We have traveled extensively on European river boats, so we decided to try ACL's Columbia and Snake Rivers cruise. We opted for the pre-cruise Hell's Canyon Jet Boat tour, which was a fun-filled experience. ACL's pre-cruise hotel is the Quality Inn in Clarkston, Wa. and it was an excellent choice because of its location on the river. Also, the meals were good, the rooms comfortable, and staff friendly and efficient. We were able to board the jet boat and the ship from the dock at the Quality Inn, making it very convenient and easy. The cabins (We were in #317.) were as spacious as a hotel room--quite different from those in Europe. The public rooms were comfortable and multipurpose for lectures and entertainment. An exercise room is available. Cocktails and appetizers were served nightly from 5:30p to 630pm when dinner was served. During entertainment, nightly at 8:30pm, cocktails were served as well a ice cream sundae, root beer floats and popcorn. Dining was held at one time for lunch and dinner and seating was at tables for four, six or eight. Menu selections included a meat, fish, fowl, and vegetarian option and included appetizer, main course, and dessert. The bread was fantastic every meal. An expert provided daily lectures on Lewis and Clark that greatly enhanced the experience. At night, the musical programs were presented by gifted artists, providing a very enjoyable hour. We were surprised by the age of the staff. All of them were young, enthusiastic, and efficient. Their goal was to make our journey the best--and they did that. Shore excursions were well-managed and bus transportation was available at every port. One of the buses was equipped with a chair lift making excursions accessible to all on board. There's actually not that much to see along the rivers, but ACL made all of it accessible, including Mt. St. Helen's. The average age of travelers on ACL is 75 and their cruises are geared to that age group. Therefore, the pace is slower than younger cruisers would enjoy. That's why, although we enjoyed the cruise and were impressed with most aspects of ACL, we probably will wait several years before we do another one. If you're a cruiser who wants a leisurely journey with a quality company, then, ACL is for you.
Spacious. Good location at mid-ship. I would recommend third deck and close to mid-ship for less noise. No bathtub.