1,266 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
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
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
Sail Date March 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
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
Sail Date February 2019
Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of ... Read More
Chosen for destination and end docking in Melbourne. Loved the itinerary and shore excursions except Napier was very busy with their once a year Art Deco festival and it meant there were traffic restrictions, no reduction in price of excursion. But boring just seeing the countryside.q when we got back to town couldnt find anywhere to sit or toilets open, civic centre closed, pub for patrons only (understandable, but no help if you have been in a bus for three hours and on fluid tablets). Dunedin was the same situation with toilet stops on the bus trip, needs more thought with mature age passengers. Food in dining room needs more variety, but served hot which was good. They need to be stricter with dress code or don’t bother. Theme nights were only in Windjammer. Breakfast and lunch in Windjammer were fine, salmon with poached egg for breakfast suites me, also the salads are great for lunch. Not available in dining room for dinner. Didn’t try any specialty restaurants. As usual drinks weren’t cheap, we bought a drinks package as you can get better coffee and bottled water, wine by the glass in the dining room was included, only get discount on bottles so better to drink by the glass. Felt sorry for couples where only one drank as you had to buy for both. Boarding, disembarking and tenders were well organised. They have a ramp they can use for wheelchairs to board tenders, would be better for all passengers more stable than the steps on platform. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were ... Read More
Our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, and also our first cruise in the Southern Hemisphere. We arrived at the port in Auckland around 1145 am embarkation was from 1130am. We had no problems and were boarded within 15mins. Cabins were available at 1pm, excellent start to our cruise We had booked a balcony cabin on Deck 9 and on arrival our cases were waiting for us. The cabin was a good size, plenty of wardrobe/storage space. Bathroom was the usual size, the cabin was all in good order. Our cabin steward came along to introduce himself, Iwayan Eka Wirawan (Cabin 9516 13-23/02/2019). We had plenty of time to explore the ship prior to sailing and we were very impressed with all we saw. We ate in Windjammer, Park Cafe and Cascades . We found the food variety good in Windjammer although sometimes could have been hotter. The odd time we had lunch at Park Cafe it was good. Dinner at Cascades was very good we were on My Time Dining and was generally allocated our table by Jasper who was always very pleasant and helpful in seating us in the same area, generally table 499. The staff in this area, Velancio and Hanuraz looked after us very well. After our first visit they remembered what wine we had and my husband has a stomach problem and they made sure he got the food he required making any necessary changes he required. Overall the staff in the bars, restaurants and casino were very friendly and efficient. We thought the atmosphere on board the ship was very positive. The Captain, Cruise Director and crew were also very friendly and approachable. Our overall opinion of the ship and the cruise was excellent.the Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it ... Read More
I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it very annoying that I'm being solicited during a meal to buy a specialty dinner. It's very disruptive to the dining experience and this seems to be the new practice on cruises now, which is not acceptable. I did not find the on-board entertainment to be very good. After a few nightly shows, I gave up and quit going. The Diamond Club Lounge was always so crowded with no seats and way too hot that I had to take my cocktails and food to the adjacent lounge to enjoy. I visited the spa for a pedicure and the pedicure chair with the massage jets was broken, but the nail tech didn't inform me until I asked her to turn the jets on, then she said they weren't working. By this time, I'm already in the process with polish removed and feet soaking. The manager of the salon was of no help and when I got back home, I contacted RCCL. They said they have no control over Canyon Ranch Spa because it's a separate company and I should contact them. So much run-around only to find out that RCCL doesn't take responsibility for their spa. So, ladies, beware! The ship excursions have become so outrageously expensive, so I book most tours on my own. I did take two ship excursions and they were enjoyable. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was a nightmare. At the beginning of the cruise, I had my power strip confiscated and they promised it would be in a certain area in the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, which it wasn't. So my disembarkation was delayed because they couldn't find the confiscated items table. A very helpful New Zealander staff woman helped track it down for me, and I was very grateful. I've noticed negative changes in RCCL my last couple of cruises, but this was the worst cruise ever! So this is the end of my cruising with RCCL. They are a garbage cruise line and I will now be going to other companies for my vacations. I'm a solo traveler, so I always have to pay double to cruise. After 19 cruises, they've lost my loyalty and my revenue stream. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even ... Read More
