105 American Cruise Lines America Cruise Reviews

I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it ... Read More
I have never been on such a disorganized cruise that lacked vital communication. Despite the fact that engine trouble caused us to miss 2 ports and be stuck in the dock, most of the crew was brand new, only began 2 weeks prior and it didn’t seem they had much training. The food was 5 out of 10; a great disappointment. If you like being lectured, that was the primary entertainment although a Mark Twain imitator was a very good storyteller. Our suite was very nice and the highlight. On and off was easy. Even though the food was lackluster, I liked the idea that we could order 1/2 orders. I am a light eater and hate to waste food so saw this as something other cruise lines would be smart to emulate. The decor in the public areas is beautiful and comfortable, however, when it rained, none of the cushions were removed from the rain therefore they were “unsittable” for quite some time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the ... Read More
We had always wanted to do the Mississippi River, but thought it too expensive. We finally decided to do it as our 50th cruise. We started in New Orleans and ended in St.Louis. Our price included an overnight stay in New Orleans at the Intercontinental Hotel. We and all the other passengers were bused from the hotel to the boat.The boat is only 3 years old, but shows signs of needing a paint job on the exterior. Our cabin was a good size with plenty of drawer space, but not a lot of closet space. The boat was nicely appointed in the dining room and the lounges. The food was mediocre and service was spotty. We did end up eating at one table every night with a terrific server.The ports were interesting and the tours were good. The housekeeping was spotty at best. The large mirror in our cabin was dust covered throughout the whole cruise and you could write your name on the lid of the ice bucket.The onboard entertainment was fine; no complaints.Overall, it was not worth the cost.We won't do another cruise with this line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an ... Read More
We are vety experienced cruisers, both ocean and river cruises. Sailed from St. Paul, Minn. To New Orleans. Nice ship and a nice room. Service at nearly all levels very average to poor. Meals were average at best !!!. Hiring an executive chef with some imagination would be a good idea. Couldn't even make a sandwich properly. How do you run out of butter for 3 days ? No Vanilla Ice Cream for 2 days. Happy hour bars were very poorly organized. First night 5 glasses total at the aft bar. No beer on ice. Very poor veer selection and out of some brands for days. Very inexperienced staff and management ( if you can call it that ) Boarding day was very badly handled. Little to no communication from the Bridge for the first 5 days. This is sold (and priced ) as 5 star, First Class. NOT SO !! Badly planned stops. For Example: Whole day in very small ports and 1/2 day in Baton Rouge. Great opportunity for a great trip but they missed it !!! Thanks to Tiffany for her service in the dining room, and to Tom for his help in DR. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers with experience on Seabourn, Regent, Ama Waterways & SilverSea. A two week journey down the Mississippi River. St. Paul Minn to NOLA, was a completely different type of cruising. Expect to ... Read More
My husband and I are seasoned cruisers with experience on Seabourn, Regent, Ama Waterways & SilverSea. A two week journey down the Mississippi River. St. Paul Minn to NOLA, was a completely different type of cruising. Expect to learn more about American history; exploration, wars and expansion conflicts....the pioneers vs Indian tribes, mining and lumber industries. Music. Heartland Cuisine. It was an adventure and we enjoyed seeing the beautiful upper Mississppi River florishing Eagle population. The people we met living in the Mississippi River towns were absolutely charming and gracious. So many colorful characters willing to share their stories of living on the Mississippi River and proud of their towns. Do not have high expectations because the company labels it as a Luxury cruise. It is Not. Go for the adventure, and travel down river....start on the Upper Mississippi which is manjestic and stunning. Less industrialized than the lower Mississippi. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
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
Sail Date July 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
Sail Date June 2019
My wife and I were on your Jazz and Blues Themed Cruise (May 11 - 18, 2019) on the America that went from New Orleans to Memphis. Unfortunately, this lower Mississippi River cruise was anything but the music-themed cruise that had been ... Read More
My wife and I were on your Jazz and Blues Themed Cruise (May 11 - 18, 2019) on the America that went from New Orleans to Memphis. Unfortunately, this lower Mississippi River cruise was anything but the music-themed cruise that had been marketed. Here is a description of what this cruise was supposed to be from the ACL website: “Delight in the sounds of Jazz and Blues that fill the air as we cruise the Mississippi River and pay tribute to the musicians and the regions that helped influence American music. On this theme cruise, enjoy special onboard performances, guided shore excursions to influential destinations, and exclusive behind-the-scenes tours. Learn about the importance of New Orleans to the birth of Jazz and how Memphis played an instrumental role in the foundation and popularity of Rock n’ roll.” The following is a review of how each major point was handled on our cruise. Special Onboard Performances The performers on this cruise barely played music that even fell into the jazz and blues genres. The bands at embarkation and on the last night played in a style akin to Muzak. Nothing about their performances was "special" and they were a poor representation of the musical stylings of both New Orleans and Memphis. Dan Knowles is a great banjo player and performer. However, Dan Knowles doesn't play jazz or blues. Dan plays old-timey, traditional American folk music. Steve and Joanne were great resources to have on this trip. Their discussions about the River and the towns along it were extremely informative and helpful as we visited each port. While Joanne is a wonderful pianist, their performances of American Standards and Broadway show tunes barely touched jazz and blues. Guided Shore Excursions to Influential Destinations There were none. This omission was especially egregious in New Orleans and Memphis, two cities that have numerous excursion opportunities that highlight jazz and blues. Fortunately, my wife and I created our own music excursion in Memphis. We Ubered from the ship to Sun Studio for a tour. We then took the free Sun Studio shuttle to the Rock 'n Soul Museum for a tour. We followed that up with a short, leisurely walk to Beale Street where we saw live blues and soul music for free. None of the activities on our made-up music excursion were recommended or even mentioned in the ACL Things-to-do-in-Memphis preview sheet. Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Tours There were none. In a previous email to ACL, I asked what differentiated this jazz and blues cruise from other lower Mississippi River cruises. The ACL answer was a vague reference to onboard entertainment. As I've explained above, American Cruise Lines missed the mark on that one completely. This cruise advertised one thing and delivered another. We contacted American Cruise Lines (Hotel Director; Executive Sales Director; Marketing Director) about our disappointing experience. It took a second email to receive a canned response. More disappointment for a luxury $11K, supposedly jazz and blues themed music cruise. Despite the lack of anticipated jazz and blues onboard entertainment and related excursions, the staff was great and the food was excellent. With the right improvements, we would still consider American Cruise Lines for a future river cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
~~~April 25th – May 4th, 2019~~~ Yesterday’s flights from Orange County Airport, first to DFW and then on to Memphis, were surprisingly pleasant with little turbulence. Evidently, the flight to DFW was a day after a severe weather ... Read More
