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99 Royal Caribbean Vancouver Cruise Reviews

I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with ... Read More
I am currantly on day seven of a ten night cruise aboard Ovation of the Seas. I embarked in Vancouver and will end up in Hawaii. Here are my obsevations so far: First of all I love Royal Caribbean and have sailed twice before with them, most recently on the Allure of the Seas, see my review here…….https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=652523 I do love the big ships with the Oasis class being the largest. Let me start with the negatives as it relates to this Quantum class Ovation of the Seas… When I first boarded her in Vancouver the process was somewhat confusing as there was no separate area for Crown and Anchor guests or for people who may have purchased the ‘Key” as I did on Allure. No biggie. It took about 20 minutes to get on board beginning at 11am. The instant I stepped foot on board I felt that I had made a huge mistake in booking this ship. It was jammed to the max right at 11:30 am and we were herded through what I would discribe as an airport high end shopping mall filled with glitzy expensive jewlery shops….Bulvgari, Cartiere etc etc..what seemed like dozens of them…It was shoulder to shoulder jammed as if I were in the Bangkok airport between gates. Yuk! The Promenade is tiny in my opinion for a ship that has this many people on it! Its as if RCI felt that shopping for a diamond watch was way more important than the common areas where normally one would find the bars and food venues sepatate from the occaisonal guest who needs to buy a Gucci handbag on a cruise. The central common area is all about shopping and not about complimentary needs for Ovations' passengers..They are after thoughts just stuck into deck four and five….so consequently you NEVER have the feeling that you are at Schooner's Bar, The Pub, Jamies Italian etc…you are in a mall and you are always facing a high end shop, always…while you eat your upcharged meal or have a pint in the pub. On the Oasis class Central Park and to a great extent the Royal Promenade allow separtaion and the actual feeling that you are in a venue catering to you. Even Vintages wine bar on Ovation is an after thought stuck right in the open of the mall. I hated this whole concept and felt totally let down compared to my previous experiences on Allue and Independence. As the days went by the ship did open up and I was relieved that my first impressions wore off but overtime if you want to go from one end of the ship to the other you go tru the mall unless you go tru deck 14 which I tried to do most of the time. There are way too many people on this ship for the overall design which I’m told was originally for the Asian market. On Oasis class ships I never once felt crammed in and crowded and they have even more people on them. The four main dining rooms allow pasengers to eat either Mytime or fixed seating.. I chose The Grand dining room and requested a table before boarding and once again Royal came through. Very happy with my table and I like the Grand dining room much better than Silk, American Icon or Chic. The food on Ovation so far has been hit or miss. I’m not one to complain about food on a cruise ship, there is a ton of it everywhere and you should be able to satisfy your hunger 24 hours as you can do on Ovation. I have noticed that compared to Allure last December the food on Ovation particularly in Windjammer leans toward the lower end of quality. Not a carving station in sight offering up a huge roast or ham..nope they actually have a tiny canned ham being carved for breakfast. Not a strawberry or blueberry to be found anywhere. Basically the exact same breakfast every day. The main dining room food so far has been hit or miss. I have eggs benedict in the main dinig room everyday and it comes out fast and cooked to perfection. You can find some good stuff at Cafe Two70 and its towards the aft of the ship and is generally quiet…good sandwiches, soups etc.. The Solarium Bistro has some good stuff for dinner and is quiet as well. The usual faire is out and about throughout the ship and like I said you won't go hungry. I just feel that the bean counters at Royal like at Disneyworld are cutting it close with the lower quality food and pushing one towards the uncharge venues. I purchased the unlimited dining package and for $20 a day I can eat at Chops for lunch (sea days) and dinner and at Jamie’s Italian and at Wonderland and Izzumi’s. Izzumi’s is always empty and Wonderland doesn’t interest me so I found myself at Jamie’s and Chops looking for the better quality food since I paid the price. Unfortunately both have disappointed so far. Jamie’s is nothing special and the service leaves much to be desired. Its chaotic and the seats are hard as a rock as they are basically metal uncushioned chairs. And you look out at the shoping mall jewerly stores. Yuk. Chops is pretty basic with much better service..its tucked in the corner of Schonner's Bar. Lots of Aussies and international passengers and more