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408 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

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
We liked the size of the ship and have been on Brilliance and Vision before. The Radiance however looks very tired, from the Windjammer, to the dining rooms, the decor, the chipped and stained furniture, Wardrobe doors wouldn't close, ... Read More
We liked the size of the ship and have been on Brilliance and Vision before. The Radiance however looks very tired, from the Windjammer, to the dining rooms, the decor, the chipped and stained furniture, Wardrobe doors wouldn't close, pool towels that should be turned into rags etc. On the positive side: food was ok, staff friendly and helpful and the itinerary great. We embarked very early in Vancouver and swept right through. As we didn't disembark in Honolulu leaving the ship for the day didn't take much time. First port of call was Maui where they had a bit of a problem with the tenders. It seemed to be not well organized. Fortunately we were there over night. Therefore time wasn't really an issue. We rented a car on each island and it was definitely worth it. But be careful in Maui. We anchored at Lahaina and had to pick up the car at their major airport - which meant an expensive taxi ride. There is a closer rental car place. Make sure you watch out for that. Hilo was very good because of the Volcanoes, Kona not so much, Kauai again was great and far too much to do and see in Honolulu for the limited time we had. We are not sure if we want to get back on the Radiance before it has had a refurbishment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
First Time Cruising, Choose This one as it was departing from Vancouver BC with Hawaii as a destination. Over all cruise was great. Entertainment was relaxing , Room was adequate with attentive staff, Dining was exceptional with ... Read More
First Time Cruising, Choose This one as it was departing from Vancouver BC with Hawaii as a destination. Over all cruise was great. Entertainment was relaxing , Room was adequate with attentive staff, Dining was exceptional with outstanding staff, Service in most cases was excellent there were definitely some wow factors. I was however less than impressed with the shore ex people. I found them to be not helpful or informative but eager to sell you product. I was also not totally satisfied with all the tours. I found the Kings, trains & Waterfalls in Kauai interesting no one ever did figure out what the kings reference was for, our tour bus lost it's air conditioning and the replacement was handled poorly. The Kona excursion was a stop at the coffee plantation gift shop, a lovely stop at the national park with an old village site but no guidance or narrative so a lost opportunity my opinion. Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
The ports were amazing. Cruising through the Hubbard Glacier was unbelievable. We learned so much about Alaskan and Native American history. LOVED the itinerary. We've been on this class ship and love the size, layout and ... Read More
The ports were amazing. Cruising through the Hubbard Glacier was unbelievable. We learned so much about Alaskan and Native American history. LOVED the itinerary. We've been on this class ship and love the size, layout and amenities. This was our first time in a Jr. Suite...and that was quite nice. We enjoyed the balcony often for site seeing. The entertainment was excellent. The headliner apparently was one of the RC singers. However, he had appeared as the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera in London. He was amazing and his headliner show was one of the best we've seen. One downside was the food. Menu in the Main Dining Room (for dinner) and the Windjammer (for breakfast and lunch) needs to be modernized with new foods and presentation. We also ate in Chops (and have eaten there 3 times previously) and were very not pleased with the quality of the food. Bacon starter and salad were great. The filet was tasteless, the potato was tiny. The other downside was our dinner server who really needed to be in a different job. He was SO slow (we were served dessert as everyone else were leaving). He interrupted conversations every single time he came to the table (rather than waiting til a break in conversation). He took orders right to left (rather than women first). He didn't know basic ingredients to a dinner dish. My other commentary was that the wifi access was spotty. Imagine our frustration when we had to resort to a web search to find out the ingredients for Chicken Kiev! That being said...we spoke to Guest Services and we were very impressed with RC for addressing the problem. The Head Server was very attentive to us and made sure that we got our meals and drinks correctly and timely. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We wanted to see Alaska. Glad we chose this itinerary, the ports were great. Lots to see and do, both on and off board. We love the Radiance class ships, they feel like a cruise ship, not too big, not to small. We found all the staff ... Read More
We wanted to see Alaska. Glad we chose this itinerary, the ports were great. Lots to see and do, both on and off board. We love the Radiance class ships, they feel like a cruise ship, not too big, not to small. We found all the staff we met very helpful from our stateroom attendant, to our lovely dining room staff. We had my time dining, which as usual was excellent. The food in the main dining room was a high standard. The lobster on the last formal night was delicious. The diamond lounge was lovely, it was on deck 13 midships, had a lovely view, great canapes & drinks served in the evening. We enjoyed the shows we saw. One of my only criticisms of the activities offered were some of the enrichment lectures were on during the day on port days, so we missed them. In Ketchikan we went on The float plane & crab feast tour, wow! From Juneau we went to the Mendenhall glacier, well worth it. In Skegway went on The White Pass & Yukon scenic railway, it was rainy & foggy early on, but cleared later. They gave us the option of not going & changing tours because of the weather, which I thought was very nice, however we chose to stay on & I am glad we did. We got to see the Hubbard Glacier, what an experience. The only criticism was that we couldn't hear the commentary in our cabin. We chose to do the aftercruise tour 4A. Well worth doing. Our time in Denali was excellent, we saw bear & moose on our Tundra Wilderness tour, the scenery was stunning. The Husky Homestead tour (optional) is well worth doing, you get a real insight into how the Alaskan Husky is raised and cared for and the Iditarod race. Fairbanks is a lovely town, the Gold Dredge #8 & Riverboat Discovery III tours were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
