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glgolfer

Alaska onboard the Radiance now

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We are on the Radiance cruising the inside passage on the way to Juneau. Just opening this thread. Will be adding a day by day review as we go. We got the cybercabin connection and it works well,just slow. So, watch this space for our impressions.

 

Paul & Judy

 

Radiance to Alaska

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Jewel of the Seas

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YEAH!!!! Finally, someone is giving us the inside scoop! Please tell us every detail....

 

JB

Sun Viking 8/83,Premier 8/86

Disney 8/01, Rhapsody 8/03, Monarch 12/03, Splendour 4/04,

 

UPCOMING CRUISES:

Enchantment of the Seas 9/04

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Rhapsody of the Seas 11/04

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Radiance of the Seas 5/05 - Alaska

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Mariner of the Seas 10/05

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Thanks for the postings; we'll be watching for sure. Just did Navigator with cybercabin; it worked, but as you say, pretty slow.

 

thanks

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Paul and Judy,

 

Just added this thread to my notification icon_smile.gif. This is my wish list icon_wink.gif:

<LI> How clean is the ship?

<LI> Entertainment on the ship.

<LI> Services.

<LI> How smooth is the sailing?

<LI> Embarkation/Debarkation

<LI> How far away from the airport to the port

<LI> Did you add pre/post land tours to your cruise?

<LI> Weather and suggested clothing

 

Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif

 

March 28, 2004 - Mariner of the Seas

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PaulWN,

 

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about your trip. I am curious about the inside passage route the Radiance takes. Are you close to land for most of the inside passage sea day and if so did what route did you take? Grenville Channel?

 

I have been on Radiance and she is beatiful. A great ship for Alaska. I am sailing on Serenade 8/8.

 

Enjoy your trip.

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Looking forward to your posts... we'll be on the Serenade in August... can't wait! Guess I'll live vicariously until then...

 

***Nancy***

 

Song of Norway 12/79

Tropicale 12/84

Explorer of the Seas 8/3/02

Mariner of the Seas 1/4/04

 

Serenading to Alaska for our 10th anniversary!

Roll call for Serenade 8/1/04 click here

Time until our next cruise

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Hi Paul and Judy~~~~~~~~~~~been looking for you............how was the flight up??On time???? Nice airplane???

 

What time did you board the ship???

 

I see the weather this week is gonna be in the high 70s~~~~~~~~~~Unbelievable...

 

Tell us all you can!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=111111&cdt=2004;5;30;14;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000 RCCL Serenade--5/30--Alaska

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;10;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 RCCL Jewel--10/28--repositioning

 

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Questions from Radiance folks boarding 5/29:

When is muster drill?

Do you have kids? If so, when do they sign up for kid's club?

Is the coffee shop open while the ship is docked?

What's the entertainment like?

Is there a theme night?

Rough waters?

Clean ship?

Favorite experience (so far)?

Food good?

 

Thanks so much for posting while on your cruise!

 

We all owe you (big time).

 

Fascination 11/01

Inspiration 6/02

Conquest 1/03

Holiday 7/03

Radiance 5/04

 

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Looking eagerly forward to your thoughts/postings!

 

Happy Vacation to you and Judy.

 

Cindy

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;9;11;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500  Cruising the Carribean

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2005;8;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500  Serenade of the Seas -Alaska!

 

 

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Just got off the Radiance in Vancouver on 5/9. It was a fantastic repositioning cruise. I am trying to find out something, I hope you can help! In the main spa area, next to the Solarium, they use an aromatherapy oil(in the air) that smells so good. I would like to know the name of the scent. I know it is an Elemis oil but don't know what scent. This sounds crazy, I know, but I would like to buy some for home. Please see if you can find out and post it here, or e-mail at deenaw@comcast.net

 

Thanks so much

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This is so cool icon_smile.gifI am very interested in how this connection works for you as we are going to get the hook-up package for the week on the Serenade.

Did you make a mad dash to the front desk to get your cable or will Concierge have it there for us?

 

Alaska (my BIG 50)Serenade of the Seas

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We will be doing Alaska in 2 months on the Radiance.

My questions are these:

1. Did they offer a soda card? (adult price)

If so, how much was it?

2. Did they have any drink specials?

3. What time was early seating for dinner?

 

Thanks so much!!!

 

"Blessed are the FLEXIBLE for they shall never be bent out of shape"

 

Vision / Seas 03/2002

Star Princess 03/2003

Radiance / Seas 07/2004

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Paul,

 

Good to hear from you. We're packed and ready to get on the ship as you are getting off (so don't be slow icon_biggrin.gif).

 

It looks like you're going to be very busy answering a lot of questions. Hopefully you'll have some time to enjoy the actual cruise.

 

I look forward this reading this post over the week.

 

Bill

 

North to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas

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Navigator of the Seas - March 2003

Destiny - July 2001

Magic - July 2000

Skyward - March 1987

Big Red Boat - March 1984

 

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Two cruisers~~~~~~~~Paul and his wife will be doing the 4 glacier helicopter tour(thru RCCL) in Juneau....

 

Comx~`make sure you keep up here...........remember he is leaving us a note at the Red Onion in Skagway....

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=111111&cdt=2004;5;30;14;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000  RCCL Serenade--5/30--Alaska

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;10;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500  RCCL Jewel--10/28--repositioning

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I asked this question also on May 29 sailing Radiance board.

 

At the risk of sounding dumb, what is cybercabin and how much does it cost?

 

Stephen's MoM

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Cybercabin is the internet connection for your laptop that you can purchase from Guest Relations for $100 per week. It runs at about 29 kbs, so isn't really fast. If you don't get cybercabin it costs 50 cents per minute on the ship's PCs, including sign on time, so one e mail can cost a couple of dollars to send.

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Here's the first installment. I'll answer a few questions first. The review is a combination of my observations and Judy's.

 

Soda card $42 +15% for adults. There's a drink special every day. First seating is 1800 (6:00)

Haven't got to the spa yet to ask about the scent, will go later.

 

San's right on about the cyber cabin. You can get the modem cable at guest relations ($25 deposit refunded when you give it back). $100 for the 7 days. Our connection shows 49.2 kbps.

Easy to set up, just real slow after roadruner cable.

Folgy: We didn't check with the concierge, just got ours early first day at the CR desk. Don't know if the concierge would do it because of the charge. We'll try to remember to find out.

 

PH is correct, 4 glacier helicopter with a landing from Juneau thru RCI.

 

Here are some of our observations so far:

 

CLEANLINESS:

Cabin, corridors, public areas all look great.

 

FOOD:

Excellent so far. More heart healthy choices than before. No “ranch steakâ€. Beautiful new menus. Lunch always the same choices with a special of the day. Our head waiter said the new menu was specific for the Radience class. Don't know what changes have been made for the other ships in the fleet. Concierge selection limited, but I think it will expand as people use it.

