1,268 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise as it covered both Australia and New Zealand.We had booked 18 months ago.As the flights were so long from the UK we travelled business class so it was a costly holiday.We had travelled with RC three times and have been ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it covered both Australia and New Zealand.We had booked 18 months ago.As the flights were so long from the UK we travelled business class so it was a costly holiday.We had travelled with RC three times and have been on over 30 cruises. Everything on the ship was shabby and dirty and looked in disrepair.The food was mediocre and badly cooked.We were amazed how much stock ran out early on in the cruise.The daytime activities were not for us as we prefer more talks about countries we are visiting rather than childish competitions.Why were there no lectures about aborigines or maoris or anything about wildlife in the area.Some of the evening entertainment was very good but there were a lot of repeats.The television and films shown were appalling and totally unsuitable for the age group. The change of itinerary was devastating for most of us but we accepted that safety must come first but the handling of the situation by management was diabolical.All they are bothered about is getting as much money out of us as possible.We have contacted the CEO about our dissatisfaction but he is not interested and did not reply personally.Their attitude about us missing so many ports and having 10 days at sea out of 16 is we should read the terms and conditions. What really got to us was the grand ceremony of lighting the Xmas Tree and the goodwill to all when we were not even given a free glass of wine.The atmosphere on board was extremely miserable but the senior officers and management showed not one bit of sympathy and some were very rude.We also found the Customer services and shore excursion staff to be very lacking.Do they not realise the importance of looking at the customer's face when answering a question? The cabin stewards and waiters worked tirelessly and tried hard to be cheerful.Standards on this ship were much lower than we had experienced on the Rhapsody earlier this year and we were given a port tax refund for a missed port and a discount on a further cruise for not being able to go round Cape Horn so why was this not applied on the Radiance when we missed out on so much more.RC will definitely have lost repeat customers due to this fiasco. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the extra cleaning required which is fair enough, but on arrival at the terminal there were so many people waiting we stood in line for approx. 1 1/2 hours, then to be told our luggage would possibly not be delivered to our room until 9.00pm that night. Also that our room would not be available until 4.00pm. When we finally got to our cabin area on deck 8 all we could smell was like diarrhoea. The buffet dining in Windjammer was handled by the staff for the first 3 days due to the gastroenteritis which made for more waiting. One staff member told us that 95% of the guests on the previous voyage were over 75 years of age. This is definitely a cruise ship for the Elderly. On the 4th day I got what looked like a long hair in my mashed potato, on showing it to the Maitre De he took it from me and said don't worry it is just a bit of string?????? The quality of the food was pathetic in both the Windjammer and Cascades. Seems most of it had been pre cooked and frozen. Entertainment was the same as we had seen on this same ship 15 months prior so it was boring for us. The use of the Atrium for entertainment is a joke as one has to be crammed in to be able to see anything and stand for hours. Why they don't use the Theatre is a mystery to us. I would say 50% of the staff were happy to be there and the other 50% wishing they were not there as was obvious my their sad or grumpy faces. Our room was regularly not cleaned until late in the afternoons. We had the same towels for most of the cruise. The outside and windows of the ship were all dirty. I tried to clean our balcony glass but it was so inbuilt with salt and dirt it was impossible with just water. Our refrigerator did not work at all. Never again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We were on Radiance of the Seas leaving HNL September 20 of this year. Upon checking in we found our assigned room, 8008, was filled with the overpowering stench of harmful sewer gas. Opening the stateroom and balcony doors did not ... Read More
We were on Radiance of the Seas leaving HNL September 20 of this year. Upon checking in we found our assigned room, 8008, was filled with the overpowering stench of harmful sewer gas. Opening the stateroom and balcony doors did not alleviate it. From 3:30 until 8:30 pm maintenance confirmed the problem, pulled at least a bucket of sand out of the shower drain, but could not fix the problem. The room was uninhabitable. Customer Relations said the ship was fully booked, and we were led to believe we had no choice but to leave the ship before it sailed—without our luggage. Customer Relations told us to “just go sit down and wait” and that if we got off the ship we would have to pay for the cruise anyway. After many hours of uncertainty arguing with Customer Relations, Gerardo Duarte told us there are frequently no-shows and likely we’d get a room. He was the one polite person there! After five hours we were assigned to 9072, having lost our entire first day on the ship. On September 23 I spoke with the Hotel Director, Michael Rasmussen. He strongly insinuated that we were just trying to get a free upgrade because passengers “do that all the time for just a pin on the carpet” (his exact words). I told him I was a thirty-year retired Air Force Colonel, and we didn’t need to maneuver for a free upgrade. Later that day, as we were to meet another couple, he summoned both my wife and I into an office and said “Let’s put this to bed. We gave you a room, didn’t we?” (His exact words.) He didn’t care that we lost the first day of our cruise, and endured such poor treatment from Customer Relations. He granted my wife’s request of 10% off on the next cruise, but offered no apology whatsoever. In my role as an Air Force Colonel, I had over 7,000 personnel in my command, and I never even treated someone I was disciplining with such disrespect! On September 27, we discovered a 3’ x 3’ puddle on our carpet in front of the sofa, but could not trace its origin. Then, a subsequent occurrence on September 30 was the worst incident. Our room flooded with toilet water. The toilet valve would not close fully, which allowed the water to slowly rise and flood the bathroom floor. Water also flooded our stateroom hall, and the public passageway hall. The intrusion of maintenance to fix that problem and dry our carpets took two days of lost privacy in our room. Prior to the overflow my wife had not noticed that the toilet was full of water and sat down in it. By the end of the cruise she had a very predictable and painful bladder infection for which the ship’s doctor prescribed antibiotics. Her discomfort for four days prior to diagnosis on October 9 had already ruined many days of our cruise. We spoke with the occupants of the neighboring stateroom, and they said they had the same problem. So did several other guests on the ship. In vacating our room October 9 in SYD we found eyeglasses belonging to the previous room occupant—who has recently also written a letter to RCCL. In returning them to her, we learned that the toilet in 9072 overflowed twice during her stay, and she tells me she has mentioned it to RCCL. So maintenance knew of the issue in this room. Passenger consensus is that Radiance is an old ship badly in need of plumbing and other maintenance (our closet door was hanging by only one of its four hinges), food is mediocre, and Customer Service is beyond rude. Additionally, Stephanie at the Excursions Desk refuses to be bothered answering questions or even trying to be polite. Elena was marvelous, and went beyond what she needed to do. In the dining room, Jefferson, was a real bright spot. The quality of the dining room food has definitely taken a turn for the worst since our last cruise. We've had better in a school cafeteria. No lobster on any night during a nine-teen night cruise. We told them of special dietary requirements when we booked, and we were halfway through the cruise before they gave us vegetarian meals. This was my wife’s fifth cruise on RCCL. Now that we have found that Customer Service has an attitude that guests are the enemy when a real problem has to be solved, we no longer feel loyal to RCCL. Since the worst inconvenience and health issues occurred after Rasmussen’s offer of 10% off the next cruise, my wife does not want to go on RCCL again. After what we went through for this much anticipated anniversary cruise, we have absolutely no intention of going back. Michael Rasmussen is a very poor Hotel Director has no clue how to manage customers without alienating them. Employee opinion of him is equally low. By far our biggest complaint: The demonstrated fact that it is acceptable to RCCL to jeopardize guest health and comfort for multiple deferred plumbing issues is completely unacceptable and beyond disgusting. We will take our business elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
this was worst cruise out of 14 we have taken..when I read reviews I always say, o some people just like to complain, but regarding this ship I fully understand.first, check in was a nightmare, they took us in circles to sit us in ... Read More
this was worst cruise out of 14 we have taken..when I read reviews I always say, o some people just like to complain, but regarding this ship I fully understand.first, check in was a nightmare, they took us in circles to sit us in different places,it was the girls first day at check in desk, she was clueless what to do, took forever....got to our room, 7070 and was not what we wanted, had obstructed view balcony and when we put out the loveseat sized sofa bed, it went right into the dresser so when we wanted to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, we either had to be long jumpers or step on my grandson, not to mention it was , I think, a safety issue, blocking the path to door. so we had the bed lowered above our heads, which made so so much noise it sounded like it would come down in the middle of the night..first night in dining room, girl paraded us around dining room because she couldn't find our table and finally said, o just sit here...never got drink we ordered or coffee..moved our table the next night and got excellent service after that. the nightmare at the pool with the chairs was horrible, I am 67 yrs old , and having spent thousands on a cruise, had to put a towel on the ground to lay and get sun....however, finally found roddericks, pool attendant, who was best thing about ship..he wound put post it notes with the times chairs were empty and took towels after 30 min,,was excellent at his job...all this within 4 days of our 11 day cruise..took concerns to front desk to carlos who just had blank look on his face and could only say, sorry....REALLY?... customs at the end was horrible, told us to be there by 6:15 a.m.and they never showed up until 7..so many angry people..no one I spoke with had anything good to say..entertainment was very lacking, had 1 good show out of 11. We met first time cruisers who were very unimpressed, I told them to try a bigger ship because they are a lot nicer..love RC but this was horrible..even little things, like getting a wake up call we never got...the final thing they said was....hope you have a better time next time...UGG this I suppose to be the royal treatment?i think not..i hope everyone who said they would write there experiences really does... only gave good review of dining because of second seating Read Less
