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I had the unfortunate experience of trying to cancel a trip for family members. The trip was less than their 90 days policy (a little over 2 months away) when one of the trip goers unexpectedly passed away. Her husband couldn't imagine doing the trip without her. I have been trying to help him get a reasonable refund for this trip, especially with the new unexpected expenses for the family. Given the unusual circumstances, I hoped they would discuss the matter of a refund since the trip was paid in full. They offered 50% of the amount paid. I spoke to two different people and neither even expressed any condolence when I explained the terrible situation we were in, I was stunned. It's also well within the time frame that they could resell those spots. Be warned, they will expect you pay for the trip, regardless of whether or not you are even a living person. Even with their top tier travel insurance there are several hundred dollar fees to cancel.
This particular cruise/cruise line is clearly geared toward a much older age group. (We four range in age from 60-66.) We met 80 something's on our cruise who said that the agenda is set for the elderly and they didn't feel old enough! There were great shore excursions, the plantations were beautiful. The food on board the boat was beyond delicious. The staff is friendly enough, but painfully ill informed and inexperienced. We found out that this company keeps wait staff and housekeeping for 16-28 weeks period, then a new staff is brought on. Some make it to "manager" status, and those seemed to be the staff members whose inexperience is the worst.
At times we had to help the bartending staff open wine bottles (they had no clue), open champagne and in some cases help them with simple drink recipes....for example, there is Vodka in a Bloody Mary....not tequila. A couple of times our questions were met with blank stares, wrong information or avoidance altogether. Did I mention the food was AMAZING!?!?
When I tell you the agenda was geared to the elderly, I am not exaggerating. The day that we were docked in Baton Rouge, the onboard activities included, dominoes, gin, bridge or a "group effort" jigsaw puzzle. While we were free to come and go from the boat, there was about a half day's worth of activities ashore. I'm not sure we will ever be old enough to be entertained aboard an American Cruise. We were excited to explore New Orleans. We were surprised to learn that the "city tour" of New Orleans upon disembarking was NOT included in the cruise package. It would have cost us 45.00 each to take that tour and then be deposited at a central location. Since we had another 4 days planned in New Orleans, we got off the boat and took an Uber to the French Quarter. The time on the boat wasn't the worst time, but I wouldn't recommend it for anyone under 70-75.
Was as other reviewers stated promised a full refund, but they kept $500. For a future cruise. This even though we were given incorrect information when we booked the future cruise while on board another. In addition to this experience I would rate this cruise line as mediocre at best. Fair quality meals, low quality entertainment and shore excursions. True they are small ships, but high fares and low budget amenities. They are more focused on sales and promotions than product. We will NEVER book with them again!
They offered a "100% MONEY back refund" both orally and in a chart on the reservation. I cancelled prior to the required 90 days and was given some money back and a $500 credit for a future cruise taken within one year. CREDIT does not equal MONEY back! In very fine type at the bottom is an asterisk - not connected to the money back refund - that states they will keep $250 per person for a cancellation. Clarity is needed in their advertising. From other reviews, this happens often.
American Cruise Lines is a great way to travel. The accommodations are exemplary. They are immaculate and luxurious. All needs are attended to by the great staff. I can recommend this cruise line wholeheartedly.
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In Feb or March of 2017 we had booked a 7 day cruise from the East Coast that was scheduled for June 2017 departure. The trip was fully paid in advance plus we paid for Trip Cancellation Insurance. My husband went for his annual physical and was scheduled for a routine colonoscopy. He had not had biopsy results when he had booked our trip. We had to cancel the cruise because the results showed he had esophageal cancer and surgery was scheduled for a few days before our pre-paid trip. I called the cruise line multiple times and was given a runaround and had to produce several medical reports.
I even suggested that the amount owed us be applied to a future trip and was denied. The cruise line representative decided we were not due the full refund because they said my husband had a pre-existing condition! However, when he had booked the cruise he did not know he had cancer! We were returned a check for about half of what the entire trip had cost us. What a ripoff! They even have the audacity to send us advertisements about 2 or three times a month! I would highly discourage anyone from booking with American Cruise Lines!
