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21 New York (Manhattan) to U.S.A. Cruise Reviews

This cruise was completely not organized. Room problems, food problems, tour problems, plus bus problems. It appeared on one bus trip that the driver must not of been licensed to drive. I thought we were going to go over a cliff several ... Read More
This cruise was completely not organized. Room problems, food problems, tour problems, plus bus problems. It appeared on one bus trip that the driver must not of been licensed to drive. I thought we were going to go over a cliff several times. Several crewmembers walked off the ship in the middle of the cruise. From what I heard the cruise director was fired and left the ship. All tours set up pre-cruise had to be booked a 2nd times on the ship. I have a second cruise booked with the mayor and will cancel on my return home. There is also a problem with American’s website. American seems to be very late and updating the website and many things I missing regarding your particular cruise. Tour times changed from what was originally stated and tour times change. One evening while we were cruising the deck divider that dividing our cabin from the neighbor cabin blew open. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this NEWEngland/Canada cruise because of the Oceania reputation and the quieter atmosphere of a smaller ship. Oceanis surely scored very high in terms of their wonderful staff, excellent dining room, and delicious food. While ... Read More
We chose this NEWEngland/Canada cruise because of the Oceania reputation and the quieter atmosphere of a smaller ship. Oceanis surely scored very high in terms of their wonderful staff, excellent dining room, and delicious food. While some aspects of the Fall Wonder tour were great, none of the great things included the ship itself and certainly not the poor decision made by the Captain to cruise into a Nor’easter. Best aspects include a wonderful team of servers, cabin stewards, and crew; these young people deserve an A +. Also excellent was the dining in the Grand Dining Room and the cuisine. However, while no one can blame the Captain for the terrible weather -including a nasty storm - the decision to leave a safely docked port in St John and cruise through a terrible storm in order to reach a destination which would not even allow us to dock was a reckless error. The night of the storm was no less than terrifying. The next day, as both glassware and unsteady humans fell to the floor there was not a word from the Captain to reassure anyone...only the messages announcing that we had no port to enter. Out of eight possible ports we missed four. Instead of one sea day we had four. No Happy hour offer could appease the disappointment of those who could admit to themselves that this trip was a loser.A valuable lesson for me was that for any future cruise I must do more research. Tonnage really matters in the middle of a Nor’easter. Insignia did not handle the Atlantic in a manner that helped six hundred passengers to feel safe.The loss of enjoyment with the port cancellations was disappointing, but the genuine fear for the personal safety of the people on that ship was a black memory I will never forget. Should I cruise again I will research the ship long before I book...and I will not return to Insignia. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Firstly I'd like to note I have cruised over 25 times and have never written a review or written to a cruise company with a complaint. However this cruise did not deliver on many aspects of what was offered. This cruise was ... Read More
Firstly I'd like to note I have cruised over 25 times and have never written a review or written to a cruise company with a complaint. However this cruise did not deliver on many aspects of what was offered. This cruise was advertised as 'Falls Splendour'. Sadly it had no splendour and we didn't see any of the fantastic autumn colours which we expected in Canada in October. When the cruise was booked it featured 8 ports of call, but after booking one port of call was cancelled,and another 3 ports of call were cancelled whist on the cruise. The first two days of the cruise went to plan. Then the following 8 days were far from what Oceania had stated it would deliver. We endured circling around in very rough seas on the planned port day of Halifax. Apparently this was because the ship needed to bunker for fuel but could not enter harbour. Many passengers were very ill and glasses in the restaurant and coffee cups in the cafe were flying off surfaces and shattering. It was 10 o'clock on a Sunday night when we finally were able to get off the ship in Halifax. There were no Oceania staff around to give any information so after 10 minutes on dry land, and nowhere to go at that time of night we got back on board. The gangway had many kitchen staff carrying supplies onto the ship who just continued whist we were trying to use the gangway. An health and safety issue. We asked at reception if the decks were open after being closed all day because of rough seas. The only person at reception said he didn't know and there was no-one to ask! The notices informing that the decks were closed were still in place even though the ship was in port. This seemed like a further examples of poor communication and a lack of priority given to customer service. We experienced water seeping into our cabin on two occasions during the cruise and cabin staff just placed rows of towels to soak up the water. No maintenance staff came to seal up the problem, even though I asked the cabin steward The outside pool was drained overnight before our planned port of call in Halifax and on the next day instead of being refilled a maintenance team was busy repainting the pool. When I enquired as to why this work was been carried out on a lovely calm day when I wanted to swim, and when the ship was going in for a total refit two weeks later, I was given a feeble reason that was a good day to do this work. No regard for passengers like me who wanted to swim. The room service was hit and miss. On the third day the breakfast arrived with no knife and fork to eat my eggs. The same day our lunch order was 'lost' which meant a wait of 40 minutes for our main courses. That night we decided to try the new restaurant room service that Oceania were introducing on this cruise. After calls to room service, reception and the concierge desk no one on the ship knew anything about this new service! I spoke to the hotel manager and he also was surprised to hear about this and took a copy of the paperwork I had showing the new benefits for concierge passengers on this cruise. The Captain was not to be seen at any point throughout the cruise and refused to meet