Sail Date: August 2018
Recently returned from a Mark Twain theme cruise from Minneapolis/St. Paul to St. Louis. Cruise line great for seniors as excursions are low key requiring very little effort. Food and menu choices are very good. Service by an all American ... Read More
Recently returned from a Mark Twain theme cruise from Minneapolis/St. Paul to St. Louis. Cruise line great for seniors as excursions are low key requiring very little effort. Food and menu choices are very good. Service by an all American crew is excellent; and tips are included in the cruise cost. Entertainment was marginal at best except for the Mark Twain portion. This is our second ACL cruise and we will be taking more in the future. Overall experiences: Embarkation and disembarkation very smooth; stay at Hotel for one night prior to sailing included and St. Paul Hotel is 1st Class. Cabin size adequate for two very well laid out with plenty of room for your "stuff". Dinning times flexible with good food and great service although sometimes slow. Excursions okay, suitable for most any senior but not very exciting unless one likes looking at buildings in mid-western towns. John Deere Pavilion and St.Louis Arch were highlights of this trip for us. Overall service from our all American crew was excellent. The entire staff did not know how to say no! TV reception and internet access/speed not good and needs improvement. Port stops were rushed so that no or little time was available to explore port cities on foot after shore excursions were completed. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2018
Small ship cruise up the Mississippi River on the "America." This ship has a capacity of about 175 passengers, but it wasn't full so there was only about 150 guests. My single cabin was very spacious. It contained a desk with 6 ... Read More
Small ship cruise up the Mississippi River on the "America." This ship has a capacity of about 175 passengers, but it wasn't full so there was only about 150 guests. My single cabin was very spacious. It contained a desk with 6 ample drawers, a short bureau with 3 large drawers and a TV on top, a twin bed, a small bedside table, a desk chair, and a swivel chair. The bathroom was adequate and efficient with 2 drawers next to the sink, though the shower stall was a little cramped. Grab bars in the bathroom and shower were nicely placed. Marine toilet was fine. Balcony had a table and 2 chairs. Everything was very well cleaned and maintained. The food was very, very good. Many meals were excellent, a couple were marginal, but overall we were not disappointed. The dining room was open seating -- you could sit anywhere and with whoever you want at all meals. You sat with various strangers and became friendly traveling companions and then friends. The dining room served breakfast (7:30am to 9:00am), lunch (12:30pm) and dinner (6:30pm). Breakfast could be anything you wanted to order (no buffet). They served a limited menu at lunch and dinner; basically 4 selections with a choice of meat (beef or pork or lamb), chicken, fish, and a vegetarian dish. If you didn't like anything on the menu, you could ask for a hamburger or a sandwich. They were very accommodating. Appetizers were either soup or a salad (and these were always excellent!). You usually got a choice of 2 delicious desserts, and there was always ice cream. You did have to pre-select your lunch and dinner choices in the morning at breakfast so the chef would know how many of what item to prepare. (I always forgot my selections so took a picture of the selection card with my smartphone to review later!) Shore excursions were hit or miss. So much depended on the tour guide. Some guides were good, others not so good. This was a 3-week cruise so we stopped at about 20 cities. There were days that we had 2 excursions, and days that we only had one, depending on the schedule. Overall, the tours were worthwhile. I would have liked spending more time in each port city, but that's the nature of any cruise -- you only get a taste of what you are visiting, and then you are on your way to the next stop. The majority of excursions are included in the price of the cruise. There were some that you had to pay extra for. Evening entertainment was limited, but extremely talented. They brought in singers or musicians every night to entertain us for an hour or so. Remember, this is a small ship so don't expect Broadway or Las Vegas productions! It was simple but fun. I highly recommend American Cruise Lines. This was my 3rd cruise with them. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
American Cruise Line Complaint List 1. Four of us took this cruise line for the Mississippi River Cruise. Upon arrival in my room, the bathroom draws were dirty with long dark hairs and tissues that contained makeup residue. I asked ... Read More
American Cruise Line Complaint List 1. Four of us took this cruise line for the Mississippi River Cruise. Upon arrival in my room, the bathroom draws were dirty with long dark hairs and tissues that contained makeup residue. I asked for it to be cleaned. The second day my room was not cleaned when I returned to port. The bathroom had not been touched and used bath towels were still on the floor. I asked the Cruise Manager to have it cleaned and he said he did not have anyone because the cleaning staff is finished at 2PM. This was 3:30 PM. I asked how often the bedding is changed and was told only when necessary. The balcony was filthy with bird droppings, and soot on the chairs and table and spider webs on the railings. It took three days before it was cleaned. There were no outside privacy barriers in place between suites. They attached the canvas barriers on day 5. 