Cruise Diva's CRUISE
~ Western Caribbean "Sunshine Sojourns"~
This Diamond is
Everyone's Best Friend
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
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.
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.
Seven Seas exceeded our expectations from the moment the paperwork
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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."
of the Diamond (click thumbnails for full-size images)
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
Find out more about
Caribbean Ports of Call
Cruise Line Profile - Radisson
Seven Seas Cruises
Fun Facts about Radisson
for Cruise Diary: Courtesy of Radisson
Seven Seas Cruises & Author's Collection
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