High seas hi-jinks // Radiance of the Seas

Raffles Ioves Radiance of the Seas this much“Avast me hearties, let’s commandeer the ice-cream machine” squeals rapscallion Raffles, as soon as we board Radiance of the Seas. His swashbuckling sibling, Sugarpuff, hearing only the words “ice” and “cream,” draws her imaginary cutlass in readiness to storm the soft-serve station with her roguish brother.

I suspect my small scourges of the seven seas are already excited enough about our nine-day Pacific Island Cruise without topping them up with sugar but we’re on holiday and if a pair of pint-size pirates can’t bend the rules on holiday, when can they?

We quickly check into our surprisingly roomy ocean view stateroom which, as well as a queen size bed and bunks, has a sitting area with sofa which we can curtain off from the sleeping area when the kids drop off.

Stateroom Radiance of the Seas

The convenient location about 100 metres from a bar serving perfectly good alcohol is an unexpected bonus. Cap’n Raffbeard inspects his bunk bed (read climbs up and down the ladder before swan diving off it onto our bed) while Sugarpuff checks out the resident wildlife.

towel animals on Radiance of the Seas

Then we grab our swimmers (we always pack them in our hand luggage so we can hit the pool as soon as we board) and head for the pool… but only after pillaging that ice-cream station.

main pool on Radiance of the Seas

After a refreshing soak there’s still time before we set sail to head off and explore what this gorgeous galleon has in store. Oh, and to grab a tankard or two of rum. Or gin gimlets if I’m being completely honest, as I can’t abide rum, but the effect is much the same. Hic!

Radiance of the Seas

Radiance has too many bars to count and 12 restaurants, including the main dining room where this dashing chap turns heads on formal nights.

Is that Brad Pitt? No it's Raffles on Radiance of the Seas

Non gluttonous facilities include a sports court and nine-hole mini golf course.

mini golf on Radiance of the Seas

Three swimming pools, one of which is just for kids, and an awesome water slide.

slip sliding on Radiance of the Seas

A soaring outdoor rock-climbing wall.

Rock climbing wall - Radiance of the Seas

Plus table tennis, shuffleboard and pool tables that are stabilised by a computer-controlled gyroscope that adjusts the table with the motion of the ship! Seriously! Not to mention a poolside movie screen, an indoor cinema, a video arcade where Cap’n Raffbeard acquires a serious addiction to air hockey.

And of course there’s all that pillaging, hornswaggling and keelhauling… if one is so inclined.

On Radiance of the Seas, it is little swashbucklers who rule the waves… and not only because the grown ups are terrified of them.

My little pirate fires up the cannons on Radiance of the Seas

At his request we head to Adventure Ocean to register Cap’n Raffbeard for Aquanauts, one of the five age-based kids club programmes on board. Having visited briefly on another Royal Caribbean cruise he can’t wait to plunder its booty of crafts, toys and games and has disappeared into the expansive play area before I’ve even finished filling out the forms.

Sugarpuff doesn’t miss out on a boatload of fun either, as The Royal Babies and Tots Nursery offers supervised fun for baby buccaneers three-years and under and a Fisher Price toy lending program that allows us to borrow and exchange toys to play with in the comfort of our stateroom.

But it is the kids pool that draws them back again…

Splashing about in the kids pool on Radiance of the Seas

And again…

Sugarpuff & Raffles in the kids pool on Radiance

And again…

Sugarpuff in the kids pool on Radiance of the Seas

There’s so much to do on this floating resort that it proves a destination in itself, which is lucky because my scurvy seadogs think that heading ashore is for the birds.

Radiance of the Seas in the Pacific

In fact our first attempt at getting our kids back on dry land is fraught with tears! Luckily the Pacific’s pretty beaches, azure lagoons, waterfalls and warriors quickly win them over.

On Mystery Island with Radiance of the Seas

But it is Radiance that is their true love and as much as they enjoy a little landlubbing they are always keen to return for a little interpretative shuffleboard (which is pretty much just random poking of the puck with a stick).

shuffle board on Radiance of the Seas

Cap’n Raffbeard and I head off to see “City of Dreams,” one of the ship’s spectacular Broadway style shows. Now, as anyone who’s ever met me would confirm, musical theatre is something that I’d usually cut my own eyes out with a rusty cutlass than sit through. It’s just not my thing. But I find the show enjoyable (leaving with both eyes in tact) and it has my all-singing and all-dancing boy (who, unlike his mother, LOVES a show) jazz-handing his way around the ship for days.

