My wife and I are not new to cruising, but we haven't cruised in about 5 years and have never cruised on any of the newer RCCL ships. If anyone has been on both the Voyager and Radiance class ships, we would be interested in hearing which you liked better or what would recommend one over the other.
Yes, I've cruised on both Voyager and Explorer and Radiance and Jewel. There are things I love about both. If you are cruising with kids and large groups, I'd suggest any "Voyager" class, there is just so much to do for a wide age range, really something for everyone and they are large. The radiance are smaller and just about the most beautiful ships cruising. You won't have all the activities as Voyager, but still plenty to do. If you were just going with your husband and don't really want to ice skate and do many of the other extra activities I'd cruise on any Radiance class. Both have the rock climbing walls and the Radiance class do have self leveling pool tables that you just got to see when you are moving.
Actually either class ship are both great cruises, and they both have good alternative restaurants, the Voyager has a mall down the middle where you can catch parades a few times a week and the Studio B is where they put on an amazing Ice Show you would not want to miss.
Cabins on both classes were basically the same, I love the layout and the curved beds at the bottom, plenty of drawers and closet space, luggage fits nicely under the beds.
I was on Mariner 7Dec2003 from Port Canaveral 7day Eastern Caribbean, and on Radiance 1May2005 from San Diego to Vancouver.
Overall, I liked the Mariner better. The spectacular Royal Promenade, with its Krooz-Komics, and evening parades, the fantastic Studio B ice show which would be terrific even on land what with its flying athletes, not to mention getting to ice skate yourself at sea, the Peek-a-Boo bridge overlook where I could be a "backseat driver" and compare my hand-held GPS with the ships instruments, the in-line roller blading, Johnny Rockets diner, the open-all-night Cafe Promenade where you could always get free regular coffee and delicious pastries and cookies(yum!), as compared with Cafe Lattitudes in the Centrum of the Radiance where everything was at a fee. While the Sea View was open till 2AM on the Radiance, it was way up in an inconvenient location, and you could get a free pastry, but have to pay for even a plain coffee, or carry your pastry down to the Windjammer 24 hour coffee urn. I also think the library was much larger on the Mariner. The elevator banks were spread out better on the Mariner, especially if you were on the aft portion of the ship. I also found the shipboard program to have much more activities on the Mariner. About the only advantage to the Radiance were its two self-leveling pool tables.
going there is half the fun!
coming back is the other half!
Perhaps you should get the video everyone keeps talking about that shows you all the details of the Voyager ship. It is really thorough and walks youthur the whole process of the ship being built, furnished, secure, staffed, etc.