This was our first cruise and first Lindblad expedition. Our Alaska Inside Passage trip was from Sitka to Juno and was overall an amazing experience. The staff are very accommodating and extremely well-trained. I can't imagine getting better service. They make you feel like you are at home on the Venture. The naturalists are all amazing people, extremely knowledgeable and very friendly. You will leave the cruise missing their company.
The incredible Lindblad customer service literally starts a your booking and continues on throughout the trip. We were met at the Seattle Airport by a very personable Lindblad representative who let us know what would be happening. It was fairly easy to spot our fellow passengers - nearly all of whom were wearing Columbia or Patagonia outdoor clothing. Yes, this is the sort of trip you will be taking - comfortable, relaxing and adventurous.
The Venture itself is a wonderful ship. I totally fell in love with her. She and her sister ship, The Quest, are brand new (maiden voyages in November 2018), purpose-built just for National Geographic Linblad Expeditions.The public areas are extremely comfortable and the bow was specially built for wildlife viewing. The dinning room features wrap around windows for breathtaking views during meals.
The IV Class cabin on the Venture are well laid out and very comfortable. This cabin has a large window.sliding glass door leading to a small balcony with a table and two chairs. The room can be made up as a queen or two twin beds. There is a small writing desk and chair, a small closet/drawer unit and wall of shelving. Even large suitcases will fit under the bed, so storage is adequate. The private bathroom has a shower and soap, shampoo and conditioner are supplied. The bedding is very comfortable. Temperature control for the cabin is individual, so it can be as warm or cool as you like. The window coverings will keep out the light and allow you to get a good night's rest.
One nice plus about Cabin 211 is that there is no cabin to the right, giving you a bit more privacy than cabins with balconies on both sides.
We certainly enjoyed the balcony, but truly, you will spend most of your time in the lounge or on the bow because that is where all the action is.If money is a little tight, you won't miss much if you book one of the less expensive cabins.
The only bad part of our trip was taking the Lindblad recommended flight into Sitka put us in too late to participate in any of the day 1 activities in Sitka. We really should have been warned that this would be the case as we were cheated out of a day of our trip.
Only complaint here is the short amount of time we had to visit Juneau before having to catch our return flight home. I wish we had looked at spending the night there and flying out the next day as there was a lot to see and do. Even so, we managed a visit to the museum, organized by Lindblad, had about an hour to shop and were taken by bus to a couple of scenic stops before we had to depart for the airport.
Skip the first few touristy shops on the main street in Juneau. There is not much there except junk made in China with Alaska printed on it. You'll find better shopping further down the street away from the docks.