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407 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo ... Read More
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo interior cabin which while small was good at has a normal double bed and the same bathroom as regular rooms. it had the virtual balcony which I liked. The food in Solarium café and American Icon was very good, but Windjammer was repetitive food (too much Asian and Indian food) and not enough veggies. Windjammer was busy at breakfast but pretty empty at night for dinner. I liked the take 2 café for lunch. I did the North Star twice but not the I-fly or surfing. You had to wait a long time if you wanted bumper cars and then you were on for five minutes. The Hawaii enrichment lectures were very good. I would definitely sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also ... Read More
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also excellent. Saw some whales on our excursion at Icy Strait and the excursion-"Lighthouse Totem Poles and Eagles" in Kitchikan was lots of fun especially when one of the crew members broke out in song-A Drunken Sailor". The evening entertainment was way above what we had seen in the past, with the shows in the theater top notch and the performers in the various venues being wonderful. A big plus for us was the offering of pickleball that we got to do three times while cruising. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier with perfect weather was a huge event for us.The land part of our trip was just as good with a most interesting tour guide(Michelle) who kept us entertained throughout our journey. She went out of her way to take my wife and some other other guests on a late night adventure to see the northern lights. We saw Mt. Danali fully which makes us 10% of those that go to see this magnificent mountain. In conclusion I will say this probably was the best ever trip we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly ... Read More
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly quick but did involve a lot of walking, but there were no long lines. Only did the dining room once and had no complaints. Regarding formal night - not everyone dresses up and it seems to be a more laid back dress code. We personally preferred the windjammer with all the different choices. All the food in the windjammer was great. Loved the ice cream machine. Make sure you enjoy the windjammer on the last night- Alaskan seafood was fantastic. Pools were heated and were used by many, especially since we encountered no rain during our whole cruise and temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Solarium does need updating (if they would just get rid of all the fake greenery). All employees were very nice and quite attentive. Evening entertainment was very lacking and mediocre. Most ships have karaoke (which can be quite enjoyable), but not this ship. Be prepared for oldies music sung in the centrum which is ok but not for the whole week. The casino was awful with cigarette smoke, there seems to be no ventilation. The highlight of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The captain did an amazing job to steer the ship so everyone had an awesome view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did ... Read More
This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did My Dining, big mistake. I have done a similar dining on other cruise lines and it was a lot better than this ship. My advise do not do My Dining go for the set times of either 5.30 or 8.00. The food in the main dining was awful, it tended to be the same food every night with a couple of variations and it tasted like mass produced frozen food that you can get in frozen food shops. I have been on cruises before the food on those cruises were al a carte and was the best food I have had. Some of the waiters in the main dining room were awful, rude and pushy. The entertainment was diabolical, the production shows were really poor and unprofessional the worst I have seen on cruises. The cabin we had was on deck 7 and was lovely and our cabin woman Maria was lovely and nothing was too much trouble. The excursions were amazing this was the best part of the cruise. Embarkment was a nightmare, it took an hour to get on the ship which was surprising since everything is done online before hand. Once on the ship everything seemed disorganised, no clear instructions on where to go. Everyone just seem to congregate around the centrum and as everyone was sitting around with their hand luggage we assumed we could not get into our cabin as no one had instructed us otherwise. With other cruise lines this was made clear as we embarked the ship. On this ship I had to find someone and ask and this would have been nice to have found out this earlier. Our disembark was good as we had an excursion booked. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall, the trip was great. I'm going to talk less about the excursions (which was awesome), and more about the ship. The cabin was nice. Super small, even for a single person. I had a balcony which was nice as I was able to sleep ... Read More
Overall, the trip was great. I'm going to talk less about the excursions (which was awesome), and more about the ship. The cabin was nice. Super small, even for a single person. I had a balcony which was nice as I was able to sleep with the door open for some nice Alaskan air. Service on the ship was spectacular as well. Big shoutout to Vasile (guest services) and the bartenders at Quill and Compass. The gym was old, and dated - some of that equipment could use some attention. From the outside, the ship appeared to be pretty dated. There were visible signs of rust, age... But that's to be expected with a ship quickly approaching 20 years old My biggest gripes with the ship are the following: One - It is impossible to find nutritional information anywhere. I am actively counting calories and macro-nutrients in an effort to lose weight. It is very frustrating not being able to even hazard a guess with some of these meals that were served in the buffet lines. As more and more people are doing specialized diets (paleo, keto, low/high carb, etc), it would be nice to know what we're working with. Two - The late-night entertainment was awful outside of Jack the guitar player. As a single male in his late 20s old traveling with older family, there was not much that catered to my age range that was well attended. I went up to the "nightclub" each night around 11 PM, and there was never anyone else up there. Additionally, the DJ "Bam" appeared to just turn on some Spotify playlist and walk away from his computer for what appeared to be 25-30 minutes at a time. No real mixing or DJing was happening. Maybe that's just my experience being young on an Alaskan cruise. Overall I had a great time. My trip was largely "saved" by the excursions I participated in. The ship-experience left a lot to be desired. I ended up spending most of my time on-board clicking the 'activities right now' button on the screen hoping to find something free that was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Really like Royal Caribean, only natural to go with what you know. From the moment we entered the ship we were showered with attention, service, courtesy to say the least, our luggage were taken to our cabins right away, we felt like we ... Read More
Really like Royal Caribean, only natural to go with what you know. From the moment we entered the ship we were showered with attention, service, courtesy to say the least, our luggage were taken to our cabins right away, we felt like we owned the ship. Food was amazing as well as service throughout, you were greated with a very cute frase WASHI WASHI, quite cute, it became my grandsons favorite the entire cruise. An amaizing experience throughout the whole cruise. Alaska breathtaking place to say the least, all the places we visited were so historic, pleasant lots of stores scenery was gorgeous a must do again cruise in the future. The glaciers were so incredibly beautiful hard to explain, whale watching awesome experience. Overall an incredible time , would do it again as soon as we can. If you have not done it, plan it you will be glad you did. Be Blessed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Ship The Radiance of the Seas is one of the older ships of the Royal Carribean fleet. The condition was good, but the equipment definitely did not meet the standards expected today. Embarking or disembarking worked smoothly. However, we ... Read More
