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Wanted to take MIL & SIL with us to Alaska and chose RCCL for the itinerary and cost. Wish we had chosen a route with Glacier Bay instead as there were hardly any talks at all and no rangers came aboard the ship during the couple of hours we had cruising and seeing Hubbard. Hardly any humpback whale sightings from far off (only one announcement from the bridge) and a few porpoises were all we saw the whole week despite having a verandah and spending quite a bit of time looking for them. This would have been fine as animals are where they wish to be when they wish it, however the service on this cruise was even worse than the southern itinerary we took on RCCL back in January. I NEVER thought I would write such a negative post but here we are. We started off on the wrong foot upon embarkation - we were forced to go in the new cruisers line which was much longer with MIL & SIL even though we have sailed before and were on a separate reservation. Since the gentleman working the line had seen us talking to our family members he refused to let us in the gold line. The following things happened throughout the cruise as well, and having thought long and hard about it this was our second and last RCCL cruise. I apologize for the couple frivolous ones, but they added up with the biggies: 1) When we got into the stateroom several sodas and snacks were missing from the minibar so we called down to guest services to alert them to this since I was worried about being charged. They said the manager would be notified and would make sure to rectify it and not to worry. Well, I did worry, and sure enough on the VERY LAST night the charges appeared on my account. We called down and were told they would need to call us back. Waited about 20 minutes before my husband went down in person instead and had it removed. 2) There was a piece of beef on the bathroom floor when we entered for the first time. Cross my heart, it absolutely was a little piece of sliced beef right in the middle of the bathroom floor. It looked like it had been chewed on and then dropped. I chose to think it had simply stuck to our shoes rather than think about what else wasn't cleaned for us but what are the odds of that making it down a carpeted hallway to my bathroom from Windjammer? 3) The sheets had a hole in them by my husband's pillow and there was an orange stain over on "my" side of the bed. 4) Our suitcases were not left anywhere near our room, they were down the hall. We only realized this when a gentleman a couple rooms over wheeled his by and recommended we check the whole hall for them. 5) Was mostly through my shower the first morning when the cold water disappeared. I had just finished soaping up and had conditioner in my hair when it went to scalding. I yelped and turned it off which brought my husband running. He couldn't get cold water out the faucet sink either though it wasn't as hot as the water in the shower. We aren't talking a little north of hot, I mean scalding. I take 100+ degree baths at home and I couldn't handle this water. Husband called down and was told they would send someone up to check it. He went across the hall to see if my MIL & SIL had the same issue and she confirmed they did also, as it got her too but she was done anyway and had just turned it off. Whole time I'm still in the shower all soapy. We had to have my husband put water in a glass from the slightly less hot sink, wait a little and then dump it on my head to get the conditioner out. It took forever... they never did call back or send someone up that we know of but later that day we noticed a worker had a wall plate off and was welding something inside the wall on our deck. Later on we also overhead another couple saying they had a water leak in their room and were moved to another room just for the night, then they had to move back when it was fixed and cleaned up. I'm not sure why they couldn't just stay in the room they moved to... 6) Day two I finally met the stateroom host in the afternoon when he chided me for not using the little sign saying to make up the room when we left that morning. That was the entirety of his interaction with us the whole cruise - even though I made sure to say hi with smiles on anytime we saw him in the hall as we passed. My husband didn't know who our host even was until after we debarked and I told him it was the phone guy.... he was almost always on his cell phone which we assumed was his personal device as we saw him reloading a calling card frequently right there in the hall. I don't need a friendly guy, but it would have been nice to not be chided as my only interaction and even better if the room was actually clean. 7) Dining staff played the same game with dining in the main dining room as our first cruise - we chose 'My Time' again which we have now retitled 'Their Time' as we were goaded endlessly to make reservations for the following night or even better the entire cruise else suffer long waits. A waiter walked the line the first night reprimanding all groups for not having reservations, then we got it again at the podium, from the head waiter and even both servers! The line that first night was so long as we left that my terrified MIL ran back to make 5:30pm reservations for every single night thereafter right away. They need to can this idea since they can't follow through with it - we are 0 for 2 on using it. The first cruise we gave up and ate in Windjammer after the second night of being told we were coming at the 'wrong time' and they skipped the bread and plopped the appetizers and main course at the same time while dropping off the dessert menu so we could 'catch up'. 