Second time cruisers just back from a lovely five day western Caribbean jaunt aboard Radiance of the Seas. Our first go with Royal Caribbean after a very successful Celebrity voyage only four months ago. We definitely got the cruise bug. Planning Christmas aboard Holland America.Vague on ship sizes. Radiance is big but not overwhelming, inside or out.Took CC advise on rear suite stateroom. Chose Deck Ten - Suite 1602. Very spacious. Very well appointed. Huge balcony. More closet room than at home. Bed as queen was superb. Furnishing show some wear, but not objectionable. One small water soaked carpet area near bath was attended to "instantly" by maintenance with no repeat problem.. Guest Services called twice afterward to insure all was well. Over all a great soothing accommodation. CC is right about those rear suites. Wonderful end-of-the-world views. Worth the hike aft.We are evening dinner-for-entertainment folks. Took diners in specialty restaurants only. Chops is a fine steak house with view. Service and food well worth the up charge. But, maybe not four nights of it. Menu is somewhat narrow for that many evenings. Portofino, the Italian venue, was charming on our one night visit. Again, with good service and meal.We should have mixed it up a bit more. Our fault not RCI's.Can't comment on dining room. Windjammer buffet breakfasts and lunches were well laid out, ample and very satisfactory. Seating was a premium at high meal hours, but staff turned the tables quickly.We took no entertainment options, so again, no comment. Casual entertainment scattered about always seemed tasteful or lively depending on venue. We don't do the pool thing, especially with such a great balcony. Only comment is that the pool area seemed "ramma-jamma" each time we passed by. Spa area looked luxurious. We don't do rock climbing, but it sure seemed like a happening venue for all ages.Fellow passengers ranged from newborn to well past prime. Most adult folks in thirties to fifties. Family kids were plentiful at spring break time. But the teens and tweens always seemed busy doing something and were not under our feet or under our skin.Folks on our cruise seemed to heed the dress requirements for the most part and we saw no egregious violations of guidelines or manners.Radiance is beautiful and very well appointed. She does shine. All was spit and polish with plenty of sparkle. Staff was abundant, pleasant, polite and responsive to every need, but no one seemed to reach extra unless asked.Our ports in Mexico were nice but predictable. Language and currency were no challenge what-so-ever. We go for the cruise more than the destination. One firm recommendation for this Mexican journey: get the scoop on shopping at the onboard presentation. Utilize the coupons and recommendations. Our ship appointed "shopper's helper", Christina, was very informative and stood by our side in several shore side shops to boost better deals for us. She seemed to be everywhere on shore in Cozumel helping passengers navigate for bargains - big or little.Embarkation 45 minutes from valet parking (recommended) to cabin door just after mid day. Luggage at the door within two hours. Disembarkation two and a half hours - Ouch ! Border & Customs delays, not RCI's fault. Felt sorry for the folks with plane schedules.Finally, buzz from the crew. The lovely Radiance is in for dry dock in May before the Alaska summer. We're told she's out of the water for 20 days while the normal dry dock is 7 days. Sounds to us like she will really radiate after that make over. New dining venues, stateroom upgrades plus fifteen rooms to be added. Flat screens will finally arrive along with miles of new carpet. Sounds great. We will give her a try again out of our home port Tampa.
Junior Suite 1602
Deck Ten. Rear of the ship facing aft. Very spacious. Wonderful closet and storage. Comfortable bed. Ample bath/toilet facilty - well trimmed. Room furniture was showing wear but not objectionable. Pleasant decor. Balcony was spectacular size and view. Highly recommend the "end-of-the-world" experience facing astern. Bit of a hike from mid-ships but quiet as a church back there. Overall 5.0.