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Serenade of the Seas

Comparing the Royal Caribbean ships sailing in Alaska 2021

In:
24Feb2020

If a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska is in the plans for 2021, then you have four great ships to consider.

Each of these ships offers onboard activities, signature attractions and specialty dining options that will compliment a vacation to the Last Frontier quite well.

Since there are a few different options for a Royal Caribbean Alaska cruise, here is a breakdown of what to expect from each.

Ovation of the Seas

Homeport: Seattle, Washington

Ports: Juneau, Skagway, the Inside Passage and Victoria, BC.

For the third year in a row, Royal Caribbean will send its Quantum Class favorite to Alaska to offer 7-night Alaska Glacier cruises .

Ovation of the Seas is one of the largest ships in the region, offering some of the latest innovations Royal Caribbean is known for onboard the ship. 

  • North Star observational pod takes guests 300 feet above sea level.
  • FlowRider surf simulator
  • Ripcord by iFly sky diving simulator
  • Izumi sushi
  • Chops Grille steakhouse
  • Jamie's Italian restaurant
  • Two70 theater
  • SeaPlex indoor gymnasium that offers basketball, roller skating, bumper cars and more.
  • Indoor pool for all ages
  • Solarium indoor pool for adults-only
  • Adventure Ocean childrens programming
  • Nursery for babies
  • Outdoor movie screen

Sailing from Seattle, getting to Ovation of the Seas by air is the least-expensive and most convenient choice of Royal Caribbean's Alaska fleet. Flights within the United States tend to be cheaper to Seattle, compared to Vancouver departures.

Why pick Ovation of the Seas

Ovation of the Seas offers the greatest variety of activities, things to do and dining on a Royal Caribbean ship to Alaska. 

In fact, it is among the newest and largest ships to sail to Alaska, which means guests used to a certain level of amenities on their Royal Caribbean cruises in the Caribbean will not miss a beat.

The indoor pools for guests of all ages and the indoor SeaPlex provide significantly more activities for guests in a place where rain and chilly temperatures are constantly present. Pool deck life on other ships is nearly nonexistent compared to Ovation.

Moreover, the ship sails from the convenient port of Seattle, which makes airfare cheaper and more plentiful for Americans.

    Quantum of the Seas

    Homeport: Seattle, Washington

    Ports: Juneau, Skagway, the Inside Passage and Victoria, BC.

    Quantum of the Seas will sail from the Pacific Northwest for the first time when she calls Seattle home in May 2021.

    Just like Ovation of the Seas, Quantum will offer 7-night Alaska Glacier cruises departing on Mondays. Quantum of the Seas will begin her Alaska itineraries with a May 10 sailing, and her season will extend through the end of September 2021.

    Being a Quantum Class ship, Quantum of the Seas offers a ton to experience onboard, which is perfect for families.

    • North Star observational pod takes guests 300 feet above sea level.
    • FlowRider surf simulator
    • Ripcord by iFly sky diving simulator
    • Izumi sushi
    • Chops Grille steakhouse
    • Jamie's Italian restaurant
    • Two70 theater
    • SeaPlex indoor gymnasium that offers basketball, roller skating, bumper cars and more.
    • Indoor pool for all ages
    • Solarium indoor pool for adults-only
    • Adventure Ocean childrens programming
    • Nursery for babies
    • Outdoor movie screen

    Why pick Quantum of the Seas

    Just like Ovation of the Seas, you will not compromise with the onboard experience if you sail on Quantum of the Seas.

    What makes Quantum of the Seas stand apart from Ovation is it is often less expensive than sailing on Ovation of the Seas. This means more money to spend on an amazing shore excursion.

    Quantum sails from Seattle, which makes it easy and inexpensive to get to for most Americans.

    Onboard the ship, you will find plenty to see, do and eat onboard.

    Radiance of the Seas

    Homeports: Vancouver, BC and Seward, Alaska

    Ports: Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Icy Strait Point; the Inside Passage and Hubbard Glacier (scenic cruising).

