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"Radiance of the Seas" cruise

This was not a cruise we had planned, but when we found out the price, we couldn't pass it up. This was our seventh cruise with Royal Caribbean and this ship was the first of the Radiance class ships. It is ten years old and headed for dry dock in May to get modernized with new venues from the Oasis class ships and upgrades to all the staterooms. This was a five night cruise out of Tampa, FL with ports in Costa Maya and Cozumel.

 
Day One - Travel/Embarkation
Feb 28, 2011

We flew in to Tampa and a gorgeous 70 degrees from our home in Shawnee, KS where it was below freezing. Our flight arrived at noon. Since we only took carry on luggage we hopped in a taxi and went straight to the ship. Check in was a breeze and we were onboard at 12:45. We were able to get right in to our cabin so we unpacked and headed to the Windjammer for a bite before exploring. We met a group of people from the Cruise Critic board at the Sky Bar on the Pool Deck at 3:00 and then headed for the dreaded muster drill. Scott pooped out from the travel and took a nap while I went back up for the sail away. It was very festive with the Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers providing some entertainment as we pulled away from the dock leaving Tampa in the distance. We then had our dinner in the Main Dining Room where we met our table-mates Dede and Pat. A very nice couple. After dinner we went to the Aurora Theatre for the show and then walked around a bit before heading back to the cabin to collapse for the night.

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Day Two - At Sea
Mar 1, 2011

Our first day at sea was spent relaxing and just enjoying the ship. We had breakfast in the Windjammer with the guys we met and then I was off to the casino. Double points between 9:00AM-Noon and it was my first day of playing little and winning big. It was formal night so we skipped the events and the Dining Room festivities to have a nice casual dinner in the Windjammer. We then went to the theatre for the evening show. After a bit of shopping it was up to the StarQuest Disco in the Viking Crown Lounge for 80's Dance Party with Cruise Director Dan Whitney serving as guest DJ. The place was packed and after several cocktails inhibitions were thrown out and a group of us tore up the dance floor. About 1:30AM it was off to bed.

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Day Three - Costa Maya
Mar 2, 2011

Today we were in Costa Maya. On our last visit we went to see Mayan Ruins. After this stop (our second) I don't see what this port has to offer other than a reason to stay on the ship. We had reservations to go to a place for lunch and hang out on the beach so we took a bus to the town and started walking the beach. Every 15 yards was another person offering you a massage or an invitation to look at what they were selling. They all sold the same things. When we finally reached the place we were to have lunch, I took one look at what essentially was a hole in the wall and decided there was no chance I would be dining there. Back to the ship we went. We saw the dolphins performing in a pool along the way. Ate lunch onboard and took a nap before dinner. We met Chris in the Schooner Bar and the three of us had a wonderful meal in Chops Grill. I spent some time after dinner on the pool deck watching a Battle of the Sexes contest and watched as they set up for a Mexican Fiesta Buffet. I missed out on that since it didn't start until 11:30PM and I had very little sleep the previous night.

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Day Four - Cozumel
Mar 3, 2011

The "Liberty of the Seas" followed us on this cruise so we were up early to watch our arrival into port and get some pictures of it as it docked next to us. Since we have visited Cozumel several times in the past we just decided to some casual shopping in town. I had to buy yet another shirt from Del Sol. It must be a tee shirt fetish because my closet is full of them. It seems like if it doesn't have the name of a port or a ship name or Cruise line name on it, I don't own it. Scott purchased a new addition to hang on our deck and then we went back to the ship for lunch. The Radiance class ships have a small but separate movie theatre so we went to see Toy Story 3. Fun, good movie but they have no popcorn. By the time that was over we had enough time to dress and go to dinner. We then watched the singer in the Schooner Bar butcher songs by Elton John and Billy Joel for an hour before I headed down to the Centrum for the 70's Disco party with the Village People. Not the real ones.

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Day Five/Six - At Sea/Disembarkation
Mar 4, 2011

So this was our last full day of the cruise and as it was a Sea day I once again went to the casino after breakfast with Dougie to rack up some more double points. I put a twenty dollar bill in, played about six times and hit another big payout. I didn't play very much time wise on this cruise but I kept winning when I did so I actually came home with more cash in my pocket than what I took. I couldn't complain and that money goes for the next cruise. Today was extremely rough seas and very windy but we had fun for most of the day walking around the ship and watching water slosh in and out of the pools. Scott decided to try the rock wall. It was open even in the wind. We had lunch at the Seaview Cafe which is one of Royal Caribbean's gems that will be no more after it goes to dry dock in May. It will be replaced with Rita's Cantina and incur a surcharge. Around 3:00 the motion had gotten the best of us and we decided to hang out in the cabin where we both fell asleep. We woke in time for dinner and the final show before calling it a night. The next morning we sat at Latitudes and waited until it was time to go. A very fun getaway cruise to tide us over until the big one in September on the Allure.

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Artwork
Mar 1, 2011

The theme of all the stairwell art on Radiance was "glass" and these are a few of the examples.

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Showtime
Mar 1, 2011

The shows on this shipped were good with very entertaining casts. The first show "City of Dreams" we had seen previously on "Jewel of the Seas" and the second was "Piano Man" which was a tribute to Barry Manilow, Elton John etc. Also a magician/comic by the name of Martin Lewis. He was entertaining but I have seen better and more engaging. I can't say enough about Patrick Derry. His energy was a standout in every show.

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