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Radiance of the Seas Southbound June 4

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We just got back this weekend from doing the 7 day Southbound on the Radiance of the Seas. We added the 3 day land portion on before this. I am going to post the cruise compass' first and then will type a review on the cruise. I will then add a review of the land portion. Feel free to ask any questions. I will try to answer then to the best that I can.



Radiance Alaska SB Day 1.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 2.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 3.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 4.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 5.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 6.pdf Radiance Alaska SB Day 7.pdf

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We had a great time on this cruise. The ship was not the biggest or the newest but it was laid out fairly well. The biggest complaint we had was that you could not go from the front of the ship to the back of the ship (from the Quill & Compass to the Schooner Lounge) on level 6 without having to pass through the casino (smokers paradise). Other than that the ship was well maintained and easy to navigate.


We did a land tour prior to going on the cruise so this picks up from day 4 (I think). 


We took a bus from Anchorage to Seward to board the cruise ship. The trip was about 3 hours from Anchorage to Seward through many small towns. Our guide told us about some of the towns and sights along the way. We did make one stop about mid-way through the trip for bathrooms and snacks. Once we arrived at the terminal, check in and boarding was fast (unlike the Caribbean cruises) and off to the ship we went. You do have to climb a ramp to get to the ship as the terminal is a one story building on the pier.


The food on the ship was the standard Royal Caribbean fare in the main dining room with about 7 appetizers, 7-8 entrees and about 7 deserts each night. I don't feel that the menu really changes between the Caribbean cruises and this one as the selections seemed fairly similar to our past cruises. Being in Alaska you would have thought that you would see salmon or crab on the menu more but it was only offered twice. No real standout meal items but the sugar-free deserts got good reviews from my FIL.


The best entertainment on the ship was the guitar player Jack Wallis in the Quill & Compass. He was way better than the piano player in the Schooner Lounge. We stayed up and closed the Quill with him most nights as he kept singing and entertaining so well that time flew past us. If you want a fun filled evening we really recommend spending some time in the Quill & Compass from 9 to close.


I'll cover shore excursions in my next post.

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I like you, did not care for passing through the casino and the smoke often filtered down into the lower level of the Centrum. We were given a menu in our room that indicated it was somehow special. When I checked the dining room menu that was being shown to folks to order, it was the same fare. Go figure. Also, our room steward always picked it up from our room in the last pass. It was strange. That's when I started taking pix of it.  You might have to magnify the image to read it. Also of note, if you want Filet Mignon, do not wait til late on the last cruise night to order it in Chops Grill. They were out.


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Shore Excursions:


I attached the shore excursion brochure that was in our room the first day. We did the land tour before boarding so we did not focus too much on doing a bunch on the ship.


We had done a few excursions on land so we only chose to do a few of the ship-based excursions. I will review the land portion later.


In Juneau we did the Mount Roberts Tramway (bought an all day pass at the tram for $35). The trip to the top was fun to look out and see the sea planes flying below you. There are a couple of different trails at the top as well as a little nature center, restaurant and gift shop. The short trail is about 1/2 mile and is a good leg stretcher after being on the ship for a few days. After spending an hour or two on top of the mountain we went back down and just wandered the shops and visited a couple of breweries in town.


In Skagway we did the White Pass Railway and Skagway Highlights tour. They picked us up on the pier and took us by bus to the train. Along the way the bus driver gave us a little bit of a tour around the town. There are a few locations around town where the trains load and depending on which tour you are on depends on where you load. The train then took us up and through the area where the gold rushers traveled to get to the Yukon and beyond. The scenery is amazing and there are some really steep drop-offs for the faint of heart to experience. We did see moose and bear along our train ride. Once we crossed into Canada we loaded back onto our bus and returned to Skagway. The bus driver (same one that picked us up) gave us a good narrated tour on the way back and took us by a few sights including the gold rush cemetery. We were then dropped off either in town or back at the ship (individual's choice). We stayed in town and visited the two breweries there. 


In Icy Strait Point we did not do any tours. It is a little dock area with a few shops and restaurants spread out over about 1/2 mile. If you want to go into the town of Hoonah you can either take a bus or walk the 1.5-2 miles. The dock area was a good spot to watch eagles fly and watch the zipliners come down over your head. There is a rope course set up in the trees at the dock for those looking for a little adventure.


In Ketchikan we did the Alaska's First City Highlights and Lumberjack Show tour. We loaded up on a bus on the dock and were driven through the city given a narrated tour. We stopped at one of the totem parks in the city and spent about 30 minutes learning about the totem poles and wandering around the small park. We then loaded back onto the bus and were taken to the lumberjack show. The lumberjack show pits the USA versus Canada in a lumberjack challenge showdown. Each team competes head to head with the other completing lumberjack activities. There is a little showmanship involved and the the lumber jacks are talented. It is a fun show to watch but don't get your hopes up to high for the big burly guys. After the tour we just wandered around town and visited the brewery there (seeing a pattern yet?). 


In Vancouver we paid for the airport transfer from the ship ($21.95 per person). This had us disembark as one of the last groups of of the ship so we had plenty of time to have breakfast on the ship and relax in the room before leaving. We had to collect our bags from the terminal and take them through the Canadian customs area (very simple pass through). After exiting customs we were led into the bus area and handed our luggage to the staff to be loaded onto our bus. We were given a short tour through the city on the way to the airport (about 45 minutes). We were then unloaded at the international flight area of the airport to check-in for our flight. One thing we learned here was do not put your passport away until you are on your plane. They checked our passport at every stop throughout the airport (check-in, US Customs and before you boarded the plane). Getting through the airport was fairly fast for an international flight.

Radiance Shore Excursions.pdf

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Thank you for this great review and all the Compasses.  We will be doing this itinerary in August.

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Awesome! We are doing a B2B next year on the Radiance, so this is all very helpful!!! :) 

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Thank you for the review!  How was the land portion?  We are set to start a land-tour on July 2nd prior to our Southbound cruise the 5th.  

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