191 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We have been on Radiance a total of 4 separate times in the last 4 years. Aside from the last cruise (we just got back) the previous time we were aboard was just before the ship went into refit a year ago. Every cruise on Radiance had ... Read More
We have been on Radiance a total of 4 separate times in the last 4 years. Aside from the last cruise (we just got back) the previous time we were aboard was just before the ship went into refit a year ago. Every cruise on Radiance had been a gem. Great service, excellent cuisine, everything worked, people were friendly - no complaints whatsoever. We were on Navigator in the Med last fall and Vision in previous years as well, and have had a very similar experiences. We went on the South American transit (the Buenos Aires to San Diego double) this past month on Radiance and were quite surprised at what we saw.  Even though the ship has been out of refit less than a year, it appeared that it hasn't been kept up as well as in the past. The ship seemed to be in better condition just before going into the shipyard last year than it is at the moment. Additionally, the galley let us down in that the food presented wasn't nearly as adventurous nor as good quality as we remember it being on past cruises.  The staff for the most part seemed a bit less attentive and there were a number of things we had to ask for that have been provided as a matter of course on past cruises. On a couple of occasions my wife asked for a specific item at breakfast and was told that the ship had run out, only to find that item on the buffet the following morning. We arrived a day early into San Diego (swine flu kept us out of the Mexican ports - no fault of RCL) and the immigration clearance process on the day we arrived was absolutely a shambles - it took nearly 4 hrs to clear the passengers so people could go ashore. The following day, when everyone left the ship for the last time, was equally as poorly managed - there was only a 1 hr delay. Whoever arranged the "leaving ship" process desperately needs a lesson in common sense - or further training in the least. I was told that the ship had nothing to do with these problems - it was due to the "authorities" flexing their collective muscles. Hard to know who is responsible ... but it was a poor show all 'round. We were also told that RCL is changing the criteria for qualifying for Diamond status for repeat customers. Supposedly, effective Sept 1st, only Diamond plus passengers will be getting the benefits presently offered. It seems odd that the cruise line would take away a benefit (perk) that has already been earned by some passengers. Grandfathering them in Diamond class and then increasing the qualification requirements for new applicants would be more appropriate in this situation. I have been told that RCL is having a bit of a tough time right now because of the present economic situation and the fact that a lot of folks aren't traveling like they used to. That may be so .. but cutting back to the point where the customer is inconvenienced while on holiday is not the way to generate more business.  Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
We Started cruising late in life, 6 years ago, but thanks to RCCL we were sold on cruising 15 in this period.Most have been on Celebrity,which we love but Royal has been more than satisfactory as has Princess. We did have a recent Carnival ... Read More
We Started cruising late in life, 6 years ago, but thanks to RCCL we were sold on cruising 15 in this period.Most have been on Celebrity,which we love but Royal has been more than satisfactory as has Princess. We did have a recent Carnival cruise that fell short of our expectations. We arranged our own flight and hotel arrangements in Fort Lauderdale. The embarkation process was wonderful it took about 40 minutes for us to all meet in the Buffet. The ship is beautiful and beautifully appointed and really added to the enjoyment of a Panama Canal cruise that has to be a must for everybody. I do not agree with one reviewer that a partial passage is just as good as a full crossing. We had an inside handicap cabin that was very roomy and nicely located, however the TV, Toilet and the safe did not work on arrival. After some delay I guess due to the ships impending sailing all was fixed. Unfortunately, The toilet subsequently broke down 5 more times during the cruise,once at 2 AM which led to an hour and a half to get it fixed. Dining was at best fair in the dining room.The menus each day were fairly uninspired and the food was bland with perhaps those that were curried, which we hate. I was disappointed at the lack of spectacular selections we have seen previously on Royal,eg. beef wellington,veal chop etc. They did have the traditional lobster night and luckily I chose to have a steak that night. My wife was very unhappy with the lobster.Why do they always choose a formal night to eat a messy lobster??? The Buffet was of the island variety and I liked this approach and the food although like the dining room you could modify your selections. The SERVICE ON THE PART OF ALL THE CREW WAS I THOUGHT OUTSTANDING. Our room steward(Marcia) and our head waiter(Moustafa)were the best we ever had. You could not ask for better service and friendliness than on this ship. THe entertainment in the theater was marginal. There was only two production shows and that was the only time we saw the singers and dancers. There was no cameo appearances by any of them. their new production show entitled cities was a BOMB. Other the violinist Maria Negli (superb) we saw second rate comedians and jugglers. DISEMBARKATION in San Diego went very smoothly. INSUMMARY I was disappointed and will move back to Celebrity and HAL in the future. I can really understand the need for some cutbacks in the food and entertainment but really do they have to make it so obvious. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
In this review, I'm not going to repeat what I have read many times in other reviews. If you read this site as much as I did while planning and before taking a cruise, you already know everything about the ship. I will attempt to just ... Read More
In this review, I'm not going to repeat what I have read many times in other reviews. If you read this site as much as I did while planning and before taking a cruise, you already know everything about the ship. I will attempt to just include what we liked and didn't like (for whatever it is worth) and information about excursions that we took. We could not find anything to complain about in the condition or the amenities of the ship. We thought that it was a very attractive ship; just the right size to make getting around very quick and easy. I thought that all the lounge and public areas were very attractive and very well maintained. CABIN - We were in 9044. We never felt crowded even after 13 nights; although I can't imagine more than two people in the cabin. Liked the full-size couch. Had plenty of storage space/room and could actually use the couch for sitting instead of storing things. We always take the over the door shoe rack for the bathroom door. This, to me, is mandatory as the counter space in the bathroom is very small, plus it makes cleaning the bathroom so much easier, I'm sure. The shower was fine - plenty of hot water and good water pressure. We aren't large people and found the size adequate. We, however, would not have survived without a balcony. It made a tremendous difference in our time on the ship as we spent a lot of time in our cabin. We really enjoyed sitting on the balcony during the day and at night. There is a long light right inside the sliding door which illuminates the balcony enough to play games on the table on the balcony at night. We also liked the fact that the entire balcony wall was glass. It made the cabin appear much brighter and bigger. We like looking for sea life and from our balcony we saw many turtles and dolphins. We also saw two pods of orca whales (although it was past the season for whale watching excursions).. We even clearly saw a hammerhead shark swim right below our balcony. We also saw sea lions swimming by while anchored in Cabo San Lucas. CABIN STEWARDS - Excellent service from both our steward and his assistant. All the stewards we saw while going up and down our hallway were always very friendly and polite. FOOD - We didn't eat in the dining room as we had late seating (which is way too late for us) and we don't particularly like eating at a set time. We also didn't want to take anything but very casual clothes on this trip as we were gone for almost four weeks total. Therefore, we ate in the Windjammer. Nothing special as far as food but certainly a lot of choices - some better than others. I was able to eat a very healthy diet - great steamed vegetables were available most lunches and dinners. I also really liked the way they prepared the seafood which was also available just about every meal. We found the breakfast items in the bins to be not too great - so to get around the very marginal scrambled eggs, we had plain omelets made most days. The carving station had ham available every breakfast. This cruise was probably fully booked and it often took a bit of time to search out a place to sit (except for dinner when there were always plenty of seats). We did go to the Seaview Cafe once but mostly what is found there are fried or fatty foods - so we decided to go healthy this trip and didn't go back. It was also at the opposite end of the ship so we decided it wasn't that special to warrant going there. I did have