Our First 11 Night Cruise with Royal: Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by alarmbrain

Radiance of the Seas 4
Member Since 2009

Overall Member Rating

Our First 11 Night Cruise with Royal

Sail Date: November 2009
Destination: Mexican Riviera
Embarkation: San Diego
This was our sixth cruise - five with Royal and one with their sister company, Celebrity. We had never taken a cruise longer than 7 nights so we were really looking forward to this one. We arrived in San Diego 3 days before our scheduled sail and stayed at the Best Western Bayside. The hotel provided a shuttle; the hotel handyman/shuttle driver strongly advised us against getting to the pier before 12 noon. He delivered us to the ship slightly after noon when the initial boarding chaos had subsided, and we were through the embarkation process in less than 15 minutes!

Our deck 10 stateroom was lovely and clean; our steward Claron was the GREATEST!!! We were impressed with the beauty and cleanliness of the whole ship. The Solarium pool was highly under-used during our cruise so we often had this wonderful place all to ourselves. Staff aboard the Radiance is, without exception, the friendliest and most accommodating of all the ships we've been on. The shows were on par with the More exceptional quality we expect from Royal; we thought the virtuoso violinist was a true standout - we've never experienced an artist quite like her! We really enjoyed the many trivia games offered during the 11 days and recommend this as a way to challenge your memory while meeting many new people. The Windjammer on Radiance is the best of any ship we've been on, especially the desserts. The little cafe on the top deck has great chicken fingers and wings. We enjoyed the Mystery Dinner theater meal at Portofino - food was exceptional. We wished we could say the same about the dining in Cascades... Meals in this dining room ran the gamut from pretty good to "what were they thinking?"! The food preparation, plating and even the menus themselves were WAY BELOW what we've come to expect from Royal. Selections were often poor, with heavy reliance on lamb dishes. Meats were frequently tough (the nightly off-the-main-menu steak offering is worse than Ponderosa's)and poorly cut - one pork offering consisted of ragged lumps of meat tossed "mess hall" style on to the plate. Desserts in the main dining room did not seem as fresh as the Windjammer: one cheesecake offering tasted as though it had sat for a long time in a freezer. I really anticipated the spinach artichoke dip appetizer one night only to find out it was nothing more than some thickened white sauce with spinach thrown in. Unfortunately, I could go on and on... Because of the sub-par dining experience, we have to rate this cruise a 7 when Royal has always been a 10 for us. Since every other ship we sailed has had amazing food, we want to believe this is just a problem with the Radiance and not across-the-board "cost-cutting" measures on Royal's part, or their way of forcing passengers into paying for meals at Chops and Portofino. We will likely cruise Royal again with the hope that the dining room cuisine will be up to the excellent standards we expect from this cruise line. Less

Published 12/31/09

Cabin review: 1016

The room with the balcony is bigger and nicer than the normal stateroom.

Port and Shore Excursions

The Baby Sea Turtle Release is NOT to be missed!!! This is an unforgettable experience for any animal lover, young or old. You get to hold and release your very own newly-hatched baby Olive Ridley Turtle. You can then purchase a "release certificate" with the name you have chosen for your turtle. Since this tour is only a couple of hours in the morning, there's plenty of time to get a cab to the Cliff Diving show. We recommend paying for the seating and meal in the restaurant there as you get an excellent, well shaded view. The lower viewing platform is unshaded and that sun gets BROILING!

Read 204 Acapulco Reviews

We do not recommend the Todos Santos tour: the "meal" at the Hotel California is a skimpy, meatless "snack". This is a charming little town but you don't get nearly enough time to visit the many interesting little shops, and the tour does NOT stop at the candy merchant stands which is a highlight of this town.

We did not take a tour, choosing instead to shop in town. Turns out, this quaint little village has the BEST bargain-shopping of the cruise; we found a silver merchant here who was not only willing to give us the best price, but he also changed out a clasp for us at no extra charge. Unusual hand-sewn blouses, unique stones set in the silver and really cool bathing suits are available in Zihuatanejo at terrific prices. And can't forget the ONE DOLLAR BEERS!!!

The Estuary Tour does not disappoint!!! Guide Polo is friendly, knowledgeable and very accomodating;he actually has a couple of wild "pet" pelicans who fly over to the boat and spend most of the tour "riding along". Plenty of photo opportunities here, as well as all the pop and Pacifico beer you can drink! Lots of different bird species can be seen among the mangroves. After the boat ride thru the mangroves, you arrive at Stone Island where you are driven to a BREATHTAKING beach! After a beach-side meal (giant, fresh-caught coconut-battered shrimps available for $7 a plate), you get plenty of time to enjoy the beach. Its a whole day trip but well worth it.

Read 496 Mazatlan Reviews

Tons of shops and a gorgeous waterfront - we didn't find an excursion we liked so we just walked the town. Cab rides are only $3 per person.

Compare Prices on Radiance of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruises

Read more Radiance of the Seas cruise reviews >>
Read Cruise Critic’s Radiance of the Seas Review >>

Compare Prices on Radiance of the Seas Mexican Riviera Cruises

Member Since 2009
Enrichment Activities
Family & Children
Fitness & Recreation
Onboard Experience
Public Rooms
Shore Excursions
Value for Money
Skip X

See Radiance of the Seas deals up to 82% off:

August Deals
Radiance of the Seas 75% Loved It

7 Nt Northbound Alaska & Hubbard Glacier
See all Radiance of the Seas Deals >>