1,274 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Sailed on the Radiance on March 24th for a 4 night cruise.Embarkation was seemless, but not a quick as other reviewers stated. There was only one metal detector in use and as a result a line to get through the metal detector. Once passed ... Read More
Sailed on the Radiance on March 24th for a 4 night cruise.Embarkation was seemless, but not a quick as other reviewers stated. There was only one metal detector in use and as a result a line to get through the metal detector. Once passed that part, we filled out the Health Information card and proceeded through the remainder of the process quickly.Dining - The food was good. Ate mostly in the Dining Room (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Had breakfast in Windjammer only once. Also, lunch in the Windjammer once. Just not a buffet fan, so stuck with the Dining Room when possible. The service in the dinning room was good with the exception of one lunch. At lunch, there is a salad station in the dinning room that is excellent. You get to pick what you want in the salad, but the portion is rather large. Highly recommend the salad station. Was disappointed that the policy of no shorts, t-shirts, and jeans at dinner is not more strictly enforced. Every night we saw people allowed into the dinning room that did not meet the official dress code. The dress code should either be enforced or ditched.Entertainment - the production shows where pretty good. They were comparable to other shows that I've seen on previous cruises. The last night's comedian was funny. It was a "family friendly adult comedy show".Fitness - If you are a runner, be sure to pick your run times strategically if you plan to use the track. It surrounds the pool area and can be crowded. Took a spin/wheels in motion class one morning. A good class but the charge is a little high (with tip almost $14.00) for one hour.Debarkation - Ended up using a porter to help with our bags. That lead to a much quicker line and exit through customs.Overall - a nice vacation and cruise. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Just returned from a five day cruise on the Radiance. I picked the cruise mainly for the price since I treated my sister, son and daughter in law. They wanted to try another cruise line and we had previously taken 3 trips on Carnival. ... Read More
Just returned from a five day cruise on the Radiance. I picked the cruise mainly for the price since I treated my sister, son and daughter in law. They wanted to try another cruise line and we had previously taken 3 trips on Carnival. Got to the pier around 11:45 and quickly on the ship in about 25 minutes. Biggest difference I noticed was the friendliness of the crew. Smiling, saying hello, etc. The food was the 2nd thing I noticed. It really was good! Compared to Carnival it was a big improvement. The Windjammer had "spread out" buffet stations and there was no bottleneck. The variety was was nice...sandwiches, pizza, all kinds of salad fixing and the rolls were to die for. In fact I ate so many that they could have killed me. They were that good. Our room was ok. It was a bit dated but very clean and comfortable. I would have liked a couch that 2 people could fit on but managed.(Maybe I shouldn't have indulged in all those bread products). The bathroom was what I expected. After the 2nd day, I managed to learn how to take a shower without flooding the floor. We ordered room service in the am a couple of days and also for snacks at night. Food arrived on time and was good. If you have the luck of having Ronn and Andre as your wait staff in the dining room, consider yourself lucky. What great guys. Lots of fun and efficient. Again, Andre kept those rolls coming. The one thing I liked Carnival over this ship is the activities. Carnival seems to have more things to do during the day. Their cruise directors are better at their jobs. I also like the way Carnival has shore excursion talks to explain whats available. They inform allot more on whats going on. They are a more fun ship. Royal was good in the food and service but Carnival has it over them in atmosphere. If I had a choice I think I like Carnival better overall. My son like Royal better. I'd easily do either again. Oh, also wanted to note that the impressionist singer and comic magician were great. Didn't see the production numbers..not anything I usually enjoy Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Thought I would write a review of our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Prior to a cruise, I read these reviews religiously and I thought it was time that I gave back! This may be long-in-the tooth! This was our 3rd cruise ... Read More
Thought I would write a review of our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Prior to a cruise, I read these reviews religiously and I thought it was time that I gave back! This may be long-in-the tooth! This was our 3rd cruise and 2nd on RCL (1st on the Radiance). Five of us occupied the 7th floor Aft balconies. Firstly, we left on time and had no issues getting to each port. No engine problems to report. Secondly, we saw no signs of sickness or remaining issues from the early Jan outbreak. Finally, we saw no signs of plumbing or pipe issues. I did smell a strong sewer smell in 2 locations, but heard of no problems while we were on board. Embarkation: I have to say, I LOVE the Tampa port. It took us 15 mins from exiting the taxi to getting on the ship. Stress free. You don't have the mad rush-cattle herding feeling of the Ft. Lauderdale Port. It was effortless. Stateroom: We were in 7172 (aft balcony). All things considered, I would not book this room again. It was much larger than a normal balcony. Room for 2 chairs and a recliner. It came in handy on the last day when the wind on deck was just too cold to enjoy the sun. But, our balcony was full of sun and no wind. We actually never left the cabin! The long 'walk' that everyone talked about made me laugh. Excluding those with mobility issues, if you can't walk this hallway - please reconsider your physical activity choices! What disappointed me about this room was the walls! We could hear EVRYTHING next door. The TV, the phone, conversations. I don't EVER remember hearing this much activity in prior cruises. I *think* it was the layout of the room. It really affected our sleep. My mother-in-law had a bad cough and she coughed all night long. We were right above the lounge as well. We never went to bed before midnight (when they stopped playing), but one night we went back to the room for something and could hear it very loudly. If you go to bed early-I would not suggest getting this room. Ship: This was the smallest ship we have been on by far. We looked in the shops, played in the casino, used the gym, went o nearly every bar, played golf, and climbed the rock wall. It was very easy to get around and very easy to learn the layout. Everything was clean and looked top-notch. It very rarely felt crowded to me. She is a beautiful ship. However I don't think we will be sailing on her again. I think we learned that we are big ship people! Who knew! A couple of negative things to note (minor, but this is a review-right): (1) the coffee shop was very limited in both drink and food. (2) The ladies locker room was woefully inadequate. It had 1 bathroom! (3) The solarium, while very nice, was always packed and being a sun lover -I was upset that they never opened the roof. (4) The pool was also packed and I don't mean by chair hoggers-every seat was taken! Minor quip-I really hate those cheap pool chairs. (5) We are not production people. We like comedians or late night music. While I will say the piano player was outstanding, the comedian only did a show 2 nights (and one night was the superbowl). He was 'ok'. (6) Finally-we tried to attend one of the game shows (men versus women) and this is not the fault of the cruise line-but the people they picked! They were either drunk or truly missing some brain cells. It was painful and we ended up grabbing a drink and back in the stateroom. Food: I would give the food, overall, a 'B'. Room service was timely and sufficient. Breakfast in the windjammer was the same every day-and not much to chose from. We had lunch once in the Windjammer and I was *really* disappointed. Being a vegetarian-everything had meat in it! Even the stir-fry! I ate a salad and yes, it did remind me of a Golden Corral meal. We really enjoyed the sea view cafe. This was yummy! Highly recommend you try it before it disappears. Finally, we had my-time dining (1st time). Overall, it was a good experience. But it is not as flexible as you would think. I made a reservation for the 1st night. All went fine. But, the 2nd day, when I tried try to make a reservation, the only time he could fit us in was 6 or 8! So, my-time dining is a bit of a stretch. We ended up eating at 745 most nights, but we had to make a standing reservation. We would normally stand in land and wait for the table 10 minutes. Not bad, but not great either. As for the dining room itself-WOW. They pack SO many tables in there-it is crazy. We ate in 3 different locations and we were always behind a bus station or having people bump into us or one time -we had a table so close to us-I was bumping elbows with the lady sitting there. It was loud and frantic. Now I see why people book specialty dining. This aspect of the dining room really upset me. HOWEVER, the dining staff were great! As for the food - we enjoyed most of our meals. I can't say we were served a bad meal. However, I was disappointed by the selection. We sailed princess last year and there was always something new and fun for me to try. I am somewhat of an adventurous diner and nothing on the menu really blew my skirt up. Staff: To me, they were the highlight of this cruise. EVERY single person smiled and said hello. Our waiters, state room attendant, bar attendants, EVERYONE was truly lovely. With one exception - the man who works the coffee shop. They really need to get rid of him. Spa: I ended up using the spa, even though I said I would not waste money here anymore. Well, the services itself was - but the spa attendant! Wow-this was the hardest sell I have ever experienced! She tried to sell me something for my eyes, for my sunburn, for my neck. When I stated how happy I was what my products, she told me how she worked on commission and that she wasn't getting enough clients. Looking back, I should have said something to her manager. Ports: I have to admit- we had a better time in our excursions than on the boat! All excursion were independent ones. In Cozumel, we did a snorkeling and sailing excursion with Cozumel water sports. We *highly* recommend them! Beautiful catamaran and only 6 of us! The guides were amazing! We pulled up to the 1st spot, alongside the fury catamaran- with about 80 people on board-it looked terrible! We had a lovely time with our private guide. We went to another spot and saw tons of fish and even barracuda and a stingray! We then sailed up and down the coast getting served tequila sunrises and fresh fruit. Nice music playing in the background. And homemade guacamole-oh my! The weather was perfect and it all ended too soon. Then, in Costa Maya, we did the Maya Chan resort. OH MY! This was the highlight if our cruise. The weather was terrible, but this place is beautiful. The staff are amazing and accommodating. The drinks are good and strong. My hubby never left the hammock! we were treated like royalty. I seriously cried when they told us our taxi was waiting. We would go back to Costa Maya just to visit this resort again. The owners were there and stopped by several time to chat with us. This was the single best excursion we have ever done! Disembarkation: Again, 100% stress free. We actually left 15 min early and luggage was ready and organized. The taxi line was manageable. The whole experience was very easy. Not like the hell of getting off in Ft. Lauderdale. Read Less
Sail Date February 2011
Snow,snow,and more snow. What a way to catch a needed break for five days. Tampa was chilly and raining until departure and cool upon return. The four days in between were 75-84. What could be bad. The Radiance is one of the older ships of ... Read More
Snow,snow,and more snow. What a way to catch a needed break for five days. Tampa was chilly and raining until departure and cool upon return. The four days in between were 75-84. What could be bad. The Radiance is one of the older ships of the fleet and a little smaller and in some places a little worn,but by no means is it run down.My E3 cabin was pretty small compared to Verandas on other ships. The staff and crew were exceptional and aimed to please, from the cabin staff to the wait staff. We found the Windjammer only adequate. I like to eat a healthy breakfast and order egg white omlettes using their low fat spray. Some cooks didn't know what I was talking about when I asked for it(Had it on the Navigator), and they ran out of egg whites on the third day. How is that possible? The main dining room's food was average, but the waiter was soooo nice. We discovered a little cafe on deck 12 called the Seaview and they had nice choices for lunch with the best brownie on the ship. Better than the desserts at dinner. Entertainment was fair to good, with stage shows and the obligatory comedian(very good) and an Elvis impersonator(not my thing). Nice Kareoke with amazing people and piano players and combos all around the ship. Been to Cozemel before(typical schlock items) and went to a beach in Costa Maya where the locals will pull your arms off trying to get you to their lounge chairs. Typacally six beers for ten dollars will get you a lounge.Amazing! All in all, a quick respite form the weather which was greatly appreciated. I now write this with a fresh 19 inches on the ground. Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
Motel We stayed the night prior to embarkation at a Best Western in Weeki Wachee (about an hour away); this due to visiting with family in that area. The motel was just fine and relatively cheap at $62 or so (including taxes) for a king ... Read More
