107 American Cruise Lines America Cruise Reviews

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
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the ... Read More
My husband wants to see all 50 states, so we added on LA and MS. The history was fascinating, great historian on board and on tours. Most beautiful plantation of all was Houmas House. Being a gardener, I was quite enchanted with all the flowers, trees, statuary (and very unusual and quirky statues) swan pond, fountains, and the house was gorgeous as well. Oak Alley Plantation was beautiful as well, and on our swamp tour we saw some gators, one up close, and even had one of the flying fish land on our boat, a most unusual happening we are told! New Orleans was delightful. Loved the Cathedral and French Quarter, Cafe Monde has great beignets and chicory coffee. The food onboard was top drawer, amazing chef. I particularly loved the soups. I would highly recommend this tour. Also, my husband uses a cane and walks slowly, and he never felt like he had to hurry on this cruise to catch up. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. ... Read More
My 80 yr. old mother had always wanted to take a paddle wheel boat down the Mississippi and see all the southern Plantations. We had never, ever been on a vacation together so I thought this would be the perfect gift for her, and it was. From the hotel stay the night before (The Intercontinental in New Orleans) to the Old Southern Plantations we visited all along the way, we had just the best time. The ship is smaller than ocean going vessels and we found that we really loved that. It was easy to make friends fast and by the end of the cruise you felt that you had an extended family. I personally had about 6 of the staff that I wanted to adopt. Just so enjoyable and fun! The crew was simply amazing and the food was to die for (and I mean delicious beyond words!). Absolutely the best food I've ever had...not just on any other cruise...just ever! All meats and produce are fresh and locally sourced. And you can request "anything" and the chef will make it for you. Anytime we needed anything, the crew was quick to provide it. For this trip we would have liked a bit more on board entertainment and we found that for some of the excursions there was a hic up on the buses running on time but those were minor to our overall enjoyment. Everyone worked very hard to make your time extra special. There was just that personal touch about everything. I would most definitely take a small boat cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This cruise had been on our bucket list for the last couple of years. My husband and I with another couple had done European river cruises and thought that this would be similar. No way can ACL be compared with them. They may both be ... Read More
This cruise had been on our bucket list for the last couple of years. My husband and I with another couple had done European river cruises and thought that this would be similar. No way can ACL be compared with them. They may both be small boats as far as passengers but that is where the comparison stops. On this cruise the excursions were large bus trips where you stop only at highway rest areas. If you are on the wrong side of the bus you never see the point of interest. Dining options very limited and not up to other cruise lines. The young people in the dining room made the week with their friendly, helpful ways. The dining room itself needs an overhaul. The fabric chairs are stained as is the carpet. Our cabin was not luxury at all. Everything on the boat closes down at 9:00 pm, and no movies offered on the tv. I am sorry that this did not work out for us in our mid sixties, maybe we would have enjoyed it more fifteen years from now. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We wanted a ‘celebratory’ glass of wine on our arrival, but no, bar is locked down until 5:30. REALLY! Food was served like you would expect in a nursing home. Luke warm because it was dished up so early. Second morning it took ... Read More
We wanted a ‘celebratory’ glass of wine on our arrival, but no, bar is locked down until 5:30. REALLY! Food was served like you would expect in a nursing home. Luke warm because it was dished up so early. Second morning it took 45 minutes for 2 fried eggs. Ridiculous! Wait staff was generally very nice but under trained. Worst staff were the supervisors. Some were most rude. We considered leaving the ship early, but as there are 6 of us, we decided we would make the best of it. We travel extensively and never, never have we had such a dreadful trip. I would strongly recommend you avoid this cruise line at all cost. If they offered to give me a suite at no cost, I would not accept. This is only a small amount of our complaints, and there were many other complaints heard from others passengers. Entertainment—The worst ever. Finally, at the end of the week we had Judy, fabulous! Jazz Band, great! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I find it hard to believe that the performance of this company rates any more than one star. The service is poor purely because virtually all the staff have been with the company for either a few days or at best a few weeks. Alcohol is ... Read More
