309 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly ... Read More
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly quick but did involve a lot of walking, but there were no long lines. Only did the dining room once and had no complaints. Regarding formal night - not everyone dresses up and it seems to be a more laid back dress code. We personally preferred the windjammer with all the different choices. All the food in the windjammer was great. Loved the ice cream machine. Make sure you enjoy the windjammer on the last night- Alaskan seafood was fantastic. Pools were heated and were used by many, especially since we encountered no rain during our whole cruise and temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Solarium does need updating (if they would just get rid of all the fake greenery). All employees were very nice and quite attentive. Evening entertainment was very lacking and mediocre. Most ships have karaoke (which can be quite enjoyable), but not this ship. Be prepared for oldies music sung in the centrum which is ok but not for the whole week. The casino was awful with cigarette smoke, there seems to be no ventilation. The highlight of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The captain did an amazing job to steer the ship so everyone had an awesome view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad ... Read More
We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad experience! Our tour guide Kacie was amazing and tried to resolve everything! She took time and care with each of us and made sure we had the best time! On board the balcony cabin we had was spacious and perfect for to people. The staff from our steward to the bartenders were the best. The food not so much main dining room food was ok but nothing special! We ate at the Chophouse it was terrible both steaks were full of fat and gristle and was unedible! Thankfully the appetizers and salads were filling! The windjammer is same old same old but good for breakfast and lunch! The day of disembarking was a nightmare going into Vancouver airport is an experience let alone with the ship getting you off late shuttle bus lanes are ridiculous we got to the airport 1 hour before our flight and made it to our gate 10 minutes before boarding. My advice do not take shuttle take a taxi! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the ... Read More
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the cruise, which was absolutely amazing with the scenery. The hotels picked for us were amazing and very comfortable. Our tour guide was very friendly, informative, and helpful. Once we got on the ship, things went overal very well, too. We had an ocean view cabin, and a week before the cruise, we were emailed a chance to bid for a balcony. We made the minimum bid, and even with an extremely low chance of getting it, we got the upgrade. The balcony was amazing, especially when we cruised past Hubbard Glacier. The cabin was small but had enough room for both of us. Jaya, our steward was amazing. Anything we needed, he was there. The ship itself is a midsize ship. It doesn't have an ice skating rink, or a wave pool, but it doesn't need it. it has plenty of activities that kept us busy for the week. The trivia was fun, the shows were good, lots of places to get something to drink, and my friend had a blast in the casino. We only ate in the buffet one time for breakfast, and the food was hot, tasty, and varied. Most breakfasts, we had in the dining room, and while fewer choices than the buffet, obviously, the choices of omlettes, fruit, breakfast meats, eggs, was plenty to choose from. For dinner, we purchased the premium restaraunt pass. We ate at Chops and Giovanni's multiple times, Samba Grill Once, and Izumi once. My friend was having mobility issues, so Izumi actually delivered room service for us. All the food was amazing. Ports were great. We did a whale watching dinner cruise in Juneau, and a sled dog ride on wheels in Skagway. I did the duck boat in ketchikan, but wasn't really that impressed with it. it did a quick lap of the city, and didn't go very far once it got into the water. Shopping and dining in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan are good. if you get a chance, take the brothel tour in Skagway. it's a fun tour that doesn't glamorize it, but tells the history. On the whale watch in Juneau, our excursion was the last one back, and my friend and I were literally the last two people on the ship. They closed the doors behind us. That's why we ALWAYS purchase the shore excursions from the ship. The few cons we had were in the way they handled things. The first day, they accidentally sent my main bag with all my clothes to the cabin we had BEFORE we got the upgrade, and I didn't get it until almost 11:30 at night. Debarkation day, we had an excursion in vanciouver. They didn't give us luggage tags for the excursion group, and we almost missed the bus. The bus was getting ready to leave, and our luggage still hadn't come out. Somehow, it came out at the last minute, and we made the bus by 1 minute, having to dash through the terminal, my friend being pushed in a wheelchair. As for technichal, my friend's internet worked fine, but mine didn't work at all over half the time. They tied to reconfigure my device, and it worked a BIT better, but overall not good. I had purchased the streaming speed internet, but they gave only the surfing speed internet. The other problem was our TV set. Sometimes our remote wouldn't work at all, other times the TV would just come back on at random. They said they fixed the problem, but they never did. We just ended up turning down the volume and using the TV as a night light. Other than the minor mis-steps, the cruise was awesome!