with passengers to explain why we had so many ports of call cancelled. I emailed Oceania on my return and received an email in reply that did not answer any of my questions. It appeared to be an email that had been sent to another passenger then sent on to me. I replied and received an automatic reply stating I would receive a reply within 28 days. No reply was received and when chased up Oceania claimed that the second email had not been received, which of course was not true as I had the automatic confirmation. After 50 days I received an email that still did not address any of my questions and offering £300 each off a further cruise, even though I had made it very clear that I would never book another Oceania cruise. A phone call to the sender of the emails explaining that I did not want money off a future cruise but I wanted the payment in a cash refund/compensation resulted in an email stating that this was not possible. The atmosphere on this cruise was one of very unhappy passengers who felt the Oceania were totally dismissive of their comments and complaints. The same is true of customer services in Southampton. Oceania claims to be a luxury brand ...in my opinion, comparing this cruise experience with others, this cruise and customer care was far from this!. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Friends had recommended this cruise line. AmericaCruise could not be blamed for the weather which was unsaleable. However, as we were could not go to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, we were 2 days in New Bedfore and 2 ... Read More
Friends had recommended this cruise line. AmericaCruise could not be blamed for the weather which was unsaleable. However, as we were could not go to Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, Block Island, we were 2 days in New Bedfore and 2 days in NewPort. The brochure stated most excursions were complimentary, but this is UNTRUE. The only complimentary excursion were walking tours. They ranged from $25 per person to $50 per person on NewPort to the Breakers. It was unexplainable why our name was not listed on any pay tour for 4 days although we had turned in the paperwork timely and correctly. When there was an opening for the $50 per person to the Breakers, the bus. My husband at that time, had had enough and complained why the crew did not schedule enough transportation for all the cruisers, not just 50. We debarked then, never to sail again on Americruse. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Since you asked... We chose this cruise because of a 30 day price reduction. Empty nest therapy sessions and convalescence from an injury at our stage in life was much desired and needed respite. Oceania was recommended by my ... Read More
Since you asked... We chose this cruise because of a 30 day price reduction. Empty nest therapy sessions and convalescence from an injury at our stage in life was much desired and needed respite. Oceania was recommended by my In-laws. We had sailed on The Riviera and loved it. When we called the agent they had great incentives and the next thing we knew we were packing for a long week aboard the Insignia. We woke early and took a car to the Manhattan Terminal and set sail past the Statue of Liberty that afternoon. It was a beautiful cruise itinerary, stopping at different ports along the northeast corridor of the US and Canada into Halifax, Nova Scotia and then south to Bermuda. We had sailed the same Cruise to Canada, Nova Scotia and Bermuda during the 2017 hurricane a year earlier. The rains were wind driven. We were located on the forward of the ship facing the pummeling waves while the ship motored through choppy water. In the 2017 hurricane, the captain was heading right into the storm and navigating his course. We were pretty safe and Oceania provided plenty to do aboard the ship including shows and entertainment. They also had cards, miniature golf and games like bingo and trivia. In 2018, it turned out to be beach weather. Nice! We were on the beach in Bermuda and wearing summer clothes most of the time. Glad we brought our bathing suits-and suntan lotion. We swam in a beautiful cove in Bermuda. We parked our moped at the entrance lot and spent the day sunbathing. The evenings were a bit cooler. Bring a jacket, sweater or pretty wrap to keep you warm. The price of the Vista Suite was reduced 67%. Unbelievable! Perhaps because it was Hurricane season. You best have a sense of adventure. If the captain encounters a hurricane a number of people feeling less than confortable can be found at the bar or in the infirmary. One woman was buying a motion sickness patch to wear behind her ear because several others had recommended it. You dont need to see a doctor for it either. They sell it in the gift shop. Convenient. The ship and crew maintain a friendly atmosphere and the ports of call are of the highest esteem. Highlights of each port are delivered in your daily newsletter. Some of our excursions included a more relaxed Lobster Tank Picnic and a walk around with the locals. The shops are all filled with treasures and nautical antiquities and curiosities. There are pieces of art made by the locals and more than enough restaurants to have a nice meal. The church in Newport, RI. was beautiful. There was a box reserved for The Royal Family. A gentleman gave us a tour and as we left we signed the guest book. The tour of TheTitanic museum was quite informative but the cost isn't included. The story of The Titanic is well known to many but to actually see the pieces of the ship and items recovered from the wreck was somewhat startling. The history was documented through dioramas and actual displays as well as preserved pieces of the wreck. I BOUGHT A TITANIC WHISTLE! GETTING HOME WAS NOT GUARANTEED. Bermuda was hot and sunny. The beaches were open and the the best lunch could be found at The Infamous Swizzle Inn. We had swizzle burgers a pitcher of their house cocktail. We stayed a while before heading back out on our moped for a trip into town to do some shopping before returning to the ship. Choosing this cruise was a pretty solid decision. You would likely enjoy this itinerary. It was our third on this cruise line. Oceania is a shining star. I didnt have one complaint. They anticipated everything. Even our stationery was personalized so we could write home. Stamps were at the front desk and also in every port. Most folks would be pleasantly surprised with their every need anticipated. Just step on in to a world of fascination. The service is responsive and friendly. They tailor their service to your wants and needs delivering delicious early morning coffees and custom brews at the barista. They provided scrumptious breakfasts, brunches, fruits and fresh flowers throughout the cruise. You are in a world of classic, nautical polish. Relax & enjoy. It is impressive. Meet some nice people along the way and learn how to say CRAZY in 5 languages if you want. I invited Barack and Michelle, Oprah, Stedman, Regis and David Letterman. None of them showed up. If you can believe that. CRAZY. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was ... Read More
