1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and ... Read More
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and full-time employees, but also the deck hands and the waitstaff/stewards. Everyone aims to please. Next, the ship is immaculate inside and out. The cabin is comfortable and fully furnished. The common areas provide amble seating and stylish decor. All areas are well-lit and welcoming. Dining on ACL is like dining in a five star restaurant. The menu is varied, with options to suit everyone. The offerings are contemporary and tastefully presented. Every meal is delicious and satisfying. We were never disappointed. The activities and shore excursions included an adequate variety, including walking tours, bus tours, and plenty of local flavor. Both Austin, the Cruise Director, and Sandy Balla, the onboard historian, interjected humor and patience in all their activities. Their insight and knowledge greatly improved the tours and onboard activities. Most of the evening guest performers were great, although some were clearly a cut above others. Finally, this was our fifth ACL vacation, and we've already booked another for next year. I'm sure a could write more, but this will do. Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
I traveled with my elderly Mother. She used her own portable wheel chair to get around the ship. The crew was wonderful. They helped her to get ashore and were always ready to lend a hand on the ship too.The ship was spotless. The ... Read More
I traveled with my elderly Mother. She used her own portable wheel chair to get around the ship. The crew was wonderful. They helped her to get ashore and were always ready to lend a hand on the ship too.The ship was spotless. The cabin was spacious and comfortable with a large deck, two chairs and small table. The bathroom was comfortable too. The food was superb. I enjoy cooking with fine ingredients and was very impressed with the quality. There was plenty of lobster, seafood , steak , veggies and desserts. It was well seasoned and interesting. A true pleasure unlike the other cruises I have taken. Also, every day in the afternoon, cocktails were offered with cheese, meats and fruits. Wine also was served during this time and at dinner as well. When the trip is advertised as all inclusive it is really correct. Breakfast could be anything within reason. Eggs made any style with fresh fruit , pastries , juice. Coffee was good too. At lunch, the menu was equally extensive. There was never an occasion to eat off the ship. It was so well prepared! The harbors in Maine are like a string of jewels. The planners curated our stops to show us the very best of the coast line. The towns were all steeped in history and beauty. The perspective that is presented arriving by boat into the harbors is an unforgettable experience. There is a charge for some of the shore excursions, but I never went on those. I was happy to explore the towns on foot and all are very walkable. Some of the walking tours were included in the cruise price. I highly recommend this line as the first choice to see the Maine Coast in all of it's splendor. I have been in Quebec, Turks and Caicos ,and NYC since my return and finally had a chance to write this review. Hope that travelers find it helpful. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
We had always wanted to see the Maine coast from the water side. This one is listed as a special lobster cruise out of Portland Maine, returning there, which made it easier to plan transportation to the ship. We decided to drive over ... Read More
We had always wanted to see the Maine coast from the water side. This one is listed as a special lobster cruise out of Portland Maine, returning there, which made it easier to plan transportation to the ship. We decided to drive over there from Ohio and arrive a couple of days early so we could do some sightseeing. Our hotel, the Ramada Plaza, allowed us to leave our car there for free while we were on the trip. The ship personnel met our taxi at the port and transferred our luggage to the ship and our room. They also offered golf cart rides out to the ship for those who didn't want to walk out. We were greeted at the gangplank, signed in and given our name tags and room access cards. They had blueberry sangria, cookies and an appetizer ready for us to sample while we waited for access to our rooms. It gave us time to find old friends and make new ones. We were into our room around 11:30. Unpacked our suitcases and went to the lounge for our safety talk. Then we went down to the dining room for our first meal. We had a red pepper bisque, seafood salad and Maine blueberry pie. Everything was excellent and preparation was so pretty. I think we have an excellent chef on board, so much for my waistline! There was an informational talk in the afternoon about the tours that were available. Happy hour for the hour before dinner was well received as were the wonderful appetizers that were available. All the meals had several choices, including dessert. We had no complaints about the food! Our staff was all American, young people being given a chance to do intermanships and see a part of our United States that they wished to visit. They were always smiling and willing to help in any way. Every one from the Captain down was very personable. Our guest speaker, Harold Cones, answered our questions and was readily available during the cruise. The entertainment was different every night, with one night relegated to BINGO. Something for everyone! All in all, we would definitely recommend any of the American Cruise Line cruises. We have loved the Upper Mississippi and Puget Sound ones. It is small ship cruising at its best! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
