This cruise started in Memphis and ended in New Orleans. We enjoyed both of these cities are part of our cruise.
The American Eagle is a nice, new ship, it holds 150 passengers and the embarkation and debarkation process are the ... Read More
This cruise started in Memphis and ended in New Orleans. We enjoyed both of these cities are part of our cruise.
The American Eagle is a nice, new ship, it holds 150 passengers and the embarkation and debarkation process are the easiest of any cruise that I have ever been on. No long lines and they give you a ride from when you get out of your car and take you directly to the ship.
The highlights of this cruise are the ports of call - Vicksburg and Natchez, MS, Baton Rouge and Oak Alley, LA. The experience of cruising down the Mississippi and learning more about the River from the guest lecturers on board was also very good. The cabin sizes are average. The food wasn't that flavorful and not a good value for the price of the cruise. The cruise is on the expensive side, however, they serve things like hamburgers, ham and cheese sandwiches and grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch on a cruise that is promoted as more of a high-end type of cruise. The food and entertainment are not high end, but the experience of being on the ship is relaxing and nice.
The age group is 70+ - no children on board and it would be very boring for kids since there would be nothing for them to do. There is not much to do in the evening other than to listening to entertainers from 8:15-9:15 p.m. It's a great cruise to just experience being on a river boat down the Mississippi, but if you are looking for fine dining or lots of entertainment or activities, there aren't many. The shore excursions are mostly included in the price and are enjoyable. Read Less
My first impression of the American Eagle was WOW...new, bright, clean, everyone very helpful, large room with very nice bathroom etc. That never changed, but the food was very mediocre, limited choices and much nickle and diming. For ... Read More
My first impression of the American Eagle was WOW...new, bright, clean, everyone very helpful, large room with very nice bathroom etc. That never changed, but the food was very mediocre, limited choices and much nickle and diming. For what this cruise cost (mucho), they didn't provide airport transportation, only allowed 1 free tour/day (not even a choice of which one I wanted), and served less than top shelf liquor.
I usually go with Tauck so I guess I am spoiled, but there really IS a very subtle difference.
This cruise was certainly pleasant, but nowhere near great or terrific. They really tried but some intangible excitement was just not there.
Alan Read Less
My wife and I don't do much cruising but wanted to treat ourselves so signed up for the St. Louis to St. Paul route. The American Eagle is a clean ship with a good crew who provided excellent service during our week on board. ... Read More
My wife and I don't do much cruising but wanted to treat ourselves so signed up for the St. Louis to St. Paul route. The American Eagle is a clean ship with a good crew who provided excellent service during our week on board. Breakfast and dinner meals were uniformly very good with excellent presentation, reasonable portions fast service. Open seating at all meals allowed us to meet a large number our fellow passengers. Lunch tended to show less attention to detail in food prep and selection. Beer, wine and hard liquor were available at meals and happy hour and were of average to very high quality. Our on- board historian Bill Weimuth was excellent, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and always available. His wife Laura Sable was one of the musical entertainers and was similarly superb with an excellent voice. Together they were the highlight of the trip. We had excellent weather most of the trip and our port calls were interesting if not exciting.
Our only reservations lie with the average age of the passengers which hovered probably in the mid-70's most of whom were very interesting and friendly but a much younger couple or family with young children may want to look elsewhere. The expense was also a negative factor. I'm not convinced to value received is worth the price and felt the "suggested" tip level was also on the high side. Read Less
The price for the cruise is abhorrently higher than other river cruises but there were no special amenities to warrant the high prices. This seven day American cruise charged caviar prices but provided less than mediocre amenities. ... Read More
The price for the cruise is abhorrently higher than other river cruises but there were no special amenities to warrant the high prices. This seven day American cruise charged caviar prices but provided less than mediocre amenities. While the food was tasty, the portions were ridiculously small. A highlighted BBQ rib luncheon l served ONE rib on the plate, less than 3" long! A club sandwich was made with bread loaf ends turned inward to camouflage the end. By the second day of the river cruise the kitchen was out of several items that could have easily been picked up at local stores.
While the staff was pleasant, for the most part they were inexperienced. Many were short term. Like most cruises, the staff was required to do several jobs throughout the day. The same person cleaning worked the dining room for all three meals.
Shore excursions were non eventful. The cruise line utilized freebie local attractions and did not provide much time in port. While on board though, a husband and wife couple provided nice entertainment and very interesting lectures.
