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225 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really ... Read More
We love Radiance of the Seas. They really stepped up the food in the Windjammer. There was always something delicious available. I only wish it was open longer hours. This is not a ship where a variety of food is available 24/7. You really have to scout out late night eats. The swimming pools are well fun. We tried the spa and had massages our first night on the ship. What a great way to start our cruise. Our cabin was always so clean and cozy. There were plenty of elevators available. Love the various lectures regarding the area and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Slightly disappointed in the entertainment. We like the guest entertainers but got a little tired of the ship entertainers. The sunsets were amazing. We did the all access ship tour and it was so cool. It was about a 2 hour tour. We got to see the famous I-95 hallway, the food coolers, the galley, the mechanical room and the bridge. So amazing to see behind the scenes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
I 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 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
We sailed Northbound out of Vancouver, BC on Radiance on June 2nd with stops in Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, and a sea day that included the Hubbard Glacier. We also took a cruisetour (1A) post cruise, which I'll ... Read More
We sailed Northbound out of Vancouver, BC on Radiance on June 2nd with stops in Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Skagway, and a sea day that included the Hubbard Glacier. We also took a cruisetour (1A) post cruise, which I'll review a bit later. Pre-cruise in Vancover: We chose to fly into Seattle from Boston, rent a car and drive to Vancouver. It was a lovely drive. We spent a day and a half there visiting the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park (gorgeous, make time to see it if you can) and Stanley Park. We also checked out Canada Place and saw Fly Over Canada (if you've been to Disney, it's Soarin' with a Canadian theme and quite good). There we also watched sail away for the ships leaving the day before ours and grabbed a bite to eat at the "mall" across the way. Embarkation: Canada place is an interesting place. Part convention center, part cruise port, part entertainment venue. I've only previously sailed from Florida ports and this seemed a bit less organized. We returned our rental car in the parking structure (very convenient) and took an elevator to the cruise terminal. We arrived around 9:45. We were directed to drop our bags, which was quick and easy. We were then directed through a door and down a long corridor to check in and get our Sea Pass card. There was no wait. From there we were directed back down the corridor and back to where we started to go through security. There was a short wait here. If you were from the U.S. you were given a big green card that allowed you to use a kiosk for customs verification. It read your passport and printed a voucher. We then had to wait in a longer line (maybe 15 min) to show that voucher to a customs agent along with our passport. We showed our passports at least 5 different times before we walked onto the ship, which seemed a bit ridiculous. Once through customs we were sent to a large holding pen. It really felt like that. Lots of chairs and no organization or communication from staff. No special lounge or waiting area for Crown and Anchor members who had Diamond or higher or suite status, no explanation or order to this process. So we sat and waited and chatted with our neighbors. Eventually, agents began moving people to the next holding pen, where there were more seats and we sat there. Again, no explanation. Turns out there is no PA system in the building, so they just did their thing. This wait was shorter and then rows were called in no particular order to line up to board the ship. This process took longer than I've previously experienced. We were in line close to a half hour before we stepped onto the ship. New cruisers did not seem to know they had to show their Sea Pass cards and ID to be scanned and double checked to get on the ship. Around the Ship: Radiance of the seas is truly a radiant ship. She is small, but beautiful. Many of the venues have ample glass to take in the amazing Alaskan scenery, including glass elevators that look out over the ocean! You can sit at any bar and see out the windows. The Champagne Bar and the Schooner Bar offering the best views I think. The Colony Club and the Viking Crown Lounge also offer spectacular views, with the Colony club offering a nice aft view. Sure, she shows her age a bit in spots, with some worn carpet in stateroom hallways, and dirty balcony railings/glass and spots in need of paint touch up on her exterior. The inside of the stateroom was beautiful (junior suite) and we were quite impressed. Whales! I was thrilled that on 3 separate occasions, we saw whales at sea while cruising along! A pod of orcas on the first sea day, and two different groups of humpacks two consecutive nights at dinner time! Entertainment and Activities: The musical entertainment was top notch. We love to dance and there were really only two venues for dancing. The central Centrum, which is beautiful and open all the way to the 11th deck, is where most of the themed events and parties took place. They had a small central dance floor. The Real Time Band and Just Us Duo were fantastic to listen or dance to. They alternated between the Centrum and the Colony Club. The dance floor there was oval and larger and wood, so we preferred it. The band did live rock band karaoke one night and it was awesome. There was a DJ late night at the disco but the one night we went, no one was there. The Cruise Director, Steve Davis, is absolutely top notch. He loves his job and brings and energy and passion I've not seen in a cruise director before and his staff are equally as fun and engaging. There was always something to do with the usual trivia, dance classes, port talks, captain's corner, and the interviews he did on the cruise channel were both informative and entertaining. I've never had as much fun at the 70's party as I did on this ship! He also did a rock and roll party that was fantastic. We only saw one production show and were underwhelmed. The cast was talented, but the show River of Dreams was just poorly written and there was no flow or chemistry, which was not the fault of the performers so much as it was the fault of whoever came up with the concept and music for the show. Others seemed to like the other production shows and headliner shows, but we did not attend them. In fact most of the shows it seemed were only attended by maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of those cruising. Probably in part because Alaska is a port heavy itinerary with early mornings and busy days. Food and Service: We had the second seating for dinner in the dining room. The second floor of the Cascades dining room was for the formal seatings, the first floor for my time dining. We found the service to be average, but a bit slow. We were seated at a table for 10, but there were only 6 couples. We are not sure if the others were not assigned or just