Sea of Cortez // UnCruise January 2018

Day 1
Arrive airport, San Juan del Cabo, Marcus greeted us holding an UnCruise sign, outside, after clearing customs, past all the time share area, and took us to the shuttle van. Shuttled to Barcelo. Check process was completed at the Barcelo. Had full access to resort, all inclusive. Departed around 4:00 pm to vessel. Large bus coach with toilet. 2 1/2 hr drive up to La Paz. Arrived just after sunset. Watched the sun set from the bus, super gorgeous sky, pink Hughes in every directions of the sky.
Arrived at vessel and quickly boarded vessel and ushered to cabin, luggage was in cabin on arrival. Gathered for happy hour. Patrick the bartender is very skilled. He made me an old fashion daiquiri (rum, fresh lime juice, splash simple sirup, shaken and poured in an old fashion glass{yummy}) Introduced to the staff. Learned who did what on board.
Dinner. Back to lounge after dinner to hear about the next day activity and sign ups.
The activities director explains the excursions for the next day with all the options, then the team comes around the room to each person collecting your choices for the next day. The team then posts your time of when your excursion leaves. They have this well dialed in.

Day 2
Isla Espiritu Santo – Playa Bonaza
6:45am – started the day with yoga stretch. Incredible sunrise.
Followed by breakfast. Whole ship muster. Some down time before lunch.
After lunch groups started off. Choices of activities, hiking in desert, snorkel tour 101, or beach party. A bar was set up on the beach, and swimming and snorkeling. Saw many different types of fish, and coral. Some people also say squid.
Back on ship for my included 30 min massage. The massage went way to quick, I wanted time to stand still, heavenly.
Happy hour with explanation of tomorrow activities. Choices:
2 hour donkey ride. 1-1/2 hour kayaking 101. 2 hour kayaking tour. Skiff ride for birding and photos. You may pick two.
Dinner – I had The grouper- very good. So far all the food has been very delightful.
Meal seating is always open seating. All meals are plated, no buffets.

After dinner at the end of talk we were told the sea was a glow! Words can not explain this. At the bow of the ship where the water is curled up it was all fluorescent. As the fish scattered away from the ship the water is disturbed and is a glow. Schools of fish would flee from the ship making squirrely disigns through the water. Incredibly amazing. A phenomenon! It was hard to call it a night and go to bed.
There are so many micro, like plankton, in the water Making this glow.

Day 3
Bahia Agua Verde
Started my day with a nice yoga stretch class. Class is during the sunrise so it’s very hard for me not to pause and take photos of the amazing sunrise.
Followed by breakfast. Always two new plated choices, or anything you desire. Today was an egg curios sausage scramble or an spinach omelet. I had had the healthy oatmeal with yogurt and fruit.
9:15 open water kayak tour. Fabulous! Saw lots of birds an marine life. False orca whales in the far distance, dolphin close by. Star fish, angel fish, needle fish, crabs, and the list goes on. The water was mirror flat. The colors in the hills are spectacular, many layers of reds and browns.
Back on board for lunch, again amazing, trust me.
The bay we are in today is calm, many shades of green, emerald.
Afternoon activity was a ride out and around the bay on a skiff looking at birds mostly. Serval varieties of sea birds. Also saw a few rays flapping on top of the water.
Some people choose the burro ride. Everyone came back with high reviews. The burros take you to the top of the ridge with fantastic views. Lots of wild life to be seen, jack rabbits, big horn sheep and such. The Ramiros family do a day and a half drive out to the playa with the burros every week. They life in a remote area with out internet and phones service. An email is sent to a message who drives out the the ranch with the message for the family.
Now for a couple relaxing hours before dinner.
Happy hour was on the top deck this evening as we sailed across the bay. A pod of dolphins surfed in our wake.
After dinner talk was on the bio plasma and the explanation we saw the night before, very educating. Just before going to bed a large school of fish huddle next to the ship in the light. A sea lion swam by checking us out, and the ray danced in the light a few times.

