10 Juneau First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge ... Read More
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge advantage, in my opinion. Also, everybody on staff worked SO hard--guides, dining hall people, etc. What I really came to dislike, however, was the relentless upselling that seemed to be happening constantly. No matter what was happening your guide was constantly telling you how GREAT it all was. "Aren't we lucky! Isn't this FANTASTIC!" when in fact it was pouring rain and for some reason no bears appeared in what was supposed a bear-heavy area. Then the day we started out we had to endure a long motivational talk by the company president that probably did contain SOME interesting information, but which got buried under the infomercial type of atmosphere. Likewise on our last night at the "captain's dinner" were we told that that he had some important information for us -- and then passed us to another recorded infomercial from the owner and THEN we had to endure more upselling about how we could earn discounts by purchasing credits beforehand, etc. etc. It was really a turnoff. The other thing is that, while they certainly provided us with activities, nothing is terribly strenuous. Most people were probably in their 50s and 60s --- that being said, there were plenty of people in their 50s who were pretty athletic and it was difficult being confined on a boat for a week without access to exercise that was a little more strenuous than what was on offer. I think I if Un-Cruise could offer at least a couple of activities during the week that were a little more challenging physically it would help out people there who are fit and used to being more active. I know my husband, who runs several miles a day, was going crazy at the relative inactivity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is ... Read More
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is not unusual, we saw a number of them in Alaska, but always some distance away and only the backs, they are still majestic and beautiful but sightings were not regular nor close. We saw an Orca once and at quite a distance, like, pretty much a spec. I agree with one of the other reviews re the upselling - especially the Captains Dinner, when to be honest, I didn't even notice the Captain, other than at the beginning when he introduced his team. Listening to the Video and being told how easy and at a reduced cost it would be to book the next cruise sounded desperate. Send us the info later!! Nobody was really interested at that time. This holiday gets such rave reviews that I will be considered the negative naysayer, but here goes anyway. There are many pro's for this cruise, but a number of con's also: The guests were all delightful, interesting and engaging. A lot of them quite fit and I really enjoyed an impromptu yoga class by the gorgeous Meghan on the deck in glorious sunshine as we travelled along. A truly magical day. The Bushwhacking was great if you love Lichen and other plants, but it got quite tedious after that. Having said that, I was in the very lucky group of people that witnessed a bear catching salmon in the river, it was about 40 metres away from us and a truly amazing sight, if for nothing else the trip was worth it just for that. Nobody else saw a bear, even in the distance, other than this sighting. The kayaking was really enjoyable, especially when guided by Sarah W, she seemed to be able to get the right amount of talking happening, she was informative but also happy for the landscape and environment to speak for itself. The food was certainly above average and the pasty chef was amazing. Biscuits and cakes were delicious. The guides were all extremely well read and informed, they knew their stuff. Skiff rides through the glacier ice in Icy Strait were truly amazing. I agree with a previous review though, that at times I was stir crazy for some hard exercise. On the second day the Captain advised us that there was a "stowaway", which was a gastro bug, effecting largely the crew. This made eating anything a lottery. To their credit they did seem to get it contained, before about Wednesday when an awful flu went through the ship. I found the ship to be quite grubby even when cleaned. The windows needed to be opened more and it needs the carpets and fabrics updating badly. It felt like a harbour for disease. Even a number of the crew looked like they could do with a good scrub. This could also be due to the fact that it was the second last cruise of the season and it just needed a good clean. The open bridge policy was a joke. The Captain had zero personality. I realise he has a large responsibility but I didn't like the way he was to the passengers or a couple of his crew. I think the bridge should be closed if the people up there cant be friendly. I realise it would be tedious being asked the same old questions, but if that's the policy at least do it well. The safety drill was ridiculous as was the way a false alarm was conducted. Accidents are unlikely and just as well as they would not have coped. The expectation of a large tip at the end might be expected in the USA, but those of us not from the States found it quite a high expectation of approx. $500 per cabin. Just be aware and factor it into the cost. The guides/crew/hospitality all worked extremely hard, although some had definitely had enough by this stage of the season. Would I do another Un-Cruise - Im just not sure. It was great on so many levels, but really I give most of the credit to the wonderful state of Alaska more than anything else. Would I recommend you to do this cruise with Wilderness Discoverer - yes. Just go with eyes opened. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, ... Read More
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, with one pod feeding in an awesome display of power. An Orca swam next to us for a short distance (at night so no photos other than the one planted in the memory bank). We were also accompanied by dolphins, eagles and the 'skiffers' caught and captured a bear on digital video and DLSR still as it was fishing a very short distance from our intrepid travellers. Two successive nights of the northern lights and the Big Dipper planted mid photo screen whilst two 'Questers' had a lazy hot-tub as the photographers did there work. Great trips ashore in Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Friday Harbor, sadly as the big ships AKA floating hotels were leaving. My wife was stopped by a long line of returnees in Ketchikan and told "there's a queue" you'll have to wait in line; said "excuse me, not for our ship" and continued to our birth. A multi talented terrific crew, enjoyable company with all our fellow 'Questers' superb sailing by all helmsmen/women, wonderful activities (skiffing, canoeing, hiking, photography, FUN AND MORE FUN) a great room with lots of under king sized bed storage and lots to do or nothing if that was your fancy. Got the brochure and planning our next small ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the ... Read More
