Sail Date: August 2018
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we ... Read More
We, with two other couples who also were celebrating 55 years of marriage, were looking for a domestic, low key, intimate cruise. This well fit the bill although it was quite expensive relative to other luxury options......but we understood a small vessel simply had to be more expensive. The cruise met or exceeded many expectations, friendliness of staff, cleanliness and size of state rooms and other spaces, interesting ports, good shore excursions and generally good + food quality, variety and presentation. BUT, the food service was barely acceptable and the server we had would not last a day at a restaurant like Cracker Barrel. Aside from the captain, first mate, chef and hotel manager, the entire staff appeared inexperienced. While the staff were invariably polite, respectful and helpful, the lack of experience/training was obvious. I will not take another trip with them and certainly not recommend it to anyone....at half the price it would be decent. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2018
Every minute on this cruise was wonderful. I have traveled by car and RV on the Maine coast, but never from a cruise ship. It was just magical. Breathtaking scenery, wonderful meals, deliciously cooked, presented perfectly, and served ... Read More
Every minute on this cruise was wonderful. I have traveled by car and RV on the Maine coast, but never from a cruise ship. It was just magical. Breathtaking scenery, wonderful meals, deliciously cooked, presented perfectly, and served expertly. So many choices every day for every meal. Lots of excursion options, great speakers on board, all was outstanding. The staff were all helpful, friendly, knowledgable and professional. The staff doesn't know how to say "no" to any request. For example, during our daily happy hour I asked for a specific brand of liquor which they did not have on board ... but the Hotel Manager got it for me at the next port! How thoughtful is that!? I was traveling with 3 girlfriends, and I loved it so much (and knew that my husband would also), that I booked this same exact cruise next year for my husband and I to enjoy together. What more can I say? Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we ... Read More
This was truly Small ship crushing at its finest. We had been on the coast of Maine when we lived in New England and decided seeing it from the water side would be fun and it was great. The dining was all we wanted and more than we expected. The chefs were incredable. The Fourth of July “lobstah” and clam bake by the ocean in Rockland was “all you could eat” goodness. The entertainment was real New England. The whole process from reservations to disembarking was informative, professional and easy. We enjoyed this cruise so much that we have booked another one in nine months, joining the non cost Eagle Society so that we can enjoy a few extra events and chances for pre cruise accommodations and tours included with the cruises. We have enjoyed large ship cruises with family, however, we are having a ball planning cruises by ourselves. Read Less
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
5 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
Independence Ratings
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