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4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2015
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. ... Read More
As a resident of Southern California and a regular visitor to Seattle, I've spent time in the San Juan Islands and up and near Vancouver/Victoria. I had heard about the Princess Louisa Inlet and decided this was the year to explore. This was my 3rd Un-Cruise, a company I love and remain very loyal to. I was skeptical about the small size of this vessel and the 22 guests onboard knowing I really enjoy 50 - 75 people on these small ships. I was in for a big surprise. I had a blast. The very small group allows you to really bond and jump from summer camp for adults (which has been my larger small ship experience ~ vessels under 100 guests) to bonding as a family of strangers. The group consisted of a varied age group from 50 to 80. Since it was September (and my favorite time to take off to avoid lots of kids), I knew the age group would be older. The great thing about these kinds of cruises if that you get to know everyone very quickly. Those of us who are high energy, very adventurous and want to exert energy found ourselves being cheered on by those who have either had their day in the sun or simply don't want an overly physical trip. It's all available here. Embarkation was a breeze. Be at the designed hotel is downtown Seattle by the assigned time, go to the hospitality suite, ditch your luggage and transfer to the ship. Easy-breezy. The hotel is located in the heart of all that can be found on foot downtown. A ten minute walk to Pike's Place Market, a three minute walk to the Nordstrom mothership and a 15 minute walk to the REI flagship store. Lots to do and see if you arrive early and have the full day to explore. The vessel is small but very clean and well assigned. The bar was stocked with high end spirits (Belvedere vodka thank you very much) and some very good wine. I would recommend the Bridge Deck. The cabins are spacious and have French balconies. The cabins on the main deck open directly into the dining room and the cabins on the cabin deck do not have any porthole or balcony only bridge lights. They are still worth it, believe me. I talked with everyone on board about their accommodations. You get to know everything in a group this small. Within a very short time after embarkation you realize you have found a jewel and the feeling is that you have your own privately chartered yacht. It is a spectacular experience. Meals are served in the dining room at set hours. Pick a table, order, enjoy. The one HUGE perk for me is that they are very conscious of waste and no meal is ever super-sized. For me, the ultimate cruise turn off are large buffet lines with plates piled to the ceiling being hauled by generously proportioned guests. With a focus on nature, nature lovers and outdoor sports, most of the guests on Un-Cruise are somewhat health conscious so the portion size of all meals encourages healthy eating. If you wish for a 2nd serving, it is yours for the asking. I never saw anyone go for it. As with all Un-Cruise itineraries, the day is set by wildlife. If you encounter a pod of humpbacks or orcas, you will stay with the pod to allow maximum viewing without encroaching on nature. Un-Cruise is VERY observant and respectful of proximity to these amazing creatures and respectful of their place in our oceans. We witnessed day boats following dangerously close to a pod but maintained our required distance and still had a spectacular viewing. I am an adrenaline junkie so getting out and about on a kayak is my favorite experience in the Pacific Northwest. We had 4 days of kayaking with ample time to get a great workout and then some. There were also hikes and a campfire with singing thrown in for good measure. Sounds cheesy? It wasn't at all. The success of any cruise is dependent on two things. Your perspective and ability to be flexible and the crew's ability to insure you have a great trip. Un-Cruise excels in this area. I booked late in the process but one of the onboard crew saw my name on the manifest (I sailed with her last year on the Endeavour) thought it could be me and remembered I love ruby red grapefruit juice and vodka. Voila, imagine my surprise when I was greeted with my favorite drink. Heaven on the high seas!! Our EL "Exploration Leader" was great. She knew her stuff about the area we were headed to and the flora and fauna we came across. She was also very savvy in quickly sizing up those of us that would require a little more adrenaline stimulation and insured