1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Radiance of the Seas
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship. First of all, this is an older boat so yes, it has its short comings. We did not mind because the scenery of Alaska was way better then looking at the ship! The ship is overall clean but you can tell it has been around awhile. Our cabin was clean despite the dents/scratches in some of the furniture. Again, nothing that was going to keep us from having a great trip. We had a balcony that we used constantly. I would never take an Alaskan cruise without one! Our room steward was very attentive. We asked for extra ice the second night and got extra ice for the rest of the cruise. Oh, and we never had any sewer issues or poop smells while we were on board. The overall service on the ship was great. We did get pretty annoyed with the My Time Dining because we felt the reservation times were pretty limiting considering it is supposed to be "my time." The food in the Windjammer was fine even though they would run low on food during peak times. The main dining room was good even though we were often more interested in the appetizers then the main courses. The entertainment was pretty standard for RCI (love and marriage, quest, etc). I would say that the other shows were not so great. The first night comedian was funny but the production shows were just sort of weird. I know a lot of people on board liked them though. Was this a 4 star cruise? No. But was Alaska a 5 star experience regardless of the imperfections? YES! General advice for your Alaskan cruise: bring your walking shoes, your rain coat, and be ready for an amazing experience! We took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward which was great. We would highly recommend this over using the charter bus companies as the road does not get as good of scenery. Getting on the train was quick and easy. There was a truck there where you could check your luggage with Royal Caribbean and all of our luggage showed up at our stateroom that evening. Very convenient! The train cars were very comfortable and there was an observation deck on one of the cars you could use to get an even better view. We did not upgrade to the window topped rail cars and looking back we think we made the right decision. With the observation deck available and large windows in the regular cars, I do not think the extra cost would have been worth it. There was a dining car that we did not use but we did use the grab and go cafe for coffee :) Seward - We went to the Sea Life Center before getting on the ship. Would definitely recommend this especially if you have kids. There is a free Seward bus that will take you around the town. Embarkation was really fast. No lines and walked right onto the ship. Hubbard Glacier - AMAZING! In the morning the captain had said they were not sure how close they would be able to get because of the weather but we ended getting the closest they had been so far. It was definitely a highlight of the cruise! Juneau - We did not do a shore excursion but purchased a bus ride from a vendor right of the shipto get to and from the Mendenhall Glacier. $30 round trip per person. The national park service has a visitors center with a video and presentation. We took a hike up to the falls that got closer to the glacier. Nice morning/afternoon experience. My husband and I ventured over to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch and drinks. Alaskan Brewing Company is there major draft. Food was fine but nothing to write home about. Visiting here is definitely more about the experience/entertainment. Would recommend at least stopping by for drinks. Spent the rest of the day shopping/exploring the town. This was the only day it rained so that seemed to empty the streets a good bit even though it didn't bother us. You are travelling to Alaska so bring a good rain coat :) Skagway - Purchased an excursion to ride the White Pass Railway as this is the only way to get on the train. Thought we were riding the train up and then taking a bus back down but that was actually backward. This did not change the experience though. Both our bus ride and the train had a tour guide that commentated about the history of the trail. Very enjoyable with amazing scenery. The excursion left us plenty of time to walk around the town. We went to the Skagway Brewing Company but had to wait about 30 minutes for a table for two. They do have a nice back patio where you can get your drink at the bar then enjoy it outside. We had great weather so we did not mind this. Good burger, yummy chili and AMAZING fries! Icy Strait Point - Went whale watching through a private company (Icy Strait Whale Adventures). Had a great experience and from what we heard, much better then people who booked through RCI. Very small boat designed for whale watching with windows that open all around. Afterward we walked around Hoonah but there isn't much there. Walked back to the main Icy Strait area. There are some nice shops/restaurants and a canning museum but not a ton to see/do. Ketchikan - Nice tourist town with lots of shops. There is a nice walking tour map you can get at the visitors center. We took the Deer Mountain Trail that is about a half a mile out of town. We are in decent shape (exercise a few times a week) and this still kicked our butts! We only made it to the 1 mile overlook but it was a beautiful view. Debarkation was quick and painless in Vancouver but there was a really long line for taxis. We stayed one night in Vancouver because we could get a cheaper flight the next morning. After we checked in at our hotel we took the sky train to downtown and walked around. There are some nice areas of town but carefully walking down a few streets as we felt the need to hold on tightly to our wallets/purses. I would actually suggest taking a bus tour of the city.

You're traveling to see Alaska...

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by connie.mick7@gmail.com

14 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: June 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship.

