Sail Date: July 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a smaller ship and we could get into fjords that the larger ships could not. No mega lines to board or exit the ship. The captain, Eric Brown, was wonderful and would turn the ship around announcing which side he would spot whales, or bear, or mountain goats, or otters, seals, etc. The staff were friendly and personable and interacted well with the passengers. Most of the excursions were included and well directed. The 'extra' excursions fill up fast, even if you sign up early you may not get to participate, which can be disappointing. Cabins were nice, each with a private balcony. Meals were served with menus and several choices of food. Entertainment was specific to the region, we learned a lot about the culture of Native Alaskans and the Klondike Gold Rush. I would not recommend this ship for children or teens, there is not a pool or other activities for young adults. We were very happy with our trip. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I ... Read More
After having cruised Alaska last year with Celebrity we wanted to try a smaller ship for the off the path stops. The Constellation was just the size we were looking for. The precruise hotel was an old one. While billed as a 3 star I certainly wouldn't give it that rating. A clean road side motel more accurately describes the "Prospector" now owned by Ramada Wyndham As others have noted the onboard dining experience left a lot to be desired. Diner entrée choices where down to three and the portions were small. One could ask for more but there would be a time delay and when dining with others that would be problematic. The entrees were mediocre at best. One night was a vegetarian stuffed pepper. It was only a small slice of pepper overlaid with a tasteless couscous and I ended up having a piece of chocolate cake for dinner instead. The absence of a snack bar onboard was very apparent that day. The ship's heating units were all mounted high on the walls and because heat rises the decks were drafty all the time. The outside temperatures were running in the 50s and 60s so it was very uncomfortable. There was some problem with the ship wide computer system and we had to be logged on and off the ship by paper the entire cruise. I understand the cell service and wifi are spotty in Alaska but the brochure offered free wifi during the cruise and it was rare when we had access outside Juneau. After dinner we were stuck with our overly bubbly cruise director reading us the next day's itinerary from the same sheet that was delivered to our stateroom. She often ran over her allotted time so the entertainment didn't start until late. The music stopped at about 9:45PM so it was a short night. The good? the staff, they were great without exception (wish the cruise director would be a bit more mature and professional) Boarding and debarkation was smooth. Alaska was, what can I say? Gorgeous. The ship's captain stopped the vessel several times to view wildlife (whales, bears and orcas) and really made the cruise. I'm not big on walking tours so I passed on several excursions. The bus tours, the river rafting and the White Pass RR were great. Would I recommend this cruise? Probably not. They really have to upgrade their dining options and when it gets cold in Alaska the ship is uncomfortable. Back to the bigger ships for me. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2019
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and ... Read More
Whale sightings 6 of 7 days, excellent food and service, magnificent views up close of mountain goats, a wolf, hundreds of sea lions, otters, eagles and flocks of birds. Local seafood served as one choice in varied dishes at lunch and dinner. Crew was on target, baggage in our room when we arrived onboard after a morning at Mendenhall Glacier to have lunch onboard. We saw multiple types of glaciers. Presentations onboard for identifying whales readily and their habits. Also information from Alaskan native tribe and National Forest Service about what we would see in the 2 days in Glacier Bay. Stops in small towns were different and varied in their purpose. Train available to Yukon up the path taken by miners thru White Pass. Kayaks, rafting, who could want more? Accommodations were spacious, and food too often available as snacks between meals. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each afternoon, wine and beer with meals. Services were personalized and consistent. We added an extra day to wander and absorb the flavor of Juneau before boarding which was a good decision. Tracy’s Crab Shack in Juneau is a must for King Crab like a local! Leaving was smooth transition in early morning with assistance of crew to make early flights necessary to get to East Coast. Small ship experience was so much better than what my friends had on larger ships that have less access to places where we went. Now looking for another bucket list destination. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2019
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which ... Read More
We chose to arrive in Juneau two days early expecting some cooler temps only to be greeted by 80 degree plus temps in a city that does not have an air-conditioner in any commercial establishment including our hotel, Ramada by Wyndham which would not be my first choice of a hotel in Juneau except for the very good restaurant connected to it. Embarkation on June 29th was welcome and flawless. Our luggage was picked up at our hotel and we were off for a morning visit to the Mendenhall Glacier. By the time we reached the ship late morning my luggage was in my large clean single balcony cabin. I had good closet and drawer space and there was a personal safe in the room. All the meals were excellent with good choices including vegetarian at every meal. In between meals soft drinks, juices and snacks were always available with warm cookies and 10:00 am every day. Happy hour horderves were delicious and plentiful. On this particular trip we had several multi-generational families traveling together so we had some young school and college