Photos by Royal Caribbean International
While Radiance of the Seas had her maiden voyage in 2001, she remains a staple of Royal Caribbean's fleet. Built in Papenburg, Germany at the Meyer Werft shipyard, many guests from all over the world have enjoyed cruises on her.
Looking back on her history, we dug through Radiance of the Seas' history to share with you seven fun facts about this fantastic ship. Whether you have sailed on her before, or are planning on taking a cruise soon, check out what makes Radiance of the Seas so special.
Designed to sail the world
When Royal Caribbean build Radiance of the Seas, they called her a "New Generation World Cruiser," because she was intended to sail worldwide itineraries.
The 88,000 tons ship is build to be flexible and to cruise comfortably in destinations from Alaska to the Pacific Northwest to Hawaii to the Panama Canal to the Caribbean. In the years since, Radiance of the Seas has even found her way to Australia and the South Pacific.
Radiance of the Seas is faster and has better maneuverability because of a combination of an Azipod propulsion system, unusually powerful bow thrusters, and a dynamic positioning system that uses GPS navigator to allows the ship to maintain a better position.
Radiance of the Seas was designed to be linked to the water in both warm and cool climates. The abundance of windows, stateroom verandas, the wall of glass along the atrium, and the all-glass elevators facing the seas were all elements introduced in order to foster a relationship between the vessel's interior and the landscape design.
Incorporated a lot of Voyager Class amenities
Radiance of the Seas debuted just after the first Voyager Class ships launched, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas. As a result, Radiance features main cutting-edge features that she inherited.
The Steering Committee responsible for Radiance of the Seas' very being knew they wanted to incorporate many of Voyager of the Seas' entertainment and dining options, the global itineraries of the Vision Class ships, and some new innovations as well.
Specifically, Senior Vice President of Marine Operations Harri Kulovaara said, "We wanted to use some of the elements of the Voyager class and put them into a Panamax-size ship. We wanted the ship to be sleek and represent something new in the exterior design, to be more of a mega-yacht and less of a bulky megaship."
Ushered in new design of Viking Crown Lounge
Royal Caribbean made a name for itself with its signature space, the Viking Crown Lounge. It was originally created in 1970 for Song of Norway, and became so popular it continued be a staple of Royal Caribbean ship design. Over the years, as ships grew in size, the Viking Crown Lounge grew, too, and starting with the Vision Class ships in 1995, moved from its position on the smokestacks to a nearby larger spot amidships with equally stunning views.
While you will still find a Viking Crown Lounge on Radiance of the Seas, the Viking Crown Lounge has evolved into an entertainment complex, with several venues under one roof.
On Radiance of the Seas, RTKL/Snoweiss Design Group created two distinct nightclubs. Starquest is a "futuristic" disco with revolving bar, while Hollywood Odyssey is a more mellow, intimate spot adorned with Hollywood memorabilia and featuring entertainment from comedians to jazz ensembles. In the years since, Royal Caribbean took some of the space in the Viking Crown Lounge to offer a Concierge Lounge and Diamond Club.
Have you ever noticed the large GTV initials painted on either side of the stern on Radiance of the Seas?
The initials stand for gas turbine vessel, which is an environmentally-conscious approach to ship propulsion. Radiance of the Seas was the first ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet to have a General Electric gas and steam turbine as its primary source of power. The power plant is more efficient and cleaner than traditional diesel-powered engines on most cruise ships employ.
The power plant on Radiance of the Seas consists of two gas turbines and one steam turbine. The waste heat from each gas turbine is led through an HRSG (heat recovery steam generator), and steam from this generator is used by the steam turbine. Electricity generated by the turbines then powers the external propulsion pods, ABB Azipods,
The GE gas turbines burn clean distillate fuel, which contains fewer impurities than the fuel oil normally used for diesel-powered vessels, which means Radiance of the Seas has substantially lower exhaust emissions.
Moreover, the ship is quieter and there are substantially fewer vibrations because the rotating engine on Radiance of the Seas does not create the same kind of vibrations as the reciprocating diesel engines used on other ships.
