This was our 9th cruise with American Cruise Lines so we are obviously satisfied with their overall performance. There have been some cruises where they failed to live up to their motto: "Small ship cruising done perfectly". That is a very high standard that they have set for themselves and they have, on occasion, failed to meet it. Their Customer Service team has been slow to address our comments on these occasions.
This cruise on the American Star, which we have been on several time before, was up to our expectations. The ship interior looked to be in good shape but the exterior was in need of some work. Immediately after our cruise, the ship went to dry dock for some needed work.
The management on board was excellent. Our Hotel Manager, Michelle, and our Cruise Director, Annisse, could not have been more professional and customer oriented. They were everything that professional cruise management should be. They entertained us throughout the trip and immediately took care of a major problem that we had with booking our next trip, which will be out tenth cruise with ACL. They were always friendly and concerned about their customers and were anxious to be helpful in any way they could. Can't praise them highly enough.
The wait staff and the household staff were helpful and cheerful and seemed to be genuinely interested in our well being. They took good care of us in a professional and cheerful manner, which we have come to expect from the wait and housecleaning staffs. They went out of their way to accommodate any requests that we might have had. For example, one evening, I wanted s specific brand of wine which I had had the previous evening. Our waitress, Jocelyn, said they no longer had that brand in stock so she brought me a glass of their top of the line wine instead.
My only disappointment for this trip was that the brochure said that we would visit Lake George and spend a day there observing the on-shore wildlife. We expected it to be a carefree and relaxing day and we were looking forward to observing any wildlife in the state park on the shore of Lake George, but we did not go to Lake George. We were told, by two different people, that the St Johns River had silted up and that there was nothing to do there. This destination continues to be printed in their brochures and we were not notified beforehand of the change. One of the reasons we take river cruises is to enjoy the passing scenery and relax. We do not have to be kept busy every single second. Some of our best cruises on this line have been when we were able to sit topside on the top deck while cruising the river and enjoy the passing scenery on shore.
We have already booked our next trip with ACL which will be our tenth. We have signed up for a Chesapeake Bay cruise on one of their newer cruise boats. This will be our first trip on one of the newer boats and we are looking forward to it.
We have been on the American Star several times so we knew what to expect of the cabin. It was satisfacory. This was our first time on the third deck since we usually prefer the second deck. The extra flight of stairs was good exercise for us.