We chose the repositioning cruise on the Radiance for our first look at Alaska. It was a wonderful trip with much warmer weather than we were warned to expect--very little rain, many sunny days. We inched very slowly toward Hubbard Glacier because of all the ice in the water and watched amazing calving activity such as the crew said they had never seen.
The Radiance is a beautiful, comfortable ship. Very few children aboard this time of year. I really liked the de-emphasis on art auctions. We hardly knew they were there. The number and type of other activities was about right. My only complaint was that some of the games and parties started very late at night and, especially on port days, we were very tired pretty early.
Our cabin was plenty roomy but the bathroom was small with a very small shower with a little lip around the bottom to catch water. That didn't work too well. No toiletries provided. Very limited selections on the t.v. with the same movies repeated over and over the whole two weeks. I have had better food on other ships. The dinner selections were limited and consisted of small portions. Our table mates routinely ordered multiple appetizers and main courses and sometimes desserts in order to feel full. Food in the Windjammer was just okay.
For those on a budget as we were, a few suggestions: Don't use the expensive Internet connection on the ship and use instead the internet at the libraries in port--20 minute sessions per person are free. The libraries in Sitka and Skagway are easy to locate in town. Also in Skagway, rangers give free walking tours of the town loaded with historical commentary and very entertaining. The walks start at the museum near the pier. In Juneau, passengers were taken to Mendenhall Glacier for $7 each way with much interesting information provided by the driver. We took the bus trip to the Canadian border out of Skagway which travels the approximate route of the train and is much less expensive. The showroom entertainment on the Radiance was the best I have seen in four cruises taken. Argentinian comedians Mario and Daniel were hilarious and then produced a phenomenal tango show a few nights later. All shows really top notch.
Overall, a wonderful trip, including easy, well-organized loading and unloading, especially in Vancouver where they have cruise ship arrival down to a science.