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950 Royal Caribbean Alaska Cruise Reviews

I never thought much about cruising before my wife and I retired a few years ago, but we have both been bitten by the travel bug. I never in my wildest imagination would have thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. Our first ... Read More
I never thought much about cruising before my wife and I retired a few years ago, but we have both been bitten by the travel bug. I never in my wildest imagination would have thought I would enjoy it as much as I do. Our first cruise, a quickie trip to the Bahamas and Key West, was courtesy of a local land-based casino. Each cruise since then has been subsidized by an offer of Royal Caribbean's Casino Royale. You see, most of our on board activities in gambling in the casino. Our second cruise was to Havana, but that's not what I am here to talk about now. With three full sea days, our trip to Alaska was our longest trip yet, but a lot of the days seemed to meld together. If it wasn't for the days of the week being displayed in the elevator floors I am not so sure that I could have distinguished any of them apart. As on our previous cruises, we spent a lot of time (and, of course, money) in the casino. In fact the casino twice sent champagne and chocolate covered strawberries to our room. We took one bottle to the comedy show. The first port of call was Juneau. I enjoyed watching the sea planes take off and land in the harbor from our balcony. The best shore excursion of our trip was the musher's dog sled camp. We went on a sled ride and got to play with the puppies. The Mount Roberts tramway provided a very nice panoramic view of the whole area. For the most part we had pretty good weather for being in Alaska in September. But our port of call on Labor Day was Skagway and it rained all day. We had scheduled a ride on a scenic train ride up into the mountains. The train was more than an hour late. After it went a couple miles they stopped to exchange engines. It went a couple of more miles before they abruptly announced that the train was returning to the ship. So it backed its way all the way back to the pier and that was the extent of our scenic trip on the White Pass & Yukon Railway. Although Royal Caribbean was real nice about the whole thing, refunding our money promptly, I never did hear an explanation of why. After leaving Skagway the next "stop" for the ship was supposed to be Tracy Arm Fjord. It's not really a stop where you can get off the ship, but the plan is to go into the fjord to look at the glacier and then the ship turns around. Well, the next disappointment was that the fog was too heavy for the ship to enter the fjord. Although the fog itself created some very beautiful scenes, I have to say that photography (or at least my photography) just didn't do it justice. You just kind of had to be there to fully appreciate the view. So, we didn't really get to see any glaciers, just a few chunks of ice flowing by. But later that day the captain pointed out that there were some whales visible on the starboard side. I got a picture of one jumping out of the water. We didn't book an excursion for our stop at Victoria, British Columbia. It was just as well as neither of us felt too well after going to the comedy show the previous evening and drinking the bottle of champagne. We had a visitor on our balcony as we were docked at Victoria, British Columbia, apparently looking for crumbs from the breakfast scones and doughnuts. In addition to the adult comedy show, we also attended a ventriloquist's comedy show and an ice skating production, which was very good. The ice rink is relatively small, so seeing the skaters up so close made the whole thing so much better than in a big arena. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This is our 6th Royal Caribbean cruise, we really enjoyed it. We flew into SEATAC and took an Uber to the cruise port, which I recommend. Uber was $41, which is pretty cheap transportation. SEATAC is very Uber/Lyft friendly with an area ... Read More
This is our 6th Royal Caribbean cruise, we really enjoyed it. We flew into SEATAC and took an Uber to the cruise port, which I recommend. Uber was $41, which is pretty cheap transportation. SEATAC is very Uber/Lyft friendly with an area to wait for your driver. The process at the sea port is kind of confusing as there are no signs, but once we figured it out we got through quickly and were on the boat by 12:30 pm. Our cabin wasn't going to be ready until 1:30 pm, so we ate and waited by the pool. We had a balcony room, #8960. We loved this room It is on the back corner of the ship and has a huge balcony with two lounge chairs, two other chairs and two little tables. It offered fabulous views. The room is a standard RC room, but it was in good repair and clean. Had problems with TV remote and had to get it fixed. Loved our stateroom attendant, he was very attentive. Our ship actually left port about 30 min late due to someone one board having a medical emergency. The Captain was very friendly. It was pretty smooth sailing. We have generally always eaten in the dining room because my husband has food allergies and they are very good about managing those. The first night, we sat at a shared table and all of us told the waiter we were in a hurry because we wanted to see the show at 7:15. We had to miss desert because the water did not speed things up. This seemed to happen every night, the wait service was SLOW, but the food was great and the choices were plentiful. We also ate plenty in the Windjammer and they have a gluten free section, so that was helpful. Enjoyed all the food in there, but it is hard to find a place to sit. We had beautiful weather--In Juneau, it was "t-shirt weather", in the upper 60s and sunny. We did zip lining, axe throwing (Alaska ZipLine) and visited the Mendenhall Glacier, recommend all those. In Skagway, we did the White Pass/Yukon train, which broke down for 2 hours and then did a bike ride down the Yukon Highway. It was rainy and a little chilly but still a fun trip. Since the train broke down, we were out from 7:20 am to about 3:30 pm and had no food or access to any on the train, so that was kind of annoying. The train does have a bathroom facility and water. The thing is--both these excursions ran really long and we had bought an excursion for later in the day and couldn't go to it, but RC did refund our money. Just keep that in mind if you decide to book two excursions in the same day. It seemed all the excursions started a bit late and then ran long. In Skagway, two people in our group left their visas on the boat, so they had to go back for them, which delayed all of us. There were two "at sea" days and we enjoyed those, napping and hanging around the ship. We enjoyed the comedians, the ice show and the production shows. We attended a Crown & Anchor Society gathering which was nice, meeting the captain. In Victoria, BC we did an E Bike Excursion, which we enjoyed up until it ended at the bike shop and we were told we had to walk back to the ship, which was about a 30 minute walk and we were a little concerned that we'd gone the wrong direction. Have never done a shore excursion where you had to find your own way back to the ship, so I would fault the bike store on that part. When we got back to port, we got off smoothly, but at the same time a Celebrity ship came in, so the port was a big mess of people all trying to get an Uber to come. That port is too small and only has a two-lane road to get in, making it problematic for thousands of people to get ground transportation at the same time. Then we Ubered into downtown Seattle and spent two days seeing the city. Loved the sights--Pikes Place Market, the Harbor Tour, the Chiuhy Museum, The Underground Tour, Starbucks Roastery and the Space Needle. Stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, which we enjoyed too. Great location. We found out tourism is one of Alaska's biggest industries and there are probably 5 big boats docking at the ports every day. The glaciers are melting due to global warming, so if you are thinking of going on an Alaskan cruise to see glaciers--don't put it off. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