age people on board which was nice, and I think even though most of the passengers were 60 + they appeared to enjoy themselves and fit in nicely. The combination of shore excursions and time on the ship in Glacier Bay and Tracy Arm was perfect. Orcas and Humpbacks entertained us, the cultural interaction in Kake informative, and the narrow gage train out of Skagway great fun. The on board lectures were OK, and many enjoyed the "art classes" which were a big hit. Our entertainment consisted on one very talented pianist who was able to play and entertain us with a full variety of music. The Hammer Museum in Haines was interesting for me as my family's antique hammers were on display. The "dock" walk in Petersburg revealed how commercial fishing is big business and the fireworks the night before spectacular. Two of the signature excursions, rafting in Haines, and fishing in Petersburg were limited so some folks were not able to participate. This was my third small ship trip to SE Alaska so my expectations were high, and I was not disappointed. While the American Constellation is one of the larger small ships to cruise SE Alaska, because of her maneuverability she was able to go where the much smaller ships go, I think our Captain enjoyed the sights as much as we did as he was expert in positioning the ship with the assistance of the bow and stern thrusters to permit maximum viewing for all. The ships officers were very professional. The all America, mostly college age, dining/cabin stewards and deckhands were delightful to get to know. Though they were not as experienced as found on ships registered and cruising outside of the United States, they were always eager to please. Our weather was perfect the entire week except for the Juneau heat and the haze from the wild fires up north, and happy hour on deck in the Alaskan sun was fun. Because there wasn't WiFi or phone service except in a couple of places, it was good to disconnect and just enjoy the trip. Many disembarked very early and took to complementary airport transfer early in the morning at 5:15 am. A second transfer was offered at 8:15 am. Because of our late flight out of Juneau we were able to wait in the lounge on board until it was time for our taxi at 10:00 am. I have taken multiple trips with American Cruise Lines, and I am booked on another. I only wish they had more places to go in the US as I'm running out of itineraries. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2019
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, ... Read More
Our 44th cruise was with a river boat company, American Cruise Lines, but it was not on a river. We sailed around Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands, aboard the American Constellation for 10 nights and 11 days. It is a very nice boat, quite new and offering a good range of river boat amenities, a hardworking and a very pleasant crew. But we felt it was overpriced, and had some weak points. Embarkation We boarded shortly before noon at a marina in Seattle, and the check-in was very fast. We were handed names tags on a ribbon and encouraged to wear them all the time. We were given the usual room key, but were not asked to provide a credit card imprint – a first in our experience. The Captain was there to greet us; and helped with the luggage. We had a snack in the main “Cascade” Lounge on deck three and then went to our cabin. The Stateroom, This is a quite new ship, and the stateroom was in excellent condition. It was quite roomy for a river boat with plenty of drawer space and a small but adequate closet. The bathroom was about the same size as on most cruise ships. The verandah has a sliding glass door, two chairs and a small table. The walls were painted a nice beige shade. There were two armchairs as well as a desk with its chair. Almost all the staterooms were the same, the price differential was according to location. We were on Deck 2, but since it is a small vessel, it was not inconvenient. We were just a few steps from the center of the boat. The Ship If you are on a cruise ship, you are told to call the river vessels “boats”. But American Constellation really looks like a small cruise ship with six decks and a sharp prow. It was built for sailing on open waters, and, as we saw on our visit to the bridge, is controlled by a navigation system that matches the oceangoing vessels we have been on. The top deck is open, with a small putting green. Deck 5 has the “Owners Suites”, a fitness room and a rear sun deck. Deck 4 has staterooms with a library/computer room and the Sky Lounge aft with an open deck. Deck 3 has the main Cascade Lounge forward and staterooms as well as a lounge. Deck 2 is all staterooms except for a lounge. The Main Deck has the Office and Dining Room, as well as some rooms without verandahs. All the decks except the top deck were connected by two roomy elevators in addition to a stairway. The Crew The crew, with one exception, was entirely American. Captain Brown had served in the Coast Guard for many years. He was most pleasant and helpful for the entire cruise. The Cruise Director, Annie was also outgoing and helpful, and most of her comments on the ports were accurate. The wait staff in the main dining room was cheerful and tried their best, but still lacked the skill of those found on the major cruise line. The only non-American on the whole ship was the pianist, from England, appropriately named Jon England. Fellow Passengers As noted, all our fellow passengers were from the United States. We were actually provided with a list of everyone’s names and staterooms. Those who had sailed with American Cruise Lines had their names marked with a star. While the ship would carry up to 175 passengers, we only had 112 on board. Of these 73 had sailed with the cruise line before. Since the company has only been around for a few years, this shows a high degree of loyalty. Since it is easy to forget the names of one’s fellow passengers, the list was quite helpful. As usual, virtually all our fellow passengers were of “a certain age”. The meals were all with open seating, but after a day or two we found a small group