Jump to content
gretschwhtfalcon

Considering trying the new Grand New England Boston Round Trip...any advice?

Recommended Posts

Hi,

 

I've never cruised with this company, but have read some good things and also some not-so-good. I'm also planning a cruise with Pearl, and I've read that both Pearl and American are owned by the same company. The new Grand New England trip, that starts this summer, looks like a really nice itinerary. It will be on their new ship, the Constellation. I love the idea of there only being 175 passengers!

 

Any thoughts or suggestions regarding sailing with American (or Pearl for that matter) would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Keith

Edited by three4rd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi,

 

I've never cruised with this company, but have read some good things and also some not-so-good. I'm also planning a cruise with Pearl, and I've read that both Pearl and American are owned by the same company. The new Grand New England trip, that starts this summer, looks like a really nice itinerary. It will be on their new ship, the Constellation. I love the idea of there only being 175 passengers!

 

Any thoughts or suggestions regarding sailing with American (or Pearl for that matter) would be greatly appreciated!

 

Thanks,

Keith

 

Hi Keith,

The Grand New England itinerary is another one we have some interest in doing. So, we would be very appreciative of you sharing your impressions.

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are interested in this itinerary as well and have no experience with ACL either. Have been on 3 cruises (Princess, Norwegian, and Royal Carribbean). Smaller boat with quieter setting would be nice but prices have scared us away. They offer no discounts per se. There are some reviews of ACL on this website. Mostly favorable. Will watch the reviews and decide from there. Are there any other companies that service NE?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are a good number of cruise companies that have itineraries in the New England / Canada area. Besides some of the major lines you mentioned, there are smaller ship / luxury lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mother and I are sailing on the Constellation in July. She wanted to see the Harbors of Maine. I have never sailed with this cruise line before. I will post what I learn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We are interested in this itinerary as well and have no experience with ACL either. Have been on 3 cruises (Princess, Norwegian, and Royal Carribbean). Smaller boat with quieter setting would be nice but prices have scared us away. They offer no discounts per se. There are some reviews of ACL on this website. Mostly favorable. Will watch the reviews and decide from there. Are there any other companies that service NE?

 

I fully understand what you are saying about the pricing seeming very high. With over 100 ocean cruises, and two river cruises (in Europe), we decided to give American Cruise Lines a try, earlier this year./

We thoroughly enjoyed it, enough to book two additional ones whilst still aboard. Whilst the initial price is higher, we felt we received fair overall value (of course, that is a value judgement that we each need to make for ourselves).

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:( We just got off (June 10, 2017) the Constellation on this particular cruise and were very disappointed, given what we paid for the trip. We have been on 34 cruises so we have some experience in the area. Yes, the ship is new but it was nothing special. The staff was friendly, but not well trained. They serve $5 bottles of wine for dinner! Even the premium wine list offered poor choices. The lecture series was poorly run and of little value. The entertainment lacked variety- a music duo most evenings. On a positive note, the ports visited were very nice. I would certainly look elsewhere before traveling with them again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

River cruising and, for that matter, any small ship cruising, is just so much more expensive than regular ocean voyages. As to whether or not the experience justifies the extra money is something I'll find out in fall when we do our first river cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
River cruising and, for that matter, any small ship cruising, is just so much more expensive than regular ocean voyages. As to whether or not the experience justifies the extra money is something I'll find out in fall when we do our first river cruise.

 

All, quite true. Probably no one type of cruising will not be the first choice of everyone. We try to be "non-judgmental" in our reviews and report our personal feelings/observations, knowing full well that others may disagree. As stated, river cruising/small ship cruising usually has a higher per-diem price tag. Whether, or not, that differential is justifiable lies within each individual. We all need to be able to decide what fulfills our desire, and, what to us individually, is "reasonable".

Attempting to find that "right mix" is part of the "fun" -- at least for us.

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been on three river/coastal cruises with American Cruise Lines: Lower Mississippi (New Orleans to Memphis) - 2014, Columbia & Snake Rivers - 2015 and Historic South and Golden Isles - 2016. I have absolutely loved each one and I am booked to leave on Sept. 2nd on the Upper Mississippi on the paddle wheel America. I think it's an unique way to see parts of the US and I love the small coastal ships and the paddle wheel boats as well as the intineraries.

 

Beginning with my first cruise, I have booked each subsequent cruise onboard as they offer a 15% discount and waiver of port fees if you book while onboard.

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions, either generally or my experience on the itineraries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to hear more about your experiences with American. Have never done any small ship cruising and, as I said in the initial post, I really like this itinerary: http://americancruiselines.com/cruises/new-england-cruises/grand-new-england-cruise There are several ports on this cruise that I've never been to.

