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Everything posted by DougMacP

  1. I won’t cruise again until there is a vaccine. There are too many things beyond your control on a cruise ship, and the environment is too contained. We’ve also see there is no guarantee local authorities would even let you dock if someone were to test positive, or get sick.
  2. Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special call out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from what the signs say as "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will.
  3. I haven't dressed up for a formal night in years. You can go to the Windjammer if you wish but what we do is go to a specialty restaurant. They are always "smart" casual. I know a lot of people don't dress up for formal night but go to the main dinning room anyway, but I think it is not respectful to the passengers who do dress up.
  4. I agree with Island Lady..lots of other choices.......I enjoyed the CK setting on Harmony, but the food was just average. We only ate there a couple times on a B2B cruise (14 days). Buy the 3 night dining package....and think of the money your saving by not booking a grand suite (or higher).
  5. Stumbling around in youtube I came across a post that said 40 cruise ships for sale. The source is Apollo Duck, one of THE registry for ships. RCI ships on the list are: Majesty Of The Seas built 1992 Grandeur Of The Seas built 1996 Rhapsody Of The Seas built 1997 Radiance Of The Seas built 2001 Brilliance Of The Seas built 2002 I've got to say sale of the Majesty didn't surprise me... but the Radiance and Brilliance did. Thinning out their mid sized fleet. Not my first time sailing on ships I knew were leaving the fleet... Hope they continue to maintain them to their usual high standard.
  6. We are doing a cruise through Hawaii on RCI in September....Never been to Lanai before so we booked a pretty pricey excursion out of Maui. Ferry over, guided tour, beach time, lunch (on your own it appears) and return....all for the low low price of $232.99. per person (absent a helicopter one of the more expensive excursions). Was thinking we've been to all the other islands multiple times...why not? Then I did a google earth tour of the island. Not exactly lush with spectacular vistas.....more like a few hills and pine forests, with one major resort that I'm sure we won't be able to get past the gate. Lanai has no bus service, so if you ferry over it is a long way into town. Question: Has anyone done the ferry over from Maui and explored on your own? Or if you've done this excursion was it worth the price? Thanks
  7. Looking at the itineraries I would pick the smaller ship and chose a longer cruise. Oasis class ships have nearly zero relation to the sea inside.....they are a destination unto themselves. That is okay if you are in the Caribbean, where people take the same cruise over and over just for the ship. The Mediterranean is different, lots to explore and savor, which I'd rather do with a few thousand less passengers trying to come and go.
  8. Yes, the first 2 days going up and when you leave Victoria heading south will be like standard sea days....but not the hanging out at the pools in 80 plus degree weather (unless you get really really lucky). Day 8 between Ketchikan and Victoria should be very scenic (unless socked in). Although not in your original question...proper clothing makes a huge difference in Alaska as it is miserable to be cold. Layer...waterproof / wind proof Jacket, or shell paired with fleece tops (warm and packs well). In my opinion a great time to go...before school is out and the days are long. Enjoy.
  9. Very close call, as the ships are similar in size and style. I tend to find RCI ships even the smaller ones like Radiance cater to families with children more than Celebrity. So if that is an issue.... The food on RCI is beige....nothing really terrible, but nothing really great. Celebrity's food is somewhat better. I would choose Celebrity on the Alaska cruise because there are better interior lounges to view the scenery. Alaska can be cold, windy, raining so you might not always be able to be on deck. I particularly like Millenniums forward lounge on deck 11 (Cosmos). Radiance's lounge on deck 13 are split up into 3 different lounges with solid dividers so most of the view is into the pool area and to starboard (since you are not a diamond, diamond plus or pinnacle).
  10. But Alaska cruise from and to Seattle use Vancouver or Victoria as their foreign stop.
  11. Not sure how disembarking in Victoria..and taking the Ferry to Vancouver would change anything...It is still Canada where the cruise terminates. Nor is this about the Jones Act which refers only to merchandise, but The Passenger Vessel Service Act. Again...cruise originates in US and terminates in Canada...how is this a violation??? What am I missing? Update: Okay the May 2nd cruise is Hawaii to Vancouver....and the second cruise is Vancouver to Seattle...B2B cruise on RCI was considered two separate cruises, since there are two bookings...but from customs standpoint we didn't have to clear customs the first cruise as we were considered "in transit". That's why the disembarking in Victoria would break the "in transit" status ....but still visiting a foreign port is all the act requires. The Jones Act, 46 U.S.C § 55102, provides that the transportation of merchandise between U.S. points is reserved for U.S. - built, owned, and documented vessels pursuant to section 55102, a vessel may not provide any protection of the U.S. shipping industry by ensuring that only U.S. built, owned and documented vessels are allowed to transport merchandise between coastwise points within the U.S. See the Customs Bulletin Weekly, (Vol.51) General Notices: "Notice of Proposed Modification and Revocation" of headquarters ruling letters relating to U.S. Customs and Border Protection's ("CBP") application of The Jones Act to the transportation of certain merchandise and vessel equipment that are transported between coastwise points. The Passenger Vessel Services Act, (PVSA), 46 U.S.C. § 55103 (b), places the same restrictions on the coastwise movement of people. It is this act that prohibits commercial vessels such as cruise ships from allowing passengers to board at one U.S. port and debark at another U.S. port.
  12. Done over 35 cruises on small (25GT), medium (50 to 90GT) and large (109,000 gt) One and done with Mega/Giga ships for me....did a B2B on Harmony in October and did not love the ship or the experience. Always lots of kids (like over a thousand on many cruises). Adult only areas not enforced....The ability to tune out shrieking...priceless. Crowded pools. Rear elevators hopelessly overwhelmed most of the day, Long lines to get into the Windjammer Cafe because of the hand washing stations, then trying to find a seat is your next challenge. Ho Hum food and indifferent service even in the specialty restaurants. Few quiet places / secluded nooks and crannies Interior more Mall of America than ship....ZERO relation to the sea. Mega/Giga ships have run of the mill itineraries. How many times do you want to see St. Maarten? I can say I did it....That's about it.
  13. Unless your Dad drinks about 10 drinks per day he is dollars ahead just buying them without a package, and your Mom the same.
  14. The attached article has great information about cruising to or from Seattle. Lots of tips and tricks, must see's and how to's. Enjoy https://profcruise.com/a-downtown-residents-best-tips-for-cruising-out-of-seattle-in-2019/
  15. No nothing like that on Radiance.... Singapore Slings has some quiet corners and nooks however.
  16. Ah....didn't notice that they were from England..
  17. You don't need wi-fi for Uber or Lyft, just a smart phone and an account. With 5 people I would consider a Van service like Shuttle Express https://shuttleexpress.com/seattle-cruise-transfers/
  18. I always pick a specific cabin...Considerations are: 1. Port or Starboard (example Radiance from Vancouver to Hawaii....Starboard to take advantage of the sunsets) 2. Deck level Never pick a cabin under or over the pool deck, restaurants, lounges, theater, etc. 3 Mid-ship(ish) but never nearer than 5 cabins from the entrance to the elevator banks (noise) 4. No connecting doors.
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