~~~April 25th – May 4th, 2019~~~ Yesterday’s flights from Orange County Airport, first to DFW and then on to Memphis, were surprisingly pleasant with little turbulence. Evidently, the flight to DFW was a day after a severe weather day there, and the late afternoon flight on into Memphis followed a morning of severe weather there. So, I lucked out! My flight from DFW to Memphis was delayed almost an hour which gave me sufficient time for a large, delicious Chicken Burrito at Pappasito’s Cantina, along with a Margarita, of course. I was set for the rest of the day. ~~~Memphis. Tennessee, April 25th~~~ Arrival in Memphis was at around 4:35 pm and my one piece of luggage was one of the first to arrive on the carrousel. Following the hotel’s instructions, I used the provided hotel reservation telephone to call the Guesthouse at Graceland for a shuttle from the airport. I was told to go out to the middle island of the parking structure where I immediately located the hotel’s shuttle and was soon on my way. A moderate rain was falling on departure from the airport, but it had stopped by the time we got to the hotel, only a short distance away. Checking in at the hotel was easy since I was expected, a packet of information from American Cruise Lines awaiting me. My room is 625 in the North Tower of this rather large and new hotel, right next to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, and is very nice and large. The bath has a huge shower with multiple faucets provided a “rain” of water. Quite nice! Being exhausted from my full day’s travel and early rising, I spent the evening in my room, enjoying the free wi-fi and large flat panel TV, before finally going to sleep at around 11 pm (9 pm PDT) in the large, comfortable king-sized bed. I slept until almost 7 am this morning. After showering under the overhead and side faucets, I changed for my included buffet breakfast downstairs at Delta’s Kitchen. Being on Friday, I found breakfast to be quite crowded but easily served myself to my satisfaction. The fare was rather mundane except for delicious fresh fruit: honeydew, pineapple, cantaloupe as well as cheese-scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits. Excellent coffee, by the way. ~~~Graceland VIP Tour, April 26th~~~ Meeting other members of Linda’s Group waiting in the lobby for our shuttle bus over to Graceland for the included VIP tour, we were quickly transported at 9:15 am across the Elvis Presley Blvd to the entrance to Graceland, a vast and extremely popular tourist attraction here in Memphis. We were checked in, showing our ID, given our tickets including one for lunch, as well as lanyards and wrist-bands, and then directed to other waiting shuttle busses for transfer back across Elvis Presley Blvd. to the Graceland Mansion. Rather modest under today’s standards, the Mansion tour started first with a visit to the living room and adjoining music room, all protected behind ropes. Then it was a tight fit down a hallway to see one of the bedrooms. Elvis’ bedroom and other personal rooms upstairs are NOT available for viewing. Then it was through the dining room into the kitchen and down a narrow stairway to the basement where first we viewed a TV room containing several vintage TV sets showing period-specific TV shows. Then next door into an elaborate game room with a pool table and fabric-covered walls AND ceiling with dizzying colors and designs. Another narrow stairway leads back upstairs and outside to the mansion’s rear with views of a lush paddock complete with grazing horses. Several other buildings were also visited including a handball court, Vernon’s office (Elvis’ father), and another containing a myriad of Elvis memorabilia. The final attraction was the Garden of Memories with the graves of Elvis and other family members around a spectacular pool with dancing fountains. This was adjacent to the swimming pool for the Mansion. Although our tour could last all day, enough was enough, and we returned to the spot around the rear of the Mansion to which we had been delivered earlier for the return shuttle back across Elvis Presley Blvd. to the extensive complex there including a display of Elvis’ planes, one a converted Convair 880 named “Lisa Marie” after his daughter and the other, smaller Lockheed Jetstar named “Hound Dog II”. Other buildings housed collections of Elvis’ many luxury cars as well as motor cycles and other motor craft. There is certainly enough to see up to one’s personal endurance limits. Mine was easily achieved and I sought out one of the several eateries in which to use my $15 lunch voucher. Glady’s Diner caught my eye and I entered to find many options available; my choice was for the Chicken Alfredo Pizza, receiving a huge quarter pizza for $7.89 along with a 20-ounce chocolate milkshake for $4.95. The pizza was delicious, and I ate every bit of it, enjoying the chocolate shake with it. My $15 meal voucher just paid for it, I was informed. Finally, it was time to call it quits and return by shuttle bus back to the Guesthouse. Tonight, I have planned a trip downtown to the Rendezvous Restaurant for their famous barbecued ribs, taking a pre-paid shuttle at 6 pm provided by the hotel for $10 RT. They are NOT in business for the pleasure! On return to the hotel I purchased a glass of Sauvignon Blanc at a bar downstairs and was charged $15! They do have a captive audience here, but REALLY! That’s all for now. More later on this evening’s dining experience. ~~~My Evening at the Rendezvous in Memphis, April 26th~~~ At 6 pm I took the hotel’s shuttle into the downtown district to the corner of 2nd & Beale Street, next to the Hard Rock Cafe, at the very entrance to the very active entertainment district on Beale Street. Two blocks are blocked off from vehicular traffic, allowing the throngs of merry-makers to roam the street at leisure. My destination was the Peabody Hotel, about three blocks down 2nd; the Rendezvous Restaurant is just down the alley from there. With some difficulty locating the right alley, I finally found the Rendezvous about half way down the alley and entered to encounter stairs down to the basement location which seats over 700 diners. Quickly I was seated at a table for two and placed my order: half rack of ribs with beans and cold slaw, along with a local amber beer. It was incredibly delicious! When finished, I walked back down 2nd to the Hard Rock Cafe, the pickup location to return to the hotel; the next shuttle would not come until 8:30 pm so I went inside the Hard Rock for a beer. At 8:30 pm on the dot the hotel shuttle arrived and soon we were on our way back to the hotel near Graceland. On arrival I returned to my room to repack for our departure the following morning, requiring our luggage to be placed just inside the door to my room, before 7 am the next morning. Then it was to bed. ~~~Embarkation Day, April 27th~~~ The next morning, after a big breakfast at Delta’s Kitchen, I met with others in Linda’s Group in the lobby, awaiting our departure, first for a city tour of Memphis, followed by the trip to the riverboat. Getting on our bus I was surprised and delighted to be recognized by Lily, Cruise Manager for American Cruise Lines, whom I knew from last July’s Grand New England cruise; she was checking the passenger list for boarding. We departed The Guesthouse at Graceland at 9 am. The highlight of our city tour of Memphis was our stop at the Peabody Hotel where we were treated to the 11 am parade of the ducks, down the elevator from the roof - their home – waddling down a red carpet to the fountain in the lobby where they would remain during the day until 5 pm when they would ceremoniously return back to the elevator on the red carpet and back to the roof. There were 6 or 7 ducks who noisily made their entrance, much to the delight of the crowds of onlookers; I went up to the mezzanine for a better view of the events. Then it was back on the bus, and on to the riverboat. At about noon we arrived at the docking location for the America, our riverboat home for the next week, different from the usual location due to high level of the River which had flooded the Beale Street Landing. Instead we found the riverboat docked at a landing on Mud Island, just across from downtown Memphis. Walking down the rather steep ramp to the extended gangway, we all went onboard, crowding the area near the elevators; I chose to bypass them and go directly into the dining room where lunch was being served. I would worry about finding my room and checking in until afterwards. Lunch was delicious along with a glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc wine. Then it was time to find my room, #414 on Deck 4. The crowds around the elevators had disappeared by this time and I quickly found my single room, first door aft of the elevator. The door was open and inside I found my luggage along with a folder of information as well as two door keycards. I then took my boarding pass down to the Office on Deck 2. Security seems almost nonexistent! The riverboat departed Memphis right on schedule at 1 pm, next stop Vicksburg, Mississippi. ~~~Gliding Along the Mississippi River, April 27th~~~ During the afternoon after departing Memphis we glided along the Mississippi River under brilliantly blue skies, enjoying the peace and tranquility of the passing scenery. Occasionally we encountered long barges with several units in tow, plowing their way up or down the River. I found it amazing the length of these barges, some pushing up to 5 or 6 units! How could they negotiate the many bends and turns along the River? At 2:15 pm there was an Excursion Briefing in the Magnolia Lounge where Hotel Officers explained the many different