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36 Charleston to U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

We were interested in the Charleston-Savannah area--Its history etc. After the we disembarked in Jacksonville we rented a car and went back to Charleston and stayed there for four days. Also we liked the small ship! The staff was very ... Read More
We were interested in the Charleston-Savannah area--Its history etc. After the we disembarked in Jacksonville we rented a car and went back to Charleston and stayed there for four days. Also we liked the small ship! The staff was very good in every way. The entertainment was very well done and varied. Chris Paul was especially outstanding. I would very much like to attend another one of his shows. The food was very good and tasty. The servers went out of their way to do everything they could to make up happy. The cabin was very comfortable and the staff cleaned it daily and more often if requested. The only complaint we would have was the non existent WiFi. I had to increase my data for my phone. Except for the WiFi the cruise was very well done. We must been very satisfied as we signed up for an Alaskan Cruise in 2020. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Jacksonville to Charleston 12/21/18 I really, really hate being critical or complaining. But a realistic review of this cruise is important for others to read. I should have picked up on the lack of CC reviews of the ... Read More
Jacksonville to Charleston 12/21/18 I really, really hate being critical or complaining. But a realistic review of this cruise is important for others to read. I should have picked up on the lack of CC reviews of the Independence, but the timing and itinerary was perfect for us. This cruise was beyond disappointing. ACL advertises "perfect cruising". This cruise was not an example of perfect cruising; it was more an example of “annoyed cruising”. As the primary travel planner in our family, I was so upset and disappointed the first night hat I couldn’t even sleep. We are experienced cruisers on river boats and small ships. This cruise was more expensive than anything we’ve ever booked. It was a lower-middle-class cruise at upper-class prices. I contacted ACL in January with a more detailed review. I was offered a 25% reduction on a future cruise with a very short time limit. It was insulting. PRE-CRUISE COMMUNICATION Most basic gap was communication. There is little detailed information on the website. When you call with questions, the agents don't know answers, don't offer to find out, or just give you wrong answers. The ship’s smoking policy changed, but nobody told the Captain! In numerous phone calls, my travel agent and I were both told that all information would be available on the ship. Nothing could be further from the truth. EMBARKATION When we arrived at the boarding point, the ship was not there. No signage, no communication. We spent about an hour looking for her and finally asked at the Hyatt. They directed us; we should drive down a one-way street the wrong way. Really?? We were greeted enthusiastically and our luggage whisked away. We were escorted to our cabin; it was a very warm welcome. We were not informed about the time of the safety muster and missed it returning a rental car. I find this very disturbing. SHORE EXCURSIONS Most river and small-ship cruises have at least one included shore excursions each day. After booking, I contacted ACL three times with no response. With a couple of exceptions, we paid extra for our shore excursions. The ACL brochure is misleading about prices, it is very clear that ACL is minimizing the fact that we'll pay extra. There are no details about excursion timing ... morning or afternoon or all-day. It only got worse after we sailed. The first evening, we were given a list of all shore excursions with prices. We were expected to complete these lists for the entire cruise and turn them in a few hours later. Unacceptable. CRUISE DIRECTOR LILLY Lilly is a lovely girl, enthusiastic and energetic, but lacks proper training for a Cruise Director's position. She was absolutely clueless. She blasted announcements in our cabin many times each day. The worst part of this cruise. Very little information was available, customary evening port talks were not held. I attended the first one where Lilly read us the ship’s newsletter. When the printed schedule changed, nothing was posted, with no phone in the room we had to track someone down to ask our questions. The “office” was often vacant. At evening meetings, Lilly would take questions from the audience and not repeat them, giving the answers with the rest of us now knowing the question. Being sure your audience understands is the most basic protocol of public speaking. At games in the lounge, Lilly was great. We had a great deal of fun with a gift exchange SHIP Clean and bright, comfortable lounges on each deck. Captain Dennis did good job of explaining minor deviations, tides, weather and his planned timing. Everyone appreciated his joining us at meals when his schedule allowed. There were festive holiday decorations up everywhere. Internet worked in the lounge, not in our cabin; Captain explained the reason after I spent two hours banging around on my new laptop and inquired. The ship looks worn and is without style, like your grandmother’s house back in the 70’s. Very nice coffee and goodies set up in lounge every morning at 630. There was an espresso machine with no directions. I tried twice and gave up. CREW Other than the dining room, most seemed inexperienced and scrambling for information but did a decent job. They were friendly, welcoming, good at their jobs. A real plus for this cruise. The "visiting lecturer" Rachel was a superb speaker, but her information was about the history and other aspects of the area, not about what the actual plans were for each port. Captain