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

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American Cruise Lines doesn't do European cruises, hence the name.

 

They only do North America at this point.

 

Mike:)

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Cruising the Constellation in October

 

Received my docs and went on the website to look at the excursions offered. To my surprise, the website itinerary and the one sent to me are completely different! When I called, ACL said what I received from my TA was correct and the website was wrong.

If they can't post the correct itinerary on the internet from where you book the cruise, what else are they doing wrong? By the way all those "included" excursions number 6 on an 11 day cruise and two of them are in the same port.

This is our first small ship cruise after 80 or more ocean cruises; we paid as much daily as we do on a luxury line and are hoping our experience will be memorable in a good way.

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Just a word of caution. The itinerary that is posted online is not the itinerary the ship uses. The website shows Provincetown as the first stop when it is actually Bar Harbor. Second stop is Camden instead of Newport. When I called, they had no explanation and were surprised the website was incorrect. The included tours are 6 for 11 days and two are in one port.

Cruise in October but a bit worried now.

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We are taking this cruise in mid September 2018, and have received our docs as well. When I checked them, sure enough, very different than what's been on the web and continues to be on the web. Thanks for the heads-up - I hadn't even noticed the changed itinerary. I did notice a while back that their map did not quite fit the prose, but now it's totally out of whack.

It's not just the first two stops that are different; they have reshuffled the entire cruise. However, it's just a re-arrangement of what's on the web -- no port has been dropped or added.

But this might mean we can't fully trust the detailed listing of excursions. (Maybe we'll get surprised, and find they've been able to add a couple of free tours...yeah, sure!) On our other two ACL cruises (Rivers of Florida and Grand Mississippi) we did have free tours every day, not counting the first and last days. Disappointing that this cruise does not, but we knew that going in - their web site has always shown that several stops have no free tours. On our other cruises, there was no mismatch between the web description and the actual cruise; sad that this one is so messed up.

By the way, not that it matters, but this cruise is on the Constitution, not the Constellation (I think they are nearly identical ships). When this thread started in 2017, it was the Constellation, but in early 2018 it was moved out west and replaced with the Constitution in New England.

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We are leaving in 3 days and just received another itinerary. This could be a problem if anyone made onshore reservations as we are talking a totally new shifting of ports. With Florence heading to New England, I just hope the crew is more organized then their website in making changes in ports if needed. Not much confidence in them right now with all the confusing info.

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Can anyone give info on the true itinerary order and time in port?

 

We too have received the updated itinerary that jdymiller just posted about. It now shows the order as: Boston, Portland, Bar Harbor, Camden, Rockland, Boothbay Harbor, Gloucester, Newport, Martha's Vineyard, Provincetown, Boston. Ship arrival time on final day is now 6:00am, not the prior evening -- this means little margin of error for our 11:00am flight home.

The itinerary, the web, and the catalog all emphasize that the itinerary is subject to change due to...with a half dozen reasons given. So I'm not sure there really ever is a "true itinerary" order, and I can see why it's hard for the web folks to keep up. Just a few threads earlier than this one, WoodyWindy posted about ship twice getting diverted to Bucksport earlier this summer.

Some of this uncertainty may be due to the looming Florence situation. Even if the main impact is in the Carolinas, I'll bet there will likely be unpleasant shore effects in New England. Heavy rain is forecast for Boston on Monday, probably the after-effect of Gordon.

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The Independence was here this weekend, and left this morning. I hope everyone on the ship had a great visit!

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In July of 2018 I took the Grand New England Cruise, RT from Boston, and it was just great! Expensive, YES, but understandably so since ACL is US--flagged and US-crewed, requiring much higher crew wages than on other non-US cruise lines.

 

Booking at the last minute, I was not able to take advantage of ACL's included pre-cruise hotel, but - after some research, I found The Constitution Inn (http://www.constitutioninn.org), part of the old Navy Yards, very near Pier 8 where I would board the new American Constitution , sister ship of the American Constellation. I stayed at this hotel for two nights for $498 ($298 per night) and WALKED the short distance from the Inn to the nearby Pier 8 and the American Constitution; a member of the ship's crew met me at the end of the pier and took care of my luggage.

