Radiance of the Seas

Royal Caribbean cancels Radiance of the Seas sailing to due to propulsion problem


Royal Caribbean informed guests booked on an upcoming Radiance of the Seas sailing their sailing has been cancelled as a result of needed repairs.

The cruise line announced the upcoming 11-night cruise on Radiance of the Seas departing April 6, 2018 will be cancelled in order to conduct necessary repairs on the ship's Azipod propulsion system, which impacts the ships’ speed and ability to deliver future scheduled cruises.

Repairs to Radiance of the Seas will take place from April 6 to April 17.

Royal Caribbean adding new stateroom categories for 2019 Alaska sailings on Radiance of the Seas


Royal Caribbean announced beginning with the 2019 deployment season, Radiance of the Seas sailings will feature two new stateroom categories within Ocean View and Balcony accommodations — Northbound Preferred and Southbound Preferred.

This change will appear with the opening of 2019 Alaska sailings on Radiance of the Seas, which is scheduled for the week of December 11, 2017. These stateroom categories offer guaranteed premium views of the scenic Alaskan coast. Royal Caribbean hopes this change will eliminate confusion about which side of the ship is more desirable.

The new stateroom categories offer, "guaranteed premium views of the scenic Alaskan coast" and is applicable to Radiance of the Seas sailings between May 5, 2019 and August 30, 2019.



7 fun facts about Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas


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's Radiance of the Seas makes maiden call to Wollongong, Australia


Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas arrived at the port of Wollongong in New South Wales, Australia, becoming Australia's newest cruise port.

The 2,200 guests on board arrived in Port Kembla at 8am and were welcomed with a special fly-over by a vintage Catalina flying boat, as well as thousands of excited locals waving the ship in from vantage points along the South Coast.

Guests were treated to a special "Welcome to Wollongong" marketplace at Lang Park organized by Destination Wollongong, which showcased local produce and products from the region. More than 400 local volunteers were also on hand throughout the day to help guests get the most out of their day in port.

"We have been working towards our call to Wollongong for quite some time. Guests onboard Radiance of the Seas had a wonderful day exploring the city and local area, making the dedication and hard work that’s gone into this project for the past two and a half years all worthwhile," said Adam Armstrong, managing director, Royal Caribbean Australia & New Zealand. 

Destination Wollongong General Manager, Mark Sleigh said: "When Councillor Leigh Colacino first approached Royal Caribbean to discuss bringing cruise ships to Wollongong, he promised that the community would look after their guests as well as any destination in the world.  I’m delighted that Wollongong more than delivered on that promise, and made the maiden voyage of Radiance of the Seas a day that Wollongong, and indeed our visitors, will never forget!"

This is far from the only stop Royal Caribbean will make at Wollongong.  Over the next 18 months, Voyager of the Seas and Explorer of the Seas will also call here, brining more than 16,000 visitors to the area by the end of the cruise season.

Seven different shore excursions also showcased the region outside of the city, with visits to scenic Bald Hill Lookout, Jamberoo Action Park, Kiama, Shellharbour Village, Symbio Wildlife Park and the tranquil Nan Tien Temple among some of the most popular.

"We are very proud to be the first cruise line to bring a ship to Wollongong and this historic milestone marks the beginning of a long-term relationship between Royal Caribbean and the region. We will continue to explore opportunities to utilize the port as an overflow to Sydney Harbor," Armstrong concluded.

Royal Caribbean to call at the Kingdom of Tonga for the first time


Royal Caribbean announced it will offer cruise stops at the Tongan ports of Vava'u on December 12, 2016 and Nuku’alofa on December 13, 2016 for the very first time.

Radiance of the Seas will offer these new stops in the 2016/2017 cruise season, as part of a 13-night South Pacific, Fiji and Tonga journey.  The cruise begins in Sydney on December 3 2016, and calls at the Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, Lifou in the Loyalty Islands, Suva and Lautoka in Fiji, as well as Tonga, before arriving in Auckland. 