African Americans than I’ve ever seen before on this cruise. Many folks can be found smoking in the smoking area on deck 14 next to the pool. I never once had a free hand cocktail poured for me. They measure each drink and I found this to be a bummer too whereas my previous cruises they freehand poured…not sure if this is fleet wide but it hasn't ruined my cruise as I dont drink that much anyway. There are hardly any kids on this cruise for what thats worth. There are two formal nights and I find that most people dress up and enjoy looking their best with many of the older folks still in black tie. Its a huge mix of traditional cruisers and the run of the mill riff raff… I did witness a family siting at Vintages and the adult son in his 30s was siting there with his shoes off with his dirty feet UP ON THE table where people are going to be spending $100 to drink champagne. It really bothered me and I asked the bartender to tell him to put his feet down off the table. She was hesitant to do so but obliged me. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today. And he was with his parents. What does that tell ya? Now on to the good stuff. The crew is fabulous and again its amazing how they all maintain their attitudes. Its the best part about cruising, the amazing service everywhere. Bravo to Royal. My stateroom attendant is fabulous and my dining room waiter is excellent. The ship itself is beautiful and sparking clean. The venues for entertainment and the entertainment itself is great.. Lots to do. Lots of music and high tech stuff especially the venue in the aft of the ship. Seaplex is great, Ifly and Northstar etc. Plenty to do, good food, great crew, beautiful ship. I doubt I’d sail on this class of ship again but I love Royal Caribbean and am having a great cruise so far. The little things I’d like to see changed are not going to change as long as the bottom line and increased profits for shareholders take precidant over everything else. Oh yeah the wifi is fantastic…full streaming the whole way across the Pacific no problem which allowed me to watch my Xifinity account as there isn’t much on the TV they provide. My interior stateroom with a virtual balcony is well appointed and very comfortable. First time with an interior. There is some noise from adjacent rooms and toilets flushing but its no big deal. Looking forward to my next cruise onboard the newly revamped Oasis of the Seas in two months. Hope this review helps others to decide about Ovation of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo ... Read More
Overall the Ovation of the Ship is a beautiful large passenger ship. It had 4600 passengers but didn't seem crowded except on deck when it was warm and sunny as all of the people came out of hiding to get a deck chair. I had a solo interior cabin which while small was good at has a normal double bed and the same bathroom as regular rooms. it had the virtual balcony which I liked. The food in Solarium café and American Icon was very good, but Windjammer was repetitive food (too much Asian and Indian food) and not enough veggies. Windjammer was busy at breakfast but pretty empty at night for dinner. I liked the take 2 café for lunch. I did the North Star twice but not the I-fly or surfing. You had to wait a long time if you wanted bumper cars and then you were on for five minutes. The Hawaii enrichment lectures were very good. I would definitely sail on it again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in ... Read More
Vancouver the day before and stayed at the Mariott which is within walking distance to the pier, Embarkation was easyas we did everything on-line beforehand, just scaned us in, drop off luggage and we on boarded. We did US customs in Vancouver so there was not an expedited embarkation for repeat gusets. We were familiar with the ship as we had sailed on its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas. Once on board we took the stairs to the next floor and walked all the way down to the second bank of elevators. Thus we bypassed the crowd. Ship was clean and beautiful. Even though it was a big ship it didn't seem crowded excWe chose this cruise as it was on our bucket list and we enjoy sea days. We flew to ept when they were selling stuff on the promenade. Dining - We did 2nd seating table for 2. Our waiter and assistance were excellent, making sure everything was to our liking. The food overall was very good. Some items I didn't care for but the staff would accomodate with another entry that was very good. Staff was attentive and when they noticed we always came to dinner with a glass of wine, they had the cheese tray waiting for us. Speciality restaurants - we didn't do any as in the past we have not found them that special. We thought $40 surcharge for Chops on the high side and have experienced high end steak houses on land which these are not. Did check out the Italian Restaurant menu and wasn't impressed. Just run of the mill offerings that seemed like Olive Garden. Entertainment - the shows we saw were very good and overall there was good variety. Enjoyed the piano player at the