with whom we usually ate. The name tags and passenger list did help with recalling people. By and large we were a cheerful lot, and happy to share our differing port experiences and past cruising histories. Dining This was the first cruise in which all meals were served by the wait staff. Each diner was provided with an individual menu, and the back side asked for our choices for lunch and dinner. There was a partial buffet for breakfast, but the hot items were obtained only by ordering them. Actually the breakfast had the widest selection of “main” servings. The lunches were somewhat inadequate in term of choices offered; but it was possible to order items not on the menu. One of our table regulars always had chicken tacos for lunch. I tried them, but this Arizonan with a wide experience in Mexican food, found the Constellation version to be lacking in true south of the border flavor. The dinners were generally pretty good, although no boat this size can match the cuisine on a cruise ship; even smaller ships like the Oceania Regatta or the Crystal Serenity and Symphony. In fact, these smaller cruise ships, including Marina and Riviera as well as the Viking ocean going vessels, set the mark for cruise dining. But the efforts on our trip were commendable, with three main dinner entrée choices plus a vegetarian option for my wife. Desserts were limited, but the baker did an excellent job, and treats were available almost all the time all over the boat. One nice feature was the ability to order half-size portions. As we noted in the “Crew” section, the inexperience of the wait staff led to some mixed-up orders, and on one occasion, a delay of half an hour in getting the lunch main meal served after the appetizers. Shipboard Entertainment This facet of the trip was not bad for a riverboat. We had three pretty good female singers and a five piece band in addition to Jon England and his piano offerings. There was supposed to be a Dixieland band the final night but they did not make it. The Ports Ports and their excursions are normally the highlight of “river” cruises. However the options offered in the Puget Sound area were somewhat limited for first time passengers and the complimentary excursions very restricted, unless you were a prior passenger. We received a one page “Captain’s Sailing Instructions” sheet which detailed all our various arrivals and departures. As on all river cruises, there was a session in the main lounge each night with Annie going over all the shore options for the following day. We had already received a printed sheet of these choices in our cabins after dinner in the daily “Ship to Shore” sheet. We had also been provided on arrival with three pages of all the off-ship offerings and another document showing the prices. Many of these options were too strenuous for me, but the ones we took we did enjoy. Our highlights included a visit to an alpaca farm in Friday Harbor, and a “game farm” near Port Angeles where we fed a variety of large animals such a bears, llamas, bison and deer from the bus. Anacortes, north of Seattle, was our first stop with an interesting history and some tours. We arrived at 8:00 P.M. the first day after a 1:30 P.M. sail-away, stayed all the next day and sailed the following morning west for a two hour trip to Friday Harbor. Whale watching was offered there twice a day, in addition to the alpaca farm, but only the afternoon group saw more than one kind of whale. Friday Harbor is on San Juan Island, one of the San Juan group of islands which are actually northeast of Vancouver Island and Victoria, B.C. The islands became part of the United States after a long running dispute with Canada. It was here we did a tour of the island which included a delightful visit to Krystal and her alpaca farm, where we got to feed and pet the alpacas. We also had a visit to a lighthouse and the town of Roche Harbor. We stayed overnight at a small harbor nearby and then sailed south the next day to Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula arriving in the afternoon. There we enjoyed a view of the snow covered Olympic Range. The following day was spent in Port Angeles, because this was the spot from which people could take a boat to Victoria and visit Butchart Gardens, a somewhat pricey trip requiring a passport. Since we had seen the gardens a few years prior to this cruise, we skipped this adventure and instead enjoyed the visit to the game farm in nearby Sequim [which should always be pronounced “Skwim”]. We left Port Angeles early the next morning and sailed east to Port Townsend, which is at the northeast corner of the peninsula, arriving at 10:00 A.M. and again spending the night there. Not too much was offered there by way of excursions except a complimentary walking tour. We sailed early the next morning to Paulsbo, just off Puget Sound, where we tendered ashore on a small ship’s launch and visited the Squamish Museum and Chief Seattle’s grave site. This is a small but very well done museum containing a great deal of history concerning the Native American tribes which inhabited this area. We left Paulsbo in the afternoon and sailed south, arriving in Tacoma at 6:00, spending the night and the next day there. This is a good sized city, but the ship offered only a complimentary excursion and two museum tours. The excursion was by bus and was enjoyable. We left the next morning, sailing north to Bremerton on the west side of Puget Sound. We arrived at noon and left at noon the next day. The only item of any interest in Bremerton is the Puget Sound Navy Museum (free), and that is a somewhat limited venue. Annie had said there was a nice shopping area, but one of our table companions who visited the area said most of the shops were closed. We had a small rain shower here, the only bad weather we encountered on the cruise until our return to Seattle the next day. Back there in the afternoon we took a complimentary bus ride (with a very inexperienced bus driver) to the Pike Place Market area, which was of some interest. We returned to the boat for the final evening and packing. The next day we simply got aboard a complimentary