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Sail Date: August 2019
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have ... Read More
On day 1, we arrived at Lambert's Landing in St. Paul to find no boat at the dock. When we called the office to find out why, they said there was a last minute change and the boat had been docked in Red Wing, MN and that we would have to find our own way there. No company rep nor a bus was at the dock to update us and transport us to Red Wing, though they did say they would pay for the taxi ride (I'm still waiting for reimbursement as the ship's staff said they were unable to refund directly to me). Our Uber driver agreed to take us there, and I tipped him generously because he would have to go back to the city empty. But the most irritating aspect of this is that the ship apparently hasn't been able to dock in St. Paul for quite some time, perhaps all season, and it wasn't a "last minute" change. And even if it was, they should have called us. We finally arrived at the ship at lunch time, and no one greeted us or apologized for the situation, or offered any reasons (or compensation) for the foul up. As we met other guests during the cruise, we found that others had been left in the lurch just as we had. Our cabin, no. 209, smelled strongly of mildew, and our towels (which we were encouraged to reuse) never dried out overnight; when I reported it on the mid-cruise questionnaire, a dehumidifier was delivered to our room; however the room steward didn't know how to empty it so I figured it out myself... I also reported how dirty our veranda was, and though they said they would clean it, that never happened. It was covered with spider webs and dead bugs, which made it unpleasant to sit out there. I don't understand why the room steward didn't have time to at least sweep it, because all she had to do in our room each day was make the bed (they don't change the sheets during the week), deliver dry towels, wipe down the shower and sink and empty the waste baskets. Though the Queen of the Mississippi is only in her 6th year of service, she is suffering from some deferred maintenance. There is chipped paint, dirty windows and balconies, scuffed upholstery, stained lamp shades, and stained carpets, all contributing to a general aura of shabbiness. There is simply no excuse for this level of neglect on a cruise for which you've paid nearly $10K for a week. We've been on 4 European river cruises (with Viking and Vantage) and several ocean cruises (with NCL and Cunard), and one thing they all have in common in constant maintenance. They're always pressure washing or painting or cleaning something, without interfering with the guest experience. ACL seems to have decided not to do this type of maintenance during the season. The room was quiet and spacious enough, with the typical tiny bathroom, but storage, both in the room and bathroom was more than adequate. Wifi was slow, and we usually had decent tv reception, though the screen is tiny. There were a few places along the river where we had no cell phone reception, but that was okay. I was pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quiet the boat is while cruising at night. Even when we were going through locks, I was rarely disturbed by noise or motion during the night. There are many lounges and decks on the ship, and you could easily find a place to socialize or sit quietly and read or contemplate the beautiful scenery. Cocktail hour at 5:30 each evening was also lively and fun, with generous pours of beer, wine and liquors. A nice assortment of hors d'ouevres was also offered each evening. After dinner, we enjoyed a variety of entertainers in the lounge; a guitar singer one night, a motown duo for 2 nights, a barbershop quarter another night. The onboard lecturer, Dale, was fun and entertaining and filled us with information about the Mississippi and each of the ports we visited and even conducted a few sing-alongs. At every port, except the first day in Red Wing, we docked very early in the morning and had the whole day to visit the town. We were warmly welcomed by local guides in each town, and they genuinely seemed happy to have us there. Fort Madison has recently been added to the itinerary, and they were especially gracious, though there was a scheduling issue and the visit to the old penitentiary was cancelled while we were actually on the bus on the way there. They have some kinks to work out in their tours. We had a nice dose of warm, mid-western hospitality at each port. Most of the tours were rather heavy on bus time rather than actual on-the-ground touring, but perhaps this is in deference to the rather advanced age of the typical traveler on this cruise. I wish they would use buses that have 2 doors, because waiting for all the people with canes and walkers to exit the bus at each stop was very time consuming. Food service varied from barely acceptable to very nice. We learned to get to the dining room promptly when they opened at 7:30 each morning; any later and you could wait a long time for your entree. They really should offer a buffet for breakfast, because the wait staff becomes quickly overwhelmed and they seem to not have enough short-order cooks in the galley. Lunch seemed a bit less hectic; perhaps because the limited number of entrees offered were pre-cooked and just needed to be plated. Dinner also featured uneven service. If you arrived promptly at 6:00 when they started to serve, you might get served quickly. But people are allowed to wander in any time from 6:00 to 7:30, so one couple at a table might be finishing up dessert just as another couple joined the table. ACL should adopt the strategy utilized by the European cruise lines that we've traveled (Vantage and Viking), who seem to have figured this all out. Sometimes entrees were delivered lukewarm; sometimes the lettuce in the salad was soggy and appears to have been pre-dressed. Both the lunch menu and the dinner menu changed each day, and you had to make your selection in the morning at breakfast so the cooks could plan accordingly. The only item that was consistently good were the desserts, though one in our party complained that the tres leches cake was still frozen. Many on the wait staff are very young and inexperienced, and it was actually the first time serving for some of them. It was painful to watch one young man try to nervously balance a tray of drinks without dumping them down the back of a guest... We heard that they pulled quite a few from the staff to populate the new ship that is coming on line next week, leaving our ship with a very inexperienced crew. Similar to the beginning of the cruise, we were advised on the next-to-last day that we wouldn't actually dock in St. Louis (for reasons not divulged), and would instead dock in Alton, Illinois and be bused into St. Louis for our afternoon excursion. We sat in Alton all morning with nothing