We picked this cruise because we had cruised with American Cruise Line before and was well satisfied. We picked the Maine Coastline cruise because we had never been to that part of the country before. We loved the idea of the beauty of ... Read More
We picked this cruise because we had cruised with American Cruise Line before and was well satisfied. We picked the Maine Coastline cruise because we had never been to that part of the country before. We loved the idea of the beauty of the rugged coastline and small fishing village communitities. We were not dissappointed. We love this cruise line because it has quality service and staff and make your journey so enjoyable. The lecturer they have onboard is a wealth of information and tells you so much about the region you are exploring. The food is just incredible and plenty of it. We like the small atmosphere of the ship as compared to the large cruise ship. More personable. We got to meet and even eat with the captain. What a pleasure this was! He was such an interesting man and to hear his story. The staff and crew are incredible. Always there to serve and help with a smile. We have already booked our third cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: August 2016
Our theme cruise to Maine was areal standout experience, which is why we have continued to book repeatedly with American Cruise Clines. Smaller cruises afford a better opportunity to engage & meet new friends easily. The meals are ... Read More
Our theme cruise to Maine was areal standout experience, which is why we have continued to book repeatedly with American Cruise Clines. Smaller cruises afford a better opportunity to engage & meet new friends easily. The meals are top notch & staff are always friendly and conscientious to all your needs. Having a historian / environmentalist on board adds to the whole adventure &^ overall education experience of the various ports. Our Hotel / Cruise Manager " Drew " was an is such a delight to know as we had cruised. with previously. " Kevin " our Tour / Excursion Director did such a great job of being friendly but firm & stern with or safety & timelines.. " Stan " or Captain was most visible throughout the cruise. Only one comment regarding the evening entertainment--- wish it could be enhanced a bit but overall an exceptional cruise. We are currently booked for the inaugural Spring cruise of the Constellation with American Cruise Lines & with Drew as Hotel/Cruise Manager. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
This is small ship cruising. About 100 passengers. More mature passengers, kids/teens would be bored. Great size for getting into interesting places. Second cruise on this line. Super attentive, available, informal, active crew. Goes out ... Read More
This is small ship cruising. About 100 passengers. More mature passengers, kids/teens would be bored. Great size for getting into interesting places. Second cruise on this line. Super attentive, available, informal, active crew. Goes out of their way to make you welcome. As an example, the Captain is widely available, and greatly interacts with the passengers. He normally joins the passengers for dinner. The chef tours the dining room during dinner to solicite comments and suggestions. As an example, the chef had been on our previous cruise. He served a fantastic tomato pie on that cruise. We asked for a repeat. He made another pie for us. Entertainment is small ship and tailored to the locality being visited adding to the cultural Experience, many times using local talent. Likewise for the food. This cruise being along the Maine coast had a "lobster" theme, surprise, surprise. Even a lobster eggs benidik. We even had fun flying kites from the top deck while underway. Great itinery along the Maine coast. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2016
The food was fairly well done. We have been on a lot of European river cruises and the food was, I think a little better. Not too easy to get ice tea. I don't drink any more so no wine for me. The wine was the same low end brand all ... Read More
The food was fairly well done. We have been on a lot of European river cruises and the food was, I think a little better. Not too easy to get ice tea. I don't drink any more so no wine for me. The wine was the same low end brand all need guts,but o cannot comment on the quality. There seemed to be plenty of it. Captain could not have been more friendly as were the servers and the cabin girls. Good entertainment some nights. The cruise director was not helpful at all. He talked a lot about himself. He thought very highly of himself. I was trying to ask him if he could do something for me, but he was too busy talking about whether his trousers shoul Deb shortened 1" or 1 1/2". They charge you for almost all the activities off the boat. For what we paid for the below deck room and board, I ythink that they should have included more of them. I couldn't get on the lobster trip because they only had room for about 20 or 25 people. There were about 150 people on board, so there were a lot of people that wanted this but were excluded. Kevin the cruise director was a self absorbed narcissistic $&#%€. Look for a better cruise line before you sign up for this one. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2016
