42 Seward Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad ... Read More
We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad experience! Our tour guide Kacie was amazing and tried to resolve everything! She took time and care with each of us and made sure we had the best time! On board the balcony cabin we had was spacious and perfect for to people. The staff from our steward to the bartenders were the best. The food not so much main dining room food was ok but nothing special! We ate at the Chophouse it was terrible both steaks were full of fat and gristle and was unedible! Thankfully the appetizers and salads were filling! The windjammer is same old same old but good for breakfast and lunch! The day of disembarking was a nightmare going into Vancouver airport is an experience let alone with the ship getting you off late shuttle bus lanes are ridiculous we got to the airport 1 hour before our flight and made it to our gate 10 minutes before boarding. My advice do not take shuttle take a taxi! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the ... Read More
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the cruise, which was absolutely amazing with the scenery. The hotels picked for us were amazing and very comfortable. Our tour guide was very friendly, informative, and helpful. Once we got on the ship, things went overal very well, too. We had an ocean view cabin, and a week before the cruise, we were emailed a chance to bid for a balcony. We made the minimum bid, and even with an extremely low chance of getting it, we got the upgrade. The balcony was amazing, especially when we cruised past Hubbard Glacier. The cabin was small but had enough room for both of us. Jaya, our steward was amazing. Anything we needed, he was there. The ship itself is a midsize ship. It doesn't have an ice skating rink, or a wave pool, but it doesn't need it. it has plenty of activities that kept us busy for the week. The trivia was fun, the shows were good, lots of places to get something to drink, and my friend had a blast in the casino. We only ate in the buffet one time for breakfast, and the food was hot, tasty, and varied. Most breakfasts, we had in the dining room, and while fewer choices than the buffet, obviously, the choices of omlettes, fruit, breakfast meats, eggs, was plenty to choose from. For dinner, we purchased the premium restaraunt pass. We ate at Chops and Giovanni's multiple times, Samba Grill Once, and Izumi once. My friend was having mobility issues, so Izumi actually delivered room service for us. All the food was amazing. Ports were great. We did a whale watching dinner cruise in Juneau, and a sled dog ride on wheels in Skagway. I did the duck boat in ketchikan, but wasn't really that impressed with it. it did a quick lap of the city, and didn't go very far once it got into the water. Shopping and dining in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan are good. if you get a chance, take the brothel tour in Skagway. it's a fun tour that doesn't glamorize it, but tells the history. On the whale watch in Juneau, our excursion was the last one back, and my friend and I were literally the last two people on the ship. They closed the doors behind us. That's why we ALWAYS purchase the shore excursions from the ship. The few cons we had were in the way they handled things. The first day, they accidentally sent my main bag with all my clothes to the cabin we had BEFORE we got the upgrade, and I didn't get it until almost 11:30 at night. Debarkation day, we had an excursion in vanciouver. They didn't give us luggage tags for the excursion group, and we almost missed the bus. The bus was getting ready to leave, and our luggage still hadn't come out. Somehow, it came out at the last minute, and we made the bus by 1 minute, having to dash through the terminal, my friend being pushed in a wheelchair. As for technichal, my friend's internet worked fine, but mine didn't work at all over half the time. They tied to reconfigure my device, and it worked a BIT better, but overall not good. I had purchased the streaming speed internet, but they gave only the surfing speed internet. The other problem was our TV set. Sometimes our remote wouldn't work at all, other times the TV would just come back on at random. They said they fixed the problem, but they never did. We just ended up turning down the volume and using the TV as a night light. Other than the minor mis-steps, the cruise was awesome!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
When we arrived in Anchorage the transfers to the Marriott downtown were right there waiting on us. We settled in our room then went downstairs to meet with our tour guide, Debbie. After receiving our tour packet and luggage tags we ... Read More
When we arrived in Anchorage the transfers to the Marriott downtown were right there waiting on us. We settled in our room then went downstairs to meet with our tour guide, Debbie. After receiving our tour packet and luggage tags we were off to find something to eat. We found dining at 49th State was a good choice. The next morning my group of 14 (family & friends) was off bright & early on the Wilderness Express train to Denali. Our bus driver, Crystal, had taken everyone’s luggage to the lodge. Our guide on the train, Mark, was very knowledgeable as well as comical. We were on the train long enough to have breakfast as well as lunch. The menu was short but what everyone had was good. Upon arriving at the Denali Park Village, the only issue I had with this stop was what we did upon arrival. Instead of going right to the lodge we were told we could spend time at the Visitor’s Center. The bus was already there as well as our luggage was in each room. By the time we got into our rooms, we wanted to find some dinner. Because of the delay in checking in, getting the next shuttle into Denali would be too late. So, we went back to the lodge and found something. As everyone says, food in Alaska isn’t cheap. Our room at the lodge was overlooking the river so we left our window open to hear the river during the night. The next day we got up even earlier to make our 4:55am tour. We were told by the coffee shop they would open at 4:30am so we were there at that time. The people working at the coffee shop had no idea that the workers from the previous evening had told us they would open at 4:30am. So, it was a hustle to get something to eat before our tour bus left. We had a box snack which was included in the tour but that wasn’t enough to hold us until we met for lunch several hours later. Being so early, we were the first bus into the park where we beat the crowds. This cost us an additional $70 pp but it was well worth it. The bus had a top-notch camera and the driver was able to project it onto the screen on the bus. We saw foxes, bears, moose, caribou, Dal sheep, ground squirrels and snow-shoe rabbits. We had an amazing view of Mt Denali. The day was sunny, and it wasn’t that cold. On our trip in 2006 we didn’t go in as far, but we did go in further than what the Denali Natural History tour does now unless you pay the extra money. At the end of the tour everyone met for lunch then hopped on the bus for Talkeetna. The Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge was better than lodge in Denali. The view from our room was of the Denali mountains. We could see the peak of Mt. Denali as it looked like it was floating on a cloud. The next morning, we had breakfast in the dining room of the lodge. Then our bus was bound for our next stop. We stopped in Anchorage for a couple of hours. Being short on time, I chose to eat again at 49th State since I knew the food was good. After lunch I found a liquor store to purchase my 2 bottles of wine. The Hotel Alyeska was better yet. After settling in our room, several of us took the tram up to see the sights from there. We chose to dine at the lodge dining room which the food was very good. It seemed like all we had done since arriving in Anchorage was eating so that night I just had soup. The next morning, several of our group went to the dining room and some went to the coffee shop for breakfast where they served Starbucks. Then we were off to Seward. It was a cloudy rainy day, but we were on the bus. We first went to the Alaska Wildlife Center and saw rescued animals to be nursed back to health if necessary then released back into their habitat if they could be. We saw bears, caribou, a bear cub recently found, an eagle missing a wing and a lynx. Off to our last stop in was Alaska Sea Life Center. This had all sorts of water creatures. Sea lions, puffins, octopus’ and more. Then off to Seward for our home for the next 7 days. Looked forward to being able to unpack everything. Embarkation was a breeze, I believe due to the hour of 3:00pm rather than earlier in the day. Our group then became 16 as my cousin and her husband joined us for the cruise. Leaving at 8pm wasn’t too bad since it was still very light outside. Our group had MTD and I was only allowed to make reservations for no more than 10 at a time before the cruise. So, I went to the reservation person to see if I could get all 14 of us at the same area in the dining room. I didn’t think it would be possible