to do, no shuttle bus and no excursions or suggestions offered. It was a 30-45 minute drive each way, time we would have liked to spend enjoying the city rather than on a freeway. I do realize that the shipping lines can't be held responsible for the ever-changing conditions on the river that cause itineraries to be altered. What was lacking was their communication of such changes and the reasons for the changes. If they said high water or flooding made it too dangerous, everyone would have understood. They haven't been able to dock in St. Paul or St. Louis at all this season, so why are they still advertising this as a St. Paul to St. Louis tour? It's actually a Red Wing to Alton tour. Disembarkation was the smoothest part of the process. We had to put our tagged bags out at midnite, and the bus to the airport was scheduled at 7:30. We walked off the ship, identified our bags out on the tarmac, and got on the bus. The combination of inadequate communication, being stranded in St. Louis and having to make our own way to Red Wing, the smelly room, the dirty windows and balcony, the uneven food service, and the unprofessional service in general, added up to a less-than-exceptional experience for us. We are experienced travelers used to "going with the flow", but the negatives on this cruise somewhat outweighed the positives for us. Seeing the magnificent Mississippi River from the perspective of a grand river boat, and the quaint small towns along the way, was memorable and interesting, but the overall experience with the ship itself was rather disappointing. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2019
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working ... Read More
I had always wanted to take this cruise of the Columbia River. The scenery and history was so interesting and the ship was lovely. Being a small ship with 184 passengers, everything was close. The staff was young and very hard-working and did an excellent job. The food was great and plentiful. The history of the area, following the path of Lewis and Clark, was fascinating and the geology and scenery in the area was so interesting. We loved floating down the river and seeing Washington and Oregon from a different perspective. The shore excursions were mostly included in the price of the cruise. We especially enjoyed seeing Mt St Helen. Most of the ports were in rural areas, which was fine. There’s something interesting to see everywhere. Overall we would highly recommend this cruise. Although the cost is on the high end, it is all-inclusive and we would do it again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2019
We went on the Grand New England Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines and enjoyed it very much. The Lobster Bake in Rockland, ME was wonderful...from music to our lobster. In fact, we found every port interesting especially visiting ... Read More
We went on the Grand New England Cruise offered by American Cruise Lines and enjoyed it very much. The Lobster Bake in Rockland, ME was wonderful...from music to our lobster. In fact, we found every port interesting especially visiting the Portland, ME Lighthouse, and the excursions we signed up for (Lobster and Lighthouse in Camden, ME and Schooner Sail in Gloucester, MA). We found the ship and our stateroom very clean. Weather made it impossible to tender at Bar Harbor, but safety of passengers should be the main concern which it was. The food was delicious and we were thrilled with all the seafood offered. The waitstaff, for the most part, was excellent. The crew was very friendly and attentive especially our Cruise Director. We also enjoyed the on board Historian. This was our first cruise experience and would go again with American Cruise Lines. We met some wonderful people and will have great memories. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack ... Read More
The Boat was dirty, bug infested, food was fair, service was terrible, speaker was clueless to anything about our destinations. Time in port was very short, if you got on 2nd bus for a tour, you missed out on most of the tour do to lack of time. Entertainment started out pretty good, by the end of trip it is not so good. People were nice, however, they were always apologizing for lack of serve or how dirty everything was. According to some of the crew we talked to, they just did not have enough staff and prior to us boarding, did not have enough time to clean up. The Boat advertised free Wi Fi, which really meant no Wi Fi. It was so poor, most of the time we were unable to send or receive until we got into port. Best part of this cruise was we met some very nice people and in each of the stops, found the town people very nice and friendly. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2019
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and ... Read More
My wife and I love the fact the ACL ship has 100 passengers max. The ship is cozy, casual and very well run. The crew, top to bottom, are friendly, responsive and efficient. The cabins are roomy with private balconies. The food and service is excellent. We have done the big ship cruises (3000+ + passengers, and swore we will never do another big ship again!) We discovered ACL last summer when we did their New England Island cruise, and loved it. We have already signed up for our third cruise with ACL for Nov. 2020. It was fun to be able to mix and mingle and sit with different people at every meal. Since many passengers, like us, were older, retired people, and from a variety of states, cities, businesses and professions, mealtimes were always interesting and entertaining. American Cruise Lines have smaller ships so they can visit more of the coastal and river ports than the big ships, so we you get to see more of the country up close and personal. Landing in port, there are at most only 100 passengers who disembark or go on shore hikes and excursions vs. 3000 people descending on a port at the same time. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary (which was unique and they were good ports that we enjoyed). Unfortunately due to the very poor quality of the ship and crew we were not pleased with the cruise overall. There was poor service, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of its itinerary (which was unique and they were good ports that we enjoyed). Unfortunately due to the very poor quality of the ship and crew we were not pleased with the cruise overall. There was poor service, marginal food, dirty and unkept ship and cabins. A couple of people left the cruise after the first 24 hours apparently due to the underwhelming conditions. They do have good marketing skills because their brochures describe a luxury 5 star cruise and they charge 5 star prices. The ship is designed well for what it does (small ports) but it was not built as a 5 star luxury ship. The entertainment was marginal, but we were not going on this cruise for the entertainment. Some of the lectures were good but most were not. By far, the service was the most disappointing. We always ordered two glasses of ice tea or water, because they rarely came by to provide refills. We usually had to wave down a waiter to come take our order and sometimes waited 45 min to get the meal. The crew was inexperienced and simple jobs like docking and tying off the tender were laughable. The best laugh was when a crew member let a wheelchair roll off the dock and into the water (they tried using a grappling hook, but they never found the wheelchair). Unfortunately American Cruise Lines is just not up to par. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around announcing which side he would spot whales, or bear, or mountain goats, or otters, seals, etc. The staff were friendly and personable and interacted well with the passengers. Most of the excursions were included and well directed. The 'extra' excursions fill up fast, even if you sign up early you may not get to participate, which can be disappointing. Cabins were nice, each with a private balcony. Meals were served with menus and several choices of food. Entertainment was specific to the region, we learned a lot about the culture of Native Alaskans and the Klondike Gold Rush. I would not recommend this ship for children or teens, there is not a pool or other activities for young adults. We were very happy with our trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I ... Read More
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I certainly wouldn't give it that rating. A clean road side motel more accurately describes the "Prospector" now owned by Ramada Wyndham As others have noted the onboard dining experience left a lot to be desired. Diner entrée choices where down to three and the portions were small. One could ask for more but there would be a time delay and when dining with others that would be problematic. The entrees were mediocre at best. One night was a vegetarian stuffed pepper. It was only a small slice of pepper overlaid with a tasteless couscous and I ended up having a piece of chocolate cake for dinner instead. The absence of a snack bar onboard was very apparent that day. The ship's heating units were all mounted high on the walls and because heat rises the decks were drafty all the time. The outside temperatures were running in the 50s and 60s so it was very uncomfortable. There was some problem with the ship wide computer system and we had to be logged on and off the ship by paper the entire cruise. I understand the cell service and wifi are spotty in Alaska but the brochure offered free wifi during the cruise and it was rare when we had access outside Juneau. After dinner we were stuck with our overly bubbly cruise director reading us the next day's itinerary from the same sheet that was delivered to our stateroom. She often ran over her allotted time so the entertainment didn't start until late. The music stopped at about 9:45PM so it was a short night. The good? the staff, they were great without exception (wish the cruise director would be a bit more mature and professional) Boarding and debarkation was smooth. Alaska was, what can I say? Gorgeous. The ship's captain stopped the vessel several times to view wildlife (whales, bears and orcas) and really made the cruise. I'm not big on walking tours so I passed on several excursions. The bus tours, the river rafting and the White Pass RR were great. Would I recommend this cruise? Probably not. They really have to upgrade their dining options and when it gets cold in Alaska the ship is uncomfortable. Back to the bigger ships for me. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise for location/itinerary and the fact that it included a new riverboat. It was a very pleasant cruise overall; but there was some room for improvement. The crew/staff was especially friendly and helpful from the captain to the officers to the servers and housekeeping staff. The dining room and snack food was tasty, plentiful and frequent, but not at a gourmet level and featured meats over chicken and local seafood. The casual cafe needs improved offerings and food preparation. Rolls, muffins, pastries and other bakery items were especially good. The wine choices--mostly local-- were varied and very drinkable, One entertainer (2 nights) was excellent, one put us to sleep and two entertainer couples were very pleasant. On board daytime activities were not for us and too many involved alcohol. The scenery was quite beautiful. A small onboard gift shop with logo souvenirs and a small toiletries selection, as well as a library would be nice additions. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the ... Read More
I chose it because of the decor depicted in the brochure and the itinerary. The decor of the ship was nothing like was depicted in their advertisements. We sailed during an impending tropical storm which they ignored and the cruise up the lower Mississippi river got worse. We repeatedly questioned the cruise direction inquiring about our destination considering the weather. We essentially were ignored. The decor of the rooms is average. The upper floors leaked terribly. two of our three ports were closed. The port at Baton Rouge was at flood stage and the entire city was shut down pending the coming flood. Once again we tried to get answers with no results. When then decided to disembark and catch a flight home. All the crew were first timers and inexperienced. The food was average for a cruise. The entertainment areas were small. There was one ice machine for the 100 or so passengers, The captain was relieved of duty apparently because his lack of communication with the passengers. I contacted the corporate office and their flippant response was we didn't know of any storm or problems with the America. This cruise is falsely advertised and way to expensive for what is offered. The crew is very young and inexperienced. It felt like we were on training vessel. The main office has yet to refund me any money. They offered a 1000 cruise credit which to me was an insult. If you book with this company you will regret it! Never Again! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my ... Read More
I chose this cruise because it advertised as a NEW boat with a 900 sq ft. Grand Suite. I thought it would be a good way to see the Pacific North West. It assuredly does not meet "high end" expectations. The dingy suite was my biggest disappointment, and initially I thought I must be on the wrong ship. The food was very good. It was American cuisine, unpretentious, and better than most cruise lines. I think the food was their strongest selling point. We had a lecturer that spoke several times about the Lewis and Clark expedition, and he was quite good. They also had a guitarist-singer who portrayed a cowboy one night and a sailor another. He was also quite enjoyable. Aside from that entertainment was lacking. The lounges were nice and attractive. The personnel were all American and very nice. Unfortunately, they lacked training in the service industry. You may find yourself without the proper eating utensils, and the waiter will never notice, or forget to bring them. I was told that I could not have a certain flavor of ice cream for lunch because it was frozen solid. (?) The age of the passengers looked to be mostly over 70, and many had difficulty walking. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but ... Read More
