It’s somewhat surreal that I’m sitting here on the balcony of Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas, somewhere in the middle of the north Pacific Ocean, typing up this post. Un-freaking-real!
Anywho, having never taken a cruise from Vancouver before, I was blown away by the size of the two crowds looking to board the Radiance to Hawaii (and for some to Sydney, Australia) and Celebrity’s Millennium to Shanghai. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like when a third ship is tied up.
After an hour or so, we finally were able to check-in and made our way to security which was a breeze. I was even told by one of the security officers that I’d done a good job walking through the metal detectors – haven’t been told that before, so pretty I should get a gold star or something. We then lined up again to go through US Customs, though this line took only 45 minutes.
The moral of the story? Be prepared to lineup, to lineup to join another lineup, to lineup. Then you get to board.
We finally got on the boat about 3pm and decided we’d try to find my parents who boarded earlier (my Mom’s cane was an express pass) by heading to the Windjammer Cafe. And let’s be honest, we were both famished having expected to board the boat in an expedited fashion (rookie mistake on our part).
Once that was done, we headed to our staterooms to get ready for our early dinner (the 5:30 seating which is WAY early for me). While the room seems smaller than our previous cruise experience on the Grand Princess earlier in the year, our view from our starboard-side balcony makes up for it.
After soaking up the view, getting our obligatory shots of the Lions Gate Bridge, and tidying ourselves up, it was time for dinner. We joined the six other shipmates at our table of ten and enjoyed a fantastic meal. While half of the group ordered the Atlantic Salmon, many of us had a melt-in-your-mouth striploin steak. It was fantastic and arguably one of the best steaks I’ve had in a long while! Heck, it was so good that I had to help myself to two desserts – the blueberry crumble and chocolate almond cake.
With dinner done, we retired back to our rooms to enjoy a peaceful evening (we missed the one show as it started at 715pm and dinner wasn’t complete until 730pm) and just simply appreciated the view of the Southern Gulf Islands.
Yes, we sure do live in a beautiful part of the world.