The entertainment on a cruise ship just has to be experienced, and is one of the reasons that cruises have so much intrinsic value……not just for the journey, or the destination, but for the experience onboard the ship. On the Radiance Of The Seas, the entertainment was absolutely terrific. The Aurora Theatre was the venue each night of some highly entertaining acts, and in this video that I made, I tried to capture a few seconds of most acts. There is so much that I could not include as I like to keep my videos down to 10 minutes or less. I also felt it was important to show you the Cascades staff, who were also highly entertaining, as were the Cruise Director’s Staff who entertained us from the Centrum (the lobby) to the swimming pool. If you go on a cruise, you won’t be bored!
Hope you all have an even more entertaining evening with watching this video. Thanks for viewing it.
On this video, I have more video footage than photographs. I captured a sighting of a porcupine – I’ve never seen one before, therefore, I was so happy to get that on video! I also show the specialty restaurants, and a little of the entertainment. Also, you get to see the Solarium, and my favorite breakfast place on the ship – the Park Cafe.
This video will show my photos and video footage of the cruise, and the port visits, including pictures of Mendenhall Glacier and Hubbard Glacier. Part 2 will have more cruise coverage.
Some people go on a cruise ship for the destination, and some go for the experience on the ship. I liked both aspects, because I just love cruises, and love traveling. My other favorite parts of the actual cruise were the entertainment (got a little bit of Bollywood), the Park Cafe food, and the Indian food in the Windjammer Cafe, where I also got Indian tea. It’s important to have some of those home comforts!
It is now day 8, and it is check-out day, goodbye day, and time to leave the Radiance Of The Seas. It is Friday, May 18, 2012. The ship had arrived at Seward, our arrival dock at 4am. We had got our numbers to put on our luggage the night before, the numbers are really important. The following picture of the ever helpful Cruise Compass will give you an idea of what I mean. You could get a number such as 5, 6, 20 and 21 that had a departure time of 6am, or be slightly more lucky if you are booked on a cruise tour like us – our number was 82, and our departure time was 9am. This of course, gave us more time in the morning. The last numbers were scheduled to be called at approximately 9:30 am.
The last few pictures I took of the ship were these:
Excuse this picture as it is not the best, I used my camcorder again, and it was major clean-up day for the Radiance Of The Seas staff, so I had to take the picture while they were in the midst of their cleaning.
The games room – Seven Hearts – I never even got the chance to sit in this room.
This is the centre of the mid-area that overlooks the Centrum and can be seen from all the floors just about. Quite a design!
I snuck a look at an ocean-view cabin on my way out.
It is bitter-sweet leaving a ship when it’s the end of the cruise. However, the nice part of this journey is that even though one adventure is over, the other one is just about to begin, as now it is time for the cruise tour. Our bus will take us from Seward today to the Sea Life Centre, and then drop us off so that we can take a boat tour on Kenai Fjords Explorer, and have a chance to view whales, otters and sea lions, etc. Later, we will take the Wilderness Express train to Girdwood, where we will stop the night at Hotel Alyeska. I will write up on that part of the journey soon. Thank you for reading.
Here are some of my pictures of wildlife taken in Alaska after the completion of the recent Radiance Of The Seas cruise in May, 2012. On May 18, 2012 our cruise ship finished the 7 day cruise in Seward, Alaska and we got on our post cruise tour, which was hosted by Royal Caribbean. There’s a difference between shore excursions and cruise tours. The excursions allow you to see the ports that the ship visits, while the cruise tours allows you to see more of a particular area or country better. For example, our cruise tour started in Seward, and then we went to Girdwood, Talkeetna, Mount McKinley, Denali Park, and Fairbanks. By way of the cruise tour, we were allowed into the wilds of Alaska.
This particular post is not in sequential order of the cruise tour visits, as I mainly wanted to show the wildlife viewing opportunities. This Grizzly Bear was an amazing sight to see, and was out in the wilds of Denali Park, which was part of our 4 Day cruise tour hosted by Royal Caribbean. However, personally, I prefer the Black Bear that I saw at a Nature Reserve. I just love bears, and I guess Black Bears are one of my favorites, along with koala bears. There is a lot of history behind Denali Park, and we really need to treasure places that are out there that protect wild animals, and also allow us to view them as safely as possible.
I’m not very good with certain animals, does anyone know if this is moose or bison?
Not really wild life, but just had to include this picture here:
Dall Sheep scattering up mountains
Well, if I can’t tell the difference between bison and moose, I also can’t tell the difference between sea lions and seals. This second picture (below) was taken at the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward, Alaska where the cruise ship docked at the end of the 7 day cruise. It was easier to see the sea life closer in this setting than it was in the wild in the picture above which was taken when we were on a boat tour with Kenai Fjords Tours on the same day after the cruise had finished. Both these excursions were part of our 4 day cruise tour, which had just got started from Seward.
The boat tour had been really enjoyable and we actually saw whales – I think I have got video coverage of it – too hard to get on camera. Denali Park is also an extremely important experience. So, as you can see if there is any one reason to go to Alaska (other than the mountains, the snow, and the ice) – guess what it is? It’s for the wildlife! Go just to see the wildlife, and you won’t be disappointed.
There’s a great reason to visit Hubbard Glacier, and that is to see it before it melts away. Yes, sadly when you visit such an incredible place, it really hits home that you are indeed lucky to see it. Who knows how many more will see it before it disappears or diminishes? The evidence of the melting is right there in the ocean, with chunks of ice all around.
This is Day 7 of the Vancouver to Alaska seven day cruise (Thursday, May 17, 2012), and sadly the last day of the cruise. Most people think that a seven day cruise finishes on the 7th day, but in reality it actually finishes on the 8th day in the early hours of the morning. We will be disembarking tomorrow morning at around 8am.
So today is a Day At Sea – this is a day to enjoy the ship, and it is as necessary to have these days as it is to have port visits. You don’t just want to be rushing around visiting ports all the time, because when will you find the time to enjoy the ship? The ship itself is a very important factor in your cruise enjoyment, and believe it or not, some people enjoy this part of the experience so much more – that they don’t want to get out at the ports to walk around.
Today is the very important viewing from the ship of Hubbard Glacier. This was to be my second experience of seeing glaciers – the first one was of course, Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. As I was eating breakfast in the Park Cafe, I couldn’t help but be struck in awe at what I saw through the windows of the Solarium, where the Park Cafe was. I saw lots of ice, pieces of ice all over the ocean floor – it was just as though we were floating on ice. It was an amazing sight, and I wish I had taken more pictures of the ice at it’s thickest – but my camera was charging, so this is the picture that I got through the window, and it was taken with my Iphone at approximately 8am. The other pictures were taken with my camcorder, and not my regular camera, so may not be as nice and clear as they should have been.
Then after breakfast, I went outside at approximately 9am, and took pictures from the side of the ship.
Wow, we are surrounded by ice!
Now for a view of Hubbard Glacier itself. It was hard getting a good spot to take pictures, as there were so many people out braving the cold to see the awesome and breathtaking Hubbard Glacier.
We got really close to the Glacier!
More people looking at the Glacier:
Enjoying a nice hot cup of coffee, and trying to stay warm
The Radiance Of The Seas against the backdrop of Alaska, near Hubbard Glacier
Bye Hubbard Glacier, I hope you will be around for many more years to come! Don’t melt away.
We left Hubbard Glacier at around 10:30 am, and the rest of the day was spent taking pictures, attending a brief CruiseOne seminar, and enjoying the ship (as well as packing). Next, I’ll tell you about the four day post cruise tour that I took once I disembarked the cruise ship. The cruise tour was hosted by Royal Caribbean, and involved going on a bus around Alaska – deep into the wilds of this very mysterious place. Thank you for reading.
“Welcome to the first day of the most amazing cruise vacation of your life” – these words are taken from the Cruise Compass that you will find in your cabin each day, that lists all the important things to know from the safety drill, to the dining, entertainment and activities. I really enjoyed the May 11, 2012, cruise from Vancouver to Alaska. This is the perfect ship to take in the sights of Alaska as the views are magnificent and can be seen from within the ship due to the floor to ceiling windows.
Here are some more details of my May 11th, 2012 cruise, including pictures of my cabin, restaurants, swimming pool, entertainment, theatre, coffee shop, and other public areas. This is not a big ship, such as the Oasis of The Seas which can hold up to 5,200 people or so. The Radiance Of The Seas (a Royal Caribbean International cruise ship) holds about 2,200 people approximately, and is easier to get around. If you don’t want to get “lost” in a ship, then this may be the one for you, it is easy to get the feel of it, and to get your bearings compared to some of the larger ships.
As far as entertainment, what can I say? Spectacular! The entertainment was different every day, and could be viewed in the Aurora Theatre either before dinner or after dinner. Then were was also entertainment that was brought to you all around the ship, including the lobby area – named the Centrum – or to the swimming pool by DJ Terry, and the Cruise Director and his staff such as the 70’s Disco Inferno one evening in the Centrum, as well as the highly entertaining Sail Away Party at the Poolside on the first day of the cruise. There’s a movie theatre, a casino, shops, a gym, solarium, spa, kids clubs and activities.
The dining options are magnificent! I ate in the Cascades Restaurant with my CruiseOne colleagues, and we had the late dining at 8:30 pm every night. There are also a handful of specialty restaurants that are available if you wish to try something different – such as Giovanni’s Table – I tried it, and I liked it! There is also the Chef’s Table, Chops Grille, Izumi’s, Samba Grill, Rita’s Cantina and these all range in price and can go up to $30 per person, which is very reasonable. If you don’t want to spend extra money, you don’t have to….Cascade’s, and Windjammer Cafe have more than enough food for you to feast on, and the food in these two restaurants is very good quality and varies from day to day. If you are looking for specialty coffees, there’s Cafe Latte-tudes (but you will have to pay for these – they’re not included). My recommendation to you for breakfast is the Park Cafe, this place was a fantastic discovery, because first of all, I thought it was a specialty snack shop/cafe, but the food here is included in your cruise fare, and you must try it. The paninis were so delicous, I can’t even begin to describe them accurately – my favorite was the breakfast panini with eggs, cheese, spinach and salmon! It was so good, I ordered a second one! The yoghurt parfaits are tasty – there were two kinds: strawberry or mango-banana, and there were also quesadillas, as well as other types of paninis, sandwiches and fresh fruit. Close to the Park Cafe, was another counter where you could get pastries, and a coffee bar (with complimentary American coffee) and complimentary juice machine were also close by. On other cruises, I have always opted for the breakfast buffet, but this time I could not wait for my paninis at Park Cafe. Also, don’t forget to try the Boardwalk Dog House, this place serves delicious hot dogs – I tried one that was spicy turkey.
Even though the cruise was not scheduled to sail until 4:30 pm, it is important to get to the cruise terminal as early as possible. I got there at around 1:00 pm, and was actually on the ship at around 3pm (that was two hours spent in the line even though I had done my online check-in, sometimes it’s not just the cruise line, but the immigration process that could slow things down). Now for some photos that will show you around the ship, and give you some insight into my seven days of cruising enjoyment.
Firstly, we have my cabin – an Inside Cabin with no windows unfortunately, but I still loved it, it was spacious and comfortable. There was a safety video playing on the tv, and we did have our muster drill within the first few hours of getting on the ship.
The lobby of the Radiance Of The Seas is ever so spectacular, colorful, modern and one of the nicest lobbies I’ve seen on a cruise ship.
I headed to the Windjammer Cafe to take advantage of a buffet lunch that did not fail to please. What a nice welcome!
I just had to take a picture of this waiter who had some colorful drinks:
Too full now to get anything from Cafe Latte-tudes
Went to take a look around the ship, and we were still in Vancouver – not sailing yet.
The skies are still a brilliant blue, while we are in Vancouver.
Our first taste of some terrific entertainment – poolside!
And the audience joined in, every one got into vacation mode, that’s the spirit!
We were not the only ship leaving from Canada Place, so was Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody Of The Seas
I then walked around the ship and took these pictures, some on the first day because I was so excited to see the ship, and some pictures I took on other days:
Best place to relax, and read a book, be warm and feel like you are in paradise. The birds are chirping, and you don’t need a jacket here. This is also where the Park Cafe is.
