It’s the last day of our 7 night cruise to Alaska! I can’t believe the week has gone by so quickly.
Today we were at sea – navigating the Inside Passage and returning to Vancouver.
The seas were choppy last night, so Sydney put on her patch and slept a good 12 hours. She woke up feeling a bit dizzy and had blurred vision, but said she wasn’t seasick.
We saw many people on board with patches behind their ears and heard of others who were seasick with the choppy waters.
I did some work this morning while Sydney slept. Surprisingly the internet connection was strong so I took advantage of this opportunity. Once we got back to the inside passage, I was worried the internet would go down again.
Covid test on board
As the connection was strong, I also decided to do my eMed Covid test in the cabin. I had no issues with the connection and got my negative test result quickly.
I wanted to take the test on board the ship in case I had an unexpected positive result. In this case, I am covered by Royal Caribbean’s Cruising with Confidence policy. This seemed like the best option as there aren’t really any onboard testing options for those of us who need it for travel purposes.
I saw several people taking their covid tests on board today so I think many of us had the same idea. It also makes it easier on the day of disembarkation without having to worry about taking the test at the airport at the last minute.
I brought Abbott’s home test, but there were other tests people were using as well. I know a couple who used their FlowFlex covid test and had their test monitored by www.azova.com. Saw another couple using the orange branded covid tests who said they also followed the monitor link on the box.
I didn’t know you could have other tests proctored, but it seems that’s not the case. These two couples I met bought tests in Alaska because they didn’t bring tests on board and paid online for a proctor ($20)
Breakfast + Spa
We had a time change last night, so the Windjammer’s 11:00 closing time crept up on us.
I waited in line to speak to the internet rep to make sure I was on the passenger list refunded for 2 days of internet that didn’t work. He processed the refund on the spot, which was fine. Saw a few others taking their covid tests in the internet cafe area during this time as well.
With coffee in hand, we headed up to the upper deck for a bite to eat before the restaurant closed. Sydney and I went to the spa to try out the thermal suite!
On entry we were given a locker and bathrobes to use throughout the spa.
We first started in the thermal recliners and headed to the steam room, sauna and aroma room.
It was quite quiet in the thermal suite and it didn’t exactly match our vibe. We find it difficult to relax for a long time because we like to be on the go. We are always laughing and chatting, so we had a hard time keeping quiet.
It was fun to try everything, but I don’t know if it’s something I would pay to do just because I’m not necessarily a spa person.
Egg Drop Challenge
This was a first, but our ship was having an egg drop contest! What a concept.
Teams signed up on the first day at sea and were given a week to create an egg craft. If your contraption successfully protected the egg from falling into the auricle and the egg did not crack, your team has won a prize.
The atrium was quite busy with spectators. All the floor and furniture surrounding the bar was covered to protect the scrambled eggs.
Some teams have become very creative in protecting their egg. Others clearly didn’t think about the impact of gravity, drag and force when their craft fell straight to the ground. The very first drop got stuck in the atrium wiring, which was kind of fun.
The cruise director, wearing a hard hat for the ultimate egg protection, had a blast organizing the event. One egg splattered all over the bar which I’m sure the bartender didn’t appreciate.
It was a fun event and we both enjoyed watching everyone try to protect their precious egg. I wonder if this will be a new cruising tradition or if it was just a one off thing?
Towards the end of the afternoon, Sydney had a date with our dinner ship mom and I had some work to do.
They took advantage of a few rounds of Phase 10. The ship eventually re-entered the Inside Passage during this time, so the ocean was a sheet of glass again.
I felt deep gratitude that the internet was finally working reliably which allowed me to do time sensitive things including the covid test. I even created a hotspot with my computer so Sydney and I could connect multiple devices at the same time.
We still had our bathing suits on from the spa earlier in the day, so we headed to the solarium for the hot tub. Unfortunately there is only one small hot tub in the solarium and it was packed almost every time we tried to use it.
We had a snack at the Windjammer as we forgot to have lunch.
