2 Seward to Canada & New England Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

A group of twelve friends embarked on June 3rd in Fairbanks heading down to Denali and then to Anchorage and Seward before boarding the Radiance of the Seas on June 7th.Connections from the airport to the hotel in Fairbanks were extremely ... Read More
A group of twelve friends embarked on June 3rd in Fairbanks heading down to Denali and then to Anchorage and Seward before boarding the Radiance of the Seas on June 7th.Connections from the airport to the hotel in Fairbanks were extremely smooth. The accommodations were fine. I thought the prices for the breakfast buffet were out of line and would be free at a Hampton Inn. We were impressed with the tours that were included in the Fairbanks area on Day 2. The Riverboat was very informative, very comfortable, and well planned. After lunch we visited the Dredge #8 and panned for gold. It was a great experience.On Day 3 we rode the train from Fairbanks to Denali. Scenery was beautiful and the train guide and bartender were good. At the park we had a walking tour which happened to have a close encounter with a moose and her calf. Accommodations at McKinley Village were adequate. The shuttle into town was convenient and free.Day 4 we took the optional WTW excursion ($310 per couple) into the park. That experience was worth the money, with numerous wildlife viewing and brief glimpses of Denali through gaps in the clouds. Day 5 we road the coach to Anchorage. Along the way we have splendid views of Denali. In Anchorage we were deposited at a downtown mall to get lunch. We spent about two hours wandering around the mall and the surrounding neighborhood. I mention this mainly to emphasize one very negative aspect of this day. When we arrived at the port in Seward it was about 5:30 PM. We had an arduous check-in procedure and finally hit the deck around 6 PM. With early seating, this meant that we had very little time to get to our room for clean-up before getting to our table around 6:20 PM. Now muster was scheduled for 7:30PM, so between having our waiters needing to get to muster duty and still serve us our dinner, suffice it to say that dinner was VERY rushed.Most of this problem I place with the Cruise Tour company that arranged the final leg of our journey. Our guide kept telling us not to worry "My dear guests," the ship does not sail until 9PM. A much shorter lunch stop would have solved the problem for us and I don't think I would have regretted a shorter zip through Anchorage.So we sailed on June 7th, heading toward Ketchikan. The ports of call were very nice and the scenery along the way was spectacular. Since we had been to Ketchikan, Skagway, and Juneau, we were content to explore the towns and skip the extra excursions. The only exception was that I took the Klondike Highway Bike tour in Skagway. That was fantastic!! The tour people were friendly, knowledgeable, and informative. The bikes were in excellent condition and the ride was well worth the $95 fee.The big problem began on Sunday in Juneau. On our way back to the ship from church, we stopped to buy some souvenirs. These included four Ulu knives (a very popular item in Alaska). These were confiscated at the security stop as we reboarded the ship. When we tried to retrieve them so we could mail them home in Skagway, we hit some big bumps in the quality of service from Guest Services. I'm pretty steamed about all of this, so I will just say that we were finally able to get the knives back in Ketchikan and mail them home. Thanks to the concierge (JD) we finally got through the issues and the Customs official in Ketchikan was very friendly as he cleared our purchase for being taken to shore. When we left the ship in Vancouver we saw many large tables full of confiscated items still waiting to be claimed, so I know we were in good company with this problem. I fault RCI for not adequately informing passengers about the problems with purchasing items for taking back to the US through Canada. If you're planning this trip, be careful and get the full information before you buy. Also, if the post office is available, I advise mailing many items home from shore and not after you try to get back on the ship.On board, our stateroom attendant was very attentive and congenial. Our dinner table waiters were also very good and provided our dinners at a good pace. I cannot say the same for lunch or breakfast.I found myself eating lunch in the Park Cafe most of the time and putting up with breakfast in the Cascade.The ship seems to be in need of some TLC. Elevator buttons frequently were inoperative and paint was peeling from the undersides of deck 11.While we usually enjoy the evening entertainment, there was only one show that kept us in our seats from beginning to end. Real sleepers!Much was made of the norovirus. I don't know how many actually caught it, but all of our group were hale and hardy throughout the two weeks we were together. The slight inconvenience of having crew serve us at the various venues and little to pay for the confidence that we'd be saved the problems of the sickness and being quaranteened.The process of leaving the ship was relatively painless and customs was a breeze. We recommend taking a shuttle to the downtown hotels in Vancouver. Inexpensive and quick. I think we checked into the Residence Inn by Marriott by 9AM. Nice new hotel with wifi and a free breakfast buffet!