9 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Spring Break Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for ... Read More
Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for a 14 night trip from Sydney around New Zealand and back again. Stopping in about 8 ports and doing day trips in each port. I have previously taken my family on other cruises, such as Carnival Spirit, and while the ships are near identical in size and similar in structure this is where the similarities end. To be fair for those who have never sailed before the Radiance has had a recent refurbishment in mid 2016 and is of a reasonable fitout standard, so for first timers don’t despair, but do hang onto your wallets! Yet the biggest difference between Royal Caribbean and Carnival is attention to detail, particularly the part where they try and fleece you for every dollar you have. From the minute you step aboard, to the minute you walk off 14 nights later the staff are at you constantly to pay more. This philosophy is ingrained into everything they do, from the ship layouts, to the port destinations, and the day trips. To start with the Radiance is nearly identical in size and shape to the Carnival Spirit, expect on the Radiance they pack in an extra 400 passengers. These passengers have to go somewhere, and that’s probably an extra 120 rooms, with only about 6 floors of cabins that’s about 20 more rooms per floor. So consequently your rooms end up about 50% smaller to accommodate the extra guests. Yep smaller room, smaller balcony, smaller bathroom and so on. The refit in 2016 has taken the Radiance up to a reasonable standard in look and feel. Not as nice as the Carnival, but acceptable. However in the refit they added a host of speciality dining rooms. This effectively is a “pay to eat” scenario, where in turn they have removed additional “free” dining experiences. The net result of this is almost all of the dining options are extra. Also that then effectively locks this area of the ship off to those who do not wish to pay. This was certainly not the case in Carnival where only one or two speciality dining rooms existed. To add to this they also have the unusual habit of closing the bistro early and forcing people who (for example) want something outside of hours (say an evening coffee) to go and pay for it in the “specialty café”. Then there is the crew, who have been instructed at every turn to push sales. Sales of shore trips, sales of internal trips, sales of drink offers, sales of everything you care to name. It gets to the point where you dread seeing a crew member because you just know they are going to push something on you. After this you have them cutting corners on shore trips and docking. Instead of going into the main port of the city, in most cases Royal Caribbean opted to stay outside of town in a commercial dock and then charge you a bus fair ($15 USD per person) to get into town. Or the other fun one was charging me $160 USD for a trip to the Cadbury Factory (fun trip) but was advertised on the door at only $40 USD ($55 NZD). Yep a whopping four times the price! When I complained I was told it was not their problem and I should call their help line if I had an issue. I complained again, and again, and was eventually offer a 20% rebate on the price. Now I fully expected they to make a profit on the day trips, that is their business. But they are booking 100s of these trips, and the door price (even have a pic of it) is $55 NZD (about $40 USD) for the family and I was charged $160 USD. On top of that they didn’t even book the tickets for my $160 USD, they just dumped us at the door and told us to sort it out ourselves. Had to wait over an hour because they didn’t book the tickets. Regrettably the Cadbury Tour was not a unique experience. The bus trip to Christchurch (this time stopped 2 hours outside of town) was a rough as guts bus ride into Christchurch, where you got 30 minutes for essentially a toilet break before turning you around and racing back to the ship. So much for Christchurch, all I have is pictures of the toilet… With their attention to fleecing you of your money, their small rooms, and poor ship layout I would strongly suggest you book with someone else. New Zealand is lovely, the people are great, and the place is so much fun to see, such a pity we went with Royal Caribbean. Oh as for those “Specialty Dining” options, we did try one, it was very disappointing, a specialty steak place and I have had better steaks from Aldi, this was full of fat and sinew, very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the extra cleaning required which is fair enough, but on arrival at the terminal there were so many people waiting we stood in line for approx. 1 1/2 hours, then to be told our luggage would possibly not be delivered to our room until 9.00pm that night. Also that our room would not be available until 4.00pm. When we finally got to our cabin area on deck 8 all we could smell was like diarrhoea. The buffet dining in Windjammer was handled by the staff for the first 3 days due to the gastroenteritis which made for more waiting. One staff member told us that 95% of the guests on the previous voyage were over 75 years of age. This is definitely a cruise ship for the Elderly. On the 4th day I got what looked like a long hair in my mashed potato, on showing it to the Maitre De he took it from me and said don't worry it is just a bit of string?????? The quality of the food was pathetic in both the Windjammer and Cascades. Seems most of it had been pre cooked and frozen. Entertainment was the same as we had seen on this same ship 15 months prior so it was boring for us. The use of the Atrium for entertainment is a joke as one has to be crammed in to be able to see anything and stand for hours. Why they don't use the Theatre is a mystery to us. I would say 50% of the staff were happy to be there and the other 50% wishing they were not there as was obvious my their sad or grumpy faces. Our room was regularly not cleaned until late in the afternoons. We had the same towels for most of the cruise. The outside and windows of the ship were all dirty. I tried to clean our balcony glass but it was so inbuilt with salt and dirt it was impossible with just water. Our refrigerator did not work at all. Never again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
I booked this cruise as i was looking as a short cruise i could do while i am in AUSTRALIA and as never tried RADIANCE before i found this quite good. PRE CRUISE I flew from LONDON to ABU DHABI and had a 2 day stopover there as i ... Read More
