Jump to content
sailingwithfriends

Vancouver and Alaska on Radiance of the Seas, June 2015

Recommended Posts

I am hoping that this review can help those of you planning an Alaskan cruise. I learned a lot and got a lot of suggestions by reading other people’s reviews.

 

My husband, my aunt and uncle and two other friends were fortunate to be able to spend ten days in Canada and Alaska. Originally, there were supposed to be 8 of us. A month before we left, one of the ladies in our group found out she had cancer and would need to start treatments right away. I say this to emphasize the importance of trip insurance.

 

I am the one that usually does the research and bookings. I knew I wanted to go Northbound or Southbound rather than a closed-loop cruise. That route would allow us to see more ports. It would also allow a trip to Denali National Park either before or after the cruise portion. I finally decided on sailing out of Vancouver and on Radiance of the Seas. I selected Radiance because I had read it has so many windows. The windows allow you to see outside even if it is raining or if it is too cold. I have sailed with Royal Caribbean in the past and enjoyed the ship, food and entertainment.

 

We flew out of Atlanta to Vancouver on June 10, 2015. Our flight required a two-hour layover in Seattle. The two hours gave us enough time to grab a quick lunch and find out new gate. I do recommend that anyone flying into Seattle get a window seat. The views are amazing.

 

After we cleared customs in Vancouver and collected our luggage, we easily found two taxis to take us to our hotel, the Best Western Plus in Downtown Vancouver. When you exit the airport terminal, there is a section to find a cab. A man was in charge of the taxis and he assigned us two. The rates are posted. The cost for each taxi was $35.00 plus tip. They did take credit cards and American money. The driver was interesting and told us a lot about the area as we took the 30 minute drive.

 

Our hotel was very nice and I would not hesitate to stay there again. These are my opinions:

Advantages:

• Comfortable beds and pillows.

• Quiet rooms.

• Refrigerator and microwave in each room.

• Very clean.

• Helpful and friendly staff. Amy at the desk gave us a lot of good suggestions on best times to visit places.

• Free shuttle to downtown and port. You need to make reservations for your port transfer the day before.

• Free internet and computer use in lobby.

• Great penthouse views with picnic tables available to all guest. We enjoyed the views on several occasions.

• Rates were cheaper than most of the other hotels I checked into. I also wanted a hotel that would shuttle us to the port.

• Reimbursement for taxi fare from airport. The cost was deducted from our bill.

• Laundry facilities on site. ($2.00 to wash/$2.00 to dry.)

• Really good restaurant, The White Spot is attached. The food was very good. We especially liked the BC Sunny Start breakfast sandwich. They also have great milkshakes. We received a $10.00 voucher for our breakfast since we booked the Cruise Transfer Package with the hotel. I had read reviews of the restaurant before we ate there and some were good and some were not so good. We found the food to be very good. They also make wonderful milkshakes for an afternoon snack.

• A drug store is one block away to purchase items that you need for the cruise. There is a 7-Eleven convenience store a few feet away.

• Tickets to attractions can be purchased at the front desk.

• Filtered water cooler in hallways to fill water bottles.

• Free one-way False Creek Ferry tickets to Granville Island. It cost $2.00 to ride ferry back.

• Complementary bicycle use.

• Secure hotel. You must use your room key to use the elevator.

 

Disadvantages:

• You have to walk 4 blocks to catch hop-on/hop-off bus or public transportation. This was not a problem for me, but one of our friends struggled.

• About 5 blocks to walk to False Creek Ferry. Lots of hills.

• Early in the morning, there are several homeless people that were sleeping on sidewalks near hotel. I never felt threatened nor was I asked for money. They disappeared when the store nearby opened.

The first evening, we took the free ferry to Granville Island. I would love to tell you I was impressed, but I wasn’t. We arrived around 6:45 that evening. We decided we would have dinner at the market place. It has a food court inside. We each selected out food and sat down. We hadn’t been eating more than 5 minutes when a security guard came up to us and told us they were closing and we needed to leave. He did tell us there were some tables outside. We moved and sat outside to finish our meal. However, we were kicked out at 7:30 because it closed. We were not able to look in any of the store because they all close at 7:00. It would have been nice to know that before we went to the island that evening.