I had a cruise booked and had an emergency arise and needed to cancel my cruise outside the 90 day period. Realizing I would lose $250 of it (for what reason?), I followed their procedure for cancellation. Write an email to reservations@americancruiselines dot com. I received a "robo" email return saying they had received my email. One week later I received a call from a real live individual telling me it would take two to three weeks before I received a CHECK. Why not a return to my credit card? Their competitors do that and within three days! I received my check at exactly three weeks from my initial email.
Our first trip was up the Mississippi and dining staff member, Nick ** was such a gracious and paid attention to detail in every need while serving our table. He made all of us feel as if we were the only table on the ship. It was so grand to be pampered. That experience made us American Cruise Line sailors for life. Thank you ACL and thank you Nick.
Having traveled on 3 American Cruise Lines trips I think I can say I have some experience in reviewing their service. Our first trip in New England on a very small ship was just stunning. The crew went way beyond in making sure we had everything we wanted. Our second trip from Jacksonville was also an outstanding experience. The crew even had to make special plans to obtain an oxygen tank that was not delivered to the ship on time - with "it is no problem". Third trip on the brand new paddle wheeler down the Mississippi was also SOO well done - food, service and attitudes were A+ throughout the whole trip. We had to make changes to our departure from St Louis due to a personal illness and they jumped in and helped with all our travel needs.
Purchased cancellation insurance. Had to cancel. Received letter and phone call confirming refund. Ultimately, was given cruise credits which I wouldn't use if they doubled them! This cruise line and the insurance they offer is a joke, at best!
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.
Our cruise was re-routed due to flooding. We were told at the last minute with no options but to go or lose our money. The alternate cruise has a market value of $1245.00 less than what we paid yet all the company is offering is 25% off a future cruise if booked within 3 months. Our staterooms were not ready when we boarded and often not serviced until late afternoons. The meals and complimentary wine was not quality, and the ice cream desserts were melted due to a broken freezer. Staff is young and inexperienced. We were told there was a staff shortage. There were few offshore opportunities as it was off season. Corporate was unresponsive to the MANY complaints.
Staterooms are comfortable, dining is excellent without exception. The tours are well planned and off-ship experiences are very well organized and of high historical importance. Best of all, these are small, intimate and friendly touring experiences.
I have been on the Columbia River cruise and a Christmas Cruise on the Mississippi River. Both were outstanding experiences. Even though I have traveled a great deal in the U.S. and Europe, river exploration and culture was all new to me. To experience the uniquely important form of transportation that rivers provide us was eye opening to an Oklahoma native. American Cruise Lines provided the perfect way to experience this. The ships and the whole crew are great. The tours, lecturers and entertainment were the best! I will leave in a week for the Chesapeake Bay tour and can't wait. I will probably sign up for another cruise on board!!!
I was called 48 hours before my flight to St.Paul MN where this two week tour down the Mississippi was supposed to start. I was notified that there was a “port” change because of flooding and that the tour was now starting in Memphis,TN!!! There was a completely new itinerary that was not in any of their brochures and which I had never heard before. I was unable to make new travel arrangements even if I wanted to because of the last minute changes. All they did was apologize. I have been traveling for 65 years and have never been treated this way. They should immediately make complete financial restitution for the $22900 they have collected in June 2018. NOT YET. I CANNOT recommend this company. BAD BAD BAD.
We have cruised many times including a river cruise on Puget Sound. We paid over $12,000 for a cruise of the Northern Mississippi. We not notified of a change until we were on the bus en route to the ship. We will never cruise on this company and I will figure out ways to get out the word that you should avoid this cruise at all costs. We went on this cruise to see fall color. They are taking us to Nashville and there's no color. Plus I arranged for business meetings after we were to arrive in St Paul. The company couldn't care less about our inconvenience or desires. Avoid this brand at all costs. Ocean Cruises are better.
Room 511 has toxic sewer gas smell and they rent the room anyway. Food was lousy for the price paid. Seafood was not fresh, wait staff was hit and miss. Below average food, wine and liquors. Shore excursions a joke. Entertainment Karaoke quality.
I enjoyed my first trip with American Cruise Line in the spring of 2018. From the beginning when I first contacted them on the phone until I ended my cruise, I found every American Cruise Line employee to be helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable. The day to day itinerary included many interesting excursions with plenty to do and see. I enjoyed the amount of socializing on board the ship. I was traveling alone, and I met so many people that I look forward to traveling alone again. And the food was excellent. I had no complaints and will take my second cruise with them in a few days.
