HAL's, Maasdam (3/25/01, 7 days, K579, Western Caribbean); stats
are 1993, 55,000 tons, 1266 capacity, 600 crew
Celebrity's Millennium (4/21/02, 8 days, Penthouse 6018, Eastern
Caribbean); stats are 2000, 91,000 tons, 1950 capacity, 999
RCCL's Radiance of the Seas (5/24/02, 3 days, 8602, Pacific
Northwest); stats are 2001, 88,000 tons, 2100 capacity,
Where possible, I will try to provide facts for all three ships.
We are big band, ballroom dancers; thus, our cruising experiences
are geared toward dancing. Port information is not provided in this
review. We cruise to dance; and sometimes will even overlook eating
to enjoy good dancing. We bypass the port activities in order to
rest up for the evening's activities and other onboard events.
Who We Are; Prior Cruises; Future Cruises; Travel Agent;
PreCruise Activities; Embarkation; Ship's Captains; Cruise
Directors; Cabins; Room Service; Mini-Bar; Luggage Storage; Room
Safes; Bathrooms; Ship's Newsletters; Noise On The Ships; Service,
Cleanliness, Etc.; Breakfast; Lunch; Dinner; Desserts; Specialty
Restaurants; Ice Cream; Theater; Dancing; Pools & Whirlpools;
Photography & Videos; Fire Drills; Medical Facility; Non Sea
Days; Sea Days; Ports; People We Met; Sun, Rain,
Wind; Improvements That Could Be Made; and Disembarkation
Who We Are: I am a woman over 60, semi retired, and my traveling
partner, life-companion, is a "few years older." We both lost
spouses, mine to emphysema (smokers out there should try to quit
smoking) and his to cancer. We both met during senior dance
activities and feel that God brought us together. We are enjoying a
tremendously happy life filled with love for each other, dancing
and traveling together. He has been dancing since he was 16 in high
school and throughout his life. I, too, loved dancing in high
school, but stopped after marriage. Why do we cruise to dance when
we can dance at home (approximately five times a week)? Well, at
home you do have to pay fees, travel to and from the location and
find a parking place, etc. And, if you have a drink or two, you
need to worry about driving home. Not so on a ship with dance
activities; just a few steps here and a few steps there. And the
ambiance of dancing on a beautiful ship with dinner included and
wine, if desired, is a great deciding factor.
Prior Cruises: He, a former major in the US Army, was stationed
in China for two years and has traveled the world, first cruising
on the Mariposa (actually a pleasure cruise ship taken over by the
Merchant Marines), and then traveling throughout Northern Burma,
India and South China. Since then he has been on eight cruises and
introduced me to cruising last year. The Radiance was my third
cruise; I just love this way of life.
Future Cruises: We currently have booked a 10-day cruise to the
Southern Caribbean on HAL's Amsterdam, set to sail November 11,
2002. And the big band Tommy Dorsey Orchestra is scheduled for this
cruise. Also, we are planning a trip to China next year, most
likely by air and land travel because we cannot find a cruise just
in the areas in which we wish to travel.
Travel Agent: We have been using AAA in Bellevue for the last
couple of years and have been very satisfied with their service. We
also take advantage of the maps and tour books for the various
trips, both cruises and other air/land trips, that we have taken
over the years. We usually do the research first on the Internet,
and find fares, etc. And our agent adds in the AAA rate and the
senior rate, etc. and ends up getting us the best fares. So, we are
pleased. She is such a sweet person and has provided us with a
welcoming bottle of champagne in our stateroom on each of our
PreCruise Activities: We usually elect to stay overnight in Fort
Lauderdale. Last year, it was the Hilton and this year we stayed at
the Best Western Inn, 1221 State Road 84. Both rooms were OK and
served its purpose. Last year we had a late dinner at the Hilton.
Since we arrived earlier this year and since the Best Western had
no place to eat (they have continental breakfast), we went across
the State Road 84 to a German restaurant. It was an excellent place
to eat, drink wine and dance. Yes, they had dancing and we took
advantage of it. We just wished that they stayed open later. They
closed at 11:00 p.m. (Saturday night). Both places have vans to
take you to the ships at Port Everglades.
