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#61
Atkinson, NH USA
9,716 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by bhopal21
Headed to Providence RI in the am for Saturday boarding for the New England Islands cruise onboard the Star.

Mike
Bon Voyage,


Please report back on your experience. We are booked on this itinerary next year.


NRayH
#62
Saint Simons Island, Georgia
12,299 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
Originally posted by Nanabanana3
We just returned from our American Cruise line Historic South Golden Isle one week vacation. We have mixed reviews of the trip.

A quick overview of the ship itself. We cruised aboard the Independence. We had a lower level room 114 with large opening window. The room is quite spacious with plenty of room to unpack and get comfortable. The bathroom is large compared to any other cruise we have taken. There is also lots of storage. The shower has great water pressure. We felt the decor is somewhat dated and could use a freshening up. I had read that comment a few times before our departure and now whole heartedly agree. Having been on A few European cruises with Viking and there is no comparison in luxury. Traveling with an American crew can not be compared. They were fun, happy and attentive but lacked the professional European flair.

We flew into Charleston and stayed at the Holiday Inn Riverview. We enjoyed this hotel very much. There was a free shuttle bus into town and the driver was quite knowledgeable. There is a decent restaurant on the top floor with a gorgeous view of the harbor. We took a cab to the cruise ship for 5$ each. While in Charleston we took a carriage tour and were a bit disappointed as the routes are randomly chosen for you and we missed highlights we had hoped to see. We then hired a pedicab to take us about to see a few of them. They charged 5.50 every ten minutes but a delightful way to see the city up close. We had a wonderful lunch at Hymans seafood restaurant. Oh my is was delicious. Be warned the line to get in can be very long but we felt worth it.

Beaufort. We took a bus tour with American cruise lines. This was a wonderful tour. One of our very favorites. The guide was such a delight, she was an amazing storyteller. Every tour we took left at approx. 9 am with a return to the ship in time for 12:30 lunch.

Hilton Head. I loved this beautiful resort location. We rented bikes on our own and rode all around the area exploring. The bike paths are easy to navigate and wide. We went to the beach, a golf resort, Heritage farms, and out to the lighthouse. On our return to town we had a lovely lunch at the Crazy Crab. Very good. There were quite few shops right by the harbor.

Savannah. Our excursion was a trolley tour and we relay enjoyed it. It gave you the ability to hop on and off after our lunch back at the ship. We went back to the market area for a few souvenirs. The ship was docked at a great location for strolling the Riverview with restaurants and shopping

Sapelo island. We felt this was a wasted stop. The ship anchored with nothing in sight except the small dock to tender over to. The only excursion offered was a school bus tour of the area followed by an oyster roast. No one in our group took the tour so I can not give any feedback on it. We took the time to just relax top deck and read.

Jekyll Island. The excursion was a tour of the turtle rescue followed by a tram ride narrative tour of Jekyll Island. We thought the two excursions could have been offered separately and charged a lesser fee. We were not interested in the turtle rescue but found the Jekyll island tour fascinating.

Amelia Island. We had to tender into town and spent the day strolling around sightseeing with a bit of shopping. A quaint pretty yet touristy area.

The food was excellent and some of the best I've had on a cruise. The chef came out and visited every table to ensure satisfaction.

About half way through the the cruise about a dozen or more people got very sick. With vomiting and diarrhea. My husband being one of them. The crew were busy bleaching everything and putting out hand sanitizer. It was evident at dinner with all the empty seats how many passengers it effected. Luckily it only lasted about 24-36 and didn't run the course of the entire trip.

All in all we had a lovely vacation and loved touring the historical south. My honest opinion of the cruise is it is overpriced for experience. I guess we like the European professionalism and flair. It is just a matter of opinion. We will stick to Viking in the future.


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We live on St. Simons Island, the island just north of Jekyll. I checked the prices for some of the ACL cruises and was amazed by the prices. We have done river cruises in Europe and China and those cruises were way cheaper.

ACL equals $$$$$$$
#63
SF Bay Area, CA, USA
1,114 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Ray in NH
Hi All,

After over 100 ocean cruises (and two European River Cruises), we wanted to see more of the United States, via our preferred mode of travel (cruising). We originally booked with a different river cruise company, before doing due diligence information gathering. The more we learned, the more consideration we gave to American Cruise Lines (ACL), before finally casting our lot with them......
Thanks NRayH! I'm just looking into an ACL river cruise and your review helps fill in a few of the questions forming in my head. This was very helpful! Now back to reading more postings in the ACL forum.
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#64
Atlanta/Key West
10,032 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by Ray in NH
Bon Voyage,


Please report back on your experience. We are booked on this itinerary next year.


NRayH
We had an excellent cruise to the New England Islands September 9-16 onboard the American Star.

We arrived on Friday 9/8 and stayed at the Omni Providence hotel on Exchange St which could not have been more convenient to things in the city. Everything about the hotel was great. If you like seafood and are in Providence I strongly suggest the Providence Oyster Bar as the food was very good and the service even better.

A few days before the cruise we received a notice that the ship would be sailing from Fall River MA instead of Providence RI. None of the crew knew why the port was changed and we had a $68 Uber ride trying to locate it with GPS, Waze. and Google maps. After going over the bridge three times we finally found the pier was underneath the bridge. We stopped at a couple of piers where security met us and had no idea where the American Star was located until the third one happened to be it.

Our party of 4 was the first to board around 945 and we waited in the lounge for a little more than an hour until the cabins were ready. Both of our balcony cabins were on deck 2 which is super convenient to the lounge area and just a few steps down to the dining room.

