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15 UnCruise First-Time Cruisers Cruise Reviews

As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge ... Read More
As many have said before in the small vs. large cruise discussions, small cruises really are a lot more flexible, and the captain has a lot of leeway in deciding where to go based on weather and wildlife sightings, etc. That is a huge advantage, in my opinion. Also, everybody on staff worked SO hard--guides, dining hall people, etc. What I really came to dislike, however, was the relentless upselling that seemed to be happening constantly. No matter what was happening your guide was constantly telling you how GREAT it all was. "Aren't we lucky! Isn't this FANTASTIC!" when in fact it was pouring rain and for some reason no bears appeared in what was supposed a bear-heavy area. Then the day we started out we had to endure a long motivational talk by the company president that probably did contain SOME interesting information, but which got buried under the infomercial type of atmosphere. Likewise on our last night at the "captain's dinner" were we told that that he had some important information for us -- and then passed us to another recorded infomercial from the owner and THEN we had to endure more upselling about how we could earn discounts by purchasing credits beforehand, etc. etc. It was really a turnoff. The other thing is that, while they certainly provided us with activities, nothing is terribly strenuous. Most people were probably in their 50s and 60s --- that being said, there were plenty of people in their 50s who were pretty athletic and it was difficult being confined on a boat for a week without access to exercise that was a little more strenuous than what was on offer. I think I if Un-Cruise could offer at least a couple of activities during the week that were a little more challenging physically it would help out people there who are fit and used to being more active. I know my husband, who runs several miles a day, was going crazy at the relative inactivity. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is ... Read More
There is something very special about cruising the Inside Passage, especially on a smaller ship, however I wondered do these smaller ships really take advantage of their smaller size. We are from Australia, so seeing humpback whales is not unusual, we saw a number of them in Alaska, but always some distance away and only the backs, they are still majestic and beautiful but sightings were not regular nor close. We saw an Orca once and at quite a distance, like, pretty much a spec. I agree with one of the other reviews re the upselling - especially the Captains Dinner, when to be honest, I didn't even notice the Captain, other than at the beginning when he introduced his team. Listening to the Video and being told how easy and at a reduced cost it would be to book the next cruise sounded desperate. Send us the info later!! Nobody was really interested at that time. This holiday gets such rave reviews that I will be considered the negative naysayer, but here goes anyway. There are many pro's for this cruise, but a number of con's also: The guests were all delightful, interesting and engaging. A lot of them quite fit and I really enjoyed an impromptu yoga class by the gorgeous Meghan on the deck in glorious sunshine as we travelled along. A truly magical day. The Bushwhacking was great if you love Lichen and other plants, but it got quite tedious after that. Having said that, I was in the very lucky group of people that witnessed a bear catching salmon in the river, it was about 40 metres away from us and a truly amazing sight, if for nothing else the trip was worth it just for that. Nobody else saw a bear, even in the distance, other than this sighting. The kayaking was really enjoyable, especially when guided by Sarah W, she seemed to be able to get the right amount of talking happening, she was informative but also happy for the landscape and environment to speak for itself. The food was certainly above average and the pasty chef was amazing. Biscuits and cakes were delicious. The guides were all extremely well read and informed, they knew their stuff. Skiff rides through the glacier ice in Icy Strait were truly amazing. I agree with a previous review though, that at times I was stir crazy for some hard exercise. On the second day the Captain advised us that there was a "stowaway", which was a gastro bug, effecting largely the crew. This made eating anything a lottery. To their credit they did seem to get it contained, before about Wednesday when an awful flu went through the ship. I found the ship to be quite grubby even when cleaned. The windows needed to be opened more and it needs the carpets and fabrics updating badly. It felt like a harbour for disease. Even a number of the crew looked like they could do with a good scrub. This could also be due to the fact that it was the second last cruise of the season and it just needed a good clean. The open bridge policy was a joke. The Captain had zero personality. I realise he has a large responsibility but I didn't like the way he was to the passengers or a couple of his crew. I think the