When visiting San Juan, I almost gave up on seeing the whales (beginning of September), word had it that they already migrated away. I booked with Safari just to see the rest of local fauna - seals, bald eagles, etc. Surprise! Come the day, it turned out that a pod of transient orcas was just now swimming by the island. We found them and followed the group all the way for couple hours, they almost swam into Friday Harbour proper! The experience was beautiful and unforgettable.
As to the ship, it suits its purpose - there's plenty of places to sit or stand, inside you can take coffee and snacks ($1 for anything), and there's a few binoculars to loan (too bad I didn't have one when we were told that there's a bald eagle - I just noticed one tree with a white dot).
On "my" trip there was a big group from some kind of cruise; most weren't interested in orcas at all, just played cards and ate snacks inside. That was slightly weird, but nothing I'll complain about - it just meant more free place on a deck.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.