We paid to utilize the cruise shuttle bus for travel to embarkation port and to return to the airport. Though the embarkation port was only 10 minutes away from the hotel pick up, we waited in the bus almost 30 minutes at various stops. The return trip to the airport was inexcusable. The bus literally dropped passengers off with our luggage outside the terminal in the bus parking area. No one was there to help with luggage, give directions, provide assistance. No baggage carts were to be found. Several passengers required wheel chair assistance and they had to maneuver to the terminal and fin for themselves with their luggage and no direction. It is better to take a taxi on your own and get left out at the airport terminal at the proper level where curbside assistance is available.
I have been on MANY cruises and for longer durations that were all cheaper than this 7 day excursion. But by far, this cruise provided the least value for the money. Somewhere a very large profit is being realized because the money is not returned to the customer in value. Very disappointing for the price charged. Read Less
After cruising the Rhine last year we decided to try a river cruise in America. Our choice was the American Eagle from New Orleans to Memphis. Because of my schedule, we had to schedule it in July which was probably not the best from the ... Read More
After cruising the Rhine last year we decided to try a river cruise in America. Our choice was the American Eagle from New Orleans to Memphis. Because of my schedule, we had to schedule it in July which was probably not the best from the heat and humidity situation, but the ship is air conditioned as were tour busses and all so it never really was a big factor.
From the moment we showed up at the dock and met Cruise Director Megan, we were greeted constantly with smile and casual talk. (It's no wonder passengers and crew feel like family by the end.)
The service was exceptional and the young folks that made up the crew, worked constantly to make the trip a pleasure. Jason sort of oversaw everything and he was readily available if there were any questions or problems.
I inquired about refrigeration because of some medications that required it and thinking a cool pack would be enough, I hadn't said anything when making a reservation. Jason assured me they could take care of it and next thing I know is, there was a knock on the door and a hotel refrigerator was delivered.
The entertainment was terrific. From the Victory Belles, through Tom Hook, through Dan Knowles ... we thoroughly enjoyed our evenings. That goes for the lecturers too. It was a Civil War Tour and Mike Deeb filled us in on a lot of the history. Mike Jennings was the Riverlorian on board and talked about the Mississippi itself and it's importance to the American economy.
The food was excellent at all three meals and I commend the chefs. I didn't hear any complaints from anyone about the food (or anything else for that matter). It's a small kitchen and they ask you to elect ahead for the meals and it was well done. By the way, we did room service breakfast several times and they were there on the dot.
The cabin was excellent. We enjoyed the balcony and also the beds. Plenty of storage space and the bathroom was above what you would normally get on a big cruise ship.
We thoroughly enjoyed the American Eagle Cruise and are considering another river cruise on ACL in the future. Meanwhile, we are showing pictures to everyone! Read Less
I last cruised on American Cruise Lines in 2012 and had a disastrous experience. See my review of the American Glory under "Maine to Providence Disaster." On that trip the itinerary was great, the crew was mediocre (bad really) ... Read More
I last cruised on American Cruise Lines in 2012 and had a disastrous experience. See my review of the American Glory under "Maine to Providence Disaster." On that trip the itinerary was great, the crew was mediocre (bad really) but what was really terrible was the small ship trying to go out on the ocean. It has no business on the ocean.
The American Eagle trip from Memphis to New Orleans was a breath of fresh air for this cruise line. The itinerary was as advertised, the crew, fresh-faced and eager to help and the ship brand new with no break downs. I've read a bad review of this cruise and I've got to say, "picky, picky, picky!" You've got to pour your own wine? Oh no! The food is good and appropriately regional with a lot of fresh local fish and creole dishes. The ship and cabins are in great condition (since the boat is brand new) and the crew was above-average for an American crew (this will vary from trip to trip as there was still major shuffling of crew from voyage to voyage). The in-house Mississippi river experts, Bill and Laura, were above average, I never missed Bill's very entertaining lectures on the history of the Mississippi. The ports were better than I thought they would be (Natchez Mississippi charming, really? Yep). The most startling discovery about the trip for me was the fact that the Mississippi river is pretty dull in spots. There is a 150 mile stretch south of Vicksburg where there is no bridge over the river. So sometimes there was not much to look at.
Unlike another review we enjoyed Longwood plantation very much.
There were a lot of people with limited mobility and the crew did their best to see that those people got to see as much as possible. In general the boat and the itineraries were at least partially accessible, good cruise for mobility impaired.
So fair is fair. On this trip the ship was great, the itinerary fair and the service was above-average. This trip nearly (though not completely) atoned for the American Glory...but not quite. Read Less
This was a wonderful cruise. We've done many of the big cruise ships and we were tired of them, and wanted something more personal. We had 147 guests on board, and the public rooms used for entertaining and dining were large enough to ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. We've done many of the big cruise ships and we were tired of them, and wanted something more personal. We had 147 guests on board, and the public rooms used for entertaining and dining were large enough to accommodate everyone.
