1. Home
  2. Cruise Destinations
  3. USA Cruises
  4. USA Cruise Reviews
Sail Date: July 2019
Cruised several times on American Queen boats and loved each of those. Wanted to try their new acquisition, Victory Cruise Lines and their Great Lakes itinerary. As with the Queen and Duchess, we weren't disappointed. The ship is a ... Read More
Cruised several times on American Queen boats and loved each of those. Wanted to try their new acquisition, Victory Cruise Lines and their Great Lakes itinerary. As with the Queen and Duchess, we weren't disappointed. The ship is a small version of an ocean going cruise ship. 200 passengers, very intimate, easy to navigate. The ships decor is beautiful, very updated and did not experience a single problem or issue. The cabins are small, but very well designed with a lot of storage space. We found that by separating our beds, we had much more space and the cabin seemed larger. Beds very comfortable. Bathroom is very nice with ample storage, small shower, but we've had smaller. We call it a one person bathroom unless one of us was in the shower. Dining in the large dining room or the smaller casual Grill buffet. Never crowded and food was very good. Menu items displayed in the hallway entering the dining room for dinner. Nice to be able to see what you might want to order. Also 24 hr. coffee machine in the main lounge and coffee and ice cream machines in the Grill. Public areas are: the 1) main lounge where we met before dinner for cocktails, talks on next day's activities, daily activities, nightly entertainment and afternoon teas: 2) tavern with a pub type atmosphere behind the lounge with a bar and tables: 3) two separate seating areas on the top deck (note: the elevator does not go to the top deck. The itinerary and excursions were awesome. We were on all 5 Great Lakes with beautiful scenery and wonderful ports of call. The excursions were well planned, seamless in execution and all guides were interesting. Nightly entertainment was a three piece band made up of a piano player (also the cruise director), drummer and a guitar/trumpet player. They were very talented and played popular songs that we know and could sing along or dance to. Different theme each night. The staff aboard Victory I were excellent, hard working and their service was impeccable. This was right up with the best service we've ever experienced. If you're looking for a relaxing cruise on a great small ship with wonderful food, service and excursions, in or close to America, this would be a great choice. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2019
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most ... Read More
We enjoy river cruises as opposed to ocean cruises. We enjoy the silence of the river, and the history surrounding it. On this Lewis and Clark themed cruise along the Snake and Columbia Rivers in Washington and Oregon, we relived a most important part of our nations past, forged in part by these two infamous explorers. Great shore excursions and presentations by the River Historian added to the experience. The hospitality of the ship and crew was outstanding. The food and drink was excellent. It should be noted that the Queen of the West is the line's oldest ship and the rooms and bathroom are smaller than newer ships. But so little time is spent in the room, we found the accommodations to be adequate. The one difficulty was a high step into the bathroom which may be difficult for an elderly person. We enjoyed the entire cruise so much that we immediately signed up for another cruise next year! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2019
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are ... Read More
My wife wanted to cruise the Great Lakes and i found this ship that was sailing from Toronto, ON Canada through the Great Lakes and Georgian Bay ending in Milwaukee, WS . The ship's facilities were very good but cabins and rooms are dated. The crew members were excellent and very attentive to passenger needs and requests. Entertainment and activities are geared to retired (60+) and service was excellent as was the dining. Shore excursions were good and ports, for the most part, were very easy and efficient. WiFi didn't seem to work when you needed it most and was very spotty to say the least. TV reception (for NBA tournament) was also hit and miss, although some passengers had it on their phones. The disembarkation port was too small though and this made getting off the ship awkward and time consuming. Not good planning on the part of the cruise line. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, ... Read More
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, quite new and offering a good range of river boat amenities, a hardworking and a very pleasant crew. But we felt it was overpriced, and had some weak points. Embarkation We boarded shortly before noon at a marina in Seattle, and the check-in was very fast. We were handed names tags on a ribbon and encouraged to wear them all the time. We were given the usual room key, but were not asked to provide a credit card imprint – a first in our experience. The Captain was there to greet us; and helped with the luggage. We had a snack in the main “Cascade” Lounge on deck three and then went to our cabin. The Stateroom, This is a quite new ship, and the stateroom was in excellent condition. It was quite roomy for a river boat with plenty of drawer space and a small but adequate closet. The bathroom was about the same size as on most cruise ships. The verandah has a sliding glass door, two chairs and a small table. The walls were painted a nice beige shade. There were two armchairs as well as a desk with its chair. Almost all the staterooms were the same, the price differential was according to location. We were on Deck 2, but since it is a small vessel, it was not inconvenient. We were just a few steps from the center of the boat. The Ship If you are on a cruise ship, you are told to call the river vessels “boats”. But American Constellation really looks like a small cruise ship with six decks and a sharp prow. It was built for sailing on open waters, and, as we saw on our visit to the bridge, is controlled by a navigation system that matches the oceangoing vessels we have been on. The top deck is open, with a small putting green. Deck 5 has the “Owners Suites”, a fitness room and a rear sun deck. Deck 4 has staterooms with a library/computer room