10 Auckland Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of ... Read More
Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of excursion. But boring just seeing the countryside.q when we got back to town couldnt find anywhere to sit or toilets open, civic centre closed, pub for patrons only (understandable, but no help if you have been in a bus for three hours and on fluid tablets). Dunedin was the same situation with toilet stops on the bus trip, needs more thought with mature age passengers. Food in dining room needs more variety, but served hot which was good. They need to be stricter with dress code or don’t bother. Theme nights were only in Windjammer. Breakfast and lunch in Windjammer were fine, salmon with poached egg for breakfast suites me, also the salads are great for lunch. Not available in dining room for dinner. Didn’t try any specialty restaurants. As usual drinks weren’t cheap, we bought a drinks package as you can get better coffee and bottled water, wine by the glass in the dining room was included, only get discount on bottles so better to drink by the glass. Felt sorry for couples where only one drank as you had to buy for both. Boarding, disembarking and tenders were well organised. They have a ramp they can use for wheelchairs to board tenders, would be better for all passengers more stable than the steps on platform. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were ... Read More
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were available at 1pm, excellent start to our cruise We had booked a balcony cabin on Deck 9 and on arrival our cases were waiting for us. The cabin was a good size, plenty of wardrobe/storage space. Bathroom was the usual size, the cabin was all in good order. Our cabin steward came along to introduce himself, Iwayan Eka Wirawan (Cabin 9516 13-23/02/2019). We had plenty of time to explore the ship prior to sailing and we were very impressed with all we saw. We ate in Windjammer, Park Cafe and Cascades . We found the food variety good in Windjammer although sometimes could have been hotter. The odd time we had lunch at Park Cafe it was good. Dinner at Cascades was very good we were on My Time Dining and was generally allocated our table by Jasper who was always very pleasant and helpful in seating us in the same area, generally table 499. The staff in this area, Velancio and Hanuraz looked after us very well. After our first visit they remembered what wine we had and my husband has a stomach problem and they made sure he got the food he required making any necessary changes he required. Overall the staff in the bars, restaurants and casino were very friendly and efficient. We thought the atmosphere on board the ship was very positive. The Captain, Cruise Director and crew were also very friendly and approachable. Our overall opinion of the ship and the cruise was excellent.the Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance ... Read More
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance of the Seas, the ship has definitely seen better days. We felt the maintenance could have been better. The railing on our balcony was definitely in need of stain. The ship in MANY places has rust showing. It just appears old. However, every other aspect of this ship was awesome. There is an indoor pool (with hot tubs) along with an outdoor pool. We went 1/24/19 for a 10 day cruise. The food in the dining room was good. The Windjammer I felt could have been better, but my husband was OK with it (we went there for breakfast and lunch). Staff is excellent and always around ready to help. Our bed was very good and I loved the pillows. Nightly shows/entertainment: Was not very impressed with the staff dancers/singers until their final night, where they were good. The entertainment they had other nights was very good. LOVED the Freddie Mercury (Queen) entertainer!!!! The piano player another night was also good! One of the staff singers Abby was also excellent! Overall we were very pleased with the entertainment. Ship Excursions we took (through Royal Caribbean): Napier panorama on a guided bus was nice with us hearing about an interesting town with lovely views. In Napier NZ we went on a sheep tour which included a sheepdog showing off his skills bring the sheep down from the hills. EXCELLENT and well worth the money. The owners provided us also with lamb rolls and tea in their garden which was just an added plus. The farmer also sheared one of his lambs, a 4 month old first time shearing) and that was cool to see. Interesting that the value of this one's wool was only worth $4NZ. We also went on an Akaroa Panorama bus tour which was great. This was our favorite port as it was beautiful and interesting. We also went on a Welling and Dunedin city tour, but were both disappointed with these towns. The bus driver one day pulled to the side of the road to explain about a house set back 3 houses (that we couldn't even see) and gave us boring information on this home for about 7 minutes. Neither town really impressed us much. The final day in NZ was totally on the ship touring Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds. If you have a balcony, try to book the side of the ship that faces the hills/fiords. This was totally beautiful and plenty of waterfalls. SO pretty! The final day we cruised from NZ to Australia through the Tasman Sea. Never before have I been seasick - enough to stay in bed. So if you have the slightest possibility of seasickness, bring pills. However, the doctors office located on the lower deck (I think 2) gave out free seasickness pills. And the office had a lot of people in it!! Driving into the port of Sydney the next day was beautiful!!! Be sure to be up early to capture this sight! We truly did enjoy this cruise. And though I bashed the condition of the ship, we are happy we experienced it! One additional side note: we could definitely see the rivalry between the Aussies and the Kiwis. They made fun of each other but said they did like each other. Hmmmm - I'm not sure I saw this! the majority of the ship is Australian and New Zealand cruisers. But there were certainly other nationalities as well! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and spent the next day touring the city for a bit before boarding our cruise! Embarkation was a breeze. Everyone there was very friendly. We headed to our cabin and were shocked to find stains on our sheets and bedskirt and a balcony that you wouldn't want to step foot on unless you had your shoes on (pictures posted). So we turned around and headed straight to Guest Services with our pictures to ask to be switched to a different room. Mind you, I have never ever made such a request. But this was NOT Royal Caribbean quality - this was Motel 6 in a bad part of town quality going on here! Of course, they said they didn't have any other rooms, but they would send housekeeping and maintenance to come take a look. When they arrived, they changed the sheets and bedskirt and told us that they knew the balcony was bad and not up to their standards. They told us they could fix it, but it would take three days and we wouldn't be able to use it. In the meantime, they powerwashed it, (but that didn't change anything) and provided beach towels to put on the balcony floor!!! So needless to say that part was a real disappointment because I've been on several RC cruises and Royal Caribbean is better than this. The second day of the cruise I realize that our in-room refrigerator isn't cooling anything. When I ask our room steward about this, he tells me it isn't a refrigerator, it's a cooler. I explain that I have a prescription that needs to be refrigerated and he says he will talk to his supervisor about it. We go out that day on our excursions and when I return I find a 3 1/5 foot refrigerator in the middle of the floor of our room!!!!!! WTH!! I moved it out to the hallway and called maintenance to come pick it up! From then on they provided me with ice buckets each night and plastic bags for me to put my prescription in it to keep it cold. SMH As far as other public facilities, the wear and tear on this boat is showing. One night I went to the ladies room and (I kid you not) the faucet was being held together by duct tape!!! There were three sinks with three soap dispensers and only one dispenser worked. The attendant acknowledged that the other two were broken, and says "here you can use this one." (I was stunned and disappointed - I've never seen anything like that on a Royal Caribbean cruise.) The dining was great as usual. We ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and the MDR for dinner each evening. I don't know why people complain about the food. Honestly, there's so much selection that if you don't like something, try something else! Entertainment and activities were limited because it's a smaller ship. The Cruise Director was entertaining & made an effort to mingle with the guests and say hi. The ports were great! There's so much to see and do in NZ! Honestly I want to go back to NZ to see more. Though I would advise not doing the Akaroa - Christchurch and Countryside tour. We went to a sheep ranch and watched the farmer shear sheep and then watched his dogs herd sheep from the mountain. Afterwards his wife had sausage rolls, tea, and biscuits for everyone. THAT part was awesome! They were a lovely couple who were just so kind and welcoming to allow our tour group to come to their home. The rest of the tour was a loooong drive to Christchurch which was a pretty countryside drive. However, the drive was over an hour and a half just to get to Christchurch! Then we were only there about 50 minutes before we had to get back on the bus to head back to the ship for an almost two hour drive. And honestly, there isn't much of anything to see in Christchurch. You see the cathedral which is still in terrible disrepair from the earthquake in 2011 and still has fencing all around it. That's it! That's all there is to see! You get off the bus, walk up to where the cathedral is, & look at it. Then you try and find a bite to eat and get back on the bus. So the majority of this excursion was spent on a bus!!! Not my idea of a good time. Total waste of time spent there in my opinion. Save your money on this excursion and find something else to do. Fitness center was good. My husband went there most everyday and I ran on the outdoor track each morning, before the crowds head up there. Overall this was a wonderful cruise and I would love to go again! But we will never cruise on this ship again or this size ship again. We definitely prefer the larger, newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We had never visited New Zealand before and we got a great all inclusive price for this cruise. We did have a lovely time and thought NZ was amazing, the Radiance was a very nice ship, Art Deco design and we were very impressed by it. ... Read More