that we got our time out in nature. It was a perfect blend of time spent burning calories and being one with nature. The crown jewel of the itinerary is the Princess Louisa Inlet. It is truly spectacular and not easy to access. It is also well worth the effort to get to. Since it is accessible through a very narrow channel and tide-dependent, large cruise ships cannot reach it. That's a huge plus. The pristine nature of the whole experience is a testament to its accessibility. You may have a few private yachts anchored but you are virtually in your own little world and it's beautiful. This is the place for west coasters who think they've seen it all, love nature and yachting. Again, the private yacht experience comes in to play here. The exclusivity of it makes it that much more enjoyable. In summary, this was a really great vacation. Lots to see, do and experience with some very cool new friends. Well worth the price to have the feeling of your own private yacht, to wake up at the base of Chatterbox Falls in the Princess Louisa inlet, to be in waters with some of the ocean’s most beautiful creatures and to have them put on a private show all for you. Very few people will ever experience this honor. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2015
This was the third cruise on NCL for my husband and me. Previously we've cruised aboard the Pearl (our first-ever cruise, in 2010) and the Jewel (in 2011). We would've rated both of those ships excellent. We are a bit concerned that ... Read More
This was the third cruise on NCL for my husband and me. Previously we've cruised aboard the Pearl (our first-ever cruise, in 2010) and the Jewel (in 2011). We would've rated both of those ships excellent. We are a bit concerned that either the Sun has not been maintained to the level of those other two ships, or the entire maintenance of NCL has slipped in the intervening four years. The Sun shows some obvious "wear and tear" and a lack of some good thorough cleaning in the public areas (like around the gorgeous panoramic lifts on deck 8, where the carpet was very dusty and the hallway was used as a staging area for housekeeping's linen carts and cleaning supplies). The observation lounge on deck 12 shows some serious damage at the very forward set of seating, looking out over the bow, where the wood at foot level is broken and chipped in several spots. All that said, we LOVE the freestyle cruising and all the options aboard any NCL ship. The food is really excellent, whether in the main dining rooms or the Garden Cafe. (We don't use the specialty restaurants because of the cover charge.) The staff in every area and venue is friendly, always smiling and greeting us (the cabin steward called us by name from the first day, and recognized us in the halls!) The spa is great, and I enjoyed my exotic hand ritual from Mandy. The entertainment choices were awesome. We especially enjoyed Amber Strings, a trio from Poland who played several times a day in the Atrium on Deck 5 - an amazing range in their repertoire, and all of it just excellent. We submitted a commendation on them, and purchased a CD. We also enjoyed Into the Drift, playing in the Observation Lounge. Our shore excursion to Icy Point Strait, Hoonah, AK, was just simply awesome. We took a whale watching tour on the American Eagle, and saw a pod of whales. Incredible. They also had a Tlinget cultural historian on board, Kevin, who gave an excellent talk on his people and the history of Hoonah, Icy Point, and how the Native corporation that owns Hoonah achieved a place on the cruise ship ports of call. Our opinion: this is the BEST port of call in all of Alaska, with a Zipline, ATV and wilderness cruises, boat cruises, excellent shopping (all Alaska products and local artisans), delicious food, nature trails in the rainforest and on the beach, Tlinget history and culture -- just can't say enough about this port of call. We spent more money here than in any other port on any other cruise, getting our holiday shopping done 6 months early with good value for our money and nothing "made in China." This cruise was coupled with a land tour of Denali National Park first, and that 4-day excursion was also excellent. We had a great NCL tour guide for the entire four days, Michael Krudwig; were housed at three very nice lodgings in Anchorage, Denali, and Girdwood; and had several great excursions associated with this (an 8-hour wilderness tundra tour with an Alaska resident, Lisa Frederic, who was full of interesting facts, history, and knowledge, including having run the Iditarod once; a visit to an Iditarod kennel owned and operated by Martin Buser, an Iditarod champion; a visit to the Wildlife Conservation Center; a tram ride to the top of Mt. Alyeska.) Altogether, this would have been an excellent cruise rating were it not for the maintenance issues we observed on the Sun, and they did not markedly detract from our enjoyment of "cruising like a Norwegian." Of two cruise lines with which we're familiar (Princess and NCL), we will choose NCL again without hesitation. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2015
