UnCruise Adventures

Go Small – The big advantages to small-ship cruising with UnCruise Adventures

The Monthly Mantra

A Whole Lot of Un … A Whole Lot of Un … A Whole Lot of Un …

Go Small

The big advantages to small-ship cruising

“No key card?? No big metal key attached to a 6-inch slab of plastic?? No little gizmo that electronically opens my cabin door as I approach it??? No key AT ALL???” As a paranoid New Yorker, this was the first indication that my cruise down the Snake and Columbia rivers aboard S.S. Legacy was going to be a whole lot of Un.

UnCruise Adventures’ 86-passenger S.S. Legacy, a cute little thing, has taken the traditional cruise experience and turned it on its ear. It offers all the good stuff such as great dining, fascinating itineraries, and a wildly enthusiastic American crew, and chucks even the slightest stress triggers overboard. Every passenger is even entitled to a free massage. Crowds and lines? Uh-uh. Dress codes? Nope. Bar bills and pricy shore excursions? Included and included. Pesky cabin keys that you know you’re going to misplace or demagnetize? They don’t exist.

S.S. Legacy is a replica coastal steamer just oozing with comfort and old world charm with bedside banker’s lamps, needlepoint headboards and throw pillows, and ruffled window shades in that unlocked cabin (which does include a safe).

We sailed round-trip from Portland, Oregon (another “un” moment … Portland??), a fantastic walkable city that’s filled with craft beers, wines from the region’s superb vineyards, and, for Grateful Dead fans or those otherwise so inclined, even a few cannabis shops where you can pick up THC-laced chocolate fudge cupcakes — legally.

But, seriously, who needs that when you can get your buzz on at S.S. Legacy’s comfy turn-of-the-century wood-paneled bar (all beer, wine, and cocktails included, of course) or at the teeny Pesky Barnacle, the ship’s self-serve whisky bar that also offers hard cider on tap.

This is a casual ship with a capital “C.” Go on: Shrug into the plush bathrobe in your cabin to swing by the breakfast buffet for coffee and a delectable berry-topped yogurt cup (just as an appetizer before you head down to a full breakfast in the dining room). Wear jeans and sneakers to dinner. Dive into the river you’re sailing for a refreshing swim. Pop into the bridge and chat with the captain any time you’d like because, just like your cabin, the door’s always open. And speaking of the captain, when was the last time you sailed a ship captained by a guy who’s so cool he breaks out his guitar on the last night and entertains guests with a few pop songs — both covers and some pretty darn good original ones?

A sailing aboard the charming S.S. Legacy isn’t just a unique cruise experience — it’s an intimate and personalized adventure that quickly proves that a whole lot of Un … is a whole lot of fun.

— Judi Cuervo


Read the full account of Judi Cuervo’s 7-day Rivers of Wine theme cruise down the Columbia and Snake rivers in the March/April 2018 issue of Porthole Cruise Magazine.


Photos: UnCruise Adventures, Judi Cuervo

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Judi Cuervo is a New York City native who fell in love with cruising in 1976 during her first sailing aboard Carnival Cruises’ Mardi Gras. Twenty years later, she began her freelance cruise writing gig and, since that time, has covered mass market, ultra-premium, riverboat and expedition ships for regional, national and international publications as well as cruise websites.