 

The next day, we planned to take the Hop-On/Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus and go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Luckily for us, one of the desk workers at our hotel suggested we do the bridge first before the crowds arrived.

 

We ended up taking the free shuttle to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. You can get on the bus about 4 blocks from our hotel. There are several bus stops along the way. We were able to purchase our tickets to the bridge with a $3.00 coupon given to us by our hotel. I am so glad we went here. Even though I was fearful to cross the bridge, it was so worth it. Once you get across, we were able to do the Treetop Adventure. After we crossed back over the bridge, we did the cliffwalk. If you are not familiar with the Capilano Suspension Bridge, you need to Google it. This is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. Strollers and wheelchairs are not allowed on the bridge. There is a lot of walking and stair climbing involved. I believe the cost was $33.00 with our coupon.

 

That afternoon, we purchased our tickets to the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus at our hotel’s front desk. We walked the four blocks to catch the bus. We decided to take the bus rather than the tram because we didn’t have to change buses. If you take the tram, you have to go on two separate routes. The entire route takes about 2.5 hours. We decided to ride the whole route and then go back if we decided to spend more time at one of the locations. At the end of the bus tour, we decided to just go back to our hotel. We had had a long day. The bus took us to all the major sites such as Stanley Park, Yaletown, Gastown, Grandville Island and the West End. We really enjoyed the ride. We had two different drivers. Both were informative and funny. I believe the cost was about $40.00 each. If I ever return to Vancouver, I will spend an entire day at Stanley Park.

 

Boarding our Ship:

Our cruise sailed from the Canada Place on a Friday. We left our hotel at 10:30 and were in the cruise terminal by 10:45. A porter helped the van driver unload our luggage. We tipped them even though there is a sign posted that states you do not need to tip. Going through security was simple. I carried a small pair of children’s scissors. There was no problem in doing so. Going through customs was also a breeze. After we presented our forms to Royal Caribbean and gave them our credit card information, we were given our sea pass cards and were sent to wait in a room with chairs. We had to move up several times to chairs closer to the gangway. All together, we stood in line and waited in chairs about 30 minutes before we boarded the ship.

 

We had perfect weather the entire cruise. It did not rain a drop. The temperatures in ports were in the 60’s and 70’s. The only time we need coats and winter gear were on the first sea day. The wind was very cold. We also needed our winter gear during the morning when we visited Hubbard Glacier. My husband and my uncle did not have enough warm weather shirts. My uncle ended up wearing his souvenir t-shirts. My husband just rewore his shirts.

 

Here are my opinions of the Radiance of the Seas. We did not eat at any of the “specialty” restaurants. We did eat in the main dining room, the buffet and the Park Café.

 

Advantages and likes:

· Very clean.

· Good, friendly customer service.

· Ability to check our account balance on the television in our room.

· The telephone in the room displays the day, date and time.

· Good sized rooms.

· Lots of storage in both stateroom and the bathroom. In case you didn’t know, there are two storage cabinets behind the mirrors at the desk area. There is also a storage cabin in the bathroom behind one of the mirrors. My friend didn’t know this and unpack using the visible storage. Once I told her, she said it was too much trouble to move things around.

· Room steward kept the room very clean. It seemed like he didn’t get the room cleaned until a early afternoon, but he did a good job.

· Most of the food was good. Each evening, the menu offered several options of foods. There was a lot of fish and seafood dishes served each evening. I don’t eat those, but I was able to find a beef, chicken or pork option each evening. There is a great roast beef sandwich and potato salad in the Park Café. The Park Café offers a lot of ready made sandwiches, desserts, salads and a salad bar. There is really good soft serve ice cream and frozen yogurt in the buffet between the hours of 11:30 until after dinner. There is coffee, hot tea and water available 24 hours a day on the port side of the Windjammer.

· The buffet area wasn’t too crowded. We often ate at the far back part of the ship. Great views. We had really good weather, so this was very enjoyable.

· Casino was not too smoky.

· Ship never felt too crowded even though it was full.

· Cruise director and entertainment director were good. We went to several shows and games hosted by them. The 70’s dance party was a lot of fun to watch.

· Walls and doors in cabin are made of metal so magnets can hold important papers.

· A full length mirror is in stateroom.

