309 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas because they offer lots of amenities and activities for families with children, as well as adults of all ages. We also liked the ports of call in Alaska. The ship was very clean and well ... Read More
We chose Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas because they offer lots of amenities and activities for families with children, as well as adults of all ages. We also liked the ports of call in Alaska. The ship was very clean and well maintained, but is definitely showing its age in some areas. We felt that the entertainment was definitely focused on older clientele (do wop music, older comedians, quizzes, etc) and was a little cheesy. The food was very good in both the main dining room and quick dining locations and the variety was good. I did feel that a lot of the desserts were frozen and the ice cream was icy and not very good. Our kids were really looking forward to all-you-can-eat ice cream, but the lines were long, it ran out on several occasions, and wasn't very good quality (as opposed to our last cruise on Carnival Magic). We were also very disappointed that kids under 16 (ours are 12 and 15) weren't allowed in the pool or hot tub in the solarium. Given that Alaska cruises are cooler, there was only one day when it was warm enough to enjoy the outdoor hot tubs. I understand wanting some areas for adults only, but they could offer family hours. The kids' pool area was totally wasted on this cruise because of the cooler temperatures. I would also love to see cruise lines include a photo CD with your photos tagged. All they have to do is scan your cruise ID to identify your personal photos! We got very tired of all the up-selling on the ship (photos, drinks, wifi, specialty restaurants, future cruises, etc). We would rather pay a little more and get more value included in the price! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This Alaska cruise was part of a package with a travel agent who set up a geocaching tour of Alaska, so I did not have a choice of the time or ship. My family had a great time on the ship. I did a lot of reading before the cruise about ... Read More
This Alaska cruise was part of a package with a travel agent who set up a geocaching tour of Alaska, so I did not have a choice of the time or ship. My family had a great time on the ship. I did a lot of reading before the cruise about the ship, its' offerings, and the ports. Again, it comes down to what you are looking for and how picky you want to be. We had a ocean view cabin that was clean and tidy, yes the bathroom had a occasional sewage stink, but we brought a room freshener that took care of it quickly. There was three of us with seven pieces of luggage. We were able the unpack all of our items and stow the luggage under the bed without problem. Percy, our room stewart, kept everything in line and remembered all I asked out of him in the beginning of the cruise. He was great. Rest of the ship was clean and very presentable, There was an occasional worn chair or sofa, but nothing that would effect me being in that area. The only reason I did not give 5 star was for the following. On the online pre-cruise I purchased 5 night specialty dinning package for $100 per person. This gave us 5 nights at the specialty dinning restaurants which on line showed us Samba, Izumi, chops grille, Giovanni's, and chefs table as choices. When I got on board, I was told that Chefs table was not a choice and it would cost extra to eat there. After talking with several people up the chain of command, I finally talked with the head of Dinning and he also gave me the same run around. After I showed him the site which had Chef's table listed, he told me "how am I to make any money at that price?" Well I figured this was futile and no one was going to budge on this and I was not going to let this ruin my day. Later that night we were dinning, and he came to our table and offered a $50 onboard credit for my inconvenience. That was the end of that, next time I will get it in writing what is available. The dinning restaurants were great and worth the extra for them. We only ate dinner in the main dinning room once, and that was OK. We ate our breakfast in Windjammer and that was good. It gave us everything we needed to get ready for the day. Lunch was on shore most of the days. We ate in the main dinning room for two lunches and we did like that also. I also used room service nightly for hot chocolate chip cookies and milk....UMMMM. We took advantage of a drink package and this was great with no surpise end of cruise bill. We did get our moneys worth daily. We also signed up for the internet package. This was slow to spotty at times. Skagway we did not have any wifi. Really not worth the price. Very slow to upload pictures, this became very frustrating. My wife frequented the casino nightly and did come home with more money than she spent!!!! We did not go to the shows, just other things going on we wanted to do. Our son, 11yo, enjoyed their kids area. He spent most of his free time there with others his age. He also spent a lot of time in the arcade, spending our on ship credit. Our trip was planned by a travel agent, so our on shore excursions were private tours for our group only. This was very nice, small group and not hurried with our own time in town. Embarkation was quick and smooth, our luggage showed up within a hour. Disemarkation was little more hectic, We were corralled into a louge area and waited, then we were off loaded to find our luggage, then moved into different lines to wait for our bus. I don't know how to do it better but this was not how I would like to leave the ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
