168 Seward Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

This was my 6th RCCI cruise, and it was great. Parts were incredible, parts were ok, and a few things need improvement, as is always the case. Summary: We stayed at the Anchorage Marriott, where we began embarkation by boarding the train ... Read More
This was my 6th RCCI cruise, and it was great. Parts were incredible, parts were ok, and a few things need improvement, as is always the case. Summary: We stayed at the Anchorage Marriott, where we began embarkation by boarding the train to Seward. All went smoothly from there to the ship. Very well done. The ship was fine - one of the smaller ones I've been on lately, but very nice. My only complaint was the exceptionally small bathroom/shower (I'm used to small bathrooms on ships, but this was worse than usual. The food was average. The service was excellent. The entertainment was very mixed. The opening night headliner, Sean Laughlin, was the worst act I've ever seen on a ship. The final night comedian, Darrell Joyce, however, was the best act I've ever seen on a cruise. Quite a variation. We also liked the lounge band, Rockport. The ship band, singers and dancers were very good. The piano bar guy and the pub guitarist/singer, however were not good. They were both talented, but insisted on doing their own interpretations of popular songs, so that people couldn't easily sing along. That ruins the experience in those venues, which we normally enjoy. Too bad they didn't know the difference between what a headliner should do and what a singalong artist should do. The ports and excursions were all great, with the exception of Icy Straight Point (not much there, except a good Zip Line if you like that, but the Nature Tram was an overpriced and not too exciting tour). Loved the Juneau Whale Watching, the Skagway Ghosts and Goodtime Girls tour, the Ketchikan Duck Tour and the Lumberjack Show. Disembarking was quick and easy and flying out of Vancouver was smooth. Overall, a great trip, and we already booked next year's cruise to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We recently returned from a 12 day Alaska Cruise Tour on the Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. The whole Alaska experience was incredible offering great views, diverse stops along the way, a friendly crew and friendly travelers. ... Read More
We recently returned from a 12 day Alaska Cruise Tour on the Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas. The whole Alaska experience was incredible offering great views, diverse stops along the way, a friendly crew and friendly travelers. Sadly. Royal Caribbean did not come anywhere near to living up to it's reputation as a first class cruise line. For the land portion, the accommodations were one star at best. In Fairbanks, the facility at Pike's Waterfront Lodge was reminiscent of a military barracks. The only food offered for meals in the Lodge was from overpriced buffets. The lounge closed at 9:00 each evening. When we walked in the rain to Pike's Landing next door, we found the food pretty much inedible. We were actually told by our waitstaff that the law in Alaska requires that all beef be served well-done. After two days of this, we moved on to Denali and the McKinley Village Lodge.This turned out to be camping with a plasma TV. Our cabin room had only two lights, no closet and was situated mere feet from a highway carrying heavy truck traffic 24 hours a day which allowed for very little sleep for our two days here. Once we actually boarded the Radiance of the Seas, the food we were served was of incredibly poor quality. The daily menu offered was a lot of repetitive, sometimes renamed dining selections. Though we were in the "Salmon Capital of the World", the one salmon meal they served was far from fresh, overcooked and only 3 inches by 4 inches by 1/8 inch thick. In the main dining room, we never were offered Alaskan King Crab, unless we wanted to pay an upgrade to sample one of their higher level restaurants. The steaks and beef offerings were of poor quality. They were consistently chewy and overcooked. Eating a lobster tail they served was like chewing rubber bands. It became quickly apparent that RCL wants to force customers to pay extra for their more expensive high-end dining venues. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
We did an 11 night cruisetour which included seven nights on Radiance of the Seas. The ship was kept spotless even through a bout of norovirus which had the crew serving all food including in the Windjammer. This was handled very well and ... Read More
We did an 11 night cruisetour which included seven nights on Radiance of the Seas. The ship was kept spotless even through a bout of norovirus which had the crew serving all food including in the Windjammer. This was handled very well and in a timely fashion. We did, however see crew members entering the Windjammer without sanitizing their hands...walking right by the sanitizers. We are diamond plus members and the service in the concierge club was outstanding. The cabin was fine...nicely located by the elevators. We would strongly recommend putting back the doors in the shower rather than a shower curtain as the entire bathroom gets wet when showering. You could not open the bathroom door and the closet door at the same time and shelves were oddly placed. The food in the dining room, however, was marginal at best. We believe that less "fancy" food should be served, ie fewer sauces and exotic combinations of foods. The dining room most nights was not even 3/4 full as lots were going to the specialty restaurants. The ship advertised "Rita's Cantina" however when we checked it was "Rita's Crab Shack" which was a shame as we have eaten in Rita's Cantina on Allure and it was excellent. The same cannot be said of the crab shack. We did the Mystery Dinner Theater one night which was great...the characters were hysterical and did a wonderful job. This was held in Giovanni's Table which was very good to exceptional. We must add a note about the tour portion. We did a cruisetour with Royal Caribbean in 2009 and it was much more efficient. This time we had no itinerary times until the night before, we had little time in Talkeetna (arriving at almost 6PM when stores in town closed at 7PM), spent eight hours on the train to Denali which had a lovely view but was way too long. Would not recommend this itinerary to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We flew into Anchorage on Alaska Airlines and stayed at Embassy Suites for a night. We are at Moose Tooth and Humpey's-both excellent. Our group of family and friends (16) rented a private mini bus from Seward Bus Line and had a ... Read More
We flew into Anchorage on Alaska Airlines and stayed at Embassy Suites for a night. We are at Moose Tooth and Humpey's-both excellent. Our group of family and friends (16) rented a private mini bus from Seward Bus Line and had a peaceful and scenic 3.5 hour ride to Seward. There we rented the Sea Treasure Inn for two nights (all the 4 separate rooms and baths and the whole house). It is located next to “downtown” and an easy walk to the wharf area. 4 of your group when out fishing with Fish House and caught their limit of halibut (no salmon yet), 10 of us took the 5 hour Kenai Peninsula tour with Major Marine Tours-saw a lot of whales, eagles, otters, goats, puffins and porpoises. One can sign up for the buffet, but we brought sandwiches from the Bakery with us instead. They do have drinks and a bar available. The staff was very helpful and informative. Also you can give your license as a deposit and use their binoculars. (you return them and get your license back…they lost too many of the binoculars). Weather so far had been sunny and cool, but very nice. We went to the ship around 11 AM, and went right on board. We all had a nice lunch in the Windjammer and the rooms opened by 1PM. We had three rooms on deck 8 and the rest of deck 3: 2 balconies, 1 inside and the rest had a window. We also had my time dining-they put us on two tables-6 of the younger crowd on one and 10 of us older crowd on the other. Same waiter and assistant waiter, both were excellent! Good was very good according to all of us too. Deciding what to eat was difficult; some of the guys (and girls) ordered 2 entries! We had 2 different groups do the 12 bottle wine package, which worked out great! We tried to eat breakfast and lunch in the main dining room when possible/available. Hubbard Glacier was cool and a little drizzle, but we saw the glacier pretty close and lots of calving could be seen and heard. The balconies were used all afternoon. In Juneau we took the blue bus (you now have to pay for both directions up front) to Mendenhall Glacier. It rained on us, but we still walked to the Falls and had some great pictures and saw some calving there also. Back in town some of the guys took the Anchorage Brewing Company’s shuttle and tour. They enjoyed it, while the rest of us walked around and did a little shopping. Skagway: some went on two ship’s tour - gold panning, zip lining and sled dogs. 5 rented a car and drove into Canada. The rest of us did the train ride into Canada and back-very enjoyable relaxing trip. We all finished the day walking around town. Icy Strait Point turned out to be amazing for whale and eagle watching-all from the shore! Whales were hanging out right by the dock and the eagles where numerous in the trees also. Walking the 1.3 miles to Hoonah and back we saw even more of both! It is one of the best ports in my opinion. In Ketchikan we bought the all-day public bus tickets for $2 and went to Saxmen Park. Saw one of the totem pole workers actually busy in the work shed. He did the Totem that is on the ship by the pool. Took the bus back into town and walked around again and finished us our souvenir shopping. (Christmas ornaments and tee shirts for my husband with breweries on them) The last day through the Inside Passage was restful and peaceful, a great way to finish this cruise. Canadian Place was packed and taxis had very long lines! Some of our group walked the 1.1 mile to The Victorian Hotel (those youngsters again) $6 was the cost for the ride (we had too much luggage!) The Victorian Hotel - B&B, was right at the edge of Gastown and 3 blocks from the Big Bus Stop. The staff was exceptional for getting taxis, extra towels, ice, reservations and information. We enjoyed our stay very much. Steamworks Brewery had good pub food and beer! Broiche Urban Baking is right down the hill. The Cab ride to the airport was $28. This vacation was fantastic: the ship; family; friends and scenery all made it extra special. Highly recommend this cruise, these hotels and restaurants.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This was a trip of a lifetime. We began our land tour in Fairbanks, Alaska. We stayed at the Sophie Station Hotel which was very nice with a full kitchen so you could shop at the local Safeway just down the road and eat meals right in the ... Read More
