What does it take to refurbish a cruise ship? We found out in June when we travelled to Victoria, British Columbia’s Esquimalt Graving Dock to witness Royal Caribbean’s beautiful Radiance of the Seas undergo her massive Royal Advantage makeover.

View of the Victoria Shipyards from Radiance. Note the tenders on the dock floor below. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

What is the “Royal Advantage”?  A 21-day top-to-bottom refurbishment of this popular 2001-built vessel that is the largest refit ever to take place on a Radiance-class ship, and one that saw the addition of several new dining venues, public areas and amenities.  Even brand new staterooms designed specifically for solo-travellers were added during the three weeks Radiance of the Seas spent on Vancouver Island.

The starboard bridge wing console aboard Radiance of the Seas undergoes navigational upgrades. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

But the real joy was simply seeing how well the entire process worked.  During the two days we spent walking around a Radiance of the Seas under construction, everything moved like clockwork. Carpets were taped up and covered with protective plastic. Elevators had plywood put up to protect their signature wood and brass accents. And the magnificent Centrum became a maze of scaffolding that stretched through the height of the ship.

Royal Caribbean’s plans were ambitious, revolutionary, and highly successful.  And as other ships emerge from their own Royal Advantage makeovers, we invite you to re-read our report direct from the shipyard to see just how this amazing refit came to be.

The elegant dining room aboard Radiance of the Seas as she undergoes her Royal Advantage makeover. Photo © 2011 Aaron Saunders

Read the full report here!

Royal Advantage Makeover – Part I

Royal Advantage Makeover – Part II


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