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196 UnCruise Cruise Reviews

Not fans of cruising with 2000 of our "favorite people". Did not want roller coasters, dance revues, etc. So we chose UnCruise. Got into small areas: THREE days in Glacier Bay with Ranger Matt, who was passionate, ... Read More
Not fans of cruising with 2000 of our "favorite people". Did not want roller coasters, dance revues, etc. So we chose UnCruise. Got into small areas: THREE days in Glacier Bay with Ranger Matt, who was passionate, informative, and very personable. Inforgettable. All the crew were friendly, informative, considerate, helpful, approachable and knowledgeable. No faults. Kayaking 101!! Lots of fun. It's pretty easy, but learning the paddle stroke helps a lot. You are VERY close to the water, so you get to see animals (sometimes BIG ones, like the humpbacked whale we saw on our first foray, who was (I thought) pretty close to us... but he dived down and resurfaces waayyy behind us. THRILLING!!!! We opted for the "cheap seats" but our cabin was VERY comfortable. No complaints. The water from tap was COLD and delicious! The food was very very good.Fruit was fresh and bright. Breakfast eggs were soft and fluffy (vs some dry "baked" eggs we have had..DRY). Meat and fish (I almost always had "Sea" vs Land. It was perfectly cooked. When I did have meat, it was also perfectly cooked. Open bar. Need I say more? We were SO delighted with this experience that we have booked another UnCruise to the Galapagos for March of 2020. We expect it to be just as fabulous. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
`We sailed Juneau-Juneau on the Glacier Country itinerary and were very impressed with the ship, the crew and the other passengers. We got an upgrade for reasons we don't know (maybe because we were celebrating our 50th wedding ... Read More
`We sailed Juneau-Juneau on the Glacier Country itinerary and were very impressed with the ship, the crew and the other passengers. We got an upgrade for reasons we don't know (maybe because we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary) and the Commodore Suite was great. The food was beyond good and the staff was totally responsive to special eating requests (vegan, gluten-free, etc.) There were a variety of excursions (all included in the price of the cruise) which were geared to all activity levels. All the staff without exception were cheerful,enthusiastic, and knowledgeable and obviously wanted the passengers to have a wonderful trip. The other passengers were a diverse but very congenial group, mostly Americans but at least one Australian couple. And it was a younger group than we are used to - lots of 30's, 40's, and 50's - which was fun. We saw glaciers calve, eagles, bears, otters, humpback whales, seals, sea lions, a bunch of birds, including puffins, and moose swimming. We did not see orcas - this itinerary is not in the best location for them we were told. If they are a must-see, you might want to consider one of their other itineraries. We can't say enough good things about our cruise and highly recommend it! Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, ... Read More
This was the trip of a lifetime for my husband and me! The knowledgeable and delightful guides, the amazing food, the diversity of the folks on board, the warm Captain and lovely crew, the comfort of our tiny cabin, the kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff riding, hiking, wildlife up close, following whales up close, eagles too many to count, just everything was perfect! Worth every penny! We enjoyed two nights in Juneau after a long flight across the country. Juneau is fun and we went to Mendenhall Glacier and hiked around there - just beautiful. We went to the Museum and to the Salmon Hatchery. We were so excited to get on our boat and Uncruise made that process so easy. They took care of our bags and had them waiting for us in our cabin. We immediately started meeting all the people on our cruise and they were all so great! Just loved every minute!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
If you are looking for an extraordinary way to explore the Last Frontier, unCruise Adventures gifts you the opportunity to not just visit Alaska, but to step Inside! ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ - Kayak through frozen, glacial water ⁣⁣⁣ - ... Read More
If you are looking for an extraordinary way to explore the Last Frontier, unCruise Adventures gifts you the opportunity to not just visit Alaska, but to step Inside! ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣ - Kayak through frozen, glacial water ⁣⁣⁣ - Paddleboard alongside jumping salmon⁣ - Bushwhack through remote islands⁣ and land on deserted beaches⁣⁣ - Skiff to the face of calving glaciers⁣⁣⁣ - Taste bullwhip seaweed⁣⁣⁣ - Have a glacier silt facemask⁣⁣ - Kiss a giant slug⁣⁣⁣ - Dive into Polar Waters⁣⁣⁣ - Witness bears pounce and salmon jump⁣ - View a dozen 50-ton Humpback whales play and breach off the bow of your boat⁣⁣⁣ - Spot bald eagles, mountain goats, puffins, porpoise, sea lions, sea otters, seal, orca whales, countless bird species, starfish, porcupine....⁣⁣⁣ - Berry hunt for the sweetest, wild blueberries and strawberries you’ve ever tasted⁣⁣⁣ These can all be apart of your Alaskan Adventure! Mid-August, my family and I spent a week on Uncruise Adventures' largest ship, the 90-passenger S.S. Legacy. The cruise was roundtrip from Juneau and we spent the week sailing the inside passage with stops at Tracy Arm, Dawes Glacier, Robert & Crow Islands, Saginaw Bat, Halleck Harbor, Red Bluff Bay, Kasnyku Bay, Ell Cove, Glacier Bay National Park, and Fern Harbor. Compared to other cruise lines sailing in Alaska, our ship was tiny. We were able to maneuver into small bays where no large cruise ship could attempt to go. And because of this flexibility, the crew could make changes based on the weather forecast or stops for wildlife at a moments notice. Our departure date was one of Uncruise Adventure's family-focused sailings. There are typically 2 Alaska sailings each summer and 1 Baja Mexico sail date in the spring that are family-focused and include a guide specifically for children aboard. The departures dates and ships for 2020 are: Mexico: Baja's Bounty – Safari Endeavour - March 28, 2020 Alaska Fjords & Glaciers – Wilderness Discoverer - July 4 & August 1, 2020 Prior to boarding, Dan Blanchard the CEO of Uncruise spoke to all the guests about the week ahead and, to our pleasant surprise, informed us that he would be on board with us. He would lead some excursions and together with a documentarian would be filming an educational video in opposition to the proposed logging of the Tongass National Forest. Dan was a fantastic addition to the cruise, as his expertise of the region is second to none and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious! Once onboard, my family of four (Penny age 5 & Oliver age 7) found our accommodations very comfortable with twin beds in each room and fair-sized bathrooms. Our cabins are very well-appointed but not traditionally considered luxury in comparison to newer, larger