Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

S.S. Legacy Entertainment & Activities

Shore Excursions

You'll find a selection of shore excursion on most days of your S.S. Legacy cruise, with only a handful of exceptions. Many days, you'll have the choice to do one in the morning and one in the afternoon -- and all are included in the cost of the cruise.

In Alaska, most of the excursions will be active, with options that include hiking, trekking and kayaking, as well as easier choices like getting up close to glaciers or whale watching in rigid inflatable boats, also called skiffs. None of the Alaska excursions are appropriate for people with serious mobility challenges, as you must be able to get in and out of skiffs at every port of call.

The choices are a bit more varied in the Pacific Northwest and depend on whether you're on one of the line's Rivers of Adventure sailings or wine-themed cruises. On Rivers of Adventure sailings, your choices will include active fare such as hiking (easy or challenging), biking, whitewater rafting and kayaking, but you'll also be given the option to go to various museums. Wine-themed cruises will visit a number of wineries, as well as museums and might, if there's enough demand, include hiking or kayaking.

Wildlife Viewing

If one of your main goals for cruising with UnCruise is to see wildlife, you'll probably want to select one of S.S. Legacy's Alaska itineraries. While wildlife sightings are never guaranteed, when sailing in Alaskan waters you've always got a pretty good shot at spotting humpback whales, orcas and dolphins, bears, moose and, of course, bald eagles. In the Pacific Northwest, you'll see plenty of birdlife but when it comes to mammals, the main possibilities are coyote, fox, mule deer and an elusive elk. All cabins feature a pair of binoculars for use while on the cruise, including during the excursions.

Enrichment

There will be an evening presentation on most (but not all) nights of your S.S. Legacy cruise regardless of where you're sailing. Most evenings, the presentations will be about the natural world -- flora, fauna, fire ecology (particularly important in the Pacific Northwest) -- but you might also hear about First Nation cultures and history relevant to the area you're cruising through. For instance, in the Pacific Northwest you can count on learning about Lewis & Clark.

You'll also learn a lot during shore excursions, from the expedition team as well as local guides.  

Daytime and Evening Entertainment

People don't take a cruise on S.S. Legacy for the onboard entertainment and, as such, there isn't much onboard. Every night but the last two, the guides present an educational lecture in the Lounge. On the second to last night, there's a trivia session (pay attention to whatever the guides tell you!) and on the last night, there's a slideshow of photos taken by the guides throughout the cruise. (UnCruise sends everyone a link to the slideshow after the cruise is over so everyone can have the photos.)

There are board games and puzzles in the Pesky Barnacle game room on Deck 1, and there's a decently sized lending library of DVDs in the Lounge for you to borrow and use in your cabin.

The engine room is open for tours, but must be arranged with the ship's engineer ahead of time. No more than two people can take a tour (which lasts 10 minutes) at a time, and he only offers the tour while the ship is underway, so people can see the engines while they're active. Additionally, the Bridge is open to visitors most of the time.

S.S. Legacy Bars and Lounges

There is only one bar and lounge onboard S.S. Legacy. Located on Deck 2, the Lounge is the main gathering spot onboard the ship. It is most active from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. when the daily happy hour is on. Inside you'll find a mix of comfy couches and armchairs, and tables with chairs. All evening programs are held here. It's also the location for the first day's orientation and safety drill.

The Lounge is also where the library is situated and cruisers are encouraged to borrow a book for the duration of the cruise. Much of the reading material is related to the history and culture of the regions S.S. Legacy sails.

There is also a small game room, called the Pesky Barnacle, at the back of the dining room on Deck 1. This area is only open to the public on the Columbia and Snake River itineraries as it's used to store expedition gear when in Alaska. When open, you'll find some card tables there as well as a handful of board games. This is also the spot to grab a metal water bottle, which you can use for the duration of your cruise, and the water spigots where you can fill up the bottles as needed.

S.S. Legacy Outside Recreation

You'll find two hot tubs on Deck 4 of S.S. Legacy, as well as a smattering of spots to sit and enjoy the sunshine from the top deck, including a few lounge chairs.

Throughout Alaska sailings, and in select areas of the Columbia and Snake River sailings, S.S. Legacy features a portable activity launch platform, called the Sea Dragon, which is pulled along behind the ship. You'll need to take a skiff to get to the platform but from there it's easy to get into and out of the two-person sea kayaks that are stored on the ship.

S.S. Legacy Services

The hotel manager's office is on Deck 2, but you won't always find someone there, especially when most people are off the ship. There's a small selection of books, lovingly referred to as a library, with an emphasis on Alaskan and Pacific Northwest history and nature, along one corner of the Lounge (Deck 2), and there's a card room with board games in the Pesky Barnacle on Deck 1 (only open on Columbia and Snake River sailings).

Also found in the Lounge on Deck 2 is a small selection of items for sale including UnCruise-branded hats, wool socks, gloves, cookbooks, mud cleansers (made from glacial mud) and more.

An elevator takes passengers between Decks 1 and 3, but you'll need to take the stairs if you need to reach Deck 4.

The first mate onboard serves as the ship's medical officer; he can handle minor accidents and illnesses.

S.S. Legacy Spa & Fitness

S.S. Legacy does not have a spa but all passengers are entitled to a half-hour massage as part of their cruise experience. The sign-up process differs by itinerary. On sailings that include morning or afternoon cruising, the massage therapists will create a schedule, randomly assigning cruisers to a slot. On sailings with no mornings or afternoons free of excursions, the massage therapists will put up a sign-up sheet and allow cruisers to pick the time that works best for them. (You cannot book more than the half-hour massage that is included in the fare.)

The ship does have a small outdoor fitness area on Deck 4, all the way at the back. Here you'll find two bikes, two elliptical trainers and a rowing machine, as well as a variety of free weights. Additionally, every morning, a 45-minute yoga session is offered at 6:45 a.m. Walkers can make their way around Deck 3.

S.S. Legacy For Kids

UnCruise does not permit children younger than 8 on its sailings, and you really won't find kids of any age on S.S. Legacy when it's in the Pacific Northwest. But families might be onboard during the ship's Alaska season. When kids are onboard, they mostly do the same activities that adults do.

There are kid-appropriate DVDs in the lending library, but parents might want to bring a kid-friendly board game for late afternoon or evening play. Parents can work with the chef to come up with more child-friendly meal options. There are no kids' club facilities and no babysitting.

UnCruise S.S. Legacy Ship Stats

  • Crew: 35
  • Launched: 1983, 2013
  • Decks: 4
  • Passengers: 86
  • Registry: United States

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