 

ENTERTAINMENT: Bowzer of Sha Na Na tonight. Good, fun show.

 

SERVICES:

Cabin steward is extremely attentive. Dining room manager very attentive.

Asked cabin steward to have room service deliver a pitcher of iced tea to cabin about 3 each afternoon. Wow! Nice-sized pitcher (ice stayed for 5 hours), sugar, raw sugar, both pink & blue sugar substitutes. Two big glasses and spoons. When steward turned down room while we went to dinner, he didn’t dump what was left, but did wash the glasses! That’s nice. (We pretipped him $20 to share with room service and for a couple other extras we wanted, he has the feeling we'll take care of him later also. He's right.) They have the team attendant concept starting this week. We told him we understood the extra work involved. He seems to do our cabin as soon as we leave for breakfast and when we go to dinner. I think I understand why.

 

CONDITION OF THE SEAS:

Very smooth until this evening. Now a little motion in the ocean.

 

EMBARKATION PROCEDURES: Half hour to get thru carryon xray, then another half hour plus to clear US immigration to board the ship. We’re diamond members, so we got in line immediately. Don’t know how long folks with numbers had to wait.

 

WEATHER:

Low 60°s. Overcast this morning, then sunny and bright the rest of the day. Now it is 9:43 pm and still quite light. Chilly, a little breezy. 51° now.

 

FLIGHT:

America West Tampa-Phoenix-Vancouver. Smooth flights, clean planes. Friendly staff. We shared the $7 breakfast (scrambled eggs & turkey ham sandwich – hot!, good sized bowl of fresh fruit & small container of strawberry-banana yogurt). Satisfied both of us. Long line to clear customs at the airport, took close to an hour even the day before the cruise. Some luggage had already been removed from the carousel by the time we got there. Look for bags stacked at one end of the carousel.

 

HOTEL: Fairmont Waterfront precruise thru RCI: Very nice room. Checkin luggage for the ship picked up at 0930 from room. Bus picked us up at 1230, arrived at ship about 1250.

 

MUSTER DRILLS:

Scheduled for 4:30 delayed til 5:15 because of late arrivals. Departure delayed about 45 minutes. Had planned to “meet & mingle†with other cc after muster. Because of main seating at 6, we left before most got there.

 

KIDS ON BOARD:

We have no children; appears to be very few on board. Tablemates said last week there were quite a number.

 

COFFEE SHOP OPEN:

Seattle’s Best was open when we got on.

 

FAVORITE EXPERIENCE:

Sitting at table for four on second level at window with guest lecturer and his wife!

 

Radiance to Alaska

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Jewel of the Seas

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This is great, keep it comming soaking it all in.

 

Cruises I have been on ?

Nobody really cares.

HAVE A GREAT DAY AT SEA !!!

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Radiance to Hawaii

 

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Great job you're doing there Paul~~~~~

 

I was worried about AmericaWest(heard horror stories).....

 

Did you get to see any of Vancouver?What time did you get to the hotel??

 

Enjoy the helicopter today.....safe trip!!

 

Looking forward to your next report....Hi to Judy for me!!!

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=111111&cdt=2004;5;30;14;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000 RCCL Serenade--5/30--Alaska

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;10;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 RCCL Jewel--10/28--repositioning

 

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Wow, thanks for taking the time to fill us in. I am booking my Radiance, Alaskan cruise today. Not sailing until 7-02-05 though. I love the Radiance.

 

palm.gif

Monarch 10/97

Majesty 10/99

Radiance 02/03

Grandeur 10/31/03

Rockin On The Radiance 02/15/04

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Tried this earlier, but lost the connection and it didn’t post. Hope it works this time.

One interesting thing about the Fairmont hotel is that they have two dogs in residence. They are guide dogs that flunked out of school, bt still have some training. They’re available for folks to schedule walks with and to even have in their room for a while. The idea is that for anyone away from home for a while, they can “rent a pet†when they get homesick for their pets and/or family. Just some friendly companionship. The dog we saw would greet people when they walked in and was very friendly.

 

PH: we didn’t walk around Vancouver as we have been there before, just relaxed at the hotel. We also ate there and the food was very good.

 

We asked at the spa about the scent and there is no specific thing they use. It’s just a combination of the aromatherapy used in the spa. It comes from the various rooms and from the people just coming out from their massages. So it isn’t anything they use, just happens from people using the spa services.

 

There are 700+ Taiwanese Amway distributors onboard. They are all on first seating which made some folks very unhappy as they were bumped to 2nd seating as a result. We had been confirmed main seating, but when we got our sail card, it showed second seating. We immediately went to the asst Maitre’D doing the dining room thing and he said he would try, but didn’t think he could do anything about it. We then went to the Customer Relations desk to get our internet connection and told the young lady there we weren’t real happy (nicely) and after 16 RCI cruises would hate to switch to another line because of something like this. She said she would take care of it. Within the hour we had been switched to main seating.

We are at a table for 4 with the guest lecturer on Alaska. They were also on last week, but are leaving after this week. He said it’s his wife’s fault as she has to be home for her students dance recital. They are practically our neighbors as they live on Longboat Key. He’s done over 80 cruises lecturing on places all over the world.

 

One thing good about the Amway group is that the Captains party for the first seating only had 30/40 couples as there was a separate party for Amway. Much better than the few hundred generally at that party. The Captain entertained us with a song (good singer).

 

Just about to dock in Juneau. More later.

 

Paul

 

Radiance to Alaska

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Jewel of the Seas

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Hi Paul, Thanks for posting your review.

 

I have one question.... What is the weather like? Just wondering what to pack. In less than two weeks we'll be onboard the Serenade with PH and San. I can't wait.

 

Thanks again!

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Heres the webcam for Juneau.............you can see the Radiance there right now!!

 

webcam

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=111111&cdt=2004;5;30;14;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000 RCCL Serenade--5/30--Alaska

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;10;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 RCCL Jewel--10/28--repositioning

 

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Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to post!

 

How is the temperature inside the ship? Are people wearing short or long sleeves in the evening?

 

Serenade Alaska - 5/04

Serenade Southern - 12/03

Navigator Eastern - 4/03

Explorer Western - 4/02

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KIDS ON BOARD:

We have no children; appears to be very few on board. Tablemates said last week there were quite a number.

-----------------------------------------------

Paul, Thankyou for checking into that for me.

(Concierge for internet)

 

Also I wanted to say "YAHOOOOO" No Children..you must have gotten the cruise from heaven.I sure hope I am so lucky icon_biggrin.gif

 

Alaska (my BIG 50)Serenade of the Seas

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Check out the BRIDGE CAM listed Princess on the right side of the Web Cam PH posted. Really Cool sight!! Thanks PH for posting the Web!!

