This was our third cruise with ACL. The night before the cruise, we stayed in a hotel recommended by ACL that provided a shuttle to dock. Embarkation was simple and fast--drop off your bag and walk on board! The ship could accommodate 100 people but our sailing had about 60. We previously enjoyed the San Juan Islands and New England Islands cruises. This cruise was billed as a "lobsterfest" cruise and fully lived up to its name. The chef produced at least one dish per day with lobster in it. There was also a lot of other wonderful seafood (shrimp, scallops, fish) from which to choose. Open seating at tables of 6 and 8 in the dining room helped us get to know everyone on board. As a special included treat, In Rockland we enjoyed authentic lobster bake hosted off ship in a tent by the harbor, complete with a blues band. Wow! Five-star meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. A real treat.
Hot appetizers served by the staff accompanied the nightly one- hour cocktail hour, that includes an open bar with free drinks of your choice. This gives guests a chance to mingle and really get well acquainted. The all-American college age staff on our cruise provided excellent service, in the dining room and in keeping our room clean. Requests were promptly responded to. If you like intimate, small ship cruising with fellow passengers of 60-80+ ACL does it as good as anyone can. We are in our late 60s and felt right at home. ACL does not cater to young children, but one teenage girl on board with her parents seemed to have a good time.
The Itinerary: We loved all the small Maine towns we visited: Bar Harbor (Acadia National Park tour was wonderful), Camden, Castine, Belfast, Bath (on the quiet Kennebec River; our favorite part of the cruise), Boothbay Harbor, Rockland, and Portland (We took a Duck Tour.). In each town we took our own walking tour to photograph historical buildings, lighthouses, the harbor, wildlife, and plants. We also took an informative bus tour in Camden, which also visited Rockport Harbor. We just wish the weather had been a little warmer! I suggest taking this cruise later in June than we did.
ACL cabins are bigger than most small ship cabins. We found our cabin to be quite comfortable, with two twin beds, a desk and couch. We like being close to the main lounge so we can easily enjoy fresh coffee in the morning. Our cabin was three doors away. The balcony was a joy on the days Maine decided to grace us with warm enough weather to sit out on the deck!