bus (with a much better driver) to the airport and home. We had received our statement the night before with three excursions, and no other charges on it. They have just today appeared on my computer credit card listing. Overall As we noted at the beginning of this review, we felt this cruise was very expensive for what was offered. We have been on some higher end cruise ships; but felt that we got our money’s worth on them. Not so on this cruise. The simple fact is that the food selection was not up to that of an ocean going ship, and it never can be on a riverboat. The entertainment was also far short of what one gets at sea. A friendly crew is nice, but this is true on ships in which the skill and experience of the crew is far better than what we experienced on this cruise. The fact that we were at small ports limited our on shore options. It is also true that most American ports offer fewer tours that can be booked on linethan overseas venues. We noted on our European river boat trips that the vast majority of shore excursions were complimentary, with only a few trips carrying small extra charges. All this being noted, did we enjoy this cruise. Yes, we did. American Constellation is a very nice boat with lovely staterooms, a delightful crew and very attractive small towns on its itinerary. The food was quite good, and the entertainment not bad. We are glad we took this cruise and would recommend it. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We chose the cruise of the San Juan Islands because we were wanting pure relaxation, not non-stop activities. This cruise was definitely relaxing. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. The ship has plenty of room for the ... Read More
We chose the cruise of the San Juan Islands because we were wanting pure relaxation, not non-stop activities. This cruise was definitely relaxing. Embarkation and disembarkation were very smooth. The ship has plenty of room for the passengers to not feel crowded. Each floor has a small midship lounge to read, play puzzles, or gather with friends. The 3rd floor has a large lounge where everyone could gather for evening beverages and entertainment. The 4th floor lounge was my favorite. It's at the back of the ship and has both indoor and outdoor seating. Snacks and beverages are available here 24/7. The chairs are comfortable and warm cookies are delivered here twice daily. The crew was always friendly and helpful. Meals were outstanding. Breakfast is a self-serve buffet of cereals, fruit, and yogurt (sometimes salmon as well). Then you sit down to order what you'd like- omelets, quiche, made to order eggs, pancakes (try the banana ones!), French toast, oatmeal... just about anything you can think of. Lunch and dinner are 'ordered' at breakfast time so the chef can prepare enough of each dish, however, he makes extra so if you change your mind it's ok. There are two or three appetizer and main dish choices for each meal. Don't be afraid to request substitutions. The chef handled special requests beautifully. Shore excursions were satisfactory. The Puget Sound/San Juan Islands offers several museums, cider tasting, city tours. We didn't find most of these too enticing and ended up doing our own walking tour of most of the cities. The main exception was in Port Angeles, where we took the tour to Butchart Gardens in Victoria. It involved a 90-min. ferry ride and a 30 min. bus ride. The bus ride was narrated so we were able to learn a bit about Victoria and Butchart. The Gardens are spectacular. Don't miss this tour! We had a room on the 3rd floor, near the elevators. Elevator noise was never a problem, but we could hear the evening entertainment from down the hall. It never went later than 9:30pm, so it didn't bother us. There is a self-serve laundry room (2 washers/2dryers) on the 5th floor. Detergent and dryer sheets are provided. There is a small "gym" with bikes. Water and towels provided. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We have been on many, many ocean cruises and wanted to experience the small ship cruise. We chose the American Constellation which had 130 passengers. This was a great alternative to the huge ships - no crowding, large comfortable suite, ... Read More
We have been on many, many ocean cruises and wanted to experience the small ship cruise. We chose the American Constellation which had 130 passengers. This was a great alternative to the huge ships - no crowding, large comfortable suite, easy and smooth embarkation and disembarkation. A Senior atmosphere, very accommodating to the 55+ generation. No kids which was a plus for us - (after our last Caribbean cruise that offered free passage for kids and there were hundreds of kids running and jumping and screaming all over that ship.) The Constellation can go to places the big ships cannot. While onboard, we booked another for next year on Chesapeake Bay. Looking forward to it. The onboard entertainment was very enjoyable. Food was good for the most part. Ports were interesting with well organized excursions. Cruise Director and Hotel Manager were very helpful, cheerful and friendly - as were all crew members. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2019
We wanted to take a cruise of the Puget Sound. We took a 10 day cruise on the American Cruise Line Constellation. Prior to that we spent a few days in Seattle where I had never been before. We have taken many cruises and the crew on ... Read More