In our welcome meeting we met the staff, who all turned out to be very attentive and the chef "Manny" who told us that he would try his best to make each of us gain 10lbs by the end of the cruise. Our group was pleased with the food offerings which offered lobster as a choice for 21 consecutive meals. I had lobster and cheddar omelets several mornings as well as lobster benedicts. Lobster rolls and lobster salads for lunch and whole Maine lobster or lobster and filet for dinner along with lobster bisques of all sorts.

Janelle the housekeeping manager, Jamie the hotel manager and Na Quan our room steward could not have been more accommodating.

The ship was is good shape other than the carpet showing wear in our cabins. Deck 3 had all new carpet and our deck's carpet was loaded on as we disembarked. We were the final New England Islands cruise of the season and the ship was headed to the Hudson River while the contractors replaced the carpeting.

We changed captains mid cruise as Captain Connor needed to attend a wedding and was replaced with Captain Brown. Both were very personable and I took advantage of a bridge tour with each of them.

Captain Brown sat with us at dinner one evening and asked how everything was going and we all said that we were having a great time and if we just had to complain about something it would be the pitifully slow internet access. He agreed completely and stated it had long been a thorn in the side of the crew as well and urged us to mention that on our post cruise surveys.

If I can answer any specific questions I will try to oblige you.

Mike
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#65
Atkinson, NH USA
9,716 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by bhopal21
We had an excellent cruise to the New England Islands September 9-16 onboard the American Star.

We arrived on Friday 9/8 and stayed at the Omni Providence hotel on Exchange St which could not have been more convenient to things in the city. Everything about the hotel was great. If you like seafood and are in Providence I strongly suggest the Providence Oyster Bar as the food was very good and the service even better.

A few days before the cruise we received a notice that the ship would be sailing from Fall River MA instead of Providence RI. None of the crew knew why the port was changed and we had a $68 Uber ride trying to locate it with GPS, Waze. and Google maps. After going over the bridge three times we finally found the pier was underneath the bridge. We stopped at a couple of piers where security met us and had no idea where the American Star was located until the third one happened to be it.

Our party of 4 was the first to board around 945 and we waited in the lounge for a little more than an hour until the cabins were ready. Both of our balcony cabins were on deck 2 which is super convenient to the lounge area and just a few steps down to the dining room.

In our welcome meeting we met the staff, who all turned out to be very attentive and the chef "Manny" who told us that he would try his best to make each of us gain 10lbs by the end of the cruise. Our group was pleased with the food offerings which offered lobster as a choice for 21 consecutive meals. I had lobster and cheddar omelets several mornings as well as lobster benedicts. Lobster rolls and lobster salads for lunch and whole Maine lobster or lobster and filet for dinner along with lobster bisques of all sorts.

Janelle the housekeeping manager, Jamie the hotel manager and Na Quan our room steward could not have been more accommodating.

The ship was is good shape other than the carpet showing wear in our cabins. Deck 3 had all new carpet and our deck's carpet was loaded on as we disembarked. We were the final New England Islands cruise of the season and the ship was headed to the Hudson River while the contractors replaced the carpeting.

We changed captains mid cruise as Captain Connor needed to attend a wedding and was replaced with Captain Brown. Both were very personable and I took advantage of a bridge tour with each of them.

Captain Brown sat with us at dinner one evening and asked how everything was going and we all said that we were having a great time and if we just had to complain about something it would be the pitifully slow internet access. He agreed completely and stated it had long been a thorn in the side of the crew as well and urged us to mention that on our post cruise surveys.

If I can answer any specific questions I will try to oblige you.

Mike
Hi Mike,
Thank you for the report. It sounds as though any problems were not major and seemingly will be addressed. Cannot ask for much more than that.

We are currently in Saint John, NB. We may have some further questions after I show this, to my bride. Probably not until after we return home next week.

Thanks, again

NRayH
#66
66 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
I am trying to obtain American Cruise Lines' service dog policy but apparently my online queries are disappearing. Is there any real person at the line that I could contact?
#68
66 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
I'm unable to call American Cruise Lines as you suggested, for I'm deaf. I need to use email. Is there an email address where I can inquire? Perhaps the Special Needs department? Thanks!
#71
near gettysburg, pa
1,302 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
we are researching ACL cruises out of Baltimore for 2019. Does anyone have an idea where they may sail from?
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#72
Atkinson, NH USA
9,716 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Originally posted by atb
we are researching ACL cruises out of Baltimore for 2019. Does anyone have an idea where they may sail from?
ACL's Embarkation and Disembarkation points can vary with ports, and whatever other ships are in port that day. They are usually not the large cruise ship ports.
A call to their Customer Service line (1-800-894-8570) should get you that information.


NRayH
#73
New Jersey, USA
8 Posts
Joined Jul 2011
Mike, my wife and I are interested in doing an East Coast tour on American...just curious about what there is to do after dinner?
Thanks,
David



Originally posted by bhopal21
We did that cruise last March and loved it!

We had a really good dinner while in Charleston at https://magnoliascharleston.com. Be sure and call for reservations as they fill up early on.

For lunch or more casual fare we had some good meals at www.homcharleston.com

Please come back and let us know how you enjoyed your cruise.

I am envious of your cruise. Savannah was a great port as the ship docked right next to all the action on River St.

Mike
#74
Atlanta/Key West
10,032 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by SPNJHockey
Mike, my wife and I are interested in doing an East Coast tour on American...just curious about what there is to do after dinner?
Thanks,
David
To oversimplify, not much.


There is usually a lecturer relevant to the itinerary and/or some type of music. I am sorry that I can't relate more as we always gather in the corner of a lounge and play cards or other games after dinner.

I do remember one evening having a trio trying to imitate the Andrews Sisters and they were horrible. I could hear them from the midships lounge and felt pain for those stuck in the main lounge where they were performing.


Maybe others can chime in on the after dinner entertainment; but I have usually avoided most of it.

Mike
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