crepes once at the Solarium Cafe and they were delicious. STAFF - Excellent service and attitude. Didn't come across one person who wasn't smiling and helpful. In the Windjammer, staff walk around constantly offering drinks and clearing plates. We particularly enjoyed having a new waiter in training, Christoph from Belgium, waiting on us in the evening. He was such a nice person and very helpful. I think he will have a great career as a dining room waiter some day. SANITATION - This is one area that I feel was lacking. Actually, I can't believe that this cruise didn't end up having a virus outbreak. The ship itself appeared to be VERY clean. There were hand sanitizing wipes available when entering the Windjammer, but only about half the people used them and the staff person stationed there didn't stop people to make sure that they used the wipes. (Our cruise two months ago on Celebrity Galaxy, you couldn't get in the door of the dining room or buffet without using the sanitation wipes - you were stopped). I used the fitness center a lot and was appalled that pretty much no one wiped down any equipment or mats. I went to all the aerobics classes and people were sweating and doing floor exercises on the mats. I was always the only one who got sanitizing wipes and wiped down my mat. People even seeing me doing that didn't bother. I went to spin classes - again I was the only person wiping down my bike. You can't get out of my gym at home without wiping down your equipment. My husband and I used the exercise equipment most days and again we were two of the few even bothering to sit on towels, etc., much less wipe down the equipment. FITNESS CENTER - Excellent facilities pretty heavily used. I really enjoyed the variety of weight machines and went there almost every day. I didn't use any cardio equipment but there appeared to be quite a variety and plenty of machines and they were used a lot, it appeared. FITNESS CLASSES - Every morning there was an early morning stretch class - you had to get there 15 minutes early in order to get a space and even then it was packed. It wasn't anything special but was a nice way to start the day. A spin class was offered about every other day. I went to the first three classes but participation was very limited (3-5 people). When the fourth class came around, only two of us showed up. The instructor decided not to run the class because it "wouldn't be motivational enough." I wasn't too thrilled about that because I feel if it is offered and he is just sitting there, he can run the class. No spin classes were run after that because I was the only person. However, the cruise director, Kirk, instructed an hour aerobics class on port days (at 4 or 5 p.m.). He would run them if only one person showed up. They were excellent, a lot of work, and fun. I really appreciated the fact that he did that. I wasn't that impressed with the fitness staff. They certainly did have a lot of enthusiasm for their various "classes" that they taught such as detox, etc. I noticed that they did seem to get quite a few people to sign up for personal consultations or whatever they were hawking. PORTS - Cartagena, Colombia: I had often read on this site how beautiful Cartagena is. We didn't find it to be anything special. The Old Town doesn't even come close to Old San Juan - there are a FEW pretty buildings but that is about it. There are a lot of beggars. We took the Deluxe Cartagena and Fortress (CA08) tour. There were buses full of people on this tour. The first stop was Fort San Felipe de Barajas - a hot walk up for absolutely nothing. This fort has absolutely nothing to really offer - nothing to see inside the fort (or at least we didn't get to see it); no great views from the fort; a hot walk up for nothing to see. Every ten feet, someone was trying to sell you something or asking for money. Next stop was Las Bovedas (The Dungeons) "craft"/souvenir shopping area. . It was so crowded that it was pretty much impossible to walk around. We paid a dollar to use the bathroom and did a little shopping. I entertained myself by giving money to a few of the women dressed up with fruit baskets on their heads to have my picture taken with them. At least they made an effort to get some money instead of the other people just standing around asking for money. Next stop was a walk through the Old Town area. In the Inquisition Palace I found the display on torture equipment the most interesting part (just in case this interests you, just about all the equipment had signs stating that it was never used in Colombia). Most of the time, the guide stood in front of framed maps explaining historical events. The San Pedro Claver church was okay. We did give some money to the nuns and nurses standing at the door asking for donations. Next stop was at the Navy Museum where our tour director gave more history talks while standing around exhibits in glass cases. We watched a folkloric dance performance that I think was ongoing all day while they cycled through the tourists. It certainly was lively and kept my attention. The next area was to the official shopping mall (Pierino Gallo) - just a block of the typical jewelry and souvenir shops. Luckily that stop was only 30 minutes. Due to huge traffic jams it took a long time to get back to the ship. All in all, I can't think of another way to see Colombia unless you are comfortable enough to go out on your own or get your own driver, and I was thrilled to say that I finally got to South America - but I would never consider Cartagena to be a possible vacation destination. Huatulco, Mexico - This port had a lot of the typical souvenir shopping in a one-block building jammed full of stalls all selling the same stuff over and over. My husband speaks some Spanish so he had fun talking to and bartering with the locals for the few items that I wanted to buy. We didn't go the beaches at any of these ports, but this stop was supposed to have some very nice beaches. Acapulco, Mexico - This was a horrible port for us. The building right where the ship docks is fine, but if you step outside that area you are just besieged by taxi drivers, etc. We are used to being in the Caribbean and used to people constantly asking you if you want a taxi or buy something. However, in Acapulco, they would not take no for an answer. We decided to do some walking and we had people follow us saying that the city pays them to show tourists where to go - I'm sure that is not true or they would present themselves that way upfront not after you tried ten times to get rid of them. Finally, my husband got so annoyed with one man that wouldn't give up and that he couldn't even politely get rid of by speaking English or Spanish, and it was actually getting scary to me - so he finally just about yelled in Spanish that we aren't giving you any money and the guy said something under his breath and finally left, then we turned around and went back to the ship. The place was also dirty and decrepit (not your typical expected decrepit island place) and just a place I would never go to again. We were looking forward to that port, and it was disappointing. For our excursion, we decided that we would do the typical tourist thing and see the cliff divers (Acapulco Bay Cruise and Cliff Divers - AC11) I couldn't decide whether to take the bus or boat tour. All the bus tours involved driving around resorts, etc., and we didn't want to do that. I tried to research the cliff diver watching by boat, but couldn't find out too much so decided it would probably be better than standing on the lookout areas with tons of people. My advice is - DON"T DO IT. First of all, the boat is a large three level tour boat that holds 250 people. There was plenty of room on the boat, but try to get 250 people all crammed along the rear of the boat to see the divers. We had asked one of the crew where to stand, so we were positioned early - BUT - the boat was so far out that the divers were about one-inch tall. You could see them dive - but barely. Smaller boats could get in much closer. They then served a Mexican buffet while going back to the cruise ship. Also, two of the divers swam all the way out to the boat to pose with the tourists and get tips. At the conclusion of this tour, they gave you the options of going with one of their tour guides on a short tour of an historical site and then shopping, going with one of their tour guides to a shopping area (more jewelry), or just back to the cruise ship. We opted for the cruise ship because we wanted to check out the port (big mistake either way, I'm sure). NOTE: When we spent some time in San Diego after this cruise, we met several people who regularly go to the Mexican Riviera area. Not one person had anything good to say about Acapulco and all said they would never go back there. Puntarenas, Costa Rica - At this port, we decided to try the zip lining excursion (The Original Canopy Tour Mahogany Park - CR12). About 20-30 people were on our bus and it was about a 45-minute drive to the site. They had a person who talked the entire way there so the time went fast and we learned some interesting things about Costa Rica. I was very excited about zip lining, but came away disappointed. I know other people who have gone at other places and loved it and people on our tour seemed to like it (at least in front of other people they said so). I think it would be important to really check out the place to where you are going. In all cases, you will probably have about a 20 minute walk into and out of the jungle - that was fine and we didn't notice any bugs, even though we had sprayed ourselves just in case. They gave good