ships, but don't let it scare you because the service is absolutely first class! This is an expedition-style ship with a focus on adventure and most of your time is spent off the boat or in common areas mingling with other guests. Every morning and afternoon there were a wide variety of excursions for all activity levels, including the kids -- short/long kayaking tours, paddleboarding, zodiac tours, beach and meadow walks, beginner bushwacks, extreme bushwacks, etc. The expedition team is incredibly friendly, knowledgable, flexible and enthusiastic! The crew and expedition team are over the top flexible and truly want to give each guest the best and most personalized experience possible and all activity levels are welcome. Besides the families, most of the guests were retired and one guest had extremely limited mobility and used a walker. The SS Legacy has an elevator for the lower 3 decks, she was able to move easily around the ship with the exception of the top deck where the wheelhouse and jacuzzis were located. The Legacy is also equipped with a special launch pad, called the Sea Dragon, allowing guests to load into the zodiacs, kayaks, and paddleboards without touching in the water or getting wet. For the kids, Alaskan-family-travel writer and guide, Erin Kirland created specific activities and excursions just for them. Parents could join in or choose to go on their own separate adventure, which allowed for a perfect balance between family time and freedom. There were 67 passengers and roughly 16 children onboard ranging from 5 years of age up to high school - several families, and a few children with their grandparents and a multi-generational family celebrating a 50th wedding anniversary. The first evening, Erin had a family "meet and greet" and explained the very flexible kid's program, introduced the designated "kid's hangout room" and laid out a few simple rules to keep the kids safe and happy. By morning, my kids had already made cruise buddies and by mid-week they were inseparable. My kids had the most incredible week learning about Alaskan wildlife, creating button quilts, making friendship bracelets, wild berry hunting, touring the engine room, exploring the beach, becoming Jr. Rangers, and enjoying "Kids Happy Hour" with the best snacks and so much more! The Food and Beverage program on the SS Legacy was exceptional. There is a lovely, spacious lounge located on deck 2 near the bow of the ship, where guests can mingle, relax, read books, play games and grab a beverage throughout the day. An early riser breakfast is served each morning with fruit, oatmeal, cereal, coffee, tea and delicious pastries baked daily by the ships dedicated pastry chef. The lounge also has a self-service coffee, tea, water, snack station throughout the day. And in the afternoon, there is a happy hour with light appetizers. There is a full bar located in the lounge with 2 incredible bartenders who make daily craft cocktails or any guests' favorite drink. A full sit down breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served in the dining room on deck 1 with beautiful windows for viewing the incredible scenery and wildlife. The menu always included meat, fish, salad, and vegetarian options with wine pairings and a full kids menu. And the chef was always willing to customize a dish or meal to accommodate dietary restrictions and preferences and all meals were incredibly fresh and delicious. The wait staff was very kind and attentive and although there are no assigned seats at any meals, they became very aware of guest preferences. One afternoon there was a tour of the small kitchen facilities, which made it all the more impressive that the chef and his team are able to produce such amazing food! Other things to note: - Uncruise Adventures has an Open Wheelhouse policy on their ships, which allows any guest to visit the captain and be in the wheelhouse at any time. My son and his new friends made very good use of this policy and helped steer and blow the horns. - There is no WiFi aboard the ship and the cell phone reception in Alaska was almost non-existent. My husband and I were nervous about this before the trip, but quickly realized the freedom and connection to each other this allowed. - Everything except gratuities is included in the price of the cruise --- all excursions, all food, all alcoholic beverages (including top-shelf liquor) I would be remiss if I did not mention that Alaska's landscape is rapidly changing. During our day in Glacier National Bay, a park ranger spent the day onboard and educated us about low precipitation, rising temperatures and the glaciers melting at alarming rates. So, now is the time to visit Alaska! Once you have been on an UnCruise, you immediately want to go on another! The beauty of the sea, land, and wildlife, the attentiveness of the crew, and the connections made with other guests combine to call you back for more. One of our fellow cruisers was on his 7th UnCruise Adventure! And my son had such an incredible experience and made such sweet friendships, he cried for two hours after leaving the ship. Both my kids speak daily of fond memories of our time in Alaska. To date, this is one of our favorite family trips! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Our cruise, Whales, Wildlife and Glaciers aboard the Safari Endeavour was exceptional. The staff all the way from our Captain to housekeeping was top-notch with great attitudes and a real sense of adventure. There were generally four ... Read More
Our cruise, Whales, Wildlife and Glaciers aboard the Safari Endeavour was exceptional. The staff all the way from our Captain to housekeeping was top-notch with great attitudes and a real sense of adventure. There were generally four options each day for the guests to indulge in. We generally went to places that were very interesting and had quite a few wildlife opportunities. The Expedition staff was exceptional, getting up early in the morning to scout our area and find great things to see and do. And our Captain and ship crew often would slow or stall the ship when wildlife presented itself. We felt the meals were generally good, but like we had seen on our Ama Waterways Danube River cruise, the chef tends to get too fancy at times, making the lunch and dinner courses a bit less desirable. The best meal aside from the crabfest was the salmon cedar plank for the fish lovers and a tomahawk steak for the meat lovers. These were simple, not flashy items that would have been nice as options to the often more fancy courses. But otherwise, the food was good and there was always plenty of it. The wait staff was as good as any you would find in a fine dining restaurant. One note of correction to the Cruise Critic overview of the Safari Endeavour is massages are no longer included. This should be updated in the Cruise Critic information. The land tour, Denali & Talkeetna Wilderness Rail Adventure, while being touted as a seven day tour, is really only five actual travel days at a fairly steep cost. While the amenities were very good in Talkeetna and on the domed rail car, it wasn’t enough to justify the cost of the excursion. The final travel day was essentially a motor coach ride back the same way we had traveled on the train. Our traveling partners had done different land options than us, one couple planned it themselves – the other couple used a different land tour company, and both couples had far better experiences with better value than we did. In conclusion, if you’re looking for a small ship with an active itinerary and an upscale environment, use UnCruise for the cruise portion. But if you plan on seeing Alaska’s interior, look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who ... Read More