We wanted to take a cruise of the Puget Sound. We took a 10 day cruise on the American Cruise Line Constellation. Prior to that we spent a few days in Seattle where I had never been before. We have taken many cruises and the crew on this cruise was the most friendly and helpful. The ship caught fire in Tacoma WA. All passengers were evacuated at breakfast time and were able to get back on board for dinner. The ship was docked in Tacoma for three days before the Coast Guard gave permission to leave. At no time did we receive any information about the cause of the fire or reassurance that it would not occur again. American Cruise Lines never contacted passengers regarding the fire or made any offer of compensation for not completing the cruise itinerary. The most interesting excursion was to Victoria Island and the beautiful Butchart Gardens. We had the most expensive cabin. The walls were paper-thin. When the cabin next to us turned on it’s TV we could hear every word as if there not a wall between the cabins. The food was mediocre. I would not recommend American Cruise Lines to anyone. I would advise anyone considering American Cruise Lines to get the Coast Guard report on the fire on the Constellation in Tacoma. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. We especially like the fact that their "small" ships can get into smaller ports than can the larger cruise ships. Docking instead of tendering in makes a huge difference. ... Read More
This was our second cruise with American Cruise Lines. We especially like the fact that their "small" ships can get into smaller ports than can the larger cruise ships. Docking instead of tendering in makes a huge difference. ACL's focus on customer satisfaction borders on obsessive. If your favorite liquor isn't available at happy hour (complimentary) just ask; they'll probably buy it at the next port and have it available the next day. The dining room has a similar focus. Have dietary restrictions (or preferences)? There was the opportunity to meet with the executive chef prior to departure to discuss any requirements or preferences. We opted for the pre-cruise extension since we needed to arrive the day before embarkation since we had to fly in from the east coast. Our bags were picked up from our hotel room, not from the hallway, which is a plus. They were in our stateroom when we arrived on ship. Our only complaint is that by the luck of the draw, the "guide" for our city tour couldn't stop talking, even when she had nothing to say. Unfortunately, the detours she requested of the bus driver resulted in our being so late to the ship that the safety briefing had to be delayed. Many of the ship's staff (dining room and cabin stewards) are students in hospitality or culinary programs. They are enthusiastic, helpful and really enjoy what they're doing. We enjoyed talking with them about their career plans. Onboard entertainment is mostly local talent from whatever port the ship is moored in. It's fair to very good depending on what your particular interests are. Our ship actually made two detours so would could see orcas - something that would have been out of the question on a larger ship. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
This is my second cruise with American cruise Lines. You cannot beat the service by the crew. Everyone greets you when they see you. They ask how you are enjoying the cruise and offer to help. They are very accommodating to everyone no ... Read More
This is my second cruise with American cruise Lines. You cannot beat the service by the crew. Everyone greets you when they see you. They ask how you are enjoying the cruise and offer to help. They are very accommodating to everyone no matter their ability to get around. You truly feel valued on a ACL cruise. They offered activities during the day which included lectures about the area and animals. They also offered art classes. There are tours offered at each port visited or you can explore on your own. The smaller ships and smaller number of guests is very appealing. It’s so much easier to get around and I’ve made friends on both cruises. I wanted to go to the Puget Sound/San Juan Islands area especially Butchart Gardens. The tulip tour was everything I hoped it would be. I have already booked a third cruise for next year. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2019
I like cruising in North America; no loooong overnight flights to your destination; no mega ships to overwhelm your cruise stops; and lots and lots of things to do. The Puget Sound and San Juans, our last cruise, was a normal ACL ... Read More
I like cruising in North America; no loooong overnight flights to your destination; no mega ships to overwhelm your cruise stops; and lots and lots of things to do. The Puget Sound and San Juans, our last cruise, was a normal ACL cruise. The ship, American Constellation, was clean and tidy, the crew was just great and extremely helpful when asked anything. Our cabin, on the second level, was, like everything on the ship, neat and tidy. The included balcony made the cabin seem larger and on sunny days, was great place to be. ACL has an open dining policy: you sit at any table you want along as there is space. Unfortunately the weather was not always good and some of the excursions were a bit wet. Otherwise they were fascinating and enjoyable; Butchart Gardens is something for a bucket list; the flower arrangements were almost beyond belief! Obviously I enjoyed this cruise; you saw places most Americans never see,and generally had plenty of time for sight seeing and shopping. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
We always wanted to go to Alaska and wanted and intimate experience. It was an excellent ship with a wonderful crew. We saw the wonders of Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife including bears, eagles, humpback whales and orcas, sea ... Read More
We always wanted to go to Alaska and wanted and intimate experience. It was an excellent ship with a wonderful crew. We saw the wonders of Alaska; spectacular scenery, wildlife including bears, eagles, humpback whales and orcas, sea otters and sea lions, the native culture and people, and wonderful history of the area. American Cruise Lines does an excellent first rate job. We have already booked another cruise. Accommodations were very comfortable. The crew was friendly, caring and service oriented. Onboard entertainment and lectures included people who lived the life we were learning about. The food was outstanding throughout with many delicious choices at each meal. Happy Hour was the time to share the day's experience with new found friends. On-shore excursions offered flexibility and choices that provided comfort and interest for all. Our cruise was an experience of a lifetime. We would highly recommend this Company for "Small Ship Cruising Done Perfectly." American Cruise Lines lives by this motto! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Having cruised on several "big box" ships, I much prefer the small ship experience and this was our second small ship cruise. Starting in Juneau AR, the Constellation made stops in ports that the larger ships skip. We got to ... Read More
