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6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Love the small ship! We had 100 passengers, so got to know most folks on board. The ship perhaps needs to be updated, but it was clean and serviceable. There were many problems with our key cards not working, but any crew member was able ... Read More
Love the small ship! We had 100 passengers, so got to know most folks on board. The ship perhaps needs to be updated, but it was clean and serviceable. There were many problems with our key cards not working, but any crew member was able to open for us, and resetting the key was pretty quick. We were in 204, so just steps from the lounge. I didn't go to the nightly entertainment, but the cabin was quiet even while the entertainment was in progress. Balcony was great, loved the fresh air. The folks in the cabin next door started smoking on their balcony, and the crew quickly shut that down, which I really appreciated. The food was excellent! Really, everything was top quality, cooked perfectly, and enough variety that I always found something I liked.The tours were good. I wish they'd told us more about the tours, but the ones we went on were worthwhile. Would definitely go again. No big ships for me, I love the small river cruises! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2018
This was my second cruise on the Independence and I have booked two more cruises for 2019 and 2020. We were able to take a New York City tour before sailing giving me a chance to visit the 911 Memorial, which was very important to me. ... Read More
This was my second cruise on the Independence and I have booked two more cruises for 2019 and 2020. We were able to take a New York City tour before sailing giving me a chance to visit the 911 Memorial, which was very important to me. Touring West Point was such a wonderful experience and the FDR Home and Library were a highlight of the trip as well. I could have spent a whole day there. I enjoy the atmosphere of the small ship and getting to know so many people. The age range of the passengers is more to my liking, closer to my age. And the fact that American Cruise Lines has staterooms designed for singles makes traveling a little less expensive for a single person. The food was wonderful and the variety at each meal was a real treat. The open seating at all meals made it so easy to get to know people. The service staff and management were exceptional. Looking forward to traveling with American Cruise Lines again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Hudson River - Fall foliage peak times are hard to predict and we missed the color this year. I would recommend taking a late October cruise in order to see color on the Hudson. Excursions - The excursions were fee-based, but the fees ... Read More
Hudson River - Fall foliage peak times are hard to predict and we missed the color this year. I would recommend taking a late October cruise in order to see color on the Hudson. Excursions - The excursions were fee-based, but the fees were reasonable. I thoroughly enjoyed the Lyndhurst Mansion, FDR's Hyde Park home and Presidential Library, Thomas Cole home, Olana, West Point, and the Albany City Tour of the State Capitol and NY State Museum. All were superb tours with informative guides. My only complaint is that there was not enough time at most places, especially Hyde Park, West Point, and NY Capitol and Museum in Albany. Entertainment - Nice variety (singers - several different groups, comedian, magician, violinist). Good entertainment. Lectures about the Hudson, the places we were going to visit the next day, the art and culture of the Hudson were very informative and added to the overall experience. Dining - I have never seen so much food at all hours of the day. No one could possible partake in all the food offerings. However, I found the food very salty and had a hard time finding low-sodium selections. The breakfast offerings were amazing. Don't know how they can't prepare so many choices on such a small ship. Cabin - Decor is a little dated. Room is large. There is a lot of drawer space. Bathroom is adequate for one person at a time. Room is not always re-stocked with items unless requested. Service - Varies. We had some excellent dining servers, and some who were new and just learning. Service is slow in the dining room. Embarkation and Disembarkation: Very efficient. New York City: If traveling some distance, one should spend a few days in NY City before or after the cruise. The city has so much to do. Even if you've been to NY before, there is always something new (such as observatory at 9/11 site) and new Broadway plays. Read Less
Sail Date: October 2018
Although the leaves had not turned yet, the cruise was very enjoyable. The crew was great, the food was quite good, the entertainment was very good (some were better than others) and the excursions were excellent. A tour of Albany, a ... Read More