Embarkation: Last year, getting on the Maasdam took a little
longer. It may be better now. This year, while at the Best Western
we discovered that I forgot to pack my beloved's medication. Thus,
we were frantically calling the Millennium at midnight. We had a
ship to shore call which cost us $95. But we were very much
relieved when the ship's nurse was reached and informed us that
they had the medications on board and would be able to assist us.
We were told to arrive at 10:30 am the following morning and let
them know that we had an appointment with the ship's doctor. Once
on board, we saw the doctor and got prescriptions for the
medications, which the ship filled for us. Everyone was very nice
to us and thus our embarkation process on the Millennium was very
good. Later that day, we joined the Captain's Club to gain the
special departure privileges.
On the Radiance, since we live in the Bellevue area, we drove
our car to Seattle's Pier 66 and entered the parking garage for the
Bell Street Pier. Once inside, they took our luggage and told us
where to park. We parked on the 4th floor level where the sky
bridge is and walked across the sky bridge. We headed up the
escalator to where check in is. There was a large line, but for
some reason, someone stopped us and said "This is your lucky day"
and she escorted us to the check in counter. The check-in process
had not started yet and everyone was getting their computer to log
on to the company's network. They had difficulty and we waited in
front of the counter for about ten minutes before the lady got
logged on. Then it was a short ten-minute wait to go up the
"gangway" and take a picture and then board the ship.
Ship Captains: All three ships' captains were very nice,
congenial hosts who genuinely seemed pleased that we were aboard.
All three ships had no vacancies.
Captain Peter Jan van Maurik, HAL's Maasdam; attended the
Champagne Welcome Party and a Mariner's Reception.
Captain Antonio Manaras, Celebrity's Millennium; met him at the
Captain's Welcome Aboard Cocktail Party and at the Captain's Club
Captain Kent Ringborn, RCCI's Radiance of the Seas, has a great
singing voice; he sang during the Captain's Welcome Aboard
Reception, greeted everyone personally and also took pictures with
all guests who requested it. I have a very nice picture of the
three of us.
Cruise Directors: We believe the best cruise director on all
three ships is a toss up between Susan Wood on the Maasdam and Jim
Cannon on the Millennium. These two were the most enthusiastic
persons on their respective ships, always greeting us with a smile
and talking to us and conducting classes we took part in. The
Radiance's Ken Rush, although he too was a nice personable friendly
person, did not provide the dance entertainment that the other two
Cabins: The cabins on all three ships were approximately the
same size: 179 square feet on the Radiance, 170 square feet on the
Millennium and 182 square feet on the Maasdam. General layout of
the rooms and storage space were all excellent. One nice touch on
the Radiance was a drape room divider between the bed and the
sitting area. All you needed to do was unhook the clasp and pull
the drape across the upper rod. This was very much appreciated when
one wanted to nap and the other did not, etc. And if one had
difficulty sleeping, then one could read without disturbing the
other. Another feature of the Radiance was that each of the bed
lamps had two switches, one to control the lamp and the other to
control a night light built into the lamp, which could be directed
in various directions. The sofa on the Maasdam was larger than the
ones on the other two ships. And the storage space was larger for
the vanity/desk area. The hangers on the Radiance, however, were
better than the other two. The Millennium closet and storage was
the largest. A fruit basket was provided daily on the Maasdam. Ice
bucket and water were provided on all three ships, although the
Millennium was the nicest arrangement.
One thing that bugged me was to have the bedspread on the bed
with the top folded enveloping our pillows. This way of bed making
is also done in some hotels. This, to me, is not the proper way to
make the bed. One should pull the top sheet over the pillows to
keep the pillows clean and then put the bedspread on the bed.
Everyone knows that the bedspread is not washed daily or even
weekly. Who knows how often the bedspread is washed and where it
has been lying around or what has happened to it? When we travel,
we always request that the bed spread be kept folded up in a drawer
somewhere. One usually cannot sleep with it on the bed; it is too
Room Service: We did not order room service on any of the ships;
thus we have nothing to report on this.
Mini-Bar: There was no mini-bar on the Maasdam, nor the
Radiance, although the Radiance had a refrigerator, which may have
been useful on a longer trip. The Millennium had a mini-bar and we
requested that everything be removed and thereafter we used it for
our own use.
