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Radiance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1194 reviews
9 Awards

A Perfect Spring Break Cruise

Review for Radiance of the Seas to the Western Caribbean
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WisconsinFan
2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

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Embarkation
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Additional details

Sail Date: Mar 2011
Cabin: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Traveled with children

We chose the Radiance of the Seas because her itinerary fit our children's spring break schedule. It was a five day sailing (the Radiance does two five days followed by a four day). The port was with in our range to drive to. They also had a terrific balcony sale that enticed us, we originally going to book our children in an inside and us in a balcony- but with the sale we were able to put our boys (12 & 17) in a connecting stateroom.We drive on almost all of our vacations, and had a room at the Double Tree airport. The Double Tree had a sleep and sale package so we could keep our car there and they would shuttle us over. We took the 10:30 shuttle over to the port. We found the Tampa port terminal to be very nice. The agents were friendly and outgoing. We checked in quickly. The boarding process began right at 11:00 as promised and we soon found ourselves in the Windjammer for lunch. The Windjammer was very nice, we enjoyed the wood and brass and of course the windows. After a quick bite to eat the boys went to find the sports court and explore the ship. My husband and I also took time to get acquainted with the layout and then found a seat in the Solarium to wait for 1:00 PM and our stateroom (our sailing the sky was overcast with a drizzle, which by sail away was a thunderstorm). Our room was ready promptly at 1:00 and we dropped off our carry on and went back up to the Solarium for some hot tub time. I enjoyed the Solarium very much the theme is very tropical and the colors soothing. When we returned we met our steward, Roxanne. She was great and did a wonderful job for us the entire trip. We normally have traveled with all four of us in a stateroom, and have had the larger family ocean view rooms. This was a surprise on how much smaller the stateroom was and how small the "love seat" was. That being said, there was more than enough storage. The bathrooms as they are now have a very interesting shower, with a curtain. It was a trick to learn how not to flood the bathroom floor! I got pretty good at keeping the water in the shower by the end of it. The shower also had some sort of a check on it to keep the water from getting too hot. I found out that you need to pull the right side knob out to get really hot water. The bed was very comfy and I loved the sheets and pillows. We all enjoyed very restful nights. We had main seating and love to meet new folks. Our table of eight included our family of four, a retired couple from the Tampa area and a nice couple from Newfoundland as well. At first we were worried we wouldn't have much in common and thought that perhaps this wasn't going to work out so well, I am sure they were thrilled to see two kids at the table, but it didn't take long to break the ice. We almost always had something to talk about. If you are worried about taking a large table, don't, meeting new people is always part of the fun. The boys also learned about being good conversationalists with this group.Our servers (Clinton and Anne) did a wonderful job of keeping everyone fed. There was something on the menu for everyone. As our 12 year old is very picky he found that the children's menu was more to his liking. Chicken fingers, spaghetti, pizza. He would have liked to have had a hot dog one night, but the kitchen would not accommodate his request as it was on the Windjammer or room service menu. I don't believe it was our wait staff's fault, they tried several times. I think this was the kitchen- the Voyager of the Seas and on the Disney Magic he was able to get food off the room service menu without a problem. The menu had duck, prime rib, steak, seafood, chicken of all types and a wide variety of things to choose from. As usual, I ordered two appetizers on nights where there were things I really wanted to try or two entrEe's (lobster and prime rib). As some of the other posters have mentioned, we saw all sorts of dress in the main dining room. We always did resort casual, and dressed up (husband wore a coat and tie, but no tux) on formal night. We did let the boys wear long shorts with collared shirts and shoes (not flip flops or slides) on the more casual evenings. What others were wearing really didn't bother me, but they did look kind of out of place in such an elegant dining room. We did eat breakfast in the dining room the morning of departure as I felt I wanted someone to wait on me one last time. Breakfast and lunch at the Windjammer was plentiful. They will do eggs and omelets made to order and there is always fresh fruit. Lunch included sandwich fixings, hamburgers, wraps, pizza...again something for every one.The teen programs were well attended on this