We've always wanted to enjoy an upper Mississippi River cruise aboard a stern wheeler and particularly looked forward to the Mark Twain themed experience. Having enjoyed ocean and destination sailing under our own command, a small boat is a must for us and "America" fit our needs perfectly. With about 160 passengers, she was small enough to provide a sense of being in a boat rather than a floating hotel and she was also large enough to provide wonderful service, cabins, lounges, decks, and cuisine. Ours was a deluxe veranda on the fourth deck, starboard side. This deck provides not only a wonderful observation area with assorted seating forward but also the beautiful "Skylight Lounge" and observation deck aft. The latter was our go to place for cocktails and hor doerves before dinner. There are no add-on expenses aboard "America". An open bar with top shelf spirits and reasonable wines before dinner was a prelude to the wines and beer available at all meals. The food exceeded my expectations: daily "Eggs Benedict" options included salmon, crab, and crayfish. At both lunch and dinner, the chef offered three choices for main courses all of which we found beautifully presented, more than ample in quantity, and of high level restaurant quality. The service was plentiful and enthusiastic, the entertainment both educational and enjoyable, the excursions well planned and worthwhile. Richard Garvey was our on-board "Mark Twain"; his presentations were fabulous offering not just Mark Twain as entertainer, but also Mark Twain as an astute observer, humorist, cynic, and citizen of the world. This was an adult only cruise; we met many wonderfully interesting and interested fellow travelers and would definitely consider another ACL cruise in the future.
This is quite a large cabin with floor to ceiling glass doors to the veranda. The furnishings are very nice but not elegant as is fitting the cruise. The bathrooms are a bit small but very efficient. There is on-board wifi which as one would expect becomes spotty as the boat is in remote areas. An in room speaker control allows one to listen to some of the lectures/presentations/entertainment if one would wish to remain in cabin. The bed was very comfortable as were the lounge chairs. I would prefer somewhat more comfortable chairs and table on the veranda but those provided were certainly nice and efficient. Importantly, the cabins were very quiet; we could not hear fellow passengers in the hall.