 

PAUL: GREAT REVIEW!! I feel like I should be chipping in for your room internet connection!!

 

Watch out for those Amway folks....they'll try and sell you tons of SOAP!!

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=0000ff&cdt=2004;05;20;7;30;00&timezone=GMT-0500

It's VACATION TIME for the ANDERSON'S!!

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Paul ,

 

I think I would move to second seating if I had 700+ Amway pax there...LOL

 

Alaska (my BIG 50)Serenade of the Seas

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=dc143c&cdt=2004;8;8;12;0;00&timezone=GMT-0800

 

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Paul & Judy,

Thanks so much for checking on the spa for me. Your cruise sounds great and I hope you have a blast. Everyone at home really seems to be enjoying your postings. We all wish we could be there too!

 

Thanks again

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Paul and Judy,

 

Thanks for taking time to satisfy those inquisitive minds at home icon_smile.gif. Sound like you guys have a grand time there icon_cool.gif

 

Waiting patiently for my turn to sail icon_smile.gif

 

cat-1_e0.gif

 

March 28, 2004 - Mariner of the Seas

 

[This message was edited by Florida Beach on 05-17-04 at 11:59 PM.]

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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

San's right on about the cyber cabin. You can get the modem cable at guest relations ($25 deposit refunded when you give it back). $100 for the 7 days. Our connection shows 49.2 kbps.

Easy to set up, just real slow after roadruner cable.

Folgy: We didn't check with the concierge, just got ours early first day at the CR desk. Don't know if the concierge would do it because of the charge. We'll try to remember to find out.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

do you have to use their cable, or can't we just use our own modem cable? i assume it is either a cat 5 cable or a regular modem cable, right? i am bringing my laptop also so i can download pictures and videos and send them to friends and family. then just erase the memory cards to start again the next day.

we are on the serenade july 11. thanks for writing to all of us during your cruise. we really appreciate you taking the time, especially when you lose connection and have to start over.

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Hello Radiance travelers...

 

I was on this ship last year and I wrote this review that may help some of you out. It is pretty lengthy but full of various information that I found with my family about Alaska.

 

 

From June 7, 2003

Hello fellow cruisers. I just got back from Alaska yesterday after spending 7 glorious days aboard the Radiance of the Seas. Before getting married, I was an avid cruiser but it had been 15 years since I last stepped aboard a cruise ship gangplank. I am hoping that through this review I can offer a little insight of what to expect or help you make a decision in booking your excursion.

 

First off, we are a family of four. I have a 10-year-old daughter and a 5-year-old son. My wife and I met on a cruise 17 years ago (finding love - it does happen) and this was our first cruise as a family. I contemplated whether or not to bring the kids on this cruise but when it was all said and done, I wanted to make this a family affair. For those who are trying to decide about bringing the kids, it can work. You can be a family and have time alone. In our case, we chose Royal Caribbean because of their kid’s program. Our cruise was set for June 7th – 14th and our ports consisted of Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan. The weather couldn’t have been better. It only rained a little in Ketchikan but this did not hamper excursions or experience of this port. To help people reading this review, I have tried to categorize the various areas of discussions so that you can read what you are interested in and ignore everything else. I will be as honest and up front in each of the areas. Here we go and the subjects are…

 

Ship: As stated before, we cruised aboard the RCL Radiance of the Seas. This is a beautiful ship and offers all types of things to do. It is approximately 2 years old and has 13 decks on her. The Radiance is known for having so many rooms with adjacent balconies. Our room ( 9558 ) had one of these balconies. The ship is a wall of glass. Everywhere there is a view. The ship is decorated from top to bottom with exquisite art and statuettes. In the center of the ship is a beautiful atrium where various musical entertainments played nightly. The Radiance is one of the few ships with a rock-climbing wall. It also has a kid’s pool with water slide that my kids took full advantage of. There is also a solarium with a heated pool that is drop dead gorgeous. It has a small library for leisurely reading along with a movie theater, casino, two specialty restaurants, several adult pools with whirlpools, sports bar, adult and kids game room, a Champagne bar, disco, a karaoke bar, a coffee bar, along with many leisure areas. It has several restaurants to choose from varying from formal dining to casual dining or snacking. It has a full service spa along with an exercise room containing the most modern exercise equipment. (I visited once but then decided to eat instead). This ship also has a computerized self-leveling pool table along with a 9-hole putt-putt course, golf simulator, ping-pong tables, shuffleboard, a basketball court and jogging trail, and other events for any sports enthusiast. It has a beautiful theater where entertainers perform, a fantastic shopping area with all types of specialty shops. It has card and board game areas, a small Hollywood memorabilia area, meeting rooms, plenty of deck space for lying around. In short, if you want to be alone, there are places to hide, if you want activities and opportunities to socialize, you won’t have to look far. This ship has everything. The only downside that I found on this ship was in two areas. First was the elevator system. When you have 3,000 people trying to use the elevators, it gets crowded easily and backed up. Often the stairs were a faster alternative. Second was the line to get anything done at Guest Relations. They needed more representatives to assist the passengers. Looking past that, I found the Radiance the most beautiful ship I have ever been on and would highly recommend her to anyone choosing a RCL ship.

 

Embarkation: What a nightmare! Timing is everything. In our case, this was the worst part of our trip. It took far longer than I ever expected and really killed our excitement of getting aboard the ship. We arrived in Vancouver at 1:30pm on Saturday. It was rather warm and humid. If you are dressing warmly, you will die going through customs and embarkation. Check the weather and dress accordingly. When you get off the plane, the first thing you do is go through customs. This is a lengthy walk from terminal so get your walking shoes ready. My suggestion is to hold back, let everyone get ahead of you and look at the various exhibits being displayed on the way to customs. The Vancouver airport is quite beautiful. Keep an eye on any new plane of people arriving behind you but take your time. Rushing off the plane accomplishes you nothing. There will be long lines ahead of you. If you rush, you will just spend your time waiting in line. Once you get to customs, get in the furthest left lane. This lane breaks off into 3 lanes whereas the other lanes are one agent per line. The left lane will be much faster. Once you clear customs, you must arrange transportation to the ship (see below). Choices are taxis, limousines, and ship transfers. There are two departing piers for cruises in Vancouver. One is Canada Place and the other is Ballentyne (sp?) pier. The Radiance leaves from Ballentyne Pier. When you arrive at the pier, they take your luggage and you are assigned a group number to embark (groups of 30). You sit in chairs and wait for your number to be drawn. There is a place to get food and drink if you are inclined. I also found free coupon books here that are for big discounts at the various Alaskan ports. Get this book – it will save you money. After about 30-45 minutes, they call your number and you stand in another line. You will be asked multiple times for your passports and documents so have them ready. This new line goes into a different area. It is here where time stands still. This line is long and winds around and around. If you have kids, they will be miserable. Pack snacks for them but prepare for the whining. At the end of this line is where you establish credit and obtain ID cards. If you have a suite, one of the perks is that you get to skip this long line and go to the front. Cash is non-existent aboard with the exception of the casino. Everything is loaded up on your ship card. We unfortunately got stuck behind a big group (Pampered Chef) so we spent a good hour and a half here. Once you get your ID’s, you then proceed to another line where they take your picture and you then board. My advice is to show up early or show up late. By 4:00pm, the lines were minimal and you may be able to proceed at a faster pace. We did meet people who arrived early and hopped right on. If you arrive in the middle of the day, be prepared for a long afternoon.

