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Jim1012 04-02-2011 01:16 PM

Back From Radiance-WOW!!
Just this morning we got off Radiance OTS from a 5-day cruise out of Tampa. Here are my thoughts and review; The first word that popped into my thinly covered mind was the word "Elegant". This smaller class vessel states "Class" from the first walk around we did, not to mention it the fact that doesn't take half a day to walk from bow to stern. Subdued beauty and not alot of glitzy flash. I'll start with the plus notes. The Cascades Dineing room, two floors, is covered with dark wood with gold trim and black accents. There is a beautiful tile moasic ocean themed picture that spans two floors on one end, and a real waterfall between the staircase. The Windjammer Cafe has a very nice touch in that there is an outside sitting area overlooking the stern, and sliding glass doors from te room to the pool area for those that wish to eat outside, along with a constant coffee and juice machine area that's open all day. The Solarium area has an African theme, and is totally covered and enclosed, and VERY hot. Snacks are served there late at night at the Bar area.
There is a Centrum area which goes up to the 10th floor. On deck 4, there is a bar, and seating for many, who can listen to music played almost all day, from an excellent guitar player or two, to a piano and violin combo, which only lends to the class. On deck 6 is the Scooner Bar and behind that iis the Colony Club, a very "man cave" dark wood look, where the C&A welcome back party was held, which was also very nicely done. I made my normal $100 donation to the ship's fuel fund through the Casino Royal, as I remember Captain Johnnie once saying the ship gets 600' per gallon of fuel, and I wanted to help us get to Costa Maya. Once we made it there, we were docked behind Liberty, where the ship size difference if obvious. But something else caught my eye while there. Radiance seemed, to me and my wife, to have a much smoother ride than Liberty. Liberty seemed to be bouncing around the dock while we sat basically still, and although the seas were slightly rough, my wife commented how smooth the Radiance was going from port to port, and I agreed. She also questioned about our cabin choice on Liberty last September, #6414, as to if they had repaired the Jaccuzzi on the balcony yet. But that's another thread. The shows and singer and dancers were great, and "Dan Dan the Party Man", our cruise director seemed to be everywhere at once. Minuses; very few really. Design flaw in placing the basketball court above the Windjammer as it sounded like the roof was going to cave in even during breakfast. The Solarium needs to have a window that opens on port and starboard sides for a little ventilation! WOW it got hot in there! You almost bake under the glass covering the whole area, which I'm sure makes it nice when crusing Alaska. But now I heard that Radiance is going in for a re-fit in May this year, then back to Alaska, and then to Auzzi Land down under, where she'll cruise there for their Summer, and then come back here and cruise Alaska for our Summer. A new Radiance class ship will call Tampa home. I still love Mariner first, but Radiance is now our second most favorite ship in the fleet; the Captain noted during the C&A party that Radiance was named "Ship of the Fleet" for 2010, and we feel that it's a well deserved honor. BTW, not to diminish them, but the staff was well up the the best standards of RCL; Heri was our waiter, and Patricia was our cabin steward, and she even allowed me to practice my Spanish! As to the port, it was fine. We got to Tampa and stayed a few days, and rented a car at the airport, and another when we got back, and they provided a free ride to and from the ship. I won't state the name of the rental, but it cost more than $.99, and less than $1.01. If that's too clear, I'm sure the bosses will edit this post, and rightly so. We are now going to be Emerald, and are working our way slowing up to Diamond in C&A, and this ship was a great way to advance.Happy Crusing Everybody!!

Dave 04-02-2011 01:29 PM

Welcome back, Jim! Sounds like you really enjoyed the Radiance. I've yet to sail on that class of ship but now I want to, so Tampa might be seeing me.

It is fine to mention Dollar Rent-a-car.

Nadine 04-02-2011 01:54 PM

Welcome back, Jim. We have been on Radiance twice and totally agree with you. We like the size of the ship and were happy both times with the cabin, amenities, etc.

Glad you had a great time!


Sonny V 04-02-2011 09:54 PM

Welcome home, Jim! I also loved our B2B cruise on the Radiance last October. The food was the best of any cruise I've been on. I'm glad you enjoyed your cruise.


peter l 04-03-2011 06:08 AM

Welcome back Jim from your cruise and for your comments. It certainly makes one want to try the Radiance of the Seas; perhaps next year depending on the itiniery.


Bill McGarr 04-03-2011 10:50 AM

Thanks for the update, we sail on thursday and can't wait. This will be our second cruise on the radiance.

penny3333 04-04-2011 08:29 AM

Welcome back Jim, sounds like it was a great cruise. Something that I need to add to my bucket list:) Did you have any of the gulf shrimp in Tampa? Some of the sweetest and largest shrimp I've ever had. Where did y'all stay? Was the hotel convenient? When's the next one?

Casey & Kathy 04-05-2011 10:14 AM

Welcome back Jim,
We have really enjoyed our sailings on the Radiance. The solarium as hot as it must be in Tampa is standing room only on the Alaska sailings and the SeaView cafe is our favorite non paying eatery on the fleet. I was very happy to see a name from the past "Dan Dan the Party Man". He was on the Vision for many years and left the company . He was the best Travolta on 70's night. I only wish wish they would switch to fresh water pools on this class of ship.

Bill McGarr 04-17-2011 04:43 PM

Agree with everything Jim said about the radiance. This was our 8th RCL cruise and this was the best yet. We showed up at the terminal at 11:15 qnd was on the ship and eating in the Windjammer by 11:30. Everything was excellent. No complaints at all. I was really pleased with this ship and the cruise overall. now counting down for daughter wedding cruise on the Carnival Dream.

Cruisingforme 04-20-2011 03:06 AM

WOW.. Radiance was fantastic
Hi guys.. just found this site.. and great to see some real feedback from other fellow cruisers... Just done our first cruise with my wife and I... on Radiance.. All I can say is we are hooked for life and already planning our next cruise... We would have to totally agree with Sonny's post that the food was fantastic... Also met other fellow cruisers and hopefully start seeing more of this wonderful world by cruise...

So I guess I will now have to sift through all the post of any cruise I am interested in... great site... keep up the good work.

Steve & Val

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