35 Seattle American Cruise Lines American Spirit Cruise Reviews

1. Wanted to see the area via a cruise 2. Very poor food quality. In fact it became so poor that they brought in quality chef for two days mid crew. 3. Poor dining room service 4. Attention to detail was sorely lacking. While the ... Read More
1. Wanted to see the area via a cruise 2. Very poor food quality. In fact it became so poor that they brought in quality chef for two days mid crew. 3. Poor dining room service 4. Attention to detail was sorely lacking. While the wait staff was congenial they were mostly new and seemed like as though they were in a training aspect. 5. The cost of the cruise was outrageous. The cost was $9200 for the two us and we have been on quality cruise lines so we just trusted that this would be just the same. At the best, the cruise would be only worth somewhere in the area of $2100/guest. 5. The cabin # 219 and it was very poor. It smelled of crude engine oil.I was near an exit opening where the crew went in and out 24/7. The furnishing was dated to the 1960’s and 70’s. The window shades were cheesy and didn’t work well. When we docked on two occasions our windows were at the level of the dock and walkers could see in privacy was all but absent. 6. We complained on the cruise to the cruise director and the hotel manager: but rather fell on deaf ears. We filed a lengthy complaint which we would be happy to share with your Editor-in-Charge. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always ... Read More
The PreCruise package for Seattle included a bus tour of Seattle and a night’s lodging in a nice hotel as well as breakfast and transportation to the dock. Embarkation, as well as disembarkation, went quite smoothly. The crew is always very attentive and interesting as well as interested in the passengers. This was my third cruise with ACL and I’ve enjoyed them all. The cabins and the common areas are always clean and well cared for. The food is very good and the evening entertainment is always very good. Usually it is local talent from the different ports but they are all very talented. The ports and excursions are interesting and varied. I love the fact that the ships are all built in the USA and the staff is all American, mostly college graduates. I like the fact that everything, except some of the excursions, is included so you don’t have to worry about how much drinks cost or how much you should tip the staff. The price might be higher than some cruises, but adding the extra costs from additional expenses probably evens out in the long run. The biggest downside on this ship, the Spirit (built in 2005), is the fact that the WiFi was very poor, although it was fine on the other two ships I was on, the America and the Constitution. Would I go on another one? Absolutely! In fact I’m already scheduled a fourth trip in June/July 2020. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We had outstanding night time entertainment. We toured several 1800s port cities in the San Juan Islands including an underground tour of Port Angeles where the the level of the terrain had been raise about 10 feet putting the first floor ... Read More
We had outstanding night time entertainment. We toured several 1800s port cities in the San Juan Islands including an underground tour of Port Angeles where the the level of the terrain had been raise about 10 feet putting the first floor of all the buildings under ground.We visited Olympic National Park including Hurricane Ridge where we were snowed upon in early October. We learned about the serious impact on the area caused by the decreasing salmon runs. It's not just the loss of salmon. There are great efforts going to restore the salmon. We visited the outstanding Chihuly glass museum. Everyone should see it. Our ship was bright and clean with a super staff to care for our every need. We had twice a day housekeeping service in our nicely furnished cabins with a comfortable king sized bed. We had one sitting in the dining room for each meal at tables of 8 with great interaction between the guests. The meals were great. The weather was mostly overcast with rain on a couple of days. That did not stop the planned activities. We also had bright sun on a couple of days. It was a beautiful tour that anyone could enjoy. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We signed up for the American Cruise lines tour and stayed at their hotel pick, the Crowne Plaza, in downtown Seattle. Very nice hotel. Probably above our pay grade any other time. They let us unload our bags and then drive to the parking ... Read More
We signed up for the American Cruise lines tour and stayed at their hotel pick, the Crowne Plaza, in downtown Seattle. Very nice hotel. Probably above our pay grade any other time. They let us unload our bags and then drive to the parking garage. No place to park at Crowne Plaza unless you valet at $50 a day. As a side note, the cruises are set up more to fly in rather than drive in. We drove but be prepared for parking near the pier for $22 a day. We parked where the ship was leaving from and walked back to the hotel. Transportation may be required depending on the departure site. We stopped by Pikes Market on the way and had trouble finding a nice sit down restaurant that wasn't stuffed with people. (it was Friday) We later found out we should have headed for the wharf for many nice places to eat and watch the sunset. The hotel stay also included a bus tour of Seattle the next day which I felt was a bonus. We lucked out with the weather but not with the fall colors. Abnormally warm weather delayed the colors changing. Minor problem. We barely got rained on for 7 days. The ship christened in 2005 was clean and just the right size. There were about 80 guests and 20 crew. The small size was why we picked this cruise. There were a lot of seniors on board but not all. Entertainment was geared toward the older set. The dress code is apparently not set in stone but I did notice some changed attire for the cocktail hour and dinner. Food and drinks were great of course and included in the fare. The stops they had set up were great. We enjoyed them all. If we had to pick a favorite it would be Friday Harbor and the San Juan Islands. Great trip! Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Have done plenty of cruises and cruise lines over the years, but always out of the country. We loved the smaller ship, personalized service, and ports that could not be accessed with the larger ships. The food was great, the ... Read More
Have done plenty of cruises and cruise lines over the years, but always out of the country. We loved the smaller ship, personalized service, and ports that could not be accessed with the larger ships. The food was great, the entertainment was good to very good. The history on the area was spectacular. The towns were very walkable. The excursion to Buchart gardens was well worth the money. We saw whales, dolphins, eagles, and bear. I had no idea just how beautiful this part of our country was. The year before we did the Mississippi River Cruise with this same line. And later this year were dDoing the Lewis and Clark Cruise with them. I highly recommend this Cruise for people who do not like waiting in lines and feeling like they are being herded like cattle. The food was good, some great meals. The entire crew will know your name as well as your preferences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
American Cruise Line is our favorite line. I love the smaller number of passengers. The ships are lovely. Service is superior. Food is delectable, and we enjoyed the 1/2 portions! The cocktail hour is a big fun plus! The elevators ... Read More
American Cruise Line is our favorite line. I love the smaller number of passengers. The ships are lovely. Service is superior. Food is delectable, and we enjoyed the 1/2 portions! The cocktail hour is a big fun plus! The elevators were most important to me. This time we went to Seattle for the Puget Sound Cruise. On a pre-cruise package, we stayed at a beautiful Sheraton Hotel on Friday night. On Saturday morning, we had a pleasant tour of Seattle and were delivered to the ship (American Spirit) for lunch. We were very lucky in that the weather was sunny and warm, about 70-80 degrees or so. My husband is an early riser and often rode the bike early in the mornings. Walking tours are not an option for me with limited mobility (cane or rollator). My husband was able to do all the tours he wanted. I got to a number of good tours, but, at times, the buses were a long walk from the ship. My favorite tours were to Hurricane Ridge and to the Suquamish Museum. The drive through the forest to the Ridge was lovely, and the views of the mountains were spectacular. The Suquamish Museum was small, but very interesting. A young Native guided us on the tour. My husband especially enjoyed the Whale Tour and the Flight Museum. For this cruise, we had a fantastic speaker, Amy Traxler. She was most dynamic with tons of energy. She mingled with all the passengers and took many of the tours. Her "talks" were truly "gems" of knowledge. I even like "slugs" after one of her talks. Ha Ha. I was very impressed with her. This is not a cruise for children. Most of the passengers are older adults. There is nothing for children to do. Could that be why I like it so much? Yes, I would like to do more with this Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We aren't interested in the large boats that travel to AND from Seattle to Alaska in 7 days. The Spirit took 14 days to go only one way. The trip was very relaxing with a good size cabin, bathroom, and balcony. We felt that the crew ... Read More
We aren't interested in the large boats that travel to AND from Seattle to Alaska in 7 days. The Spirit took 14 days to go only one way. The trip was very relaxing with a good size cabin, bathroom, and balcony. We felt that the crew was always available to grant any wish. The historian, Todd Weber, was informative and entertaining. The food was delicious and appealing to the eye...and if you weren't interested in the given choices, you could ask for whatever you wanted. We liked that our time was our own with limited activities on the ship. I say limited, but it seems like there was usually something going on. Great group areas to congregate indoors and out. You could be as active, or as inactive as you wanted in ports. Being a small ship, we got much closer to some of the scenery. We even anchored in Glacier Bay one night while a black bear looked for shellfish on the nearby beach. Cabins are serviced twice a day usually while we were dining. An elevator made the whole ship accessible to everyone. Fellow travelers tended to be over 50 and well traveled. These two week cruises are not inexpensive but I can't imagine paying less for a trip on a mega size boat. My only recommendations to American Cruise Line would be changing to a more modern/neutral look in carpets and couches. (A minor thing.) also have WIFI that works all the time. (also not a big deal.) Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted a small ship with few passengers. This is exactly what we got. We had 15 glorious days with 60 passengers, a wonderful crew of young people, a knowledgeable permanent staff and best of all a seasoned guide in Todd Weber. The ... Read More
