Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by jansc50: CASH COWS
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Australia & New Zealand
Embarkation: Perth (Fremantle)
Royal Caribbean treats its passengers like cash cows, even charging for a sea sickness pill! The gratuities system is a scam. We had decided to opt for My Time Dining so, paid the required amount to cover gratuities at the time of booking and used the online facility to book a table for two in Cascades each night at a specific time. On board, however,, each time we went to the Cascades Restaurant we had to wait for a table to become available. Thus, we may just have well have not opted for My Time Dining and so had to pay the gratuities, merely instead just have queued with the small number each night who had not done so.
The Drinks & Beverage Packages are also a scam, because on ordering a drinks package for one member albeit whether or not another sharing needs one, a drinks package must be purchased for each and every person sharing a Stateroom. We decided not to purchase any drinks packages, and saved a great deal by just buying alcohol and soft drinks as and when More necessary. Fresh orange is only served 'free' at breakfast time in the Windjammer or Cascades - otherwise it is charged for. The only drinks Royal Caribbean offer at no extra cost are teas and coffees, water and diluted lemon or iced tea. Coco cola is also at a price, as is bottled Evian - 1 litre bottle $4-5.
The speciality restaurants are an expensive option and it seemed not so popular, as each morning outside the Windjammer their waiting staff were always outside touting for business.
We were booked to go to the Esplanade Hotel in Perth on arrival at Perth International Airport; however, confusingly we were taken straight to the port to embark. En route, a phone to the taxi driver requested him to return to the airport to pick up some stranded passengers who had been there for 2 hours. He decided to drop us at the port first where we were surrounded by eager porters keen to grab our cases for a tip (obviously). The taxi driver sped off, taking my new coat with him. Royal Caribbean staff argued that RC never send taxis to collect passengers from the airport, but that did and we stood our ground. They assured me that my coat would be returned as the taxi company would not wish to lose their business - complete contradiction of what had just been said about never using taxis! The Receptionist onboard refused to contact RC offices to message the company. The ship sailed 30 minutes early so, if ever the taxi driver did return with my coat well, of course, I never received it or any compensation offer from RC.
During the final days of the cruise, waiting staff in the Windjammer were noted by passengers to have stroppy attitude. Everyone affected considered this to be due to poor tipping from passengers - we had aid the gratuity to cover those tips with the My Time Dining option; however, apparently those who had not felt it was not justified either or those who had did not feel impressed enough to pay more!
I would not use Royal Caribbean Cruises again; having chosen the cruise itinerary offered we thought we ought to find the cruise line satisfactory - very disappointed with the way RC treats it customers. Less
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Cabin review: 4536
The cabin was comfortable, and the attendant did not disappoint. Accordingly, we tipped him fairly at the end of the cruise. Only disappointment was that we usually book a balcony stateroom, but all were booked over a year before the sailing date! Nevertheless, we had an Oceanview Stateroom, so the non-opening window was fine as the air conditioning was efficient.
Port and Shore Excursions
We were very disappointed. First, due to insufficient tenders being available with two cruise liners being in port at the same time, we were delayed from boarding for two hours. Furthermore, the journey was four hours to Christchurch, in a non-air-conditioned coach. A stop was made en route, where passengers were left for an hour at a venue that only necessitated a short break of 30 mins, which meant that the time left for Christchurch was only going to be 2 hours maximum. Christchurch being demolished following the earthquake offered very little in the way of refreshment outlets and the few available meant long waits to be served. The return journey was a miserable experience, as the non-working air-conditioning system dripped water on passengers. Two passengers had umbrellas, which were being passed up and down the coach as the water swished around and I had a hat that served as a bucket. No apologies from RC or offer of a refund.
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