The following is just a small sample from cards and letters that we have received from Lu-Lu Belle visitors. If you have taken a cruise on the Lu-Lu Belle and would like to leave your comments, please email them to us.
This is what we do....
Valdez, Alaska is a quiet fishing and oil town that is worth your consideration. The quiet town offers a number of relaxing options to the tourist, but high on my recommended list is the Lu-Lu Belle Glacier Wildlife Cruises. Captain Fred is a gracious host on the boat he built in the 1970s and will make your adventure an enjoyable one.
Our family boarded the Lu-Lu Belle with minimal expectations as we had only been in Valdez for a few hours. I think we thought we might see a whale and a glacier from the distance and safely return to port to call it a day. But Captain Fred began the tour welcoming us onboard with his witty sense of humor and the trip was full of interest for the next several hours.
The Captain pointed out the slumbering sea otters as we left port; he explained how the Alaskan Pipeline spans from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez and a variety of interesting facts along the way. When the scenery would not offer a ridiculous new stimulus, he would offer interesting insight to the area. His knowledge and passion for the area was remarkable.
As we were cruising, I had a couple questions for him and worked my way to the helm to quiz him. But as I arrived, someone else beat me to the punch. The lady asked the captain, “can you quit the chatter?” Humbly, Captain Fred clarified, “is one of the passengers talking too much?” Quickly the lady responded, “No, your chatter, I just want to enjoy the scenery.” Without losing a beat and without expressing any negative emotions, Fred quickly responded, “No, this is what we do.”
It was an amazing exchange. The seasoned captain was focused clearly on his objective and a single customer who wanted him to vary his path was unable to dissuade him from sticking to his business’ methodology. In other words, Captain Fred clearly denounced the lie that the customer is always right. For if this customer was able to quiet the Captain, those passengers, like me, would have missed out on a huge benefit of this particular cruise.
As business people carve out their direction and path for their business, it is important to stay true to their calling and objective. A few customers can get a great business off track if the captain of the business isn't able to say, “No, this is what we do!” Keep the faith.
I wish to thank you and your crew aboard the Lu-Lu Belle for the best day of our trip to Alaska. My wide and I were part of the Gerri-Gadder tour group on your boat around the end of June 2014.
Your conversation regarding seals, sea lions, sea otters, and whales was very informative to me, especially the stories of attempts to control sea lion numbers in the past.
I appreciate your pointing out the recovery of Prince William Sound, the recovery of Valdez after the earthquake, and the insightful information regarding the Alaskan Oil Pipeline. Thanks also for your comments regarding the use of the word "design" in today's culture.
Most of all, thanks for getting us close to the glacier so we could experience the adventure that we did. Your boat and your crew are the best!
We have travelled from L'Orgnal in Eastern Ontario to Yellowknife, NWT through the Yukon Territory, Western Canada to Alaska down through British Columbia back to L'Orignal, Ontario. When people ask us about our summer travels, the first thing we mention is the Lu-Lu Belle Cruise in Valdez, Alaska.
Thank you so much for the most memorable & spectacular cruise last summer! It will be one of our most treasered memories for years to come!!
Take care and keep on cruising!
Lloyd and Darlene B.
To Captain Fred Rodolf and Family;
Happy Holidays from Ohio. In June we went on our 3rd cruise with you -- each and every time has been wonderful.
Hope the Lu-Lu Belle will be sailing in 2013 and there after. If people could know the pleasure you give to us, you'd have to have a fleet of boats, to fit everyone in.
Thanks for the memories!
Bob & Carol
Brook Park, Ohio.
Dear Fred and Megan:"What an OUTSTANDING Cruise!! I can't find the words to express the totally delightful experience my husband and I enjoyed on the Lu-Lu Belle. On Father's day, we attended the Chapel of the Sea on board and returned in the afternoon for a full tour.
And FULL it was.
We had no idea we would experience such a variety of Alaskan sea wildlife and in such close proximity. It was a photographer's paradise. One thrill after another describes the afternoon and early evening while enjoying the commentary, wit and gracious hospitality of Capt. Fred and the crew.
The elegant beauty and comfort of the spacious, heated cabin was a welcomed contrast to the icy breeze on deck as we raced from one species to another allowing for maximum time at each encounter. We learned more about the wildlife, history and culture of the region in this one day than in the many weeks we spent in research and preparation before arriving in Valdez.
The price of this tour would be a good deal, even if it were twice the price."Many thanks to you and the crew for your kindnesses and especially for the wonderful warm brownies and hot chocolate.
Dear Captain Fred:
We want to thank you for a great day cruising with you and your crew. Everyone was so friendly and nice. It was a GREAT day and we saw so much. Our friends that were with us just enjoyed it so much.
We tell all our friends and anyone who is planning to go to Alaska to make sure they take your cruise. This was our second trip with you, the first one being in 2000.
When you talk to your friends, the girl and her father that were friends of yours and invited us back to their camper to have the shrimp, please tell them "thank you for us". It was so nice of them to invite us back. Hope her dad is doing well.
We got back to Pennsylvania driving 13,759 miles and loved every minute of it. We certainly do meet so many nice people as we travel.
Jack and Pat
Dear Captain Fred, and Mrs Rodolf and crew:
Enclosed are some pictures we took on our last cruise with you this past August. It was our second time aboard your lovely yacht in as many years and we enjoyed the second perhaps more than the first (we were ready with better cold-weather gear this time!)
You and your crew are so knowledgeable of Prince William Sound, and its wildlife and its history and you make your cruise one that is educational as well as entertaining. The crew works so hard to locate wildlife for all to enjoy and the kitchen goodies are a welcome diversion when it gets too cold outside.
We are in the planning stages for next year's trip to Alaska and we know that the Prince William Sound aboard the Lu-Lu Belle will be a definite destination.
Thank you again for such a wonderful day and experience for our two small children.
Sharon & Bryan (and Wally & Ava)