 

My single room #203 - the very last one available - was quite large with a large window - no balcony, but with a large bath, comfortable chair and a Keurig coffee maker. I was quite pleased.

 

The itinerary was excellent, stopping in Portland, Bar Harbor, Rockland, and Camden, Maine, as well as Newport, Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard and Provincetown, Massachusetts. The authentic Lobster Bake in Rockland was outstanding, complete with the traditional fire pit and sea weed covering the lobster and clams. It was the highlight of the entire cruise!

 

I found the crew to be young, energetic, enthusiastic and committed to service. My favorite waiter even searched for and found a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc onboard, much to my pleasure. The wine flowed freely onboard; if the wine - red or white - placed on the dining tables, was not to one's fancy, another replacement would be offered. The Happy Hours were WELL attended and no one left thirsty!

 

Being so very impressed with American Cruise Lines, I booked my recent Lower Mississippi River Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans while onboard,, taking advantage of the very generous 15% discount + forgiveness of port charges and fees. On this last cruise I got a superb Single with Balcony Stateroom.

 

So, YES; I am a satisfied customer of American Cruise Lines and will enjoy the Northwestern Pioneers Cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers this coming October 2019, on their new American Song Riverboat, from Portland, Oregon to Clarkston, Washington.

 

~Ron Miller

 

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13 hours ago, CdMAgFox said:

In July of 2018 I took the Grand New England Cruise, RT from Boston, and it was just great! Expensive, YES, but understandably so since ACL is US--flagged and US-crewed, requiring much higher crew wages than on other non-US cruise lines.

 

Booking at the last minute, I was not able to take advantage of ACL's included pre-cruise hotel, but - after some research, I found The Constitution Inn (http://www.constitutioninn.org), part of the old Navy Yards, very near Pier 8 where I would board the new American Constitution , sister ship of the American Constellation. I stayed at this hotel for two nights for $498 ($298 per night) and WALKED the short distance from the Inn to the nearby Pier 8 and the American Constitution; a member of the ship's crew met me at the end of the pier and took care of my luggage.

 

My single room #203 - the very last one available - was quite large with a large window - no balcony, but with a large bath, comfortable chair and a Keurig coffee maker. I was quite pleased.

 

The itinerary was excellent, stopping in Portland, Bar Harbor, Rockland, and Camden, Maine, as well as Newport, Rhode Island and Martha's Vineyard and Provincetown, Massachusetts. The authentic Lobster Bake in Rockland was outstanding, complete with the traditional fire pit and sea weed covering the lobster and clams. It was the highlight of the entire cruise!

 

I found the crew to be young, energetic, enthusiastic and committed to service. My favorite waiter even searched for and found a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc onboard, much to my pleasure. The wine flowed freely onboard; if the wine - red or white - placed on the dining tables, was not to one's fancy, another replacement would be offered. The Happy Hours were WELL attended and no one left thirsty!

 

Being so very impressed with American Cruise Lines, I booked my recent Lower Mississippi River Cruise from Memphis to New Orleans while onboard,, taking advantage of the very generous 15% discount + forgiveness of port charges and fees. On this last cruise I got a superb Single with Balcony Stateroom.

 

So, YES; I am a satisfied customer of American Cruise Lines and will enjoy the Northwestern Pioneers Cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers this coming October 2019, on their new American Song Riverboat, from Portland, Oregon to Clarkston, Washington.

 

~Ron Miller

 

 

Hi Ron,  

 

Thank you for your review.  We have been looking at this same itinerary, even though we live only about 40 miles from Boston, and have been to a number of the ports of this itinerary..

We do enjoy the overall experience of ACL cruises (we have completed five now, with another booked).

