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  #1  
Old December 19th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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silentbob007 silentbob007 is offline
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Default My review: Radiance of the Seas (12/11-12/16/10)

Hi everyone. This is my narrative/review of my recent cruise on Radiance of the Seas. For a sense of perspective, I’m a fairly frequent cruiser who has sailed exclusively Royal Caribbean as of late (though will be stepping on a Celebrity ship this week). I traveled with my parents, also experienced cruisers. We are all Diamond members, though this cruise pushes me to Diamond Plus (and we’ll see if that matters in a few weeks, perhaps). We were on the Radiance for 10 days in March, so we were fairly familiar with her and her layout. Please feel free to ask any questions and I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Travel

I hate day-of travel, but it was a requirement for this trip as all of my papers and projects were due the day before. This meant a 6 AM flight out of Indianapolis on 12/11 with a connection in Atlanta to Tampa. I now seem to live in fear of the flight cancellation with Delta, but chose them because I had many miles to use and, since I have their credit card, I don’t have to worry about baggage fees. As it turns out, the flights all went without a hitch and we actually arrived in both Atlanta and Tampa 20 minutes early. The only real complaint I have is that the 757 to Tampa was incredibly cramped with about the smallest aisle I’ve ever seen in my life. People could hardly move through it when loading, so I don’t want to imagine such a small aisle in any type of emergency situation.

Off the plane and with baggage collected, we headed for the seaport. This is a flat-rate taxi fare from the airport of $25. There were shared-ride options (SuperShuttle), but honestly, unless you are traveling alone, the taxi is the fastest and most economical route. We arrived at the port at about 11 AM and were greeted by one of those lovely porters who gleefully tells you that he is the last person you will see your bag with (I really wish these guys would just work instead of running their mouths for extra tips … if you want to impress me, do your job well, don’t threaten).

Check-in

Check-in at the Port of Tampa is on the second floor, which requires an escalator or elevator ride. Once on the second floor, there is a security checkpoint where they match your SetSail Pass and passport information. They really seemed to be taking their time at this point, so make sure your IDs match everything on your travel documents. After that, it is off to the metal detectors and baggage screening. I was asked to remove my iPad from my bag (not even required in airports) and quickly shuffled through the metal detector. Once clear of security, we entered the terminal proper and were asked to fill out the now-requisite health forms (checking for symptoms of norovirus). Paperwork finished, we were directed into the almost empty check-in lines.



Check-in was quick, and once over, we were directed past the super-special waiting area (Diamond Plus) to the special waiting area (Diamond) with a colored priority boarding tag. The waiting area had cookies and juice available, though our wait wasn’t more than 20 minutes or so as, at around 11:30, they began boarding with mostly unintelligible announcements over the PA in the terminal. There were four kiosks set up to take security photos before boarding, so the lines moved quickly and by 11:45, we were once again onboard Radiance.
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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  #2  
Old December 19th, 2010, 08:15 AM
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The Ship

Radiance of the Seas is approaching her 10th birthday and is soon due for a refurbishment. While she is for the most part a beautiful ship, the refurbishment is sorely needed, and not for Rita’s Cantina or a dedicated Diamond Lounge. The Radiance has a well-deserved reputation on this board for having plumbing problems and these are still present. While I did not hear horror stories of flooding on this cruise like I did in March, there were still hours of non-working toilets, brown water from the taps, and just a general sense that something about this ship needs more that patchwork repairs.

On the aesthetic side, there is always wear if you look for it, but the Radiance seems to be well-polished in most areas. The Solarium is still a beautiful place to relax, and the Colony Club in the back of the ship is a wonderful extra lounge. The glass elevators are impressive, especially the ones overlooking the ocean, though they are often over-crowded with long waits. The elevators in the front of the ship always seemed less used, though they are removed from most public areas except the spa, gym, and Solarium. The Viking Crown is only accessible from the central elevators and feels quite low over the ship (though it could just be such a different perspective coming off of the Majesty).

The Cabin

We booked 7094, which is the largest E1 balcony on the hump. In retrospect this was a bad decision for quite a few reasons. First of all, while this cabin is rated for 3, it has only a half-sofa instead of a full one. This means instead of folding out to the side, comes straight out, leaving absolutely zero area to walk past (such as to the bathroom) without either trying to take a huge step over the bed or stepping on the bed. Secondly, being the first cabin off the Centrum, it was fairly loud at night when there were any Centrum parties or performances. I supposed this wouldn’t be a big deal if you were a night-owl, but for anyone who goes to bed before 11-12, this would not be a desired location. Third, as this cabin is located on the dreaded 7th floor, we had several instances of plumbing problems including brown water and non-flushing toilets. On our last sea day, we were unable to use our toilet from 7 AM – 2 PM which seems very unacceptable to me. Finally, to top everything off, our bathroom floor had some sort of crack or broken seal, so it collected water beneath the floor after showers, from cleaning, etc. This water then bubbled back up to the surface when the floor was walked on, leaving the bathroom floor perpetually wet and adding a funky, distinctive odor of mold and cleanser to the entire area. All-in-all, I was fairly disgusted with this cabin, though on the positive side, it did have a huge balcony (which was usually too cold to be used for long).
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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  #3  
Old December 19th, 2010, 12:08 PM
Sammypoqa Sammypoqa is offline
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Default Weather

Leaving on Jan. 8.... how was the weather? Looks like Mexico is having below average temps. Should I bring my winter jacket so I can use our balcony?
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  #4  
Old December 19th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammypoqa View Post
Leaving on Jan. 8.... how was the weather? Looks like Mexico is having below average temps. Should I bring my winter jacket so I can use our balcony?
It was in the 60s for pretty much the entire trip ... hope you get warmer weather.
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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  #5  
Old December 19th, 2010, 01:23 PM
orville99 orville99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammypoqa View Post
Leaving on Jan. 8.... how was the weather? Looks like Mexico is having below average temps. Should I bring my winter jacket so I can use our balcony?
High today will be 87 in Chetumal (closest weather station to Costa Maya). 10-day forecast shows highs in the mid-80's, lows in the 60's with mostly sunny skies and a 10-20% chance of rain each day. Cozumel shows mid 70's; low 60's; 10-20% chance of rain. Water temps in the Yucatan basin show 82 degrees

Last edited by orville99; December 19th, 2010 at 01:26 PM.
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  #6  
Old December 19th, 2010, 03:39 PM
M&M Hayden M&M Hayden is offline
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Default I was on with you!

You weren't one of the MANY doing b2b sailings?? We sailed the prior cruise also (got on board 12/6). We flew down day of and are too scared of DELTA doing something, but we don't have their credit card and refuse to pay an annual fee to use a credit card.

Did we meet you in the "overflow" concierge lounge up on 13 (where we were delightfully and expertly served by Sebastio!)??
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Old December 19th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Food Options

The Radiance offers quite a few food venues, though few of them are ever open on one time. The main dining room (MDR) is a two-story space on Decks 4 and 5 with My Time Dining taking up one side of the 5th deck. The Windjammer (WJ) is the buffet restaurant on the back of the 11th deck with both indoor and outdoor seating options. The SeaView Café is located at the back of the ship (above the WJ) on Deck 12 and was generally open afternoons offering sandwich and fried food options. The Solarium Café is located more towards the front of the ship on Deck 11 and is the late night/early morning food venue. Finally, there are also several pay food options, including Chops (steakhouse), Portofino (Italian), and Café Lattetudes (specialty coffee shop).

As for the free venues, the MDR seemed to offer the best ,most consistent food options. The breakfast menu felt a little more limited than in the past, though eggs benedict was available for order off-menu. The chocolate breakfast was on the last sea day and turned out to be fairly humdrum … the chocolate croissant was tasty, but the “chocolate milkshake” turned out to be “chocolate milk.” This has been wildly inconsistent every time I have ordered it. The first time on Majesty, the milkshake was think, rich, and extremely chocolaty. The second time on Majesty, it was a scoop of chocolate ice cream floating in the middle of a glass of milk. This time on Radiance … no ice cream at all. Dinner was a bit more consistent, though meat seemed to be served a bit more rare than ordered. Desserts continue to see improvement in the dining room which is something I’ve been putting on my comment cards for years. Lobster was served on the last night as part of the fisherman’s platter, though I was able to order a tail with my prime rib without the extra dish. The MDR was open for lunch on both sea days and offers a different menu each day as well as a made-to-order salad bar with a nice selection of fixings.

I only ate a few times in the WJ, but the food seemed to be fairly standard fare. Split into stations, the food is nicely divided, though the stations with no clear direction of travel are a pain of if the buffet is crowded. There are quite a few standard stations offered for lunch/dinner including a carvery, Asian flavors, salad bar, pasta bar, hotdogs, pizza, soups, sandwiches, and desserts. I thought that the quality of the food in the WJ was decent with some hits and misses in terms of freshness and the fight against blandness. The WJ was crowded for breakfast on the last day, as expected, but there was still a decent selection of eggs, meats, cereals, and fruits.

We ate at the SeaView Café for lunch on the first sea day. The menu includes sandwiches (Cuban, reuben, etc), side items (fries, onion rings, chicken wings), and other entrees (grouper ceasar, fish and chips, Nathan’s hot dog) as well as dessert options. People seemed to “discover” this venue as the cruise went on, though it was already decently full on the first day. Orders are placed at the podium, a number is taken, and then it is served either at seating in the restaurant or outside (to go also available with a lid). This was fairly standard, mostly fried fare, but it is basically made-to-order and is served fresh, so it’s worth checking out, especially while it still exists without a cover charge.
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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Old December 19th, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&M Hayden View Post
You weren't one of the MANY doing b2b sailings?? We sailed the prior cruise also (got on board 12/6). We flew down day of and are too scared of DELTA doing something, but we don't have their credit card and refuse to pay an annual fee to use a credit card.

Did we meet you in the "overflow" concierge lounge up on 13 (where we were delightfully and expertly served by Sebastio!)??
No B2B for me ... it was a quick get-away during the start of finals week for me. Unfortunately I wasn't D+ on this cruise, so it was the large room across the hall for me with very little service. We might have seen each other waiting for an elevator, though ....

I agree about the annual fee thing, but it is made up with 1 or 2 trips on the bag fees (even before the companion ticket) and I hate the perpetual death match taking a roller-board on a plane has become. Delta card has actually been good to me ... no bag fees, doubled miles on my Australia trip, a flat $100 coupon, etc.
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses

Last edited by silentbob007; December 19th, 2010 at 04:34 PM.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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Ports

First off, I’ll admit that I have been to these ports many times, so my enthusiasm for them was less than huge. Also, our cruise occurred during a cold snap which definitely colored the proceedings.

Cozumel

I don’t know how many times I’ve been to Cozumel, but I’m guessing it would take a few toes to add it up. With that in mind, on my last visit, I had gone to Nachi Cocum and had a great time, so I figured I’d head there again and show the place to my parents. I made reservations ahead of time, secured with a credit card.

Upon arrival in Cozumel, the high was listed at about 70, and it was very windy. This changed our plans a bit for the day, and while we took swim attire, we didn’t wear it and ended up not using it. We grabbed a $15 cab to Nachi Cocum, which is an beach resort probably about 5 miles down the beach from the cruise port. Upon arrival, we were greeted, had our picture taken, and paid for our day, which was $49/pp in cash. Once paid, we were given wrist bands and taken by our waiter to the beach where our private spot was waiting. There were probably about 10 people already on the beach, most bundled up and staring at the water. This was how we spend most of our day … on the beach, looking at the ocean, and enjoying the food/drink and sea air. As for whether or not I would recommend the resort, I would definitely say yes. I had a great day, even without being able to swim. There is a maintained beach, shade, pool, hot tub (not very hot), swim up bar, fairly clean restrooms, and a dining area. The fee includes unlimited drinks (blender, mixed, soda, bottled water, beer) as well as a made-to-order meal including choice of appetizer, soup/salad, entrée, and dessert. I had pina coladas in my hand for most of the day, along with water, until I switched to Coronas (no Dos Equis). My mom enjoyed mudslides while my dad drank Miami Vices. There were also quite a few tequila shots in there as well. The drinks were tasty and well made. Nothing was super-premium, but it didn’t seem to be gut-rot stuff either. The food was also quite enjoyable, and everything we sampled was very tasty including guacamole, nachos, taquitos, enchiladas, fajitas, cheesecake, and flan. Better yet, the food and drinks brought no “revenge” issues, for which I was extremely grateful. We were well taken care of (I gave a tip to our waiter at the end of the day) and made the most out of a windy, almost chilly day. When we were ready to leave, a cab was called, and it was another $15 trip back to the ship.

Costa Maya


Costa Maya has been built up since I last visited, which fairly amazing since I know a hurricane had hit it in between. There is a fairly long pier here, though a slow tram operates if you can’t walk the distance. Once in the shopping area, there’s very little that’s unique … bars, trinket, and jewelry stores. We bought a pin at the Hard Rock Café shop there, but there seemed to be little else of interest to me. There is a fixed-price ride to the local town available, but after our time in Cozumel, having no real purpose, and having visited the town in the past, we mostly made this day a “ship” day.
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Brilliance of the Seas - 4/2014, Carnival Legend - 5/2013, Celebrity Solstice - 5/2013, Celebrity Eclipse - 12/2012, Allure of the Seas - 7/2012, Serenade of the Seas - 5/2012, Voyager of the Seas - 12/2011, Liberty of the Seas - 12/2011, Freedom of the Seas - 10/2011, Oasis of the Seas - 5/2011, Celebrity Eclipse - 3/2011, Celebrity Millennium - 12/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas - 12/2010, Majesty of the Seas B2B 11/2010, Radiance of the Seas - 3/2010, Rhapsody of the Seas - 12/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 8/2009, Mariner of the Seas - 5/2009, Navigator of the Seas - 2/2009, Jewel of the Seas - 12/2008, Navigator of the Seas - 11/2008, Majesty of the Seas - 9/2008, Explorer of the Seas - 7/2008, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2008, Grandeur of the Seas - 3/2008, Brilliance of the Seas - 12/2007, Carnival Glory - 6/2007, Monarch of the Seas - 5/2007, Voyager of the Seas - 3/2007, Grandeur of the Seas - 12/2006, Carnival Miracle - 9/2006, Carnival Valor - 12/2005, Carnival Glory - 3/2005, Carnival Glory - 7/2003, Sovereign of the Seas - 7/2000, CCL Sensation - 12/1999, CCL Ecstasy - 12/1997, NCL ?? - 6/1996, Hawaiian American Independence - 1992, Premier Atlantic - 1991


Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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Old December 19th, 2010, 05:12 PM
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great job
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Independence of the Seas Mar 29, 2014, Allure of the Seas Nov 17 2013, Oasis of the Seas May 25 2013, Liberty of the Seas Nov 25 2012, Liberty of the Seas Nov 29 2012, Liberty of the Seas March 2012, Carnival Freedom Sept 2011, Majesty of the Seas Jan 2011, Mariner of the Seas May 2010, Carnival Fantasy September 2009, Majesty of the Seas March 2009, Freedom of the seas May 2008, Carnival Triumph July 2007, Majesty of the seas July 2006, Explorer of the Seas May 2005, Carnival Destiny April 2002, Sovereign of the seas July 2001, Monarch of the seas January 1999, Sovereign of the seas Feb 1998, Viking Serenade April 1997, Big Red Boat June 1996, Song of America October 1995

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Old December 19th, 2010, 06:26 PM
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I'm enjoying your review silentbob! I like your frank, honest style of writing. We are thinking of cruising a Radiance in 2012, Alaska, b2b Honolulu and then b2b Sydney. Hope all the plumbing problems are sorted by then!

We are trying Celebrity next April/May.

Say hi to your Dad for us. We enjoyed sailing with you last Christmas/New Year. Merry Christmas from downunder!
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Making the most of each day,
Susie and Lance

Brilliance of the seas - TA Miami to Barcelona 04/2007 (13 nights) b2b with Brilliance of the Seas - Mediterranean 04/2007 (14 nights), Legend of the Seas - Eastern Med - Greece and Egypt 04/2008 (12 nights), Rhapsody of the Seas - Sydney to Honolulu 04/2009 (16 nights), Rhapsody of the Seas - Sydney to NZ - Christmas/New Year 12/2009 (17 nights), Jewel of the Seas - Caribbean - Panama - 03/2010 (10 nights) b2b with Jewel of the Seas - C&A Members cruise - Ultimate Caribbean - Panama - 04/2010 (11nights), Oasis of the Seas - Caribbean - 04/2010 (7 nights), Constellation - Southern Caribbean - 04/2011 (14 nights), b2b with Constellation - TA - FLL to Amsterdam - 05/2011 (15 nights) b2b with Constellation - Baltic - 05/2011 (12 nights), Sun Princess - South Pacific - 01/2012 (12 nights), Viking China and Tibet tour with Yangtze cruise - 04 /2012 (15 nights), Solstice - Australia and NZ - 01/2013 (12 nights) Radiance of the Seas - South Pacific 01/2014 (8 nights) b2b Radiance of the Seas - Eastern Australia 01/2014(8 nights)

So far - 185 wonderful nights on the high seas!

Coming up
Radiance of the Seas - Alaska 08/2014 (7 nights)
Millennium - Vancouver to Tokyo 09/2014 (16 nights) b2b Millennium - Tokyo to Shanghai 09/2014 - (14 nights)
Oasis of the Seas - Eastern Caribbean 09/2015 (7 nights) b2b Oasis of the Seas - Western Caribbean 09/2015 (7 nights)
Serenade of the Seas - Snowbird Migration - Quebec to Fort Lauderdale 10/2015 (14 nights)
Legend of the Seas - Brisbane to Hong Kong - 04/2016 (18 nights)

Last edited by susie2shoes; December 19th, 2010 at 06:27 PM.
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  #12  
Old December 19th, 2010, 08:53 PM
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I'm enjoying your review silentbob! I like your frank, honest style of writing. We are thinking of cruising a Radiance in 2012, Alaska, b2b Honolulu and then b2b Sydney. Hope all the plumbing problems are sorted by then!

We are trying Celebrity next April/May.

Say hi to your Dad for us. We enjoyed sailing with you last Christmas/New Year. Merry Christmas from downunder!
Thanks Susie ... hard to believe it's been a year already. My dad and I discussed Radiance in Australia and were thinking she would go over really well ... as long as the toilets work. We were looking at one of the repositions on her to Hawaii with stops in Fiji, etc.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 09:13 PM
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Thanks Susie ... hard to believe it's been a year already. My dad and I discussed Radiance in Australia and were thinking she would go over really well ... as long as the toilets work. We were looking at one of the repositions on her to Hawaii with stops in Fiji, etc.

I'm sure that you know that the Radiance is going into dry dock, as well as wet dock for her refurbishment, before she starts the Alaska run.

Maintence onboard has been running new lines for sewage for about the past year.

We were onboard for a December 2nd cruise, on deck 10 in a GS, and the GS next to us flooded on the next to the last night, and I could hear the plumbers at 2 AM......talking about the problem till about 3 AM when they had it under control.

I was up once during that time.......and our system flushed as normal.

Being too tired to look out into the hallway at such an early hour, I went back to bed.

The next morning, when we left the cabin, there were giant fans trying to dry the floor.

I feel strongly that the Radiance will have the plumbing problem fixed before she heads to Alaska this spring.

Rick
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Old December 19th, 2010, 09:29 PM
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Always enjoy your reviews, silentBob. Keep it coming!
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Old December 19th, 2010, 09:41 PM
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I'm sure that you know that the Radiance is going into dry dock, as well as wet dock for her refurbishment, before she starts the Alaska run.
Hopefully in dry dock they'll fix what they haven't seemed to be able to in the last year during normal operation. My dad is currently calling it the "cursed" ship though would sail on her again if things could get straitened out.
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Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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Old December 20th, 2010, 12:13 AM
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Hopefully in dry dock they'll fix what they haven't seemed to be able to in the last year during normal operation. My dad is currently calling it the "cursed" ship though would sail on her again if things could get straitened out.

I actually feel the same way as your dad. I might sail Radiance again if the problems get fixed. But at this point, I wouldn't chance the plumbing issues having already had "fun" with them once.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 08:12 AM
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Diamond Celebration

As this cruise took place during the Diamonds in December celebration, there were understandably quite a few Diamond and Diamond Plus C&A members onboard. Some were doing B2B, while others were in the middle of a B2B2B. Obviously the cheap rates and short cruises made the Radiance an attractive option for racking up C&A points (and I can’t exclude myself here). The numbers were so large, in fact, that for the nightly Diamond events, the Hollywood Odyssey was reserved as the overflow concierge lounge (D+ only) while the rest of the Viking Crown (Starquest Lounge) was reserved for the wine, champagne, and soda Diamond Event. Both of these venues seemed fairly full each night (up to early seating at least).

The C&A Diamond gifts for this cruise coincided with that has been offered on other ships. Diamond Celebration pins and magnets were waiting for us in our stateroom along with a letter asking us to wear the pins to Diamond Events. Later in the cruise we received the cream-colored Royal Caribbean tote and after that it was the metal water bottle. At least in my opinion, these items were a little nicer than what was offered last year.

I don’t want to sound like a jaded old complainer, railing about what I’m owed, but there were a few service issued I’d like to address.

Now, while the overall service on this cruise was great, I sometimes got the opinion that the number of Diamonds was overwhelming to the staff. At the Diamond Event, wine was pre-poured and left on a table while a single waiter occasionally circulated. The wine was much more limited than what was on other ships (just white/red, no choice of pinot, white zin, etc) and the lack of servers meant that I could get one soda a night or two if I were lucky. I understand that the pre-pouring seemed more efficient, but not only did it just leave the drinks sitting out, but it also felt extremely impersonal. I have had such great interactions with servers in the lounge over the past year that this bothered me a bit.

Quite a few people also made use of the Diamond breakfast area in the dining room and, on several days, this area was a disaster. The person in charge (David) was trying his best to keep things moving and we appreciated his effort, but he was having to serve himself and he couldn’t work the entire side of the dining room. On our first morning, we waited 15 minutes before our food order was even taken (in the mean time, several people stormed out because it took more than 3 minutes to receive their coffee order). After the order was taken, it was another 20 minutes before the food was served … it was just way too long for breakfast. We decided to give it one more shot, and the next day David had everything running smoothly. Then two days later, again we were sitting there waiting, holding our menus while all of the waiters appeared to be in another section and ignoring us. This service was just baffling, especially since it was a highlight on the ship in March where the waiters were the same every day, knew our orders by the second day, and were so efficient you could be finished in 20 minutes if you wanted to be. I appreciate the thought behind the breakfast. I appreciate the specialty coffees (though I’d rather just use the machine in the concierge lounge as at least it doesn’t take 15 minutes to arrive). However, if the service slips well below what I’d expect at any meal, it is a problem. We told David our concerns and, as I said, he was working hard and was very apologetic, but there just seemed to be something wrong with that team for our particular cruise.
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Chris's guide for budget travel - Made for conferences (may make a cruise version some time) but airline, shuttle, Priceline, and Hotwire tips should remain the same

Pictures - From various cruises including Allure of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas, Serenade of the Seas (Western Med), Celebrity Eclipse, etc Now shooting a Pentax DSLR with Sigma 24-135 and 70-300 lenses
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Old December 20th, 2010, 01:46 PM
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Default Most Aspects of Radiance Need Refurbishing

I agree, having just arrived back from Radiance today on a 5-day cruise to Cozumel, it's time for the ship, and the staff, to be refurbished. While I enjoyed myself, it didn't rank as high as my other RCCL cruises ... I'd have to give it a 6 or 7 out of 10.
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Old December 20th, 2010, 02:43 PM
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Thanks for the review silentbob
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Old December 20th, 2010, 03:02 PM
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It's funny, this ship always ranks a 10 for me. The only problem we had on the 16th sailing was my D+ amenity wasn't delivered because someone put a conflict of 3 items into the system. Finally after trying to straighten it out myself, I thought to tell Juan Diego about it at 7pm last night. He got right on it. We went to the show and dinner and the photo album was in my room when we returned at 11pm.

I saw no signs of water trouble but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. I did see that the serious leak and damage on the deck 10 ceiling that occurred over Halloween was completely repaired and refinished and it looked like new again.

Speaking of water trouble..it happens on all ships. I saw fans drying floors all over Mariner in Sept. I saw an entire section of Adventure's windjammer roped off since the kids pool above had a pipe burst making a water fall into the WJ. And I really found it amusing to watch the youtube video of the flood on Oasis. I had brown water often on Serenade in August.

So far, I still think RD has the best farewell show of them all. I've never seen so many crew and officers pile on to one stage which makes for a lot of excitement. The Captain didn't even show up on Adventure after the TA. Everyone is pretty excited about Capt. Sindre being the new permanent Capt. on the ship rotating with Capt. Claus. I guess I think this ship has the total package (in my eyes). Even the new and improved matre di retuned on the 16th. I didn't recognize him. He's in top form in body and spirit.

Gina

Last edited by mommabean; December 20th, 2010 at 03:04 PM.
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