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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
Chose this cruise based on the recommendation of the travel agent. The boat is quite old, and needs refurbishing badly. Food was diner quality with an occasional flash of brilliance. Substitutions were always available however any ... Read More
Chose this cruise based on the recommendation of the travel agent. The boat is quite old, and needs refurbishing badly. Food was diner quality with an occasional flash of brilliance. Substitutions were always available however any change to the routine meant meals for your table arrived last and were cold, and staff were not particularly happy or gracious about it. Heritage lectures were interesting however definitely skewed with an American twist. Landscape was spectacular. Tours were interesting however there was little free time to explore independently in any port other than Astoria. Cabins were basic - nowhere to sit other than at the desk or on your bed. Public areas were limited - no quiet reading area available. Bar service was great. This trip was like going on a seniors bus trip except you slept on a boat. For the most part, staff were good, although it became evident for the final 48 hours that they were angling for tips and that got annoying. I don't think there is probably a quiet cabin. On the uppermost deck you were woken every morning with furniture (or something heavy) being dragged across the deck above your head. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We chose this cruise because it didn't go onto the open ocean, and we wanted the river experience. Overall impression: Nice, but you have to be a real Lewis & Clark fan to get the most out out of this cruise, and you need to be ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it didn't go onto the open ocean, and we wanted the river experience. Overall impression: Nice, but you have to be a real Lewis & Clark fan to get the most out out of this cruise, and you need to be able to handle the heat during summer. We cruised from Portland, OR to Clarkton, then back, in July. I should have done my geographical homework before we left. I thought "Columbia Gorge!! Oregon rainforest! Nice and cool!" I couldn't have been more wrong. The Columbia Gorge part was about a day. The remaining 5 days were absolute desert with not much to see. Hot hot hot. I could have dealt with that, IF: 1. There had been a pool to dip into occasionally, but no. 2. There had been more locations to sit outside under shade. (Only three tables and 6 chairs in the shade for 66 people.) As it was, if you weren't interested in the endless lectures on Lewis & Clark, there was nothing to do and no place to even go and read a book except your bed or the lounge that was freezing all the time. Know before you go: no wi-fi available and no cell signal most of the time. Embarkation: We were shuttled from the airport to a holding area called the Glasshouse. We could store our bags there, snacks provided, and walk around the city until we could board the ship. For our family, that meant we had to hang out there for about 4 hours. I wish I'd known to take a later flight so we could have avoided the long wait. Website: Not enough information; what there was was not easy to find; and no photos of the cabins make you wonder if they're worth being photographed (even though mine was great). The plus side: #1- The food was spectacular! Limited (3) options, usually. The waitstaff wasn't very knowledgeable about how things were prepared, but the food made up for it. #2 - The whole staff was exceedingly attentive and went WAY out of their way to do anything for us. They were top shelf all the way. On the bridge, the first mate patiently answered every question we could think of about how the ship worked, which he must answer all day, everyday, but you'd never know it. #3 - Our room was wonderful (#302), the bed was excellent (and I'm very critical of mattresses). The bathroom was tiny, of course, but the shower had plenty of hot water. #4 - The buses used for the shore excursions were, hands down, the best buses I've ever traveled on. Cool, comfortable, and the sound system was excellent - no problem hearing even from the back. The only suggestions I would make to the ship are these: #1 - Hang light sheer curtains in that room, because although the view is gorgeous, being right out on the front of the ship, people stood at the railing right in front of our windows, and tend to look in frequently. One guy out there even started a conversation with me as I sat on my bed. Every time you want to change clothes or take a nap you have to close the blackout curtains which plunges your cabin into total darkness. Or you have to take everything into the tiny bathroom. That was a pain. #2 - Create more shade on the 4th deck so we can use it! #3 - Offer something other than Lewis & Clark morning, noon, and night. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and ... Read More
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and souvenir shopping, big staterooms, and endless variety on the ship. The staff is excellent: friendly, knowledgeable, with a love for the outdoors and adventure. This quality flows down from the captain, who is a great manager--he kicks in when needed for any job onboard, while maintaining strong discipline and camaraderie among the crew. The food is excellent, though I'd like to see more variety, especially near the end of the week; however, I understand this could make planning more difficult on a small ship such as this. There are many outdoor activities: kayaking, photography, skiff tours, bushwhacking, a polar dip (!), and just plain sightseeing as you pass by one incredible scene after another. My only criticism here is that activities are rotated a little too infrequently. For instance, free kayaking should be offered more frequently, as should combination kayaking/bushwhacking. Do count on seeing incredible wildlife, such as grizzly bears, bald eagles, sea otters, and, of course, whales. And the glaciers are spectacular, many of them unavailable to other types of transportation. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2017