8) Despite coming at Their Time we had some issues with the drink server. They were all excellent at trying to get us to take a second roll at least FOUR TIMES every meal, but not once did they offer drinks aside from wine. "No, thank you but... drat there he went". We had to flag them down for it and either waited at least 15 minutes for tea (even iced) or didn't get it at all which happened on several evenings. The last night I requested coffee again from both the waiter (I really wanted it to show up this time) AND the assistant server (just in case) and it never came. That was the same night he gave my MIL & SIL their silverware for dessert and then was off to a different section - he skipped my husband and I. We tried to flag someone down again before the desserts came to no avail but instead we had to wait while it melted for them to find where the platter had got to. 9) Our stateroom bathroom reeked of pee from the first. There is no other way to say it. There was a loose square tile in the floor that we took out and left next to it the last morning in the hopes it is fixed for the next cruisers, and the plastic ring for the water glass had come off and kept sticking to that glass whenever I picked it up. A drawer kept sticking and was hard to open plus the door hinges were both broke. The bathroom one kept getting stuck if you opened it the whole way and we had to manually get it to release at the top and the room door had to be pulled all the way closed and pushed against to be certain it latched. Just badly maintained all around! 10) Discourteous staff. From the stateroom host to the bar tenders to the guest services staff no one seemed interested in doing more than the minimum. Bar service was especially slow and apathetic in the Schooner Bar and several locations were out of beer and ingredients before we even sailed. There were also options not on the menu, so we'd have been better off just asking what they had when we sat down. At one point we called to ask about the talks for our day at Hubbard and to see if we'd be able to get our National Parks Passport book stamped and were told absolutely, just come to guest services the next day after the speaker was onboard. Did so, just to have them say they had no idea what I was talking about which was disheartening. I tried with the speaker a little later on and he cut me off and snapped out his NO as well and I skulked away with my tail between my legs. His talk was pretty bad - he rambled little quips all over his powerpoint and clicked back and forth when he realized he wasn't staying on topic at all. He then got into it with a cruiser who took offense to a Sarah Palin joke while I waiting for him... 11) Solarium pool was 100% a kid pool. I know they say only in inclement weather when it is posted as such but please don't believe that as we never once saw a sign. In Alaska they will be in there 100% of the time and it is a LOUD place to have kids. I don't mind kids most of the time but we had looked forward to swimming/using those hot tubs and never got the chance. They were also constantly at the drink station making kid messes with cocoa and not being mindful of others who wanted something to drink - it was the only place we knew we could get cocoa and tea when windjammer was closed. 12) Very few talks on Alaska. I had thought they all had naturalists or rangers come aboard for some talks but that was not the case. A talk on the ports was just an excursion overview and another was just on shopping. They had a Canadian Mounty aboard who did talks but I wanted more info on Alaska and what we were seeing. I had REALLY expected some nature talks so I was pretty bummed. 13) We sent out a bag of laundry on the special offer day - all you can cram into a very small bag and they won't do larger items like jeans. One piece came back stained in the same orange way as our sheets. We think it is a rust stain - $35 to stain my clothing and leaving my jeans still dirty left a bad taste in my mouth. 14) Aside from endless trivia, late atrium dance parties and casino specials there wasn't much happening activity wise. We are both allergic to cigarette smoke and the atrium area and into the hallways were all really bad when people were in there gambling (almost always when the ship was in motion). It was worse air quality wise than on the Jewel of the Seas in January (which was already pretty bad). All that said, Alaska is gorgeous, our excursions were super fun (nothing booked through them) and no one got injured or sick, so RCCL did the bare minimum and I'll give them two stars. The captain did a FANTASTIC job, we got incredibly close to Hubbard and the weather cooperated when it needed to. Regardless, our next cruise will be with someone else.