bridge should be closed if the people up there cant be friendly. I realise it would be tedious being asked the same old questions, but if that's the policy at least do it well. The safety drill was ridiculous as was the way a false alarm was conducted. Accidents are unlikely and just as well as they would not have coped. The expectation of a large tip at the end might be expected in the USA, but those of us not from the States found it quite a high expectation of approx. $500 per cabin. Just be aware and factor it into the cost. The guides/crew/hospitality all worked extremely hard, although some had definitely had enough by this stage of the season. Would I do another Un-Cruise - Im just not sure. It was great on so many levels, but really I give most of the credit to the wonderful state of Alaska more than anything else. Would I recommend you to do this cruise with Wilderness Discoverer - yes. Just go with eyes opened. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, ... Read More
We started in Juneau, southbound to Seattle with a total of 16 'Safari Questers' on board and nine crew. From the first night it was one lifetime experience after another. We saw pods of Humpback whales on numerous occasions, with one pod feeding in an awesome display of power. An Orca swam next to us for a short distance (at night so no photos other than the one planted in the memory bank). We were also accompanied by dolphins, eagles and the 'skiffers' caught and captured a bear on digital video and DLSR still as it was fishing a very short distance from our intrepid travellers. Two successive nights of the northern lights and the Big Dipper planted mid photo screen whilst two 'Questers' had a lazy hot-tub as the photographers did there work. Great trips ashore in Petersburg, Wrangell, Ketchikan and Friday Harbor, sadly as the big ships AKA floating hotels were leaving. My wife was stopped by a long line of returnees in Ketchikan and told "there's a queue" you'll have to wait in line; said "excuse me, not for our ship" and continued to our birth. A multi talented terrific crew, enjoyable company with all our fellow 'Questers' superb sailing by all helmsmen/women, wonderful activities (skiffing, canoeing, hiking, photography, FUN AND MORE FUN) a great room with lots of under king sized bed storage and lots to do or nothing if that was your fancy. Got the brochure and planning our next small ship cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the ... Read More
Our Un-Cruise was not what we expected, but because of the Company's/staff's commitment to making our time in Alaska special, we had a remarkable vacation. Due to engine breakdown, the ship did not leave port. Sounds like the making of a disaster - instead it was the beginning of an exciting adventure. Offered the option of ending the trip with total refund and future discount or the prospect of the ship being repaired and some days cruising (refunds for every day we didn't sail), we choose to stick around. Day excursions and two days at an Inn in Glazier Bay (air travel to and from, charters all at Un-Cruise's expense) allowed us to see almost everything the trip promised, even though the repairs were not completed during our stay. Bottom line, we got total refund and future discount, had a wonderful time, albeit not what we expected, met some wonderful people with whom the adversity/uncertainty bonded us as we experienced the amazing response of the crew/staff as they went all out to make our time memorable. Un-Cruise can write the book on "service recovery." Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Wonderful time. The crew was great and the passengers all got a long. Food was very good and the general atmosphere was very friendly. The cabin was small but functional-all we did was sleep there. First time on a cruise. Not for those who ... Read More
Wonderful time. The crew was great and the passengers all got a long. Food was very good and the general atmosphere was very friendly. The cabin was small but functional-all we did was sleep there. First time on a cruise. Not for those who are looking to be entertained. if you are looking for moderate adventure, it is very well worth it. Would do it again in a heart beat. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
Pros Great, fun, responsive, accomodating crew Clean ship; flexible course; no crowds or tourist stops Good (not great) food & drink Very fun activities (Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, animal life sightings) Park ranger ... Read More
Pros Great, fun, responsive, accomodating crew Clean ship; flexible course; no crowds or tourist stops Good (not great) food & drink Very fun activities (Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, animal life sightings) Park ranger on board for 2 days really added alot Hot tub on bow Negatives Cabins are adequate but not as pleasant as those pictured in brochure Crew does their best to be informative but not to the level of experts on Natl Geographic tours A few small improvements would go along way (signage, food prep & presentation, pertinent videos), so sollicit more feedback from passengers Etc. Be patient as the pace of activities builds A nice balance between cost and value Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