We just returned from Alaska on Explorer of the Seas. This was our first time in Alaska and second Royal Caribbean cruise. We enjoyed it very much. We had a room with a balcony which was great for viewing the beautiful scenery. We even ... Read More
We just returned from Alaska on Explorer of the Seas. This was our first time in Alaska and second Royal Caribbean cruise. We enjoyed it very much. We had a room with a balcony which was great for viewing the beautiful scenery. We even saw some whales from the ship which was exciting. We thought the food and service were great. The only food we didn't like was mainly just personal taste and not the quality. Wish they had a lighter roast coffee and ice tea was pretty weak - but those are our only complaints. We enjoyed the excursion to Buchart Gardens very much although we wished we had a little more time there. We tried the train in Skagway, but due to the weather, the rails were too slick and they had to turn us around. However, RC refunded our money on this, so no problem. It was very cold & wet that day and wished I would have brought an umbrella (travel tip). Overall, we would definitely travel with RC again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ports were amazing. Cruising through the Hubbard Glacier was unbelievable. We learned so much about Alaskan and Native American history. LOVED the itinerary. We've been on this class ship and love the size, layout and ... Read More
The ports were amazing. Cruising through the Hubbard Glacier was unbelievable. We learned so much about Alaskan and Native American history. LOVED the itinerary. We've been on this class ship and love the size, layout and amenities. This was our first time in a Jr. Suite...and that was quite nice. We enjoyed the balcony often for site seeing. The entertainment was excellent. The headliner apparently was one of the RC singers. However, he had appeared as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera in London. He was amazing and his headliner show was one of the best we've seen. One downside was the food. Menu in the Main Dining Room (for dinner) and the Windjammer (for breakfast and lunch) needs to be modernized with new foods and presentation. We also ate in Chops (and have eaten there 3 times previously) and were very not pleased with the quality of the food. Bacon starter and salad were great. The filet was tasteless, the potato was tiny. The other downside was our dinner server who really needed to be in a different job. He was SO slow (we were served dessert as everyone else were leaving). He interrupted conversations every single time he came to the table (rather than waiting til a break in conversation). He took orders right to left (rather than women first). He didn't know basic ingredients to a dinner dish. My other commentary was that the wifi access was spotty. Imagine our frustration when we had to resort to a web search to find out the ingredients for Chicken Kiev! That being said...we spoke to Guest Services and we were very impressed with RC for addressing the problem. The Head Server was very attentive to us and made sure that we got our meals and drinks correctly and timely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We wanted to see Alaska. Glad we chose this itinerary, the ports were great. Lots to see and do, both on and off board. We love the Radiance class ships, they feel like a cruise ship, not too big, not to small. We found all the staff ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska. Glad we chose this itinerary, the ports were great. Lots to see and do, both on and off board. We love the Radiance class ships, they feel like a cruise ship, not too big, not to small. We found all the staff we met very helpful from our stateroom attendant, to our lovely dining room staff. We had my time dining, which as usual was excellent. The food in the main dining room was a high standard. The lobster on the last formal night was delicious. The diamond lounge was lovely, it was on deck 13 midships, had a lovely view, great canapes & drinks served in the evening. We enjoyed the shows we saw. One of my only criticisms of the activities offered were some of the enrichment lectures were on during the day on port days, so we missed them. In Ketchikan we went on The float plane & crab feast tour, wow! From Juneau we went to the Mendenhall glacier, well worth it. In Skegway went on The White Pass & Yukon scenic railway, it was rainy & foggy early on, but cleared later. They gave us the option of not going & changing tours because of the weather, which I thought was very nice, however we chose to stay on & I am glad we did. We got to see the Hubbard Glacier, what an experience. The only criticism was that we couldn't hear the commentary in our cabin. We chose to do the aftercruise tour 4A. Well worth doing. Our time in Denali was excellent, we saw bear & moose on our Tundra Wilderness tour, the scenery was stunning. The Husky Homestead tour (optional) is well worth doing, you get a real insight into how the Alaskan Husky is raised and cared for and the Iditarod race. Fairbanks is a lovely town, the Gold Dredge #8 & Riverboat Discovery III tours were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Just home from our Alaska cruise with extended landtour (from Aug 25th till Sept 8th). This was a awesome experience which we would like to share with you ! When we left Belgium to Vancouver we faced a strike of the lugage handlers. So ... Read More
Just home from our Alaska cruise with extended landtour (from Aug 25th till Sept 8th). This was a awesome experience which we would like to share with you ! When we left Belgium to Vancouver we faced a strike of the lugage handlers. So our luggage arrived 4 days later then expected. Nevertheless this minor issue we had a lot of fun ! 1. Vancouver : City walking tour & Stanley Park 2. Ketchikan : Floatplane + crab feast and visited Creek Street. 3. Icy Strait Point : walk the natural trial and saw a little bit of a whale. 4. Juneau : bike tour to Mendenhall Glacier and visiting Alaskan Brewery 5. Skagway : Yukon Train to the Summit and kayaking on Lake Benhard. 6. Hubbard Glacier 7. Seward trip to Anchorage with bus. 8. Anchorage stayed in the Mariott Hotel and visited the Native Museum. 9. To Talkneeta with Wilderness Express train. Stayed in the Talkneeta lodge, had diner in the Bistro and visited the small town Talkneeta and did a little hike. 10-12. To Denali with train and stayed in Denali Park Lodge. We visited Denali National Park (8 hours tour highly recommended - we saw caribou/dal sheep/golden eagle/wolf/willow Ptarmigan). Visited Denali Canyon (had lunch there) and did the Zip line. We booked also a private photo tour with Terry Boyd - which we highly recommend. At the evening we had booked the Cabin Nite (75$ p.p. which is quite some money for the food and show). 12-13. Fairbanks visiting the museum of the North and did a steemwheel boat trip (we saw dog sledge and a small native village). At the evening we booked the Salmon Bake which is really awesome (all you can eat for 35$). Last but not least : we saw the Aurora in Fairbanks ! We cruised with Radiance of the Seas, with great food and excellent service. There was a super atmosphere at the cruise ship (friendly respectfull people & no chair hogs). All days we had beautifull weather, except 2 mornings we had some rain. During the complete trip we had very knowledgeable tourguides and drivers whom make the excursion money worth ! Last but not least we would like to thank the RC representative Jane Carel, who was on a daily contact with the airline in order to manage our lugage and provides us everything necessary to cover the first 4 days on the ship. We thought this was an once in a life time experience. But it is not ! We will go back ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really ... Read More