We initially had chosen the cruise from New Orleans to Memphis on the new Harmony. We had already booked our flights as part of a 5 week trip when we were informed that the ship would not be ready in time. We basically had no choice but take this shorter cruise. I was disappointed with the quality of the cabin, no fridge, no bathrobe for when you want to sit on the balcony and the bed was too soft! Due to the high water level of the Mississipi we only stopped in Baton Rouge and were bussed to the various plantation houses. Some of the local guides were not up to scratch. Some of the wait staff were very inexperienced and were struggling, definitely more training is needed. Most of the entertainment was good but not being American we felt the last show, Andrew Sisters impersonation, was a bit too patriotic. This cruise line is geared for the American market. Read Less
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2019
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I ... Read More
My husband is very interested in history. Retracing Lewis and Clark's journey and making it come alive was a dream come true. The guest lecturers were very knowledgeable and interesting. I had never seen Washington or Oregon, so I was looking forward to some beautiful countryside views. It was fun to do a lot of the traveling during the day instead of at night so we could see more scenery. We went with friends and the cruise line made sure our balconies were connected (they removed the partition between them) even before we boarded the ship. Lots of personal attention from the staff made the cruise fun and pleasant. The artists on board were FABULOUS and gave art lessons to those of us who weren't as interested in history. The small size of the ship, made it easy to get to meals, cocktails, the decks and lounge, coffee, etc. The pre-cruise hotel, Historic Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington was an unexpected delight with its architecture and history and fine dining. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia ... Read More
We are experienced cruisers and world travelers - this was our first time with our 11- & 9-year-old grandkids, and first time on American Cruise Lines. We embarked from Clarkston, WA and sailed west along the Snake & Columbia Rivers to Astoria, then back to Portland, OR. It was a themed cruise focusing on the journeys of Lewis & Clark. We had the kids read about L&C before departing - the old Landmark and "We Were There..." books. They were the only two kids on board; otherwise I'd estimate the median age of the 150 passengers to be ~70. The on-board speaker did a good job bringing L&C's journeys to life, and tying them in to each of the attractions we visited. We had two adjoining cabins, with a door in between (405 & 407). This felt very spacious. Crew was 100% American (not that I care, as we've never experienced this before). Service was very good (equiv. to Holland America or RCCL, but not quite Regent). Bottom line - we booked a follow-on cruise on the Mississippi based upon this experience. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which ... Read More
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which would not be my first choice of a hotel in Juneau except for the very good restaurant connected to it. Embarkation on June 29th was welcome and flawless. Our luggage was picked up at our hotel and we were off for a morning visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. By the time we reached the ship late morning my luggage was in my large clean single balcony cabin. I had good closet and drawer space and there was a personal safe in the room. All the meals were excellent with good choices including vegetarian at every meal. In between meals soft drinks, juices and snacks were always available with warm cookies and 10:00 am every day. Happy hour horderves were delicious and plentiful. On this particular trip we had several multi-generational families traveling together so we had some young school and college age people on board which was nice, and I think even though most of the passengers were 60 + they appeared to enjoy themselves and fit in nicely. The combination of shore excursions and time on the ship in Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm was perfect. Orcas and Humpbacks entertained us, the cultural interaction in Kake informative, and the narrow gage train out of Skagway great fun. The on board lectures were OK, and many enjoyed the "art classes" which were a big hit. Our entertainment consisted on one very talented pianist who was able to play and entertain us with a full variety of music. The Hammer Museum in Haines was interesting for me as my family's antique hammers were on display. The "dock" walk in Petersburg revealed how commercial fishing is big business and the fireworks the night before spectacular. Two of the signature excursions, rafting in Haines, and fishing in Petersburg were limited so some folks were not able to participate. This was my third small ship trip to SE Alaska so my expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. While the American Constellation is one of the larger small ships to cruise SE Alaska, because of her maneuverability she was able to go where the much smaller ships go, I think our Captain enjoyed the sights as much as we did as he was expert in positioning the ship with the assistance of the bow and stern thrusters to permit maximum viewing for all. The ships officers were very professional. The all America, mostly college age, dining/cabin stewards and deckhands were delightful to get to know. Though they were not as experienced as found on ships registered and cruising outside of the United States, they were always eager to please. Our weather was perfect the entire week except for the Juneau heat and the haze from the wild fires up north, and happy hour on deck in the Alaskan sun was fun. Because there wasn't WiFi or phone service except in a couple of places, it was good to disconnect and just enjoy the trip. Many disembarked very early and took to complementary airport transfer early in the morning at 5:15 am. A second transfer was offered at 8:15 am. Because of our late flight out of Juneau we were able to wait in the lounge on board until it was time for our taxi at 10:00 am. I have taken multiple trips with American Cruise Lines, and I am booked on another. I only wish they had more places to go in the US as I'm running out of itineraries. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 ... Read More