Luggage Storage: The suitcases can fit under the beds of all
three ships. If you have one that is too large, then leave it open
and slide it under. The best thing to do is to unpack everything
and then store your suitcases below the beds.
Room Safes: The Radiance and the Millennium had room safes that
use a number code, four digits on the Radiance and six on the
Millennium. These are easy to use and easy to check to see if the
safe is locked shut. The Maasdam did not have a room safe. However,
each of the bedside tables had a locking top drawer with key.
While on the Radiance, our room safe at one time would not open.
We discovered that perhaps when pressing the digit it did not
register. Anyway, a call to our Cabin attendant, Fannie, quickly
brought a young man from maintenance. It only took him a minute to
make some kind of adjustment and we then could access our safe.
What a relief!
Bathrooms: We had showers in all three bath areas. The nicest
bath area was on the Millennium. The Radiance had a built in
cabinet with mirror. We thought that if they had installed it the
reverse, then one would be able to see the back of one's hair in
the mirror. But, they did not have this foresight. There was
probably no woman involved in the planning. The Millennium has a
nice area with curved horizontal bars on a three level shelf area
to hold toiletries, etc. What we did was bring a sock holder, not a
shoe holder, but a 12 pair plastic see-through sock holder with a
hanger and hung it on the bathroom door. This made it very
convenient to see everything and have it all in one handy
Ship's Newsletters: All ships have a daily newsletter. However,
the Radiance of the Seas has the most attractive (yellow, blue,
ivory and shading throughout). The Compass provides a very nice
newsletter headlined with Day One, Day Two, etc., which lists all
the daily activities and other events in topic paragraphs.
Accompanying the newsletter is a down sized 4.25" x 11" 4 page
Compass Planner. This single letter-size page, which has been
folded in half, mirrors to a smaller degree the larger sized
Compass newsletter. The Planner lists everything in chronological
order and is just the right size to fit in a man's shirt pocket or
woman's purse. We packed a yellow highlighter to highlight the
activities of interest to us.
A disappointment was that the Millennium Daily was never
delivered prior to 11 or 12 p.m. every evening. A complaint to the
front desk indicated that they were having difficulty with the
printer. However, it was every night, except perhaps once or twice
that no delivery was made and we had to retrieve it from outside
the door every morning. The Daily did have a single page pull out
listing all the daily activities.
The Maasdam's Newsletter provides a perforated section that you
can tear out and fold up listing all the daily activities, along
with service hours, dining hours and bar and lounge hours. And this
section can then be folded and carried in your shirt pocket or
All ships printed other newsletters, in different languages,
depicting what was happening in other cities and countries around
the world. You can usually obtain these from the reception desk
Noise On The Ships: All three ships were quiet and restful. We
only recall one event that drove us crazy. One evening while on the
Millennium, when we were trying to get to sleep, we could hear a
cracking or noise that seemed like it was coming from the movement
of the ship. We discovered, however, and much to our delight, that
it was the sliding door to the balcony. We opened and closed it
again and the noise disappeared.
Service, Cleanliness, Etc.: We just heard that the Maasdam
received a 98 inspection score from the Coast Guard. If you will
notice the stats above, the Maasdam has 600 crew members to a
capacity passenger number of 1266. She almost has a 2 to 1 ratio of
passengers to crew members. Thus, this will indicate why we feel
that the best service is on HAL's Maasdam. Yes, the service was the
best. Why is that? Well, we believe that the crew tries harder;
they know that tips are not automatic and that if they want any,
they will have to earn them. Holland America advocates that tips
are not mandatory, while the Millennium and the Radiance provide
you with envelopes and guidelines on what to tip and who to tip.
And they expect you to follow the guidelines. They also attach an
automatic 15% tip to all bar bills. There is something to be said
about feeling good and being able to add a tip to a bar bill
depending on whether or not you received good service. And to
provide all other persons with a tip at the end of a cruise, also
depending on whether you received the expected service, is HAL's
Breakfast: We enjoyed breakfast at the "buffets". Actually the
Lido (Maasdam) and the Ocean Cafe (Millennium) are really cafeteria
style. What was nice on both ships is that there is someone to help
you with your tray or assist in finding you a table and bring you
coffee, tea, etc. On the Radiance, it was truly a buffet. You could
help yourself to whatever you wanted. However, finding a place to
sit was difficult and most of the time we found ourselves outside.