We wanted a small ship with few passengers. This is exactly what we got. We had 15 glorious days with 60 passengers, a wonderful crew of young people, a knowledgeable permanent staff and best of all a seasoned guide in Todd Weber. The food was plentiful, varied, creative, pleasing to the eye and delicious. If the choices for any given meal did not suit the chef would make you whatever you wanted. My only complaint was lack of sufficient fitness facilities and my husband's was lack of TV reception for most of the cruise. That said, I believe that the cruise was designed for lots of participation and not TV. I enjoyed most of our excursions and told our cruise director about those we felt were not particularly enjoyable. In closing I would like to reiterate that the staff could not have been more pleasant or accommodating. We have already scheduled another cruise with American Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We wanted a river boat cruise experience as we are familiar with the big boat cruises. It was delightful. Fewer people & we were able to meet more of them. The ship is the oldest in the American Cruise lines fleet. It should be ... Read More
We wanted a river boat cruise experience as we are familiar with the big boat cruises. It was delightful. Fewer people & we were able to meet more of them. The ship is the oldest in the American Cruise lines fleet. It should be remodeled- it looks a bit dated! Cabin size was fine but for the most expensive rom - I would have thought it to be a bit bigger...again this is the oldest ship in their fleet- a newer ship and comparable room cabin may be larger! Food was wonderful and sufficient enough- not too much (but we could ask for more if we wanted). In fact we could customize what we wanted each meal if we felt like it (and we did on three meals occasions ) . Service was excellent and our food server Diana was chipper and delightful and always ready to help us! The ports and shore excursions were great - I would say that perhaps this cruise is one day too long. I suggest that they add one or two hot tubs on the top floor and an onboard masseuse or arrangements for spa service in towns that have those. We traveled with our son , his wife and our 26 yr old grandson. We were afraid he would be the youngest on the ship and he was not! There were at least 2 other families with children ranging from 10- 18 yrs old on our cruise. They all seemed to be having fun...even though there was nothing for them to do on board except play board games. (they all had their IPads and phones - they were fine). WiFi was good most of the trip. We will go on another American Cruise Lines trip - but not this one again because we have now seen the Puget Sound...and want to see other parts of the country! I love the fact that their entire fleet is built in AMERICA and is crewed by AMERICANS! YEA!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We've traveled on American Cruise Lines twice before and enjoyed the service and itineraries and have always wanted to see this part of the US. We have a preference for seeing our own great country - and have been to all 50 states, ... Read More
We've traveled on American Cruise Lines twice before and enjoyed the service and itineraries and have always wanted to see this part of the US. We have a preference for seeing our own great country - and have been to all 50 states, in addition to traveling to several other countries. The small ship experience (just over 80 passengers this time) allows us to get to know the crew, the staff, and our fellow passengers. The itinerary allowed us several opportunities to meet "the locals" and have a little experience of "living on the islands". We were especially lucky to have clear skies in Seattle, giving us a chance to see Mount Rainier, and then another bit of luck - on our whale-watching side-trip, we found ourselves in the middle of five (!) pods of orcas. The guest speaker, a naturalist who makes her home on one of the San Juan Islands, was knowledgeable, personable and engaging. Our service staff made sure that our every need and want was satisfied. The Captain was accessible and engaging - and very skilled. We don't have any disabilities, so I can't speak to that personally, although my sense from talking to others who did have disabilities, the ship has some cabins that are designed to accommodate certain disabilities. For those with severe disabilities, I'd encourage discussing these with the booking staff - the small ship configuration may or may not be the best choice - there were days when the ramp to get on and off the ship was rather steep, because of tidal differences. This wasn't a problem for us, but could be if you have significant mobility issues. I'd highly recommend this cruise and American Cruise Lines! We plan to travel with them again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
My husband and I have always wanted to go into British Columbia to see the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria. This was a perfect way to do it. From the time that we arrived at the ship until we got off the experience was ... Read More
