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Radiance of the Seas....Vancouver to Honolulu 9/10/19


DougMacP
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Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI.  This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went.   
 
What we loved:
The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right)
The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium
One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club)
Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet
The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!)
Lots of deck space and loungers.
Automatic leveling pool tables.
The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff.
The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide!  
 
What we liked:
The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room.
The food in the specialty restaurants
The musicians and lounge acts.
Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special call out to the egg drop)
The art deco vibe of the stateroom
Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general.
The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship)
Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror)
 
What we weren't crazy about:
Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process.
Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. 
Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember)  
The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from what the signs say as "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. 
Evening entertainment limited. 
 
Would we do RCI again?  As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will.
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My wife and  I favorite class of ships, not to small not to large, just right...........We did 15 night  round trip from San Pedro to Hawaii On Seranade and a 14 night Panama Canal cruise from San Deigo to Ft. Lauderdale on Radiance

Edited by Jimbo
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We did Honolulu to Sydney last year on Radiance and loved the ship and crew (minus the cruise director who had no idea for the mainly aussie crowd).

 

I know its only a dream, but it would be great if instead of the new goliath ships that are coming online that cant fit in many ports, that we get a new radiance class ship.

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Good news for us, we are taking the Radiance next September Vancouver to Tokyo, looking forward to our first Radiance class cruise.  Sounds like our kind of ship, we have taken many cruises on NCL Jewel class ships, have enjoyed Mariner and Adventure on RCI.

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