Built between 2001 and 2004, Royal Caribbean's midsized (approximately 2,000 passengers) Radiance-class ships are characterized by the sheer amount of interior spaces enclosed in glass, providing nearly nonstop views of the ocean. With over 3 acres of glass on each ship, cruisers can see the ocean from almost any vantage point, whether on a glass exterior-view elevator, in the two-level glass-enclosed dining room or lounging beneath a retractable glass roof by one of the Radiance-class ship's three pools.
- Brilliance of the Seas
- Jewel of the Seas
- Radiance of the Seas
- Serenade of the Seas
Because they are smaller, the Radiance-class ships have less to offer in the way of bells and whistles than Royal Caribbean's newer -- and bigger -- ships. Cruisers will find rock climbing walls and mini-golf courses onboard the four Radiance-class ships, as well as three pools, three whirlpools and the adults-only Solarium, but no adrenaline-pumping on-deck activities like surfing or skydiving. Fun on Radiance-class ships is had primarily through traditional cruise ship activities like trivia, bingo, silly pool games and dance classes.
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Most Radiance-class ships have a decent selection of eateries, though which restaurants are available varies from ship to ship. (Jewel of the Seas has the smallest selection.) At the very least, all Radiance-class ships have a Chops Grille, Izumi and Giovanni's Table; all also have the grab-and-go Cafe Latte-Tudes, for extra-fee specialty coffees and pastries.
All four ships have the popular Viking Crown Lounge, which has been phased out on many other Royal Caribbean ships.
Differences Among Radiance-Class Ships
Brilliance, Radiance and Serenade of the Seas have the most included and extra-fee dining options, while Jewel of the Seas has the least. Brilliance and Radiance of the Seas have a Park Cafe and Rita's Cantina; Radiance also has a Samba Grill and Boardwalk Dog House -- the only Radiance-class ship with those two eateries. Serenade of the Seas has a Park Cafe.
In addition to the Schooner Bar, which all the ships have, Brilliance and Serenade of the Seas have R Bar, Vintages Wine Bar and an English-style pub. Jewel of the Seas has the Vintages Wine Bar, and Radiance of the Seas has an English-style pub and a Champagne Bar.
Brilliance, Radiance and Serenade also feature a Royal Babies & Tots Nursery, with for-fee babysitting, while Jewel of the Seas does not.
The four Radiance-class ships are best for cruisers looking for a smaller mainstream ship with a focus on relaxation and casual fun. If you're looking for the Royal Caribbean you see in TV commercials, you won't get it on the Radiance-class ships. But, if you don't need a lot of stimulation, can be content with port visits and some old-fashioned cruise entertainment, the Radiance-class ships could be a great choice.
Radiance-class ships are typically stationed overseas, in Europe or the South Pacific, so might be the right choice for cruisers driven by destination, rather than shipboard amenities.
Cruises on Radiance-class ships tend to be more moderately priced than those on Freedom-, Oasis- and Quantum-class ships, but more expensive than those on Sovereign- and Vision-class ships.