Emerald Radiance Cabins

Editor Rating
Very Good
Brittany Chrusciel

There are 56 rooms in four room categories onboard Radiance and many cabins provide the same features. Radiance cabins are comfortable, although because of the ship's size, we heard a few passengers mention there wasn't as much storage space as on other Emerald Waterways' vessels.

Beds are two twins that can be pushed together to form a queen, with fluffy white duvets. A mini-fridge is stocked with snacks that you will pay for unless you are in an Owner's or Riverview suite. Storage space consists of at least two deep drawers and a closet with sturdy wooden hangers -- you can store your luggage by pushing open a secret compartment underneath the bed on either side. In the closet you'll find amenities like slippers, waffled cotton bathrobes, walking sticks, a shoehorn and a bag for laundry. The safe is inside of the cabinet next to the mini-fridge on the top shelf.

A large, flat-screen TV dominates the counter in front of the bed. The TV has an infotainment system with about 25 channels, your daily program and a portable keyboard so you could connect to Wi-Fi and use it like a computer screen. To the right is a desk that could also serve as a vanity, with a rounded black leather chair. We found that you have to choose whether you wanted to utilize the counter space, or flip up the top to expose the mirror and use it that way -- it got tricky to use it as both. This is also the only place in the cabin to plug in the hair dryer, which is located on the bottom shelf in the same cabinet as the safe. The charger for the Quietvox devices used during tours is plugged in to the right of the desk.

Every cabin comes with a book about Portugal, Spain and the Douro region, as well as an informational map about the Douro River Valley. We found them both to be extremely readable and helpful when interpreting our route and what we were seeing as we sailed.

The bathroom features a shower with a glass door, a toilet and three glass shelves as well as two shelves to the right of the sink. We appreciate the simple but clever touch of an inlaid metal cup to hold toothbrushes. Small bottles of bath gel, shampoo and conditioner are provided from Castelbel. While the scent was a tad strong for our tastes, we were happy to learn that it's a Portuguese brand based in Porto. There is an outlet to plug in an electric shaver to the right of the sink. There are two full-length mirrors in the cabin in addition to the mirror in the bathroom. A magnifying mirror is attached to the glass shelves. After dark, the floor of the bathroom is illuminated by a night-light.

A dial for climate control is on the wall, and every time our room was cleaned, the AC was cranked high. The air automatically shuts off once the window is opened. Most cabins feature an enclosed sun lounge with a strip of non-carpeted space by the floor-to-ceiling window, with two black mesh deck chairs and a small round table. The window slides down by pushing a button on the wall and opens to about waist height. A feature that's new to the fleet is a screen that can be activated by pushing a similar button, allowing for fresh air without the fear of bugs getting into the room. A blackout screen can be manually pulled down and is usually rolled down during turn-down service. Also after turn-down, you'll find a sheet of paper with the following day's daily program as well as a chocolate on your pillow.

Apart from a full room light, each side of the bed has a nightstand with a bright reading light. The padded tan headboard also illuminates at night. By the room lights you'll find a button for Do Not Disturb.

Standard Cabin: Standard cabins are located on Deck 1 and feature rectangular fixed windows with a curtain. There are three categories of standard cabins -- D, E and F -- with the difference being square footage. These cabins are 170, 160 and 153 square feet, respectively.

Panorama Balcony Suite: A bit of a misnomer, balcony suites are rooms with sun lounges that have a full window facing off the ship that opens. This is the largest room category, spread between Decks 2 and 3, and there are five categories of balcony rooms. The two balcony suites on either side at the end of the hall on Deck 2 -- 222 and 223 -- offer slightly more closet space and are 183 square feet. All other balcony rooms are either 160 or 170 square feet.

Owner's Suite: The Owner's Suites on Radiance are rooms 322 and 323. These cabins are 285 square feet in size and feature a separate sitting area with two cushioned high-back chairs and footrests along with another window, a Nespresso machine, walk-in closets, a complimentary mini-bar, an in-suite iPad, a welcome plate of fruit and a bottle of wine, and concierge service.

Riverview Suite: While you might think the Owner's Suites are the best on a ship, Radiance's first-in-class Riverview Suites -- rooms 324 and 325 -- are the cabins to splurge on. There are windows -- and views -- along two walls of the cabin. The seating area in these rooms also features a couch, and the bathrooms are much larger with a bathtub. These rooms are the largest onboard, at 300 square feet.

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