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SteelMagnolia9

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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.

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As ACL has itineraries limited to the U.S., they must be U.S. flagged and hire U.S. workers. The prices are higher to account for this. Once you take your first cruise, there is a very nice discount they offer if you book onboard for a future cruise. They occasionally offer an early booking discount or an included hotel room the night before the cruise. You need to call them to get a quote for a specific cruise. It's a fun way to see the U.S.

 

I know these cruises do not fit every budget.

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I did a quick review of the prices and they appear to be about $1000 per cabin per day. Is this price about what you end up paying? Viking is about $600 per day and that includes wine, wifi and excursions. Based on a few reviews no one is singing the praises of service or food.

 

Am I missing something?

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I did a quick review of the prices and they appear to be about $1000 per cabin per day. Is this price about what you end up paying? Viking is about $600 per day and that includes wine, wifi and excursions. Based on a few reviews no one is singing the praises of service or food.

 

Am I missing something?

 

Price is pretty close and it includes liquor, wine, sodas, snacks, coffee, wifi and the best part is less passengers.

 

Mike:)

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Hi Steel Magnolia, I've been on the cruise from Charleston to Jacksonville- a couple of years ago. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I particularly liked Savannah. The best part about going on a small ship is that you make many friendships. I hated leaving the people I had become close to. I'll be going on the Hudson River cruise in 10 days- the 22nd of October. Is anyone else going on that one?

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We are booked on America for the round-trip New Orleans leaving 11 March 2017 and returning 18 March 2017. If this cruise offers what we are expecting, we are looking forward to doing the Full Mississippi in August or September, of next year.

 

NRayH

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We are booked on America for the round-trip New Orleans leaving 11 March 2017 and returning 18 March 2017. If this cruise offers what we are expecting, we are looking forward to doing the Full Mississippi in August or September, of next year.

 

NRayH

 

Does anyone else read this thread???

 

NRayH

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You bet! We are looking forward to hearing about your Mississippi cruise. Our New England Islands cruise is still almost 6 mos away.

 

Let me know if they offer you $1500 to book a future cruise while onboard.

 

Bob Voyage!

 

Mike:)

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Likewise we are booked on ACL for Oct.2 to do the Upper Mississippi from St. Louis to St. Paul, MN. Then we'll explore the MN area before returning a week later. This will be our first American river cruise, but we have done 3 other river cruises and really enjoyed them. We have been to all fifty of our states in leisurely travel driving across our great country eight different times-so this will be from a different perspective. Our first choice would have been to do a themed 50's-60's ACL cruise, but those were all in the summer and would have been too hot for us; so we decided to do a foliage one, as the weather then will be much more to our liking.

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Likewise we are booked on ACL for Oct.2 to do the Upper Mississippi from St. Louis to St. Paul, MN. Then we'll explore the MN area before returning a week later. This will be our first American river cruise, but we have done 3 other river cruises and really enjoyed them. We have been to all fifty of our states in leisurely travel driving across our great country eight different times-so this will be from a different perspective. Our first choice would have been to do a themed 50's-60's ACL cruise, but those were all in the summer and would have been too hot for us; so we decided to do a foliage one, as the weather then will be much more to our liking.

 

This is my third attempt to respond this morning ???

 

I do not know what is going on with Cruise Critic, from this end.

 

NRayH

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This is my third attempt to respond this morning ???

 

I do not know what is going on with Cruise Critic, from this end.

 

NRayH

 

Hmmm, that is interesting. New postings have not been going through, but the response did.

 

Thanks for joining in with reviving this thread.

 

After well over 100 ocean cruises and two European rive cruises, we have been favorably impressed with the level of pre-cruise support and assistance offered by American Cruise Lines. we have received a number of mailings (snail and e-mail) offering assistance and information. we even received a "Welcome Aboard" e-mail from the boat's Hotel Director.

 

We leave in a couple of days and then will spend some "post-cruise" time in New Orleans. I will "try" to send some up-dates from the boat (but no promises here). After we return home I will put together our impressions of the cruise.

 

NRayH

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Thanks NRayH, I hope you guys have a wonderful cruise.

 

If you get a chance try and catch a meal at K-Paul's and also at Commander's Palace while in the Big Easy.

 

Mike:)

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Who is going on an ACL cruise in 2016?

We're going on America starting July 26th in St. Louis and ending up in New Orleans on Aug 6th. Can't wait!

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Hmmm, that is interesting. New postings have not been going through, but the response did.

 

Thanks for joining in with reviving this thread.

