Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by carrotglo: Wonderful cruise thru the Panama Canal
Overall Member Rating
Wonderful cruise thru the Panama Canal
Destination: Panama Canal & Central America
Embarkation: Los Angeles
When I try to think of things that could have been better, it's difficult.
The staff was, to a person, wonderful. I was amazed that, with their absurd work schedules, & the pressure of dealing with so many new people every week or two, they could retain their genuine courtesy & friendliness.
The cabin (I think it was category D2) was comfortable. It was very important to have a balcony, which we used regularly. One needed to be an acrobat to use the shower.
The shore excursions (except the one in Cartagena) were excellent. We snorkeled, underwater-scootered, swam with dolphins (which was amazing), dugout-canoed in a mangrove swamp, walked thru the rainforest. Well worth the cost.
We had our doubts about doing a shore excursion half-way thru the Canal; but it worked out well. Going thru the first 3 locks on board was enough to see how that amazing technological accomplishment works. I had read David McCullough's "Path Between the Seas", More which greatly increased my appreciation of what we saw.
We dined at a table for 8. The 3 other couples could not have been more interesting & fun. However, that was just a matter of luck. If you're seated with people you don't particularly like, it could be unpleasant.
Internet connection from the ship was difficult. I heard many complaints. In the end, I connected to the Internet in the middle of the night, when the connection was reasonably good.
The facilities are excellent: climbing wall, basketball, pingpong. The Solarium (indoor pool) is very special, like a greenhouse.
The gym is excellent, at the front of the ship, with huge windows all around. It was special to use the elliptical trainer while looking out at the ocean.
The shows were of mixed quality. Two of the comedians were terrible. The ship's orchestra is very good. The ship's troupe of singers/dancers is of mixed talent. Two or three of the performers were excellent.
It would be helpful if, on the closed circuit TV, they had floor plans. Also, it shows only shore excursions booked thru the TV system. There should be a way for it to show all your planned activities.
On the whole, the food was very good. We didn't eat at either of the two specialty restaurants (Italian & steak) because we heard from some people that they weren't worth the extra $20 charge. Our wait staff was excellent. Our waiter & headwaiter gave us good advice about which dishes to avoid.
At the Windjammer, there was always reasonable variety & something good. The cafe in the Solarium is very good.
We both used the spa & had good experiences, with acupuncture & the hot stones massage.
In the Centrum, a trio, with an excellent singer, played standards. Lovely.
The woman running the art auctions (which I have previously enjoyed) had such a piercing, unpleasant voice that she gave me indigestion. I couldn't stand her.
We attended several lectures by an historian, who spoke about the history of the canal & of various cities we stopped at. He was not a dynamic speaker; but the content of his talks was interesting.
We also attended a few lectures by a retired judge. They were supposed to be about murder & the law. Although I am a lawyer (or maybe because; some non-lawyers I spoke to found them fairly interesting), I found them pretty boring.
All in all, it was a wonderful experience that we will remember fondly for many years. Less
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