 

Transportation for Airport to Ship: We decided to get to the ship via a taxi. Message boards state that this is around 25 Canadian dollars. In truth, it will run you about $35 Canadian dollars. Our cab as most was not air-conditioned. We found this true both coming and going. If I had to do it all over again, I would book a limousine at the airport terminal. It will probably cost you another 20 dollars but ride will be more pleasant. The trip itself is about 30 minutes. Because we had four of us, getting transfers would have been more expensive. If there are two of you, this will probably be your best option. They have people who meet you directly from the airport and will check in the luggage at the same time. Coming back, you will be able to get a cab with no problems. Leave plenty of time to catch your flight. See Disembarkation notes below.

 

Cabin Info: We decided to get a balcony for our cruise to Alaska. If this would have been a Caribbean cruise, we may have thought differently but for Alaska, scenery is everything. If I had to do it all over again, would I get a room with a balcony? You bet. The balcony was my source of solitude. We spent hours looking at the beautiful views from the ship. It was great to have your own private area away from the crowds and absorb the beauty of Alaska. With kids, we could spend quality time on the balcony while they watched TV. Our room (9558) had a King size bed and pull out sofa that turned into a bed for the two kids. Let me tell you something up front. I have a 1,000-dollar mattress at home and I would have traded it easily for the bed on the cruise. I have never slept as well than on this trip. The beds were very comfortable and the room steward Manuel made sure we got whatever we needed. Extra pillows, blankets, Ice, etc. – all you had to do was ask. The bathrooms have hair dryers, shampoo/conditioner dispensers, soap and electric outlets for whatever you need. We brought a travel iron that was essential. Each night when we returned, the beds were turned down with chocolates on the pillows. Manual would deliver daily ship news flyers for both adult and kids programs. They also did towel art animals the last 5 days of the cruise. My kids loved seeing the new animals each night. There is a TV in the room along with a safe. There are channels for kids, recent movies, and channel on ship activities/news. Plenty of hangers so don’t bring any. There is also plenty of storage space even for a family of four. There is a small desk for writing. Shower is a trick, get your room steward to show you how it works otherwise you will be taking cold showers. The suites have a full size tub in addition to shower. For a family of four, we did quite well in this room. No complaints. Warning, if you open your balcony window, be careful of the vacuum created when you open your room door. It will slam the door in a heartbeat and with kids, they could get hurt. My advice is keep patio window closed when not on balcony.

 

Drink Cards ( soda, alcholol): - We decided to take advantage of these offerings. Looking back, some were good, others weren’t. We bought each of our kids drink cards for unlimited sodas (20 dollars ea) my advice would be to buy just one card if you have multiple kids. They can share the card. Bartenders and restaurant personnel only want to see that you have bought a card. Unless you have a growing teenager, getting value for multiple cards is almost impossible. For adults, we bought the 12-drink card at $39 each. This includes gratuity and to us this was a bargain. We also bought a wine package for dinner. It was 7 bottles of wine for $109 and offered 11 different wine selections. For the money, we found this to be a decent value. Since we both liked eating at the formal dining room each night, this was a way to end the evening. We found with the drink cards that almost everything was available from Pina Coladas to Hurricanes to house specialties with the cards. The only thing to watch out far are the Bon Voyage drinks and Hot Chocolate Liqueur drinks offered at various times were extra and quite expensive. Milk, tea, regular coffee and Lemonade are all free.

 

Weather: We were lucky. The weather we experienced during our cruise was unbelievable. Many of the crew had commented how rare good weather is in Alaska. Most weeks it rains but for some reason, we had plenty of sunshine in Vancouver, Juneau, Skagway, and Hubbard Glacier. Ketchikan showed us some showers but they were light comparatively. The winds were very rough at times. The first night aboard, I went out at night on deck. The winds were blowing at about 60 mph. It was like being in a hurricane. When this happened, the waves started rocking. I must admit, I never felt seasick even when it was bad. The temperatures were as low as 45 at night to 68 during the day. I wish that I could tell you that this was always the case but we caught an exception to the rule when it came to weather. For the most part, expect days of rain. See my next section on clothing. It should help you on what to bring. One last thing, during the months of June, July, Aug the sun is up about 18-20 hrs a day. At 11:00 pm at night, we could still see things with sunlight. It was amazing.

 

Clothing: My most important section of this review. For all you cruisers from the south like us, hear this one thing. Leave the snow gear at home. As the message boards all say, bring layered clothing. You don’t need ski suits, you will never take them out of your suitcase. My advice is to bring a lined jacket and wear layers of sweaters, pullovers, fleece, etc. You will need a rain poncho. If you have a light wind suit, that may come in handy but for the most part, heavy ski jackets are impractical for this time of year. Most of the time, I wore my windbreaker jacket with a sweater underneath. Trust me, you do not want to be dragging jackets in port all day. Bring at least two pair of shoes, one for walking and one for dining. The articles of clothing that you need to bring plenty of are underwear, socks, and undershirts. We definitely over packed. Whatever, you think you need, you don’t need as much. If I could do it all over again, I would have brought half of what I had. The reasons are simple. The ship has a great laundry/dry clean service. We used it twice during the cruise. It is somewhat pricey, $3.00 shirt/ $4.00 pants but after paying thousands for the trip, why worry about 3 to 4 dollars. Second, you will buy some shirt whether it is a sweatshirt, t-shirt, polo, from Alaska. You can always wear these aboard and many people did. Remember, you will be buying souvenirs and you have got to make room for these items somewhere in your suitcase. My family brought two outfits for each day - One for during the day and one for dining at night. For kids, this is a must since they will probably get their day outfits dirty. For adults, trick is to bring multiple shirts but minimize the pants. Two pair of jeans should last four days. We dressed up for dinner each night and there are two formal nights so be prepared. My suggestion is to bring 2-3 pairs of dark pants and swap them with shirts and blouses. If they get dirty, send them out. Hear me, you must cut down on what you are bringing. You will make do so when you are through packing, go back and take another 25% out. We brought gloves, hats, and scarves. They never left the closet. Your back will thank you as you carry your luggage through the terminal.