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> Vancouver). The ports were very nice. The cabin was tight but who spends time in their cabin anyway :). The main dining room food was very good compared with other cruise lines. We did not do any of the extra dining rooms and felt quite satisfied with the outstanding main dining room service and food. My biggest regret was purchasing the alcohol package which is quite expensive and you almost have to work at getting your money's worth but the drinks we had and bartenders were awesome just overpriced alcohol package. We could not get on the shore excursion to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu since it booked up fast and there was no room so we booked a private tour that was quite good - a small group and excellent service. (Royal Hawaiian Tours). Very professional service. Stay away from Alex Tours. He approached us in the cruise terminal and told us his tours were less expensive than the shop tours. He did not ask for money up front but told us if he had our name we would have a spot on his bus if we got that at his assigned time/ We arrived at his bus 2o minutes early to find it was full already and he had no other buses. The driver looked very old as did the bus that had the Alex Tours painted over the First Baptist Church Logo. Come to find out from passengers that did get on that bus - the bus broke down 2 hours away from the ship and they almost missed getting back in time as well as missing parts of the tour since they had to wait for a replacement bus. Very sketchy so stay away. The other shore excursions we booked through the ship and I must say that they were worth the money, well organized and interesting. The only excursion that disappointed us was the Luau in Mauwi. It was at a large hotel and the hotel crammed in as many guests as they could. The food was only mediocre and the entertainment was pretty spread out timewise. It seemed that the cruise passengers got the tables in the back and believe me they were distant from the stage! Some of the tables were off to the side of the stage which made it difficult to see. The hotel also managed to squeeze in a "fashion show" of Hawaiian wear that you could purchase in the gift shop which I felt was unnecessary. The vendors that were selling their crafts were not that exciting either. The islands were very good and most of t he entertainment during the Island part of the cruise was pretty good. The trans-Pacific part of the cruise the entertainment and things to do on the ship were fairly boring. The lecture series for 5 days was about the Canadian Mounties - I would have liked something more interesting, educational, and useful. They had plenty of movies except their "Cinema" was usually full and during the Pacific crossing the outdoor movie screen by the pool was pretty useless. The shows at night were not exceptional but most were entertaining except for 1 very boring comedian. 5 days at sea needs much more happening on the ship. That was my biggest disappointment. Everything went smoothly. I was hesitant about crossing the Pacific in May but as it turned out the seas were smooth (no seasickness) although the temperatures were too cold and windy to do much on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for ... Read More
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for stormy weather in New Zealand, but were surprised by the rainy, windy weather most of the way to Tahiti. Sea days from Bora Bora to Hawaii were sunny and warm allowing for sunbathing and deck walking. My sister and brother-in-law joined us on this cruise. Embarkation started out with a short walk from our hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The door alarms were having difficulties. Many loud sirens and announcements ensued to immediately vacate the building. These were ignored and check-in continued through the din. My four-plug power strip was taken away at the security check along with many others. Was surprised, as it had not been a problem for past cruises. Heard later that power fluctuations on board had caused a power strip to catch fire, resulting in the ban. No notice in advance from Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is older, but we felt that all the areas we visited were well maintained and quite clean. Our cabin was 1556 on Deck 10. For those researching in future years, there were three formal nights. Days 2, 8 & 16. Enjoyed the main dining room most nights. Our waiter and assistant waiter from Indonesia were excellent and very enjoyable. Head Waiter was quite nice and dropped by for a chat each night. Different menus were provided for each of the eighteen nights – no repeats! A number of standard offerings offered every night of course. Tahitian-themed dinner leaving Papeete was our favorite. Also enjoyed nights at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, Samba and the Chef’s Table to break things up a bit. Entertainment in the main showroom was fine, but a little sparse with the long stretches between ports. Only two production shows during the cruise. Cruise Director Cuddy Cudworth was enthusiastic and worked hard to entertain. We really enjoyed the Sunny Duo – Ukrainian Violinist and Guitar player in the Schooner Bar along with the other music around the ship. To help get us through the stormy sea days, the night time entertainment did a number of matinee shows in the main showroom. Movies were also scheduled in the main showroom each afternoon. The little Cinema was swamped with customers most of the days. Overall service on board was very good to excellent. Kristina in the Schooner Bar took great care of the four of us. Would probably not do this cruise again, but had enough adventures and new experiences to make the one time memorable! Ports/Excursions Sydney – attended the Handa Opera West Side Story musical on the harbor. Great production and amazing singing/dancing in a great setting. Also visited the Sydney WildLife Zoo and had dinner at Aria. Picton – rainy day. Did the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise, visited the Vines in Blenheim and walked around Picton for a bit. Not much open on Easter Sunday. Wellington – nice day. Full day Lord of the Rings Tour was excellent. River Anduin, Isengard, Rivendell and "Get off the road" filming sights plus an excellent lunch. Tahiti – snorkeling tour, walking around downtown Papeete and sunset catamaran tour. Moorea – Motu Picnic Lunch included snorkeling with stingrays & sharks – very enjoyable. Bora Bora – booked Patrick’s tour with Maohi Nui. Incredible snorkeling outside the reef with lots of sharks and colorful fish. More great snorkeling inside the reef with stingrays and sharks. Amazing Polynesian lunch followed by a fire dance. Highly recommend this tour. Honolulu – did the Little Circle Island Tour. Good way to leave the ship a little later and bridge the gap to hotel check-in or flight departure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This cruise embarked from Melbourne Australia and headed to New Zealand. The ship toured the beautiful New Zealand fiords on the southwest coast. It then stopped at New Zealand cities on the country's east coast. We'd stongly ... Read More
