Cruise Ratings
See Reviews For
Sail Date: April 2006
This was our third cruise, second with teens. The fastest embarkation we have ever experienced by far - we were on the ship in no time. First time in a Jr. suite and it was not that much different that a deluxe balcony room except that my ... Read More
This was our third cruise, second with teens. The fastest embarkation we have ever experienced by far - we were on the ship in no time. First time in a Jr. suite and it was not that much different that a deluxe balcony room except that my sister was traveling with our family and the walk in closet made a wonderful place for changing. (Bathroom was used for that purpose too, but this way, 2 people could get ready for dinner etc. at the same time (helped to speed things along in that regard). Ship was very nice, showing just slight signs of wear but we are not fussy folks so that didn't matter to us. Entertainment was very good. Singer in the lounge was super, I think his name was Santigo or something like that. He should be in Vegas. Food in the dining room was very good. Not as many choices as I remember from the last times we cruised but what we ordered was good. Ate in the Windjammer for breakfast about five times and some days for lunch. There was a good variety but certain things that I put on my plate I would not eat after I tried it because it would not be hot. In fact some things were at a very dangerous temperature in my opinion and I worried about getting sick. We eat out every now and then at a cafeteria style restaurant and I know with that type of dining you can't expect food to be as hot as a made to order place, but I saw no steam from the steam trays. They really need to monitor that better. And I don't think it was because of the time of morning we went to breakfast, because we went in a different times of the morning. Ate lunch a couple of times at the Seaview cafe and the food was fine there. We used the gym often. It was clean and had quite a bit of cardio equipment, but it was always full every morning, sometimes till 11:00 or 12:00. When we went in the evening, we had the place to ourselves. Overall, a great cruise. We would sail on the Radiance again. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
PREFACE: This was our 3rd RCCL cruise. 7th cruise altogether (Costa, Windjammer, NCL, Carnival) Family of 4 (kids: 11&15); 2 balcony cabins 9044 & 9042. EMBARKATION: Arrived at port around 11am. No traffic to speak of; parking ... Read More
PREFACE: This was our 3rd RCCL cruise. 7th cruise altogether (Costa, Windjammer, NCL, Carnival) Family of 4 (kids: 11&15); 2 balcony cabins 9044 & 9042. EMBARKATION: Arrived at port around 11am. No traffic to speak of; parking was easy; baggage check easy & efficient. No lines inside; walked directly on board; longest wait was for boarding photo. Buffet was in full swing upon arrival. Cabins were ready promptly at 1pm as advised. INITIAL IMPRESSION: Clean, sophisticated decor, lots of glass, brass, marble. CABINS: Were comfortably spacious; immaculate. Bathroom tiny but functional. Plenty of storage space. Balcony was decent size. I thought bed was comfortable; however, husband thought it was uncomfortable...so to each his own opinion! DINING: Were assigned late seating (as requested); but asked for small table and received table of 10. Asked for smaller table several times with no luck. There were minimal tables for 4 throughout dining room. Waiter was good. Food was very good. Only ate in dining room 2x. 1x in Windjammer for dinner: very good. 4x in specialty restaurants (we really enjoyed them: 2xChops; 2xPortofino...equally lovely). No complaints on any meals at all. Gala midnight buffet was beautiful but we were too full to eat! ENTERTAINMENT: Good. Comedian was mediocre. Production shows were good. The "original Drifters" were lousy. SHORE EXCURSIONS: Parasailing (Labadee) was the only excursion we booked through RCCL which was fine. We booked all others on our own and they were very good. PORTS: Labadee: Just a beach day. It is an "okay" place to spend the day. Nothing special. Too many vendors are allowed in the marketplace. Since it is somewhat of a "private" area, I think they should be limited and less pushy. It was annoying to not be able to look at anything and also, all the things there were selling looked alike and like something you could pick up at Wal-Mart. Ocho Rios: Jamaica is not our favorite destination. We never quite feel safe there but we had a nice time with Peat Taylor tours. Did the falls (along with hundreds of other folks) and a brief island tour. Ended day at Margaritaville. Grand Cayman: Was not looking forward to this stop as there were 14,000 other passengers on 7 ships in port on this day. Decided to rent Jeep & escape the crowds by driving to Rum Point. What a good decision! This was a beautiful area & cannot imagine another visit to this island without going straight to Rum Point! Cozumel: Decided to rent a Jeep as the weather was not great. We drove around as much of the island as possible (some roads were hurricane damaged and impassable) and then walked around town. There is tons of damage and reconstruction work going on. It is not very impressive to visit Cozumel at this time, but once they are done with all the construction, it should be very nice again. DISEMBARKATION: Decided not to do the "walk-off" option. They called our "Purple" tags before 8am. We had a somewhat leisurely breakfast, took a peak at some of the suites on deck 10, dragged our kids out of bed & got off the ship about 8:45 am. Lines were about 20 minutes long to get through customs. Baggage claim was easy & traffic not too bad exiting port. ALL IN ALL: We had a very good time. We really enjoyed the Radiance but it just did not knock our socks off like the Explorer did. It is hard to compete with that Voyager class. Next time...back to the big guys! Read Less
Sail Date: March 2006
I traveled with my husband and my parents on the 3-5-06 Radiance of the Seas sailing to the Western Caribbean. Checking in was the easiest and quickest I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Dont leave home without registering ... Read More