This trip was taken with a group of 11 early-mid 70's age friends from California who are all very experienced travelers. ( By the way, it was a VERY old crowd and we were younger and more active than most. Youngest couple was mid-50's and oldest mid-90s). We were attracted by the itinerary from NYC to Chicago by transiting, canals, rivers and the Great Lakes. Most people are not aware you can do such a thing! We also liked the idea seeing small and large towns and experiencing navigating 40 locks as well as the casual no dress code and BYOB policy. We enjoyed this trip very much, but are not sure we will be repeat customers. The boat is small, clean, but showing age, and holds 80 passengers and we were 73 so it felt very full. Had we not experienced excellent weather and smooth sailing conditions I think we all would have been miserable. We thoroughly enjoyed spending time on upper deck which gave us a lot of moving around space and great views. However when the deck was closed for 2 1/2 days because the pilot house had to be lowered for us to get under the smaller bridges, or when there were too many bugs or a bit too much humidity, we felt very confined. The main lounge was crowded and there was always the dining room for cardplayers, but the two remaining outdoor areas on the main deck had limited seating and there was engine noise. Cabins were too small to spend time in. Windows were sticky and hard to open when we needed some fresh air. We would not pick an itinerary on this type of boat where weather is certain to be an issue. It just wasn't big enough. The crew was friendly and hard working and it seemed like everyone had two or three jobs. The dining room wait staff set up and served the meals, then cleaned our rooms. Two wait staff quit the first week and replacements came on board days later. The tour director, Jasmine was also very friendly, but unlike our other trips, there were no port briefings from her and most of her time seemed to be spent organizing the paid shore excursions, which were very good and affordable. Jasmine did not seem to have a deep knowledge of our ports and we were left mostly to rely on what she put on the bulletin board and maps she had available. We are not sure if this sort of "hands off" policy is Blount's or was a result of this run being fairly new to her. The crew and captain were accessible and friendly. The captain did a masterful job of keeping away from the negative weather and gave excellent navigation briefings each day along with good narrative as we traveled in the more scenic smaller areas. Very informative. Food was excellent and what we all characterized as upscale home cooking.....the kind of thing you would want to serve to company. Baked goods were exceptional down to homemade hamburger buns! Breakfast was partial buffet with fruits, hot and cold cereals, yogurts, juices and pasties. Hot items were brought to the table and were passed family style. Lunch was also family style and started with a delicious soup, then sandwiches or salad, always potato chips and pickles, ending with a tray of brownies or homemade cookies. Dinner was plated and there were generally two choices of main dish and desserts (including homemade ice cream.) We were asked to give our dinner choices at breakfast so the chef had an idea of quantity but you were not held to it. For those that needed substitutions at any meal, it could be obtained if you asked, however choices were limited. This was not announced fromally but the servers were helpful and cheerful about it and often offered. It was not easy to try to keep our group together for meals as tables cannot be reserved. We managed through trial and error. The entertainment was hit and miss and consisted of local musicians coming on board, a movie (usually themed to one of our stops) or a lecture. Some were good, others fair but it was something to do. Unlike other river and ocean cruises we've taken, the lectures by Stuart were unorganized and boring and not at all up to what we have become used to. However Stuart was great one-on-one and if asked, had lots of ideas and knowledge about the stops. He was helpful when cruise director didn't know or wasn't around. All in all, it was a good trip, we saw we wanted to see and came away a few pounds heavier, however the restricted size was an issue and would have been more so had the weather not been so cooperative. Who can count on that when you have to plan months ahead? Small ship adventures are unique and interesting but not necessarily for everyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was ... Read More
This was one of the most expensive cruises we had been on. We had the worst cabin of all time, 73 sq ft. The cruise director must be new. She did not provide sufficient entertainment on board. Example, we had a good lecturer and he was given a time slot of 8:30PM and never during the long cruise days. He was helpful with the guests but not permitted to provide additional information. We only had a couple movies in the same time slot. Very little planned activity during the day. Only one TV on board and not able to use during cruising. Considering we had many days cruising. Tours were marginal at best and considering the average age on the tour was 75, many times long walks to the buses. If you wanted WIFI connection, you could not get it most of the time (Hard to believe in this day and age.). The ship looked like it needed new carpeting and an overhaul. On a positive note, the food was excellent and ample. The crew were very nice, accommodating, and worked very hard!! (Big turn over during trip.) The Captain was very good at planning for good seas and he was an excellent communicator. If you want to relax, read and eat then this cruise might be for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We have cruised with the American Cruise Line before and like the smaller size of their ships. We selected this ship, the Constellation, because it is their newest ship launched this and had some more modern features including sliding door ... Read More
