309 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Radiance of the Seas June 30-July 14, 2017 Built: 2001 Tons: 90090 Cabins: 1061 Last drydock May 2016 The Good Great Service overall. Specialty provided solace from the roar and crowd of the main dining. Best ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas June 30-July 14, 2017 Built: 2001 Tons: 90090 Cabins: 1061 Last drydock May 2016 The Good Great Service overall. Specialty provided solace from the roar and crowd of the main dining. Best Junior Suite ( JS) in the industry Best maintenance crew in the industry. Best bread in the industry (Giovanne’s had the best bread on the ship). Excellent cabin steward. Followed our printed list of preferences, the best we’ve had in the last several cruises and seemed to anticipate our needs. For example, once our kleenex got moved to our night table stand (where it usually goes when we’re sick), he added another box. Liked chairs outside deck 10 elevator. Mobility challenged passengers should pick deck 10, since not all floors have chairs near elevators. Deck 10 also has the card room just forward of the Centrum. Another great place for mobility challenged to rest. Room Service Calls Before they Deliver Security was out in the wind on one day, and after I complained, we later that day, we noticed they’d moved it inside. The Bad We paid 30% more for high summer in Alaska, and the cruise line filled the ship. I told the travel agent I expected it to be 30% better, but long lines and packed dining room doesn’t make it 30% better. On leg two, children ran unsupervised, and we caught one boy pushing all the buttons in the elevator. On formal night, dog dressed in a formal w/ a tiara sitting in a stroller. Why not let a dog be a canine? Seward Port - No covered gangplank between check-in area and ship. . Long open area from the building to the ship. Few wheelchairs available for mobility impaired. One man left in the rain sitting right in front of the gangplank, because they took a while finding crew to push him up the rampNeed a building right next to the ship. BTW, I’ve needed a wheelchair too, and I always tip! Room Service - $7.95 fee for all but continental. Another price grab, and while more food choices, they were NOT better than before. Steward carts blocking the hallways made it hard for mobility impaired. And they could have move them forward or backward 10 feet to a wider part of the hallway, but didn’t for most of the cruise. Noisy crowded dining room. Tables packed in like a jigsaw puzzle. Window seats had to wait for their table neighbors to leave before they could exit. On our second leg, we ended up eating in Specialty most nights, because of the crowded condition in the main dining room. Kept getting paperwork meant for another cabin (final bill found next door). Open bookings no longer offered. No passenger aft elevators. Aft cabin passengers must walk half the length of the ship to reach first elevator. And no sitting areas to rest in between. Missing second bag of laundry on first cruise. We got a bag meant for another cabin. Diamond Concierge put the Laundry Boss on the case and he found it later that evening. 48 hour shore excursion cancellation policy. Diamond Plus Laundry Bag only accepted on day 4 and back by late day 6. In time to pack for home. Heard people moving furniture above us at 4 am daily. Extra Tidbits: If you have mobility issues, don’t book near the stern. It’s a long walk with a limp. No more Specialty in location of Samba grill. Samba Grill was wonderful, but any Specialty in that part of the ship is now off our list. Only access to restroom was via the outside deck in the rain and cold wind. The waiter was kind enough to help me to the restroom in the rain with an umbrella. JS coffee pots didn’t fit provided coffee filters. Either let them overflow everywhere, or remove some of the grounds. We solved the problem by cutting a hole in the filter and dumping out some of the coffee. If you’re in a JS, pack some one-cup coffee filters, and you may get seconds. Housekeeping manager seemed to think we needed 2-cup filter packs, but I’m not sure 2-cup are available. Most hotels these days use two one-cup filters. Glad to see the Housekeeping Manager visit us in the Diamond Lounge asking for feedback. We told him about the carts blocking the hallway and asked them to move the carts a few feet down to the wider part of the hallway, and he promised to handle it. That evening after dinner, most of the carts had been moved, but not all. Small cruisecritic meet and greet. No welcome gifts. Our Diamond Concierge told me that once a passenger handles a flyer, they must be trashed for norovirus prevention. And I consider this a great idea! Post cruise evaluation asked if any crew had begged for a perfect score. DH’s scalp got itchy after using Royal Caribbean’s mystery shampoo. It was o.k. after using the bottle from our bathroom counter in the JS. Kenai Fjords Cruise with Lunch was misleading. We only saw Kenai Fjords National Park - Bear Glacier across the water. It really was a wildlife cruise in Resurrection Bay. White Pass Scenic Railroad Legacy Car - Clean Windows, Swivel Seats Kenai Fjords Cruise with Lunch was somewhat misleading. I thought we were going into the National Park, not TO the National park. They may have changed the title of this excursion to “ Seward Wildlife Cruise with Lunch and Airport Drop-off - SW10.” Ours was the return to ship option. But the description at RoyalCaribbean.com closely matched our excursion. The company that offered this ship actually has a 7-hour cruise that looks like it goes into the actual Fjords. At Mid-July, the boat was filled with screaming kids. The tables were bolted to the floor, and very close together. My husband tripped and fell, skinned his knee and had a three-inch diameter bruise on his chest. Most shore excursion companies take a report, but these people didn’t. We got more help from the other passengers than the excursion crew. Long walk to end of pier hard for mobility challenged. We asked for help getting off the ship, and they promised. But help never materialized. Did it make the Sale? Yes! We’d planned to make this our last Royal Caribbean cruise, but they’re still on our list. We didn’t buy a open/future booking, because one sales expert told us we couldn’t combine it w/ a current offer, and the other told us they didn’t sell the open/future bookings anymore. We’re not too happy with having to pay the full deposit on our next cruise tough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Alaska exploration is more about the destinations than cruising itself. You spend significant time off the ship so keep your expectations low vis-a-vis other cruise ships that are more focused on the cruise experience itself. The ship is ... Read More
Alaska exploration is more about the destinations than cruising itself. You spend significant time off the ship so keep your expectations low vis-a-vis other cruise ships that are more focused on the cruise experience itself. The ship is certainly not state of the art in terms of interior decor but nevertheless clean. Facilities are average - Table Tennis OK, Basketball good, mini soccer field. Swimming pool, sauna, spa. OK. Billiards room with chess, checkers etc. 2 cinema rooms - one big and one small. Windjammer is good for breakfast with a wide variety of items. One item is Indian - Poori masala, chana masala, semiya, upma. Main dining hall is pretty good. They have 1 vegetarian item for starters, main course every day. If you prefer Indian you need to let the waiter know and they will make sure to prepare that everyday - it will not be listed on the menu. Typical Indian fare includes - Starter: Samosa - below avg (frozen small samosas), Onion pakora - very good, Aloo Bonda - excellent, Bhel mix. Main course is typically rotis (below avg - frozen square pieces), one dal (rajma, chhole, masoor dal, etc.), one veg dish (aloo, bhaingan, mixed veg) and plain rice. Some days they give you seasoned rice (Jeera pulav or Plain basmati rice - other days it is not basmati rice). Ask for regular yoghurt (not greek) as it is not served by default. Dessert selection is really good. In addition they offer ice creams (butter almond is great). Room maintenance is twice a day - they do a very good job in replacing towels and cleaning the room. Shore excursions - do not book thru RCI. We rented cars everywhere Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway - saves you a ton of money. If you want to do flight seeing or kayaking you can go thru viator or other online companies. Given all of it, the inside passage is really what you are paying for - it is a great experience one should undergo at least once in their lifetime. If the price is right just do it ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our family of 7, age ranging from 5 to 61, travelled from Vancouver to Seward on our bucket list cruise. For my husband and I, it was our second cruise, having been to the Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas, but for everyone else it was ... Read More
