1,266 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being ... Read More
Having done a back to back cruise last year on the Harmony of the Seas I can say without reservation the Radiance was a far more enjoyable experience for two experienced cruisers in their mid(ish) 60's that don't relish being around over 1,000 kids. We tried the "mega ship as the destination" thing and the" ship within a ship suite level" thing, and it left us wanting. A lot. Then a destination wedding of friends on the Big Island made us reexamine RCI. This was a ten day cruise Vancouver to Honolulu (5 sea days then stops in Maui, Kauai, Hilo, Kona, Honolulu) with 18 more days to Sydney Australia for those doing the complete journey. We disembarked a day early in Kona since we would have had to fly back there for wedding the next day. Perfect timing. We'd been on the Radiance 10 years earlier and enjoyed her, so off we went. What we loved: The size of the ship and the number of passengers (just right) The orientation to the sea from almost all the interior spaces and the beautiful atrium One of the handsomest lounges at sea (Colony Club) Lots of seating inside and out at the Windjammer buffet The crispy lobster rolls at Izumi (and almost everything else!) Lots of deck space and loungers. Automatic leveling pool tables. The friendliness crew, officers and cruise staff. The excursion to Lanai....off the beaten track with a 5 star guide! What we liked: The food in the Windjammer and and main dinning room. The food in the specialty restaurants The musicians and lounge acts. Plenty of activities for the number of sea days (special shout out to the egg drop) The art deco vibe of the stateroom Cleanliness of stateroom and public spaces in general. The excursion to Hanelei on Kauai...(with scenes from movies shot on Kauai on the ride back to the ship, crowd favorite Dinocroc Vs. Supergator) Enough elevators for the amount of guests (contrasted to the Oasis class horror) What we weren't crazy about: Embarkation slow and disjointed....you go through US customs when you leave BC, slowing down the process. Stateroom bathroom tired, dated and exorbitant amount caulking used to fill in the gaps. Internet amazingly slow....(think dial up speed if you are old enough to remember) The floor in the Windjammer often very slick from as the signs say "condensation", like walking on ice in street shoes. Evening entertainment limited. Would we do RCI again? As long as the Radiance class ships exist, doing longer itineraries, we will. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is ... Read More
Disclaimer - We would like to pass on our impressions and thoughts of our cruise experience to anyone planning for or getting ready to participate in a similar Itinerary. Everyone knows that reviews are subjective. One person’s gold is another’s trash. That said please remember this is our personal impressions and yours, of course, will vary. We ignore postings that are made in response to our reviews that merely seek to flame. We will review subsequent posts in order to provide answers to questions asked. We appreciate this understanding. Please ignore any spelling or grammar errors – we want to get this posted swiftly before we lose focus on our experiences. Thank you. Travel and Embarkation - We are a semi-retired American couple (both 66 years of age) living as expats in an Asian country. This was our seventh cruise (3 on Princess and 3 on Norwegian, and now 1 on Royal Caribbean). We made all our own arrangement for this trip including direct reservations with Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, air travel, and hotel, (we did a RCCL transfer from the ship to the airport in Honolulu). We flew in one day ahead of the 10 September sail date so we could enjoy some time in Vancouver without the stress of trying to make a flight on cruise day. This was a good decision in retrospect as our experience in the Vancouver airport was one for the record book. We were queued up three times in multi-hundred person lines before we got to immigration. The airport appeared to be completely overwhelmed with passengers. It literally took three and a half hours from exiting the airplane to getting to the point of retrieving our baggage. We took the light rail line from the airport to the Waterfront Station in downtown Vancouver. The train was very easy to negotiate, quick, and inexpensive. Our pre-cruise stay was as the Exchange Hotel located a couple of blocks away from the cruise port at Canada Place. The weather was typical Northwest – cloudy with a couple of periods of heavy rain. Vancouver is really a beautiful city. On boarding day we took the short 5 minute walk from the hotel at just after 10:30. We were in a Grand Suite for this cruise so dropping off our bags we walked directly to security and then to the express check-in without waiting in a single line. The Ship – It is small as ships go these days. The Radiance was launched in 2001 but had come out of renovation in May 2016. The ship looked to be in generally good condition. There are numerous areas around the ship that could do with a little paint and rust removal but overall the ship is well maintained, clean, and free of obvious neglect. Our Grand Suite was Port Forward on the 10th deck and we generally walked the stairs and rarely took an elevator so crowded elevators were not a concern. We did notice that often there were many waiting to ride. We did not use the casino but we did walk through the area a couple times and noticed a very heavy tobacco odor permeating the area. We decided that after the first day when walking from the front to the rear of the ship we would simply walked up or down a flight of stairs, crossed over or under the casino and walk back up or down the stairs on the other side. The odor, while evident, is not in our opinion, something to get upset about after all it is a casino. There is a rock climbing wall, 9 hole golf putting course, and basketball court. The weather was agreeable most days. There are two swimming pools on deck 11 (one adult only and one open). Both are small and busy on the Hawaii itinerary. Our Cabin – We had a Grand Suite with balcony on Deck # 10 Port Side Forward. Our cabin steward was very intuitive and was always available but never intrusive. He was very friendly and always helpful. Towels were replaced almost as soon as used and the room serviced regularly. The room was kept very clean. The grand suite has a large sitting area with full sofa and two easy chairs and a coffee table. We had a king sized bed located in a separate area of the suite. The bathroom was very large and had a big bath tub with shower. As suite guests we were provided upgraded amenities (soap, shampoo, rinse, body wash, etc.). The bathroom was spotless. Storage area was more than adequate. Even with three large suitcases we did not even filled up one closet with two to spare. We had a large flat screen television. Channel selection was non-existent but useful for checking your shipboard accounts and reservations. Ship announcements were not broadcasted into the rooms so you had to listen from the outside if you wanted to hear the public announcements. We had an unlimited Voom Surf and Stream Wi-Fi package. While billed as the “fastest at sea” that was not our experience. It was the slowest and most prone to disconnection of any service we have every had on any ship. There was a water pot and coffee maker with free coffee provided in our cabin but we did not use them as the coffee available at many locations around the ship provided plenty of very satisfactory coffee. Dining - We ate breakfast and lunch in the buffet on deck 10. Breakfast was the standard fare with omelets made to order and a wide variety of breakfast foods to choose. In our opinion the buffet was well designed with adequate seating. The staff was very fast at removing plates and silverware and cleaning tables as people left. If you meet Jade in the buffet say hello to a wonderfully upbeat and kind young man. Since we were suite guests we never had a difficult time finding a seat because there was a reserved dining room just off the buffet. We found the food in the buffet to be generally good but somewhat repetitive. There is a self-serve soft ice cream machine in the buffet area. We had dinner twice in the Main Dining Room. Both were excellent meals. Having reservations we were seated immediately. We did notice a slight lag in service but the menu items were always appropriately hot, warm, or cold. We also dined in our room twice with selections from the main dining room menu which was delivered hot and quickly from room service. Extra Fee Dining - On our second sea day we ate Izumi’s sushi restaurant. The food was well presented and very tasty if not quite as fresh as we would have liked. On our fourth sea day we ate at the Samba Grill a South American Churrascaria concept venue. The food and service were excellent. Come