We have cruised with the American Cruise Line before and like the smaller size of their ships. We selected this ship, the Constellation, because it is their newest ship launched this and had some more modern features including sliding door on to the balcony and two modern elevators. Service was great. The only negative is the loud engine noise experienced in the dining room when underway. The ship has very attentive and friendly American crew. The ship is ideal for older travelers because of the smaller size the short walking distance between the aft dinning room and the forward lounge area. The ship has Wi-Fi through out the ship and a small exercise room on the fourth deck. The cabins are large and have more than adequate storage space, There are two very comfortable and well lighted lounge areas with one forward on deck 3 and one aft on deck 4. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was ... Read More
We chose this cruise to view the fall foliage and to tour the historic sites along the Hudson River Valley. We were not disappointed on either counts. I'm glad we packed heavy raincoats for this time of the year, as the weather was always windy and it rained 2 days and even snowed one morning. River cruising means very little motion, therefore no one was ever sea sick. There were only 80 passengers on board, so the ratio of service persons to passengers was excellent. All drinks were included in the fare and happy hour was held each night with wine/beer provided at lunch and dinner. If you're looking for a fast paced, party atmosphere, this is NOT the cruise for you. It is slow paced and relaxing, perfect for retreating from a hectic paced life. I would say the average age of the passengers was upper 60s. The ship has multiple areas for social gatherings and playing games (pack your playing cards). If you're sending post cards, they are mailed every day and you do NOT need stamps. The ship had reading material for our destinations and some lectures; but it would have been helpful if we had studied up a bit prior to the cruise. All of the cabins are incredibly spacious, larger than our master suite at home. Cabins do NOT have safes, so plan accordingly, though we felt secure the entire time on board. All cabins have TV/cable service and DVD players. The ship's library had a limited selection of DVDs; we watched old John Wayne movies in our room each night after the social hour of pleasant, entertainment (geared for the age group on board). For our next cruise, we'll pack a few of our favorite DVDs. We would take this cruise again, but perhaps go a week earlier, though being able to predict peak leaf time is difficult since weather is unpredictable. However, the farther we traveled up river, the more variety and vivid the leaves became. The best part of the cruise was the friendliness of the crew and service personnel. Since the amount of passengers is relatively small, we were able to get to know many of the passengers who were happy to be traveling. The relaxing atmosphere on board, made for great fellowship. I did not see one passenger complain or whine. We also made some life long friends aboard and are planning future trips with them. As with any experience, you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. The food was superior and the chef accommodated special needs or requests whenever able. Gratuities are included in the fare, so that made it convenient. Travel to and from the Manhattan port was expensive and traffic is always congested; try to share taxis whenever possible and avoid LaGuardia which is undergoing some pretty extensive construction for all gates and parking. The internet connections were often sketchy, but if you're cruising, you need to unplug anyway. There are computers with printers on board for accessing your plane tickets and pre printing boarding passes. Be sure to include an overnight bag for your last night on board, it will make luggage transfer go very smoothly. Have a great time, sit back, and enjoy the ride. You'll return with a lowered blood pressure and a few extra joyfully gained pounds, and hopefully some wonderful new friends! Autumn will become your favorite season! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
There is so much history on our rivers and you can only see such beauty when cruising. American Cruise Lines is a wonderful company to cruise these rivers with. The Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Rooms are comfortable and clean. ... Read More
There is so much history on our rivers and you can only see such beauty when cruising. American Cruise Lines is a wonderful company to cruise these rivers with. The Staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Rooms are comfortable and clean. The cuisine was exceptional. They took great care in the details of our cruise. Because it is not a LARGE ship, and the passenger list is small compared to larger ship cruise companies, you have a chance to meet and mingle with amazing passengers from all over. You get to know them and even become friends when the cruise is over. Passengers that would be most like you because they chose the same trip as you did. Its intimate, and personal, the staff learns quickly your wants and needs and will make every effort to make your trip a memorable one. They often call you by name, and take time to ask you how your day was. Its a good choice if you want a stress free cruise, without all the noise and chaos of larger ship. Starting with your info packette, to your arrival at port, and ending with your arrangements made for you to the airport, this cruise is for you. If you want your meals well planned and visually appealing, and flavorful, dine with American. We met many couples who were on their 4 or 5th cruise, and even some who are solo travelers on their 7th and 8th trip with American! You are well taken care of. This is a wonderful experience for those of us who are older than 55. We truly enjoyed our 1st and recently, our 2nd cruise with American. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
When we first got on the ship, I thought, "This must be an old ship that they retrofitted". There were duct tape repairs in the dining room. The cabin looked like something out of the 1970s. Then the captain told us it had been ... Read More
