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Family Friendliness
Shore Excursions
Miriam Cartmell

Age: 54


Number of Cruises: 3

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

Sailing Date: 2010-06-18

Itinerary: Alaska Cruisetour

We had a family of 18 that went and had a great time. Even though we were spread throughout the ship for our cabins, we kept running into each other all the time. The lounges were comfortable with great entertainment. Getting on and off the ship always ran smoothly. We were a northbound cruise from Vancouver to Seward.

I was surprised to learn the ports have some serious jewelry shopping opportunities. I did not come prepared, maybe next time.

We had packed clothes for formal night so we could have family portrait done with no sitting fees, just the picture itself. well worth it.

The trip to Hubbard Glacier was breathtaking. Our captain came within 600 ft of the glacier and then turned side to side so all could see. We started at the front bow with the rest of the ship it seemed, and then realized...hey we have a balcony! From our balcony we could have unobstructed views while the captain turned, along with hot coffee and heat!

From here our family split up, some returning home, some on a 3 night land tour and we had the 7 night land tour. We went from Seward, to Anchorage by motor coach. Then to Talkeetna one day (home of Mt McKinley) by train....awesome food on board!! next day to Denali by train again for two nights, then by coach to Fairbanks. A wonderful look at different areas of Alaska.

Our food was fabulous. We used room service for those days that we had an early excursion so we could have breakfast while getting ready. We used the buffet for lunch and the dining room for dinner. Our wait staff was fantastic.

The stateroom was much larger than we expected. We had a superior balcony with a third person bunk. There was a heavy privacy curtain between the queen bed and the bunk area so we could share with my Mother easily. The bathroom was a little tight but that was to be expected. The closet space was fine. We did take along a power strip to charge phones, cameras etc. and that was helpful for three adults. We ordered extra blankets and often sat on the balcony while cruising in was only about 60 degrees.

Well...for us it was slightly disappointing. We had selected the ship because of so many on board activities for our sons (ages 18 & 20 ) . The weather was not always cooperative for outdoor activities, but even when it was, the RC staff failed to show up. The daily report would indicate a basketball event, or rock climbing, or a soccer event, our guys would go and no one from the staff would be there. We did not complain about this but did about an excursion, see below.

The Lumberjack show in Ketchikan was just good family fun.

The whale watching in Icy Straight Point was awesome. We picked this port because it had reviews with the highest percent of actually seeing whales, although low for seeing Orcas. We did not see any Orca. But given highest possibility of whales overall, we were glad we chose it as we say plenty.

The fishing adventure in Icy Straight Point was a total bust. My son and husband went (at almost $500). The boat captain was a replacement (he told them so), the rods were not ready, he did NOT even have a fish finder! For 3 hours they sat talking to the captain, my son never once touching a pole. Immediately upon their return I filed a petition for a refund with the excursion desk as we still had 3 more days of sailing and we would try again. No success...denied. The most disappointing aspect of this was this trip was for my son who picked fishing as a high point of his trip....didn't matter.

I petitioned upon our return with several depts with RC corp office (seems there is a real problem figuring out who really handles these issues) without success. i was finally told that since others had not complained, my complaint was not valid. I found that to be incredibly rude as I was certainly not lying, and I can't address why no one else complained. This took about 2 full months after the end of the cruise.

No refund. $500 is way too much to pay for poor quality...don't do it.

Overall I would still try another RC cruise, I will just plan my excursions on my own whenever I can arrange it.

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