I find it hard to believe that the performance of this company rates any more than one star. The service is poor purely because virtually all the staff have been with the company for either a few days or at best a few weeks. Alcohol is included but victims, sorry I meant guests are only allowed a drink during brief windows of opportunity. The food is worse than I had at school and having said that I went to the same school as Oliver Twist. All of this looks great when compared to the in house entertainment. Quite simply until the last couple of nights it was non existent. The husband and wife team were not appropriate for such a highly priced cruise. Many guests felt as we did although some were prepared to overlook all of the above because we stopped at some nice places. My advice would be do go up the Mississippi and do visit New Orleans but until American Cruise line improve dramatically avoid them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
This was my wife’s first cruise so I booked the owner’s suite. Truth be told while it provided a larger cabin and a few more perks, just about every cabin on this boat has a veranda, a great hotel room experience (king size beds) and ... Read More
This was my wife’s first cruise so I booked the owner’s suite. Truth be told while it provided a larger cabin and a few more perks, just about every cabin on this boat has a veranda, a great hotel room experience (king size beds) and all of the perks that American provides - impeccable service, great food, and full access to a virtually unlimited supply of top shelf alcohol and great wines - with no upcharge for anything. Most tours are included and the evening enmterttgainment is excellent. This is a small boat so there is NO waiting in line for anything. The Hotel Director - Steve Benson - was in touch with us prior to the cruise and very helpful, from then until the moment that we departed in New Orleans. I just read a criticism of American Cruise Lines as generally as too expensive and comparable in “cost” to an ocean cruise. This had to have been written by someone who has never cruised on American and apparently unaware of the up charges for about everything on an ocean cruise and the crowds on these boats - not to mention their cost for a veranda cabin. I had read some of these reviews and in an email exchange I told the Hotel Director that I hoped to be able to write. “10” rating fairness the cruise. Truth be told - it’s a “9.9” - horrendous Wi-Fi/Internet on board. The acid test - we booked our next cruise while on board. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
One might assume that paying for the most expensive class cabin AAM Private Balcony (except for the “owners cabins”) would get you at least the largest cabins. . Not so on the boat America. Room 513 is noticeably smaller. Cabin ... Read More
One might assume that paying for the most expensive class cabin AAM Private Balcony (except for the “owners cabins”) would get you at least the largest cabins. . Not so on the boat America. Room 513 is noticeably smaller. Cabin selection from their on line deck plans..they are as it may be said “not to scale” We moved some furniture for me to get into the bathroom when my wife was sitting at the desk. There are canvas dividers that can make your deck private. If you wish a private balcony they will quickly install a divider. Fully controllable a/c unit in your room. The boast has five levels with two elevators. I thought I wanted to be on the left side going downriver to avoid the afternoon sun. Nope, they parked every which way so either side of the boat is fine. All boat staff extremely friendly and want to give you a good cruise. Our Memphis to New Orleans (175 passengers) no children, maybe a couple or two in their 50's but I would have to guess the average passenger age over 65 (I'm 79). Many infirm and slow moving people cheerfully accommodated. Cocktails and hors d'ouvre nightly at 5:30 in two different lounges with a 6:30 open seating dinner in the dining room which can hold everyone at one sitting. We received information that you could reserve a table but it had to be done before leaving on the cruise. Many tables for 6 and maybe 5 tables for 4. There will be a bottle of red and a bottle of white on your table easily exchanged for a different variety if you prefer. Nightly entertainment at 8:15 with root-beer floats, ice-cream Sundays and popcorn. The bar remains open after dinner. If you don't see a bottle of your favorite, ask, they may have it in the closet. Expensive but really well done...if you don't spend it the kids will. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
There are pros and cons to cruising on the America, a new ship in the American Cruise Line company. My cruise was seven nights. I have cruised on four different lines over the years. The pros are simple. New ship, new furniture, ... Read More
There are pros and cons to cruising on the America, a new ship in the American Cruise Line company. My cruise was seven nights. I have cruised on four different lines over the years. The pros are simple. New ship, new furniture, reasonable spacious rooms, balconies, friendly staff (Lacey and Jennifer were good cruise directors), outstanding lecturer (Bill), wonderful flexible singer (Laura), smooth ride, and good Internet most of the time. The shore excursions were ok but not great. The negatives: 1. Price was way too high; buy when you can get an early bird discount or do not buy at all. 2. Food was mediocre except on lobster night. Although breakfast was ok, the other meals involved a choice of only four items with no always-available items (such as a sandwich or burger). Often the main course was dry or tasteless. Covering it with a sauce did not do much. Salads were not cold; soup was sometimes watery. One night the "angus" burger was less than half the diameter of the bun. a chicken pot pie was a biscuit floating in white sauce. 