This was our 8th cruise with American Cruise Lines - we choose this line for its small ships, American crew, and interesting destinations. To enjoy the American Experience, you have to understand what you are NOT buying - no casino, stage show, spa, salon, specialty dining, etc. What you ARE buying is local entertainment in small ports, friendly and responsive young staff, and mature passengers with lots of travel experience and rich life stories.
Cabins are more than adequate in size (although I always pack extra hangers). Dining is one seating for lunch and dinner. Dress code is casual.
Although we did not get as lucky with the wildlife as I was hoping (no bears for me) the scenery was beautiful, the weather acceptable, and the long journey south from Juneau to Seattle relaxing. The small ports we visited were unique and charming.
The free hotel night in Juneau and transfer to the ship were a great idea. The Hotel Baranof is not a very nice hotel but hotel options in Juneau are very limited. On Alaska itineraries for American, most shore excursions are complimentary. Excursions were simple but the "city tour" in Wrangell, AK was exceptionally charming.
Traffic in Seattle is terrible so neither the city tour nor the transfer to the airport were pleasant, but of course this is not American Cruise Lines' fault. Internet and television service were unavailable most of the time as the ship sailed a long distance from land.
The hotel manager - also serving as cruise director on this voyage - was amazing. We loved Val's personality and attention to customer service. His eager young staff (the kids serve as both room stewards and dining room waiters) was so friendly and loveable. Some of the food was a little odd and we were disappointed in the quality of the fish and seafood, but I can tell you we did not lose any weight or come home hungry.
We are booked on 2 more American Cruise Lines trips, in September 2016 and March 2017. It is a relaxing, informative, and pleasant way to travel the USA.
Cabins are as spacious as they need to be. Bathrooms are small but adequate. Bring extra wire hangers if you like a lots of things hung up.
Short bus ride from town, saw lots of eagles. Facilities at Mendenhall are beautiful. Loved the short trails.View All 971 Mendenhall Glacier Reviews
An experienced fisherman told us tons about the Alaskan fishing industry. Petersburg is a darling little town. Our evening entertainment was the amazing Leikarring Dancers - middle school children doing traditional Norwegian folk dances. They even brought special Norwegian baked goods. It was a great event.
The school bus driver and her companion were both wonderful speakers and had lots to share. We loved Petroglyph Beach. This is a great little town! The jet boat tour of the Stikine River and glacier was excellent - our boat was Denali and our boat captain and his daughter were great hosts.View All undefined undefined Reviews