I traveled with my husband and my parents on the 3-5-06 Radiance of the Seas sailing to the Western Caribbean. Checking in was the easiest and quickest I have ever experienced on any cruise line. Dont leave home without registering online. You need to complete the online registration 24 hours before departure. Remember to print out your Sea Pass. Youll need your Passport (ID), and Credit Card upon check-in. Once youre on board, take time to explore the ship. Buffet lunch is served until 3:00pm in the Windjammer Cafe on Deck 11. Staff Captain Hernan Zini runs a tight ship. He is extremely friendly and approachable. My father looked away while posing with my mom and the Captain during the welcome reception. My mother was quite upset, and when I explained this to Captain Zini, he posed with them again during the Crown & Anchor Welcome Aboard Party so I could take another picture. Peter, our Cruise Director, made the cruise extremely enjoyable. The staff was friendly and professional  Guest relations, Head Waiter, Our Waiter Basilio, our Assistant Waiter, Victor, our Room Steward Sharon, Windjammer Cafe personnel  everyone seemed to have a smile and their face and never too busy to greet or help us. I compare the staff to other cruise lines/ships, and I must say they were outstanding. Ship -- The Radiance of the Seas, the oldest of the 4 ships comprising the Radiance family, is a nice ship. However, it is showing wear, and RCCL should consider refurbishing it soon. Although the staff was diligently working around the clock, the carpeting in the public areas and rooms looked extremely worn. The furniture in my parents room was extremely scratched, faded, and worn  even the toilet seat in my room was chipped and worn. Activities -- Since this cruise only had 2 sea days, we couldnt enjoy all the activities. Whether youre interested in spinning, spa treatments, basketball, bingo, theres always something to do. One of my favorite parts of the cruise is the pictures. Besides the traditional Formal Portraits, dont miss the Freestyle Black & White Portraits. Youll want to take them all home with you. Entertainment -- The Royal Caribbean Singers & Dancers had 2 productions  Piano Man and City of Dreams, the latter being the most extravagant productions I have seen on RCCL cruises. I was pleasantly surprised to see BeatleMania Live. This was definitely the highlight of all nights. My husband and I had previously seen them in Ft. Lauderdale, and thoroughly enjoyed seeing them again. The weakest show was Hal Frazier. He definitely is talented, but seemed disoriented and rattled on in his monologue portion of the show. Santino & Blackjax (live band) was amazing. He had everyone on their feet in the Centrum. Rosario Strings, Lorenzo Dino, Serenade Trio, and Tom Scott all made the cruise enjoyable. Food -- The Windjammer Cafes breakfast was very good. The omelette station chefs were great! I had my eggs over medium every morning, and there were plenty of accompaniments to choose from  cereal bar, fresh fruit, yogurt, breads, cold cuts, pancakes, waffles, hash browns, etc. Lunch and dinner were average  probably a bit better than regular buffet food. The barbecue lunch buffet in Labadee was lacking. Dark meat  chicken legs  was the only cut available. The hamburgers had been cooked earlier on the ship, so they were dry. The pavilion was poorly positioned  too far from the main entrance. Dinner in the Cascades Dining Room was good, but not great. I cant say it was any better or worse than any other RCCL, Carnival, or NCL cruise Ive been on. I cannot comment on Specialty Dining. Ports of Call Labadee, Haiti -- Labadee is on a peninsula on the north coast of Hispaniola, otherwise known as Haiti. Royal Caribbean has cordoned off a remote portion of this island, and the totally safe and private compound provides guests an opportunity to experience the beauty of this region. Youll find most of the information you need at the following link: http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/Labadee.htm Georgetown, Grand Cayman -- Grand Cayman is a relatively small island that is modern in every way. With over 500 banks and hundreds of insurance companies located in the Cayman Islands, it is the fifth largest economy in the world. Besides its economic activities, Grand Cayman offers fabulous beaches, excellent duty free shopping and plenty to do. This is a tender port. The tenders leave you right in the middle of downtown. I found the best shops to be the ones closest to the pier. After shopping in downtown, we took the $5.00 (per person) taxi to SeaGrape Beach which is part of 7 mile beach. Beautiful clear aquamarine water. White powdery sand. Bar and changing facilities just feet away from the water. Plenty of aqua sports right on the shore. Absolutely amazing. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/GrandCayman.htm Ocho Rios, Jamaica -- Ocho Rios is a medium sized town with all the flavor of Jamaica. It offers a gateway to sightseeing, shopping and a good look into the Jamaican culture. To experience the Jamaican culture I used Marva Shaw. She was an excellent guide that catered to my fathers limitations. After stopping right by Dunn's River Falls for a look at the crowd climbing the falls, we went through the Fern Gulley, made a stop in Spice Valley and tasted some of the native fruits and spices, and then took a tour of Coyaba River Gardens with Happy. Happy was the most knowledgeable guide I have ever had. The word coyaba comes from the Arawak name for paradise. Coyaba is a Spanish-style museum with a river and gardens filled with native flora, a cut-stone courtyard, fountains, and a crafts shop and bar. If you visit Coyaba River Gardens, please be sure to request him. Be sure to ask for the tour that includes Mahoe Falls. We paid $10.00 per person. After a swim in the falls, hunger kicked in, and we ended the tour with a wonderful Jamaican lunch at The Ranch. Marva arranged everything. The food was great. 