hungry as portions are large and filling. On our sixth sea day we ate at the Italian themed Giovanni’s restaurant. Again the food was wonderful and the service attentive and friendly. Entertainment - The one area for which we would like to see change is more entertainment in the theater. We enjoyed the one revue show we saw as very entertaining and well done but other evening entertainment presented appeared to be filling an otherwise empty evening. Tours – We booked all our tours through Royal Caribbean. As most everyone knows this is a more expensive option but the benefits of ease of booking, guaranteed return to the ship, and tour operator vetting are hard for us to ignore. We did not want to take any risks getting back to the ship on time. Maui Hawaii (Lahaina) – Hana & Haleakala Helicopter Exploration. We had a wonderful time during this just over one hour aerial tour of Mt. Haleakala, the world's largest dormant volcano. We were picked up at the port and escorted to the Blue Hawaii air terminal located at the Maui airport. Our pilot was personable, knowledgeable and gracious. The views are indescribable. While costly, this tour is well worth the money. Upon completion we were again picked up and returned to the cruise port in a comfortable van. Kauai Nawiliwili – Grove Farm and Kilohana Plantation Railway. A short drive from the deep water port of Nawiliwili the Kilohana Plantation harkens back to Kauai's Golden Age of Sugar with a four-hour tour of the Grove Farm museum and a narrated railway ride around the former plantation plus free time at Koloa Rum Company and other artisan shops. Rich in history and slow in pace this tour is a relaxing stop on the Garden Island. Of all our tours during this cruise we found this to be our least favorite and not worth the cost and would not consider it worth repeating. Hilo Hawaii (Big Island) – Zipline through Paradise and Waterfalls. A total of eight zipline runs follow the Honolii River high over thundering waterfalls and deep gorges. Our guides were extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and obsessed with our safely. We were given three rules to remember and were quizzed repeatedly concerning them. The three rules were 1) don’t adjust or handle your harness, 2) don’t put your hands on the cable, and 3) have fun. Some zipline runs were tranquil and easy and some were quite thrilling. We had a great time and would have liked to have gone back up and done it again if possible. The light rain throughout our tour did little to dampen our enthusiasm. Highly recommend this tour if physically able. Kona Hawaii (Big Island) - Atlantis Submarine. We rode a large comfortable boat with around 70 other guests from the cruise terminal out into the ocean where the submarine was waiting. Boarding was done via gang plank from the boat to the submarine under the watchful eye of the crew who stood by to assist if needed. All went well. There were two entrances into the submarine (one on each end) so boarding went quickly and easily. The interior of the submarine has individual seats (two rows facing back to back) and each passenger has her/his own designated port hole through which to view. The nearly hour long dive visited two ship wrecks and numerous coral formations. While many fish were in the area none were large and the light filtering effects of being under up to 100 feet of water drained most of the colors leaving the viewer seeing mostly in gray shades. The submarine is well lit, clean, ventilated, and large enough to eliminate any possibility of Claustrophobia. This tour is very interesting and well worth the cost. Overall we had a wonderful time and would recommend the Royal Caribbean and the Vancouver to Hawaii itinerary. The Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for a relaxing cruise. Younger cruisers with families may want to consider larger ships with more traditional entertainment venues (water parks, rope courses, flow riders, etc.). Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also ... Read More
We like Royal Caribbean cruise line and this specific trip included all the things we wanted to see and do. The excursions we took we fantastic especially the white water rafting in Juneau. Suspension bridge and train in Skagway was also excellent. Saw some whales on our excursion at Icy Strait and the excursion-"Lighthouse Totem Poles and Eagles" in Kitchikan was lots of fun especially when one of the crew members broke out in song-A Drunken Sailor". The evening entertainment was way above what we had seen in the past, with the shows in the theater top notch and the performers in the various venues being wonderful. A big plus for us was the offering of pickleball that we got to do three times while cruising. Seeing the Hubbard Glacier with perfect weather was a huge event for us.The land part of our trip was just as good with a most interesting tour guide(Michelle) who kept us entertained throughout our journey. She went out of her way to take my wife and some other other guests on a late night adventure to see the northern lights. We saw Mt. Danali fully which makes us 10% of those that go to see this magnificent mountain. In conclusion I will say this probably was the best ever trip we have taken. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly ... Read More
Arrived one day early in Vancouver. (Make sure you use a no foreign trans. fee credit card. (USA exchange rate automatically calculated.) Took the taxi (2 couples) and fare was $30.00 US currency to Blue Horizon Hotel. Boarding was fairly quick but did involve a lot of walking, but there were no long lines. Only did the dining room once and had no complaints. Regarding formal night - not everyone dresses up and it seems to be a more laid back dress code. We personally preferred the windjammer with all the different choices. All the food in the windjammer was great. Loved the ice cream machine. Make sure you enjoy the windjammer on the last night- Alaskan seafood was fantastic. Pools were heated and were used by many, especially since we encountered no rain during our whole cruise and temperatures were in the 60s and 70s. Solarium does need updating (if they would just get rid of all the fake greenery). All employees were very nice and quite attentive. Evening entertainment was very lacking and mediocre. Most ships have karaoke (which can be quite enjoyable), but not this ship. Be prepared for oldies music sung in the centrum which is ok but not for the whole week. The casino was awful with cigarette smoke, there seems to be no ventilation. The highlight of the cruise was Hubbard Glacier. The captain did an amazing job to steer the ship so everyone had an awesome view. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
My wife started her cancer treatments on 1 August 2018. I told her that she would be done with her treatments and well enough by next year. I booked the trip with a the 2 Aug 2019 sailing (we left the house on 1 Aug 2019). We made it!! ... Read More
My wife started her cancer treatments on 1 August 2018. I told her that she would be done with her treatments and well enough by next year. I booked the trip with a the 2 Aug 2019 sailing (we left the house on 1 Aug 2019). We made it!! We flew into Anchorage with a connection through Atlanta, and straight on to ACH.The flight from from ATL made for a looooong day (7 hours to Anchorage). The hotel in Anchorage (Crown Plaza, booked through Royal) and transfer to the train (transfer through Royal) went smoothly. Having lived in Alaska many years prior, I had the opportunity to drive to Seward. I much prefer the train from Anchorage, as it is very relaxing, and the narration down to Seward was first rate. Dropped our bags, and didn't see them until the ship! We were able to check in to our ship state rooms and get our SeaPass at the train station in Anchorage!!. Thought we were home (ship) free with this. However, when we arrived at Seward, we needed to stand in a long line to get photographed. It would have been nice to get all that taken care of in Anchorage, or just do it all in Seward. Would have made it quicker in Seward. I think Royal needs an embarkation software update so they can complete the ship check in at the train depot in Anchorage. We were on the ship in time to drop our bags in the room, and get to the Windjammer for a quick bite, then to our muster station. About an hour before the drill. The ship was great. Showing her age, but all in all, we were on a cruise in Alaska!! it was great. One of the highlights onboard was the Chefs Table experience. Three hours, and the food and wine parings were excellent. Was able to get the recipe for the smoked tomato soup. Just need to make it for four, not 50 :-0. Would highly recommend that, and do it again. Were with a group of 8 who do that on every cruise they are on. I can see why. The cabin was a good choice, (8598) on the bubble, and very close to the elevators. No noise. We