We just returned from an 11 night Mexico cruise aboard the RCCL Radiance of the Seas, departing from San Diego. The embarcation was smooth and organized, and we were on the ship in no time. Our cabin was made up nicely, and we met our family and friends we were traveling with in the Windjammer for lunch.
We are "veteran" cruisers, with more than 100 cruises between us. I thought the food on Radiance was much better than other cruise lines we have been on recently, as it is obvious that they are all cutting back on quality. This ship offers several items you can get every evening at dinner, as most lines do. The difference is that these "everyday" items are all EXCELLENT. Even the steak was absolutely delicious. The food in the windjammer was varied and very good, and the layout makes it easy to avoid long lines and congestion. The outdoor deck in the back is a wonderful place to eat when the weather is nice, which was almost always on our trip. There are two specialty restaurants, and the service is excellent, the food amazing. Well worth the little extra cost. Our server, Alexandra, in Portofino was great!
There is also a little cafe on deck 12 called the Seaview Cafe that serves all the things you know you shouldn't have but crave: hot dogs, hamburgers, fish and chips, onion rings, tuna melt and more. They do have a couple of great salads also, and their desserts are good as well. I think the tuna melt was the best, but give them all a try!
There is lots to do on this ship, from miniature golf to rock climbing. Also a nice casino where I made a decent "deposit" (although I did win $320 one night), and lovely gathering places like the atrium, the Colony Room, and the Schooner Bar. There is very good entertainment playing in the atrium most evenings and you can hear it from your floor as the atrium is open all the way up the middle of the ship.
The entertainment was great, especially Marty Allen and his talented wife! What a great surprise that was, and we all laughed so hard -- he still has perfect timing and his jokes are clean and very funny. The cruise director, Kirk, was really fun and made the whole cruise enjoyable and relaxing.
We made friends with a couple of the crew members that really did an outstanding job: Eyleen Alegria in the Schooner Bar, and Gerard (Gerry) in the Champagne Bar. Eyleen looked like a little Penelope Cruz and greets you with a big smile while remembering your name and your favorite drink. We will miss her a lot!
Our room was beautiful and quite spacious. Our room steward, Renson, was exceptional and always anticipated our every need. We had read about plumbing problems on this ship from other Cruise Critic reviewers, but had no problem in our room. I did see a big fan and a carpet cleaner down the hall, but nothing that affected us.
The captain, "Captain Klaus," was so informative and helpful. His timely talks over the loud speakers made you feel safe and sound. Even when we were in some pretty rocky weather as we returned to San Diego, he kept us assured that we were well under control and not to worry. Of course we have been in much worse weather on a ship and even without stabilizers, so to us this was fine.
The ship is designed very well, with lots of glass and windows so you can see the ocean nearly everywhere you go. Even the glass elevators give you a beautiful view -- nice.
The ports were fine -- we have been to them many times before -- and we especially enjoy Cabo and Acapulco. But there is much to do in all of the ports, so have fun!
Again, we highly recommend this ship, and hope to take another cruise on her soon. Maybe to another itinerary...just hope our crew friends might still be on it when we go!