49 Miami Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Radiance of the Seas. April 16 2006. Nice ship enjoyed very much. Asked for table for 2 at booking, 9 months in advance. Did not get it. Asked head waiter the first night to change our table and he would not accommodate. Told me to come ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas. April 16 2006. Nice ship enjoyed very much. Asked for table for 2 at booking, 9 months in advance. Did not get it. Asked head waiter the first night to change our table and he would not accommodate. Told me to come back first thing next morning. I did and again he said no. Very rude. I did sign for tips to be added to cruise bill so I wouldn't have to worry about that. Mistake..Do not do it. Asked for a credit to my account for the tip to head waiter whom I might add we never saw any night in the dining room. Felt he did not deserve tip. Was told at service desk they could not give credit for that, only if there was a mistake on your bill. You don't know what kind of service you will receive and if you do sign to have tips on you your bill poor service or not, they get it. This was our 15th cruise and have never had this happen. There were several other couples who complained that they felt head waiter did not deserve tip. On other cruises the head waiter makes comes to every table every night and makes sure everything is all right. Not the case here. Food was good, entertainment was ok Santino and Blakjax the best ever. They got the crowd and he is just super. What a treat to hear him sing. Lounges were great and plenty of places to just sit and have a drink with that special someone. We were celebrating our 39th anniversary and the birthday of my wife, both overlooked by the the head waiter. (It is his job to take care of these things..) All in all it was a nice cruise and the ship is just beautiful. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
The embarkation process was amazing. Honestly, it took less than 10 minutes from the time we entered the terminal to the time we entered the ship. Our room was ready at noon. The room was the usual outside cabin. The beds were not at all ... Read More
The embarkation process was amazing. Honestly, it took less than 10 minutes from the time we entered the terminal to the time we entered the ship. Our room was ready at noon. The room was the usual outside cabin. The beds were not at all comfortable. Very thin mattresses. When the two beds were pushed together the result was less than satisfactory. The entire mattress is surrounded by metal tubing- making the center of the pushed together beds hazardous. On three mornings the toilet refused to function. Despite our complaints, the problem persisted. On two occasions when we returned to our room there was floating human waste (not our own) in the toilet. The ship itself was in good shape. The food overall was nothing special and sometimes pretty bad. All of the eating venues suffer from the same malady- inability to serve hot food. EVERYTHING was warm at best. The food in the dining room was so lackluster that we opted to eat in the Windjammer buffet on 3 evenings. What the Windjammer lacked in quality it made up for in variety. Our waiters in the dining room were pleasant. Breakfast was what one would expect. Fresh fruit was seldom ripe. One of the photographers, Clinton, was very rude. The ports of call are what you make of them. Labadee was beautiful but also full of screaming natives who try to sell their wares via screaming. Jamaica is not much more than Dunn's River Falls. All of the shops are owned by (Asian) Indians. There were 3 or 4 ships in port which made the Falls very crowded. Grand Cayman was the most civilized of the ports- no wonder since there is so much money flowing through the island. Cozumel is still picking up the pieces from the last hurricanes. Our ship was the first to use what remains of the piers. The entertainment on board fell into two categories: That provided by the ship's dancers and singers and that provided by everyone else. The ship's dancers and singers, and for that matter, the "broadway" style shows were a joke. All of the female dancers were spending way too much time on the buffet line. Each one was carrying 20-30 extra pounds- and it showed. The productions were boring, ill conceived and poorly produced. The entertainment provided by everyone else was pretty good. The ship's cruise director (Kieron) and staff were on top of their jobs. They kept the party moving in each of the venues. We paid $620 for each of our tickets. For a week in the sun on a very nice ship, this price seems fair. However, dining and entertainment is a major part of the cruise experience. In these categories this ship fails to meet the mark by a wide margin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We had a wonderful cruise on Radiance. It was our first time on a Radiance class ship and she did not disappoint. It was my fourth cruise, girlfriend's second, all with RCI. We flew in the day before, stayed at the Radisson downtown ... Read More
We had a wonderful cruise on Radiance. It was our first time on a Radiance class ship and she did not disappoint. It was my fourth cruise, girlfriend's second, all with RCI. We flew in the day before, stayed at the Radisson downtown where we have stayed before..great views of the port. We spent the afternoon and evening at Bayside. We did not use cruise air or transfers (lesson learned a long time ago). We taxied over to the port about 11:00am...we were onboard in about 10-15 minutes, painless and quick. Our cabin was a JS, deck 10...ready at 1:00pm. We like the JS and the deck, this is what I have booked in the past. What can you say about Radiance class ships, they are, in my opinion, RCI's best effort to date. The crew...from the captain on down, a fine crew and staff. Our cabin steward and wait staff as well as some bartenders were excellent and we noted them by name in the comments. As for the ship, tons of glass offering great views of the ocean from virtually anywhere on board, a beautiful centrum and great public rooms. The upper decks were nicely laid out and tons of fun. The two level dining room is especially attractive and we ate all dinners here except for the night at Chops. The layout in the Windjammer is much more functional and the seating area choices are great. Never got to Seaview Cafe or Portofinos. The food...it is cruise food, it is what it is. Our ports were Labadee (great to walk the whole area). We spent some time at the Artisans building, bought a couple of items. No serious hawking here. Enjoyed lunch and then back on the ship. Next port was Ocho Rios, did the Dunn's River Falls thing (on our own) and then spent some time in Margaritaville :). Up next was the Caymans (never been here before), we wandered around Georgetown, took in the sites and spent some time at Senor Frogs. Next was Cozumel, we DOCKED...great! Still a fair amount of devastation. Played mini-golf (don't ask, just do it), did some shopping and went to both Carlos n Charlies and Senor Frogs :). Entertainment on board was OK, I thought the production shows were better than on Voyager last year. The "brought in" entertainment was also OK. Events that happened...we had a Bravo, Bravo etc. just after muster drill around 4:30. It was a very small fire on deck 1 in one of the crew cabins, I think it was out in under a minute. We couldn't leave Miami until the Coast Guard had done their thing, which was write a report. The report probably took all of 5 minutes to write however it took some time to round up the Coast Guard team, resulting in a departure around 7:30pm...no big deal. We also had an Osca, Oscar etc. the last day (sea day)..no one from the ship, a Cuban floating in what looked like an inner tube raft. The poor guy had been out there for 3 days. According to the announcements he was OK and a Coast Guard cutter took him off the ship about 2 hours later. We normally vacation around the first week of March however this year we had to delay until April. There were a lot of kids and teens on this sailing and the ship's officers, staff and security were pretty busy :). I know of a few teens who will probably never cruise with their parent(s) again :D. One family was put off the ship in Jamaica and many others enjoyed meetings with senior officers. This DID not have any effect on our enjoyment of the cruise rather, it did provide some additional entertainment :). Disembarkation was a breeze, couldn't have gone smoother. No crazy line-ups and everyone seemed to be where they were supposed to be when they were supposed to be. In summary, a great cruise with fantastic weather in calm seas on a truly nice ship...what could be better. Any questions, ask me on the RCI board. I would recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Embarking on the ship took a while this trip due to the thorough cleaning they had to do because of the stomach illnesses that ran rampant through the ship the previous week. Once they opened up the ship, it went very quickly. Our room ... Read More
Embarking on the ship took a while this trip due to the thorough cleaning they had to do because of the stomach illnesses that ran rampant through the ship the previous week. Once they opened up the ship, it went very quickly. Our room was a typical balcony room. The beds were not comfortable in the least, very thin mattresses and my feet hung over the end. I'm only 5'7", I can't imagine how anyone taller slept comfortably. Our room was kept spotless and we never wanted for anything. The room attendant was great. The food was good, our waiting staff were friendly and efficient. I enjoyed the Windjammer in the afternoon after excursions for snacks. The entertainment had it's ups and downs. The productions were under par but the comedians and magicians were wonderful. I enjoyed the final competition for the Karaoke. We lots of talent on the ship. People were told not to save deck chairs but did anyway. I saw quite a few fights with people taking other people's chairs when they were gone for any length of time. Some people were quite rude about surrounding you on the deck with their chairs. I felt overwhelmed by pushy people. I loved the waiters on the sundeck, always smiling and polite. The ship overall was very beautiful but I prefer the larger Voyager Series with RCL and will stick those ships from now on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our third cruise, second with teens. The fastest embarkation we have ever experienced by far - we were on the ship in no time. First time in a Jr. suite and it was not that much different that a deluxe balcony room except that my ... Read More
This was our third cruise, second with teens. The fastest embarkation we have ever experienced by far - we were on the ship in no time. First time in a Jr. suite and it was not that much different that a deluxe balcony room except that my sister was traveling with our family and the walk in closet made a wonderful place for changing. (Bathroom was used for that purpose too, but this way, 2 people could get ready for dinner etc. at the same time (helped to speed things along in that regard). Ship was very nice, showing just slight signs of wear but we are not fussy folks so that didn't matter to us. Entertainment was very good. Singer in the lounge was super, I think his name was Santigo or something like that. He should be in Vegas. Food in the dining room was very good. Not as many choices as I remember from the last times we cruised but what we ordered was good. Ate in the Windjammer for breakfast about five times and some days for lunch. There was a good variety but certain things that I put on my plate I would not eat after I tried it because it would not be hot. In fact some things were at a very dangerous temperature in my opinion and I worried about getting sick. We eat out every now and then at a cafeteria style restaurant and I know with that type of dining you can't expect food to be as hot as a made to order place, but I saw no steam from the steam trays. They really need to monitor that better. And I don't think it was because of the time of morning we went to breakfast, because we went in a different times of the morning. Ate lunch a couple of times at the Seaview cafe and the food was fine there. We used the gym often. It was clean and had quite a bit of cardio equipment, but it was always full every morning, sometimes till 11:00 or 12:00. When we went in the evening, we had the place to ourselves. Overall, a great cruise. We would sail on the Radiance again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