Our family of 7, age ranging from 5 to 61, travelled from Vancouver to Seward on our bucket list cruise. For my husband and I, it was our second cruise, having been to the Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas, but for everyone else it was their first cruise experience. We spent a couple nights in Vancouver prior to cruise, staying at the Rosellen Suites within a couple blocks of Stanley Park and shopping. We rented bikes and biked the Sea wall - 4okm one day. Beautiful relaxing way to see the city sights. Highly recommend biking early in the morning to avoid crowds. The second morning I tried out the Shaw Mobi bikes (grab and go from various spots in city) and cruised the sea wall again. Loved it!!! Enjoyed our breakfasts at the Red Umbrella Cafe, and amazing dessert waffles at Nero’s Belgian Waffle Bar. We went to the ship around 2pm and had a very quick embarkation process. Being crown and anchor members we got into the quick line up, and within 15 minutes we were on the ship, touring. Our rooms were ready, and after checking them out, our luggage had arrived. It was great timing! Being a warm sunny day, we headed straight for the main pool, and soaked up some sun while we could. We grabbed some lunch from the Windjammer and had an amazing afternoon on the ship. At 5:00 we had to meet for the safety meting, however we were lucky and just had to go the theatre. It was quick and painless. For Canada day on board the ship we took part in Canada Day trivia - lost the tie breaker, and won the family scavenger hunt. Prizes were very sad - highlighters, key chains, etc. It was nice to see them decorate for Canada Day and have some special events. Ketchikan was our first port. As expected it was cool and rainy. We walked to Creek Street and strolled the area. My grandson and I checked out the museum and then it was time to meet Deven for our kayaking adventure with Ketchikan Kayak Company. Deven had made arrangements to fit our family in when I contacted him prior to our trip, so we were fortunate to have the owner himself do our eco tour. He took the 5 year old under his wing and taught him many things as he showed him all the sea creatures as we kayaked. My 22 year old daughter had been afraid to kayak, but she had more confidence with Deven as our guide. Having a private trip, was an amazing experience, despite the wind and rain that came up at the end. No whale sightings. Deven offered to take us to Totem State Park to make up for cutting our trip short due to the strange weather, but we were all happy with crackers and smoked salmon spread :) Highly recommend Ketchikan Kayak Company. Icy Straight was a rainy day again. We walked into Hoonah after getting some wifii at the restaurant just off the ship. Hoonah just reminded us of communities around home - nothing exciting, but the walk had some beautiful views. We could have sat on a bench for hours watching for whales, however, the rain made us hurry back. We went back on the ship for lunch and then ventured out again with my grandson in the rain. He enjoyed skipping stones and strolling the nature trail. Beautiful spot for photos. Back on the ship, we were fortunate to watch a pod of orcas from our balcony. Despite there not being a lot to do at the port, we enjoyed the nature viewing and relaxing time there. Juneau was our 4th of July stop. I had planned on taking the local bus out to Mendenhall to see the glacier, but due to the holiday that was not an option. We had to splurge $35 per person to take the Blue Bus. We hiked to Nugget Falls and enjoyed the glacier sights and the power of the falls. The 5 year old was able to walk the majority of the way without complaint, in the rain. We were not able to make it back for the parade in town, and ended up catching a white bus back instead of waiting longer for the blue bus. A porcupine walked over to the crowd waiting for the buses. After lunch on the ship, my husband and I took Mount Roberts tram to see the sights, and the others strolled town. It was still a little foggy and very wet up top, so we did minimal hiking - saw another porcupine. Overall the tram was not worth the money that day. We had a quick drink at the Red Dog Saloon - cool spot right by the ship’s dock. Skagway was our favourite port, but that might be because we woke to our first sunshine. Three of us took Frontier Excursions and Adventures bus to the WhitePass route, stopping at various places for photo ops. It gave us a good look at the scenery of the area. My grandson enjoyed drinking out of his first water fall. After lunch on the ship, we ventured out on a hike - Lower Dewey Lake. It is easily accessible from the cruise port area. It started off with a steep climb, but became an enjoyable hike through the forest to a very peaceful lake. We did not have time to explore further on. We strolled town after the hike and bought shirts at the Alaskan T-shirt company for a very reasonable price. We watched a beautiful sunset from our balcony that evening. I awoke early and got a spot on the Heli pad to see Hubbard Glacier up close. The wind was cool as we waited the arrival. It was exciting to hear the calving/ thunder and see the majestic glacier up close. We did not get as close as they usually do, due to the number of icebergs, but it was still amazing. We were able to watch as we ate breakfast on our balcony. They then rotated the ship so all could see. I did not really need to wait on the heli pad, but it was nice to see the whole view as we approached. We disembarked on our own at Seward, walking off with our luggage around 9am. No waiting in any lines!! We stored our luggage at Harbour 360 Hotel for $5.00 an item as we were taking the Anchorage Transfer at 6pm. We caught a shuttle just down the block for $15. per person to Exit Glacier. We enjoyed this hike, getting an up close view of the large blue creveses. It was sad to see how much it has changed over recent years. Thankfully there was a waiting room with great wifi that we were also able to hang out at, as my grandson was beginning to come down with the flu. We strolled the harbour area, seeing seals and sea otters. We had great smoothies from Nature’s Nectars, and some amazing sundaes from an ice cream shop across the road, Harbour Street Creamery. Our transfer to Anchorage by mini bus consisted of only two others and our family so we had lots of room. The large windows allowed for great views of the amazing scenery. We stopped at Summit Lake Lodge along the way, for a pit stop. What a gorgeous peaceful spot. The restaurant had amazing desserts and ice cream, too! Our grandson loved his experience at the Ocean Adventure kids program. He chose to go there for about three hours daily, usually while we were having our dinner at Cascades. He took part in a pirate performance at the Centrum. We were very impressed with the programs offered. Our grandson can experience anxiety in new situations, but he was very comfortable with the people there right from the start. Cascades - We enjoyed dining at Cascades nightly. We liked that it was not too formal so we still felt comfortable. We were able to sample everything we wished, and received the best service from our waiters Reegan and Ronald. It was a relaxing couple hours, and we were even able to see whales during our dining experience. Windjammer - The Windjammer was our go to for breakfast and lunch. There was variety to please everyone. We loved the ice cream bar. Fitness Centre - Worked out a couple of times, but never joined a class. Was disappointed when I went at 6am and it was closed, but I discovered after that it was likely open from the outside. Better signage about how to get in, if the spa door is closed would be nice. Hours could even be earlier than 6:00 to give lots of time to workout prior to excursions. Shows/movies/ activities/casino - We never attended any shows. Kids watched one movie, but it played again on another day. Grandson participated in juggling lessons in the Centrum and we watched family feud, egg drop, etc. Always lots going on. Rooms 8512, 8513, 8511 served our needs well. It was nice having one balcony for the group despite the higher cost. We loved our cruise experience, and our first time cruisers are looking forward to their next! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Radiance class is our favorite and we wanted to see Alaska. The land trip was wonderful...all hotels were nice and the tour guide, Lynda, and bus driver, Ashley, were better than amazing! The ship staff were wonderful! The only ... Read More
Radiance class is our favorite and we wanted to see Alaska. The land trip was wonderful...all hotels were nice and the tour guide, Lynda, and bus driver, Ashley, were better than amazing! The ship staff were wonderful! The only reason for taking a star off is the main dining experience has gone down a bit. It was very clear that the wait staff and chefs are not able to handle milk allergies, a surprise since we have had wonderful service on other ships. It can be as simple as offering steamed vegetables. Fortunately, that is an easy allergy to self-manage, whereas a peanut allergy could be a disaster. Also, the sheers and drapes in our cabin were in terrible condition but that must be hard to keep up with if passengers are not careful in opening and closing balcony doors. All in all, it was a great cruise and we would definitely sail Radiance again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
There was 9 of us (all different ages) and we had a great time. Boarding around noon (start time is 11) took us about an hour, I would go later next time... like 2ish. The two days at sea I didn't feel good, we had to make up time for ... Read More