This cruise embarked from Melbourne Australia and headed to New Zealand. The ship toured the beautiful New Zealand fiords on the southwest coast. It then stopped at New Zealand cities on the country's east coast. We'd stongly advise others to allocate several days before and after the cruise to enjoy Melbourne and Sidney. Embarkation was slow with long lines at each stage of the process. Overall from arriving at the dock to walking onto the boat was a bit over two hours. Overall, the Radiance of the Seas was above average. The ship carries 2,600 people so it is not as crowded as newer mega-cruisers. While the ship is twenty years old, the interior is modern and clean. One BIG problem is that there are no laundry rooms on board. One can use the ship's clothes cleaning service but it is $35 to wash a small bag of clothes. The passengers were largely in their 50s and 60s. I'd guess that there were only about two dozen children on the entire boat. About 60% of the passengers were Australian. That was nice because us Yanks could meet the Aussies and learn a lot about where they were from and what their lives are like. Food was consistently good both in dining rooms and in the buffet. One nicety was that if something was desired that was not on display or on the menu, the crew gladly provided it. We try to eat healthy when traveling. At dinner we'd often order a fresh vegetable plate in addition to our off-the-menu choices. We'd receive a steaming hot plate of broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and spinach. At the morning buffet, I'd often get a made to order omelet and rather than have the sausage or bacon, I'd ask a crewmember to bring a plate of smoked salmon. Our inside cabin was larger than cabins we've had on Princess and Celebrity ships. My wife always takes a midday nap. Our cabin was made up twice daily so we always had made beds. We attended a lot of shows. Visiting entertainers were good. There was a gifted pianist, a comedian that did impersonations, and a magician. However, while the dancers in the ships resident song and dance troupe were remarkably talented, the singers were about as good as one might hear at a high school musical. There were all the usual ship events - games, contests, shopping, etc. There were two whiskey tasting events that were free and fairly generous with the samples. New Zealand is a beautiful country. Seeing It is well worth the long flight from the US. We found New Zealander's to be informal and friendly. They like their country and are happy to show it off and to talk about it. Our favorite stop was Dunedin, a smallish city in South New Zealand. We visited a brewery and sampled the fabulous New Zealand beer. We also took a wildlife excursion and saw a rare albatross rookery (the only such nesting site on a mainland) and fur seals that were still nursing their rambunctious pups. Wellington, the national capital was fun, too. We tried meat pies and had coffee and dessert pastries at a little lunch spot across the street from the government buildings. Our ship was supposed to stop at Ashburton but could not due to high winds and rough seas. We also spend a day at Picton, a little resort town with a marina. We didn't find much to do at Picton so we hiked and visited a grocery store where we bought a few made in New Zealand foods and some local beers to bring home. Our cruise was in late February and early March which is fall in New Zealand. We were glad we did. The weather, overall, was sunny blue skies and most days were cool but one didn't need a coat. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our second time on the Radiance, third time around NZ, but first time cruising with friends (deliberately). Our very first cruise was on Radiance back in '08 in Alaska. That has got us hooked unto cruising so it was going to ... Read More
This was our second time on the Radiance, third time around NZ, but first time cruising with friends (deliberately). Our very first cruise was on Radiance back in '08 in Alaska. That has got us hooked unto cruising so it was going to be interesting to come back after several cruises, with a few companies,and to compare. Also we planned this with a few friends of our age group. OK, staring at the start, we were a bit worried about Melbourne as a departure point. Melbourne is not usually a customs clearance point, so we were worried a little about the whole check in process. We shouldn't have been, it may have been a fraction slower, but not really noticeable. We went through a faster lane, which was very quick, our friends though had to come through the standard lines, which did take close to an hour. I think this was because everyone came at the same time, and there were a lot more without C & A privileges, which meant the queues were longer than normal. We got our rooms pretty much on 1pm, and we also sorted out our first night dining with our friends. We then went for a bit of an explore, and that first cocktail. The ship had changed slightly, but not a lot. Other reviews talked about it ageing, and showing signs of wear and tear. She is now 18 years old, and due for another refresh in a few months. If you looked hard, yes you could find things to comment