Just home from our Alaska cruise with extended landtour (from Aug 25th till Sept 8th). This was a awesome experience which we would like to share with you ! When we left Belgium to Vancouver we faced a strike of the lugage handlers. So ... Read More
Just home from our Alaska cruise with extended landtour (from Aug 25th till Sept 8th). This was a awesome experience which we would like to share with you ! When we left Belgium to Vancouver we faced a strike of the lugage handlers. So our luggage arrived 4 days later then expected. Nevertheless this minor issue we had a lot of fun ! 1. Vancouver : City walking tour & Stanley Park 2. Ketchikan : Floatplane + crab feast and visited Creek Street. 3. Icy Strait Point : walk the natural trial and saw a little bit of a whale. 4. Juneau : bike tour to Mendenhall Glacier and visiting Alaskan Brewery 5. Skagway : Yukon Train to the Summit and kayaking on Lake Benhard. 6. Hubbard Glacier 7. Seward trip to Anchorage with bus. 8. Anchorage stayed in the Mariott Hotel and visited the Native Museum. 9. To Talkneeta with Wilderness Express train. Stayed in the Talkneeta lodge, had diner in the Bistro and visited the small town Talkneeta and did a little hike. 10-12. To Denali with train and stayed in Denali Park Lodge. We visited Denali National Park (8 hours tour highly recommended - we saw caribou/dal sheep/golden eagle/wolf/willow Ptarmigan). Visited Denali Canyon (had lunch there) and did the Zip line. We booked also a private photo tour with Terry Boyd - which we highly recommend. At the evening we had booked the Cabin Nite (75$ p.p. which is quite some money for the food and show). 12-13. Fairbanks visiting the museum of the North and did a steemwheel boat trip (we saw dog sledge and a small native village). At the evening we booked the Salmon Bake which is really awesome (all you can eat for 35$). Last but not least : we saw the Aurora in Fairbanks ! We cruised with Radiance of the Seas, with great food and excellent service. There was a super atmosphere at the cruise ship (friendly respectfull people & no chair hogs). All days we had beautifull weather, except 2 mornings we had some rain. During the complete trip we had very knowledgeable tourguides and drivers whom make the excursion money worth ! Last but not least we would like to thank the RC representative Jane Carel, who was on a daily contact with the airline in order to manage our lugage and provides us everything necessary to cover the first 4 days on the ship. We thought this was an once in a life time experience. But it is not ! We will go back ! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really ... Read More
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really have to scout out late night eats. The swimming pools are well fun. We tried the spa and had massages our first night on the ship. What a great way to start our cruise. Our cabin was always so clean and cozy. There were plenty of elevators available. Love the various lectures regarding the area and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Slightly disappointed in the entertainment. We like the guest entertainers but got a little tired of the ship entertainers. The sunsets were amazing. We did the all access ship tour and it was so cool. It was about a 2 hour tour. We got to see the famous I-95 hallway, the food coolers, the galley, the mechanical room and the bridge. So amazing to see behind the scenes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were ... Read More
We really like the itinerary for the sea and land tours. Besides the cabin issues we had some other issues were: We went the entire week WITH NO HOT WATER. One day we had no water at all. And yes I called maintenance. Children were allowed to run freely in the casino. One evening in the Champagne Bar children were playing football with a shoe. Besides the parents not doing anything I feel the crew members should have. The food in the Windjammer Café was consistently cold. Wait Staff in the Windjammer was slow. Bar Staff around the pools and in casino was non-existent. This was our 11th Royal Caribbean cruise and our 16th overall. Very disappointed with the ship and crew. I will sail with royal Caribbean again but not on this ship. We booked a 6 night excursion for after the cruise. We had NO DETAILS at all. I called in the spring and was told we would get that info on board. We got it the last night of cruise. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I did a lot of research on my port of calls and booked great excursions. I left the excursions at risk of getting cancelled to days that I was staying in Anchorage after the cruise. Such a great move. We did not have a single thing ... Read More
I did a lot of research on my port of calls and booked great excursions. I left the excursions at risk of getting cancelled to days that I was staying in Anchorage after the cruise. Such a great move. We did not have a single thing cancelled due to light rain which made our trip perfect. If you are looking for a lot of nightlife this is probably not your cruise, but normally travelling to Alaska is more relaxed and about enjoying your scenery and company. Staying a couple days in Vancouver and a few days in Anchorage really made this trip complete for us. It was the perfect amount of time to fit in everything we wanted to do. We saw all the wildlife on our list and saw the prettiest sites Alaska had to offer. Dining was great and full of seafood options. That being said, if you do not like seafood like I do not, you may want to check menus nightly before going to dining room and see if maybe Windjammer is a better option. Using the dining room for breakfast and lunch is amazing. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had cruised Alaska previously from Seattle, sailing only the inside passage, and we were looking forward to seeing more of Alaska, particularly Denali, so in addition to the cruise we booked the 5 night land tour to follow the cruise. ... Read More
