61 American Cruise Lines American Spirit Cruise Reviews

This was our ninth cruise with ACL. After our first cruise, Great Rivers of Florida, we were hooked. ACL delivers an experience in travel that my husband and I both enjoy. The ship is small, thus allowing the entire crew to get to know ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise with ACL. After our first cruise, Great Rivers of Florida, we were hooked. ACL delivers an experience in travel that my husband and I both enjoy. The ship is small, thus allowing the entire crew to get to know us. The staterooms are exceptional, not to big, with plenty of space for relaxing. The food is beyond description. The chefs really outdo themselves and we have never had a bad meal. The service is exceptional, from the deck hands to the wait staff. You get personal service and are greeted by name after only one day on board. The shore tours are all very interesting and ACL does its best to see that all of the passengers have a comfortable touring experience. Over all, ACL goes above and beyond to make their cruises a trip to long be remembered. We will be on our tenth cruise With ACL next August, and are already looking forward to another great trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and ... Read More
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and love to be pampered. ACL did everything possible to make our trip amazing. Attendants were ready to unload our bags and put them in our stateroom when we first arrived. Food was outstanding. All dietary concerns by other passengers were met and as we had no dietary restrictions we were able to enjoy all they offered, which was more than generous. Every meal had numerous selections and we didn't find any that weren't delicious. You couldn't go wrong. Service was by young people very obviously training for the hospitality industry. If they made a mistake, which was rare, it was promptly and pleasantly corrected. On board entertainment was more than adequate, very enjoyable. Quite a bit of jazz music but of good quality. We would have loved to hear a little gospel or country music interspersed, but what we did have was very good. So, just a personal preference, sure others were completely satisfied with onboard entertainment. Amy, the onboard naturalist was outstanding. Shared all her knowledge with us in an informative yet very understandable and NOT boring manner. Excursions were well worth taking, all of them, even the freebies!! This was a tulip themed cruise and the tulips were gorgeous. The few complaints we heard onboard were from the same people each time...you know those people that no one can please. The captain mingled with the guests and was a joy to be around. Cruise director extremely helpful and immediately took care of any needs. Only recommendation we might give is to take a long a few extra hangers. There were 12 in our closet and they probably would have furnished us more if we had asked, but we were glad we'd brought some. Do think it was a little "pricey" but there also were no gratuities to the onboard staff...basically prepaid...love that. Snacks in the lounge area were the best we've ever seen. Plenty of sodas, coffees (even decaf), fruits and packaged snacks + hot cookies every morning. We're going again. Can't wait. Met 3 other couples that we're going with. Enough said! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary/Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This was our 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We like small ships for many reasons. We know that the cabins are simple, but spacious. The food ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary/Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This was our 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We like small ships for many reasons. We know that the cabins are simple, but spacious. The food on this cruise was outstanding. Many choices, and if you couldn't find something you liked, the chef and her team would find something that you did like. That doesn't happen very often. The evening entertainment varied, mostly local from the port you were in. Very diversified vocal, musical, and comedic at the same time. We had a lovely woman staff member by the name of Amy who traveled with us throughout the week. I would call her a naturalist. Amy has a passion for Orcas, birds, seals, fish . . . anything that has to do with nature . . . in this Archipelago paradise. She also resides in one of the quaint towns we visited. The captain was always visible when the ship wasn't sailing! You certainly knew who he was. The entire staff was most willing to accommodate your needs. There were 4 new staff members who joined the cruise the day we arrived and even though they were learning their way around, gave it their all and it showed. One of the reasons we sail on small ships, is that you get to know your fellow passengers and staff by name. Before I forget, it's an All American crew. There are many ports and shore excursions to choose from. From walking tours to museums to City tours,to kayaking to jet boat to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada to whale watching . . . something for everyone!! One of my favorites was Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge. Least I forget to mention the nightly Happy Hour and appetizers before dinner. The age group are mature adults! These small ships do not have the amenities that larger ships have. So if that's what you're looking for, sail on one of them. ACL offers great discounts if you book your next cruise while on board. And