We heard about UnCruise from a couple who wanted to take an Alaska adventure cruise with other couples. We collectively decided that we wanted to “experience” Alaska, rather than just “see” Alaska. We are all 60+ men and women who enjoy moderate outdoor activities. This cruise exceeded our expectations in every way! We arrived a couple of days early to adjust to time change and see Sitka. Departure was smooth as silk. The expedition guides were extremely helpful and knowledgeable, not to mention just plain friendly. They really love what they do. A variety of outings each day allowed us to choose the level of activity we wanted. Want to kayak? Done. How about hiking? Done. Want to ride in a skiff to see some sea lions? Done. Go see a glacier up close and personal? Done. Whale watching? Done. The meals were outstanding and the ingredients fresh. Our bartender could create whatever your palate desired. Cabins are small, yet comfortable. Showers are tiny, so don’t drop your soap! (Note: we didn’t take this cruise to hang out in our rooms!) Our 2 days in port gave us enough time to sample local cuisine and see some sights. This adventure cruise is not for luxury seekers, but if you want to get out and experience Alaska’s natural beauty, then this is the ticket! Would we travel UnCruise again? You betcha! Karla K Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
34 of us set sail on 2/23 to explore the marine world around the western side of four islands. The Explorer was filled with an engaging and inclusive group of passengers, who were just the nicest group of people imaginable.(you can ask ... Read More
34 of us set sail on 2/23 to explore the marine world around the western side of four islands. The Explorer was filled with an engaging and inclusive group of passengers, who were just the nicest group of people imaginable.(you can ask the crew). Highlights include the night snorkel with manta rays. There were more opportunities to snorkel in Kealakekua Bay. I really enjoyed swimming off the back of the boat. Some passengers went paddle boarding and kayaking. One of the other highlights was the dinner served at the museum on Molokai. It was very genuine and very lovely. Whales were abundant. We saw great numbers of spouts, breeches, and flukes. There were moms and babies. There were gentlemen suitors following some of the females. We saw 3 types of dolphins, and of course, sea turtles. This ship had the best food of any boat I have sailed. Every meal was freshly and individually prepared. The deserts and pastries were heavenly. One of the most important aspects of this cruise was the crew. Each and every one of them worked incredibly hard to make sure passengers were happy and well cared for. Every crew member knew, and used, each passenger's name. Our cabin was clean and comfortable. It was refreshed twice daily. UnCruise is not for everyone. There's not a lot of glitz, no games, and no big productions. Entertainment might be a presentation on sea turtles or fish. Because we were close to shore most of the time there was cell service but no ship wifi. You can wear very casual clothing all week and there is no need to get dressed up and nobody really wanted to. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
--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
This was our fifth cruise with Uncruise and our first on the S.S. Legacy. The cruise left from Clarkston, WA and sailed to Portland, OR. The voyage exceeded its billing as an adventure cruise. While there were plenty of opportunities ... Read More
This was our fifth cruise with Uncruise and our first on the S.S. Legacy. The cruise left from Clarkston, WA and sailed to Portland, OR. The voyage exceeded its billing as an adventure cruise. While there were plenty of opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking and rafting, the cruise also offered a number of tours for those interested in a gentler pace. There were too many highlights to this cruise to list them all. In my mind the quiet paddle on the Palouse River stands out. While the scenery and wildlife along the Snake and Columbia Rivers is wonderful, the route is not remote. For several hours on the Palouse, we simply experienced the sounds of nature. While we've thoroughly enjoyed the crew on our other Uncruises, the standard of service on this trip was exceptional. Moreover, this cruise relied on outside vendors to provide jet boats, bikes, rafting and bus transportation. The vendors completely understood and delivered the Uncruise experience. We will sail with Uncruise again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Although the reviews of Uncruise on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic are generally positive, our trip on the Wilderness Explorer left a lot to be desired, did not mirror the comments of previous reviews and is nothing like the brochure or ... Read More
Although the reviews of Uncruise on Trip Advisor and Cruise Critic are generally positive, our trip on the Wilderness Explorer left a lot to be desired, did not mirror the comments of previous reviews and is nothing like the brochure or the information provided to us by the travel agent. We booked this at the last minute, paid way too much-it is a poor value for the price, and are sorry we went. We have been to all 7 continents and are firm from this experience that Alaska is just not worth revisiting. I have been on a small ship like this (75 clients) for 3 weeks to Antarctica and a 15 person boat in the Galapagos for 2 weeks so I know what is possible-both of those experiences were superb. Uncruise is not a good small ship option or good value for the dollar. The Wilderness Explorer is in need of an overhaul. The rooms are small, dark and dank. The presence of sewer gas in our room and generally on our side of the ship was overwhelming. The "hotel manager", although responsive, indicated that this was an ongoing problem, could not be rectified, put a wet washcloth over the shower drain and the sink drain and gave us a bottle of Glade. Did not do the trick. Had difficult sleeping it was so overpowering. We kept the window open (it is minuscule) but it was not really much help. Spent most days (both when raining and sunny) with the door propped open but given that the source is primarily the shower and the door to the bathroom swings shut and opens out blocking the door to the room, it did not provide much relief. Over the week, many people shared their stories of sewer gas...it just shouldn't be an issue if the ships were maintained