and the Sky Lounge aft with an open deck. Deck 3 has the main Cascade Lounge forward and staterooms as well as a lounge. Deck 2 is all staterooms except for a lounge. The Main Deck has the Office and Dining Room, as well as some rooms without verandahs. All the decks except the top deck were connected by two roomy elevators in addition to a stairway. The Crew The crew, with one exception, was entirely American. Captain Brown had served in the Coast Guard for many years. He was most pleasant and helpful for the entire cruise. The Cruise Director, Annie was also outgoing and helpful, and most of her comments on the ports were accurate. The wait staff in the main dining room was cheerful and tried their best, but still lacked the skill of those found on the major cruise line. The only non-American on the whole ship was the pianist, from England, appropriately named Jon England. Fellow Passengers As noted, all our fellow passengers were from the United States. We were actually provided with a list of everyone’s names and staterooms. Those who had sailed with American Cruise Lines had their names marked with a star. While the ship would carry up to 175 passengers, we only had 112 on board. Of these 73 had sailed with the cruise line before. Since the company has only been around for a few years, this shows a high degree of loyalty. Since it is easy to forget the names of one’s fellow passengers, the list was quite helpful. As usual, virtually all our fellow passengers were of “a certain age”. The meals were all with open seating, but after a day or two we found a small group with whom we usually ate. The name tags and passenger list did help with recalling people. By and large we were a cheerful lot, and happy to share our differing port experiences and past cruising histories. Dining This was the first cruise in which all meals were served by the wait staff. Each diner was provided with an individual menu, and the back side asked for our choices for lunch and dinner. There was a partial buffet for breakfast, but the hot items were obtained only by ordering them. Actually the breakfast had the widest selection of “main” servings. The lunches were somewhat inadequate in term of choices offered; but it was possible to order items not on the menu. One of our table regulars always had chicken tacos for lunch. I tried them, but this Arizonan with a wide experience in Mexican food, found the Constellation version to be lacking in true south of the border flavor. The dinners were generally pretty good, although no boat this size can match the cuisine on a cruise ship; even smaller ships like the Oceania Regatta or the Crystal Serenity and Symphony. In fact, these smaller cruise ships, including Marina and Riviera as well as the Viking ocean going vessels, set the mark for cruise dining. But the efforts on our trip were commendable, with three main dinner entrée choices plus a vegetarian option for my wife. Desserts were limited, but the baker did an excellent job, and treats were available almost all the time all over the boat. One nice feature was the ability to order half-size portions. As we noted in the “Crew” section, the inexperience of the wait staff led to some mixed-up orders, and on one occasion, a delay of half an hour in getting the lunch main meal served after the appetizers. Shipboard Entertainment This facet of the trip was not bad for a riverboat. We had three pretty good female singers and a five piece band in addition to Jon England and his piano offerings. There was supposed to be a Dixieland band the final night but they did not make it. The Ports Ports and their excursions are normally the highlight of “river” cruises. However the options offered in the Puget Sound area were somewhat limited for first time passengers and the complimentary excursions very restricted, unless you were a prior passenger. We received a one page “Captain’s Sailing Instructions” sheet which detailed all our various arrivals and departures. As on all river cruises, there was a session in the main lounge each night with Annie going over all the shore options for the following day. We had already received a printed sheet of these choices in our cabins after dinner in the daily “Ship to Shore” sheet. We had also been provided on arrival with three pages of all the off-ship offerings and another document showing the prices. Many of these options were too strenuous for me, but the ones we took we did enjoy. Our highlights included a visit to an alpaca farm in Friday Harbor, and a “game farm” near Port Angeles where we fed a variety of large animals such a bears, llamas, bison and deer from the bus. Anacortes, north of Seattle, was our first stop with an interesting history and some tours. We arrived at 8:00 P.M. the first day after a 1:30 P.M. sail-away, stayed all the next day and sailed the following morning west for a two hour trip to Friday Harbor. Whale watching was offered there twice a day, in addition to the alpaca farm, but only the afternoon group saw more than one kind of whale. Friday Harbor is on San Juan Island, one of the San Juan group of islands which are actually northeast of Vancouver Island and Victoria, B.C. The islands became part of the United States after a long running dispute with Canada. It was here we did a tour of the island which included a delightful visit to Krystal and her alpaca farm, where we got to feed and pet the alpacas. We also had a visit to a lighthouse and the town of Roche Harbor. We stayed overnight at a small harbor nearby and then sailed south the next day to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula arriving in the afternoon. There we enjoyed a view of the snow covered Olympic Range. The following day was spent in Port Angeles, because this was the spot from which people could take a boat to Victoria and visit Butchart Gardens, a somewhat pricey trip requiring a passport. Since we had seen the gardens a few years prior to this cruise, we skipped this adventure and instead enjoyed the visit to the game farm in nearby Sequim [which should always be pronounced “Skwim”]. We left Port Angeles early the next morning and sailed east to Port Townsend, which is at the northeast corner of the peninsula, arriving at 10:00 A.M. and again spending the night there. Not too much was offered there by way of excursions except a complimentary walking tour. We sailed early the next morning to Paulsbo, just off Puget Sound, where we