12 UnCruise Safari Voyager Cruise Reviews

--you must be cool and comfortable at all times (you will get hot and sweaty on excursions, and you must stay hydrated in the tropical heat); --you don't want to get your feet wet (you need to wade to shore for the hikes); --you ... Read More
--you must be cool and comfortable at all times (you will get hot and sweaty on excursions, and you must stay hydrated in the tropical heat); --you don't want to get your feet wet (you need to wade to shore for the hikes); --you don't want to see amazing plant, animal, bird, and insect life up close and personal with narration by skilled and informed naturalists; --you don't want to be offered delicious food and drink three times a day with you own personal mixologist on call in between;-- --you need more evening entertainment than interesting lectures followed by board and card games. --you don't want to take advantage of the professional massage offered to every guest. MARVELOUS. We just love the UnCruise line with their excellent staff and attention to detail. Our room was very clean, quiet, and comfortable. Good air conditioning in rooms and common areas inside. All staff went above and beyond the call of duty to help everyone with any little problem that arose. There was a doctor on board for this itinerary. There are a lot of stairs between decks and some of the hikes are not suitable for those with knee and hip problems. They do provide hiking poles. Some days were pretty wavy, so lots of lurching around hanging onto the ship railings (you get used to it...) On this trip (Costa Rica and Panama) you will NOT have internet, TV, or cell service, so be prepared to entertain yourselves (you will sleep well after the day's activities, which start early and include hiking, boat tours, kayaking, paddle boards, snorkeling, etc). Staff are very attuned to safety at all times, which allows guests to relax and enjoy their "wild" activities. Itinerary details may change as captain and crew study the tides, weather, and animal trends. On a small ship like this (we had 45 passengers) you quickly make new friends with similar interests. Our trip hosted a professional nature photographer who gave classes, so lots of photo sharing! Capping the trip with a night passage of the Panama Canal in a small ship (next to the Panamax vessels) was just fascinating and well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We were interested in going through the Panama Canal and were looking for a cruise that also included some stops on the way. We also wanted to avoid too many sea days. When cruising, we normally book with the Seabourn but they did not ... Read More
We were interested in going through the Panama Canal and were looking for a cruise that also included some stops on the way. We also wanted to avoid too many sea days. When cruising, we normally book with the Seabourn but they did not quite fit the bill, although we have always been happy with them. We finally settled on the Uncruise “Ultimate Costa Rica and Panama”. We accomplished the stops we wanted and really enjoyed the travel through the canal, but we were quite disappointed with many aspects of the trip and the quality and cleanliness of the ship. I will try to explain why without being too heavy handed. Cost. The trip was not cheap. The cost per day is comparable to The Seaborn. We assumed the lower cabin quality etc., would be made up for by the land excursions. Not exactly! The Ship. The ship is old, run down and not very clean inside or out. The decks were dirty and common areas were not regularly cleaned. The outside was also dirty and had not seen a coat of paint for some time. The engine continually pumped out small amounts of diesel into the otherwise pristine sea. The air conditioning system did not work properly (read on). Cabin. The cabin was small but it was what we expected. The carpet; however, was stained and filthy. It had not been cleaned properly in a long time. The ac kept the cabin cool, but the cabin was very damp (no shower exhaust). Lounge. The lounge was ok with a nice bar. It was bright and there were tables and games were people could socialize. Nightly talks were held there. Sadly, the air conditioning did not work in there. It was like a sauna. Hence, avoided the lounge most days, and just could not bear to go too many of the talks. Dining Room. It was fine and functional. As meals progressed, it also became hotter to the point of being uncomfortable. It was never a place to relax after meals – clean up began as soon as service was completed. Food. Food was ok. Since we were on a two-week cruise, I was sad to see the menu on the second week was almost the same as the first week. Half the passengers did both weeks. Hours were very fixed. One night we had dinner at 17:45 with no reason given as to why. Probably for the convenience of the staff. You could not linger over a glass of wine after dinner, because the crew started cleaning up around you. Again, convenience of the staff seemed to trump passenger wishes. Staff. If it was not for the quality of the staff, I would have probably jumped ship. The stewards were very nice and attentive. The guides were also great although when on shore they tended to herd you. They were generally very safety conscious. The Captain was affable as were her operational crew. Shore activities. The cruise was advertised as an ‘adventure’ cruise. We generally went ashore twice a day, which is why we went with Uncruise. The ‘adventure’ was completely lacking in our view. It was the least adventurous trip we had ever been on. We were over-controlled, monitored and herded most days. As experienced travellers, we felt like were