3. Food service was uneven. Most or all waiters were college students or interns. The majority were fine, but a few were dingbats. One morning I had to give the following order THREE times: "Coffee, orange juice, Eggbeaters, wheat toast, bacon." Even then, when the food arrived, I received white bread, not wheat toast. I asked for wheat toast. Minutes later, an order of wheat bread, untoasted, appeared. I gave up. 4. Meal times changed. This was very annoying. 5. Transfer from hotel to bus was ridiculous. One porter for 360 bags for two ships. The cruise directors and bus drivers helped out, but it still took WAY too long. Haven't they ever done this before? 6. To sign up for SOME tours, you had to stand in a hallway and wait to write your name on sheets posted on the wall. Remember grade school? And the ladies at the head of the line always needed to have a committee meeting while others waited. All tours should be on ONE piece of paper. On balance, I would not go again, but I would not fault someone who did. At least now you know what to expect. Yes, as other reviews point out, the crowd is VERY senior. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this trip as it focused on Civil War and traveled with two other couples. The ship was a wonderful paddle wheel replica on the Mississippi River. The crew was fantastic, always smiling. The food was fantastic and included lots ... Read More
We chose this trip as it focused on Civil War and traveled with two other couples. The ship was a wonderful paddle wheel replica on the Mississippi River. The crew was fantastic, always smiling. The food was fantastic and included lots of local recipes as well as a general menu, lots of choices. The entertainment and lectures were very informative and given by experts. The off boat tours were interesting especially at Vicksburg. The tour director was well organized; everyone was on and off the boat, on and off the buses, in and out of the tour sites in a very orderly fashion. They thought of everything from bottled water to golf carts for those who needed some assistance. Most of the passengers were retirees of varying physical abilities and the crew was able to handle everyone in a dignified, non-obtrusive manner. All the crew was well trained, from cleaning the rooms to serving the meals. Would definitely recommend. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose American Cruise Lines for the second time to continue to see America from our great rivers. This lower Mississippi River cruise had outstanding entertainment and lectures on board. We looked forward each night after dinner to ... Read More
We chose American Cruise Lines for the second time to continue to see America from our great rivers. This lower Mississippi River cruise had outstanding entertainment and lectures on board. We looked forward each night after dinner to being entertained by some very talented people. Each port visited was a mini history lesson on that part of the river and the people who founded it. The dining was first class with the many food choices enhancing our experience by representing the area of the country we were touring, starting with a pre board dinner at Antoine's in New Orleans. The entire crew made it possible for even those with limitations to enjoy shore tours.They were extremely helpful not to mention cheerful, at all times. A most pleasant week. The best part was visiting with others who had come from all over this amazing nation. That was almost a tour within a tour. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We took this cruise in order to get away from the histle and bustle of the real world. Everthing was very enjoyable. We even discovered that Rachel the port lecturer will be on the New England Islands cruise we are taking this coming ... Read More
We took this cruise in order to get away from the histle and bustle of the real world. Everthing was very enjoyable. We even discovered that Rachel the port lecturer will be on the New England Islands cruise we are taking this coming summer. The food and dining woom service was outstanding. One thing we enjoyed was that there is one dining room so everybody dines at the same time. There is no assigned seating so one gets to meed a variety of people. The ship was kept in an immaculate condition. The crew was constantly cleaning, polishing, etc. to keep the ship in immaculate condtion. People have commented that the price of the cruise aooears to be high but we have found that the old saying "you get what you pay for" is certainly true in this case. Great food, complimentary soda, beer and wine all day, open bar cockatil party every afternoon before dinner with hors d'ouvres -- what more could one ask for!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
This is an unfavorable review of our recent cruise on the Mississippi River. I decided to write it when I received a letter from the president of the company, Mr. Charles A. Robertson, "acknowledging" my comments with a ... Read More
