This is our sixth cruise on Royal Caribbean. We are Diamond Members and really love the Royal Caribbean brand. However, this last cruise was a bit disappointing.
Embarkation was smooth and easy. Vancouver is a beautiful city and we enjoyed staying there very much. The port in Vancouver is very well organized and we had no problems checking in and getting on the ship in a timely fashion.
We booked this cruise a year in advance along with my parents who were traveling with us. When we booked, we had requested a 4 top table, so that the four of us could dine together. When we went to check out our table, they had us at a table for 10. We immediately went to request that it be changed and were told that they would call us and let us know if they could honor the request. I was a bit annoyed considering we had asked for this a year ago when we booked, but there was nothing to be done except wait for the call, which did come the next day. They were able to get us a new table, but the first night, we had to dine in the Windjammer until the mix up could be sorted out. Not that big of a deal, just a little aggravating.
The ship itself is old. That's all I can say. I was so disappointed in the ship because I had read how the Radiance had undergone a top to bottom renovation. I'm not sure what was renovated because the ship looked just like it always has. The only difference is that there are now 4 new restaurants (additional charges apply). Honestly, I'm not sure who's idea it was to put 2 more restaurants on board as I never saw anyone going there to eat. In fact, the 2 new restaurants take up space in the already crowded Windjammer which is chaotic during breakfast and lunch. Forget about finding a seat.
I will say that our junior suite was nice and big. It seemed much roomier than other junior suites that we've stayed in. The room was a bit noisy, though, as we could hear carts being pushed across the deck at all hours of the day and night. I've never had this problem before, so I'm not sure why our cabin was so noisy. Our stateroom attendant was sweet as can be. I really liked him, but felt that he was being overworked. I think Royal Caribbean has cut back on staff, because this poor kid was literally running in order to finish cleaning the many rooms that he was in charge of. I think because he was having to rush, there were a few things that got overlooked. Not to gross anyone out, but the first night I went to the bathroom, I looked down and the entire front of the toilet was covered in urine. It was like the guests before may have missed their aim. Anyway, this was really disgusting. Also, the shower curtain in my shower was 3 feet too long vertically. Basically, when you went to take a shower, you were standing on the curtain! I did ask to have a different shower curtain, and one was provided, but seriously, is this something that I should have to request? I mean, isn't haven't a shower curtain that fits the shower sort of a basic amenity? All I can say is that this was really disappointing.
The Diamond Lounge was nice, maybe a little cramped, but nice. We enjoyed having a cocktail before dinner and the chocolate covered strawberries were delightful.
The food in the dining room was not that good. But the waitstaff was fantastic. We had Victor and Romeo and they were wonderful! They more than made up for the bad food with their excellent service. The Windjammer was the same as always. Buffet style food, nothing great, but nothing terrible. Average at best.
Finally, when will Royal Caribbean ever get cardio machines with the tv built in? I mean, for goodness sakes, even 3 star hotels have treadmills and exercise bikes with tvs built in.
All in all, here is my summation: The staff on board are top notch. They are professional, kind and hard working. They were all polite and fun, and I really enjoyed interacting with them. The ship is not that great. In my opinion, having a small ship of this size for an 11 night cruise is ridiculous. Lastly, I really felt that Royal Caribbean's standards on this sailing were not up to par.
If you are thinking of a Hawaii Cruise, I would not recommend this ship or itinerary.