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American Serenade Review

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American Melody Skywalk (Photo/American Cruise Lines)

American Symphony joins the American Cruise Lines modern riverboat fleet as a sister ship to American Melody (2021) and American Symphony (2022) with the same 175 passenger capacity, 91 staterooms, and itineraries sailing the Mississippi River.

American Serenade is the third of three sister ships in American Cruise Line’s fleet of modern river boats. For the most part, these three sisters are identical, save a few slight differences in interior decor and finishes. Like its sister ships, American Melody (launched in 2021) and American Symphony (launched in summer 2022) -- and unlike the line’s other three modern riverboats -- American Serenade’s interiors were designed by Miami-based design firm Studio DADO, which has done interior work for some of the largest ships afloat.

This intimate ship has capacity for up to 175 passengers in 91 cabins, and offers a modern take on the classic (read: often outdated) American river cruise vessel. American Serenade has five decks that sport several public spaces, including a walking and jogging track along the top deck, a main dining room, outdoor cafes, several lounges, and a multilevel glass atrium (which is not a usual find on a ship this size). Passengers will also a library and fitness center onboard.

Designed with 150 percent more glass than most river cruise boats, American Serenade was purpose-built to make sure passengers can make the most of the surrounding river views. Additionally, the ship also features a nifty retractable gangway off the bow that allows for disembarking at small docks or other to hard-to-reach areas.

Dining

American Cruise Line’s All-American focus on food and beverages will be present aboard American Serenade, from dishes served in the open-seating main dining room to casual dining cafes and even on bar menus throughout the ship’s lounges.
Food menus will highlight regional and local cuisine, while passengers can expect wine, beer, and spirits from American brands whenever possible. During lunch and dinner service, beer, wine, and soft drinks are complimentary.

Room service is available during breakfast hours only, and passengers will find snacks to nibble on over in the ship’s lounges throughout the day. There’s also an opportunity to socialize and discuss the events of the day and soak up river views from the bow with fellow passengers at the daily Cocktail Hour.

Cabins

While river boats may be historically smaller than cruise ships, rooms onboard American Serenade (and onboard all American Cruise Line’s modern river boats) are surprisingly spacious. In fact, measuring between 250 to 900 square feet, depending on category, American Serenade offers up some of the biggest rooms afloat on American rivers.

All rooms come with sliding glass doors that lead out to a private balcony, Wi-Fi, phones, and individual HVAC systems. Single rooms sport spacious bathrooms, while standard rooms and suites have the luxury of full-sized bathrooms. Studio DADO has kept the decor contemporary with soft neutrals and complementary artwork and accents.

Veranda Suites and Grand Suites sport a dedicated living room space and more spacious balconies. Passengers do not have to pay the extra single supplement when booking a single cabin, and accessible staterooms are available.

Top Deck Attractions

American Serenade’s top deck is outfitted with an open-air track dubbed the SkyWalk, where passengers can make loops around the ship while taking in unobstructed river views (or stopping to check out the action below on Deck 4 though the top deck’s elliptical cutout). This is only the third ship (the others being American Melody and American Symphony) to launch with the new SkyWalk feature.

Entertainment

As with most river cruises, the entertainment aboard American Serenade is minimal though not insufficient. As passengers tend to skew more on the mature side, late-night entertainment is subdued; instead the ship focuses on expert “Riverlorian” talks and presentations that educate passengers on the history and cultural relevance behind the different ports of call.

There is also a healthy playlist of live music available onboard, focusing mostly on American-led genres such as jazz, blues, rock ‘n’ roll, and country-western — usually enjoyed with a pre- or post-dinner drink, or over an early nightcap mixed with small talk.

Itineraries

American Symphony is scheduled to kick off sailings on the Mississippi in late 2022.

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