The Radiance is a comfortable ship, it is smaller than I am use to. The entertainment was good; there were 2 acts that were excellent, David Meyer and the Alley Cats, if you have the chance to see them on your cruise you should. We ... Read More
The Radiance is a comfortable ship, it is smaller than I am use to. The entertainment was good; there were 2 acts that were excellent, David Meyer and the Alley Cats, if you have the chance to see them on your cruise you should. We took more excursions on this cruise than usual, (8 in total) and they were all worth the money. The food was good with a varied selection, slightly different than the fare to the Caribbean. I had an issue with a spa treatment, I was very satisfied with the way the manager handled the issue. She took care of it quickly and with no hassles. There were many activities going on during the day to keep you occupied, I particularly liked the Royal Mountie presentation. I would recommend Royal Caribbean ships any time. This was a 5 day land and 7 day sea trip, the land portion of the trip was disappointing. I don't think I will take their land tours again Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship. First ... Read More
My husband and I traveled with his parents to Alaska on the Radiance of the Seas departing from Seward, Alaska. Being an experienced cruiser, I will try to give an honest opinion as there are many negative reviews of this ship. First of all, this is an older boat so yes, it has its short comings. We did not mind because the scenery of Alaska was way better then looking at the ship! The ship is overall clean but you can tell it has been around awhile. Our cabin was clean despite the dents/scratches in some of the furniture. Again, nothing that was going to keep us from having a great trip. We had a balcony that we used constantly. I would never take an Alaskan cruise without one! Our room steward was very attentive. We asked for extra ice the second night and got extra ice for the rest of the cruise. Oh, and we never had any sewer issues or poop smells while we were on board. The overall service on the ship was great. We did get pretty annoyed with the My Time Dining because we felt the reservation times were pretty limiting considering it is supposed to be "my time." The food in the Windjammer was fine even though they would run low on food during peak times. The main dining room was good even though we were often more interested in the appetizers then the main courses. The entertainment was pretty standard for RCI (love and marriage, quest, etc). I would say that the other shows were not so great. The first night comedian was funny but the production shows were just sort of weird. I know a lot of people on board liked them though. Was this a 4 star cruise? No. But was Alaska a 5 star experience regardless of the imperfections? YES! General advice for your Alaskan cruise: bring your walking shoes, your rain coat, and be ready for an amazing experience! We took the Alaska Railroad from Anchorage to Seward which was great. We would highly recommend this over using the charter bus companies as the road does not get as good of scenery. Getting on the train was quick and easy. There was a truck there where you could check your luggage with Royal Caribbean and all of our luggage showed up at our stateroom that evening. Very convenient! The train cars were very comfortable and there was an observation deck on one of the cars you could use to get an even better view. We did not upgrade to the window topped rail cars and looking back we think we made the right decision. With the observation deck available and large windows in the regular cars, I do not think the extra cost would have been worth it. There was a dining car that we did not use but we did use the grab and go cafe for coffee :) Seward - We went to the Sea Life Center before getting on the ship. Would definitely recommend this especially if you have kids. There is a free Seward bus that will take you around the town. Embarkation was really fast. No lines and walked right onto the ship. Hubbard Glacier - AMAZING! In the morning the captain had said they were not sure how close they would be able to get because of the weather but we ended getting the closest they had been so far. It was definitely a highlight of the cruise! Juneau - We did not do a shore excursion but purchased a bus ride from a vendor right of the shipto get to and from the Mendenhall Glacier. $30 round trip per person. The national park service has a visitors center with a video and presentation. We took a hike up to the falls that got closer to the glacier. Nice morning/afternoon experience. My husband and I ventured over to the Red Dog Saloon for lunch and drinks. Alaskan Brewing Company is there major draft. Food was fine but nothing to write home about. Visiting here is definitely more about the experience/entertainment. Would recommend at least stopping by for drinks. Spent the rest of the day shopping/exploring the town. This was the only day it rained so that seemed to empty the streets a good bit even though it didn't bother us. You