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Donavon Shoemaker

Age: 56

Occupation:minister

Number of Cruises: 1

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

Sailing Date: November 2nd, 2003

Itinerary: Western Caribbean

This was my wife and my first cruise. After reading various reviews of various cruise lines and finding sailing dates and locations that suited us we decided to book Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas. From the time we arrived at Fort Lauderdale with RCCL booking our flight schedule, we met the cruise line’s personnel who were extremely friendly and helpful. Arriving at the ship we were directed to our stateroom where we quickly met our attendant, John. Everyone was so friendly that you immediately knew that this was going to be an enjoyable experience. We were not disappointed.

The evening dining was a wonderful, relaxing time and we were pleased to have dining partners who were friendly. The waiter, assistant waiter, and head waiter were people who were very friendly and waited upon you like you were royalty. The food itself was awesome with a menu that would meet anyone’s liking. There were other choices that people had if they did not wish a four or five course meal. They could go to two of the specialty restaurants (at a @ a $20 charge) or eat at the Windjammer Café buffet. We chose to be served every evening. We ate breakfast in the Dining room three of the days and ate at the Windjammer for the other breakfast’s and our lunches. The view at the Windjammer was awesome and we often sat outdoors while dining.

We took relaxful walks looking in the shops in Key West for a couple hours and then went back to the ship where we spent time relaxing and sleeping as we needed the rest. In Cozumel we took the dolphin encounter through the Exploration tour. It was pricey but enjoyable as we got to interact with a dolphin. After that we spent time at the park and I tried snorkeling which I found fascinating. It is an incredible world beneath the waters! The park was beautifully manicured with trails to explore.

In Costa Maya, we did not take any explorations. Instead we shopped at the tourist shops and took in the cultural flavor of the local people. Returning to the Radiance we ate lunch, then returned to the beach where we enjoyed the warm water while tackling one of the rockiest beaches we have seen. Aqua shoes are a must.

The days at sea were no problem for us as there was more than enough to do without gambling. The entertainment was excellent most of the time: Kenny James, the Royal Caribbean dancers, a female vocalist, the Diamonds, and on the last night they had a juggler/unicyclist who was a riot. The only night that was so-so was the comedian who wasn’t all that funny.

Grand Cayman was a place I personally enjoyed as we ferried into the dock. We finished our shopping, returned the ship where we quickly ate and then returned to shore to go on the glass bottom boat which is like snorkeling without getting wet. It was tremendous except that the air conditioning in the boat was very weak and my wife thought she was going to faint. Reaching land, we went to a nearby bar/restaurant and enjoyed a smoothie and a coke while enjoying a breezy view of the Radiance and other boats coming and going.

The Radiance is an incredibly beautiful ship that was beyond my inexperienced dreams. It has set a high standard for any future trips we might take. I admit that entering the dining room with its incredible elegance, I thought of the Titanic. Thankfully it is not the Titanic.

There is something for everyone on the Radiance and the crew work extremely hard to make your vacation a lasting positive memory.

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