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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Sue Weiss

January 16th, 2020 Lanham, MD DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The staff on the ship was very friendly, and the places we visited were very interesting.

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Kathleen Chapman

January 16th, 2020 Virginia, MN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We loved our riverboat cruise on the Columbia River. We enjoyed the trips onshore and found going through the locks to be extremely interesting. The food was more than plentiful and very, very good. The staff was phenomenally helpful. The jet boat ride on the Snake River was very interesting and fun. The entertainment in the evening was always very, very good.

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Valerie Cristiano

January 16th, 2020 Metuchen, NJ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Everything was top-notch. The tours were excellent and the guides were very informative, even after the main tour when you took the hop-on, hop-off shuttle, all of the drivers were very knowledgeable and helpful. The food was delicious and all of the staff were very attentive and many even knew our names! The small ship river cruising was amazing.

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Kevin Pringle

January 16th, 2020 Los Gatos, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The Harmony was a new ship when we sailed on the Mississippi. Crew was very friendly and helpful. Good meals, fun evening live entertainment, very interesting shore excursions and plenty of historical information.

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Linda

January 16th, 2020 Cedaredge, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We took their Mississipi River Cruise and I would highly recommend it. The boat is small enough that you get to know your fellow passengers. Each suite has its own balcony. The crew is amazingly helpful and polite. They go the extra mile to accommodate your wishes. We loved it so much that we booked one of their Alaska cruises. You won’t be sorry if you choose this cruise line.

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Ellyn L Wasserbeck

January 16th, 2020 Richwood, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We have comleted our third cruise with American Cruise lines. This compnay does it right. We like it for the small ship and passenger feel. This makes it a more personal attention to detail. The venues are terrific. My absolute favorite was the Columbia/Snake River trip. The food is terrific and not that fancy "what is this" thing. They go above and beyond to make sure your trip is a great one. Thanks American Cruise Lines.

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Wallingford

January 16th, 2020 Wallingford, CT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Will be taking our fifth cruise with American this Spring. From the moment we hand our luggage to the crew in the red shirts we receive the kid glove treatment in every way possible. We immediately relax, and we feel AT HOME. We are not part of a mindless herd; the size of the ship and the level of service we enjoy make it the most genteel way we know of relaxing and enjoying the whole cruising experience. All of the amenities we want, none of the ones we're never going to indulge in in the first place. We feel safe, coddled, catered to. Different people want different things..I have no desire to get in a hot tub with 14 strangers, or have the smoke cleaned out of my clothes daily from walking through a Casino. A smiling face without a hand held out for a gratuity. Not a spiked heel, or a wife-beater t-shirt in sight. I often find myself looking around at my surroundings, sighing happily and thinking "how nice". American Cruise Lines is perfect for us.

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TA Evans

January 16th, 2020 Hendersonville, TN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Relaxing trip on the Columbia Rivers with local entertainment and expert guide.

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Daniel Maclean

January 16th, 2020 Brookline, NH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The best cruise line I have used, I have traveled Europe on river cruises the last 5 years with my Lady partner who was thrilled with American Cruise Lines accommodations, food, crew, And off river trips we took the New Orleans to New Orleans Mississippi River Cruse We Loved It.

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Linda Robinson

January 16th, 2020 Edmond, OK DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Great service, excellent food. All staff very helpful and friendly. Enjoyed the lower key cruising versus big ships.

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ART

January 16th, 2020 Long Branch, NJ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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A river boat trip on the Columbia and Snake rivers is a journey through some of America's most spectacular scenic countryside. American Cruise Lines itinerary provides stops at points of interest that are both unique and wonderful to see. In addition to the sights, our trip provided a valuable history lesson as we traveled the paths of Lewis & Clark and other early explorers. We did it in style and saw the same great country they did decades ago.

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Frances Husejinovic

January 16th, 2020 Ridgewood, NY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I like the service everyone is great. They take great care of you. They are the best especially with single travelers. I recommend them to everyone I talk to.

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Maryann Wright

January 16th, 2020 Fernandina Beach, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Food and service on all three of my cruises (Columbia River, Hudson River, and New England) have been excellent as have been the choices of excursions.

