Safari Explorer Cruise Review
Itinerary: Discover's Glacier Country - June 2014
We had a wonderful time and wonderful weather on our Alaska cruise.
We found you on Tripadvisor way back in July 2013. We had downloaded all information from small boats in Alaska. We were overwhelmed by the choices as they all looked wonderful. How fortunate to come across you and your company Sunstone Tours and Cruises to help us narrow down the excess of information. You and your staff helped us choose a company, ship, itinerary and specific cabin. You were dot on.
Juneau - Two nights at the Westmark Baranoff Hotel in Juneau, booked by your agency in the better rooms. We did the helicopter and dog sled on the Glacier. We visited Glacier Gardens. We rode the tram to Mt. Roberts. We did the zipline. We had breakfast at Silverbow Bakery lunch and dinners, Red Dog Salon, Twisted Fish, Gold Room in the Westmark Baranoff. Mostly all your suggestions.
On Ship - The crew picked us up from the hotel and took us to the ship. Very friendly and welcoming staff. They took us to our cabin, an Admiral Stateroom. Cabin was nice enough, we were on a waitlist for the top Commodore Suite which were booked when we made our reservation. (11 months in advance). The cabin was mostly quiet with a touch of vibration when we were moving. No complaints on this front.
Food - Was exceptional. More on the gourmet side than we had expected. Personally I would have preferred more salads, fruit and a little more on the plain side. We don't usually eat fancy stuff at home, so my stomach had issues at times. This was just me, others raved bout the food and it was good. Unfortunately we didn't get to see the galley as there was always something else I wanted to do when the tour was offered. I heard it was amazingly tiny.
Alaska - You could be on a rubber raft and still be overwhelmed by the vastness and beauty of Alaska. The rugged unexplored glaciers, fjords, mountains and valleys. They call it the last frontier. I agree at least in the US. Our ship was pure luxury after coming back from a morning of kayaking or hiking. Our home away from home. Want to mention, we had never kayaked before and were very hesitant. The crew had patience and helped us on every front. A member when out with us the first day to show us the way. After that we were on our own. Being water level was a different perspective. We did not jump into the water as many did. Our days were filled with activities off the boat. Or times on the boat following the whales sailing right up to the front of glaciers. If there is an exact moment in time why you take a small boat of 36 passengers versa one of 3,000, it is this moment being close to a glacier that has been there for thousands of years. Up close and personal as they said.
Staff & Ship - It doesn't get any better. From the welcome to the ship to the last goodbyes, these staff members pamper and catered to our every wish. Not like a Four Seasons..these are kids passionate about the area they are working in. Knowledgeable, experienced, ready to dive right into what ever is around the corner. Flexible to changes of meal times for instance, whales show up, dinner waits. Many of these issues that can only be done on a small ship. Crew members got along well. Their excitement was contagious. They were just as excited when the whales would show up.
Summary - Pay attention to the packing list, we used everything we brought. I wished we had continued and done the Denali portion, as this way with the cruise we only experienced half of what Alaska had to offer. Linda thank you for the information of suggestions on Juneau, it was a good pre experience in Alaska on land. Book early for the cabin you want. You can be safe having high expectation for they will be met.
—M.J. and T.J. Boston, MA