6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as ... Read More
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as the negative reviews listed the age of the ship and rude staff. However, my wife convinced me to just focus on the great time we had in 2016 and the pure joy our kids (13/17) would have going on their first cruise. We were pleasantly surprised when we boarded and our room was no disappointment. We also enjoyed the many staff who made sure we had everything we needed. The problem primarily focused on the lack of security or rules enforcement throughout the week. There are designated smoking areas at various locals about the ship but it seemed those patrons that chose to smoke took liberty as where they smoked...which was about anywhere. Every single night we smelled smoke from the staircases and when I did finally complain, I was told the wind was at fault for carrying the smoke. We did not have this issue in 2016 and I'm pretty sure the wind blew then too! While the itinerary sheet reflects a $250 fine for those breaking the smoking rule, no one seemed to have concern for that regulation being enforced. One morning later in the week we even smelled marijuana from our balcony. I'm an easy going redneck and enjoying the break from our Oklahoma allergies was a welcomed thought if not for the nasty cigarette smoke. You couldn't leave the main dining hall without getting blasted by the smoke. Another issue was the change in dining experience. We had no issues during our 2016 cruise but they evidently changed the format. We were faced with long lines at each meal and DO NOT expect very many diners actually dressing up during the established formal nights. While signs list no flip flops, tank tops or ball caps, we had just that very thing seated next to us. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the dressy lifestyle nor was my 13 year old, but we did just that for my wife and it was more than annoying that I had to suffer through a dinner jacket and tie next to bubba in a glorified wife beater! The Windjammer cafe was also habitually crowded as well and we always had to take our plates to a different dining ara just to get a place to sit. Another sign that was liberally ignored was the use of the billiards tables. My eldest and I wished to play and walked to the tables several times each day, not one time did we find them available because there were small children camped out with no adults in sight. The one time we decided to wait, we leaned up next to the "Adults Only" signage and waited for their 45 minute game to end. The issue with unsupervised kids did not end there, we felt we were on a Disney Cruise due to the number of unsupervised kids running about. While some were well behaved, there were plenty that raced down halls, knocked on doors and just created havoc for some people. And lastly, the daily itinerary lists "Saving of seats is strictly prohibited and will be enforced" in reference to the theater, but this was absolutely not enforced and staff regularly walked by rows that were covered by various jackets, shoes, and other personal effects that cruisers placed ahead of time to secure their spot. This was ultimately disappointing to me though by boys had a wonderful experience. I can appreciate the reference to being a "Crown and Anchor Society club" member but I am not sure of the benefits other than a little quicker check in process. I found out that while there are a few perks (less so than in 2016), one has to actually notify the staff upon making a purchase to receive the benefit. You'd think maybe the sea pass card would be colored or possibly reflect that the holder was a C&A Society member so we wouldn't have to beg for the limited perk. One such perk change was the fact that we used to get a $5 credit in the casino but that was changed to one spin! Whew! Game changer! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: July 2018
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali National Park. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The seas were calm. In Ketchikan and Icy Srtait we just walked around, having done a number of excursions on past cruises. Ketchikan was extremely busy with 4 ships in port. However we did enjoy walking around and enjoying the shops. We took the bus into the town of Hoonah, not much to see there. We saw a Totem carver and enjoyed his story about his carving. Juneau is probably our favorite Alaskan port. We always do the whale watching, Orca lodge salmon bake and on occassion Mendenhall Glacier. We are never disappointed with this excursion. We saw a number of humpback whales and eaglees soaring near our boats. In Skagway, we took the train up to Fraser BC and then boarded the bus for a trip to the beginning of the Yukon, on the way back we stopped for a lunch consisting of bison chili and then walked the suspension bridge. We did encounter some fog and rain on the way to Fraser but the weather cleared before arriving. We opted for a two night land tour folling the cruise and it was teriffic. We left Seward for Denali National Park, with a short stop in Anchorge. Our tour director Lori was amazing, she kept us entertained the entire two days. Lori was extremely patient with all of the questions that anyone had. W were overnight at the Denali Park Village. The loaction was amazing, our room looked out a river behind the lodge. There were several dining venues available, gift shops and outside entertainment. Next morning we got on a bus for the Denali History Tour. We made three stops throughout the park for some short lectures and then at the parks visitor center for lunch. We were very lucky to have great weather because we got to see MT. Denali two days in a row, something Lori said didn't happen very often. Next we rode to Talkeetna where we boarded the Wilderness train to Anchorage. That was a wonderful ride in a domed railcar.Our last night was at the Marriot, it was within walking distance of quite a few sites. Now for the not so good. The ROTS is in need of a physical makeover, it showed a lot of wear and tear. The food in both the Windjammer and MDR were just fair, but we weren't there for the food. The music in the atruim was too loud, you couldn't have a conversation with anyone in guest services. The entertainment was mediocre. Any of the ships crew we interacted with were great, especially our cabin attendant and MDR waiters. If we were to visit Alaska again via a cruise, we might try a Celebrity ship.One last note, on other Alaska cruises, we did not remember all of the small out of control childern running amok on the ship or on excursions. Read Less