This was a trip of a lifetime. We began our land tour in Fairbanks, Alaska. We stayed at the Sophie Station Hotel which was very nice with a full kitchen so you could shop at the local Safeway just down the road and eat meals right in the room. This saved us a considerable amount of money. We visited lots of sites in Fairbanks and did the Gold Dredge 8 tour panning for gold on our own. The land tour started with a city tour of Fairbanks, a ride down the Chena River on the Riverboat Discovery where we passed Susan Butcher's dog camp, talked with her daughter, went through a native village and had a wonderful ride. The next day we took the Wilderness Express Train ride to Denali in the morning, had breakfast on the train and drinks in the domed car. Beautiful scenery. Then we stopped for lunch near Denali. We got on the shuttle to drive into Denali, it was gorgeous weather. We saw grizzlies, caribou, wolf, dall sheep and moose on the ride. You go 53 miles into the park. Denali was clear today so we were one of the 35% who got to actually see Mt. McKinley and take pictures. It is an 8 hour ride so this was a long day, but for me the most memorable of the trip. We then were brought to the hotel and had a wonderful dinner. The McKinley Lodge has some new rooms that we were in, right on the river with our own little balcony outside our room. Wish we could have spent more time here. Several of the group did a rafting adventure in the early morning before we left, they really enjoyed it. We loaded the bus and made our way to Anchorage, passing through Talkeetna and taking more pictures of Mt. McKinley which was still viewable. We arrived in Anchorage at the downtown Marriott where dinner is on your own. We actually ate in the hotel as we were tired and it was very good. Off to bed to get an early start the next day. We visited the Alaska Native Heritage Center, had lunch on our own and then traveled to Seward to stay at the Windsong Hotel. We arrived later in the day and had dinner at the local restaurant, the salmon was amazing. This is an older rustic place with furniture made out of logs, natural location in the woods, but not near much of anything. We put our luggage out the next morning and they took it directly to the ship, it arrived in our rooms later that afternoon. We were taken to the Resurrection Bay Wildlife Cruise to see lots of wildlife, eagles were abundant, and then taken to the cruise ship by 1:00 pm. Getting on the ship was quick and easy, no wait at all. Dinner was a little later this evening than normal, we did the normal life jacket drill, and then watched the show. This was an early evening, we were tired from our land tour and glad we took it before the cruise. We had a day of cruising through the glaciers and our next stop would be Juneau. We had booked a separate whale cruise with Orca Enterprises but did not see many whales. The ships excursion had much more luck then we did. Our next day was in Skagway and we took the White Pass & Yukon Railroad trip - this was a terrific choice. We saw lots of beautiful scenery, animals, and the host on the train was very informative. We took a bus ride back to the ship and enjoyed that as well. Back at the ship and we ate dinner and then saw the show. The next day in Icy Straight Point we stayed on the ship and slept in. We went out on deck to see the scenery and saw several whales playing around and feeding in the local bay. Got many great photos of whales and eagles. This is a quiet little place where you tender. Many individuals did a whale tour here and saw many whales. Our next stop was Ketchikan, what a fun place. Lots of shopping here. We took a ship excursion to the Wilderness Adventure and Crab Feast. We rode in the small boat with Gil and Austie, saw eagles, otters, seals and they showed us how they catch dungeness crags in pots. Lots of historical information given to us and then we went to the Crab Feast. Wow is all I can say, it was amazing. The crab is all you can eat and so fresh it tastes wonderful. Then back on the bus for a ride back to town and shopping!!! This evening we did the Chef's Dinner. It is an extra cost but it was well worth it. We had a 5 course meal with a different wine paired with the course. The chef and sommelier explained each course and wine in detail. At the end we received a cookbook signed by the chef, an apron, and then were invited to do the kitchen tour the next morning. The tour is very interesting, they have so many people in the kitchens and they work their crews 12 hours with 2 shifts a day to feed everyone. We cruised the next day through the inside passage and saw lots of great scenery and glaciers. The shows were good, Piano Man and a Dream episode with the full singers and dancers were good. The final night was a comedian that was hilarious talking about what happens on cruise ships in the cabins and other areas. We embarked in Vancouver and had made reservations to stay at the Residence Inn Marriott for a day and take the flight out the following day. We did the hop on hop off bus which is a two hour tour if you don't stop anywhere. We went through Stanley Park, saw many interesting areas. We stopped and got off in Gastown and had lunch at a local eatery, did some people watching from the outside patio where we ate, and then got back on the bus and went back to the hotel. The Stanley Cup Final was playing so we sat in the bar/dinner area where there are lots of tv's and watched as we had appetizers and drinks. A nice ending to a wonderful cruise. We took a cab from the hotel to the airport two 1/2 hours ahead of our flight time and made it through customs within an hour and 1/2. Loaded the flight and made it to Minneapolis but because of a storm that had come through we waited on the tarmac for an hour. Fortunately everything was delayed so I made my final flight, loaded about 1/2 hour late, but then there was a lightning storm for 2 hours so got in very late on Sunday morning. The weather on the land tour was upper 40's in the morning, upper 50's and 60's during the day. The cruise we only had one day of rainy weather in Juneau, a few overcast days but sunny the last 4 days with temps in the 60's. The outdoor pool was used the last two days of the cruise. This was a trip on my bucket list and I am so glad we went. Again, a trip of a lifetime!!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
We sailed on the Southbound 7 nights May 2014 Alaskan Cruise departing from Seward heading towards Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan and Disembarkation Vancouver. Flying from Florida we arrived in Anchorage the ... Read More
We sailed on the Southbound 7 nights May 2014 Alaskan Cruise departing from Seward heading towards Hubbard Glacier, Juneau, Skagway, Icy Strait Point, Ketchikan and Disembarkation Vancouver. Flying from Florida we arrived in Anchorage the night before the cruise and stayed at Anchorage City Lofts ($130 a night). The day of the cruise we took the Alaskan Rail Road Train from Anchorage to Seward. Travel time was about 5 hours (Leaves at 6:45am arrives about 11:45am) Cost $80.00 one way. *Alaskan railroad will transport your cruise luggage to the ship so you don't have to carry it around. They also provide free shuttle service to the ship from the station. Seward: Awesome little town we walked ( free shuttle from train station, tips are welcomed) through town to the Alaskan Sealife Center (25 mins from port to Aquarium) cost about 15 bucks per person and you see Sea Lions, Walrus, etc. We then walk following the Iditrod trail back the ship (30 min walk) Radiance of the Sea Embarkation: It was a breezed. About 15 minutes. Bring your passport and I.Ds along with any Confirmation ready. The ship: Is beautiful, about 13 floors, that of which 3-13 are accessible to guest. They have two pools (Solarium is indoor and heated, Outdoor pool is heated also) 3 Hot tubs (One inside the solarium) **mini-golf, basketball/soccer court, rock-climbing, shuffle board, and Child pool with slide (Was not functioning/turned on during our cruise time) ***Arcade, Cinema, 2 self-stablizing pool tables ****Gym, Wrap around track on the 13th floor, about 4-5 observation decks for guest including the Heli Pad on the 5th floor, Art Gallery and Photo Gallery also. *****6-8 bars (some are not always operating all the time, check your compass for times) including an English Pub. ******Aurora Theatre (shows and comedy and other activities), Casino Royale (your ususal Casino) 3 places for dancing or games/activties including the main lobby. Jewelry, Clothing/Souvenir/Connivence, Makeup/Perfume, Liquor Duty Free shops all onboard. Dinning: *Like most cruise they now charge you for SODA. Also they sell bottled water, Juices, and alcoholic drinks are anywhere between ($6-12). Breakfast: Windjammer, Park Cafe or Cascades Dinning Room Windjammer breakfast is buffet style (gets a little boring after the 3rd or 4th day) with omelette and fruit stations. Park Cafe (In the solarium): is basically small pastries, salads and wraps and yogurts. Cascades Breakfast is sit down style breakfast. Lunch: Windjammer, Rita's CrabShack, The Hot dog place, Park Cafe Windjammer Breakfast: Buffet style including hamburgers, homestyle food, pizza. Park Cafe: Wraps, quesidillas, hams, sandwiches, pre made salads, and a you create salad station. Ritas CrabShack: YOU MUST PAY TO EAT HERE, they serve sea-food, check onboard menu for prices. The hotdog place: I forgot their name but its free hot dogs stands including kosher style, new york, italian, etc. Dinner: Cascades Dinning Room, Park Cafe , Ritas Crabshack ($), Izumu Asian Cuisine ($), Chops Grille ($) Brazilian Steak House ($) Cascades Dinner: Sit-down 3 course dinner included with your paid trip. The food was delicious, different nights offered different menus along with their usual available plates. Park Cafe: Same as Lunch The other places you had to pay to eat, as i did not, please look for other reviews. (Cruises are becoming greedy and starting to charge for special dinning. In my opinion this impacts the quality of food provided for lunch/dinner as the variety is now gone from on board dinning.) Hubbard Glacier: This is basically a day at sea. You arrive at the glacier around 2pm and leave about 6pm. Around 1pm go to the 5th floor at the HELIPAD is the front of the ship is the best place to see the glacier and great pictures. Make sure to take warm clothing and hot chocolate as it gets REALLY cold as you approach the glacier. It is totally worth it!! Juneau: This city is the Capital of Alaska and it's beautiful!! Whale Watching, Bear watching and Dog Mushing are the popular excursions here. We went to Mendenhall Glacier (a free famous state park with an awesome old Glacier and hiking trails) good for pictures. Alaskan Brewery: Great place for Alaskan made beer!! (Also a lot of shopping. STAY AWAY FROM MADE IN CHINA! BUY MADE IN ALASKA products.) Check out the RED DOG SALOON : Saloon from 1800s, great performer, services, food and prices!! Want