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Cruise Ship Information
The 100-passenger American Star made its debut in summer 2007. The ship is quite similar to its fleet mate  sister ship (American Spirit) (see full review) which began operation in 2005, though it includes a few more modern touches like flat-screen satellite TV and DVD payers in all cabins. American Star sails a variety of six-, seven- and 14-night itineraries to regions along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. Star sails the U.S. South & Atlantic Islands from Charleston and Jacksonville, FL (winter, spring); the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore (summer, fall); the New England Islands from Providence, RI (summer); and the Hudson River from New York (fall)
 
From charming small towns to gracious southern ports, the American Star will bring guests to places of historic interest and magnificent beauty. Onboard, each guest will be able to unwind in the friendly and accommodating atmosphere created by our staff is a small cruise ship owned and operated by American Cruise Lines (ACL). She was built in 2007 by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland for overnight coastal, river, and inland waterway cruising within the continental United States. American Star, as an American built, flagged, and owned vessel operated by US citizen crew members is compliant with the Passenger Vessel Services Act and can transport passengers directly between US ports. The vessel accommodates 100 passengers in her 47 cabins, of which 26 have small private balconies. All staterooms have private baths, windows, and interior entrances.
 
The 100-passenger American Star made its debut in summer 2007. The ship is quite similar to its fleet mate American Spirit (see full review), though it includes a few more modern touches like flat-screen satellite TV and DVD payers in all cabins. American Star sails a variety of six-, seven- and 14-night itineraries to regions along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. From charming small towns to gracious southern ports, the American Star will bring guests to places of historic interest and magnificent beauty. Onboard, each guest will be able to unwind in the friendly and accommodating atmosphere created by ACL staff
 
Atmosphere on board
Forget art auctions or poolside games; you won't even find low-impact activities such as dance lessons aboard these sedate ships. In the main lounge, passengers might read or play a quiet board game, and you're almost sure to find at least one game of bridge in the two smaller lounges. Most passengers seem content to just sit on deck and chat. Guest lecturers speak most evenings, and spend days pointing out passing sights. On one night, a local musician might be brought on board for a concert, or bingo could be slotted in place of the nightly lecture. Besides an occasional documentary film shown in the lounge, a tour of the ship's bridge, or a once-per-week teatime, there really aren't any other organized activities, though some summer itineraries may feature kite flying from the stern on one afternoon. In port, about half the passengers choose the reasonably priced shore excursions, which are usually bus tours to museums, areas of natural beauty, or historic homes. Active excursions simply aren't offered, which is just fine for this crowd.
 
The ship deck plans: Main Deck - 12 double occupancy staterooms; Dining Salon and vestibule, Lounge Deck - 9 double occupancy staterooms with private balconies, 9 double occupancy staterooms; two lounges, forward passenger deck. Carolina Deck - 1 owners suite, 14 double and 2 single occupancy, staterooms, all with private balconies; library, aft passenger deck. Observation Deck - recreation, including putting green and exercise area
 
There are seven public lounges, ranging from the large Magnolia Lounge -- where complimentary cocktails are served each night before dinner -- to the cozy Mark Twain Library and Chart Room. The main dining room, adorned with chandeliers, is open seating and accommodates all guests in one sitting.
Complimentary beer and wine are served with lunch and dinner and free soda and water is available throughout the day. Light refreshments are also available in the Sky Lounge on the top deck. Other facilities include elevators to all decks, outdoor exercise area and putting green, guest laundry and complimentary WiFi. The American Eagle will offer various week-long itineraries on the Mississippi from March through December.
 
Food & Dining
Each ship's single dining room is situated on the lowest deck all the way at the stern, with windows on three sides. Breakfast usually runs from 7:30 to 9am, preceded by early-risers' coffee and muffins set out in the main lounge at 6:30am. Lunch is timed to start shortly after the shore excursion returns, usually around 12:30pm. A 5:30pm cocktail hour precedes the 6:30pm dinner.
 
Family with Kids/Teens 
This is a cruise line for older adults, so children are extremely rare. A few families may sail on the summer New England itineraries, but the ships have no kids' programs or activities.
 
Past Passenger Programs
American Cruise Lines, operator of the newest riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, is pleased to announce the introduction of a renewed loyalty program, featuring new premium benefits for members. The Eagle Society is the line’s way of recognizing and rewarding returning guests by providing a more personalized and enhanced cruise experience. The Eagle Society now features an expanded list of special benefits, including:
 
Complimentary cruise – Upon completion of 10 cruises with American Cruise Lines, Eagle Society members are rewarded with a complimentary cruise.
Complimentary shore excursions – After an Eagle Society member has cruised three times, shore excursion fees are waived on all cruises booked thereafter.
Special Eagle Society gifts – Member gifts range from customized officers jackets to champagne, and are always a guest favorite.
Membership identification – Customized luggage tags indicate Eagle Society belongings and special nametags indicate the number of cruises taken by each member.
Invitations to exclusive Eagle Society cruises – Each year, several dates are chosen for exclusive Eagle Society member cruises. These unique sailings are hosted by company executives and include special tours, receptions and entertainment.
Hometown VIP access – When a ship is in a port near a member’s hometown, American Cruise Lines extends a VIP invitation to come aboard for lunch or dinner.
Non-guest visitation and dining– When in port, members may invite friends or family aboard for a tour of the ship or to join them for meals.
Eagle Society-only savings and promotions – Members are privy to various special
 
Fitness And Spa
Exercise equipment is limited to a single exercise bike and a Stairmaster. Most passengers get their exercise by going ashore independently and walking through the towns.
 
Such as spa, hair/beauty treatments and laundry are available in port and can be fully arranged by your hotel manager onboard. Additional services such as tee-time requests and special occasion setups are available upon request.
 
Entertainment
Entertainment is limited to nightly lectures, the occasional entertainer brought aboard for an evening to sing regional songs, and a satellite TV set up in the corner of the main lounge, tuned to football. This is a line for self-starters.
 
Saterooms
 staterooms are the most spacious in small ship cruising - all over 200 square feet in size, and each with large opening picture windows and a private bathroom.
 
Your spacious stateroom is a comfortable haven and the perfect place to relax and unwind. Enjoy the ever-changing scenery from your large, opening picture window or from your private balcony
 
Stateroom Features
 
• Spacious staterooms – Largest in the industry
• Most staterooms with private balconies
• Large Opening Picture Window
• All interior entrances means that every stateroom has a private view
• Complimentary Wi-Fi in all staterooms
• Satellite TV and DVD player in all staterooms
• Twice-Daily Stateroom Service
• Individual Climate Control System
• Writing Desk & Stationary
• Hair Dryer
• Spacious Closet
• Four-Drawer Dressers & Night Tables
• 110-Volt Outlets
 
If there is one thing that really differentiates American Cruise Lines from other coastal competitors, it's the cabins. Rather than the closet-size boxes usually found on similar-size American ships, these cabins average 225 square feet -- bigger than most standard mega ship cabins, and nearly twice the size of those of the main regional competitor Blount Small Ship Adventures. Cabins are comfortable, clean, and pleasant -- not to mention bright, thanks to large picture windows that actually slide open and to the narrow but serviceable balconies (you get one or the other). As in the public areas, though, their decor isn't exactly stylish. Each cabin comes with a large writing desk, decent storage space, bedside tables, a hair dryer, and a satellite TV that gets about 20 channels. Bathrooms are very roomy, with excellent water pressure. Cabins on the older Glory are a touch smaller than those on Spirit, Star, and Independence, especially on the forward end of the lowest deck, where the curvature of the bow reduces square footage.Each ship has several cabins for solo passengers (a real rarity these days) as well as at least one that's wheelchair accessible. Each ship also has an elevator, giving wheelchair-using passengers access to the entire ship
 
Tipping
Gratuity can be charged to your onboard account, with a relatively steep recommended amount of $17.85 per person, per day.
 
Fellow Passengers
Make no mistake about it: American Cruise Line passengers are older, and then some. The company's cozy, low-impact, American style of cruising suits them perfectly, and the fact that each ACL ship has an elevator linking all the decks (a rarity in the small-ship world) is a big draw. Hailing from all over the country, passengers generally appreciate changing for cocktail hour, with about half the men wearing a jacket and/or tie. They are also the types who readily wear the provided name tags for the entire week and don't mind visiting four historic homes in one cruise.
 
Our Recommendation
Make no mistake about it: American Cruise Line passengers are older, and then some. The company's cozy, low-impact, American style of cruising suits them perfectly, and the fact that each ACL ship has an elevator linking all the decks (a rarity in the small-ship world) is a big draw. Hailing from all over the country, passengers generally appreciate changing for cocktail hour, with about half the men wearing a jacket and/or tie. They are also the types who readily wear the provided name tags for the entire week and don't mind visiting four historic homes in one cruise.


In port, slightly less than half of them tend to explore the towns independently, combing antiques shops or just strolling along Main Street. Well educated and usually comfortably heeled, they are eager to learn about the region and enthusiastically attend the nightly lecture. With diverse cruising backgrounds (from luxe Seabourn to mainstream Princess), they do not necessarily expect five-star service, but they do want comfy, spacious cabins along with the conveniences and camaraderie of a small ship. A very high percentage consists of repeaters, who collect the line's various itineraries like game pieces.



Overview

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