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Neil

October 22nd, 2019 Denver, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We had a great cruise. The ship was comfortable, entertainment was entertaining and food was good. The kitchen and service in the dining room were at times somewhat unorganized but the experience was still very good.

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Michael

October 17th, 2019 Citrus Heights, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We loved to crew. They would do just about anything we needed and were very friendly. Most of the tours were great. This is our third cruise and we are signed up for one more.

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Dr. Larry Dukes

October 16th, 2019 Hillsboro, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Everything was first class. Of the dozen or more cruises I’be been on the food and service was the best. It was our first cruise on American but we already signed for our next one.

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Robert A. Kleeb

October 16th, 2019 Denver, CO DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Meals were wonderful. Having tips paid with fare takes away a lot of difficult decisions about who & how much to tip all the wonderful staff who served us.

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Roy and Susie

October 15th, 2019 Casper, WY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We were pleased with all aspects. Only suggestion is support staff need more assistance at disembarkment and the nite before. Verandas are difficult to maneuver on.

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South Texas

October 15th, 2019 Victoria, TX

Boat was somewhat difficult to find and not very handy, quite a walk to boat. Sure appreciate cruise employees taking bags so did not have to carry all the way to boat. Once on food was great and employees very professional from getting on to deportation. Negative would be inside cabin thermostat hard to set and announcements not coming in all the time.

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Nan Kesler

October 14th, 2019 Virginia Beach, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Wonderful crew; entertainment and outings on this cruise! Bill and Laura were fantastic duo; Bill is a neat historian. Love his audio selection; nice presents for folks back home! Laura is quite the vocalist! Beautiful voice. The Ed and Dan entertainment was also wonderful. Thanks for such a great trip!

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Bill Bengtson

October 11th, 2019 Vail, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Food and drinks were great. The land tours left something to be desired. The West Point tour was fine, but the FDR tour bus was guideless, depending on the bus driver to organize us. The NYC was ok, but the walking tour of the 9/11 site was lucky not to lose anyone. And people need to use the toilet on the bus, rather than make everyone wait for at the Occulus.

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M. Connell

October 11th, 2019 San Mateo, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Outstanding food in both quality and presentation. Happy hour: food runs out in five minutes with no replacements. Most shore excursions are very good and well organized. Some major mistakes - West Point: saw the sights but gave us no time to see movie or exhibits in the visitor's center -- major disappointment. Ship's representative accompanies about half of the shore excursions. Usually very good ADA service. Would sail with ACL again.

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sandy hennigan

October 11th, 2019 Largo, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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great cruise main complaint NOT handicap acessible

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Barbara Tamblin

October 10th, 2019 Rocklin, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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After cruising the complete Mississippi last year, a 5 star trip, this cruise was a surprising disappointment. There did not seem to be enough experienced staff in charge, excursions overbooked, no body from the staff accompanied any of our excursions leaving the bus driver or local guide "responsible" for groups, we actually gave up seats for very angry passengers

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Cathy

October 9th, 2019 Fernley, NV DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Previous cruises (Southeast Alaska, Columbia and Snake, Maine Coast and Harbors) have all been very interesting and onboard experience was top-notch. The Cumberland cruise was quite sub-par and I wish I hadn’t spent the money on it. I hope this isn’t a sign of a new format. I had thought ACL was a gem, but my recent experience brings my review down. Food service was very slow and historian lectures were scheduled for daytime when we were out on excursions. Staff was forgetful of customer requests. On the upside, Fort Donelson was very interesting and the Quilt Museum was stunning

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Donnie and Dianne Shelton

October 8th, 2019 Louisville, KY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Hudson River Cruise was great. Enjoyed the tours with Robert and the walk through little Italy, NY. Food was outstanding and appreciative Kenny and Eric the chef . The servers Alli, Gabbi and all were very friendly and eager to make our dinning experience the best. Entertainment was wonderful especially Robert and Stephanie, and the lady that sung patriotic songs.

