1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and ... Read More
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and dinner. Crew was on target, baggage in our room when we arrived onboard after a morning at Mendenhall Glacier to have lunch onboard. We saw multiple types of glaciers. Presentations onboard for identifying whales readily and their habits. Also information from Alaskan native tribe and National Forest Service about what we would see in the 2 days in Glacier Bay. Stops in small towns were different and varied in their purpose. Train available to Yukon up the path taken by miners thru White Pass. Kayaks, rafting, who could want more? Accommodations were spacious, and food too often available as snacks between meals. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each afternoon, wine and beer with meals. Services were personalized and consistent. We added an extra day to wander and absorb the flavor of Juneau before boarding which was a good decision. Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau is a must for King Crab like a local! Leaving was smooth transition in early morning with assistance of crew to make early flights necessary to get to East Coast. Small ship experience was so much better than what my friends had on larger ships that have less access to places where we went. Now looking for another bucket list destination. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need ... Read More
We chose this cruise hoping to find a method of travel and cruise line that would work okay for person of limited mobility. Sadly, we felt that this trip was overpriced, and that we were misled by sales people. The Spirit is in need of refurbishing. The salesperson I spoke with said it had been done. The cabin was clean enough, but I have traveled on much older vessels that were more updated. I was told that the Spirit would be the next ship to be replaced. The fitness equipment on board was pitiful. The equipment was outdoors and not plugged into power. The salesman said there would be freeweights similar to what you find in a hotel fitness room. There were none. While we appreciated the size, it is a very noisy little ship. Our cabin was on the stern, and engine noise is deafening at times. We were next to the rear outdoor steps, and ship personnel would run up and down at all hours. I finally caught and discussed the door slamming with one of the housekeeping staff. Cabin 321 should be converted to storage.This is an upper level priced cabin. For this price some shore excursions should be included. This was not. Warning to those going to Butchard Gardens...This is a 90 minute ferry ride, 40 minute motor coach, 90 minutes in the garden, 40 minutes back to ferry, and another 90 minutes on the ferry. The gardens are beautiful, but see them on another trip. I appreciated the dining room. We were not assigned seats. There were minimal choicees, but I was happy not to have to fight my way through a buffet to find something to eat. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate ... Read More
I chose this cruise because a friend had wonderful experiences with this line and I loved the itenerary. However, I did not ask all the right questions and those I asked of the company were not answered with completeness or accurate knowledge of the ship. My husband is disabled and I notified the staff that we would be arriving with walker and wheelchair... no problem, they said. WRONG! The wheelchair could barely fit into the tiny, difficult elevator, there was no room service, tiny rooms, no phone to contact housekeeping for blankets or towels or special clean up needs. The staff was gracious but I had to go out of the room, wander about the ship to find some help, then request whatever we needed, clearly interrupting them from assigned tasks. This is NOT a ship for the handicapped! Fine for able bodied people who don’t mind the scheduled meals - open seating but if you miss the proper hour, you miss your meal. The staff really tried to make all better and we met a lot of nice people ( only 87 of us aboard) and the excursions were nice. Match your needs to this ship’s accommodations and you will be fine. Kudos to the staff on board who did all they could to make our lives better. Thumbs down to American Cruise Lines who could make minimal changes and market this ship to the appropriate group and solve the problems! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. ... Read More
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. For people with mobility issues the smaller ship is good as there is less walking around the ship.The ship being small could go to ports like Petersburg where the larger cruise ships cant go. An added surprise was overnighting in Glacier Bay and being able to go off ship at Barlett Cove and walk around. Again something that the big ships cant do. When we saw whales the Capt stopped for some time and then rotated the ship so everyone could see.. The ship is all inclusive with no shops, casino or spa. We like this as opposed to the big ships that can push sales constantly. There is no mail box or name on the cabin door so no worries about having to cull advertisements out constantly like on some ships PLUS & MINUS: The food is good but rich and the desserts are constantly pushed, cookies at 10 am, desserts at lunch & dinner. Happy hour with treats then dinner and for the night's program root beer floats & sundaes. For anyone struggling with a sweet tooth or watching sugar intake has a constant temptation. Snacks are kept out. ACL has started room service for breakfast which we didn't use. A highlight was our Tlingkat Native interpreters that came on board in Glacier Bay Barlett Cove with the Ranger for 24 hours. Captain, Capt Brown who was retired Coast Guard.Capt Brown was very pleasant and conscientious .Our hotel manager Nico was excellent always working and determined to please. MINUS: The vast majority of the staff are younger students.We found this to be true on the other 2 cruises we took with ACL. This was a problem that wait staff needed better training and meal service could be very chaotic. Even the Cruise Directors were young so we see ACL as a training ground for students going into the hospitality field. I would like ACL to include and pay higher wages to some seasoned waiters to mentor the young waiters. The waiters try but it can be frustrating to see the chaos and their stress. Internet was sporadic and we lost it in Glacier bay for several days which met that people could not check in with home or use their cell phones except for the 3 hour stop at Barlett Cove in Glacier Bay. When we cruised Tray Arm again the loss of internet & cell from about 3 am the last day until about 8 pm when we arrived back in Juneau..I think ACL needs to improve their WIFI which we found to be slow. People with health issues have on the larger ships access to medical clinic with doctors. On ACL there was a medic I believe but no medical clinic. I believe a heart attack in Glacier Bay could be a major issue for a medical evacuation. ACL does cater to the older crowd with a higher probability of health issues. There is no cable TV and some of the videos shown on the ACL channel were very dated at least 20-30 years old. there were movie videos but the lack of updated videos on the Alaska channel was disappointing. Excursions are mainly walking tours and the fishing, float and Kayak tours had limited space and sold out. I would like ACL to have more variety with their tours and increase the capacity for float, kayaking and fishing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