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really have to scout out late night eats. The swimming pools are well fun. We tried the spa and had massages our first night on the ship. What a great way to start our cruise. Our cabin was always so clean and cozy. There were plenty of elevators available. Love the various lectures regarding the area and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Slightly disappointed in the entertainment. We like the guest entertainers but got a little tired of the ship entertainers. The sunsets were amazing. We did the all access ship tour and it was so cool. It was about a 2 hour tour. We got to see the famous I-95 hallway, the food coolers, the galley, the mechanical room and the bridge. So amazing to see behind the scenes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I had never been to Alaska before, and loved the idea of just unpacking once and getting to different ports. We did the Whale Watching/Wildlife Quest and Mendenhall Glacier excursion in Juneau, the While Pass Rail Train in Skagway, and the ... Read More
I had never been to Alaska before, and loved the idea of just unpacking once and getting to different ports. We did the Whale Watching/Wildlife Quest and Mendenhall Glacier excursion in Juneau, the While Pass Rail Train in Skagway, and the Buschart and Butterfly Gardens in Victoria BC - all excellent choices! We went up the Endicott Arm because of the dangerous ice flows at Tracy Arm, and had to stop at the point where there was too much ice to safely go further. We did get a couple 360 degree turns in though, so everyone could see all the beauty and the sun glistening off the glacier. We got to see whales from the ship a couple times that day, and there was some type of sea life playing in the water near the ship but they were too fast to identify. My absolute favorite entertainment was the ice skating show. We went during our assigned time and also did standby for the last show. I could watch that show ten more times and never get bored! The first and last nights they had variety shows with the comedians as the main part, and they were both enjoyable. The second one was really funny. I didn't like the headliners... they seemed kind of full of themselves, and aren't really that funny. The food was great - lots of variety at the Windjammer and main dining room. Portions in the dining room were fairly small, but you could always ask for more if needed. Usually after 3 courses I was satisfied without overdoing it. We ate at Izumi's one night, and that was an experience! I would eat there again in a heartbeat! There were a couple presentations on the wildlife and ports of Alaska, but I would have liked to see 1/2 dozen more. I find these "Enrichment lectures" wonderful, but there were not enough considering how many sea days we had. There were a good number of trivia and quiz games - Scattergory rocked! We didn't do much upstairs on the sports deck, but it looked like people were having fun - at least those willing to brave the cold weather. The service onboard, from the wait staff to the stateroom attendant to the guest relations desk, was superb. They went out of their way to make sure things got done right. Our room was in good shape - clean and everything worked. I was expecting a little more sound, considering our connecting door and proximity to the entertainment venues and casino, but it was quiet every night except when our neighbor had their tv on one night kind of late. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This is our 17th cruise overall and the 8th on Royal Caribbean. It was a pure delight. I especially want to point out the excellence of our two headline entertainers - Tony Tillman and Hayden Smith and his wife, Alexa-not only so talented ... Read More
This is our 17th cruise overall and the 8th on Royal Caribbean. It was a pure delight. I especially want to point out the excellence of our two headline entertainers - Tony Tillman and Hayden Smith and his wife, Alexa-not only so talented , but their love of performing shines through. Also kudos to David Curtis who every night except one lovingly makes the Schooner come alive with tons of fun. But mostly I want to talk to folks like us who might be able to afford the cruise, but not the excursions. If you fly into SeaTac you can easily take the light rail, which is right at the terminal, to University station. Then take the local bus - let driver know you are going to the cruise ship terminal-who will let you off at Pier 91 on the bridge. Walk down the steps and onto the pier to the cruise ship. Of, course simply reverse for the way back. Light rail - $3.00, bus -$2.50 per person each way. Very easy. Juneau - IF you are a person who does not mind walking---go into the city - get info on line for schedules - get bus at the central station $2.50 (each way) and ask to be let off by the entrance to Mendenhall Glacier - BUT you will then have 1 1/2 mile walk. Very level - I actually saw a bear crossing the path in front of me. Definitely walk to the falls - pretty easy and worth it as you can get rather close to the glacier. Catch the bus back at the same stop. HOWEVER allow 4-5 hours as each bus ride was about an hour! Skagway - lovely historic town with several hikes. Easiest - Yakutania Point about a mile to an outcrop of rocks, which you can actually see from the ship. Great view of Harding Mt and Glacier. Do you like a nice thin waterfalls? - Lower Reid Falls - 2 mile walk out of town on Alaska, Main or State ST and follow signs to the cemetery where you will read some interesting epitaphs. Then a short walk to the falls. If it is a nice day, you'll want to lay on the rocks and enjoy it. Kinda hard - Lower Dewey Lake - on paper it looks easy - 1/2 mile, BUT a 500 ft elevation! so be forewarned, it will seem a lot longer. Once there, secluded, quiet spot. You can stop, or walk around the lake or continue up to upper Dewy Lake. I opted for simply the first option. Stop at the Visitor Center for maps of the hikes and a short movie about the gold rush. Victoria - If you simply enjoy lovely buildings, a walk around town is all you need do...and you will see plently of lovely flowers. Ladies, if you want to fantasize and dream, stop into Michal Negrin shop on Government Street - clothes and accessories that will make you gasp--as will the prices. But it is fun to browse. So there you are - the cruise ports on a shoestring Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I chose Radiance of the Seas because I wanted to do an Alaskan cruisetour and this one met the timeframe in which we wanted to travel. Since we were part of the cruisetour, we arrived later in the afternoon for embarkation and the ... Read More
I chose Radiance of the Seas because I wanted to do an Alaskan cruisetour and this one met the timeframe in which we wanted to travel. Since we were part of the cruisetour, we arrived later in the afternoon for embarkation and the lines at that time were minimal so it was an easy process to check in (already had my seapass printed) and get our first photos taken. We had an inside cabin 4031 - it was a decision between the cruisetour with an inside cabin or the just the cruise with a balcony. We chose the cruisetour and I'm glad we did because it was very foggy on our travel so you couldn't really see anything from the ship - including the Hubbard Glacier (boo). It was my husband, me, and our two boys (ages 6 and 7). The bed was sizable and comfortable, but I didn't like that the bunk beds were on top of it. On a disney cruise we did, the sofa turned into a bunk and there was a bunk on top of that and there was a privacy curtain in between - I liked that set up better. My 6 year old was afraid of the bunk so he slept on the sofa. The room was small, but manageable. I wish they would provide more drawers rather than the ledges in the closet. We did not upgrade to any of the specialty dining areas - and we ate in the main dining room every night except one. I had traveled on Royal Caribbean years ago and just remembered the food being fantastic - that was not my experience this time. The portions were really small, the food wasn't cooked well, the desserts were lacking. It seems like they put all their focus on the food in the specialty dining areas which I think is wrong. Also- when I cruised previously, they had like midnight buffets with ice sculptures, etc. There was nothing like that this time. You could only get hot dogs and pizza after 9 pm unless you ordered room service (which they now charge $7.95 for). The windjammer buffet was good. I really liked Mexican day. They said there was a Rita's Cantina but I don't think they offered that any longer. The shops were fine - they were having a lot of sales on Alaska merchandise since it was nearing the end of that season. What I