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Just back Radiance 5/1/05 - 5/14/05 b2b

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Just thought I would share a few highlights and tips from our b2b cruise.

 

It was great meeting all the Cruise Critic members that sailed with us. Sorry I did not get to meet everyone.

 

I will not go into details of ship as many others have already done that. But I do have to say that it is about time for a spiffing up. This was our 4 and 5 weeks aboard this ship and found carpets, chairs and furniture in sorry need of replacing or cleanings. Examples....just about every toilet seat we came in contact with, was chipped or broken. In fact our friend went flying when seat came off in his cabin. Now how much does a toilet seat cost to replace? In Colony Club....furniture was frayed, stained and even ripped on some couches and chairs. Now all of this is minor but it is a change since our last sailing April 2004.

 

As for new disembarkation procedure in Vancouver. It cost $15 pp and was well worth it. For this, they check your luggage with your appropriate airline and it is delivered right to airline. You do not see it again until you arrive at your final destination. So basically, it is put luggage out last night of cruise and pick it up when you got home. We were a little concerned over this but had no problems. You are only allowed two pieces pp and must give a credit card number for airline if you are checking more than two pp. Now....we do not think the luggage was weighed....kind of a hint if you bought alot...not dealing with airline personel.

 

They also had a travel lite program. Anyone can do that if you want to carry off your own luggage and go through customs with it. These were the first people called to disembark the ship. Next was the people who took advantage of the new program mentioned above.

 

We had purchased transfers from cruiseline ($20pp). Everything went smoothly and we were at airport by 9:30AM and wish we had booked the 11:00 AM flight instead of 1:30PM. I will say the security is much tighter in Vancouver than any airports we were at stateside. DH had to take a swig out of my flask to prove it was liqour (at 8:30AM) but they didn't bother the open bottles that were in the same bag. Yet the man behind us, had to take a drink from open bottle of Vodka. Also....didn't mean to...but flew home with a lighter in my pocketbook. No hassle, although on flights out to SD they were searching for them.

 

Alaska was having great weather. It was in the low 70's in Juneau and Skagway. Unfortunately it was cool and damp in Ketchikan. We had not been to these ports since 2001 and was suprised at growth of all towns.

 

And DH finally convinced me to try seaplane trip to Misty Fjords. Not sure if I would do it again....but I am glad I did it.

 

If I can answer any questions....ask away. I will try my best.

 

Chris

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Sorry to hear that Radiance is showing wear & tear. We were on her in September and thought she was in marvellous shape. I guess people rode her hard in the intervening months.

 

What did security think might be in the flask if not alcohol? An explosive device (which alcohol could be)? That seems pretty over the top. How do you prove that it's shampoo in the little plastic bottle? Lather up?

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Chris,

 

Thanks for the info. We're sailing the Radiance the end of August and I've been trying to find out what is great to do in Alaska. I'm also disappointed to hear the ship is in disarray. This is our 7th trip with RC and we've always been happy. Do you have any tour recommendations or nonrecommendations?

 

Thanks,

 

Patty

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From another post the Radiance isn't on the 2005 drydock schedule, but her last one was April 2003 and they do them every 2 years... maybe she is scheduled to undergo one between now and the fall? Anyone hear of this?

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Alaskan cruise on radiance coming up for us too! Just curious, why would you not do seaplane again? Thanks for your reviews and being open for questions!!

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okay lets see if I can answer all the questions.

 

First we were in 9611. It was an inside cabin...not our first choice but it was available for both weeks and I didn't want to pack and move after the first week. It was nice and dark and we had no trouble sleeping....especially for afternoon naps. As I said...toilet seat had a chunk out of it and missing part of hinges that hold it on. Didn't have a problem like our friend but at first glance it looked dirty but was really chipped on further inspection. One day for some reason we had no toilets for six hours. We called and said it wouldn't flush...they said it was the whole floor. But walking down halls I heard others flushing. Called two hours later and they said it was part of decks 7,8, and 9. Sometimes you just can't take care of business without being able to flush. Room itself was presentable except screws missing in vent under fridge. So vent screen kept falling off. If you go to Colony Club go to Singapore Slings (bar in back on CC) and you will see what I mean about frayed and ripped upolstry.

 

As for float plane. I didn't not like the buking of winds as we took off. I was okay once we got to flying height (and going straight). But then they kept spotting wildlife and the pilot would bank and circle a couple of times so everyone got a view. I thought we were awful close to the mountains at times...too close for me although DH said we had plenty of room. The scenery was great and view wonderful....it was just the flying. Also for some reason when they said lake landing with time for photos, I thought there would be a dock or something. You actually stand on planes pontoons. Didn't appeal to me as they weren't that wide and lake was 400 feet deep.

 

One thing I din't mention was RCI introduced new menus on the Alaska run so we didnot have same menus each week. The new menus contained some of the old favorites plus new dishes. Each night there was a Signature Choice and they were really good. But (and we can all start crying now) the flourless chocolate cake was not on the new menus. We also found that some of the sugarless deserts were really good and you wouldn't know they were sugar free.