Although the leaves had not turned yet, the cruise was very enjoyable. The crew was great, the food was quite good, the entertainment was very good (some were better than others) and the excursions were excellent. A tour of Albany, a chairlift ride up Hunter Mountain, a tour of West Point, a walk across the Hudson River on what used to be a railroad bridge, a tour of Hyde Park (Franklin Roosevelt's historic home), a tour of Lyndhurst Gothic Mansion (all decked out for Halloween!) and a bus tour of NYC, including a stop at the 9/11 Memorial, were the excursions I enjoyed. They are reasonably priced too. I travelled by myself and meeting people on American Cruise Ships is really easy because they are smaller and more intimate. Since it's a smaller ship, you tend to see familiar faces in the dining room, during the cocktail hours every evening (which are included) and on excursions. I really like the "everything's included" feature so I don't have to figure out who to tip how much and I don't have to worry about how much I'm spending on drinks, alcoholic or otherwise. The crew is all American so there isn't a language barrier. My single cabin was quite adequate sizewise and so was the storage space. The bathroom was larger than some on other cruise ships. All in all, it was a great cruise! I have another, my third American Cruise, lined up next May to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
My wife and I sailed on the "American Constitution” on its October 6, 2018 Hudson River Cruise in Owner’s Suite 505. For background information, we have taken many ocean cruises, primarily on Regent and Silversea ships as ... Read More
My wife and I sailed on the "American Constitution” on its October 6, 2018 Hudson River Cruise in Owner’s Suite 505. For background information, we have taken many ocean cruises, primarily on Regent and Silversea ships as well as a number of European river cruises, primarily on Tauck ships. For 2018, we wanted to try an upscale North American cruise and our travel agent spoke well of American Cruise Lines. Late last year, with high expectations, we booked our Hudson River cruise in one of the best cabins on the new (April 2018) “American Constitution”. First, our positive comments: Itinerary and Navigation - well thought out as to stops and to timing of night vs. day ship movement relative to the scenery. Smooth comfortable sailing, docking, and departures with a noteworthy turnaround in a relatively tight spot in our sailaway from Kingston, NY. Crew - competent, polite, cheerful people in all areas of the ship. They are hard working and, at times, appear to be overworked due to short staffing. Fourteen-hour days, seven days a week, appear to be the norm. Turnover appears to be high. Dining - well-prepared and presented, along the lines of traditional American classics. The menus had good variety. Overall, I would characterize the dining as three-star (Mobil/Forbes, not Michelin). In my experience, four-star is possible on river ships. Shore Excursions - interesting, well-organized, well-guided, and held to schedule. Now, to our issues: Cabin Overall - good layout but with inexpensive furniture already starting to show wear (I fixed the sagging door of the refrigerator compartment with my pocket knife’s screwdriver). Comes across as mid-range motel quality. Layout would be better with a more ship-like row of built-in cabinets on the wall opposite the bed incorporating drawers, a desk surface, the minibar, and the closet. This would allow the elimination of the desk/dresser on the back wall of the bathroom in turn allowing the bathroom to be wider. Other potential improvements would include sheer curtains in addition to the blackout drapes to allow daylight into the cabin while preserving privacy. A full-length mirror should be included. Raising the minibar off the floor would allow easier access for older clientele. Thin walls make TV’s and conversation from next cabin quite audible. One evening at 11:30 P.M. I could clearly hear the baseball playoff game next door. I had to call to ask that it be turned down. Cabin Bathroom - the biggest single dissatisfier on the ship. Please see photo above. It’s just too small, particularly in the shower area. The shower is a narrow fiberglass module with a fixed-position, fixed-flow head. With the shower door closed, it was impossible for my petite wife to get away from the flow thus subjecting her to a hair-washing whether she wanted one or not. By contrast, to show what's possible and what we expected, pls. see above picture of the shower from our 2015 Rhine River cruise cabin on Tauck’s “M.S. Inspire”. Please note the tile finishes and the fact that the shower is about double the width of the one on the “American Constitution”. There is both a rainfall shower head (dark square on ceiling) and a handheld shower head with an adjustable-height mounting. The shower door is hinged at the wall and swings both ways. Shower flow and temperature can be adjusted from the doorway prior to getting in. There’s a fold-down seat for handicapped passengers on the right side. Partly visible in the reflection on the shower glass is the sink and countertop. Hygiene - the public bathrooms near the central stairwell on the ship are simply not cleaned frequently enough. My wife noticed dirty spots on the floor that had been there 24 hours earlier. This gives us rise to concern about the cleanliness of areas of the ship that passengers don’t see. We saw railings on the central stairway being cleaned only once. The only fixed hand sanitizer dispenser we noticed was at the entrance to the dining room, not at the bottom or top of the gangway or in the lounges. We were concerned about the silverware in the dining room being placed directly on plastic table mats that we weren’t sure were changed after every service. I think the ship is at some risk of a Norovirus outbreak without sanitation being improved. Supply