This Historic Cruise was made memorable by the expertise and enthusiasm of the historians/actors/guides. The ship, SS Legacy was small with about 80 passengers which led to instant camraderie with ones fellow passengers and the great crew. ... Read More
This Historic Cruise was made memorable by the expertise and enthusiasm of the historians/actors/guides. The ship, SS Legacy was small with about 80 passengers which led to instant camraderie with ones fellow passengers and the great crew. The food and drinks were outstaning and all included. Each day's shore excusions on various spots on the Columbia and Snake Rivers were very interesting/informative/and plain enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This experience was wonderful. The crew was exceptional. Very accommodating. Educated on what we saw and where we were going. If they didn't know an answer they'd know who did. They bent over backwards to make this an ... Read More
This experience was wonderful. The crew was exceptional. Very accommodating. Educated on what we saw and where we were going. If they didn't know an answer they'd know who did. They bent over backwards to make this an extraordinary experience. They sights were spectacular. We saw whales, porpoise, dolphins, sea lions, puffins, bear, mountain goats, and even a banana slug :) Annie the Cruise Director had a great pulse on what to do each day. I told her why I was on the cruise and she helped me make the right decisions. Every day there were numerous activities to be a part of from kayaking to shore walks, bushwhacking hikes to skiff tours. The food was surprisingly good and I was shocked at the choices they provided for every meal. I never felt stuck eating something I wouldn't want to eat. The Pastry Chef Stephanie created delicious deserts and pastries. I actually met her on the plane from Seattle to Juneau where she told me this was her first cruise in Alaska and she created desserts that were as delicious as the sights we saw. This was my first cruise and I had no idea what I was getting into and now I can't wait to do this again and when I do I'll go with UnCruise. Easy decision after the experience they provided. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and ... Read More
We got lucky and found Un-Cruise Adventures online. We wanted, and got, a wonderful small-ship adventure, totally unlike the corporate behemoths of the seas that hold no appeal for us. The descriptions in the company brochure, in print and online, are reliable. We're very experienced, non-wealthy travelers, but our only previous cruise was another small ship, 30 years ago on the Nile. (That was great too.) We splurged for this one, but the up-front cost was cushioned a bit by the all-inclusive policy (including adult beverages). The daily, up-close encounters with glaciers and all the magnificent southeast Alaska scenery, and with a great variety of wildlife, were just what we hoped for. The sea was calm, the weather better than expected, the crew absolutely terrific. Guides accompanied small groups for each excursion, offering troves of information, helpful encouragement for inexperienced kayakers and hikers, and assurances of safety. We're 60-plus, reasonably fit but not athletic, and we found the daily choices of activities perfectly suited to our abilities and interests. Kayaking up a salmon stream; hiking along a deserted beach, through back country, or up the side of a glacier; cruising on a pontoon boat accompanied by orcas.... We brought back memories to last a lifetime and hundreds of gorgeous photos. The food was of a very high standard, usually with two choices of main course at each meal (and an option to try both), impeccably served in a casual atmosphere. The chef and pastry chef came up with delicious alternatives to accommodate a friend with a restricted diet. Our fellow passengers were mostly of similar age to us, a few younger and one in his 80s, with several Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, other Europeans, and Chinese in the mix. Despite the open bar and generous pouring of wine and beer at meals, I saw no sign of bad behavior. We're eager to sail with this company again on a different itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our ... Read More
My family of four (including two teenagers), have traveled a lot but we had never been to Alaska and wanted to see as much as we could. With only a week to explore, the Safari Endeavor was the perfect size and added a bit of luxury to our SE Alaska action packed week. We started our trip out with two full days in Glacier Bay National Park with a forest ranger, Kailin, who offered presentations on birds and glaciers as we cruised up to the Grand Pacific and Margerie Glaciers. We were able to get up close to the scenery and wildlife with kayaks, small boat tours and hiking opportunities. The next days were filled with several activity choices with our four well trained, knowledgeable, entertaining expedition guides, Matt, Conner, Jackie and Fancy. They took about a dozen people at a time on one of the many offered excursions. Matt our expedition leader, would