We had cruised Alaska previously from Seattle, sailing only the inside passage, and we were looking forward to seeing more of Alaska, particularly Denali, so in addition to the cruise we booked the 5 night land tour to follow the cruise. Overall this was not the experience we had expected for a number of reasons. First we had travelled to Vancouver from the East coast, where thunderstorms had delayed one leg of our trip, causing us to run for the second plane and our luggage did not make the second leg. Going a day ahead of the cruise was not enough, we would have had to go two days at least to have gotten on the ship with our bags. Our luggage caught up with us in Ketchikan just before we sailed for our next stop. As diamond members embarkation has always been a pleasure, but in Vancouver there was a very long wait for U.S. customs. We had no disappointments with the ship in general, and were grateful to be able to slip away to the Diamond lounge when we needed a break from the business of a cruise with hundreds of other passengers. We found that overall the ship was very noisey, they could turn down or turn off the piped in music in every venue so that a person could just enjoy the solitude or a quiet conversation with other cruisers. An Alaskan voyage is not the place to sit outside on a secluded deck chair for any length of time considering the outdoor temperatures and on and off misty rain we encountered. The food was just average in the regular venues, and we did not eat in any of the specialized restaurants. Our biggest disappointments were with the land tour that followed the cruise. We felt that we should have had a great deal more information about what to expect and what additional costs would be incurred so that we could have planned accordingly. Accommodations on the land tour were very nice, and our tour director and driver were outstanding. There were some hidden costs like additional excursions, and all meals were on your own. Gratutities had not been included and we were expected to come up with that at the end. We will look into different arrangements regarding land tours on our next trip. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
This was my first cruise, so I didn't have much to go off of, but more experienced cruisers whom I traveled with told me the ship itself was not that great in terms of food and entertainment. I stayed in an inside cabin and had no ... Read More
This was my first cruise, so I didn't have much to go off of, but more experienced cruisers whom I traveled with told me the ship itself was not that great in terms of food and entertainment. I stayed in an inside cabin and had no problem, as I spent most of my waking hours out and about. The cabin itself was nice and clean and my rack was comfortable. However, the bathroom needed a bit of work. In addition to cracks and mold, the bathroom did smell pretty bad for the entire cruise. It felt unclean. I heard another traveler complaining about the fact that the showers had curtains and not glass/plastic doors, but aside from some minimal water spillage, I had no problem. I thoroughly enjoyed the cruise experience. By far, the ports and the shore excursions were the best part of the cruise. When the weather was clear, the view in Southeast Alaska were breathtaking. I enjoyed standing on the helideck or the viewing deck above the bridge and taking in the sights. Binoculars are a must. For touring Southeast Alaska, it seems that a cruise is the best, if not the only, way to go. As expected, Royal Caribbean has horrendous customer service, but this had no negative effective after boarding the ship. The website is not very informative at all. The daily "cruise compass" ensured seamless communication and the crew were extremely friendly. The main dining room waiters and the buffet area staff were all extremely helpful, even beyond dining. The staff who dispensed hand sanitizer in front of the buffet was one of the friendliest groups of people I've ever met. The photographers were a bit hyperactive and valued quantity far more than quality. The on board entertainment was okay, but not exceptional. However, the band that often played in the main "Centrum" area was quite enjoyable to listen to. The Fourth of July celebration was also a lot of fun, even without pyrotechnics. I would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Alaska exploration is more about the destinations than cruising itself. You spend significant time off the ship so keep your expectations low vis-a-vis other cruise ships that are more focused on the cruise experience itself. The ship is ... Read More
Alaska exploration is more about the destinations than cruising itself. You spend significant time off the ship so keep your expectations low vis-a-vis other cruise ships that are more focused on the cruise experience itself. The ship is certainly not state of the art in terms of interior decor but nevertheless clean. Facilities are average - Table Tennis OK, Basketball good, mini soccer field. Swimming pool, sauna, spa. OK. Billiards room with chess, checkers etc. 2 cinema rooms - one big and one small. Windjammer is good for breakfast with a wide variety of items. One item is Indian - Poori masala, chana masala, semiya, upma. Main dining hall is pretty good. They have 1 vegetarian item for starters, main course every day. If you prefer Indian you need to let the waiter know and they will make sure to prepare that everyday - it will not be listed on the menu. Typical Indian fare includes - Starter: Samosa - below avg (frozen small samosas), Onion pakora - very good, Aloo Bonda - excellent, Bhel mix. Main course is typically rotis (below avg - frozen square pieces), one dal (rajma, chhole, masoor dal, etc.), one veg dish (aloo, bhaingan, mixed veg) and plain rice. Some days they give you seasoned rice (Jeera pulav or Plain basmati rice - other days it is not basmati rice). Ask for regular yoghurt (not greek) as it is not served by default. Dessert selection is really good. In addition they offer ice creams (butter almond is great). Room maintenance is twice a day - they do a very good job in replacing towels and cleaning the room. Shore excursions - do not book thru RCI. We rented cars everywhere Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway - saves you a ton of money. If you want to do flight seeing or kayaking you can go thru viator or other online companies. Given all of it, the inside passage is really what you are paying for - it is a great experience one should undergo at least once in their lifetime. If the price is right just do it ! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Our family of 7, age ranging from 5 to 61, travelled from Vancouver to Seward on our bucket list cruise. For my husband and I, it was our second cruise, having been to the Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas, but for everyone else it was ... Read More
