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DragonOfTheSeas

Live from the Radiance of the Seas Last NB cruise

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I have gotten so much good information from the CC message boards for our past cruises that I decided to pay it forward. I especially like to follow other's experiences onboard the ships. I have decided to try to do a **Live from Alaska** posting.

Actually it will be mostly live--I will not post on sea days. (I am not a Diamond C & A member—so no free minutes. Also, the ship based internet is VERY slow and I won’t pay for that.) :eek::p:)

 

We have internet in the hotel pre-cruise and I have as Verizon 4G LTE mobile broadband USB for my computer. I can use this when we are in port in Alaska and for the post-cruise land tour.

I am crazy to try this? Likely

I will try to include the information I needed to plan our cruise. Ask questions if you have any and I will try to answer them. If you have cruised to Alaska chime in with your perspective.

Overview: We are 2 couples traveling to Alaska for the first time aboard the Radiance of the Seas on her last northbound cruise of the 2012 season. DH and I are veteran cruisers and our friends are cruising for the first time. While we are mature cruisers (read old enough to be in AARP) we do not have any mobility issues that should affect our excursions. We booked the cruise with an online travel agency that arranged a post-cruise land tour that had an itinerary at a price we liked. We later learned that they contract the land tour to Gray Line of Alaska (owned by HAL). We will let you know if we still like our decision after we finish.

 

We leave for 2 days in Vancouver tomorrow morning, followed by 7 days at sea and 4 + days on land!

PS--We tried to print out our airline boarding passes and prepay for luggage today online. However, the United Airlines system was down nationwide. I guess it will be a busy morning with everyone at the ticket counter in the am.

Edited by DragonOfTheSeas

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Dragon...hope you, DH and your friends have a great time and do not come back with any mobility issues that you did not leave home with!;):eek::rolleyes: In other words, WATCH YOUR STEP AND AVOID THE GRIZZLY BEARS!!!:p

 

I heard about the problems with United on the news. By the time I heard the report, they said that the system was up and running again. Have you tried to access them lately? Hope you don't have to wait until the very last minute to get your papers printed out.

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I for one will be very interested in your cruise and will check in a lot to see your progress and read your posts on Alaska and see any pictures you might post also. Bon Voyage!

 

9k=

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I have gotten so much good information from the CC message boards for our past cruises that I decided to pay it forward. I especially like to follow other's experiences onboard the ships. I have decided to try to do a **Live from Alaska** posting.

Actually it will be mostly live--I will not post on sea days. (I am not a Diamond C & A member—so no free minutes. Also, the ship based internet is VERY slow and I won’t pay for that.) :eek::p:)

 

We have internet in the hotel pre-cruise and I have as Verizon 4G LTE mobile broadband USB for my computer. I can use this when we are in port in Alaska and for the post-cruise land tour.

I am crazy to try this? Likely

I will try to include the information I needed to plan our cruise. Ask questions if you have any and I will try to answer them. If you have cruised to Alaska chime in with your perspective.

Overview: We are 2 couples traveling to Alaska for the first time aboard the Radiance of the Seas on her last northbound cruise of the 2012 season. DH and I are veteran cruisers and our friends are cruising for the first time. While we are mature cruisers (read old enough to be in AARP) we do not have any mobility issues that should affect our excursions. We booked the cruise with an online travel agency that arranged a post-cruise land tour that had an itinerary at a price we liked. We later learned that they contract the land tour to Gray Line of Alaska (owned by HAL). We will let you know if we still like our decision after we finish.

 

We leave for 2 days in Vancouver tomorrow morning, followed by 7 days at sea and 4 + days on land!

PS--We tried to print out our airline boarding passes and prepay for luggage today online. However, the United Airlines system was down nationwide. I guess it will be a busy morning with everyone at the ticket counter in the am.

 

I for one will be happy to see you pull out of port. Cause when Radiance returns to Vancouver on the 14th I will be jumping aboard to head to Hawaii. :D

Have a great cruise!!

I am going to try the same thing on the Hawaii leg. I will switch my Verizon Droid to the international plan to I can use the data on board without getting killed by the price since it will be based on data instead of minutes. Figure I will tether my netbook to the Droid and hopefully get some pictures posted at sea.

I'll keep an eye on you and hope to get some tips.

Edited by PCWalton1

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I heard about the problems with United on the news. By the time I heard the report, they said that the system was up and running again. Have you tried to access them lately? Hope you don't have to wait until the very last minute to get your papers printed out.

 

 

Thanks--I did try again later. I was able to do everything online and the system emailed me a thank you for checking in online. But, It still would not issue a boarding pass. :mad: It makes me a little worried.

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Thank you so much for doing this live review! I am looking forward to it even more than normal as we will be getting on the Radiance as you are getting off! We are on her final 2012 Alaskan cruise before she sails off to Hawaii.

 

We were on the Radiance last year on her last cruise before she went into dry dock so I am anxious to see the changes that were made. She is a beautiful ship and one of our favorites. :)

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Thanks for all of the good wishes. We are currently in Chicago--so, half way there (Or almost).:)

 

The only issue we had today was that they changed my husbands seat 10 rows away from me. But, we consider ourselves lucky. We have a seat. The flight to Vancouver is oversold!

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Happy to hear that you are on your way even if United conspired to keep you and DH apart.:eek::mad: Hope by now you have made it onto your continuing flight and that you are together. Waiting for your next report.;)

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Dragon, you are at our home airport....we'll be flying out of Chicago tomorrow evening!