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. ... Read More
The land tour (8 days with HAL) was awesome and exceeded our expectations, Anchorage/Denali/Fairbanks/Dawson City/ whitehorse/ Skagway but the sea part to Vancouver was not fun. I would not cruise with HAL on their ships again. 1. Indonesian and Filipino staff have poor English comprehension - a big problem in the case of an emergency (Costa Concordia). They try hard, but lack English language skill. 2. Customer service at the front desk is very poor. The worst of any cruise ship we have seen. 3. Overall Poor maintenance - the ship is WAY overdue for a major refurbishment Below are my comments on the HAL follow up survey: As an experienced cruiser (35+ cruises) , I can say this Volendam cruise was absolutely the worst cruise that we have ever been on. My wife and I are NOT chronic complainers, we are not demanding - but we expect a decent cruise experience. The experience started on Saturday 6/27 when (dead tired) we flopped down in our cabin at 2:00 to take a nap. The room was cold (62.4F to be exact 16C). I awoke at 4:30PM with the sniffles (had a cough for the rest of the cruise) and tried to turn the temperature up. It did not respond. We called the hotel desk at 5:00PM and they said that they would "send a technician to our cabin' - #1939. No response - at 5:25 I called again. This time the hotel sent a clerk to check the temp which he confirmed at 16C. Then we went to dinner and the show. Back in the room at 9:45 and still cold at 16C. This time we went to the desk and asked to be shifted to another room. The staff person refused. Told us to sit and wait a while while the same desk clerk rechecked the temperature. Sick of waiting, we went down to the room. Finally a tech came at about 10:30 and reset the control unit. It continued to operate imperfectly for the next three days. Day two - no water was running in the sink or toilet from 6:00-7:00AM - the toilet packed up after a BM at 8:00AM. Afraid to use the room toilet for the next three days, my wife and I did all of our necessities in the public rest rooms which were also operating imperfectly. After a terrific (yes, I said terrific) land tour (8 days) we were of a mindset for a good sea experience. If the staff had given us another room, all would have probably been fine and the cold room would have been forgotten. Lord forgive them if they had needed to upgrade us to a higher level (sic). Might have cost HAL $20. But with the bad temperature controller, and the defective toilet, we were set up for a negative experience. The food was so so and the entertainment was ok, but our room experience was terrible. We also also became much more critical of the ship. After an 11:00PM general emergency alarm due to a bad pulley in a cabinet that was emitting smoke, it became evident to us that the Volendam needs to be taken from service and gone over with a fine tooth comb. The systems are in desperate need of proper maintenance and a good deep cleaning program. The sewer system, the mechanical systems, and the guest ventilation systems. Somebody threw up in the aft promenade deck vestibule early on in the cruise and the vomit smell was there till we left the ship. Poor maintenance in general. It is VERY doubtful that we will cruise with HAL for a third cruise. Princess and Celebrity have much higher standards and do not cost that much more. Many of the staff are great and went out of their way to serve us. These include the cabin steward, the bar staff, and the waiters. The front office delivers very poor customer service despite the phalanx of awards on the board. The English proficiency of the staff is a big problem. Read Less
Sail Date: April 2015
My second cruise with Norwegian, I love the freestyle dining idea. The food was very good at the beginning of the trip. Towards the end they changed the menu for the Alaskan run, I did not like that menu much. Seemed to be mostly fish ... Read More