Our family of 7, age ranging from 5 to 61, travelled from Vancouver to Seward on our bucket list cruise. For my husband and I, it was our second cruise, having been to the Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas, but for everyone else it was their first cruise experience. We spent a couple nights in Vancouver prior to cruise, staying at the Rosellen Suites within a couple blocks of Stanley Park and shopping. We rented bikes and biked the Sea wall - 4okm one day. Beautiful relaxing way to see the city sights. Highly recommend biking early in the morning to avoid crowds. The second morning I tried out the Shaw Mobi bikes (grab and go from various spots in city) and cruised the sea wall again. Loved it!!! Enjoyed our breakfasts at the Red Umbrella Cafe, and amazing dessert waffles at Nero’s Belgian Waffle Bar. We went to the ship around 2pm and had a very quick embarkation process. Being crown and anchor members we got into the quick line up, and within 15 minutes we were on the ship, touring. Our rooms were ready, and after checking them out, our luggage had arrived. It was great timing! Being a warm sunny day, we headed straight for the main pool, and soaked up some sun while we could. We grabbed some lunch from the Windjammer and had an amazing afternoon on the ship. At 5:00 we had to meet for the safety meting, however we were lucky and just had to go the theatre. It was quick and painless. For Canada day on board the ship we took part in Canada Day trivia - lost the tie breaker, and won the family scavenger hunt. Prizes were very sad - highlighters, key chains, etc. It was nice to see them decorate for Canada Day and have some special events. Ketchikan was our first port. As expected it was cool and rainy. We walked to Creek Street and strolled the area. My grandson and I checked out the museum and then it was time to meet Deven for our kayaking adventure with Ketchikan Kayak Company. Deven had made arrangements to fit our family in when I contacted him prior to our trip, so we were fortunate to have the owner himself do our eco tour. He took the 5 year old under his wing and taught him many things as he showed him all the sea creatures as we kayaked. My 22 year old daughter had been afraid to kayak, but she had more confidence with Deven as our guide. Having a private trip, was an amazing experience, despite the wind and rain that came up at the end. No whale sightings. Deven offered to take us to Totem State Park to make up for cutting our trip short due to the strange weather, but we were all happy with crackers and smoked salmon spread :) Highly recommend Ketchikan Kayak Company. Icy Straight was a rainy day again. We walked into Hoonah after getting some wifii at the restaurant just off the ship. Hoonah just reminded us of communities around home - nothing exciting, but the walk had some beautiful views. We could have sat on a bench for hours watching for whales, however, the rain made us hurry back. We went back on the ship for lunch and then ventured out again with my grandson in the rain. He enjoyed skipping stones and strolling the nature trail. Beautiful spot for photos. Back on the ship, we were fortunate to watch a pod of orcas from our balcony. Despite there not being a lot to do at the port, we enjoyed the nature viewing and relaxing time there. Juneau was our 4th of July stop. I had planned on taking the local bus out to Mendenhall to see the glacier, but due to the holiday that was not an option. We had to splurge $35 per person to take the Blue Bus. We hiked to Nugget Falls and enjoyed the glacier sights and the power of the falls. The 5 year old was able to walk the majority of the way without complaint, in the rain. We were not able to make it back for the parade in town, and ended up catching a white bus back instead of waiting longer for the blue bus. A porcupine walked over to the crowd waiting for the buses. After lunch on the ship, my husband and I took Mount Roberts tram to see the sights, and the others strolled town. It was still a little foggy and very wet up top, so we did minimal hiking - saw another porcupine. Overall the tram was not worth the money that day. We had a quick drink at the Red Dog Saloon - cool spot right by the ship’s dock. Skagway was our favourite port, but that might be because we woke to our first sunshine. Three of us took Frontier Excursions and Adventures bus to the WhitePass route, stopping at various places for photo ops. It gave us a good look at the scenery of the area. My grandson enjoyed drinking out of his first water fall. After lunch on the ship, we ventured out on a hike - Lower Dewey Lake. It is easily accessible from the cruise port area. It started off with a steep climb, but became an enjoyable hike through the forest to a very peaceful lake. We did not have time to explore further on. We strolled town after the hike and bought shirts at the Alaskan T-shirt company for a very reasonable price. We watched a beautiful sunset from our balcony that evening. I awoke early and got a spot on the Heli pad to see Hubbard Glacier up close. The wind was cool as we waited the arrival. It was exciting to hear the calving/ thunder and see the majestic glacier up close. We did not get as close as they usually do, due to the number of icebergs, but it was still amazing. We were able to watch as we ate breakfast on our balcony. They then rotated the ship so all could see. I did not really need to wait on the heli pad, but it was nice to see the whole view as we approached. We disembarked on our own at Seward, walking off with our luggage around 9am. No waiting in any lines!! We stored our luggage at Harbour 360 Hotel for $5.00 an item as we were taking the Anchorage Transfer at 6pm. We caught a shuttle just down the block for $15. per person to Exit Glacier. We enjoyed this hike, getting an up