 

Life aboard Ship: There is plenty to do aboard. The ship offers exercise classes, bingo, karaoke, trivia games, shuffleboard, table tennis, rock wall climbing, court games (volleyball, basketball, soccer), wine tasting classes, cooking shows, art and sports memorabilia auctions, line dance classes, disco dancing, kids programs, pool activities, billiards, a stocked library, big screen TV’s throughout ship, etc. Each day, there are 3 different movies shown in the movie theater. Each night, there is some form of entertainment in the Aurora Theater. We saw comedians, jugglers, cruise cast members, and “The Coastersâ€. Each day, a bulletin is printed listing all the daily activities. Trust me, you won’t be bored. When not at port, the Casino is open and stays open to the wee hours. The bars close down around 2:00am each night. There is always a contest of some sort going on and they have various themes or parties scheduled. My wife and I with another couple won the TV 70’s/80’s trivia game. There are sock hops, Captain Welcome parties, “Survivor†game challenges. Whether it is kids or adults, you will find an assortment of activities to keep you occupied.

 

Entertainment: The entertainment quality aboard the Radiance was average to good. This isn’t Vegas but many of the shows being presented were entertaining. Overall, the entertainment brought in exceeded the quality of the on-board ship entertainers. We saw a great comedian and juggling act. The Coasters of 50’s fame were featured and there were musicians and musical acts featured throughout the cruise. Much of our time was spent at the Casino or various leisure bars. They had Karaoke several nights and this turned out to be a hoot. People became less shy as the cruise went on. The disco was open each night and seemed to be the hot spot. The movie theater provided a way for you to catch up on some films that you might have missed and the multiple bars and relaxation areas provided a place to just relax. Most nights, the cruise offered after hour kids programs to allow parents to get some time alone. We took advantage of this on 2 occasions. To summarize, I have seen better stage productions but overall they were still entertaining. I really think that Radiance could do better here in this area. The enthusiasm was there but not the talent.

 

Food/Dining: This is the area that I was most disappointed. I had been on 5 cruises prior to this one and the one thing that I found missing on this cruise was the quality of the food. I am not talking about the informal places where they served the hot dogs and hamburgers but the main dining room food. Although the menu provided a variety of food choices, I found most of the time the food tasted bland or dry. I don’t consider myself a picky eater but for the most part, I could cook better than most of the dishes prepared. I guess when you are cooking for thousands of people; it is hard to make things fresh. I found steaks very tough and chicken dishes very bland. The presentation was excellent; it was just the quality that I found below par. Our waiters, Gurmit and Michael were excellent. The service was spectacular and they went out of their way to try to make our dining experience a special one. Bottom line, I loved coming to dinner. It was very classy. I liked dressing for dinner, walking down with my family. Gurmit and Michael learned our likes and dislikes by the second day. They always provided my kids with their favorite food selections. My 10-year-old daughter was provided with a glass of milk and a glass of cola each meal followed by two scoops of vanilla ice cream. She thought she was in heaven. We were never rushed and they took the time to talk with us and get to know each and every one of us. For service, I would give an A+. The staff sang for us and everyone in the dining room got to know each other. Each night, they would bring me two deserts to ensure that I got to taste various things. Coffee was always brought. The assistant waiter performed magic tricks for my kids and the water and wine in my glass never was lacking. It appeared to me that the squeaky wheels got the better tables. If you wanted a window table, you probably had to grease the Headwaiter or raise a complaint. Our table was for four and we were moved from a window to the center of the restaurant. It did not matter to us but there was definitely a lot of politicking to get the better seats. On the Radiance, there are several restaurants. Formal dining is in the Cascade room. Informal dining, buffet style, is in the Windjammer room. The Windjammer is okay at best. The kids liked it only because they had pizza, hot dogs, and hamburgers. I tried each of these but was not impressed. I hope that I don’t come out sounding like a snob. I have had better food on many different cruises and I expected the quality to match the quality of the ship. It did not. I did however find a diamond in the rough in the “Seaview Café†This restaurant was located on the 12th floor and has a small menu. All items are cooked fresh and to order. They served Reuben sandwiches, Hamburgers, Nathan’s hot dogs, soups, salads, onion rings, etc. Not too many people took advantage of this restaurant and we ended up eating here during the day. I highly recommend this café. It was the best free food aboard. For all you Sushi lovers, the ship sports a Sushi bar that looked very good. It’s not for me however. There were also two special nights aboard the Radiance. The first special night was the “Chocolate Buffetâ€. The lines to this were terrible and it really wasn’t that good. The second gala was the “Midnight Buffetâ€. This was even more luxurious. The presentation was beautiful. They offered a ½ hr of viewing prior to allowing people to eat and I was able to get some great pictures. The buffet seemed to concentrate on visual more than quantity of food. There were no hot dishes and seemed to focus on fruits, deserts, cheese trays, and salmon. This too was okay but not great. Last but not least, after several dissatisfying meals, my wife and I decided to check out the specialty restaurants offered by the cruise. These are dinners you pay a modest fee to eat at. Please see comments below regarding both of these restaurants.

 

Specialty Restaurants: Let me say this now. Spend the money. The difference between the food in these restaurants and the main dining room is night and day. There are two specialty restaurants aboard the Radiance. One is a steak restaurant called “Chops Grille†and the other is an Italian restaurant called “Portofinosâ€. These restaurants come with a fee of $20 pp for dinner. We ate first at Chops. My wife and I had Filet Mignons and they were excellent. I cannot recall ever having a better steak in my life. We also had crab cakes, Caesar salads and fresh vegetables. The presentation was first rate. If $20 is too much for you to spend, you can get this half-priced for lunch when in port or on Wednesdays and Fridays. I highly recommend this restaurant. If you like steak, this is the place. We took advantage of the lunch special mentioned above and ate at Portofinos. For $10 pp, we figured it must be a steal. It was. We also got the restaurant to allow the kids to eat spaghetti for free. They offered Veal Marsalla, Lasagna, and other great dishes. Although we liked Chops better, this restaurant was fabulous also. This is what we anticipated the main dining room to be like. I guess those days are over. My recommendation is to spend the money at least once during the cruise and judge for yourselves. The dinner menu is far better than the lunch menu so plan a quiet evening at either of these fine restaurants. No rushing on this meal. Bon Appetite!!!

