Find companies:
American Cruise Lines
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
32 reviews

American Cruise Lines Employer Reviews

Company Attributes

  • Job Work/Life Balance
  • Compensation/Benefits
  • Job Security/Advancement
  • Management
  • Job Culture
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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 – more... serving prepared plates to guest for breakfast lunch and dinner. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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. – more... 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. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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 – more... 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 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
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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 – more... a style of food service that i was not accustomed to. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
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.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great way to travel free
Steward (Former Employee), Guilford, CTNovember 25, 2013
Get ready for a amazing experience but be ready for you to work your butt off the job is a lot of hours and when they say you work 12 on 12 off they really mean you work 12-15 hours a day but you get to travel for free per say but you will make a lot a lot of great friends and good times good money if you do get the job be smart save all you can its – more... nice coming home with a good chunk in the bank account . every job has its ups and downs work hard and the managers are great if you cant work they will be on you like a fat kid on a cupcake. overall the job was worth it and I would do it again. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
“Great Company, Great Culture, Great Experience”
Recruiter (Current Employee), GuilfordNovember 21, 2013
I've been with American Cruise Lines for almost a year and have never been happier or more excited about what I do and the people I work with. The atmosphere is one of constant evolution and a drive to improve. Employees work very hard but it is a fun and exciting environment to be a part of. I am challenged on a daily basis, which definitely keeps – more... things interesting.

Great leadership in management! This is a company that promotes meritocracy. Simply put, if you show that you are capable of adding value and are willing to put in hard work, your career will grow accordingly.

ACL doesn't want employees sticking around who see their role with them as just a job. They want people with passion, who see ACL as a vocation (a career) rather than work. They see what they do as a quest to make Small Ship Cruising the best experience for customers, and they want to hire people who feel that way too.
Cons – Work/Life balance can be challenging as they are going through significant growth and everyone is sometimes asked to do a little extra. If you're truly a team player, this shouldn't be an issue.

Advice to Senior Management – You have great employees who work for you. They are passionate about the company and take great pride in being part of ACL. Make sure to retain them. Also, continue to invest in your technology in order to give your employees the necessary tools to be successful at what they do.

There's a reason why American Cruise Lines is the World's #1 Small Ships Cruise Line. It's Service, it's People and it's Leadership.

Yes, I would recommend American Cruise Lines – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Overall good place to start in the Hospitality Cruise Industry
Stewart/Deckhand (Current Employee), Guilford, CTNovember 5, 2013
Pros: great people and references, lifelomg experience, easy work
Cons: have to pay for you uniforns, no days off for 3 months
Although nothing compared to what you learn in training, the overall experience can be whatever you want it to be. Sure your working 7 days a week for 3 months, but the friends you make in the process become you family. Management can be a real @#$%^ sometimes but the stress that comes with the job has to be overwhelming, so do yourself a favor and – more... bear with them. The hardest part of the job is getting through your first two weeks. Do that and it become routine. Besides your getting paid pretty good to see the country and its really not that much work compared to other jobs in the industry. If you a tough individual who loves to travel and you don't mind cleaning a toilet or two, GO FOR IT!!! You will be glad you did once your done. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great travel benefits
Steward/Housekeeping (Former Employee), Juneau, AKNovember 3, 2013
Pros: free meals, boarding, & traveling
Cons: no benefits.
Server/Housekeeping.
16 hour shifts/ 7 days a week.
Team work is a must.
Always be aware of your surroundings and keep busy at all times.
Managers kept a weekly schedule lined up for us, and gave us certain tasks for the week.
Co workers were friendly, and kept a positive attitude
Hardest part was being away from home for a certain time period
The most – more... enjoyable part was traveling to different destinations, and always meeting new people. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Loved the experience!
Steward (Former Employee), Guilford, CTSeptember 16, 2013
Cons: they take the "at-will employer clause to the extreme", management treats you like you're an 11 year old child.
The overall experience was great! You get to meet incredible people who you can possibly have a long-term relationship with. You do get to visit unique and wonderful places but between working a 14-16 hour shift everyday for 7 days a week, with an 11:00 curfew, it is very limited.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Long hours with a view!
Deckhand (Former Employee), Guilford, CTAugust 6, 2013
Working for American Cruise Lines was as advertised, long hours but you will see places that you might not ever get to again. As a deckhand you work 80 hours a week for 12 weeks straight and are in charge of the safety and security of the vessel with 100+ passengers and staff on board.