5 of us ate jerk chicken, had a juice or Red Stripe, and the bill was $53.00. For more information on Marvas tours, please visit www.knowjamaica.com. Youll be happy that you did. Suggestion -- Please remember to get change before you get off the ship. It will be a lot easier if you have exact change with smaller denomination bills. Vendors can be very, very persistent, and you will find them at every stop. If you have a few souvenirs to purchase, pace yourself so youre able to help multiple vendors. Remember to be friendly and respectful and you will have a great time. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/OchoRiosJamaica.htm Cozumel, Mexico -- Cozumel is a small island off the east coast of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea. Although it was hit really hard with last years hurricanes, the locals worked extremely hard to get the island ready for visitors. It is the proverbial fishing village in paradise with all of the creature comforts that anyone could want. If you go to Discover Shopping Show, youll get lots of information and advice. Plus, youll get a voucher for a taxi ride to The Forum. Youll have great shopping and can work yourself down the street. After lunch, we took a $12 cab to Paradise Beach. The sea was rough that day and the beach was not particularly good for swimming, but I understand the beach is usually beautiful. http://www.caribbeanportreviews.com/Cozumel.htm Read Less
Sail Date: December 2005
We have been looking forward to this cruise for over a year. It was myself, my DH, my Brother and a girlfriend. Our cruise dates were December 4 - 11, 2005. We arrived in Miami on Saturday, December 3rd. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency ... Read More
We have been looking forward to this cruise for over a year. It was myself, my DH, my Brother and a girlfriend. Our cruise dates were December 4 - 11, 2005. We arrived in Miami on Saturday, December 3rd. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency (excellent). We did our air on our own, and did the hotel via Priceline. We arrived in Miami about 3:00pm, checked-in and then went to Bayside. We walked and had dinner at Bubba Gump Restaurant (very nice). We woke up on cruise morning about 8:30am, had breakfast and took a taxi to the port around 12:30pm. Embarkation was excellent. The ship is absolutely beautiful. Our cabin was ready at 1:00pm. We stayed in 9094 (Superior balcony room), very close to the elevators. Excellent room. My Brother and my GF were in 9096, a connecting room. We asked the stateroom attendant to open the inside door. When I got on the ship my H noticed that I did not have our camcorder any longer. He gave it to me while checking in at RC. I went immediately to Guest Relations to see if anyone turned it in, they said no, and to check periodically, which I did for the first 2 days, what a bummer. The Guest Relations staff was very nonchalant. While I take full responsibility, I would have hoped for better customer service. They said they would email the port to see if I left it there, and I never heard anything back. I thought a call to my stateroom saying that they hadn't received word back, or go to hell, or anything would be better than nothing. I also went to Guest Relations about American Airlines being at the port. They said that they knew nothing about it. American Airlines is at the port, and we were able to get our tickets and check our luggage there. Needless to say, I was not pleased with Guest Relations. They had a very "don't bother me" attitude. When I was on the Mariner, they went out of there way to be helpful. The dining experience was wonderful. Our waiter (Karoly) and Assistant waiter (Pablo) were very nice. Pablo was new, so he would forget things, but he was very sweet, and we had no problems in giving him reminders. The food was great in the dining room. My GF and I went to the Murder Mystery on Wednesday at Portofinos. It was not worth $49.50. The food was excellent at Portofinos. The play should be free. Would not do that again. We stayed at the Seaview Cafe and Windjammer. The Windjammer was mediocre to good. The seaview was very good. We never went to the Solarium Cafe. The casino staff was excellent, very polite, and a lot of fun. Our stateroom attendant was nice but, he seemed to also want to hurry us up, or not have time for questions. For example, I purchased alcohol in St. Thomas, the liquor store told me to contact our stateroom attendant at 7:30pm that evening to make certain that it was delivered to the ship. I called at 7:30pm to ask, and before I got the question out, he said, "no alcohol is allowed in the room, call Guest Relations". I knew the alcohol would be delivered to us before we departed the ship, I just felt rushed, as though he was too busy to even listen to my question. I called Guest Relations, and got the same response until I firmed up and said, "please let me ask the question first." I just want to be sure it made it on the ship, I don't want it in the room. Our attendant got better as the week progressed. Not our best, but he turned out pretty nice. The Ports of call were CocoCay (nice), St. Thomas (nice), and St. Maarten (really nice). I did most of my shopping in St. Maarten. I enjoyed all three. The ship also stopped in St. Croix to refuel. We could get off the ship, but it was during the Murder Mystery so we didn't. Overall, my vacation was fabulous. The Cruise Director was very nice however, his staff was not very approachable. I got the impression, whether right or wrong, that this was a first cruise for many (CD staff, Assist. Waiter, Stateroom Attendant, Guest Relations personnel) I have sailed with RC 3 times and by far this was my least favorite, but it was still a great cruise. They are normally so superb that any slight problem, becomes huge. I would highly recommend this ship to anyone, all of the problems that I experienced could be fixed with experience and better customer service training. I will more than likely pick Voyager class ships from now on, but, I would not totally be against the radiance class. I had a wonderful time, and I hope that if you have a cruise coming up, that you have a great time as well. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