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Maine. It was very interesting to see the little towns along the Maine coast. We then left from Portland and took the CAT Ferry to Nova Scotia. If doing the Maine cruise, you can always hop on ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted to see Maine. It was very interesting to see the little towns along the Maine coast. We then left from Portland and took the CAT Ferry to Nova Scotia. If doing the Maine cruise, you can always hop on the ferry then which is right next door to where the ship docks. The lobster was excellent and we had it 3 times during the cruise and also had many dishes made with lobster. The cruise offers a lobster bake. There are many good museums to visit in the cities and town tours to take. The rooms on the ship are as big as a hotel room. The entertainment was also pretty good - banjo playing, piano playing and locals that come in to speak. If you like shopping, the cities are also good for that. These cruises seem to attract the older generation, but we had a few younger people onboard also that were traveling with their parents. There were some families traveling together (9 of them). If you would get to know some of the seniors on the trip, they have had some pretty interesting lives. Don't discount them! All in all was a fun trip and a great way to see some towns in Maine. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Small ship allowed for interaction with more of the passengers and staff. Passengers represented folks from around the United States and some from abroad. It was interesting to get their reactions to this part of the country. I am an ... Read More
Small ship allowed for interaction with more of the passengers and staff. Passengers represented folks from around the United States and some from abroad. It was interesting to get their reactions to this part of the country. I am an eighth generation American and originally grew up in New York State. I am an American History buff and was very interested in seeing this area of the country that played an important part in the American Revolution. The Sailing ship industry was particularly interesting to see and better understand. The Lobster and fishing industries were also impressive to experience. They also have and continue to play, important roles in feeding our population. We were able to take advantage of the tour on a lobster fishing boat and interact with the real people of Maine. The Lobster Bake was an unexpected delight: well done! Beautiful and historic countryside. The ports of call were not the tourist traps that we have seen on, say the Caribbean islands. We would do it again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Friends had travelled on river cruises in Europe and wanted to try US cruises. We knew that they were more money than larges cruise ships but American Cruise Lines advertised that we would get professional and top rated service. This was ... Read More
Friends had travelled on river cruises in Europe and wanted to try US cruises. We knew that they were more money than larges cruise ships but American Cruise Lines advertised that we would get professional and top rated service. This was not the case as young college students that did the housekeeping and waited in the dining room had a 1 week training [as told to us] and were going back to school in a few weeks. The young men and women were Very nice, but not professionals as we were told. Ship was substandard compared to larger ones and the public rooms and decks were not taken care of [in terms of service or cleanliness] Top deck did not have garbage emptied or dirty glasses and ice cream dishes picked up for several days until we asked, and room balconies were never cleaned unless we asked. The evening entertainment was a joke and during the day the public rooms were used for naps or making puzzles. NOT a cruise for families as there was nothing for anyone under 70 to be involved with. Should have stated in advertising that it was a cruise line for the geriatric group. We would not, nor will we use this cruise line in the future. A relative has since cancelled a cruise up the Hudson and friends are rethinking a cruise to Nantucket on this cruise line. Professional staff was NOT friendly . Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
We were looking for a cruise departing near our home, and were also interested in American Cruise Line since we thought we should see some of the USA now, having cruised in the Caribbean and Europe, and we wanted to experience small ship ... Read More
We were looking for a cruise departing near our home, and were also interested in American Cruise Line since we thought we should see some of the USA now, having cruised in the Caribbean and Europe, and we wanted to experience small ship cruising. This cruise fit perfectly in our plans and we were fortunate that long time friends of our also joined this cruise. Throughout the cruise the staff were very helpful, willing to stop and chat, and were friendly (smiled a lot -- obviously enjoyed their work). They loaded and off loaded our luggage, our cabin was ready when we arrived, and had no flaws of any kind. The air conditioning worked superbly for the muggy days (very few). Meals were varied and delicious. Lobster was served a lot -- from whole lobsters, to lobster mac and cheese, lobster salad, lobster stew; wonderful. Also served were beef, pork, lamb. Lots of excellent salads and desserts, too. The wait staff - stewards - were college youngsters who also cleaned the rooms and made the beds. All of these young people were