24 Seward Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

I cruised this ship for the itinerary and also wanted to try Royal Caribbean for a change. I have been on a short RCCL cruise on a newer ship, and I knew this was an older smaller ship. The ship itself while worn, was very nice with ... Read More
I cruised this ship for the itinerary and also wanted to try Royal Caribbean for a change. I have been on a short RCCL cruise on a newer ship, and I knew this was an older smaller ship. The ship itself while worn, was very nice with alot of beautiful windows making it perfect for Alaska. The room attendant was amazing, the general service of the bar staff was great. The LIDO/Windjammer was better than the main dining room for breakfast and some dinners. The specialty restaurant chops was amazing. The light bites at Lattetudes and the solarium were not very good at all and the staff at the solarium at night a gentleman there was really rude to people. My biggest complaint was the main dining dinners were extremely over seasoned (salted) and any steak was just completely tough and/or over cooked. So the starters, salads and desserts were great, but most of the main dishes were barely passible. When the LIDO does a better job on the meats and breakfast there is something seriously wrong in your dining room. Entertainment was ok, and just average. The production dance/singers were given old and not to unique shows to do . The nightlife was barely there. A couple of places for music, but nothing really stood out. The magician was funnier than our comedian, the El Gaucho show was funny and very entertaining. Most of the staff were absolutely amazing and this did have one of the best guest services desks I have seen on many cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We went with seasoned cruisers daughter and husband. This was our first and probably only cruise experience. The best scenic part of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The rest of the ports were sort of ho-hum and it appeared that some ... Read More
We went with seasoned cruisers daughter and husband. This was our first and probably only cruise experience. The best scenic part of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The rest of the ports were sort of ho-hum and it appeared that some were trumped up for the cruise industry. We didn't go on any of the expensive tours such as a bear tour that out daughter went on in Icy Strait that was a futile experience. Our cabin was OK but showing signs of wear from the dowdy looking "sofa chair", the sagging vanity chair and the BAD BEDS with sparsely cushioned springs that guaranteed hip aches all night. Attendant did a good job and all of the help we encountered were helpful and courteous. The photographers and their helpers corny bear type costumes were very pushy and a fight to get through to the Windjammer buffet, where the food and offerings were no better than the average mass buffet outfits found around. Tricky to find seating tables if you were not innovative. We had reserved tables in the Dining Room and were seated promptly on our arrival. The staff was courteous and fairly efficient but the "recommendations" were not necessary and were hard to understand with old ears. Annoying was the added "gratuities" of 18 per cent to any wines or drinks, especially with the mandatory $150.00 gratuity included in the ticket. The dining menu was somewhat repetitious with the offerings nothing special. Most of the food was rather bland. Maybe they were designed that way to steer you to the pricey specialty restaurants where more gratuities were added. Trying to find a quiet spot to read or play cards around the central lounge was impossible because of the BLASTING noises from aspiring (but amateurish and uninspiring) musicians..The sounds resonated to the top of the ship. We enjoyed the abundant windows for viewing the magnificent scenery of the coast. We walked out of one show with amateur performers, but did enjoy the two comedy shows presented. Boarding and leaving the ship ran smoothly, including customs in to Canada. None of the activities listed seemed interesting enough to check out. All in all we did enjoy the ship, but found it rather ordinary in all respects. Best ti check out all reviews before booking tours. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We were on a pre cruise and post cruise trip for the Alaskan trip. The ship was average, dining room service was awful. The waiter constantly brought the wrong food, under cooked food or failed to bring the items we ordered. Everyone we ... Read More
We were on a pre cruise and post cruise trip for the Alaskan trip. The ship was average, dining room service was awful. The waiter constantly brought the wrong food, under cooked food or failed to bring the items we ordered. Everyone we talked to on this cruise said they had same issues with the dining room service. Each night there were only two optional entrees to order, the rest were the same items every night. The room was fine, everything worked properly Room steward was good, nothing above average.Entertainment was average. The captain did a great job communicating and showing us an awesome view of Hubbard Glacier. Embarkation and debarkation was average.We generally like the larger ships but we took this cruise for the itinerary. We took a Baltic cruise in May on the sister ship Brilliance and found everything on that cruise to be exceptional. The friendly staff added to the cruise. Can't say the same for the Radiance Crew. Read Less
Sail Date August 2018
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart ... Read More
We’ve sailed with RCI many times before and have never been so disappointed.The land portion of our package was awesome. Unfortunately the moment we got to our room on the ship the dissapointments started. The beds were falling apart (you couldn’t even close the sleeper chair..it had to stay open all the time because the sides were barely hanging on. We were constantly tripping over it), the bathroom floor felt like it was going to collapse into the floor below, one of the balcony glass walls had a side that was not attached to anything (not good for our grandkids!!), the intercom in the room did not work (the stateroom person verified it did not work), the list goes on and on. The “my time dining” staff was unorganized to say the least. We were told to call but they did not answer the phone. We went to the restaurant and We were told to sign up for our dining time and table but when we tried we were told we couldn’t. That’s ok because we walked out the first night because the waiters were condescending and didn’t take our orders. Too bad, we’re usually really great tippers!! The entertainment was what I would expect on a less expensive trip. We didn’t stay for the first performance in the theater as it was boring and the kids didn’t like it at all. We didn’t bother going to any others. The singers in the main lobby were off key. Bless their hearts they tried but it sounded like bad kareoke (not that there’s anything wrong with that but the main lobby performers are usually fantastic singers). Love you RCI but you need to treat your Alaska cruisers like you treat your Caribbean cruisers! Next time we’ll take another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
I was so excited for this cruise. To see Alaska to explore all that was offered on this ship. Alaska was awesome beautiful wonderful sites to see. The ship it's self was a little disappointing. The crew seem to be a little confused ... Read More