Outages - on Wednesday, October 10, the ship ran out of milk, first 2%, then whole and skim. Big problem for tea drinkers. The coffee and tea supplies in the lounges on decks 3 & 4 often ran out of insulating sleeves and sometimes cups and some varieties of tea bags. In summary, we were quite disappointed with our experience. At more than $1000/person/day (roughly the same as Tauck’s best European river cruise cabins), our cruise was not a good value. What we expected on the ship was Four Seasons and what was delivered was closer to Holiday Inn. We left the ship in Yonkers two days before the end of the cruise. I spoke with both the Cruise Director and the Hotel Director prior to our departure from the “American Constitution”. While the Cruise Director was both interested and concerned about our reasons for leaving, her boss, the Hotel Director, did not seem to be, instead projecting an attitude best-described by the phrase “don’t let the door hit you on the way out”. With both of them, I quietly conveyed our concerns making it clear I was not angry, just disappointed. In addition, I e-mailed ACL's East Coast Hotel Director, Christopher Nailon, and ACL's owner, Charles Robinson, with my comments as noted above. After two weeks and one week, respectively, I've had no response. We think American Cruise Lines has a long way to go to truly fulfill its slogan of “Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly”. In the meantime, save your money and avoid major disappointment. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
My sister-in-law booked this cruise and invited my husband and I to join them. We have traveled numerous times together and have many of the same expectations and standards. Upon reading the itinerary we were excited for the ... Read More
My sister-in-law booked this cruise and invited my husband and I to join them. We have traveled numerous times together and have many of the same expectations and standards. Upon reading the itinerary we were excited for the adventure. Upon embarking, the ship smelled old! The flower arrangements were artificial and very dusty/old and tired looking. The main gathering room, The Chesapeake room, has dirty couches and broken blinds. The stateroom was one of “the larger” rooms with a king bed (actually two twins pushed together, VERY uncomfortable) was crowded. The TV was a 19” and hard to view from the bed. The brochure stated dvd’s were available, it failed to mention they were from the 1990’s and very few. Our cabin’s furniture was also very dated and soiled. Three small pillows were there, strange for a king sized bed. The bathroom was very small and cramped. On our preference sheet, we requested extra toiletries and a small fan, neither were provided. Actually, the ship RAN OUT of shampoo and they often did not replace the bar soap. On the third day of a seven day cruise, they couldn’t keep up with the towels. There were times we did NOT have ANY towels. I mentioned my concerns to hotel manager and he told me as he was walking away (over his shoulder) there isn’t any shampoo on the whole ship! He scolded me when I asked him for a replacement key and to keep it away from my cell phone. I mentioned it never worked and that it wasn’t near my phone, he just repeated my scolding louder. Tours were very disorganized and not ADA compliant. My husband had to lag behind to help other passengers as no cruise member did. The entertainment consisted of a banjo player (who was really pretty good) and several lectures! How is lecturing a bonus evening entertainment? The food was phenomenal! Jvon was our server and was fantastic, he kept us sane! There was NO room service so we never had breakfast on board. There was a coffee donut setup from 6-7 Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2017
First American Cruise Lines cruise and wanted to experience a cruise close to home and looked forward to the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and its history. Shore excursions were great but I would like to have participated in more of ... Read More
First American Cruise Lines cruise and wanted to experience a cruise close to home and looked forward to the beauty of the Hudson River Valley and its history. Shore excursions were great but I would like to have participated in more of them. Fall color was unfortunately behind schedule but we did see some by the end of the trip. The new ship was excellent with a great staff. Public rooms were awesome. I would have liked more history lectures on the Hudson River Valley. The tour of New York State Capitol, Sunnyside, West Point, the FDR estate were excellent.I have already booked my next cruise with American Cruise Lines to Southeast Alaska. American has an excellent selection of cruises all over the USA. I would like to do the Columbia and Snake River cruise as well as the Mississippi River cruise. Overall I was very impressed with my first American Cruise Lines cruise. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. ... Read More