for a table for 14 people, but the manager said if we went at 8:15pm the next night on we could all be seated at the same table. The next night came and they had us seated at a table of 10 and one for 6. OK, we weren’t that far from our group, so I let it ride. Upon leaving the dining room, I stopped to ask, again, if we could have tables closer to together. First day was sailing all day then Hubbard Glacier. I guess it was because there were so many ice chunks in the water that we couldn’t get as close as we did last time we did this cruise. This made going to Mendanhall all that much better. Juneau wasn’t a very pretty day. We chose to do the Whale Watch, Salmon Bake & Mendanhall Glacier. I’ve been on this excursion before and wanted to do a smaller vessel, so it was easier to see a whale instead of trying to look through several people at the window. But I was voted down. Not caring for fresh salmon, I chose the chicken at the Orca Lodge. Some in my group liked the salmon and some didn’t. The vegetables were bland and cooled off quickly. The slaw was dry as we couldn’t tell if there was any dressing on it. But the brownies were good. Then off to the small gift shop where we purchased the smoked salmon they gave us on the whale vessel. They took us back to the dock where we boarded a bus to the Mendenhall glacier. It was windy and a drizzle rain, but the sites were so beautiful. I wish we had had more time to walk to the glacier, but it was too far for our hour stop allowed. Sunday night we were at a table for 14. My nephew’s dessert cookie was so hard, the ice cream on top didn’t affect it at all. The waiter knew it was hard because I saw him smiling when my nephew was making his comments. Skagway was the next stop. Seven of my group chose to take the White Pass Railroad up to Emerald Lake where they met their guide from Dyea Dave’s. They sang the praises of Dyea Dave’s. They had lunch at The Bistro in Carcross, then stopped at Tutshi Sled Dog Tours to play/visit with the sled dogs. The pictures they took looked like they had a wonderful day. They saw 7 bears along the roadside with 2 of them being cubs. I chose horseback riding in Tongass National Forest. I normally don’t have the opportunity to ride so this was my highlight. The trail guides gave us history of the park and took photos of us on our horses. Monday night we were seated at 2 tables of 8 next to each other. Eduardo was by far the best waiter we had so far. Tuesday night we planned to go to Chops Grill, so I requested that Wednesday night could we have those same tables with Eduardo. Next stop, Icy Strait Point. I remembered why I didn’t get off the ship when we visited in 2006. My daughter-in-law and I paid $5 each for a shuttle into town. There wasn’t really anything to see or do. Although, I thought the colorful houses there were pretty. Back on the shuttle, we browsed the shops before boarding the ship. I was really looking forward to our dinner at Chops for $41 pp which included gratuity. I had the filet and it was SOOOO good. My husband had the NY strip, son had the rib eye as well as others choosing the same items from the menu. They accommodated us on Wednesday night in the dining room at Eduardo’s tables. Ketchikan was our final stop. Some of us went on the Duck tour excursion. I had been on a duck before, but this was different scenery and our guide was very knowledgeable of Ketchikan since he was a native. Upon getting into the ocean, there were eagles just sitting on rock formations. Seeing eagles like we see birds every day at home was spectacular. We had a couple of hours before our next excursion, so we found someplace to have lunch. Ten of us stopped at Pirates Edge/. The waiter told us that due to the number, 18% would be added on each bill. Six of us were seated and we waited for the rest of our group to arrive. Due to some of us being on a time restraint we told our waiter that we’d go ahead and order. His response was, “what do you want?” He didn’t come down to our end of the table, he just stood at the end and took orders. My husband and I ordered the halibut & fries, one soda, crab cake appetizer and everything came to $56. There was a kitchen fee added also. The waiter reminded us of the 18% gratuity added but we could always add more. We all heard him mention he was part owner. When we left I told the hostess that he was lucky he added the 18% because he wasn’t a very good waiter and his attitude was very poor. Especially for being part owner. She was surprised at this statement. I found out later he told the remaining people in our group that there was miscommunication and he wasn’t part owner. The last excursion was the lumberjack show. It was cute but so rehearsed. We did enjoy their chopping and log climbing. Then back to the ship. Thursday was our last sea day and it wasn’t very nice outside. Really windy, cool, foggy and cloudy. So most of our day was spent inside the ship. Since some of us didn’t want to eat so late, we chose to have dinner in the Windjammer on Thursday evening. It was seafood night and things were very good. Then off to finish packing. Since we needed to disembark early, we set our luggage in the hall and went to bed. We chose to pay $30 pp and get the transfer to the airport. Our departure info was to be turned in by Monday at 9:00pm. My cousin asked guest services and was told she could set her luggage out and not see it again until she reached the Vancouver airport. This was not a choice we were given. She just happened to ask about it. Of course, we were too late turning in our forms so all we could get was the transfer. So we had to look for our luggage when we got off the ship. They had numbers on the tags, so it wasn’t as bad as I had remembered in the past of the warehouse with luggage as far as the eye could see. Then loaded on the bus and off for a 45-minute drive to the airport. After going thru both Canadian and US customs we were ready to find food and wait until our flight was ready. The SHIP: I was worried that it had shower curtains rather than a door but that really wasn’t as big a deal as I had expected. I wish I had known that balcony cabins on deck 7 you could converse with your neighbor without a divide between them. This would have been good for our group having many cabins in a row. Too bad I didn’t know, I would have reserved on deck 7 instead of 8. The Quest was fun but not as much fun as on the bigger ships, where having it in a bigger area or showing it on the big screen, where there is more room for people to run with their items. There wasn’t much room for sitting so people were standing and you couldn’t see much. There was a musical band playing right across from Guest Services where it was hard to talk or hear them. Our first time traveling as Diamond members. We were the only ones in our group so it was nice to be able to get our 3 drinks each at most bars to enjoy with the rest of our group. Wasn’t a big fan of the way they did table reservations. The comedian on the first night was probably the best. Choices for entertainment wasn’t the best. The impressionist was pretty good as well. The food quality and service in the dining room just wasn’t up to par. The windows in The Colony lounge had lost their seals and it was hard to see the view out. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Overall great experience...excursions were fantastic! Juneau...walked off ship and used a blue bus to go to Mendenhall...easy ride...wonderful short hike out to Nugget Falls and the glacier...nice visitor center. Skagway...ship ... Read More
Overall great experience...excursions were fantastic! Juneau...walked off ship and used a blue bus to go to Mendenhall...easy ride...wonderful short hike out to Nugget Falls and the glacier...nice visitor center. Skagway...ship excursion on the White Pass and Yukon Route Train...breathtaking views and good narration by staff...water and bathrooms available in each car...train located adjacent to pier...enjoyed a walk into town, lots of fun shops. Icy Strait Point...ship excursion...whale and mammal quest boat trip...loved the entire trip...saw whales, otters, seals, eagles..really nice crew...bathroom and snacks available onboard. Ketchikan...ship excursion...snorkeling...wow, great fun and very easy...good group of participants of all shapes, sizes and ages (i am 63)... close to ship...getting into wet suit was biggest challenge but worked great...very comfortable on a 56 degree day in 55 degree water...maybe not what you might think of for an Alaskan adventure but well worth it...highly recommend. All the ports were an easy walk from ship and had a little something different to offer. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
The hunt for bears...2 Brits in Alaska .... We booked this cruise the day it went on sale, wanting to get the coveted aft 9256. We then spent 2 years planning our trip. First lesson Alaska is very very expensive. What ever your ... Read More
