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27 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 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
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2017
This was my first cruise & it was perfect for me. I swore I would never go on a cruise until I heard of Uncruise. They showed me the Alaska I dreamed of. The kayaking hiking skiffing & exploring were amazing. I saw so many animals ... Read More
This was my first cruise & it was perfect for me. I swore I would never go on a cruise until I heard of Uncruise. They showed me the Alaska I dreamed of. The kayaking hiking skiffing & exploring were amazing. I saw so many animals upclose & took amazing photos. The guides were phenomenal & extremely fun, funny & knowledgeable. I learned so much & laughed all day long. I was not interested in luxury & although the boat was older It was immaculate & the service was perfect. Every crew member was eager to answer any question & fulfill every whim. The food was plentiful & delicious. I was happy that the cruise was all inclusive & therefor worry free. The passengers were like minded in their commitment to get out of their normal comfort zones which the guides were always (gently) urging us to do. I just got back & already miss the boat the crew & my fellow explorers! My only regret was that I didn't do the Polar Plunge & kayak more to improve my skills. Guess I'll have to go back! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose UnCruise because of a friend's recommendation and our aversion to large cruise ships and preference for adventure cruising. If what you want is floor shows, mega-restaurants, work out gyms, balconies, and relaxing cruising ... Read More
We chose UnCruise because of a friend's recommendation and our aversion to large cruise ships and preference for adventure cruising. If what you want is floor shows, mega-restaurants, work out gyms, balconies, and relaxing cruising go elsewhere. But if you have a spirit of adventure, want to actually physically do something, encounter Alaska up close AND have fabulous food, personally involved crew, very comfortable but not uber rooms, an open bar, other fun adventurous passengers then go with UnCruise. we saw orca including spyhopping, bubble feeding humpback whaes, a black bear, a large contingent of feeding grizzly bears, mountain sheep, loads of eagles, many good shore and sea birds. The glaciers were awesome and Ranger Deb taught us a lot plus being very enthusiastic. We learned about glaciation and deglaciation and revegetation in post glaciation areas. Hiking in the temperate rain forest was great. You cannot miss and any of the cruises out of Juneau chould be great Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began ... Read More
This was our second Un-cruise trip to Alaska. We chose Un-cruise as we wanted a small ship and to have the opportunity for skiff rides, kayaking and hiking. For us it was all about seeing the natural sites and wildlife. The trip began with a whale getting caught in our anchor chain. The Captain and Crew were dedicated to saving the whale. NOAA and a whale expert came to help as no one had seen this before. It took over 12 hours for a successful release to occur, the result was we lost our anchor. We also lost a days activity without one complaint from a passenger, the whale was the most important thing that day. As result we went to port in Petersburg to get a new anchor. Un-Cruise arranged for us to have a walking tour of the town lead by a retired teacher with a great sense of humor. Learned about local life and fishing industry. The highlight of the trip was arranged tour with Alaska Vistas to Anan bear viewing. Situated on stream filled with salmon there is a viewing platform and a blind to watch the bears fish and interact with each other-wonderful day. The food was very good, two breakfast options one early with pastry and fruit followed by full buffet breakfast, lunch was soup, salad and sandwich or wrap buffet with homemade cookies. Evenings were plated and served with choice of meat, seafood or vegetarian. All wine and drinks are included. The crew are the best, well educated funny and very hardworking. They bring Alaska to life. The guides all had knowledge of wildlife trees and plants which made hikes and skiff tours very interesting. Had a wonderful trip and have put a deposit down for Costa Rica Panama with Un-Cruise Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as ... Read More
I chose this cruise as I "really" wanted to see Alaska. We arrived in Fairbanks on 8/13/17 to begin the land portion of this Uncruise trip. Uncruise outsources their land trips and I don't remember who the company was as I've thrown everything away and deleted everything from my email. Let me start by saying this entire trip including airfare from DFW for two was $22,000.00 which included trip insurance. Land trip--in a nutshell not worth the big bucks at all. The first day, 4 hour trip on the dome train, cold food followed by a 90 mile school bus ride to our lodge which took 7.5 hours in Denali Park. The bus stopped for every animal sighting where you needed high powered binoculars to see them and they were about 1 inch tall. The food at Kantishna Lodge where we stayed was horrible. Many people complained. It was cold, rainy the entire time and forget about seeing Denali. We hired a plane to fly us back to the train station. The rest of the land trip went downhill from there. Terrible food everywhere. When it's raining, nothing is pretty. Boarded Wilderness Explorer in Juneau and as usual raining. I think we were in room 325--right before you go out the back of the boat. Room smelled like urine. Employee said not much can be done about it. Room was what I expected. Food was horrible again I'm not the only one complaining. Crew was nice. If you like to kayak in the cold rain, this trip is for you. The best part of the trip was seeing whales and Aurora Borealis. Again for what this trip cost--forget about it! Large cruise ships can enter Glacier Bay for 24 hrs--only 2 allowed in per day--go on the big one. Only thing you won't be able to do is sit for a long time looking at the whales. One lady was a photographer on the trip and totally disappointed. If I ever go back to Alaska, which I won't, I would rent a car and have private small planes fly me into places for several hours. That is what we saw in Glacier Bay. Not necessary to spend 24 hours there. Again, for what this trip cost, in my opinion, not worth it at all!!!! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
