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rebchief

Finally the continuation of the Radiance Review!!!

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All right... here I go with ...PART II (if you've read Part I, go to "Food" Section)

 

Honeymoon Cruise--3/6/05--Radiance of the Seas

Embarkation Port--Miami, FL

 

Embarkation Process:

We flew out of ATL at 8:45 in the morning on AA (which they gave us 1st class tix b/c of honeymoon:D ) and arrived in Miami at 10:30. The only hitch on the flight was when we checked in they said my DW had to take 3.5 lbs of "luggage" out of her bag to put in mine. Here is where it gets DUMB!!! My bag weighed 42 lbs and her's weighed 53.5lbs. I asked the airline employee if we could split the difference b/c we were travelling together and the avg of the bags would be under 50lbs. NO GO!!! So on our honeymoon flight, she had to lug out clothing (luckliy no lingerie;) ) and transfer 3.5 lbs over to my bag. SHEESH!!!!

When we arrived in Miami we got our luggage and waited for about 45 minutes outside for the Greyhound bus to pick us up to take us to the ship. We arrived at the ship, which the bus driver called the "Raundi," at about 11:45 and went through the boarding procedures. If everything is filled out and you have all necessary documents and you get there when we did, the whole process from bus to walking on ship is about 30 minutes. We ate in the Windjammer and were in our Junior Suite on Deck 10 at 1:00.

We took a nap and went to the Muster Drill (our location was at Chops) and then I smoked a cigar on our balcony as we sailed out of Miami into the Atlantic.

 

SHIP:

We sailed on the BEAUTIFUL "Radiance of the Seas." The ship is in great shape. Very spacious and the view of everything is magnificant. The ship's captain Kent Ringborn is a superb individual and an excellent singer. We truly loved his Swedish accent. He is a very friendly and seemingly down to earth individual.

The motion of the ocean was really never horrible. You can feel a slight sway on occasion, especially in the bathroom and walking down the hall to your room. The only time it really got bad was when we could not go to the Caymans(talk about later) and the Skip told us that we were going to "double time" it to Cozumel. Ohh boy.... that day and a half was something not to be desired. The seas were not bad it was just that he was going full speed ahead and you could tell it. That was the only day that my DW and I lost our balance. Nothing bad but you could DEFINATELY tell the ship was moving.

 

ACCOMODATIONS:

I booked a Junior Suite for our honeymoon. Room # 1086 to be exact. It was VERY SPACIOUS. Not what I was expecting in a cruise line room. I had pre-ordered some wine and cheese and flowers for the room and it was very sweet. Back to the room: the bathroom was plenty big and my DW loved the tub. The storage was plenty big for both of us and we never felt like we were in each other's way. But when are you ever on your honeymoon??? The room had extra blankets and pillows and a couple of robes for us. The deck was very nice with two chairs, a table, and a third chair that didn't match the others but we didn't care. The hopes of getting a lounger on the deck was a no go. Evidently it is getting pretty difficult to even sneak one in at night b/c when our attendant, Michael, said he couldn't get us one and I asked what would happen if one appeared, he didn't give me an optimistic look.

Our stateroom attendant, Michael, was very nice and funny. I gave him some money to start the week and he kissed it and winked at me, so I knew that he would look out for us. He did the WHOLE week, minus the loungers:( .

 

FOOD:

 

When we arrived on our first day, we thought that there may be a sandwich or something in the Windjammer. Were we wrong!! They had a full buffet going with all of the trimmings. It was hot and everything. Anyway...

 

Windjammer: Breakfast--pretty good, food was hot for the most part, wide selection, chef's omelets were good. If you don't like warm apple juice, better ask for some ice. We drank the tea/water/lemonade most of the week. We splurged a couple of times and drank a soft drink so for us, the Soda Card was not necessary. We did not see any alcohol deals except for the wine packages.

 

Cascades: Breakfast--did not like having to sit with a group of ten for breakfast since we didn't know anyone. I know that they do this to keep the amount of staff to a minimum but its like sitting at the dinner table at home at 8:00 in the morning with people that you don't feel like talking to that early (DW and I got to have our morning coffee.) Food was pretty good. Small portions for breakfast. Dinner (supper for us Southerners)-- The atmosphere was great. Our waiter Louis was kind of shy the first couple days but by the end of week, he was fabulous. He and Jade did a terrific job, which they were compensated well for at the end of the cruise. Michael the drink guy was funny and the last two nights at dinner, he "gave" me several cordials on the house. They were very nice!! The food was great some days and all right the others. Presentation was standard but for feeding so many people at one time, the chefs did pretty good. On C and A night, I told Michael that I really enjoyed lobster and wouldn't you know it...here came extra lobsters!! Just about all week, if there was something on the menu that my DW and I both wanted to try, he would bring the extra entree and set it between us for us to sample during dinner. This especially happened with desserts:D . The captain's table was next to ours so it was fun getting to see the pomp and circumstance that occurred with that group the nights he was there. A few nights there was some little shows put on by the wait staff which were fun to watch (Italian night!!). Louis even told us not to go to Portofino's one night b/c he said the menu was going to be superb that particular day and to go on another day b/c he thought that we would not like the dishes being prepared that day. HE WAS RIGHT!!! He had us figured out after the third day.

 

Chops--Atmosphere was very nice. Appetizers were great. We got shrimp cocktail and crab cakes. The pre dinner bread and spread were really good as well. My DW and I got the New York Strip(loin). We WERE NOT happy with this cut of meat. The menu said for a FLAVORFUL cut if meat, try the NY Striploin. Sheesh...Talk about a joke. Our tablemates, whom we did not know were having the same cut of meat, sent their's back and got the Filet(which I usually get at our steakhouses here.) I just wanted to try the NY Striploin b/c of the "flavorfulness". Won't make that mistake again. The sides with the meal were all fine and came in large portions. The desserts were fabulous, especially the Chocolate Dream, but hey...we did not go there for desserts.

Portofino's--Didn't get to go b/c DW wasn't feeling well. Portofino staff understood this and did not charge us for breaking the reservation at such short notice (called at 5:00 to cancel reservations for 9:00.) They were very gracious and I did hear from others on the cruise that did eat there, and they said it was very authentic Italian cuisine and great service. Just don't be in any hurry to rush through a meal.

 

WILL CONTINUE REVIEW...

__________________

Honeymoon Cruise on the Radiance of the Seas

3/5/05 - Radiance of the Seas

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SHIPBOARD ACTIVITIES:

SPA--While at sea we enojoyed the spa. The Steamroom was very nice and there were showers and changing areas there that made it convenient as well. The relaxation room was a nice touch too.

INTERET LOUNGE--I used the internet service (I think on Deck 5 or 6) a couple of times on the cruise. This was kind of expensive (50 cents/minute) but I needed to check my email a couple of times during the week.

SHOPPING ON BOARD--The shops on the Radiance were pretty good. I was glad they had the Tortuga Rum Cakes since I promised them to several people back at home and since we didn't get to stop in the Cayman's. I did buy a bottle of Crown Reserve at a significant discount as compared to the local discount liquor store here but did notice a $2.00 difference in price on the Kahlua from a shop in Cozumel to the price of it on board (ship price was higher.) They had nice sales on some of the soveniers (sp?) and such but we did not buy any jewelry on board. They did have a watch I liked (Tag Heuer) but it was pretty much the same costwise and I didn't feel like dealing with customs on it if something did come up.

CASINO--Did venture into this at night a few times. Overall the casino was not that crowded. There was a couple of nights that I waited a few minutes to play blackjack but after I lost $50 bucks at BJ the last time I played, I went to the Craps table, which was not crowded at all, and won $100!! I then proceeded to play Craps the rest of the cruise and pretty much broke even for the week but did make about $150 at Craps to help even the odds. Nothing gained, nothing lost. I do however now enjoy playing Craps. Even the DW enjoyed it.

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Thanks for the review. We are going on the radiance in September and it is nice to read up on the ship. DW is looking forward to this cruise as it is her retirement trip.

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