    Radiance of the Seas has been one of the most consistently deployed ships by Royal Caribbean to Alaska, and she returns in 2021 to offer 7-night Northbound/Southbound Glacier cruises, along with 9-13 night Alaskan & Canadian Cruisetours.

    Radiance will alternate her sailings between northbound and southbound routes, which means her sailings begin in one port, and conclude in another port.

    Guests looking to maximize their time in Alaska can opt to add on a landtour that can extend their cruise before or after (or both) to visit destinations inland that would otherwise be unavailable to see on a cruise ship.

    Radiance of the Seas is best known for:

    • Solarium indoor pool for adults-only
    • Chops Grille steakhouse
    • Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant
    • Izumi sushi
    • Rock climbing wall
    • Indoor movie theater
    • An abundance of glass walls and windows to provide views of the outdoors
    • Helipad access at bow of the ship for viewing
    • Mini golf
    • Adventure Ocean childrens programming
    • Nursery for babies
    • Outdoor movie screen

    Why pick Radiance of the Seas

    Any cruiser that has been to Alaska multiple times will tell you that Radiance of the Seas has arguably the "superior" itinerary, in terms of what you will see and experience from the ship.  Radiance sails to more ports and sees more glaciers than Ovation of the Seas, which means opportunity to see far more of the impressive and best-known glaciers and wildlife in Alaska.

    A Radiance Class ship is also famous for the views you can enjoy throughout the ship, since glass is incorporated in many places.  Views around the ship while still inside are plentiful.

    If you have the means, an optional land tour can be combined with a Radiance of the Seas cruise to become truly immersed in Alaska.

    Serenade of the Seas

    Homeports: Vancouver, BC and Seward, Alaska

    Ports: Juneau, Ketchikan, Skagway, Icy Strait Point; Sitka, Tracy Arm Fjord (scenic cruising)

    Serenade of the Seas is returning to Alaska for the second year in a row, and she will offer 7-night Alaska Glacier Experience roundtrip sailings from Vancouver, British Columbia.

    An Alaska cruise on Serenade of the Seas will offer sailings that cover 500 miles of shoreline that is the Inside Passage, calling on Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska, from Vancouver.

    Serenade of the Seas is best known for:

    • Solarium indoor pool for adults-only
    • Chops Grille steakhouse
    • Giovanni's Table Italian restaurant
    • Izumi sushi
    • Rock climbing wall
    • Indoor movie theater
    • An abundance of glass walls and windows to provide views of the outdoors
    • Helipad access at bow of the ship for viewing
    • Mini golf
    • Adventure Ocean childrens programming
    • Nursery for babies
    • Outdoor movie screen

    Why pick Serenade of the Seas

    Comparing Serenade of the Seas' sailings to sister ship Radiance of the Seas, the basic difference is Serenade offers a more convenient roundtrip sailing, instead of an open-jaw itinerary.

    Like Radiance, Serenade offers add-on land tours as well to enhance the visit.

    More Alaska cruise info

    Want to learn more about a Royal Caribbean cruise to Alaska, as well as helpful tips and secrets? Check out these blog posts:

    Royal Caribbean planning its biggest deployment ever to Alaska in 2020

    In:
    07Nov2018

    Royal Caribbean announced today it plans to send three ships to Alaska in 2020, marking the cruise line’s biggest presence in the region yet.

    Ovation of the Seas, Radiance of the Seas and Serenade of the Seas will offer sailings to The Last Frontier in 2020. Before arriving to the Last Frontier, Ovation and Radiance will island-hop along Hawaii, while Serenade sails the Panama Canal and Golden Coast on her way west. 

    Ovation of the Seas will return for its second consecutive season to offer 7-night itineraries from Seattle, Wash. 