were always treated like very young children. We weren’t even given the option of just wandering around most of the towns on our own. In Costa Rica, we did not see much wildlife. Nobodies fault, just the way it was. “Hikes” were short and generally uninteresting (there were a few exceptions). You rarely got to walk more than 50 feet without having to stop and listen to the guide give some endless explanation of something you had already heard about many times. There was no snorkeling and only one kayaking outing. Panama was much better with lots of water activities and more wildlife. The snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding was much better there. Going through the canal was great. Fellow Passengers. Most of the people we met were very nice, diverse and interesting people. On the Costa Rica leg of the voyage, guests were considerably older. Dinner conversation was pleasant. Like all cruise people, the regular Uncruise people are very loyal (many had only sailed with Uncruise, however). Value for Money. When we compared our Alaska trip on the Seabourn with the Uncruise one that other passengers had done, there was no comparison. We had similar shore excursions, a much better stateroom, far superior food, more flexibility, more entertainment, a cleaner and newer ship that was more environmentally friendly. Believe it or not, the cost per day per person was less on the Seabourn. Conclusion. Notwithstanding the quality of the ship and its poor functioning ac, we enjoyed ourselves. We felt we were slaves to a schedule, and that we did not like. As on of our fellow passengers said: “She was tired of being nannied.” I would not recommend this Cruise Line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
This was our second UnCruise, the first was on the Endeavor from Juneau, Alaska, back to Juneau in July of 2016. We enjoyed it so much that we looked into others. Costa Rico was always on our bucket list and when our sister suggested ... Read More
This was our second UnCruise, the first was on the Endeavor from Juneau, Alaska, back to Juneau in July of 2016. We enjoyed it so much that we looked into others. Costa Rico was always on our bucket list and when our sister suggested this cruise we were on board! We cruised with four other family members. The first night was spent in San Jose in a lovely hotel, it was a nice was to unwind and get in vacation mode. We were happy staying at the hotel enjoying the restaurants and pool. The next day, in UnCruise fashion which is so organized, we were off to the coast and our ship. The fun began immediately with a skiff boarding then exploring our new home for the week, meeting the captain and crew. Everything went smoothly. Our cabin was very nice, we liked the layout of the room better then our room on the Endeavor. Two complaints about the ship. One being the dining room, we felt like we were in the basement, it was dark with small high windows, not much natural light or views. The second critique being with the comfort of the lounge chairs. They need to be more comfortable and have some chairs and/or ottomans so you can put your feet up. The food was ok, not great, as compared to our Alaskan cruise. The entertainment, activities, and excursions were the best! We like being active and we sure got it, hikes through the jungle, swimming, kayaking, snorkeling, and walking the beaches. You could be as active or inactive as you'd like. The list of birds, animals, and fish that we observed is long and amazing. All of our guides were stellar! We fell in love with all of them. They were extremely friendly and knowledgeable. We felt like family after the week. And that goes for the rest of the crew that took care of us all week. Yoga on the top deck of the ship in the morning watching the sun come up was a highlight for me then afterwards our yoga fruit drinks were waiting for us. I have never seen so many stars in the night sky. Everything was so special. Going through the Panama Canal was a bonus. The entire experience was very interesting and educational. Definitely would recommend this cruise, it truly was amazing from start to finish. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
I chose this cruise (as a solo traveller) on the promise of a full transit of the Panama Canal, which had long been on my list. So having spent many thousands of pounds to do this trip it was a nasty surprise to receive an email from ... Read More
I chose this cruise (as a solo traveller) on the promise of a full transit of the Panama Canal, which had long been on my list. So having spent many thousands of pounds to do this trip it was a nasty surprise to receive an email from Uncruise 48 hours before departure telling me that its vessel had lost its authority to use the Canal. Their alternative was to bus us one third of the way up the canal and stick us on a sweltering tour boat where all the best seats had already been taken by another party. A disgusting way to treat customers who have paid a premium for a very specific experience and then failed absolutely to deliver. Aand their response ? 5% reduction on the priced of a future Uncruise trip, which is no use to me as I refuse ever to travel with them again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
the Panama Canal was on our bucket list and we love small ship cruising. Uncruise had good reviews so we decided to go. The staff was professional, friendly and were serious about safety. Cons: -Our room had maintenance issues ... Read More