Sydney and I met our new ship friends, Mimi and her grandson Bret (who is our age), and invited them to join us in the outdoor hot tub.
These hot tubs weren’t as crowded, but the weather outside wasn’t very cooperative either. It was foggy and rainy, but we enjoyed the hot tub and chatting.
Final dinner in the dining room
Tonight was our last night in the dining room. Tonight’s menu included options of fish & chips, prime rib, roast turkey, cheese tortellini and lamb.
I had a final bowl of French onion soup and Sydney had the lentil soup as a starter. She said the lentil soup was super good.
For dinner, Sydney had the cheese tortellini and I had the roast turkey. They weren’t our favorite meals on the cruise, but they were good!
Dessert was a hit for me with the pavlova and caramel brownie, which was topped with a marshmallow meringue. It was super sweet – just the way I like it! Two desserts is the best way to end a cruise.
It’s always sad to say goodbye to new friends on the last night. Sydney and I were lucky to have great servers who took good care of us. We also met so many people on this cruise and loved seeing some familiar faces.
Packing and cruising with carry-on baggage
Another sad part of the last cruise night is packing your suitcase for the trip home tomorrow. Sydney and I had become quite comfortable in our cabin over the past week, so it looked like a tornado had arrived when we started packing.
Sydney is heading to Seattle and Hawaii next week to continue her Masters Celebration adventure. I’m heading to Minnesota tomorrow for a quick stop for my best friend’s baby shower before heading back to Florida on Saturday.
I chose to pack for this cruise using just hand luggage, which made packing for me easier tonight. I used packing cubes to utilize my small packing space. I think it made a big difference!
I had a few outfits that I didn’t even wear while other pieces were very worn. I had to buy a sweater as I wasn’t warm enough to wear with my leggings. I also bought gloves in the first port.
Layering was key for me. I packed pieces that could be worn for dinner and during the day, like dark jeans and a denim jacket. I brought 3 dresses for dinners and then wore my dark jeans with various tops the other nights. Some days I didn’t even change for dinner.
I packed just one bathing suit, which was enough for our visits to the hot tub. Casual clothing included sweatpants, golf skirt, long-sleeved t-shirt, and crew-neck sweatshirt. I packed a pair of dungarees, which I only wore once, so I probably could have left that behind and opted for a thicker coat instead.
For the trip, I only packed 3 pairs of shoes, which included rain boots, dinner shoes, and tennis shoes. I wish I had some slip-on shoes to wear around the ship, so I bought a $5 pair of slippers from Old Navy in Vancouver to wear them. I might leave them behind if I can’t pack them last minute tomorrow.
All my cosmetics and toiletries which I took in my backpack with me. I still had room for my laptops, umbrella and 2 covid tests.
I really limited myself to the essentials for this trip. It’s nice to not have so much clutter. Packing lightly forces you to only carry what you packed because you don’t have many options. I also think packing cubes has made things easier because I can compress my outfits into small, dense cubes over time.
Granted, I think packing in a carry-on would be a lot easier for warmer climates. I also don’t think I could take trips longer than 10 days in a carry-on without doing laundry.
Disembarkation + Final Thoughts
Tomorrow we will be disembarking from the ship around 9.30 am and my flight is at 2.00 pm. I plan to go straight to the airport and hope to have a painless day of travel.
Sydney takes the Amtrak bus to Seattle before flying to Hawaii for her next big adventure.
We are both sad that our friends cruise is coming to an end. It was so nice to be able to travel again, especially together.
Our friendship is truly special and having so much time together at sea again was wonderful. We loved our time on the cruise and meeting such nice people was definitely a highlight.
Radiance of the Seas feels like it’s been well taken care of and the crew is doing their best to get the ship back into a well-oiled machine. We had a few hiccups, but everything was handled with great service. I think that’s to be expected with any cruise ship that’s returned to service. We met many crew members on board who are working on board a ship for the first time.
This is the end of my live blog for Alaska. Until next time, happy cruising!