When we first got on the ship, I thought, "This must be an old ship that they retrofitted". There were duct tape repairs in the dining room. The cabin looked like something out of the 1970s. Then the captain told us it had been built in 2010. Wha? When we arrived at Chelsea piers, we went where we were told to go. Nothing. We had to get out & ask. They told us to go to another pier. Nothing. Finally, we found someone with an ACL shirt, and he said, "No, you need to go to Pier XX". Did I mention it was, windy, cold, and my father-in-law is disabled? Did I mention that the porter almost dumped all of our luggage into the river on the very narrow gangway to the ship? Ugh. When we got to the ship, they had to transfer my FIL to a smaller wheelchair. I said "Are they making you move to another chair?" The captain turned and snapped at me, "Do you have a better idea?" I was totally shocked. Great way to start the cruise with the captain yelling at me. I didn't know that the gangway was too narrow for his wheelchair. Snapping at me was uncalled for. We got there at the time we were told to be there, and then staff told us we were way too early. The rooms weren't ready (I get it) so we sat in the lounge, which was filled with sofas. Does anyone know how difficult it is for elderly people to get up and down from a sofa? Some of the dining staff were great, helping my FIL when he fell out of his chair ... others, not so much. I saw unwashed hair, sloppy clothes, and one actually said, when we told him our food was cold, "Hey, I just deliver the food!" and did nothing to remedy the situation. The food was sub-cafeteria quality (and I use the word "quality" loosely). We kept seeing the same thing over and over in one shape or form. One of our excursions was riding on a bus for 2 hours, going around in circles. The stop at a "farm" to have apple cider was at a grocery store. The cruise director (after I realized there was one!) was shy and Missing in Action. The guest speaker was the only bright spot on the cruise, and I could tell she felt bad and was trying to make up for the cruise line's weaknesses. Information was not disseminated at all ... It was awful, awful, awful. One cruiser, who had been on the ship before, said "If this had been my first cruise I never would have come again." I can't say enough how I want those 7 days back again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much ... Read More
This was the fourth cruise I have taken with ACL and I have enjoyed all of them. I prefer the smaller ships to the larger ones that I have sailed with before. I also appreciate the All American approach by the cruise line. It is so much better to be able to have a real conversation with staff who can speak English. As a former professor I enjoyed talking to the university students who comprised most of the crew - a novel idea by the cruise line. I also like paying one tip at the end of the cruise instead of having to pay every staff member. The crew were most pleasant and helpful and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. The Historian on this cruise was outstanding and I am hoping he will be on the next cruise that I am taking. The shore excursions were very enjoyable and it is so much better to go with a small group than with 3,000 or more fellow passengers. Transportation to and from the excursions was well planned and for the most part included knowledgeable guides from the local area. Embarkation and disembarkation procedures are well planned and accommodate most needs. The tour director even said good bye to us when we left at 6:00 a.m. and a crew member accompanied us the our airport transportation and helped with our baggage. Many of the passengers are senior citizens and I appreciated the fact that our special needs were met by helpful crew members. I liked the slower pace of the cruise and the recognition of us as important members of society who still like to travel Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We had been on the Independence two years before going up the Maine coast. We enjoyed it so much that we signed up for the Hudson River cruise (and also have another planned for 2015 down the Mississippi). Before our trip up the Hudson we ... Read More
We had been on the Independence two years before going up the Maine coast. We enjoyed it so much that we signed up for the Hudson River cruise (and also have another planned for 2015 down the Mississippi). Before our trip up the Hudson we stayed at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square and saw two Broadway shows. On Sunday morning a short taxi ride took us to the American Cruise Line ship, the Independence. I cannot say enough about the cruise. Our room was larger than on most large cruise ships, the room service was always great. The food was excellent (on both cruises). Because the ship is staffed with young people who multi-task, you have them serving your breakfast bright and early (or later if you want), and then you see them in the halls cleaning rooms and halls! They are ALWAYS pleasant and fun to get to know. And the do work very hard. Lunch and dinner are always a pleasure to look forward to. You pick your food choices for that day's meals at breakfast but if you change your mind - it is not a problem. There are educational talks daily regarding the shoreline and the state we are in plus some nightly local entertainment. All in all, it has just the right amount of free times vs. shore excursions vs. entertainment. A very relaxing and rewarding trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Marvelous cruise overall. Weather was perfect. Crew was exemplary. Ports were well chosen and of great interest for the most part. Highlights were West Point, Albany and Hyde Park. The Independence is beautifully designed, with ample ... Read More
Marvelous cruise overall. Weather was perfect. Crew was exemplary. Ports were well chosen and of great interest for the most part. Highlights were West Point, Albany and Hyde Park. The Independence is beautifully designed, with ample public rooms. Public restroom facilities were minimal to say the least. Food was very good, as were the choices offered. Soups were outstanding. Not everyone is used to a hot meal for lunch every day. While salads are a fair substitute for many people, it would be a great improvement if a sandwich could also be offered at lunch time.. Embarkation pier (61) was not as advertised (59), creating much confusion for the taxi driver. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
As members of the Eagle Society, we are dedicated to cruising on American Cruise Lines. The Hudson River Fall Foliage Cruise was our most recent and 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We thoroughly enjoy each cruise so we continue to ... Read More
As members of the Eagle Society, we are dedicated to cruising on American Cruise Lines. The Hudson River Fall Foliage Cruise was our most recent and 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We thoroughly enjoy each cruise so we continue to explore their further offerings. Our next adventure will be the Historic South and Golden Isles Cruise. There are many reasons why we continue to cruise with American. The number one reason is that we love the small ship experience. There are always so many interesting people on board. Because the number of passengers is limited, one has an opportunity to meet everyone. The cabins are spacious and very comfortable. The service staff is most accommodating and the delicious gourmet cuisine is a reflection of the area in which we sail. The ports of call are always so interesting. The cruise is enhanced by the presence of on board historians to further the educational experience both culturally and historically. Bill Ewen further complimented our most recent trip with his in depth lectures of the area. We always find our trips with American Cruise Lines to be first rate and will continue to enjoy their hospitality. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I am a relatively seasoned cruiser who has never been on a NCL trip before. I have been on the more luxiourous Princess and the family friendly Carnival and Disney. What an absolutely wonderful trip. We went without kids on the Norwegian ... Read More
