We arrived at Sydney's Overseas Passengers terminal at 10.30 am with my son and his wife and 2 children. A nice porter came out to take our bags to for us.he was very helpful and we gave him a tip for this service.And we then joined the line at the door to get checked in.An officer walked up and down the line of people waiting making sure we had all our seapass forms already filled in and giving us custom forms to fill in while we waited for the doors to open.At 11am they opened and as I had a walker I was guided to the elevators to take me and my son up to be checked in.I was amazed at how quickly and friendly everyone was. The check in process didn't take long and by 11.30am we were on this lovely ship.As we couldn't get into our cabin until 1pm and a lovely crew member said we could get a cold drink and something to eat up at the Windjammer.The Windjammer was lovely and had lots of choice to eat and lovely friendly staff asking if they could help.As I had a walker I found this very helpful as then I was not always asking a one of my family to do thinks for me.As there was always a lovely staff member only to happy to help me.
After we had lunch and a rest watching the lovely Sydney Harbour we went to find our cabin.We had grand suite 1032 on deck 10.My son and his wife also had a suite next door suite 1030. Our room was very large and had plenty of storage. The cabin had a large queen size bed,a sofa, 2 chairs,coffee table and flat screen TV.The bar area had a small fridge/cooler and glasses,ice bucket, tea/coffee and kettle.The bathroom had 2 sinks and a shower over the bath it also had plenty of storage.The balcony was large with 2 chairs a table and a sun lounge.It didn't take long after we arrived that got our suit cases.Our suite attendant Phillip Santos came to say hello and to make sure we didn't need anything. He was fantastic for the whole cruise and always kept everything clean and made sure we always had plenty of towels. And he always seemed to be there to open the door for you with his cheery smile and good morning or good evening.
My son went to check out where we would all be sitting in the dining room.This is a great tip as if they have made any mistake or you would like to make any changes it is easier for them to change it now than at dinner time. We had no problems and loved our table as it was near the main stairs so we got a great view when the waitstaff did their show. We then went to explore the ship and as it was a Christmas cruise and we would be away for Christmas the whole ship was all decorated beautifully. In the Centrum there was a 2 story Christmas tree with lots of Christmas lights and on different decks around the ship they had gingerbread villages and more decorations.Before we had left Sydney we all knew we would have a lovely cruise as everywhere we went the ship looked more and more beautiful .And we also met lovely friendly staff and crew members only to happy to help. There was as so lots of windows all around the ship to let in lots of light. And there was lots of places to sit and look out and enjoy the world go by.The ship also had glass lifts so you could look out over the seas or the Centrum.A lovely quiet place during the day to sit and read was the starquest lounge.As the bar is not open during the day and it is only open as a quiet room during the day.And it has great views.
Staying in suites we were lucky enough to be able to use the concierge club on deck 13.It was nice to be able to go for a quiet coffee or a pre dinner drink. Our concierge Juan was a wonderful help if you need him to book you into one of the restaurants.He was also wonderful in getting my husbands glasses fixed in Wellington for him.As we didn't know where to go but he just said "leave it with me.' Now that is Great customer service. We found the food on the ship to be wonderful with lots of choices to pick from.In the beautiful main dining room our waitstaff Jeanette and Sandip always made our evening enjoyable and that we got all our meal quickly and hot.On the 16 nights I don't remember ever getting the same menu.Christmas day was lovely on the ship with Santa coming and giving the children all a gift and the carol singing was lovely too. The food was wonderful too but it would of been nice to have plum pudding.We found the Radiance had plenty of things to keep everyone happy and you could do as much or as little as you wanted.We found on our cruise some people were not happy and complained about there not being bananas after the first 3 day.We saw and had bananas for the whole cruise.So we are not sure why they didn't have any.And we also found if you couldn't find something all you had to do was ask. There was also a couple that complained about there not being a band by the pool and then another that the band was too loud.( yes there was a band and sometimes it did get a bit loud but it was no problem to move away as the younger people were having such a good time). My tip for first time cruisers would be.If you want to go on a cruise go with an open mind and decide for yourself if this cruise ship is right for you. This was our family first cruise and we had people from age 13 to 85 we all had a wonderful time doing thing together or just sitting quietly watching the world go by.