delightful and attentive. All had some connection to the hospitality industry and many were interns. They had been well trained and were well supervised and very pleasant and hard working. Besides breakfast, lunch and dinner warm cookies were served mid morning, cocktails before dinner and ice cream sundaes and root beer floats in the evening. All were gratis. Our captain was sharp, knowledgeable, informative and a terrific ship handler. We always knew ahead of time what he planned to do ship wise. A few downsides: a wonderful lobster bake occurred ashore as part of the cruise, and the food was wonderful. However, insufficient transportation was provided to the bake so a long delay occurred. And seating was unnecessarily crowded. The music provided was excellent. As a separate matter, the man on board who conducted lectures and pointed out geographical interests was a bit glib and somewhat opinionated inappropriately. Could be better. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2016
Ship left and returned to Portland Maine. First day traveled all the way up to Bar Harbor which meant ship went out into open ocean waters so if you had any inclination to get motion sickness you had a problem. Didn't concern me ... Read More
Ship left and returned to Portland Maine. First day traveled all the way up to Bar Harbor which meant ship went out into open ocean waters so if you had any inclination to get motion sickness you had a problem. Didn't concern me personally but many people were uncomfortable. Later days were closer to shore and water was much calmer and therefore no problem. Food was wonderful. Lots of lobster in every form, including an outdoor Lobster Bake in Rockland, ME. Delicious and lots of fun. Every evening there was entertainment or a lecture that was interesting and pleasurable. Met lots of interesting people from all over the country. Most people were in "senior" age bracket. Staff were very competent and friendly as well as professional. You feel pampered and cared for and are able to take advantage of shore excursions or not as you see fit. Trips ashore are on nice buses and with excellent tour guides who are trained and efficient. Overall a wonderful vacation! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly ... Read More
Embarkation in Portland, Maine went smoothly but upon entering the ship and cabin we were very disappointed. Upon the suggestion of another couple with us, we were led to believe that small ship cruising would have "highly personalized service" and an "accommodating crew will anticipate your every need and provide you with an unequal level of attention". The cruise up the Maine coast was geared to an older clientele . The entertainment was a joke and had a singer with an awful voice, talks, videos and piano player for approximately 1 hr, after dinner. The food was good, but should you want a drink or anything else to eat outside of meal time, you had to hunt for someone to ask as there are no phones in the rooms for any room service. The rooms themselves were very bare with a minimum of amenities. All the shore excursions cost extra except for a complimentary lobster bake that was the highlight of the week. The ports were okay, but only bus tours or walking tours were offered. The dining and cleaning staff were very pleasant but were young men and women working for the summer and the Manager, Cruise Director and Housekeeping Supervisor were not friendly. This is not a cruise for families and definitely aimed at the elderly. We were very disappointed as the cruise was very pricey and any expectations were not met. We will not be travelling with American Cruise Lines in the future. Other passengers expressed the same thing. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2016
Independence is a small cruise ship which made Embarkation & Disembarkation so easy. Ship has all the necessary amenities. If you're looking for swimming pool & movie theater try the other bigger cruise lines. Crew are ... Read More
Independence is a small cruise ship which made Embarkation & Disembarkation so easy. Ship has all the necessary amenities. If you're looking for swimming pool & movie theater try the other bigger cruise lines. Crew are all friendly & helpful from the Captain who invited all the passengers for a tour on the bridge, to the youngest steward. Their main concern was the comfort & safety of the passengers. Dining: free seating, usually 3 main options for dinner & passengers are requested to make their choices on the same day during breakfast. Usually these options would cover all tastes, and if there is any dietary requirement, the Chef tries his best to cater for that. Most of the passengers are all mature couples, no kids and therefore, no kids' activities. Shore excursions are limited but most of the ports of call during the Coast of Maine Cruise were small and could be seen independently. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2016
I chose this cruise line because my husband and I like small cruise ships. Our ship had only 77 passengers and we got to know several of them very well. Boarding and disembarking went very smoothly. The staff were very attentive to our ... Read More