glacier watched, whale watched, Orca watched, Eagle watched, sea otter watched, from the balcony. The day at Hubbard Glacier was nice. The wait staff brought round spiked hot chocolate! We were able to get within a half mile of the face. Those on the $400.00 excursion were able to get about a quarter mile away. Close enough for us to hear the glacier making its groans as if calved. We booked the tram in Juneau. Nice ride and sights. O did I say, the weather was fantastic. No rain until the last sea day, and the port days were in the lower 70's. In Skagway we did the requisite YWPRR train ride, then walked the town. We bused up to Frasier, then took the Train down. That was enough. Our favorite port was was Icy Strait Point. We had booked a tour on our own with Tok River Outfitters for halibut fishing. I gave this place 5 stars, but would have liked to give them 10. We shipped two fish home! Very highly recommended (at least by us, and a lot on Trip Advisor). Off the boat at 6:30, and was fishing by 7:30 am. And back before noon. The port area was also great. Had a fantastic King and Dungeness crab lunch. This port had mostly native wares, just a few "made in china" and no Diamonds International :-) (we did get the charms in all the ports). Ketchikan was a shopping port for us. From Berth 3, the town opened up to us right off the gangway. The final sea day was spent next to the pool playing cribbage and whale and orca watching (from deck 11). We pulled into port and took the take-your-own-bags-off option. Was not too bad, but make sure your suitcase tracks true, We saw a lot of the ship just trying to wrestle one of the bags.. Off in less then 20 minutes once they started the process. We grabbed a rental car, and headed south as the next stop was a family visit just north of Portland. The entire cruise itinerary was just what we had expected; a great time, and a southern Alaska experience. We would recommend this one. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
I cruised this ship for the itinerary and also wanted to try Royal Caribbean for a change. I have been on a short RCCL cruise on a newer ship, and I knew this was an older smaller ship. The ship itself while worn, was very nice with ... Read More
I cruised this ship for the itinerary and also wanted to try Royal Caribbean for a change. I have been on a short RCCL cruise on a newer ship, and I knew this was an older smaller ship. The ship itself while worn, was very nice with alot of beautiful windows making it perfect for Alaska. The room attendant was amazing, the general service of the bar staff was great. The LIDO/Windjammer was better than the main dining room for breakfast and some dinners. The specialty restaurant chops was amazing. The light bites at Lattetudes and the solarium were not very good at all and the staff at the solarium at night a gentleman there was really rude to people. My biggest complaint was the main dining dinners were extremely over seasoned (salted) and any steak was just completely tough and/or over cooked. So the starters, salads and desserts were great, but most of the main dishes were barely passible. When the LIDO does a better job on the meats and breakfast there is something seriously wrong in your dining room. Entertainment was ok, and just average. The production dance/singers were given old and not to unique shows to do . The nightlife was barely there. A couple of places for music, but nothing really stood out. The magician was funnier than our comedian, the El Gaucho show was funny and very entertaining. Most of the staff were absolutely amazing and this did have one of the best guest services desks I have seen on many cruise lines. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We went with our daughter and her family on this Alaska cruise. Alaska was wonderful, Royal Caribbean was terrible. We have traveled on many cruises, but this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise (and Last). Royal Caribbean does their ... Read More
We went with our daughter and her family on this Alaska cruise. Alaska was wonderful, Royal Caribbean was terrible. We have traveled on many cruises, but this was our first Royal Caribbean cruise (and Last). Royal Caribbean does their remodeling during their active cruise trips. Shocking! The carpet in our hall was torn out and replaced with new carpet. The carpet and the glue smell was so toxic our family got very sick. I had a head ache, sore throat and my eyes were burning, for the last two days of our trip. Our daughter was on this trip, in a separate room, she is a type 1 diabetic. Her immune system is already challenged, adding the toxic chemicals made her very sick. She couldn't even get out of bed. Our little grand daughter ended up in the emergency room after we got off the boat. The staff were non attentive. After the trip, numerous calls to Royal Caribbean were not answered. Put on hold and then disconnected after 30 minutes holding, this happened 3 times. I finally got thru, and was supposed to get a call back, big surprise, no call back. We were in a suite and the attention was terrible. No bottled drinking water was available even at our $1,000 per night price. I am surprised this cruise gets any positive feedback, I'm assuming the people that received free trips are the ones reviewing. Save your money and go on a different cruise line.The dining room was ok, food was edible. Not much to do as far as activities.We had 2 days at sea and would have enjoyed something to do with our grandchildren. I heard the entertainment and thought is was karaoke, but it was main singer. Shore excursions were expensive. I tried to purchase online, but Royal Caribbean site showed excursions sold out. I had to call Royal Caribbean site to book shore excursions and paid 30% high to get the same excursion. I have never submitted a negative review. This cruise line was so bad others need to be warned. I wish we had known before we spent so much hard earned money on this disaster cruise. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Cheap, cheap, cheap! If you want even bottled water, pay up! You can buy different drink packages ranging from about $12-$70/day per person. If you don't, you can have water, tea, lemonade, or coffee. When disembarking on land ... Read More
Cheap, cheap, cheap! If you want even bottled water, pay up! You can buy different drink packages ranging from about $12-$70/day per person. If you don't, you can have water, tea, lemonade, or coffee. When disembarking on land excursions, there was a cruise employee offering bottles of water......but only if you paid extra for that package. When we were viewing Hubbard Glacier from the stern of the ship it was very chilly outside and a server came around with hot chocolate..........only for passengers who bought the refreshment package for $29/day/person. We chose not to pay these exorbitant prices, and we ended up feeling like have-nots. A person can still buy drinks per item, and my husband paid $56 for four drinks (including the mandatory 18% gratuity). We bought our own wine on board for the above reasons, and sometimes had difficulty getting wine glasses from the bartenders because they were afraid they would run out. Food in the Windjammer cafe and Cascades dining room was mediocre at best; service in the dining room was slow. The dining room employees were always working very hard, so my guess is that food services was not well run. I was told by another passenger the specialty restaurants (for an extra charge) were not very good. There was a speaker on how to get a flatter stomach, but he turned out to be selling his product, so it was really a sales pitch. The onboard entertainment was so-so, nothing great. The exercise room was ok, but some of the machines were broken and the doors to the outside of the ship were often broken. There is nothing state-of-the-art about the ship, except the prices. All of the servers and room attendants were very friendly and helpful. They work 7 days/week and many hours a day. My understanding is their wages are not that high compared to American standards. This means the thousands of dollars we spent are mainly going to the upper echelon employees and not to those doing the hard work. If you call Royal Caribbean customer service, be prepared for a different answer every time. Royal Caribbean did not communicate logistics of the land portion of our tour very well ahead of time. Every time I called to ask a question, I got vastly different answers. So Royal Caribbean is not spending money training and communicating with its customer service reps. Finally, part of our package included a transfer from the airport to hotel on the 1st night of our trip. I called and gave Royal Caribbean our flight info (several times in order to get to someone who understood what I was talking about), and called and confirmed the transfer the day of our flight. Even so, my husband and I were stranded at the airport at 11:45pm as no one showed to pick us up. When I asked the tour director, she was apologetic and called the company to see if we could be comped and was told no - we were listed as a no-show at the airport. Impossible. We looked all over baggage claim both inside and outside, and there was no one holding up a sign and no van that indicated it was part of a tour company. Our belief is that the driver didn't want to be at the airport at that late hour and didn't show, but claimed they were there. It would have cost the company nothing to comp us a couple of drinks, but they didn't. Again, cheap, cheap, cheap! Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did ... Read More