Having cruised on several "big box" ships, I much prefer the small ship experience and this was our second small ship cruise. Starting in Juneau AR, the Constellation made stops in ports that the larger ships skip. We got to experience several National Parks saw 3 of Alaska's better known glaciers and witnessed the 'calvings' of large portions of glaciers. We saw wildlife up close, bears with cubs, moose and deer and on the water, whales, sea lions, seals and water birds. We threaded our way through waters dotted with brilliant blue and white glaciers. In the ports we met lots of people who are year round residents who gave us an insiders perspective on what it is to work and live in Alaska. Our days were busy and we were usually tired when we returned to the ship where all the service was excellent and we would enjoy a great evening meal and relax. Traveling on the Constellation made this a really great and memorable vacation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
Southeast Alaska cruise was wonderful. Being a smaller ship we were able to get into ports and closer to glaciers that large ships could not. We can't say enough about this crew and itinerary. Each day was a unique experience. I have ... Read More
Southeast Alaska cruise was wonderful. Being a smaller ship we were able to get into ports and closer to glaciers that large ships could not. We can't say enough about this crew and itinerary. Each day was a unique experience. I have some food allergies and the crew went out of their way to ensure I had many choices and alternate methods of preparation. The scenery, the wildlife and the history were presented very well. The shore excursions were well organized and the guides were knowledgeable and interesting. In Glacier Bay a National Park Ranger came onboard all day to explain the history and wildlife of the park. We enjoyed Kake and the presentation on the language as well as the performance by the children at the school. Haines was so special - bears, eagles, seals and our guide was very good. Tracy Arm was fantastic - turquoise water and cobalt blue ice, seals etc. We did take a seaplane tour in Petersburg that was unbelievable - flying over the glaciers and icefields. As we were taxiing back to the hanger there was a sea lion sitting on the dock - must have weighed at least 900 pounds! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2018
The small ship (175 pax), great itinerary and solid crew made this cruise a most enjoyable experience. The staterooms are large (300 sq ft) and well appointed. The bathrooms are well laid out and the overall condition of the ship was ... Read More
The small ship (175 pax), great itinerary and solid crew made this cruise a most enjoyable experience. The staterooms are large (300 sq ft) and well appointed. The bathrooms are well laid out and the overall condition of the ship was excellent. We even used our balcony several times, even though we were in a cool climate in Alaska. The dining was uniformly outstanding all week. If you like fresh seafood from Alaska this is the cruise for you--wow what a feast! The dining room is large and well lit and can easily fit the entire passenger complement at one sitting. The shore excursions were also well planned and with one exception were terrific. We loved the nightly entertainment. Just the right amount of quality music and fun, since most of use were quite tired after days that were packed with so much to do. The White Pass Railroad trip was a big highlight, along with two separate glacier experiences that were almost beyond description. The smaller ship was able to get up close and personal to these massive rivers of ice and the experience was stunning. I have to mention the most extravagant and fun Hot Cocoa Bar we have ever seen as well. ON one of the glacier visits ACL really pulled out all stops--what an delicious and different bit of fun--yummy!!! All in all a terrific week all around. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
This is my fourth cruise with American Cruise Lines and it has been the best so far. I will only travel on smaller ships due to heal issues and the risk of getting sick on larger ships. I also did not want to have thousands and thousands ... Read More
This is my fourth cruise with American Cruise Lines and it has been the best so far. I will only travel on smaller ships due to heal issues and the risk of getting sick on larger ships. I also did not want to have thousands and thousands of other cruise ship passengers crowding each of the ports of call so that I was one of a huge herd of people. American Cruise lines has selected a wonderful itinerary that highlights the grandeur of Alaska and brings out up close and personal to glaciers and wild life you can not do on the large cruise ships. The ship was small, 170 passengers with new spacious accommodations. The crew went above and beyond in meeting the needs of the guests. The food was 4 star cuisine and inspired. I also appreciated the all inclusive cost with no additional add-ons for alcohol, services and excursions. There were no surprises at the end of the trip with a big bill and no gratuities accepted. I look forward to my next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: July 2018
I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and ... Read More