shore excursions offered during our 7-day cruise, most being complimentary with only a few being for a fee. We were given a schedule of all shore excursions and asked to indicate our choices, keeping a copy for our personal reference. Then it was time to unpack! I leisurely did my unpacking and organizing my spacious single balcony stateroom, using only a small part of the very ample storage provided. Being only a week-long cruise, I had packed very sparingly and only used my carryon sized luggage. Soon I was finished and ready to go to the one Happy Hour located in the Sky Lounge, just down the passageway from my room, Aft on Deck 4; another Happy Hour location was in the Magnolia Lounge down on Deck 2 Forward. The Magnolia Lounge is a large room used for many gatherings including the evening’s entertainment. Happy Hours feature open bars with complimentary cocktails of choice besides a large selection of wines, beers, and appetizers; one of the benefits of this rather expensive cruise. Being an American-flagged riverboat, the crew is all American which requires American-level wages, also contributing to the high cost of the cruise. After a couple glasses of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc white wine, it was time to go down to the Dining Room on Deck 1 for dinner. Open seating allows one a choice of places to sit and mine was at a table of several of Linda’s Group, a group of 17. Dinner was excellent with an appetizer or salad followed by an entree, topped off with a delectable dessert. Although there was a banjo player entertaining in the Magnolia Lounge, it was time for bed for me after enjoying two or more glasses of wine. Returning to my stateroom I found my bed turned down and the drapes pulled. There is twice-a-day room servicing aboard. First, I opened up the drapes revealing the passing scenery and then turned on the flat-panel TV to MSNBC, volume turned low, and got into my twin sized bed, and very soon fell asleep. ~~~Vicksburg, Mississippi - April 28th~~~ Although our scheduled arrival time was 12 noon, we actually docked in Vicksburg at around 7 am. Shore excursions would not begin until 2 pm, my choice being the one to the Vicksburg National Military Park. Breakfast is served in the Dining Room from 7:30 am until 9 am and my arrival around 8 am found the Room already fairly full. I had showered in my rather small sized shower stall and then discovered that my Old Spice stick deodorant was almost completely depleted! I had not checked it during my packing. Also, the single purpose razors I had packed must have been quite old as they were almost ineffectual. Some onshore shopping was in order. Back to breakfast, my typical order was a Western Omelet with a side of bacon, along with a toasted English muffin, preceded by glasses of cranberry and orange juices; and delicious coffee, of course! Afterwards it was back to my stateroom to relax before my afternoon tour. My room had already been serviced by then. After lunch, which included my Sauvignon Blanc, it was soon time for our 3-hour tour of the Vicksburg National Military Park, at 2 pm. Being one of the complimentary shore excursions, there were two busloads of us which loaded and departed from alongside the dock and traveled for about 30 minutes through the town of Vicksburg and out to the Park. The countryside was hilly and forested except for the main battlefield where the Confederates had cut down all of the trees on the slopes, placing the trees pointed downhill with barbed wire strung among them as defense against the Union forces. This tactic apparently worked because after repeated attempts, the Union forces failed to prevail. The Union commander, Ulysses S. Grant, then changed his tactic to one of siege, encircling the Confederate forces and attempting to starve them out. It worked and eventually the Confederate commander, John C. Pemberton, surrendered and Vicksburg fell to the Union forces. Our tour was all around these battlegrounds where many monuments are located; northern states’ forces were commemorated: Illinois, Ohio, Maine, Michigan, etc.; as well as southern states’ forces: Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, etc. Vicksburg, sitting on a high hill on a bend of the Mississippi River was of crucial importance to both the North and South; it dominated traffic along the River. Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “Vicksburg is the key! The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” Our tour included a stop at the U.S.S. Cairo Museum where is located the partially reconstructed Union ironclad warship, sunk in the Mississippi River north of Vicksburg by two Confederate electrically detonated torpedoes (mines). It lay submerged until 1956 when it was rediscovered and, with great effort, recovered and partially rebuilt and is now on display, protected beneath a large canopy. The conclusion of our tour was in the Visitor Center that contains many artifacts of the war. Our return to our riverboat was right at 5 pm, just in time for Happy Hour! That first glass of Sauvignon Blanc sure tasted good! ~~~Vicksburg, Mississippi - April 29th~~~ After spending the night at dock at Vicksburg, breakfast had to be completed early in preparation of our 9 am tours. My usual order was delivered quickly, and I finished in plenty of time to return to my stateroom briefly. At 9 am I went down to catch the shuttle bus up the very steep hill into downtown Vicksburg but evidently got on the wrong bus, the Historic Vicksburg Comes to Life, a two-hour guided walking tour. It did turn out to be a very interesting and informative walk although my poor feet and legs were certainly complaining by its conclusion. We saw many classic homes of the antebellum style, trudged up and down the brick streets, and observed the many churches. The tour ended on a downtown street where is located the original store selling Coca Cola. I easily found a pharmacy where I was able to buy deodorant and another razor and then caught one of the shuttles back down the hill to the docks and our riverboat. It was a relief to return to my room and give my legs and feet some well-needed rest. Lunch would be at 12 noon, just before the America departed Vicksburg at 1 pm. Next stop, Natchez, Mississippi! ~~~Gliding Again Along the Mississippi River, April 29th~~~ Having departed Vicksburg during lunchtime, at 1 pm, we were again gliding down the Mississippi River under brilliantly blue skies. We have been so VERY fortunate with our excellent weather since first arriving in Memphis last Thursday when we encountered a brief shower on the way from the airport to the hotel. Since then it has been absolutely clear and beautiful! During the afternoon in the Magnolia Lounge, members of the staff presented a special presentation of future cruises, both on American Cruise Lines as well as on Pearl Seas Cruises, the sister company of ACL. Future cruises could be booked with a 15% discount plus forgiveness of the port fees and taxes, a considerable savings! Since I had previously booked the 15-day “Canadian Maritimes & St. Lawrence Seaway” Cruise with Pearl Cruises, I was interested in possibly rebooking in order to take advantage of the onboard booking savings. At first, I was told that - once booked, it was not possible to rebook. However, in my discussion with Keaton Jamerson, Guest Services Advisor, he suggested it might be possible to cancel my existing booking, pay the cancellation charge, and then immediately rebook onboard with the above-mentioned savings. He was on the telephone several times with Pearl Seas discussing my situation. There was the possibility that, once cancelled, my coveted choice of Single Stateroom 512 might not be available for my rebooking, and there were no other such single staterooms available. Long story short, Keaton was successful in rebooking that stateroom 512 on the Pearl Mist for me, after I had emailed my cancellation request to Pearl Cruises, and with the 15% discount + port fees and taxes! I saved over $2600! Happy Hour afterwards was especially happy! We arrived at Natchez at 6:30 pm, during dinner, but docked across the River in Vidalia, Louisiana, due the high waters flooding the Natchez docks. At the very base of the large bridge crossing the River, we pulled up to a pretty riverside park area, and let down the gangway for disembarkation, tying up to nearby trees. This was the second time that the high-water level of the River had affected our docking location. After finally getting to sleep, fighting the traffic noise from the nearby bridge, I slept until the morning’s traffic resumption awakened me around 6 am. For such small towns of Natchez and Vidalia, the volume of bridge traffic connecting them was surprisingly heavy. ~~~Natchez, Mississippi and Vidalia, Louisiana - April 30th~~~ Breakfast was my usual Western omelet with bacon, and I had to rush things a bit in order to get to my 9 am shore excursion to the Frogmore Plantation. It was a short bus ride into Louisiana from the park area next to our riverboat’s docking to this very