close view of the large blue creveses. It was sad to see how much it has changed over recent years. Thankfully there was a waiting room with great wifi that we were also able to hang out at, as my grandson was beginning to come down with the flu. We strolled the harbour area, seeing seals and sea otters. We had great smoothies from Nature’s Nectars, and some amazing sundaes from an ice cream shop across the road, Harbour Street Creamery. Our transfer to Anchorage by mini bus consisted of only two others and our family so we had lots of room. The large windows allowed for great views of the amazing scenery. We stopped at Summit Lake Lodge along the way, for a pit stop. What a gorgeous peaceful spot. The restaurant had amazing desserts and ice cream, too! Our grandson loved his experience at the Ocean Adventure kids program. He chose to go there for about three hours daily, usually while we were having our dinner at Cascades. He took part in a pirate performance at the Centrum. We were very impressed with the programs offered. Our grandson can experience anxiety in new situations, but he was very comfortable with the people there right from the start. Cascades - We enjoyed dining at Cascades nightly. We liked that it was not too formal so we still felt comfortable. We were able to sample everything we wished, and received the best service from our waiters Reegan and Ronald. It was a relaxing couple hours, and we were even able to see whales during our dining experience. Windjammer - The Windjammer was our go to for breakfast and lunch. There was variety to please everyone. We loved the ice cream bar. Fitness Centre - Worked out a couple of times, but never joined a class. Was disappointed when I went at 6am and it was closed, but I discovered after that it was likely open from the outside. Better signage about how to get in, if the spa door is closed would be nice. Hours could even be earlier than 6:00 to give lots of time to workout prior to excursions. Shows/movies/ activities/casino - We never attended any shows. Kids watched one movie, but it played again on another day. Grandson participated in juggling lessons in the Centrum and we watched family feud, egg drop, etc. Always lots going on. Rooms 8512, 8513, 8511 served our needs well. It was nice having one balcony for the group despite the higher cost. We loved our cruise experience, and our first time cruisers are looking forward to their next! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Radiance of the Seas June 30-July 14, 2017 Built: 2001 Tons: 90090 Cabins: 1061 Last drydock May 2016 The Good Great Service overall. Specialty provided solace from the roar and crowd of the main dining. Best ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas June 30-July 14, 2017 Built: 2001 Tons: 90090 Cabins: 1061 Last drydock May 2016 The Good Great Service overall. Specialty provided solace from the roar and crowd of the main dining. Best Junior Suite ( JS) in the industry Best maintenance crew in the industry. Best bread in the industry (Giovanne’s had the best bread on the ship). Excellent cabin steward. Followed our printed list of preferences, the best we’ve had in the last several cruises and seemed to anticipate our needs. For example, once our kleenex got moved to our night table stand (where it usually goes when we’re sick), he added another box. Liked chairs outside deck 10 elevator. Mobility challenged passengers should pick deck 10, since not all floors have chairs near elevators. Deck 10 also has the card room just forward of the Centrum. Another great place for mobility challenged to rest. Room Service Calls Before they Deliver Security was out in the wind on one day, and after I complained, we later that day, we noticed they’d moved it inside. The Bad We paid 30% more for high summer in Alaska, and the cruise line filled the ship. I told the travel agent I expected it to be 30% better, but long lines and packed dining room doesn’t make it 30% better. On leg two, children ran unsupervised, and we caught one boy pushing all the buttons in the elevator. On formal night, dog dressed in a formal w/ a tiara sitting in a stroller. Why not let a dog be a canine? Seward Port - No covered gangplank between check-in area and ship. . Long open area from the building to the ship. Few wheelchairs available for mobility impaired. One man left in the rain sitting right in front of the gangplank, because they took a while finding crew to push him up the rampNeed a building right next to the ship. BTW, I’ve needed a wheelchair too, and I always tip! Room Service - $7.95 fee for all but continental. Another price grab, and while more food choices, they were NOT better than before. Steward carts blocking the hallways made it hard for mobility impaired. And they could have move them forward or backward 10 feet to a wider part of the hallway, but didn’t for most of the cruise. Noisy crowded dining room. Tables packed in like a jigsaw puzzle. Window seats had to wait for their table neighbors to leave before they could exit. On our second leg, we ended up eating in Specialty most nights, because of the crowded condition in the main dining room. Kept getting paperwork meant for another cabin (final bill found next door). Open bookings no longer offered. No passenger aft elevators. Aft cabin passengers must walk half the length of the ship to reach first elevator. And no sitting areas to rest in between. Missing second bag of laundry on first cruise. We got a bag meant for another cabin. Diamond Concierge put the Laundry Boss on the case and he found it later that evening. 