I was so excited for this cruise. To see Alaska to explore all that was offered on this ship. Alaska was awesome beautiful wonderful sites to see. The ship it's self was a little disappointing. The crew seem to be a little confused uninformed maybe not well-trained on their ship. The food in the wind jammer left a lot to be desired. The main dining room food for the most part was excellent. The service in the main dining room The first night was horrible. The food we ordered was not what the menu said. It took the manager over 45 minutes to solve the situation. Then we were switched to another set of waiters Anwar & Barton, the rest of the cruise, they were awesome! We were in room 8010 and our room attendant was great. He took care of our room and anything we needed. Our neighbors and their kids were very loud! Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We had been to Alaska 6 years ago on an 11 night land and sea. We wanted more time on land so we booked additional nights on land this time. We also were now Diamond status on Royal so we chose them over Princess. We truly had a wonderful ... Read More
We had been to Alaska 6 years ago on an 11 night land and sea. We wanted more time on land so we booked additional nights on land this time. We also were now Diamond status on Royal so we chose them over Princess. We truly had a wonderful time on land with the additional days and tours. Breaking up the travel with shorter intervals on the train were good as well instead of the all day train with Princess. The disappointment truly was the Radiance which is an aging ship that has not been well maintained. Sewage smell from day one in stateroom bathroom. One day the sewage line was totally blocked on our side of the ship on level 7. Rust on our balcony and dirty sliding glass door windows as well were a disappointment. Wait staff was friendly but not always attentive (Linda the assistant waiter was the exception in the Main Dining Room). The food, including the lobster, truly was mediocre with no assistance to remove the meat from the table. We barely saw the assigned head waiter and did not see him perform any hands on assistance at all. The entertainment was mediocre (even the headliners). The shore excursions truly made this cruise acceptable. The casino had outdated slots and roulette tables with no towers or nonfunctioning towers. The Park Cafe was poorly staffed on several days as well. Forget the Windjammer since food selection was mediocre at best also. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
I chose Radiance of the Seas because I wanted to do an Alaskan cruisetour and this one met the timeframe in which we wanted to travel. Since we were part of the cruisetour, we arrived later in the afternoon for embarkation and the ... Read More
I chose Radiance of the Seas because I wanted to do an Alaskan cruisetour and this one met the timeframe in which we wanted to travel. Since we were part of the cruisetour, we arrived later in the afternoon for embarkation and the lines at that time were minimal so it was an easy process to check in (already had my seapass printed) and get our first photos taken. We had an inside cabin 4031 - it was a decision between the cruisetour with an inside cabin or the just the cruise with a balcony. We chose the cruisetour and I'm glad we did because it was very foggy on our travel so you couldn't really see anything from the ship - including the Hubbard Glacier (boo). It was my husband, me, and our two boys (ages 6 and 7). The bed was sizable and comfortable, but I didn't like that the bunk beds were on top of it. On a disney cruise we did, the sofa turned into a bunk and there was a bunk on top of that and there was a privacy curtain in between - I liked that set up better. My 6 year old was afraid of the bunk so he slept on the sofa. The room was small, but manageable. I wish they would provide more drawers rather than the ledges in the closet. We did not upgrade to any of the specialty dining areas - and we ate in the main dining room every night except one. I had traveled on Royal Caribbean years ago and just remembered the food being fantastic - that was not my experience this time. The portions were really small, the food wasn't cooked well, the desserts were lacking. It seems like they put all their focus on the food in the specialty dining areas which I think is wrong. Also- when I cruised previously, they had like midnight buffets with ice sculptures, etc. There was nothing like that this time. You could only get hot dogs and pizza after 9 pm unless you ordered room service (which they now charge $7.95 for). The windjammer buffet was good. I really liked Mexican day. They said there was a Rita's Cantina but I don't think they offered that any longer. The shops were fine - they were having a lot of sales on Alaska merchandise since it was nearing the end of that season. What I didn't like was that it was very narrow passage as they had a huge island store - and you had to pass through there to get to the Aurora Theater - it got very cramped so we learned to go through the 4th floor cabin area to bypass that. You also walked through the photo area and art gallery to get to the Theater on the 5th floor. The weather was very cold and rainy throughout much of our cruise so we couldn't do any of the outside activities until the final day where we did mini-golf, soccer, etc. There is a rock wall on the ship but since there was really only one viable day to do it, the lines got pretty long for that and my kids didn't do it. There is an outdoor pool, a kids outdoor pool, and indoor adult pool - we didn't use the pools. There were limited hours for kids at the indoor pool and they didn't offer any evening hours so if you took advantage of going in to the ports during the day, you couldn't really use the pool if you had kids. There was also an arcade - the games were really expensive and sometimes took your money. there is a casino and cinema on it as well - we didn't have time to use those. My husband and I went to several shows in the Aurora Theater - most of them were really good. There was one that everyone was talking about the next day and not in a good way (a physical comedian)- the other 2 comedians were really good. My husband and I even participated in the married game show so that was fun, they even gave us a cd of it before we left the cruise. We participated in a couple of trivia things and I did karaoke one night. I think there was a good mix of things to do. My kids loved the kids club- Adventurers Ocean. They didn't want to leave there, and all of the people working in there were great and nice to the kids. They advertised their hours in advance - it was free until 10pm. After that, it was $7 per hour per child. Since they had a gagaball tournament every night at 10pm, I had to pay so they could participate. It would be nice if they would do that earlier or stay open later for free, but my kids had fun so it was worth it. They also had family scavenger hunts, bingo, and science experiments so that was fun to do as a family. Our cabin steward and waiter were wonderful - gave impeccable service. I was less than impressed by Guest Services. I talked to two different people there and they were borderline rude like they couldn't be bothered to answer my questions. The ports were fine - I'm not a big shopper so I didn't pay much attention to the ports. I would say Ketchikan was my favorite one. I did excursions at each port which I will review separately. I did book all of mine through Royal Caribbean just to avoid any hassles. I'm not sure if I would travel Royal Caribbean again - maybe if I got a really good deal I would. I'd like to try Norwegian or Princess. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We had cruised six prior times with Royal Caribbean; however more than 20 years ago. All our cruises were in the Caribbean and this was our first trip to Alaska. We chose RCCL because of our enjoyment on the prior Caribbean cruises. ... Read More
