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lemming

Radiance Of the Seas review Jan 22 - Jan 29

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Feel free to ask any questions, there's just too much info for me to remember to include. Here are some of the highlights.

Overall this was the best cruise I've been on (have been on 7 now)....

Royal Caribbean Ship - Radiance of the Seas

7 night/8 day Western Caribbean

Jan 22 - Jan 29 2006

 

Day 1

Embarkation was very smooth, without a doubt the smoothest I've ever been on. RCCL has started doing a system called SeaPass. This system greatly increases the embarkation/debarkation process. From the time we arrived in Miami to the time we were on the ship took less than 20 minutes. We were topside for the send off and it was great. 3 other ships were leaving with us and it was a beautiful sight. Dinner that night was casual (Cascades). The staff at the Cascades dining room were wonderful. The head, main, and assistant waiters did a fantastic job of making sure the service was prompt. Our main waiter was Chako, his assistant was Zarie (sp?) from Hungary. More on the dining later.

 

Day 2

-Nassau-

It's been 10+ years since I've been to Nassau. I wasn't thrilled with going there to begin with, but I was very pleasantly surprised after we arrived. Nassau has been cleaned up a lot and it was very apparent. The vendors were not pushy at all and the pier area was very clean and well kept. You could tell they were making an effort to keep this area nice for tourists. We did the Rainbow reef + snorkel. The snorkeling was pretty good, not the best I've seen, but not bad either. We walked from the pier to a boat that held about 30 people or so. They took us out aways and we snorkeled off the back of the boat around the reef area. Along the way there was also some historical info given. Overall my experience in Nassau was very good and I would go back to this island in the future (and plan to).

 

Day 2

Sea Day

After traveling and a day of snorling my wife and I took the opportunity to sleep in. We ate breakfast at the Windjammer. The food was good there. RCCL has done a great job with the island style eating instead of 2 long lines in the typical buffet style. This was the first formal night. We attended the captains cocktail party which was very informative. RCCL is up to 19 ships in their fleet with 3 more on the way. Our captain was on his first voyage (no more hurdy gurdy) and he is the youngest in the fleet. He was very nice and personable. I cannot remember his name. He spoke at length of the turbine system that the radiance had. Very impressive and very environment friendly. Dinner that night was fabulous. The staff were starting to get to know the various people at the table and it was very enjoyable. The prime rib was the best I've ever had.

 

Day 3

-Cozumel-

Because of Wilma and the damage sustained we were tendered. The tendering process went very well. My wife and I decided to do the unlimited snorkel. I was pleasantly surprised. The seas were pretty rough that day but the water was very warm and the fish were everywhere. We had 2 wonderful guides who provided a lot of historical info as well as pointed out various fish and even an eel! We also did a bit of shopping here. The shops along Cozumel were beautiful. I highly reccomend the Del Sol shops. The color changing stuff is pretty cool.

 

Day 4

-Costa Maya-

Cachckoben (sp?) Mayan Ruins.

We were docked at this port. Very new port, very beautiful water. The Ruins were beautiful. They were in a rain forest and it was amazing. It felt like being in the middle of a jungle. The bus ride to and from was about an hour each way, but very much worth it. This is going to be a beautiful port for many years to come and will become one of the bigger ones before long.

 

Day 5

-Grand Cayman-

We were tendered here. Very pretty port, but very busy. There were 4 other ships in port and at times the process of tendering was sluggish. The port can only handle 4 tenders at once, and with 4 ships (2000+ people per ship) things can be hectic. I did the acqua boats + snorkel and my wife did the Highlights tour + turtle farm. The acqua boats and snorkel were a blast. We stopped at an old pirate shipwreck and the snorkeling was amazing. It was like being inside an acquarium. I've never seen so many beautiful fish.

 

Day 6

At sea

Not much to comment on here. It was a little rough heading back, but overall was a nice relaxing day. We did some of the daily activities and just mostly relaxed on deck around the pool area.

 

Day 7

Debarkation

Overall smooth process. We were a bit late getting back in because of 4 other ships also returning at the same time. Overall smooth process.

 

Misc thoughts:

This was my 7th cruise, 3rd with RCCL. I would reccomend them over any other cruise line. The staff does an amazing job, always polite and willing to help. They go beyond the extra mile.

 

Windjammer is a great place to get food at almost any time.

Cascades dining food was fabulous the entire time.

Already looking forward to our next cruise!

 

Also thanks to cruise critic for being the best site online when it comes to cruise info, I just discovered this site a month or so ago and love it.

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I was on this same cruise and yes Radiance is in good condition. She will be going into drydock for 2 weeks at the end of this weeks cruise and then she will be in even better condition. :)

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For lemming and Outsyder, glad you had great cruises. We are on her Apr. 2 western (Labadee, Och Rios, Grand Cayman, Cozumel...a wee bit tender intensive but, what is one to do :D)

 

Question...I know she is going into drydock...was there any word on significant crew and staff changes for the period after drydock? Just curious.

 

Thank you :)

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"Question...I know she is going into drydock...was there any word on significant crew and staff changes for the period after drydock? Just curious."

 

Don't believe there were going to be big changes. We just got a new captain, it was his first sail. He's also the youngest in the fleet. Seemed very nice and personable tho.

 

Some were at the end of their 6 month contracts, some weren't. Not sure how many or who tho.... sorry I cant help more.

 

The main point (to my knowledge) of the drydock was to clean the ship up. It happens every 2-3 years.

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