My husband and I have always wanted to go into British Columbia to see the beautiful Butchart Gardens in Victoria. This was a perfect way to do it. From the time that we arrived at the ship until we got off the experience was wonderful. The staff, the food, even the rooms were great...American Cruise line has a good grasp of knowing what the more mature folks want in a cruise for length, the ports of calls where easy for us to get around, the folks that were at the Ports of Call were very knowledgeable. This being our first time on a small sailing vessel, it was a wonderful experience, you had a better chance on knowing the other people who were sailing, they were not just someone you passed in the hallway, but someone you got to know. Would love to take another cruise with this company in the New England states next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This is our second cruise with ACL. Enjoy the smaller ship size; able to interact with staff and other passengers. Excursions were very good; however the Lavender farm would have been better if the lavender was in bloom. Whale watching ... Read More
This is our second cruise with ACL. Enjoy the smaller ship size; able to interact with staff and other passengers. Excursions were very good; however the Lavender farm would have been better if the lavender was in bloom. Whale watching was excellent, they even took pictures and e-mailed them to us free of charge. The Seattle city tour was nice; we had a small group so the guide took us to a look-out point with a beautiful view of the river and the Space Needle and surrounding area. Pike Place Market although interesting was way to crowed for me. Historians (on board and whale watching) were also very good. Cocktail hour each nice was very nice and enjoyable; no additional charge. Like one seating for dinner at 6:30pm. Was also pleased that the gratuity had already been figured into the price of the cruise. The weather was pretty nice. We were told we brought the sun with us; only occasional light rain. They did have umbrellas if we had needed them. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We were planning to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Seattle this spring, and we chose this cruise so that we could do both. From the embarkation on, everything went beautifully. We enjoyed the ports, the food, the comfort, the ... Read More
We were planning to visit our daughter and son-in-law in Seattle this spring, and we chose this cruise so that we could do both. From the embarkation on, everything went beautifully. We enjoyed the ports, the food, the comfort, the friendliness and efficiency of the staff, and meeting people on the cruise with us. Our hotel manager invited us to invite our daughter and son in law aboard for dinner the last night, and facilitated our "early checkout" so we could go home with them that night instead of getting up early the next morning and having them drive all the way back out to the ship to pick us up. I thought that was just the nicest and friendliest thing to do. To add to the fun, it turned out my daughter and son in law had mutual connections with the hotel manager from the island of Lanai, Hawaii! We are already talking about our next trip with American Cruise lines! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. Our first was on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This one, like the first one, did not disappoint. The ship, while small, was quite comfortable and our cabin was quite spacious with a ... Read More
This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. Our first was on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This one, like the first one, did not disappoint. The ship, while small, was quite comfortable and our cabin was quite spacious with a small balcony. The ship was clean and well maintained as was our cabin. The stateroom attendant did a very good job of making up our room each day. The food was very good with nice selection and very nice presentation, especially at dinner. The dining room service was friendly and efficient. Wine is included with dinner and lunch. The evening cocktail hour was wonderful with different horderves each evening along with wine and any cocktail you could request. The lounge is very comfortable for conversation and relaxation before dinner. Complimentary non-alcoholic drinks and snacks are available in the lounge during the day. Entertainment in the lounge during the evening consisted of local musical groups performing in the lounge after dinner. A historian/naturalist traveled on-board the entire cruise and provided interesting talks during the day/evening about various topics concerning the Puget Sound. Embarkation and disembarkation in Seattle were very well handled. Very nice cruise line. Shore excursions were well run and interesting. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our ninth cruise with ACL. After our first cruise, Great Rivers of Florida, we were hooked. ACL delivers an experience in travel that my husband and I both enjoy. The ship is small, thus allowing the entire crew to get to know ... Read More
