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.

Top Ranked Companies

company logo
#1 Carnival Cruise Lines chevron_right
9.6 Overall Score
4.3
starstarstarstarstar_half
(711)
company logo
#2 Royal Caribbean International chevron_right
8.7 Overall Score
4.2
starstarstarstarstar_half
(459)
company logo
#3 Norwegian Cruise Line chevron_right
7.7 Overall Score
4.1
starstarstarstarstar_half
(251)

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
starstarstarstarstar_half

130 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 star
68%
4 star
22%
3 star
8%
2 star
0%
1 star
2%

Sentiment Criteria

Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_half
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_half
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar_half
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar_half
search cancel
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Paula

September 17th, 2019 San Francisco, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Ship was clean. Room was clean however bathroom seemed to only be cleaned a couple of times. Food was good. Dining room service could use some improvements. Service usually three hour from start to finish. The dining hours could be extended for a more convenient dining experience. More experience wait staff would be good also. My husband has red wine and iced tea dumped on him twice. The shore excursions were very poor. A big waste of time. Two of the towns we were docked in had nothing to do.

starstarstarstarstar

Jack B Shelton

September 16th, 2019

Outstanding experience in every way. The ship staff and crew are young and their inexperience showed occasionally in minor details during the week, but did not detract from the time afloat. Excursions were good, food excellent, and the scenery cannot be described in any terms other than unbelievable.

starstarstarstarstar_border

Richard R Schumacher

September 13th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Stateroom cleanliness needs improvement- items from prior guests left in drawers, the balcony was too dirty to walk in bare feet. The bathroom smelled of sewage for the entire cruise. The food was sometimes wonderful but sometimes not so much. The crew were very nice and the service, with one exception, was good. Changes in stops made many passengers irate (but not us).

starstarstarstarstar_border

Joe and Mary

September 12th, 2019 Lexington, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

We've done five cruises, enjoyed them all and have signed up for two more. The ship comforts, destinations and excursions are great. The food cooking and service were not up to the standards we expected.

starstarstarstarstar

Gene Bell

September 12th, 2019 Phoenix, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

This was my first cruise and have already booked the second. Staff were all very personable and accommodating, great meals and excellent choices for on shore excursions.

starstarstarstarstar

Jane L Chase

September 11th, 2019 Bethlehem, PA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

The trip was wonderful. Food was good for the most part. A lot of things we do not eat but were able to order other items that fit our food needs. Staff was very friendly and if asked for something it was furnished immediately. Scenery was heavenly and really enjoyed the trip.

starstarstarstarstar_border

Bruce

September 10th, 2019 Torrance, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar_border

Friendly crew, excellent food, modern vessels, large staterooms and provides a chance to see America without the need for buses and hotel rooms.

starstarstarstarstar_border

Chas Chase

September 10th, 2019 Bethlehem, PA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Crew was great , very clean ship, culinary crew was very accommodating for foods not enjoyed due to cancer.

starstarstarstarstar

Mary Gillespie

September 10th, 2019 Arlington Heights, IL DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Everyone was very friendly -efficient-did their jobs very well

starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Debbie

September 10th, 2019 Payson, AZ

Staff was awesome! The ship wasn’t as nice as I expected though. It badly needs a major overhaul! The room was a bit cramped, and the balcony needed to be at least 6” deeper to accommodate a person getting into and out of the chairs. Food was pretty good, but not anything spectacular. I was very impressed by the variety of choices for me that were gluten free. The excursions were nice, well organized, on time, good locations. The exception to that was our “ walking tour” of Port Townsend. The guide assigned to my group, the historian from the museum, wasn’t up to the task. We only walked about 100 yards total, mostly stood in the sun and tried to stay interested.

starstarstarstarstar

Ian Pryke

September 10th, 2019 Falls Church, VA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Have travelled with American Cruise Lines four times and have had a good experience in every case. One observation: On most recent cruise the bus accommodation on a couple of the land tours was a little disappointing due to the size of the windows on the busses. Only provided a partial view of a number of the sites that were highlighted.

starstarstarstarstar

Carl Schroeder

September 5th, 2019 Saint Paul, MN

Some memories of our cruise: 1. Because of the smaller size of the boat and its design, it's possible to get anywhere on board in a couple of minutes. 2. A friendly and comfortable way to vacation; the members of the crew will help you (or each other for that matter) with a smile and good nature. 3. The food and food service are excellent; they work hard to provide a good experience for the passengers. 4. The excursions and scenery are world-class.

starstarstarstarstar

Susan

September 5th, 2019 Hatley, WI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

People were very friendly Loved Happy Hour so we could meet the other people sailing with us Food was wonderful

starstarstarstarstar

TP

September 4th, 2019 Beacon Falls, CT DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