Ship The Radiance of the Seas is one of the older ships of the Royal Carribean fleet. The condition was good, but the equipment definitely did not meet the standards expected today. Embarking or disembarking worked smoothly. However, we had expected a better service as guests of the suites. Cabin We had booked an Owner Suite. It was very spacious with space. The balcony was a bit small. The bathroom was big and beside a shower there was also a bathtub. Concierge Club Suites guests and very loyal Royal customers were allowed to go to the Concierge Club. There were small snacks and free drinks (soft drinks, water, wine, beer and some drinks) from 16.00 o'clock. Dining We had the greatest expectations concerning the dining. We heard so many good things from Royal and could hardly wait. But our expectations were disappointed. The food never came close to the good quality of the Princess or Hurtigruten shipping company. Entertainment We're not the party people, and we've mostly abandoned here. Service Compared to other shipping companies, the service was "ok", but not as good as suggested by other guests. As a suite guest we were rather disappointed. Ports and Excursions In comparison to other cruises we have booked all excursions through the shipping company. These were more or less well organized, but simply a mass check-in, although they used the more expensive offer. The train trip to the White Pass is very recommendable, even if it is not a mass service. Here you will also find two videos on our YouTube channel "Swisstravellerslife". Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a one way inside passage which meant more time in each port. This was important because the ship doesn't have much to offer in terms of entertainment. We are east coast (4 hours difference) and they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a one way inside passage which meant more time in each port. This was important because the ship doesn't have much to offer in terms of entertainment. We are east coast (4 hours difference) and they frequently wouldn't start activities/entertainment until 10pm (2 am east coast time). When we did go, the shows were nowhere near the quality of the large Caribbean ships. That being said, the food was decent (excellent in the specialty restaurants) and the landscape views were intoxicating. Think of the ship as a nice resort, you eat, sleep, and relax there, but go somewhere else for your entertainment. The long port times (8 to 12 hrs) allowed us to do an excursion and still have plenty of time to explore the towns and have lunch or dinner in a nice restaurant before boarding the ship. We also booked a land tour with RC that continued on to Denali and finished with a train ride back to Anchorage for our flight home. The land tour was so well handled that I was able to turn off my brain and just enjoy myself which is rare for me. Patricia, our tour director was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. She and our driver Pineck made sure everything went off without a hitch. Keys were handed to us right off the bus so no check in hassles. Luggage was waiting in the room and taken back to the bus magically. optional excursions were handled thru Patricia and there were no unpleasant surprises. This was our first group tour and I would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had done an Alaska cruise on this same ship a couple of years ago with friends, but this time it was with my mom and SO. TL/DR: * Suites are sweet and you should do it at least once in your life * Royal Caribbean is awesome ... Read More
I had done an Alaska cruise on this same ship a couple of years ago with friends, but this time it was with my mom and SO. TL/DR: * Suites are sweet and you should do it at least once in your life * Royal Caribbean is awesome onboard for special needs, like food allergies and limited mobility * Radiance class ships are the absolute perfect size * RCCL invests in great entertainment * RCCL staff are second-to-none * RCCL does need to invest in refinishing all surfaces, and maybe more durable materials * RCCL should do more communication with people with special needs before cruises * Cruise travel with a service dog is not easy * Vancouver port needs a lot more work to be customer-friendly * Don't count on the same level of onboard activities with the entertainment staff The deets: About my crew: me and my SO are active, 40-ish, and are Emerald Level (I've been on over 12 cruises). I have a capsacin food allergy, which is uncommon and comes up a lot as peppers are in like everything. My mom hadn't been on a cruise in 40 years and is limited mobility, using a walker and a large, 90-pound mobility service dog. She has a black pepper allergy, even harder to avoid. My mom lives in Seattle, and the journey starts there. We took the morning Amtrak Cascades up to Vancouver, which was a perfect start to the cruise. We got into Vancouver in plenty of time to take a cab to the cruise port and get on the ship for lunch. I'm used to walking/public transport to cruise terminals, so it was cool to see the cabs at Canada Place drop you off inside the parking garage (so no worry about weather) and right where the bag porters are. So when we entered Canada Place, we expected the check-in to be right there, and wheelchair valets for folks with disabilities (no such luck). Instead, we were directed to elevators. We probably walked 1/2 mile or more overall, between check-in, customs, and so on before we got to the ship. We even passed wheelchair valets waiting for a call, and no one in the process indicated how long of a walk it may be. With my mom obviously mobility limited, I was surprised at that. Luckily, after several breaks, she managed onto the ship. Once on the ship, she was quickly taken care of for an easy way to get to a sitting spot. This was my first suite (see details below). It is awesome to have a taste of the upper tier. Leaving all that relates to being in the suites in the cabin review below. We ate at the MDR every night. I like that the my time dining has been moved to the lower floor of the MDR so there are more seats and variety of seats. We were able to reserve the same table and same time for the whole cruise. My mom and I both have weird food allergies (above), so it's really important to have consistent dining staff. We did fill out the special needs form beforehand, but you really have to communicate food allergies to the head waiter and your specific wait staff the first meal. I prefer to bring a paper listing all of the foods/types that I can't eat so there's no confusion. Our wait staff were excellent, not only taking care of us for dinner, but passing along meal requests to Windjammer and other venues for breakfast and lunch and special meals. You can't be as spontaneous, since you have to order food the day before, but you have peace of mind. Being as it was early in the season, they had Atlantic salmon on the menu the first few nights, but then had Alaskan seafood near the end once we hit the Alaskan ports. The food was excellent as always, with a broad variety, inventive dishes, fresh, and delicious. The biggest bummer was that the MDR wasn't open for lunch during port days (so most all days). During the day, the stars were the ports. I've done the active shore excursions and the cultural ones, you really can't go wrong. But you have to always plan that your day will contain rain, and book accordingly. We didn't have that problem this particular cruise; all of our days were sunny or partly cloudy and mid 60s. But, if you happen to get back early on the boat or decide to stay on the boat, don't count on a wide variety of entertainment staff activities. Maybe some trivia, games here and there. But they really don't program much of anything, expecting everyone to be out on shore. Note: even though the Icy Strait Point port said we would be tendering, we did dock. Accessibility excursion notes: the Saxman Totem tour was awesome as they set up a smaller bus; you have to be able to board the bus, but it was nice to have the shorter steps and easy seating. The Icy Strait Point whale watching tour was very good on the boat, but because of low tides we had to go to the far end of the boardwalk to get aboard (usually it's on the dock right next to the ship); luckily, they have an electric cart for mobility access. The WP&YR railroad is also great for accessibility, short walk if you can make it; if not, they have a cart--they also have a dedicated handicapped car with a larger bathroom. The ship had just taken on a new dance crew, so we didn't have any production shows. The one night we were to have a production show (Piano Man), the seas were rough and some of the crew were seasick, much less the difficulty of dancing on a rockin' ship. The acts we had were awesome: comedy, magic, juggling, etc. There was always an option of movies day, afternoon, and evening both beside the pool and in the cinema. I