Great comfortable cabin on nearly new ship, but open closet hanging space is limited. Lectures were good and musical entertainment was generally adequate, we came prepared with own DVD's. Shore excursion to Mt St Helens required 90 minute bus ride for 60 minute visit, but DVD on bus about eruption helped. Pendleton excursion definitely not worth it, would have preferred to remain on board. We enjoyed the locks and the lecturer gave commentary in the lounge. Really no other commentary or map described the areas we were passing by. We kept changing tables in the dining room until we found a server we liked - they usually cover the same 3 or so tables. Usually only a couple choices of appetizer/salad, main course and dessert. They try really hard to accommodate dietary issues, we had none. Snacks and all kinds of sodas/juices always available in several lounges. Jet boat ride on Hells Canyon did not include the sheer canyon walls I expected, but did see an eagle and big horn sheep. Three free washers/dryers with soap pods and dryer sheets provided. Embarkation is walk on from Red Lion Hotel and disembarkation was well organized. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most ... Read More
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most important part of our nations past, forged in part by these two infamous explorers. Great shore excursions and presentations by the River Historian added to the experience. The hospitality of the ship and crew was outstanding. The food and drink was excellent. It should be noted that the Queen of the West is the line's oldest ship and the rooms and bathroom are smaller than newer ships. But so little time is spent in the room, we found the accommodations to be adequate. The one difficulty was a high step into the bathroom which may be difficult for an elderly person. We enjoyed the entire cruise so much that we immediately signed up for another cruise next year! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We just returned from an 11 day American Cruise Lines cruise of New England. Overall this is an average cruise with a very above average price. There were both pros and cons: Pros: 1. The food was excellent, although the selection ... Read More
We just returned from an 11 day American Cruise Lines cruise of New England. Overall this is an average cruise with a very above average price. There were both pros and cons: Pros: 1. The food was excellent, although the selection was quite limited. 2. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We got to know two staff people in the dining room and enjoyed interacting with them (Ike and Marquita). They provided very good service. Some of the other dining staff were not as engaging or as talented, as in all cruise ships. 3. The Cruise Director and her direct report were very accommodating to me to provide me with Wifi service on our cruise, they let me use an I-Phone from the ship to use as a "hot spot" source for Wifi. This was above and beyond the call of duty to help correct a serious flaw in American Cruise Lines Wifi issues. (see below). 4. Overall the ship was clean. 5. The stops on the cruise were nice. We had not been to New England before so it was enjoyable seeing this part of the country. Cons: 1. The Wifi is a serious problem on American Cruise Line ships. This ship is only a year old so this should not be an issue, but it is. Its understandable to have sketchy Wifi access when out at sea, but this problem persisted when we were in port. I was unable to download email or access websites despite my phone and laptop stating that I was connected. In talking with the crew this is a known problem that has not been corrected yet. This is serious flaw for those who need dependable Wifi on their trip. 2. The clientele on this cruise line is VERY elderly. I would estimate that the average age on our cruise was in the low 80's. Most of the passengers were very friendly and it was nice to get to know some of them, but it really felt like we were vacationing in an elderly retirement community. A large number of folks were unable to ambulate easily with many using canes and some with walkers or motorized carts. This was a factor in the tours we went on. It took a fair bit of additional time for people to get on and off tour buses as you can imagine. There were some who had difficulty understanding basic instructions related to the tours. We are in our 50's and throughout the cruise we were identified as the "youngsters"! I think its great that these folks are getting out and enjoying life and I say more power to them, but I'm looking for a different environment for our vacationing. 3. The entertainment was average, I think mainly due to the clientele the cruise line is catering to. 4. Although the ship was clean overall, our stateroom had some issues. The bathroom had a urine smell. There was half a cookie on the carpeted floor with associated crumbs that was left under the desk. There were some small paper wrappers on the floor that were left. At this price range this was unexpected. 5. The dining area is cramped. There are 8 people at the majority of tables, which is a bit overcrowded for the table size. You are unable to eat a meal with just you and your spouse. This can be enjoyable or not depending on who sits with you since its open seating. I noted that in their official pictures the tables show 6 places at each table, this is inaccurate. 6. This is an expensive cruise line. Our 11 day cruise up the New England coast with a one night stay in Boston before the cruise cost around $18,000. We opted for the pre-cruise package in Boston which cost us $900. This is not worth it. Its one night at the Four Seasons, breakfast, a 90 minute bus tour of Boston, and dropping you off at the ship. It was nice, but very overpriced. 7. The tours are very sedentary, pretty much all bus tours. There is opportunity in several of the ports to explore on your own, but again, its an older crowd that this trip is geared toward. 8. The ship had an exercise room but all it contained were a couple of free weights and a few recumbent exercise bikes. In summary, overall it was nice seeing New England, but we would not use American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 ... Read More
