I will start out by saying I have cruised 130 nights of which 41 has been on RCCL
32 Nights has been on Voyager and the last one was, Feb 2013 and now 9 on Radiance. We have booked another 62 nights with RCCL over the next 18 months. I hope what we experienced on Radiance is not a sign of the times as the 62 days will be cancelled.
However at this time we believe RCCL is the best value around.
We arrived at the Sydney dock at 11.30. Our boarding time was 11 and they have staggered boarding times by deck.
Disaster ,everyone seemed to arrive at 11 and it was madness but this was not the fault of RCCL.
Boarded the ship and while waiting for the cabin to be ready we looked around the ship.
I will say it is a pretty ship, lots of lights , wood and some nice venues and looking forward to the cruise.
The cabin was ready and we went and settled in, it had a big balcony all good so we thought !
First night out we went to dinning room, Deck 5 cascades My time dining. We went to our table 595 and were met by 2 of the most outstanding staff on the whole ship Andy and Ronald. We had our grand Kids with us and they made them feel really special. 2 nights later I had a phone call from dining and asked if we minded moving tables that night as we were 7 on a table for 10 and they had a booking that night for 9 and wanted to use the table. I said no problem However the table we were moved to was just plain terrible, service was really bad and it seemed they were going through the motions.
The next day my wife rang and said are we going back to table 595 and that is when it went really down hill.
The operator was very rude and my wife was told that we booked a time and not a table and we would be put where they want to put us which was to be the bad table .We did not go back to the dining room until the second last night and were put on 595 which was good
The food in all venues we visited was just outstanding, best ever
While all this was going on the ship had some rough seas and our cabin was terrible, it moaned groaned rattled and a constant tap , tap, tap all night long drove us mad. Other some other people we spoke to had similar cabin issues so it seems there could be an issue.
On top of that our cabin steward was the worst I have had, not until day 6 did he wipe down the balcony table, some other people we spoke with said there cabin was not serviced for 2 days and when they asked why not they were told " I forgot "
The ship I called the trivia capitol because everything was trivia, trivia trivia
Venues were poorly utilised in my view particularly when you have loud music playing in the centrum which travels up to all decks but in a venue designed for it there was generally Trivia !!
Not all but a lot of staff seemed to be going through the motions and we got the feeling at times we were imposing. Some were very friendly and that is the Aussie way but some were drab
Based on other cruises I have done from RCCL we felt that they were around 50+ staff short
At times there were no drink waiters , at venues and the same at the Buffet. My wife ordered a bottle of wine in the buffet and it took 20 plus minutes to arrive and clearly they did not want to get it
I guess this is what happens when you down grade the buffet and increase the specialty dining venues
Sail away parties were just terrible and worst experienced
For us it was not our best cruise but I am sure first timers would have loved it
Exiting Sydney terminal was very fluid, easy to get off the ship
Now I am a smoker and always get a balcony for that reason. However as of January 1 -2014 no more smoking on balconies. During the cruise I was abused by a lady in the next cabin for smoking but I always do not smoke if someone is on the balcony. What she failed to do was not leave her cabin door open all day and all night it is a no no on a ship.
Then I was down wind from her balcony and it was other people up wind who were smoking and there smoke was going into her cabin
Apart from that all she would have had to do was knock on my door and say Hey smoking effects me would mind not smoking when we are on the balcony instead of ranting and raving like an idiot
So now I can't smoke any longer on the balcony I will now start complaining about getting into lifts and suffering from women who ware heavy make up [ it effects mu sinuses badly ] then stop drinking on the ships as I do not drink and can't stand the smell of people who reek of alcohol or who act like idiots
My point here is that when you are on a ship sometimes everything is not perfect and you have to accept some things and roll with the punches a bit. It seems I have to accept things but others will not
Good 2 hour tour saw all the good spots and Aquarium on this tour, the aquarium was awesome , do not miss it