One did not have a tray to use, but a big huge plastic platter. So,
you filled up your platter, found a seat and then got your drinks,
etc. We saw no grapefruit or oatmeal on the Radiance. We enjoyed
both of these items on the Maasdam and the Millennium. We tried
breakfast in the Maasdam's Rotterdam Dining Room on two mornings
and enjoyed this too. Each time we got a table for two. One morning
we opted for this on the Millennium, but did not like it as well
because they seated us with several persons at a large table who
were already in different phases of eating. And they only had half
the dining room or a small section open. We went to the omelet bar
on the Maasdam and had a very nice omelet. On the Millennium, we
had an omelet, but could not eat it because the inside was not
cooked. We noticed, however, that later on they had someone else
making them and he was making sure that they were cooked. One other
time we ordered eggs over easy and they were good. You can also get
toast or toasted bagels on the Maasdam and the Millennium, but not
Lunch: All three ships had great lunch selections, although we
would rate the Radiance last. They had less selections. One good
item I had, however, was a tuna salad sandwich on a bun on the
Radiance. They had tuna wraps and I provided a bun to the server
and asked him to make me a tuna sandwich. And it was delicious, so
much so, that I went back and got another.
Dinner: We had early seating on the Maasdam and the Millennium
and we opted for late seating on the Radiance. After having done it
either way, we believe the early seating is better, especially if
you do not spend a long day in port. We thought we would try the
late seating so as to accommodate an afternoon tea or late night
buffet. However, none was to be had on the Radiance. Both the
Maasdam and the Millennium had high teas in the afternoon, and late
night buffets but we did not try them. We did view some of them,
however, and thought they were very elegant and spectacular. Why
did we not try them? The 4 p.m. high tea time was just too close to
a 6 p.m. dinner time and the late night buffets were just too much
- after eating three meals already in a day of anything and
everything that we wanted or craved. We had to draw the line
Oh yes, we did purchase a Royal Cocktails card on the Radiance
of the Seas; cost is $39 + 15% gratuity for 12 drinks of choice,
most house brands. And, we used it up. I am unaware if the Maasdam
or the Millennium had such a program.
Desserts: Desserts on both the Maasdam and the Millennium were
outstanding, both in the Lido Buffet (Maasdam) and the Ocean Cafe
(Millennium). And the dining room desserts were top notch. Not so
with the Radiance. The Windjammer selections were OK, but not many
to choose from. The desserts in the dining room were only rated OK
by us, not outstanding or excellent at all. There was one angel
food cake dessert with strawberries served one evening. You can get
better angel food cake at the supermarket.
Bread pudding on HAL and Baked Alaska, Cherries Jubilee,
Chocolate Souffle, Crème Brulee on both HAL and Millennium
are desserts that you should not miss.
Specialty Restaurants: We did not try any of the specialty
restaurants on any of the ships. In actuality, the cost or fee
imposed is not limited to the set service fee, but it also includes
the amount of money already spent for the dinner that you will be
missing in the dining room or in the buffet if you choose to eat
there instead. Also, the specialty restaurants take a longer time
to eat; and this would take time away from our dancing.
On the Radiance is a little known restaurant called the Seaside
Cafe. Although this restaurant caters to the younger crowd, we
enjoyed a hot dog and strawberry milkshake one evening. It was the
last night of our cruise, after we were all packed, that we decided
to go up to Deck 12 and find the place. We had some feedback on it
through the Cruise Critic Boards. Up we went and ordered two hot
dogs, one for each of us and a strawberry milkshake to be split
between the two of us.. Our order came with the grilled hot dog in
a toasted bun, smothered with onions, and with French fries, too.
It was delicious. The milkshake was the only item we had to pay
for. It was $3.25 and we had to get it from the bar area.
The hamburgers and hotdogs on the Millennium and the Maasdam
were also great. The hot dogs on all these ships are much better
than the ones that you get at a sports game or even at Costco.