We were on the Radiance for the November 6, 2005 Eastern Caribbean sailing with the Cruise Critic's Radiance of the Seas NUTZ group. The group had some extensive cruisers. We were in the minority with this being my third cruise and my ... Read More
We were on the Radiance for the November 6, 2005 Eastern Caribbean sailing with the Cruise Critic's Radiance of the Seas NUTZ group. The group had some extensive cruisers. We were in the minority with this being my third cruise and my Wife's fourth. The Radiance is a beautiful ship. The extensive glass has been written about along with the glass elevators that face inside or outside. She is a very open ship appointed with beautiful artwork, but she is starting to show her age for one so young. We are told she will be going into dry dock for refitting next February. Dining -- We ate in the main dining room for all but one Dinner. The Cascades is beautiful and the service we received surpassed our expectations. We are not fancy eaters but I like to try new dishes while on a cruise. I must say everything I had was very good to the taste and pleasing to the eye. The Windjammer received most of our dining time. The food was good and there was a large selection. The layout of the Windjammer leads to an easy dining experience. The service there was wonderful. After getting your food and sitting down you were soon approached by an attendant asking if there was anything you desired. Once in between their visits I had run out of coffee and got up to get more. The attendant not assigned to our table saw me and would not allow me to get it myself. He was insistent on serving me. We were very impressed with all of the staff dealing with food service. As the food and service was so good in the Cascades and the Windjammer we saw no reason to go the specialty restaurants. We understand they were very good though. Stateroom -- We had a wonderful Junior Suite located on the back of the ship. This was a great location as the deck was very large and the winds were not strong when underway. This stateroom had a real walk-in closet and more than enough storage room. The bathroom was showing it's age with pieces of chrome missing off the mirrors and the bolt covers for the toilet were missing as well. Speaking of the bathroom we were very surprised of the lack of toiletries offered. In every other Jr. Suite we have been in, there were different soaps, shampoos and on Grandeur we received shower scrunches for use in addition to washcloths. Nothing like that was available. Not even a shower cap. Our cabin attendant gave us everything we asked for and was very friendly. He didn't offer extras though. An example was on the first formal night my wife used the last tissue for her makeup. Lucky she didn't need any more because there was no extra box. There was no extra roll of toilet paper -- we ran out but at least that time there were plenty of tissues. The customer should never run out of anything. Great room but we were disappointed with the amenities. Entertainment -- We saw two shows on this cruise. One was provided by the Radiance Singers and Dancers and was very good. We also enjoyed the celebrity show. That said I feel RCCL needs to have a well-known name for their celebrity shows. Although the entertainer's act was good and enjoyable, his only claim to fame is singing the song for the Happy Days show. It is not that the show wasn't good, it was but I feel the celebrity in the Celebrity Headliner Show would be someone that at least a fourth of the ship's guest would know his/her name. The entertainment in the Schooner Lounge was a pianist or a pianist/singer. After leaving the Grandeur this March, a comparison could not be helped. The Grandeur had Bing, a pianist/singer and Major Handy, a do everything musically entertainer. If you rate these entertainers on a scale of one to five, the Grandeur Schooner would get a five and the Radiance Schooner would receive a two. The service and drinks were excellent though. The entertainment poolside was good. The drinks were unpredictable. One "drink of the day" was so bad I had to throw it out. The service poolside was the worst I have ever seen on a RCCL ship. The servers were almost non-existent in the bar area. The one time I did see them they blew by me. Since I determined the only way to get a drink poolside was to fight through the crowd at the bar I didn't frequent this location. SPA services -- The wife had an expensive facial done. The facial was very good for her but she felt rushed. Even though she bought additional creams (guys you know these aren't cheap) she felt that they couldn't wait to get her out to start on the next appointment. Very unnerving for what was suppose to be a relaxing time. Colony Club -- This is a nice place. The entertainment was usually good and this is the location for Quest. Don't miss it. The pool tables are flat out amazing. If you are a pool fan you must try this. You have no idea the ship is moving as much as it is until you watch the tables. Remember to check the red light during a pool tournament. If it is on, the table is not working and you find out quickly why these tables are so special. The tables are not level and as predictable as the ocean if the red light is on. Otherwise it is an unusual feeling playing on a table that is level but you move up and down. St. Thomas -- St. Thomas is a beautiful island and has shopping. We have not had the pleasure of shopping there even though this is our second visit. During the first visit we were on two shore excursions, as we knew there were things we wanted at St. Maarten. This time the Immigration rules have changed. Although the Radiance crew stated they were in the hands of the US Immigration officials, they share in the worst experience we have ever had on a RCCL ship. We got up extra early as we were told that US citizens would now have to go through immigration proceedings. This was not the case before. We had to be there early as we had an early shore excursion so we have time to enjoy shopping St Thomas. The day started when we arrived at the Windjammer for a continental breakfast as the main Windjammer restaurant was not open yet. The continental breakfast had only donuts with white icing. The had plenty of hot water, tea bags and sugar for my