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
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
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2016
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
18 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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: September 2018
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
American Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 3.0 0.0
Entertainment 3.0 0.0
Public Rooms 3.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 0.0
Family 2.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.0 0.0
Enrichment 4.0 0.0
Service 3.0 0.0
Value For Money 3.0 0.0
Rates 5.0 0.0

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