Dennis was very personable and created a very positive image of American Cruise Lines. Senior crew were obviously trying to make up for an incompetent cruise director, they were great. MEALS A real highlight of the trip: great service, fabulous food, attractive and spacious dining salon. We loved the small portions. We booked a cruise with room service breakfast, but after embarkation we were told it was not available, by then we were resigned to mediocrity. Both dinner and lunch are served in courses, we’d prefer a buffet lunch. Nightly canapes at cocktail time were excellent, lovely to have servers passing them in the lounge. CABIN Our cabin on the top deck was spacious with a nicely furnished balcony. Good shower, two large nightstands with large lamps that should be hung on the wall. The rest of the cabin was dismal. Window blinds don’t close properly and light shines in all night. No coat hooks at entry, and the television takes up most of the room on the dresser. Hard to believe that it’s not hung on the wall. Only other horizontal space is a good-sized desk. Closet is tiny, no shelves. No surprise that electrical outlets were behind furniture at floor level. Two over-sized armchairs were squeezed together, I guess this is ACL’s idea of a suite. Bath has an 8" vanity and no shelves, one robe hook on door. I wrapped my makeup in a dinner napkin and stowed it in a drawer. ACL has wonderful itineraries, and we would love to cruise with them every year. Their prices are so astronomical that it would take a 75% discount for me to even consider them again. A real shame. Lots of people say they love ACL, but they have never sailed on a small ship in Europe. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
I heard aboard that the owner reads all the reviews so after I sent in my 17 page complaint letter I waited weeks, just now received a response from the VP saying my letter will be used for training and if I'd like to book again ... Read More
I heard aboard that the owner reads all the reviews so after I sent in my 17 page complaint letter I waited weeks, just now received a response from the VP saying my letter will be used for training and if I'd like to book again before Feb 1st I will receive 25% discount. What an insult after asking for my money back. Day 1 room was clean but not stocked (no toilet paper and no water, only two towels? Then it just got worse..Disgusting room, housekeeper left a small key on the middle of bathroom floor, we left it for her to get, THREE days later she got it. Asked for water and cups in room, never got it. Thought our window was a broken dbl panel leaking and that's why we could see out of it until I CLEANED IT, and turns out it was just old dirt caked on. Interrior of the boat is old pale yellow couches and fixtures my 83 yr young Mom thought was old,boring,"Care-Center like". Blinds didn't work. I save a few people from tripping on extension cords throughout the week due to blatent stupidity when it comes to safety. One time at dinner I opened the rolls basket and found unbaked defrosted biscuits (yes like Pillsbury), I brought it to the attention of the wait staff and they rounded up all the baskets for the important part. Food was blah, vegetables were bagged frozen I guess, always wrinkly and blah. One of the staff told me he can't eat most of the food available. Staff personal things left here and there. Broken machines. Cheap bar choices. DO NOT DO THIS CRUISE ON THIS BOAT. I'm telling you, I can go on and on for 17 more pages, hygiene, crew with way too laid back of attitude, I was working on my vacation for the health and safety of my family and fellow passengers and as Mom said it "We are lucky we made it out of there in one piece" ...Our disembarkation was a flooded parking lot, rained the night before +an incoming tide. They had our flight information and could have told us this the night before and that morning, no one did. My Mom and I hopped a fence, rolled up our pants, threw our luggage in a dock cart and waddled and rolled to a street to get an Uber while the remaining passengers and staff just stood around, doing nothing but missing their flights and watching water. NOTHING was good about this cruise except the things we did away (tours, excursions) from it. WORST CRUISE EVER, and we've been on a lot. My first review because it was so bad I am shocked I didn't know ahead of time. VERY PRICEY for crap. A Thanksgiving we will never forget for the wrong reasons. And one more important thing to keep this short, Why would the VP ever think I would book another cruise with this company? -And there is no way they can be re-trined by Feb 1st, HA! What a horrible business plan to not have refunded our money. I have told many business associates, friends, neighbors about how bad this was and they have many friends as well. SHAME ON AMERICAN CRUISE LINES, jokers taking advantage of older people. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
This experience was a rip off! The cruise cost over $10,000 for 7 days. The ship should be mothballed and the food was terrible. The food was obviously frozen and reheated in the microwave. American Cruise Lines advertised this cruise as ... Read More
