Welcome to Cruise Critic! If you'd like to participate on our forums by joining in the conversation, please Register Now! Be sure to visit our FAMOUS Roll Call forums, where you can meet other cruisers sailing with you and share a tour or shore excursion and SAVE MONEY!
I want to thank everyone who helped me with my questions for my first cruise. Your advice was most helpful.
I have no faults for Radisson, the service was exception, the ship lovely and the staff, crew and everyone was fantastic. We got to eat at the Captain's table one night and had drinks with him in his quarters another night had he is such a nice man as was all the staff we came in contact with.
I'm not sure cruise life is for us, the dinners took way to long, and while I've come to understand that this is something mose people enjoy on a cruise, it's not "us".
If I had to comment on one thing and it may have been available and we just didn't know, was that they could offer the room service menu in one of the bars for dinner which would have been perfect for us. The food was good, I would not say outstanding, but then again, that is just me and my taste. My hubby said the deserts was really good, I only had 2 out of 7 nights and not being a desert person I can't comment.
Would we have known that dinner takes so long, I would have booked a larger room and had my dinners en-suite for the days that had shore excursions.
Everyone who worked on the ship was friendly and helpful and went out of their way to make our trip great. The laundry was done perfectly.
I only went to one show which was the last night Krew Kapers and that was great. We did enjoy our cocktails in the observation bar/lounge/caviar bar which was a deightful treat for me as I love caviar and the pre-dinner piano music was very enjoyable.
We had a dance the last two nights and that was quite pleaant.
It was not smooth sailing, a few nights the waters were quite rough. Even the captain was surprised the one night that I didn't feel sick and my answer was "it's a ship it's gonna rock and roll", but many people I heard were quite ill.
One couple had to get off and fly home the hubby was so sick and his stiches were opening from his recent heart surgery.
We truely loved Alaska. Wish we would have more shore time in each port. I would move to Juneau or Sitka in a heatbeat. Alaska is amazing, I was blown away and I cried when we pulled into port in Ketchikan out of happiness to be in Alaska and again when I stepped foot on Alaskan soil I cried that I lived to see and be in Alaska.
The spa (Carlita) (sp?) was great except for the hairdresser, didn't care for her but that's just me.
I didn't partake in any other shipboard life other than what I mentioned above so can't comment.
Some of my fellow PAX were not at all like the nice people on the boards here and that was somewhat of a shock to us, but it did not spoil our cruise.
Vancouver is a beautiful city and the Pan Pacific a wonderful hotel and highly recommend it as well as if possible staying a couple of days to see Vancouver, especially the aquarium, that place is amazing.
I had no expectations except that I was amazed at the behaviour of some fellow PAX, but that is to be expected anywhere I guess.
Radisson did a wonderful job and I would not look to any other cruise line should we ever cruise again.
As for shore excursions, we booked most privately except for one that hubby went on in Sitka which he said was fine.
I made the right choices to book privately as we were able to see more without having to wait for others. The one group one I did in Juneau which was not offered from Radisson and I understand why because I don't think it's at a level for Radisson passengers but suited my needs and time frame (Radisson's took much longer on the gold panning).
Again, to all thank you for your advice, help and info. Ship to shore worked and I used it a total of 6 times.
I have to say that when I called Radisson for certain info, not all was accurate but this was not a big deal at all and what was actually happening on the ship was better than the info I received from Radisson so a nice surprise. Radisson quoted me a much higher price on ship to shore calls than the actual cost and they said I had to use a credit card to call when in actuality, I was able to just bill it to my ship account which made calling as simple as dialing long distance from any hotel. Nice surprise for me.
Again, the laundry service was great. THe social hostess was fantastic, I would cruise with Radisson just because of her. The asst tour dir, was also fantastic and again because of these two people I would not look to other cruise lines.
What I didn't like, has nothing to do with Radisson so I won't even go into it in any detail as it only pertains to our cruise and may never happen again.
Thanks again to everyone here for all your help and advice.
Glad you had a great time on your trip to Alaska.... I know the dinners on the ships can be very long......sometimes, too long......however, overall, it sounds like you enjoyed your trip......Alaska is very beautiful and difficult to descriibe to those that have not been lucky enough to experiience it as you did.....
Hope you always have great memories of your Alaskan cruise!
Enjoyed reading a review from a first timer. It sounds like your trip was quite nice. As for dinners, we actually enjoy a longer dinner where you're able to linger with deserts, after dinner drinks and good conversation with dinner companions. I would be disappointed if I felt rushed.
