American Cruise Lines ~American Constellation~ Day 3 ~Ship’s Staff Make Every Guest Feel Special

It’s morning on day three of our 10-night, Grand Puget Sound cruise on American Cruise Lines, and American Constellation is docked at the Foss Waterway Seaport in Tacoma, Washington, the state’s third-largest city.

This is the second cruise we’ve taken that navigates U.S. waters, and if you’ve never tried seeing your home country from a ship, you should really give it a lot of consideration. Maybe you’ve driven to many of the same locations, or visited on a vacation, but on a cruise like this one, you’ll get a whole new appreciation for what you can experience in your own backyard.

It doesn’t hurt that the ship’s staff goes out of their way to make every guest feel special, or attend to your every need. But another plus is the knowledge of what we’re seeing from the tour guides and experts on board. It’s a lot like seeing the United States through new eyes. And here’s an added bonus: You won’t have to put your phone in airplane mode.

There are numerous tour options today, including a “Beer Exploration,” making stops at four local breweries, and “The Sweeter Side,” with a focus on candy and chocolate for which the city is famous. As much as Pam loves her chocolate, we are starting the day at the Museum of Glass, because we are both fans of glass as an art form.

After a leisurely breakfast in the dining room, where our adopted server Simone made some good menu suggestions (try the quiche — it’s marvelous), we head for the shuttle bus that will take us to the museum. The weather is overcast, with a high near 60, and no rain. We’ll take it.

ACL has arranged buses (modern, 57-seat buses)  that will make a continuous loop, stopping at the Museum of Glass and the LeMay’s American Car Museum. You have the option of visiting one or both, as buses are running throughout the day.

As you probably know, Washington State is renowned for its glass, especially in Seattle, where you’ll find the famed Dale Chihuly’s Garden and Glass exhibit. The Museum of Glass, founded in 2002, features a distinctive centerpiece — a towering cone shape that houses its Hot Shop, where you can watch glass artisans at work in an auditorium setting.

The glasswork in the exhibit areas is breathtaking, and we try to take it all in, making sure of course to leave enough time for Pam to browse the Gift Shop. And before you ask, yes — we are bringing home a new piece of glass to add to our collection.

Afterwards, we opt to catch the bus back to the ship to have lunch. As we reboard, this time the crew is serving up apple cider with a touch of caramel and some Jack Daniels to give it a little zing. At lunch, the star was the Mac and Cheese topped with barbequed pork — definitely two thumbs up, although next time we’ll ask for a half portion — it was a lot of goodness.

A quick aside: ACL offers postcards that guests can address and return for mailing at no charge. We took the opportunity to send one to our granddaughter. I suspect she’ll enjoy getting something novel that isn’t a text message.

Then its back onboard the bus for the short ride to LeMay’s America’s Car Museum. Located adjacent to the Tacoma Dome and housed in a large, contemporary building that resembles an armadillo, it’s a car lover’s dream-come-true. You start at the top and wind your way parking-garage-style to floor after floor of the most iconic autos and motor vehicles ever built. including their current exhibit, “75 Years of Porsche.”

Pam lingered over a vintage, gull-wing door Mercedes. And before you ask — no, we aren’t taking that back with us.

Much like yesterday, the sun has come out in the afternoon, and we head for the Sky Lounge to enjoy the daily cookies that appear at 10 am and 3 pm, along with a beverage. The ship’s happy hour runs from 5:30 – 7 pm every day, and the next order of business is to freshen up for that and tonight’s show, a tribute to Old Blue Eyes” by entertainer Jeff Spence.

We learn from Spence he’s been entertaining from the age of 15, and 50 years later, he’s still going strong. The Cascade Lounge is full for his set of Frank Sinatra classics, songs from the Great American Songbook that are among his, and the audience’s, all-time favorites. During the show, servers come around with bags of popcorn and milkshakes in all flavors. It was tempting, but pretty sure I was over quotient on food for the day.

American Constellation will stay docked here in Tacoma tonight, then depart for our next stop on our Puget Sound cruise, Anacortes, Washington, early tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

Photos by Gerry Barker

  • The Museum of Glass with its distinctive cone
  • LeMay’s American Car Museum
  • Jeff Spence sings Sinatra
  • American Constellation docked in Tacoma (cover photo)

See all cruises and especially this one: American Cruise Lines (

10 Night – Grand Puget Sound .. American Cruise Lines, American Constellation (

2023 Sails: Sep 12Sep 22Oct 2
Day 1 Seattle, WA
Day 2 Anacortes, WA
Day 3 Friday Harbor, WA
Day 4 Cruising the San Juan Islands
Day 5 Victoria, BC
Day 6 Port Angeles, Wa
Day 7 Port Townsend, WA
Day 8 Tacoma, Wa
Day 9 Poulsbo, WA
Day 10 Bremerton, WA
Day 11 Seattle, WA


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