Radiance of the Seas Review

Editor Rating: 4.0
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Why Choose Radiance of the Seas?
  • $20 million spent in 2011 to makeover "Mid-size" ship
  • Features outside elevators; half of exterior is glass
  • Huge stone elephants grace African-themed Solarium

Radiance of the Seas Overview

When Royal Caribbean debuted its first-in-class Radiance of the Seas in 2001, passengers raved about the light that came streaming through the ship's glassy exterior. Ten years later, the line has put $20 million into giving the 90,090-ton, 2,139-passenger vessel something of a new identity. During a spring 2011 makeover, Radiance gained eight dining choices already found on (big) sisters Oasis and Allure of the Seas, including a Japanese restaurant and Brazilian churrascaria, as well as cabin upgrades throughout, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi and a giant poolside movie screen.

Other additions from the 2011 refurb included a new nursery for kids ages six months to 36 months (also an Oasis-class staple), 12 new cabins, interactive flat-screen TV systems in all accommodations, as well as the installation of touch-screen "wayfinders" (again, Oasis) throughout the ship to make it easier to find out what's going on where, and how best to get there.

With all the new bells and whistles, there's definitely more to love about Radiance than ever before. But the main attraction is still the "mid-sized" ship's warm, light-loving design. With vast expanses of open space and floor-to-ceiling windows at every turn, you might even find yourself wearing sunglasses inside. In fact, half of the ship's exterior is glass -- and there are even outside elevators spanning 12 decks, an innovation first seen on sister line Celebrity Cruises' Millennium-class vessels.

And, even before the Oasis-style makeover, Radiance was known for incorporating the best features from other RCI ships: the variety of activity and entertainment options of the Voyager class (like rock-climbing), the sleek profile of the Sovereign class, and the global itineraries (the ship splits time between Alaska and Australia) and wealth of windows, glass doors and canopies of the Vision class.

Post-refurb, Radiance 2.0 offers even more diversity of choice, particularly in dining, while maintaining the intimate vibe afforded by its modest size. (In the Royal Caribbean fleet, only the line's 78,491-ton Vision-class ships are smaller.) It's a ship that will make Royal Caribbean loyalists feel right at home, yet happily up with the times, too.

Radiance of the Seas Fellow Passengers

Royal Caribbean typically appeals to couples and singles in their 30's to 50's, as well as multi-generational families. The median age is in the low 40's on seven-night cruises and in the 30's on three-and four-night cruises. Passengers on cruises ten days and longer tend to be 50-plus. Royal Caribbean attracts passengers that are looking for an affordable, active vacation. During the Alaska summer season, count on cruising with mostly Americans and Canadians. When the ship repositions Down Under, the Australians naturally come out in droves.

Radiance of the Seas Dress Code

Two formal nights are scheduled on seven-day voyages. About half the men opt for dark suits instead of tuxedoes. Daytime wear is casual. Bring layers and rain gear (just in case) for Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas Gratuity

Royal Caribbean passengers are charged $13.50 per person, per day ($16.50 for suite guests). Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to passengers' SeaPass accounts during the cruise. Passengers can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the guest services desk while onboard. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.
Next:  Radiance of the Seas Cabins
Updated by Terry Ward, Cruise Critic contributor

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Radiance of the Seas Editor Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    4.1
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.5
    5.0
  • Cabins
    4.1
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.9
    5.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    4.2
    5.0
  • Family & Children
    3.7
    5.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.9
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.6
    1.0
  • Service
    4.4
    3.0
  • Value-for-Money
    4.0
    4.0

Ship Facts

Ship Stats
Crew:  894
Launched:  2001
Decks:  12
Tonnage:  90,090
Passengers:  2,112
Registry:  Bahamas
CDC Score:  99
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903 Radiance of the Seas Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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bonniematthews
Member Since 2016
1 review
0 forum posts
2 helpful votes
Sailed three weeks ago
This cruise was chosen for us but we would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We would especially like to acknowledge our dining hall wait staff, Ken and Frankie. They not only offered outstanding service, but we felt they ... Read more
rcclfanbp
Member Since 2012
1 review
444 forum posts
1 helpful vote
After deferring this cruise for many years due to concerns of cold-weather cruising, we finally decided to take an Alaska cruise. We decided on the Radiance of the Seas because of its itinerary and timing. We had a wonderful cruise ... Read more
sierrajean
Member Since 2000
2 reviews
2 forum posts
1 helpful vote
We are pretty loyal RC cruisers. We'd sailed to Alaska 11 years ago on the Norwegian Dawn from Seattle with 15 family members. At that time decided we'd return as a couple in the future to see more of Alaska. The cruise ports and ... Read more

1,560 Professional Radiance of the Seas Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Radiance of the Seas with multiple photographers and took 1,560 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

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