    For the first time since 2009, Serenade of the Seas will head west as it repositions from a winter in the sunny Southern Caribbean to Vancouver, British Columbia, making 2020 Royal Caribbean’s first summer season with three ships in Alaska. Serenade will sail 7-night itineraries through the 500 miles of shoreline that is the Inside Passage, calling on Ketchikan, Juneau and Icy Strait Point, Alaska.

    Radiance of the Seas will once again offer 7-night, open-jaw itineraries between Vancouver and Seward, Alaska.

    In repositioning to their seasonal summer homeports, all three ships will chart their own course through exotic and off-the-beaten-path locales to discover cultural treasures. Serenade of the Seas will sail through one of the largest and legendary engineering projects ever undertaken as she makes her way from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. to Los Angeles, Calif. on a 15-night Westbound Panama Canal sailing departing May 4, 2020. Along the journey, guests can encounter the charming cultures of Central America with visits to Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama; Puntarenas, Costa Rica; Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala; and Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. On May 19, 2020, Serenade will then head over to Vancouver, British Columbia to navigate the Pacific Coast on a 7-night sailing.

    Both Ovation and Radiance of the Seas will say aloha to the islands of Hawaii. Ovation will embark on its 12-night cruise from Honolulu, visiting Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona and Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, on May 7, 2020. Also sailing from Honolulu and departing on May 5, 2020, Radiance will offer a 10-night itinerary to the Last Frontier with ports of call including Maui (Lahaina), Kailua Kona, Hilo and Kauai (Nawiliwili), Hawaii.

    Royal Caribbean’s 2020 Alaska cruises open for bookings on Thursday, Nov. 8; Crown & Anchor Society loyalty members are able to book one day prior.

    Royal Caribbean releases 2020 Alaska and Hawaii sailings

    In:
    05Nov2018

    UPDATE: While the sailings appear on Royal Caribbean's website, the sailings do not appear to be bookable.

    Royal Caribbean's website is now showing 2020 Alaska and Hawaii sailings are viewable on the website.

    While no official announcement has been made, we were able to browse the Royal Caribbean website to see and book the new sailings.

    There will be three ships sailing to Alaska in 2020.

    Ovation of the Seas will offer a 12-night sailing from Honolulu to Vancouver on May 7, 2020, before starting 7-night roundtrip Alaska Glacier cruises from Seattle, Washington that will begin later in May 2020. Following her Alaska season, Ovation will sail a 10-night Hawaii cruise from Vancouver to Honolulu.

    Radiance of the Seas will first sail from Honolulu, Hawaii to Vancouver in May 2020, prior to offering 9-night Destination Denali open-jaw sailings between Vancouver, British Columbia and Seward, Alaska. She will also offer 10-night and 13-night open-jaw sailings between Seward, Alaska and Vancouver, British Columbia (optionally in both directions). Radiance of the Seas will offer a 10-night Hawaii cruise  from Vancouver, British Columbia to Honolulu, Hawaii in September 2020.

    By August 2020, Serenade of the Seas will offer primarily 7-night roundtrip Alaska Glacier cruises from Vancouver, British Columbia. Serenade of the Seas will offer a 11-night Hawaii cruise from Vancouver, British Columbia to Honolulu, Hawaii in September 2020.

    Be sure to consult the Royal Caribbean website or your travel professional for further assistance with itinerary options and booking.

    Royal Caribbean expands new smartphone app to Serenade of the Seas

    In:
    27Dec2017

    Royal Caribbean's new smart phone app has been updated to include support for Serenade of the Seas.

    Version 1.3.0 of the Royal Caribbean App was released, which expands functionality and makes it work on Serenade of the Seas, in addition to Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas.

    The app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play Store.

    Royal Caribbean guests involved in bus crash in Mexico

    In:
    19Dec2017

    At least 12 tourists have died in a bus crash in eastern Mexico today, when the bus carying them flipped over on a highway early on Tuesday.

    Royal Caribbean has confirmed 27 cruise ship passengers were on the bus that suffered the accident, which were sailing on Serenade of the Seas and Celebrity Equinox.

