We like wine and we like history, so the wine-themed cruise "Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History" aboard the SS Legacy seemed a perfect choice for us, especially because we'd never taken a river cruise so knew it ... Read More
We like wine and we like history, so the wine-themed cruise "Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History" aboard the SS Legacy seemed a perfect choice for us, especially because we'd never taken a river cruise so knew it would be entirely different from the four Alaska cruises we've already enjoyed on Un-Cruise Adventures small ships.
Kristina welcomed us to the gathering space in the Portland, OR, World Trade Center, helped us with our bags, and at our request recommended a nearby cozy restaurant where we could have lunch. We had driven 200 miles and were able to long-term park at a decent rate only two blocks away from the site. A very tempting and generous presentation of fruit and pastries along with coffee and water was available to the guests at the WTC with restrooms conveniently located nearby. The SS Legacy was moored across the street a short walk away, and a luxury travel bus was available to those who could not or did not want to walk.
The crew lined up to greet us as we boarded the ship and showed us to our individual rooms. From their enthusiasm you'd never guess that they had bid goodbye just hours earlier to the previous week's guests.
After a brief safety talk in the beautifully appointed lounge and some time to familiarize ourselves with the boat, we filtered into the large dining room where every seat is a view seat and enjoyed Portland's beauty as we cruised along the Willamette River on our way to the Columbia.
But this was a wine cruise! As such, an Un-Cruise steward who is also a professional sommelier enlightened us about the wines he'd chosen to complement our meals, regardless of whether it was the seafood, meat, or vegetarian entrée. Un-Cruise had even invited an independent wine blogger, Jameson Fink, whose blog Wine Without Worry is a delightful read full of his wine experiences, recommendations and recipes, to travel with us and introduce us to his personally-selected variety of wines over the course of the week. Jameson knows his stuff and shared it (and his humor!) with us each evening at the "5 o'clock cocktail hour and wine presentation."
Two luxury buses ferried us to each day's destinations in total comfort, each bus hosted by Un-Cruise Heritage leaders Julie or Kenne, who presented the history of the region in an entertaining and educational manner. They also treated us to anecdotal information that was so much fun to learn. Now we know how the term "What in the Sam Hill" originated! (We were on Julie's bus and she is absolutely hilarious!)
Somewhere along the line we discovered that Captain Dano had won liar's and storytelling contests, so we asked if he could tell some stories. Of course this was already planned on the weekly "Open Mike" night when crew and willing guests alike entertained us in the lounge after dinner. It was a packed house and everyone loved it! Julie, whose background is in theater, lowered the bar (she said) by telling some "sophisticated" jokes that made my cheeks hurt from laughter. From then it was game on! Wearing a pink cowboy hat, my husband told the story about the time he rented a pig and took it to a party, along with other tales from his Air Force career.
The ship features an additional self-serve bar, the Pesky Barnacle, where guests can choose from several whiskeys, wines, and beer on tap at any time day or night. The bridge is open for guests to enjoy the view and the crew. In addition to exercise equipment located under cover on the top deck, there is yoga each morning, a private massage offered to each passenger in the wellness room, and a hot tub. Table settings in the dining room are representative of a fine dining establishment with the napkins are folded differently at each meal. No buffets here, by the way!
There were several older guests who had mobility challenges so the SS Legacy's elevator made it easier for them to get around, and the crew was always ready with a helping hand any time it was needed.
So many things stand out for this cruise (and Un-Cruise Adventures in general from our experience), including the warmth and personalities of various crew members, their remarkable knowledge through which we lifelong Washington State residents learned so much about our own state, their commitment to their guests, the great food and drink, the entertainment, and the spectacular beauty of the region. Would we recommend this and do it again? Yes we would! Read Less