Radiance of the Seas - Western Caribbean: Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by jimdicap

Radiance of the Seas 5
Member Since 2006
335 Forum Posts

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Radiance of the Seas - Western Caribbean

Sail Date: November 2006
Destination: Western Caribbean
Embarkation: Fort Lauderdale (Port Everglades)
Hello!!! I just came back from the Radiance of the Seas, and wanted to share my experience. This was my 5th cruise, 2nd on RCI, and was travelling with my wife. If anyone reading this is a first timer, let me say Radiance is impressive! We had chosen this ship based off a show on the ship that aired on the Travel Channel, and having been on the Adventure before, wanted to try RCI again!! We arrived at the port in Fort Lauderdale to a huge line--very depressing. BUT I was absolutely amazed at how quickly RCI got through the lines--we maybe waited for 10 minutes. They were staffed, prepared, efficient and pleasant. Great start! The first view of the ship on entry is impressive. While not nearly as impressive as Voyager, it is still a sight. Like going to a baseball game for the first time and seeing the grass from the entry, you will remember the view. Some other highlights: The pool and Solarium are great. There were more than enough deck chairs--a common issue on many other ships. The More ship actually has self leveling pool tables--yep! It is surreal to see them, and feel them, moving up and down while you are playing. The fitness center has a great view, has plenty of machines, and was clean!

Food: Let me say I am a New Yorker, and have high expectations for food. Radiance did not disappoint. One of the dishes I had was among the best I have tasted--wild mushroom truffle fettucini alfredo. I can say every night there was at least one dish that was superb. Our waiter was among the best I have had on any cruise. He had just gotten promoted, and you could tell. While he and his team made a few mistakes, it didn't matter--their effort in keeping us happy, and the rest of my table, was amazing. Some other suggestions--all the cold soups were great--be adventurous! Desserts were good--I am NOT a baked alaska fan, a staple on every line, but Radiance was actually good!! Overall, the best job was with any pasta at dinner--they were all restaurant quality, and I'm italian:) The Windjammer buffet was slightly disappointing. Every morning I had toast, and every morning the bread was stale. Even for mass produced food, slightly off. The staff, however was very personable and pleasant. The Gala Buffet (midnight buffet) was a sight. While I am not poetic enough to describe it in the proper terms, I can promise that it was an amazing sight, and the quality of the food was tremendous. We had an 8:30pm Dinner Seating, and still couldn't resist gorging at this event!

Entertainment: This is where Radiance did a great job. Kieron Buffery, the Cruise Director, had a great personality, and it showed. There were two amazing game shows--The Quest--which is basically an ADULT scavenger hunt-was a laugh riot!! I had done Quest on Voyager, but Kieron did a much better job. I can promise that if you participate, it is impossible to not have a great time. To describe it here is to not do it justice. Same for the Love and Marriage game show! Kieron could have chosen anyone, and it would have worked because of him. Again, between those two shows, I haven't laughed that hard in years! The production shows were average, and the comedian was below average--sorry to those of you who thought he was great. The magician was amazing. I have seen many a magic show, including Lance Burton live in Vegas, and I can say I saw one of the most amazing illusions on this ship. Most importantly, he did a hands on activity on the at sea day! My one issue is that there were not enough activities after port. If you didn't want to play bingo, there really wasn't much to do. You could go to the casino or shop, but that was it. We did do the Art Auction--which if you haven't done before, is a lot of fun. But overall, we needed more activities!

Ports & Excursions: We had great excursions, with one exception. We did the Dolphin Swim in Cozumel--absolutely a once in a lifetime thrill. Stingrays in Grand Cayman--who can resist kissing a ray? For those of you who may be timid, they are the most gregarious creatures I have seen. They react when you pet them, almost like dogs! Jamaica was awful--I will never go back. Be forewarned: Jamaica is beautiful!!! But it is IMPOSSIBLE to shop there--you get accosted like in no other place to the point we were instantaneously uncomfortable--the same for the rest of our tour group---if you do not like this, do not take any tour that stops at the Craft Market or Straw Market. Key West was nice as well. If you are looking for a leisurely two hours to waste, visit the Hemingway House. The only issue with these excursions was not enough time in port. I am sure there are reasons for this, but other ships were in Key West and Cozumel was longer than us. On another note, if you have not done it, visit Carlos and Charlies--great food, inimitable atmosphere--think FUN! waitress spanking (!) free tequila, dancing on tables--FUN!

In closing, I only have a few suggestions for improvement on Radiance, but tons of great things to say. I would go again on this ship. We met some great people at dinner, the staff was awesome, and the Captain was pleasant---for those of you who know Rune (the captain) I say "Hurdy Gurdy"! Radiance is a great ship to transition from a smaller ship to a larger experience. While not as good as the Voyager Class (in my opinion), it was still a great experience, and I am happy to recommend it to any first time or experienced cruisers. Less

Published 11/19/06

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