2. On the second day the toilet overflowed and water surged into the room. They had to wetvac and use dehumidifiers to contain and control it. When asked what happened we were told “this happens often.” We had to stay out of our rooms for the whole day. 3. Our Travel agent had requested, and was told that a Mah Jongg set would be on board for us. The Mah Jongg set was not on board as promised. The Cruise Director did not seem to have any idea of a request for it. She said she would order it the next day. Two days later we received the Chinese version, which we are not able to play. After several attempts to have someone order the American version (there were several excuses as to why they could not get it) it arrived on Thursday afternoon the second last day of the cruise. 4. The interior décor of the ship was extremely dated and furnishings, fabrics, and accessories were the cheapest quality available. It had the appearance of assisted living facilities from 25 to 30 years ago. Most furniture was very uncomfortable to sit and relax in. 5. The food was terrible. Other guests at the table complained as well. It was tasteless, heavily salted, and lacked a nice presentation. Nothing like the pictures or statements in the brochure. The wine was of the cheapest quality available. The brochure states that premium wines are available if asked for. The Cruise Manager said they did not have any on board. When asked if we would be able to have a better wine selection he said he would see if he could purchase some in port. I had to give him some names since he was not familiar with better quality wines. Several of us, as well as other guests, had problems with hand and feet swelling due to the enormous amount of salt placed in the food. The wait for food was exceptionally long at most meals. 6. The state of the dining room was deplorable. Chairs were dirty with several food spots/stains all over each chair, the chairs were frayed and worn, wood parts were scratched and unstained. The windows were dirty, cobwebs were in all the corners and utensils were not clean. When asked why the flatware was dirty we were told that the dishwasher breaks often and they have to wash by hand (this is a health issue). When we requested ice, they said the ice machine breaks down from time to time. Some of us requested Arnold Palmers with lunch and when they came they looked like lemonade. When we asked to put more ice tea in the drinks they said they were out of ice tea. When 1/2 & 1/2 or cream was requested for coffee they were unable to supply it most of the time. They ran out of it several times and explained they would have to get some at the next port. This is unacceptable to run out of staple items that should be part of their pantry. 7. The wait help is inexperienced, untrained, and unable to provide proper dining room service. The other help lacks appropriate training as well. No one seems to communicate with each other and that affects the quality of the cruise. 8. The dining room apparently had no dress code as people came in unshaven, hair uncombed, in jogging shorts, dirty tees and some wore revealing clothes. 9. In order to appease our protests, by the way which were justified, we were given a private tour of a mansion and we learned that were labeled “the four pests,” to put it mildly. 10. The Atchafalaya Bayou tour was awful. We were told we would be in pontoon boats and when we arrived the boats were metal flatboats with plastic roofs and sides were a hard plastic. The air circulation was extremely poor and it was 93 degrees outside. The metal seats were filthy and we used our hands to wipe the smoot off. There were dead insects all over the boat. The tour was boring and uneventful with an awful lunch that followed. 11. The last night of the trip one of us got violently ill with stomach cramps and uncontrollable diarrhea, probably from the unclean utensils. They had no access to medical care which, by the way is a liability while traveling. I had to take her to the Tulane University ER at 5:30 AM. I had to get a cab and haul two suitcases out to the cab as well. No one offered to help. 12. At 8:15AM I called the tour director to tell her that I would be getting a cab to make the 8:30 AM New Orleans Tour with transport to the airport. She said they were about to leave. I asked her to call the bus and ask them to wait since I would be there shortly. She said the bus won’t answer their phone and suggested that I just go to the airport and wait for my flight which was at 2:50 PM. I could not believe her disinterest and cold, and uncaring manner. 13. They put early breakfast out in the two lounges at 6:30 AM for what they called “early risers.” The supplied coffees, teas, and muffins. You ended up making the large coffee pot yourself because they never arrived at 6:30 AM and of course there was no cream, only milk. The display of muffins was so sparse, usually 5 to 6, that if you did not get there on time you were out of luck. 14. On our return trip at the airport we meet fellow passengers who volunteered experiences of the cruise. Major criticisms were: the terrible food and wines; the inexperienced and untrained help; the dated décor of the ship and rooms; as well as mediocre shore excursions. The main complaint was the price of the trip and what was received in return. All said they would not recommend this trip to others. 15. This was the worst and most unprofessional travel experience my friends and I have ever encountered! On their web site they state “The gracious hospitality and personalized service of the American Cruise Lines staff is what we are known for, as is the exquisite cuisine prepared each day by our master chefs. On board and ashore, we work with our guests to accommodate specific interests, tastes, and needs.” Our motto is Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly. ® This is FALSE ADVERTISING and far from the truth. We contacted the company for compensation and they put us off and never returned our calls. They are unprofessional disinterested in their clientele. They take your money and don't care about providing a an appropriate experience. Be cautious with this cruise line.! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I just got back a few days ago from a cruise on the America. I was on the four night Highlights of the Mississippi, which is a round trip out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. I will do this in sections: I’m a solo traveler, not a ... Read More