10 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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 2018
When we arrived in Anchorage the transfers to the Marriott downtown were right there waiting on us. We settled in our room then went downstairs to meet with our tour guide, Debbie. After receiving our tour packet and luggage tags we ... Read More
When we arrived in Anchorage the transfers to the Marriott downtown were right there waiting on us. We settled in our room then went downstairs to meet with our tour guide, Debbie. After receiving our tour packet and luggage tags we were off to find something to eat. We found dining at 49th State was a good choice. The next morning my group of 14 (family & friends) was off bright & early on the Wilderness Express train to Denali. Our bus driver, Crystal, had taken everyone’s luggage to the lodge. Our guide on the train, Mark, was very knowledgeable as well as comical. We were on the train long enough to have breakfast as well as lunch. The menu was short but what everyone had was good. Upon arriving at the Denali Park Village, the only issue I had with this stop was what we did upon arrival. Instead of going right to the lodge we were told we could spend time at the Visitor’s Center. The bus was already there as well as our luggage was in each room. By the time we got into our rooms, we wanted to find some dinner. Because of the delay in checking in, getting the next shuttle into Denali would be too late. So, we went back to the lodge and found something. As everyone says, food in Alaska isn’t cheap. Our room at the lodge was overlooking the river so we left our window open to hear the river during the night. The next day we got up even earlier to make our 4:55am tour. We were told by the coffee shop they would open at 4:30am so we were there at that time. The people working at the coffee shop had no idea that the workers from the previous evening had told us they would open at 4:30am. So, it was a hustle to get something to eat before our tour bus left. We had a box snack which was included in the tour but that wasn’t enough to hold us until we met for lunch several hours later. Being so early, we were the first bus into the park where we beat the crowds. This cost us an additional $70 pp but it was well worth it. The bus had a top-notch camera and the driver was able to project it onto the screen on the bus. We saw foxes, bears, moose, caribou, Dal sheep, ground squirrels and snow-shoe rabbits. We had an amazing view of Mt Denali. The day was sunny, and it wasn’t that cold. On our trip in 2006 we didn’t go in as far, but we did go in further than what the Denali Natural History tour does now unless you pay the extra money. At the end of the tour everyone met for lunch then hopped on the bus for Talkeetna. The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge was better than lodge in Denali. The view from our room was of the Denali mountains. We could see the peak of Mt. Denali as it looked like it was floating on a cloud. The next morning, we had breakfast in the dining room of the lodge. Then our bus was bound for our next stop. We stopped in Anchorage for a couple of hours. Being short on time, I chose to eat again at 49th State since I knew the food was good. After lunch I found a liquor store to purchase my 2 bottles of wine. The Hotel Alyeska was better yet. After settling in our room, several of us took the tram up to see the sights from there. We chose to dine at the lodge dining room which the food was very good. It seemed like all we had done since arriving in Anchorage was eating so that night I just had soup. The next morning, several of our group went to the dining room and some went to the coffee shop for breakfast where they served Starbucks. Then we were off to Seward. It was a cloudy rainy day, but we were on the bus. We first went to the Alaska Wildlife Center and saw rescued animals to be nursed back to health if necessary then released back into their habitat if they could be. We saw bears, caribou, a bear cub recently found, an eagle missing a wing and a lynx. Off to our last stop in was Alaska Sea Life Center. This had all sorts of water creatures. Sea lions, puffins, octopus’ and more. Then off to Seward for our home for the next 7 days. Looked forward to being able to unpack everything. Embarkation was a breeze, I believe due to the hour of 3:00pm rather than earlier in the day. Our group then became 16 as my cousin and her husband joined us for the cruise. Leaving at 8pm wasn’t too bad since it was still very light outside. Our group had MTD and I was only allowed to make reservations for no more than 10 at a time before the cruise. So, I went to the reservation person to see if I could get all 14 of us at the same area in the dining room. I didn’t think it would be possible for a table for 14 people, but the manager said if we went at 8:15pm the next night on we could all be seated at the same table. The next night came and they had us seated at a table of 10 and one for 6. OK, we weren’t that far from our group, so I let it ride. Upon leaving the dining room, I stopped to ask, again, if we could have tables closer to together. First day was sailing all day then Hubbard Glacier. I guess it was because there were so many ice chunks in the water that we couldn’t get as close as we did last time we did this cruise. This made going to Mendanhall all that much better. Juneau wasn’t a very pretty day. We chose to do the Whale Watch, Salmon Bake & Mendanhall Glacier. I’ve been on this excursion before and wanted to do a smaller vessel, so it was easier to see a whale instead of trying to look through several people at the window. But I was voted down. Not caring for fresh salmon, I chose the chicken at the Orca Lodge. Some in my group liked the salmon and some didn’t. The vegetables were bland and cooled off quickly. The slaw was dry as we couldn’t tell if there was any dressing on it. But the brownies were good. Then off to the small gift shop where we purchased the smoked salmon they gave us on the whale vessel. They took us back