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UnCruise v. Traditional Cruise – A DVC Duo Alaskan Adventure

There’s more than one way to cruise! Big ship or the UnCruise small ship, what’s the best way to cruise through Alaska? We’re glad you asked! To wrap up our Alaskan Adventure four-part series we’re looking at the differences between the two. Beyond just the size. That’s a given. We’re busting our yellow legal pads for an old fashion pro’s and con’s list. Don’t show all your excitement at once. At least it’s not one of Nate’s Fastpass spreadsheets! 

UnCruise Guest Lounge Area
Guest Lounge Area

Cruise Style  

No, we’re not talking about white linen pants and Hawaiian shirts. We will need those at the new Disney Riviera Resort, but we digress. Back on topic! An UnCruise ship is centered around adventure and with adventure comes Dri-Fit and active clothing. From the design of your room to dinner, and everything in between an UnCruise is all about causal or some may say comfortable. It’s the perfect setting if you’re looking to get away from it and head to the backcountry. The design of the ship fits the adventure feel, with the majority of the decor leaning towards function over fashion.

For a more elegant feel a traditional cruise ship is the way to go. On a traditional ship, you’ll find more of the polish from the decor in the general areas to refinement in your room. A traditional ship is also very comfortable with the difference coming at mealtime. Usually, Dri-Fit is not the go dining attire. 

Disney Wonder Frozen Production
Frozen Stage Show On Disney Wonder

The Show Must Go… 

Where’s it going? Depending on if you’re on an UnCruise or a traditional cruise ship the answer will be different. Aboard the Uncruise ship the nightly entertainment consists of cards or board games, a presentation from the excursion team, or catching up on all the movies you missed back in your room. Most nights on the UnCruise we found ourselves settling in early to rest for the next day’s adventures. 

On a traditional cruise ship, the show must go on! Nightly, either before or after your dinner a traditional cruise will offer a variety of nightly entertainment, from large stage productions to lounge singers, there’s something for everyone. Some ships even have fireworks, we’re looking at you Disney! 

Us on a UnCruise Kayaking adventure
UnCruise Kayaking

Activity Time

What kind of activity? We’re talking activity on all levels! From excursions to the always fun, at least for the DVC Duo, vacation workouts. What makes an UnCruise adventure an adventure is the unknown. When the ship leaves port on the first day, everything from that moment forward is up in the air until you arrive back in port. What is a given are the activities you’ll experience during the week will be centered around skiff tours, kayaks, and hiking. If you’re the one who enjoys waking in the morning, strapping on a backpack and ready for anything, an UnCruise is for you. With the majority of the activities centered around physical activity, the workout facilities on an UnCruise are limited and there are no spa options. What makes the UnCruise stand apart is how the activities are included and ships ability to adjust plans and course quickly depending on the weather or potential wildlife sightings. 

On a traditional cruise ship, it is all about planning. If you’re anything like the DVC Duo, you’ll be picking out your excursions well before you step aboard the ship. We found that a traditional cruise ship offers a wider variety of options and ways to experience different areas. On a traditional cruise ship, you’ll also find more options for that vacation workout or treating yourself to a well-deserved spa treatment. With a set schedule, the only unknown is the weather and in Alaska, it changes every 10 minutes. 

Our UnCruise finished in Sitka Alaska
Sitka Alaska Bay

Ports of Call  

Land ho! On an UnCruise land is definitely a big piece of the experience, whether it’s hiking or bushwhacking to a musgrave. The land that is not part of the experience are ports of call. After departing Juneau the only other port we experienced in Alaska was upon disembarkation in Sitka. It was a true adventure to the Alaskan Wilderness. If you’re looking to get away from everything, well except for the beautiful natural wonders of Alaska, then an UnCruise is the way to go. 

On a traditional cruise ship, you’ll experience many ports around southeastern Alaska. From Skagway to Ketchikan, you see it all. What makes a traditional cruise ship stand apart is the flexibility the ports of call provide. Whether you’re looking to explore the town or jump on an excursion to any part of the wilderness. It’s a great way for everyone in your group to experience what fits them best. 

Disney Cruise lines aquaduck waterslide coaster.
The Aquaduck Waterslide

Onboard Fun! 

Part of any cruise is the ship itself. Stepping aboard an UnCruise ship prepare yourself for a tranquil experience. With the UnCruise being on the smaller size, the majority of the ship is dedicated towards living quarters and dining areas. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy that great book you’ve been putting off for weeks on end or creating content for your infamous blog. #ShamelessPlug Toss is a few board games and movies, and you have your UnCruise onboard entertainment. It’s the ship for anyone looking for a peaceful experience while sailing the seas. 

In a full 180, a traditional cruise ship is jam-packed with onboard activities. From wine tastings to kid clubs and the always enjoyable game of bingo, there is something for everyone. Regardless of the time of day, you’ll find a fun activity. With the majority of the activities included with the price, it’s great for anyone looking for a more engaging cruise experience. 

Our Thoughts 

We’re always up for an adventure and love outdoor activities, whether it’s hiking a 4000-foot mountain, or exploring sea life along the shores. With the UnCruise not having ports of call, we expected a high-level of adventurous activity. Once onboard we found ourselves spending more time sailing or waiting for the next activity than out on an adventure. Combining this with less onboard activities it was a more relaxing peaceful cruise. 

We enjoyed our experience aboard our UnCruise and created tons of great memories. It was a great way to experience the wildlife of southeastern Alaska. For us though, we enjoy everything a traditional cruise has to offer, from the ports of call to the nightly entertainment. With that said, we’ll save you a seat for Bingo! 

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