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Embarkation I wrote about getting on and off the Radiance on the message boards, it was the worst of the worst. The Ballantyne Pier in Vancouver does not handle cruise ships well at all. Like most everyone else it took us almost 4 hours to get on board with long slow lines. The Windjammer was a welcome sight after that ordeal. The cruise to Alaska could not have been better. The weather cooperated only one day of rain, and beautiful scenery everyday along the Inside Passage. The first day was a scenic sea day. This is a once a year cruise that starts in Vancouver and ends there so the ports were a bit different. The Ports We started at Icy Strait Point and visited the Hoonah Salmon Cannery. It has been converted to a tourist attraction. There are shops a zip line, (which we did not try) nature trails, and an informational show with music and dance put on by the Tlingit tribe that lives in the local village. It was excellent, and is close to the pier. There was no problem getting tickets once we arrived. This is the only port that we had to tender in and we anchored just off shore. The next day we cruised the Tracy Arm Fjord all day, spectacular views. We saw a seal and her pup on an ice flow close to the ship. Some people said they saw bears on shore. We spent time on the helicopter pad up front and got a close look at the Sawyer Glacier, plenty of room on the ship out on the decks to view it all. The next day we were in Juneau, we took the ships excursion to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was well worth it, but we could have used about 30 more minutes at the site. There was a great visitors center with a film and a ranger narrated slide show that we saw that were both excellent. There was a waterfall that needed a 20-minute walk each way that we had to skip in order to meet the bus. It was hard to do it all in the time given. The next stop Ketchikan was the only day it rained. We took in the Lumberjack Show, a short walk from the pier. It was silly fun, and there was no problem getting tickets the day of the show. We enjoyed walking around the city with umbrellas and saw Historic Creek Street. We took a free shuttle near the visitors center (an easy walk from the ship) that gave us a feel for the area. We also visited what used to be the library, but is now a museum. There was an excellent art exhibit of the area's sites by local artists. There was a $3.00 fee, great exhibits on local fishing ! The last day was a sea day, with spectacular viewing the whole way. We saw porpoise, and whales. The Food We love the Radiance class ships, and though this was our first time on this ship we knew our way around and it felt like home. The new improvements are basically restaurants that charge a fee. Sea View Café is gone. We did not try any of them, except the old stand-by Chops. We had an excellent meal with wonderful service. Because this was a cold weather cruise the pool deck and the new large movie screen did not see much use, but I could see in warm weather it might be popular. The food in the Windjammer could not have been better at breakfast. It seemed a bit crowded but then we found that you could sit in the two new restaurants and eat, so Rita's Cantina and Izumi are open spaces to spread out at breakfast and lunch The back open-air eating area got little use on this cruise but it out there. Don't miss the Tutti salad in the MDR at lunch, excellent as usual. Try the Park Café in the Solarian for lunch, excellent panini’s and salads. The food in the MDR was very good, we always found something we liked. The Cabin Our cabin was on the corner of the "hump" facing forward and could not have been better. Right off the Centrum, so it is very easy to get around. The large balcony was great for a cruise with so much to look at outside. It made the cabin seem even larger. Our cabin steward Rodel was excellent, attentive and kept the cabin spotless. The entire ship is starting to show it's age, and is worn in places. We were told some maintenance was due, and saw some new carpets stored near the helicopter pad that will be installed soon. Entertainment We attended a lecture on glaciers, which was very informative. The production show City of Dreams we had seen before, but was worth a second look. Piano Man was new and also excellent. The country acappella group Home Free performed one night, and there was a singer/comedian, who did impersonations. The Crew The captain, Goran Peterson was all over the ship, very personable and went out of his way to find beautiful views. Don’t miss the Captains Corner, very informative. The cruise director Amy Flikert was also all around the ship, friendly and personable. Another excellent cruise, our fifth, with Royal Caribbean, we are trying to decide which one is next !  

Alaska, incredible views, relaxing fun !

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by JCMass.

