Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by crackajack: Great time but lots of glitches
Overall Member Rating
Great time but lots of glitches
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Sydney (Australia)
Embarkation was wonderful. Most of us were members of Crown and Anchor so were able to board immediately. We had been told we could board at 1:30pm according to our cabin, but with this and the other 2 cruises i have been on (not as a member), you pretty much board as soon as you arrive, so get there around 11am. You can then board and go straight to buffet lunch on the ship while your cabin is getting ready. Staff were very helpful and friendly. We had a few that weren't members in our group of 18 but they let them board with us through members area.
The ship was beautiful, very similar to Rhapsody. You think when you board these huge ships you'll get lost, but everywhere you need to be is pretty central and very easy to find. We had a Balcony cabin and really enjoyed this. Rooms were smallish but with enough storage etc to get by. My 20 year old son stayed in our cabin, and at first we thought he would have to use sofa bed which was very uncomfortable and made it hard to move More around cabin without treading on him, but we soon realised we had a bunk over our bed which our steward pulled down and made up, but others we were travelling with didn't have this, so its worth asking when you book if you have 3 in cabin as Sofa is a pain in butt.
Shower was tiny, and water goes everywhere when you shower, take a couple large bull clips to peg at bottom of shower curtain to stop it blowing in on you.
Our steward Ketut was lovely and very helpful, and most staff were helpful but communication was not so good and service was very inconsistent across the ship.
The sailaway party was much anticipated, as we had experienced these on Rhapsody and P&0's the Jewel, and they were great, lots of atmosphere, entertainment and much merriment. This was non existent on this ship. To get a drink was a major challenge as there was not enough bar staff. This improved the next afternoon as we think they picked up more staff in Newcastle.
My partner and son got the premium drinks package which was $55 a day and covered beer, wine, spirits and cocktails. only problem was you had to buy it for the whole trip, so $55 a day for 5 days. i think they got their moneys worth most days haha. Again though there was miscomunication as staff told us everyone in cabin needed to buy the package each, which i didnt want to do as a minimal drinker. Other staff said differently which meant some in our group had to then go and change thier packages and get reimbursed, very confusing! I also kept getting conflictual info from my steward, and casino staff had no clue what was going on!
We ate in the dining room 2 nights then gave up and went to buffet because the service was so bad. Consequently i didnt tip any of them, just our steward and diffrent waiters. Guest services staff were lovely and very helpful.
The Buffet food was lovely, and changed daily for lunch and dinner.
I did try the restaurant once more for breakfast but i had to send back my Eggs benedict as the sauce tasted bad. 2 in our group ordered the classic breakfast but they 'ran out' of Bacon, although the buffet magically had it! They also ran out of Jim Beam the first day, Baileys the third day and ice cream as well.
Entertainment was fairly good. The comedian the first night was not good and lots walked out. Marty Coffey was great as was the hypnotist. Some great shows not to be missed were love and marriage show, and the Adult Quest scavenger hunt, both hilarious! We had one wet day and went to the cinema but it was packed, they did put another movie on in the large auditorium later though so that was good.
Formal night was fun and the last night of the cruise they had a 70's farewell party. Music was good but it was meant to start at 9:30pm but didnt kick off until 10:30 so lots went off to bed or to pack.
They give you a time to get off the ship but if like us your not getting picked up till later - 10am for us, you can hang out on ship till they kick you off and have breakfast, drink coffee etc. They dont advertise this, same as they dont tell you you can get on ship earlier, but you can do this, and its been the same on all the cruises i have been on.
We had a great time, and as there were 16 of us we made our own fun as well, i was just disapointed in the service a lot of the time.
The nightclub was a fun place with a good atmosphere and the young ones travelling with us went up there every night and loved it
Room service was a nice added extra and is free up till midnight, but some staff hard to understand and vice versa probably, so you might not get exactly what you ask for!
Beds were comfy and made fresh each day. Not a lot of noise where we were mid ship, but my brothers room right near elevator was noisier but it didnt bother them.
If your prone to motion sickness keep up your tablets, but the larger ships you really dont feel a lot of movement, depending on where you're going
Sadly on our cruise a young man with a disability had to be medi vacced by chopper from the ship. Communication from the crew was good during this time and let everyone know what was going on.
Price wise for drinks i think the RC ships are very reasonable. $5.50 for a beer, $7.50 for a cocktail of the day in a RC glass to keep. We did find the drink of the day, whilst the same named drink, seemed to change ingredients or levels of ingredients from bar to bar and some tasted bad!If you drink spirits they make them very strong and i often had to get a coke etc on the side to dull it down. Great if you want to get drunk haha.
As we only went for 5 days we didnt try the specialty restaurants but our friends did and you can get a package to try a few of them. They loved the Mexican one and the CHops Grille.
Buying a decent coffee was a challenge as it was always so busy and the standard inconsistent, some days was gorgeous, some days awful.
When you first get on you will be hammered to buy drinks and restaurant packages but i guess its easy enough to say no
We had a wonderful time but not sure i would sail on Radiance again. I have booked an 11 night cruise for next year on Rhapsody and a short cruise on Celebrity Solstice.
Join the Crown and Anchor society while your on, so your next RC cruise you get benefits, like express embarkation and vouchers in your room for various things
Take the time to dress nice formal night and get a photo, they are lovely souvenirs
Hopefully this has been a helpful review. Bon Voyage! Less
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