We went with a group of 11. My brother brought his own bottle of rum in his luggage with no problem. My sister and her husband bought some wine with no problems. We saw many people bringing on cases of beer with no problem. However, we did see others that bought liquor on shore and when they returned to the ship, it was taken and tagged and then given back to them at the end of the cruise. I think the only problem is that they don't want you buying your own liquor and mixing your own drinks, cuz that is where they make a lot of their money. Like I said, my brother had no problems with bringing it in his own luggage.?.
This has all changed since the last time we cruised (6/98 on the Grandeur). Each ship may be different, but I doubt it. We have cruised several times before and have seen many HAPPY people returning to the ship from the Rum Factory tours (Cayman Islands & Puerto Rico) loaded (no pun intended ;0) with boxes of Rum.
I am going on Radiance on 11/17. What kind of room did you have and was it nice?
How was the service on the ship? This will be my 8th RCCL cruise. and I am a little worried the service may not be up to standards due to the fact they may be taking on new crew for the first caribbean cruise.
Hi, I just got a really good deal for January 12 - 18. I booked through the Internet. Now I heard that Royal Caribbean is selling of cheap cabins because of trouble with their food and employees. Is that true? Can you tell me anything good so I can look forward to this cruise? This will be my first cruise with Royal Caribean the last 2 years we sailed with Carnival.Thank you.Patricia
We just did the Radiance a couple weeks ago also. We had no problem at all with bringing on a bottle of alcohol. We packed it in our luggage instead of putting it in the carry-on. I think that made a big difference. If they see it, they may take it. If they don't see it, then no problem.
Matthew - We are usually Princess cruisers and didn't expect much at all from the Radiance. Boy, were we surprised! We have NEVER had such wonderful service from the crew. They were willing to bend over backwards to please us. They had a real energetic quality and were very happy people. I don't know if it will be the same crew for the Caribbean, but I'm sure some will stay, if not the majority. They really seemed happy to be working together and to be on such a beautiful ship. It was the best cruise we've ever had!
We would have to say that this was our best cruise yet (3rd cruise - 2nd on RCCL)!!! We went with a group of 11 (siblings, their spouses, parents, & friends - no kids this go around). We all had an amazing time!!!
The service was phenomenal!!!! Especially, our Dining Room service - our waiter (Paul - South Africa) & asst. waiter (Andre - Bali) were the absolute best!!!!!! They were always on their toes and sooo sweet (my family wanted to adopt them by the second day). Matthew - if you get the chance to have these guys tell them Michael, Melissa, Bill, Melodie, and the rest of our crew say "Hi!". They should still be there for your cruise. Paul will be leaving at the end of December to go back home. These guys made up for the fact that the food was, at times, slow going.
The food was really good this cruise. Our last cruise (Grandeur '98) the Windjammer food was a little less than mediocre. On this cruise everyone found it exceptional. My husband, dad and brothers kept raving about the shrimp and sushi (I'm not a seafood eater). The Windjammer this go around was a lot better - and once again, the service was GREAT!!! You could barely wipe your mouth from your last bite before the plate was taken away. The rest of the crew was really fun!! We got to be friends with several (Paige & Coby, to name a couple - if you see them, tell them Bo's sister, Melissa says "Hi!") They were soooo sweet!!!
We were in an outside cabin on the port (left) side on deck 3! It was the typical cruise size room. These rooms were a little different from our last RCCL room, in that they had a mini-fridge stocked with water, snacks, & soft drinks (not free). My parents had a port side balcony room on deck 7. One draw back was that their balcony overlooked a lifeboat (not really that big of a deal). They said we had a better view of the water than they did - but they still loved their room. It was especially great when we went by the volcanoes at night - we didn't have to fight for a spot along the rail.
Patricia - I would not be nervous about booking this cruise. It was wonderful!!!! The more experience the crew gets (a lot were new), the better they will get. And, in our opinion, we thought they were great!!!! We definitely found the service to be much better than our Carnival cruise.