properly. Our bed was also "broken". Did not retract into a couch, making our room even smaller. But, because they dock on a Saturday around 9am and load new passengers around 4:30pm, they were unable to attempt to repair it. I would imagine it had been broken since the beginning of the season and will continue to be broken until the ship finishes its runs for the season. The activities are just ok. We enjoyed sea kayaking. Although potentially attributable to the unseasonably sunny weather, there is minimal wildlife and there are only so many things you can say about small, orange crabs so shore walks are a bust. Bushwhacking is an attempt to fill time. And the day in Wrangell is a total waste. In Wrangell, you are two hours by boat and less time by helicopter from one of the best bear sanctuaries (on a salmon stream-Anan Bear Sanctuary) and it is impossible to get there because the ship is not in port long enough. The activities in Wrangell are poor at best-brief hike, meeting at the "Chief's house", some petrogylphs (although most have been moved out to various museums so few remaining), etc. Management really needs to figure out how to offer a excursion to the Anan Bear Sanctuary on a regular basis-they have done it before when they were required to spend more time in Wrangell due to ship repairs. It might be the only wildlife anyone sees if it could be arranged. The food was very mediocre. At most meals, fellow table guests were trying to determine what ingredients that were in today's meal had been served in another form the previous day. Ignore the descriptions in the brochure-those are laughable. And although the chef does a good job with the space she has, even the scrambled eggs are terrible. The staff is good. Most are enthusiastic (but they are being paid) and helpful. They are knowledgeable although sometimes in esoteric subjects that have nothing to do with what you are seeing (but that may be because you are not seeing anything). The ship has one large meeting area which is basically the bar. There are no places on the ship that you can get out of your room and not have to sit among hordes of people who are also trying to get out of your room. Finally, they "share" with you that many people have asked about tipping. Our dinner table had a wonderful laugh about that-no one had asked about tipping before it was brought up. They encourage $250 per person, which is essentially, $50 a day per person. We thought that was high although it is getting split among everyone on the ship. We came to the conclusion that it was probably around $750 per ship employee for the week (some employees are exempted-captain, hotel manager, chef, chief guide, etc.). That lead us to believe they were not being paid particularly well. So, beware the tipping that isn't really optional and they are not upfront about in their brochures. In summary, choose another ship, ask questions about the last time it was FULLY overhauled-not just had a coat of paint slapped on it. And ask what they typically see in terms of animals. We asked all those questions and got satisfactory answers. Our travel agent is relaying our disappointment to their sales rep, but as much as we are glad that he is getting the feedback, it doesn't make our trip any better. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
My wife and I wanted a small ship cruise to see Alaska's glaciers before they disappear. We chose UnCruise. a Seattle company of good reputation to take us into Glacier Bay. Our small boat got close to places big ships could only view ... Read More
My wife and I wanted a small ship cruise to see Alaska's glaciers before they disappear. We chose UnCruise. a Seattle company of good reputation to take us into Glacier Bay. Our small boat got close to places big ships could only view from a distance. Zodiacs took us a quarter mile from the marine glacier’s crumbling face and to remote shorelines. Booking for us, unfamiliar with cruising, was supportive. Uncruise met us at the Juneau airport and escorted us to the ship. Crew were tops, every member - helpful, enthusiastic, smart. Couldn't do enough for us. The bridge was open most times, the captain welcoming. The ship was clean but spare and dated; food good varied, ample; the bartender a magician. A park ranger joined us for a full day providing a complete tutorial. Were that all, no question five stars plus. My wife completely enjoyed every minute of the trip despite the noisy cabin. The only flaw, and fatal for anyone who expected wilderness tranquility, was our cabin [more below] which, we didn't realize until we left port, was located directly above the throbbing main engine. When we booked the agent assured us both decks were essentially similar, maybe the lower a bit noisier., but save the money. On my IPhone dB meter our cabin measured 75-85 dB relentlessly night after night. Ear plugs and a pillow over the head did little. Home, I measured our electric leaf blower on top setting - 85 dB at 8 feet. IOW we were asked to sleep with a ferocious leaf blower. We can quibble the app wasn't a dedicated scientific meter but I'm satisfied I obtained a reliable equivalence. Four persistent attempts over a month to contact the company finally produced a frank sympathetic response from the CEO and an offer at recompense which we appreciate but didn't erase the experience. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- ... Read More
A First time cruise for me and taking my 12yr old grandson made the week SPECIAL! The crew was super friendly and helpful; the food extraordinary and always different;the scenery spectacular and we had the most beautiful weather- unexpected!! We saw glaciers up close the 1st day. We kayaked and went out on skiffs to learn about the environment from our knowledgeable guides. We hiked to a lake thru amazing terrain.We saw whales and seals and eagles! And finally our last day saw a bear!! Our captain took the boat in so close to waterfalls we could feel the spray! But most fun for my grandson was paddle boarding w/ a friend- they finally were able to do headstands on the boards! And the water wasn’t so cold when they fell in! The guests were welcomed on the Bridge, and I was fascinated to learn amongst the crew were 6 registered captains!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
Weather is a huge factor on any trip, and is very unpredictable in Alaska. We were lucky to have mostly cloudy but dry weather with only a few sprinkles one day of the 7. We are an active retired couple who had avoided big cruise ships ... Read More