The brand new ship is beautiful and the furniture is top quality. The food was excellent, just as good, as the big ships. The American staff was wonderful. Our room, room 322 AAL category, with a balcony, was lovely. The closet was on the small side but there were many drawers to hold your clothing, in the full size desk, or in the cabinet under the TV. We didn't even use the drawers in the night tables.
There were 2 other big public lounges where you could hang out and chat. Snacks were available all the time, as well as juices and Soda. You really didn't need to bring alcohol on board, because wine and beer were served with lunch and dinner, and there was a happy hour every day before dinner, where you could get any kind of alcoholic drink you wanted.
We went on the round trip because my husband didn't want to fly, and were able to drive and return to our car.
The excursions were complementary, and the entertainment was top notch. We were so busy, we didn't have much down time to lounge in the lounges or even our own room. Read Less
We've recently sailed on American Eagle from New Orleans to Memphis. It was not a pleasant experience though:
First of all and the most important: if you ever been on a river cruise in Europe/Asia with let’s saying Viking, ... Read More
We've recently sailed on American Eagle from New Orleans to Memphis. It was not a pleasant experience though:
First of all and the most important: if you ever been on a river cruise in Europe/Asia with let’s saying Viking, AmaWaterways, Tauck, Avalon etc…- do not take this cruise: you’ll be vastly disappointed. But first let me briefly describe our trip:
We stayed at a hotel next to the French Quarter, in the morning got to the New Orleans port and had a smooth on time check-in. For an unknown reason musicians already stopped the embarkation entertainment and all welcome drinks were gone. It was a first call something is wrong, but we realized it later. So here is what we experienced during this cruise and what defers it from let's say an ordinary Danube cruise:
- Same people (mostly college students on a summer break) work as a housekeeping stuff and serve dishes in the dining room. That’s the source of all service issues.
- Very limited breakfast selection and by menu only. So expect to spend twice much time than if there was a buffet.
- No barbecue on top deck in spite of a mostly nice weather.
- Overall very limited food selection: only American food. No such things as thematic dinners: let’s say French, Italian etc…
- Mostly “Gallo family” wines used. (the cost is around $3 in our local Walmart store).
- Minor thing but no wine service in the dining room: need to pour glasses by ourselves. Wine is already on a table.
- As other reviewers already mentioned the acoustic in the dining room is terrible.
- Our cabin was never vacuumed
- Many cabins have dampness issues. Shame for a new ship and whoever designed it!
- Slow wireless internet disappearing at the same time as your cellphone service.
On top of that the American Cruise Lines did not even fulfill what was promised with no explanation given: we never visited Oak Alley Plantation as advertised in the day by day schedule on their website.
Overall it was a 1 start cruise for us but thanks to the entertainment and included tours which were pretty good I am giving it 2 stars.
Here is the summary: I'd recommend this cruise only if you absolutely do not care about the service you receive, your kin is impatiently waiting for your death and tons of money under your bed still needs to be spent. Read Less
One of the most enjoyable vacations in recent years. The American Eagle was fabulous. It would have been even better if Longwood Mansion were eliminated from the land tours and a lovely plantation home visited instead. While only its ... Read More
One of the most enjoyable vacations in recent years. The American Eagle was fabulous. It would have been even better if Longwood Mansion were eliminated from the land tours and a lovely plantation home visited instead. While only its second sailing (I believe) the staff for the most part were well trained with a few exceptions in the dining room, but all in all they were most accommodating and pleasant. I agree with one of the comments concerning the level of noise in the dining room. With the full ship dining at the same time, the noise level gets a bit loud. Read Less
We hesitated to book this cruise because the ship was (too) new---it had yet to have its maiden voyage at the time we signed up. We needn't have worried; ship sailed on time, and the crew were all very attentive and helpful. Food was ... Read More
We hesitated to book this cruise because the ship was (too) new---it had yet to have its maiden voyage at the time we signed up. We needn't have worried; ship sailed on time, and the crew were all very attentive and helpful. Food was better than other river cruises we have been on (Nile, Rhine and Danube), and well presented. Complimentary cocktail hour before dinner and complimentary wine and beer at lunch and dinner was also popular.
Our cabin had a good sized balcony that lacked a little privacy as it was separated from adjacent balconies by a canvas divider---so that conversations could be overheard. Once in the room, however, we never heard any of our neighbors next door or above, nor was there any machinery noise or vibration noticeable at all, except for the slight whoosh of the AC (we were in room 310). Only complaint with the room was it had no safe. For you walking/jogging buffs, there is no promenade deck that circles the ship, so you'll have to get most of your exercise by using the steps instead of the elevators every day.