never came. We did notice the dining room was maybe 75% full on any given night with many folks we talked to opting for my time dining or actually just ate in the Windjammer every night! The main dining menus are the same as they are on any other ship, which if you sail RC often, you might tire of. We did not eat at any of the specialty restaurants, but our table mates did and said it was good. They do try to up-sell you to the specialty restaurants, but I found it was very low pressure and honestly, the crew who was supposed to be "pushing" these venues seemed at times uncomfortable with their position. Most people were polite about either declining or asking for more information, but some were unnecessarily rude. We found both breakfast and lunch in the dining room to be enjoyable, relaxing, and quite good, although it's a sit down dining experience and you'll be seated with folks who arrive the same time you do. It's a nice alternative to the chaos of the Windjammer. The salad bar at lunch is fantastic. Be sure to check it out! The Windjammer was average, which in all fairness is what it is supposed to be. It's a buffet, not a gourmet meal. I don't understand people who complain about the food there. What would you expect at any other large buffet? I would not expect the same quality or complexity of food as one would get in the main dining room or specialty restaurants, but it seems some people do. The Park Cafe is in the Solarium and is a great place for early birds to get their coffee or tea, a light breakfast or brunch, and sit in a warm and relatively quiet venue at a window and gaze at the spectacular scenery going by. Ports of Call: Ketchikan: We did the Eagles, Lighthouse and Totem excursion and our captain was great! It was cold (45 degrees) and pouring with rain, but we saw so many eagles! We also saw some seals and had delicious hot chocolate and a snack. It's a longer walk to Creek Street than I imagined (about 15 min), and by the time we went in the afternoon, no one was there, likely because of the weather. It must be a really cool place when the salmon are running. Shopping was great here for general Alaska souvenirs, many told us it was the cheapest place to buy them. Icy Strait Point: Do a whale watch here! We did one here booked thru RC and one in Juneau, and this one was so much better! It was about a 2 hour catamaran trip, booked thru the cruise line, and we spent the bulk of that time observing a number of humpbacks play, dive (tail flukes!), bubble net feed (amazing), and fully breach! We had a naturalist on board who talked to us about the whales and their behaviors and research being done to better understand them. We also did the Brown Bear and wildlife search. It was a 45 min bus ride each way and a walk through the forest with guides on a boardwalk with a few overlooks. We learned the history of Icy Strait and some of the Tinglit culture along the way. We did not see any bears, only a squirrel, and some very pretty scenery, but the tour after ours saw several bears. You are not guaranteed wildlife sightings, because, well, it's their natural habitat, not a zoo. It was cool and rainy, but it seems the wildlife likes that! Juneau: There is a lot you could do here. We booked direct with Juneau tours online before we sailed for a combo Whale watch, Mendenhall Glacier, and Mt. Robert's Tram package. They were organized and efficient at transporting us. We did the whale watch first at 9:30 am (saw two humpbacks playing, a partial breach, and lots of tail), then were dropped off at the glacier for as long as we wanted. They offered a shuttle back to town every half hour. Most tours only give you an hour at the glacier which really is not enough time if you want to take your time to walk the trails and truly take in the natural beauty of the glacier, nugget falls, and the trails. We were there about 2.5 hours and had a leisurely time. It was a lovely day, the first we had seen the sun in 4 days, and it was a great day to be outdoors. We then took the tram up to the top of Mt. Roberts. The view is great, and we saw a bald eagle very close by just sitting in a tree. There are trails to hike up there as well, and a restaurant. We ate a late lunch there because we were starving. I had the coconut wild Alaskan salmon. OMG, it was the best meal of the entire trip! We had over 12 hours in port here, and 5 other ships the same day! Plenty of shopping here, too. Skagway: This is the port almost everyone chooses to take the White Pass Railroad Train or a bus tour. I had done some research and instead we rented a car a few months before we sailed (do this ahead of time, as it's only Avis and limited number of cars) and drove the Klondike highway. It was spectacular. We drove at our own pace, stopped where we wanted and for as long as we wanted, and were not beholden to a bus, a schedule (other than making it back before all aboard), or the constant movement of the train. We had our passports as we crossed into Canada and back to the US. We drove to Emerald Lake (about 73 miles) which was gorgeous and well worth the drive. The scenery is breathtaking the entire drive. Mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, scenic vistas, and wildlife. We also saw what we think was a lynx (running), a moose, and a black bear snacking on dandelions at the side of the road. It took us a leisurely 3.5 hours to drive to Emerald lake but only 2 hours to drive back. We returned the car about 3 and were back on the ship by 3:45 (all aboard at 4). It was about a 12-15 min walk from Avis to our ship as we were at the furthest dock. Hubbard Glacier: The captain got us within a half mile of the glacier, which seemed much closer to us than it was, and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was cold and overcast, but nearly everyone was on deck watching as we sailed toward it. A naturalist was on the PA system the entire time, explaining the history, the features of the glacier, and pointing out calving and other bits of glacial and iceberg trivia. It's hard to describe the experience other than to say it's visually stunning. We were fortunate enough to see quite a lot of calving and the sound it makes was like thunder! An amazing experience. Cruisetour: We booked a 3 day cruisetour (1A) from Seward to Denali and then to Anchorage, where we flew home from. We received very little information about this part of our trip pre-cruise other than your adventure specialist will meet you in Seward and a very brief outline of the 3 days. No detail whatsoever before we met our guide. Our luggage tags had the number that corresponded to our motor coach, so it was already on the coach when we disembarked and we walked off the ship and onto the motor coach. 