Weather is a huge factor on any trip, and is very unpredictable in Alaska. We were lucky to have mostly cloudy but dry weather with only a few sprinkles one day of the 7. We are an active retired couple who had avoided big cruise ships since a conference I attended years ago aboard a Carnival ship visiting Key West and Cozumel. Since then, we had enjoyed a 4-day, 400-passenger ship river cruise on the Yangtze as part of a China tour, and an even smaller (28 passenger) riverboat voyage on the Mekong. We bike, kayak and hike and travel to see new places and meet people, not to overeat, gamble and drink aboard a floating city. We found more than 70 other passengers of mixed age groups on board the Wilderness Explorer who were "our kind of people", on our full-capacity early July Glaciers and Fjords Alaska cruise with UnCruise. We loved and appreciated the crew and how hard they work, enjoyed the fresh and attentively-prepared food, and the opportunity to get up close and personal with nature in SW Alaska's inside passage after a 2-week small group land tour (much more affordable) to points further north and east through G-Adventures (also recommended). We did see quite a variety of wildife on land and sea (even a few bears) though not at close-enough range to spot without binoculars and zoom lenses. I agree with some of the other reviews that some longer and more physically vigorous excursions would be welcomed by some of the more active passengers, also that the ship's interiors are getting a bit worn and outdated and could do with an overhaul. We didn't participate in the "polar plunge" but enjoyed watching others jump into the icy water, including an 80-something-year-old patriarch of a large extend-family multi-generational group. With full capacity, our ship was a bit crowded at times especially the (only) lounge/bar area, where there was insufficient seating for the nightly gathering to reserve the next days' excursions. Our cabin was fine, small but with efficient use of the space including a murphy bed that raised up into the wall while a sofa took its' place. The ventilation system was a bit noisy, and generators constantly running so no at-sea peace and quiet like I recalled from some youthful times aboard a small sailing yacht. There were DVD's in the small shelf library, but no DVD-player in our cabin, we speculated that we would have had to request them to be played on a central system, but never asked since we had brought books to read. Alcohol, including a special bartender's "drink of the day", using premium liquors and fresh fruit juices, was included and unlimited but no one seemed to obviously overindulge. Since our consumption is typically limited to one beer a day, I would prefer to pay separately for drinks with a reduction in cruise fare or less lofty gratuities expected. Those came as kind of a shock as they were triple ($500 for the week compared to $25/day) the set-rate gratuity we're being charged by Windstar on an upcoming Caribbean cruise we have booked. It sort of tainted our final day farewell experience, raising suspicions that they are underpaying the crew and expecting them to make it solely on the gratuities. I would rather they price the cruise higher and pay them a decent wage, but perhaps they're reluctant to do that due to already being high-priced compared to other cruises. But it's a significant amount to be added-on unexpectedly, and the way it was handled on our ship (maybe not always the case?) was pretty tacky, in my opinion, as everyone is checked-out at the bar register on the last day, waiting in line to pay your tab, with the gratuity added on, ringing up the amount you tell them in full view of others in line and verbally confirming the amount in an audible voice, as if to shame anyone who might want to tip anything less than the $500. We had already planned to tip more than for the Windstar cruise considering the excursion guides (who on other cruises would be separately tipped individually) were part of the crew sharing in the total gratuity, not solely the ship's hotel, kitchen, cleaning and wait staff. However, our choice would have been perhaps double the amount, not triple. My preference would have been to tip each excursion guide separately from the ship's crew, since we liked some guides much more than others. This handling of the gratuity and pressure/obligation to tip so lavishly unfortunately tainted our overall UnCruise experience. I wondered if it was a company policy, that particular ship or that particular crew who quoted such a high suggested amount and had decided they could be more assured of getting it by collecting it so very publicly? I won't say we would not do another UnCruise adventure (especially if they start offering Antarctica or the Amazon), but it won't be our automatic go-to cruise line without investigating what else (among smaller-ship, more casual and active cruises--a segment that I hope will grow considerably beyond the limited choices now available) our internet searches and friends' recommendations might turn up for the same destination. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was my first cruise. Went with my sister and my mom who has mobility issues. My sister and I wanted active - hiking, kayaking and other adventure - while my mom was limited but still wanted to enjoy real Alaska. Every day was perfect ... Read More
This was my first cruise. Went with my sister and my mom who has mobility issues. My sister and I wanted active - hiking, kayaking and other adventure - while my mom was limited but still wanted to enjoy real Alaska. Every day was perfect - we kayaked among the icebergs, bushwacked, hiked and explored. My mom took skiff rides up to glaciers and saw wildlife up close. The guides were great with her and also super helpful in getting her comfortably in and out of the skiff. On board the boat, the staff was fabulous - the crew spotted whales and positioned us to enjoy experiences of a lifetime - 45 minutes sailing with orcas, 5 am wake up to see humpbacks feeding close to the boat. And the food was wonderful - lots of options and always creative, Patrick, the bartender, kept well-hydrated, even the morning yoga instructors were all experienced ....and the other passengers were a great mix of people from all over the US. The boat itself was fine for our needs - not super fancy but had all a small ship needs included and while the rooms are small, it was fine because you arent in the room that much anyway. We loved the roof top hot tub. Highly recommend Uncruise as the best way to cruise Alaska. Small ship, great staff, super adventure and works for all ages. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
One of the best trips we have ever been on, for sure. If you want a small boat, with great views, wildlife, activities, crew, and food, and 50 adventurous, well traveled people to laugh with for a week, this is a great trip. We had great ... Read More
