Trip of a Lifetime II - Prince Albert II
The Prince Albert II is a luxurious expedition ship with 5 star cuisine and outstanding attention to detail and service. It offers the ambiance and beautiful lines of a large private yacht, not a cruise ship. It is intimate enough so that at the end of your voyage you feel like family with the incredible staff and crew.
The cabins are roomy and tastefully decorated. The cabin staff were very patient and helpful even with muddy gear from jungle hikes. To our surprise, the room service when we decided to "dine in" one night was a 5 course meal from the evening dinner menu at the suggestion of our wonderful butler. The entertainment at the piano bar was great, and if you are lucky enough to have a BBQ on the stern with the in house band "Da Mixed Nuts" you are in for a real treat.
Now to our voyage : Our second wildlife expedition voyage with Prince Albert II was to Central America in October 2009. This was not a repositioning cruise by any means, while the ship was heading from the Artic to Antarctica (the Antarctic Peninsula was our first expedition). This was an exciting voyage to famous and remote areas from Costa Rica to Ecuador. We enjoyed hiking in rainforests and tropical islands, snorkeling with sharks at Cocos, an upriver trip to visit the Embera people in the Darien Jungle of Panama, an unforgettable crossing of the Equator courtesy of King Neptune and crew, hearing the haunting songs of the humpback whales while snorkeling at Isla Gorgona, and walking among hundreds of courting Blue Footed Boobies on Isla de la Plata. The staff's dedication and persistence allowed the passengers to be aboard the first cruise ship to stop at Cocos and Isla Gorgona. The outstanding expedition staff included a marine biologist, geologist, anthropologist, and naturalist/orinthologist who all provided entertaining educational talks. It was a little like grad school only with champagne and no exams. The expedition staff, as well as the outstanding crew have excellent and consistently high safety standards. We always felt very safe and in good hands. We never felt rushed getting in and out of the zodiacs or while hiking since this is a small ship at remote locations and there was not another tour group right behind us limiting our enjoyment or ability to take some great pictures. The staff was always very helpful in making accommodations for passengers of all ages and physical fitness, and are also very flexible and able to quickly improvise or go to "Plan B" depending on weather and safety considerations. We are already planning and looking forward to another expedition of a lifetime aboard the Prince Albert II - we can't imagine ever going on another ship.
Michael & Nora Lewis