My family and I just returned from a great cruise on the Radiance of the Seas! Our group consisted of 2 adults in mid 50’s, 2 teenagers, and 1 adult in early 30’s. Overall the trip was fantastic, had a few hiccups but I would do it again!
This is my first cruise review and I want to include the things that I look for in a cruise review or have a hard time finding answers to online. Sorry I do not have any menus or compasses.
Canada Place Cruise Port
We arrived via taxi at the cruise port at 10am. We dropped our luggage off with the porter within 10 ft of being dropped off by a taxi. Then shown through the port where to check in and get our seapass. There was a small line, about a 5-10 minute wait. After receiving our seapass, we walked through security and then to customs, again a small wait, which took about 10-15 mins. We were then seated to wait for boarding the ship by 10:30 ish. There were maybe 200 people in line before us.
Unfortunately, they did not start boarding people until Noonish. We heard from others, a few people from the previous cruise got off the ship sick and as a precaution, had to do extra cleaning. We boarded the ship, headed to the windjammer and ate before the crowds got there, then checked out the ship.
We had two interior rooms: 2013 & 2027. Had no issue with noise, even though we were on the second floor. You tend to run into more crew and “ship items” but I’m guessing it’s because we share the floor with them. On the 2nd floor you can only access guest rooms with the aft elevators and stairs, which was kinda annoying. Room had enough space for three and didn’t feel cramped. Enough drawers and shelves for clothes. We brought a 3 USB outlet plug for all our electronics and didn’t have an issue. The room shows it’s age, but it was always clean and our attendant was great!
Radiance of the Seas is definitely showing her age. There is rust here and there, things that should be painted, and some of the windows either need to be cleaned or they are stained. It’s clean and overall well maintained, but if you are expecting something like the newer ships, you’d be disappointed. Personally, I had no issues, knowing it’s an older ship.
We did not eat at any speciality restaurants.
Breakfast we tried the main dining room once. NEVER AGAIN! The service was horrible and the food was cold and it took forever! Not worth it! The rest of the time we had breakfast at the windjammer. It was the same food everyday, but it was good. Lunch was also at the windjammer, with a little bit more variety by the day, but typical buffet food.
Dinner was My Time Dining and was great! I made reservations for the same time everyday before the cruise. We had the same waiters and table, so it was just like traditional dining. Our waiters Harish and Jun, were excellent! The food was pretty good. My favorites were the french onion soup, eggplant parmesan, and molten lava cake. Also all the bread and pastries were amazing!!
The magician and Eagles tribute band were great. The comedian and Royal’s two original shows were okay. The singing and dancing in the original shows were great, but to me the shows themselves didn’t make sense. The band Beta 4 is amazing!! A must listen to and they play in multiple locations on the ship.We enjoyed going to the different trivia events during the day. The activites crew was great!
Alaska weather was all over the place. It misted/rained most of the day in Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, and Juneau with the temps in the low to mid 50s. In Skagway, it was mostly cloudy and very windy. Hubbard Glacier was the best weather day with bright sun and temps were probably upper 40’s by the glacier with a little wind. I wore a t-shirt, sweater, and jeans and I was comfortable as I went in and outside to view the glacier.
On our Land tour, the weather was much warmer. Anchorage was low 70s and sunny. Talkeetna was in the 80s and sunny. Denali was in the low 70s and partly cloudy, did have a little bit of rain here and there in Denali, but never lasted long.
Ketchikan: Lumberjack show and Totem Trolley Tour- The show was fun to watch, the trolley guide was knowledgeable and the totem park was nice, but time was short with only a 20 min visit. Got off a Creek street and walked around. There was alot of construction going on, so it was hard to navigate the streets.
Icy Strait Point: No Excursions. We walked along the rocky shores and through a short walking trail in the woods. Also stopped by the museum and shops. TIP: The tide is very low in the mornings so it allows you to view much of the shore. Highly suggest walking the rocky shore in the morning. By late afternoon, the tide was high and you really couldn’t walk the shore.
Juneau: Whale watching and Wildlife Quest Tour. Saw some whales, sea lions, eagles. It was an okay tour. The guides were knowledgeable, but I was expecting more. Walked around town, ate lunch at the Alaskan Crepe Escape, which was awesome. It was pouring rain for most of the afternoon, so we did not get to ride the tram like we wanted.
Skagway: White Pass Railroad tour. My favorite tour of the whole trip. Train goes up the mountain and the views are amazing. Highly recommend!
Talkeetna: Mahay’s Jet boat Tour. The guides had great information about the land, water, animals, plants, and life in the area. I nice relaxing tour. Our hotel also had a fantastic view of Mt. Denali.
Denali: Natural History Tour. This bus trip took us about 30 miles into Denali national park. Didn’t see many animals and could not see Mt Denali. It was about 4 hrs, which was long enough for us. Two of our stops were cut short due to rain.
Husky Homestead Tour. This was my second favorite tour of the whole trip. We learned all about Husky’s and their life and training for the Iditarod. Jeff King, four time Iditarod winner who owns it, also spoke with us. They let us pet and hold the puppies as well. All the speakers were knowledgeable and it was an overall wonderful experience. Highly recommend!
Bring a light rain coat with hood, don’t bring an umbrella. The coat doesn’t need to be big and bulky, just light weight and water resistant. You can wear a sweater under it and feel warm enough. Also great for windy days in port or on ship. Layers, Layers, Layers!
Starquest lounge on the 13th floor is the best place for indoor views and a great uncrowded place to view the glacier. Only found this place the last two days on the ship and I love it! Looking for a quieter place to view the majestic mountains indoors during the cruise? This is the place. There is also outdoor space, which is why I think it’s the perfect place for viewing the glaciers!
Magnetic hooks for your state room. These were so helpful to hold up the daily compass, hats, coats, sweaters, lanyards. First time using them based on a suggestion on this board and it was very helpful.
Want to see Mt. Denali? Go to Talkeetna, not Denali National Park. While Denali park is beautiful, we never saw the mountain and were actually quite far from it on our tour. (other tours do get a little closer). We stayed at Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge and had wonderful, close views (30 miles away). We also were really lucky and had a clear night and morning, and are now part of the 30% club that got to view full Mt. Denali, without haze or clouds in the way