2 Charleston River Cruise Reviews

This shockingly poor experience on American Cruiselines really should be told to warn future travelers just how bad a simple cruise can be. The first obvious situation we encountered was the totally untrained staff which included a brand ... Read More
This shockingly poor experience on American Cruiselines really should be told to warn future travelers just how bad a simple cruise can be. The first obvious situation we encountered was the totally untrained staff which included a brand new cruise director (who was snippy, sarcastic and unresponsive to our simplest request to provide us with an extra chair) and servers who were fresh out of school. They were quite pleasant but didn't know much about serving. What they Did know about was that they weren't getting their tips. We paid our bill an added a large amount on our credit card for staff tips and are Very Upset that this money is not being passed on to these needy people, several of whom are leaving their jobs. The chef was an abomination. Two portions of soup taught us that we couldn't possibly order that item again as it was filled with corn starch so thick that one had to work at stirring the contents and,worse yet, the salt content was so enormous in that and the rest of the food, that I came home up 6 pounds with swollen ankles. In 2 days it had all come off but it was very uncomfortable. (Eating salads does Not put on weight.) Another kitchen problem was that they kept running out of food. The waiters told us that management had hired this chef to use up everything in the kitchen and Not buy any more food as the ship was headed for dry dock. Toward the end of the week, the portions were miniscule. Interestingly, this company charges fares comparable to the luxury cruise lines but provides mediocre vessels with minimal service. No phones in the rooms, no notepaper or pen, and cheap furniture. On the only other cruise we sailed with them in the Owner's Suite, we were treated to little pastries every night; on this cruise, they brought some strawberries on only 2 nights. The entertainment was pretty poor. Only one performer out of several was a professional. One night they substituted entertainment with Bingo of all things! The brochure said we were traveling from Charleston to Jacksonville, Fla. However, when we arrived in Charleston, there was No city tour. We sailed out of there immediately. We finished the tour without ever reaching Jacksonville, debarking from an island instead. We had to pay a significant per person fee for transferring to Jacksonville without ever seeing that city either. I call this deceptive advertising. Comparing it with our other cruise with them again, we began in Seattle and were, of course, treated to a city tour before sailing. We are left with the feeling that the company cut corners in every way possible and that, based on what we paid, this was a huge ripoff! In addition, it was so unpleasant in so many ways. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
First, we were told when we booked that the average age is 65. The actual average age is 80-82+. On board the cruise director told us she couldn't understand why we were told that? She said the cruise we were on is actually a bit ... Read More
First, we were told when we booked that the average age is 65. The actual average age is 80-82+. On board the cruise director told us she couldn't understand why we were told that? She said the cruise we were on is actually a bit younger than normal. So, then we see all the wheel chairs, walkers, canes, scooters sitting outside the dining room at our first meal, then we knew we made a bad decision. The ship is 4 years old, but on the inside it looked straight out of the '70s. The decor was unappealing. Much of the upholstered furniture was torn or soiled, probably from the wheel chairs, etc. This cruise costs $10,000 per couple which is absolutely outrageous for what it was. The food was mostly averge and sub par. In 7 days, we had two decent meals. All they do over and over is try and get you to book the next trip, and get some discount. They charge for all the land tours. We didn't do any, as we figured out how to do things on our own. We ate on land as much as possible to avoid the mediocre food. We felt like we had moved into an average assisted living home for the week, and it was way too long. Had we not spent that much money, we would have gotten off the boat after the first day. Again, for what you get, it's outrageously expensive!! They use young, completely inexperienced staff that complained to us about how management was not honest with them and were forced to sign contracts for 12 weeks. They make $30 per day, and clean the toilets when they are done in the kitchen. This is slave labor. Awful!!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2014

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