Not specifically about Radiance of the Seas but... bear in mind that weather can play a big role with the satisfaction for your cruise AND excursions and we were very fortunate there.. But keep a positive attitude and you will enjoy yourself. If you're booking with AAA try going straight to the Crown & Anchor checkin and see if they will process you without the long line. Also, if you are a Verizon cell phone user you can get periodic connections while at sea whenever you are connected to "Cellular of the Seas" network )the first time my phone connected to Cellular of the Seas I panicked because I didn't know what it was and was told by the idiots at the Verizon store that there is NO connectivity on the ship while at sea even though the Verizon website says otherwise and they told us we'd have to just pay for the internet package if you want to text with each other on ship. Verizon charges 50 cents to send a text and 5 cents to receive and 2.99/minute for calls... NO DATA so if you must have the slow data connection while on the ship you stuck with Voom. (Must sign up for Verizon's "Travel Pass" with before sailing - it's a free change to your plan) Leave WiFi off unless you are somewhere you know. Just be prepared for spotty connections on ships AND in ports since you are sharing data bandwidth with 10,000 other cruise passengers in a port with normal population of a couple thousand or less for many of these places.
2 out of 5
Many passengers in line - including us - had booked the cruise through AAA and had been told we would get Priority Check-In. Yet we were all put into the General Boarding line. Long line... about 45 minutes. After we get home, we find out we were supposed to just get into the Crown and Anchor line but AAA didn't know or didn't tell us this as there were a lot of us in line from AAA. Cruise line people guiding passengers to the correct line were apparently also unaware of this and just told us to get into the general line.
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
First days at Windjammer no Ranch dressing at salad bar and were told it would be found BUT no luck next time I checked. Stuck Breakfast was awesome. Love the Omelets! Three levels for beef/steaks. For newbies out there... Windjammer buffet meats/steaks are average or better. Cascades Main Dining room steaks are above average to very good depending on the day and the luck of the cut. Specialty Dining is where the very good to excellent prime steaks can be had.
4 out of 5
Always something to do if you go looking and get involved.
3 out of 5
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Overall service and staff were excellent with few exceptions like security... I understand the need for security but if I'm DRINKING an unfinished soda cup or coffee how am I a security risk? It just seemed petty like RCI is more interested in you buying all your beverages on board.
4 out of 5
Older ship. I didn't know when booking this a year ago that most of the cruise lines put their older ships on the Alaska circuit because it's more about the destinations and beauty than the ship and activity. Except for the brand new Norwegian Bliss just put into service this season and built for the Alaska routes. Saw it several times and it was very impressive... and BIG. Radiance needs some TLC but is still a nice ship with a nice design and I wouldn't exclude it from future consideration.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
If you want to have the same waiters in Main Dining and be around the same people most of the time, make sure you do the 'My Time' Dining reservations. Also, if you're not into crowds, go to WindJammer early or late... it was never oppressively crowded but it's easier to find good seating if you're an early bird... hours of operation vary by port and day. Check your daily Cruise Compass....
Since this place is newer than the more well known established towns and cities I wasn't expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised at the newness and cleanliness of the place. Zip Rider was awesome - overpriced - but awesome and would do it again. Nature hikes. Easy and hard. Wildlife excursions (did not do personally)
Typical little big city atmosphere. Check out Mt Roberts tramway. Make reservations for the restaurant at the top if you don't want to wait in line. Mid day (lunch time) is best for Mt Roberts tramway so might as well eat lunch there. Make sure you go to Mendenhall Glacier. Also, free buses in town and small charge to go out to the Indian village. Downtown 'locals' area a bit sketchy but no more than any other city.
Was surprised by this port. Beautiful day. Did not expect much while waiting for the evening train to Anchorage. I was wrong... Otters love to play in the harbor. Went on the 3.5 hour wildlife cruise with Major Marine Tours... WOW. They were great for such a short tour, we saw humpbacks feeding, sea lions, puffins (cool beautiful birds), and much more. Bring a good camera and good lens if you want great pictures as the boats are not allowed to approach to closely but awesome just to see these. Highly recommended. Not so impressed with the GoldStar Service on the train to Anchorage. If I did that again, I probably wouldn't pay the extra for the Goldstar with dinner service. We were served dead last just before arriving in Anchorage at 10pm because one of the kitchens was unusable and people take there time dining at the few tables you are ushered to in groups. Also, the curved glass in the dome car is not great for taking pictures and the outdoor landings for viewing are crowded. I spent most of my time taking picture from the downstair opening between cars where there was nobody.
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