I just got back a few days ago from a cruise on the America. I was on the four night Highlights of the Mississippi, which is a round trip out of New Orleans to Baton Rouge. I will do this in sections: I’m a solo traveler, not a foodie, who was looking to this trip to simply relax. Not really into excursions and certainly not a foodie. I have the taste buds of 12 year old. The room: I had a single balcony. Compared to rooms on standard cruises, it was a palace. It was larger than a standard stateroom. For those who share my coffee addiction, the room had a Keurig to make your own coffee in. The walls are thin though, so if you are the “early to bed” type, bring some decent ear plugs. For those of you used to regular cruises, the bathroom will be a pleasant surprise. It was a decent sized and had a real shower with a glass door. I had read how unreliable the wi-fi was, but had good luck with it except for one morning. The boat: It was nice, and plenty of comfortable places to relax. With only around 180 people on the boat, no place was ever crowded and if you wanted solitude you could find it. There were 2 lounges which the staff did an excellent job of keeping stocked. Coffee, soda, juices and snacks (Sun Chips, peanut butter crackers, breakfast bars, that type of thing), and an ice machine. The ship had laundry facilities – 2 washers, 2 dryers, Tide pods and dryer sheets. Exercise room. 2 bikes and 2 elliptical machines, plus 2 other machines for weight training. The food: This was the only negative for me, and there isn’t much to do about it. There is only one choice on the ship, and that is to eat in the dining room. I did miss being able to choose just having a quick lunch at the buffet or the deli on a regular cruise. When you eat on the boat, you are making a commitment to typically 60-90 minutes as you have an appetizer, entrée and dessert to get through. Each evening dinner was at 6:30 p.m. and at 5:30 you could get drinks and snacks in one of the lounges. At dinner, there was a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine on the table. You can bring whatever alcohol you like on board. They don’t have any place to purchase drinks. The food itself was OK (I’m not a foodie). You typically had 2 choices for the appetizer, 4 for the entrée (one being Vegan), and 2 choices for dessert. The wait staff worked hard. You could get room service breakfast, and I never did that so can’t speak to it. Usually an hour before breakfast in the dining room, they put out muffins and juice in the lounges, so that ‘s what I ate. I only did breakfast in the dining room once. I was very concerned about the dress code, and some people did dress up for dinner in the dining room, but not everyone. Where what makes you happy. The hotel before the cruise: I stayed at the Intercontinental in New Orleans. Very nice hotel and a great experience. When I checked in I was given a packet with my cruise information. I could get into my room right away, and there was even a fruit plate, a bottle of water and a piece of chocolate waiting for me. Not sure why as no one else seemed to get this (maybe left from the previous guest Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ... Read More
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ocean cruises and very nicely appointed. Dining is everyone at one time which is nice. It starts at 7:30 am for breakfast, 12:30pm for lunch and 6:30 for dinner. The food is outstanding with "different" and better recipes than the ocean cruise lines. Entertainment is a little lacking but understandable. Service was excellent. The ship is manned by mostly college aged people. They did an outstanding job and I was impressed. I do not believe I would do any part of the Mississippi river again but I think the Snake River would be interesting. The Mississippi lacked scenery for one thing and the river is mostly commercial traffic. The shore excursions provided at no cost by the ship were very interesting. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to ... Read More
Everything about this cruise was first class from the embarkation to the disembarkation. The Cabins are spacious for river ships and the staff is well trained and friendly. The daily cocktail hour (with premium liquors) is a good time to meet the other passengers and relax after an interesting day. The included excursions are informative and fun. The entertainment is varied and good. I was especially impressed with number of areas on the ship for relaxation, entertainment, early coffee, playing games or just conversing -- both inside and out. I would recommend this trip to anyone interested in the history of the south -- especially the Civil War period. The only thing to take into consideration is the age of the passengers. I am 75 and think I was average or below the age of most of the guests. That may be a factor for some, but people who still want to travel at that age are interesting and vibrant even if they do not move as well as they once did. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar ... Read More