We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable ... Read More
We were 14 happy people on the Safari Quest Seattle to Seattle. Fabulous crew catered to our individual and collective interests. We had several rainy days, but the gear provided kept us warm and dry. Guides were very knowledgeable about the places we visited. All were cheerful, helpful, and fun. Highly recommend the company, this ship, and the itinerary. We were invited along on this trip to celebrate a friend's birthday. Ten of us were part of the party. Two other couples booked independently, but we were all friends - like family - soon after we left Seattle. The crew made all of us feel welcome, and encouraged us to mix. Food was exceptional - quality, variety, presentation all memorable. Cook always provided a vegetarian option. We especially enjoyed the fish options for dinner, although pork and beef entrees were excellent too. A special shout out to the bartender and service staff - always mixing up new drinks. Wine selections impressive. A great time. Barbara and Chuck from Minnesota Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We choose this cruise primarily because of the transit of the Panama Canal. However, the overall theme of 'adventure' was an important aspect. The ship seemed perfectly suited to the type of cruise, but was somewhat basic. ... Read More
We choose this cruise primarily because of the transit of the Panama Canal. However, the overall theme of 'adventure' was an important aspect. The ship seemed perfectly suited to the type of cruise, but was somewhat basic. Having been on a Mekong small ship Cruise last year we had probably been spoiled!! Cabin was small with wash basin within main cabin area, but just about adequate. Robust shower, good. We thought the food was adequate but simply did not live up to the overblown rhetoric of the chef, nor the rounds of applause from the overwhelmingly North American passengers!! Service was good, wait staff cheerful and willing, unfailingly courteous. Shore excursions all nicely tailored to the physical abilities of the largely retired passengers. We were let down by our transfer from Colon back to Panama City and the UnCruise folks very kindly gave us a ride in their coach. Much appreciated. Overnight transit of the Panama Canal genuinely awesome and gliding over Gatun Lake under the stars just magical. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2016
Embarkation was very smooth. I was met at baggage claim and transported to the 'wait' area by Town Car. There were some pastries and refreshments. I received a free cabin upgrade and had a comfortable room with a large view ... Read More
Embarkation was very smooth. I was met at baggage claim and transported to the 'wait' area by Town Car. There were some pastries and refreshments. I received a free cabin upgrade and had a comfortable room with a large view window and comfortable useful furnishings all to myself. The food was very good and the excursions and on board lectures were interesting. The meat tended to be cooked medium-rare, so that one should stipulate the degree of doneness if more cooking is desired. The ship can carry 88 passengers and only 56 were on this sailing, very convenient for the others. Passengers were middle-aged to elderly, skewed by a group of 23 from a retirement home. I suspect this age spread is common for this particular cruise among all the cruise lines. This particular cruise is recent in the North American repertoire. One should know that the Columbia "River" is heavily dammed, and now consists of a series of lakes. It is beautiful, but is no longer really a river. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2016
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly ... Read More
Saturday April 30th After a quick flight into Denver’s snowy airport we boarded our flight to Seattle. The flight was smooth and arrived on time. Seattle’s airport is clean and bright with lots of windows. We got our bags quickly and waited for a representative to pick us up at the baggage claim area as indicated on the initial paperwork. I called the after-hours phone number (206). A woman answered and told me Steven would call us right back. He did and told us where to pick up the van. Others on the van received a text message with more specific directions. We did not. The drive was very scenic to the Crowne Plaza hotel. The driver did not say a word the entire drive. The Crowne Plaza staff was very friendly and helpful. We went to the hospitality suite and met Steven. He checked us in, recorded information from our passports, and labelled the bags. We left our “carry-on” in a specific area to keep with us for the drive to the boat, but didn’t want to carry around Seattle that afternoon. We walked down a couple of blocks to Farmer’s Market. It was an enjoyable area to view. We took lots of photos of the local flavor, ocean vistas, the Ferris wheel, ships, and colorful people. We got a quick bite to eat and arrived back at the hotel for 3:45 bus tour of Seattle. The driver was funny and informative. Seattle traffic was terrible, but it allowed time to see the sites without rushing. The tour plans changed a couple times due to road closures. The parts of Seattle we saw were charming! We met our Expedition Leader, Pamela, and boarded the Safari Quest. Captain Dano has been a captain for 30 years and with UnCruise for 6 seasons. Our trip was the first of 2016! We then met Carla, right at the gang plank. She reached out and