 

Casino: This casino is called “Casino Royaleâ€. It has a variety of slot machines, black jack tables, roulette, and various other Vegas tables. The dealers are patient and will help you learn the rules if you a novice. Unlike Vegas, you have a fair shot of winning here. Saw several jackpots hit on the slots along with $15,000 won on poker tables. I also saw a great deal of money lost but if you like gambling, you will have fun here. Casino is open at 09:00am with the exception of when we are in port.

 

Photography: If you want a picture done of you or your family, you won’t have to look far. Many photo opportunities are offered aboard this ship. 8 x 10’s will run you about $20 each while 5 x 7’s run about $10. Featured pictures are Captains party, Welcome aboard pics, Formal nights, and pictures with a suited animal in every port. The ship also sells a commemorative video ($25) that features your week aboard the ship. Most of the video is stock footage but also contains events that happened on the ship the week you were on. Only runs about 30 minutes but if you are looking for memories, this may be an option. Would I buy it again if given the chance? No.

 

Formal nights: Two formal nights on this cruise. Many of the men wore tuxedos while most of the women wore evening gowns. Some people dressed down but they were a minority. My impression was that people enjoy dressing up for cruises. I wore a suit vs a tuxedo and did not feel out of place. If you do not wish to attend these functions, there are restaurants like the Windjammer to accommodate you. The captain threw a welcome aboard party and you were given the opportunity to meet the captain and have your picture taken with him. There were also complimentary drinks offered. On most nights in the dining room, many of the people wore dress slacks or nice dresses or pantsuits. During the day, casual attire was the norm. Did not see blue jeans in the dining room at night. Most men wore dress shirts and ties to dinner. I think if you wore a nice polo, you would not feel out of place.

 

Kids Programs: In a nutshell, the kids programs aboard the Radiance were fantastic. I have two kids (10 & 5). Kids are put in various groups based on age. The requirements are that the child must be potty trained. Groupings are 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, and teenage groups. My kids loved these programs. Each day, they would receive a calendar of events that detailed all the planned activities. The sessions start at 09:00am in the morning and run till noon. Parents pick their kids up at noon for lunch on most days but there are days while in port where the kids can eat with their groups during lunch. The next session is between 2 – 5pm and evening sessions from 8-10pm. For each session they attend, they receive reward bucks that can be used at end of cruise to get prizes. Activities are sports, movies, crafts, science experiments, pirate night, pajama night, computer games, video games, finger painting, scavenger hunts and a ton of different activities. Trust me, you will have to tear your kid away from this place when you go to pick them up. They also put on talent shows and various events where they can win medals. The kids program also offers late evening care for $5.00 per hr. We took advantage of this several times to get quality time together without the kids. The kids liked making new friends. I have to give RCL high marks for their kids programs. It is well planned. Be sure to tip these guys at the end. They pool their monies together so you won’t have to learn names. Any reservation about the kids being bored on the cruise went out the window with this program. A+ all the way.

 

Ports of Call/ Excursions: Our ports of call were Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Hubbard Glacier. Each port is different and offers a variety of things to do. For the most part, I booked all of my excursions independently. I found this to be the best way to save money. In this section, I just want to say a few things about each port. I will then tell you of the excursions that I took in each of the ports and whether they were good or bad.

 

Juneau: The first port we visited was Juneau. Juneau can only be reached by boat or plane. The Radiance pulls right up to the dock. It does not tender so you can depart the ship directly into the city. The first thing you see when you get into this city is Mount Roberts tram. This tram goes up into the mountain and offers an excellent way to view the city. They also have hiking trails at the top along with a restaurant. Many of the people visit Mendenhall glacier because of its vicinity but Juneau sports several glaciers that are reachable by floatplane or helicopters. Shopping is good in Juneau although I think the best prices were found in Ketchikan. In Juneau there is the Red Onion saloon that is a throwback to the days of the Wild West. Included are saloon girls and sawdust on the floor. You really should take a peak in this establishment. Other things to do are whale watching and city tours. There are several ways to get out to Mendenhall glacier depending on how much money you want to spend.

Juneau excursions: We took two excursions in Juneau. The first one was a helicopter glacier landing that took us to the Taku glacier. I booked this with Coastal helicopters at $175 pp. The views from the helicopter are breathtaking. The pilot showed us various terrains and told us about each of the glaciers we were flying over. The high point of the trip was landing on the glacier itself. You could see the giant crevices through the glacier and the beautiful blue water below. We walked on the glacier for a while and I drank some of the glacier water flowing down. It was crystal clear and tasted great. Seeing the glacier from the air is the only way that I feel you can experience Alaska’s beauty. My kids loved it and the only negative thing to say was there was not enough time on the glacier. Total time of the trip was 1.25 hrs with 20 minutes or so on the glacier itself. There are two major helicopter companies that I found in Juneau. One is TEMSCO and the other was Coastal. I took TEMSCO in Skagway (see below) and Coastal in Juneau. Of the two, TEMSCO seems better organized than Coastal. If you have a choice, I would book TEMSCO. It seemed to prepare you more for the trip. I also found that with TEMSCO, they provided boots and life vests where Coastal did not. I cannot tell you the difference in costs between these two helicopter companies but only my observation after booking and traveling with both. The second tour that we took in Juneau was Capt Larry’s whale watching excursion. This was offered independently through Orca enterprises. This was a great excursion. Capt Larry is a crusty image of what you might expect a sea captain to look like. He knows whaling. He also has an assistant naturalist aboard named JT. The Orcas boat holds about 20-30 passengers. It has a small restroom that is very primitive. There is a place on top for you to stand and take pictures. This holds 6 people and the back of the boat will accommodate all the others if necessary. During the ride to find the whales, you are asked to stay seated. Capt Larry offers crackers, cheese, and salmon bites with juice and water. Not too appetizing so if you are the hungry type, you better bring your own snacks. Forgetting food, we were here to see whales. During this excursion, we saw several eagles, sea lions, seals and humpback whales. JT and Capt Larry told us about the whales and what to expect. At first we had a hard time finding humpback whales but eventually we came upon a mother humpback and her baby. The dives were spectacular and the whole trip was well worth the money. I can’t tell you if Capt Larry is better than the excursion offered by the ship but I know the passenger count is lower and with his smaller boat, he can get to places quicker. I would highly recommend Capt Larry. Their office is directly across from where the boat docks and they offer a small discount for kids. Did my kids enjoy this? Most definitely.

