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jennat

Review on our Alaska Cruise aboard the Radiance

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We just spent 12 wonderful days in Alaska. We cruised from Vancouver, one way to Seward and then spent 4 magical days in the Kenai Penninsula. Following is a recap of our trip. If you have any questions, ask away.

 

This trip was just my husband and me (43 and 45).

 

We arrived in Vancouver BC at 8:30pm to a wonderful sunset. We hopped on the Sky Train to get to our hotel. The sky train is a easy, easy way to get around downtown and certainly a cheaper and easier way to get to downtown from the airport. It was around $8 a piece for us and a cab would have been double that. It is extremely clean and safe feeling. Do not hesitate to use this. By the way, I don’t really know why it is called the sky train as it was underground most of the way. It should be called the dirt train, or maybe the sub’train’ean train. Haha!

We were staying at the Opus hotel. We won this hotel on priceline for $120 a night.

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It was a super nice art deco hotel in the Yaletown area.

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This is the Yale town area.

When we departed the sky train and stood on the corner trying to figure out where to go. Some lady came up and offered to help us. I only mention this because this was the first in a long line of nice encounters with the locals. It certainly was the “nicest” city I have ever been in. Both in friendliness and cleanliness. It was gorgeous and very safe feeling. I know there are some rougher areas but we didn’t see them.

 

We checked into our hotel and then went across the street to the Cactus Club for dinner.

We only had one day in the city, so we decided we really want to explore and not fly over to Butchart Gardens (which are supposed to be spectacular). I decided to do the hop on hop off trolley (how touristy of us). I bought an entertainment book for $15 because they had a B1G1 coupon in it. The trolley costs $37 pp. We actually really liked the trolley…..the open bus…..didn’t like the closed one to much. I think they alternate.

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The have tons of stops around the city and they loop every 20 minutes.

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This is the Olympic Stadium. They are redoing the roof which is apparently costing half again as much as the whole stadium costs....

things to make you go hummm.

 

They also have commentary so we got to learn lots of interesting facts about the area. Like, did you know that one in every eight people in Vancouver is a millionaire? I don’t doubt it looking around. Also, it is the most expensive city in north America to live in. Another really weird thing I noticed, there are no African Americans in the city, seriously…..what’s up with that…..Lots of Asians and east Indians but no black people. More things that make you go ….hummmmm.

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This was an amazing really long mural depicting famous people either from or who had a significant impact on Vancouver. It was really neat.

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The day today was cold and cloudy, but we really enjoyed all we saw.

 

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China Town

 

I loved the Gastown area. It was very quaint and filled with tourist shops.

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There as a steam clock there that (insert technical things about steam clocks here) and also had steam (duh, it is a steam clock) and played music every (fill in the blank with a time here). Okay, I really wasn't paying attention but it was pretty.

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We went to the top of the Vancouver Lookout (once we figured out how to get in) We expected a tall tower with the round thing on top. Nope.....it is just sitting on a building. Okayyyy. We really enjoyed the view and listening to the tour guides share information. For instance did you know that the air traffic control tower on the top of the building next to the port is the tallest in the world? Didn’t think so.

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See it on top of that building? It is for flight planes and helicopters. The white peaks are the cruise terminal (Canada Place)

The green area in the background is Stanley Park.

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Later we went to Stanley park (on the trolley). We got off on the first stop and decided to walk the sea wall for a bit.

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For the record, there is no “walk the seawall for a bit”. You either commit or your don’t. By the time you get to the bridge you may as well just have your mail forwarded there because that is your new home for the next several miles. It was a lovely walk and certainly not hard (unless of course you have to pee like a race horse like I did and then it totally sucks!) You have the sea on one side and a steep, 50 foot wall of land on the other.

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And it keeps going, and going, and going…….

Finally you reach third beach and you can climb out and either visit the tea house or the concession stand. I chose the ladies room.

 

We caught the trolley and headed back into to town. We exited the bus by where you catch the water ferry over to Granville Island. We walked for a bit and had lunch at the Burrard Bridge Bar and Grill.

 

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It was very good. We walked the seawall back to Yaletown and went back to the hotel.