on (and as an ex-mariner you could find fault everywhere if you wanted to), but the important thing was it was clean and tidy, the crew worked well to keep the presentation to a good standard, and nothing was falling apart. Food - this is a major part of the trip. We ate in the Windjammer, Main Dining Room (fixed times), Chops, Giovanni's and Samba restaurants, and the Park Cafe. The food in all the areas was very good. We did enjoy the food at Chops the best, but in reality it was all good, and came with great service. Tip for those at Sambas, its a marathon - not a sprint (there are seven meat courses, so pace yourself). The service as usual was spot on. Were were especially fond of out MDR staff who were very attentive, friendly, and just good fun to talk to. Windjammers, of course, could be busy, and you had to pick your times a little, but we could also take the food out onto the stern area, or to other quieter places if necessary. Park Cafe had changed a little and you could now get a nice salad there during the day. Lastly the guys at Cafe Latte-tudes were really good and friendly (if you didn't try to take advantage of them like some passengers did). Room - we had room 8088. it has the larger balcony on the hump. The interior of the room is the same as most balcony rooms, and spacious enough for us. The balcony was fantastic, and was spacious enough for outside lounges, we just couldn't get any (a disappointment). This would be a joy on those longer ocean voyages. There was a down side (and it has been raised in the past) that you can hear the music from the Centrum At night it can go up to 10:30pm. What you hear is the bass thump of the music. During the day its not too bad (quieter music or events) but there are some major parties in the evening. Good thing is, if you are at the party you don't mind, and after 10:30ish it dies away and it is fine. I would probably book this room again if on a long cruise. The cabin staff were again spot on. Unobtrusive, but there when you needed them. Entertainment - being that we were with friends this time, we were quite happy to do our own things. The shows were good to very good (but not excellent), the musical tams moving around the boat were very good, and we enjoyed them immensely. The cruise staff were fantastic. We made friends with several of them, and we had a good time. It was really funny watching one of the team (all of about 23 years old) trying to run a music quiz with 60s or 70s music when she freely admitted her parents weren't even born then, while many of us lived through it! She did a great job. The biggest disappoint was the poor entertainment up in Starquest late at night. Basically preplanned music most nights. so no real soul to the place. New Zealand - Fan-bloody-tastic!! The fiordlands, Dunedin, Wellington and Picton were all magic, beautiful scenario, culture, history and people!! Unfortunately the weather did not permit tendering at Akaroa, a disappointment, but the crew compensated with an afternoon of quickly revised entertainment. NZ never disappoints and the beauty of Milford, Dusky and Doubtful sounds was awesome. A running commentary from an NZ Parks Officer made all the difference. I could go on for a while, but NZ is beautiful, and even in Wellington (one of their largest cities) the people are friendly and will tell you all about their culture or point to you to an ATM, nothing was too much for them. We didn't book any excursions through RCI as they were way (WAY) too expensive. We did have an idea of what wee wanted though, so we were able to sort ourselves out quickly once we got there. We were very lucky crossing the Tasman (twice) the weather gods were great to us, and made the trip so much enjoyable. As usual the staff made a big difference, there attentiveness, smiles and service are also an attraction for us on RCI. The ship may be getting old, but it is by no means overtly noticeable. The food was of a high standard, with some items being repeated on the menus, but changes were made every day, and that was enough (always too many options). Dietary requirements mentioned on the first day were relayed to all our restaurant bookings (a good touch). There was always some entertainment available, but with good friends and a number out out-of-the-way spots, you could just ave fun passing the time. The disembarkation at Sydney was smooth, and we were out of the terminal (and back to the real world) quickly. We will be back!!! Service, food and entertainment is just how we like it. Thanks! Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of ... Read More
Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of excursion. But boring just seeing the countryside.q when we got back to town couldnt find anywhere to sit or toilets open, civic centre closed, pub for patrons only (understandable, but no help if you have been in a bus for three hours and on fluid tablets). Dunedin was the same situation with toilet stops on the bus trip, needs more thought with mature age passengers. Food in dining room needs more variety, but served hot which was good. They need to be stricter with dress code or don’t bother. Theme nights were only in Windjammer. Breakfast and lunch in Windjammer were fine, salmon with poached egg for breakfast suites me, also the salads are great for lunch. Not available in dining room for dinner. Didn’t try any specialty restaurants. As usual drinks weren’t cheap, we bought a drinks package as you can get better coffee and bottled water, wine by the glass in the dining room was included, only get discount on bottles so better to drink by the glass. Felt sorry for couples where only one drank as you had to buy for both. Boarding, disembarking and tenders were well organised. They have a ramp they can use for wheelchairs to board tenders, would be better for all passengers more stable than the steps on platform. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were ... Read More
