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4 U.S.A. Expedition Cruise Reviews

First off let me say that I really like this cruise line. So much so, that we are taking them in Alaska this summer. The crew was very friendly and helpful. The food service and staff were excellent. The other passengers were quite ... Read More
First off let me say that I really like this cruise line. So much so, that we are taking them in Alaska this summer. The crew was very friendly and helpful. The food service and staff were excellent. The other passengers were quite friendly and engaging. The entertainment, with one glaring exception was very good. The lectures and information about our ports was exceptional and the shore excursions were very good. The cocktail hour every afternoon is a great way to mix and mingle and get to know the other passengers. If you are on this Cruise Critic site to help in the selection of your next cruise, let me give you some idea of what to expect and not to expect from American Cruise Lines…. - If you want a cruise with 4000 of your best friends, assigned dinner tables and times, food from a cement mixer, half hour waits to get on or off the ship, an iPhone App to save you from getting lost on the ship, a $500 bar bill for a seven day cruise, being nickel and dimed to death for everything other than your room and meals, American Cruise Lines is not for you. - If you want to cruise in the lap of luxury with a spacious suite cabin, a mini bar and fridge in your cabin, 24 hour coffee bar with a barista, a fancy bar and lounge with a uniformed bartender, over priced and spotty wifi, over priced and poorly presented shore excursions, and young adults frolicking in the surf, then American may not be for you either. - What you do get on ACL is a compact, efficient ship with great food and a very helpful and friendly crew. We cruised from Charleston to Jackson on a New Years holiday and thoroughly enjoyed it. We have cruised Royal Caribbean, Avalon, Seabourn, and a small motor sailer in Greece. AMC is one of our favorites. We have already booked another cruise with American. - Since this is supposed to be a critique, let me address a few things to the ACL home office that might improve the overall ACL experience. Never use the band we had on New Years Eve and New Years again. They were so bad that there were requests to have them put off the ship on Sapelo Island. Get new uniforms for the hotel staff. Whatever that is they are wearing in no way reflects their high level of professionalism. Get “plug-in” clocks for the night stands. The battery operated LCD clocks are hard to see in the daytime and impossible at night. Get bigger TV in the staterooms. Considering the average age of your guests, I am not sure anyone could see those 15” mini screens. Get better coffee in the lounge. I heard several passengers say they were going to Starbucks when they got off the ship. - I never expected ACL to be Seabourn, but for heavens sake, fire your interior designer. OMG! Valences over the windows! With the exception of the dining room, the rest of the furniture, especially in the lounge looks like an assisted living center. Your passengers might not be spry but your decor should be a little more spry and up to date.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Our choice of this cruise was made from three criteria. First it was a small ship, allowing us to visit ports not filled with other cruises, not ruined by the presence of too many other tourists. Second, as a Florida resident, I was ... Read More
Our choice of this cruise was made from three criteria. First it was a small ship, allowing us to visit ports not filled with other cruises, not ruined by the presence of too many other tourists. Second, as a Florida resident, I was interested in learning some early history and third we did not have to travel far. From Jacksonville to Jacksonville on the small ship Glory, we visited seldom seen but historically significant ports like Palatka and Green Cove Springs and better known ones like St. Augustine. This cruise ably combined a view of early Florida with a very up-to-date environmental view. The small ship with comfortable accommodations, the small number of passengers all added up to a relaxing and friendly time on board. We boarded after a night spent in the Hyatt Regency Hotel with an exciting 16th floor room overlooking fireworks and a pre-Christmas boat parade just below us. Car in storage with the hotel, my husband and I boarded the ship. Throughout the cruise, we were offered shore cruises in each port which were varied (buses, walks, horse-drawn carriages, small boats). Our lecturer, Rachel, was informative with both historical and environmental information. She became an important part of our experience both on board as she lectured and shared meals with us and off the ship when she always knew the right questions to ask various locals who were docents on our shore excursions. Service was always there when needed.The meals were well cooked and became a great gathering place of new friends made. We particularly enjoyed the breakfast time practice of making our lunch and dinner choices though if we changed our minds, we were not held to those choices. Thanks especially for giving us a choice of half-portions. In summary it was a happy cruise, a quietly friendly time and one that we have recommended to the planning of several friends! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Quite simply, this trip was the best trip we have ever taken. We cruised with Un-Cruise for the first time this summer and we boarded the Wilderness Explorer for a 7 night adventure cruise that left from Juneau, went through Glacier Bay, ... Read More
Quite simply, this trip was the best trip we have ever taken. We cruised with Un-Cruise for the first time this summer and we boarded the Wilderness Explorer for a 7 night adventure cruise that left from Juneau, went through Glacier Bay, the Northern Passages, and ended in Sitka. This was our 4th cruise and our first small boat adventure cruise. After the amazing experience we had with Un-Cruise, we will not cruise with another company. We began planning a trip to Alaska about 2 years ago and we requested some promotional material from Un-Cruise. From our very first encounter with their team, it was apparent to us that they were personable, professional, and an awesome place to do business with. The small boat only held 76 passengers and there were around 50 guests which made for a great guest to staff ratio. On board our boat was a team of expedition guides that were all naturalists. Our daily activities included guided bushwhack hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling and skiff tours. Each night our Expedition Leader met us in the lounge to discuss the next day's available excursions. We were able to select from a list of activities and the crew made all of them available for us. Each evening, one of the expedition guides presented on an aspect of Southeast Alaska, wildlife, and Glacier Bay. They were entertaining and very informative. The wildlife that we experienced was breathtaking. We saw in excess of 20 humpback whales, we saw countless bald eagles, sea otters, sea lions, and one day we even saw a brown bear from the boat! The highlight for us was being able to see a Killer Whale come completely out of the water and breach about 50 yards off of the starboard side right outside our room! The activities were not too strenuous. They did a great job explaining the difficulty level of each activity so we weren't over matched or under matched. It was a pretty neat experience to cruise on a small boat and actually meet and visit with the captain, the first mate, and the rest of the crew. The boat had an "open bridge" policy so we were able to go into the bridge and visit with the captain and crew while we were sailing. Something that we really appreciated was that the captain and crew stopped the boat when we came upon wildlife. What an awesome experience to stop the boat and watch humpback whales in their natural habitat un-rushed, un-crowded and un-believable. Un-Cruise carries our highest recommendations. We had such an amazing time on our cruise that we put down a deposit on board to cruise again in Hawaii with Un-Cruise. J&H Little Rock, AR Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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

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