Below you have my thoughts on RCI's policy of allowing paying passengers aboard when the majority of staff have never even been aboard a ship.
You'll see a of Radiance of the Seas in the Ship Review area by Monday. Just want to say, this ship is stunning, and would be my personal pick for an Alaska cruise. There is so much glass everywhere that viewing is spectacular. The champage bar, Schooners and dthe Colony Club all have floor to ceiling glass, as does the Windjammer Cafe. (There's a wall of glass rising from decks 5-12. The lounges are diverse in character and mood. My favorite is the Colony Lounge, next door to Schooner's Bar -- it has a small stage and dance floor, with tables everywhere. Resembes an elegant hotel lounge from the 1930's ... you hardly feel like you're aboard a ship. Schooner's Bar is one of the best at sea.
Food was suprisingly good on the first three-day sailing with paying passengers.
I love the Windjammer Cafe (lido restaurant for casual lunch, afternoon tea breakfast and dinner). There are food stations all around (meat, vegetables, bread, sandwiches, fruit, sweets, plus hot dishes (baked potatoes, and you add the fixings). Self service soft yogurt. Deserts (especially chocolate) are richly sinful.
This is what I call a "happy ship"....people naturally gather in the enormous Atrium, which rises from deck 5 to 11. Glass elevators either face the sea (wall all glass) or the atrium. (Tough ship if you have a fear of heights as I do!). Each deck overlooks Atrium and has balconies so you can look down and up. There are more nooks and crannies on this ship than I've ever seen before. Great for honeymooners, I think, but everyone will love this ship once the service is in shape.
I lucked out and got a cabin that I highly recommend if you're in the market for a balcony cabin. Cat. D on the aft end of ship (all decks) have some of the largest balconies I've every seen. You can throw a cocktail party for 20! Try for Deck 10, as I did, because only the sky is above you. But these aft cabins on Decks 7, 8, 9, 10 are all equipped with this enormous space. You overlook the ocean, the ship's wake.
As I said, the food was far beyond what I've experienced before on RCI. They're pastry chef has a chocolate lover's soul .... outstanding! And, I love the way Windjammer is set up here. I suggest heading for the aft part of the ship after you have your food -- there's a "hidden" dining area behind Windjammer with very comfy seats and you can also dine at tables overlooking the aft. Sublime!
Was there any noise in your room from the deck above. I can't tell from the pictures if there is nothing above your room, or just nothing above the balcony. Also, how uncomfortable would a family of 4 be in a category D room?
Location: Wisconsin....about 100 miles south of the Frozen Tundra and 70 miles east of Camp Randall
Re: Radiance -- a Stunning Ship
I have enjoyed reading about the new ship - Radiance. I hope to be going on the Radiance, but probably later on. Could you please tell me if you know when Capt. Michael Lachtaridis will be joining the Radiance? He currently is with the Nordic Empress. Thank you.
Hi Anne...My wife and I are on the Radiance next January 5th. As you suggested, we are on Deck 10, Category D, Cabin 1102 at the end of the hsip facing the back. We tried this once before and loved it. What do you think or know about that room and that part of the ship. Did we make a good Choice.
Anne -- thanks for your review! I look forward to reading the complete write-up next week! By any chance, did you get a look at an AA Royal Family Suite? We are in 9656 on April 30, and the cabin and balcony look huge on the diagram. I was wondering if this is the case in real life. Thanks for any info you can provide.
I was on this cruise as well, and sorry I didn't get to meet you, Anne, although I met several people who knew you (Pat and Pat come to mind). I was also on the 2 days following and just returned home today. I agree that the ship is stunning. In fact, it is probably the most beautiful ship I have ever been on. Unfortunately however, there are many service issues to be worked out. My husband and I spoke with many RCCL veterans working on this ship, and all are majorly disappointed in the lack of training given to the new recruits. We were told that most of their initial time on the ship was spent unpacking things and cleaning. There were several short training sessions (less than half a day each), and approximately 80% of the staff had never even been on a ship before, let alone ever been in America. We also spoke with some of the new crew, and even they were disappointed in the lack of training they were given. More experienced crew were brought on in both Miami and Nassau and things did improve a bit, but speaking with some of them, we found much unhappiness. The waiters we spoke with were told that they were being brought onboard to train the new people, yet they were not given any time to do so. They all wanted to be back on *their* ships.
On another note. I have to give kudos to the stabilization of this ship. If you haven't heard, we encountered a bad rain storm on Thursday night, with 80mph winds. The ship held it's own quite well, with only a little rolling and bumpiness. Unfortunately, however, many seals on the doors did not function, and water came in several public areas and flooded the service area and elevators down below. Because of these problems, the Windjammer was not open and the only time one could find food was in the dining room at oddly scheduled meal times. Room service was not an option, as someone else posted. We too, tried to order, and nothing was ever delivered. Royal Caribbean was very generous in giving everyone on the 2 day sailing a full refund and 25% off a future cruise. I think that in time, this will be a great ship to sail on, but I for one, would not want to be on the *innaugural*. I just don't think they will be up to par by then...
We are on the innuagural, an I'm worried about it. As a first time cruise this may not be the right one for us. My husband is not as patient as could be, so problems could make this our last cruise, too. Any sugestions if we have alot of problems
Try to go with a good attitude and limited expectations. Hopefully things will be better next week. If you are expecting perfection on this cruise, you will be disappointed... Not in the ship, but in the service. The ship itself will bring me back one day...
Hello Tim...My wife and I are going on the Grand Princess May 20th and you forwarded me some insightful information a couple of months ago which I thank-you for.
Hopefully, you can answer one more question for me. Anne Campbell wrote that the end aft cabins, category D on the Radiance of the Seas on deck 10 are about the best on the ship, with large balconies and a beautiful view of the ocean.
My wife and I are booked for next January 5th on the Radiance. We are in cabin 1102, deck 10, which is category D at the end of the ship looking out at the ocean.
Can you offer an insight about this cabin. If I understand Anne correctly, I think we made a great choice and should just love it. We were at the end of the ship on one other cruise.
Since you were at the AFT of the ship, Anne, did you feel any more motion or hear more noise than you would if you were staying midship? As much as I would LOVE a large balcony, I also like the stability of the middle of the vessel. On the other hand, if there's no noticeable difference, than I'll probably go for it! Thanks for your generous thoughts of the Radiance! We plan to sail her in August 2002 to Alaska.