DIY+Radiance review with pics 18/7-3/8

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South Florida
9,614 Posts
Joined Aug 2012
hello, your mom told me that you referred her to my review so I decided to pay back the favor and come over to your review. I can believe you just boarded the ship, lol. Your pre-cruise adventure was a very cool one and from the looks of it a lot of fun, I wish I could say good things of my first encounter with an octopus...

Anyway, can wait for thanks for sharing
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Fife, Scotland
3,804 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by gambee
hello, your mom told me that you referred her to my review so I decided to pay back the favor and come over to your review. I can believe you just boarded the ship, lol. Your pre-cruise adventure was a very cool one and from the looks of it a lot of fun, I wish I could say good things of my first encounter with an octopus...

Anyway, can wait for thanks for sharing
I just finished yours yesterday.

Alex
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Alex...

1,727 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
just to update you on Chani - she hasn't abandoned the review..

she has a new show opening tonight so she's been really really really really really busy (and stressed! )

(she and her husband are musicians....she's a singer/songwriter and the band's lead singer)

anyway, to paraphrase arnold, "she'll be back"!!
(with everything you wanted to know about the Radiance and her cruise excursions!!!)
NJ Love it
950 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Great Review Good luck with the New group hope it all works out cant wait to hear more about the ship
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Virginia
3,814 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
Thank you, alaska_planner, for the plug for your daughter's review. It's awesome!! We did the land and cruise through Princess in 2006, and I'm getting the urge to go back. Now that we've done it once, I'm sure we could do the land portion ourselves. I would especially like to go to Seward and Sitka this time.

Can't wait to read the rest (I hope WDW is included--I'm also a Disney junkie)!
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Joan



Anthem of the Seas, Southern Caribbean, March-April 2016; Oasis of the Seas, Western Caribbean, August 2015; Quantum of the Seas, Bahamas, November 2014; Independence of the Seas, April 2014; Explorer of the Seas, December 2012; Oasis of the Seas, Western and Eastern Caribbean, March 2012; Allure of the Seas, Eastern and Western Caribbean, March 2011; Ruby Princess, Eastern Caribbean, March 2010; Mariner of the Seas, Mexican Riviera, April 2009; Brilliance of the Seas, Panama Canal, March 2008; Crown Princess, Southern Caribbean, April 2007; Sapphire Princess, Alaska, May 2006; Mariner of the Seas, Western Caribbean, April 2005; HAL Zuiderdam, Eastern Caribbean, April 2004
271 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
Hi everybody!
Thank you so much for all your wonderful comments! I'm short on time right now, but I promise I'll respond to everyone!
Like my mom said, things have been crazy busy. I lead 2 bands, one that plays my music - which is somewhat known in the local indie scene - and a new one that plays covers at events, which hopefully will allow us to make a living doing what we love doing. Our band Hunny Band (you can check us out on Youtube ) has a new clip coming out at the end of this week, and our events cover band is just done with rehearsals, so there are TONS of things I have to do to try to get us up and running, including a big presentation show we put on a week and a half ago. I'm so sorry it's taking me so long to update!!

Back to the Radiance. The last time we spoke, Lior and I headed over to the Windjammer for lunch after dropping our stuff off in the room.
I would like to take this opporptunity to post the Cruise Compass. I kept all of them for you guys!



As you can see, I used a highlighter to mark off the activities we wanted to partake in. I highly recomend bringing one with you. I really loved lying on the bed, reading the activities out loud to Lior and us both getting excited about all of the great things we'd get to do the next day. I carried the Cruise Compass around with me, in my pocket, and that way we knew what we wanted to do, when and where it was happening and it made timing everything really easy.
NOTE - if you don't have the Compass on you, they have computer screens next to the elevators that can show you what's going on right now on the ship and where, it can show you the whole daily schedual, and it can even explain how to get to where you want to go. We actually used that last feature once...we walked up stairs that were in a different part of the ship than what we were used to on the second day of the cruise and felt all confused. We walked over to the computer screen, put in our room number and the computer showed us exactly how to get there (we were right there...embarrasing!!! hahahaha). I still think the easiest thing to do is carry the Compass around with you, if you're planning on participating in lots of things, like us.

