My 2 adult daughters and I flew from Chicago to Vancouver and spent the night at the Delta Inn and Suites in downtown Vancouver. Pricey but nice accommodations and a very friendly and helpful staff. It was about $30 by cab from the airport. The hotel is in walking distance to Gastown with a lot of shops and restaurants. Only a 3 min. taxi ride to the pier.
We left the hotel at noon to board the Radiance of the Seas. Yes,there was a line boarding the ship, but it went very smoothly.
We still had not received 2 pieces of luggage at 10:30pm---found out they were being "held" because one bag had power cord and the other had a small fan. These items were not allowed.
We had a balcony stateroom which was ample for the 3 of us. It had twin beds (very comfy) and a pull out couch. There was also a curtain to divide the two sleeping areas which was helpful if someone wanted to sleep a little later.
The bathroom did have a foul odor and it helped if we remembered to leave the door open. I did take and air freshener but it did not help. We always had hot water in the shower and never had a problem flushing.
I never saw our stateroom attendant after the first day, but the room was always well taken care of and we always had ice, which I had requested.
We ate In the dining room every night and the food was very good--my only complaint would be that the 2 times I ordered baked potato,it was warm not hot. It often took 2hrs. to eat dinner but we didn't mind.
Some breakfasts we had at the Windjammer and some in the dining room but beware---we were not allowed in the dining room one morning because my daughter had on a baseball cap.
This was my 3rd RC cruise and I did not think the staff (except the dining room staff, who depend on your tips) were very friendly.
I also did not think the entertainment was as good as on previous cruises. My daughters loved "Quest" an adult scavenger hunt. The 70's night was lots of fun too.
My biggest complaint was the elevator wait time--plan on taking the stairs or allowing extra time to wait for an elevator.
The best thing RC has started is luggage valet--for a $20 fee you can put your luggage in the hallway the night before you get off the ship and you don't see it again until you arrive at your home airport--that was a great service!
When we got off the ship we had a very short walk to the train station and rode the Grandview Train to Anchorage. The cars have a dome roof and there is a food and beverage service. The views are spectacular and the train goes directly to the Anchorage airport. What could be easier? If you are not taking a land tour I highly recommend this train ride--it's about 5hrs and $100 per person with reserved seats.
cabin 9602--great location--close to the stairs and elevators.
lots of storage even with 3 people sharing a cabin
never heard any outside noise
We had not planned to do any thing special in Ketchikan. We walked around the town and did lots of shopping. The town is right at the pier.
At Icy Strait we went on a whale watch purchased from the cruise line--we did see whales, sea otters, dolphins, and sea lions. It was a very calm ride. After the trip we ate crab on the pier. You are tendered to and from this port.
It rained most of the day in Juneau but the temp was in the 60s so it was not cold. We took a tour with Might Great Tours--a trip around the town and to Mendenhall Glacier.We then shopped again.
Our last port was Skagway and we again had rain. Alaska is a rain forest so just be prepared and take a rain coat and umbrella. It is a walk from the pier into town but there are shuttle buses for $2. We toured with Discover Skagway--went up the White Mountain pass, into the Yukon, visited an old cemetery and toured the town.We had a great storyteller for our guide; he knew lots of history and stopped several places to let us get out and take pictures--and of course we shopped AGAIN--good thing we took along an extra suitcase and a luggage scale!