schooner lounge and small venue bands. Activities - Since we had 5 sea days there seemed to be all kind of activities available. They had enrichment programs, movies,bridge lessons, shows during the day time. We did the bumper cars and waited a long time but had fun watch everyone while we waited. Service - The service was excellent. Our room attendent was always available and very accomodating. All staff we encountered we warm and engaging from bartenders to maitre. Ports Vancouver - We had been there before so we just went to dinner in the revolving restaurant. Food was good and views are spectacular. Seattle - The ship does not dock in downtown,so you need transportation to get to the city. We have been to Seattle a few times and just decided to go to Pike Place, famous fish market. We took taxi and it cost about $12 each way which is cheaper than the ship's offering which was $22 per person plus you can be on your own schedule. Vans were available for $7 per person but we elected not to do this as usually you had to wait until the van is full before they leave. Maui - We took a ship's tour to the volcano. We went 10,000 ft above sea level and we were in the clouds and never got to see the crater. No issue as no one has control over the weather but the ride was exciting, curves climbing etc. The worst part was the guide didn't stop talking the entire time and it was a long day. Kono - We took ship's tour to coffee plantation, strenous hike through the natural habitant and visit to a former native enclave by the sea. It was excellent but the tour description was somewhat lacking. Description said had to walk 4 tenths of a mile over uneven ground. It was at least 3/4 of a mile and we needed walking sticks, as it was steep, had to climb over tree roots, fallen trees and slippery rocks. The guide was excellent, had water and snacks for us. We really enjoyed it. Honolulu We departed and didn't take any ship tours as we were staying there for a few days. Only negative is that no free movies were offered in stateroom. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly ... Read More
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly quick but did involve a lot of walking, but there were no long lines. Only did the dining room once and had no complaints. Regarding formal night - not everyone dresses up and it seems to be a more laid back dress code. We personally preferred the windjammer with all the different choices. All the food in the windjammer was great. Loved the ice cream machine. Make sure you enjoy the windjammer on the last night- Alaskan seafood was fantastic. Pools were heated and were used by many, especially since we encountered no rain during our whole cruise and temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Solarium does need updating (if they would just get rid of all the fake greenery). All employees were very nice and quite attentive. Evening entertainment was very lacking and mediocre. Most ships have karaoke (which can be quite enjoyable), but not this ship. Be prepared for oldies music sung in the centrum which is ok but not for the whole week. The casino was awful with cigarette smoke, there seems to be no ventilation. The highlight of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The captain did an amazing job to steer the ship so everyone had an awesome view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a ... Read More
We have wanted to do a cruise to Hawaii for a long time. We were last in the islands in 1982. The Radiance of the Seas cruise from Vancouver to Hawaii was a great chance to return with the added benefit of travelling with friends. It is a lovely ship with a few spots looking the worse for wear. We felt right at home since our 40 year old home also has a few of those! There did seem to be a very friendly, cheerful ambiance on the ship that I believe starts at the top. Embarkation was very efficient--one of our best in 16 cruises. Disembarkation via express, carry your own luggage was very popular and maybe the large express group needs letters or numbers to be called in stages also. Overall, dining was quite good. Mostly, we had breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. I could find enough breakfast variety to eat for a month in this venue. Three times I had breakfast in the Park Cafe to avail myself of the lox and bagels and fixings I enjoy very much. We had lunch in the main dining room once. I had the Tutti salad I loved in the past. It was good but tuna fish was the protein of choice. I missed the shrimp and prosciutto I had enjoyed in the past. Do I detect a cut-back? Had some good Indian food in the WJ. Plenty of choices to not go hungry. Thought the desserts here were very weak and repetitive and many dishes could use a bit more spice. We dined at Giovanni's for lunch one day and they put on a spectacular feast. Everything was delicious. We shared appetizers and pasta and had our own entrees. I highly recommend this $15 lunch special. Best meal of the cruise but of course, it was a specialty restaurant. Desserts were ones we still dream about and service