I haven't been to New England since I was a teenager and my husband never traveled there, so we decided to take this cruise. We prefer small ship cruising -- Azamara, Oceania, Viking Ocean and this was even smaller -- 170 passengers. We stayed overnight in Boston because we have had bad experiences with airlines and missed connections. Much less stress to be at port the day before. We took a taxi to the port at about 11 am. City traffic, but no problems. Embarkation was perfect. Our cabin was ready soon after we got on. The ship is almost new (2018) and it showed. This was the largest stateroom we have ever seen in almost 60 cruises on various lines. We had more than enough drawer space and a full closet, large bed with two nightstands, spacious balcony with table and two chairs, good bedding. Bathroom was larger than most with good lighting and ample storage. Shower space was good, but no hand shower. I learned from another passenger that it was available upon request. Throughout the cruise, our cabin was kept clean and serviced almost as soon as the "make up the room" sign was up. The fabrics used in drapes, upholstery throughout the ship were lovely ( I sew and notice things like that immediately). They have opted for a coastal feel to interiors and it is appropriate . I loved the itinerary, although rainy weather interfered with some of my plans. There are several included tours and even the optional ones are reasonably priced. I loved the mansions tour in Newport and the botanical gardens in Maine. The lobster boat excursion was fun. I now know how to tell the sex of a lobster. That covers the good stuff. Now, the mediocre. Food. I do not go on a cruise to eat food from Costco that I have in my freezer and those were the appetizers served at the cocktail hour until I complained to the hotel manager and then we had freshly prepared items. I wish I had done so earlier in the cruise. The cocktails were poured with a heavy hand, stronger than on most cruise limes and lots of wine, beer and sodas etc. available all day. Lots of lovely lobster and seafood of all sorts served, as I expected, in the dining room. Stick to the seafood; everything else was overcooked, over salted and disappointing. My bean soup was watery and had 3 beans in broth. Steak was thin and overcooked, no matter how we ordered it. Pasta was mushy, chicken parm inedible. The vegetables varied from tender crisp and good to dried out and tough. They ran out of basic items from time to time. There's no excuse for no skim milk at breakfast when we are in American ports with supermarkets a short walk from the pier. That said, breakfast was usually the best meal of the day (unless there was lobster). Lots of fresh fruit. One funny story. My husband ordered 3 eggs and three pancakes, but apparently, the kitchen only uses even numbers. He could get two and two or four and four, not three and three. Dining room service was very spotty, but they tried hard and worked hard. There were only one or two servers that seemed to be experienced; for the others, it was on-the-job training. They were all friendly and courteous and I am sure they will improve with time. The Backporch Grill on deck 4 was very good. Because the dining room food, etc. was disappointing, many used the grill option and the men working there were often overworked. Excellent hamburgers and hot dogs. They also had pizza and chili, with Klondike bars and other delicious ice cream sandwiches. The entertainment was spotty. I only remember two nights with really good performers, a banjo player early in the cruise and a duo in Martha's Vineyard. The others were amateurish at best. The lecturer was a pleasant man who knew New England well, but wasn't particularly exciting as a speaker. The exercise room and equipment was less than your average motel. No treadmill, but a stepper and bikes, yoga mats and a few hand weights. Other cruisers assured us that the line's other itineraries were better, especially the Snake River Lewis & Clark one, but even they said this cruise needed improvement. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it ... Read More
Doing the Lewis and Clark riverboat Cruise has always been on our bucket list. This seemed to be a good time of the year. Queen of the West is an older boat and is very intimate. Bedroom very small but haven’t spent much time in it but to sleep. Several places where you can sit, watch the scenery, read or visit with the new friends you meet daily. Crew very attentive and Edgar to please. First morning we boarded at 10:30 AM snakes and open bar has we were oriented to our boat. Meals have been delicious! Who doesn’t like a root beer float or ice cream sundae at 8 PM?? As we travel we learn more about the history of the area we are in. Loved Astoria’s quaint look. Houses on hills like San Francisco but then you seen a doe with her fawn meandering down the street or tucked under a 300 foot fir. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We wanted to cruise the Snake and Colombia Rivers to trace the last part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The route was very good and the onboard historian added immeasurably to the cruise. The cabin was roomy for a river cruise but the ... Read More
We wanted to cruise the Snake and Colombia Rivers to trace the last part of the Lewis and Clark expedition. The route was very good and the onboard historian added immeasurably to the cruise. The cabin was roomy for a river cruise but the bed was in need of upgrade. The cabin was astern on the second deck so it was noisy when underway. Ports were interesting and tours offered mostly interesting. The tour to Mt Saint Helens was a long bus ride for a short time there. The port of Astoria was interesting because it was at the mouth of the Columbia River and Lewis and Clark’s first encounter with the Pacific.. The final port of Portland was worth staying for a post cruise day.. The precruise port of Clarkston would have been more interesting for us if travel delays prevented us from doing the Hells Canyon jet boat tour. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
We choose this cruise along with another couple because we wanted to sail the Mississippi River. The cost was about $11,000 per couple for the AAM Room Category and for the price, we expected a first class experience. The boat, food and ... Read More
We choose this cruise along with another couple because we wanted to sail the Mississippi River. The cost was about $11,000 per couple for the AAM Room Category and for the price, we expected a first class experience. The boat, food and most tours were a big disappointment. To start, according to the ACL brochure, the AAM category room is advertised as 326 sq. ft.. Having 20 lifetime cruises under my belt, I immediately knew this was incorrect.So I measured the room, #519, including the balcony and came up with 260 sq. ft. The other couples room, #513, advertised as the same AAM category was 240 sq.ft. This may seem like a minor complaint to some, but when you pay a premium price for a larger room you should not be deceived. There was mold behind the bathroom faucet and outside the shower area. The paint on the balcony floor was peeling and we looked at the same spider webs for 7 days on the table, outside chairs and railing. One day the maid knocked 3 quick times and just barged in for the evening turn down service. Well I just got out of the shower, so that encounter didn't go well. The boat holds 185 guests which is nice. The four travelers in our group are in the mid 60's. When we first boarded the boat, we experienced a culture shock. The average age of the other travelers had to be 75 - 80 years old. A lot of canes and few wheelchairs. So my advise to future travelers is be aware of the age group that cruise ACL. Food choices were few and not top shelf. The college age servers in the dining room are excellent. They were one of the few positives on this trip. No bar to purchase drinks. You have to wait for meals, cocktail hour and entertainment to get a drink, or bring your own!!!! I think for $11,000 a couple, there be a bar set up all day. The day of just cruising the river was boring as hell. Thank God it didn't rain. The entertainment was mediocre at best. We could not wait to disembark. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, ... Read More