didn't like was that it was very narrow passage as they had a huge island store - and you had to pass through there to get to the Aurora Theater - it got very cramped so we learned to go through the 4th floor cabin area to bypass that. You also walked through the photo area and art gallery to get to the Theater on the 5th floor. The weather was very cold and rainy throughout much of our cruise so we couldn't do any of the outside activities until the final day where we did mini-golf, soccer, etc. There is a rock wall on the ship but since there was really only one viable day to do it, the lines got pretty long for that and my kids didn't do it. There is an outdoor pool, a kids outdoor pool, and indoor adult pool - we didn't use the pools. There were limited hours for kids at the indoor pool and they didn't offer any evening hours so if you took advantage of going in to the ports during the day, you couldn't really use the pool if you had kids. There was also an arcade - the games were really expensive and sometimes took your money. there is a casino and cinema on it as well - we didn't have time to use those. My husband and I went to several shows in the Aurora Theater - most of them were really good. There was one that everyone was talking about the next day and not in a good way (a physical comedian)- the other 2 comedians were really good. My husband and I even participated in the married game show so that was fun, they even gave us a cd of it before we left the cruise. We participated in a couple of trivia things and I did karaoke one night. I think there was a good mix of things to do. My kids loved the kids club- Adventurers Ocean. They didn't want to leave there, and all of the people working in there were great and nice to the kids. They advertised their hours in advance - it was free until 10pm. After that, it was $7 per hour per child. Since they had a gagaball tournament every night at 10pm, I had to pay so they could participate. It would be nice if they would do that earlier or stay open later for free, but my kids had fun so it was worth it. They also had family scavenger hunts, bingo, and science experiments so that was fun to do as a family. Our cabin steward and waiter were wonderful - gave impeccable service. I was less than impressed by Guest Services. I talked to two different people there and they were borderline rude like they couldn't be bothered to answer my questions. The ports were fine - I'm not a big shopper so I didn't pay much attention to the ports. I would say Ketchikan was my favorite one. I did excursions at each port which I will review separately. I did book all of mine through Royal Caribbean just to avoid any hassles. I'm not sure if I would travel Royal Caribbean again - maybe if I got a really good deal I would. I'd like to try Norwegian or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We took our daughter and son-in-law on this cruise. They had never been on a cruise and we got them a grand suite. They are now forever spoiled. We had only two full days at sea: the first full day and the last day. We did a tour in ... Read More
We took our daughter and son-in-law on this cruise. They had never been on a cruise and we got them a grand suite. They are now forever spoiled. We had only two full days at sea: the first full day and the last day. We did a tour in every port and had an great time on each one. The "Tribute to Billy Joel" show was comprised of songs by many different artists, not just Billy Joel. Even though that was disappointing the dancers in this show were not disappointing at all! The sea was a bit "bumpy" yet those women kept their balance and never stumbled while dancing in high heels. The service in the Windjammer and the speciality restaurants was excellent. Our son-in-law was amazed that server in the Windjammer remembered what he wanted to drink on Day 2. The only disappointing part of the cruise was Voom; connecting, speed, staying connected were terrible. It became very frustrating to us when Hurricane Harvey decided to visit where we live and we wanted to communicate with friends. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were ... Read More
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were allowed to run freely in the casino. One evening in the Champagne Bar children were playing football with a shoe. Besides the parents not doing anything I feel the crew members should have. The food in the Windjammer Café was consistently cold. Wait Staff in the Windjammer was slow. Bar Staff around the pools and in casino was non-existent. This was our 11th Royal Caribbean cruise and our 16th overall. Very disappointed with the ship and crew. I will sail with royal Caribbean again but not on this ship. We booked a 6 night excursion for after the cruise. We had NO DETAILS at all. I called in the spring and was told we would get that info on board. We got it the last night of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I did a lot of research on my port of calls and booked great excursions. I left the excursions at risk of getting cancelled to days that I was staying in Anchorage after the cruise. Such a great move. We did not have a single thing ... Read More
I did a lot of research on my port of calls and booked great excursions. I left the excursions at risk of getting cancelled to days that I was staying in Anchorage after the cruise. Such a great move. We did not have a single thing cancelled due to light rain which made our trip perfect. If you are looking for a lot of nightlife this is probably not your cruise, but normally travelling to Alaska is more relaxed and about enjoying your scenery and company. Staying a couple days in Vancouver and a few days in Anchorage really made this trip complete for us. It was the perfect amount of time to fit in everything we wanted to do. We saw all the wildlife on our list and saw the prettiest sites Alaska had to offer. Dining was great and full of seafood options. That being said, if you do not like seafood like I do not, you may want to check menus nightly before going to dining room and see if maybe Windjammer is a better option. Using the dining room for breakfast and lunch is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We were very pleased with the friendly positive attitude of almost every crew member we encountered. Without them, we would not consider cruising on Royal again as the ship and facilities need significant upgrades and replacements/repairs. ... Read More
We were very pleased with the friendly positive attitude of almost every crew member we encountered. Without them, we would not consider cruising on Royal again as the ship and facilities need significant upgrades and replacements/repairs. Our stateroom attendant Boren did his very best to make us happy in a room that was literally almost unlivable upon entry due to the very very strong mildew smell (the smell also is pervasive in all of deck 6 aft, as well as Star lounge). I entered the cabin hoping that the smell was only in the hallway but our room was even worse. I immediately asked for an air purifier and was told there are NONE on the entire ship. The maintenance staff did their best to resolve it by "re-sanitizing" and by shampooing the carpet in and out. Even with that, I had to run my own personal small air purifier 24/7 just to make the room livable (I only brought it at the last minute due to cruisecritic reviews I had read that mentioned the smell on deck 6 - I thought people were being dramatic and hyperbolic - they were not!). I've never complained about a room before, we nearly always book inside cabins as we are rarely in the room but this was ridiculous. The carpet in that entire hallway and bank of rooms needs to be ripped out (or something to figure out and correct the source of the smell). I had red eyes, a headache, and nausea for 2 days. The other noticeable disappointment was the 9-11 year old adventure ocean program. In my son's 11 years (and his 11 cruises) we have never been more disappointed in a facility. It is literally an empty room with a foosball table and a tiny "baby" basketball hoop. My son tried the club 5 times and most of the times they literally gave the kids a playground ball and that's it. You really need a "tween" program for 11-12 as the 12 year olds are out of a place in the teen