10 minutes later, we were rolling toward Anchorage (a 4 hour drive). Day 1 We stopped at the Wildlife Conservation Center on the way, which was a nice chance to use real bathrooms and stretch our legs while seeing some rehabilitating wildlife. Our tour guide, Brady, was awesome, and gave us history, information, and humorous stories our entire time together. He told us about optional excursions we could do as part of the land tour, we filled out a form and got it back to him. Once in Anchorage, around noon, we had about 90 min for lunch. When we all got back on the motor coach, he had our reservations made for the evening excursions! From Anchorage we drove to Talkeetna (about another 4 hours). We arrived at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge around 4:45 and we had a 5:30 departure for our flightseeing tour and glacier landing, which was awesome. We returned from that around 9, and had dinner at the lodge, which was really the only option, but it was good and had a gorgeous view of the Alaskan Range. We did not see the summit of Mt. Denali, as it was too cloudy. Day 2 We were rolling on our Motor Coach by 8 am on our way to Denali National Park. We arrived around 11:45 and our Tundra Wilderness Tour left at 1:00. We had lunch, as the tour was 8 hours and they did provide a snack box and water, but not enough to hold us for that long! I strongly recommend doing this tour as it goes deep into the park and is your best chance for seeing wildlife. It's on a school bus with captain's chairs and overhead storage. They stop if wildlife is spotted but you are only allowed off the bus every 90 min or so at designated rest stops to use the bathroom and take a few photos. The bus has a camera system so you can see the more distant wildlife close up if you don't have binoculars. We saw moose, several grizzly bears including moms with cubs, wolves, caribou, Dall sheep, fox, marmots, grouse and ptarmigan. It was amazing! After the tour (it was 9 pm), we were dropped off at our hotel, the Denali Village Lodge, given our room keys, had dinner at the lodge (it was meh), and crashed. Day 3: We had booked a whitewater rafting excursion that left at 7 am, so another early morning. It was 45 degrees and raining. We rafted on the Nenana river, a glacially fed river that was 35 degrees. We were given dry suits that did the job, but dressed in several warm layers to wear under it. Only our face and hands were exposed to the elements. We rafted for about 90 minutes on class 3 and 4 rapids with our guide, who was great. It was really fun. We had about a half hour to take a quick shower and change once back at the lodge, and grab a bite to eat before getting back on the motor coach at 11:45 to head back to Talkeetna. After about an hour there to explore the tiny town, we boarded the Wilderness Express - a fancy domed train with panoramic views and a dining car on the lower level. Dinner was very good, bar service was good, and we saw a bunch of moose along the way. It was a very nice end to our very long and busy few days. We were dropped off at the Anchorage Marriott and our airport transfers had all been arranged for the next morning. Great guides, great service, gorgeous scenery, but a lot of sitting on a bus! Totally worth it for the places we were able to see and to have the experiences we did. Alaska is beautiful and Radiance is a beautiful way to see her. I couldn't stop looking out our balcony or the many windows on the ship at the spectacular scenery going by. The midnight sun was also quite an experience! It was a fantastic cruise that I thought would be once in a lifetime, but I would totally go back! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Going on a cruise was at the top of my bucket list, and Alaska was the place I most wanted to see. So when my brother invited us to join his family on this trip, I didn't hesitate to book a stateroom on the beautiful Radiance of the ... Read More
Going on a cruise was at the top of my bucket list, and Alaska was the place I most wanted to see. So when my brother invited us to join his family on this trip, I didn't hesitate to book a stateroom on the beautiful Radiance of the Seas. From the gorgeous centrum with its twin waterfalls to the elegantly appointed Cascades dining room, all public areas on the ship are absolutely lovely. Works of art were on display everywhere, competing with the spectacular views outside the many glass walls and huge windows. Even the elevators had glass walls. Our interior cabin was surprisingly spacious and there was ample storage. The beds were so comfortable that it was often hard to get up early enough for shore excursions. Our stateroom attendant Benny was superb. He went above and beyond his duties to make sure we had everything we needed, including wine glasses, a corkscrew, a pair of scissors, and green apples (for our daughter's brief episode of motion sickness). The towel animals that greeted us on several occasions were delightful. All of the staff members were polite and eager to please. Our dining room waiters, Stanley and Jude, were excellent and very accommodating. We enjoyed the food at the Windjammer buffet for breakfast and lunch, but dinners at the Cascades were the highlights of our days. Everything we ate was delicious. Chef Carlito even prepared a special breakfast one day and an all-Filipino dinner on our last evening. The musicians are all very talented, and it was a pleasure to wander around to different areas of the ship and listen to their variety. With regard to shows at the Aurora Theater, we especially enjoyed the magician and the comedian who performed impressions. The events in the Centrum were also interesting and enjoyable, including the performances by the cruise director Steve. I particularly loved the egg drop contest, which involved a lot of creativity and engineering to land a raw egg safely after being dropped from Deck 10. In sum, this unforgettable trip has turned my husband and me into cruise converts, and we're already planning our next one. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
9 night northbound from Vancouver, ship sailed 5/17/17. For 30 yrs we wanted to cruise to Alaska. Wife is in a power wheelchair, so we reserved an accessible Jr. Suite. The room has been great! I could cruise the world in this ... Read More
9 night northbound from Vancouver, ship sailed 5/17/17. For 30 yrs we wanted to cruise to Alaska. Wife is in a power wheelchair, so we reserved an accessible Jr. Suite. The room has been great! I could cruise the world in this stateroom. The cruise line has been very accommodating and attentive to my wife's special medical needs. We were able to go on 3 shore excursions and walk around several of the ports we called upon. The Radiance is an older ship. We sailed on her sister Brilliance back in February and enjoyed her as well. There are bigger and newer ships in the fleet, but the crew and many of the passengers we talked with enjoy this ship! The most often heard comment from both, is that this ship still has the personal service not available on the bigger vessels. There are a few children on board, but most passengers are in their 50s and older. We splurged and bought tickets to the Chefs Table for one night. We shared a private dining room with 4 other couples and had a spectacular time! after listening to the chef explain how he prepared every course, and the wine steward how each wine was selected (each course had its own special wine), I decided the price was too low. It was really spectacular! Thank you RC and Radiance for making our dream trip something we'll talk about for many years to come. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We choose this cruise for two reasons, first because we love the Radiance and second because of the expanded 9 day itinerary to Alaska. We were not disappointed. Unfortunately the embarkation experience was a disaster - but NOT the fault ... Read More