the Panama Canal was on our bucket list and we love small ship cruising. Uncruise had good reviews so we decided to go. The staff was professional, friendly and were serious about safety. Cons: -Our room had maintenance issues and the staff was aware of them. They made no attempt to fix the issues. (drawers that would not open/close, moldy a/c unit from being wet) -Sheets/comforter slide off the bed during the night -Only 1 vacuum onboard that works -Our cruise was over New Years and NO mention was made of it. No Happy New Year - our cruise was supposed to be a holiday cruise. -Ships bridge was never open to us. In our other small ship cruising it was open. -We were interested in the walking tours described in the brochure but there was problems with several of them. For example, the ranger station was closed so we could not take the tour. The staff seemed more interested in snorkeling and kayaking instead of the tours described in the brochure. Basically, it was a weird trip. We will never use Uncruise again. Also, I did contact the Uncruise and they did respond with a discount on another cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
My late husband and I took Uncruise twice within Alaska and loved it- it was exactly what we were looking for. Up close and personal with nature, staff who really knew their stuff about what you were seeing on hikes and other excursions. ... Read More
My late husband and I took Uncruise twice within Alaska and loved it- it was exactly what we were looking for. Up close and personal with nature, staff who really knew their stuff about what you were seeing on hikes and other excursions. good, locally-sourced food but food was not the 24/7 focus of the trip. Fellow travelers friendly, curious, down-to-earth, everyone leaves their egos and their bling at home, There are no locks on the doors. This new destination did not disappoint. For this cruise, we met in a lounge at the Hotel Bristol in Panama City, which was a VERY good choice for my two-night stay. I brought a sandwich from the convenience store down the road; offerings in the hospitality suite were mostly coffee, tea, water and mini-pastries. We filled out immigration forms and handed in passports, which were kept by the crew all week so that we didn’t have to bother with formalities when we crossed borders. There was a mix of ages, mostly older and middle-aged. The vast majority were repeat customers, some on their third or fourth cruise with the company. Panama Canal: I booked this trip for the nature aspect and the fact that it transited the Canal was a “nice-to-have”. It turned out to be a spectacular start to the trip. We made a 2-hour visit to the Visitor’s Center, where we could see ships transiting the new segment of the Canal and saw a video on the construction of the new section. Another example of why UnCruise is a class act: there was an admission charge and I was ready to hand over my credit card and found that a crew member was handing out tickets. Cost of passage depends on time of day, size of ship, load, etc. but for our ship was probably $20-$25K, maybe $850K for bigger ships. I retired early after we’d passed through three locks; projected time to the Pacific side was at 1 AM, which was well past my bedtime. The time was spent in interesting conversations with my fellow passengers, watching the locks open and close and watching the giant ships around us. Food: 2 or 3 entrée choices, always a vegetarian option, dessert at lunch and dinner. Seconds for those who wanted it. Chocolate ice cream was a popular dessert substitute! Lunch examples: chicken gyro, either beef or roasted vegetables on a tostada. Dinner: ropas Viejas, fish prepared in various styles, vegetable curry, seared ahi tuna, plaintain-encrusted chicken, plaintain-encrusted tofu. Breakfast- Costa Rican beans and rice, chorizo sausage, eggs Benedict, steel-cut oatmeal, vegetable frittata. Early bird breakfast at 6:30 AM included fruit, some type of fresh pastry and a variety of overnight oatmeal. It really felt like I was eating two breakfasts! Lunch and dinner had 3 menu options, one always vegetarian. Staff easily handled requests such as gluten-free, no onions. etc. No Wi-fi- on PC open to guests with maybe a 15-minute limit would be an improvement for those of us whose cell phones didn't have an international option in the plan. Crew- a mix of US-based but including local guides and skiff operators. All switched easily between English and Spanish, including one whose mother tongue was one of the indigenous languages. The guides were knowledgeable and LOVED to tell you about their country (they were mostly Costa Ricans). I was traveling solo and had a great time. The staff was friendly and couples didn't always stick together at excursions or early breakfasts or out on the decks so at any point I might be talking with just one of them. Seating for meals is not assigned so I ended up dining at least once with just about everyone. All alcohol included and it's good stuff. I did note in my comments that I would prefer buffet lunch- lunch was at 12:30 and sometimes that was too close if your excursion was at 1:40. All excursions included and carefully explained the night before so you didn't end up on one that was too strenuous. My favorites were the snorkeling trips. The last day I kayaked, snorkeled, swam and hiked on the same day. Fitness- they have a few machines on one deck. Nothing to write home about but the swimming, hiking, kayaking, etc. are plenty! Yoga every morning at 6:15 AM. I did not partake. I had an excellent massage- included in the cost. This line caters to a very specific market who doesn't want a floating shopping mall, do not need to be treated like deposed European royalty by staff from developing countries, and who care about the environment and the culture of the places they visit. I've already put down a deposit on my next cruise- my 4th- most likely the Sea of Cortez! The lounge has a library with board games, tons of books on the wildlife and history of the area and even charts of the constellations. Yes, it's that kind of crowd. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our second Adventure Cruise with Un-Cruise. Of course the transit of the Panama Canal was on the bucket list, but this was so much more. Safari Voyager is set up for Kayaking, trail hiking, snorkling and many trips ashore in ... Read More