club and 11 year olds in the kids club. Royal need's to check out Disney's edge. It is near perfect for that age group. Here are a few items in addition to the stateroom/hallway smell that were noticeably bad: -Many of the elevator buttons don't work or were broken/punched out -Two pains of the huge glass in Viking crown were completely clouded and had 4" of water in the bottom -Carpets here and there were very worn and need replacement -Star lounge was dreary in addition to being smelly -The leather handrail wrappings at the palace theatre were literally all unrolled and just hanging there None of these were a big deal by themself, but gave the impression that no one cares. Overall the ship felt "trodden" and we heard that from many many fellow cruisers. On the bright sides - in addition to Boren, a few other people stood out to make our cruise enjoyable. -Jacob, a new addition to the cruise director staff was terrific - tons of enthusiasm, great at trivia and made contests very fun. He's a keeper. -Liam and Kelsey from Optix saved the teen club as the actual facilities were in disrepair (tv broken, no board games, limited video games, no bar, no props or fun stuff for theme parties, etc) -Sonic (code name - she is a female counselor in adventure ocean) was terrific and did her best with the poor facility provided. -Camilo on the sports staff made the FlowRider experience 100 times better than our first tries on the Allure a few years ago. He was simply amazing with kids and on a freezing cold Alaskan day thought nothing of jumping into the water to help steady a kid or show them how to do something. Just tremendous. -Michael - a Windjammer server (his section was port side aft) was fantastic. we purposefully looked for seats in his section after our first few encounters with him - fantastic and should be promoted to the main dining room! -Rey our main dining room server was terrific and handled our very difficult table placement (right at the entrance doors) with aplomb. In chatting with Rey it turns out he was on the RCCL Viking Serenade 25 years ago when we went on our very first cruise as a couple (in college!). RCCL is lucky to have such a senior, polished representative - perhaps he should step up to head waiter and Michael could fill his spot! :-) All in all it was an enjoyable week. Although any week not spent working, cooking, cleaning is, but this ship fell short of what we have come to expect from Royal (we are Emerald w/about 8 or so RCCL cruises). It was the first time ever we didn't book our next cruise onbaord. We will be on Disney in November (at 200% the cost of this cruise) and don't have any immediate plans to come back to royal unless a particular itinerary is important to us. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because the timing worked best for us as we celebrated our 33rd anniversary. The dining experience was fantastic. There was a mix up (we wanted Traditional Dining) and we ended up with My Time Dining. They did let us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the timing worked best for us as we celebrated our 33rd anniversary. The dining experience was fantastic. There was a mix up (we wanted Traditional Dining) and we ended up with My Time Dining. They did let us book the same table (by a window) for every night and we had a lovely couple that did the same next to us. The staff was awesome and the food was good! It helped a potentially sour situation become a good experience. Our cabin was good with a awesome steward. The ship is maintained (they were painting when we were in port). I do wish the adult Jacuzzi would be monitored since there were obviously kids in it under the age of 16... The only complaint I have was when we checked out the Next Cruise. The attendant we talked to didn't seem interested in helping us book another cruise, and gave us very little info. I also am unhappy with the change that Royal has made on the deposits (not being changeable & the amount) for frequent cruises loyal to Royal... Overall though it was a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
While there were some details we wished were different (could not find root beer on board, sofa bed placement made it hard to walk the length of the stateroom) - the overall experience was fantastic. Alaska took center stage and was ... Read More
While there were some details we wished were different (could not find root beer on board, sofa bed placement made it hard to walk the length of the stateroom) - the overall experience was fantastic. Alaska took center stage and was absolutely glorious - from the pre-cruise tour (Fairbanks, Denali, and Anchorage) to the Inside Passage sea day. We were blessed with fantastic weather which made for majestic views of Alaska at her finest. Our tour director (Sammi) and bus driver (Les) were the best we've ever had. Our vacation actually started out with us losing our passports, but between Royal Caribbean's VisaCentral and Sammi's support and understanding, we knew our options and were able to go on this very special vacation with little interruption. During the tour, they were both very knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful. Making sure we didn't miss points of interest, and shared interesting stories and experiences. Our cabin slept 3 large adults comfortably using the sofa/chair bed as the 2nd sleeping option (as opposed to the drop-down bed that would have had our 19 year sleeping above our heads :o). It's true, Radiance could use a little love (worn edges on the furniture, small cracks in the bathroom tile), she is a classic beauty with the perfect size for Alaska. Many reviews we read prior to boarding conflicted on the value of the balcony. For our family, the balcony was the best part of the cabin. We sat outside mornings, afternoons, and evenings playing cards, having evening cocktails, uploading pictures onto our computer, or just sitting and enjoying the scenery. Chops Grill ranked tops for us, steaks and salmon cooked perfectly. Our son tried the Lobster Bisque for the first time and loved it. If you dine here, make sure you get the bacon appetizer - it was a wonderful surprise, melted in the mouth and had a perfect flavor balance. We definitely ordered too many side dishes (served to share), but enjoyed every one of them. The mystery dinner at Giovanni's table was fun - we shared our table and our murderer debate with two fun couples. The main courses (shrimp and steak plates) were better than good (but not fantastic). Unfortunately we did not solve the murder mystery but there were so many laughs it did not matter. We had My Time Dining for most of our dinners. The food was good, the service was great (it appeared more investment is being made in the specialty dining than the main dining room, but we had no complaints about the quality of the dining room food). We tend to linger over dinner (2 hours +), so we often missed the shows/activities. This was a lesson learned for us as we scheduled dinners for 7:30 or later. On our next cruise we may return to traditional dining to allow better options for shows/activities. We kept the same table and servers for each dinner but had different table-mates each evening. Never had a bad group - everyone was friendly and engaging. The Windjammer was a traditional buffet - we ate breakfast here every morning. I was able to make eggs benedict every morning, husband enjoyed a ham/cheese omelet made to order, and our son piled on the bacon and scrambled eggs. The Park Cafe was the only food area available for snacks the first night on the ship, the choices were understandably thin. The boys tried the cookies and they were very hard - based on that initial experience they chose not to try it again. I did get sandwiches there a couple of times that worked well for afternoon snacks though. The drink packages worked well for two of us - I got the deluxe, so the lattes, mochas, specialty hot chocolate, and cocktails were included and I definitely got the most out of it. My son had the refreshment plan - it took him a day or two to find the mocktails but he liked almost all of them so it ended up being a good option for him. Hubby had the soda package since he does not drink alcohol and doesn't go for the mocktails. It took a couple of days to find orange soda (Radiance does not have