This experience was a rip off! The cruise cost over $10,000 for 7 days. The ship should be mothballed and the food was terrible. The food was obviously frozen and reheated in the microwave. American Cruise Lines advertised this cruise as serving gourmet food. The cocktail hour consisted of frozen food and the wine was solely from California. The retail cost of the wine was $4.99. When I requested another brand of wine I was told that I had to pay $30.00 for a bottle. Again this cruise was advertised as serving premium wines!!! When we contacted customer service, they will not speak to you. The noise in the room at night was unbearable. The engine and the thrusters were so loud at night that we could not get any sleep. The air conditioner shut itself off at night. The engineer tried to fix it may times. I will never use this cruse line again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The decor seems like it is from the 1950’s in the cabins and public areas. The “multi-purpose” room lounge is tiresome. It seems like we spent way too much time for announcements, coordination of activities, education, cocktail hour, entertainment, and selling future cruises in the same room. We created several of our own shore excursions because the ones offered were not interesting. Again, on past experiences the cruise line offered shore experiences exclusively for the those who were passengers on the cruise and we could review the itinerary ahead of time and know the pricing. American Cruise Lines did not clearly explain options and pricing, both online and even on a daily basis. Security basics were lacking, not even safes in the cabins. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This was our first trip aboard ACL and the small ship experience was totally perfect for us. Staff were friendly and helpful. Loved the food by Chef Jose - tried almost all the seafood they had to offer each meal. Happy hour in the ... Read More
This was our first trip aboard ACL and the small ship experience was totally perfect for us. Staff were friendly and helpful. Loved the food by Chef Jose - tried almost all the seafood they had to offer each meal. Happy hour in the lounge included drinks and appetizers. Sometimes those appetizers were enough to be a dinner by themselves! Being from the west coast the history of each port was fascinating to both of us. We had never heard of "tabby" as a building material nor the "Gullah" community in the low country. Our docent on that trip was extremely knowledgeable about the history/people/culture of the Southeast. The rear cabins can get a little noisy when sailing / docking since they're over the props/engine & thrusters. Otherwise we loved the room and balcony. Be aware the Jacksonville dock isn't available currently, we had to disembark in Fernandina, Fla and bus ride to the airport / hotels after that. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first trip with American Cruise Line and we were very pleased. The cabin was larger than on any but the luxury lines. The food choices were limited but the quality was excellent - cocktail hour drinks and appetizers are a ... Read More
This was our first trip with American Cruise Line and we were very pleased. The cabin was larger than on any but the luxury lines. The food choices were limited but the quality was excellent - cocktail hour drinks and appetizers are a very nice touch as were the ice cream sundaes during evening entertainment. The staff was very attentive and cordial. We picked this trip along coastal South Carolina, Georgia and Florida to see the small towns and barrier islands. November was a good time to go - no crowds. The weather was cool with one day with light. The shore excursions were limited due the nature of the area and small towns, but were well planned and interesting. The shrimp boat excursion was a highlight. Local musicians provided good entertainment, unfortunately few guests attended which reflected the age of the passengers this time of year (almost all retired). Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We booked our 4th trip with ACL on their newest ship with high expectations which certainly were not met. The itinerary we were originally given was changed several times including by phone the afternoon before sailing. Perhaps that ... Read More
We booked our 4th trip with ACL on their newest ship with high expectations which certainly were not met. The itinerary we were originally given was changed several times including by phone the afternoon before sailing. Perhaps that should have indicated potential problems. Although we were supposed to sail on inland waterways, we found out when we embarked that we would have to go out to sea sometimes because of problems on the previous voyage, problems that were not adequately explained in several different versions. We did find out that many people, including crew, were seasick on that voyage and people did get seasick on our trip as well. Because of high winds somewhere in the area, we were stuck in Brunswick, Georgia for 3 nights--we couldn't continue on inland water and the ocean was too rough for the ship. Unfortunately, the staff on the Constellation included several new and inexperienced members and also several changes in staff were made during our 10 days. Perhaps this was why they were unable to adequately adapt to and cope with the changing conditions. On a previous trip with ACL, itinerary changes were made because of river conditions, but that staff made lemonade out of lemons and we were pleased with the trip in spite of not going where originally planned. Has ACL expanded too rapidly? In addition to an overextended staff, other aspects of the trip were not up to the standards we previously experienced. During the cocktail hour the hors dourvres were significantly less plentiful than on previous trips, there was only 1 lecturer (a nice man, but not up to par) whereas other trips had more, second rate entertainment in the evening. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
From the cruise director to the room steward, attention to detail was noticeable. As we boarded the ship our bags were taken directly to our room. The ship was small and easy to navigate. There was always a smiling crew member at hand. ... Read More