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While I was getting ready for dinner, Glenn Morshower from 24 and transformers fame was out front of our hotel.

 

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My husband enjoyed seeing him, however, he didn’t feel it was important enough to come and get me. If you are angry and frustrated to hear this I want you to know that,, oh yes, I made him pay for that poor decision. You know I did. Later we went to Salsa and Agave for some margaritas, nachos and to watch the game.

 

The next day we were driven to the port in the hotel’s BMW. It was quite fancy. We were dropped off about 11am and headed through security. We checked in and proceeded to wait until around 1pm to be let on the ship. We were surprised as the ship was in dry dock the week prior so we assumed that with no one exciting the ship we could get on early. Au Contraire my friend, au contraire. AND I'm pretty sure they shipped in the cruise terminal employees from a less friendly city.

Some observations about Vancouver…..

If you want unsweented ice tea, you are out of luck….they only serve sweetened ice tea. Maybe that is why everyone there is so sweet. maybe I will try and give some of it to my 15 year old to test out my theory. I will get back with you on that.

If you want pepper, you may have to ask for it…..most restaurants didn’t have it on the table.

Sweet n Low was hard to come by. Probably because everything is already sweetened so it is redundant.

However, if you want coffee, you literally need to walk about 10 steps…..they are on every corner, three to a block, no exaggeration. One intersection had two Starbucks on the corner.

Ferries to Granville island are $3 each way.

Curling irons are super expensive (what? I needed a curling iron, I’m just sayin’) as were candy bars (around $2.00 a piece)

 

Tune in tomorrow for our first day on the cruise.

 

Night all!

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Oh my gosh - sooo many memories. Can't wait to hear the rest.:)

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Oh my gosh - sooo many memories. Can't wait to hear the rest.:)

 

 

Yes, wonderful memories. We were married on the Radiance 4 years ago on June 24th (Friday).....in Juneau. We will always gave a special place in our hearts for the Radiance.

 

 

...and.....

 

As far as sweetened in Canada.......

 

I used to travel to Canada often for work and I discovered it is challenging to be a diabetic up there. It is truly difficult to find unsweetened or low carb options we are used to down here in the lower 48. I am very careful with my diet and count carbs as my maintenance. One example.....a regular yogurt can be as high as 40 carbs but the "lite and fit" variety is only 17. Guess what you CANNOT find up there!

 

That's ok. I still loved Canada and her wonderful people.

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Haven't even gotten to the part where you board on the ship and I'm already enjoying the review. :) Keep up the (funny) picture review!

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Love your review so far. We sail on July 1st.

 

Please say that you didn't experience any plumbing issues.:)

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Really enjoying your review and can't wait to see pics of the ship and the ports! I spent a week in Vancouver on a land vacation and loved it. There's actually one intersection where they have FOUR Starbucks - one on each corner! If memory serves, they have 60 locations in the downtown area. Cincinnati, a city of similiar size, has only 3 downtown Starbucks locations.

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I'm excited to hear more of your review about the ship and what other rccl ships have you been on to maybe compare to the Radiance. Like did you enjoy the Radiance IF you've been on larger rccl ships?

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I'm excited to hear more of your review about the ship and what other rccl ships have you been on to maybe compare to the Radiance. Like did you enjoy the Radiance IF you've been on larger rccl ships?

 

We have been on 10 other cruises. This was our 5th one aboard RCCL. We have also been on Disney (2), Carnival (2) and Princess and NCL once each. In our opinion, all of the cruise lines are pretty equal (except we are not the biggest fans of Carnival....but that could be because the last cruise we were on with them was an older ship and in really poor shape....) By equal, I mean that they all have something they excel in. Our favorite line though, is RCCL because of her ships. We love the ships and we love the big ships. So I wasn't really sure how this one would go. We hadn't been on a small ship since the Monarch in 2002 with the exception of the Carnival Victory, that I referred to above, that wasn't the best experience (although, hey, it was a cruise so it was still awesome)

I have to say, this ship was absolutely beautiful. I really loved it. I loved the cascading balconies looking into the centrum, I loved the decor in the Colony Club, I loved the Schooner Bar. The Solarium was my favorite space, decor wise, of any ship I have ever been on. Just as a caveat though, this wasn't a Caribbean cruise and I didn't have my kids (15 and 12) with me so it is hard to compare apples to apples. But overall, this ship was great.