We choose this cruise for two reasons, first because we love the Radiance and second because of the expanded 9 day itinerary to Alaska. We were not disappointed. Unfortunately the embarkation experience was a disaster - but NOT the fault of Royal Caribbean. There were three ships leaving Vancouver and it was complete and utter chaos for all three ships. RC handled their part very efficiently. We will think long and hard before we embark from Vancouver, BC again. We enjoy the Radiance size ship. The ship was full but none of the public areas were crowded. Our balcony cabin on the starboard side was on the part of the ship that extends over the ocean - what an unexpected bonus. We could see strait down into the ocean. At Icy Strait, there was a group of 8 humpback whales feeding up and down the side of the ship and dock area which we watched from our balcony for over an hour. The whales were literally 10 feet from the side of the ship. Our room was very nice, the food and service in the dining room was excellent. We went to the dinner theatre in the Giovanni's restaurant. We enjoyed the play and the food. We liked all of the ports. This was our 3rd cruise on the Radiance and or 5th trip to Alaska. We will definitely return on the Radiance. We booked the train from Seward to Anchorage and we were not disappointed. The train ride thru the mountains was very scenic, comfortable with food and drink service available. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
There were two problems with embarkation in Vancouver, B.C.: the helpers didn't know where the luggage was to be dropped and the sign to Customs was not marked at all. We were on a B2B and in Honolulu the Guest Services manager ... Read More
There were two problems with embarkation in Vancouver, B.C.: the helpers didn't know where the luggage was to be dropped and the sign to Customs was not marked at all. We were on a B2B and in Honolulu the Guest Services manager bungled things for the 162 consecutive cruisers by first trying to write our names on the crews' hands to remember who we were. Finally someone came up with a document for our names/cabin #'s. MTD was good for our group except for 2 times there was an issue. We received our dining tickets every day but quickly figured out it was the host who seemed to be in over her head & messed up the reservations. There were too many MTD diners versus regular diners. We did have an issues with all the announcements by the cruise director: I can read the Cruise Compass for myself, or find it on TV, or on the computer screen at every elevator - I don't need him to read it every morning and every afternoon. Debarkation in Sydney went fast - we carried our luggage ourselves and were off within 15 minutes of leaving our cabin. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
Terrific cruise to Hawaii. Embarkation was easy because we walked to the port. We heard there were problems with taxis. But we were able to get on board in less than an hour. My time dining was broken for most of the cruise. They now ... Read More
Terrific cruise to Hawaii. Embarkation was easy because we walked to the port. We heard there were problems with taxis. But we were able to get on board in less than an hour. My time dining was broken for most of the cruise. They now require a "golden ticket" to enter the dining room.some people received the tickets and most did not. This created a chaotic scene each evening. The house keeping department was to deliver the ticket. They had no idea how to get us our ticket. We intervened with dining and were told our ticket had been delivered to house keeping. More finger pointing than a group of kindergarteners telling who killed cock robin. After moving up the ranks to the people with many gold stripes by the end of the cruise we began to receive our dinner .tickets. We have cruised with Royal more than twenty times and have never experienced any thing so convoluted and poorly executed as the my time dining tickets. Otherwise, the cruise went will, Hawaii was beautiful, and staff did their best with the what they had. We had an aft cabin. The balcony is larger than most and has two lawn chairs as well as two regular chairs. We are presently onboard and are continuing onto Singapore. While onboard we booked a fall colors cruise out of Quebec. Though frustrated by the changes in my time dining we will continue to travel with Roya. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
This was a wonderful cruise. The scenery was spectacular, breathtaking, awesome. The weather was great every day. We saw seals, salmon and whales (well whale spouts) We met the most wonderful people on this cruise. loved the itinerary. ... Read More
This was a wonderful cruise. The scenery was spectacular, breathtaking, awesome. The weather was great every day. We saw seals, salmon and whales (well whale spouts) We met the most wonderful people on this cruise. loved the itinerary. Alaska, a must see. About the ship. It was smaller than most of the other RCCL ships we've cruised on and honestly I missed the promenade deck. The shower had that dreaded curtain so the first morning we spent time cleaning water off the floor. The cabin was the same as on all other ships with a balcony. Royal seems to be cutting down on some of the amenities no lotion, no bath robs, no pen or pad in the room. Our cabin steward was awesome. Dining was also good, again the ship was smaller so the Windjammer was also smaller but the food was really good. Our Wait Staff in the dining room couldn't do enough to make us happy. There was lots and lots of activities on board dance classes, galley tours, exercise, swimming, champagne art auctions and spa.treatments. But what I liked best is that you could just do nothing and enjoy the beautiful scenery which was breathtaking and serene. We found the shore excursions to be very, very, expensive so we didn't participate in any. We took our on side trips. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Great cruise - Strong points are the ship amenities, the specialty restaurants (Steakhouse, Chef's Table, Samba Grill), My first experience in a Junior Suite, well worth it in Alaska! The vast majority of this cruise was ... Read More
Great cruise - Strong points are the ship amenities, the specialty restaurants (Steakhouse, Chef's Table, Samba Grill), My first experience in a Junior Suite, well worth it in Alaska! The vast majority of this cruise was outstanding - i would recommend traveling this itinerary on this ship to anyone. I hope to have the opportunity to cruise the Radiance again (maybe in Australia?) - Areas of opportunity for the cruise: Zero wine knowledge on-board. This was not confined to just the main dining room, it was clear in all outlets. The wine-pairings at the chef's table (supposed to be a fine dining experience) were bargin-bin house wines. $12-$15 at your local grocery store (Do not take this as a reflection on the food at the chef's table because the food was out-of-this-world amazing). When we asked for recommendations or asked specific questions about bottles found on the wine list we would be met with blank stares - even our main dining room wine steward was completely unknowledgeable on anything other than how to serve the wine. Overall - Take this cruise, bring your own wine! Go to the Chef's table and other specialty restaurants. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Our family (two adults, two teens) just completed a weeklong sail on the Radiance from Vancouver to Seward. Overall we loved the ship, the crew, and the itinerary. Nits were mostly minor. Dining room food was good, service was ... Read More