We had cruised six prior times with Royal Caribbean; however more than 20 years ago. All our cruises were in the Caribbean and this was our first trip to Alaska. We chose RCCL because of our enjoyment on the prior Caribbean cruises. Since it has been so long the booking process has changed dramatically from personal service via telephone to on-line booking, which I found very impersonal. I booked our cruise well in advance to insure we might have a better chance at finding the stateroom we wanted. Following my initial foray into the RCCL website and the initial booking process including the deposit, I found almost no follow up from RCCL. I had to search and search on the website to find information on dining, optional activities on board, more information on the ship. We received nothing from RCCL saying welcome aboard and here is information to help you know more about your upcoming cruise. We arrived in Seward and the boarding process should have been a breeze as we were there in plenty of time; however, all RCCL computers were down and we waited in line with about 400 other early arrivals for the computers to get back on line. After about 40 minutes of just standing around with little information from RCCL (we finally found out about the computer problem by one of us wandering around asking questions), the boarding went fairly smoothly. We made it to our stateroom, which was very nice; clean, roomy and very accessible to the elevators and stairs. We decided to go to the restaurant for a quick bite to eat and before we even got to the food area were stopped by waiters trying to sell us on upgrading our food package to the specialty restaurants. Twice I was stopped and we finally made it to our table and started to eat when yet another sales person came by offering us a special deal to upgrade our food package. Oh, my...why can't we just enjoy a quiet lunch!! Finally we left and made it back to our room and enjoyed walking about the ship learning more about where everything was located. However, throughout the trip, it was constant selling....upgrade the restaurant options; buy these photos; don't forget to shop at our preferred shops; even the art lecture which we decided to attend including encouraging us to join in the art auctions. Every day on the ship channel station, sell, sell, sell...shop at our shops. I found in every location that I could find better options for significantly less money than RCCL preferred shops. Finally, on three days of our cruise the ship's crew were painting the ship....they continually banged the paint off the ship in and around our stateroom. Our next door neighbors finally called the customer service desk and asked them to at least wait until after 9 oclock so we could enjoy resting in on our cruising days. Two days, we lost use of our balcony due to painting and restaining of the rails. But, there was no mention of this when we booked. I understand this needs to be done, but it should always be done when the ship is in port and guests are ashore, not during the cruising days. All in all, I am very disappointed and will likely never cruise with RCCL again. I contacted them before our cruise and asked them about special consideration for passengers who had cruised with them previously and was told that we cruised too long ago to get any special consideration. Nice! Would I recommend this cruise? Itinerary was great, but the only redeeming part of the trip was the captain spent lots of time and was able to get very close to the Hubbard Glacier. Other than that, no, I would not recommend this cruise. Food was mediocre and just was not as much fun as the prior cruises. And one final thing....Internet. We purchased an internet package just to make sure we would be able to keep in touch with our kids and grandkids. I was not able to access any of the regular Internet access I needed. Email access was almost non existent. IT took not seconds to try to connect, but in some cases minutes and minutes just to try to get to some server that might provide any kind of access. I would not recommend paying for this service as I felt ripped off at the end of the week. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
I booked a inside cabin (3615) and was very disappointed in it. It was right next to a fan that ran 24/7. The floor vibrated, the bed vibrated and it was very unpleasant. I tried to change my room but they said they were sold out. ... Read More
I booked a inside cabin (3615) and was very disappointed in it. It was right next to a fan that ran 24/7. The floor vibrated, the bed vibrated and it was very unpleasant. I tried to change my room but they said they were sold out. Later in the cruise we ate with a couple on their honeymoon and they told us that they upgraded them from a inside cabin to a balcony. I guess they had rooms for them and not me. This was my ninth cruise with RC and I was very disappointed with it. The food is always the same. I had salmon one night at dinner and it was really dry. On the last night of cruise the food was awful. We did eat in Chops Grille which was fantastic. Would recommend this place to everyone. We were celebrating my 60th birthday and they made it very special. In the windjammer the food was always the same. The ports of call were great. We did not book any excursions thru RC. We had already een on a Alaska cruise with RC ten years earlier so we pretty much did what we wanted then. We did do a land portion on this cruise. The tour guide Tall Paul was outstanding. We went to Denali, Talkeeta and Alyeska. We were also one of the 30% who actually saw Mr. Denali. Was a wonderful experience. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We travelled with two other couples and although we had a good time I'm not sure I would choose a cruise again. The food was OK but nothing to write home about. It did get better the second half of the trip. Our wait staff was ... Read More
We travelled with two other couples and although we had a good time I'm not sure I would choose a cruise again. The food was OK but nothing to write home about. It did get better the second half of the trip. Our wait staff was excellent. Giobeth and Kadek were very friendly and fun and took good care of us. They did not make us feel awkward for bringing our own wine instead of ordering from them. We had the allotted two bottles per stateroom. We uncorked it in our room and brought it with us and they served it for us. We looked forward to seeing them at dinner each night. We even wrote and sang a little song to them on the last night. The naturalists presentations were not very interesting. His visual aids were fuzzy and hard to make out and he droned on in a monotone voice and did not hold our interest. The dancers and singers were wonderful and the musical impressionist was fantastic. The piano player (Derek) was a little too abrasive for our taste. We tip well when we think it is warranted but don't like to be badgered into tipping. His piano playing was excellent. A big disappointment for us was the push for shopping designer goods and jewelry. We went on a cruise to relax and see the area not buy diamonds and purses. Every time we turned around there was a special sale on some overly expensive item. The ports where we stopped to pick up a souvenir from the area were more of the same and it was hard to find a shop with local goods because of all the diamond stores. We also don't appreciate all the extra-expense restaurants. The allure of a cruise used to be all your meals onboard were included. Why would I want to pass up a delicious meal to buy something else. I can go out to eat at home. Are you trying to tell us that the food in your main dining room is not worth eating. Our stateroom was comfortable with plenty of storage. We had an ocean view room on the 3rd floor. The big port hole stayed spotted with water the whole time so although I loved having the light the view wasn't very good through the dirty window. There was plenty of deck space to enjoy the view and the heli-deck was a perfect place to see everything. The halls were very narrow and had cleaning equipment and room service trays on the floor most of the time. A wheelchair or motorized scooter would not have fit down them most of the time. We chose to prebook our own port activities rather than book with the ship because we prefer private tours rather than large group. We did get tickets for the Mt Roberts Tram through the ship and when we ran out of time to use them we were able to get a refund. The cruise itself was wonderful. The ship movement was smooth, the scenery was incredible and the Hubbard Glacier was breathtaking. That and going through the inside passage at night during a meteor shower are things I won't soon forget. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
