Alaskan Experience for the New to Cruising: Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by RNBabyNurse

Radiance of the Seas 5
Member Since 2011

Overall Member Rating

Alaskan Experience for the New to Cruising

Sail Date: July 2011
Destination: Alaska
Embarkation: Vancouver
The Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean is a giant ship with very understated elegance. It was smooth sailing even on seas that got a little rough in some patches. Our deluxe stateroom was much larger & nicer than we expected. It had an extremely comfortable queen bed (that could be separated into 2 twins)that was both firm & plush. Plenty of pillows & towels added to our comfort. The room steward, Jagpur, was courteous, friendly, helpful and ever attentive to our needs...and often even anticipated our needs before we did. Unlike most hotels it was extremely quiet & made for very restful sleep.

The dining experience in the Cascade Dining Room was wonderful. The waiters )Putu & Jose)were very experienced, patient, informative and fun. My husband purchased bottle service & we were amazed at the fine quality of the wines & the recommendations of our waiter/sommelier were always spot on. The meals were very fine to absolutely exquisite. More Colorful, flavorful & a nice variety of choices each night. Everything was cooked to perfection. Even our 2 picky eaters enjoyed the food. One night we went to Giovanni's Italian Restaurant to celebrate my mother in law's 85th birthday & we had a wonderful time. We were there 3 to 4 hours dine & enjoyed dish after dish of the most delicious & beautiful Italian food I've ever had. It was very relaxing & the waiter was fabulous. He made us laugh & he told us amazing stories about the food & about his life & travels. The desserts were decadent & delicious. Another amazing dining experience!

We used the fitness room quite a bit and we were pleasantly surprised at how large it is & the many cycles & weight machines they have to offer. My daughter & niece also took frequent advantage of the exercise, spinning & yoga classes. The instructors managed clients from totally inexperienced to vastly experienced & were able to challenge & encourage them all. Kudos to them.

We were a group of 13 in our family on this trip. We have varying interests so we chose different excursions. Some went on sitting tours around the towns, some did walking tours, others did kayaking, rafting, hiking, dog sledding and boating excursions. We all were quite happy with the tours & excursions. The kayaking & whale watching excursions were well worth the cost. I would suggest that you choose & pay for your excursions 1-2months before you travel. Some of the excursions filled up, so we had to make alternative choices even though we booked 1 month in advance. You can book for excursions on shore too, but some excursions got cancelled & the other people didn't always get a refund. Also if an excursion runs late & it's booked through the ship, the ship will wait on sailing. This happened twice. If you book on shore & are late, you'll have to arrange your own transportation back to the ship in the next port.

We also went shopping and had some of the local fare to eat. We had a fun time & great food (the crispy salmon wrap was delicious!) & beer at the Red Dog Saloon in one of the towns.

The Mindenhall & Hubbard Glaciers are spectacular sites & really shouldn't be missed. We were fortunate to have wonderful weather (only a couple of days of light rain intermittently) & were able to cruise really close to the Hubbard Glacier. Our captain said it was the most beautiful day at the Glacier & he maneuvered us closer than he was ever able to go. Amazing!

I could go on & on about our wonderful experiences on this trip. It was such an amazing adventure & we are ready for more!

p.s. The Schooner Bar is a wonderful place to hang out with friends & family. The huge windows give an amazing view while cruising. The staff is friendly & ever attentive. There are comfortable chairs arranged in groups for conversation. They frequently have triva games, bingo & such to play. It's a very casual & relaxed place to spend some time. Less

Published 09/04/11

Cabin review: D1 Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

The Deluxe Stateroom has a wonderful balcony, extremely comfortable beds, a room divider curtain in case someone wants to sleep & the other wants to read, and plenty of storage space in the closet & drawers. The room was very quiet. We couldn't hear our neighbors at all except closing their cabin doors. The shower curtain wasn't long enough & sometimes the floor would flood as a result, but plenty of hot water & good water pressure.

Read All Superior Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony (D1) Reviews >>

Port and Shore Excursions

Other than the old cannery that has been converted to a gift shop, there is nothing in Icy Straight. The next town is Hoonah & they have very friendly folks there. There are a couple of good restaurants there but ask the locals to recommend their favorites. (It depends on whether you're a fish lover or not.) There's really not much else in town. The kayaking excursion was tremendous fun. It was about 2.5 hours of paddling the straight & around a protected island. There were a lot of birds & seals seen.

Tons of stuff to see & do in Juneau. Museums, gift shops, restaurants, theater stage productions, etc. Lots of restaurants (we tried some Russian food & it was incredibly good). You HAVE to go to the Red Dog Saloon if you go to Juneau. It is packed full of memorabilia, including Wyatt Earp's pistol, photos, & silly/crazy/fun stuff everywhere you look. The food is delicious. (Try the crispy salmon wrap!) The beer is great too. Even the menu is fun. The Alaskan Brewing Company tours fill up fast. It's about a 30 minute rid out of town & the tour is about 90minutes long. If you're interested in that, sign up early, go explore the town & surroundings then come back. The Tramway to Mt Roberts is a beautiful view but only in good weather. If it's fogged in & rainy, there's not much to see. They have a gift shop & hiking trail at the top. Nothing great, but all right.

Read 1189 Juneau Reviews

This was the best port for typical gift shop items like hats, coats, tee shirts, mugs, key chains, etc. Many shops to choose from. Be sure to pick up the coupon book @ embarkation because their are a lot of free items you can get at the shops. (Hats, jewelry, calendar, mugs, etc.) The Duck Tour was fun & very informative about the town. We saw eagles, salmon & a bear. The best place to eat in town is the restaurant in the Hotel. It's right across from the docks. It gets very crowded & the wait time can be long @ lunch time, so we went a little later & got seated right away. Very rustic and "Wild West" feel to the place. Scuffed wooden floors, a big bar, mirrors, and photos all over. Very cool. The food was delicious. Bring extra money. Alaska is expensive. Lunch for 4 plus tip was about $70. The history of Skagway is remarkable. You'll find out about the red light district ladies, the banks, the lumberjacks, the fishermen, the miners, etc. It's hard to comprehend how difficult it was to travel even as far as Skagway, much less even higher & deeper into the vast Alaskan wilderness and without the modern conveniences we have today.

Read 1343 Ketchikan Reviews

Skagway has an amazing history too. Unfortunately we didn't get to experience nearly as much as we would have liked to, just because of the time constraints. It was extremely windy in this town & cold so be sure to dress in layers. We did the hiking nature tour and rafted back. It was a lot of fun. The best time though was the "Ghosts & Goodtime Girls" walking tour. We had an excellent tour guide. She was dressed up as one of the "girls" & she fun & full of information. We would have liked to have stayed longer, especially to visit some of the jewelry stores but time ran out.

Read 880 Skagway Reviews

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Member Since 2011
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