 

Thanks for any additional suggestions about this company!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone taken their Boston pre-cruise hotel package? I'd love to know how much it costs and whether it includes any meals. They won't say on their website or catalogs, and since I can't hear, I'm adverse to calling!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Anyone taken their Boston pre-cruise hotel package? I'd love to know how much it costs and whether it includes any meals. They won't say on their website or catalogs, and since I can't hear, I'm adverse to calling!

 

Good Afternoon,

You may wish to try "inquiry@americancruiselines.com". I have received responses from them a few times, rather than contacting via telephone.

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was on Constellation's 7 night New England Islands June 30 cruise that left from Boston. I can't speak for every sailing but on this one, a pre-hotel package was offered. Price was $350 for one night with all taxes included and there was a choice of Hyatt Regency in Cambridge and Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston. Package price did not include breakfast but did include transportation directly to the ship on the morning of the cruise. I booked the Omni Parker package with the cruise line and paid the $350 directly to them in advance. However, about 2 months prior to embarkation, I received a letter from American Cruise Lines saying that the pre-cruise package had been changed from the Omni Parker to just the Hyatt Regency. And for the inconvenience, a free breakfast voucher was offered. I cancelled the package since I didn't want to stay at the Hyatt in Cambridge preferring downtown Boston instead. I had to wait a long time for my refund--seems a manager who had to sign off on the refund had left the company and so the refund was left in 'limbo'. After awhile, I called again to track down the refund and had to wait several weeks after that for the refund. I then booked directly with Millennium Boston Hotel and got an uber for the short ride to the pier. Something I should have done initially instead of booking the pre-cruise package. I spoke with a passenger on the cruise who told me she stayed at the Omni with the package--I told her I was told the Omni was cancelled. She said she had her daughter call the cruise office and they made an exception for her since she wanted to stay in downtown Boston. So my suggestion is to forego the package, and just book your choice of hotel directly and uber or taxi to the pier that morning. So much less of a hassle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Forgot to add to my post on American Cruise Lines pre-cruise hotel package for June 30 sailing. The one night Millennium Boston Hotel room I booked independently was---with my senior discount---$339.52 taxes included. And Uber with tip was $10.11. So total was $349.63 about the same price of the hotel package offered by cruise lines--but I got to chose hotel and location. It is right across the street from Faneuil Hall and a very short walk to North End.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I was on Constellation's 7 night New England Islands June 30 cruise that left from Boston. I can't speak for every sailing but on this one, a pre-hotel package was offered. Price was $350 for one night with all taxes included and there was a choice of Hyatt Regency in Cambridge and Omni Parker House Hotel in downtown Boston. Package price did not include breakfast but did include transportation directly to the ship on the morning of the cruise. I booked the Omni Parker package with the cruise line and paid the $350 directly to them in advance. However, about 2 months prior to embarkation, I received a letter from American Cruise Lines saying that the pre-cruise package had been changed from the Omni Parker to just the Hyatt Regency. And for the inconvenience, a free breakfast voucher was offered. I cancelled the package since I didn't want to stay at the Hyatt in Cambridge preferring downtown Boston instead. I had to wait a long time for my refund--seems a manager who had to sign off on the refund had left the company and so the refund was left in 'limbo'. After awhile, I called again to track down the refund and had to wait several weeks after that for the refund. I then booked directly with Millennium Boston Hotel and got an uber for the short ride to the pier. Something I should have done initially instead of booking the pre-cruise package. I spoke with a passenger on the cruise who told me she stayed at the Omni with the package--I told her I was told the Omni was cancelled. She said she had her daughter call the cruise office and they made an exception for her since she wanted to stay in downtown Boston. So my suggestion is to forego the package, and just book your choice of hotel directly and uber or taxi to the pier that morning. So much less of a hassle.

 

Just out of curiosity, where did you board? Was it the normal cruise terminal (Black Falcon Pier) or one of the smaller docks?

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just out of curiosity, where did you board? Was it the normal cruise terminal (Black Falcon Pier) or one of the smaller docks?

NRayH

 

Embarked and disembarked the June 30 Constellation sailing at Pier 8, 13th street, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA. Departure time 1:30 pm.

Seems ACL also uses Pier 6, end of One 8th St in Charlestown for cruises. That Pier 6 address was listed on my boarding pass for the July 14 Constellation Maine Coast and Harbor cruise that I cancelled. Piers 6 and 8 used to be known as Shipyard Quarters Marine which had closed and since been refurbished.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Embarked and disembarked the June 30 Constellation sailing at Pier 8, 13th street, Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown, MA. Departure time 1:30 pm.

Seems ACL also uses Pier 6, end of One 8th St in Charlestown for cruises. That Pier 6 address was listed on my boarding pass for the July 14 Constellation Maine Coast and Harbor cruise that I cancelled. Piers 6 and 8 used to be known as Shipyard Quarters Marine which had closed and since been refurbished.

 

Thank You :cool:

NRayH

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank You :cool:

NRayH

 

You're welcome--happy to share my experiences on the June 30 Constellation sailing.