The hunt for bears...2 Brits in Alaska .... We booked this cruise the day it went on sale, wanting to get the coveted aft 9256. We then spent 2 years planning our trip. First lesson Alaska is very very expensive. What ever your budget is... double it! We flew from London to Seattle, spent just over 24 hours there. Hyatt House Hotel is right opposite the space needle and Chihuly. Ask for room 811...fabulous views. We loved Chihuly and we loved Pike place market and generally we loved Seattle. Given our 8 hr time difference we were still up early the next day. Breakfast in Pikes market with wonderful views, a quick emergency tee shirt buying trip as the weather was shaping up to be much warmer than we expected, then an Uber to the airport and ready for the next part... Tip: go up the Columbia SkyView 73rd floor observatory instead of the Space Needle because it’s cheaper at $14.75 ( also offers an over 55 for under $10) it is taller, and your photos will have the Space Needle in them! We flew Alaskan up to Anchorage. They charge $25per bag in addition to the air fare. You pay this at the kerbside. Stayed for 2 nights at the Ramada. In desperate need of renovation, but comfortable beds and friendly staff. A few blocks from the centre. Free shuttle from the airport and to the train station. Had a super meal at Tequila 61. Tip: Hire a car via Enterprise on E 5th - it was only $160 for 3 days ( cheaper than hiring at the airport.) Drove down to Girdwood, the Wildlife centre and Whittier on Sunday. On Monday we drove up to Denali, via Talkeetna for lunch. Quaint little town. We stayed 2 nights at the Home Dome in Healy. Ate at Prospectors Pizza and 49th brewing. Did the transit to Eielson. $50pp. Not much success on bears....the van behind had a mother and 2 cubs lie in the road in front of them! Tip: We had bought The Milepost beforehand. I wouldn’t say it is a must have though. Viewpoints are well signposted on the road. Back to Anchorage and one more night in the Ramada. Then early start for the 6;45 train to Seward. You must be at station about an hour beforehand and you have to go into the office to collect your tickets. No one tells you that on the paperwork. Suitcases checked through to our Hotel in Seward which was unexpected and efficient. If you can afford it, pay for the Gold service, fabulous glass domed railcards, breakfast included and 2 free alcoholic beverages. Yes I know it was only 6:45 but free champagne is good at any hour right?. $212pp Seward: stayed at Harbor 360. Nice views but very basic breakfast included on paper plates. DIY bagels and some yoghurts. At $339 for one night I expected more. Dinner at Chinooks... another $120 meal... Northern Latitudes Whale watching.. small boat and only 4 of us. Superb experience and highly recommended $163pp. Hotel transported our cases to the cruise ship for us. Easiest check in ever. Muster was at 6 and sailaway was at 8 FYI: When the ship was docked in Seward there was an additional 7% tax added to the bar bill. Random ship thoughts: Wi-fi is $12.99 or $17.99. With careful use of our D+ perk we were able to get 2x 24 hr free and then a 3 day package free ($38.98 was the D+ allowance) Have not even seen the CD -apparently he’s called Ken Jones. Have not been to any shows as they are at 7 ( clashes with CL drinks) and 8;45 ( clashes with dinner) so cannot comment. Steve Mudflap Mcgrew City of Dreams PengFei The Long Run ( Eagles tribute) Piano Man Movies shown included: Greatest Showman Pitch Perfect 3 Justice League 15:17 to Paris Wrinkle in Time Peter Rabbit Star Wars Jumanji Formal nights were Hubbard Glacier and ISP days. 1 hour clock change between Ketchikan and Inside Passage Food I’m afraid was totally unforgettable, bland and the poorest I have ever had on any RCI cruise (and I've done 30). Lobster tails last night served with Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
Always wanted to see Alaska and the scenery didn't disappoint. Took the Grand view train down from Anchorage to Seward which was a highlight of the trip. Embarkation process was fast and easy. The shore tours were also fantastic. ... Read More
Always wanted to see Alaska and the scenery didn't disappoint. Took the Grand view train down from Anchorage to Seward which was a highlight of the trip. Embarkation process was fast and easy. The shore tours were also fantastic. The White Pass train excursion was excellent and our favorite shore tour. The Radiance of the Seas on the other had was a bit of a disappointment. This was my 10th cruse on Royal Caribbean and this ship was not up to my expectations. The activities & entertainment was lackluster at best. The ship looked tired and in need of a makeover. Lots of rust on the exterior especially on the balcony area. Some of the public rooms had a musty smell. They also had computer problems the first two days with made using the sea pass difficult & we had to go to guest services three times to get the issue resolved. We took advantage of the beverage package which worked out nice once we got the issues with the sea passes straightened out. The service at the shore excursion desk was poor. We had an issue with one of our prepaid tours and the staff at the shore excursion desk basically couldn't care less. The debarkation process ran a little behind schedule but we were able to make our 1:00pm flight out of Vancouver OK. If I do Alaska again I would most likely choose a different ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
We very much like the Radiance class of ships. And have taken the Brilliance many times. There are a lot of windowed public areas- which works great for the Alaskan weather. The Diamond Lounge and the host JD were fantastic. And the ... Read More
We very much like the Radiance class of ships. And have taken the Brilliance many times. There are a lot of windowed public areas- which works great for the Alaskan weather. The Diamond Lounge and the host JD were fantastic. And the cruise, the crew and the views were wonderful. Our room steward was Ery, and hewas attentive and caring. Chops Grill is first class and a super food. The Windjammer dining room was very disappointing. As the food was very mediocre, not a big variety, and seemed no where as good as on the Brilliance of the Seas. The Windjammer staff did not seem engaged. The Balcony room on the port side was great going south as seeing the view was amazing. Also ask to go on the "behind the scenes entertainment tour" on the last sea day...and the entertainers are very nice and accommodating. Also would recommend that you take the Wilderness Express train from Anchorage to Denali on the way up and spend a few days at the Denali Bluffs Lodge. Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
We chose this cruise because the timing worked best for us as we celebrated our 33rd anniversary. The dining experience was fantastic. There was a mix up (we wanted Traditional Dining) and we ended up with My Time Dining. They did let us ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the timing worked best for us as we celebrated our 33rd anniversary. The dining experience was fantastic. There was a mix up (we wanted Traditional Dining) and we ended up with My Time Dining. They did let us book the same table (by a window) for every night and we had a lovely couple that did the same next to us. The staff was awesome and the food was good! It helped a potentially sour situation become a good experience. Our cabin was good with a awesome steward. The ship is maintained (they were painting when we were in port). I do wish the adult Jacuzzi would be monitored since there were obviously kids in it under the age of 16... The only complaint I have was when we checked out the Next Cruise. The attendant we talked to didn't seem interested in helping us book another cruise, and gave us very little info. I also am unhappy with the change that Royal has made on the deposits (not being changeable & the amount) for frequent cruises loyal to Royal... Overall though it was a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise tour for multiple reasons. Our 40th Anniversary fell during the cruise plus we really wanted to see the brown bears in Katmai National park. Unfortunately the tour was cancelled for weather. We made some good friends ... Read More