go over our daily choices the night before with fun and thorough descriptions and creative names such as "leg stretcher" "boulder scramble" "gentle beach stroll" to define the various levels of activity from bushwhacking to small beach strolls to climbing ON glaciers. There were also guided small boat tours, kayak tours, open kayak and open up right paddle boarding on the beautiful blue, turquoise & green calm water. In between or after excursions, we usually hit one of the two hot tubs, of course still viewing the scenery and whales! We visited seven Glaciers and had excellent presentations on whales, geology, glaciers and the abundant wildlife we viewed throughout trip. The food was scrumptious, fresh and inventive. Every day presented with an early riser breakfast, full cooked breakfast, lunch, happy hour and three choices at dinner including local seafood, a meat option and a vegetarian option followed by a dessert prepared by a pastry chef. It was all so decadent I usually opted for surf and turf. Chef Mike was happy to accommodate any requests however I can say we all enjoyed everything they put in front of us. The ship has a lounge with Jerry our bartender, happy to make fun cocktails (drinks included- even premium) and cooled with GLACIAL ICE! There are many indoor and outdoor areas to view the wildlife. Also, our Captain Jenna would change the itinerary or timing as to maximize the wildlife viewing and experience. Super knowledgeable, friendly staff and really down to earth. I honestly can't say enough good things about our experience last week. I'm still trying to process all the fun we had and the "once in a lifetime" stuff we saw in one week: countless humpback whales up close, resident and transient orcas, brown bear, Dall's porpoise, a raft of otters, harbor seals, sea lions, puffins, eagles and many other birds. It was a truly incredible life experience for the four of us. WOW!   Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness ... Read More
My husband and I and 3 friends went on an Un-Cruise Adventures Inner Reaches of the Eastern Coves of Alaska --small ship cruise on July 27 to August 3 of 2013. We cruised from Juneau to Ketchikan aboard the ship named Wilderness Discoverer. The cruise definitely exceeded our expectations. We had been on a Cruise West cruise in 2010 before Cruise West ceased operating due to the economy. That cruise to Glacier Bay was wonderful but the Un-Cruise experience was even better (better food and more off ship activities). Because the Un-Cruise ships are small (Wilderness Discoverer accommodates 76 passengers and 28 crew) we were able to access small coves and waterways for a very memorable experience in Alaska's untouched areas. The ship was very clean. The staterooms are small but very comfortable. There is room under the beds to store soft sided luggage and a floor to ceiling cupboard with shelves for clothes and items you unpack. The private bathroom with shower that is in the stateroom is very small but manageable. It was hot on several of the days we were traveling and we were very pleased that the ship has AC and a control panel in each room (it also has heating which we did not need). The food was outstanding and the chef eagerly accommodated my food allergies. The crew members were extremely friendly, helpful and knowledgeable . We thoroughly enjoyed the off-ship expedition activities (all are included in the cost of the cruise) which were extremely varied and included things like kayaking, paddle boarding, skiff tours, hikes, snorkeling, swimming (for the braver travelers) etc. The expedition leader was very knowledgeable and accommodated passengers of all ages and physical abilities in the activities off the ship--as did her expedition crew members. The captain and expedition leader worked together to provide the best experience for passengers and were flexible with regard to the schedule and ship course, for example, making changes so passengers could spend more time viewing whales and bears and other animals or going to coves where animals had been sighted by other ships. We enthusiastically recommend Un-Cruise Adventures! Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a ... Read More
From first contact in planning tto departure, guests were the focus of the entire crew and Un-cruise staff. Each crew member from moment of approaching the ship until after we were safely on our way to airport did even tiny thing in a personal, friendly, competent and efficient manner. Their excitement was infectious ,,,their knowledge and acts enhanced our experiences both with the ship and its amenities as well as the real reason for small-ship cruise choice: up close, intense and personal contact with Nature and Alaska. Our dream began in 1996... life was as life would be and finally our dream became reality and began June 2013... in all respects, our deepest gratitude to Un-Cruise, front office, captain, officers, staff and crew. Words of compliment in the English language are oft over- or mis-used. Our experience with Un-cruise: superb. We look forward to at least two more trips with it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a ... Read More