Our family (two adults, two teens) just completed a weeklong sail on the Radiance from Vancouver to Seward. Overall we loved the ship, the crew, and the itinerary. Nits were mostly minor. Dining room food was good, service was fantastic, and the on-board activities were plentiful for all of us. Jamie Fentiman, the cruise director, should probably host a late night talk show, he made a lot of the parties and shows extremely memorable. Our room was fine though if I were to do this trip again I'd book an inside room to save money as we were rarely in our room. The kids spent a lot of time at teen activities and the rock wall and were never bored. Here are a few tips / notes for future cruisers: - There were formal nights on night two (at sea) and night 6 (Skagway), all other nights were listed as "casual," Jeans were perfectly acceptable. - Best viewing for Hubbard is the helicopter pad at the front of Deck 5. - The Solarium pool area was open to everyone (including kids) the entire cruise - quick dining options are limited to the Dog House, which serves pretty awful hot dogs without yellow or brown mustard options (just dijon) and the Solarium counter service restaurant which has a mix of sandwiches and salads during the day, and pizzas (including a make-your-own-pizza bar after 9 or so PM. RCL would be better served converting one or two of the mostly empty specialty restaurants (Izumi?) to provide another counter-service option. - We did not do a soda option, lemonade, water and tea are always available in the Solarium, and are also available at meals at Windjammer. - Windjammer can get crazy during breakfast and lunch but we always found a seat. We had dinner there once and really enjoyed it. - Activity highlights were Love and Marriage game show, the Juggler, trivia, karaoke, and the tribute to piano players. Don't miss the 70's party in the Centrum. - We attended a talk about Juneau's history led by the on-board historian, it was interesting but the speaker was kind of dull. - We did RCL excursions in Icy Straight (Whale Watching) and Skagway (White Pass and Yukon RR) and did our own trip to Mendenhall Glacier using one of the shuttle buses available for $30 a person at the pier. At Ketchikan we booked a bus tour on the pier. We had no complaints about any of the activities once you get past the tourist hell just off the ship. Getting on and off the ship was very fast except in Ketchikan where we had a long wait to board due to the early departure time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was our third trip on this ship to Alaska, three years in a row. You cannot see all you want to see in one cruise. Embarking in Vancouver was simple and quick. We had flown in the day before and stayed at the Pan Pacific. ... Read More
This was our third trip on this ship to Alaska, three years in a row. You cannot see all you want to see in one cruise. Embarking in Vancouver was simple and quick. We had flown in the day before and stayed at the Pan Pacific. Everyone was friendly and helpful when we needed help. Spent most of our time in the Centrum bar area, they had entertainment and singers, the disco party is a lot of fun even if you just sit and watch. Our stateroom was on deck 7 with balcony. Spent a bit of time watching for whales on the balcony and did see several. Our room girl Grace was very nice and kept room spot cleaned for us thru the entire trip. Biggest disappointment was Rita's Crab Shack. Our past two cruises we had eaten in there several times. This time they had no king crab, only dungeness crabs very small and were awful, we did not go back there to eat again. Always ate meals in the Windjammer. Food seemed to be a lot better this time than our previous trips. We also did the 4 night land tour to Denali and Fairbanks. Denali Tundra Wilderness Tour was amazing, Denali National Park is a must see for everyone. I would not do this particular trip again going to Fairbanks, as Fairbanks did not seem to have much to do for our liking. Tour guide was great, Tall Paul, and yes he was very tall, you didn't have to worry about missing him in a crowd. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
A number 1 bucket list item is a cruise to Alaska. Great ship, great crew and a great place to visit. Sights you will never forget. Mountains, ice blue glaciers and rain clouds. Whales and otters right along side the ship, Eagles ... Read More
A number 1 bucket list item is a cruise to Alaska. Great ship, great crew and a great place to visit. Sights you will never forget. Mountains, ice blue glaciers and rain clouds. Whales and otters right along side the ship, Eagles almost every where. Bring a rain coat as it rains a lot but that's Alaska. The Radiance of the Seas is top class ship and the crew work like they want to be there. They go out of the way to please you. You will not starve as the food is very good. Try the mushroom soup in Chops it's outstanding. The Radiance of the Seas has the new high speed internet that works well except when docked next to a mountain. You also lose satilite TV at those times but who cares you off the ship in port on a great excursion trip. Again, if you only do one cruise in your life....Do Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was the first Alaskan Cruise for our family of 6 adults, and the first overall cruise for 3/6. We stayed in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific, which was a perfect location for boarding the ship. We had a very smooth embarkation, and were ... Read More
This was the first Alaskan Cruise for our family of 6 adults, and the first overall cruise for 3/6. We stayed in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific, which was a perfect location for boarding the ship. We had a very smooth embarkation, and were on the ship within minutes! All our staterooms were well-maintained (9636, 9508, and 1532 - Grand Suite). The cruise itself was beautiful! I've read other reviews saying the ship looked worn, but I disagree. While you could see minor details that may be worn down, the overall ship was still breathtaking! I mean, c'mon, the ship is 15 years old, what do you expect?? Room stewards were attentive, but usually invisible. The water in one of our rooms did go out the last evening, but did not cause too many problems for us as we left the next morning. We loved our cruise directors, Jamie and Lizzy! Just hilarious! Our captain was also great. We had slightly rough waters the first day, but after that day, you couldn't even tell we were moving! Main dining room service was good, but a little stressful at first. Our waiter seemed a little distant and was difficult to hear/understand, but we got used to him and his dry humor. Food was for the most part delicious, and we loved that we were brought extras of appetizers and entrees so everyone could try them! Service elsewhere was great, especially the Schooner Bar (Lincoln the bartender was fantastic towards my two sons!) My husband a adult sons each purchased the