 

As for seeing these spaces....you'll just have to wait ;)

 

 

I am proud to report, we experienced no plumbing issues....well except for that night after Mexican. KIDDING!

 

This was an amazing trip and we did things that were truly once in a lifetime. If you are thinking of booking this trip, hold off from booking the post tour until you read what we did. I can't wait to share everything with you. I will get started.........after I get a cup of coffee.....where's a dang Starbucks when you need one!

Edited by jennat

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I am proud to report, we experienced no plumbing issues....well except for that night after Mexican. KIDDING!

 

LMAO ... very good news!

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One thing about the embarkation process, after you check in (which really was quite easy) you are supposed to take a chair. Take the chair. We, along with a bunch of other folks were standing around the walls, thinking they were going to open the door (gate?) anytime so we didn't want to walk way back and sit.....well they make everyone sit and then they let people board the ship by rows. By the time we (followed the rules?) acquiesced, we were almost in the back of the second room. Bummer. There's really is a payoff for following directions. Damn! I didn't take any pictures of the inside of the terminal as I am totally a rule follower now (at least the ones that make sense) but close your eyes and I will describe it to you. Imagine you are sitting in a large room. On one side there is a long line and at the end of the line is a wall full of counters. After you pass these counters you see hundreds of chairs and a bunch of fools trying to beat the system standing along the wall. You can walk through a hole in the wall (sometimes called a door) where there is another room filled with chairs. The walls are white. As you can imagine, it is a lovely place to be. Simply paradise. The outside of the terminal, however, really was quite lovely. See the photos about 5 down.

 

We boarded the ship on the 4th level into the Centrum (atrium).

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We were so excited to be on board. Truthfully, with all the planning of excursions and the post trip, we had forgotten we were actually taking a cruise and all that goes with that. We literally remembered on the plane ride to Vancouver, so that excitement was new. We were booked in room 9588, a balcony on the hump, 9th floor. We are not people who HAVE to have a balcony. We usually end up getting one but always waver. On this cruise I would say that this balcony was perfect. It is worth the extra money, if you have it, simply for the Hubbard Glacier day.

 

By the way, that hot lookin' mama is me, Jen,.....mama being the operative word!

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And the stud in the photo is my man, Mike.

 

Remember that if you get a regular balcony on this ship, there is a big white ledge covering the life boats, so especially if you are on a lower level, you can't look straight down.

 

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There is lots of storage in the room. There is a double closet. One side all hanging stuff and the other side corner but large shelves that go from floor to ceiling. There are drawers on both sides of the desk (total of 8) storage behind the angled mirrors on each side of the desk, some small shelves good for bottles, and a cabinet above the tv, with a small safe in it. It is a "code" safe as opposed to sliding a card to lock it. There is a flat screen tv with questionable signal but that is probably not their fault. BTW there is also wifi all over the ship (not free of course). While I am thinking about it, you HAVE to log off or they keep charging you if you are not on their computers. On apple products you have to get a strip of paper from guest services and type in a web address or code or something. I'm sure they will get this resolved but be aware until then.

The bath is a typical cruise bath but it is the smallest shower ever in the history of the entire world.....this is not over stated. It has one of those clingy shower curtains that wraps around you like cling wrap cutting off all oxygen and bringing up all your childhood terrors of suffocation and being buried alive. What? That was just me?

To shave your legs you have to either, practice Yoga regularly and be extremely flexible, or open the curtain and put your leg on the toilet, now using the entire bathroom as a shower (which really is a lot closer to the size of shower we are used to). I finally learned, on the last day, to lower the nozel to about shoulder level and face it toward the wall, taking the facet thingy (not an official word) off to rinse and repeat. They do have some kind of liquid something on the wall. Don't know what it was, brought my own shampoo, use at your own risk.

Otherwise the bathroom was exactly like all other cruise bathrooms.