 

I see that you will be on ACL's Song for the Columbia River cruise in October.  We are booked on the 11 October  sailing.  Is that the same one that you are scheduled for?  If so, we look forward to meeting you.  We are booked into Cabin 322.  Perhaps we can meet for a drink, or two/three?

 

NRayH

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Hello, fellow ACL cruiser!

Thanks for your comments in regard to my posting. Yes, I am booked on the October 11th Northwestern Pioneers Cruise from Portland to Clarkston, aboard the new riverboat, the Song. I am in Single Stateroom 409 and will look forward to joining you in the Sky Lounge for Happy Hour! I will be arriving in Portland on the 9th, staying TWO nights at the Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach, where the departure dock for the Song is located. Perhaps I will see you there!

Ron Miller

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5 hours ago, CdMAgFox said:

Hello, fellow ACL cruiser!

Thanks for your comments in regard to my posting. Yes, I am booked on the October 11th Northwestern Pioneers Cruise from Portland to Clarkston, aboard the new riverboat, the Song. I am in Single Stateroom 409 and will look forward to joining you in the Sky Lounge for Happy Hour! I will be arriving in Portland on the 9th, staying TWO nights at the Red Lion Hotel on the River - Jantzen Beach, where the departure dock for the Song is located. Perhaps I will see you there!

Ron Miller

 

Hi Ron,

 

We will also be staying at the Red Lion Hotel on the River, but only one night prior to the cruise.  We originally looked at booking on Deck 4 (actually they scheduled us for 4100, but I chose not to be next door to the "Fitness Room".  So we opted to move to Deck 3 where there should be less chance of disturbance, and less foot traffic with the two lounges at either end of Deck 4.  Fortunately, there are more options if not looking for a single category stateroom.

I am sure we will be seeing each other about the ship and/or on excursions, if not at the hotel pre-cruise.

 

NRayH

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Hello Ray!

Well, we won’t be next door neighbors, as we would have been with you in 410, but the ship is small enough that any room is not very far from any another! I hadn’t even considered the proximity of the Fitness Center, being just across the hall from 409, but was so thrilled to get such a good Single Balcony Stateroom which, as you mentioned, are few and far between and usually are all booked quite early on; I booked this cruise last July, almost a year and a half before its cruise date. The one thing that first attracted me to American Cruise Lines was their offering of single staterooms, rare so far in the cruise industry. They are still quite expensive but nothing like TWICE the double occupancy rate! With over 50 cruises to my credit, mostly ocean cruises with Princess and Holland America, and with the passing of my good friend and travel companion three years ago, I now travel alone which has its limitations. So far I am quite pleased with ACL.

Ron Miller

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Just returned from Grand Puget Sound cruise on the Constellation, twin ship to Constitution.  For some reason (perhaps due to the flooded balcony problem on our Grand New England cruise -- posted elsewhere here) we were upgraded from 232 to 510.  This room is adjacent to the Fitness Center and the passenger laundry room.  Happy to report that we heard absolutely nothing from either source!  What we did notice, though, was the occasional strong odor of fabric softener, from the laundry exhaust on the side of our balcony.  This cruise was, like all our other ACL cruises, excellent. 

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Hello, Dave!

Glad to hear that your Grand Puget Sound Cruise went well, especially with your upgraded stateroom to 510. My review of my Grand New England Cruise last July 2018 aboard the Constitution appears above. On my upcoming Northwestern Pioneers Cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, aboard the new American Song, I succeeded in securing a choice Single Balcony Stateroom 409 which is just across from the Fitness Center on Deck 4; the Song has only 4 Decks. Booking aboard certainly saves a lot with their 15% discount plus forgiveness of port charges and fees. I am also interested in the Grand Puget Sound Cruise and will possibly book during my October 2019 Columbia River Cruise. I too have been nothing but happy with American Cruise Lines, in spite of their substantial prices. With their free-flowing alcohol policy, their price is understandable. 

Ron Miller

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We just started looking at this as a possibility for my post-retirement cruise! I'm happy to see a recent review.  

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