Motel We stayed the night prior to embarkation at a Best Western in Weeki Wachee (about an hour away); this due to visiting with family in that area. The motel was just fine and relatively cheap at $62 or so (including taxes) for a king non-smoking. Embarkation What a snap! We drove our personal car and had zero trouble finding the pier. DH dropped me off around 11: 15 am with the luggage and went to park the car in the parking garage across the street ($14/day; had to pre-pay). A porter approached us immediately and whisked our luggage away ($10 tip). Once DH had parked the car, off we went inside the terminal building and upstairs to security and check-in. For whatever reason (rain, perhaps?) there didn't really seem to be that many PAX in the area yet. We breezed through security and check-in (although there was some minor problem with the reservation not showing me as being authorized to use charge to the Sea Pass account (ACK!); not sure how that happened since I did the on-line check in several days before and nothing appeared to be out of order; no worries, the friendly Royal Caribbean lady got us all squared away. We were on board checking out the ship with our first drink in hand by noon. Ship This was our first cruise on a Radiance-class ship (had been on a Vision-class ship in May). All in all, the ship was very, very nice. We had some concerns because there had been reports on the Boards of considerable issues with plumbing in some staterooms, leaking water here and there, etc. We didn't experience any problems in our stateroom and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary while roaming around the ship. We did find all of the glass quite lovely and got a kick out of riding up in the elevators "out over the ocean". Apparently so did a lot of other folks as they were generally crowded. In general we found the ship to be fairly similar in appearance to Enchantment of the Seas, albeit, a bit larger with space for a few more bars and an additional specialty restaurant (Portofino). Oh, and we can't forget the ever popular Sea View Cafe! Interestingly enough, several areas seemed to be smaller than those on Enchantment; namely, the pool area (probably because Radiance has an entire kid area and Enchantment did not) and the casino. Not that we spent a lot of time in there. We did spent a lot of time in The Solarium. Other than trying to nab a lounge chair and dealing with some people who either had their children in there with them, were yelling and screaming in the pool, or a gaggle of ladies who would shriek at each other across the pool area, it was quite nice. Although some have said the soundtrack of birds chirping, etc. is "cheesy", I actually found it quite relaxing. We were not sure, though, why they never opened up the roof as it was quite warm several days and not raining. Since the ship is going into dry dock soon and there will be many, many changes, it's really not worth reviewing too much about her other than to say we enjoyed being on her and had no trouble finding our way around. Stateroom We'd heard excellent things about aft balconies so we decided to book D2 1104 on Deck Ten. To be sure, the balcony was wonderful; big enough for two loungers, two chairs and a table and large enough that probably upwards of 6 people could mill about there in comfort. We spent a lot of time out there enjoying the lovely view of the wake. We didn't notice much noise from the outdoor seating section of the Windjammer (directly above) and only once did we look up to see people up there looking down at us (we were at the rail; no one could see us further back). We also didn't notice much noise from the ship itself but we did hear, from time to time, the TV from the stateroom next door (1604). The stateroom had ample closet/storage space, but, as others have noted, the bathroom was a tad dinky and the shower was, shall we say, like a closet! Luckily, neither of us are terribly large and we knew enough to keep the shower head pointed away from the shower curtain. We therefore escaped without any floods of our own making. The living area of the stateroom was ok, but, after bumping into one another on more than one occasion, we've decided we'll stick to booking Junior Suites from now on. Some have also noted that it is quite a haul from these staterooms to the elevators/stairs. It is a longish walk and the corridors are quite narrow; it was hard to walk two abreast. But, we like to exercise, so, the walk didn't bother us. Dining We had the 2nd seating in Cascades. Despite our request to have a table for two in a quiet location (DH is deaf in one ear), we were placed at a huge table for 10. DH requested a change and we did get a table by ourselves but it was in a real crappy location near the front of the entrance to the dining room on Deck 5 right next to a waiter station. It didn't help that the people at the table behind us were VERY loud and there was a huge family seated a two big tables next to us. So, this is one area we were definitely NOT happy about. Also, I thought children under 13 were not allowed in the MDR for 2nd seating? Maybe I'm wrong about that, as, there were definitely a lot of small children whose parents were not keeping an eye on them. I saw many almost near collisions between waiters with carts of food/carrying dishes and children running in front of them. The food itself was fine. Some nights better than others (choices and quality) but nothing that wasn't edible. We like the fact that portions are not huge. We are not terribly picky and can always find something we like to eat! We purchased the Diamond Wine Package and found the selections decent enough. We had lunch one afternoon in the MDR and breakfast on our last morning on board. Both times we were in and out in less than 30 minutes (important on that final morning when you're trying to get off the ship). We ate one night in Portofino and that was WELL worth it; several notches above in both food and service (plus we had a decent table :-) ) We stayed away from the Windjammer (other than lunch our first day on board) because a) we don't really like buffets b) we don't really like how rude many other PAX are in buffets and c) we were a bit concerned about the norovirus that had made an appearance on an earlier sailing (or so it was said). We didn't want to eat food that others had been pawing at. Other than our last morning on board, we ordered room service each morning for breakfast. Not a lot of choices, but, enough to satisfy us. Plus, why would we not want to eat breakfast out on our lovely balcony? The room service folks were great; always called a few minutes before they were due to arrive (sort of like a wake up call!) We had one afternoon snack in the infamous Sea View Cafe. I'm not sure what all the hub-bub is about regarding this place, it was ok. Maybe I should have ordered the pressed Cuban sandwich that everyone has gone on and on about :-) We ate a light lunch twice in The Solarium with food from The Solarium Cafe. Wraps, sandwiches, hot dogs, salads, soups, fresh fruit, cookies and brownies. I sure missed the yummy French fries they had at the cafe in Enchantment's Solarium, though. The food was tasty, though (although the two people working there seemed a bit disorganized). DH and I do enjoy a cocktail or two while cruising. As before, we were pleased with the variety of choices and DH was thrilled that there was draft beer (not so on our Enchantment cruise). As for me, I was overjoyed to be able to indulge in those yummy Frozen Mojitos! Evening martinis were always prepared perfectly. Entertainment Right now, we don't go in much for a lot of activities/entertainment. Maybe in a few years. But, we did go to several lounges and listen to whatever music was going on while we were there. We also enjoy watching fellow PAX make fools of themselves in The Quest show and spent one evening upstairs in Star Quest dancing the night away. Service The service was fine. Nothing really spectacular, though. We always tip; this time, though, we did not go above and beyond what the pre-paid gratuities already cover (although we did give some bar staff a few extra bucks over the 15%). I guess we were spoiled when we were in a Junior Suite before; our stateroom attendant, although pleasant enough (when we saw him, which wasn't very often) was just ok. He kept the room clean and that's about it. I can't even remember his name. I don't think we ever knew his name; and, yet, I can still remember the name of our attendant on Enchantment and on the QMII. Anyway, What's-His-Name only made TWO towel animals! I was sorely disappointed in that. Our waiter and his assistant were nice and very friendly but, again, nothing really above and beyond. A few nights, I had to wait way too long for them to bring out my bottle of Champagne (DH was already happily sipping away on his martini). Our head waiter TRIED to get us a better table, or, so he said. Anyway, nothing awful, nothing great, but, my guess is, we'd have received better service over all had we been in a JS. Ports Costa Maya was ok. We didn't do much but get off, wander around the man made village, and get back on the ship. We had a blast on the Mexican Cuisine excursion in Cozumel, though; definitely would recommend this. We were, however, mainly on this cruise to relax and enjoy the ship and each other. Disembarkation We had no problem exchanging our baggage tags from the LAST call to the 7th. We showed up at our waiting place 10 minutes early, as requested. Having cruised before, we knew what to expect; other PAX trying to barge their way off before they are supposed to and/or blocking doorways, etc. Nothing different here EXCEPT the staff did a great job of forcing people to go sit down. We cracked up walking past The Naughty Table and seeing the number of prohibited items waiting there to be claimed by the PAX who seemed to think they'd be able to smuggle them on board. I couldn't believe the number of clothes irons sitting on that table. I mean, DUH! We were off the ship by our departure time of 9:05 and through customs by 9:30. We liked the fact Tampa has a porter only line; well worth tipping a porter $10 to get through a potential mess. We did a reverse of embarkation; DH left me with the bags at the curb, went to get the car, and we were on the road by 10:15 or so. All in all we enjoyed ourselves and the ship. I'd have to give an edge to Enchantment of the Seas over Radiance, however. But, we'll definitely be cruising on Radiance-class again since we're moving to FL and will be close to Tampa! Read Less
Sail Date January 2011
My husband and I cruised to the western caribbean on December 11, 2010. This was a 5 day cruise out of Tampa. Our cruise experience has been with Royal Caribbean (6), Celebrity (2), Norwegian (1), and Carnival (1). The Radiance of ... Read More
My husband and I cruised to the western caribbean on December 11, 2010. This was a 5 day cruise out of Tampa. Our cruise experience has been with Royal Caribbean (6), Celebrity (2), Norwegian (1), and Carnival (1). The Radiance of the Seas is a beautiful ship with a lot of glass. This is a Royal Caribbean mid size ship, but and it seemed crowded. There were a lot of children on this cruise and a lot of people using the handicap scooters that drive around (I don't know the proper name for them). Maybe that's why it seemed more crowded than I have experienced in the past. I should also note that the weather was windy and cool, so the majority of people were inside for this cruise. The weather was much cooler than when we have sailed at the end of January in the past. If you like hot weather and tanning, I would not recommend a December cruise. Skip to "comments" section at the end of this review to find out if we would sail on this ship again. Pre-night in Tampa: I cannot rave enough about the Hilton Garden Inn-Ybor. It is clean, comfortable, and very close to the port. They have a free shuttle to take you there. The cost for a taxi from the airport to the hotel was $25. I highly recommend this hotel. While in Tampa, we ate lunch at the Columbia Restaurant. It was a great experience. Arriving at Airport in Tampa: What a great airport! We booked our own air arrangements and arrived in Tampa without any trouble at all. We prefer booking our own air travel so we can choose times which are not an option if the cruise line books for you. We got off the plane, got our luggage, and were out the door of the airport faster than any other trip we have taken. Getting on the ship: Embarking was very smooth. Royal Caribbean has perfected this process and is the most organized we have seen. The sail away time was 5 p.m., but we were allowed on the ship at 11:30 a.m. and our cabin was ready by 2 p.m. We met our cruise critic friends at 3 pm and if you have not already joined your cruise roll call, please do so! Start your own if there is not already one started. We met the nicest people! Cabins: We always book a balcony cabin and this time was no exception. However, this is the first time we had the bad luck to have a chain smoker in the cabin next to us. This prevented us from enjoying our balcony and it was more than a bit annoying. I wish the cruise lines would make all cabins and balconies non-smoking and allow smoking only in designated bars/lounges. If you pay for a balcony, you should be able to enjoy it along with fresh air... not smoke in your face. Smokers... please consider your balcony neighbors when you are cruising. Our cabin was an average size. Two twin beds were made into a king-size bed and it was moderately comfortable. The room was attractive and clean. Our balcony was very private (9th deck, mid ship) and located very close to the elevators. The bathroom area was adequate; shower was extremely small and had curtains instead of glass doors. It was not enjoyable to be in the shower while the curtain was constantly sticking to me! This ship has the old type of small television with very