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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: July 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
3 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: June 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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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: May 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 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
2 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
14 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and ... Read More
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and miss out on Mystery Island. The captain did have pretty good communication regarding this, but we were disappointed as we were keen on Mystery Island. The ship itself I think was renovated somewhat recently. The main areas were quite nice. The balcony we had was a bit dated. The cabin was clean and nice. We didn't have any expectations of the ship, it being our first one. The food in the Windjammer was often very good and varied. The pizzas were quite basic; i'd steer clear. Each night had a different them which was nice as well. The pools, particularly the solarium, were good. My only complaint is that people would take up the deck chairs just sleeping. There are signs saying that items will be removed after 30 minutes, but this didn't happen. With all the chairs with items on them and the lack of people, I'm sure the owners were elsewhere on the ship. The hot tub rules also said that 15 minutes is the most you should be in there. People would often stay in for 30+ minutes keeping others from using it. Noumea was our first port. We didn't do any shore excursions, just went for a walk. The city was a let down. Very run down and expensive. If I were to go again I would get aboard the hop on/hop off bus and explore outside of the city. I think it was $30 USD pp. Isle of Pines was a bit better as it had nice beaches and water. The tendering process was a bit annoying but that's alright. The activities staff were very nice. We attended basically every general knowledge trivia and pub quiz on board and had fun with those. The drinks and services on board are in USD. If you were to get the basic alcohol package (cocktails and drinks up to $12) you will have a selection of about 20 different cocktails. The more premium cocktails are nearing $18. I am pretty sure that In my cruise planner prior to the trip the alcohol packages were in AUD, but then on board they were the same price but in USD. So if you want to drink; pre purchase. They do have a boarding special but even with that you are better off purchasing in AUD. The headliner acts were quite good. We had an illusionist, comedic juggler and some shows by the ships dancers and singers. They were all worth a watch. I do wish that the ship played more movies in the cinema throughout the day. Often we had gaps or 2-3 hours where there weren't any activities we wanted to go to. If the ship played movies constantly in the cinema we could have seen a film. I think they played maybe 2-3 a day in there. The gym looked a bit dated. The equipment certainly was a bit older, but worked fine. Would be nice if it was organised according to muscle group. At the end of the day we paid $1100/pp for a balcony and $250 was spent onboard via drinks. That's a fairly cheap holiday for 8 nights. If I were to cruise again it would be to NZ for better ports and on a newer/bigger ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
I went on this cruise with a group of 10 friends. The ship, cabin Stewart, wait staff were awesome as was the entertainment. The food in the restaurants and cafes was just awful. Cold, tasteless and low quality. I literally starved ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a group of 10 friends. The ship, cabin Stewart, wait staff were awesome as was the entertainment. The food in the restaurants and cafes was just awful. Cold, tasteless and low quality. I literally starved when onboard. I ate off ship every chance I had. We had to order everything at once and the courses were pushed at us so we hurried. Except for after dinner coffee, good luck getting it. Even the bar drinks were bad but expensive. We were bombard every dinner with selling the dinners. The photographer interrupted us eating each time and was pushy. Since we had a big group it was fine getting photos taken then the last 2 nights all of a sudden we had to break into 2 groups, no large groups allowed??? At the start of the booking the rep put my birth date in the system wrong so I could never log in. After months of calling they finally realized the problem and in fixing it deleted my roomate and all they're excursions with discounts! When I called twice asking them to restore my roommates excursions and honor the price they said it's not their policy to do that, too bad. I had an awesome onboard credit I was told I could use on ship but it disappeared and guest services was no help when me I got My bill. They asked me if I had proof! It was showing online when I left for the trip. My friends had a horrible excursion guide in one port, had no clue what he was doing, couldn't answer questions, just dropped them places. Another one of their excursions, the guide didn't know they had to return to the ship by a specified time. My friends finally told her, she called her office and they told her to head back. The ship had to wait for them. Like I said the ship was nice, our cabin great but the food was disgusting and RC customer service is nonexistent. I'm hoping to NEVER do another Royal cruise. I have cruised since the 80s on many lines and have experience on what to realistically expect. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself ... Read More