We did not go to any shows except pre dinner music in the bar with cocktails and the Krew Kapers show on the last day which we thought was wonderful. I heard that was the best show on the cruise.
Hubby and I were tired most of the time from the shore excursions (we were firt off/last on) and in general we like fine dining, but not to linger so much. I'm not complaining, and I understand that a lot of people enjoy it, just not us. Maybe if we were going to a different location, but we didn't want to miss a min of Alaska.
I very much enjoy reading reviews from fellow cruisers to get such a different perspective. I'm anxious to spend more time in Vancouver, it sounds lovely. Thank you for sharing Mrs. Moose.
It sounds like your cruise was very port intensive which would suit you perfect. On the other hand, I look at the cruise as the "destination" itself. Ideally a port every other day alternating with a sea day works best for us. We generally travel in a "pack" with 6, sometimes 8 of our family/friends. We are often the last ones out of Compass Rose because our dinners are so leisurely (by our own choice). We try to go to the shows when our dinners are shorter and usually go into the casino after the show to test our luck. It is unusual for us to be in bed before midnight. As much as I enjoy being in a port, I have a wonderful time on sea days as well spending time up by the pool, exercising in the gym, playing triva, conversing with fellow passengers or reading a good book on our balcony.
I think this is what is so great about crusing. There is no right or wrong, We're all able to do what suits us as there is something for everyone. Again, thank you for taking the time to give us such a great review.
Last edited by traveller333; September 11th, 2005 at 03:01 PM.
Just like some of the peole on your cruise...there is always someone!
Many of us read cruise reviews not to gleen stark information, but to enjoy (and at times suffer through) the cruise with those who we have tried to help, or just chatted with, before the sailing.
I am glad you had a good time and found the ship comfortable. I also appreciate that there are things about the Radisson product that were not to your liking. That is, in part, why there are so many different cruise lines offering many different styles of cruising. You might enjoy the Celebrity product which has more people, but fixed seating so dinner has more of a schedule. Or possibly, though it is a very different product, Princess or NCL, which has almost-open seating at many different venues on the ship.
(What you will also find is that there are different people on each cruise. The people we sailed with on Radisson in the Med and Black Sea last year were much friendlier on the whole than the people we sailed from Alaska with this past August.)
Thanks for the review and check out your options for the next cruise. Pretty soon you will be an expert...just like all of us! LOL.
Honestly, I loved Radisson and would not look at other lines. A fixed dinner schedule would definitley not work for us, that would be a total disaster. I can see where you were confused though.
Sincerely, I thought Radisson did a wonderful job and would cruise again with them if I want a cruise.
I have to compliment them on the fact that they had a hand sanitizer going into La Verandrah restaurant. I was so happy to see this and that we had to use one also every time we returned from shore to board the ship. Way to go Radisson!!!
The rude people is not Radisson's fault. And I was not singled out by them on the ship. One nice older lady (very elegant lady) was so distraught over what happened to her by fellow PAX, she was having (or had already had) a meeting with a RAdisson employee and from what I gathered (she told me the whole story) they were doing their very best to calm her down. I think she is a frequent cruiser and I was happy to hear that Radisson was doing their best to try to calm her as she was obviously very distraught since I met her a night or two after the incident and she was still quite upset over it.
The only thing we didn't like was the long dinners as it's something we are not used to and don't care for (2 hours max with clients is about hubby's limit) but that's not their fault and I don't blame them in the least bit. If I had to do it over, I would just plan slightly differently. But as for the Radisson cruise line, no complains whatsoever. I'm sorry if you misread my post/review, but do appreciate what you wrote and thank you for takeing the time to do it
To everyone thank you for the nice comments about the "rude post" made to me, and for all your feedback and comments. I'm glad you like what I write.
I enjoy communicating with all of you as well. I hope sometime I'll cruise with some of you, and we can have that long lesiurely dinner (if hubby is prepared he is fine with it, they just came as a shock to us, lol).
I also say the rude post early this am and posted my support for Mrs. M. I was up getting daughter off to school, her bus leaves at 6:30 am. My post was zapped also. Mrs. M. I've enjoyed your posts on many topics. Please continue...you have knowledge to share. No question is silly in this world...it takes someone brave to ask sometimes. The gentleman who was so rude could excused do to his age in his bio. I'm glad to see others came to along to encourage Mrs. M.
