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rachel_f99

Review - Radiance 2/13/05

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Here is my review of a fabulous trip! Hope you enjoy it!

 

We left from Los Angeles on Saturday, Feb 12th. We boarded our plane late thanks to my mother driving like a snail, LOL. It was an uneventful flight (we were in first class and it was very nice to nap in). We arrived in Miami, our luggage and our traveling companions' luggage were the first ones off the plane. We then proceeded outside to wait for the shuttle to the Crowne Plaza Miami Airport. And we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, about 30 minutes later, it arrives. The shuttle is standing room only, and there is nothing to hold on to while you are standing, it was not designed to handle that many people. We finally got to the hotel, our room was fine. However, the other couple's room was smoke filled when the whole hotel is supposed to be non-smoking. All in all, it wasn't horrible, but I would not stay there again.

 

Sunday morning, we go downstairs and catch a ride to the port. We left the hotel at about 11:15am. There was a Miami Heat game, so the traffic was pretty bad. We got dropped off at our ship at about 11:45am. We went to the Suite check in area and were on the ship about 20 minutes after arrival.

 

First impression, the ship was gorgeous! Glass everywhere, just beautiful. We walked around and looked at all the areas. Then we headed to our room, we were in the Royal Family Suite on deck 9. It was awesome, there was only one problem....for a two bedroom suite, there was only 1 set of outlets, and it was in the master bedroom. This meant I had to go in the other couples' bedroom every night to get ready. There was a vanity in the livingroom portion of the room that had no outlets, ridiculous!!!! Other than that, the room was great, and we made do with the outlet situation.

 

After dropping of our bags, we made reservations for the spa and murder mystery. Then we went to lunch at the Windjammer, it was the first of many good meals on the ship.

 

To be continued.....

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After the Windjammer, we went back to the room and a few minutes after we got there, our luggage began to arrive. We unpacked for the week and headed for a little gathering of Cruise Critics before the muster drill. After the muster drill, we headed for the room, got dressed for dinner and checked out the concierge lounge for a pre-dinner drink. Willie was very nice and took care of several things for us.

 

Our waiter and assistant waiter were wonderful. The assistant waiter was only there for 3 days and then he was replaced by the person he was filling in for. She was also very nice, but Schubert, who was the first one, was awesome! We loved him, so nice. Normally he waits tables in Portofino's, so we saw him later that week as well. We sought him out the last day (stopped by Portofino's just to see him) and gave him an extra tip. We made sure to tell his manager how wonderful he was and I wrote in the comment card the same thing. I hope he gets promoted!

 

Our stateroom attendant, Myra, was great too. She took care of any requests, and cleaned the room even if we were only gone 10 minutes. Around if we needed her, invisible if we didn't. How did she do that???? :confused:

 

The casino was not kind to us, so we only played there the first night and some the last afternoon.

 

CocoCay - Only spent a couple hours here reading a book on a hammock, but I heard the water was very cold. It was a pleasant day, and the barbeque was okay.

 

St. Thomas - We did the Kayak/Snorkel excursion and loved it. We were the troublemakers of the group by getting in a splash fight and tipping over our Kayak, but it was great fun. :o Would definitely recommend it, the snorkeling was different, but very cool.

 

St. Maarten - We did the Power Snorkel. It was okay, the power snorkel itself was cool, but the snorkeling was well below average. We also did our shopping here. Dh bought me a beautiful diamond/emerald pendant, prices were definitely better here than St. Thomas.

 

To be continued.....

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The sea days were very relaxing. We played trivia, cards, pool, climbed the rock wall, etc. Very fun. Our team won at trivia one day, so that was cool.

 

Disembarkation was very easy. We went on an excursion in Miami the last day as well. We did the Everglades Safari Tour, it was fun....the air boat ride was a blast. We were off the ship with our luggage and through customs by 8am.

 

Overall - One of our companions has traveled many lines (Carnival, Holland America, NCL, Princess, Celebrity) and she said Celebrity was a bit classier and a little better food. She thought that Holland America and Royal Caribbean were about equal and better than all the others. She said she would not sail NCL ever again.

 

I loved the whole cruise, anything that went wrong was pretty minor. Some small gripes, room service food was not great....hmmm, that's the only one I can think of, LOL.

 

I think we prefer the ports on the Western Caribbean cruises a little better, but this was wonderful too. Can't wait to take my next Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean.

 

Hope you enjoyed the review, any questions....fire away!

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Rachel, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Where and what time was muster drill? Did you enjoy the dining room food?

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Thank you so much for your review. It seems that you had a wonderful time. Is the Murder Mystery a definite to do activity?

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The muster drill was at 4:30pm on embarkation day. Everyone's muster station is different, you will find yours on your life jacket.

 

Yes, the food in the dining room was quite good. I certainly never left hungry, and I always found things on the menu I would enjoy (and I'm quite picky). I also enjoyed the food in the Seaview cafe. The Windjammer was good for buffet food, and the pizza in the Solarium was okay too.

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I wouldn't call the Murder Mystery a "must do." But, I definitely had a good time. It was kind of cheesy, but very fun (you have to go into it expecting some cheese). I was glad I did it once, but wouldn't do it over and over again either.

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Thanks for your report. We were on the Jan. 2 sailing of the Radiance and had a wonderful time. I was happy to hear of Schubert again - he was our assistant waiter, too, and was excited to report on our last day that he was being promoted to Portofino's. I'm glad he made it, even though they apparently pull them in wherever they're needed. Our main waiter was Roderick, I think; did you have him, too? Both were exceptional.

 

Thanks for writing. It's so great reliving my trip...

 

Judy

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We had Shubert as our asistant waiter when we were on Radiance this past November. He was the absolute best......so much fun. We tipped he well above the standard. Too bad he had to go back to Portofinos and leave your table.

 

I wonder if that is a promotion to go from the dinning room to Porotfinos or Chops.

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Hi Judy, we where on the same cruise together, did not meet you LOL. We were also on Jan. 2 Cruise- remember this awefull dock we had- we made the back to back and could not believe our eyes when we landed on this outside dock! LOL Standing in line for embarkaton must have been not very pleasant! Radiance is a beautyfull ship! Geetings from cold Germany

 

Michael

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We had Shubert as our asistant waiter when we were on Radiance this past November. He was the absolute best......so much fun. We tipped he well above the standard. Too bad he had to go back to Portofinos and leave your table.

 

I wonder if that is a promotion to go from the dinning room to Porotfinos or Chops.

 

Yes, I do believe it is a promotion for him. I think he is great dining room waiter material though! Don't let him stay in Portofino's....let everyone enjoy him!

 

Hey....RCL Management....you reading this?

Judy - Roderick was not our waiter. Schubert was just filling in because our assistant waiter was sick for the first 3 days.

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Michael, yes, I was really disappointed at our embarkation...what a trial! The cruise itself was fantastic, though, wasn't it? (Aside from the rocking and rolling we did the first couple of days...I saw many with patches and medicine. Fortunately, I wasn't one).

 

Hopefully, we'll meet on a future cruise, Judy

 

P.S. To chotton - Schubert was so thrilled to announce that he was getting to go to Portofino's that I'm assuming it was a big promotion. After eating in both Chops and Portofino's, I know their food is excellent. There were many empty tables when we ate there, so I'm guessing it's not nearly the hassle as the dining room.

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That's great. We thought he did a better job than our waiter did. Glad to hear he is moving up.

 

Did you happen to go to the Champagne bar and meet Freddie. He is another one of the guys on the ship. We go to know Freddie the first time we were on the Radiance back in April of '03. This past Thanksgiving we were on Radiance again and on the first night my fiance and I were walking past the Champagne bar and Freddie yelled out to her "hey Jennifer". I couldn't believe he remembered our names.

 

Radiance...great ship and awesome crew.

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