One of the best trips we have ever been on, for sure. If you want a small boat, with great views, wildlife, activities, crew, and food, and 50 adventurous, well traveled people to laugh with for a week, this is a great trip. We had great weather, sunny days, but even if it had been misty or cloudy, which we were expecting in Alaska, the breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife, opportunities to observe them, (not just "spot" them) along with activities, crew and staff, food, and the other guests we met and got to know, made this an AWESOME trip for us. Lots of wildlife - eagles, (one time, we saw 8 in a tree at once) many opportunities to see whales, (including breaching, which is amazing to watch) orcas, sea lions, puffins, bears (Saw three onshore once, the first mate, Alex, announced the sighting, steered the boat toward shore so we could watch, for about an hour or so) moose. Spent three days in Glacier Bay with no other boats (except one sailboat. Captain Rob skiffed out to them and brought croissants and cobbler- as a friendly and diplomatic gesture.) We kayaked to small coves, close to glaciers and waterfalls (even caught a couple thunderous calving glaciers) quiet glacial waters and untouched wilderness. Stopped in small town of Haines for a day, did a river raft with very good guide from area. There was hiking and/ or bushwacking, kayaking, snorkling (obviously with wetsuits, which were provided) or skiff rides each day, or I suppose you could stay on board if you wanted to. There was 20- 30 min of morning yoga/stretching sessions on deck with Sarah, to get ready for the days activities, and also a couple of stationary bikes, stairclimbers and some weights. Excursions and activities included in cost. I cannot say enough about the captain, crew, and staff. Impressive and more. All are enthusiastic, knowledgeable, friendly and eager to share their knowledge and experience. They want you to have a great time, and make it happen. All worked as a team, and it was not unusual to see the captain helping to haul out the kayaks, returning for the day. The guides are eager to share their passions- knowledge of the area, wildlife, plants. There were evening talks, which were plus/minus for me, short enough to listen to, not extensive. We had a Glacier Bay Park Ranger onboard for 2 days, who interacted with everyone, did a couple talks, and even ate meals with us. You could (and we did) go up to the bridge and talk with the captain and other crew. The captain altered the itinerary to get the best weather or sightings. Food was excellent. Breakfast and lunch buffet. Service for dinner, with three entree choices (meat, seafood or veg or could do half and half) big salads available for lunch and dinner, and dessert. All you can eat crabs one night, and a delicious berry cobbler for 4th of July. No formal seating, and getting dressed for dinner is putting on a clean tee shirt, and then finding your friends to sit with. Generous cocktails, good wines, (included in cost) soft drinks at the bar. Patience was our only bartender and somehow she made it all happen, although other stewards could jump in to pour wines when she was busy)The metal water bottles provided are fine to use for the week, but it would be good if there was flavored waters or Mio drops to add to your water, or G2 or Smartwaters or something. There is no cell or internet- absolutely glorious to "unplug" for the week (ship to shore calls if urgent) Most people in 60's age range, with a few college kids with parents. We had three kids under age of 12 on our boat, who were exceptional- enjoyed all activities, books, board games and cards, and even talking with the rest of us. The last night there is a slide show with pics from the week's activities and all your new friends. You can opt to have them emailed to you, and you can keep them. The small boat experience and this kind of access to wilderness makes the trip well worth the cost. Signed up to do another one- just have to decide on an itinerary, but we may do another Alaska one! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in ... Read More
Very impressed with Uncruise. Having sailed big cruise ships before, this was a far superior experience. Every day we saw beautiful, jaw dropping sights without another boat in sight. It was lovely to go kayaking and be completely alone in nature and turn back and see our charming vessel anchored in a little cove. The staff were very keen and enthusiastic and tried very hard, even though not always as knowledgeable as I hoped they would be.Southeastern Alaska is a geologic marvel and a little more information such as regarding the role of glaciers in carving the landscape would have been welcome. The presentations in the evening were very not very informative despite the staff trying hard. Perhaps Uncruise could employ someone who has extensive knowledge to do the presentations and not expect the young adventure guides to perform that role. We were lucky to have days with good weather, but one windy day did prevent off the boat activities. I loved the gender equality aboard and the lack of single use plastic. The boat could use some updating. Our cabin while extremely clean( very hardworking staff) was run down and needed a complete overhaul. The beds were comfortable and bedding, while not Frette, was fresh and clean. The biggest downsides were the lounge did not have enough seating for all guests and one had to line up at mealtimes. I was very impressed however with the quality of the equipment: life jackets, kayaks, skiffs etc as well as the concern for safety. The getting in and out of skiffs and kayaks was extremely well monitored and easy. The food was good. Portions were adequate and the staff certainly took into account special requests and asked each meal if we had food allergies. I loved the waitstaff, Jonathan and Tichelle who worked really hard and were so pleasant. We did a galley tour and was amazed at the tight quarters and limited equipment. I can’t imagine how the chef, Bri was able to turn out the meals she did in that space.: Another example of the excellent employees of Uncruise. Most people onboard were very well traveled, very friendly and active. While I usually avoid open seating like the plague,on this cruise I enjoyed meeting new people and hearing their interesting travel stories. By the end of the week I had spoken to most people on board as we had either sat with them at meals, chatted over drinks or done an activity together. I recommend this cruise to people who want a more active vacation and to see parts of Alaska the big ships don’t go. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
This cruise far exceeded our expectations and any cruise we had been on before! There is no comparison between a large ship cruise and an Uncruise small ship experience. While more expensive EVERYTHING is included, great food, top shelf ... Read More
This cruise far exceeded our expectations and any cruise we had been on before! There is no comparison between a large ship cruise and an Uncruise small ship experience. While more expensive EVERYTHING is included, great food, top shelf liquor, shore excursions, snack time. Also as a small boat they cater to you. Our wonderful bartender Serenity (yes that's her name) knew what we wanted when she saw us coming and had it ready. This was a whale and wilderness cruise and when the captain saw a pod of whales the ship stopped until everyone had their fill of whales, or bears, or goats on a cliff side and we just stayed there. He made up the time at night going to our next wilderness stop. We also got up close and personal with several glaciers. Speaking of that most days we were in a deserted cove with us the only boat. From there we had day excursions with options for adventurous bushwacking to a nice cruise in a small boat. For several groups on the boat this was not their first Uncruise adventure. That in itself tells you a lot about this cruise line. The last night we were Juneau with several large ships and we really felt the difference. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years ... Read More