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were available at 1pm, excellent start to our cruise We had booked a balcony cabin on Deck 9 and on arrival our cases were waiting for us. The cabin was a good size, plenty of wardrobe/storage space. Bathroom was the usual size, the cabin was all in good order. Our cabin steward came along to introduce himself, Iwayan Eka Wirawan (Cabin 9516 13-23/02/2019). We had plenty of time to explore the ship prior to sailing and we were very impressed with all we saw. We ate in Windjammer, Park Cafe and Cascades . We found the food variety good in Windjammer although sometimes could have been hotter. The odd time we had lunch at Park Cafe it was good. Dinner at Cascades was very good we were on My Time Dining and was generally allocated our table by Jasper who was always very pleasant and helpful in seating us in the same area, generally table 499. The staff in this area, Velancio and Hanuraz looked after us very well. After our first visit they remembered what wine we had and my husband has a stomach problem and they made sure he got the food he required making any necessary changes he required. Overall the staff in the bars, restaurants and casino were very friendly and efficient. We thought the atmosphere on board the ship was very positive. The Captain, Cruise Director and crew were also very friendly and approachable. Our overall opinion of the ship and the cruise was excellent.the Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance ... Read More
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance of the Seas, the ship has definitely seen better days. We felt the maintenance could have been better. The railing on our balcony was definitely in need of stain. The ship in MANY places has rust showing. It just appears old. However, every other aspect of this ship was awesome. There is an indoor pool (with hot tubs) along with an outdoor pool. We went 1/24/19 for a 10 day cruise. The food in the dining room was good. The Windjammer I felt could have been better, but my husband was OK with it (we went there for breakfast and lunch). Staff is excellent and always around ready to help. Our bed was very good and I loved the pillows. Nightly shows/entertainment: Was not very impressed with the staff dancers/singers until their final night, where they were good. The entertainment they had other nights was very good. LOVED the Freddie Mercury (Queen) entertainer!!!! The piano player another night was also good! One of the staff singers Abby was also excellent! Overall we were very pleased with the entertainment. Ship Excursions we took (through Royal Caribbean): Napier panorama on a guided bus was nice with us hearing about an interesting town with lovely views. In Napier NZ we went on a sheep tour which included a sheepdog showing off his skills bring the sheep down from the hills. EXCELLENT and well worth the money. The owners provided us also with lamb rolls and tea in their garden which was just an added plus. The farmer also sheared one of his lambs, a 4 month old first time shearing) and that was cool to see. Interesting that the value of this one's wool was only worth $4NZ. We also went on an Akaroa Panorama bus tour which was great. This was our favorite port as it was beautiful and interesting. We also went on a Welling and Dunedin city tour, but were both disappointed with these towns. The bus driver one day pulled to the side of the road to explain about a house set back 3 houses (that we couldn't even see) and gave us boring information on this home for about 7 minutes. Neither town really impressed us much. The final day in NZ was totally on the ship touring Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds. If you have a balcony, try to book the side of the ship that faces the hills/fiords. This was totally beautiful and plenty of waterfalls. SO pretty! The final day we cruised from NZ to Australia through the Tasman Sea. Never before have I been seasick - enough to stay in bed. So if you have the slightest possibility of seasickness, bring pills. However, the doctors office located on the lower deck (I think 2) gave out free seasickness pills. And the office had a lot of people in it!! Driving into the port of Sydney the next day was beautiful!!! Be sure to be up early to capture this sight! We truly did enjoy this cruise. And though I bashed the condition of the ship, we are happy we experienced it! One additional side note: we could definitely see the rivalry between the Aussies and the Kiwis. They made fun of each other but said they did like each other. Hmmmm - I'm not sure I saw this! the majority of the ship is Australian and New Zealand cruisers. But there were certainly other nationalities as well! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way ... Read More
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way cruise from Sydney to Auckland. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, first cruise to NZ and the biggest ship we have been on. We flew into Sydney, the day before the cruise departed, just in case of airline delays or cancellations. We boarded at 11.30 am and in our cabins by 3.00 pm. There are 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian in our family, so as soon as we were onboard, we went to see one of the head waiters in the Colony Club, to explain our dietary requirements. All our breakfasts and lunches were in the Windjammers Buffet and all our dinners were in Cascades. Cascades wins hands down in the “fine dining” department and their vegan meals were delicious and plenty of it. The vegans were usually given 2 or 3 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts each, just to ensure there was enough choice. The omnivores were also taken care of. Prawn cocktails, crumbed prawns, lobster tails, escargot, Rib eye steak, sirloin steak, fillet mignon, rack of lamb, venison, pork loin chops. Sometimes I had 2 entrees and 2 mains. Sometimes the steak was too chewy, so I ordered more prawn cocktails. The Cascade waiting staff were great and Cascades is the only place where soft drinks are free. The alcoholic drinks are expensive (about 50% more than P&O Aust and Carnival Aust) because