Radiance of the Seas
You won’t get lost on this ship or feel like just another face in the crowd. Instead, the vessel's many beautifully designed lounges and restaurants offer opportunities for intimate meals and nights out that you wouldn't expect on a large ship. Built in 2001 and refurbished in 2011 to the tune of $70 million, the 2,143-passenger Radiance of the Seas strikes a fine balance between being large enough to offer multiple dining and entertainment choices, and small enough to never feel overwhelming.
What We Love
Bright and Lovely: The glass elevators and miles of floor-to-ceiling windows fill the ship with natural light and afford sweeping views of the sea and ports of call.
Australia and New Zealand: See some of the world's most gorgeous scenery (including Milford Sound and New Zealand's entire southeastern coastline) and visit some of the prettiest cities (Melbourne and Dunedin). This ship winters down under, doing mostly one- to two-week round-trip cruises out of Sydney or between Sydney and Auckland, New Zealand.
Best Known For
Dining Options: There are no fewer than eight places to eat on board, from Giovanni’s Table for family-style Italian to the Samba Grill Brazilian steakhouse, plus Rita’s Cantina for zesty Mexican and Izumi for Japanese dishes.
Entertainment Venues: You'll find nearly 20 places to listen to music, have a drink, or watch song-and-dance revues, including the cool Bombay Billiards Club — where you can shoot pool on a pair of self-leveling billiards tables. Families especially love the indoor cinema or watching movies on the outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area.
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Who It's Best For
Couples: The many romantic dining options on board make this a perfect ship for amorous pairs of all ages — and anyone else looking for a quiet meal in elegant surroundings. Or enjoy the serenity of the adults-only solarium and pool.
Families: Babies and toddlers have a nursery; little kids can use a large, windowed playroom; and teens get their own hangout. And older kids can amuse themselves at the video arcade, climbing wall, half-basketball court and nine-hole mini-golf course.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Small Cabins: With standard inside and outside cabins measuring just 164 to 167 square feet, space is limited, and bathrooms are especially size-challenged.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.
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Radiance of the Seas at a Glance
- Line: Royal Caribbean
- Class: Radiance
- Number of Passengers: 2143
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2001
- Refurbish Date: 2011