We have cruised with American Cruise Lines 3 times now -- to Alaska, the Upper Mississippi River and the New England Islands - soon to take our fourth cruise to Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. Each cruise has been a delightful experience; comfortable cabins and lounges, good food and good programs. All personnel have been friendly and accommodating, whatever the needs were.
American Cruise Lines is service oriented. Phone contacts are handled efficiently and courteously. When you meet the ship for a cruise, there are crew members to meet and great. Your luggage is immediately their concern and they take it directly to your cabin. The dining area is open seating... sit with only those you wish or mix it up and get acquainted with new friends. Food is nicely prepared with choices available at all meals. There is plenty of information about the planned stops and possible excursions. I have done many trips and have found the passengers to be interesting with wide experiences in travel with ACL and other
large ship lines. ACL passengers are repeaters which says a lot about American Cruise Lines.
We have taken 13 river cruises w/ American Cruise Lines and have enjoyed every one of them -- we have even taken the Columbia River and the New England cruises twice. ;-) They are more expensive than the competition but you get what you pay for, ie large cabins, delicious food, no additional tipping unless you feel it's warranted, a happy hour w/ cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and wine and beer at lunch and dinner. Some cruises include a hotel stay the night before and transportation to the ship w/ baggage handling included. After three cruises all tours are free and after 10 cruises you get a free one week cruise. The staff are eager to please and knowledgeable.
We chose this cruise because of the great reviews and were extremely disappointed. The rooms were no better than a budget motel and the food was no better than hospital quality. The staff in the dining room seemed to be new hires and although they tried to make us happy, the kitchen staff never came through. The entertainment was sub-par and only enjoyable on three of the seven nights. Excursions were ok but on three occasions there were not enough buses for all of us. The TV was a 21" that was not hooked up until we complained. We are not complainers having been on over 20 river cruises all over Europe as well as in Egypt, China, the Amazon and Vietnam. I hope those planning on traveling on American Cruise Line will take this and other negative reviews seriously.
We had a great time. The staff was superb, the food excellent and we really enjoyed the speakers each day. We have told numerous couples of our experience and several have either looked into or actually booked a trip. We really like the all inclusive cost as opposed to a base cost and numerous extras.
When they say 'no refunds' they are not kidding. My parents had their second trip planned with them when my father had to undergo emergency open heart surgery just prior to the trip. They were rude (never once wishing him well), and every single time the only thing that they would offer them was to either completely cancel the trip (a complete financial loss), or transfer it to someone else (who else is going to want to buy a trip this expensive on such short notice?). All that we were asking was that they allow my father to get healthy enough to go on a trip (ie: move the trip to spring), and then they would then go on the trip. They were in no way asking for a full refund. Even in speaking with a manager (Wayne **), he was rude and callous. Clearly, this company cares only about making a buck! Good riddance!
Will be taking our third ACL cruise in a couple weeks --- their Columbia and Snake River trip. Our New England and Maine Coast trips in past three years were wonderful experiences and convinced us that we wanted to do more ACL trips. The variety of meal choices was more than satisfactory for our tastes, the food quality and variety was superb and the service was excellent considering we weren't on the QEII. We prefer "small boat" cruising with the more casual atmosphere and the opportunity to "meet and mix" with almost all the 100 or so fellow passengers.
Will be leaving on our 4th cruise in 2 weeks and have our 5th planned. This speaks to how great our experiences traveling with American Cruise Lines has been. Our cabins, shore excursions, food and most of all the people have been outstanding, making our trips very enjoyable and relaxing. Suggest you consider the option of 1/2 portions for your meals. There has always been plenty of very delicious selections.
I was very dissatisfied with the food on the trip. The only good meal was breakfast. I just cannot believe they served less than mediocre lunches and dinners. The soups were terrible and you got about four tablespoons. After tasting I did not eat any more soup. The best meal was the lobster tail on Friday. Oh, can you tell me if the lobster salad and lobster put on top of some of the dishes was canned. It was so mushy. The best part of the cruise was the tours, except for that hapless one on Friday to some gorge because we couldn't go on the original tour scheduled. My cabin. What a disappointment. No one cared what it looked like. One desk, TV on desk. Who sits at a desk to watch TV? The bed shoved against the wall and the big corner opposite the bed bare, it could have used a comfortable chair to watch TV and to sit on to put your shoes on.
