We joined the Radiance of the Seas for a December 2012 ex Sydney (Australia)South Pacific cruise to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. The ship was full partly due its presence, partly to its cruise location and partly to the date. Historically ships of this standard don't visit destinations in the south pacific so many people jumped at the chance.
The ship lived up to expectations and previous reviews. It is a genuine 4 star ship and crew.The captain is welcoming to passengers AND crew on a daily basis, is seen about the ship and participates in Captains Corner and Cake Making sessions. His friendliness, good communications and attention to passengers seems to be contagious with the crew which pleased the predominately Australian list.
The ship has all the makings for good dining, entertainment and relaxation. It may not be the biggest or newest but it is clean with a good layout and most standard trimmings. It is more middle class with a high percentage of balcony cabins yet still providing the luxury of specialty restaurants and features. It is a ship perfectly placed for the first time and middle of the road cruisers. With some 2300 passengers it is flexible with attention to dining, entertainment, personal space and comfort.
OK time to be negative. Sure there are some things that could be better but I emphasise they are minor in significance. The existing formula works well. The outdoor pool is small, the bathroom is small (especially noted by large people), the refridgerator is a cooler only,the cinema is small (50)and no public laundry.
Some highlights include the theatre shows and productions, quality of food (as distinct from quantity),the variety of entertainment (to cover all interests and ages), the quiet public space, the smoothness of embarkation, disembarkation,tender service and the cooperative and friendly approach of senior dining room waiters to people with special diets (there was a high number of passengers in this category).
All passengers we spoke with enjoyed the ship. We would happily use it again and overall it represented good value.