I cruised with a group of runners, and that part of the cruise was fantastic. Our group was well taken-care-of, from start to finish. Our group breakfasts (private buffet) were FANTASTIC! That said, there were some odd issues I have ... Read More
I cruised with a group of runners, and that part of the cruise was fantastic. Our group was well taken-care-of, from start to finish. Our group breakfasts (private buffet) were FANTASTIC! That said, there were some odd issues I have not seen before on Royal Caribbean. The dining room service was mediocre at best. Very poor bar service in the dining room--you were better off getting your own drink and bringing it in. I LOVE breakfast in the dining room most of the time, but on Radiance it was indifferent. Poor service and barely adequate food. I'm not a foodie, not really fussy at all, but if you requested something specific, you weren't going to get it. Some of the shows and entertainment were fun, but there was one truly terrible show (Piano Man), and one duo that was pretty awful. The Piano Man show made no sense--it was like they all decided which songs they wanted to sing and then tried to find a theme to unify them--totally did not work. Also, it would have been better if the main female singer was not singing flat--ouch! Alaska was incredible, and we liked Dr. Ryan, the naturalist, who told us what to look for and where to go. The captain took us in really close to Hubbard Glacier, and got us into all the ports early. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We traveled with a group and others in the group decided the cruise line, dates and itinerary. The embarkation process prior to getting on the ship was very fast, easy and smooth. The cabin (7054) was wonderful - I love the layout with ... Read More
We traveled with a group and others in the group decided the cruise line, dates and itinerary. The embarkation process prior to getting on the ship was very fast, easy and smooth. The cabin (7054) was wonderful - I love the layout with the desk/seating area near the door rather than on the other side of the bed near the balony. The ship looked nice and seemed nicely decorated. The first negative experience was coming on the ship. Other cruises we've been greeted with free drinks and appitizers, but this one made you walk a gantlet of people trying to sell you upgrades, drink packages, spa, etc. We had to push our way to the elevator to escape! Most everything about the ship and cruise was fine except the dining. Has the cruise industry gone the way of the airlines? It seemed that everything was scaled back and on the cheap. No more chocolate on the pillow. Only 3 courses (appitizer/soup/salad, main and dessert. Other cruises had 4 appitizer, soup/salad, main, dessert. Unlike other cruises I struggled to find 3 offerings I thought sounded at all good every night. I was really surprised by dessert. I haven't met many desserts that I don't love. I had ice cream several nights because nothing else looked at all appealing. There way a distinct shortage of chocolate!! The few time chocolate was offered, it was with something coffee - and I don't like coffee or just a dribble of it. The dessert selection at the buffet was equally dismal. No chocolate, hard/cheap store-bought cookies, only soft-serve ice cream in strawberry and vanilla (again, no chocolate!!). The one night they did have a main course I liked (lobster), they also offered a crab salad and thai chicken. Why couldn't they offer those on other nights? Being cheap with the lobster and crab? I don't get it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My son & I are loyal Royal cruisers. Overall, we loved the ports and the cruise, but there were some minor issues that really bothered us as we've had zero issues on any of our other cruises. I had pre-ordered a celebrations ... Read More
My son & I are loyal Royal cruisers. Overall, we loved the ports and the cruise, but there were some minor issues that really bothered us as we've had zero issues on any of our other cruises. I had pre-ordered a celebrations cake for surprise him when we had dinner in Giovanni's on his birthday. When I boarded the ship, per instructions from Crown and Anchor, I went to Guest Relations and specified that instead of delivering the cake to the dining room, it needed to be delivered to Giovanni's on May 29 at 6:30 p.m. Long story short, despite my having given instructions FOUR times to have the cake delivered to Giovanni's on May 29, the cake was delivered to our stateroom and the surprise I planned for my son was spoiled. There were several other issues and things that happened on the ship that basically made me think the right hand didn't know what the left hand was doing. Two days before we arrived in Ketchikan, we decided to cancel the fishing expedition we had pre-paid for, which needed to be done Sunday to be within the refund period. Shore Excursions was supposed to open at 5 p.m. I was the second person in line at 5 p.m., since we had dinner reservations for my son’s birthday at 6:30. Guest relations told me they could not cancel the excursion; shore excursions had to do that. Guests in line were then told that the desk would not open until 6. That posed a bit of an issue for us, but we got dressed for dinner early and went back down to shore excursions at 6, only to discover that there were now 12 people in front of me. I flagged down a staff member (who appeared to be a supervisor) while I was waiting and she said yes, that guest relations could cancel the shore trip as long as it was outside of 24 hours. She stated, and I reiterated to her, and received a positive affirmation that the resulting credit could either be posted back to my credit card on file OR withdrawn on the last day as cash. When I tried to get the cash refund on the last sea day, I was told that was not the case and that it had to be refunded to my card. The internet was AWFUL. It was marketed as VOOM, but it was incredibly slow and often not available. Now, I do understand that internet at sea is not going to be like it is at home, and it can be spotty. But that's not how they market it. Completely unacceptable and the slowest of any internet we've had on any of Royal's ships. On the plus side, I have zero complaints about our stateroom, our stateroom attendant, the service and food in the main dining room, or any of the ports. I only gave this cruise three stars because of the service issues. The cruise itinerary itself was lovely. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
We approached this trip differently than most do as Alaska was never a "dream destination" for us. We were more interested in the on-board experience and I'd like to give some thoughts about the Radiance of the Seas. ... Read More