This was the first and last cruise I will do with Royal Caribbean. On formal nights very few dressed up mostly people just dressed in jeans and hoodies, one person looked like she had just come from the gym in her workout clothes. We did My Dining, big mistake. I have done a similar dining on other cruise lines and it was a lot better than this ship. My advise do not do My Dining go for the set times of either 5.30 or 8.00. The food in the main dining was awful, it tended to be the same food every night with a couple of variations and it tasted like mass produced frozen food that you can get in frozen food shops. I have been on cruises before the food on those cruises were al a carte and was the best food I have had. Some of the waiters in the main dining room were awful, rude and pushy. The entertainment was diabolical, the production shows were really poor and unprofessional the worst I have seen on cruises. The cabin we had was on deck 7 and was lovely and our cabin woman Maria was lovely and nothing was too much trouble. The excursions were amazing this was the best part of the cruise. Embarkment was a nightmare, it took an hour to get on the ship which was surprising since everything is done online before hand. Once on the ship everything seemed disorganised, no clear instructions on where to go. Everyone just seem to congregate around the centrum and as everyone was sitting around with their hand luggage we assumed we could not get into our cabin as no one had instructed us otherwise. With other cruise lines this was made clear as we embarked the ship. On this ship I had to find someone and ask and this would have been nice to have found out this earlier. Our disembark was good as we had an excursion booked. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Really like Royal Caribean, only natural to go with what you know. From the moment we entered the ship we were showered with attention, service, courtesy to say the least, our luggage were taken to our cabins right away, we felt like we ... Read More
Really like Royal Caribean, only natural to go with what you know. From the moment we entered the ship we were showered with attention, service, courtesy to say the least, our luggage were taken to our cabins right away, we felt like we owned the ship. Food was amazing as well as service throughout, you were greated with a very cute frase WASHI WASHI, quite cute, it became my grandsons favorite the entire cruise. An amaizing experience throughout the whole cruise. Alaska breathtaking place to say the least, all the places we visited were so historic, pleasant lots of stores scenery was gorgeous a must do again cruise in the future. The glaciers were so incredibly beautiful hard to explain, whale watching awesome experience. Overall an incredible time , would do it again as soon as we can. If you have not done it, plan it you will be glad you did. Be Blessed. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Overall, the trip was great. I'm going to talk less about the excursions (which was awesome), and more about the ship. The cabin was nice. Super small, even for a single person. I had a balcony which was nice as I was able to sleep ... Read More
Overall, the trip was great. I'm going to talk less about the excursions (which was awesome), and more about the ship. The cabin was nice. Super small, even for a single person. I had a balcony which was nice as I was able to sleep with the door open for some nice Alaskan air. Service on the ship was spectacular as well. Big shoutout to Vasile (guest services) and the bartenders at Quill and Compass. The gym was old, and dated - some of that equipment could use some attention. From the outside, the ship appeared to be pretty dated. There were visible signs of rust, age... But that's to be expected with a ship quickly approaching 20 years old My biggest gripes with the ship are the following: One - It is impossible to find nutritional information anywhere. I am actively counting calories and macro-nutrients in an effort to lose weight. It is very frustrating not being able to even hazard a guess with some of these meals that were served in the buffet lines. As more and more people are doing specialized diets (paleo, keto, low/high carb, etc), it would be nice to know what we're working with. Two - The late-night entertainment was awful outside of Jack the guitar player. As a single male in his late 20s old traveling with older family, there was not much that catered to my age range that was well attended. I went up to the "nightclub" each night around 11 PM, and there was never anyone else up there. Additionally, the DJ "Bam" appeared to just turn on some Spotify playlist and walk away from his computer for what appeared to be 25-30 minutes at a time. No real mixing or DJing was happening. Maybe that's just my experience being young on an Alaskan cruise. Overall I had a great time. My trip was largely "saved" by the excursions I participated in. The ship-experience left a lot to be desired. I ended up spending most of my time on-board clicking the 'activities right now' button on the screen hoping to find something free that was enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad ... Read More
We did the 7 day Land tour before our cruise. With the exception of Denali Village which we found our room not cleaned they moved us to a new room only to open door and find it already occupied. Rooms small had no hot water just a bad experience! Our tour guide Kacie was amazing and tried to resolve everything! She took time and care with each of us and made sure we had the best time! On board the balcony cabin we had was spacious and perfect for to people. The staff from our steward to the bartenders were the best. The food not so much main dining room food was ok but nothing special! We ate at the Chophouse it was terrible both steaks were full of fat and gristle and was unedible! Thankfully the appetizers and salads were filling! The windjammer is same old same old but good for breakfast and lunch! The day of disembarking was a nightmare going into Vancouver airport is an experience let alone with the ship getting you off late shuttle bus lanes are ridiculous we got to the airport 1 hour before our flight and made it to our gate 10 minutes before boarding. My advice do not take shuttle take a taxi! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the ... Read More
Pros: Almost everything Cons: (listed below...) luggage handling, and a couple of technical issues. We were EXTREMELY happy with our recent Alaska cruise on Radiance of the seas. We did the 3 day Denali land tour before the cruise, which was absolutely amazing with the scenery. The hotels picked for us were amazing and very comfortable. Our tour guide was very friendly, informative, and helpful. Once we got on the ship, things went overal very well, too. We had an ocean view cabin, and a week before the cruise, we were emailed a chance to bid for a balcony. We made the minimum bid, and even with an extremely low chance of getting it, we got the upgrade. The balcony was amazing, especially when we cruised past Hubbard Glacier. The cabin was small but had enough room for both of us. Jaya, our steward was amazing. Anything we needed, he was there. The ship itself is a midsize ship. It doesn't have an ice skating rink, or a wave pool, but it doesn't need it. it has plenty of activities that kept us busy for the week. The trivia was fun, the shows were good, lots of places to get something to drink, and my friend had a blast in the casino. We only ate in the buffet one time for breakfast, and the food was hot, tasty, and varied. Most breakfasts, we had in the dining room, and while fewer choices than the buffet, obviously, the choices of omlettes, fruit, breakfast meats, eggs, was plenty to choose from. For dinner, we purchased the premium restaraunt pass. We ate at Chops and Giovanni's multiple times, Samba Grill Once, and Izumi once. My friend was having mobility issues, so Izumi actually delivered room service for us. All the food was amazing. Ports were great. We did a whale watching dinner cruise in Juneau, and a sled dog ride on wheels in Skagway. I did the duck boat in ketchikan, but wasn't really that impressed with it. it did