This is an unfavorable review of our recent cruise on the Mississippi River. I decided to write it when I received a letter from the president of the company, Mr. Charles A. Robertson, "acknowledging" my comments with a "form" letter which stated he was so "pleased to hear how much I enjoyed my cruise aboard the America and especially enjoyed reading my comments...." I did NOT enjoy my cruise with American Cruise Lines, Inc. ship "America". The rooms are sparsely furnished with cheap furniture; the food was unremarkable; the entertainment (with the exception of the Victory Belles) was mediocre, at best. I expected much more for the price of this cruise. Let’s talk about the food. As mentioned, it was unremarkable except to say some of it was not edible, i.e. the “crab bread pudding” was so dry they actually removed it from the menu on subsequent nights. The selections were minimal and not appealing to a discriminating palate. The portions were very small and no seconds or additions were offered. On one occasion, I asked for a substitution and was denied! Denied! Let’s talk about the entertainment. The duo who performed some nights is a sweet couple and they do have some talent, but this was not the caliber of entertainment I expected for the price of this cruise! We didn’t even stay for most of the entertainment because it was so sub-standard for cruising. As stated above, the Victory Belles were outstanding! I have decided to copy this letter to Trip Advisor and Expedia. Not because I want to hurt their company, but because the President failed to acknowledge my actual comments in his January 24 letter. If I were not already booked on their Pacific Northwest trip, I would not be traveling with their company again, but, trust me, it will be the last time I cruise with American Cruise Lines, Inc. I do not recommend this company to my FB friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My friends and I wanted a short-duration cruise with everything included. The America is a wonderful ship and small enough to really enjoy seeing some of the same people at different meals and excursions. The accommodations were excellent; ... Read More
My friends and I wanted a short-duration cruise with everything included. The America is a wonderful ship and small enough to really enjoy seeing some of the same people at different meals and excursions. The accommodations were excellent; each of the four of us had single cabins across from each other. We had balconies, but the scenery along the lower Mississippi isn't exactly "picturesque." The food was excellent at all the meals and happy hours...so plan on gaining some weight! Soft drinks, coffee, juices and snacks were available all the time in one of the lounges. Beer, wine and mixed drinks were available with meals and at happy hour everyday and we're included in thenprice of th cruise. Part of the cruise package included a night at a nice hotel in New Orleans the night before the cruise. "The more adventurous" could have enjoyed getting to see parts of the city. The excursions (which were included) were very interesting and the tour guides were excellent. The ladies I was with weren't really able to do the amount of walking required to walk up the berms along the lower Mississippi River as well as to walk to Oak Alley Plantation. There were golf carts available for part of the distance to the plantations, but the climb up the berm was still a problem. The plantations themselves required a lot of walking as well, but they were all well worth the time and effort to see! There was a bus tour of Baton Rouge, but there wasn't enough time (45 minute) to really see the Louisiana Museum to do it justice. After the cruise, we did add a bus tour of New Orleans since we had time before our flight home. The price was reasonable and included transportation back to the airport. We did stop and go through one of the unique above -ground cemeteries on the tour. The entertainment was really wonderful and everyone seemed to enjoy the entertainers. Overall, it was an excellent trip and I would take another American Cruise Lines cruise again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
On October 24th we took an American Cruise Line (ACL) trip on their America from St. Paul to New Orleans. Then on December 4th, we took the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) cruise on their American Duchess, round-trip, ... Read More
On October 24th we took an American Cruise Line (ACL) trip on their America from St. Paul to New Orleans. Then on December 4th, we took the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) cruise on their American Duchess, round-trip, Nashville-to-Nashville. Though both these paddle-wheelers are similar in many ways, we also found numerous differences. (The comments below apply to ACL's America, unless otherwise indicated.) FOOD: All meals were superb, with many selections available. Everyone had to arrive at the same time, but we could sit wherever we wanted. Most of the tables were configured for 6 persons or more. The food servers were all college-age kids, enthusiastic, and inclined to joke with the passengers. On only one occasion did their inexperience result in a problem when our food arrived much later than it should have. (On AQSC's Duchess, food was even better, with many selections available for starters, appetizers, main courses, and deserts. Their tables were configured for 4 people; a few would seat 2. We could come to a meal at any time of our choosing; the staff would ask if we would mind sharing a table. If we said "no," we would be seated with another couple, or seated at a new table and another couple would later join us. The waiters, all male, were a professional but reserved lot, and seldom smiled.) Bottom line: Service slightly better on America, selection slightly better on Duchess. A tie. DRINK: Wine and beer were provided at lunch, at an hour-long happy hour before dinner, and readily throughout dinner. The wine was of mediocre quality, but we could ask for a better substitute, and it would be readily provided. (For Duchess, there was no free alcohol for lunch. For dinner, one white and