We chose this cruise tour for multiple reasons. Our 40th Anniversary fell during the cruise plus we really wanted to see the brown bears in Katmai National park. Unfortunately the tour was cancelled for weather. We made some good friends on the tour that we hope to keep in touch with. The trip to Denali National Park was enjoyable as well as our train trip back to Talkeetna. The lodge at Denali Park Village was nice, the one in Talkeetna was exceptional. Embarkation took about 45 minutes. Because of our pretour, we didn't arrive until almost 4:30pm. We took advantage of the photo package before the cruise began and were able to get every picture the ship took for one set price. We ended up coming home with 76 8x10's and 5 5x7's which turned out to be less than $2.50 a piece instead of the $15-$20 they normally charge. The Radiance is still a lovely ship even though she has some years on her. We were in a balcony cabin and I can say the room was very nice. They were doing some upkeep to the balcony during our port days putting fresh paint and varnish on. I took advice from a prior review and brought a plug in air freshener for the bathroom. They do tend to not smell the best. The food was better than the reviews I'd read had led me to believe in the main dinning room and our dinner at Giovanni's was amazing. The Windjammer had good food but my husband misses the sushi they used to offer there. The sushi at Izumi's was not the type he enjoyed. We didn't get to all the shows but the ones we did see, we enjoyed. The comedians were funny and the ship's band was very good. We had excursions that we booked outside of Royal for most of the ports visited. Unfortunately we had rain and cool weather almost every day. Even so, we got the most of our visits there. Hubbard Glacier - the captain spent quite a while here to allow us great views of the glacier and calving occurring. Juneau - We bought our tickets for the round trip bus ride to Mendenhall Glacier just as you get off the ship. Because of the rain and clouds, we did not take the tram but spent some time at the Red Dog Saloon. Don't forget to try the Duck Fart! Skagway - This was my favorite stop. I loved that the national parks have restores some of the historical buildings and offer viewings free along with a movie about the gold rush. We booked our White Rail Pass tickets independent from the ship. The train took us to the Yukon in BC were we boarded a bus that stopped periodically to let us take pictures. Hoonah/Icy Straights Point - A very rainy day prevented us from walking in the forest as we had planned but we looked around the cannery before we caught our whale watching tour, also booked separate from the ship. G-Wind was exceptional. There were only 6 of u, 4 adults and 2 children, on the boat. We saw not only humpback whale, which we got to see bubble feed 3 times, we also saw killer whales! Ketchikan - This port seemed to have the best prices on Alaskan souvenirs so we did our shopping here. Know for it's salmon, this is probably the best place to buy it. We booked a flight plane tour from Island Wings. The owner was our pilot and the trip was amazing. Again rain kept us from landing on the sand but she did land us in the middle of the fjords on a pier so we could take pictures. Figures the weather cleared once we returned! We decided to stay overnight in Vancouver so were the last to disembark. They really have this organized and in less than an hour we were in our hotel room. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Radiance class is our favorite and we wanted to see Alaska. The land trip was wonderful...all hotels were nice and the tour guide, Lynda, and bus driver, Ashley, were better than amazing! The ship staff were wonderful! The only ... Read More
Radiance class is our favorite and we wanted to see Alaska. The land trip was wonderful...all hotels were nice and the tour guide, Lynda, and bus driver, Ashley, were better than amazing! The ship staff were wonderful! The only reason for taking a star off is the main dining experience has gone down a bit. It was very clear that the wait staff and chefs are not able to handle milk allergies, a surprise since we have had wonderful service on other ships. It can be as simple as offering steamed vegetables. Fortunately, that is an easy allergy to self-manage, whereas a peanut allergy could be a disaster. Also, the sheers and drapes in our cabin were in terrible condition but that must be hard to keep up with if passengers are not careful in opening and closing balcony doors. All in all, it was a great cruise and we would definitely sail Radiance again! Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
In 2015, we spent the entire summer touring the interior of Alaska in our motor home and vowed to come back on a cruise to enjoy the seaboard side. Thus the booking of this southbound cruise starting in Seward on June 9-16, 2017. ... Read More
In 2015, we spent the entire summer touring the interior of Alaska in our motor home and vowed to come back on a cruise to enjoy the seaboard side. Thus the booking of this southbound cruise starting in Seward on June 9-16, 2017. Although the weather was cloudy and rainy most of the time, we still got to see most of the beautiful scenery and enjoy a wonderful time on the Radiance of the Seas. The Cruise Director was an awesome entertainer and kept the joint jumping every night. The ship was beautiful, the shows were all very good and the food was good as well. The Windjammer was a constant traffic jam and seating was scarce. We found all crew members to be polite, efficient and very accommodating from guest services to our room steward. All in all, this was a very enjoyable cruise and we plan on doing it again in a few years. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Pre-cruise tour to Denali Our vacation began with a pre-cruise tour of the Alaskan interior. We used Alaska Airlines which has a monopoly on Alaskan flights. We enjoyed extra legroom in comparison with other airlines, and the flights ... Read More
Pre-cruise tour to Denali Our vacation began with a pre-cruise tour of the Alaskan interior. We used Alaska Airlines which has a monopoly on Alaskan flights. We enjoyed extra legroom in comparison with other airlines, and the flights left on time or early. We were met in baggage claim by Karen and quickly whisked off to Pike’s Lodge ( a rustic motor inn with stuffed animals in the lobby who looked better alive) and dropped off at 11. We waited in the lobby until our room was done at 1:30. Passengers picked up from the airport between 10 am and noon would be better served if pickup would start at noon. As Amanda at the front desk pointed out, the rooms are not guaranteed until 3. Since you have been assigned a specific room, you will not be able to check in until that room has been cleaned. There is a room for you to leave your luggage and a shuttle ($5) which will take you to downtown or the grocery store if you want to get going right away and have some lunch. We were about to finally stick our luggage in the storage room and go for a walk when it was announced that our room was ready. After dropping off our luggage, we walked down the road (no sidewalks most of the way) for 1.1 miles and had lunch at Taco Bell and shopped at the grocery store (which also sells clothes in case you forgot to pack something). There is an excellent ice cream stand across the street from the grocery store as well. At 3 pm, we met our tour guide, John, in the lobby and got an overview of our three day adventure in the interior of Alaska. As both Karen and John pointed out, if you haven't been to the interior of Alaska, you haven’t been to Alaska. The next day, we went on an excellent tour- Gold Dredge 8 Gold Rush History. We learned about the Alaska pipeline and panned for gold. Everyone manages to find some, and you can have the pieces made into a necklace if you wish. Our driver, Tom, took us to downtown Fairbanks where we stopped for lunch. We had crepe at a crepe shop, which was very good. After another night at Pike’s Lodge, Tom drove us to the rail station and we boarded the Wilderness Express to Denali. We loved the train ride. Not any wildlife to see per se, however, the views from the train were great and the service was excellent. We were not hungry, so we did not partake of the breakfast served in the bottom car, however, we did indulge in a few cocktails. Everyone seemed to enjoy everything- the food, the drinks, and the breathtaking scenery. Too soon we arrived in Denali where we left the train and joined the Natural History Tour. We saw moose and caribou from our bus. Very nice tour. We learned that few people actually see Mt. Denali- too far away and usually too many clouds. After the tour, our tour guide dropped us off at Denali Park Village. Regarding this hotel, where to start? John walked us over to building 800 where we were staying since our original building had its water heater go out. Building 800 is a nice, new building, but unfortunately, it appears that is so new that it is not ready for guests. You can turn on any channel you want on the TV as long as it is the History Channel. The signal is so weak that the picture doesn’t come in clearly although you can hear everything ok. So no TV. Then- wait for it- there was only lukewarm water in the shower and sink. The hotel staff tried to fix it to no avail. After waiting for 45 minutes, DH and I took showers anyway. Meanwhile, there are lovely fire pits outside burning gas which no one could use because it was too cold (flurries). We checked out the next morning and Tom drove us to Seward. We stopped on the way at an historic cafe and took pictures of where Mt. Denali was, hiding behind the clouds. We then drove to Anchorage where we stopped for lunch. We had pizza at the mall located only a block from where Tom dropped us off. We then completed our journey to Seward, seeing more moose along the way. Radiance of the Seas Finally, I start my review of Radiance and the cruise itself. Radiance is a lovely ship. I loved his sister ship, Jewel, which DH and I sailed on in Europe in 2008. Some reviewers have stated that the ship needs new carpet and that there is rust. Well, there is rust here and there- but give her a break, she’s exposed to the sea 24/7. The carpets looked new to me and everything seemed nicely furnished. Albert did a