 

After well over 100 ocean cruises and two European rive cruises, we have been favorably impressed with the level of pre-cruise support and assistance offered by American Cruise Lines. we have received a number of mailings (snail and e-mail) offering assistance and information. we even received a "Welcome Aboard" e-mail from the boat's Hotel Director.

 

We leave in a couple of days and then will spend some "post-cruise" time in New Orleans. I will "try" to send some up-dates from the boat (but no promises here). After we return home I will put together our impressions of the cruise.

 

NRayH

 

Hi Ray,

We're looking for a nice place to stay one or two nights in NO after our trip this summer. Please let me know if you enjoyed your stay, and if so, share where that was!

Julian

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I am new to posting here. Came looking for information on American Cruise lines and came across this thread. We are traveling with American Cruise lines from Charleston to Jacksonville in April. Any recommendations for a good place to eat in Charleston?

I love reading everyone's reviews and plan to write one myself when we return? We have been on 15 Ocean cruises and cruised last year with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest. Which I highly recommend! I know from reviews this will be different and am l looking forward to experiencing American hospitality.

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I am new to posting here. Came looking for information on American Cruise lines and came across this thread. We are traveling with American Cruise lines from Charleston to Jacksonville in April. Any recommendations for a good place to eat in Charleston?

I love reading everyone's reviews and plan to write one myself when we return? We have been on 15 Ocean cruises and cruised last year with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest. Which I highly recommend! I know from reviews this will be different and am l looking forward to experiencing American hospitality.

 

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 http://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:)

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I am new to posting here. Came looking for information on American Cruise lines and came across this thread. We are traveling with American Cruise lines from Charleston to Jacksonville in April. Any recommendations for a good place to eat in Charleston?

I love reading everyone's reviews and plan to write one myself when we return? We have been on 15 Ocean cruises and cruised last year with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest. Which I highly recommend! I know from reviews this will be different and am l looking forward to experiencing American hospitality.

There's over 700 restaurants in the Charleston area but we love to go over the river (north) to Shem's Creek. Several great eateries in that spot. A J Hymans in town itself is good. Have fun,

 

Julian

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I am new to posting here. Came looking for information on American Cruise lines and came across this thread. We are traveling with American Cruise lines from Charleston to Jacksonville in April. Any recommendations for a good place to eat in Charleston?

I love reading everyone's reviews and plan to write one myself when we return? We have been on 15 Ocean cruises and cruised last year with Viking from Amsterdam to Budapest. Which I highly recommend! I know from reviews this will be different and am l looking forward to experiencing American hospitality.

Wow, we went on the Viking ship Gefjong from Budapest to Amserdam last summer and had a great, great cruise. Hoping this one with ACL will compare!

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I thank you both for your replies! I will look into the recommendations you have made.

 

I will definitely write a review after the cruise. I seems like there is not much information for River cruises in America. Especially in the south.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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I thank you both for your replies! I will look into the recommendations you have made.

 

I will definitely write a review after the cruise. I seems like there is not much information for River cruises in America. Especially in the south.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

 

Maybe, we can all help change the "no information available" situation, by posting our experiences when we return.

 

NRayH

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Ray in NH!

 

I think that is a wonderful idea! I certainly will do just that. While it is not something I would have given much thought to in the past. I now find I like being more informed. We have missed out on many an experience from not planning ahead. With the help of Cruise Critics and sites like Trip advisors, having first hand knowledge helps when making decisions from excursions, dinners, hotels, and yes sometimes cruise locations.

 

 

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We also just love:

Halls Chophouse, 434 King Street, Charleston.

Enjoy your cruise!

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We leave in a couple of days and then will spend some "post-cruise" time in New Orleans. I will "try" to send some up-dates from the boat (but no promises here). After we return home I will put together our impressions of the cruise.

 

NRayH

 

Hopefully you are having an awesome cruise since we have not heard from you since sailing.;)

 

Mike:)

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Hopefully you are having an awesome cruise since we have not heard from you since sailing.;)

 

Mike:)

 

Hi Mike, and others,

 

WE are currently back in New Orleans, after disembarking America earlier today. We had an absolutely wonderful time -- some of the excuse for not posting during the cruise. The "on-board" internet is not very fast. It did we not interfere with our enjoying the cruise experience, but did keep us from sharing as freely as we what hoped to be able to do. We will be home on Monday, and then hopefully, I will be able to share some more of our cruise experience.

 

As I previously stated we had a very pleasant experience. So much so, that we booked two more cruises, for next year (the rest of this year is already planned -- cruise wise).

