American Jazz Review

4.5 / 5.0
30 reviews
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Editor Rating
Very Good
Melinda Crow

American Jazz’s new California three-river cruise wine country cruise including the Napa Valley comprises half its year-round schedule in the West. Summers along the hugely popular Columbia and Snake Rivers complete the picture. It’s a ship designed to traverse challenging rivers with a crew trained to cater to a well-traveled older crowd.

The public spaces on American Jazz are bright and cheery, and the deck plan easy to manage for those with limited mobility. Only the top sun deck is not served by elevators. Staterooms are large by most cruise ship standards, and all of them have balconies.

Though ACL is known for its strong base of repeat cruisers in the 75-plus age bracket, the new wine-heavy California itinerary may serve to lower the overall average age onboard both the Napa Valley and Columbia/Snake River cruises.

It’s easy to say this is your grandmother’s ideal cruise ship because ACL strategically targets an older demographic, but it would also appeal to any economically comfortable cruiser for whom fine food, wine, and sightseeing are more important than a cruise nightlife of dancing, bar hopping or gambling in the casino.

American Jazz: Itineraries Steeped in Wine and History

Starting a new itinerary where no overnight cruises have taken place in more than eighty years presents a monumental challenge of coordinating infrastructure, shipboard logistics and land tours. We felt that while ACL is still in the early stages of pulling all those things together, overall, the itinerary has strong potential to become a favorite among the line’s repeat customer base, as well as guests new to the line.

The 7-night itinerary includes a day in Stockton, a day anchored in Vallejo to allow excursions in San Francisco (followed by an evening cruise of the San Francisco Bay that was the highlight of the week), two days in Napa, a day spent cruising, and two nights in Sacramento. This is the route planned for Jazz from November through March.

From mid-April to mid-October, American Jazz operates itineraries along the Columbia and Snake rivers in Washington and Oregon, including seven-night vineyard cruises and a 14-night national parks cruise and land package.

American Jazz: Deck Plans That Keep Things Simple

American Jazz is six decks of light and airy simplicity featuring a central glass-topped atrium lobby with staircases and a pair of elevators connecting all but the top deck. Sundeck space on deck six is furnished with couches and lounge chairs and is accessed via outdoor staircases. Additional sundeck and shaded sitting areas are located aft on decks four and five, as well as port side public balconies with rocking chairs on decks two through five.

The starboard side of decks two through five have small lounges situated behind the elevators. The lounge on deck three is called the Chart Room and features a public computer. Deck four’s side lounge is officially the library, with a healthy supply of books relating to the history of California. There are also board games and tables available on four.

Deck four also has large lounges at either end. The aft Sky Lounge serves as the ship’s social hub during the day, hosting interactive enrichment like wine tastings and arts and crafts. It’s also the place to find light meals, drinks (including bar service), and snacks from morning until the evening cocktail hour, when all the fun switches to the forward River Lounge.

During the day, the forward lounge is the primary spot for lectures and talks hosted by the cruise director, as well as games, including trivia and bingo.

Staterooms are on decks one through five, with suites on decks three and five – the quietest decks. Depending on docking facilities, disembarkation takes place on either deck one or two. The dining room is on deck one.

Complimentary self-service laundry facilities are located on deck two, with three washers and three dryers. Also on deck two is a pair of fitness and wellness rooms, featuring treadmills, Lifecycles, free weights, weight benches, and exercise balls. One room is designated as the yoga studio and has mats and enough open floor space for small group classes.


All-inclusive U.S. riverboat based on the West Coast; outstanding food and service


Still finding its way through the challenges of a start-up itinerary in California

Bottom Line

Ideal ship for an older crowd seeking enriching hassle-free travel experiences without leaving the country


Passengers: 180
Crew: 60
Passenger to Crew: 3:1
Launched: 2020


Included with your cruise fare:

  • * All dining venues

  • Unlimited beverages

  • Wi-Fi

  • Self-serve laundry

  • Port Charges and fees

  • Transportation to/from airport

  • Select shore excursions and shuttles in ports

  • Gratuities

  • One-night pre-cruise hotel stay on select sailings

Fellow Passengers

Who Is On Board American Jazz?

As the cruise line’s name would imply, ACL serves primarily U.S. guests. The age range onboard our sailing was between sixty and ninety, averaging somewhere in the upper seventies. Everything about the ship and its crew was welcoming. Though there were no scheduled gatherings for solo or LGBTQ travelers, both were represented among the guests onboard our sailing.

While there were few guests using mobility aids other than canes or walking sticks onboard, those with walkers and wheelchairs were accommodated by crew, including on gangways and tour buses. Elevators make every deck other than six accessible. Some doors to the exterior decks have raised thresholds, but a few were flat, making them easily traversed.

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American Jazz Cruiser Reviews

American Cruise Line (ACL) Doesn’t Disappoint

American Cruise Line was fabulous from the moment we stepped onboard. American Jazz was beautifully appointed and the staterooms very roomy with a private furnished balcony.Read More
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many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

New Itinerary- Fantastic cruise

I have been on several American Cruise Line cruises, and they keep getting better and better. I'm a wine lover, so this trip was perfect.Read More
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many10+ Cruises

Age 60s

Music Cities in Style

There is no comparison as to which is far superior: American Cruise Line is better by a mile!Read More
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Alice EC

many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

Music Cruise was Wonderful!

My husband and I cruised on American Cruise Line Jazz from Memphis to Nashville in July. It was a very enjoyable and relaxing trip along the Ohio River, Mississippi and Cumberland Rivers.Read More
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many10+ Cruises

Age 70s

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