I booked this cruise as i was looking as a short cruise i could do while i am in AUSTRALIA and as never tried RADIANCE before i found this quite good. PRE CRUISE I flew from LONDON to ABU DHABI and had a 2 day stopover there as i wanted to go to DUBAI mainly to see the great ship QE2 there. I booked a hotel close by and could see her out my bedroom. It broke up a very long flight. i then flew to MELBOURNE to visit a couple of friends i had met on a cruise to AUSTRALIA in 2005(sadly the ship's engines had a problem)and we were stuck in EGYPT for a week. i STAYED IN melbourne for 8 nights i always use BOOKING.COM as i always get good prices and do not have to pay till i get there. "SLEEP AND GO" was my hotel in MELBOURNE. Then i flew MELBOURNE to SYDNEY and stayed in a HOSTEL(I had my own single room) there was a bunk bed and bathroom,free wi fi and continental breakfast. Sadly my time in SYDNEY we had quite a bit of rain! EMBARKATION i left the HOSTEL at 10am and got the train to CIRCULAR QUAY, there were lifts at the station so carrying luggage was easy. When i got off at CIRCULAR QUAY it was only a few steps to the dock. My luggage was taken away, they changed the check in a few times as we were not leaving till 10pm. 4pm,2pm then 11am. But the ship had arrived a bit late and passengers were still getting off. So 1130 we started moving, as i was a PLATINUM MEMBER(over 30 nts cruising) i got a faster check in. the lady checked me in quick but forgot to give me a card to get onto the ship so i had to go back to get it. After the usual embarkation picture i went onto the ship. As the cabins were not ready till 1pm i went to the buffet. i was one of the 1st to go there and it was deserted, later it got quite full. CABIN After the lunch buffet i made my way to deck 10 to my cabin 1604 at the aft end. I loved the balcony it was quite long with 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table. we were allowed to smoke out the balcony but i had to ask the steward for an ashtray. I saw a utube video of these cabins and sounded like the bathroom was a bit small but it was better. I had a lovely double bed it was very comfortable. a sofa which surprisingly was not that soft. I tried the tv but could not get it to work properly so called maintenance. they came quickly and spent 30mins taking the wire out and redoing it. if someone else had nmy cabin, whatever happened? the mini bar only had soft drinks and snacks and no ice you had to ask the steward to do that! LIFEBOAT DRILL We did this at 5pm despite not leaving till 10pm it didv not take long and did not have to take out life-jackets. RESTAURANTS As it was a short cruise i did not bother trying other restaurants as they were all full and had to pay extra. a shame as i would like to see what i thought. I had 1st sitting i guess i must have asked for a large table as it was for 10! I sat there on my own and waited! and waited!! finally a young man sat with me, he said the others went to the SAMBA GRILL. He only came as he changed from 2nd sitting to 1st otherwise i would have been on my own. ( i wonder if they would have sat me with someone else,I BET NOT!) The menu was very varied and i loved all of the food. I looked at the WINE LIST no carafe's of wine and the cheapest was $7 for a glass. I ordered a beer instead, but the waiter gave me someone else's card when i returned as i could not get into my cabin he did not seemed to be bothered. After that i did not bother ordering anymore. ENTERTAINMENT I went to both shows one was a LAS VEGAS STYLE with singers and dancers and the other was TANGO BUENOS AIRES also very good. It was never full and could easily get a seat. PORTS OF CALL As it was a cruise to nowhere we stopped nowhere in fact we only got out 42 miles enough to open the shops and casino. SHOPS I thought they had a pretty good choice of things. i like souvenirs with items of the ship and found quite a few. also ships models seems to be on most of the ships which i love. MEET AND GREET As it was a very short cruise i was surprised that they had a roll call for it. They had a sailaway meet but only a few turned up and i did not want to miss leaving port and the fireworks. the 2nd was the next day as was much better attended.I sat down and for the most part i was ignored(A GREAT SHAME) THINGS TO DO They had a rock climbing wall, i loved watching them go up but it was very scary looking. i missed the MINI GOLF but tried it the day we left and enjoyed that. LIBRARY This is the smallest library i have ever seen on a cruiseship for a large ship i was a bit surprised. FUTURE SALES Other lines like NCL really push these incentives to book a cruise onboard. But royal carribean did not, in fact you had to make an appointment to see someone. there was a way to get them to call you on the interactive tv but i made 2 requests and they did not even bother to call! DISEMBARKATION I was asked when i wanted to leave the ship i said 9am not wanting to rush. I had decided to [ pay by credit card i had to tell them i wanted the tips added to my bill. I got up early to get up the front(LIKE TITANIC! i like this idea!) Then had breakfast leaving my belongings in my cabin and shut the door. I still had not got the bill. I asked the steward and he said he would put mine on the door. i returned from breakfast to find no bill and my cabin wedged open by the steward. With all my belongings there for anyone to help themselves to. I had to queue up at the reception and wrote a complaint about the steward. I then realised my ipod touch had gone missing! i dropped it on the mini golf and some thoughtful person must have handed it in, i did not expect to get it back. AFTER CRUISE After leaving the ship i made it back to the hostel for another 2 nts in sydney before i flew home. ALL IN ALL The cruise was good only made one really good friend and not sure if i will do the RADIANCE AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Imagine that you're returning from a lovely excursion in Cozumel and upon reentry to your cruise ship, your sea pass causes the crew-member to utter the scary phrase "You need to report to Guest Services immediately."This ... Read More
Imagine that you're returning from a lovely excursion in Cozumel and upon reentry to your cruise ship, your sea pass causes the crew-member to utter the scary phrase "You need to report to Guest Services immediately."This happened to me aboard Radiance of the Seas on Saturday, April 23rd. While relieved to hear that I wasn't flagged because of a death in the family, I was forced to process news of a water main break that had occurred in our absence causing flooding in the aft section of Deck 9. We were told not to worry: Our belongings would be cleaned or replaced and during the cleanup, we could take a shower in the spa and have free drinks poolside. The huge, loud fans in the room left it unusable for the remaining 41 hours of the cruise. We were told the flood water was clean but the towels used for soaking up were turning brownish yellow and the smell was sickening...so much so that my husband was given 3 medications by the ship's doctor for throat irritation the following morning(Easter Sunday.) In the lesser affected room of the 2 we paid for, a roll-away cot was set up for my teenage daughter, and my teenage son slept on the couch. There were no other rooms as the cruise was sold out, but the regular room was obviously intended for only two people, as evidenced by the two life vests which we would have needed to share if there was need. As you can imagine, movement through that cabin was difficult and privacy forsaken. We opted not to have our laundry done on board as our neighbors reported having to wait a very long time only to receive it back damp and discolored. While one crew-member assured us this had not happened before, another said their quarters were similarly flooded a few weeks prior. So Saturday at 7:00p.m. instead of attending a much-anticipated show, we went to Guest Services for a pre-arranged meeting. Thanks to an employee there by the name