superb. Salvador and Bennie were our fixed dining waiters and took very good care of us. Their job is extra hard because they have different numbers of people showing up on different nights. They made sure we were stocked with the brown sunflower seed rolls we cruise for. Overall the food was quite good. One night we had a wonderful lamb shank. I missed the wonderful rare thick lamb chops we have had on a couple of cruises. I had a couple of the sugar free desserts which were pleasantly good. Dinner desserts were much better than the WJ. With limited changing menu choices, I think they should avoid 2 steaks or 2 chocolate cake choices on the same menu--just my preference. Thought the cruise director John was very good. His afternoon Neil Diamond show was one of our favorite entertainment offerings. OA, the entertainment was pretty average but seats more available. Sea Day trivia was very well done with most of the questions just about right in the degree of difficulty. Hannah, James and Sophie did a good job. Played bingo once--very expensive and games are too short. My favorite game was the football goalpost which took a while. Prizes were good. Enjoyed the Hawaiian duo. I would also like to see more classic country music on the ships. We were sorry to miss Hilo. They subbed an ON in Lahaina instead. We were doing several nights on Maui after the cruise so this was not quite as good for us. Weather on the cruise was lovely. Hawaii was rather hot and humid due to recent hurricane activity which caused no problems for us. Our group usually plans its own excursions. No children in our group. I always have fun and a good time on cruises and my first on ROTS filled the bill nicely. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship ... Read More
We left August 10th on Radiance of the Seas. Our plane was late but we booked our travel through RC so they waited for us, several were on our particular plane. Embarkation was great as we were rushed onto the ship. We researched the ship prior to our cruise and saw quite a few negative comments. We were pleasantly surprised by the ship and the crew. From our room stewart to the wait staff in the main dining room to most all the crew we encountered, everyone was pleasant and very helpful. The ship is older, yes, but it is not falling apart. It was clean everywhere. We booked a junior suite and had plenty of room. The closet was large and the room was big. The food in the MDR was good as well as, of course, Chops Grill. We were not impressed with Giovanni's or the brazilian steakhouse, Samba. That might just be our personal taste. There was not too much in the way of entertainment but we usually do not attend to many shows. We did go one night to a comedian which he was very good. Most people on the ship were 40-50-60ish but there were also a lot of kids and younger adults. We had booked all our excursions prior to boarding the ship so we did get them at a discount. One excursion, dog mushing, was cancelled due to weather and no snow on the glacier but we rebooked at the dock to another helicopter onto a glacier which was awesome. All our other excursions were great too. In Ketchican, we went on a boat ride and after had a delicious lunch of all you can eat dungeonous crabs. We definitely recommend this excursion. Next stop was Icy Straight Point where we went out on a boat for whale watching. We did see whales and orcas. Then Juneau where we went up on the glacier. Next was Skagway where we enjoyed a wonderful salmon bake. We ended in Seward and continued on to the land tour. Starting in Anchorage we boarded the Wilderness Express train to Talkeetna for one night, then onto Danali by train for two nights and finally by a third train to Fairbanks for two nights. Although we thoroughly enjoyed all the sights, we wish we had had the itenerary for this land tour ahead of time. No food or extra excursions along the way were included in the cruise price. And food is VERY expensive in Alaska. Plus in some of the places you are very limited on places to eat. You are also very busy everyday especially if you went on the extra excursions that were not included in the price and were also expensive. Plan on spending about another $2000 on food and excursions. That doesn't include any souveniers you may want to buy. The three train rides were fabulous and most all of the excursions included in the price were great except for the salmon bake in Fairbanks. Of note, the bus ride into Danali National Park was long, about 8 hours, and was on a remodeled school bus. The only time you could get out of the bus was on bathroom breaks. You could only take pictures from the bus windows and on the bathroom breaks. We did see some wildlife but mostly from very far away and you really needed a long range camera len to get close up pictures. We absolutely enjoyed our cruise and land tour and would recommend it to anyone wishing to go to Alaska. It is a bucket list place. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali National Park. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The seas were calm. In Ketchikan and Icy Srtait we just walked around, having done a number of excursions on past cruises. Ketchikan was extremely busy with 4 ships in port. However we did enjoy walking around and enjoying the shops. We took the bus into the town of Hoonah, not much to see there. We saw a Totem carver and enjoyed his story about his carving. Juneau is probably our favorite Alaskan port. We always do the whale watching, Orca lodge salmon bake and on occassion Mendenhall Glacier. We are never disappointed with this excursion. We saw a number of humpback whales and eaglees soaring near our boats. In Skagway, we took the train up to Fraser BC and then boarded the bus for a trip to the beginning of the Yukon, on the way back we stopped for a lunch consisting of bison chili and then walked the suspension bridge. We did encounter some fog and rain on the way to Fraser but the weather cleared before arriving. We opted for a two night land tour folling the cruise and it was teriffic. We left Seward for Denali National Park, with a short stop in Anchorge. Our tour director Lori was amazing, she kept us entertained the entire two days. Lori was extremely patient with all of the questions that anyone had. W were overnight at the Denali Park Village. The loaction was amazing, our room looked out a river behind the lodge. There were several dining venues available, gift shops and outside entertainment. Next morning we got on a bus for the Denali History Tour. We made three stops throughout the park for some short lectures and then at the parks visitor center for lunch. We were very lucky to have great weather because we got to see MT. Denali two days in a row, something Lori said didn't happen very often. Next we rode to Talkeetna where we boarded the Wilderness train to Anchorage. That was a wonderful ride in a domed railcar.Our last night was at the Marriot, it was within walking distance of quite a few sites. Now for the not so good. The ROTS is in need of a physical makeover, it showed a lot of wear and tear. The food in both the Windjammer and MDR were just fair, but we weren't there for the food. The music in the atruim was too loud, you couldn't have a conversation with anyone in guest services. The entertainment was mediocre. Any of the ships crew we interacted with were great, especially our cabin attendant and MDR waiters. If we were to visit Alaska again via a cruise, we might try a Celebrity ship.One last note, on other Alaska cruises, we did not remember all of the small out of control childern running amok on the ship or on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We ... Read More
We wanted to go to Alaska, and picked this cruise because of the Vancouver departure and one-way itinerary. We selected Royal Caribbean since we have cruised with them a long time and hoped to take advantage of our Platinum status. We liked the cruise overall, but got the strong impression that more things have become extra-cost options rather than being included in the price you pay. It would be fine if the overall price of the cruise was lower and you'd pay only for things you wanted, but the cruise price seemed about the same as before. We booked our own flights and pre-cruise hotel in Vancouver. We have found that this gives us a chance to settle in ahead of time as well as avoid worrying about getting to the ship if the flights are delayed. Boarding was efficient. You clear US customs before boarding, so you can't leave the ship once you are onboard. If you have a choice, you will have to balance the check-in crowds against spending a bit more time in Vancouver. We could have boarded at 1 pm or 2 pm instead of 11 am (which we did). We booked relatively early, but were still stuck with either a very expensive suite or an outside cabin on Deck 2. It was really pretty good, stable during sea passages, but you spend a lot of time waiting for the elevator. The ship itself was in pretty good condition, but there were a few signs of wear around the edges. They had to fix one of the Centrum elevators which was misbehaving. One of the restrooms had a large-ish metal panel held in place with a wedge of paper stuck between the frame and the panel. The green trim paint on the outside around deck 10/11 seemed to be flaking off in spots. Dining in Cascades (main dining room) was passable overall, about what you'd get at a hotel banquet function. Some entrees were quite good, and some were disappointing. We tried some specialty restaurants too. Chops: We did this on the first night for $20. I don't think it was worth much more than that, and definitely not $35 worth. Service was off, the meat was good but not top-notch, and selections were limited. The meat was not exactly done as we had ordered, but it was close. We ordered some bottles of wine since they said that they would hold the bottles for future visits in "any" shipboard restaurant. However, when we went to Cascades the next night, it took them 20 minutes and a head waiter to bring the bottles down from Chops to Cascades, and this was accompanied by a lecture that "we don't normally do this". If that was the case, then Chops should