We toured the 68 passenger Niagara Prince when she was in port in Cleveland (docked at Nautica in The Flats) during their Great American Waterways Cruise, 15 night sailing from Chicago to her home port of Warren, Rhode Island. They arrived at 1 pm and departed Cleveland at 3 am. This is the smallest of Blount Small Ship Adventures’ (formerly known as American Caribbean Canadian Line) three ships. There is one less deck. It has a combined lounge/dining room, and a retractable pilot house to go under those low bridges.
There are 14-18 crew onboard for a very personal service and attention. Everyone is on a first-name basis. Jennifer McDaniel was the cruise director and was absolutely wonderful. She cares about her passengers so much and does everything she can to make it a fun experience for all. Head chef was Donovan and he and his team prepared and posted the menu for three sit-down meals each day with open seating. The chef shops in port for local ingredients.
The ship is BYOB, very unique to cruising. Mixers, snacks, barware and both cold and shelf storage spare are provided round the clock. They open the bar (if we’re pourin’, we’re payin’!) twice per cruise—welcome and farewell. Head chef and his team post and prepare the menu for three sit down meals each day with open seating.
The optional shore excursion for the day was the Lolly the Trolley tour of Cleveland. There was also a guy (owner of the famous Pierogi Palace in Cleveland!) coming aboard for the evening to do a pierogi-making demonstration. Other entertainment includes local live entertainment sometimes brought on board for the evening, movies, lots of games.
Credit cards are accepted for transfers and optional shore excursions. Cash, check, or travelers checks are accepted for gratuities.
There are no laundry facilities on the ship.
The demographic is older (probably 50s to 80s) with a lot of repeat passengers. Minimum age to sail is 14 years. There are chair lifts at the stairs, one for each of the two decks. The ship is very casual dress all the time.
“It’s not about the room, it’s about what you are going to see out there.” Cabins lock when you’re inside but not when you’re outside. Outside cabins (top deck) open to the outside. Cabin 54A was a good one—window view, side by side beds. Cabins 73B and 46B had a block window and twin beds oriented head to feet (t-shaped). Cabin 21B is a single. Cabin 11A has no window. Cabins 31A and 31B and 48A and 48B, you can hear engine noise. There are two interior cabins onboard, 10A and 11A.