Stability and Luxury, the Radisson's Diamond Cruise Ship.
people claim that you either love or hate cruising. Certainly, cruises offer a
distinct type of vacation, but as I sat on the cabin balcony of the SSC Radisson
Diamond, feet propped-up on the railing,
it certainly did not seem that simple.
Soothed by the warm breeze and the gentle swell of waves, I couldn't imagine a
better way to spend a few days than relaxing on a cruise ship different from any
I had sailed.
SSC Radisson Diamond is the only twin-hulled luxury cruise ship in the world.
It was designed as such to combat the "pitch-and-roll" movements of
the sea, making it purportedly the most stable vessel in its class. Though I found
there were several nights when the small ship moved about quite a bit, having
never been on a small cruise ship I had no other comparison. Besides, the relaxed,
intimate feel and slower pace of this small luxury cruise ship more than made
up for any rocky moments at sea.
SSC Radisson Diamond
found my five-night cruise of the Caribbean to be so different from my previous
mega-ship cruises, I decided it didn't do the cruise industry justice to lump
all cruises into one experience a traveler would either love or hate. Cruise lines
and ships are as different from each other as the passengers who sail
should note that, according to Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA),
nearly 6.9 million people cruised in 2000, making the cruise industry the fastest-growing
segment of the travel industry. Even so, over 80 percent of U.S. adults have never
gives me a much-needed break from vacations or business trips spent running from
place to place, worrying about navigating foreign destinations, dealing with stresses
and concerns of independent travel. Every once in a while, it's nice to opt for
a cruise's more insulated, pampered way to travel, where there is little to worry
about or to decide other than what activity or lecture to join, which restaurant
to eat in, and what to do at a given port of call.
meal at Don Vito's
the SSC Radisson Diamond, we only rushed to book a night at Don Vito's (the alternative
dining restaurant) and to book spa treatments. Regardless of the number of passengers
onboard, I felt it was best to book these things, as well as shore excursions,
as soon as possible. After that, my companion and I were able to sit back, relax
and let the days at sea unfold.
my five-night sailing, mornings were spent reading books from the library either
on the balcony of our cabin or up by the pool, where waiters hovered with cool
towels or to take drink orders. The 350-capacity ship had only 328 passengers
onboard and every day was spent at a different port. Passengers got on and off
the ship as they pleased during the day, so there were never any crowds out by
the pool, in the fitness center or in any of the places to dine.
left the ship for leisurely walks through the main towns at four ports-of-call
- Tortola, St. Barts, St. Maarten and St. Thomas - and then returned for an outdoor
lunch at The Grill, which offers a different themed buffet every day. For dinner,
the Grand Dining Room held open seating so diners could eat when and with whomever
they wished. Whether eating at The Grill, the Grand Dining Room, or Don Vito's,
the food and service were exemplary.
Grand Dining Room
the evenings, people milled about in the Chips Casino or listened to favorites
on the piano in The Club. The Windows Lounge set the stage for music by the Diamond
Five Orchestra, songs by the ship's entertainers, or late-night dancing to DJ
Erick's selection of hits. Though there were some families and young couples onboard,
the primarily early-to-bed and early-to-rise, older crowd created a welcome change
from the constant pulse of activity on larger ships.
with less activity and commotion, the five nights at sea passed quickly. On our
last afternoon, I watched from the cabin balcony while rainbows arced over St.
Thomas as we left port. I knew I would miss this magical cruise, where no request
went unanswered. Thinking back to the wine steward who always remembered our favorite
drinks, or to room-service ice cream sundaes devoured on our balcony mid-afternoon,
to relaxing oxygen facials in the Diamond Spa and walks around deck eleven jogging
track as we left a port at dusk, I knew we were among those who would put cruising
in the "love-it" category.
more information on Radisson Seven Seas Cruises and its distinctive fleet of luxury
cruise ships, call 800-285-1835 or visit the website at www.rssc.com.