are travelling to Alaska so bring a good rain coat :) Skagway - Purchased an excursion to ride the White Pass Railway as this is the only way to get on the train. Thought we were riding the train up and then taking a bus back down but that was actually backward. This did not change the experience though. Both our bus ride and the train had a tour guide that commentated about the history of the trail. Very enjoyable with amazing scenery. The excursion left us plenty of time to walk around the town. We went to the Skagway Brewing Company but had to wait about 30 minutes for a table for two. They do have a nice back patio where you can get your drink at the bar then enjoy it outside. We had great weather so we did not mind this. Good burger, yummy chili and AMAZING fries! Icy Strait Point - Went whale watching through a private company (Icy Strait Whale Adventures). Had a great experience and from what we heard, much better then people who booked through RCI. Very small boat designed for whale watching with windows that open all around. Afterward we walked around Hoonah but there isn't much there. Walked back to the main Icy Strait area. There are some nice shops/restaurants and a canning museum but not a ton to see/do. Ketchikan - Nice tourist town with lots of shops. There is a nice walking tour map you can get at the visitors center. We took the Deer Mountain Trail that is about a half a mile out of town. We are in decent shape (exercise a few times a week) and this still kicked our butts! We only made it to the 1 mile overlook but it was a beautiful view. Debarkation was quick and painless in Vancouver but there was a really long line for taxis. We stayed one night in Vancouver because we could get a cheaper flight the next morning. After we checked in at our hotel we took the sky train to downtown and walked around. There are some nice areas of town but carefully walking down a few streets as we felt the need to hold on tightly to our wallets/purses. I would actually suggest taking a bus tour of the city. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
After deferring this cruise for many years due to concerns of cold-weather cruising, we finally decided to take an Alaska cruise. We decided on the Radiance of the Seas because of its itinerary and timing. We had a wonderful cruise ... Read More
After deferring this cruise for many years due to concerns of cold-weather cruising, we finally decided to take an Alaska cruise. We decided on the Radiance of the Seas because of its itinerary and timing. We had a wonderful cruise experience. The ports of call were beautiful and would delight any nature lover. While we still prefer cruise destinations that are richer in history, we hope to return to Alaska in the future. From Atlanta, GA, we flew Delta non-stop into Anchorage on a Tuesday evening. We stayed overnight in Embassy Suites downtown and departed on the Alaska Railroad train the next morning in one of their dome cars. The three-plus hours ride to Seward was very pleasant and provided great views of the scenery. That Wednesday afternoon, we did a park ranger guided tour of Exit Glacier that was very nice. Our hotel (Harbor 360) was on the small boat harbor so conveniently located. On Thursday we did a full-day boat tour of Kenai Fjords with Marine Tours that was nice, but perhaps a little longer than required. We boarded the Radiance around noon on Friday to start our cruise adventure, The ship!s exterior appeared to have been recently painted and looked good. The interior of the ship was OK, but seemed a bit dated. I guess we have been spoiled by the newer ships in the fleet so was hoping for new carpets and other updates. Nevertheless, our cruise was very nice. The food quality in the main dinning room was better than we expected and service was great. Everything else concerning the ship was as we expected....all fine and consistent with other ships in this class. What we will remember most about this cruise are: 1. Traveling (for the first time) with a couple we have know from high school days, 2. Our helicopter tour of Mendenhall Glacier (RCI), 3. The White Pass & Yukon Route railroad tour (RCI), 4. Our Alaska Railroad Anchorage to Seward ride, and 5. Viewing the various glaciers via independent tours and the cruise. Cheers and happy cruising everyone! Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
This cruise was chosen for us but we would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We would especially like to acknowledge our dining hall wait staff, Ken and Frankie. They not only offered outstanding service, but we felt they ... Read More
This cruise was chosen for us but we would definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again. We would especially like to acknowledge our dining hall wait staff, Ken and Frankie. They not only offered outstanding service, but we felt they went over and beyond to enhance the service they provided. Because of the 2 of them, we will very likely book with Royal Caribbean again! Our cabin boy, Muhammad, was also very accommodating and quickly responded to every request. We were also VERY impressed with the greetings offered by everyone we met whether they were maintenance, desk staff, wait staff, or shop staff. I would recommend moving the computer stations to a more secluded area. We had trouble printing our airline boarding passes because of the loud music in close proximity. They also turned the lights out in computer area as we were trying to print our passes making seeing the computer keys very difficult. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