Costco used to toast their buns - some years ago, but no more.
Ice Cream: All three ships served ice cream. The best, however,
was on the Maasdam. There was a soft serve selection, plus sorbets
and other items that you could request of the server. Then you
could help yourself to various toppings, including fresh
strawberries and whipped cream. The Millennium had a similar setup,
but with only a few toppings and the server added those items as
requested. We had vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and milk
chocolate sauce. Very good. And the Radiance had soft serve
machines that you could fill chocolate or vanilla ice cream cones
or bowls with. But, they only had a bowl of chocolate syrup
available. However, you could get whip cream from a huge bowl on
the dessert table. The Radiance had very good cookies. We had an
oatmeal raisin cookie and we dipped it in whip cream prior to every
bite. It was delicious. Another item I enjoyed was the 2 x 3 inch
apple rolled tart. These were available daily on the Radiance near
the sweet rolls in the Windjammer Cafe.
On the other side of the Millennium's ice cream section, was a
similar section, serving non sugar selections.
Theater: The Maasdam had the best on stage performances. The
production numbers were outstanding. Next was the Millennium and
then the Radiance. We made the decision not to see the last day's
show on the Radiance because we did not think that the other two
days were that good. The Millennium had the best theater, with
wonderful plush seating with little tables for cocktails. The
Maasdam was next with similar seating and then the Radiance was
last. The Radiance has cup or glass holders to hold your drinks on
the right arm of each seat. Sightlines on all three ships were
good. We never had a bad seat watching any of the shows.
The Maasdam was also the only ship that provided an artistic
covered program for each of their production numbers. It was nice
to follow along and know what was going to be next, etc., and also
have the names of the people performing.
Dancing: First, let me say that you cannot dance on a ship's
deck, at least not ballroom dancing. Our style of dance requires a
nice dance floor, and one needs to wear a shoe that will slide.
Sport shoes, running shoes and tennis shoes, etc. cannot be worn
for this type of dancing. Thus, any kind of shoe with a smooth
bottom, usually a leather soled shoe is the best kind outside of a
shoe made specifically for dancing.
The best dance floor on all three ships was at the Colony Club
on the Radiance of the Seas. It has a nice large, rectangular
shaped, smooth wood floor. However, we only got to dance on the
floor during the Captain's Reception. We were the first to take the
step and get out on the dance floor even though the band had been
playing for at least 10 minutes. On Day One, they scheduled a Quest
activity. And the late night 11:00 to 12:30 am Rock n' Roll party
was devoted to twist. Nothing was scheduled on Day Two other than
the Captain's Reception from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. And on Day Three,
they scheduled Karaoke in the Colony Club.
We would have loved a variety of music, i.e., music for the
Rhumba, Cha Cha, Tango, Salsa, Swing, Jive, Hustle, Fox Trot,
Waltz, California Polka, etc.
The second best dance floor is in the Ocean's Bar on HAL's
Maasdam. We enjoyed dancing every evening both before dinner and
after (prior to going to the evening show) and then again after the
show. The Nevada Quartet were a great group and played requests,
such as New York, New York and Pretty Woman. Such requests were
made of the Radiance group and were turned down with them saying
that they did not know the songs. We got the whole spectrum of the
dances we liked with the Nevada Quartet.
And next is the the Rendevous Lounge on the Millennium. We
enjoyed dancing to Howard & Rose's music. However, we felt
sorry for them after awhile because they lost power to their
instruments several times during the evening and on several
The Millennium's Cosmos Nightclub, Deck 11, has a beautiful
dance floor, but it is not conducive to ball room dancing as one's
shoe can get hung up on the ridges throughout the floor. However,
we did enjoy dancing and partaking of the lessons provided by the
staff. The Cruise Director, Jim Cannon, scheduled dancing one
evening there with the Celebrity Orchestra and this was great. They
took requests and did a good job. There should have been more
activities with the Orchestra.
Oh yes, I should mention the Vibz group on the Millie that
usually played on the deck by the pool. They were there during the
sail aways, Tex Mex Night (line dancing) and another swing night.
One night they were in the Cosmos Lounge and they were very good.