to save money? Plan some excursions off board for savings deal. Just know that if weather or something should happened , you are less likely to get a refund unlike when you book with Royal. Skagway: Small town (about 4-5 blocks big) famous for the Gold Rush. White Pass Yukon Trail is famous here. Take the train through the White Pass or take a tour bus ($35 round trip). Other than that the place has a few shops. Free Museums and the visitors center provides free walking tours and talks. Check out their Skagway Brewery for great beer and food!! Local Cemetery is neat. Icy Strait Point: GREAT place for Whale watching($170-250 per person), bear watching, Zip Lining. This place is really small and you should plan your excursions here as there isn't much to do. The cruise port stop has 3-4 shops, 2-3 restaurants, 2 trails, one longest in the "world" zip liner. You do learn a lot about the history of the native Alaskan people. HOONAH is a real alaskan town about 25 minute to and from walk from icy strait point. You see many eagles along the way and sometimes whales. Ketchikan: Larger more metro city, see the famous Totem poles here and the Lumbar Jack Show. Check out the old red light district Creek street. The state park with Totem Poles is free ($1 per person on the city bus going north will take you there) Creek Street is free, The discover Alaskan center is $5, the Totem Heritage Museum (With the 150 year old Totems) is $5 cash only, Lumbarjack show is about $35-45 per person. Vancouver: Disembarkation was also a breeze. Canada has a lot of restrictions of what you cannot bring such as whale bones, antlers, etc. Royal Caribbean will let you know what they are. You can always ship these items home. The city is beautiful, we arrived in Canada Place (they have lots to see there about history and flight simulator. The train station is not too far, all day pass ($10.00 per person) you can hop on the canada blue line that takes you throughout downtown and to the YVR Airport. Check out the Olympian Stadium( cost about $15-20 to enter the the hall of fame) China Town and The Sea Wall for free public access (great pictures) We stayed at Delta Vancouver Airport hotel at $180 for a night (25 minutes from downtown but 5-8 to the YVR airport /Train Station with free 24 hour shuttle) we hopped on the shuttle and would go to the train station to go back and forth from downtown. Free Wifi and two on site restaurants. in summary: We had a great time! we loved Alaska and would go back in a heartbeat. We loved the cruise. We felt that the lunch and constant reminders about their "speciality paid restaurants" affected the quality. The onboard activities were fun although many cruisers were older (40 years+) mostly couples, older groups, we saw some honeymooners like us. The Musical show was fantastic, i just wished there was more, as we only were treated to one evening. The going away show was okay. The comedy was good but only one night. The performers at the Pub and Schnooer Bar were excellent /fantastic along with the band ROCK-A-PORT !! We loved all the SEAFOOD!! so tasty! FANTASTIC CRUISE!! Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Came back AGAIN because I had so much FUN last year (and I brought my family with me this time). Prior to leaving Anchorage via train to Seward, we stayed at the Embassy Suites for 3 nights (best place to stay in Anchorage HANDS DOWN!!). ... Read More
Came back AGAIN because I had so much FUN last year (and I brought my family with me this time). Prior to leaving Anchorage via train to Seward, we stayed at the Embassy Suites for 3 nights (best place to stay in Anchorage HANDS DOWN!!). My parents had only cruised on Monarch OTS (3 & 4 night cruises out of Los Angeles) & had always had an interior cabin. This time I treated them to a balcony cabin and they were truly in awe (my sister roomed with me right next door). The service & crew were EXCELLENT!!! We did some of the same excursions I had done the year prior but I did change it up a bit. Excursions we took: Juneau - Whale Watching with lunch at Orca Point & Mendenhall Glacier (later we did the Mt. Roberts Tram so they could see Lady Liberty & then stopped by Tracy's Crab Shack & the Red Dog Saloon); Skagway - White Pass Train to Frazier, then bus to Yukon Suspension Bridge & then back down the road to have lunch & pan for gold; Icy Strait - Ziplined with my sister & then the 3 of them went to Alaska's Wildest Kitchen in the afternoon (I could only get 3 tickets otherwise I would have gone again), had lunch at the Crab Shack (get the "Grab Bag" - best bang for your buck); Ketchikan - City Tour via Trolley, Saxman Totem Pole Park & the Lumberjack Show (I got a "cookie" this time - YoHo!!); Vancouver - City Tour enroute to airport. Lots of good memories from this cruise (and they ALL are still talking about it a year later). I feel like an expert with this ship/itinery that I'll be going solo in 2014!!! Check out my review from last year (Sept. 2012). Read Less
Sail Date September 2013
After an awesome cruise northbound in 2012, my wife and I reversed route this year and embarked at Seward for the seven night trip to Vancouver. We went with our version of "premium" in 2012: balcony cabin, significant excursions ... Read More
After an awesome cruise northbound in 2012, my wife and I reversed route this year and embarked at Seward for the seven night trip to Vancouver. We went with our version of "premium" in 2012: balcony cabin, significant excursions in every port, three night's in premium restaurants, etc. While we loved it and would certainly recommend this approach for first-time Alaska cruisers, what most impressed us on that trip was the scale and scope of Alaska itself. So we took it as a challenge to see how much we could save the second time around and still fully enjoy ourselves. We went with an inside cabin, which this time came with a $300 shipboard credit. No doubt the balcony is awesome, but Radiance has lots glass in almost all of the public spaces so we didn't feel like we missed any of the sights along the Inside Passage. In Skagway, where in 2012 we took the WP&YR train into the Yukon for $225 per person, we rented a car for $80 instead. Not only did we see all the same sights as the railroad, we could stop at the waterfalls and we drove much further into the Yukon Territory of Canada, including Emerald Lake and the world's smallest desert, a highlight of the trip. In Juneau, we took the city bus to Mendenhall for $16 per person round trip, instead of a pricier city tour with Mendenhall stop in 2012. This allowed us to spend as much time as we wanted at the park, hiking to Nugget Falls and observing lots of salmon and three bears close up. When we returned to our ship, we saw whales right near the dock. In Icy Straight, where last year we did an expensive but worthwhile bear/whale excursion, we chose instead a pleasant hike around the nature trails and some fresh king crab at the dock. Then in Ketchikan we spent the day in town, watching the teaming salmon along Creek Street and visiting the museum. Last year we took a boat ride to Misty Fiords. When it came to dining, we still spent three nights in the specialty restaurants, twice in Chops and once at Giovanni's Table. The meals were delicious and we considered it good value. We pre-purchased a seven bottle wine package, paying an average of $33/bottle for wine that would cost $15-18 at home. Good enough. Bottom line? Although there's no replacement for the awe and wonder of the first time you see Alaska, we had a fantastic time for half the cost of last year's cruise. It can be done. In fact, we'll probably do it again. Very minor points: It's past time for Radiance to lose the fake plants in the Solarium; they are dated, faded and dusty. Most everything in the Windjammer looks better than it tastes; a made-to-order salad from Park Cafe was always a better choice. Lastly, hearing the well meaning staff talk about the "quack-quack", the "yummy-yummy" and the need to "washy-washy before "eaty-eaty" comes off as so stereotypical. Let's call a duck a duck and then have dessert, 'K? Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We took the train from July 13th thru the 19th. Our Tour Director, Kate, was amazing and so was our Coach driver, Elizabeth. There is a lot to see and learn on the train. The food is excellent and slightly higher than expected, but learned ... Read More
We took the train from July 13th thru the 19th. Our Tour Director, Kate, was amazing and so was our Coach driver, Elizabeth. There is a lot to see and learn on the train. The food is excellent and slightly higher than expected, but learned quickly, that is the way it is in Alaska. Each Lodge or Hotel we spent the night in were excellent. I will give one piece of advice, pack all you need for the train in one suitcase per person and keep it that way. I started putting things in my husband's that were mine, and vise versa, then next night had to search, so learned not to do that. My husband is handicapped, uses forearm crutches and a scooter, each stop was completely accommodating. We were traveling with two of my husband's cousins, so we did have lots of fun. I will suggest one thing, if you want to do a Flight seeing tour of Mt. McKinley, wait until you are at Talkeetna and choose Talkeetna Air Taxi. We had a flight scheduled for 8:00am pick-up on the second day in Talkeetna. Our Tour Director called them and due to weather changes on the day we scheduled, they were able to take us at 6:00 the day we arrived. We had an excellent young man for a Pilot, a husband, wife, two daughters and a Grandfather, me, our cousin and a young couple. We went over Mt. McKinley, got beautiful pictures, even wearing our oxygen masks, since we went up to 20,000 ft. Landed on a glacier, after our Pilot explained "If I say load up, do it safely, but quickly". It started to cloud in after a little over 10 minutes, loaded up and took off. When the young couple got in I noticed she was crying, I asked her if she was ok, and she held out her left hand and said "I just got engaged". So we had excitement on the glacier! Since we were not on the glacier very long, our pilot felt her short changed us. Another pilot talked to him and suggested landing where he was on the Ruth Glacier. So, we got to land on another glacier, next to a Sheldon flight seeing little plane, it was really little. Later in the Lounge we were talking to everyone who we knew booked flights with KS and Sheldon and all said they were cancelled. I mentioned that there was a Sheldon plane on the Glacier and the couple was surprised. We had a terrific flight tour, great pictures of Mt. McKinley, don't know why the others cancelled, but glad we went with TAT, excellent company, friendly and very professional. Believe me, I do not do little planes, was not thrilled with the idea of oxygen masks and going over the highest mountain, but I was completely at ease and SO glad I went. The Radiance of the Seas was excellent, the food and all the service was terrific! Entertainment on was not as good as the other cruise, I would call it good, but not fantastic, except for the Texas Tenors, they were excellent. The ports were interesting and lots to see. Every one should see Alaska, such beauty and natural wonders everywhere. We booked our next cruise for March 1, 2015 on the new ship Quantum. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
