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PTarbay

Just Back From The Radiance Any Questions?

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I am just back from the Radiance of the Seas Western Caribbean January 9th sailing.I will post a review in a couple days when I catch up with things here.In the meantime does anyone have any questions?

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INPO (In no particular order.)

 

Was there smoked salmon on the Windjammer breakfast buffet (every day??)

What is served at the Seaview Cafe? Hours?

Is there a midnight buffet served each evening? Where? or just a Gala buffet and "gourmet bites" other evenings?

Is the hair dryer permanently attached in the bathroom. Is it adequate?

Where is the safe? Does it work with a credit card stripe, or set your own code?

Is there a mini fridge? Is there any room for your own beverages, or do you have to empty it?

What was the Champagne Bar like? Do they serve martinis there too?

Is there a piano bar? hours?

Do Chops & Portofino book up early or were same day reservations available?

What was the availablity of lounge chairs around the pool? How about one deck up?

 

I'm sailing Radiance in the fall -- first time on RCCL -- have done several Celebrity cruises, so just wondering where there might be similarities.

 

Looking forward to your review. How was the dining room food? Thanks for taking the time to answer.

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I only ate in the Windjammer for breakfast a couple times.I usually ordered an omelette from room service.I don't eat much fish so I didn't notice salmon but it may have been there,I'm not sure.I know it is on the diningroom menu as an alternative selection each night and cooked different ways on the main menu a couple of nights.From what I remember the Seaview Cafe served freshly cooked burgers,fries,reubens,chicken fingers,Nathans hot dogs,salad with grouper,chicken caesar salad,andonion rings fries.They had clam chowder served in a bread bowl and a soup of the day,a brownie sundae and soup of the day.They had iced tea,lemonade and water also.They had Ben and Jerrys ice cream,milkshakes,mixed drinks,soda and beer for an extra charge.I didn't care for the milkshakes.They were more like a smoothie and mixed with ice.I liked eating lunch there better than the Windjammer because the food is freshly cooked rather than sitting in the metal trays.It is open in the afternoon then closes for a while then open again late night until 1 or 2.There was a Caribbean buffet around the pool one night and a gala buffet one night and the snacks the other nights.There is a plug in hair dryer sitting on the vanity.It was 1200 watts.I brought my own because it is 1875 watts.The safe is in a cabinet above the TV.You set your own 3 digit code.There is a mini fridge in the cabinet below the TV.There is a small area to put something but not much.It holds below that area 6 cans of soda and 2 bottles of bottled water.It didn't have a sensor.Your cabin steward will be happy to remove what's in it so you can use it.There is also a small shelf on the door you can use.The champagne bar is just off the atrium on either deck 5 or 6 near.It is open so you can see into it.It has pretty decorative panels on the outside.I had champagne there but I don't remember if they had martinis.There was a very good piano player in the Schooner bar.There was also a piano in the Centrum at times.I booked Chops the first day.It was very good.It wasn't full when I was there and the ship was full.I was there Wednesday which was Caribbean night.We didn't try Portofino's.We were going to go to the Murdery Mystery there but had already booked Chops for that night.There was still room available the day before.We had no problem getting chairs at the pool even on sea days.A couple days it was a little cool so that may have influenced it.It isn't on par with Celebrity but overall the diningroom food was pretty good and the service was great.The waiter told me it was a new menu and the food is better.The Windjammer has a pretty good buffet too.Very good omelettes cooked to order.We had a D1 cabin on the hump so other cabins may be slightly different.My daughter had an inside cabin near us but the mini bar,safe and hair dryer were the same.I'm not sure if the time of year changes anything but our ship was full.It is a beautiful ship.One side is a wall of glass and you can see the ocean from everywhere.If you have any other questions let me know.

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Ptarbay,

 

Welcome home to below zero weather in Syracuse! I'll be interested in your answers and review because we're on the Brilliance in a month and they're so similar!

 

Those made to order omelettes are the best!! As is the Seaview Cafe!

 

We always try to get away from the winter weather here...It is tough to come back to this weather but you've got some great memories to get thru til Spring!

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Kathy,

I see we're practically neighbors.I didn't miss this weather.As I'm writing this I see all the schools have a 2 hour delay.My sister told me when we were gone it went up to 68 and 2 days later down to 17.You will love the Radiance class of ships.I've cruised several times but this was my first time on RCI and we loved this ship so much we already booked it again for next January.

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BRU5,

No it didn't stop in Coco Cay it stops in Labadee.It's a beautiful island.4 or 5 different beachesand lots of things to do.

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What ports did you go to and how was the weather? Was it cold when you went outside on the ship at night?

 

BIG QUESTION...Did the ship change to port time? How does that work?

 

At which pier did you dock in Cozumel?

 

It's really great to get input from someone with RECENT experience w/Radiance.

 

Thanks so much....Donna

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PTARBAY, Was the snorkling any good at Labadee? I've scheduled a couple snorkle excursions but was hoping to get one last day in at Labadee w/o an excursion!

 

We sailed the Brilliance two years ago when it was brand new and loved it so we're looking forward to being on it again...

 

I'll be looking for your review! You're right we are almost neighbors...I ran across your posts right before you left on this cruise. Thanks for the info!!

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We went to Labadee,Grand Cayman,Ocho Rios and Cozumel.Most of the time the weather was pretty good.At night it got pretty windy and pretty cold a few times.The last day at sea it was cold and windy.Very few people at the pool.Pool games were cancelled and so was the rock climbing wall.We had good weather while at the ports.Miami was very cold and rainy when we docked.We docked at the International Pier in Cozumel.A cab ride to town was $6.00 per cab for up to 4 people each way.On the way back to the ship took a van taxi with 6 of us and it was $14.00.There was a detour because the main road was torn up for construction.The only time we changed to port time was in Cozumel.The ships clocks are turned back at 2 a.m. that morning and then back at midnight that night.All activities that day are on port time and so are the ships clocks.I am not positive but told at different times of the year you also have to change the times in Grand Cayman.I didn't snorkel in Labadee so I don't really know how it was but the people I talked to said it wasn't that great.I think the best snorkeling on the Western cruises is definitely in Grand Cayman.

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Did you charge tips to your onboard account?

How did it work?

Do you get something to give to the people whom you want to tip?

Thanks, Andy

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I see that most of your questions were answered, but one that wasnt is the smoked salmon. They have it every day in the buffet in the windjammer, as well as made to order omlettes with smoked salmon. It was delicious.

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you get a form to fill out in your room if you want to charge tips to your seapass account. If you chose to, it is $68 per person. Then on the last day you get four vouchers, one for your head waitor, waitor, assistant waitor, and stateroom attendant. You can also give extra if you like.

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In reply to your Coco Cay question: We did the Eastern itinerary and were scheduled to go to Coco Cay. The weather did not cooperate with our plans, so Coco Cay was cancelled and we went to San Juan the following day instead.

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I used vouchers for my daughter and her friend and cash for my husband and myself.As Cmore said you only get the 4 vouchers.We gave seperate cash tips to others such as the waiters from the Windjammer and Sea View Cafe that took good care of us all week.

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Ptarbay: What room were you in? And when you say one side is glass,

does that mean the other side is partially obstructed? Also, what time did

they allow you to board?

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I was in 9580.It is category D1 on deck 9 and the second cabin in on the hump.The wall of glass is on the port side of the ship in the middle not in the rooms.Most ships have walls with windows.This ship had a huge wall of glass from the top deck to the very low ones.Even when you were on the elevators you could see the ocean.The view was incredible.On the balcony the outside wall is tinted glass that you can see thropugh also.

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Did you notice any wear and tear in the halls or your cabin??? I am sailing Radiance in March 05.

thanks scoop

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Also, what time did

they allow you to board?

We were also on this cruise. We arrived at the port around 11:30AM on 01/09 and walked straight up to the registration counter then aboard. There were absolutely no lineups at that time.

 

Gil

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The ship was in great condition.I didn't notice any real wear or tear.We boarded about 12:15 and no wait at all.

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Thanks!!, just wondered because when we were on Voyager in june of 2003 we noticed alot in the halls and cabin and some funky smell down the hall from us on deck9 aft. deck 10 aft this time!!. Can't wait!!

scoop

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Oops. Misread your post and thought you were talking about the Radiance, Scoop! Never mind...

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I've cruised several times but this was my first time on RCI and we loved this ship so much we already booked it again for next January.

 

Glad you enjoyed this ship and your cruise. Would you tell me what other ships you are comparing this one too? Thanks.

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I'm trying to remember all the ships.the very fist one was Premier Oceanic years ago and the others are Grand Princess,Norwegian Sky,Carnival Inspiration,Imagination,Ecstasy,Triumph and Disney Wonder.

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We're getting ready to book a room on the Radiance. Is there any better side to book (right or left) for islands view ect..?

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We were on the cruise together with PTarbay and Anniversary Cruisers (hi everybody), and we loved it just as much.

Here are few info (INPO) that we are now proud to share, as this was our first-time cruise, and till now, we were always looking for suggestions and recommendations:

Our cabin (#3556) on the 3rd deck was right in the middle of the ship, on the right hand side, facing forward. It had a great view of Cuba's coastline, and at the times we were so close that we could see highrise buildings (hotels ?) in the distance. Also, we had a beautiful view of Haiti (Labadee).

Sea View cafe was great, and in the evening, or more like at night, we would go there for a snack. There were 2 very nice servers - Rakeesh from Trinnidad, and Jose from Portugal.

Smoked salmon available for breakfast daily at the Windjamer. Oh yaaa...

We ate at Chops on Tuesday night. I made a reservation for 6:00 pm on the first day, but it was not full (althou got busier when we were leaving). Food and service was excellent (not that it was not anywhere else), and had a nice, more intimate atmosphere. Our servers were again fantastic (Christopher from Hungry, and Jana from Slovakia).

We did not snorkel in Labadee, but I also heard that it was not very good. On the other hand, snorkeling in Grand Cayman along with Sting Ray City is a MUST. Do not book via RC as the cost is more then doubble, and they take close to 100 people. We went with Soto's Cruises: $30.00 pp (cash or Trav. Cheques only as some lines are down and they are not able to accept credit cards), 16 people on the boat including our family. If you forget your own underwater camera, there is a photographer on the boat, and she takes pictures. On the way back you can view them, and if you like them, you can purchase whatever you want (here they will take your credit card number, give you a receipt, and will send a CD with the photos to your home address). I bought 25 photos for $70.00, just could not resist as they were very, very good.

Cozumel is also excellent for snorkeling, but we did not do it this time, as we were there only a year ago, and we snorkeled at that time. I would recommend to go to Nachi Cocom beach ($13.00 taxi for 4 from the pier, $20.00 from the beach to town, and $6.00 from town back to pier) as it is much less crowded and just as beautiful as others. It is free to enter, has plenty of palapas, beach chairs, pool with swim-up bar, open air restaurant (4 of us ate plentyfull lunch for $40.00 including tip). Also for a fee you can go parasailing, sea-doo running, etc.

Based on other people recommendations we gave extra tips and calling cards to our stewart, waiter and waiter's assistant. We also gave few $$$ to some guys at Windjamer and Sea View cafe to show them that we truly appreciated their efforts. Before we went on the cruise, I bought "Thank-you" cards, and used them at the end. I must say, all of the workers on the ship deserve gratitudes as they work like none of us.

Our room had limted space (outside cabin for 4), but we managed. Beside shelves on top of TV cabinet, and drawers on both sides of the desk, there were mini shelves on both sides of the mirror (covered) above the desk. Also in the washroom there is a small shelf under the sink, and medicine cabinet. In the shower, there is a clothes line. The main closet had one long shelf on top, and 5-6 on the side.

Overall, we had a great time. Weather was fine, sure beats -40C, and like someone said: "bad day on the cruise is better than good day at work".

Anyone going on Radiance, you will enjoy it. Even my teenage sons did not want to leave. I wish I could do it again,

Dorota.

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Hi Dorota I'm glad you enjoyed the cruise.I saw the boys a few times around the ship and they looked like they were having a great time too.

KCDan,

I was on the starboard side the same of Dorota.I brought along binoculars and sat on my balcony with them for great views of Cuba and Labadee.We also sat out there and watched people boarding the ship.You always have a great view of the other ships docked along side of you.If you want views of Grand Cayman,Cozumel and Ocho Rios you want to be on the port side.

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Hi PTarbay,

yes we loved the cruise, and boys had a great time. They both won backpacks and CD holders for participation in the Teen program. I am happy for you that you already booked another cruise, and I only wish I will do same one day. Are you going on Western again, or will you try Eastern route ? I will be waiting to read your review next year. Have fun, Dorota.

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