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even less time. All staff from the Captain to cleaners were very polite and would chat happily, were always attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The ship was great, comfortable, lovely big windows. The cabin was an inside one and while small, especially the shower, we had everything we needed. I am not sure I would have liked a room that size with more than two people though. We had all our meals in the Windjammer and certainly had nothing to complain about, plenty of choice. Our waiters got to know us and brought us drinks as soon as we sat down. Plenty of activities for everyone though we had gone to rest and relax so didn't take part in lots of things. I have to confess that I wasn't so impressed with the shows. A couple of comedians were quite crude and not appropriate for family shows. The dances and singers were good, as was the ventriloquist and hypnotist. My only real complaint was that everything that happened in the centrum was so loud you couldn't hold a conversation. We got off a tour bus one day that stopped a few hundred metres from the ship and you could hear the noise as soon as the bus doors opened. The ports were good and we did go ashore in Akaroa, Wellington and the Bay of Islands. Great sailing through the Fiordland sounds. We are both keen to go on another cruise and would certainly look at this ship first. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance ... Read More
First and foremost for Americans - a Visa is needed for Australia (but not New Zealand). This cruise was for my husband and myself, who are both in our 60s and have cruised probably 15 times on all different lines. Regarding Radiance of the Seas, the ship has definitely seen better days. We felt the maintenance could have been better. The railing on our balcony was definitely in need of stain. The ship in MANY places has rust showing. It just appears old. However, every other aspect of this ship was awesome. There is an indoor pool (with hot tubs) along with an outdoor pool. We went 1/24/19 for a 10 day cruise. The food in the dining room was good. The Windjammer I felt could have been better, but my husband was OK with it (we went there for breakfast and lunch). Staff is excellent and always around ready to help. Our bed was very good and I loved the pillows. Nightly shows/entertainment: Was not very impressed with the staff dancers/singers until their final night, where they were good. The entertainment they had other nights was very good. LOVED the Freddie Mercury (Queen) entertainer!!!! The piano player another night was also good! One of the staff singers Abby was also excellent! Overall we were very pleased with the entertainment. Ship Excursions we took (through Royal Caribbean): Napier panorama on a guided bus was nice with us hearing about an interesting town with lovely views. In Napier NZ we went on a sheep tour which included a sheepdog showing off his skills bring the sheep down from the hills. EXCELLENT and well worth the money. The owners provided us also with lamb rolls and tea in their garden which was just an added plus. The farmer also sheared one of his lambs, a 4 month old first time shearing) and that was cool to see. Interesting that the value of this one's wool was only worth $4NZ. We also went on an Akaroa Panorama bus tour which was great. This was our favorite port as it was beautiful and interesting. We also went on a Welling and Dunedin city tour, but were both disappointed with these towns. The bus driver one day pulled to the side of the road to explain about a house set back 3 houses (that we couldn't even see) and gave us boring information on this home for about 7 minutes. Neither town really impressed us much. The final day in NZ was totally on the ship touring Doubtful, Dusky and Milford Sounds. If you have a balcony, try to book the side of the ship that faces the hills/fiords. This was totally beautiful and plenty of waterfalls. SO pretty! The final day we cruised from NZ to Australia through the Tasman Sea. Never before have I been seasick - enough to stay in bed. So if you have the slightest possibility of seasickness, bring pills. However, the doctors office located on the lower deck (I think 2) gave out free seasickness pills. And the office had a lot of people in it!! Driving into the port of Sydney the next day was beautiful!!! Be sure to be up early to capture this sight! We truly did enjoy this cruise. And though I bashed the condition of the ship, we are happy we experienced it! One additional side note: we could definitely see the rivalry between the Aussies and the Kiwis. They made fun of each other but said they did like each other. Hmmmm - I'm not sure I saw this! the majority of the ship is Australian and New Zealand cruisers. But there were certainly other nationalities as well! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and ... Read More
Chose this cruise because of the opportunity to see New Zealand and Australia. For us, this was the chance of a lifetime and we were looking forward to checking this off our bucket list! We flew in the night before to Auckland and spent the next day touring the city for a bit before boarding our cruise! Embarkation was a breeze. Everyone there was very friendly. We headed to our cabin and were shocked to find stains on our sheets and bedskirt and a balcony that you wouldn't want to step foot on unless you had your shoes on (pictures posted). So we turned around and headed straight to Guest Services with our pictures to ask to be switched to a different room. Mind you, I have never ever made such a request. But this was NOT Royal Caribbean quality - this was Motel 6 in a bad part of town quality going on here! Of course, they said they didn't have any other rooms, but they would send housekeeping and maintenance to come take a look. When they arrived, they changed the sheets and bedskirt and told us that they knew the balcony was bad and not up to their standards. They told us they could fix it, but it would take three days and we wouldn't be able to use it. In the meantime, they