Sail Date September 2016
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't ... Read More
I thought a cruise was a great way to explore Alaska and to see the Glacier. I wish that Royal Caribbean International would of included a day to explore the city at the port.The speaker in the cabin to hear the captain speak doesn't work in the cabin. When the captain spoke we had to open the cabin door to hear him.The meals in the dinning room were disappointing for the portion of food was small but were very elaborate looking and very good tasting. The food in the food and services in the Windjammer Cafe was excellent.The service of the personal on the cruise were very friendly and their services were excellent.The ports and excursions were very good. The photographer in the dinning room did an awful job.I didn't buy many photos for they were poorly done. I bought the Cruise Review DVD and it was also poorly done. Some of the DVD didn't have sound and I was on the Cruise 7 days but there was only 5 days coverage. The DVD was not worth 29.99. Read Less
Sail Date July 2016
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. ... Read More
We cruised the Radiance of the Seas from Vancouver to Ketchikan to Prince Rupert and back (5 nights / 6 days) as our first Royal Caribbean International (RCI) adventure, and we will not sail with this cruise line or its affiliates again. (FYI-our platinum cruise with Carnival is this September, so we know what to expect when cruising.) The following commentary reflects our viewpoint and opinions organized by the “the Good,” “the Bad,” and “the Ugly.” THE GOOD Cost.The cruise was inexpensive comparatively, and it met our date requirements. We selected a balcony room (although we normally select suites), and the cost for three was somewhat less than that of our normal cruise line, Carnival, so we thought we would try RCI. Main Dining Room.Dinner was a pleasant experience in the main dining room. We selected the Carnival equivalent of “Your Time” dining, but the method involved actually coordinating the time either daily or for the entire cruise on the first day. The method was solid, because we did not queue for food. The staff was expecting us and had the table ready every evening. The main dining room wait staff was outstanding, as is typical of most (but not all) ships we have sailed. Compared to the typical Carnival food in the main dining rooms, I would suggest that they are about on par. Some of the food was (in our opinion) better (e.g., some of the meat selections..); some of it was worse (e.g., the deserts…no real equivalent of the warm chocolate melting cake…cold rolls…). Overall, our experience in the main dining room met expectations. Solarium. The Solarium was a nice place (pool, waterfall, etc.), and some of the lounges were (in our opinion), prettier than many of the Carnival equivalents. Pre-Paid Packages. RCI Pre-paid packages up front (Internet, pictures, drinks) are awesome. I appreciate not having to coordinate this on the ship. Pre-paying just makes it a done deal. Pool Table. The gyro-based pool tables were a hoot, even if they didn’t work all that well sometimes. Having a climbing wall is nice, but we did not take advantage of it. Excursion. We only selected one excursion, kayaking at Prince Rupert. Wow. It was one of our favorite excursions in all of our cruising. About three hours on the water with seals, fish, and wildlife…So much fun. Casino. The casino was not crowded. One-arm bandits were always available, and there was always room at the craps table. Drinks. The drink plan was outstanding. It included everything we needed, and there was no “counting,” which is kind of artificial with Carnival. THE BAD Herd Dining. The “buffet” was not what we expected. The breakfast food, in our opinion, was not nearly as good as the Carnival fare. The selection wasn’t totally terrible, but (in our opinion) they did not have the diversity of food types that we have seen on other ships. And coffee is “protected.” You have to queue to ask for a cup (probably due to fear of spreading germs.) We hadn’t seen this technique applied to Carnival. Specialty Dining. We didn’t try the steakhouse, because it was not as appealing to us as the Carnival steakhouse menus. It might have been just as good or even better, but we just didn’t try it. We did try the Samba Grill to do something new, and we were disappointed. The Samba Grill is supposed to be a Brazilian steakhouse. To us, the taste (perhaps quality?) of the meat was not what we have come to expect from our annual excursions to these steakhouses. Perhaps, we went on an “off night.” We don’t gorge ourselves, either, so taste is the most important factor. Pictures. We pre-paid the pictures; however, the quality was hit and miss in our opinion. During the formal night, I had my jacket open on some pictures, and my son has his closed. The prep prior to the pictures just wasn’t quite spot on. We would rather have paid more for better quality. Entertainment. We tried to stomach a show. In our opinion, the opening singer couldn’t sing. (We actually looked at each other and started laughing when he tried a rendition of Piano Man.) They also provided a former “Star Search” winner as an option. Carnival isn’t great, but it is better in our opinion. The demonstrations that we attended were silent (no commentary). For example, the fruit and vegetable carving was interesting, but it was not narrated. Some commentary would have been better in our opinion. Taste-Bar? Free Samples? On Carnival, we have always been able to sample the specialty dining at a taste-bar equivalent / demonstration. We attended demonstrations by the Samba Grill and the Asian specialty dining (name escapes me). Neither provided samples. Had we been able to sample the fare up front, I guarantee we would not have chosen the Samba Grill. THE UGLY On balance, we would have considered Royal Caribbean for another cruise if it were not for “the Ugly.” And here it is. Sewer Smell. The smell of sewer backed through the drains in the state room, an issue that we have never experienced in ~90 days at sea on cruise ships. This seems to be fairly well-documented issue for this class of ships. Here are three reviews I found that reference the issue, and there are more. http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1128866 http://www.cruisecritic.com/radiance-of-the-seas-deck-plans/dp/deluxe-ocean-view-stateroom-with-balcony-e1/cc/ http://boards.cruisecritic.com.au/showthread.php?p=48422305&highlight=radiance Attempts to Resolve. The apparent “solution“ of the housekeeping and maintenance staff was to try to hide the smell with cleaner and to use “biogel.” (We were having this done routinely.) The small was sufficiently bad that we asked for a different room. None were available. We asked a maintenance staff, who came to place “biogel” into the drains. He indicated that they receive between 20-25 complaints every cruise. Wow. Customer Service. So we approached Customer Service. One of my family members has an auto-immune disease, and this was made clear to the staff. (Check out the International Medical Guide for Ships, 3d Edition by the World Health Organization for information on the toxic effects of Hydrogen Sulfide. Although I doubt the concentrations were sufficient to be of concern, why would I want to risk continued exposure of my family to elevated levels?). The Customer Service solution (which came quickly, perhaps due to the history of issues with this problem?) was to offer a 20% discount on a future cruise. We would never take a vacation again with a cruise line that has a commonly discussed smell issue and does not inform consumers about that issue in advance. Had this been a hotel, we would have checked out early. CONCLUSION I am quite sure that RCI would like to fix the issue with the sewer gas smells, but in my opinion, they have not been successful at all. Perhaps, some of their other ships do not have the same issues. That said, I would not have purchased our vacation through RCI had I known about the problem. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My wife and I have just returned from the above cruise and wish to make the following observations and conclusions. We are seasoned cruises having sailed with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed our holidays. I cannot understand why ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from the above cruise and wish to make the following observations and conclusions. We are seasoned cruises having sailed with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed our holidays. I cannot understand why the pricing policy is so unfair so much so that I got the immediate impression of being ripped off at every hands turn. I feel that in today's world communication is very important and whether travelling from various parts of the globe to this location all one wants to do is send a brief email to family intimating safe arrival etc. but on 'Radiance' the one off charge of forty dollars for Internet connection is absolutely ludicrous. Why not charge customers a small activation fee and operate a pay as you go system. Other companies allow this but this is just example of the ripped off scenario. Being a smoker I have in the past been able to buy a carton of cigarettes at a discounted price but all that was available in the shop was a small amount of menthol types. I expected to purchase the occasional pack in bars and was appalled to be charged ten dollars. I thought by buying a 200 pack would be discounted but again the rip off merchants came in and charged one hundred dollars which is shocking. The 'My Time' experience was an absolute disaster. The definition of anytime, freedom or my time means you dine when it suits but not on this ship, one needs to make a reservation which means that you dine with virtually the same people every evening and this becomes boring and uninteresting resulting in limited conversation. One of the advantages of this dining type is meeting other guests, forming relationships thus adding to the overall enjoyment of the holiday. I attempted to change my reservation time and spoke to the Maître D’ but he intimated the only time available was 7.45pm.for the entire cruise. I have cruised for over twenty years and this is the first ship without laundromat facilities resulting in having to pay for washing and pressing clothes. Yet another example of cruisers having to pay for facilities that should have been provided. In my experience there has always been a late theatre show but 8.15pm was scheduled throughout the cruise and because of the only available reservation dinner time of 7.45pm we could not attend. It did not suit us to go to the earlier 6.15pm show. I spoke to Steve Davis the cruise director and he said they received complaints about late shows and decided to bring them forward. He intimated that the average age of cruisers was seventy five which I couldn't agree with and felt he was out of touch with the majority of cruisers I spoke to who wanted a late show. On Carnival ships they have oasis pools. They are quite small and the temperature is warm and very