interesting and thorough tour of a working a cotton plantation: During a visit to this historical plantation, visitors will gain an understanding of the complete antebellum lifestyle. This tour compares and contrasts a working cotton plantation from 1790 through today. Visitors learn about slave culture, sharecropping, and modern technology. During this narrated tour, explore the plantation’s buildings, including a rare antique steam gin and the only completely computerized gin in the nation. At the conclusion of the tour, we were all seated on benches facing the porch of one of the buildings, forming a stage of sorts, and were presented with a narration of the history of the plantation, interspersed with a cappella singing by two very accomplished singers, one an elderly white man in period dress, the other a black lady dressed also in period costume. They were excellent! A perfect ending to a memorable experience. Back at the America, it was time for lunch when we returned. There would be a second shore excursion across the River in Natchez at 2 pm. Lunches were always delicious with unique salads, using a lot of spinach leaves, accompanied by sandwiches, pasta dishes, or HUGE hamburgers. Dessert for me became my usual mint-chocolate chip ice cream. AND, of course, my Sauvignon Blanc wine! The afternoon shore excursion was to an antebellum house in the Historic District in central Natchez, the Joseph Newman Stone House, over 140 years in the same family: "Rare antique maps adorn the walls of this unique property, outstanding for its antebellum origins as a private billiard hall built in the style of a Greek temple, as well as for its rare pocket doors with ornamental glasswork. The builder was David Stanton, whose brother built world-famous Stanton Hall, also located in the Downtown Historic District. Acquired in 1877 by Joseph Newman Stone, it has remained in the Stone family for 140 years, now operating as a bed & breakfast, featuring family portraits and antiques. Each fall the house is open to the public during the Natchez Pilgrimage. Additionally, it has won the Historic Natchez Foundation's 2003 Restoration Award as well as TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice Awards in 2012 & 2013 for the top 25 bed & breakfast inns in the United States. Bed & breakfast accommodations are offered in the Master Bedroom or the Cottage. A full Southern breakfast is served in The Dining Room on antique Limoges china. Guests who stay a minimum of two nights are invited to a 'Soirée Musicale' featuring live piano entertainment with complimentary wine in The Antebellum Music Room, while The Antebellum Billiard Hall showcases a fine antique billiard table. Stone House Musical B & B is found in the Downtown Historic District, an easy walk to many tour houses, antique shops, fine restaurants, other B & B inns or hotels, as well as the famous 200-foot bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, making it an ideal destination for any vacation on the Great River Road or Natchez Trace." Upon entering we were all seated in the front parlor facing a grand piano in front of large pocket doors containing beautiful glass panels. The owner and great grandson of the original owner, Joseph Britton Stone, greeted us and proceeded to pleasure us with his musical mastery, presenting a concert of four selections of classical music on the 1903 Steinway Parlor Grand Piano. We were all mesmerized by his talent and the ambiance of the setting. We were then given a tour of the several rooms of the house, all spectacularly adorned with family photos and artifacts as well as exquisite furnishings and chandeliers. There was the dining room, with the table set with formal tableware including Limoges china, the billiard room with its antique billiards table, the kitchen, and one of the bedrooms, papered with unusual wall coverings and presenting a high canopied bed. All absolutely gorgeous! Then the owner offered us all our choice of champagne or a select liqueur, served in beautiful crystal glassware. A real unexpected treat! All during our visit, the house puppy, “Precious”, a rare Tibetan Spaniel, mingled and sniffed us all, a very friendly “cohost” of the house. As we departed this treasure of a home, Joseph Stone stood at the door with Precious in arm, bidding us all adieu. It had been a most special visit! By the time we again crossed the River using the bridge back to our riverboat on the Vidalia side, it was almost time for Happy Hour! This company surely does not spare the expense as far as alcohol! The Sky Lounge on Deck 4 was my favorite, preferred over the larger Magnolia Lounge, although it did become quite crowded at times. There was an outside seating area just back of the Sky Lounge where comfortable chairs provided a pleasant place to sit and view the surroundings and our spectacular weather. After dinner this was my one time to stay up late and go to the Magnolia Lounge for the entertainment with tonight’s feature, Judy Davis, a large black lady who was EXCELLENT! Her material was nonstop hilarious, interspersed with vocal selections, also quite good. Her comedy was most enjoyable, and I didn’t regret my choice over another early night to bed. Our riverboat departed our docking at 11:30 pm, next stop Baton Rouge, tomorrow, May 1st. Our time is passing much too rapidly! ~~~Baton Rouge, Louisiana - May 1st & 2nd~~~ Traveling overnight from Natchez, Mississippi, we arrived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana early in the morning of May 1st where, after some expert manipulation in the fast-moving waters of the Mississippi River, our riverboat tied up to a new pier near downtown Baton Rouge. Our location was adjacent to the permanent home of the USS Kidd which is open to the public: "Known as the “Pirate of the Pacific,” this Fletcher-class destroyer is a memorial to the men and women that served in the American armed forces. Take a step back in time on this self-guided tour to see artifacts and aircraft from World War II. This is an experience that will leave you speechless." Our original schedule called for our docking at St. Francisville for our shore excursion to the Rosedown Plantation, but the high-water level of the River had flooded the docks there, requiring our early docking in Baton Rouge and a bus trip back up the River to St. Francisville and the Plantation. This would happen at 2 pm in the afternoon. Breakfast was leisurely with no time pressure, just sitting in the dining room, enjoying my Western omelet with bacon, cranberry and orange juices with coffee and an English muffin, looking out the large windows at the bright clear morning and the stunning skyline of downtown Baton Rouge. The historic Old State Capitol Building was very close, and the tall tower of the new State Capitol Building could be seen in the distance. The rest of the morning was spent in my stateroom relaxing and getting ready for the afternoon’s tour. Soon after lunch was over, at 1:30 pm, we exited the America and walked to the end of the pier, crossed a railroad track, to get to our busses. This being one of the complimentary shore excursions, almost everyone onboard was going, requiring 4 busses; I was on bus #1. It was a scenic ride of one hour back up the River passing through lush green forests and fields. Our arrival at the antebellum Rosedown Plantation then required a short walk from the parking lot up to the main house where our bus group assembled on the large porch, awaiting entry. The lady guide, dressed in a period costume, explained the history of the Plantation and then ushered us inside to the parlor and then past the stairway into the front bedroom. Furnished with authentic items, the feeling of being in the past was overwhelming. We then went up the long stairway to the second floor to other bedrooms and then down the back stairway into the kitchen. Then it was back outside where we encountered the second bus group awaiting their turn. Quite a bunch of visitors to accommodate all at once, but well-handled if I do say so. The exterior of the mansion was fronted by tall white columns, so prevalent in the architecture of the period. The surrounding grounds were carefully manicured gardens with interwinding paths. Then it was time to return to our bus for the short trip into the small town of St. Francisville. We traveled up and down several streets in this small picturesque town, at one point seeing the road down to the flooded docks, until we stopped at a store where we were allowed a shopping break. The place was huge with a wide array of merchandise, mostly very eclectic. Fresh lemonade was freely offered, which tasted fantastic! Bathroom facilities were also available. Then it was back on the bus, back to Baton Rouge and our floating home by 5 pm, just in time for Happy Hour! Many passengers chose to walk off the riverboat and walk into town for shopping, sightseeing and dining, but I chose to stay aboard for the night. Tomorrow we would once again be docked in Baton Rouge with a city tour scheduled for 2 pm. ~~~Baton