Combine all of this with a full sized couch and two small night stands and you have yourselves a cruise room. (oh, and a bed)

I know there was some issue on the ship with people having water pressure issues and temperature issues, we had those the first couple of days. For us, it wasn't a big deal.

Rooms were ready at 2pm, no bags yet so off to explore.

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Awesome review so far! Trying to get my DW to go on one of these. Maybe you will convince her;)

 

You may as well go ahead and book. I will definitely convince her. Give me a challenge would you. You can tell her, I had no interest in going on an Alaska cruise until I was old. I am a warm weather girl. Well, honey, this ain't your momma's cruise we took. Plenty of excitement and adventure.

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Love your review so far.

 

As a Canadian, just a couple of comments:

 

The reason you will only find sweetened tea is because none of it is fresh brewed tea like you get in the States. I split my time between Toronto and Kentucky and it one thing that I miss when I am back in Canada- real, unsweet tea. I'm surprised you had trouble finding sweetner though- it's usually on the table or brought with coffee at every restaurant I have ever been to.

 

Vancouver doesn't have African Americans but it does have African Canadians-I promise!:D Not that this is a term used in Canada. Vancouver has traditionally had a very large Asian community, stemming back to when the railroads were first constructed. Did you get to visit Chinatown?

 

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip and see the changes to the ship!

 

Cheers,

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Plenty of excitement and adventure.

 

I'm loving your review and photos, as well as your great sense of humor! Love the Radiance and can't wait to read more! :)

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Loving your review and I love the Radiance class ships, but have a quick question. Didn't the Radiance just come out of dry dock? Just curious...the picture that shows the couch in your room appears that the couch is really worn. Was it, or is it just the picture?

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First of all, I want to say, that everything I write is my opinion and how I saw things. I realize different people have different experiences. All I can offer is my own.

 

Now let's talk about packing. Now that is a challenge. I might be able to help narrow down your load. We had amazing weather. We had sunshine for all but 2 of the 12 days. That being said. It was cold a lot of the time. I took 1 pair of shorts and several short sleeved t-shirts for both of us. Didn't need them. I did see some people walking around in shorts, I just assumed they were crazy people not taking their medication but hey, who am I to judge. In the ship, in the evenings, you can get away with less than long sleeves for dinner etc but not outside. Definitely take gloves, a hat, a coat, a scarf and a rain coat. I used the gloves and coat just about everyday and I used the scarf on more than one occasion.

This was the first cruise I took jeans on, and I wore them all the time. It was really kind of weird. I did not take any formal clothes with me, although a lot of people did. Not as many as a caribbean cruise but certainly a fair amount. You definitely need a back pack so you can pack for any weather contingency during the port days. I took umbrellas, only used them once, but once again, not much rain. Didn't take ponchos because I figured with the umbrellas and raincoats I would be covered (you know that pun was intended). we did use ponchos given to us by our guides once and were happy to have them.

Definitely take binoculars, cameras, extra batteries (several as you take so many photos you need more than one per day....if you google the type of battery you have you can find them really cheap (like $10 including shipping for 3) super cheap)

I took a pair of low hiking boots and a pair of cute flip flops and that is it for shoes. I was actually in the hiking boots a lot and I am NOT a tennis shoes girl at all!

We were really out in the bush and water hiking a ton (which you will see later), etc and didn't need bug spray at all. I had NO bites (and I am super sweet, haha) but did see a couple of mosquitoes.

Don't forget a power strip like I did. Drat!

 

I will post more on this as I think of it.

 

One thing I forgot to say, when we got to the room the first day, the first thing I did was to ask the cabin steward for two blankets (for the balcony). I was surprised that RCL didn't offer these on the decks, especially with the big screen playing outside movies.

 

We headed up to explore the ship......here are some photos.

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This is taken from deck 12 (the crown and anchor society something or other) looking down (duh). I love the cascading balconies over the centrum.

