Sail Date: August 2018
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we ... Read More
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we understood a small vessel simply had to be more expensive. The cruise met or exceeded many expectations, friendliness of staff, cleanliness and size of state rooms and other spaces, interesting ports, good shore excursions and generally good + food quality, variety and presentation. BUT, the food service was barely acceptable and the server we had would not last a day at a restaurant like Cracker Barrel. Aside from the captain, first mate, chef and hotel manager, the entire staff appeared inexperienced. While the staff were invariably polite, respectful and helpful, the lack of experience/training was obvious. I will not take another trip with them and certainly not recommend it to anyone....at half the price it would be decent. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Every minute on this cruise was wonderful. I have traveled by car and RV on the Maine coast, but never from a cruise ship. It was just magical. Breathtaking scenery, wonderful meals, deliciously cooked, presented perfectly, and served ... Read More
Every minute on this cruise was wonderful. I have traveled by car and RV on the Maine coast, but never from a cruise ship. It was just magical. Breathtaking scenery, wonderful meals, deliciously cooked, presented perfectly, and served expertly. So many choices every day for every meal. Lots of excursion options, great speakers on board, all was outstanding. The staff were all helpful, friendly, knowledgable and professional. The staff doesn't know how to say "no" to any request. For example, during our daily happy hour I asked for a specific brand of liquor which they did not have on board ... but the Hotel Manager got it for me at the next port! How thoughtful is that!? I was traveling with 3 girlfriends, and I loved it so much (and knew that my husband would also), that I booked this same exact cruise next year for my husband and I to enjoy together. What more can I say? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we ... Read More
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we expected. The chefs were incredable. The Fourth of July “lobstah” and clam bake by the ocean in Rockland was “all you could eat” goodness. The entertainment was real New England. The whole process from reservations to disembarking was informative, professional and easy. We enjoyed this cruise so much that we have booked another one in nine months, joining the non cost Eagle Society so that we can enjoy a few extra events and chances for pre cruise accommodations and tours included with the cruises. We have enjoyed large ship cruises with family, however, we are having a ball planning cruises by ourselves. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
Turn around time for the cruise is only 2 hours and not enough time to get the ship clean in between cruises. WiFi, only available if you stand next to the public router. Staff in the dining room, young and not well-trained. Choose ... Read More
Turn around time for the cruise is only 2 hours and not enough time to get the ship clean in between cruises. WiFi, only available if you stand next to the public router. Staff in the dining room, young and not well-trained. Choose different tables until you find a staff that has experience. Cruise Director and Social Director is very good. We found very nice younger passengers we connected with, and had a very nice time. We gathered in the evenings up on deck. It is quite cold in the evenings and the cruise line does not offer blankets. Food was plentiful and very good. The lounge has coffee and snacks. The snacks are power bars and fruit, coffee is not replenish during the day, espresso machine was broken. The excursion were mixed. Some very good, others not so much. I would travel with this company again, but only on the new ships. This is a very expensive cruise for what you get. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We starting looking at cruises after we both retired last year. Europe was appealing but with all the trouble there we started looking at domestic cruises. Since neither of us had spent any time in Maine we opt'd for this one. From the ... Read More
We starting looking at cruises after we both retired last year. Europe was appealing but with all the trouble there we started looking at domestic cruises. Since neither of us had spent any time in Maine we opt'd for this one. From the beggining it was apparent that the everyoen at American Cruise Lines was focused on making this special for us. One week prior to departure i got a email from corporate asking if there was anything they could do for us. I addicted to Diet Dr Pepper, so I asked if they had any one the ship. I was told they did not but they would get me some. We flew into Portland the day before the cruise and had a great evening together. When we boarded Saturday morning, found our cabin and settled in for the journey. This is a small ship, maximum 100 pasangers. We have been on big ships and really did not enjoy it. It was likevacationing in Houston with 5,000 people you don't know. The small size was very appealing. The first evening I asked the hotel manager about the Diet Dr. Pepper. She had some for me (SURPRISE). I knw then this would be a great experience, The ports we visited were beautiful, Maineis are friendly and we were ahead of the summer rush. Food onboard was very nicely done (I never thought I would get tired of eating Lobster). Cooked to order, nice presentation and attentive wait staff. The week flew by and before we knew it we were back in Portalnd. Based on this experience we have already booked another American Cruise, Columbia/Snake River in the fall. If you are looking for something other than the big boat thing, this is where you need to be! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
This cruise was chosen so we could see the beautiful coast of Maine and the pretty little towns tucked in the bays. It didn't disappoint-such charming villages and friendly people! The staff on the independence is extraordinary! They ... Read More
This cruise was chosen so we could see the beautiful coast of Maine and the pretty little towns tucked in the bays. It didn't disappoint-such charming villages and friendly people! The staff on the independence is extraordinary! They are competent, friendly, fun and thoughtful. First Mate Andrew Harrison is skilled, knowledgeable and willing to share information about sea life as we spotted minke whales and seals. His deckhands are friendly and helpful as well as skillful; Haley Halstead is a definite asset to the crew. Our cruise dining highlighted lobsters and the kitchen served them many different, delicious ways. The dining room servers were competent and entertaining. Jonathan Freelin and Mellicent Costarella in particular deserve attention for their competence and pleasant manner. The ship is very comfortable and the public rooms nicely appointed and well kept. Our cabin was much larger than expected and had very comfortable beds. While onboard, we signed up for another cruise, this was so enjoyable. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
This is small ship cruising. About 100 passengers. More mature passengers, kids/teens would be bored. Great size for getting into interesting places. Second cruise on this line. Super attentive, available, informal, active crew. Goes out ... Read More