powerwashed it, (but that didn't change anything) and provided beach towels to put on the balcony floor!!! So needless to say that part was a real disappointment because I've been on several RC cruises and Royal Caribbean is better than this. The second day of the cruise I realize that our in-room refrigerator isn't cooling anything. When I ask our room steward about this, he tells me it isn't a refrigerator, it's a cooler. I explain that I have a prescription that needs to be refrigerated and he says he will talk to his supervisor about it. We go out that day on our excursions and when I return I find a 3 1/5 foot refrigerator in the middle of the floor of our room!!!!!! WTH!! I moved it out to the hallway and called maintenance to come pick it up! From then on they provided me with ice buckets each night and plastic bags for me to put my prescription in it to keep it cold. SMH As far as other public facilities, the wear and tear on this boat is showing. One night I went to the ladies room and (I kid you not) the faucet was being held together by duct tape!!! There were three sinks with three soap dispensers and only one dispenser worked. The attendant acknowledged that the other two were broken, and says "here you can use this one." (I was stunned and disappointed - I've never seen anything like that on a Royal Caribbean cruise.) The dining was great as usual. We ate at the Windjammer for breakfast and the MDR for dinner each evening. I don't know why people complain about the food. Honestly, there's so much selection that if you don't like something, try something else! Entertainment and activities were limited because it's a smaller ship. The Cruise Director was entertaining & made an effort to mingle with the guests and say hi. The ports were great! There's so much to see and do in NZ! Honestly I want to go back to NZ to see more. Though I would advise not doing the Akaroa - Christchurch and Countryside tour. We went to a sheep ranch and watched the farmer shear sheep and then watched his dogs herd sheep from the mountain. Afterwards his wife had sausage rolls, tea, and biscuits for everyone. THAT part was awesome! They were a lovely couple who were just so kind and welcoming to allow our tour group to come to their home. The rest of the tour was a loooong drive to Christchurch which was a pretty countryside drive. However, the drive was over an hour and a half just to get to Christchurch! Then we were only there about 50 minutes before we had to get back on the bus to head back to the ship for an almost two hour drive. And honestly, there isn't much of anything to see in Christchurch. You see the cathedral which is still in terrible disrepair from the earthquake in 2011 and still has fencing all around it. That's it! That's all there is to see! You get off the bus, walk up to where the cathedral is, & look at it. Then you try and find a bite to eat and get back on the bus. So the majority of this excursion was spent on a bus!!! Not my idea of a good time. Total waste of time spent there in my opinion. Save your money on this excursion and find something else to do. Fitness center was good. My husband went there most everyday and I ran on the outdoor track each morning, before the crowds head up there. Overall this was a wonderful cruise and I would love to go again! But we will never cruise on this ship again or this size ship again. We definitely prefer the larger, newer ships. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I loved New Zealand, scenery was beautiful, that was the only good part of my trip. This ship is old, smelly & tired looking. The water slides & climbing wall advertised were only open for an hour once a day on port days and an ... Read More
I loved New Zealand, scenery was beautiful, that was the only good part of my trip. This ship is old, smelly & tired looking. The water slides & climbing wall advertised were only open for an hour once a day on port days and an hour twice a day on sea days so it was near impossible to use these amenities unless you wanted to line up for a couple of hours for one go - not my idea of fun. My two teenage girls were bored out of their mind for the entire trip. There’s little for kids to do on this ship. The food was not good at all. The restaurants that you pay for were very good but the buffet was absolutely shocking, same food every day & not great at all. If I knew how cramped our balcony suite would be we would have paid extra for two suites. I was stuck sleeping in an extremely uncomfortable pull out lounge for 10 days which left me with neck that I was unable to turn to the right & a sore back. The actual beds were not much better. After having traveled on cruise ships in the past I was really looking forward to watching some shows however they were boring & clearly aimed at older people, not families. I was distraught when I walked into a poorly identifiable glass wall right next to some revolving doors on deck 12. It was a clear hazard yet the ships health & safety officer ridiculed me despite having to spend the whole morning with the doctor with suspicions of a concussion, a black eye and serious swelling - management Just didn’t care. I love cruises & New Zealand was great but I will never travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way ... Read More
