Just back from our Alaskan Honeymoon on the Radiance (may 15-22) Iíll try to cover all of the important stuff but I will start off by saying wow.
Vancouver Airport- Arriving there was pretty simple. Customs and such took about an hour. The only problem we had I made for us by putting the cruise ship tags on the luggage before we left home. After searching for our three pieces for a half an hour, we spoke to the RCCL lady and were told that because we had tagged them early RCCL had thought we had the land and sea package. (We had booked our own flight) and the bags were ďprobablyĒ already on the ship waiting for us. After a nervous taxi ride (30 American dollars for a half an hour trip) we were thrilled to see our bags in front of our door.
Embarkation- This part of the trip was possibly the toughest. Not so bad for us for us because we are Platinum members and breezed through but most passengers complained some about the long lines (about an hour or so) for immigration. Donít hold this to be true always because we found out later that the 700+ Amway group from Taiwan had beaten us there and took a while to get cleared.
Once onboard- What a beautiful glorious ship! We were stunned! We had booked a Q guaranty and were updated to a category 6outside layer stateroom. Being my 12th and my husbands 5th cruise, it was great to still be amazed by the ship alone. Normal afternoon unpacking and doing the lifejacket drill. Weather in Vancouver that day was in the low 50ís and chilly (donít forget we are from Florida)
Sunday- A very nice day at sea heading towards Juneau. The mountains were beautiful. We actually saw three of four whales spouting in the evening. Quite an event. I had a nice, relaxing foot massage( $25 for thirty minutes) The spa facility is done in an African type theme. First class all the way. We had dinner at six (main seating) Great table for four. Nice location overlooking the bottom level and great table mates that we became instant friends with.
Monday in Juneau- Very cold but pleasant day (around 48 degrees I think) We decided not to book any tours early and see what we could find in the ports on our own. If you are willing to risk it, you can save quite a bit of money. We ended up doing the Mt. Roberts tram and had lunch at the top of the mountain overlook. Breathtaking to say the least. We decided early that we would have lunch in each port instead of going back to the ship so we could get a local feel. Lunch of crab legs and steak was good. We hiked up the mountain behind the restaurant for a while but I had on tennis shoes and the very deep snow and I werenít getting along very well. Mountains and snow 360 degrees, gorgeous. All in all a great port and day.
Tuesday in Skagway- I could write 10 pages on the port/day and still not cover everything. This place was incredible. We booked a wildlife excursion (about $50) and did the Summit and gold panning tour. My husband and I also ate at a local restaurant in the Marina. Beautiful all the way around. Our favorite port.
Wednesday Hubbard Glacier- We actually got within two miles of the glacier! The captain informed all of us later that he hadnít gotten that close in a long time. The ice was gorgeous. Blue, blue and more blue! We viewed the glacier until about noon and took lots of pictures. Later in the day Bryan and I won one of the games onboard called the Newly and not so newly wed game. Donít miss the Quest game. I wont spoil that one for you with details but donít skip it. Lots of laughs and fun.
Thursday Ketchikan- The ďsalmon capitalĒ was very enjoyable. A rather warm day (65 degrees) and a nice walk to the hatchery. All of the buses have huskies on them. We used the short port day to get most of our shopping done. Had lunch at a nice place called Steamer right on the main drag. Save time and check I tout.
Friday at sea-Lots of activities onboard. Bryan and I had won a meal on the Newly wed game to Chops restaurant and had lunch there. If we had only gone sooner in the week! The best filet mingon I have ever had.5 star all the way and worth any extra fee.
Disembarkation- Pretty well organized. Everyone was off of the boat by 9:30 am.
Very important note-If you have a flight before noon be warned. We got off the ship at 9:00 got to the airport by 9:30 and barely made a 12:30 flight. Customs and security although very organized was VERY time consuming. Expect many delays and lots of standing.
As you can see, our honeymoon was pretty close to perfect. The food I give a strong 9 out of 10. Entertainment (Bowser from Shanana was there one night!) an 8 and the overall cruise a 9+. Already booked for a 10 day to New England for next fall.E-mail me with any questions. Have a fabulous cruise!