28 Miami to Caribbean - Eastern Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

I never thought that I would be writing a review, but after reading the recent terrible review of the Radiance, I feel like I have no choice as our experience was totally the opposite. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our ... Read More
I never thought that I would be writing a review, but after reading the recent terrible review of the Radiance, I feel like I have no choice as our experience was totally the opposite. My husband and I booked this cruise to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary over Thanksgiving. We were a party of nine ranging in age from 23 to 86 (which included our three sons in their 20's). We selected this cruise because the itinerary included three days at sea and Coco Cay - a beautiful, private island. We all had a fabulous time and loved this cruise - it was terrific in almost every way! Guest Services - especially Kendol - was terrific. There was a problem with one of our cabins and Kendol couldn't have been nicer to our kids. He solved the problem and was a personal host for the balance of the cruise. We had no problem with the food or service in the dining room...in fact our server from India (Vonard) was one of the best we have ever had. The entertainment was superb - not only did the Drifters perform (we had also seen them on the Serenade), but there was a comedic vocalist who all agreed was the best entertainer ever seen at sea (he will be appearing on Broadway this spring). Embarkation was quick and easy - no lines at noon (which is very unusual). Disembarkation was also surprisingly easy and quick. The ship is beautiful. This was our 9th cruise including the sister ship to the Radiance (Serenade) last summer. Of all the ships we have sailed (including three in the Celebrity Millennium class), we love the Radiance class the best - especially the woodwork in the Schooner Bar area, the beautiful 9 story atrium and the Seaview Cafe. Our cabin steward was adequate at best, but that is always the luck of the draw. I never saw him until the last day and don't even know his name. We had intentionally booked our cabin as it had a very deep balcony and we were told that we could have lounge chairs on this oversize balcony. Our cabin steward promised to bring the lounge chairs for the balcony (for which we gave him a tip in advance), but he never delivered or apologized. The only negative was the ship's excursion to St. Barts which was offered in St. Maarten. I would definitely recommend to stay away from it. We decided to go to St. Barts as we had just been in St. Maarten in January. Unfortunately, the hydrofoil was more like riding a bucking bronco than riding a boat (and many, including myself, fell ill on the trip over). Upon arrival in St. Barts, there was nothing organized and the cost of a taxi tour was prohibitive unless you were with a party of six. There were stores where we disembarked, but it would have been nice to see the island rather than shop. The cruise director Adam Dyer was fabulous - very personable, talented and full of energy. There was never a lack of activities to participate in - in fact there were so many great activities, I didn't even have a chance to read the books I had brought for the sea days. Besides the usual Love and Marriage, Bingo and Sexy Legs competition - there were dance lessons, cooking lessons, napkin folding, towel animal demonstrations, and on and on. One of the assistant cruise directors was Simon who we had sailed with on the Serenade - who was also terrific. This ship really rocked - especially with the 450 kids aboard!!! As I mentioned before, Coco Cay is a beautiful (and relaxing) place. There are different areas of the island to suit everyone. You have to tender over from the ship. Where the tenders dock, there are the usual local shops and hair braiding and the beach is very crowded, however, if you walk a little distance further, it is very quiet and private with hammocks hung between the trees. Even though it was very hot, it was quite comfortable lying in the hammock with a breeze. The water is beautiful and you can walk out quite a distance into the water! Most water sports are available (for a fee) or you can just sit and relax. To our surprise, food service for lunch was set up so well, there were no lines or crowds even with over 2,000 people eating at one time. They had clearly marked stations (beautiful bright signs) for the different food and beverage offerings. We celebrated our anniversary at Chops Grille and the steak was delicious and the service superb (our waitress was from Turkey). We met another family who ate at Chops and Portofino (the other alternate restaurant) every night of the cruise as they liked them so much. We had such a great time on this ship that we would take it over and over again, especially if we could be guaranteed that everything would be exactly as it was the week of November 21st!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
We are first time cruisers along with another couple. The reaction? The four of us really want to cruise again and are planning the next one. Specific reviews: Embarkation: went smoothly. Amazing how they can move 2500 passengers so ... Read More