beer packages, and all loved the convenience of it and felt they each got their money out of it!! Wished there was a way to get their drinks without having to swipe their SeaPass each time. In addition, it would have been nice to have somewhere on my daughter's SeaPass that stated she was 21 so she didn't have to carry her ID with her wherever she went. We were worried about losing it! On previous cruises we had loved the Concierge Club (since we usually get a suite), but this club was slightly disappointing. Food selection was limited and the bartenders were very skeptical of my 21 year old daughter's ID, seeing how she had just turned 21 at the beginning of July. They seemed unwilling to serve her and questioned her age many times, even asking other passengers if she looked 21. It made her feel uncomfortable. She also had a bad experience when she forgot her ID one time at a bar, and the bartender snapped at her, saying "I will not serve you here." and walked away. Other than that, service met expectations. We went to Chops Grille on my sons birthday, and loved it! Atmosphere was calm and our waiter was wonderful. All the food was excellent and well worth the $30 per person price tag. Filet Mignons were a hit with everyone and they even sang happy birthday to my son! We also did a wine tasting at Giovanni's, which was fun, but I wish they would have had more white wine and a little more information about how to actually taste the wine, etc. Still fun. My eldest son loved the Windjammer, though seating was usually tough to come by. I do wish there was another food option, rather than the DogHouse, which seemed dead at all times...maybe a Johnny Rocket's or pizza joint, like on some other ships? We just got a little sick of the food by the last day! Ports of call were great! We liked Skagway and Juneau the best. Ketchikan was very touristy, and we did not like all the jewelry shops. Icy Strait was very quaint and beautiful, but there wasn't as much to do as some of the other ports. Heres what we did in each port (all RC Excursions): Ketchikan: Seafeast & Alaskan Lodge Adventure (AMAZING crab feast!!) Snorkeling (Very fun!) Floatplane - a once in a lifetime experience Icy Strait: ZipRider - fun, but very quick! Whale & Marine Mammal Cruise - very good, saw lots! good narration Juneau: Halibut fishing - Highlight of the trip! Mendenhall Glacier & Salmon Bake - beautiful sights, fun hike, and good food! Skagway: White Pass Railway - beautiful views, highlight of my trip personally! White Pass Railway + Klondike Bike Tour - same train, plus 15 mile bike ride! Cold and rainy but a great time for all my adult children! The captain got us very close to the Hubbard Glacier which was so gorgeous! Definitely get up early and get ready for the day (by like 7 am!) so you can go out and get a good view on the helicopter pad! Most people just stood on the deck in their pajamas and warm coats! Wonderful narration by the expert over the speakers, and a good amount of time allotted so everyone had a chance to see it! As for entertainment, comedians were very funny and music in lounges were always nice to listen to! The Love and Marriage show was great as always, as well as The Quest- Adult Game Show! A hilarious time, and we loved meeting other people there! Bingo was a little disappointing, as it only happened 3 times during the week, and I remember playing it every day on my last cruise! Harry Potter trivia was a fun time for my family. Casino was nice and not too smoky, though we didn't win much! Musical events in the centrum, like the Rock and Roll Night were a blast, with great music and dancing. Photography on the ship was sub-par, with many photos that cut my husbands head off, and unflattering photos. Seems as though they didn't try too hard to find flattering angles or focus in nicely on the group. Probably just trying to take as many photos as possible and not caring how they looked. Temperatures were usually in the mid 50s to mid 60's outside, and most days were cloudy and drizzly. Ship temperature was comfortable, and shorts were wearable on the ship, especially when you use the nice fitness center!I recommend a nice rain coat for sure, and long pants and sweatshirts. Definitely want to pack layers! Disembarkation was easy, as we put our luggage out the night before. Once off the ship, we just had to walk over to the tent and collect our luggage. Pain free! Overall, we love cruising with Royal Caribbean and will definitely recommend this cruise to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
This cruise ship was wonderful! This was our 3rd cruise to the Alaska Inside Passage, but the 1st time on Royal Caribean. We choose this cruise ship because we wanted to be able to stay in Alaska another week. Other cruise ships leave ... Read More
This cruise ship was wonderful! This was our 3rd cruise to the Alaska Inside Passage, but the 1st time on Royal Caribean. We choose this cruise ship because we wanted to be able to stay in Alaska another week. Other cruise ships leave and return to Seattle. The staff went above and beyond. I highly recommend Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas. The food was wonderful. We made arrangements the 1st evening to eat at the same time in the dining room and each evening we walked straight to our designated table with no waiting at all and there were 8 of us. The meals were beautifully presented and delicious, and the waiters and staff were awesome! Our room steward was wonderful too! We booked some excursions from the ship and others we booked when we got off. In Skagway a must do is the White Mountain train ride. In Ketchican we booked the Crab feast and Lumberjack Show combination. I've never had better Dungeness crab - all you can eat! In Icy Point we did the Zipline and what a rush! In Juneau we did the whale watch and the Mendenhall Glacier and of course the Red Dog Saloon. We stayed another week in Seward and went out on 3 fishing trips with Puffin Fishing Charters and they were wonderful. We brought home 500# of fish fillets. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We have sailed three times previously on Disney and greatly enjoyed their ships and service. However, for this vacation, we decided to give RCI a try for several reasons. First, we really wanted a one way sailing and not a round trip. ... Read More