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself with plenty of choices (although getting a seat could be somewhat difficult)or if you wanted something a little more special the Cascades main dining room did lunch with menu choices. There was plenty of entertainment and activities going on and you could do as much or as little as you wanted to do. The staff/crew were as always working hard and were very polite and friendly, they always seemed to find the time to have a little chat, and made you feel so special. The port days were good and some lovely places were on our itinerary, with the choices of booking a trip or Making your own way round. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This cruise embarked from Melbourne Australia and headed to New Zealand. The ship toured the beautiful New Zealand fiords on the southwest coast. It then stopped at New Zealand cities on the country's east coast. We'd stongly ... Read More
This cruise embarked from Melbourne Australia and headed to New Zealand. The ship toured the beautiful New Zealand fiords on the southwest coast. It then stopped at New Zealand cities on the country's east coast. We'd stongly advise others to allocate several days before and after the cruise to enjoy Melbourne and Sidney. Embarkation was slow with long lines at each stage of the process. Overall from arriving at the dock to walking onto the boat was a bit over two hours. Overall, the Radiance of the Seas was above average. The ship carries 2,600 people so it is not as crowded as newer mega-cruisers. While the ship is twenty years old, the interior is modern and clean. One BIG problem is that there are no laundry rooms on board. One can use the ship's clothes cleaning service but it is $35 to wash a small bag of clothes. The passengers were largely in their 50s and 60s. I'd guess that there were only about two dozen children on the entire boat. About 60% of the passengers were Australian. That was nice because us Yanks could meet the Aussies and learn a lot about where they were from and what their lives are like. Food was consistently good both in dining rooms and in the buffet. One nicety was that if something was desired that was not on display or on the menu, the crew gladly provided it. We try to eat healthy when traveling. At dinner we'd often order a fresh vegetable plate in addition to our off-the-menu choices. We'd receive a steaming hot plate of broccoli, asparagus, carrots, and spinach. At the morning buffet, I'd often get a made to order omelet and rather than have the sausage or bacon, I'd ask a crewmember to bring a plate of smoked salmon. Our inside cabin was larger than cabins we've had on Princess and Celebrity ships. My wife always takes a midday nap. Our cabin was made up twice daily so we always had made beds. We attended a lot of shows. Visiting entertainers were good. There was a gifted pianist, a comedian that did impersonations, and a magician. However, while the dancers in the ships resident song and dance troupe were remarkably talented, the singers were about as good as one might hear at a high school musical. There were all the usual ship events - games, contests, shopping, etc. There were two whiskey tasting events that were free and fairly generous with the samples. New Zealand is a beautiful country. Seeing It is well worth the long flight from the US. We found New Zealander's to be informal and friendly. They like their country and are happy to show it off and to talk about it. Our favorite stop was Dunedin, a smallish city in South New Zealand. We visited a brewery and sampled the fabulous New Zealand beer. We also took a wildlife excursion and saw a rare albatross rookery (the only such nesting site on a mainland) and fur seals that were still nursing their rambunctious pups. Wellington, the national capital was fun, too. We tried meat pies and had coffee and dessert pastries at a little lunch spot across the street from the government buildings. Our ship was supposed to stop at Ashburton but could not due to high winds and rough seas. We also spend a day at Picton, a little resort town with a marina. We didn't find much to do at Picton so we hiked and visited a grocery store where we bought a few made in New Zealand foods and some local beers to bring home. Our cruise was in late February and early March which is fall in New Zealand. We were glad we did. The weather, overall, was sunny blue skies and most days were cool but one didn't need a coat. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2019
This was our second time on the Radiance, third time around NZ, but first time cruising with friends (deliberately). Our very first cruise was on Radiance back in '08 in Alaska. That has got us hooked unto cruising so it was going to ... Read More