the soda machines) and we couldn't find root beer at all, which was disappointing since we like to make root beer floats with the soft serve ice cream! The pizza onboard left a lot to be desired - the boys missed getting pizza/calzones at 2:00am (they got lucky on our last cruise to have a ship with a pizza oven available 24 hrs) but I reminded them that we don't cruise for the pizza! We didn't take in too many shows. We very much enjoyed the adult comedian - during the show someone in the audience had a health issue, not only did the comedian handle the experience appropriately, the cruise staff attended to the cruiser immediately and the whole incident was handled professionally. The juggler/comedians started out slow, but the end of the set was funny, especially the audience participation bits. As always, we find the activities we would not normally attend at home are some of our favorite cruising experiences. The egg-drop competition was so fun, we were definitely impressed with the creativity of the teams! The 70s Dance Party and the Rock Party were both fun with music that appealed to multi-generations. My son is 19 and at an odd age for cruising (18-20), he's too old to join the teen-cruisers but not old enough for some of the more adult activities. On our previous cruise he was able to gamble at 18 (Mexico cruise) and thought he'd be able to gamble on this cruise as well, but the casino was open to 21 and older only so he was a little disappointed. Nothing for the cruise ship to do, and he did enjoy the arcade, card room, shopping, etc. We just should have done more research into the gambling requirements to set the right expectations (we had family bets on who would win more at black jack, roulette, slot tourney, etc.). Overall, we loved this vacation. It's a family oriented cruise with Alaska being the super star. We could not ask for better dining and pre-tour service, and are already thinking about a second Alaska cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We feel very fortunate as the weather held out for three beautiful days in Alaska ports, leading to a great week on the Explorer. Boarding was easy - less than 20 minutes once we actually made it to the entry. There was a navy vessel ... Read More
We feel very fortunate as the weather held out for three beautiful days in Alaska ports, leading to a great week on the Explorer. Boarding was easy - less than 20 minutes once we actually made it to the entry. There was a navy vessel in town for a celebration as well as two ships in port so traffic was at a standstill on the port grounds. We were assigned room #1337 as a GTY - accessible interior with virtual balcony. Very large room and the virtual balcony takes away from the feeling of being inside. Our cabin attendant Koli was ever helpful even giving us towel animals most nights. Sail away from Seattle was easy - we enjoyed watching the Solstice sail just ahead of us from the helipad. It was hot and sunny so that breeze up front was appreciated. We chose to eat in Chop's our first evening as it was out 39th anniversary and were very pleased with the meal and service, including a dessert and song for us. The goat cheese salad was delicious as was our steak and lamb. Only disappointing part was the bread was awful both nights we ate there and is delicious in all the other venues. We also enjoyed Giovanni's - as always starting with the meat/cheese platter. The remaining nights we used MTD - each night a different table/waiter but very enjoyable meals and service. We really enjoyed the Diamond lounge on deck 14 - my favorite as the views were often spectacular. Christopher took excellent care of us even arranging for a bridge tour which DH thoroughly enjoyed. Our sea days were not very pretty - rain and fog but we were blessed the beautiful days in port. In Juneau we chose to take the $5 shuttle in to town and then shuttle to Mendenhall Glacier park. With sunshine we were able to fully enjoy the walk to Nugget Falls and the photo point. It certainly has changed since we were here 10 years ago - amazing how nature keeps changing and adapting. We had a full moon as we sailed that night just after sundown, spectacular memory. Skagway was again a day of warm sunshine - so we walked to the cemetery and then on to Jewell Gardens. The gardens are so pretty with the blown glass items, with high mountain peaks surrounding us. We also availed ourselves of the movie and walking tour which are part of the National Park system. At our final port, Victoria, BC the gorgeous weather continued - we walked in to town, spent lots of time at the Parliment building and Museum. Followed by a walk around the inner Harbour area and lunch at an excellent local farm to table restaurant. We were actually able to get fairly close to Dawes Glacier - slowly making our way up a very narrow channel with some impressive pieces of ice along the way. The sun was so bright it is difficult to see the Glacier face but we did watch and see a large calf just as we were leaving. Captain managed to do two full 360 turns of the ship - awesome! Evening entertainment was fine. The production shows were a bit uneven but we did enjoy them. Headliners were quite good. The ice show was very nice - new show with very high energy and fun skaters. We did enjoy Liz in the Schooner Bar as she managed to keep us entertained and involved with sing along tunes. Senior staff on the ship were seen out and about the ship, available to the cruisers. Captain Rick Sullivan (also sings very well) and Hotel Director Michael Landry even made it to our Meet and Mingle. All in all an excellent week - the Explorer is a lovely ship though she could use a bit of care to things like windows with clouding issues in Dizzy's and lounge, missing curtains in Sapphire Dining room (none of which really affected our cruise). Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
First, we are somewhat loyal to Royal, although it is not set in stone. This Alaskan cruise appealed to our family because of the ports (Tracey Arm Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, & Victoria) and the passage through the Inside Passage. And ... Read More
First, we are somewhat loyal to Royal, although it is not set in stone. This Alaskan cruise appealed to our family because of the ports (Tracey Arm Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, & Victoria) and the passage through the Inside Passage. And so begins our disappointment as the ship is too large to pass through the Inside Passage - as was explained to us when on the cruise! On previous Alaskan cruises I explained to our joining family members (21) that an entire day was spent gently cruising through the passage and viewing flora and fauna along the banks on both port and starboard. Since we cruised the open ocean, there was no gentle and interesting scenery! That alone makes me feel duped about booking the Explorer. Although he handled the ship meticulously, Capt Sullivan did not take the ship to Tracey Arm....instead we viewed the Endicott Glacier... the explanation is that the ship is too large to navigate the Tracey Arm. Another hidden truth! The booking agents should be up front about such major details! Three to four nights the party sounds on the promenade were quite disturbing, but did go silent around 10:45 PM as we had a promenade view room. Know this also when you book the Explorer. Entertainment was not up to par when I compare to previous Royal cruises. Neither the Production numbers or the solo entertainers were remarkable or memorable. The new ice show, however, was phenomenal. The Windjammer Marketplace (Deck 11) was horrible no matter what time; there were never enough seats to sit once you selected your food items. And it seemed to be like this 24 hours a day. The food choices were basic cafeteria foods and always lukewarm at best. It is so obvious that RCCL has cut back on the quality of the Windjammer food. We tried to make all meal happen in the main dining room as often as we could. I hope this effort is not a "new standard" for RCCL as I will definitely question my loyalty. Evening meals in the dining room were ok. I know we were a large party and took up three tables, but it seemed like every dinner meal took 2.5+ hours..... One waiter was assigned to two of the tables and a second waiter to the third. I perceived that they each found it difficult to accommodate us as we shifted the group around almost every evening. The Maitre d' should have assigned all three tables to one waiter to better facilitate are penchant to speak to one another in different groupings. Our cabin steward was great - the room was always neat as a pin; the towels and linens refreshed on a regular basis; nightly creative towel animals; and all this with a smile and sense of humor. He did tell us that he has 18 rooms which can be quite a load. I know the Cruise Director works long hours, but for whatever the reason, I did not sense a connection with Dan. He did however make multiple appearances throughout the ship. Our last cruise was on the Carnival Vista in May and Matt Mitcham is a very difficult cruise director to follow! All and all our family did enjoy the time together. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise because we've traveled with RCI before and have loved it, the dates where OK (we would have preferred they would sail on Saturday so we wouldn't have had to ask for an extra vacation day though). The ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we've traveled with RCI before and have loved it, the dates where OK (we would have preferred they would sail on Saturday so we wouldn't have had to ask for an extra vacation day though). The embarkation and disembarkation went really smoothly and fast! love the SEA pier (way better than the pier at Galveston and way faster than the one as Port Canaveral). The ship itself is nice, smaller to what we are used to, but we know it had to be this size or smaller to be able to do the inside passage trip. It had the usual amenities as any RCI ship including the main theater and an Ice Skating. The cabin was a bit smaller than what we were used to (we usually travel on inside cabin), it had a king size bed and the vanity area with a single person sofa (we usually get a sofa for 2 people, this is how or why I believe the size of the room was smaller), we were on the 6th deck, the room was very noisy during the night, can't be sure if it was due to us being close to the main dining room (we were on the back side of the deck) or simply the noise of the ship, but you could hear a constant clicking and cracking on one side of the room all night as if something was loose, I checked the drawers, the closet, everything and nothing was making that noise, so the noise came from outside or the walls themselves. The stateroom attendant was very nice as usual, he would come and clean our cabin twice a day (sometimes just 1 time because we would leave the cabin too late for the first round). The shows were mainly OK, don't get me wrong, the singing and dancers were fantastic and the comedians very funny, however we thought they lacked budget for the shows making them very similar to one another with no much props to work with. The Ice skating show was absolutely amazing, its always our favorite show! My husband did the Ice Skating thing twice, and had a lot of fun, however it was very crowded and for us beginners gets a bit stressful, they only opened the ice skating to the public 3 times during the cruise, each time only a couple of hours :( We went to an art auction which was very fun to watch! (and with free champagne ;) ), we didn't buy anything but it was really entertaining. We also spend a fair amount of time on the whirlpools and the solarium pool, at first we were hesitant and then found out the water was warm, so really it was awesome to be on the pool and whirlpools with a beer and very nice mountains views with a chilly atmosphere (highly recommended!). Dining room service was amazing, our waiters where always very friendly and polite, the food was delicious but not as fantastic as I remembered from other cruises. Windjammer had nice variety of selections for food and deserts as well. We didn't do any specialty dinning although we never do since we don't find the need to pay extra with all the delicious food on the ship. Service was Excellent, everyone was very friendly and polite. I believe that friendly vibe gives a plus to make one's vacation exceptional. The ports of call were excellent, we loved Juneau and Skagway, we did hiking on both ports and then spend a couple of hours downtown drinking a beer. What can I say... We are now in love with Alaska, their people and their Beer! :) Victoria, BC was a very nice city to visit as well, we walk all downtown, went into the Parliament building, had a coffee at china town, a nice chat with a lady selling her hose at the Fisherman's Wharf (floating houses!!!!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my first cruise. Before we sailed, I was nervous. Thankfully, those fears were totally unfounded. The Explorer was wonderful. Ship Clean. Clean. Clean. Everything on the ship was well-maintained. And it seemed that the ... Read More
This was my first cruise. Before we sailed, I was nervous. Thankfully, those fears were totally unfounded. The Explorer was wonderful. Ship Clean. Clean. Clean. Everything on the ship was well-maintained. And it seemed that the staff was always cleaning or maintaining something. Cabin Our cabin was 9341. An inside stateroom. It was much bigger than I expected--helped my good lighting and well-placed mirrors. The stateroom attendant kept it tidy. The bed was a little hard but not bothersome. I loved all the different nooks and crannies for storage. Suitcases fit under the beds just fine. Dining Windjammer The Windjammer offered a great selection of food. I don't normally like buffets. This was different. I loved it. The food was fresh and plentiful. Plus there was a wide variety of different dishes to chose from at each meal. Be sure to try the curry. It was excellent. Breakfast might have been my favorite meal of the day. Lots of fresh melon, pastries, eggs, and other good things. The only thing that I disliked was the coffee. It was far too strong and bitter for my taste. I stuck to tea all week. Service in the Windjammer proved excellent. The staff was always cleaning tables and replacing empty trays of food on the buffet. One word: this is a busy place. Sometimes we needed to talk around a bit before finding a table. Even with the crowd, the buffet always remained full of hot and tasty food. Main Dining Room Service was excellent. Food ranged from okay to not okay. It was the only place we had a dud meal. The prime rib one night looked gray and was very tough. We mentioned it to our service who took it away immediately and brought menus back to the table. We ordered the tortellini and it was fine. (my life advice: when in doubt, order the pasta.) Desserts in the main dining room were excellent. The creme brulee and kahlua cake were my favorite. Service, unlike the food, was excellent each night. Ports: Juneau We rode the "blue bus" to the Mendenhall glacier. What a fun experience! We hiked to Nugget Falls. I totally recommend this. It's an easy walk---I don't know if I can even call it a hike. The falls and view of the glacier were wonderful. Shopping in Juneau surprised me. VERY touristy and not in a fun way. Skagway We did the White Pass Railroad excursion. Wonderful! I thought the three hours would drag. They did not! I wished the trip was longer. My advice: sit on the left side of the train leaving the station. They make you switch halfway through the ride. This is fine. However, I think they go slower on the way up than down. So you get a better view on the left going up the mountain than down. Shopping in Skagway was fun. Touristy but nice. Food: We picked up Alaska Fry Bread at the Klondike Doughboy. GO THERE. It was $6.00 for a piece of fried dough that's coated in cinnamon-sugar. It was hot, fresh, and really tasty. Victoria: This port is a hike from downtown. So we decided to spend the $10 USD per person for the roundtrip shuttle. It was money well-spent. The walk looked doable. However, since we were in Canada, I didn't want to use my phone. So I think without GPS, you could easily get turned around. Shopping and eating in Victoria were fun. It reminded me of Portland, Maine. Lots of flowers and other fun things to look at downtown. We also did a self-guided tour of the Parliament building. Really lovely. Spa I grabbed a "fire and ice" pedicure during one of the sea days. It was fine. Nothing great, nothing bad. The spa itself was surprisingly dark and unspa-like. I think I'd skip this the next time. Ice Show So fun! It was the only show we saw and it was hoot. Casino Busy and smoky. Folks seemed to be enjoying themselves. I found it a little too smoky for my liking. Wi-Fi I bought the VOOM surf and stream before leaving. It worked fairly well. There were some times that it was down. So don't rely on it to be lightening fast. Overall: Great cruise, excellent staff, clean ship, and fun ports. We cruised out of Seattle so there were a few sea days. I didn't mind them as the weather was lovely and walking around deck four was an excellent way to spend time. Can't wait to do this again! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I made a resolution: choose a cruise solely for its ports. The rest is likely to be a disappointment. Too many sour faces and mediocre service. The food was good for a weight loss regime, and I did lose some weight, The bathroom in the ... Read More