There was 9 of us (all different ages) and we had a great time. Boarding around noon (start time is 11) took us about an hour, I would go later next time... like 2ish. The two days at sea I didn't feel good, we had to make up time for leaving late so we were going faster then normal, Dramamine helps!! The ship was big but not too big with plenty of things to do - I was surprised at the lack of shows though, I think there was 2 or 3 the whole time at sea? The service was great, our cabin attendant as well as dinner staff, everyone was so nice and accommodating. Also, the drink package is a MUST, so worth it if you are going to have more then 4-5 drinks a day. All of the ports were awesome, with a wide variety of excursions. They all had a lot of things to do minus Icy Point Straight where you pretty much need to book something.. even if its just the zip line. Bottom line, I would go again on this exact ship, had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this ship for the itinerary because it had the best ports and the most amount of time in the ports. Really didn't like boarding the ship and having to walk a gauntlet of people hawking everything from the beverage package ... Read More
We chose this ship for the itinerary because it had the best ports and the most amount of time in the ports. Really didn't like boarding the ship and having to walk a gauntlet of people hawking everything from the beverage package to specialty dining to WiFi access. We had plenty of opportunities to arrange for all that long before sailing. Just felt that they were always trying to make more money off of us. The ship is showing it's age and really needs a refurbishment. Age and wear was evident everywhere (in the carpets, wood, style. The quality food in the main dining room was sub-par. They probably do this to push the specialty dining. We've been on other RCCL ships, and in fact, two of the other sister ships in this class, and it seems to get worse with each cruise. And we're not big eaters but do know good, well-prepared food. Entertainment was okay. They've done away with the big production numbers. It was just comedians and singers. One thing that hasn't changed is the great staff. Our cabin steward was great, as were the dining room staff. We, unfortunately had to use the services of the medical facility and the doctor and nurses were amazing. Very caring. The best part was the amount of time the ship stayed in port. It was much longer than other cruise lines. Really appreciated that. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We reserved this cruise because we wanted to see Alaska, as well as the diverse life that Alaska and its surrounding waters has to offer. We were not disappointed. We booked a cruise tour, which was comprised of a 7 day cruise followed by ... Read More
We reserved this cruise because we wanted to see Alaska, as well as the diverse life that Alaska and its surrounding waters has to offer. We were not disappointed. We booked a cruise tour, which was comprised of a 7 day cruise followed by a six day land tour. Embarkation in Vancouver was a confusing mess. It took us awhile to get through, made worse by having to pass through US customs before boarding. We have Global Entry, so we were able to skip much of the line, but it didn't seem like a higher Crown and Anchor status helped at all. The cruise itself was amazing. We only had bad weather on one day, and that was the day in Icy Straight Point. During the voyage, we were able to see Orcas, Humpbacks, Sea Lions, Eagles, and many other animals. We bought a pass to the Thermal Suite, which allowed us to sit in the Warming Chairs in front of a large window and watch the cold views slide by, warm in our chairs. The Diamond Lounge and the Diamond Concierge (Laura) was friendly and nice. One minus was that the ship is filled with dining options that costs extra, and now that room service is an add on charge, it seems like a lot of time is spent trying to upsell you on better food options. The dining room has the same menus as the majority of the fleet, with each menu being named for a spice. For the first time ever, didn't eat in the main dining room for three of the seven nights, and chose instead to eat in the Windjammer. Entertainment was average on this cruise, and the entertainers were rather lackluster lounge acts, not up to the usual RCCL standard, but that was not why we were on this cruise, so we were willing to overlook it. One other minor issue was with the Casino. The casino seemed to be smaller than the other ships of the class, and felt cramped as a result. The Craps table was a miniature one that was less than six feet long, and this greatly influenced play, in my opinion. Day One, we left from Vancouver. Right next to the ship was a sea plane base, and we watched them come and go as we waited for the ship to depart. Day Two was a sea day, and since the Solarium was open to and filled with children in the mornings and afternoons, we avoided that area and spent our time on our balcony and in the thermal suite. Day three was a sunny day in Ketchikan. Day four was a visit to rainy Icy Straight point. Day five was a visit to Juneau, Six was to Skagway, and Seven was a sea day with a stop to view the Hubbard Glacier. The captain got us to within 800 meters of the glacier, and the video we got as a result was amazing. During this viewing, there was a table where hot cocoa and Bailey's was served in souvenir cups, and it was a great way to stay warm in the near freezing temperatures. We then entered Seward for the land tour portion of the trip... We got an up close viewing of the Hubbard Glacier and were able to Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
In 2015, we spent the entire summer touring the interior of Alaska in our motor home and vowed to come back on a cruise to enjoy the seaboard side. Thus the booking of this southbound cruise starting in Seward on June 9-16, 2017. ... Read More
In 2015, we spent the entire summer touring the interior of Alaska in our motor home and vowed to come back on a cruise to enjoy the seaboard side. Thus the booking of this southbound cruise starting in Seward on June 9-16, 2017. Although the weather was cloudy and rainy most of the time, we still got to see most of the beautiful scenery and enjoy a wonderful time on the Radiance of the Seas. The Cruise Director was an awesome entertainer and kept the joint jumping every night. The ship was beautiful, the shows were all very good and the food was good as well. The Windjammer was a constant traffic jam and seating was scarce. We found all crew members to be polite, efficient and very accommodating from guest services to our room steward. All in all, this was a very enjoyable cruise and we plan on doing it again in a few years. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise because I got a really good buy online. It was booked a year ago for $639 for an inside cabin with a $50 cabin voucher. A nice ship. The colors in the Centum (the lobby if you will) worked very well. I have a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I got a really good buy online. It was booked a year ago for $639 for an inside cabin with a $50 cabin voucher. A nice ship. The colors in the Centum (the lobby if you will) worked very well. I have a couple of small complaints: Signage not very good. Coming off an elevator at our floor still taking the wrong corridor to our cabin after a week. The food was so so. The Windjammer (main buffet) food was plentiful but a bit bland. Almost always there were enough tables to find a seat. The Cascades Main Dining Room was quite good and the waiter Anak was excellent. We ate there every night. We didn't try any of the extra fare restaurants. The entertainment was generally very good. Overall a good ship with some "reasonably priced" (ie: under $100) shore excursions. Customer Service was helpful. We had a problem with arranging to deliver our baggage to Anchorage. It took a day but they fixed it up. I would take a cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Ship was quite nice. Enjoyed the lobby. Loved the Solarium. Elevators gave a nice view of the ship. Embarking was easy. Disembarking was easy. Little bit of a hoop to jump through with luggage getting dropped off at a different ... Read More
