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Found 25 results

  1. I am starting this thread for my mini-review of my Cumberland River Cruise, September 7, 2019 to September 14, 2019 on the Queen of the Mississippi (QOM). There were approximately 150 passengers onboard. This was my 7th cruise with ACL and I traveled solo on this cruise. I had an overall enjoyable trip, but the QOM has some deficiencies, one which I considered major. I'll share my impressions and experiences from this past week onboard as well as information about the ports and shore excursions. As it is always valuable to hear others experiences and impressions, I invite anyone who was on this cruise to add your own thoughts and comments to this thread. Next: Travel Day and Pre-Cruise Hotel
  2. A Disappointing Start To The Cruise: Embarkation: Instructions in the Welcome Packet requested that all luggage be ready inside your room at 7:45 a.m. for pickup by the bell staff. Luggage was then delivered directly to your cabin. Passengers were advised to meet in the Lafayette and Lasalle Room, a large meeting room, at 9:45 a.m. The Cruise Director was present and gave some preliminary instructions and we then were checked in from a passenger list as we boarded the buses which departed at 10:15 a.m. for the QOM. A couple of weeks prior to the cruise, I received an email from ACL indicating that our embarkation port was changed to Alton, IIlinois. It proved to be a positive revision in the schedule as when we cruised the Mississippi River that afternoon we went past St. Louis on the river and I was able to get some excellent photos from the upper deck of the QOM of the Arch with the Old St. Louis Courthouse in the background. We had an entertaining sightseeing trip by our bus driver on the way to the dock. When we boarded, our names were again checked off a list by staff and we were told our cabins were ready. There was also a reception in the Magnolia Lounge with hors d'oeuvres and beverages upon boarding. Cabin: I decided to drop off my carry-on bag to my cabin before going to the reception. I entered my cabin and was greeted with a musty, sweet, chemical odor that was very strong. I immediately knew there was a problem in my cabin. I thought at first it was from cleaning products, but then I was able to determine that the odor was coming from the A/C. I have no allergies and my nose began to run for the short time I was in the cabin and my throat felt scratchy. I sought out the Hotel Director and reported it and he informed me that maintenance would be sent to my room to check on it. Over the course of two full days, I had to continually stay on top of this and seek out the Hotel Director multiple times to find out what was going on and when this was going to be resolved. In the meantime, I stayed out of my cabin as much as possible the first two days. At the end of the second day, it was resolved and there were no further issues with the odor coming from the A/C. I did feel this was a major deficiency both in maintenance and service and stated so on the post-cruise survey I received. It was a disappointing start to my trip. I was in one of the solo cabins. Aside from the above issue, there was a rip in the carpet in one corner of the room. The desk lamp was difficult to turn off and on as the switch to turn it on and off seemed like it was almost stripped. The room was 230 sq. ft. with a balcony. The bathroom was more spacious than one would find on an ocean cruise ship. My cabin was kept very clean and a deckhand swept and cleaned my balcony area on at least one occasion during the cruise. Next: Dining and Wi-Fi
  3. Yes, they provide distilled water free of charge. We have only been on Queen of the Mississippi, American Spirit, and America. There was an outlet beside the bed down low towards the floor on America. I do not recall where the outlet was located on the two other ships/boats. We always carry a short extension cord so that I can also charge my cell at night and have it close to check time and turn off alarm in the morning.
  4. I decided to start a thread for discussion of upcoming American Cruise Lines (ACL) river and coastal cruises. I'm going on ACL's Historic South & Golden Isles cruise, April 23rd-30th, Charleston to Jacksonville. This will be my third cruise with ACL, the first was New Orleans-Memphis aboard the Queen of the Mississippi in October 2014 and my second cruise was on the Queen of the West in October 2015. If you have an upcoming ACL cruise, feel free to post here. I've found it's a unique way to see the U.S.