tendered ashore on a small ship’s launch and visited the Squamish Museum and Chief Seattle’s grave site. This is a small but very well done museum containing a great deal of history concerning the Native American tribes which inhabited this area. We left Paulsbo in the afternoon and sailed south, arriving in Tacoma at 6:00, spending the night and the next day there. This is a good sized city, but the ship offered only a complimentary excursion and two museum tours. The excursion was by bus and was enjoyable. We left the next morning, sailing north to Bremerton on the west side of Puget Sound. We arrived at noon and left at noon the next day. The only item of any interest in Bremerton is the Puget Sound Navy Museum (free), and that is a somewhat limited venue. Annie had said there was a nice shopping area, but one of our table companions who visited the area said most of the shops were closed. We had a small rain shower here, the only bad weather we encountered on the cruise until our return to Seattle the next day. Back there in the afternoon we took a complimentary bus ride (with a very inexperienced bus driver) to the Pike Place Market area, which was of some interest. We returned to the boat for the final evening and packing. The next day we simply got aboard a complimentary bus (with a much better driver) to the airport and home. We had received our statement the night before with three excursions, and no other charges on it. They have just today appeared on my computer credit card listing. Overall As we noted at the beginning of this review, we felt this cruise was very expensive for what was offered. We have been on some higher end cruise ships; but felt that we got our money’s worth on them. Not so on this cruise. The simple fact is that the food selection was not up to that of an ocean going ship, and it never can be on a riverboat. The entertainment was also far short of what one gets at sea. A friendly crew is nice, but this is true on ships in which the skill and experience of the crew is far better than what we experienced on this cruise. The fact that we were at small ports limited our on shore options. It is also true that most American ports offer fewer tours that can be booked on linethan overseas venues. We noted on our European river boat trips that the vast majority of shore excursions were complimentary, with only a few trips carrying small extra charges. All this being noted, did we enjoy this cruise. Yes, we did. American Constellation is a very nice boat with lovely staterooms, a delightful crew and very attractive small towns on its itinerary. The food was quite good, and the entertainment not bad. We are glad we took this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been on many, many ocean cruises and wanted to experience the small ship cruise. We chose the American Constellation which had 130 passengers. This was a great alternative to the huge ships - no crowding, large comfortable suite, ... Read More
We have been on many, many ocean cruises and wanted to experience the small ship cruise. We chose the American Constellation which had 130 passengers. This was a great alternative to the huge ships - no crowding, large comfortable suite, easy and smooth embarkation and disembarkation. A Senior atmosphere, very accommodating to the 55+ generation. No kids which was a plus for us - (after our last Caribbean cruise that offered free passage for kids and there were hundreds of kids running and jumping and screaming all over that ship.) The Constellation can go to places the big ships cannot. While onboard, we booked another for next year on Chesapeake Bay. Looking forward to it. The onboard entertainment was very enjoyable. Food was good for the most part. Ports were interesting with well organized excursions. Cruise Director and Hotel Manager were very helpful, cheerful and friendly - as were all crew members. Read Less
Sail Date: May 2019
We were seeking a vacation that could accommodate my husband in a wheelchair and chose the river cruise on the Columbia River on the American Song. This new boat is beautiful with lovely cabins and public rooms. The dining room was lovely ... Read More
We were seeking a vacation that could accommodate my husband in a wheelchair and chose the river cruise on the Columbia River on the American Song. This new boat is beautiful with lovely cabins and public rooms. The dining room was lovely and accommodated all guests at once. The cuisine was excellent and locally sourced, and the service impeccable. Since this cruise travels in a fairly rural area, one goes for the scenery and history/ local culture rather than big entertainment. We would recommend an extra day or two to explore the Portland area pre or post cruise. For our needs, the boat was completely accessible. Every room has showers with safety bars. There are also bars in the hallways.The staff were exceptional in all regards. Getting on and off the boat for shore excursions was challenging for my husband, but fantastic staff assistance made it all possible. I would recommend this cruise line to anyone, but especially note its ability to handle someone with mobility issues (assuming an able-bodied companion). Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with ... Read More
Cruise began in New Orleans (on my bucket list) and we went on a Wednesday and our cruise didn’t begin until Saturday, so we had time to see NOLA or a couple of days. The French Quarter was having a music festival so it was packed with people, but some of the food vendors had some delicious food. We boarded the ship Saturday AM and got underway at 1:00 PM heading towards Memphis, with various stops in between. We had a riverarian and a historian onboard, who gave very interesting talks about the Civil War and the history of the Mississippi. Very interesting talks. Our stateroom was very nice, clean and included a writing desk, a king size bed, 2 end tables, a small closet and an upholstered chair, enough drawer space for some clothing, but we didn’t have to take a lot because the boat had free laundry facilities for the guests. The bathroom was adequate with only a shower, but not enough towel racks or door hooks for clean clothes. We also had a small balcony, which was nice to sit and have a drink or read a book while the boat was on the move. There were plenty of excursions you could sign up for or if you wanted you could explore on your own. Some were complimentary, but most had a fee if you wanted to sign up. There was entertainment every evening after dinner, usually music or a comedy act. The dining room has open seating, so you have the opportunity to meet many people, and these small cruise ships usually have less than 200 passengers. All the servers and deck hands , kitchen staff and cruise directors, etc., are Americans, the boats/ships are all built in the USA, so there is never a problem with communication. Food is usually pretty good, but for some reason the kitchen seemed to be disorganized, therefore food service was very slow. This was our 4th cruise with ACL, and the most disorganized in general. Public areas on the boat were nice and comfortable, whether in the lounges or out on the decks. Happy hour ( 5:30-6:30). is always nice but a bit crowded, sometimes with a line of people waiting for a drink. There were servers with trays of appetizers being passed out and a table with more food and 2 servers to pass out your food of choice. Be careful or you won’t have room for your dinner ( 6:30-8:00). Overall we’ve been really happy with our cruises with ACL and have signed up for our 5th cruise next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining ... Read More
Entire boat was reserved for Road Scholar members for this cruise. Instead of the standard one day stay in New Orleans with tours, Road Scholar had two before boarding. The food and service was outstanding, either in the Main Dining Room with a very good selections or in the Grill Room/Terrace buffet. Most of us chose the Main Dining Room for dinner, wine and beer is included with dinner. and the Grill Room for breakfast and lunch. Weather was good enough for enjoying the meals on the open terrace. Cabins are very comfortable and there are suites with separate sitting area, even two story suites with seating below and sleeping area up the stairs. Lectures and tours are included, with experienced and enthusiastic guides. Free Hop on/off busses are at every port. There was good entertainment with a four piece band and three singers performing every night. Music in the Lounge during the cocktail hour and after the show. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people ... Read More
Great Cruise with top notch food, entertainment and service. In addition, very enjoyable and informative cruise tours at the ports. This cruise is focused on older adults as not much that would interest children. Small number of people on-board which gives ample opportunity to meet new people. There were some traveling alone, some in groups as well as couples. The ship was kept immaculate and our room was a nice size. We enjoyed the view from our balcony. We saw beautiful sunrises and sunsets. There was more than enough to eat and drink at all times! There was accommodation for those that needed accommodation to reach the tour buses and tour destinations. We also were very satisfied with the hotel the first night in New Orleans that was part of the cruise package. Loved that the food and entertainment was inclusive of the local area of the cruise. We highly recommend taking this cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: November 2018
We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently ... Read More
We had never been to this area and this seemed like a great way to experience it...historically and culturally. This was our first cruise on American Cruise Lines. While the ship is not new, it was very clean and comfortable, and decently decorated. Our stateroom was AAC on the third floor and it was as large as advertised as was the bathroom. The bedding was very nice and the king bed quite comfortable. The outside balcony would have been used more if the weather had been warmer. We sailed in early November and it was often quite cool and we had some rainy days. For us the trip was almost flawless and we had a wonderful time. Attire is casual but folks dressed neatly and tastefully. We were fortunate to find many congenial groups, couples, and singles to enjoy the cruise with. No young children or teenagers. The group ranged in ages 50 - 80's and was a fairly active group. The food was quite good. I am Vegan and the cruise chef was able to plan and prepare very good meals for me. My spouse enjoyed the regular cuisine. Although some crew members were quite new, the hotel (cruise) manager did a great job making sure all the parts worked really well together. She was very organized and the materials the company provides its passengers were very clear and complete. The itinery director was also organized, quite pleasant, and competent communicator. There was an onboard naturalist who gave several lectures and he was knowledgable and an entertaining presenter. The off ship excursions were enjoyable with several locals guiding us in their respective home towns. We did book another cruise while on this one as we so enjoyed it. No complaints. The crew and staff did a great job. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
I had a wonderful time on the initial cruise on the American Song. The food was like a 5 star restaurant and there were plenty of choices available. The staff was friendly and very interested in making sure your every need was met. The ... Read More
I had a wonderful time on the initial cruise on the American Song. The food was like a 5 star restaurant and there were plenty of choices available. The staff was friendly and very interested in making sure your every need was met. The accommodations were first class and they addressed any concern immediately. The cabins were spacious and it had a surprisingly large bathroom. We took this trip as our honeymoon! Our honeymoon was celebrated by the staff by sending us champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. The onboard entertainment could use some improvements, but was adequate. I was extremely impressed that the owner and his sons visited us while we were onboard. He spoke to the group, addressed any concerns and agreed that they are working on improving the onboard entertainment. I was very impressed with this river boat cruise line. I hope to sail with them again and would recommend this cruise line to my friends and family. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced ... Read More
