American Independence (formerly Independence) Activities

Editor Rating
Jeannine Williamson

Entertainment & Activities

Theater and Shows on American Independence

This isn't a ship with a big entertainment scene, and the only shows as such are the nightly concerts by the onboard entertainer and visiting singers and musicians.

Daily Things to Do on American Independence

You're never going to run short of things to do. In fact, on this ship the main issue is deciding how to plan your day around the many excursions and activities. There are diverse and well-planned shore tours in very port of call -- up to five a day on our sailing -- and some are complimentary (three on our cruise) and the rest are for-fee premium options.

On our Historic South and Golden Isles itinerary these included exploring the former millionaire playground and nature reserve on Jekyll Island, wildlife explorations, a trip on shrimp boat and evening walking tour around Savannah. Tours are all graded as low, moderate or high activity level and whether wheelchair and scooter accessible. As American Independence is small enough to moor in the heart of different destinations it's also easy for passengers to walk off and sightsee independently.

Tip: If you're interested in particular excursions then sign up in advance of your cruise to avoid disappointment as some are limited by numbers. You can still change your mind and opt in and out once you are on the ship.

A standout feature is that there are lots of things to do if you decide to stay onboard. Each night the Ship to Shore daily program is left in cabins at turndown with the list of activities for the following day. On our sailing these included art classes, quizzes, a get together for solo travelers and chef's demo. Games, puzzles, jigsaws and coloring books with crayons are also available in the lounges.

Cruises also feature in-depth enrichment talks and question and answer sessions on destinations visited. On our sailing these were given by knowledgeable guest speaker Robbie Robinson on topics including the intracoastal waterway, rice growing in Carolina and the Civil War with an insightful focus on life as a soldier.

Tours of the bridge are available at designated times when the ship is docked in port.

Nightlife on American Independence

Nightlife on the ship is low-key and after a day out and about on excursions most passengers opt for an early night. Before dinner most folks gather in the Chesapeake Lounge for the cocktail hour with canapes (actually one and a half hours) and return afterwards for a nightcap or two. Every evening there is live music with the resident onboard pianist and vocalist or visiting entertainers. On our cruise, this included a tribute to Ray Charles and the music of the Rat Pack, tunes from the 50s and 60s, jazz and country music. Passengers are invited to make requests and although there is no dance floor there is room to have a dance in front of the entertainer and in the spaces between tables; and many do.

American Independence Bars and Lounges

American Independence is unusual as it doesn't have a traditional bar set up. That said, you certainly don't need to worry about going thirsty. Each day a temporary bar is laid out in the Chesapeake Lounge for the cocktail hour and drinks are served through the evening. You are also welcome to take wine from the restaurant after lunch and dinner -- with waitstaff handing out full bottles -- which you can enjoy in your cabin or any of the lounges and public spaces around the ship.

Chesapeake Lounge This comfortable panoramic lounge is the heart of American Independence and overlooks the front of the ship on Deck 2. There are windows on three sides and a mix of chairs of varying heights, along with sofas, tables and a large TV tucked on a wall around the corner. It's a comfortable place to watch the world go by, read, chat and enjoy the varied program of talks and activities. Waitstaff are on hand to serve drinks when the bar is set up and passengers can help themselves to drinks at other times.

Midship Lounge Also on Deck 2, this small, quiet lounge is set out with tables and chairs and ideal for playing cards or doing crafts and puzzles. A selection of games and jigsaws are available to borrow.

Library Located in the center of the ship on Deck 3, right above the midship lounge, this room has two tables and chairs, plus easy chairs and a sofa. It's another peaceful spot if the main lounge is busy or there's a lecture going on. There are shelves of books, including titles linked to the sailing areas, and each day tables are set out with condensed newspapers covering U.S. and world news. These are also distributed in other lounges.

Public Rooms

Pools and Hot Tubs on American Independence Cruise Ship

There are no pools or whirlpools on the ship.

Sundecks on American Independence Cruise Ship

The ship has one sundeck that runs virtually the whole length of the vessel. On fine days this provides a great vantage point to watch the passing scenery or enjoy a sunset cocktail. There is a variety of seating including loungers, shaded tables and chairs and comfortable padded sofas.

Services and Wi-Fi on American Independence Cruise Ship

Unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi is included in the fare. Generally, the speed and reception are excellent throughout the ship. A computer and printer are available for passenger use and there is a small DVD library to play on the TV in the main lounge.

There is an elevator to all decks. For anyone with mobility issues it's worth noting the elevator goes right up to the sun deck. This is a rarity as on many small ships the top deck can only be accessed by stairs. Umbrellas are available to borrow.

Spa & Fitness

Spa on American Independence Cruise Ship

The ship does not have any spa facilities.

Fitness and Gym on American Independence Cruise Ship

On the sun deck, there is a small fitness area with a cross-trainer, exercise bike, two recumbent cycles and a variety of free weights. Next to it there is also an outdoor putting area.

For Kids

Is American Independence Family Friendly?

Although children can sail with American Cruise Lines, there is no entertainment program for youngsters and babysitting services are not available. Aside from adult multi-generational groups, or older children and teenagers with a keen interest in history and culture, these cruises are not suitable for youngsters.

Activities & Entertainment

  • Chesapeake Lounge
  • Enrichment Lectures
  • Library
  • Midship Lounge
  • Outdoor Exercise Equipment
  • Putting Green
  • * May require additional fees

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