  5. American Harmony was on its maiden voyage last week. Can anyone give us a review? We will be on the Oct 12 sailing for the lower Mississippi Memphis to NOLA, and I'm anxious to hear what the early travelers have experienced. Pictures of the interior of the ship would be an added bonus since ACL keeps recycling the computer generated pix for the ships in this series. --Larry
  6. Interested in booking a Mississippi river cruise with a specific interest in seeing antebellum homes. Would be especially helpful if there were tours which were on the mild side as to how much walking is involved as one of our party is a bit less mobile. I'm not sure how to put a definition on the limits except to say a short stroll to the Alamo where we enjoyed about an hour and twenty minute tour before walking back to our hotel was fine but about her limit for the day. Have not previously done a river cruise but have done a number of ocean cruises. I have read somewhat about the inherent differences so we are going into this expecting things to be a bit different. Wondering if American Cruise Lines Lower Mississippi cruise would roughly fit the bill or should we look at other lines or other cruises?
  7. We're just back from our second trip with American Cruise Lines, sailing their 'Deep South' itinerary from Jacksonville to Charleston (first was on the Mississippi), and I'm surprised not to see an ACL section among all the other cruise lines (I would have thought it warranted a section ahead of other niche lines like Bahamas Paradise and Imperial Majesty). Is there anyone else who's cruised with ACL, or might be interested in them? I've gone back through several pages (dating back to Nov 2013) and am not seeing any reference to them at all. Am I just looking in the wrong place or do people think ACL might be too 'old hat'?
  8. Planning first river cruise on American cruise line’s America Just a short one called Highlights of Mississippi Anyone done this one with American? Im curious of what to expect Thank you
  9. Hello Ray, In response to your question as to whether Pearl Seas offers an onboard discount, the answer is YES! While on my recent Lower Mississippi RIver Cruise with American Cruise Lines last April, I successfully rebooked my Canadian Maritimes & St. Lawrence Seaway 15-day cruise on Pearl Seas, receiving the 15% discount PLUS forgiveness of taxes and port fees. My cruise date is May 21, 2020, from Portland, Maine. The cruise ends in Toronto, Ontario. At first I was told that rebooking would not be possible but, with the able assistance of one of the ship’s managers, my rebooking was accomplished AND with my original stateroom selection: 512, a single balcony room. Unfortunately, since then, Pearl Seas has reduced the fare on my single balcony stateroom by $2000, taking away most of my discount! Oh well... Ron
  10. We took the new Ameican Song from Memphis on November 10, 2018 heading to New Orleans. The cruise was a mixed experience of good and disappointing. The new boat is very nice. The cabins are large for such a boat, with bigger than usual bathrooms. Some beautiful lounges for sitting and shows. Very easy to get around with 2 elevators and an open stairway. The disappointment was the food, which was usually OK, but nothing special and the waitstaff is amateur. They try hard and are pleasant, but it isn't like on a big cruise ship. The cocktail hour in the lounge was very popular and quite a success. Out cruise was made less wonderful by the unusual cold weather. It was too cold to sit on our balcony or enjoy the beautiful top deck with all the seating. And two days we had some rain too. The coldest November day in Memphis in 25 years when we left. Another thing was the lack of scenery on the lower Mississippi. You see vitually nothing except muddy water and scrawny trees most of the time. The levees block the view of anything on the land. The last stretch from Baton Rouge to NoLa is more interesting, including a lot of large ships and barges. The excursions were all good, though the Vicksburg Battlefield tour dragged on too long for me. Others enjoyed it. We only took the included tours. The staff was very good at helping those passengers who needed extra help. The lectures were mostly interesting..And the entertainment was mostly excellent. We were delayed because of loose barges and had the same duo 3 evenings (instead of 2), but they did 3 different shows and were wonderful. Dan Knowles and Eddie Coffey on banjo and other instruments. This was our first experience with ACL and we loved the boat, but found the entire cruise to be somewhat disappointing. I expected excellent meals and more scenery. The weather didn't help, but I realize ACL can't be blamed for that.