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, quite new and offering a good range of river boat amenities, a hardworking and a very pleasant crew. But we felt it was overpriced, and had some weak points. Embarkation We boarded shortly before noon at a marina in Seattle, and the check-in was very fast. We were handed names tags on a ribbon and encouraged to wear them all the time. We were given the usual room key, but were not asked to provide a credit card imprint – a first in our experience. The Captain was there to greet us; and helped with the luggage. We had a snack in the main “Cascade” Lounge on deck three and then went to our cabin. The Stateroom, This is a quite new ship, and the stateroom was in excellent condition. It was quite roomy for a river boat with plenty of drawer space and a small but adequate closet. The bathroom was about the same size as on most cruise ships. The verandah has a sliding glass door, two chairs and a small table. The walls were painted a nice beige shade. There were two armchairs as well as a desk with its chair. Almost all the staterooms were the same, the price differential was according to location. We were on Deck 2, but since it is a small vessel, it was not inconvenient. We were just a few steps from the center of the boat. The Ship If you are on a cruise ship, you are told to call the river vessels “boats”. But American Constellation really looks like a small cruise ship with six decks and a sharp prow. It was built for sailing on open waters, and, as we saw on our visit to the bridge, is controlled by a navigation system that matches the oceangoing vessels we have been on. The top deck is open, with a small putting green. Deck 5 has the “Owners Suites”, a fitness room and a rear sun deck. Deck 4 has staterooms with a library/computer room and the Sky Lounge aft with an open deck. Deck 3 has the main Cascade Lounge forward and staterooms as well as a lounge. Deck 2 is all staterooms except for a lounge. The Main Deck has the Office and Dining Room, as well as some rooms without verandahs. All the decks except the top deck were connected by two roomy elevators in addition to a stairway. The Crew The crew, with one exception, was entirely American. Captain Brown had served in the Coast Guard for many years. He was most pleasant and helpful for the entire cruise. The Cruise Director, Annie was also outgoing and helpful, and most of her comments on the ports were accurate. The wait staff in the main dining room was cheerful and tried their best, but still lacked the skill of those found on the major cruise line. The only non-American on the whole ship was the pianist, from England, appropriately named Jon England. Fellow Passengers As noted, all our fellow passengers were from the United States. We were actually provided with a list of everyone’s names and staterooms. Those who had sailed with American Cruise Lines had their names marked with a star. While the ship would carry up to 175 passengers, we only had 112 on board. Of these 73 had sailed with the cruise line before. Since the company has only been around for a few years, this shows a high degree of loyalty. Since it is easy to forget the names of one’s fellow passengers, the list was quite helpful. As usual, virtually all our fellow passengers were of “a certain age”. The meals were all with open seating, but after a day or two we found a small group with whom we usually ate. The name tags and passenger list did help with recalling people. By and large we were a cheerful lot, and happy to share our differing port experiences and past cruising histories. Dining This was the first cruise in which all meals were served by the wait staff. Each diner was provided with an individual menu, and the back side asked for our choices for lunch and dinner. There was a partial buffet for breakfast, but the hot items were obtained only by ordering them. Actually the breakfast had the widest selection of “main” servings. The lunches were somewhat inadequate in term of choices offered; but it was possible to order items not on the menu. One of our table regulars always had chicken tacos for lunch. I tried them, but this Arizonan with a wide experience in Mexican food, found the Constellation version to be lacking in true south of the border flavor. The dinners were generally pretty good, although no boat this size can match the cuisine on a cruise ship; even smaller ships like the Oceania Regatta or the Crystal Serenity and Symphony. In fact, these smaller cruise ships, including Marina and Riviera as well as the Viking ocean going vessels, set the mark for cruise dining. But the efforts on our trip were commendable, with three main dinner entrée choices plus a vegetarian option for my wife. Desserts were limited, but the baker did an excellent job, and treats were available almost all the time all over the boat. One nice feature was the ability to order half-size portions. As we noted in the “Crew” section, the inexperience of the wait staff led to some mixed-up orders, and on one occasion, a delay of half an hour in getting the lunch main meal served after the appetizers. Shipboard Entertainment This facet of the trip was not bad for a riverboat. We had three pretty good female singers and a five piece band in addition to Jon England and his piano offerings. There was supposed to be a Dixieland band the final night but they did not make it. The Ports Ports and their excursions are normally the highlight of “river” cruises. However the options offered in the Puget Sound area were somewhat limited for first time passengers and the complimentary excursions very restricted, unless you were a prior passenger. We received a one page “Captain’s Sailing Instructions” sheet which detailed all our various arrivals and departures. As on all river cruises, there was a session in the main lounge each night with Annie going over all the shore options for the following day. We had already received a printed sheet of these choices in our cabins