limited channels. There were pay-per-view movies at a cost of $14 each. Room Service: Must remember to have cash available for tipping. They were very slow to bring our food and it was disgusting! Do not order from the room service menu. Breakfast and Lunch Buffets: Served in the Windjammer. Nice variety of food. Once the breakfast buffet ends, the lunch begins about an hour later. Staff was not very quick to clear tables and they do not offer drinks, juice, or coffee. It really is self-serve and not at all like when we first started cruising years ago. You do have the option of eating in the dining room during breakfast and lunch where you will be able to choose from a menu. There is no assigned seating to do that. Please note that if you do not like crowds, go closer to the end times because it is hard to find a seat around 10 a.m. when most people eat. Try an iced caramel latte from the Cafe Lattitudes which is a coffee bar where you pay for the coffee. We had one every morning with an extra shot of espresso! Dinner Buffet: In the Windjammer, there is a very good variety of tasty food offered and it varies from one night to another. It is an alternative to eating in the dining room at your assigned table. We prefer the dinner buffet to the dining room on all cruises now. No matter what time we go, it is never crowded. Again, it is self-service, although you can order beer or wine if you choose. Average Age Range: I would guess there were mostly older couples or families with children on board. The average age range would have been 50's through 60's is my best guess. Cruise Activities: There were a very nice variety of activities throughout the day. The cruise director, Dan, is the best we have seen. Very personable and a lot of energy! His side kick, Josh, was great too and has the same high energy level! We played trivia, laughed at the ship's version of the Newlywed Game and I finally stayed awake long enough to see Quest played! It really is a "must see" hilarious game for adults only. Ports of Call: Cozumel and Costa Maya: At Cozumel, we took at taxi (cost was $14 round trip) to Carlos' and Charlie's. It is an eatery and the most entertaining bar experience we have ever seen. If you like loud music and a lot of laughs, I would highly recommend you take a trip there. We will go again. In Costa Maya, we stayed on the ship because we were there earlier this year. I would recommend the Maya Chan (all-inclusive) Resort if you are looking for something to do there. The shops on board were your basic expensive jewelry and clothing stores and some souvenir and variety store. I bought tee shirts when they were on sale by the pool for $10 each. Cruise Staff: I have seen more friendly staff on other cruises. Cabin Steward: Our cabin was cleaned twice a day, but in our case, this guy did not do very much. He made an effort to make 2 towel animals, but never filled the ice bucket during the second cleaning. We have had much better attention on past cruises and I really think this guy was just lazy. Casino: We did spend a little time there and did not win anything (as usual). The casino is very small and very smoky. Don't expect free drinks when you gamble like in the USA. Deck Space: There were a good number of chairs to lounge in and since the weather was cool, there was no problem finding a seat by the pool. There were a lot more people at the indoor pool in the Solarium (adults only). Getting off the ship: Disembarking was very smooth. People were assigned the usual color coding to determine times to leave ship. They did not offer the express option where you carry your own luggage to get off sooner. Stabilization: Our cabin was in the middle of the ship and we rarely noticed the ship moving. That's why we always get a mid ship cabin. Internet Connections: There is an internet cafe and the cost is 65 cents per minute. It was up and running 24 hours per day. Overall Cruise Comments: The Radiance of the Seas met our expectations, but it did not exceed them. We will definitely cruise again in the future, but not on the Radiance. It was true what I read in other reviews and there were problems with the plumbing during this cruise. We were without toilet use for one day and every now and then there was a stink on the ship which was obviously from a plumbing issue. Since they have this problem all the time, you would think they could figure out how to prevent it. Our next cruise will be on a larger and newer ship. Overall, the cruise experience itself was great, but I am sure that has a lot to do with the new friends we meet along the way. In my opinion, there is no such thing as a bad cruise! If you have any questions about my review or experience, please feel free to email me at d w 3 3 3 3 (at) yahoo (dot) com. No spaces between any letters or numbers in the email address. Happy cruising! Deb Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
Arrival and check-in was smooth. We arrived at the Tampa terminal around 11am and there were no lines for check-in. Santa made a visit to the waiting area while boarding began. We were on the ship around 11:30am. The Windjammer was open ... Read More
Arrival and check-in was smooth. We arrived at the Tampa terminal around 11am and there were no lines for check-in. Santa made a visit to the waiting area while boarding began. We were on the ship around 11:30am. The Windjammer was open but we had to wait until 1:00pm to access our cabin. Cabin: Deluxe ocean view with balcony on Deck 10. Very cozy room that without the balcony would be claustrophobic. Plenty of storage space. Very old TV that did not get good reception and had a limited amount of channels. Beds were very comfortable. Cabin Stewart was excellent and efficient. MDR: we were assigned late seating. At 12noon, the Head Water was available for seating request and we were able to switch to early seating. My Time Dining was filled to capacity. Our table ended up being on Deck 4 way, way off in a corner. I think we got the trainee table as service was slow and inefficient. We were being served our dinner when most tables were having dessert or were done dining. The food was ok and they need to hire a new pastry chef. The staff in Adventure Ocean was friendly and had a wide variety of activities planned to keep the kids entertained. I did not like having to walk through the arcade to access Adventure Ocean. Overall, no complaints from about the kids club. The water slide: has limited hours but was a lot of fun for my little one. The weather was chilly while we were cruising and that limited the amount of pool time. The pools are not heated. We made 2 ports of call: Costa Maya and Cozumel. Costa Maya is nothing exceptional. Cozumel is on of the favorite ports of call and Radiance was the 1st of 6 cruise ship to pulling into Cozumel the day we were there. It was a chilly, overcast day but we went to the beach anyways. We ended up coming back to the ship around 11:30am and found the Oasis docked next to us. What a sight! And the massive amount of people coming off the Oasis was impressive. The weather was chilly but a lot warmer then what we left behind. Overall, the cruise was a great getaway but lacking the elegance that cruising once had. We had an early disembarking time slot and were off the ship by 8:50am and at the Tampa airport, via taxi, by 9:15am. Very smooth and efficient. Read Less
Sail Date December 2010
This was our first holiday cruise, but I don't think it will be our last. Royal's friendly staff and good service made for a relaxing holiday. We were traveling just the two of us (myself and my husband), it's the first ... Read More
This was our first holiday cruise, but I don't think it will be our last. Royal's friendly staff and good service made for a relaxing holiday. We were traveling just the two of us (myself and my husband), it's the first cruise we've taken by ourselves in 12 years. Our other cruises have been with family and/or friends. This was a bit of a second honeymoon as we are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year. We headed to the port via car. It's the first time that we've ever parked at the port, in the past we've always taken shuttles or taxis, and I was a little anxious about how the parking situation would be. This is a very easy port to navigate. We dropped our luggage off with the porter and then utilized the self-parking available directly across the street. There was plenty of parking space and the cost was $70 for the 5 days we were gone. We were parked and on the ship within an hour. Our cabin was a balcony cabin on Deck 9, with easy access to the Solarium and casual dining two floors up and just a few flights down to Deck 5 for the shows in the evening. One of the things we have always liked about the cabins on the Royal Caribbean ships is the storage space. There are cubbies and storage space everywhere. My favorite is the storage behind the angled mirrors. Unpack, slide the luggage under the bed and we were ready for our trip. The Radiance of the Seas is one of the smaller ships, which I personally like the more intimate environment this provides. This was our second time on this ship, having taken this same ship to Alaska last year. Coming back on board felt like coming home. This ship has lots of windows that provide great views almost everywhere you go. I especially like the open air seating at the back of the Windjammer (casual dining room). Grabbing coffee in the morning and sitting out under the shade in the fresh air was a great way to start the day. My biggest complaint about this ship is the basketball court directly over the Windjammer. It makes for a very noisy environment in the dining area, which is yet another reason to take your food to the open air area in the back. The food in the regular dining areas was good as usual, but not exceptional. We were lucky enough to have a table for two. We did go to the specialty restaurant Portifino for Thanksgiving dinner. We chose to go non-traditional and I had a skewer of seafood which included lobster for my Thanksgiving feast. The presentation was impressive, the food was above average from the dining room and the service was impeccable. The tiramisu that I had for dessert was the most elaborate display I have ever had and the taste did not disappoint. It was served in a white and milk chocolate shell, accompanied by a shot of Bailey's & Kahlua with cream on top. One word...delicious. We enjoyed several of the shows while on board. We went to both production shows, one was a compilation of Billy Joel, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Barry Manilow songs. The other was a romantic journey around the world. We especially enjoyed the second production show as the singing and dancing seemed a little more suited for the cast. The highlight show for us, however, was the guest performer Lance Ringnald, who is a former Olympic gymnast. His was a combination of humor and gymnastics. Probably one of the more unique shows we've seen on a ship. Our stateroom attendant Michael, was great. He was very discreet, but attentive. He was probably the most creative stateroom attendant we've had. He went beyond just your standard towel animals and added humor that had us laughing out loud. We came back to our cabin one night to open the bathroom door to find our water closet had towel legs ending with a pair of our shoes. Quite funny. Returning to Tampa, we had the quickest and easiest disembarkation we've ever had. We left our meeting area to disembark at 8:15am and were in our car at 8:45am. The worst part of the trip was the drive home to Georgia with the holiday traffic. For a carefree and relaxing holiday, I would highly recommend taking a cruise. There were lots of families on board, but as a couple we enjoyed a more intimate experience. It was a great break from the rush and frenzy of the holiday season and a prime opportunity to reconnect and remember all we should be thankful for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2010
We took this cruise out of Tampa, which is a small port, but they make it very easy to drop off your bags, and park across the street in the garage. A valet service is also offered right where you drop off your bags. Because the port has ... Read More
We took this cruise out of Tampa, which is a small port, but they make it very easy to drop off your bags, and park across the street in the garage. A valet service is also offered right where you drop off your bags. Because the port has only 2 or 3 ships docking here, you never feel rushed, or overly crowded. The ship has a lot of glass, seems very well taken care of, and offers what you'd expect on a mid sized ship, a free buffet, a main dining room which is also free, and a couple restaurants you can pay extra for, but we didn't try. The food was good, in the buffet and in the main dining room, my only complaint is the selection in the buffet seemed strange, a lot of Indian spicy dishes which I am not a fan of. I felt like the cooks were Indian, or there were Indian employees/guests they were taking care of. I am not a fan of the Sorrentos pizza late night food offered on any of Royal Carib. ships, its the worst food I've had on any cruise line. The only stop for this cruise was Cozumel, which we've been to before, so we rent a car at the terminal, and head for our favorite beach about 15km from the port, near San Fran. beach. My only complaint about the trip with only one stop is you need a bigger ship with more things to do on it, if you're not into hanging out at the pool, loosing all your money in the casino, or non stop drinking at the 10 plus bars, a one stop cruise for 5 days/4 nights gets old! Another 2 stop cruise on the same ship is the one we should have taken, adding Costa Maya, which would take away this complaint Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
* Background Information - We were a party of three occupying two staterooms. I'm from CT, and had a single inside stateroom, while my dad and his girlfriend (Floridians) occupied an outside stateroom. All three of us have sailed ... Read More