grabbed my carry-on luggage and showed us our cabin. She was so fun and nice. We immediately loved her! There was a quick safety briefing/drill, showing us how to put on the life vest. We met the rest of the crew. Erica the Hotel Manager, Emi a Stewart, Mark the Chef, Cari and Chef in Training, Kate the Pastry Chef, Steve the Engineer, and Robb the Chief Mate. Robb is also the Safety and Medical Officer. The crew wears “uniforms” – Oxford shirts and black slacks - that make them look very professional. After meeting the crew we finished unpacking. We had cabin A2 with a large sliding glass door that was terrific to open for fresh air and viewing. The cabin was quite quiet. We never heard our neighbors, or anyone in the hall, or in the bridge. There is a closet in the room, two large, deep drawers under the bed and a couple hooks on the wall. Also under the bed are two large storage areas. We easily kept our luggage, carry-ons, camera bag, shoes and extra pillows underneath. We had two nightstands with two shelves. Lamps were on the stands as well as a bright overhead ceiling light. In the bathroom are four deep shelves with a lip at the end so things don’t slide out. There was a countertop around the sink large enough to hold a tray of two glasses, and a box of Kleenex. On the clean, fresh bed are lists of other passengers’ names as well as the crew. Also, there were binoculars, and two water canteens. The bed was comfortable with plenty of pillows to choose. Extra fuzzy blankets are on the bed too. They could have more hooks, especially when you came in with wet clothes. We did view a cabin on the lower level and they had a 4 drawer dresser. There is a TV in every cabin. We were busy every evening until 10:00ish so we didn’t have time to watch any of the DVD’s (movies) we brought. Leaving the harbor and going through the locks was remarkable. It is amazing how they drop the level of the water, in just a few minutes, to reach the correct level on the other side. A real engineering marvel! Dinner was DELIGHTFUL! A wonderful fresh green salad. Choice of filet, salmon, or a vegetarian dish with asparagus and potatoes. The filet was tender, the salmon moist. For dessert we had a chocolate cake, chocolate mousse with chocolate ganache extravaganza!! It was topped with coconut, nuts, and raspberries; very rich and delectable. The daily schedule for the next day is discussed in the lounge after dinner. The crossing was smooth. We slept like baby harbor seals. Sunrise was brilliant! Cresting above the peaks to the East and slowly hitting the snow-capped mountain tops to the West. Clam water with bobbing fishing boats completed the scene. Sunday May 1st The day started (6:30AM) with a delicious yogurt with fresh fruit, blueberry scones and assorted teas and coffee. At 7:30 the main breakfast served a Chef’s special of Tomato Frittata with herbs and sausage. Also always available is omelet, eggs, pancakes, baked oatmeal, or bagel and lox. The UnCruise fleet works with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and their “Seafood Watch” program. They only use (cook) seafood and fish that are farmed and fish responsibly, and are not over-fished, or in the way they are caught. Our ordered meals of eggs, bacon, and toast came very fast. We left the boat to go through a series of security screening with Canadian border guards. The Safari Quest docks in a secure, patrolled section of the harbor. It was very safe. We walked to the Empress Hotel to view their beautiful gardens and architecture. It is under construction right now, but still very stately. We walked through the hotel and out the back door which is right across the street from the Royal BC Museum. It was magnificent. A real treat! We did get a reservation for High Tea at the famous Tea Room of the Empress so we walked back there. It was very, very nice. Their tea was the finest I had ever tasted. Lunch was served on a three tiered plate in the middle of the beautifully set table. The first layer had finger sandwiches, second scones and the top mini cakes and tarts. All were absolutely delicious. The layer chocolate dessert was NOT as good as last night’s dessert on the boat. Afterwards the group split up. We had enough time to walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. The harbor seals were slapping the water to gain your attention for treats. The wharf is beautiful. Those that live there are very lucky. Their houses had gorgeous flower boxes and unique art around their brightly painted boat houses. We did not try and of the food, as we had just eaten, but lines were forming at some of the popular places. The boat left the dock on time. On the way out of the harbor we saw eagles, white sided dolphins in the distance, otters, seals, and deer on an island. Another fantastic dinner with lamb, cod, vegetable polenta. For dessert a caramelized pineapple tarts. The anchorage was in calm, secluded, peaceful waters – Buccaneer Bay. Monday May 2nd We cruised to Skookumchuck Rapids and did a skiff tour to explore the intertidal areas. Saw beautiful bright purple and orange sea stars, sea urchins, anemones, and rocks underwater. Highlight was the eagles and seals. The skiff (Zodiac boat) got right up on top of the rocks near the shore or hovered in place to watch the seals. It was a lot of fun. The crew was on the back deck of the Safari Quest to help us get in and out of the skiff. Lunch was terrific… again! We cruised up Jervis Inlet and entered Malibu Rapids Beyond we could see Princess Louisa Inlet, where we would anchor for the night. The Indians called it Suivoolot which means sunny and warm. We did have sunny and warm conditions this day. In route we saw over a dozen eagles. Two flying very close to the boat. We were transfixed watching them; we forgot to raise our cameras to take a photo!! The crew all day could not have