Sail for the ports not the ship...

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by AquaDame

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: July 2016
  • Destination: Alaska
Wanted to take MIL & SIL with us to Alaska and chose RCCL for the itinerary and cost. Wish we had chosen a route with Glacier Bay instead as there were hardly any talks at all and no rangers came aboard the ship during the couple of hours we had cruising and seeing Hubbard. Hardly any humpback whale sightings from far off (only one announcement from the bridge) and a few porpoises were all we saw the whole week despite having a verandah and spending quite a bit of time looking for them. This would have been fine as animals are where they wish to be when they wish it, however the service on this cruise was even worse than the southern itinerary we took on RCCL back in January. I NEVER thought I would write such a negative post but here we are.

We started off on the wrong foot upon embarkation - we were forced to go in the new cruisers line which was much longer with MIL & SIL even though we have sailed before and were on a separate reservation. Since the gentleman working the line had seen us talking to our family members he refused to let us in the gold line. The following things happened throughout the cruise as well, and having thought long and hard about it this was our second and last RCCL cruise. I apologize for the couple frivolous ones, but they added up with the biggies:

1) When we got into the stateroom several sodas and snacks were missing from the minibar so we called down to guest services to alert them to this since I was worried about being charged. They said the manager would be notified and would make sure to rectify it and not to worry. Well, I did worry, and sure enough on the VERY LAST night the charges appeared on my account. We called down and were told they would need to call us back. Waited about 20 minutes before my husband went down in person instead and had it removed.

2) There was a piece of beef on the bathroom floor when we entered for the first time. Cross my heart, it absolutely was a little piece of sliced beef right in the middle of the bathroom floor. It looked like it had been chewed on and then dropped. I chose to think it had simply stuck to our shoes rather than think about what else wasn't cleaned for us but what are the odds of that making it down a carpeted hallway to my bathroom from Windjammer?

3) The sheets had a hole in them by my husband's pillow and there was an orange stain over on "my" side of the bed.

4) Our suitcases were not left anywhere near our room, they were down the hall. We only realized this when a gentleman a couple rooms over wheeled his by and recommended we check the whole hall for them.

5) Was mostly through my shower the first morning when the cold water disappeared. I had just finished soaping up and had conditioner in my hair when it went to scalding. I yelped and turned it off which brought my husband running. He couldn't get cold water out the faucet sink either though it wasn't as hot as the water in the shower. We aren't talking a little north of hot, I mean scalding. I take 100+ degree baths at home and I couldn't handle this water. Husband called down and was told they would send someone up to check it. He went across the hall to see if my MIL & SIL had the same issue and she confirmed they did also, as it got her too but she was done anyway and had just turned it off. Whole time I'm still in the shower all soapy. We had to have my husband put water in a glass from the slightly less hot sink, wait a little and then dump it on my head to get the conditioner out. It took forever... they never did call back or send someone up that we know of but later that day we noticed a worker had a wall plate off and was welding something inside the wall on our deck. Later on we also overhead another couple saying they had a water leak in their room and were moved to another room just for the night, then they had to move back when it was fixed and cleaned up. I'm not sure why they couldn't just stay in the room they moved to...

6) Day two I finally met the stateroom host in the afternoon when he chided me for not using the little sign saying to make up the room when we left that morning. That was the entirety of his interaction with us the whole cruise - even though I made sure to say hi with smiles on anytime we saw him in the hall as we passed. My husband didn't know who our host even was until after we debarked and I told him it was the phone guy.... he was almost always on his cell phone which we assumed was his personal device as we saw him reloading a calling card frequently right there in the hall. I don't need a friendly guy, but it would have been nice to not be chided as my only interaction and even better if the room was actually clean.

7) Dining staff played the same game with dining in the main dining room as our first cruise - we chose 'My Time' again which we have now retitled 'Their Time' as we were goaded endlessly to make reservations for the following night or even better the entire cruise else suffer long waits. A waiter walked the line the first night reprimanding all groups for not having reservations, then we got it again at the podium, from the head waiter and even both servers! The line that first night was so long as we left that my terrified MIL ran back to make 5:30pm reservations for every single night thereafter right away. They need to can this idea since they can't follow through with it - we are 0 for 2 on using it. The first cruise we gave up and ate in Windjammer after the second night of being told we were coming at the 'wrong time' and they skipped the bread and plopped the appetizers and main course at the same time while dropping off the dessert menu so we could 'catch up'.