instructions, and I think safety was the major concern. There were about 8 or 9 zip lines, and they weren't that long. That was fine because this was our first time, and I wanted something easy and not too high. What I didn't like - each platform was actually a metal surround about 18" wide around a tree trunk. Once you landed on this "platform" you were attached by your safety line to a rope around this tree trunk. Then, you had to inch yourself around the trunk to the other side to where you would begin the next zip line. I found it very scary and I'm not usually afraid of things like this. No one fell off, but boy if you did, you would be caught by your line but you would go slamming up against the tree and would have to get yourself back up to the platform. I had seen zip lining courses on TV and expected an actual platform on which to land and move around. The hardest part of the zip lining itself was trying to keep yourself from twisting backwards, which is very scary because then you can't see where you are going and whether you should break. The person waiting to catch you yells at you as to whether to break or not, but you can't put your hands on the wrong place or you'll really be in trouble with the cables. I saw several people get twisted around and panic and start grabbing the cables and had to be screamed at to get their hands off. It happened to me, and you do panic because you can't see where you are going. Also, your feet can be hard to control and some trees you go by are very close. I saw a person break too soon and ended coming to a dead stop about 6 feet from the platform and had to go hand over hand to try to work himself to the platform and then get his body up on the platform - he just was hanging there for a while - he said it was exhausting. Another person didn't break properly and went crashing into the tree and the person trying to catch him. (Remember that you only have about an 18" area in which to land before you are face to face with the tree trunk.) In retrospect, at least in my case, I would have to zip line another time or two to get the hang of it. I never once just got to look around - it was just stressful. However, this experience was so bad, I won't be trying it again. ALSO, although the people working the zip lines were courteous enough, only one seemed actually trying to make an effort to be friendly (although I realize that most of them don't speak English too well and I also realize that dealing with people who have never zip lined before and keep crashing into things is probably annoying day after day.) One more thing, I was very disappointed that they didn't take pictures that we could buy of us zip lining. Many people mentioned this as a disappointment. They encouraged you to bring your camera, so I did. However, I was so busy hanging on for dear life that I couldn't take any pictures. Also, I would have had to go several people ahead of my husband in order to at least get a picture of him - MAYBE. Even though I didn't like the experience I really wanted a picture for my scrapbook. They didn't even have anything to buy such as canned pictures of the place or experience. Even the T-shirts they were trying to sell were tank tops only in XX Large. ALSO, didn't see any wildlife at all except for one snake. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico - This was a very nice port. We tendered in and the process was smooth and fast. Both directly around the waterfront and in the streets surrounding the port area - lots of stores, shops, and places to drink/eat. There is also a huge building right near the tender area full of the typical stuff found in very port in the Caribbean and Mexico. But, I like to look at that junk and always pick up something as a way to remember the place. We didn't take excursions in Cabo or Huatulco. We are snorkelers and I had booked snorkeling excursions in both of those ports but canceled them before the cruise. After doing some research, I realized that the experience wouldn't even compare to the Caribbean snorkeling that we do and that the water would probably be cold. But I did see the snorkeling group getting ready on the pier and it was the typical ship excursion with too many people being fitted with poor equipment being crammed unto a small boat. We took a 11-night S. Caribbean cruise earlier this year and went on many snorkeling excursions. Please, if you have it, take your own mask and snorkel. The unsanitary way many places keep the snorkels is disgusting, and it ruins the entire experience if your mask always leaks or you keep getting water in your snorkel. Some snorkeling excursions are pretty good but most are not too great just because of the large number of people packed on the boats, the time it takes for everyone to get in the water, etc. PANAMA CANAL - We found the actual canal transit to be interesting. People on this site often ask about whether there is a big difference between the partial or full transit. Well, my opinion is that once you go through one set of locks, you have seen it all. We were very lucky in that our ship went in on the right side and a huge cargo ship went in the same direction on the left side just one lock behind us. So, we were able to sit on our balcony and see how everything works all the way through to the lake. Many people apparently crushed onto the heli pad and spent hours in the HOT sun. I must say that we did enjoy seeing the Panama City skyline and the MANY ships/boats waiting on the Pacific side for their turn through the canal. We spent about an hour on our balcony with our binoculars looking at the ships - that was fun. ENTERTAINMENT - Most shows were comedians or whatever. We didn't go to any of those. We did go to the two musical shows. Piano Man was pretty good and City of Dreams was also good. We enjoy listening and dancing to oldies rock type of music. All of that type of music started after 10 p.m. when we were already in bed. The closest thing they had to that type of music earlier in the evening was in the Schooner Bar and they would play from like 7-7:45 then take an hour break. It was kind of ridiculous. But, I guess they know what there market wants, and it isn't what we want, so we just stayed in our cabin playing Scrabble or reading, etc. PASSENGER TYPE - We are in our late 50s. I would say that the average cruiser on this itinerary was in their late 60s or 70s. It was definitely a senior crowd which was great as far as nights go. I never heard one peep from the rooms next to us or in the hall at nights. Makes for great sleeping. No drunks running around the halls. Very classy crowd. - much more dressed up than the Celebrity cruise that we took and that was also a long 11-night cruise. On formal night, we were one of the few in the buffet - we saw people really dressed to the nines walking around the ship - they really seemed to enjoy the experience - many tuxes and long gowns. ACTIVITIES - Lots of activities every day. My husband tried the golf simulator - wasn't that great but was something to do - but he didn't go back. They did have two golf competitions that he went to. We just don't like the typical cruise things but there were lots of trivia type of activities for those of you that like that. I went to several line dancing classes which were packed. Went to port lectures and they were pretty informative with PowerPoint presentations with lots of pictures. Noticed a craft activity most days and scrapbooking workshops. I can see if you enjoy those type of activities, you could definitely be busy every hour of the day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2008
We were in a two-bedroom Royal Family suite located on the 8th deck,with an aft balcony. Long story made short. Radiance of the Seas now has found a new way to reduce the weight during your cruise...they are now recycling ... Read More
We were in a two-bedroom Royal Family suite located on the 8th deck,with an aft balcony. Long story made short. Radiance of the Seas now has found a new way to reduce the weight during your cruise...they are now recycling "ALL"the ships organic waste by burning it while at sea. The downside of this procedure is the ship's draft which pulls the less than desirable odiferous smells back into the rear of the ship ,as well as leaving a lingering odor on all balconies located on the aft section of the boat. To add to the problems,this same odor drifts into the open air sections of the Windjammer Cafe. We spoke with the ships crew during our cruise and were assured twice that the problem was solved,but it sure never smelled that way. Needless to say our Royal Family Suite felt somewhat less than "Royal". Two other small problems.........ports of call at Nassau,Bahamas Atlantis Casino tours should be avoided,as you only have about 1 hour out of 4 hours to do anything but walk to and from or wait to be shuttled....and...the transportation to the Antigua Canopy Tours,needs to have reliable drivers who will actually come back to pick you up from the zip-line location 40 miles from the boat. On the plus side: Food at the main dining was great,as well as the staff, ship was clean,activities were OK,buffet was weak but presentable,cabins were well kept,and billing was exact. On the sad side, lackluster entertainment four of the eight nights,spa marketing got to be a little aggressive,and port arrivals were a hurry up and wait event,even though all ports were at docks. The biggest let down,was the "elite" concierge service,which for all purposes is non existent. Our two-bedroom suite was only provided with amenities for two people not four,even though our cost was for four. The Royal Caribbean Diamond and Platinum members share all the exclusive rooms that are set aside for suite guests,making it impossible to find room or privacy to enjoy these perks. Everyday we arrived at the concierge bar (deck 10)we were unable to do anything but stand and watch as others enjoyed the space. This didn't help us "GET OUT THERE". This boat also had the tightest casino I've ever seen at sea. Would you believe we still enjoyed the cruise? We did, but our suitemates will probably find some other cruise line that takes a little more time looking after it's guests who expect service, to match cost levels . :>(( Read Less
