The bottom line is that we loved Alaska, loved our cruisetour, and loved the Radiance. It was a fabulous vacation!
Because I was dealing with a first time cruiser and two elderly people, I wanted everything to be as easy as possible so we chose to do a pre-cruise tour with Royal Caribbean (the 1B Wildlife Express). And I'm not gonna lie, it was a great choice! Everything ran smoothly, we had great weather, a wonderful guide and driver and there was nothing I could fault.
Getting there was rough (hello 2am) so I definitely recommend going in a day before the day before (we had some folks who didn't join us until Denali!). Arrival and getting to our hotel could have been better and I blame RC for not communicating with us what we needed to do even though we specifically told them we were arriving the day before. Luckily the local folks who work for the other cruise lines (and maybe RC?) were extremely helpful and got us to our hotel relatively quickly.
The room has a pullman bunk above the bed and it took a couple of days for the steward to get the light off in the enclosure. The balcony was small but usable. The room was pretty cozy without only a loveseat, but everything worked, except the shower curtain.
This is really a review of the Vancouver port and airport. The port was the nicest and most organized I've ever been in. We flew right through! The Vancouver airport is very nice with very friendly helpful staff.