We had pre-purchased 2 of the infamous water packages. Lior is a real water snob, lol. He only drinks botteled water. To be honost, I'll only drink tap water if it's cold...so I guess I'm a snob too. Also, being from a warm country, we have it ingrained in our brains that we have to carry water around with us on trips so that we don't get dehidrated. So we wanted the botteled water so that we could take 2 bottles with us everyday.
The bottles you get with the package are 1 Liter Evian water bottles, so they're a really nice size to carry with you in your backpack.
We also had pre-purchased one soda package for Lior. I decided I didn't need one, since water and ice-tea are free (so is lemonade), and I figured I could get my diet coke fix when we ate at restuarants of the ship. The soda package is VERY convinient. You can have as many drinks as you want at any venue!! That includes the restaurants, bars and even the theater! You just flash your card with the coke mark on it - and that's it. You don't have to walk around with the mug you get with tha package (you only have to use that mug when you want to use the Coke Freestyle machines, which currently don't exist on the Radiance).

Ok, so back to the Windjammer. We LOVED the Windjammer!! There's SO much food, so many options, really something for everyone. There are lots of tables with gorgeous views.

Here are a couple of Windjammer tips:
1. If you can't find a table during breakfast, go over to Izumi's. It's closed for breakfast, so the tables are open for the use of the Windjammer breakfast diners.

2. During other times of the day, check if there's room in the side room towards the Aft. We almost always found a table in there.

3. For dinner the omelet station turns into a station that barely anyone notices! So I'm telling you about it so that you don't miss it. This station makes made-to-order salmon, chicken breast, pasta and some other things. They make it for you the way you want it, with whatever sauce you choose! Isn't that great?? People don't realize the station is "open for buisness" and totally overlook it. The only other people we saw getting food from there were the people who asked us "where did you get salmon from?".

Plates packed, we sat down next to a window and enjoyed a wonderful meal and gorgeuos views of our beloved Seward. Lior went over to get himself his first diet coke from the bar and I took an ice tea. They have the free drinks (water, ice tea and lemonade) sitting out in cups at the bar under a glass partition, so it's not like people can sneeze into your drink...
The ice tea was really week and I didn't like it at all. It tasted like water with a hint of tea. It also wasn't very cold (I'm used to the Disney World ice tea with ice up to the brim of the cup). I switched to a cup of water, which also wasn't very cold...I found myself totally begrudging Lior's diet coke and, while the food was great, enjoying my meal less because I wanted a damn diet coke!! lol...Then I heard my mom's voice in my head, saying how silly it is that we've spent thousands of dollars on this trip, and now just to save $50 I'm enjoying it less ...that doesn't make sense!
I informed Lior that the first thing we're doing once we finish eating is going over to the guy selling drink packages and purchasing a soda package for me. Second thing on the agenda? Diet coke!!!! lol. And that's exactly what we did.

BTW, you get a mug anyway you purchase the sode package. The only difference between pre-purchasing and purchasing onboard (besides the fact that if you pre-purchase you don't have to wait in line) is that when you pre-purchase the package (say that quickly 10 times!) the Cola mark is printed on your sea pass, whereas if you purchase the package on board it's a sticker, so it can get worn down.

We went back to the room, because Lior's back was bothering him and he was still a little out of it because of the Bonine. I took the opporotunity to go over the Compass and plan the rest of our day.

After a short rest, we decided to go check out the ship. She was still pretty empty, so it was really fun to feel like we had the place to ourselves. We went into all the venues.
First we headed over to Schooner's Bar. This became our regular hangout spot between activities. It's a big piano lounge, with floor to ceiling windows and comfy couches. This is also where the piano shows take plays and where the pool tables are located. We loved bringing cards from the playing room down to the Schooner bar and playing cards with a nice cold glass of diet coke while enjoying the beatiful views of Alaska. Heaven! We became friends with one of the waiters there, who's from Malaysia, which was cool and interesting since we're not allowed in to that country.
We took out the pool sticks and played a round of pool (Lior won...on the plus side though, last time I played I was in Vietnam and I almost poked someone's eyeball out by mistake...this time that didn't happen, so it's an improvement! hahaha)



You take the sticks and balls out of those glass and wood closets behind Lior, to his right. It was a lot of fun!!!