 

Pre-cruise we stayed at the Intercontinental Hotel (as Part of our cruise reservation). The hotel was O.K. But somewhat less than I had been expecting, based on past experience. For one night it was fine, especially since it was included in the cruise fare. Post-cruise, we are staying two nights at Chateau LeMoyne, in the French Quarter. The Quarter is very crowded, this being St. Paddy's Day (Irish) and St. Joseph's (Italian) feast days.

 

 

I will try to get some more cogent thoughts together by mid-week.

 

 

NRayH

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Thanks Ray! So glad you guys had a great time!

 

Question? Were they offering a $1500 (or similar) incentive for booking subsequent cruises while onboard?

 

Looking forward to your full review.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike:)

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Thanks Ray! So glad you guys had a great time!

 

Question? Were they offering a $1500 (or similar) incentive for booking subsequent cruises while onboard?

 

Looking forward to your full review.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike:)

 

Hi Mike,

 

Yes they are still offering a discount for booking on-board. It is 15% discount of the listed price and also they are making the "Port Charges and Fees" complimentary. A very nice "incentive".

 

 

NRayH

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NRayH,

 

Thank you for responding to Mike's questions! I am very much looking forward to your review as we leave in a month to sail with American Cruise lines. I am happy to hear you had a great experience and would love to hear everything! Waiting patiently.......

 

 

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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.

 

We finally settled upon the seven night, round trip itinerary offered by ACL, aboard the paddle wheeler America. Here are some of our findings/opinions.

The folks at ACL's Connecticut Home Office are extremely knowledgeable and easy to work with. We received quick, timely and (as we learned) correct answers to our questions, without being shuttled to different folks for complete answers. All the information we received proved to be "spot on"

 

We chose to book and schedule our own air transportation (creatures of habit). Not even sure if there was an option to book through the cruise line. We did choose, and enjoy, the complimentary pre-cruise night at the Intercontinental Hotel in New Orleans. The included complimentary transfer from hotel to boat was handled efficiently and without any major snafus. We found the on-board cabin accommodations very comfortable and space efficient, not in the least bit cramped. The housekeeping was very thorough and efficient, without being at all bothersome (sort of magically invisible).

The dining experience was excellent. We had absolutely no complaints concerning the quality of the menu choices, nor the quality of the service. Granted, these are very individualistic observations/gradings, but seemed to be echoed by most, if not all the other passengers we discussed them with. Another seemingly popular aspect was the complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks offered at lunch and dinner seating.

The boat seemed immaculately clean at all times, and the entire crew were extremely friendly and helpful throughout the cruise.

This was a Civil War themed cruise, so there were a number of lectures/talks presented on that period of history. Additionally, there was a resident Riverlorian aboard giving daily (and a few extra) presentations on the historical impact of the river upon travel, commerce, exploration and development of this part of the country, and the overall history of the United States.

There were three lounges (on this boat) for passenger use, when other events were not scheduled in them. Two of these had complimentary pre-packaged snacks (chips. cookies and such) as well as beverages: coffee, tea, sodas, juices, water -- available 24/7.

Additionally, there was entertainment each evening provided by on-board entertainers, and also some local artists brought aboard at various ports of call. All were very entertaining and enjoyable -- again, from our personal perspective.

Each evening, in specified lounges, before dinner, there was a complimentary cocktail hour, offering varied hors d'oeuvres, and beer, wine, assorted spirits and cordials, sodas -- as well as the coffee, tea and juices that are available 24/7. Most folks seemed to enjoy this opportunity to mingle, meet, and chat with fellow passengers, and various members of the crew and staff. There was also a Library which had two computers and a printer for passenger use. Boat-wide Wi-Fi was also available (complimentary).

There was at least one complimentary excursion at each port of call, and sometimes additional specialized excursions were offered, at an additional cost.

We were so impressed with the overall experience that we booked two additional cruises with American Cruise Lines, and have placed a few others on our "possible to do" list.

Booking future cruises onboard also offers some nice incentives. On this cruise the benefits were a 15% discount off per-passenger pricing, plus making the "Port Charges and Fees" complimentary.

Sorry for the length of this. I hope you find this useful. If there are any specific questions, I will try to respond to those also.

NRayH

 

Edited by Ray in NH

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Ray, thanks for your awesome review of your recent ACL cruise.

 

I must say we had the same experience on our first ACL Historic South and Golden Isles cruise and also booked a subsequent cruise while onboard.

 

After many years as a loyal Princess cruiser (always in suites) we were quite impressed with the hospitality of the crew and have taken our last big ship cruise.

 

We have never experienced better food in any of our previous cruises.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike:)

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Ray, thanks for your awesome review of your recent ACL cruise.