all prices onboard are in $US. The drink price also includes an 18% gratuity, but you won’t see this itemised on your receipt. A few prices; beers $7.75-$8.50, base spirit and mixer $9.50-$11.50, cocktails $11-$16, the “cocktail of the day” is always $10, glasses of wine $9-$16 USD. I bought the Deluxe Beverage and Surf and Stream (1 device) Package about 2 months before the cruise date when a special offer was emailed to me. It cost me $82.80 AUD per day. Once onboard, the Deluxe Beverage was $70 USD per day and the Surf and Stream (1 device) was $29 USD per day. The internet speed was good, but there were times when we were out of satellite range and no service. The beverage package supplied me with bottled water, cans of soft drink, real coffee, not to mention the alcohol. The entertainment ranged from OK to very good. The juggler, ventriloquist, the boy band, the impressionist and comedians were very good. The big production shows were about average. Windjammers closes at 9.00 pm, so if you want some supper after the show, the food is limited to The Boardwalk Doghouse or the Park Café located in the Solarium. Both close at 2.00 am. The Park Café has sandwiches, wraps, rolls, pies, sausage rolls, salads and desserts and it was all good. Now for the one negative part of this review, photographers. They are everywhere. At the top of every stairway in every entrance, on every boarding ramp, in every dining room, I even found one in my soup. An 8x10 inch photo is $20 USD. I suppose they are a necessary evil and help subsidise my fare. This was a good family cruise and I will cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge ... Read More
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge and free drinks added each day! If we had known that we would not have paid for the drinks package! However, there is continual pressure to up-sell to speciality dining and thankfully we had two occasions to do so because the main dining food was very average and lacked imagination and flavour. I resorted to 4 starters on several evenings rather than face another main meal. Wine service was non-existent due to the absence of sommeliers so our waiter and assistant struggled to keep up with service. Food arrived lukewarm... very disappointing! Radiance probably has the best Centrum experience around with all decks being able to look down and participate in whatever was going on below! However, try finding a seat!... RCI has now taken over a huge chunk of the coffee bar lounge with a Future Cruise office plus, don't expect china cups these days... paper carry-outs! contrast that with Celebrity's La Bachio, the most popular relaxing area for most people! The two re-fits didn't seem to include soft furnishings such as the chairs and carpets in the Champagne Bar which really have seen better days! However, as I said, it was a very happy cruise with friendly officers and staff and a new Captain who actually sang to us at the welcome meeting! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are easily accessible and navigate due it's simple layout. When she was launched she was the most advanced cruise ship on the waves but now, as lovely as she is, she is starting to look a little tired. Despite this, the service is 100% and in keeping with RCI's usual standard. My wife and I would not hesitate to sail on her again if the opportunity presents itself. NZ, as usual, was a pleasure to visit with every port offering a warm welcome and a myriad of shore activities to undertake. Would recommend shore excursions to Hobbiton, Rotorua, Rangitoto Island. Also, as Auckland is very much an America's Cup town, sailing on one of the two Americas Cup Class yachts berthed a Viaduct Harbour (near the Maritime Museum) is certainly a highlight! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the Sounds. Embarkation was a breeze, 1pm & straight onto the ship in 15 mins, disembarkation was a bit slower but easy enough, off the ship by 0830 after a hearty breakfast in the MDR. The transit across the Tasman Sea & return was smooth, the weather was perfect all the way until Day 8 when the wind & sea swell picked up as the ship headed up the west coast. Food & Bev; i enjoyed breakfast in MDR each morning, lunch was usualy a snack in the Park Cafe which was mainly meat, salads & fruit, occasional visit to the Windjammer which provided plenty of variety but i don't think it was fresh by the time i got there around 145pm (avoiding peak hour), the Park Cafe is a better choice. Dinner was mainly in the MDR, here the dishes were a bit mixed, some nice, other's were sometimes overcooked (e.g. the fish), but overall happy with meals in MDR. The service by staff was great in the MDR very willing to please, if not happy with meal just ask for a replacement which they readily provide. The price of Alcohol drinks is a rip off, $13 USD for a glass of Cab Sav, go figure, make sure you take onboard the max. alcohol you are permitted. The drinks packages don't interest me, i have the occasional coffee or coke, water you can refill at the drinks terminal around the ship, just fill a glass & pour into your container to fulfil health requirements by not putting your bottle directly onto water tap. Entertainment: the music around the ship was very good, 4 piece contemporary band & usual piano, guitar man in the pub, guitar & violin playing the Jazz Standards, the 2 piece Dance group. The theme nights went well, the 70-80s night & the Almost NYE party in the Centrum were good fun. The production shows in Aurora were the Piano Man & the City of Dreams, the former a bit tired the latter was a very enjoyable show. The Singers, Dancers & Show Band were excellent, they played the American Songbook in the Colony Club showing how polished they were with Count Basie style ensemble pieces. The featured artists ranged from poor to excellent for me, with plenty in the middle such as comedians etc. The Michael Jackson Experience was great, the audience could not get enough of TJ Capolla as MJ, he works hard & deserves credit for a entertaining