 

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This is pretty much how the pool looked crowd wise all week. The only exception was the Stanley Cup playoffs, which they played on the big screen.....and maybe the NBA playoffs too, I really don't know, did I mention it was cold. There were often people in the hot tubs also. This seemed quite appealing but I could never get past the horrific image of my death by freezing as I tried to get out of the hot tub and make my way to some place warm. Just didn't see it turning out good so didn't try it. I would like to point out that I live in Colorado so it is not like I live on a Caribbean island or anything. Just sayin'

 

 

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Windjammer.....I thought this was set up nice, although we didn't eat here much. They added two restaurants behind and to the sides of this. Walking back to the left was Rita's Cantina and to the right was Izumi, a sushi restaurant. Behind these in the aft of the ship was open seating. I know the restaurants were having a really hard time keeping overflow from the windjammer out of the pay rest. I'm sure they will figure it out.

The surcharge for Rita's was $3 pp plus ala carte. I think it may have been the same for Izumi (we didn't eat there). To give you an idea about ala carte prices in Rita's, we got the fajitas for two (rice, beans, meat and all the fixin's and it was $4.50.....total, tons of food. Chimichangas $5, nachos $2.50 etc Not to pricey. The food was "fine", not a lot of flavor but it was pretty much fajitas....the service was fantastic.....awesome. Maybe because they weren't very busy. If you order a margarita from here, be warned. They are strong!!!! Not "oh my, this is strong" strong but "Holy, Mother! THIS IS STRONG!" strong. Do not underestimate what I am saying here. Be forewarned and proceed with regard to your motives.....you want to get drunk cheap, this place is what you are looking for. My thought is, why waste the calories, do a shot......the result is pretty much the same in this case. I want to enjoy the flavor of the drink.....these drinks, not so much.

As you enter the windjammer, to the right (actually before you enter) was The Doghouse, a hot dog restaurant offering 5 different kinds of hot dogs. I don't "do dogs" hot or otherwise, so can't comment but I am sure the kids would love it.

Back to the tour

 

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Just a note that I will get to later.....the production entertainment on this ship was amazing......

 

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This was the big round room on top (which totally has a name that I am too tired to think of.....crown something, can't remember....you know what I am talking about. I thought this was kind of weirdly (yes that is a word) decorated.....like, last minute, throw some furniture in here.....or maybe, don't worry about decorating it, everyone will be looking out anyway.

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Loving your review and I love the Radiance class ships, but have a quick question. Didn't the Radiance just come out of dry dock? Just curious...the picture that shows the couch in your room appears that the couch is really worn. Was it, or is it just the picture?

 

Yes it did just come out of dry dock....three weeks worth. I know they didn't do everything. I see what you mean by the couch looking warn. I don't remember noticing so I am thinking it was the light in the picture.

I know the carpet was new and the tvs were new in the rooms.

 

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Edited by jennat

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Jen, thank you so much for taking the time to give us your review and your honest observations.

 

One question, having been on Radiance 12 times ourselves with 3 more cruises planned beginning this September (can you tell we like this ship :D) ..........there used to be an outside coffee station on Deck 11 where the Boardwalk Dog House is currently located. Did you notice if it is still there or did they relocate it?

 

Can't wait to read more of your amazing cruise.

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Lovin' your review...I'm hooked! Ready for the next chapter. We are set to sail on our first Alaskan cruise in a little over 2 months, Aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas. The ROS was our very first cruise ship and I'm hoping we haven't been spoiled too bad by the wonderful Voyager Class ships.

 

(*)(*) looking for the next part......

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Love your review so far.

 

As a Canadian, just a couple of comments:

 

The reason you will only find sweetened tea is because none of it is fresh brewed tea like you get in the States. I split my time between Toronto and Kentucky and it one thing that I miss when I am back in Canada- real, unsweet tea. I'm surprised you had trouble finding sweetner though- it's usually on the table or brought with coffee at every restaurant I have ever been to.

 

Vancouver doesn't have African Americans but it does have African Canadians-I promise!:D Not that this is a term used in Canada. Vancouver has traditionally had a very large Asian community, stemming back to when the railroads were first constructed. Did you get to visit Chinatown?

 

Can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip and see the changes to the ship!