We approached this trip differently than most do as Alaska was never a "dream destination" for us. We were more interested in the on-board experience and I'd like to give some thoughts about the Radiance of the Seas. Firstly, if you are crowd-averse, this is the ship for you! We sailed at full capacity and promptly dubbed it the "ghost ship". I have no idea where all the passengers were - other than during peak meal times and on the helipad on Hubbard Glacier day, we rarely ever saw many of them. Without exaggeration, we never once waited for an elevator (even on disembarkation morning), a spot in the hot tub, failed to get a good seat in the theater or had the room service phone ring busy. These were all new experiences for us. A+ for a spacious, relaxed environment. We were also extremely surprised by the passenger demographic. We had expected "senior city" and instead found there to be very, very few elderly people on board (I only saw 1 mobility scooter all week). There also seemed to be very few children, although this could be due to great programming in Adventure Ocean. The weather also could have contributed as we did not ever see any youngsters in the kid's pool (very nice by the way), at mini-golf or on the rock wall. Most everyone appeared to be exactly like us - couples between the ages of 40 & 65. Overall, we did not love ROS, it was our first cruise on this class of ship and it would be our least-favorite to date. A brief synopsis of our opinions follow (questions welcome if you want more specifics): Embarkation 5/5 - obviously Seward is not a typical port, people arrive in very staggered numbers and there is little to no wait to be processed. We also had extremely good luck with our RCCL airport-to-pier transfer although it was 2x the price of booking it independently. Cabin 1/5 - the cabin itself was fine (inside GTY on Deck 3) but the bedding was so excruciatingly uncomfortable that it really did impact our enjoyment of the trip. The mattress was rock-hard (no egg-crate available), there was nothing other than the mattress pad and sheet to hold the two beds together and the pillows were stiff and over-stuffed. Our cabin steward simply said she was "unable to do anything" about either the mattress or pillows. Common Areas 3/5 - nice in general and pretty well-kept but soft-goods need replacement. Certain areas seem very under-utilized and that makes for a bit of a desolate feeling. The worst of these is the new Boardwalk Dog House; so undecorated and unappealing. Food 2.5/5 - our dislike of MTD in general and how poorly it was handled on this ship (compared to our last cruise on the Liberty) taints our impression here. The MDR food was adequate, but preparation and presentation seem to decline with each subsequent cruise. The specialty venues are now not near good enough to merit the prices, unless as a direct contrast to the MDR. They would not compete favorably against land-based restaurants. The Windjammer is about as good as an Old Country Market, but I suppose one can't really expect anything else. We only eat there when there aren't any better options. As for the new Park Café, everything there besides the roast beef sandwiches is pre-made (and they microwave the Panini's instead of pressing them - boo!). Entertainment 4/5 - I love an evening show, it's a major part of the cruise experience for me. All of the headliners were very enjoyable on this cruise and the House Orchestra is excellent. The RC Singers and Dancers, on the other hand, were woeful; the only Production Show during the week (Piano Man) was practically cringe-worthy actually. The weather unfortunately made watching outdoor movies impractical and the Cinema schedule didn't jibe for us but we would have definitely watched some if we'd had the chance. Service 2.5/5 - very hit and miss, mostly because there just seemed to be so few crew members around. Bar service was slow and not very enthusiastic even though they were never busy. (There were next to no bar servers around; we got all of our drinks directly which would have irked me if we'd paid for a drink package.) We got lucky with a very nice pair of waiters in the MDR and have nothing but compliments for them - can't think of a thing more we would have wanted. Our cabin steward was adequate but unable to assist with the only things we actually needed, which was some relief from the uncomfortable sleeping bedding. Crew in general were polite and semi-friendly if you managed to make eye-contact but not effusive in any way. Maybe we're just expecting too much based on a cruise history rooted in the "good old days". Disembarkation 5/5 - we had late travel arrangements so our tags were for 8:45, much later than we've ever had before. We were able to catch the tail-end of breakfast after the early rush and had no wait to depart around 9:00. The Vancouver terminal is extremely easy to navigate and did not require the usual stop at Customs. Luggage was easy to find as much of the bulk of it had already been claimed. From leaving the ship to getting in a cab took all of about 8 minutes. Read Less
Sail Date August 2015
Alaska is beautiful and therefore we looked at the Radiance as our means to get there. Beyond that we were disappointed with the cruise. This was our 9th RCI cruise and by far the most disappointing. The staff was very disengaged and ... Read More
Alaska is beautiful and therefore we looked at the Radiance as our means to get there. Beyond that we were disappointed with the cruise. This was our 9th RCI cruise and by far the most disappointing. The staff was very disengaged and seemed merely to be going through the motions. MDR offerings were mediocre and the Windjammer was terrible (this seems to be the theme with RCI currently). Service in the MDR was excellent as always. The specialty restaurants, Giovanni's ,Chops and Samba were very good. The onboard entertainment including musicians and shows was very good. One main reason we continue with RCI. The most concerning and troubling issue with this ship was the toilet system. It simply does not function properly. We smelled sewer gas in our cabin and on our hallway all week. On several days the toilets would not flush in both our stateroom and throughout large portions of the ship. This needs to be addressed immediately, however it was explained to us that the repairs will have to wait until the next dry dock in 2016. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
I may be in the minority here but wanted to share my thoughts about the 7/4-7/11 Radiance Cruise. Our last cruise was on the Disney Fantasy and was totally spoiled with the service and ship so maybe my expectations were too high. However, ... Read More
I may be in the minority here but wanted to share my thoughts about the 7/4-7/11 Radiance Cruise. Our last cruise was on the Disney Fantasy and was totally spoiled with the service and ship so maybe my expectations were too high. However, we did not pay that much more for the 7-day Disney cruise than we did for this Royal Caribbean cruise. In retrospect, considering that we had a large balcony on the Disney cruise and only a porthole/window on this cruise, I'm seriously thinking that the Disney cruise was a better value. Here are my thoughts on our onboard experience itself and not the weather (generally great) and the itinerary/ports(generally very nice): 1. Ridiculous that we were asked to pay $170 for a "Soda Package" after paying in excess of $4000 for the cruise. (Disney had soda stations around the ship open 24 hours a day for anyone to use) 2. Entertainment was not terrible but not great either. Really have to ask who is picking the movies for the ship. They were actually showing "Funny Girl" on the pool movie screen the day we boarded as well as in the Cinema all the next day. Yes....that "Funny Girl". The Barbra Streisand movie from 1968. Seriously? 3. Our server in the dining room was pushy and not very friendly. We ended up eating in the dining room only 4 nights out of 7 due in large part to his attitude. His "partner" that served the beverages and bread, was much nicer and seemed genuinely friendly. 4. Not happy about gratuities being automatically added to our bar purchases, even for one drink. I understand that some people don't tip very well but by having it added automatically, the bartenders become unresponsive and there is no incentive for them to be friendly. With one notable exception in Starquest, every bartender we encountered was slow and unsmiling. 