been more accommodating. They served drinks to everyone, no matter which deck they were on. They found you whether you were in the bridge, on the lower decks or sunbathing up top. Up and down the steps all day. They really do work very hard. Countless thin waterfalls cascaded down the steep mountain side into the water below. All around us, on both sides, the waterfalls tumbled down steep cliffs. At the end of the inlet is Chatterbox Falls. A large, thunderous waterfall that was sending out so much water over the rocks the mist covered the area. Those who ventured into the cloud of water were showered and soaked within seconds, but invigorated beyond words. We were transported over to land and walked a short distance through fern and moss covered forest on a boardwalk. The crew not only cleared the spider webs from the trail they had been setting up our “happy hour” in the octagonal pavilion – even building a fire. Drinks, snacks and hordurves were served as we sat around the fire and listened to the crew’s beautiful voices and hidden talents. A few passengers joined in when they knew the song. The sunlight started to creep behind the tall 7,000’ cliffs and shadows ascended on the falls. Friendly faces greeted us as we got back on board as the lounge filled up with drink orders and memories of the day. I noticed clouds floating in as they are the first ones we have seen on days. Dinner was served at 6:30PM.Pork, fish, and a vegetable dish. Dessert was fun as well as delicious – deconstructed s’mores. The graham crackers as well as the marshmallow were homemade!! Tuesday May 3rd After 8AM breakfast we kayaked to Chatterbox Falls and surrounding waterfalls in the inlet. A little drizzle started this morning but it didn’t damper the spirits of the kayakers. The trip was exhilarating to the base of one of the powerful waterfalls. They did provide rain pants and jackets to those that didn’t bring them. The kayak life vest was much more comfortable to wear than the other one. The crew was GREAT helping us get in and out of the kayaks. Teaching us how to paddle and show the distress signal. Afterwards the crew had hot chocolate and coffee with Bailey’s or Jameson Irish Whiskey. AND, of course, whipped cream! Lunch at Noon with the regular choices and the Chef’s special of focaccia bread, roasted chicken sandwich. The dressing on the salad, again, was wonderful. Mark really knows how to blend ingredients to perfection. Dessert was individual carrot cakes. No one left a crumb on their plate. It was still raining, so most of us decided to stay on board to get to the Malibu Lodge tour. One person took the skiff, with other crew members, to tour the shore on their way to the lodge. That afternoon I went down to the lounge to get hot tea, as I was chilled. Carla asked if she could get me an extra blanket. How thoughtful! Erica asked if she could make me the cup of tea. That is just a small example of the type of crew they have on the Safari Quest. About half of us went on shore for the tour of Malibu Lodge. Steve drove the skiff to the dock of the Club. The captain asked Steve if he would come back on board, just to have one more crew, in case of an emergency going through the rapids. We were very impressed with the safety measures they take. After checking out the course through the rapids and checking it twice, we were ready to go through the rapids. First Mate Robb took the wheel and without any problems we got through the rapids. Good job! There is also a satellite phone on board for emergencies. They also periodically check in with the Coast Guard as their position and intentions of course. This is just a little bit of the behind the scenes to ensure our safe passage through the inlets. The walking tour of Malibu Lodge was interesting. It is a beautiful complex. Dinner was served at 6:30PM. Duck, scallops, and a wonderful chocolate lava cake. The cake was rich, but not sweet. The chocolate they use is fantastic! Tonight we head to Harmony Islands for the night. Wednesday May 4th It was a cool, sunny morning in Harmony Islands. My husband was not feeling well this morning. Erica and Emi asked if they could bring him something to eat. Pamela told me a story about a passenger that never left the boat. He said that 51 weeks out of the year he is on land, but this one week he was on a boat with food, drinks and service. I think it was her way of making me feel better. So nice! She also said that she could find a crew member to kayak with me if I wanted. I decided to join the group and go skiffing around the islands and view the 800’ waterfall. First, we drove south to a smaller island. We saw eagles, seals, and sea lions that slipped into the water as we approached. The eagles soared high about, land on the tops of trees, view us for a while and then fly off. We spotted a black bear on shore eating oysters. He almost looked like a black rock, he was so still. It took a few steps and was engulfed into the dense forest. The Dogwood trees were in bloom along the shore. Pam whipped the boat at full speed back to the Safari Quest, where delicious hot chocolate with whipped cream and Grand Mariner awaited us. I was surprised when I took off my waterproof pants the chill in the air. They worked great to shield my legs from the wind chill on the skiff. Lunch was great! A salad with grilled prawns, green beans, artichoke, deviled egg, olives, tomatoes, fingerling potatoes with herbs, and a key lime tart! Yum!! A couple minutes after lunch we were transferred to Jedidiah Island. The walk was wonderful. Old fern filled evergreen forests change to sunny meadows. The old house, barn and surrounding buildings still stand. The house is perched on a hill overlooking a magnificent view of a gorgeous bay with large rocks, trees, and a beach of oyster shells. A quick skiff ride back to happy hour and dinner. Are we eating