Sail Date: June 2018
Turn around time for the cruise is only 2 hours and not enough time to get the ship clean in between cruises. WiFi, only available if you stand next to the public router. Staff in the dining room, young and not well-trained. Choose ... Read More
Turn around time for the cruise is only 2 hours and not enough time to get the ship clean in between cruises. WiFi, only available if you stand next to the public router. Staff in the dining room, young and not well-trained. Choose different tables until you find a staff that has experience. Cruise Director and Social Director is very good. We found very nice younger passengers we connected with, and had a very nice time. We gathered in the evenings up on deck. It is quite cold in the evenings and the cruise line does not offer blankets. Food was plentiful and very good. The lounge has coffee and snacks. The snacks are power bars and fruit, coffee is not replenish during the day, espresso machine was broken. The excursion were mixed. Some very good, others not so much. I would travel with this company again, but only on the new ships. This is a very expensive cruise for what you get. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The ... Read More
Chose cruise for the itinerary. As compared to 2 other riverboat US cruises we have taken this ship doesn’t begin to live up to our previous experiences. The size or square footage of the cabins is a plus on the Independence. The decor seems like it is from the 1950’s in the cabins and public areas. The “multi-purpose” room lounge is tiresome. It seems like we spent way too much time for announcements, coordination of activities, education, cocktail hour, entertainment, and selling future cruises in the same room. We created several of our own shore excursions because the ones offered were not interesting. Again, on past experiences the cruise line offered shore experiences exclusively for the those who were passengers on the cruise and we could review the itinerary ahead of time and know the pricing. American Cruise Lines did not clearly explain options and pricing, both online and even on a daily basis. Security basics were lacking, not even safes in the cabins. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organized and went smoothly. The cruise was well run, the ship is well maintained and extremely clean. Our cabin was more than adequate with space for all our gear. The food service was pure gourmet. Menu choices were provided each morning at breakfast for the day but you were not held to your choices if there was a change of mind. Entertainment and on board activities were adequate with Happy Hour being a delight. There was an on board lecturer who made a few historic blunders but to my knowledge no one called her on them. She came off as an absent minded professor type. We selected a few of the provided excursions but elected to go out on our own at a few ports. All in all it was a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary--that is the Hudson, NYC, Hyde Park, fall foliage Very well organized; ship staff wonderful; small passenger size was important; ample time to connect with friends. We did do the NYC pre-cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary--that is the Hudson, NYC, Hyde Park, fall foliage Very well organized; ship staff wonderful; small passenger size was important; ample time to connect with friends. We did do the NYC pre-cruise tour; it covered the hi points including One World Trade Center w/well informed guide. Cabin was small, but that size was expected; chose the veranda room and that made all the difference; partitions on veranda were removed so visiting and sailing w/friends was enhanced. The dining service was always great; wines available, nice selection of entrees and appetizers and desserts; loved that 1/2 portions were available. During the evening entertainment, great snacks served. Staff always accommodating and service w/a smile. Embarking was smooth and efficient; disembarking went well until bus to airport. Bus driver refused to drive to all terminals; left passengers hauling bags and finding other ways to get to correct terminal. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
In my opinion it all begins with the Captain of the ship and this Captain was on top of everything. His presence was constant and he put an emphasis on the passenger’s well-being. This attitude flowed downward to his directors and ... Read More
In my opinion it all begins with the Captain of the ship and this Captain was on top of everything. His presence was constant and he put an emphasis on the passenger’s well-being. This attitude flowed downward to his directors and crew…and, more importantly us. His mate when he wasn’t the Captain’s shadow, he insured the security of the ship and did a great job of handling the deck crew. His hotel managers, cruise director, and housekeeping took their cue from the Captain and provided outstanding service. They always went with the flow, remaining extremely flexible as we ran into several bouts of inclement weather. They and the stewards even make a lobster boil in the middle of a torrential rainstorm fun! It was a “lobster” cruise and every meal their executive chef found some way to bring lobster into the menu and it always was fantastic. He ran a very close second to the regional chef that we had on our New Orleans to New Orleans cruise over last New Year’s. I didn’t realize that having lobster three times a day wouldn’t get old. Having said that, I had several beef dishes, also great! The chef took personal pride in his position and visited the tables every evening. It was evident that the deckhands and stewards bought into the Captain’s professionalism; they were super. All in all, a fun cruise with old friends that came all the way from New Zealand and the opportunity to make new ones. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
The food, the service, the attention to detail were awesome from the Captain down to every staff person on deck. The rooms were very spacious! All the ports of call gave a different view of Maine and displayed the current life plus the ... Read More
