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Scheduled to launch in the spring of 2020, Carnival Radiance will be a fully-refurbished overhaul of Carnival Victory. The biggest upgrades will emphasize casual dining and onboard family fun (two of Carnival’s specialties), with the most exciting addition being the very first Big Chicken at sea, an all-new fried chicken venue created in collaboration with Carnival’s Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O’Neal. Other new additions to Radiance include the popular Carnival staple RedFrog Pub, a full WaterWorks aqua park with two 200 foot-long waterslides, and an upgraded connectivity system for faster internet access.
The lineup of dining options and onboard activities will look familiar to seasoned Carnival sailors: BlueIguana Cantina, Guy’s Burger Joint, and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse are the top casual (and free) options, while Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse, Bonsai Sushi and the Cucina del Capitano are slightly more formal choices that come with an extra cost. Kids will stay busy with age-specific activities in the Camp Ocean youth clubs and playing sports and games on the SportSquare deck, while adults can find a sweet escape at the adults-only Serenity Retreat, in the upgraded Cloud 9 spa (now with more treatment rooms and an expanded thermal suite), or at one of the several lounges around the ship.
Once out of dry dock, Radiance will operate a number of Mediterranean sailings from Barcelona before crossing the Atlantic to spend the summer sailing from New York to the Caribbean, Cuba, and Bermuda, as well as Canada and New England cruises during fall. Then, Radiance will depart New York and sail a single voyage in October from Norfolk, Virginia, before continuing to head south to Port Canaveral where it will sail Caribbean and Cuba itineraries.
Carnival Radiance is best for:
Families with kids young and old, along with couples and groups of friends looking for a festive atmosphere. Radiance is also significantly smaller than most of the modern cruise ships debuting today, so it’s perfect for passengers who want the newest amenities without having to share them with 4,000+ other passengers.
You Should Know:
While the passenger profile on Mediterranean sailings may attract fewer children and party animals than Carnival sailings in the Caribbean, travelers looking for a sophisticated and tranquil vacation should still look elsewhere.
- Big Chicken fried chicken venue by Shaq
- RedFrog Pub
- WaterWorks aqua park
- Punchliner Comedy Club
- Serenity adults-only Retreat
- Guy’s Burgers and Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse
Dining on the Carnival Radiance
Carnival Cruise Line has some of the best complimentary dining venues at sea, and when Radiance emerges from dry dock in 2020, it will have some of the best mealtime choices in the entire fleet. When it was still Carnival Victory, Radiance had already received many of Carnival’s FunShip 2.0 dining upgrades: Guy’s Burger Joint serving up a variety of burgers and hand-crafted fries, BlueIguana Cantina with burritos and tacos, and the Alchemy Bar, an apothecary-themed bar with unique drinks using fresh ingredients. Radiance also has two standard main dining rooms and a lido deck buffet, which will house the Seafood Shack counter as well as the 24/7 Pizzeria del Capitano venue.
Once the upgrades are complete, Radiance will also offer Italian family-style restaurant Cucina del Capitano, the RedFrog Pub with light bites, a full Bonsai Sushi venue (replacing the smaller Bonsai Sushi Express), and a Fahrenheit 555 Steakhouse. Guy Fieri’s second Carnival venue, a counter-service barbecue spot called Pig & Anchor will also be added. And new to the Carnival fleet will be a small version of Shaquille O’Neal’s Las Vegas eatery, Big Chicken Shaq, which will be shortened to just ‘Big Chicken’ for Carnival Radiance. There, passengers can feast on fried chicken, chicken sandwiches and fingers, as well as delicious sides and a full breakfast menu (which is served all day!).
Carnival Radiance Activities:
Carnival Radiance will keep cruisers active on sea days with an onboard ropes course, the WaterWorks aqua park featuring two 200 foot-long water slides, and the SportSquare deck which comes fully equipped with a basketball court, mini golf, foosball tables and more. The Dr. Seuss themed activities like storytime and the Seuss-a-Palooza Parade are a big hit with kids, as are the Camp Ocean clubs with age-appropriate activities and contests, the Build-A-Bear Workshop at Sea, and the Cherry on Top candy store and ice cream counter. Adults can spend their day kicking back in the Serenity Retreat, enjoying a craft cocktail at the Alchemy Bar, getting a facial or massage in the Cloud 9 spa, or listening to island-inspired tunes in the RedFrog Pub. The ship also has a number of other bars and lounges, so when it’s time for a cocktail and some good music, you won’t have to look far!
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