48 hour shore excursion cancellation policy. Diamond Plus Laundry Bag only accepted on day 4 and back by late day 6. In time to pack for home. Heard people moving furniture above us at 4 am daily. Extra Tidbits: If you have mobility issues, don’t book near the stern. It’s a long walk with a limp. No more Specialty in location of Samba grill. Samba Grill was wonderful, but any Specialty in that part of the ship is now off our list. Only access to restroom was via the outside deck in the rain and cold wind. The waiter was kind enough to help me to the restroom in the rain with an umbrella. JS coffee pots didn’t fit provided coffee filters. Either let them overflow everywhere, or remove some of the grounds. We solved the problem by cutting a hole in the filter and dumping out some of the coffee. If you’re in a JS, pack some one-cup coffee filters, and you may get seconds. Housekeeping manager seemed to think we needed 2-cup filter packs, but I’m not sure 2-cup are available. Most hotels these days use two one-cup filters. Glad to see the Housekeeping Manager visit us in the Diamond Lounge asking for feedback. We told him about the carts blocking the hallway and asked them to move the carts a few feet down to the wider part of the hallway, and he promised to handle it. That evening after dinner, most of the carts had been moved, but not all. Small cruisecritic meet and greet. No welcome gifts. Our Diamond Concierge told me that once a passenger handles a flyer, they must be trashed for norovirus prevention. And I consider this a great idea! Post cruise evaluation asked if any crew had begged for a perfect score. DH’s scalp got itchy after using Royal Caribbean’s mystery shampoo. It was o.k. after using the bottle from our bathroom counter in the JS. Kenai Fjords Cruise with Lunch was misleading. We only saw Kenai Fjords National Park - Bear Glacier across the water. It really was a wildlife cruise in Resurrection Bay. White Pass Scenic Railroad Legacy Car - Clean Windows, Swivel Seats Kenai Fjords Cruise with Lunch was somewhat misleading. I thought we were going into the National Park, not TO the National park. They may have changed the title of this excursion to “ Seward Wildlife Cruise with Lunch and Airport Drop-off - SW10.” Ours was the return to ship option. But the description at RoyalCaribbean.com closely matched our excursion. The company that offered this ship actually has a 7-hour cruise that looks like it goes into the actual Fjords. At Mid-July, the boat was filled with screaming kids. The tables were bolted to the floor, and very close together. My husband tripped and fell, skinned his knee and had a three-inch diameter bruise on his chest. Most shore excursion companies take a report, but these people didn’t. We got more help from the other passengers than the excursion crew. Long walk to end of pier hard for mobility challenged. We asked for help getting off the ship, and they promised. But help never materialized. Did it make the Sale? Yes! We’d planned to make this our last Royal Caribbean cruise, but they’re still on our list. We didn’t buy a open/future booking, because one sales expert told us we couldn’t combine it w/ a current offer, and the other told us they didn’t sell the open/future bookings anymore. We’re not too happy with having to pay the full deposit on our next cruise tough. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I was looking for a Northbound Alaska cruise that had a great kids program. The cruise line has declined to the point that I would never pick it in the future. The meals were very average. They gave fancy name to food that you would ... Read More
I was looking for a Northbound Alaska cruise that had a great kids program. The cruise line has declined to the point that I would never pick it in the future. The meals were very average. They gave fancy name to food that you would have received at a Denny's. The kid program wasn't even close to the Disney program. The don't run the program all day so unless your need matches their set times forget it. They lumped our 12 year old in with the 12-17 group. He felt so intimidated that he didn't participate at all. They now charge for a lot of services that used to be free like Room Service and movies in the room. The entertainment was mediocre at best. I've seen better talent on America Got Talent. One night they showed a movie and didn't even bother to put on a show. The buffet was uninspiring. They had a lot of quantity but little quality. The few interfaces we had with the crew other then stewards and Servers were poor. It appeared that they could care less about solving any problems that arose. I have used Royal Caribbean for 5 prior cruises but never again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
They called this the Radiance of the Sea but I was not seeing where it fit the definition of Radiance. Very disappointed after traveling the distance that we had to arrive in our room and not find our luggage. It was disappointing we ... Read More
They called this the Radiance of the Sea but I was not seeing where it fit the definition of Radiance. Very disappointed after traveling the distance that we had to arrive in our room and not find our luggage. It was disappointing we could not even freshen up for dinner with clean clothes. It became more of a disappointment when our luggage did not arrive at our rooms until after 8:00 pm. Surprised that the life boat drill didn't even include putting on your life vest as it did on most other ships we have traveled on. I think the corkage fee in the main dining room was outrageous. ($15), especially when you may have had an expensive bottle of wine. We were traveling with our 90 year old, very active, father for his birthday and found the excursions that he could do to be quite lame outside of the Mendenhal Glaciers. The pricing on most of the other excursions were way out of line for our budget. As for your beverage package that is insanely expensive. I think this idea needs to be re-evaluated. Dinner at Giovanni's was outstanding but I did not think the meals in the main dining room where of the same quality. We also ate at the Steak house which promoted the "Best Steakhouse on the High Seas"and were very unimpressed with the filet. We have traveled on many other lines and found their staff to be constantly attentive to the appearance of the ship and we did not see the same here. We noticed some areas of rust along the outside, including our balcony and chipped paint as well. Sad to say we had chose this line for our Alaskan cruise because our 10 year niece was with us and we thought there would be more for her to do. Not true. The Daily newspaper never made it exciting to be a 10 year old on a cruise ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this ship for the itinerary because it had the best ports and the most amount of time in the ports. Really didn't like boarding the ship and having to walk a gauntlet of people hawking everything from the beverage package ... Read More