First off let me set the tone of the reviewers, we are seasoned cruisers with over 30+ cruises including 5 in Alaska along with a three month Alaska road trip in an RV traveling the main land. We are 59 & 61, together over 45 years and still working. I consider us “Budget Cruisers”, so this trip is way out of our normal affordability. The boat has a capacity of 74. This trip there were 38 people, so a small group which did lend to a very positive experience. The week aboard the Wilderness Explorer was called “Alaska's Fjords & Glaciers”. This is the first year that Uncruise started this early, about four weeks earlier than usual. They called this the “May Awakening”. The boat is small, intimate and cozy. Easy to move around and get to and from staterooms to anywhere on the boat within a minute. The kayak launching system lends itself to ease of entering and exiting the water. To use the skiffs, there was always a crew member inside and outside the skiff to assist in boarding. The food was top notch and well presented. Three dinner options daily, meat, fish or vegetarian meal. Portions at first appear small, but were adequate for most diners. Don't be afraid to ask for half & half meals. Lunches were buffet as was breakfast. Each afternoon around 3, there were cookies and coffee available and on some evenings, appetizers were offered in the lounge before dinner. Lastly, the bar was well stocked with awesome bartender and plenty of suggestions to be had. Activities for the most part were broken up to morning and afternoon events, with a return in time for lunch and dinner. This trip, the activities included kayaking, bushwhacking, skiff tours, snorkeling, paddle boarding and beach walks. Two of the afternoons were onboard the main boat to whale and nature watch. There is no way to compare this cruise with any of the many cruises we have taken. Up to now, the passenger numbers have ranged from a low of 2,000 to a high 6,000 with average sailing cost around $500 to $700 per person. One of our future cruises will be the Galápagos Islands and Uncruise will be on our list of potential tour companies. If interested, I have pictures and YouTube clips of the cruise including the snorkeling part. In addition, there is also a detailed review of day to day that includes our travel from Boston to a long layover in Seattle. Feel free to email me any questions about our trip or any of our trips to dpstimmler@gmail.com. Happy Sailings! Read Less
Sail Date May 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
I love wilderness. I love small ships that don't really go "anywhere." This cruise promised and delivered exactly what I wanted. We had 3 whole days in Glacier Bay with nary another person or ship in sight. To add to the ... Read More
I love wilderness. I love small ships that don't really go "anywhere." This cruise promised and delivered exactly what I wanted. We had 3 whole days in Glacier Bay with nary another person or ship in sight. To add to the sensory overload was 3 continuous days of sun, something unheard of in most of Alaska. Alaska was Awakening and while there were no babies of any sort and the bears were still hibernating, it was a great experience. Small ship cruises are most expensive. With 37 passengers and a crew of 25, there was lots of attention. The food was good and the cabin, albeit with its tiny bathroom, was comfortable. Each crew member had a particular interest. What I found troubling was that there seemed to be no one in charge of wildlife spotting. While not every bird, otter, sea lion, seal and porpoise needs to be enumerated, it is good to call them out and identify them. I found that lacking and it was disappointing. There were multiple and daily opportunities to kayak, hike, and go for skiff rides to explore. The activities are not tremendously difficult. On the cruise we were on, I think young children would be bored. I would go again. 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
This is our 4th cruise with Uncruise and it was very nice. The ship had a great crew who were knowledgeable, friendly , and hard working. They make all activities enjoyable and easy. Food was good with several choices. Was nice that ... Read More
This is our 4th cruise with Uncruise and it was very nice. The ship had a great crew who were knowledgeable, friendly , and hard working. They make all activities enjoyable and easy. Food was good with several choices. Was nice that the portions were not too generous. Also good that the chef did not over salt anything. Ship was very clean. Our only complaint was the bed location in our cabin, hard to get into and out of. The aquatic wild life was wonderful, many humpback whales. Saw two new species of whales, one which was quite rate. The night snorkel with the Manta Rays was a highlight. As the water was cool, low 70's, would have been nice if wet suites were available. The excursion equipment was modern and well maintained. The open bridge policy is a good feature as this is the best place to see wild life. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
UnCruise Hawaii Cruise Review - An Amazing Trip By Ken Montgomery, 4th time UnCruise passenger Jan 2018 The UnCruise trip from Kona to Molokai (northbound)was a wonderful trip In so many ways. We were on the Safari Explorer for 7 ... Read More
UnCruise Hawaii Cruise Review - An Amazing Trip By Ken Montgomery, 4th time UnCruise passenger Jan 2018 The UnCruise trip from Kona to Molokai (northbound)was a wonderful trip In so many ways. We were on the Safari Explorer for 7 nights. We embarked on Saturday Jan 27th, 2018. There were 33 passengers & 16 crew. There are 18 staterooms. We saw lots of whales, dolphins, turtles, Manta Rays and lots of reef fish. Every UnCruise Hawaii trip will have a different itinerary due to weather factors - mainly wind and seas. We had calm winds and seas for the most part, so we were able to stay to the original cruise plan. Itinerary Saturday embarkation day. - passengers had to get their bags to the Hapuna Prince Resort Hotel ( 45 minutes north of Kona) by 3pm. There was a gathering room in the hotel for the UnCruisers. The bags were then taken to the ship and placed in the state rooms. At 4:30 the Cruise Activity leader Travis introduced himself and gave a quick cruise briefing, then we all loaded on a bus for a 10 minute ride to the ship. We were shown to our cabins, then had the lifeboat drill and free time till dinner @ 6:30. The dinner started with the welcome aboard drink and welcome from the captain and introduction of the crew. After dinner, Travis explained tomorrow’s activities based on current weather & wind forecasts. There was a documentary or a talk about Hawaii on the cabin TV or in the lounge every night. The crew anchored the ship Saturday night off Kona. The ship had a gentle rock to it. Sunday After breakfast we got ready for our first snorkel trip - south of Kona. Great