Rouge, Louisiana - May 2nd~~~ Knowing about my upcoming visit to Baton Rouge, I had previously contacted my friends, Bob and Virginia Bogan, who live here, and invited them to join me aboard the America for cocktails and dinner, an advertised benefit offered to passengers. Virginia had also expressed a desire to join me on the afternoon city tour and, with approval of the manager, this is what happened. There were two different times for the city tour: 9 am and 2 pm, and we had decided on the later. I had given details about the Bogan’s to the staff to facilitate their coming onboard and shortly before 1:30 pm Virginia showed up in Magnolia Lounge where I had been waiting. Virginia is the sister of Jim Innerarity, my dear friend who passed away three years ago; we had spent time together on several occasions while Jim was alive, so I know her well. We went back up to my stateroom for a brief bathroom visit and then back down and off the boat, walking to the end of the pier to the waiting bus. Traveling around the downtown area we passed by the Old State Capitol Building, and later the “New” State Capitol Building, built in the 30’s by Governor Huey P. Long of Louisiana’s notorious fame. We also passed by his “new” Governor’s Mansion which strongly resembled the White House in Washington, D.C. Huey had presidential aspirations also! But he was assassinated before he could pursue that. Further driving around the downtown area brought us to the Capitol Park Museum where we allowed to spend an hour viewing the extensive displays and exhibits portraying the history of Louisiana. It would have taken much longer than one hour to fully investigate this vast collection! By the time we returned to the riverboat it was almost time for Happy Hour and, after a quick trip back to my stateroom, Virginia and I went to the Sky Lounge on Deck 4 to partake of a beverage. Bob and their daughter Jennifer would be joining us shortly for dinner. In fact, just after we sat down, Virginia called Bob on her cellphone and, immediately Bob and Jennifer walked into the Lounge! They had gone to my stateroom and heard the noise down the hall from the nearby Sky Lounge. We all ordered drinks and enjoyed visiting for a while before going down to dinner. Since several of the passengers had chosen to dine ashore, the dining room wasn’t very full and the four of us easily found a nice table by the window. The Bogan’s were all impressed by the menu and, at my suggestion, ordered the Beef Tenderloin (fillet mignon, really); my order was for the Rack of Lamb. Desserts were also enjoyed by all and then it was time for a brief tour of the America before my guests had to depart. Going up to the top deck, we just caught the fading sunset, but the clear evening provided a fantastic view of the skyline of Baton Rouge. They were all very impressed. Then it was time for our goodbyes and the departure of the Bogan Family. It had been a VERY enjoyable and meaningful reunion. Next stop: New Orleans! ~~~New Orleans, Louisiana - "Oak Alley", May 3rd~~~ Traveling the short distance from Baton Rouge, having departed at 11:30 pm, our arrival at the Port of New Orleans was early on the morning of Friday, May 3rd. Today would be the last of our wonderful cruise and the one task remaining was the settling of our onboard accounts, easily done by verifying our charges and authorizing credit card payment. Mine was only $75 for the two shore excursions that were not complimentary. Breakfast was as usual with views of the modern Port of New Orleans Building outside the dining room windows, under sunny blue skies. My order was a Western omelet with bacon, juices, muffin and coffee. It would be hard to say goodbye to our very talented servers, most of whom were college students; they had been most friendly, cheerful and efficient performing their excellent service. There was an early lunch at 11:30 am because of the early departure of the afternoon’s excursion at 1:30 pm to Oak Alley, a magnificent plantation mansion: "The Plantation has been called “The Grande Dame of the Great River Road.” Enjoy the 1/4-mile canopy of 300-year-old live oaks as you make your way to the Greek Revival antebellum home. Take a tour of the Big House, led by guides in period clothing and then spend some time exploring the magnificent grounds on your own. For the full southern experience, don’t forget to take time for a mint julep." So after enjoying one more lunch in the dining room, with time for a quick trip back to my stateroom for a bathroom call, it was off the America and a short walk over to the busses (4) to begin our hour-long drive back up the River to Oak Alley which is located just on the other side of a large River levee. The drive out of New Orleans was enjoyable with views of the downtown high-rise buildings along with the Superdome, so famous from the Katrina disaster. We were on Interstate 10 with heavy traffic for the first part of the journey. Out of the city, the freeway became a series of bridges over a swampy landscape, some classified as being a bayou. No place to have car trouble! Most of us took quick naps during the drive awakening only as we departed the Interstate for a smaller highway that followed along the large levee of the Mississippi River. Finally arriving at Oak Alley, we drove past the legendary entrance walkway through the canopy (alley) of huge old oak trees, but didn’t stop until reaching the large parking lot, provided for the hordes of visitors to this popular tourist attraction. It was then quite a walk from the parking lot into the grounds of Oak Alley, entrance requiring tickets provided by our own guide. We were guided to the front of the Mansion where a cue formed, awaiting limited entrance inside; only a certain number were admitted at a time. When our turn came, we were escorted into the main parlor that was furnished with authentic period furniture and many other items of historic nature. Our guide was a young black girl who spoke clearly and informatively, well versed on the history of Oak Alley. Then we were ushered into the dining room where we found a large dining table all set with china and tableware. Over the table was a large fan-type panel which would have been swung back and forth using a rope by a slave child to provide air flow for the diners. We had seen such apparatus in other dining rooms in other antebellum homes. We were then directed up the long stairway to the second level; “long” because of the very high ceilings of the first floor. Upstairs we toured through several bedrooms complete with high canopied beds; the beds seem to be set quite high off the floor, I thought. In one of the bedrooms we observed a baby’s crib. Our exit was onto the wide second floor balcony that surrounded the entire house with a stunning view down the “alley of oaks” in front, a most impressive view! Then it was back down that long, steep stairway and out of the rear door where we were presented with the wide expanse of shaded park-like setting with many benches for resting. On the other side of this park area was the commercial side of things: a gift shop and the “Spirits” Bar. It was to the bar that I went for my complimentary mint julep! Not waiting very long to be served, I received my drink and then selected a table outside under an umbrella at which to sit and enjoy my first mint julep! It was GOOD! Surprisingly strong with bourbon - for a free drink, l found it to be quite tasty and refreshing. By the time I had finished my drink it was time to start the long walk back to the parking lot and our bus for the long trip back to New Orleans and our riverboat. Needless to say, our ride back saw most passengers dozing. The weather had been phenomenal as I commented to our guide upon leaving the mansion. She responded that it was not always so, as I was later to learn. Arrival back at the America was right at 5:30 pm, just in time for Happy Hour! Funny how this has happened so frequently! My tall glass of cold Sauvignon Blanc tasted good as ever. Several of Linda’s Group were in attendance and eventually we all wandered down to the dining room for our last dinner aboard. And what a dinner it was! “Surf and Turf” consisting of a lobster tail stuffed with crab meat accompanied by a small beef tenderloin (filet mignon). What a finale to an outstanding cruise! The wine also flowed freely, and our goodbyes were given to the crew. It was with great reluctance that I excused myself to return to my stateroom to pack; our luggage was requested to be placed outside our doors before retiring. My packing didn’t take very long; dirty shirts don’t have to be carefully folded! About this time the storm hit with lightning and thunder. Good timing as far as our cruise was concerned, but not too good timing for those of us flying home the next day. Sleep came with difficulty. ~~~New Orleans, Louisiana, Departure Day - May 4th~~~ The storm continued through the night and the next morning was dark and cloudy and rainy. Early breakfast began at 6:30 am and we were requested to vacate our staterooms by 8 am, so with my luggage