9 American Cruise Lines America Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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 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
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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