I started cruising with RCI in 1978 with Song of Norway and stopped in 1988 with Sovereign of the Seas. I have continued with other companies Carnival, Holland, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania, and Crystal over the next 20+ years. Before, ... Read More
I started cruising with RCI in 1978 with Song of Norway and stopped in 1988 with Sovereign of the Seas. I have continued with other companies Carnival, Holland, Princess, Celebrity, Oceania, and Crystal over the next 20+ years. Before, RCI had wonderful activities that got people moving through their ship shape dollars programs. Today, most activities deal with selling products. Past food menus dealt with themes like French, Italian, Asian, American night. Today, the food and desserts are bad. There are no butter or cream in their food and less salt. Maybe the substituted ingredients have less calories? But it did affect the taste. Creme Brulee was airy, very eggy. Ice cream were ice milk or soft serve. Most of their cake were dry. We ordered a special birthday cake, and it was delicious. Cake was light and moist and real whipping cream was used. Oh yes, one night there was a sampler offered (flourless chocolate cake, raspberry mousse, and etc.) and it was excellent. I would ordered most of the starters which was pretty good and find someone to share an entree and dessert. RCI use to have Las Vegas style entertainment. Today, your entertainment is provided by the ship's singers and dancers which I usually enjoy. But the quality of the productions were bad. The entertainment at the bars were better. Only the headliners provided excellent shows.The cabin stewards were excellent. The dining staff was excellent. The Windjammer staff was not great. I got the feeling that they were ready for R and R. I think Paul, the cruise director needs a vacation too. Public facilities were clean. Port: Juneau: take the RT $16.00 bus to Mendlehall glacier. Skagway,take a walking tour from the visitor center. Ketchikan , take the public bus for$1.00 to Saxman Village ( $5.00 admission fee). Hubbard glacier was fogged in. We could not see anything. I think going on Celebrity cruises, a subsidiary of RCI, would be a better value. Food, entertainment, and ships activities are much better. Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Getting There: We travel with three of us, parents and a 16 year old in a GS category. We selected 1060 which has a seriously HUGE balcony with two loungers and a table with two chairs. We flew into Anchorage, stayed at the Embassy ... Read More
Getting There: We travel with three of us, parents and a 16 year old in a GS category. We selected 1060 which has a seriously HUGE balcony with two loungers and a table with two chairs. We flew into Anchorage, stayed at the Embassy Suites for two nights and on embarkation day took a private transfer to Seward (Anchorage Tours & Transfers). Great idea because we could pick the time & got a customized tour without the crowds. Embarkation: Embarkation was not crowded, but the line for the suite guests was a wreck. We waited longer in the suites line than the non-suites queue, so we moved to the other line. What an unorganized cluster. I cannot imagine how it would run with lines/crowds of any sort. Boarding: We boarded at 2:30pm and our room was ready for us. Our suite attendant Joralynn greeted us right away and went over anything we may need (pressing, ice, etc.) All of the ship's crew we encountered were helpful and friendly. We ate up at the Windjammer and had no problem finding a table. Unlike other RCCL cruises, we did not have trouble finding a table at the Windjammer on Radiance. Just outside the Windjammer is Boardwalk Hot Dogs. My whole family got to know Mohammad who was running the show at the hot dog joint that first night. He made our visits a whole experience and it was not only tasty but fun. I wish that all the ships had Boardwalk Hot Dog!! The ship: The maintenance on the ship was kept up compared to other ships we'd been on, most likely because of the refit, but there was quite a bit of work going on to keep her looking her best and it showed. Also, we rarely waited for an elevator for very long, at least compared to other ships. Yes there were some folks that were taking the elevator up or down for one floor which was a pain, but for the most part we didn't have the elevator waits or pains. The only thing to note is that the elevators are wide at the back where the glass is, and narrow at the door, so to move people around you have to exit the elevator to let people out which is awkward. Suite 1060: The suite was great. The only issue was the funky smell in the bathroom that we couldn't seem to get rid of. I bring bathroom spray which covered it up but that was temporary. We poured water down the floor drain to prevent drain smell but that didn't stop it. Dining: We had 6pm main dining, and asked to be seated with another party who had been assigned MyTime Dining. As a result, we ended up with a table at the entrance to the dining room which was less than desirable. There wasn't much we could do about that, but the dining room staff was wonderful, including the head waiter who we usually never even see. So thumbs up. We hit Chops Grille one night and that was worth the visit. Entertainment: The RCCL singers & dancers were okay, some of the numbers were overdubbed and lip synced (Piano Man). One of the headliners was one we saw on another ship and were less than impressed, Bobby Arvon who sings Happy Days. Ironic he appeared again on this ship! We skipped him for sure. The Two Funny Guys were great but that was about it. The small musical groups that played in the centrum were wonderful, 5.5 stars there. Disembarkation: Poor at best, mostly because of Canadian Customs but also because of the inconsistent communication from RCCL. Due to Customs, disembarkation was delayed by over 40 minutes and the program to take luggage direct the airport was cancelled by RCCL that morning, where passengers then had to figure out how to handle their own luggage from the pier to the airport when they thought they only had to get themselves there. Thankfully we spent the night in Vancouver so we were not impacted. We stayed at the Wellwood Hotel and Spa and it was wonderful - highly recommended. This hopefully will not be our last cruise to Alaska !! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Overview: Radiance Southbound Alaska, Seward to Vancouver, BC on June 21 (Summer Solstice) 1st time on Radiance and it was in great shape. The crew was great, most were quite helpful and we had the best dining and dining options ever. The ... Read More
Overview: Radiance Southbound Alaska, Seward to Vancouver, BC on June 21 (Summer Solstice) 1st time on Radiance and it was in great shape. The crew was great, most were quite helpful and we had the best dining and dining options ever. The ships officers however were flat, you'd see the Captain and he was a wallflower, not engaging or anything of the sort. We had a meet & greet with the Captain and his staff and watched him greet two tables and then leave without a word to anyone. Once he left, all of his staff left so it pointless to have the meet & greet without the staff there! This wasn't our first rodeo so we knew what to expect and the Radiance officers didn't deliver on that. Well, at least there wasn't ship drama, sinking or fires for them to handle, right? Embarkation - When we arrived by private transfer (Alaska Tours & Transfers) at 2:30 there was not a line, and we were in the line for suite guests. It was a nightmare however, none of the guests were getting processed through and we were first in line for over 18 minutes before we asked if we could get in the regular line (which we could and got a open spot in less than a minute). So much for having a special line for suite guests, it was definitely a dis-service in Seward on this trip). Very unorganized on this day. Disembarkation - Wow, a real nightmare. We waited in Chops with the suite guests and since we were staying in Vancouver overnight we weren't in a hurry. Royal Caribbean offered a service to those flying out that day to take checked luggage, get it to the airport and have it checked for their flights so they would not have to deal with it through customs or anything. Well something went wrong quickly, because we were about 50 minutes late of the posted times leaving the ship when it was announced that the luggage transfer service was cancelled and people had to pick up their luggage and get it the airport themselves. Wow - talk about last minute changes, people were ready to BURST. It was blamed on Canadian Customs which was probably true, but Wow !!!! The way it was communicated though was harsh and it set people off, truly I'm surprised there wasn't a fight people were that tuned up about the delays and changes. The concierge called our number to get off the ship and escorted us to the platform and we were out of there. I found an available porter (thankfully!) and he helped us grab our seven bags, get us through customs and to a taxi in no time. Highly recommend a porter if you can find one!!   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
First, we had wonderful weather throughout the entire trip, so lucky!!! Also experienced the pre-cruise tour through Royal Caribbean. I was solo, so paid double for the whole experience. Tour hotels, I was placed in parking lot views at ... Read More