we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Puget Sound and wanted to take my husband's sis and bro in law on their first ever cruise. Plus it is an American ship with an American crew and a small ship. There were 86 ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Puget Sound and wanted to take my husband's sis and bro in law on their first ever cruise. Plus it is an American ship with an American crew and a small ship. There were 86 passengers onboard on our cruise. The ship accommodates 100. We loved the itinerary and enjoyed the tours offered. The top deck of the ship is very conducive to reading, relaxing, and enjoying the scenery. The cabins were clean, spacious and we did not spent much time in ours. The lounge area is bright and cheery and a nice way to also enjoy the scenery. The crew were friendly and helpful and they work very hard. The dining room service is not the most polished but we loved talking to the young people working onboard. Many if not most of them are college students taking a semester off to earn their tuition. They are friendly and lean over backwards to be of service. We have cruised on big ships, med sized ships and river ships. This ship was a very satisfying experience and we look forward to additional cruises with ACL and Pearl Seas Cruises. There is so much to see in the USA and Canada. We love the smaller ships and the personalized service. The cruise was not inexpensive but everything except some of the tours were included in the price. Including tips. That was a welcome feature. We weren't nickeled and dimed to death. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Northwest area. We enjoyed the small towns on the itinerary, however, the cruise line had scheduled a tour of Seattle (which we took) during rush hour traffic on Fri. PM. The other tour ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see the Northwest area. We enjoyed the small towns on the itinerary, however, the cruise line had scheduled a tour of Seattle (which we took) during rush hour traffic on Fri. PM. The other tour to the Flight Museum turned back to the ship (prudently) The "guide" dumped us at Pike's Place, fortunately, all made it back to the bus. Some never left it! The service at breakfast was slow, and food was mediocre - lukewarm or cold. Coffee was lukewarm or cold, and at the end of the week, we were getting our own coffee. The service crew seemed worn out. Lunches and Dinners were good, with the exception of Thursday nite, when the entree choices were "bar-b-q" short ribs (overcooked chuck") and duck. This would have been a good time to go into town for dinner. Overall, the cruise was average. The food was pretty good, towns were lovely. Scenery was great. Olympic National Park was beautiful. Gardens were gorgeous - very crowded. I think the last tour in Seattle left a bad impression. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our 8th cruise with American Cruise Lines - we choose this line for its small ships, American crew, and interesting destinations. To enjoy the American Experience, you have to understand what you are NOT buying - no casino, stage ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with American Cruise Lines - we choose this line for its small ships, American crew, and interesting destinations. To enjoy the American Experience, you have to understand what you are NOT buying - no casino, stage show, spa, salon, specialty dining, etc. What you ARE buying is local entertainment in small ports, friendly and responsive young staff, and mature passengers with lots of travel experience and rich life stories. Cabins are more than adequate in size (although I always pack extra hangers). Dining is one seating for lunch and dinner. Dress code is casual. Although we did not get as lucky with the wildlife as I was hoping (no bears for me) the scenery was beautiful, the weather acceptable, and the long journey south from Juneau to Seattle relaxing. The small ports we visited were unique and charming. The free hotel night in Juneau and transfer to the ship were a great idea. The Hotel Baranof is not a very nice hotel but hotel options in Juneau are very limited. On Alaska itineraries for American, most shore excursions are complimentary. Excursions were simple but the "city tour" in Wrangell, AK was exceptionally charming. Traffic in Seattle is terrible so neither the city tour nor the transfer to the airport were pleasant, but of course this is not American Cruise Lines' fault. Internet and television service were unavailable most of the time as the ship sailed a long distance from land. The hotel manager - also serving as cruise director on this voyage - was amazing. We loved Val's personality and attention to customer service. His eager young staff (the kids serve as both room stewards and dining room waiters) was so friendly and loveable. Some of the food was a little odd and we were disappointed in the quality of the fish and seafood, but I can tell you we did not lose any weight or come home hungry. We are booked on 2 more American Cruise Lines trips, in September 2016 and March 2017. It is a relaxing, informative, and pleasant way to travel the USA. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
Small ships, great itineraries and wonderful, cheerful service. Free wine and beer with lunch and dinner. A full-bar happy hour every day before dinner with great appetizers! Starting in Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier, the Tracy Arm ... Read More
