5 American Cruise Lines American Spirit Cruise Reviews

The only reason I didn't give this cruise a one out of five is because a few things went well, including embarkation and disembarkation; plus, the poorly trained staff at least tried (for the most part). Our crew were all in ... Read More
The only reason I didn't give this cruise a one out of five is because a few things went well, including embarkation and disembarkation; plus, the poorly trained staff at least tried (for the most part). Our crew were all in training, but this was not a training priced cruise. $11,000 per suite (double occupancy). Crew experience was 16 weeks or less, except for a handful that were asked back and promoted! All were about college age and while nice, not trained or knowledgeable about what it took to do a good job. Very frustrating. The ship looked very old (1980s décor), but it was actually built in 2005. It looked like a retirement home. My room key was a frustration from the very start. Every time I used it I had to pull it out a bit from the lock, get it just right, then turn it, so it would lock or unlock. No room safes, and on top of that, I was told there was no safe on the entire boat!!!! I always locked my door to my balcony when I left my room, but several times, while docked, I arrived back and the room door out to my balcony was not only unlocked, but actually open so anyone could walk right in (I believe this was a housekeeping issue). After being gone all day long and not having a safe to hold things, it was very disconcerting. The food was adequate, but nothing special – at all. The food was not plated well - just thrown on. It was not appetizing. All the menus were gone well before lunch (not a breakfast eater), so I couldn’t see what we were going to be having later in the day to know if I needed to special order. One day I found the extra menus in the garbage in the big room and dug one out (they were supposed to be available most of the day). Food - inconsistent serving portions. The most glaring example was the strawberry shortcake. It looked like a wonderful, healthy, serving size when we saw the first trays coming out. Then, when it came time to get ours, it appeared as though they had run out when putting all the other portions together. Hardly any strawberries, vs flowing over in the first that came, and tiny portions when ours arrived! We had the same issue with entrees, even at the same table. Some were almost double that of others. We originally thought people were ordering half sizes, but they were not, and people were disappointed (I was one of those several times). No portion control. I had a salad at lunch and the lettuce was dirty – caked in dirt in the crevices. It had not been washed. Very gritty, unsanitary and nasty. A couple of the servers could not pour without spilling. One server, at least, could never get orders (food and drink) to correct person at lunch. Cocktail hour food was nothing I ever wanted to eat. The gym was a joke. Three pieces of equipment stuck outside on the back of the boat. I don’t even know what to say about that, except I was planning on being a user and never tried them once. There were cracked ceiling tiles in my bathroom and the bathroom floor corners were nasty – not really sure if dirty or bad job on grouting (or more likely both). Entertainment? What a joke. From bingo to music that was straight from the 50s, and not high-end. Photos we saw ahead of time did not match our ship. This trip was misrepresented. I felt cheated. If I was paying $2500 for our suite, and been told it was a training crew, I would have expected what I got – 3rd rate service, food, rooms, balcony, gym, everything. I am posting an online review so others who are smarter than I (because they will do more research) will know to stay away. I relied on the person making the reservations, and they relied on the cruise line’s word and brochures. MISTAKE. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
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
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
Had I read their description on your site, I might have been a little more prepared for what I experienced and may have decided not to take the trip. The attraction for me initially was the Puget Sound/San Juan Islands itinerary. The ... Read More
Had I read their description on your site, I might have been a little more prepared for what I experienced and may have decided not to take the trip. The attraction for me initially was the Puget Sound/San Juan Islands itinerary. The delightful time I had last year on a European riverboat cruise drove me to replicate the experience in the U.S. Comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges, but my expectations were driven by my experience last summer. The cruise is quite expensive based on the amenities. American Cruise Lines attributes that to higher American salaries and higher taxes on the cruise line than boats/ships registered under foreign flag. Also, I'm not sure there's another American cruise line to drive competition. As it states in the profile, it truly does have a niche market with an older demographic. But I mean MUCH older, probably averaging 80 years old. The excursions are tailored to that age group as are the onboard activities/entertainment (or lack thereof). The boat is really QUIET by 10 p.m. The crew, though really friendly and helpful, were young people for whom this is not necessarily a career. With the exception of the "managers," the remainder of the crew have a 3-month contract, so there's a lot of turn over and not much depth. I agree with the person who described the cabins as reminding them of a hospital room. That really captures it. I had thought sort of as a relatively inexpensive motel room. So in terms of value for $$, I won't be traveling American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
The brochure says "professional staff" but we had college students on their first cruise. Most of the wait staff had never waited tables before! I have been a "training tourist" at a resort and received better service. ... Read More
The brochure says "professional staff" but we had college students on their first cruise. Most of the wait staff had never waited tables before! I have been a "training tourist" at a resort and received better service. Food was so bad that I sent back three plates and I have NEVER sent food back to the kitchen before. Oysters Rockefeller were a solid mass encrusted to the shell. Many items were overcooked or burnt. Eggs were consistently undercooked even when ordered medium or hard. Some food was quite good, but for the price I expected every meal to be outstanding. Our cruise director had never been to three of the six ports of call and couldn't answer questions about them. Rooms were OK, but sort of felt like hospital room decor. The illustration of the room in promo materials appears much more spacious than reality. At least there was adequate storage--however bathroom storage was awkward. The main activity on this ship is small talk with other guest, especially at meals. The acoustics in the dining room made this difficult (impossible at times). This cruise was quite expensive. I would have been disappointed at 1/4 the price. Read Less
Sail Date June 2010
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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