Our weather was not great but the trip was superb. First, this is a cruise for people who enjoy nature and learning about it. We truly had an up close and personal encounter with whales, harbor seals, orcas, and bears. Each evening we had ... Read More
Our weather was not great but the trip was superb. First, this is a cruise for people who enjoy nature and learning about it. We truly had an up close and personal encounter with whales, harbor seals, orcas, and bears. Each evening we had a nice lecture after dinner. The crew was amazing! Our guide was simply the best in the business. Our chef catered to each person’s needs and made terrific meals. Each staff member was extremely helpful and always smiled. Our captain deserves special recognition. He went 2 hours off course and found a pod of orcas at dusk on a very foggy night for us to see. We followed them for at least 15 minutes. I still can’t believe he was so persistent and actually found the orcas. He was truly engaged in making sure we had the best experience possible. We also ventured “off course” again to view three pods of humpback whales bubble net feeding. We encountered one humpback that tail slapped 39 times and we sat there and looked at it. Activities include skiff rides, kayaking, and walks. The boat does not stop in any ports and for sure shopping is not part of the cruise. Dinner is casual and full of laughter and wonderful conversation. I love the fact that we are “unplugged” for almost the entire trip. Internet services and cell services are very limited. If you absolutely need some sort of entertainment, the boat has many DVDs you can use. This was our second trip to Alaska on this boat. We thought there is no way our last experience could be beat, but it was. The trip exceeded all of our expectations. Thanks, Uncruise! Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: August 2017
We chose Un cruise because a boat is the best way to see these parts of Alaska, and we are not Cruise-type travelers. We wanted the ability to see more out of the way areas, and to have access to them via hikes, skiffs, or kayaks. We ... Read More
We chose Un cruise because a boat is the best way to see these parts of Alaska, and we are not Cruise-type travelers. We wanted the ability to see more out of the way areas, and to have access to them via hikes, skiffs, or kayaks. We also wanted a smaller boat with fewer travelers and a staff that would be able to educate us about what we were visiting and seeing. Though more expensive than most of the cruises we looked at, Un-cruise succeeds at this on many levels. Though the cabins are small (we had a Captains cabin on the first level (111), they are cozy and comfortable and we had a nice sized window. The showers are small for a normal sized adult. Having said that, we were entirely comfortable throughout our week on the boat. There is a comfortable and spacious all purpose room on the second level, a nice dining room, and adequate deck space including two small hot tubs and a small exercise area. From our cabin, there was minimal engine noise and the cruising was smooth, something that had concerned me because I get seasick easily. The ship is organized with remarkable efficiency and the staff is exceptional. They are organized into navigation, expedition, hotel, and wellness departments, and each do their jobs beautifully. From a service standpoint, you want for nothing on this boat. Highlights include a ship's captain and staff that are welcoming and are willing to alter course to follow whales or other wildlife until everyone has seen them; guides who are knowledgeable and accommodating; waiters and waitresses who are eager to please, a skilled bartender, and yoga instructors and massage therapists who are friendly and caring. The menus change every day (all you can eat crab night was my favorite). The food was for the most part solid, though there were a couple of misses (occasionally overcooked fish). If you don't like the menu, the chef and kitchen staff will work hard to prepare something else for you. The daily activities are particularly well organized and executed from the back of the boat, where access to skiffs, kayaks, and even paddle boards is made easy. There is even a carefully supervised polar bear plunge for those who want a taste of arctic swimming. Though we had rain almost every day, the weather failed to distract from the beauty and overall experience. High quality rain and wet hiking gear (especially boots) is a must for this trip. If you don't bring your own, they supply high quality jackets and rain pants. Lastly, our fellow travelers were pleasant, interesting, and focused on the beauty of Alaska. If Alaska is on your bucket list and you are a traveler who seeks sensational up close beauty and knowledge in the comfort of a small boat with great staff, this is the way to go. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2017
We were looking to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday with a trip to Alaska. I have done a medium size cruise in the past and a few of the gigantic boats. Each has there pluses and minuses. I have an eleven year old boy and an eight ... Read More