Small ships, great itineraries and wonderful, cheerful service. Free wine and beer with lunch and dinner. A full-bar happy hour every day before dinner with great appetizers! Starting in Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier, the Tracy Arm cruise with Watson Glacier and the huge icebergs were beautiful. The historic walking tour of Petersburg gave us a glimpse of real life in Alaska. Out of Wrangell, the Jet boat tour on the Stikine River and Chief Shake Glacier provided up close viewing of the Glacier with a great addition of Mountain Goats 200 yards away! The local town tour of Wrangell was great, beautiful museum and entertaining guides. Duckboat tour of the harbor in Ketchikan. Cruising the Queen Charlotte Straits was a beautiful 3 days. San Juan Island tour in Friday Harbor, Jet boating in Anacordes through Deception Pass. Walking tour in Port Townsend was great and informative. Did I mention that ALL of these tours are FREE on American?!!! Our Naturalist on board was very informative and helpful in identifying Humpback whale behavior and spotting a lone Orca (Sea Panda)! While everything wasn't perfect, the combination of a smaller ship and cheerful staff made our 8th cruise on American all we could expect. We have 2 more cruises booked and will relish our 11th cruise FREE. What a great benefit to have on American Cruise Lines!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was our third cruise with American Cruise Lines. We have always enjoyed ourselves. Small ship cruising is, imho, the only way to go. Ships carry 80-some passengers, with a crew or 30 or so. There is always someone close by that ... Read More
This was our third cruise with American Cruise Lines. We have always enjoyed ourselves. Small ship cruising is, imho, the only way to go. Ships carry 80-some passengers, with a crew or 30 or so. There is always someone close by that you can contact for whatever you may need. Management team is always available and always visible and always working to pamper every passenger. The personal touch is everywhere you look. The group activities, shore excursions, cocktail hours, are great opportunities to meet and get to know your fellow passengers. We particularly enjoy being able to get on and off the ship in a timely manner, and being able to have meals at one time and have open seating is a real plus. We usually book our next cruise before disembarking; saves time, $, and gets you a better choice of staterooms. Our next cruise was booked for New Orleans before we departed Juneau. Friends are constantly inviting us to go cruising with them on the big ships. We continue to decline. This is a much better way to spend our time and money. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This was a small ship cruise in the truest fashion. The ship's crew went overboard to make our cruise as enjoyable as we have experienced on any previous big ship cruise. When you are recognized by your name and at Happy Hour the ... Read More
This was a small ship cruise in the truest fashion. The ship's crew went overboard to make our cruise as enjoyable as we have experienced on any previous big ship cruise. When you are recognized by your name and at Happy Hour the staff knew your drink of choice, what a different experience for a discriminating passenger. Meals were a gourmet dining experience, no questions there.The dining stewards always aimed to please and near the end of the evening meal, the head chef would go from table to table soliciting comments. Where else can you have an experience of the ship's captain coming to sit with the guests for a meal. On a small ship you give up several big ship amenities, but the trade-off is to get acquainted with the other guests on a more personal basis which we did. The ship interior was clean with plenty of hand sanitizers available. The evenings entertainment was a local musical group usually. Some of the shore excursions were the basic city tours, but others were more involved and well worth the fee, especially Victoria, BC. This cruise is not intended for young children. We do plan to take other American Cruise tours as we heard many positive comments from other passengers about other cruise experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't ... Read More
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't be pleased. Here are some overall comments from our experience. The most important being - my husband and I who are in our 50's had a wonderful week of peace and quiet. We took walks together when on shore and met some truly wonderful people. If you're looking for casinos and a 24 hour bar, this isn't the ship for you. But if you are looking for a perfect trip to shut off the phones and just watch some spectacular views from your balcony - this is the ship. This is a very understated cruise, which was perfect for us. 1. Food. Food was great. With the exception of a dry pork chop one night - overall the quality of the food was excellent. You are able to special order to some extent if you don't like what's on the menu. It is a set menu and you do make your choices in the morning. Keep in mind this is a small ship so they carry everything. 2. Activities. There is a speaker that goes on the cruise who is very educated about the area and gives talks at different points in the cruise. Our speaker also led several tours. The evening activities are kinda bad. So my best advice is to skip it and sit up on the observation deck or enjoy your balcony. Tours were good. 3. Service. This is where people get unnecessarily mean. The staff is comprised of college students who are serving 13 week internships. They are young and they will goof occasionally (forgetting your toast or serving right to left). But they are enthusiastic and hard working. Some will go on to terrific careers in the hospitality industry, others won't. One of our favorites on the ship is preparing to enter the Peace Corp. Another one was so excited to have landed his first big interview with an airline because of the internship and was excited to share that he had gotten his first car and apartment. It really is part of the charm of the cruise to interact with these young adults. 