Initially concerned after reading some reviews but it was wonderful. The service was impeccable-all were friendly and went out of their way to help people. The passengers on our cruise appeared to be quite well-off and experienced cruisers. Many were on there 4th Pearl cruise or had sailed with American Cruise (Pearl's sister company). Food was very good and loved the fact that they offered 1/2 portions at lunch and dinner. The more interesting tours are extra and I do think for the price you pay for this cruise all shore excursions should be included. .We did find out that you could have your laundry done on board but they did not advertise this There is no gift shop or spa. There are exercise machines on the 6th deck forward but they are outside so have limited usability. Average are on this cruise was probably 75 and many had limited mobility -the crew was amazing to help them. If they had scooters or walkers, the crew made sure that they got them on the buses and were very careful to describe the tours so that everyone knew what to expect. We were on the younger side but enjoyed ourselves every day. We had a guest lecturer and entertainment every night from two-duos that alternated every other evening. There is a small library and a card room. On our "at sea" days we played trivia and bingo. We never felt bored -there was alway something to do. Highly recommend the Great Lakes tour. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We love the "small ship" experience of American Cruise Lines and selected this 11 day Grand New England cruise for the wonderful scenery, food, and ports. Two special highlights - the lobster roast picnic in Rockland, ME at the ... Read More
We love the "small ship" experience of American Cruise Lines and selected this 11 day Grand New England cruise for the wonderful scenery, food, and ports. Two special highlights - the lobster roast picnic in Rockland, ME at the Sail Power and Steam Museum, and the sail on the Schooner Lannon in Gloucester, MA. The new ship the Constitution was lovely but seemed very crowded. Staff had to conduct Cocktail Hour in both lounges and it was still difficult to get a drink and find a place to sit. Dining room was crowded and noisy. Not everyone could be accomodated on all of the shore excursions they wanted to take. This is the largest ship American has built so far - we had to take the tender in 4 of the ports which really cut into touring and sightseeing time. Was this because the ship was too big to dock at the smaller ports? The food was excellent for the most part with a few misses, and the service was pretty good in the dining room most of the time. Wine is included at lunch and dinner, but American serves very low end inexpensive wines. They are now offering room service breakfast and an additional cocktail time after dinner - I guess to make it feel like a more luxury line - but I feel you still choose American for the small intimate ships and opportunity to see the smaller ports, and this trip did not deliver as successfully as other trips. Some of the staff - Guest Services Coordinator, Assistant Hotel Manager to mention two of them - were especially gracious, and we did book another trip on American. It will be our 14th to clearly there is much to love about this cruise line. We long for the older ships - the 50 passenger Eagle and Glory - but I guess American just can't make a profit with a ship that size. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers ... Read More
My wife and I are experienced cruisers. We have sailed on Royal Caribbean, Crystal, Silver Seas, Regent and smaller ships such as Le Ponant, Windstar and Le Soleal. We decided to try Pearl Mist which accommodates about 200 passengers because we had never sailed the Great Lakes. The trip was supposed to be a seven day cruise from Midland, Ontario to Chicago. I was under the impression that Pearl Mist was a luxury liner since the cost was luxury liner prices. The fare came to $1,744 per night for two not including tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night or land tours. Comparable prices on Regent for a Concierge Suite run from $1,340 to $1,940 per night, depending on destination, but include tips, airfare, pre-cruise hotel night and land tours. But Pearl Mist is definitely not a luxury liner. The only favorable parts of the cruise were stops at Parry Sound, Mackinac Island and Muskegon. The three piece entertainers and the lecturer were good and our waiter was extremely courteous. Otherwise the trip was horrible. 1) Bad things happened immediately. We stayed at the recommended hotel in Toronto the night before and were instructed to check out and be ready to be picked up at 9:00 AM the next morning. The bus would transport approximately 50 of us to the ship about 50 miles away. So here were 50 people with our luggage waiting in the street in front of hotel for the bus that finally arrived 2 1/2 hours late. It was manned by the entertainers and the lecturer since the original bus personnel never showed up. 2) The bus ride was interesting because the entertainer didn’t know the route and got lost. 3) We finally arrived at the port of Midland at 1:30 PM instead of 11:00 AM. 4) They immediately served us lunch but also announced the mandatory Life Boat Drill. We refused to participate since we were starving. 5) Staying with meals, there is one seating for all for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At breakfast each morning we were asked to check off our choices for all three meals each day. The menus had a box to check for 1/2 portions if you weren’t that hungry. I never saw what a 1/2 portion looked like but the full portions were extremely tiny and usually tasteless. Some of the people wound up ordering two main courses each meal. 6) The size of our cabin was adequate since we had ordered the largest suite. But it was not kept clean, there were instances when there were no bath towels and the tiny TV didn’t work for two nights. 7) Courtesy didn’t exist. One evening, at 10:15 PM, I called to request an AM wake-up call. I was told that they don’t accept calls, other than true emergencies after 10:00 PM. I complained the next day and was advised to make calls before 10:00 PM, no apology. The final night we were advised to dis-enbark at 7:00 AM; so I dutifully called at 9:30 PM for a 6:00 AM wake-up call. I was told that the office doesn’t open until 7:00 AM. Thankfully we had an I-Phone so we could escape on time. 8) I said the entertainers were good but the room could only accommodate 1/3 of the 200 passengers. So if you wanted to see them you needed to rush through your tiny meal (maybe that was a positive). The entertainment lounge was laid out with enormous heavy overstuffed couches, many facing the wrong way to see the performers. 9) Two days before the end of the cruise we were all informed that our dis-enbarkation stop was changed to Milwaukee instead of Chicago (appparently no birth available in Chicago although this ship is scheduled to be in Chicago weekly all summer). This was disappointing since we had hoped to spend a day in Chicago sightseeing. It also potentially meant that many of us might miss flights out of Chicago. We did, thankfully, disembark from Milwaukee and were taken in an on-time bus for the 1 1/2 hour drive to Chicago Ohare Airport. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in ... Read More