 

Skagway: Our next port was the beautiful town of Skagway. In this town, the White Pass railroad is the main attraction for most visitors. It is a small town that can be easily walked. Shopping is good here. We saw many kayakers at this port. The beauty of the mountains was spectacular. There are plenty of shore excursions available at this port. Skagway excursions: Although the White Pass railroad attracted us, we decided that the 3 hour train ride would be too boring for my 5 & 10 yr old kids. As a result, we decided to rent a car from Avis car rental and drive the 150 mile round trip to Emerald lake and back. There are a couple of things I will tell you about renting a car. The rate is about $70 and you will use about $10 dollars in gas. You can book this direct from Avis using the Internet. The car rental place is in the middle of town and about 10 minutes from the ship walking. The beauty of renting a car is that you can stop as often as you possibly want to and spend as much time as you want looking at things. The train did not offer that luxury. In the end, I think we made the right decision. I am sure that the scenery from the train is better than the Klondike Hwy but this road trip turned out to be a great day. We saw waterfalls, beautiful scenery. We stopped at walked in the streams under the waterfalls. We found a snow embankment and the kids and I had snowball fights and climbed the hills surrounding it. We found beaches where we walked on the sand. In Carcross, we stopped for ice cream and walked in the world’s smallest desert. The sights were unbelievable. I must have shot 3 rolls of film on this road trip. The trip climax is the beauty of Emerald Lake. It is crystal blue with various shades of green. This trip took us about 4.5 hrs but we were constantly stopping and enjoying ourselves. I am sure that you can do this in a shorter period of time. We wanted to stop at Lairsville for gold panning but we ran out of time due to our second excursion. If you take this trip, plan to stop there with the kids. It sounded like a fun experience. Our second excursion was the climax of our Alaska trip. We booked the dog sledding excursion via TEMSCO. This included a helicopter ride over several glaciers and dog sledding at a snow camp located in the mountains. This excursion was pricey but we got a 50% discount for each of our kids. You will not be able to get the same discount in Juneau, only Skagway. I had also heard that the Juneau dog sledding had the highest rate of cancellations. We arrived at TEMSCO that is located directly across from the ship. They show you a safety film and provide you with snow boots and safety vests. The helicopter ride is about 30-45 minutes and has spectacular scenery. I found this to be even prettier than Juneau. If you only have money for one helicopter tour, I would combine it with the dog sledding and get the best of both worlds. The price for this tour is $349 pp for adults and $175 pp for children. Upon arriving at the dog sled camp, you meet your musher and his assistant. They introduce you to the various dogs of your dog sledding team. They give a brief description of how to operate the dog sled and you are off and running. You are allowed to change positions to allow each of you a chance to drive while the other sits. Unless you have experienced this, it is something you will never forget. The musher ( Tim ) told us all about dog sledding and how they are raised and trained. You dog sled for about 30 – 40 minutes on the snow. You then get to spend some time with the dogs and are introduced to the new puppies. My kids ate this up. This is a chance of a lifetime. I would strongly, strongly recommend this excursion. They offer a cheaper substitute on wheels but it cannot compare to this. At the end, they offer to sell you a picture of you on the dog sleds and then you are off back to the helicopter. We were with a group of 6 and everyone thought this was the best excursion to date. Don’t miss it.

 

Ketchikan: Our last port was Ketchikan. This is a beautiful little town with plenty of history and plenty of shopping. It is easy to walk through. There are several interesting excursions that I would have liked to take but time was limited. If you like totem poles, there are several good excursions that are offered by the ship or through independents. We did take time to visit Creek street. This is the street where many of the prostitute establishments once flourished. We also did most of our primary shopping in this port. Be sure to use the coupons you got in the book mentioned in Embarkation. You can save a bundle with them. It was also in this port that we saw eagles everywhere.

Ketchikan excursions: We took two excursions while in this port. The first being a Misty Fjords floatplane trip and the second being the Lumberjack show. The Misty Fjords trip was different from the helicopter tours in that it was on a floatplane. Leaving from the water was definitely different. We booked with Family Air tours and got a discount for kids and a 10% discount for prepaying. I want to say for family of 4 it was around $660. This trip lasts about 2-3 hrs. Dave who runs the show shows you many types of scenery. If you want to see waterfalls, this is the tour. The scenery is different than many of the glacier tours. The mist is everywhere rising from the marshlands. It truly is heaven on earth. The serenity of this flight is incredible. After viewing for a while, Dave found a lake to land on (Lake Walker) and we were able to walk from the pontoons to the shore. You are in the middle of nowhere. It is quiet as a mouse. The land is spongy and covered with peat moss. You can see signs of beaver dams and the air is crisp. When we were here, it was drizzling rain. Be sure to bring your ponchos. Also make sure your kids go to the bathroom before they get on the plane. Last but not least, be sure to bring insect repellant. The mosquitoes weren’t bad but visible. I read that fabric softener sheets made great insect repellants. I could not confirm that because I forgot them. You spent about 30 minutes at the site and then boarded up for the ride back. This was a very scenic excursion. I think I liked helicopter tours better but if you want to find beautiful, peaceful quiet, this is the trip for you.

 

Hubbard Glacier: You don’t get off at the glacier but instead they bring the glacier to you. This is very scenic and should not be missed. It may be a little cold on deck but put on an extra sweater and go to the top of the ship. It is beautiful here and everyone is taking pictures the entire time. At this stop, the ship threw a Bar-B-Que on the 12th deck. They had barbeque chicken, ribs, and hamburgers with all the fixings. Due to the number of icebergs, we were not able to get as close as I was hoping. It did not damper the mood. Be careful of the $8.95 cups of liquored hot chocolate being sold topside. It will be a shock to you total bill if you don’t ask the price. You could see some calving but it was far away. Often, you are close enough to hear them. On this trip, we did not get to experience this first-hand. Overall, it was a beautiful sunny day. This is the closest you will get to see real icebergs and falling glaciers.

 

Shopping: Won’t say much here except that we found several good bargains in each of the ports. You can get family T-shirts for as little as $2.00 ea or caps for $1.50. Many of the stores have similar souvenirs and bargains. If you picked up the coupon book that I mentioned in the embarkation section, you will be able to save considerable money. If you like Russian souvenirs, many of the ports had good selections. One thing to also keep in mind, the ship has some bargains also. Don’t dismiss them, you may find a deal.

Medical Svcs: Just a small note here. My son cut his finger pretty bad while on board. It required 4 stitches. The medical facilities are top-notched. The doctor and nurse aboard were great with the kids and service was far better than you will find on land. They treated my son like he was gold. Now the bad part. Insurance does not apply on this ship. Everything is paid up front and you deal with the insurance companies when you get back home. Just to give you an idea, the office visit with stitches ran $290. Compared to a lot of doctor’s offices, that wasn’t to unreasonable. Just know, if you need them, they will be there and from what I observed, they provided excellent care.