of Kwame, I now refer to it as guest "Dis-Services". His words to my husband were "I don't even know who you are and I'm finished with you!" in a very belligerent tone. We were told by Tanya that our only reimbursement would be a $175credit and 35% off one cabin on a future cruise. What is that? I did not even want to continue to be trapped in a smelly boat for the last two days and nights, so I don't expect there will be another Royal Caribbean Cruise in our future, and those "coupons" will be sent back. As for those "free" drinks they offered us, I was still fighting for a charge reversal at 10:10 Monday morning as everyone else had departed for the airport or parking lot. While at the Guest dis-services desk, I witnessed another passenger in a screaming match with the representative who said she owed for drinks purchased at the last hour. She said she paid $10,000 for her cruise, and now they were making her miss her flight over a charge that was not hers. I'm not looking for a golden ticket here...just reimbursement of a product we purchased (a habitable cabin) that we did not receive. Royal Caribbean may be finished with us but any cruisers who have a choice in ships will be well-advised to steer clear of Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
Radiance of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines March 14th to March 19th, 2011 This is a review of the Radiance of the Seas. From pre boarding to the debarkation. I will give the good points and bad points of the ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines March 14th to March 19th, 2011 This is a review of the Radiance of the Seas. From pre boarding to the debarkation. I will give the good points and bad points of the ship and its staff. The payment process of Royal Caribbean is very standard. Make your deposit. Make payments, until everything is paid for. I chose "My Time Dining" so pre paid gratuities were charged in the beginning, not on board. I made my final payment prior to the due date. I also sent in a "special needs" request by the 30 days prior to sailing deadline. Explaining I needed large print "Daily Compasses" while on board. Two days prior to sailing I reconfirmed that this request was on my account. They confirmed this, and that my suite attendant was aware of this. I emailed the concierge a week before sailing and asked if there were magnifying mirrors onboard, or did I need to bring my own. I was told there were no magnifying mirrors in the stateroom so I should bring my own if I needed one. I booked my own flights, so no need for explanations on the "choice air" program in this review. I also booked my own transfers, so no review is needed there, but I have to comment that Execucar private transfers are the only people I will recommend for future cruisers. Arrival to the pier. I arrived at 12:10PM at the pier. (Before leaving Tampa airport, I checked my luggage with my mirror to make sure it was not broken. I had put fragile stickers on this luggage; it was not broken by the airlines. Whew for that) the pier had some arriving passengers, but was not bustling with new passengers. I think this is because we were told to arrive around 2:00PM. But I couldn't, because of my flight schedule. I was greeted by a port luggage handler who very kindly and efficiently took my luggage, and directed me to the entrance. When I walked in, I was amazed at how few passengers were there, but how efficient the staff was. They checked my passports and sea pass print out and directed me to the next step. I was then given a health form to fill out prior to check in. One per adult. Thank goodness I had two teens with me, so I got to fill this out for all 3 of us. Once I filled it out, I was directed to the check in desk. This had NO line what so ever. I walked straight up and was assisted by a very courteous staff member. She checked my documents, my children's documents and my credit card that matched my online check in. Then handed me 3 sea pass cards and sent me to the picture process desk right before boarding. Just a quick note for those of you that are parents traveling alone with your children. Anyone under 18 years of age, take their passport, birth certificate and a letter from the other parent that is notarized that the other parent knows you are taking the children on a cruise out of the country. Because I had all of this, it took me less than 3 minutes to go through the check in desk. Very impressive. Back on subject. There was one family ahead of us to get their pictures taken for the sea pass cards. Not really a wait at all. We had ours taken, and off to the ship we went. We were greeted by the teen counselors with a list of teen events for the evening so my teens would really know what to expect. We went to our deck. Our rooms were not going to be ready until 1:00 PM. We were asked to enjoy lunch at Windjammer cafe and explore the ship until they were ready. I must tell you, we were on the pool deck by 12:25PM. Just 15 minutes to do all of this. I had never experienced that before in all my cruising. Truly, efficient staff who knew exactly what they were doing. Our rooms were ready at 1:00PM like they said; there were no mistakes what so ever. Everything was what they told us and very prompt. We had a Grand Suite on deck 10. The room was large for a cruise ship. Our balcony was nice. We were starboard side. But, the dock in Tampa has you facing the oil refineries from the Starboard side. But I knew we would be leaving soon, so not a big deal. We went though the safety drill at 4:15 PM. Luckily, since the staff started directing us down there around 4:00PM, we started promptly at 4:15PM and were done at 4:35PM. Simplest safety drill I had been through. After that we went to our stateroom since we had a balcony (besides, we hadn't found our way to the helipad yet) and watched our launch from there. Our luggage came to our room around 6:15PM, which is kind of late because I met others on board who had arrived at 2:00PM and had their luggage by 3:00PM. But, that is hearsay since I did not see it. There are several perks to booking a suite. But not as many when you book a 5 night cruise instead of a 7 night or longer cruise. We had the use of the concierge lounge throughout our stay. Adults had the benefit of complimentary cocktails between 5:00 PM to 8:30 PM every night while on board. We had a reserved area for shows, but not reserved seats for the shows. Even though other cruises have reserved seating at the pool, the radiance of the Seas did not offer this perk for their suite guests. Galley tours and bridge tours were not scheduled. But when I showed interest in them, I was told the galley tour would be available the last day only at 10:00AM on Friday. Anyone could go, just to meet at the Cascades restaurant 10 minutes before the tour. The bridge tour could only be on a day that was in port. I do understand the need to do this when the crew is not constantly steering the ship, but cruises past, we could go to the bridge while sailing because most people go on excursions on port days. Going to some unfavorable review comments for now. In my stateroom was a magnifying mirror. I did not have to bring my mirror after all. I did not check this with the RCCL phone staff on land; I checked this information prior to packing with the