Sail Date March 2008
My wife and I recently went on Radiance, her 9th cruise with RCCL and my 4th. Before this ship, we were always pleased with RCCL's level of service, the quality of their food, and the itineraries. We were sorely disappointed on this ... Read More
My wife and I recently went on Radiance, her 9th cruise with RCCL and my 4th. Before this ship, we were always pleased with RCCL's level of service, the quality of their food, and the itineraries. We were sorely disappointed on this cruise. If this had been our first cruise with RCCL, believe me when I say that we would not be repeat customers. Some things that went wrong: 1) Itinerary was changed at check-in - our books for excursions, sent in late July/August for the October cruise, still listed Maui as our first, and two-day, stop. Upon check-in, we learned that our itinerary was changed to be reversed because of a fishing tournament. This tournament, as reported by the local Maui newspapers, had been scheduled for over a year, which means that any competent staffers with RCCL should have known for a year. This change messed up all the excursions except those on the second stop, and rumor had it that a couple had been planning on getting married in Maui and had to rearrange their entire service based on that change. 2) Service at stateroom pitiful - I have never had room service delivered late, or preordered items such as wine or champagne and not had them waiting for me in the stateroom. Both of these things happened on this ship. It took over three hours to get our wine/cheese and champagne/strawberry orders brought. Our stateroom attendant, while very competent, never introduced him/herself, and never left any nametag. While we don't "need" this, it's nice to know the name of the person with 24/7 access to your stateroom. 3) Brown water from our faucet on one of the days. Enough said. 4) Extremely arrogant wait staff that said they could not do certain orders for us that we knew they could. Our headwaiter never introduced herself to the table and never came by nightly to check on us. 5) Food quality much lower than normal in the dining room and Windjammer cafes. We went to Portofino's instead and always had a great meal and excellent service. Went once to Chops where they got my steak wrong twice. 6) They were replacing glass in some of the balconies. Without any written messaging to any of the guests. One guest came back to her cabin and discovered four young men in there, rearranging her room so that they could get the glass replaced. She lost her ability to use her room for an hour and had no warning or explanation for why the unknown people were in her stateroom. We were, for two days, constantly annoyed by hammering and drilling from the repairs. Thank God the ship is due for dry dock this winter; there's a serious amount of work that the ship needs, beyond this glass issue. 7) We never saw Hilo, due to weather, or Kailuea, the volcano. While I understand this from a certain perspective, it just added to the annoyances. 8) Upon getting to Maui, we were detained by the shoreside security for over four hours because the shoreside security people were not ready for us and had to undergo some training. This resulted in a loss of the morning's time in Maui, the main draw for the cruise. We also left Maui early the next day, which meant that instead of two full days there, we got only one. 9) While being detained in Maui, we went to Guest Relations to ask them if they could make a shoreside call for us to some car rental place, only to be told a flat-out "No." We've never heard that word on RCCL before and this incompetence really galled us. We were told to instead go ashore, and that "Oh yes, there's car rental places right there when you get off." There weren't. We hunted for over an hour before we went to an exotic rental place, the only one we could find, and grabbed their second-to-last available rental. 10) At debarkation, instead of calling colors one at a time for both Customs and exiting the ship, they had everyone get in line at Customs whenever they wanted and then called colors to simply disembark. This resulted in a line that, no kidding, took over three hours to navigate and circled the Centrum on both decks 4 and 5. We were told this was a new way of trying debarkation they were trying. When we asked one of the Cruise Director's staff (Lizzie, I believe, who had recently completed her first cruise on the staff), I was told "Well, that's too bad, we're sorry that you will probably miss your flight." She told this to several people in line. Fortunately for us, Woody, another of the Cruise Director's staff, escorted us to the front of the line when he heard about this and enabled us to barely make our flight (God Bless You, Woody!). I could go on. There were high points - the islands were (when we had a chance to actually see them ashore) beautiful, the locals were very helpful, and the excursions (again, when we could actually take them) were excellent. The waiter in the Concierge Club on deck 13 (the overflow room for the Diamond members that weren't in Suites) was unbelievable - thanks, Rodel! Sufficed to say, we had a decent time, but one plagued with so many errors it seriously undermined our vacation. Instead of arriving home refreshed and full of wondrous experiences, we arrived disheveled and disheartened. We know that some folks on board truly loved their experience, since at one of the Captain's Q&A's they asked how to tip extra, but for those at our dinner table and those we grew to know over the course of the trip, nobody was impressed and many sought to write letters to RCCL. The worst point about all this is that even the people who felt strongly enough to write RCCL are not expecting a response. They feel that RCCL will ignore their pleas and go on, since cruising is popular now and they have Genesis coming out. Such an attitude speaks volumes for how RCCL's customers view the company's commitment to their happiness. I will be writing a letter to RCCL, myself, and quite frankly I better get a response. This cruise was a disaster from beginning to end, and there is no excuse. Not from RCCL. This is the kind of treatment I'd expect from Carnival or Norwegian. Several folks we spoke to said that this was their first RCCL cruise and that it would be their last. Some said that no matter what the delta was for Celebrity, that they would pay it. I know it's the "same company" now, but it's not about the money or where it goes, it's about the level of service and how you're treated on a cruise. One last note - in a conversation with one of the wait staff in Portofino's, it was mentioned that a few months ago, the management staff of Brilliance had been fired/swapped out with the management staff of Radiance, due to poor customer satisfaction on Brilliance, and that their management staff on Radiance was brand new. I cannot confirm or disprove this rumor, but it does make a lot of sense, since our experiences on other ships has been nothing less than fantastic. Also, there were quite a few management interviews happening on the ship. My wife and I hope so, at least. If this is how we're going to be treated in the future, if this is some new wave of RCCL and how they run things, my wife and I will take our business elsewhere. We already have stopped booking anything - we had planned on booking another cruise onboard for the shipboard credit, but due to this very dissatisfying experience we will not, as yet, do so. My wife and I, in summation, had a decent time, but felt very short-changed and did not get either the itinerary or the decent level of service that we have come to expect from RCCL. We would strongly urge anyone planning a vacation on Radiance to watch forums and blogs beforehand to see if things get better. Read Less
Sail Date October 2007
We boarded the Radiance at approx 2.30 had lunch and returned to our cabin to await the arrival of our luggage. Everytime we asked guest relations, we were blown off, it's definitely coming, and basically don't bother us. At ... Read More
