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Victoria Walsh



Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

Sailing Date: September 13th, 2003

Itinerary: Alaska

I live in New York City. It cost less to fly to Europe than to Vancouver for the Alaska cruise. So I have been travel extensively to Europe and the Far East. I have stayed at a wide range of hotels and B&B, tasted regional foods offered by countries I visited. I did a lot of research on the internet for Alaska travel. Cruise is the best way to see Alaska. Radiance of the Seas Vancouver round trip was the only itinerary fit my vacation schedule. I wanted to take a southbound cruise from Anchorage to Vancouver, but there wasn't one on the days that I wanted. So I booked the Radiance 7 night Hubbard Glacier cruise.

It was my first cruise and I have motion sickness. So I was a little worry but I was prepared with motion sickness pill. I had to take them twice on rough seas. I didn't feel the ship moving anymore after a few days into the cruise.

I was used to independent land travel where I can come & go as please. But on a cruise, I had no choice but to stay on board while the ship was at sea or had to be back on the boat on time for sailing to the next port.

We flew from NY to Vancouver. That was a 3 hours time difference. My body wasn't used to it. During the 2nd day of the cruise, we arrived in Alaska so we had to turn the clock beind for 1 more hour. For me, that was 4 hours difference. I was very sleep by 10 every night. I even missed the midnight chocolate buffet because I couldn’t stay up pass 10. It took me a few days to get used to the time difference and the motion of the ship. By the time I got used it, it was at the end of the cruise. Most of the passengers were from the West Coast so they didn't have jetlag and enjoyed all sorts of night entertainment.

You can read about the ship from many reviews. It's really a beautiful ship with attention to details. It's contemporary decorated with country club feeling. The pools were usually empty because of the cold weather on the trip. Rock wall climbing was open when the sea wasn't too rough or not too windy. The library has open shelves that you sign out books on your own. It's an honor system that you bring the book back to the library when it's finised. Our room was category D on deck 9 with balcony. It was a great way to cruise Alaska in a balcony room. Our luggage had been delivered to our room when we got there (we had to wait for 2 hours at the pier to clear U.S. custom). Our room was good size for 3 adults. The sofa pulled out as a 3rd bed. The sofa bed was very comfortable. The decoration in the room was nicely done. There were really nice wood hangers in the closet. There were plenty of lights and mirrors in the room. There was a full size hair dryer. The bathroom was very small. It had a shower but no tub. There were plenty storage space in the mirror vanity and below the sink, very nicely designed. The 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner was in a bottle fixed on the shower wall. There were soaps for the sink & the shower. The bathroom was small but very efficient use of space and provided plenty of storage. Our stateroom attendant introduced himself right away. We always saw him whenever we leave the room. Somehow he knew we were out. We went to breakfast one day, our room was made up when we returned after breakfast.

Our cruise was full and we felt it, too. At the breakfast & lunch buffet, the Windjammer room was always full. You had to wait for a table. There were crew members to remind people to leave when they were done so others could sit down & eat. The main dinning room was open for all 3 meals with far less people. It was on the 4th floor and didn't have a nice view as the Windjammer which was on deck 11 with floor to ceiling glass windows. Food service was personal and great. We had lobster on the 2nd formal night. The waiter pulled the lobster tail out from the shell for you so we didn't need to messy up our nice formal wear. Oh, you can order more than one lobster tail if you want. We had shrimp one night, the waiter also de-shell the shrimp for us. The main dinning room was beautiful and the service was excellent. The food came a few minutes after you ordered. There was no long wait like in a restaurant. The dinner was very salty on our first night. We told the waiter and he told note of it. The dinners were much better after the 1st night. Because the chiefs cooked for over 1000 passengers in a dinner setting, the food was good, but not spectacular. We had much better food during our travels to Europe. I know I should not compare the food but I can't help it since I paid a lot of money for this cruise. I expected to have tasty food at dinner in the main dinning room. On the other hand, the buffet was great. The salads and fruits were very fresh. The breakfast tato tarts were crispy.

Shopping on board was a difference experience. There a few shops line up on deck 5. The stores were open when we were at sea, and close when we were at port. They put out different merchandise every day so you want to go to see what they have every day .

Overall, Radiance of the Seas is a well lay out, beautifully decorated ship. It's a huge floating resort that takes you from port to port. I would recommend this ship for any cruise itineraries. I like to have the local touch and feel the local style when I travel. I prefer hotels with characters and charms, the feeling of getting away. In cruising, you stay at the same American luxury room, eat with the same people, see the same people for the entire trip. The port of call's local flavor was gone when we got back on the ship so cruise is not for me. Cruise is for people like to be pampered, like to have the high standard facilities and don’t mind spending a long time in an enclosed area.

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