Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas finished a $19 million upgrade recently and the hard work to retrofit the vessel with new restaurants, cabins and other modern improvements are thanks to the workers of Victoria Shipyard in British Columbia, Canada.
The workforce received praise from the Royal Caribbean team tasked with overseeing the work on Radiance thanks to their hard work and diligence to keep the project finished on-time.
Thumping Canada's chest here, all the senior managers on this project were lavish in their praise of the Canadian workers. The captain, Claus Andersen, raved especially about the quality of the work being performed. That's high praise from a crew that works with shipyards around the world.
There's hope for the Victoria Shipyards that the fine job done with Radiance of the Seas will translate to getting a piece of the $35 billion earmarked for new and remodeled ships for the Canadian navy over the next few decades.
Radiance has begun a summer itinerary to Alaska now that she is out of dry dock.
After 21 days in dry dock, Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas has completed its $19 million "revitalization" program, where the ship has received a number of upgrades aimed at keeping the ship relevant and desirable in a market of cruise ships that increasingly offer more options.
The ship's upgrades include new dining concepts, entertainment options, children's programming and technology advancements that were first developed for Royal Caribbean's newest ships, Oasis and Allure of the Seas.
Royal Caribbean senior vice president, Hotel Operations Lisa Bauer believes the upgrades to Radiance will make it more desirable to guests, "Radiance of the Seas' drydock is part of Royal Caribbean's multi-ship enhancement and revitalization strategy to deliver the Royal Advantage to our guests. The Royal Advantage comprises some of the industry's most innovative onboard amenities, programs and Gold Anchor Service that make up the most contemporary cruise vacation. By introducing almost all of the same specialty restaurants that can currently be found onboard Allure of the Seas as well some of the Oasis-class ships' most popular concepts to Radiance of the Seas, guests can enjoy a variety of brand new onboard experiences."
Changes to ship include
- Addition of Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
- 12 newly added accommodations – one family, five interior and six exterior staterooms
- Technology enhancements that include Wi-Fi availability throughout the ship and flat-panel interactive televisions in all staterooms
- a new Concierge Lounge for suite guests
- a Diamond Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society members
- the Quill and Compass Pub
- an outdoor LED video wall overlooking the main pool area
The new restaurants onboard Radiance include:
- Boardwalk Dog House: Guests can choose from traditional hot dogs, wieners, brats, sausages and other delicious linked meats and a variety of toppings to split a long bun (open for lunch and dinner, complimentary)
- Giovanni's Table: An Italian trattoria featuring Italian classics served family-style (open for lunch, $15, and dinner, $20)
- Izumi: Featuring mouthwatering flavors and a sushi bar with hot-rock cooking, the pan Asian cuisine restaurant is a no-hassle, authentic dining experience (open for lunch and dinner, $3.00 cover charge for lunch and $5.00 for dinner plus a la carte menu pricing)
- Park Cafe: An indoor/outdoor gourmet market featuring salads, sandwiches, soups and pastries (open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, complimentary)
- Rita's Cantina: A casual yet vibrant indoor/outdoor restaurant, catering to families by day, and adults by night; offering traditional Mexican fare, a comprehensive selection of margaritas and live guitar music and dancing for evening entertainment (open for lunch and dinner, $3 cover charge and a la carte menu pricing)
- Samba Grill: Styled after popular Brazilian steakhouses, the churrascaria is an interactive experience where guests choose from a variety of meats, chicken and seafood brought table-side by servers, ready to slice and serve upon request (open for dinner, $25 per person)
- Chef's Table: An exclusive and private experience co-hosted by the executive Chef and Sommelier for a wine pairing dinner of five courses (open for dinner, $95 per person).
Now that Radiance is out of dry dock, she will embark upon alternating, seven-night Southbound and Northbound Alaska itineraries before repositioning for its first winter 2011 season to Australia and New Zealand.
The next ship to receive upgrades will be Splendour of the Seas in October 2011.
Royal Caribbean explains why they picked British Columbia shipyards for Radiance of the Seas upgradesIn:
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas is undergoing upgrades and enhancements at Victoria Shipyards in British Columbia, Canada and will be ready to sail out on Thursday. The choice Royal Caribbean made of these shipyards has a lot to do with the competitive options offered by Victoria Shipyards.
Royal Caribbean's vice-president of technical projects, Kevin Douglas, believes that Victoria Shipyards was the right choice to handle Radiance of the Seas' upgrades, "It’s not just an economic argument, it’s whether the shipyard has the capability to do all the work we need, is there the infrastructure around the shipyard. We want to get in and out quickly. On the West Coast of Canada and the U.S., this would be our choice, no question about it.".
In just three weeks, the shipyard will have Radiance of the Seas back into service to begin the Alaska cruise season. Radiance is scheduled to leave Esquimalt Harbour on Thursday, bound for Vancouver to pick up passengers.
During it's time in the shipyards, 1700 workers have been working on upgrading, replacing and enhancing many aspects of Radiance of the Seas. The ship's overhaul is meant to keep her a competitive option in a cruise market where the newer and bigger ships can cause customers to overlook the older ships in the fleet.
Photo by Royal Caribbean UK
Royal Caribbean is going to install their first solo cabins on the Radiance of the Seas. Currently under renovation in Canada, Radiance will resume cruises on Wednesday June 10.
The ship, which can accommodate 2,114 passengers, will have 15 new cabins, three of which are single rooms. Adam Goldstein, CEO of Royal Caribbean, describes this as a novelty experience.
The concept of single cabins represents a change in the logic sector, whose business model is based on the idea that we must install at least two people per cabin.
But there is a change in the pattern of passengers and cabin solo could multiply.
Norwegian Cruise Line has made a splash last year with its cabin studios, 128 rooms designed to facilitate interaction between passengers. It had thus overcome the fact that the "cruise forget the many people who enjoy traveling alone.
That could change, as highlighted in the report 2011 of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA): The number of people opting for cruises should rise, especially with many clients who embark for the first time and multi-generational groups.
The shorter routes should be preferred, according to CLIA, which would bring new customers.
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Sea entered Esqumalt Harbour and the Victoria Shipyard dry dock last week and here's video of her pulling in.
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas entered dry dock last week in British Columbia, Canada where it will receive upgrades before reentering service in Australia after it is done with the work on June 10.
Royal Caribbean's managing director in Australia Gavin Smith thinks the upgrades will be a nice addition, “Radiance of the Seas is already the best ship to be based in the region – the newest, largest and most innovative – but what we’re doing is taking an already great ship and transforming her into a truly spectacular ship. And best of all – Australians will be amongst the first in the world to enjoy the enhancements."
The changes being made to Radiance of the Seas include
- Six single cabins will be added and, if successful, they will also be featured on other ships in the fleet
- Addition of outdoor poolside movie screen
- Seven new dining options
- Samba Grill (Brazillian steakhouse)
- Rita’s Cantina (Mexican)
- Giovanni’s Table (Italian)
- Park Café (Deli)
- Izumi (Sushi)
- Boardwalk Dog House (Hot dogs)
- Chef’s Table (High end restaurant)
- Quill & Compass (Bar)
- Addition of Diamond Lounge and Concierge Lounge for Crown & Anchor Society members
- Wi-fi will be "enhanced
- Interactive televisions added to staterooms allowing passengers to book shore tours, order room service or check their SeaPass balance
- Addition of Royal Babies & Tots Nursery
Photo by Acapulco News