7 Juneau Group and Theme Cruise Reviews

I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and ... Read More
I got to go in this cruise because a friend if a friend of a friend could no longer go and sold it for a fraction of the price. It was the best vacation I've ever had. I'm not one for a lot of words, so this will be short and sweet. Food: excellent. Variety, vegetarian options, seafood and red meat. Ammenities: excellent, courteous staff, well timed service Staff: Friendly, personable, uplifting, patient, fun Ship: Beautiful, clean, relaxing, 5 lounges plus a small library. Scenery: Magnificent, beautiful, interesting, educational Ports of Call: Interesting and educational: Skagway is touristy, but the train ride is cool. Haines and Petersburg are interesting and educational. Look for the trash cans in Petersburg. Entertainment: A little lacking... Would love an onboard band and more onboard activities, game nights, etc NOT for young children, but the teens and younger adults seemed to have a good and relaxing time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple ... Read More
This is our second cruise in Alaska. The first was a large ship cruise, which convinced us to take a small ship cruise to allow to see more of Alaska. We cruised out of Juneau, AK and returned to Juneau. The itinerary took to a couple of places that the large ships go, but mostly we went to places that the larges ship to not visit, Haines, AK, Petersburg, AK and the Lodge at Glacier Bay National Park. We flew into Juneau, AK day early so that we could do some additional whale watching with Harv and Marv's Whale Watching Tours. American Cruise Lines did extra work to ensure that our personal hotel reservation was tied to the precruise hotel, which allowed us not change hotels or rooms. Getting onboard and getting started was seamless. Our bags were in our room when we arrived. The Cabin on the American Constellation was large than the cabin on the large ship. The bathroom was also larger, with full sized shower. Dining was excellent, and while there wasn't a 24 hour buffet, no one went hungry. Onboard entertainment was local talent, from the places we stopped, so we were also able to discuss living in the remote parts of Alaska with several different people, from several different places. None of them regretted being remote. There were complimentary shore excursions, which were well planned and always accommodated everyone. There were also additional paid excursions which were on topic for Alaska. Rafting, kayaking, etc. We did not travel with children. In fact this type of small boat cruising tends to attract the senior crowd. We have already scheduled our next small ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they ... Read More
This was the first trip away from our young kids and wanted to do Alaska on a small ship. I found out how new this ship was and chased it down. Here are my notes. Quest Sunday - long day to buy time to get on ship at 5:30pm, they mean it and no-one got on before then. Juneau is boring and I wouldn't stay there. Tram was cool and worth it. When we did we got a person to take us to our cabin and desctibe all the features. There was more storage and room in our cabin than in hotel room. Don’t stay at recommended hotel - small rooms, noisy (loud) heaters (boilers) and it is just old. Our cabin on the ship was so much more spacious and has a crazy amount of storage, no way to use all of the drawers and other provided spaces. Pillows and blankets are amazing. Internet doesn’t work - too high latitudes for satellite to work.. I paid and got money back as we did get some cell service in small fishing villages but latency was so high that some applications wouldn’t work. Ship is a shield, so for any coverage you have to be on deck. Tracy Arm (Transit all night) Monday AM, I was pretty excited and woke up at 4am just to look around and saw icebergs out my window and I was on deck by 4:30am - and not only one. It was so crazy pretty that I stayed on deck pretty much to lunch. Food was very good all around. I’m not that picky and I give the food a B+ all around. Something for everyone and after meeting all the guests - no one had a bad thing to say. You get briefings before dinner and after breakfast every day. They over-communicate which seems annoying, but was rather useful. Staff is amazing all around. I can’t say enough good things and I look for those ‘cracks in the crew’ and found none. The respect for the naturalists was crazy high from fellow crew, not to speak of the guests. Monday was Tracy Arm and zodiac tours of the glacier. They take the entire guest list and chop into groups A, B, C and D. They use that to get rid of big lines for activities. We were in group C so they call on the PA to give us a 15 minute notice of when we should head to the mud room to put on Life jacket and board the zodiacs. Max wait was 10 minutes. They clearly have this figured out. Preso’s every day after lunch and dinner by very polished naturalists who know their stuff. I was crazy tired this night and crashed hard.. Speaking to other guests which I now had a chance to socialize with - was the same. Tuesday Morning - hit the zodiacs to go see icebergs that have calved off the glacier. Sounds boring? - look at the pictures and video. Amazing morning - water perfectly still and warm. We all got amazing photo’s - walk on fire trail, banana slugs and bear skat. Then kayaking that wasn’t so interesting but good exercise. Petersburg at lunch - great sleepy fishing village. Could arrange floatplane flights. Or walking (or van) into town or taking a free bicycle which we did. Very nice stay and we had dinner while the ship pulled out of port. This was a real treat. MIT alumni group on board and a professor gave a talk on climate. Very interesting and nice people. weather turned hawaii and we had upper 70’s, sun and heat. crazy. Wish I had more