$6 million art collection
Royal Caribbean ships feature lovely collections of art, and Radiance of the Seas is no different. Royal Caribbean commissioned nine architectural design teams to create the interior and exterior spaces on Radiance of the Seas. Each firm worked closely with London Contemporary Art to create the ship's fabulous $6 million collection.
The art collection on Radiance of the Seas includes paintings, sculptures, and other pieces by more than 100 different artists from countries around the world, including England, the United States, Norway, France, Italy and South Africa.
The ceiling of the dining-room foyer has a mural of exquisite cumulus clouds painted by Carlos Ozzimo and Associates.
The electrifying centerpiece of the Centrum, spanning Decks 7 through 11, is the brilliant wire sculpture by artists Warren Seelig and Sherrie Gibson. This delicately suspended, triple-arched geometric form, composed of softly sweeping translucent architectural mesh and radiating spokes, is meant to create an emotionally uplifting feeling, according to Seelig.
The 12-foot-high cedar totem pole carved for the ship by the famous Native American artist Nathan Jackson of Ketchikan, Alaska, stands guard like a sentry at the Mast Bar on Deck 12. According to Jackson, it tells the story "How the Raven Gave the World the Stars, the Moon and the Sun," from a book of Tlingit Indian traditions by Edward L. Keithahn.
There used to be a coffee and book shop onboard
When Radiance of the Seas debuted, there was a novel space on deck 5 adjacent to the Photo Gallery, called Books Books & Coffee.
Books Books & Coffee was meant to evoke a hip coffee bar scene, with shelves of books and magazines to buy or browse, lots of seating, and four computer stations clad in brushed stainless steel and cherrywood veneer.
The space was touted as an ultramodern bookstore-meets-cafe-meets-Internet center inviting guests to read, shop, or surf the Net while sipping espresso or savoring a chocolate eclair.
In the years since, the bookstore was removed, and the space is now occupied by the Art Gallery.
Self-leveling pool tables
In the Bombay Billiard Club, guests will find a pair of self-leveling pool tables.
The tables are gimbaled on a motion-sensitive, motorized gyroscope that counteracts the ship's movements to keep the tables as level as possible.
At $90,000 each, Royal Caribbean wanted to offer its guests the most state-of-the-art diversions.
What is your favorite aspect of Radiance of the Seas? Did we miss a fact you know about? Share it all in our comments!
Royal Caribbean will open bookings for its 2018/19 Australian summer season today, Tuesday, May 30.
For the 2018/2019 season, Australia will welcome Ovation of the Seas for her third and longest season yet. She will be joined by Explorer of the Seas, as well as Radiance of the Seas. Radiance will offer Royal Caribbean’s very first departure from Melbourne and three cruises departing from Auckland.
Radiance of the Seas will kick off the 2018/19 summer season, arriving to Sydney on October 6, 2018. Explorer of the Seas will return down under on October 27, 2018 and Ovation of the Seas on November 2, 2018. Together, the three ships will offer 61 sailings, ranging from three to 23-nights, sailing to nine different countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, French Polynesia, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Singapore, the USA and Vanuatu.
Ovation of the Seas, as well as Radiance of the Seas, will primarily offer guests a range of Australia and New Zealand itineraries. Ovation will sail exclusively from Sydney, while Radiance of the Seas will sail from Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
As well as her New Zealand voyages, Radiance of the Seas will also sail a range of shorter cruises, including a three-night sampler cruise to nowhere, a new four-night cruise to Melbourne and a five-night Tasmania sailing.
Explorer of the Seas, will become the largest cruise ship to ever call to Newcastle in February 2019, following upgrades to the Port of Newcastle to allow mega ships to berth in the Hunter. Explorer of the Seas will call twice during the season, on 10 February 2019 during a six-night voyage that also includes calls to Wollongong and Hobart, and on 16 February 2019 during a 14-night South Pacific voyage. Explorer of the Seas will continue her focus on South Pacific voyages, with a range of eight to 14-night sailings.