From the cruise director to the room steward, attention to detail was noticeable. As we boarded the ship our bags were taken directly to our room. The ship was small and easy to navigate. There was always a smiling crew member at hand. The spcious lounge was always equiped with soft drinks, coffee, tea and snacks beginning at 6:30 A.M. Although we were concerned about the lack of a bar, we found that complimentary wine and beer with the meals and the happy hour every evening were generous. The chef was friendly, personable, and creative with local fresh dishes. The efficient wait staff made meals enjoyable. Knowledgeble tours guides made the history of the region come alive. We had such a great trip that we have already signed up for another cruise. The morning of disembarkation began with a full breakfast and everyone was assisted off the ship at a leisurely pace. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We knew the cabin would be small - around 90 square feet. What we did NOT know was that you could not walk around the double bed. You could not tell this from the cabin drawings. And we were in one of the expensive rooms! There was ... Read More
We knew the cabin would be small - around 90 square feet. What we did NOT know was that you could not walk around the double bed. You could not tell this from the cabin drawings. And we were in one of the expensive rooms! There was only an area about 4' long where you could access the bed, so I had to crawl over my husband to get into or out of bed. The bed was the only place to sit, and the top of the bed hit me at mid-thigh (I'm 5'3' so not terribly short) so sitting on the bed was not an option. It would have been more leaning on the bed. A lot of the rooms were made up as two single beds, and I think it was done so you could at least have an open area where you could walk and two people could access the beds. The heating and air conditioning duct was right over the bed, and was so noisy that when we went to bed we would cool the room down, turn off the air conditoning, and wake up at 12 or 1, turn the air conditioning back on for half an hour so it would cool down, and then go back to sleep. The one good thing - our cabin was near the front of the ship. Those cabins in the the back half of the ship were INCREDIBLY noisy when the ship was cruising. I have no idea how the people slept back there. Ear plugs, but I don't know if those would have worked either. A lot of the reviews state that you don't spend much time in your cabin. How could you? There's no where to sit. Next, shore excursions. These were quite good, and very reasonably priced. We went to the Norfolk Navy base and had an entertaining tour led by a young officer, and the Breakers, a huge house built by the Vanderbilts in the early 1900s. Also a panoramic tour of NYC. In those ports where Blount offered a walking tour, we just did our own walking tour. Saw some Victorian houses, a WWII destroyer at the Nautilus Maritime museum, the ship Constellation, as well as two ships in Providence. Next, food. Dinner was served at either 6:30 or 7:00. There were only two entrees, but five nights we went down at dinner time, ate our salad, and then waited an hour for the entrees. It was like the chef didn't start cooking until we got to the dining room. Two nights the beef was so tough I couldn't eat it. They served wild rice three nights, rice three nights, some weird sweet potato concoction one night, and regular potatoes only twice. Oh yes - coucous two nights. One night it was totally unseasoned, and the other it was undercooked. Forget the el dente excuse - if a macaroni product still tastes like flour, it is undercooked. The last night it was a mixture of sweet potatoes and idaho potatoes, which would not have been my choice. For breakfast, since the hot dishes were put right on the table, and you lined up for cold items (cereal, fruit) we just sat at the first table that had hot dishes already on them, and went back later for fruit, or whatever. The staff were fantastic. Very helpful, especially there was only a crew of 19 total for 66 passengers. One thing - it appears they were sometimes TOO accommodating. One night at dinner one of the people at our table asked for a baked sweet potato, which they agreed to. Well, we had to wait while it was baked. By the time we got our food most of the other passengers were already on their dessert course. As to the demographics, at 69 I was one of the five youngest people on board. Another large group was in their mid-70s, some in their mid to late 80s, and some, from the looks of them, in their 90s. Everyone, with only a few exceptions, did not have mobility issues, which was in itself amazing. I have NEVER been on a cruise with such an old group of travelers. And we've been on 21 Road Scholar/Elderhostel tours. Most people were very pleasant. We shared tables at dinner and in the lounge with almost everyone. The lecturer was scatter-shot in his approach, and read all the time from his notes. If you know your stuff, you don't need to read from a sheet of paper. And he would sometimes talk for over an hour (1.5 hours once, 1.25 hours another), which I felt was overkill. Only attended one of the musical nights. Entertaining, but sort of a community center feel to it. To summarize, these cruises are actually fairly cheap for such a small ship and for a 12 day cruise. Personally, I will pay more in the future for more amenities and a larger cabin. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Cruise was close to home, places I had not been, tryout of river cruises and cruise company. Not disappointed. Fabulous crew, food and accommodations.Tours were great, not run of the mill. Lovely lounges to sit and read or watch the ... Read More
