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
Upgraded balcony 9228 D category. Balcony isn't that big and the bath and shower were small compared to some of the newer ships we've been on.