We love the "small ship" experience of American Cruise Lines and selected this 11 day Grand New England cruise for the wonderful scenery, food, and ports. Two special highlights - the lobster roast picnic in Rockland, ME at the Sail Power and Steam Museum, and the sail on the Schooner Lannon in Gloucester, MA. The new ship the Constitution was lovely but seemed very crowded. Staff had to conduct Cocktail Hour in both lounges and it was still difficult to get a drink and find a place to sit. Dining room was crowded and noisy. Not everyone could be accomodated on all of the shore excursions they wanted to take. This is the largest ship American has built so far - we had to take the tender in 4 of the ports which really cut into touring and sightseeing time. Was this because the ship was too big to dock at the smaller ports? The food was excellent for the most part with a few misses, and the service was pretty good in the dining room most of the time. Wine is included at lunch and dinner, but American serves very low end inexpensive wines. They are now offering room service breakfast and an additional cocktail time after dinner - I guess to make it feel like a more luxury line - but I feel you still choose American for the small intimate ships and opportunity to see the smaller ports, and this trip did not deliver as successfully as other trips. Some of the staff - Guest Services Coordinator, Assistant Hotel Manager to mention two of them - were especially gracious, and we did book another trip on American. It will be our 14th to clearly there is much to love about this cruise line. We long for the older ships - the 50 passenger Eagle and Glory - but I guess American just can't make a profit with a ship that size.
Cabin was spacious and balcony was lovely. Cabin service twice a day was great. One day I asked for my 94year old father's room to be the next to be cleaned so he could rest, and staff came running right over.
We stayed at the Marriott Residence Inn Boston Harbor Tudor Wharf which was very near the dock in Charlestown. Hotel staff was super helpful and even arranged a van to take us to the ship in the morning. We ate at the Legal Oysteria which was walking distance from the hotel - food was just average.
There were two huge mega ships in this port today as well as ours. Town was very crowded and difficult to walk about. We had to take a tender to shore which was slightly inconvenient compared to being docked which American Cruise Lines was able to do the last time we visited Portland. However downtown is fun to walk about in and we especially got a kick out of the lineup for the $2 Maine Potato doughnuts!
Once again the mega ships were in town, and once again we had to take our own tender to shore instead of docking. We had been to Acadia National Park several times so elected just to walk through town. Crowded with tons of other cruise passengers, but still always enjoyable shopping and walking.
Extra special lobster roast at the Sail, Power & Steam Museum grounds. Best lobster ever. Didn't get a chance to tour around in Rockland due to the tender schedule, bus to the picnic, etc.
Even though we had to moor and take the tender over to shore, this is a great little port for shopping and walking. Don't miss the Wicked Whoopies bakery - the "original" flavor is the best but they have an amazing selection of whoopies
Great trolley tour with excellent guide. We were docked right downtown so access back to shopping, etc. after the tour was easy. Finally found my fried clam strips at Johns Footlong and carried them back to the ship for an appetizer at lunch!