Who goes on American Cruise Lines cruise ships?
As with most river and coastal cruisers, most passengers are mature, mostly retired and aged 60+. The majority call North America home, although the company is starting to see more cruisers from the U.K. and other European countries; the demographic is widening as the line launches its more modern riverboats. The line has a variety of small ships with large cabins and suites, most with private balconies, as well a choice in single cabins without a fare supplement for solo cruisers. All ships have wheelchair-accessible accommodations and elevators to all passenger decks. Many passengers sail with ACL to explore areas of the U.S. -- the line has several unique itineraries on different American rivers and coastal areas -- and to celebrate landmark birthdays and anniversaries.
Do I have to dress up on a American Cruise Lines cruise?
No. The dress code onboard an American Cruise Lines sailing is casual resort wear, although most passengers do spruce up a bit extra for cocktails hour and dinner, with some men showing up in a sports coat or sweater with slacks, and women in a little dressier outfit than in daytime.
Is everything free on American Cruise Lines cruises?
Almost. ACL's river cruises on the Mississippi and Columbia & Snake rivers include a one-night complimentary pre-cruise hotel package, which includes luggage concierge, transportation between the hotel, ship, and airport; some also include city tours. Many of the coastal cruises also include the package. Passengers can purchase two-night premium pre- and post-cruise packages for an extra fee.
All onboard entertainment, programs, and lectures are complimentary on all cruises. American offers one or more included shore excursions at each port along nearly every itinerary across the U.S. (there are additional shore excursion options, which do require additional small fees).
American includes all meals/fine dining, complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres each evening onboard, as well as complimentary wine and beer with both lunch and dinner. Also included are complimentary soft drinks, juices, waters etc. and snacks at all times. On their newest river and coastal ships, American offers complimentary casual café dining. American offers complimentary breakfast room service and complimentary treats and fresh baked items at different times of day. The line also offers ice cream sundae bars after diner, served along with the evening's entertainment in the main lounges.
American provides complimentary shore side transportation to all shore activities. On its Mississippi River cruises, American offers new luxury American Cruise Coaches, which follow the ships up and down the river, providing hop-on/hop-off private service.
What are American Cruise Lines’s most popular activities?
The destinations visited during each sailing are central to the American Cruise Lines cruise experience, so the shore excursions are the main activity of choice. Onboard enrichment lectures from experts -- authors, historians, scientists and local cultural speakers -- draw a crowd. The line also has onboard activities, ranging from art classes, with an artist-in-residence to technology training.
In the evening, American hosts entertainment in the main lounges, with a variety of acts varying from musical trios, comedy shows, and cultural demonstrations like dance performances and more. Occasionally the line has movie nights, games and other various onboard fun led by the staff. All American's evening entertainment programs can also be viewed from the guest staterooms on the ships' TV channel.
On the line's theme cruises -- blues, jazz and country music, Mark Twain, Civil War, Lewis & Clark, etc. -- special experts, such as Jefferson Davis' great great-grandson, Bertram Hayes-Davis, give talks or perform. Depending on the region each ship is sailing, there may be local culinary experiences like a lobster bake in New England, or an authentic Cajun cooking demonstration. During holiday cruises, they add many festive holiday-themed entertainment and activities from gift exchanges to gingerbread house making.
Most of the time, when the ship is sailing between ports, passengers read, chat and play games in the large interior lounges and multiple shaded or sunny outdoor sundecks. Guests also relax in large staterooms, most with private furnished balconies.
Wifi is complimentary throughout the ship, but guests also use the internet stations, and take advantage of the binoculars and regional guides in the ships’ library and chart rooms. Guests can also enjoy a tour of the pilot house with the Captain while on board.
Best for: Mature, sophisticated travelers and adult children traveling with their older parents
Not for: Families with small children, or anyone looking for fast-paced cruising