How To Plan Unforgettable Family Cruises Onboard Radiance Of The Seas

Brimming with fun cruise activities for kids, teens and adults, Radiance of the Seas®️ offers some of the best cruises for families.

By Amanda Mesa | Published on October 20, 2023


Lots of parents will agree that cruising is no-brainer when it comes to planning the best family vacation. After all, few other options can offer the same breadth of experiences for all ages, complimentary dining sure to please even the pickiest eaters and show-stopping entertainment kids, teens and adults will love. That’s in addition to infant- and toddler-friendly amenities that make cruising with a baby a breeze. But with so many cruise lines and cruise ships out there to choose from, trying to figure out what the best family cruises are can be overwhelming — right?

Not so when you have some expert advice to help guide you! I’ve been on my fair share of cruise ships, and Radiance of the Seas has become a longtime favorite. Smaller than most of the newer Royal Caribbean ships out there — but no less impressive — it offers a much more low-key, intimate vacation experience that facilitates friendships and makes it easy to get to know fellow families onboard. Radiance also dazzles with the most glass of Royal Caribbean®️ cruise ship, which means you’ll never miss a moment of breathtaking scenery as you sail past snow-covered glaciers, ancient ruins, lush emerald islands and more. Finally, as a smaller ship, it can dock in unique ports larger ships can’t, which means it sails some of the most interesting itineraries available. 

Of course, every sea day onboard this fan favorite also brims with adventure. The pool scene here, including the adults-only Solarium, is the perfect place to unwind. You’ll find lots of cruise activities for families looking for thrills onboard — like a rock climbing wall, a sports court, an arcade, mini golf and more. Radiance of the Seas also shines when it comes to cruise dining options. The food scene runs the gamut from fresh Brazilian flavors at Samba Grill Brazilian Steakhouse and Japanese-inspired eats at Izumi, to steakhouse staples at Chops GrilleSM and a taste of Tuscany at Giovanni’s TableSM. Here are just some of the many cool experiences, restaurants and shows families can look forward to onboard this top-rated Radiance Class ship.

1. Scale The Rock Climbing Wall

One of my favorite things to do onboard any Royal Caribbean ship is to hit the Rock Climbing Wall bright and early while the weather’s still cool and most of the guests are still sleeping off the previous day’s adventures. If you’re cruising with kids, this is a great activity to let them burn off some energy — and score some serious bragging rights. Towering 40 feet above the deck, the Rock Climbing Wall offers some of the best views from aboard the ship. And that’s saying something, considering Radiance of the Seas offers some truly awe-inspiring views from nearly every corner onboard. You don’t have to be a seasoned climber to hit this beloved cruise attraction, either — the only requirement here is that participants be at least six years old.

2. Head To The Arcade For A Classic Gaming Session

The Royal Caribbean Arcade onboard Radiance of the Seas offers something for everyone. It’s equipped with modern games kids will be familiar with, as well as old-school favorites sure to take parents right back to their own teenaged years. I’m talking Dance Dance Revolution, Pac-Man and so many more. You can try to improve your childhood high score in a solo game or join forces with your kids or relatives in a game that accommodates team play. One thing’s for sure — you’re in for hours of entertainment in this gamer’s wonderland.

3. Soak Up The Sunshine Poolside

No matter where in the world your family cruise getaway takes you, you simply must pencil in at least an afternoon (or two) unwinding by the pool. Onboard Radiance of the Seas, the main pool is where all the action takes place. Think dance-offs, DJ-driven pool parties, family-friendly challenges and more. Arrive early in the morning, though, and you’ll get to enjoy a much more relaxed, laid-back vibe. And for parents and teens aged 16 and older, there’s the Solarium. This always-tranquil oasis is the ultimate spot to chill. It has plenty of room to unwind in the shade or the sun, lagoon-like pools and whirlpools, and a spectacular crystal canopy that lets you soak up the views as you swim no matter what the climate’s like outside.

