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American Cruise Lines
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42 reviews

American Cruise Lines Employer Reviews

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Deceptive about job and pay
Supposed to be a Steward (Former Employee), Jacksonville, FloridaMarch 12, 2015
Pros: My roommate was nice
Cons: Everything else (read the contract carefully if you decide to take a job here)
So I was hired in Phoenix as a Steward for ACL and was told the pay would be between $500 and $700 a week for a 12 week period. Sounded great to me and I wanted to get experience as a server anyway. So they sent me a ticket, ( I wish I had read the reviews here first). I get to Jacksonville, Florida and was taken to a small boat, I wouldn't even really consider it a ship. Although our meals are provided, the drinks are not, and they charge $7 for a soda. First rip-off.
You are treated somewhat like a prisoner, or the military. You have to be in your room at 10, lights out at 12. Up and ready for inspection at 6:00. And I mean INSPECTION! We were not allowed to leave the boat for any reason, (it was in a very bad area, should have been my first clue)

I was not told when I was hired that my job would entail an evaluation and when I did not clean the rooms fast enough(which is also part of a stewards job on this boat) I was told that they would not hire me as a steward but they would hire me as a galley steward, or dishwasher. I would no longer get the bonus at the end of the 12 weeks and my pay would go from $500 to $200 a week, PLUS at the end of the tour I would have to pay for my own flight back to Phoenix WHAT????? (They will only pay for your flight home if you don't accept the job with them.)

I did not quit my regular job to be a dishwasher for less than minimum wage. You work from sunup to 9:00 pm or later. Crazy hours.

So I told them I was not going to accept that position and I was told I had to go to my room,(closet) and stay there until my ride to – more... the airport the next day. If I left my room they would not pay for my ticket home. Sort of like a blackmail thing. The captain was a straight up A---hole.
Then the next morning they forgot two of the other people who were leaving. I think of the 16 that arrived when I did, only about 4 stayed. I also found out from talking to a few of the other employees who had been there for a while that they never hire Stewards under the age of 25 and you never get to be a manager until you are in your 30's. I'm 18. So it's pretty obvious that when they hired me they knew they weren't going to keep me on as a Steward.

Oh and they sent me a list of things I would need to have before I flew out there, such as two pairs of Khaki pants, white tennis shoes, a watch, white t-shirts and socks etc. I spent at least $150 on clothes. Then I get there and they had Khaki pants and shirts etc for us, so those things were not really necessary. AND they will take money out of your first paycheck for those clothes and I even heard from others they make you reimburse the plane tickets.

Be careful about reading the contract you sign at your interview!!!! They don't tell you that you are going to have to pay back the plane ticket if you don't show up. – less
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great travel destination great perks
Steward (Former Employee), Guilford, CTFebruary 27, 2015
The company didn't treat employees with respect. a lot of racism remarks towards me. Get to meet different people from all over the united states. get to pick the location you want to work at.
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beautiful views thats it.
Server/Steward (Former Employee), Seattle, WAFebruary 27, 2015
Pros: free food, free living, beautiful views
Cons: horrible pay, long hours, no benefits, no breaks
you work all day reep no rewards. by the time you are finished with your shift you have maybe 2 hours to be out before boat curfew takes in effect.
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Great place to work
Accounts Payable Clerk (Current Employee), Guilford, CTFebruary 8, 2015
Enter invoices and pay them.
I have learned a lot in the field of accounting.
Co-Workers are great very helpful
The most enjoyable part of my day is interacting with higher up in the company
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Fun place to work
Inside Sales Representative (Former Employee), Sandy, UTJanuary 30, 2015
Great employees, convenient hours and supervisors. Only a select few individuals can afford their product. Cruises range from $10,000 and up, definitely not for everbody
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Queen of the West and all her pride and glory.
Steward (Former Employee), Guilford, CTOctober 28, 2014
Pros: people, free room and board, great work experience
Cons: 11-14 hour days, management, lack of sleep
Its a lot of hard work. If you aren't willing to give up the outside world then its not the job for you. For an entire three months its very unlikely you'll have a lot of contact with the outside would. You will work from about 6 a.m. till 9 p.m. Everyday with a 2 hour break most days. Management could do a better job at managing. For my first month we were constantly running out of things and that doesn't just reflect badly in management it cuts into your tips so your not getting paid as you should because someone else cant do there jobs correctly. My assistant Manager were great though. We we were understaffed they would get down and dirty to help us the best they could. One of them got into the dish pit just so we would still go through meal service smoothly. The ships are usually full with drama but it doesn't last for very long. A lot of the staff is pretty young and still don't understand how to act like adults all the time, you have to constantly remember that your not in high school anymore and the drama is seriously unnecessary. The best part of the job is meeting all the people that decide to come on the boat and traveling to all the different people. I couldn't have asked for a better ship.
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Steward
Steward- Server/Galley/Housekeeping (Former Employee), Pacific NorthWestOctober 7, 2014
Hardest part of the job was living with your co-workers and the passengers.
I loved being able to interact with the passengers and meeting different people.
a typical day at work was serving and housekeeping.
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Great place to work.
Food and Beverage Manager (Former Employee), Hartford, CTOctober 1, 2014
Pros: away from land
Cons: away from land
Great place to be if you enjoy new experiences and a great team.
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Amazing people, and opportunity
Prep Cook (Former Employee), Seattle, WASeptember 3, 2014
Pros: saving money, never having to spend money for anything
Cons: not enough time to do the things you'd like to do
Great experience would do it again. the people you'll meet along this trip will be irreplaceable. the landscapes you'll sail across will be a one in a life time thing.
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Invaluable Hospitality Experience!!
Cruise Director/Assistant Hotel Manager (Former Employee), Guilford, CTApril 15, 2014
Pros: traveling, saving money, gaining experience, resume builder, team atmosphere
Cons: long hours
I worked for American Cruise Lines as a cruise director after I graduated college for about 2 years. If you are looking to gain experience in the hospitality industry this is the best way to do it. As a college grad I was able to travel while gaining experience in this unique environment. I was able to pay the majority of my student loans and fall in love with the current city I live in. I attribute securing my current career in the event planning industry to having worked for ACL.