“We can’t wait to welcome our three megaliners back down under for the summer of 2018/19 – marking our longest Aussie season yet,” said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Royal Caribbean Australia & NZ.
“There’s no better time beat the winter blues and plan your summer getaway – for this season or next. By booking early, you’ll ensure you reserve your preferred choice of ship, departure date and itinerary, as well as your pick of the staterooms, and you’ll lock in a terrific price,” Armstrong concluded.
Buy One, Get One Half Price
Australia residents can celebrate the start of bookings with Book before 30 June 2017 and guests can ‘Buy One, Get One Half Price’ – PLUS receive a Balcony stateroom for the price of an Oceanview.
Promotion applies to new bookings made between 30th May - 30th June 2017 on all Royal Caribbean International voyages departing 1st July 2017 onwards. Offer excludes all voyages departing from China.
Eligible bookings will receive
- Up to 50% off the total fare of the second passenger, who must be booked in the same stateroom as a first passenger who books at full fare.
- 25% savings off the cruise fare portion for the third and fourth guests booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualifying guests.
- Eligible bookings made on Royal Caribbean International Australia, New Zealand, South Pacific, Transpacific & Asia Repositioning voyages, five nights or longer will be able to book a Balcony stateroom at the price of Oceanview; voyage must start or end in Australia.
Offer is not combinable with any other offer or promotion unless otherwise stated. For full terms and conditions, please visit our website at www.royalcaribbean.com.au
Today was our final day on board Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas.
This week has just flown by so fast, but it seems like they always do.
This morning we decided to skip breakfast; we just needed a break from all the food.
We decided to go relax in the hot tub that hangs over the side of the ship. These are right beside the solarium pool and have the best views of the ocean. While we were in the hot tub we were reflecting on the week.
For lunch today we had reservations at Izumi Sushi for noon. On our walk down to lunch we made a quick stop in the casino. We had received a card in the cabin that said we had a free $5.00 in the slot machines. Sadly, we didn’t win any money, but at least we didn’t lose any either!
Lunch in Izumi was different than usual stop in Sabor, but I’ve never seen them so busy before. I asked our waiter why they were so packed and he said they always are on the last sea day. Our service was a little slower than I would have liked, that’s okay we weren’t in a rush for anything. I ordered the DX Sushi combo, spicy tuna, and Ryu Futomaki. They were all good, and I also enjoyed some of those special Japan beers. At the end of the meal our waiter charged me $53 for the rolls. I talked to the manager on the way out and he voided the charge off, once I explained I had the dining package.
After lunch we went to Sabor to meet her parents, and I just saw people in line everywhere on the boardwalk trying to eat. Then I noticed it was raining outside so everyone came in for lunch. At one point the doghouse ran completely out of hot dogs, not to worry because you know they always have more!
We had planned to go see Cats today at 2:30pm. Unfortunately, the cruise director Tim made an announcement that both of the Cats shows are cancelled due to a few lead roles being sick. This was sad to hear, because I was actually getting excited for the show. They did put together a replacement show where they did some singing in the main theater.
We walked around the ship for a while to take in those last moments or something we hadn’t seen yet. We found ourselves on the back jogging track relaxing. On Oasis and Allure they have these wooden chairs that you can just sit and listen to the wake from the ship.
For happy hour this evening we went to the Champagne bar. I noticed this bar was usually very busy, unlike my other sailings where it was usually empty. I think people know they can make specialty cocktails in there now, and it’s become very popular. We both ordered the chocolate espresso martini, and wow is all I can say! If you ever need a wake-me-up kind of drink order this.
Dinner tonight was in Sabor, it’s become a tradition of mine to end any cruise with Sabor, unless of course I’m on a ship without it. We have good friends sailing with us Rich and Tammy, so I had arranged for the four of us to eat together on the last night. We had the best service tonight, I almost felt like family in there! I had the shrimp tacos for dinner and they were outstanding. But if you are a tuna taco lover, I’m sad to report it’s been removed from the menu.