  11. The Upper Mississippi Cruise is a beautiful itinerary and very scenic and a completely different experience from the lower Mississippi. I was on this itinerary in 2017 with a friend the second week of September. I remember the weather being comfortable (for me). You may want to consider taking the final cruise of the season if you decide to sign on to this cruise.
  12. We are Aussies booked on ACL Mississippi cruise next August. Have done many ocean cruises & always had great CC groups. Can’t find a roll call for this one. Anyone out there going?
  13. When we cruised on America (Grand Mississippi) and Constitution (Grand New England), we never had a problem with slow service that I can recall. But on our latest cruise on Constellation (Grand Puget Sound), we indeed encountered problems. Once for breakfast and twice at dinner we experienced just the situation you described -- quick service for some, super-slow for others. On the earlier cruises, ACL used an "everyone come to eat more or less at one time" approach. For example, after 45 minutes (say) at happy hour, the rep would announce "dinner ready" and most would file out for dinner. This meant the tables would fill up pretty much at once, and our wait person would begin the usual routine - taking drink orders, serving drinks, taking food orders, clearing appetizer dishes, etc. etc. So the whole table was in sync, and when a tray arrived from the galley it was everybody's food. But on our last cruise, things changed. No fixed times, no happy-hour announcements, just filter down to eat whenever the mood struck. This meant very staggered arrivals at tables. The waiter would start the routine for the first two, then the next few, and so on, and would tend to lose track of where they were with each. So sometimes delays would occur. But I should point out that even so, we only had trouble on three occasions, out of 32 (I think) meals. Speaking of hot weather, in a moment of temporary insanity, we signed up for the 22-day Mississippi in August of 2020. I wonder what New Orleans will be like then!
  14. We'll be on the November 2nd Lower Mississippi Cruise on the new American Harmony. We've been on lots of ocean cruises but this will be our first river cruise. We're looking forward to something "different". It's been hard finding information of river cruises and, of course, the American Harmony since it hasn't sailed yet.
  15. I booked this week the Cumberland River Cruise for September, St. Louis to Nashville, Queen of the Mississippi. Anyone been on this cruise? Going to visit family in Nashville for a few days at the end of the cruise. Sooo, two ACL cruises this year. Going with a friend on the Hudson River cruise at the end of October (booked onboard last Sept.) Didn’t really plan on going on two this year, but there was a decent discount on the Cumberland River Cruise, so decided to do it since I could also visit family.
  16. Just returned home from Queen of the West cruise on the snake river. Cruised with my wife and her 89 year old mother. We had adjoining rooms. All of us enjoyed the cruise, especially my mother-in-law. She said it was one of the best trips that she has ever taken. Scenery was fantastic. We especially enjoyed going through the locks. Food was ok. Service was great. I will cruise ACL again.
  17. Anyone going on the American Cruise Line Queen of the West ?
  18. I can appreciate where you are coming from. We grew up in Philadelphia, but have been here in New Hampshire the last twenty years. Not fan of heat/humidity, but put up with it to traverse the Panama Canal and also to cruise up the Amazon River , or other very interesting venues. The ship will be air conditioned. To us, your choice would be very difficult. We have done Iceland and Greenland, but not the upper Mississippi (yet) -- it is on our, it seems, of "never shrinking" list of places still to see. NRayH
  19. Thanks for your reply. We're considering the upper Mississippi for next year. We wonder, though, whether the weather will be too hot for us, since the cruise is only given in mid to late summer. I get uncomfortable at 80 degrees with zero humidity, and Joan is not much better. That's why we're going to Greenland and Iceland this summer.