The only reason you are getting cheap rooms is the economy is suffering and the events of 9-11 made people afraid to fly. I go on RCCL every year and although I do not gain weight due to my activities, I eat their great food till I almost burst.
Example of Matthew's dinner: Appetizer, soup, salad, 3 entree's, dessert, double espresso. Oh I forgot the bottle of wine. I go to dinner 180 pounds and leave 190.
> Hi, I just got a really good deal for January 12 - 18. I
> booked through the Internet. Now I heard that Royal Caribbean
> is selling of cheap cabins because of trouble with their food
> and employees. Is that true? Can you tell me anything good so
> I can look forward to this cruise? This will be my first
> cruise with Royal Caribean the last 2 years we sailed with
> Carnival.Thank you.Patricia
Don't have any idea of where u heard this.. but it's nonsense. All the cruise lines are dropping prices drastically because of the general drop in travel after 9-11.
You'll have a great cruise, and should be delighted you get to go at greatly discounted rates!!
Thank you so much for your replys. I'm really looking forward to this cruise.
Have you any comments on tour excursions? How about exploring Barbados on your own. Did you hear anything about that America's Cup Regatta on St.Maarten?
Again, thank you.Patricia
I'd have to agree with Michael & Missy about the Windjammer food. It really was terrific! One day, they had fabulously-smelling, freshly grilled hamburgers with tons of toppings (I'm a vegetarian), another day an incredible sushi bar, and still another day, delicious Wraps of varying kinds. My husband just absolutely loved the selection of meat. They had steak also and tons of pasta dishes that they would cook up fresh in front of your eyes, just the way you wanted them. It really was good!
We have not done the Southern Caribbean (yet!) - we have done the Western & Eastern and now this Hawaiian. Therefore, we have not been to Barbados or St. Maarten (my parents and brother & sister-in-law loved these two ports). We have been to St. Thomas, where we took a snorkeling trip over to St. John's Trunk Bay.
We know you are going to LOVE your cruise!!!!!! It is going to be absolutely wonderful. The ship is BEAUTIFUL and the service great!!!
If you have any other questions, we would love to try and help!!
We will try to answer your questions the best we can! ;0)
1) Depending on which balcony room you want, this information could change. My parents had a balcony room on deck 7 port (left) side. They got this room, in hopes of sharing it with my brother (the only single one in our group). However, upon arrival they realized this was not gonna happen. There is no divider for nightime privacy, and the "couch" (if you could call it that) was not much bigger than a recliner (width wise) and did not open up. There was a bunk bed that folded down from the ceiling, however, it folded down directly over the bed my parents were sleeping in. Not good!!! They were told that the "couch" would fold out into a bed (maybe for our 2 yr old but definitely not for a 27 yr old man). Luckily, the ship was not full and my brother was able to get an inside cabin all to himself. Good thing, because for 10 days it could get a little cramped!!! ;0) Maybe it is possible that some balcony rooms do have couches that fold out. And it is possible the higher in the ship you go maybe it gets better. Maybe!
2) There was miniature golf on board and it did NOT cost extra to play. It never really seemed like there was that much of a wait either!! ;0) Just be careful of the wind. There is also a basketball/volleyball court, a rock climbing wall and a water slide, none of which cost extra.
3) There were 2 specialty restaurants on board, Chops Grille and Portofino's. They did cost extra to dine there ($20/pp). On a couple of nights they had a murder mystery dinner theater that cost a little more. We never did eat at either of the restaurants, however we heard that they were just about what was in the Dining Room. ?.
4) The Solarium pool area was usually pretty full. The water in this pool was a little bit warmer than the outdoor pool. The hot tub in the Solarium pool was always full. We had some rather windy and cool days which added to the popularity. There is an aromatherapy suite available in the Spa area for $15/day or $50/the whole trip - this included, dry and moist saunas, cool mist or warm rain showers, and heated (wonderful!) tile chairs which had the most beautiful view through the glass wall (2 of the saunas also had glass walls).