was pleased by the variety of movies they showed, from Blue Hawaii to Bohemian Rhapsody to Carmen (the opera). Speaking on onboard activities, the Alaska cruises always have some kind of enrichment speaker. We had a retired mountie who was new,so I'm sure he'll get better as he goes. The couple doing the Alaska history talks were awesome and should be onboard most this season. Ship environment: Radiance OTS was last refurbished in 2016, but honestly, it doesn't look it. There's a lot of wear in the wood and fabrics that make it seem older. However, the ship mechanicals all worked the whole cruise. This ship is a perfect size to have a variety of activity centers, like the cinema, pub, and Starquest lounge, while not being too big for walking (especially if you can't walk far distances). We got to meet most everyone on the ship--you don't get far with a dog without people noticing. Ship accessibility: This was my first cruise where I worried about accessibility. We had a cabin just off the Centrum elevators, so my mom had only a short walk to get anywhere. The longest was a 75 ft. walk to the theater. It was easy to get in and out of and get an accessible seat in the MDR and theater, and you could get into every venue. Handicapped bathrooms were well-placed to the main venues. I could see, though, if there were more than 4-5 scooters or mobility devices onboard, the accessibility would get more frustrating. Where my mom had problems was getting over the thresholds of the exterior doors (i.e., walking to the deck 5 exterior deck). These thresholds need to be smoothed out to meet ADA requirements--she had to physically lift the walker to get over them. Service dog: RCCL did accommodate the service dog, but could have done better. We filled out all of the requisite paperwork, and the ship seemed ready for us. By booking RCCL shore excursions, they passed forward info about the service dog. However, the dog relief station could have been better. It was located right next to the smoking section, on the walk to the helipad. So mom had to endure smoke to take her dog out, and since it is not used to people being around when it uses the facilities, I had to literally stop people coming down from the helipad. The box is 4'x4', with a plywood lid that mom couldn't lift and needed my help when the staff put the lid back on. The box was filled with shavings litter, even though they offer sod on the accessibility form, but the shavings weren't replaced or refreshed the whole cruise. There was a little can beside the box to dispose of poop. We wish that RCCL had been in communication with us before the cruise about the litter box and its location (I had to hunt it down once on board because no one knew about it). If we had known they couldn't provide sod this journey, we could have trained the dog to use shavings. And if we had known the location of the box and the distance from our cabin, we could have trained the dog appropriately. Lastly, let's talk about why to choose RCCL. There's always people that like one cruise line over another for some reason, so here's my spiel for why this line. I've been on all the major lines but HAL. I love the people that cruise RCCL--not too party, not all old, great balance of ages, and not too many kids. And I love even more the staff of RCCL--I've run into staff that remember me 4 years later on a different ship, and there is a loyalty to the cruise line and the customers that I like to come back to every cruise. And you get a great value for your $$. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with ... Read More
To be fair it’s a beautiful ship for cross ocean travel. For Alaskan cruises, not so much. Ship is too big. Can’t hit the best ports. Follow of people on boat typically a traffic jam. Eating locations are overflowing with people with small to no sitting. The 24 hour cafe is no bigger than a small stateroom. Selection is poor. Food quality is so-so. Breakfast foods like donuts, pastries, muffins are hard as rocks as ate the biscuits and rolls. If you are luckily and get a fresh baked item from the fresh baked station, that item is great. But the lines and people pushing to get the hottest foods is terrible. I’m in day 5 of a 11 day cruise and so disappointed. I won’t sail RC again. Food quality is so so. Some staff is friendly and fun. Spa person was nice but pushy and bad when I didn’t buy additional product. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I posted the bulk of this on another thread, but figured it would be good here, also. Some people are questioning whether they should do this ship to Alaska. Others are giving a more negative view on things like the food, etc on other ... Read More
I posted the bulk of this on another thread, but figured it would be good here, also. Some people are questioning whether they should do this ship to Alaska. Others are giving a more negative view on things like the food, etc on other threads. Here is my summary of my impressions on this ship/itinerary: We also just did the 11 night Alaska cruise on the Ovation and had a wonderful time! I would not hesitate to sail her again. Our cabin (8520 - forward large ocean view balcony) was wonderful. Very spacious. Our cabin steward did his job. We were taken care of and requests called down from the number on the card he left were promptly filled. But we only saw him briefly twice in 11 days. We called him "The Ghost"! The rest of the crew was welcoming and friendly. We cannot complain about any of them. However, none really stood out as spectacular to us. The CD Chris grew on me as the cruise went on, but he was not the best we have had, or the worse. I think that for all the crew the change from a mostly Asian market to Australian to US based in just a few short months was a daunting task when it came to figuring out what appealed to each market. But they were always trying to make things better and I think they succeeded as the few things that concerned us in the beginning got better as the days went on. The public areas were beautiful, spacious and welcoming. A lovely ship. Food is subjective and we are not foodies, but we never left a food venue hungry. I enjoyed all of my meals. We had the BOGO package, so we ate the first night in Jamie's and the second in Wonderland. One lunch in Chops, which was very good. One night in the Solarium Bistro, which has a Mediterranean theme at dinner. I love the Greek style food, so it was good for me. I don't think it was good for everyone in our party of 8, though. We only had one dinner in Windjammer and it was ok. Nothing amazing for me that night. But, I didn't leave hungry. We had dinner the other nights in MTD. It was always good. A couple of nights when we arrived they told us that we would have to wait for a table of 5, but they somehow managed to always seat us within 5 minutes. Lunches were usually light. We had Sorrentos's pizza (I liked the artichoke salad along with a slice or two of pizza). Twice we just had a hot dog. We were disappointed at first that they didn't offer the Tutti Salad in the MDR. It had never before been offered on this ship as it is not popular in Asia. However, they did figure it out after many requests and offered it the last three days of our sailing and told us that it would be standard on sea days from then on. I think from the lines that it was a hit! Our cabin was forward so we usually went to the Solarium Bistro for the small buffet there. It had an egg station where I could get a fresh omelet. Never crowded. We discovered the Two70 Cafe for a light breakfast late in the cruise and wish we had found it earlier. On early port days we usually like the Continental Breakfast room service. My oatmeal usually arrived cold ,so that was disappointing. But, the other offerings did the trick and got us off on our excursions with full bellies. The ship felt quite crowded on the first day, but then everyone found their spots and it seldom felt crowded after that. The biggest negatives are the slow elevators. That never improved. If you can take the stairs a few flights you are better off, and my DH did that quite a bit. But my arthritis won't allow it, so I had to wait. I can't comment on the bars as we don't drink much. The Diamond Lounge evening cocktail was good for me. One glass of wine or a rum punch was all I can do and my DH will only have an occasional glass of wine. Service was slow and my DH had to go get our beverage from the bar most nights himself, but there were a lot of us in there getting free drinks! I like the atmosphere of the Schooner Bar on most ships and this one was no exception. It is very relaxing to me to enjoy the piano player at night, although we had so much to do we didn't make it there most nights! Paul O'Shea is a very talented and popular piano player with excellent rapport with the guests. If he is playing, make sure you spend some time there to enjoy his talents! The ports on our 11 night itinerary were amazing. 