We were looking to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday with a trip to Alaska. I have done a medium size cruise in the past and a few of the gigantic boats. Each has there pluses and minuses. I have an eleven year old boy and an eight year old daughter who are very active....and our family loves the water. Some of the other small companies were too expensive, so we thought we might have to do a big boat. Then a friend told us about UnCruise. It sounded absolutely perfect....and it was! If you are looking for a floating hotel room and entertainment at night, then this is not for you. If you want to see the Alaskan wildlife & scenery in an intimate way, this is it. Almost everyday you choose 2 activities - one in the morning and one in the afternoon. They always had a couple on land and a couple at sea. Guides were all great - Sarah and Karl were kid favorites (and adults too.) John also was fabulous....he knew his stuff! Meagan did a great job coming up with the itinerary that worked for the people that were onboard - which was a lot of families.....although most with older children. There was one other family with young children about our kids ages. The kids had a blast together. The ship is small enough, we never worried about them being somewhat independent. The staff was incredible with them! Food was delicious! Pastry chef was incredible! You had a buffet breakfast and lunch. Dinner you could choose a "land, sea or veggie option." They would let you do 1/2 of one and 1/2 of another too. Kids sometimes would need kid food - and they happily made some. We saw all kinds of creatures - seals and sealions popping up next to your kayaks, sea cucumbers & starfish in the crystal clear water, kelp forests, eagles are like pigeons in New York, sea otters, orcas, puffins, mountain goats, salmon jumping, minke and humpback whales, brown and black bears, lions mane jellyfish, and lots of cool birds. My family was sitting down trying to figure out how they could improve....we were coming up with that we wish we new about the porthole covers (since there was 17hours of daylight when we were there) earlier in the week. That is how perfect it was! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and ... Read More
Safari Endeavor Alaska John Muir cruise is definitely a cruise for people who enjoy adventure, wildlife, learning, intimacy, and luxury. This is not a cruise for those who want Las Vegas type entertainment, many visits to cities and souvenir shopping, big staterooms, and endless variety on the ship. The staff is excellent: friendly, knowledgeable, with a love for the outdoors and adventure. This quality flows down from the captain, who is a great manager--he kicks in when needed for any job onboard, while maintaining strong discipline and camaraderie among the crew. The food is excellent, though I'd like to see more variety, especially near the end of the week; however, I understand this could make planning more difficult on a small ship such as this. There are many outdoor activities: kayaking, photography, skiff tours, bushwhacking, a polar dip (!), and just plain sightseeing as you pass by one incredible scene after another. My only criticism here is that activities are rotated a little too infrequently. For instance, free kayaking should be offered more frequently, as should combination kayaking/bushwhacking. Do count on seeing incredible wildlife, such as grizzly bears, bald eagles, sea otters, and, of course, whales. And the glaciers are spectacular, many of them unavailable to other types of transportation. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of ... Read More
We spent 5 days in Denali before flying from Anchorage to Juneau. We were aboard the Wilderness Explorer for 7 nights exploring the Inner Passage. First and foremost, my son has peanut/tree nut allergies and the chef knew ahead of time and had no nuts in the kitchen for the week we were on board! The pastry chef makes everything from scratch so it was such a huge joy for my son to eat what everyone else was eating. They did have nut bars for snacks but did offer to also take those away too! They clearly take all allergies very seriously and we thank them for that - traveling with allergies can be very stressful. The ship was clean and though there were 70 passengers on board, it didn't feel like it at all. The rooms could use some updating but everything was clean. We had been on La Pinta over Christmas and that ship is more updated. But, don't let that deter you! We would all go back in a heartbeat and would definitely use Uncruise again. There were excursions off the ship everyday. We went bush whacking, kayaking, on skiff rides, snorkeling (yes, in 47 degree waters with wet suits - we were fine!), hiking. We went through Glacier Bay. It is a very active cruise - perfect for our 5 teens. The grandmothers went on skiff rides or meadow walks or just watched the stunning scenery. They do have rainboots on board. I brought my daughters and mine though and the boys just got them from on board. Either way, they are a must. Every landing was a wet landing. Hiking shoes aren't needed because you really end up just wearing your rain boots because everything is so muddy. Definitely bring rain pants and a rain jacket. The waters were extremely calm so even my mother who usually gets very seasick was totally fine! The service was great all around. The guides were all very knowledgeable and likeable and all clearly love Alaska! Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
We are used to small ship cruising having been on Small river ships and National Geographic Lindblad several times. We thought we would try this company and were incredibly disappointed. The food was the worst. They give you very small ... Read More
