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Copyright 1995-2001 
Linda Coffman


Radiance of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
April 7 ~ 14-day Panama Canal

By Blakbyrds@webtv.net

THE SHIP:
The Radiance is one of the nicest ships I've been on, the wood decor and the attention to detail in every area was very impressive. Our cabin (3600 block) was spacious and very comfortable. I could be wrong but I think our bed was king size, it was bigger than a queen for sure. The storage areas in the cabin were more than enough in fact we had space left over.

Every public area on the ship is comfortable and very appealing, particularly the Crown and Anchor room. That was a nice place to relax right off the pool area. Both alternative dining rooms (Portofinos and the Chop House) were fantastic, as was the dining in the Cascades. 

Every meal I had on the ship was A+. Speaking of dining, I loved the multiple stations in the Windjammer--that was a great idea. I'm not sure why the Windjammer is directly under the basketball court because the noise was a little annoying, but the area is very nice.

THE STAFF:
First and foremost Gordon Whatman is the best cruise director I've sailed with. Funny entertaining very easy to  talk to and deal with. The rest of the staff were nice and very accommodating. There were some rough spots with some new staff but nothing major at all.

I did notice something that I've never experienced before on ship. There were a lot of staff from Sweden, Slovakia, Holland, etc. and those folks (primarily women) were not happy being on the ship at all. They were very vocal about it. I guess the gist of it was that they could make decent money in the their countries and not wipe a table off everyday in the Windjammer or hand out photos all day. It was strange because you would say something like "how's it going" and they would go right into "fine as soon as I can go home and have a nice meal..." etc.

PORTS:
No ship on any cruise line should go to Costa Rica, PERIOD 'nuff said. Aruba, Cabo and Acapulco were all nice and of course the Canal trip was
very scenic and informative.

ODDS & ENDS:
The Colony Club set up was a good idea, very nice. The is also very easy to use if you are disabled, they did a good job in that area. Entertainment was the same as always, singers and dancers mixed with a juggler and magician. All were very good and worth seeing.  Activities were well planned and the staff made them fun for everyone. Loved the Coffee Shop/Bookstore... great idea!

COMPLAINTS:
Only one, the whole Crown and Anchor Society and Diamond member status has become a joke. The ONLY advantage to being a Diamond member is 20% off in the gift shop. Now 20% is nothing to sneeze at but lets face it the markup is 200%. There is no early check in and basically never has been based on our experience and according to the Crown and Anchor coordinator on the ship. But here's the kicker, we went to ask about booking another cruise and asked the C&A guy about savings as Diamond members. His response "there is no advantage to being a Diamond member and we are working on that." So that was a little disappointing but we press on.

All in all I highly recommend the ship to anyone going on a cruise, if we sail RCCL again this is the ship we will go on. Take care and BON VOYAGE!


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