Mexico better than expected, Royal Carribean...not so much.
Family and I just returned from our 11 night Mexican Riviera cruise. All in all I would say it was money well spent. The wife left happy which is really the only measure that matters from my stand point. I would like to pass along my 2 cents in hopes that it may help someone in the market for a cruise and considering the Radiance. So you understand my perspective, traveling with me were my wife and 2 young boys, 2 and 3 years of age. My wife and I have cruised 4 times previously and each of my boys has cruised a couple times before. The youngest had his first cruise at 3 months of age!
What we loved- Mexico is awesome. In fact, I've decided to take back 90% of the bad things I've ever said about Mexico after living in so cal for the past 35 years. Each port stop proved more interesting than the last and I think my family will likely be vacationing to Mexico again. Best moment- an excursion to La Isla in Ixtapa. The waiters at the beach front restaurants bring the freshly caught fish to your table where you select one. It is soon brought to your table grilled to perfection with guacamole and rice on the side. I am about the pickiest eater on the planet (ask my wife or mother) but found this to be the best meal of our 11 day trip and the family managed to avoid any GI pathogens during our multiple meals ashore.
What we liked- the ship is very clean and the on board entertainers definitely held their own. The dinning room staff really went the extra mile accommodating my family. We scheduled the trip too late to get main seating at 6pm and were stuck with the late dinning at 830pm which proved just to late for my younglings. The head waiter arranged for us to come in 30-60 minutes earlier as soon as he had an open table from the main dinning crowd(very impressive service).
What pissed me off- If you are traveling with young children in diapers beware of RC. Not sure what aspect of changing a diaper they find so challenging but all children facilities are "diaper free zones" The only area that was deemed appropriate for my 2 year old was a 12 sq foot room in the back of the ship filled with some fisher price toys which my son did get use out of while it was available. Unfortunately someone decided to start using the room to store large boxes of towels and linen for the last few days of the cruise (the sea days). Why someone thought it was a good idea to stack large heavy boxes 5-6ft high on a rocking ship in the middle of a child's play area is beyond me. What is more disturbing is that even after multiple phone calls to guest relations that eventually put me in contact with the staff captain of the ship I was assured the area would be promptly cleared, which of course it never was.
In conclusion, with the exception of the smoke blowing by guest relations and the diaper discrimination, I would say it was a nice cruise. Probably have to stick with Carnival though until the pampers are history.