Radiance of the Seas Review

Editor Rating:  4.0
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Radiance of the Seas Ratings

  • Category
    Member
    Editor
  • Dining
    4.0
    4.0
  • Public Rooms
    4.4
    5.0
  • Cabins
    4.1
    4.0
  • Entertainment
    3.8
    5.0
  • Spa & Fitness
    4.1
    5.0
  • Family & Children
    3.7
    5.0
  • Shore Excursions
    3.8
    3.0
  • Enrichment
    3.5
    1.0
  • Service
    4.4
    3.0
  • Value-for-Money
    3.9
    4.0
Editor Rating
4.0
Member Rating
Why Choose Radiance of the Seas?
  • Pro: Much of the exterior is glass allowing for impressive ocean views from almost anywhere
  • Con: Too much emphasis on up charges, from specialty restaurants to drinks and the onboard shops
  • Bottom Line: Older ship best chosen for the itineraries it sails, not the onboard offerings

Radiance of the Seas Overview

Updated by Terry Ward, Cruise Critic contributor

When Royal Caribbean debuted its first-in-class Radiance of the Seas in 2001, passengers raved about the light that came streaming through the ship's glassy exterior. Ten years later, the line has put $20 million into giving the 90,090-ton, 2,139-passenger vessel something of a new identity. During a spring 2011 makeover, Radiance gained eight dining choices already found on (big) sisters Oasis and Allure of the Seas, including a Japanese restaurant and Brazilian churrascaria, as well as cabin upgrades throughout, bow-to-stern Wi-Fi and a giant poolside movie screen.

Other additions from the 2011 refurb included a new nursery for kids ages six months to 36 months (also an Oasis-class staple), 12 new cabins, interactive flat-screen TV systems in all accommodations, as well as the installation of touch-screen "wayfinders" (again, Oasis) throughout the ship to make it easier to find out what's going on where, and how best to get there.

With all the new bells and whistles, there's definitely more to love about Radiance than ever before. But the main attraction is still the "mid-sized" ship's warm, light-loving design. With vast expanses of open space and floor-to-ceiling windows at every turn, you might even find yourself wearing sunglasses inside. In fact, half of the ship's exterior is glass -- and there are even outside elevators spanning 12 decks, an innovation first seen on sister line Celebrity Cruises' Millennium-class vessels.

And, even before the Oasis-style makeover, Radiance was known for incorporating the best features from other RCI ships: the variety of activity and entertainment options of the Voyager class (like rock-climbing), the sleek profile of the Sovereign class, and the global itineraries (the ship splits time between Alaska and Australia) and wealth of windows, glass doors and canopies of the Vision class.

Post-refurb, Radiance 2.0 offers even more diversity of choice, particularly in dining, while maintaining the intimate vibe afforded by its modest size. (In the Royal Caribbean fleet, only the line's 78,491-ton Vision-class ships are smaller.) It's a ship that will make Royal Caribbean loyalists feel right at home, yet happily up with the times, too.

Radiance of the Seas Fellow Passengers

Royal Caribbean typically appeals to couples and singles in their 30's to 50's, as well as multi-generational families. The median age is in the low 40's on seven-night cruises and in the 30's on three-and four-night cruises. Passengers on cruises ten days and longer tend to be 50-plus. Royal Caribbean attracts passengers that are looking for an affordable, active vacation. During the Alaska summer season, count on cruising with mostly Americans and Canadians. When the ship repositions Down Under, the Australians naturally come out in droves.

Radiance of the Seas Dress Code

Two formal nights are scheduled on seven-day voyages. About half the men opt for dark suits instead of tuxedoes. Daytime wear is casual. Bring layers and rain gear (just in case) for Alaska.

Radiance of the Seas Gratuity

Royal Caribbean passengers are charged $13.50 per person, per day ($16.50 for suite guests). Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added on a daily basis to passengers' SeaPass accounts during the cruise. Passengers can modify or remove gratuities by visiting the guest services desk while onboard. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to bar tabs.

Next:  Radiance of the Seas Cabins

Updated by Terry Ward, Cruise Critic contributor

1,090 Radiance of the Seas Reviews from our Cruise Critic Community

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Gmasam
Member Since 2015
1 review
4 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Our family of 7, age ranging from 5 to 61, travelled from Vancouver to Seward on our bucket list cruise. For my husband and I, it was our second cruise, having been to the Caribbean on Adventure of the Seas, but for everyone else it was ... Read more
wthirsh
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Sailed four weeks ago
This was my first cruise, so I didn't have much to go off of, but more experienced cruisers whom I traveled with told me the ship itself was not that great in terms of food and entertainment. I stayed in an inside cabin and had no problem, ... Read more
Shiva
Member Since 2017
1 review
0 forum posts
0 helpful votes
Alaska exploration is more about the destinations than cruising itself. You spend significant time off the ship so keep your expectations low vis-a-vis other cruise ships that are more focused on the cruise experience itself. The ship is ... Read more
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1,560 Professional Radiance of the Seas Photos

We spent almost a full week on board the Radiance of the Seas with multiple photographers and took 1,560 pictures of the ship.  When you visit our new photo galleries you can be assured that what you see is what you get!

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