concierge on the ship. And was told there were none and to pack mine. Well,, when I opened my luggage and unwrapped my very expensive lighted magnifying mirror for the second time,,, (remember I checked it when I got off the plane and it was not broken) It was broken now aboard the ship. Needless to say, I was furious, because 1) they broke it and 2) I did not have to bring it since there was one in the room. The next complaint is small but inconvenient. Time changes. What a nightmare. We stayed on Eastern day light savings time the first day. The next morning we were on Central day light savings time. When we entered port, we stayed on Central day light savings time, but local time was regular central time. That part is pretty common. Our last sea day was on central day light savings time, but for our debarkation day, we were on Eastern day light savings time. Three time zones on a 5 night cruise is ridiculous. We should have stayed on one time zone for the entire ship time, and just gone by ship time while in port, instead of all the time changes. This does not make for a restful vacation. My stateroom attendant Patricia from Lima Peru was absolutely amazing. For those of you booking a suite, please make sure you get a midship starboard side room to get Patricia as your suite attendant. Seriously, she was the best I have ever had. She was not informed of my large print request, but quickly took care of it within 10 minutes and remembered every day without reminders. She took extra care to know what my children's names were and made them feel special. Me too, but usually the adults always get the preferred treatment. She remembered who liked what pillows and made sure each bed was turned down to our liking every night. She changed my dinner reservations when I needed them done for other reasons without hesitation. I even asked her to send a note to a guest on another floor and she did so without complaint and notified me when it was delivered. Truly, one of Royal Caribbean's best suite attendants ever hired. She felt more like a friend helping me than a suite attendant. Formal night was beautiful. But the air conditioning for the ship seemed like it was working extra hard, but not producing much cool air that evening. I was in sleeveless, so know I was not dressed heavily for this event. I was perspiring from the time I was getting ready to the pictures to the dinner. I t was excessively warm. And honestly, uncomfortable. Dinner in the dining room that evening was alright. The appetizers were limited, but the main course was phenomenal. Dessert was limited too, but very good. The staff seemed as if they wanted to rush us through the dining process. I would understand if we were in first seating, but we were in late seating. So, the need to rush us along did not seem appropriate. I only dined in the dining room this one night. Chops Grille was on our agenda for one of our evenings on board. The appetizers were wonderful. Unfortunately each of us ordered the same appetizer, so I could not compare the others. We all had the Dungeness crab and shrimp cakes. They should be offered as a main dish. They are that wonderful. We each had a different steak category. I had the filet Mignon butterflied so it would not be so red in the middle. I like medium heat on my steaks. My son had the New York Strip, and my daughter had the porterhouse. Each was good, but the New York Strip was the best. The staff cooked the steaks correctly to each of our preferences of Medium and medium rare. Dessert was as it should be. Absolutely phenomenal with excellent choices. My son had Red Velvet cake. Very moist and not too overshadowed by the food coloring, which can sometimes take away from the cocoa flavor in a red velvet cake. It was done well. My daughter had the raspberry duo. This was beautifully presented. She almost did not want to eat it because it was so beautifully plated. It was a tangy raspberry mousse under a white chocolate mouse with a raspberry and strawberry glaze. The tartness of the berries and the creaminess of the white chocolate were an amazing paring and blended well on the palate. I had the restaurants version of Mississippi mud pie. This was nothing like Mississippi mud pie, but was utterly amazing. The rich chocolate almost frozen ganache and mousse were so delectable. This is what we all look for in a chocolate dessert. It had a hard, crisp crunchy bottom. This was truly a chocolate connoisseur's dream dessert. It will be hard for anyone to choose between these desserts. Portofinos was on our agenda one night as well. The appetizers were limited. Nothing to really write about. The main courses were wonderful for those that like more exotic flavors. But alas, I chose the filet mignon, my son had the T bone, and my daughter tried to seafood medley. My daughter found out, she does not care for lobster. But that is a personal choice. My filet was better at Portofino's than Chops. My son's T bone was also better than his New York strip at Chops. I know they all use the same Galley, so my night at Chops may have just been an off night for the staff. Desserts at Portofino's. I was so full, I could not even attempt to order dessert. Before dessert arrived, we were given a pre dessert plate for nibbling on. My daughter was so impressed with the leaf shaped dipped crispy cookies, that is what she had for dessert. An entire plate of them. My son had the dessert sampler. It consisted of a chocolate layered shot glass. A decadent fudge brownie dipped in chocolate, a fruit parfait that was extremely light and bursting with fresh fruit, mostly berries. There was one other thing, and I am sorry to say, I have forgotten it. My son ate it so fast that I did not get to see it or get his response prior to going to the next dessert. The staff at both Portofinos and Chops were good, but when you have young teens, they tend to not serve you as well as they do adult guests. They had no idea that my children were raised trying new things and rating restaurants. They were not rude by any means, please know that. But for those of you who have children and go to restaurants, you know what I am probably talking about. You know, the staff that sees a mother with her children, they think "not a big tipper" so they take care of you, but no doting over you like those dressed to the nines and appear to tip well. The casino. The casino was average size, they had many slot machines, ranging from penny machines to our standard machines we have all gambled on before. The tables had a good variety. They had Craps, Roulette, baccarat, 2-3 blackjack tables, Caribbean Stud and Three Card Poker. They even had a Texas Holdem Table. Good choices for gamblers. But, the slot machines paid quarters. Most of us are not used to that anymore, so I had to go back about 5 years ago with my mentality for gambling. The casino is not promoted as much as other ships. They want you to enjoy everything else on board. There was only one slots tournament and it was the last day of the cruise. They had a blackjack tournament too on the last day. And for those of you that are non smokers, they had a non smoking night during formal night on the cruise. I didn't do well at slots at all, but I did get a straight flush on three card poker. So my time in the casino was not a total bust. The pool areas