First, we had wonderful weather throughout the entire trip, so lucky!!! Also experienced the pre-cruise tour through Royal Caribbean. I was solo, so paid double for the whole experience. Tour hotels, I was placed in parking lot views at both the McKinley Village Lodge and The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. I went straight to the front desk at McKinley, and nicely asked if there were any river front rooms available. Dear Ricky immediately obliged me and moved my bags. I spent the rest of the day in heaven, right in front of the river, loving that view! Thanks Ricky! At the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, after seeing the parking lot room, I went to the front desk and asked about a Denali range view, such as my fellow travelers were given, only to be told there were rooms available, and I could have one for $100 upcharge. Rather insulting, since I was being charged same as a couple on this trip. Eventually, it was worked out, and the $100 upcharge was waived. So, then, I was able to love the view of the entire Denali range, clear as a bell, incredible!!! Otherwise, the land tour was really great, my favorite part of the trip, really. On the ship... This was the second cruise of the season for Radiance. Many of the employees didn't really know what they were talking about. First night we ate at Park Cafe, as we were told Cascades was closed. Incorrect information. Breakfasts in dining room, just ok, rancid bacon one day, food never actually hot, service indifferent. Dinners were very good, and we ate in Cascades, main dining room, every night after the first mis-direction. Really enjoyed our evening waiters, Norberto and Ariel. Really worked hard for us, great magic tricks, Norberto! My cabin was 9074. Very nice with a fantastic view of the most beautiful scenery! I would have that cabin again, if I were ever to go on Royal Caribbean again, which I won't. I would get my coffee room service every morning, WONDERFUL!!! I would sit out on my balcony bundled in jacket and socks over jammies and watch the beautiful world go by!Room service for coffee was wonderful! The only really royal feeling I got! I had a good room attendant, Rosli, who kept my room neat, so did I, and made several different towel animals, which I liked very much. The bathroom was tiny, tiny! size of a small rv head, really, and smelled like any little boat head. Having owned several sail boats, it reminded me of old times. HINT, get some lysol before you board, and keep it in the head, this helps a little. Now, here is where I notice all the little corners being cut by RC. The only toiletry in the whole cabin was made in China bar soap in the head. What is Royal about that! Glad I had already read this, and brought my own. Also, in the buffet, cheap, tasteless, olive oil and balsamic vinegar! Try something else. Once the norovirus hit, everything changed on the ship. To use the buffet, all employees were there to serve you from plastic gloved hands, many of these employees had never served before, it was an all-call to action! I have been taking probiotics for a couple of years, now, and suggest it for anyone thinking of cruising. Although I got it, I only had mild symptoms for a day. I will always believe it was food poisoning from the rancid bacon. Everyone who reported their case were isolated for a day. I've read that it takes longer than that to become free from being contagious. Most of us didn't report, and just dealt with it. We were told constantly to wash our hands (with the cheap chinese bar soap?) Which was a good reminder for some, I guess. Mine became raw from all the washing, but was more than happy to comply! Went to several shows, the Motown show was really very good, the Showman piano player was also very good. The other one a review medley sort of thing was lousy. Enjoyed listening to Rosario strings very much. They are two fellows, one on acoustic guitar, the other a violin. They play some classical and some music from musicals you may have seen. In the Schooner lounge, in the evenings. Nice. I felt very, very lucky not to have smokers near me, as RC allows smoking on balconies. That was very worrisome for me, and was a great relief to have nice, fresh air! Oh, my tracfone worked clearly all over Alaska, at every hotel on land, in all the ports, and on the ship at port, just not out to sea. All the hotels had wifi, and it was usually free, if not in all rooms, in all lobbies. It was easy to stay in contact with my elderly parents, until Canada. My phone no longer worked in Canada, and had to rely on e-mail. I just loved Alaska, and will probably go back, but will try a different cruise line, for sure. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Just had a fantastic vacation in Alaska (June 21-28) but the cruise ship was not so great. RCCL “Radiance of the Seas” is far from the best ship afloat. The problems are many: (1)State room balconies look down on to the tops of the ... Read More
Just had a fantastic vacation in Alaska (June 21-28) but the cruise ship was not so great. RCCL “Radiance of the Seas” is far from the best ship afloat. The problems are many: (1)State room balconies look down on to the tops of the life boats obstructing views of the ocean below, a very poor design for a cruise ship. (2)The specialties restaurants “Izumi” and “Rita’s cantina” lock the rear doors to access the outside deck so one needs to go back through the “Wind Jammer cafe” to the stairs or elevator to access the stern outside setting area, how crazes is that? Even if the food was great, and it was not, one should be able to sit outside. We had record high heat and perfect weather for this June 2013 cruise and found it difficult to get to an outside deck. (3)The crew was not outstanding, most RC cruises do have great crew members but I was disappointed with both room and dinner staff and a mention to the head waiter about a problem got a confusing answer that didn’t make since at all so I replied “…no need to explain why …just fix the problem” he didn’t. Automatic tipping can be removed from ones bill but I never have done that, maybe next time I will. (4)The ice cream station (only one in WJ) worked fine most of the time but not all of the time disappointing many. (5) “The Quest” had far too many people trying to play the game. Can’t blame them for having a popular activity but maybe have it somewhere with more room or have the same activity twice. (6) Disembarkation was total nightmare mostly because the Canadian government could not decide if we were to take our bags through customs or send then directly to our plane. The positives were: 1) Embarkation was no problem at all we are Platinum members. (2) Shore excursions, handle well by staff. (3) Entertainment was good. (4) Lounges, although over crowed when at seas, were nice and I didn’t do the pools. This was our 19th cruise (8th RCCL) and honestly my most disappointed cruise ship experience by far but the excursions in Alaska and the memories we have are well worth the trip. One last thing, this is the first time I felt it necessary to write a bad review so let me be fair and say on a scale from 1 to 10 this ship “Radiance of the seas” is a “5” Dale (Maryland)   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
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
1st Alaska Cruise - Southbound on Radiance OTS From the start this trip was fantastic. Everything getting on and off the ship was very organized. Train ride from Anchorage to Seward worth every penny when compared to the bus option but ... Read More
1st Alaska Cruise - Southbound on Radiance OTS From the start this trip was fantastic. Everything getting on and off the ship was very organized. Train ride from Anchorage to Seward worth every penny when compared to the bus option but you do board the ship later in the day. Got to see lots of wildlife and when we did the train slowed down to get a better view. Hubbard Glacier was AWESOME & our ship was able to get in very close to the glacier for some really good pictures. Saw 2 whales breach on the whale watching excursion in Juneau. The ships personnel where just great including the Captain who made an announcement every day. They were very courteous and helpful. Our cabin steward was just fantastic and we saw her everyday. The seaplane ride in Ketchikan was the highlight of my trip even landing on one of the fjords.Ship was very clean and the food was great although I would not recommend the Windjammer just before closing. Any other time the food was great with a very good selection. The main dinning room and the 2 specialty restaurants we ate in where great including the staff.All in all this trip was the best I have ever taken on land or sea and in the future if I sail again it will defiantly be with this cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
I have to say, first, that I planned everything for months until I was tired of thinking about it! Before the cruise, we had 4 extra nights for land excursions. It was during that time that I actually wouldn't have minded just packing ... Read More
I have to say, first, that I planned everything for months until I was tired of thinking about it! Before the cruise, we had 4 extra nights for land excursions. It was during that time that I actually wouldn't have minded just packing it up and going home! The first part of the trip was through a travel agent, not Royal Caribbean. We arrived in Fairbanks and no one was there to meet us. Then a dirty old van came to pick up the group but there was not enough room so we had to wait 45 minutes for the van to return. We were taken to a hotel, exhausted and hungry. We were to spend two nights here. The room had two twin beds and no other rooms were available. Because it was so late there was no place to eat other than a coffee house! Finally, on the second morning, we were taken to the location for the vista view rail train trip to Denali. The train was beautiful. It offered breakfast but we decided against that since we wanted to listen to the narrator and watch the scenery during the 4 hour trip. The microphone wasn't working and there was only one drink attendant. So we spent 4 hours with beautiful scenery and no drinks including just coffee. On to Denali. The first hotel we went to did not have a reservation for us, so we went to the second. They also did not have a reservation, but they found a room. It was comfortable enough, but it was right across from the elevator, the laundry room and the gathering area for guests. We were awakened by anyone returning from a late show, washing clothes, or waiting for friends for the early morning excursions. I will say that seeing Denali and the excursions were top notch and the hotel was most courteous. They went out of their way to make things right even if the mistakes were not their fault. We left Denali and headed for our ship, finally. Everything from that day until the last day of the trip was absolutely perfect. Our room was close to everything we did while we were sailing. The elevator was close, the pool was close to the elevator, the areas where we had dinner were steps from the elevator, the deck for viewing was close, also. I never felt crowded at all. The food was superb. I'd been on a diet for weeks before the cruise and was worried I would gain it all back and it didn't happen. I ate fresh, delicious fruit, broiled salmon, delicious vegetables and even some desserts. During the entire vacation of 3 weeks I still lost a pound! We decided to eat most of our meals in the Windjammer rather than the main dining room so we would have more choices of food and times. We were never disappointed! Our room service was much more than we expected. The room was made up twice a day! Every day we had fresh towels if needed and the bed was made up even if we'd only come there to rest in the afternoon. I never felt the room was too small. Of course learning to use a tiny shower was interesting, but nothing to be bothered by when everything else was so wonderful. We had a large window to look out over the sea or landscapes. When we left the ship and returned at the end of the day, everything went so smooth I never felt anxious or left standing in line, for any length of time. Getting to excursions were smooth because their were signs and greeters everywhere. People that needed directions or suggestions for shopping had their questions answered right away. We actually enjoyed every excursion that we went on and shopped more than we needed to. The information that we needed was everywhere. A newspaper was delivered each evening to announce the following day's activities. The TV had several channels that announced the activities throughout the day and evening, and the ship's captain gave announcements regularly. The entertainment was something that we'd not put into our plans since we are not very interested in show type entertainment, but we did enjoy several of the entertainment opportunities. Although there was a small delay in disembarkation, everything was very smooth. I would have not noticed the delay if I'd not been told it was a delay. They provided coffee and danishes during the wait which was actually less than an hour delay. I think our next vacation will be on a cruise, but I don't think we will wait another 30 years this time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We booked Royal Caribbean's 11-day land/cruise tour. I must say that Royal Caribbean presented a well-organized landtour with a stellar itinerary. DJ was our tour guide and was exceptional. Our landtour began in Fairbanks. The first ... Read More