This was our first cruise, we were in heaven from the moment we got to the pier. We had booked a suite so there was no waiting to get on we showed our papers and were on the ship. Arrived a day early to assure no problems, booked our own ... Read More
This was our first cruise, we were in heaven from the moment we got to the pier. We had booked a suite so there was no waiting to get on we showed our papers and were on the ship. Arrived a day early to assure no problems, booked our own hotel saved a lot of money. Used a limo service, Ace Transportation, to go from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami. Only cost $65 vs the cab which would cost $85. We were in a junior suite. Our room attendant, Patricia, was the best. We tipped her $20 when we got there and she made sure we always had towels and a clean room. She made cute animals out of towels, candy on our pillow each night, asked daily if we needed anything. We could not have been happier with our room. Having the balcony was great. Hubby could sleep and I could enjoy the views. Had breakfast out there almost every day. Wow the sunrises and sets were worth the extra along with the privacy it afforded us. The food -- what more could I say -- yum. Presentation was great, food was to die for. We ate a lot. Hubbie gained 10 lbs. Tried both restaurants and loved them both, Had escargots, had creme brulee yum yum. You can have anything you desire and as much of it as you want. Enjoyed the spa but felt left alone to figure things out. Only issue, would not buy the soda package again. Didn't really use it. Lemonade, juice, ice tea, water, tea, coffee free. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Radiance of The Seas: Less than Expected!! For this special anniversary trip we decided to start our trip early in Miami with a one night pre-cruise stay in a big Miami Beach hotel. We were assigned the Fountainbleau- sounded great on ... Read More
Radiance of The Seas: Less than Expected!! For this special anniversary trip we decided to start our trip early in Miami with a one night pre-cruise stay in a big Miami Beach hotel. We were assigned the Fountainbleau- sounded great on the internet. Turned out our room was in the soon to be rehabbed old wing. There were broken mirrors and pictures were ripped off the walls-- for $400 a night it looked like a tenement ! Our room over looked a garbage strewn roof. We complained to the management-who said "Those are RCCL's pre-cruise rooms !" They did agree to move us to another room which was more satisfactory- with a small balcony overlooking the waterway. We never did overlook the ocean ! The transfer to the ship was the next day- he didn't announce he was there and we almost missed our ride to the Radiance of the Seas. This truly beautiful ship was such a joy to see from the dock.. unfortunately we boarded it !!! To a beautiful cabin on deck 9.. with a balcony. Thus this should have been the start of a "fairy-tale" cruise experience. ... Unfortunately as experienced and long time cruisers we were really disappointed with RAS and RCCL. As we arrived our travel agent had sent us a bottle of wine to celebrate our 25th Anniversary- this was never delivered nor arrived during the cruise. We were to get an invitation to some sort of Anniversary Party- which never arrived. As it turned out we called Guest Relations -who know nothing of our anniversary- it HAD been on the booking slip as I did see a copy of this ! - and told us- "Hey- there is a Honeymoon and Anniversary party tonight at the Starquest= come if you want to!" We did- with only about 20 other people- food and arrangements were set for at least 40-50 people-- later we met 2 other anniversary couples on a day tour who said they hadn't heard a thing either and were never invited either. Needless to say- so went the way of our Anniversary Cake and we eventually got a price of Key Lime pie and our waiters sang to us-- not the special made chef cake or anything like that !!!!Really when you have a celebration it IS important and RAS should treat customers a lot better! The other guests we met were ok generally. Nice people. There were two couples at our table who had eating "orgies" every night. They ordered 3 and 4 entrees- and acted like stuffing animals-gluttonizing grossly every dinner. Some nights we left the table early- we just couldn't stand watching another gross display . The ship was crowded and there was no place for the head waiter to move us or we would have moved. Then in the midst of things - I got sick- with a bronchial type infection. The ship has a real ER. no kidding. There was a real doctor- unfortunately they do NOT take real medical insurance. So one of my souvenirs of the cruise was a nearly $500.00 medical bill- for 2 visits to the ship's medical facility. I have to pay this out of pocket and wait until my insurance company will send me a check for some of it. The ports of call were Coco Cay- really a big waste of time. A sandbar in the ocean near the Bahamas where RCCL owns the island and you sit on the hot sands and drink more expensive drinks supplied by the ship. Then there was St. Thomas- which is a wonderful place for beaches- we went to Magen's Bay- great. and Fantastic shopping !!! I highly recomment St. Thomas USVI. On an earlier trip we went to St. John's- great too. The last port on the list was St. Maarten where the beaches are great. We went to Divi Beach/ Little Bay- and loved it- also heard from others EVERY beach is good on St. Maarten. The shopping was terrible- despite what the cruise shopping "expert" said- it was mostly jewelry stores little else. Spend your money in St. Thomas or Miami! At the end of the cruise, we had purchased several bottles of liquor which were confiscated when we returned to the ship from St. Maarten and which we never saw again.- Something which has NEVER happened to us on any other cruise line. (Exactly like our "gift" bottle which never also appeared in our cabin on day 1 and which our travel agent paid for and can't get the money back for! ) We were given SOME other liquor as a replacement- for the "lost bottles" which were "checked" but we had purchased gourmet liquor which the ship's bar didn't have- so we were out on this. The service on RCCL 's RAS was outstanding but the food generally was mediocre. The ports ok. The guests-some were nice -some were gross. The medical facility good- but expensive. The shows ok. The bands ok. The photographers were all short guys- so all photos were taken "looking up" - and for tall people it makes you look "fat" so they weren't selling a lot of photos- unless of other shorter people. The coupe de grace of all of this was a we left- we noticed our steward had just made the bed and changed the pillow cases- he did not appear to strip the bed after we were checking out. So only my bronchial infected pillowcases were removed from the room. What lucky passengers got the room next- with my germs all over the place???There was also no major washing down or disinfecting going on of the room or the ship either as we left. No wonder there is a lot of sickness on some of these RCCL ships. I think the health services should be doing greater "spot checking" of these cabins and this line. Previous years we have taken cruises on CARNIVAL and CELEBRITY and had somewhat better experiences on these lines. We anticipate cruising again but really aren't sure we will ever do RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
PREFACE: This was our 3rd RCCL cruise. 7th cruise altogether (Costa, Windjammer, NCL, Carnival) Family of 4 (kids: 11&15); 2 balcony cabins 9044 & 9042. EMBARKATION: Arrived at port around 11am. No traffic to speak of; parking ... Read More
PREFACE: This was our 3rd RCCL cruise. 7th cruise altogether (Costa, Windjammer, NCL, Carnival) Family of 4 (kids: 11&15); 2 balcony cabins 9044 & 9042. EMBARKATION: Arrived at port around 11am. No traffic to speak of; parking was easy; baggage check easy & efficient. No lines inside; walked directly on board; longest wait was for boarding photo. Buffet was in full swing upon arrival. Cabins were ready promptly at 1pm as advised. INITIAL IMPRESSION: Clean, sophisticated decor, lots of glass, brass, marble. CABINS: Were comfortably spacious; immaculate. Bathroom tiny but functional. Plenty of storage space. Balcony was decent size. I thought bed was comfortable; however, husband thought it was uncomfortable...so to each his own opinion! DINING: Were assigned late seating (as requested); but asked for small table and received table of 10. Asked for smaller table several times with no luck. There were minimal tables for 4 throughout dining room. Waiter was good. Food was very good. Only ate in dining room 2x. 1x in Windjammer for dinner: very good. 4x in specialty restaurants (we really enjoyed them: 2xChops; 2xPortofino...equally lovely). No complaints on any meals at all. Gala midnight buffet was beautiful but we were too full to eat! ENTERTAINMENT: Good. Comedian was mediocre. Production shows were good. The "original Drifters" were lousy. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Parasailing (Labadee) was the only excursion we booked through RCCL which was fine. We booked all others on our own and they were very good. PORTS: Labadee: Just a beach day. It is an "okay" place to spend the day. Nothing special. Too many vendors are allowed in the marketplace. Since it is somewhat of a "private" area, I think they should be limited and less pushy. It was annoying to not be able to look at anything and also, all the things there were selling looked alike and like something you could pick up at Wal-Mart. Ocho Rios: Jamaica is not our favorite destination. We never quite feel safe there but we had a nice time with Peat Taylor tours. Did the falls (along with hundreds of other folks) and a brief island tour. Ended day at Margaritaville. Grand Cayman: Was not looking forward to this stop as there were 14,000 other passengers on 7 ships in port on this day. Decided to rent Jeep & escape the crowds by driving to Rum Point. What a good decision! This was a beautiful area & cannot imagine another visit to this island without going straight to Rum Point! Cozumel: Decided to rent a Jeep as the weather was not great. We drove around as much of the island as possible (some roads were hurricane damaged and impassable) and then walked around town. There is tons of damage and reconstruction work going on. It is not very impressive to visit Cozumel at this time, but once they are done with all the construction, it should be very nice again. DISEMBARKATION: Decided not to do the "walk-off" option. They called our "Purple" tags before 8am. We had a somewhat leisurely breakfast, took a peak at some of the suites on deck 10, dragged our kids out of bed & got off the ship about 8:45 am. Lines were about 20 minutes long to get through customs. Baggage claim was easy & traffic not too bad exiting port. ALL IN ALL: We had a very good time. We really enjoyed the Radiance but it just did not knock our socks off like the Explorer did. It is hard to compete with that Voyager class. Next time...back to the big guys! Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We found the ship to be in superb condition. The check in process literally took 10 minutes. We flew to Fort Lauderdale and used Royal Caribbean transfer to Miami. All transportation was ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean. We found the ship to be in superb condition. The check in process literally took 10 minutes. We flew to Fort Lauderdale and used Royal Caribbean transfer to Miami. All transportation was arranged through Royal Caribbean and everything went flawlessly. The ship was late sailing due to a generator problem but it did not affect the cruise at all (except the sail away party). We found the dining to be very good. The Windjammer buffet provided adequate choices for all three meals. Snacks in the afternoon were good as well. We loved our dining room experience as well as the food there. Our servers worked very well together and always had us out within 90 minutes. We had the main dinner seating which left plenty of time in the evening for activities. We only went to the Sea View cafe once and I wasn't that impressed. I will say that I was displeased with the shore excursions offered by Royal Caribbean. While we enjoyed 2 of the excursions we took, they left a lot out of the descriptions mainly relating to the amount of travel time to the excursion. Our Martha Brae rafting excursion included a ride over some of the worst roads I've ever been on for 90 minutes each way. The rafting was very peaceful and relaxing but the journey to and from was not. The 7 Mile Beach with lunch in Grand Cayman was horrible. We arrived at the property and they must have had 500 people crammed into a beach area the size of a postage stamp. We didn't even bother to stay there. What a waste of money. We never had problems getting on and off the ship even though we only docked at one port. The tender operations worked very well. The shows were nothing to write home about except for the Beatles show. That was absolutely wonderful. Our cabin steward and all other staff we encountered were excellent. Always helpful and friendly. All in all we had a wonderful time and would recommend this ship to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Arrived in Miami a day before our cruise. Highly recommended so you're not as rushed and tired for boarding the ship. Embarkment for us was great due to booking a suite we went into a special boarding room for the first time and were ... Read More