Ship was quite nice. Enjoyed the lobby. Loved the Solarium. Elevators gave a nice view of the ship. Embarking was easy. Disembarking was easy. Little bit of a hoop to jump through with luggage getting dropped off at a different location from where the train drops you off. Had 1 interior and 1 ocean view cabin. Loved the bunk beds for the kids. Glad to have a view when chilling before meals or activity. Plenty of storage for clothes and luggage. Space organized well and felt comfortable. There were two outlets in main cabin and one in bathroom. **If you have several devices to charge, bring a power strip.** Dining: Dinner -- went to main dining room Cascades for most meals. Service was great. Food was good. Put it slightly below previous cruise line. They did a great job of menu choices each night. Breakfast -- Went to main dining room Cascades for one meal. Incredible food. Obviously it would take a little bit longer than buffet so went to Windjammer other days due to timing needed for activities / ports. Windjammer food was good. Line for omelets could get long, but plenty of other options to choose from. Lunch -- Windjammer buffet had a good mix of style of food. Went to Windjammer buffet. Food was really good for a buffet significantly better than previous cruise line. Enjoyed most all of them; especially Indian cuisine. Really loved the salad bar. Pizza was the main thing that was just OK. Desserts -- Yes. Plenty of choices, enjoyed them all. :) Entertainment: Went to the shows every night. Opening night show: grade B-, Comedy show: grade B, 1st Broadway type show (Piano Man): grade A-, Impersonator show: grade A+, 2nd Broadway type show (I think it was called City of Dreams): grade D, Magician: grade A, Closing show: grade B+ Enjoyed the pool in the Solarium. The movie theater was nice as well. Did not get time to do basketball, table tennis, rock climbing or mini golf, but they looked standard. Ports were amazing: Booked most of the excursions separate from the cruise. Ketchikan -- Boat tour for eagle watching. Saw many eagles, a few sea lions and a whale. Great excursion. OK shopping. Icy Strait Point -- did hike and zip line. Loved the adrenaline of zip line. Beautiful views. not as much shopping here. We did not do it, but heard the groups that went whale watching had awesome results. Juneau -- hiked Mendenhall glacier, whale watching tour and Roberts tram. Easy hike, Glacier was so beautiful. Whale watching tour was canceled due to high waves, but did see a whale from the shore. Took the tram and hiked to top. Moderate hike, but worth the view if weather is clear. Good shopping. Skagway -- White pass railway and bus back. Absolutely beautiful. Waterfalls, lakes, mountains, rivers. A plus. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) -- get up early to see this and dress warm. Breathtaking. To see, hear and feel the glacier calving, just wow. Seward -- took train ride to Anchorage. Another beautiful journey. Denali -- rented a car in anchorage and drove up to Denali for a few days. Unfortunately clouds prevented us from seeing the mountain, but the landscape and animal watching was second to none. Saw bears, wolves, caribou, moose and more. Our teenagers loved it, we loved it . Hope we get to do it again some time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Pre-cruise tour to Denali Our vacation began with a pre-cruise tour of the Alaskan interior. We used Alaska Airlines which has a monopoly on Alaskan flights. We enjoyed extra legroom in comparison with other airlines, and the flights ... Read More
Pre-cruise tour to Denali Our vacation began with a pre-cruise tour of the Alaskan interior. We used Alaska Airlines which has a monopoly on Alaskan flights. We enjoyed extra legroom in comparison with other airlines, and the flights left on time or early. We were met in baggage claim by Karen and quickly whisked off to Pike’s Lodge ( a rustic motor inn with stuffed animals in the lobby who looked better alive) and dropped off at 11. We waited in the lobby until our room was done at 1:30. Passengers picked up from the airport between 10 am and noon would be better served if pickup would start at noon. As Amanda at the front desk pointed out, the rooms are not guaranteed until 3. Since you have been assigned a specific room, you will not be able to check in until that room has been cleaned. There is a room for you to leave your luggage and a shuttle ($5) which will take you to downtown or the grocery store if you want to get going right away and have some lunch. We were about to finally stick our luggage in the storage room and go for a walk when it was announced that our room was ready. After dropping off our luggage, we walked down the road (no sidewalks most of the way) for 1.1 miles and had lunch at Taco Bell and shopped at the grocery store (which also sells clothes in case you forgot to pack something). There is an excellent ice cream stand across the street from the grocery store as well. At 3 pm, we met our tour guide, John, in the lobby and got an overview of our three day adventure in the interior of Alaska. As both Karen and John pointed out, if you haven't been to the interior of Alaska, you haven’t been to Alaska. The next day, we went on an excellent tour- Gold Dredge 8 Gold Rush History. We learned about the Alaska pipeline and panned for gold. Everyone manages to find some, and you can have the pieces made into a necklace if you wish. Our driver, Tom, took us to downtown Fairbanks where we stopped for lunch. We had crepe at a crepe shop, which was very good. After another night at Pike’s Lodge, Tom drove us to the rail station and we boarded the Wilderness Express to Denali. We loved the train ride. Not any wildlife to see per se, however, the views from the train were great and the service was excellent. We were not hungry, so we did not partake of the breakfast served in the bottom car, however, we did indulge in a few cocktails. Everyone seemed to enjoy everything- the food, the drinks, and the breathtaking scenery. Too soon we arrived in Denali where we left the train and joined the Natural History Tour. We saw moose and caribou from our bus. Very nice tour. We learned that few people actually see Mt. Denali- too far away and usually too many clouds. After the tour, our tour guide dropped us off at Denali Park Village. Regarding this hotel, where to start? John walked us over to building 800 where we were staying since our original building had its water heater go out. Building 800 is a nice, new building, but unfortunately, it appears that is so new that it is not ready for guests. You can turn on any channel you want on the TV as long as it is the History Channel. The signal is so weak that the picture doesn’t come in clearly although you can hear everything ok. So no TV. Then- wait for it- there was only lukewarm water in the shower and sink. The hotel staff tried to fix it to no avail. After waiting for 45 minutes, DH and I took showers anyway. Meanwhile, there are lovely fire pits outside burning gas which no one could use because it was too cold (flurries). We checked out the next morning and Tom drove us to Seward. We stopped on the way at an historic cafe and took pictures of where Mt. Denali was, hiding behind the clouds. We then drove to Anchorage where we stopped for lunch. We had pizza at the mall located only a block from where Tom dropped us off. We then completed our journey to Seward, seeing more moose along the way. Radiance of the Seas Finally, I start my review of Radiance and the cruise itself. Radiance is a lovely ship. I loved his sister ship, Jewel, which DH and I sailed on in Europe in 2008. Some reviewers have stated that the ship needs new carpet and that there is rust. Well, there is rust here and there- but give her a break, she’s exposed to the sea 24/7. The carpets looked new to me and everything seemed nicely furnished. Albert did a great job taking care of our cabin and he always had helpful advice on ports. Food As for the MDR, I would have to agree with other guests that the food has gone downhill. There are smaller portions, which is a good thing as there is so much waste of food on cruise ships. Where there was formally a menu consisting of two pages (both sides), all of the dishes are now listed on one page. Likewise, there used to be four courses- app, soup or salad, entree, and dessert- now it is: starter, entree, and dessert. There are dishes available every night- “classics”. There is one vegetarian dish in the classic section and one new one each night. I often skipped the entree. In Windjammer, some selections were good- the crepes made one day as a speciality, for example; others were rather blah. At least in Windjammer you can see what you are getting unlike the MDR. On the last formal night, we had Baked Alaska, however, it was not the traditional BA. This one featured ice cream with some sort of topping (not meringue) that had been torched. Another interesting dessert which was made specially one night in Windjammer: “Banana Foster” which consisted of caramelized bananas and strawberry?! ice cream. Maybe they ran out of vanilla. Dress Code The dress code in the MDR is not enforced. There were people in jeans every night- even on formal nights. Some wore their baseball caps and t-shirts along with their jeans. Yikes. Some passengers did wear gowns, cocktail attire, suits, or at least a shirt and dress slacks. Three gentlemen wore a tux. Meanwhile, don’t try going to the Windjammer in a spa robe- even to get a glass of water. Apparently the buffet has standards even if the MDR does not. Ports In Juneau, seeing Mendenhall Glacier and the Glacier Gardens are recommended. You can do both on your own. There are tour buses for Mendenhall at the dock or you can take the number three or four bus (Mendenhall Valley)from the transit center for only $2, but you will have to walk aways to the National Park. We took the bus to Glacier Gardens and got a private tour of the trees and gardens from a very talkative guide. Great experience. We then took the bus back (Downtown) to the transit center and walked around to see all of the shops. In Skagway we went to the Red Onion which used to serve drinks downstairs (still do) while providing personalized entertainment upstairs (tours of the rooms are available) during the Gold Rush Era. We walked to the cemetery and around the town. Hubbard Glacier was beautiful. I liked my experience at Sawyer Glacier seven years ago better, however, as our ship went through a narrower passage and we got much closer to the seals resting on the floating ice. Icy Straight Point is a great place