We booked Royal Caribbean's 11-day land/cruise tour. I must say that Royal Caribbean presented a well-organized landtour with a stellar itinerary. DJ was our tour guide and was exceptional. Our landtour began in Fairbanks. The first excursion was on the Riverboat Discovery III, not a bad warm-up act for what was to come the next few days. This was followed by a bus ride to Denali. Royal includes the Tundra Wilderness Tour into Denali, which if you're interested in seeing the park and have one day to do it, is the tour you need to book. It was exceptional weather, clear enough to see Mt. McKinley in the distance, a fairly uncommon occurrence. We were treated to magnificent mountain views as well as Grizzly Bears, Dall Sheep, Caribou, Moose and even a Lynx in the distance, a very rare sight. The bears and sheep were actually quite close to the road, too. The tour guide even pointed out a Gyrfalcon perched on a rocky pinnacle, but it was too far away for a decent photo. Birders would be quite excited at seeing one, we're told. The next day the bus ride continued to Anchorage. The only thing worth mentioning was the decently clear view of Mt. McKinley and the rest of the mountain range, which made for a nice panorama photo. The next day, we took the train to Seward to catch the ship. Wow! I have to say that Royal Caribbean deserves some serious kudos for making this stretch of railway part of the tour package. Jaw-dropping beauty after leaving the Anchorage environs.The itinerary for the cruise portion was excellent. We were blessed with incredible weather the entire cruise (except for a portion of the Inside Passage). We were scheduled for late dining which we didn't want, so we just hit the buffet every night. No complaints. The food was decent, some choices were better than others, and there were no real lines to speak of. I liked that. The hotel staff did a very good job and the guest services desk staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a very good experience overall and, provided they can promise the same weather we had (LOL), we would do this tour package again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Our friends got married in Anchorage and wanted to cruise in Alaska after. We were excited; my fiance and I are getting married soon, so we counted this as our honeymoon too! We departed Anchorage and drove our rented cars down to Seward. ... Read More
Our friends got married in Anchorage and wanted to cruise in Alaska after. We were excited; my fiance and I are getting married soon, so we counted this as our honeymoon too! We departed Anchorage and drove our rented cars down to Seward. We stopped at Chugach and Beluga Point to take pictures. If you do drive, Google Maps is right: it WILL take 2.5-3 hours even though it's not that long mileage-wise. It's an easy drive, but you will get stuck behind motorcoaches. Embarkation was super-easy. We were still in our clothes from the wedding ceremony, so we got some odd stares. Security was no more or less invasive than what you'd expect at any American airport. The Radiance is looking good after its renovation. I've only cruised once, on the Sovereign a few years back, and the cabins look much nicer and cleaner. Our interior suite was bright, clean, and more spacious than I thought it would be (don't be slobs like us, though; take the time to put away your clothes each day or else you'll get claustrophobic). We hung out in the Colony Club and Schooner Bar, but spent almost all of the cruise at Champagne Bar or in the Solarium. We LOVED the Champagne Bar with its menu of nightcaps, and I'm not sure why but the Solarium was abandoned every night. We had the whole joint to ourselves! We checked out the ShipShape spa and there didn't seem to be a lot for us - we both just prefer barbells and rack cages, which weren't present (for obvious reasons).The entertainment seemed geared towards an older set. We were all upper-20's, and we all brought books and our own card games so it wasn't a huge deal. As I said before, most of the public spaces were empty post-dinner, so public spaces were easy to find and comfortable. We did do the pub trivia and had a blast.The only area where there's real room for improvement on Radiance is the dining room. We chose MyTime and linked our reservations to guarantee we'd be able to set together. Unfortunately, we were a party of seven. Instead of seating us at a table for eight, most nights we were seated at this awful table for six that was up against a column. And we were four big, broad guys, and one of the women was five months pregnant. It was a really tight squeeze, and we complained, but didn't get a good table till the second to last night of our cruise. Ordering drinks at dinner was ridiculous; if you wanted something, the waiter would call over a barman, but then if you wanted wine, the barman would call over an assistant waiter, but if you had the alcohol package and wanted the house wine, the assistant waiter would call the barman back over.Two of the people in my party have pretty severe food allergies, which we noted on our reservations. The dining staff didn't seem to take notice. My friend who is allergic to almonds ordered a dessert that didn't mention the thing contained almonds, and thankfully his wife saw them before he took a bite. I was surprised that our waiters didn't catch that.By the last night, we were so sick of the dining room that we had dinner in Windjammer instead. The selection was good, and the joint was empty. I recommend it.Other than that, the service and staff were excellent. Our stateroom attendant seemed a little surprised/bothered at first about serving a gay couple, but he was fine after day one. Rebecca at Champagne Bar and the man who worked the closing shift at the Solarium Bar were both a godsend.As for the ports, most of them are the same chintzy jewelry stores and you really have to look. I found Skagway horrible and stayed in my room after walking around for an hour, but my fiance took the ferry to Haines and had a wonderful time. I strongly recommend the Bike and Brew and Glacier View tour in Juneau, and the Hoonah Bike Trek in Icy Strait. Neither is particularly strenuous, but they are very fun and educational.All in all, we had a great time. This is actually a good cruise for 20somethings: Don't insist on going to the dining room every night, stay up late and enjoy having the ship to yourself, and book some fun, physical excursions, and you'll have a wonderful vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
Very enjoyable & relaxing cruise overall. Definitely not the "typical party" atmosphere found on other cruise destinations (don't want to scare the wildlife after all, huh?). Train ride from Anchorage to Seward worth ... Read More
Very enjoyable & relaxing cruise overall. Definitely not the "typical party" atmosphere found on other cruise destinations (don't want to scare the wildlife after all, huh?). Train ride from Anchorage to Seward worth every penny when compared to the bus option but you do board the ship later in the day (little time left to eat in the Windjammer before the muster drill - plan to eat on the train instead). Hubbard Glacier was AWESOME & our ship was able to get in the closest to the glacier compared to the other ships/cruises of the 2012 season. Didn't see a lot of wildlife during the trip (whales were shy) so I would recommend a whale watching excursion if you want to see whales & wildlife. If you are physically able, the Zip-rider at Icy Strait Point is a MUST DO (was NOT bad at all - no BIG drop - just sitting in the chair gliding down the mountainside - we had seniors riding this & they wanted to ride it again). Other excursions I would recommend are the White Pass Train (Skagway), Mendenhall Glacier (Juneau), & the Lumberjack Show (Ketchikan). Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
This cruise was in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary. We went with the idea that we would only go to Alaska one time in our lives, so we wanted to be there as long as possible. We chose a cruisetour that included a 5-day land ... Read More