* Background Information - We were a party of three occupying two staterooms. I'm from CT, and had a single inside stateroom, while my dad and his girlfriend (Floridians) occupied an outside stateroom. All three of us have sailed several times on DCL. * Hotel Info (if any) - We stayed at my dad's house in Kissimmee prior to and after the cruise. * Travel To Port of Embarkation - The trip to Tampa was fairly easy and painless, although the off-the-highway section is less complicated in Port Canaveral, where we usually sail from. * Ship Info - The ship was beautiful, and in general we preferred it over the Disney Magic. Lots of lounges and places to hang out, plus the Solarium is absolutely gorgeous! * Activities - more trivia, fewer tastings. I felt they could have stacked activities a bit better so you didn't end up with odd chunks of free time, and I did find myself with more unoccupied time on the Radiance than the Disney Magic. * Service - More efficient than friendly, IMHO. Not bad, just different. There is no individual that leaps to mind as giving exceptional service. Kirk, our cruise director, was fantastic and probably the only person I'll remember in the future. * Stateroom - My inside stateroom was more than adequate, with the exception that every time I took a shower I flooded the entire bathroom. I think a shower door rather than a curtain would have fixed that, and I understand all the other Radiance class ships have shower doors. * Dining - They had more Wow items than DCL, but also more Meh items. I missed the rotational dining setup that Disney has, and didn't love that you were always seated with other people at every meal. Most other guests were pleasant, but we did have a couple of people I hoped never to see again. :-) * Children's Clubs - We were a party of adults only, but the one child at my dinner table spoke highly of the clubs and couldn't wait to go back. * Entertainment - Their cabaret acts were excellent, but the big production shows did not impress me. Perhaps I'm spoiled in that I expect a Broadway style production to have an actual plot, but the production shows seemed more like a series of numbers strung together with very little rhyme or reason. Not my cup of tea. * Port & Shore Excursions - We booked these on our own, and had fantastic times on both of them. In Cozumel we did a tequila seminar at Mr Sancho's, and in Costa Maya we did an all-inclusive at Nohoch Kay. Truly wonderful times at both places! * Disembarkation - Our disembarkation number was called about half an hour late, but once we were called everything ran smoothly. * Summary - Overall we all had a really great time, and look forward to sailing Royal Caribbean again. We still do believe that DCL is a superior product, but not superior enough to warrant the outrageous price difference currently being charged. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
5 of us traveling with 2 cabins on this 4 day cruise to Cozumel. Ages 35, 38, 2, 3, and 60. Embarkation was fairly smooth in Tampa at Pier 3. We arrived about 12:15. We used the Valet and filled out our luggage tags on the curb. I ... Read More
5 of us traveling with 2 cabins on this 4 day cruise to Cozumel. Ages 35, 38, 2, 3, and 60. Embarkation was fairly smooth in Tampa at Pier 3. We arrived about 12:15. We used the Valet and filled out our luggage tags on the curb. I encourage you to sign in on-line and get your luggage tags in advance. We had to wait in line about 20 minutes and then we got checked in and were on the ship in no time. We headed to the Windjammer for lunch and enjoyed to option of eating outdoors. The food seemed better than what I remembered and the kids loved the ice cream machine. We ate here for all breakfasts and most lunches. Our luggage was delivered to our room about 1:30 all except one piece...more on that later. Our room was very hot with the AC turned off. The room smelled musty and the floor was wet. We turned on the AC and noticed there was trash left from the maintenance crew in the room. Our cabin steward said they had been working on the room. The AC never worked well the entire cruise and the floor stayed wet by the door and the room smelly. We had brown water back up in our sink and one of our rooms had brown water coming from the tap. Even with all of these issues we still didn't let that bother us too much. It is obvious that there is a plumbing problem on the ship and they were working hard the entire time to get a handle on it. I hope they do soon. Enough about that...we still don't have our missing suitcase... The shows were well done and the special entertainment was pretty good. The adult comedy night was not very adult and could have easily been attended by small children. The singers and dancers were pretty talented but their choreography needs a little work. The staff in the Dining Room was working hard to gel but they just don't quite have it all together yet. The food took a while to come out but the quality was good and the waiters were very accommodating. This will get better very fast as they have more cruises under their belt out of Tampa. We enjoyed our dinners as usual and they were very good about making the kids comfortable and having fruit and drinks etc ready for them each night. We enjoyed the Seaview Cafe each night and ordered cheeseburgers, Cubans, onion rings, and fruit plates. It is a great option when you want something to eat late and it is included in your cruise with no extra charges. We used the Adventure Ocean program for our 3 year old on 3 occasions and found it clean, well run and a good idea to keep your child entertained. He had a good time and we would definitely use it again. Our 2 year old used the Royal Tots program and came away with a great pillowcase full of free toys and games...Thanks Fisher-Price and Royal Caribbean! We spent much of our time on deck at the kids pool which was great for us. The kids enjoyed the water slide and I even gave it a shot a few times. The trick is to lie on your back and get a good start to go really fast! About that suitcase...we had a 12 pack of water in the case and they apparently had put it aside but never informed us. I spent no less than 3 hours the first night trying to find it and finally after 2 trips to security, and asking everyone for help, I demanded to see all the suitcases. I found it immediately. They opened it up and I was so upset they didn't dare take away my water. The Casino seemed to be paying very well and I saw many people winning in excess of $500 to $1000 on their slots. My mother-in-law and I both won! The casino was very busy and not that smokey. They did have a smoke free night for those who don't like the smoke. I did unfortunately get to visit the medical center on this trip. My 2 year old got her fingers in the back of the bathroom door and it closed on them. They looked very bad so I carried her down to the medical center. They immediately took us in and started working on her. They did X-rays (negative) and gave her Ibuprofen. They didn't charge for any of this and they were very concerned and helpful. The medical center looked well stocked and able to handle almost any situation which might come up on board, which made me feel better. We asked for and received an early debarkation number and were off the ship by 8:45am and on the road. All in all this was a good cruise and it was nice to get away. The prices for these 4 and 5 days cruises from Tampa are very good and I highly recommend them for someone looking for a nice ship and a good vacation. Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
Review of Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas 10/09 Sailing out of Tampa. I flew out the same day as the sailing. I know it can be risky, but I had a direct flight and did not have to worry about missing a connection. I was ... Read More
Review of Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas 10/09 Sailing out of Tampa. I flew out the same day as the sailing. I know it can be risky, but I had a direct flight and did not have to worry about missing a connection. I was upgraded to First Class, so it was a nice start to the vacation. I did not use the RCCL Transfer, but used Super Shuttle. With the coupon I found online, it was only $9 each way. It is just a FYI for Single Travelers. A Taxi has a flat rate of $20 per ride and not per person. My review will be based on events and services on the Ship and not the Ports. I have been in these ports many, many time and I now just walk around. In Cruise Critic, there is a section that describes the ports and what to do. Great section and recommend you visiting it. I will be keeping a Daily Journal of my experience, so that it will be fresh in my mind. Embarkation: My personal experience was great. By the time I got to the pier to my cabin was about 20 minutes. However, a lot of the people I spoke to had a different experience. I guess I was supposed to have been giving a number and wait for mine to be called in the sitting area. I was wondering why so many people was sitting down. Well, I was not giving a number and there was no one was in the Platinum Line, so I walked right up and checked in. No one told me otherwise or asked for a number. So for me personally, I will give it 5 Stars. ***** For many others it was 3 Stars *** Cabin: I was in an Inside Cabin on Deck 9. Giving that it was only 160 sq. ft., I was very surprised on how roomy the cabin felt to me. I like the fact I had a sofa instead of just a chair. The bathroom was pretty typical of what most cruise lines are doing. What is surprising to me though was the lack of amenities the bathroom has. No hair conditioner, no hand lotions, just a bar of soap on the sink and shower and a wall pressed shampoo. I usually shower at the gym, but none of those amenities there as well. No chocolates at night either. My Cabin Steward, Oscar, is awesome. He is friendly and has my cabin ready when I need it to be. I will give the cabin 4 stars. **** If they had more amenities in the cabin, it would have been 5 Stars. Dining Well, the food was great. Other than a over salted soup, Food was great in the Cascade Dining Room. I prefer to eat in the dining room for most of my meals. I am just not a big fan of buffets in general. Now, to review the service in the Dining Room, it was good sometimes, to downright bad. For most of the cruise service there was ok, not great, but ok. I special exception was Sylnette. She was awesome and hopefully you will experience her service on board. Now, for the bad, I was having Breakfast in Cascade and the lady sitting next to me ordered a Bran Muffin. 20 minutes later when they were serving the main courses, I told the waiter that she never got her Bran Muffin. He informed us that they were out of them in the Dining Room. Not more than 15 seconds later, they just seated another table and brought over a bread basket that had Bran Muffins to that table. Then the Head Waiter, an Asian Woman Head Waiter came over and asked how everything was. I explained what happened and she told me that they when to the Windjammer 7 floor up and got the Bran Muffin for her. It is amazing in the 15 seconds between being told there were none and to have them appeared in another table's bread basket, that they made the "special trip" to get her a Bran Muffin. I was lied to not once, but twice. Yes, I took offense. All the waiter had to say was, "I am sorry, I forgot your Bran Muffin." To give some reason for this, more than ½ of the dining staff was new and it takes some time for a new crew to gel. Just don't lie about a simple situation and compound it with another lie. Service was definitely spotty in the Cascade. I did eat one night at Chops and it was great. Service, food and company was exceptional. Well worth the extra $25. My overall experience for the dining was 3 ½ Stars. It would have been 3 Stars, but Sylnette added a extra ½ star. *** ½ The Ship What a great layout. The ship was large enough to have great bars and amenities, but small enough not to get lost in. As for the Radiance itself, it was one of the top 5 ships I was ever on. The service outside the Dining Room was very good. The ship was full, but you never felt crowded. Even on the Sea Days, you were able to get a lounge chair by the pool. The Bar Staff was quite friendly. I had a Soda Card for this cruise and the Staff was very friend in accepting it. The Casino staff could be friendlier, I only gambled 1 night and the staff seemed very aloof. I won a little bit, but was not having fun. Oh well. The staff was nice and not too pushy at the Spa. I do have an issue with the shops though. I small boy got his feet badly sunburned. His mother went to the Shop to get something and the sales person sold her some after sun lotion by Clinique. Now most people know that is to only moisturize after sun tanning and not for burns. Putting oil on a burn just makes it worse. The Staff should have known this. If they do not know the products, they should not sell it, period. I think taking advantage of the situation by the sales person and may have made the situation worse, was just plain wrong and if I was that child's parent, I would have had the Sales Person fired. I had a bottle of Aloe Gel with Lanocaine and gave the mother the bottle. It did help, but the boy had to go the doctor's because the burn was so bad. I am giving it 4 Stars. **** Would have been 5 it was not for the Casino Staff and the Sales Person in the Shop. Overall Summery I think this is a great ship that needs to work on the Service side of things. Hopefully in a short while, they will have the service down and be a 5 star overall. I am still giving it 4 Stars overall and hopefully the next time I am on the Radiance of the Seas, it will be 5 Stars. I will give this sailing, 4 Stars Overall. **** Read Less
Sail Date October 2010
