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bradpole

LIVE from Radiance of the Seas...5/11 and 5/18. Alaska!

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Hello Everyone!

 

I wanted to let everyone know that I plan to start another "Live from.." thread for my upcoming cruises...yes cruiseS on Radiance of the Seas in Alaska. This will be my second "Live" posting, the first was back in March when I sailed Enchantment out of Baltimore for 12 nights to the wonderfully warm caribbean. Join us when we embark on Radiance on 5/11 for her first northbound trek to Seward, and on 5/18 when we stay onboard for her first southbound trek from Seward back to Vancouver. Sadly since we booked only 14 days before the cruise we won't have the same cabin both weeks, but thankfully they are both on the same deck, so the move between cabins on the 18th shouldn't be too bad....hopefully.

 

Thanks to some great last minute pricing, and an affordable nonstop flight from JFK on Cathay Pacific to Vancouver these cruises are possible. For these cruises I will be traveling with my mom. We first cruised Alaska on Serenade, six years ago! Since that cruise we have always wanted to come back but just never got around to it. We are flying out of JFK tonight (Wednesday) at the horrible hour of 10:40pm, arriving in Vancouver the even more horrible hour of 1:30am Pacific time, 4:30am, Easter time!...UUUGH. This will not be my first trip on Cathay, I flew them a few years ago for a trip to Manila, Philippines. Hopefully the service, food, and entertainment for this "short" flight will be as good as it was for the much longer 12 hour flight to Hong Kong I remember from a few years ago. The worst part of this flight for me is the drive to JFK from our home in Wilmington, Delaware. Google maps estimates this drive at just over 2 hours, which is possible, but highly unlikely. We are still trying to decide just how early we will leave the house today. In a perfect world I'd be happy if the drive to JFK was only 3 hours, but I know from past experience it can take us as much as 4 hours depending just how bad the traffic in NYC is that day.

 

Once we land in Vancouver early (VERY Early) Thursday morning will be checking into the Four Point Sheraton Vancouver Airport for a much needed nap and some rest. Later that morning we'll check out and check into our favorite Vancouver hotel on Davie Street, Sandman Suites on Davie. We've stayed at this hotel twice before and have loved every minute of it. It is in a lovely, vibrant, and diverse neighborhood and walking distance to several restaurants and some lovely waterfront parks. Also on our agenda for our short stay in Vancouver is to visit one or two local restaurants featured on DDD (Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on FoodNetwork). We'll be up bright and early Friday morning to return our rental car and begin our cruise check in at Canada Place.

 

 

Once on the cruise I plan to post once or twice a day and include some pictures. All of this depends just how cooperative the internet connection is while onboard. When in port in Alaska I'm hoping to receive some free AT&T 3G and use my iPhone to post, or hope to find some reasonably affordable WiFi to use my iPad. Once I return home (and have unlimited access to fast internet) I promise to upload much larger, and much higher quality photos documenting our two weeks onboard.

 

We are both greatly looking forward to this cruise. This will be our 2nd and 3rd cruise on Radiance. We first cruised on her back in 2005 when she was doing 7 night caribbean sailings out of Miami. Since then we have also sailed on another Radiance class vessel, Serenade three times (Alaska, Hawaii, and a California Costal). This will be our fist cruise on a "Rejuvenated" Radiance class ship, I am eager to see the changes and see if they are for the better. I certainly hope they are! Our first week onboard we have a reservation at Samba Grill to experience RCI's interpretation of this highly popular restaurant concept.

 

Signing off now... have some last minute packing and odds and end to do. For the last couple of years we have driven to all our cruises, including to Ft. Lauderdale. The hardest part for me is restraint, our last cruise in March we managed to fill the back of my pickup truck with luggage! I've really been exercising restraint trying to only pack what is necessary and not much more. Hopefully I won't forget, or miss anything of importance!

 

Being that this will be the first northbound and first southbound cruise of the season I promise to try to remember to bring home a Cruise Compass and post those online as PDF's when we return.

 

If anyone has any questions please let me know and I will try my best to answer or find the answer.

 

Until later....

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Have fun, Alaska is so so beautiful! Can you tell me what cabin your in and if you like it or would you upgrade? Also, Pls let us know if there is very much ice to Hubbard Glacier,(we missed Hubbard b/c of too much ice :( and if you had to do it all over again, would you still pick the timeframe your going in? Reason for all the questions is our next alaskan cruise will be on the same ship as yours and we cruised Princess last time so we could go to glacier bay, BUT missed RCCL very much. Thanks and have a good time :)

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Hey Brad..... I look forward to the 'live' when I get back

Didnt see you on the roll call dont forget to Sign up for our M&M

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I am SO excited to read about your adventure!! We are taking the Northbound cruise next summer (2013) and we are looking forward to it in a big, big way.

