A Day in the Life on Uncruise

I start the day as I hope everyone’s day starts, with waking up.

I flip on the television. This isn’t something I normally do at home, but my television at home doesn’t let me know what tasty food I will be enjoying for lunch and dinner.

After glimpsing the menu, I prepare for a day of adventure.

I step out onto the deck.

The boat mostly travels by night, so each morning is a bit like Christmas. I can’t wait to see what new, spectacular view, the boat has gifted me with.

If you are an early riser, or perhaps not much a breakfast eater, there is an early bird breakfast set up in the lounge. There is at least one delicious pastry (the best scone I’ve ever had thus far), fruit, yogurt, and overnight oats.

A full buffet breakfast is served in the dining room.

With all of the physical activity ahead, I make sure to fuel up. This includes sipping a cup or two of fresh, Central American, coffee.

Post breakfast, I head to my room to be sure I have everything I need for my morning excursion.

One of the best details about the Panama and Costa Rica Uncruise, is that the ship provides each passenger with snorkeling gear and binoculars, that are easily stored in the in room’s closet.

Hearing my group’s name called over the speaker, I make my way to the appropriate deck area to don my life vest.

I board a skift or kayak, depending on what the day’s adventure entails. Oh, and of course, I remember to move my magnet. It is very important to move your magnet so the crew knows when you are on and off the ship. They don’t want you to end up stranded on an island re-enacting your own version of Survivor.

I am endlessly fascinated by the Safari Voyager’s boat/kayak lift. There is no need to do any crazy scrambling to get on and off the ship. Sure footing is provided to all.

After the morning exploration, the passengers return to the ship.

On one particular day, I find a very important sign on my door. Each guest on the ship is granted a complementary massage, expertly scheduled so that no one misses out on any of the off ship activities.

There is one meal offering for lunch that provides both a meat and vegetarian option. I was especially eager for Taco Tuesday.

The chef kept the lunch offerings and portions light. You don’t want to feel bogged down by a heavy meal while hiking in the heat of the rain forest. If you don’t fancy the lunch provided, the chef will be happy to prepare something off menu.

I love how the dessert for lunch is laid out on the buffet. I catch little glimpses of it out of the corner of my eye while I trade tales of the morning’s excursion with my table mates.

Life vest on once again, I head out for some afternoon fun.

An important note, all of the activities are optional, so if you wants to spend a morning or afternoon reading, or in one case that I saw, creating art work on the ship, it is perfectly acceptable.

Back on the boat, feeling sticky and sweaty, I take a quick shower. It needs to be quick because I don’t want to miss the best time of day, at least in my opinion, on our Uncruise ship, 3 o’clock cookie time. I still miss 3 o’clock cookie time.

At 3 o’clock, a tray of cookies, a new kind of cookie each day, is set out. They are soft and chewy, and full of flavor. With coffee beverages available all day in the lounge, I grab a cookie, or two, some caffeine, and catch up on my journal writing.

As Uncruise wants to assure that no one goes hungry, cookie time is directly followed by cocktail hour.

Daniel the bartender may be Safari Voyager’s most popular crew member. Never having experienced, what felt like having my own personal bartender, I have Daniel mix me a different cocktail each night.

They are all fantastic, but if you ever happen to have Daniel on your Uncruise, he makes a mean mojito.

After grabbing my cocktail, I turn around and am greeted by a tray of delectable appetizers that appear as if by magic.

Cocktail hour isn’t just about the drinks. There is serious business to be done. Once everyone is settled in the lounge, Chis the activities coordinator goes over all of the activity offerings for the next day. A crew member then comes around to note each guest’s excursion preference.

Business out of the way, it’s time to head down to the dining room for dinner. Three entrees are available at dinner, a meat, a fish, and a vegetarian dish. The chef is happy to split dishes, so if you want to try the chicken and the fish, you are welcome to do so.

Dinner brings a wonderful choice of wines, as well as a list of after dinner drinks, if you so choose.

The casual evening meal evokes lots of lively chatter. Most of the talk revolves around travel. I sit enraptured while fellow passengers share stories of the places they have been, and destinations yet to be explored.

On my way out of the dining room, I take a quick look at the Adventure Board, to note what time I need to be ready for tomorrow’s morning and afternoon activities.

Though a few people decide to retire early, most guests head back to the lounge for the evening lecture. Since I like learning, I look forward to the lectures, given by the ship’s adventure guides. The crew members are funny and charismatic, so the lectures are informative and entertaining.

After the lecture, I step out onto the bow of the ship to stare up at the night sky. The boat is moving, so there is a lovely breeze. Everything is quiet, the stars are bright and sparkly; I take a few moments to breath in the amazingness.

After a full day of the hiking, kayaking, swimming, eating, and star gazing, I fall into bed.

As the boat gently rocks me to sleep, my mind astonishes at what an incredible day I had, then drifts into slumber, ready to do it all again tomorrow.


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  1. Wendy

    July 14, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    Sounds like a great trip. We tend to prefer land trips and to do each area in depth. We had a terrific 2 week trips to Costa Rica – diving and land excursions – all on our own, and loved it. We have not yet been to Panama, but soon. We have taken 2 cruises in our lives, and we are retired. While we like them, and we feel pampered, they feel too confined.
    And personally, while all the food is good or great, I prefer my own healthy options and smaller meals. I am still looking for someone to convince me that cruising is a better way to go.

  2. Amanda Keeley-Thurman

    July 15, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Uncruise looks awesome. I love that they provided snorkel gear in the room.

  3. Esther

    July 17, 2017 at 10:54 am

    Wow, that seems incredibly relaxed. Like the ultimately ‘I can’t stress, because there’s nothing to stress about’ trip! Lovely photos. #WeekendWonderlust

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      July 18, 2017 at 2:25 am

      I usually love planning trips, so I wasn’t sure how I would feel about just going and having everything done for me, but I definitely discovered the value in just sitting back and enjoying everything without having to worry about logistics. It was also cool that we got to do a few extra cool things that most people don’t get to do because we were with Uncruise and the locals respect the company.

  4. Nicole

    July 17, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    Why is it called uncruise? What are some of the daily activities that you get to do? Are they all guided? How long was your trip? How many people were on the cruise? How many people were in your group? Was it worth the price?

    1. obligatorytraveler@gmail.com

      July 18, 2017 at 2:22 am

      They call it uncruise because it’s a smaller ship that’s more focused on the destinations, adventure, and nature than the bigger commercial cruises. I’ll be doing future posts on all of the activities, but most involved hiking, kayaking, and skift tours. There was also paddle boarding and one day where there was yoga and meditation in a tropical garden. There were usually 3 or more options to choose from for each morning and afternoon. Most of the activities like the hikes had guides, but we had some days where we could just hang out on islands and swim, snorkel, kayak or paddle board freely. Our boat had about 60 passengers. When you break into small groups it depends on how many people signed up for a particular activity but usually they were anywhere from 6-10 people per group. The cruises can be pricey, but everything is included. All of the food, excursions, alcohol, etc… I won this trip through a contest they had, so the only thing I had to pay for was the airfare.

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