As everyday you work a different 12 hour shift the general duties – more... stay the same with some specific ones thrown in and there. A 4am-4pm day would consist of waking up at 4am and doing security rounds for the first 2 hours until 6 am. At 6am you are designated to stand gangway at the entrance to the ship (if we are docked) until 8am when then you are designated to the laundry room until noon. At noon you are then designated to the gangway again until 4pm when you have completed your shift. Aside from laundry from 8-12 you can and usually are given other tasks to complete while always returning to laundry at the completion, and these tasks can do fix a leaky faucet, drive the boat (when we are underway), wash windows and other basic maintenance of the ship.

The management was good in my experience with the boat because I have a positive attitude and if/when I am told to do something by my Mate or Captain I do it, because technically it is their ship and I signed on to do what they deem necessary. If you did not like being told what to do and when or did not think the task was needed and decided to complain or be insubordinate then it made your 84 weeks very difficult to the point where it would drive many to leave early.

My fellow deckhands and I got along well and always strived to work together because it got jobs done smoother, better and allowed us to get back to laundry which served as a safe-haven for us. Allowing us time to chit-chat, listen to music all while joining in to complete the job at hand.

The best part of my job was the traveling and the sunrises. I know it sounds dull, but it was the little things that kept you going everyday. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Fun job...until the Home Office gets involved
Hotel Manager (Current Employee), Various Locations Country-wideAugust 4, 2013
Pros: low cost of living due to being on ship for 2 months at a time.
Cons: long hours, short breaks, lots of bs from the top.
The job is great. The company has great concepts and business models and ideas. The problem is that the Home Office forgets that they are not the global headquarters of a major international enterprise; the company operates six small (150 passengers or fewer) cruise ships. They get bogged down with small technical hiccups and lose sight of the fact – more... that their greatest asset is their people, and that we are not not Kleenex.

The hours are brutal, and some of the restrictions ridiculous. A typical day for a manager is a 6:00am to 10:00pm day, with only a one to two hour break. – less
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Ability to Travel, Make and Save Great $$ and meet new people
Steward (Former Employee), Alaska, and OregonApril 19, 2013
Pros: pay and travel
Cons: long days
Wow, what a great experience!!! I feel so accomplished after working with ACL. Really long days filled with talking to guest, making $800 Weekly and gaining a lot of confidence.
There is a $500 bonus too
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
Great Experience
Steward (Former Employee), Providence, RIFebruary 15, 2013
I Love the experience of traveling to new places. I met some great people and even made great friends.
Job Work/Life Balance
Compensation/Benefits
Job Security/Advancement
Management
Job Culture
absolute Joke! work like a slave for nothing in long run
stewardess (Former Employee), FLJanuary 30, 2013
Pros: see new places meet new faces
Cons: slaveship
I loved how I got to travel n see beautiful things I will never see again and got to meet some awesome people but on the other hand paying your own airfare and paying for your uniforms in which u never get paid back for like they promise on top of working u like a slave and the living quarters sucks! Just saying they will promise you the world and give – more... u nothing when these people are paying thousands to cruise with them and in the managers own word at a crew meeting " don't think none of you are replaceable you can come in quick but leave even faster" I was 5 minutes late to my shift never screwing up prior being on point they FIRED me an left me at port in SC saying they would mail my paychk home mind u I live in RI thank god my family was able to help me MORAL OF THIS..... Screw you ACL – less

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