We chose this ship for the itinerary because it had the best ports and the most amount of time in the ports. Really didn't like boarding the ship and having to walk a gauntlet of people hawking everything from the beverage package to specialty dining to WiFi access. We had plenty of opportunities to arrange for all that long before sailing. Just felt that they were always trying to make more money off of us. The ship is showing it's age and really needs a refurbishment. Age and wear was evident everywhere (in the carpets, wood, style. The quality food in the main dining room was sub-par. They probably do this to push the specialty dining. We've been on other RCCL ships, and in fact, two of the other sister ships in this class, and it seems to get worse with each cruise. And we're not big eaters but do know good, well-prepared food. Entertainment was okay. They've done away with the big production numbers. It was just comedians and singers. One thing that hasn't changed is the great staff. Our cabin steward was great, as were the dining room staff. We, unfortunately had to use the services of the medical facility and the doctor and nurses were amazing. Very caring. The best part was the amount of time the ship stayed in port. It was much longer than other cruise lines. Really appreciated that. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
There was 9 of us (all different ages) and we had a great time. Boarding around noon (start time is 11) took us about an hour, I would go later next time... like 2ish. The two days at sea I didn't feel good, we had to make up time for ... Read More
There was 9 of us (all different ages) and we had a great time. Boarding around noon (start time is 11) took us about an hour, I would go later next time... like 2ish. The two days at sea I didn't feel good, we had to make up time for leaving late so we were going faster then normal, Dramamine helps!! The ship was big but not too big with plenty of things to do - I was surprised at the lack of shows though, I think there was 2 or 3 the whole time at sea? The service was great, our cabin attendant as well as dinner staff, everyone was so nice and accommodating. Also, the drink package is a MUST, so worth it if you are going to have more then 4-5 drinks a day. All of the ports were awesome, with a wide variety of excursions. They all had a lot of things to do minus Icy Point Straight where you pretty much need to book something.. even if its just the zip line. Bottom line, I would go again on this exact ship, had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We reserved this cruise because we wanted to see Alaska, as well as the diverse life that Alaska and its surrounding waters has to offer. We were not disappointed. We booked a cruise tour, which was comprised of a 7 day cruise followed by ... Read More
We reserved this cruise because we wanted to see Alaska, as well as the diverse life that Alaska and its surrounding waters has to offer. We were not disappointed. We booked a cruise tour, which was comprised of a 7 day cruise followed by a six day land tour. Embarkation in Vancouver was a confusing mess. It took us awhile to get through, made worse by having to pass through US customs before boarding. We have Global Entry, so we were able to skip much of the line, but it didn't seem like a higher Crown and Anchor status helped at all. The cruise itself was amazing. We only had bad weather on one day, and that was the day in Icy Straight Point. During the voyage, we were able to see Orcas, Humpbacks, Sea Lions, Eagles, and many other animals. We bought a pass to the Thermal Suite, which allowed us to sit in the Warming Chairs in front of a large window and watch the cold views slide by, warm in our chairs. The Diamond Lounge and the Diamond Concierge (Laura) was friendly and nice. One minus was that the ship is filled with dining options that costs extra, and now that room service is an add on charge, it seems like a lot of time is spent trying to upsell you on better food options. The dining room has the same menus as the majority of the fleet, with each menu being named for a spice. For the first time ever, didn't eat in the main dining room for three of the seven nights, and chose instead to eat in the Windjammer. Entertainment was average on this cruise, and the entertainers were rather lackluster lounge acts, not up to the usual RCCL standard, but that was not why we were on this cruise, so we were willing to overlook it. One other minor issue was with the Casino. The casino seemed to be smaller than the other ships of the class, and felt cramped as a result. The Craps table was a miniature one that was less than six feet long, and this greatly influenced play, in my opinion. Day One, we left from Vancouver. Right next to the ship was a sea plane base, and we watched them come and go as we waited for the ship to depart. Day Two was a sea day, and since the Solarium was open to and filled with children in the mornings and afternoons, we avoided that area and spent our time on our balcony and in the thermal suite. Day three was a sunny day in Ketchikan. Day four was a visit to rainy Icy Straight point. Day five was a visit to Juneau, Six was to Skagway, and Seven was a sea day with a stop to view the Hubbard Glacier. The captain got us to within 800 meters of the glacier, and the video we got as a result was amazing. During this viewing, there was a table where hot cocoa and Bailey's was served in souvenir cups, and it was a great way to stay warm in the near freezing temperatures. We then entered Seward for the land tour portion of the trip... We got an up close viewing of the Hubbard Glacier and were able to Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We chose this ship based on the Ports of Call and sail dates as we were coordinating the cruise with a conference in Anchorage. Overall, the ship design and lay-out was very good. The recent refurbishment made the ship look new. We ... Read More
