We are early seventies and tried our first “small ship” cruise aboard the Independence for three reasons: One, the itinerary from Amelia Island to Charleston was of significant interest. Two, with the world in questionable turmoil, we decided to avoid overseas flights and spend our money “at home.” Three, the likely demographics onboard suited our desires, fifty something to older than dirt… perfect!
Bottom line: Excellent experience such that we booked again for next year, though one must evaluate the cost/value compared to the larger ships, usually Holland America in our case. That said, let’s talk some (a bit long!) detail.
American Cruise Lines operates under an interesting business model. It’s all American, from the shipyard where the vessels are built to the staff… top to bottom. Most interesting is the use of young folks for stewards, deck hands and servers. They have just enough training, are in most cases only onboard for a 12-week “tour of duty” and in most cases will be using this experience as a steppingstone to bigger and better careers.
By chance we ended up in Cabin 213, a HC cabin, and spotless, with a full king-sized bed. It’s huge, with a usable balcony. The general cabin sizes are, as promoted by the cruise line, quite generous. The bathroom had plenty of counter space, storage and a wonderful shower with instant hot water. General storage and closet space in the cabin was more than we needed. A request for additional hangers was answered instantly… a novel concept. No complaints here whatsoever. With the comfortable lounge just outside, containing a Wi-Fi computer/router, connection to the Internet was decent most of the time.