We're glad you enjoyed the ship. The dining time does seem a bit long. Based on your post, we'll try asking for faster service on our 9/16 cruise from Montreal (your home town?) to NYC, and will let you know if it works.
If you're the Mrs. Moose who is from Montreal, and who also posts on Luxury Cruise Talk, we had a question for you on the Radisson board, live from the Navigator thread, on the Luxury board. We'll post it here, too, as a thread on the CC Canada board.
If two hours is the longest business dinner you've had, you've led a charmed life. Joe's never take that little time, and often go for three or four hours.
Why thank you Bobby's Girl, that is so nice of you too. (I hope you are feeling better and recovering fast).
Sometimes I really felt so silly asking some of my questions, but everyone was so patient and really took the time to help me. I'll be forever grateful. If people would have not responded about the earplanes and stuff, I probably would have made my self sick with worry about my ears just to get to the airport. And because I kept repeating what all of you said about the phones working before leaving, my hubby and my mom were able to repeat that to me and remind me of it, I actually managed to get on the ship, and believe me, I am very serious when I say I was going to back out when in Vancouver.
Again, I'll be forever grateful for all the time you took to listen and answer me, the one thing I never really worried about was food or clothing, that was the least of my problems, I knew I'd get fed, and I knew I would conform with Radisson's requirements, if I wasn't the best dressed or the nicest, I wasn't worried, as long as I met the standards not to lower them in any way or cause anyone else to not be comfortable (I know that "cruise dress is important to many and I respect that).
I am really touched by all the support I got, I never expected it, I was so worried that I might have offended others, but when I started reading all the support posts, I was sincerely to touched and grateful.
This was one of the nicest things that has happened to me in a long time, everyone's show of support and encouragement to keep posting. I really didn't expect it. Y'all made me feel really good with the support you gave me as I really felt so awful at the moment when I read it, thinking I may have done something bad. I've got a thick skin, but even that can get punctured (and did). I'm not a shrinking violet either, but I don't like to offend anyone or hurt anyone's feelings, especially after people were so nice and helpful to me.
A big thank you for all your support and encouragement. It really means a lot to me.
Mrs. M. I've had a better day today, less pain. It is difficult to be a burden on the family, 3 teens. Glad to see you took the comments in stride. Many people on these boards are great and we are here to have fun. Keep writing, I enjoy your input.
I'm glad to hear less pain, I don't think your family sees it as a burden. I know how you feel I can understand that, but try not to think of yourself as a burden because you are not. You are having a rough patch, and I'm sure your family just wants to help you.
Sometimes the hardest thing we have to do for ourselves is to ask for help from our family members.
I hope each day gets better and better for you, write to me privately if you need to talk, anytime. Wishing you continued speedy recovery.
As for the "rude post" it pricked my skin, but I saw it as "he is entitled to his say" even if it is rude, it's only a computer
Isn't it ironic that the one thing that you dreaded - long dinners - is what you have written (and have had commented about) the longest?
One thing: Anyone who is a first cruiser that comes to me I explain that cruising is great for getting a taste (no pun intended) of a place with many, many, conveniences and luxuries. If you find that you really like the place, you can plan to go back...either as a land vacation or as a land vacation coupled with a cruise.
In fact, one thing I always recommend is that you spend a few days pre-cruise so that you can get a better feel of the place you will be visiting beforehand. It also takes away some of the urgency to have to "see it all" starting on the first day of the cruise; which can - as you now know - be exhausting.
I read somewhere that you are considering such a trip. It seems like you are now "experienced" and ready to help out others who "were" like you!
To JoanandJoe, we've gotten in touch, and yes, two hours for a business dinner is probably the longest if it was only 4 people (generally are only another couple). 3 hours for 2 people I've never experienced, lol.
I know, if I have a comment, I may over write, I think I tend to overwrite anyway
This time we had one night in Vancouver going and 2 nights in Vancouver returning, but alas it was not Alaska but a great city and a great time.
I told hubby that for a return to Alaska, what would be ideal would be, cruise over to Wittier, tour land, and cruse back to Vancouver, but that would not have been possible this time anyway as we didnt' have that kind of time which would be for us a month or more with all the land I want to cover, lol.
The one thing I didn't write about for first time cruisers which I think is important and I didn't read about it either or may have missed it but don't remember seeing anything, is about getting off the ship and the feeling.
My mom who only had one cruise years ago on the QE1 said she felt it but didn't tell me as a) might not be the same for me b) didn't want to worry me
c) didn't want to scare me.