Cruise was close to home, places I had not been, tryout of river cruises and cruise company. Not disappointed. Fabulous crew, food and accommodations.Tours were great, not run of the mill. Lovely lounges to sit and read or watch the scenery. The top deck was fabulous. Small groupings sported white wicker furniture, covered with a canopy or open to the sun. Evening cocktail hour before dinner sometimes served on the top deck, a place you hate to leave on a nice day. The inside evening entertainment lounge accommodates all, full of comfortable chintz couches . Flexible seating set up auditorium style for entertainment and in small square conversational groupings during the day, including cocktail hour. Trip back to originating port of Charleston arranged by American was a small, deluxe bus and quite enjoyable, arriving ahead of time right in three dockside parking lot. I am looking forward to my next American Cruise trip, maybe the Snake River. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Excursions everyday were very informative and historical. Many stops included multiple excursions which was nice. There was very good entertainment in the evenings and historical discussions during afternoons The crew was very pleasant ... Read More
Excursions everyday were very informative and historical. Many stops included multiple excursions which was nice. There was very good entertainment in the evenings and historical discussions during afternoons The crew was very pleasant and service was excellent. Embarkment and disembarkment went very smoothly. We chose the cruise because it was the right time frame and length for us. We didn't like having to travel out to sea because the tides were too low to navigate closer to shore. Apparently the ship was made for shoreline cruising and out at sea, a number of guests got sea sick. We had two in our party of four that almost missed dinner but recovered in time to attend. This only occured once and I totally understand the situation could not be avoinded so we all made the best of it. We also enjoyed the happy hour because it allowed our party to get to know the other guests and we thoroughly enjoyed that. We would definitely go again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our 3rd cruise with American Cruise Lines and we have booked our 4th. doing the upper Mississippi. Have never dealt with a company that is so completely customer oriented. All cruise people have your best interests at heart ... Read More
This was our 3rd cruise with American Cruise Lines and we have booked our 4th. doing the upper Mississippi. Have never dealt with a company that is so completely customer oriented. All cruise people have your best interests at heart "ALL" the time. They do anything possible to have you enjoy the experience. Would and do recommend to anyone. Ship and crew were great. Capton friendly and knowledgeable. The food was outstanding. Being from Maryland we pride ourselves with crab cakes. Had the best crab cake ever on the boat. All plated meals and much more then we could eat. Requested 1/2 portions. Extra snacks available 24 hours, and popcorn and ice cream sundaes served during entertainment if you have any room. Shore tours very interesting and well conducted. Our cabin was plenty large enough including the king bed. Always kept clean and the bed turned down for you in the evening. Plenty of room for a card game or dominos in the evening. Do yourself a favor and try American Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We first said with American Cruise Line on the STAR doing the New England Islands cruise. It was an excellent cruise and got us into small Island like Nantucket that can't be reached on a large ship. So, we decided to take a risk and ... Read More
We first said with American Cruise Line on the STAR doing the New England Islands cruise. It was an excellent cruise and got us into small Island like Nantucket that can't be reached on a large ship. So, we decided to take a risk and explore a part of the country that we didn't know much about and took the Golden Isles Cruise from Charleston SC to Jacksonville FL. The ports of call are: Charleston, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Savannah, Sapelo Island, St Simons Island, Jekyll Island, Amelia Island, and Jacksonville. This is a part of our country that most of us ave not seen, or know much about. The Georgia coast is rich with history, excellent food, and wonderful people. The trips made even more special by the onboard naturalist/historian, and the excellent tour guides in every port. The crew was super and the onboard food was special as we tried local dishes along they way. The cabins are comfortable with an outdoor porch with 2 chairs. Each floor of the ship has a livening room, and the bow has a large gathering room for entertainment and evening happy hour. The dining room is in the stern with excellent service. You quickly make friend with other travelers and find friends o dine with. We loved the trip, and surprised by how much we earned about the Georgia coast. Avery and Robin Willis, Thousand Oaks California Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head and other southern islands on a small ship. There were only 89 passengers! A bonus was that we learned a lot about US history related to the Civil War that ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to visit Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head and other southern islands on a small ship. There were only 89 passengers! A bonus was that we learned a lot about US history related to the Civil War that we never learned in school! We started in Charleston and I recommend spending an additional night there to explore this beautiful, historic city before the cruise. Beaufort, South Carolina was really charming as well ( the location for the filming of Forest Gump). Other shore excursions included tours of civil war plantations, a slave praise house, historic homes and city landmarks. The local tour guides were great. Along the intra coastal waterways (which I never knew existed) we saw many bird species, Atlantic bottle nose dolphins, wild horses, and a few alligators too. I wish we had a bit more time in Hilton Head so we could have played a round of golf at Harbour Town Golf Links. Our cabin was nice, the staff was consistently good and we especially enjoyed the open seating at all the meals. The nightly cocktail reception and dining was casual. Afterwards there was evening entertainment in the lounge. We loved our first time on a small cruise ship and now we're hooked. Our next American Cruise Lines trip will be to Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This cruise was our fifth ACL cruise and our second on the Independence. All have been fantastic. You won't go away hungry on American Cruise Lines. You order breakfast from a menu with numerous choices. There is also an ... Read More
