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
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: September 2017
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
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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: April 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
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
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
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
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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