5. Stateroom attendant was nice and did a great job! 6. Youth clubs were pretty good. Hard to compete with Disney when it comes to family based services but RC did a fair job. 7. Windjammer (buffet) was OK. My family found that the deserts and pastries (anything baked generally) seemed stale and not freshly prepared. In other words, not even as good as the package of danishes that we picked up in an Anchorage grocery store and kept in our RV (pre-cruise) for several days. 8. Pools cold. I understand it's Alaska but you would think they would overcome that by adding extra heating. My kids, who love to play in the water, were very disappointed. 9. Poor communication, both before and during the cruise. a) They provided a service to check luggage at the train station in Anchorage but we didn't know about it until we arrived at the train station. It would have saved a lot of stress about what we were going to do with our luggage while waiting to board in Anchorage. b) Departure was confusing for us. We chose the Express Walk-Off option and then the paperwork about what to do on the day of departure made no mention of what to if you chose that option. c) We didn't receive any information on what our options were for getting from port in Vancouver to airport. Had to figure it out ourselves once we got off the ship. 10. No opinion on the shore excursions offered by RC. We planned our own and saved considerable cash in doing so. Whale watching in Juneau (JuneauWhaleWatch.com), Full Day Yukon Tour in Skagway (same company, JuneauWhaleWatch.com), Zipline in Ketchikan (SouthEastExposure.com). We used the Northern Lights Coupon book (Google it) to save, literally hundreds of dollars on our excursions while on the cruise and over $1000 while in the RV before the cruise. 11. We did not shop or gamble so cannot comment on those aspects. 12. Wife did get a massage and said it was one of the best she'd ever had. 13. The "adults-only" area (Solarium) was not really exclusive to adults. Since the Park Cafe is located in the Solarium you constantly had kids going in and out getting food and drinks. Additionally, the Solarium pool was open to kids 4 hours of the day. Even on the family oriented Disney cruise, they had a better set-up for creating an area exclusively for adults in order to get some piece and quiet. So, all in all, the cruise was, in our opinion, a way to get to nice ports and see beautiful scenery but just that....a means of transportation. Our shipboard experience was very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
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
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
We sailed to Alaska on the Seward to Vancouver itinerary in June. This was not our first cruise to Alaska, but our first cruise on Royal Caribbean. The Bad: With the addition of several for-fee restaurants on the Radiance, I think ... Read More
We sailed to Alaska on the Seward to Vancouver itinerary in June. This was not our first cruise to Alaska, but our first cruise on Royal Caribbean. The Bad: With the addition of several for-fee restaurants on the Radiance, I think the quality of food at the Cascades Dining Room and the Windjammer Cafe has dropped. The food at the Cascades Dining Room is decent, but nothing to write home about. The Windjammer buffet, however, had some poor food. I would suggest that if you are going on a cruise specifically for food, the Radiance of the Seas is not your cruise ship unless you want to pay for the for-fee restaurants. The production shows on board the Radiance of the Seas are, unfortunately, some of the worst that I have seen. The dancing is basic, and the singing is not very good. However, the comedians and other entertainment that the ship brought in was excellent. The Good: The ship was beautiful and was not short on activities. The rooms (both the balcony and inside) were nice. Alaska is always an amazing destination, and our shore excursions were all excellent! Service was also wonderful. Embarkation and disembarkation was great and fast! Overall, this was an OK cruise and good enough for me to book another RCL cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We loved our cruise from Seward to Vancouver with a few exceptions. While the scenery was great,we tired of the continual charges for everything "extra" and believe me, almost everything is extra. The ship itself looks great. ... Read More
We loved our cruise from Seward to Vancouver with a few exceptions. While the scenery was great,we tired of the continual charges for everything "extra" and believe me, almost everything is extra. The ship itself looks great. We had a balcony room that was quite large. The bed was very comfortable. Unfortunately, people in cabins next to us smoked so we had to limit our balcony time when they were "enjoying" their cigarettes. The public areas of the ship were very well kept. I enjoyed the large well appointed lounges and dining rooms. Some lounges permitted smoking as well. The meals that were included were okay. The best was lobster night and barbecue ribs and chicken for lunch on the last day. The rest were just okay. You want great food??? Buy a night at one of the four upscale restaurants. It appears to me they have down gauged the standard food offerings to entice you to spend money on the good restaurants. (We had one premium meal with our dinner theater production. The food was fabulous - but we paid $49 per person to get it.) Beer, wine, and drink prices were standard for any restaurant or resort. Happy hour?? Never. Full price plus 15% for every drink. Workout for free, but attend a yoga session and be charged $12. Spa services are okay and they put the sell on you for more during your session. We booked all our shore excursions through the Royal Caribbean website, but several people we talked to did not and had no problems getting independent tours once we landed at each port. I'm sure they paid less than we did as well. So, bottom line, if you are looking for an all inclusive cruise experience, Royal Caribbean is not it. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
Overall the cruise was good, The Radiance of the seas is a beautiful ship and the fact that we could get up to the bow all during the cruise was a bonus. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. I ... Read More
Overall the cruise was good, The Radiance of the seas is a beautiful ship and the fact that we could get up to the bow all during the cruise was a bonus. We found the staff to be very friendly and helpful throughout the cruise. I had originally booked an ocean view on deck 3, but 3 weeks before the cruise I was able to upgrade us to one of the family ocean views on deck 7 (room 7504) as it had not yet been reserved. The family ocean view is around 328 square feet as opposed to the 161 square feet of the standard ocean view. You also have tons of drawers and closet space for just two people. The second bedroom with the single bed was not used by us other than to store our luggage while not in use. The cabin is all the way forward on the starboard side with two large windows looking out over the front of the ship, it was quite a nice view. There was next to no noise in this room, other than the one day we stopped in Icy Strait point, they dropped the anchor at around 06:30 in the morning and you really heard it go, a minor point as we were up at this point and it doesn't happen all the time. The first two days were rough seas, though it didn't bother us much, being as we were near the bow we did hear the occasional large wave striking the bow, but it was not really that loud. If you are susceptible to sea sickness though you might consider something closer amidships as it will reduce the motion for you. The fitness center is