We boarded the Radiance at approx 2.30 had lunch and returned to our cabin to await the arrival of our luggage. Everytime we asked guest relations, we were blown off, it's definitely coming, and basically don't bother us. At approx. 8.15 pm, after many calls to guest relations and checking with our steward we were finally told to go down to the GR desk and look for our bags. It was there alright, in the lost baggage room, with every name tag and baggage tag torn off. It was suggested to us that the baggage handlers at San Diego pier may be a bit disgruntled as there were several other bags in the room without tags. RCCL made sure we knew these people were not RCCL employees. ......However RCCL contracts them so....... We had a large balcony but found the room painfully small, 177 sq.ft. One tiny sofa and one chair at the vanity, we were crawling over each other trying to get dressed. We have been on other ships and the standard size for a room in this category is about 195 -210 feet. The balcony isn't much use on a Coastal Cruise so you really can't get away from each other. The "mini bar" is not a bar at all. No alcohol, just a few cans of pop and water, so you have to call room service everytime you want a drink in your room. Also no bathrobes unless you have cruised 5 times and become platinum. We were lowly gold having sailed with them once before 10 yrs ago. HAL offers bathrobes to everyone, and we really missed them on the cruise as Coastal Cruises are chilly. Life boat drill was strange. Our category A1 thru A4 was directed to go to the Aurora Theatre, where we were given instructions on how to put on a life jacket, which we already had on, and then given two speeches, one by a staff member and one by the captain on 'Rules of Conduct".No bad behavior is tolerated, or excessive drinking etc. etc. I don't see why this was necessary, it's just common sense. We were never told where our lifeboats were or how to get to them or any procedure on leaving the ship. The joke was that the theatre must break off from the ship and float away on it's own. The ships is quite lovely, the food is pretty good and if you don't enjoy your dinner the staff would exchange it for something else. Only had to do this once with the Tempura, very bad. Windjammer cafe is nicely laid out with many different islands of different foods, so no long lines. I can't say I found the staff overly helpful, especially at guest relations. They have a unique way of telling you that no matter what the problem is, somehow it's your fault. EG. I should have had a clear plastic pocket on my suitcase with the name tag secured in it. My suitcase doesn't have one. Our room steward was very nice however. We sailed with HAL last fall on a coastal and just felt pampered everywhere. The small rooms, lack of mini bar in the rooms, no bathrobes would probably deter me from sailing with RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2007
 Radiance of the Seas provided a satisfactory, but certainly not stellar, first-time cruising experience for our long-anticipated cruise tour to Alaska. We journeyed from Florida to board in Vancouver, a lovely city, if you know your ... Read More
 Radiance of the Seas provided a satisfactory, but certainly not stellar, first-time cruising experience for our long-anticipated cruise tour to Alaska. We journeyed from Florida to board in Vancouver, a lovely city, if you know your whereabouts and enjoy the harbour, waterfront, and Stanley Park. The commercialism of RCCL detracted from a private, classy cruise, as the management is geared to allaying the petty details of the masses. If you're seeking privacy, then certainly steer away from RCCL. Characteristics of the ship are summarized on the website. Our balcony cabin was spacious, cozy, and our best refuge from the fray. We enjoyed breakfasts daily on our balcony, cocktails at sunset, and many other splendid times which we created rather than partaking in the superficial onboard entertainment. When one considers quality of the 12-day cruise tour expenditures and experiences, RCCL would likely rate in the middle-high-middle of the pack. Since we booked this vacation one year in advance, our high expectations were partially met, then dampened by RCCL's gross incompetence in arranging proper tendering to meet pre-arranged shore excursions. Never will we blindly follow ship's instructions to meet, wait for nearly 2 hours, then miss excursions. The Captain was amiable, informative, and certainly a gregarious sort, which enlivened the cruise atmosphere. His lectures were worthwhile, as they provided insight into the ship as well as ports- of- call. When presented with over 200 passengers who missed their shore excursions, both the captain and Roger Jackson attentively listened to the problems. Apparently, their shore-excursion coordinator, Veronica, misrepresented passengers by holding them in the ship while their pre-booked $1000 excursions were sold on the shore to others. Be very wary...although one may presume that booking through the ship is safe, our canceled helicopter-dogled adventure booked a year ahead was sold to the earliest bidder in the town due to RCCL's incompetence. Dining was fair, rushed, and formulaic at best. If you are a party of two, book a private table. We got stuck at a table of 11, whose table manners replicated masticating with wolves. Enough Said! We chose to dine at Portofino and Chops, and enjoyed both the privacy and food. Perhaps RCCL might eliminate the surcharge (not that this cost matters much) but it might encourage more people to enjoy the ambiance of other ship areas that would otherwise go unnoticed. Both restaurants were empty on the nights we dined in mid-June, indicating cost-ineffectiveness to the line. As an avid jogger, I attempted to jog 6 miles on the deck at 6:00-7:00 AM, but again, no privacy or ease: Too many looky-loos to enjoy a proper workout. Perhaps this fitness area could be open to participants rather than spectators at prime fitness hours. The same situation arose in the adult pool-solarium. Why can't people read the posted signs restricting children from the adult areas? The pool attendants were very reluctant to enforce the policies, thus restricting our leisure enjoyment of the pool and whirlpools. Overall, RCCL and Radiance of the Seas could be categorized (problematic within itself by definition) as slightly above mediocre, if you're looking for class, service, privacy, and attention. We enjoyed the Alaskan scenery, chartered a private plane to fly over glaciers, took trains, trekked Denali Park, and much more due to our own inventiveness. Do your research!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
The embarkation process was amazing. Honestly, it took less than 10 minutes from the time we entered the terminal to the time we entered the ship. Our room was ready at noon. The room was the usual outside cabin. The beds were not at all ... Read More
The embarkation process was amazing. Honestly, it took less than 10 minutes from the time we entered the terminal to the time we entered the ship. Our room was ready at noon. The room was the usual outside cabin. The beds were not at all comfortable. Very thin mattresses. When the two beds were pushed together the result was less than satisfactory. The entire mattress is surrounded by metal tubing- making the center of the pushed together beds hazardous. On three mornings the toilet refused to function. Despite our complaints, the problem persisted. On two occasions when we returned to our room there was floating human waste (not our own) in the toilet. The ship itself was in good shape. The food overall was nothing special and sometimes pretty bad. All of the eating venues suffer from the same malady- inability to serve hot food. EVERYTHING was warm at best. The food in the dining room was so lackluster that we opted to eat in the Windjammer buffet on 3 evenings. What the Windjammer lacked in quality it made up for in variety. Our waiters in the dining room were pleasant. Breakfast was what one would expect. Fresh fruit was seldom ripe. One of the photographers, Clinton, was very rude. The ports of call are what you make of them. Labadee was beautiful but also full of screaming natives who try to sell their wares via screaming. Jamaica is not much more than Dunn's River Falls. All of the shops are owned by (Asian) Indians. There were 3 or 4 ships in port which made the Falls very crowded. Grand Cayman was the most civilized of the ports- no wonder since there is so much money flowing through the island. Cozumel is still picking up the pieces from the last hurricanes. Our ship was the first to use what remains of the piers. The entertainment on board fell into two categories: That provided by the ship's dancers and singers and that provided by everyone else. The ship's dancers and singers, and for that matter, the "broadway" style shows were a joke. All of the female dancers were spending way too much time on the buffet line. Each one was carrying 20-30 extra pounds- and it showed. The productions were boring, ill conceived and poorly produced. The entertainment provided by everyone else was pretty good. The ship's cruise director (Kieron) and staff were on top of their jobs. They kept the party moving in each of the venues. We paid $620 for each of our tickets. For a week in the sun on a very nice ship, this price seems fair. However, dining and entertainment is a major part of the cruise experience. In these categories this ship fails to meet the mark by a wide margin. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Embarking on the ship took a while this trip due to the thorough cleaning they had to do because of the stomach illnesses that ran rampant through the ship the previous week. Once they opened up the ship, it went very quickly. Our room ... Read More
