This was our third cruise on RCI in less than two years and the second on the Radiance in less than a year. I didn't rush into a cruise review this time because I wanted to see what others had written because at times some reviews astound me. It is not the cruise line's fault if the weather is bad or the ship is full of children or a port in the South Pacific is not up to what you expected. It is your choice to go at that time to that place.
The Radiance is a four and half star ship and a very good one. It was a pleasure to book through RCI again with very helpful staff. Embarkation was a breeze and we made our way to the Windjammer to wait for the cabins to be ready. It was a great surprise for one of the young members of the crew to greet us by name when we boarded the ship. He remembered us from the last cruise the previous December and left his allotted station to personally welcome us on board. Good man is Terry Baptiste. Given that we had spoken only three or four times on the previous cruise this was rather outstanding. The cabin was great.
The Windjammer was great last time and it had improved. I have forgotten the name of the English sous chef who was always on hand guiding at all times. The food was better, better presented and the staff even better. I have forgotten this chef's name and forgive him for being a Liverpool supporter but he is another good man.
My time dining at Cascades was great. Head Waiter David remembered us from the last cruise and made us really welcome. The wait staff was excellent. We had taken a wine package and it was a good deal. The wine was always at perfect temperature and well served. We have absolutely no complaints about the food served here. It was as good or perhaps slightly better than last year, served with a smile, seconds always available. The advice from the wait staff was always spot on. David's attention as a Head Waiter, and they are very busy, was impeccable and exemplary. A very good man is David.
We did not dine in any specialty restaurants. Lunch was taken in the Windjammer or Cascades. The salad bar in Cascades at lunch is great and the new menu was also very good. Breakfast was room service when we were coming into port or the Windjammer or the Park Cafe. The Park serves great casual food and is rather nice and quiet. Enjoyed the hot dogs at the Dog House once again. Afternoon tea at the Windjammer is a nice change.
Captain Sindre was in command again and was great. Always available for a quick word and always affable. Perhaps someone videoed the cake making competition with Sindre, Cruise Director Bobby (great job again this year) and the chef. Sindre is a born comic under that very serene but completely business like manner. It is also a pleasure to overhear junior crew talking favourably about him. I am sure a video of that little show would go viral if published. Thank you also to Captain Malcolm.
Our cabin attendant Virna was great, as good as the attendant the previous year. Nothing ever had to asked for.
So we went for the cruise and the food and had absolutely no complaints. We did the same as last year and sat just above the Centrum to listen to the pre dinner music. Saw some shows but really enjoyed the cruising.
In the review last year i complained a little about the attitude of the ship's security. This year was an absolutely different story. Kind, courteous (especially to me now with a walking stick) and ever helpful. No slacking off just good at their job. From memory one of the senior security officers was George? Bolton. He took time out to help my wife off a tender at one of the islands and always had a smile.
I have a complaint just thinking about it. It was about another passenger who turned up at the captain's reception in board shorts, thongs, a stubbie in his hand and singlet and complained bitterly that he was being discriminated against because he didn't meet the dress code. I think around 300 people who had to listen to you were the ones discriminated against.
Comment of the cruise came from a waiter in Cascades in our general dining area. On the tenth night he advised in amazement that I wearing my tenth different shirt for the cruise. Now that was something special and a good laugh.