My second cruise with Norwegian, I love the freestyle dining idea. The food was very good at the beginning of the trip. Towards the end they changed the menu for the Alaskan run, I did not like that menu much. Seemed to be mostly fish and seafood, very little choice if you are not into things from the sea. I ate mostly in the buffet after that. Cagneys Steak house was excellent, but I thought a little to pricy. We had a complimentary dinner there, we never would have eaten there if we had to pay the cover charge. We did eat in the Bistro as well, for a Jazz Brunch. Excellent food, and the music was exceptional. My score is reflective of an issue we had with our room. We did not know when we booked the cruise, but our fourth floor room was right over the engine room (4256 I think). The noise was deafening, and it was impossible to sleep. When we complained we were given ear plugs and a promise it would quit once we hit the canal. We had 3 days at sea before the canal. As promised, it did stop for that leg of the journey, but when we hit the Pacific Ocean it was back! We did not have smooth sailing on this trip, (from San Fransisco on it was very rough), the noise seemed to worsen as the seas were rougher.We complained a few times, the hotel sent wine, chocolate covered strawberries, and various staff members to have a listen each time we complained. Finally on day 10 they changed our room, and gave us the complimentary dinner. We then found out our neighbours had also complained and because they were first they moved first. 10 nights of restlessness spoiled what should have been a great holiday. What really irritates me is that nowhere did Norwegian warn travelers about the noise! We paid for what should have been a good stateroom where we could sleep. Next time we will check what is above and below us, and for anyone travelling on the Sun do not book rooms on the fourth floor aft end of the ship! The Sun is a smaller ship and swimming pool deck chairs were hard to come by. People would "save" their chairs all day, leaving pool towels to hold their spot while they ate or attended functions. We didn't manage to get a poolside chair for most of the trip until evening, and then staff would put the chairs away so there was no enjoying an evening under the stars! I found this irritatingl, especially since we could enjoy quiet in our rooms we would have loved to sit outside later in the evening. I could understand during the rough seas, but while we were in the Carribean it would have made sense to leave chairs out later into the evening for people to enjoy. Some days into the cruise deck chairs began appearing on deck 6 where the walking track is, and we were able to grab a couple of those. The entertainment was good, probably not as elaborate as Celebrity or Princess, but enjoyable! We attended most shows, skipping the magician, and the "adult comedy" show. Bingo is stupidly expensive, we would have enjoyed a few games if it wasn't so pricey. There is loads of nightly dancing, some sing alongs, lots of different styles of bands, and entertaining game shows. Something for everyone! I do like Norwegian, we really had great times and not so great on this cruise...a bit of a mixture. Will we do Norwegian again?? Well probably, but with caution. I guess this will apply to any cruise lines, I will ask questions about room locations for sure. For the Panama I would really recommend a larger ship, there is only one outside forward deck where the view is really good, The other forward outside deck has plexiglass which makes it difficult to see through. The ship behind us had about 4 decks at the front, making it really nice for the Panama transition. We got up early to secure a spot (5:00 am), but by 7 there were so many people crowding in we went down to deck 6 and watched from the sides of the ship. The staff are great, very friendly and helpful. Professional. The ship is comfortable and easy to find your way around. Most of the tours we did were very informative and fun, except for LA. Again we booked onboard for Beaches, rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. Once on the bus we were told buses could no longer stop on Rodeo Drive and drive through Beverly Hills. We let the cruise staff know about this, and were given a comp bottle of wine. Our travel companions did the same tour except they were downtown La and Rodeo Drive, they were refunded their money when they complained. These tours should be cancelled, they are not what they say they are! Book smart....and your trip with Norwegian will be awesome! Oh, the spa, they are great, but heavy on the sales of oils etc. I let them know up front I wasn't buying anything but a message..it was wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015