t-shirts. I wore shorts to dinner 4 nights in a row. Wednesday early morning hiking - no so interesting and then kayaking, was cool but not the best. Afternoon (Wednesday) was ok hiking morning, but ‘activity watching in afternoon cruise’ which started out pretty boring, everyone looking but some sea lions. Weather was hot in the sun. Then someone in bridge saw something on the port shore - ship turned too hard and some dishes went flying(turns out that was autopilot accident) - but we found a large group of humpbacks were bubble feeding on the shoreline. They split into 2 different groups and were amazing. We had that all day where I stopped counting at 25 ‘breaches’ of the bubble fishing. Most amazing day ever. Would check most folks bucket list to see 1 or 2, but 25+. You have never seen a more satisfied group of passengers and crew that dinner. Most of us knew that was a ‘1 in a lifetime’ afternoon. I hope I can post a few photo’s. Thursday (Icy Strait) - morning hiking in a great rainforest - like walking on sponges. lots of wild flowers and such. After that taken to ‘kayak beach’ where we kayaked ‘follow the leader’ around the Idaho inlet and it was awesome. Guest MIT lecture on Climate and then zodiac rides (A, B, C & D) with real alaskan weather and saw whales, sea lions, otters, eagles taking fish…. great lunch day (turkey) Afternoon zodiac tour of the Inian islands. Amazing - saw whales, sea lions, otters and a Bald Eagle took a 1/2 fish from a sea lion thirty feet in front of our zodiac. I have a picture of that that Tom caught - amazing. took it easy and let folks take naps and slow down a bit. Great dinner and lecture after about summer solstice, some video of diving around the kayak route and Chelsey talking about seals, sea lions and Otters - awesome. Got cold and folks went to sleep. Alaska part 2 Plan for the best - you have your cold weather gear, but you have crazy storage on the Quest - don’t forget t-shirts and shorts. On my trip I left our walk weather stuff in Florida and regretted it. We had 3 days in a row where it hit upper 70’s and I was hot in the sun. I had only 1 pair of shorts and wish I had more. We had *lots* of empty drawers we could have used. Suitcases fit under the bed (easily) Video and camera My wife brought her DSLR (Canon) and they have free lenses for you to use on the ship. She borrowed a few 600mm lens and got the best whale photo’s of the trip. There are at least 2 professional photographers on the trip who will spend as much 1:1 time as you want. Take advantage of it. Star of the show is my iPhone 10 using 4K 60fps video. You can zoom like crazy and will be able to post-process great video. My MacBook air wasn’t powerful enough to do that and iCloud is setup that I needed WiFi (that doesn’t work at those latitudes - so don’t pay for it) I would let the iPhone take video if the whales are around - if you get it, great. If not - delete and try again. Don’t wait till you see them - will be too late (for bubble fishing). Same for glacier calving - I would record for 3 minutes and delete if nothing happened, but if it does - you will get most or all of it in 4K video. Clothing 1st day was cold and clear. I had bought these wind pants with a thin layer of fleece on the inside and they were killer good. My go to pants when cruising or a colder zodiac ride. Too hot for hiking when in 60 or 70’s, so I used my hiking pants and was ok to be a little cold on zodiac ride (10 minutes) and very comfortable on the hike. Front or side pockets to keep iPhone kept if very handy when something unexpected happened, which seems to be all the time Saturday We signed up for the ‘strenuous hike’ and had a good workout though the rainforest to a lake where the guides were surprised had some salmon already. I used my polarized sunglasses to get some good video on my iPhone. After we hiked back down we put on the low profile life jackets and went kayaking in this amazingly clear water. Most of the folks all agreed this was the best of the Kayaking on the trip. Good workout - back to the ship and ate a good lunch. The rest of the afternoon was cruising and looking for wildlife - most folks were tired and slept or started packing. This part of the cruise there seemed to be otters everywhere and I got my otter photo’s here. Right before dinner I was on the bow with some other folks when we saw porpoises on the bow. They rode the bow for 25 minutes and I got my iPhone out there for 4 minutes until my fingers were too cold to hold the phone. Some amazing video I need to edit when I get home. That night after dinner we did the guest slideshow. Each guest could submit 10 of their best photo’s and it was amazing what people got. Anyone could download it from 2 iMacs they had in the lounge. Was very fun. Lots of folks exchanging email addresses and the like for the rest of the evening. Also having some drinks with the crew as you have gotten to know them pretty well at this point. Last day We anchored outside Sitka. Hit the dock at 6am. 6:30am wake-up call. 7am breakfast and they wanted all bags (tagged) and put outside cabin before 7am. Most of us were on same flight from Sitka to Seattle at 2pm. There were 97 passengers. 13 were under age 18. 3 groups of families Grandparents and kids. Bunch of retirees - good group of folks. I'm 53 with wife 46 and we had a great time. Never felt crowded, but we had insane weather. Ask for tour of engine room and kitchen - very cool. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held ... Read More