I made a resolution: choose a cruise solely for its ports. The rest is likely to be a disappointment. Too many sour faces and mediocre service. The food was good for a weight loss regime, and I did lose some weight, The bathroom in the cabin smelled bad from the start. Knowing that the ship had not been refreshed in a long while, I did not even bother to complain (I had read a review that referred to this issue). The balcony cabin (7024) had one advantage: it was quiet. The balcony was really nice when we were at the Hubbard glacier but the comfort was not comparable to the cost. A 2 star hotel, probably. How bad the food? You can tell that they are racing for the bottom. Even the pizza is awful. This is not surprising: they heat frozen pizzas with the toppings. I saw a waiter collecting noodles spilled on the service table and putting them back in the container. This is not what you want in a cruise when everybody is worried about norovirus. Why is the food so bad? It is worse in the self-service, because it has been heated and re-heated. The coffee is undrinkable, so you go for the $5 cup of coffee. I did not want to do the same with the food. Children activities: yes, if you can convince your child to stay. Mine said that it was like school and could not get him to go back. Was there anything good? Yes: the itinerary was fantastic. In the future, I will know what to expect and will pay for the cheapest cabin and keep the money for the excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We had cruised six prior times with Royal Caribbean; however more than 20 years ago. All our cruises were in the Caribbean and this was our first trip to Alaska. We chose RCCL because of our enjoyment on the prior Caribbean cruises. ... Read More
We had cruised six prior times with Royal Caribbean; however more than 20 years ago. All our cruises were in the Caribbean and this was our first trip to Alaska. We chose RCCL because of our enjoyment on the prior Caribbean cruises. Since it has been so long the booking process has changed dramatically from personal service via telephone to on-line booking, which I found very impersonal. I booked our cruise well in advance to insure we might have a better chance at finding the stateroom we wanted. Following my initial foray into the RCCL website and the initial booking process including the deposit, I found almost no follow up from RCCL. I had to search and search on the website to find information on dining, optional activities on board, more information on the ship. We received nothing from RCCL saying welcome aboard and here is information to help you know more about your upcoming cruise. We arrived in Seward and the boarding process should have been a breeze as we were there in plenty of time; however, all RCCL computers were down and we waited in line with about 400 other early arrivals for the computers to get back on line. After about 40 minutes of just standing around with little information from RCCL (we finally found out about the computer problem by one of us wandering around asking questions), the boarding went fairly smoothly. We made it to our stateroom, which was very nice; clean, roomy and very accessible to the elevators and stairs. We decided to go to the restaurant for a quick bite to eat and before we even got to the food area were stopped by waiters trying to sell us on upgrading our food package to the specialty restaurants. Twice I was stopped and we finally made it to our table and started to eat when yet another sales person came by offering us a special deal to upgrade our food package. Oh, my...why can't we just enjoy a quiet lunch!! Finally we left and made it back to our room and enjoyed walking about the ship learning more about where everything was located. However, throughout the trip, it was constant selling....upgrade the restaurant options; buy these photos; don't forget to shop at our preferred shops; even the art lecture which we decided to attend including encouraging us to join in the art auctions. Every day on the ship channel station, sell, sell, sell...shop at our shops. I found in every location that I could find better options for significantly less money than RCCL preferred shops. Finally, on three days of our cruise the ship's crew were painting the ship....they continually banged the paint off the ship in and around our stateroom. Our next door neighbors finally called the customer service desk and asked them to at least wait until after 9 oclock so we could enjoy resting in on our cruising days. Two days, we lost use of our balcony due to painting and restaining of the rails. But, there was no mention of this when we booked. I understand this needs to be done, but it should always be done when the ship is in port and guests are ashore, not during the cruising days. All in all, I am very disappointed and will likely never cruise with RCCL again. I contacted them before our cruise and asked them about special consideration for passengers who had cruised with them previously and was told that we cruised too long ago to get any special consideration. Nice! Would I recommend this cruise? Itinerary was great, but the only redeeming part of the trip was the captain spent lots of time and was able to get very close to the Hubbard Glacier. Other than that, no, I would not recommend this cruise. Food was mediocre and just was not as much fun as the prior cruises. And one final thing....Internet. We purchased an internet package just to make sure we would be able to keep in touch with our kids and grandkids. I was not able to access any of the regular Internet access I needed. Email access was almost non existent. IT took not seconds to try to connect, but in some cases minutes and minutes just to try to get to some server that might provide any kind of access. I would not recommend paying for this service as I felt ripped off at the end of the week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
We chose this cruise for my sister and brother in law's 25 anniversary. We had a great time. The staff was exceptional. We did a land tour prior to the cruise so we boarded around 5:00 and it went very smoothly. We were constantly on ... Read More
We chose this cruise for my sister and brother in law's 25 anniversary. We had a great time. The staff was exceptional. We did a land tour prior to the cruise so we boarded around 5:00 and it went very smoothly. We were constantly on the go seeing new things. There were plenty of excursions to do. We did the helicopter in Juneau and landed on two glaciers. It was amazing to see. We also did a whale watching tour in Icy Strait, a sea plane in Ketchikan and the train ride in Skagway. We loved all of the excursions. I will say If you get motion sick, you may want to rethink a sea plane. We ate in 3 specialty restaurants, Chops, Giovanni's and Sabor. The food was fantastic in all of them. We also did my time dining for the other nights and was pleased with the service and the food. The entertainment was rather light on this cruise. If you are used to the broadway shows and other high caliber shows from the bigger ships, you will be disappointed. Everyone should do an Alaskan cruise once in their life time! Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
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