show. Plenty of movies around the ship, top deck, the Cinema & Aurora Theatre. Plenty of dance classes to attend & learn some new moves, salsa, samba etc. The Cruise Director John Blair i liked a lot, I thought he handled the CD position very well, farewelling passengers as they disembarked was a nice touch. Excursions & Ports; the ports are all great, we got off the boat & wandered around the ports at our own pace, the Excursions from the boat are too expensive for me, you can book ahead for train trips at Picton & Dunedin. In Wellington we were lucky to see the Terracota Warriors ( at least about 30) at the Te Papa Museum. The ship is 17 yrs old being refurbished just a few years ago. I enjoyed the ship, its easy walking from the front to the back of ship, staff are always wiping down the handrails & cleaning the ship. The Solarium is an adults only area with a pool & spa, you can get a meal almost all day & night here, nice area to chill out. The gym is very good, all the equipment works & a good area for a stretch. The Centrum is the central place for most entertainment due to cool conditions on top deck. Plenty of sport facilities from basketball, mini golf, climbing wall. The only enrichment was a talk from a Parks Ranger when the ship was at the Sounds, unfortunately for me i could not make out much of what he was saying even in the lecture in Aurora, i'm sure he had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about. A fellow passenger i spoke to was very dissapointed there were no Bridge games, she advertised it on the "whats on" board but got only one person interested for a game. The Vitality Spa provide a much needed massage & a $50 voucher appeared in our room by about day 4, my companion enjoyed the massage & treatment. The Cruise Critic meeting went well, CD John conducted this with soft drinks & snacks provided, a 10 min mix & mingle was fun, 1 min talk then move to next & so on, a good way to find someone who lives in an enjoining suburb as it turned out. The Crown & Anchor meeting in the Colony Club was ok, the usual Captain & Crown & A speak. I thought the captain was invisible with this exception, i dont recall seeing him around the ship at all, ( i did not get to Dancing with the Stripes). The staff were excellent, guest services, cabin steward, dining room staff, very happy with everyone i came into contact with. The Parade of Flags by all the 37 (?) nationalities on the ship was a blast, pictured below. This is my 7th cruise with RC & i have enjoyed them all, would i go again ? yes, I'm a cruise junkie, enjoy meeting people from all walks of life & different places. Value for money RC suits my budget, but I would chose a more modern ship & try to avoid aft cabins if possible. Ovation is only 2 yr old with all the bells & whistles, Explorer & Voyager have the Ice Skating shows. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely ... Read More
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely people and really there was nothing to complain about. We did not have a meal in the mdr we did not like. As neither of us walk very well we were taken on board by wheelchair and it only took 20 minutes to be on the ship and likewise on our return a very efficient service. We had a cabin at the rear of the ship which was a mistake really. The balcony was great as it was sheltered and large enough for a table and two chairs plus two loungers, but it was a long walk to the lifts. We booked a grand suite for the beginning of December 2019 to New Zealand and got a great offer on board with the Next Cruise people Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, ... Read More
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, although it seemed that too few tenders were being operated. The ship is still in good shape and lifts operated well. The decorations for the festive season were fantastic and the cruise director, John, and his team did a great job. He is one of the best that we have seen and he even did an afternoon tribute to Neil Diamond which was very good. The general shows were a mixture of very good to moderate but the movies were very limited and repetitive. The overall presentations for Xmas, New Year were wonderful. Few complaints about the food in any of the restaurants although a little repetitive. However, have to congratulate the wait staff who are all great, cheerful and willing to serve. These Filipino and Indonesian waiters are a great advertisement for cruise lines, including RCCI.We always had pre-dinner drinks in the diamond or concierge lounges and the waiters soon got to know us. These lounges are great draws for RCCI. Disembarkation was fast, ahead of time, and plenty of taxis at port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked ... Read More
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked after me. I don’t think there were as many choices in the windjammers. Coffee has improved a little. Room attendant was amazing as always. I don’t think there was as many activities to do on board unless you were prepared to pay. The shore excursions were overall good though expensive. The interior of the ship was nice everything easy to find. The digital cruise compass near the lifts was good if you forgot the paper compass. I think there was too much paperwork left in our cabin most of it is very wasteful. The beds could do with new mattresses. At the end of the day I love cruising and it’s hard to find complaints. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a ... Read More