 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your trip with us! I will be anxiously waiting for the next installment!

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Subscribed to this thread!! Can't wait!

 

We depart on June 8th Northbound so are super excited to see everything you will be sharing. We are booked into one of the new OV staterooms on Deck 4 and would love a review or photos (have posted twice for info, but no one seems to have any for us).

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what is your itinerary? I'll watch for you on the port cams (kroooz-cams.com)

Northbound Radiance

fri 5/11 Vancouver

sat 5/12 inside passage

sun 5/13 Ketchikan

mon 5/14 Juneau

tue 5/15 Icey point

weds 5/16 Skagway

thurs 5/17 Hubbard Glacier

friday 5/18 Seward

 

This Is the first leg

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Hello Everyone!If anyone has any questions please let me know and I will try my best to answer or find the answer.Until later....

 

Well I for one will be waiting for all your posts. I am doing the exact same thing as you but 2 weeks later. I'll be getting on when you get off. I booked 8 months ago so I will have the same room both weeks. I really want to know what the temp is like so I can decide if I need my winter

coat. Being I live in Hawaii my coat has been in storage for years!:D

This will be my 11th and 12th cruise on RCCL and I was on the Radiance before the remodel and I hope they didn't ruin it because it was great the way it was. Have a fantastic time!

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So looking forward to reading this thread as your cruises go along. We are sailing for our 1st Alaskan adventure in June of 2013, Southbound. Very excited to see and read all that you are posting.

 

Have a fantastic trip and thank you in advance for all the sights and info you will be sharing, very very generous of you to do so.

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MY DH and I are sailing the Radiance SB in about 60 days and I am so excited. I can't wait to read all about your trip. It will only make the anticipation greater for our departure from JFK to Fairbanks on July 5.

 

I saw someone said they subscribed to this post - how do I do that so I can easily find it as you post more information?

 

Have a great trip!

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Enjoy. We will be in Alaska in late June. However we will be on an Alaska Ferry.:D (One of them is the ferry that smashed a dock in Petersburg this week. Fortunately, they are OK and not expected to out of service but are a bit banged up. :rolleyes:)

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MY DH and I are sailing the Radiance SB in about 60 days and I am so excited. I can't wait to read all about your trip. It will only make the anticipation greater for our departure from JFK to Fairbanks on July 5.

 

I saw someone said they subscribed to this post - how do I do that so I can easily find it as you post more information?

 

Have a great trip!

 

Go to the first post and right above it there is a box which says Thread Tools. Click on the arrow and listings pop down. Click on subscribe to this thread. A box will pop up and their will be a box at the bottom which says Add Subscription. Click on that.... :);)

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Brad, have a great cruise. I was going to ask if you were driving your truck to Vancouver but you've already answered that. Is this your first time to Alaska? If so, you're in for a treat. Your last live thread was great! My only regret is that while you're reporting I'll be on Enchantment for 8 days.

 

BTW, one of the good places I found for wifi was McDonalds in Ketchikan. Shouldn't be too far north of the cruise terminal.

 

Roy

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thank you in advance for the live review brad :)

 

we are doing the exact same thing in about 400 days , so i will be following your every word;)

 

have a blast:cool:

 

dave

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Subscribed and waiting for your LIVE review from our favorite ship!!!

 

I'm glad you got an awesome last minute deal, that always makes it more exciting!!

 

Have a great time!!!

 

***

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Enjoy. We will be in Alaska in late June. However we will be on an Alaska Ferry.:D (One of them is the ferry that smashed a dock in Petersburg this week. Fortunately, they are OK and not expected to out of service but are a bit banged up. :rolleyes:)

 

Klingon: my parents did the Ferry trip many years ago, but still talk about it...all the college students with their music instruments serenading the ferry and camping out up on the forward decks. They loved it!

Brad, you're on my faves now...can't wait!

Edited by BecciBoo

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We'll be on a similar cruise on the Radiance in September. Thanks for giving us a preview! Looking forward to reading all about your trip.

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Hi,

 

Subscribed - maybe we'll see you board. We will be on the 5/11 sailing - yea!

 

Bunt

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Northbound Radiance

fri 5/11 Vancouver

sat 5/12 inside passage

sun 5/13 Ketchikan

mon 5/14 Juneau

tue 5/15 Icey point

weds 5/16 Skagway

thurs 5/17 Hubbard Glacier

friday 5/18 Seward

 

This Is the first leg

 

Good morning!

