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DarthGrady

Rain, drinks, smokes and fun on Radiance! Pictorial review, 2/10/11.

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This is going to take a while to get posted up, I have a bunch of pictures. Lets get it started!

Introduction:

This was my twenty second cruise, and fifth with Royal Caribbean, having previously cruised twice on Monarch and twice on Freedom. After reading so many positive reviews of Radiance of the Seas, my wife and I decided to try it out. Since Royal Caribbean was kind enough to put it in our back yard, I figured that we would be fools not to brave the 1.5 hour drive to Tampa to experience such a fine ship. We were originally booked into an interior cabin, but after a considerable price drop we decided to upgrade to a Junior Suite. At the time we also had 8 household points with Crown and Anchor, so the extra credit for the suite would make us Diamond Members. We were accompanied on this cruise by another couple going on their fifth cruise. We all drove down together on the first morning and got to the pier at around 11:30 am.

Some shots I took with my cell phone as we arrived at the Port of Tampa

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Embarkation:

I have to give the Port of Tampa a lot a credit because this was quite possibly the fastest embarkation process ever. We walked into the building at around 11:45 and were walking onto the ship at 11:55. Lines were non existent.

 

Some more covert cell phone shots inside the terminal. Shhhh, don't tell the security guards!

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The infamous sign that started it all :cool:

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Our Cabin:

After studying the deck plans my wife found that Junior Suite #1602 had a larger than normal balcony and an aft facing view. We had been in an aft suite on Carnival Spirit and really enjoyed that view of the ship’s wake. Upon getting to the room I was very impressed with the space and decoration. The room is large with a full size couch in the sitting area. The bathroom has a nicely tiled floor and a shower/tub. The balcony is very large with two lounge chairs, two upright chairs and a small table. About half of the balcony is covered by an overhang which was very nice considering that the majority of our cruise was plagued by rainy weather. It was also helpful since I prop the balcony door open at night to let in fresh air and enjoy the sound of the wake.

Early on day 3 we discovered a leak coming from under the wall between the bathroom and foyer. It was not much water, but we did notify our cabin steward about it. They brought a floor blower in and let it run, but the floor had mostly dried by them. The leak did not reoccur again during the cruise. The same cannot be said for the other rooms around us. At the opposite aft corner there were blowers going constantly due to leaks, and we saw crew working on plumbing at a few spots in our area. On the last night of our cruise we received a letter stating that we would be getting a future cruise discount certificate for 15% of our cruise fare. I felt this was more than enough for the extremely minor issue we had. I can only assume that all the cabins with leaks got the same letter.

 

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The Ship:

Immediately after boarding the Radiance, one can sense that the ship was designed to offer views of the outside from almost every location within the ship. Huge windows and glass walls provide panoramic views. Everything about the ship is thoughtfully designed and decorated. The layout is easily learned with only a few hours on board. It really seems like Royal Caribbean (RCI) went above and beyond making the Radiance a beautiful ship both inside and out.

Starting at the bottom on deck 4 is the centerpiece of the ship, its atrium. The atrium lobby houses the guest relations and shore excursions desk, as well as a lobby bar with nearby dance floor. There is frequently live music in the lobby, which becomes an unofficial dance club at times. The atrium has the standard glass enclosed elevators, but Royal Caribbean has taken the idea a step farther. One side of the ship adjacent to the Atrium is made entirely of glass panes. There are four additional glass elevators that look out through it, offering tremendous outside views while guests ride between decks.

 

The atrium lobby

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Live music in the lobby

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Birds eye view

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Looking up into the atrium

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The atrium sculpture

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Great pic's! We were on Radiance recently (also in and aft cabin) and loved the ship. IMHO the Radiance class are the most beautiful ships in RCL's fleet.

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Thank You!! I will be on Radiance Sept 2 - in 1104 ... I am sure all the "issues" will be addressed during drydock :) (I hope ... but hey, I'll take the 15%!! :p)

 

She sure is a gorgeous ship! Your pics were GREAT! I am so excited I can barely stand it. :D

Edited by Oscar_the_Grouch's_Sis

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Wow, I am enjoying this review. . . I love the oics. . . I need to cruise from Tampa someday !

 

I really want to sail from there :)

 

 

 

 

Radio

;);)

 

.

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Wow, I am enjoying this review. . . I love the oics. . . I need to cruise from Tampa someday !

 

I really want to sail from there :)

 

 

 

 

Radio

;);)

 

.

 

Easiest port we've ever sailed from and only 40 minutes or so from our front door!:D

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you got on her as I was getting off.......thanks for the review and wonderful pics you have provided so far. they are bringing back some wonderful memories.

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[/img]

 

Darth, would you please describe/list the coupons that were in your Emerald coupon book?

 

Not for me.....but I bet that lots of newly-made Emeralds would like to know!

 

:)

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Darth, would you please describe/list the coupons that were in your Emerald coupon book?

 

Not for me.....but I bet that lots of newly-made Emeralds would like to know!

 

:)

 

Surely.

 

Just off the top of my head:

 

2- BOGO soda, beer or wine

1- 10% off soda, beer or wine

3- Spin to win in the casino

2- (I think) $5 match play in the casino

1- 15% spa discount

1- BOGO premium coffee drinks

1- Free premium coffee in a specialty restaurant

1- $10 or 15% (whichever is greater) off an a web package.

1- Art discount, can't remember what it was

1- Buy one, get one half off photo purchase

1- Some type of bingo discount

 

Those are the highlights, if I think of any more I'll post them. I also posted pics of the new Emerald C&A pin here:

 

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1359442&highlight=

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Wow, I am enjoying this review. . . I love the oics. . . I need to cruise from Tampa someday !

 

I really want to sail from there :)

 

 

 

 

Radio

;);)

 

.

 

Thanks Radio, I have enjoyed your live threads immensely.

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The lower level of the Cascades Dining Room is also located on deck 4. The Cascades is a very beautiful restaurant. The scale may not compare to the dining room on Freedom of the Seas, but it more than makes up for it with its beauty. The room features a Y shaped grand staircase that flanks a large fountain in the center. At the opposite end is a huge tile mosaic that extends up through both levels. Our serving team Ozgur and Robert were both fantastic and provided us with quality service all four nights.

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The Aurora Theater located on deck 5 is the main show lounge of the vessel. The photo gallery, art gallery and gift shops are also located on this deck. In the atrium on deck 5 has the Latte-tudes café which serves Seattle’s Best coffees along with cookies and pastries. There are also several internet computer terminals in the café. On the exterior of deck 5 is a wrap around promenade deck, which if followed all the way forward leads to the helicopter landing pad at the bow. This area is one of my favorite features of Royal Caribbean ships as it offers some of the best views available. It is also a novelty since most ships do not allow access to the bow. I was happy to find that the area was open at night, since it was always closed on Freedom.

The Aurora Theater

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Deck 6 is the ship’s main entertainment area. It is home to the upper level of the Aurora Theater. The ships Cinema is also nearby. The movies shown on the ships televisions are also shown in the theater. It has stadium seating and surround sound, giving a very close approximation to being in a movie theater on land. Although I never used them, the Casino Royale and Scoreboard Sports Bar are located on this deck. The ship’s Champagne Bar is on deck 6 in the atrium.

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Scoreboard Sports Bar

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Arcade in the Sports Bar

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How on earth did you manage to get photos of so many areas of the ship when they were deserted???? You must be very clever (or sneaky)! Tell (and show) us more!!!

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How on earth did you manage to get photos of so many areas of the ship when they were deserted???? You must be very clever (or sneaky)! Tell (and show) us more!!!

 

I was wondering the same :D

 

Quick question - I heard the cookies etc at latte-tudes cafe is free (just $ for the special coffee) is that true?

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How on earth did you manage to get photos of so many areas of the ship when they were deserted???? You must be very clever (or sneaky)! Tell (and show) us more!!!

 

I'm guessing: Staying on board in a port when everyone else is off!

 

Am I right? ;)

 

By the way, your pictures are great. I love the new digital cameras - we can all be regular Ansel Adamses!

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I'll be leaving Buffalo for Tampa and the Radiance in 65 hours! :D Your pictures are the perfect final tease for this much needed get away! Thank you so much.

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How on earth did you manage to get photos of so many areas of the ship when they were deserted???? You must be very clever (or sneaky)! Tell (and show) us more!!!

 

I just try and pick my moments, and get as many as possible the first day while the ship is still loading. Most folks head right for the buffet, so thats when I get the majority of them.

 

There are a few you'll see later where I couldn't avoid getting people in. Like with the Windjammer, it is closed off when its not serving.

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I was wondering the same :D

 

Quick question - I heard the cookies etc at latte-tudes cafe is free (just $ for the special coffee) is that true?

 

Yes the little snacks are free. You just have to pay for the premium coffees.

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I'm guessing: Staying on board in a port when everyone else is off!

 

Am I right? ;)

 

By the way, your pictures are great. I love the new digital cameras - we can all be regular Ansel Adamses!

 

Exactly. Quality through mass production. Shoot enough pictures, you're bound to get some of them right.

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Aft of the atrium in the gem of the entire deck, a multi purpose area that contains the Schooner Bar, Chops Grille and Portofino’s Italian Restaurant. The entrance to the Schooner Bar is made to resemble the keel of a sailing ship, completed with restored antique cannons and nautical mural work. The real surprise though comes when you take your first breaths while walking in. Taking a page from Disney’s play book, the faint aroma of wood smoke hangs in the air. The pleasant aroma was obviously being piped in to complete the rustic tone of the room, and it worked. I looked forward to entering the Schooner Bar just to enjoy the theme of the entrance.

The Schooner Bar itself resembles its contemporaries on other RCI ships. The nautical theme of the room is replete with faux sails, ship models, and a large lighted globe. Chops Grille and Portofino’s are both accessible from the Schooner Bar. I did not eat in either one of them during this cruise.

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The entrance to the Schooner Bar, I wish I could transmit the smokey smell over the internet.

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Aft on deck 6 is the Colony Club complex. This area is really a unique multi use zone made up of two bar areas (Singapore Slings and Jakarta Lounge), a lounge area with a stage (The Colony Club), a board and card game area (Calcutta Card Room) and a small billiards room (Bombay Billiard Club). It is interesting that the area is divided so that each area can be used independently, or as a whole for large events. The two pool tables probably inspire the most surprise. While they appear to the naked eye to be run of the mill billiard hall pieces, they are far from it. The tables are actually gyroscopically controlled to self level regardless of the ship’s movement. This allows for play regardless of the water conditions.

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Never seen a Surgeon General's Warning actually mounted on the bar before.

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Decks 7-10 are mostly cabins so there is not much to report. Deck 9’s portion of the atrium is where the ship’s small library is located. One deck above that is the “Yacht Club”, a small sitting area that I could not determine a use for. The Concierge Lounge is also on deck 10, which makes sense as most of the ships suites are located on that deck.

Other interiors

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Edited by DarthGrady

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