We have sailed three times previously on Disney and greatly enjoyed their ships and service. However, for this vacation, we decided to give RCI a try for several reasons. First, we really wanted a one way sailing and not a round trip. We had visited Alaska's interior many years ago and wanted to tour the interior again after sailing. Disney does not offer this option currently. Also, let's face it, Disney is quite a bit more expensive. For what it would have cost us to put two adults and two kids in a single balcony stateroom on Disney, we were able to book two balcony rooms and an inside room and bring my parents along for a once in a lifetime trip for them. Our agent was able to book us two nearby balcony rooms and an inside room across from one of them that my two teenage children stayed in - more on that later. With that as our background, we were off for our first go with RCI. Embarkation actually went pretty smoothly and we boarded with no drama. While there was the "opportunity" to take a start of cruise picture in front of a fake background, it was off to the side in the waiting area and there was no pressure. Very different from our Disney experience where you pretty much have to run a gauntlet through the boarding photo area and its a hassle to go around it. We came on board near lunch time and headed up to the Windjammer buffet for our first meal. Overall, we were quite pleased with the buffet. There was a great selection of options and the space available during breakfast and lunch was impressive. Izumi, Rita's, and the back open deck are all available for seating in addition to the tables in the buffet area. With the good weather, we enjoyed eating meals outside on several occasions during the cruise. We took all our dinners in the main dining room and didn't try any of the specialty restaurants during this cruise. We were assigned to My Time Dining, but we book the same time slot for our group of six each evening. We were assigned to the same table and servers each night. I don't know how common that is for MTD, but it worked extremely well for us. Our two servers were excellent. It was a bit rough the first night as they were getting to know our group and preferences, but they very quickly learned what we liked and didn't and service was smooth throughout the rest of our time. One thing Disney is noted for is their service in the rotation dining rooms and we've generally found that to be true - however, this pair of servers that we had were as good as the best we experienced on Disney. While RCI probably doesn't want to hear this, I didn't really feel like we missed out by not visiting any of the extra cost restaurants during our cruise. The main dining hall served us quite well. Some of that was due to the restaurants available. Being an older and smaller ship in the RCI fleet, it doesn't have the number or variety of choices that the newer megaships have. Of those that it does, ones like Rita's Crab Shack and Izumi don't serve food that we're interested in. And, while I'm sure Chops is a find enough steak place, I generally have a hard time justifying "steak house" prices for a piece of meat compared to what I've learned to prepare for myself at home, so that option wasn't greatly appealing, either. On to the room. For the six of us, we booked three rooms, an outside balcony for my parents, another for my wife and I, and an inside room across the hall for our kids, aged 11 and 15. For the booking, I was in the inside room with my son and my daughter was in the balcony with my wife as we needed an adult on each reservation. However, at guest services, we were easily able to get two extra room only key cards for each of the two rooms, so we could freely move across the hall as needed. With my kids at this age, this turned out to be a fantastic way to travel. Having two people as the 1st and 2nd passengers in an inside state room was about the same price as having them as the 3rd and 4th passengers in the balcony room. However, we effectively had a large suite with two full bathrooms, closets, TV's, etc along with the privacy of being able to have separate spaces. On Disney, this wouldn't have been possible as the price on the inside rooms is too high compared to the balconies. As for the rooms themselves, they were clean and very well maintained. Our room steward was excellent throughout our sailing and quickly learned our habits and preferences. We founds the bends to be comfortable and had plenty of space to be able to relax. The balcony had good space with a couple of chairs and a table to be able to sit and enjoy the gorgeous scenery in Alaska. While the whole ship is designed for viewing, we definitely appreciate having the balcony space to be able to sit and enjoy on our own, both while sailing as well as in ports. I would say a balcony on this itinerary is worth it if you can afford it. As for activities and entertainment, while they are admittedly secondary to the scenery and ports, I still felt there was plenty on board to see and do to keep us entertained. While Disney is certainly for kid focused, with adult concerned feeling somewhat tacked on, with the Radiance, it felt more family focused with a better balance of activities and areas for kids, families, and adults to enjoy themselves. The shows that we saw in the main theater were a lot of fun, both with the onboard singers and dancers, as well as the other guest entertainers. This was also true of the musical entertainers playing during the day and evening in some of the other spaces of the ship as well. These were quite the more lavish productions that Disney has come up with for their ships, but there was still plenty of talent on display and it served well. The diversity of activity was also such that I almost never really felt too crowded. My son greatly enjoyed the adventure ocean program. We had gotten used to giving the kids a good deal of freedom to take advantage of the kids programs. Being a summer sailing, there were a lot of kids on board and my son in particular enjoyed spending time with the kids activities while we were at sea. He said he enjoyed it more than the Disney kids clubs. My daughter's experience with the teen group wasn't as good, unfortunately. Some of it was probably the nature of the itinerary, but she found that the teen age group mostly just wanted to play on the game consoles in the club area. Several times she would go for some of the scheduled activities that she was interested in and had enjoyed on our Disney sailing, only to find they didn't end up happening due to apparent lack of interest. However, this was offset by her participation during the week in the practice for the "Thriller" dance number. The cruise director (whose name, sadly escapes me now) was excellent through the cruise in general. In particular, he lead a group of volunteers through several sessions over the course of the week learning a dance sequence to perform to Michael Jackson's "Thriller". The first session attracted about 100 people, but after that, she and about 30 others of all ages kept coming to the follow up sessions and learning the routine. On the last night, she and the others improvised zombie costumes and performed with the cruise director in the Centrum (the central atrium that is open from the bottom on deck 4 up to deck 12) while hundreds of the rest of us watched from the various levels to support our dancers. My daughter really enjoyed this experience and the bonding she was able to get with the group that went through it over the week. As for the rest of the ship, overall, it's in pretty good shape for it's age. From up close, you can find rust spots, which stand out more with the white main color of the exterior. Still, it has been well maintained, especially on the inside. I know the Disney Wonder, which is of a similar size and age, and which we had sailed on a few years ago, while also in decent shape, did not seem to have held up quite as well as the Radiance has. That's strictly a personal impression with the overall effect that I got from each ship inside and out. Being an older ship as well, Radiance doesn't have quite all the whiz bang of the new super ships. The pool areas are nice and the standard miniature golf course was a nice diversion, especially with the view. The rock wall was the big attraction. My