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way cruise from Sydney to Auckland. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, first cruise to NZ and the biggest ship we have been on. We flew into Sydney, the day before the cruise departed, just in case of airline delays or cancellations. We boarded at 11.30 am and in our cabins by 3.00 pm. There are 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian in our family, so as soon as we were onboard, we went to see one of the head waiters in the Colony Club, to explain our dietary requirements. All our breakfasts and lunches were in the Windjammers Buffet and all our dinners were in Cascades. Cascades wins hands down in the “fine dining” department and their vegan meals were delicious and plenty of it. The vegans were usually given 2 or 3 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts each, just to ensure there was enough choice. The omnivores were also taken care of. Prawn cocktails, crumbed prawns, lobster tails, escargot, Rib eye steak, sirloin steak, fillet mignon, rack of lamb, venison, pork loin chops. Sometimes I had 2 entrees and 2 mains. Sometimes the steak was too chewy, so I ordered more prawn cocktails. The Cascade waiting staff were great and Cascades is the only place where soft drinks are free. The alcoholic drinks are expensive (about 50% more than P&O Aust and Carnival Aust) because all prices onboard are in $US. The drink price also includes an 18% gratuity, but you won’t see this itemised on your receipt. A few prices; beers $7.75-$8.50, base spirit and mixer $9.50-$11.50, cocktails $11-$16, the “cocktail of the day” is always $10, glasses of wine $9-$16 USD. I bought the Deluxe Beverage and Surf and Stream (1 device) Package about 2 months before the cruise date when a special offer was emailed to me. It cost me $82.80 AUD per day. Once onboard, the Deluxe Beverage was $70 USD per day and the Surf and Stream (1 device) was $29 USD per day. The internet speed was good, but there were times when we were out of satellite range and no service. The beverage package supplied me with bottled water, cans of soft drink, real coffee, not to mention the alcohol. The entertainment ranged from OK to very good. The juggler, ventriloquist, the boy band, the impressionist and comedians were very good. The big production shows were about average. Windjammers closes at 9.00 pm, so if you want some supper after the show, the food is limited to The Boardwalk Doghouse or the Park Café located in the Solarium. Both close at 2.00 am. The Park Café has sandwiches, wraps, rolls, pies, sausage rolls, salads and desserts and it was all good. Now for the one negative part of this review, photographers. They are everywhere. At the top of every stairway in every entrance, on every boarding ramp, in every dining room, I even found one in my soup. An 8x10 inch photo is $20 USD. I suppose they are a necessary evil and help subsidise my fare. This was a good family cruise and I will cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge ... Read More
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge and free drinks added each day! If we had known that we would not have paid for the drinks package! However, there is continual pressure to up-sell to speciality dining and thankfully we had two occasions to do so because the main dining food was very average and lacked imagination and flavour. I resorted to 4 starters on several evenings rather than face another main meal. Wine service was non-existent due to the absence of sommeliers so our waiter and assistant struggled to keep up with service. Food arrived lukewarm... very disappointing! Radiance probably has the best Centrum experience around with all decks being able to look down and participate in whatever was going on below! However, try finding a seat!... RCI has now taken over a huge chunk of the coffee bar lounge with a Future Cruise office plus, don't expect china cups these days... paper carry-outs! contrast that with Celebrity's La Bachio, the most popular relaxing area for most people! The two re-fits didn't seem to include soft furnishings such as the chairs and carpets in the Champagne Bar which really have seen better days! However, as I said, it was a very happy cruise with friendly officers and staff and a new Captain who actually sang to us at the welcome meeting! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are easily accessible and navigate due it's simple layout. When she was launched she was the most advanced cruise ship on the waves but now, as lovely as she is, she is starting to look a little tired. Despite this, the service is 100% and in keeping with RCI's usual standard. My wife and I would not hesitate to sail on her again if the opportunity presents itself. NZ, as usual, was a pleasure to visit with every port offering a warm welcome and a myriad of shore activities to undertake. Would recommend shore excursions to Hobbiton, Rotorua, Rangitoto Island. Also, as Auckland is very much an America's Cup town, sailing on one of the two Americas Cup Class yachts berthed a Viaduct Harbour (near the Maritime Museum) is certainly a highlight! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the Sounds. Embarkation was a breeze, 1pm & straight onto the ship in 15 mins, disembarkation was a bit slower but easy enough, off the ship by 0830 after a hearty breakfast in the MDR. The transit across the Tasman Sea & return was smooth, the weather was perfect all the way until Day 8 when the wind & sea swell picked up as the ship headed up the west coast. Food & Bev; i enjoyed breakfast in MDR each morning, lunch was usualy a snack in the Park Cafe which was mainly meat, salads & fruit, occasional visit to the Windjammer which provided plenty of variety but i don't think it was fresh by the time i got there around 145pm (avoiding peak hour), the Park Cafe is a better choice. Dinner was mainly in the MDR, here the dishes were a bit mixed, some nice, other's were sometimes overcooked (e.g. the fish), but overall happy with meals in MDR. The service by staff was great in the MDR very willing to please, if not happy with meal just ask for a replacement which they readily provide. The price of Alcohol drinks is a rip off, $13 USD for a glass of Cab Sav, go figure, make sure you take onboard the max. alcohol you are permitted. The drinks packages don't interest me, i have the occasional coffee or coke, water you can refill at the drinks terminal around the ship, just fill a glass & pour into your container to fulfil health requirements by not