pleasant. The solarium on Radiance is much larger and grander but no one swam in the pool the first week because the temperature was sub-zero. Midway through the second week the water was heated which I thought rather strange or another cost cutting exercise. The ship's interior was quite cold on occasions and the 'Movies under the Stars' on the sun deck was deserted in the evenings because of cold conditions. On one occasion a cartoon was filmed. The cinema was out of action for at least a week. More often than not in an effort to find suitable evening entertainment we would return to our stateroom but the television programmes were poor. TCM movies largely consisted of old movies but of course we could have purchased movies but again another example of having to fork out money when you easily have provided a decent free channel. We paid good money to come on this cruise and got nothing in return other than good food and friendly staff but it could have been so much better. I awoke early one morning about 3am and felt like a coffee and went to The Windjammer ‘24 hour’ coffee station only to find the urns had been switched off. Some evenings there was a floor show in the centrum area. Now this area is quite small and the surrounding seats were pushed back and patrons sat on steps and hung over balconies to view the activity which was totally useless. Why they didn’t use the area in the colony club where everyone could have been seated I do not know. In conclusion in management terms this is the worst ship I have been on and it is very unlikely will cruise with them again. The decision to operate a non-functional 'My Time' dining greatly impacted on us and the reluctance not to have a late show meant that entertainment after dining was somewhat limited unless one goes to other bars to hear someone singing. I felt greatly let down by the attitude of management and attempted and raised my concerns to guest relations and the Cruise Director but all efforts proved fruitless. I cannot over emphasise my disappointment of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Could not use the two Pools as depth throughout was 6 feet. pools small for the amount of people on board, plenty of areas to sun yourself. Cinema was a joke too small. Poor quality films . Where entertainment areas, not ... Read More
Could not use the two Pools as depth throughout was 6 feet. pools small for the amount of people on board, plenty of areas to sun yourself. Cinema was a joke too small. Poor quality films . Where entertainment areas, not enough room allowed for people too see. everything had a price in American dollars. forget tours unless you pay their pricing. Tours on land one third of the price in some situations. Dining room too slow. requested at time of booking for table of four. guess what! on a table of ten! could not hold conversations table too large. Windjammer was the only alternative ,without paying extra for other restaurants . Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have just returned from our very first, and most likely our last, cruise, following this dreadful experience. We travelled from Sydney on the 1st November and arrived in Perth, via New Zealand, on the 16th November 2015. The ship was ... Read More
We have just returned from our very first, and most likely our last, cruise, following this dreadful experience. We travelled from Sydney on the 1st November and arrived in Perth, via New Zealand, on the 16th November 2015. The ship was the Radiance of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean (RC). What a massive disappointment. Meet and greet staff at the terminal were rude and/or completely absent on arrival for embarkation. The Radiance of the Seas was basically a one star hotel standard whilst RC charged five star prices for everything. Enteritis had been prevalent on the cruise immediately prior to ours. The ship could not have been cleaned thoroughly as the virus broke out again within 3 days of our embarkation affecting, reportedly, 500 people. A number of cabins suffered from effluent being discharged into their cabins via the shower or the toilet. This happened on a number of floors and often more than once in the same cabin. Not good when enteritis abounds. The ship was extremely tired. The carpets were shabby and dirty throughout the ship. Many of the chairs and sofas in the cabins and public areas were threadbare. Safety was an issue, in my opinion. At the safety drill at the commencement of the cruise, life jackets were not required to be taken to the venue. The life jackets were not in the place in the cabin where the sign indicated they would be. This could have been disastrous had we needed to locate them in an emergency. A handrail around the upper deck was painted during the voyage and a sign informing “Do Not Touch – Wet Paint” was displayed whilst the ship was actually sailing. Long distances between the restaurant and the centrum did not have a handrail available. This was particularly important during the rolling seas experienced crossing the Tasman. Some wardrobe hinges were broken, no catches to stop the doors (including bathroom) banging and drawers opened and closed of their own accord when the ship rolled. Charges were astronomical for very ordinary products. Cheapest plonk wine was US$36 per bottle. Coffee, following the evening meal, was charged for. Drinks packages were available at US$42 each person – individual packages were not available if you were travelling with your spouse or partner. No tea or coffee facilities available in the room. The only water in the room was bottled and kept in a fridge that was warm. Despite paying for gratuities up-front on booking, “to safe the hassle when aboard”, all services in the bars and restaurants were subjected to a further “Service Charge”. Double dipping in other words is my judgment. Service was poor because of the lack of staff numbers. Many waiters did their best but appeared untrained. Senior staff were sometimes rude. There was apparently discord among the senior staff, one of them claiming the stewards hadn’t received a salary increase for six years. This is not what passengers want to hear, or be affected, by staff discontentment. Wifi costs were approximately £10 per day. The entertainment varied between amateur local church hall standard at the beginning of the cruise to very good at the end. Inconsistent. Misinformation causing confusion amongst passengers. The daily “Compass Sheet” stated the cruise was on its final day 7 days before it actually was. The TV channels with information on disembarkation and safety were not as stated on the sheet. The TV remote worked when it wanted to! Room Service was a joke. The earliest was 30 minutes from ordering with the longest being 1 hour and 40 minutes. I spoke with over 100 passengers, many of whom had over 20 cruises under their lifebelt and all were agreed it was the worst one they had ever been on and advised us not to judge all cruises on this one. An American travel agent told me he was removing RC from his list of suggested cruise operators to his clients. For many people this was a holiday of a lifetime. Unfortunately it was but for all the wrong reasons. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Having cruised several times a year for many years this was the most expensive cruise we have been on and should have been the experience of a lifetime. However it proved to be the most disappointing cruise ever. What was wrong? How do ... Read More
Having cruised several times a year for many years this was the most expensive cruise we have been on and should have been the experience of a lifetime. However it proved to be the most disappointing cruise ever. What was wrong? How do I start? Well, the cabin with a balcony was clean though a bit worn. There were no complimentary toiletries or tissues and the toilet paper was so thin you could see right through it! There were no coffee making facilities or chocolates [not that we needed them] on the pillow and no surprise of finding the lovely animals made of towels waiting on the bed for us. There was no ice or drinking water left in the cabin and no ironing facilities - only if you paid for it! The Cascade Restaurant served cold food despite the fact that we reported it on our first night and a meeting was arranged between us and our friends with the beverage and restaurant manager who then asked the Chef to meet with us. It was not until the third evening when the Maitre 'd was made aware of it that there was any difference, and, he accompanied every dish that was served to our table to ensure it was hot enough and if it was not, he returned it to the kitchen. Twice, the food came not cooked through! The restaurant closed at 1pm and so if you did not want an early lunch [ater a big breakfast eating again before 1.30 - 2pm is rather unreasonable] lunch had to be in the buffet, where again the food was not always hot. Also when the ship was affected by an outbreak of the Norvo Virus, no one was permitted to touch the plates, cutlery or serving spoons which is totally understandable, but they did not staff it adequately so we had to queue at every possible food point which meant eating a cold meal. Additionally, the coffee served on board was undrinkable, it was vile. Although they acknowledged there was a problem with the coffee, they did not provide passengers with a token to enable them to get perhaps one decent coffee a day from the Starbucks on board. The Norvo Virus - whilst I am sure they dealt with this as best as they could, there was often no soap in the dispensers in the public toilets and the bannisters, tables and anything else that could be touched was always wet and sticky. The entertainment was a huge disappointment. There was only two ship singers and dancers shows in the entire 16 days. The other evenings had a couple of other very good entertainers but there were too many so called comedians which I am sure only appealed to the New Zealand and Australian passengers. Also the timings of the shows were dreadful, instead of having two shows in an evening so that both dinner sittings could attend after they had eaten, they were at a time where if you had 8pm dining, you had to leave what you were doing early, still un-showered and in your day clothes/swim suits and take a rush shower and change before you rushed into dinner. This was particularly inconvenient on the days we were in port. The day time entertainment was equally un-appetising and appeared to use the passengers as self entertainment. The cinema was so small that if you did'nt get there an hour before the start of the film there was no seat and instead of transferring a film into a larger lounge or the theatre on bad weather days when at sea they still showed it in this small space and, believe it or not showed a film up on deck when there was no one there and it was raining or so cold you could not sit and watch it! The life boat drill was carried out without passengers having a life jacket and some of us [a few were elderly or had walking problems] were made to stand in an area without seating for a very unreasonable length of time. Every shuttle bus from the ship to a reasonable area in port had to be paid for - a new experience for us! Worst of all, one day in port we tried to pay for goods and withdraw money from our travel money card [which is a card you load in £sterling and withdraw in the currency you require]. On line the card showed a healthy balance, but on trying a transaction it showed "insufficient funds". It transpired that immediately we stepped on board, our gratuities were stripped from this card [we made the mistake of linking our on board account with the travel card instead of a debit card] and were held somewhere on the cloud because it did not show this amount as being deducted when we looked on line. As we did not wish to pay gratuities in this way we asked for it to be refunded, which it was on paper but not put back onto the Travel Money Card and this left us being able to add funds to it because once the funds were cleared it is as if the card is cancelled. This took three days to sort out and was a nightmare! Most passengers were complaining about any of the things outlined above but adding insult to injury, we received a call yesterday from Royal Caribbean in response to a letter we had sent. They stated that they had no knowledge of a Norvo Virus on board, that there was no log of our complaint regarding food being made whilst on board and they offered £125 towards another RC cruise. Meanwhile the friends who were with us received an email in response to the letter they had send offering them £235 each, again towards another RC cruise. I do not think I could ever recommend anyone to a Royal Caribbean cruise let alone book another one. Good luck to anyone who is looking forward to theirs. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