I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and sweet. Food: excellent. Variety, vegetarian options, seafood and red meat. Ammenities: excellent, courteous staff, well timed service Staff: Friendly, personable, uplifting, patient, fun Ship: Beautiful, clean, relaxing, 5 lounges plus a small library. Scenery: Magnificent, beautiful, interesting, educational Ports of Call: Interesting and educational: Skagway is touristy, but the train ride is cool. Haines and Petersburg are interesting and educational. Look for the trash cans in Petersburg. Entertainment: A little lacking... Would love an onboard band and more onboard activities, game nights, etc NOT for young children, but the teens and younger adults seemed to have a good and relaxing time. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We have sailed with American Cruise Line before. We love the personalized touches of small ship cruising. Southeast Alaska was beautiful. The ports were fun with great activities.I would highly recommend the train tour out of Skagway. The ... Read More
We have sailed with American Cruise Line before. We love the personalized touches of small ship cruising. Southeast Alaska was beautiful. The ports were fun with great activities.I would highly recommend the train tour out of Skagway. The cruise line paid for one night pre-cruise stay at a hotel in Juneau then picked us up the next morning for a tour of Mendenhall Glacier. When we arrived at the ship, our luggage was already in our cabin. We saw other glaciers up close. We also saw humpback whales, Orca, otters, mountain goat and sea lion. The captain would announce any wildlife sightings and just where to look. He would also steer the ship in order for all passengers to have the opportunity to have a sighting. The cuisine was amazing. The service was impeccable. The dining salon has open seating and every server was efficient and friendly. The cabins are very large as are the balconies. Our balcony was large enough for three chairs and a table as well as maneuvering room. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. ... Read More
We like ACL and this is our 3rd cruise with them. Pluses: We booked our next cruise with them while on board to get the 15% savings. and no port charges. We like the intimacy of a smaller ship with less hassles going on & off ship. For people with mobility issues the smaller ship is good as there is less walking around the ship.The ship being small could go to ports like Petersburg where the larger cruise ships cant go. An added surprise was overnighting in Glacier Bay and being able to go off ship at Barlett Cove and walk around. Again something that the big ships cant do. When we saw whales the Capt stopped for some time and then rotated the ship so everyone could see.. The ship is all inclusive with no shops, casino or spa. We like this as opposed to the big ships that can push sales constantly. There is no mail box or name on the cabin door so no worries about having to cull advertisements out constantly like on some ships PLUS & MINUS: The food is good but rich and the desserts are constantly pushed, cookies at 10 am, desserts at lunch & dinner. Happy hour with treats then dinner and for the night's program root beer floats & sundaes. For anyone struggling with a sweet tooth or watching sugar intake has a constant temptation. Snacks are kept out. ACL has started room service for breakfast which we didn't use. A highlight was our Tlingkat Native interpreters that came on board in Glacier Bay Barlett Cove with the Ranger for 24 hours. Captain, Capt Brown who was retired Coast Guard.Capt Brown was very pleasant and conscientious .Our hotel manager Nico was excellent always working and determined to please. MINUS: The vast majority of the staff are younger students.We found this to be true on the other 2 cruises we took with ACL. This was a problem that wait staff needed better training and meal service could be very chaotic. Even the Cruise Directors were young so we see ACL as a training ground for students going into the hospitality field. I would like ACL to include and pay higher wages to some seasoned waiters to mentor the young waiters. The waiters try but it can be frustrating to see the chaos and their stress. Internet was sporadic and we lost it in Glacier bay for several days which met that people could not check in with home or use their cell phones except for the 3 hour stop at Barlett Cove in Glacier Bay. When we cruised Tray Arm again the loss of internet & cell from about 3 am the last day until about 8 pm when we arrived back in Juneau..I think ACL needs to improve their WIFI which we found to be slow. People with health issues have on the larger ships access to medical clinic with doctors. On ACL there was a medic I believe but no medical clinic. I believe a heart attack in Glacier Bay could be a major issue for a medical evacuation. ACL does cater to the older crowd with a higher probability of health issues. There is no cable TV and some of the videos shown on the ACL channel were very dated at least 20-30 years old. there were movie videos but the lack of updated videos on the Alaska channel was disappointing. Excursions are mainly walking tours and the fishing, float and Kayak tours had limited space and sold out. I would like ACL to have more variety with their tours and increase the capacity for float, kayaking and fishing. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
The purpose of the cruise was to enjoy the vistas and wildlife of coastal Alaska in relaxation and comfort. This cruise was perfect. The small ship allowed the captain to alter course and speed to provide optimal viewing for orcas,humpback ... Read More
The purpose of the cruise was to enjoy the vistas and wildlife of coastal Alaska in relaxation and comfort. This cruise was perfect. The small ship allowed the captain to alter course and speed to provide optimal viewing for orcas,humpback whales, and other wildlife as well as the flexibility to visit small communities and approach to within yards of glaciers. The food, service, cabins, public spaces and organization were all excellent. The only negative about the trip was the absence of a tour of Juneau itself, the city of embarkation. We happened to arrive early in the day , 24 h before embarkation and were able to take advantage of a hop on hop off bus tour which included visits to the salmon hatchery [in the middle of the salmon run], a beautiful Russian Orthodox church, a wonderful local museum and a tram ride to the top of an adjacent mountain giving initial perspective to the capital city. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 2018