were packed. This was a Spring Break cruise. Only 50 berths were not being used on this cruise. We really were at maximum capacity. The only days you could find a pool deck chair was on port days. And let me tell you, the only thing to do on the cruise ship on port days is lounging around the pool, movies in the theater and eating. Everything else is closed. I had hoped to peruse the photos while everyone was off the ship, but, they had wooden covers over the pictures so you couldn't even look at them. Glass covers would be better. We could at least see them when it is not open for purchase. The shops on board were the most limited I have ever seen. Clothing was limited, watches were in abundance, and so was jewelry. Cigarettes and liqueur had good choices, but not as abundant as they are in port. But that is pretty common. Other than that, just purses and small trinkets and a convenience store for chips and candy. Nothing too impressive. Beware the internet!!!!! My daughter had a spending limit per day. Instead of buying things she used the internet every day. I mean every day. Her spending limit was on internet and a few airbrushed tattoos. The internet is $0.65 per minute. Keep your teens away from it, unless they have a really good sense of time management. I heard parents at guest relations just having an absolute cow about their teenagers' usage because that adds up quickly and can cost a fortune. Besides, you want them enjoying the ship and all it offers, not just talking to their friends like they always do. Luckily, my daughter kept within her budget every day. The teen program. This program deserves a lot of recognition. My son,, well,, I never saw him except when we ate dinner and when he had to come back to the room because there was a mandatory curfew of 1:00AM for anyone under the age of 18. He rock climbed, he did scavenger hunts. He made so many new friends on board. There were so many activities that were truly age appropriate that he never felt like a small child. He felt like an independent teenager who got to do what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. Coming back home to the real world will probably be a let down for him to say the least. His teen counselors were like friends instead of babysitters. And that is how he has felt on other cruises. So, if you are traveling with young teenagers, this is the ship to go on with them. They will never be bored and never complain they are away from there friends at home. Older teens and drinking. Royal Caribbean has a no drinking policy for anyone under the age of 21. That is good. But I spoke to several 18-20 years olds with alcoholic beverages in their hands and pretty drunk. They had figured out how to drink on board. The sea pass cards have two holes punched in them to show the guest is a minor. However, if they lose their cards and go down to guest relations to get a new one,,, if they get a tired employee or someone who does not pay attention to the monitor, just looks at the passenger. They don't always punch holes in the new cards. My daughter and son both lost their cards a few times. My daughter always had holes punched in her new card, but my son did not. Luckily he is a young teen and could not pass as an adult at the bars with just his sea pass not punched. So, the drinking policy has to be corrected with guest relations staff. The bartenders don't really have to check ID's for age, they go by the sea pass cards. If they don't have holes punched in them, they can be served. Night Life. I only went out a few times for night life because I am a morning person, but the night life options were great. They had 80's and 70's theme nights at the discos. Karaoke and great shows in the Aurora Theater. But again, I saw several under age people drinking. The reason I know they were under age is because I spoke with them and asked how they had drinks being 19 and 20. Being tipsy like they were, they told me. Availability of everything. Hours of operations for different things was confusing to say the least. The first day on board, we went several times to the rock climbing wall to sign waivers for my teens to climb, and no one was ever there. Even though there were times listed on the daily compass. The second day, my daughter was told, no waiver was needed. But that afternoon, my son came and got me to sign it while they were open so he could climb. I signed it for both. Instead of having the rock climbing wall open during the daytime all day, it was open two hours at a time and closed for two hours at a time. It took a lot to get there in time to climb. The restaurants like Windjammer, cascades and so on, were closed for time periods during the day. So if you were active during the hours of operation and then were hungry when they were closed, you had to order limited room service, or go to the back of the ship for the sea view cafe. Room service for a suite guest has its perks. You can choose from the main dining room menu, and you are not charged for room service after 10:30 PM like the rest of the ship. But, you can only get the menu items during operating hours of the main dining room. I understand that policy. But all we had in our room was the main dining room menu. Not the room service standard menu. Okay, didn't realize there was a room service menu on the TV. That was my misunderstanding. So when I called for room service the first time and only could get standard menu, they told me to look on the TV and then call back. Not giving me a chance to say I would just take a hamburger. When I would call room service close to the cut off or start time of the Main dining room menu. They did the same thing. It's as if the 15 minutes before the dining room opened, they wouldn't take the order and rudely tell me to look at the TV and order from there. Forget taking my order and in 5-15 minutes make it when the dining room opened. They just brushed me off each time. Late night before going to bed (okay, late night was before midnight for me most nights) most bars were closed that offered drinks to take with you to your room so you could have something to drink in your room. I am not talking alcohol, I am talking sodas, juice, etc. I know I have probably left some stuff out. But I must comment on efficiency. The staff is trained so well in efficiency, that it has come across to many of the passengers as the feeling of you need to get off the ship because your vacation is almost over on the second day of the cruise until the end. Settling your Sea Pass Account A few things were good and bad about the sea pass account. Each day's charges were on the interactive TV. That was nice, it saves paper. But, only one account had total amount due. The main cardholder of the account. So you could not check without taking your calculator out and adding up each person's charges to make sure they kept in their budget. Each person had their own line items of purchases, but they were on there twice as positive and negative charges. The positive were the actual purchases. The negatives were moving them from the child's account to my account balance. So, the teens had 0.00 balances each day. As a personal preference, I really did not like that. But others would probably love it. If you pre pay your gratuities before you board... you are not allowed to remove them or transfer