 

Oops-sorry for 2nd thank you post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shipshapetoo: Thank you for the detailed info on hotel options and embarkation locations! This was exactly what I was looking for.

 

You're welcome too DaveinCharlotte. Glad to share what I learned from my experiences -pre-planning and actual cruising on the Constellation. When I planned this cruise, I discovered that there is not a lot of information on the message boards about ACL (as compared to the ocean and other river cruise lines) and I was frustrated in my attempt to get correct, non-conflicting information from ACL's 800 customer service number.

 

So glad to help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You're welcome too DaveinCharlotte. Glad to share what I learned from my experiences -

So glad to help.

 

Thank you for your post. We will be taking this cruise in late August. Have you posted a review of your experiences while on the cruise? I would love to read about your trip!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...

Beginning with my first cruise, I have booked each subsequent cruise onboard as they offer a 15% discount and waiver of port fees if you book while onboard.

 

I'd be happy to answer any questions, either generally or my experience on the itineraries.

 

Do they have a Future Cruise Person (lol, we usually sail on Princess) onboard to help you out booking a next cruise? I'd like to go on a Rhine River cruise that focuses on music (Classical Composers like Bach, Beethoven, etc) but I'm not sure which of the many ACL cruises would be best suited for that. I'd like to talk with a knowledgeable person.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

American Cruise Lines doesn't do European cruises, hence the name.

 

They only do North America at this point.

 

Mike:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cruising the Constellation in October

 

Received my docs and went on the website to look at the excursions offered. To my surprise, the website itinerary and the one sent to me are completely different! When I called, ACL said what I received from my TA was correct and the website was wrong.

If they can't post the correct itinerary on the internet from where you book the cruise, what else are they doing wrong? By the way all those "included" excursions number 6 on an 11 day cruise and two of them are in the same port.

This is our first small ship cruise after 80 or more ocean cruises; we paid as much daily as we do on a luxury line and are hoping our experience will be memorable in a good way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a word of caution. The itinerary that is posted online is not the itinerary the ship uses. The website shows Provincetown as the first stop when it is actually Bar Harbor. Second stop is Camden instead of Newport. When I called, they had no explanation and were surprised the website was incorrect. The included tours are 6 for 11 days and two are in one port.

Cruise in October but a bit worried now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are taking this cruise in mid September 2018, and have received our docs as well. When I checked them, sure enough, very different than what's been on the web and continues to be on the web. Thanks for the heads-up - I hadn't even noticed the changed itinerary. I did notice a while back that their map did not quite fit the prose, but now it's totally out of whack.

It's not just the first two stops that are different; they have reshuffled the entire cruise. However, it's just a re-arrangement of what's on the web -- no port has been dropped or added.

But this might mean we can't fully trust the detailed listing of excursions. (Maybe we'll get surprised, and find they've been able to add a couple of free tours...yeah, sure!) On our other two ACL cruises (Rivers of Florida and Grand Mississippi) we did have free tours every day, not counting the first and last days. Disappointing that this cruise does not, but we knew that going in - their web site has always shown that several stops have no free tours. On our other cruises, there was no mismatch between the web description and the actual cruise; sad that this one is so messed up.

By the way, not that it matters, but this cruise is on the Constitution, not the Constellation (I think they are nearly identical ships). When this thread started in 2017, it was the Constellation, but in early 2018 it was moved out west and replaced with the Constitution in New England.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the info. Can anyone give info on the true itinerary order and time in port? We’d also be interested in the dining experience. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are leaving in 3 days and just received another itinerary. This could be a problem if anyone made onshore reservations as we are talking a totally new shifting of ports. With Florence heading to New England, I just hope the crew is more organized then their website in making changes in ports if needed. Not much confidence in them right now with all the confusing info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can anyone give info on the true itinerary order and time in port?

 

We too have received the updated itinerary that jdymiller just posted about. It now shows the order as: Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Camden, Rockland, Boothbay Harbor, Gloucester, Newport, Martha's Vineyard, Provincetown, Boston. Ship arrival time on final day is now 6:00am, not the prior evening -- this means little margin of error for our 11:00am flight home.

The itinerary, the web, and the catalog all emphasize that the itinerary is subject to change due to...with a half dozen reasons given. So I'm not sure there really ever is a "true itinerary" order, and I can see why it's hard for the web folks to keep up. Just a few threads earlier than this one, WoodyWindy posted about ship twice getting diverted to Bucksport earlier this summer.

Some of this uncertainty may be due to the looming Florence situation. Even if the main impact is in the Carolinas, I'll bet there will likely be unpleasant shore effects in New England. Heavy rain is forecast for Boston on Monday, probably the after-effect of Gordon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Independence was here this weekend, and left this morning. I hope everyone on the ship had a great visit!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Victory Cruise Lines Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win a free 9-night cruise on Victory II
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2018
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Community Contests
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×