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Ann

Age: 60

Occupation:secretary

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2009-06-12

Itinerary: Alaska

This was our first cruise. We had done some homework and did find interesting information concerning do's and don't of cruising. There were 4 of us and we didn't want to spend alot of money so we planned walking trips around Junenu, Sagway and Ketchikan. This was great because we saw things that probably would have been missed on a guided tour. In and out of shops and talking to locals. We did google each town and got information before leaving. Bullwinkles pizza in Junenu as a great place to eat. It is a little ways out of the tourist turf but well worth it. If you are walking around Ketchikan go to Creek street, it a quaint little sideline. We did do 3 excursions. Mendenhall glacier was great, the White Pass/Yukon railroad was awesome and had a great time at the Lumberjack show. All of these didn't cost a lot and were great fun. Hubbard Glacier was fabulous.

The Radiance food was great. The dinner meals were wonderful. We are not great fish eaters and our wait staff would make adjustments when asked. We loved our waiters. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjamer cafe was pleasant, everyone ate their fill.

The ship docks close in each port and we would leave in the morning return for lunch then off again to enjoy the day. The only time it seemed crowded was at dinner when the dining room was full. A hint to those cruising Alaska when you live on the east side of the US. Don't choose the 8:30 dining time. Dinners usually took 2 hours and by 10:30 ship time (there is a 4 hour time difference at home it was 2:30 in morning) all we wanted to do is go to bed (big dinners make you sleepy). We never did adjust to the time difference. We were up early for breakfast, though. Decide if your shore excursions are going to keep you away from the early dinner time. If you have a choice, plan to eat early, you will enjoy the evening much more. You can always eat in the Windjammer cafe. We shared our dining room table with a group from California and each evening we would tell our adventures of the day. What a great time laughing over our escapades. After a large dinner the midnight buffet was not enjoyed. Oh well we will plan better on the next cruise.

Our stateroom was an inside room on the 4th floor. Our travel agent said that we would not be spending a lot of time in there and she was right. There was so much to see and do that the stateroom was only used to clean up, sleep and occasionally relaxing. The ships TV channels would let us know what was going on out side and the cruise director channel let us know what the highlights of the day were. There was a daily cruise compass paper that gave us the information about what was going on onboard and highlighted town interests.

Our steward was great. We travel with our adult children and he kept us informed where each other went off to. Their were not early risers so Thomas was great in letting them know when we were out and about. We could not have had a better room steward than Thomas, he made our first cruise so comfortable.

Our children did much more than we did and said they had a great time. They got to know the bartenders and went to a lot of the activities in the evening before dinner. We caught a couple of shows that were very entertaining. There was usually something going on all around the ship while we were cruising. On Friday we did find a quiet spot at the very back of the ship where we could enjoy the scenery of the Inside Passage, have a drink and reflect on the cruise. What a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Know that if you are looking for something to do you will never be at a loss. The only down side to the ship was all the advertising of everything you could purchase on board and the constant picture taking with people dressed as eagles, lumberjacks; every port had a new costume. There were way too many picture opportunities.

Hubbard Glacier was an awesome sight! We were up on deck the whole time. Mendenhall Glacier was great to but not as exciting as Hubbard. The train ride was awesome. Our table mates went on the zip lines and really got hooked. I am not sure I would enjoy getting thrown off a mountain but maybe that is something you would enjoy. We saw whales at Icy Straits. There was a group of kayakers and the whales were going right for them. I bet they had a story to tell that day. I heard many people wondering why the ship stopped at icy straits, it was mid-week and a good day to walk around, enjoy the scenery and just kick back.

Overall we had a great time, we had planned for over a year to take this trip. I thought maybe we had set our expectations to high but I was not disappointed at any time. The ship is beautiful and the service is top rate. Everyone on the ship went out of his or her way to make us feel welcome and comfortable. We did get sea sick on Saturday and the medical facility was closed but the person at the reception desk was there to help. Take some Seasick gum it really does work. Overall our trip was fabulous. Before we went to Alaska I thought that would be my one and only ship trip but now I am ready to go again. We are planning a cruise to the Bahamas in the Spring. I would even like to go back to Alaska again.

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