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Great United States Cruise 2025 - and new to American Cruise Lines


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I'm not new to cruising, but new to American Cruise Line and river cruising.

I'm excited for this cruise - it's been on my bucket list for a while; 2 ways - Mississippi river cruising, and travel across the United States.

What are things that are unique to river cruising that I probably won't know?



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You will never see a big ocean ship docked at a rural park and tied up to a tree. This is from an American Splendor Tennessee River cruise docked in Florence AL. No big crowds or long security lines. Just relaxing. We may never go back to the big ships.


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  • 1 month later...

I agree with you!  We will never go back to "big ship" cruising again.  We just returned from the Melody up the Mississippi.  It was fantastic and worth every penny.  We stayed on Deck 4 in Cabin 423.  There is not one thing negative I can say.  Beautiful cruise and we met so many wonderful couples!

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  • 1 month later...

In August of 2023 we did the complete Mississippi on the American Serenade. A modern riverboat with large staterooms compared to the ocean cruise lines. Most passengers were age middle 50"s on up to 90's. They cater well to the older population. The lower Mississippi has wonderful plantation stops. And great music stops. The lower Mississippi is an engineered river with hundreds of barges. Once you hit the upper Mississippi, there's more recreational boating and beautiful scenery with a lot of bald eagle and white pelican sightings. We passed through many lochs on the upper Mississippi. That was interesting. I would highly recommend this cruise as a once in a lifetime experience. 

Small ship cruising is more laid back and personable. We probably would go on a large ship again, but we definitely love the small ships. We have two cruises booked for later this year on ACL. 

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We are sailing the Columbia Snake River at the end of April. My husband says he is done with ocean cruising but is willing to try a river cruise experience. Hopefully this will be a fit for both of us since there are so many interesting itineraries within the U.S. 

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