them to an employee or a few employees that truly deserve them. If I paid gratuities on board, I would have been able to remove them and then pay each employee as I preferred. So if you prefer to pay your staff personally, do not pre pay gratuities, they will not take care of this at all. Debarkation I was in group 1 for debarkation. Since I was a suite guest, the suite guests had a private waiting area at Portofinos. So as not to be crowded. They offered continental breakfast. This entailed a few pastries, cheese, and canapEs with honeydew melon. Not really a great way to spend your last breakfast on board. The main dining room where most people sat and waited had a full breakfast. I am not sure how Royal Caribbean can consider this a perk for their suite guests. We had to be at Portofinos and out of our room by 8:00AM. Our debarkation time was 8:30 AM. We left the ship then. Went though immigration and customs and were out of the terminal by 8:40AM. No one checked my bags, they just checked my passport. They did not even check to see if I was getting off the ship with the correct children. My children have a different last name than me. So I figured they would check. Nope. While I was waiting at the airport, I met several people who were on board our sailing as well. They told me their horror stories of what happened to them. Very few people had good stories to tell. Most of them kept repeating the same scenario. They felt like they were being forced to hurry up and finish their vacation from the beginning. One ladies story was so horrific, I don't know how embellished her story was, so I will not write about it because my hopes are that it was embellished a lot. I cannot fathom it really happened. Will I sail Royal Caribbean again? Probably not. Will I sell it to my clients? I will, but inform them completely of what is entailed so they make an informed decision to book or not. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
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 ... Read More
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. Read Less
Sail Date March 2011
Pre-hotel stay: We flew in the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn San Diego on the Bay. They have free airport pick up every ½ hour. Great hotel, and was very nice to see the ship out the window when we woke up the next morning! ... Read More
Pre-hotel stay: We flew in the day before and stayed at the Holiday Inn San Diego on the Bay. They have free airport pick up every ½ hour. Great hotel, and was very nice to see the ship out the window when we woke up the next morning! The hotel is so close you can walk to the port. They do offer free transfers to the port as well, but we chose to walk it was quicker, and all our luggage was easily pulled. Ship: The ship is beautiful, we have traveled on many of the voyager class ships as well as Celebrity and Disney, but I think the Radiance class is my favorite. My husband and I had sailed her to Alaska. I love seeing the ocean all the time from the public areas and the elevators. Food: I thought the food was very good. The Windjammer had lots of variety. The main dining room food was very good this time. Although some of the selections maybe weren't as good as in the past, I think the actually taste was better. Our waiter, Ashley from India was excellent. He always helped steer us to the best choices which I think helped. Seemed like there was more chocolate desserts on this trip, which was lacking the last time we cruised. Only problems with food/dining was that we were at a table for 8 on deck 5 (second deck of dining room). Our table was right inside the door against the back wall and the dining room was very warm every night. Second issue was we were traveling with my parents who live in another state, so this trip was an opportunity to spend time with them. On other cruises we like to sit at large tables with other people, but this time we had hoped for a table with just us. We asked for a table for 8, assuming that with 7 of us, we would have a table to ourselves. Surprisingly on the first night about 15 minutes into the seating they sat an older gentleman with us, who was travelling alone. I would have thought they would put single travelers together, or at least at a table that was a mixture of different people so there would be ample opportunity to meet people. While the gentleman was very nice, it was awkward to have family conversations because we had to keep filling him in on what we were discussing. Thought after the first night he would request a different table, but he didn't so here was there every night. Cabins: We had two cabins next to each other on deck 4, outside cabins, 4052 and 4054. (My parents were in balcony room on deck 7). Our rooms were in a very good locations, only 6 or so rooms from the elevators and Centrum. Very good room steward who was patient with my boy's room. This was our first time with the boys not in a connecting cabin. Guest relations were very happy to give us an extra key for their room. Entertainment: The shows in the theatre were hit and miss. A comedian and magician were very good, but the production shows, and others were just ok. One we thought was horrible was Judy Koba, (sp?) but entertainment is very subjective. The entertainment around the ship was excellent! There was a classical guitar player that was so good every time he played in the Centrum there would be people everywhere listening on all the levels. The Centrum was very busy all the time which was nice, with lots of activities/music and even people dancing. Teen clubs: My kids had an excellent time. The teen program is different than the kids club, not as structured and often times they don't do an activity because there aren't enough kids interested. Therefore, it is very important to go the first night to find other kids their age so they have someone to hang out with all week. My boys met some great kids from England, Scotland, Ohio and California and hung around with them the whole trip. It was Spring Break so there were probably many more teens on board than a normal 10 day sailing, but not so many that it was crazy. There didn't seem to be as many in the younger age groups, of 4-11 years. Sometimes they did the activities, like dodge ball, or just hung out in the teen area, and often around deck 12 in the evening. There was a 1 am curfew on the ship which was nice, so they knew they had to be back by then to avoid getting in trouble. Debarkation: Went very smooth, we had Orange tags and were told to wait in the Deck 5 dining room. We were off the ship by 9:15 or so, very quick to find luggage and get a cab to the airport. All we had to do was turn our form in to customs, they didn't check our passports or anything like on other ships. Ports: Cabo San Lucas - We went to Medondo Beach to Billigans. A lot of fun, the water was a bit cold, but it was a very beautiful beach. The sand on the beach was very coarse. The drinks and food were good but a bit expensive. This was the most expensive of the 3 beaches we went to. This was the most beautiful port, make sure you are on deck when heading into this port, lands end was just gorgeous! Mazatlan - The ship docked at a container area, not pretty by any means. Everyone had to take a free but compulsory tram to the cruise terminal which