Embarking on the ship took a while this trip due to the thorough cleaning they had to do because of the stomach illnesses that ran rampant through the ship the previous week. Once they opened up the ship, it went very quickly. Our room was a typical balcony room. The beds were not comfortable in the least, very thin mattresses and my feet hung over the end. I'm only 5'7", I can't imagine how anyone taller slept comfortably. Our room was kept spotless and we never wanted for anything. The room attendant was great. The food was good, our waiting staff were friendly and efficient. I enjoyed the Windjammer in the afternoon after excursions for snacks. The entertainment had it's ups and downs. The productions were under par but the comedians and magicians were wonderful. I enjoyed the final competition for the Karaoke. We lots of talent on the ship. People were told not to save deck chairs but did anyway. I saw quite a few fights with people taking other people's chairs when they were gone for any length of time. Some people were quite rude about surrounding you on the deck with their chairs. I felt overwhelmed by pushy people. I loved the waiters on the sundeck, always smiling and polite. The ship overall was very beautiful but I prefer the larger Voyager Series with RCL and will stick those ships from now on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Radiance of The Seas: Less than Expected!! For this special anniversary trip we decided to start our trip early in Miami with a one night pre-cruise stay in a big Miami Beach hotel. We were assigned the Fountainbleau- sounded great on ... Read More
Radiance of The Seas: Less than Expected!! For this special anniversary trip we decided to start our trip early in Miami with a one night pre-cruise stay in a big Miami Beach hotel. We were assigned the Fountainbleau- sounded great on the internet. Turned out our room was in the soon to be rehabbed old wing. There were broken mirrors and pictures were ripped off the walls-- for $400 a night it looked like a tenement ! Our room over looked a garbage strewn roof. We complained to the management-who said "Those are RCCL's pre-cruise rooms !" They did agree to move us to another room which was more satisfactory- with a small balcony overlooking the waterway. We never did overlook the ocean ! The transfer to the ship was the next day- he didn't announce he was there and we almost missed our ride to the Radiance of the Seas. This truly beautiful ship was such a joy to see from the dock.. unfortunately we boarded it !!! To a beautiful cabin on deck 9.. with a balcony. Thus this should have been the start of a "fairy-tale" cruise experience. ... Unfortunately as experienced and long time cruisers we were really disappointed with RAS and RCCL. As we arrived our travel agent had sent us a bottle of wine to celebrate our 25th Anniversary- this was never delivered nor arrived during the cruise. We were to get an invitation to some sort of Anniversary Party- which never arrived. As it turned out we called Guest Relations -who know nothing of our anniversary- it HAD been on the booking slip as I did see a copy of this ! - and told us- "Hey- there is a Honeymoon and Anniversary party tonight at the Starquest= come if you want to!" We did- with only about 20 other people- food and arrangements were set for at least 40-50 people-- later we met 2 other anniversary couples on a day tour who said they hadn't heard a thing either and were never invited either. Needless to say- so went the way of our Anniversary Cake and we eventually got a price of Key Lime pie and our waiters sang to us-- not the special made chef cake or anything like that !!!!Really when you have a celebration it IS important and RAS should treat customers a lot better! The other guests we met were ok generally. Nice people. There were two couples at our table who had eating "orgies" every night. They ordered 3 and 4 entrees- and acted like stuffing animals-gluttonizing grossly every dinner. Some nights we left the table early- we just couldn't stand watching another gross display . The ship was crowded and there was no place for the head waiter to move us or we would have moved. Then in the midst of things - I got sick- with a bronchial type infection. The ship has a real ER. no kidding. There was a real doctor- unfortunately they do NOT take real medical insurance. So one of my souvenirs of the cruise was a nearly $500.00 medical bill- for 2 visits to the ship's medical facility. I have to pay this out of pocket and wait until my insurance company will send me a check for some of it. The ports of call were Coco Cay- really a big waste of time. A sandbar in the ocean near the Bahamas where RCCL owns the island and you sit on the hot sands and drink more expensive drinks supplied by the ship. Then there was St. Thomas- which is a wonderful place for beaches- we went to Magen's Bay- great. and Fantastic shopping !!! I highly recomment St. Thomas USVI. On an earlier trip we went to St. John's- great too. The last port on the list was St. Maarten where the beaches are great. We went to Divi Beach/ Little Bay- and loved it- also heard from others EVERY beach is good on St. Maarten. The shopping was terrible- despite what the cruise shopping "expert" said- it was mostly jewelry stores little else. Spend your money in St. Thomas or Miami! At the end of the cruise, we had purchased several bottles of liquor which were confiscated when we returned to the ship from St. Maarten and which we never saw again.- Something which has NEVER happened to us on any other cruise line. (Exactly like our "gift" bottle which never also appeared in our cabin on day 1 and which our travel agent paid for and can't get the money back for! ) We were given SOME other liquor as a replacement- for the "lost bottles" which were "checked" but we had purchased gourmet liquor which the ship's bar didn't have- so we were out on this. The service on RCCL 's RAS was outstanding but the food generally was mediocre. The ports ok. The guests-some were nice -some were gross. The medical facility good- but expensive. The shows ok. The bands ok. The photographers were all short guys- so all photos were taken "looking up" - and for tall people it makes you look "fat" so they weren't selling a lot of photos- unless of other shorter people. The coupe de grace of all of this was a we left- we noticed our steward had just made the bed and changed the pillow cases- he did not appear to strip the bed after we were checking out. So only my bronchial infected pillowcases were removed from the room. What lucky passengers got the room next- with my germs all over the place???There was also no major washing down or disinfecting going on of the room or the ship either as we left. No wonder there is a lot of sickness on some of these RCCL ships. I think the health services should be doing greater "spot checking" of these cabins and this line. Previous years we have taken cruises on CARNIVAL and CELEBRITY and had somewhat better experiences on these lines. We anticipate cruising again but really aren't sure we will ever do RCCL again. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Great time despite Royal Caribbean. We sailed with our adult children and grandchildren ages 1, 4, and 7. We chose Royal Caribbean because they had connecting rooms which Princess [our favorite] did not offer. First the good-- Boarding the ... Read More
Great time despite Royal Caribbean. We sailed with our adult children and grandchildren ages 1, 4, and 7. We chose Royal Caribbean because they had connecting rooms which Princess [our favorite] did not offer. First the good-- Boarding the ship with the SetSail Pass was a snap and a great idea. The children's program was better than great...We could not get the 4 and 7 year olds to leave at night. Every night was a theme night for the kids. And hats off to the Staff--WONDERFUL..With exception of our room steward, crew was A+ and tours [Dolphin swim especially] great. Also Labadee was fantastic.... Now the bad . The brochure shows a great Sports Bar which is as pictured. Only problem was they only received one station -- ESPN in SPANISH [ which we don't speak]. The Olympics were in progress but Royal Carib TV doesn't get NBC -- so no Olympic coverage. This was a real disappointment. The brochure promises Broadway shows -- we only had one and 5 nights of second rate comedians. The magician was super. On arrival we found only 2 towels in the bathroom and no toiletries-- even a mediocre hotel will give you shampoo etc. Our Stewart had no idea the the towel rack was to be filled daily. Forget asking for fresh fruit and such. If you wanted the cute towel animals at night, he had to have someone else make them. The first 8 hours the ship had no hot water {gee how did the kitchen people wash their hands? The ship, although coming from 2 weeks in drydock,was in bad shape with filthy windows. The wood railing on room balcony had not been varnished for months and one kid actually got a splinter from the raw wood. Our room had broken hinges on closet and mirror as well as a broken mirror. The in room internet did not work until 3 rd day. The beautiful glass elevators gave not only a great view of the sea, but a view of the candy wrappers and trash that was left on the window frames from who knows how long. The food was fair to good, but the fruit was inedible, obviously having been left over from before the ship went into drydock. Wine list was nice, but whatever you ordered was out of stock, although you could get something similar at $10 more. We were supposed to have a shipboard credit of $200 per room but the ship was never told. I did have an E-mail from RCCL so stating and the Purser gave us $100 per room. All in all we had a great time, but next time will do it on another line. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if I was on the same ship. I sailed on 12/05/05 and the cabin that I had size was was the same that I had on it's sister ship Brilliance. I cruise all the time as I and on many different ... Read More