a quick lap of the city, and didn't go very far once it got into the water. Shopping and dining in Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan are good. if you get a chance, take the brothel tour in Skagway. it's a fun tour that doesn't glamorize it, but tells the history. On the whale watch in Juneau, our excursion was the last one back, and my friend and I were literally the last two people on the ship. They closed the doors behind us. That's why we ALWAYS purchase the shore excursions from the ship. The few cons we had were in the way they handled things. The first day, they accidentally sent my main bag with all my clothes to the cabin we had BEFORE we got the upgrade, and I didn't get it until almost 11:30 at night. Debarkation day, we had an excursion in vanciouver. They didn't give us luggage tags for the excursion group, and we almost missed the bus. The bus was getting ready to leave, and our luggage still hadn't come out. Somehow, it came out at the last minute, and we made the bus by 1 minute, having to dash through the terminal, my friend being pushed in a wheelchair. As for technichal, my friend's internet worked fine, but mine didn't work at all over half the time. They tied to reconfigure my device, and it worked a BIT better, but overall not good. I had purchased the streaming speed internet, but they gave only the surfing speed internet. The other problem was our TV set. Sometimes our remote wouldn't work at all, other times the TV would just come back on at random. They said they fixed the problem, but they never did. We just ended up turning down the volume and using the TV as a night light. Other than the minor mis-steps, the cruise was awesome!!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
Ship The Radiance of the Seas is one of the older ships of the Royal Carribean fleet. The condition was good, but the equipment definitely did not meet the standards expected today. Embarking or disembarking worked smoothly. However, we ... Read More
Ship The Radiance of the Seas is one of the older ships of the Royal Carribean fleet. The condition was good, but the equipment definitely did not meet the standards expected today. Embarking or disembarking worked smoothly. However, we had expected a better service as guests of the suites. Cabin We had booked an Owner Suite. It was very spacious with space. The balcony was a bit small. The bathroom was big and beside a shower there was also a bathtub. Concierge Club Suites guests and very loyal Royal customers were allowed to go to the Concierge Club. There were small snacks and free drinks (soft drinks, water, wine, beer and some drinks) from 16.00 o'clock. Dining We had the greatest expectations concerning the dining. We heard so many good things from Royal and could hardly wait. But our expectations were disappointed. The food never came close to the good quality of the Princess or Hurtigruten shipping company. Entertainment We're not the party people, and we've mostly abandoned here. Service Compared to other shipping companies, the service was "ok", but not as good as suggested by other guests. As a suite guest we were rather disappointed. Ports and Excursions In comparison to other cruises we have booked all excursions through the shipping company. These were more or less well organized, but simply a mass check-in, although they used the more expensive offer. The train trip to the White Pass is very recommendable, even if it is not a mass service. Here you will also find two videos on our YouTube channel "Swisstravellerslife". Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
I had done an Alaska cruise on this same ship a couple of years ago with friends, but this time it was with my mom and SO. TL/DR: * Suites are sweet and you should do it at least once in your life * Royal Caribbean is awesome ... Read More
I had done an Alaska cruise on this same ship a couple of years ago with friends, but this time it was with my mom and SO. TL/DR: * Suites are sweet and you should do it at least once in your life * Royal Caribbean is awesome onboard for special needs, like food allergies and limited mobility * Radiance class ships are the absolute perfect size * RCCL invests in great entertainment * RCCL staff are second-to-none * RCCL does need to invest in refinishing all surfaces, and maybe more durable materials * RCCL should do more communication with people with special needs before cruises * Cruise travel with a service dog is not easy * Vancouver port needs a lot more work to be customer-friendly * Don't count on the same level of onboard activities with the entertainment staff The deets: About my crew: me and my SO are active, 40-ish, and are Emerald Level (I've been on over 12 cruises). I have a capsacin food allergy, which is uncommon and comes up a lot as peppers are in like everything. My mom hadn't been on a cruise in 40 years and is limited mobility, using a walker and a large, 90-pound mobility service dog. She has a black pepper allergy, even harder to avoid. My mom lives in Seattle, and the journey starts there. We took the morning Amtrak Cascades up to Vancouver, which was a perfect start to the cruise. We got into Vancouver in plenty of time to take a cab to the cruise port and get on the ship for lunch. I'm used to walking/public transport to cruise terminals, so it was cool to see the cabs at Canada Place drop you off inside the parking garage (so no worry about weather) and right where the bag porters are. So when we entered Canada Place, we expected the check-in to be right there, and wheelchair valets for folks with disabilities (no such luck). Instead, we were directed to elevators. We probably walked 1/2 mile or more overall, between check-in, customs, and so on before we got to the ship. We even passed wheelchair valets waiting for a call, and no one in the process indicated how long of a walk it may be. With my mom obviously mobility limited, I was surprised at that. Luckily, after several breaks, she managed onto the ship. Once on the ship, she was quickly taken care of for an easy way to get to a sitting spot. This was my first suite (see details below). It is awesome to have a taste of the upper tier. Leaving all that relates to being in the suites in the cabin review below. We ate at the MDR every night. I like that the my time dining has been moved to the lower floor of the MDR so there are more seats and variety of seats. We were able to reserve the same table and same time for the whole cruise. My mom and I both have weird food allergies (above), so it's really important to have consistent dining staff. We did fill out the special needs form beforehand, but you really have to communicate food allergies to the head waiter and your specific wait staff the first meal. I prefer to bring a paper listing all of the foods/types that I can't eat so there's no confusion. Our wait staff were excellent, not only taking care of us for dinner, but passing along meal requests to Windjammer and other venues for breakfast and lunch and special meals. You can't be as spontaneous, since you have to order food the day before, but you have peace of mind. Being as it was early in the season, they had Atlantic salmon on the menu the first few nights, but then had Alaskan seafood near the end once we hit the Alaskan ports. The food was excellent as always, with a broad variety, inventive dishes, fresh, and delicious. The biggest bummer was that the MDR wasn't open for lunch during port days (so most all days). During the day, the stars were the ports. I've done the active shore excursions and the cultural ones, you really can't go wrong. But you have to always plan that your day will contain rain, and book accordingly. We didn't have that problem this particular cruise; all of our days were sunny or partly cloudy and mid 60s. But, if you happen to get back early on the boat or decide to stay on the boat, don't count on a wide variety of entertainment staff activities. Maybe some trivia, games here and there. But they really don't program much of anything, expecting everyone to be out on shore. Note: even though the Icy Strait Point port said we would be tendering, we did dock. Accessibility excursion notes: the Saxman Totem tour was awesome as they set up a smaller bus; you have to be able to board the bus, but it was nice to have the shorter steps and easy seating. The Icy Strait Point whale watching tour was very good on the boat, but because of low tides we had to go to the far end of the boardwalk to get aboard (usually it's on the dock right next to the ship); luckily, they have an electric cart for mobility access. The WP&YR railroad is also great for accessibility, short walk if you can make it; if not, they have a cart--they also have a dedicated handicapped car with a larger bathroom. The ship had just taken on a new dance crew, so we didn't have any production shows. The one night we were to have a production show (Piano Man), the seas