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This thread seems to have become the home for all things about American Cruise Lines, so I changed the title to reflect that. Thanks to you all for working out a solution! And also thanks for bringing this cruise line to my attention -- quite a number of interesting itineraries.

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This thread seems to have become the home for all things about American Cruise Lines, so I changed the title to reflect that. Thanks to you all for working out a solution! And also thanks for bringing this cruise line to my attention -- quite a number of interesting itineraries.

 

Thanks to you! Some of us long time cruisers have found a new and exciting way to travel without all the hassle and crowds.

 

Granted it is not cheap; but one cruise and we have been on our last 2000+ passenger ship.

 

Mike:)

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We are giving very serious consideration to trying a USA river cruise but hadn't found much about the two major providers. The Columbia River cruise interests us as we have family in the Portland area.

Although we are elite with Princess and have cruised on several other lines many times we are looking to get away from the BIG ship experience...bigger isn't always better we are finding.

Look forward to following this thread.

Dian

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We also are seasoned ocean cruisers looking for new adventures. We saw the two page spread in the Smithsonian magazine about the new ship America about to come into service and are now intrigued. Thank each of you for your comments and insights. I asked our TA to start looking at the NO to Minneapolis itinerary for 2017.

Edited by provencedelsol

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Ports and Shore Excursions :

 

Our itinerary:

April 23rd - We departed Charleston, SC approximately 5:00 p.m., a little bit later than scheduled due to the tides. There was a shuttle offered to and from the historic district twice during the day, so you could take advantage of sightseeing on your own after embarkation if you wished.

 

April 24th – Beaufort, SC – We docked in Beaufort in the early morning hours – someone told me we docked at 1:00 a.m. - I was tucked into bed - and we were in port until 5:30 a.m. on April 25th. Plenty of time to see Beaufort independently or with a shore excursion. This is the south and as it was a Sunday, none of the shops, restaurants, etc. are open until 11:00 a.m.

 

A note about the shore excursions – you can view the descriptions on the American Cruise Lines website.

 

Low Country Heritage Tour – Tour St. Helena Island and discover the rich African American culture with a guide well-versed in the island’s history. This was one of my favorite excursions. Only 19 passengers signed up for this excursion. Our tour guide was Eveline (in period costume) – probably the best local guide we had for a shore excursion on this cruise. She is a local historian and had an abundance of information. We visited a slave cemetery, the grounds of a small plantation house (the house is privately owned), a Praise House and the Chapel of Ease, the remains of a church built in 1740 that was destroyed by fire in 1886. Eveline also came aboard the evening we were docked in Beaufort and was the entertainment that evening with more history & songs. I recommend this shore excursion.

 

Beaufort Carriage Tour – Discover beautiful Beaufort on a horse-drawn carriage. This is a one hour overview of Beaufort by carriage with a guide. There was a variety of times in the afternoon to sign up for this. Easy to also independently explore historical Beaufort by walking from the ship.

 

April 25th – Hilton Head, SC – We arrived around 8:30 a.m. and a tender was necessary. It is a very short ride to the dock. Two shore excursions were offered, an eco-boat ride to see alligators and one to see dolphins. I did not go on either excursion, but heard from those that did, that they enjoyed them. We were docked at the Sea Pines Resort on the island and there are many nice shops and restaurants. We spent our time browsing in the shops and had lunch on shore at The Quarterdeck, which is at the dock, and sat outside overlooking the water. We took the last tender back to the ship and it departed at 2:30 p.m.

 

April 25th/26th – Savannah, GA – We docked in Savannah around 5:30 p.m., right on River St. where there are many bars, restaurants and shops. Lots to do in this city!

 

Trolley Tour of Savannah – Join a narrated trolley tour of this exquisite city known as the “hostess city of the South”. This is a 3 hour tour of Savannah by trolley with one stop at the Massie Heritage Center. The location operated as a public school for the poor. Almost everyone was on this tour and after the private tour, you were provided a pass to use the hop-on, hop-off trolleys in the city for the rest of the day. I recommend this tour.

 

Other tours that were offered:

Guided Walking Tour of Savannah and Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum. I did not participate in either tour.

