Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by Swansforever: A lovely ship, relaxing itinerary and lots of rain...
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A lovely ship, relaxing itinerary and lots of rain...
This was the second cruise that my husband and I have taken. The first was on the Oasis, so I was interested to compare the two ships. We loved the Oasis and so were pleasantly surprised that we enjoyed the Radiance just as much. This particular sailing had lots of young people and 500 children. Most of the children were fairly well behaved although the stairs were quite a challenge at times - I was nearly bowled over a couple of times and also you couldn't get near the main pool.
Older people were definitely in the minority on this cruise.
The cabin was quite spacious, with a balcony which had a small table and two chairs. The cabin was kept immaculately clean by our cabin attendant who was very friendly. In fact, every staff member we dealt with over the 11 days was exceptionally friendly as well as very competent. Every request was happily attended to in a very courteous manner.
For dining, we had My Time which is very convenient as you can adjust the time to suit More different daily routines. The food in the main dining room was very good. We also bought the five restaurant Dining Package ($145 per person) which was definitely worth it. The Chef's Table was amazing - beautiful food and wines and lots of fun. We also loved Chops Grille - so much that we went a second time! The only restaurant that didn't appeal was Izumi, but Japanese food is not my taste. We ate breakfasts in the main dining room as well as lunches on some of the days. The buffet, The Windjammer, is also available but it is always full and we didn't like it that much. But it is fine if you want casual, fast dining and lots of food.
The shows were a mixed bag - the production shows were good, a couple of the smaller shows not so. Johnathan Clark, in one of the Headliner shows was superb - extremely talented and very funny. Overall we were satisfied with the shows and they were all worth attending.
The gym is well equipped and I didn't see anyone waiting for equipment at any stage. The stretch and yoga classes were very basic but still worth doing. The Abs class was also very good. We also NEVER used the lifts and found ourselves going up and down stairs many, many times a day which is great exercise.
The ports we visited were varied - some developed (to some extent) and others undeveloped pristine beaches. Champagne Bay was truly magical - beautiful sand, scenery and water. It was not unbearable crowded and we didn't wait very long for tenders. Noumea rained all day so we didn't even go ashore.
I have only one negative for Royal Caribbean - the smoking policy. Smoking is allowed on balconies and this means that if your neighbour smokes, the smoke comes into your own cabin and makes it stink. It was a shame it happened to us on both our cruises and we couldn't get much use out of the balcony. We complained on this cruise but it was a full sailing so we couldn't be moved. They were sympathetic and asked our neighbours to be considerate but it didn't stop them smoking. And even though we didn't even open our balcony door OUR cabin smelt of cigarettes for the whole cruise. Note that the smoking rules on board are regulated by what port (or country) the ship sails from. Australia has strict laws forbidding any smoking inside so this must be adhered to. This is not the case when sailing from other places ie US, Europe, Asia etc.
But overall it was a great cruise and I would have given it 5 stars if it wasn't for the smoking. Bobby, the cruise director was fun and Captain Sindre was very visible throughout the cruise. He is a very personable fellow with a great sense of humour. The ship definitely has a happy, cohesive feeling about it. The other staff were wonderful and most of the other cruisers we met were very friendly. We had quite a few wet days but it didn't really affect us that much.
A final tip, for breakfasts and lunches especially, and even dinners if you wish, sit at different tables and you get to meet many interesting, friendly people. It is great if you like socialising. Or you can keep to yourselves - it is everyone's individual choice. Less
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