were rough and some of the crew were seasick, much less the difficulty of dancing on a rockin' ship. The acts we had were awesome: comedy, magic, juggling, etc. There was always an option of movies day, afternoon, and evening both beside the pool and in the cinema. I was pleased by the variety of movies they showed, from Blue Hawaii to Bohemian Rhapsody to Carmen (the opera). Speaking on onboard activities, the Alaska cruises always have some kind of enrichment speaker. We had a retired mountie who was new,so I'm sure he'll get better as he goes. The couple doing the Alaska history talks were awesome and should be onboard most this season. Ship environment: Radiance OTS was last refurbished in 2016, but honestly, it doesn't look it. There's a lot of wear in the wood and fabrics that make it seem older. However, the ship mechanicals all worked the whole cruise. This ship is a perfect size to have a variety of activity centers, like the cinema, pub, and Starquest lounge, while not being too big for walking (especially if you can't walk far distances). We got to meet most everyone on the ship--you don't get far with a dog without people noticing. Ship accessibility: This was my first cruise where I worried about accessibility. We had a cabin just off the Centrum elevators, so my mom had only a short walk to get anywhere. The longest was a 75 ft. walk to the theater. It was easy to get in and out of and get an accessible seat in the MDR and theater, and you could get into every venue. Handicapped bathrooms were well-placed to the main venues. I could see, though, if there were more than 4-5 scooters or mobility devices onboard, the accessibility would get more frustrating. Where my mom had problems was getting over the thresholds of the exterior doors (i.e., walking to the deck 5 exterior deck). These thresholds need to be smoothed out to meet ADA requirements--she had to physically lift the walker to get over them. Service dog: RCCL did accommodate the service dog, but could have done better. We filled out all of the requisite paperwork, and the ship seemed ready for us. By booking RCCL shore excursions, they passed forward info about the service dog. However, the dog relief station could have been better. It was located right next to the smoking section, on the walk to the helipad. So mom had to endure smoke to take her dog out, and since it is not used to people being around when it uses the facilities, I had to literally stop people coming down from the helipad. The box is 4'x4', with a plywood lid that mom couldn't lift and needed my help when the staff put the lid back on. The box was filled with shavings litter, even though they offer sod on the accessibility form, but the shavings weren't replaced or refreshed the whole cruise. There was a little can beside the box to dispose of poop. We wish that RCCL had been in communication with us before the cruise about the litter box and its location (I had to hunt it down once on board because no one knew about it). If we had known they couldn't provide sod this journey, we could have trained the dog to use shavings. And if we had known the location of the box and the distance from our cabin, we could have trained the dog appropriately. Lastly, let's talk about why to choose RCCL. There's always people that like one cruise line over another for some reason, so here's my spiel for why this line. I've been on all the major lines but HAL. I love the people that cruise RCCL--not too party, not all old, great balance of ages, and not too many kids. And I love even more the staff of RCCL--I've run into staff that remember me 4 years later on a different ship, and there is a loyalty to the cruise line and the customers that I like to come back to every cruise. And you get a great value for your $$. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a one way inside passage which meant more time in each port. This was important because the ship doesn't have much to offer in terms of entertainment. We are east coast (4 hours difference) and they ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a one way inside passage which meant more time in each port. This was important because the ship doesn't have much to offer in terms of entertainment. We are east coast (4 hours difference) and they frequently wouldn't start activities/entertainment until 10pm (2 am east coast time). When we did go, the shows were nowhere near the quality of the large Caribbean ships. That being said, the food was decent (excellent in the specialty restaurants) and the landscape views were intoxicating. Think of the ship as a nice resort, you eat, sleep, and relax there, but go somewhere else for your entertainment. The long port times (8 to 12 hrs) allowed us to do an excursion and still have plenty of time to explore the towns and have lunch or dinner in a nice restaurant before boarding the ship. We also booked a land tour with RC that continued on to Denali and finished with a train ride back to Anchorage for our flight home. The land tour was so well handled that I was able to turn off my brain and just enjoy myself which is rare for me. Patricia, our tour director was very knowledgeable and easy to talk to. She and our driver Pineck made sure everything went off without a hitch. Keys were handed to us right off the bus so no check in hassles. Luggage was waiting in the room and taken back to the bus magically. optional excursions were handled thru Patricia and there were no unpleasant surprises. This was our first group tour and I would definitely do it again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We arrived in Honolulu the evening before our cruise and had a hotel a short distance from the cruise port. From the time we check our bags with a porter, through security and check-in, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We ... Read More
We arrived in Honolulu the evening before our cruise and had a hotel a short distance from the cruise port. From the time we check our bags with a porter, through security and check-in, we were on the ship in less than 30 minutes. We have been on the Radiance of the Seas several times before, but found the ship in need of a makeover. The ship looks "tired". Compared to newer, more modern ships, it's furnishings look old and need of replacement. Our balcony cabin (#9208) was clean, but it had torn drapes and sheer panels. The sofa was well worn. While out on the balcony, rust could be seen in several locations. We had My Time Dining in the Cascades Dining Room seven of our 12 nights and found the food to be good. Three nights we went to the Windjammer and enjoyed the buffet. Two of the nights, Prime Rib roast was served. Two nights, Chops was our choice. Chops has never disappointed. The Windjammer breakfast buffet was also good. We chose to only go to the Aurora Theatre twice. I found the entertainment there to be not that rewarding. Throughout the cruise, we enjoyed the various singers, instrumentals and and violinists in the Centrum and Colony Club. This cruise had many Diamond, Diamond + and Pinnacle C&A members. The Concierge Lounge was only for use by Suite guests and Pinnacle level. The Diamond Lounge on the Radiance is small and only holds about 25-30 people. They had to open up the Starquest Lounge next door to accommodate all of the Diamond and Diamond + folks. The nightly happy hour was always crowded. We would wait until after 5:30 (when early dining started) to go there. All crew members we encountered would greet you with a smile and a greeting. Our Cabin Attendant, Lega, would call us by name after meeting us on the first day. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> ... Read More