again? At dinner we had the Chef in Training, Cari. We noticed the difference right away. Short ribs, salmon were not as tasty as Chef Mark’s. Dessert was a terrific Tiramisu tart. Beautiful presentation and we think the best dessert so far! Thursday May 5th Anchor up at 6:30AM to try to beat the wind. We set sail through the Strait of Georgia. I took an early breakfast then up to the bridge for wildlife watch. Besides beautiful islands, narrows and other boats there wasn’t a reason to get the cameras out. Lunch was at Noon as we docked in Ganges. We walked out through security and got to shop for a quick hour before boarding our bus for a tour of Salt Springs with Jason. We got to see this beautiful island, a goat cheese farm, and a short hike up the coast. The goat farm was interesting with delicious samples of their cheeses, jams, chutney, olives and creamsicles. The hike along the coast was spectacular. As we were resting at one of the scenic points, an eagle landed in a nearby tree. He let us take a couple of photos before flying off across a bay and screeching to his mate. We arrived back at the harbor with enough time to visit a couple more shops in town before they closed. Before dinner we got a tour of the engine room. We were surprised it was larger than we thought and very clean. The water treatment was interesting. Dinner was served at 7:30PM. Choices were a moist chicken breast, perfectly cooked cod filet and in honor of Cinco de Maya, a vegetarian cheese empanada. For dessert we had a 3 layer cake with fresh berries. It was so rich. After dinner there was story telling by Captain Dano – a true treat!! Also, magic tricks, jokes, but no singing. It was fun. You could venture into town if you wanted, as we were parked at the dock all night. There was a sign out and sign in board if you left the ship. Friday May 6th I can’t believe it is Friday. But, looking forward to getting back in the USA! Customs went smoothly in Friday Harbor. We gathered in the lounge after breakfast. The agent came on board and checked out everyone’s passport. She asked us what we purchased then welcomed us back! We then were ready for the tour of San Juan Island. The first stop was of a lighthouse and State Park. The walk was beautiful down to the coastline and then across to the lighthouse. We later found out that this spot is one of the BEST places in the world to view Orcas! Down the road was a lavender farm and Alpaca Farm. We didn’t have time to see the National Park, which was disappointing to me, but stopped at Roche Harbor. We got to the Whale Museum with enough time to view before lunch back on board the boat. The museum had a lot of “hands on” displays. Lunch was at 1PM. Pork tenderloin sandwich or roasted eggplant. Again, the salad was very good. Dessert was Pecan Bar. After lunch it was back up top to watch for wildlife. I did not spot any whales in the many hours I looked through the binoculars. There were plenty of different types of birds, if you are a birder. We did come alongside a fellow Quest boat. It was fun to watch them do the Polar Plunge. Dinner was SPECTACULAR!!!! A tasting extravaganza!! First was Salmon roe with cucumber au jus. The first course was parsnip soup with roasted parsnips. Second course was halibut with finger length potatoes. Third course was NY strip steak, mushrooms, Brussel sprouts. Dessert was a wonderful lemon and ricotta cheese cake with pistachio shortbread crust. After dinner we received our luggage tags for tomorrow’s disembarkation. White was for the airport people; yellow for the hotel transfer. We also had the opportunity to check out our tab. 7% to 10% of cabin rate is standard for a tip. Some gave less, some gave more. We hope that more gave more. The crew is worth every percent you give them. The slide show was outstanding. The music was great and photos even more so. It was fun to relive the wonderful memories of an awesome cruise in a few short minutes. We are very lucky to be able to compare this cruise (and crew) with many we have taken. This cruise and especially this crew is by far the BEST! The crew works extremely hard to ensure you have a terrific time. Even while we were at breakfast the last morning, they tidied up our stateroom. We had requested two things before we sailed. One was a special juice and the other a specific soda. They provided both without making it seem like an inconvenience. Other cruise lines have informed us that “this” is the juice they serve, or “this” is the brand of soda they have. It meant the world to us that they made a special effort to get those specific things for us. It showed us early on that they cared! Thank you so much Safari Quest!! Saturday May 7th The final breakfast was as good and fast as the others. The special was vanilla pancakes that were so fluffy. It was served with fresh berry compote. My eggs were cooked to perfection (over easy), as well as my toast. While at breakfast they loaded our luggage onto awaiting buses. The crew lined up on the pier to wish each and every one of us a safe journey and thanked us for cruising with them. We in turn thanked them profusely for the terrific week we had. They are special!! Every one of them made our week the most memorable, fun, and special experience imaginable. One bus drove to the airport, the other to the hotel’s hospitality room. Traffic was light and we arrived at the airport in 45 minutes. It was sad to leave such a pretty city and the best cruise line, UnCruise, behind. We will be on another UnCruise as soon as we can! BUT, I do not think that another crew can surpass the Safari Quest’s crew! Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
My spouse and I have 40-something cruises under our belts. We've done mainstream cruise lines including Celebrity, HAL, Cunard, Oceania, Seabourn and Crystal. We were looking for an interesting cruise in Hawaii over Thanksgiving and ... Read More