· Public areas and restrooms are a good size and are very clean.

· Computer screens are located in the hallways near the elevators to let you find your way around, locate events and read the menu ahead of time.

· Lots of elevators.

· You can see outside almost every public area in the ship because there are so many large windows.

· The dining room staff is very accommodating. The wait staff made changes to items offered. If you prefer a baked potato rather than fries, they will do that. If you want two lobsters or more, you can have them. They also will change the type of salad dressing offered on a salad.

· A full-sized sofa in our cabin.

· We stayed in an ocean view room. It had a good sized window. This was different for us because we usually get an aft-wrap cabin. However, after reading reviews I decided that we would not spend much time in our cabin. I am glad I didn’t spend the extra money for a balcony room. The views of Alaska are beautiful. You need to be able to see more than the limited amount of views available on a cabin balcony. We spent hours outside on a public deck.

· Room service would call to make sure you are awake before delivering. We ordered coffee most mornings.

· Luggage was delivered fairly early the day we embarked.

· Lots of hand sanitizer available all over the ship. I don’t go overboard using this at home, but I did use it on the ship and hoped others did also.

· The hair dryer in the top desk drawer works well.

· You can leave a phone message for others. A light will flash on your phone when you have a message.

· The phone in your stateroom displays the date and time.

 

Disadvantages and dislikes:

· I would have preferred an assigned, fixed dining time, but it was not available even though I booked the cruise one year in advance. We did not like My Time Dining at all. About a month before we boarded, I received an email telling me to select my dining times each evening. I was not able to do that on the computer so I called a representative at RCCL. I was given options of times to select each evening. Most of them were are 5:45 or 7:00. One evening I was allowed to select 6:00. What I found frustrating was having to wait 20-30 minutes for a table even though I had reserved our time. I have been told by others it is better to not prebook our time and just show up. I like getting to know our wait staff. That doesn’t occur when you sit at a different table each evening.

· The area of the shower is smaller than my kitchen sink. It would have been better if it had the rounded glass doors on it. However, we had a shower curtain that made it almost impossible to keep all the water in the shower and not on the floor in the bathroom. I finally figured out to turn the shower head toward the back corner and use the shower head to get wet and then after I had soaped myself. Dropping the soap was not a fun adventure in that small space.

· Our mattress was very hard. This is the first cruise in which I haven’t been happy with my bed.

· The pillows were very thin.

· I didn’t eat any food in the main dining room that was wonderful. It was good, but none left me wanting more.

· Very noisy ship when traveling on ocean. Our walls squeaked constantly on two different nights. It made it hard to sleep. Once we entered the calmer inside passage, the ship walls no longer squeaked. I can’t imagine sailing on this ship for long ocean cruises.

· We stayed on Deck 3 in cabin 3616. We were awakened several mornings around 4:00 AM with chairs banging on the floor.

· The price of a mixed drink is ridiculously high. We saved a lot of money not buying our typical drink of the day.

· The chairs in the dining room hurt our legs. They seem comfortable while sitting in them, but after sitting in the for 1 ½-2 hours each evening, we all had leg cramps.

· There is no food available after 12:30 AM. I had heard there was a room service menu for dinner foods. We never saw this menu. I understand that from midnight-5:00 AM there is a fee to use room service. We stay up later on cruises than when we are home. I have enjoyed stopping by to get a snack or ice cream at the end of the day. No snacks were available on this ship late at night.

· The internet package is not very good. It cost $140.00 for seven days. The service is very, very slow. On the last evening we were trying to print our boarding passes for our flights home and could not do so. If you need the internet to check-in for flights, they sell a one day package for $9.95 on the very last day. You can also get free internet on your cell phone in every port.

 

Here are a few of my suggestions:

Glad I brought:

· Magnets for the walls and doors to hang important papers.

· A battery powered alarm clock.

· My own shampoo and conditioner.

· A lanyard for my seapass card.

· A thermal mug for coffee and hot chocolate. This was very handy, especially on the day we visited Hubbard Glacier.

· My own individual flavored coffee creamers. Coffee is strong. I like flavored coffee. There is a coffee shop that sells flavored coffees for a fee.

· Small battery powered candle to leave on in the bathroom at night. The bathroom lights are very bright. The candle gives off just enough light to see by.