to view Bald Eagles (as is Juneau). The town of Hoonah is about a mile walk away (there are also shuttles available). The tourist area located right at the waterfront is very nice with gift shops, restaurants, and there is a small museum describing the old cannery which you can tour. Ketchikan was my favorite, I think. Lovely view of the mountains, lots of shops downtown, and hiking. We first did Rain Bird Trail, walking up the hill from the dock to the trail and then due to a closure of part of the trail, walked down the second stair case and visited the mall a few blocks away. We then walked back along the waterfront to the port and downtown areas. Entertainment There were comedians along with the cast of singers and dancers who performed two production shows. The first was a tribute to various superstar singers; the second is “City of Lights” featuring pop songs performed against the backdrop of cities like Venice and Bombay. The songs didn’t necessarily match the locales: Elton John’s “This Is Your Song” performed against the backdrop of a Venetian opera house- don’t get it. Maybe I just need to see more Las Vegas type shows. One performer- Edward- stood out in particular. He sang, played piano, and danced. Very talented. Our cruise director encouraged us to say hello to the crew, so DH said “How are we doing?” to a crew member dressed in overalls we met while viewing the ocean one evening. He practically ran away from us. Most of the rest of the crew were friendly and helpful. Spa I bought a week's pass to the thermal room and spent most of my time in there alone. Very relaxing, except for one occasion in which a family of four sat in the heated chairs talking the whole time. I guess they don't equate spas with relaxation, as well as peace and quiet. Acknowledgment Events We had a nice CC get-together hosted by two of the ladies in charge of activities. They raffled off totes and bottles of wine. We had a Top Tier Event for Platinum and above in the Colony Club. We each got one cocktail- DH chose the punch one with rum in it, I chose a green colored one that the server said had gin in it. It appeared that if you wanted a second one, you had to flag down one of the servers. I’m used to Celebrity’s events which feature cocktails with names and snack food as well. Royal’s events are obviously shorter and simpler. The captain was very funny and charming. He was as funny as the comedians. Final Thoughts Royal Caribbean’s fleet provide good value type vacations for middle class passengers. If I was affluent, I would try out some of the luxury lines. Celebrity- also RCI- is a step up with better food and more extras for non-elite members. There is a feel of a class system on both Celebrity and Royal’s ships. Clubs which used to be open to all on Celebrity became exclusive to the more elite members. There is a Diamond Club on Radiance for Diamond members to enjoy, and the Top Tier Event as usual included passing out a bottle of wine to the passenger who had the most nights at sea under her belt. Still, for the money, it would be hard to beat RCI. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise went on sale in March, 2016 for solo travelers. I got an ocean view cabin to myself for about $75 a day. That's a deal! Flying into Anchorage, AK, and flying home from Vancouver, BC, Canada made the air fare cost ... Read More
This cruise went on sale in March, 2016 for solo travelers. I got an ocean view cabin to myself for about $75 a day. That's a deal! Flying into Anchorage, AK, and flying home from Vancouver, BC, Canada made the air fare cost almost as much as the cruise. I picked the shore excursions I wanted, although a lot of them seemed pricey. My cabin was great. My cabin steward, Michael, was awesome. He knew me from the picture that was taken when I boarded so that when I walked down the aisle to my cabin, he greeted me by name the very first time he saw me! Michael took care of everything I needed, always had a smile on his face, and was wonderful to talk to. I chose 'My Time' dining so that I could go to the dining room whenever I was ready. That meant I usually sat at a different table with different people for every meal. Chit-chatting about the same thing over and over again got a little wearing, but I met a lot of very nice people. The food was great. For breakfast and lunch, I usually went to the Windjammer buffet. I never had a problem finding a place to sit except for the very last morning before we got off the ship. The Windjammer was especially empty during days we were in port. The ship itself is nice, but if you look closely, it could use some renovation/refurbishment. A few seat cushions in the Solarium had stuffing breaking out of them. Many of the chairs in the public areas were scratched or dented. The lectures by Dominique about the ports were interesting and helpful. She also gave a nice lecture on bald eagles. I went to one lecture by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The guy who spoke mostly read off his notes. But, the female speaker was much better. She related more details in her stories, and made us care more about the people in her stories. Entertainment was nice, but not out of the ordinary. I caught the tribute show to Billy Joel/Elton John/Barry Manilow. That was really good. The comedian I saw was also quite funny. I went to the Murder Mystery Dinner at Giovanni's. It had cheesy, hammy over-the-top acting, but it was funny. And, I enjoyed being able to question each suspect before determining who-dunnit. The ports of call in Alaska were fascinating. I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was my first ever cruise and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it. We had had a wonderful experience of driving through the Rockies then joined the cruise in Vancouver. Unfortunately embarkation was a bit of a nightmare with a ... Read More
This was my first ever cruise and I have to say I enjoyed every minute of it. We had had a wonderful experience of driving through the Rockies then joined the cruise in Vancouver. Unfortunately embarkation was a bit of a nightmare with a very lengthy wait to get on board. However once we were on it was really a great experience. Whilst the ship itself was a bit dated it did nothing to dampen our experiences. Whilst we were late in booking the cruise and could not get a balcony room our room was fine and we were looked after extremely well by the friendly and courteous staff. We dined at night in the main dining room - the food was lovely and plentiful.... in fact, too plentiful and our two waiters exceptionally welcoming and friendly. I loved all the shore excursions we did and the highlight was the helicopter and dog sledding tour in Skagway - a wonderful memory. Icy Strait Point was a highlight - at breakfast we met some lovely people from Canberra and New Zealand as well as some Americans and watched the sea life from the Windjammer Cafe. We also did a whale watching tour in Icy Strait Point but really didn't need to as the whales were out in force performing - incredible. Entertainment on board was quite good and we liked the piano bar later at night listening to the talented piano player. There was plenty to do on the cruise or you could just sit back and watch the world go by. I would definitely recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them ... Read More
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them again. Specialty dining was excellent in Chops and Sabatini's, but over cooked in Samba. Really enjoyed the Mystery Diner Theater although it was the same scenario as previous ones. Papeete excursion was very poor and selection throughout was not very appealing. Alaska excursions seemed overpriced.Great whale experience in Icy Strait Point. Right at the ship in port. WOW!!! Hawaii was nice, but again the excursions lacked inspiration and many were sold out prior to boarding, bummer.Nothing offered for B2Bers in Vancouver. Seemed like a lost opportunity. Disembarkation and Embarkation at both Honolulu and Vancouver were nightmare's. Poor organization on RCCL and bad operations by Customs and Border from both US and Canada. Memorable trip for many reasons. Glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Embarkation- A 5 hour wait at check-in at Canada Place. We were told this was a backup at CBP due to four ships there at the same time- (for this Cruise, we were pre-cleared so not necessary to go through Customs again after leaving ... Read More