This cruise was our fifth ACL cruise and our second on the Independence. All have been fantastic. You won't go away hungry on American Cruise Lines. You order breakfast from a menu with numerous choices. There is also an early-riser quick-breakfast with muffins and fruit. At breakfast you choose your lunch and dinner preferences. Most menu items feature food from the local area and is always fresh. There are three main-course choices for each meal, all of them outstanding. If the menu doesn't appeal, you can ask for almost anything, and it will be prepared for you. Warm cookies are served in the lounge at 10 a.m. Cocktail hour is from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. with your choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks as well as delicious hors-d'oeuvres. During evening entertainment more refreshments are available. The lounge area is attractively furnished with comfortable sofas and chairs. It is well used for on-board presentations, cocktail hours, and entertainment. On-board speakers are excellent, with experts on the local areas. Evening entertainment is varied and enjoyable, often from the local area. Shore excursions are excellent with many options available. Accommodations are made for guests with mobility issues. We especially enjoyed Evelene's tour of the Low Country at Beaufort, the historic area of Savannah, the alligator and wildlife tour on Hilton Head, the shrimp boat tour from St. Simons, and the walking tour of the seaport town of Fernandina Beach. The entire staff works hard to give guests a good experience. They are friendly, attentive, and helpful when needed. We look forward to our next cruise to the San Juan Islands. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
We had never cruised before until last May, 2016, when we boarded the America's Inaugural Cruise round trip from New Orleans to Vicksburg. It didn't take long for us to be hooked on the delicious food, atmosphere, and ... Read More
We had never cruised before until last May, 2016, when we boarded the America's Inaugural Cruise round trip from New Orleans to Vicksburg. It didn't take long for us to be hooked on the delicious food, atmosphere, and well-planned tours. Since May of 2016, we've done 4 cruises with American Cruise Lines, and also enjoyed bringing our adult nieces and husband on 2 of the cruises. We have 2 more scheduled for this year, and one for 2018. Since we are Eagle Society Members, we were allowed to bring a fraternity brother and his wife aboard for lunch while docked in Beaufort. They have never cruised and certainly enjoyed the tour and the delicious lunch. What a wonderful memory! Oops, almost forgot the many gifts...vests, bathrobes, hats, coasters, monogrammed tote bags, umbrellas, windbreakers, and lots of other things I can't remember! We adore American Cruise Lines and do not plan to ever cruise with anyone else !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
My wife and I are at the point that we can get away over New Years. We decided to celebrate the New Year on a cruise. We enjoy small ship so we selected American Cruise Lines Independence. The passengers on this cruise totaled about ... Read More
My wife and I are at the point that we can get away over New Years. We decided to celebrate the New Year on a cruise. We enjoy small ship so we selected American Cruise Lines Independence. The passengers on this cruise totaled about 90. We have sailed on American Cruise line before. But has to be one of the best cruises we have taken. The crew seemed especially friendly. The rooms are spacious. The shore excursions were all top notch. The cruise line typically has evening entertainment consisting of local entertainment. Most were excellent. Some we did not enjoy, but because they were bad, but because they did not perform the kind of music we prefer. Watching the New Years fireworks in Savannah from the top deck was special. The rooms are very spacious with a good sized bath room and a small balcony. The chef was one of their best. As a result the meals were excellent. We have already booked another cruise on American Cruise Lines. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
New Years Eve docked at Savannah with thousands watching fireworks while sipping bubbly.. it does not get better than that! This was our 7th trip with American Cruise Lines. This ship(Not a Boat) is comfortable for those who do not like ... Read More
New Years Eve docked at Savannah with thousands watching fireworks while sipping bubbly.. it does not get better than that! This was our 7th trip with American Cruise Lines. This ship(Not a Boat) is comfortable for those who do not like rough seas because it has stabilizers and mostly stays within docile coastal waterways. We were on its Maiden voyage some years back and we can vouch for the fact it is as good as new. The crew is well trained to keep things in order and we always feel a bit pampered in all respects. The dining room has a menu from which you choose all 3 meals for the day. Want something not on the menu; they will accommodate you. Shore tours are worthwhile and fit the history and attractions of the area. For example, we had never been on a 65 foot Shrimp/Lobster trawler before but we did that on this cruise and learned about sea creatures from a seasoned crew and Naturalist. Nightly entertainment is informal and sometimes we all join in. Every day prior to dinner there is a complimentary cocktail hour with light food. The dress code is casual. We have booked cruise number 8 for 2017 on sister cruise line Pearl Seas. look forward to more high adventure from the Canadian Maritines and American Cruise Lines. Mary and Alan Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
