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Radiance review-March 27th Eastern

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Thanks again for all the great information on these boards!

My wife and I (age 35 and 34) and two of our friends (38 and 39) just got off the Radiance on Sunday. I give our age so you know where we are coming from.

We spent two nights in South Beach at the Beacon Hotel on Ocean drive. It was beautiful. Spent the days on the beach and people watching. We ate at Emeril's located at the Loews Resort, it was the best!!

Getting on the Radiance was easy! Our taxi to the pier took about 10-15 minutes. We were in the RCCL waiting area by 1030am, this gave us time to read the Day 1 itinerary and other info they give you. They opened the gates at 11am and we were on board by 1115.

You did not have access to your state room until 1pm, so we toured around, ate lunch at Windjammer and made our reservations for Chops, Portofino, Murder Mystery, toured the Spa and made our appointments there as well. By that time it was 115pm and we went to the stateroom 1604(deck 10 aft). The room was great. I do like this aft a lot better than Voyager's. There is a ton of space and no metal overhangs.

The ship is beautiful. Enough said about that, seeing it in person is the only way to describe it, I could not give it justice.

*For the alcohol question* that is always on the boards...I brought 4 plastic bottles of 1.75 Capt. Morgan on my carry-on, my buddy brought the same on his checked luggage. No one said a thing. It appears just the Ta's from the government scan the luggage not RCCL. So not a problem at all with bringing booze on board. At $5.00 a shot on the boat we save some $$$$$.

We all bought the soda package for $50 a piece, expensive yes but what can you do? I had "free" Capt. Morgan to mix it with.

Service on the ship was really good, the food was also. Portifino was alot better than Chops, just our opinion. We asked the manager of Potifino why that is? He told us there is a different Chef for each and each uses their own style and spices. To make it simple Chops is basically your American Steak house and Portifino is Italian blend.

The murder mystery was "cheesy" as I was told before from the boards but is was fun and worth the money. After the dinner show was done we got to talk to the actors/actresses about themselves etc. They are the performers from the shows on board. Mainly young kids in the early 20's just starting off in the "Show Biz" world.

Pool deck is a tad small. Getting a chair was a pain but we managed. Pool enforcers were non-existant as far as the 15 minute rule goes. Being spring break time there were a ton of kids, never a problem for me (we left our three back home with Grandma). When we wanted to go in the pool we went to the Solarium.

We skipped Coco cay on Monday due to high winds, so we high tailed to San Juan and it was windy on the deck all Monday!! We got there Tuesday around 11am. We ate lunch at Senor Frogs and went back to the ship for the pool. We have been to San Juan before and it is not on my top 10 list to go.

Wednesday was St. Thomas and we took a cab to Megans Bay. What a great beach it is beautiful. Seeing it in person is way better than photo's let me tell you. After the beach we shopped, then back to the boat, I mean ship.

Thursday was St. Maarten. We rented a so-called jeep for $50.00 all day. Rentals are right by the dock. We got hounded and settled for this one guy who duped us, I should no better. He took us to his house a few blocks away and gave us his Suzuki Samari. We did sign papers at the dock for the rental but never thunk the car was at his house. Well next time the car will be in front of me at the pier before I give them money or anything. Everything turned out fine after my wife and my friend's wife just about had a stroke. we stopped at Orient Beach and saw the "Naked People". It was no big deal, mostly all of the bare bodied people were at their resort-Club Orient. Mostly people in their 50's and 60's, I was hoping to see some model 20-30 yr olds but not there. Then again, I did not gauk either, figured it would be rude.

Taking your own transportation is the way to go. We drove the whole island and stopped to shop before heading back to the ship. Oh, yes we did drop the "jeep" back at the pier, we we not about to go to the guys house again! He was a little mad but screw him! All in all the day was great! seeing we have never been there before.

The last two days were at sea and it was fun!!

I will sum up a few more things:

The weather was awesome 85-88 every day, 5 minutes of rain in St. Maarten getting of the ship but that was it.

Go to the seminars on shopping that RCCL gives, it is very handy. We bought the coupon book too. Only good if you buy stuff though. RCCL had some reps from Amolite on board and they gave away 2- 7 day cruises on RCCL, no I did not win, plus they raffled off some jewelry.

Capt. Kent was there and he sings. We got a picture with him also.

The spa was expensive, prices are given so you know in advance. We figured we saved with the amount of Capt. Morgan we brought on board lets splurge on spa treatments. Get there early to book though. They also try to sell the products to you but just tell them thanks but no thanks if you don't want to buy.

As far as movement...it rocked a few times in our room and sometimes you could hear the chairs on the Wind jammer outdoor seating above you, but we were not in the room that much. We left our balcony door open every night to hear the water churning, it was peaceful.

All in all it was a great trip, but if I had to rate the ships I have been on I would rate Voyager #1, Radiance #2 and Granduer #3. We all felt there was more things to do on Voyager and obviously more room. We are thinking about taking our kids next spring break on Enchantment-5days and waiting for the Freedom another year 2007. Oh by the way I wanted to try Carnival Liberty next year but I am sticking with RCCL, if it ain't broke don't fix it!!

cya all

Scoop

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Thanks for your thorough review :)

 

We sailed the Radiance for our very first cruise in February and really enjoyed it. There is no question that the Radiance is a beautiful looking ship!

We are now anxious to try Voyageur class and have booked on the AOS for next January!

Thanks again for a very comprehensive review!

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50 bucks for a soda card?? How long was your cruise? That sounds really steep.

 

And thanks for the great review. I'll be sailing on the radiance in less than a month. ;-)

 

MTS

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of Radiance. We are going to Alaska on June 18, but it was good to hear details about the ship. I have heard that RCCL does a poor job with narration on the Alaska trips, so we may miss out on that.

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We were on the same ship. Agree with all. Had never been to St. Maarten - but thought it was beautiful. When we got there we walked onto pier and booked our own snorkeling trip at Divi resort. Saved $50.00 (for 4 people) over cruise line price. They had all tours there and I'm sure all were cheaper than through cruise line. Would only add that when you get off ship - use a porter - you'll get a taxi a lot faster as the taxis stop for porters before passengers with their own luggage. We went to Megan's Bay as well, however, if you have time -I would try St John. We were there last year and it was BEAUTIFUL!. Also made our own arrangements - whole trip to St. JOhn and back with snorkeling at Trunk Bay was about $85.00 for 4 people. Feel free to contact me with any questions...Oh..we tried Chops - food was great but service was only fair. We ate at Portofinos last year on Navigator and service was top notch.

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Thanks for your review! I'm so glad you had such a good time! Now I even more excited ( if that's possible ) - I'll be boarding the Radiance in 5 days! :D

 

Patty

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Scoop, thanks for the great review. We will be on the Radiance in January. Two questions. What type of room did you stay in, and what time were you off the ship when docked? We have an 11:25 flight home that day from Miami. Tks ;)

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Over the edge,

We were in a d1 cat. deck 10 aft , middle of the Aft. We booked these rooms last July 04 to make sure we got them. Our flight left Miami also at 1125am. They get you off the ship according to what you say your flight time is. We were baggage color green, which was the second group off the ship just after 715am. Let me tell you come Sunday morning it is like get off and now! But we understood they have to prepare for 2,000 something more passengers. We were at the airport by 915am.

 

I also agree Portifino's service was second to none. Chops service was ok.

Scoop

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Did you have lounge chairs on your aft balcony?

 

TIA and also for your review! We'll be boarding with Patty on Sunday ;)

A~

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We were also on the same ship (E3 Balcony, deck 7). We were over the lifeboat canopy and did not have a clear downward view of the water. Although initially disappointing, we enjoyed our first balcony - regular chairs and a small table - no loungers. Unable to get a flight out until Monday, we had booked a rental car (Hertz) and were staying an extra day in Ft. Lauderdale (Radisson Bahia Mar Beach - Priceline). We were still off the ship by 9am, quick shuttle and had the rental by 10am, checked into the hotel by 11am.

 

We had 2nd seating for dinner and had wonderful table companions and service. Our service in the dining room was wonderful! Emmanuel (waiter), Dan (assistant) and Rosi (bar service) took great care of us. We did not make reservations for Chops or Portifinos. We did book massages in the spa and said no thank you during the sales pitch without problems or pressure.

 

We have enjoyed some great shows over the years and the Radiance did not disappoint us. An extremely talented group - Mosaic - performed on the 2nd night. All of the singing, instrumental and rhythmic sounds were produced by these 6 young men. I would not miss this show if you are fortunate enough to have them on your cruise. Additionally, the stage show - Piano Man - was the best Royal Caribbean production show we had ever seen. Selections from Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Barry Manilow had everyone singing along. The other RCCL stage show - Welcome to Our World - had great costumes and staging.

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Scoop, thanks for the info. Be will be in a cabin a door or two down from yours. I'm very happy to hear of your arrival time at the airport. Hopefully we will be as lucky. :)

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Over the edge,

On our aft we had 2 chairs, 1 lounger and a small table, these balconies are huge compared to the others, unless you have a suite.

scoop

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