· Lots of $1.00 bills for tipping drivers of buses, tour guides, etc.

· Two SD cards for my camera. Both held a lot of photos. I learned earlier to swap out the SD cards frequently in case you lose your camera. If you have some of your photos on different cards, you will not lose all your photos if camera is lost.

· A backpack. I used it on every excursion. Even though we didn’t have any rain, I had a rain poncho stored in there. I also put my wallet, camera, sunscreen, chapstick and a jacket in there. That left my hand free. I didn’t take a purse.

· A pen and some sticky note cards.

· My own face cleaning clothes.

· Gloves, a scarf and a hat for the day we were in Hubbard Glacier.

· A sweatshirt and jacket with a hood. The hood was helpful blocking the wind from destroying my hair.

· A portable luggage scale. It is small and fit inside our backpack. We did not want to be over the 50 limit for airlines. The cost goes from $25.00 to $100.00 if you are 51 pounds or more.

 

Wish I had brought:

· Air freshener for the bathroom. It always had an odor.

· More warm weather clothing.

· A camera that had a great telescopic lens. I did buy a new camera, but there were some animals that were just a little too far off for my lens.

 

Wish I had known:

· Smoking section is on Deck 5 port side. You will want to avoid this if you are sensitive to smoke. If you smoke, this is where you will go. I saw many men smoking cigars here in the evening.

· Some people really dress up on formal nights. I saw lots of tuxedos and sparkly evening gowns. Not everyone dressed that fancy, but almost everyone wore nice clothes that you would wear to a wedding. I did see a few jeans and t-shirts in the dining room on formal night. My meal is not ruined by what someone wears.

· Our cell phone worked in every port. You can even use your phone on the ship while in port as long as it says your phone carrier, not cellular at sea. We could check email and social media daily except for the one sea day. We have AT&T. Our friends have Verizon. They did not get a signal the entire trip and borrowed our phones to check in at home.

· We didn’t discover the Schooner Bar area on Deck 6 until Day 5. This is where the specialty restaurants are located. There are two pool tables located in there. The Colony Club is located in that area. Audience participation games are played in there. It is a beautiful place to go sit and watch the ocean.

· You can get to the helipad by taking deck 5 towards the front of the ship. When it ends, go up the stairs. You will be on Deck 6. The helipad is up another level of stairs. Many people stayed here on the day we were at Hubbard Glacier. I found the area to the right of the last set of stairs was great for observing the glaciers. The wind was not as strong here.

· The pools are heated. I saw several people enjoying them through the cruise.

Edited by sailingwithfriends
Beginning of review did not post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ports and Excursions:

We booked one or more excursions at every port. We booked them all through Royal Caribbean. I checked prices and the ship’s prices were almost the same. Plus, I had the guarantee to not be left behind. All of our excursions were great. We did book them several months before we sailed. I noticed the prices were higher on many of them after we boarded the ship. I was glad we got the cheaper price. I wish we had spent more time in each port. There was many more things I wanted to see and do.

 

Ketchikan:

We did two excursions here. The first one surprised me at how enjoyable it was. We took the Duck Tour. This sightseeing tour took you all over the town and on a boat ride. We learned a lot of history and fun facts about Ketchikan. This excursion is good for children and adults.

The second excursion we did was the Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show. This was very entertaining and informative. This show was great for both children and adults.

If you go to the right side of the pier, there is a free shuttle that will take you downtown. After we took our first excursion, we took the shuttle. It dropped us off at the Lumberjack Show. After the Lumberjack show, we did a little shopping and then took the shuttle back to the ship.

We did find the prices of souvenirs cheaper in Ketchikan than in any other port. My friend bought a great jacket for $15.00. We found the same jacket for $30.00 in Juneau.

 

Icy Strait (Hoonah)

This is a tender port. It is a very short boat ride. You do have to climb a steep ramp when you get off the tender boat. We did the Forest Tram with Tribal Dance Combination. I really enjoyed the tram. We had great guides that pointed out a lot of plants and animals. We saw several bald eagles. I was able to get a great shot of a bald eagle in her nest. After the tram ride, we went to the Tribal Dance. This was interesting. It told the history of the Native Culture through story and dance.

