National Geographic Quest Review

Alaska was fabulous if you don't book cabin 309 and don't expect good COVID prevention protocols

Review for Alaska Cruise on National Geographic Quest
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2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

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Sail Date: Sep 2022

My wife and I are experienced adventure travelers who have visited many parts of the developed and developing world. We have cruised to Antarctica and the Galapagos on Silversea, but decided to try Lindblad because of the smaller size of the Quest. We booked cabin 309, which turned out to be adjacent to the mechanical room and over the engine (which was not disclosed when we booked). The room was so noisy, you could feel the bed vibrate. Very surprising that a premium cruise line would sell a cabin like this without any disclosure of the condition of this cabin. After complaining about the noise, we were offered a 200 series cabin at an upgrade price of about $2000, which was an unpleasant surprise. Since the cruise was two weeks and our experience would have been ruined, we opted for the upgrade. The upgraded cabin was quite nice and we enjoyed our stay on board.

We were told that masks were optional for guests. By day 2 of the cruise, despite the requirement for a negative COVID test prior to boarding, at least one guest tested positive. Rather than enforce the wearing of masks and social distancing, the captain didn't require any special measures. By the end of the cruise at least 18 of the approximately 70 passengers had tested positive. While it seems likely that some rate of COVID infection is likely, we were left with the impression that Lindblad was unwilling to take more aggressive measures to manage the infection rate once it was clear that guests were getting infected. We had just completed a cruise to the Galapagos in January, where masking and other prevention methods were required, and no one tested positive the entire trip.

One of the things that attracted us to Lindblad was the quality of the naturalists. While we found the naturalists to be quite knowledgeable, the daily activities seemed a bit disorganized and there was quite a bit of waiting around before our activities got started. All of this said, we did see incredible scenery and wildlife, which made the trip worthwhile. The service and experience did not live up to the reputation that Lindblad has for conducting "adventure of a lifetime" expedition cruises and these trips are not inexpensive. It bears mentioning that I filled out a post cruise evaluation with Lindblad in late September explaining the details of our experience. I have yet to receive any follow up contact from them.

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