I chose this cruise line because my husband and I like small cruise ships. Our ship had only 77 passengers and we got to know several of them very well. Boarding and disembarking went very smoothly. The staff were very attentive to our needs. It was very casual which we appreciated and the food was excellent. There were some excellent speakers on board and fun entertainment. We really learned a lot of history about the area we were visiting which we appreciated. No Broadway shows, but every night before dinner there was a complimentary cocktail hour with yummy appetizers and beer or wine was served with lunch and dinner. Some of the desserts were to die for! Of course the dinners were excellent and there were snacks everywhere. Our excursions were fun and it was just a totally lovely casual vacation. If you are looking for a very good small cruise ship, this one fits the bill. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
The cruise line was recommended by a friend. The cost is a bit steep but worth every penny. Norwegian 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise for 2 is about $2200. A 6 day cruise along the coast of Maine for 2 was about $8000. The difference? ... Read More
The cruise line was recommended by a friend. The cost is a bit steep but worth every penny. Norwegian 7 day eastern Caribbean cruise for 2 is about $2200. A 6 day cruise along the coast of Maine for 2 was about $8000. The difference? Several thousand passengers versus no more than 99; cocktail hour that caters specifically to your wants (one woman wanted a specific drink they didn't have the fixings for the first night but they bought what was needed the next morning at a port so she'd have what she wanted); gourmet meals that are amazing; special order meals any time you want. In short, we were spoiled rotten the entire time. At even a hint of wanting something the crew magically made it happen. There were excursions at every port of call - museums, art centers, a national park - plus information on where to shop. I only wish we could have stayed longer - like forever. We can't want to go on another one. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Had only been to Portland, Maine before and wanted to see more of Maine. Had book a cabin on the lower deck, but when I arrived because of the lesser number of passsengers I was upgraded to the third deck with a private balcony. Everything ... Read More
Had only been to Portland, Maine before and wanted to see more of Maine. Had book a cabin on the lower deck, but when I arrived because of the lesser number of passsengers I was upgraded to the third deck with a private balcony. Everything was great. A great chef who came out and visited every table at every meal to see how people like the food and if they had any complaints. Was willing to fix something special for you if they had the capability. All of the staff were friendly and extremely helpful. Interesting shore excursions were offered at each port. The cruise included an old fashion lobster bake on shore. The cabin was just the right size and was cleaned each day. The ship was easy to get around. A great cocktail hour each day before dinner was served. Wine and beer always available for each meal. Had some type of entertainment each night. This was my first cruise every and I selected it because of its small passenger size. Have already booked another one for 2017. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2016
This is my seventh cruise on American Cruise Lines, and I have just booked my eighth! I never thought I would want to take a cruise, but ACL has made me a believer that this is a great way to travel. This time I was on a 6-night cruise, ... Read More
This is my seventh cruise on American Cruise Lines, and I have just booked my eighth! I never thought I would want to take a cruise, but ACL has made me a believer that this is a great way to travel. This time I was on a 6-night cruise, New England Islands, which included historic and scenic points of interest in New Bedford, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Mass.; and Block Island, Bristol, and Newport, Rhode Island. The food was wonderful, as always; great quality, and variety. I enjoy being able to order half portions. All of the shore excursions were interesting and well planned. For me, the size of the ship (around 100 passengers) is great; no long lines, and lots of chances to meet fellow cruisers. The entertainment was enjoyable. The staff is first-class; friendly and congenial, and very skilled at their jobs. For me, these cruises are a stress-free and enjoyable way to see many parts of our beautiful country. I have only seen a child on one of these cruises; they are more planned and structured for adults. I can't wait for my next cruise with ACL! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2016
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a ... Read More
Returned from a 6 night New England Island cruise that departed from Providence, RI to celebrate my 60th birthday. We went on a Star Clipper cruise a couple of years ago and realized we really like smaller ships. The Independence has a capacity of about 100, though there were about 74 on our cruise. We found the cruise caters to a much older crowd than what we were looking for. Our fellow passengers were all very nice, but the average age seemed to be late 70 to 80s and some older than that. Of the approximately 74 passengers maybe 10 were under 65. The cost for the cruise is at a premium, and probably not worth the price. We had an infinitely better experience on Star Clipper for about the same cost. The biggest complaint we had, which may not be an issue to others, is there is no bar on board. Drinks at lunch and dinner with a happy hour before dinner. We've found in the past that we enjoyed getting to know fellow passengers over drinks. You could get a beer from the dining room afterward, or passengers