1. American Cruise Lines

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.

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.

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.

User Reviews

Star Rating

4.6
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130 Reviews

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Joan Mattson

February 21st, 2020 Cedar Rapids, IA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We have traveled with ACL to the San Juan Islands and the SE United States coast. We are scheduled for another cruise soon. Small ship cruising with them has been wonderful. Attention to our needs by wait staff, cruise staff and housekeeping have all been very good. Our rooms have all been clean and well kept while cruising. I realize this all looks glowing and it really is! We have been on the big ships but just do not feel that is a good way to spend our money.

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terryjamison

February 6th, 2020 Madison, MS

American cruise line is the best and love the staff and cooks cheifs the food is wonderful

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Fricke

January 25th, 2020 Spring, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Always a fun time.

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CAROL A JORDAN

January 24th, 2020 Randallstown, MD DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have previously done two cruises with American and have another coming up shortly. Their staff is wonderful, the food is delicious, the tours are unbelievable. I'm a solo traveler and couldn't be more comfortable than I am with American. I feel safe and happy whether I'm on the ship or out and about on a tour. I wouldn't travel in the US with any other cruise line!

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John Maynard

January 24th, 2020 Fairfield, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Preferred the smaller ships versus larger cruise liners because: casual environment, friendly crew and passengers, that "homey" feeling, yet professional .

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Linda

January 21st, 2020 Omaha, NE DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I have cruised with American Cruise Lines twice & have another one booked. Booking my cruise by phone was easy, thanks to the Cruise Specialists. Aboard ship, all of the crew were professional and pleasant. The dining room servers were very personable & made our meals (which were delicious!!) enjoyable. The on-board presentations were interesting and the entertainment was great. Rooms were clean & kept that way by being serviced twice a day. Overall, I have been impressed with American Cruise Lines because they treat their guests like each one is important to them. My most recent cruise was interrupted by unforseen circumstances. The hotel manager and cruise director arranged alternate activities for us. Because this cruise was shortened by a few days, American Cruise Lines offered us a very generous discount to be used on another cruise. In this day and age when customer service seems to have disappeared, I can verify that customer service is still very important to American Cruise Lines.

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Carol Istvanick

January 21st, 2020 Fresno, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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friendly staff, great food, interesting activities when landed, rooms ingest condition and kept clean and neat

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Shirley Marshall

January 20th, 2020 Orange, TX

Interesting people, unique places to visit that I never heard of in some cases. I love the laid back way to travel with small groups. The crew was outstanding on all the trips we have taken.

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Sue

January 20th, 2020 Waverly, NY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Our recent Mississippi River cruise totally exceeded our expectations. The staff was so accommodating. The food was like eating every meal in a 5 star restaurant. The comfort of our room was fantastic. The tours were so interesting. We highly recommend American Cruise Lines and signed up for another cruise in 2020.

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Sue Oliver

January 19th, 2020 Kalamazoo, MI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I like the professionalism of the crew. The cabins and ship are very clean.

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Thelma Jean Gosney

January 19th, 2020 Belton, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We Love the meeting of new friends on board American Cruise Ships. Being older we are able to get around to all activity where everyone is helpful and nice. We have seen up close mountains, whales, bears and dolphins. So many things can be seen from these small ships. Hope to celebrate our 70 th wedding Anniversary on board an American Cruise Ship. Mrs Gosney

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Barb Mifflin

January 19th, 2020 Lahaina, HI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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American Cruise Lines gives customers the experience of visiting places with a relatively small number of people so that it almost feels that everyone, travelers and ship personnel alike, is family. The staff works very hard to accommodate everyone’s needs, likes and dislikes, and interests.

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Pat Evans

January 18th, 2020 Hartland, WI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The England Cruise was our first experience with American Cruise Lines. We were pleasantly surprised by the exceptional accommodations, food, service and staff. We throughly enjoyed the cruise and are looking forward to another cruise with American Cruise Lines in August 2020.

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JO

January 18th, 2020 New Milford, CT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We had never been on a cruise and my husband hates crowds, so small boat cruising was a compromise. We booked an Alaska adventure and there was no compromise. It was wonderful. The service, the side excursions, the food were all wonderful. My husband is 6'2" and had no complaints about the balcony, the cabin or even the bathroom. The captain made sure we had time to experience the wonders of Alaska, even stopping to let us watch a mother bear and two cubs playing on the shore and changing course to follow a pod of whales, to give us more time to watch them. All things your big ships don't do. We have since bee on a river cruise and will be going to Puget sound this year with American.

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S dele

January 18th, 2020 Tucson, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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A wonderful cruise line. If you like small ships beautiful sailing and a staff who truly understand and embrace customer service. They don’t do it because it’s a job but because they love what they do. We have taken one cruise last year going another in a few months and already talking about what cruise to take after this one. We can’t say enough about our e tire experience. Everyone is treated like family respected and no is not in anyone’s vocabulary. We think they are the BEST!!