have told us that it really wasn't practical to move the wine from one restaurant to another and offered us the option to take it with us. Samba: We did this on the second sea night. For $25, this felt much better. The food was tasty and well-prepared. They cook the 7 different types of meats more or less to order for each table, so they don't have a lot that's circulating like a typical Brazilian steak house. We had to sample the last two meats since we had too much salad at the beginning and were filling up fast. Beverages: we skipped the unlimited drinks package due to high cost ($49/person/day plus 18%, even in advance) and limitations on what was included (nothing over $12 per drink, which was about half of the wines by the glass and some specialty cocktails; fairly limited choices; and a discount on wine by the bottle in the restaurants). The daily drink special seemed a bit watered down, too. You'd have to consume four drinks per day, every day, to break even on the package. On shore days, you'll generally spend several hours in town, which also reduces the amount of time to have beverages on the ship. We noted that some people were looking for bars that were open at 9 am or 10 am, so we surmised they were on drinks packages and wanted to spread things out. Shows: Most were pretty good, with lavish productions and decent enough performers. They were good cruise entertainment, but you'd probably not spend a lot of money to see the same show on land. We were disappointed in the changes at the spa/fitness center. There used to be free one-hour classes like stretch and yoga, plus a "ShipShape" program that encouraged participation. Now, the free classes are quite short (15 minutes for a stretch class? Come on!) and you have to pay for longer classes ($12/class or $49 for unlimited classes during the cruise). Again, shore days will cut into the classes that you can attend. There was a constant push to buy expensive services like skin treatments to reduce facial lines and sagging. The staff was friendly, but you didn't get much interest from them if you just wanted to do free stuff. Other shipboard activities included the usual art auctions, sales at the shops, photography packages on offer, etc. There were frequent trivia competitions in the bars, a scavenger hunt (which we won, thanks to being first back plus having one item that was worth 10 points), and "The Quest" which is a hoot for players and spectators alike. We leaned towards the free activities to show that some people like those and don't need to pay money for everything to have fun. Cuddy, the cruise director, really made things great. He seemed to be everywhere, introducing shows, promoting activities around the ship, and being part of special nights like the 70s dance party in the Centrum. I have not seen such a wild, fun "Village People" tribute before. Having Cuddy dressed up as the construction worker just topped it off. This night seemed to be a highlight for the entertainment staff too. The naturalist we had on board to talk about the glaciers was knowledgable, but not that good at communicating. I felt that he provided the same info during the on-deck commentary and the scheduled talks. We also had talks by a former RCMP (Mountie) telling of the life they lead and what they really do. We had great weather during the cruise: sun in port, a little colder and windier at sea, but I can't complain at all. We kept hearing that the weather was the best the locals had seen in weeks, so we felt quite blessed to be cruising this particular week. Of course, your experience will be different. The ports were pretty typical for this itinerary. I'll summarize our experiences. I'm more willing to book tours on my own if they leave first thing in the morning, but the afternoon ones should be booked through the ship so they won't leave without you if you get back late (which happened to us in three of four ports). There were 4-5 ships in port at each of the stops we made, except Icy Strait Point where we were the only ship. Ketchikan: A fun little town, but not much to do if you don't buy an excursion. We went on a floatplane trip to the Misty Fjords with Carlin Air, since the ship's excursion was sold out. You'll save some money booking it on your own. The air charter companies will meet you at the dock. There is also a row of kiosks where you can book a tour on the spot. The cost could be slightly higher cost that advance booking online, but perhaps you can negotiate with the people there. We walked around town, went to the Totem Heritage Center, and had some lunch at the Alaska Fish House next to the pier. We skipped the lumberjack show. Our time here was sadly quite limited, or we might have been able to fit in a trip via bus to Totem Bight or Saxman. Juneau: A nice city, lots to do, pleasant to walk and shop in the local stores. We took the tramway to the top of Mt. Roberts. It was one of the warmest days they had seen in months. We had lunch at Tracy's Crab Shack (famous, a little touristy but very popular for good reasons). We walked a few blocks to the state capitol building, but could