My husband and I always wanted to go to Alaska but we DIDNT want to be on a 2000 person ship where people got dressed up to stand in line for a buffet dinner, look at glaciers and breathtaking sites from half a mile away, and be held captive on the ship except for occasional outings for tourist stops. We wanted to be on a ship where we sit and have plated dinners, where by the end of the week we actually knew everyone on the ship, and most importantly, where we "experience" Alaska close up. Un-Cruise exceeded our expectations in every way. Every day we were able to chose from kayaking, skiff tours, hiking, beach walks on glaciers and more (polar plunge for the brave ones which ended up being 1/3 of the people). It wasn't fancy it was a true Alaska experience. We didn't bring high heels we brought hiking boots. The food was 5 star every night with a choice of meat, fish, or vegetarian, with a homemade dessert and a full bar open from lunch if you wanted to sit in the hot tub with a beer, through the entire evening. Every evening there were fabulous lectures from naturalists giving talks about native bird life, fish, bears, and how the weather changes are effecting Alaska. The crew was highly educated and treated each guest as if they were family. Our safely was their number one priority and they kept every guest healthy and safe through the entire week. When we disembarked the ship the entire staff lined up on the dock to shake our hands and thank us by name for joining them. We have already signed up to join Un-Cruise for a return in 2018. Can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I chose this cruise for my husband, myself, and two of our friends because of its excellent blend of natural adventure experiences, educational opportunities, and cultural enrichment, but also because it was a small ship with only about 60 ... Read More
I chose this cruise for my husband, myself, and two of our friends because of its excellent blend of natural adventure experiences, educational opportunities, and cultural enrichment, but also because it was a small ship with only about 60 cruisers. The trip was met to be a fun adventure. The trip far exceeded our expectations!! Every detail was managed seamlessly from being picked up at the airport in Juneau for embarkation to be taken to the airport in Sitka for disembarking according to our scheduled flights. The staff was courteous, friendly, and accommodating. The onboard director was knowledgeable, accessible, and extremely organized. The boat and staterooms comfortable, attractive, and well maintained. The captain and crew outstanding. We had adventures from whale watching in Glacier Bay (hundreds), to taking zodiac boats up close and personal to a calving glacier, to hiking waterfalls, visiting native villages, kayaking, an impromptu dance night, and the invigorating polar plunge. (if you desired) There was always a naturalist on board as well as a native Alaskan tribal member. During our exploration of glacier bay we were treated to a visit all day by a park ranger. Kids activities were implemented by the staff as well. There was always a choice of food for all meals as well as a well stocked bar for a minimal charge. Food was excellently prepared and gluten free and vegetarian options were always available. During the cruise you had many opportunities to met new friends, socialize, and adventure together. Absolutely the best choice for the money!!or even for more money! It was great!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make ... Read More
This is not your big boat cruise. I've been on those and the whole reason for the choice of this ship rather than the 2800 passenger ship that was also in those waters with us is to become intimate with the flora and fauna, make photographs. We sailed into all the nooks and crannies along the route, stopping for zodiac trips to shore with NatGeo photographers who were also naturalists, so we learned not only how to make great photographs, but also details about what we were photographing. Many times, one would hear the engine die followed by an announcement that wildlife had been spotted on shore and the captain would nose the boat very close to shore so everyone could get a good look and great pix. Don't know about other cabins, but no problems with smells in my cabin and the overall appearance of the ship was clean and tidy. The cabins are small - a place to crash after a busy day experiencing all there was. The shower/head was really tiny - to take a shower, throw some liquid soap against the walls, step in and turn around a few times. Don't forget to draw the curtain between the shower and the head or you will be trying to dry off with wet towels. But then again, I had one of the small cabins. There are a few larger ones. If you want a luxurious stateroom, take the 2800 passenger ship. You'll sort of get the experience. But if you want to get the pix of the black bear whom you could see had recently been in a fight, you are looking for something like this. PIX at http://flikr.com/photos/clind/albums. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to ... Read More
I've wanted to visit Alaska for years but a traditional cruise doesn't appeal to me. I was so excited to discover Un-Cruise. It exceeded my very high expectations. The crew is friendly, funny, professional and will do anything to make sure you have a perfect adventure. We learned to kayak, went bushwhacking, took skiff rides around huge icebergs, and watched humpback whales leap and dance. We spent much of the week a little wet and a little cold, knowing there would be a hot drink waiting for us on deck when we got back to the ship. The food was exceptional. Portions were very reasonable --not huge, but you could ask for more. Evenings were fun and sometimes educational but not heavy lectures. Passengers gather in the lounge often to drink, snack, play games, or meet. We changed tables and meal companions daily. Un-Cruise also has the advantage of being a small ship with great flexibility, so if water threatened to be rough, the captain and cruise director changed plans to give us a perfect week. I can't say enough good things about our experience. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015

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