Wife's tea but nothing to stir it with. I was noting all this when I went for coffee. It is all I really needed. The coffee was out and it was going to take 15 minutes to brew more. As we were storming out the Windjammer opened 10 minutes early. We were able to dash in and eat before making it to a long line already formed for immigration. When the Immigration officials got there the line moved fairly quickly. Our sea-passes were marked and we told to go through the door to the outside deck. Once outside on deck 5 we followed the line, as there was no Radiance crew seen. The line led back to the Centrum where we clashed with the non-American guests who were trying to work their way through their own line. I reasoned we had to get to deck 2 to get off the ship and tried the elevators. Either they were not working or I could not see them because of the huge crowd that was gathering. My Wife found the first Radiance crew member standing in the middle of this huge gathering crowd. She was doing all she could but needed help in the worst way. She told us to get to deck 2. We took the stairs but instead of getting off the ship, we got in a line to get off the ship. After waiting awhile, I walked to the front of the line and a guest informed me that the ship had not been cleared for port. It is now 5 minutes from the time we were to meet for the shore excursion. The crowed quickly grew and the line snaked all the way to the crew's quarters and back, and then started backing up the stairs. There was no Radiance crew to let us know what was going on. When the gates opened it was pure bedlam getting off and the lines had been destroyed by the amount of people. We met our group almost an hour late, which meant the tour took an hour later so by the time we got back to the dock there was no time to shop. Now I understand that the Radiance could not do anything until Immigration cleared the ship. It is possible that the Radiance may have been responsible for the delay though. My main concern was for the lack of a coordinated effort to move these people where they needed to go. Had the Radiance saw fit to inform the people of the delay and the cause of the delay, people would not have been so frustrated. This is the worst thing I have ever been through because it showed a total lack of concern from the Radiance management for their guests. Entering and Leaving -- Boarding the ship was rather long but went without a hitch. Leaving the ship was an entirely different matter. We were assigned gray tags as our flight was leaving at 1:43. We were instructed to go to the Colony Club and wait for the color to be called. Problem is no announcements could be heard there. The speakers were not working. We moved to the Champagne Bar where we could hear. The colors were to be called in order but we heard red called. This concerned us as red were flights leaving at 3PM. Again, there was no communication by the Radiance. I asked one officer and was told gray must have been called as they always go in order. I went to where the line was forming and found another officer. He stated that was not the case. It had to do with when the carrousels were cleared and red's carrousel cleared before grays. Makes perfect sense but instead of having all these people upset, why not make a simple announcement. All the people around me were very upset wondering what had happened and were they forgotten. I told the officer about the speakers in the Colony Club and he sent a technician there. I spoke to an elderly lady while we were walking out and she was very upset. She said she saw the technician walk in and look around the walked out. Once off the ship the process was very smooth. Meet and Mingle -- The meet and mingle was great fun as this group started the thread in August 2004. We didn't get on the thread until March 2005. This group named themselves the ROS NUTZ and had planned multiple activities onboard. Most fun you can have with your clothes on. The Radiance participation in the M&M seemed lacking. The web site showed the M&M for Wednesday. The ship's schedule called for it on Tuesday catching a lot of people off guard. About twenty people were able to attend out of the 45 that signed up. Part of the reason was because of the switch. There was no Radiance officer present and although the Administrative Assistant's job is a hard one, we expected an Officer from the Radiance. It felt as though the Radiance crew went through the motions and left ASAP. The NUTZ provided their fun though so the time was not wasted. Summary -- The Radiance is a fine ship. The February refit should take care of her worn furniture and carpets, especially in the Windjammer. The crew is friendly and desires to make your stay onboard pleasing. Continuing with that, the Radiance singers and dancers worked really hard and put on a good show. The Celebrity Headliner although good should be a recognizable name. The Schooner entertainers need to play as background music. They are not good enough for anything else. The Radiance management needs to solve the problems with the immigration process and greatly improve their communication with their passengers. We booked on board this same ship through the Panama Canal. We are staying away from the suite and lowering our expectations of the ship and crew. If we are unable to do that we will reschedule that booking for a better ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2005
This was our second RCI cruise this year, and it reinforces my option that RCI offers the best mid-tier cruising option for the family. The ship was classy and well laid out, and offered everything for my entire group (kids and adults!). ... Read More