great job taking care of our cabin and he always had helpful advice on ports. Food As for the MDR, I would have to agree with other guests that the food has gone downhill. There are smaller portions, which is a good thing as there is so much waste of food on cruise ships. Where there was formally a menu consisting of two pages (both sides), all of the dishes are now listed on one page. Likewise, there used to be four courses- app, soup or salad, entree, and dessert- now it is: starter, entree, and dessert. There are dishes available every night- “classics”. There is one vegetarian dish in the classic section and one new one each night. I often skipped the entree. In Windjammer, some selections were good- the crepes made one day as a speciality, for example; others were rather blah. At least in Windjammer you can see what you are getting unlike the MDR. On the last formal night, we had Baked Alaska, however, it was not the traditional BA. This one featured ice cream with some sort of topping (not meringue) that had been torched. Another interesting dessert which was made specially one night in Windjammer: “Banana Foster” which consisted of caramelized bananas and strawberry?! ice cream. Maybe they ran out of vanilla. Dress Code The dress code in the MDR is not enforced. There were people in jeans every night- even on formal nights. Some wore their baseball caps and t-shirts along with their jeans. Yikes. Some passengers did wear gowns, cocktail attire, suits, or at least a shirt and dress slacks. Three gentlemen wore a tux. Meanwhile, don’t try going to the Windjammer in a spa robe- even to get a glass of water. Apparently the buffet has standards even if the MDR does not. Ports In Juneau, seeing Mendenhall Glacier and the Glacier Gardens are recommended. You can do both on your own. There are tour buses for Mendenhall at the dock or you can take the number three or four bus (Mendenhall Valley)from the transit center for only $2, but you will have to walk aways to the National Park. We took the bus to Glacier Gardens and got a private tour of the trees and gardens from a very talkative guide. Great experience. We then took the bus back (Downtown) to the transit center and walked around to see all of the shops. In Skagway we went to the Red Onion which used to serve drinks downstairs (still do) while providing personalized entertainment upstairs (tours of the rooms are available) during the Gold Rush Era. We walked to the cemetery and around the town. Hubbard Glacier was beautiful. I liked my experience at Sawyer Glacier seven years ago better, however, as our ship went through a narrower passage and we got much closer to the seals resting on the floating ice. Icy Straight Point is a great place to view Bald Eagles (as is Juneau). The town of Hoonah is about a mile walk away (there are also shuttles available). The tourist area located right at the waterfront is very nice with gift shops, restaurants, and there is a small museum describing the old cannery which you can tour. Ketchikan was my favorite, I think. Lovely view of the mountains, lots of shops downtown, and hiking. We first did Rain Bird Trail, walking up the hill from the dock to the trail and then due to a closure of part of the trail, walked down the second stair case and visited the mall a few blocks away. We then walked back along the waterfront to the port and downtown areas. Entertainment There were comedians along with the cast of singers and dancers who performed two production shows. The first was a tribute to various superstar singers; the second is “City of Lights” featuring pop songs performed against the backdrop of cities like Venice and Bombay. The songs didn’t necessarily match the locales: Elton John’s “This Is Your Song” performed against the backdrop of a Venetian opera house- don’t get it. Maybe I just need to see more Las Vegas type shows. One performer- Edward- stood out in particular. He sang, played piano, and danced. Very talented. Our cruise director encouraged us to say hello to the crew, so DH said “How are we doing?” to a crew member dressed in overalls we met while viewing the ocean one evening. He practically ran away from us. Most of the rest of the crew were friendly and helpful. Spa I bought a week's pass to the thermal room and spent most of my time in there alone. Very relaxing, except for one occasion in which a family of four sat in the heated chairs talking the whole time. I guess they don't equate spas with relaxation, as well as peace and quiet. Acknowledgment Events We had a nice CC get-together hosted by two of the ladies in charge of activities. They raffled off totes and bottles of wine. We had a Top Tier Event for Platinum and above in the Colony Club. We each got one cocktail- DH chose the punch one with rum in it, I chose a green colored one that the server said had gin in it. It appeared that if you wanted a second one, you had to flag down one of the servers. I’m used to Celebrity’s events which feature cocktails with names and snack food as well. Royal’s events are obviously shorter and simpler. The captain was very funny and charming. He was as funny as the comedians. Final Thoughts Royal Caribbean’s fleet provide good value type vacations for middle class passengers. If I was affluent, I would try out some of the luxury lines. Celebrity- also RCI- is a step up with better food and more extras for non-elite members. There is a feel of a class system on both Celebrity and Royal’s ships. Clubs which used to be open to all on Celebrity became exclusive to the more elite members. There is a Diamond Club on Radiance for Diamond members to enjoy, and the Top Tier Event as usual included passing out a bottle of wine to the passenger who had the most nights at sea under her belt. Still, for the money, it would be hard to beat RCI. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
This cruise went on sale in March, 2016 for solo travelers. I got an ocean view cabin to myself for about $75 a day. That's a deal! Flying into Anchorage, AK, and flying home from Vancouver, BC, Canada made the air fare cost ... Read More
This cruise went on sale in March, 2016 for solo travelers. I got an ocean view cabin to myself for about $75 a day. That's a deal! Flying into Anchorage, AK, and flying home from Vancouver, BC, Canada made the air fare cost almost as much as the cruise. I picked the shore excursions I wanted, although a lot of them seemed pricey. My cabin was great. My cabin steward, Michael, was awesome. He knew me from the picture that was taken when I boarded so that when I walked down the aisle to my cabin, he greeted me by name the very first time he saw me! Michael took care of everything I needed, always had a smile on his face, and was wonderful to talk to. I chose 'My Time' dining so that I could go to the dining room whenever I was ready. That meant I usually sat at a different table with different people for every meal. Chit-chatting about the same thing over and over again got a little wearing, but I met a lot of very nice people. The food was great. For breakfast and lunch, I usually went to the Windjammer buffet. I never had a problem finding a place to sit except for the very last morning before we got off the ship. The Windjammer was especially empty during days we were in port. The ship itself is nice, but if you look closely, it could use some renovation/refurbishment. A few seat cushions in the Solarium had stuffing breaking out of them. Many of the chairs in the public areas were scratched or dented. The lectures by Dominique about the ports were interesting and helpful. She also gave a nice lecture on bald eagles. I went to one lecture by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The guy who spoke mostly read off his notes. But, the female speaker was much better. She related more details in her stories, and made us care more about the people in her stories. Entertainment was nice, but not out of the ordinary. I caught the tribute show to Billy Joel/Elton John/Barry Manilow. That was really good. The comedian I saw was also quite funny. I went to the Murder Mystery Dinner at Giovanni's. It had cheesy, hammy over-the-top acting, but it was funny. And, I enjoyed being able to question each suspect before determining who-dunnit. The ports of call in Alaska were fascinating. I would do this cruise again in a heartbeat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We chose this cruise because it fit our schedules, was during the school year, and was a one way trip. We figured it would maximize our viewing of scenery and port visits. We flew into Anchorage and stayed overnight. Hampton Inn ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it fit our schedules, was during the school year, and was a one way trip. We figured it would maximize our viewing of scenery and port visits. We flew into Anchorage and stayed overnight. Hampton Inn picked us up and also took us to the train station early the next morning. In fact, they called a cab because the shuttle was on an airport run. They also paid for the cab. A very nice touch! Once in Seward, we caught the Harbor 360/Major Marine Tour shuttle to the hotel. We left our luggage with the staff and then headed to our tour with