4. Let The Little Ones Play At Adventure Ocean

Anyone who’s ever traveled with a baby or toddler knows the importance of having good childcare options during your vacation — and Radiance of the Seas checks all the boxes. It’s home to the award-winning Adventure Ocean®️ youth program, which offers complimentary childcare for little explorers aged 3-11 years old. Kids are broken into groups depending on their age, then given hours of engaging, educational, supervised fun and activities to keep them busy while parents relax and enjoy some grown-up time onboard the ship. For those cruising with a baby, there’s the Royal Babies & Tots program, which offers nursery drop-off sessions structured around age-appropriate activities and toys.

5. Indulge In All Kinds Of Tasty Grab-And-Go Goodness

With so many fun activities to fit into every day, working up an appetite is inevitable. It helps to know that on this ship, you’re never far from some quick, convenient and crave-worthy. For yummy snacks on the go, I love Park Café. Located on Deck 11 across from the Solarium and the Main Pool, this casual bistro delights with dialed-up deli classics like fresh-pressed paninis, sandwiches filled with tasty meats and cheeses, and of course — the Royal Kümmelweck. This roast beef sandwich is a guest favorite that’s achieved fame throughout the fleet. The best part? All the bites served at Park Café are complimentary to cruise guests.

Another fast-casual — and complimentary — mainstay onboard Radiance of the Seas is Dog House. A hit among both kids and parents, this fun hot dog spot serves up yummy gourmet brats inspired by different foodie capitals. There’s the Big Apple and the Coney Island to name just two, plus and Old World-style German thuringer and a pork bratwurst seasoned with classic spices for just a touch of heat.

6. Turn Every Dinner Into A Memorable Occasion

Outside of savory snacks and grab-and-go gourmet bites, Radiance of the Seas offers several truly spectacular dining options sure to elevate any family dinner. The most obvious choice is the Main Dining Room, where every meal is a multi-course celebration of family and flavors. Included in your cruise fare, dishes here range from crispy duck a l’Orange to tender prime rib, ahi-spiced Moroccan tuna and beyond. You’ll find a few unchanging staples on the menu, plus a rotating selection of fare from around the world, making it easy to dine here every night of your family cruise vacation without repeating a single dish.

Windjammer is a more casual global option that also serves up complimentary culinary delights. Open during breakfast, lunch and dinner, this buffet-style restaurant is a favorite among families because everybody can enjoy whatever they’re in the mood for, whenever they like. And of course, guests can take mealtime a step further with reservations at any of the ship’s specialty restaurants, including Izumi, Giovanni’s Table, Chops Grille and Samba Grille. Here’s a pro-tip: purchase a Specialty Dining Package ahead of your cruise to enjoy discounted pricing at each!

7. Enjoy Your Pick Of Showstopping, Family-Friendly Cruise Entertainment

There really is no such thing as a dull moment when you sail with your family onboard Radiance of the Seas. When the sun goes down, the ship comes alive with dazzling theatrical productions that can rival those from Broadway to London’s West End. There’s Piano Man, an original production that celebrates history’s greatest masters of the keys, including Elton John, Barry Manilow and Ray Charles. And there’s also City of Dreams, an oracular spectacular that transports viewers from ancient Atlantis to vibrant India to romantic Venice through electrifying choreography, extravagant costumes and cinematic scenery. Every show onboard Radiance of the Seas is complimentary to cruise guests — just reserve your seats ahead of time via the Cruise Planner App or onboard at the Box Office.

8. Gather The Family For A Movie Night To Remember

One of my personal favorite ways to spend a night onboard any cruise is with a cozy movie night — and Radiance of the Seas takes this beloved ritual a step further by hosting blockbuster showings poolside under the stars. Screenings on the massive projector screen by the main pool feature different films throughout your sailing, but you can expect a lineup of family-friendly modern hits and classics. Grab a beach towel or blanket and snuggle up with your loved ones as some of the greatest stories of all time flicker across the screen and lose yourself in the cool ocean breezes and the gentle crash of the waves against the ship.

These are just some of the many opportunities you’ll find onboard Radiance of the Seas to bond with your loved ones during your next family vacation. Check out a full list of activities, shows, restaurants and bars on plenty other things to do. If you’re ready to start planning the perfect family cruise onboard this grade-A cruise ship, start browsing popular itineraries.

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