was about a 3 or 4 minute ride through all the containers. We walked the few blocks to the water taxi to Stone Island. We were the only ones walking that way, so weren't sure if we were going in the right direction, but did find our way. Water taxi is only $2 per person round trip. Once over there we walked just a little bit across some rocks and we were on the beach. Very different from the beach in Cabo, much more primitive and natural, with the sand very fine and dark. I don't remember the name of the restaurant we sat at, but had a few beers and rented a kayak. The waves weren't very big here, but were fun to play in. Water was a bit warmer than in Cabo. Acapulco - We had a tour with Sammy from Tourbyvan. Very good tour, went to all kinds of places here, saw lots of history as well as the markets where the locals shop. He told us a lot of history of the area , he had lived there is whole life and we got to see the cliff divers. I had always wanted to see Acapulco and it was one of the reasons we chose the 10 day trip on Radiance over the 7 day on Mariner. It was kind of sad to see that Acapulco is past its prime. Sammy was telling us how there is 35% unemployment, and that once Cancun was built the tourism really dropped in Acapulco. Many of the hotel chains have pulled out of the city. This was a very hot day when not in the air conditioned van. Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo - We went to Playa La Ropa beach. This was the biggest waves we had of the three beach stops. Beautiful with the ship in the background with the warmest water. We had a lot of fun at this port. We had a few drinks but didn't eat here. We went back to the ship for that. The town of Zihuatanejo was very nice and had some good shopping. Puerto Vallarta - The ship docks directly across from the Walmart and Sam's Club. Very weird to see that out the cabin window! We did go to the Walmart, but didn't see anything worth buying. We took a taxi to the downtown area. It was very nice shopping and we got the best souvenirs here. This was the only overcast day we had the whole trip. The boys chose not to go to the beach that day, I think they were beached out. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
This was a our 7th cruise, our fourth on Royal Caribbean,over a 20 year period. Last year we did a Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel, a Radiance class ship. It was nice after boarding to already know the layout of the ship. This cruise ... Read More
This was a our 7th cruise, our fourth on Royal Caribbean,over a 20 year period. Last year we did a Panama Canal cruise on the Jewel, a Radiance class ship. It was nice after boarding to already know the layout of the ship. This cruise was, as was the cruise on the Jewel, top notch. We love Royal Caribbean and have never had a bad experience on any of their ships. Cruise Detail: CABIN - Our stateroom on the 9th deck was just behind the centrum was very quiet and was convenient to everything. FOOD - We ate in the dining room for every evening meal on the My Time Dining plan. After the third night we joined with three other couples we liked and ate together the rest of the cruise. It was just like the early seating only we got to choose our table mates. We always found food we liked on the menu and in the Windjammer. SERVICE - We would like to make special mention of our waiter and his assistant, Arthur from Peru and Micheline from South Africa. They were the most pleasant and efficient and friendly waiters we ever had on a cruise. They added much enjoyment to our cruise experience. Our cabin steward took care of all our needs. We didn't see him much but didn't need to. ACTIVITIES - One of our main focuses was ballroom dancing. We took every dance class that Joyce and Sam offered. They were excellent teachers and interesting people. We learned some new dances and improved the ones we already knew. Joyce, a music history major in college, also gave a couple of enrichment presentations that we attended. Those were very enjoyable and interesting as well. There were many places to dance on the ship and several different groups to dance to. We got to know the other hard core dancers and formed friendships with them. We especially liked the Sock Hop, which was led by our great cruise director, and dancing to the ships orchestra. I wished the orchestra had been available for more than one night. ENTERTAINMENT - We've heard people complain about the entertainment on other posts but we were extremely pleased. We enjoyed all the shows and the dance bands. The classical guitarist was the best I've ever heard and the Rosario Strings were great as always. We didn't encounter any of the previously reported plumbing problems although there were unpleasant odors in some of the public restrooms. All in all was a great cruise. Kudos to Royal Caribbean for giving us a consistently wonderful cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date April 2010
With my oldest son growing up and setting off in the world, I felt that we needed one last big adventure together before they all grew up and left me. We were able to find this fabulous 11-day, 6 port Mexican Riviera cruise for a wonderful ... Read More
With my oldest son growing up and setting off in the world, I felt that we needed one last big adventure together before they all grew up and left me. We were able to find this fabulous 11-day, 6 port Mexican Riviera cruise for a wonderful family vacation. My boys were seasoned cruisers with 4 prior cruises under their belt but none over 5-days long. This 11-days along with a Deluxe Balcony was suppose to be our ultimate vacation, which it was, but it also hooked us on cruising for life! The Radiance of the Sea is a beautiful ship. Common areas are in very good repair. Maintenance defiantly keeps up with the daily wear 'n tear common to cruise ships. The public area restrooms are very beautifully decorated and maintained. Dining We had main seating dining at 6:00PM. We never had to wait in line. In fact, once we were shown our table the first day, we were able to seat ourselves just as soon as the doors were opened. I know there are a lot of people signing up for My Time Dining and some may like it but all I saw was people waiting in line to make reservations and them later standing in line to be seated for their reservations. With main seating we were in a smaller, less noisy dining room on the side of the MDR. We had the same table and the same wait staff each night, which we loved. They knew from the first day what we liked such as lemons on our water or jam with our rolls, and had those things ready for us every night after. Eating that early was closer to our normal dinner time at home and gave my teens time to work up an appetite for a 2nd desert at the Windjammer before they closed for the night at 9:00PM. Also to note, if a table of people didn't show up for dinner because they had plans to eat somewhere else like Chops or Portofino's, their table was not filled with MTD reservations. It was left empty. Our dining room was only for main seating dining. On day 5, the other 3 tables in our section were empty and we had our wait staff all to ourselves. Not only did we have their undivided attention, we had time to really talk to them and get to know them. With MTD and different staff