Radiance of the Seas - Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Berlitz Cruising & Cruise Ships 2017 (Berlitz Cruise Guide) (2016)

Radiance of the Seas


Berlitz’s Ratings

Ship: 381 out of 500

Accommodation: 141 out of 200

Food: 242 out of 400

Service: 279 out of 400

Entertainment: 74 out of 100

Cruise: 274 out of 400

Overall Score: 1391 out of 2000

Radiance of the Seas Statistics

Size: Large Resort Ship

Tonnage: 90,090

Lifestyle: Standard

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean International

Former Names: none

IMO Number: 9195195

Builder: Meyer Werft (Germany)

Original Cost: $350 million

Entered Service: Apr 2001

Registry: The Bahamas

Length (ft/m): 961.9/293.2

Beam (ft/m): 105.6/32.2

Draft (ft/m): 27.8/8.5

Propulsion/Propellers: Gas turbine (40,000kW)/2 azimuthing pods

Passenger Decks: 12

Total Crew: 858

Passengers (lower beds): 2,146

Passenger Space Ratio (lower beds): 42.0

Passenger/Crew Ratio (lower beds): 2.5

Cabins (total): 1,072

Size Range (sq ft/m): 165.8-1,216.3/15.4-113.0

Cabins (for one person): 0

Cabins (with private balcony): 578

Cabins (wheelchair accessible): 14

Wheelchair accessibility: Good

Cabin Current: 110 and 220 volts

Elevators: 9

Casino (gaming tables): Yes

Slot Machines: Yes

Swimming Pools: 2

Hot Tubs (on deck): 3

Self-Service Launderette: No

Dedicated Cinema/Seats: Yes/40

Library: Yes

Onboard currency: US$


This large, family-friendly ship is for casual-style cruising

Overview. Radiance of the Seas offers a decent amount of space, comfortable public areas, and slightly larger cabins than some Royal Caribbean International (RCI) ships for younger, active travelers. A grand amount of glass provides more contact with the ocean. While the ship is delightful in many ways, the operation does suffer from having too few well-trained service staff.

The Ship. Radiance of the Seas was the first RCI ship to use gas and steam turbine power instead of the more conventional diesel or diesel-electric combination. Pod propulsion is provided. In the very front of the ship is a helipad, which also acts as a viewing platform for passengers.

This is a modern-looking ship, with a two-deck-high walk-around structure in the forward section of the funnel. Along the ship’s starboard side, a central glass wall protrudes, giving great views - cabins with balconies occupy the space directly opposite on the port side. The gently rounded stern has nicely tiered decks. One of two swimming pools can be covered by a glass dome for use as an indoor/outdoor pool.

Inside, the decor is contemporary, yet elegant, bright, and cheerful. A nine-deck-high atrium lobby has glass-walled elevators that travel through 12 decks, face the sea, and provide a link with nature and the ocean, while a finger-touch digital ‘wayfinder’ system helps you find your way around. The Centrum (city center), as the atrium is called, is the social hub of the ship. It is nine decks high, and has many public rooms and facilities connected to it: the business services desks, a Lobby Bar, Champagne Bar, Schooner Bar (the nautical-themed bar, with maritime art) Café Latte-tudes (for extra-cost coffees), Royal Caribbean Online (with a dozen Internet-connect computers), the flashy Casino Royale (for casino gamers and slot machine fans; it has a French Art Nouveau decorative theme and sports 11 crystal chandeliers), a Quill and Compass Pub, Concierge Lounge, and a Crown & Anchor Lounge. There’s also a 194-seat conference center, and a business center. The Viking Crown Lounge (a trademark aboard all RCI ships) is a large structure set around the base of the ship’s funnel. It functions as an observation lounge during the daytime, with views forward over the swimming pool.

Shipwide Wi-Fi is available for a fee. More Internet-access terminals are located in Books ’n’ Coffee, a bookshop with coffee and pastries, located in an extensive area of shops.

The artwork is eclectic, providing a spectrum of color. It ranges from Jenny M. Hansen’s A Vulnerable Moment glass sculpture to David Buckland’s Industrial and Russian Constructionism 1920s in photographic images on glass and painted canvas, to a huge multi-deck high contemporary bicycle-cum-paddle-wheel sculpture design suspended in the atrium.