As a guest on that cruise I can confirm that conditions were extremely poor. the ship was rife with nova virus ( the first time we sailed in to port flying the yellow quarantine flag) 50% of people I met on the cruise went down with the ... Read More
As a guest on that cruise I can confirm that conditions were extremely poor. the ship was rife with nova virus ( the first time we sailed in to port flying the yellow quarantine flag) 50% of people I met on the cruise went down with the virus or food poisoning. the staff were sullen an unhelpful and I got the impression they wanted off the ship as much as we did. Perth came as a great relief. Over all the ship was dirty, little wonder there was so much sickness. this was my 10 th cruise with RCCL an sadly it will be my last. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We embarked late due to norovirus in the previous cruise , allowing time for a deep clean. All this was to no avail , within 3 days passengers were being taken ill with norovirus. The staff were constantly cleaning hand rails and ... Read More
We embarked late due to norovirus in the previous cruise , allowing time for a deep clean. All this was to no avail , within 3 days passengers were being taken ill with norovirus. The staff were constantly cleaning hand rails and chairs and the buffet was not self service which resulted in some chaos and long queues for drinks. This ship is tired. The chairs are worn and need to be replaced. The sun beds have no cushions and are uncomfortable. The cinema needs a makeover, it was one of the few things to do on sea days and always full with people sat on the steps The same old films were repeated often and were not all suitable for the age of the cruisers. The cruise director should note animated films are not generally suitable for older cruisers.There were very few children in this cruise. The activities were more suited to a holiday camp , as was the female assistant cruise director . The itinerary was excellent and was the saving grace of this cruise hence the title " it was better to arrive than to travel " The staff were working extra shifts and were under pressure due to the virus but the management was poor. I would not recommend this ship to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have traveled with RCCL numerous times and always considered them to be one of the better cruise lines. So when we sailed on the Quantum in the spring and found the dining room service and the food below what we had come to expect we ... Read More
We have traveled with RCCL numerous times and always considered them to be one of the better cruise lines. So when we sailed on the Quantum in the spring and found the dining room service and the food below what we had come to expect we thought it was a one of. However having spent 32 days on the Radiance of the Seas I now think that the WOW experience RCCL keeps talking about is WOW can it get any worse. This ship was dirty, the cabin bathroom odour was terrible, nothing in the cabin worked properly, so we had maintenance in daily. The meals in the main dining room on an evening were nothing short of pathetic, and the buffet was definitely quantity not quality. The best complimentary meals were breakfast and lunch in the dining room and room service otherwise if you want what used to be classed as normal you now pay extra at a specialty restaurant. To add to this the noro virus was rampant ( which my wife and two other guests at our table fell victim to) for most of the first 16 day leg and part of the second leg, so the staff had to work extra hours serving in all the normally self serve areas. The entertainment barring 2 or 3 acts were the worst we have seen on any of the cruise ships we have been on. The large outdoor screen is nice as long as you don't want to hear what is happening. The table tennis tables are located outside in high traffic areas, obviously its more a matter of saying we have these facilities onboard but can you use them properly? Tenders were so bad you would think this was something new and Port Hedland is a great place to stop if you want to watch the ships being filled. On the positive side the climbing wall and staff were great. I don't think I have ever heard so many past RCCL cruisers say that they would not be using Royal again and new cruisers saying this is not for me. With so many other cruise lines to choose from RCCL will not be my first choice in the future. We have never been so glad to get off a ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
What should have been the trip of a lifetime for my husband's 70th birthday ended up a total disappointment for us both. We were told Royal Caribbean would provide an amazing experience, instead we felt we were on a second rate ship ... Read More
What should have been the trip of a lifetime for my husband's 70th birthday ended up a total disappointment for us both. We were told Royal Caribbean would provide an amazing experience, instead we felt we were on a second rate ship offering a second rate cruise. We were warned by email that embarkation in Sydney was delayed as the ship was being "deep cleaned" owing to onboard norovirus. As we are aware that this is a common problem on cruise ships we were not unduly worried. Little did we know that the virus would persist for virtually the whole cruise. Crew were rostered to help out in the Windjammer, serving food and giving out plates and cutlery, as well as having to fulfil their other duties. Hardly surprising that they sometimes looked gloomy. And why allow people, complete with rucksacs, to use the food serving area as a thoroughfare? The library remained closed, apart from a very short period, and paper quizzes were all but restricted. There were constant reminders to wash hands and use the anti bacterial gel, not to mention endless wiping down of handrails, but tables in Lattitudes were left cluttered with used cups etc and I had to ask more than once for tables to be wiped both here and in Windjammer. We were frequently urged to hold on to the handrails owing to rough seas but this was not only unpleasant because they were constantly wet and sticky, they were also slippy. Regardless of the norovirus, the ship looked dingy and neglected. Rust was in evidence in many areas and furnishings looked tired and worn. Carpets in corridors and in Windjammer were only superficially cleaned and dust and debris was in evidence along the edges. Our cabins, initially a family sized ocean view and for the second half of our back to back cruise, a balcony, were adequately cleaned. Towels and linen were changed regularly but carpets and surfaces were neglected and the same flakes of paint remained in exactly the same place on our balcony floor even after we were warned it was to be washed. So many of the little touches which make cruising a fun experience were missing. What is Royal Caribbean hoping to achieve by removing towel "sculptures" from cabins, and chocolates at turn down? What happened to complimentary toiletries? No shower gel, body lotion, cotton buds, shower cap etc etc. Why the charge of $35 for lobster in the main restaurant, Cascades? And what happened to petit fours with coffee? In fact, the food was little more than satisfactory and after 32 nights, repetitive. As someone who doesn't eat sweet desserts, I found the fruit plate boring. What about seasonal fruit? And in the Windjammer, the fruit was cut into such large chunks I had to use a knife to cut it again. Kippered herrings, on the breakfast menu, were available only once during the whole cruise and forget Afternoon Tea, it's no longer an option. Tours are always expensive when bought onboard and there was a distinct lack of information for the independent traveller, not even a map, and port talks encompassed more than one destination in one talk - confusing. Sea days proved a challenge as either activities clashed or there were long periods of very little to do.There was no tv movie channel unless you were willing to pay and the onboard movies, shown in a tiny cinema or on the poolside screen, were either inappropriate for the demograph of passengers or dated. There were very few children onboard and Batkid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Tomorrowland did not appeal. Seabiscuit and Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl were typical of the films on offer. In fact, the entertainment in general was mediocre, except for one or two more notable acts - the Argentine Tango, Queen tribute act, a magician/comedian. And what a total rip off the wifi package is. Buying minutes is not an option. We needed to keep in touch with our daughter and aged mother and were forced to take the package at a cost of $20 per day - extortionate. Yes, we could have spent time on port days contacting home but we like to make the most of the limited time ashore. Our choice I know, but $20 per day?! No ship laundrette meant washing had to be done in a small basin or sent to the ship's laundry. We finally succumbed (32 nights remember) - big mistake. What goes in to the water onboard who knows, but two white cotton t shirts came back dirtier than they were when sent, one with stains, and both had an orange hue. To be fair, RC did refund the cost of the laundry but I am left with two unwearable t shirts. There was the odd glimmer - the crew, for the main part, remained cheerful and dedicated and were obviously doing their best in difficult circumstances to carry out the policies imposed on them by RC. Ferdinando, Maria, Glen and Susanna were outstanding in Cascades and our table was treated to complimentary wine on one occasion. Whilst the ship was deep cleaned (and fogged) yet again, in Perth, back to backers were offered a free trip and picnic lunch. A nice gesture but the cynic in me says RC wanted us all off the ship and out of the way. For us, sorry Royal Caribbean, we spent a considerable amount of money on a very disappointing, never to be repeated experience. We'll stick with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
On Day 1, the ships daily paper "Cruise Compass" promised "the most amazing cruise vacation of your life". Err....No. Actually it was almost the worst in 34 years of cruising. Notwithstanding the poor weather for ... Read More