not see that much without going up a few floors. We then took a helicopter tour in the late afternoon (pilot's choice, two landings, highly recommended if you can get it) and returned in time to walk around some more and grab a bite at Deckhand Dave's right on the pier next to our ship. Icy Strait Point: We enjoyed this stop. We took a little walk in the woods, checked out the old salmon cannery, but we had little time left after we did the bears/whale watching trip. We saw two bears plus whales having fun, sea otters, porpoises, sea lions, etc. We liked the involvement of the native people in presenting the history. You can book the same trips on site if you haven't booked them on the ship, and I did not check to see if the prices were any different than the advance bookings This port was developed with Royal Caribbean (we called it "Coco Cay of Alaska") and it was very nice. Skagway: A fun place, small enough to walk around or ride the ($5/day) bus. The dock is not that close to the town, so you'll have a bit of a walk. My wife did the glass blowing, which she enjoyed; I walked a bit, took some photos and enjoyed some shopping. We both went on the White Pass and Yukon rail excursion, which returned about 45 mins late but dropped us off right at the dock. The weather was perfect again, if perhaps a bit warm. Departure at Seward was uneventful, but we were delayed a bit. We joined a post-cruise tour, so they picked us up right at the dock. More on the post-cruise tour in another review. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Last year my wife and I sailed the Celebrity Solstice, doing the Inside Passage from Seattle. We enjoyed it so much we decided to go northbound on the Vancouver-Seward run and after a couple years, went back to RCCI. We sailed with another ... Read More
Last year my wife and I sailed the Celebrity Solstice, doing the Inside Passage from Seattle. We enjoyed it so much we decided to go northbound on the Vancouver-Seward run and after a couple years, went back to RCCI. We sailed with another couple. We arrived in Vancouver a day early (it was supposed to be 2 nights early - thanks Delta!). We enjoyed our time in the city and felt like it would be a cool place to explore with more time. What surprised me most was how easy the embarkation was. If Seattle was utter chaos, including being sent to Uber hell, Vancouver was perhaps the simplest embarkation of any cruise we have taken. A few thoughts on the cruise. The CD on Radiance is average to bland. The Love and Marriage Game show was pretty lame. The entertainment was OK but not great and they didn't have a good musical guest. The pub entertainer was great, but he really packed the place out! I did find they had some good and unique trivia, which is great. We had outstanding service and very good food in MDR and Samba (Samba was one of my highlights). But then we found food in the Windjammer was not great, especially at lunch. The variety was not there, and some of the items were not very good. Not that you should judge a cruise by it's pizza but dang the pizza was nasty and so under-cooked that the cheese wasn't melted. The itinerary was good. I will review ports below. In general, I think they should find an alternative for Icy Point Straight. We were not impressed. Perhaps they should sub it out for Sitka. Or perhaps an overnight in Juneau? The Hubbard Glacier was impressive, though we didn't see any calving. Disembarkation was great. We took the train through RCCI to Anchorage. That was another highlight - the scenery was outstanding. It was the shortest 4 1/2 hours ever. The only bizarre part was that the train drops you off at the airport, but your luggage is in downtown at the convention center. Fortunately we were renting a car so it wasn't a big deal. We had 2+ days in Anchorage - there is a lot of fun stuff to do if you have a car. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
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
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 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
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
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
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
Embarkation- A 5 hour wait at check-in at Canada Place. We were told this was a backup at CBP due to four ships there at the same time- (for this Cruise, we were pre-cleared so not necessary to go through Customs again after leaving ... Read More