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T&S Kraft1

January 18th, 2020 Royal Oak, MI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The staff and the food are highlights for us. Next comes the excursions during the day. The cabins are very nice especially those with balconies (although they are small). On our two cruises we have enjoyed the people very much but we would like there to be more age diversity. Apparently, the younger crowd has not discovered American Cruise LInes!

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Al Ernst

January 17th, 2020 Lakeland, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Staff was great! Everyone helpful and courteous. Food was excellent.

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frederick r fisher

January 17th, 2020 Kennewick, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Maine Coast an d Harbors, 09/07/19 Pleasures: Friendly,knowledgeable guides in walking tours and the fascinating museums ( Captain S was a gem ), lots of lobster, onboard speakers, and the staff and crew , especially our cruise director Jenna and our dining steward Roderick. Both interesting and relaxing, a rare combination.

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Potterdog

January 17th, 2020 Suffield, CT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great ships, extremely competent crew, great foods and food selections, excellent waiter/waitress personnel, always give assistance when needed.

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David R Busby

January 17th, 2020 Alabaster, AL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We had a wonderful time on our very first cruise this past year. Every crew member was awesome. Smile on their faces everyday. The food was simply great. Enjoyed having a menu instead of a food trough. The excursions at each stop were alot of fun and informational. The small ship allowed us to meet and get to know our fellow passengers. We have already booked another cruise for this year 2020.

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Dick & Joanne

January 17th, 2020 Lakeland, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We have really enjoyed our cruises with American Cruise Lines. They have continually supplied a great experience and seem to draw a great group of passengers. Cudos to ACL

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Patricia OKane

January 17th, 2020 San Bruno, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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American cruise lines is over-priced, the staff is totally unprepared for the guests they are supposed to provide for.

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Jean Mancil

January 17th, 2020 Arlington, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I very much like the smaller cruise line system. I like not traveling with hoarded of people and.... not lots of kids!

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don wrhel

January 17th, 2020 Snellville, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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2019 was our first cruise with American Cruise Lines. We were so impressed we booked another cruise for 2020. Everything on the cruise was first class. The ports of call and tours were all interesting and informative.

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Alan and Carol Brittingham

January 17th, 2020 Louisville, KY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Our American cruises have been blessed with outstanding hospitality, cuisine, scenery, entertainment, tours and camaraderie. We’re excitedly looking forward to our next cruise.

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Edward Rocereta

January 16th, 2020 Adel, GA

From boarding until disembarkation, the trip was perfectly organized, the staff friendly and helpful and the ship clean and cozy. Cruising a river, in our case the lower Mississippi, is by far superior to ocean cruising because of the various planned stops at interesting cities and the option of taking trips at these cities to historically significant sites. We look forward to our next trip with American Cruise Lines.

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Carolyn Stevenson

January 16th, 2020 Plainfield, NJ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Loved every minute of our river cruise ! Smooth sailing , great food , wonderful people and staff . Looking forward to our next cruise . Thinking of going on Columbia/Snake River Cruise

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Bob Stromberg

January 16th, 2020 Simpsonville, SC DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The ships crew was absolutely outstanding. My wife had problems and the crew went above and beyond what would be expected to help her. Could not have asked for more from them.

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Jean Leed

January 16th, 2020 Seattle, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We've enjoyed three cruises to date with ACL, and are looking forward to our fourth next May. Every aspect of these cruises has been exceptional, as described in the brochure: the tours, the entertainment, the food and drink, the staff support, and the rooms. To top it off, we also enjoyed meeting with the other passengers!

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Joan Dragolic

January 16th, 2020 Chatham, NJ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This was a very enjoyable experience. The crew were great.

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Ann Marino

January 16th, 2020 Newington, CT

One of the best cruise experiences I have had! The crew is wonderful- O had the feeling that I could ask them to help with anything. Other passengers were very friendly. It was great to learn more of the history of this country from well informed leaders. Can't wait to experience this type of cruise again!

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Linda Parker

January 16th, 2020 Houston, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Would not go on any other cruise line. We have been so satisfied with the people we met and employees we have stayed in touch with. It was a beautiful cruise for Christmas and enjoyed everything. Planning cruise number four

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Judith Tribby

January 16th, 2020 Crofton, MD DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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American Cruise Lines provides a wonderful experience aboard and on shore excursions. Our itinerary changed due to a tropical storm. Everything was done to keep us safe and informed and alternative shore experiences were provided.

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Judith Zaleski

January 16th, 2020 Springfield, IL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My husband & I have been on 4 cruises withAmerican Cruise Line and currently have 3 more booked. We have enjoyed each cruise. We especially like all of the Staff, always smiling, very friendly and will try to meet whatever needs that you may have. Like the size of the ships, the people that we meet, really like the expert lectures, the itineraries, and the food choices.Overall each of our experiences have been excellent.

