Royal Caribbean Radiance to Alaska

Aug 14th, 2003, 03:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 126
Royal Caribbean Radiance to Alaska

We are setting up our first cruise to Alaska. After doing research we were looking for a great ship that departed and returned to Vancouver. I would love any feedback for anyone who has either sailed on The Radiance especially if you have sailed to Alaska. I am looking for the hits and misses, how was the ship, food, things to do while onboard, what shore excursions should we not miss, ones to avoid or even ones to do BUT set up without using the cruiseline. We are thinking of a balcony cabin, does the side of the ship we are on really matter??
Thanks so much!!
ezmark is offline  
Aug 14th, 2003, 07:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,095
We sailed the Radiance last Jan. A Southern Caribbean cruise. While I cannot offer any help on Alaska, I can say the Radiance was a great ship. There were over 2,000 guests and we never felt like it was crowded. Most of the food was very good. I would highly recommend there specialty restaurants. Portifinos' and Chops. I also thought the entertainment was decent. We enjoyed out cruise on this ship.
diann is offline  
Aug 15th, 2003, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,469
My opinion only but there is much more to consider sailing Alaska than the ship. Important for me is time in ports, route, smallest ship, good deck viewing, glacier. RCI ships have some negative points for me, mainly - their full front blue wind screens- a great hinderance for marine wildlife viewing, also too big a ship and no sailing to Glaicer Bay which I think should be a priority for a first timer. Of course- any Alaska visit will be full of compromises- just choose what is best for you. Budget for costly shore excursions- you get only half a trip without them. Plenty of excellent adventures.
BudgetQueen is offline  
Sep 4th, 2003, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 42
Hi Elaine,
We just got back last Saturday from the Inside Passage cruise via the Radiance. It was our first time on a cruise and to Alaska, so we weren't sure what to expect. My husband and I had a fabulous time. I'm not sure how old you are, but we are in our early 30s and were afraid that there wouldn't be much to do on the ship. It turns out that there are a ton of things to do, and since there are so many windows on the ship, we were able to enjoy the view pretty much everywhere we went. We actually made use of all its amenities (basketball court, rock climbing wall, mini putt course, the disco, pool tables, etc., you get the hint). We went with relatives who's ages ranged from 60 to 21 and we all had a great time. I believe the ship holds approx. 2,400 passengers and our cruise was fully booked; however, we never felt it was crowded. As far as the food was concerned, the dinners offered in the main dining room was above-average to average(my husband and I are foodies), but we did not have any bad meals. It was really quantity versus quality. We did try one of their specialty restaurants (they have two, Chops Steakhouse and Portofino, an Italian restaurant), and enjoyed it much more. However, you have to pay an extra fee ($10 for lunch and $20 for dinner, but you could have as much as you want). Since we've never been on a cruise before, I can't compare the food on other cruiselines.

As far as the excursions, we opted to go salmon fishing in Juneau. I'm not big on fishing, but I'm glad I went with my husband, because the scenery was beautiful and we were able to see some whales and bald eagles (we saw the eagles in action catching fish pretty close up to our boat). My cousins went kayaking and saw porpoises and seals as well as bald eagles. They enjoyed it very much. The older folks took the big city tour and also fully enjoyed it. We were planning on dog-sledding, but was cancelled due to the warm summer (no snow, thus no dog-sledding). So, we opted for a helicopter ride to a glacier, which I believe is an experience not to be missed. It is somewhat pricey, but well worth it. Thanks to BudgetQueen, we made our reservations throught TEMSCO in Skagway on our own, which I believe is approx. $50 cheaper if you were to book through RCI, and RCI uses the same company. The flight was approx. 30 minutes and the walk around the glacier was about 20 minutes. We were lucky to have great weather (no rain, just some mist at Hubbard Glacier), so everything was just beautiful. As for the glacier, again, we've never been to Alaska, so I don't know what Glacier Bay is like, but we were amazed with Hubbard Glacier. That is the turnaround point, so the captain actually rotates the ship a couple of times to give everyone a chance to view the glacier. We witnessed a lot of calving and since he spins the ship around so slowly, you actually have time to walk across the ship to constantly watch it. They said that we were about a half mile away. I don't know if that's too far or too close, but we enjoyed it. And the decks were never too crowded for the viewing.

I can't speak for a balcony cabin. We opted for an outside cabin with a window mid-ship and were perfectly content with it. From what I hear, it appears that it doesn't really matter which side of the ship you're on, because you spend a lot of time outside of the cabins. Hope this helps. Feel free to ask me any questions that you may have.
mc10 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2003, 06:30 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 242
Hi ezmark,

My hubby and I went on RC Radiance to Alaska August 2002. We were first time cruisers and first time to Alaska. We had a great time. We bought our cruise through and got a fantastic deal.

As far as excursions, we went on the three hour horseback trek which was wonderful. We also did the catamaran whale watching and wildlife tour. This was truely incredable. When you looked at the trees it was like someone had put golf balls in the trees. Those golf balls were all gorgeous bald eagles. And the whales actually surronuded the boat and "performed" for us.

The food in the main dining room for dinner was very good. We ate at the buffett one night for dinner and it was just ok. The staff on board provided excellent service.

Our main complaint was there weren't many younger couples on board. We are in our early 30's and most poeple were much older than us or if they were close to our age they had young children they were constantly chasing.

If you have any specific questions, please feel free to email me.

Happy sailing!
nfahey is offline  

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