one red wine were provided, also of mediocre quality, but with no option for a substitute. Higher-quality wines were available at steep prices. After we had consumed about half our glass, the staff would appear and refill the glass. After that, no further servings were volunteered, but if we asked for more, it was willingly brought.) Bottom line: Clear advantage to ACL's America. DRINK PRICES: Wine was between $6 and $8 a glass, with no surcharge. (On Duchess , wine was between $8 and $10 a glass, to which a 15% surcharge was added. Beer was slightly less.) Bottom line: ACL's America was slightly cheaper. DINING ROOM CAPACITY: The ACL America cruise was at about 50% capacity; they had some place out of sight to store the unused tables, so the dining room seemed very spacious. (On Duchess, the outer 2/3 of the main dining room was an impressive two stories high, with very large windows. The middle 1/3 was only one story high, as the upper story was taken up by the Lincoln Library mezzanine. That cruise was at about 70% capacity; we were always seated on the outer sides, with the middle tables set, but unused. Duchess has a second dining room, with a much smaller seating capacity, and reservations here were required. With no carpeting, it was much noisier, but the tables were farther apart. It opens to an outside dining area, but was closed on our cruise due to cold weather. Bottom line: AQSC's Duchess has slightly better dining arrangements. DRESS: Not formal. A few folks wore jeans, and did not seem out of place. Several wore sport coats and ties, and also did not seem out of place. The overwhelming majority wore casual wear. (We found the same dress code on Duchess.) CABINS: Our cabin, #202, was the cheapest having a balcony. (America does have a few inexpensive interior cabins, but they are few in number, and are on the 1st deck, mingled amongst the crew.) Our cabin was roomy, had extensive storage space, and everything in the cabin and the bathroom worked perfectly. The TV monitor included channels for a bow camera and a GPS map. The cabin speaker could be switched off or left on to hear announcements and the Riverlorian talks. (Our Duchess cabin, #213 was an inside cabin, on the 2nd deck. The boat has a large number of these relatively inexpensive cabins. Our cabin seemed a little claustrophobic, with minimal storage. The bathroom was fine, but oddly situated 10" above the cabin floor. Not so hard stepping up, but very awkward stepping back down. The cabin had a speaker, but it had no controls and was never on. The TV had no bow camera or GPS map.) ENTERTAINMENT: On ACL's America, entertainers were local groups from each stop, performing in the main lounge. Some groups were excellent, some not so much. (Duchess has a small house band and a troupe of professional entertainers, who perform in a theater-style lounge with an elaborate lighting and sound system. They were very versatile -- shows ran the gamut from Broadway to Country & Western to 50's Rock & Roll. Their performances were consistently excellent. Bottom line: AQSC's Duchess has the better entertainment. TOURS: With ACL, there is one tour starting time, and all the buses leave the ship at the same time, and everyone returns at the same time. The tour guides were knowledgeable. We were provided with excellent maps of the town if we wanted to walk around on our own. The day before, the Riverlorians would always have a session to explain the upcoming tours and the historical significance of the stops. (AQSC uses a "Hop-On/Hop-Off" system, which worked great. Three buses ran a continuous route covering several stops. Each bus had a local tour guide in addition to the driver. The guide would explain the first stop, then let those who wanted to do that stop get off (that was usually most of the bus). Then the guide would explain the second stop to those remaining, and so on. Having three buses and only a few stops meant that no-one had to wait very long for the next bus. Very explicit maps were provided for the tours, and each stop was marked with a prominent placard -- very hard to get lost. There are staggered start times and a kiosk reservation system, so that the entire ship isn't out there waiting for the first bus to leave.) Bottom line: The AQSC system is far more flexible. COMFORT: The weather was cold, but all the common areas of America were kept at a very comfortable temperature. (Our biggest gripe with Duchess was...it was SO DARNED COLD! The two dining rooms, the Lincoln Library, and the theater were OK, but all the common areas averaged around 60 degrees F (my estimate). The "Perks" snack bar was frigid, as were all the hallways and common areas. The only places to sit when not eating or attending a stage show were in these cold common areas.) Bottom line: More comfortable on ACL's America. VIEWING THE SCENERY: America features three well-appointed large lounges -- one facing forward, two facing aft --featuring 270-degree views of the outside in each lounge. (On Duchess, there was virtually no place where one could sit and watch the scenery glide by (other than at mealtimes). None of the common area seating had windows, except for the snack bar, which had two. Outside, there were only a few rocking chairs, without cushions -- of course, on our cruise, it was too cold to go out there. The top deck was closed, and the outside part of the second restaurant was too, most of the time. Yes, those with balconies could see out, but only a narrow slice of view straight to the side.) Bottom line: Better viewing on America. Riverlorians: The America had several