Not since our first four-day cruise in 1985 on the Star Ship Royal in the wake of a hurricane have we been more disappointed. We have traveled all over the world on many different cruise lines but have never been more disappointed than in American Cruise Lines. The cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. We booked one of the Owner Suites because the American advertisement stated they were up to 450SF and had a “Full-Size Bathroom.” I should have been suspect when I could not find a single picture of their Full-Size Bathroom. Now I know why no pictures. It was literally three steps by five steps (size 11 shoe) and a shower at the end with a door that could not be closed for use unless you were in the shower! My picture is attached for future buyers. I hate to think what the size of the bathrooms were in all the room categories below the owner suite. We took the pre-hotel package at the Battery Warf hotel in Boston. It was adequate and located just outside the North End areas. The transfers to the ship the next morning where well organized and fortunately arrived at the pier after a thunderstorm. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for disembarkation. American docks on Pier 8 in Charlestown. There is no cover between the parking lot and the 100-yard walk along the pier to the ship. The morning of disembarkation we had torrential rain and got soaked making the walk to the parking lot where our luggage was under a kitchen fly tent getting wet with blowing rain. It took two days for some items to dry out! The dining experience was disappointing. The serving staff could not take and deliver an order without multiple errors. My wife has a food allergy and tried ordering meals not specified on the meal option card as available. She got totally frustrated with what was delivered for her meals. The food portions were small, and I didn’t think one could get prime rib ¼ of inch thick—but I was wrong. The way we got great meals was to eat lunch off the ship and select some of the best seafood restaurants in out port of calls. Thanks Miss Google! We never saw the captain introduced himself during any of the functions/meals. Did not see much of him about the ship (only 164 passengers on board) and after he blew the docking at Martha’s Vineyard and we had to go to an alternate port (New Bedford) we did not see him again. The day after New Bedford there was a different captain onboard the ship until we returned to Boston! The good part about the experience was the neat New England ports we visited along the way. The included shore excursions options were educational and the optional ones we bought were priced reasonably. A plus. Of the ten evenings, the entertainment was good for four or five nights. Local talent got on the ship, entertain and then departed. The other nights we departed the area after a few minutes. The resident local expert on board provided good insight into the region. There were basically no other activities. The workout area was a total loser. The low ceiling would not allow treadmills or elliptical devices. All that was there were variants of incumbent bikes. They did learn a lesson from earlier reviews and did not run out of food during the pre-diner “happy hour.” Some evenings they had nice choices. In summary, the cruise experience with American did not have the value we expected for the price we paid. This was our first experience with American and for now we will return to our favorite cruise lines where service and value is foremost. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us ... Read More
I have always wanted to cruise the Great Lakes of Canada and the United States. This cruise became available and we bit the expensive fare to see the Great Lakes. Disappointment came almost immedicately with the person sent to pick us up. She was new and did not have adequate knowledge about the cruise. In fairness to her, she was one of the two weak musicians onboard. Boarding was acceptable in an out of the way port. Our cabine was very large and very clean. The TV in the cabin was not appropriate for such an expensive fare - a small 17 inch color TV with a DVD player. Dining was mediocre at best. Each day 3 choices that generally included fish, beef, and chicken. The service was outstanding in the dining room. Always a friendly face and eager to serve. There are two small rooms for evening drinks. One is on the second floor and one is on the forth floor. On at least two occasions the bar ran out of certain brands of liquor. They were generally prepared to offer most drink selections. Entertainment consisted of two singers with guitars. The male entertainer was better than the female. Two nights local entertainment was provided and very good. While most people pay $20,000 per cabin we assumed most excursions would be included. That was not the case. They provide some basic excursions such as trolley's that run a loop around town. Some have visits to the local sites. However, the nicer tours have charges. We assumed that we would have a tour around the islands of Parry Sound - only to find out we had to pay for the excursion. The fare charged was less than that charged if you did the excurison on your own. The Cruise Director was less than professional. She sat on the first floor, coordinated excursions and was available for questions most of the time. This cruise line is attractive for people that are over 75 years of age. Many are handicapped and require assistance. The crew did little to provide what I would consider miminal assistance. Often, there are gangplants and steps that need to be navigated. The process is time consuming and often very hard for those with walkers and wheel chairs. The recommended gratuity is $20 per day per person. I did not consider this to be an appropriate amount based on the cruise fare charged. If you need to fly from Chicago the minimum tine to the airport is one hour and thirty minutes - the cruse staff will tell you it takes 45 minutes. The best assets of this cruise were the room and wait staff that were eager to please, the larger cabins that were always cleaned and supplied, and the buses used for the tours each with an onboard toilet. Immigration services were a pain sometimes taking two hours. Whiile tour service on the Great Lakes might be limited the places that you get to see are great. I will not be returning with such high fares and limited services that are included in the base fare. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. ... Read More