This was our second Adventure Cruise with Un-Cruise. Of course the transit of the Panama Canal was on the bucket list, but this was so much more. Safari Voyager is set up for Kayaking, trail hiking, snorkling and many trips ashore in Zodiacs. It is not a "sit on the boat and watch the world go by"! I must say I thought the Alaska trip on the Safari Endeavor was physical, but this was even more so. For example, the day I went snorkling, I was in the water for more than two hours with no flotation. I am a strong swimmer, but at 74 years old, even I was fatigued at the end! Wouldn't have missed it though. You certaintly don't have to do it all, but the temptation is certainly there. Plenty of bird watching and spider monkeys. Didn't know the Howler Monkeys were so very loud. Food and bar facilities were world class. Plenty of new friends. Booked a pretrip of four days with Sergio of Costa Rican Tails through Un-Cruise to the interior of the country. Highly recommend using Un-Cruise for this too. they handled the pre and post hotels and all ground transportation (not a minor benifit). Un-Cruise is one first rate adventure tour experience. We are in the process of booking a trip on the Columbia River on the Legacy for 2018 with them. Discaimer: have no ties to Un-Cruise. Have used Rick Steves and Grand Circle plus done many a trip on our own all over the world, but this is one we will remember at the end!! Jeanne & Gil Surry, VA Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
My wife and I did an Alaska cruise with the company last year and really enjoyed it. The expedition leader for this trip said upfront to not compare ships or cruises as each is so unique. That is hard to do when expectations are made so ... Read More
My wife and I did an Alaska cruise with the company last year and really enjoyed it. The expedition leader for this trip said upfront to not compare ships or cruises as each is so unique. That is hard to do when expectations are made so high from a prior adventure. The ship was great. Great food, our cabin was comfortable and everything worked well though other guest apparently had some problems. The crew was wonderful, knowledgable and engaging. The problem was, they had not gotten the itinerary smoothed out as this was only the second full run through. In Alaska, if there was a change, the Captain and Expedition leader had plenty of alternatives. On this trip, the alternatives didn't provide the level of experience the original stops professed. Ostensibly, the issues involved tides, currents and timing due to scheduled park closures, all of which they should have known about. As noted in another review, the Canal crossing had to happen at night which they also also know but it is not mentioned in the material. The bottom line, our on ship experience was great, the "adventure" was disappointing. Read Less
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
Sail Date February 2017
Wanted to see this area and had been on Un-Cruise 5 times (Sea of Cortez, Northwest US and Alaska) on the Quest (smaller ship) and LOVED it! Pros: -the expedition staff was REALLY good and very enthusiastic. -3-4 levels of ... Read More
Wanted to see this area and had been on Un-Cruise 5 times (Sea of Cortez, Northwest US and Alaska) on the Quest (smaller ship) and LOVED it! Pros: -the expedition staff was REALLY good and very enthusiastic. -3-4 levels of excursions each day. -Lots of good sights and hiking choices. Costa Rica (the main portion of the trip (is all hilly and mountainous) and quite hot! -We may have had the best cabin on the ship (Jr Commodore suite #201). The room was very adequately sized, with queen bed, 2 nightstands, a sofa and desk. The closet space and other drawers were very adequate. One of our suitcases did not fit under the bed, as it was too deep, but we had room to navigate around it. This cabin has a full length shower in a good-sized bathroom. We saw some of the others which had their sink in the room as opposed to the bathroom. Even the Owner's Suite (next door to us) had the full-sized tub and sink outside the bathroom, in the living area! And they had to keep their curtains closed for privacy, since that cabin in right in front of the deck where crew are working or passengers hang out. -Food at dinner was good, certainly not gourmet (like on the Quest). Buffet meals breakfast and lunch were adequate with a number of choices. -Massage service was very nice (included 1 per person). Cons: -The cruise through the Panama Canal starts in the later afternoon, so it was dark (apx.10pm) by the time we arrived at the lake crossing. The Pacific side of the locks were also in the dark. So we really only saw the first set of locks (at Gatún). -The tour director was NEVER clear about the next day's excursions. He would either forget some or he would change what he had said several times before the actual excursion times. Very confusing for everyone ---every day! -Some of the staff were somewhat obnixious, trying to be funny. -Meals were better at the beginning of the cruise than at the middle or end, as they became more like home-made fast food (tacos, etc). -Hard to cool off in warm ocean after a very hot hike! -Need to put in retractable laundry line in the shower to hand wet bathing suits, etc. -towel service was hit and miss. The dirty ones were taken out, but several times we had no replacement towels (until we found the laundry cabinet and served ourselves). Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We did the Costa Rica precruise and it was full of adventure (river rafting, ziplining, a boat trip, etc.). There were some glitches with times, meeting points, etc. but I think that will work itself out. Our guide and bus driver were ... Read More
