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American Star New England Islands, July 13-20, 2019

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American Cruise Lines Star from July 13 to 20, 2019
July 13: Ship did not convene an all passenger safety briefing and demo of life vest donning.  We found a safety briefing on Channel 12 but this was not mentioned in the  “Welcome Aboard” briefing.  However, the mandatory safety briefing was annotated on the daily schedule, but the video did not indicate where life vest could be found (under bed) nor did it demonstrate the correct way to don the vests. (Possible violation of Coast Guard regulations?) Only topics covered by "Welcome Aboard" were brief introduction of department heads, shore excursion decisions that needed to be made, and a lecture to be presented at 4 PM that day to introduce ports on itinerary.  However, the planned lecture was canceled because the ship did not have the necessary cable to connect their computer to their projector to support the lecturer’s PowerPoint slide show.  At lunch, the server returned to tell wife that the brand of beer she ordered not available since it was not cold.  The server returned to say that her second choice also was not available because it was not cold.  When the third choice was delivered, so was the first choice, nicely cooled!  Slow service in aft dining room for dinner; difficult to carry on a conversation because the ship was underway and noise from engine room below the dining room was too loud.  
July 14: Stateroom not furnished with bath towels and bathroom night light was inoperable.  Verbally reported both to service staff and were furnished bath towels, but no replacement night light. July 13 lecture was rescheduled at same time as shore excursion so we were unable to attend. Learned later that lecture presenter had to rely upon a passenger to advance his PowerPoint slides because the ship computer had only one operable USB port, which had to be used to connect to the projector. Dining service for breakfast, lunch and dinner was slow but conversation possible since ship was not underway.  We did not have to check out or in when leaving the ship, a practice followed by every other cruise we have taken, whether a larger or smaller ship than the Star!  Excellent program by Kerri Burrer and commercial fisherman on the working waterfront of New Bedford
July 15: Stateroom serviced but plastic disposable cups were removed but not replenished.  Wash cloths removed but not replaced. Obtained both from service staff during the afternoon.  Verbally reported inoperable night light again, but no replacement. Slow service in aft dining room; difficult to carry on conversation because ship was underway and noise from engine room below dining room too loud. Excellent evening entertainment by violinist Rebecca Laird and keyboardist Griffin McMahon with a good mix of pop and classical music.
July 16: Once again stateroom serviced but plastic disposable cups removed and not replenished. Reported night light again, but this time with a note on the bed before dinner. Dining service for breakfast, lunch and dinner slow but conversation possible since ship not underway. Good evening program by Mark Lovewell on sea shanties and stories with passenger participation.
July 17: Dining service for breakfast, lunch and dinner slow.  Conversation difficult for breakfast since ship was underway.  Submitted mid-week evaluation for ship with the above concerns noted.  A new night light was in bathroom after dinner.  Chose not to attend evening entertainment of Bingo.
July 18:  Dining room service noticeably improved with replacement of dining room manager this morning.  Told by activities director during breakfast that we would not be making scheduled port docking in Newport due to high winds.  We were to dock in Fall River, MA and we would be transported to Newport for the scheduled shore excursion.  Ship captain came over PA later to announce the port docking in Newport cancelled due to regatta in Newport.  (Surely our docking reservation was made in advance of this regatta and the regatta was not planned overnight.  Unclear why activities director was misinformed.)  Transportation to Newport was an uncomfortable tourist trolley ride 55 minutes one way to Newport and 55 minutes back, absorbing most of the planned 3 hour shore excursion.  Excellent evening of live local music by Don Pride Duo.
July 19:  For morning lecture, to preclude having lecturer once again use a passenger to advance slides, husband furnished his computer with working USB ports that allowed lecturer to use remote slide control.  Outstanding Lobsterbake Luncheon. Good evening entertainment by Blurred Vision Band.  
July 20: Ship handled baggage well for disembarkation and taxi was available 15 minutes earlier than requested.
General: Ship not cleaned well, with boxes frequently cluttering first deck passageway to dining room and no sign that emerging rust was being addressed.


We have done many cruises on rivers in the US and Europe and Mediterranean.  I certify that this review is my genuine opinion of this cruise and all tour operators/guides/businesses in ports of call. I have no personal or business affiliation with any establishment, and have not been offered any incentive or payment originating from any of these businesses to write this review”.

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