This was our 11th cruise, first one on RCCL. We are retired seniors. We arranged our own travel to the port of embarkation, Vancouver. Vancouver is a difficult city to maneuver on your own. Maybe better to book your arrival ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise, first one on RCCL. We are retired seniors. We arranged our own travel to the port of embarkation, Vancouver. Vancouver is a difficult city to maneuver on your own. Maybe better to book your arrival transportation with the cruise. Check in was a breeze, with very friendly service. The stateroom was comfortable and roomy. We had a nice view from the window. It was not obstructed. The amenities in the bathroom were non-existent, only a bar of soap and some sort of all purpose gel in the shower. Now that the airlines are being so restrictive on baggage weight, I left all my shampoos and lotions at home and was disappointed that RCCL didn't offer any. No robes either. I was told that RCCL is a "cut above" other cruise lines, but didn't find it to be. The ship was beautiful and easy to find your way around. No crowding issues. Dining was delightful. The food and service were excellent. We were at a table for six in a side room, not the 2-story main part, but found it quite comfortable and the noise level was good. The buffet was huge and very good. There was no trouble finding a table, unless you were holding out for a window view. I wish they would provide trays to carry your food. It is very difficult to balance a soup bowl, salad plate, main dish plate, and silverware all at once. The beverage bars were separate and efficient. Onboard activities were less than expected. There wasn't much going on, except activities you pay a surcharge for. Service was excellent. It was by far, the friendliest ship we have ever been on. The staff seemed happy and loving their jobs. We have never had a bad experience with service, but we were genuinely pleased with this crew. Even the Captain, Chief Engineer, etc. were friendly and informative. Entertainment was good, not exceptional. We enjoyed the production shows. The ship's main band was very good, and so was the cruise director. Disembarkation was smooth. I wish our expectations hadn't been so high. So many people we had talked to think RCCL is the best. I found it average. In reading recent reviews of other ships, I realize that they have all undergone cutbacks. Perhaps I wouldn't be as impressed with them now as I was last year. Value for your money is still great on cruises. I will continue to cruise and will consider RCCL for future cruising if the itinerary and price is right. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
My husband and I spent 2 nights at the Catamaran Resort and Spa in San Diego prior to our sailing. The hotel was nice. It's located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, about 20 minutes from the pier. San Diego is a wonderful city, ... Read More
My husband and I spent 2 nights at the Catamaran Resort and Spa in San Diego prior to our sailing. The hotel was nice. It's located in the Mission Bay area of San Diego, about 20 minutes from the pier. San Diego is a wonderful city, we absolutely loved everything about it and hope to return there someday. Embarkation: Very quick and easy. We arrived at the pier about noon and were on the ship within 20 minutes. We couldn't access our cabin until 1 p.m., which meant we had to bring our carry-on luggage with us to the Windjammer, which was a bit of a pain but not such a huge deal. 5* for embarkation Baggage: DO NOT BRING A FLAT IRON with you....your baggage will be held up in security. My husband's suitcase never showed up and when we inquired about it we were told he had to go down to security. Well turns out they x-ray every suitcase and if they see a flat iron they won't allow it to be delivered. So they confiscate the iron and you get it back at the end of the cruise. I feel this is a way for RCCL to make extra money. We had to pay to have our clothes pressed. We sailed on Princess last Sept and were able to bring our iron. So people can smoke on board but you can't iron your clothes? Also some people's curling irons were confiscated, luckily mine made it through. Cabin: We had a Superior Oceanview Balcony stateroom. It felt very "roomy" and there was plenty of storage. The balcony has 2 chairs and a table. Yes, the shower is small but so is every other shower on every other cruise ship we've been on in the past. 5* for the cabin Cabin Steward: Ours was just "so so". Our first evening on board we came back to our cabin to find a dirty duvet on our bed. There were many large yellow stains all over the top of the duvet....obviously he HAD to have seen them if we did. We phoned the steward on call and 2 gentlemen came up immediately. As soon as they saw it they apologized and took it off and remade our bed. 3* for our steward Ship: Is beautiful! We've sailed on many different sized ships and the Radiance is by far our favorite. She's the perfect size. She never felt crowded (cruise was about 300 people shy of being sold out), the lay out is perfect and the common areas are very roomy. I especially loved the tasteful understated decor throughout the ship. I didn't see any signs or wear and tear that other reviewers have written about. I think for a ship that's 10 years old she's still very "Radiant". 5*+ for the ship Entertainment: Pleasantly surprised us. We've seen many "cruise ship" shows and after a while they all seem the same or worse then the last. Well, not on the Radiance. On our cruise there was a Tango dance couple from Argentina. The main show was designed around them and they were fantastic, I could have watched them dance all night. The Piano Man show with the RCCL singers and dancers was also very good. There was also a comedian and a juggler/comedian and both of them were very entertaining. So all in all I'd have to say the entertainment was very good. 5* for the entertainment Dining- Main dining room: So here is where we have seen the biggest drop in quality since we first started cruising over 18 yrs ago. I guess they have to cut back somewhere and unfortunately this is where we notice it. We ate 3 nights in the main dining room. The first night we had prime-rib and it was really good. The other 2 nights were really below average, limited choices, small portions, poorly cooked steaks etc. Our waiter would shake his head if he didn't think we should order something, and he kept saying "those were the days" when we spoke about cruise ship dining in the past. I remember when we first cruised we would order a couple of entrees because we couldn't make up our minds and everything including the desserts was so delicious. Not so much anymore. 2-1/2* for the food in the Main Dining Room Cascades Dining-Specialty restaurants: SAVED US!!! LOL!! Portofino is magnificent...from the service to the atmosphere to the food...PERFECTION! I ordered the Fillet Mignon and it melted in my mouth. I highly recommend this @ $20 per person it's well worth the money. Chops is also very good, not as nice as Portofino but still worth the extra expense. I had a wonderful Fillet Mignon here too. It's a nice break from the Main Dining Room and it is actually what dining USED to be like years ago on cruises...now you just have to pay extra for it. 5*+ for specialty restaurants The Windjammer: In my opinion, is the best laid out buffet restaurant of any cruise ship we've sailed on in the past. It never felt crowded. There were always plenty of tables available and there are a number of buffet stations. The food was always consistently good and hot and the choices were numerous. 5* for the Windjammer All in all we had a fabulous time. You really can't beat the value. My husband and I reflected on our past cruises and realized that 18 yrs ago we paid the same amount of money per person for our cruises as we paid for this cruise. The price really hasn't gone up in 18 yrs. The cruise lines are trying to keep this an affordable vacation, so in order to do that they have to cut back on some "extras". They no longer place a chocolate on your pillow at night, the toiletries in the staterooms are limited, the alcohol is very expensive ($20 and up for 2 glasses of wine) and the food quality has dropped significantly in the main dining rooms. BUT it's still a great value for the money. We paid just under $500 per person for a balcony cabin, so I'm not complaining by any means. Please don't read too much into the negative reviews on this site. If you keep in mind the amount of money you're paying for this vacation it's all relative. If you want 5*+ service then this is not the line for you, but if you're looking for a great vacation at a great value then it is. For what we spent....I'd rate it a 4* overall vacation. Read Less
Sail Date May 2010
Cabin: The cabin was much better laid out and had more storage than the same category on Princess last year. Unfortunately, the toilet stopped working twice, right after morning coffee. We called maintenance and after 45 minutes went ... Read More
Cabin: The cabin was much better laid out and had more storage than the same category on Princess last year. Unfortunately, the toilet stopped working twice, right after morning coffee. We called maintenance and after 45 minutes went upstairs for relieve. The steward did an excellent job and we never had to request ice. The safe malfunctioned twice but maintenance was there in 5 minutes to fix it. Rating: 8.0 Room Service: Room service was awful. Two nights they failed to pickup the order form from the door, the two times I ordered eggs and hash browns, they were cold, we finally just gave up and ordered coffee and had breakfast at Windjamer. Rating 3.0 Dining: The dining staff was great except no one enforced the dress code. We saw two couples in shorts point at the sign that said "no shorts allowed in the dining room" laugh and walk past the greeter to their table. On Smart Casual night there was a guy at the next table in a sleeveless T. Shirt. The food was pretty good except for overcooked salmon one night, a well done "rare" steak one night and the lobster was not cooked fully one night. The buffet at the Windjammer was very good with lots of variety. Rating 7.5 Entertainment: Lots of variety and the band, singers and dancers were Las Vegas quality. Rating: 10 Ship: Great facilities, easy to find , very clean. Rating 10 Getting on and off the ship: The ports were we had to tender were a real pain. It was like the ship had never done this before. We were in line to get on a privately organized tour and the elevators emptied right int the middle of the line waiting to get off which resulted in us getting further and further back. Someone complained to the crew and they said they did not have enough staff to keep people getting off the elevators from merging in the front of the line. They could have roped it off in advance or something. The ports where we could walk off were no problem, no lines, no delays, and well managed. Rating: 5.5 Ports: The ports we visited were about what we expected. We had been to several of the same ones a couple of times and visited a couple of new ones and all were enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
Embarkation at San Diego was quick and easy and it's worth mentioning that we stayed at the Holiday Inn just across the road from the cruise terminal which was amazingly convenient. The cabin (stateroom) and bathroom were clean and ... Read More
Embarkation at San Diego was quick and easy and it's worth mentioning that we stayed at the Holiday Inn just across the road from the cruise terminal which was amazingly convenient. The cabin (stateroom) and bathroom were clean and showed almost no sign of wear and tear. The itinerary was an excellent balance of ports of call and days at sea. There was a full day at sea at the start before arriving at Cabo San Lucas. On the return there were 2 days at sea after leaving Puerto Vallarta and we would have preferred the 2 days at sea to be at the start of the cruise as opposed to at the end of the cruise. The other places visited were Mazatlan, Acapulco and Ixtapa (Zihuatanejo). In Cabo we hit the beach which is lively and entertaining. In Mazatlan we did the canopy zip lining tour which we booked direct with the organiser via the web saving ourselves some $40 per person - great fun and recommended. In Acapulco we hired a taxi and guide for a 4 hour tour with the main aim of seeing the world famous divers which for us was just about the only thing worth seeing. We saw the divers from the El Mirador hotel where for a small fee we had 2 drinks each and we added some cheesy nachos. We had a fantastic view of the divers from our table on the shady terrace. In Zihuatanejo we went ashore for a couple of hours for a walk around the very pretty town where we noticed the ship's crew buying freshly landed fish on the beach. In Puerto Vallarta we spent the day on the beach where the swimming was excellent. On the days at sea we had no problem finding empty sunbeds however the incessant live music nearly drove us mad - whatever happened to some peace and quiet? Live music is great in small doses and especially if the band and singer are good - this band was pretty bad! The bar waiters always seem to be around when you least feel like a drink and then you can never find one when you do. Drink prices are high as is the compulsory service charge however you expect that with American cruise lines. What we dislike is the space for additional tips on all the cabin charge receipts and the need to fill out the total before signing. We believe that this puts passengers under pressure to tip even though the 15% service charge is already added. We ate breakfast in our cabin most mornings in an attempt not to eat too much. Room service is not bad but one morning our breakfast came almost an hour earlier than requested. Often the order was incorrect and one of our biggest grumbles is that the hot water for tea is delivered in a jug that has been used for coffee therefore the water is always tainted by coffee flavour and makes the tea taste revolting. Royal Caribbean - you have to do something about this because the staff do not understand the frustration when they consistently keep bringing coffee flavoured hot water for tea. The only way to get a decent cup of tea was to either buy it at Lattetudes or after dinner when it was served in a proper tea pot. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer cafe is excellent and the quality of the food cannot be faulted. In fact the food in the Windjammer is far superior to the food served in the main restaurant (Cascades). The only complaint we had about Windjammer is the time it takes for the tables to be cleared after they have been vacated especially on the outside terrace where the staff don't appear to be under supervision. However we now wish that we had eaten in the Windjammer for some of our dinners as the food is so much better. The service we received in the restaurant was excellent by our waiter Sergey and his assistant. However apart from a few exceptions the food was a disappointment. The food delivered often did not resemble the menu descriptions and the main thing missing was taste! On 3 occasions we ate in the premium restaurants at a supplement of $20 per person which is well worth the additional charge. The Chops Grille was good but not fantastic however the Portofino was excellent. Wine is very expensive and we purchased the Platinum wine package to try to get some of the better wines at a slight reduction. Again the service charge is a killer! The entertainment was very good as far as cruise ship entertainment goes however we still don't like the shows for second sitting diners being before dinner as opposed to after. We only saw 3 shows as a result and would definitely had seen more if they followed dinner. The Starquest nightclub and bar on deck 13 is a great venue with its revolving bar - much better than being housed below decks like on the bigger ships. As usual though with all Royal Caribbean and Celebrity DJs the DJ played music that he liked and not what the audience wanted unless it was a themed night e.g. 70s, 80s or Motown. Also he was quite rude, even over the microphone when we pointed out that no one was dancing. It's unfortunate when staff forget who the customers are. However we met a great crowd of people in this bar and we managed to have a great time despite the DJs choice of music and as mentioned it is the same on all Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships we've cruised on. We did chat to the Cruise Director about it and he sympathised and apologised. The cabin was kept very clean however our cabin attendant was not exactly the most friendly of people although polite at all times. Be warned - don't use the laundry facilities as your clothes will be ruined. They will either shrink or be discoloured. We had a number of shirts and T shirts laundered on board and they are ruined, not noticed until we returned to the UK. All in all we had a great holiday and despite the moans about food etc above we would still cruise with Royal Caribbean if the itinerary suits and the choice of cruise lines is limited and preferably on a Radiance class ship. However there are visible cutbacks and it is reflected in the quality of the food which after all is a key element of the cruise. We believe that this needs to be addressed by the company otherwise passengers will migrate to other companies. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was our 4th cruise, 1st with Royal Caribbean.. Embarkation: we arrived at 12:30 at San DIego Pier- we were on the boat and in the Windjammer Cafe in less than 45 minutes- most of the line, and confusion was with security- Food: ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise, 1st with Royal Caribbean.. Embarkation: we arrived at 12:30 at San DIego Pier- we were on the boat and in the Windjammer Cafe in less than 45 minutes- most of the line, and confusion was with security- Food: Seaview Cafe was the best food on the boat- (also Vinnie at the bar was really nice) -the dining room was a mess- we ate there just 5 nights because we just could not take the 2 hour plus dining experience- the staff is stretched thin with very large (8-12 people) tables- the food was lack luster- the selection was limited- even compared to Carnival- it was hard to carry on a conversation because it was just so loud and it just wasn't all that fun. -the Windjammer Cafe - breakfast was pretty much the same thing everyday. omelets took about 8-10 minutes and they had smoked salmon every morning. Lunch was hit and miss- they have hot dogs and hamburgers, cold cuts and your basic lunch items- they had pretty good nacho makings. Dinner actually served pretty much everything that the dining room was serving minus the 2 hour dining time. The coconut cookies were a favorite. Room service- pretty decent- though the eggs and potatoes were laughable- cold potatoes and a small scoop of eggs wasn't what I had in mind. Though they are very quick- they would call the room and within 2 minutes would be there. We did not try the restaurants that were additional cost. Drinks were pricey, but they were not stingy with the booze; however if you have the soda package you will always get the fountain or from a 2 liter and alot of times the soda was flat! The Room: Overall size was good- adequate closet and storage(the life-jackets for 8 people were all in the closet) Bed- hard, felt like a pull out bed- back aches, neck aches you name it- 10 days on that bed was tough. Sheets were okay- no duvet cover or down. The pillows-one was more fluffy than the other, but again no down and they were uncomfortable- even Carnival has better bedding. The shower- felt like a 2 x 2 area; they tried to add more area by rounding the shower curtain, but it still is small (we nick-named it the 'stress box')- there was always water on the floor-and the water temp fluctuated alot- I found later at night you had the best shot of a shower that did not go cold in the middle of it. the faucet never warmed up unless you let it run for 3 minutes or more..We did not experience the plumbing problems- but we saw the wet/dry vac alot in the hallway. No music channels on the tv-not a big deal but when you are on the balcony some music would have been nice. No chocolates(!) and towel animals every other night. and why do they allow smoking on the balconies? I booked a non smoking room because I do not want to smell it! they have plenty of places on the ship to smoke- eliminate it from the balcony!! The ship: not sure why the ship creaks so much but it sounds like it needs to be dipped in WD-40. it, along with the bed, kept us up alot at night. It is a beautiful ship- and it is easy to get around. The pools are salt water and were really warm until after Cabo. The whirlpool had so much chlorine it stung your eyes to be in it. The solarium was a nice place but needed more air flow because of the chlorine fumes. The miniature golf course was fun. The rock wall was tried a couple times from a person in our party and he liked it- There was some points in the shops hallway that the floor gave alot...The theater was nice, but the sound was awful! 10 days the same movies rotated. I don't believe it was a full cruise as we sometimes found ourselves to be the only foursome on a deck or in an area- that was very nice compared to the larger ships out there. Entertainment: maybe I should pre-phrase this with we were not the average age on the boat- the average passenger age was above 50 so this may have had something to do with the entertainment being geared to an older crowd.. I personally could not sit through the song and dance shows, the magic show was entertaining. We spent most of our time in the Colony Club- that's where most of the action happens - they had a great Mambo band on board - The Mambo Trio- which were really, really good. The Quest game was hilarious! it is an adult scavenger hunt that you must see to believe. They really need to start the nightly entertainment earlier in the evening and earlier in the cruise- the pool tables were fun- they did make me a little woozy trying to focus on the ball and the table. Shopping: are all the on board shops on Carnival, R.C. and Celebrity owned by the same company? they had the same stuff for sale- same booze selection, same make up, same jewelry, same Christmas ornaments. Scrap-booking items?nothing for sale on the boat except some sad photo albums. Very disappointing. The staff: not sure if it was just me but the crew acted like they did not want to be there- there were some highlights like Al our stateroom person, Vinnie in the Seaview or Jonathon in the Windjammer but beyond that none of them really made a lasting impression. the best about that was it was not an automatic gratuity- which meant you could tip accordingly to their service level. Disembarkation- fast enough- we did hang out in the outdoor seating are in the Windjammer until almost 10:00- watching the crew wrap crates of silverware. Overall the Radiance was okay- we chose this cruise for the itinerary- we had a good time and maybe we will return to Royal Caribbean someday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
We were on our 5 Radiance class Royal Caribbean cruise on a 10 night Mexico. We'd been on the Brilliance for a transatlantic, the Serenade for several Ultimate Alaska repositionings and decided to head to the warm on the Radiance. ... Read More
We were on our 5 Radiance class Royal Caribbean cruise on a 10 night Mexico. We'd been on the Brilliance for a transatlantic, the Serenade for several Ultimate Alaska repositionings and decided to head to the warm on the Radiance. The class is our favorits and felt like home at once with several differences in decor. The funniest is what appears to be concrete, deteriorated piles of soccer balls in the entrance to the Cascades dining room both side of deck 5. Made us laugh. We also missed the sculpture of the bathing capped guy with the rubber inner tube in the deck 11 pool area. Other than those and the shower curtains rather than the shower enclosures on the Serenade, a great ship layout. Love the theater curtain! The plumbing problems reported on these boards continued the entire time with decks 7-9 bearing the brunt of non flushing toilets and water turn offs. Although our lower hall had wet carpet under foot and workmen tearing wall & ceiling panels off looking for the problems. One of our tablemates reported that she woke at 4 am to use the toilet, found no water or flush and ended up heading to deck 11 in a bathing suit cover up to use the rest room, found the water off, and had to use deck 6. We had an oceanview, as we were later in the year than usual for us and knew it would be too hot for us to make much use of the balcony (hey! we're Pacific Northwest!) with one of the best room stewards we've ever had. Alberto from the Philippines. Really efficient and the first time we've ever gotten a lobster as a towel animal! Cool!!! The entertainment was really outstanding with Fallon Magic (whom we had in Alaska on the Serenade last y3ear and really enjoyed) who did Mastering The Mystery shows with a hypnotim show as well (and an intimate afternoon show for the Platinum & diamonds. The Tango Buenos Ares was spectacular but unfortunately the last as the star duo ended their contract & headed back to Argentina. WOW!!!! The juggler Dan Bennet was teriffic with a bird & a vulture. Couldn't believe he could show what an out of sync TV track looks like with the mouth moving and the words coming out at a different tempo. Gary Mule Dale was great comedy & a little Johnny Cash. There were great dance groups, a classical guitarist, tango combo, pianist...some of the best cruise entertainment we've seen. We played lots of trivia and our team of 4 came in 2nd to a team of 8. We were thrilled!!! Thanks to Chris & Jim!!! There was so many activities. The ports were not a big deal for us as we had visited them all before and only got off for 2 because of the heat. It was upper 80s to low 90s with that much humidity. But who cares when you are on a cruise! The food was ho hum...RCCL has unfortunately been declining in the food department as far as we are concerned. The main dining service was very good but the food choices have been reduced and I had a hard time finding some vegetarian choices that weren't high fat or Indian. I LOVE Indian, but theirs is a bit too hot for me, and was usually the only non meat choice on the menu. I do eat fish & chicken, but (and my DH who will eat most anything) also felt there was not a varied enough menu. Where the tragedy comes in is the last formal night, during the platinum & diamond Captain's cocktail party the call rang out Oscar! Oscar! port sidee...which means man overboard. We found out later that a ship's employee had jumped off deck 12 the the horro of folks enjoying the sunset up there. The response was immediate, dramatic and emeplary. The person was located and brought onboard, but to no avail. There was a somber note for the last 2 days of the cruise. The way the crew and staff handled the incident was perfect and we were kept informed through. Our hearts went out to the young man and his family. We got in this morning and flew home to Seattle, back to cool weather. Now the only thing is...when's the next cruise??? Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Recently returned from an eleven night Mexican Riviera cruise on the RCI Radiance. This was our fifth cruise with RCI and we were shocked at the condition of the ship. It was clean but everything including carpeting, drapery and furniture ... Read More