We are used to small ship cruising having been on Small river ships and National Geographic Lindblad several times. We thought we would try this company and were incredibly disappointed. The food was the worst. They give you very small portions first off. One egg omelets, served overcooked and dry or oatmeal. If you wanted something different they somehow forgot to bring it to you. Lunch and dinner was no different. Meats that were tough, vegetarian dishes that lacked imagination and sauces that were bland and discusting to boot. The off shore activities were geared toward young able bodied people. The bulk of the guests were over 55 so lots of them had no choice but to stay aboard ship and be bored. I went on one all day hike. They took us on a 12 mile hike! Mid way in the hike, we were warned if we wished to bail out, they would take everyone back as well. In other words there was no bail outs allowed. Most of could hardly walk the next day. Our cruise was supposed to have a naturalist on board. She was a just students paying off her loan. She knew quite a bit about very little and hung out with 4 guests the entire 7 days. The bar is open though, morning noon and night. Free alcohol all day and night. It made for some very drunk guests. Boredom makes people drink a lot. In short, do not waste your time or money on the Un Cruise Alaska cruise. Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
My wife and I just completed an 'Inner Reaches, Western Cove', Alaska trip with a week aboard the 'Wilderness Explorer'. Simply Remarkable........We saw Orca, Humpback breaching, black bear, moose, dall's porpoise ... Read More
My wife and I just completed an 'Inner Reaches, Western Cove', Alaska trip with a week aboard the 'Wilderness Explorer'. Simply Remarkable........We saw Orca, Humpback breaching, black bear, moose, dall's porpoise and many other bird and flora life. Above our expectations, the food was good and well catered for. My wife is a Celiac (Gluten Free) and she was well looked after - thank you Uncruise. The small ship was comfortable and a family feeling was quickly felt by all aboard with thanks to a professional, dedicated team who made us feel very welcome and special. Hot showers, good heating and great service. Not to mention the daily activity choices with experienced and knowledgeable guides. What a fantastic adventure for us 'Aussies'. One we'd love to replicate in the future. Uncruise are a great alternative to the 'big ship cruises' as we were able to change course to take advantage of the wildlife and geography as events unfolded. This is a truly great experience. Do it....if you want an adventure. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2017
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and ... Read More
AMAZING - 5 days off the grid and Alaska was cool too. UnCruise adventures was like being on an excursion for 7 days. We stopped in every inlet and saw Sea Otters, Sea Lions, bears, Bald eagles, and humpback whales. We hiked, kayaked and watched nature pass. We didn't once stopped at one of those cruise owned ports. We had a park ranger on board that provided tons of information and perspective. Food and Service were exceptional! - Staff of two cooked meals for 30+ people in a room about 4x4; choices were abundant making a decision your only problem. Staff rotated chores on the ship and even the captain would help you on and off the ship during excursions. If you ever get the chance to go to Alaska consider Uncruise Adventures. As we pulled back into civilization I dread the thought of getting back on the grid. ^5 to the staff; they really make the trip exceptional! Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: May 2017
The small boat experience of the UnCruise Safari Endeavour exceeded our dreams! From the moment the owner of the cruise line , Dan Blanchard, spoke to our group before boarding until we departed a week later, everything was top notch! Our ... Read More
The small boat experience of the UnCruise Safari Endeavour exceeded our dreams! From the moment the owner of the cruise line , Dan Blanchard, spoke to our group before boarding until we departed a week later, everything was top notch! Our cabin was #317, yes, it is small. But the only time you will be in the cabin is to shower, dress, and sleep. And it's plenty big enough for that. The best part of the cabin is the view every time you open a curtain or walk out the door! From Captain Shep, to expedition leader Kent, the guides, the wait staff, bartenders, small craft tenders, and definitely the chef and his staff, the love their job and it shows! One of the really neat things was everyone being in the lounge around 5:30 for happy hour and to hear about the activities of the next day! When everyone had selected their activities an announcement would be made that dinner was ready and we all made our way to the dining room. No pushing and shoving like the big cruise ships, very civilized. This was our first cruise with UnCruise, but it won't be our last! Read Less
Sail Date: May 2017
We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from ... Read More
We wanted a small boat experience to do the Inside Passage and chose the Safari Explorer which had a capacity of only 36. Fortunately from Seattle to Ketchikan there were only 12 of us as it was the first cruise of the season, and 26 from Ketchikan up to Juneau - this made their service even better. The staff were helpful, knowledgeable and professional in every sense. Our excursions on the skiffs and kayaks plentiful, we saw humpbacks, orcas, porpoises, seals, and grizzlies. Often there would be a choice of activities including hiking (where the pace was quite slow) and 'bush-wacking' which was fun. The food and bar service was excellent and flexible to cope with the various food requirements of the varied guests - nothing was too difficult for them. They has an extensive supply of waterproof jackets and trousers, wellingtons, and binoculars. It was expensive of course, but worth it. Read Less
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