took the leftover wine from dinner. But we were terribly disappointed at the lack of a bar in what is called "the lounge" on these ships. Arrived a day early to visit with a friend in Providence. Stayed at the Wyndham Garden which is within walking distance of the embarkation point for the ship. Unfortunately the Wyndham Garden is undergoing a major renovation to convert it to to a Hilton, so there was no restaurant on site. They did provide a shuttle if you wanted it. Embarkation on the Independence was effortless: drop off your bags and go to your room. Bag was delivered within minutes. The staterooms are large, though nothing spectacular. We stayed on the third level and had a balcony and a window that slip open. Though on a cruise you tend to stay in your room only to change and sleep. The ship was nice enough. Other reviewers commented on the dated decor, which I didn't notice too much, but my wife did. Fabric on a chair in our room was torn, the sofas in the lounge (more on that later) were like those at Grandmother's house. The crew was terrific from the Captain to the wait staff. The crew was all from the US and the wait staff work very hard both serving meals and cleaning rooms. Meals were generally very good. All meals are open seating at set times, though an early breakfast is available. A little awkward in that you choose your lunch and dinner selections at breakfast. They will prepare something just for you if none of the three (at dinner) selections are to your liking. Entertainment was marginal. Good lectures about upcoming ports of calls, etc. Other entertainment was along the lines of Dean Martin and Andrews Sisters imitators, a very rude sea shanty singer, bingo, etc. Ports and excursions were all at an additional charge, at least until you sail 3 or 4 times with ACL. For some bizarre reason we spent an entire day in New Bedford, MASS, which had little other than an outstanding whaling museum. Contrast that to a short stay in Newport, RI where there were several things to see and do and little time to do them. You could tell that this was the first cruise of the season as there were several hiccups such as proper docks for the ship's shuttle. Also, the ship seemed to dock at locations that weren't accessible to the most interesting parts of the islands. An example is Martha's Vineyard, where you need to take a bus or taxi to Oak Bluffs where restaurants and shops are located. This cruise is NOT recommended for children because they would be bored to tears. Frankly I probably wouldn't recommend it to anyone much younger that 65 or 70. Perhaps I'd recommend this cruise in 20 years but I wouldn't not right now; price too high for what you get and the activity level is way too low. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
We chose American Cruise Lines because we wanted to be on a small ship, we loved the itinerary, our friends who'd been on before said everyone seems like family, and the reviews were great. We were looking for a great experience ... Read More
We chose American Cruise Lines because we wanted to be on a small ship, we loved the itinerary, our friends who'd been on before said everyone seems like family, and the reviews were great. We were looking for a great experience – what we got wasn't quite enough to be even good. I was surprised that this was a fairly new ship, when we got to the dock it looked like some old ship. The dining room and lounge felt very dated, worn upholstery/carpets throughout, smallish staterooms also bland - it all felt very utilitarian. We also had a problem with our reservation as we were on for 14 days and had to change rooms midtrip because someone in booking couldn't be bothered to try to keep us in the same room. We paid a lot of money for great and we got average, worn rooms, boring décor, below average entertainment, often things felt like they were done on the cheap and disengaged staff – just disappointing. We cruise a lot on the higher end cruise lines and this one was very expensive for what you recieved. Everything was just mediocre. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
From the time that we were greeted on-board at Charleston, to the moment we dropped off our bags at the Jacksonville, we had a 5-star experience! Sure there were bumps in the road along the way, but even those minor complaints paled as we ... Read More
From the time that we were greeted on-board at Charleston, to the moment we dropped off our bags at the Jacksonville, we had a 5-star experience! Sure there were bumps in the road along the way, but even those minor complaints paled as we considered the whole. We had an accessible room (213) with plenty of closet and drawer space for our clothes. The ship was well maintained and public places tidy and clean. I wish I could name all the crew members that seemed to be up at all hours anticipating our needs, but here are a few. Lisa, the hotel manager and her assistant, Shannon were whirlwinds of service. Josh, the cruise director was everywhere ensuring that we made each excursion and also functioning at the very important duty as assistant bartender. Chris, in charge of housekeeping but more importantly, our bartender, seemed to be the first up in the morning making coffee in the Chesapeake Room and was there to put us to bed. Happy Hour was “happy” as ACL served premium beer, wine and liquor with the hor d’oeuvres and got us ready for our dinner prepared by Jonathan, the chief who visited very table during the meals to check on us. The meals themselves were outstanding and served by some very attentive waiters. I don’t remember all their names, but Alexis, Ashley, Ivy, and Talil come to mind. Not a bad one in the bunch. Junius was our historian and infused us with knowledge of the intra-costal canal and the history surrounding it and the hundreds of islands forming the Low Country. All in all, with the outstanding weather and excursions in Charleston, Beaufort, Jekyll Island, Hilton Head and Savannah made it a vacation to remember. Read Less