Recently returned from an eleven night Mexican Riviera cruise on the RCI Radiance. This was our fifth cruise with RCI and we were shocked at the condition of the ship. It was clean but everything including carpeting, drapery and furniture was really worn out and needed replacing. The chairs in the lounges sank to the floor, were faded, stained and scratched. Although it must have been nice in its day, we've never been on such a shabby ship. On the positive side the food was much better than expected and the service was friendly and prompt. Getting on the ship was fast and easy but getting off carrying our own luggage which should have been a breeze, was a nightmare. They seemed to be trying to get everybody off at the same time regardless of the color codes or assigned times. The shows and shipboard activities seemed kind of skimpy but a highlight was a guitarist named Ramon who played his heart out for hours in the centrum or in one of the lounges throughout the cruise. His music and the violinist made up for the other lackluster entertainment. We looked forward to quiet times in the solarium but it was always crowded despite what we'd read and it was really difficult to find a quiet lounge to play a game or read. We can't remember being on a ship as noisy as the Radiance. The pool tables by the way are cleverly made to remain level when the ship moves, but you have to realize that just as your about to hit the ball, the table moves to accommodate the ship's rolling, so play for money only when the ship is docked. We had beautiful weather, took private tours at all the ports for no more that $15 a person and saw everything that the ship excursions covered. Most cruisers know to go out early so that you're back on time. With a complete refurbishing, this could again be a nice ship Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
Introduction : All of our pictures are posted on : http://www.flickr.com/photos/34128007@N04/ From the day we booked this cruise, our main objective was to get-a-way (no phones, no internets) and no big plan for 10 days, we are going to go ... Read More
Introduction : All of our pictures are posted on : http://www.flickr.com/photos/34128007@N04/ From the day we booked this cruise, our main objective was to get-a-way (no phones, no internets) and no big plan for 10 days, we are going to go out there and basically "just do it" at the spur of the moment. Missing-link : Comparing to the past cruises with RCCL, ONE biggest thing that we missed : Ship-Shape Dollar, yes.... those yellow paper you collected for participating on board cruise activities and at the end of the cruise day you may exchange for some gifts (key chain, lanyard, towel, t-shirt, etc) = those are gone = As this was our motivation to join those fun activities on board RCCL. No welcome-back gift (except the coupon booklets) for repeat customers. Our story begins with : We took Amtrak (Surfliner Southbound) from Union Station Los Angeles to San Diego Santa Fe Station, and walked to the awaiting Radiance Of The Seas. We had to wait little bit more than half-hour an the Atrium, before they let us walk to our cabin after 1:30 pm. Cabin # 3045 was ready and clean when we checked in. Cabin attendant was not available until 4:00 pm, and so our luggage still not arrived, yet So we went up to Windjammers buffet to have lunch and taking leisure walk in order to get familiar with the ship & with camera in hand. Before emergency drill, we went to our room, we met Ed our cabin attendant and notice some wet spot inside the door, seemed the water came from the left side. We asked for more towel-mat, and he also provided with air-blower. Cabin supervisor Ms. Mercedes also came by to check and to make sure. We went to our second seating (08:30) dinner at table 469, and apparently 4 out of 6 people of our dining-table-mates also members of Meet & Mingle Roll Call on this site. Our waiter, in my opinion, little bit too uptight & too serious, while our assistant waiter was more playful and an out going persons. Some how they are too worried if their services were up-to-par. We missed several dinners, as my wife & I end up nibbling too much snack before 8:30 seating time at Seaview Cafe or Windjammer Buffet and we could not eat dinner anymore. Sea View Cafe was great, simple yet satisfying. Windjammer Buffet offered similar menu as main dining room, PLUS other choices, minus the waiting time for second seating. Windjammer offers Sushi Bar, carving station, and other things they kept on changing every night. So we end-up eating too much "snacking", as the result several nights we could not come anymore for dinner at 8:30pm. CABIN 3045 : Before we left for Acapulco City Tour, we noticed new wet spot on the right side of the room, and reported to Ed to be taken care of while we are off-shore in Acapulco. By the time we returned to our Cabin, we smelled quite strong wet carpet odor. This time the right side of the room was soaking wet, when we pulled away the sofa, the water was abundantly visible and the sofa fabric was absorbing most of the moisture. Ms. Mercedes already left a phone message, and she could move us to another cabin. So we decided to take up the offer and to move to Cabin 3144, an-upgrade with window. Immediately new task at hand, we had to pack and unpack, and our new cabin attendant Analiza was cheerfully welcomed us at the new cabin 3144. ENTERTAINMENT : We love the Tango Buenos Aires, and took a lot of captivating pictures of their dancing on the stage. We saw Kenny James & Fallon Magic on the other RCCL Ship (I believe on Monarch Of The Seas). CAPTAIN ERIK TENGELSEN : We have to mention his name, as he (and his team) had done a wonderful & professional job in handling the "Oscar-incident" (man-overboard). ANSWER TO MOST COMMON INQUIRIES : Is it a vacation of a life time ? [no] Are we going back to cruise again ? [yes] Did we achieve our vacation objective ? [yes] Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
After a 20 minute drive down to the pier, we arrived about 11am.. We got through the embarkation process rather smoothly and headed onboard. Background: I am 33 years old and single, I cruised without my children this time. I am a ... Read More
After a 20 minute drive down to the pier, we arrived about 11am.. We got through the embarkation process rather smoothly and headed onboard. Background: I am 33 years old and single, I cruised without my children this time. I am a die-hard Carnival cruiser and thought I'd try RCCL this time. I traveled with my parents, who are in their early 50's, and three of their friends, who are all seniors, one of whom uses a walker/wheelchair.. Windjammer: I did notice that the Windjammer was set up much better than the buffets on Carnival. The food was really good, and since I am not a big "Formal/elegant dining" fan, I ate there ALOT! The mongolian BBQ was excellent :) Main Dining Room: It was very pretty, I only ate there for dinner a few nights, our servers were excellent, the service was just too slow for my taste. I never understood half of the menu, and preferred the Windjammer most nights. Although I must say that I really enjoyed the Dining room for breakfast! The Room: My roommate was a family friend who was 40 years older than myself, and although we made it perfectly clear that we would not be sharing a bed, the beds were not separated..they fixed it right away though. The room itself was a nice size with a large window. We did have a wheelchair and nowhere to put it, but we made it work. The bathroom, well, lets just say you could sit on the toilet and brush your teeth at the same time.. and the hand held shower head does have a mind of its own and would have definitely made it to the blooper reel had it been on video! But it was fine, as I am a petite person..We loved our location, which was midship and right off the centrum.. We did NOT have any plumbing issues! The Shows: I really loved most of the shows. My favorites were the Fallon Magic show, the hypnotist show, the Juggler, and I enjoyed the RC dancers. However, and I am sure this is due to my age, I skipped out on the Pianist, and the Tango, and the Happy Days guy..not my thing.. Activities: Ok, here's the deal breaker for me! I was NOT impressed. The cruise director staff was new, and have a long ways to go (although I loved most of them, as far as personalities) Being a Carnival fan, I enjoy nonstop activities.. I want to look at the compass and say "wow, there are so many, which ones do i pick?"..That DID NOT happen on the Radiance. I participated in the "Finish the Lyric" game, Quest, and the Karaoke Superstar Contest..those were all a Blast! There was a men's hairy leg contest UGH(?) and a Belly Flop contest.. I did some of the trivia to fill in some chunks of time..but I really felt bored a lot of the time.. So, therefore i headed to the Casino, where I would "donate" some money.. I enjoy cruising, so I did enjoy myself.. I just feel like this is definitely NOT a cruise for people under 40.. I enjoyed the ports, and the ship was beautiful. The staff was great, and the Cruise Director was Really good! I am gonna go back to Carnival, because to me, the activities are what makes the cruise.. and while I am not a "partier", I really enjoy a "fun ship"... Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
We had a good trip! We have cruised about 6 times before. This was by far the worst food. We flew in on Air Canada the day of the cruise. We took a shuttle to the port and we were on the ship by 1pm . Royal Caribean, Radiance of the Seas ... Read More
We had a good trip! We have cruised about 6 times before. This was by far the worst food. We flew in on Air Canada the day of the cruise. We took a shuttle to the port and we were on the ship by 1pm . Royal Caribean, Radiance of the Seas was a beautiful ship. It was clean , roomy, the service was really good. We didn't like the food too much in the main dinning room & in the buffet. We heard some people agree with us and others really enjoyed it. We are not really into fancy type foods or sea food.The food looked good but didn't taste good!!! The best food was in the seaview cafe, but it wasn't always open & it was cheese burgers & chicken strips that we liked.After the cruise we went to a Home town Buffet and it was sooooo much better than on the ship!  The ports, we really like Cabo San Lucas!Cabo is a tender port, but Radiance was close, so it wasn't too far. We did our own thing there, we took a taxi to the glass blowing factory, then back to the mall, and walked back along the board walk around the marina, and found some good markets for shopping. I did hurt my foot the second night, we were going down the stairs and it just went on me, and I had alot of bruising and swelling, but Royal was very good and officers came right away and a nurse came, they wheeled me back to our room , so I iced it and put it up lots. I was able to walk so I was thankful. It was just somewhat slower, we made the best of it. Mazatlan we took the ship tour of the city and folkloric show and shopping. It was good, not sure if I would do it again though, but you got your moneys worth. Puerto Vallarta we did the ship Photo Whale watching tour. It was in a large Zodiac. It was very good. We had a marine biologist guide, and we saw about 8 whales. Not too active, but mostly mom's and baby whales. It was a long tour and they took you all over the large bay! Acapulco we did a private city tour and cliff diving. We are not too crazy about Acapulco. Acapulco Rosie's tour was a nice city tour. We Zihuatanejo (sp) was a very nice port. We took a water taxi to Los Gatos beach we went to a restaurant there called Ottila's, Franco works there and we had lounge chairs and umbrella, we ordered coke and some good food, we also swam in the warm water. Then we went back to the pier and walked around town. Lots of shopping there and had a very nice day! In Manzanillo, we went on another private tour with Scuba shack.They met us at the port and negotiated a taxi for us and we went to there shop, then they took us to La Boquita beach and out on a boat to snorkel in 3 spots, the water was warm and the snorkeling was the best we have had.(we haven't had much) We saw some pretty fish! then we went back to the beach and had lunch. Manzanillo is a industrial port, and the city is very large. It is good to have a tour. I would say our favorite ports would be Cabo and Zihuatanejo. The stateroom was a good size room. Our room attendant Marcia was very nice. Service was very good. Even though we weren't crazy about the food, our waiters Elvis & Jose were great! We enjoyed some of the entertainment. We really liked Marty Allan & Karon Kate, also the singers & dancers were good.The magician was very good. Debarkation went smooth. We rented a car and drove to Yuma Arizona for a few days. All in all we had a good trip, its hard to come home and not be served and pampered anymore! Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Embarkation was a breeze. Stayed at the Comfort Inn Airport near Old Town. Took their shuttle to port and left luggage for a porter. Walked right through and was aboard by 11:30 AM. We have been cruising on Celebrity for the last 7 years ... Read More
Embarkation was a breeze. Stayed at the Comfort Inn Airport near Old Town. Took their shuttle to port and left luggage for a porter. Walked right through and was aboard by 11:30 AM. We have been cruising on Celebrity for the last 7 years or so, but went with Royal Caribbean because Celebrity not offering anything with this itinerary. Definitely a step down. Ship was nice. Except for toilet flushing problems the first couple of days and the room being smaller than we were used to, it was very nice. Public rooms were very nice. Entertainment was very good except for one disjointed production show. On board activities were not particularly plentiful for retired folks. Too much wanting to sell you something with them. Only one seminar/lecture the entire cruise. Disappointing. Service was attentive but cutbacks were apparent. Nothing above and beyond necessity. Very friendly!!! Dining room food was average to good. Pretty standard fare. Beef choice of medium-rare or medium-well says it all I think. Windjammer was good, especially salads and fruits, but with little daily variation. Cooked to order eggs/omelets was the only cooking station. Sea view cafe was nice as well. Ports: Cabo San Lucas-Whale watching with Pez Gato--Several whales and enjoyable. Mazatlan-Horse back riding with Randi's Happy Horses on Stone Island--enjoyable but be prepared for more than just a walking ride. Puerto Vallarta--Walked the city and did beach time--Lovely Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa--Our favorite port--Went to La Ropa beach and had snacks, beer and margaritas at Elvira's. Very enjoyable and inexpensive- About 450 for the day for the 2 of us. Acapulco--Van tour with Rosie--Okay but definitely not as enjoyable as other ports. Enjoyed the Cliff Divers. Manzanillo--Ships tour inland to Colima and Coloma and Volcanos. Interesting, but it is 7 hours. Have Pesos if you want to shop in Coloma other than the one suggested store. All in all, it was a very pleasant and relaxing cruise; we just prefer the additional attentiveness of Celebrity more. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