Families. Youth facilities include Adventure Ocean, an ‘edutainment’ area with four separate age-appropriate sections for junior passengers: Aquanaut Center (for ages 3-5); Explorer Center (6-8); Voyager Center (9-12); and the Optix Teen Center (13-17). A Royal Babies and Tots Nursery, for 6-36-month-olds, was added in 2011. There is also Adventure Beach, which includes a splash pool complete with water slide; Surfside, with computer lab stations with entertaining software; and Ocean Arcade, a video games hangout.

Accommodation. There is a wide range of suites and standard outside-view and interior cabins in 10 different categories and numerous price groups.

Apart from the largest suites (six Owner’s Suites), which have king-size beds, almost all other cabins have twin beds that convert to a queen-size bed, All cabins have rich (but faux) wood cabinetry, including a vanity desk with hairdryer, faux wood silent-close drawers, flat-screen television, personal safe and three-sided mirrors. Some cabins have ceiling-recessed, pull-down berths for third and fourth persons, although closet and drawer space would be extremely tight for four persons even if two were small children, and some have interconnecting doors - so families with children can cruise together in separate but adjacent cabins. Audio channels are available through the TV set, whose picture cannot be turned off while listening to an audio channel.

Many bathrooms have a terrazzo-style tiled floor, and a small shower enclosure in a half-moon shape, Egyptian cotton towels, a cabinet for toiletries and a shelf. In reality, there is little space to stow toiletries for two (or more).

The largest accommodation consists of a family suite with two bedrooms. One bedroom has twin beds that convert to queen-size bed, while a second has two lower beds and two upper Pullman berths, a combination that can sleep up to eight persons. Many of the ‘private’ balcony cabins aren’t very private, as they can be overlooked.

Dining. Cascades, the main dining room, spans two decks. The upper deck level has floor-to-ceiling windows, while the lower deck level has picture windows. It is a delightful, but noisy, dining hall, although eight thick pillars obstruct the sight lines. It seats 1,110, and has cascading water-themed decor. There are tables for two to 10. A small private dining room (the 30-seat Tides) is located off the main dining room. When you book, choose one of two seatings, or ‘My Time Dining’ that enables you to eat when you want, during dining room hours. The cuisine is typical of mass banquet catering that offers standard fare comparable to that found in American family-style restaurants ashore.

Other dining options. Several optional dining venues/eateries were added during an extensive refurbishment in 2011:

Boardwalk Dog House, for hot dogs, wieners, brats, sausages, and a variety of toppings to split a long bun (open for lunch and dinner, no added cost).

Giovanni’s Table, an Italian trattoria with Italian classics served family-style (open for lunch and dinner; a cover charge applies, and reservations are required).

Izumi features a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking (open for lunch and dinner; a cover charge applies, as well as additional à-la-carte menu item pricing, and reservations are required).

Park Café, an indoor/outdoor market for salads, sandwiches, soups, and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner; no added cost, but reservations are required).

Rita’s Cantina, a casual indoor/outdoor eatery, for families by day, and adults by night. It offers Mexican cuisine. It is open for lunch and dinner, a cover charge applies, as well as à-la-carte menu item pricing, and reservations are required.

Chef’s Table, a private experience co-hosted by the executive chef and sommelier for a wine-pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner only; a cover charge applies, and reservations are required).

Samba Grill, a Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse), for a variety of meats, chicken, and seafood brought to the table ready to slice and serve upon request (a cover charge applies; open for dinner only, and reservations are required).

Entertainment. The three-level Aurora Theater has 874 seats, including 24 stations for wheelchairs, and good sight lines from most seats. The Colony Club hosts casual cabaret shows, including late-night adult comedy, and provides live music for dancing. The entertainment throughout is very lively and upbeat. There is even background music in all corridors and elevators, and constant music outdoors on the pool deck.

Spa/Fitness. The Day Spa fitness and spa facilities have themed decor, and include a gymnasium with numerous cardiovascular machines, a large aerobics room, sauna and steam rooms, and body pampering treatment rooms. All are located on two of the uppermost decks, forward of the mast, with access from the forward stairway.

A climate-controlled 10,176-sq-ft (945-sq-m) indoor/outdoor Solarium has a sliding glass roof that can be closed in cool or inclement weather.

Sports facilities include a 30ft (9m) rock-climbing wall with five separate climbing tracks, an exterior jogging track, a nine-hole miniature golf course with novel 17th-century decorative ornaments, and an indoor/outdoor country club with golf simulator, a jogging track, and basketball court. There are two specially stabilized pool tables (within the Bombay Billiard Club).