Major Marine. Great cruise! Salmon and Prime rib was delicious, but you have to pay for your beverages. Check in at the hotel was simple and fast, and the next morning after breakfast, we left our luggage with them again as we toured the city. Our luggage was trucked with the others to the ship at 3pm. How nice! Check in at the ship was the.fastest.ever! Go at 2pm and you will not have any wait at all! We attended two of the major entertainment shows in the Aurora Theater. Boring. I quit after the first show, my friend went to the second show but left early. We did not return for the rest of the cruise. The Schooner bar was very enjoyable with plenty of chairs and sofas and a great view. This was the last cruise of the season. Every store in the ports had massive sales, so if you are shopping, take the last cruise of the season. We booked most of our excursions ourselves. We bought a TourSaver coupon book and used those 2 for 1 coupons for those excursions we were interested in. We also used the coupon book to book the train from Anchorage to Seward. Very cost effective! We did take the All Access Tour on the last day of the cruise. We were taken below decks to various departments - laundry, waste management, food, crew cafeteria, engineering, bridge. It was most enlightening and worth the cost. Our cabin, 9098, was in the center and therefore close to everything. Because this is a smaller ship, it's a breeze to get anywhere. I did notice peeling wallpaper in the Cascades dining room. Not many spots, but they were there. The sandwiches in Park Cafe were very disappointing. There was about a tablespoon of filling for the entire sandwich! We had to get three sandwiches, scrape the filling off of them to combine for one decent sandwich. The food in Windjammer was delicious, plentiful and hot. The food in Cascades was good, but not always hot. Usually warm. And just good tasting, not delicious. Prior to the end of the cruise, RCCL sends out all the information on how/when/where to leave the ship. They printed a nice little card with the various ways to get to the airport or hotels. But they left out the train/subway. It's cheap ($4 CAD), it's more environmentally friendly than any of the other options and yet no mention was made about it. Plus it's much faster! tsk tsk tsk Royal Caribbean. Vancouver customs was very streamlined and easy. Thanks! Still I will sail this itinerary and this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
We took this cruise with 5 other friends (all of us 35-40). Alaska itself is amazing, and I now understand why everyone has this on their bucket list. Go on this cruise for that reason alone. However, if I compare this cruise to other ... Read More
We took this cruise with 5 other friends (all of us 35-40). Alaska itself is amazing, and I now understand why everyone has this on their bucket list. Go on this cruise for that reason alone. However, if I compare this cruise to other RCCL I've taken in the Caribbean, New England, and more, it was meh. The theater entertainment was overall not appealing - the theater was never full. The main dining room didn't include very much Alaskan flavor - apparently it was in the rebranded specialty "cantina". The cruise redeemed itself with a great Cruise Director and staff, with entertaining onboard activities. The trivia was good and had a great variety. The multiple dance parties kept old and young happy, as well as the dance activities. The ship itself has been updated, so it's the RCCL quality I have come to expect. The cabins were well-maintained, and the public areas were in good shape. For fun, go up to 12 and look down on the centrum. I loved the multiple lounge areas that were off of the centrum. Make sure to explore the whole ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
The Alaska ports of call were amazing! Fabulous views, breathtaking scenery, exciting wildlife....a trip to remember! The cruise ship itself was compact and a bit tired/worn - could use a facelift. But the crew were attentive, and the ... Read More
The Alaska ports of call were amazing! Fabulous views, breathtaking scenery, exciting wildlife....a trip to remember! The cruise ship itself was compact and a bit tired/worn - could use a facelift. But the crew were attentive, and the Cruise Director (Jamie) was lively and fun! The evening shows were sufficient but not outstanding - best nights were the two shows with the RCI orchestra and dancers. The meals in Cascades Dining Room were varied and tasty. They were served by attentive staff. Skip the deserts and go for the drink of the day instead!! The buffet (Windjammer) had interesting offerings - but closed at 9 PM (late night snackers could only order from limited room service menu - small charge after midnight). The teen program was disappointing. Traveling with 12 YO girl and 13 YO boy - all activities and teen club were combined ages 12 to 17 YO (that's a pretty big spread of maturity levels). Staff of the youth activities did not appear particularly interested in engaging with or protecting the children in their care. I witnessed boys (maybe 12 or 13 YO) repeatedly climbing up on the low rock ledge over the mini golf area - which put them standing higher than the safety railing facing over the edge of ship - very dangerous) Also inappropriate language (f-bomb) by older youth in presence of younger kids and females which was not corrected by the staff. I would not recommend counting on teen activities staff - particularly for a younger teen or single child alone. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We booked this cruise only two days before departure and had relatively low expectations (given that neither of us had been on a cruise as adults and the age/past reviews of the ship). Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the cruise ... Read More
We booked this cruise only two days before departure and had relatively low expectations (given that neither of us had been on a cruise as adults and the age/past reviews of the ship). Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by the cruise overall and in spite of the somewhat dated decor and facilities on the ship, found it be be quite well-maintained very clean. Far and away, for us, the highlight of the journey was the cruise director (Jamie), who was supported by a fun, energetic staff. Jamie really is an undiscovered gem and a very talented entertainer who made the seven nights memorable. The food/dining experiences were OK, but we definitely didn't have any "wow" moments; the worst part about dining was the staff in the main dining room (Cascades) who were overly attentive. Case in point: during a single meal, we had eight (8) different individuals, managers, and servers come and ask us if we were enjoying our time. Now, I have nothing against checking in with your customers (in fact, I think that many land-based restaurants could improve on this), but when being asked if you're enjoying your meal actually starts to make you not enjoy it, it starts to become a problem. The worst part was when on our second to last night, our server asked us to rate him highly on the review/quality score. This small service issue aside, we really enjoyed our time on the Radiance and sailing with Royal Caribbean, and will definitely be booking another cruise (albeit probably on a newer ship) again soon. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
The stateroom attendants and dining staff were wonderful. Our only issue with Royal Caribbean was the lack of experience with those in charge of transfers and lost luggage. We paid for a seat for a 20 month old, then found out when we ... Read More
The stateroom attendants and dining staff were wonderful. Our only issue with Royal Caribbean was the lack of experience with those in charge of transfers and lost luggage. We paid for a seat for a 20 month old, then found out when we arrived that there was no where for a carseat anyway on the train or on the large bus (which we were told would be a shuttle service....so I expected a smaller situation that might have been unsafe without a car seat). In addition, my travel guide spoke with RC twice about the transfer from our hotel in Anchorage to the train and both times were told there was nothing provided. After paying for a private transfer for our 12 family members (it was raining that day), we came down to find out there WAS a FREE transfer. How did the cruise line miss that detail after we contacted them twice? Together, that was $300 that I paid that was unnecessary. We were only able to use the childcare area once because it stayed booked up. Wish we'd been warned that was a possibility beforehand. A bit frustrating for us. On top of that, our luggage pick up after disembarking was quite chaotic, ending in no luggage for my husband to take home (someone else picked it up before we got there). After ten days of calling and calling, it just arrived at our home. What a wild story with a woman from Israel picking it up in Vancouver, taking it to Seattle before checking her luggage, then taking it all the way back to Vancouver before it could begin its journey home, with a nice wait in customs after we were told it was on its way here and waiting all day at home Friday for luggage that was still in Canada. At least it happened as we were leaving! Again, the cruise itself was wonderful, but I was quite frustrated with the handling of the transfers and lost luggage. I won't automatically book with RC next time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