I have read some of the reviews and I wonder if I was on the same ship. I sailed on 12/05/05 and the cabin that I had size was was the same that I had on it's sister ship Brilliance. I cruise all the time as I and on many different lines. This cruise was a cruise from hell. My cabin had a sewage problem. Water was backing up on the floor for the first 3 days. The smell in the bathroom was disgusting. They had to put an ionizer in there just to mask the odor. I had people in and out of my room the whole trip, changing pipes, etc. and the odor was coming not only from the toilet but from the sink as well. I know that my room was not the only one, because the maintenance men were working non-stop outside a lot of cabins just on my floor alone. The bathroom areas by the pool, both men and women were dirty and overflowing. and broken. I really do not go on a cruise for the food, so I won't comment there. My cabin steward stayed far away to distant himself from all this. Now the good part. Customer Service could not have been nicer. They only could offer me another room that was an inside cabin, and I refuse (the odor was only in the bathroom, so I could deal with it), and my waiter was the greatest. I thought the entertainment was just fine for a cruise ship. The shops were terrible. I wish that I could be a buyer for one of these ships. You have a command audience, so why not sell nice stuff. The ship is going into dry dock in March. Hope it comes out better. Read Less
Sail Date December 2005
I dreamed about this cruise many months. We are not lifetime cruisers, but have sailed on Disney, Princess, and Celebrity before, so we do have several points with which to reference. Embarkation---Slower than most--not awful. ... Read More
I dreamed about this cruise many months. We are not lifetime cruisers, but have sailed on Disney, Princess, and Celebrity before, so we do have several points with which to reference. Embarkation---Slower than most--not awful. Stateroom-- We had a balcony cabin just below the suite level, and it was a little larger than most in that category-nice. Cabin Steward quite good. Service---For lack of a better word, it just stunk!!!!!! There was no welcoming from the crew on embarkation, which should have been a sign. Spent a great deal of time looking for staff to purchase a drink, etc. You could be on deck for hours, and never have someone approach you to ask if they could get you something. Since this is a prime source of revenue for them, it was not only a point of aggravation for us, but poor business thinking on their part. If you wanted a drink, etc. you definitely had to fetch for yourself. I purchased a soda package the first day out. (This is a good deal!), and it comes with a large tumbler you can keep and take with you to purchase your favorite soft drink. One afternoon I went to the Pool Bar, handed the bar tender my tumbler, showed my card with the pass on it, and asked for a coke. He remarked, "not until you take the top off the tumbler". We are not talking about an arthritic, old geezer who was trying to tend bar here. The only lounge where service was good was in the Schooner Bar. We made friends with a couple of the waiters, and they looked for us, and gave us excellent service. The dining room at the main seating was another point of disgraceful service. The second night (formal night) we were conversing at dinner, and our friends couldn't tell a story, hard as they tried, for being interrupted by the waiter (not to serve us, just interrupt us). We had taken a picture of ourselves at the table (with the help of a fellow passenger) when a photographer arrived to do the same. We realize this is their job, however, this woman was so rude, I can't even begin to tell you. First, we asked for a picture of the four of us, which she quickly told us she simply would not do, that it was impossible??????? Then, she started moving everything around on our table, almost spilling a bottle of wine we had purchased, shoving us all the time---not telling us how to pose---shoving us!! Since the food also left much to be desired, we decided then and there we would not be in the dining room again. We did make reservations in the two specialty restaurants Chops (steakhouse) which was very good with excellent service----also in Portofino's (Italian). I can't begin to tell you how good the food was and how superb the service was in there---so we knew it could be done!!!!! The rest of the cruise we ate in the Windjammer---I generally hate buffets, but there was a greater choice of better food, and it was much quieter in the evening than the dining room---still no service to speak of. It was also very frustrating if you're a non-smoker to find any lounge to sit and enjoy cocktails with your friends. First of all, it was a real challenge to find one open during the day or early evening outside the Schooner or Lobby Bar. We spent about 20 minutes one late afternoon trying to find an open bar---there simply wasn't one. When the Champagne bar finally opened, we took a seat to enjoy the ambiance (terrific view, etc). The ladies ordered champagne, but the guys wanted something other than champagne, which we were told was "impossible". We spent many evenings aboard other cruise ships in their champagne bars, and was served any drink we could imagine. We visited the Colony Club after dinner one evening--it was breathtakingly well done in beautiful wood paneling, aesthetically pleasing, and we took a seat, excited to find a place to spend a few minutes. Immediately after sitting down, we quickly found we couldn't stay there, due to the heavy cigarette and cigar smoking. It was absolutely choking as people began to file in and light up. We had to leave, regretfully. The Hollywood Odyssey up near the top deck was another beautiful place, but when we got there we were told it was a cigar bar. Our destination was the saving grace. Even Royal Caribbean couldn't screw up Hawaii. Every island was breathtaking, and we were able to spend 2 days in Maui,which made the trip so memorable in a great way. To the captains's credit, we were able to witness an erupting volcano after leaving Kona to start across the Pacific. It was 10:30 pm, and he announced we would be sailing as close as he could so we could witness this eruption and fabulous show by Mother Nature of laving running down the mountainside into the ocean. Spectacular, National Geographic couldn't have done it better!!! The straw the broke the camel's back was disembarkation. We docked at Ensenada, Mexico, and were to be taken to the San Diego airport to fly home. We put our color coded tags on our luggage the night before so they could be loaded on the appropriate buses, and checked in as instructed. Upon arriving, we were told we were not on the manifest for that bus, even though we had those bag tags, and to add insult to injury, were told we couldn't get on the bus where our luggage was undoubtedly had been loaded. The took us down to another lounge, and we were put on the "correct bus". I was told our luggage would be at the Delta counter in San Diego at the airport, and it was not a problem----right!!! So, of course, upon arriving nobody at Delta or anywhere else knew anything about our luggage. The bus driver refused to call on his radio to find out if our bus had arrived as yet, and where. I called the 800 number for Royal Caribbean Lost Luggage, and was told they would file a report and call me back in a couple of days. Desperate, we started walking in front of the terminals (several) and spotted one piece on the sidewalk by itself a quarter of a mile down the way. We continued and walked about another half mile to another terminal building, and found the other two pieces, again on the sidewalk, where they were obviously "thrown from the bus". This was Saturday---I received a call from Royal Caribbean the next Thursday, saying they couldn't locate my luggage. I took this opportunity to let them know they would never be bothered by us again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2005
A beautiful ship indeed! I was very surprised about the service, which can be awesome - like our stateroom attendant, Pat. She did everything she could to make us happy and got to know us really well. She was very prompt and kind. My ... Read More
A beautiful ship indeed! I was very surprised about the service, which can be awesome - like our stateroom attendant, Pat. She did everything she could to make us happy and got to know us really well. She was very prompt and kind. My husband and I loved her the minute we've met her!! On other parts of the ship the service could be downright rude. For example, we were asking, "where is the midnight buffet, located?" to one of the casino workers, and he brushed us off with a really gruff "I don't know!!," and walked by very quickly, as if we had some type of disease on us. I was left standing there stunned by his actions. As I have travelled to many different resorts around the world, most of the time, the different "departments" know where and what is happening elsewhere or if they didn't know something, they will personally take you to the right department! We were not impressed for what we have paid for! The food was good, then everything started to taste the same after 3 days. Some was too salty and some was divine - like the desserts. I've tried every single one of them, and the desserts were truly amazing! Not too sweet and not too heavy! MMMMMmmmmm! Dining room -- they should've done more of a compatible personality match, our table of 6 was downright boring. Some nights people showed up and some not. We dreaded it so much that we decided to head off to other restaurants to eat! The Port of Calls were Amazing!!! We loved, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Maarten! The tours are pretty good, and in the end you can do your own shopping, touring around, hiking, etc... It was fantastic! You end up learning about the islands and people! Try not to go during Holiday season, the ship was packed and so were the pools and decks - you will be lined up like sardines! We were fortunate enough to have our own private balcony! And children were everywhere - not exactly relaxing when they fill up the pools and hot tubs! Overall, we did enjoy ourselves, but we will choose to go at a different time and take a trip with more ports of call! Read Less
