Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by buckblack
- Sail Date: August 2014
- Destination: Alaska
Disembarkation. When disembarking at Seward, it was raining. There was an uncovered ramp made of metal that was very slippery. The staff person at the top of that gangway made no effort to warn us or assist us. As she went down that gangway, my wife slipped and fell. Hard. Two RC people saw us and no one came to see how my wife was or offer any assistance. In fact, a woman staffer at the bottom instead went to discuss the ramp with the man at the top. No effort to engage us. Pretty amazing. And when I pointed this out in my subsequent email to customer relations, there was no initial expression of concern or inquiry as to how my wife was doing.
Embarkation. Our prior experience with boarding is to be greeted warmly by staff as we come on board. Welcome aboard. We are glad you are here. This time, we had to run a literal gauntlet of staff hocking various things - drink packages, dinner packages, etc. At least 4 different groups of RC staff trying to sell us something, all at extra cost. Welcome aboard indeed.
IT Failures. I tried to print a fishing license from the business center. First time the printer was out of order meaning that the online charge was for nothing. Second time it printed on the 5th floor. I was on the 7th floor. But I didn't know that until I went down to the Customer Relations desk and insisted that someone come with me so they could see my problem. We went to the 5th floor business center and presto, fishing license. Another incident: when we set our alarm to get up in Ketchikan for an excursion, the alarm through the phone had not been set to Alaska time. So we got a call 1 hour early. This was a ship wide experience as all of our dinner party related the same experience.
Aggressive photo team. The young woman who tried to corral you for pictures throughout the cruise was pushy and if you did not want one, she was rude and impolite, speaking in a mocking tone.
Way too much marketing. We were constantly bombarded with staff trying to sell us one thing or another.
Hot tubs. Yes, hot tubs. There are three on the ship. All small. And way not enough. Always packed unless you wanted to be the first one in at 7 AM.
Luggage pick up. Also, when we went to pick up our luggage at the Anchorage hotel where it was delivered from Seward, we discovered it outdoors! Covered but outdoors. Dozens and dozens of suitcases. Anyone could have come by and picked it up. Completely unacceptable.
As I said at the beginning, we've traveled on RC a number of times before and have been very happy. However, this was not the RC from before. The Alaska cruise is especially expensive and we spent north of $10K on this trip. At that price, it seems reasonable to expect a high quality trip. And we would not say we got that from RC. To the extent that we enjoyed the trip, it was largely in spite of RC, not because of RC.
Also concerning is what appears to be a conscious business decision to flood passengers with add on options; that is with many, many sales pitches for additional cost items. We had seen this in the past but this time, it was, frankly, overwhelming and very offputting. If this is where RC is headed, well, we will move up a notch to a cruise line line Celebrity. If we are going to spend a lot of money, at least it will be an all inclusive package.
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