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When I was 10 or 11 (10 years ago) I went on a cruise with my family called American Family Adventure, and from what I can remember I had the time of my life. (I remember the huge crush I had on our waiter) Ohe theme night we had was a superhero night and my waiter was superman! Has anyone ever heard of this cruise line? From what my mom told me a few years ago is that they went out of business. What do they do with cruise ships that go out of business anyway?>

 

 

 

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CARNIVAL DESTINY~

 

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American Family Cruises was a very short-lived venture that existed only for a few months in 1994. It was owned by Costa and was shut down by Costa not long after its introduction after it became apparent that it was a commercial failure.

 

The ship, AMERICAN ADVENTURE, was the former COSTA RIVIERA, built in 1963 as Lloyd Triestino's GUGLIELMO MARCONI. After Costa pulled the plug on American Family, the ship returned to the Costa fleet as COSTA RIVIERA. Costa kept her until 2002 when she was sold for scrap.

 

Interestingly, Costa's CEO at the time was Bruce Nierenberg, the Premier Cruises founder who came up with the Big Red Boat concept to which American Family was quite similar. Their second ship was supposed to be AMERICAN PIONEER, former EUGENIO COSTA (this ship never entered service with American Family; the company was dissolved before then); Nierenberg returned to Premier in 1999 and chartered that ship and rebuilt her to almost the exact same plans as she would have been rebuilt to if American Family had succeeded. Many elements of the American Family concept were implemented on the Big Red Boats when Nierenberg took over Premier in 1999 in a last-ditch attempt to save the company. Premier failed in 2000; THE BIG RED BOAT II (ex EUGENIO COSTA) is laid-up at Freeport, Bahamas, and will probably be scrapped in the near future.

 

As for what is done with old cruise ships - at the end of their lives nearly all of them (there are a few exceptions, e.g. QUEEN MARY) are scrapped. See here for a superb article from The Atlantic Monthly about shipbreaking. Note that the article is hosted on an arcived copy of the Atlantic's site from The Internet Archive. The article is not available on the current version of The Atlantic's site which you can see here. The article is the best I've seen about shipbreaking and details the activities at Alang, India, where COSTA RIVIERA was scrapped.

 

Doug Newman

Cruise Critic Message Boards Host

e-mail: shiploverny AT yahoo DOT com

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Wow!! thanks for the info, I actually just found all the info we received from our cruise, folders with the menu's itenerarys and that stuff. I had so much fun on that cruise and so did my family. that was my only cruise ever and again, I was 10 and I'm going on my second on June 6th with my boyfriend.

 

 

 

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CARNIVAL DESTINY~

 

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We took our kids on American family. It was about 10 or 11 years ago too. It was a lot of fun for families....I remember we slept out under the stars...they offered sleeping bags so you could sleep on deck! I think the kids sailed free. Thats probably why they folded! My kids mad friends with some children by the last name of "Toy" thats not you is it?

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I too went on AFC when I was around 9 or 10. (I'm not 22). I had a blast on that ship and still keep in touch with 2 friends I made on that trip. Good memories!

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We cruised on the American Adventure in 1990 I think. My kids were about 4 & 7. They loved it, as well as us adults because there was lots to do for the kids and we could have some time to ourselves. This was before most ships had the kids programs that they now have. While on the cruise, we spoke to several honeymoon couples and older adults without kids whose travel agents booked them on this cruise that catered to kids. They were not very happy, and had not been told it was mainly a kids cruise. I think that might have contributed to their downfall.

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We cruised on the American Adventure in 1990 I think.

It would have had to have been 1993 or 1994, as AFC operations commenced in December 1993 and ended in September 1994.

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Probably was 1993.

Would have been the end of December then - her first cruise with AFC departed 18 December 1993.

 

AFC lasted for less than a year - so if you remember what time of year your cruise was, then you'll know whether it was 1993 or 1994.

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Guest ettersja

This is too funny that I found this post. My family also cruised on this ship back in May of 94. I have four daughters who were 13,7,6 & 3 at the time and from what I remember they did not sail free but I could be wrong.

 

We remember the dinner theme "Superheros" too because my oldest daughter was in love with superman! We have pictures of all of them together.

 

We were a group of around 18 people that went that year, if I remember correctly, we sailed out of Miami. It was our first cruise and we had a blast but then our next cruise was on Disney and there was no comparison...........

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Guest ettersja

This is too funny that I found this post. My family also cruised on this ship back in May of 94. I have four daughters who were 13,7,6 & 3 at the time and from what I remember they did not sail free but I could be wrong.

 

We remember the dinner theme "Superheros" too because my oldest daughter was in love with superman! We have pictures of all of them together.

 

We were a group of around 18 people that went that year, if I remember correctly, we sailed out of Miami. It was our first cruise and we had a blast but then our next cruise was on Disney and there was no comparison...........

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I remember this cruise line. I never sailed on it but at the time worked the cruise desk for a large members only travel agency. I booked a lot of families on this line until one day, I got a call from a distraught customer. She had just heard that that her upcoming cruise had been cancelled due to this line going out of business. I thought it was a wonderful idea and felt sad that it didn't make it. Maybe someday, someone will try again with better luck.

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We were fortunate enough to sail on AFC before they folded. The decision had been made to cancel service, but there were some sailings that still were made. My boys were 6 and 8 at the time, and couldn't of had a better time.

 

Since everyone knew that that the sailings were stopping, it gave us alot to talk about. The general conclusion was that there wasn't enough onboard income coming in. The casino was small, and some of the lounges had been converted to children's areas. With so many kids on board, there just wasn't enough alcohol drinkers and gamblers on board to help cover expenses.