water clarity and fish. Fins and masks were given to each passenger’s approximate sizes. They had plenty of extra fins and masks in case the ones given to you didn’t fit. Your gear was stowed in lockers on the bottom deck by cabin number. We then learned how to use their skiffs for snorkeling. A fresh water shower & island punch awaited returning snorkelers. Lunch followed and we spent the afternoon positioning the boat for our evening adventure north of Kona. We saw a few whales along the way. Sunday Night - a light dinner was served at 5pm. At 6 we had a briefing about our evening snorkel trip to see Manta Rays feeding. An outside vendor brought in wetsuits for everyone, which were needed. We took the skiffs out to the location where the Rays were feeding and we broke into 5 groups with about 6 people hanging onto each surfboard. A leader would tow us around the area so the passengers just focused on looking down at the action. We saw plenty of Manta Rays, a truly amazing experience. We were in the water about 45 minutes. Even with the wetsuits, many of us were a little cold and were ready to head back to a warm shower. This was the wildlife highlight for me on the cruise followed closely by all the humpback sightings. We had snacks and deserts on board after we returned and had our showers. Monday - 2 major activities. In the morning we went snorkeling at Captain Cook’s monument. In the afternoon we visited Kona where you could go on a guided walking tour, do an outrigger ride or just go shopping. In the evening we had a presentation from 2 lovely Hawaiians who told us about growing up and living in Hawaii. Monday Night - the crossing from the Big Island to Maui takes all night and can be a little rocky, but our crossing was fairly smooth. Tuesday - the morning activity consisted of a kayak trip along the south portion of Maui or a skiff boat ride exploring the coast. We saw whales before breakfast and during the kayaking trip. We returned to the ship and went whale watching off the west coast of Maui the rest of the day, seeing dozens of Humpback whales as we cruised. Following cocktail hour and dinner we had a staff presentation. Wednesday Morning - we did a skiff ride looking for whales and there were many whales putting in shows for us to enjoy. We went kayaking or paddle boarding after that. Afternoon- a tour of Lanai City where we visited their museum and explored the small town in the rain. Evening - Anchored in the lee of Lanai Thursday morning - snorkeling with turtles off Lahaina Afternoon - free time in Lahina town Friday morning / docked in Moloka’i - van tour of eastern portion of island visiting cultural sites. Optional difficult hike to waterfall with 4 stream crossings, walking sticks provided. Bug repellent provided. Very interesting story about Hawaiin culture. Friday night - went to a Panai, a Hawaiin party featuring roast pig and other traditional Hawaiin dishes at a local museum & community center with plenty of entertainment. Saturday departure- bags out by 7:30, they transported us at 8:30 to the only hotel on Molokai where we waited for a shuttle to the airport. The new UnCruise passengers were arriving here also. Best to book an early flight out of Molokai, as there is nothing left to do on Molokai. Misc Notes Crew Gratuities. UnCruise Staff recommends a $25 to $35 per day per passenger gratuity. Cell service - sometimes you have a few bars, sometimes there is no service, depending on your service provider and location. There wouldn’t be enough cell strength to use streaming services. There is no wi-fi on the ship. Laundry - there is no laundry service on the ship Shoes - water shoes are useful for getting in & off the skiffs and walking around. Sandals work for all other needs. Optional Excursions - there are no optional excursions - all activities, drinks, meals are included. The only thing you’ll ever need to pay for are Un-Cruise hats or t-shirts and the Crew Gratituities Things you should bring - [ ] 3 swim suits - so they dry in between uses. - [ ] Optional - a 3 to 5 mm wetsuit. A shorty would be fine. The water temp in January is in the mid 70’s and the snorkeling sessions were usually 45 to 60 minutes in the water, many passengers were cold without them. You can hang the wetsuit to dry on the deck on a hanger. - [ ] Rash guards are great for snorkeling, they give you sun protection and are perfect to wear under a wet suit. Buy them in any “Crazy Shirts” store in Hawaii. They even have rash guards that take on a new pattern once they are wet. They sell for about $48, long sleeves give the most protection, but are a hassle under wet suits arms. They dry very fast, so you can get by with one. - [ ] “Swimmers Ear” drops to dry out the water that stays in your ears from snorkeling. - [ ] Bring a long sleeve dry-fit t-shirt for boat trips or sitting out on the deck at night. - [ ] The ships store is very small, so bring your cold meds and cough drops in case you need them. A small tube of Vaseline in handy for minor scrapes & cuts. - [ ] Eye glass cleaner fluid and the microfiber clothes to clean them. - [ ] DVD’s that you’ve always wanted to watch. The ship has a few hundred movie DVD’s for borrowing. We like to bring documentary DVDs. Do not bring Blu-Ray DVDs, they won’t play on the stateroom equipment. - [ ] Extension chord to make plugging in all your chargers a lot easier. We only found one plug in the living area, so the extension chord was really essential. - [ ] Small flash lights for night time trips to bathroom - [ ] A secure hat for windy skiff rides. Things You May Not Need to Bring - [ ] Binoculars- the ship supplies each cabin with a large 7x50 pair of very good binoculars - [ ] Large Suntan lotion container. The shop has them on deck. Bring a small tube if you are staying a few extra days in Hawaii. - [ ] Lots of fancy camera gear. This is not really a photography cruise like Alaska and many other places are. Whale photography is particularly difficult. It’s best to enjoy the action and view the professional’s work. There are many great documentaries on whales on U-tube and on Netflix where the photography is better than 99% of photographers can do. - [ ] Water bottle- UnCruise provides cold water in the dinning room and reusable water bottles for your use. - [ ] Alcohol- all the alcohol, beer and wine are free all the time. - [ ] Shampoos & conditioner are in the shower in large dispensers, so no need to bring your own. A hair dryer is in the bathroom. - [ ] Walking sticks - the ship supplies them for the 2 hikes. They are provided by outside contractors and are not carried on the ship. - [ ] Sea sickness meds, the ship supplies them. - [ ] Fancy clothes - everyone dresses casually all the time. - [ ] Jacket - it never really got cold enough for anything above a windbreaker Summary A great trip with fun adventures. The food was very good. The wine and cocktails were excellent & plentiful and free. The crew is hardworking and talented. They even remember everyone’s names. Read Less
Sail Date January 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
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