The two new destinations offer a host of experiences unique to Tonga for guests to enjoy, such as the islands of Vava’u are renowned for their coral gardens and sparkling lagoons, while Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga and home to the only royal family in the Pacific Islands, is a thriving hub of island charm and regal tradition. Guests will have the opportunity to explore the islands further with a range of optional excursions, including whale-watching and snorkeling in Vava’u and a cultural tour in Nuku’alofa.

"We’ve had our eye on Tonga as a destination for our guests for some time, with its vibrant culture, diverse marine life and stunning natural beauty," says Adam Armstrong, managing director for Royal Caribbean International in Australia and New Zealand.

"Radiance of the Seas is the perfect size for us to explore new ports in our region, paving the way for a number of new, exciting destinations for our guests."

A look at Royal Caribbean's refurbishment of Radiance of the Seas


Earlier this month, Royal Caribbean completed a 12-day refurbishment of Radiance of the Seas at Vigor Industrial, in Portland, Oregon.

Photo by Portland Business Journal

Royal Caribbean spent millions on both technical repairs and exterior upgrades to the ship, focusing on three key areas:

  • Updated Staterooms
  • Redesigned Vitality at Sea Spa
  • Refreshed pool deck

There was also work done on steel replacement and general maintenance propeller work.

The work was completed prior to Radiance of the Seas' next deployment to Alaska, where she will offer cruises to the Alaskan wilderness.

The 2,110-passenger capacity cruise ship weighs 90,000 tons and is 961-feet long.

Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas skips stop in Bali due to terrorism concern


Royal Caribbean has cancelled a scheduled stop in Bali for Radiance of the Seas on Thursday, March 17, 2016, due to travel advisories that warn of a potential terrorist attack.

Instead of making the stop in Bali, Radiance of the Seas will remain at sea for an additional sea day.

Royal Caribbean issued a statement to guests that apologized for the change in itinerary.

"Our guests’ vacation time is precious and we did not take these decisions lightly. The safety of our guests and crew is always our foremost concern."

"We will continue to monitor the security situation in Indonesia and will notify guests or their travel agents if there are changes to future sailings that visit Indonesia."

Royal Caribbean adds refurbishments for Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas in 2016


Royal Caribbean has added two more of its vessels to its schedule of ships to receive refurbishments in 2016.

Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas are now appearing on the 2016 refurbishment schedule.

There is no word yet on what changes are coming to either ship.  

Royal Caribbean just wrapped up its Liberty of the Seas refurbishment and has a busy year ahead with changes coming to the ships.

Royal Caribbean tests port stop in Wollongong as possible homeport alternative to Sydney


Royal Caribbean is testing out a new homeport in Australia at Wollogong's Port Kembla Harbour that could replace Sydney.

Photo by Sap

Radiance of the Seas will make a port stop here in October 2016 as part of a 7-night East Australian Coast and Tasmania cruise.

Royal Caribbean Regional Vice President Gavin Smith says Radiance of the Seas' stop here is the first step in a possible new partnership between the cruise line and the port, "I’m thrilled to announce we will be bringing one of the largest and most feature-packed mega liners in Australian waters to the South Coast of NSW, when Port Kembla becomes the newest destination for Radiance of the Seas."

"Including Port Kembla on our itineraries will provide our guests the opportunity to sample all that Wollongong and the South Coast has to offer. At the same time, it will give us the chance to investigate Port Kembla as an alternative home port, as an overflow to congestion in Sydney Harbour."

Royal Caribbean is particularly interested in Wollongong as an alternative home port because of the congestion problem in Sydney harbor.

Photo tour of Rita's Crab Shack on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas


During the summer months when Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas offers cruise to Alaska, Royal Caribbean transforms one of its specialty restaurants into a restaurant more befitting the region.

Beginning last year, Royal Caribbean has changed over the Mexican specialty restaurant Rita's Cantina into Rita's Crab Shack, offering the very best crab and seafood from the southeast Alaskan coast.

In fact, Royal Caribbean has also teamed up with the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau to provide the finest craft brews to go along the new fare.

Thanks to our friend Deb Wills from AllEars, we present a photo tour of Rita's Crab Shack from earlier this summer. Enjoy!