I think this excursion would be good for all ages.

 

Icy Strait is not as commercial as are the other ports. There is a gift shop, but only one. Inside the cannery there is a great museum that has a lot of interesting displays.

 

We walked down to the beach. My husband put his feet in the water. It was as cold as we suspected. I wish we had been able to do the zipline. At first, I thought I would be too afraid to do it. Once I saw it, I realized you sit in a swing like chair. We decided to try it. Unfortunately, the times that were left to ride it conflicted with our other excursion. I guess we will just have to go back to try it.

 

If you visit Icy Strait, it is a good day to sleep a little bit later and catch up on your sleep.

 

Juneau:

We also did two excursions in Juneau. The first one was the Mount Roberts Tram. It is located right at the port area. Your admission allows you to travel up the mountain as many times as you wish. I do recommend you do this early in the day. We went a second time in the afternoon. It was much more crowded and we had to wait a while to ride the tram down.

The views are beautiful on top of the mountain. There is also an injured bald eagle in a cage. You can get very close to take photos. If you have a fear of heights, it would be better that you sat down in one of the seats available. Once you get to the top of the mountain, I don’t think you would be fearful anymore.

 

The second excursion we did was Discover the Mendenhall Glacier. We were loaded on a motorcoach. The driver gave us some interesting information about Juneau and the glacier on the way there. He dropped us off and told us we had 1.5 hours until he would pick us up. This excursion requires a lot of hiking. Our friend that couldn’t walk as far did take an elevator to the visitors center and stayed there. She said the center was very good. Those of us that hiked did not have time to visit the center. Instead we hiked two trails. The first on takes you to a great view of the glacier. The second one (which is probably about 1.5 miles) takes you to the waterfall. If I could only do one, I would choose the trail to the waterfall. You can see the glacier there also. I do not believe we had enough time to enjoy this area. It really should have been at least 30 minutes longer. Small children would probably get tired walking the trails.

 

After this excursion, we returned to the ship for lunch. Then we went back into town to shop and look around. We ended up at the Red Dog Saloon. This is a fun place to have a drink and listen to live entertainment. We didn’t eat there, but the menu looked good.

 

Skagway:

We chose the White Pass Railroad and Alaskan Dog Sled Experience in Skagway. Both of these were wonderful. Today was foggy, so I worried we would not get to see the beauty of the railroad path. That ended up not being a problem because we rode the train last and the fog had cleared. First we loaded a motor coach that took us to meet an Iditarod musher and his dogs. He made the sport seem very exciting. We were able to see his equipment and pet his puppies. His dogs demonstrated their skills. Then we went back to the motor coach to Frasier, Canada. You have to have a passport to take this excursion. A border agent will board the bus to check passports. The views were unbelievable. We did follow a lot of the same paths as the train. The motor coach stopped a couple of times to take photos. After the motor coach, we boarded the train. My advice when riding the train is to sit on the right side going down and left side going up. Announcement are made telling you the history of the area. If you decide to stand outside on the platform, you will not hear the announcements. This might be a problem when the train stops to pick up hikers or when we go through a dark tunnel. You might be confused about what is going on. The scenery is wonderful. The history lessons were interesting. A customs agent will again board the train in the US to check passports. The only problem I had with this excursion was lack of information. When we returned to port, we were still a long way off from the ship. We simply got off the train and had no idea what to do. I was worried my friend could not make the walk back to the ship. I went up to someone and asked them for their advice. It seems we were suppose to have been told to board one of the many motor coaches sitting beside the train tracks. They didn’t tell us that so we were very confused. It didn’t matter which bus you got on. They took you back to port. You still had a long walk to the ship. A golf cart transported those that struggled with the hike.

 

We were tired at the end of this excursion, so we did not tour the town. I hope to be able to do that one day. Our second formal night was this evening.

 

Hubbard Glacier:

This was one of my favorite parts of the cruise. My advise is to get up early and dress warmly if you are going outside. I took my thermal mug and filled it with coffee. I liked being on the front of the ship. Many people decided to sit in the buffet or one of the other public areas. They were able to stay warm. However, I loved the cool air and hearing the quiet of the glacier. You would occasionally hear a thunder sound. I did not witness any calving. I did get to see a crew from out ship go out in a small boat to find a piece of an iceberg to bring on board. I never saw the ice, but I heard they were going to make an ice carving from it. The ship turned so everyone can see the glacier on the side and back.

