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Copyright © 1995-2003 
Linda Coffman

 

Cruise Diva's CRUISE DIARY
~ Western Caribbean "Sunshine Sojourns"~

This Diamond is Everyone's Best Friend

An extraordinary way to view the Caribbean, from Windows

If there is a better way to cruise in the Caribbean, I have yet to discover it. The itinerary of familiar ports wasn't glamorous; however, the inventive tour offerings gave us a fresh new look at them. Ultimately, though, our vessel made it an incomparable adventure.

Radisson Diamond's hull design insures that all passenger accommodations have an ocean view; of the 175 staterooms and suites, 121 have private balconies. Built in 1990-92, she was way ahead of her time and she still appears futuristic. With superb upkeep, she doesn't show any signs of aging. Surprisingly, her deep draft is equivalent to that of much larger ships. That, along with her twin hulls, combines for smooth sailing. Cruising at top speed, she's a Rolls Royce, as opposed to a Jaguar.

Shuffleboard Tournament
Passengers vs. Crew

With abundant sea time, the social staff moved into high gear. From poolside ice and vegetable carving and napkin folding demonstrations, to piano concerts, informative lectures, and tea time tests of skill at trivia, sea days flew by as swiftly as time in port.

While these may sound like the same sort of activities offered on other cruises, the Radisson Diamond staff always added an extra bit of pizzazz to everything. Attendance grew as the Shuffleboard Tournament progressed through preliminary stages until the grand finale—with live music, snacks, beverages, and the passengers beating the crew. It seems that even with all their practice, the crew never quite pulls off a shuffleboard victory. As with everything else on board Radisson Diamond, the passengers always wins.

Captain Broomhall maintains an "open bridge" policy and there were always volunteer sailors on hand to assist. In addition, he and his officers graciously extended invitations to passengers for numerous dinners they hosted in the Grand Dining Room.

It was courteous, professional service and the prevailing atmosphere of openness and friendliness that charmed us and made our Radisson Diamond cruise most memorable.

Lasting Impressions

Radisson Seven Seas exceeded our expectations from the moment the paperworkRadisson Seven Seas Cruises arrived. The leather document case contained not only tickets and luggage tags, but also an informative booklet with details about our cruise, the weather we could expect on our itinerary, plus maps and extensive descriptions of ports of call, including shore excursion particulars.

We were wowed as we stepped aboard. Not by a soaring atrium, but by one that is intimate and pierced by glass elevators floored in a marble and brass sunburst design. The Radisson Diamond's stylish decor is understated with an emphasis on comfort. A favorite room, The Club, is expansive in size, yet cozy in feel, with inviting leather armchairs and sofas arranged in conversation areas throughout.

Open seating dining is particularly appealing and there was never a wait to be seated in the Grand Dining Room, which is truly grand—two-decks high in the center and affording sea vistas through windows on three sides. There was no pressure to join other diners and requests for tables for two were immediately granted. 

A view from the stern. The Grand Dining Room's soaring windows overlook the wake.

Special dining experiences were particular treats—Don Vito's Trattoria, the Poolside Dinner Under the Stars, daily tea time, ice cream and snacks in the afternoon, and hot and cold hors d'oeuvres several times during the evening. When we didn't feel like "dressing" to go out until later, we ordered dinner from room service and it was served formally on crisp linen and accompanied with wine.

To work off those delicious meals and snacks, Radisson Diamond has a well-equipped gym and circular jogging track. The spa features a complete menu of treatments as well as a small steam room and sauna.

Radisson Diamond has a spacious conference room for lectures and art auctions and the Board Room is an email center with computer terminals. Complete Internet connectivity will be available soon.

We found Radisson Diamond ship-shape inside and out; she is maintained in spotless condition with crewmembers constantly polishing and painting. Beautiful fresh flower arrangements are found throughout, including all staterooms.

The watersports marina was not utilized on our cruise; however, that was due to port authorities whose authorization must be granted to put it in use. Captain Broomhall likes to use it as much as possible when the water is calm and permission is granted.

I can't commend the crew and staff of Radisson Diamond enough. All go out of their way to be attentive. When Mel's camera lenses fogged in the humidity, the ship photographers were extremely helpful, offering assistance and even demonstrating a lens that they allowed him to use for unique wide-angle shots of the atrium. The service we received throughout was professional, gracious, and delivered with a sincere smile.

Above all, we enjoyed the informality of our "country club casual" cruise. We felt very much at home and at ease with our fellow passengers, a diverse, yet congenial complement of mostly North Americans, with several Canadian, German, and English guests. 

Who shouldn't go on a Radisson Diamond cruise? Radisson Diamond has two elevators and two staterooms equipped for the physically challenged. While doorways to open decks are easily maneuvered, most public bathrooms aren't wheelchair accessible and the gangway can be difficult, depending on the tide and angle of ascent. A Radisson Diamond cruise may be inappropriate for most children; there are no facilities on board designed for them or their amusement. 

Who should select a Radisson Diamond cruise? Couples of all ages, singles, and groups who appreciate superb dining and exquisite service. Organized diversions are for the most part social and singles traveling on their own are encouraged to participate. Guests can choose to take part in the list of daily activities, borrow a book, game or video from the nicely-stocked library, or do nothing at all. There's no pressure.

When selecting a stateroom on Radisson Diamond, keep in mind that all but the four Master Suites (at 522 square feet) measure a total of 243 square feet, which includes balconies. Sitting Room Staterooms offer more generous interior space than Balcony Staterooms, but, of course, without the advantage of a private verandah.

Don't allow brochure rates to overwhelm you when considering a cruise on Radisson Seven Seas. Fares are expensive—however, considering all that is included on board, they are a great value. It's no wonder that so many passengers on our Radisson Diamond "Sunshine Sojourn" were repeat guests and already planning their next cruise aboard her.

By journey's end, we felt like we were leaving our very own "private yacht."

Facets of the Diamond (click thumbnails for full-size images)

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Deck 9 Atrium

An Atrium Perspective

Vegetable Carving

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The Bridge

Splash Bar

Twin Wake

Luxury Goes Exploring... After her extended summer 2003 Caribbean season, in August Radisson Diamond will reposition to the Mediterranean. From November through April, the Diamond will return to the Caribbean. Summers months are generally devoted to Mediterranean cruises. 

Back to the Diamond Western Caribbean Cruise Diary Index

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Cruise Line Profile - Radisson Seven Seas Cruises

Fun Facts about Radisson Diamond


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