We chose this cruise mainly for the itinerary and knew the ship was old and smaller than others. We like the smaller size ship and wish cruise lines would stop making them bigger and bigger. The itinerary was nice (Honolulu -> Vancouver). The ports were very nice. The cabin was tight but who spends time in their cabin anyway :). The main dining room food was very good compared with other cruise lines. We did not do any of the extra dining rooms and felt quite satisfied with the outstanding main dining room service and food. My biggest regret was purchasing the alcohol package which is quite expensive and you almost have to work at getting your money's worth but the drinks we had and bartenders were awesome just overpriced alcohol package. We could not get on the shore excursion to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu since it booked up fast and there was no room so we booked a private tour that was quite good - a small group and excellent service. (Royal Hawaiian Tours). Very professional service. Stay away from Alex Tours. He approached us in the cruise terminal and told us his tours were less expensive than the shop tours. He did not ask for money up front but told us if he had our name we would have a spot on his bus if we got that at his assigned time/ We arrived at his bus 2o minutes early to find it was full already and he had no other buses. The driver looked very old as did the bus that had the Alex Tours painted over the First Baptist Church Logo. Come to find out from passengers that did get on that bus - the bus broke down 2 hours away from the ship and they almost missed getting back in time as well as missing parts of the tour since they had to wait for a replacement bus. Very sketchy so stay away. The other shore excursions we booked through the ship and I must say that they were worth the money, well organized and interesting. The only excursion that disappointed us was the Luau in Mauwi. It was at a large hotel and the hotel crammed in as many guests as they could. The food was only mediocre and the entertainment was pretty spread out timewise. It seemed that the cruise passengers got the tables in the back and believe me they were distant from the stage! Some of the tables were off to the side of the stage which made it difficult to see. The hotel also managed to squeeze in a "fashion show" of Hawaiian wear that you could purchase in the gift shop which I felt was unnecessary. The vendors that were selling their crafts were not that exciting either. The islands were very good and most of t he entertainment during the Island part of the cruise was pretty good. The trans-Pacific part of the cruise the entertainment and things to do on the ship were fairly boring. The lecture series for 5 days was about the Canadian Mounties - I would have liked something more interesting, educational, and useful. They had plenty of movies except their "Cinema" was usually full and during the Pacific crossing the outdoor movie screen by the pool was pretty useless. The shows at night were not exceptional but most were entertaining except for 1 very boring comedian. 5 days at sea needs much more happening on the ship. That was my biggest disappointment. Everything went smoothly. I was hesitant about crossing the Pacific in May but as it turned out the seas were smooth (no seasickness) although the temperatures were too cold and windy to do much on the decks. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Loved the Hawaii portion of the itinerary. After a great time in the islands, we headed out for 5 days of cold, cloudy weather. Not the fault of RC, but just the same, plans for swimming and sunning were dead on arrival. All of that ... Read More
Loved the Hawaii portion of the itinerary. After a great time in the islands, we headed out for 5 days of cold, cloudy weather. Not the fault of RC, but just the same, plans for swimming and sunning were dead on arrival. All of that aside, no one on board seemed to know the schedule. I asked what night is formal night, no one knew, not even the customer service desk! This was was our first cruise in 30 years and RC didn't win any awards for helping us understand the process. Would we go again? NO WAY. We would fly to Hawaii, do inter-island air and skip the cruise. You are in port for a short time, so it is no way to see Hawaii. Other downers: Constant upselling of drink and internet packages. We figured out that bottles of wine were discounted 40% in the specialty dining venues. So we would buy wine then and have it delivered to the main dining room. The shower in the cabin (balcony) was so tiny and poorly constructed it was a joke. Dining was actually fine. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and ... Read More
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and sharing the grande margarita with friends (it would be nice to be able to get a pitcher of margaritas for sharing but bartender thought it was mitigate over-serving issues that have happened). The ports were only ok, generally a little on the boring side but guessing due to the last ship of the season. The ship was good shape although showing signs of external wear Horrible cabin location, it’s beneath the Windjammer and Izumi speciality restaurant. The room sounds like you’re in a bowling alley due to the carts in the restaurants above running over the stippled tile in the kitchen areas. It does subside around midnight until around 4:30 am, currently 4:21 am and the banging has started. Called several times and restaurant manager did state they would try to mitigate noise, unfortunately to no avail. Asked to be moved but was not accommodated although RCI did give coupon for small discount on future cruise. VOOM on this cruise was marginally above worthless. Using SpeedTest by Ookla, download speeds ranged from a high of 1.5 mbps down to a non-functional low but averaged at 0.55 mbps across the multiple occasions that I tested. Onboard Tech stated that it speeds is up to 4 mbps, subject to weather and sea conditions but even docked with clear skies the speeds were typically sub 1 mbps. Be warned, no refunds or recourse from RCI for poor VOOM service Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of ... Read More
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of activities going on if you want to participate OK!! now the cons. the ships billing system is a nightmare, they add cost and credit cost all the time. very hard to understand. I spent severial days visiting guess services trying to understand. travelling with us a friend who is a finance manager and accountant was dumbfounded. so just be careful!!, an example I paid my bill second last night, then on my final statement, they had a charge of $100USD for pool towels. now we only used them 3 times and returned every time back too counter. so with another visit to guest services, they credited the towel without a murmur. i just wonder how many people just pay it??? dining room staff not that great, seem to be more interested in cleaning tables than serving the guess, we where always having to ask for drinks, if we could find our waiter. windjammers average, tend to a bit the same if I ever cruise again I will look at other companies. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half ... Read More
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half the time causing a log jam at the elevators. In our cabin, the sink was cracked, and hot water was seldom available. Rust was prevalent almost everywhere. There was not enough room for the Diamond and up members. In order to find seating, one had to be at the longe at least an hour early. The food is getting worse and worse over the years. The same items were on the menu night after night. And to our dismay, they ran out of vanilla ice cream in the WindJammer. On the plus side, we seemed to have a new mattresses. Our neighbors, however had an old one and were very uncomfortable. Overall, we were very disappointed in a cruise we had been looking forward to. We will be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for ... Read More
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for stormy weather in New Zealand, but were surprised by the rainy, windy weather most of the way to Tahiti. Sea days from Bora Bora to Hawaii were sunny and warm allowing for sunbathing and deck walking. My sister and brother-in-law joined us on this cruise. Embarkation started out with a short walk from our hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The door alarms were having difficulties. Many loud sirens and announcements ensued to immediately vacate the building. These were ignored and check-in continued through the din. My four-plug power strip was taken away at the security check along with many others. Was surprised, as it had not been a problem for past cruises. Heard later that power fluctuations on board had caused a power strip to catch fire, resulting in the ban. No notice in advance from Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is older, but we felt that all the areas we visited were well maintained and quite clean. Our cabin was 1556 on Deck 10. For those researching in future years, there were three formal nights. Days 2, 8 & 16. Enjoyed the main dining room most nights. Our waiter and assistant waiter from Indonesia were excellent and very enjoyable. Head Waiter was quite nice and dropped by for a chat each night. Different menus were provided for each of the eighteen nights – no repeats! A number of standard offerings offered every night of course. Tahitian-themed dinner leaving Papeete was our favorite. Also enjoyed nights at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, Samba and the Chef’s Table to break things up a bit. Entertainment in the main showroom was fine, but a little sparse with the long stretches between ports. Only two production shows during the cruise. Cruise Director Cuddy Cudworth was enthusiastic and worked hard to entertain. We really enjoyed the Sunny Duo – Ukrainian Violinist and Guitar player in the Schooner Bar along with the other music around the ship. To help get us through the stormy sea days, the night time entertainment did a number of matinee shows in