4 ports and 2 glacier days. On our glacier days we would usually begin them on our balcony as they were early, breakfast in the Solarium to have coffee with a view, then go up to the Sports Deck and finally end up in Two70 for the amazing views from there. Make sure you make it out to the wings from Two70 on glacier days! It is the perfect ship for viewing Alaska when the scenery is available to view. The biggest disappointment is that this ship is just too large to go through the BC Inside Passage, so our 4 days at sea were truly at sea. No beautiful scenery floating by. For that reason alone I would choose my next cruise to Alaska on another ship. For our 11 night itinerary it was great. For 7 nights, if seeing Alaska is your priority, I would not recommend the itinerary. Only two ports and 1 glacier day without the Inside Passage I think you are missing too much. The exception would be for those who have already seen Alaska and want to experience this class of ship close to home and in a beautiful setting. This ship, with it's multiple enclosed viewing areas, would be perfect for routine round trip Seattle longer cruises like the one we had with an obligatory port stop in Victoria. I think if it were offered later in the season it would sell well. Princess does r/t to Hawaii 15 nights on a regular basis. RCI could find a niche in Alaska with this wonderful ship! Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a ... Read More
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a lovely ship with a few spots looking the worse for wear. We felt right at home since our 40 year old home also has a few of those! There did seem to be a very friendly, cheerful ambiance on the ship that I believe starts at the top. Embarkation was very efficient--one of our best in 16 cruises. Disembarkation via express, carry your own luggage was very popular and maybe the large express group needs letters or numbers to be called in stages also. Overall, dining was quite good. Mostly, we had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. I could find enough breakfast variety to eat for a month in this venue. Three times I had breakfast in the Park Cafe to avail myself of the lox and bagels and fixings I enjoy very much. We had lunch in the main dining room once. I had the Tutti salad I loved in the past. It was good but tuna fish was the protein of choice. I missed the shrimp and prosciutto I had enjoyed in the past. Do I detect a cut-back? Had some good Indian food in the WJ. Plenty of choices to not go hungry. Thought the desserts here were very weak and repetitive and many dishes could use a bit more spice. We dined at Giovanni's for lunch one day and they put on a spectacular feast. Everything was delicious. We shared appetizers and pasta and had our own entrees. I highly recommend this $15 lunch special. Best meal of the cruise but of course, it was a specialty restaurant. Desserts were ones we still dream about and service superb. Salvador and Bennie were our fixed dining waiters and took very good care of us. Their job is extra hard because they have different numbers of people showing up on different nights. They made sure we were stocked with the brown sunflower seed rolls we cruise for. Overall the food was quite good. One night we had a wonderful lamb shank. I missed the wonderful rare thick lamb chops we have had on a couple of cruises. I had a couple of the sugar free desserts which were pleasantly good. Dinner desserts were much better than the WJ. With limited changing menu choices, I think they should avoid 2 steaks or 2 chocolate cake choices on the same menu--just my preference. Thought the cruise director John was very good. His afternoon Neil Diamond show was one of our favorite entertainment offerings. OA, the entertainment was pretty average but seats more available. Sea Day trivia was very well done with most of the questions just about right in the degree of difficulty. Hannah, James and Sophie did a good job. Played bingo once--very expensive and games are too short. My favorite game was the football goalpost which took a while. Prizes were good. Enjoyed the Hawaiian duo. I would also like to see more classic country music on the ships. We were sorry to miss Hilo. They subbed an ON in Lahaina instead. We were doing several nights on Maui after the cruise so this was not quite as good for us. Weather on the cruise was lovely. Hawaii was rather hot and humid due to recent hurricane activity which caused no problems for us. Our group usually plans its own excursions. No children in our group. I always have fun and a good time on cruises and my first on ROTS filled the bill nicely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Four seniors escaping from the Arizona heat to Vancouver on Sept. 6. Flew in 1 night early - our party of 2 - and stayed near the YVR airport at Ramada Inn as it had a free shuttle and free breakfast. Room was small but clean and quiet. ... Read More
Four seniors escaping from the Arizona heat to Vancouver on Sept. 6. Flew in 1 night early - our party of 2 - and stayed near the YVR airport at Ramada Inn as it had a free shuttle and free breakfast. Room was small but clean and quiet. On boarding day (9/7) we joined with another cruise couple at our hotel and split a cab to Canada Place. $36.30 + tip CDN. 30 minutes after arrival we were on board the ship - one of the fastest check ins and boardings ever for us. Kudos to the folks at the Vancouver Cruise Terminal and RCL. Staterooms available at 115 pm, departure on time at 515 pm. Our group of 4 had the 530 traditional dining each night in the MDR. THE CRUISE - 10 days total, 5 sea days then 5 Hawaii ports - Hilo on the big island, was replaced by Lahaina for 2 days. So Lahaina 2 days, Hana - 1 day, Kauai - 1 day with a drop at Honolulu on the final morning. Lahaina and Hana were both tenders so that is more of a challenge and problem to come and go. OUR CABIN - mid ship interior Deck 3 - good for the 5 sea days due to some 6 - 8 ft. swells. Room was quiet, clean in good shape, bed comfortable, room temp good and cold for sleeping. Attendant Elmer did an excellent job for us and was always pleasant. Flat screen TV with a good variety of cable channels and generally a good picture. SHIP CONDITION - Though one of the older ships, 2300 passengers and 13 decks, we found it in great shape and was kept clean. Plenty of friendly staff who did their job well. Captain Ryan - low profile but daily announcements at 12 noon with our status. With the 5 sea days we played lots of trivia - Hannah, James, Sophie were usually in charge - they were fun and entertaining. FELLOW PASSENGERS - a diverse group - mostly 60 and up but I would say 20% were 30 to 60 in age, some young families - approximately 80 children on board and a number of pre school. Always enjoy talking with people from all over the US and the world on these cruises. Everyone I spoke to was friendly and pleasant. SHOWS/ENTERTAINMENT - Cruise Director John Blair we liked and enjoyed but it appears RCL has decidedly cut this budget. We normally go to the evening show after dining. Some of the shows and entertainers were okay, many were just fair to mediocre. No WOW on the evening shows on this cruise, but at least it was easy to get a seat to attend. DINING - at every evening meal in the MDR at 530 pm. 2 formal nights - waiters - Salvador and Benny - fun to deal with, did their job well and made dinner a good time for all. Food selection always good, service always good, food quality normally good, pacing of meal good - not too slow - not too fast. Ate in 1 specialty restaurant, Giovanni’s for lunch - ½ the dinner price - great meal, great service, excellent meal and dessert. Total price including tip for 4 (no alcohol) was $75. The chocolate cake alone was worth the price of the meal. Had lunch 1 time in the dining room for a change - very good too. Normally did breakfast and lunch in the windjammer. We were happy there with the selection and taste, cleanliness, staff attitude and their job performance. Weakest item in the WJ was the desserts (we felt). Windjammer - additional comment - most every morning as I tried to enjoy my breakfast, usually at 7 AM, the very loud, hip hop music was blaring above our table, sometimes too loud to even have a conversation. Does anyone in the WJ management see who is eating breakfast at 7 AM ? I guess not or who is the music really for - the employees or the paying customers? This could be so much better for all these 60 year olds as they try to converse and enjoy their breakfast. There