After dinner we thought it would be fun for everyone to ride the carousal. Who said adults can’t have fun too! Everyone was laughing and just having the best time. I also recorded our ride on my periscope account if you want to enjoy that.
This was my third time on Oasis of the Seas, and by far my favorite cruise on her. I connected with so many of the staff members on board. The entertainment on board is the one thing that just stands out, as I reflect on the cruise. All the shows were so entertaining and we kept talking about them throughout the week. I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing.
- Voom Internet worked so well on this ship. I always stayed connected and the speeds were very fast.
- The crew was so friendly; some have been there since the first voyage in 2009.
- Diamond drinks (3 coupons loaded on sea pass cards) could be ordered in any restaurant. I also saw many people getting their diamond drinks all at one time (unopened beers) to store in their cabin.
- I never stepped foot in the Windjammer or Main dining room this whole cruise with since I had the ultimate dining package.
- Customs no longer requires a declaration form if you aren’t claiming anything. Lines were moving very fast, didn’t take us more than 15 minutes from ship to car.
I hope you enjoyed following along with me this week, it was truly a lot of fun sharing. Until next time!
Welcome to our summary of all of this week's Royal Caribbean news. As we mark a time of remembrance this Memorial Day weekend, we also look forward to fun celebrations with family and friends as the unofficial start to summer has arrived.
Here is a look at all the Royal Caribbean news from this week!
Royal Caribbean made news this week when it announced it has hired the first Chief Meterologist.
James Van Fleet joined Royal Caribbean to develop forecasts for the cruise line's fleet of 24 ships. With his guidance, captains have the added support to continue making informed decisions and delivering the best possible vacation experience for the cruise line’s guests.
Translating technical data into digestable information is second nature for Van Fleet, who’s a veteran TV meteorologist with more than two decades of experience.
Royal Caribbean News
- Royal Caribbean announced the finalists for its adventure seeker contest.
- Royal Caribbean added a new soda and internet combo package for guests to purchase.
- A new Sabor happy hour special debuted on Oasis of the Seas.
- Royal Caribbean is celebrating Memorial Day weekend with a new cruise sale and cruise planner sale.
- We had two LIVE blogs this week, onboard Empress of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast
In this episode, Matt is joined by Brittany Affolter to talk about "her" ship, Harmony of the Seas. Brittany shares the story of how she came to be the ship's Godmother, and talks about her recent sailing on Harmony.
Royal Caribbean Around the Internet
Explore with Ed shared highlights from his Independence of the Seas Mediterranean cruise.
Travel Pulse wonders if the Escape Room trend will continue on cruise ships.
Cruise Habit shares why a a checklist for packing for a cruise is a really good idea.
Daily Echo featured a ten-year-old that build a Royal Caribbean cruise ship out of 2,000 pieces of Lego.
Today was our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee, Haiti.
I woke up early today and decided to go out to the lookout viewing area on deck 14. This is actually a couple feet away from my cabin, so it’s a nice perk if you pick a forward cabin on deck 14. The sun was just starting to rise, so I decided to do a quick morning Periscope (live streaming app). Well during my periscope it was featured, by periscope to draw more viewers in. At the time of writing this it’s over 143,000 views, well I finally got my 5 seconds of fame!
We didn’t arrive into Labadee until 9:30am, so I grabbed breakfast to go from Park Café to enjoy on our balcony. Their breakfast sandwiches are so good, and included in the cruise fare. It was also fun to see us pull into port from the balcony, while enjoying breakfast.
This morning we had reserved the Jet Ski tours from the online cruise planner. During a recent sale they had the tour 20%, so we paid around $75 each to have our own. We checked in and signed our waivers and were asked to meet our group leader by the lockers. I left all our personal items on board, because I figured they wouldn’t have lockers big enough for all my camera equipment and snorkel gear. They do have small lockers to rent for $8 for the day if you would rather no go back on board for items after a tour.