We had never visited New Zealand before and we got a great all inclusive price for this cruise. We did have a lovely time and thought NZ was amazing, the Radiance was a very nice ship, Art Deco design and we were very impressed by it. Embarkation was a shambles taking nearly three hours but other guests told us that this is not normal for RC. I suppose we are used to flying to a place in the med and then joining the ship so it is not everyone all together at the same time. The staff were so friendly and helpful, Ery our cabin steward couldn’t have been more helpful and Wendy in the Solarium always looked out for us and kept us topped up with drinks. Having been with Thomson’s, now Marella since 2013 for 5 cruises on different ships every time, we felt that Royal Caribbean was more interested in your money than you as a customer. Every time you moved on the ship someone jumped out trying to take a photo of you with something which got very annoying. When we first got on to the ship we were pounced on th buy this or that package for dining/ drinks ect. We already had a free drinks package included. We usually go to the main dining room as I am Gluten Free and Marella are very good dealing with my diet. We went there on the first night and it was not good, tables all cramped together, very noisy too. My husband was offered wine but not any one else, there were our two friends with us. Our friend’s wife meal was cold, something other guests complained of to us later in the week. We decided to stick to the Windjammer buffet which was excellant. There was plenty of choice for Gluten Free, great food and it was spacious too. We had phone calls in the week to ask why we hadn’t been back to the MDR. We gave it another try for breakfast next day. My husband asked for cornflakes and they brought Frosties, he asked again and they bought a box of Frosties and milk. Third time he finally got cornflakes.!! The cruise director was a cross between David Hasselhoff and Donald Trump, he just seem so false and patronising. He did redeem himself a bit on the last day as he did a great Neil Diamond life story tribute. Entertainment to us wasn’t as professional as Marella although there was a good Aussie Beatles tribute. On Marella you get a lot more info each day in the cruise news about the ports visited and ways to get around, transport ect. Asking at reception wasn’t always productive and it was difficult to get a definite answer to questions. We got good value for what we paid but I think we will be sticking to Marella in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Our first on RCCL however we had done our fair share of cruise around the world with different cruise lines. Over all the ship was OK Food was very good in (included) eating laces). The buffet had great amount to chose from.Better ... Read More
Our first on RCCL however we had done our fair share of cruise around the world with different cruise lines. Over all the ship was OK Food was very good in (included) eating laces). The buffet had great amount to chose from.Better than Princess.The main dining room was very quashed with no room between tables. Breakfast service was a shambles some morning in the dining room. The entertainment was very hit and miss (most a miss ! ). Using the atrium for much of the entertainment was frustrating as there is very little seating and could have been used in the Colony Club (which had little going on at any given time. Lectures were at 9 am ! There fore little attended. The over all condition of the ship was good , better than Princess keeps their ships . The N-virus appeared about half way through the cruise and they announced 35 cases had come to the med-centre ,though since the cruise ended I have read on the net that that went up to 75 and the following cruise embarkation was delayed till 3 pm to start . Ports of call in NZ and Australia were all good, though Bay of Islands was cancelled with no refund. The large outside cabin 3032 was a 4 berth one which was comfortable ,the carpet looks to be well over due for a clean (shampoo),but the cabin was serviced twice a day as you would expect. We had a last minute deal and with that deal in mind , we were happy Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We boarded the ship in Auckland which was completely hassle free. We were on the 8th deck cabin size was fine. The balcony was very small and the 2 seater sofa in the cabin somewhat tired looking. The lower deck seemed to have a ... Read More
We boarded the ship in Auckland which was completely hassle free. We were on the 8th deck cabin size was fine. The balcony was very small and the 2 seater sofa in the cabin somewhat tired looking. The lower deck seemed to have a larger balconies. Soon as we got on board we were confronted with the upsell of buying into the specialty restaurants - something we did not want to do as we felt we had already paid for fine dining in the cost of our cruise. It wasn't cheap. Whilst the service in the main dining area was excellent the food left a great deal to be desired. We would liken it to what is available at our local RSA - certainly no where near the standard of previous Royal Caribbean Cruises we have done. Apple Strudel - a flat piece of white looking chewy pastry with small apple pieces pressed into the pastry and a blob of icream on top the size of a small saucer. I needed a knife and fork to be able to cut this so I could actually eat it. A quiche served as a main - the quiche being waifer thin - an extremely small triangle served with a little coleslaw. Someone else ordered Lobster that was not cooked through. We were warned not to drink the water however when we went to buy bottled water were asked "don't you have a drinks package". We often had to queue to get water. There were many complaints. Third night in my husband felt he got food poisoning and a crew member told us that several people had got sick that night and they thought it was food poisoning but they had been asked not to tell anyone. Entertainment during the day was poor - it appeared to be mainly radio music. You couldn't go and sit and listen to someone playing the