now gone all I had to carry was my Princess bag contains paperwork and my iPad. I had gotten Keaton of Guest Services to print my AA boarding pass the previous day, not being able to get it done on my own. I had checked in with American Airlines successfully on my iPad, requesting my boarding pass to be emailed to me as a PDF, but when I went to the AA website using the computer onboard, the option to PRINT was not available on the AA website, and I cannot print from my iPad! So, I forwarded the AA email to Keaton and he graciously printed the attached PDF boarding pass for me. Thank you, Keaton! I did order my usual Western omelet with bacon and the other items and finished my breakfast with plenty of time to return to my stateroom to retrieve my Princess bag and then go to the Magnolia Lounge to await our call for the shuttle bus to the airport, scheduled for 8:30 am. Shortly after 8 am the rain had let up briefly and we were called to disembark and proceed to the busses, thankfully parked nearby the riverboat. After quickly identifying my piece of luggage, and watching it being loaded aboard, I boarded the bus just before the rain began again. When all were loaded aboard, our bus pulled out of the parking lot and proceeded to leave for the airport, using the same route out of town that had been used the day before for our drive to Oak Alley. (We had passed the airport on the way to Oak Alley.) The rain continued all the way to the airport although the Saturday morning traffic was mercifully light making our drive uncomplicated. We arrived at the New Orleans International Airport a few minutes after 9 am. Getting off the bus right in front of American Airlines Terminal, I retrieved my one piece of luggage and soon had checked it with the AA Skycap, tipping him, of course. He directed me inside the terminal and to the left towards the Security Checkpoint. Having TSA Pre-check, I quickly proceeded through with no delay and was soon on my way to the appropriate gate for my 11:19 am departure to DFW. It was quite a walk to Gate C12, but I had plenty of time. The storm was still raging outside with frequent flashes of lightning and accompanying thunder so it became increasingly clear that my flight would be delayed. After a while, once a gate agent had arrived and started taking questions, I thought it best to join the line to inquire about my connecting flight in DFW. The line moved painfully slowly but at last it was my time. The agent agreed that I would NOT be able to make my connecting flight in DFW and proceeded to rebook me on a later flight from DFW on to SNA (Orange County); it would arrive at 6 pm, only two hours later than my original flight’s arrival of 4 pm. She even got my seat assignment almost the same as originally booked: 8D instead of 8C! You can’t ask for better service than that! With the projected departure time now delayed until 1 pm, and my rebooking done, I decided it was time for a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and there was a wine bar just down from my Gate C12. The wine I got was superb! I learned that it was from New Zealand, the place known for their excellent Sauvignon Blanc. Then I got the check: $15! Wines are expensive in the South! I enjoyed it never the less. Shortly after 1 pm our flight was called for boarding; the flight had originated in DFW and been held up from departing until the weather had cleared in New Orleans. I boarded - almost 3 hours late, found my Main Cabin Extra Seat 8C, and settled down to an otherwise uneventful one-hour flight to DFW. Once in DFW I had a few hours before my rescheduled flight so, once I had found out my departure gate and trudged the considerable distance to it, I still had enough time to enjoy a delicious BBQ Chicken Sandwich at a nearby Friday’s with delicious onion rings and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc wine, of course. My AA flight 2779 left DFW on time and the 3-hour flight went uneventfully, with my consuming two little bottles of white wine (complimentary), and we landed in Orange County Airport shortly after 6 pm. My luggage had successfully been rerouted and arrived on the carrousel soon afterwards. Then it was out of the airport and over to SuperShuttle where I had prepaid transportation home. The agent told me that it would be 30-45 minutes before he had a van for me and suggested just cancelling my $20.50 SuperShuttle ride for a refund and take a taxi, which is what I did, costing only $23.00 + tip, but I was home! So ends my Lower Mississippi River Adventure, a wonderful experience despite its ending! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We selected this cruise because it was completing a bucket list item for us - seeing all 50 states of the United States. This cruise exceeded our expectations in most every area. The staff was warm and knowledgeable. They made every ... Read More
We selected this cruise because it was completing a bucket list item for us - seeing all 50 states of the United States. This cruise exceeded our expectations in most every area. The staff was warm and knowledgeable. They made every effort to accommodate our requests. The food was outstanding with regional specialties. We enjoyed the opportunity to order half-portions but think we still added a couple of extra pounds. The on-board historian and musician, Tom Hook, added depth and enjoyment to each day. A pleasant surprise was the series of Watercolor Painting classes with Linda Curtis. To have such a high caliber instructor available each day in entertaining and informative classes, was a real plus. The weather was springtime stormy with the Mississippi River well above flood stage. The ship never even rocked! Unless it was with music. The entertainment was fun and all of the acts were top-notch. We are not Jazz and Blues fans, but thoroughly enjoyed the presentations. The stars encouraged audience participation and there were many laughs and smiles. There were a few minor changes in itinerary due to tornados and thunder storms but the staff reorganized quickly and we still enjoyed all of the excursions. There was a personal touch from the Cruise Director and the many step-on guides at each destination. We enjoyed this American Cruise Lines trip so much that we are already confirmed for a new trip next spring! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Even though the weather the beginning of March was not optimum, we enjoyed this cruise. Unusual cold front and towns we visited had temperatures only in low to mid 50's. Certainly not American cruise lines fault. A little rain and ... Read More
Even though the weather the beginning of March was not optimum, we enjoyed this cruise. Unusual cold front and towns we visited had temperatures only in low to mid 50's. Certainly not American cruise lines fault. A little rain and overcast. But it was a sightseeing cruise not a beach one. Weather didn't cancel anything (except a little too chilly to sit on balcony). Pre-cruise night was spent on ship instead of hotel. It was Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. Hotel didn't want to put ships passengers up. We got an extra day on ship with meals and entertainment. Food was good. Variety on menu adequate. It was suggested we preorder lunch and dinner at breakfast. We never did this. Always had room service breakfast. Never a problem for us at lunch or dinner not preordering. Wait staff was excellent as were everyone else who worked on the ship. Top rate. Can't praise them high enough. Cabin was a nice size as was the bathroom. It was clean. Only problem was the balcony, there were a few balconies with drains (if I knew i would have requested one). Because of all the rain a few days before the cruise, the balcony had at least an inch of water on it. Maintenance came twice to sweep it out. But as I stated previously, it was a little too cold to sit out on the balcony anyway. Entertainment was good. Beer, wine, soft drinks included with lunch and dinner. Open bar and cocktail hour with appetizers at 5:30 p.m. in lounge before diner. Open bar again at 8:00 p.m. before entertainment in lounge that continued till about 10:00 p.m. Then everyone (including us) went with last drink in hand to cabins. You weren't chased out of lounge. Could have stayed there. People just didn't. As for the age group of the passengers. We are both retired in our 70's, mobil without use of cane or walker. I would say the majority of the passengers were like us. Our dinner table was comprised of six people. Youngest was 63. Oldest was 83. Other four 70ish. So passengers were seniors, but a dancing bunch (had bands with dancing two nights) who also wanted to enjoy themselves and not sit home and vegetate. The few with walkers (I think I saw two wheelchairs) were at the cocktail hours and entertainment. There were very interesting lectures about the civil war and the Mississippi River. Art classes, card games. A small fitness room. Ellipticals, bikes, other exercise equipment. It was lacking a treadmill. On the review I gave to the cruise line, i told them my one complaint was no treadmill. one was needed. Actually it is my only complaint. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
