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American Splendor (formerly America) Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
122 reviews

Neither value nor luxury but still a good time

Review for American Splendor (formerly America) to North America River
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Urbankmo
2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

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Sail Date: Nov 2021
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My husband, myself, and my sister-in-law (all in our 50s) took this cruise by using a travel credit of my in-laws that was about to expire (and the cruise line made it very clear there were no extensions or any way to get thousands of dollars back). We made it into a good time, but if I were a true paying customer, I would really be scratching my head as to the cost and what you receive--neither a value nor a luxury. So what follows is my opinion as a consumer, realizing that some folks are fine with paying a lot for this experience.

Pros: The food was better than expected, and better than I've had on many ocean cruises. There isn't much choice (three lunch entrees, three dinner entrees, plus a soup and salad add-ons) but there was always something I liked, including nice breakfast options. I also liked that unlike many ocean cruises, the food is regional to the place. I enjoyed red beans and rice, scallops and crawfish, crab stuffed lobster tail, bananas foster cheesecake, etc. The staff worked very hard and were very nice. The room was large and well-appointed. The tour guides and on-board speakers and entertainers were very good, though I would have appreciated perhaps one more evening entertainer on an additional night. There were some good coffee table books about the locations we were visiting in the main lounge. The happy hour had a very good selection of premium liquour (Maker's Mark, Mount Gay Rum, etc). All in all I felt like all the staff were trying to make the cruise the best possible experience that they could, but didn't necessarily have all the tools or time to make that happen. The cruise director and excursion director were both professional and upbeat. We also met some great fellow cruisers that we hope to stay in touch with. While other reviews say the passengers skew older, which is true, we found there to be a good mix of folks age 50 on up. It was nice to see some mulitgenerational families. Happy hour trivia each night was fun.

Cons: Number one is that it wasn't really a cruise, it was a sail away on Wed, a day docked in Baton Rouge, an earlier departure than expected from Baton Rouge, then sail back and be docked for three nights in N.O. One of the things I most like about cruises is seeing the open water and leaving/entering ports and well, seeing scenery along the way. We were docked for three nights in N.O. b/c of low water levels, and then bussed to excursions (which made for some long bus rides and one time where our driver was woefully lost). So I realize it's COVID, the world is out of whack and low water levels are now causing issues on the Mississippi, but was this ever communicated to us before the cruise? Or maybe when one first got on the cruise? Was there ever an apology that a 4 night cruise was now a 1 night cruise and 3 nights docked in N.O. with a view of the convention center? No, the staff was oddly silent on this major change of plans, other than a fleeting mention of low water levels.

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New Orleans

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