This is the third cruise my wife and I have taken with American Cruise Lines. Each one seems to get better and better. This last one was the inside passage in Alaska. Every day was chock full of amazing scenery and magnificent wildlife. We saw bear, moose, eagles, otters, seal, sea lions, whales and countless other bird life. The small size of the ship afforded us a very up close view of countless glaciers. The food of course was wonderful. Also the ship offered complimentary wine and beer at lunch a happy hour from 5:30 to 7:00. Wine or cocktails at dinner and finally another happy hour at 8:30. The age demographics do tend to lean towards the older traveler, but my wife and find the passengers to not only be accomplished in their respective fields, but very interesting people. I highly recommend American Cruise Lines.

starstarstarstarstar_border

Cecile E. Johnson

September 4th, 2019 Angleton, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Except for room 318 our original room that flooded during the night bathroom and bedroom , being moved to 414 and two nights later that room flooded twice in one day. We did not put anything down the toilet that should not have been in there. We have taken over 25 river cruises so we know how the system works and believe me this has never happened to us before. I feel American Cruise Lines owes us some kind of compensation for the inconvenience that we had to endure. My husband asked Amelia for an American Cruise Line hat, she said she would get him one but he never did receive it. Todd was a fantastic riverlorian, he really knew his history. Could have listened to him for hours. The food was excellent. The entertainment was a lot better than the Mark Twain tour. I suggest you have happy hour not the same time as dinner. It was too early and then eat your meal

starstarstarstarstar

Carol Hernandez

September 2nd, 2019 Anaheim, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

We have cruised with American Cruise Lines 6 times over 6 years. The service & friendliness of the crew is excellent. The food & dining experience is superb. And coctails & wine are all inclusive. Our stateroom (not a suite) is spacious & comfortable. We love the breakfast room service. There is always a choice of excursions which are excellent. Booked our 7th cruise for 2020.

starstarstarstarstar

Galen

May 19th, 2019 Fishers, NY DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Sales, accounting, back office stuff smooth and quick Included tours appropriate and interesting Mgt staff outstanding; Jaimie and Richard extended themselves to ensure a great passenger experience. Food was very good but not quite up to the Mississippi cruises. interesting menu change of two featured offerings with repeated standard ones. Only bailed to BLT once. Wait staff above average with trying and being pleasant. Interesting change to concurrent cocktail / dining hour - worked okay. Entertainment - a challenge for a small boat, enjoyed the interactive "cowboy" best, the 4 saxes were good but more of a concert feel. Staff scrambled well to handle cancellations. Red Lion excellent pre-cruise lodging. Good enough to reserve #4 cruise.

starstarstarstarstar

Jame & Andrea LeFevre

May 15th, 2019 Rogers, AR DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

It was our 5 th Cruise. We signed up for number 6. Have enjoyed them all. This was the first time on the 175 passenger ships instead of the 100 passenger size. They both are very nice. Don't think I would want anything any bigger however.

starstarstarstarstar

Roger

May 14th, 2019 Casa Grande, AZ DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Excellent service, food, staff, and care. Totally relaxing.

starstarstarstarstar

Sonny Donaldson

May 11th, 2019 Montgomery, TX DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Cruise was most enjoyable. The itenarary was excellent. The staff was friendly and exceeded expectations . Captain S was most engaging about the cruise, his experience and the operation of the boat. Special recognition for service and courtesy goes to Kegen, Jason, Olivia and Loretta. The entertainer from New Orleans was the best with the couple the first to nights a distance second.

starstarstarstarstar

Catherine Thomas

May 10th, 2019 St Louis, MO

Everyone from the cruise line was very friendly and always went out of their way to make our trip as enjoyable as possible

starstarstarstarstar_border

Philip G. Pfefferle

May 10th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar_border

We did the American Revolution Cruise. The cruise was great but with 2 issues. The ships wifi is really bad. So bad in fact to be now usable. The other is that my wife has special diet needs and she met with the chief and they still couldn't get it right.

starstarstarstarstar

Stephen Kerwick

May 9th, 2019 Wichita, KS DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

Excellent new craft. The crew on the Song was exceptionally fine, the best we’ve encountered on ACL to date. Food and drink we’re wonderful and more diverse than our last cruise. Meal times were more flexible as well.

starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Carolyn G

May 8th, 2019 Maynard, MA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

This cruise had the most turbulance. I am having trouble walking. The last day was a nightmare. When the taxi driver asked for our luggage, Chris said we were all set. We got to the airport----no luggage.Sent driver back and they would not give him the luggage until all the buses were loaded. We barely made our flight. Please look into this.

starstarstarstarstar_border

Ray & Yvonne Vogel

May 8th, 2019 Fremont, OH DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar_border