Riverlorians -- two were also theatrical performers, and one was the great-grandson of Jefferson Davis. All gave superb lectures. (Duchess had one full-time Riverlorian, who also performed as a musician, plus one Riverlorian-in-training. For the most part, the lectures were excellent.) Bottom line: Better Riverlorian experience on America. CLEANLINESS: Our room on America was thoroughly cleaned early each morning. We also noticed that the common areas were constantly being dusted and swept. One day I discovered that an oily soot (presumably from the exhaust) had just appeared on the upholstered furniture on the upper decks. After attending a lecture, I returned to find that all the soot had been removed. (I didn't notice any problems in the common areas on Duchess; our cabin, most of the time, was well taken care of.) GLITCHES: Everything on America worked perfectly, from embarkation to daily newsletters and everything in between. (Initial Duchess reviewers reported numerous problems in ship operations. However, we saw no problems; apparently their "shake down" bugs have been eliminated.) DISCOUNTS FOR CRUISES BOOKED WHILE ON BOARD: ACL offers one of the biggest discounts I've seen: 15% plus elimination of port charges. (AQSC offers a relatively meager $200 for booking on-board.) OVERALL: The spaciousness and quality decor of AQSC's Duchess is impressive. And had the ship been at 100% capacity, I think it would not have seemed crowded. But if ACL's America had been at 100% capacity, I think it would have seemed very crowded, at least in the main lounge. Still, considering the excellence of the ACL lectures, happy hour, and the overall "comfortability" of the ship, I would have to give the edge to ACL's America. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Roomy cabin (#303); excellent food, entertainment, common areas, staff & excursions. Very clean, quick to accommodate special requests of any type, New ship (April 2016). All common areas are very clean, attractive, inviting and ... Read More
Roomy cabin (#303); excellent food, entertainment, common areas, staff & excursions. Very clean, quick to accommodate special requests of any type, New ship (April 2016). All common areas are very clean, attractive, inviting and beautifully furnished, as was our stateroom.Food was plentiful, delicious, attractively presented, with lots of choices, excellent service. Variety of entertainment, always good. Definitely most all passengers age 60+ but very active. Very nice, but limited fitness room. I used it several times as there is no outside deck to walk laps all around the ship. Nice 6 hole putting green. All staff friendly and upbeat. We did the upper Mississippi River cruise - relaxing, beautiful scenery, saw lots of bald eagles up close We definitely made the right choice of ship and itinerary. We arrived in St. Louis 3 nights early to explore that city. Drury Plaza Hotel was excellent and in a great location for walking to several sights. Everything including embarkation and disembarkation went smoothly. Highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Lovely ship, excellent meal and room service, interesting tours (we did the upper Mississippi River). There was a wide variety of entertainment with something different provided each night. Dancing was encouraged, but the wooden floor was ... Read More
Lovely ship, excellent meal and room service, interesting tours (we did the upper Mississippi River). There was a wide variety of entertainment with something different provided each night. Dancing was encouraged, but the wooden floor was very sticky for whatever reason. Very efficient embarkation and disembarking as well. Ship was built last year, 2017, and was lovely. Shore tours were included and very well done. We honestly could have spent a full day at each port, but these tours did a great job of exposing one to new areas of interest. In our opinion, this ship was not the place for children. There were many seniors, the average age for certain. Rooms were spacious and had ample room for clothing. The food was most elegantly presented and very good. Nice to actually be a passenger on a ship built in Salisbury, MD and whose crew was entirely American-a first for us of our 20 river and ocean cruises worldwide. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
WE spent 7 wonderful days and nights on the America. We enjoyed learning and seeing more about the MS River, including the 24 locks and their operation, everchanging scenery and wildlife, especially the high bluffs in Minnesota and the ... Read More
WE spent 7 wonderful days and nights on the America. We enjoyed learning and seeing more about the MS River, including the 24 locks and their operation, everchanging scenery and wildlife, especially the high bluffs in Minnesota and the bald eagles there. We started in St Louis, Missouri and finished in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Trip included a precruise night at the Drury Plaza Hotel, located right at the St Louis Arch which made touring the day before very easy and interesting. We went on a Mark Twain themed cruise so we had the pleasure of 2 nights of entertainment by Richard Garey as Mark Twain plus a walking tour in Hannibal Missouri. River experts were on board with us to point out interesting places as we went up the River. They also had several interesting presentations about the" Great River" and life and industries along it. Towns along the way that we visited included Davenport Iowa, Dubuque, Iowa, Red Wing, Minnesota and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Onboard food was superb and was served by a young,enthusiastic and very personable staff. Other shipboard personnel and managemenet were terrific, too. Staterooms are spacious and well appointed and the bathroom is roomy. Great cruise! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We've always wanted to enjoy an upper Mississippi River cruise aboard a stern wheeler and particularly looked forward to the Mark Twain themed experience. Having enjoyed ocean and destination sailing under our own command, a small ... Read More