If you are considering getting into the hospitality industry or are already working in the field you have to be prepared to work nights weekends and holidays. If you have a good attitude, work ethic and are not attached to "home" this is the ideal job for you. The schedule is about 8 weeks on and 1-2 weeks off. Once you get into the routine it is actually rewarding in many ways. I have a great work ethic now and appreciate my 2 days off more than anyone. With having 1-2 weeks off at a time you are able to travel or relax at home. I don't know any other job where you are able to have so much consecutive vacation time plus winters off!

The thing that I appreciated the most was that they value family. I was onboard while 2 of my grandparents passed away. They flew me home immediately and flew me back without a question. They were so understanding of family emergencies with all employees.

This experience looks great on your resume and sets you apart from all other candidates. You gain hands on invaluable experience in food and beverage, housekeeping, fine dining, planning, and customer service. Once you accomplish a season with ACL you can look ahead confidently knowing that you are prepared for anything that comes your way!
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horrible company
Deckhand (Former Employee), Guilford, CTMarch 19, 2014
mind-numbing and body aching work for no apprecitaion, and will never pay you what was originally promissed
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Based Off Of My Experiences
Galley Steward (Former Employee), Washington, USAFebruary 17, 2014
My experience with ACL taught me to patience, understanding, and responsibilities aboard the ship and out at sea.
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long days, good pay
Executive Chef (Current Employee), United StatesFebruary 3, 2014
The work can make for long weeks and days, but the pay is good. I recommend them to anyone.
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3 Month job away from home, lots of traveling! Awesome experience!
Ship Attendant (Former Employee), Guilford, CTJanuary 8, 2014
Traveled to the port dock of the ship by train or plane, and worked on the cruise for a minimum of usually three months. ACL has four different cruises which vary to which destination you will have, sometimes you may work on more than one cruise if they become short staffed. Great for out of high school applicants who love to travel and who don't mind serving prepared plates to guest for breakfast lunch and dinner.
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Hard work but enjoyable
Deckhand (Former Employee), Groton, CtDecember 27, 2013
Pros: enteraction with customers
Cons: long hours
First experience working on cruise ship. Enjoyed the atmosphere and engaging with customers.
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poor
stewardess (Former Employee), New EnglandDecember 22, 2013
Pros: free travel, food, people
Cons: management was very unprofessional, no time off, pay isn't what they said it was.
The first month I worked on the glory ship was fun. Only because of the ppl I worked with. Other than that I hated it! First off let me tell you about the pay. On average, it was about $700 a week. Yes that's great but you work from 6 am or earlier until 9:30 to 10pm. YOU DO NOT GET ONE DAY OFF!! The breaks are depending on how fast everyone works. So if you have that one person that slows everyone down and is being lazy, you'll have a shorter break. We typically had a hour or two break. No time to really check out the scenery. The scenery was nice but it's new England. Not too much to see in all honesty. Yes they pay for travel and food. That's the best part of the job. But that's it. New Management all the time. I stayed for two months and got out of there because the ship kept breaking down. The generator kept going off and on. No drinking what so ever, which is understandable. The women/men's quarters were disgusting!! This job is for the the experience. If your homeless or have allot of time on your hands this is the job for you. whenever they can ship you out after training you have to be ready.
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A remarkable experience
Steward (Former Employee), Guilford, CTDecember 17, 2013
Pros: room and board completely paid for.
Cons: no free time, no privacy, unfair compensation
This was the worst working experiences I have ever had. But it was a great opportunity to learn and grow. This job consists of 14 hour days 7 days a week. You don't get any days off the entire time you are there. The destinations are not that interesting, at least on my boat (New England Islands).

The pay is more than I have made so far in such a short amount of time. But when you compare the hours worked vs. your take home pay, you are barely breaking minimum wage, for incredibly demanding work.