On Day 1, the ships daily paper "Cruise Compass" promised "the most amazing cruise vacation of your life". Err....No. Actually it was almost the worst in 34 years of cruising. Notwithstanding the poor weather for two-thirds of the trip (over which RCI has no control), our experience of this cruise was largely disappointment; the same goes for the majority of other passengers that we spoke to. I have travelled with many different cruise companies over the past 34 years (Azamara, Princess, Cunard, Thompson, Costa, MSC, Star Cruises, NCL, Island, etc.) and with one exception this was the least good. RCI's primary intent seems to be to extract as much money as possible from customers from the minute they step on board, rather than striving to give them the best possible vacation experience. The sense of disappointment was accentuated because this was marking the occasion of my 60th birthday - we travelled a long way and paid a fair amount of money only to be let down. We had so many issues that I am not going to cover them all in this review. We spent far too much of our vacation at the Guest Services desk trying to sort out problems - there was a complete absence of concern or apology from the staff. Given that many passengers were seasick as a result of the ship wallowing in only moderate swell, because the stabilizers weren't deployed, it is obviously that RCI puts profits before the safety and comfort of passengers. Here is a small selection of problems we experienced: The ship has an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous voyage ("Gastro Intenstinal" infection as RCI euphemistically called it) which delayed our boarding and resulted in restrictions throughout the voyage - no self-service at the buffet, etc. The staff had to work extra hours and were clearly tired and dispirited, but that doesn't excuse the poor service and poor attitude we received from staff. There were quite a few people in "lock-down" in their cabins for 72 hours as a result of becoming ill; the outbreak was kept under control but not eliminated. Judging by the unsanitary practices of both passengers and staff that we witnessed, this was no great surprise. We had a 4 gang extension lead ("power bank" to use the American term) confiscated before boarding due to a recent change in policy, which was not communicated to us beforehand (we did get an email the day before as the check-in time was delayed, so it could have been communicated then). We were put on a table of 4 with non-English speaking passengers on the first evening despite asking for a table of 6 to 8 - three quarters of the guests were British, Australian, American or Canadian and there was a lot of table space on second sitting so this is really inexcusable. One of our mattresses was so worn out that it was at least 2 inches below the other and my partner had a sleepless night followed by days of sciatica as a result- it was a long saga to get it changed during which we had heated arguments with members of staff. Despite the ship undergoing a deep clean, there was paperwork from the previous cruise on the floor of the stateroom. My shoe was broken following a trip on an exposed carpet join plate, the shoe and accompanying paperwork to get is repaired was lost for 20 hours. We had random towel selections for the first week and didn't get the proper paperwork delivered to the cabin (mid-cruise survey, invite to Crown & Anchor party, etc.). We were given the wrong menus at dinner. My partner was given a birthday "cake" which was actually just one of the desserts on the menu that evening with a name written in chocolate on the side - the wrong name. It took nearly 2 hours to have breakfast in the Cascades restaurant, the service was so slow. Some food items ran out of stock on Day 5 of the cruise. It was impossible to get a steak cooked to order (even in a speciality restaurant) - it was either badly overcooked or undercooked. Worse still, I was served badly undercooked fish. We had hot food delivered on stone cold plates. Getting certain items - like smoked salmon to go with bagels - was like getting blood from a stone. We witnessed a head waiter haranguing staff in the dining room in front of passengers. It took 4 visits from members of staff, and forms to sign, to get the battery changed in the room safe - ludicrous. The music around the pool area was so loud that we had to shout at each other to have a conversation from adjacent sun loungers and it was completely impossible to listen to an audio book - there was nowhere else quieter to go as it was too windy to sit out on the upper decks. The entertainment was mainly out of a 1950's holiday camp - endless Bingo, "The World's Sexiest Man", belly flop competition....oh pleeease.. seriously? The ship's officers were completely invisible; the entertainment staff were only visible during the activities they were running - the exception being the ballroom teaching couple Andrew and Rhonda who were out and about every evening, to their credit. The Activities Manager had such a shrill, heavily accented voice that it was like listening to a shrieking Harpy. When she started yelling on the microphone, many passengers left the lounge. We made the mistake of sitting for a free studio photographic session despite the fact that the prices of the packages weren't given to us beforehand (and we did ask), only to discover that the cheapest package was $550 on special offer. Seriously? The handrails in the corridors were cleaned up to 4 times a day yet the arms of the sun loungers weren't cleaned for the entire voyage. Waiters in the bars and lounges were few and far between, and seemed more interested in chatting with each other in groups of 2 or 3 rather than serving customers - so why the steep 20% gratuity? We were told that RCI had pulled its best staff off the ship to go on the newer vessels, so there were a lot of new and inexperienced staff on board. Boy, ain't that the truth... If RCI are going to run the Radiance of the Seas as a training vessel, it should pitch prices accordingly, not charge top dollar for an old ship with inexperienced staff and second-rate entertainment. Many of the carpets were worn, the exterior handrails badly in need of varnishing...the whole ship is in urgent need of a refit (which we understand is scheduled for May next year). If this ship has a Quality Assurance Officer, he or she should be sacked. This was our third time on Royal Caribbean - and most likely our last unless the itinerary of a future RCI cruise is not offered by any other cruise line, it's an exceptional bargain, and it's on one of the newer ships. QUALITY OF FOOD The food quality was acceptable but lacked variety, was bland, and was often poorly cooked. There were no real "luxury" items on the menu unless one paid to go to a specialiity restaurant. The Menu descriptions were misleading - e.g. something described as a "tart" was actually a mousse containing NO pastry. Apparently the Head Chef has absolutely no say in the menu, ingredients, etc. as these are dictated by Head Office in Miami. So really he is just a glorified Kitchen Manager. The staff in the Windjammer didn't even know what the food was that they were serving. ENTERTAINMENT The best show was the Tango Buenos Aires performance. However, knowing something about Argentine Tango I have to say that this was far from the best show I have seen. The stand-up comedians were pretty dire. The singers and dancers all got on the ship at Sydney so they spent most of the cruise in rehearsals - there were only 2 real production shows in 16 nights. SHORE EXCURSIONS Cannot comment - the shore excursions were so outrageously over-priced, we made independent arrangements. We had to pay for the port to town transfers... ONBOARD ACTIVITIES Yes there was plenty of choice - but trivia quizzes and bingo are not really our thing... SUMMARY It was like the Beach Boys' song "Sloop John B" Let me go home Why don't they let me go home This is the worst trip I've ever been on Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My wife and I had planned what we thought was a holiday of a lifetime a cruise which took in destinations in both Australia and New Zealand and I have to say from the outset that these countries which promised so much did not disappoint, I ... Read More
My wife and I had planned what we thought was a holiday of a lifetime a cruise which took in destinations in both Australia and New Zealand and I have to say from the outset that these countries which promised so much did not disappoint, I would thouroghly recommend these countries to anyone everything about them is just fantastic. The only problem was Royal Caribbean International ship the Radiance of the Seas, I have cruised with five cruise lines and this was by far the worst experience I have ever encountered. The whole essence of this ship was to extract ever last penny that they could from a captive audience. On the plus side the cabin was spacious but not comfortable and the cabin and dining room staff were very good. The rest was so poor. The food was very average and as my wife said I cook better than some of the meals provided. Breakfast was a disaster one morning I ordered shreaded wheat and I was brought grits, I explained this was wrong and both the waiter and the supervisor insisted this was shreaded wheat, I called the maitre d' and he sent back what I was given and I finally got the shreaded wheat. Two days later I ordered shreaded wheat and it arrived, I sat for 15 minutes and the waiter came to take my plate away and I stopped him and explained I was still waiting for the milk for the breakfast. The menus were very limited and the general consensus of other passengers particularly those who had travelled previously with Royal Caribbean stated they had never experienced such a drop in standards. Water was $6 a bottle, the wines and spirits were extortionate as were the excursions. We met a couple on their first cruise who said they will not cruise again, I told them that this was not representative of cruises and it was by far the worst cruise we have ever undertaken and if it was our first cruise we would have been of the same opinion. The ship suffered in excess of 200 cases of norovirus and the ships surfaces were constantly wet from washing down. The entertainment was typical of cruises but it is sad to report that the talent show performed by guests had a couple of acts that were better than that offered by the ship. We wrote a review and my wife stated not to insult us by offering something off our next cruise as this wasn't going to happen, she even went as far as stating if they offered us a free cruise we would decline. I have written this review for two reasons, one to wake up the management of Royal Caribbean International as to the poor product they are selling to an unsuspecting public and secondly, to warn anyone contemplating cruising with this company what they may let themselves in for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Very hard boarding,we were herded like cattle,arrived at port 11.30 am,told to go away and come back at 2.pm, when on ship, most of staff knew nothing, tried to book a tour at desk ; just looked at us and said nothing, he had no idea what ... Read More