  20. In July of 2018 I took the Grand New England Cruise, RT from Boston, and it was just great! Expensive, YES, but understandably so since ACL is US--flagged and US-crewed, requiring much higher crew wages than on other non-US cruise lines. Booking at the last minute, I was not able to take advantage of ACL's included pre-cruise hotel, but - after some research, I found The Constitution Inn (http://www.constitutioninn.org), part of the old Navy Yards, very near Pier 8 where I would board the new American Constitution , sister ship of the American Constellation. I stayed at this hotel for two nights for $498 ($298 per night) and WALKED the short distance from the Inn to the nearby Pier 8 and the American Constitution; a member of the ship's crew met me at the end of the pier and took care of my luggage. My single room #203 - the very last one available - was quite large with a large window - no balcony, but with a large bath, comfortable chair and a Keurig coffee maker. I was quite pleased. The itinerary was excellent, stopping in Portland, Bar Harbor, Rockland, and Camden, Maine, as well as Newport, Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard and Provincetown, Massachusetts. The authentic Lobster Bake in Rockland was outstanding, complete with the traditional fire pit and sea weed covering the lobster and clams. It was the highlight of the entire cruise! I found the crew to be young, energetic, enthusiastic and committed to service. My favorite waiter even searched for and found a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc onboard, much to my pleasure. The wine flowed freely onboard; if the wine - red or white - placed on the dining tables, was not to one's fancy, another replacement would be offered. The Happy Hours were WELL attended and no one left thirsty! Being so very impressed with American Cruise Lines, I booked my recent Lower Mississippi River Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans while onboard,, taking advantage of the very generous 15% discount + forgiveness of port charges and fees. On this last cruise I got a superb Single with Balcony Stateroom. So, YES; I am a satisfied customer of American Cruise Lines and will enjoy the Northwestern Pioneers Cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers this coming October 2019, on their new American Song Riverboat, from Portland, Oregon to Clarkston, Washington. ~Ron Miller
  21. My DH and I have been on the Queen of the Mississippi 2 times. We are booked perhaps on the same cruise as you. America on 8/24/2019. Most food is quite good. You will be given a menu card at breakfast to choose what you wish to eat for lunch and dinner on that day. You will have a choice of 1/2 entre if you wish to eat less (and not feel so guilty for having dessert). If you change your mind later or cannot remember it's not a problem, they are just wanting an estimate of how much of each item to prepare so as not to waste to much food. I try to remember to take my cell to breakfast and take a pic of our menu cards after filling them out. Lunch and dinner both have beer and wine offered and sometimes people request a mixed drink or after dinner liqueur. This is at no additional charge. There is an hour long happy hour just prior to dinner at which is no additional cost. If you want something that they do not have, they will probably have it after the next port. They will have talks about the area you are visiting. There will be entertainment each evening, usually 1 - 4 people. Sometimes games in the afternoon with prizes (no additional charge). There will be at least 1 tour in each port that is included and sometimes 1 or more that has an upcharge.
  22. I had not considered this but you are absolutely correct. I, too, was bemoaning the cost of our Mississippi cruise vs our European cruises. Well, better late than never. Duh!
  23. Did a 4 night lower Mississippi on ACL and saw three plantation homes. They usually have a golf cart to take the less mobile from the ship to the house, but touring the house is all on foot and most if not all, have a second floor. No elevators in those days!
  24. You should read the description of the excursions offered to see if they will show you what you want to see. You will not see much of anything from the boat as you sail the lower Mississippi because the levees block the view of buildings along the banks of the river. You have to get off the boat and usually drive a bit to see the sights. If houses are your main focus, I would expect a land tour would be better. If you like the cruise experience and only want to tour a few houses, then ACL should be a good choice. The small size of the river boats make them very different from an ocean cruise.
  25. Going on Queen of Mississippi in November and that deck plan shows a Guest Laundry room, but the deck plan for Constellation does NOT show a laundry room. I don't think any ACL offers onboard laundry service, however there are a few posts that say on longer cruises, they will arrange to have your laundry done at a shore side laundry service.
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