8) Despite coming at Their Time we had some issues with the drink server. They were all excellent at trying to get us to take a second roll at least FOUR TIMES every meal, but not once did they offer drinks aside from wine. "No, thank you but... drat there he went". We had to flag them down for it and either waited at least 15 minutes for tea (even iced) or didn't get it at all which happened on several evenings. The last night I requested coffee again from both the waiter (I really wanted it to show up this time) AND the assistant server (just in case) and it never came. That was the same night he gave my MIL & SIL their silverware for dessert and then was off to a different section - he skipped my husband and I. We tried to flag someone down again before the desserts came to no avail but instead we had to wait while it melted for them to find where the platter had got to.

9) Our stateroom bathroom reeked of pee from the first. There is no other way to say it. There was a loose square tile in the floor that we took out and left next to it the last morning in the hopes it is fixed for the next cruisers, and the plastic ring for the water glass had come off and kept sticking to that glass whenever I picked it up. A drawer kept sticking and was hard to open plus the door hinges were both broke. The bathroom one kept getting stuck if you opened it the whole way and we had to manually get it to release at the top and the room door had to be pulled all the way closed and pushed against to be certain it latched. Just badly maintained all around!

10) Discourteous staff. From the stateroom host to the bar tenders to the guest services staff no one seemed interested in doing more than the minimum. Bar service was especially slow and apathetic in the Schooner Bar and several locations were out of beer and ingredients before we even sailed. There were also options not on the menu, so we'd have been better off just asking what they had when we sat down. At one point we called to ask about the talks for our day at Hubbard and to see if we'd be able to get our National Parks Passport book stamped and were told absolutely, just come to guest services the next day after the speaker was onboard. Did so, just to have them say they had no idea what I was talking about which was disheartening. I tried with the speaker a little later on and he cut me off and snapped out his NO as well and I skulked away with my tail between my legs. His talk was pretty bad - he rambled little quips all over his powerpoint and clicked back and forth when he realized he wasn't staying on topic at all. He then got into it with a cruiser who took offense to a Sarah Palin joke while I waiting for him...

11) Solarium pool was 100% a kid pool. I know they say only in inclement weather when it is posted as such but please don't believe that as we never once saw a sign. In Alaska they will be in there 100% of the time and it is a LOUD place to have kids. I don't mind kids most of the time but we had looked forward to swimming/using those hot tubs and never got the chance. They were also constantly at the drink station making kid messes with cocoa and not being mindful of others who wanted something to drink - it was the only place we knew we could get cocoa and tea when windjammer was closed.

12) Very few talks on Alaska. I had thought they all had naturalists or rangers come aboard for some talks but that was not the case. A talk on the ports was just an excursion overview and another was just on shopping. They had a Canadian Mounty aboard who did talks but I wanted more info on Alaska and what we were seeing. I had REALLY expected some nature talks so I was pretty bummed.

13) We sent out a bag of laundry on the special offer day - all you can cram into a very small bag and they won't do larger items like jeans. One piece came back stained in the same orange way as our sheets. We think it is a rust stain - $35 to stain my clothing and leaving my jeans still dirty left a bad taste in my mouth.

14) Aside from endless trivia, late atrium dance parties and casino specials there wasn't much happening activity wise. We are both allergic to cigarette smoke and the atrium area and into the hallways were all really bad when people were in there gambling (almost always when the ship was in motion). It was worse air quality wise than on the Jewel of the Seas in January (which was already pretty bad).

All that said, Alaska is gorgeous, our excursions were super fun (nothing booked through them) and no one got injured or sick, so RCCL did the bare minimum and I'll give them two stars. The captain did a FANTASTIC job, we got incredibly close to Hubbard and the weather cooperated when it needed to. Regardless, our next cruise will be with someone else.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9626
Lots of disrepair - missing floor tile in the bathroom, cup holder coming apart and there was a pee smell. Looks like there was a shower door at one point but it was a curtain for us. Stateroom door would not close on its own after us and drawer rollers stick. Bedding was stained and torn.
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