4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart ... Read More
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart (you couldn’t even close the sleeper chair..it had to stay open all the time because the sides were barely hanging on. We were constantly tripping over it), the bathroom floor felt like it was going to collapse into the floor below, one of the balcony glass walls had a side that was not attached to anything (not good for our grandkids!!), the intercom in the room did not work (the stateroom person verified it did not work), the list goes on and on. The “my time dining” staff was unorganized to say the least. We were told to call but they did not answer the phone. We went to the restaurant and We were told to sign up for our dining time and table but when we tried we were told we couldn’t. That’s ok because we walked out the first night because the waiters were condescending and didn’t take our orders. Too bad, we’re usually really great tippers!! The entertainment was what I would expect on a less expensive trip. We didn’t stay for the first performance in the theater as it was boring and the kids didn’t like it at all. We didn’t bother going to any others. The singers in the main lobby were off key. Bless their hearts they tried but it sounded like bad kareoke (not that there’s anything wrong with that but the main lobby performers are usually fantastic singers). Love you RCI but you need to treat your Alaska cruisers like you treat your Caribbean cruisers! Next time we’ll take another cruise line. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Overall great experience...excursions were fantastic! Juneau...walked off ship and used a blue bus to go to Mendenhall...easy ride...wonderful short hike out to Nugget Falls and the glacier...nice visitor center. Skagway...ship ... Read More
Overall great experience...excursions were fantastic! Juneau...walked off ship and used a blue bus to go to Mendenhall...easy ride...wonderful short hike out to Nugget Falls and the glacier...nice visitor center. Skagway...ship excursion on the White Pass and Yukon Route Train...breathtaking views and good narration by staff...water and bathrooms available in each car...train located adjacent to pier...enjoyed a walk into town, lots of fun shops. Icy Strait Point...ship excursion...whale and mammal quest boat trip...loved the entire trip...saw whales, otters, seals, eagles..really nice crew...bathroom and snacks available onboard. Ketchikan...ship excursion...snorkeling...wow, great fun and very easy...good group of participants of all shapes, sizes and ages (i am 63)... close to ship...getting into wet suit was biggest challenge but worked great...very comfortable on a 56 degree day in 55 degree water...maybe not what you might think of for an Alaskan adventure but well worth it...highly recommend. All the ports were an easy walk from ship and had a little something different to offer. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We ... Read More
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We liked the cruise overall, but got the strong impression that more things have become extra-cost options rather than being included in the price you pay. It would be fine if the overall price of the cruise was lower and you'd pay only for things you wanted, but the cruise price seemed about the same as before. We booked our own flights and pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver. We have found that this gives us a chance to settle in ahead of time as well as avoid worrying about getting to the ship if the flights are delayed. Boarding was efficient. You clear US customs before boarding, so you can't leave the ship once you are onboard. If you have a choice, you will have to balance the check-in crowds against spending a bit more time in Vancouver. We could have boarded at 1 pm or 2 pm instead of 11 am (which we did). We booked relatively early, but were still stuck with either a very expensive suite or an outside cabin on Deck 2. It was really pretty good, stable during sea passages, but you spend a lot of time waiting for the elevator. The ship itself was in pretty good condition, but there were a few signs of wear around the edges. They had to fix one of the Centrum elevators which was misbehaving. One of the restrooms had a large-ish metal panel held in place with a wedge of paper stuck between the frame and the panel. The green trim paint on the outside around deck 10/11 seemed to be flaking off in spots. Dining in Cascades (main dining room) was passable overall, about what you'd get at a hotel banquet function. Some entrees were quite good, and some were disappointing. We tried some specialty restaurants too. Chops: We did this on the first night for $20. I don't think it was worth much more than that, and definitely not $35 worth. Service was off, the meat was good but not top-notch, and selections were limited. The meat was not exactly done as we had ordered, but it was close. We ordered some bottles of wine since they said that they would hold the bottles for future visits in "any" shipboard restaurant. However, when we went to Cascades the next night, it took them 20 minutes and a head waiter