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We were a family of 8...coming from Texas, Florida, Calif. South Carolina. Ages 14 to 65!!! We all met in Anchorage the day before, Stayed at the Marriott...it was comfortable and within easy walking to restaurants and shops in town. Had ... Read More
We were a family of 8...coming from Texas, Florida, Calif. South Carolina. Ages 14 to 65!!! We all met in Anchorage the day before, Stayed at the Marriott...it was comfortable and within easy walking to restaurants and shops in town. Had dinner at Orso`s!! Wonderful food...not to be missed.Friday morning a bus arrived to take us to our train and we were on our way to Seward. The train ride was great!! Very comfortable seats, with large vista windows. The scenery was breathtaking. It just kept getting better and better!!! We arrived at Seward and walked a short distance to the terminal...boarding was fast, efficient and easy. We were on in minutes! The Radiance is beautiful!! It is spotless and bright...nothing hurts your ears or your eyes!!! Every single worker on the ship was cheerful and polite.....they made us feel very welcome!! Our luggage arrived within a hour...we unpacked and got ready to explore our home for the next 7 days!!! The size of the Radiance is medium....just big enough to have lots to see and do...but not so big that it is overwhelming. The perfect size for us!! Our first dinner was a pleasant surprise! Our waiter Sergey was absolutely the BEST of any cruise I have ever been on. Service was outstanding and the food excellent. We never had any reason to go to the speciality restaurants. We ate at our table every night...with pleasure!!! The food was fresh, hot, pleasant to look at and well prepared. If you like Alaskan fish, this is the place to really enjoy it every night...and we did. The Windjammer was great for breakfast and lunch...plenty of choices.. lots of fresh fruits and salads and excellent desserts. We ate at the Seaview cafe once and it was very good as well, with a smaller more intimate atmosphere.Entertainment: To me the entertainment was lacking in talent. The singers and dancers didn`t seem to have there hearts in what they were doing. There was no WOW factor in the cruise director...he tried to be funny but...well....not really. There were numerous lounges at night that had good music....and some nice places for teenagers to "hang out". At every port there are so many interesting things to do. Juneau was cold and rainy...but the town is friendly. We went on a whale watching tour and it was amazing!!! We saw lots of whales, both Orcas and Humpbacks. It was a good trip and well worth it.Skagway is like stepping back in time...what a cute place and so much fun!!! Hoonah also was great...we went zip lining which was alot of fun, and bear hunting which was really crazy!!! We did see 2 bears on the van type tour...the guide chased them down these little narrow dirt roads....of course the bears ran away...but we got quite close to one and got some good pictures!!!What a riot!!! In Ketchikan we took a floatplane to the fiords. It was a first for all of us and an experience to be remembered forever. It was beautiful, everything was so BIG!! Landing on the water was so easy...it just sort of sat down!!! Our last night was sort of sad, packing and getting ready to get back to the real world!!! Disembarkation: was orderly and reasonable. We stayed an extra day in Vancouver, which is a lovely city and has lots to see and do. My husband and I have cruised over 20 times, with many lines. Cunard, Princess, Costa, Holland & Carnival. This is our 10th with Royal Caribbean. We have been on good,bad and mediocre cruises. This cruise ranks right at the very top for a wonderful time. It was sad to leave the Radiance and we will always remember her with fond memories.Its a perfect ship for families of all ages and Alaska is the most perfect place!! The Last Frontier!! For sure!!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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