Very hard boarding,we were herded like cattle,arrived at port 11.30 am,told to go away and come back at 2.pm, when on ship, most of staff knew nothing, tried to book a tour at desk ; just looked at us and said nothing, he had no idea what tours were, I asked him did he know what he was doing, with no answer, they were adding on extra costs to our account, we were always checking our account, when we were going ashore by tender, we were told to go to deck 6 and get a ticket and wait in the colony,then told they had no more tickets,so go down to deck 3, when we got there, they said where are your tickets, some were told to go back to deck 6 and get a ticket. At end of cruise, settleing our bill was a night mare, we waited in line for one and a half hours to settle our account, they had only 2 people at the customer service desk, the line of people went half way down the ship, the Captain was very rude and arrogant, I saw water on the floor outside the grill & compass bar, and told the Captain as he was walking by and all I got was a grunt, really the Radiance of the seas needs a over haul, I have always praised the Royal Caribbean, having sailed on the,Brilliance, Legends and Allure but this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
This is the worse cruise my family and I have ever been on. We were told royal carribean was a top class ships to go on better then p&o. Well it was huge let down from the day we steped on the ship. The cabins are not designed for more ... Read More
This is the worse cruise my family and I have ever been on. We were told royal carribean was a top class ships to go on better then p&o. Well it was huge let down from the day we steped on the ship. The cabins are not designed for more then two people, however they let you book four in a room. You are expected to sleep on the floor. The sofa pull out bed is no bed it's wood frame no mattress on the floor. Sleep on the pull down bunk you have the air con blow on you all night to get sick. To solve that was suggested to duck tape the vent. Aircon works great during the day in the room of a night becomes so hot and stuffy no matter what setting you put it on. The ships toilets block and over flow. Rooms, lifts, dinning rooms, basically the ship floods and leaks areas always need to be shut down due to this. Entertainment during the day is basically none existent. Unless you want to pay high price for it. For example for three people to play bingo it's cost over $150 US dollars. Or you enjoy being up late if a night. Food is nice but does not change so same food the whole trip, gets boring after a while. Staff in dinning room and room attendants are wonderful remember your name and what you like from day one. Guest services only two people are able to help the others don't give a dam or can't understand you. There is ATMs on the ship, but only work when they want too and they turn off the machines at start of trip for first day and end of trip for several days at a time. So no way of getting money. They do not take travel cards that banks suggest you use when traveling. Only take credit cards which have your name on it. If you have medical machines that need power they charge you $25 for a extension lead. If you have children under age of three it's $6 per hour for kids club. They are not always open. Check your account regularly if you have drinks package as they still charge so if you don't check you be paying for things twice. The ship has rust all over it, would not dare lean on rail of bedroom balcony it's full of rust. Don't book shore excursion on ship over priced wait until off ship they offer tours as you get off so much cheaper. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that ... Read More
As background, we have cruised RC 5 times. We just became Platinum members. We've recommended RC to friends and acquaintances. But our recent cruise on the Radiance of the Seas to Alaska was so disappointing, we don't know that we will cruise RC again. The following was first communicated in writing to the RC customer relations folks. However, all we got was the boiler plate, thanks for the comments, we've forwarded them to the appropriate people. Disembarkation. When disembarking at Seward, it was raining. There was an uncovered ramp made of metal that was very slippery. The staff person at the top of that gangway made no effort to warn us or assist us. As she went down that gangway, my wife slipped and fell. Hard. Two RC people saw us and no one came to see how my wife was or offer any assistance. In fact, a woman staffer at the bottom instead went to discuss the ramp with the man at the top. No effort to engage us. Pretty amazing. And when I pointed this out in my subsequent email to customer relations, there was no initial expression of concern or inquiry as to how my wife was doing. Embarkation. Our prior experience with boarding is to be greeted warmly by staff as we come on board. Welcome aboard. We are glad you are here. This time, we had to run a literal gauntlet of staff hocking various things - drink packages, dinner packages, etc. At least 4 different groups of RC staff trying to sell us something, all at extra cost. Welcome aboard indeed. IT Failures. I tried to print a fishing license from the business center. First time the printer was out of order meaning that the online charge was for nothing. Second time it printed on the 5th floor. I was on the 7th floor. But I didn't know that until I went down to the Customer Relations desk and insisted that someone come with me so they could see my problem. We went to the 5th floor business center and presto, fishing license. Another incident: when we set our alarm to get up in Ketchikan for an excursion, the alarm through the phone had not been set to Alaska time. So we got a call 1 hour early. This was a ship wide experience as all of our dinner party related the same experience. Aggressive photo team. The young woman who tried to corral you for pictures throughout the cruise was pushy and if you did not want one, she was rude and impolite, speaking in a mocking tone. Way too much marketing. We were constantly bombarded with staff trying to sell us one thing or another. Hot tubs. Yes, hot tubs. There are three on the ship. All small. And way not enough. Always packed unless you wanted to be the first one in at 7 AM. Luggage pick up. Also, when we went to pick up our luggage at the Anchorage hotel where it was delivered from Seward, we discovered it outdoors! Covered but outdoors. Dozens and dozens of suitcases. Anyone could have come by and picked it up. Completely unacceptable. As I said at the beginning, we've traveled on RC a number of times before and have been very happy. However, this was not the RC from before. The Alaska cruise is especially expensive and we spent north of $10K on this trip. At that price, it seems reasonable to expect a high quality trip. And we would not say we got that from RC. To the extent that we enjoyed the trip, it was largely in spite of RC, not because of RC. Also concerning is what appears to be a conscious business decision to flood passengers with add on options; that is with many, many sales pitches for additional cost items. We had seen this in the past but this time, it was, frankly, overwhelming and very offputting. If this is where RC is headed, well, we will move up a notch to a cruise line line Celebrity. If we are going to spend a lot of money, at least it will be an all inclusive package.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
Our 17 night cruise on Radiance Of The Seas was ruined by 5 days of flooding in our stateroom (caused by plumbing problems). During this time we had limited access to room facilities whilst a number of inadequate attempts were made to try ... Read More
Our 17 night cruise on Radiance Of The Seas was ruined by 5 days of flooding in our stateroom (caused by plumbing problems). During this time we had limited access to room facilities whilst a number of inadequate attempts were made to try and solve the problem. This ruined our once in a lifetime Cruise which had been arranged to celebrate my wife’s retirement. During the five days the smells and airborne dust/bacteria resulting from attempts to dry the carpets with an air blower caused itching/sore eyes and throat. This was made worse when some form of disinfectant was used to disguise the smell. I asked that the Medical officer be informed as I was worried about the effect on our health but there appears to have been no action taken. I paid numerous visits to the Guest Relations desk to complain and was told that there was nothing more that could be done owing to all staterooms being occupied. On the evening of the 23rd February I arranged a meeting with the Guest Relations Manager and advised him that the situation was so bad I was considering leaving the ship at the next port of call (Melbourne). He told me that he was not aware that the problem had occurred for so long as it had only been reported/logged on the computer system on the 21st February 2014. I explained the actual diary of events which is as follows : 19th Feb – We reported wet carpets and damage to one of our bags (left on the floor) to our stateroom attendant. The maintenance department was called and an air blower was used to help dry the carpets. This caused a foul atmosphere and we noticed our eyes/throats were irritated. The settee was moved to give better access to the carpet but this effectively blocked off the room and we had to spend nearly all of our time out of the stateroom. This was probably a benefit as it would have been impossible to use the room because of the high volume of noise from the air blower. 20th Feb – The problem occurred again but with more flooding than before. As with the day before, the air blower was used without any attempts being made to try and find out where the water was leaking from. Again we had restricted access to our stateroom. I complained to staff at Guest Relations staff but they said there was nothing more they could do. 21st Feb – Same problem again. I visited Guest Relations twice and told them I wished to make a formal complaint. I told them I was worried about the airborne bacteria/smells resulting from use of the air blower and was told there was still nothing they could do other than to arrange for the carpet to be changed? I asked for the Medical Officer to be informed as I considered the attempts to solve the problem were causing a health hazard. As expected, the carpets were not changed, which is just as well because the water leakage problem had not been solved. We had restricted access to the stateroom. 22nd Feb - Same problem again. I visited Guest Relations and complained again as the situation was worse. In addition to the carpets being soaked the toilet/shower area was flooded and we need to wear shoes to enter. It was like a paddling pool. The air blower was operating and there was some form of disinfectant being used which irritated our eyes/throat even more. We had limited access to the stateroom because of the air blower and settee which blocked off the room. 23rd Feb - Same problem again. Complained to Guest relations in the morning and asked for a meeting with the Guest Relations Manager. This was arranged for 8.00 p.m. During the meeting I was told that someone was leaving the ship on 24th Feb and that we would be moved to this room in the afternoon/evening. A 30% discount off our next Cruise was offered as recompense for the “inconvenience” we had suffered. I consider this to be totally inadequate. 24th Feb – Our luggage/belongings were moved to the vacant cabin and we moved in at 8.00 p.m . As a matter of interest, we were appalled at the condition of the balcony. It was dirty, stained and had loose paint peeling from over the balcony. Still awaiting a response/apology from Royal Caribbean   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Like many others this cruise was booked to celebrate a special birthday. Sadly it turned out to be the worst 17 day and like others couldn't wait to get off. If we weren't travelling with friends we would have certainly left the ... Read More