civil war history cruise lectures were excellent.. info on Mississippi history, civil war history, US history entertainment was in a smaller venue... smaller groups... the comedian "Judy" was excellent... the singer Laura ... Read More
civil war history cruise lectures were excellent.. info on Mississippi history, civil war history, US history entertainment was in a smaller venue... smaller groups... the comedian "Judy" was excellent... the singer Laura was also... we had a small area for dancing... wish it had been more closer relationship with crew and other passengers new technology class was excellent... it would be worthwhile to take the cruise just for this lots of info regarding I phone shortcuts etc ... regarding the cabin... we got a deluxe cabin... was nice ... but ... some other cruise lines give "VIP" service to cabin upgrades.. the service was generally exceptional but was not different based on the room type... if you can get adequate room without this much upgrade you might save some bucks we will certainly cruise again with American... It is a relaxed, more social, in depth cruise experience .. likely the Columbia next Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
We got to New Orleans the day before our trip. Two members of our party spent the day at the WWII museum, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The rest of us took the trolley to shop at the French market and enjoy beignets. We were picked up ... Read More
We got to New Orleans the day before our trip. Two members of our party spent the day at the WWII museum, which they thoroughly enjoyed. The rest of us took the trolley to shop at the French market and enjoy beignets. We were picked up at the hotel by the cruise company. Our bags were loaded for us onto the bus. We rode to the ship, where we embarked for snacks at 11:00. Our bags were transferred to our room for us during the welcome aboard! The ship was beautiful, clean, and roomy. The food was FANTASTIC!! There was always a seafood, two different meats, and vegan option for each meal. Meal service was smooth with beautiful table settings. The excursions were interesting and informational about our history. We visited various plantations, and historic towns. The onboard activities featured a river laureate, jazz music, and a sweet and funny comedian. The crew met our every want and need with a smile. It was a spectacular time. We are making plans to travel with America Cruise Line again on a different river. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
Always wanted to travel the Mississippi River by riverboat. It was a relaxing and very informative cruise. Especially liked the shore excursions to the Civil War battlefields. The boarding process was the easiest and quickest that I ... Read More
Always wanted to travel the Mississippi River by riverboat. It was a relaxing and very informative cruise. Especially liked the shore excursions to the Civil War battlefields. The boarding process was the easiest and quickest that I have experienced. We took advantage of the pre-cruise package that included a tour of Graceland, two nights as the Graceland hotel and transportation to the ship. The ship as immaculately kept and the staff could not have been more professional and attentive. Our cabin was the largest we have had on a cruise with floor to ceiling sliding glass doors opening to a private balcony with chairs and table. We made stops in Vicksburg, Natchez, St Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak Alley, and New Orleans. There were on board lectures about the Mississippi River and the Civil War battlefields that we visited given by very informative experts. The shore excursions were excellent with very informative tour guides. The food was excellent and service was quick and efficient. Disembarkation was very organized. They provided transportation to the Airport in New Orleans as well as an optional two hour bus tour of the city on the way to the airport. We have already signed up for another cruise with American Cruise Lines in 2019 "Maine Coast and Harbors". Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Wanted to see fall foilage. It we only saw one port Hannibal,mo.We were told that we could not north due to high warter levels.We found out later that the waters were high since Sept.So they took us back to St. Louis and did we were going ... Read More
Wanted to see fall foilage. It we only saw one port Hannibal,mo.We were told that we could not north due to high warter levels.We found out later that the waters were high since Sept.So they took us back to St. Louis and did we were going south the next day.since we have been south before we asked the cruise director.he said sure and the cruise line would give us credit.Never happened.so we flew. Home to calif along with 9other couplesFood was lousy entertainment was ridiculous service was poor.All in all our worst vacation ever.My wife left 4 shirts in a drawer in our cabin and as of today a month later and several phone calls still no shirts do not take this cruise.Rude people lousy cabins very overpriced.we got a cruise in South America aboard the Seaborn for almost half the price and forb10 days instead of seven.no longer a cruise for us Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We chose this cruise because it was an opportunity to cruise the entire Mississippi River. That did not happen. The river levels were high all summer long, and we understand that itinerary changes caused by weather are routine. However, ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was an opportunity to cruise the entire Mississippi River. That did not happen. The river levels were high all summer long, and we understand that itinerary changes caused by weather are routine. However, ACL started notifying us of a change of the embarkation port from St Paul MN, to Memphis TN only 4 days from departure. Instead of attempting to put our thoughts in a narrative, I will instead provide the pros and cons in an abbreviated list. The only compensation offered was repayment of additional travel costs and $2,000 credit towards a future cruise. We of course will not be cruising with ACL in the future. PROS: Very good meals, always fresh, lots of variety, minimal repeated menu items, good regional selections, and great pastries/breads/desserts Great dining room service Cabin service very good Beer, wine, happy hour very well done First guest lecturer excellent, both educating AND entertaining Guest musicians very good to great Memphis pre-embarkation Hotel (Peabody) excellent Ship generally very clean with many public areas Really enjoyed the limited daylight sailing time on the river CONS: Highest per night price paid in our 60+ cruises ACL definitely did NOT live up to slogan “Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly” Bad Business practices at corporate: Embarkation changed from St Paul to Memphis due to high water levels However, Mississippi River levels were high all summer Per Tour Director on board, ACL did only one cruise between July & October to Upper Mississippi River Therefore, change at the very last minute was unnecessary. It could have been done sooner. ACL began itinerary notification just 4 days before cruise start, notification process haphazard at best, no details provided, no assistance offered Few notified as late as 24 hours before embarkation, at least one cabin never notified (they caught up on their own half way through the cruise) Suspect late notice to minimize cancellations and insurance payouts Many further last minute itinerary changes once on board although river conditions remained unchanged (high) Disappointing choices of alternative ports Missed St Paul & Red Wing MN, Dubuque & Davenport IA, La Crosse WI, Hannibal & St Louis MO Added New Madrid MO, Chester Il, Paducah KY, Greenville MS, Houmas House LA Cape Girardeau added and dropped No ACL representative at Memphis airport/hotel, no information provided on pre-embarkation times or meeting locations Guests from two ships (ACL & American Queen) staying at Peabody and hotel staff not informed about ACL guests As you can imagine, the timing and manner of the last minute change was a steady conversation subject throughout the cruise Corporate Hotel Director Steve Benson sailed with us for three days, yet he only spoke to scattered groups of guests during that time, and he took NO NOTES Promises made by corporate telephone sales staff never transmitted to ship, sales staff requested our drink choices, kept information in folio, but never passed on information, also said on board staff would do guest laundry, they don’t On board Hotel Director/Cruise Director/Tour Director staff inexperienced, unresponsive, unprofessional, untrustworthy, unable to make decision without asking corporate High on board staff turnover, many visibly unhappy Poor inventory management aboard, on 14 night cruise, with daily port stops, ran out of butter, cream cheese, bananas, yogurt, selected beers, etc. Shipboard Wi-Fi service very slow, even in port Embarkation poorly done, check in handled while guests waited aboard three coaches by only ONE staffer, using paper listing and checking off names with pen No muster drill Guests could not start safety video on TV Tours disappointing or non-existent: Most frequent were shuttles from levee into town and coach tours to plantations/museums, many done on our own Did not dock in St Louis, and 90 minute each way coach tour did NOT include Gateway Arch or time to visit on our own Graceland tour poorly handled, passing out mansion tour tickets resembled a rugby scrum Disembarkation poorly handled, luggage collected on pier only partly covered by tarps in heavy rain City tour/drop off coach guide unprofessional, and made inappropriate political remarks & moral/social observations Luggage unloaded at drop off and not secured, guests kept from leaving bus to maintain visual contact with luggage Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Our misadventure on America Cruise Line’s America started when, instead of boarding in St Paul and cruising to our first port, Red Wing MN, we were bussed to Red Wing. The tour of Red Wing on Sunday was far too short to really see ... Read More