We checked out the casino, since this was going to be the only time it would be empty and smoke free (note - I think there's a set activity in the compass sometime during the week when the casino is smoke free for a couple of hours). We don't like to gamble and we really don't like smoke (and we don't drink...what kind of musicians are we?! lol) so this was the time for us to check it out.


About the temprature on the ship: just like off the ship, it depends on what you're used to. For us, the temprature was fine, but it was too cold to wear shorts or a short dress. Indoors we wore closed shoes, long pants, a t-shirt or a tank top (for me) and a fleece jacket or sweatshirt. I also always had a scarf on. Sometimes the sweatshirt/fleece came off, depending on what we were doing, but I wouldn't walk around without something with long sleeves that I could put on. Obviously, like on land, here too we were the cold ones...other people were wearing sandals and pretty summer dresses. It all depends on where you're from and what you're used to.

We put our bathing suits on and went over to the pool to try out the jacuzzis. The Solarium only had one jacuzzi, and it was always packed whenever we wanted to use it. The outdoor pool has 2 jacuzzis and while they can also get busy, you have a better chance with them, since it's cold outside!! We took 2 pool towels from the towel station. The way this worls is simple - they swipe you card, so they know how many towels were taken out for your room. After you use the towel, you can just keep on trading it in for a clean and dry towel until the end of the cruise, when you hand in the towel for good. If you don't return the same number of towels you took out - there's a penalty.
The pool jacuzzi was empty. We were freezing and shivering taking off our clothes to get into the jacuzzi, but it was so worth it!!!!! Words can't express how amazing it is to be outdoors in a hot tob sorounded by snowy mountains. Amazing!!!!!! One of my favorit things to do onboard was relax in one of those outdoor hot tobs. We just relaxed, soaked in the breathtaking scenery and couldn't believe how lucky we were...it was priceless.

Mandatory Muster Drill was at 7:30 pm, so we had to go back to our room and shower quickly. This is when we met out amazing room attendant, Glendon, from the Carribeans. He was fantastic!!!!!!! It seemed like we would just step out of the room for a minute - zoom! The room was made!
He was the nicest guy and we really developed a friendship with him.

Here are some tips I read on the CC boards regarding the room attendant that I'm passing on to you:

1. Your room is made up twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. To make it easier on both you and your room attendant, the easiest thing to do is leave the Do Not Disturb sign on your door when you're in the room, and switch it ot Please Make Up Room when you leave. This way, he knows exactly when you're there or not, so he doesn't have to guess, and it prevents the knocking on the door or any other possible awkward situation...We found this to be a great tip! It really worked for both of us, because it made life simple. After he made up our room, he removed the sign from the door and left it in our room.

2. When we met him on the first day of the cruise, we asked him for 2 extra blankets to use outside on the balcony. That's a great idea I read here! It makes the balcony a whole lot cozier.

3. We asked him to remove the items from the mini fridge. I knew up front from these boards that there was a change happening onboard, and now the room staff aren't allowed to touch the contents of the fridge. He told us there's no problem for us to take everything out of the fridge and put it on one of the shelves. So that's what we did and it was a great idea, too. There's lots of shelf space in the room, so don't worry about it.

4. The last tip has to do with the room, not the room attendant, but whatever...You can store your suitcases under the bed. This will free up space in you room, which is great!

So Glendon came by introduced himslef and asked if we would be needing anything else tonight. We said all we needed were clean towels for the morning, and asked about getting 2 blankets and clearing the fridge. He said no problem abuot the towels and blankets, and, well, I already told you what he said about the fridge.