cruise. We didn't see much of either of our kids. They made some new friends and enjoyed the sports court. Each came home with a medal- the 12 year old for the basketball hot shot and the 17 year old for the speed climb. Now, as I have boys what interests them might not interest everyone. The Dodgeball and basketball events were things they were really interested in, as well as the rock wall and some of the "battle of the sexes" events as well. The beach party in the Solarium was also a big hit with my 17 year old. They each made friends pretty easily and enjoyed the activities. My rule is you go the the meet and mingle event the first night of the cruise to meet the staff and the other kids, and this has seemed to work out well. We had been to both ports before, but that didn't stop us from getting off the ship. Costa Maya can make for a beautiful beach day. We took a taxi down to Mahahaul and went to the Tropicana. We enjoyed beer and soft drinks, soft sand and clear water. We did a little shopping. You will want to get away from the created port town to have a different view of the place. Yes, the locals do want to sell you things, from watches to henna tattoos but a polite "no thank you" and they move along. In Cozumel we went to Paradise Beach, a private beach club. The 17 year old loved the water toys much more than the 12 year old, the fresh water pool was nice and more to his liking. I am not sure if I would do a beach day in Cozumel again, this was our second try at it. As it was spring break Paradise Beach was very busy. The chairs were $2 each(we got two) and the toys $12 each (we got two wrist bands), you need to spend $10 per person in food- not hard to do. We did our main shopping in Cozumel. The Radiance docks at the International Pier, one secret, the shops that are right down town can actually be found at the pier right next door where Carnival calls. The shops include Ron Jon's, Del Sol, and much more. You do not need to be on a Carnival Ship to shop here. We learned the last time we called here about this opportunity. We walked right next door and shopped to our hearts content, saving the taxi fare.My husband and I enjoyed the Colony Club several evenings and the Schooner Bar. They had a piano bar set up in the Schooner Bar the last two nights and we enjoyed singing along to Billy Joel, Elton John and Beatles tunes. You could almost always find some music some place. We played pool on the pool tables and found other quiet places to sit and watch people. The self-leveling pool table is something to watch. We have rather choppy seas (6 foot most nights) and if you watch the movement of the table it is hard to believe that there is that much pitch and roll happening. One table was broken. I am sure that will be fixed in dry dock. Very hard to play a game without the gyroscope!Our final day was a sea day. The morning started out a little wet but by mid-day the sun had broken through. We enjoyed our last day at sea. Had a great lobster dinner in the dining room and went to the Piano Man show. We packed our bags and got them out by midnight (we had thought we would carry them off, but that is discouraged at this port) always a sad occasion. We were up early, had breakfast with another great group of folks in the dining room and as we have sailed Royal before we were in group 1 for disembarking. They called us at 8:30, we were off and through customs very fast and back at the Double Tree by 9:00!A few notes, the Radiance will be in dry dock shortly. She will get new carpet, furniture and will have a total of eight restaurants on board when they are done. You will not go hungry on Radiance. Her staff was wonderful. We did notice the toilet wasn't flushing correctly when we boarded, and within 30 minutes we heard maintenance in the hall working on the vacuum (most likely someone flushed something they shouldn't have). As far a chair hogs, on our first day at sea the staff worked hard to make sure that the chair hogs lost their seats. There were two chairs next to us that were being held when we sat down, a staff member walked by and made a note, 35 minutes later he came and took the towels and bags away. No one ever came back to ask the folks who soon took the chairs what happened to their things. I was happy to see that they made sure that people were really using the chairs. I did not notice this as much on the second sea day. Most children were very well behaved on this cruise. We had one unfortunate incident involving another child behaving dangerously towards our child. We did end up talking to security about it (of course the child denied doing what we witnessed), but they must have cameras all around the pool deck because a day later the same boy came up to my husband and apologized for his behavior. We can't wait for another opportunity to cruise with Royal again.

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Cabin E3

Very far forward, which we liked. Can watch the crew work on the flyover bridge at eye level. Great view, very quiet as at the end of the hall. You will feel movement here, up high and forward. We had lots of movement as we had rather rough seas several days (6 foot).

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