We are pretty loyal RC cruisers. We'd sailed to Alaska 11 years ago on the Norwegian Dawn from Seattle with 15 family members. At that time decided we'd return as a couple in the future to see more of Alaska. The cruise ports and ... Read More
We are pretty loyal RC cruisers. We'd sailed to Alaska 11 years ago on the Norwegian Dawn from Seattle with 15 family members. At that time decided we'd return as a couple in the future to see more of Alaska. The cruise ports and acommodations were similar for both cruises. This time we started in Vancouver, BC then sailed the Inside Passage, Ketchikan, Icy Strait, Juneau, Skagway, Hubbard Glacier and ended in Seward. We did a seaplane tour with Misty Fjords Air while in Ketchikan and words can not describe the beauty. I highly recommend it! David is a great pilot and was very informative. We had decided to do the inland tour and had heard that RC has beautiful land coaches and rail cars. Yes, they are beautiful and the 6 night land tour was amazing. Cheri S. was our tour guide and Kevin S. was our driver. They were fun, informative and over all just wonderful! We chose to do the extended tour into Denali ($70.00 additional per person) and it was so worth it! We were part of the 30% of people that got to see Denali! The weather was beautiful. June is the time to go. The land tour combined with the cruise was a vacation of a life time. Go - see Alaska, it will take your breath away. The ship: The Radiance of the Seas was just in dry dock earlier this year for maintenance on the lower (beneath the water line) part of the ship. She is in need of some maintenance in the public areas and state rooms also. Some of the carpets in the main public areas are coming apart at the seams and torn in other places. There were other items in need of repair but all in all we felt she seemed tired and just needed a good face lift. We did not like "My Time Dining". We went twice and both times the front desk was very chaotic. We were seated the first time and the second time we decided to leave and not wait. We dined in Chops 3 times (can't go wrong in Chops) and once in the Brazilian restaurant, Samba Grill. My husband liked Samba but I didn't care for all of the meat. We were taken aback by our young waiter in Samba when he said if we were going to leave any additional tip to please leave it in cash otherwise he wouldn't see it. Awkward! I would recommend this cruise and land tour to anyone - any age. Read Less
Sail Date June 2016
Royal Caribbean Land Tour, 21st May 2016, Fairbanks to Seward. We booked this onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship, comprising of a land tour, cruise and land tour. As Royal could not provide any upgrade in the flight, we took these ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Land Tour, 21st May 2016, Fairbanks to Seward. We booked this onboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship, comprising of a land tour, cruise and land tour. As Royal could not provide any upgrade in the flight, we took these off the booking and made our own arrangements, as such the first nights accommodation was taken off the booking along with the transfer from the airport. We asked which Hotel would be used for the first two days of the tour as they were both in Fairbanks and we would book the same for ourselves, disaster as Royal said we would not know until two weeks before the actual tour stared. We actually finally got it two days before we departed!! We booked the Sophie's Station Suites in Fairbanks and requested that our room would be the same as that for our tour start, the Hotel made this happen. When travelled out with KLM from Heathrow to Fairbanks via Minneapolis. The first leg was better than the second in terms of quality. When we arrived in Fairbanks, a Royal Caribbean agent was there and we managed a lift to the Hotel. There is not much in Fairbanks, but it is a good place to travel from. We walked around the town, eating in Fred Meyer of all places. The next day we met our tour guide who gave out the tour itinerary, another free day and we ate at The Pump House. Fab that this was that it was not one of the chain restaurants in town, wonderful views of the river stretching by. We took a taxi to it from the "shopping area" $15 pre-tip. The sun was shining and it was warm, so we sat outside till it got cool. The hostess lady Jessica found us a table and helped to move us. More like a sports bar one side with TV's showing basket ball games, the other area was mor restatuant like with proper tables and features hanging from the ceiling. We had a small Caesar salad $7.5 with chicken $6.25 and also ribs $19.95 the ribs were large. With 2 beers this came to $47.40. Food coming out were large portion sized, order small and that will be plenty. The next morning the tour started. Our guide was Stephanie S and our motor coach driver was Beth H. From day one we found ourselves in good hands, we learned that they had not worked together before, yet they became the perfect team. Stephanie's knowledge of everywhere we went and delivery of this knowledge was exceptional. Everyday she ensured that we knew what we were doing in a fun but professional manner, she was the perfect tour guide with knowledge all from