This was our ninth cruise with ACL. After our first cruise, Great Rivers of Florida, we were hooked. ACL delivers an experience in travel that my husband and I both enjoy. The ship is small, thus allowing the entire crew to get to know us. The staterooms are exceptional, not to big, with plenty of space for relaxing. The food is beyond description. The chefs really outdo themselves and we have never had a bad meal. The service is exceptional, from the deck hands to the wait staff. You get personal service and are greeted by name after only one day on board. The shore tours are all very interesting and ACL does its best to see that all of the passengers have a comfortable touring experience. Over all, ACL goes above and beyond to make their cruises a trip to long be remembered. We will be on our tenth cruise With ACL next August, and are already looking forward to another great trip. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and ... Read More
We had been wanting to visit Butchart Gardens and found this to be an opportunity to visit the Gardens and take a small ship cruise at the same time. It was all we had hoped for. Small ship cruising is wonderful if you're older and love to be pampered. ACL did everything possible to make our trip amazing. Attendants were ready to unload our bags and put them in our stateroom when we first arrived. Food was outstanding. All dietary concerns by other passengers were met and as we had no dietary restrictions we were able to enjoy all they offered, which was more than generous. Every meal had numerous selections and we didn't find any that weren't delicious. You couldn't go wrong. Service was by young people very obviously training for the hospitality industry. If they made a mistake, which was rare, it was promptly and pleasantly corrected. On board entertainment was more than adequate, very enjoyable. Quite a bit of jazz music but of good quality. We would have loved to hear a little gospel or country music interspersed, but what we did have was very good. So, just a personal preference, sure others were completely satisfied with onboard entertainment. Amy, the onboard naturalist was outstanding. Shared all her knowledge with us in an informative yet very understandable and NOT boring manner. Excursions were well worth taking, all of them, even the freebies!! This was a tulip themed cruise and the tulips were gorgeous. The few complaints we heard onboard were from the same people each time...you know those people that no one can please. The captain mingled with the guests and was a joy to be around. Cruise director extremely helpful and immediately took care of any needs. Only recommendation we might give is to take a long a few extra hangers. There were 12 in our closet and they probably would have furnished us more if we had asked, but we were glad we'd brought some. Do think it was a little "pricey" but there also were no gratuities to the onboard staff...basically prepaid...love that. Snacks in the lounge area were the best we've ever seen. Plenty of sodas, coffees (even decaf), fruits and packaged snacks + hot cookies every morning. We're going again. Can't wait. Met 3 other couples that we're going with. Enough said! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary/Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This was our 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We like small ships for many reasons. We know that the cabins are simple, but spacious. The food ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the itinerary/Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. This was our 4th cruise with American Cruise Lines. We like small ships for many reasons. We know that the cabins are simple, but spacious. The food on this cruise was outstanding. Many choices, and if you couldn't find something you liked, the chef and her team would find something that you did like. That doesn't happen very often. The evening entertainment varied, mostly local from the port you were in. Very diversified vocal, musical, and comedic at the same time. We had a lovely woman staff member by the name of Amy who traveled with us throughout the week. I would call her a naturalist. Amy has a passion for Orcas, birds, seals, fish . . . anything that has to do with nature . . . in this Archipelago paradise. She also resides in one of the quaint towns we visited. The captain was always visible when the ship wasn't sailing! You certainly knew who he was. The entire staff was most willing to accommodate your needs. There were 4 new staff members who joined the cruise the day we arrived and even though they were learning their way around, gave it their all and it showed. One of the reasons we sail on small ships, is that you get to know your fellow passengers and staff by name. Before I forget, it's an All American crew. There are many ports and shore excursions to choose from. From walking tours to museums to City tours,to kayaking to jet boat to Butchart Gardens in Victoria, Canada to whale watching . . . something for everyone!! One of my favorites was Olympic National Park and Hurricane Ridge. Least I forget to mention the nightly Happy Hour and appetizers before dinner. The age group are mature adults! These small ships do not have the amenities that larger ships have. So if that's what you're looking for, sail on one of them. ACL offers great discounts if you book your next cruise while on board. And we did. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a small ship cruise in the truest fashion. The ship's crew went overboard to make our cruise as enjoyable as we have experienced on any previous big ship cruise. When you are recognized by your name and at Happy Hour the ... Read More