We did the Costa Rica precruise and it was full of adventure (river rafting, ziplining, a boat trip, etc.). There were some glitches with times, meeting points, etc. but I think that will work itself out. Our guide and bus driver were very good. The hotels were interesting and different but nice. An excellent pretrip. Uncruise is camp for grownups and the Voyager was as well. Our cabin was very small but functional. Dining was excellent. Service was excellent. There is no entertainment per se but slide show lectures about nature and the environment. Every day we had choices of activities and they were all good. I did hiking mostly. It was not difficult and I saw lots of animals, birds, plants, etc. The guides were very knowledgeable. We enjoyed all of our fellow cruisers. Hard to guess ages but almost all retired professionals. The canal crossing is at night so we only stayed up for the first 2 locks. It's important to realize that the canal only allows small boats to go at night; not everyone realized that upfront. Read the blog fromthedeckchair for an excellent and accurate day to day report. A few glitches onboard with information availability but the staff is improving and open to suggestions. Overall great trip: saw 3 types of monkeys, sloths, multiple birds, whales, dolphins, turtles, etc. Saw the elusive Quetzal on the pre-trip! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We had sailed with Uncruise on their Baja trip and we were so impressed that we signed up for this Panama Canal/Costa Rica trip which is very new for them. We were only the third group on this particular route. This has to be the ... Read More
We had sailed with Uncruise on their Baja trip and we were so impressed that we signed up for this Panama Canal/Costa Rica trip which is very new for them. We were only the third group on this particular route. This has to be the ultimate way to travel for those of us who want to enjoy the outdoor life without having to pack for dress up dinners but who still want to enjoy the best in local dining. The travelers on our trip were mostly active retirees who enjoy snorkeling, hiking, birding, kayaking and more. Even on this brand new route, Uncruise is so put together. They hire the very best people. (I wish we had done as well at the place from where I retired!) The staff are knowledgeable, patient, engaging, helpful (they don't know how to say "no"), skilled, and more. For this route they found the perfect blend of those who had been with Uncuise for awhile plus new local hires who have local knowledge. The chef and pastry chef - there just aren't words to describe how delicious each and every meal was. One couldn't find finer meals on any cruise ship anywhere. There was always a meat option, a seafood option and a vegetarian option and every one as good as the next. The expedition guides were exceptional in their ability to spot wildlife hiding in the shadows of the jungles. Whoever on the Uncruise team was responsible for scouting locations and developing local relationships did an extraordinary job. One would have thought that they had been running this route for years, so clearly everything was fine-tuned before we showed up. They found beautiful preserves and snorkel sites, many so far off the beaten path that other ships would not even think of stopping there. They provided a variety of options in each location where we stopped. There would be at least one hiking option, often a snorkel option, a zodiac ride and kayak trip among the choices. There was typically one expedition in the morning and one in the afternoon. We saw crocodiles, sloths, all four kinds of monkeys that reside in the area, tapir, hawksbill turtles, rays, moray eels, agouti, iguanas, macaws, and more birds than there is space to list, not to mention butterflies, flowers galore, and spectacular vegetation. We had decided to book a larger room when we booked this trip and it was wonderful. I don't think we needed anything as big and might book something smaller if we had it to do over, but it was very comfortable. I like having a door to the outside and this was a room that accommodated that need. We could look out our window and see dolphins swimming along side the ship. The ship was recently overhauled before beginning this route so everything was fresh and clean. The shower was state of the art! The furnishings are not glitzy like a Vegas hotel room, but are very tastefully done and practical. Towels were changed out as often as we chose. I wish there was a way to provide higher marks than Excellent. They do such a fabulous job. The excursions, the staff, the service, the food... just can't say enough. It exceeded expectations! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Safari Voyager Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.0
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 2.0 3.9
Public Rooms 4.0 4.0
Fitness Recreation 3.5 4.4
Family 3.0 4.4
Shore Excursion 5.0 4.3
Enrichment 4.0 3.9
Service 4.0 4.6
Value For Money 5.0 4.0

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