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5 Jacksonville to North America River Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise , because we have been on American Cruise Lines before and enjoy the quiet , laid back atmosphere. We also enjoy seeing beautiful, scenic areas of our own country, without the hassle of international travel . The ... Read More
We chose this cruise , because we have been on American Cruise Lines before and enjoy the quiet , laid back atmosphere. We also enjoy seeing beautiful, scenic areas of our own country, without the hassle of international travel . The food was excellent on this particular cruise. With American Cruise Lines you have complimentary cocktail hour at 5:30 each day followed by dinner at 6:30. Breakfast & lunches are also very good, with several options available. The American Star only has 100 passengers at full capacity , so it is a very nice small size group and you actually get the chance to know the other passengers. The on-board historian is another plus. We also like the fact that the passengers are mostly seniors and there are not small children running around, as is often the case, on the very large cruise ships that have thousands of passengers. The nightly entertainment is usually an area musical act. All in all it was another satisfying cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My wife and I selected this cruise simply to relax in pleasant weather exploring a new part of Florida for us. We arrived the day before the start of our cruise with an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront allowing ... Read More
My wife and I selected this cruise simply to relax in pleasant weather exploring a new part of Florida for us. We arrived the day before the start of our cruise with an overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront allowing us to enjoy the pleasant weather and St. Patrick Day activities at Jacksonville landing and good seafood at Benny’s Steak and Seafood Restaurant on the St Johns River. This also allowed for a short five minute walk to board our American Cruise Lines (ACL) ship, the American Star, for embarkation which was simply a matter of showing your photo ID and walk on to the ship. During the week the American Star cruise up the St Johns River (south as the river flows north) with stops in Palatka FL and Green Cove Springs FL returning down river (north) to pass thru Jacksonville and travel south on the intercostal waterway to St Augustine FL than north stopping at Fernandina Beach/Amelia FL than on to Brunswick GA before cruising back to Jacksonville FL for disembarkation. My favorite time onboard was spending time on the Sun Deck while cruising, enjoying the great weather (highs in the seventies with lows at night in the high fifties and no rain the entire week), watching the scenery go by and spending time with our pleasant travel companions while learning about the wildlife, history and key sites from our guide Charlie Petrocci and Captain Dennis Stokowski. Our cruise Director Jim Leary did an excellent job handling all of our shore excursions with my favorite of the trip and one of the best I’ve experienced being our Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour which took us trawling through the Marshes of Glynn, south of St Simons Sound (near Brunswick, GA) learning about the shrimping industry and our catch from our three, fifteen minute trawls consisting of shrimp, blue crabs, spider crabs, puffer fish, horseshoe crabs, skate, amberjack and various other sea creatures. Also memorable was the Alligator feeding at the Alligator Farm & Zoological Park in St. Augustine FL and the Carriage Tour in Green Cove Springs, FL. What made this cruise even more special was the food, as it was the best I've experienced in over thirty ocean cruises and fifteen river/coastal cruises. Food on my cruise experiences has always been overall good, with meals ranging from fair to excellent, but I was extremely pleased to find all of the meals on this cruise to be excellent. Each meal consisted of great selections, presentations and some of the best tasting meals I can recall . . . and that’s from someone from New Orleans, the home of great food. The main reason why my wife and I have moved from Ocean Cruising (completed 31) to river/coastal cruising (this is our 15th and 7th ACL cruise) is for the easier sea travel on the inland waterways to avoid my wife’s trouble with motion sickness. This cruise was extremely smooth with the Captain taking extra care by traveling at the right time and waterway taking into account winds, tides etc. well communicating his schedule the entire week. Another plus of river/coastal cruising is the smaller ships with fewer passengers. Our cruise had sixty-nine passengers comprised mostly of retired seniors that resulted in great conversations about travels, hometowns, jobs/careers, family, military service and other life experiences. We love ACL’s daily 5:30 PM Happy Hour and open seating dinning that enabled us to meet most of our fellow passengers developing a few new found friendships. The crew on this ship was simply great with the added bonus of having two Hotel, Assistant Hotel, and Housekeeping Managers as wells as three Executive Chefs and three Sous Chefs onboard to take care of our every needs. We selected a great week to cruise as more than enough care was being given with the added management onboard for training. Maybe having three Executive Chefs working as a great team resulted in the best meals ever experienced on my forty-six cruises. But it was not only management taking care of us as the college students hired to handle the dinning and housekeeping services were all friendly and couldn’t do more to provide a great onboard vacation experience. Service as meals was excellent as well as the attention given the care to our cabin. In summary, ACL provided the consistent great service and excellent cruising experience we’ve enjoyed and we are looking forward to our two future ACL cruises booked while onboard. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