putting your bottle directly onto water tap. Entertainment: the music around the ship was very good, 4 piece contemporary band & usual piano, guitar man in the pub, guitar & violin playing the Jazz Standards, the 2 piece Dance group. The theme nights went well, the 70-80s night & the Almost NYE party in the Centrum were good fun. The production shows in Aurora were the Piano Man & the City of Dreams, the former a bit tired the latter was a very enjoyable show. The Singers, Dancers & Show Band were excellent, they played the American Songbook in the Colony Club showing how polished they were with Count Basie style ensemble pieces. The featured artists ranged from poor to excellent for me, with plenty in the middle such as comedians etc. The Michael Jackson Experience was great, the audience could not get enough of TJ Capolla as MJ, he works hard & deserves credit for a entertaining show. Plenty of movies around the ship, top deck, the Cinema & Aurora Theatre. Plenty of dance classes to attend & learn some new moves, salsa, samba etc. The Cruise Director John Blair i liked a lot, I thought he handled the CD position very well, farewelling passengers as they disembarked was a nice touch. Excursions & Ports; the ports are all great, we got off the boat & wandered around the ports at our own pace, the Excursions from the boat are too expensive for me, you can book ahead for train trips at Picton & Dunedin. In Wellington we were lucky to see the Terracota Warriors ( at least about 30) at the Te Papa Museum. The ship is 17 yrs old being refurbished just a few years ago. I enjoyed the ship, its easy walking from the front to the back of ship, staff are always wiping down the handrails & cleaning the ship. The Solarium is an adults only area with a pool & spa, you can get a meal almost all day & night here, nice area to chill out. The gym is very good, all the equipment works & a good area for a stretch. The Centrum is the central place for most entertainment due to cool conditions on top deck. Plenty of sport facilities from basketball, mini golf, climbing wall. The only enrichment was a talk from a Parks Ranger when the ship was at the Sounds, unfortunately for me i could not make out much of what he was saying even in the lecture in Aurora, i'm sure he had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about. A fellow passenger i spoke to was very dissapointed there were no Bridge games, she advertised it on the "whats on" board but got only one person interested for a game. The Vitality Spa provide a much needed massage & a $50 voucher appeared in our room by about day 4, my companion enjoyed the massage & treatment. The Cruise Critic meeting went well, CD John conducted this with soft drinks & snacks provided, a 10 min mix & mingle was fun, 1 min talk then move to next & so on, a good way to find someone who lives in an enjoining suburb as it turned out. The Crown & Anchor meeting in the Colony Club was ok, the usual Captain & Crown & A speak. I thought the captain was invisible with this exception, i dont recall seeing him around the ship at all, ( i did not get to Dancing with the Stripes). The staff were excellent, guest services, cabin steward, dining room staff, very happy with everyone i came into contact with. The Parade of Flags by all the 37 (?) nationalities on the ship was a blast, pictured below. This is my 7th cruise with RC & i have enjoyed them all, would i go again ? yes, I'm a cruise junkie, enjoy meeting people from all walks of life & different places. Value for money RC suits my budget, but I would chose a more modern ship & try to avoid aft cabins if possible. Ovation is only 2 yr old with all the bells & whistles, Explorer & Voyager have the Ice Skating shows. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely ... Read More
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely people and really there was nothing to complain about. We did not have a meal in the mdr we did not like. As neither of us walk very well we were taken on board by wheelchair and it only took 20 minutes to be on the ship and likewise on our return a very efficient service. We had a cabin at the rear of the ship which was a mistake really. The balcony was great as it was sheltered and large enough for a table and two chairs plus two loungers, but it was a long walk to the lifts. We booked a grand suite for the beginning of December 2019 to New Zealand and got a great offer on board with the Next Cruise people Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, ... Read More
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, although it seemed that too few tenders were being operated. The ship is still in good shape and lifts operated well. The decorations for the festive season were fantastic and the cruise director, John, and his team did a great job. He is one of the best that we have seen and he even did an afternoon tribute to Neil Diamond which was very good. The general shows were a mixture of very good to moderate but the movies were very limited and repetitive. The overall presentations for Xmas, New Year were wonderful. Few complaints about the food in any of the restaurants although a little repetitive. However, have to congratulate the wait staff who are all great, cheerful and willing to serve. These Filipino and Indonesian waiters are a great advertisement for cruise lines, including RCCI.We always had pre-dinner drinks in the diamond or concierge lounges and the waiters soon got to know us. These lounges are great draws for RCCI. Disembarkation was fast, ahead of time, and plenty of taxis at port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. ... Read More