We are first time cruisers along with another couple. The reaction? The four of us really want to cruise again and are planning the next one. Specific reviews: Embarkation: went smoothly. Amazing how they can move 2500 passengers so quickly. Disembarkation also smooth. They have this down to a science. Ship: Beautiful ship; not the largest but holds 2500 passengers. Rooms were extremely clean; we loved our balcony. Small shower stall. Crew: absolutely friendly and we think we had the best wait staff at dinner - Sathi always had a smile on his face, told us stories, always had time to chat, and his recommendations for dinner were always right on. He brought us any food we wanted and in any quantity. Like he promised - we would be rolling out of the dinning room. At our request, he had the chef make curry for us one night, followed by chicken curry the next - this was in addition to our regular entrees. The cabin staff were great - always a surprise every night - they were experts in creating animals out of towels; one every night. Captain Kent is the singing captain and you can buy his CD. He actually is quite good. Food: more than satisfactory. The formal dinning room had the best food - be sure to heed the waiter's suggestions. Can't go wrong. Lobster tails (yes, we ordered 4 per couple) were fabulous. The prime rib was perfect. The Windjammer cafe was buffet style for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food is quite all right and there was a lot of choice. Always plenty of fresh fruit available. Don't buy the soda package unless you have kids. Two special restaurants on board - Portofinos (Italian) and Chops (steaks). Managed to try Portofinos - definitely worth a try. Have to pay extra though. Entertainment: Live shows every night from stand-up comedy to a comedy-juggling act - we took in every show and it was worth it. Movies galore. The different lounges had different entertainers - Dancing Through the Decades had a '50s-'60s night; '70s-'80s night; Western Night; Karaoke night; and various game shows. Never bored. Santino and the Blakjax were fabulous. There was lots of dancing and disco. Other activities: golf simulator; mini-putt; spa; rock climbing; always the pool but we religiously went to the gym to work out, hitting the steam room after. Self leveling pool tables - very apparent in rough seas. Tour of the bridge is a must. The crew were very willing to answer all questions and show us around. Casino was open every night for those wanting to gamble. The sports bar - sports on tv of course. Art auction - some very nice pieces available. Limited selection at the duty free stores, but the prices were good. Stops: Coco Cay was first stop, but rough seas scuttled the day. St. Thomas, USVI, is a shopping haven - cheap deals on jewelry and liquor. Worth to take a tour of the country. Slight rain dampened the outing. St. Maarten was next stop - unfortunate to arrive on a national holiday so there was limited shopping. Took a taxi to Orient Beach (French side) for a day; had the most wonderful lunch at Waikiki Beach cafe. Try the seafood - absolutely fresh, seasoned and cooked to perfection. Next stop was to be Nassau but the captain decided on a different route due to very rough seas (yes, many people were seasick) and therefore we did not make it to Nassau. There were rumbles, but Captain Kent did the right thing. Overall, a great cruise but less than perfect due to some rough seas. Arrival at St. Maarten on a national holiday but perhaps fortunate since we had a fantastic meal at Orient Beach. Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
We did a back-to-back cruise on Radiance. Nov 7th. Eastern and then Nov. 14th Western. The ship was beautiful, but the food and entertainment, even the service was not good. In fact, some nights, the food in the dining room was downright ... Read More
We did a back-to-back cruise on Radiance. Nov 7th. Eastern and then Nov. 14th Western. The ship was beautiful, but the food and entertainment, even the service was not good. In fact, some nights, the food in the dining room was downright terrible! We are both not even picky eaters! This is our 7 th cruise. 4 on RCI and 3 on Princess. The message here is: BUYER BEWARE! It is hit or miss with the service on the Radiance, Some people had good service, most had awful service. Some food was o.k. but most was absolutely terrible. The best entertainment was on the Western Caribbean portion of the cruise. The Drifters were fantastic, and Charley and company juggling act was great! Some on board activities were hilarious, especially The Quest! It is a MUST DO ACTIVITY. Cruise Director, Adam was great, Captain Kent, very eccentric! Windjammer cafe food (buffet) almost the same every day, except different sauces. Desserts were Excellent! Soft serve Ice Cream a plus! Overall: ship is beautiful, hope people will have better luck in the future with food! It was tasteless and lukewarm, steaks, disgusting! Pasta (swill)! Service, hit or miss, we had to change servers about 6 times to get someone decent. Room service was prompt/quick. Awful room stewards/attendants. Beds comfortable, sheets very soft! Bottom line: do not pay much for this cruise, take inside cabins, many people complained from outside wind noise from balconies, and sometimes you can hear people in the next room talking or doing other activities no matter which room you have! Embarkation: Good Disembarkation: Good Ports of Call: Great Pursers Office (Guest Relations). Watch your bills! Service, I would be fired from my job if I acting like that! Crown and Anchor Parties: Excellent Meet & Mingle: Excellent. Solarium Pool: A must see and experience. Baggage: very timely. Do your own excursions at the pier of the ports of call! (Haggle.) Much cheaper and you are the boss! SHIP EXCURSIONS DOWN RIGHT EXPENSIVE AND YOU ARE AT THEIR MERCY! I hope this helps some people. We are going on one more RCI trip to get the next level in the Crown and Anchor Society, then try other lines. Definitely will go back to Princess! We were several people in our 30's and 40's on this cruise. Out of 5 stars this ship deserves only 2.5 stars only for the beauty! Read Less
Sail Date November 2004
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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