Arrived in Miami a day before our cruise. Highly recommended so you're not as rushed and tired for boarding the ship. Embarkment for us was great due to booking a suite we went into a special boarding room for the first time and were on the ship at 11am. Booked a "grand suite" and loved the size of the room. Patricia was our room steward and was superb. Very friendly and accommodating. Well worth the extra money IMO to go larger room! It was DH, DD, myself and a friend of DD in one room so it made a difference for us in size. Both were celebrating their 18 birthdays and a pre-graduation gift. What we don't do for our children!@# Had a great cruise and very relaxing. The weather was high 80's in the ports. Cozumel got a little winding and some threatening rain so our excursion was cancelled and we hit 15-18' swells that night which made it a little rough. Heard some people were sick. Don't know if it was the boat rocking or the partying done in Cozumel!! I know myself that I overindulged at Carlos and Charlie's....good time though. Tendering went well I thought at the ports. The dining room food was good IMO and our service was great. Putu and Romina at table 489 were exceptional. Sharon, the barmaid in the dining room was very friendly and attentive. We ate one night in Chops Grill and can not say enough how well worth the $20 pp extra charge was by eating here... the steaks are tender and the service is top notch. The amount of food you can order is ridiculous. Windjammer had a wide variety of selection each day for lunch and tasty, breakfast wasn't always eaten so I can't say what the selection was like then. The scrambled eggs were a little running for my taste though. Didn't partake in many shows so no comment. I was stunned to see RC stipulate a curfew for the kids at midnight!!! Handed the flyer regarding this to you at check in desk. It's about time..... I have cruised before and seen were the kids were out of control and no parents in site. This cruise was much tamer than those and I didn't hear of any shenanigans that took place. The ship itself is gorgeous, lots of glass to view from and very clean. All in all, we had a very relaxing cruise, love RC and will be back. We did book a Hawaiian cruise on sister line Celebrity while on board for next April to celebrate our anniversary though. Want to try their cruises and compare. RC does it right...Celebrity just had the time of year we wanted to travel to Hawaii. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
I traveled with my husband and my parents on the 3-5-06 Radiance of the Seas sailing to the Western Caribbean. Checking in was the easiest and quickest I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Dont leave home without registering ... Read More
I traveled with my husband and my parents on the 3-5-06 Radiance of the Seas sailing to the Western Caribbean. Checking in was the easiest and quickest I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Dont leave home without registering online. You need to complete the online registration 24 hours before departure. Remember to print out your Sea Pass. Youll need your Passport (ID), and Credit Card upon check-in. Once youre on board, take time to explore the ship. Buffet lunch is served until 3:00pm in the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11. Staff Captain Hernan Zini runs a tight ship. He is extremely friendly and approachable. My father looked away while posing with my mom and the Captain during the welcome reception. My mother was quite upset, and when I explained this to Captain Zini, he posed with them again during the Crown & Anchor Welcome Aboard Party so I could take another picture. Peter, our Cruise Director, made the cruise extremely enjoyable. The staff was friendly and professional  Guest relations, Head Waiter, Our Waiter Basilio, our Assistant Waiter, Victor, our Room Steward Sharon, Windjammer Cafe personnel  everyone seemed to have a smile and their face and never too busy to greet or help us. I compare the staff to other cruise lines/ships, and I must say they were outstanding. Ship -- The Radiance of the Seas, the oldest of the 4 ships comprising the Radiance family, is a nice ship. However, it is showing wear, and RCCL should consider refurbishing it soon. Although the staff was diligently working around the clock, the carpeting in the public areas and rooms looked extremely worn. The furniture in my parents room was extremely scratched, faded, and worn  even the toilet seat in my room was chipped and worn. Activities -- Since this cruise only had 2 sea days, we couldnt enjoy all the activities. Whether youre interested in spinning, spa treatments, basketball, bingo, theres always something to do. One of my favorite parts of the cruise is the pictures. Besides the traditional Formal Portraits, dont miss the Freestyle Black & White Portraits. Youll want to take them all home with you. Entertainment -- The Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers had 2 productions  Piano Man and City of Dreams, the latter being the most extravagant productions I have seen on RCCL cruises. I was pleasantly surprised to see BeatleMania Live. This was definitely the highlight of all nights. My husband and I had previously seen them in Ft. Lauderdale, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again. The weakest show was Hal Frazier. He definitely is talented, but seemed disoriented and rattled on in his monologue portion of the show. Santino & Blackjax (live band) was amazing. He had everyone on their feet in the Centrum. Rosario Strings, Lorenzo Dino, Serenade Trio, and Tom Scott all made the cruise enjoyable. Food -- The Windjammer Cafes breakfast was very good. The omelette station chefs were great! I had my eggs over medium every morning, and there were plenty of accompaniments to choose from  cereal bar, fresh fruit, yogurt, breads, cold cuts, pancakes, waffles, hash browns, etc. Lunch and dinner were average  probably a bit better than regular buffet food. The barbecue lunch buffet in Labadee was lacking. Dark meat  chicken legs  was the only cut available. The hamburgers had been cooked earlier on the ship, so they were dry. The pavilion was poorly positioned  too far from the main entrance. Dinner in the Cascades Dining Room was good, but not great. I cant say it was any better or worse than any other RCCL, Carnival, or NCL cruise Ive been on. I cannot comment on Specialty Dining. Ports of Call Labadee, Haiti -- Labadee is on a peninsula on the north coast of Hispaniola, otherwise known as Haiti. Royal Caribbean has cordoned off a remote portion of this island, and the totally safe and private compound provides guests an opportunity to experience the beauty of this region. Youll find most of the information you need at the following link: http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/Labadee.htm Georgetown, Grand Cayman -- Grand Cayman is a relatively small island that is modern in every way. With over 500 banks and hundreds of insurance companies located in the Cayman Islands, it is the fifth largest economy in the world. Besides its economic activities, Grand Cayman offers fabulous beaches, excellent duty free shopping and plenty to do. This is a tender port. The tenders leave you right in the middle of downtown. I found the best shops to be the ones closest to the pier. After shopping in downtown, we took the $5.00 (per person) taxi to SeaGrape Beach which is part of 7 mile beach. Beautiful clear aquamarine water. White powdery sand. Bar and changing facilities just feet away from the water. Plenty of aqua sports right on the shore. Absolutely amazing. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/GrandCayman.htm Ocho Rios, Jamaica -- Ocho Rios is a medium sized town with all the flavor of Jamaica. It offers a gateway to sightseeing, shopping and a good look into the Jamaican culture. To experience the Jamaican culture I used Marva Shaw. She was an excellent guide that catered to my fathers limitations. After stopping right by Dunn's River Falls for a look at the crowd climbing the falls, we went through the Fern Gulley, made a stop in Spice Valley and tasted some of the native fruits and spices, and then took a tour of Coyaba River Gardens with Happy. Happy was the most knowledgeable guide I have ever had. The word coyaba comes from the Arawak name for paradise. Coyaba is a Spanish-style museum with a river and gardens filled with native flora, a cut-stone courtyard, fountains, and a crafts shop and bar. If you visit Coyaba River Gardens, please be sure to request him. Be sure to ask for the tour that includes Mahoe Falls. We paid $10.00 per person. After a swim in the falls, hunger kicked in, and we ended the tour with a wonderful Jamaican lunch at The Ranch. Marva arranged everything. The food was great. 5 of us ate jerk chicken, had a juice or Red Stripe, and the bill was $53.00. For more information on Marvas tours, please visit www.knowjamaica.com. Youll be happy that you did. Suggestion -- Please remember to get change before you get off the ship. It will be a lot easier if you have exact change with smaller denomination bills. Vendors can be very, very persistent, and you will find them at every stop. If you have a few souvenirs to purchase, pace yourself so youre able to help multiple vendors. Remember to be friendly and respectful and you will have a great time. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/OchoRiosJamaica.htm Cozumel, Mexico -- Cozumel is a small island off the east coast of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea. Although it was hit really hard with last years hurricanes, the locals worked extremely hard to get the island ready for visitors. It is the proverbial fishing village in paradise with all of the creature comforts that anyone could want. If you go to Discover Shopping Show, youll get lots of information and advice. Plus, youll get a voucher for a taxi ride to The Forum. Youll have great shopping and can work yourself down the street. After lunch, we took a $12 cab to Paradise Beach. The sea was rough that day and the beach was not particularly good for swimming, but I understand the beach is usually beautiful. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/Cozumel.htm Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
My husband and I (both 41 years old) took this cruise together. This was our very first cruise and we figure our expectations were relatively high. The embarkation process was extremely fast because we had already completed our information ... Read More
