We were on the oceans radiation for the western Caribbean cruise on November 28th. This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean with our first year of the grand adventure of the garden. After a cruise with RCI, I waited about the same standards with Radiance and generally I was not disappointed.
Our cabin was an inside stern cabin and we were not disappointed. It was spacious enough and the lighting was adequate. Cabinet space and drawers were also adequate for our use. We noticed that the double beds here were actually a bit better than the one we had on the adventure because we could not feel the split between the two separate beds that we did last time. If there is one thing that can be improved is the shower curtain. The installed was not sufficient to hold all the water from the shower. The shower on the adventure took advantage of a double glazing door which was far superior. Otherwise, the cabin was nice and dark to sleep at night. Although we heard some noise from the cabins next to us it was minimal. We did not miss any windows or balcony at all because we hardly ever were in our cabin. We were either in the harbor or elsewhere on the ship and went back to our cabins just to relax or sleep. We would definitely book an inside cabin again with RCI if we did not have a free upgrade.
The main Cascades dining room was nice and the meals were good. Breakfasts had the same menu every morning. Lunch at the dining room was alright. Dinner was good but not every meal was a winner. It was odd appetizer and dessert that was not up to par. One thing my partner noticed was that the portions of the main course seemed to be less than those served on the adventure. We usually went up to the wind to get more food after dinner at the cascades. In some parts of the cascade room the tables were placed for hugs so going to their own table was tricky sometimes. Self-service Windjammer was good. It usually had more variety of food than served at Cascades. Breakfast and lunch were busy at Windjammer but in the evenings most people chose to eat at the Cascades. The other two volunteer restaurants aboard Portafino and Choppe House were available at $ 20 US per person but we never tried them because the meals already included in Cascades and Windjammer were good of us. Other passengers who went to these optional rooms told us they were nothing special. There was another cafe available in late evenings called Seaview and they provided food such as sandwiches, salads and burgers. This was a good feature. One thing we protested was that they paid for coffee and tea there. There was also a special cafe place at the ships main center and they are also charged. We had more access to free drinks on the adventure.
The service of the stateroom attendants and dining staff was top class as expected.
Evening events at the Aurora Theater were a mix of the ships own crew of dancers and singers as well as some external comics and singers. In general, the show was pretty good. We would have liked them to mix up the entertainment each night instead of awarding music, comedy and magic to different evenings. Instead of an entire show of magic, we would have preferred each night with a lot of entertainment. Live music around the ship was a nice added touch.
Although less than the adventure, Radiance had good amenities, including gym / spa, miniature golf, pools and shops. There was internet access but at 50 cents a minute the service is a little steep. There were things to do during the days at sea like art auctions, cooking and dance classes. However, we felt there was more offered on the adventure. In terms of boarding and descent, there was no problem at Radiance. The 6th level contained the casino and for non-smokers, this was a problem. Ventilation in the casino was not great, and cigarette smoke rose to nearby areas near the casino. My partner wanted to avoid going to 6th level whenever possible.
In summary, we have had our cruise on the Sea Radiance. But compare it with the bigger adventure of the garden, we would consider the bigger ship a bit higher. We liked the great seafront on the adventure that was not available on a smaller ship like Radiance. Given a choice in the future, we would choose the bigger ship. For the first time cruiser, Radiance would still be a good ship to vacation. This is simply the case where veteran cruisers would expect more especially if they have been on higher ships.