Embarkation- A 5 hour wait at check-in at Canada Place. We were told this was a backup at CBP due to four ships there at the same time- (for this Cruise, we were pre-cleared so not necessary to go through Customs again after leaving Vancouver.) We arrived at 1:10pm. After a 1 hour wait for check-in, we moved to a waiting area so that the security line was not overwhelmed. They were moving 50 at a time downstairs to wait in the metal detector line before moving on to the second line at Customs. We had Global Entry so we were able to skip ahead of the Customs line but there was no signage for this. We had to ask and were moved to the Crew/Non-Rev line. We finally got on board as the safety drills were underway, so we waited at our lifeboat station with bags in tow. The ship left about an hour late. Food- food is always subjective but I felt the food on the Radiance was better than most other Cruise lines. I would give them an A+ for taste and variety. Quick table clearance in the Windjammer Cafe and smiling, eager to assist staff. Windjammer Café- Breakfast- Separate serving areas- One always for British- Fry bread, Beans, Bangers, Black Pudding, Hash Browns Corned beef hash, poached eggs. One for typical American- bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. There was always a carving Station for baked ham. Odd but they switched from a whole ham to what appeared to be a canned ham midway through the Cruise. There were also cold cuts, cheeses, bread, plus made to order omelets and some Indian selections. Lunch- Rarely ate at Windjammer but there was usually a Taco Bar, some Indian entrees, a salad bar, soups, pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Dinner- the grill typically had Steak, Pork Chops, Grilled chicken, and occasionally Lamb Chops. The carving Station had a rotating meat such as Leg of Lamb, pork Loin and such. Occasionally there was a made-to-order Crepe bar which replaced the made-to-order pasta bar. There was also self-serve soft serve available during lunch and dinner hours. Alternatives- The Boardwalk Dog House was open when the Windjammer was not- 4 or 5 types of sausages- Hot Dogs, Bratwurst, apple and Chicken, were typical. Sometimes they ran out towards the end. Park Café was open with make your own pizza or salad and desserts when Windjammer was closed. Food between 1am and 6am was room-service only as all restaurants were typically closed. On the in-cabin TV, the Food Service Manager mentioned that food may change based on the makeup of passengers so food types may be different on a future cruise. Bars- Lots of beer left over from their Australia itinerary-- Tooheys in the Quill and Compass pub, XXXX at the Boardwalk Dog House, but a decent bottled selection in most bars. I usually have found Alaskan Amber available on Alaskan cruises. On day 2, Rita’s Cantina got a makeover and all signage was replaced with Alaskan Amber signs, but the last time I was there, they didn’t actually have any Alaska beer on tap. The bar was open occasionally but bar hours were not listed in the Cruise Compass, only on channel 39 in the stateroom (which I never looked at). On the last day at Sea, Alaskan Amber and IPA was available in bottles. On Board activities- The Movie Theater was a nice touch and we did one movie there during the first sea day. Popcorn would have been nice but no such luck. The rock wall was usually open two hours a day, with sign ups ending :15 prior to the end. However, it was closed on cold or rainy days (aka most days in Alaska). Generally there were more activities than I have seen on other cruise lines. Service- all staff very friendly, and eager to assist and interact with passengers. In the Windjammer, there was someone finding available seats during busy times. Disembark- After a lot of thought, we decided on the train for a few more dollars and were glad we did. Much better scenery and the ability to get up and take pictures on the way to Anchorage. Overall this ship is in good shape and there were plenty of activities and an exceptionally friendly staff and crew. The public areas and cabins are in good shape. There was rust and wear on other parts of the ship, which is in needs of a refurb, but the public areas were all very well maintained. It feels like food and service are going down on many Cruise lines, but this was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and we were very impressed with both. I'll skip the port reviews of the more popular ports that get their fair share of reviews and focus on Haines and Icy Strait point. Haines - Docked at Ft Seward. Easy walk into town or shuttles available. As you exit the ship, turn right and follow the sidewalk on Front Street along the water into town . There is limited shopping. There are two markets if you want snacks. The Haines Brewery was busy all day. Their Spruce Tip ale was superb. Also the Haines distillery was in Ft. Seward if you need a last minute drink before returning to the boat. Ft. Seward is a nice self-guided tour of about 30-60 minutes with some small shops. Icy Strait Point- Whales! Whales! and more Whales! Five Whales were bubble net feeding right next to the boat. Another Humpback swam under the dock, and several more were along the shore. The Herring were running and the Humpback Whales were everywhere! We felt sorry for those who purchased a Whale Watching excursion as those boats were right next to the Radiance and we got the show for free! I would be surprised if the pictures didn’t make in onto the Royal Caribbean website since they were so close to the ship. We left 30 minutes late while both Passengers and Crew were on deck watching. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This was our 13th cruise with RC and our second on the Radiance. The ship was in good condition (NOT a rust bucket as one person described it). The cruise can be divided into three phases. #1 Getting on the ship in Hawaii was very ... Read More
This was our 13th cruise with RC and our second on the Radiance. The ship was in good condition (NOT a rust bucket as one person described it). The cruise can be divided into three phases. #1 Getting on the ship in Hawaii was very stressful after flying over from the east coast but it was not RC's or the ships fault. Boarding was delayed by our wonderful Govt. agencies that wanted to assert their power. Getting off the ship in Vancouver was a disaster as there were three ships in port and the facility could not handle 15,000 passengers trying to get on and off the three ships at the same time. We hope you never have to experience a situation like this. #2 The port visits (Tours) were very nice, weather was great and the tenders were very efficient. #3 Cruising from Hawaii to Vancouver wasn't great, very cool and the seas were a little choppy. The service on the ship was great, the crew did a very good job. Food in the main dinning room was ok I would say average nothing to right home about. The Windjammer food was typical of every ship we have been on with RC, good with a large variety to choose from. Staff in the Windjammer were very attentive. Our waiter and asst. waiter in the main dining room did a fantastic job We stayed in a GS, the cabin was in great condition and our attendant took very good care of us. Cabin #1534 We did not take in a lot of the shows but the ones we did see were very good. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The itinerary is what sold us on this cruise, and it met our expectations for the days in Hawaii. We loved having 2 days on the major islands, which gave us a great opportunity to see Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The 5 days at sea were a bit ... Read More
The itinerary is what sold us on this cruise, and it met our expectations for the days in Hawaii. We loved having 2 days on the major islands, which gave us a great opportunity to see Hawaii, Kauai, and Maui. The 5 days at sea were a bit harder as the weather was mostly cool,windy, and rainy, offering no opportunity for outside fun. Not many activities were scheduled during the day, so we adapted to a more relaxed schedule. Service from the staff was excellent, and food at dinner was very good. The Windjammer is pretty average, but the omelet counter was great for breakfast. The salad bar in the dinning room at lunch was phenomenal. Once we discovered it, we never missed a lunchtime! The entertainment was different every night, and the staff did a good job of providing added activities (at night especially). As to be expected, the bus ride excursions to the peaks of volcanoes became dull and tiresome. We will avoid those in the future. Due to unexpected occurrences, check in was problematic, taking up to 2 plus hours in line. Even though RC was not directly at fault, they should have provided more communication and man power to help the process move more smoothly and keep tempers in check. Similarly, the disembarking would have been easier with updates and communication. My only real frustration was the aged and deteriorating condition of the ship. Our shower curtain was frayed and mildewed. Seats in the Windjammer were ripped and dirty. These are easy fixes that could make the ship look much nicer and elegant rather than shoddy. If I were RC, I'd be embarrassed to sail this ship without replacing some of these worn elements. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The itinerary was perfect. The weather until we sailed to Vancouver was warm and beautiful - and let's face it, sailing to Canada in early May was meant to be chilly. The ship was overall, in good shape. I love the Radiance class ... Read More
