Wilderness Discoverer Cruise Review
Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage - Western Coves - July 2011
We had an absolutely wonderful time on the Wilderness Discoverer! From the crew to the ship, to the activities, to sighting bears, humpback whales, orca, eagles, seals, otters, and seabirds; from hiking in the forest, on a glacier, and kayaking in the small coves, the whole trip was amazing! Given we were traveling through the rainforest, we had a couple of days of light rain and mist, but we also had some sunny afternoons and gorgeous sunsets!
We enjoyed meeting and spending time with fellow travelers from all over the US and even Australia.
The ship actually sailed full - 75 passengers + crew, but there was plenty of room and we never felt cramped. Granted, the our cabin was not huge, but we hardly spent any time there except to sleep. What we really loved about the cabin was a huge picture window that opened so I could actually take pictures and watch the view from inside. As we were on the 200 deck, we were not separated from the water by a walkway - we had a clear shot to the scenery.
The food was plentiful and delicious. The kitchen staff knew about my husband's nut allergy and accommodated him with specially prepared dishes when necessary. The wait staff was so attentive and knew all our names by the second day. LOVED the latte maker!
The only issue we really had was with the ratings of the activities. I think the activity staff did what they could to give people an accurate idea of how difficult or easy each activity was, but on the occasion of the forest walk, although it was supposed to be the "leisurely" version, it still wasn't quite as leisurely as some of us would have liked - there were a few of us that wanted to walk a little slower to take photographs or because we couldn't walk as fast as the rest of the group. So we just did our own thing and one of the guides stayed back with us.
To their credit, however, the skiff crew was very willing to take us out pretty much whenever they could, even if not scheduled, to look at the shoreline and spot wildlife and waterfalls and just take in the serenity of the place.
On the last day, we were able to spot three bears on three different beaches along the route and spend quite a lot of time observing them and taking photos. In addition, one of the passengers spotted what he thought were orca and was able to convince Captain Marce to turn the ship around to find them. We did! and we spent at least an hour and a half sailing along with these phenomenal creatures! The advantage of small ship sailing - go where the wildlife leads you!
Thanks for all of your help in booking this trip for us! When we are ready to do another small ship vacation, we'll be calling.
—Laurie and Alan G.