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Sharon McNamara

October 8th, 2019 Bowie, MD DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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My experience started off not good as I had bought a ticket thru ACL to go to the Grand Old Opry. Mistake. The ticket was not in my folder when I got to the Gaylord HOtel. They said it would be at the ticket booth. It wasn't. Four of us didn't have tickets and we were in the heat for over an hour while they tried to figure out where the tickets were for us. I had my receipt fortunately. They were all over the place looking for the group coming in from St. Louis. 10 minutes before the show started people started coming in from the buses. The people from the Grand Ole Opry ran down to the buses and got our tickets. I HIGHLY recomend you come up with a better solution to this. It's not fun not having a ticket in your hand after you've paid for it. It was so HOT and just frustrating. The trip was enjoyable and I did appreciate ACL providing us a hotel room at the end because the river had flooded and we would have had a 2 hour bus ride to the airport coming home. We were told that several had canceled going from St. Louis to Nashville so rooms were available. Leaving for the airport at 4 am would not have been good for anyone.

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Sandra

October 8th, 2019 Madison, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We went on the Maine cruise last year and enjoyed it a great deal, but not the Hudson River cruise. The food and dining staff were wonderful, the cruise director not so. She was a non presence. She never spoke to us or anyone else that I could. She gave misinformation about the disembarkment procedure. The cruise stops were not good. If one did not go on the excursions, one did nothing. I would not recommend the Hudson River cruise. We are giving American Cruise Line one more chance next year , but many on board said, “ Never again.”

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Flo Mizicko

October 8th, 2019 Vienna, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We enjoyed our trip immensely and booked for next year (our 7th) However this particular cruise had several instances in which nobody seemed to know what to do. It was because of the inexperience of the cruise people. There should be experience personnel on every cruise to help the ones who are doing this for the first time.

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Hare Tanan

October 8th, 2019 Northfield, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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I gave a four star for one reason... entertainment. I like the band, Judy D and the Victory Belles. I would have expected entertainment relating more to the older clientel with music that we could dance to. The restaurant servers were great, the all day alcohol was good at least I could have a drink when I wanted. The side trips that were offered were fine. I was a little disappointed in the slim showing of the captain. I generally have cruises where the captain shows up for the crew introduction and the captain's night. We had no idea who the captain was until we asked.

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Rita E

October 8th, 2019 Northfield, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Staff very efficient and helpful. Serving staff very accommodating. Some entertainment was not enjoyable. Victory Belles, Partly Cloudy Trio and Judy D all superior entertainers. Three days of Connie G was an overkill. Dale B gave us great historical information

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Judith Dumin

October 8th, 2019 Radford, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The cruise was very chaotic due to the leaving of the cruise director. Sarah stepped in and did a wonderful job of picking up the pieces. Gabbi G is an excellent server and always knew my wine choice. Dominic H did a great job cleaning our stateroom.

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James and Martha Mewhirter

October 7th, 2019 Vancouver, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We felt the galley was under staffed as our service was slow. We would be near last about every meal. Also in the morning going to the tables as you entered the dinning room for fruit, rolls, cereal and yogurt. The dishes were not clean and I informed at least four different staff members.

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John Murray

October 7th, 2019 Bainbridge Island, WA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We have cruised several times with ACL and we did the same cruise two years ago - loved ACL. everything was wonderful with the possible exception of the dining room which is too noisy - when the boat is underway - for normal conversation, and that is why we cruise with ACL, to meet people and talk with them. John Murray

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Richard Doucet

October 6th, 2019 Luling, LA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Beautiful new ship, Harmony. Very interesting trip down the entire MS River.

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John Collie

October 3rd, 2019 Scottsdale, AZ

The boat is old and made a lot of noise at sea. The food vas very good and the wait staff did a good job serving. Bringing guests aboard for dinner caused us a problem because the dinner ran out of seats. The on board expert was not very interesting as his presentations were his opinions based on his historical background. The nightly entertainment was so so. The tour director was very new and did an excellent job for her experience. You should train better.

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DAN AND CAROLYN ROGERS

October 2nd, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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American Cruise Line is a premier company. We have never been treated better or enjoyed other cruises like we have on this cruise line. We have done 5 cruises and are looking forward to more! Thank you for making our experiences the best ever!

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Jack Blachly

October 1st, 2019 Frisco, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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This was my third cruise with ACL and like the others it was perfect. The management and staff went out their way to make sure everything was exceptional. Hannah B was our cruise director and you could not have a better representative on board your ships. Cruising the Mississippi constantly presents obstacles and Hannah made the changes seamless.