Like many others this cruise was booked to celebrate a special birthday. Sadly it turned out to be the worst 17 day and like others couldn't wait to get off. If we weren't travelling with friends we would have certainly left the ship in New Zealand and tried to salvage our holiday. Our gripes began with blocked toilets and like fellow reviewers after 5 days of dealing with the problem, including having to attend guest relations at 2am in the morning, we were left with no solution to the problem that just kept recurring and no joy or care from the staff we dealt with. We were left with a cabin that continued to smell the whole trip of sewage which meant when ever we were in the cabin we needed to leave the balcony doors open, this included during the night, and as others have mentioned the weather wasn't the most perfect. At no stage did anyone come to check to see if the problem was resolved, nor did they care when we kept telling them it wasn't. In the end, due to it being a full ship (thats what they kept telling us) we just had to live with it. We also have done numerous cruises and like others we totally agree the entertainment was pathetic, and seriously for a 17 day cruise just replaying the same 4 - 6 movies over and over and over again, in this day and age wasn't acceptable. . We found the food was terrible, in many cases cold and tastless. The windjammer was fine if you liked Indian or american take aways, but they just kept repeating the same food over and over. We did notice the the fresh produce brought on board the ship in Melb did improve the taste The only saving grace was the Italian on board, but again you needed to pay extra. All in all we found the wait staff to be very rude and the dining room caotic with trolleys and staff in the walk ways and not caring if you were trying to arrive or leave, they just walked through you. Having said that there were exceptions, and these staff members were fab, and we told them so. I did get a chance to use the spa, and unfortunately the staff there were less than good. Many were leaving the ship the next day and it showed, not to mention the mix up in appointments meant they weren't happy and they took it out on us even though we had nothing to do with it. We were also looking forward to taking some land tours, but the prices were so high, we have travelled NZ before and some of the excursions were 4 times the price we had paided only a year before. Again these tours were available by outside tour operators waiting on shore for much cheaper. After adding up the prices we could have flown back to NZ and spent 2 weeks for the same cost, so decided to do our own thing, but yes compared to other crusies the disbarking did seem disorganized. All I can say is I would never recommend this cruise line, neither would I ever book with them again, and yes dispite numerous contact with the company we haven't heard a word from them. Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
We have taken several cruises on liners such as P&O's early ships (fairstar , fair pricess, pacific sky); Dawn Princess, Sun Princess, Sapphire Princess and Cunards Queen Victoria '09. We thought we would step outside our ... Read More
We have taken several cruises on liners such as P&O's early ships (fairstar , fair pricess, pacific sky); Dawn Princess, Sun Princess, Sapphire Princess and Cunards Queen Victoria '09. We thought we would step outside our comfort zone and try R.C.I Radiance of the seas. A lot of people have given her so many great reviews so we thought we would try it out and see what we were missing. I wished I had taken the negative views more seriously! It apears that the general public accept standard offerings as quality. On first appearance from land she looks like a fantastic ship and she is. Upon embarkation the initial feel and layout of the ship is pretty good. Open wide outside spaces and a great glass atrium inside the main area. The glass lifts were great and something quite different to other liners. She handled the rough seas very well. We travelled with our 11 month old (more on that later) and my parents. We both had superior balcony cabins. My parents booked a twin share and ours was a triple share. Upon entering our cabins for the first time we were shocked to see that our cabin had no space at all. We had to swap with my parents as their cabin had double the amount of floor space even after they booked a double and us a triple. The main reason we took this cruise was because the Radiance advertised heavily that they accepted babys from 6 months and up. We needed a relaxing holiday and this seemed to be a perfect match for us. Only knowing what I know now I would never have gone on this cruise. For a cruise company to target market this age group (6 months +) they need to actually back it up with resources, and by resources I mean; 1. no baby baths-we had to give our 11 month old a shower every day and with the size showers on this ship it was virtually impossible. We asked for a baby bath they told us they didnt have these onboard by our cabin steward and guest relations desk. UNBELIEVEABLE. 2. This ship did not have 1 change table, not even in the baby nursery!!! wtf! Not even the female toilets had fold down baby change tables. How can you allow babys on board and not have these basics? We had to change her in discreet areas of the ship on the floor or on a seat. You could imagine some looks we received when doing this in public as there were over 2,500 people around. 3. There was nothing of any sort of baby food on this ship. We brought on a hand food processor and lucky we did beacuse they had no facilities whatsoever. The staff were helpful in heating milk etc but this was all very limited. We struggled every day to get a good result with both food quality and options. 4. Our baby was not allowed in the baby pool as she had a swimmer nappy on?! There would be more germs in the adult pool with the 70+ year olds on board. On the first night we headed to the dining room with baby in tow. We booked a table for 4 and ended up on a table for 10! no surprises really. I had a chat with the Maitre de and he moved us to a table for 4. He lingered for a tip but i had nothing on me at the time. Bad luck champ! I thought I'd give them a few days before i started handing out cash, luckily I did because it was a comedy of errors. 2 months before boarding I paid for a chocolate cake for my wifes bday. It never arrived even after checking the table movements. They did however get me a cake because I did pay the $15 for one. This time Hans the assistant maitre de? (more on him later!) delivered the cake to our table sung happy bday and then stared me up and down for a tip, after i had paid for a cake i nearly didnt receive. the only drinks waiter had to cover the whole restaurant and it took him 20mins from ordering to get us our drinks. Service was out of control. My wife and I alternated dinner sittings as to be with our baby in the room. We ordered food from the menu for each other but they would not take the food to the room for us. We both had to carry a tray of food through the packed restaurant each night as they told us it was not their responsibility. How bad is that for service. Princess cruises would not allow that to happen on their ships. Radiance only has a 3 course meal whereas princess offer a 5 course every night. Salad,soup,entree,main,dessert. The benchmark in this industry. After about a week of cold breads rolls with warm soup for entree, overcooked meats, dry fish and frozen thawed desserts we decided to give the dining room a miss. I was bitterly disappointed with the low quality of food. I asked Hans the assistant M'D about the quality of the food, especially the vegetables as they were so dried out and he told me the style they cook to now is "New Vogue" ?? what does that mean? I nearly fell off my chair with laughter. Most of the vegetables were inedible. jacket potatoes were hard as rocks The buffet was our new place to eat. After two days of resembled foods i began to circle the buffet stations like a mouse in a cage. It also began to feel like I was in groundhog day. The offerings were dismal. Burgers, fries, curries, roast meat and salads. Nothing out of the ordinary and breakfast was even worse. The best food on the breakfast buffet was oatmeal, YES oatmeal! One night I headed to the buffet to grab some dinner to take back to our room as our baby was unsettled and it became late. I arrived at Windjammers buffet at 8;45pm and they were closing the doors! I had to push through and grab whatever was left. I soon realised their buffet is only open from 6pm to 9pm each night. what a joke, most cruise liners, well the good ones are open 24hours. RCI you are a long way off the mark. You should give your guests the benefit and close the doors at 9;15pm maybe? Our cabin steward was on another planet. We were lucky if our room was cleaned by 5 to 6pm each night if at all. Twice she forgot to give us towels, not good if you just get out of the shower and the old ones are gone also. Captain Claus, over the top with information! Even the staff would joke about him and the duration he took to get across his point. One thing did annoy me was we had to divert our original itinerary as bad weather was forcasted. He did that quite well and cudos to you C.C but he came across the intercom and said "ladies and gentlemen, my magnificent bridge team and I have succesfully avoided the storm, I hope you appreciate that" Well Captain, Im sorry to disappoint! but thats what you're paid to do correct!? When im in a plane I dont hear the pilot say i hope you appreciate me putting the wheels down!? Reality check Claus. We visited a few shows also and I was amazed that they actually stopped the shows for RCI commercial breaks flogging their own brand! NEWSFLASH RCI - WE'RE ALREADY ON THE SHIP!! shows were ok, nothing to rave about. the Hypnotist was good though. Would go and see him again. TIPPING - As this cruise sailed from Aus and back but was only here for a 6 month time she was under U.S currency regulations. We were to tip about $15 pp per day. Let me give you a tip, if you have booked a first or second dinner setting you dont have to tip up front but at the end of the cruise. They give you an envelope to put the cash in and to hand into on the last night. There is no way they can check this. I didnt give 1 dollar as the service i received was pathetic. I felt as though they owed me money. In summary, I will never cruise with rci again as the quality is just not there compared to other cruise companies. Radiance is what everyone who has never been on a cruise fears in regards to bad food and being stuck on board. This has not diminished my love for cruising, it has just opened my eyes to not settling for lower standards as there is so much competition out there today. If you are looking to go on a cruise I would avoid this company and look heavily into others. RCI, bigger is not always better. You have a lot to learn. If i have saved one person from these guys then my job has been done. See you on a princess ship very soon. Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We expected to have a good relaxing time and be fed good to excellent food - no so unfortunately. It is a real pity the Royal Caribbean seem to have little regard for anything other than extracting maximum dollars and have little regard ... Read More