We were looking for a small ship experience and we found it. We travelled with friends who we have cruised with previously on one of the large cruise lines. We had made our own travel arrangements to and from New York City in advance. Embarkation and disembarkation were well organized and went smoothly. The cruise was well run, the ship is well maintained and extremely clean. Our cabin was more than adequate with space for all our gear. The food service was pure gourmet. Menu choices were provided each morning at breakfast for the day but you were not held to your choices if there was a change of mind. Entertainment and on board activities were adequate with Happy Hour being a delight. There was an on board lecturer who made a few historic blunders but to my knowledge no one called her on them. She came off as an absent minded professor type. We selected a few of the provided excursions but elected to go out on our own at a few ports. All in all it was a great trip. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2017
We chose this cruise for the itinerary--that is the Hudson, NYC, Hyde Park, fall foliage Very well organized; ship staff wonderful; small passenger size was important; ample time to connect with friends. We did do the NYC pre-cruise ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary--that is the Hudson, NYC, Hyde Park, fall foliage Very well organized; ship staff wonderful; small passenger size was important; ample time to connect with friends. We did do the NYC pre-cruise tour; it covered the hi points including One World Trade Center w/well informed guide. Cabin was small, but that size was expected; chose the veranda room and that made all the difference; partitions on veranda were removed so visiting and sailing w/friends was enhanced. The dining service was always great; wines available, nice selection of entrees and appetizers and desserts; loved that 1/2 portions were available. During the evening entertainment, great snacks served. Staff always accommodating and service w/a smile. Embarking was smooth and efficient; disembarking went well until bus to airport. Bus driver refused to drive to all terminals; left passengers hauling bags and finding other ways to get to correct terminal. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: October 2016
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and ... Read More
My husband and I love American Cruise Lines, top to bottom. The entire staff is top-notched, providing excellent service while always being pleasant and attentive. This includes not only the captain, first mate, hotel manager, and full-time employees, but also the deck hands and the waitstaff/stewards. Everyone aims to please. Next, the ship is immaculate inside and out. The cabin is comfortable and fully furnished. The common areas provide amble seating and stylish decor. All areas are well-lit and welcoming. Dining on ACL is like dining in a five star restaurant. The menu is varied, with options to suit everyone. The offerings are contemporary and tastefully presented. Every meal is delicious and satisfying. We were never disappointed. The activities and shore excursions included an adequate variety, including walking tours, bus tours, and plenty of local flavor. Both Austin, the Cruise Director, and Sandy Balla, the onboard historian, interjected humor and patience in all their activities. Their insight and knowledge greatly improved the tours and onboard activities. Most of the evening guest performers were great, although some were clearly a cut above others. Finally, this was our fifth ACL vacation, and we've already booked another for next year. I'm sure a could write more, but this will do. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2015
We talked about a cruise for several years but had no inclination to sail on any huge cruise ship. When National Trust for Historic Preservation advertised their Hudson River Fall Cruise (on American Glory) and noted it began in New York ... Read More
We talked about a cruise for several years but had no inclination to sail on any huge cruise ship. When National Trust for Historic Preservation advertised their Hudson River Fall Cruise (on American Glory) and noted it began in New York City (we are both of New York origin) we combined the cruise with some days in the city. It was an excellent decision. I don't know the expectations of those reviewers who complained about the state of the ship but as one who has sailed (wind) the west coast of Scotland in a small (34 ft) boat, the accommodations and state of the ship were excellent--very comfortable but still with a feeling of being at sea (even though were on a river) if the door to the balcony was left open. Even my wife, a non-sailor and prone to seasickness, was happy with the accommodations. We also liked the informal dress code--jeans for me. Most of the staff were young and, occasionally, their experience showed (I noticed on mooring once one deckhand didn't know his knots) but their open, friendly attitude made the service very satisfactory in our opinion. The food was abundant and good. Likewise entertainment was good. The shuttles provided on disembarkation were appreciated. Shore excursions, mainly historic homes, were worth the sometimes long bus rides. The other passengers were easily approachable and conversations over dinner or at sights visited were interesting. Lectures by the National Trust tour leader were ok albeit too long and rather unspecific relative to the sites visited. Most importantly, the fall colors on the Hudson were spectacular and our appreciation for the beauty of the river having seen it from the water has been increased. Surprisingly to us most of the passengers were older than we are (78 & 76) and one guy traveling alone was 90! So it gives us hope to take a few more. Read Less

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