My friend (who had her own cabin) booked us a trip on the lower Mississippi but we canceled and we are looking for another cruise line for next year. Even your wait staff wasn't that great. Half of them were really great and the bad. I sat at the same two tables through most of the cruise. Do you know how many times the wrong dish was at in front of me - soup instead of salad (Could you spare the salad?). The wrong entree. Your cook is not a good cook. Talk to the chef on the American Star that goes to New England. We went there last year and the food was gourmet, just wonderful. After every dinner the chef being proud of his food came out and visited every table. That was a nice touch. I think your cook on this ship needs to go to culinary school. You were such a disappointment since we had such a first class wonder vacation and food on the American Star.
I have made several cruises with American Cruise Lines, each time with a different person or persons, and each time the ship has been a bit larger. I have loved the fact that the ship is not so big and not feeling crowded by huge numbers of passengers. I have loved the activities planned for each cruise and the information resources along with them. On each trip, the food was wonderful, focusing on the regional specialties along the way. (On the "whaling islands" cruise, I relished the frequency of lobster on the menu, and especially the lobster bake.) On each trip, the crew was excellent, friendly and caring. I felt I was among friends. I have recommended American Cruise Lines on more than one occasion and will continue to do so. Looking forward to my next trip!
I took their much advertised trip to the islands. The ship was too large to dock so we had to take a small boat to visit the ports. Some islands we skipped and there was no mention made as to why. The crew did a good job but it was apparent that the corporate managers made all the decisions. Having sailed with them before I was looking forward to great meals but I was very disappointed. The food was bland with little thought given to the way it looked. The chicken pot pie, for example,was a bowl of a sort of thickened chicken stew. No biscuit. Little flavor. Sad indeed.
The entertainment seemed to use the same playbook. The first three nights the band's played almost the same music. There was a speaker on board but they only offered a few programs. They were good but we took the trip to learn more about the islands. The day trips were interesting but we found out later about other options that might have been more enjoyable and would have cost much less. The cabins are nice size but they seem dated in decor even though this was a new ship.
We noted several areas where maintenance was needed. The new carpet was loose making a tripping hazard. The public areas showed signs of wear and no amount of cleaning was going to fix the odd color choices. Overall for the price I was not impressed. I have sailed on small lines before and will go back to companies that really do put the experience first. Never again will I sail on American cruise lines and I will suggest that others take a good look at other options as well.
We took our first American Cruise Lines cruise and tour to New England on the inaugural voyage (American Constellation) and had a wonderful time! We’ve been in the group tour business for 26 years and sailed on more cruises than we can count. Now we are retired and took this cruise (minus the 50 people who usually travel with us!). This cruise was incredibly well organized and the staff was above and beyond well trained in hospitality and customer care. The staterooms were very comfortable with every detail well considered. Being on the inaugural trip, we were bestowed with numerous high end gifts almost daily! I Facebooked photos of our daily itinerary and friends coaxed us into taking another cruise on the Queen of the West (Snake and Columbia River) departing next week (July 2018)! I can’t say enough good things about American Cruise Lines and we are looking forward to more journeys in the future!
American Cruise Lines expert review by Michelle Baran
Established in 1991 in Guilford, Connecticut, American Cruise Lines specializes in U.S. river and small-ship coastal cruises. Its ships carry 50 to 150 passengers.
Various U.S. regions: The regions American Cruise Lines sails are Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Mississippi River, the Northeastern United States and the Southeastern United States. Cruise themes include Lewis and Clark and fall foliage cruises.
Shore excursions: Shore excursions such as city tours and mansion visits appeal to a wide range of interests and ages. There are both daily included tours as well as optional excursions for an additional fee.
The Eagle Society: The company rewards repeat guests with free membership to The Eagle Society. Benefits include special offers and personalized service.
Fees: While fees do not include port charges and optional excursions, they do cover meals, live nightly entertainment and other amenities.
Solo travelers: The company actively welcomes single travelers.
Best for: Older travelers, couples and solo travelers that want to cruise in the U.S. should head for American Cruise Lines.
American Cruise Lines Company Information
- Company Name:
- American Cruise Lines
- Year Founded:
- 741 Boston Post Road, Suite 200
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 460-4518