A close friend and I wanted to enjoy a relaxing week together, and this cruise turned out to be the perfect choice. From the moment we stepped aboard we were greeted by a sea of smiling faces. We followed the luggage to our cabin and ... Read More
A close friend and I wanted to enjoy a relaxing week together, and this cruise turned out to be the perfect choice. From the moment we stepped aboard we were greeted by a sea of smiling faces. We followed the luggage to our cabin and were delighted with the space, the balcony with sliding doors providing fabulous views at all times, especially on waking, and the larger than usual bathroom on a cruise ship. Lunch followed and it was indeed delicious as was every meal we had on board. The chefs managed to combine healthy and tasty food with an abundance of choice. I only put on two pounds!! We enjoyed some of the shore excursions in old Florida especially visiting the towns of St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach. The highlight was the trip on a shrimp boat where we netted a variety of sea creatures all of which were explained to us. The crew of the American Star were a close-knit group, helping each other, and always available to please the passengers. They worked very hard indeed We enjoyed the entertainment most evenings. We found it mellow and pleasing at the end of the day. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I chose this cruise because I was impressed with my previous cruise with American Cruise Lines from New Orleans to Memphis on the Mississippi in June 2016, and I wanted to travel in this part of Florida. Most of the good things from the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I was impressed with my previous cruise with American Cruise Lines from New Orleans to Memphis on the Mississippi in June 2016, and I wanted to travel in this part of Florida. Most of the good things from the previous cruise carried over to this one. The crew and housekeeping staff were top-notch, offering efficient, attentive, and friendly service. The food, both in terms of quality and selection, was superb. One of my dietary requirements--soy milk--was cheerfully accommodated. Cocktail hour offered ample opportunity to socialize and enjoy the food and drink. My single cabin was small but serviceable, with enough space for two dressers, twin bed, small closet, two nightstands, a chair, and a luggage stand. The bathroom was clean, but my room was not always made up at the same time each day--sometimes early morning, sometimes mid-to-late morning. As for entertainment, I went to five of the seven shows and liked them very much. Two involved solo singers performing American standards. One involved a film and accompanying discussion by the ship's guest lecturer. Two involved duos who sang and played, excellently. I skipped two shows because I needed some downtime to relax from a full day of onshore touring. I did all the tours, which cost $320. I liked nearly all of them, especially Blue Springs State Park, Palatka Murals and City Tour, Tram Tour of St. Augustine, Alligator Farm and Zoological Park, the Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour, and the Sea Turtle Center & Jekyll Island Tram Tour. The only one I didn't care for--the only complimentary one--was the Green Cove Springs Narrated Tour. There wasn't much to see. I didn't even take any pictures there. I'd recommend deleting this tour. My only other suggestion for improvement would be to give the guest lecturer more opportunities to share his knowledge of the area. On last year's Mississippi cruise, the guest lecturers--a husband and wife team--were much more visible and active than the lecturer on this cruise. I would have preferred a lecture to the bingo game that was offered one morning. All in all, though, a very good cruise. I've already signed up for another cruise in May, 2018. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
This was an Eagle Society cruise on the rivers of Florida. It was very relaxing with one or two tours a day. There was plenty of extra time to explore the towns where we stopped. We enjoyed talking to the historian who was on board. He had ... Read More
This was an Eagle Society cruise on the rivers of Florida. It was very relaxing with one or two tours a day. There was plenty of extra time to explore the towns where we stopped. We enjoyed talking to the historian who was on board. He had very good knowledge of the area and what we would see. We really liked the service on the ship. The food was very good and we had good choices when we signed up for the various meals. The cruise director was very good and helpful. We got to know a lot of people on the ship. The crew was very friendly. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015

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