no apparent script. Beth was a very gracious lady and a terrific driver. She managed to get our suitcases to the next hotel along the way and in our rooms even before we arrived at the hotel ourselves, nothing was ever a bother. She checked that we knew where we were and confirmed the timings for returning to the coach. Together they really were the perfect team as I have already said, it was a case for us of just sitting back and enjoying ourselves, the first week was absolute heaven thanks to these two. The first day was a tour in the Fairbanks area, we went to see the oil pipeline that takes oil from the north right to the south of Alaska, then the University of Alaska, Museum of the North. We spent quite a time here, probably too long. Quite interesting, but you need less than an hour to be honest. Stuffed animals are on display and a mammoth! The layout of the museum was too convoluted for me, quite dark too. Then onto the Riverboat Discovery Tour. We did not know what to expect when we boarded as this was part of a tour. We thought at first that when the float plane took off that it was unusual to have the boat captain talk with the pilot and have this broadcast over the boats speakers, then he spoke with the owner of the dog kennels we knew that this was scripted. The paddle steamer was in great condition and the pilot was very informative. We saw Caribu, albeit caged. We got off and watched some local shows/displays, we were able to go to the dogs and pet those that wanted to, then they were hitched up to a sled and off they went. Back on the boat and back to the hotel, in all it must have been about four hours of fun. On the motor coach we booked an additional tour. The Northern Alaskan Tour Company flight to Wiseman. There were four of us in the plane that left Fairbanks at 7pm to Wiseman and we returned at about 11:30pm. The plane took us in a direct route and we flew over many places, the pilot manoeuvred the plane so we could see the sights below from both sides. We had commentary along the way. Livengood, Dalton Highway, Yukon River, Stevens Village, Coldfoot and finally Wiseman. We saw the great oil pipeline meandering its way across the land. When we landed we got a road vehicle to Wiseman and were shown the local buildings that were about 100 years old, managed to sit inside one and speak with the owner who gave us a brief history and then showed us around the small "village". Earlier and later in the year, this is one of the best places to watch the 'Northern Lights". Back to the plane and a comfortable flight home, this time a little higher in altitude. The whole experience from start to finish was professional and safe. We all got a certificate to prove that we had crossed the Alaska's Artic Circle. Well worth the adventure. The next morning we checked out of Sophie's Station and boarded the motor coach to get onto the Wilderness Express, a Domed Rail Car that was taking us to Denali. Breakfast onboard which was very nice, payment by card only for information. The domed car was over the restaurant and accessible by stairs and a lift. Along the route we would get information of what was seen. Being higher and with almost all glass to the dome, we had great views, at the back of the car was an open viewing platform for an extra viewing area. When we got to Denali, our motor coach was waiting with us to take us to Denali Park Village Hotel complex, our bags were in our rooms. We ate in the hotel, can't really remember anything about the meal, so nothing to report there, nothing went wrong. The next day an early start for the Tundra Wildeness Tour. Into the National park that is 6 million acres and it restricts the numbers of vehicles entering. We saw Moose, Dall Sheet, Bears and more Dall Sheep and stunning scenery. Time back in the visitor centre before going back to Denali Park Village Hotel complex for another night there. We got the $5 taxi into Denali town and ate in The Salmon Bake, about the only restaurant in town. It started nice with the greeting and plenty of time was given to us to chose what to eat and drink. The lady did not know what quantity of wine was in their standard glass and it was not on the menu either. We went for the Elk Sliders and Buffalo Wings to start with, the wings were advertised as a 1lb and as a starter! For mains we ordered the Halibut and chips and the BBC burger? To drink we had a glass of Red Wine and a Baked Blonde beer. It is nice that a check is made on our food, but my so many people nearly every two minutes? We were still eating our starters when the main course arrived, a male waiter went to put it on the table and we asked for it to taken away and to be delivered after we had finished the starters. When we had finished the starters the main arrived and we had to clear our plates from the table to that one next to us so the main course could be set down. We had to get our own fresh set of cutlery from the adjacent table. The food had obviously been held somewhere as the chips were cold. This was mentioned but the lady wait staff just apologised and walked away. I think that as there was no other main restaurant in town, this place has become complacent. There are good reviews on tripadvisor and that is why we came. Perhaps we are slow eaters, but there is no excuse to bring out the main meal when the guests had not finished the starter. The total bill was $79.21. Written on the bottom of the menu