Carnival Radiance Review

4.5 / 5.0
72 reviews

4 Day Baja Mexico from Long Beach

Review for the Mexican Riviera Cruise on Carnival Radiance
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6-10 Cruises • Age 40s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Dec 2023
Cabin: Ocean View

This was a little pre-holiday getaway on the Carnival Radiance. I wasn't expecting much, but it was better than I expected. That said, there were some good and some bad. I'll try to leave a comprehensive review.

The itinerary: Just meh. Catalina was the highlight of the two ports. It looks very Mediterranean from the ship. Ensenada was less than picturesque. Neither offers much in the way of activities. That said, 4 days was just the right amount of time for a quick vacation.

The ship: I was interested in sailing on the Radiance (formerly Victory) is the sister of the Sunrise (formerly Triumph) and the Triumph was the first ship I ever sailed on way back in 2003 when it was still relatively new. At the time the Triumph interior was the picture of gaudy excess with lots of shiny metal and bright lights which very much reminded me of trashy Atlantic City casino hotels. Think Trump Taj Mahal. Fortunately, both the Sunrise and the Radiance has been updated and Carnival did a good job toning down the metallic finishes and the brightly colored lights. The interior is now subtler shades of light blue and the copper colored metals have been sponged to look oxidized. There is heavy use of modern bleached wood tones that make the interior feel lighter and airier. The addition of new dining options and water slides makes the ship feel more up-to-date than it is. That said, the ship still shows its age in some places. There were stains on the carpet in my cabin and I counted several locker room doors in the spa that were off their hinges. The addition of several new eating venues made the Lido Deck in particular feel cramped. The pools and hot tubs were always packed with kids, except on port days which are good times to enjoy the ship. The adults only serenity area had several cabana style beds but many were broken with sagging mattresses. The adults only hot tub was shallow and always packed with people. I purchased a spa pass and found the aroma steam room to be a very good with lots of hot steam and never busy. The thermal lounge chairs weren't warm enough for my taste, but offered a nice view out the side of the ship. I got a haircut and while the stylist was very good, the price was way too high ($70 for a men's cut and wash).

Cabin Review

Ocean View

We stayed in cabin on the Main Deck net to the forward elevators. I would caution anyone staying in this area because of its proximity to the lobby bar which plays music till around midnight. It was very noisy.

The cabin was a basic ocean view room with a large window. There were some noticeable stains on the carpets, which for the price of the cruise was not an issue. The room was generally comfortable with ample storage. The most glaring negative was the lack of electrical outlet which were only located at the desk. There were no outlets next to the bed. The twin beds that were pushed together to make a king had a tendency to separate.

The bathroom was a decent size with plenty of space to move around. The shower curtain was kind of grody and there was a persistent odor of sewage from the vent in the ceiling.

There was also a periodic odor of marijuana that came from the ventilation system. We did not complain, because the cruise line can't do much about passengers that don't follow rule. Several other guests could be heard complaining to crew, especially those with small children.

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