 

Thank you for posting that. My mind has been frazzled trying to pack and organize this trip in 2 weeks! Never even thought to post the iten!! That is our iten the first week, and we reverse it the second week!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hello from bright and sunny Vancouver!!!

 

Thank you for all the wonderful comments already!!!! I've only quickly skimmed the thread so far, but will read each once we find some coffee!

 

Since I last posted, we made it to JFK airport in just a few minutes over 2 hours. NOT BAD! The bad part was we had two hours before we could even drop our luggage, then several more hours to wait in the terminal. Better to be WAY TOO EARLY than miss the flight!

 

After dropping our luggage and making our way through security we looked for a restaurant for dinner. We knew there was going to be a meal on the flight, but didn't want to risk them running out of what we wanted, so we decided to eat in the terminal.... BIG MISTAKE!

 

Terminal 7 in JFK is old and small! I knew from previous experience that the food options were limited but figured we'd be fine. There are two sit down restaurants in the terminal past security. First is Sammy's beach bar grill (the Sammy from Van Halen), and Todd English's Bonfire. We opted for Bonfire...BIG MISTAKE! The restaurant wasn't busy, we ordered, must have waited nearly 30 minutes for our beverages, another 30 minutes..... at least for our burgers. We ordered our burgers, rare, hoping they would come out medium rare.... lets just say we were served hockey pucks! We finally flagged down a server told her, looks at the burgers and says, "Sorry," and walks away! I know it was an airport restaurant but Todd English should be ashamed! How hard is it to cook a burger and serve it timely!

 

Finally it was time to board the plane and the uneventful flight began! After takeoff we were served a tasty beef stew type meal, plenty of beer and wine, and enjoyed the wonderful inflight entertainment system. I'll post some pictures of the wonderful Cathay Pacific economy seat. Personal TV with 100's of video options, an electrical outlet, cup holder, and a hood for a jacket. It is my understanding that these seats are the, "old" seats and are being phased out with touch screen monitors and different outlet configurations. Sadly I wasn't able to sleep one minute, but enjoyed watching the Iron Lady (Margaret Thatcher movie), some episodes of Big Bang Theory and Modern Family. Although we had to drive to JFK to experience a quality Asian Airline rather than flying a US carrier, it was so worth it! The 5 hour flight went quick!

 

We landed in YVR (Vancouver) a few minutes early, and quickly cleared immigration, retrieved our luggage and were on the friendly airport shuttle, and at the hotel by 2am local time (5 am our time!!) We've since had a short nap and look forward to exploring the wonderful city of Vancouver. I will say one thing bout YVR airport, VERY nice! Very clean, large, and easy to navigate! Night and day difference from the old dated terminal 7 at JFK!

 

Some pictures of the Cathay economy seat, and the wonderful view from our airport hotel window coming soon!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Some picturesImageUploadedByTapatalk1336664602.447626.jpg.01004e68e0c762527ebdfe696e3cc411.jpg

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336664669.413491.jpg.4daa3554a7d58a33c7910e39fbce0d3c.jpg

 

Our view this morning

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336664723.838181.jpg.51ab3cfe6445404feda7e8c7934ffeb3.jpg

 

Just tap for a larger view

Edited by bradpole

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Not sure how well these will display, i'm guessing not well, but worth a shot!

 

Our iten week1, and week 2

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336665148.808960.jpg.70a34a3e02a0c17d9a50c90628de925f.jpg

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336665158.439537.jpg.9dcde37d7dc294a8194b626f3d7dd11a.jpg

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Good morning!

 

Thank you for posting that. My mind has been frazzled trying to pack and organize this trip in 2 weeks! Never even thought to post the iten!! That is our iten the first week, and we reverse it the second week!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Good morning Brad

No problem........ just here to help. Wish we were doing the 2nd leg but at least I will get to enjoy it thru you.:D

For you it looks like better weather the 2nd week as well....Its going to be a little wet next week

Edited by jonbgd

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Thank you everyone for the kind words, I've always enjoyed reading live threads, and have learned TONS from them in the past. I hope everyone enjoys! I've always wanted to do one in the past but never wanted to bring a laptop, now thanks to the iPad and iPhone this is finally possible!