My spouse and I have 40-something cruises under our belts. We've done mainstream cruise lines including Celebrity, HAL, Cunard, Oceania, Seabourn and Crystal. We were looking for an interesting cruise in Hawaii over Thanksgiving and found Un-Cruises on the web. Judging from previous member reviews, we weren't quite sure what to expect. Short and sweet, this was one of the top 5 cruises we have taken. The staff was simply amazing and knocked themselves out repeatedly. The ship was beautifully maintained and I have a pretty critical eye. Each morning the chef provided menu choices for lunch and dinner - the cuisine was artfully prepared and unusually varied. Wine choices were good and plentiful. It isn't Michelin 5 stars but it equaled what we have had elsewhere and we looked forward to mealtimes. Activities were extremely well organized with staff members taking part in everything. We were impressed with how they accommodated a wide spectrum of ages and ability levels. Our fellow passengers represented a diverse group of nationalities, were cultivated and inquisitive without being stuffed shirts. The only criticism we had was a temperamental toilet system which needs an engineering overhaul. We have deposited for another cruise already and can't wait to try another of their itineraries. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
We like wine and we like history, so the wine-themed cruise "Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History" aboard the SS Legacy seemed a perfect choice for us, especially because we'd never taken a river cruise so knew it ... Read More
We like wine and we like history, so the wine-themed cruise "Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History" aboard the SS Legacy seemed a perfect choice for us, especially because we'd never taken a river cruise so knew it would be entirely different from the four Alaska cruises we've already enjoyed on Un-Cruise Adventures small ships. Kristina welcomed us to the gathering space in the Portland, OR, World Trade Center, helped us with our bags, and at our request recommended a nearby cozy restaurant where we could have lunch. We had driven 200 miles and were able to long-term park at a decent rate only two blocks away from the site. A very tempting and generous presentation of fruit and pastries along with coffee and water was available to the guests at the WTC with restrooms conveniently located nearby. The SS Legacy was moored across the street a short walk away, and a luxury travel bus was available to those who could not or did not want to walk. The crew lined up to greet us as we boarded the ship and showed us to our individual rooms. From their enthusiasm you'd never guess that they had bid goodbye just hours earlier to the previous week's guests. After a brief safety talk in the beautifully appointed lounge and some time to familiarize ourselves with the boat, we filtered into the large dining room where every seat is a view seat and enjoyed Portland's beauty as we cruised along the Willamette River on our way to the Columbia. But this was a wine cruise! As such, an Un-Cruise steward who is also a professional sommelier enlightened us about the wines he'd chosen to complement our meals, regardless of whether it was the seafood, meat, or vegetarian entrée. Un-Cruise had even invited an independent wine blogger, Jameson Fink, whose blog Wine Without Worry is a delightful read full of his wine experiences, recommendations and recipes, to travel with us and introduce us to his personally-selected variety of wines over the course of the week. Jameson knows his stuff and shared it (and his humor!) with us each evening at the "5 o'clock cocktail hour and wine presentation." Two luxury buses ferried us to each day's destinations in total comfort, each bus hosted by Un-Cruise Heritage leaders Julie or Kenne, who presented the history of the region in an entertaining and educational manner. They also treated us to anecdotal information that was so much fun to learn. Now we know how the term "What in the Sam Hill" originated! (We were on Julie's bus and she is absolutely hilarious!) Somewhere along the line we discovered that Captain Dano had won liar's and storytelling contests, so we asked if he could tell some stories. Of course this was already planned on the weekly "Open Mike" night when crew and willing guests alike entertained us in the lounge after dinner. It was a packed house and everyone loved it! Julie, whose background is in theater, lowered the bar (she said) by telling some "sophisticated" jokes that made my cheeks hurt from laughter. From then it was game on! Wearing a pink cowboy hat, my husband told the story about the time he rented a pig and took it to a party, along with other tales from his Air Force career. The ship features an additional self-serve bar, the Pesky Barnacle, where guests can choose from several whiskeys, wines, and beer on tap at any time day or night. The bridge is open for guests to enjoy the view and the crew. In addition to exercise equipment located under cover on the top deck, there is yoga each morning, a private massage offered to each passenger in the wellness room, and a hot tub. Table settings in the dining room are representative of a fine dining establishment with the napkins are folded differently at each meal. No buffets here, by the way! There were several older guests who had mobility challenges so the SS Legacy's elevator made it easier for them to get around, and the crew was always ready with a helping hand any time it was needed. So many things stand out for this cruise (and Un-Cruise Adventures in general from our experience), including the warmth and personalities of various crew members, their remarkable knowledge through which we lifelong Washington State residents learned so much about our own state, their commitment to their guests, the great food and drink, the entertainment, and the spectacular beauty of the region. Would we recommend this and do it again? Yes we would! Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2015