We had never cruised the Great Lakes and the Pearl Mist seemed like an attractive little ship which carried only about 190 passengers. The 11 day itinerary, from Toronto to Chicago had some interesting stops, both in Canada and the U. S. The highlight of the trip was Mackinac Island and the Grand Hotel. Other stops included a visit to Niagara Falls and a number of small cities and towns which were neat, clean and pleasant, with very friendly folks. A couple of trips across the Canadian/US border were a real pain in the neck. For example, the ship was in Windsor, Ontario and we were booked to visit the Henry Ford museum across the Detroit River in the U. S. We spent a total of 3 1/2 hours on the bus getting through customs and only about the same amount of time in the museum. As for the ship, built (mostly) in Halifax and completed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, she has been in service for four years. She's been well maintained and the interior is very clean and neat. She's registered in the Marshall Islands (Majuro) and is crewed largely by foreigners. The steward's department - wait staff and room stewards, mostly Filipinos, were uniformly excellent. Entertainment consisted of two singers/musicians, Kat and Kenny, who were also quite good and a story teller, Pat, who was very entertaining. The cruise director was probably below average for cruise ships. She seemed like she wanted to be elsewhere a good part of the time. The passenger cabins were pretty good size, with very small balconies on the upper decks. As for the cost, we had a cabin on the highest deck, (L) and the fare for the two of us came to $19,040, minus a couple of "special savings" which reduced the cost by $800. There were no children aboard. The youngest passenger was 55 and the oldest 98. The average age was probably well into the 80's. The advanced age of the passengers definitely slowed things down. Lots of walkers and wheelchairs. While the trip was not advertised as a "seniors" cruise, in actuality it was. I say this considering that my wife is 62 and I am 74, but we got around really well - far better than many of our fellow passengers. The ship has other trips, including one to Cuba, but we will not be making any of those. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
We stayed on the ship for 4 nights. The trip has fantastic food and plenty of it made by the chef. The mates were very friendly and knowledgeable. It is a fairly primitive, manuel run ship which adds to the draw. It is very cool how the ... Read More
We stayed on the ship for 4 nights. The trip has fantastic food and plenty of it made by the chef. The mates were very friendly and knowledgeable. It is a fairly primitive, manuel run ship which adds to the draw. It is very cool how the ship has been fitted and changed throughout the years to accommodate guests but everything is still done by hand and many original and old items are still used. There is a wood burning cook stove and oven which heats the water for the shower and sink, and everything you eat is made on it. We got homemade muffins, breads and biscuits every day and everything we ate was made from scratch in the galley. The food was fantastic and eating on deck in the breeze is very relaxing. You can help hoist sails, raise the anchor and drive the ship. Garth, the captain, is very knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions and share his knowledge with you. The cabins have USB charging ports and a sink. The beds are comfortable and while the rooms are tiny, they are cozy. If you think this would be a fun thing to do, absolutely do it. It was really fun and you can do as much or as little as you want. We anchored every night and took row boats out to the shore to hike and sight see, plus one night we had the lobster bake on the beach which was delicious and very cool to experience. I would recommend it to anyone that thinks they are interested. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up ... Read More
My wife and I booked a great 23 day Cruise up the Mississippi River. Teri Robbins the agent I purchased the cruise from at American Queen Steamboat Company Office, was AWESOME ! Every time I called or e-mailed her in the months leading up to the cruise, Teri always returned my calls or e-mails within a few minutes. I have never had a more honest, organized, and sincere agent, that I had with Teri. The Cruise on the American Duchess was very good, as we moved up the river day after day taking the Hop On-Hop Off, American Queen Buses for tours of the cities. The Drivers Karen, Tami, & Mark were so professional, funny, and had a great personality. They were so fun to be with. Angie the Golf Cart driver who drove Handicap people from the docked Duchess, up the ramps when getting off the boat, was very nice. In side the boat, our stateroom was cleaned very nicely everyday by Cleon & Francis. The American Duchess also provided us with outstanding one day complementary laundry service, once a week. Michael the bar tender in the Grand Lobby Bar was so good, as he visited with guests, and mixed great drinks everyday. In the Main Dinning Room Jeremy the Maitre d, and servers Kenneth, Sidney, and Soufian were very nice and professional. Gerald the Butler, who did a little of everything on the boat, was very funny, and worked hard pleasing everyone. At the front desk Purser Shayna Tatz was so nice and worked a lot of hours with a Big smile on her face. Teresa Marcou the Shore Excursion Specalist was such a hard worker, making