4. Management. Is excellent. Every effort is made to accommodate the passengers. The director of western operations made two different appearances on our cruise to inquire earnestly about where they could improve. My only response was "I want a coffee maker in my room." 5. WiFi. WiFi isn't particularly great. But we didn't have a problem because we used my husband's phone as a hotspot. Which would be my suggestion to all who need to get online. Overall we had such a great time. So good that we before the cruise was over we booked the Juneau roundtrip for 2017. Even booked the same room! There is always room for improvement - but overall we think it was money well spent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The shore excursion were good as was the food. The toilet situation needs some overhaul which I understand is coming at the end of the season. The staff is very attentive and tries hard to please the passengers. If you don't like ... Read More
The shore excursion were good as was the food. The toilet situation needs some overhaul which I understand is coming at the end of the season. The staff is very attentive and tries hard to please the passengers. If you don't like large portions of food ask for a half. Our cabin was good sized but have enjoyed the newer ships more. This trip was our fourth on this line. The naturalists on board was excellent and made the trip more enjoyable as was the variety of musical offerings. I personally liked my side day trip to Victoria, BC where I enjoyed tea at the Empress Hotel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first experience with cruising US inland waterways. The Puget Sound area was on our bucket list and we wisely opted not to try and cover it by auto. After looking over the ACL information with all the particulars about ... Read More
This was our first experience with cruising US inland waterways. The Puget Sound area was on our bucket list and we wisely opted not to try and cover it by auto. After looking over the ACL information with all the particulars about destinations, port's of call, sightseeing options and schedule options we decided to take a flyer. We were cautioned by our European river cruise travel agent not to expect the same quality of service as in Europe. In fact we were pleasantly surprised with the generally first class service we received on the American Spirit. The staterooms were comfortable and more spacious than we had expected and everything worked. TV reception was marginal but we didn't care. The food and table service was simply exceptional. Some of us really appreciated the half portion entree option. We (our party of eight) had a wonderful table server who attended to most of our meals by our choice. This was her first cruise but she performed like a seasoned professional. The evening cocktail hour was a nice bonus and gave us the opportunity to meet new people. We had a naturalist on board for most of the trip who provided several outstanding lectures on the history of the San Juan Islands in addition to teaching us much about the resident Orcas. Some of the after dinner entertainment was exceptional but none were poor. From the captain on down the ships crew was attentive, responsive and committed to making the cruise totally enjoyable. With one exception the on-shore excursion guides were well prepared and did a fine job communicating and highlighting important aspects of their particular tours. All-in-all it was a fine experience which we hope to repeat in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Stepping aboard the ACL ship at the Seattle dock, I was instantly transported back in time to the dock in Florida for the first cruise I took on ACL with my husband. The feeling of ‘coming home’ filled me with comfort and anticipation ... Read More
Stepping aboard the ACL ship at the Seattle dock, I was instantly transported back in time to the dock in Florida for the first cruise I took on ACL with my husband. The feeling of ‘coming home’ filled me with comfort and anticipation for the Puget Sound cruise. I love islands and this cruise fills that desire. Not only do I get to visit the islands, but the in house lectures giving background information and history of port stops is entertaining and informative. The programs each night are well planned. Then, there are the delicious meals, I get so spoiled on these trips, I don’t even want to cook when I return home,plus this was a wine tasting cruise. Such fun! The ship’s employees, whether it is the hotel employees or the ship mates, are helpful and much like a family. This was my 6th cruise with ACL, three with my husband and three after his death. I can’t think of another cruise line that would welcome me and make me feel so included after my husband’s death like ACL has done. There is something about the ambience at ACL that makes the cruises exceptional. This is reflected from the administration to the employee—it shows! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four ... Read More