 

We departed Savannah at 10:30 p.m.

 

April 27th/28th– Sapelo Island, GA - A 5 minute tender ride to the dock.

 

Sapelo Island Narrated Tour – You board an old school bus (no facilities and no AC, but was pleasant with the windows down) to tour the island. The two guides were both life-long residents of the island. There is a stop mid-way through the tour for steamed oysters (yummy) where there are also restrooms. Very rich African-American history here. You also visit the R. J. Reynolds Mansion. I really enjoyed this tour and recommend it.

 

Jekyll Island/St. Simons Island – We docked in Brunswick, GA. Brunswick is a small town that you can easily explore by walking. It was our jumping off point for these islands and if you want to explore them, you need to take a shore excursion.

 

Jekyll Island Tour – This is a tram ride for approximately one hour to see the Jekyll Island Club and ‘cottages’ by tram. I was seated on the left side of the tram and was unable to get any good photos. Sit on the right side if you are going to take photos. Another good tour and I recommend it.

 

St. Simons Island Tour – You have a choice of touring the island or just opting for transportation only. I took the tour, the guide was humorous, but not as many interesting places to see here as on other excursions. I debated between this and the shrimp boat excursion (they were offered at the same time) and after this tour, wished I had participated in the shrimp boat excursion. You decide.

 

Lady Jane Shrimp Boat Tour – Participate in an unique shrimp trawling excursion – I talked to several people who went on this tour and they all had positive comments on their experience.

 

April 29th – Jacksonville – As I mentioned earlier in this review, we couldn’t dock at Amelia Island due to a shrimp festival that weekend, so we proceeded to Jacksonville. I’ve been to Jacksonville, it’s a large city and not that interesting. Not much was planned for us there and we arrived around noon. There were activities on the ship and later in the afternoon a walking tour (free) was announced. I did not go on this and stayed on the ship.

 

April 30th – Disembarkation – Luggage was to be outside the staterooms by midnight. We were picking up a rental car at the Jax airport, so we opted for the provided bus to the airport which was very easy.

 

It was a lovely cruise and I do recommend it. I booked another one for 2017, Upper Mississippi, aboard the new America, taking advantage of an onboard booking discount (15% off and waiver of port charges).

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We are giving very serious consideration to trying a USA river cruise but hadn't found much about the two major providers. The Columbia River cruise interests us as we have family in the Portland area.

Although we are elite with Princess and have cruised on several other lines many times we are looking to get away from the BIG ship experience...bigger isn't always better we are finding.

Look forward to following this thread.

Dian

 

I was on the Columbia & Snake River Cruise in October 2015. I recently returned from the Historic South & Golden Isles cruise and they announced that all shore excursions going forward would be complementary/included on the Columbia River cruise.

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I was on the Columbia & Snake River Cruise in October 2015. I recently returned from the Historic South & Golden Isles cruise and they announced that all shore excursions going forward would be complementary/included on the Columbia River cruise.

 

SteelMagnolia---is it American Cruise Lines that is now including shore excursions moving forward? If so, that might explain why their Columbia river cruise is more expensive than American Queen.

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SteelMagnolia---is it American Cruise Lines that is now including shore excursions moving forward? If so, that might explain why their Columbia river cruise is more expensive than American Queen.

 

Yes, it is American Cruise Lines. The cruise director stated this at future cruise presentation on my recent cruise in April. It was only for Columbia River cruises, not any others.

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Yes, it is American Cruise Lines. The cruise director stated this at future cruise presentation on my recent cruise in April. It was only for Columbia River cruises, not any others.

 

Also after one's third cruise on ACL all shore excursions are complimentary.

 

They have a great product.

 

Thanks for your report SteelMagnolia.

 

Mike:)

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I just wanted to post an update that I have asked Community if there's a way to create an American Cruise Lines section here in the forums. Since the line does coastal and river cruises, it seems like it should live somewhere other tahn here. Will keep you posted.

 

Also noting that I will be boarding America on Saturday to attend the christening. The route goes from New Orleans up to Vicksburg, and back. If there's anything in particular you'd like to know about the ship, let me know here. I will be writing a full ship review.

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Thanks Chris for your efforts on the topic.

