We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the ... Read More
We, a group of 3 couples, took this cruise a couple weeks ago. I cannot say enough good things about this cruise line. When you compare prices of Un-Cruise cruises and the "big ship" cruises, you wonder if it could be worth the extra money. The answer is yes.
We were on the Wilderness Adventurer. It holds 60 passengers and 25 crew. It is 4 floors. The lowest level is the crew level so we never saw that. The next level has some cabins, which is where ours were, the galley, the dining room and the bar/lounge. On the back of the boat, this is the level you get into your kayak or the skiff but you access this from stairs on the 3rd level. The 3rd level is rooms and the front bow where you can stand out and watch wildlife. The 4th level is the open deck and bridge. The back half is off limits because this is where kayaks and skiff are stored. There are 2 elipiticals and 2 stationary bikes and some weights on this level also.
This cruise line is very informal. You do not need to dress up for any meals. Some nights we came in from hiking and went straight to dinner without cleaning up. There is no assigned seating. There is fruit/toast/yogurt out at 6:30am, then hot buffet breakfast at 7:30 every day. Lunch is buffet at 12 or 12:30. Cocktail hour is at 5:30 with a drink special, because the Alaska cruises do not include alcohol, and heavy appetizers. Dinner is at 6:30. During breakfast the chef tells you your dinner choices, a meat option, a seafood option, and a vegetarian option. You pick one. One night, one of our group didn't like her meal so they brought her out one of the other choices. One night I didn't like any of them, so they made me a salad to order. Cookies every day with lunch and at 3pm and a different desert every night. I am a picky eater and don't eat seafood so the food wasn't my highlight. My friends loved the food, especially the all you can eat crab night.
The cabin is basic. But you aren't on this ship to be in your room. We were about 6 or so feet off the water, with a nice size window. You have a shower/toilet combo. There is a TV but it's only a couple channels of discovery type shows. We never turned ours on. The rooms only lock from the inside, not from the outside. At first, I thought that was crazy but it quickly became obvious, there is no need to worry. Both the other passengers and crew are all great people. As the week went on, more and more clothing were being hung outside the room on hooks in the hallway. Our floor of rooms had a problem with the heat, we talked to several people about it but they couldn't figure it out. We ended up sleeping with the window wide open and the door cracked to cool off.
There is a big white board in the dining area. This is where the days activities are listed plus the expedition leader would tell us our options every night. Some days we all went out on skiffs, some days we all stayed on board and did some wildlife viewing from the top deck. Sometimes, the choices were kayaking or hiking or skiff. The expedition guise are all so interesting and knowledgable. Some had degrees in wildlife but others had other degrees but just love being outdoors. I learned so much from them. The best thing we did a bushwhacking hike. There was no trail, hiked over, under and through the forest. It was a blast! A bear was spotted on shore about ¼ mile from us. Luckily we never saw him on the hike, we did go see him on the skiff on the way back to the boat.
There was some kind of different entertainment every night. Some were lectures, one night was crew or guests could sing, the last night was the slide show. We brought some cards with us and played cards a few nights. There are some games on board along with books and DVDs. Every room has a DVD player.
The whole week was just so great, no cell phone service, no other people besides who was on our boat, and the park rangers we saw at Glacier Bay National Park. All of the guests were easy going and interesting to talk to. Most guests were probably in their 60s. Our group is aged 33-52. There were a few other 20 somethings there, all with their parents. Almost all Americans, except 2 couples from New Zealand and 2 from Australia. We loved it so much we signed up for another one on board. You get a nice discount for doing so.
Wildlife we saw were humpback whales lunge feeding, they kept coming closer and closer to the boat, probably 50 or so yards away. We saw 2 orcas, 2 moose, lots of brown bears, aka as brown and fuzzies, and cubs, mountain goats, seals, sea lions, otters, Bald Eagles, puffins. Read Less