was the deemed compulsory tip percentages, 10% usually if you were not totally happy. Strange that it is at a percentage, surely serving a $48 serving of crab takes the same time as a $13 burger and fries. Begrudgingly we left 10%. A later start and we boarded the Wilderness Express in time for lunch. Again, this was very nice, good service and reasonably priced. We arrived in Talkeetna and stayed in the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge. Being on a tour meant that our bags were already in our room and we were handed out keys upon arrival. Not sure if it is the same for all buildings, but we were in an odd numbered room which overlooked the mountains, especially Denali which is North Americas highest. Very spacious room with two queen sized beds, a fridge, flat screen tv and in the vestibule with a sink and a doorway to the big bathroom which had a bath/shower and loo. You could leave a note with the hotel to wake you if the higher clouds cleared for a full view of the famous mountain. Simple check out, we gave our keys in. The Hotel offers breakfast and an evening meals only, it has nice open grounds equipped with a decking area for taking pictures of the mountain range. A huge fire place in the main lobby was impressive. We walked into town which took 35 minutes. There is a bus that you can take but it finished at 17:45. It starts at 10am. I believe it was $4 per person. Even outside these times, local taxis are available, we ate in Nountain High, Pizza Pie. You get what you pay for, there was two sizes of pizzas available, I went for the smaller which was big enough. I did not go for the 30+ topping one advertised as everything but the mosquitos. The pizza was tasty and arrived timely. The drink was replenished as I drank it, part of the same price, great. All in our party were satisfied with their food, the service was with a smile. We checked out the next morning, got a free coach organised by Royal Caribbean into town and had four hours till we boarded the Domed Rail Car again on its was to Anchorage. Before that we had breakfast in Talkeetna Roadhouse which was scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, fried potato with peppers and onions, a thick slice of toast and a choice of a hot and a choice of a cold drink, all for $12.95 each. We both had tea and this came with a pot to add your tea bag to, so in fact we made two cups each. There was home made apple sauce, more jam like and raspberry jam for the toast. A big portion of breakfast arrived and we could have shared one between us.
We then bought one sticky and one frosty cinnamon cake to have each cut in half as a take away. Clean toilets and this place even offers lodgings. Super choice from many offering food in this town. When in Talkeenta, make sure you go to the rivers edge, you get great views of the mountain range, the river itself is impressive. There are many curiosity shops as well, Aurora Dora for one. On to the Domed Rail car, dinner this time, not let down, great food and great service. Arrived in Anchorage, bags waiting in the room for us in the Anchorage Marriott, in the middle of town. In these days, especially in a high class hotel, you would expect a basic level of fee wi-fi in your room, this hotel only offered it to Marriott Reawrds customers. We have been in a few of these hotels around the world and have not joined it alas. You do get it in the lobby for free along with any one passing by. That aside as it is not the end of the world. A good centrally based hotel in Anchorage, very spacious room with a decent sized bedroom, courteous staff, comfortable beds, flat screen tv with many channels. On tour and the check in was done by our agent, check out was just a drop box for those who were in a rush. Would go back if in the area, but would start that account. Checked out in the morning and before venturing by motor coach to Seward we went to the Alaska Native Heritage Centre, when looking back having travelled for three weeks in Alaska and Canade, this was the highlight. The main building as you entered was spacious and had a theatre, cafe, restrooms, local artists studios and galleries, oh and a decent shop. We watched the show where the Alaskan Games were demonstrated, from leaping up from a crouching position, shimmying along like sneaking up on seals and one you will have to watch yourself, holding your left foot with your right hand, then with the left hand on the floor kick up high to hit a toy whale, the record is 8 feet we were told, then land back on the right foot. Outside were examples of the ancient dwellings used and sled dogs, one with 8 week old puppies, of which we were allowed to hold. Sled rides were happening later in the day, but we were only there 2 hours unfortunately, perhaps next time. Radiance of the Seas, 27th May 2016 Southbound Inside Passage. Easy and polite check in and on board really with in 20 minutes of entering the terminal. As we got on board we were shepherded around the centrum past the stalls selling all the drinks, speciality dining, spa and excursion packages, this made it busy rather than allowing us to go straight to the lifts. As we had boarded at about 5pm following the land tour we were able to go to our cabin straight away having whizzed past those stalls. Clean and ready for us, we met Manuel Torre IV our Stateroom Attendant who was very polite in introducing himself. Throughout the cruise, even