 

AFC did offer kids cruise free on many of their sailings, and really reduced rates on others.

 

Disney has been able to make the concept work, but their pricing is higher to offset the issues.

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For anyone interested and who has access to the back issues, American Family Adventures was featured in the October 1994 issue of Cruise Travel Magazine. In another ironic twist of fate, that same issue features Windjammer's Fantome on the cover as their ship of the month. I remember reading where the Fantome sank a few years ago during a hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico (for some reason, I remember it being Hurricane Mitch).

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We took our then 6 year old DD on her first cruise on American Family Adventure. We all had a great time. Our dinner mates were veteran cruisers, and thought the service was terrible. We thought it was great being newbies. I guess lots of veterans thought the same thing.

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When I was 10 or 11 (10 years ago) I went on a cruise with my family called American Family Adventure, and from what I can remember I had the time of my life. (I remember the huge crush I had on our waiter) Ohe theme night we had was a superhero night and my waiter was superman! Has anyone ever heard of this cruise line? From what my mom told me a few years ago is that they went out of business. What do they do with cruise ships that go out of business anyway?>

 

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=dc143c&cdt=2004;6;6;22;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500

CARNIVAL DESTINY~

i was a waiter on that cruise , y name is Jorge from Portugal and i make magic

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This was the very first cruise our family went on and even though we haven't been on many cruises, we do love it. We had booked the cruise for when the kids and I got out of school in June of 1995. (I was a teacher and daycare director there) Out of the blue in August, I got a call from our travel agent who said that they were ceasing operations within 3 more cruises and if I still wanted to go I needed to come down and work it out. It couldn't have happened on a busier day. My hubby was on the roof installing a rather large satellite dish and he really wasn't happy to stop to run down to travel agent.

 

Upon our arrival to our agent, she said they were offering us the children free even though in the summer months, Costa/American Family had planned to charge nominally for the children for the time we had originally planned and $500 off the price. It was an offer we just couldn't refuse. The travel agent couldn't seem to make any headway with them when it came to pinpointing one of the dates...so I told her to hang it up and get my refund, BUT I wanted the customer service number so I could call and complain, which is what I did to three representatives. By the time I got to the third one, I just had to have my travel agent call back and deal with the documents.

 

Turned out to be quite a trip, even though I had to take off of school the first week of school...thank God for an understanding principal! The kids loved the roller blading on the deck, the themed nights, the food everywhere and all the families! Turned out pretty nice for us as we won about $200 in the Casino, won $500 at bingo and turned around and upon leaving had our name called for a $100 shipboard credit. We paid roughly 1000 for 5 of us to go. I remember that the airfare was more that the cruise! We had a $1000 shipboard bill, shaved down to $900 with the credit. Kids still talk about it to this day. They had fun with the dolphins, snorkled in the ocean and had fun in the kids rooms. It was a shame to see it go, because it was really great. Never been on Disney, but if it's like the other things they do, well to me they just don't hold up to Walt's ideas. It's way too money driven.:eek:

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Kids loved it. We loved it. I also heard it failed because people would not pull there kids out of school so the school year tips were pretty empty.

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I was around 14-15 and my brother and I met some great friends and we did everything together. Went to the teen club, ate, slept outside, listened to Nirvana playing cards..etc. The picture was with the 6 of us, I believe it was when we got off in Key West. I stayed in touch with one of the girls through letters for about a year, then we lost touch. That cruise was the best, we had so much fun!!

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We sailed on the American Adventure when our daughter was around 9 years old. I'm pretty sure kids sailed free and she had a great time.

For DH and myself, not so much.

The service in the dining room was not very good which we chalked up to it being a new line so we didn't let it bother us too much or complain since it was obvious they were really trying.

But then it all seemed to go wrong. A waiter spilled a pitcher of iced tea down my back at the table. My dress came back ruined from the laundry with bleach stains all over it.

DH's ring that I had made for him with the diamond from my original engagement ring was stolen from our bathroom cabinet.

On the last day in Key West as I entered through the doorway on the promenade deck there was a jagged piece of metal sticking up from the threshold that split my foot wide open.

After having my foot stitched and having to hobble up to customer service I spoke to one of the managers, Mr Sylvestri.

He offered absolutely nothing in the way of compensation and told me to write to their PR department when we returned home, which I did .

They sent me a check for the ruined dress and that was it.

We weren't surprised when a few months later they ceased operations

I still have an American Adventure souvenir glass I'll be listing on ebay if anyone's interested. :D

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Hi i also worked on this ship originally as a cocktail waitress then bar yeoman. This ship was in dry dock in Italy having a refurb when a group of about 8 of us arrived from the UK. Everyone worked hard to get the ship ready but there was lots of plumbing issues on the first few trips! I remember Jorge the portuguese waiter!! Anyone who remembers me plse get in touch. Maria from UK 🙂 x

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On 6/5/2019 at 2:03 PM, Mazza321 said:

Hi i also worked on this ship originally as a cocktail waitress then bar yeoman. This ship was in dry dock in Italy having a refurb when a group of about 8 of us arrived from the UK. Everyone worked hard to get the ship ready but there was lots of plumbing issues on the first few trips! I remember Jorge the portuguese waiter!! Anyone who remembers me plse get in touch. Maria from UK 🙂 x

Hi Maria its me George from Portugal, i was a water in the American Adventur,  i have been looking for you, i live in Portugal, this is my contact +351 965562802 

 

 

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Edited by Mafia1967

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