Embarkation- A 5 hour wait at check-in at Canada Place. We were told this was a backup at CBP due to four ships there at the same time- (for this Cruise, we were pre-cleared so not necessary to go through Customs again after leaving Vancouver.) We arrived at 1:10pm. After a 1 hour wait for check-in, we moved to a waiting area so that the security line was not overwhelmed. They were moving 50 at a time downstairs to wait in the metal detector line before moving on to the second line at Customs. We had Global Entry so we were able to skip ahead of the Customs line but there was no signage for this. We had to ask and were moved to the Crew/Non-Rev line. We finally got on board as the safety drills were underway, so we waited at our lifeboat station with bags in tow. The ship left about an hour late. Food- food is always subjective but I felt the food on the Radiance was better than most other Cruise lines. I would give them an A+ for taste and variety. Quick table clearance in the Windjammer Cafe and smiling, eager to assist staff. Windjammer Café- Breakfast- Separate serving areas- One always for British- Fry bread, Beans, Bangers, Black Pudding, Hash Browns Corned beef hash, poached eggs. One for typical American- bacon, scrambled eggs, etc. There was always a carving Station for baked ham. Odd but they switched from a whole ham to what appeared to be a canned ham midway through the Cruise. There were also cold cuts, cheeses, bread, plus made to order omelets and some Indian selections. Lunch- Rarely ate at Windjammer but there was usually a Taco Bar, some Indian entrees, a salad bar, soups, pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers. Dinner- the grill typically had Steak, Pork Chops, Grilled chicken, and occasionally Lamb Chops. The carving Station had a rotating meat such as Leg of Lamb, pork Loin and such. Occasionally there was a made-to-order Crepe bar which replaced the made-to-order pasta bar. There was also self-serve soft serve available during lunch and dinner hours. Alternatives- The Boardwalk Dog House was open when the Windjammer was not- 4 or 5 types of sausages- Hot Dogs, Bratwurst, apple and Chicken, were typical. Sometimes they ran out towards the end. Park Café was open with make your own pizza or salad and desserts when Windjammer was closed. Food between 1am and 6am was room-service only as all restaurants were typically closed. On the in-cabin TV, the Food Service Manager mentioned that food may change based on the makeup of passengers so food types may be different on a future cruise. Bars- Lots of beer left over from their Australia itinerary-- Tooheys in the Quill and Compass pub, XXXX at the Boardwalk Dog House, but a decent bottled selection in most bars. I usually have found Alaskan Amber available on Alaskan cruises. On day 2, Rita’s Cantina got a makeover and all signage was replaced with Alaskan Amber signs, but the last time I was there, they didn’t actually have any Alaska beer on tap. The bar was open occasionally but bar hours were not listed in the Cruise Compass, only on channel 39 in the stateroom (which I never looked at). On the last day at Sea, Alaskan Amber and IPA was available in bottles. On Board activities- The Movie Theater was a nice touch and we did one movie there during the first sea day. Popcorn would have been nice but no such luck. The rock wall was usually open two hours a day, with sign ups ending :15 prior to the end. However, it was closed on cold or rainy days (aka most days in Alaska). Generally there were more activities than I have seen on other cruise lines. Service- all staff very friendly, and eager to assist and interact with passengers. In the Windjammer, there was someone finding available seats during busy times. Disembark- After a lot of thought, we decided on the train for a few more dollars and were glad we did. Much better scenery and the ability to get up and take pictures on the way to Anchorage. Overall this ship is in good shape and there were plenty of activities and an exceptionally friendly staff and crew. The public areas and cabins are in good shape. There was rust and wear on other parts of the ship, which is in needs of a refurb, but the public areas were all very well maintained. It feels like food and service are going down on many Cruise lines, but this was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and we were very impressed with both. I'll skip the port reviews of the more popular ports that get their fair share of reviews and focus on Haines and Icy Strait point. Haines - Docked at Ft Seward. Easy walk into town or shuttles available. As you exit the ship, turn right and follow the sidewalk on Front Street along the water into town . There is limited shopping. There are two markets if you want snacks. The Haines Brewery was busy all day. Their Spruce Tip ale was superb. Also the Haines distillery was in Ft. Seward if you need a last minute drink before returning to the boat. Ft. Seward is a nice self-guided tour of about 30-60 minutes with some small shops. Icy Strait Point- Whales! Whales! and more Whales! Five Whales were bubble net feeding right next to the boat. Another Humpback swam under the dock, and several more were along the shore. The Herring were running and the Humpback Whales were everywhere! We felt sorry for those who purchased a Whale Watching excursion as those boats were right next to the Radiance and we got the show for free! I would be surprised if the pictures didn’t make in onto the Royal Caribbean website since they were so close to the ship. We left 30 minutes late while both Passengers and Crew were on deck watching. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
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