 

Looking forward to seeing you and your DH on the ship!!

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I look forward to reading your "live from". I would like to try a cruise to Alaska, but my DH isn't really interested. Maybe I can pick up some tips on how to get him onboard, so to speak. :)

 

Have a great trip!

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I look forward to reading your "live from". I would like to try a cruise to Alaska, but my DH isn't really interested. Maybe I can pick up some tips on how to get him onboard, so to speak. :)

 

Have a great trip!

 

My DH was not that keen when I first brought it up. He warmed up to the idea as I gathered information. It is not like a Caribbean cruise. It takes work and research to plan what will work for you.

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Greetings from Vancouver

Day 1—August 29, 2012 – Leaving Richmond International Airport (RIC) for Vancouver, British Columbia (YVR): Since we live over an hour from the airport we stayed at the Doubletree hotel on the airport property last night to make our 5:55am flight. (We had booked a 7:30am flight, but, United cancelled that flight and rebooked us for this one.) The United ticket counter opened at 4:30 and we arrived soon after. Since it is an international flight our checked bag had to be in 60 minutes before the flight. I worried there would be a line—but, who am I kidding—no one gets to the airport at 4:30am.

 

We changed planes in Chicago and arrived in Vancouver around 11am. After we collected our bags we headed for Canadian Immigration. The line was long, but seemed to be moving faster than I have experienced at US airports. We were through in 40 minutes.

 

Since we brought enough luggage (between the four of us) to outfit a small army we needed a van rather than the usual taxi. Most of the cabs in Vancouver have downsized to a Prius. The four of us would fit—but, our luggage, not so much! The cab fare plus a nice tip was $40 to downtown. We could have taken the Sky Train for $9/pp for a day pass. But, we would have had to walk several blocks from the station to the hotel.

 

We are staying at the Hampton Inn on Robson St. next to the BC sports complex (on the eastern edge of downtown) for two nights before we set sail. We picked this hotel because it has a complimentary breakfast, use of bikes, Internet, and a shuttle to the port and downtown. (And we had points to pay for the first night. :)

 

We bought tickets for the Vancouver Trolley (Hop-on, Hop off) for $37 online before we left home. (online purchase is 2 days for the price of one) They have two routes (red and blue loops) which begin and end at Canada Place.

 

The Olympic Cauldron at Canada Place

P8290010.jpg

 

There were 2 cruise ships in port today. One was the Island Princess. The couple next to me on the plane was flying in to board her. (we landed at 11am) I hope they made it.

 

So, we dropped off our luggage at the hotel and ate lunch since it was now 4pm (eastern time) and walked to the next block to pick up the trolley. We were exhausted by this time and decided to stay on the trolley and ride it around to get a better feel for the city. We did get off one time in Stanley Park at Prospect Point to look at the view--not much hopping on or off today!

 

STB_5730.jpg

 

It was a very good day, but, LONG.

 

Stanley Park garden

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The artist modeled this statue after his wife

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Stanley Park has some of the biggest cedar trees I have ever seen.

P8290012.jpg

Edited by DragonOfTheSeas

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I am leaving tomorrow for the same cruise. I will be following your review from onboard. Should be awesome. :D

 

BTW, I heard the ship is getting better satellite dishes this week, just in time for our cruise. I plan to check out the speed.

Edited by sail2sea

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Glad you guys arrived safe and sound!

 

Enjoy your time in Vancouver-it's a beautiful city.

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Thanks for sharing your ongoing adventure with us all and adding the pictures too. I can't wait for the next installment of your trip. I am so glad that you arrived safely at your first destination.:)

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Since our bodies are still running on EDT we were wide awake disgustingly early. I had made several resolutions before I left home. One of them was to use the gym at the hotel and on the ship. So, I headed to the fitness center for a half hour before breakfast. OK--now I can say I have done that. :p

Vancouver is a very compact city. (too far to walk around the whole area--but, made for walking and biking) There is a walking/bike path around the entire downtown. Everyone we have met is very friendly and goes out of there way to help. (give directions, etc) It began to rain around 5pm yesterday. Of course I had left the unbrella in the room because it was sunny when we left.:eek:

Since it was the last route the HOHO driver took each of us to our hotel.

More pictures are coming this evening. I had a little trouble posting them yesterday. I will try to get it right today!

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We started out for the HOHO trolley with their first run at 9am. We started out at Canada Place. It was beautiful in the sunshine today. (High of 64) We hope it is just as sunny tomorrow!:)

 

IMG_5740.jpg

 

The next stop was Stanley Park. We rode around the park yesterday--but, we planned to get off and today at 3 stops:

 

1st stop: Totem poles are an important element of the First Nations culture in the Pacific Northwest. There is an interesting exhibit in the park.

 

P8300012.jpg

 

 

P8300013.jpg

 

P8300014.jpg

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Not far from the Totem Poles was this lighthouse on the seawall. It looked close on the map. But, we decided we could see it just fine from here. :)

 

P8300016-1.jpg

 

Yesterday it was high tide when we were in the park. We were amazed by how far the water line had receded.

 

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This heron was enjoying the low tide.

 

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The next stop was Prospect Point where you can view the Lion's Gate Bridge. We wanted to get a good look at it--since we would sail under her tomorrow.

 

P8300023.jpg

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