And they took requests and played Pretty Woman several times during
Cruise directors need to realize that many persons who do not
dance enjoy drinking, big band music and watching those who do
dance. Therefore, they not only need a big dance floor, but a large
lounge or area for those who prefer to drink and watch. And those
who dance also drink too. So, they are not losing the audience nor
the big bucks spent on drinks when they provide dance
Pools & Whirlpools: The best ship was HAL's Maasdam. The hot
tubs were hot. I did not like the T pool on the Millennium. There
was no place to sit. One had to slide one's body over the metal
railings and lie on them. And they were always sticky, probably
from everyone's sun tan lotion. The hot tubs on the Millie were OK;
however, they were not hot. The temperature was pretty mild. We
enjoyed getting the kinks out in the hot tub on the Maasdam. The
hot temperature really did make our bodies feel better. In all
fairness, we did not try the Radiance pools. We did not have good
weather on our three-day trip and thus did not feel like taking a
Photography & Videos: The best photography department and
photographers were on the Radiance. Each one of the pictures was
very good and we ended up purchasing all of the photos. We only got
one on the Millennium because we did not like the others. On the
Maasdam, these too, were very good and we ended buying all of
A cruise lasting at least seven days will usually create a video
of the trip at a cost of approximately $20.
Fire Drills: All three ships conducted the mandatory fire drill.
The Maasdam and the Millennium passed with flying colors, getting
everyone to their muster stations, which were located on deck where
they would be boarding the lifeboats. The Radiance, in my opinion,
did not pass the test because all they did was get everyone to the
muster station. We did not go outside to the deck, but simply
stayed in the lounge area that was assigned to us. They did,
however, call on the loudspeaker, all the persons who were missing.
It is very important that you take part in the fire drills and not
be the one to keep everyone waiting. On one ship, people were
standing in the hot sun and they had to wait for others to arrive.
And everyone should know that they should not be carrying anything
with them for the fire drill. In the case of a real fire drill, you
would not bring anything with you. Anything other than your body
and life vest would take up more room and make the life boat weigh
more. Thus, what you need to do, is pack your ID, Ship's Card and
money, in a small wallet that will fit in your pocket.
Medical Facility: The Millennium had the best medical facility
(see embarkation above), but of course, we did not have to use the
ones on the other two ships, so we really have no comment on
We did, however, see three or four children during our cruises
who were injured in some way, usually from having a door slammed on
a hand. We felt sorry for these children as they had to spend the
rest of the cruise with some degree of pain. If anyone needs to see
the doctor, they should call first and make an appointment as the
doctor will not see any one without an appointment. Of course, if
it is an emergency, go directly to the facility and have someone
else call and say that you are on your way. Do not sit and wait
outside a closed door. Phone the number on the door as they keep
the door locked and they do not know that you are waiting
Non Sea Days: As mentioned above, we are not enthusiastic about
non sea days or visiting the ports. There seems to be a lockdown on
non sea days. Everything was closed. We wanted to use the golfing
features of the Millennium, but could never find anyone there. And
messages left with the pro were always returned, but we could never
connect to make an appointment or just to take advantage of what
they had to offer. And, of course, you cannot shop on the ships
while the ships are in port. So, when can one shop? They seem to be
open only from 6 to midnight. And one cannot go at 6 because of
dinner. And the show follows dinner and then thereafter, if one
wants to go dancing, there is no time to shop. They should have the
shops open all night.
Sea Days: We love sea days because you can go out on your
balcony and lounge around while the ship is moving. We had a very
nice balcony on the Millennium with two lounge chairs.
Ports: We did get off the ship in St. Thomas. It was only on the
island that we found out that there was a holiday that weekend and
that certain streets were closed. We took a van (carries 12) into
town. The driver could not get close enough due to traffic jams, so
we all got out and walked about 6 blocks. We looked around a bit
and then decided to return to the ship. We should have started
walking right where we were. But instead we hailed another van
(almost full) and he tried to get down to the water area and make a
left turn back to the ships, but was turned around by traffic
personnel. He then thought he would try to outsmart everyone and
went in a round about way to get back down and ended up in a huge
traffic jam, so huge, that he requested everyone to get out and
walk back to the ship. We ended up walking 3.5 miles that day. We
suggest that you take an umbrella with you. Try to find one with a
fringe or ruffle, more like a parasol. I had one and was very glad
that I did.