Day 4
Monnseret. A special change to the itinerary as this island is generally to windy to stop. The activity choices for the morning are an island walk, snorkeling or kayaking.
Today’s snorkeling was wonderful, saw many fish and star fish.
My favorite was the king angelfish. Crown of Thorns starfish, orange starfish, yellow spotted starfish, and Bradleys she star. Turtle. Slate Pencil Urchin, and other urchins, California spiny lobster, the list goes on.
The deep water was not very clear, but staying shallow was very good.
Afternoon cruising, marine life viewing from ship. We watched A pod of sperm whales for about an hour, maybe 5 of them. Common dolphins and bottle nose dolphins.
Another night of Bio Lumus, a little different from the first one, but still very amazing. There was a huge patch of plankton we circle through a few times. It would sparkle like stars. Someone tossed ice into the water that added more fun to the effects.

Day 5
Los Islotes – rock isle covered in bird droppings, looks like snow
7:25 am Snorkel with sea lions
Huge natural aquarium – fish all around you, many varieties, saw a new one – Surgeonfish. Big schools of Panamic Sergeant Major fish, Latin Grunt fish. We had five sea lion swimming around us, darting about, coming face to face for a close look, nipping at our flippers. The water was warmer and clearer here.
Others that took the skiff ride said they saw the sea lions playing on the rocks and lots of birds including e blue footed boobie.

Today we will have brunch as we cruise to the next spot.

Ensenada Grande
beach party – snorkeling, kayaking, stand up boards

Day 6
Isla San Francisco
Today there was an option of three hikes. I did the ridge hike. Beautiful views. Hiking on a narrow path, moderate level hike. The other options were the salt flats, all flat walking, easy level, or the exploration hike, longer and a little more challenging. The ridges hike included the salt flats.
The afternoon was on the beach. A very windy day. Good a nice walk along the sea. To windy for kayaks and stand up boards. Some people snorkeled and said there where fish to see. The water temperature was nice. Beautiful crescent beach, very few people. Great seashell combing.

Day 7
La Paz
Whale shark expedition was cancelled due to high seas. Fun Baja.
Spent the day in La Paz. Whale museum. Had many skeletons of whales, very interesting. Also a short walking city tour. There was an option to go to the Serpentarian. A reptile and bird sanctuary.
Captains dinner – steak and lobster. The Captain came around the room and talked with each table.
After dinner there was a slide show of the week. The staff took photos all week and the put it all together for a great slideshow. The photos will be email to everyone.

Day 8
Early breakfast and check out. Off the boat at 8:00 am and transferred back to the Barcelo until time to transfer to the airport.

I’m very picky about shampoo, conditioner and body soap. I have to say these are all high quality, and eco friendly. Leaving very curly dry hair soft. The hand soap is moisturizing, leaving my hands not trusting for lotion.
UnCruise has a system to clean salt water and make it fresh water. They also have a sewage purification system.

UnCruise has lots of kayaks and stand up paddle boards on the vessel. Other ships I have been on that advertise kayaking and stand ups from their marine deck only have a few of these and many more passengers.

All meals where very good, excellent. Always a fish, meat, and vegetarian choice. And if you don’t like the choices, they will make you something else. All meals are served, no buffets. The bar…. I am picky about my drinks, I never had a bad drink. All of my cocktails where excellent.

The guides where all very knowledgeable. Always taking safety into account first. The weather plays a major factor on the activities. They try to find the best location each day to maximize the activity of the day. Finding the best snorkel spot, or kayak spot, wit the least amount of wind. Sometimes it is not possible, today was winding and so the hike was shortened as the gust where to strong at the top of the ridge. There was no kayak or stand ups today at the beach.

The yoga is at a beginners level. Mostly a good yoga stretch to start your day. 30 min.

The staff is amazing. They work hard, and they are happy. They like each other, and have fun together. The ship is registered in USA. And so the crew is mostly American. They are paid American wages. Their tour is 7-6 weeks and then 3-6 weeks off. It is very obvious UnCruise is a good company to work for.

Things to pack:
A one piece swim suit works best under a wet suit.
You will need mostly out door clothing. In the evenings anything goes, but most people clean up for dinner, and where some a little nicer, but still casual.
If doing water sports bring an under water camera. Olympus Tough is the ships chosen camera. Shampoo, conditioner, and soap is provided, no lotion. They do have reef safe suntan lotion provided. A day pack is very handy.
The cruise supplies wet suits and snorkel gear. If you wear glasses it is best to bring your own mask with your vision correction.
UnCruise is like summer camp, lots of fun, time to relax, learn a little and meet new people. It’s for every age. You need to be able to walk stairs.