We had such a good time on the Grand. Went from Los Angeles to Vancouver on a reposition itinerary.

Read many reviews saying the Grand wasn't so grand, however we thought it was just great. We always look for the best in a ... Read More

We had such a good time on the Grand. Went from Los Angeles to Vancouver on a reposition itinerary.

Read many reviews saying the Grand wasn't so grand, however we thought it was just great. We always look for the best in a cruise. The ship was nice, we met some super fine people, had too much delicious food, and some superb entertainment. Service was first-rate in the dining room, in our cabin, and all over the ship.

The Grand, for being 16 years old looks pretty admirable. That means in people years (assuming a ship lasts 20 years) the Grand is about say 80 years old. Wow, I hope I look that good when I'm 80.

Embarkation and disembarking was better that any of the 15 cruises we have taken. Got there at about 11:00 and we were all by ourselves checking in. We waited about 1/2 hour and were on the ship. Got off the ship at about 10:00 and again were by ourselves.

Princess does a great job in making sure you have a grand time if it is a grand time that you are looking for on the Grand.

 

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3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014
A retired friend told us that even if we had to mortgage the house, take the Great Bear Rainforest Tour with Maple Leaf Adventures. He was right. This is a trip of a lifetime that took us up the coast of BC and around Princess Royal Island ... Read More
A retired friend told us that even if we had to mortgage the house, take the Great Bear Rainforest Tour with Maple Leaf Adventures. He was right. This is a trip of a lifetime that took us up the coast of BC and around Princess Royal Island to see humpback whales, black and grizzly bears and many other impressive wildlife examples up close and personal. With 9 guests and 5 crew members, this is an intimate trip on a 92-foot schooner that is over a century old and still in its prime. Given that one of the crew is a full-time chef who uses what we catch along the way in many creative ways you can understand that one of my souvenirs was several extra pounds. While we went to see the white spirit bears but missed them by a day or two, we were not disappointed as we had an up close and personal experience with two very friendly and curious humpback whales who kept us entertained for almost an hour. Then, a day later we visited a remote whale research station and had the pleasure of sharing our photos and getting to name the two whales Maple Leaf, after our ship, and Canadian, to reflect the 100% makeup of our crew and passenger compliment, which is unusual. We had looked forward to meeting world travelers but thoroughly enjoyed our fellow Canadians on this spectacular trip. This is not a cheap trip but we will save up and do it again. Maple Leaf is a true Eco Adventure group that treats you as someone special and who go out of their way to see that this is an unforgettable experience. They enjoy what they do and are good at it. Part of our enjoyment was seeing how truly thrilled that they were to see what we were all seeing and making new discoveries themselves. Quarters are tight and physical effort is required but we felt safe and secure with like-minded travelers who enjoyed sharing an intimate experience aboard a magnificent ship with a wonderful crew. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014

We chose this one-night cruise on the Westerdam in order to get from Seattle to Vancouver to board a longer cruise the next day. It was a fantastic experience. I had read some negative things about one-night cruises before, but none of ... Read More

We chose this one-night cruise on the Westerdam in order to get from Seattle to Vancouver to board a longer cruise the next day. It was a fantastic experience. I had read some negative things about one-night cruises before, but none of that applied here. The staff was friendly and attentive, the food was excellent, the ship was elegant and pristinely clean.

The only unexpected thing was that they didn't do luggage check service since the cruise was so short. Most people only brought overnight bags, so I can certainly understand why. We had more luggage since we were continuing on in our travels, but we were able to manage just fine. I thought I would mention it so that others would know what to expect.

We enjoyed every moment on board and hated to disembark the next morning!

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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2014

Wonderful re-positioning cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, stopping at San Fran and Catalina Island. First cruise for me, although my traveling companion had made several cruises on HAL with her late mother.

Best thing overall ... Read More

Wonderful re-positioning cruise from Vancouver to San Diego, stopping at San Fran and Catalina Island. First cruise for me, although my traveling companion had made several cruises on HAL with her late mother.

Best thing overall was that we were extremely lucky with the weather. Sail out day from Vancouver was glorious, had a bit of rain overnight but the rest of the trip was incredible. Thanks to the cruise gods! Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge without a cloud in the sky was quite an experience. Even the crew members who weren't on duty, were on deck enjoying the experience.

Embarkation was interesting - there were 3 HAL ships docked all leaving the same afternoon. The logistics to dock 3 ships, discharge passengers and luggage, restock everything and load up the new travelers in one day is mind boggling. It did take a while to get onboard, perhaps almost 90 minutes but HAL had hired a lot of older, presumably retired people who were along at every step of the way. They were all helpful and pleasant; HAL had organized chairs along the way to allow people to sit rather than stand (very helpful given the general age of the travelers.) We boarded relatively early; it's certainly possible that with 6000 people boarding onto 3 ships, wait times might have been longer for those who came later.

I thought the food and service in the MDL was quite good with lots of interesting choices. Other than breakfast, we never ate at the Lido. Since we didn't eat there, perhaps we are not being fair but the lunch and dinners there looked a bit pathetic. Sort of looked like a high school cafeteria. Before the cruise, we had booked at the premium restaurant, the Pinnacle, and we started rethinking that, wondering why pay a premium when the MDL was very good. Well, it was worth it, the dinner at the Pinnacle was excellent.