On the way back, we discovered that there were three cruise
ships in port. And, of course, this added to the cause of the
traffic jams throughout the city.
When we visited St. Maarten, the Adventure of the Seas was
docked along side the Celebrity's Millennium. The Millie really
looked small next to the AOS.
In St. Maarten, there is a water boat that takes you over to the
shopping area. They wanted us to get off at the first stop and walk
over to the other shopping area. That way, we would visit some of
the shops along the way. However, after walking 3.5 miles the
previous day, we were in no mood to do a lot of walking again. So,
we insisted that we wanted to go over directly and they took us
It was Sunday when we visited Nassau; thus, we did nothing much
but had a milkshake at the Haagen Dazs and perused a few shops that
All ships provided shopping and port information, including maps
People We Met: One of the fun reasons for cruising is meeting
all the wonderful people. We had Table 503 on the Millennium, very
nice table for 8, at the back of the ship on Deck 5. We enjoyed
meeting and talking with you Bob, Joyce, Frank, Adele, Peter, etc.
On the Radiance, we had table 418, again a very nice table, for 10
this time and it was not filled. We enjoyed talking with Arnelle,
Susan, David, Shirley, Charmaine, Beth and others . We also met an
upcoming author, Elaine Zale. Her first novel, Wing's of Love, was
at the publisher's; and after she described it to me, I knew that I
wanted to read it.
Sun, Rain, Wind: You should be aware that you may get sunburned,
even while not in any direct sun. Be careful as you may receive
indirect sunshine through reflections off the water, glass or in
other ways. Prior to the cruise, get a good hair cut, one that will
not be bothered with the wind because it will be windy while on the
ship. Pack an umbrella for use when it rains and when the sun is
shining. You will be glad you did as the sun gets very hot when
walking around the various islands. And, if you are in the Pacific
Northwest or even going to Alaska, you may need it for rainy
Improvements That Could Be Made: (1) One thing that really
bugged us was the lack of toilet seat covers in all public
restrooms on the RCL ship. We were used to having use of them on
the Millennium and the Maasdam.
(2) Why have a beautiful dance floor like the one on the
Radiance and not use it? One evening it was devoted to Karaoke.
Activities like this, along with Bingo, could function very well in
(3) The ship's director should make sure that the events take
place as scheduled; i.e., line dancing was scheduled for 2:30 p.m.
and Trivia was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. in the same area. The person
conducting the Trivia arrived 10 minutes early and had to take on a
quick line dance class to pacify the persons who arrived and had
been waiting for the last 20 minutes. The line dance teacher never
did show up. This happened on the Radiance (5/25/02).
Disembarkation: The last morning on any ship and subsequent
travel to the airport always takes time. Leaving the Maasdam took
the longest and the line at the airport was the worst. Imagine more
than 2000 people (from several ships) arriving at the airport back
in March of 2001. Waiting around the ship took hours going through
customs and then disembarking. The Millennium was better because we
had Captain's Club privileges and got off the ship fairly fast. It
was waiting outside trying to hail a taxi cab. There were no
orderly lines and everyone was trying to grab, grab, grab. And of
course, it takes all day to fly home.
The Radiance was OK. However, we had to fill out disembarkation
information indicating that we did not have an airplane to catch.
Consequently, we had to wait until nearly 10:00 to get off the
ship, until they called our Lavendar color. One does not mind
waiting if one has an idea of how long, but of course, no one could
tell us this. And the waiting had to be in the public areas, no
waiting in the cabins, which had to be vacated by 8:00 a.m. So, we
sat around for 2 hours. Once off the ship, however, it went fairly
We did call the evening before with the question of how we were
going to get our luggage to the car parked in the parking garage.
The person at the reception said that all you have to do it get a
porter and he will take you with your luggage to your car. The
porter that we got informed us that he could not cross the street,
but he did say that he would take us to the elevator that will get
us to the sky bridge. So, once we got on the elevator, we had to
maneuver our luggage across the sky bridge and to our car, which
fortunately was on the same level, Level 4.