CruiseMates' Readers Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines Radiance of the Seas by john Southern Caribbean January 25, 2003

I will try to be short and to the point, any items I miss or specific to you I will answer via email.

PRE CRUISE- We came in one day early stayed at the Comfort Inn Tanama Princess, on recommendation from another reviewer that said it was 3 C's-Clean,Comfortable,and Cheap. He was correct on all three. Room was $99. It was also fairly close to the airport-$13 cab ride and close to the pier, $12.

EMBARKATION- this was fast and easy, took only minutes till we were on our way to the ship.

DUTY FREE- Just before entering the ship, if you plan to bring wine on board and you did not bring your own(there is a 2 bottle per person limit but no hard liquor is allowed) this is a good place to buy. As we were looking at wines, I was sort of unsure to buy or not a person in charge says to me, if you buy 3 bottles I will give you a forth free! The wines were only 7.95 each so with the forth brought the price down to 6.00 each. Yes they were all very good(we drink reds) I figured even if they charge the corkage fee of $10 a bottle I am still ahead. The cheapest wine on board was 24.00.

FIRST DAY ON BOARD- Use this to explore the Ship. There are many nooks and crannies. Rooms you may not know exist till later in the week. They do offer a drink card good for 12 drinks of choice as long as they are $4.50 or less. The card cost $39 plus tip brings it to around $3.75 total for one, so you save slightly more than a buck on each, just don't order beer with it or you lose. They also have kids cards available. Next I will get right to food, service and entertain.

BREAKFAST- We ate breakfast everyday in the Windjammer, indoor outdoor buffet. All the food is good, great variety. It was set up with stations so there is not a line to wait in. We usually took our plate and ate in the very back of the ship outside with a great view and not too crowded. LUNCH- Usually in the same place but a few times we elected to just get a bite in the Solarium. They offered a few choices like pizza and wraps. The Seaview cafe located in the very rear but up on deck 12 was only opened between 2-6pm and then late night but they offered different items also. The onion rings around midnight are great!

DINNER- We choose the early or main seating which is at 6:15. Dinner was in the Cascades dining room which was very nice. All our dinners were of very good quality and the only complaint was a steak that was done too well Desserts were mostly to die for. Need I say more? The wife and I brought wine five days to the table. The first day my waiter notified me of the corkage fee which I told him I was familiar with. But I was ready for him. I had a 20 in an envelope addressed to him. When I gave it to him he said, whats this for? and I explained that it was just an advance for his great service. Not only did he not charge me for any corkage, but on the last night we ordered two glasses of wine and he did not punch my card. I also ordered cappuccino every night which is on the pay side of the dessert menu, but once again he did not charge me. I ended up saving some and he with a much bigger tip. One note on coffee, its free only at the Windjammer and at dinner anywhere else you have to pay for it?

SERVICE- Oh yes, service was great. Waiter-Sahin Asst.-Leigh. Room attendant did a great job also. Actually all around the ship everyone was friendly and helpful.

ENTERTAINMENT-A little disappointing, 2 comedians (Roger Behr was very good) a juggler, the ships entertainers-ok- and the best show was the Gaucho, don't miss it. Also the usual parties on deck etc.

GENERAL NOTES-Solarium pool area is beautiful, adults only. -Main pool a little small on sea days maybe thats why they only have one sea day. -Fitness center is great. -Running track on top deck kind of a pain, joggers running into and around people walking and sunning. -Kids area, nice, big, but what I seen not too many people using it. -Night life, nice clubs, Schooners, the Colony a disco, and a few others don't remember the names, like I said in the beginning explore the whole ship.

SPECIALTY REST.-Chops and Portafinos. We did not use them but others in our group did and said they were nice. Overall we gave the ship a five out of five star rating. Would definitely do RCI again. The only negati

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