If you are going to book next year for Oct. 31, a lot of people dressed up on our cruise. If you are one that likes to dress up for Halloween, you will not be alone!
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask - hopefully we can help!
My wife and I are also going on the 17th. We have a balcony on deck 8. This is our first RCCI cruise. We have cruised on Princess and Disney's Big Red Boat. From what I am hearing and reading, the Radiance seems to be one of the prettiest ships on the sea. Let's hope this is true.
Maybe we will catch up with you sometime during the trip.
I am on the Radiance Jan 26 with my sisters. We are on deck 7 in the family suite and wondering if we will hear any noise from the Colony Club below. I would love to know if you (or anyone else) has any info on this. The family suite is available on deck 8. My TA is giving me a hard time about trying to change to that one. Any input would be helpful. And thanks for all the great information. I can't wait for this cruise!
Jo - Any TA that would give you a "hard time" about changing cabins isn't worth your business! It is incredibly simple for a TA to change cabins for you. All it takes is about 10 mins. of their time if the cabin you want is available. Don't let the TA put you off and opt for the Deck 8 if possible.
Paul - I don't think that there are any saunas and steam rooms that you can use without paying for them. Unless they are in the locker rooms of the gym area (didn't look in there). I do know that in the spa area it is called the "Thermal Suite" with the charges that I mentioned previously.
The jogging track went pretty much all the way around deck 12 and was well used.
Getting a pool chair was not too bad on our cruise. I don't know if this was the particular cruise we were on (demographics were a little older), weather, time of year, or none of the above. If you do have trouble getting right next to the pool, there are usually a lot of unused chairs on the second deck that you can arrange the way you want. There is also a small section by the basketball court that is quite shielded from the wind.
Jenn - There were 2 midnight buffets on our particular cruise. One was a pool party the night that we went by the flowing lava, and the other was the usual "Gala Buffet". These were the only 2 late night buffets that were offered. However, if you still want food there are several options - Windjammer Cafe, Seaview Cafe, or room service.
We're leaving on the Radiance of the Seas this Saturday 12/1. Can't
What process did you go through from the Airport in Puerto Rico, to your arrival on the ship? Some Message Boards indicated that people have to carry their own luggage onto the ship. Do you retrieve your own luggage in Puerto Rico, take them thru Customs, then meet the Royal Caribbean Guide for instructions? Or was your luggage already in your room when you arrived?
We're staying in an "E3" Superior Ocean View Stateroom with balcony on deck 7, under your deck 8. Any comments on the mini-suites? Do the bathrooms just have showers, or do some have a tub/shower combination?
What Excursions did you find worth while. We want to take the Atlantis Submarine in St. Thomas, or is the Submarine in Barbados better? In Barbados, any feedback on the 50 acre Flower Forest located at Richmond Plantation?
Was wandering what Movies are showing at the Theater? What time do you start signing up for the Rock Climbing Wall? Do you also have to sign up for the Put-put golf?
1.) No, you don't have to sign up for the putting green. Simply go to the activities desk behind the basketball court, get your clubs and wait your turn. The best time to play is on port days.
2.) The rock climbing wall can get very busy on sea days. We did it on a port day and had absolutely no line whatsoever. It was in the morning hours. By the afternoon, things had picked up and it seemed to get busier. Also, at the beginning of the cruise, it was much less crowded than at the end.
3.) Why do you call your cabin category a mini-suite? I have never heard of it referred to as a mini-suite before and certainly wouldn't consider it one. (sorry) Is it called this in a brochure?
4.) Sorry I can't help you with the information about San Juan specifically, but usually, the RCI reps will assist you with your luggage after customs and you'll find it in your cabin later that same night. (This is IF you've bought your transfers from RCI.)
The ship is absolutely beautiful! The glass elevators can get very crowded and it is a VERY long walk from the aft cabins to the elevators, but those are really the only two negatives I can think of. Everything else - food, service, crew, and ammenities are really GREAT!! Hope you have a super cruise!