We expected to have a good relaxing time and be fed good to excellent food - no so unfortunately. It is a real pity the Royal Caribbean seem to have little regard for anything other than extracting maximum dollars and have little regard for the tastes and preferences of culturally different tastes - particularly regarding the food - Australia and New Zealand tastes are quite different it seems to what is considered acceptable in the US - or maybe they just don't care. One fellow passenger told us she felt really embarrassed that she had persuaded her entire extended family to take the cruise based on her previous excellent experiences in sailing from a USA port. Everything on this cruise from food to staff interactions / attitudes and activities showed absolute lack of interest in creating a satisfying experience. Activities - some but very few activities required no additional cost. Food - described as below poor RSL standard - some dishes, most memorably the Beef Stroganoff, were unimpressive to the point of being inedible - dog food looked more attractive. We were tricked into paying $9 each for what we thought was a welcome drink on the first day - as soon as it was in our hands, the staff member revealed the small sign with the price and demanded our room card to charge the "purchase" There were very few places on board to just sit and read or talk which were no bars, and therefore we were constantly being asked to buy drinks - yes they left us alone if we said no, but the body language was very disappointed.This is a copy of part of the survey response provided to Royal Caribbean - there were many other issues but I would need a book to include it all!! Food - generally low average to inedible - some dishes served in the dining room appeared to have no relationship to descriptions - some I wouldn't feed to a dog - beef stroganoff is one example Smoking - we paid for a balcony - couldn't use it much of the time as the people next door were smokers -- every time thy lit up, our cabin was filled with smoke an rapidly began smelling like an ashtray Guest Services desk staff - generally unhelpful to downright aggressive if faced with a question they didn't like e.g. when we queried the smoking policy we were angrily -- yes angrily -- told smoking was allowed on balconies -- basically tough if we didn't like it Promises to return answers -- on 2 occasions restaurant (Main/My-time & Giovanni's) Managers promised to get back to us the day we made the query -- neither did -- and this in on your records as found out by your guest services staff when my husband complained for the 3rd time that the vanity in our cabin had still not been repaired -- "oophs" was the response -- not satisfactory Maintenance -- on first entering our cabin we found the corner of the vanity's previous repair had failed -- there was an obvious and open crack of about 3 -- 4 centimetres in one corner, with one edge raised. We pointed this and the piece of piping on the sofa that was detached to the rom steward -- he was distressed about the piping but tried to tell us the vanity was not broken. When we insisted it was broken and needed to be fixed, he got on the phone and reported it to maintenance. A few days later the piping was fixed but the vanity was not. I met the maintenance man in the corridor and queried him about this -- he said there was no report of a broken vanity -- so I showed it to him and he agreed that it was broken and also got on the phone to report it. Still some days after and still not fixed, my husband spoke to guest services -- no reports of a broken vanity -- what happens to these reports -- anything too hard seems to disappear into telephone space. After considerable insistence a maintenance person was dispatched and, on examining the vanity, felt it couldn't be fixed until port. More discussion with my husband and suddenly the maintenance crew found they could fix the problem after all -- it took about ½ hour and a small amount of filler Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
This ship had not done its research before the cruise. The weather in northern Australia at this time is unpredictable and the ship had not prepared for the worst scenario. As a result tendering in several ports were difficult. Adequate ... Read More
This ship had not done its research before the cruise. The weather in northern Australia at this time is unpredictable and the ship had not prepared for the worst scenario. As a result tendering in several ports were difficult. Adequate local larger tenders were not firmly booked. As a result two ports were only visited by a small number of guests and those from the US and Canada were deeply disappointed. The boarding process in Sydney was a disaster, due to extra sensitization because of previous outbreak of gastro. The process was completely chaotic and disorganized. Many frail elderly were made to stand for hours. In spite of previous outbreak of gastro and extra sanitizing guests were subjected to eating buns and wraps with their fingers, without sanitizing of their hands. Whether there was anyone suffering as a result of these conditions was of course not known, by guests, but the ship was full of unhappy guest as a result. The menu was full of surprises, not in a nice way. For example, Bouillabaisse, borscht, Minestrone and clam chowder were nothing like what is commonly known. The nightly shows however were mostly excellent. To their credit the serving waiters and room attendants were all very good. This cannot be said about the higher echelon who were not very approachable. There was paranoia that all approaches were potential complaints. Perhaps this can be explained and justified as there were many complains. Australians generally abhor complaints and are easily pleased, especially regarding food. The Rhapsody of the Seas had been a success and is popular in Australia. It is a pity the Radiance is such a let down and put many off Royal Caribbean. Unfortunately for Australia it also caused many from the US and Canada not wanting to return. I hope those in the Miami Head Office would go back to the drawing board. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
This 18 day cruise gave us an opportunity to get to know the RCI crew over multiple interactions. It wasn't one single issue, but rather the culture and attitude towards customer service -- reinforced several times -- that leads me to ... Read More
This 18 day cruise gave us an opportunity to get to know the RCI crew over multiple interactions. It wasn't one single issue, but rather the culture and attitude towards customer service -- reinforced several times -- that leads me to avoid RCI for any future cruise unless there is evidence of a turnaround in customer service practices. I'll summarize RCI's customer service as being theater -- that is, they put on a good show that they care, but it's just a facade. Guest Relations Officers (the "front desk" staff) repeatedly promised they would address problems -- from issues with bus service in port at Auckland, to a broken shower, to scheduling a babysitter, to food safety at Windjammer and Boardwalk Dog House, to children's programs during the Norovirus outbreak. In *every* instance, these promises were broken. Sometimes multiple times. Only through repeated requests and nagging followup did I get any resolution on problems. As one example, I asked Guest Relations to look into the fact that hot food (hot dogs, pizza, sausage, oatmeal) was being served cold at Boardwalk and in Windjammer. At Boardwalk, the attendant literally had to touch each lukewarm hot dog on the line to find the warmest one to serve. I was promised action by Guest Relations and a call back later the same day. Two days later, having heard nothing I asked again. Ultimately I asked the line cooks in BW/WJ to perform spot-readings of the food. One cook came up with a reading of 83 degrees -- far below the recommended holding temperature for warm food. In followup, I met with the Executive Chef, Executive Sous Chef, and director of Windjammer to discuss. They agreed that the food at the Boardwalk Dog House was being held at too low of a temperature. It doesn't help that wind swirls around that area from the doors and windows being open. They also believed that the line cook didn't know how to properly read the food temperature. But ultimately, the only way I got resolution on this issue was to push repeatedly, escalate, and seek out the Windjammer executive staff myself. The onboard crew is either not empowered, not motivated, or not capable of finding ways to deliver a good cruise experience when problems are encountered. Two such problems -- the Norovirus outbreak and problems with bus service in Auckland -- affected a majority of the cruise passengers. During the 9 day outbreak, all children's services were suspended. The crew did almost nothing to help parents during this time. Babysitting services were extremely hard to arrange, and Guest Relations complained ad nauseum about how difficult it is to find babysitters. In Auckland, the ship needed to dock at the fuel terminal (highly unusual) because the fuel barge planned to refuel the Radiance was commandeered to assist with the ship that ran aground elsewhere in New Zealand. Buses were arranged to ferry passengers from the ship to the original dock (Princes Wharf). However, at the last minute the buses were changed to drop passengers only a few hundred yards from the port -- just outside the fuel terminal. With the weather being what it was (intermittent rain throughout the day), passengers were extremely unhappy at this change. When immediate action could have resolved this problem, Guest Relations staff suggested they would "send an email to schedule a meeting". The problem was delegated to a shore agent who had no reason or motivation to help. Ultimately, the bus company operator decided to send some buses downtown and others to the original dropoff point -- even more disruptive, as parties traveling on separate buses arrived at different locations without warning. Any one of these problems in isolation would have been unfortunate but -- in the spirit of vacation -- not that big of a deal. It was the pattern of behavior, particularly by Guest Relations staff, that makes me want to avoid RCI cruises in the future. I want to cruise with a company that cares about my cruise experience and has the right people, processes, and culture in place to deliver that even in the face of problems. Aside from the issues above, a few other comments on the ship: - The food at Windjammer was extremely monotonous for breakfast and lunch. After a few days the lack of variety really started to wear. - The main dining room servers (which we visited for breakfast, lunch, and dinner) were almost universally curt. Many spoke poor English and frequently had no interaction other than asking for your order. The food here was better than Windjammer, but it was really an unpleasant experience. - The fitness center had a good selection of equipment and classes, and was appropriately sized for the ship -- it was often busy but never felt crowded. - We loved Samba grill -- best food on the ship in our view. - Giovanni's Table also had good food, though we were unimpressed by Rita's. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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