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While ... Read More
The Safari Endeavour is the second largest ship in the Un-Cruise line with 42 cabins. We went on one previous cruise on a large cruise ship and did not enjoy it. It was large and massive, dumping 2,000 people into each port. While this trip is expensive it covered all activities, there were no additional costs involved. The not-so good - the cabins are small and our shower was particularly small. It was difficult to shower without getting the floor a bit wet. The two single beds could not be moved together in our cabin (which is noted in their catalog). Housekeeping was excellent, our cabin and bedding were very clean. Everything else exceeded expectations. We could go into bays and get close to glaciers, get even closer in kayaks (and look back on the large cruise ships that could just barely enter the bay). I felt an intimate connection with the fjords and the land. In the guided kayak trips there was one leader in front and one in back. The leaders were knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The dining room was a few feet above water level and the experience of eating as you glide past waterfalls and cliffs was delightful. I liked the fact that there was one seating per meal and you could sit at any table you wanted. Activities are geared to active retired people with usually three choices each morning and afternoon: bushwhacking, kayaking and a ride on a skiff. While hiking we saw salmon swimming upstream to mate, from the skiff we saw a family of bears catching fish, and on board ship we saw whales galore. At one point there were at least 6 whales swimming around the ship. This is a cruise that allows you to be intimate with Alaska. It was a fantastic experience. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2015
This Historic Cruise was made memorable by the expertise and enthusiasm of the historians/actors/guides. The ship, SS Legacy was small with about 80 passengers which led to instant camraderie with ones fellow passengers and the great crew. ... Read More
This Historic Cruise was made memorable by the expertise and enthusiasm of the historians/actors/guides. The ship, SS Legacy was small with about 80 passengers which led to instant camraderie with ones fellow passengers and the great crew. The food and drinks were outstaning and all included. Each day's shore excusions on various spots on the Columbia and Snake Rivers were very interesting/informative/and plain enjoyable. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
The drop down boxes on the review input form do not have an option for the Sea of Cortez or San Jose Del Cabo so I used what I had to file the review. The ship departed from and returned to San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, and ... Read More
The drop down boxes on the review input form do not have an option for the Sea of Cortez or San Jose Del Cabo so I used what I had to file the review. The ship departed from and returned to San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur, and cruised the Sea of Cortez. We choose this cruise because it was focused on birding in the Sea of Cortez. The expedition leader kept that focus throughout the trip. A birding guide from the area was on board and stayed available on-board as well as during the excursions. Those passengers less interested in birding had most of the whale watching, snorkeling, hiking and zodiac cruises still available. There were 72 passengers on this 84 passenger boat. We met at the Barcelo Grand Faro for the transfer to the ship. Un-Cruise provided us with wristbands that gave us access to the amentities of the all-inclusive Barcelo prior to the transfer. We were on-board and away on time. The captain greeted us all and a photo book of guests and staff was prepared from our arrival photos. The book stayed in the lounge to help when names escaped the memory. The cabin was a bit small but we expected that. Most of our time was on the observation decks or in the lounge. We had asked for the twin beds to be pushed together as a king and found that left one of us up against the wall. We decided to keep the arrangement and it caused little problems for us during the trip. The food was very well prepared and menus varied. Service was friendly and professional. Meals were at a set time but seating was open. There was a very good early risers breakfast for those up early. The bar was well stocked with premium brands and the bartenders well trained. Drinks were quick to arrive and well prepared. The espresso machine was a big hit. Guest to staff on this boat was 72/36. This was the last cruise of the season in the Sea of Cortez and everyone was doing the additional work of getting ready to steam to Annacortes, Wa. for dry dock in addition to their normal duties but the work was always done properly and you always got a smile from the staff. The captain and other ranking officers were often out and made a point to visit with guests. There was a medical emergency mid-week that ultimately required that we change itinerary and get to a close spot for medical attention. Guests were kept informed of decisions made without intruding on the individuals privacy and the person was taken to a local hospital for treatment. I thought it was well handled by the crew. There was a presentation most nights about the cultural and natural aspects of the areas we visited but no nightlife other than that. They really do brake for whales. Spotters on the bridge kept expedition staff informed about any sightings and we frequently slowed down and spent some time