This was a small ship cruise in the truest fashion. The ship's crew went overboard to make our cruise as enjoyable as we have experienced on any previous big ship cruise. When you are recognized by your name and at Happy Hour the staff knew your drink of choice, what a different experience for a discriminating passenger. Meals were a gourmet dining experience, no questions there.The dining stewards always aimed to please and near the end of the evening meal, the head chef would go from table to table soliciting comments. Where else can you have an experience of the ship's captain coming to sit with the guests for a meal. On a small ship you give up several big ship amenities, but the trade-off is to get acquainted with the other guests on a more personal basis which we did. The ship interior was clean with plenty of hand sanitizers available. The evenings entertainment was a local musical group usually. Some of the shore excursions were the basic city tours, but others were more involved and well worth the fee, especially Victoria, BC. This cruise is not intended for young children. We do plan to take other American Cruise tours as we heard many positive comments from other passengers about other cruise experiences. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't ... Read More
We had a great week on the American Spirit. I will admit that I was someone hesitant that this cruise was going to be anything other than mediocre after reading some of the reviews. I only have to surmise that those folks just can't be pleased. Here are some overall comments from our experience. The most important being - my husband and I who are in our 50's had a wonderful week of peace and quiet. We took walks together when on shore and met some truly wonderful people. If you're looking for casinos and a 24 hour bar, this isn't the ship for you. But if you are looking for a perfect trip to shut off the phones and just watch some spectacular views from your balcony - this is the ship. This is a very understated cruise, which was perfect for us. 1. Food. Food was great. With the exception of a dry pork chop one night - overall the quality of the food was excellent. You are able to special order to some extent if you don't like what's on the menu. It is a set menu and you do make your choices in the morning. Keep in mind this is a small ship so they carry everything. 2. Activities. There is a speaker that goes on the cruise who is very educated about the area and gives talks at different points in the cruise. Our speaker also led several tours. The evening activities are kinda bad. So my best advice is to skip it and sit up on the observation deck or enjoy your balcony. Tours were good. 3. Service. This is where people get unnecessarily mean. The staff is comprised of college students who are serving 13 week internships. They are young and they will goof occasionally (forgetting your toast or serving right to left). But they are enthusiastic and hard working. Some will go on to terrific careers in the hospitality industry, others won't. One of our favorites on the ship is preparing to enter the Peace Corp. Another one was so excited to have landed his first big interview with an airline because of the internship and was excited to share that he had gotten his first car and apartment. It really is part of the charm of the cruise to interact with these young adults. 4. Management. Is excellent. Every effort is made to accommodate the passengers. The director of western operations made two different appearances on our cruise to inquire earnestly about where they could improve. My only response was "I want a coffee maker in my room." 5. WiFi. WiFi isn't particularly great. But we didn't have a problem because we used my husband's phone as a hotspot. Which would be my suggestion to all who need to get online. Overall we had such a great time. So good that we before the cruise was over we booked the Juneau roundtrip for 2017. Even booked the same room! There is always room for improvement - but overall we think it was money well spent. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
The shore excursion were good as was the food. The toilet situation needs some overhaul which I understand is coming at the end of the season. The staff is very attentive and tries hard to please the passengers. If you don't like ... Read More
The shore excursion were good as was the food. The toilet situation needs some overhaul which I understand is coming at the end of the season. The staff is very attentive and tries hard to please the passengers. If you don't like large portions of food ask for a half. Our cabin was good sized but have enjoyed the newer ships more. This trip was our fourth on this line. The naturalists on board was excellent and made the trip more enjoyable as was the variety of musical offerings. I personally liked my side day trip to Victoria, BC where I enjoyed tea at the Empress Hotel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This was our first experience with cruising US inland waterways. The Puget Sound area was on our bucket list and we wisely opted not to try and cover it by auto. After looking over the ACL information with all the particulars about ... Read More