Raffles jazz hands his way around Radiance

Our night out proves such a hit that my son and I share several more dates during the cruise… which all seem to end with my escort under the influence and rolling about on the floor. It’s like a blast from my dating past. Though admittedly most of those other guys were under the influence of more than sugar.

Party boy on Radiance

Our final day at sea proves the most memorable as Cap’n Raffbeard is beckoned from his banana chair for an audience with the charming Captain Goran Peterson… which is how I come to witness my plucky pirate, armed only with a balloon sword, storming the bridge. I turn an attractive shade of red and thank my lucky stars that the good-humoured Captain doesn’t lock my mutinous munchkin in the brig.

The Bridge - Radiance of the Seas

Instead we’re pardoned and allowed to return to the rest of our crazy crew for more laughs and lazing on the sundeck.

lounging around on Radiance of the Seas

And for another gimlet. Or six. Arrgh!

15 Comments on High seas hi-jinks // Radiance of the Seas

  1. Bronnie - Maid In Australia
    January 5, 2014 at 7:41 pm (10 years ago)

    Looks like the best cruise in the world for kids. Can’t wait to take my own buccanneers on one!

      January 8, 2014 at 2:20 pm (10 years ago)

      It was fab Bronnie! Your kids will love it!

  2. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella
    January 6, 2014 at 8:24 pm (10 years ago)

    Aww Sugarpuff has your smile! Good to see that they really enjoyed themselves although the words ice cream would have been enough for me! 😀

      January 8, 2014 at 2:21 pm (10 years ago)

      Those words were certainly repeated frequently Lorraine. 🙂

  3. Have a laugh on me
    January 6, 2014 at 10:55 pm (10 years ago)

    So THIS is the post I’m showing the Husband to finally convince him to let us have a cruise ship holiday! He thinks he’ll get bored – UGH. I’ve written so many travel write ups about these cruises and having never been on one I almost feel as though I owe myself one! Happy 2014 Aleney, I wish you and your family health and LOTS of laughter! Em xx

      January 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm (10 years ago)

      Happy NY lovely!. As for cruising tell the hubby that mine was vehemently against cruising once but since the kids joined our merry crew he’s become cruisings greatest fan! 🙂

      • Have a laugh on me
        January 8, 2014 at 11:22 pm (10 years ago)

        I just did and he’s coming around! Boom!!!

        January 8, 2014 at 11:26 pm (10 years ago)

        Yay! Let me know when you think of booking I’ve at
        toured a fair few of the ships out of Sydney and can offer recommendations on which ship will bet suit what your family is after… 🙂

      • Have a laugh on me
        January 8, 2014 at 11:40 pm (10 years ago)

        I’ll definitely do that, we’ll prob go ex Bris to save on flights – as I get Virgin standby but no one else does 🙁

  4. Kim
    January 7, 2014 at 6:05 am (10 years ago)

    That looks amazing Aleney. My own humble cruise experience pretty much put me off for life… (You know the one im talking about, right? 😉 But you may have convinced me to give them another look. The radiance is a beauty indeed.

      January 8, 2014 at 2:25 pm (10 years ago)

      Be brave! IT’s always worth another look.

  5. This Charming Mum
    January 12, 2014 at 10:51 pm (10 years ago)

    We’ve never done a family cruise but they’re so popular now aren’t they? I get seasick and I fear I’d get a bit claustrophobic, but your pictures (as always) make it look wonderful. I’m sure the kids would have a ball anyway.

      January 16, 2014 at 6:17 pm (10 years ago)

      I’m a card carrying claustrophobic and I worried about that too before I tried it. Maybe it’s the ease of travelling with the kids and seeing how happy they are or maybe it’s the abundance of bars on board – either way I enjoy cruising far more than I ever thought I would.

  6. Malinda (@MBPaperPackages)
    January 7, 2015 at 11:50 am (9 years ago)

    I never thought of cruise ships to be a place to travel with kids but this has completely changed my mind.

      January 7, 2015 at 12:20 pm (9 years ago)

      Malinda, they are made for kids! We never thought we’d enjoy cruising but the kids have so much fun it allows us a chance to relax and just chill out . Win win!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comment *

Signup to our newsletter for exclusive subscriber content including expert travel advice, original recipes and giveaways.


Hey, I’m Aleney! A mum, award-winning travel writer, magazine editor and gallivanting glutton. He’s Raff, the “boy” in boyeatsworld, and a fearless foodie, adventurer and eco-warrior. Along with his all-singing, all-dancing, all-adventurous sister, Sugarpuff, we’re exploring the world’s colour, culture and cuisine on a food safari for the junior set.

Bio pic BoyEatsWorld


© Copyright boyeatsworld 2020. Powered by WordPress.