We were on the round-trip cruise that went as far north as Vicksburg and then back to New Orleans. Don't expect breathless beauty along the shore, but do expect interesting river traffic plus refineries and a lot of industry around New Orleans and Baton Rouge, as well as along both banks of the river for a few days as you go north. Even where the river has no industry, a view of the countryside is blocked by the levee or trees or both. But of course there are daily excursions ashore, so we didn't feel we had missed much. We enjoyed the entertainment, and on our trip we had an excellent historian and story-teller, Bill Wiemuth, who shouldn't be missed.
All-in-all, a well-run cruise on a nice clean ship, with good food and good entertainment, with history and civil war lessons thrown in. Read Less
This was our first cruise on a small ship. Our previous 4 cruises were with Holland America and Princess. The American Eagle is a new paddle wheeler and we were on it's christening cruise. She holds about 140 passengers and, being ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a small ship. Our previous 4 cruises were with Holland America and Princess. The American Eagle is a new paddle wheeler and we were on it's christening cruise. She holds about 140 passengers and, being new, there are some wrinkles to work out. I suspect many of these can be corrected, some not. First, the average age of the passengers is probably 70-75. Some with walkers or other mobility issues. Why the designers felt one slow elevator was sufficient for so many senior citizens I'll never know. Many were not able to climb 3 or 4 flights of stairs to get to or from their state rooms and the single elevator resulted in long waits for many. Really!
Next issue is the ventilation system. The only way to keep the dampness out of the room is to run the air conditioning constantly. After a while, even down south, it gets too cold in the room. One the AC is off, the moisture in the room builds up quickly and everything gets damp. Even the slider to the veranda has so much condensation on the inside, you can't see out it.
While in Baton Rouge and tied up at the dock, a wicked storm came through with 70 mph winds and tornado warnings. Every room on the port side received water damage as the strong winds pushed rain under the sliding door and wet the rugs. Really wet. It's not easy to dry out carpet so it took about 4 days for that to get corrected. The crew did what they could. This didn't help the moisture issue I'm sure.
The acoustics in the dining room were terrible. Again, we're talking about senior citizens, many with hearing issues, but even with good hearing, it is hard to carry on a conversation at a table of 6 due to all the back ground chatter.
Now, let me go over some of the pluses. Once you've paid your fare, you can pretty much put your wallet away. Unlike the big boats, excursions are included, going ashore on a hot day, water is free. Complimentary cocktails every evening with top shelf liquor. There is no jewelry shop, gift shop or over priced artwork to buy. Free wireless. Drinks with lunch and dinner free. The staff is all American and a friendlier, more polite bunch would be hard to find. There is entertainment in the evenings after dinner that includes free ice cream Sunday's. We're not talking big name entertainment but Bill and Laura on our boat kept us laughing, singing and amazed at their talent all week long.
The rooms are larger than the typical veranda room on the big cruise ships. The excursions were mostly bus tours of the ports of call and plantation tours.
The best part was the small boat experience. It is so much more personal. We were treated like kings and queens, not a number with a fat wallet. The crew gets to know most everyone, and visa versa. Would we cruise again with American Cruise Lines? Absolutely. The mega cruise ships have become too impersonal and greedy. It's probably safe to say my wife and I will seek out more small cruise ships in the future. We loved it! Read Less
All in all the cruise was a total delight and we were treated like royalty. The Captain and his entire crew went out their way to make this such an enjoyable trip. When my sister in law realized she had left a piece of luggage after ... Read More
All in all the cruise was a total delight and we were treated like royalty. The Captain and his entire crew went out their way to make this such an enjoyable trip. When my sister in law realized she had left a piece of luggage after debarkation, a quick call to Hotel Manager Drew Godfrey and soon it was found and delivered to her at our hotel. Thankfully we had decided to spend a few extra days in N.O. and had not flown home!
While on board, so many gifts were given. For whatever reason, my sister and her husband didn't receive those gifts so when told to Cruise Director Marcie, she made sure they got all the gifts.
All the chef's did an outstanding job in food preparation! The pastries were so very good and at each meal the presentation was excellent.
It rained almost every day but the deckhands were right there with umbrella's and covered transportation if you needed it.
The only thing that really needs to change is proper acoustics in the Dining Salon and the Magnolia Lounge. The noise was unbearable at times which made it impossible to visit with the person sitting next to you. Read Less