NWA flew us from CLE-Vancouver via DTW. 4.5 hour flight with food that must be purchased, beverages by the glass not the can, even peanuts are $2 a bag. Amazed that the toilets were not pay toilets. Late as usual after blowing an engine over Lake Erie on the first leg but the flight waited for us to board in Detroit to Vancouver.
In Vancouver we are sent to a green area of the airport where US Direct has taken our luggage to the ship, and they have us pass thru immigration in a speedy manner & board buses to the ship and we are told we are sealed and no one was to leave or they are on their own. We passed thru all security when they see a taped shut bus door with the US Direct tape on it. Wish all ports did this, since 9/11 it has gotten very unruly.
On board Radiance, we go to the dining room to check out our table for 2 and find out we got a table for 8. But we were moved to a table for 2 in a small dining area with 7 tables. Felt very rich & very quiet for all there. The best of waiter worked it and the head waiter became a great friend the entire cruise, as he was everywhere!
Our stateroom 8276 (AFT D1) was nicely appointed but the bathroom reeked of sewer smell for the entire 14 night cruise. Guest Relations did nothing but tell us about other guests who flush oranges, apples, silverware, diapers, etc down the toilet so we should talk to them. So our balcony door remained open the entire cruise even in 40 degree nights to keep the air fresh. Night 14 at midnight we have a guy banging on our door to deliver an envelope from the Hotel Manager giving us 20% off our next cruise. Too bad it took 2 weeks to do it.
Other Group Cruises, a gift was on the bed each night, but this cruise we got only 6 - DVD zipper case, a compass that is a clock also, pens that light up & unscrew to be a light, tote bag with Royal Caribbean scarf, backpack looking item that is actually a duffel bag with a Royal Caribbean scarf in it & what resembled a bench seat that actually the felt blanket pulls out to be a waterproof Royal Caribbean poncho which we used in 4 rainy days at ports.
We are Diamond members and on other Member Cruises we had FREE Seattle's Best Specialty coffees (Latte, Espresso, Cappuccino as well as regular & decaf) but not this one. The Concierge Lounge is now for Suite Guests only. We have a Diamond Lounge which past Member Cruises had the machine with china cups & plates for continental breakfast for all Diamond & Diamond Plus to enjoy. This Diamond Lounge on Radiance had a plastic push button coffee server with paper cups & milk on ice. 30 minutes after it was delivered the coffee was cold. But the free cocktails in the evening had the best of bartenders (Richard & Merwyn) keeping everyone very happy. We had the Starquest bar for all of us & the bar actually spins at a good speed. Funny to see someone leave their drink to go get hors de oeuvres & come back to no drink & me pointing to where it was for them to get. 575 guests were our entertainment from 5-8:30PM, talking & laughing at stories. Made some great friends for future cruises.
The ports were wonderful: Ketchikan with the jumping salmon headed to spawn & die, great people to talk with and the breathtaking mountains to see. Skagway with the White Pass Railway trip which is a photographers paradise. Juneau with their Juneau Icefields helicopter tour where we walk on glaciers with glacier boots on and then we hear & see a blue crater appear & we are to run to get on the copter for safety. As we takeoff the waterfall we see appear in the massive crack told us it was time to leave. So to the Mendenhall Glacier we go in the pouring rain & winds which blew my umbrella backwards. A Salmon Bake afterwards under a tent which also had chicken & ribs. Sitka for a very quiet location that you can visit the stores on the last day they are open for 2007. 75% off everything so shopping was great. I got 2 fleece Alaskan jackets for $15 & $20 not $120 each! Ice Strait Point with all the waters surrounding it with feeding humpbacks & playing orcas around. Many of the Indians that live there entertained us & were selling ointments for $1200 a gallon & we saw folks buying it. Then we get a sea day cruising the Inside passage to relax after 6 days at ports.
Now the NW Pacific week starts. Our first stop is Seattle with a city tour including the Space Needle from the 60's World's Fair but 45 minute wait to get to the top & 10 minutes for photos til we have to get back to the bus, then to the Market with flying fish at one of the famous stands. 6 underground floors were built but only 3 are now open as they celebrate their 100 birthday with it. We also saw Microsoft & Bill Gates' 60 acre world in his forest as the tour guide named it. Many houseboats from the movies that go for $500,000 now but no property taxes. Next day, Astoria Oregon with a 3 hour ride, each way, to Mt St Helens which looks quite well for the 1980 eruption. But she was spewing sulfur so she is ready to blow again but not with us there. Then a sea day to relax again & watch dolphins & whales with a great captain announcing their locations for folks to be ready for photos. Now we get San Francisco with the great location of "Streets of San Francisco" TV show with Michael Douglas that is now home to "Monk". The streetcars that were used in the Rice-a-Roni ads are now more like buses with no charm to them. We walked to Pier 39 with their great shops to look at, the people with purple, gold, silver (not grey)green hair. 5 ships are in town and they even have signs on the street telling us the pier to return to. Pier 39 became famous when sea lions started taking over the docks in January 1990 shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. This was the best of the City to me, viewing them for hours, 2 times that day.
Then a sea day and we are in Los Angeles, headed to LAX for our CO flight home (Non stop) arriving at midnight. But we had a great time, which could have been better in our stateroom's bathroom and the hallway to the Centrum, but we fought to have a great time with hundreds of friends.