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the making of a disaster - instead it was the beginning of an exciting adventure. Offered the option of ending the trip with total refund and future discount or the prospect of the ship being repaired and some days cruising (refunds for every day we didn't sail), we choose to stick around. Day excursions and two days at an Inn in Glazier Bay (air travel to and from, charters all at Un-Cruise's expense) allowed us to see almost everything the trip promised, even though the repairs were not completed during our stay. Bottom line, we got total refund and future discount, had a wonderful time, albeit not what we expected, met some wonderful people with whom the adversity/uncertainty bonded us as we experienced the amazing response of the crew/staff as they went all out to make our time memorable. Un-Cruise can write the book on "service recovery." Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This experience was wonderful. The crew was exceptional. Very accommodating. Educated on what we saw and where we were going. If they didn't know an answer they'd know who did. They bent over backwards to make this an ... Read More
This experience was wonderful. The crew was exceptional. Very accommodating. Educated on what we saw and where we were going. If they didn't know an answer they'd know who did. They bent over backwards to make this an extraordinary experience. They sights were spectacular. We saw whales, porpoise, dolphins, sea lions, puffins, bear, mountain goats, and even a banana slug :) Annie the Cruise Director had a great pulse on what to do each day. I told her why I was on the cruise and she helped me make the right decisions. Every day there were numerous activities to be a part of from kayaking to shore walks, bushwhacking hikes to skiff tours. The food was surprisingly good and I was shocked at the choices they provided for every meal. I never felt stuck eating something I wouldn't want to eat. The Pastry Chef Stephanie created delicious deserts and pastries. I actually met her on the plane from Seattle to Juneau where she told me this was her first cruise in Alaska and she created desserts that were as delicious as the sights we saw. This was my first cruise and I had no idea what I was getting into and now I can't wait to do this again and when I do I'll go with UnCruise. Easy decision after the experience they provided. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
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
Sail Date September 2013
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our ... Read More
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our SE Alaska action packed week. We started our trip out with two full days in Glacier Bay National Park with a forest ranger, Kailin, who offered presentations on birds and glaciers as we cruised up to the Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. We were able to get up close to the scenery and wildlife with kayaks, small boat tours and hiking opportunities. The next days were filled with several activity choices with our four well trained, knowledgeable, entertaining expedition guides, Matt, Conner, Jackie and Fancy. They took about a dozen people at a time on one of the many offered excursions. Matt our expedition leader, would go over our daily choices the night before with fun and thorough descriptions and creative names such as "leg stretcher" "boulder scramble" "gentle beach stroll" to define the various levels of activity from bushwhacking to small beach strolls to climbing ON glaciers. There were also guided small boat tours, kayak tours, open kayak and open up right paddle boarding on the beautiful blue, turquoise & green calm water. In between or after excursions, we usually hit one of the two hot tubs, of course still viewing the scenery and whales! We visited seven Glaciers and had excellent presentations on whales, geology, glaciers and the abundant wildlife we viewed throughout trip. The food was scrumptious, fresh and inventive. Every day presented with an early riser breakfast, full cooked breakfast, lunch, happy hour and three choices at dinner including local seafood, a meat option and a vegetarian option followed by a dessert prepared by a pastry chef. It was all so decadent I usually opted for surf and turf. Chef Mike was happy to accommodate any requests however I can say we all enjoyed everything they put in front of us. The ship has a lounge with Jerry our bartender, happy to make fun cocktails (drinks included- even premium) and cooled with GLACIAL ICE! There are many indoor and outdoor areas to view the wildlife. Also, our Captain Jenna would change the itinerary or timing as to maximize the wildlife viewing and experience. Super knowledgeable, friendly staff and really down to earth. I honestly can't say enough good things about our experience last week. I'm still trying to process all the fun we had and the "once in a lifetime" stuff we saw in one week: countless humpback whales up close, resident and transient orcas, brown bear, Dall's porpoise, a raft of otters, harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, eagles and many other birds. It was a truly incredible life experience for the four of us. WOW!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was our first cruise. We traveled from Juneau, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Group included myself, daughter, son-in-law and 19 yr old grand daughter. Majority of the travelers were between ages of 40 to 80+ but grand daughter was ok ... Read More
This was our first cruise. We traveled from Juneau, Alaska to Seattle, Washington. Group included myself, daughter, son-in-law and 19 yr old grand daughter. Majority of the travelers were between ages of 40 to 80+ but grand daughter was ok with that. Both staterooms were very nice although small but we were not in there for long periods of time. The entire ship was very nice and clean. Crew members were very friendly and helpful. Our on board naturalist Todd Weber was amazing! He has been doing tours for about 20 years and is very knowledgable about the area. If you are a history buff this is a good cruise for you. All of our shore excursions for town tours, museums etc were included in cruise price. At each port there were locals who came on board to perform music or give short talks about local history. We also had free time at the ports to shop or wander around the town. The meals on board were excellent! Each evening the cocktail hour was interesting with different appetizers and all drinks were complimentary. Breakfast consisted of fruits, cereals, etc as well as ordered hot foods. Each morning you had a menu for lunch and dinner so you could select what you wanted. Because of the region we were in there was a lot of seafood. We became tired of seafood 2 times a day but were able to order hamburgers, spaghetti etc. Before we arrived in Seattle we completed forms indicating times for transportation to airports or hotels. The crew members were very efficient in getting every one where they needed to go at the proper time. One traveler had to leave for airport at 4:00 am! We have already reserved out next cruises although we will not be traveling as the same group. We have decided we do not want to be on one of the large cruise ships unless we have to cross the ocean! Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013

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