 

I must say we had the same experience on our first ACL Historic South and Golden Isles cruise and also booked a subsequent cruise while onboard.

 

After many years as a loyal Princess cruiser (always in suites) we were quite impressed with the hospitality of the crew and have taken our last big ship cruise.

 

We have never experienced better food in any of our previous cruises.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike:)

 

Hi Mike,

 

Thank you for the kind words.

 

We also thought the food and service was awesome. While we are not yet ready to completely close the door on ocean cruises (usually in suites). We will still look to Holland America, Celebrity or Royal Caribbean, based upon itineraries, for fulfilling our "ocean going" fixes.

 

Having said that, ACL has surely upped the ante for the ocean cruise lines getting our cruise dollars.

 

NRayH

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Thanks so much for your most inclusive review!

 

We likewise compared ACL's literature and reviews to the other line offering American river cruises and likewise decided ACL appeared advantageous. We also know a couple who has used this company for numerous vacations and highly recommended them to us.

 

Since we are well seasoned travelers (ninety-seven countries and all seven continents), we have purposely saved our American river cruises for later on and concentrated on a few other foreign ones first, along with a numerous other group country tours before booking this river cruise. Generally, our traveling is done independently with much research and car rentals. We have visited all of our 50 states during our eight two month drives on different routes across America. Our 29 other cruises were all done purely by itinerary, never favoring any line in particular, as our prime purpose was to expose ourselves to new counties, cultures, native foods and etc. So this will be a much anticipated cruise for us.

 

Thanks again, for taking the time to give us your opinions!

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Ray, thanks for your awesome review of your recent ACL cruise.

 

I must say we had the same experience on our first ACL Historic South and Golden Isles cruise and also booked a subsequent cruise while onboard.

 

After many years as a loyal Princess cruiser (always in suites) we were quite impressed with the hospitality of the crew and have taken our last big ship cruise.

 

We have never experienced better food in any of our previous cruises.

 

Thanks again,

 

Mike:)

 

We will be on our first ACL cruise in August, and also greatly appreciate each of you who are reviewing your recent ACL experiences. The ACL experience sounds lovely!

 

Mike, you might want to look at Silversea for Ocean cruises. We LOVE their small ships and "luxury" approach.

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Ray,

 

Thank you very much for taking the time to write your review of ACL. I must say I am now more excited after reading it. We leave in 3 weeks on the Historic South and Golden Isles!

 

MIke, any suggestions on must sees in any of the ports, excursions, restaurants? We arrive in Charleston a day early, still not enough time to see much. Where to start?

 

Thank you everyone for keeping this tread alive! I of course will return the favor when we return from our cruise.

 

Brumagin1, I am excited to hear all about your August trip. Where are you going on ACL?

 

Carol

 

 

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We stayed at the Hyatt for a couple of days pre-cruise and there was an excellent seafood restaurant located in an old bank (The Ordinary) which was just steps from the hotel.

 

Pretty much we just walked up and down King St. as it was loaded with neat shops and dining venues.

 

The horse drawn carriage in Beaufort was interesting as well as a trolley tour we took in Savannah. Sapelo Island is completely off the grid and seeing the people there and the way they live was mesmerizing. I would say Hilton Head was the least interesting of any place we docked. In Savannah everything is super convenient since you will dock right on River St.

 

Please come back and give us a review of your experience.

 

Bon Voyage!

 

Mike:)

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Mike,

 

Thank you so very much! I will definitely check out that seafood restaurant (My favorite food). King street is on the to do list. I'm thinking of just doing a city tour to get an overview and then just walking about to enjoy the city.

 

The horse drawn carriage sounds great. I'm wondering if it will be to bumpy as we are traveling with our 101 year old aunt.

 

I had no idea about Sapelo Island, sounds like I need to do some reading before our trip!

 

Did you do anyting in Hilton head or just stay in the ship?

 

I am most looking forward to Savannah and haven't decided what to see first there are so many possibilities!

 

Does anyone here have any knowledge Beaufort? We will be there on Easter Sunday. Will everything be closed?

 

Thank you again,

Carol

 

 

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The Hyatt is located on King St and is super convenient.

 

For quick, good eats and cocktails don't miss HOM which is a designer burger joint a few steps away from the hotel as well.

 

In Beaufort it was pretty much dead until the afternoon when a few shops opened up. We had a great lunch at a sandwich shop called Plums.

 

Your aunt will have no problems on the carriage ride as there is plenty of help to assist her on and off and the ride itself is very smooth and slow.

 

Hilton Head is so commercialized that we found little else to do there other than shop, shop and shop.

 

Mike:)

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