First of all, this is an older boat so yes, it has its short comings. We did not mind because the scenery of Alaska was way better then looking at the ship! The ship is overall clean but you can tell it has been around awhile. Our cabin was clean despite the dents/scratches in some of the furniture. Again, nothing that was going to keep us from having a great trip. We had a balcony that we used constantly. I would never take an Alaskan cruise without one! Our room steward was very attentive. We asked for extra ice the second night and got extra ice for the rest of the cruise. Oh, and we never had any sewer issues or poop smells while we were on board.

The overall service on the ship was great. We did get pretty annoyed with the My Time Dining because we felt the reservation times were pretty limiting considering it is supposed to be "my time." The food in the Windjammer was fine even though they would run low on food during peak times. The main dining room was good even though we were often more interested in the appetizers then the main courses.

The entertainment was pretty standard for RCI (love and marriage, quest, etc). I would say that the other shows were not so great. The first night comedian was funny but the production shows were just sort of weird. I know a lot of people on board liked them though.

Was this a 4 star cruise? No. But was Alaska a 5 star experience regardless of the imperfections? YES!

General advice for your Alaskan cruise: bring your walking shoes, your rain coat, and be ready for an amazing experience!

We took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward which was great. We would highly recommend this over using the charter bus companies as the road does not get as good of scenery. Getting on the train was quick and easy. There was a truck there where you could check your luggage with Royal Caribbean and all of our luggage showed up at our stateroom that evening. Very convenient! The train cars were very comfortable and there was an observation deck on one of the cars you could use to get an even better view. We did not upgrade to the window topped rail cars and looking back we think we made the right decision. With the observation deck available and large windows in the regular cars, I do not think the extra cost would have been worth it. There was a dining car that we did not use but we did use the grab and go cafe for coffee :)

Seward - We went to the Sea Life Center before getting on the ship. Would definitely recommend this especially if you have kids. There is a free Seward bus that will take you around the town. Embarkation was really fast. No lines and walked right onto the ship.

Hubbard Glacier - AMAZING! In the morning the captain had said they were not sure how close they would be able to get because of the weather but we ended getting the closest they had been so far. It was definitely a highlight of the cruise!

Juneau - We did not do a shore excursion but purchased a bus ride from a vendor right of the shipto get to and from the Mendenhall Glacier. $30 round trip per person. The national park service has a visitors center with a video and presentation. We took a hike up to the falls that got closer to the glacier. Nice morning/afternoon experience. My husband and I ventured over to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch and drinks. Alaskan Brewing Company is there major draft. Food was fine but nothing to write home about. Visiting here is definitely more about the experience/entertainment. Would recommend at least stopping by for drinks. Spent the rest of the day shopping/exploring the town. This was the only day it rained so that seemed to empty the streets a good bit even though it didn't bother us. You are travelling to Alaska so bring a good rain coat :)

Skagway - Purchased an excursion to ride the White Pass Railway as this is the only way to get on the train. Thought we were riding the train up and then taking a bus back down but that was actually backward. This did not change the experience though. Both our bus ride and the train had a tour guide that commentated about the history of the trail. Very enjoyable with amazing scenery. The excursion left us plenty of time to walk around the town. We went to the Skagway Brewing Company but had to wait about 30 minutes for a table for two. They do have a nice back patio where you can get your drink at the bar then enjoy it outside. We had great weather so we did not mind this. Good burger, yummy chili and AMAZING fries!

Icy Strait Point - Went whale watching through a private company (Icy Strait Whale Adventures). Had a great experience and from what we heard, much better then people who booked through RCI. Very small boat designed for whale watching with windows that open all around. Afterward we walked around Hoonah but there isn't much there. Walked back to the main Icy Strait area. There are some nice shops/restaurants and a canning museum but not a ton to see/do.

Ketchikan - Nice tourist town with lots of shops. There is a nice walking tour map you can get at the visitors center. We took the Deer Mountain Trail that is about a half a mile out of town. We are in decent shape (exercise a few times a week) and this still kicked our butts! We only made it to the 1 mile overlook but it was a beautiful view.

Debarkation was quick and painless in Vancouver but there was a really long line for taxis. We stayed one night in Vancouver because we could get a cheaper flight the next morning. After we checked in at our hotel we took the sky train to downtown and walked around. There are some nice areas of town but carefully walking down a few streets as we felt the need to hold on tightly to our wallets/purses. I would actually suggest taking a bus tour of the city.
connie.mick7@gmail.com’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email

Cabin Review

Cabin 9516
Clean and tidy. Enough space to put all of our things. Wish when they did the last dry dock they would have replaced shower curtains with doors but not a deal breaker. Never had any issues with sewer smells like other reviews have said. Hot water did sort of come and go and water pressure would go down during "high showering times" like before dinner.
  Radiance of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews