Get Away With Fran

August 14, 2009

Alaska cruising with Royal Caribbean from Vancouver

Flew in from Miami Beach BOAC… Well, actually I flew in from Minneapolis on Delta (after first flying to Minneapolis from Boston), but who’s quibbling. Will say there’s a lot of flying involved to get to Vancouver (that’s two three-hour flights). But here I am about to embark on Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas for Alaska.

Did not have time this trip to explore Vancouver, a city I truly think is beautiful and which I would recommend to everyone. But I did catch a glimpse of the Olympic rings at the airport, with the city preparing to host the Winter Olympics in 2010. BTW, if the airport is an example the city is very ready – getting through customs was a breeze and there were greeters everywhere ready to help people out.

Once at the pier, the same efficiency was displayed by Royal Caribbean staff. I was on the ship in less than 20 minutes, which is pretty darn good.

I haven’t seen the Radiance since it first debuted in 2001, one of the first new ships of this century. But she remains a beauty with her walls of glass giving views from practically everywhere – a good thing particularly when your goal is seeing Alaska scenery.

I had a buffet meal that included helpings from the vegetarian Indian section and a hamburger and some Caesar salad (hey, it’s a cruise and you’re supposed to pig out, right?). Took a nap and did a little exploring.

My favorite crew member so far, Lucy in the coffee shop, who prepared an excellent latte and took time to chat – she has views of the 12-deck atrium so is in the enviable position of seeing all the action.

I already decided the indoor Solarium pool will be a stop on my agenda tomorrow. Hope I can snag a lounge chair – the weather in Vancouver today is cloudy and in the 50s, so getting warm at the outdoor pool seems a tad unlikely.

My cabin has a nice balcony with two chairs and a side table, and it’s not a huge cabin but has a desk and a couch, so I think I’ll be comfy.

Stay tuned as I check out cool features like the self-leveling billiards tables (they adjust to the waves) and the revolving bar at the disco. And, oh yeah, views of the Inside Passage.

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