This was our second time on the Radiance, third time around NZ, but first time cruising with friends (deliberately). Our very first cruise was on Radiance back in '08 in Alaska. That has got us hooked unto cruising so it was going to be interesting to come back after several cruises, with a few companies,and to compare. Also we planned this with a few friends of our age group. OK, staring at the start, we were a bit worried about Melbourne as a departure point. Melbourne is not usually a customs clearance point, so we were worried a little about the whole check in process. We shouldn't have been, it may have been a fraction slower, but not really noticeable. We went through a faster lane, which was very quick, our friends though had to come through the standard lines, which did take close to an hour. I think this was because everyone came at the same time, and there were a lot more without C & A privileges, which meant the queues were longer than normal. We got our rooms pretty much on 1pm, and we also sorted out our first night dining with our friends. We then went for a bit of an explore, and that first cocktail. The ship had changed slightly, but not a lot. Other reviews talked about it ageing, and showing signs of wear and tear. She is now 18 years old, and due for another refresh in a few months. If you looked hard, yes you could find things to comment on (and as an ex-mariner you could find fault everywhere if you wanted to), but the important thing was it was clean and tidy, the crew worked well to keep the presentation to a good standard, and nothing was falling apart. Food - this is a major part of the trip. We ate in the Windjammer, Main Dining Room (fixed times), Chops, Giovanni's and Samba restaurants, and the Park Cafe. The food in all the areas was very good. We did enjoy the food at Chops the best, but in reality it was all good, and came with great service. Tip for those at Sambas, its a marathon - not a sprint (there are seven meat courses, so pace yourself). The service as usual was spot on. Were were especially fond of out MDR staff who were very attentive, friendly, and just good fun to talk to. Windjammers, of course, could be busy, and you had to pick your times a little, but we could also take the food out onto the stern area, or to other quieter places if necessary. Park Cafe had changed a little and you could now get a nice salad there during the day. Lastly the guys at Cafe Latte-tudes were really good and friendly (if you didn't try to take advantage of them like some passengers did). Room - we had room 8088. it has the larger balcony on the hump. The interior of the room is the same as most balcony rooms, and spacious enough for us. The balcony was fantastic, and was spacious enough for outside lounges, we just couldn't get any (a disappointment). This would be a joy on those longer ocean voyages. There was a down side (and it has been raised in the past) that you can hear the music from the Centrum At night it can go up to 10:30pm. What you hear is the bass thump of the music. During the day its not too bad (quieter music or events) but there are some major parties in the evening. Good thing is, if you are at the party you don't mind, and after 10:30ish it dies away and it is fine. I would probably book this room again if on a long cruise. The cabin staff were again spot on. Unobtrusive, but there when you needed them. Entertainment - being that we were with friends this time, we were quite happy to do our own things. The shows were good to very good (but not excellent), the musical tams moving around the boat were very good, and we enjoyed them immensely. The cruise staff were fantastic. We made friends with several of them, and we had a good time. It was really funny watching one of the team (all of about 23 years old) trying to run a music quiz with 60s or 70s music when she freely admitted her parents weren't even born then, while many of us lived through it! She did a great job. The biggest disappoint was the poor entertainment up in Starquest late at night. Basically preplanned music most nights. so no real soul to the place. New Zealand - Fan-bloody-tastic!! The fiordlands, Dunedin, Wellington and Picton were all magic, beautiful scenario, culture, history and people!! Unfortunately the weather did not permit tendering at Akaroa, a disappointment, but the crew compensated with an afternoon of quickly revised entertainment. NZ never disappoints and the beauty of Milford, Dusky and Doubtful sounds was awesome. A running commentary from an NZ Parks Officer made all the difference. I could go on for a while, but NZ is beautiful, and even in Wellington (one of their largest cities) the people are friendly and will tell you all about their culture or point to you to an ATM, nothing was too much for them. We didn't book any excursions through RCI as they were way (WAY) too expensive. We did have an idea of what wee wanted though, so we were able to sort ourselves out quickly once we got there. We were very lucky crossing the Tasman (twice) the weather gods were great to us, and made the trip so much enjoyable. As usual the staff made a big difference, there attentiveness, smiles and service are also an attraction for us on RCI. The ship may be getting old, but it is by no means overtly noticeable. The food was of a high standard, with some items being repeated on the menus, but changes were made every day, and that was enough (always too many options). Dietary requirements mentioned on the first day were relayed to all our restaurant bookings (a good touch). There was always some entertainment available, but with good friends and a number out out-of-the-way spots, you could just ave fun passing the time. The disembarkation at Sydney was smooth, and we were out of the terminal (and back to the real world) quickly. We will be back!!! Service, food and entertainment is just how we like it. Thanks! Read Less
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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