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. The cruise was quite good. Pros included just about everything in NZ. Certainly a lovely destination. Wellington, Picton, Dunedin and Milford Sound were brilliant. The cruise buffet at the "Windjammer' café was very good (but a little crowded). A constantly varied menu with a good choice. I can't recall anything bad about eating there. The headline shows were very good as too the cruise Director, John Blair. He was extremely entertaining and so was his Neil Diamond tribute show. Cons were that the cruise was in reality, just like a floating RSL (which everyone said wasn't the case). The day revolves around eating and in the evening there are shows. The shows overall were quite ordinary (except for the headline performances of which there were only two). The main dining room was bad. The menu didn't really change from day 1. We had breakfast there three times. Each time we ordered a different breakfast combination and each time we got exactly the same breakfast? Other downsides were the small bathrooms, tiny showers, terrible TV choices, limited movie selections at the very tiny cinema (a tip is to get there an hour early for a seat). We had a cabin with a balcony towards the front starboard side on level 9 which provided us with shore views at every port which was nice. The shops were selling $100 watches from Costco for $700 and even with their so-called sale offering 75% discount, you were still getting ripped off. As it was our first cruise we can't really compare it to anything else but strangely enough, despite all the shortcomings, we quite enjoyed the experience but would probably try another cruise line for a better comparison. One last point, we booked through a company called Cruise1st and they were pretty ordinary. Great from a sales point of view but from there on, customer service was non-existent. We ended up going to Royal Caribbean US for a variation and they helped us. My advice would be to deal directly with the cruise line? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We had never visited New Zealand before and we got a great all inclusive price for this cruise. We did have a lovely time and thought NZ was amazing, the Radiance was a very nice ship, Art Deco design and we were very impressed by it. ... Read More
We had never visited New Zealand before and we got a great all inclusive price for this cruise. We did have a lovely time and thought NZ was amazing, the Radiance was a very nice ship, Art Deco design and we were very impressed by it. Embarkation was a shambles taking nearly three hours but other guests told us that this is not normal for RC. I suppose we are used to flying to a place in the med and then joining the ship so it is not everyone all together at the same time. The staff were so friendly and helpful, Ery our cabin steward couldn’t have been more helpful and Wendy in the Solarium always looked out for us and kept us topped up with drinks. Having been with Thomson’s, now Marella since 2013 for 5 cruises on different ships every time, we felt that Royal Caribbean was more interested in your money than you as a customer. Every time you moved on the ship someone jumped out trying to take a photo of you with something which got very annoying. When we first got on to the ship we were pounced on th buy this or that package for dining/ drinks ect. We already had a free drinks package included. We usually go to the main dining room as I am Gluten Free and Marella are very good dealing with my diet. We went there on the first night and it was not good, tables all cramped together, very noisy too. My husband was offered wine but not any one else, there were our two friends with us. Our friend’s wife meal was cold, something other guests complained of to us later in the week. We decided to stick to the Windjammer buffet which was excellant. There was plenty of choice for Gluten Free, great food and it was spacious too. We had phone calls in the week to ask why we hadn’t been back to the MDR. We gave it another try for breakfast next day. My husband asked for cornflakes and they brought Frosties, he asked again and they bought a box of Frosties and milk. Third time he finally got cornflakes.!! The cruise director was a cross between David Hasselhoff and Donald Trump, he just seem so false and patronising. He did redeem himself a bit on the last day as he did a great Neil Diamond life story tribute. Entertainment to us wasn’t as professional as Marella although there was a good Aussie Beatles tribute. On Marella you get a lot more info each day in the cruise news about the ports visited and ways to get around, transport ect. Asking at reception wasn’t always productive and it was difficult to get a definite answer to questions. We got good value for what we paid but I think we will be sticking to Marella in the future. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
First, New Zealand is beautiful and well worth the effort to get there but the radiance of the seas is sub par. Furnishings are dated & many are in dis repair. For example, the first chair I sat in in the Colony Club was broken & ... Read More
First, New Zealand is beautiful and well worth the effort to get there but the radiance of the seas is sub par. Furnishings are dated & many are in dis repair. For example, the first chair I sat in in the Colony Club was broken & cabinets in our cabin were chipped. Also the seal on our portal showed a lot of rust. We went to the Quill & Compass for a drink & they did not have the first two beers on the menu my husband tried to order & I asked for a special Bloody Mary , also on the menu, but the bartender couldn’t make that either. The food in Cascades was just barely adequate. The one bright spot was the Chefs Table which was most enjoyable. The side trip in Dunedin was a mess. The first part on the Taiegori rail road was pleasant but the city tour was disappointing. The driver would not take us by the famous octagon & we also had only a half hour in the museum. Some one finally asked the driver to go back by the train station so we could at least see the outside. The entertainment on the ship was a cut above a high school production. And the chairs in the Aurora Theater were also worn. The “comedian” whose show was called Identity Theft was particularly lame. One other positive was the spa. I had an excellent facial from Paula from Spain & a nice shampoo from Mariya from Bulgaria. However when I went into the rest room the very tiny sink was also chipping & rusted. We are frequent/seasoned travelers. This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and it will be our last. I talked to other passengers who felt the same way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly ... Read More
