By Terry Ward
Cruise Critic Contributor
5.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating: Entertainment

Radiance of the Seas Entertainment & Activities

The three-level Aurora Theatre has an Arctic theme, with sculptured balconies, sidewalls and parterre divisions resembling glacial landscapes. The stage curtain is inspired by the Aurora Borealis and nightly entertainment might include production shows with the Royal Caribbean singers and dancers, or headline acts featuring vocalists, jugglers and musicians.

In the Hollywood Odyssey nightclub, comedians, jazz ensembles, pianists and vocalists take turns entertaining. Other evening pursuits include watching movies in the Cinema, or taking in an outdoor flick or whatever big game is screening on the new alfresco LED video wall on the main pool deck, dancing the night away in the Starquest disco; shooting pool in the Bombay Billiard Club (one of the lounges in The Colony Club, with its high-tech self-leveling pool tables); listening to the piano player in the Schooner Bar; or admiring the views from Singapore Slings, with its floor-to-ceiling windows delivering great views over the stern. There's also a small and elegant Champagne bar where you can raise a glass in a subdued setting.

And a new nightlife option introduced during the 2011 refurb is The Quill & Scroll Pub, forward on Deck 6, which replaced Scoreboard Sports Bar. With dark woods, cozy conversation nooks and international brews on taps, it's a great place to gather for an adult beverage.

For gamers, there's the Casino Royale, with a French Art Nouveau design, 211 slot machines and tables for blackjack, craps and roulette.

Radiance of the Seas Public Rooms

For all the onboard entertainment -- and, let's face it, gluttony -- beautiful views are as key to the cruise experience as anything. And with glassed in spaces everywhere welcoming in the natural light, Radiance of the Seas is an ideal ship for taking in the land and seascapes wherever you're sailing, whether Alaska on northern hemisphere summertime itineraries or Australia, New Zealand and Hawaii the rest of the year.

Glass is the dramatic, defining element of the elegant public rooms throughout the vessel, and floor-to-ceiling windows are found in the nine-deck Centrum, Radiance Day Spa and fitness center, Solarium, Park Cafe, Colony Club, Windjammer Cafe, Giovanni's Table, Samba Grill, Schooner Bar, Champagne Bar, Viking Crown Lounge, upper level of the Cascades dining room (the lower level has large windows) and Concierge Club. Whenever and wherever you happen to turn your head, you are very likely to see the sea. The heart of the vessel is the Centrum, a dramatic, airy atrium decorated in light tones of sand, coral and aqua, and spilling with greenery, a waterfall and a colossal abstract sculpture (part of the ship's $6 million-plus art collection).

Intimate spaces to seek out some peace and quiet include the library, reminiscent of a traditional English study. The Champagne Bar and Lobby Bar, both with a capacity of 50 passengers, are good destinations for a cocktail before dinner. Other public areas include Royal Caribbean Online (the Internet center with 12 stations) and the nautically inspired Schooner Bar. (And yes, that's the scent of real gunpowder in its antechamber, decorated with cannons and galleon art.)

The Viking Crown Lounge, another RCI hallmark, is perched 11 decks above the sea and features two nightclubs: the Starquest, a futuristic dance club with a revolving bar; and the Hollywood Odyssey, a more intimate lounge featuring Hollywood memorabilia -- including a Bob Hope commemorative plate and Lucille Ball's makeup mirror.

And for suite passengers and Crown & Anchor Society Diamond and Diamond-plus members, a new Concierge Lounge (Diamond-plus and suite) and Diamond Lounge were added during the 2011 upgrade.

As is the case on other RCI ships, there are no self-service launderettes; laundry/dry cleaning is available for an exorbitant fee.

Radiance of the Seas Spa & Fitness

The African-themed Solarium is one of the most popular spots on the ship for hanging out. The space features three life-sized stone elephants, a waterfall, greenery, and stone relief art panels depicting gazelles and antelopes. The sound of ambient, if electronic, bird chirping floats on the air. The Solarium's raised pool (featuring a counter current), two whirlpools and relaxation areas are covered by a retractable glass roof. A bar, pizzeria and the Park Cafe are located within the Solarium.

The 15,500-square-foot Radiance Day Spa and Fitness Center is divided into three sections: a beauty and health center with 12 treatment rooms including a Rasul (scrub) and thermal suite; aerobics area with mirrored wall and wood-suspended aerobics floor; and a gym with 18 treadmills, 10 Reebok Recumbent Cycles, eight Reebok Body Peaks, four Reebok Ridge Rocker Cycles, four Reebok Body Treks, free weights and multiple benches. There is a stereo sound system and television monitors throughout.

An array of fitness activities including stretching and aerobics classes, aquadynamics, and sports tourneys are scheduled. Some classes, like cycling and Pilates, levy a fee.

Other challenges await at the rock-climbing wall, rising 200 feet above the sea with five separate climbing tracks, and the sports club has ping-pong, a basketball court, and deck games. There's also a 9-hole miniature golf course and a jogging track (6.3 times around equals one mile).

Radiance of the Seas For Kids

Free, supervised activities for children 3 to 17 years of age are featured by age group: 3 - 5, 6 - 8, 9 - 12, and 13 - 17. Facilities at Adventure Ocean, the kids' club, include a computer lab, outdoor area, video game consoles, a rock-climbing wall, and Adventure Beach with splash pools and a water slide. Kids earn coupons for participation in activities that can be redeemed for gifts. There's a nine-hole miniature golf course onboard, too.

A children's menu with games and crayons, not to mention kids' favorites like pizza, burgers and macaroni and cheese is available during meal times. And group babysitting in Adventure Ocean can be arranged for $6 per hour, per child (for kids ages 3 - 11 from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.); in-stateroom sitting, booked through the Guest Relations Desk at least 24 hours in advance, is $19 per hour for up to three children in the same family. Teens have their own coffeehouse/disco with flat-screen televisions and soda bar.

And, in the "good news for parents of infants" department, the 2011 refurbishments saw the addition of the Royal Babies & Tots Nursery on Deck 12, next to Adventure Ocean. (It occupies the former video arcade space, which has been moved.) With a baby-to-staff ratio of 1:3, the nursery is available for children between the ages of 6 months and 36 months at a rate of $8 per hour (reservations are required).

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Information

Additional Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Information

Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Details
  • Crew: 894
  • Launched: 2001
  • Decks: 12
  • Passengers: 2,112
  • Registry: Bahamas
  • CDC Score: 100

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