This is small ship cruising. About 100 passengers. More mature passengers, kids/teens would be bored. Great size for getting into interesting places. Second cruise on this line. Super attentive, available, informal, active crew. Goes out of their way to make you welcome. As an example, the Captain is widely available, and greatly interacts with the passengers. He normally joins the passengers for dinner. The chef tours the dining room during dinner to solicite comments and suggestions. As an example, the chef had been on our previous cruise. He served a fantastic tomato pie on that cruise. We asked for a repeat. He made another pie for us. Entertainment is small ship and tailored to the locality being visited adding to the cultural Experience, many times using local talent. Likewise for the food. This cruise being along the Maine coast had a "lobster" theme, surprise, surprise. Even a lobster eggs benidik. We even had fun flying kites from the top deck while underway. Great itinery along the Maine coast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
The food was fairly well done. We have been on a lot of European river cruises and the food was, I think a little better. Not too easy to get ice tea. I don't drink any more so no wine for me. The wine was the same low end brand all need ... Read More
The food was fairly well done. We have been on a lot of European river cruises and the food was, I think a little better. Not too easy to get ice tea. I don't drink any more so no wine for me. The wine was the same low end brand all need guts,but o cannot comment on the quality. There seemed to be plenty of it. Captain could not have been more friendly as were the servers and the cabin girls. Good entertainment some nights. The cruise director was not helpful at all. He talked a lot about himself. He thought very highly of himself. I was trying to ask him if he could do something for me, but he was too busy talking about whether his trousers shoul Deb shortened 1" or 1 1/2". They charge you for almost all the activities off the boat. For what we paid for the below deck room and board, I ythink that they should have included more of them. I couldn't get on the lobster trip because they only had room for about 20 or 25 people. There were about 150 people on board, so there were a lot of people that wanted this but were excluded. Kevin the cruise director was a self absorbed narcissistic $&#%€. Look for a better cruise line before you sign up for this one. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly ... Read More
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly personalized service" and an "accommodating crew will anticipate your every need and provide you with an unequal level of attention". The cruise up the Maine coast was geared to an older clientele . The entertainment was a joke and had a singer with an awful voice, talks, videos and piano player for approximately 1 hr, after dinner. The food was good, but should you want a drink or anything else to eat outside of meal time, you had to hunt for someone to ask as there are no phones in the rooms for any room service. The rooms themselves were very bare with a minimum of amenities. All the shore excursions cost extra except for a complimentary lobster bake that was the highlight of the week. The ports were okay, but only bus tours or walking tours were offered. The dining and cleaning staff were very pleasant but were young men and women working for the summer and the Manager, Cruise Director and Housekeeping Supervisor were not friendly. This is not a cruise for families and definitely aimed at the elderly. We were very disappointed as the cruise was very pricey and any expectations were not met. We will not be travelling with American Cruise Lines in the future. Other passengers expressed the same thing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a ... Read More
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a capacity of about 100, though there were about 74 on our cruise. We found the cruise caters to a much older crowd than what we were looking for. Our fellow passengers were all very nice, but the average age seemed to be late 70 to 80s and some older than that. Of the approximately 74 passengers maybe 10 were under 65. The cost for the cruise is at a premium, and probably not worth the price. We had an infinitely better experience on Star Clipper for about the same cost. The biggest complaint we had, which may not be an issue to others, is there is no bar on board. Drinks at lunch and dinner with a happy hour before dinner. We've found in the past that we enjoyed getting to know fellow passengers over drinks. You could get a beer from the dining room afterward, or passengers took the leftover wine from dinner. But we were terribly disappointed at the lack of a bar in what is called "the lounge" on these ships. Arrived a day early to visit with a friend in Providence. Stayed at the Wyndham Garden which is within walking distance of the embarkation point for the ship. Unfortunately the Wyndham Garden is undergoing a major renovation to convert it to to a Hilton, so there was no restaurant on site. They did provide a shuttle if you wanted it. Embarkation on the Independence was effortless: drop off your bags and go to your room. Bag was delivered within minutes. The staterooms are large, though nothing spectacular. We stayed on the third level and had a balcony and a window that slip open. Though on a cruise you tend to stay in your room only to change and sleep. The ship was nice enough. Other reviewers commented on the dated decor, which I didn't notice too much, but my wife did. Fabric on a chair in our room was torn, the sofas in the lounge (more on that later) were like those at Grandmother's house. The crew was terrific from the Captain to the wait staff. The crew was all from the US and the wait staff work very hard both serving meals and cleaning rooms. Meals were generally very good. All meals are open seating at set times, though an early breakfast is available. A little awkward in that you choose your lunch and dinner selections at breakfast. They will prepare something just for you if none of the three (at dinner) selections are to your liking. Entertainment was marginal. Good lectures about upcoming ports of calls, etc. Other entertainment was along the lines of Dean Martin and Andrews Sisters imitators, a very rude sea shanty singer, bingo, etc. Ports and excursions were all at an additional charge, at least until you sail 3 or 4 times with ACL. For some bizarre reason we spent an entire day in New Bedford, MASS, which had little other than an outstanding whaling museum. Contrast that to a short stay in Newport, RI where there were several things to see and do and little time to do them. You could tell that this was the first cruise of the season as there were several hiccups such as proper docks for the ship's shuttle. Also, the ship seemed to dock at locations that weren't accessible to the most interesting parts of the islands. An example is Martha's Vineyard, where you need to take a bus or taxi to Oak Bluffs where restaurants and shops are located. This cruise is NOT recommended for children because they would be bored to tears. Frankly I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone much younger that 65 or 70. Perhaps I'd recommend this cruise in 20 years but I wouldn't not right now; price too high for what you get and the activity level is way too low. Read Less
Independence Ratings
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