A cruise and pre-cruise land tour was a great way to experience the vastness that is Alaska. Unfortunately the weather was not ideal but that is uncontrollable. The meals in the Cascades dining room were very well prepared, although ... Read More
A cruise and pre-cruise land tour was a great way to experience the vastness that is Alaska. Unfortunately the weather was not ideal but that is uncontrollable. The meals in the Cascades dining room were very well prepared, although sometimes not as hot as they should be served. Although some appetizers and entree portions were small, you were free to order as many as you liked. They were beautifully plated and some nights it was difficult to choose from the many delectable choices. We once had 5 entrees between the two of us. Our waiter, Bastu, was super friendly. The selection and quality of food and the service in the Windjammer Cafe was excellent. Our room was well maintained. The bed was comfortable. There was a musty smell in the bathroom but after advising the room maintenance personnel about this it was taken care of quickly. The ports of call were good and the view of the Hubbard glacier was great. We went to all of the nightly entertainment shows. Some were just good others were very, very good. Getting on and off the ship while in port was handled efficiently so there was never any lengthy waits. There are many elevators and they were generally quick to arrive. The speaker volume to alert you that a certain elevator was available to take you up or down should be made a little louder. Sometimes the doors closed too quickly so you could miss one if you weren't paying close attention. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We chose Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas because they offer lots of amenities and activities for families with children, as well as adults of all ages. We also liked the ports of call in Alaska. The ship was very clean and well ... Read More
We chose Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas because they offer lots of amenities and activities for families with children, as well as adults of all ages. We also liked the ports of call in Alaska. The ship was very clean and well maintained, but is definitely showing its age in some areas. We felt that the entertainment was definitely focused on older clientele (do wop music, older comedians, quizzes, etc) and was a little cheesy. The food was very good in both the main dining room and quick dining locations and the variety was good. I did feel that a lot of the desserts were frozen and the ice cream was icy and not very good. Our kids were really looking forward to all-you-can-eat ice cream, but the lines were long, it ran out on several occasions, and wasn't very good quality (as opposed to our last cruise on Carnival Magic). We were also very disappointed that kids under 16 (ours are 12 and 15) weren't allowed in the pool or hot tub in the solarium. Given that Alaska cruises are cooler, there was only one day when it was warm enough to enjoy the outdoor hot tubs. I understand wanting some areas for adults only, but they could offer family hours. The kids' pool area was totally wasted on this cruise because of the cooler temperatures. I would also love to see cruise lines include a photo CD with your photos tagged. All they have to do is scan your cruise ID to identify your personal photos! We got very tired of all the up-selling on the ship (photos, drinks, wifi, specialty restaurants, future cruises, etc). We would rather pay a little more and get more value included in the price! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This Alaska cruise was part of a package with a travel agent who set up a geocaching tour of Alaska, so I did not have a choice of the time or ship. My family had a great time on the ship. I did a lot of reading before the cruise about ... Read More
This Alaska cruise was part of a package with a travel agent who set up a geocaching tour of Alaska, so I did not have a choice of the time or ship. My family had a great time on the ship. I did a lot of reading before the cruise about the ship, its' offerings, and the ports. Again, it comes down to what you are looking for and how picky you want to be. We had a ocean view cabin that was clean and tidy, yes the bathroom had a occasional sewage stink, but we brought a room freshener that took care of it quickly. There was three of us with seven pieces of luggage. We were able the unpack all of our items and stow the luggage under the bed without problem. Percy, our room stewart, kept everything in line and remembered all I asked out of him in the beginning of the cruise. He was great. Rest of the ship was clean and very presentable, There was an occasional worn chair or sofa, but nothing that would effect me being in that area. The only reason I did not give 5 star was for the following. On the online pre-cruise I purchased 5 night specialty dinning package for $100 per person. This gave us 5 nights at the specialty dinning restaurants which on line showed us Samba, Izumi, chops grille, Giovanni's, and chefs table as choices. When I got on board, I was told that Chefs table was not a choice and it would cost extra to eat there. After talking with several people up the chain of command, I finally talked with the head of Dinning and he also gave me the same run around. After I showed him the site which had Chef's table listed, he told me "how am I to make any money at that price?" Well I figured this was futile and no one was going to budge on this and I was not going to let this ruin my day. Later that night we were dinning, and he came to our table and offered a $50 onboard credit for my inconvenience. That was the end of that, next time I will get it in writing what is available. The dinning restaurants were great and worth the extra for them. We only ate dinner in the main dinning room once, and that was OK. We ate our breakfast in Windjammer and that was good. It gave us everything we needed to get ready for the day. Lunch was on shore most of the days. We ate in the main dinning room for two lunches and we did like that also. I also used room service nightly for hot chocolate chip cookies and milk....UMMMM. We took advantage of a drink package and this was great with no surpise end of cruise bill. We did get our moneys worth daily. We also signed up for the internet package. This was slow to spotty at times. Skagway we did not have any wifi. Really not worth the price. Very slow to upload pictures, this became very frustrating. My wife frequented the casino nightly and did come home with more money than she spent!!!! We did not go to the shows, just other things going on we wanted to do. Our son, 11yo, enjoyed their kids area. He spent most of his free time there with others his age. He also spent a lot of time in the arcade, spending our on ship credit. Our trip was planned by a travel agent, so our on shore excursions were private tours for our group only. This was very nice, small group and not hurried with our own time in town. Embarkation was quick and smooth, our luggage showed up within a hour. Disemarkation was little more hectic, We were corralled into a louge area and waited, then we were off loaded to find our luggage, then moved into different lines to wait for our bus. I don't know how to do it better but this was not how I would like to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Radiance is a comfortable ship, it is smaller than I am use to. The entertainment was good; there were 2 acts that were excellent, David Meyer and the Alley Cats, if you have the chance to see them on your cruise you should. We ... Read More