My husband and I (both 41 years old) took this cruise together. This was our very first cruise and we figure our expectations were relatively high. The embarkation process was extremely fast because we had already completed our information online. The ship was absolutely beautiful and sparkling clean. We had a balcony in our cabin and our stateroom was bigger than what we had expected. We found there to be more than enough storage in our cabin. We are now spoiled to a balcony from now on, that's for sure! It was wonderful hearing and seeing the ocean every day and night. Our cabin steward, Xavier, was very friendly and helpful - great service in every way. We chose the early seating for dinner at 6 pm. We sat with 8 other couples and it was great. If we are ever so fortunate to be able to cruise again, I think we would choose the late seating because it felt a little rushed to make it for 6 pm. Our waiter and assistant waiter, Dominick and Sherlyn, were wonderful - they even sang for us at the table! The food throughout the ship was better than what we expected, and we expected quite a bit. We were amazed at how such a large variety could be consistently good. We had previously read other cruisers' reviews about this ship and decided to pay for the 2 fine dining restaurants onboard: Chops and Portofinos. These were 2 of the best meals we have ever had! And, we LOVE food and like to think that we are "amateur" food critics. Wow! The first port-of-call to Coco Cay in the Bahamas was cancelled due to bad weather. I was very disappointed but seemed quite alone in that feeling. Most people I overheard seemed happier to be going to San Juan Puerto Rico as an alternative. I just wanted to lay on a beach and snorkel. But, that's ok - nothing much you can do about weather. We just shopped around old San Juan and it was all right - reminded me a bit of Puerto Vallarta. The second port-of-call was St. Thomas and we had booked the St. John, Trunk Bay tour. This was cancelled due to weather so now I was a bit annoyed and paranoid about our next excursion! But, we went to Buck Island to snorkel. The weather was on and off but overall it was a great experience. The first couple of days on the ship were rough and I felt a bit sea sick. Two of the couples at dinner didn't show the first couple of nights because they were very sick. It makes me wonder if perhaps April/May would be a better time to sail weather wise (?). Our third port-of-call was St. Maarten. We booked a swim with the dolphins and this was definitely the highlight of our trip in every way. We are animal lovers and this experience was amazing. We took a boat to the island of Anguilla to the Dolphin Discovery. We swam with the dolphins, spent about an hour on their section of beach on Meads Bay and had a buffet lunch afterwards. The beach was unbelievable. All the water and sand that we saw on this island was unbelievable. Since we've been back from this trip, we've read on several websites that Anguilla is voted as number 1 for the best beaches in the world, and we can understand why. We fueled up in St. Croix but my husband and I decided to stay on the ship. We participated in The Quest, the adult scavenger hunt-type game show in the Colony Club. This was so much fun! We found ourselves in the Colony Club at least a few times and loved Santorini who had a nightly show. He really knew how to get the audience involved and had a great voice. I enjoyed the male strippers in the disco while my husband enjoyed the midnight buffet on the second to last night. We watched 3 shows: The Piano Man, the comedian and the final show. They were all great. The casino was fun for my husband - I don't enjoy gambling but I went with him a couple of times. We had such a great time on this holiday. It was a very long time prior to this that we actually had a real nice and relaxing holiday so we were long overdue. It was one of our dream vacations and we finally did it. It was everything and more than what we expected. We had heard that first time cruisers aren't nearly as picky as people who have cruised many times. But, we are pretty laid back people and went into this vacation with a positive attitude. Life is what you make it most of the time so we made it a wonderful experience. We would highly recommend this ship and cruise line. The food, service, decor, ports of call, cleanliness, entertainment and classiness was even more than what we had expected. Thanks to Royal Caribbean for this great memory! Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Great time despite Royal Caribbean. We sailed with our adult children and grandchildren ages 1, 4, and 7. We chose Royal Caribbean because they had connecting rooms which Princess [our favorite] did not offer. First the good-- Boarding the ... Read More
Great time despite Royal Caribbean. We sailed with our adult children and grandchildren ages 1, 4, and 7. We chose Royal Caribbean because they had connecting rooms which Princess [our favorite] did not offer. First the good-- Boarding the ship with the SetSail Pass was a snap and a great idea. The children's program was better than great...We could not get the 4 and 7 year olds to leave at night. Every night was a theme night for the kids. And hats off to the Staff--WONDERFUL..With exception of our room steward, crew was A+ and tours [Dolphin swim especially] great. Also Labadee was fantastic.... Now the bad . The brochure shows a great Sports Bar which is as pictured. Only problem was they only received one station -- ESPN in SPANISH [ which we don't speak]. The Olympics were in progress but Royal Carib TV doesn't get NBC -- so no Olympic coverage. This was a real disappointment. The brochure promises Broadway shows -- we only had one and 5 nights of second rate comedians. The magician was super. On arrival we found only 2 towels in the bathroom and no toiletries-- even a mediocre hotel will give you shampoo etc. Our Stewart had no idea the the towel rack was to be filled daily. Forget asking for fresh fruit and such. If you wanted the cute towel animals at night, he had to have someone else make them. The first 8 hours the ship had no hot water {gee how did the kitchen people wash their hands? The ship, although coming from 2 weeks in drydock,was in bad shape with filthy windows. The wood railing on room balcony had not been varnished for months and one kid actually got a splinter from the raw wood. Our room had broken hinges on closet and mirror as well as a broken mirror. The in room internet did not work until 3 rd day. The beautiful glass elevators gave not only a great view of the sea, but a view of the candy wrappers and trash that was left on the window frames from who knows how long. The food was fair to good, but the fruit was inedible, obviously having been left over from before the ship went into drydock. Wine list was nice, but whatever you ordered was out of stock, although you could get something similar at $10 more. We were supposed to have a shipboard credit of $200 per room but the ship was never told. I did have an E-mail from RCCL so stating and the Purser gave us $100 per room. All in all we had a great time, but next time will do it on another line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
I take a cruise for my birthday each year. This year I chose a cruise in the Eastern Caribbean for two reasons: (1) It was a change from my usual Mexico trips, and (2) I was sailing with a group of friends  one couple who had never ... Read More
I take a cruise for my birthday each year. This year I chose a cruise in the Eastern Caribbean for two reasons: (1) It was a change from my usual Mexico trips, and (2) I was sailing with a group of friends  one couple who had never cruised. And because we had first timers along, I wanted this cruise to be special: and it was. Because we took a midnight flight from Oregon to Miami, we decided to leave one day early and spend the night in South Beach. It was a great choice. Even though we were awakened at 6 AM by a marathon, it was great to have a day in Miami to decompress. We arrived at the ship around noon on Sunday  fully rested and ready for 7 days of cruising fun. The embarkation was perfect. Because we arrived by private car, we did not need to worry about long lines. We had a very good chat with the counter personnel and were on board in less than 10 minutes. Everyone at the counter was professional and able to answer all of our questions. When we looked at our sea pass cards, we noted that between the 6 of us, we were seated at 4 different tables. But we knew the drill. Three of us headed off to the dining room to talk with the head waiter. Usually the reassignment goes very easily. For some reason, we seemed to tick off the head waiter. He got all of us at the same table, but it was right next to the kitchen door. (More on that later.) But we were happy because we were together. Let me get the one disappointment out of the way. I have never had bad dining room service on an RCI cruise, and the service on this cruise was not bad  simply not what I have come to expect. Our waiter and assistant waiter seemed to be constantly distracted. Our assistant waiter would leave one roll, fill the water glasses, and disappear. That may be why they were at the kitchen door table. There is an old phrase that everything is ruined by repetition  even Paris. And the phrase applies to the RCI dinner menu. It seems to have remained unchanged for the past two years. And that is not necessarily bad. I now know on each cruise what I will have on each night. It us a little like walking into your neighborhood restaurant. Cruise food in the dining room will never be outstanding. It cannot be. It is the equivalent of political fund raiser dinners. You need to feed a large group of people in a very small amount of time. Personalized dinners should not be expected. But they should be expected in the specialty restaurants. And the Radiance did not disappoint. We ate in Chops two nights. It is easily as good as any of the major steak houses such as Mortons and El Gaucho, with highly professional service and personalized dinners. Portofino (the Italian restaurant) was good. We ate there one night sponsoring a farewell dinner for the singers and dancers. I would not rate it as high as Chops for food, but I was definitely pay another visit. Well, you now know what I like about cruising  eating. But the rest of the cruise was every bit as good as the food  often better. I took a cruise on my first Radiance class ship last August: on the Jewel. I really like the moderate size of the ships. They offer a lot of the qualities of a Voyager class with the intimacy of a Vision class. Even though the Radiance went into dry dock immediately following this cruise, everyone did a superb job at keeping it looking in top shape. The public rooms were always clean. And the entertainers: superb. One reason I go on cruises is live entertainment. Between the solo and group entertainers in the bars and public rooms and the evening shows, there is always something going on. I like the headliners, but my favorites are the singer and dancer casts. And RCI knows how to put on a quality show. I have noted that some cruisers tend to think of the dancers and singers as being similar to the neighborhood kids putting on a show. That attitude truly demeans these professionals. They know their craft and they perform it expertly. Unfortunately the group on the Radiance completely dispersed on their individual ways when the ship entered dry dock. I had a balcony cabin on the fantail. It was a perfect place to have room service breakfast in the morning and to wrap up a day watching the ships wake disappear over the horizon. Being a nonsmoker, I was a bit surprised to notice how often I could smell cigarette smoke on the balcony. But I decided that is simply the smell of freedom and it made my libertarian heart happy. We Americans spend far too much time trying to regulate other peoples lives. Yes, the ship did stop at ports  even though I thoroughly enjoyed the three sea days. Our first port was Coco Cay, RCIs private island. A friend and I spent the day parasailing and riding waverunners. I sky dive, so the parasailing was a bit tame. But even being a motorcycle rider did not prepare me for the thrill of the waverunners on the choppy sea. For a full hour I had a blast  convinced that every second would be my last. I then went snorkeling. That day was one of the best days of the vacation. I strongly recommend the waverunners. But be prepared to be scared to death  and to laugh and survive in the process. The second port was St. Thomas. We were there a year ago and spent our full day at Coki Point. The snorkeling there is fantastic. The fish have become addicted to dog biscuits, so you will not see them acting naturally on the main beach. But at the south end of the point there is a small reef where few people go. The viewing is far better there. The third port was St. Maarten. We rented a van and drove around the island. When we were there last year, the traffic was terrible. This time we made the full circuit far too fast. We had planned on eating lunch in a village on the French side. But we were there at 10:30  far too early for lunch. Instead we stopped at two beaches and went shopping in town. When we arrived in Miami, I dreaded leaving the ship. My experience has been that RCI has one of the worst departure procedures I have ever seen. I was more than pleasantly surprised. Our tag color was called while I was raising my fist fork of breakfast. Between the call and walking out of customs, no more than 15 minutes passed. Great job, RCI! Overall, this was an incredibly memorable cruise. Like everything in life, some things could have been better, but only a very small person would allow a few blemishes ruin an otherwise marvelous experience. My barometer is based on the response of the first timers with us: they are ready to cruise again. I look forward to seeing the Radiance when it leaves dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
We have been looking forward to this cruise for over a year. It was myself, my DH, my Brother and a girlfriend. Our cruise dates were December 4 - 11, 2005. We arrived in Miami on Saturday, December 3rd. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency ... Read More
