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We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was always windy and it rained 2 days and even snowed one morning. River cruising means very little motion, therefore no one was ever sea sick. There were only 80 passengers on board, so the ratio of service persons to passengers was excellent. All drinks were included in the fare and happy hour was held each night with wine/beer provided at lunch and dinner. If you're looking for a fast paced, party atmosphere, this is NOT the cruise for you. It is slow paced and relaxing, perfect for retreating from a hectic paced life. I would say the average age of the passengers was upper 60s. The ship has multiple areas for social gatherings and playing games (pack your playing cards). If you're sending post cards, they are mailed every day and you do NOT need stamps. The ship had reading material for our destinations and some lectures; but it would have been helpful if we had studied up a bit prior to the cruise. All of the cabins are incredibly spacious, larger than our master suite at home. Cabins do NOT have safes, so plan accordingly, though we felt secure the entire time on board. All cabins have TV/cable service and DVD players. The ship's library had a limited selection of DVDs; we watched old John Wayne movies in our room each night after the social hour of pleasant, entertainment (geared for the age group on board). For our next cruise, we'll pack a few of our favorite DVDs. We would take this cruise again, but perhaps go a week earlier, though being able to predict peak leaf time is difficult since weather is unpredictable. However, the farther we traveled up river, the more variety and vivid the leaves became. The best part of the cruise was the friendliness of the crew and service personnel. Since the amount of passengers is relatively small, we were able to get to know many of the passengers who were happy to be traveling. The relaxing atmosphere on board, made for great fellowship. I did not see one passenger complain or whine. We also made some life long friends aboard and are planning future trips with them. As with any experience, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. The food was superior and the chef accommodated special needs or requests whenever able. Gratuities are included in the fare, so that made it convenient. Travel to and from the Manhattan port was expensive and traffic is always congested; try to share taxis whenever possible and avoid LaGuardia which is undergoing some pretty extensive construction for all gates and parking. The internet connections were often sketchy, but if you're cruising, you need to unplug anyway. There are computers with printers on board for accessing your plane tickets and pre printing boarding passes. Be sure to include an overnight bag for your last night on board, it will make luggage transfer go very smoothly. Have a great time, sit back, and enjoy the ride. You'll return with a lowered blood pressure and a few extra joyfully gained pounds, and hopefully some wonderful new friends! Autumn will become your favorite season!

Hudson River Valley Fall Foliage

American Star Cruise Review by mhanson

7 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: October 2016
  • Destination: USA
  • Cabin Type: Cabin AAL
We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was always windy and it rained 2 days and even snowed one morning. River cruising means very little motion, therefore no one was ever sea sick. There were only 80 passengers on board, so the ratio of service persons to passengers was excellent. All drinks were included in the fare and happy hour was held each night with wine/beer provided at lunch and dinner. If you're looking for a fast paced, party atmosphere, this is NOT the cruise for you. It is slow paced and relaxing, perfect for retreating from a hectic paced life. I would say the average age of the passengers was upper 60s. The ship has multiple areas for social gatherings and playing games (pack your playing cards). If you're sending post cards, they are mailed every day and you do NOT need stamps. The ship had reading material for our destinations and some lectures; but it would have been helpful if we had studied up a bit prior to the cruise. All of the cabins are incredibly spacious, larger than our master suite at home. Cabins do NOT have safes, so plan accordingly, though we felt secure the entire time on board. All cabins have TV/cable service and DVD players. The ship's library had a limited selection of DVDs; we watched old John Wayne movies in our room each night after the social hour of pleasant, entertainment (geared for the age group on board). For our next cruise, we'll pack a few of our favorite DVDs. We would take this cruise again, but perhaps go a week earlier, though being able to predict peak leaf time is difficult since weather is unpredictable. However, the farther we traveled up river, the more variety and vivid the leaves became. The best part of the cruise was the friendliness of the crew and service personnel. Since the amount of passengers is relatively small, we were able to get to know many of the passengers who were happy to be traveling. The relaxing atmosphere on board, made for great fellowship. I did not see one passenger complain or whine. We also made some life long friends aboard and are planning future trips with them. As with any experience, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. The food was superior and the chef accommodated special needs or requests whenever able. Gratuities are included in the fare, so that made it convenient. Travel to and from the Manhattan port was expensive and traffic is always congested; try to share taxis whenever possible and avoid LaGuardia which is undergoing some pretty extensive construction for all gates and parking. The internet connections were often sketchy, but if you're cruising, you need to unplug anyway. There are computers with printers on board for accessing your plane tickets and pre printing boarding passes. Be sure to include an overnight bag for your last night on board, it will make luggage transfer go very smoothly. Have a great time, sit back, and enjoy the ride. You'll return with a lowered blood pressure and a few extra joyfully gained pounds, and hopefully some wonderful new friends! Autumn will become your favorite season!
mhanson’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin AAL
Cabin AAL 213
Incredibly spacious. TV with DVD player. No safe. Poor internet connections. Balcony is narrow. Clean. Plenty of drawer and closet space. Comfortable bed with a night stand on either side. Room serviced twice daily.
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