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four couples that complained and the cruise line sent a director of hotel operations to talk with us on the fifth day of the cruise. He listened to our complaint and said he was sorry and would see if he could do something for us once he talked to the home office and would get back to us after the cruise. That was 9 days a go so I feel like I was lied too. We were told the college age people working the ship were on 12 weeks contracts and than let go, that's why we felt service like eating at a IHOP and the place was dirty. We have been on river boat cruises in Europe that cost the same $10,000 that have been fantastic and twice as long for the same amount of money. The food was OK but for the cost of the 7 days I thought it could have been much better. We felt this cruise was a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are ... Read More
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are seasoned travelers. The young staff wait tables all 3 meals and clean the rooms and are temporary for 3 months at time and are enthusiastic but overworked. Amy Traxler our naturalist was outstanding and was always willing to help and answer questions. At the end of the cruise the last night Amy presented a power point slide show of photos with music that she created for us. Something, that I would expect of the ACL Cruise Directors on ship to do every cruise. Our Captain, Capt Hexlrod ?? was personable and mingled with the passengers and on the last day in Seattle even helped load supplies. We were very impressed with the Captain and the crew who always helped passengers on and off the ship. We did like the free WiFi. The Hotel Manager , Chelsea was always willing to answer questions and would help the servers in the dining room. Amy the housekeeping manager always seemed to be helping somewhere. Several of the passengers had cruised before with ACL and are very committed to small ship cruising in the USA. I wonder if Viking comes in as I hear rumor will in 2017 if ACL will lose business from those of us who would like a more upscale cabin and less non-refundable administrative fees of $250/person and cheaper trip insurance. I would guess that many of the people that chose ACL will leave and go to Viking. The scenery is beautiful!! The negatives: The overworked staff and managers who seem to work non-stop day and evening. This made many of us feel uncomfortable to see them working so hard and not getting to rest. ACL's accommodations are pricey starting at $3985 for a basic cabin on the 1st floor which can have an obstructed view depending on the pier. This is for 7 night cruise or over $8,000 for 2 people, plus air fare etc.. A tiny balcony that can barely accommodate 2 chairs is almost $1,000 per person more to go to the 2nd level. The 1st level has considerable engine noise and vibration. Compare this with our 10 day Alaska Cruise, 2017 round trip from San Francisco in a mini-Suite on Princess for $6400 for both us for a longer cruise & includes insurance There is a $250.00 /person administrative fee to cancel which is buried in fine print. This is regardless of how far out the trip is cancelled unlike the big ship lines like Princess. The ACL insurance runs about $900 which I found high and bought from Travel Guard for about $600 for the week. On Princess for a 10 day cruise the insurance is $395 VS $900 for ACL. Tipping is requested at $125/person which seems beyond the $11 per day /person that we pay on Princess. $88 for a week on Princess VS $125 for ACL. There is no phone or call button in the cabin which is a serious safety deficit, especially for a ship with seniors . There is no announcement or clear directions on how to call for help and the expectation would be find the numbers for the hotel manager or cruise director on the ship to shore guide and call by cell phone. a number of the passengers mentioned this as a worrisome issue. There doesn't seem to be any security system ( cameras) on board and there is no tracking of passengers going on or off ship in ports or screening of lugguge. A crew member stands by the gang plank to monitor passengers and help but there is no electronic badge system or sign out process. The keys to our cabins were metal like our house keys not the electronic ones which can also monitor when a passenger or staff person enters and leaves the cabin. This is a low tech operation that doesn't seem to use tools like computer tablets to track excursions etc. Our bill was a narrow strip of paper with a box for each excursion to be checked with a total at the end and the tipping had to be added by hand. This was the 1st time that I have ever cruised with out an itemized computer print out of the bill . We had to check out the last day by using our credit card , check or cash unlike like other cruise companies which have it on file to expedite the check out process. Port Excursions are usually a town tour or some type of bus ride to view the sights or a museum with the exception of the jet boat in Anacortes and Whale watching in Friday Harbor. The Victoria excursion which we didn't take but got lots of feedback on from other disappointed passengers was a let town only 2 hours in Butchart Gardens and 45 mins in Victoria before returning via Ferry to Port Angeles. We wished for some more creative excursions and did get bored and restless as there is a lot of time spent in ports. There was only 3 pieces of work out equipment and no pool or hot tub on board. The cabin is bare bones with blond future which could use updating. Again no call button or phone . I missed a mini-fridge and fresh ice water being maintained. While this is advertised as cruising, most of the time is spent in ports even over nighting in ports. Entertainment: Mixed bag that was geared to the more Senior crowd but seemed to be enjoyed. We had one grand child on board about 11 years with her grandmother. She was smart and had picked this trip. We were all amazed how well she interacted with us and definitely held her own in dinner conversations. Meals as I mentioned is a sit down at a table of 8 and there is no horizon court for a quick meal which I missed. There is an early bird continental breakfast in the lounge starting at 6:30 am with rolls, coffee, Juice etc. Will we return to ACL maybe in a few years to take the Hudson River Cruise in a hopefully updated ship with more reasonable insurance and administrative fees. With ACL rolling out a new ship a year and not updating Spirit or its computer technology , I wonder how long this expansion can be maintained? I don't want ACL to suffer the same fate as Cruise West the small ship company that went bankrupt. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
We wanted a small ship. We enjoyed that there were fewer passengers and the opportunity with open dining for every meal to meet and socialize with most of the passengers, The staterooms were very spacious and larger than some of the bif ... Read More
We wanted a small ship. We enjoyed that there were fewer passengers and the opportunity with open dining for every meal to meet and socialize with most of the passengers, The staterooms were very spacious and larger than some of the bif cruise ships. We liked that the passengers were couples our age, either retired or a few years til retirement, We liked that ACL had great personal service and that the smaller ship allowed us to go places the big ships could not. The destinations and shore tours were great, The chef and the food was fantastic. Everyday we had fresh local foods, particularly alaska seafood. The wait staff were college age kids who were very cheerful and work hard to do a great job. We liked that we could interact with college kids from all around the country. Favorite port stops for us were Skagway, the ships captain adjusted the schedule so we would be the only ship docked in Skagway that day. We took a tour bus up into Canada and them traveled the historic train back to skagway following the route taken my gold miners. We had a very knowledgable historian and naturalist on board names Todd Weber who gave several very interesting after dinner presentations about the northwest pioneers. Probably the best day of the cruise was the day we spent in Glacier Bay National Park. The wildlife that we saw and the glaciers we spectacular Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Weather was great. Scenery was beautiful. Small towns were nice to walk through. The jet boat excursion and whale watching were two of the favorite extras. Food and accommodations were excellent. Quiet relaxing cruise..not a fast ... Read More
Weather was great. Scenery was beautiful. Small towns were nice to walk through. The jet boat excursion and whale watching were two of the favorite extras. Food and accommodations were excellent. Quiet relaxing cruise..not a fast pace cruise. Enjoyed meeting the other travelers during the meal times. The entertainment was average except the young violin player. She was excellent and we could have listened longer to her. The ship itself is showing some age/use in the common areas, i.e. the couches could use some sprucing up. The food and room service was for the most part very good. Overall, we had an excellent cruise...lived up to our expectations! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Great service and accommodations. Relatively smooth ride except for one day when seas were running 3-4 feet but that was fun also. Ports of call were interesting especially Victoria, BC, Canada and Butchart Gardens. Food was very good ... Read More
Great service and accommodations. Relatively smooth ride except for one day when seas were running 3-4 feet but that was fun also. Ports of call were interesting especially Victoria, BC, Canada and Butchart Gardens. Food was very good also. We enjoy small ship cursing as this was our 10 one including China, Russia, Danube, Rein & Seine, Mississippi, Ohio, Columbia rivers and Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
American Cruise Lines never disappoints! The entire crew was great and our ports of call were awesome, whether taking a walking tour or exploring all the small towns on our own. In Anacortes don't miss the rope making factory and ... Read More
American Cruise Lines never disappoints! The entire crew was great and our ports of call were awesome, whether taking a walking tour or exploring all the small towns on our own. In Anacortes don't miss the rope making factory and all the unique art on the buildings. Friday Harbor was beautiful and relaxing, as was Port Townsend. The whale watching excursion was very eventful as we circled all of San Juan Island. American Cruise Lines isn't like a 3000 passenger cruise ship, so don't look for all the frills and entertainment. This is more like a floating boutique hotel that is quaint and relaxing, and stopping at ports that offer the real America. We've been up the Mississippi, along the Golden Southeastern Coast from Florida to Charleston, SC (2X) and The Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. We loved them all! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I wanted to take my sons on an Alaskan cruise for the past 15 years. It finally came together this August. This was a once-iin-a-lifetime trip and we were all so excited. My sons, their wives, their child, my husband and I went on our ... Read More