We have been looking forward to this cruise for over a year. It was myself, my DH, my Brother and a girlfriend. Our cruise dates were December 4 - 11, 2005. We arrived in Miami on Saturday, December 3rd. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency (excellent). We did our air on our own, and did the hotel via Priceline. We arrived in Miami about 3:00pm, checked-in and then went to Bayside. We walked and had dinner at Bubba Gump Restaurant (very nice). We woke up on cruise morning about 8:30am, had breakfast and took a taxi to the port around 12:30pm. Embarkation was excellent. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Our cabin was ready at 1:00pm. We stayed in 9094 (Superior balcony room), very close to the elevators. Excellent room. My Brother and my GF were in 9096, a connecting room. We asked the stateroom attendant to open the inside door. When I got on the ship my H noticed that I did not have our camcorder any longer. He gave it to me while checking in at RC. I went immediately to Guest Relations to see if anyone turned it in, they said no, and to check periodically, which I did for the first 2 days, what a bummer. The Guest Relations staff was very nonchalant. While I take full responsibility, I would have hoped for better customer service. They said they would email the port to see if I left it there, and I never heard anything back. I thought a call to my stateroom saying that they hadn't received word back, or go to hell, or anything would be better than nothing. I also went to Guest Relations about American Airlines being at the port. They said that they knew nothing about it. American Airlines is at the port, and we were able to get our tickets and check our luggage there. Needless to say, I was not pleased with Guest Relations. They had a very "don't bother me" attitude. When I was on the Mariner, they went out of there way to be helpful. The dining experience was wonderful. Our waiter (Karoly) and Assistant waiter (Pablo) were very nice. Pablo was new, so he would forget things, but he was very sweet, and we had no problems in giving him reminders. The food was great in the dining room. My GF and I went to the Murder Mystery on Wednesday at Portofinos. It was not worth $49.50. The food was excellent at Portofinos. The play should be free. Would not do that again. We stayed at the Seaview Cafe and Windjammer. The Windjammer was mediocre to good. The seaview was very good. We never went to the Solarium Cafe. The casino staff was excellent, very polite, and a lot of fun. Our stateroom attendant was nice but, he seemed to also want to hurry us up, or not have time for questions. For example, I purchased alcohol in St. Thomas, the liquor store told me to contact our stateroom attendant at 7:30pm that evening to make certain that it was delivered to the ship. I called at 7:30pm to ask, and before I got the question out, he said, "no alcohol is allowed in the room, call Guest Relations". I knew the alcohol would be delivered to us before we departed the ship, I just felt rushed, as though he was too busy to even listen to my question. I called Guest Relations, and got the same response until I firmed up and said, "please let me ask the question first." I just want to be sure it made it on the ship, I don't want it in the room. Our attendant got better as the week progressed. Not our best, but he turned out pretty nice. The Ports of call were CocoCay (nice), St. Thomas (nice), and St. Maarten (really nice). I did most of my shopping in St. Maarten. I enjoyed all three. The ship also stopped in St. Croix to refuel. We could get off the ship, but it was during the Murder Mystery so we didn't. Overall, my vacation was fabulous. The Cruise Director was very nice however, his staff was not very approachable. I got the impression, whether right or wrong, that this was a first cruise for many (CD staff, Assist. Waiter, Stateroom Attendant, Guest Relations personnel) I have sailed with RC 3 times and by far this was my least favorite, but it was still a great cruise. They are normally so superb that any slight problem, becomes huge. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone, all of the problems that I experienced could be fixed with experience and better customer service training. I will more than likely pick Voyager class ships from now on, but, I would not totally be against the radiance class. I had a wonderful time, and I hope that if you have a cruise coming up, that you have a great time as well. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
I took the 12/4-12/11 Easter Caribbean cruise with my husband, mother, and mother-in-law. Overall we had an excellent time and would wholeheartedly recommend this ship and itinerary to anyone. A few specifics below: Ship The Radiance ... Read More
I took the 12/4-12/11 Easter Caribbean cruise with my husband, mother, and mother-in-law. Overall we had an excellent time and would wholeheartedly recommend this ship and itinerary to anyone. A few specifics below: Ship The Radiance is a clean and beautiful ship. I did notice some wear and tear on the carpets and furniture in the Windjammer area, but other than that everything was top-notch. The Solarium was really beautiful, as was the Cascades dining room. Our first night we were seated at a small table for 4, and with three of us being extremely tall it was rather uncomfortable. We mentioned this to the waiter on the 2nd night, and by the 3rd night we were seated at the captains table in the center of the dining room with a fabulous view of the waterfall. The outdoor pool was a little small in my opinion, without a lot of room for deck chairs in the sun. Overall the service was excellent, although we were supposed to get a ship-board credit and it took several days for this to happen. Cabin My husband and I had an oceanview cabin on Deck 4, while the Moms enjoyed a balcony cabin on deck 8. I thought being on Deck 4 was perfect because we were close to the dining room, and auditorium, so at the end of the evening we didnt have to walk far to get back to our cabin. For the few hundred dollars more I highly recommend the balcony, however the oceanview was nice as well. It was larger than we had anticipated, with tons of closet space. Food The food was excellent in the dining room every night. My mother and I are Indian, and the head waiter had lamb curry and chicken curry made especially for us one evening. That was a nice touch. We tried a lot of the sugar-free desserts and they were excellent. Windjammer food was good as well, with lots of nice choices for hot entrees. For breakfast I typically had cereal and fruit, however the omelettes were nice. There was usually a long wait, though, and for some reason there were a number of rude complainers on this cruise. I tried my best to ignore them. Shipshape Center I thought this deserved a separate caption because the gym was fantastic! My husband and I worked out every day, and there is nothing better than being able to look out onto the water or at a beautiful island while you are working out. I did the spinning class 3 times, and it was a great workout. Entertainment Absolutely the worst singers and dancers I have ever witnessed. The Piano Man show was laugh out loud funny in some spots, because it was so horrible, not because it was supposed to be funny. At one point my mother in law and I were crying we were laughing so hard. These singers and dancers were really trying, but the shows were just horrible. The comedian on the first night was really funny, and they had him come back to do an adult encore. Both times he was hilarious. The casino was nice; we won some money in the slots. The movie theatre looked nice too, although I did not watch any movies. Cruise director reminded me of Ryan Seacrest. Ports Coco Cay was a fabulous place to spend an afternoon. It was just what we needed on the first day to get into the swing of being on vacation. ST. Thomas was just like all the other islands, with shopping and beaches. We took a cab to the main shopping area, browsed for a bit, and had another cabbie take us around the island for $25pp. He then took us to a beach (I believe it was at the Marriott resort) which was absolutely beautiful and not too busy. He came back after a few hours and we went back to the ship. A perfect day. It rained when were in St. Martin, but not until after we got to Dawn Beach via taxi. We had some beers at a beachside bar, and then went back to the ship. Overall, the Radiance is a fantastic ship, and I would recommend it to anyone! Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if I was on the same ship. I sailed on 12/05/05 and the cabin that I had size was was the same that I had on it's sister ship Brilliance. I cruise all the time as I and on many different ... Read More
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if I was on the same ship. I sailed on 12/05/05 and the cabin that I had size was was the same that I had on it's sister ship Brilliance. I cruise all the time as I and on many different lines. This cruise was a cruise from hell. My cabin had a sewage problem. Water was backing up on the floor for the first 3 days. The smell in the bathroom was disgusting. They had to put an ionizer in there just to mask the odor. I had people in and out of my room the whole trip, changing pipes, etc. and the odor was coming not only from the toilet but from the sink as well. I know that my room was not the only one, because the maintenance men were working non-stop outside a lot of cabins just on my floor alone. The bathroom areas by the pool, both men and women were dirty and overflowing. and broken. I really do not go on a cruise for the food, so I won't comment there. My cabin steward stayed far away to distant himself from all this. Now the good part. Customer Service could not have been nicer. They only could offer me another room that was an inside cabin, and I refuse (the odor was only in the bathroom, so I could deal with it), and my waiter was the greatest. I thought the entertainment was just fine for a cruise ship. The shops were terrible. I wish that I could be a buyer for one of these ships. You have a command audience, so why not sell nice stuff. The ship is going into dry dock in March. Hope it comes out better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
This was a very important 10 yr anniversary for me and my friends, so I took them as a thank you. I have done RCCL before and knew how it would, or should have, worked. Radiance is the most beautiful in the fleet. Embarkation was ... Read More
This was a very important 10 yr anniversary for me and my friends, so I took them as a thank you. I have done RCCL before and knew how it would, or should have, worked. Radiance is the most beautiful in the fleet. Embarkation was incredible. We did our SetSail Pass and excursions on line. WOW!!! ten star! 20 minutes between taxi, bags, check-in, and entering our stateroom. We hit the spa, took the tour, and then scheduled 6 massages (2 for each of us). Unfortunately because there was an EXTREME bad attitude from the Customer Service Manager, when I presented her with the lack of stateroom attendant. Our attendant was Dwayne. On Wed. we talked as a group, and at that point, his tip was down to $20. The filth in our cabin at least was consistent (brown toilet, ashtrays never emptied, scum on shower wall, grimy bath tub, etc...) This left us with no other option, zero tip, but we did write down the flaws and maybe he can improve on it for the next passengers. Right after the customer service manager stormed away in a panic, it was obvious that nothing was going to happen from her, AS A SUPERVISOR. Then up to deck 12 to the loyalty ambassador. Her service, for a customer retention representative, was just as bad, but at least she said thanks. I asked for her to remove me off the Crown and Anchor society and she said "Thanks and done." No questions on why? Why was that????? This whole thing could have solved in an instant, but because these people were having bad day's, they have sealed the company's fate. I just gave them $7,500 this time and $8,000 last year. I will not be back. Now that was the only two. Everybody else was 5 star PLUS. On the last night we had dispersed over $600 in tips. waiter; Abel assistant waiter; Diane bartender; Didi The service was incredible by our dining staff. Other countless people are in the Hollywood Odyssey, Kim. For just a bartender, he received an extra large tip on Saturday night. Seaveiw Cafe bar, Rowe. Her service and especially her hospitality and charm were Far and Above. Rhada and Jocko same thing. Must do the Quest. That was the best thing. I was busy this cruise, belly flop, scrap booking class, Quest, Captains Welcome Aboard, and the '50s nite. The ports were wonderful. the only hurricane damage was in Cozumel, and it was pretty bad, Watch your excursions here. I will close. Hopefully this will be of some information to a few people. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
