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Best choice for E. Carib Spring break?

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Hi everyone. I am planning a cruise with my best friend over spring break to the E. Carib out of Ft Lauderdale or Miami, or could even be Port Canaveral I suppose. It will be her first cruise. I've cruised 4 times, all of those on Royal Caribbean. In fact, while on my last cruise.. the Rhapsody in September, I booked a cabin for us on the Radiance for spring break (with $100 onboard credit for booking while onboard the Rhapsody and additional C&A coupon for $125 off per cabin).

I'm now wondering if there is a better choice for E. Carib. Obviously, I have nothing to compare RCI to except to read the reviews of other lines. There seem to be more than a few negative reviews for the Radiance dining and entertainment. I've always found the entertainment to be excellent on the ships I've tried (Grandeur, Explorer, Rhapsody), so those comments surprise me a bit. Explorer dining experience was definitely not as great as the smaller Grandeur or Rhapsody, but it certainly wasn't a 'bad' experience. I don't know what to expect from the intermediate Radiance, or why their food or entertainment would be worse.

Changing to another ship now would cost the credits that RCI gave me, as well as the C&A extra onboard goodies, but my friend is also not sure about the Radiance itinerary... CocoCay, St Thomas, St Maarten. Neither of us have been to those places, but she is wondering if those two ports won't be so similar as to be boring. I thought they looked fairly different? She is interested in a ship that has a San Juan stop as well. I was looking at the Costa Mediterranea as the cost would be about the same as Radiance with discounts. Anyone with experience with Costa? I am afraid the smoking might be excessive on an Italian ship? Any insight into their smoking policy or experience on their ships in the Caribbean? Carnival Triumph is another possibility for the week we need to go, but I think the Radiance might be a better choice. Anyone who has been on both?

We need to decide in the next couple of days if we are to keep the Radiance reservation or drop it for something else. Any thoughts?

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