    Seven Americans and two citizens of Sweden are among the injured, according to Quintana Roo state Civil Defense spokesman Vicente Martin. 

    Martin said the crash occurred as the bus was on its way to the ruins at Chacchoben, about 110 miles (175 kilometers) south of Tulum.

    Electrical issues caused by flooding delays Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas

    In:
    25Jan2015

    A water pipe burst onboard Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas yesterday that caused electrical problems onboard the ship and delayed the ship's departure from New Orleans.

    Royal Caribbean indicated the ship's critical systems, including navigation, were operational. But some areas - including the main theater and medical facility - were without power.

    In addition, some guest staterooms have been affected by the flooding and an undetermined amount of guests had to have their cruises cancelled.  Royal Caribbean will offer them a full refund and a certificate towards a future cruise.

    Royal Caribbean is working on restoring power to the ship but it's unknown when Serenade of the Seas will be able to leave New Orleans.

    UPDATE: The United States Coast Guard cleared Serenade of the Seas for departure shortly after noon today.  It had been scheduled to leave yesterday (January 24) but had to wait for the Coast Guard to okay the ship.

    Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas set for maiden voyage from New Orleans

    In:
    12Dec2013

    Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas arrives at Port of New Orleans’ Julia Street Cruise Terminal today to begin weekly cruises through April.

    Serenade of the Seas replaces Navigator of the Seas and is fresh off a recent refurbishment last December.

    Serenade of the Seas will sail offer her first cruise today, December 12, with a nine-night Caribbean adventure cruise to Key West, Fla.; Labadee, Haiti; Falmouth, Jamaica; and George Town, Grand Cayman. The ship’s regular itineraries will feature seven-night Bahamas cruises to Key West, Fla.; Nassau, Bahamas; and CocoCay, Bahamas. As well as seven-night western Caribbean cruises to Falmouth, Jamaica; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Cozumel, Mexico. 

    Royal Caribbean senior Vice President Vicki Freed is excited about Serenade's arrival, "We are excited to be back in New Orleans with a newly revitalized Serenade of the Seas.  Guests sailing from New Orleans will enjoy a Caribbean vacation like no other aboard one of our unrivaled and most innovative ships."

    New Orleans Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange commented on Serenade's arrival, "We are happy to have Royal Caribbean return this year and bring this magnificent ship to New Orleans.  Royal Caribbean is a perfect fit for the New Orleans tourism demographic and offers a wide variety of itineraries throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean."

     

    Serenade of the Seas debuts in Dubai

    In:
    03Feb2013

    Royal Caribbean's Serenade of the Seas made her inaugural call to Dubai on Saturday.  This is Royal Caribbean's fourth season operating out of Dubai, with its first cruises sailing out of the region in January 2010.

    Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) in collaboration with Royal Caribbean, arranged for a grand welcome ceremony at the Dubai Cruise Terminals in Mina Rashid where the ship will be docked. A huge heritage village replica was set-up at the terminal with traditional activities and local music band performance.

    DTCM invited representatives from other Government Departments that support the cruise operations such as Immigration, Customs, Police, and DMCA, as well as its strategic partner DP World to attend the press conference arranged on board the cruise ship.

    Serenade of the Seas will offer 12 cruises out of Dubai this season until April 14, 2013.  Serenade arrives in Dubai following a total refurbishment of the ship last year.

    Helen Beck, Royal Caribbean International Regional Director, commented on the ship's arrival, "Serenade of the Seas is the eighth Royal Caribbean International ship to be revitalized. Announced in 2011, the $300m revitalization program will make every ship our best ship. Each revitalization takes around one month and includes adding new dining venues, more balcony staterooms, entertainment options such as an outdoor movie screen, various technological enhancements, and more."

    The plaque & key exchange ceremony, a maritime tradition, followed the press conference during which DTCM and the other invited Government Departments exchanged their commemorative crests with the Ship's Captain. The event continued with a ship visit and lunch on board for all the attendees.

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