I believe this was the first time Radiance of the Seas has sailed the South Pacific. The ship is very impressive, walls of glass, fabulous restaurants, excellent food and plenty of shore stops. The evening shows are very good and the theatre most impressive. With regard to gratuities I would not recommend paying them in advance. The gratuities are paid to state room attendants and staff at the main dining room. If you decide to eat at other restaurants you are not able to allocate any of the prepaid gratuities to these staff. We ate at other restaurants 7 out of the 12 nights so I ended up paying much more in gratuities for the other dining staff. Additionally the prepaid gratuities apparently guarantee "my time" dining where you can choose the time that you eat. Not so. On the first night my children and I waited over an hour for "my time" dining and finally I took them to the steak house, we ate at 10.00pm and the meal cost me $120.00 plus gratuity. .
If you go ashore and plan activities try to do so well beforehand. Everyone is on island time. The islands were stunning, particularly Mystery Island and Champagne Bay. Get your tender tickets to get off the boat early - there are 2199 people wanting to get off with you! The pool is very small which is probably fine for Radiance's typical route through Alaska but much too small for a South Pacific cruise where people like to swim. There is another pool but for adults only and a wading pool for children. The scene by the pool in the afternoon can become chaotic but there's always a bar nearby with a friendly bartender.