The itinerary was perfect. The weather until we sailed to Vancouver was warm and beautiful - and let's face it, sailing to Canada in early May was meant to be chilly. The ship was overall, in good shape. I love the Radiance class ships for the glass/views, and the intimacy. Captain Trym was quite entertaining. The service, in most cases, was stellar. As others have mentioned, I don't like the "nickel and dime" approach RC and other lines are taking to steer you to specialty restaurants, etc. The entertainment was okay - some better than others. The new menu in the MDR leaves something to be desired -- while everything I had tasted good there were nights that nothing really appealed and we resorted to the old standby of a seared salmon filet. I long for the days of old in the MDR, when the food was themed and delicious, and the waiters dressed up. Unfortunately what turned this from an excellent to a very good vacation was the start and finish at the ports. Both were chaos and I hold RC responsible. I understand that there were issues with the teams doing the inspections in Honolulu, but that doesn't excuse the lack of signs and communication. People with walkers and canes had nowhere to sit in the heat - there was only one bench - when there was more than adequate seating beyond the security screening in an air conditioned area. Those in the venue didn't know where to direct you and it took two hours to get onto the ship. The same nightmare in Vancouver, if you booked one of the tour to airport excursions. The buses were late; we finally sat down on the bus at 10:45 when we should have been on the road two hours earlier. Upon complaint RC did refund 50% of the ticket to me but I felt cheated out of what could have been a great end to a wonderful vacation. It was chaos standing in line waiting on the buses, and again, no signs or communications were available until you made your way right up to the bus. Would I do this cruise again? Absolutely, And I would change my arrival and departure times and methods based on what I experienced this time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The ship overall was pretty clean and had nice amenities. The cabin was comfortable and kept extremely clean by the stateroom attendant. We ate at all the restaurants on board and the service at all of them were amazing. The pool, sports ... Read More
The ship overall was pretty clean and had nice amenities. The cabin was comfortable and kept extremely clean by the stateroom attendant. We ate at all the restaurants on board and the service at all of them were amazing. The pool, sports court and mini golf were great activities to kill sea days. The entertainers for the shows were spectacular. What really surprised me is how nice they were genuinely interested in getting to know you. I loved how the ship stayed overnight in Maui and Kauai. The Lu'au is a must see for anyone who goes. One of the best experiences in my travels. The spa was amazing an my masseuse who was Japanese was also an amazing Hawaiian dancer. Best massage I've had to date.The one thing that was not in doubt was the service. Some of the things I did not like were that the ship seemed understaffed and things like the gym and windjammer opened late. Cascades wasn't open long enough and you could really feel it on sea days because Winjammers just became Windjammed. The ship also did not have great size selection for merchandise in the shops or spa. Embarkation went well for some but not so well for most due some issues in Honolulu. Disembarkation took longer than anticipated and the tour buses were scarce so I had to cancel a tour or I would have missed my flight. There were numerous people who missed their flight and intercruises weren't much help. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The Cruise Director, Steve Davis, was over the top good. Still can't believe he taught 40 passengers to do Michael Jackson's Thriller zombie dance, which they actually performed to the music as a coordinated group in costume and ... Read More
The Cruise Director, Steve Davis, was over the top good. Still can't believe he taught 40 passengers to do Michael Jackson's Thriller zombie dance, which they actually performed to the music as a coordinated group in costume and makeup in the central plaza on the last night. Bravo. I liked the ship's performance of Piano Man in the theater. They had an outstanding pair of tenors. The Brazilian Tango dancers were also great. The food in the Cascades Dining Room was OK with only one miss. Don't order pasta. Orecchiette was not served fresh, being dried out and rubbery around the edges. The waiter knew it wasn't right too. He always asked how everything was except on this one night. Took advantage of a $50 off certificate in the spa and wish I hadn't. Had the 50-minute Swedish, the most basic of massages which every therapist should have down pat. Mine didn't. Barely touched my feet and didn't do my arms and hands at all. It's not like I have an icky skin condition or something like that and of course I showered before hand. What she did do felt like it took very little effort. Maybe she was only half awake at 8 AM, I don't know, but it was annoying to have to pay a forced gratuity for this poor performance at 18% of the pre-discounted price. The embarkation in Honolulu was torture. We stood in a line that snaked around a humid space for about an hour or so for no apparent reason before they let us in to the air conditioned space for check-in. Surely they realize that if you book a room the day before, then you have to check out by 11 or 12 on the day of departure and since there's nowhere else to go with your luggage in hand, they'd better be ready to start boarding at noon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest ... Read More
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest packages and now even ship tours. The other regular thing that seems to be the norm is price increases and it never ends. We were on this ship in Feb and did the Galley tour with lunch It was a good tour and we had lunch at chops grille. As we were on with friends we decided to do it with them and of course it was more expensive, less time and no chops Grille but just in the dinning room and it was about 10% more expensive than Feb. Overall however, great cruise, staff were excellent, Cruise Director and staff the best I have ever had. The food was great, and yes drinks expensive still however I did notice cocktail of the day went from $12 US to $8 US this cruise which was something anyway. The loyalty program is fantastic as we are Diamond Plus members. Room was all good and our Room attendant Janna was awesome. I have to admit my bucket list included a trip to Tahiti islands and Hawaii. If you are into water sports you will love them but apart from that they are super expensive and not a lot to do. After Tahiti I thought Bali was heaps cheaper and just as good I did my Pearl Harbor tour so I was happy. Now comes the BUT !!! Twice in 2 cruises now we have caught the dreaded Cold/Flu. I recall 1 staff member saying they had it for 15 days which would make me believe there is a big chance staff are spreading it. Both my wife and I were as sick as could be and she had 2 visits to the doctor which is a very expensive exercise. I was in bed almost the whole time from Bora Bora to Hawaii. We do cruise a lot but I am now starting to re think" is it really worth it" ? We paid a lot for this cruise and we spent at least a quarter of it sick and add to that the $330 AUS in doctors fees and it leaves a sour taste I know it is the luck of the draw in most cases and if you do not get it Great !! We enjoyed everything apart from the doctors bill and being sick Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our ... Read More
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our waiter and assistant waiter, Anil and Diana (Liying). They were a delight. Our cabin attendant, Butu, was also very friendly and kept surprising us with towel animals. The service aboard ship from all the crew was exceptional. As this was our 4th cruise we can only compare the entertainment with the others we experienced and this was by far the best. The comedians, jugglers, bar music, singers, dancers, and crew shows were outstanding. Our favorite shows were headlined by Contempo, two extremely talented singers from Australia. Wow!, they were amazing. Coming in at second place was everyone else, (however, one was a very distant second) almost all, very professional. Steve Davis and his staff deserve a lot of credit for keeping us entertained. Much of the time we were racing from bow to stern to engage in various games and activities, the most common of which was Trivia contests. If I had to offer one suggestion to the activities staff it would be to make absolutely certain of the answers to the trivia questions. There were numerous questions that had more than one correct answer which caused much confusion. Some of the same questions were asked at different sessions. The food; plentiful but not up to the level we had experienced on other cruises. Cuts of meat were sometimes tough and gristly. It was exorbitant to have to pay considerably extra to order "specialty" meals or eat in the restaurants other than the Cascades dining room and the Windjammer. Drinks (other than complimentary iced tea or lemonade) were outrageously expensive, $8+ for a Bud Light.! Mixed drinks for $14 was out of our price range, Ironically, room service was free so you could have a meal and glass of water delivered to your cabin, but you were charged if you opened the bottle of water in your mini fridge. Huh??? Our in-room safe malfunctioned, thankfully at a time we were able to get a security person to open it. This has happened several times to us on various vacations, once requiring the safe to be drilled open. Something to think about if you are disembarking and trying to catch an early flight. We always recommend that the safe be opened the night before to avoid a long delay. Little things that can be so easily corrected are often neglected. Walking the upper deck (day 1) we noticed that the basketball net was nothing but a frayed piece of string that was hanging from the hoop. What would it cost major cruise line to make sure that at the start of every cruise there was a useable net? Not a single air hand dryer was functional in the lavatories. Why have them? Why post on the Compass that saving of seats at the Aurora Theater was strictly prohibited when it is commonplace with no one monitoring the seating? We saw people put water bottles at seats to save them for numerous friends. Mini golf was all but impossible due to the rips and tears of the golfing surface. All in all, the ship needs a face lift to take care years of use and some rust spots. Some passengers complained about leaks and water coming from burst pipes. That is not a minor thing. Always a highlight is the opportunity to meet people from distant lands and this cruise offered that in spades, with many from all over Australia. They were all friendly and except for us being separated by a common language there were wonderful conversations. It was often difficult to understand the "lingo" of Aussies but we loved the interaction. They probably thought the same about us Americans. Lots of memories, a once in a lifetime trip we will treasure. Looking forward to our next cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - ... Read More
