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

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Hi,

 

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

 

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

 

Thanks,

Keith

Edited by three4rd

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Hi,

 

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

 

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

 

Thanks,

Keith

 

Hi Keith,

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

NRayH

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

NRayH

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

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

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

 

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

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

NRayH

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

Thanks for any additional suggestions about this company!

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

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

 

Good Afternoon,

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

NRayH

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

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

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

 

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

NRayH

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

NRayH

 

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

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

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

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

 

Thank You :cool:

NRayH

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Thank You :cool:

NRayH

 

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

 

Oops-sorry for 2nd thank you post.

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shipshapetoo: Thank you for the detailed info on hotel options and embarkation locations! This was exactly what I was looking for.

 

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

 

So glad to help.

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You're welcome too DaveinCharlotte. Glad to share what I learned from my experiences -

So glad to help.

 

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

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...

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

 

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

 

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

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