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: May 2014
  • Destination: Alaska
Embarkation
I wrote about getting on and off the Radiance on the message boards, it was the worst of the worst. The Ballantyne Pier in Vancouver does not handle cruise ships well at all. Like most everyone else it took us almost 4 hours to get on board with long slow lines. The Windjammer was a welcome sight after that ordeal.
The cruise to Alaska could not have been better. The weather cooperated only one day of rain, and beautiful scenery everyday along the Inside Passage. The first day was a scenic sea day. This is a once a year cruise that starts in Vancouver and ends there so the ports were a bit different.
The Ports
We started at Icy Strait Point and visited the Hoonah Salmon Cannery. It has been converted to a tourist attraction. There are shops a zip line, (which we did not try) nature trails, and an informational show with music and dance put on by the Tlingit tribe that lives in the local village. It was excellent, and is close to the pier. There was no problem getting tickets once we arrived. This is the only port that we had to tender in and we anchored just off shore.
The next day we cruised the Tracy Arm Fjord all day, spectacular views. We saw a seal and her pup on an ice flow close to the ship. Some people said they saw bears on shore. We spent time on the helicopter pad up front and got a close look at the Sawyer Glacier, plenty of room on the ship out on the decks to view it all.
The next day we were in Juneau, we took the ships excursion to the Mendenhall Glacier. It was well worth it, but we could have used about 30 more minutes at the site. There was a great visitors center with a film and a ranger narrated slide show that we saw that were both excellent. There was a waterfall that needed a 20-minute walk each way that we had to skip in order to meet the bus. It was hard to do it all in the time given.
The next stop Ketchikan was the only day it rained. We took in the Lumberjack Show, a short walk from the pier. It was silly fun, and there was no problem getting tickets the day of the show. We enjoyed walking around the city with umbrellas and saw Historic Creek Street. We took a free shuttle near the visitors center (an easy walk from the ship) that gave us a feel for the area. We also visited what used to be the library, but is now a museum. There was an excellent art exhibit of the area's sites by local artists. There was a $3.00 fee, great exhibits on local fishing ! The last day was a sea day, with spectacular viewing the whole way. We saw porpoise, and whales.
The Food
We love the Radiance class ships, and though this was our first time on this ship we knew our way around and it felt like home. The new improvements are basically restaurants that charge a fee. Sea View Café is gone. We did not try any of them, except the old stand-by Chops. We had an excellent meal with wonderful service. Because this was a cold weather cruise the pool deck and the new large movie screen did not see much use, but I could see in warm weather it might be popular.
The food in the Windjammer could not have been better at breakfast. It seemed a bit crowded but then we found that you could sit in the two new restaurants and eat, so Rita's Cantina and Izumi are open spaces to spread out at breakfast and lunch The back open-air eating area got little use on this cruise but it out there. Don't miss the Tutti salad in the MDR at lunch, excellent as usual. Try the Park Café in the Solarian for lunch, excellent panini’s and salads. The food in the MDR was very good, we always found something we liked.
The Cabin
Our cabin was on the corner of the "hump" facing forward and could not have been better. Right off the Centrum, so it is very easy to get around. The large balcony was great for a cruise with so much to look at outside. It made the cabin seem even larger. Our cabin steward Rodel was excellent, attentive and kept the cabin spotless. The entire ship is starting to show it's age, and is worn in places. We were told some maintenance was due, and saw some new carpets stored near the helicopter pad that will be installed soon.
Entertainment
We attended a lecture on glaciers, which was very informative. The production show City of Dreams we had seen before, but was worth a second look. Piano Man was new and also excellent. The country acappella group Home Free performed one night, and there was a singer/comedian, who did impersonations.
The Crew
The captain, Goran Peterson was all over the ship, very personable and went out of his way to find beautiful views. Don’t miss the Captains Corner, very informative. The cruise director Amy Flikert was also all around the ship, friendly and personable.
Another excellent cruise, our fifth, with Royal Caribbean, we are trying to decide which one is next !
 
JCMass.’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9078
Our cabin was on the corner of the "hump" facing forward and could not have been better. Right off the Centrum, so it is very easy to get around. We could hear the entertainment in the Centrum at night, it always stopped by 11pm. It did not bother us, but could be too loud for some. The large balcony was great for a cruise with so much to look at outside, we sat out even though the temperature did not get much more than in the 50's. It made the cabin seem even larger. Our cabin steward Rodel was excellent, attentive and kept the cabin spotless.
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