are so many good music choices that could be made for us to dine by. Perhaps a majority of instrumentals as a suggestion. Music like this is okay at lunch or dinner but please not at 7 AM - please look at this hard and address it. FITNESS CENTER - Did not use FAVORITE LOUNGE - the one on deck 13 - great for reading, chatting or playing games. MEDICAL UNIT - Unfortunately our friends had the chance to use the medical unit. She saw their 2 doctors and was very pleased with their treatment and handling of her problem. Also the nursing staff was very knowledgable. Only downside is charges go right on the sea pass - no insurance claims here, but even at that was not excessively priced. INTERNET - the fastest I’ve seen on a cruise ship. Offered 1 hour for $9.99 - worked for us. Big improvement here on rates and speed - at least on the Radiance. SLOTS - CASINO - 186 slot machines and 10 tables, mostly older machines but some new too. Some of the lowest minimum bet machines in abundance - many could be played for 10 to 30 cents a spin and I think an above average pay out for a cruise ship casino. We played every day but stuck to our budget - casino opened each day at 8 AM but once in Hawaiian waters the entire casino closed the last 5 days of our cruise. BINGO - like the slots - once in Hawaiian waters no more bingo so again that was for the last 5 days of the cruise. We usually do not play ship bingo feeling it is too expensive for the prizes and is way too short but we tried it this time. Buy in was $29 to $69 per player for 3 games on 4 of the sessions, 1 session was a cover all for 1 game only for $30. These 4 different days consisted of 3 games per session - first was a regular bingo, 2nd 4 corner bingo, 3rd the X. Bingo was hit very quickly, in some cases 4 or 5 numbers and that game was over on games 1 and 2. Took about 10 mins to play the 3 games and we were done. I urged them to do some longer games - I want more play for $29 minimum buying those 3 games. I feel if they brought the price down and did more lengthy games there would be more participation (and enjoyment) !! This suggestion fell on deaf ears. SEA DAY ACTIVITY - we felt this was a really weak point on this cruise - not much going on during the afternoon - how about some shows in the afternoon - the Serenade had them 1 year ago while on there. Just not enough going on to help fill those sea days. DRINK PRICES - the coca colas were $3.84 (including tip) and the alcohol seemed to start at $12 per drink + 18%. Far too expensive and little chance to buy a special or happy hour. As a result we did not buy 1 alcoholic drink this cruise. SUMMARY - Well we did kind of escape the Arizona heat for a short period. Most all of our Hawaii time on shore it was hot and humid - unusual according to the locals. 1 year ago we took the sister ship, the Serenade one way Copenhagen to Boston - that experience vs. this one is 180 degrees. The Serenade provided us with our worst MDR dining experience ever on RCL, from the wait staff, their attitude, food selection and delivery, dinner pacing, a challenge every night to dine. The entire atmosphere of that ship vs. the Radiance was entirely different - like the attitude of the staff wherever you went - so positive on the Radiance. I guess the overall experience is very ship specific. The only area we liked better on Serenade was they provided more to do on sea days, as that itinerary had 5 sea days as well. Friends did a Celebrity future booking while on board - the $100 each deposit program is still in place and nice to be able to book Celebrity and RCL while onboard. Just a few complaints from us as mentioned, otherwise very satisfied - this experience was what we expect of RCL as we cruise with them and why we continue to return. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship ... Read More
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship prior to our cruise and saw quite a few negative comments. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship and the crew. From our room stewart to the wait staff in the main dining room to most all the crew we encountered, everyone was pleasant and very helpful. The ship is older, yes, but it is not falling apart. It was clean everywhere. We booked a junior suite and had plenty of room. The closet was large and the room was big. The food in the MDR was good as well as, of course, Chops Grill. We were not impressed with Giovanni's or the brazilian steakhouse, Samba. That might just be our personal taste. There was not too much in the way of entertainment but we usually do not attend to many shows. We did go one night to a comedian which he was very good. Most people on the ship were 40-50-60ish but there were also a lot of kids and younger adults. We had booked all our excursions prior to boarding the ship so we did get them at a discount. One excursion, dog mushing, was cancelled due to weather and no snow on the glacier but we rebooked at the dock to another helicopter onto a glacier which was awesome. All our other excursions were great too. In Ketchican, we went on a boat ride and after had a delicious lunch of all you can eat dungeonous crabs. We definitely recommend this excursion. Next stop was Icy Straight Point where we went out on a boat for whale watching. We did see whales and orcas. Then Juneau where we went up on the glacier. Next was Skagway where we enjoyed a wonderful salmon bake. We ended in Seward and continued on to the land tour. Starting in Anchorage we boarded the Wilderness Express train to Talkeetna for one night, then onto Danali by train for two nights and finally by a third train to Fairbanks for two nights. Although we thoroughly enjoyed all the sights, we wish we had had the itenerary for this land tour ahead of time. No food or extra excursions along the way were included in the cruise price. And food is VERY expensive in Alaska. Plus in some of the places you are very limited on places to eat. You are also very busy everyday especially if you went on the extra excursions that were not included in the price and were also expensive. Plan on spending about another $2000 on food and excursions. That doesn't include any souveniers you may want to buy. The three train rides were fabulous and most all of the excursions included in the price were great except for the salmon bake in Fairbanks. Of note, the bus ride into Danali National Park was long, about 8 hours, and was on a remodeled school bus. The only time you could get out of the bus was on bathroom breaks. You could only take pictures from the bus windows and on the bathroom breaks. We did see some wildlife but mostly from very far away and you really needed a long range camera len to get close up pictures. We absolutely enjoyed our cruise and land tour and would recommend it to anyone wishing to go to Alaska. It is a bucket list place. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
Radiance of the Seas was one the best experience of my life. I met so many new people at Optix, I had fun with my family, so many beautiful views too! The cruise directors were amazing but my favorites were Kassy and Vinni who worked at ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas was one the best experience of my life. I met so many new people at Optix, I had fun with my family, so many beautiful views too! The cruise directors were amazing but my favorites were Kassy and Vinni who worked at Optix. They had so many adventures on board with my friends and I. The food and waiters were also amazing. Namely Sean and Supaphan were my favorites. The food was always amazing. Our housekeeper Ferdinand was amazing he is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He always smiled and always waved whenever we saw him. The on board activity’s were all very fun and kept me busy when I had nothing else to do. The rooms and everything else was very clean. It was all amazing everything that I saw. The rooms were very clean and had just enough room for my family and our stuff. I fully recommend going on Radiance of the Seas to anyone looking to have a good summer. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary being one way inside passage, giving longer time in ports. Also, we have sailed Serenade, Radiance's sister ship and it was out favorite ship with its glass and window-filled areas. It's ... Read More