We were on the Radiance for the November 6, 2005 Eastern Caribbean sailing with the Cruise Critic's Radiance of the Seas NUTZ group. The group had some extensive cruisers. We were in the minority with this being my third cruise and my ... Read More
We were on the Radiance for the November 6, 2005 Eastern Caribbean sailing with the Cruise Critic's Radiance of the Seas NUTZ group. The group had some extensive cruisers. We were in the minority with this being my third cruise and my Wife's fourth. The Radiance is a beautiful ship. The extensive glass has been written about along with the glass elevators that face inside or outside. She is a very open ship appointed with beautiful artwork, but she is starting to show her age for one so young. We are told she will be going into dry dock for refitting next February. Dining -- We ate in the main dining room for all but one Dinner. The Cascades is beautiful and the service we received surpassed our expectations. We are not fancy eaters but I like to try new dishes while on a cruise. I must say everything I had was very good to the taste and pleasing to the eye. The Windjammer received most of our dining time. The food was good and there was a large selection. The layout of the Windjammer leads to an easy dining experience. The service there was wonderful. After getting your food and sitting down you were soon approached by an attendant asking if there was anything you desired. Once in between their visits I had run out of coffee and got up to get more. The attendant not assigned to our table saw me and would not allow me to get it myself. He was insistent on serving me. We were very impressed with all of the staff dealing with food service. As the food and service was so good in the Cascades and the Windjammer we saw no reason to go the specialty restaurants. We understand they were very good though. Stateroom -- We had a wonderful Junior Suite located on the back of the ship. This was a great location as the deck was very large and the winds were not strong when underway. This stateroom had a real walk-in closet and more than enough storage room. The bathroom was showing it's age with pieces of chrome missing off the mirrors and the bolt covers for the toilet were missing as well. Speaking of the bathroom we were very surprised of the lack of toiletries offered. In every other Jr. Suite we have been in, there were different soaps, shampoos and on Grandeur we received shower scrunches for use in addition to washcloths. Nothing like that was available. Not even a shower cap. Our cabin attendant gave us everything we asked for and was very friendly. He didn't offer extras though. An example was on the first formal night my wife used the last tissue for her makeup. Lucky she didn't need any more because there was no extra box. There was no extra roll of toilet paper -- we ran out but at least that time there were plenty of tissues. The customer should never run out of anything. Great room but we were disappointed with the amenities. Entertainment -- We saw two shows on this cruise. One was provided by the Radiance Singers and Dancers and was very good. We also enjoyed the celebrity show. That said I feel RCCL needs to have a well-known name for their celebrity shows. Although the entertainer's act was good and enjoyable, his only claim to fame is singing the song for the Happy Days show. It is not that the show wasn't good, it was but I feel the celebrity in the Celebrity Headliner Show would be someone that at least a fourth of the ship's guest would know his/her name. The entertainment in the Schooner Lounge was a pianist or a pianist/singer. After leaving the Grandeur this March, a comparison could not be helped. The Grandeur had Bing, a pianist/singer and Major Handy, a do everything musically entertainer. If you rate these entertainers on a scale of one to five, the Grandeur Schooner would get a five and the Radiance Schooner would receive a two. The service and drinks were excellent though. The entertainment poolside was good. The drinks were unpredictable. One "drink of the day" was so bad I had to throw it out. The service poolside was the worst I have ever seen on a RCCL ship. The servers were almost non-existent in the bar area. The one time I did see them they blew by me. Since I determined the only way to get a drink poolside was to fight through the crowd at the bar I didn't frequent this location. SPA services -- The wife had an expensive facial done. The facial was very good for her but she felt rushed. Even though she bought additional creams (guys you know these aren't cheap) she felt that they couldn't wait to get her out to start on the next appointment. Very unnerving for what was suppose to be a relaxing time. Colony Club -- This is a nice place. The entertainment was usually good and this is the location for Quest. Don't miss it. The pool tables are flat out amazing. If you are a pool fan you must try this. You have no idea the ship is moving as much as it is until you watch the tables. Remember to check the red light during a pool tournament. If it is on, the table is not working and you find out quickly why these tables are so special. The tables are not level and as predictable as the ocean if the red light is on. Otherwise it is an unusual feeling playing on a table that is level but you move up and down. St. Thomas -- St. Thomas is a beautiful island and has shopping. We have not had the pleasure of shopping there even though this is our second visit. During the first visit we were on two shore excursions, as we knew there were things we wanted at St. Maarten. This time the Immigration rules have changed. Although the Radiance crew stated they were in the hands of the US Immigration officials, they share in the worst experience we have ever had on a RCCL ship. We got up extra early as we were told that US citizens would now have to go through immigration proceedings. This was not the case before. We had to be there early as we had an early shore excursion so we have time to enjoy shopping St Thomas. The day started when we arrived at the Windjammer for a continental breakfast as the main Windjammer restaurant was not open yet. The continental breakfast had only donuts with white icing. The had plenty of hot water, tea bags and sugar for my Wife's tea but nothing to stir it with. I was noting all this when I went for coffee. It is all I really needed. The coffee was out and it was going to take 15 minutes to brew more. As we were storming out the Windjammer opened 10 minutes early. We were able to dash in and eat before making it to a long line already formed for immigration. When the Immigration officials got there the line moved fairly quickly. Our sea-passes were marked and we told to go through the door to the outside deck. Once outside on deck 5 we followed the line, as there was no Radiance crew seen. The line led back to the Centrum where we clashed with the non-American guests who were trying to work their way through their own line. I reasoned we had to get to deck 2 to get off the ship and tried the elevators. Either they were not working or I could not see them because of the huge crowd that was gathering. My Wife found the first Radiance crew member standing in the middle of this huge gathering crowd. She was doing all she could but needed help in the worst way. She told us to get to deck 2. We took the stairs but instead of getting off the ship, we got in a line to get off the ship. After waiting awhile, I walked to the front of the line and a guest informed me that the ship had not been cleared for port. It is now 5 minutes from the time we were to meet for the shore excursion. The crowed quickly grew and the line snaked all the way to the crew's quarters and back, and then started backing up the stairs. There was no Radiance crew to let us know what was going on. When the gates opened it was pure bedlam getting off and the lines had been destroyed by the amount of people. We met our group almost an hour late, which meant the tour took an hour later so by the time we got back to the dock there was no time to shop. Now I understand that the Radiance could not do anything until Immigration cleared the ship. It is possible that the Radiance may have been responsible for the delay though. My main concern was for the lack of a coordinated effort to move these people where they needed to go. Had the Radiance saw fit to inform the people of the delay and the cause of the delay, people would not have been so frustrated. This is the worst thing I have ever been through because it showed a total lack of concern from the Radiance management for their guests. Entering and Leaving -- Boarding the ship was rather long but went without a hitch. Leaving the ship was an entirely different matter. We were assigned gray tags as our flight was leaving at 1:43. We were instructed to go to the Colony Club and wait for the color to be called. Problem is no announcements could be heard there. The speakers were not working. We moved to the Champagne Bar where we could hear. The colors were to be called in order but we heard red called. This concerned us as red were flights leaving at 3PM. Again, there was no communication by the Radiance. I asked one officer and was told gray must have been called as they always go in order. I went to where the line was forming and found another officer. He stated that was not the case. It had to do with when the carrousels were cleared and red's carrousel cleared before grays. Makes perfect sense but instead of having all these people upset, why not make a simple announcement. All the people around me were very upset wondering what had happened and were they forgotten. I told the officer about the speakers in the Colony Club and he sent a technician there. I spoke to an elderly lady while we were walking out and she was very upset. She said she saw the technician walk in and look around the walked out. Once off the ship the process was very smooth. Meet and Mingle -- The meet and mingle was great fun as this group started the thread in August 2004. We didn't get on the thread until March 2005. This group named themselves the ROS NUTZ and had planned multiple activities onboard. Most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Radiance participation in the M&M seemed lacking. The web site showed the M&M for Wednesday. The ship's schedule called for it on Tuesday catching a lot of people off guard. About twenty people were able to attend out of the 45 that signed up. Part of the reason was because of the switch. There was no Radiance officer present and although the Administrative Assistant's job is a hard one, we expected an Officer from the Radiance. It felt as though the Radiance crew went through the motions and left ASAP. The NUTZ provided their fun though so the time was not wasted. Summary -- The Radiance is a fine ship. The February refit should take care of her worn furniture and carpets, especially in the Windjammer. The crew is friendly and desires to make your stay onboard pleasing. Continuing with that, the Radiance singers and dancers worked really hard and put on a good show. The Celebrity Headliner although good should be a recognizable name. The Schooner entertainers need to play as background music. They are not good enough for anything else. The Radiance management needs to solve the problems with the immigration process and greatly improve their communication with their passengers. We booked on board this same ship through the Panama Canal. We are staying away from the suite and lowering our expectations of the ship and crew. If we are unable to do that we will reschedule that booking for a better ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
We had not cruised on RCCL for a while. We are extremely impressed. This is one of the most beautiful ships we've been on-- mid-size- elegant and glamorous but not too glitzy. The crew all spoke English extremely well- could not say ... Read More