 

Cheers,

 

There was definitely sweetener, just not sweet n low. you know, we all have out "brain cancer in a package of choice". Mine was in low supply! luckily there was no fresh brewed tea to sweeten so it wasn't that much of a deal. How's that for putting a positive spin on a desperate (no tea) situation!

 

We drove through China town but didn't get to walk around there.

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Here are some more Vancouver photos

 

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Gastown

 

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From the Sky Tower

 

Yaletown

 

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Yes it did just come out of dry dock....three weeks worth. I know they didn't do everything. I see what you mean by the couch looking warn. I don't remember noticing so I am thinking it was the light in the picture.

I know the carpet was new and the tvs were new in the rooms.

 

I also noticed the original couch in the photo and was rather surprised. The Radiance apparently received much in the way of reupholstering of furniture on board during drydock, but obviously these worn couches remain. Flooring (including bathroom) was replaced, and nice to see the flat screen tv. Looking forward to seeing more of your review! The Radiance is perfect for cruising Alaska with her three acres of glass, including glass elevators...and that wonderful Solarium. I'm a warm weather person too but loved our Alaska sailings. ;)

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Jen, thank you so much for taking the time to give us your review and your honest observations.

 

One question, having been on Radiance 12 times ourselves with 3 more cruises planned beginning this September (can you tell we like this ship :D) ..........there used to be an outside coffee station on Deck 11 where the Boardwalk Dog House is currently located. Did you notice if it is still there or did they relocate it?

 

Can't wait to read more of your amazing cruise.

 

Not there anymore. There is a coffee stand on deck 5 by the Centrum.....that has always been there, right??

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Also a book nook on deck 9

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I will always sneak in photos when I have a chance. We came home with around 8000.

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While touring the ship, we happened on the Solarium. Such a cool spot. Really makes you want to be in it.

 

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We saw that the Park Cafe was opened and decided to give it a try

 

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This whole 6 photos per post is cramping my style.....hold on....

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The coffee location you are referring to on Deck 5 is Latte-tudes which has always been there and it is not complimentary.

 

The complimentary coffee, hot water, lemonade and ice tea station was right outside the WJ where the Dog House is, so I'm just wondering if they relocated it and you might not have seen it.

 

No problem, I'll have 51 days to find it.:D

 

Also, I can't believe that they didn't have Sweet-N-Low as they have always had it in the past. Splenda was the sweetener that was hard to come by.

Edited by cruisenfever

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I also noticed the original couch in the photo and was rather surprised. The Radiance apparently received much in the way of reupholstering of furniture on board during drydock, but obviously these worn couches remain. Flooring (including bathroom) was replaced, and nice to see the flat screen tv. Looking forward to seeing more of your review! The Radiance is perfect for cruising Alaska with her three acres of glass, including glass elevators...and that wonderful Solarium. I'm a warm weather person too but loved our Alaska sailings. ;)

Cabin furniture was not being replaced or recovered. Furniture in the Centrum areas was reupholstered.

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That is Ken in the blue shirt and glasses in the center.

 

This is where the famed Roast Beef sandwich is located. They also had a salad bar and bagged chips in addition to the menu above. The drink station was only partially opened the whole cruise. Don't know why, it seems like if they can build that enormous ship and make it float, they should be able to get an ice machine to work but I digress.

 

I had a tuna panini, greek salad and salad bar for lunch....hey, be nice, I didn't eat it all. My husband had about 10 roast beef sandwiches....okay maybe 2 but he really liked them. There were a bunch of muckity mucks on board. One of these was Ken Taylor (director of Fleet Restaurant Operations) and by accident we ended up having a conversation with him. It was interesting. I was asking about how they are working the tipping with regards to the main dining vs the pay dining and how all that was working. He said it was a ongoing progression figuring it out. He did say, directly and unequivocally (don't know if that word fits there but doesn't it make me sound smart) that the tip IS included in the $$ restaurants. As far as tipping with regards to your main table when you go to a different restaurant, he mentioned My Time Dining.

