My husband and I, are both seniors living in England. We stayed at the Hyatt in Vancouver for one night before joining the cruise. The service and food at the hotel were excellent. Don't use the land line phones at the hotel. It cost us $47 for only four minutes to UK. Although we have been to Vancouver before, we enjoyed a hop-on-hop-off bus tour of the city which ran from outside the hotel.
We then joined Radiance of the Seas for an enjoyable cruise up the Inside Passage of Alaska from Vancouver to Seward. We have nothing but praise for the whole experience. The organization was faultless from embarkation to disembarkation. The staff were friendly and helpful and the dining staff were quick in serving us. Our outside stateroom was clean and the steward always cheerful calling us by our first names. He had asked us first how we would like to be addressed. The folded towels on our beds were fun. On cruises, we always ask for our beds to be separate so as to allow us to put our cases under the beds easily and also to give us a feeling of space and light and access to the window. It was very exciting to watch leaping fish and blue ice floating past our window.
It is unusual to have such a large ballroom and a live band on a cruise ship. Dancing is becoming ever more popular since the TV shows are encouraging more people to dance. We enjoy dancing ourselves and were pleased to have added lessons. We enjoyed some shows, but the violinist, Dick Saraza Rosario Strings in the lounge areas, had us in raptures.
The food was very good both in the main dining rooms and the buffet so we saw no need to use the speciality dining rooms at an additional cost. I would have liked to have seen the hand wipes being handed out as we entered the eating areas as many people showed no concern for health risks and just walked passed the boxes!
The excursions were all good and interesting especially the lumberjack show which had us enthralled. The folk tales in the Totem Bight Park were boringly lengthy but it was an interesting visit none the less. I was nervous about the planned helicopter flight, but it was a thrill to be remembered. We were taken smoothly over picturesque scenery and landed on a glacier to walk for half an hour. Winter clothing is an absolute must for this venture. Skagway was our favorite port and we loved walking round the old town so reminiscent of the Gold Rush days. We took two train excursions one was the White Pass train in Skagway and the other was the route from Seward to Anchorage. Both gave us splendid views and camera shots even though we were not blessed with clear weather on all occasions. The skies were overcast as we sailed to the foot of Hubbard Glacier so we were disappointed not to see the enormous mountains behind. However, we were told that we had brought good weather as the locals had endured rain for the past month. In fact, there were two hot days when we could relax on the ships deck had we time to do so. All considered that, as we had never used our umbrellas, we had been very lucky with the Alaskan weather. We were delighted to see whales close to the ship but as we had not elected to seek wildlife we saw little although others did.
This was an unusual and interesting cruise and we would certainly recommend Radiance of the Seas.