This was our first experience with cruising US inland waterways. The Puget Sound area was on our bucket list and we wisely opted not to try and cover it by auto. After looking over the ACL information with all the particulars about destinations, port's of call, sightseeing options and schedule options we decided to take a flyer. We were cautioned by our European river cruise travel agent not to expect the same quality of service as in Europe. In fact we were pleasantly surprised with the generally first class service we received on the American Spirit. The staterooms were comfortable and more spacious than we had expected and everything worked. TV reception was marginal but we didn't care. The food and table service was simply exceptional. Some of us really appreciated the half portion entree option. We (our party of eight) had a wonderful table server who attended to most of our meals by our choice. This was her first cruise but she performed like a seasoned professional. The evening cocktail hour was a nice bonus and gave us the opportunity to meet new people. We had a naturalist on board for most of the trip who provided several outstanding lectures on the history of the San Juan Islands in addition to teaching us much about the resident Orcas. Some of the after dinner entertainment was exceptional but none were poor. From the captain on down the ships crew was attentive, responsive and committed to making the cruise totally enjoyable. With one exception the on-shore excursion guides were well prepared and did a fine job communicating and highlighting important aspects of their particular tours. All-in-all it was a fine experience which we hope to repeat in the future. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Stepping aboard the ACL ship at the Seattle dock, I was instantly transported back in time to the dock in Florida for the first cruise I took on ACL with my husband. The feeling of ‘coming home’ filled me with comfort and anticipation ... Read More
Stepping aboard the ACL ship at the Seattle dock, I was instantly transported back in time to the dock in Florida for the first cruise I took on ACL with my husband. The feeling of ‘coming home’ filled me with comfort and anticipation for the Puget Sound cruise. I love islands and this cruise fills that desire. Not only do I get to visit the islands, but the in house lectures giving background information and history of port stops is entertaining and informative. The programs each night are well planned. Then, there are the delicious meals, I get so spoiled on these trips, I don’t even want to cook when I return home,plus this was a wine tasting cruise. Such fun! The ship’s employees, whether it is the hotel employees or the ship mates, are helpful and much like a family. This was my 6th cruise with ACL, three with my husband and three after his death. I can’t think of another cruise line that would welcome me and make me feel so included after my husband’s death like ACL has done. There is something about the ambience at ACL that makes the cruises exceptional. This is reflected from the administration to the employee—it shows! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four ... Read More
The catalog seems to be different from what we received on the cruise. We complained when the air conditioning did not work properly, toilets did not flush, could not get a bottle of water and public bath room was dirty. There were four couples that complained and the cruise line sent a director of hotel operations to talk with us on the fifth day of the cruise. He listened to our complaint and said he was sorry and would see if he could do something for us once he talked to the home office and would get back to us after the cruise. That was 9 days a go so I feel like I was lied too. We were told the college age people working the ship were on 12 weeks contracts and than let go, that's why we felt service like eating at a IHOP and the place was dirty. We have been on river boat cruises in Europe that cost the same $10,000 that have been fantastic and twice as long for the same amount of money. The food was OK but for the cost of the 7 days I thought it could have been much better. We felt this cruise was a waste of money. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are ... Read More
The Positives: The food was good with complimentary happy hour and wine & beer with meals. All meals are served with tables of 8 , open seating with no buffet. We enjoyed the companionship of the mostly over 70 years crowd who are seasoned travelers. The young staff wait tables all 3 meals and clean the rooms and are temporary for 3 months at time and are enthusiastic but overworked. Amy Traxler our naturalist was outstanding and was always willing to help and answer questions. At the end of the cruise the last night Amy presented a power point slide show of photos with music that she created for us. Something, that I would expect of the ACL Cruise Directors on ship to do every cruise. Our Captain, Capt Hexlrod ?? was personable and mingled with the passengers and on the last day in Seattle even helped load supplies. We were very impressed with the Captain and the crew who always helped passengers on and off the ship. We did like the free WiFi. The Hotel Manager , Chelsea was always willing to answer questions and would help the servers in the dining room. Amy the housekeeping manager always seemed to be helping somewhere. Several of the passengers had cruised before with ACL and are very committed to small ship cruising in the USA. I wonder if Viking comes in as I hear rumor will in 2017 if ACL will lose business from those of us who would like a more upscale cabin and less non-refundable administrative fees of $250/person and cheaper trip insurance. I would guess that many of the people that chose ACL will leave and go to Viking. The scenery is beautiful!! The negatives: The overworked staff and managers who seem to work non-stop day and evening. This made many of us feel uncomfortable to see them working so hard and not getting to rest. ACL's accommodations