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enyaw

Radiance Alaska 6/26/04 Review

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What a week! This truly was the most incredible cruise. I have to start out by saying if you're thinking about a cruise to Alaska or onboard the Radiance---do not hesitate. The itinerary was great--and the ship was outstanding!

 

A little bit of a backround: I cruised with a friend of mine who has never cruised before. We are in our mid 20's and stayed on deck 9--inside cabin.

 

We left Oregon the night before the cruise--and checked into the Westin Grand in Vancouver. What a hotel! We were upgraded to a deluxe suite overlooking downtown. I recommend this place to anyone. The hotel was located on Robson street (a shopping area in Vancouver)--and convienent to everything.

 

The next morning after walking around town--we took a cab to Ballantyne Pier and met the Radiance. After all of the cruises I've been on---it's the same reaction all of the time. Wow...this ship is huge!

 

It took us about 10-15 minutes from the time we stepped out of the cab to the time we reached our cabin. Check in was extremely quick--mainly due to my diamond status in crown and anchor. There's a seperate line for check in and immigration---so make sure to ask if you are a diamond member as well.

 

As I mentioned before---the ship was great. Very clean---very beautiful. Our cabin was nice--and I'm super happy with an inside cabin (especially in Alaska where the sunrise occured at 3:00am and sunset at 11:00pm). We had the best stateroom attendant we could have asked for!

 

Our second day was at sea---we relaxed and met our "group" of friends from the night before [that we met at the disco] and relaxed throughout the day.

 

Day 3 was Juneau---I opted to walk around, take in the sights and tour the capital and some museums. My friend went kayaking and really enjoyed the sights and sounds of Mendenhall Glacier.

 

Day 4 was Skagway. By far my favorite port of the trip. Very Alaska feeling. We didn't do an excursion here--but heard the Yukon Train tour was great. Lots of shopping for trinket like items--and after walking around town--it was back to the ship.

 

Day 5 Hubbard Glacier. According to "Captain Kent" we were the closest ship of the season to reach the glacier. We were about a quarter of a mile away from the ice. It was amazing. Chunks of ice falling off---crashing into the sea. UNBELIEVABLE!! Definetely pack the gloves and warm clothing for this day. Temperatures around the glacier ranged from 35-45 degrees!

 

Day 6 Ketchkian. You might not believe this--but we went SNORKELING!! It was a blast...and in a full wet suit we went to mountain point and saw some amazing fish---and underwater life. I booked this trip independently through alaskadeepsix. There website is http://www.alaskadeepsix.com. They are great people who have lived in Ketchikan for years. Highly recommended!!!!! Hey, now I can tell people I snorkled in Alaska!

 

Day 7 was another sea day. I hate the last day--everyone is so sad that the vacation is over. We did some shopping--enjoyed the solarium and the great food at the Seaview Cafe.

 

Disembarkation day wasn't to bad. We had the first color tags off for "independent guests". We breezed off the ship---went through customs and arrived at the airport via taxi around 8:45. After standing in long lines...we arrived home a little after 3:00.

 

Overall---this ship was amazing. We had a great time. The food was great---fomr the Windjammer to the Dining Room. The scenery was breathtaking. And being in our 20's we were concerned for the nightlife on board. No worries...the disco stayed up into the wee hours of the morning.

 

If you have any questions....please ask! Thanks to all who helped me with my questions!

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So glad to hear you had such a satisfiing vacation!

 

Thanks for sharing your experience.

:)

A

I can't wait to experience The Radiance for myself :D

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My family has only cruised on Disney, but we want to go to Alaska so the choice has to be another cruise line. We have searched all the major cruise lines and decided on taking the Radiance in the summer of 2006.

 

Is the Wilderness Express Train an option prior to sailing? My wife was thinking of a North to South cruise instead of a roundtrip. Is that an option on the Radiance?

 

I am glad you had a wonderful time; more details would be appreciated. I am very interested in the children/teen programming.

 

SD

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Sarah's Dad:

 

You'll love the Radiance. With all of the glass--it's the perfect ship to sail Alaska. We sailed roundtrip out of Vancouver---and did not participate in the Rail Tours. Only the Vision of the Seas (Vision Class) sails northbound/southbound Alaska itineraries. I've sailed on the Vision before---although it's a nice ship---I can't imagine being on anything other than the Radiance class. You're planning well in advance (which is good)--so who knows what ship will be doing Alaska then.

 

I don't have kids--but what I've noticed is that the Adventure Ocean program is always packed--and the kids are having such a great time. It's a real blast for kids of all ages.

 

Enjoy Alaska! I did....and make sure to save up money for a great digital camera. Believe me...you'll use it! :-)

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On all our Alaska cruises (4 so far), "we were the closest ship of the season to reach the glacier". Glad to hear they're getting closer all the time. Guess it's kind of like Sigfried and Roy, saying that was Montecore's first time on stage. Poetic license.

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My wife and I just came back from the same cruise - our first. It was a totally enjoyable experience, nd I recommend the Radiance to any who are interested in cruising.

 

The best vacation of our lives!

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