Reading other reviews, especially on Princess ships, I thought we were going to be bombarded with tacky sales pitches, kind of like time shares. In fact, this was never a problem. They announced each morning things like the art auction, talks about upcoming cruises, jewelery shows and that was it. If you were interested (and it looked like a lot of people enjoyed the art auctions), you could go. If you didn't no pressure at all.

Staff was very pleasant; didn't see our room steward very much although he was exceptionally nice when we did. We rather felt like we had a cabin elf - we would leave the room and it would magically be cleaned upon our return. Cabin was very nice with a very comfortable bed. I have seen some complaints that the shower stall is small, and it is but given there also is a full sized tub, it wasn't an issue for us.

I realize that cruises are pitched to different age groups and HAL tends to be an older crowd. We're in our late 50's and we brought down the average age. There were lots of older people, many with walkers or wheelchairs and almost no kids at all. Not a problem for us; it seems that the staff were very attentive to the senior citizens and were very accommodating. Good to know if you are in the senior citizen bracket and worry about getting around on the ship.

One bit of strangeness: you are allowed to bring on one bottle of wine per person. Not being experienced, we thought that wine and drinks would be very expensive on the ship so we brought our two wine bottles. It was very strange when embarking. They asked you if you had any liquor and if so, to show it to them. I guess they must believe in the honor system. They diligently wrote down the kind of wine, the maker, the year, etc. And then nothing was ever heard about it again. I'm sure there was some reason for doing this but I have no clue. But then it turns out that the wine and drink prices on board are actually pretty reasonable and given the tax in Vancouver on liquor and wine, you really didn't save much money anyway.

Disembarkation in San Diego was also easy. We docked at 7am but fortunately you could pick your time to depart. Some people, perhaps catching early flights wanted to get off first but others, like us, were in no hurry and could stay as late as 9:30, It only took a little while to leave the ship, collect the luggage and clear customs.

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Sail Date: September 2014

My cruise experience includes a 12-11-10-9 and many 7 night cruises as well a 5 night cruise, 3 and 2 night and this was my first ONE NIGHTER !! (I'm not that kind of girl!)

All kidding aside. The price (of the voyage) was right ... Read More

My cruise experience includes a 12-11-10-9 and many 7 night cruises as well a 5 night cruise, 3 and 2 night and this was my first ONE NIGHTER !! (I'm not that kind of girl!)

All kidding aside. The price (of the voyage) was right and our friends agreed to join us for a one night cruise out of Seattle to Vancouver. It was so cheap - You could not get a hotel room and dinner for that cost and I thought how fun it would be.

Usually it takes a few days just to learn the lay of the ship, so a one night cruise is a challenge!

We boarded about 1:00 p.m. Sailed at 5:00. Dinner at 7:30. In bed by 10:30. In port when we awoke at 6:00 and were off the ship after breakfast by 10:00 am.

Embarkation was easy: Don't try to board at the earliest possible time. Wait an hour and the crowds are gone! We were traveling with friends who needed a wheelchair due to a knee surgery recently. Princess was very accommodating and we all boarded together.

The cabin was clean. Ample for a 1 night cruise. The bathroom had a shower and pump amenities (I prefer real amenities). No washcloths. 1 towel each. Queen bed, a little hard. The pillows were really hard. (I usually ask for feather on a longer cruise) TV had very little option and poor reception. Small balcony with 2 chairs and a drink table.

We proceeded to the Vista Lounge since the men wanted to see the Seahawks game. I was surprised they weren't showing the game on the outdoor big screen, which would have been much more fun on a beautiful sunny hot day in Seattle. The vista lounge had ample seating. We had a drink there (beer) and were given salty snacks. There was guacamole and stale (very) chips available self serve by the bar.

We went upstairs to the pool at the aft end of the ship and had cocktails and went into the buffet where there were ample choices of food to curb the appetite before dinner. Would have been nice to have an outdoor grill back there for burgers. There may have been elsewhere on the ship.

I swam in the aft pool. To me it was great. Very warm. 4:00 pm. No towels for any of us available. Adult only pool - and as usual - no supervision to keep kids out. (this is so annoying to me). Crew was selling drink of the day. Bar service lacking a bit. Pet peeve is drinking from plastic. Miss the old days.

