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Carnival Radiance Review

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Carnival Radiance (Photo: Carnival Cruise Line)

Carnival Victory will undergo a massive, nearly $200 million makeover in 2020, after which it will be renamed Carnival Radiance.

The refurb, which will see much of the ship completely revamped, was to take place from March 18 to April 2020 in Cadiz, Spain, but was significantly delayed due to the global health pandemic. Still, by 2021 work was well underway and when it emerges in November 2021, the transformed Carnival Radiance will have a host of new entertainment features and dining options, along with all the popular venues it already has. The ship will also receive additional suites, to be added above the bridge, bringing the capacity of the ship to 2,984 from 2,764.

Carnival Radiance will feature complimentary main dining rooms, as well as the Lido Marketplace buffet. However, the buffet will be expanded to include stand-alone specialty counters such as Seafood Shack, offering lobster rolls and other New England-inspired seafood fare at a la carte prices, and Pizzeria del Capitano serving up several varieties of pies free of charge 24/7.

Cucina del Capitano (lunch): New on Carnival Radiance, pasta lovers will adore this pick-your-own-ingredients option at lunchtime.

Guy's Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que Smokehouse: New on Carnival Radiance, this casual open-air eatery features barbecue favorites, from Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Guy's Burger Joint: The line's super popular, poolside hamburger spot, with a selection of diet-busting selections created specifically for Carnival by Guy Fieri.

BlueIguana Cantina: Carnival's Mexican food counter is open for breakfast and lunch, and boasts a massive toppings buffet.

For Fee Dining

Bonsai Sushi: New to Carnival Radiance, this full-service Asian restaurant offers an array of a la carte sushi, sashimi and rolls, as well as a small hot food menu.

Cucina del Capitano: New to Carnival Radiance, popular Italian favorites are on the menu at dinner for $15 per person. 

Fahrenheit 555: New to Carnival Radiance, Carnival's popular American-style steakhouse is perfect for celebrating special occasions. Costs $35 per person.

Chef's Table: The line's exclusive multicourse meal will take place in a dedicated glass-enclosed space in the forward dining room. The cost of the Chef’s Table experience varies by ship.

Carnival Radiance will sport several new outdoor attractions, including a WaterWorks water park, featuring a 203-foot-long AquaTunnel slide and 212-foot-long Twister slide. There will also be a 75-gallon PowerDrencher tipping bucket, and a kiddie splash area. 

Carnival Radiance will be the eighth ship in the fleet to get a SkyCourse ropes course, located in the SportSquare complex. You'll also find a nine-hole mini-golf course, basketball court, Ping-Pong, foosball and pool tables in SportSquare.

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Carnival Radiance will also get the soothing Serenity Adult Only Retreat. This exclusive deck, which is not on Carnival Victory, adds the adults-only oasis with plush chaise lounges and dedicated whirlpools.

RedFrog Pub: New to Carnival Radiance, this Caribbean-style pub features a variety of rums and beers, as well as Carnival's own ThirstyFrog Red beer.

Piano Bar 88: New to Carnival Radiance will be Carnival's popular piano bar, but this time with a twist that amps up the fun with themed nights and new decor.

Limelight Lounge: Carnival Victory's Adriatic Lounge will turn into the Limelight Lounge on Carnival Radiance. It will serve as the home of the Punchliner Comedy Club.

JaveBlue Cafe: Also new to Carnival Radiance will be an expanded version of the line's coffee bar that offers lattes, cappuccinos, "spiked" coffees made with liqueurs and tempting pastries.

Cherry on Top: Carnival's popular sweets shop will also be new on Carnival Radiance; here you can load up on candy by the scoopful, as well fanciful gifts and branded apparel.

RedFrog Rum Bar: Poolside bar with all the rum-based cocktails you could ask for, as well as buckets of beer.

BlueIguana Tequila Bar: Another poolside bar, this time with all the tequila-based cocktails your heart desires. 

In keeping with its newest ships, Carnival Radiance will feature the multi-purpose Liquid Lounge as its main show room. The space will have upgraded sound and lighting in order to host high-tech Playlist Productions shows.

The ship will also feature a Cloud 9 Spa with more space for a thermal suite, more treatment rooms and a wide selection of cardio and weight-training equipment.

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