|Its all about ships
PROFILE AND REVIEW
Cruise line profile - Royal Caribbean - Radiance class - profile and review
Royal Caribbean's Radiance class is composed of four ships: Radiance of the Seas, Serenade
of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Jewel of the Seas.
Often when people think about Royal Caribbean they envision massive ships providing
family-oriented, action-packed cruises. Royal's Oasis, Freedom and Voyager class ships do
provide such cruise experiences. However, as the Radiance class ships demonstrate, the line
is not so one dimensional.
At 90,000 gross tons, these cruise ships are smaller than Royal Caribbean's mega-cruise
ships. However, they are not ships that were conceived of as large cruise ships but which
have become small cruise ships due to the increase in the relative size of subsequent ships.
Rather, they were designed to be medium-size cruise ships. In other words, the Radiance
class ships are not old ships squeezed into a role they were never designed to fill. They do
what they were designed to do.
What they were designed to do is provide a Royal Caribbean cruise experience for
sophisticated travelers. There is no “shock and awe” décor in a Radiance class ship. They
do not have all of the “Gee Wiz” features found on some of the larger fleetmates. Instead, they
have a contemporary resort décor with a variety of entertainment and dining alternatives
including an array of specialty restaurants.
It is, nonetheless, a distinctly Royal Caribbean experience. The ships have their own
versions of many of the trademark Royal Caribbean features such as the Schooner Bar, the
Windjammer buffet and the Viking Crown. However, they are set in a more sophisticated
The Radiance class can be thought of as where Royal Caribbean meets its sister premium
brand brand Celebrity Cruises. Thus, while the very large Oasis, Freedom and Voyager class
ships compete with the mass market lines, the Radiance class offers a Royal Caribbean
alternative to premium lines such as Princess Cruises.
The Radiance class ships have much to
recommend themselves from a nautical
The four ships entered service between
2001 and 2004. Virtually identical, all four
were built by Germany's Meyer-Werft in
Papenberg. The Radiance ships can be
viewed in some ways as forerunners of
Celebrity's Solstice class ships and Royal's
Quantum class, both of which were also bult
by Meyer Werft..
The primary power plant for the Radiances
is gas turbines. These give the ships a great
deal of power and as a result, these ships are
among the fastest cruise ships currently in
service. When the price of gas turbine fuel
skyrocketed, each ship was retrofitted with a
diesel engine. The additional engine is often
used to power the hotel while the ship is in
port, thus reducing the need to run the gas
The power from the engine plant turns
electric motors housed in two azimodal pods.
These along with three bow thrusters make the
Radiance ships highly maneuverable.
Above: Serenade of the Seas
Right: Brilliance of the Seas
Above: Jewel of the Seas.
Below: Radiance of the Seas.
Right: Serenade of the Seas
Below: Brilliance of the Seas
Above: Radiance of the Seas.
Left: Jewel of the Seas.