First time cruising family. We looked for a small ship with an elevator to take our 97 year old mom back to Alaska where she lived for a year in 1947. American Cruise Lines fit the bill. I can't say enough nice things about ... Read More
First time cruising family. We looked for a small ship with an elevator to take our 97 year old mom back to Alaska where she lived for a year in 1947. American Cruise Lines fit the bill. I can't say enough nice things about the ship, American Spirit, its Captain, and crew. The cabin and bathroom were much bigger than expected. Very comfortable bed and very clean. Each cabin had a large window you could open and look out. The large main lounge, with a 180 degree view, and the top deck had comfortable seating for watching the passage, visiting, reading or napping. The meals were excellent. The menu varied daily with wonderful options and preparations. Portions were perfect. We didn't come away overstuffed or wanting. This is an adult cruise. Not enough entertainment for young kids or some adolescents; no video games or play areas, no movie theater or pool. And limited wifi. Perfect for those of us who want to unplug, decompress, and enjoy the unbelievable scenery. Some shore excursions are included in the booking. They have activities to suit everyone, from wheelchair and walker to hiker, runner, fisherman, and kayaker. I highly recommend this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2017
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the ... Read More
Thank you Jean, Andrew and the whole staff aboard the American Spirit for the BEST Alaskan experience we could ever have wished for.The Captain and deck hands gave us so much time at each of the glaciers that we had time to breathe in the experience and really enjoy BEING there. He had us surrounded by Orcas at one point and was able to cut engines so we could see them up close and one even swam under the bow. The icing on the cake was the Bald Eagle perched on the top of the ice berg as we passed the last iceberg. Everyone began to suspect that they had cued the animals as we passed. MAGICAL!!! Thank you for taking such great care of our Dad and helping to get him off the ship and exploring the sights. Perfect weather was the cherry on top. I don't know how it could have been better. Loved Bill and Laura, Ranger Jenny, and Gary. The food was great - even with my quirky special diet (I believe I put on pounds). Safe travels to you all. Hope to join you again sometime. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2014
This was our third cruise in the past 10 years. Each cruise has been with a different cruise line. This was the most disorganized and the employees did not seem very happy. Our disembarkation was a mess. The ladies at the Westin Hotel were ... Read More
This was our third cruise in the past 10 years. Each cruise has been with a different cruise line. This was the most disorganized and the employees did not seem very happy. Our disembarkation was a mess. The ladies at the Westin Hotel were at the table the day before disembarkation for check in. But the next morning there was not a table or sign indicating where we were to meet. There were 10 in our group so we all gathered in the lobby near where the table was the day before. We didn't see any Princess employees until we sent out family members to check out the lobby and they finally found one of the ladies outside where the buses were gathering. There were 2 bus loads of people in the lobby needing some reassurance that we were in the right place and we didn't get that until 10 minutes before the buses were to leave. We were supposed to have priority check-in since we were in a large suite but there were not enough princess employees to direct the crowds once we got off the bus. We ended up waiting in the long check-in line only to find out that we could have skipped that line with our priority check-in. I would say they were definitely short staffed. We enjoyed our suite and our room attendant, Ernie (Ernilito), was very helpful and always upbeat and smiling. There were some minor inconveniences like the sink was slow to drain and the tub drain stopper didn't work so we called Ernie and both times he arrived immediately assessed the problem and got the plumber out quickly to do repairs. Our bed was very comfortable although the room was a little to warm with the AC at the lowest setting and this was in Alaska! The food was very disappointing! The 14th deck buffet was confined in a very hot cramped space and we tried everything in there for two days and the food did not look appetizing and didn't taste good either. We had the same experience with the food in the Canaletto traditional dining room which was hardly edible. This dining room is difficult to access and our waiters were not friendly. Once the dining room filled up with people it turned hot and stuffy. We ended up scheduling and paying $25 for 10 of us to eat dinner in the Crown Grill one night and in Sabatinos on two other nights. Their food was better but just not the quality of food that we are accustomed to enjoying in our hometowns of Dallas and Houston, TX and Charlotte, NC. That was an extra $750 to get a few decent dinners on the ship. The best food was in the International Cafe where you could get fresh salads and sandwiches and Lattes. The entertainment was plentiful. The singers and dancers were great and the comedian was pretty good. The magic show was very dull and the theatre lights were down so low you couldn't see anything anyway and we were on the 4th row of a large theatre. One of our biggest complaints about cruising with Princess is the big push to sell jewelry and art. We were irritated to receive fliers in our mailbox everyday about jewelry and art sales and the insult comes when you arrive at the ports and find the towns are full of Princess owned jewelry shops. We enjoyed an excursion in Juneau which included a helicopter ride which landed on Mendenhall Glacier and a salmon bake which was the best food of our whole trip. Other cruisers that went into Juneau to look around said the Princess owned shops had salespeople standing outside of their shops aggressively trying to recruit buyers. These shops ruined the experience of the quaint looking town. Disembarkation was very disorganized. The employees in charge were giving us and other families who had elderly parents in wheelchairs conflicting instructions and sent us all to the wrong exit. It just sort of left us with a bad ending to the trip. I can't imagine ever wanting to go on another Princess Cruise. Read Less

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