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American Cruise Lines

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LAST UPDATED: November 28th, 2022
American Cruise Lines is a historical tour cruise line based out of Connecticut. Cruises are offered year round and last 7-14 days. The company's ships travel to Alaska and the Pacific Northwest, up and down the Mississippi River, and across the Northeast and Southeast United States. American cruise lines also offers special theme cruises such as their Lewis and Clark Cruise, Civil War Cruise, and Mark Twain Tribute Cruise.

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The Good

  • Safety
  • Great amenities
  • Dining options

Safety

American Cruise Lines, Inc.'s ships are equipped with safety, navigation and communications systems, including defibrillators and oxygen. Many systems on the ships have back-up redundancy for safety and convenience. All American Cruise Lines, Inc.'s ships are U.S.-flagged, certified and regularly inspected by the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Public Health Service and the Federal Communications Commission.

Great Amenities

American Cruise Lines features spacious staterooms at more than 220 square feet each. These staterooms provide private balconies and large picture windows with a spectacular view of the sea and landscape. Each room includes the following amenities:
  • Twin or King-sized bed
  • Twice-daily stateroom service
  • Remote-controlled satellite TV w/DVD player
  • Internet access
  • Individual climate control system
  • Writing desk & stationery
  • Hair dryer
  • Spacious closet and four-drawer dresser and dual night tables

In addition to the spacious staterooms, there are amenities relatively standard on all American cruise line ships. While there may be one or two exceptions, for the most part American cruise lines feature the following amenities to their guests:
  • Twice-daily stateroom service
  • Twin or King-sized be
  • Remote-controlled satellite TV w/DVD player
  • Internet access
  • Individual climate control system
  • Writing desk & stationery
  • Hair dryer
  • Spacious closet and four-drawer dresser and dual night tables

Dining Options

Dinner options include local fare from the port destinations during the length of the cruise and the restaurants cater to any special dietary needs of its guests. Enjoy freshly baked breads and muffins to start your day and steamed lobsters, beef, and lamb during the evening hours. Lunch options feature sandwiches, soups, and salads and delicious pies for dessert. Chilled red and white wines are served each day during lunch and dinner. Dress codes are resort casual and seating is unassigned.

Lounge Areas

The American Cruise Line ships also contain oversized lounges for guests to relax, socialize, and play games. These lounges have a well-stocked library and internet stations. Wifi use is free for guests to enjoy. Guests are also welcome to bring visitors onboard.
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The Bad

  • No activities for children
  • Offshore excursions
  • Seasickness

No Activities for Children

American Cruise Lines is designed for older adults without children. There are no activities or programs for children. Entertainment options for adults are limited to nightly lectures from local experts, offshore excursions, and chatting with other fellow passengers during the evening cocktail hour. While the line does serve alcohol during lunch and dinner, it does not sell alcoholic beverages to guests or visitors.

Offshore Excursions

The cruise line ships only set sail twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. The rest of the time, the ships are tied up at docks for offshore excursions. While the offshore excursions are relatively inexpensive, they are limited in options and consist mainly of tours walks with local historians and bus tours to museums. These excursions range in price from $20-$75.

Seasickness

American Cruise Line ships are built to rarely move during sea travel and minimizing seasickness. However, the small sizes of the ships and lack of stabilizers do create uncomfortable motions during some exposed passages. For guests not accustomed to cruising, these sea motions can be quite unpleasant.

The decor on the American Cruise Line ships resembles that of a generic hotel chain's front lobby. Color palettes throughout the ships are muted and plain.The biggest upside is the main lounge with tall windows that provides the perfect vantage point for passing scenery outside the ship. Luxury amenities are limited when compared to their cruise lines in the industry.

Deposit

There is a $500 deposit required per person in order to confirm any reservation for a cruise lasting less than nine days. A $900 per person deposit is required for all trips lasting ten or more days. Complete payment for any booked cruise is to be made 90 days prior to the boarding date. Single travelers are welcome. Shore excursions typically cost $20 to $70 and can be paid onboard near the end of your cruise.
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The Bottom Line

American Cruise Lines is an optimal choice for older adults without children. While these guests are not excluded from booking a reservation, this cruise line is not designed for families with young children or teenagers as there are no entertainment options or activities created for them. The cruises and offshore excursions are reasonably priced. However, entertainment options are limited. The historical tours and evening lectures are perfect for history and culture enthusiasts.The dress code is resort casual and the ships offer open seating in restaurants, which is a big plus for guests who love to meet new people and socialize. Fares include passage, dining, snacks, and complimentary cocktails. The ships are small and intimate, allowing guests to move around easily in a relaxed atmosphere. There are little complaints filed against American Cruise Lines when compared to other excursion companies in their industry.
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Star Rating