the day we forgot to change our 'Do Not Disturb' sign around, he remained polite, professional and maintained our stateroom very well and to a high standard. We suffered a water leak from under the bath and this was fixed the same day it was reported. We went to the Concierge and Diamond lounge where Jorge Gutierrez was the Concierge Manager and Sergey Sinkevich was the Diamond Concierge, neither really interacted with us, but we did not command it. On previous cruises other concierge managers had walked around the lounge, even when it was busier, introducing themselves to the guests. We booked three speciality restaurants with Jorge, Chops, Izumu and Giovani's. When we got to Chops, Amanda, the Chops Manager, changed these bookings to the special offer booking that Jorge should have done. In Chops, Exequiel Esguerra looked after us, the food was very nice. In Giovani's Edwin was very good with offering the right wines to go with our food, not the cheapest offerings mind you. In Izumi it was different. All our bookings had been for 20:30, we were the only ones in Izumi and at almost 21:00 they started to clear the tables, we felt like we we holding them up. When at 21:15 the back doors were locked open and the vacuum was about to come in, we had to say something. Either they should not take late bookings, or be aware of their guests. We raised this with the state who got their manager. He seemed to indicate that it was the staffs fault, yet they would have been following orders. We went back to Chops twice more as the service there was the best, we were again served both times by the excellent Exequiel. Only the first night did we do the main restaurant, but it was cramped with tables so close together and it took an age to even get our starters, let alone the mains and desserts. We would see people leaving at times as we were just getting our mains. This was one of the deciding factors to eat at the Speciality Restaurants. We had the gratuities moved to our Stateroom attendant and to the barman in Concierge. The barman Lincoln Fernandez remembered our first order and would start to get it ready each time we came back, service with a welcome smile too. I must note that the volume from the speakers in Concierge when the Cruise Director came on was very loud, too loud really for a lounge where you go to for peace and quiet. The food in the Winjammer Cafe was very good. I was so pleased to see Raisin Bran on offer as on the last cruise the ship ran out after day one. The last but one morning there was none, but a member of staff came along with a catering bag of it to help be out, the last day I had to wait, but two boxes were found. I visited the loyalty ambassador, Zenisha Bhanderi, to ask about our block as this cruise took us over the 210 points, she was not aware. Surely this information should be known in advance? I asked hr to confirm that the land tour was also getting us points which she called through to agree. She was advised that we would only get one point per night for the land part, yet today when logging in I see that we did get two points per night. I had issues with trying to log on to the ships "slow" Internet as although I had created an account, screen printed the log in details, it said I was getting them wrong. Heidi Beingolea Rozas at Guest Services was able to help, she was very kind and patient. Also in Guest Services, Cristina Jacobo helped us in changing which credit card was to pay our bill. Finally, Miranda, in "My Next Cruise" became our new best friend. She was truly professional and knowledgeable in helping us book another cruise. So often in the past we have found this process to be painful that the staff seem to know less that we did. We saw her throughout the cruise at her desk, long hours, and always with a smile. We did not go to any shows, the tv was only really good for TCM which seemed to specialise in old war films. The itinerary that the ship followed was very good. We were blessed with fantastic weather throughout. Day one was leaving Seward at 20:00. Day two, 14:00 to 18:00 we drifted by Hubbard Glacier, as close as the ship could get, slowly turning so everyone could get the perfect view. Day three, Juneau 9:00 - 21:00, we did the Mendenhall Glacier by helicopter tour, a bit shorter that advertised, but worth doing. It was cool and it was worth putting on warm clothes for this trip. Day four, Skagway 7:00 - 20:30, we did the White Pass Railway tour, 11:30 -16:00, definitely a must when in Skagway, remembering our passports as these were checked when we crossed the US/Canada border on the way up by train. It went past some amazing scenery, back by bus and this takes a special driver. Day five, Icy Point Strait 7:00 - 16:00. Purpose built it seemed for the cruise industry, but if you walk about 30 minutes away to the town of Hoonah which is really this places name, there is a bit of natural activity wood carving of canoes and totem poles. We ate at the Crab Station Restaurant, served my Minnie a character herself. Not cheap, but big King Crabs legs (2 for about CAD$48). Day six, Ketchikan 9:00 - 18:00, we did the float plane excursion, this was very good and we were fortunate going in the afternoon when the clouds had lifted, we heard that some in the morning were cancelled due to low cloud. Day seven, cruising the Inside Passage. Not as stunning as we imagined, nothing like the Norwegian Ffords. We saw one whale, others had seen Orca's on previous days. Day eight, Vancouver arrived at 7:00. Land Tour 3rd June 2016. We were met, yet at the cruise terminal professionally and were cared for by the Brewster representative, nothing ever went wrong. Perhaps we were too small a group to warrant a constant guide. The tour itinerary was as follows: Vancouver City Tour and Lookout Tower and Harbour Centre - 4 hours, overnight in the Fairmont Hotel - Vancouver Ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island and a two hour stop in Buchard Gardens and an hour in Victoria before getting the Ferry back to Vancouver, over night again in the Fairmont Hotel - Vancouver. 