Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)
Ship: 281 out of 500
Accommodation: 125 out of 200
Food: 236 out of 400
Service: 188 out of 400
Entertainment: 40 out of 100
Cruise: 151 out of 400
Overall Score: 1021 out of 2000
American Star Statistics
Size: Boutique Ship
Cruise Line: American Cruise Lines
Former Names: none
IMO Number: 9427615
Builder: Chesapeake Shipbuilding (USA)
Original Cost: n/a
Entered Service: Jun 2007
Length (ft/m): 220.0/67.0
Beam (ft/m): 46.0/14.0
Draft (ft/m): 8.2/2.5
Passenger Decks: 4
Total Crew: 27
Passengers (lower beds): 94
Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 21.2
Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 3.4
Cabins (total): 48
Size Range (sq ft/m): 204.0-240.0/18.9-22.2
Cabins (for one person): 2
Cabins (with private balcony): 27
Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 1
Wheelchair accessibility: Fair
Cabin Current: 110 volts
Casino (gaming tables): No
Slot Machines: No
Swimming Pools: 0
Hot Tubs (on deck): 0
Self-Service Launderette: No
Dedicated Cinema/Seats: No
Onboard currency: US$
A small US coastal cruising ship with limited facilities
Overview. American Star suits mature couples and single travelers sharing a cabin and wishing to cruise in an all-American environment where the destinations are more important than food, service, or entertainment.
The Ship. This is one of three coastal cruise ships in the fleet of American Cruise Lines, which has its own shipyard in Chesapeake, Maryland. It is the company’s nicest ship by far. American Star is built specifically for coastal and inland cruising to destinations unreachable by large cruise ships. The uppermost deck is open (good for views) behind a forward windbreaker; many sunloungers are provided, as is a small golf putting green.
Inside the ship, the public rooms include an observation lounge, with views forward and to port and starboard side (complimentary cocktails and hors d’oeuvres are offered before dinner); a library/lounge; a small midships lounge; and an elevator that goes to all decks, including the outdoor sun deck.
Cruises are typically of seven to 14 days’ duration. The ship docks in town centers, or within walking distance of most towns and ports. The dress code is ‘no ties casual.’ It is extremely expensive for what you get. There are no additional costs, except for gratuities and port charges, because it’s all included.
Accommodation. There are five cabin price grades (four are doubles, one is for singles). All cabins have twin beds, convertible to a king-size bed, a small desk with chair, satellite-feed flat-screen TV set, DVD player and Internet access, clothes hanging space, and a modular bathroom with separate shower, washbasin, and toilet (no cabin has a bathtub), and windows that open. Accommodation incorrectly designated as suites (23) also have a private balcony; although narrow, it does have two chairs and a small drinks table.
Dining. The dining salon, in the latter third of the vessel, has large, panoramic picture windows on three sides. Everyone dines at a single, open seating. The cuisine is all-American, and its ‘Cruise Local. Eat Local’ program includes sourcing produce, fish, and meats as near as possible to each cruise, and supporting local markets and small American businesses. There is no wine list, although basic white and red table wines are included.
Note that on the last morning of each cruise, only Continental breakfast is available (no hot food).
Entertainment. There is no formal entertainment, although dinner and after-dinner conversation with fellow passengers in the ship’s lounge/bar really becomes the entertainment each evening. Otherwise, take a good book.
Spa/Fitness. There is a tiny fitness room with a few bicycles and other exercise machines.