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Georgia Duncan

Age: 71/60


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-05-8

Itinerary: Alaska

This is our second time with RCCL, first time on Radiance. The cruise was fabulous! The service was attentive by all of the staff. We found the entertainment to be some of the best we seen on a cruise ship. Not Las Vegas, but darn close in quality. The Royal Caribbean singers and dancers were very talented and totally enjoyable, as were the other entertainers who came on board.

This ship, however, needs some repairs, updating, cleaning. It is looking somehat old; the tile floor outside the Windjammer Cafe always looked dirty; carpet in some areas of the ship was buckled and did not appear very clean. The food was o-k , somewhat disappointing from our previous cruise experiences. The stateroom with balcony was comfortable, adequate size, but the bathroom was quite small. The shower was approximately 30" square with a 1-1/2" lip at the bottom - could be challenging for anyone with disabilities or limitations.

While very nicely presented, the quality of the meals was just o-k, with the exception of the next to last evening on which shrimp, lobster and fresh Alaskan Salmon were the main entree selections and were quite good. It was interesting that, for an "Ultimate Alaskan Cruise", Atlantic (farmed) Salmon was offered every evening except the one previously mentioned. The desserts, too, were mostly ordinary in taste, though beautifully designed. We dined one evening in the Chops Restaurant, RCCL's on board steak and chop house, for a cost of $20pp. The service was first class and attentive. We both ordered the bone-in ribeye steak which was cooked to order and served with a choice of 6 sauces. which we chose not to use. The steak was little chewy, but had a good flavor. The dessert was Ultimate Chocolate Experience ("compliments of the chef" for our anniversary) and was v-e-r-y chocolatey and declicious!

The stateroom was a nice size, but the decor seemed very tired. ( Although this ship was just redone in 2006, it could use it again.) The stateroom attendant was excellent - the room was made up each day and turned down each evening. (I read in a previous cruisers review that RCCL used to pur a chocolate on the pillow, but no longer - probabaly a cost-saving measure). The sheets were not changed during our 13-day cruise. We had the option of fresh towels daily if we chose by simply leaving the towles on the floor. Either way, there was always a fresh set available in the bathroom in addition to the ones in use. The bathroom was workable but small. The shower was about 30" square with only a 1-1/2 lip around the bottom to retain the water. It could be difficult for anyone with a disability or physical limitations.

We were pleased with the onboard activities - what was available fit our lifestyle and acitivity level just fine. A younger audience might be satisfied with it as being "too quiet". There were dance classes, night club parties, music and dance challenges, trivia challenges, art auctions (thankfully, this was de-emphasized), lectures about the Alaskan ports, photography seminars, teen activities as well as some for small children. Cruisers can be as active or quiet as they choose. We felt that the entertainment in the theatre was far superior to what we saw on our past cruises. The productions were first rate and the performers were Las Vegas quality. The Cruise Director did a good job of bringing in good talent for this cruise in addition to all the other activities available on the ship.

Don't miss the White Pass Railway in Skagway or the Mendenall Glacier in Juneau. We chose not to buy any of the excursions on board, but did find numerous options available onshore - all were less expensive than those offered on board. Our favorite port was Sitka. It has maintained its original flavor without falling victim to the jewelry trade that has invaded all the other ports. It was disappointing to see the streets in Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway lined with international jewelry dealers. We were told by a shopkeeper in Ketchikan that the jewelers follow the cruiseships from the Caribbean to Alaska. There was probably a 100 or more jewelers in each port plus the ones onboard.

Our first trip to Alaska was in 2001 aboard Regent Seven Seas Mariner - an altogether luxurious liner and cruise, but also exceptionally expensive. This cruise was more relaxed and more fun. There were activities that seemed to be geared to the mostly senior audience, but still plenty for the younger sets as well. The captain did an admirable job of navigating the ice-laden waters in the Hubbard Glacier waterway to get us relatively close. The patience in navigating the ice was rewarded with some major calving sightings - one as we were getting ready to leave that seem like nearly half of the face of the glacier. The resulting wave gave the ship a pretty steep momentary tilt. It was awesome!

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