The Jet Ski tour was likely the highlight of my trip; it was such a unique way to spend in Labadee for me. We stop at different down the cost and our leaded would tell us something about what we were seeing.
At one stop during the tour locals kayaked up to our jet skis trying to sell us things they had made. The only downside to the tour is it only lasted for 50 minutes. I talked to a lot of people who also did the tour throughout the day, and everyone said I wish it were longer.
After our tour we quickly went on board to grab our items for the beach day.
It was actually very easy because there were zero lines at noon. Once back in Labadee we headed straight to the floating bar on Adrenaline Beach. I was surprised to find a lot of options for chairs at 12:30pm. Now that we settled in I went to explore the new bar.
First impressions were it’s much larger than the one in Coco Cay, and can hold a lot more people. Only downside was there is so much rock to walk through to get out there. Honestly, I wish I had brought water shoes out there to swim. I think I much prefer Columbus Cove in Labadee for swimming. We also did a little snorkeling but really didn’t see too much in the area we were in.
Around 3:00pm we headed back on board, and I need some food!
I realized I skipped lunch, so off to Sabor I went. I just sat at the bar for a drink and guacamole to avoid the $19 cover charge. I’ve made some friends with the staff in here, they all know me from coming daily!
For dinner tonight we went to Giovanni’s Table. For those keeping count, this is our third dinner here. I ordered the filet and lasagna in the middle for everyone to share. I’ve noticed they always have lasagna to serve if you just ask for at dinner. Our waiter was absolutely outstanding tonight; he really made this our best meal of the week. I find that the food is great everywhere on the ship, but it’s the staff in Giovanni’s that keeps is coming back, really great crew in here.
We had come fly with me reserved for 8:00pm but were having so much fun at dinner we actually missed the show. They always asked if you have a show in the evening so they can serve you quicker if needed. I also had the comedy show reserved for 10:00pm. We get in line around 9:30pm because I just have to sit front row in comedy shows hoping they pick on me. Tonight’s comedy show was really entertaining, but it’s not a show for the kids.
After the comedy show we headed to the pub to listen to their singer before bed. There wasn’t much of a crowd tonight in the pub. I think everyone was tired from the long beach day. I didn’t stay here long and called it a day around midnight.
Tomorrow is our final day on board, it’s a sea day as we head back to Port Canaveral, Florida.
Happy Memorial Day weekend! We're starting this weekend with our readers' favorite Royal Caribbean cruise photos. Each week we invite our readers to share their photos with us!
Our first photo this week is from John Bamber of Freedom of the Seas off the coast of CocoCay.
Carl Green sent this photo of the sunset, as seen from Radiance of the Seas while heading back to Sydney from a 14 night cruise around New Zealand.
Here is a photo of Independence of the Seas on embarkation day, taken by Jeff L.
Caroline just returned from her honeymoon on Harmony of the Seas, and took this photo at the honeymooner's gathering event onboard.
Next is a photo of dinner from Wonderland on Harmony of the Seas, taken by George Alcazar.
Here is a shot of the sunset at Bermuda dockyard, taken by Jenn U.
We round things out with this photo by Paul Collins of Oasis of the Seas docked next to a few other, relatively smaller, cruise ships in Nassau.
We want your Royal Caribbean photos too! Use this form to send us your favorite photos and we will include it in an upcoming blog post.
Royal Caribbean is offering up to 30% off certain Cruise Planner purchases during its Memorial Day Pre-Sail Savings sale.
Guest that log into the Cruise Planner will find certain items discounted. The exact discount available will vary from sailing to sailing, but we spotted the Royal Refreshment package discounted 30% off, along with similar discounts for many spa treatments.
Based on the countdown timer, the sale expires at midnight on Sunday, May 28, 2017.
Today was our second port stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico from 7am-3pm.
I was here last year on Allure of the Seas, but I stayed on board.
Today I wanted to explore San Juan to the fullest.