We've always wanted to enjoy an upper Mississippi River cruise aboard a stern wheeler and particularly looked forward to the Mark Twain themed experience. Having enjoyed ocean and destination sailing under our own command, a small boat is a must for us and "America" fit our needs perfectly. With about 160 passengers, she was small enough to provide a sense of being in a boat rather than a floating hotel and she was also large enough to provide wonderful service, cabins, lounges, decks, and cuisine. Ours was a deluxe veranda on the fourth deck, starboard side. This deck provides not only a wonderful observation area with assorted seating forward but also the beautiful "Skylight Lounge" and observation deck aft. The latter was our go to place for cocktails and hor doerves before dinner. There are no add-on expenses aboard "America". An open bar with top shelf spirits and reasonable wines before dinner was a prelude to the wines and beer available at all meals. The food exceeded my expectations: daily "Eggs Benedict" options included salmon, crab, and crayfish. At both lunch and dinner, the chef offered three choices for main courses all of which we found beautifully presented, more than ample in quantity, and of high level restaurant quality. The service was plentiful and enthusiastic, the entertainment both educational and enjoyable, the excursions well planned and worthwhile. Richard Garvey was our on-board "Mark Twain"; his presentations were fabulous offering not just Mark Twain as entertainer, but also Mark Twain as an astute observer, humorist, cynic, and citizen of the world. This was an adult only cruise; we met many wonderfully interesting and interested fellow travelers and would definitely consider another ACL cruise in the future. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional ... Read More
Timing and route. couldn't fault the staff and ship. Everything worked. Superb hard working crew and cruise director. Food as good as it gets and we have done 60+ such cruises since retiring 20 years ago . We did several optional pay extra excursions and thought some over priced. additionally,would like to have heard more commentary on the "passing parade" given that we sailed more than 1600 miles amongst one of the great waterways of the world. note this is just a suggestion, not a criticism on what was truly a wonderful travel experience , great ship and superb all- american crew who looked after we guests who were allseniors as if we were family. After dinner musician entertainers were mostly themselves seniors who played the stuff relished by our own generation. as a former muscian i rate most of what i heard as "intrumental virtuoso". Well done american cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in ... Read More
Terrific cruise of “COMPLETE MISSISSIPPI” – August 4th thru 26th From New Orleans to Saint Paul MN (8 states in 22 days; 21 nights) on the paddle wheeler (fake) “America” operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL); launched in 2016; has 185 passenger capacity but we had only 137 passengers on board. The Cruise Critic's professional review (https://www.cruisecritic.com/reviews/review.cfm?ShipID=1182 ) was spot on but I would add my observations and opinions: • The itinerary was FANTASTIC for us (a photographer and an American history buff). DW shot about 300 photos on her phone and more on her professional camera (numerous eagles, herons, pelicans, cormorants, and others plus wonderful antebellum houses). Every port had interesting aspects; some were stunning! I loved the discussions (lectures) and the ports. The excursions were well done with very good local tour guides and with a Cruise Director or an Asst. CD accompanying on the buses (with restrooms). • Clientele is “older”! We had maybe 2 under 60 and several over 90. Many with mobility issues; the staff handled the situations well. Clientele was also “well-heeled”, well-traveled and congenial. • The formal entertainment was very enjoyable. The on-board “Riverorians” were terrific (better than Smithsonian’s lecturers on Regent Seven Seas Cruises) – discussions were about the Louisiana Purchase, cotton/slavery, Civil War, steam boats, immigration to the West, and controlling the Mississippi River water via dam/locks and dredging. Discussions were held in a spacious, comfortable, family room-like venue. The after dinner entertainment (about an hour) was music (jazz, Dixieland, blues, country, and “oldies”- that had some fantastic performers). • Cabin was best that we had on a river cruise – spacious, quiet, bright, with lots of storage drawers and a small but adequate closet. Bathroom is “cozy” but well-lit and well-ventilated with adequate storage and a nice shower with instant hot water. • Food (of course subjective) for us was good; baked goods were SUPERB, per my wife the baker and me the taster. Breakfast was better for me than what I had on "Luxury" cruises. Lots of complimentary wine (mostly California) and beer (some local) during lunch, “Happy-hour”, and dinner service. • Downsides? Yes! -The staff is American college “kids” for which service is surely not going to be a career. We came to expect at least one gliché per day in either dining or house-keeping. -The cruise is “pricey” as it is an American- registered boat that must meet all U.S. maritime regulations. - There is no Doctor or Nurse aboard. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Stress free time. Very low effort excursions (primarily nicely narrated bus trips). Pretty ship, with comfortable cabin. Food was well made and tasty; single seating meals at open seating tables for 6 or 8. We sat with a different group ... Read More
