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National Geographic Venture Review

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Review for Alaska Cruise on National Geographic Venture
2-5 Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms

Additional details

Sail Date: Sep 2023

I chose this trip specifically because I am passionate about nature, specifically bears. It's one of my dreams to see a spirit bear in person, and that's why this trip stood out to me. Cliff note summary here if you don't want to read the entire review: ship/crew/food was excellent, activities and wildlife viewing was not.

Pre-boarding communication wasn't great. We were supposed to receive a packet with paperwork in it (including, supposedly, our cruise tickets) some weeks before we left. My party didn't receive our packets until a few days before we were scheduled to leave, and that was after I had called to ask about it. Multiple people on the ship said they never got one at all. Additionally, they sent us a stack of papers that was basically just a repeat of what was online, and the "tickets" for the ship were never used, they had our all information anyway. So for a company supposedly trying to help with conservation, it felt odd to get a bunch of useless paper. The name tag and accessories bag they sent were nice, though.

My party was flying in/out independently, and I was told multiple times by multiple people (when I called to check on things leading up to the trip) that we could book our flight home for 2:30 or later. We received an email ONE business day before we left that the flight now had to be 4:30 or later. We had to scramble for a new flight and it cost us $300 to change. I will say that Nat Geo indicated they would cover these costs (just got back, so haven't gotten reimbursed as of this time), but if they knew that there were potential issues with charter flight times or whatever it was, they should have just told us to book later flights in the first place. This wasn't all the issues we experienced before we got on the ship, but to keep this review a reasonable length I'll leave it at that.

Cabin Review

Some permanent large stains on the carpet but otherwise everything else was spotlessly clean and well-maintained.

Port Reviews


Very cute town, most everything is within short walking distance. Lots of shops selling tourist junk but if you go to the right ones, you can find some really special gems. It's worth noting that for many shops, their open hours are totally contingent on the cruise ships. When we arrived none of the major cruises had docked yet and so most stores were closed, or would open up for short periods (we're talking less than an hour) of time before closing again. If you're coming on a ship it won't be a problem, but if you're traveling independently plan accordingly and know that there are some places you may not get to visit. Could easily see most everything in a day or two so don't recommend extended stays (unless you're visiting family, or doing nature expeditions, or something like that based out of Ketchican). Everything also closes super early, including food places, so good luck getting dinner past 7:00pm.

3 Helpful Votes
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