4 American Cruise Lines American Spirit Senior Cruise Reviews

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 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
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
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

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