The only thing separating you and managers is a bachelors degree, and often the Stewards have way more on the job experience. It doesn't matter how hard you work or how lazy you are, every steward and deckhand makes the exact same amount. We are not allowed to accept individual tips. So if you do wow a guest and they want to compensate you for it you have to turn that cash over to your manager, who then adds it to the tip pool. Which has the potential to be reasonable. Except most people don't turn over individual tips. So when I was turning over my tips like I was supposed to I really got cheated, and that was frustrating, but realistically there is nothing I could do without compromising my identity, or making people hate me more.

There were a couple of good managers, and a couple of managers that made the decent managers look like saints. But good manager or bad manager it didn't really matter, managers dropped just as often as stewards.

In the 8 weeks I was there I saw 7 stewards and managers fired. Many others quite. This is a small ship cruise which means that turn over rate – more... is incredibly large for what is already a temporary position.

On top of working with these people for 14 hours a day you also have to live with them. It's great that they provide room and board. But just keep in mind that "board" is sharing one large bunk room with 10 other women. (Somehow the men's quarters were better equipped and there was more privacy). Strong personalities inevitably clashed. I found myself consistently bullied, it felt like I was back in high school all over again, yet with no going home to a family that loves you. Putting that on top of rough living conditions,

The entire ship is made out of steal. That includes the beds that you sleep on with smaller than twin size flimsy mattresses. So your back hurts all the time from lack of support during the 6 or 7 hours of sleep you have every night. For the first two weeks I was there my feet were swollen and throbbing constantly. I was actually able to get used to this though.

The food can be really good, but as much as I try to remember the good meals when they are serving terrible inedible meals, it still makes going into dinner service starving really frustrating. Oh and I hope you like fish, because more than occasionally that is your only protein option.

But you do get to eat pretty much all the desserts you want. Sometimes you can snag passenger left overs.

You cannot drink at all the entire time you are working for American Cruise Lines. That is on and off the boat. They can fire you instantly if they catch you drinking. But similar to other expectations that are put forth, it can be a reason to fire you, but almost everyone drinks, managers included. It was the type of rule that I felt like I had to follow, but felt like an idiot for doing so because no one else was. I guess mostly I didn't want to waste what little money I was making of booze.

Oh and also you have to pay for your travel to the ship and home from the ship. You also have to pay for (incredibly over priced) uniforms. They pay to fly you out for a week of training in Connecticut. But that week of training is not paid.

I would really only ever recommend this job to someone that was homeless, and didn't have anything else going for them. But it can be a great way to put your foot in the door in the cruise line industry. They will hire anyone, I was working with a couple of people who had no experience in the hospitality/food/housekeeping industry. It is also a great option for someone who is unemployed and living with there parents.

Everyone on this boat is cheating, if they can even find someone to cheat with. Maybe you can trust your girls, but even the most devoted boyfriend/husband I saw ended up cheating. It's just boat life. So if your doing research on what your significant other is about to go do, think long and hard about the implications for your relationship.

You do get to see different parts of the country. I imagine that other ships had better destinations. You can also go to Alaska, the Mississippi, Maine, Florida, or the Columbus and Snake rivers. But you don't get any say in which ship you want to go on. Unless you want to wait around for a month waiting to get the ship you want.

They tell you that you might leave right after training, so bring everything you need for the trip. That may happen, I know people who got to go to a ship right after training. But after I finished training they gave me an estimated leave time of three weeks. But don't worry! They said, a spot could unexpectedly open up at any moment (first indicator of turn over rate) so be on call and ready to leave for the next three weeks. Again this plan is great if you are already unemployed, and have really flexible living arrangements. But I gave my landlord notice and quite a job in order to take this job. So I was stuck practically homeless with no job or source of income, until one morning they called and asked me to fly out the next day (about a week and a half after I finished training)

Even on their most optimistic timing, you probably won't see any money for at least a month. Your first paycheck mostly goes towards paying for your travel expenses and uniforms. So I hope you have some savings and no bills to pay.

Some people have really great experiences. But no one ever comes back for a second round as a steward. – less
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I'm On A Boat, Man...
Chief Deckhand (Former Employee), Hartford, CTDecember 17, 2013
One in Nantucket, the next moored at Martha's Vineyard or NYC.
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get to travel and free room and board
Sous Chef/cook II (Former Employee), main office Guilford, CTDecember 8, 2013
Pros: good experience if you are new to the work force and want to travel
Cons: no benefits, work seven days a week
Early start everyday but didn't mind. worked seven days a week and it would of been nice to have at least one day off even if it was every other week. I worked with a lot of good people and my chefs were all hard workers as well. The most enjoyable part was that I got to travel and went to places that i haven't been to and wanted to go to. I experienced a style of food service that i was not accustomed to.
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decent.
DECKHAND, Queen of the Mississippi (Former Employee), Guilford, CTDecember 3, 2013
Pros: room and board, chance to save money, escape from reality
Cons: no breaks, 12+ hour shifts with no overtime
Hard, long days, but the pay compensates for working 7 days a week and having no life, but everyday you will still be counting down to leave.

About American Cruise Lines

American Cruise Lines operates the world’s newest fleet of cruise ships specializing in a unique style of small ship cruising – Read more

American Cruise Lines Photos

American Cruise Lines Salaries

Deckhand
$2,500 per month
Steward
$25,000 per year