We chose this cruise due to the itinerary being one way inside passage, giving longer time in ports. Also, we have sailed Serenade, Radiance's sister ship and it was out favorite ship with its glass and window-filled areas. It's perfect for viewing Alaska. It's not too small nor too big and it goes to Icy Strait Point. We had read Icy Strait Point was amazing and it was our favorite port. We had sailed RCI on 4 previous cruises. We knew to expect good service, entertainment and food. This cruise was incredible, though we learned things along the way. I would definitely do this cruise again, but would probably do southbound instead of northbound just to get thr longer time difference out of the way. It was a struggle to resume EST. We spent 3 night in Vancouver precruise flying from Baltimore to Toronto and Toronto to Vancouver. Air Canada was wonderful and the extra legroom seats well worth it. We got in around 2:30 PSt and got a cab to the Auberge Vancouver Hotel. We had stayed there before and returneddue to its wonderful location. We had a 2 bedroom suite and my family had single rooms. Or room and bathroom were apparently nicer than our family's. We previously stayed at the Auberge 2 years prior and prefer to grab breakfast at Starbucks across the street and eat at the cruise terminal just a couple blocks away. There were new ships each morning. The first full day we rented hybrid electric bikes and biked Stanley Park It was our favorite thing we did in Vancouver. In the afternoon, we went to Queen Elizabeth Gardens, which were spectacular! The next day, we did Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. More to continue Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as ... Read More
This was our second trip on this same ship and route, this time we brought the family. We decided on this ship because we had such a wonderful experience the first time. I read the reviews previous to our departure and was a bit worried as the negative reviews listed the age of the ship and rude staff. However, my wife convinced me to just focus on the great time we had in 2016 and the pure joy our kids (13/17) would have going on their first cruise. We were pleasantly surprised when we boarded and our room was no disappointment. We also enjoyed the many staff who made sure we had everything we needed. The problem primarily focused on the lack of security or rules enforcement throughout the week. There are designated smoking areas at various locals about the ship but it seemed those patrons that chose to smoke took liberty as where they smoked...which was about anywhere. Every single night we smelled smoke from the staircases and when I did finally complain, I was told the wind was at fault for carrying the smoke. We did not have this issue in 2016 and I'm pretty sure the wind blew then too! While the itinerary sheet reflects a $250 fine for those breaking the smoking rule, no one seemed to have concern for that regulation being enforced. One morning later in the week we even smelled marijuana from our balcony. I'm an easy going redneck and enjoying the break from our Oklahoma allergies was a welcomed thought if not for the nasty cigarette smoke. You couldn't leave the main dining hall without getting blasted by the smoke. Another issue was the change in dining experience. We had no issues during our 2016 cruise but they evidently changed the format. We were faced with long lines at each meal and DO NOT expect very many diners actually dressing up during the established formal nights. While signs list no flip flops, tank tops or ball caps, we had just that very thing seated next to us. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of the dressy lifestyle nor was my 13 year old, but we did just that for my wife and it was more than annoying that I had to suffer through a dinner jacket and tie next to bubba in a glorified wife beater! The Windjammer cafe was also habitually crowded as well and we always had to take our plates to a different dining ara just to get a place to sit. Another sign that was liberally ignored was the use of the billiards tables. My eldest and I wished to play and walked to the tables several times each day, not one time did we find them available because there were small children camped out with no adults in sight. The one time we decided to wait, we leaned up next to the "Adults Only" signage and waited for their 45 minute game to end. The issue with unsupervised kids did not end there, we felt we were on a Disney Cruise due to the number of unsupervised kids running about. While some were well behaved, there were plenty that raced down halls, knocked on doors and just created havoc for some people. And lastly, the daily itinerary lists "Saving of seats is strictly prohibited and will be enforced" in reference to the theater, but this was absolutely not enforced and staff regularly walked by rows that were covered by various jackets, shoes, and other personal effects that cruisers placed ahead of time to secure their spot. This was ultimately disappointing to me though by boys had a wonderful experience. I can appreciate the reference to being a "Crown and Anchor Society club" member but I am not sure of the benefits other than a little quicker check in process. I found out that while there are a few perks (less so than in 2016), one has to actually notify the staff upon making a purchase to receive the benefit. You'd think maybe the sea pass card would be colored or possibly reflect that the holder was a C&A Society member so we wouldn't have to beg for the limited perk. One such perk change was the fact that we used to get a $5 credit in the casino but that was changed to one spin! Whew! Game changer! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali National Park. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The seas were calm. In Ketchikan and Icy Srtait we just walked around, having done a number of excursions on past cruises. Ketchikan was extremely busy with 4 ships in port. However we did enjoy walking around and enjoying the shops. We took the bus into the town of Hoonah, not much to see there. We saw a Totem carver and enjoyed his story about his carving. Juneau is probably our favorite Alaskan port. We always do the whale watching, Orca lodge salmon bake and on occassion Mendenhall Glacier. We are never disappointed with this excursion. We saw a number of humpback whales and eaglees soaring near our boats. In Skagway, we took the train up to Fraser BC and then boarded the bus for a trip to the beginning of the Yukon, on the way back we stopped for a lunch consisting of bison chili and then walked the suspension bridge. We did encounter some fog and rain on the way to Fraser but the weather cleared before arriving. We opted for a two night land tour folling the cruise and it was teriffic. We left Seward for Denali National Park, with a short stop in Anchorge. Our tour director Lori was amazing, she kept us entertained the entire two days. Lori was extremely patient with all of the questions that anyone had. W were overnight at the Denali Park Village. The loaction was amazing, our room looked out a river behind the lodge. There were several dining venues available, gift shops and outside entertainment. Next morning we got on a bus for the Denali History Tour. We made three stops throughout the park for some short lectures and then at the parks visitor center for lunch. We were very lucky to have great weather because we got to see MT. Denali two days in a row, something Lori said didn't happen very often. Next we rode to Talkeetna where we boarded the Wilderness train to Anchorage. That was a wonderful ride in a domed railcar.Our last night was at the Marriot, it was within walking distance of quite a few sites. Now for the not so good. The ROTS is in need of a physical makeover, it showed a lot of wear and tear. The food in both the Windjammer and MDR were just fair, but we weren't there for the food. The music in the atruim was too loud, you couldn't have a conversation with anyone in guest services. The entertainment was mediocre. Any of the ships crew we interacted with were great, especially our cabin attendant and MDR waiters. If we were to visit Alaska again via a cruise, we might try a Celebrity ship.One last note, on other Alaska cruises, we did not remember all of the small out of control childern running amok on the ship or on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We ... Read More