This cruise was in celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary. We went with the idea that we would only go to Alaska one time in our lives, so we wanted to be there as long as possible. We chose a cruisetour that included a 5-day land portion before the cruise, going from Fairbanks, to Denali, to Talkeetna, to Anchorage and then to the ship. So we will start with the land portion. We arrived a day early and flew into Anchorage so we could be in Anchorage for our anniversary. The next day we ate at the Snow City Cafe, which serves breakfast all day (awesome food!), and then rented some bikes and road the coastal trail. We are not exactly athletes, but we did manage to ride to Earthquake Park, which was about a 12-mile ride round trip. Not bad for us old folks! Then it was on to the airport and our flight to Fairbanks for the RCI land tour. The lodging that RCI chose was very nice. We stayed at the Wedgewood Resort in Fairbanks, the Grande Denali which sits up on a mountain and overlooks the park, the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge which has a grand view of Mt. McKinley out the back, and the Marriott in Anchorage. The restaurant at the Wedgewood was great, but we didn't eat at the others. The rooms were comfortable and clean, other than a slight oversight by the cleaning staff at Grande Denali--they left a dirty coffee cup and a used washcloth in the room, but no big deal. Kudos to RCI for the excellent tour guide (Matt) and bus driver (Jim). They were outstanding. Jim was responsible for getting our luggage from one hotel to the other, and we never had to wait for luggage. By the time we reached each hotel, we were checked in and our luggage was already in the room. I'm not sure how he did that, but it was pretty amazing. He was on time for everything. Two tours in Fairbanks were included. First, the Sternwheeler Riverboat Discovery, which was a really nice introduction to the area. Second was a trip to the museum at the local university. By that time, we were so tired that we could barely stay awake, so we only stayed for a short time and took the bus back to the hotel, had dinner, and spent the evening walking the trails behind the lodge for some much-needed exercise. We didn't take any of the optional tours in Fairbanks. The domed train ride to Denali was awesome! The food was great in the dining car and reasonably priced. The train was definitely the way to go! Denali was amazing, but I must admit we did not go on the natural history tour included in our tour. Everyone recommended an upgrade to the Tundra Wilderness Tour, but after a 4-hour train ride, we just couldn't bring ourselves to sit on a bus for any length of time. Instead, we took a free shuttle into the park and hiked the Savage River loop trail, which was about 2 miles. It was beautiful. And on the way back in the shuttle, we saw a caribou really close to the bus. In hindsight, we probably should have chosen a tour that spent another night in Denali. Had we done this, we would have opted for a bus ride into the park the following day. As it was, we only had a few hours the next morning before the train left at noon. We decided to take a private horseback riding tour in Healy, which was good, but we would have liked more time in the park itself. We would recommend a minimum of 2 nights in Denali for anyone taking a land tour. We ate dinner at the Salmon Bake restaurant in the little town of Denali, and the food was excellent! Talkeetna was the cutest, quaintest little town. Unfortunately, we arrived at about 5, and the shops closed at 6. But just walking through the town was an experience all its own. It's like stepping back in time and it's wonderful. The mayor is a cat! We had dinner at the local brewery, and we were surprised that "last call" was at 8 p.m.! They said we could move to the restaurant, but the brewery section closed so the locals would have time to party. It was a hoot! Our only beef would be with the shuttle from the Talkeetna Lodge to town. The last shuttle ran at about 8 p.m., so if you went into town to eat or have a few drinks, you had to either walk back or find your own way, or get finished fast to catch their last shuttle. Fortunately, the brewery/restaurant offered a complimentary cab and all we had to do was tip the driver. The next morning, we wanted to eat breakfast at the famous Roadhouse which was featured on the Food Channel. We were a little put out that the lodge only started their shuttles at 9 a.m. We felt like the late start time and early end time was really their way of discouraging people from eating in town. That was a little tacky. But we were not to be denied and went anyway, and had a fabulous breakfast. We even saw a small herd of moose crossing the lodge driveway on our way to breakfast. We got back in plenty of time to catch our bus to Anchorage. Best part of all was that Mt. McKinley (or Denali as it is named by the Alaskans), was out in all its glory the entire day we arrived. What a treat! It was breathtaking! Our trip to Anchorage was very scenic and lots of fun due to the great stories that our tour guide and bus driver told. We had a lot of laughs and enjoyed every minute of it. We went to the Native American Heritage Center, which was really nice. I would recommend this to anyone visiting the area for a great overview of the different tribes in Alaska. The demonstrations of native dance and Eskimo games were especially interesting, and there were local artisans there selling their own handmade items. Other than that, we only had time for dinner and a little bit of walking around the city, mostly shopping for souvenirs. We ate at Humpy's, which was featured on the Man V. Food show, and had some yummy seafood there. The next day, we headed for the Seward to board the ship. We got there at about 1 p.m. Check-in was really fast--no line whatsoever. It was the fastest we've ever checked in for a cruise. Then we grabbed a bite to eat in the Windjammer and got off the ship for a private tour to Seavey's Ididaride. We wanted to go to this particular kennel because Dallas Seavey won the Iditarod this year. We were a little disappointed that it wasn't offered by the ship. We were going to book a tour before we left Houston for the cruise, but we had no idea what time we would arrive in Seward. For land tours, we would recommend that RCI provide more information about times so that this kind of planning can be done. As it was, along the way we discovered that our guide, Matt, knew Dallas Seavey. We asked him if he could check and see if they had any openings for us, and they did. The Seaveys had a shuttle pick us up at the terminal and they had us back by 5:30 p.m. It was one of the best tours we had. Very informative with the musher explaining how the dogs are trained and handled, and a lot of fun with the cart ride. We even got to meet Conway Seavey, who won the Junior Iditarod this year. The cruise itself was great. Prior to this, we had only cruised in the Caribbean, so this was entirely different. There was so much to do in Alaska! We were off the ship more than we were on it. So we didn't spend our usual amount of time relaxing or sitting in the hot tub or participating in many of the ship's activities. The ports were great, the food was great, the service was great, the cruise director was great, and the shows we saw were great. But the real star was Alaska, which was AMAZING! We took the Guide's Choice Hike around the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, which was rated as strenuous, and it was! My feet were shot the next day, but it was well worth it. Juneau was our only rainy day, but still wonderful. When we got back to the visitor's center for the glacier, we went to the salmon viewing platform, and there was a mama bear and 2 cubs eating salmon. What a great surprise! In Skagway, we took a private tour with Beyond Skagway. It was a really nice day with a little side hike that about killed me because my feet were so sore, but we went all the way into Canada, saw Carcross Desert and Emerald Lake, and then headed back to town. In Icy Strait Point, my husband went on the Ziprider, which he absolutely loved. Then we went whale watching at Point Adolphus with Glacier Wind Tours. Now THAT was really something. There were whales in every direction. Really beautiful to see and fascinating to listen to on the hydrophone. There was also a whale bubble feeding right off the dock when we tendered in to Icy Strait! In Ketchikan we went flightseeing over the Misty Fjords, and that was a fantastic experience. We landed on a lake in the middle of nowhere and got off the plane and onto a little rock island for a few minutes. Really cool! It was the trip of a lifetime, and we'll definitely go back! By the way, we've cruised on several lines--Princess, Carnival, Norwegian and RCI. We always come back to RCI. Royal Caribbean, you are the best! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
I booked this cruise several months in advance when the rates dropped to the point where the single supplement fare was low and I got a stateroom at a good price. I booked with late dining in a guaranteed stateroom. I was eventually ... Read More
I booked this cruise several months in advance when the rates dropped to the point where the single supplement fare was low and I got a stateroom at a good price. I booked with late dining in a guaranteed stateroom. I was eventually placed in 3581, which is mid-ship interior. I've never minded interior staterooms, so this suited me well. I flew into Anchorage the day before and then took the train to Seward. I checked my bags in at the train depot, and got one of them back quickly when I remembered my cruise documents were inside one of them. The train was nice, though early. I then walked from the depot in Seward to the ship. Check-in was easy, as I did everything online before I left. It didn't take long to get processed, receive my seapass, and board the ship. I had lunch and explored the ship while waiting for my stateroom to be ready. The stateroom was nice. My steward brought the extra blanket I requested. The mini-bar items were in the fridge instead of taking up valuable desk space like they did on the Splendour of the Seas last year. If I had a complaint, it is the usual one - the staterooms is too cold for me most of the time. I prefer a warmer temperature than most people, so I've learned to live with it. A nice surprise was a note from my travel agency that I had $75 of ship credit. In addition, when I checked the interactive TV, I saw Royal Caribbean had issued a refund of nearly $13 for some reason. It took care of the tips. I had prepaid for a fountain drink package and my shore excursion in Skagway, so my final bill was for less than $30, mostly for gift shop items and stamps. The ship had interactive displays through the vessel, helping you find what to do, where to go, what was happening, and how to find the nearest restroom. The weather was amazing for the entire trip. It was actually warm in Juneau, and the ship was able to get close to Hubbard Glacier with mostly clear skies. Indeed, I didn't need my rain ponchos even once during the trip. A few drops fell (including in Ketchikan), but hardly enough to qualify. The food was good, and the shows were entertaining. Bowser and the Stingrays was a highlight of the ship entertainment, while the production shows were also updated. In particular, Piano Men dropped the Liberace sequence, cut out Copacabana from the Barry Manilow sequence, and added Stevie Wonder. Whales were spotted off the ship several times, including one that stayed with the ship at Icy Strait Point. If there was a disappointment, it was in the films offered in the ship cinema. None of them appealed to me, though I imagine Tower Heist, Breaking Dawn Part 1, and Jack and Jill had their fans. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our Alaskan cruise on the refurbished Radiance of the Seas. The ship is magnificent and we couldn't get over all the glass and windows. There was a gorgeous view from all parts of the ship. It was ... Read More