after dinner in the daily “Ship to Shore” sheet. We had also been provided on arrival with three pages of all the off-ship offerings and another document showing the prices. Many of these options were too strenuous for me, but the ones we took we did enjoy. Our highlights included a visit to an alpaca farm in Friday Harbor, and a “game farm” near Port Angeles where we fed a variety of large animals such a bears, llamas, bison and deer from the bus. Anacortes, north of Seattle, was our first stop with an interesting history and some tours. We arrived at 8:00 P.M. the first day after a 1:30 P.M. sail-away, stayed all the next day and sailed the following morning west for a two hour trip to Friday Harbor. Whale watching was offered there twice a day, in addition to the alpaca farm, but only the afternoon group saw more than one kind of whale. Friday Harbor is on San Juan Island, one of the San Juan group of islands which are actually northeast of Vancouver Island and Victoria, B.C. The islands became part of the United States after a long running dispute with Canada. It was here we did a tour of the island which included a delightful visit to Krystal and her alpaca farm, where we got to feed and pet the alpacas. We also had a visit to a lighthouse and the town of Roche Harbor. We stayed overnight at a small harbor nearby and then sailed south the next day to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula arriving in the afternoon. There we enjoyed a view of the snow covered Olympic Range. The following day was spent in Port Angeles, because this was the spot from which people could take a boat to Victoria and visit Butchart Gardens, a somewhat pricey trip requiring a passport. Since we had seen the gardens a few years prior to this cruise, we skipped this adventure and instead enjoyed the visit to the game farm in nearby Sequim [which should always be pronounced “Skwim”]. We left Port Angeles early the next morning and sailed east to Port Townsend, which is at the northeast corner of the peninsula, arriving at 10:00 A.M. and again spending the night there. Not too much was offered there by way of excursions except a complimentary walking tour. We sailed early the next morning to Paulsbo, just off Puget Sound, where we tendered ashore on a small ship’s launch and visited the Squamish Museum and Chief Seattle’s grave site. This is a small but very well done museum containing a great deal of history concerning the Native American tribes which inhabited this area. We left Paulsbo in the afternoon and sailed south, arriving in Tacoma at 6:00, spending the night and the next day there. This is a good sized city, but the ship offered only a complimentary excursion and two museum tours. The excursion was by bus and was enjoyable. We left the next morning, sailing north to Bremerton on the west side of Puget Sound. We arrived at noon and left at noon the next day. The only item of any interest in Bremerton is the Puget Sound Navy Museum (free), and that is a somewhat limited venue. Annie had said there was a nice shopping area, but one of our table companions who visited the area said most of the shops were closed. We had a small rain shower here, the only bad weather we encountered on the cruise until our return to Seattle the next day. Back there in the afternoon we took a complimentary bus ride (with a very inexperienced bus driver) to the Pike Place Market area, which was of some interest. We returned to the boat for the final evening and packing. The next day we simply got aboard a complimentary bus (with a much better driver) to the airport and home. We had received our statement the night before with three excursions, and no other charges on it. They have just today appeared on my computer credit card listing. Overall As we noted at the beginning of this review, we felt this cruise was very expensive for what was offered. We have been on some higher end cruise ships; but felt that we got our money’s worth on them. Not so on this cruise. The simple fact is that the food selection was not up to that of an ocean going ship, and it never can be on a riverboat. The entertainment was also far short of what one gets at sea. A friendly crew is nice, but this is true on ships in which the skill and experience of the crew is far better than what we experienced on this cruise. The fact that we were at small ports limited our on shore options. It is also true that most American ports offer fewer tours that can be booked on linethan overseas venues. We noted on our European river boat trips that the vast majority of shore excursions were complimentary, with only a few trips carrying small extra charges. All this being noted, did we enjoy this cruise. Yes, we did. American Constellation is a very nice boat with lovely staterooms, a delightful crew and very attractive small towns on its itinerary. The food was quite good, and the entertainment not bad. We are glad we took this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
I had chosen this cruise because I prefer small ships and I am not as familiar with the New England area of the USA. The boarding process was very smooth. The crew welcomed us aboard and gave assistance to anyone that needed help finding ... Read More
I had chosen this cruise because I prefer small ships and I am not as familiar with the New England area of the USA. The boarding process was very smooth. The crew welcomed us aboard and gave assistance to anyone that needed help finding their way around the ship. Luggage was in the cabin when we arrived. The state room was clean and bright and of a generous size for two people. From the cabin we went on to enjoy a delicious lunch. So much to choose from it was hard to decide what to eat. If you are a dessert lover you will be tempted to try it all from Boston cream bomb to blueberry pie, chocolate torte cake and several flavors of ice cream. Pace yourself as the morning starts with muffins, scones, danish in the lounge area which had fresh brewed coffee at 6am. On to a full breakfast in the dining area. Then at 10am fresh baked cookies in the lounge. This is to tide you over until a full lunch followed by cookies until the start of cocktail hour which featured quiche, crab cakes, asparagus wraps , bacon wrapped scallops and many more appetizers. Dinners were spectacular surf and turf , lobster ravioli, salmon ,and many other choices. Dinner was followed by entertainment and an open bar with cocktails and after dinner drinks. Entertainment was varied from classical music, rock and roll, jazz and patriotic songs depending on evening. Speakers were also part of the program. They spoke about the regional culture and historical influences of the area. Off shore activities were varied from botanical gardens, art museums, famous mansions, architecture. The best was the authentic lobster bake on shore. I enjoyed it all. Read Less
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