9 Seattle River Cruise Reviews

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
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
This was my 5th cruise with ACL. It happened to be in my neck of the woods so didn't have to fly to get there. The scenery was spectacular. I would have been content to just sit on the boat and sail around looking at the scenery. ... Read More
This was my 5th cruise with ACL. It happened to be in my neck of the woods so didn't have to fly to get there. The scenery was spectacular. I would have been content to just sit on the boat and sail around looking at the scenery. The food, as always, was excellent with plenty of choice and if you didn't see something you liked the kitchen seemed quite happy to fix what you wanted. The servers seemed a little inexperienced so service was not as good as I am used to on ACL. Same goes with the cleaning the cabins. They could have been more meticulous. Most of the senior management was excellent, with the exception of the Activities Director who seemed scatterbrained and unorganized. I felt that sometimes it was because of her that we left late for excursions. Entertainment was so so. I guess I could say it was adequate. The shore excursions were terrific except for the bus overheating on the way to Hurricane Ridge. And even that was interesting because we had 2 deer come down and were very friendly. The onboard naturalist was excellent and very helpful. After all this carping, I have to say this was my 2nd favorite cruise with ACL and I will certainly use them again!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
American Cruise Lines never disappoints! The entire crew was great and our ports of call were awesome, whether taking a walking tour or exploring all the small towns on our own. In Anacortes don't miss the rope making factory and ... Read More
American Cruise Lines never disappoints! The entire crew was great and our ports of call were awesome, whether taking a walking tour or exploring all the small towns on our own. In Anacortes don't miss the rope making factory and all the unique art on the buildings. Friday Harbor was beautiful and relaxing, as was Port Townsend. The whale watching excursion was very eventful as we circled all of San Juan Island. American Cruise Lines isn't like a 3000 passenger cruise ship, so don't look for all the frills and entertainment. This is more like a floating boutique hotel that is quaint and relaxing, and stopping at ports that offer the real America. We've been up the Mississippi, along the Golden Southeastern Coast from Florida to Charleston, SC (2X) and The Puget Sound & San Juan Islands. We loved them all! Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Let's begin at the beginning. We stayed the first night at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. This beautiful hotel, a gem in downtown Spokane, has been restored to its former glory. It was opulent in every respect, a fun way to begin the ... Read More
Let's begin at the beginning. We stayed the first night at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane. This beautiful hotel, a gem in downtown Spokane, has been restored to its former glory. It was opulent in every respect, a fun way to begin the cruise. Not only was the hotel beautiful, it was efficiently run with a very gracious staff. Check in for the boat was offered at the hotel with many time slots available. This meant that all that was necessary to do upon arrival at the boat was to present your ID and walk to your room where your luggage awaited you. The room, while small, provided more than adequate storage space and was decorated very nicely. The service onboard was excellent. Our room was always refreshed while we were at breakfast and turned down while we were at dinner. The Godiva chocolate on the pillow was a nice touch!. Dining was a pleasure. The wait staff was very accommodating. Austin and Anton, you were great! Now to the food...Excellent is the only way to describe our dinner each night. Dinner was gourmet dining at its best! I certainly hope that the chef remains with the boat because he was excellent.. Shore excursions were also well run. Each port offered as free hop on hop off option as well as a premium excursion. We took both and were pleased with each. Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience on the Columbia River on the American Empress. OUr port of embarkation was Clarkston, Washington. However, this was not a choice above. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
The ship was clean, the dining room was well lit, the crew was marvelous and the cruise was very interesting. The food was well above average, however the way the last dinner was served was not so good. The lobster tail was split but it ... Read More
The ship was clean, the dining room was well lit, the crew was marvelous and the cruise was very interesting. The food was well above average, however the way the last dinner was served was not so good. The lobster tail was split but it was a chore to dig out the meat...A knife slid under the meat of the tail should have happened in the galley. The clothes hangers are a disgrace and hooks on the door of the head and wall of the cabin would ease the crush of clothes in the closet. More FREE excursions would be nice. All in all we had a wonderful time and look forward to our cruise of the Hudson River next year. Namaste', Tom and Phylis Abate Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, ... Read More
