After a flight to TPA I had an excellent, quick RCI transfer to Radiance - the lead ship of the excellent Radiance class. Quick walk aboard embarkation at about 1230, found that my Diamond Plus table reservation had been honored, ate the usual, not very good, RCI embarkation lunch in a crowded Windjammer Buffet. Room available at 130 pm., small, only 179 sq.ft, with balcony. A quick and almost inconsequential "lifeboat drill", underway at 420 pm. and off to Mexico. Following a day at sea we were into Costa Maya where most people went off on tour. After a short walk ashore I returned to the ship as I have been able to visit all Caribbean ports thru the years and I enjoy being "alone" aboard while everyone is off touring. A horrible lunch in Windjammer but a most enjoyable quiet day aboard. Underway and off to Cozumel arriving before dawn the following morning where I repeated my custom of staying aboard while the rest of the pax were off ashore. Another horrible Windjammer lunch More
unfortunately. Underway a little late after waiting for a horribly drunken couple to succeed in navigating the pier to return. Off for a day at sea and back to Tampa.
This was a very fine, if typical, RCI cruise. Crew very friendly and helpful, food OK at best, Captain's talks daily very informative, Production Shows very good, headliner entertainers less so, food - passable. Food is just not RCI's strength - its the area where they save money to justify low fares by using low quality, low price, foods. Its better than this bachelor can prepare for himself, but it is mass market food service at best. It is a tragedy as far as I am concerned that the Seaview Cafe, open sea days for sandwich lunches and other times during the day/night, is to be removed during the May dockyard period to be replaced by another "dining charge" restaurant.
I always enjoy a cruise, am on RCI frequently, and greatly appreciate the "perks" given to their very frequent cruisers (Diamond Plus) especially access to Concierge Lounge etc.
I always recommend Radiance class RCI ships as they preserve the idea of a ship at sea via their very large "glassed in" areas and outside decks.
I constantly wonder why they are emphasizing Indian cuisine so much when their pax. are not Indian. The possible explanation is that the kitchen personnel are Indian, and Indian food, being largely vegetarian, is cheap. The problem is that they devote an entire section of the Windjammer Buffet to it at lunch and dinner, and no one seems to partake of it. O well!!!
A quick and easy disembarkation, easy transfer to TPA and home. I return home having had a good, but not excellent cruise - but well worth the money paid. Less
Radiance of the Seas Cruises to the Mexican Riviera