very good, clean large and lots of treadmills stationary bikes and rowing machines. There are lots of classes every day for those that want to work out. There were Yoga, spinning and stretching classes as well as a workout program that could be signed up for that had multiple classes every day with an instructor. The running track outside is good with about 7 laps per mile, there are two water fountains up forward near the running track if you don't carry your own water bottle. The first day we received an invitation from one of the Canadian members of the crew to a lunch at Geovanis restaurant, she was inviting a number of Canadians to discuss how we felt the services were for Canadians in general. We made a few comments at this time but really we had only just gotten on the ship and had not really had the chance to try most things yet. Geovanis Restaurant (lunch): Excellent food (and lots of it), great service and the deserts looked very good (we did not eat the dessert as we were going to the Chef's table that night. Chef's Table: All I can say is Wow! The food was superb with a wine paring for every course (5). The chef came out before every course and explained the dish, how it was made, the ingredients and the inspiration, then the sommelier would come out and explain the wine pairing. We were only 6 that night though the chef's table normally does not sit with less than 10 and can handle up to 14. Our cruise only had 3 nights where the chef's table was held. The chef's table costs $95.00 per person and at the end of the meal you get two aprons and a Royal Caribbean cook book per couple. They send a nice invitation to your stateroom the night before inviting you to the dinner, it explains where to go to meet up prior to your meal. The Maitre-D comes out and sits you down outside the chef's table dining area and you are served with a glass of champagne prior to going in and sitting down for the meal. Main dining room (Cascades deck 4): The service was quite good and our waiter was very friendly and helpful, she had no problems getting another plate of food if we wanted seconds on something. Unfortunately the food was quite ordinary and the deserts were uninspired. I can not think of any of the meals were I was able to say wow at the end of the meal. We have previously sailed with Princess and every meal in the main dining rooms there felt like a five star restaurant, sadly I cannot say the same for the dining room here, at most I would give the food a 3.0 out of 5. I do not feel that the pastry/dessert chef was very inspired as the desserts did not have that extra touch that made them pop and really stand out. We only had 6 people at our table at the first service at 6 PM (the table was capable of 10 people). The my time diners were for the most part up on deck 5 of the main dining room. We had a large window next to our table with good views. One night we had a loud buzzing noise coming from somewhere near the window and it took them about 20 minutes to find out what it was and stop it, however the dining room staff (including the head waiter and Maitre-D) was evidently doing everything to try and find out what it was, the wait was for the maintenance staff. Our Head waiter was very friendly and we had quite a few lively conversations with him between courses so for our dining room staff I can give a 4.5 out of 5. Windjammer restaurant: Lots of choice including lots of fresh fruit and vegetables and there was never a lack of anything. Again quality of the food 3.0 out of 5, but this is the buffet restaurant and I do not hold it to as high a standard as the main dining room, for some reason we always had coffee grounds in our cups of coffee, keep an eye out when you get near the bottom of your cup. The coffee was not the greatest, usually pretty bitter. Cafe Latte-tudes: Good Starbucks coffee with a dessert counter. The cookies they served were rock hard and you could have used them to break the windows (everyone was complaining about this that I heard try them), the brownie bars were ok but the other desserts were uninspired and the lemon poppy seed cake that they serve in all starbucks wasn't nearly as good as what they serve up here at the starbucks in Canada. There is a nice seating area overlooking the centrum and you could listen to the music from below where the entertainers come to play. 3.5 out of 5. Maybe I was spoiled by the coffee shop on the princess cruise ships but there they had a pastry chef out doing him(or her)self on the desserts being served. Park Cafe: Up on deck 11, a nice little food corner in the solarium. Food was generally good and they had coffee pots out at all hours. The only problem was the coffee pot got put out at about 11PM-midnight and would not be changed till around 5:30-6 AM. If you got up early and tried to have a coffee it was lukewarm leftovers (yeuch). I did complain about this to our waiter and the second to last morning there was a fresh and hot pot of coffee on at 4:30 when I went up ( we are from the eastern time zone, 4 hours ahead of Alaska time, and I kept getting up early hoping to get pictures of whales, dolphins and other wildlife). Again as with everywhere else the deserts were ordinary and the cookies were hard as rock. Quill and compass pub: The decor was very good, a nice little pub, near the casino that is well designed. Ok, this is supposed to be a pub, but only two beers on tap ? There was lots of choice in bottles but come on, I expect a pub to have lots on tap with at least one or two British ales or stouts. Apparently the sports bar it replaced in the refit had 3 tap stations with 3 beers/ales each. There is apparently not enough room to put casks under the bar. I give them a B+ for effort but a C- for execution of the concept. The cruise critic meet and greet: The cruise director did a very good job here, everyone that signed up had invitations sent to their room and there was a prize for showing up and a raffle for prizes. We won a nice bottle of chardonnay that we had with supper. We took the warm one with us to the main dining room and they exchanged it for a cold one from the wine cooler. It was nice talking with other people from the boards. Transfer from Anchorage to Seward by train: We were originally to check in our bags at the downtown Marriott hotel and from there we would be transferred to the airport to get on the train. As I had a rental car from the airport I checked with the Royal Caribbean rep at the Marriott 2 nights prior to see if we could just drop our bags at the airport and get directly on the train there. She said no problems and took our names. We turned in our rental car at the airport Friday morning and went directly to the Royal Caribbean kiosk they had set up there in the baggage claim area. We dropped our bags there, filled out some paperwork and went to the train terminal to await the train departure, no problems. Our bags went separately and they showed up at our room just after supper. The train trip was magnificent, we had glass topped cars that gave spectacular views, for those of us taking pictures, the upper half of all the doors between the train cars were open so we could get good views for pictures without the glass in the way. The trip from the portage area up through the mountain pass to Seward was spectacular, all I can say is if you are deciding between the bus and the train, take the train. It costs a bit more but it is well worth it, you also have very comfortable seats with a bar and hot food service (costs extra). The check in process was quick and uneventful, it took about 25 minutes from the time we walked into the terminal to the time we boarded the ship. Shore excursions: The shore excursions were excellent, when we got off the ship there was always someone waiting with a sign and directing us to where we had to go to start the excursions. The tour guides were knowledgeable and friendly in