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
American Cruise Lines- Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise March 19-26, 2016 We arrived in Charleston two days prior to the cruise departure and stayed at the Hyatt Place historic district on King St. The hotel is only 5 months ... Read More
American Cruise Lines- Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise March 19-26, 2016 We arrived in Charleston two days prior to the cruise departure and stayed at the Hyatt Place historic district on King St. The hotel is only 5 months old and the accommodations were very nice and convenient to shopping and dining in the King St. area. I would caution anyone against ordering any foodstuffs from the “Pickup and Go Menu” in the rooms as these items are all pre-packaged and hardly edible to say the least. There are plenty of local eateries offering a wide selection of lunch and dinner options all along King St. that would be a far better choice and cost about the same. On the other hand, the downstairs daily hot breakfast at the Hyatt was quite good and plentiful. We left for the City Marina on Lockwood Dr around 10 am on Saturday and were the second to check in. ACL representatives met us at the end of the pier and took all luggage to the ship at that time. They also provided golf cart rides out to the ship for those with limited mobility. Cabins were not available until 11:30 or so and we were directed to the Chesapeake lounge where warm cookies, soft drinks, coffee, water and espresso were available. These were available all throughout the cruise at no charge. Surprisingly enough the ship also furnished free WiFi during our cruise. When we entered our cabin there were nice ACL lanyards, nametags, and room keycards along with a folder of information about our cruise and staff. We were in cabin 212, an AAL balcony cabin adjacent to the mid-ship lounge. We liked our location so much due to the proximity that we booked the same one for our next cruise. The décor was a bit dated looking but the cabin was very clean and the staff maintained that during our cruise. The AC was good as I kept the temp in the high 60’s most of the time. Each day offered delicious meals in the dining room on the first level and were among the best we have had in our cruise history. Breakfast service began at 7:30 am and choices included both hot and cold items. A table just inside the dinning room featured cold selections such as yogurt and fruit parfaits, smoked salmon and capers with bagels and cream cheese available on request, and various pastries. Hot, cooked-to-order options were provided on menus at each place setting. The reverse side of the breakfast menu featured the day’s selections for lunch and dinner as well as places to indicate whether you’d be dining off-ship for any meals. You would make a selection from offered appetizers and entrees so that the chef would have a better idea of how much of the various dishes to prepare. This was an excellent way to prevent a lot of waste with uneaten foods which ultimately helped the kitchen deliver better-cooked, more flavorful meals. Lunch commenced at 12:30pm. In addition the appetizer and entrée, dessert options were available. If you missed lunch onboard due to an excursion, the staff provided options for boxed lunches with ham or turkey sandwiches that you could take with you. We did this one day and were really surprised at how good the sandwiches were and how much they put into the boxes. The evening’s meals began with a cocktail party at 5:30 in the Chesapeake lounge and featured heavy hors d’eouvres which changed nightly. It’s worth noting that if you have a favorite brand of liquor, you can simply call the home office with your booking number pre-cruise and they’ll have it onboard for you. Dinner followed in the dinning room at 6:30. They started with appetizers and always had a soup option. The soups were outstanding and some of the best any of our four had ever had. Entrees followed and varied from seafood to beef, chicken, pork and lamb. One evening we enjoyed filet so tender you could cut it with your fork. Desserts were good as well and there were about 8 different kinds of ice cream which were always available. The servers were attentive and friendly which made for pleasant meals. We took at least one shore excursion in each port and were pleased with the cost of each. The ship was able to dock in all but 2 ports (Hilton Head and Sapelo Island) and for those we had only a short tender ride to shore and back. Toward the end of the cruise there was a presentation about future cruises with an offer to book while onboard for 15% off and free port charges and taxes ($500). If should be stated that there was no pressure and we were not asked but the one time. We were not hounded to book additional cruises. However, after consulting with our traveling companions, we did book a future cruise to the New England Islands. Being long-time Princess cruisers we were amazed at the free drinks, cocktails and coffees not to mention the free internet. The only downside we could come up with was the lack of laundry as we usually send out clothes a couple of times during a cruise. There were no telephones in the cabins; but since nothing was more than 100 feet from our cabin door none were needed. On the wall next to the desk was a large red emergency call button if anyone were to have need for assistance. All in all, we had a wonderful time and felt the value for the money was very good. The crew were all very friendly and accommodating. They really wanted us to have a great time. Obviously we’d do it again as we booked another cruise with ACL. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