Muster drill time!
But I have to go...I don't even have time to go over this looooong post, so I apologise if somethings are writted all weird, lol. I'll be back!
Port Charlotte, FL USA
140 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
alaskawdw12, Thanks for the Cruise Compass. Is there anyway you can post the rest?
I always love to print them up and read over them before our crusie.
Thanks Dawn
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Sensation 7/4/1998
Pride 6/28/2003
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United States
9 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
I'm going on Radiance in a few months, so I really appreciate these posts. It's helping me get a good idea of what to expect when we're on it. Looking forward to reading more!
Arvada, Colorado
768 Posts
Joined Aug 2006
We are planing for 2014. your post puts me more and more in cruise mode, as I call it. Love your pictures
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Disney Magic - December 2005
Radiance of the Seas - August 2007
Mariner of the Seas - August 2009
Golden Princess - October 2011
Radiance of the Seas - June and July 2014, B2B - Best time ever.
Disney Fantasy - September 2016

Happy Sailing
dllyon
Kansas City, MO
18 Posts
Joined Sep 2011
Yay! You're finally on the ship. I love these late reviews (yours and LJ's) so that I can re-live our wonderful cruise. We were on two weeks before you just down the hall in 9224.
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North Carolina
1,854 Posts
Joined Mar 2008
Originally posted by jrh61
Yay! You're finally on the ship. I love these late reviews (yours and LJ's) so that I can re-live our wonderful cruise. We were on two weeks before you just down the hall in 9224.
LOL - thanks! I liked how you put that. At least I'm not the only one taking some time to get the whole thing done!

L.J.
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L.J. and Bev

2012 July Radiance of the Seas - ALASKA 2.0!!
2011 May Serenade of the Seas - Southern
2010 March Carnival Dream - Western
2009 May Radiance of the Seas - ALASKA!
2008 April Adventure of the Seas - Southern
2007 April Mariner of the Seas - Eastern
2006 May Mariner of the Seas - Western
2005 March Voyager of the Seas - Eastern

Fife, Scotland
3,804 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Welcome back. I hope your show went well. Looking forward to the rest

Sent from my MT11i using Tapatalk 2
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Alex...

Minnesota
803 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
I sure hope you continue....I've subscribed to your review so I don't miss it. Dh and I have decided on a cruise to Alaska for our 25th wedding ann. now mind you this is still 5years away, but we know where we are going and being we never did a honeymoon this gives us plenty of time to save, plan and make it super extra special!!!

Please come back and finish, I understand life gets crazy but don't leave us hangin' here!!!
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Happy Cruising,
Sanditoes4
(Kari)

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

Coming cruise...2-6-2017 Independence OTS Girl's Getaway



1. 1-29-06 Mariner Family Cruise
2. 1-11-07 Enchantment Girl's Cruise
3. 1-12-08 Grandeur Girlfriend Getaway
Tennessee
728 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Thanks for the review update on Radiance. We have 123 days until land tour starts. I know how much time it takes to post review with pics. I am almost done with So. Caribbean review on Brilliance, my husband and I took 2 weeks ago. Again, thank you, thank you!
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upstate NY
938 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
great review, now I really really want to go to Alaska, are you also going to write about your disney trip?
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Christine
1,727 Posts
Joined Dec 2011
Originally posted by sanditoes4
I sure hope you continue....I've subscribed to your review so I don't miss it. Dh and I have decided on a cruise to Alaska for our 25th wedding ann. now mind you this is still 5years away, but we know where we are going and being we never did a honeymoon this gives us plenty of time to save, plan and make it super extra special!!!

Please come back and finish, I understand life gets crazy but don't leave us hangin' here!!!

yes, Chani's definitely going to come back and finish her review - she loves reliving her trip!!

as she mentioned, she's in the midst of working on her new band (she has two bands)...
her original band plays mostly songs that she writes..
this new one is an event band for parties, etc. that plays classic israeli rock and roll (the musicians are different in the two bands, except Lior's on the drums in both and she's the lead singer)..

you can see her new band in this new video clip she put up on you tube yesterday:
http://youtu.be/a84EGEfKxpI


and you can see her other band if you look for Hunny Band on you tube for example here are two of my favorite songs that she wrote:
http://youtu.be/gCemjmaGerQ and http://youtu.be/mQlUfvWIV1I

.
Michigan
23 Posts
Joined Mar 2013
What an adventure!!!

I've just started reading your review, but I am enjoying it so much I want to post to let you know.

Thanks for all the tips. It's very helpful in the research for our 2014 trip!!!