Now here is where I am going to go off a little. I wish I had thought of this while I had his ear. I am not a fan of booking a spot in the dining room, eating somewhere else and paying and not still tipping the main dining room waiter as they have no other way to fill that spot. That being said, I am not a big fan of paying $50 to eat at Chops and still having to tip an additional $11 to the waiter who didn't even wait on me. My time dining you say. Yes, that would be a perfect option except for, I am booked on the Oasis this fall and because I booked My time Dining, I had to prepay my tips. Which totally defeats the purpose. If someone goes off on me about how these employees have no money and I should be happy to pay people for no reason at all I seriously will come through this computer and haunt your world. So, I would really like this figured out so that I can eat where I want, tip those that take care of me, and not pay others for doing nothing.

 

Okay, I am back to my not scary self.

 

Anyway, it was interesting to talk with him, the food was fantastic and we set off to check to see if any of our bags were there (3 suitcases and a back pack) Nope, not yet.

 

If you walk through the casino on deck 4 (5?) you hit the Quill and Compass. A pub like they have on the bigger ships. This is the biggest pub they have in the fleet (a fact I got from a different muckity muck later). They smoking section is in the back. Another nice thing is that the windows are fake and there is a sitting area outside so if the smoke is bothering you, you can retire out there.

 

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This is our favorite hang out on the bigger ships. It was never crowded at all here, kind of lacking energy. I think the problem was two fold. One, it is in an out of the way location and two, I think the guitar player/ singer wasn't a big enough draw. He was fine but I think they needed someone outstanding to draw a crowd, esp in a new, out of the way venue. Maybe they could have hosted an event here.....

 

There is also a movie theater in this area that had shows running all the time. The same movies were playing on the tv in your stateroom.

 

 

The dining room was beautiful.

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Thank You for taking the time to do the your review with photos

We were on her last cruise before drydock and it is nice to see the changes.

 

I have a couple questions.... How did they do the cover charge in Ritas? Was it when you walked thru the door or when you sat down?

Also was the surcharge taken off your bill @ the end or was that just an extra charge?

Were people still able to sit in the aft and bring food from the WJ?

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Thank You for taking the time to do the your review with photos

We were on her last cruise before drydock and it is nice to see the changes.

 

I have a couple questions.... How did they do the cover charge in Ritas? Was it when you walked thru the door or when you sat down?

Also was the surcharge taken off your bill @ the end or was that just an extra charge?

Were people still able to sit in the aft and bring food from the WJ?

 

Yes you could eat in the aft part of the deck.

 

The sweet n low shortage was in Vancouver, not on the ship.

 

They had hot teas, coffee, water and lemonaide available, hypothetically, in the Solarium.....half the stuff was out of order all the time. I don't think there was any available by the hotdog stand. I would have to go into the windjammer from that side of the ship.

 

You are right, the Latte-tudes is $$....I thought maybe that is what she was referring to.

 

As far as Rita's...they bring you a bill at the end of the cruise, like in the other $$ rest. you give them your sail card and they charge it. The surcharge is an extra charge....$3 for the privilege of eating there on top of the price of food. Really quite reasonable though overall.

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Yes you could eat in the aft part of the deck.

 

The sweet n low shortage was in Vancouver, not on the ship.

 

They had hot teas, coffee, water and lemonaide available, hypothetically, in the Solarium.....half the stuff was out of order all the time. I don't think there was any available by the hotdog stand. I would have to go into the windjammer from that side of the ship.

 

You are right, the Latte-tudes is $$....I thought maybe that is what she was referring to.

 

As far as Rita's...they bring you a bill at the end of the cruise, like in the other $$ rest. you give them your sail card and they charge it. The surcharge is an extra charge....$3 for the privilege of eating there on top of the price of food. Really quite reasonable though overall.

Thanks so much Jen. I must have misread about sweet-n-low.:o Looks like they relocated the complimentary beverage station to the Solarium. Makes sense since they have had any type of beverage available there when it was the Solarium Cafe.

 

Do you possibly mean that they bring you the bill at the end of your meal like in the other restaurants?

 

Now, if they would only bring back the crepe machine.:p

Edited by cruisenfever

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This planner was something I had never seen before but I really liked it. Especially on a ship like the Oasis where you are trying to plan. here is the compass from day 1.

