American Serenade Activities

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Entertainment
Aaron Saunders
Senior Editor, News and Features

Entertainment & Activities

Shore Excursions On Board American Serenade

In each port of call, American Serenade offers plenty of on-shore excursions that range from complimentary to reasonably priced. On our "Tennessee Rivers" itinerary from Nashville to Chattanooga, no excursion was more than $195 per person, and most came in at between $25 and $55 per person.

American Cruise Lines offers several complimentary tours. It has a fleet of branded motorcoaches that follow the ship from port to port, offering complimentary "Local Loop" tours that offer passengers the ability to hop-on and hop-off at local points of interest.

Other shore excursions are for-purchase affairs, though very reasonably priced. Operated by the same branded coaches and drivers, these excursions tend to be moderate in pacing and reflect the line's older passenger demographic. Those expecting high-engery hikes or outings will be disappointed. Instead, most excursions revolve around history or culinary tours, or self-guided visits to museums.

That's not to say these excursions aren't interesting or informative; they're both. Tours on our itinerary focused on Civil War history, visiting the battlefields in Shiloh, Tennessee and the National Cemetery there. Other tours focused on the musical history of Muscle Shoals, AL; the Native American history in Florence, AL; and culinary outings in Florence and Chattanooga, TN. Passengers could even go for a round of fishing with a guide in Savannah, TN or indulge in a game of golf at Robert Trent Jones at The Shoals near Florence.

Pre-cruise entertainment may also be available; our group was treated to an evening of country music at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville the evening before we embarked American Serenade. Best of all - it was entirely complimentary.

Lectures and Enrichment on American Serenade

Lectures and enrichment aboard American Serenade impressed for a vessel of this size. While the ship lacks a full-blown production show lounge, the River Lounge on Deck 3 forward functions as the place to be for all insight and entertainment onboard.

Lectures were informative and engaging, and focused on everything from the history of the rivers we were sailing on (the Cumberland, Ohio and Tennessee, on our voyage), to the history of steamboating in the United States, which itself is a fascinating journey to fruition that rivals the adventures of Lewis and Clark.

Other lectures included sessions on the history of riverboat gambling and the works and life of Mark Twain.

Each evening, port talks -- also known as "Chart Your Course" -- are given in the River Lounge for the next days' adventures. Unlike European river cruising, American Cruise Lines provides an in-depth port overview and shore excursion preview for the entire sailing right on Day 1, following embarkation, to better prepare guests for the week ahead.

Public Rooms

Nightlife on American Serenade

Nightlife aboard American Serenade is quiet, though entertaining while it lasts. A Happy Hour is held nightly in both the River Lounge and Sky Lounge on Deck 4 aft, typically from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Most passengers go to dinner by this point, but return to the River Lounge for nightly entertainment that always begins around 8:30 p.m.

Two sail-aboard entertainers travel with American Serenade, and the ship picks up local guest entertainment acts about every other night or so. On our sailing, we were treated to an Elvis impersonator in Paducah, KY; a boogie-woogie piano duo in Savannah, TN; and a banjo duo that came aboard in Florence, AL. All were excellent, and led to a completely-packed River Lounge each night.

Fares aboard American Cruise Line include all alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The line's formerly restrictive alcohol policy has relaxed substantially, with at least one bar -- typically the River Lounge on Deck 3 forward -- serving up libations until at least 9:30 p.m, when most passengers retire for the night.

Some passengers stay up past this time, playing cards or completing puzzles in one of the cozy lounges situated alongside the passenger elevators on Decks 2, 3 and 4; a few take to the upper decks for an evening stroll with their nightcap. But by ten in the evening, the ship's decks and public rooms are largely deserted, and the bars are closed.

For Kids

Is American Serenade Cruise Ship Family Friendly?

American Cruise Lines vessels typically aren't well-suited for kids, though families with grown or teenage children may find the experience enjoyable and enriching. There are no kids facilities or dedicated activities onboard, and even teenagers may be at loose ends given the more sedate nature of river cruising and the older passenger demographic.

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