piano or a live singer. Entertainment in the theatre at night was excellent. Our trip was around N.Z. and across to Australia. We did enjoy the ports we went to.8518 Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports visited in the Australia portion of the cruise. We had a balcony suite and it was spacious enough and had a lot of storage space. One thing to note: the only toiletries you get in the ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the number of ports visited in the Australia portion of the cruise. We had a balcony suite and it was spacious enough and had a lot of storage space. One thing to note: the only toiletries you get in the bathroom is shampoo. If you want facial tissue, shower gel, hand lotion and hair conditioner, you must ask your room steward, otherwise you do without. In fact one steward (not ours) told me they weren't available but I knew they were from a previous cruise...you just have to ask for them. We were not able to stop at the Bay of Islands due to high winds, so this most important port for shore excursions was missed. Note: I found out that RCL will not give you a port credit for missing a port unlike other cruise lines who do give you a credit. After all, we pay for the port fees, we should get a refund for missed ports. Entertainment and Activities - Over the two-week period, there were about 4 or 5 shows that were very good. The rest were mediocre, especially the comedian and the impressionist. The jersey boys tribute was great; the violinist was great; the Tango dance production was great. They showed about 4 or 5 movies which they recycled over the two-week period. They have mini golf which was nice as well as a rock-climbing wall. Bingo was always a favourite on the ship. Staff - The dining room staff we had were great. Elisios, Ashish and Edward, thank you for looking after us. You offered us great insight into your jobs. We gave you a 10 rating. Our room steward, Boran, also gave us very good service and kept us stocked up on toiletries. Thanks, Boran. Food - The food on the ship has declined on RCL as noted by a number of Diamond guests on the ship. I agree with them. In fact, several Diamond members met with the Food Services Director to complain about the quality of the food that was being served. In the Windjammer Cafe, you move from station to station having to get your food without a tray, necessitating you to go to your table, put your plate down, got back for your beverage, etc. Lots of wasted time. Toast and other toasted breads were placed in covered dishes but were rarely hot. I learned to ask to have my toast freshly toasted. Poached eggs were usually hard in the middle. Desserts consisted of Jello or mousse, so clearly a cost-cutting measure. Cheesecake offered was dry and hard as were the chocolate cupcakes when offered. However, there was lots of fresh fruit, so we ate a lot of that. The dinner dining room menus were uninspiring for many days. Towards the end of the cruise there was an improvement. What the menu item described for a dish was not necessarily what you thought it should be. For example, beef stroganoff was chunks of beef in a beef gravy with a 1/4 tsp. of sour cream on the top--not how beef stroganoff is made. Roast duck was very dry. Lamb was offered several times and this was very good. There is beef on the menu every night but they never tell you the cut you are getting. Pretty sure it wasn't prime rib. On the last formal night, we had lobster or beef but not both, i.e. surf and turf, which is commonly offered on a formal night. If we wanted both, we had to order separately. When it came, the server moved either the beef or lobster to one plate and then served it as surf and turf. The veggies on the second plate then got thrown out. What a waste! And you don't get steak with surf and turf, you get a slice of beef. Lunch in the dining room was very limited. Food menu was not great either. I ordered a burger, which tasted very good, but was missing some of the items indicated in the descriptor. When I asked why, the server came back and told me that it wasn't available. Go to the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch. There was an outbreak of Norwalk virus a couple of days into the cruise. This meant that the staff were now working overtime to sanitize the entire ship. We were served our meals in the Windjammer. The pools were drained; the walls were washed down; handrails were disinfected many times during the day. The dining rooms were fogged every night and all serveware had to be disinfected. NOTE TO GUESTS: PLEASE WASH YOUR HANDS AFTER USING THE TOILET. I saw a number of guests in the washrooms who came out of the stalls and simply rinsed their hands under water with no soap used. NOTE TO KITCHEN STAFF: You probably use prewashed salad greens but prewashed has been known to contain e coli. Please wash all salad greens. Every time I had a salad, a few hours later, I got stomach cramps. After I stopped eating salad greens, no stomach cramps. NOTE TO PARENTS: It is NOT okay to have your children in the adult pool if they are not 100% toilet trained or if they ware wearing diapers. Please be mindful of the other guests who are using the pool. We saw this a number of times with parents. Ports - Wellington, Tauranga and Dunedin were lovely. We visited the Cadbury chocolate factory and would recommend that tour. You can buy tickets directly on the Cadbury website and the free shuttle into Dunedin drops you right across the street from the factory. We enjoyed Melbourne and a visit to the Victoria market is a must. We got many good buys there. Wollongong was a great stop and probably my favourite. I understand it