Prior experience with American Cruise lines on the Columbia and Snake river combined with a desire to see parts of Alaska were combined with this nice small ship Alaska arrangements. American Cruise lines handled everything very well - ... Read More
Prior experience with American Cruise lines on the Columbia and Snake river combined with a desire to see parts of Alaska were combined with this nice small ship Alaska arrangements. American Cruise lines handled everything very well - including the loss of WiFi (which was a bit of an irritant at points - but overall not a deal breaker) The cruise included several small towns that much larger ships could not have berthed at - and so kept us from just being another ship in port. Great onboard staff!!! really went out of the way all the time to be friendly. OBTW - they do NOT work for tips - and such are clearly not encouraged. Room was modern - clean at all times - dining was excellent with a very engaged chef - who really did want to know your special dietary needs. Not sure how his staff did it every day - three times a day + the lounge bar hours (this is an open bar ship - no alcohol charges!) Tours were available often twice a day and accommodations for all levels of ability covered. And they were not extra - with the exception of a fishing trip. Most highly recommended! Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple ... Read More
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple of places that the large ships go, but mostly we went to places that the larges ship to not visit, Haines, AK, Petersburg, AK and the Lodge at Glacier Bay National Park. We flew into Juneau, AK day early so that we could do some additional whale watching with Harv and Marv's Whale Watching Tours. American Cruise Lines did extra work to ensure that our personal hotel reservation was tied to the precruise hotel, which allowed us not change hotels or rooms. Getting onboard and getting started was seamless. Our bags were in our room when we arrived. The Cabin on the American Constellation was large than the cabin on the large ship. The bathroom was also larger, with full sized shower. Dining was excellent, and while there wasn't a 24 hour buffet, no one went hungry. Onboard entertainment was local talent, from the places we stopped, so we were also able to discuss living in the remote parts of Alaska with several different people, from several different places. None of them regretted being remote. There were complimentary shore excursions, which were well planned and always accommodated everyone. There were also additional paid excursions which were on topic for Alaska. Rafting, kayaking, etc. We did not travel with children. In fact this type of small boat cruising tends to attract the senior crowd. We have already scheduled our next small ship cruise. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Small cruise done PERFECTLY! Everything was outstanding! The cabin and lounge areas were spacious and clean. The bathrooms were well appointed and clean. The staff was friendly, very accommodating, knowledgable and always smiling! The ... Read More
Small cruise done PERFECTLY! Everything was outstanding! The cabin and lounge areas were spacious and clean. The bathrooms were well appointed and clean. The staff was friendly, very accommodating, knowledgable and always smiling! The tours and shore excursions were well organized and planned. The embarkation was easy and very welcoming. The food was absolutely delicious and great variety of choices. The pastry chef was awesome! The entire crew, staff and management catered to each individual passenger's needs and requests. The activities and entertainment were wonderful. There is a fitness room and complimentary laundry. The public rooms were all well appointed, clean and the views were amazing from each lounge area, dining and all areas of the ship. There were snacks, fresh fruit and beverages always available; as well as fresh, warm cookies everyday at 10:00! :) The service-hotel managers and cruise /tour directors, crew and staff were amazing- they were very personable and empathetic to each passengers needs, abilities and preferences. The pilot and speaker would alert us of wildlife- orcas, humpback whales, bears, seal lions, eagles - it was absolutely an amazing cruise! Like I said "Small cruise done PERFECTLY!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We were hoping to see Orcas and Humpback whales, but we only saw a couple of Humpbacks from a long distance and no Orcas, so this was the only disappointment. This was our third cruise with American Cruise Lines so we were pretty familiar ... Read More
We were hoping to see Orcas and Humpback whales, but we only saw a couple of Humpbacks from a long distance and no Orcas, so this was the only disappointment. This was our third cruise with American Cruise Lines so we were pretty familiar with the way this cruise line operates. We’ve really enjoyed cruising with them because it’s small ship cruising, only about 153 passengers on this trip, and it’s really nice to get to know many of our fellow passengers. Dining is very casual, which is just the way we like it. All the ships in ACL’s fleet are made in the USA and all the employees are Americans, so we love supporting an all American business. The staterooms are really nice, the lounges are attractive and comfortable, as are the decks. The food is delicious, with adequate choices, however, we both agreed that the kitchen on this trip wasn’t quite up to the standards set on the previous two cruises. Still, we really enjoyed the ports we stopped in and especially liked our visit to Victoria, BC in Canada, where we visited Buchert Gardens. Fabulous! Read Less
American Constellation Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 5.0 4.7
Dining 4.0 4.6
Entertainment 3.5 3.7
Public Rooms 4.5 4.8
Fitness Recreation 2.0 3.6
Family 1.0 3.6
Shore Excursion 3.0 4.2
Enrichment 4.0 4.3
Service 3.0 4.8
Value For Money 3.5 4.3

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