son enjoyed it the most and climbed it just about every time it was open. My daughter hit it the first day and made it to the top, but lost interest after that. This area was probably my one disappointment. Not with the wall itself, which was impressive, but with the limited availability. Over the seven days, it was probably open a total of 12 hours. While I certainly didn't expect it to be open 24/7, I did expect more than a couple of hours each day and it was never open while we were in port. As a result, the line to climb could often get long since everybody was on board during sailing and it was one of the only major activity areas. With all that said, the reason to take this sailing is the itinerary. The destinations are the real point of this cruise and they generally did not disappoint. After a relaxing sea day, our first stop was Ketchikan. The ship had a good spot with easy access to the downtown area. As the cost was the same, we booked the "Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show" through the ship. The show was cheesy but fun, sort of a cross between wrestling and a reality TV show. It consisted of a "contest" between an American and Canadian lumber camp to see whose lumberjacks were the best. Along the way, they showed off aspects and tools of the history of the lumberjack trade. It was fun and well produced. This was our one port adventure booked through the cruiseline. After some research, I felt everything else was reasonably close enough to the ship that there was little advantage to taking other scheduled excursions. We walked around the different shops and museums, including the Totem Heritage Center (there's a free city shuttle bus that makes a loop to the various stops that are father away from the dock). The Heritage center was a small, but interesting stop with a collection of Totem Poles salvaged from various villages in southern Alaska. From here, we went to Icy Strait Point, which is a rather strange place for a stop. Located near a small village called Hoonah, it once served as a cannery. After that shut down, the locals turned it into a museum and have tried to build up the area as a tourist stop. There are a number of pricey excursions that you can do there, of note is the very expensive and quick Zipline. We had planned a zipline adventure in Alaksa after our cruise, so we skipped this one. We largely treated this as an extra sea day. We spent a couple of hours walking around the area, touring the cannery museum and forrest area near the ship. Honestly, this stop feels like a bit of cheap filler for the cruiselines. I'm sure they hope to sell lots of high priced excursions to passengers since there is little to do at this stop otherwise. The next stop was Juneau, the state capital, which can only be reached by boat or plane. In doing some research online, I learned that there would be a total of four ships with up to 9000 tourists in town that day. I wanted the flexibility to move freely in case we found something too crowded. AVIS has a small rental facility near the docks and I rented a van for the six of us for the day. It served us very well. While the staff at the rental place were slow in processing the several of us who were getting vehicles first thing, I had no trouble getting back to the ship and picking up the rest of the family. We drove out to the Mendenhall Glacier. The glacier is in an area managed by the National Forest Service. We first went up to the visitor center, which was nice, though a bit small. From there, we made the hike out to Nugget Falls along a one mile trail. The falls were very active and we spent a good bit of time just hanging out here, taking pictures, climbing the rocks, enjoying the views of both the glacier and the falls. The area became more and more crowded with other tourists, though few stayed long. We learned from several folks who had take various shuttles out there that they only had about 45 minutes to an hour to visit. I really appreciated having our own vehicle at that point and not having to rush through this experience. Afterward, we drove out to the Shrine of St. Therese, a retreat center of the Catholic Church located along the water about 20 minutes north of town. The drive out there through the woods and along the coast was breath taking and the shrine itself was a beautiful and serene place. Definitely well worth the trip and having our own vehicle to get out there. Our final land stop the next day was Skagway, another fairly small village, though much more developed than Icy Strait Point. The big claim to fame here is it's history as part of the Alaksan Gold Rush and the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. We booked our one other excursion through the cruiseline here - Panning for Gold, Sled Dogs, and the 40 Below Experience. We took a big shuttle bus from the cruise dock (and this one was a pretty long walk - because of the way the ships were positioned, we had to walk the full length of two ships, not quite half a mile, to reach the area of the shuttle bus pick up and drop off). The bus took us through the town to a facility on the outskirts. It was a fun adventure where we first got to pan for gold using dirt brought down from the remote gold fields. After that, we met an Iditarod sleg dog trainer and his team of dogs, learning about what it takes to train for, supply for, and run the iditarod. The highlight here was getting to play with some very young puppies. Finally, we got to freeze our butts off for a few minutes in a large deep freeze meat locker to experience the -40°F that the sled dog teams can experience during the race. Man that was cold. After lunch back on the ship, we went back out to take advantage of a free walking tour that the National Park Service runs several times a day. It was a fun and well narrated tour. They only take 30 per group, so either get their first thing in the morning, or, do like I did and get a reservation spot through their online system ahead of time. The last day of the cruise was the pinnacle, the visit to the Hubbard Glacier. We arrived early in the morning under clouds and fog. Thankfully, the fog cleared and we were able to make our way up near the glacier. It was an impressive sight as it is several miles wide at the water line. We got to see several good calving events in the ice while ship sat on station spinning around in a tight circle. The ship had on board a retired professor who had given a couple of lectures on glaciers, whales, and something else that I can't recall. He also spoke over the ships PA system while we were at the glacier, explaining several aspects of glaciers and what made this particular one so interesting. While informative, he was sadly, not a great public speaker. Still, the view was well worth it and truly provided an excellent finale for the cruise. Final morning debarkation went smoothly. We were able to have a final breakfast in the Windjammer before reporting to the main theater to wait for our exit call. I haven't experienced any other RCI debarkations at other locations yet, but I would say that they handle things better than Disney in this regard. Overall, the cruse was a fantastic experience that exceeded even my high expectations. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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