This was our seventh cruise with ACL. As always, they didn't disappoint us. The highlight was taking a shore tour to Olympic National Park and the scenery from Hurricane Ridge. It was 46 degrees in June but the view was well worth it, along with the deer grazing on the hillside. The American Spirit is one of the older boats but the staff kept it clean and neat throughout the trip. Plenty of room in our cabin with lots of places to hang clothes and drawers for other things. Stewards kept rooms clean and neat. Some of the entertainment was better than others. They have local talent from the port we are in come on board to entertain. Food was plentiful and if you didn't like what they had the menu you could ask for something else and if they didn't have something they suggested a similar dish. Being on a small boat (93 passengers) is a plus. Even though some of the people were a little older than us we were able to learn many things from their vast experiences. This is not a cruise for children or young adults. There isn't a lot for them to do. For people who just want to sit and enjoy the scenery while traveling along Puget Sound and seeing a few orcas along the way, and a seal in one of the ports, this would be a trip for you. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
The cruise entailed two one-week back- to- back cruises of the San Juan Islands and the Alaskan Inside Passage. We chose the San Juan Island cruise as it took us to a very scenic area of the US which is difficult to arrange by car and ... Read More
The cruise entailed two one-week back- to- back cruises of the San Juan Islands and the Alaskan Inside Passage. We chose the San Juan Island cruise as it took us to a very scenic area of the US which is difficult to arrange by car and ferry transport independently. As long as we were in this area, it seemed logical to add on the Alaskan cruise which followed on up the northwestern coast of the US. We thoroughly enjoyed the scenic areas as we traveled up close to the islands in this group, stopping at the various small towns along the way. At times on the cruise, we saw one of the larger cruise ships way off in the distance not being able to come in close to the islands nor the coastline. How much the passengers missed!! Wildlife sighting of dolphins and whales occurred along the way, The shore excusrions offered provided a very well-rounded look at the area: history, the economy, Native American Indian lore, life on the islands and along the coast, sea life and the natural habitat, and the scenery, both on water and land. All of this was supplemented by a historian who accompanied the excursions and who presented lectures on board about the area and the things that we were going to see so that we had an excellent orientation to make the most of the time ashore. In addition, there was always time for a recap of the activities at the conclusion of the day. On many evenings, local entertainment was brought on board which included music, dance, story-telling, etc. Sailing on a small ship provided the opportunity to dock and be very close to the center of town affording us many opportunities to explore on our own. It was also very enjoyable to have some local seafood served for lunches and dinners as we traveled in the area. Everyday, the ship's crew endeavored to make each aspect of the cruise most enjoyable. We thoroughly enjoyed both cruises and feel we really explored in depth this area of the Pacific Northwest. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
A scenic River Cruise sounded great, but, in the end, it was one of the worst experiences of our lives (and definitely the most expensive). The Queen of the West is an old renovated ship and did not have many (or should I say ... Read More
A scenic River Cruise sounded great, but, in the end, it was one of the worst experiences of our lives (and definitely the most expensive). The Queen of the West is an old renovated ship and did not have many (or should I say "any"??)amenities. The "exercise facility" consisted of one stationary bicycle and one elliptical which were found on the top deck in a public seating area. The rooms were TINY and the staff was extremely inexperienced. Staff were all college kids and nice enough, but with very little experience. The cost of the cruise was EXORBITANT. No choices for Shore excursions--You either went or you didn't, with no options. Staying on the boat was not really an option either since there was NOTHING to do--no shops, no cafes, just a makeshift library with one computer (which was never available)and two lounges with chairs and magazines. Shore excursions were pricey and definitely tailored to the elderly. NO active excursion options for kids. Entertainment after dinner consisted of an hour or so of local musicians. By 8:30 PM the entertainment was over and evidently, it was bedtime for all!!! Food was sub-par, but, in all fairness, did get better as the week progressed. I am appalled at how much money I paid for this family vacation. Definitely NOT worth the price. Will NEVER cruise with this company again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011

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