 

Seward:

Because my husband didn’t have enough vacation days, we were not able to go with another couple in our group to Denali National Park. We had come home after our cruise. I spent a lot of time and did a lot of research to decide what we would do to get to the airport. I read great things about the town of Seward and I really wanted to see it. I also wanted to ride the glass domed train to Anchorage. After doing my research, I found an excursion that allowed us to tour the Kenai Fjords, the Sealife Center and would take us to the airport that evening. The excursion included an all you can eat salmon and prime rib buffet.

The ship came into port around 5:00 on Friday morning. We had packed out bags the night before. We did keep our carry on luggage and our back packs. We ate our breakfast and met our excursion tour at 8:30. This was very well organized. We were walked off the ship and lead directly to an old school bus. There was a U-haul type trailer next to our bus. We were allowed to put our carry-on luggage in the trailer. We then boarded the school bus to go to the Sealife Center. We stayed at the center for a couple of hours. We didn’t need the entire time, so we ended up walking around town to look in the cute shops. After two hours, our school bus took us to the port to board the boat that would take us on a five hour tour of the Kenai Fjords. The food was okay, not great. It was a little crowded on the boat. It is two levels. You are assigned a table. They called you number when it was time to get your food. You were allowed to walk around the boat and to go outside. There is another deck on the third level. We were so lucky. We saw Killer Whales, sea otters and other marine animals. There was a great National Park Ranger on board that give us great information. He also had a program for children. The children were able to earn badges. Dessert was served towards the end of the boat trip. I really enjoyed this excursion.

 

After the boat docked, we went back to the pier and collected our carry on luggage. We put it on a motor coach and then headed to Anchorage. I had been a little disappointed that I would not get to ride the train because I had read wonderful comments about the scenery. I was very pleased that our bus took the same route as the train. We were actually closer to the water than the train. I took some great photos of the mountains on our trip to Anchorage. The scenery got prettier and prettier the further north we traveled. We arrived at the airport at 9:00 PM. We collected our carry-on luggage and the pieces that were collected on Thursday evening. Those pieces were stored under the motorcoach. We then entered the airport. The Anchorage Airport is not nearly as large as other airports I have been to. It was easy to navigate. We checked our luggage and went to eat at Chilis in the airport. Our flight was not until 12:15 AM on Saturday, so we had plenty of time. The time went quickly. We used the time to charge our electronics. We boarded the plane at 11:45. We didn’t get back to Atlanta until 3:30 PM. Luckily, all went well with our flights and luggage.

 

I loved our trip to Canada and Alaska. I took over 5000 photos. My husband probably did the same. I have never seen such natural beauty. There is so much we didn’t get to do. We plan to go again in 3 years. Next time, I hope to be able to spend a lot of time inland.

 

If you have any questions, I will try and answer them. I hope you were able to get some suggestions and answers from this review.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Granville Island does close early, so going for a dinner it is probably not the best place to choose. There are restaurants in the area though but if you are in the Market Place it closes around 7 PM. It is a Farmer's Market and more a day time attraction.

 

There are hotels right on the Hop on Hop off route. If you have a walking problem then they might be better for you. We do have some hills but to the locals they don't seem very steep compared to other places we have been to. Downtown core is pretty flat. If you mobility problems then do some research before you book anything.

 

We are in for a long warm dry spell of weather into Sept. I read.:D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't aware of the times for the Market Place. I never came across the hours when doing my research. Otherwise, I would not have gone there.

My friend did not have any physical issues when we booked the cruise and hotel. Unfortunately, she did develop problems later on. We still enjoyed our trip. I just hate it that she struggled. I hope that other people that have problems walking will not select the same hotel we did if they want the hop-on/hop-off bus. When you do your research, it doesn't tell you there are hills involved. (At least none of the research I read gave me that info.).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We enjoyed live music almost every night on the ship. There was music in the Quill & Compass Pub, the Colony Club, The Schooner and the Centrum. I saw a lot of people dancing in the Centrum. My Cruise Compass says there is music in the Starquest on Deck 13 for adults. I believe that is where most of the dancing would happen. We never went to that part of the ship, so I can't expand. I did feel most people were in their cabin before 11:00. We listened to music until about 11:30 one evening and then the ship was quiet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great review. It is too bad you weren't able to visit Granville Island while it is open. It is one of my favourite spots to visit in Vancouver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the review! Doing the southbound in a few weeks!!