Our misadventure on America Cruise Line’s America started when, instead of boarding in St Paul and cruising to our first port, Red Wing MN, we were bussed to Red Wing. The tour of Red Wing on Sunday was far too short to really see what we hoped for because we had to set sail for the next port, Winona, MN, at noon. Winona was not originally on our agenda but we were told it would be substituted for another port due to high waters down river. Winona was a nice town to walk around in but it was Monday and many shops were closed and most folks we talked to did not seem to know we had docked riverside the night before. We had to be back by Noon again to set sail for La Crosse, WI. La Crosse is a beautiful vibrant town and it was fun to explore but we were again back by 1230 to set sail for Dubuque IA. Dubuque hosts the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. It is an incredible place to visit but because we had to set sail by 1230 we had scant time to fully appreciate the wonders of the many exhibits. Davenport has many historical sites and amazing history. We chose to visit the John Deere Pavilion because this company has played such a significant role in American farming. We would have loved to see more of the city but again we set sail at noon. On our way to Hannibal on Friday we encountered the major obstacle to our trip. The river was too high for us to pass under the Railroad Bridge North of Hannibal so we turned around and surprised the residents of Quincy IL with our presence. There is not much to do in downtown Quincy as businesses have moved to the suburbs but we did get to see the town square. Last bus from the town square back to the ship was at 430 but it never came so 15 of us were stranded in town. Calls to the numbers provided by the ship on the first day went unanswered. Eventually one enterprising passenger called the ACL 800 number where he was eventually forwarded to a customer service representative. He explained our situation and she told us she had additional numbers for the ship and she put him on hold. When she returned she said transport was on the way. Thirty minutes later with no shuttle in sight he called the number customer service had provided and read them the riot act. Soon a Salvation Army van arrived and the weary, hot, and tired passengers were taken back to the riverboat. The next day the Hannibal tour was accomplished by bussing everyone to Hannibal from Quincy. The Itinerary called for an overnight stay in St Louis to allow us to do as we pleased. We planned to visit the St Louis “Gateway” arch, tour the museum beneath the arch, visit the 150 year old St Louis Courthouse, part of the Gateway Arch National Park, and dine in one of the famous restaurants close to downtown. High water kept us in Quincy so passengers were bussed to St Louis for a tour of the city. The tour, plus the five hour roundtrip bus ride replaced the overnight in St Louis and eliminated any chance of seeing the real sights of St Louis. Finally we are on our way down river but alas we still cannot fit under the bridge so we tied up by a grain elevator just north of the bridge and spent the day and night in limbo. I wish we had gone back to Quincy so we could get off the ship for a while. We have spent Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday waiting. Tuesday and we are under the bridge but we will sail by Hannibal and St Louis. Our next stop is Memphis. In the meantime we are out of items such as butter and running low on water. Passengers are asked to conserve by not asking for clean towels or doing laundry. Garbage is being stored on the aft landing of deck three. The great happy hours before dinner are out of some brands of liquor and water at dinner is served in small bottles. The after dinner entertainment now consists of the movie “Splash” rather than enjoying live bands. Memphis is now in sight and excursions consist of either a tour of the Memphis highlights or a “Deluxe Graceland Signature Tour”. We chose to see Graceland and, while no fault of ACL, it just complimented the entire cruise. Tickets were printed with the original date for our visit and had to be reprinted so we lost an hour waiting on the bus. This left us less than three hours to see the mansion and all of the various exhibits. To cap off our visit Graceland lost power so many of our passengers were left in limbo for more than an hour trying to get back to the buses. By the time we finally departed we were 1 ½ hours late and our sailing delayed. Our next stop was Vicksburg. We spent the entire day there. The battlefield tour was scheduled for 230 and when everyone returned we set sail for our next port, Natchez, MS. Home to more than a dozen antebellum mansions. Alas we sailed past Natchez and the advertised “southern-inspired” dinner was nowhere to be seen. Surely we will stop at Baton Rouge. It is the state capital and has the tallest state capital building in the US. The Governor’s Mansion is a replica of the White House and has been used as such in numerous movies. Yes, we did stop in Baton Rouge but not to tour this amazing city but rather to board buses with our luggage so we could again be bused—this time to New Orleans. Luggage was placed near the road and passengers had to drag their suitcases across the railroad tracks to the bus. Our plan was to disembark In New Orleans and drop our luggage at our hotel and immediately go to the World War II Museum. Nope, not gonna happen. The bus trip included a three hour tour of New Orleans. A nice tour but when it ended it was almost noon and the drop off point was in front of the downtown casino. Once again we dragged our bags, this time to the front of the casino hotel to get a cab to our hotel. It was too late to spend any meaningful time at the museum so we used the remainder of the day to simply recover from our trip. The Good. The America is fairly new. The bathrooms are larger than on most cruise ships. In room coffee is from keurig pods. The public spaces are large and well lit and the cocktail hours were well attended. The lectures are informative. The crew were both friendly and competent. The Bad. There were no alternate plans when we became marooned north of Hannibal. Dinners were bland in keeping with the fact that the average age of passengers was 70+. Sailing time was almost always at noon or 1230. At first I thought that was because they only traveled the river during daylight but that turned out to not be the case as we sailed at night the last several days. There seemed to be no good reason to spend so few hours in every port. We missed many ports of call and when asked if ACL might offer some sort of recompense or discount for a future cruise, like so many cruise lines do when plans go astray, we were simply told that the river height was an act of God, no future discounts. All in all, this was the most expensive cruise we have ever been on and the worst. Read Less
Sail Date September 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 ... 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
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
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 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
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
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
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
Sail Date June 2018
America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.4
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.5
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.3
Family 1.0 3.3
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.2
Enrichment 5.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.9

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