each night, that would not have happened. The head waiter was visible every night and not only to be seen but was actively refilling water glasses, clearing plates and being of "service" along with his staff. Dinner was always relatively quick, only about 1.5 hours each night. Food was great every night. There was always plenty of food with not too large of portions. Just the right amount for when you eat as often as we did in a day. Quality, flavor, presentation & temperature were just fine. I had no complaints with the food. All three sons were able to borrow tuxedos from the high school's drama wardrobe. They totally dressed up both formal nights and dresses per guidelines each additional night. I lost count of how many people stopped at our table complimenting how well they looked. I loved it and I think they did too. Stateroom We had a D1 stateroom on the 9th deck listed as Superior Ocean View w/Balcony. We had 1 adult and 3 teen boys in the cabin and it had plenty of room. The balcony measures about 9' x 4' and was furnished with 2 chairs and a side table. We did a cabin crawl with our Mix & Mingle group and I was able to tour several different types of cabins. The inside cabin with 2 drop down bunks would have fit us fine but I really loved the balcony. The bathroom did smell bad. Kind of like sewer but not too heavy. I sprayed my Febreze and the smell went away for awhile. The room steward said it was the shower curtain and changed it for us. The bathroom was always damp but it wasn't a damp, musty smell it was a poppy smell. The steward sprayed Glade each time he made-up the room and the smell came and went with no consistency but was never strong or offensive enough to complain about. I just kept the Febreze handy. The beds were nice but the sofa bed and drop down beds were too hard for me. The boys didn't complain. I like how they have done away with the bed spreads. I never trusted how germy they might be. The beds have a nice heavy comforter enveloped with a sheet or duvet which is washed every few days. The curtains were very heavy and blocked any light from the balcony during the day plus we had a curtain separating our room in half. With the center curtain drawn, I was able to go to sleep while the boys stayed up with the lights on playing quiet games in the other half of our room. We came on-board with 9 suitcases. I know, that's a lot, but we were on the ship for 11 days and there is no self serve laundry on the Radiance. My point is that I was able to completely unpack, get everything into closets, cupboards and drawers and be able to stow my empty luggage under the beds with no problem and room to spare. I did bring two of the suitcases with the clothes still on the hanger which was good because I would not have had enough hangers otherwise. The night of the midnight poolside bar-b-q we had a ventilation problem. The air conditioning system sucked in the diesel smelling lighter fluid charcoal fumes from the grill and our room was not inhabitable for about an hour. So we went to the bar-b-que! The smell vacated any one awake on our hall and when they sent me to Guest Relation the fumes started filling the Centrum area and even the Guest Relations employees started complaining. There was no thought to stopping the poolside bar-b-q but later I thought their resolution to the problem was pretty smart. The Maintenance Engineers turned the air-conditioning on to the whole ship. They spread the smell across all the public rooms that were closed like the MRD, Windjammer and the theaters. This diluted the smell enough that it was no longer strong enough to bother anyone. When we returned to our room it smelled just fine. Some residual smell on the clothes in the closet but I just whipped out the Febreze again. Public Areas We did not spend much time at the pool on the ship as we were at the beach almost every day while at port and our sunburns didn't need any more exposure. We did spend more time than I thought we would in the card room playing Scrabble. We don't usually play this at home but I think it must be a vacation thing. They provide quite a few board games and loads of cards. Bring a small dictionary if your family doesn't trust your creative spelling in Scrabble. We stumbled into a daily trivia game of "Name that Show Tune" at the Schooner Bar. I was amazed at how well my 19 year old son knew his show tunes!?!?? We came in 2nd place. Most of those kinds of "cruise activities" we shy away from because they seem dorky but it was fun. The Casino Royal gladly took our money, again! I was pleasantly surprised that they had a no smoking area with decent games. All the machines cashed out in quarters instead of tickets making it hard to slip your winnings into your pocket for the next night. We did a slot pull with 26 people in our M&M group. One slot machine was picked and we each put in $20, so that would be $520 we invested. We each pulled a $5 (maximum) bet 4 times then stepped aside for the next person. At the end, we had $455 left so we lost a total of $2.50 each after a total of 104 $5 pulls. The payout was not very good with that much going in. It made me rethink playing slots. Guest Relations We spent too much time at the Guest Relations desk. The staff was excellent, especially Keshia, and all of our problems, large and small, were taken care of superbly. I ordered, and prepaid for an Adventure Gear package (with 4 items) to be delivered to our cabin. Half of the package was missing and the receipt delivered with it said there were only 3 items in the package. I did have my internet receipt showing what I had ordered so that was fixed. Next, I had booked when they were offering a $75 on-board credit for my class room but it didn't show up on my account. My booking statement only said "offer" in the promotion section. Keshia e-mailed the corporate offices and they responded the next day and my account was credited. Now, both of these problems were computer record problems with RCCL so make sure to print any receipts and advertisements showing what you purchased and bring them with you so you can show them what you really purchased if you have any problems. I thought 2 problems for one customer was enough to indicate that something is wrong with their system. guest relations also impressed me when I was called down to the desk the day after our midnight air-conditioning fumes experience. I was offered a voucher to have the clothes in my closet cleaned to remove the smell. Remember, I packed 9 bags of luggage so there were way too many clothes in my closet. I told them that I was fine with my Febreze but I'd love to get some underwear and t-shirts washed. No problem and I was happy. I do want to note that I was on vacation and I was having a wonderful time so I wasn't functioning in my insistent, frustrated and demanding customer mode. I did see several of those kinds of people at the desk in front of me. One lady had been offered dinner for two at Chops and a bottle of wine to solve her problem and now she was down there demanding a second bottle of wine. I don't know what her problem was but the way she behaved embarrassed me. The staff was very gracious and professional. Read Less
Sail Date March 2010
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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