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - corridors smelt musty and rooms were drab with brown curtains and dated timber furniture. Our particular stateroom also had a bad drainage smell which maintenance crew were unable to rectify - overall this ship needs quite a bit of work in and around the staterooms however the common centrum areas were generally bright and modern and provided a good escape from the rooms. Quality and abundance of food throughout the ship was excellent as were the efforts of waiters and all activities staff. Captain was particularly personable and always willing to greet guests and particpate in oboard activities where possible. All in all good value for money and would cruise again only being more particular in checking on levels of fitout and recent refurbishments before booking any particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. Wonderful outdoor weather helped of course. We r two Australians in our mid 60s. One comedian onboard said he was 55 and the eldest of 7 children on the ship. Correct!. Most of the Australians had done the first part of the cruise in extreme heat over the top of Aus. We got on where they got off in Perth and headed down round the bottom of Aus to NZ where weather and seas are open to the extreme changes from the Antartic. We did have that cold breeze out at sea most of the time which kept people away from the pool and top deck but in ports we were very lucky. Note Feb. 2500 passengers on board mostly Americans and Europeans seeing the world and generally happy little vegemites considering they were very lucky able to do so. Always always in life there are those that just find fault in all but we find love in experiences. We enjoyed the variance and hearing about their homelands for a change. Someone told me they only write reviews if they are unhappy about something. Relate that this is a few reviewers opinion and we are all very different. Yes the ship is not new and yes in places is showing wear but she is kept spotless by incredibly hard working crew. There are discreet cleaners carrying little blue bags waving their disinfectant and polish everywhere. If people get sick it's because generally a passenger not wanting to miss out on his planned cruise has alighted with a bug and like planes they spread it no fault of the ship. There were people coughing and men particularly without using covering cloths. We managed to get off without a bug. As per most older ships yep showers are smaller with only curtains and no they don't supply condiments only liquid shower soap. I prefer my own. Our last cruise on this lovely size ship not too big not too small she had tea and kettles in room. I miss that soo much. I am one who just hates asking room service to walk a mile for a cuppa and also hate making myself look decent to find one. Every morning we chose to have breakfast room service such a luxury for me. We ordered tea and coffee same time which stayed nice and hot in their warmers. I am not sure what people expect food wise when I hear complaints. Truly. Blows me away. Service and food in Cascades was very good and varied. I was even asked if I was unwell the following night after they noted I didn't have sweets or was there something else they could get me. They as usual kept my bottle of wine nightly until finished for me. It was placed on table after I arrived. Love this service. We had lunches in Windjammer and a couple of dinners. Yes they do try to keep similar foods for those who prefer that. Lovely salads as condiments. The hoards at the daily burger pizza and chips bar. There is premade or make your own sandwiches with all types of bread. Always two soups and varied pasta or pie type foods. Wonderful varied steamed veg. For me I have a love for curries. Every day different and so tasty. Nightly they provided the cheese platter we always went inacquired at five and grabbed some on a plate to have with our wine on the deck. The grilled steak lamb salmon was incredible at night in there. Top quality and tender and done to your request. We found seafood prawns and mussels and most nights they seemed to have something as a theme. They had make your own pasta one night we were there and waffles to die for. Yes we also did the three specialty diners. For US75 each. Giovanies and Chops provided us a two table next to window lower lighting and rolling seas so ambiance yes. Izzumi no ambiance but Japanese food was a nice change. If you are on a budget in my opinion unless you want either of above don't bother. Spend the money on drinks. Drinks yes again in my experience always expensive on cruise lines unless you pay more for the all inclusive cruises. They do allow two bottles of wine only at your boarding port. All bags checked each other port just like getting on a plane so it will be confiscated until departure if you try it. I must admit. RCL this trip related how little people were using their bars and for some less enjoyment. Long cruise for as lot. About 8 days into our 17 day cruise they offered 10 drinks for US75 card. We purchased 2. Meaning for me I could enjoy a couple of usually 14US ea coctails daily for half price. My husband a beer drinker just used his normal seapass card for the cheaper option. Lager some bars only US5. I'm pretty sure people wary of the sell thing on these ships missed out because they weren't prepared to look or listen. I would suggest these excellent offers put there for our benefit be advertised in daily news letter. We found the nightly entertainment wonderful. From someone who has a husband who renegs at home on taking me for coffee! I Thankyou for the wonderful cruise happy entertaining staff and the ability to get taken out for Coctails dinner a show and oee the world. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in ... Read More
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in Sydney the day before as we always do and stayed in Pitt street. AS the Ovation OTS had taken our port spot we actually had to tender to get on the ship, which was a new experience. I had no issue as we were first on board. We had cabin 1094 deck 10 Junior suite and i will talk about that later. The ship is getting on a bit and looked just a bit tired in some places but well maintained and clean. We had My Time Dinning and we always enjoy it. I thought the food overall was very good with just a few issues like main course dried out a bit sometimes but it was all good. We did not go to windjammer for dinner but our friends did and said there was a steak station where you could go up and order a steak. This was a great idea, they loved it and 1 of those ship personality things. We went to 3 payed dining places Samba, Choppes and Giovani's which we bought a 3 package for $75 US. They were all good but nothing like nor anywhere near as good as when Portofino's used to be on Voyager of the seas. That was the best. As cruise companies do it is always cut back cut back, and as we had been to these places before we noticed some things available before our now not. The Diamond Lounge was just amazing with the concierge JD and staff making this the best Diamond lounge we have ever visited. I hope someone from the cruise companies read these reviews because let me say the cost of drinks on board ships in becoming pure madness.. About $14 US or $19 AUS for a glass of wine or cocktail is madness. $7.50 US for beer of $10 Aus. I have to say if i was a first time cruiser i would not return for a second. We are lucky we are Diamond members and get some drinks included otherwise i would stop cruising as it is getting to it's pricing limits. I noticed that a lot of people do not drink like they used to particularly when i can get a better quality wine in a pub for $8AUS. Radiance had a big issue of getting people off the ship, it was never easy and always took hours. The Radiance was a very happy ship, the staff were happy and very willing to make sure you enjoyed the cruise. Overall we enjoyed it but did not drink much lol Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
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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