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MartyC

Radiance Review March 13 - 20

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I read everyones reviews all year long so here is mine.

 

We are just off the Radiance of the Seas this past Sunday. This is our 8th cruise in the past 8 years and we would have to say regardless of some minor problems RCCL does a great cruise. We have sailed Princess, Costa, Carnival and RCCL.

 

Pre Cruise: We flew in the Friday night and booked at the Best Western Miami Beach. Not a good move. The hotel was fine but getting there after midnight left us to the mercy of a not so nice night clerk with only single rooms for three. This was not a disaster but the guys attitude just made it worst. He could care less. He actually said if I didn't like it to cancel. The next day we were moved. Nice hotel but much prefer to stay at Holiday Inn at the Port.

 

Embarkation: We arrived at the peir around 11:00 a.m. and where directed into the terminal went through security ( hey , where is the line ). Went into another room. ( hey where is the line ). Went right up to the counter and got our card etc ( hey where is the line ) . Went up some stairs and boarded the ship ..no line. This is the first time that we have gotten right onto the ship, no line ups the smoothest boarding ever...must be rccl.

 

Ship: We went cheap and booked an inside cabin. We where in cabin 3069. The cabin was a basic inside cabin. We were surprised that it was not as clean as it should have been. Found hair pins on the floor and some items in the cupboards. We didn't meet our cabin steward until the next day but he was a good guy and did the towel animals really good. The room wasn't spotless but it wasn't gross so what the heck.

 

The ship really is beautiful. The elevators on the side of the ship let you over look the water which is a nice touch. Elevators on the ship were really busy. It took us a couple of days to clew in but take the elevators at the front of the ship as they were rarely busy.

 

We hit both free drink events, Captains cocktail and repeater parties in the Colony room ( not to be missed ) Listened to the captain belt out a couple of tunes. He was pretty good and even has a C.D. for sale on board. Got to give the guy credit for taking the opportunity to add little extra to his retirement fund.

 

We had main seating for dinner and have decided that 6 p.m. is way to early to eat. You rush around getting ready to go eat and have to end your day at the pool or on shore early enough to get back to get ready for dinner. Rushing is not allowed on a cruise. We sat with an really nice family from Tennessee and have again met some new friends which I am sure we will keep in touch with in the future. The food in the dinning room was good. The service was good. We did however for the first time have the waiter give us the service lecture at the end. We had heard of people getting it better never actually experienced it. You know, please rate me excellent as it was my job, blah blah… the sad part was the guys service was really good and he didn’t need to say a word. The assistant waiter needed a little training in people skills but he was okay.

 

 

 

 

 

The Windjammer food was good and never a line up at any of the small island and we always found a seat. Again, my biggest beef as on all the cruises is the lack of the use of the tongs by my fellow cruisers. What is it with people and their hate of the tong. I actually watched people move the tongs out of the way to grab the food with their hands.

 

The seaview café is at the back of the ship on deck 12. Never busy and people don’t even know it is there. Go up and try a burger and a shake ( pay for shake ) and sit back and watch the water go by.

 

There is a coffee bar on deck 5 or 6 and remember the baked goods in the display case are at no charge.

 

Ports of Call

 

Co Cay

Of the three private islands Co Cay has to be the nicest one. When you get to the island follow the path all the way around to the back side of island. You will see lots of chairs lined up and some hammocks but no people. We spend most of the day at this spot so it was our own little piece of beach. We have never taken an excursion on a cruise so this was the first time as I signed up for the kayak adventure. The water was calm and crystal clear and I was going to have a great time.

 

We all met for the orientation which included, here is your life jacket and put it on. That was it , nothing else. My wife didn’t want to kayak so I was a single Kayaker. They matched me up with a guy who was older and heavier than I so there was two really bigh guys in this kayak. I got in the back and my new partner got in the front. He unfortunately started off my trip of kayaking in the Bahamas with someone who had never been any where near a paddle or a boat in a very long time. He struggled from beginning to end. At one point he actually laid back flat across my feet while I rowed. He couldn’t do it. I tried to keep up with the group but no way. I felt bad for the guy because he was struggling so bad and I honestly thought he was going to have the big one right out in the Bahamas. Shortness of breath etc etc. I kept telling him just to let me paddle. The guide would get to a spot and stop and would do a brief description of something. I heard it was really informative but I wouldn’t know as I was way behind struggling trying to not tip over. Eventually we tipped and went in the water. My paddling partner decided to walk back to his chair and left me in the kayak alone. So of the hour and half of the trip I enjoyed about 5 minutes of it. I don’t blame my kayak partner for not being in the health required to do a kayak trip but really think Royal Caribbean should be a little more aware. In reality as a result of some of his actions on the kayak he was actually putting us both in danger. What I learned was be really careful on these excursions.

 

Bling Bling Island

 

This is one of our favourite islands. My wife and daughter call it the bling bling island. The only thing is with this island I always leave to much of my money there. This year no exception my wife got a bling bling followed by my 10 year old daughter who is in the bling bling zone of life.

 

We took the cab to Megans Bay again and this was our third trip. We haven’t been for a few years and it just seemed to be different. It was very busy and you can start to see construction happening which just seems to take away from the pristine area. Megans Bay is really nice spot but I think next time its St Johns.

 

St Maarten

 

We have been to St Marten a number of times and frankly really haven’t liked it much. This time we docked at the new dock and its like a whole different island. Clean and organized. We took a cab to Pinnel island. This was a little risky for us as we never usually venture to far by ourselves but our cab driver talked us into it. She dropped us off at the French Cul D Sac for $30.00 for the 3 of us. We then took the ferry across to the island for $6.00 each adult return. Once you get off the ferry go to the point of sand to your left and put your towels down. You are now in our opinion one of the best spots for beach and sun of any of the islands we have been to. Yes there is some topless bathing but not much. If you have kids this is by far the best beach to take them. You can walk well into the water where it is only waste deep, clear and warm. There is also a spot for snorkeling which wasn’t to bad. We beat the rush back to the dock and left about 1:30. There is a French fry truck parked in the lot with people sitting around. One of them was a cab driver who took us back to the ship. We were a little nervous at first but it was just fine.

 

Kids Program

 

My daughter is 10 and our tablemates kids where 6 and 8 so we had a full range of opinions. The program was really good. My daughter enjoyed and our tablemates wouldn’t stay away. Not a lot of crafts though which was a bit of a surprise. Lots of games. She used the slide and it was safe and lots of fun. There was always a lot of little kids in the kiddie pool.

 

Pool Decks

 

We were up early and never had a problem getting a chair. We did go for lunch and came back one day and our chairs were taken by someone else’s stuff but no people. It was odd because whenever we would leave our chairs I would make a point of coming back every 15 minutes to check on them and to ensure the deck guy didn’t think we had exceeded our 15 minute time limit. I took all the stuff off and left them on the deck and then gave all three of our chairs to someone else looking for some chairs. Hopefully it all worked out. I am all for moving somebodies stuff who has dropped a shoe and left for an hour or so but give me a break. If you want to crawl out of bed late and you can not find a chair on a ship which had tons to bad for you. There were always chairs available just not in spots you could people watch I guess. The adult pool was busy.

 

Drinks were $5.75 I think and my kid got the pop cup for $28 for the week.

 

 

Getting off ship:

 

Being Canadian we have always hated the last morning when you have to get up early and go through customs to get your passport. This ship they do it in St Thomas and you don’t have to do it back in the port in Miami. It was a lot better. Going through customs with every one else took a while but still better than being up a 6 a.m. to get your passport.

 

 

Overall we had a great cruise. Weather was fantastic and the ship was exceptional. We were very impressed with how the ship was full but it was never really busy. Ever. It was also a very low key crowd overall. Compared to our last two Carnival cruise it was very subdued. Another thing that really impressed us was the Captain. This guy was everywhere. Shaking hands and singing in the shows etc. Excellent P.R. for RCCL.

 

 

Have any questions just ask.

 

Already looking to book number 9 … only 357 more big sleeps to go

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Thanks for a great review it helps those of us with only time on our hands until it is our time!!!!:D

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Great review!

 

We had a similar experience on a white water rafting trip...us and a raft full of out of shape old people that didn't know they had to paddle! We will ONLY raft with people we know from now on...too bad, these people need to realize these activities are not for them.

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The Windjammer food was good and never a line up at any of the small island and we always found a seat. Again, my biggest beef as on all the cruises is the lack of the use of the tongs by my fellow cruisers. What is it with people and their hate of the tong. I actually watched people move the tongs out of the way to grab the food with their hands.

 

 

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

My husband told me last year it was time to go home when on day 12 of a 14 day cruise I had had enough of this and started actually saying "USE TONGS!" to people grabbing food in the WJ.

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If more people like you spoke up maybe it wouldn't be such a problem. RCCL has signs up saying please use tongs and they have signs in washrooms about washing hands I just can not figure why people don't wash hands or use tongs. Especially with all the fear of sickness spreading on cruises lately. On the private island RCCL even had hand wash stations right before you got your food.

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