with whales or dolphins. There are a couple of hot tubs and some exercise equipment but no pool. There are no specific facilities for children. The mountains' islands' and waters of the Sea of Cortez are ruggedly beautiful. Water temp of 70F was bit cool for us but the ship carries wetsuits and snorkeling gear. There was fitting and instruction the first morning then you used the same equipment all week. The Sea of Cortez was not an option in the drop down box so I used the Mexican Riveria to be able to file the review. The cruise departed from San Jose Del Cabo, Baja California Sur and returned there. Fellow passengers were generally middle-aged and up' as we are' and well traveled. It is easy to find an interesting conversation during the cocktail hour. The schedule for the next day and sign up sheets for excursions were handled after dinner. The itinerary was changed one evening because the wind had changed and we had an opportunity to visit a beautiful cove that was usually too choppy. The expedition team and captain kept looking at the conditions to give us the best experience possible.There were usually one or two snorkel outings, one or two zodiac tours. beach activities, and normally one highlight excursion. These included burro rides, swimming with sea lions, swimming with whale sharks, and a cultural walk in Loreto. We used a couple of afternoons specifically cruising to sight whales and dolphins. The expedition team kept things moving without being intrusive about it. It was clear in all their behavior that safety was a top priority and it was constantly reinforced. This was our third expedition style cruise and was very good. The ship, staff, and location combined for a great experience. We were in cabin 203. This is a captain class room with two movable twin beds. We had them set up as a king but meant one side was against the wall. We were OK with it but consider it before setting up your bedding request. There is a small desk and chair, a good sized wardrobe, and a small ensuite. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
For my 70th birthday, my wife and I wanted to cruise to Alaska, but we wanted to avoid the very large ships used on most cruises. We envisioned mostly staying onboard watching the beautiful scenery with the occasional whale. On the Safari ... Read More
For my 70th birthday, my wife and I wanted to cruise to Alaska, but we wanted to avoid the very large ships used on most cruises. We envisioned mostly staying onboard watching the beautiful scenery with the occasional whale. On the Safari Explore,r we got much more, and it was great. Uncruise specializes in active cruises. Everyday activities included long and short kayaking trips, hiking and bushwaking, and zodiac tours of fjords. All activities were led by staff who were very knowledgeable about the local plants and animals. Whether on an activity or just cruising aboard the ship if an interesting animal was spotted, we just stopped and watched. We saw humpback whales, orcas, bears, sea lions, seals, eagles and a wolverine. After activities, we relaxed in a very comfortable lounge with an open bar policy or just watched the beautiful scenery. At night the ship stopped in a cove for a restful sleep. The staff attentive to our requests. My wife said she felt like a queen--ask and it was done. The cabins were adequately large and clean. Lunch and dinner were very good (not great) with adequate portions. Breakfasts were just average and lacked variety. The activities are focused on active adults and teens. The cruise would not be good for children (or anyone else) who needs to be entertained. There is no wifi and mostly no cell phone service. Overall it was a great experience and much better than we expected. In the end, we felt that our cruise on the Safari Endeavour, while expensive, was good value for the money. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2013
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and ... Read More
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and online, are reliable. We're very experienced, non-wealthy travelers, but our only previous cruise was another small ship, 30 years ago on the Nile. (That was great too.) We splurged for this one, but the up-front cost was cushioned a bit by the all-inclusive policy (including adult beverages). The daily, up-close encounters with glaciers and all the magnificent southeast Alaska scenery, and with a great variety of wildlife, were just what we hoped for. The sea was calm, the weather better than expected, the crew absolutely terrific. Guides accompanied small groups for each excursion, offering troves of information, helpful encouragement for inexperienced kayakers and hikers, and assurances of safety. We're 60-plus, reasonably fit but not athletic, and we found the daily choices of activities perfectly suited to our abilities and interests. Kayaking up a salmon stream; hiking along a deserted beach, through back country, or up the side of a glacier; cruising on a pontoon boat accompanied by orcas.... We brought back memories to last a lifetime and hundreds of gorgeous photos. The food was of a very high standard, usually with two choices of main course at each meal (and an option to try both), impeccably served in a casual atmosphere. The chef and pastry chef came up with delicious alternatives to accommodate a friend with a restricted diet. Our fellow passengers were mostly of similar age to us, a few younger and one in his 80s, with several Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, other Europeans, and Chinese in the mix. Despite the open bar and generous pouring of wine and beer at meals, I saw no sign of bad behavior. We're eager to sail with this company again on a different itinerary. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
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