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a lovely ship with a few spots looking the worse for wear. We felt right at home since our 40 year old home also has a few of those! There did seem to be a very friendly, cheerful ambiance on the ship that I believe starts at the top. Embarkation was very efficient--one of our best in 16 cruises. Disembarkation via express, carry your own luggage was very popular and maybe the large express group needs letters or numbers to be called in stages also. Overall, dining was quite good. Mostly, we had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. I could find enough breakfast variety to eat for a month in this venue. Three times I had breakfast in the Park Cafe to avail myself of the lox and bagels and fixings I enjoy very much. We had lunch in the main dining room once. I had the Tutti salad I loved in the past. It was good but tuna fish was the protein of choice. I missed the shrimp and prosciutto I had enjoyed in the past. Do I detect a cut-back? Had some good Indian food in the WJ. Plenty of choices to not go hungry. Thought the desserts here were very weak and repetitive and many dishes could use a bit more spice. We dined at Giovanni's for lunch one day and they put on a spectacular feast. Everything was delicious. We shared appetizers and pasta and had our own entrees. I highly recommend this $15 lunch special. Best meal of the cruise but of course, it was a specialty restaurant. Desserts were ones we still dream about and service superb. Salvador and Bennie were our fixed dining waiters and took very good care of us. Their job is extra hard because they have different numbers of people showing up on different nights. They made sure we were stocked with the brown sunflower seed rolls we cruise for. Overall the food was quite good. One night we had a wonderful lamb shank. I missed the wonderful rare thick lamb chops we have had on a couple of cruises. I had a couple of the sugar free desserts which were pleasantly good. Dinner desserts were much better than the WJ. With limited changing menu choices, I think they should avoid 2 steaks or 2 chocolate cake choices on the same menu--just my preference. Thought the cruise director John was very good. His afternoon Neil Diamond show was one of our favorite entertainment offerings. OA, the entertainment was pretty average but seats more available. Sea Day trivia was very well done with most of the questions just about right in the degree of difficulty. Hannah, James and Sophie did a good job. Played bingo once--very expensive and games are too short. My favorite game was the football goalpost which took a while. Prizes were good. Enjoyed the Hawaiian duo. I would also like to see more classic country music on the ships. We were sorry to miss Hilo. They subbed an ON in Lahaina instead. We were doing several nights on Maui after the cruise so this was not quite as good for us. Weather on the cruise was lovely. Hawaii was rather hot and humid due to recent hurricane activity which caused no problems for us. Our group usually plans its own excursions. No children in our group. I always have fun and a good time on cruises and my first on ROTS filled the bill nicely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship ... Read More
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship prior to our cruise and saw quite a few negative comments. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship and the crew. From our room stewart to the wait staff in the main dining room to most all the crew we encountered, everyone was pleasant and very helpful. The ship is older, yes, but it is not falling apart. It was clean everywhere. We booked a junior suite and had plenty of room. The closet was large and the room was big. The food in the MDR was good as well as, of course, Chops Grill. We were not impressed with Giovanni's or the brazilian steakhouse, Samba. That might just be our personal taste. There was not too much in the way of entertainment but we usually do not attend to many shows. We did go one night to a comedian which he was very good. Most people on the ship were 40-50-60ish but there were also a lot of kids and younger adults. We had booked all our excursions prior to boarding the ship so we did get them at a discount. One excursion, dog mushing, was cancelled due to weather and no snow on the glacier but we rebooked at the dock to another helicopter onto a glacier which was awesome. All our other excursions were great too. In Ketchican, we went on a boat ride and after had a delicious lunch of all you can eat dungeonous crabs. We definitely recommend this excursion. Next stop was Icy Straight Point where we went out on a boat for whale watching. We did see whales and orcas. Then Juneau where we went up on the glacier. Next was Skagway where we enjoyed a wonderful salmon bake. We ended in Seward and continued on to the land tour. Starting in Anchorage we boarded the Wilderness Express train to Talkeetna for one night, then onto Danali by train for two nights and finally by a third train to Fairbanks for two nights. Although we thoroughly enjoyed all the sights, we wish we had had the itenerary for this land tour ahead of time. No food or extra excursions along the way were included in the cruise price. And food is VERY expensive in Alaska. Plus in some of the places you are very limited on places to eat. You are also very busy everyday especially if you went on the extra excursions that were not included in the price and were also expensive. Plan on spending about another $2000 on food and excursions. That doesn't include any souveniers you may want to buy. The three train rides were fabulous and most all of the excursions included in the price were great except for the salmon bake in Fairbanks. Of note, the bus ride into Danali National Park was long, about 8 hours, and was on a remodeled school bus. The only time you could get out of the bus was on bathroom breaks. You could only take pictures from the bus windows and on the bathroom breaks. We did see some wildlife but mostly from very far away and you really needed a long range camera len to get close up pictures. We absolutely enjoyed our cruise and land tour and would recommend it to anyone wishing to go to Alaska. It is a bucket list place. Read Less
Sail Date August 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
Sail Date July 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
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
Sail Date June 2018
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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