Mid ship pool was covered, noisy, smelled of chlorine and sweat. Did not stop here to cocktail.

We wanted to go inside and have a cocktail with proper barware and ended up in the atrium area. We found the One5 club aft but were told NO NO - not a "real" suite passenger or elite enough status. The class separation stuff is a REAL TURNOFF to me. That bar lost about $80 in drink sales due to that.

Dinner at 7:30 with a reservation at Sabatini's. Dinner was pretty good. Service was good, not great. Did not enjoy sitting by the register by the door. Our waiter took our drink order and dessert order and only brought 1 of the 3 cocktails ordered. (another $30 loss for the ship.. they were cognacs)

After dinner we meandered through the lounges trying to find something pleasurable to listen to. I do not exaggerate - there was no decent music to listen to. No talent anywhere on the ship. I usually have my likes and dislikes but perhaps this was an "auditioning" cruise or something.. I don't know. Went to the show (British Invasion) and it was pretty cheesy costumes and choreography. The mikes were super loud yet no one could really sing well. We left after 15 minutes to retire to our cabin.

So as far as the ship goes... It was fine. Clean and I found all the amenities on board to be the same as nearly every other cruise I have taken. Decor.. Ok. By morning we found some lounges we would have gone to had we known about them.

I won't take another 1 day cruise. As for Princess.. my last experience with the Sun Princess on a 3 day cruise was great. San Francisco to Vancouver. I remember being more impressed with the staff, lounges, entertainment and food.

We thought we were big on Holland America and Celebrity, but in all honesty, unless you move into a luxury cruise, they are all about the same. My motto is "there is no such thing as a BAD cruise" and much of it depends on your expectations, the company you keep and your attitude. (IMHO)

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1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2014

My wife and two daughters just returned from a cruise on the Safari Quest beginning in Seattle and cruising North in the San Jauns, Puget Sound, Straits of Juan de Fuca and all the way to Princess Louisa Inlet. We were very lucky as the ... Read More

My wife and two daughters just returned from a cruise on the Safari Quest beginning in Seattle and cruising North in the San Jauns, Puget Sound, Straits of Juan de Fuca and all the way to Princess Louisa Inlet. We were very lucky as the weather was spectacular for the entire trip and the waters were calm.

On the NEGATIVE side, the itinerary is nice but lacks substance and activity. Much of your day is spent steaming to the next port or attraction and that means a lot of down time. The sites and scenery are wonderful and mesmerizing but little time to look for mammals and sea creatures. The visit to Ganges Harbor is a waste of time. Friday Harbor is nice and we would have liked more time there. Princess Louisa Inlet in the highlight of the trip and yet we only spent one night and one morning there because it is so far North.

The cabins on the first and second decks are small as you would expect but very nice and recommended. The beds are comfortable, the bathrooms adequate and each has a very large double sliding glass door. The lower level (below the water line) cabins, four (4) of them, are not adequate and somewhat dangerous. There is really only one way out, a steep spiral stair, and no windows. They are hot and noisy. They put three handicap persons in three of the rooms which was very dumb. Because of the location of these rooms and the difficulty to exit them they should really canvas the possible guests and be sure to place them above the lower deck or not accept them at all. Also, the cruise line should greatly discount these rooms.

On the plus side, the crew, the food and the service were wonderful. There were 18 passengers on board and a crew of 10, Captain, First Mate, Cruise Director, Hotel Manager, Engineer, two cooks, and three stewards. We never wanted for anything and the food was plentiful. Drinks were included and always available. I can't say enough about the crew; they made the trip. The cook, SinGyn, was a character and served gourmet meals out of a very small galley kitchen. The Cruise Director, Lia, was very knowledgeable, professional, personable but not very accessible. She was always there when it was time to be there and always did her job very well but she did not mix with the passengers very well unlike Emily, Monica and Holly who were always talking with us and joking with us. Lia did a very good job, don't get me wrong, she just needs to loosen up a bit.

Overall I would give the ship a 4.5 out of 5, the lower cabins a 2. I would give the crew a 5, the itinerary a 3.

 

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