This was our second RCI cruise this year, and it reinforces my option that RCI offers the best mid-tier cruising option for the family. The ship was classy and well laid out, and offered everything for my entire group (kids and adults!). This ship was not designed to entirely serve the warm weather ports, so deck space for sunning can get a little competitive at times. Otherwise, we really liked her. We had a balcony cabin on deck nine aft, while the children (son 8, daughter 6) shared a cabin across the hall. We employed a set of baby monitors to keep in constant contact. We prefer that option to having them in an adjoining balcony cabin...cheaper and safer in our opinion. The food was consistently good in all areas and we tried just about every venue. I think the food on the Mariner of the Seas (we sailed in June) was just a bit better, but not by much. RCI has still delivered a better dining experience than the other mid-tier cruise lines we've experienced (Disney and NCL). One issue though is the availability of pizza and snacks at "fringe" times - late afternoon or late evening. It just isn't there. Oddly, too, the pizza station is parked in the adult solarium, which makes it difficult for kids to get the pizza they want throughout the day. We also ate at the added charge venue Portofino and it was an outstanding meal. The dining service was quite good and the staff was generally attentive throughout the ship. Our cabin steward was the best we have ever had on any ship. Nothing in this area disappointed. Our kids loved the club activities, although I still question the club closing twice a day for a couple of hours like they do. It makes it difficult to schedule the day. Staff was great though and our kids had a wonderful time. We took advantage of the putting green, climbing wall, pools, etc. All were just fine, although, again, it seems odd that the kids slide is open for 4 hours total during each day...what a waste of a ship's amenities to only be open for a short time each day. We did not go to any shows, but we did enjoy the lounges and casino. The spa and gym were also great. We had a great time overall...any cruise is better than no cruise at all! Read Less
Sail Date: April 2005
Overall the ship is beautiful, and the service was excellent. The food in the main dining room was better than expected and our waiters were wonderful. Unfortunately, there were still a fair amount of teens on spring break, which made ... Read More
Overall the ship is beautiful, and the service was excellent. The food in the main dining room was better than expected and our waiters were wonderful. Unfortunately, there were still a fair amount of teens on spring break, which made for some very loud activity and obnoxious behavior. There should be areas of the ship that are "adults only", and we saw a lot of teenage drinking going on. You'd think the cruise line would be more afraid of the amount of drinking by teenagers! If it weren't for the adults only pool area, we would not have had any peace and quiet. A week was too long for us! Our balcony room was very nice and as first-time cruisers were were aware that it would not be very large- BUT you can hear EVERYTHING (and I mean everything) in the room(s) next to you! Also beware booking anything in the Spa. When we signed a sheet for a "Couples Massage Class" (without being told of the cost) we were led to believe it was a free demonstration. We ended up not going, as it was on the next to last day of our cruise and had honestly forgotten we had signed up UNTIL we were billed on our account for 1/2 of the hidden fee!! Make sure you ask up front what the cost is of anything! We felt a bit deceived and when we asked that the fee be taken off of our account, the Guest Relations desk person told us that the Spa is not owned by RCL, but another company called The Steiner Group. Not sure if we'd go on another cruise, and if so we'd probably go with another line, a more upscale one. The major redeeming factor was the crew personnel- friendly, courteous, and interesting. Overall grade- B- Read Less
Sail Date: March 2005
I boarded the Radiance of the Seas on March 6, 2005 for a W. Caribbean vacation. My first impression when I first boarded was "wow, what a beautiful ship!". I've been on other ships of the same size, and I have to say, the ... Read More
I boarded the Radiance of the Seas on March 6, 2005 for a W. Caribbean vacation. My first impression when I first boarded was "wow, what a beautiful ship!". I've been on other ships of the same size, and I have to say, the Radiance's ship lay out is awesome. You can tell the designers maximized on each square inch. The ship seems larger than what it really is. The glass elevators were beautiful; especially zooming up to the upper decks with the view of the ocean. Entertainment was ok....nothing out of this world. I expected better from this class of ship. However, the Cruise Director (Gordon), was entertaining, funny and made the trip so much fun. The food was ok. They had a steak meal the was tougher than rubber. I had it exchanged for a lobster/shrimp meal. That meal was excellent! The Windjammer Buffet was ok. The eggs served during breakfast were horrible. Overall, it was good and served it purpose of offering casual dining. The specialty restaurants were excellent; both Portofino's and Chop's Grille; worth the $20 fee. I was disappointed at the lack of daytime activities, especially the days we were at sea. Actually, it was downright boring! I couldn't believe I had nothing to do at 4PM, expect just lounge at the pool and wait for Dinner/Show time later that evening. This cruise seems better suited for the older crowd who just wants to relax and prefers little activity. The night club, "Starquest", was mostly empty every night! People sleeping at 10PM on their vacations? Overall, nice ship for people looking to chill and relax. If you're looking for more activities, night life, younger crowd (20s-40s), this is not the ship for you. I would recommend a Voyager Class ship or Carnival. The ship is elegant and well designed, offering many beautiful public spaces and lounges. If you have kids, this is not the ship for them! They won't make many friends. However, if you're an experienced cruiser looking for an elegant ship and relaxing times, this ship is for you! I must say....I had a great time!!! However, I'll pick something with a little more excitement next time. Read Less
Sail Date: January 2005
My wife and I booked this cruise because it was our 15th wedding anniversary. We are in our early 40s. We had been on a Voyager class (EOS-2002) ship previously, and we wanted to book another Voyager class. Because we found a great deal, ... Read More
