Cruise Diva's CRUISE
~ Western Caribbean "Sunshine Sojourns"~
This Diamond is a Perfect Gem
Our first glimpse of the Radisson
Diamond confirmed our expectations. Her appearance is distinctive.
Very distinctive. Not only do conventional cruise ships tower over her, other differences
apparent as well.
Radisson Diamond isn't sleek and her bow appears
somewhat short, but her SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) design
promises comfortable sailing with virtually no "motion of the
ocean" to disturb her passengers. Her appeal is as unique as her
design and we loved her on sight.
While it isn't unusual for us to
embark on Caribbean cruises in Fort Lauderdale, Mel and I were
delighted with the stress-free experience of boarding Radisson
Diamond. With light traffic, we arrived earlier than
planned. Rather than a long wait for check-in, we were escorted
through the most seamless boarding process possible, made all the more
pleasant by gracious staff members and a refreshing flute of champagne.
Staterooms weren't quite ready, so we were made comfortable at a table
outside the Grill where light snacks and beverages were offered.
Mel immediately set out to explore
the rest of the pool deck. He headed aft and returned moments later.
He was gone a bit longer after walking off to the bow and taking a
look at the bridge. Only 420 feet long, nothing is very far
away on Radisson Diamond. This is our kind of ship—small and
yet understated and relaxed.
Comfort and Convenience
with private teak balcony
Blonde woods, beige and taupe
furnishings, and the abundant use of mirrors add to the airy
appearance of our balcony stateroom. But more importantly, our
accommodations were thoughtfully designed for efficiency and function. As I unpacked, I
discovered just how much storage was provided for guests. It would be
difficult to fill all the drawers on a seven-night cruise. Every need
has been anticipated, from the lighted vanity and small, but useable
desk, both with electric outlets, to a table that two people can
really use for dining. The balcony is a quiet and totally private
refuge, with teak decking, two padded chairs, and another table
suitable for dining al fresco.
design combines comfort and efficiency
Almost as unique as
our vessel itself, for her Caribbean season, Radisson Diamond guests
enjoy the comfort of "country club casual" attire and
beverages on an all-inclusive basis. The simplified wardrobe
requirement made packing a snap and the absence of drink chits makes
us truly feel like guests aboard a private yacht. This exclusive
ambiance is shared by fellow guests and we're all pleased with the impression.
Mel and several other back-seat
drivers watched with keen interest as Captain Neil Broomhall eased Radisson
Diamond from her berth... they had such an advantageous view that
Captain Neil had to ask them to step back so he could see the pier.
Our yacht was launched with a champagne bon voyage party underway and
a week of luxurious Caribbean cruising ahead of us.
A full moon smiled on Radisson
Diamond as we dangled our toes over the balcony railing and toasted
the end of a lovely first day on board.
Key West, Florida
Capital of the "Conch
Republic," Key West is just as quirky and fun as we remembered
from previous visits. Radisson Diamond arrived at 9:00 am and we were
quickly ashore for a stroll. Mel and I decided to rediscover Key West
on our own and do some shopping, but the shore excursions offered were
enticing, particularly the soft adventures. In addition to the
customary sightseeing tours in our ports of call, there are more
active offerings—fishing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, diving, and
even a four-wheeling off-road adventure.
Key West streets lead to Mallory Square and its Historic
Memorial Sculpture Garden
While we wouldn't sail until 4:00
pm, Mel and I headed back to the Diamond in
the early afternoon. It was quite hot and the icy bottled water we
picked up at the gangway was long gone. We headed to the Grill for a
salad luncheon, followed by a tempting pineapple crisp topped with
vanilla sauce. There goes my diet!
Although we sailed long before
sunset, I imagined the one we would enjoy at sea would be every bit as surreal as the one being celebrated
at Mallory Pier in Key West—a nightly ritual. Alas, clouds obscured
the view, but we have more sunsets to look forward to.
Captain Neil Broomhall, the
seating is de rigueur in the
Grand Dining Room
"Yes, I am old enough to be
driving the boat," Captain Neil Brromhall assured us during the evening's
Welcome Party. From the Staffordshire countryside in England, his
smile is infectious and he mixes easily with his guests. Despite the
country club casual nature of our cruise, the guests aboard Captain
Broomhall's "private yacht" turned out smartly for the evening—most men in
sport jackets (with or without tie) and women in cocktail dresses or
From beginning to end, our meal in
the Grand Dining Room was perfection. Melt-in-your-mouth Beef Wellington... succulent Maine lobster. Our dinner partners, from the
northeast and southern United States, found common ground--we reveled
in the marvelous dishes, fine wine, exquisite service, and congenial
The multi-level Windows Lounge, site
of the earlier Welcome Aboard party, proved to be the perfect venue
for after dinner cabaret. The "Back to Broadway" show
highlighted the talent of the Peter Grey Terhune Singers and Dancers.
No pyrotechnics or fancy illusions—their superb voices didn't need
enhancement to carry the show.
Promising ourselves a nightcap, Mel
and I headed for the intimate Club bar and were immediately taken with
the energy generated by "The Three of Diamonds,"
particularly the beautiful vocals by Monaliza. The dance floor was
hopping and we joined in, glad the next day would be a recuperative
one at sea.
Next -> Relax during a sea day &
join us ashore in Grand Cayman
Back to the Diamond
Western Caribbean Cruise Diary Index
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Caribbean Ports of Call
Cruise Line Profile - Radisson
Seven Seas Cruises
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