The food, the service, the attention to detail were awesome from the Captain down to every staff person on deck. The rooms were very spacious! All the ports of call gave a different view of Maine and displayed the current life plus the history.r Things that we enjoyed were the maritime museum, transportation museum, lobster boat expedition, and lobster bake. The cruising time was balanced between both night to get us to the next port and also daytime to allow us to see the scenery via our great balcony view. The exercise equipment was positioned at the back of the boat top outside deck to allow us a have a great view. The equipment was covered out of the sun and wind, Very enjoyable. The captain gave us a very detailed tour of the bridge which included maritime maps, radar review, docking procedures, lobster avoidance, and the many rules of the water. We enjoyed all aspects of this trip. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was a 2nd cruise with American and while it was not quite as enjoyable as cruising the Chesapeake Bay on the brand new Constellation, it was still worth the cost. Our trip was a "Lobster" cruise and Lobster it was. Lobster ... Read More
This was a 2nd cruise with American and while it was not quite as enjoyable as cruising the Chesapeake Bay on the brand new Constellation, it was still worth the cost. Our trip was a "Lobster" cruise and Lobster it was. Lobster was available on every menu and it was real Maine Lobster. If you ever want to see how much lobster you can eat in a week this is the cruise for you.While the Independence is a smaller and older ship it is in good shape, the rooms were clean and everything worked.On the Constellation our room was a Suite 502 and on the Independence we had 323 which was at the aft of the ship. Both rooms were sufficient in size and for the money I preferred 323. I would recommend that if you make this trip try and reserve a room on the starboard side because with the tide level you will be looking into a harbor wall when you are in port, especially Portland. Also avoid at all cost taking this cruise if you end up in Bar Harbor as we did on Labor day. The crowds were horrible and Arcadia Park was such that you could not see the landscape for the people standing in front of you. This is a quite tour for the older crowd. The entertainment was not Broadway performances but all had a good time and I did learn a lot about Maine and its history. We enjoyed all the small towns and the trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was a highlight. The service was excellent with the Hotel Manager and Cruise Director going up and above the call of duty to see that all were in the right place at the right time and that all were having a good time. My wife and I have already booked two American Cruise line tours for 2018 so I guess you can say I recommend American Cruise Lines Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We love the small ships and had never seen this part of the country. The embarkation & disembarkation went very smoothly. The bed in the cabin was very comfortable & the shower was great - full size, unlike some small ships. The ... Read More
We love the small ships and had never seen this part of the country. The embarkation & disembarkation went very smoothly. The bed in the cabin was very comfortable & the shower was great - full size, unlike some small ships. The food was amazing, particularly if you like lobster & all manner of seafood. The wait staff as well as the stewards were very friendly. It is informal so don't expect to have to dress up for dinner. The entertainment was from the locals in the ports we stopped, so no spectacular entertainers. I would not take children or even teenagers on this trip. Anyone under 50 would be considered young. They do their best to cater to people with handicaps. So if you are mobility impaired do not hesitate to go. We have signed up for another cruise - that will be our 4th with this cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
American Cruise Line definitely knows how to service small ship cruising. The service, food, land tours, and overall benefits of small ship cruising are obvious after a few days on board. The selection of lobster every day was excellent. ... Read More
American Cruise Line definitely knows how to service small ship cruising. The service, food, land tours, and overall benefits of small ship cruising are obvious after a few days on board. The selection of lobster every day was excellent. This was our third cruise with American Cruise Line and it was so much better than the large cruise ships that are so impersonal and 'cattle car' typical. Embarkation. disembarkation were designed to make it fast and comfortable. The ship was immaculate, comfortable quarters, excellent food, Shore excursions - usually one per day but sometimes two per day were excellent, varied and not exorbitant in cost but reasonable. Many were free. American Cruise Line definitely know how to treat their passengers, staff, and ships. We will definitely travel with them again and not on the larger (2000+ passengers) since 100 to 200 passengers allows for more interaction with passengers. We hope they will continue their service. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
I have been on the larger ships several times. This was the first time to sail on a small ship and I will sail small from now on! The American Cruise Lines Independence carries only 100 passengers. We were able to meet and make friends ... Read More
I have been on the larger ships several times. This was the first time to sail on a small ship and I will sail small from now on! The American Cruise Lines Independence carries only 100 passengers. We were able to meet and make friends with ALL of the passengers, something you can't do on the larger ones. A lot of us exchanged emails, phones numbers and became friends on Facebook. The crew was professional yet personable. Everyone was VERY helpful and always asked if they could assist even if it wasn't their "job". The crew takes very good care of the Independence and you can see the pride in their work. The ship was always spotless! The food was impeccable! Not only was it great tasting, it was beautiful! The ports and tours offered many options. We sailed on a schooner, took a museum tour and took a tour on a lobster boat. We visited Acadia National Park and learned the history of the area along the way with the help of the onboard art professor and geologist. The crew also prepared a lobster bake lunch while onshore in Rockland, ME. I have already booked another cruise with American Cruise Lines next year! I highly recommend this company. Job well done ACL! Read Less
Independence Ratings
Category Editor Member

Find a Cruise