to the dock where we boarded a bus to the Mendenhall glacier. It was windy and a drizzle rain, but the sites were so beautiful. I wish we had had more time to walk to the glacier, but it was too far for our hour stop allowed. Sunday night we were at a table for 14. My nephew’s dessert cookie was so hard, the ice cream on top didn’t affect it at all. The waiter knew it was hard because I saw him smiling when my nephew was making his comments. Skagway was the next stop. Seven of my group chose to take the White Pass Railroad up to Emerald Lake where they met their guide from Dyea Dave’s. They sang the praises of Dyea Dave’s. They had lunch at The Bistro in Carcross, then stopped at Tutshi Sled Dog Tours to play/visit with the sled dogs. The pictures they took looked like they had a wonderful day. They saw 7 bears along the roadside with 2 of them being cubs. I chose horseback riding in Tongass National Forest. I normally don’t have the opportunity to ride so this was my highlight. The trail guides gave us history of the park and took photos of us on our horses. Monday night we were seated at 2 tables of 8 next to each other. Eduardo was by far the best waiter we had so far. Tuesday night we planned to go to Chops Grill, so I requested that Wednesday night could we have those same tables with Eduardo. Next stop, Icy Strait Point. I remembered why I didn’t get off the ship when we visited in 2006. My daughter-in-law and I paid $5 each for a shuttle into town. There wasn’t really anything to see or do. Although, I thought the colorful houses there were pretty. Back on the shuttle, we browsed the shops before boarding the ship. I was really looking forward to our dinner at Chops for $41 pp which included gratuity. I had the filet and it was SOOOO good. My husband had the NY strip, son had the rib eye as well as others choosing the same items from the menu. They accommodated us on Wednesday night in the dining room at Eduardo’s tables. Ketchikan was our final stop. Some of us went on the Duck tour excursion. I had been on a duck before, but this was different scenery and our guide was very knowledgeable of Ketchikan since he was a native. Upon getting into the ocean, there were eagles just sitting on rock formations. Seeing eagles like we see birds every day at home was spectacular. We had a couple of hours before our next excursion, so we found someplace to have lunch. Ten of us stopped at Pirates Edge/. The waiter told us that due to the number, 18% would be added on each bill. Six of us were seated and we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Due to some of us being on a time restraint we told our waiter that we’d go ahead and order. His response was, “what do you want?” He didn’t come down to our end of the table, he just stood at the end and took orders. My husband and I ordered the halibut & fries, one soda, crab cake appetizer and everything came to $56. There was a kitchen fee added also. The waiter reminded us of the 18% gratuity added but we could always add more. We all heard him mention he was part owner. When we left I told the hostess that he was lucky he added the 18% because he wasn’t a very good waiter and his attitude was very poor. Especially for being part owner. She was surprised at this statement. I found out later he told the remaining people in our group that there was miscommunication and he wasn’t part owner. The last excursion was the lumberjack show. It was cute but so rehearsed. We did enjoy their chopping and log climbing. Then back to the ship. Thursday was our last sea day and it wasn’t very nice outside. Really windy, cool, foggy and cloudy. So most of our day was spent inside the ship. Since some of us didn’t want to eat so late, we chose to have dinner in the Windjammer on Thursday evening. It was seafood night and things were very good. Then off to finish packing. Since we needed to disembark early, we set our luggage in the hall and went to bed. We chose to pay $30 pp and get the transfer to the airport. Our departure info was to be turned in by Monday at 9:00pm. My cousin asked guest services and was told she could set her luggage out and not see it again until she reached the Vancouver airport. This was not a choice we were given. She just happened to ask about it. Of course, we were too late turning in our forms so all we could get was the transfer. So we had to look for our luggage when we got off the ship. They had numbers on the tags, so it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered in the past of the warehouse with luggage as far as the eye could see. Then loaded on the bus and off for a 45-minute drive to the airport. After going thru both Canadian and US customs we were ready to find food and wait until our flight was ready. The SHIP: I was worried that it had shower curtains rather than a door but that really wasn’t as big a deal as I had expected. I wish I had known that balcony cabins on deck 7 you could converse with your neighbor without a divide between them. This would have been good for our group having many cabins in a row. Too bad I didn’t know, I would have reserved on deck 7 instead of 8. The Quest was fun but not as much fun as on the bigger ships, where having it in a bigger area or showing it on the big screen, where there is more room for people to run with their items. There wasn’t much room for sitting so people were standing and you couldn’t see much. There was a musical band playing right across from Guest Services where it was hard to talk or hear them. Our first time traveling as Diamond members. We were the only ones in our group so it was nice to be able to get our 3 drinks each at most bars to enjoy with the rest of our group. Wasn’t a big fan of the way they did table reservations. The comedian on the first night was probably the best. Choices for entertainment wasn’t the best. The impressionist was pretty good as well. The food quality and service in the dining room just wasn’t up to par. The windows in The Colony lounge had lost their seals and it was hard to see the view out. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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. ... 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 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
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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