The Grand Puget Sound Cruise on American Cruise line was our 40th cruise on a variety of cruise lines with ship ranging in sizes from 120 passenger to 5,000+ passengers. We chose the cruise because we wanted to try one in the northwest. The web-site and brochure depicts "Simple Sophistication" and a "culinary experience". Unfortunately it was not our experience. From the minute we arrived to the time we left it was a series of miss-steps, poor food and service.
Embarkation: We were met on the dock when we arrived by car. The staff took our luggage and said it would be placed in our room. We checked in at the gangway and were told someone would escort us to the lounge to await our room to be opened (check-in from 10:am on but rooms to be available at 11:30). We walked on the ship and there was no staff within view. We waited 10 minutes before we started wandering the ship. We found the lounge on our own and got something to drink. We were told we would be advised when our room was available (it was 11:10). We were never advised and at 12:00 we decided to check on our room ourselves. It appeared to be ready so we moved in.
Public Areas: The ship has two lounges and one dining room. The lounges were generally comfortable and had trays of chips and sodas available 24hrs a day. Cookies were also made available twice a day. Unfortunately the early bird breakfast in each lounge were not replenished properly. If you did not get a rolls or juice in the first 15 minutes, you didn't get any. I only observed the juice to be replenished once and that was only after I ran down a crew member and asked for it. (he only brought up OJ but left the other juices empty) There are a couple small sitting rooms, one that serves as the library. The dining room only has tables for 8 and gets very crowded. The tables should only be set for six as it was very difficult to get the large heavy chairs close to the table. There is a very small laundry room with two small washers and dryers. This is completely inadequate for a ship with 175 passengers and does not offer a laundry service. Average wait time for a washer was over two hours. The workout room had 3 bikes and some type of rowing machine, no treadmill.
The room was a nice size with limited closet space but plenty of drawers. There is no door on the closet. The room was relatively clean but we noticed some large cookie crumbs by the sliding glass door. The curtains were not hanging properly as they were not attached in two locations. The bed looked like a sway back with about a 2" dip in the middle of each bed. The first night we discovered they were probably the worst beds we have encountered on a cruise ship. We could feel the springs jabbing us in the lower back. When I complained to guest services, she said the bed was replaced at the beginning of the season. If that is actually the case they need to purchase better beds. We did convince them to provide a 2" foam topper and that upgraded the bed to "poor". There is no refrigerator in the room so wine we had purchased could not be chilled. Staff said they would keep it in the refrigerator on ship. They did but they "lost" one of the bottles. The room was very noisy. We could hear the conversations in the next room and hallway. The AC worked well.
Bathroom: The bathroom is a typical cruise ship mini bathroom. Despite the brochure saying it is a "full size" bath and showing a tub, it only has a shower. The shower is fairly small but slightly larger than some ships. The glaring deficiency is the lack of a hand held shower head. Due to the size of the shower and the height of the shower head you have to be a contortionist to wash the lower half of your body. The only good thing I can say is that the hot water arrives quickly and the towels were usually soft.