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JBirtolo

October 1st, 2019 Bradenton, FL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We love this cruise line. We've made three cruises so far and already booked our fourth. We love that the ships are small and therefore don't pack in passengers like sardines. And we've always found the crew and attendants to be nice, helpful and of good spirits.

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Lois Tyler

October 1st, 2019 Ballston Spa, NY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Cracked dam disrupted the flow of the trip.unpacking repacking , unpacking was not anticipated. Not America cruise fault, but did not make the cruise go smoothly.

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Rick and Elizabeth Patenaude

September 29th, 2019 North Adams, MA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The service met the highest standards one could expect. The crew made the most of a bad situation (Bonnevile Dam closure) and did everything in its power to complete our trip in the best manner possible. The offer to grant a sizable discount on our next trip was a greatly appreciated bonus. KUDOS

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Carl E Henderson

September 26th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The staff was always friendly and courteous. The food was delicious and there was quite a wide choice for each meal. The entertainment was top notch as well as the "historian" who gave frequent "lectures" about the river, the history of the area, and other information that was great to receive. And the "happy hour" was wonderful.

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[email protected]

September 21st, 2019 San Jose, CA

WE had wonderful service all these people were great help with food Rocio, Arionna, Jessica S, Robyn S Lexie H and DaQbian L and Caitlan P , Berimger . cabin service Kelvana and Kian M. Arts Diane S was very good I learned from her. Cruise Director Tessa, and Hotel Manger Keaton J always help at all time. The Crew on the ship was always help ful and the coast graud was great.

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James Hake

September 20th, 2019 Marietta, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Our first cruise with ACL had a high level of dissatisfaction. A cracked Locke on the Columbia River showed a weakness of the officers onboard. The backup plan was to go to Google and find out where passengers could be sent. We too were doing this - with difficulty because the WiFi was not working. They bused us to Fort Vancouver without coordinating the guides that were present. This could have been more interesting. Busing us 45 min to the Vista was no more than a 10 min view. The officers had little knowledge of Oregon - Willamette Valley, Canon Beach - both within 1 to 2 hours. There was no backup or contingency plan. They genuinely tried and continued to go through the process - it was too late. They brought us back to Portland - where we had come into early. The boat was docked where we embarked - inconvenient to the city, next to a very busy and noisy bridge, and under the direct landing flight path of the Portland Airport. To make matters worse for those of us still on board, another sister boat docked right next to us on our last night - engines/generators on. What were they thinking?

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B Hake

September 20th, 2019 Marietta, GA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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We had the unfortunate experience of being on the Columbia River cruise when the Bonneville Dam lock broke and we had to spend the majority of the time docked at the Red Lion in Portland.

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Rhoda Thornton

September 19th, 2019 Florence, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Excellent Ship - Excellent Staff - Loved the trip The food could improve would be my only reason I am not giving it a 5 star.

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Joe Parker

September 18th, 2019 Kingston, TN DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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The cruise was interrupted due to circumstances beyond anyone's control. The crew was especially solicitous, making sure that we were making the best of a bad situation. They were very professional and are to be commended. We have already booked our next one with ACL.

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Ron Cooper

September 17th, 2019 Round Rock, TX

We thoroughly enjoyed our Puget Sound cruise In September 2019. The entire crew was very focused on guest comfort. The attention to detail was excellent. The food was very good and selections were fine except too much spinach. I have 2 constructive criticisms. 1) concerns the gangway for boarding and exiting the ship. It is a little shaky. There was always a crew member on the dock ready to assist and their assistance was needed at times. The gangway has railings but not at the dock end. I would like to see railings added at the dock end of the gangway. 2) I’d like to have a nightlight in the bathroom.

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Beach65

September 17th, 2019 New Bern, NC

As corporate is already aware of---our cruise was not the cruise we expected due to the closing of the Bonneville Dam Lock. Although very disappointing--our entire crew worked diligently to make the experience as best as it could be. We appreciated them so very much and made lemonade out of lemons!

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Marilyn and Arnold

September 17th, 2019 Lincoln, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
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Maiden voyage so the multiple “glitches” were probably to be expected. Staff tried hard, but seemed over worked at times. Food quality did not live up to expectations. Price of cruise did not match value received for that price