Stress free time. Very low effort excursions (primarily nicely narrated bus trips). Pretty ship, with comfortable cabin. Food was well made and tasty; single seating meals at open seating tables for 6 or 8. We sat with a different group within the 120 passengers every night. Guests skewed a bit older than most cruises - probably because of the cost, itinerary, and ship - but enough in their 50s and 60s to provide a good mix. Entertainment was single, duo, or trio musical acts. Some for two nights in a row. One show nightly. The ship pretty much closes down at 9 PM when the entertainment is finished. A surprising caution is that this line did not provide options for passengers disembarking who had mid-afternoon flights in St. Louis ... other than taking the one bus to the airport at 8 AM and spending 6+ hours at the airport. We decided to go up in the Arch, heading to the airport closer to 11 AM, and even storing our luggage for that period of time was a bit of a challenge. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed ... Read More
Never on a cruise. Selected 4 day to "try out" a cruise. We enjoyed it throughly. The ship new, well appointed and easily accessed by elevators and stairs. Enjoyable sun decks on levels 4 and 5. Open seating dining room allowed chance to meet other travelers. The excursions to. several plantations was a positive experience, especially the Houmas Hosee were the tour guides were especially engaging to help understand the story of the time. Meals aboard the ship were plated, well presented and of moderate quantity which was helpful. Throughout the day the breakfast, lunch and dinner meals were augmented with warm cookies at 10 am, tea and sweets at 3 pm, cocktail hour and heavy h'odouvres at 5:30 followed by dinner at 6:30. If that wasn't enough, during entertainment, ice cream sundaes and popcirn were offered. No one went hungry. It was a great ship experience and this cruise line paid attention to all the small details to give us a great experience. Thanks. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We were very disappointed during this trip. Maybe we set our expectations too high but considering the cost of the cruise ($11,000 for 7 days), this trip lacked features and quality found in cruises costing much less. Dining room ... Read More
We were very disappointed during this trip. Maybe we set our expectations too high but considering the cost of the cruise ($11,000 for 7 days), this trip lacked features and quality found in cruises costing much less. Dining room service: Waiters and waitresses were college kids with little to no experience. Every person we talked to were new to the industry within the last few weeks. None of the people we talked to were actually paid by the cruise line, they were college kids earning college credits. Their inexperience showed. They tried their best, but for what we paid and the fact that the cruise line stresses it's top of the line service, the staff has a ways to go just to get to "average". On Board Activities: Not much to speak to since, other than happy hour at 5:30, there were very little activities. During the entire week, there were two activities provided. . . . Bingo on Friday afternoon and a miniature putting competition on Wednesday, that's it. Very little to do onboard. If you are not eating, there is literally nothing to do. Dining: Food was excellent and plentiful. The cook staff would prepare whatever you asked for, even if it was not on the menu. The meals were definitely the highlight of the trip. Lectures and Shore excursions: On board lectures were informative and entertaining. The main lecturer was an owner of a local working plantation. There was a good variety of shore excursions including plantation tours and town tours. Entertainment: Very talented. Ranging from music to storytelling. One issue was the length of the shows. They provided music show that was perfect for dancing. The problem was the bands only played for minutes. One night, when the band finished after only 45 minutes, we asked why they did not play longer and they responded that the cruise line was extremely "cost conscious" and that 45 minutes was all they allowed. The other issue with the short performance is considering the shows start at 8:15, they are done by 9:00. Once the entertainment ends, there is absolutely NOTHING to do. The night basically ends at 9:00 pm, EVERY night. The Positives: Meals, Shore excursions, On Board Lectures and Entertainment. The Negatives: Below average Service, Lack of activities, Lack of ship amenities, Extremely overpriced for what you get. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
America Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.4
Dining 4.0 4.3
Entertainment 4.0 4.0
Public Rooms 4.0 4.4
Fitness Recreation 1.0 3.2
Family 1.0 3.2
Shore Excursion 4.0 4.1
Enrichment 5.0 4.1
Service 4.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8

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