When we first got on the ship, I thought, "This must be an old ship that they retrofitted". There were duct tape repairs in the dining room. The cabin looked like something out of the 1970s. Then the captain told us it had been ... Read More
When we first got on the ship, I thought, "This must be an old ship that they retrofitted". There were duct tape repairs in the dining room. The cabin looked like something out of the 1970s. Then the captain told us it had been built in 2010. Wha? When we arrived at Chelsea piers, we went where we were told to go. Nothing. We had to get out & ask. They told us to go to another pier. Nothing. Finally, we found someone with an ACL shirt, and he said, "No, you need to go to Pier XX". Did I mention it was, windy, cold, and my father-in-law is disabled? Did I mention that the porter almost dumped all of our luggage into the river on the very narrow gangway to the ship? Ugh. When we got to the ship, they had to transfer my FIL to a smaller wheelchair. I said "Are they making you move to another chair?" The captain turned and snapped at me, "Do you have a better idea?" I was totally shocked. Great way to start the cruise with the captain yelling at me. I didn't know that the gangway was too narrow for his wheelchair. Snapping at me was uncalled for. We got there at the time we were told to be there, and then staff told us we were way too early. The rooms weren't ready (I get it) so we sat in the lounge, which was filled with sofas. Does anyone know how difficult it is for elderly people to get up and down from a sofa? Some of the dining staff were great, helping my FIL when he fell out of his chair ... others, not so much. I saw unwashed hair, sloppy clothes, and one actually said, when we told him our food was cold, "Hey, I just deliver the food!" and did nothing to remedy the situation. The food was sub-cafeteria quality (and I use the word "quality" loosely). We kept seeing the same thing over and over in one shape or form. One of our excursions was riding on a bus for 2 hours, going around in circles. The stop at a "farm" to have apple cider was at a grocery store. The cruise director (after I realized there was one!) was shy and Missing in Action. The guest speaker was the only bright spot on the cruise, and I could tell she felt bad and was trying to make up for the cruise line's weaknesses. Information was not disseminated at all ... It was awful, awful, awful. One cruiser, who had been on the ship before, said "If this had been my first cruise I never would have come again." I can't say enough how I want those 7 days back again. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much ... Read More
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much better to be able to have a real conversation with staff who can speak English. As a former professor I enjoyed talking to the university students who comprised most of the crew - a novel idea by the cruise line. I also like paying one tip at the end of the cruise instead of having to pay every staff member. The crew were most pleasant and helpful and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The Historian on this cruise was outstanding and I am hoping he will be on the next cruise that I am taking. The shore excursions were very enjoyable and it is so much better to go with a small group than with 3,000 or more fellow passengers. Transportation to and from the excursions was well planned and for the most part included knowledgeable guides from the local area. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures are well planned and accommodate most needs. The tour director even said good bye to us when we left at 6:00 a.m. and a crew member accompanied us the our airport transportation and helped with our baggage. Many of the passengers are senior citizens and I appreciated the fact that our special needs were met by helpful crew members. I liked the slower pace of the cruise and the recognition of us as important members of society who still like to travel Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
This was our first cruise with ACL. We found the crew to be very enthusiastic and friendly. The cruise was to the ports in Maine (think pub craw of ports). It was nice to get into ports that the "Big Ships" can't reach. ... Read More
This was our first cruise with ACL. We found the crew to be very enthusiastic and friendly. The cruise was to the ports in Maine (think pub craw of ports). It was nice to get into ports that the "Big Ships" can't reach. The cabin was very clean a spacious. Meals were excellent. The cruise would not be suitable to children because there are not activities for them. The average age would probably be 60 -65. Would recommend this to anyone who like American Made. That is from the ship to the crew. The entertainment was a little dated and would have like a little more choice in shore excursions. Read Less
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