We have cruised on other classes of ships with RCCL and would choose to go again on the Radiance class. The officers, crew and cast on this cruise are the very best we have experienced. The hotel director, John runs a very happy and efficient ship, not an easy task! Congratulations to him.
The cruise terminal in Harwich is easy to find. The boarding is made easy by the friendly, very competent staff. The process took no longer than 20 minutes.
We were impressed with the space and storage particularly as we were 3 ladies sharing a balcony cabin! A little more space could be saved by installing flat screen tv's! Our cabin attendant was on her first cruise, she did a good job and had the potential to be a great cabin attendant.
Unlike the Freedom class which features the central 'arcade' theme, the Radiance class celebrates the sea views. It is possible to eat, drink and relax with sea views at your fingetips. The central atrium is spectacular with all styles of music from classical to latin to pop, to be heard at most times of the day and evening. The atrium was used to full effect for the 70's night. Looking up from the lowest deck to the highest, passengers were able to enjoy a spectacular show, the STAR of which was Clo, the cruise director.
Even though the ship was full, the public areas were not overcrowded.
Excellent choice of food and venues.
By far the best we have experienced. Service excellent, food choice superb but most of all it was spacious by comparison to other ships. The outside area at the back was yet another area to enjoy the sea. We tended to opt for room service for breakfast but had lunch and also had dinner on the outside deck one evening.
Main dining room
We had lunch (on sea days) and dinner in the main dining room. The service was always excellent, the staff were very friendly and efficient, nothing was too much trouble. The quality of the food was first class, we ate mostly from the Vitality menu (trying to avoid putting on too much weight) Credit to the Food and Beverage manager and his crew. The dining room itself could do with an overall, it is tired and really quite dull.
Worth every $ of the cover charge, food superb, service excellent, dining area and views fantastic. Everyone should treat themselves to a night in one of the speciality restaurants
Well where to start, obviously at the top. Clodagh O'Connor, the Cruise Director. Hello Clo, is seen all around the ship, her people skills are extraordinary. Her leadership results in the best entertainment staff we have ever had the pleasure of cruising with. The Shows and cast are breathtaking, to see the same calibre of entertainer would cost nearly Â£100 a ticket in the West End. All of the musicians around the ship are so talented. There seems to be an attitude that cruise entertainers are second rate, I want to go on record to say that is SO wrong. My highlight was Clo's slap stick performance during the 70's dance routine.
Congratulations to all of the entertainment crew.
Our only minor grumble. We had occasion to visit guest relations a few times including sorting out some trips. Whilst appreciating that the guest profile covers numerous languages which have to be catered for, the standard of English spoken by some of the staff was difficult to understand. We had a message left on our cabin phone and despite 3 of us listening to it several times, we could not understand it! However once past any language issue, they were extremely helpful.
The itinerary is wonderful, all of the stops should be visited. I would urge everyone to visit each stop including Gothenberg which is beautiful, lovely cafe culture. Only one slight disappointment was the night at the Ballet in St Petersburg. The Ballet was fantastic but the venue very very disappointing. It is a small modern building with no character at all (and no air conditioning the night we went)
The are some crew members that we would wish to single out for extra praise.
Our waiting staff in the dining room - Lancy, waiter and Sharline, asst waiter were absolutely charming and made us feel really special. Always prepared to go the extra mile.
Julie Francis - entertainment staff - delightful, friendly and great to have around
Lee Cowell - Barman in the Pitstop - absolute charmer, he goes above and beyond, knows his drinks, entertains with his magic - literally. Ask him to show you his card tricks.
Iketut Sugiarta - after his duties down in the kitchen, he goes up to the Pitstop in his own time to help and learn from Lee.
Finally again thank you to John, Hotel Director and his staff and Clo, Cruise Director and her staff for making this the best cruise experience we have ever had.
I feel that I need to stop now as I have run out of superlatives!