Oregon was on my bucket list, so for a retirement gift, I took this tour on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. American Cruise Lines has their ships made in America, and their staff booked my trip flawlessly, always able to answer my questions, and sending me information and luggage tags, etc way ahead of time. They provide a complimentary precruise package, which is a night at the Red Lion Hotel on the River, a deliciouis breakfast, and the boat docks by the hotel, so very convenient. You schedule your own transportation to Portland, and sadly there is no shuttle from airport to hotel ($50 taxi for many); I have suggested the hotel supply a shuttle. The ship itself is new and lovely, small and friendly. Four levels and very fast elevators, much faster than large ships. Although I had a single room, I had plenty of room and all rooms have a balcony. The bathroom was stocked with lots of extra amenities under the sink, so I had everything I needed; there is a shower and water is plenty hot. There is a flat screen TV in the room, but it is apparently on Direct TV and it it lost signal quite often while I was watching the Final Four, so I was anxious and hope they solve that issue. The Hotel Manager Nico, and the Cruise Directors as well as every single person on that staff are helpful, pleasant, and bend over backwards to help you. Twice daily at 10am and 3pm they serve warm cookies, and they had turtle, snickerdoodle, oatmeal raisin, sugar cookies and others alternating...yum! There are enough seats in the large dining room for everyone apparently, and meals are whenever you come down: Breakfast 730-9 (early riser 630); lunch 12-130, and dinner 530-730, with cocktails/hors d'oeuvres 530-7 and Back Porch Cafe 11-230p and 4-8p.In the dining room you get a menu to choose from about 5 entrees, some usually local fare, and the soups are always great. The hot bread was great, in fact everything was great. There is free wine/beer beginning at lunch, with cocktails later on through evening. During the evening entainment, usually a singer or duo with funny/song singing, the servers bring popcorn, ice cream sodas, ice cream sundaes. There are sodas and snacks left all night in the lounge such as chips, nuts, granola bars.
There is no infirmary or casino or pool/hot tub. There is a small workout area with machines, bottled water, but I didnot use it. There is a library with TV and two PCs and printer. There is a complimentary laundry room with free Tide Pods and dryer sheets. You get a lanyard with your name and an RFI card to open your room, etc, and since there is no tipping, it is cashless. There are a few simple activities like art class with a water color artist providing supplies so we could learn to paint, some scrabble and cardgames, trivia. There is a daily movie playing in the rooms pertaining to the area we cruised through, like a movie about Mt St Helens or Fort Clatsop. There were excursions included at every stop, but some premium signature excursions that cost more. The trip was relaxing, with smooth river sailing, so bumps or rocking. Some of the seniors had jazzies and walkers and canes, but they all were able to navigate this small ship well. If the ship ends in Lewiston/Clarkson, there are arrangements to the airports or taxis. I cannot emphasize how very wonderful everyone on the ship was. If I wanted something, when they stopped at every port to get fresh produce, etc, they told me they would pick up anything I wanted. I was glad I got to learn so much about Oregon, saw the Multnomah Falls, and so much history and I recommend this cruise line. :)
Comfy bed, balcony.