When I got off in Ketchikan after a few min, at certain times I still felt the ship moving. It was strange and I got a little panicked. Hubby felt it too, and thankfully the tour guide I hired said, it's normal, many people say the same thing.
When I got home I felt it for a day or so, not sea sickness, but when I was sitting I felt like I was "rocking". I think any first time cruiser needs to be "prepared" maybe, but not a big deal in any case for me.
I doubt I am qualified in any way to give advice to new cruisers, other than some people say their ships are well stocked and I have to say I didn't find that on the Mariner, aside from Rx medicine which goes without saying, if there is an item of OTC medicine that you may need that you would be miserable if you wanted and couldn't get, I would say bring it for just in case.
Hubby packed such an item (for his stomach) simple item, but he couldn't find it and thought he left it at the hotel or maybe even just took it out in the last min as she switched toiletries bags, he went to the ship store and they didn't carry it. He eventually found it thankfully but I would have assumed that this being an item that is used frequently by a lot of people that they would have stocked it. Yes, could have looked for a drug store in Alaska, but again if you need it on a sea day, well better to have on hand IMO. I actually left nothing to chance, lol, I brought every conceivable thing that I pesonally may need as my security blanket, and funny even if I didn't need it very thankfully, I was happy to have brought it since the ship store was IMO not all that well stocked.
Long dinners, I can see why people enjoy them so much on a cruise and fully understand, I think we just werent' prepared for them. Maybe we could have planned our evenings differently.
Thanks, but I think that many people here are much more qualified to give much better advice than I am
I wonder if Mrs. Moose had dinner with others or at a table for two. One of the special things about Radisson is the ability to eat when you want and with whom you want. On our Alaska cruise this summer we never had a meal except at a table for two. When you are with a group,you are at the mercy of the slowest person in the group as the server tries to keep courses coming together (as it properly should be). If you are by yourself,you can skip courses or ask the server to speed things up.
So far as room service,I'm a little puzzled about the cabin not being large enough to do so. The least expensive suite is about the size of all but the most expensive. The menus are on the tv,so I don't know what advantage there would have been in posting such in the lounge. The Compass Rose menu is available for perusing outside the restaurant prior to dinner,if the tv is inconvenient.
There is so much involved in a cruise that,as with Mrs. Moose,we came back from our first Radisson cruise saying,"Had we known,we would have......". The next time,we will be more aware of things to do and food to eat. Especially the food
Welcome back and thanks for all your comments. I am not a great fan of long dinners either. We ate most of our evening meals at La Veranda where they tended to last a significantly shorter period of time. Unless we were at one of the reservation eating locations, this was a great alternative to the longer time in Compass Rose although I enjoyed the food there also.
Hi, to answer your questions, yes, with the exception of the first night and captain's table dinner (and last night but I'll get to that), we ate at a table of 2. Only at in Signatures once and asked the nice girl to speed it up and it was just a little over 2 hours. One night we had dinner off ship in Juneau.
The last night we ate at La Verandrah with another couple and they were so nice and asked us to join them so we did and dinner was much quicker to delight of all of us just a bit over 2 hours as the other husband tires easily and could never sit through long dinners, I think they said they ate at Compass Rose once and never at Lattitudes and Sigantures.
Of course I don't count the night we ate at the captain's table. Actually that was not a long dinner, started at 7:30 and basically finished by 9:45 so people could go and enjoy the show if they wanted which stared at 9:45. And that was with a table of 10 (including the captain).
The only thing I didn't care for at La Verandrah, was that it's half buffet and I detest buffets like the plague. I enjoy a salad very often and that is "self serve".
Desert also but that was ok as I rarely eat deserts, but I much preferred the main course menu at La Verandrah as it was less "rich".
For the room size, it is a good size room, but we felt not comfortable for a dinner (always had breakfast in the room, and two times a light snack). It's the setup and the wait to remove it, would have been "tight", breakfast, we ate and were out of the room and didn't return till it was "done".
I think that the next room size from the "deluxe room suite" would have been the best for us for room service.
When I said, "offer the room service menu in the lounge" I meant, to serve it in the bar/lounge. The ideal for us would have been to order from the room service menu in one of the bars/lounges, more basic food, enjoyed while out of the cabin, in a relaxed atmosphere.
I think I was so well prepared for the trip, but not for cruise life. As you say, next time we will know more of what to expect which will make a big difference also.