 

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Here are some photos of the sports deck

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We actually forgot about this area of the ship and didn't spend any time here at all so I don't know about crowds or if the kids pool was open.

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It certainly was the “nicest” city I have ever been in. Both in friendliness and cleanliness. It was gorgeous and very safe feeling.

 

This is so nice to hear in light of the fiasco of the Stanley Cup. I'm so glad that was your encounter. We are really a great bunch of people if I may say so myself :p And I love Vancouver - One of my favorite places to go every year as a child.

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We continued to explore and then went up to the room to unpack.....no bags yet. We headed out to the front of the ship to watch sail away. They have these glass partitions about face level. I didn't like them. we kept going down a level and down another. It was "I don't like it here, let's go there", "I don't like it here, let's go there" Finally, we ended up on the helicopter pad. I liked it there. It is a wonder my hubby didn't throw me over board. I'm sure he had hateful thoughts but like a good man, he kept them to himself. One of my favorite of all his traits.

To get to the heli pad you go out on deck 5, walk forward and climb the stairs.

 

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It was 5pm and we were ready to go......still ready to go......are we gonna go?

It is now 6pm, they said they were waiting on paper work but I found out later they were waiting on people. Apparently, a plane out of Chicago had bad weather and was late getting in. Our table mates were on this plane. Here were about 30 other people on here also. Luckily, some of them had booked through the cruise line so the ship waited. Our table mates hadn't so they lucked out. They had called earlier to see their options and were told that you couldn't catch up during this cruise. If you didn't make it on board in Vancouver you missed the ship and the trip. Can you imagine. we couldn't figure out why but with our experience disembarking, we may have an idea. No customs.

Finally because I was FREEZING, we went back to our cabin to watch sail-away and hopefully unpack.

 

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It was very pretty sailing out of Vancouver....you can see land for a long time.....at least until we stopped watching.

 

Still waiting for our luggage....6pm, 7pm, 8pm.....I am starting to get worried. What are the odds that NONE of our 4 bags will be here. I am okay until I call down to guest services and they sound concerned that I don't have them yet. Mike went to look for them and low and behold, he found them here and there, in the hallways, etc. Strange.

 

I unpacked quickly, ran a comb through my hair, threw on some lipstick and head to dinner. We had late seating which was at 8:45 that night.

We had booked a large table and were really looking forward to sitting with adults (sans our kids) and visiting. It had been 6 or 7 years since we were cruising without friends, family or kids. We ended up having 5 others at our table. A couple with their well behaved 13 yr old son and another couple. The second couple was the one who was on the Chicago flight. Their bags hadn't made it yet and were supposed to catch up with them in Ketchikan. I felt sorry for them.

We finished dinner at 10:45, went to the shops to buy some souvenirs and went to bed. We were tired!

 

I know some people are "food" people, I will try and remember what I ate.....vidalla onion tart (fine), yeah, can't remember. The food was fine.....not great at all, just fine. The service was great except, I had to ask for a refill on tea 3 times which is odd for a cruise ship, I thought. you know how I like my tea.

 

Another thing that happened on this cruise was a lot, a lot, a lot of people had requested early seating and they either got late seating or no seating at all. There were "discussions" going on all over the ship (maitre d, guest services, etc) This wouldn't have been a big deal to me but man o man was it a HUGE deal to some people. We ended being friends with a couple of these food nomads. One couple was very upset and they ended up getting all of there food comped (including $$ restaurants and drinks with dinner). The couple heard about this and went and spoke with guest services and got their meals comped to. I guess the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It kind of sucked going to dinner with the two couples and being the only one who had to pay but I think it was the right move for RCCL to make.

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It certainly was the “nicest” city I have ever been in. Both in friendliness and cleanliness. It was gorgeous and very safe feeling.

 

This is so nice to hear in light of the fiasco of the Stanley Cup. I'm so glad that was your encounter. We are really a great bunch of people if I may say so myself :p And I love Vancouver - One of my favorite places to go every year as a child.

 

We sailed out before the riots, I was sad to hear about them but hey, there's one in every crowd, right......

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