 

For those that have never been....I would recommend the White Pass RR trip. We did it a few years ago and it was wonderful. This time we took a tour from a local operater ($40 pp) and drove up to White Pass, toured town etc. It was about 2-1/2 hours. It was good but on reflection....there were four of us and we should have rented a car. It would have been alot cheaper and there really is only one main road out of town and very little chance of getting lost. Also traffic was not bad at all. We really didn't do many tours as we had done alot before and didn't want to repeat things. Oh forgot....Tram in Juneau is fun and the views are beautiful from top and they have plenty of hiking trails. But it is pricey at $25pp.

 

We did see alot of wildlife. The second day of cruise sailing to Juneau we had many whales swimming along side of ship. That was exciting as we had not seen them on last trip.

 

Please everyone have a good trip. Don't be discourage by my obersvations. The ship really is in pretty good shape it is just we saw a big change in one year. Oops...forgot to mention...one pool table wasn't working and public bathrooms on deck six (by all the bars) were closed as they were not working all week. We did notice on disembarktion day they had reopened them.

 

Chris

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Please let me know who the current Captain is............I understand the singing Captain has retired and am wondering who the new Captain is.

 

appreciate your help. Thanks

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The new captain is Michael Roy previously of the Vision of the Seas. He replaced Captain Kent in Vancouver. Not sure how long he is staying on as I heard rumors that he was temporary until Captain Bowland took over. Captain Roy is young and not as visible as Capt Kent. Only heard two noontime announcements in whole week but I may have missed the rest. Also did not see him around as much as Capt Kent.

 

Chris

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Oh forgot to mention shows on ship. Didn't see many but what we saw were so-so with one exception. We did not go see "Welcome to Our World" as we had seen it before a few times. But make an effort to go see "Piano Man" This is a new show that came out about six months ago. I thorougly enjoyed it.

 

Chris

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There was an earlier thread that said the Radiance was going to drydock in early 2006. Can't find the thread now, but I think it was in Jan 06. We'll be on her in April!

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Chris,

Thanks for all the info. I'm really looking forward to our cruise. It's still 3 months away and I'm really ready for the much needed break. I'd also like to know what the temp on the boat was like. I assume the while indoors it would be just like when traveling in the caribbean and clothes while on the ship would be the same. From what I found at a weather site weather early May is about the same as late August.

 

Patty

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Patty....I found the temp on the ship to be warm. I know lots of people talked about being cold in dining room but I found it to be the opposite. I was worried because one of my outfits for formal night was sleeveless but I was glad I had it. I ended up taking off jacket/sweaters that I was wearing to be comfortable but of course needed to put them back on when we stepped out on the deck. I do know that the Colony Club got very warm during Capt party and repeaters party. It was packed and I am sure all those people help create the warmth. Fortunately my other formal outfit was a dress with matching jacket so I could easily adjust to temp by removing jacket. My advice is bring layering (yes I know many people have mentioned it before). I really thought I was layering by bringing a long sleeve pullovers with sweaters and jackets. I wish I had taken more short sleeve or sleeveless tops. But being from S. Fla I was afraid of being cold. Hope this helps.

Chris

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I was on the Radiance May 14-21st. We had a wonderful cruise and the weather was great.

 

Did you try the Cybercabin service or use the internet while onboard? During the week I was onboard, they were upgrading the server and the Cybercabin service was down for days. I was never able to connect the entire week.

 

I'm just wondering if they started the day I got onboard (just my luck).

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I was on the Radiance last week (May 14-21) and Captain Darin Bowland is the Captain onboard. I thought he was terrific. Very down to earth and you could actually understand him. He's from Vancouver and he looks pretty young for a Captain.

 

Funny that you should mention the toilet seats being chipped, because I noticed the same thing. Our cabin toilet seat and some in the public restrooms. I also noticed the mini golf course being in need of refurbishment. And I was expecting Alaskan crab legs on this cruise, but no such luck. Maybe that's Princess that boasts that.

 

I have to say that all of the employees that I came in contact with, were super friendly. I didn't encounter a single nasty employee (and I have in the past). Our cabin was immaculately maintained, and our dining experience was superb. We had Mladen as a waiter and he was fabulous!

 

I wish I could go back next week. It was a great cruise.

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I had originally thought we would have Capt Bowland taking over from Capt Kent. We had sailed with Capt Bowland before and found him pleasant. Not sure why we had a different Capt for the week. Did not try cybercabin as the last time on the Radiance the crew talked us out of it. Said we would be frustrated (after cable) and it wasn't reliable. Not sure when they started upgrading internet but it was really slow the weeks we were on the ship. I mentioned to DH that I thought it was slower than last time we were on the Radiance but he thought it was the same.

 

As for the staff, they were all wonderful with the exception of one waiter during the repeaters party. I had asked for a drink....I could not drink what they were serving. I was told no different mixed drinks. I said fine, could I please have a diet coke. He said he would be back. He never came back and others sitting around me were getting special order drinks and wines. That didn't sit well with me. On the second week, I had no problem getting something I could drink.

 

Chris

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Hi, I was on the Radiance on the May 1 cruise to Vancouver. It is my favorite ship now. Yes, it does need some work but all in all it was wonderful. The crew, cabins, everything was just terrific. I loved The Piano Man. In fact, I loved it so much I booked a cruise for Alaska this September on the Radiance. It sure was hard getting off in Vancouver while the rest of you guys were heading to wonderful Alaska. How exciting to see all those whales next to the ship. :)

Robin:cool:

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