4.4

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183 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

67%

4 grade

19%

3 grade

8%

2 grade

2%

1 grade

4%

Sentiment Criteria

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Lin A Dallas, TX

One of the worst cruises I have ever been on! I Mississippi River was running low and so I gave American Cruise Lines an extra star for mother nature, but they were ill prepared and didn't seem too concerned about the welfare of the passengers. The landing areas were horrible and most required a golf cart to assist my 98 year old grandfather from the ship up to the transportation area. The problem was the one and only golf cart had a bad battery and would not work the entire time so my grandfather had to walk in horrible areas at times in muddy, uneven areas. The crew did their best, but the command and supervisory staff were terrible at assisting the crew to rectify the situation. The dining areas were well kept, but the food was mediocre at best, and many of the wait staff acted as though they wanted to be anywhere, but on that ship. There were exceptions of course, and we made sure to point them out, but they were the exception, not the rule, on board. The cabin on day one had toenails next to a chair in the main part of the cabin as though someone had just trimmed their nails prior to leaving that day. The veranda area was so dirty and filled with dead insects we didn't even use it. Never going on anther American Cruise Lines boat!

1 month ago

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Ron Witzke Guelph, ON

First time cruising wth this company … although more expensive than most ( including my favourite Sea Dream yacht cruise) the rave reviews and slick promotion as well as the location ( Mississippi) convinced me to plunk down $10K each for what I thought and was told would be a four star food and wine service on a top of the line new ship. In reality, the ship was indeed beautiful, but the promised gourmet meals never appeared( mundane cruise food , often poorly prepared or running out before everyone was served; the wine and liquor selection was not as promised either and the bar often didn’t have the advertised brands. The entertainment was meh , the excursions ( which sometimes cost extra ) were repetitive and even boring at times, and the wait staff was inexperienced and inattentive. To add salt to the wound, I saw that the cruise was selling off empty suites and rooms at prices thousand of dollars less than I paid and that the room at Graceland cost me hundreds of dollars more for booking with them than by myself. For the price I paid , I expected a luxury cruise and landed a cut rate half empty disappointment.

6 months ago

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kingtb Arvada, CO

Our family of eight, two of whom are physicians, took an Alaskan cruise with American Cruise Lines on the American Constellation from Juneau, Alaska starting July 4, 2021. We were told that all passengers would be vaccinated, and we were led to believe that all crew would also be vaccinated for COVID-19. However, while we were tested prior to boarding, passenger vaccination status was never verified by showing vaccination cards. A passenger told one of our group that the she was “half-vaccinated.” It turned out that several of the crew were not vaccinated and had been allowed to go ashore in ports. On the fifth day (July 9) of the 10 day cruise, only a handful of the wait-staff showed up for breakfast. There was no explanation and the morning excursions occurred as usual. We learned at lunch that the trip was going to be cancelled, and we would be returning to Juneau because some crew and passengers tested positive for COVID-19. There was inconsistent messaging about quarantining. We were told to quarantine after lunch on July 9, but breakfast the following morning was served in the dining room. After breakfast, we were told to quarantine again. I am unaware of any contact tracing; and, despite American Cruise Lines’ claims to the contrary, testing was not required prior to disembarking the ship. Our family chose to be tested, and we were all negative. There were reports of an outbreak in Fairbanks related to the cruise; but since others disbursed to various parts of the United States, additional exposures are unknown. Although American Cruise Lines did give us a partial refund for the cruise, they did not reimburse us for over $2500 in additional costs incurred by the eight of us for rearranging airfare and booking hotels. Despite multiple attempts over two months to contact American Cruise Lines by email, phone, and certified letter about this issue, there was never any response about these additional charges. Based on my experience with four other cruises (three on small ships), the outside cabins with balconies were quite nice for the price, as were the amenities. Prior to the interruption, we had been enjoying the cruise, the excursions, and the educational and entertainment programs on board. The officers, managers, and crew were friendly, engaged, and responsive. The food was average. We had notified American Cruise Lines prior to travel that one of our family is vegetarian. We identified this again on board, yet there was never a vegetarian option at any meal. Another problematic area was not providing transportation to the hotel upon arrival. The Juneau airport is outside of town and cab/Uber/Lyft options are limited. With people from our flight and other flights trying to get to town, it took over 1 1/2 hours to get a ride to our hotel. Given our overall experience, we are unlikely to use American Cruise Lines in the future.

1 year ago