the main showroom. Movies were also scheduled in the main showroom each afternoon. The little Cinema was swamped with customers most of the days. Overall service on board was very good to excellent. Kristina in the Schooner Bar took great care of the four of us. Would probably not do this cruise again, but had enough adventures and new experiences to make the one time memorable! Ports/Excursions Sydney – attended the Handa Opera West Side Story musical on the harbor. Great production and amazing singing/dancing in a great setting. Also visited the Sydney WildLife Zoo and had dinner at Aria. Picton – rainy day. Did the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise, visited the Vines in Blenheim and walked around Picton for a bit. Not much open on Easter Sunday. Wellington – nice day. Full day Lord of the Rings Tour was excellent. River Anduin, Isengard, Rivendell and "Get off the road" filming sights plus an excellent lunch. Tahiti – snorkeling tour, walking around downtown Papeete and sunset catamaran tour. Moorea – Motu Picnic Lunch included snorkeling with stingrays & sharks – very enjoyable. Bora Bora – booked Patrick’s tour with Maohi Nui. Incredible snorkeling outside the reef with lots of sharks and colorful fish. More great snorkeling inside the reef with stingrays and sharks. Amazing Polynesian lunch followed by a fire dance. Highly recommend this tour. Honolulu – did the Little Circle Island Tour. Good way to leave the ship a little later and bridge the gap to hotel check-in or flight departure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was ... Read More
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was unbelievable. Food was great except for main dining room (level 4) where I found it wanting, Steaks were over cooked even when replaced and the Roast Lamb on the last night was as tough as old shoe leather.Service in the main dining room however, was good. Windjammer was one of the best on-board buffets I have seen. Food was varied and excellent quality, stewards and wait staff were a happy bunch and service was great . Visiting Noumea on a Sunday is a waste of time. Almost everything is shut in the city. Entertainment and shows on board were first class. The Freddie Mercury shows were great . Steven Larkins earned every second of three standing ovations. Belinda Marks was also great entertainment. The on-board dancers were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient as was the tendering process at a number of ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities ... Read More
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities in both the North and South Island, including all day to view the three South Island Sounds (Dusky, Doubtful and Milford) before heading back to Sydney. I arrived on the sidewalk at the Overseas Cruise Terminal in Sydney at 11:10 and was seated for lunch in Chops Grille at 12:20. I had purchased the new KEY program which brings certain perks formally reserved for those with many cruises in their portfolio. It included a good internet package (which I was already going to purchase) and also included priority boarding to tender ports. Unfortunately, did not get to use that much… I had a balcony cabin on the 7th deck at the front of the ship. Maria was my cabin steward and after a five-minute introduction and chat, I was on my way to 12 wonderful nights under her care. There is a lot of storage space in the cabin, and as a solo traveler I didn’t use most of it. There was enough room under the bed to store my suitcases, and I used the in room safe. The refrigerator wasn’t very cold, and even after having maintenance look at it, no improvement. Maria kept my room stocked with ice and made sure the turn down service was done while I was at the late seating dinner. Let’s get the “bad” out of the way. We started with ports on the North Island. A major storm formed at the lower part of the South Island about Day 4. The captain was in contact with the weather services and informed us an itinerary change might be necessary. Yes, that is what happened. We did not visit Dunedin or any of the Sounds. We detoured between the North and South Island, and also missed the makeup port of Picton due to bad weather. However, the makeup port of Wellington greeted us (unexpectedly for them) on a brilliant, warm, non windy Sunday morning and rolled out the red carpet of hospitality to ensure Radiance passengers had a wonderful experience in Wellington. The Zealandia nature park there is like stepping into Jurassic Park, and it did not disappoint as part of a ship’s excursion. Ron, our park guide, was fantastic. When the captain announced our itinerary would change, I heard grumblings amongst some passengers. However, later some of those grumblers had watched the weather forecast themselves, or their families had contacted them because the forecast made international headlines. The captain was visible every morning around the Café Latte-tudes coffee bar area to personally discuss concerns with the passengers. I saw him speak on the phone to a family member, assuring them their loved ones would be taken care of with safe passage, albeit a significantly revised itinerary. Way to go Captain Espen Been!!! Now that more sea days were added to our itinerary, the Cruise Directors staff stepped up and ensured there were activities throughout those days. There were several movies in the large performance theater so hundreds of passengers could enjoy them, dance lessons in the Centrum, extra musical entertainment throughout the day, etc. etc. Speaking of musical entertainment, Ron Kingston was a featured performer in the Quill and Compass Pub every night. He was amazing in his ability to connect with the audience and sing a variety of songs for all ages and from different cultures (American, Australia, New Zealand, British). It was kind of like a Piano Man singalong but with his voice, personality, and his guitar skills and unique sound system that really make the room rock. Was my go to event before bedtime. I signed up for the late dinner seating (8 pm) and requested to be seated at a large table. It did not disappoint. I’ve met Aussie friends for life. The food was very good, and by the second night my dinner cocktail was waiting for me upon arrival. There is an “upsell” for the high end steak and lobster dinners. Several table mates ordered the grilled lobster and were very pleased with it. The waiter and assistant waiter at table 505 were outstanding! A few nights I wanted to attend the 9 pm dance parties, and the staff at table 505 made sure my dinner was out in time for me to join in on the fun (I did skip dessert those evenings). I just told them when I was seated and they took care of the rest! The Radiance public areas look very good. The wait staff in bars and lounges were excellent. I discovered Angela in the Champagne Bar who makes an outstanding personalized espresso martini, which I enjoyed pre-dinner each evening. Simon in the Schooners Bar took good care of me during trivia events. And the bartenders in the Colony Club and the Centrum Lobby Bar on dance party nights never disappointed. There was a 50s/60s dance party, a 70s dance party and an 80s dance party on this cruise. Also a Dancing with the Stripes dance contest, where passengers selected at random are paired with crew members and the onlookers vote on the winners. The presentation of the flags from all employee nations onboard is not to be missed in the Centrum the last afternoon at sea. The casino on this cruise was totally nonsmoking, so I played there a few nights. Overall, I was even on the slot machines and roulette table, but the casino was empty most nights. Friendly, competent group of employees, however. This was cruise #13 for me, on various lines and itineraries. I had a wonderful time on the Radiance as a solo traveler, but I didn’t come for the floating theme park experience found on larger vessels. I came for the fun and the companionship of Aussies and others. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it’s an 18 hour flight from Dallas, Texas, and I’m from North Carolina, so it may be some time before I’m back. Getting off the ship was a breeze, as I had the KEY package with a special program for the last morning. My bags were tagged differently and waiting for me in a designated area when I disembarked after a KEY breakfast in the dining room. I was staying on in Sydney for more time Down Under, so I didn’t feel rushed and took my time getting off the ship. As an aside, after the cruise ended, I did return to New Zealand on my own to experience the Fiordlands National Park and Milford Sound. Spent the night in Milford Sound on a vessel and tour operated by Real Journeys out of Queenstown NZ. Excellent weather….worth every dollar! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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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