Sail Date December 2004
We embarked on our cruise Christmas week, December 21, 2003. We travelled with two boys, 15 and 11 as well as parents who are 75 and 80. The ship was filled to capacity. No upgrades were available. This is our second cruise, the first ... Read More
We embarked on our cruise Christmas week, December 21, 2003. We travelled with two boys, 15 and 11 as well as parents who are 75 and 80. The ship was filled to capacity. No upgrades were available. This is our second cruise, the first having been on the Celebrity Century in 2000. Embarkation was not as bad as many of the reviews I read. While it was not particularly well organized I attribute any chaos to the ancient mindset of the cruise industry as a whole rather to any specific cruise line. Certainly the cruise industry has a few lessons to learn from the hotel and airline industries. If checking in and checking out of a Holiday Inn was as chaotic as it is with a cruise they would have been out of business decades ago. Boarding was not particularly memorable which I find unfortunate. We were greeted by someone in a plain white uniform (no name tag) and politely directed to the nearest elevator. Ho hum. In fact, that set the tone for the rest of the cruise. We booked a balcony stateroom (3 total) on the 9th deck, mid-forward. Our Attendant was Maria who was as efficient and as sweet as you could want. The prior occupants of one of our rooms were smokers (yes, in-room smoking is allowed in ALL rooms on RCL). Without asking Maria stripped the entire room of all of the curtains and bedding, washed them twice, washed down every single inch of the rest of the room and repeated this the next day. What more need I say? There was more than plenty of room for all of our "stuff." The room was in decent shape but beginning to show signs of age. About the only complaint I had with the rooms, aside from the bathroom being small, was the lack of any cold water. All the water in the faucet was warm or hot. Our luggage arrived later in the afternoon without incident. Our first encounter with the food was at lunch in the Windjammer Cafe. In general, the Windjammer food was fresh, pleasantly displayed, competently served and well organized. Contrary to most reviews the coffee served on our ship was EXCELLENT. It was fresh brewed from the "Seattle's Best" brand. I was very relieved. In fact, the free coffee throughout the ship was tastier than the strong, Starbuck's type coffee found at the coffee bar. Windjammer served a huge variety of food and desserts, many of which were sugar-free. Unfortunately, Windjammer closed in the evening. This ship has NO "midnight buffet" and no place to eat after 10pm except in the tiny, well hidden Seaview Cafe way up on the 12th deck accessible solely by exterior means. On our voyage we had winds of over 50 MPH the first 2 nights and it was dangerous trying to get to this place. Equally unfortunate was the fact that the Seaview also served the best food on this ship (it was freshly prepared for your particular order). Suffice it to say that the "food" served in the Cascades dining room was awful and on par with nursing home food: institutional in taste, always served warm and everything tasting just about the same. This was a huge disappointment. Indeed, we will never travel with RCL again due to this. Our waiter was Darko, from Croatia, and he was excellent. We thought we would avoid further disappointment by eating at the so-called specialty restaurants. We tried Portofino. The food was HORRIBLE! In fact, it was inedible. Fortunately we enjoyed Chops much more. Entertainment was only fair, at best. As for children's programs they were basically non-existent for our kids. While the ship has a room dedicated for these programs there were no Supervisors in sight, ever. Worse, at night no one from the ship stopped any of the children from walking the upper decks in 50 MPH winds. That also happens to be where their basketball court is. Kids from 10 up were free to roam anywhere they wanted with whomever they wanted. I would comment on the Cruise Director except I don't think we had one. Someone named "Bill" called himself the Cruise Director the 2 times he appeared in public, and he was a total dud. As for the rest of the ship the public bathrooms were ALWAYS dirty and smelly, the elevators could have been faster and another bank of elevators in the forward section of the ship should be installed. It is a long, long, looong walk for anyone, and particular the elderly, from the "forward" elevators to the forward rooms. In sum I would rate this cruise a solid 6 out of 10. As a result we will not travel RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2003
Dec. 14-21, 2003 Western Caribbean This was our second cruise, the first one was on Celebrity's Galaxy to the Southern Caribbean in 1999. The Radiance is, overall, a beautiful ship. We had a category d cabin with balcony on the 9th ... Read More
Dec. 14-21, 2003 Western Caribbean This was our second cruise, the first one was on Celebrity's Galaxy to the Southern Caribbean in 1999. The Radiance is, overall, a beautiful ship. We had a category d cabin with balcony on the 9th deck. The room was nothing special, and the bathroom felt especially cramped. But the public areas were all spacious and beautiful with lots of warm dark wood, and brass and marble throughout. We visited all of the bars, lounges and public areas and all were very comfortable. The food was variable. The formal dining room was disappointing. All of the food appeared mass-produced (which it was, of course), and the menu was uninspired. In contrast, the two specialty restaurants, the Chops Grille and the Portofino, each available for an extra $20 per person, were significantly better. The alternative dining areas, especially the main alternative, the Windjammer Cafe, were better. The Windjammer's buffet style food was plentiful and good. The service was good to excellent, but nothing exceptional. We could never get our cabin steward on the phone to order ice, although she was nice and our 3 year old loved the towel sculptures she made for him. However, everyone was extremely friendly. The Champagne bar was really nice and Fredi, the bartender, was especially warm and solicitous. Embarkation and disembarkation were fine, but do not let RCI book your flights. We had to leave the ship at 9:30 on the last day and our flight was not until 5:15. Worse, we had to stand in a giant line at the airport for over an hour to check our baggage instead of considerably shorter lines at e-ticket counters because RCI had pre-checked us in and all passengers from all 14 cruise ships that had disembarked at the same time with tickets purchased through the cruise line all had to stand in the same line. Never again! But now for the bad news. Our itinerary called for embarkation at Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, overnight to Key West, then to Cozumel, then to Roatan, then a day at sea, then to Grand Cayman, another day at sea, and back to Fort Lauderdale. I had been monitoring the weather in all our ports of call over the internet for a week or so before leaving, and southwest of Florida, it didn't look so good. When we got to Fort Lauderdale it was sunny, but very cool and windy. Key West was OK, but also cool and windy. Cozumel was warm and sunny. But that was the last sun we were to see until we returned to Fort Lauderdale 5 days later. The next day, our first at sea, there were 65 MPH winds and rain precluding any outside activities. When we docked at Roatan the next day, it was cold, gray and windy. We got up very early as required by our excursion and was on the pier at 7:45 for snorkeling and swimming with dolphins. It was there that we were told that all excursions had been canceled due to the weather. We went back inside and it started to rain - heavily - and it stayed that way all day. The next day was Grand Cayman. It was overcast but not raining and not too windy. The captain told us around 7:00 that the main port at Georgetown was closed due to high seas and that he was heading for a smaller auxiliary port on the other side of the island. There were already 3 ships there, tendering passengers to the island. Our captain hemmed and hawed and told us that he thought it was too dangerous to attempt tendering and that there were too many ships there (he never did make it clear which was the excuse he really wanted to sell us on) but in any event, we never stopped there at all, and headed back to Florida. It was windy and overcast, and about 2 hours from Grand Cayman started to rain again. The weather was the same for the next two days, but when we arrived back at Fort Lauderdale, it was sunny (but still cool). I do not understand why the captain did not make any attempt, early in the cruise, to change the itinerary to get us to some sunny weather, or at least to some ports where we could disembark. As it was, we had 2 ports of call and 5 days at sea. Not my idea of an ideal cruise. Next time, and we will surely cruise again, we'll try a different cruise line. Read Less
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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