I woke up early and decided I should go get a run in down on their jogging track. Since it was a port day the track was almost empty. I did get my favorite post run drink, yellow Powerade with my drink package at the coffee shop.
After I cleaned up from my never-ending 2.5 mile run, we had breakfast in Park Café. It was 9:00am by this point so most of the guests were already off the ship. I noticed when we walked in they had a bagel station where you could put all kinds of toppings on them. I decided to skip that section and try the breakfast burrito and bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich. While Hillary and I were eating we talked about how this was the best breakfast we have had all week.
At 9:30am we walked off the ship into San Juan to explore the island.
My first impressions of walking around downtown were how beautiful the old building looked. I could have spent the morning just exploring the streets and getting lost around town. However, I wanted to finally see the forts on the island, everyone always talks about.
We walked just a few forward from the exit of the pier, back to the Castillo San Cristobal fort. To enter the fort it’s $5 per person, but it also includes entry into their other fort Del Morro. Once we arrived to the fort my first thought was wow, this thing is huge.
After exploring for an hour I really had no idea how massive this fort really is. I think it would take 3-4 hours to really take a deep dive into this fort, but we manage to cover most of it in 2 hours. Just remember when visiting here wear tennis shoes and bring extra water.
We ran out of our water and they have bottles in the gift shop for $1.55.
Our original plan was to walk the 1-mile over to the next fort, but we decided we needed a break from this heat. I remembered the Bacardi rum factory was in San Juan, so that was our new plan for the afternoon. We started walking looking for a taxi, and I thought how about an Uber instead? Our Uber driver was there very fast, and the cost for four people was $11. The factory was about 10-12 miles away, so I was pretty happy with the rate. I will note the Uber drivers don’t speak English, so that’s some added entertainment for the ride.
Once we arrived to the factory, we were a little confused where to go.
The property looks like a headquarters to a company, guard at the entrance and buildings everywhere. We ended up grabbing some lunch, which was decent.
They also had a very large gift shop we picked up things to take home. However, we didn’t have time to complete a tour due to our ship leaving at 3:00pm.
Evening on board
Tonight was our second formal night and we had a pretty busy evening ahead of us. We had reservations for Giovanni’s table at 6:00pm; I know you must be thinking… Didn’t you already eat their Michael? We love the new menu in here so much we just wanted to come back. Again, I ordered the filet and it was just as flavorful as night one. The service in this restaurant is by far the best we have experienced, and he’s a spoiler alert: we are going back tomorrow!
After dinner we had the ice show schedule for 8:15pm. We arrived early to get a front row seat, (it’s a must for the blog right?). I haven’t seen an ice show on their ships in likely five years; just seem to never make them. Tonight I’m so glad I did, this show was so entertaining they even had kids from the crowd in the show at one point. They have a sand artist draw things with his fingers during one of the costume changes, which really got the crowd going. That evening my girlfriend asked me if we could go back to the ice show again, it was that good!
Our show started a little late, so we were rushing to leave to get to the 70’s street party on the Royal Promenade. This is the one party I’m looking forward to all week. If you have been to one of these parties before you know they play the same songs, but I still find them pretty fun.
We danced tried to enjoy ourselves, but I noticed many passengers didn’t really dance or anything. The party lasted around 35 minutes and this is when we decided to call it an evening.
Tomorrow is our third and final port stop in Royal Caribbean’s private island Labadee. This is Matt’s second home, and he’s covered this port many times. So I’ll try to throw a different spin on it. Stay tuned!
Royal Caribbean has added a new combo offer for guests to purchase, that combines the ulimited soft drink package with the unlimited internet package.
Dubbed, "Classic Soda And Voom One Device," this new offering costs $19.00 per guest, per day and can be purchased via online prior to a cruise, via Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner.
The Classic Soda And Voom One Device plan is similar to the Deluxe Beverage Package and Voom One Device plan, which has been a popular choice for guests that want to get the unlimited alcohol package and Voom internet plan together.
Thanks to Royal Caribbean Blog message board reader FManke for spotting this new option.