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Alaska best ship and best month


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We cruised to Alaska in May. The weather then was great. We even used the pool at Icy Straight Point. 

We recommend the Radiance class as the best for outdoor viewing. Radiance has more glassed in areas and really allows the outside in. Of the two you specified I would pick Rhapsody. The Quantum ships are cold weather ships. 

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I can not compare, but what I will say is that we went on Radiance of the Seas and had an absolutely AMAZING time, but having been on Anthem and coming out of NJ, I can DEFINITELY see where there is an advantage when it is a little bit colder.  That being said I would not complain on either one!  I would not hesitate to book an AK cruise on either one of the ships.  It was absolutely AMAZING and I can tell you that while the ship was nice, I would honestly go back even if the only ship that was sailing there was Majesty of the Seas!  Trust me you will see, and understand once you get there!  I have enjoyed every single cruise I have been on, and seen some amazing things but AK absolutely took our breath away! 

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Radiance will have better views of the seas and can get closer to glaciers.  It also tends to visit Hubbard on some itineraries where Ovation at present doesn't.  Ovation is newer and is a bigger ship with a lot more to do on it if that's important to you or anyone in your group.

Serenade is a sister ship to Radiance and also operating in Alaska next year.

I prefer May or early June for the long days.  Quite a bit less daytime hours in September.  However to see the Salmon run you have to go mid to late August typically.   

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  • 3 months later...

I'd like to piggy-back on this topic to ask about Alaska sailing date.  Is July 31 a good date on the Radiance?

I was on the Ovation August 30-Sept 6 this year (2019) and my cruise was a story of missed opportunities.  We had to turn back on the way to Dawes Glacier because of the fog. Whales were not playful and active.  It was cloudy most of the time.

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30 minutes ago, PG Cruiser said:

I'd like to piggy-back on this topic to ask about Alaska sailing date.  Is July 31 a good date on the Radiance?

I was on the Ovation August 30-Sept 6 this year (2019) and my cruise was a story of missed opportunities.  We had to turn back on the way to Dawes Glacier because of the fog. Whales were not playful and active.  It was cloudy most of the time.

May 29 - 11 June 2020, because i'm on that one! 🤣 Radiance that is.

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We were on Ovation in May. We loved both the ship and the time of year. Ovation has wonderful all glass areas as well as outdoor areas for both viewing and relaxing. The Solarium is like no other class ship. (See picture above by previous poster). The back of the ship has the “270 show” area which was one of my favorite areas of total glass. (See photo below) I’ve not sailed the other ship so I can’t speak to it. Alaska has been my favorite cruise and I’d do it again on the Ovation  in a minute!

 

D5D05849-8D7A-4E7D-A847-5A1AC98ECE66.jpeg

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We enjoyed the Ovation in Alaska last June, but except for 270 and the Solarium, I really felt there were too many places on the ship without an ocean view. Our first trip to Alaska was on Vision, and there are amazing views from so many public areas (especially our favorite, the Schooner Bar), that we just missed the connection with the ocean. That being said, if you really just want to do a round trip (for the convenience of flights), Ovation is your ship.

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4 hours ago, SpeedNoodles said:

We enjoyed the Ovation in Alaska last June, but except for 270 and the Solarium, I really felt there were too many places on the ship without an ocean view. Our first trip to Alaska was on Vision, and there are amazing views from so many public areas (especially our favorite, the Schooner Bar), that we just missed the connection with the ocean. That being said, if you really just want to do a round trip (for the convenience of flights), Ovation is your ship.

I've already done Ovation, so I want to try Radiance next time.  I want to know what month is the best time to do it.  I did not like my "shoulder season" sailing on Ovation.

I don't mind the open loop itinerary (Seward/Anchorage & Vancouver)

 

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18 minutes ago, PG Cruiser said:

I've already done Ovation, so I want to try Radiance next time.  I want to know what month is the best time to do it.  I did not like my "shoulder season" sailing on Ovation.

I don't mind the open loop itinerary (Seward/Anchorage & Vancouver)

 

My personal preference is the week of the Summer Solstice - I just love those long, long, hours of sunlight.

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1 hour ago, PG Cruiser said:

I've already done Ovation, so I want to try Radiance next time.  I want to know what month is the best time to do it.  I did not like my "shoulder season" sailing on Ovation.

I don't mind the open loop itinerary (Seward/Anchorage & Vancouver)

Early shoulder vs. late shoulder makes a huge difference.

Keep in mind Serenade is also doing Alaska now.

The end of May or early June is very close to the summer solstice but much kinder on the wallet.  

Millenium early June which is like Radiance class and does (or did) an identical itinerary:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/5211-alaska-recap-celebrity-millennium-june-2017/

Radiance end of August doing the same itinerary:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/9160-not-so-live-blog-radiance-of-the-seas-alaska-southbound-83118/

For glacier calving I suspect later in the season produces more action because the sun and warmer temps have been acting on the glacier.  i could be wrong but I also was able to see the Salmon running late season which you won't early season.  Bears also have distinct seasons where they are more active. 

There is no wrong time to do Alaska, you just see different stuff, but you will have an incredible time no matter when you go.

Explorer very close to summer solstice:

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/6634-explorer-alaska-62218-7-nights-rclblog-group-cruise/

Ovation in mid-May

https://www.royalcaribbeanblog.com/boards/index.php?/topic/12630-ovation-goes-north-way-north-to-alaska-11-nights-may-13-2019/

 

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I think you can look up sunset and sunrise predictions online.  I’m guessing 6 or 7 weeks off the solstice will be dramatically different.  It’s something like 6-8 minutes per day of daylight difference.  

You might catch an early start to Salmon running. Could be rainy but it can always be rainy in Alaska.  

That’s peak and I don’t tend to cruise peak.  

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