My wife and I booked this cruise because it was our 15th wedding anniversary. We are in our early 40s. We had been on a Voyager class (EOS-2002) ship previously, and we wanted to book another Voyager class. Because we found a great deal, we decided to try a Radiance class and booked on Radiance of the Seas for this trip. We arrived to the cruise port in Miami (we drove since we live in FL) at 12:30. Since our cruise documents were lost in the mail, our travel agent made arrangements for pier pick-up. We thought this would really slow us down in the boarding process, but we were quite surprised that there was no delay. Embarkation was a snap. We inquired about an upgrade, but were told the ship was full. Nothing gained, nothing lost. When we arrived to our cabin, we were taken with our room. We booked an outside on deck #3. Our cabin was appointed in rich colors with what I would describe as a honey oak color woodwork with a red comforter on the bed and very soothing artwork. The beds were already made into one, and we were happy we did not have to request it. The roses I ordered for my wife were greeting us in the cabin, which was a very nice touch. We had ample room in our cabin and adequate storage. We like to unpack everything, and were able to find storage for everything. We both brought extra clothes hangers and wood hangers were abundant in the closet. Our empty suitcases fit nicely under the beds. We always make two advance sets of arrangements when we board on RCI. We arrange for the wine package, which was $109 plus gratuity, and we go to the extra restaurants on the ship to decide whether we would reserve at Portofino or Chops. Because we dined at Portofino previously on another ship, we decided to try Chops. Making these arrangements was convenient. We were off to the Windjammer for something to eat. We were particularly impressed with this one. It did not flow like a cattle car so to speak. It was appointed differently than other RCI ships we've been on, with a lot of blues and dark woods. It was very welcoming and soothing. At one of the cutting stations they ran out of beef, and I joked with one of the chefs about bringing it to our table when they had more. In a couple of minutes, he delivered it to out table. We were impressed that he took the time to do this. We found ourselves using the Windjammer more on this ship in the afternoon and sometimes for breakfast because it did not have the same feel of a typical Windjammer. We were also very impressed that even on the first day, the staff was abundant to clear tables and they were friendly about it. This was also evident throughout the cruise. No one was shoving alcoholic drinks down our throats. We left to tour the ship and ended up at the Spa for a tour. Because of all the windows on this ship. The Spa is breathtaking. Each treatment room looks out through the spacious windows. We saw in the Compass that there was a special for unlimited visits to the Thermal Suite for $99 per couple being offered the first day. We really enjoyed having this access. There were heated thermal lounge chairs and 3 types of different saunas: wet, dry and aromatherapy. Most of all, we were able to gaze out through the windows and use this as much as we wanted. We would visit in late afternoon, request robes and enjoy the time in this tranquil setting. Everyone in this area was clothed with bathing suits. **Recommendation: Once to sea, we noticed in the Compass that the stores were having liquor tasting and liquor for purchase. While we had brought on rum in our luggage for consumption, we found out that they were selling liquor to drink in your room without charging a fee. This was a new change and not advertised. When I went back later in the week to buy a bottle of gin, they were going to charge me the $9.50 fee. The clerk whispered that if I came back after 6:00, there would be no fee. I came back as he mentioned, and brought the gin back to our cabin without paying a fee. So the cut-off seems to be 6:00. We had checked out our table seating in the dining room. We were on the main level at a table for 6, which was toward the center of the room. We had started noticing a lot of kids on the ship (we have 3, but they were home with grandparents). Because we had the late seating, we did not see any kids at dinner. The seas were high coming out of Miami on this trip. The captain reported later that seas were 35 feet. The ship was bouncing at some points and people were having slight difficulty getting around. A lot of people did not make it to dinner because of the seas. Even at the show the first night, the cast was challenged with the way the ship was moving. The captain had announced that due to the high seas, that it was too dangerous to tender into Coco Cay, so we missed our Monday port. The good news was that we were going to San Juan instead on Tuesday. My wife and I were high 5'ing because we love Old San Juan. We were there from 12:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. By the time we reached the Caribbean Sea, the seas had calmed and as usual the fort leading us into San Juan was glistening in the sun. We had the very first berth at the pier which put us the closest in walking distance to Old San Juan. We had a great time and loved the extra time there. In St. Thomas we did the usual, shop. Since it was our anniversary, what better place to look for jewelry. My wife found a beautiful tennis bracelet at an excellent price. No better way to celebrate our anniversary. The captain announced that we would have a refueling stop in St. Croix at 9:00 p.m. Since we ate at Chops that night, we ate early and the Captain announced that passengers could leave the ship and did not need to return until 12:00. However, it was late and most everything was closed. It looked like St. Croix was trying to build up their pier area because things were under construction. We walked around, and the people made a great effort to welcome everyone. There was a band playing and they were giving out tastes of rum. Other than that, there were only a handful of things open. We bought some handmade soap and returned to