We had the most wonderful experience ever on a cruise. First lets start saying that the Radiance ships are great since they are a bit smaller than the Voyager class there are very few waiting lines to contend with. We arrived in SJ on Friday 27, picked up our rental at Charlie's in Isla Verde ( i recommend) and stayed at the Wyndham Rio Mar...our son got this through hotwire and was something like $85 a night!!! Wonderful place but very pricey, so we used their pool facilities and for dinner went outside to many places where local food is very good and cheaper. for breakfast we visited a bakery at a local mall like 15 minutes away and had a really nice breakfast for only a few bucks. The mall also has Walgreen's if you need last minute items. On Sunday we returned our rental at El Condado site and they shuttle us to the Pan American port. The shuttle from Charlies has some connection with the baggage handlers because he called one , the guy took our bags and took us directly in front of the line by the counters. Literally we were inside the ship in less that 10 minutes. Tip...make sure to have loose small change dollars for tips in a separate bag. We went up to the room and just relaxed!!!
The ship left on time and everyone went upstairs for the departure. In the past we had either music or a calypso party during departure but this time was subdued. We also noticed how the cruise line are cutting down on cost. Lobster was offered just on Friday and was very small. They has Mahi Mahi but was very small compared to the one we had at Iguana Joes in Aruba and didn't looked fresh. We liked the ship and is very different from the Voyager class we have cruised before. It lacks the long central area that has all the shops etc, it does contains a centrum area with a bar and there are walking hallways to walk but they are at different levels and are short. So there is a trade off for the smaller space but it was OK with us since the ship is smaller. Smaller means shorter lines and better service, so we were happy. Port will be discussed in the ports area. Disembark was a breeze, by 10am we were out, we called the car rental company and they came to pick us up since we stayed 4 more days in SJ. Every night the centrum was packed with different musical venues and people were just partying and dancing all night long. Overall the food was good, not great but good. The service was outstanding and the waiters and assistant waiters were super, we left extra tipping. Our cabin attendant from Colombia was excellent. The itinerary was great since we have been in three of the islands before we did different things this time. A snorkeling schooner in St Thomas to Christmas cove, we rented a jeep in Aruba at American Car and did the desert /beach thing, in St Kitts Jim/Roses taxi took me and wife the entire day on a personal tour around the island, let me say this , this is the best tour ever, i found them on trip advisor. We invited rose to eat lunch with us at cockleshell beach!!! In Curacao did the walk thru downtown, snapped pictures then at 1230 the fun beach express booked through the ship, they took us to the blue moon beach resort after a short ride downtown. Great beach for snorkeling. Overall i give this trip a 98% plus review.
Forgot to mention that for entertainment we had a comedian, a juggler, a Vegas style performer. The show were not as elaborate as the Adventure of the Seas and Carnival Miracle we have been before. The productions were not too deep and you could tell. Very short and sweet. I guess a reflection of economic times. They were good but not great. The cruise director was very dynamic and funny, he was excellent!!!
On our room i am going to say that the only thing i dislike was the balcony was basically a triangle since this room is the last one on the hump, starboard side and on these ports always facing the ocean and never the port. so the balcony was ok on one side but very tiny on the other, just enough room to put a chair there and that was it! This room was next to elevators and it was not a problem, but the sound from the centrum party every night was really loud until 11pm so if you plan to sleep early good luck! The door was next to the personal computer room or Internet place.