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We liked the cruise overall, but got the strong impression that more things have become extra-cost options rather than being included in the price you pay. It would be fine if the overall price of the cruise was lower and you'd pay only for things you wanted, but the cruise price seemed about the same as before. We booked our own flights and pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver. We have found that this gives us a chance to settle in ahead of time as well as avoid worrying about getting to the ship if the flights are delayed. Boarding was efficient. You clear US customs before boarding, so you can't leave the ship once you are onboard. If you have a choice, you will have to balance the check-in crowds against spending a bit more time in Vancouver. We could have boarded at 1 pm or 2 pm instead of 11 am (which we did). We booked relatively early, but were still stuck with either a very expensive suite or an outside cabin on Deck 2. It was really pretty good, stable during sea passages, but you spend a lot of time waiting for the elevator. The ship itself was in pretty good condition, but there were a few signs of wear around the edges. They had to fix one of the Centrum elevators which was misbehaving. One of the restrooms had a large-ish metal panel held in place with a wedge of paper stuck between the frame and the panel. The green trim paint on the outside around deck 10/11 seemed to be flaking off in spots. Dining in Cascades (main dining room) was passable overall, about what you'd get at a hotel banquet function. Some entrees were quite good, and some were disappointing. We tried some specialty restaurants too. Chops: We did this on the first night for $20. I don't think it was worth much more than that, and definitely not $35 worth. Service was off, the meat was good but not top-notch, and selections were limited. The meat was not exactly done as we had ordered, but it was close. We ordered some bottles of wine since they said that they would hold the bottles for future visits in "any" shipboard restaurant. However, when we went to Cascades the next night, it took them 20 minutes and a head waiter to bring the bottles down from Chops to Cascades, and this was accompanied by a lecture that "we don't normally do this". If that was the case, then Chops should have told us that it really wasn't practical to move the wine from one restaurant to another and offered us the option to take it with us. Samba: We did this on the second sea night. For $25, this felt much better. The food was tasty and well-prepared. They cook the 7 different types of meats more or less to order for each table, so they don't have a lot that's circulating like a typical Brazilian steak house. We had to sample the last two meats since we had too much salad at the beginning and were filling up fast. Beverages: we skipped the unlimited drinks package due to high cost ($49/person/day plus 18%, even in advance) and limitations on what was included (nothing over $12 per drink, which was about half of the wines by the glass and some specialty cocktails; fairly limited choices; and a discount on wine by the bottle in the restaurants). The daily drink special seemed a bit watered down, too. You'd have to consume four drinks per day, every day, to break even on the package. On shore days, you'll generally spend several hours in town, which also reduces the amount of time to have beverages on the ship. We noted that some people were looking for bars that were open at 9 am or 10 am, so we surmised they were on drinks packages and wanted to spread things out. Shows: Most were pretty good, with lavish productions and decent enough performers. They were good cruise entertainment, but you'd probably not spend a lot of money to see the same show on land. We were disappointed in the changes at the spa/fitness center. There used to be free one-hour classes like stretch and yoga, plus a "ShipShape" program that encouraged participation. Now, the free classes are quite short (15 minutes for a stretch class? Come on!) and you have to pay for longer classes ($12/class or $49 for unlimited classes during the cruise). Again, shore days will cut into the classes that you can attend. There was a constant push to buy expensive services like skin treatments to reduce facial lines and sagging. The staff was friendly, but you didn't get much interest from them if you just wanted to do free stuff. Other shipboard activities included the usual art auctions, sales at the shops, photography packages on offer, etc. There were frequent trivia competitions in the bars, a scavenger hunt (which we won, thanks to being first back plus having one item that was worth 10 points), and "The Quest" which is a hoot for players and spectators alike. We leaned towards the free activities to show that some people like those and don't need to pay money for everything to have fun. Cuddy, the cruise director, really made things great. He seemed to be everywhere, introducing shows, promoting activities around the ship, and being part of special nights like the 70s dance party in the Centrum. I have not seen such a wild, fun "Village People" tribute before. Having Cuddy dressed up as the construction worker just topped it off. This night seemed to be a highlight for the entertainment staff too. The naturalist we had on board to talk about the glaciers was knowledgable, but not that good at communicating. I felt that he provided the same info during the on-deck commentary and the scheduled talks. We also had talks by a former RCMP (Mountie) telling of the life they lead and what they really do. We had great weather during the cruise: sun in port, a little colder and windier at sea, but I can't complain at all. We kept hearing that the weather was the best the locals had seen in weeks, so we felt quite blessed to be cruising this particular week. Of course, your experience will be different. The ports were pretty typical for this itinerary. I'll summarize our experiences. I'm more willing to book tours on my own if they leave first thing in the morning, but the afternoon ones should be booked through the ship so they won't leave without you if you get back late (which happened to us in three of four ports). There were 4-5 ships in port at each of the stops we made, except Icy Strait Point where we were the only ship. Ketchikan: A fun little town, but not much to do if you don't buy an excursion. We went on a floatplane trip to the Misty Fjords with Carlin Air, since the ship's excursion was sold out. You'll save some money booking it on your own. The air charter companies will meet you at the dock. There is also a row of kiosks where you can book a tour on the spot. The cost could be slightly higher cost that advance booking online, but perhaps you can negotiate with the people there. We walked around town, went to the Totem Heritage Center, and had some lunch at the Alaska Fish House next to the pier. We skipped the lumberjack show. Our time here was sadly quite limited, or we might have been able to fit in a trip via bus to Totem Bight or Saxman. Juneau: A nice city, lots to do, pleasant to walk and shop in the local stores. We took the tramway to the top of Mt. Roberts. It was one of the warmest days they had seen in months. We had lunch at Tracy's Crab Shack (famous, a little touristy but very popular for good reasons). We walked a few blocks to the state capitol building, but could not see that much without going up a few floors. We then took a helicopter tour in the late afternoon (pilot's choice, two landings, highly recommended if you can get it) and returned in time to walk around some more and grab a bite at Deckhand Dave's right on the pier next to our ship. Icy Strait Point: We enjoyed this stop. We took a little walk in the woods, checked out the old salmon cannery, but we had little time left after we did the bears/whale watching trip. We saw two bears plus whales having fun, sea otters, porpoises, sea lions, etc. We liked the involvement of the native people in presenting the history. You can book the same trips on site if you haven't booked them on the ship, and I did not check to see if the prices were any different than the advance bookings This port was developed with Royal Caribbean (we called it "Coco Cay of Alaska") and it was very nice. Skagway: A fun place, small enough to walk around or ride the ($5/day) bus. The dock is not that close to the town, so you'll have a bit of a walk. My wife did the glass blowing, which she enjoyed; I walked a bit, took some photos and enjoyed some shopping. We both went on the White Pass and Yukon rail excursion, which returned about 45 mins late but dropped us off right at the dock. The weather was perfect again, if perhaps a bit warm. Departure at Seward was uneventful, but we were delayed a bit. We joined a post-cruise tour, so they picked us up right at the dock. More on the post-cruise tour in another review. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we have been on four previous RCI cruises- on Freedom and Oasis and had exceptional experiences every time. We knew we wanted to go to Alaska, so RCI seemed like the obvious choice. However, since the moment we got on the boat, the vibe was just... different. Staff does NOT seem to enjoy their jobs. The ship is smaller and older, which we knew already, but the problem is that it gets treated like a second class ship. Dinner in the main dining room took 70 minutes to come out the first night. Understandable, so that wasn’t a big deal. But then the annoyances started adding up. Dishes in the Solarium piled up. Loud construction in the solarium on the first sea day- again, maybe unavoidable but still annoying. Food was nothing to write home about- far below quality we had had on Freedom and Oasis class. Service was hit or miss. When we mentioned some of these issues, they were very nice and attentive, but outside of that, many staff members were very standoffish and seemingly annoyed at serving food, drinks, and counters. There was also not much to do on the ship. It was definitely geared towards an older crowd and lacking in activities and amenities. It was very disappointing overall for the quality we had come to expect. If you want to go to Alaska I highly recommend the Northbound itinerary- it was GORGEOUS! But if you can find it on a different cruise line, that would be a better choice than sailing Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Last year my wife and I sailed the Celebrity Solstice, doing the Inside Passage from Seattle. We enjoyed it so much we decided to go northbound on the Vancouver-Seward run and after a couple years, went back to RCCI. We sailed with another ... Read More