We chose this ship based on the Ports of Call and sail dates as we were coordinating the cruise with a conference in Anchorage. Overall, the ship design and lay-out was very good. The recent refurbishment made the ship look new. We enjoyed the on-board entertainment. Steve is a great cruise director. I downgraded the overall rating for the disappointing food. Unfortunately, it was the worst food we have had on a cruise. The meat at several meals in the dining room was tough and the flavor of the food was generally average. The salmon and the desserts were the best thing about the meals. Several times we had cold food at the Windjammer. After the third time, I mentioned it to the manager and he quickly brought out the chef. I mentioned the food tempature to other people we were sailing with and they also said they noticed the food was cold. I hope they solve the problem. I recommend Chops Grille. We had lunch there on a sea day. The lunch price was an excellent value. The shrimp in the shrimp cocktail were the bigest we've every seen and steak was extremely tender. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Ship was quite nice. Enjoyed the lobby. Loved the Solarium. Elevators gave a nice view of the ship. Embarking was easy. Disembarking was easy. Little bit of a hoop to jump through with luggage getting dropped off at a different ... Read More
Ship was quite nice. Enjoyed the lobby. Loved the Solarium. Elevators gave a nice view of the ship. Embarking was easy. Disembarking was easy. Little bit of a hoop to jump through with luggage getting dropped off at a different location from where the train drops you off. Had 1 interior and 1 ocean view cabin. Loved the bunk beds for the kids. Glad to have a view when chilling before meals or activity. Plenty of storage for clothes and luggage. Space organized well and felt comfortable. There were two outlets in main cabin and one in bathroom. **If you have several devices to charge, bring a power strip.** Dining: Dinner -- went to main dining room Cascades for most meals. Service was great. Food was good. Put it slightly below previous cruise line. They did a great job of menu choices each night. Breakfast -- Went to main dining room Cascades for one meal. Incredible food. Obviously it would take a little bit longer than buffet so went to Windjammer other days due to timing needed for activities / ports. Windjammer food was good. Line for omelets could get long, but plenty of other options to choose from. Lunch -- Windjammer buffet had a good mix of style of food. Went to Windjammer buffet. Food was really good for a buffet significantly better than previous cruise line. Enjoyed most all of them; especially Indian cuisine. Really loved the salad bar. Pizza was the main thing that was just OK. Desserts -- Yes. Plenty of choices, enjoyed them all. :) Entertainment: Went to the shows every night. Opening night show: grade B-, Comedy show: grade B, 1st Broadway type show (Piano Man): grade A-, Impersonator show: grade A+, 2nd Broadway type show (I think it was called City of Dreams): grade D, Magician: grade A, Closing show: grade B+ Enjoyed the pool in the Solarium. The movie theater was nice as well. Did not get time to do basketball, table tennis, rock climbing or mini golf, but they looked standard. Ports were amazing: Booked most of the excursions separate from the cruise. Ketchikan -- Boat tour for eagle watching. Saw many eagles, a few sea lions and a whale. Great excursion. OK shopping. Icy Strait Point -- did hike and zip line. Loved the adrenaline of zip line. Beautiful views. not as much shopping here. We did not do it, but heard the groups that went whale watching had awesome results. Juneau -- hiked Mendenhall glacier, whale watching tour and Roberts tram. Easy hike, Glacier was so beautiful. Whale watching tour was canceled due to high waves, but did see a whale from the shore. Took the tram and hiked to top. Moderate hike, but worth the view if weather is clear. Good shopping. Skagway -- White pass railway and bus back. Absolutely beautiful. Waterfalls, lakes, mountains, rivers. A plus. Hubbard Glacier (Cruising) -- get up early to see this and dress warm. Breathtaking. To see, hear and feel the glacier calving, just wow. Seward -- took train ride to Anchorage. Another beautiful journey. Denali -- rented a car in anchorage and drove up to Denali for a few days. Unfortunately clouds prevented us from seeing the mountain, but the landscape and animal watching was second to none. Saw bears, wolves, caribou, moose and more. Our teenagers loved it, we loved it . Hope we get to do it again some time. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
I chose this cruise because I got a really good buy online. It was booked a year ago for $639 for an inside cabin with a $50 cabin voucher. A nice ship. The colors in the Centum (the lobby if you will) worked very well. I have a ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I got a really good buy online. It was booked a year ago for $639 for an inside cabin with a $50 cabin voucher. A nice ship. The colors in the Centum (the lobby if you will) worked very well. I have a couple of small complaints: Signage not very good. Coming off an elevator at our floor still taking the wrong corridor to our cabin after a week. The food was so so. The Windjammer (main buffet) food was plentiful but a bit bland. Almost always there were enough tables to find a seat. The Cascades Main Dining Room was quite good and the waiter Anak was excellent. We ate there every night. We didn't try any of the extra fare restaurants. The entertainment was generally very good. Overall a good ship with some "reasonably priced" (ie: under $100) shore excursions. Customer Service was helpful. We had a problem with arranging to deliver our baggage to Anchorage. It took a day but they fixed it up. I would take a cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We had a party of 8 and we had a blast. We stayed two nights in Vancouver It was great. Boarding was little rough but not bad. The sail away was was just great as the sun finally came out after two days of on and off showers. ... Read More
We had a party of 8 and we had a blast. We stayed two nights in Vancouver It was great. Boarding was little rough but not bad. The sail away was was just great as the sun finally came out after two days of on and off showers. We had the best staff. The MDR started slow but was running on all cylinders by the second night. Rex was awsome room steward. Had everything that we need and then some. Ship was showing some age but was well maintained. Bar staff was very good and we enjoyed each other. Alaska is just so beautiful and not to be missed. If you have the chance to do the Alaska cruisewould highly recommend it. The post tour we did was great. 3 day land tour. Ashley was great tour guide and John bus driver was great. Hotels/logdes we stayed at had the rustic lodge feel but 1 class. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
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