As experienced cruisers from down under, 2 European river cruises and many ocean cruises, we thought we would give the Mississippi a try. The price was high but having cruised 6 star with Silversea and Seabourn we expected a similar experience. WRONG! We had complimentary night at the InterContinental in New Orleans before the cruise and when we went down to breakfast with the other passengers we were given some insight into what was to come. Many of the passengers were on walkers or canes. The loading of the buses to travel to the boat took 45 minutes - really haven't the cruise line done this before?? We got onboard to find our cabin on the 4th. deck was adequate but when we stepped out onto our balcony we found the dividing partition was missing and we shared a balcony with the next door neighbour, ( who were nice), but not what we expected. The dining room was open seating which meant we got to meet many other passengers, nearly all from the US, l many older than our 71 years, but interesting to speak with. The food was not up to cruise ship standard and certainly not up to the 6 star price we paid. The service staff were pleasant and tried to please. The lecturers were interesting and were well informed. The included excursions were OK with the Vicksburg day being a highlight to us as non US citizens. We would not cruise with ACL again but the company will probably continue to prosper as they have a captive audience of Americans who wont travel out of their country and don't realise how bad value their cruises are. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. ... Read More
I have always wanted to travel up the River in a paddlewheeler, and my DH and I decided to take a trip up the Mississippi River, for an 8 day cruise. We selected the "Round Trip" from New Orleans, and went up as far as Vicksburg. He had previously done this cruise, many years ago, so he said all good things about it. It was a lot of fun, cabin was spacious, lots of room, king size bed, with balcony; bathroom was nice, with ADA compliant features. Shower had good water pressure. We were only a short walk to either one of different lounges, plus 1 floor above dining room. All very convenient and never got lost. This ship had 5 decks. Staff was exceptional, and always willing to help, and the Captain invited groups to tour the pilot house, where he explained what happens, while steering up/down the river. He was very informative, and we learned a lot. Dining room was always nice, clean, pretty linens/napkins, and our waiter, Jonathan, was OH SO GREAT!!! and AWESOME!!! and HELPFUL, friendly, and saw to anything that was needed, during the meal. He was also knowledgeable about foods and aimed to please. Entertainment nightly, was the flavor of New Orleans jazz and blues; All entertainers we saw were very professional, and they put on great shows for us, lasting about 1 hour 30 mins. Had good variety of onshore excursions to pick from, mostly plantations and a battlefield, in Vicksburg. Plantations on this trip were Oak Alley, Rosedown Plantation, and Houmas House, with couple of city tours, too. Only "negative" was the Vicksburg bus tour, through the battlefields, tended to be a bit drawn out, (long time to sit on bus), with narrator being a bit long winded. Most of tours were built-in to price of cruise, but had a few extra ones, that had an additional charge. Embarking and disembarking was a cinch -- so easy, with no waiting in lines!!! This is definitely the main reason why small ships are best. No MEGA SHIPS for us!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the ... Read More
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the flowers, trees, statuary (and very unusual and quirky statues) swan pond, fountains, and the house was gorgeous as well. Oak Alley Plantation was beautiful as well, and on our swamp tour we saw some gators, one up close, and even had one of the flying fish land on our boat, a most unusual happening we are told! New Orleans was delightful. Loved the Cathedral and French Quarter, Cafe Monde has great beignets and chicory coffee. The food onboard was top drawer, amazing chef. I particularly loved the soups. I would highly recommend this tour. Also, my husband uses a cane and walks slowly, and he never felt like he had to hurry on this cruise to catch up. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2018
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. ... Read More
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. From the hotel stay the night before (The Intercontinental in New Orleans) to the Old Southern Plantations we visited all along the way, we had just the best time. The ship is smaller than ocean going vessels and we found that we really loved that. It was easy to make friends fast and by the end of the cruise you felt that you had an extended family. I personally had about 6 of the staff that I wanted to adopt. Just so enjoyable and fun! The crew was simply amazing and the food was to die for (and I mean delicious beyond words!). Absolutely the best food I've ever had...not just on any other cruise...just ever! All meats and produce are fresh and locally sourced. And you can request "anything" and the chef will make it for you. Anytime we needed anything, the crew was quick to provide it. For this trip we would have liked a bit more on board entertainment and we found that for some of the excursions there was a hic up on the buses running on time but those were minor to our overall enjoyment. Everyone worked very hard to make your time extra special. There was just that personal touch about everything. I would most definitely take a small boat cruise again. Read Less
America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.5
Dining 4.0 4.5
Entertainment 4.0 4.1
Public Rooms 4.0 4.6
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.4
Family 1.0 3.4
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.3
Enrichment 5.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.5
Value For Money 4.0 4.0

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