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Summary: Poorly trained staff, inadequate staffing, chaotic alcohol service, mediocre cuisine and 20th century room design made this our first and last American Cruise Line experience. We had cruised on Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, Avalon and AmaWaterways over the past 17 years. Mostly, these involved flights of over 10 hours. We searched for a domestic cruise to equal these experiences and discovered American Cruise Lines. We chose the fall New England cruise due to a nice length, a luxury description and destinations. We booked; we arrived; we cruised. The Constellation is a new ship; 2017 is its maiden year. The overall design is gorgeous. Lounges, public rooms and dining room are airy and bright. The rooms are large, with many storage locations and a tiny closet. There was a single vanity and no (!) refrigerator. The lighting was good. The TV was a standard definition monitor with SD satellite service; this is the 21st century…where is HD? The Wi-Fi barely connected, had low speed and was AWOL a good deal of the time. The safe never worked. We didn’t try room service. The service level, in general, was not up to luxury standards. While enthusiastic and energetic, stewards seem like they had little training and only National Park-level experience. The staffing level seemed to be inadequate for the required tasks. Calls to Maintenance went directly to a full voicemail message box. The cruise “directors” were called on to set-up, tend and tear down bars, manage tours, marshal complaint lines and explain deviations. The dining room stewards tried their best. Dining was disappointing. Early-riser breakfast looked like a 7-11 had exploded. Dining room breakfast was the best meal of the day with lots of fruit, pastry and cereal choices. The hot items were pretty good, too. Lunch was Applebee level, only with lobster (everyday). Dinner was uneven – the soups were uniformly good, the entrees commonplace with insipid saucing. We didn’t try the desserts. Alcohol service reflected a company in transition. (Perhaps an all-inclusive fare is in the future?) There are no bars on-board. Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner; a cocktail hour preceded dinner and accompanied the evening entertainment. These were from temporary set-ups in the two major lounges. Service was chaotic using a cattle call approach. Quality was poor with wines from Gallo predominating. They ran out of chardonnay, the most popular wine in the country. Scotch inventory dried-up. Gratis tours were okay but nothing special. However, the included lobster bake was delicious and fun. If ACL is going to charge $1000 per day per person, several levels of improvement are needed throughout the ship.

Not Ready for the Big Time

American Constellation Cruise Review by oldmangamer

12 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: September 2017
  • Destination: USA
Summary: Poorly trained staff, inadequate staffing, chaotic alcohol service, mediocre cuisine and 20th century room design made this our first and last American Cruise Line experience.

We had cruised on Crystal, Regent, Celebrity, Avalon and AmaWaterways over the past 17 years. Mostly, these involved flights of over 10 hours. We searched for a domestic cruise to equal these experiences and discovered American Cruise Lines. We chose the fall New England cruise due to a nice length, a luxury description and destinations. We booked; we arrived; we cruised.

The Constellation is a new ship; 2017 is its maiden year. The overall design is gorgeous. Lounges, public rooms and dining room are airy and bright. The rooms are large, with many storage locations and a tiny closet. There was a single vanity and no (!) refrigerator. The lighting was good. The TV was a standard definition monitor with SD satellite service; this is the 21st century…where is HD? The Wi-Fi barely connected, had low speed and was AWOL a good deal of the time. The safe never worked. We didn’t try room service.

The service level, in general, was not up to luxury standards. While enthusiastic and energetic, stewards seem like they had little training and only National Park-level experience. The staffing level seemed to be inadequate for the required tasks. Calls to Maintenance went directly to a full voicemail message box. The cruise “directors” were called on to set-up, tend and tear down bars, manage tours, marshal complaint lines and explain deviations. The dining room stewards tried their best.

Dining was disappointing. Early-riser breakfast looked like a 7-11 had exploded. Dining room breakfast was the best meal of the day with lots of fruit, pastry and cereal choices. The hot items were pretty good, too. Lunch was Applebee level, only with lobster (everyday). Dinner was uneven – the soups were uniformly good, the entrees commonplace with insipid saucing. We didn’t try the desserts.

Alcohol service reflected a company in transition. (Perhaps an all-inclusive fare is in the future?) There are no bars on-board. Wine and beer were served at lunch and dinner; a cocktail hour preceded dinner and accompanied the evening entertainment. These were from temporary set-ups in the two major lounges. Service was chaotic using a cattle call approach. Quality was poor with wines from Gallo predominating. They ran out of chardonnay, the most popular wine in the country. Scotch inventory dried-up. Gratis tours were okay but nothing special. However, the included lobster bake was delicious and fun.

If ACL is going to charge $1000 per day per person, several levels of improvement are needed throughout the ship.
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