The Crown & Anchor Lounge – go here to sign up for an account so that you start getting acknowledgement each time you cruise with Royal Caribbean – you will accumulate points and/or rewards. This is not automatic membership, you have to sign up for it, so you might as well do it while you are on your cruise.
Bring your babies along, and your other kids too!
Sports time, stay fit on this ship with plenty to do!
Play mini-golf on Deck 13
You can’t go wrong with this interactive device, find out what to do, where you are, and where to go. It is truly your compass.
Read a book in the library on one of the decks, or play board games on the deck one level up
This is where spectacular entertainment was delivered every evening – The Aurora Theatre
A few pictures of the entertainment, as good as any Broadway show in the Aurora Theatre
Forgot what the dessert was called, but it was delicious!
The staff of the Cascades all get together at least two or three times, and say a few things about their team, they do a terrific job!
Dinner at Giovanni’s Table was a nice change, and for $20 – there was plenty to eat. Bring your appetite!
The most tasty and succulent chicken dish was devoured at Giovanni’s Table
The most scrumptious breakfast ever – breakfast panini – is to be had at Park Cafe in the Solarium area
I love to eat Indian food, and every day the Radiance Of The Seas had Indian items in their buffet at the Windjammer Cafe, but on this day – this Andhra Pakora Curry was undoubtedly the best!
The changing landscape – Alaska in the background
Every day there was a new towel animal design, the staff are so clever and talented
They’re hard at work in the kitchen feeding so many people; I got a look at the hard workers when I took a tour of the kitchen:
Actually, I saw long lines today (I think this picture may have been from Day 2 or 3)
As you can see, there is a lot to do and see on the Radiance Of The Seas. I have so many more pictures, and will also be including some in a video that I will produce soon. I hope you enjoyed my overviewof the cruise that I took. Actually, this could be considered a review if I give you my recommendation – and I do – I definitely recommend taking this cruise. You will love it, you won’t be bored – in fact, you’ll have way too much to do! Thank you for reading.
It is now Day 4 of the cruise – Monday, May 14th, 2012. I don’t have any excursions booked for today, but one of the main excursions for this port is the zip line – which is for all those who wish to experience adventure, excitement and who aren’t afraid of heights. I’m not daring enough to take the zip line – I like adventure, and excitement – but I think I either don’t like to be too high up or I’m just afraid of rides.
Icy Strait Point is very picturesque, and I’m glad I came off the ship to take a look. There were several people onboard the ship who didn’t want to get off today because it was raining, and there had been a steady drizzle for most of the day. We had to get on a tender boat to get to where the boat docked, and when I got off, I couldn’t help but be in awe of how beautiful the Radiance Of The Seas looked against the snow-clad mountains.
After taking pictures of the ship, I walked along the beach, to where I could see the zip line. The rain kept on falling on the lens of both my camera and camcorder, so I kept on putting them away, and then getting tempted to take them back out again a few moments later, and then away again after a few minutes because of the rain. It was a busy time mostly due to the rain. Here are some more pictures that I took along the way.
As you may have noticed in one of the pictures, somebody had started a little fire on the beach to keep everyone warm. It was quite icy cold in Icy Strait Point, it surely lives up to it’s name! The drizzle did put a little damper on my outing, as I would definitely have liked to take more pictures, but I didn’t want to damage my camera, and already had got it wet various times.
I walked into the big brown building which was kind of like a museum towards the end of the pier, and this building also had quite a few shops. Apparently, I had missed a native dance, and found out about this later.
I then started on the track of one of the nature trails on the other side of the building shown above (museum) to the left of it, and discovered a most incredible sight – a lake with trees and snow-clad mountains in the distance (shown below). By this point, it was drizzling quite a bit. I then recorded the zip line on my camcorder, and will have to put it into a video later and add the link.
Altogether, I spent about two and a half hours in Icy Strait Point, and would definitely recommend that you get off the ship to visit this port. Don’t listen to those who tell you there’s nothing to see here, if you like natural beauty, you will see a lot of that around you. I then proceeded to take the tender boat shown below at the dock back to the Radiance Of The Seas.
Recommendations: take your umbrella to Alaska, and a thick jacket, plus gloves, and you can’t go wrong. Will soon write about Day 5 of the cruise.