to bring the bottles down from Chops to Cascades, and this was accompanied by a lecture that "we don't normally do this". If that was the case, then Chops should have told us that it really wasn't practical to move the wine from one restaurant to another and offered us the option to take it with us. Samba: We did this on the second sea night. For $25, this felt much better. The food was tasty and well-prepared. They cook the 7 different types of meats more or less to order for each table, so they don't have a lot that's circulating like a typical Brazilian steak house. We had to sample the last two meats since we had too much salad at the beginning and were filling up fast. Beverages: we skipped the unlimited drinks package due to high cost ($49/person/day plus 18%, even in advance) and limitations on what was included (nothing over $12 per drink, which was about half of the wines by the glass and some specialty cocktails; fairly limited choices; and a discount on wine by the bottle in the restaurants). The daily drink special seemed a bit watered down, too. You'd have to consume four drinks per day, every day, to break even on the package. On shore days, you'll generally spend several hours in town, which also reduces the amount of time to have beverages on the ship. We noted that some people were looking for bars that were open at 9 am or 10 am, so we surmised they were on drinks packages and wanted to spread things out. Shows: Most were pretty good, with lavish productions and decent enough performers. They were good cruise entertainment, but you'd probably not spend a lot of money to see the same show on land. We were disappointed in the changes at the spa/fitness center. There used to be free one-hour classes like stretch and yoga, plus a "ShipShape" program that encouraged participation. Now, the free classes are quite short (15 minutes for a stretch class? Come on!) and you have to pay for longer classes ($12/class or $49 for unlimited classes during the cruise). Again, shore days will cut into the classes that you can attend. There was a constant push to buy expensive services like skin treatments to reduce facial lines and sagging. The staff was friendly, but you didn't get much interest from them if you just wanted to do free stuff. Other shipboard activities included the usual art auctions, sales at the shops, photography packages on offer, etc. There were frequent trivia competitions in the bars, a scavenger hunt (which we won, thanks to being first back plus having one item that was worth 10 points), and "The Quest" which is a hoot for players and spectators alike. We leaned towards the free activities to show that some people like those and don't need to pay money for everything to have fun. Cuddy, the cruise director, really made things great. He seemed to be everywhere, introducing shows, promoting activities around the ship, and being part of special nights like the 70s dance party in the Centrum. I have not seen such a wild, fun "Village People" tribute before. Having Cuddy dressed up as the construction worker just topped it off. This night seemed to be a highlight for the entertainment staff too. The naturalist we had on board to talk about the glaciers was knowledgable, but not that good at communicating. I felt that he provided the same info during the on-deck commentary and the scheduled talks. We also had talks by a former RCMP (Mountie) telling of the life they lead and what they really do. We had great weather during the cruise: sun in port, a little colder and windier at sea, but I can't complain at all. We kept hearing that the weather was the best the locals had seen in weeks, so we felt quite blessed to be cruising this particular week. Of course, your experience will be different. The ports were pretty typical for this itinerary. I'll summarize our experiences. I'm more willing to book tours on my own if they leave first thing in the morning, but the afternoon ones should be booked through the ship so they won't leave without you if you get back late (which happened to us in three of four ports). There were 4-5 ships in port at each of the stops we made, except Icy Strait Point where we were the only ship. Ketchikan: A fun little town, but not much to do if you don't buy an excursion. We went on a floatplane trip to the Misty Fjords with Carlin Air, since the ship's excursion was sold out. You'll save some money booking it on your own. The air charter companies will meet you at the dock. There is also a row of kiosks where you can book a tour on the spot. The cost could be slightly higher cost that advance booking online, but perhaps you can negotiate with the people there. We walked around town, went to the Totem Heritage Center, and had some lunch at the Alaska Fish House next to the pier. We skipped the lumberjack show. Our time here was sadly quite limited, or we might have been able to fit in a trip via bus to Totem Bight or Saxman. Juneau: A nice city, lots to do, pleasant to walk and shop in the local stores. We took the tramway to the top of Mt. Roberts. It was one of the warmest days they had seen in months. We had lunch at Tracy's Crab Shack (famous, a little touristy but very popular for good reasons). We walked a few blocks to the state capitol building, but could not see that much without going up a few floors. We then took a helicopter tour in the late afternoon (pilot's choice, two landings, highly recommended if you can get it) and returned in time to walk around some more and grab a bite at Deckhand Dave's right on the pier next to our ship. Icy Strait Point: We enjoyed this stop. We took a little walk in the woods, checked out the old salmon cannery, but we had little time left after we did the bears/whale watching trip. We saw two bears plus whales having fun, sea otters, porpoises, sea lions, etc. We liked the involvement of the native people in presenting the history. You can book the same trips on site if you haven't booked them on the ship, and I did not check to see if the prices were any different than the advance bookings This port was developed with Royal Caribbean (we called it "Coco Cay of Alaska") and it was very nice. Skagway: A fun place, small enough to walk around or ride the ($5/day) bus. The dock is not that close to the town, so you'll have a bit of a walk. My wife did the glass blowing, which she enjoyed; I walked a bit, took some photos and enjoyed some shopping. We both went on the White Pass and Yukon rail excursion, which returned about 45 mins late but dropped us off right at the dock. The weather was perfect again, if perhaps a bit warm. Departure at Seward was uneventful, but we were delayed a bit. We joined a post-cruise tour, so they picked us up right at the dock. More on the post-cruise tour in another review. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
The hunt for bears...2 Brits in Alaska .... We booked this cruise the day it went on sale, wanting to get the coveted aft 9256. We then spent 2 years planning our trip. First lesson Alaska is very very expensive. What ever your ... Read More
The hunt for bears...2 Brits in Alaska .... We booked this cruise the day it went on sale, wanting to get the coveted aft 9256. We then spent 2 years planning our trip. First lesson Alaska is very very expensive. What ever your budget is... double it! We flew from London to Seattle, spent just over 24 hours there. Hyatt House Hotel is right opposite the space needle and Chihuly. Ask for room 811...fabulous views. We loved Chihuly and we loved Pike place market and generally we loved Seattle. Given our 8 hr time difference we were still up early the next day. Breakfast in Pikes market with wonderful views, a quick emergency tee shirt buying trip as the weather was shaping up to be much warmer than we expected, then an Uber to the airport and ready for the next part... Tip: go up the Columbia SkyView 73rd floor observatory instead of the Space Needle because it’s cheaper at $14.75 ( also offers an over 55 for under $10) it is taller, and your photos will have the Space Needle in them! We flew Alaskan up to Anchorage. They charge $25per bag in addition to the air fare. You pay this at the kerbside. Stayed for 2 nights at the Ramada. In desperate need of renovation, but comfortable beds and friendly staff. A few blocks from the centre. Free shuttle from the airport and to the train station. Had a super meal at Tequila 61. Tip: Hire a car via Enterprise on E 5th - it was only $160 for 3 days ( cheaper than hiring at the airport.) Drove down to Girdwood, the Wildlife centre and Whittier on Sunday. On Monday we drove up to Denali, via Talkeetna for lunch. Quaint little town. We stayed 2 nights at the Home Dome in Healy. Ate at Prospectors Pizza and 49th brewing. Did the transit to Eielson. $50pp. Not much success on bears....the van behind had a mother and 2 cubs lie in the road in front of them! Tip: We had bought The Milepost beforehand. I wouldn’t say it is a must have though. Viewpoints are well signposted on the road. Back to Anchorage and one more night in the Ramada. Then early start for the 6;45 train to Seward. You must be at station about an hour beforehand and you have to go into the office to collect your tickets. No one tells you that on the paperwork. Suitcases checked through to our Hotel in Seward which was unexpected and efficient. If you can afford it, pay for the Gold service, fabulous glass domed railcards, breakfast included and 2 free alcoholic beverages. Yes I know it was only 6:45 but free champagne is good at any hour right?. $212pp Seward: stayed at Harbor 360. Nice views but very basic breakfast included on paper plates. DIY bagels and some yoghurts. At $339 for one night I expected more. Dinner at Chinooks... another $120 meal... Northern Latitudes Whale watching.. small boat and only 4 of us. Superb experience and highly recommended $163pp. Hotel transported our cases to the cruise ship for us. Easiest check in ever. Muster was at 6 and sailaway was at 8 FYI: When the ship was docked in Seward there was an additional 7% tax added to the bar bill. Random ship thoughts: Wi-fi is $12.99 or $17.99. With careful use of our D+ perk we were able to get 2x 24 hr free and then a 3 day package free ($38.98 was the D+ allowance) Have not even seen the CD -apparently he’s called Ken Jones. Have not been to any shows as they are at 7 ( clashes with CL drinks) and 8;45 ( clashes with dinner) so cannot comment. Steve Mudflap Mcgrew City of Dreams PengFei The Long Run ( Eagles tribute) Piano Man Movies shown included: Greatest Showman Pitch Perfect 3 Justice League 15:17 to Paris Wrinkle in Time Peter Rabbit Star Wars Jumanji Formal nights were Hubbard Glacier and ISP days. 1 hour clock change between Ketchikan and Inside Passage Food I’m afraid was totally unforgettable, bland and the poorest I have ever had on any RCI cruise (and I've done 30). Lobster tails last night served with Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: June 2018
Always wanted to see Alaska and the scenery didn't disappoint. Took the Grand view train down from Anchorage to Seward which was a highlight of the trip. Embarkation process was fast and easy. The shore tours were also fantastic. The ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska and the scenery didn't disappoint. Took the Grand view train down from Anchorage to Seward which was a highlight of the trip. Embarkation process was fast and easy. The shore tours were also fantastic. The White Pass train excursion was excellent and our favorite shore tour. The Radiance of the Seas on the other had was a bit of a disappointment. This was my 10th cruse on Royal Caribbean and this ship was not up to my expectations. The activities & entertainment was lackluster at best. The ship looked tired and in need of a makeover. Lots of rust on the exterior especially on the balcony area. Some of the public rooms had a musty smell. They also had computer problems the first two days with made using the sea pass difficult & we had to go to guest services three times to get the issue resolved. We took advantage of the beverage package which worked out nice once we got the issues with the sea passes straightened out. The service at the shore excursion desk was poor. We had an issue with one of our prepaid tours and the staff at the shore excursion desk basically couldn't care less. The debarkation process ran a little behind schedule but we were able to make our 1:00pm flight out of Vancouver OK. If I do Alaska again I would most likely choose a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date: June 2018
I was so excited for this cruise. To see Alaska to explore all that was offered on this ship. Alaska was awesome beautiful wonderful sites to see. The ship it's self was a little disappointing. The crew seem to be a little confused ... Read More
I was so excited for this cruise. To see Alaska to explore all that was offered on this ship. Alaska was awesome beautiful wonderful sites to see. The ship it's self was a little disappointing. The crew seem to be a little confused uninformed maybe not well-trained on their ship. The food in the wind jammer left a lot to be desired. The main dining room food for the most part was excellent. The service in the main dining room The first night was horrible. The food we ordered was not what the menu said. It took the manager over 45 minutes to solve the situation. Then we were switched to another set of waiters Anwar & Barton, the rest of the cruise, they were awesome! We were in room 8010 and our room attendant was great. He took care of our room and anything we needed. Our neighbors and their kids were very loud! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose RCI because we have sailed on them before and generally have good experiences. This however was not the case on the Radiance. From the time we got on the boat things were awful. The boat smelled like raw sewage when we first ... Read More
We chose RCI because we have sailed on them before and generally have good experiences. This however was not the case on the Radiance. From the time we got on the boat things were awful. The boat smelled like raw sewage when we first got on. I thought that it might have been Seward but as the cruise wore on I would still occasionally smell raw sewage. State room attendant was good. Main dining not so good. First day I had to ask for tea three times and bread twice. When I mentioned it to the head waiter he took care of the problem. Our waiter, however, had about 15 guests to serve and he was always behind. Most of the other tables had dessert before we had our entree. Not his fault he just had too much to do. The Radiance is an older and smaller boat and doesn't have the amenities of the larger ships, no promenade, very few, if any after hours dining like the bigger ships. They did, however, have a lot of specialty dinning that they pushed at you from all directions. I believe they had five specialty restaurants, and one after hours snack station. Windjammer was always crowded as usual. Always hard to find a seat during peak hours. On most of the ships we have been on dining is at 6:30 and 8:30 with shows at 8:30 and 10:30. On the Radiance the dining is 6 and 8 with shows at 7 and 9. 8:00 diners have to go to the show at 7:00. I prefer the old way with dining at 8:30 and the show after. On the Radiance it would not make much difference because the shows were pretty bad anyway. We walked out of two of them. They have self leveling pool tables on board, which seems kind of nice until you tried to play on them. Most of the time they were broke, balls were missing and the tables locked in one position. We did the cruise tour with 5 days in Alaska before the cruise. The tour part was far superior to the cruise part. We both decided that we would never said on the Radiance again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
