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Review - Radiance OTS 3/5-3/12/06

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This is going to have to be a review in progress...but please be patient.



Arrived at the MIA airport at appx. 10:00 am and what a mess! Get out of here as fast as you can and be sure to make note for when you have to come back for your return flight. You could barely even walk there were so many people!


Finally made it out and found my fellow cruiser (she was on a different flight) and got a cab to the ship. So Excited! Turns out our cabbie was from Haiti and knew all about Labadee, so we talked about that on the ride and got a nice little bonus background on the sights in MIA.


Arrived at Radiance and it was beautiful! My friend was concerned b/c all of our cruise docs said no boarding until 2:00 and at this time it was about 11:00 am. I knew better from the Cruise Critic Boards so we headed right in. It was amazing to me that RCI had a sign posted right outside their door saying no boarding till 2:00, but we were in the Windjammer eating lunch by 11:30! Don't let them deter you!


Cabins were available by 1:00 so we toured the ship, saw our dining table, and made a reservation for Chops before it was ready. We were already right on track before most people had boarded! At 1:00 we took a quick trip to the cabin to change and then were on deck sunning by 1:30. We took our life jackets with us for the muster drill. Got a few odd looks but it was worth it not to have to go back to the cabin.


At 4:30 the muster drill was short and sweet and then we were told to go to the top deck for sail away! We had a balcony cabin on the hump and went there instead. Good thing too b/c there was a problem with the thrusters and we didn't leave until 8-8:30 that night! Took a much needed nap and were ready for our first dinner by 8:30.


Met our table mates for the first time and they were very nice. Dinner was okay the first night. My steak was good, but the appetizers and sides left much to be desired...unfortunately this was indicative of what was to come for the rest of the week. Food was good, but no where close to great!


After dinner we went back to the cabin to watch the end of the Oscars and then hit the sack early so we could be ready for our first big day at sea!


More to come...:)

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DAY 2 - At Sea


We were up and at 'em at 7:30 this morning due to the early night on day 1. Went to the Sky bar for the Walk-A-Mile and then to the gym to work out for a while. Room service was delivered promptly at 9:00 which was just when we had requested it. The breakfast was good, but due to the small selection I would recommend going to the Windjammer.


After a quick change into our suits and application of sunscreen we were on deck and in our chairs by 10:00. We had no problem finding chairs at 10, even though we had seen people saving them as early as 8:00 am! The day was beautiful, and it was windy enough that you were perfectly comfortable in the sun all day. We waited (and it wasn't easy) until 11:30 for our first pina colada of the day which was great! Very filling, but tasty!


At around 12:30 we ate lunch in the dining room. Had no problem giving up our chairs b/c no one wants to get burned on the first day! The lunch in the dining room was pretty good, but once again the Windjammer is quicker, and just as good.


After lunch we headed to the Art Auction in the Starquest due to the promise of free champagne. This ended up being a really fun event. Even though most of the works were out of my league I did purchase one. Be careful though! Those auctioneers do a very good job of convincing you that you need something! Maybe it was just the champagne... Either way my "great deal" ended up costing me 3x what I paid for it once shipping and framing were added.


We went to the chops on board for a little while after the auction and then to the Windjammer to eat...again. After our snack it was to the Sky Bar for the 5:15 Walk-a-Mile and then back to the cabin for showers and naps. It was so nice to have the late dining seating because we could take as much time as we needed to rest after a long day, and then make a few smuggled cocktails in the room before dinner:)


I believe that this was the first formal night, but I'll have to check my notes to be sure. I do remember the lobster bisque! Yelch! Stay away! After the dinner it was off to the casino for blackjack which was always fun. Just as a hint to drinkers...the draft beers in the casino are HUGE and only about 1.50 more than the cans. Go with the draft.


It was off to bed by midnight again beacuse we had early yoga on the beach scheduled for Labadee. More on that next!

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