We both enjoyed the experiences of being on a smaller ship with the a smaller number of passengers for eating, connecting with other passengers and accommodations. The meals were varied, delicious and very ample. The excursions were very enjoyable and well timed for also seeing things on our own. The ship entertainment and educational activities about the area were always stimulating and fun.

starstarstarstar_borderstar_border

Frank Kierchhoff

May 7th, 2019 Mission Viejo, CA

The food was marginal at best. Sent back two meals that were not eatable. Presentation of meals was poor.Service was amateurish. Entertainment at night was BINGO and Games??? Not very entertaining.Tours were just OK, Waiting for buses 45 minutes after you have toured the Museum etc. not good. Tour guide was at times confusing, he seemed to be all over the map sometimes very hard to follow. Attention to detail needs work, no plates or forks for appetizers at cocktail hour 3 nights in a row??? Sanitary wipes and towels in exercise room, time changes for events and tours without proper notification, blinking message light on room phone reported but never corrected, place pillow over phone because red light was reflecting on ceiling over bed?? Spending $10k for a cruise expected better quality of service all a round. All that being said were advised by friends that the Mississippi to Memphis cruise was significantly better we are rolling the dice to give American cruise one more shot.

starstarstarstarstar

Arlene Crosson

May 7th, 2019 DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

This was my first cruise with American Cruise Lines and it won't be my last. Every member of the crew made our journey carefree and fun. The accommodations, food, service, shore excursions and overall atmosphere on the ship was excellent. I was a little apprehensive because the Mississippi River was at flood level, but we managed to visit all but one of the places listed on our itinerary. We did have to dock at some alternate sites, but every effort was made to get to the rest of our itinerary. Leaving at the end of our trip was sad but we had a fun bus tour of New Orleans with Don Downs and a drop off at our airport. Don't hesitate to take a trip on American Cruise Lines.

starstarstarstarstar

Paula Kunkel

May 7th, 2019 Irvine, CA DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstarstarstarstar
Quality of product or service
starstarstarstarstar
Customer service
starstarstarstarstar
Company trustworthiness
starstarstarstarstar

This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. The boat was rather new and beautifully decorated. Our room was clean, quiet, and convenient. The food was beautifully served and delicious. There were ample selections at each meal and we appreciated that we were able to have 1/2 portions. The new snack bar service on the upper deck was a fun and convenient way to get a lighter meal. Our main server, Patricia, was exceptional. We were very please with the itinerary because of our interest in the history of Lewis and Clark. The only time we felt a little rushed was at Cape Disappointment. Perhaps that should be scheduled earlier in the day and maybe precede Fort Clapsop.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

Norman Aulabaugh

November 11th, 2018 Orfordville, WI DETAILS arrow_drop_down
Value for your money
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Quality of product or service
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Customer service
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border
Company trustworthiness
starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

I booked cruise 474 which was to travel on the Mississippi river from St. Louis, Missouri to St. Paul, Minnesota from October 6 to October 13, 2018. When I arrived in St. Louis the evening of October 5, I found a note in my Hotel room saying there had been a change in my itinerary, that my Cruise had been changed from a Mississippi river cruise from St. Louis, Missouri to St. Paul, Minnesota to a cruise on the Cumberland River traveling from St. Louis to Nashville, Tennessee. Although there were many people booked on cruise 474 staying at the hotel, there was no representative from American Cruise Lines at the hotel to answer questions. I called the American Cruise Lines customer service representative and was told that due to high water on the upper Mississippi, the ship could not get under one bridge and therefore the cruise had been changed to the Cumberland River Cruise. I explained I did not want to go on the Cumberland River Cruise to Nashville, that I had booked the Mississippi River Cruise to St. Paul Minnesota. I further explained that I either wanted a refund or I wanted to re-book the Mississippi River Cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul for a later date. I was told neither of these option was possible and that if I did not go on the Cumberland River Cruise to Nashville, I would forfeit all the money I had paid for my cruise. I want this issue to go on file to warn other about the very unethical practices American Cruise Lines employs. They certainly are not customer oriented. They get your money, and then when they can't deliver on the trip you had booked, they seem to believe that sending you on another completely different cruise will fulfill their obligation. There were over 100 other people that were infuriated about the way we were treated by American Cruise Lines. I hope the Better Business Bureau has heard from them all. I went on the "alternative" cruise to Nashville as there was no alternative besides forfeiting the $10,000 I had already paid. I'm outraged.

starstar_borderstar_borderstar_borderstar_border

Evangeline

June 30th, 2015 Saint Albans, VT

My room on the Queen of the Mississippi, one of the American Cruise Lines Paddleboats, was misrepresented on the diagram in their booklet as a Category A double; it was at best a single. It was cramped and had a musty, moldy odor caused by a leaky AC. When I requested that the company refund a portion of my expense for this room, I was offered a 20% courtesy discount on a future booking. Not at all happy with this offer.