all cases and the transport was comfortable and rapid. We did the Photo safari by land and by sea in Juneau, excellent guide, great transport and great chances to photograph wildlife and scenery. Lots of Humpback whales, eagles and seals. On the land portion we got a great view of the mendenhall glacier. White pass train in Skagway: Great scenery, the only hiccup we had was when one of the locomotives had a problem, fortunately we were about 5 km from the maintenance yards so they just backed up, took off the engine set and replaced it quickly. Great ride and I recommend it to anyone who loves trains and great scenery. In Icy strait point we did a whale watching tour, lots of whales and seals with a few eagles. We got to watch one young eagle that kept diving at the water to grab something but kept coming up claws empty. In Ketchikan we went on the Wilderness tour and crab feast. Nice bus ride out to the lodge where we boarded a boat to go and see how they pull up crab pots. Nice boat ride with lots of scenery. The crab feast was great (dungeness crab), great food, great service and a lot of fun. I even managed not to make too much of a mess of myself when eating the crab, not always easy to do :) . Laundry: The only way to do laundry on the ship is to send your clothes to the laundry department (with the usual high cost) via the bags provided in the room. No coin op laundry machines as they have on other cruise lines. I prefer having the capability to go and do some laundry myself if needed. On a 7 day cruise it is not much of an issue, but for a longer cruise it would be a problem as you don't want to have tons of clothes with you during the voyage (not to mention most airlines charger per checked bag now). We work out a lot and if you have a sea day for your last day you can always get some done so as not to have to do a ton of laundry when you get home. Theatre: The first show we went to was done by the comedian Marty Allen, at 90 years old he still puts on a great show, as he stated in his own words, its not often someone can keep everyone laughing without resorting to vulgar language and toilet humor but he does it. We loved his show. Unfortunately his was the only show we were able to sit all the way through, the other shows were ok but we just weren't able to sit through more that about 20 minutes to a half an hour. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We have been using Celebrity for the past few cruises and knew (we thought) that the two lines were comparable in quality. No longer--they have become the B- in the RCL FAMILY. The food is definitely below the standards set by ... Read More
We have been using Celebrity for the past few cruises and knew (we thought) that the two lines were comparable in quality. No longer--they have become the B- in the RCL FAMILY. The food is definitely below the standards set by Celebrity in the dining room and the Windjammer is the equivalent of a lower mid class buffet in your hometown. The same food every lunch and pastries and far below Celebrity. In the room no toiletries, no chocolate on the pillow at night, no newspaper in the guest relations area, towels at the pool require sign in and sign out (I pay $4000 for a vacation and they are afraid I may walkoff with a $4 towel with their name on it!!!). No ice cream bar or goodies at 5 PM when you come back from an all day excursion and they even charge $150 for the galley and backstage tour that Celebrity does for free for Captains club. Normally we never purchase meals in the specialty restaurants, since we are already paying for food and the idea of paying for one you are not eating and paying for a second is not in my wheelhouse; however, since the the meals in the dining room were so unsatisfactory we purchased the three restaurant package and were very satisfied. Any of them could make it as free standing site. This trip the highlight entertainer was 90 year of Marty Allen doing the same act I saw 30+ years ago. The production show was OK but far superior on Celebrity- and the cruise director had the personality of my accountant- he was invisibile most of the time. The ports were excellent and the staff was friendly and helpful. The ship itself is quite pretty but dated. Rooms are smaller than in the new ships being built today, we had a veranda on deck 8 and the veranda only held deck chairs not lounges. Bathroom really tiny, and shower floods after one use so towels on floor are a necessity for safety. All in all since prices are similar strongly suggest you look at Celebrity for you cruise needs. We are though with RCL. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
This was my 21 cruise, 5th time in Alaska and 2nd time on the Radiance of the Seas. We have left from Seattle, Vancouver, Whittier and Seward. We have visited most of the ports and taken a land tour into Denali and McKinley. We have ... Read More
This was my 21 cruise, 5th time in Alaska and 2nd time on the Radiance of the Seas. We have left from Seattle, Vancouver, Whittier and Seward. We have visited most of the ports and taken a land tour into Denali and McKinley. We have cruised with Princess 4 times and 1 time with Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is a beautiful ship and I was really looking forward to this trip. Our flight to Anchorage was nice and on time and our stay at the Marriott downtown was quite nice. In fact the Marriott had some of the best food we had on this trip. We took the Alaska Railroad to Seward. The trip was quite nice and the scenery is beautiful. The only downside was we went directly from the train to the ship and dinner arriving at 6PM. We did not get to our room until 8PM, so we did not have time to see Seward. I was hoping I could rate this trip higher then 3 stars, but in retrospect, I couldn't. We returned on August 19th. The food on this ship was by far the worst we have experienced on 21 cruises. The first night 4 out of 6 people had to send there prime rib back because it looked so bad. This continued every night with any meat. The fish was good. We ate in Chops the 2nd night and my husband got an upset stomach 20 minutes after dinner. Chops was pretty empty both times we ate there. We felt the entertainment was also lacking. Our bathtub also leaked every day. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Alaska is so beautiful and overwhelming in size. We feel so fortunate that we were able to visit. RC's 5-day land trip was fabulous - excellently organized, top-notch accommodations, tour guides very knowledgeable, good ... Read More
Alaska is so beautiful and overwhelming in size. We feel so fortunate that we were able to visit. RC's 5-day land trip was fabulous - excellently organized, top-notch accommodations, tour guides very knowledgeable, good recommendations for free time and for food. On the Radiance, food was TERRIBLE. We ate in the specialty restaurants for 3 of the 7 nights just to avoid the main dining room. Our dining room waiter even tried to discourage us from ordering second or replacement items. Was this to save money? At Guest Services, we received many different answers to the same questions; only the top wait staff and our room steward seemed to be trained properly. The ship was clean, although using a disinfectant upon entering the dining areas seemed to be optional, no staff was monitoring that. Our room was lovely, with a small sitting area. Show time was excellent. If you go on Royal Caribbean, don't miss PIANO MAN! We aren't seasoned cruisers, although we did tour New Zealand in Jan 2008 on the Sapphire Princess, where everything was top-notch. We were led to believe that Radiance was at the same level, so we were disappointed. We won't be booking any more cruises with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date July 2008
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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