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly 15 months before the embarkation date. From meeting lots of people and talking, we found out that those lots of people all got upgraded. Especially the two ladies in cabin 3016, who got upgraded to an ocean view cabin. Why is it good enough for some to get upgraded, and not good enough for some others to not get upgraded. I would think that if you booked over 12 months ahead that those people would be the first to get chosen. Sadly and very unfortunately on our part we didn’t get upgraded. We think this is very unfair. Please tell me how the system works and which people you choose to upgrade first. The entertainment of the artists was fantastic. I was disappointed with the organising of the venues. We had early dining and late show, and when you went to other venues you just could not get in due to the amount of people.The dining menu hardly changed and some people sent meals back as they weren’t cooked properly. If you happened to go for a late night feed, all there was to offer was hotdogs and pizzas.We have travelled other cruise lines and you can just about get anything to eat till early hours of the morning.The staff in the dining room were polite and very, very helpful, they were great. When it came to the activity programs delivered to your cabin each night,there should be more clear information.It showed a sushi class and my wife went and later next day she was charged something like $33, so for people with poor eyesight you couldn’t see the little $ sign. When complained about it my wife was told she should have booked, but we said where does it say to book. They could not answer that question. One last complaint, I did not like crew members coming around trying to sell you food or drink packages while you are having your meal, and also in foyers, it was annoying. I am sorry to say but I don’t think we will return to Royal Caribbean cruising in the future, unless better deals are made. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First time ocean cruisers and it probably be our last. Travelled Royal Caribbean – Radiance of the Seas. No complaints with either the food or the room. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, outdoor experiences were not available for the ... Read More
First time ocean cruisers and it probably be our last. Travelled Royal Caribbean – Radiance of the Seas. No complaints with either the food or the room. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, outdoor experiences were not available for the days across to New Zealand and a day returning to Australia. Oh well, plenty to keep you entertained within the ship. The infrequent and non-current movies. The organised activities (Halloween for one) for 2000 odd people in the ‘Centrum’ (small central foyer of the ship). There was the talk from Adam Houlahan (which I’m sure the company did not vet prior to him presenting, and I hope he wasn’t paid). The up-sell was constant and off-putting for a ‘relaxing’ holiday. The cost of alcohol was excessive considering we were in international waters and not subject to duties. One Crown lager stubbie equated to $13.90 Aus once their 18% gratuities were added. I was really impressed, when I delivered to Guess Services on our departure, valuable jewellery from the previous room occupant, which had been left in our safe and had only been discovered. No receipt was given for the property handed in, and when asked for one, the request was denied. I advised the guest service officer that I required one as I did not want to be investigated/blamed when the owner attempted to locate their property. A few days after the cruise, I followed up with Royal Carribeen about the jewellery. There was no record of me handing it in and they could not describe the items I had given. Hmmm. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and ... Read More
Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and the porters were very helpful in organizing our luggage and then getting Mum onboard the ship. Our cabin was not ready so the porter took us to the cafe where Mum transferred to a seat. He provided us with clear directions on where to get the elevators as Mum cannot use the stairs. Dining. Had a continental breakfast in our cabin most mornings which was always delivered promptly. However, every day there would be something missing from our order - not enough to call them back but just to annoy you. For example, no milk for the cereal only yoghurt or no sugar for the coffee. We had lunch at the Windjammer Cafe most days and found this perfectly acceptable. There was a good variety of food offered with some staples (burgers, hot dogs) and an assortment of hot and cold dishes. The food and beverage service staff were friendly and helpful. We had dinner in Cascades - the main dining room - each evening. We had wonderful meals every night with plenty of choices offered. Our waiters - Regan and Hasin - were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble. We would arrive of an evening and find a glass of wine waiting for us. Regan would then go through the menu and provide recommendations for each course. One night I could not decide between 2 dishes so he bought me both!! As a person with a life-threatening allergy Regan's attention to detail was very reassuring. Beverages. Decided very quickly on day