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American Cruise Lines Constellation to Alaska


kwahl1
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Any help. Move to another forum if you must! Been trying to search for some decent reviews of the Constellation and the Alaska itinerary. I've done ACL on Mississippi River and loved it and fell in love with small ship cruising. So much so, I booked a future cruise, Seattle to Juneau, 15 days in May of 2024. I'm going back and forth on whether I still want to finalize my payment. Been to Alaska 4 times so I know a little about the ports, glaciers and Inside Passage. Being from the Puget Sound area, the first few stops don't excite me. I can't seem to find any reviews of this itinerary. Sure the Constellation review are pretty much spot on if you've been on an American Cruise Line ship. Would appreciate what makes this itinerary unique being its a small ship and is it that much different of an Inside Passage cruise.  To be honest, I'm getting cold feet and thinking of other trips other than this $$$ one.

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5 hours ago, kwahl1 said:

Been to Alaska 4 times so I know a little about the ports, glaciers and Inside Passage. Being from the Puget Sound area, the first few stops don't excite me.

Since the first few stops don’t excite you, any particular reason why you opted for the expensive 16-day Alaska Inside Passage Cruise as opposed to the cheaper 9-day Southeast Alaska Cruise or the 12-day Alaskan Explorer Cruise?  Both begin and end in Juneau.  I took the Alaskan Explorer Cruise in July 2023 on the Constellation.  It too was my 4th time in Alaska, although my first Alaskan cruise.  I spent 3 days in Skagway on my own before the cruise began because when I originally booked the cruise in Sept. 2021, Skagway was included in the itinerary but was subsequently eliminated.  I live on the opposite side of the country from you (NYC), but have been to Seattle, Friday Harbor, etc. many times and like you, I didn’t feel the need to repeat them, which is why I chose the Alaskan Explorer Cruise.  It went to ports that I had not previously visited including Haines, Glacier Bay, Petersburg and Wrangell, all of which I enjoyed very much.  The highlight of the cruise was the Signature shore excursion the Wild Bears of An An from Wrangell, which one has to book the first day ACL opens up reservations for the shore excursions because it sells out almost immediately.

 

I definitely liked the Alaskan Explorer Cruise much better than ACL’s Upper Mississippi River Cruise that I took 3 months later.  The Alaskan itinerary was way more interesting; the towns along the Upper Mississippi were, for the most part, nothing burgers.  My only disappointment with the Alaskan cruise was that I wasn’t impressed with the dining room food (and the meals served in the dining room on the American Serenade on the Upper Mississippi were even worse).  Neither compared with the wonderful meals I had on Pearl Seas’ Great Lakes cruise that I took in June 2022.  I will say though that out of the 2 cruises and 15 land tours that I took in 2023, my cruise experience on ACL’s Explorer Cruise on the Constellation was my favorite trip of the year.

 

The bottom line is that I think you should stick with an ACL cruise of Alaska, but change it to one of the shorter (and cheaper) ones mentioned above that doesn’t begin or end in Seattle.

 

 

 

 

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I can't agree that the stops on the Upper Mississippi are nothing burgers. Although we are former midwesterners, we had never been to any of the stops. Of course St. Louis and Minneapolis are great to visit. Dubuque is one of the most interesting small towns we've ever been to. How can you not like Hannibal?

On the other hand, I found the food in the dining room close to inedible.

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57 minutes ago, Xerxes10 said:

I can't agree that the stops on the Upper Mississippi are nothing burgers. Although we are former midwesterners, we had never been to any of the stops. Of course St. Louis and Minneapolis are great to visit. Dubuque is one of the most interesting small towns we've ever been to. How can you not like Hannibal?

On the other hand, I found the food in the dining room close to inedible.

Different strokes for different folks, but as a big city girl (Manhattan), I found Alton, IL; Fort Madison, IA; and Red Wing, MN the travel equivalent of “make work.”  In other words, fillers.  My cruise didn’t go to St. Louis and Minneapolis, but I’ve been there before and I agree with you that they are great places to visit.  In fact, I spent 3 nights in St. Louis on my own prior to the cruise at the Drury Plaza at the Arch, an excellent location. Yes, I liked Hannibal (see attached image of Mark Twain and I) and the thing that saved Dubuque from nothing burger was the National Mississippi River Aquarium (after all, I am “Globalfish”).  My biggest disappointment about the Upper Mississippi River cruise was that I deliberately booked it for October to see the fall foliage and unfortunately there was no foliage (ironically, a month later I took a land tour to Hokkaido, Japan to see fall foliage and it was over and done with).  Because the Mississippi region had such a hot summer, the foliage was quite delayed this year.  I am a very picky eater so it’s not surprising that I didn’t like the food in the dining room, but many others on the cruise didn’t like it either.  ACL seriously needs to improve it (an understatement).  The Serenade  did not have the fine French chef we had on the Pearl Mist in June 2022.  However, I definitely didn’t starve.  Most nights I would skip the dinner in the dining room and fill up on all the wonderful snacks at the happy hour, especially the shrimp.

 

 

IMG_1723.jpeg

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  • 4 months later...
On 11/30/2023 at 4:40 AM, kwahl1 said:

Any help. Move to another forum if you must! Been trying to search for some decent reviews of the Constellation and the Alaska itinerary. I've done ACL on Mississippi River and loved it and fell in love with small ship cruising. So much so, I booked a future cruise, Seattle to Juneau, 15 days in May of 2024. I'm going back and forth on whether I still want to finalize my payment. Been to Alaska 4 times so I know a little about the ports, glaciers and Inside Passage. Being from the Puget Sound area, the first few stops don't excite me. I can't seem to find any reviews of this itinerary. Sure the Constellation review are pretty much spot on if you've been on an American Cruise Line ship. Would appreciate what makes this itinerary unique being its a small ship and is it that much different of an Inside Passage cruise.  To be honest, I'm getting cold feet and thinking of other trips other than this $$$ one.

We are doing 10 day Juneau to Juneau June 26-july 7 ….excursions booked today 

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