1 Helpful Vote
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
5 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
7 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to see the Sounds. This was my third time on Radiance. Embarkation was super smooth and quick. We had checked in and were on the ship within 15-20 mins. Our room was ready at 1pm as per usual. On this cruise we chose interior cabin which I am not overly used to as I like a Balcony however worked out great as it was so cold, rough and windy for most of the cruise that we never would have benefited. After leaving Sydney we encountered a low pressure system which we were stuck in for the next two sea days. Whilst it did not bother me in the slightest several guests remained in their cabins the first few days and I am told some even got off and flew home once we reached NZ. The top deck was closed most of the first two days as was the pools and promenade deck. To be honest the ship handled the swells very well which ranged between 6-10m at one point. Day 2 was the evening we had our first formal night and 70's night. My only grip was having a theme night on formal night as it meant getting dressed up twice. The 70's night was VERY tame as I think most passengers were suffering sea sickness and this was the night of the biggest swells. My wife and I seemed to be the only ones who went all out in our costumes. When we arrived closer to the NZ coast the weather improved which enabled us to enter Milford Sound which was AMAZING. It was also freezing cold. It was everything I had hoped. Doubtful Sound was also beautiful but even more cold and we even had light snow flurries. That night was Halloween and the turnout in the Centrum was huge. The ship was well decorated and many people got dressed up for the occasion. Again the Bride and I went all out and won a best dressed prize which was nice.....more alcohol. Our first real port was Dunedin. We wanted to do the Gorge train however it had already booked out unless you wanted to book thru the ship and I was not prepared to pay double the price of what you pay when you book direct with Dunedin Railway. Instead we chose to go on the Seasider which was a 90 minute trip along the coastline. The scenery was amazing and I highly recommend this trip. You can also book direct with Dunedin Railways. Day 6 saw us arrive in Wellington. We decided to stay on the ship and enjoy a bit of quietness plus arriving at 1pm and departing at 8pm did not offer much to do. Day 7 we arrived into Picton and wow it is a pretty little port. We took the Marlborough Flyer which is a 1903 built steam train up to Blenheim which is the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Rather than do any wine tours (remembering we had a toddler) we simply potted around town.That night we went to the Love and Marriage Game show as we put our little man in the nursery for the first time. The staff were great and he had them all to himself. For the 3 hours he was there it cost us $24 US which was worth every cent. Being on our Honeymoon we were selected to take part in the game show which was a real hoot and yet another prize of a bottle of wine. Day 8 was our first of two sea days heading back to Sydney. We again encountered rough swells and the pools and decks were closed but not as rough on the way over. This was also our second formal night followed by the Rock party which was a lot of fun and also attended by many. Day 9 was our last sea day and finally some calm seas. In terms of food we had the 3 specialty dining package and we ate at Chops which was superb as well as Samba Grille and Izumi which were also fantastic. We only ate in the MDR once as we found the food in Windjammer to be excellent and more than enough. To be honest we found our one meal in the MDR to be just average and even below the standard of Windjammer. Late night snacks such as pizza, pies and subs were all from the Solarium Cafe. We also ordered room serice one night which was excellent value and for a flat fee of $7.95 we ordered as much as we wanted and we did not hold back. The chicken tenders, quesadilla, burger and Philly cheese sub were all yum. We had the deluxe drinks package and on this cruise i tended to find that the drinks seemed to be far more watered down than previous cruises but nothing stopping you going back for more. We also purchased the streaming internet package and found it worked really well 99% of the time. Due to the little fella we did not really see any shows except Love and Marriage game show and the ventriloquist at the farewell party who was very very funny. The bands on the ship were great and the activities seemed fitting for the clientele although the timing of some things could have been better. In summary we had an amazing trip. Radiance may be approaching 20 years old but you would never know it. She is in beautiful condition throughout. All the staff we encountered were wonderful. I cannot think of one staff member who was not happy, friendly and polite. I would highly recommend this itinerary and ship if you are thinking of visiting the Sounds Read Less
7 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 2018
A birthday party that started badly with a three hour entry. A casacade dining experience where we couldnt sit with birthday group. Poor restuarant food so paid extra for dinners. Public areas were so brightly lit and loud. I never ... Read More
A birthday party that started badly with a three hour entry. A casacade dining experience where we couldnt sit with birthday group. Poor restuarant food so paid extra for dinners. Public areas were so brightly lit and loud. I never found a nice quiet place with a musican to sit and relax. Entertainment was the best part of the cruise. Dining staff in main restuatant were ran off their feet as were. Many bar staff. We waited for half an hour to get some beer. Thet could have seperate lines fir cocktails and beers. Glass walls were nice and i enjoyed leaving from circular key. The arrival back to sydney and our departure went smoothly, though again the breakfast was so poor , i was very much surprised. The hash brown tasted like flour not potatoe and scrambled eggs were hard. The tomatoe was fine. The toast was cold and the tea was bitter. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked ... Read More
We spent one week in Waikiki before our cruise back to Australia. We had a great time. Boarding the ship was super easy. Never been easier in fact. I’m a celiac so I was worried about my food choices but the dining room team looked after me. I don’t think there were as many choices in the windjammers. Coffee has improved a little. Room attendant was amazing as always. I don’t think there was as many activities to do on board unless you were prepared to pay. The shore excursions were overall good though expensive. The interior of the ship was nice everything easy to find. The digital cruise compass near the lifts was good if you forgot the paper compass. I think there was too much paperwork left in our cabin most of it is very wasteful. The beds could do with new mattresses. At the end of the day I love cruising and it’s hard to find complaints. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
had previously cruises NZ with Radiance and found the cabin clean, food great and entertainment sufficiently good to balance out the cruise. We had any time dining but found the windjammer food different menus good to suit our taste and ... Read More
had previously cruises NZ with Radiance and found the cabin clean, food great and entertainment sufficiently good to balance out the cruise. We had any time dining but found the windjammer food different menus good to suit our taste and we had the drinks package so good morning coffee, fresh juice and cocktails by the pool were all good. The ship was late leaving Hawaii but the sailing was smooth virtually all the way until we reached Sydney. The pick of the shore excursions was bora bora although Moreau was also very cool and we swam amongst the rays and small sharks. The entertainment was mixed and I guess I was not a fan of the ships host (and hostess) forgotten their names but they seemed to not be very genuine or funny - they did their jobs but that was about it. Overall the variety of entertainers was good. overall a great cruise. Read Less
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 0.0
Dining 4.0 0.0
Entertainment 4.0 0.0
Public Rooms 4.0 0.0
Fitness Recreation 4.5 0.0
Family 4.0 0.0
Shore Excursion 3.5 0.0
Enrichment 2.0 0.0
Service 4.5 0.0
Value For Money 4.5 0.0
Rates N/A 0.0

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