My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed our Alaskan cruise on the refurbished Radiance of the Seas. The ship is magnificent and we couldn't get over all the glass and windows. There was a gorgeous view from all parts of the ship. It was wonderful to see the ocean from some of the elevators as well. The ship was extremely clean and wonderfully decorated. Our cabin was roomy with lots of storage and the bed was very comfortable. The cabins seem to be very well insulated as we didn't hear any noise from other cabins. The ports we went to were excellent and we all got on and off the ship efficiently, even when we had one port which used tenders. Sea days were lots of fun and there were so many events to attend, there was no excuse for boredom. In fact we were so busy, we didn't have time to do any reading. Fortunately we were blessed with excellent weather, so the inside passage sail to the Hubbard Glacier was most enjoyable and we spent some time on deck admiring the beauty of nature. We also saw humped back whales and orcas from the decks as wel sailed along towards some ports and to Vancouver, which was a real treat since we didn't take any whale sighting excursions. The staff on board were extremely courteous and helpful and we always were met with kindness and a smile. We loved all the food served in the main buffet, small cafes and main diningroom. The dining room staff were most efficient and interacted very pleasantly with the diners and meals were served nice and hot. There were so many treats available at different venues, we just were overwhelmed with wonderful choices. Drinks at the bar were also a nice treat and we were entertained by professional singers and musicians. The gym was first rate and we always found a cardio machine to use and exercised while staring out to sea. The solarium area of the ship was very welcoming after a cool excursion in one of the Alaskan ports and the pool there was nice and warm since it was enclosed. We went to all the main theatre events and enjoyed them thoroughly. The productions were first rate, costumes beautiful and dancers and singers very enthusiastic and talented. We also enjoyed Bowser's show and the juggler/comedian, Ivan Pecel, who was one of the funniest and most talented entertainers. All in all we had a most fantastic time, our second with Royal Caribbean. We put a deposit down for a future cruise and can't wait. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
The first thing that struck us as we boarded the ship is that there was nothing or no-one there to tell you how to get about the ship, where you need to go, what you need to do and what facilities were available on board. You just kind of ... Read More
The first thing that struck us as we boarded the ship is that there was nothing or no-one there to tell you how to get about the ship, where you need to go, what you need to do and what facilities were available on board. You just kind of had to find your own way to your cabin and work out what was on board either by reading your daily Cruise Compass or watching the RC channel on the TV. We were cruising in Alaska and really didn't want to spend time in our cabin watching TV. On our 2nd last day we found the ships directory in one of the drawers in our cabin. Would have been nice if that was left out for new arrivals to peruse. Guest services were helpful when we needed to consult them but very brisk and much more attentive if you were enquiring about extra cost items. Being intrepid travellers, we made our way to the bar and worked out where we needed to go for dinner on the first night. Extremely helpful staff in the bar & dining room helped us out a lot with ships protocol. Our stateroom seemed nice enough - quite compact and we were glad to have the verandah - particularly on this cruise with such magnificent scenery. The sofa was small & hard so we just used it to store a suitcase. Would not have like to have our son sharing with us as it would have been a tight squeeze with the sofa bed out. Bed & pillows weren't that comfortable and shower was minute. Wouldn't like to be a large person trying to fit in there. Our cabin steward Rolly (as with all staff on the ship) was just lovely. As our first day was spent at sea, we used the time to explore the ship deck by deck. Radiance is quite large so we certainly got our exercise for the day. In the afternoon we were treated to close up time at Hubbard Glacier. What an experience and we were so lucky to get within 1/3 of a mile & witness some massive calvings. The onboard commentary is really terrific and anyone on the ship that day will never forget the experience. That night, we again ate in the dining room and by now had worked out that the food on board was pretty ordinary in both the main dining room & Windjammer. It stayed that way for the remainder of our trip and it was only on about day 5, we discovered the fresher options on offer at Park Cafe on Deck 11 in the solarium. This it the best place to eat on the ship (free dining) for breakfast and lunch. We didn't partake of optional dining as we weren't there to spend our money on the ship. We were there to enjoy SE Alaska. We did go to a show in the theatre that night and found it quite corny so didn't bother to attend any more shows. We also went to a couple of the music trivia sessions in Quill & Compass and the Colony Club which were fun. We also attended some destination specific presentations by a Canadian Mountie & an Alaska Park Ranger. The Mountie presentation was odd but the ranger one was terrific. Mostly in the evenings, we went back to our cabin with a bottle of wine & sat on our balcony enjoying the views. We also needed early nights for early starts on excursion days :) Our first port of call was Juneau and we came to learn about dockside spruikers. Some were quite rude when we declined their services and certainly wouldn't have encouraged us to enquire further. We enjoyed a self-guided walking tour of the Capitol (maps available from the visitors centre by the dock & it's signposted) along with a ride on the Mt Roberts Tramway and a short hike around the top for fantastic views. We had independently pre-booked all our shore excursions prior to departure but had a couple of ports of call open for options in case there was something we particularly wanted to do or had missed out on during our 2 week driving tour of South Central Alaska prior to the cruise. Otherwise - we were happy to just wander about & explore. 2nd Port of Call - Skagway. We had to meet our independent tour at 8am so were up bright & early to start our day. We took a small coach from Skagway to Carcross & return with lively commentary and many stops along the way. A very enjoyable tour with time to explore & shop in Skagway prior to ships departure. 3rd Port - Icy Strait Point. Again, we had a tour booked and had to meet on the dock at 9am. We got one of the first tenders around 8am so had time to explore the ISP complex & cannery museum. Very interesting & worthwhile. Our day was spent driving around Chichagof Island with our guide from Brown Bear Lodge hunting for bears and ending with some salmon fishing. Absolutely great day out in the Alaskan wilds and would highly recommend to anyone seeking an alternative to whale watching or the cruise tours. This was the earliest departure of any of the ports (3.30pm last tender) so we didn't have time for anything else in ISP on our return from our tour. Final Stop - Ketchikan. Another free day and the visitor centre again provided us with a map for a self-guided walking tour. Ketchikan has so much to offer the visitor and it can be done very economically. We visited the SE Alaska Discovery Centre, Salmon Hatchery & Totem Heritage Centre and Creek Street - all within a short walk of the cruise docks and enjoyed the quirky architecture of the city along the way. You really don't need to spend your money on tours out of town to see the same things you can see right within the downtown area. Final day - cruising Inside Passage to Vancouver but really you are in open water much of the way until the morning you approach Vancouver. We found this quite a boring day as we weren't interested in Bingo Jackpots or the Casino. The weather was nice and many people were out on deck or in the pool??? (Still a bit chilly for my liking at 17oC). Spent a lot of time on our balcony & watched a movie on the TV. Went to the Spa for an accupunture treatment prior to our 24hr plus transit home..... (I went earlier in the week for a deep tissue massage and wasn't very impressed). The Captain had urged us to get up early and enjoy the approach and entry into Vancouver Harbour - so we did and it was spectacular on a gorgeous sunny day. The ONLY cruisetour we booked (City Highlights with Airport drop off) was so worthwhile to ensure a smooth departure and transfer to the airport. The tour itself was a quite comprehensive trip around the city centre and Stanley Park with a passionate local guide. Mostly, it didn't make me wish I'd made the effort to stay a bit longer in Vancouver though. It's just a city and a bit of a culture shock after 3 weeks in Alaska! Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was the first cruise on RCCL. We have cruised several times on other cruise lines. We thoroughly enjoyed the services and amenities that the Radiance provided. Even though it was built in 2001, she looks great after refurbishment ... Read More
This was the first cruise on RCCL. We have cruised several times on other cruise lines. We thoroughly enjoyed the services and amenities that the Radiance provided. Even though it was built in 2001, she looks great after refurbishment in 2011. Staterooms--- We were in room 9586 with a large balcony. I know it's a personal preference, but I think having a balcony in Alaska is a big plus. It made for easy viewing of the Hubbard Glacier and the scenic route through the inside passage. Dining --- We had my time dining and used it a few times. The Cascades dining room was very comfortable. The menu choices were adequate and the food was good. The buffet in the Windjammer was very extensive, satisfying most people's tastes. The selection was good and it was an enjoyable atmosphere. The Park Cafe was a convenient place to get sandwiches, salads, etc. We did not utilize the Dog House. I don't think it was used very much. We did not eat in any of the specialized restaurants that required an extra fee. Crew --- Captain Sidra (Norwegian) and crew ran a very good ship. All of the crew were very pleasant. The waiters called you by name and remembered it. Our stateroom attendant, Dewa, was excellent. He addressed used by name every time and met our every need. Entertainment --- It was the usual cruise ship entertainment. Paul Rutter, the cruise director, seemed to be very attentive and upbeat. Disembarkation --- The procedure went very smoothly. Since we were the only ship in port it went pretty quick. Our experience on the Radiance of the Seas was excellent. We had excellent weather throughout the cruise at every port. I did not rain until we disembarked in Vancouver. Everyone on the ship and in the ports kept telling us that this week has been the best weather of the summer. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
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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