 

Disembarkation: You hear a lot of things about horror stories regarding disembarkation. Our experience from the ship point of view was that this was practically painless. On the last night of the cruise, you are given color-coated tags that indicate when you are to disembark. You will be given custom declaration forms, customer satisfaction forms, and tip envelopes for the various people who provided service on the ship. Since we were going to take a cab back to the airport, we received an early departure tag. You pack your suitcases the night before and put them outside your door. In the morning, they call your color number and you are to leave and pick up your luggage in the place that you originally arrived. After verifying charges to the room, we ate breakfast and waited for our number. The time to get off the ship and pick up our bags was less than ½ hr. It was very organized. We got a cab and went to the airport. This is where the nightmare begins again. Vancouver is good because they provide carts to carry your luggage. Once you load up your luggage, you proceed through several long lines. The first line is getting your tickets. I saw United flights backed up 100 people deep. I would suggest that you plan a minimum of 2 hours in getting on your plane. We were on America West and our wait was about 1 hr although they consistently overbooked the flight. The next line is the kicker. In Vancouver there is an airport improvement fee. It is not part of your ticket price but instead you are charged a $10 Canadian dollars/pp fee to use their airport. This translates to $7 pp U.S. dollars. You wait in this line to pay the fee and then you are sent to another line to go through Customs. You will be asked at least 4 different times to show your tickets and passports/id’s so have them readily available. After all this, you will go and wait for your flight. If you only give yourself an hour for this process, the odds are you will miss your flight so be forewarned.

 

Event from Radiance: Thought I would relay an incident that took place aboard the Radiance last week. A fishing boat with 3 crewmembers aboard relayed a SOS indicating that they were sinking. The Radiance was the closest ship to the boat and proceeded through rough waters to get to them as soon as possible. By the time we arrived, the ship was going under for the last time. Each of the crew were in survivor suits hanging to the masts when it went under. The Radiance cast off one of its rescue boats and picked up the 3 crewmembers. Another 15 minutes and they would have suffered from hypothermia. The crewmembers later admitted that they thought they were lucky we were nearby or they probably would have died. The captain was very proud of his staff along with a prestigious feather in his cap for such a daring rescue.

 

I hope that this information helps you. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to email me at davida_smith@msn.com

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Thanks for a very detailed review, superdave icon_smile.gif

 

March 28, 2004 - Mariner of the Seas

July 4, 2004 - Sapphire Princess - Alaska

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Thanks for the review from a year ago, Dave. This is mostly a review for some friends that are going to be on next week and the week after. Naturally, some things have changed significantly from last year.

 

Anyway, here goes todays events. PH, before I forget, it's 115 yards from our aft cabin 9258 to the elevators. You will walk that at least 10 times a day.

Judy got her smoked salmon fix this morn in the concierge lounge. Explored the ship some more. Kids are allowed in the Solarium pool a couple times a day for 2 hours each. We have very few kids on board this trip, so Folgy would love it.

The diamond & platinum get together was a nice brunch 0930 to 1030 in Chops. They had omelette makers alng with other brubch stuff. Iana, the loyalty ambassador asked a couple of us for a little talk about our RCI experiences, so I talked about some of our previous cruises for a couple minutes. She rewarded us with a nice bottle of Merlot in our cabin.

We docked about 1130 AM and cleared immigration about 1230. We were scheduled for the 4 glacier helicopter tour at 1330. The bus ride was aout 15/20 min. They give you boots for over your shoes that are non-slip. The ride out took about 20 minutes, we landed and walked around on the ice for about 20 more minutes, then flew back to the heliport. On the way out and back, we flew over the 4 ships docked in Juneau today.

 

We then did some walking around to some of the shops across the street from the dock.

 

Regarding the food comments by Dave, the menu on the Radiance class has change very recently with new menus. No longer any theme nights. And the food in the dining room is excellent. Prime rib the first night, filet mignon the second night and chicken kiev tonight for me. Our head waiter found out Judy and the other couple liked curry dishes. He brought two plates of curried chicken to our table in addition to the meals we ordered. Curries not high on my list of favorites, but this was very good and I ate more than just one bite.

The creme brulee for desert was much too good.

 

The show tonite was a husband & wife magic act with a little Cirque du Soliel thrown in by the wife. It was a very good show.

 

We just used their cable as the deposit is refundable. We try to remember to ask if you can use your own.

 

That's it for tonite.

 

Paul

 

Radiance to Alaska

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Jewel of the Seas

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forgot the weather report. In the fifties today with some misty rain and mostly low clouds. No rain and a little lighter on the glacier. Fifties in Skagway tomorrow with forties at White Pass and 15/20 mph winds.

Ship temp very comfortable for short sleeve shirts everywhere inside.

Contrary to some comments, you will need warm clothes to be outside, especially for you Floridians. The glacier was cold and windy. I had on a turtle neck and layered a wind vest, long sleeve wind shirt and a short sleeved wind shirt. All good quality golf wind shirts and it was still chilly. Judy had on 2 turtlenecks and a long raincoat with a liner and was ok comfortable.

 

Radiance to Alaska

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Jewel of the Seas

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Thanks Paul---I look forward to your reports soooooooooooo much...........glad you didnt make a "beach" landing yesterday........

 

I remember when we had an aft cabin on the Serenade,it was 165 steps!!!!!!helps to offset the non SB idea,huh??? In 2 weeks,we have cabin 9656....another long walk....

 

Have fun in Skagway today..........thats where you're leaving the note,right????

 

I love the idea of the brunch....sounds very nice.............

 

Looking forward to hearing from you again!!

 

 

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=111111&cdt=2004;5;30;14;00;00&timezone=GMT-1000 RCCL Serenade--5/30--Alaska

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff0000&cdt=2004;10;28;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500 RCCL Jewel--10/28--repositioning

 

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Thanks Paul for all your updates...our group thanks you!

 

PH- what are you doing up this early?? By the way- our meet & mingle up to 25 now with 8 other found that should sign up soon!!! Yeah- we just may catch up with you!! icon_wink.gif As I said before- better late than never icon_biggrin.gif

 

*Fantasy 11/97;12/00;12/01

*MS Destiny 7/98;9/00

*Sov. of the Seas 9/98;9/99;5/00;1/04

*Majesty of the Seas 3/01;5/02

*Fascination 5/01

*Celebrity Millenium 1/02

*Navigator of Seas 11/02

*Grandeur of the Seas 5/03

*Explorer of Seas 9/03

*Disney Wonder 11/03

*Radiance of the Seas 5/04

*Mariner of the Seas 1/05

 

GOTTA LUV CRUZIN'

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=006400&cdt=2004;05;28;13;30;00&timezone=GMT-0500 Until ALASKA!! Mama's trip!

countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=006400&cdt=2005;01;02;16;30;00&timezone=GMT-0500 Mariner of the Seas

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Paul,

 

Thanks for all of your information.

 

What was sailing the inside passage like of Radiance? Were you close to land? Did you pass through Grenville Channel? If not, maybe you will on the way south.

 

Thanks again.

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