Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review to Alaska - Gulf of Alaska

Contributor Level: Deck Hand

Experience
2-3 cruises

Reviews
2

Helpful Votes
21

4 out of 5

Alaska by sea

Sail Date: August 12, 2006

Reviewed: 6 years ago

Traveled As: Family (young children)

Room Type: Balcony

The Radiance of the Seas is an impressive ship. It has a spectacular atrium, with glass elevators overlooking the lobby below. The outside glass elevators give an amazing view of the ocean. All of the facilities are clean and in excellent shape -- I believe this is a fairly new ship, and it really shows. The staff was attentive and excellent (as expected), the cabin had enough room for a family of four, including storage space for our many clothes and bags. We especially loved having a balcony -- a must for viewing the spectacular Alaska scenery and wildlife. The ship's many amenities made for plenty of recreation choices.This was really an impressive ship.

Pros: Adventure Ocean -- the kids' program

Cons: The lack of multiple dining options

Food and Dining
The food was very good, with a decent number of dining options. It was especially helpful to have the Windjammer Cafe, with it's ongoing buffet choices, which gave my children plenty to choose from. It would have been nice to see the choices vary a bit more. We chose to eat every night in the dining room; to eat in the other two restaurants required reservations and additional cost. It would have been nice to have other options more readily available, perhaps with more ethnic choices than just steak or Italian (i.e. sushi or asian). The ambiance of all the restaurants was lovely and inviting, always a pleasure to eat there.
Ship Quality
The ship was large, without seeming so large you couldn't find things. Everything was always spotless, beautifully decorated, and easily navigable.
Cabin / Stateroom
We have only cruised once before, and it was quite a while ago, so we were really impressed by this stateroom. Our family of four fit nicely, there was a king-size bed for my husband and me, an amazing amount of storage space, easily accessible, and the balcony was fabulous. Everything was new, or seemed it, and the location was perfect for what we needed.
Service and Staff
Everyone was friendly and helpful everywhere we went on the ship. We really felt cared for and attended to by the staff.
Entertainment
While we didn't take in many of the shows, the ones we did see were excellent, and there was something new every night. We loved the exercise facility, which was available at almost all hours and had a fabulous view of the front of the ship. The rock-climbing wall was wonderful, and there's really nothing like playing mini-golf on the ocean! Both pools were beautiful -- the inside, Solarium pool was especially nice, given that this was Alaska and the temperature a little cooler than what I require for swimming! The hot tubs really enhanced the pool experience.
Children's Programs
Honestly, our son never left the ship, he loved this program so much! The staff was enthusiastic and fun, and they kept my son happy and entertained so that the rest of us could go ashore and explore without a whining, bored seven-year-old. Every night both of my children wanted to play at the kids' club, which allowed my husband and me to have a romantic dinner alone every night. This program truly made this a vacation for everyone!
Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska
This is a place being developed for tourism. It's a fine port for an unspoiled view of Alaska, but there are better places for viewing the wildlife or seeing native Alaskans. While it is not over-developed or commercial, it has a Disney-like feel to the renovated cannery and carefully planned gravel paths. Once you leave port and head into town, there's really nothing there.
Don't Miss: It's nice to take the nature trail, but not much else.
Ketchikan, Alaska
This is a hopping port, and clearly the most developed from a tourist perspective. The tours available on shore are comparable in price to those offered by the cruise company. There are plenty of tourist things to do, so it's a good idea to figure out ahead of time what's important to do, and just book it. We did find a wonderful little popcorn place on an out-of-the-way corner (Orca popcorn), and I would highly recommend this if you like the kernels! Not a lot of natural sites, but plenty of activity.
Don't Miss: I don't have one for here.
Juneau, Alaska
This is the state capital, so it's definitely worth seeing. There were plenty of tour options available in port, so you can wait to book something until you get there. It's a big place, so you need to focus on what's most important to you. The tramway up the mountain would have been nice, but it was too foggy to try; the Mendenhall glacier was impressive, and easily reached by city bus; we also loved learning about salmon at the hatchery.
Don't Miss: You need to see Mendenhall glacier.
Icy Strait Point (Hoonah), Alaska
This is a place being developed for tourism. It's a fine port for an unspoiled view of Alaska, but there are better places for viewing the wildlife or seeing native Alaskans. While it is not over-developed or commercial, it has a Disney-like feel to the renovated cannery and carefully planned gravel paths. Once you leave port and head into town, there's really nothing there.
Don't Miss: It's nice to take the nature trail, but not much else.
Skagway, Alaska
This was a very cute frontier town, with boardwalks and everything. We did the White Pass and Yukon train ride, which offered spectacular scenery. The National Park Service offers a free walking tour of the sites, and we found plenty of affordable souvenirs. Worth visiting!
Don't Miss: I would have to say the train ride.
Ketchikan, Alaska
This is a hopping port, and clearly the most developed from a tourist perspective. The tours available on shore are comparable in price to those offered by the cruise company. There are plenty of tourist things to do, so it's a good idea to figure out ahead of time what's important to do, and just book it. We did find a wonderful little popcorn place on an out-of-the-way corner (Orca popcorn), and I would highly recommend this if you like the kernels! Not a lot of natural sites, but plenty of activity.
Don't Miss: I don't have one for here.
Skagway, Alaska
This was a very cute frontier town, with boardwalks and everything. We did the White Pass and Yukon train ride, which offered spectacular scenery. The National Park Service offers a free walking tour of the sites, and we found plenty of affordable souvenirs. Worth visiting!
Don't Miss: I would have to say the train ride.
Juneau, Alaska
This is the state capital, so it's definitely worth seeing. There were plenty of tour options available in port, so you can wait to book something until you get there. It's a big place, so you need to focus on what's most important to you. The tramway up the mountain would have been nice, but it was too foggy to try; the Mendenhall glacier was impressive, and easily reached by city bus; we also loved learning about salmon at the hatchery.
Don't Miss: You need to see Mendenhall glacier.


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