Last year my wife and I sailed the Celebrity Solstice, doing the Inside Passage from Seattle. We enjoyed it so much we decided to go northbound on the Vancouver-Seward run and after a couple years, went back to RCCI. We sailed with another couple. We arrived in Vancouver a day early (it was supposed to be 2 nights early - thanks Delta!). We enjoyed our time in the city and felt like it would be a cool place to explore with more time. What surprised me most was how easy the embarkation was. If Seattle was utter chaos, including being sent to Uber hell, Vancouver was perhaps the simplest embarkation of any cruise we have taken. A few thoughts on the cruise. The CD on Radiance is average to bland. The Love and Marriage Game show was pretty lame. The entertainment was OK but not great and they didn't have a good musical guest. The pub entertainer was great, but he really packed the place out! I did find they had some good and unique trivia, which is great. We had outstanding service and very good food in MDR and Samba (Samba was one of my highlights). But then we found food in the Windjammer was not great, especially at lunch. The variety was not there, and some of the items were not very good. Not that you should judge a cruise by it's pizza but dang the pizza was nasty and so under-cooked that the cheese wasn't melted. The itinerary was good. I will review ports below. In general, I think they should find an alternative for Icy Point Straight. We were not impressed. Perhaps they should sub it out for Sitka. Or perhaps an overnight in Juneau? The Hubbard Glacier was impressive, though we didn't see any calving. Disembarkation was great. We took the train through RCCI to Anchorage. That was another highlight - the scenery was outstanding. It was the shortest 4 1/2 hours ever. The only bizarre part was that the train drops you off at the airport, but your luggage is in downtown at the convention center. Fortunately we were renting a car so it wasn't a big deal. We had 2+ days in Anchorage - there is a lot of fun stuff to do if you have a car. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
Things were quite unorganized on this ship from Vancouver to Hawaii. THE GOOD: (1) The food was very good, and especially loved that they finally had a gluten-free station in the Windjammer; for those of you who have Celiac Disease, ... Read More
Things were quite unorganized on this ship from Vancouver to Hawaii. THE GOOD: (1) The food was very good, and especially loved that they finally had a gluten-free station in the Windjammer; for those of you who have Celiac Disease, this is a welcomed accommodation ~ Thank you so much for that! (2) The Service in the Dining Room and the Windjammer were top notch, as always! (3) Our cabin was cleaned thoroughly twice a day by our wonderful Room Attendant! (4) The OUTSIDE entertainment was very good: 2 great singers, 2 good comedians, and 1 very good ventriloquist. THE BAD: Everything else! (1) The Cruise Director (and his wife, the Assistant) were unlike many we've had on other cruises. On our seven previous cruises, we would often see our Cruise Director several times on the pool deck; my husband and I spend the majority of our daytime hours there and we never saw either John, nor Katrina, there. Basically saw them introduce the evening shows, and rarely anytime else. The one time we did see John and apprised him of a disembarking concern, he would not accept that there was an important lack of information (a photo ID must accompany you off the ship along with your Sea Pass Card and Tender Ticket) being included during the Tender Ticket announcements, as well as on that day's Daily Compass. When I told John this, he would not accept the fact that the Tender Ticket #4 announcement was the FIRST time it was mentioned that a photo ID was also needed. He kept telling me I was incorrect. I don't have a problem with people making mistakes; it happens. But I do take offense when people cannot accept that they have made a mistake. However, since ALL of the announcements from that moment on emphasized that everyone MUST have a photo ID, along with their Tender Ticket and Sea Pass Card, as well as non-tender days all MUST have a Photo ID along with their Sea Pass Card, I'm guessing that was his way of acknowledging their omission of the Photo ID information. A simple, "Oh wow, I'm sorry we failed to include that information and thank you for bring that to my attention" would have been the correct thing for him to do! (2) Early on Day 3 of an 11-Day Cruise, I asked the excursion desk about disembarking on the individual islands. I was told the exact opposite: was told we dock in Maui, tender in Hilo, dock in Kona, and tender in Kauai. I wrote it down so I would remember. The day before getting to Maui there was much confusion on the pool deck amongst the passengers: some said the info I had was correct and others had the opposite. Turns out I'd been given the wrong information. For one who books their own excursions, this was important information that was given incorrectly to many passengers. I was also told on Day 3 that neither the excursion rep I spoke with, nor the 2 other ones she was working with had ever been to Hawaii, therefore she was unable to answer any questions regarding the islands. Still, since they were booking excursions for some of the passengers, not knowing which island we dock at and which islands we tender to is ridiculous! (3) Speaking of excursions, if you don't book your excursions with RC, you are treated like 2nd class passengers. I take offense to this as I pay just as much to cruise as those booking RC excursions and ALL passengers who have early morning excursions should be given priority disembarking. The first day in Maui, we were given Tender Ticket #7 and waited over 2 hours to finally get off the ship - this is unacceptable! (4) The bartenders were hit or miss. Some were overly gracious, while others rarely smiled and acted like you were bothering them. Thank you to those bartenders who were cordial and fun to speak with! (5) Our previous cruises had midnight buffets, pool deck BBQ's and Ice Sculpting demonstrations. Personally, I've always thought the midnight buffets were unnecessary as many were too overstuffed to enjoy eating; but the beauty of the midnight buffets were wonderful. I still don't think they are necessary and not upset they don't have them anymore. However, we have had pool deck BBQ's on shorter cruises in the past, as well as Ice Sculpting. Except for a "Sexy Man Contest," a rather lame trivia contest, and a line dancing lesson, nothing else occurred on the pool deck during this 11-day cruise. (6) I mentioned the outside entertainment was very good; however, the Royal Caribbean "Singers and Dancers" on this cruise were the most untalented we've ever seen during any of our cruises. I've always given glowing reviews about the on-board entertainment in the past; I cannot do so after this cruise. I rarely give negative reviews. Our previous cruise to this one was awful ~ felt like we were on a Disney cruise with all the kids running around unsupervised; not to mention that entire "Dream Cruise" was geared more toward children's entertainment, rather than the adults on board. We decided to give RC another chance and, unfortunately, after this cruise we have decided to either fly to a destination vacation, or try some of the smaller cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
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