 

Answers to some posted questions:

 

 

hollon: Our cabins, both weeks we have ocean view cabins on Deck 3. I'm probably the worst person to ask cabin advice on. We spend little to no time in the cabin and almost always book interior cabins. We were fortunate to be upgraded to ocean views (I'm guessing the Diamond Plus upgrade program), but would have been very happy to have our normal interior cabins.

 

This is the second time we are doing Alaska in May. Initially we booked May several years ago because we wanted to cruise while schools are still in session, and hopefully less kids onboard. Not that we have anything against kids, but when schools are out the prices tend to jump. We would like to try later in the year to see how different the experience is but have not done that yet.

 

 

 

BuckyJr: I know which cabins you are referring to. I'll try to walk by and see if I can get a picture on the 18th when they are being prepped for the new guests

 

 

grandmamlw: I'm sure you will need your winter jacket! Right now in Vancouver is sunny and about 50, I'm sure that will feel like the Arctic!!! The day at the glacier I can guarantee you it will be freezing cold the closer you get to the glacer!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi Brad

Thanks so much for starting this thread. We fly to Vancouver from the UK in 2 weeks time to join the Radiance when you disembark and will be eagerly following your posts.

Would be interested to know how they handle US immigration. I'm guessing we will have to do it at the first port which will be Ketchikan? Hope it doesn't take too long!

 

Have a wonderful time:)

 

Lisa and Andy

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"BuckyJr: I know which cabins you are referring to. I'll try to walk by and see if I can get a picture on the 18th when they are being prepped for the new guests"

 

 

Specifically 4588 if you can! THANKS!!! :D

Edited by BuckyJr
add stateroom number

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Good morning Brad

No problem........ just here to help. Wish we were doing the 2nd leg but at least I will get to enjoy it thru you.:D

For you it looks like better weather the 2nd week as well....Its going to be a little wet next week

 

 

The weather does not look good for next week, and although we have been praying for it to clear up.......so far, the sun Gods have not been listening!

 

My DW and much of her family, including her 91 year old father, and mom, and sister and BIL, are all on the Rhapsody, sailing out of Canada Place tomorrow. I don't know your departure time, but their's is 4:30 PM, and, at least they will be able to see you........until you pass them by!!

 

Enjoy your cruise Brad, and hopefully the second week brings much needed sun!!:)

 

Rick

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Ill have to read your northbound part, but I will be sailing back south with you out of Seward.

 

Our bags are about half packed upstairs.

 

:D:):D:):D:)

Edited by mrell345

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Hello everyone!

 

It has been a busy and enjoyable day! I can't believe how nice the weather is here today. Bright sun, and a overall a nice warm day. Although I still had a light sweater on during the day, it was in the 50's, you could tell that it was a wonderfully warm day for the people of Vancouver. People out in about in shorts, tshirts, every convertible we saw today had the top down to enjoy the wonderful day!

 

We spent some time touring Stanley Park again, it never ceases to amaze me just how beautiful the park is and the views of the city!

 

Attached are some pictures of the totem poles in Stanley Park and views of the city from the park.

 

After checking into the hotel we went and visited a restaurant we saw on FoodNetwork Called "Meat and Bread" we drove past it earlier at lunch time and the line was out the door. We hit them just in time around 3:30, shortly after we ordered they ran out of the pork sandwich we went for...it was sooooo good. Picture attached!

 

We are staying at the Sandman Suites on Davie Street, we have stayed at this hotel a few times in the past and have enjoyed it. We love the great location, plenty of restaurants (we didn't utilize any this time), and nice big rooms with separate bedroom, living room, and a small kitchen with stove, dishwasher, and clothes washer dryer. Although the hotel is nice, it does need some sprucing up. As you can see from the picture the TVs in the room are still the huge tube TVs! Certainly doesn't detract from the room/hotel for us, but nothing dates a cruise ship or a hotel than an older tube TV.

 

Until tomorrow!

 

Stanley Park

 

 

 

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Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Have to try photos in numerous postings, the Tapatalk app crashed with too many pictures attached

 

 

The incredible pork sandwich and Meat and Bread

http://meatandbread.ca/

 

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336696828.887798.jpg.6ef08e62c90ed7a9b3cbc0b4ec6daa9c.jpg

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Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336696846.665116.jpg.9cf9e169d72b7dc332f04ef8228e33b2.jpg

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Our hotel room and Sandman Suites on Davie and the view

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[ATTACH]232920[/ATTACH]

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336696985.500976.jpg.4a8ee47c6a3b1e1e4930b8351a35a7d4.jpg

 

the room

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ImageUploadedByTapatalk1336697021.917413.jpg.b007786a652695055d979818191cd551.jpg

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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