The Radiance is a comfortable ship, it is smaller than I am use to. The entertainment was good; there were 2 acts that were excellent, David Meyer and the Alley Cats, if you have the chance to see them on your cruise you should. We took more excursions on this cruise than usual, (8 in total) and they were all worth the money. The food was good with a varied selection, slightly different than the fare to the Caribbean. I had an issue with a spa treatment, I was very satisfied with the way the manager handled the issue. She took care of it quickly and with no hassles. There were many activities going on during the day to keep you occupied, I particularly liked the Royal Mountie presentation. I would recommend Royal Caribbean ships any time. This was a 5 day land and 7 day sea trip, the land portion of the trip was disappointing. I don't think I will take their land tours again Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship. First ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship. First of all, this is an older boat so yes, it has its short comings. We did not mind because the scenery of Alaska was way better then looking at the ship! The ship is overall clean but you can tell it has been around awhile. Our cabin was clean despite the dents/scratches in some of the furniture. Again, nothing that was going to keep us from having a great trip. We had a balcony that we used constantly. I would never take an Alaskan cruise without one! Our room steward was very attentive. We asked for extra ice the second night and got extra ice for the rest of the cruise. Oh, and we never had any sewer issues or poop smells while we were on board. The overall service on the ship was great. We did get pretty annoyed with the My Time Dining because we felt the reservation times were pretty limiting considering it is supposed to be "my time." The food in the Windjammer was fine even though they would run low on food during peak times. The main dining room was good even though we were often more interested in the appetizers then the main courses. The entertainment was pretty standard for RCI (love and marriage, quest, etc). I would say that the other shows were not so great. The first night comedian was funny but the production shows were just sort of weird. I know a lot of people on board liked them though. Was this a 4 star cruise? No. But was Alaska a 5 star experience regardless of the imperfections? YES! General advice for your Alaskan cruise: bring your walking shoes, your rain coat, and be ready for an amazing experience! We took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward which was great. We would highly recommend this over using the charter bus companies as the road does not get as good of scenery. Getting on the train was quick and easy. There was a truck there where you could check your luggage with Royal Caribbean and all of our luggage showed up at our stateroom that evening. Very convenient! The train cars were very comfortable and there was an observation deck on one of the cars you could use to get an even better view. We did not upgrade to the window topped rail cars and looking back we think we made the right decision. With the observation deck available and large windows in the regular cars, I do not think the extra cost would have been worth it. There was a dining car that we did not use but we did use the grab and go cafe for coffee :) Seward - We went to the Sea Life Center before getting on the ship. Would definitely recommend this especially if you have kids. There is a free Seward bus that will take you around the town. Embarkation was really fast. No lines and walked right onto the ship. Hubbard Glacier - AMAZING! In the morning the captain had said they were not sure how close they would be able to get because of the weather but we ended getting the closest they had been so far. It was definitely a highlight of the cruise! Juneau - We did not do a shore excursion but purchased a bus ride from a vendor right of the shipto get to and from the Mendenhall Glacier. $30 round trip per person. The national park service has a visitors center with a video and presentation. We took a hike up to the falls that got closer to the glacier. Nice morning/afternoon experience. My husband and I ventured over to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch and drinks. Alaskan Brewing Company is there major draft. Food was fine but nothing to write home about. Visiting here is definitely more about the experience/entertainment. Would recommend at least stopping by for drinks. Spent the rest of the day shopping/exploring the town. This was the only day it rained so that seemed to empty the streets a good bit even though it didn't bother us. You are travelling to Alaska so bring a good rain coat :) Skagway - Purchased an excursion to ride the White Pass Railway as this is the only way to get on the train. Thought we were riding the train up and then taking a bus back down but that was actually backward. This did not change the experience though. Both our bus ride and the train had a tour guide that commentated about the history of the trail. Very enjoyable with amazing scenery. The excursion left us plenty of time to walk around the town. We went to the Skagway Brewing Company but had to wait about 30 minutes for a table for two. They do have a nice back patio where you can get your drink at the bar then enjoy it outside. We had great weather so we did not mind this. Good burger, yummy chili and AMAZING fries! Icy Strait Point - Went whale watching through a private company (Icy Strait Whale Adventures). Had a great experience and from what we heard, much better then people who booked through RCI. Very small boat designed for whale watching with windows that open all around. Afterward we walked around Hoonah but there isn't much there. Walked back to the main Icy Strait area. There are some nice shops/restaurants and a canning museum but not a ton to see/do. Ketchikan - Nice tourist town with lots of shops. There is a nice walking tour map you can get at the visitors center. We took the Deer Mountain Trail that is about a half a mile out of town. We are in decent shape (exercise a few times a week) and this still kicked our butts! We only made it to the 1 mile overlook but it was a beautiful view. Debarkation was quick and painless in Vancouver but there was a really long line for taxis. We stayed one night in Vancouver because we could get a cheaper flight the next morning. After we checked in at our hotel we took the sky train to downtown and walked around. There are some nice areas of town but carefully walking down a few streets as we felt the need to hold on tightly to our wallets/purses. I would actually suggest taking a bus tour of the city. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
After deferring this cruise for many years due to concerns of cold-weather cruising, we finally decided to take an Alaska cruise. We decided on the Radiance of the Seas because of its itinerary and timing. We had a wonderful cruise ... Read More
After deferring this cruise for many years due to concerns of cold-weather cruising, we finally decided to take an Alaska cruise. We decided on the Radiance of the Seas because of its itinerary and timing. We had a wonderful cruise experience. The ports of call were beautiful and would delight any nature lover. While we still prefer cruise destinations that are richer in history, we hope to return to Alaska in the future. From Atlanta, GA, we flew Delta non-stop into Anchorage on a Tuesday evening. We stayed overnight in Embassy Suites downtown and departed on the Alaska Railroad train the next morning in one of their dome cars. The three-plus hours ride to Seward was very pleasant and provided great views of the scenery. That Wednesday afternoon, we did a park ranger guided tour of Exit Glacier that was very nice. Our hotel (Harbor 360) was on the small boat harbor so conveniently located. On Thursday we did a full-day boat tour of Kenai Fjords with Marine Tours that was nice, but perhaps a little longer than required. We boarded the Radiance around noon on Friday to start our cruise adventure, The ship!s exterior appeared to have been recently painted and looked good. The interior of the ship was OK, but seemed a bit dated. I guess we have been spoiled by the newer ships in the fleet so was hoping for new carpets and other updates. Nevertheless, our cruise was very nice. The food quality in the main dinning room was better than we expected and service was great. Everything else concerning the ship was as we expected....all fine and consistent with other ships in this class. What we will remember most about this cruise are: 1. Traveling (for the first time) with a couple we have know from high school days, 2. Our helicopter tour of Mendenhall Glacier (RCI), 3. The White Pass & Yukon Route railroad tour (RCI), 4. Our Alaska Railroad Anchorage to Seward ride, and 5. Viewing the various glaciers via independent tours and the cruise. Cheers and happy cruising everyone! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This cruise was chosen for us but we would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We would especially like to acknowledge our dining hall wait staff, Ken and Frankie. They not only offered outstanding service, but we felt they ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for us but we would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We would especially like to acknowledge our dining hall wait staff, Ken and Frankie. They not only offered outstanding service, but we felt they went over and beyond to enhance the service they provided. Because of the 2 of them, we will very likely book with Royal Caribbean again! Our cabin boy, Muhammad, was also very accommodating and quickly responded to every request. We were also VERY impressed with the greetings offered by everyone we met whether they were maintenance, desk staff, wait staff, or shop staff. I would recommend moving the computer stations to a more secluded area. We had trouble printing our airline boarding passes because of the loud music in close proximity. They also turned the lights out in computer area as we were trying to print our passes making seeing the computer keys very difficult. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
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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