the ship within an hour. When we pulled into St. Maarten, we were very impressed with what we saw. They had an ultra modern port area that was outside, with little booths and shops. You could rent a car, buy sundries, shop, take a water taxi to town for $5 round trip. If you're there, check out the Octopus, supposedly it's a super yacht owned by one of the Microsoft founders that's docked at the same pier we pulled into. It had helicopters, boats on it, etc. It was a wow! St. Maarten was fun, clean, the people were friendly and we should have saved our jewelry shopping for this port. The shops were much cleaner and welcoming. Everything at this port is centrally located. The beach backs up to the street where all the shops are. You can find everything you need right there. We made the mistake of renting a car and while the countryside is beautiful, we wasted a lot of time trying to find a secluded beach. By the time we found it in the afternoon, it was windy and the water was very choppy. We should have stayed in town. We went back and laid on the beach for a while. The sun was hot and the surf calm. We look forward to seeing St. Maarten again in the future. Now back to the ship... We had a very good waiter -- Ashton. He was very attentive, and he would bring us out double orders if we asked for it. He became ill though and we had someone else fill in for him the rest of the cruise. When I asked for a double order, he told me he wasn't allowed, but when I pushed it with him, he brought what I wanted and was fine the rest of the trip. We just didn't know who would get the tips, etc., but later found out they would go to the original waiter. All in all, it ended up working out fine. Food was very good. I ate a lot of beef with vegetables. There were lobster tails Friday night, and myself and some of our table mates ended up with 3 each. Seems greedy, but it was fun. It's difficult to get full on 1 lobster tail. The only down side we found about the late seating was this. Since dinner started at 8:30, we found ourselves finishing up by 10:00-10:15. The late show was at 10:45, so we would leave the theatre at 11:45. The shops would close at 11:00, so no shopping, even though you walked through the shopping area to get back to the Centrum. We also found that the little lounges stopped bar service at 1:00, so the only place to get a drink was the disco or the casino. The Seaview Cafe was excellent. The hours they were open was convenient and I think this was one of the best little secrets on the ship. You could go there have a Cuban sandwich, Reuben, chowder, etc. The food and service were excellent. We found ourselves there late in the afternoon after coming back from a port. Chops Steakhouse was excellent. Marek the Head Waiter was excellent! We had perfect service and the food was outstanding. They acknowledged our anniversary by preparing a special dessert and the staff sang. We were so complimentary in the end, Marek invited us to attend brunch. This is something they were testing, so they only seemed to want a limited crowd. The charge was $10.00 each and the food again was excellent. We had brunch at 12:00 on our last day at sea. They offered complimentary mimosas, which was a nice touch. We had a table by the panoramic windows that we really enjoyed. Can't say more. We had one service issue on the ship. Since we are repeaters from Crown and Anchor (4 cruises), we just assumed we would receive our invitation and goodies. When we sat down to dinner one night (which happened to be our anniversary), everyone at our table was talking about the party they just came from. We asked "what party," they said the repeaters party. We were upset because we did not receive an invitation. After dinner, we followed up with guest services, and they apologized profusely and told us the loyalty ambassador would contact us directly. Well, we know that time slips away on cruises, so we wanted attention fast. The next morning, we went to the Crown and Anchor lounge and there was a fill-in person for the Loyalty Ambassador. You might as well be talking to the wall, because she did not know how to resolve service issues. She fessed up that she was filling in. Later we saw that she was one of the stage performers. Dreadful... So we asked what time Carol would be back. Carol smoothed everything over excellently. She apologized, ordered us a nice bottle of champagne, etc. Later that evening at dinner, the champagne arrived, which we shared with our table. There were chocolate covered strawberries in our cabin, our goodies, an apology letter, and a voicemail from guest services with an apology. We were very pleased. Advice: If this event is important to you, you may want to find out in advance when it will take place. Apparently, we were not the only ones this happened to on this cruise. A few hundred people did not get their invitations. Overall: We had a very nice cruise. The ship is beautiful. The number of windows makes this ship gorgeous. We had a great anniversary! We did not do rock climbing, miniature golf, etc. this time. Observations: We found the ship had a lot of over 60 crowd. We met a lot of wonderful people, and we talk to everyone. We found the lounge acts to be below par. The band in the Centrum we referred to as the Faded Rose Group. The comics they brought on board were not youthful and their material was dated. The stage shows were typical. We did have a favorite show and that was the Tribute to the Temptations. All in all, I would give entertainment a 2 out of a possible 10. We've often commented that we would pay extra to see a headliner perform. The ship is beautiful, but we've been spoiled by being on the Explorer of the Seas. We love the Promenade area on Voyager class ships. Our next cruise will be on Voyager of the Seas with the kids. We can't wait, but it will be a different kind of cruise, and we will experience it through our kids' eyes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to send me an email. Read Less
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

Find a Radiance of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click
Compare and book excursions for your next cruise