Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by 6Travel: Radiance WOWS family of all ages (11 yrs old to 70 yrs old)
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Radiance WOWS family of all ages (11 yrs old to 70 yrs old)
You will get the GREAT and the "okay" about this cruise in this review. We LOVED the experience AND have a few suggestions.
EMBARKATION: Embarkation was probably the worst organized portion of this entire trip. The Vancouver staff was down to boarding using one entrance (they said they usually use 2) and they didn't think of a simple way to organize people. The result? Lots of people trying to cut in front of others. Even if you were in a Suite or a Priority Member, it did you no good! Not the way to start the cruise off. Good news? That was as bad as it got (which wasn't that bad and had NOTHING to do with the ship itself or their particular crew).
CABIN: The 2 bedroom suite we had for the 8 of us was perfect. Our balcony looked straight off the back of the ship (with a slight view off the Starbird View side). Great setup. Our suite attendant was a joy to work with - always taking care of whatever we needed. Her towel creations for the boys EVERY NIGHT went above More and beyond (up to 3 different animals a night for the different rooms in the cabin)!! If something was needed, she took care of it.
DINING: The dining room staff was fabulous. We had 6 teenagers and preteens. They all loved dinner and the wait staff (one night chanting our waiter's name as they entered the dining room). The adults also appreciated the overwhelming customer service.
The only complaint on the dining experience was the Menu a couple of nights. Not enough variety and/or simple options. Ironically, the older individuals in our group wanted a simper menu than what was offered a couple of the nights and said this was their only disappointment with the dining room experience.
The Windjammer was good for breakfast and lunch. VERY NICE setup - you'll felt like you were in a restaurant instead of a cafeteria and we were always able to find a table. We enjoyed the after hours restaurant called the "SeaView Cafe" - everyone wish they had pizza on their menu (they don't). Sandwiches were okay. The fries were very good!!
ENTERTAINMENT: NEED MORE VARIETY on the main stage!! Too many singers and/or song productions (2 hour productions involving singing plus 2 GUEST SINGING GROUPS on a 7 night trip). Everyone agreed the House Productions were not strong enough and so this made the lack of variety more apparent.
ACTIVITIES: ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC for all ages. Everyone had something to do at anytime they wanted (young children through adults of all ages). The children's program on the Royal Caribbean line is such a BLESSING for families. All I can say is "WOW!!" Our boys had the time of their lives which meant the world to our experience!! Plus, we and them always felt safe and free to move around the ship.
OVERALL: This trip was a vacation we will always treasure - much to the credit of the Radiance of the Seas and their staff!!! Treat yourself to this experience sometime soon!! Less
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Cabin review: TS8668
The cabin was spacious and perfect for our group of 8. 4 teenagers slept in one bedroom (2 beds and 2 Pullman style bunks); 2 slept on the foldout couch; and then we had the Master Bedroom to ourselves. The balcony was spacious. My only suggestion would be to request a SMALLER table on the balcony - takes up too much room and to have one of the long chairs removed in place of regular chairs to create a little more space. The beds were very comfortable. Everyone slept well throughout the cruise. 2 bathrooms is phenomenal for a group our size - THANK YOU! One note: ALL WATER BOTTLES are billable (even if a card says ENJOY the amenities as our compliments). The bar tried to invoice us for those water bottles - we won that battle (not easily though). Our Suite Attendant was outstanding!! ENJOY this spacious and comfortable suite.
Port and Shore Excursions
We did the Kayak Adventure. While we had fun (my Mom who is 68 loved it - she likes being active), be aware this is not calm waters. We had to work on the way back. One young girl (not in our group) was crying and very upset at how hard the trip was. The guide was not good at speaking loudly and so we rarely knew what was going on. You do this excursion for the scenery and we did enjoy that. Even getting started, their training for what to do truly lacks what is needed. As I said, the scenery did make up for all the short comings.
If we had not done this excursion, we would have been left with way too much time and little to do. The "Zipline" that is the longest you can find is not really a zipline (you are sitting in a harness). As our boys said, that is a RIDE (they would have enjoyed it if we had done it - just know its not a real zipline experience).
The TOWN of HOONAH was neat THE OFFICE bar and restaurant was a great stop (recommended on forums here). The restaurant is packed. The town itself is quaint and a quick walk. We chose to walk the 1.5 miles to town instead of taking the shuttle. The walk was very nice!
We were told to stick to the main road because Bears are common (3 to 1 to humans) and NOT FRIENDLY! We listened and never saw any (wished we saw from a distance).
Even if we had not been treated to the Bubble Nets and the Complete Breach we saw a Humpback due next to our boat, Captain Shawn and his assistant Hunter were determined to engage all 12 of us on the boat. They were a FANTASTIC DUO. Nothing to change at all
DO THIS EXCURSION!!
FYI - we booked this trip before the cruise (not the cruise ship).
Canopy Adventure's Bear Creek Zipline was AMAZING and tons of fun!!! Perfect for a group with all ages. The one catch: MAKE SURE NO ONE IN Your Group has a FEAR OF HEIGHTS or is considering not participating. Once you go on the TEST RUN (to practice), you get no money back. Since my son would not do it, my wife had to stay with him (one of us needed to and they require it - she chose to be the one). That meant $300 down the drain. They have other things going on and they didn't offer anything to her or my son. Even if we had not had such an AMAZING time ziplining, walking the suspension bridge, rapelling, and going down the 250ft slide, this one issue would have been a big distraction. Instead, we had soo much fun we didn't let it bother us. My wife felt the same way.
The GUIDES were a blast and the scenery was wonderful (in a Rain Forest). Several of the boys considered this experience the best part of Alaska.
Afterward, we went shopping in town and that went smoothly. This is a quick visit (too quick) and so you don't have time to do a lot.
Go to the Exit Glacier. In a 30 minute walk, you can get up near the edge of the Glacier (very cool)!!
We went to Portage Glacier and enjoyed the unbelievable views along the journey. One quick, fun stop is the Animal Conservation Project near the Portage Glacier.
When kids can like a trip which bores them at points, it tells you how good the GOOD is on this excursion. The sights are beautiful and the information you learn along the way is cool.
As for shopping in town, the stores were the MOST EXPENSIVE we had seen on the trip!!