one we would get the deluxe beverage package and wish we had pre-purchased which offers a substantial saving. The main reason we chose the package was the convenience - with Mum having limited mobility it would have been tiresome to go up to the 11th floor everytime we wanted a drink (tea, coffee, water) outside of meal times. We are not big drinkers - enjoy a glass of wine with our lunch and dinner, a coffee/tea during the day, water when going on shore and a nightcap - but we felt that having the package encouraged you to drink more than usual. I would like to see different levels of drink packages with some alcohol included. Currently, it is an all or nothing package and does not fit with "responsible serving of alcohol". Bar staff were friendly and we did not have to often wait to be served. I would single out Alex in the Champagne Bar for his attentive service for Mum. Enrichment activities. These were few and far between with next to nothing being offered on this cruise for discerning travelers. I am used to cruising where we would have at least one lecture offered every day on a wide variety of topics so I was very disappointed. The climate change lecture was OK. The commentary provided whilst in Milford Sound was informative. Entertainment. This ship offers the usual activities you expect on a cruise - gym, cinema, trivia, karaoke, game shows (adult and child versions) towel folding craft, etc. There were 2 theme parties on this cruise - a 70s night and Halloween. Both nights encouraged guests to dress up with prizes awarded. We quickly learned to avoid activities that involved the Cruise Director and/or Activities Director. Found both John and Katrina to be very superficial with little interest in the guests. There was a variety of performances in the evening - some good, some ok, some bad - depending on your preferences. We thoroughly enjoyed Monique Montez, Rock Rhapsody -songs of Queen and the highlight was the final act Dean Atkinson a ventriloquist and comedian. Very, very funny show so ended on a high. Ports. Enjoyed doing my own discovery in the ports. Was very surprised to have to pay to get the shuttle bus into Dunedin with no opportunity to walk from the ship into the local village. This has never occurred on any other cruise for me and I certainly think people should be warned. I have safely managed to walk through "working" ports through most of the Mediterranean with no ill effects so am not sure why this could not be done in NZ. The shore excursions offered by RCI were very expensive and I heard mixed reviews from other guests. I found it interesting that RCI only provides soft drink and a quick snack (which was whisked away very quickly) for Cruise Critic "Meet and Mingle" parties. On other cruise lines, we have been provided with champagne, wines and nibbles served on trays by the food and beverage staff members. I think because it was held the way it was that people did not feel inclined to get to know each other which was a pity. My major gripe is the disembarkation and final transfer to the airport. We paid RCI for a private transfer (at $80) BUT got put on a bus (advertised onboard for $30) and then dumped at the airport. NO WHEELCHAIR ASSISTANCE which was why I had booked the private transfer. This was both disappointing and stressful for both of us and really put a dampener on the holiday. It seemed that RCI could not wait to be rid of their guests and was a very different experience to our first day so therefore I could not recommend RCI for anyone with mobility issues. All in all, for what we paid, I was happy with the cruise. The constant "up-selling" all over the ship was a major irritant and detracted from our holiday. Not sure if I would use RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Embarkation not to much of a problem. Everything went down hill after that. Service at the bars extremely slow gave up waiting after 10 mins of being ignored while bar attendents having private conversation. Cabin very small bed extremely ... Read More
Embarkation not to much of a problem. Everything went down hill after that. Service at the bars extremely slow gave up waiting after 10 mins of being ignored while bar attendents having private conversation. Cabin very small bed extremely uncomfortable to the point of not being able to get a decent sleep food very poor standard deserts tasteless enertainment a shambles and of very poor standard constantly being pushed to pay over the top amounts to participate in activities on board that are for the most part free on other cruise lines shore excursions prices were daylight robbery at best $278 us if booked through the ship $99nz if you booked online with the tour company on shore missed a lot on shore due to the terribly bad organization involved in getting of board had to pay for shuttle bus to get from the ship into the town . We got into wellington at 1pm by the time we got on the shuttle and into the city it self it was 2.30 the shuttle had two stops one at either end of town not close to much at all last shuttle back to the ship was at 4.30 an absolute waste of a stop didnt give you any time to explore and see much at all went to the murder mystery dinner a complete waste of money and time nearly 2 gours before dinner served food was awful service very slow whole night very badly organized will not come back to this cruise line unless significantly raise their standards also didnt accept my credit card which created some problems they need to inform you at time of booking if they dont have the facility's to accept all credit cards had to pay the over the top fees the on board atm charged to withdraw cash to pay onboard account wont be back they need to retire radiance of the seas and give the crew a refresher course in hospitality something a lot of them were sadly lacking Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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