Great cruise! Capt Svender and his crew are amazing. In typical Royal Caribbean fashion, all of the crew went out of their way to take care of us and tried to honor every wish. The dining staff (waiter Cynthia and asst. waiter Marshall) were some of the best we've ever had! Merrick (maitre'd) and David (our head waiter) arranged a few specialty dishes at our request. Chef Sateesh makes some amazing dishes...the souffle and risotto were superb...according to the chef traveling in our party!
Cabin staff (Edward from Philippines) was exceptional, the bar staff as well. On an Alaskan cruise, where it can be a bit chilly, we spent lovely relaxing times in the Starquest Lounge on Deck 13 watching whales, dolphins and sea lions. The Solarium was another favorite spot for viewing and staying warm. Thanks Edguardo and Vinnie!
RCCL has upgraded the Radiance, changing and adding some specialty dining venues. Rita's Cantina, Izumi and Samba Grill (add'l chg) were added as well as the DogHouse and Park Cafe (no extra chg). Although we did not use any of them for dinner, we heard good comments from guests who did. We did take advantage of the Park Cafe in the Solarium...a concept taken from the Oasis of the Seas. It provided great salads and sandwiches without having to go to the Windjammer. Speaking of which...food was good as usual, with a great selection.
The only thing that was not great was the embarkation in Vancouver. They were loading two ships through one security checkpoint, so it took longer than usual. But once you get past security and in line for your ship, it goes smoothly and quickly. Best to arrive at the port early rather than later because of this. (we arrived at about 1pm). Disembarkation in Seward was seamless and we had no problem there.
Ports: Ketchikan and Skagway are great for shopping or souvenirs. Try the halibut pizza at the Misty Bay Lodge in Icy Strait Point. Excursions (from past & present experience)... Whale watch in Icy Strait; do the Glacier Trek/helicopter to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, and do the White Pass Railway train ride in Skagway. All amazing!
Hubbard Glacier---beautiful!!! Capt Svender was able to get us to within 200-300 yards from the glacier face. The view from the deck is great, but if you have a balcony cabin, view it from there...without the noise from the crowds, you can hear the "white thunder" as the glacier would calve....absolutely amazing!
Now awaiting our train ride from Seward to Anchorage on the Alaska Railroad and excited about seeing glaciers and moose!