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Betsy

January 16th, 2020 Taylors, SC DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Totally enjoyed every aspect of our cruises. Friendly staff. Delicious food. Fun activities.

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Robert Herndon

January 16th, 2020 Brandon, MS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I love the overall experience, particularly the historical lectures we received on the Lewis and Clark Columbia River trip. It was outstanding as was the added Snake river trip. The knowledge of the lecturers was outstanding and, even though I have read several accounts of the Lewis and Clark expedition, I learned a good deal more about it from the lectures

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[email protected]

January 16th, 2020 Naperville, IL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Loved cruising on the smaller boats with the smaller number of guests. Food was superb and the service the best that we have experienced. Very relaxing and enjoyable cruising.

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Norma A Pettijohn

January 16th, 2020 Topeka, KS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I really enjoyed my trip last April to SE USA from Florida to North Carolina. The staff and the itinerary were wonderful! I'm signed up for the New England Islands in September. There is no Mr. Pettijohn, so please correct your emails to me in the future.

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MimaBear

January 16th, 2020 Mesa, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I LOVE small ship cruising! You get to know your fellow passengers and the crew in ways that aren't possible on big ships. The excursions, entertainment and food are all world-class. I traveled with ACL last year and am going again in April of 2020. Can't wait!

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Louise Knight

January 16th, 2020 Tucson, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Staff was very friendly. Food was great. Historian was really good. Entertainment was excellent!

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Georgine Riley

January 16th, 2020 Orlando, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We love our cruise!!!!!! The crew were excellent !!!!!!! The food and food service was outstanding. We very much enjoyed the many ports especially the San Jaun inslands and Victoria. The captain was easy and fun to talk too which is not true on many cruises. Two thumbs up !!!!! We expect to be with you again in the not to distant future.

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John Rose

January 16th, 2020 Charlotte, NC DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The Columbia/Snake River cruise was excellent. The entire crew was very helpful and courteous. The food was excellent with lots of choices. Beautiful scenery and very interesting land excursions, especially Mt. St. Helens. This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines and have already signed up for another one on the Hudson River.

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Carson Smith

January 16th, 2020 Union City, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The crew and hospitality staff were friendly and did a great job helping every guest have a great time. The ship was clean and well kept and the food and drinks were excellent.

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Sue A Johnson

January 16th, 2020 San Diego, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I enjoyed the slow pace and sitting on the top of the ship and watch the pretty scenery in the San Juan Islands. Friendly staff and fellow passengers were a plus. The only downside was dining. Since we were mostly seniors with hearing impairment the large tables of eight made it hard to hear the conversation. Very noisy due to passengers loud voices, again part of aging. I have no solution but it made meals stressful and I do have hearing aids. Great company and attention to details are a plus. Sue A Johnson

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Julie

January 16th, 2020 College Station, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We celebrated my brothers 70th birthday and his upcoming retirement With a cruise. So much fun. Great excursions.... love how the planing is done... bus picks us up ... takes us to points of interest... taken back by the bus to the ship. Food great.. entertainment awesome

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Joseph Parker

January 16th, 2020 Harriman, TN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We like their attention to detail. The staterooms are roomy, and the bath is a very good size compared to other cruise ships. The newest ships are well- appointed. The last time we cruised with them, the food was not as good as on other cruises. While it was plentiful, it just wasn't as delicious as other meals we have had.

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Marilyn Cantey

January 16th, 2020 Campbell, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I’m signed up for my 10th cruise in May. What I like best is the small size of the ships. 90-100 passengers. I know you’re building bigger ships now, but I like the smaller ones best. I’ve been on the Independence twice, Cabin 220 and will be on her again in May. The food and shore excursions are great. Don’t know what I like least, maybe since I’m a Renaissance and Classical musician, some of the evening entertainment. I like the lectures of local history, flora and fauna best.

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William W Fieldhouse

January 16th, 2020 Arroyo Grande, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Our whole experience was terrific. The food was very good and served quickly. We enjoyed all the off shore tours.

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Bob and Pat

January 16th, 2020 Tucson, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We have cruised 3 times with ACL and have another booked. The ships have been very clean, the service and food very good and the staff unfailingly friendly and helpful. We like the policy of full payment for the cruise up front with no extra charges and no gratuities expected on board.

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Kathleen Mary Rose

January 16th, 2020 Northridge, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I travel alone. I found the staff on the Constitution very helpful with planning my itinerary. My room was perfect for me. Since I was busy meeting new and wonderful fellow travelers, I did not miss not having a balcony! The ship has a large balcony on the 4th floor where my new friends gathered at the end of the day to share our daily experiences. Looking forward to my next trip.