are pricey starting at $3985 for a basic cabin on the 1st floor which can have an obstructed view depending on the pier. This is for 7 night cruise or over $8,000 for 2 people, plus air fare etc.. A tiny balcony that can barely accommodate 2 chairs is almost $1,000 per person more to go to the 2nd level. The 1st level has considerable engine noise and vibration. Compare this with our 10 day Alaska Cruise, 2017 round trip from San Francisco in a mini-Suite on Princess for $6400 for both us for a longer cruise & includes insurance There is a $250.00 /person administrative fee to cancel which is buried in fine print. This is regardless of how far out the trip is cancelled unlike the big ship lines like Princess. The ACL insurance runs about $900 which I found high and bought from Travel Guard for about $600 for the week. On Princess for a 10 day cruise the insurance is $395 VS $900 for ACL. Tipping is requested at $125/person which seems beyond the $11 per day /person that we pay on Princess. $88 for a week on Princess VS $125 for ACL. There is no phone or call button in the cabin which is a serious safety deficit, especially for a ship with seniors . There is no announcement or clear directions on how to call for help and the expectation would be find the numbers for the hotel manager or cruise director on the ship to shore guide and call by cell phone. a number of the passengers mentioned this as a worrisome issue. There doesn't seem to be any security system ( cameras) on board and there is no tracking of passengers going on or off ship in ports or screening of lugguge. A crew member stands by the gang plank to monitor passengers and help but there is no electronic badge system or sign out process. The keys to our cabins were metal like our house keys not the electronic ones which can also monitor when a passenger or staff person enters and leaves the cabin. This is a low tech operation that doesn't seem to use tools like computer tablets to track excursions etc. Our bill was a narrow strip of paper with a box for each excursion to be checked with a total at the end and the tipping had to be added by hand. This was the 1st time that I have ever cruised with out an itemized computer print out of the bill . We had to check out the last day by using our credit card , check or cash unlike like other cruise companies which have it on file to expedite the check out process. Port Excursions are usually a town tour or some type of bus ride to view the sights or a museum with the exception of the jet boat in Anacortes and Whale watching in Friday Harbor. The Victoria excursion which we didn't take but got lots of feedback on from other disappointed passengers was a let town only 2 hours in Butchart Gardens and 45 mins in Victoria before returning via Ferry to Port Angeles. We wished for some more creative excursions and did get bored and restless as there is a lot of time spent in ports. There was only 3 pieces of work out equipment and no pool or hot tub on board. The cabin is bare bones with blond future which could use updating. Again no call button or phone . I missed a mini-fridge and fresh ice water being maintained. While this is advertised as cruising, most of the time is spent in ports even over nighting in ports. Entertainment: Mixed bag that was geared to the more Senior crowd but seemed to be enjoyed. We had one grand child on board about 11 years with her grandmother. She was smart and had picked this trip. We were all amazed how well she interacted with us and definitely held her own in dinner conversations. Meals as I mentioned is a sit down at a table of 8 and there is no horizon court for a quick meal which I missed. There is an early bird continental breakfast in the lounge starting at 6:30 am with rolls, coffee, Juice etc. Will we return to ACL maybe in a few years to take the Hudson River Cruise in a hopefully updated ship with more reasonable insurance and administrative fees. With ACL rolling out a new ship a year and not updating Spirit or its computer technology , I wonder how long this expansion can be maintained? I don't want ACL to suffer the same fate as Cruise West the small ship company that went bankrupt. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Weather was great. Scenery was beautiful. Small towns were nice to walk through. The jet boat excursion and whale watching were two of the favorite extras. Food and accommodations were excellent. Quiet relaxing cruise..not a fast ... Read More
Weather was great. Scenery was beautiful. Small towns were nice to walk through. The jet boat excursion and whale watching were two of the favorite extras. Food and accommodations were excellent. Quiet relaxing cruise..not a fast pace cruise. Enjoyed meeting the other travelers during the meal times. The entertainment was average except the young violin player. She was excellent and we could have listened longer to her. The ship itself is showing some age/use in the common areas, i.e. the couches could use some sprucing up. The food and room service was for the most part very good. Overall, we had an excellent cruise...lived up to our expectations! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
American Spirit Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 3.0 4.2
Entertainment 3.0 3.6
Public Rooms 3.0 4.0
Fitness & Recreation 2.0 N/A
Family 2.0 2.8
Shore Excursions 3.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 4.0 N/A
Service 3.0 4.4
Value for Money 3.0 N/A

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