I wanted to take my sons on an Alaskan cruise for the past 15 years. It finally came together this August. This was a once-iin-a-lifetime trip and we were all so excited. My sons, their wives, their child, my husband and I went on our first cruise on a "small ship". The American Cruise Line looked so great. When we turned in our paperwork, we each received a call asking if we needed anything special. We didn't ask but they offered a crib and we gladly accepted. My daughter-in-law has a gluten intolerance; they said no problem. We arrived in Juneau the night before to stay at the hotel that the cruise line arranged. They promised transportation. We waited over an hour for it. Had we not been told their was transportation, we would have taken a cab. By the time we realized this, there were no cabs. No crib for my grandson, even though it was promised multiple times. Food: It took three days and several conversations with the staff and chef to get the gluten free food. The food was fine, not excellent, not bad. I liked that they offered half portions, however, the portion size was inconsistent. My half portion was frequently the size of my husband's full portion. The rest of the trip was tainted by the shabby ship.  My room had not been completely cleaned from the previous passengers: dirty trashcans, counters and carpet. It took two more visits from staff to get it cleaned. The carpet was ripped and the mini blinds were broken so they wouldn't stay up. This was never repaired.The good news is that the rooms were roomy with enough storage space, kind of the size of a hotel room. And I liked that the windows opened. By the way, I did fill out the evaluation and asked from a call from the cruise line. I received a call from Paul who said we should have been given a "gluten free menu", and he's sorry about all of the other problems. He hopes we travel with them again. There was nothing in that response that leads me to think that the next experience would be any better.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
That was my FIRST cruise with American Cruise Lines. Loved every minute of it, to the extent that I have become a "regular" cruiser with them. As a matter of fact, I will repeat this cruise this September, and that will be my ... Read More
That was my FIRST cruise with American Cruise Lines. Loved every minute of it, to the extent that I have become a "regular" cruiser with them. As a matter of fact, I will repeat this cruise this September, and that will be my TENTH one. Need I say more. The crews have all been excellent, courteous, true professionals. And the people you meet ........ that to me is the best experience. Small ship cruising is the BEST!!!!!! Ships have all been wonderful, and I have had no complaints about any of the cabins I have stayed in. And the food has always been plenty, and EXCELLENT in every respect. The Puget Sound area is truly a sight to behold, interesting excursions, like whale watching trips, and visits to quaint towns. Some of the onboard activities are fun, be it kite flying of the top deck, or having a hot chocolate party there. All my trips have been wonderful!! High recommended cruise line!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, along with the deer grazing on the hillside. The American Spirit is one of the older boats but the staff kept it clean and neat throughout the trip. Plenty of room in our cabin with lots of places to hang clothes and drawers for other things. Stewards kept rooms clean and neat. Some of the entertainment was better than others. They have local talent from the port we are in come on board to entertain. Food was plentiful and if you didn't like what they had the menu you could ask for something else and if they didn't have something they suggested a similar dish. Being on a small boat (93 passengers) is a plus. Even though some of the people were a little older than us we were able to learn many things from their vast experiences. This is not a cruise for children or young adults. There isn't a lot for them to do. For people who just want to sit and enjoy the scenery while traveling along Puget Sound and seeing a few orcas along the way, and a seal in one of the ports, this would be a trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
The ship was clean, the dining room was well lit, the crew was marvelous and the cruise was very interesting. The food was well above average, however the way the last dinner was served was not so good. The lobster tail was split but it ... Read More
The ship was clean, the dining room was well lit, the crew was marvelous and the cruise was very interesting. The food was well above average, however the way the last dinner was served was not so good. The lobster tail was split but it was a chore to dig out the meat...A knife slid under the meat of the tail should have happened in the galley. The clothes hangers are a disgrace and hooks on the door of the head and wall of the cabin would ease the crush of clothes in the closet. More FREE excursions would be nice. All in all we had a wonderful time and look forward to our cruise of the Hudson River next year. Namaste', Tom and Phylis Abate Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was my first cruise on American Cruise Lines. In comparison to large ships that I have been on, the accommodations are bare boned and stark. Do not expect luxury. The furniture resembles something from a University dorm room. But the ... Read More