The itinerary was great. I enjoyed Alaska, but I was disappointed in RCI. Yes Radiance is old and small but I expected that. I didn't expect a poorly trained crew. Outside of food service, I had to ask for assistance twice. I found it ... Read More
The itinerary was great. I enjoyed Alaska, but I was disappointed in RCI. Yes Radiance is old and small but I expected that. I didn't expect a poorly trained crew. Outside of food service, I had to ask for assistance twice. I found it difficult to make someone understand because they were too busy arguing with me. There only excuse was that it was a small ship. It was not the ship it was the attitude of the crew. Entertainment was disappointing as well. People walked out of CITY OF DREAMS. I went to sleep. The cruise director staff was hard to find. I have been on smaller ships with many more activities. The compass was poorly edited. It referred to the northern route so it wasn't fully updated. Hallways were blocked with steward carts all day long so it was difficult to navigate the small hallways. Shore excursions staff were poorly trained and rude. The guest services were rude. My roommate and I had seperate sea pass cards but they put everything on hers. I asked them to reverse some of them and put them on mine, they gladly did that but they went ahead and put them right back on hers instead of mine. They said they did not understand. I just gave up and reimbursed my cabin mate. I was disappointed. When I asked about the arrangements and reservation that I made on the RCI website prior to departure, guest service said they did not see them and told me to speak with my travel agent. I told them they were my travel agent and they told me if I paid for things ahead of time I needed to prove it. I understand the need for the that. I showed them my receipt and they then told me they didn't see it so it must be a banking error. I had to call my bank and have them fight with them. This was my vacation that I paid a lot of money for. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we got on the boat, the vibe was just... different. Staff does NOT seem to enjoy their jobs. The ship is smaller and older, which we knew already, but the problem is that it gets treated like a second class ship. Dinner in the main dining room took 70 minutes to come out the first night. Understandable, so that wasn’t a big deal. But then the annoyances started adding up. Dishes in the Solarium piled up. Loud construction in the solarium on the first sea day- again, maybe unavoidable but still annoying. Food was nothing to write home about- far below quality we had had on Freedom and Oasis class. Service was hit or miss. When we mentioned some of these issues, they were very nice and attentive, but outside of that, many staff members were very standoffish and seemingly annoyed at serving food, drinks, and counters. There was also not much to do on the ship. It was definitely geared towards an older crowd and lacking in activities and amenities. It was very disappointing overall for the quality we had come to expect. If you want to go to Alaska I highly recommend the Northbound itinerary- it was GORGEOUS! But if you can find it on a different cruise line, that would be a better choice than sailing Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: May 2018
We very much like the Radiance class of ships. And have taken the Brilliance many times. There are a lot of windowed public areas- which works great for the Alaskan weather. The Diamond Lounge and the host JD were fantastic. And the ... Read More
We very much like the Radiance class of ships. And have taken the Brilliance many times. There are a lot of windowed public areas- which works great for the Alaskan weather. The Diamond Lounge and the host JD were fantastic. And the cruise, the crew and the views were wonderful. Our room steward was Ery, and hewas attentive and caring. Chops Grill is first class and a super food. The Windjammer dining room was very disappointing. As the food was very mediocre, not a big variety, and seemed no where as good as on the Brilliance of the Seas. The Windjammer staff did not seem engaged. The Balcony room on the port side was great going south as seeing the view was amazing. Also ask to go on the "behind the scenes entertainment tour" on the last sea day...and the entertainers are very nice and accommodating. Also would recommend that you take the Wilderness Express train from Anchorage to Denali on the way up and spend a few days at the Denali Bluffs Lodge. Read Less
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 5.0 3.8
Public Rooms 5.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 5.0 4.1
Family 5.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.0 3.8
Enrichment 1.0 3.5
Service 3.0 4.4
Value For Money 4.0 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.3

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