of downtown Seattle (some taxi drivers seem to have a hard time finding it). Ports visited were all in Washington state -- Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, and Seattle. Poulsbo was the only tender port. This was a small ship, with 86 passengers on board. The room was reasonable size, with a small bathroom. Food ranged from average to good, with a lot of salads at lunch, and sometimes even at dinner. The daily free cocktail hour was a big hit, as usual. Crew was very friendly and helpful, and the hotel manager, Chelsea, was exceptional, somehow seeming to be almost everywhere at once. Tours were not great, mostly walking tours of ports. But, we did our own walking tours in many ports. There were also two premium tours offered -- a day in Victoria, B.C. and a whale watching cruise. From the ship, docks, and tours, we saw whales, eagles, deer, and harbor seals. Embarkation and disembarkation were both extremely easy, which is one of the selling points. As this was an "Eagle Society Cruise" for frequent cruisers on American Cruise Lines (ACL), many of the passengers had done 5+ cruises previously on ACL (as my wife and I had also). All in all, we had a good time. Weather turned out to be great, and we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers, nearly all of whom were very experienced travelers, with numerous prior cruises - both ocean and river. The average age of the passengers was probably in the 70's, with only a few passengers under 60. This is the age group that ACL markets to, and our fellow passengers also seemed to enjoy this cruise as well as most other ACL cruises. You can also get a discount on a future cruise by booking it and putting down a deposit before leaving the ship. So, if you enjoy small ship cruising, with passengers in their "golden years", this would be a good cruise for you. If you are younger and/or looking for active shore tours, this is not the right one for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This cruise was the return trip to Seattle for the American Spirit after a summer season of seven day round trip cruises from Juneau. While we visited the usual cruise ship ports of Juneau and Ketchikan, the real attraction was the small ... Read More
This cruise was the return trip to Seattle for the American Spirit after a summer season of seven day round trip cruises from Juneau. While we visited the usual cruise ship ports of Juneau and Ketchikan, the real attraction was the small "real" Alaskan ports where the big cruise ships cannot go. Petersburg, AK is a working commercial fishing port in the heart of southeast Alaska. The included tour was a one hour guided tour through the fishing docs led by a retired commercial fisherman. He explained the different types of fishing and pointed out how the equipment on each boat was specifically developed for one type of fishing. The wonderful Clausen Museum tells the story of those who lived and worked in Petersburg. Our next port of call was Wrangell, AK. We visited the Chief Shakes Tribal House of the Tlingit (pronounced Clingit) settlers. Visited the Petroglyph Beach where rock carvings have been dated 8,000 years before the Tlingit settlement. All tours were included in the cost of the cruise. Another plus for the small ship: we were able to traverse the innermost and most scenic of the routes down the Inland Passage. Saw numerous Humpback Whales and Orcas. Re-entering U.S. waters we also visited three small ports in the San Juan Islands: Friday Harbor, WA, Anacortes, WA and Port Townsend, WA. Port Townsend has a Historical District which is a treasure of Victorian Architecture; buildings from when the town aspired to be the "New York of the West." Nice roomy king stateroom on the second deck. All the basics but not luxury. Good bed though. Just aft of the forward lounge, I spend little time in my cabin anyhow. it was convenient and not noisy. American Spirit is not a noisy boat.   Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
American Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 2.8
Family 2.0 2.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 4.1
Service 3.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 2.6

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click