 

One question - for you or anyone else who might know. I see a lot of talk about how small the cabin showers are. Are there showers in the locker room at the fitness center that one can go and use? I know on Disney people will talk of doing that for more room or just if more than one person is needing to get cleaned up quickly. Just wondering if that is an option on Royal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the review! Doing the southbound in a few weeks!!

 

One question - for you or anyone else who might know. I see a lot of talk about how small the cabin showers are. Are there showers in the locker room at the fitness center that one can go and use? I know on Disney people will talk of doing that for more room or just if more than one person is needing to get cleaned up quickly. Just wondering if that is an option on Royal.

 

I am afraid I don't know the answer to that question. I know that many people use the larger showers in Carnival's gym also. I would imagine they would have showers for you to use. I understand the gym on Radiance is very nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for the review! Doing the southbound in a few weeks!!

 

One question - for you or anyone else who might know. I see a lot of talk about how small the cabin showers are. Are there showers in the locker room at the fitness center that one can go and use? I know on Disney people will talk of doing that for more room or just if more than one person is needing to get cleaned up quickly. Just wondering if that is an option on Royal.

Yes, you can use the showers in the fitness center if you wish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yes, you can use the showers in the fitness center if you wish.

 

Thanks! :)Good to know in case I find that I need it. Though being accustomed to a small NYC apartment (and ergo a tiny bathroom) I suspect I will likely be fine with what is in the cabin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great review! We're heading out in August and I got a chuckle reading your review because of how similar our itinerary is. Same type room, same deck, and four out of five of our excursions are the same!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wasn't aware of the times for the Market Place. I never came across the hours when doing my research. Otherwise, I would not have gone there.

My friend did not have any physical issues when we booked the cruise and hotel. Unfortunately, she did develop problems later on. We still enjoyed our trip. I just hate it that she struggled. I hope that other people that have problems walking will not select the same hotel we did if they want the hop-on/hop-off bus. When you do your research, it doesn't tell you there are hills involved. (At least none of the research I read gave me that info.).

 

Sorry you didn't find the hours of operation for Granville Island. It is a super fun place but does close at 7 PM. In the winter it used to close on Monday.

 

The main core area I don't find hilly but if you are coming up from the ship there is a slight hill.

 

http://granvilleisland.com/

 

HOURS

Public Market

Open 7 days a week

9am-7pm

 

Net Loft retail boutiques

Open 7 days a week

10am-7pm

 

More Hours and Holiday Hours

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your review! You had a lot of good information. I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to write such a detailed and wonderful review :).

 

We've done the same cruise 2 years ago, and it was great to relieve fond memories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just back from Southbound RotS. Agree with most of your thoughts.

 

Had to say the Windjammer was better than expected and the main dining room was average at best. Had great service and food in Samba Grill and Giovanni's. Chops was a disappointment. Honestly, I don't think I saw one person in Izumi or Rita's the whole cruise.

 

Can't comment on the entertainment as I don't think I stayed up past 9 any night- lots of early excursions!

 

I think you made a great choice with the Kenai Fjords cruise rather that spending a number of days to get to Denali. Denali was great but I spent almost the full day driving up and back.

 

I recommend Icy Straight Point for whale watching. We saw 3 pods of 4-7 humpbacks each. Used FISHES charter but honestly all the charters there seemed to arrive at the same place.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the report. It has lots of great information in it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for taking the time to report back with such great detail. I'm finalizing my plans for my July 10th cruise on the Radiance. I think I got the last of my paperwork printed out today and now I can start to think about packing.

 

Note to self: go get those gloves out of storage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the great info. My first cruise will be in 2016. I appreciated the things to bring such as the bathroom light and where to store things.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Explore the Night. Sweepstakes - Enter now for a chance to win win a free cruise for two with Azamara Club Cruises!
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Community Contests
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×