I am a relatively seasoned cruiser who has never been on a NCL trip before. I have been on the more luxiourous Princess and the family friendly Carnival and Disney. What an absolutely wonderful trip. We went without kids on the Norwegian Breakaway to nowhere. The boarding process was chaos and the only real negative. There was a delay in getting aboard and clearly they port staff didn't know how to accomodate the flow. Once we got on board it was amazing. We stayed in an ocean view 9th floor forward room which was large, clean and spacious. The food was plentiful and good. The service at all the bars was excellent. The ship was HUGE!! Hot tubs were open for swimming, 15 degrees outside and the water slides were open...The best and most surprising thing for our group were the shows. TOP quality even to compare to the Disney. ESP shocked at how much we loved the Circus Jungle, dinner included as $39 per person, which was a cirque du soleil/lion king mix. The costumes breathtaking and the contourshonist left us squealing with amazement. I also do recommend the ice bar, a $20 surcharge but it included two drinks so was not overpriced. We had dinner at the Churasscaria $20 additional per person. WOW. Our waiter doted on us, elegant, classy, food was divine. Yes service was slow a 2hour plus dinner but we were not rushing and wanted to go slow. Disappointment was the comedy show The Second City. Don't bother. The Casino, while a lot of fun, was a big focus of the boat and if you are a nonsmokers like us, after walking through it several times to get to and from our activities, the unpleasant cigarette smoke smell lingered even back to our cabins hours later. Our group has reserved it again for next year and I would HIGHLY recommend it to any cruiser!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
First, let me say that this was our third cruise on the American Star, and that we have already booked two more with American Cruise Lines--on the Mississippi and then in Maine. Previously we toured the New England Islands and the ... Read More
First, let me say that this was our third cruise on the American Star, and that we have already booked two more with American Cruise Lines--on the Mississippi and then in Maine. Previously we toured the New England Islands and the Intracoastal waterway from South Carolina to Florida. Although we have traveled a lot on Regent and Seabourn ships,, the far more casual atmosphere of ACL is very appealing. The food is quite good, though admittedly the selection is far more limited than on the ocean-going ships, and the service is not as professional (these are, after all, young American kids). But there's something rather nice about having them around instead of waiters who dress more formally than the guests. And the fact that there are only 100 passengers means that the staff actually knows your name in short order (the fact that you wear name tags does help everyone become acquainted in short order). Also, there is a cocktail hour every evening aboard ACL vessels, with good brands being poured, and rather freely. Furthermore, although you can order half portions at all meals, food is constantly being handed to you--cookies in the morning, if you are aboard, hors d'oeuvres at cocktail time, and then popcorn and root beer floats or sundaes in the evening with some sort of fairly casual entertainment brought aboard from a nearby town. Oh, and, of course, you are free to bring your own alcohol aboard with you as well. Now let me say something about the cruise itself. The Hudson is a very interesting river for a couple of reasons: its history, including the long-term efforts to clean it from the pollution generated by chemical dumping by corporations at a time no one was much aware of its carcinogenic potential, and the fact that the river is tidal, which means that the water flows both north and south. The foliage was gorgeous, though more subdued than one would find in the Berkshires or Vermont. One stop was Olana, the home of one of the Hudson River School painters, Frederick Church, and one can easily see why he was drawn to the location. Others stops were Albany (much more interesting a city than we had anticipated, probably because we had a most enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide, West Point and Hyde Park, which need no comments, since they stand on their own as interesting destinations, Kingston, which was made more enjoyable because it is the town where the ship's resident expert, Sandy Balla, actually lives, and tours of the homes of both robber baron Jay Gould and Washington Irving near Sleepy Hollow. The contrast between the ostentation of Mr. Gould and homey feel of the residence of Ichabod Crane's creator was worth the visit. All in all, the trip was worth every penny and the fact that we live within driving distance means that we shall definitely return on our own. The only negatives we have to say about our experience is that driving to Chelsea Pier in Manhattan is not exactly a pleasant thing to do, but mitigated by the fact that parking is available very close to the pier. The other is that mobility is an issue to take into consideration for some folks, since there are distances to walk to some of the sites, and some stairs to climb. Those of us without that issue also had to be patient getting on and especially off buses (some were not) as those who were physically challenged slowly made their way down the aisle. Not everyone was elderly, but some were. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
We are a retired couple from Canada, and this is our 25th cruise, having cruised with NCL about 12 times. This was an absolutely amazing fall vacation. We were initially a bit concerned about travelling in October in the Caribbean, and ... Read More