It’s a relaxing and educational way to spend Christmas and touring the southeast. The change of port this year from Amelia Island to Jacksonville due to the September hurricane gave us the chance to see both Jacksonville and St. ... Read More
It’s a relaxing and educational way to spend Christmas and touring the southeast. The change of port this year from Amelia Island to Jacksonville due to the September hurricane gave us the chance to see both Jacksonville and St. Augustine in the days before we sailed. Embarkation was smooth and welcoming. Several ports of call were damaged by the hurricane but ACL found ways for us to experience everything in those areas. Nothing phases them and their “can-do” attitude. I loved the fact that we could walk right off the boat and into historic Savannah. What a plus! They even arranged for Christmas Eve transportation to church services. Wow! The prices are higher than those for an ocean cruise but the service and small ship atmosphere are completely worth it for me. Ocean cruising makes me ill and I’m thrilled I’ve found a way to still explore the U.S. on the waterways with ACL. These small ships sail smooth as glass. In addition, the chefs on American Cruise Lines are the best. They allow me to cruise with ease, even though I have serious food allergies. Each of the chefs on my cruises have met with me and tailored my meals so that I wouldn’t have an allergic reaction. This is a huge plus for me and my feeling of comfort and security on the trip. Disembarkation was easy with transportation to the airport fast and efficient. I’m looking forward to my next cruise that's already booked on ACL to the New England Islands. Can’t wait! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was a Christmas week cruise, from Jacksonville, FL to Charleston, SC. We had about 100 passengers which made it easy to get to make friends. The ship was decorated for Christmas, the entertainment Christmas themed and we had a gift ... Read More
This was a Christmas week cruise, from Jacksonville, FL to Charleston, SC. We had about 100 passengers which made it easy to get to make friends. The ship was decorated for Christmas, the entertainment Christmas themed and we had a gift exchange on Christmas day. This was my third trip with American Cruise Lines and I've enjoyed each of them. One optional excursion was a couple of hours on a shrimp boat. We cruised an inland waterway, dragged a net and brought an amazing variety of marine life on board. A naturalist picked up and discussed many of the catch. His explainations were detailed, interesting and infomrative. Great excursion! Another excursion was a small boat on the sound adjacent to Hilton Head Island, We cruised out into the sound to watch dolphins play. It was a bright, warm Christmas day. We found plenty of dolphins. Meals on board were fun. There was an interesting variety of food, plenty of wine and lots of good fellowship. All meals were open seating so I had fun sitting with and getting to know a variety of people. One of American Cruise Lines benefits is that if you've ever travelled with them and are in a port when one of their ships is in, you are invited to come aboard for a meal. I'm an OSU football fan. While in Charleston, a couple who are Clemson fans came aboard for dinner. Since our two teams were in the semi-finals for the national championship, we had a lively dinner together! Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Small ship, American waters, American crew, American flagship. These were my hopes when I first researched ACL. They promised much but I thought they were a little pricey. I signed anyway, but was late in doing so, and cabins were limited. ... Read More
Small ship, American waters, American crew, American flagship. These were my hopes when I first researched ACL. They promised much but I thought they were a little pricey. I signed anyway, but was late in doing so, and cabins were limited. I wanted a single with veranda but had to settle for a double on Deck 1. When I arrived however, I was placed in a double on Deck 2. I am a bit handicapped and was placed rather close to the elevator. From the moment I arrived until my departure eight days later, ACL exceeded my expectations. The crew, from captain on down, was unfailingly polite, friendly, and knowledgeable. All directors (and other "bosses") were in constant attendance and always approachable. My one complaint was that it was recommended that I bring long sleeved shirts for daily wear. Most passengers knew better and I saw more golf shirts than button-down sport shirts. I took two sports jackets, wore one on Thursday for drinks and dinner with the captain, and almost felt overdressed. The preceding is a very minor gripe. All in lol I really enjoyed the cruise, the crew, and the other passengers. And, lest I forget, the food, each and every meal, was outstanding. The choices were extensive, and every dish was just about perfect. The tours were fun, and I truly enjoyed the entertainment. I have signed up for my second cruise, in June. By the way, I am 80 and I really like the idea of the cruises outlined by ACL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
I highly enjoy small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines! This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and most certainly will not be our last. With only 100 passengers onboard, we were able to mingle with all the other guests, every staff member ... Read More
