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Radiance of the Seas Dining

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84% of cruisers loved it
  • $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

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Radiance of the Seas Dining
During Radiance's 2011 makeover, the ship's onboard dining options received the greatest overhaul. Basically, Radiance was outfitted with nearly every signature dining experience that had debuted on Allure of the Seas -- effectively doubling passengers' culinary options. But bear in mind that the majority of the new venues require a supplemental fee.

The main dining room, Cascades, is an elegant, two-level restaurant featuring a grand staircase, columns, and, true to its name, a cascading waterfall. Service by the smiling international staff is attentive, and despite the massive space (with seating for 1,110 passengers), the dining experience still takes on an intimate feel, particularly at dinner. At dinner passengers can choose between assigned early (6:15 p.m.) or late (8:30 p.m.) dining. Alternatively, you can opt for My Time Dining (RCI's flexible option), in which you pick a preferred mealtime (between 6 and 9:30 p.m.), but can change your reservations on a daily basis or simply walk in when you're hungry. Passengers who choose My Time Dining will need to pre-pay gratuities.

Expect the standard selection of red meat, poultry, seafood and international cuisine. Passengers in the dining room can also opt for Vitality menu selections (with less than 30 percent of calories derived from fat) and vegetarian dishes for lunch and dinner.

Breakfast and lunch in Cascades are open seating.

A casual, no reservations, no-fee dinner alternative is served in the Windjammer Cafe where breakfast and lunch are also served buffet-style with a choice of indoor and outdoor seating.

The ship's former Seaview Cafe has been replaced with Samba Grill, aft on Deck 12. Open for dinner each evening, it's a Brazilian-style steakhouse with meat, chicken and seafood sliced directly onto your plate. The cover charge to dine at Samba Grill is $25 per person.

The new Chef's Table, another dining addition inspired by Allure, brings the private dining experience to Radiance passengers via a five-course feast with wine pairings. Each glass of wine and each course is introduced by a sommelier and top chef, respectively. The Chef's Table costs $95 per person.

Rita's Cantina, new on Deck 11 and open for lunch and dinner, does Mexican in a fiesta-style atmosphere (live music, dancing and margaritas flowing freely). The venue features indoor and outdoor seating. There's a $3 cover charge and a la carte menu pricing. Passengers should expect to spend $10 to $20 total (without alcohol).

For sushi fans, Izumi is another welcome addition. Aft on Deck 11, the pan-Asian restaurant is open for lunch and dinner. In addition to sushi, the venue also does hot-rock cooking (your meat and fish sizzles on a stone) for something interactive and different. There's a $3 cover charge for lunch and $5 for dinner, with a la carte menu pricing. Passengers should expect to spend $20 to $30 total (before paying for drinks).

What was Portofino's, which served heavy Northern Italian cuisine, has been replaced with a new trattoria-style Italian restaurant, Giovanni's. Traditional Italian food is served family-style (dig in and share alike). It's a $15 cover charge for lunch and $20 for dinner.

Royal Caribbean's room service options, available 24 hours a day, include a range of snacks, hot dishes and sandwiches. Breakfast offerings, including Continental dishes and a handful of egg entrees, are available both in cabins and suites. Items off the main dining room menu can be ordered at dinner. There is no charge for room service between 5 a.m. and midnight (though a buck or two gratuity is recommended); late-night orders (from midnight to 5 a.m.) incur a $3.95 fee.
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