This was my first cruise on American Cruise Lines. In comparison to large ships that I have been on, the accommodations are bare boned and stark. Do not expect luxury. The furniture resembles something from a University dorm room. But the bed was comfortable and the shower always had plenty of hot water. The rooms are serviced twice a day so there are always fresh towels and no accumulation of trash. One of the biggest advantages was the window sliding open for fresh air and a very small balcony for close up viewing of marine life. (The balcony was so small it was hard to sit on without crushing your legs but two people could easily stand outside.) This is the perfect cruise for the over 60 crowd and there were about 25% on board with special needs or disabilities. By that I mean the need for walkers, canes, assistance getting on and off the ship. The ships crew is very accommodating for people requiring help. However, they only had two wheelchairs on board. If you think you may need a wheelchair I suggest you bring your own. The average age I guess to be about 73 on the cruise that I was on. There were about 80 passengers on board. There were several cases of 50 something adult children traveling with 80 something year old parents. I loved the ports that we visited. My travel agent had not informed me however that the shore trips were an extra expense. (From other cruises I had been on, I knew this was not going to be the case.) In fact, she erroneously told me that she thought all was included. There was only one complimentary walking tour. Everything else ranged from $15.00 to $90.00. One pays for the shore excursions at the end of the trip along with a standard tip which they consider to be $125.00 per person. If one forgoes the shore excursions, you will miss a lot the areas have to offer such as the two trips to Olympic National Park. Some individuals on our trip hired a private cab at the ports to drive them around. While the staff was friendly, some of them seemed stressed out at the amount of work they were doing. It was also the beginning of the season and possibly they had not gotten the hang of it. The food was above average but not superb in my opinion. Sometimes it was not served at the proper temperature. My French toast that I ordered for breakfast was usually lukewarm. The final dinner on the ship, had some moldy rolls in the bread basket. The wait staff did special things for Birthdays-singing and a cake. The big advantage to this ship is the casual atmosphere, no dressing up for dinner etc. Another advantage for some would be the relative small amount of cruising on relatively calm waters. Every night the ship was docked in a port-the longest cruise time between Islands is 4-5 hours. Not much chance of getting sea sick on this boat. I guess it is all about expectations. If you are expecting a room like you might have with Cunard you will be disappointed. If you expect some beautiful sights, marine life, Native American history of the region and friendly people with similar interests you will have a great time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
We embarked from the Shillsole Marina about 6 miles north of downtown Seattle (some taxi drivers seem to have a hard time finding it). Ports visited were all in Washington state -- Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, ... Read More
We embarked from the Shillsole Marina about 6 miles north of downtown Seattle (some taxi drivers seem to have a hard time finding it). Ports visited were all in Washington state -- Anacortes, Friday Harbor, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, and Seattle. Poulsbo was the only tender port. This was a small ship, with 86 passengers on board. The room was reasonable size, with a small bathroom. Food ranged from average to good, with a lot of salads at lunch, and sometimes even at dinner. The daily free cocktail hour was a big hit, as usual. Crew was very friendly and helpful, and the hotel manager, Chelsea, was exceptional, somehow seeming to be almost everywhere at once. Tours were not great, mostly walking tours of ports. But, we did our own walking tours in many ports. There were also two premium tours offered -- a day in Victoria, B.C. and a whale watching cruise. From the ship, docks, and tours, we saw whales, eagles, deer, and harbor seals. Embarkation and disembarkation were both extremely easy, which is one of the selling points. As this was an "Eagle Society Cruise" for frequent cruisers on American Cruise Lines (ACL), many of the passengers had done 5+ cruises previously on ACL (as my wife and I had also). All in all, we had a good time. Weather turned out to be great, and we enjoyed the company of our fellow passengers, nearly all of whom were very experienced travelers, with numerous prior cruises - both ocean and river. The average age of the passengers was probably in the 70's, with only a few passengers under 60. This is the age group that ACL markets to, and our fellow passengers also seemed to enjoy this cruise as well as most other ACL cruises. You can also get a discount on a future cruise by booking it and putting down a deposit before leaving the ship. So, if you enjoy small ship cruising, with passengers in their "golden years", this would be a good cruise for you. If you are younger and/or looking for active shore tours, this is not the right one for you. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
American Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 3.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 2.0 2.8
Family 2.0 2.8
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.0
Enrichment 4.0 4.1
Service 3.0 4.4
Value For Money 3.0 3.7
Rates 5.0 2.6

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