We are a retired couple from Canada, and this is our 25th cruise, having cruised with NCL about 12 times. This was an absolutely amazing fall vacation. We were initially a bit concerned about travelling in October in the Caribbean, and were very fortunate not to have encountered Hurricane Sandy as we were ahead of her when she hit New York. Great warm weather on this cruise, with only rain on one day, and a couple of windy days. We travelled from Toronto to New York by Greyhound Bus during the night, an 11 hour trip, arriving in New York early in the morning. We stayed at the Westin New York Grand Central, formerly the New York Helmsley, at an extremely reasonable price through Hotwire. A large cc group had booked rooms a year in advance. Extremely large room with a view of Empire State Building. Three days spent in New York City was definitely not enough, but we were able to scratch the surface and plan to go back again to enjoy some of the museums and a play. The HOHO bus 2 day pass worked extremely well for us. The highlight was Times Square, followed by Grand Central Station, trip up to the top of the Rock and an evening ride to Brooklin to enjoy the scenery at nighttime of Manhattan. One of our cruise critic buddies had reserved a couple of vans to take us to the port on embarkation day, which worked extremely well, especially since there was a bike race going on that day. Our van driver was extremely pleasant and seemed to get us there in no time at all. Our group was well organized by our great leader, Catherine. Everything went smoothly, porters took our luggage, advance tips that were collected were given to him, and luggage miraculously disappeared. Check in was extremely fast, a very short line, and we gathered in a lounge to wait to board our ship, which we did in less than an hour, having been met by the concierge and a few other familiar faces. As a group we were escorted to Cagney's for lunch. Since our cabins were ready we eagerly went to see our home for 14 days. What a surprise! We were upgraded from a minisuite to an enormous family suite with four large sets of floor to ceiling windows, large bathroom with double sinks and bathtub, dining table with 4 chairs, large sofa and two extra comfy chairs. A very nice surprise. This was our first time in a suite and we totally enjoyed being pampered and spoiled by our room steward, Benjamin, who kept our room immaculate & spotless, and had a talent for making a different towel animal every night, and our butler, Made, who set the dining table with such flair when we ordered room service. We felt we were eating in a fine restaurant. Made was always dapperly dressed, very respectful, and gentlemanly, showed us how to use the Lavazzo coffee machine, bringing in a fresh basket of fruit, which he refilled during the week, delivered hors deuves and cookies every afternoon, dvd's, chilled wine & water, etc.etc. The ice bucket was always full. Excellent service by these gentlemen. A+ NCL STAR, appropriately named The Happy Ship, is a great ship with a fantastic crew, who work extremely well together in an attempt to ensure that everyone feels special and has a great vacation. Nothing is too much for them. The officers are visible throughout the ship, and seem to find time in their busy, hectic schedules to exchange pleasantries with some of the passengers. I haven't noticed this on any other cruise line that we've been on. They are so upbeat, and are always smiling as if they do enjoy their jobs. This comes down from the very top and filters all the way down. They selflessly cater to our every needs, and we are so grateful to be lucky enough to be able to cruise on NCL ships. Super service, far superior to any other cruiseline. Granted there are times when the odd meal is not the best, but the majority of the time it's extremely good and great value for our money. Our cruise critic group was fortunate enough to be invited to 2 sailaway parties in the garden villas. What a spectacular way to leave New York City, passing by some famous landmarks, the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero, Staten Island, with an air and sea escort, and barely making it under the Verrazano bridge (or so it seemed). An awesome start to a great vacation. On our first night we requested the concierge, Monica, who, by the way is one of the best, to make reservations for a group of 16 in the MDR Versailles at 6:30. She achieved this without a hitch, and some of us enjoyed the lobster dinner with the accompanying beverage. Ordering 2 was not a problem. There was an extensive menu to choose from. A great start to an amazing cruise getting to know our fellow cruise mates in such a beautiful room with glitzy chandeleirs, ambient lighting, and superb service. We enjoyed the majority of our dinners in the MDR, or Aqua, which is usually less crowded, and also tried 4 of the specialty restaurants. The meals in LeBistro, Cagneys, Moderno and LaCuchina were most enjoyable and certainly worth the upcharge IMHO. The salad bar at Moderno is one of the best; the only complaint I have is the music from the atrium, which sometimes makes it difficult to hear one another. A secluded quieter area would have been better IMHO. The entertainment on the Star was great. We enjoyed Elements the best, followed by Band on the Run and the Crew Show (Nih Liu and Flarita, you are so talented). There was also the usual juggler, comedian, trapeze acts, and hypnotist. The cruise director, Kyle, was extremely good, having been in the business for 22+ years, and his talent showed through. THE MARKET CAFE: Although it tends to get extremely crowded in the mornings, it's a great place at night when the singing chef is entertaining. The dance floor gets quite crowded as people congregate in this venue to enjoy his singing and antics, and dance the night away. Honourable mention should be made of the Washy Washy guys who greet you profusely before entering the room. They are so upbeat. Clean hands sure help to stop the spread of germs. I understand on a surprise inspection at one of the ports NCL got a 99 percent rating. The cruise critic group spent countless hours organizing a myriad of events, the top one IMHO being a horse race, which was the most exciting and enthusiastic group activity we had ever done on a ship. There were 5 horses and each represented an island; our Canadian Horse, Aruba, who started out very slowly, eagerly galloped to win the second race. The CC group also organized a Mardi Gras Parade, Halloween Party in the Gardenvilla, complements of Denise & others, Octoberfest luncheon, complements of John & others, Bridge Tour, LRC games, mahjong, Slot Pull, Cabin Crawl, and Indian meal. There was so much going on, no time to get bored, and all cc members were welcome to join in. These events were very well attended and a good time was had by a majority of people. A great big THANK YOU to all the organizers. PORTS: Since we had been to all the ports before, we did not book many organized excursions