was a first-time stop for RCL. We got the red-carpet treatment from the locals. They had a whole team of volunteers to greet us and there was a free bus that circulated the city so we could get on and off as we pleased. Everywhere we went, we were welcomed. The whole city knew we were there as it had be put in the newspaper. A tv crew was even there to greet us. Definitely would recommend that this port be continued as a port stop. Lots to see. Beaches are beautiful as is the botanical gardens. There were many volunteers at different ports to greet us and provide us with maps of their city as well as other useful information. This was greatly appreciated. This is my second cruise on RCL and I probably will not take another cruise with them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Sea cruise to Australia and New Zealand was a major disappointment. The ship was originally constructed in 2001 and needs significant upgrading! A lot of maintenance items need to be repaired; ... Read More
Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Sea cruise to Australia and New Zealand was a major disappointment. The ship was originally constructed in 2001 and needs significant upgrading! A lot of maintenance items need to be repaired; original seating in the theater, water slides and pool that have not been upgraded since 2001. The cabins were also very dated and the "large" balcony cabins resemble a floating Motel 6. Cascades dining was also a disappointment with many food items having to be returned to the kitchen as they were not edible. The Cascade's dining room is similar to being at a large convention, but with below average food quality and service. Although there were 2 "formal" dining evenings, during these evening, 1/5 of the guests wore a sports jacket; The rest of the evenings were "theme" dress codes including rock n roll, 70s, country, Aussie, etc., that should be eliminated. There is a strong up-sell to upgrade to other restaurants on the ship which, unfortunately, were the only good meals that we experienced on the cruise. The entertainment on the ship was poor and consisted of a hypnotist, comedian, a bad Michael Jackson impersonator, and other acts that were basically similar to a high school talent show. The cruise's itinerary was excellent, but all services and accommodations were significantly inferior to my other cruise experiences. I would recommend travelling on Princess that has a similar New Zealand/Australia itinerary. FYI...most excursions do not include any meal service even if they are all day activities... Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
We chose the Radiance because of its itinerary in New Zealand and Australia and because of the good experiences we have had on several other Royal Caribbean ships. Unfortunately, our experience on the Radiance fell well below our previous ... Read More
We chose the Radiance because of its itinerary in New Zealand and Australia and because of the good experiences we have had on several other Royal Caribbean ships. Unfortunately, our experience on the Radiance fell well below our previous Royal Caribbean cruises in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Overall, the ship seemed to have many issues that need correcting, including the menu choices and food preparation in the main dining room at dinner, the boring and tasteless food in the rather small buffet and the poor condition of the ship's furnishings. The Radiance is definitely showing its age and should be brought into dry dock for a complete refurbishment or should be retired. The balcony cabin we reserved was large enough and had a much larger balcony, as we were on the hump. The bed and pillows were comfortable and linens in good condition. However, the furniture was in need of refinishing. The bathroom shower had a curtain rather than a sliding curved door, so was difficult to keep water from splashing on the bathroom floor. The shower head was difficult to move away from the front so added to the problem. When we boarded and got to our cabin, we found lots of paint chips that must have been dislodged when the ship was power washed. They were stuck like glue to the balcony decking and on the 3 chairs and large table there. I tried to get them off by wiping down with a damp towel, but they would not budge. Our cabin steward was great as was our head waiter and his assistant. The rest of the crew were very hard working and pleasant, with the exception of those at the Guest Services and combined Shore Excursion desk, all of whom were not very helpful nor very pleasant. They did not seem to know what they were doing half the time. The touted VOOM wifi was spotty and sometime nonexistent and the entertainment was not very good except for the one night when there was a great tango group. The comedians were horrible. Pools on the ship were very small and not designed to resist movement, so were sloshing a lot when at sea. The workout room is adequate, but some of the equipment needs replacing as some were difficult to change adjustments and one slipped out of the adjustment pin for several people when I was in the gym. Classes looked good, but some were designed to sell orthotics or other things. We will not cruise on the Radiance again unless it undergoes a complete overhaul and we are sure many other passengers would echo our sentiments. Many things made us wonder if RCCL is cutting back to improve their bottom line. May backfire, as lots of passengers openly expressed their dissatisfaction with cruise to everyone within earshot. Read Less
Sail Date January 2018
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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