sure all of the Shore Excursions, and Hop On-Hop Off buses were working on time. The Riverlorian/Stage Manager Mike Chapman was very knowledgeable, interesting, and entertaining, as he gave his daily lectures on the history of the Mississippi River. The Entertainment on the American Duchess was OUTSTANDING ! Lead by the Cruise Director, Lead Singer, and Entertainer Dustin Cunningham, his wife Courtney Cunningham, & Jeff Hudson who were also Asst. Cruise Directors/Entertainers. Their Singing and Stage performing was outstanding. The four man American Duchess Band was so good, and was lead by Band Leader/Drummer David O'Connell, Bass Player Will Wagner, Pianist, Adam Marchand, and Sax/Reed Player Ike Spivak. There were also 9 different entertainers who came on the American Duchess to entertain us. My favorite walk on shows were the comedian and magician " Dante," and the Different Instrument playing and singers Dave Para and Cathy Barton, who were so different and entertaining. One of the major highlights of our 23 day cruise was attending a special educational lecture in the Pilot House by Aaron Sidora the American Duchess Chief Mate. Later that night we also had a private dinner with Aaron for 2 hours. Aaron was so nice, very smart, and answered all of the questions we had during our dinner. That was very special. My wife and I had a great relaxing time on this 23 day cruise, as we learned a lot of History about the Mississippi River and cities around it, and we met some great people. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by ... Read More
We took the Pearl Mist 11 night cruise from Chicago to Toronto last August 2018. This cruise is targeted for people 75 years an older, many of which need assistance. That's ok but it should be clearly stated. Let's start by saying the good things: 1) Stateroom and bathroom are very big. 2) Probably the best thing was the Staff, they are very friendly and helpful 3) Food was ok. 4) Drinks are included. 5) Some ports of call are very interesting: MACKINAC ISLAND, MUSKEGON / HOLLAND, Parry Sound and Niagara Falls. 6) Cruising the Welland Canal and going through 8 sets locks from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario. Now the bad things: 1) Overpriced at 20 grand per stateroom for and outed ship with little to do in it. It has no pool or good onboard activities. We spent 2 days cruising with little to do. The Gym consists of 4 machines located on and outside deck. 2) The TV in the stateroom is ridiculous 3) The ship is very small 108 cabins. 4) Some ports are call should be eliminated specially Sault Sainte Marie and Little Current. Nothing to do in them. 5) The time allocated in each destination is not well planned. We only spend 2-3 hours in Niagara that had a lot of activities to do and spend a full day at Sault Sainte Marie with almost nothing to do. Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
This was an outstanding cruise in terms of service, food and places visited. The staff, aside from the captain, was very friendly and engaging. The captain, however, ate with his wife every night and seldom smiled or made eye contact with ... Read More
This was an outstanding cruise in terms of service, food and places visited. The staff, aside from the captain, was very friendly and engaging. The captain, however, ate with his wife every night and seldom smiled or made eye contact with passengers. The average age of cruisers was in the low to mid eighties, many of whom had significant mobility problems or other visible skin conditions. Out of maybe 150 passengers about 110 were from Texas, some from southern from Florida and maybe 4 from the east coast. There was strong Trump support in the air as well as army loyalty. Customers did not mingle much and stuck to themselves most times. The Lounge was small and many times to me at least (I just turned 60) seemed lune I was in the lounge of my mother’s nursing home. Most of the people gathered to drink and do puzzles. There was a small exercise room which was good enough if you want to get your blood flowing on any given day. I wish there was a yoga class offered... but there was nothing along that natures offered. The cabins were nice but beware of the extremely loud toilet flushes which were heard throughout the decks at all times of the night. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This was a wonderful trip. Captain Garth and his crew were excellent and fun to be with. They really made the trip great. The Lewis R French is a great boat and was fun to sail on. We would do it again. The perfect trip to get away from it ... Read More
This was a wonderful trip. Captain Garth and his crew were excellent and fun to be with. They really made the trip great. The Lewis R French is a great boat and was fun to sail on. We would do it again. The perfect trip to get away from it all and enjoy nature and the fun of sailing. The food was excellent, it's amazing what Jason could do on a wood burning stove. We had a wonderful Lobster bake on an island that was a lot of fun and all the lobster you can eat, really. The weather was perfect and we only had a small amount of rain as we were docking. It is best to bring a jacket and as usual, follow the advice they give you on what to pack. It was a very well run trip and all went very well. We would do it again. Read Less
15 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ... Read More
For years I have wanted to do a small ship cruise in the USA. We embarked in New Orleans and disembarked in Memphis. The ship is small 185 passengers but this allows people to get to know each other. The cabins are much larger than on ocean cruises and very nicely appointed. Dining is everyone at one time which is nice. It starts at 7:30 am for breakfast, 12:30pm for lunch and 6:30 for dinner. The food is outstanding with "different" and better recipes than the ocean cruise lines. Entertainment is a little lacking but understandable. Service was excellent. The ship is manned by mostly college aged people. They did an outstanding job and I was impressed. I do not believe I would do any part of the Mississippi river again but I think the Snake River would be interesting. The Mississippi lacked scenery for one thing and the river is mostly commercial traffic. The shore excursions provided at no cost by the ship were very interesting. Read Less

Find a Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise