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logan1_2000

Just back from Radiance, 1/2-1/8 Western

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I'm going to try to do this abbreviated, sound-bite style, as the desk is buried after the first week of the year at sea:

 

Experience flying into MIA is strictly third world. No organization to what passes for a taxi line--you have to physically personally tell an badged officer to hail you a cab--but he is behind a fat cement column, you can see him, and we were unable to even reach him because of the large party blocking the entire curb. Found out the flat rate is really only directly port to port--does not apply to the holiday inn across the street from the port. and I can't recommend that hotel--no drop off area, no bell captain or anyone to handle the bags, and tourists getting into your cab before you are even out. the breakfast buffet, as reported elsewhere on these boards, is a must-avoid. oh, did i skip being put into a smoking room when i'd goine to great lengths to confirm in advance a no-smoking room? always a pleasure to have to go get another room after finally lugging my bags, on my own, to one room.

 

if you can't tell, there's some attitude in here. these are my opinions and experiences, yours may differ. this was our 6th cruise, 2nd w/ RCI, first out of MIA, and our 4 most recent before this were on Disney our of Port Canaveral...which brings me to..check-in...(but I'll tell y'all up front that we did love the cruise, I'm just pointing out the glitches that did, unfortunately, get us off on the wrong foot)

 

disorganized at dock 10 where our cab (and it was harder than you'd think to get one on the sidewalk outside the holidya inn where tour groups waiting for busses block the entire sidewalk so taxis cant see you--we went to the corner, dragging lots of luggage, and kind of crossed the street to hail a cab) could not get through to the curb because of the line of cabs picking up disembarking passengers, and this was 11 am already. no organization or control by RCI anywhere to be seen. I had to go find a porter to take my bags after we budged through to the curb. when we returned to miami we were told that is a temporary, or under construction, dock--a sign saying "please pardon the inconvenience" or something like that would have gone a long way--as far as we knew, that is what Miami is always like, and compared to Disney at Port Canaveral, it was a nightmare.

 

the priority crown & anchor line was a n ice feature to check in, that was quick, and i'd done the doc's on line for the sea-pass, so just one sheet, a couple bahamas cards, ID's, and my credit card. not sure if there was supposed to have been any priority boarding area for our Owner's Suite, I asked but was not directly answered , just directed toward general population of chairs to sit and wait. this was not the best organized, either, as we saw blocks of people walk in and get directly into the boarding line before our row of seats was ever sent to the line to go through screening and board. an hour. low marks, again.

 

then we get blocked at the entrance to the ship, a cart of some sort of supplies they can't maneuver. just started to seem a bit Marx-brother-ish, like they'd never run a cruise before...

 

so then we get on and its like the scene where Dorothy steps through the doorway into Oz and it goes from black and white to Color...

 

the ship is gorgeous, we got our DS (9) his coke sticker right away at the lobby bar and signed him into the ocean adventure and a wristband right there in the centrum. staterooms not available for about half an hour after we boarded, so I think we got some windjammer lunch--or maybe we hit the chops and portofino's first, dont recall the order. in any event--all were easy to make ressies, portofino the first night and chops the last, both with DS (9) along on the ressies (early, at 7 pm). DW made spa appointments, and then the Owner's Suite was available and a large "wow" factor there, #1064. DW wished we had a bathroom like that at home! DS loved the 42 inch plasma (again, wished we had one like that at home!).

 

suite attendant Gail was average, it took 2 days to get a couple robes that we asked for when we met her prior to the muster drill, and it took 2 days with her and guest relations to get the champagned I'd ordered in advance at the RCI website (we did get the strawberries I ordered at the same time, so I know they got the order). the flowers came several hours after the muster drill (also ordered by computer). I would not pre-order anything again on RCI--the effect was for it to be waiting when we got to the stateroom, as had been our experience on Disney on many occasions. room service could have gotten it for me faster than pre-ordering.

 

willie the concierge was great, and we had cocktails and did a little schmoozing w/ frequent RCI cruisers there in the evenings. the continental breakfast was pretty but we like bigger breakfasts. did our breakfasts and lunches at windjammer--liked their stations and selections and variety. even checked out casual dinner there the one night DS just fell dead asleep at 7 for the evening mid-cruise (we were on second seating, so we skipped that night and took turns bringing plates back to the room). the lack of trays made such windjammer runs a bit more difficult, but no real biggie, and enjoyed the rattan cushioned seating area at the rear, outdoors. the dual lines and extray skillet capacity of the omelet stations worked very efficiently.

 

dining room table was an 8 seat round, we were with a family of 5 from our neighboring state, tennessee (we're in atlanta), their children were 19, 16, and 13, but their youngest and DS played some basketball together. between their nights in the alternate restaurants and ours, and our "skip" night, we only dined together twice, but it was a nice experience after some bad luck w/ table mates in the past, so they were a plus and it made the cruise experience nicer. on deck 4, next to the captain's table, which we only saw occupied on the second formal night

 

a meeting calls--I'll continue more later--I'll make some notes here for my own use--shows, chops, portofino's, water pressure, golf, shore excursions, pools, shops, arcades, casino, disembarkation, american airlines, luggage, TV service, formal nights, ships condition going into drydock in a couple weeks.

 

but really, before i even finish, this was a gorgeous ship, we'd sail on her again though not from Miami (never again from Miami), :cool:

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if you can't tell, there's some attitude in here. these are my opinions and experiences, yours may differ. this was our 6th cruise, 2nd w/ RCI, first out of MIA, and our 4 most recent before this were on Disney our of Port Canaveral...which brings me to..check-in...(but I'll tell y'all up front that we did love the cruise, I'm just pointing out the glitches that did, unfortunately, get us off on the wrong foot)

 

disorganized at dock 10 where our cab (and it was harder than you'd think to get one on the sidewalk outside the holidya inn where tour groups waiting for busses block the entire sidewalk so taxis cant see you--we went to the corner, dragging lots of luggage, and kind of crossed the street to hail a cab) could not get through to the curb because of the line of cabs picking up disembarking passengers, and this was 11 am already. no organization or control by RCI anywhere to be seen. I had to go find a porter to take my bags after we budged through to the curb. when we returned to miami we were told that is a temporary, or under construction, dock--a sign saying "please pardon the inconvenience" or something like that would have gone a long way--as far as we knew, that is what Miami is always like, and compared to Disney at Port Canaveral, it was a nightmare.

 

 

Maybe somebody else can speak to this, but this doesn't sound like the RCI facility I remember from last year. I thought that RCI was terminal 3 and 4 but maybe I'm remembering it wrong. I remember the RCI facility as being well laid out, with easy access in and out for vehicles, plus it was actually beautiful inside as well, with pretty colors and lots of light. Once you went inside it was clearly outlined that there was a different area for suites than for regular staterooms. It doesn't sound like you had a good experience though with embarkation - sorry.

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I was on the same cruise as Logan1, we got to the terminal at 11:00 and it was first difficult to find out which pier the Radiance was on there were 7 ships in port that day. The signs leading into the port were all turned around. The port was very crowded with cabs, cars and people still getting off the ship. so it was difficult to get around it to park. I did not find any porters so Logan1 is one up on me. I do not recall anyone going to the front of the line but then I was paying attention we were in the 5th row. I thought it proceeded nicely once they started to board. Yes we were stopped at the entrance of the ship because they were trying to move things off. Logan1 stated Marx brothers to me it seemed more like the 3 stooges. Once we were let on the ship everything was great and I am so glad I did not order anything on line from RCL just seeing what Logan1 went through.

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as I said, the porter at disembarkation commented that the "terminal" we'd been at for embarkation was either under construction, or was an old terminal being used temporarily, something like that (DW was talking him up while I was looking for bags). enough dumping on Miami or perhaps our unfortunate circumstances to have been in a tmporary or under construction location. one comment we had was we wish we could have sailed on the radiance our of disney's terminal with disney's on site staffing and traffic/logistical management. but for all i know we'll find a completely pleasnat experience in FLL in a month and for all I know it was harmless and painless just one or two terminals away in Miami on the very same day, like I said, these are just my experiences, not more.

 

a quick piece--shows--we only went to one, a "production" show, "Piano Man", with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers. sounded like a nice alternative to the usual "salute to the big bands" or "tribute to broadway" we expect...and to a limited extent it was...advertised as a salute to billy joel, elton john, barry manilow (stop laughing, manilow was one of the few acts in the 70's where I could at least understand the words...took me 25 years to get some of the lyrics from that era)..but in the middle they lapsed away from 70's-80's into big band stuff--they went from elton john's "goodbye yellow brick road" to "some song and dance to "somewhere over the rainbow" and more from the era surrounding Wizard of Oz...felt they were cheating, or doing a bait & switch. anyway, it was a nice show of its kind, though i give a nod in talent level of performers to Disney Cruise Line (no one's voice on the radiance made me say "wow, i can't believe someone with such a great voice is on a cruise ship" whereas I have had that reaction often, though not always, on Disney.). But seeing that the formula was bound to be the same for the musical performances, we skipped others. caught the last 5 minutes of a comedian in a replay on the ship TV during the cruise, and his jokes were about meeting the girlfriend's parents, spilling water on the crotch of his pants, her dad walks in while he's trying to dry the pants with a blow dryer, melting the zipper so the fly was open because of the blow dryer, then the dog sitting under his chair and farting at dinner so everyone thought it was him...my 9 year old would have loved the fart jokes, but I thought it was low, and that's what he ended with. did see, also on the ship's TV, some of a magician comedian doing a pretty skillful card trick in a taped session with Marc Walker, the irrepressible cruise director, and he seemed talented.

 

thought the various musical entertainers around the ship were mostly very good, with the duo on strings (violin and acoustic guitar) excellent, and the strings duo was right outside portofino's as we dined the first night and it made that evening magical and elegant and a wonderful way to start the cruise. loved them during one of the formal dinners in the dining room as well.

 

about portofino's--I was not overly thrilled by advance read of the menu, but DW wanted to go so we did. DS bagged us after making the ressie for 3 and the restaurant manager blew off any idea of cancellation penalty. it was embarkation night, and the place was nearly empty, we had C & A coupons for glasses of house champagne (it said 2 for 1, so I expected to pay for 1) and she just kept refilling our glasses. only once did i actually ask her to do so, so I expected then to pay for three glasses of champagne. the manager joined in with filling our glasses. we were charged for not a drop of champagne. so I added an extra $40 of gratuity for the two of us onto the service charge which was all that appeared on the bill. I doubled up on entrees--halibut was good, not great, and the "turf", the filet, was amazingly good--not the greatest I've ever had but I've been fortunate to have had many fine steak experiences. But it was a top class experience. DW loved the walnut and gorgonzola salad and the goat cheese appetizer, i found the tiger shrimp appetizer great, and then the desserts just didnt suit us--the panna cotta wasnt as firm as we'd had before (ironically, on disney, where we tried it and loved it) and I'm not sure what else we tried but it just didn't click with us. But we loved the experience. Oh--DW had the veal entree, and it was good, not great, we agreed. And I had an appetizer sized portion of the pasta with the shrimp and lobster and it was wonderful. To show you how tastes differ, our table mates reported that they loved the desserts but otherwise thought portofino was good, not great.

 

quick observation--was not in anyway hounded for drinks on this ship. a couple times wished someone would have come up to me and asked if I'd wanted one, had to go up and get the only two frozen margaritas or daiquiris I had the entire trip--both of which were wonderful and reasonably priced, by the way--and I likely could have been talked into more. not a complaint, I still drank plenty, ordered a bottle of champagne to the room--mentioned earlier--and another bottle at dinner in chops (more on chops later) and as I said was served champagne at portofino for two hours on the house and plenty in the concierge lounge on formal nights as well. And even a couple glasses at the champagne bar one evening after dinner.

 

bringing liquor on board: carried a boxed gift bottle of dom perignon onto the ship in my carry-on (gift from client--we got the beach house and the 2 seater mercedes for that client from her cheating husband, she was pleased because he loved that car and that beach house) and no problem, never mentioned, and we got stemware in concierge lounge and asked stateroom attendant for champagned sized bucket the mroning that we wanted to chill the bottle. surprise aboout liquor purchased in costa maya: no one seized my bottles of liquor when i got back on board, as I thought they would, so took them to the room. didnt drink them, they were gifts in fact for my colleagues here at the office, but was surprised to have brought them on board w/o any issue at all. thought it would be stored and delivered to me the final night or morning, something like that.

 

chops--good, not great--and might have been better if they hadn't forgotten one of the steaks we ordered, asked us about it twice afterward (as if they didn't believe us? had a careful discussion w/ the server about it, gotta think she got it right, why are you confirming and reconfirming twice after I mention that there is one more steak due to our table and even involving the manager who came and asked me if it was true we'd ordered another steak)...then after the manager asks me to confirm now a third time how that filet was to be cooked, and I said "medium", out came a filet quite rare, very rare, damn near able to defend itself rare...and sure enough that was the only time in the evening where a significant amount of time went by before anyone came near the table to even ask for the fliet to be cooked to medium. and yes, when it came out, it was a touch beyond medium-well. shame, it looked like a nice cut of beef. the strip was good but not great, though at least on time. they brush it w/ BBQ sauce as their signature flair, I said go ahead if that is your signature, and I ended up wishing they'd left it off, but I was offered that option, so that's a question of taste and my own taking an informed chance. since it is their signature, many must love it. we didnt have desert, partly we were full and partly they had dickered with the recipes just enough to make us uninterested (the mocha cheese brulee was said to be like a mocha cheese cake--i dont drink coffee or care for mocha flavored anything, though I love good old plain cheesecake, or even creme brulee...so for us at least, less would have been more. i'm hopefull these dishes were well-executed so that others could enjoy). Now, the onion & cheese soup was wonderful, the slightly different than usual caesar salad was a nice surprise, the crab & shrimp cake was an eye opening "hey, that's different and terrific", so taking the whole evening together it was about a B+ total food, B on total experience, but still a good value overall for what we had. I may get hate mail, but i did not feel compelled to add additional tip to that experience over and above the $20 per head service fee for each of the three of us.

 

of the alternate restaurants with service fees, we feel they were both good values and worth doing. some folks we'd chit chat with would mention they didn't believe in going to an alternate restaurant that charged a fee and I understand that approach, too, and such restaurants are not necessary to have a wonderful cruise (indeed, the steaks we saw, though never ordered, in the dining room, looked better than I remembered from my first RCI cruise). we just dont find as many opportunities as we might wish at home to go to a more mature night out w/o our son, so the cruise presented a great opportunity to do so at a much lower cost than the comparable dining experience would cost here in Atlanta.

 

another quickie before i get back to work--seaview cafe, deck 12, aft, was a terrific, almost hidden gem, with late hours, felt relaxed to order and then sit and have it brought, and the blackened grouper caesar was for visual presentation alone an "A" (the dressing tasted thinner than in the windjammer, but the blackened grouper was such a find that I didnt care so much).

 

next time--if I remember--the golf simulator from hell! we did get laughs along w/ the frustration, though.:p

 

more later.

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We will be in the same cabin in March and are looking forward to the extra room as there are 4 of us! Glad to hear that Willie is still the concierge as we meet him on our Alaska trip last June and he was extremely helpful.

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Hello...We were also on the Radiance from December 11th-18th. In brief, we had no problems what so ever boarding or getting off. I will agree that cruising out of Miami is the worst possible place to cruise out of. Never organized and always some type of delay, whether at the airport or at the port.

 

Dave

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Booked the golf simulator for the first sea day--it was $25 for the hour for up to 4 people. video computer set up, using pebble beach. i golf about once a year--badly. DS has never golfed, has about three times in his life whacked some junior clubs at a range--badly. DW plays putt-putt...decently. the contraption would not register our shots. was i hitting it too hard? too low? too wide? too high? finally, we tossed the ball right down the middle of the video fairway on the wall--still not registering. asked the attendant to step in and try to see if she could re-set. she tried. it didnt take. four times DS hit a weak little shot that it actually registered as an 8 to 41 yard hack into the cart path or rough. toward the end of the hour he was still about 200 yards short of the green. on the first hole. he was closest. sarah the attendant didnt charge us, and told us that the machine had been vandalized on the cruise before ours by packs of after hours teens who broke into the simulator room. what's up with that?

 

casino--didnt play except once, got cash off my seapass, spent 10 minutes looking for change machine to get quarters for slots, found one, it was broken,looked around again and found a second machine that worked, and amused myself for 30 minutes making a $20 contribution. won some along the way before eventually losing it all back. that was okay, it was entertaining. very smokey room. went around it otherwise.

 

DS liked the arcade just outside the arcade, in the sportsbar area, w/ driving simulators.he liked the selection of arcade games there better than in the arcade by adventure ocean up on deck 12. he never figured out that he could have added value to his arcade card w/o me, so obviously no abuse. i think i put a total of $40 on the card the whole cruise, and I was willing to do double that for him if he'd wanted.

 

in the room, day two, went to shower, had no cold water--so it was all hot, too hot to shower. tried every twist and setting in the shower (that lovely separate glassed in shower)...got out, went to sink, turned on the cold water. none. called maintenance, they sent someone up, but after a couple minutes and a few walkie talkie checks, he said it was a whole ship issue w/ low pressure deck 7 and up. we were on 10. i was sitting on our sofa, a towel over my lap (since i had no robe) and a bit miffed. i joked i was gonna sit nekkid, waiting for either cold water to go w/ the hot or a robe, and my nekkidness was awful enough to motivate the crew to get me both. got the water first, about an hour of sitting there beneath the towel.

 

lost the cold water again at least one other day, and another time saw a flier delivered to the stateroom apologizing for some toilet suction backup issues...something about towels and sneakers being stuffed into the toilet vacuum system jamming it. again I ask, what's up with that? who is vandalizing this gorgeous ship?

 

lost sound on the TV, all channels including shiboard channels, on the 4th...shame because that was the day of the Rose Bowl, so the national championship game was w/o sound. sound did workwhile watching a DVD and we watched one at one point--again, the big screen was a treat and we dont get to the movies much at home.

 

balcony--enjoyed it for reading, DW enjoyed some coffees out there with her books. our second ever--but in a month we cruise w/o one, and we'll be able to adjust to not having one.

 

tired--finish this soon, I hope

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There were two formal nights on this 6 night cruise, I wore my tux both nights, there were many others who did likewise but there were more dark suits than tuxes. Still, my overall impression was that this cruise was much more well dressed on formal night than the 7 night disney cruises I went on that only had one formal night. Did not seem to be many of the "its my vacation I will wear what I want" vacationers within my line of sight either night. I

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Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I heard Miami airports and ports are no fun so I am prepared. I believe you said your son went into adventure ocean program on the first day, was this during afternoon or at night? Where and when is sign up? I didn't think they were open the first day. Can you tell me how the arcade card works and where it is purchased? Thanks.

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In your first posts, one of the notes to yourself was about the ships condition a few weeks before going into drydock. I will be on the last cruise on the Radiance before it goes into drydock so i am really curious as to your comments about this. Thanks.

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stayed at the Hyatt last year got to the port via RCCL bus transfer .got to the ship around 12:30 it was our 4th cruise and the smoothest boarding we ever had .We must have just missed the disembarkation of the previous passengers.

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In your first posts, one of the notes to yourself was about the ships condition a few weeks before going into drydock. I will be on the last cruise on the Radiance before it goes into drydock so i am really curious as to your comments about this. Thanks.

 

the most noticeable thing i saw was a large number of missing tiles in the main family pool. some stains on the couch in our suite. some public areas where I saw what looked like makeshift caulking from temporary repairs, the type I would hope could be re-done more neatlywith the time available during a drydock. outside of the hull i did notice buildup and need for scraping and re-painting during our tendering. on the whole, though i really felt like the ship was in terrific shape. except for whatever the deal was w/ water pressure--that was a huge let down, on more than one day, not to be able to take a shower--i wonder if there is an older pump or something possible about water pressure, or if that is a design limitation.

 

did I do shore excursions yet? we did two, both booked through the cruise line (we did this through willie on the first day). in costa maya did the 4 hour chochobben (i may have misspelled that) ruins tour, it was terrific, our bus was modern, clean, air conditioned and comfortable, our tour guide 'Leti" was terrific, and it was an amazing setting, just the right length to hold the attention of our 9 yr old. our group being about 40 or so (one bus load, the excursion was booked up to about 3 busses full it looked like and each bus became its own group) was not too crowded, we got to ask our own questions, etc. very convenient to find at the end of the pier. i know many rave about doing it yourself, and on some islands i do in terms of taxis to beaches, but there was enough distance to travel in a port and country where i had never been that i just felt most at ease this way. handing out the bottled water when we got there was much appreciated.

 

on grand cayman, for the sting ray city snorkeling, also through the cruise line, the tendering was choppy, and then a longer than it should have been wait in a covered pavillion at the pier, then finally, maybe 30 minutes later, a several blocks walk to some old white-painted school buses and then a rather fast around the corners (thought we might tip) race to the other side of island where we got off in the hot sun and stood around--obviously no boat. now i know many do this through independents--and this was an occasion where that might have been better, though in all the confusion at the pier i saw people having some problems making connections with the indy operators. finally someone said we were going to board the obviously too small for all of us catamaran that was at that dock. so we looked at the line, and scooted our way to the front and got on about 5 people before we hit capacity of 60. what about us? asked the 61st person (there were about 60 more on the dock) answers from the boat crew (who apparently had been hired on the spot after they'd cancelled an indy tour for engine problems that they fixed faster than they'd expected --we had no engine problems that day) were "i don't know" and from the tour operator guy w/ the cell phone the answer was "there's another boat coming". told they waited there about an hour in the sun--must have been miserable and furious, and they pulled up to the sandbar maybe 5 minutes before we left at the end of about 45 minutes in w/ the sting rays.

 

this was an amazing experience, even w/ the transit hassles i am glad we did it and there was plenty of time for my tastes to be in there with them. the larger crowd of people--60 from our boat compared to some smaller boats of 20 didnt seem to make our experience much different than the others around us--the ships were all in the same area anyway. but a three hour excursion (all together now, to the tune of gilligan's island--"a three hour tour, a three hour tour...") had us report to the theater at 10:15 am and get back to the ship at 3:15 pm, so it was 5 hours. heavy traffic to the pier and then long tender lines--the port had announced early cessation of tender operations because of a storm front that was expected to move through, that was announced early a.m. by the captain--so every one was looking to leave at once, and us being slowed up and added to the crowd at that time of day didnt help (we'd been told last tender at 3:30).

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We have experienced having only hot water several times, once on EOS & a couple times on Princess. When we asked for cold water (to take meds) they tried to make us pay for bottled water.

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We were on the January 2 sailing of the Majesty of the Seas. We have sailed from Miami 8 or 9 times now and I have never seen such chaos as there was on that Monday. Obviously, there were too many ships in port that day. Our ship was all the way at the end of the port, by the Carnival ships and the cargo holding area. I've never seen a ship berthed there before. They had several tents set up for us to wait in until boarding the ship where we were checked in in the dining room. Now, this is not to say that Miami is not busy and confusing on a normal day, but January 2 was not a normal day. I wouldn't expect future cruises out of this port to be as bad as it was this day.

BTW, we watched the Radiance sail by us from our balcony and she looked just wonderful. We decided to book a cruise on her next November on the spot.

Logan, thanks for the heads up about 2 formal nights. I thought there was only one on a 6 night.

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We were on the January 2 sailing of the Majesty of the Seas. We have sailed from Miami 8 or 9 times now and I have never seen such chaos as there was on that Monday. Obviously, there were too many ships in port that day. Our ship was all the way at the end of the port, by the Carnival ships and the cargo holding area. I've never seen a ship berthed there before. They had several tents set up for us to wait in until boarding the ship where we were checked in in the dining room. Now, this is not to say that Miami is not busy and confusing on a normal day, but January 2 was not a normal day. I wouldn't expect future cruises out of this port to be as bad as it was this day.

BTW, we watched the Radiance sail by us from our balcony and she looked just wonderful. We decided to book a cruise on her next November on the spot.

Logan, thanks for the heads up about 2 formal nights. I thought there was only one on a 6 night.

 

Actually, I only thought there was one formal night also!! I think I read something wrong, or was just still in Disney Cruise Mode where the second one is a "semi"formal--was all ready with the blazer and slacks, very country club preppy style, until i went to the concierge club and saw all the black tie...and then was thankful i hadnt spent too much time in my tux the first formal night so it was pretty well ready to go again.

 

okay, i should wrap up my rantings and ravings and this review.

 

American Airlines--got 2 out of our 3 pieces of checked luggage onto our plane. the missing one was the one w/ all of the dirty laundry, so we couldnt do laundry when we got home for DW (teacher) and Ds and their return for the start of the semester the next day. and this was after we found the two bags that did make it on a different carousel in ATL than the one we had been informed would be where we would get our luggage. AA had been having big problems out of miami since the previous day, we were told. i told the customer service agent at the lost luggage counter that even though I am a divorce alwyer i thought she had a nasty job, and gave her credit for her demeanor in front of two days worth of p.o.'d folks. got it back 8 pm monday night instead of when we landed at 2 pm sunday afternoon, too late for laundry until tuesday, so 2 days w/o many favorite clothes.

 

there was no signage in MIA for american airlines where we entered at terminal section C--turns out the cabbie dropped us earlier than optimal, and we had to pull the bags practically halfway across the terminal to get to where the "self service" line for domestic check in started. then we saw people cutting in line, like half an hour's worth of line, pretending they didnt speak english (but when i looked at the kiosk screen, she had it on english just fine) as an excuse not to go to the back of the line. did not sit well with us. and then the entrance to the kiosk/counter area was the same narrow passage way as you had to pull your luggage through after getting it tagged to bring it to the TSA/x-ray area--who designed that bottleneck? and of course, not all the bags made it. did i mention we were three hours early for the flight when we got into the terminal, and still 2 hours early after finally giving the luggage over to TSA, so its not like we were last minute rushing.

 

all in all, a wonderful cruise. glad we did it. will sail with RCI again 4 weeks from tomorrow, and I'm close to halfway to the "free" cruise on the royal caribbean visa card points program, so we'll definitely be going again, too.

 

but not from miami, and i can only be honest when i report our stay at the port of miami holiday inn as less than satisfactory, and i cannot recommend it, even bearing in mind it is not a high end luxe property. have had many a better stay in a hampton inn than that hotel. even in lower alabama...

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We flew on JetBlue from JFK to FLL on Monday, Jan 2, and they lost 2 of our 3 checked bags. The luggage with my kids clothes (who were staying with the grandparents) made it fine, but the two bags with most of my clothing and all of dh's clothes were not to be found. They were finally located in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan 9! We got them back, safe and sound, but somewhat wrinkled, on Tuesday afternoon. We were told this was a very, very busy travel week with many people extending their holidays because of the extra day off on Monday. I've learned my lesson and will definitely be packing more into my carry-on from now on.

I agree, Logan, that being a baggage claim agent is not a pleasant job. While I think I dealt with them in a very civil manner, there were other people in the office the day with were there who were being very beligerent and abusive.

Thanks again for taking the time to post a very comprehensive review.

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the two bags with most of my clothing and all of dh's clothes were not to be found. They were finally located in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan 9!

 

does this mean that your clothes had a better trip than you did? you could ask the clothes, but all they'd say would be 'what happens in vegas, stays in vegas";)

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In your first posts, one of the notes to yourself was about the ships condition a few weeks before going into drydock. I will be on the last cruise on the Radiance before it goes into drydock so i am really curious as to your comments about this. Thanks.

When is the Radiance going into drydock? We're cruising on 2/26...

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When is the Radiance going into drydock? We're cruising on 2/26...

 

Right before you go! :) You'll have to check back in for sure and let us know how she looks.

 

Tracy

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okay, i should wrap up my rantings and ravings and this review.

...

Wait, wait..........will you please answer my questions above? Thank you.

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does this mean that your clothes had a better trip than you did? you could ask the clothes, but all they'd say would be 'what happens in vegas, stays in vegas";)

LOL--logan, too funny.

I do believe, however, they were found "hanging out" in a casino, playing the nickel slots. ;)

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Thanks for taking the time to post your review. I heard Miami airports and ports are no fun so I am prepared. I believe you said your son went into adventure ocean program on the first day, was this during afternoon or at night? Where and when is sign up? I didn't think they were open the first day. Can you tell me how the arcade card works and where it is purchased? Thanks.

 

to clarify, we signed DS up for Adv.Ocean about as soon as we got on the ship, at a table in the lobby on deck 4 when we first got on board. filled out a quick form (I think) and he got a bracelet that I think was for use in getting him to the correct muster station should he be in AO when the alarm might be sounded. There were comparatively few children in his age group on board, he stuck his head in the club area at some point the first night I believe, and found no one, and never went back. he tended to make friends on the basketball court, and got involved in pickup games with other players from his own age, 9, up through adult.

 

arcade--uses the seapass card (disney uses a seprate arcade card in comparison)--put your seapass card into the machine in the arcade, indicate that you want to add value, there is a choice of adding value via cash or via your stateroom account (has a bill feeder if you wanted to use cash), and then select the amount of value you wish to use. the trick that took us a bit to realize was that the arcade games required you to swipe the side of your seapass card to let it read the bar code, not to insert the card and remove it to read the magnetic stripe on the back (you know, like EVERY other card operated system in the modern economy...). So once we read closely enough to figure that out, it worked fine, and DS never took it upon himself to add more arcade value to his card w/o me there to do it for him.:rolleyes: good kid.

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