 

I am envious that you get to check out the new ship.

 

Have a great cruise!

 

Mike:)

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Thank you all for your honest opinions. We're been receiving their promotional flyers for the past year or so and were very hesitate about booking a river cruise in the U.S. I think I now have enough information to make a definite decision about whether or not this kind of cruise is right for us. This is what I love about Cruise Critic - honest opinions and evaluations!!!

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I just wanted to post an update that I have asked Community if there's a way to create an American Cruise Lines section here in the forums. Since the line does coastal and river cruises, it seems like it should live somewhere other tahn here. Will keep you posted.

 

Also noting that I will be boarding America on Saturday to attend the christening. The route goes from New Orleans up to Vicksburg, and back. If there's anything in particular you'd like to know about the ship, let me know here. I will be writing a full ship review.

 

Thanks, Chris! That´ll be great! Maybe you can also delete the subforum for Majestic America Line (which is defunct since the end of 2008).

 

Enjoy the America!!

 

steamboats

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...If there's anything in particular you'd like to know about the ship, let me know here. I will be writing a full ship review.
we have booked the 22 day NO to St. Paul for Aug 2107 and would like any info on quarters on deck 4. Cabin 401 specifically. For example, stability or lack of same given the location. Also what are laundry options. There must be some for three weeks. Thanks for the scouting!

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Susan,

 

Stability is no problem on a river. With a 6 mph speed and almost no waves you won´t feel any movement at all.

 

steamboats

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A note on Majestic: As a rule, we usually do not outright delete content on our site, as people still search for it, sometimes for historical or research reasons. So don't expect that to go away anytime soon.

 

In terms of old features, ship reviews and such, we either put editors notes on them, rewrite them or redirect to a new story.

 

Just an FYI. There's almost always a reason, even when things don't seem to make sense. :)

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Susan,

 

Stability is no problem on a river. With a 6 mph speed and almost no waves you won´t feel any movement at all.

 

steamboats

 

Good to know. However I got so seasick on a river cruiser tied up in Regensburg Germany that I actually passed out. Tied up but engines going for power and the tremble sent me down. So ....

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A note on Majestic: As a rule, we usually do not outright delete content on our site, as people still search for it, sometimes for historical or research reasons. So don't expect that to go away anytime soon.

 

In terms of old features, ship reviews and such, we either put editors notes on them, rewrite them or redirect to a new story.

 

Just an FYI. There's almost always a reason, even when things don't seem to make sense. :)

 

Thanks, Chris,

 

Anyway the company is defunct for almost 8 years now. The forum is now mainly used by spammers. For research close the threads/forum so nobody can post anymore.

 

The former boats are either scrapped (Mississippi Queen) or operated by other companies (American Queen Steamboat Company / American Queen and Empress of the North, American Cruise Lines / Queen of the West, French America Line / Columbia Queen, new Delta Queen Steamboat Company /Delta Queen - leaving out the fate of the coastal boats like the Cape May Light last known as Saint Laurent).

 

steamboats

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Also noting that I will be boarding America on Saturday to attend the christening. I will be writing a full ship review.

 

Please post a link to your review when it is complete. Thank you!

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Thanks, Chris!

 

Say hi to Bill and Laura (from Germany)!

 

As for the bar service as far as I know they do need an alcohol license if they want to sell anything. This seems to be difficult to obtain as you need one for each state the ship is travelling. No license needed when you have the drinks included.

 

But unless like on ocean going vessels you won´t have a problem bringing your own booze onboard.

 

steamboats

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I was encouraged to bring my alcohol onboard and told that if you would call a few weeks pre cruise they would stock your favorite brand to be served at the pre-dinner cocktail party.

 

Mike:)

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Mike - yes, the line does stock the cocktail party bar with the liquor of your choice. And yes, you can bring on, and the hotel director told me today that if you ask for a drink after dinner, they will make you one. We've seen people take bottles of wine with them after dinner.

 

The lack of an organized bar, though, means the ship is very quiet after 9:30 pm. No one is up and around. My dad is a night owl and keeps prowling the ship, looking for something to do. And he's 75! So it's much more quiet than the river cruises in Europe I've been on.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Forums

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