but did our own thing. In the past I've found that it's also easy getting off the ship in most Caribbean ports and doing an island tour with either a group or by private taxi, after negotiating an itinerary, length of tour, and price. Know what you're getting and paying for. A review of each port is done separately and follows this review. NEW ORLEANS: What a delightful enjoyable place. Since we were in transit, after a relaxing breakfast, we got off the ship around 9:15, went through customs very easily (however other people with luggage had an extremely difficult time due to a few problems with the first cruiseship entering the port for the year). We went to Harrah's to meet some friends who were joining us on the following cruise, and then took the trolley to Cafe Du Monde. Since there was an extremely heavy downpour, this curtailed our visit this time. We returned to Riverwalk where we spent a couple of hours browsing around the stores, had lunch, and then returned to board the ship. We were fortunate to get on the ship within half hour as we were in transit, but there were numerous angry people waiting in line to board as there was a delay. We loved this cruise, and give exceptionally high marks to the crew and especially to Yannis, the food and beverage director, who we felt did an amazing job despite all the problems he encountered. He kept his cool, and bottom line, did a great job working under pressure, standing out in the heavy rain, without a complaint; just doing his job despite the bad weather. Our hats also go off to all the crew members who had to pitch in and do so many extra hours to unload the ship in a timely manner. Thank you NCL. We will definitley be cruising with you in the future and can't wait until we board again. You treat us royally. THANK YOU. I have not attached photos as other cc members have done a great job with their videos. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
I had my first cruise with NCL. 2 days to nowhere was a great way to start. Check-in was over an hour but departure was smooth sailing. I was a little scared as it appeared that there was an open casting call for the next filming of Big ... Read More
I had my first cruise with NCL. 2 days to nowhere was a great way to start. Check-in was over an hour but departure was smooth sailing. I was a little scared as it appeared that there was an open casting call for the next filming of Big Momma. Wife has 3 ROYAL cruises under her belt so I listened to her. Food was good. We took in 2 great shows. We viewed every bar/restaurant-plenty to do. We had dinner at Italian Rest for $25 cover to get away from the masses at the buffet. The Big Momma's were getting their money$ worth and we didnt want to get in their way. 2nd night we dined hibatchi style with some great people. Chefs were great. Had midnite snacks at the Garden Cafe. Limited food choices as the night wore on but it is a 48 hour cruise so you take what you can get. The 70's show and SNL Comedy Troup were awesome. Some brave souls brought kids and even infants. Very mixed crowds:bachelor/bachlorette parties, older folks, hard working stiffs like me, newly weds and a group of special needs folks. Mandatory safety drill was done within an hour aboard the ship. Finding the staging area was hardest part. Mixed drinks were around $10 and soda's (at cover charge restaruants) were $2 for a can of Pepsi(I hate coke). Parking was easy right off the West Side highway. We watched a great dodge ball game and rock climbing. Didnt know what time it was or think of our kids at all. Most moving was the Lee Greenberg song that played as we passed the Statue of Liberty and the World Trade Center. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
The Queen Elizabeth is almost identical to her sister ship, the Queen Victoria. We booked the Britannia Club category that included it's own club like dining room. The dining staff helped to make the trip memorable. The stateroom was ... Read More
The Queen Elizabeth is almost identical to her sister ship, the Queen Victoria. We booked the Britannia Club category that included it's own club like dining room. The dining staff helped to make the trip memorable. The stateroom was on deck 8 and appointed nicely. The public rooms are wonderful to enjoy and sea days can be fun. I wish Cunard would cut back on the formal & semi-formal nights. I guess if you are cruising for the first time it can be fun. But most cruise lines have eliminated the formal dress code. We are now retired and enjoy cruising around the world. Formal nights are no longer fun for us. And just add extra weight to our luggage. Shore excursions are pricey and we have found that the Cunard tour officeadvertises each excursion as wonderful. But in reality the excursions are not as wonderful as they state in the daily programs and promos. We wonder who at Cunard has experienced the advertised excursions. Because some of them are nothing like their printed descriptions. Book your own tours on shore and have a wonderful time at a fraction of the cost. And just like the other Cunard ships, you get charged for everything. Water $2.00, 15% gratuity on everything, even that bottle of water. And the receipt that they ask you to sign even has a line for you to add Gratuity after their 15% automatic charge. Cunard should have an all inclusive price. They call themselves luxury, they should act like the truly luxury companies and have all-inclusive pricing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2012
We just got back from our 3rd ncl cruise this year and this was excellent. The embarkation and disembarkation were both very smooth and easy. Food and entertainment were very good, we ate in specialty restaurants and the standard ones, ... Read More
We just got back from our 3rd ncl cruise this year and this was excellent. The embarkation and disembarkation were both very smooth and easy. Food and entertainment were very good, we ate in specialty restaurants and the standard ones, windows and garden . Service and quality in all were excellent, the buffet was quite good also as well as the frequent barbeques out on the deck by the pool. We made many friends and all had very enjoyable week. The entertainment , especially in the maharini's was lots of fun and edgy, and trendy . The shows were very good, lots of activities. The health/fitness was good, wished it were bigger and included an indoor pool, instead of one person aqua pool. The kids pool , which we all used when not being used by kids was outstanding , especially with the water slides. We all wished this could have been the pool for adults. we look forward to our next cruise , definitely with ncl Read Less
Sail Date September 2006

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