We arrived 3 days before the cruise so we could take our 3 year old to Disney and Sea World. We also took in the Midway. Three jam packed days but all worth it. Stayed at the Omni downtown and it was great for the $105 per night deal we ... Read More
We arrived 3 days before the cruise so we could take our 3 year old to Disney and Sea World. We also took in the Midway. Three jam packed days but all worth it. Stayed at the Omni downtown and it was great for the $105 per night deal we got through expedia. If we had paid the #300+ original price, I would have been upset. Embarkation: Decided to wait until the rush was over on embarkation day, so we visited the Midway Museum until 2 pm then headed to the ship. Embarkation at that time was simply walk right up to an officer who checked you through and you went right to the ship. There was no one around, no congestion etc, so we didn't have to wait in line with our 3 year old. It was perfect. The workers were super nice and very welcoming. As soon as we walked on board, we were greeted by two employees from the Kids Club (Ocean Adventures). They were so happy to see our son, Luke, as they said there was only a total of 14 kids on the ship. That was disappointing to hear. The year before we had cruised with Norwegian and Luke LOVED the kids, the more the merrier, so we were worried he wouldn't be as happy with the club. That proved to be the case some days, but I'll talk about that in a second. We were able to go right to our room which was great. This was our 4th cruise and we have always rushed to get on the ship, waited in 3 or 4 lines for 1-2 hours, then waited on the ship for the room to be ready. But not today...just walked right on, then right to our room. It was MUCH more relaxing this way. I would recommend anyone with young kids do it this way. Room: Our room was a balcony with the pull-man bed overhead of our bed.. It was a great set up. We had never had a balcony before. It was really nice. We did splurge this time to have the balcony and it was well worth it. Just being able to wake up in the morning and look out at the ocean, see what the weather was like...I loved it. We were port side and so on the way back, heading north, we got afternoon sun. The last 2 days were chilly, but the balcony shaded any wind, so I stayed on the balcony and tanned. It was awesome. The bathroom was tiny, which I remembered from cruising with RCI in the past. The shower curtain really does stick to you, no matter what. But I did remember someone telling me before to bring one of those heavy black paper clips and put it on the bottom of the curtain, so that helps. Again, the Norwegian ships have large bathrooms with shower doors, so it was quite a difference. We had heard a lot about plumbing problems from reviews we read before we left, but the most problem we had was the toilet wouldn't flush one time. It fixed itself and that was the end of our troubles. Unfortunately we heard MANY people who didn't only have problems, but actually had to go up two decks to use the bathroom for 3 days straight!! And that was more than one couple. It sounded horrendous, but it seemed to be rooms on the 9th deck that were mainly affected. Cabin crawl with cruise critic - We signed up for the meet and mingle with cruise critic but wasn't sure if we would go. We hadn't done anything like this before and didn't know how well Luke would do. In the end, it was great. One of the members on cruise critic had organized a cabin crawl. For those unfamiliar with this, it's like a pub crawl, but you go around looking at the different categories of cabins. It was FANTASTIC!!! We got to see inside cabins right up to the owners suite, which is just a tad bit swanky. Holy! It was nice. Great job Kevin! Dining was fantastic! My Family Time Dining is definitely the way to go with kids. This was the first time we attempted to eat at a formal dining area with our child, as he is a typical 3 year old in that he is not going to sit for 2 hours while we ate a 4 course meal. But we thought we would try it. Everyday, except for two, we ate supper at the main dining room. We would book our time the day before for always 6 or 6:15. We always say with different people and usually had different waiters. After day two, one or two specific waiters would come to Luke to say hi and would order his PBJ sandwich with grapes immediately. He wanted the same thing every night, so it was easy. His meal would come just while we finished our appetizers and 10 minutes later (6:45) every evening, the kids club would meet us outside the dining room and take him for the rest of the evening. He loved it, we then got to enjoy our meal. It was a win win situation. That worked well for us. The mornings and lunch times, we ate at the windjammer and that was great too, I thought. I heard some people complaining that breakfast was the same thing every day, and it was. But it was the same 25 things everyday. Let's face it, if you were at home, you wouldn't have boiled eggs and waffles and country biscuit and cereal and an omelet and hash browns and....everyday. So if you only picked 2 things today, then two different tomorrow, etc, you wouldn't have the 'same thing everyday'. I'm not a picky eater, so I thought the food was great. Lunches were always different, though always had your staples of pizza, burgers and hot dogs. We did try the main dining room for breakfast one day, but it didn't work well. It was slow, the orders were wrong and the food wasn't very good, so we didn't go back. One other little thing - the photographers were always there taking pictures which I didn't mind, but they ALWAYS interrupted your meal. Not only did they interrupt your meal, but they had you sometimes stand-up and move around while you are right in the middle of your soup. I thought it as very ignorant, and it happened every night! Didn't like that at all. The kids club (Ocean Adventures). Last year we struggled with guilt in putting Luke in the kids club. But we tried it once and he would BEG and cry to go. So this year we thought it would be the same. As I mentioned, there were only 14 kids on the ship and I think, in total, only 7 or 8 were registered to the kids program. Because of this, instead of separating the kids in the different rooms, they let them all mix. That was great for us, and everyone I think. Luke was 3 1/2 in January, and the room that was allotted for the 2-5 year range was small. If I had to guess, ~30x15 feet(?). They had a net they would put across to divide the room. Had they had to do that, I can tell you Luke would not have wanted to go there. The facilities were not great. I guess, again, I am comparing to Norwegian, specifically the Spirit. The kids room was HUGE with a massive jungle gym. This kids area didn't have any of that. Lots of arts and crafts and face painting etc. They had a little dance floor, music, wii games. It was ok, but not great. They also have a set up there like "build a bear" which would be cool for some kids, but my Luke is 110% boy and just wanted to go go go, so he wasn't going to build a bear! The workers there all have some post-secondary education. Some of the them were better than others, but isn't it like that everywhere? One girl in particular we didn't care for, and Luke sometimes would not go if she was there. But one guy they called "Grandpa", if he was there and even no other kids, he wouldn't even say goodbye, he was just gone. Sometimes we brought Luke up and he would always ask, "Mommy is there going to be lots of kids there today?", and there would be no one else there. That was disappointing, but it didn't happen very often. I guess the rule we learned was that there are usually a lot of kids when the cruise dates incorporate an American holiday. So, the cruise that left the day we got back in San Diego ahd 270 kids because President's Day was in there. Good to know for next time. The pools/hot tubs. We loved the hot tubs and would take advantage of them whenever we got a chance. Our best time for hot tubbing was always after supper when Luke was at the kids club. Unfortunately, this is when the ship cleans both their outdoor hot tubs (and pool), closed between 8-12pm EVERY night. We asked about this at the info desk, but were told the tubs are not used very often at that time and it takes four hours to clean the tubs and pool EVERYNIGHT, so we were left to use the indoor hot tub. So we tried that a couple of times, but I certainly wouldn't classify any of them as hot tubs. The average temperature was certainly no more than 85 degrees. One night in particular, we had goosebumps in the hot tub! I had to get out and go to my room for a hot shower to get warm. The whole hot tub experience was disappointing. Entertainment: We only went to one show, not for any reason except that the timing wasn't great for us. I heard most of the shows were ok, with the Tango show being absolutely spectacular. We did listen to the classical guitarist and pianist on several occasions. They were very relaxing. Otherwise, we picked Luke up at 10:00 every night and the dance entertainment was usually after this when he wasn't allowed in, so we didn't do much of this. Never mind the fact that the average age of passengers on the ship was ~65 (no kidding), so we're not even sure how much entertaining went on anyway! Money: We had brought pesos with us because we had heard it would be useful. IT was more of a pain in the but. EVERYONE accepted US dollar, and some places actually had to give us US money in return change from our pesos (calculate that now to see if you got a good deal). It was very confusing and not worth the trouble. We did not get better deals because we had pesos as most places had the prices written on the signs in both US and peso amounts. All in all, it was a good cruise. Not great. Let's face it. Anyone with kids, you'll know if your child has fun, that is almost all that matters. For us, Luke had fun most of the time and that is how we feel about our trip...it was ok, most of the time. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Family and I just returned from our 11 night Mexican Riviera cruise. All in all I would say it was money well spent. The wife left happy which is really the only measure that matters from my stand point. I would like to pass along my 2 ... Read More
Family and I just returned from our 11 night Mexican Riviera cruise. All in all I would say it was money well spent. The wife left happy which is really the only measure that matters from my stand point. I would like to pass along my 2 cents in hopes that it may help someone in the market for a cruise and considering the Radiance. So you understand my perspective, traveling with me were my wife and 2 young boys, 2 and 3 years of age. My wife and I have cruised 4 times previously and each of my boys has cruised a couple times before. The youngest had his first cruise at 3 months of age! What we loved- Mexico is awesome. In fact, I've decided to take back 90% of the bad things I've ever said about Mexico after living in so cal for the past 35 years. Each port stop proved more interesting than the last and I think my family will likely be vacationing to Mexico again. Best moment- an excursion to La Isla in Ixtapa. The waiters at the beach front restaurants bring the freshly caught fish to your table where you select one. It is soon brought to your table grilled to perfection with guacamole and rice on the side. I am about the pickiest eater on the planet (ask my wife or mother) but found this to be the best meal of our 11 day trip and the family managed to avoid any GI pathogens during our multiple meals ashore. What we liked- the ship is very clean and the on board entertainers definitely held their own. The dinning room staff really went the extra mile accommodating my family. We scheduled the trip too late to get main seating at 6pm and were stuck with the late dinning at 830pm which proved just to late for my younglings. The head waiter arranged for us to come in 30-60 minutes earlier as soon as he had an open table from the main dinning crowd(very impressive service). What pissed me off- If you are traveling with young children in diapers beware of RC. Not sure what aspect of changing a diaper they find so challenging but all children facilities are "diaper free zones" The only area that was deemed appropriate for my 2 year old was a 12 sq foot room in the back of the ship filled with some fisher price toys which my son did get use out of while it was available. Unfortunately someone decided to start using the room to store large boxes of towels and linen for the last few days of the cruise (the sea days). Why someone thought it was a good idea to stack large heavy boxes 5-6ft high on a rocking ship in the middle of a child's play area is beyond me. What is more disturbing is that even after multiple phone calls to guest relations that eventually put me in contact with the staff captain of the ship I was assured the area would be promptly cleared, which of course it never was. In conclusion, with the exception of the smoke blowing by guest relations and the diaper discrimination, I would say it was a nice cruise. Probably have to stick with Carnival though until the pampers are history. Read Less
Sail Date February 2010
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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