I highly enjoy small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines! This was our 3rd cruise with ACL and most certainly will not be our last. With only 100 passengers onboard, we were able to mingle with all the other guests, every staff member knew us by name by the end of the week, and they truly bend over backwards to accommodate their guests. The Hotel Manager Patrick and the Cruise Director Marie were incredible and made our experience even better. The chef onboard was tremendous as well. Every hors d'oeuvre during our complimentary cocktail hour was delicious and I almost filled up then even before making it to dinner! Due to my dietary concerns, the chef was able to make sure I was well taken care of and satisfied. Not only was the food delicious, the presentation was beautiful and was all provided locally. It is also nice to know that everything we ate and our alcoholic beverages were included in the price. We did not have a large bar bill to pay at the end of the cruise like other cruise lines we've experienced. The naturalist Charlie onboard was very personable, knowledgeable about the area, and we learned a lot from him. He even taught me about the binoculars I was using to watch the sea life and wild horses! The entertainers onboard, Bill and Laura, were fantastic entertainers. They sang multiple nights and one night Bill even performed magic! They stayed with us the entire cruise to make the experience that much more intimate and involved. We participated in multiple excursions (which were quite inexpensive) and favored the Sea Turtle Center and Jekyll Island Tour where we learned the history behind the Millionaires Club on Jekyll Island. We also highly enjoyed the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour where we had hands on experience with multiple kinds of sea life from shrimp, to horseshoe crabs, to sting rays, and blow fish! Our spacious room was absolutely wonderful and our private balcony was the best place to view the breathtaking sunsets each night. The history about the "Historic South" astonished us and we cannot wait for our next cruise with ACL. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
It was an Anniversary cruise that was supposed to be aboard a luxury cruise ship with a wheelchair accessible accommodations. My husband was assured that he would be able to use his motorized scooter for excursions ( he used it twice) the ... Read More
It was an Anniversary cruise that was supposed to be aboard a luxury cruise ship with a wheelchair accessible accommodations. My husband was assured that he would be able to use his motorized scooter for excursions ( he used it twice) the scooter had to be lifted up and over the ramp. The ramp isn't even wide enough for a wheel chair people were made to get up and walk up or down the ramp. The elevator only accommodated the wheelchair if my husband stood up and we folded the wheelchair. The room was anything but luxury the bath room was disgraceful and outdated. The room was sold as a king but it was two twins pushed together with a piece of foam running down the middle. (Pictures to follow). Now the entertainment was 1 hour each night some nights it was a talk about what some people got to see if they were able to go on the tours that day. Happy hour was just that 1 hour then the bell was rung and everyone is shuffled off to the dining room after dinner the 1 hour of entertainment.There are only two things this cruise line has going for them the food and some remarkable young people that work their butts off. Serve your food in the morning clean your room later then back to the dining room to serve again. We paid to be transported back to our car in charleston sc and a very nice shuttle bus showed up for other passengers we had to wait for a taxi that would accommodate our scooter this was a 3 hr ride in a old,loud taxi. We have been on at least 8 cruises and never have I felt so scammed. $10,800 dollars lighter we will always remember this nightmare and I will warn everyone I can not to take a cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria ... Read More
have been cruising the mississippi with american queen steamboat company and had a great time , I figured that American cruiseline would be as nice with same type of food and a beautiful ship as well. The food was like cafeteria meals, No great choices , breakfast was a small table with two types of pastries, with a limited menu ,Dinners and lunch were nothing to talk about.Lots of pork not much chicken dishes and not great veggie dishes. American queen steamboat company had a huge table with unlimited amt of choices and great choices for meals. The difference between the two companies are like day and night, American cruise line hasn't even got a pursers office, the maid service is done by the staff that serves you at the restaurant, not very professional, and their outfits are the look like blue scrubs that you see in hospitals,how unprofessional is that. I was at the owners suite thinking it would be beautiful since I paid almost twice the price as the other rooms , what a shock that was, The Star is an old ship , it was so drab.No colors on the long hallways to your rooms One shore excursion was on an island in which they had an oyster bake, you would think the ship would let the guest know that we would get bit by certain bugs and warn us about it. Lots of us got home all bit up ,I was scratching for a week after ,I still have marks on my arm American cruise line has the monopoly on the eastern coast and probably doesnt care since it has no competition. I would not recommend anyone to cruise with them at this time .Although they were very nice and polite and service was great , I was very disappointed. I spends thousands of dollars and did not feel I at all got my moneys worth. .. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016

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