We had not cruised on RCCL for a while. We are extremely impressed. This is one of the most beautiful ships we've been on-- mid-size- elegant and glamorous but not too glitzy. The crew all spoke English extremely well- could not say the same on HAL-- and the service we received was the best ever including HAL and Celebrity!!!!!. Entertainment was excellent- we actually went to every show and enjoyed them all. The age of the passengers was very varied which was good. The ship layout was well organized and was relatively easy to get from here to there. Only complaint was the elevators were sometimes too slow and you had to run from one end to the other to catch the arriving car. I especially liked the serving arrangement of the food upstairs in the buffet which has always been one of my pet peeves. Here they had different stations so you didn't have to wait on a long slow moving line wanting to get an item at the end of the buffet and not wanting to cut in ahead of other passengers. Here foods were arranged in pods or stations and you could walk right up and get what you needed. The quality and selection of food in the dining room was not as good as we've had on other ships and they were especially lacking in sugar free desserts- there was only 1 choice!! I had a problem with a very noisy neighbor in the adjoining cabin and customer service was very responsive and helpful. The only real complaint was over 300 passengers being kept herded into the gangway area for over 30 minutes with no explanations while the ship got clearance to dock in St. Thomas. We weren't supposed to have had to go through customs according to the ship's officers but due to some last minute regulations, we were forced to which is what caused the confusion. We all understood that, what we were angry about was being herded like cattle into the gangway area for over 30 minutes with no air, water, seats etc. AND NO EXPLANATION OR CREW MEMBER present to assist. It put a damper on our day. Otherwise, we had a wonderful time-- great fellow passengers-- greatest crew ever and a magnificent ship. We heartily recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
This was our second RCI cruise this year, and it reinforces my option that RCI offers the best mid-tier cruising option for the family. The ship was classy and well laid out, and offered everything for my entire group (kids and adults!). ... Read More
This was our second RCI cruise this year, and it reinforces my option that RCI offers the best mid-tier cruising option for the family. The ship was classy and well laid out, and offered everything for my entire group (kids and adults!). This ship was not designed to entirely serve the warm weather ports, so deck space for sunning can get a little competitive at times. Otherwise, we really liked her. We had a balcony cabin on deck nine aft, while the children (son 8, daughter 6) shared a cabin across the hall. We employed a set of baby monitors to keep in constant contact. We prefer that option to having them in an adjoining balcony cabin...cheaper and safer in our opinion. The food was consistently good in all areas and we tried just about every venue. I think the food on the Mariner of the Seas (we sailed in June) was just a bit better, but not by much. RCI has still delivered a better dining experience than the other mid-tier cruise lines we've experienced (Disney and NCL). One issue though is the availability of pizza and snacks at "fringe" times - late afternoon or late evening. It just isn't there. Oddly, too, the pizza station is parked in the adult solarium, which makes it difficult for kids to get the pizza they want throughout the day. We also ate at the added charge venue Portofino and it was an outstanding meal. The dining service was quite good and the staff was generally attentive throughout the ship. Our cabin steward was the best we have ever had on any ship. Nothing in this area disappointed. Our kids loved the club activities, although I still question the club closing twice a day for a couple of hours like they do. It makes it difficult to schedule the day. Staff was great though and our kids had a wonderful time. We took advantage of the putting green, climbing wall, pools, etc. All were just fine, although, again, it seems odd that the kids slide is open for 4 hours total during each day...what a waste of a ship's amenities to only be open for a short time each day. We did not go to any shows, but we did enjoy the lounges and casino. The spa and gym were also great. We had a great time overall...any cruise is better than no cruise at all! Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
I took the Thanksgiving cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. I went with my DH, DD, DS. We had connecting inside cabins on Deck 4. Embarkation- As we were going down the pier in Miami, I was able to see what the other cruise lines did as ... Read More
I took the Thanksgiving cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. I went with my DH, DD, DS. We had connecting inside cabins on Deck 4. Embarkation- As we were going down the pier in Miami, I was able to see what the other cruise lines did as far as embarkation. To say I was dismayed is an understatement. People were standing in line outside in 85 degree heat and their luggage was being abused like the gorilla commercials for Samsonite. We pulled up to the RCCL area and there was almost no one around. We immediately gave our luggage to the porter and they took care of everything else. We got there at 11:45 so I figured everyone was inside the building. From the curb to the Windjammer it took us 15 minutes. We literally walked at a consistent pace through the check in area and onto the ship. I was very relieved and impressed. Food- The Windjammer was our first eating opportunity and it was very good. A buffet meal but very good quality. The main dining room was very good also. We sat at an upper table for four and were served well by Ruati and Peter. Our favorite spot was the Seaview Cafe. The food was very good and the service excellent. It is kind of a hidden gem and we never had a bad meal. The kids also ate there frequently for lunch and loved it. We ordered room service 2 times and it was prompt and good. We tended to use this service on Port days so that we could get off quickly. We ate pizza in the Solarium once and it was OK, not up there with the best but I tried fruit pizza for the first time. We also ate once in the dining room for breakfast and had a very entertaining waiter. I tried Eggs Benedict for the first time and they were great!! Yum!! Adventure Ocean programs- Kids not very interested. Very few kids in the 12-14 age group for DD-7 I think. Really no one ever there. The 15-17 had many more but DS is really not a joiner. Note of caution the older kids talk and spend time trying to get drinks and cigarettes. Not all but some just keep an eye on your kids. There were 500 kids on board and I never saw any bad behavior. They kept an eye on them and made announcements reminding parents to watch their kids. That seemed to work well. Entertainment- We thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment on this ship. It was top notch-Don't miss the Piano Man- awesome and I am totally impressed with the quality of cast members and stage. They rival Broadway. We also went to Love and Marriage- hysterical, and Bingo in the Aurora Theater. Comfortable seating and fun atmosphere. We also enjoyed the Karaoke and the Quest game. The Cruise Critic Radiance Gobblers- That's our Meet and Mingle name- Participated and had a great time!!We also loved the Belly flop contest and all the music supplied in the Centrum and all around the ship. One night I was on Deck 7 and looked into the Centrum and this older couple were waltzing to the musician-piano I think- they were all by themselves in the area and they looked beautiful and graceful. Rooms- We had two connecting rooms right off the Centrum- very quite I hardly ever heard anything-I was really amazed. The rooms are larger than you picture them although I was glad that we only had two to a room. Any more really would get a little crowded. The rooms were in great shape and the showers aren't that bad. I used 4 clothes pins on the bottom and had no problem with shower curtain cling. Our attendants were invisible but very competent and Orlando did assist my husband with his ties...Thank Goodness. Ports- Very organized disembarkment and again RCCL couldn't have done it any better. Even immigration was quick and easy. I was always amazed how they could do this with such speed and efficiency. Anyway - Our tour in St. Thomas was wonderful. I found the tour guide in the ports of call area. St. Thomas has excellent quality in jewelry. The prices are very competitive- but the selling style is very aggressive. Not great for the browsers among us. Just say no politely though and they leave you alone. We loved our tour and Sapphire Beach is lovely. Good snorkeling. Easy re-entry onto the ship. Make sure you make your arrangements on island time- which can be one hour off during daylight savings time. St. Maarten was beautiful- again a private tour. Enjoyed the sights and history of the island. Very laid back especially compared to St. Thomas. The shopping experience was calm but I found the quality of the jewelry a little light in the gold department but bigger stones. I would return to this area for a land based vacation in a minute!! CocoCay- Was very well kept up and a nice place to unwind for the first day of the cruising. Even with touchy weather it was quite relaxing. Photography- There are so many options for different kinds of pictures. Make sure you try at least some of them. The Black and White was awesome. The photographers are very talented. It took us almost the whole cruise to get a keeper but we really had a hard time with our facial expressions. You have to go to the Schooner bar-say hi to Rada and Simon. They have a great piano player and great bands in the colony club. You have to play at least one game of pool on the self adjusting tables- Very neat!! Staff- The staff was kind, generous, and highly competent. We rarely received the miraculous treatment that some speak of, but we were treated very well and I have the utmost respect for the hard work and dedication that they all show every day. I never saw one glimmer of bad behavior- Note One of our group experienced something that I must mention. Please put your purchases away so that the cabin attendant does not think the bag is garbage. They will throw it out. It broke their hearts and put a damper on their last night. Believe it or not you may find yourselves alone in areas on this ship. With 2400 people onboard, we found ourselves all alone on many decks. On the helipad, and in the Solarium. It was really cool when it happened. I couldn't believe that with that many people aboard we really never stood in a long line or felt crowded except on the elevators. Sometimes you had to wait quite a bit. I solved that by walking the stairs. Two things that accomplishes, get there quicker and burning calories. When I got home I had gained one pound and I admit I didn't really restrain myself much. Try the sugar free desserts and they have a salad with crab salad in the Seaview that is yummy. Working out in the gym was great. I only got there one day but walked constantly. The rock wall was an experience. Especially for those afraid of heights. I was put on an intermediate -Brown grips- part and I almost made it to the top but the wall curves a little and you can't see the grips. At that point you have to look around and my knees started shaking and fear set in. Happens to everyone but worth the experience. Read your Compass and mark what you want to do. You can be as busy or not as you want!! Disembarkation- Packing always sucks but it helps to have a garbage bag on hand for packing dirty clothes. This process was also quick and orderly and I was totally amazed by their efficiency. Remember to count your bags. We left one there in the luggage are but RCCL kindly sent it UPS to our house. It only took about 4-5 days and was $18. They called right away on my cell phone number. Put this on your luggage instead of home number. There is no one at home. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
This was the most disappointing cruise of my life. The ship is , in my opinion, modestly decorated, which means lots of browns, tans, and pastel colors. Fixtures and specialty art was MILDLY interesting, but not worth looking at twice. ... Read More
This was the most disappointing cruise of my life. The ship is , in my opinion, modestly decorated, which means lots of browns, tans, and pastel colors. Fixtures and specialty art was MILDLY interesting, but not worth looking at twice. Kinda like being in a funeral home... not dirty, just not worth coming back to. By comparison, I feel Carnival ships are THRILLING to be a part of, with vibrant colors, exciting 'THINGS' to look at, and a general feeling of FUN. FOOD = VERY SAD !!! Without fail, the food in the dining room reminded me of eating at a CHEAP buffet. Presentation was not bad, but not great. Taste was un-definable, service was somewhere between slow and "hey, where is our waiter?" ROOMS = SMALL Short, skinny people with light luggage will be mostly comfortable. The rest may wish to choose another cruise line. The balcony is small, but probably all you need. Taking a shower is a real challenge for someone 6'2" and 230 lbs. (Showering Tip: Wash your hair before entering shower ...no room to lift your arms). I will say one thing [sort of] positive about the bathroom. The toilet is absolutely the most powerful one ever known to modern man. When flushing is is wise to stand back 'lest ye be sucked in. CASINO = RIP-OFF Blackjack players BEWARE. weird rules include, no doubling down on ANY split, Blackjacks pay 6-5 (instead of 3-2) and a few more odd-ball rules that DESTROY the players chances of recovery on a bad shoe. STAFF = So-So Dining room staff OK, but not great. I think it was because they have far too many tables to be effective. Cabin attendant was GREAT...maybe even spectacular! Trying to use the telephone from your cabin is somewhat like playing jeopardy. You ask something .. they give you an answer .... and it is your job (based on the answer) to figure out what the question was. This can go on as long as you are willing to play. Big language problem here! SHORE EXCURSIONS - Some of these ports (i.e. Haiti, Jamaica) are real safety issues for Americans, from a kidnapping level. Passengers should be made aware of this before booking an excursion that may become the MOST memorable of their life. We did not realize the true magnitude of the danger until AFTER we returned and read it in the Tampa Tribune in the first week of Dec 2005. SUMMARY - Yes, the ship was clean, but that is to be expected from any ship. Value is poor since other lines have better rates. Take your own food. Book your shore excursions at the dock for prices that can be 200% cheaper. Stay out of the Casino. HMM-m-m-m ... I guess what I am saying is PICK ANOTHER CRUISE LINE. I certainly will !! Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
A little background - I am 23 years old, a graduate student working on my Ph.D. My girlfriend (also 23) and I had been planning this cruise since Feb, 2005. We had cruised together on Majesty of the Seas in June of 2004, and had a ... Read More
A little background - I am 23 years old, a graduate student working on my Ph.D. My girlfriend (also 23) and I had been planning this cruise since Feb, 2005. We had cruised together on Majesty of the Seas in June of 2004, and had a fantastic time. We were attracted to this Radiance cruise primarily because of length of the cruise (our previous longest was 4 nights, this one was 7) and price (booked at $509 per person). We originally booked for a Category N interior stateroom on Deck 3, as it was the cheapest alternative and we are on a tight budget. However, our Travel Agent forgot to forward our initial deposit to Royal Caribbean, and the original reservation was cancelled. The Travel Agent had to rebook the cruise, but by that time there was no interior staterooms available, so we were upgraded (by the TA) free of charge to an Oceanview on Deck 3. Needless to say, we were shocked (SHOCKED!) to discover at the pier that Royal Caribbean had upgraded us AGAIN to a balcony stateroom. Speaking of the pier, we utilized Royal Caribbean's new SetSail Pass (online check-in), and had a near-instant embarkation. We arrived at the cruise terminal at 12:25 and we were on the ship eating lunch by 12:45. I personally did not experience it, but the shuttle bus that dropped us off at the pier passed by the Carnival cruise terminal, and the line was out the door. No lines with RC though. The stateroom was a tremendous upgrade to what we were used to (interiors). The room was quite spacious, the balcony was a decent size, and the bathroom was much bigger than those on Majesty. Also - PLENTY of storage space in the room. No visible wear to the room, and the balcony was in good shape (even better after routine maintenance to it during our cruise). The public spaces were gorgeous - LOVED the Solarium, which was pretty low-traffic the entire cruise. The theater was really cool to look at, and the shows were great (more on that later). The centrum was also beautiful, with lights dancing around at night, a great bar, and even dancing. Another can't-miss on this ship is the Colony Club. Stop by to play billiards, chess, trivia, or just to relax - it is another great space on this ship. A great place late at night for dancing and drinks is the Viking Crown Lounge/Starquest. The stars in the ceiling was a nice touch. The casino was larger than I was used to, and reminded me of Vegas. Everything seemed well maintained, often saw cleaning going on, and even saw some sections of carpet being replaced (and the old carpet didn't look that old!). None of the public spaces ever seemed to get too crowded, except maybe for the Colony Club during The Quest and the Captain's Reception. Oh, and if you want to stargaze, go out to the Helipad in the middle of the night - great view of the stars and hardly anybody out there. Dining - The food was consistently very good. Room service was prompt with breakfast, and the meal was warm upon arrival. The Windjammer had a good variety for breakfast and lunch - the omelet station was especially tasty and catered to virtually all requests (a fellow cruiser requested an omelet...with cream cheese!?!). Food in the dining room was especially tasty, with my personal favorite being the Thai chicken, Maryland crab cakes, and the tiramisu. Another great place for a late night snack is the Seaview Cafe - good desserts and a pretty decent Reuben sandwich! Another outstanding aspect of this ship is its fine crew. The service, from top to bottom, was never lacking. The Captain (Rune Looking) was a riot, and had a great sense of humor. Our cruise director, Marc Walker, was extremely energetic and could be found often throughout the ship, not just during showtimes. Guest Relations was helpful and answered questions promptly via phone. Our room steward, Vic from Costa Rica, did an excellent job and made great towel animals (and timely too - a stingray after our day at Stingray City). He would also get the door for me if my hands were full of food from the Windjammer. Our waiter, Alexander from India, was perfect. We got to know him quite a bit throughout our cruise, and his recommendations were always right on. My girlfriend asked him for his recommendation between two desserts, and he said "I'll take care of it." He came back with both desserts, and both were top notch. Another thing that amazed me about this cruise was the response I would get from the workers. A cleaner polishing the banister would say "Good Morning Sir". An assistant waiter pouring drinks at the Windjammer would always reply "It was my pleasure" after getting me hot water for tea. We caught the Captain wandering the Centrum and asked him to pose for a picture (not Captain's night). He said "Gladly" and "I hope you enjoy your vacation with us". In my opinion, top notch all the way. Fitness Center was great, and we were put through the ringer with a few of those aerobic classes. Do the aerobics and you will LOSE weight on the cruise, guaranteed! Between the two of us, we collected $19 ShipShape dollars throughout the cruise, and got a gym bag and a lanyard. The entertainment was good. Through our cruise, the dinner shows consisted of 2 production shows, 4 comedy shows, and The Coasters. All of these shows were good. The other entertainment was also outstanding - especially The Quest, Love and Marriage Game Show, and the Trivia Challenges. My only complaint about the entertainment would be that, with very few children on this cruise (we found this out from an Adventure Ocean staffer - there weren't too many), a few more "adult" shows would have been nice. None of the main shows entered into even PG-13 territory. A quick note on Shore Excursions: We purchased 2 excursions thru Royal Caribbean. The first was horseback riding in Jamaica - an outstanding experience. The guides were great, and the excursion was very much worthwhile. The second was the Tulum Mayan Ruins Express. This was a disappointment, though not really Royal Caribbean's fault. We understood that we would have to take a ferry to the mainland, and that during bad weather the ride is bumpy. However, we had GREAT weather the entire cruise, and the ferry ride to the mainland was still like a roller coaster. My girlfriend became seasick for the first time ever, and was joined by about 1/3 of the rest of the people on the ferry. If you even have the slightest notion of motion sickness, this excursion may not be for you. The bus rides were also long (again, we understood this going into it), but the amount of travel time was not worth the ruins. We were disappointed in the size of the ruins (smaller than expected), the fact we couldn't walk through them, only around them, and that beach access (which was advertised and we were prepared for) was closed. The bus driver also discarded one of our lunches that wasn't yet eaten (no explanation as to why was given), and the "Mayan Dancers" were quite rude (one walks around asking for tips/donations, BEFORE they had even done anything. I tried to explain that we were just passing through, and he cursed at me, in Spanish, under his breath. I have a good knowledge of Spanish, and told him, in Spanish, that he should watch his language around bilingual tourists.) Overall, I would recommend this tour once if you have never seen a Mayan ruin (if you don't get motion sickness), and even then I just barely recommend it. Otherwise, enjoy the island of Cozumel. To sum it up, the cruise was great, and really worth the price we paid. I think the cruise would have been a great value in our original Cat. N interior, but being upgraded TWICE to a balcony just made it even more worthwhile. We already have another reservation with Royal Caribbean for March, and we are looking to book another cruise on the one in March. Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
My wife and I found the Radiance of the Seas to be a NICE ship ...but NOT as nice as others. While certainly not shabby, it lacked brilliance and sparkle, which IS there on Carnival ships. It is nice in the way an older hotel is nice. ... Read More
My wife and I found the Radiance of the Seas to be a NICE ship ...but NOT as nice as others. While certainly not shabby, it lacked brilliance and sparkle, which IS there on Carnival ships. It is nice in the way an older hotel is nice. Subdued browns and tans. More tailored to the quiet, 60-70's age group ...not us, the wild and EXCITING 50s age group. (? ! ? ! ) FOOD: BLAH !!! Un-exciting. If you have stomach problems and cannot digest spicy, and seasoned food ....THIS IS YOUR SHIP !! In 7 days, leg of lamb showed up 3 times, RUBBER LOBSTER TAIL had one appearance. STEAK-SURPRISE, smothered with a whole lot of something-sauce happened twice. I did not have even one meal that I would say was REALLY good. They were all somewhere between Mildly Interesting and Not Bad! I will say that my Carnival food experiences were ALL very memorable. YEP ....every one !! And I a working class kinda guy that eats most of my meals in a hurry, so it's not like I am spoiled by a personal chef. Their food presentation was pretty good. CABIN ATTENDANT: Great ROOMS: small CASINO: If you are a blackjack gambler, find another ship! I do not know if this is a coming trend, and I hope not, but RCL does this..... * Split aces ...one card and NO double-down. * Split anything else ...no double-down. * BlackJack ..pays 6-5. These rules severely hurt the guest and drastically limit his/her ability to achieve the larger payoffs needed to survive a bad run of the cards. Very small table games area. Only ONE craps table, 2-3 regular Blackjack tables. One single-deck Blackjack table. I saw VERY little action in the casino, compared to other cruises. Not certain why, other than these types of rules. No real yelling and screaming going on here. It was kinda like being in the dining room ...rather quiet and un-memorable except for the losses. SHOPPING: My wife said the shopping was weak at best. I guess that must be true since she didn't buy much. She also said it was TOO expensive ... which surprises me, since I didn't know she paid attention to this concept. HMM-m-m ALL IN ALL ... I would ONLY go on RCL again if I won a trip, or if the deal was REALLY, REALLY cheap. I do plan to go on another trip soon back to Cozumel area, but I will most likely choose Carnival. I had ALL good experiences there ...AND ..their prices were much better!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2005
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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