World Explorer Cruises Universe Explorer by Faith
As a newbie cruiser, I've used your Cruisemates site often in planning and learning about the cruising world. Below is a recent review of my 14 day cruise on the Universe Explorer to Alaska. Thx much for a wonderful site.
I just got back from my 14 day cruise on the Universe Explorer to Alaska. Did I luck out--we had beautiful weather during the entire cruise except for one day. The ship really did rock and roll on the trip back from Alaska in to Canada. Since there is so much information online about Alaska (reviews/info here, at the Wheelhouse, Cruisemates, etc.) most of my comments will be about my experience on the Explorer.
The Positives: The weather was great (mostly in the 70s) and the scenery was gorgeous. We had a great four part lecture series on the ship. Professors in History, Geology, Biology, and Antropology each gave lectures (a series of four each with slides) during at sea days. I loved the ports (did some whale watching/wildlife viewing (Juneau, Seward) in some ports on small boats; did a whole day train trip out of Skagway which was fantastic; did some tours and just bummed around the small port towns in the others (Sitka, Ketchikan, Victoria in Canada). All ports were user-friendly with visitor centers off the piers and very walkable. Loved the scenery out of Glacier Bay/Hubbard Glacier. In Glacier Bay an Alaska park ranger comes on board all the ships to talk about what you are seeing. I liked Hubbard Glacier better cause we got closer to the glaciers. I loved just being on a ship and walking the outside decks early in the morning. I found some great hang out places on the ship--a great comprehensive library and a piano bar up high and forward of the ship. This was a great place to have that final drink of the day.
The Negatives: (from my perspective) This cruise was pretty much for an over 65 couples crowd. Sometimes I felt like a single on Noah's Ark. I did connect with people to hang out with in the evenings and around the ship,though. I would have liked some other kinds of entertainment in the evenings offered on the ship. Most of the entertainment centered around big band music/dancing.
All and all I had a good time on the cruise. I will definately take another cruise in the future, in fact I'd like to go back to Alaska in a few years.