We have never "cruised." We are self-support river trippers, boaters, back country skiers, etc. So our idea of a vacation is getting away from people. We wanted to see Alaska's Inside Passage but we didn't want to do a self-support kayak trip because we wanted to see as much as we could in a short period of time. So we chose to get our first "cruise" experience (and I hesitate to even use that word because this was an adventure not a cruise), by boarding with Inner Sea Discoveries. We left from Ketchikan and ended in Juneau, Alaska. In between we tied up to one dock at Klowack Village - hardly a town - but full of culture and generational stories. I mentioned we liked to get away from people on vacation. So you can imagine my own surprise when, upon reflection, one of the best parts of this trip were THE PEOPLE! Most people were fantastic (and it's likely there are always some complainers and folks who will not be happy - for example, the lawyer interview on this site.) The Capt. (a whale naturalist and marine biologist) was fantastic. The crew (which included marine biologists) were "in the know" and kind and engaging. When we left, I felt like I was leaving summer camp and my new set of good friends. I am sure I will see some of them and some of the great passengers we befriended again. The food was TOO good! I wanted to lose weight on this trip...NOT. The excursions were fantastic and provided options for different desires of activities and different levels of fitness. The wildlife was abundant - eagles everywhere, whales (which Capt. Jeff just knew how to find), sea lions (so playful), seals, bears, sea otters (I want one), all sorts of delight for birders....the list goes on. And then there is Alaska in all its glory that words won't do justice to...unless you are Muir. In the end, for me, life is about connection. This experience was full of connection - to the open space that is Alaska, to the wonder that is nature, to the untamed wild under and over the sea, and to the people on board that boat. This was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience, as all experiences typically are...there will never be a recreation of that week...but I'm hoping to create new experiences on other Inner Sea adventures in the future. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I ... Read More
I work in the hospitality industry in a vacation destination, and InnerSeas Discovery takes the cake on anyone I've ever worked with!! From the moment we started planning to when the captain hugged us all goodbye as we disembarked, I cannot say enough great things! The boat was well laid out and very comfortable (sleeps 60 ... I think we had 56 total on board), with lots of amenities. The cabins were more spacious than I expected (although it's still a boat cabin!), they had lectures pertaining to the area (geology, wildlife) after dinner each evening, plenty of games and cards, friendly bartender and amazing stewards. The food was the most amazing food (this sentiment was shared by all 16 in our group!)and the alcoholic drinks very very reasonably priced. I saw another review that said it wasn't for people under 60, and I would disagree. The boat was a great 'jumping off' point and mode of transportation, but we were very active every day. Every day we had options to do something: kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, skiff tours, snorkling, overnight camping, yoga class, and on and on. And if you wanted to stay on the boat, sit in the hot tub or take a nap, no problem! I would agree that the majority of people on the boat were 45+ in age, but everyone was active. I can't think of a better way to see South East Alaska or a better company to do it with! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. ... Read More
We sailed with Innersea Discovervies in June of 2012 on their Ketchikan to Juneau route as a family of three with a 12 year old girl. We are an active family that does not typically select group vacations of any sort, including cruises. However, it seemed like a cruise was the best way to experience Alaska, so we decided on this small boat cruise. We were a bit anxious in advance, but the cruise exceeded our expecations in every way. The crew was friendly, engaging and very knowledgable about the Alaska wildlife and ecosystems. We took part in active activies virtually every day including kayaking, snoreling, hiking, stand up paddleboarding, caving, and nature tours. All activies except snorkeling were included in the cruise price, adn the add on cost for snorkeling was minimal($40). The atmosphere was very laid back, and all the guests (only 60 on board)were interested in participating in the activities. Our daughter had a great time despite being one of the only kids on board. The guides were very good with her and she loved the attention. The kitchen even made her special meals if requested. The food was excllent as a whole, but at times was a bit too fancy for our non seafood eating daughter, though we enjoyed it. We highly recommend this cruise line for any adventuresome family looking for an interactive and hands-on way to discover Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
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