2 hours went by very quickly, the gardens were perfect and we were blessed with good weather. We had to pack a separate overnight bag for the train. Sleeper Plus Class Cabin, VIA Rail - Vancouver to Jasper, not that comfortable sleeping on the train and it had a "Prestige Class" which if we knew about we would have asked to upgrade. There was only four domed cars for the 23 car train, the last one especially for Prestige customers. Breakfast, lunch and service was very nice. Overnight stay was in the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Hotel. Coach Transfer in the morning to Banff for the Glacier Experience. When you are in the presence of excellence as we were in the first week, you really miss it. Brewster as a company really looked after us, but the absence of the same guide with you for all the week set this one apart. I must really praise Michael and Cara our driver/guide and support on this Rockies Discovery and Glacier tour. Like Stephanie and Beth on our first week they worked as a team and cared for us. Michael was very clear on the microphone and relayed his knowledge and information to us as we went along. He would advise us of what we were about to see so we would be ready when we got to area / particular view. He was so attentive to people getting off and on the coach. Cara was like his side kick, but was equally as professional. We were taken to see Bow Lake Glacier Falls, Peyto Lake and Lake Louise which was pale by comparison, then onto a glacier and the glacier walkway. Overnight in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Coach transfer - Banff to Calgary - Banf Highlights Tour which we thought was too long and were able to cut it short and then onto Calgary and overnight in the Fairmont Palliser Hotel. This is right next to the Lookout Tower. All of the Fairmont Hotels were the best, they were wonderful buildings, most excellent service and very comfortable rooms. Joining the Presidents Club gets you free wi-fi. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Ship was a little worn like others said, but it really doesn't affect me. This ship was BEAUTIFUL for Alaska. A ton of Glass everywhere. Heck! The Elevators faced the outside to the ocean. I'm glad I didn't pick the Explorer ... Read More
Ship was a little worn like others said, but it really doesn't affect me. This ship was BEAUTIFUL for Alaska. A ton of Glass everywhere. Heck! The Elevators faced the outside to the ocean. I'm glad I didn't pick the Explorer OTS because you can't look out the ocean as much as the Radiance OTS. Embarkation was A BREEZE! We dropped our bags off at 11 AM sharp as we had a rental car. Our bags were at our cabin when we boarded. The terminal is not like any terminal I've been at. It's just a big warehouse with some counters and a steep ramp up to the ship. We boarded at around 2 PM since we drove to Exit Glacier in our rental car (highly recommend a rental car from Hertz and Exit Glacier). If you board around 3:30-6, I know it's busier at those times. Disembarkation in Vancouver was very easy too and it took us like 30 minutes to get on the streets of Vancouver. We had an interior and a balcony across the hall all the way in the FWD part of Deck Eight. Both rooms were fine, but there were some issues. The bathroom had a constant sewage smell, which the room steward tried to defend saying that it was the same on other cruise ships. I took a cruise on the Carnival Breeze exactly a month before and there was no smell. Otherwise, bathroom was perfect. The interior cabin had noise issues during docking, which I'm assuming there are some mooring lines next to the room, so I would avoid cabin 8509. Our balcony was actually a little bit bigger, but it did have a tiny obstruction in the top corner, but it didn't bother us as we could have all 4 of us on the balcony at one time. The glass on the balcony did have a stain however which wasn't very pleasant. Dining was overall fine. The Windjammer Buffet was fine for what it was. The variety lacked during lunch time and even dinner, but dinner usually had better selections. PIZZA SUCKED!!! I prefered the Carnival Breeze's Lido then to Royal. The MDR had some tasty entrees, but nothing memorable. I'm vegetarian so don't take my opinion seriously, but usually the chef's choice was the best entree on the menu. Desserts were... Well... I stuck to "Hard" Ice Cream every night. The best free dining venue was Park Cafe. It was right in the solarium and had very tasty sandwiches, salads, and deserts. I ate there more often than the Windjammer. We didn't try any of the paid restaurants as we are the type of people who won't pay more for something they get for free. Entertainment was great! We loved the shows and the comedian was hilarious. This ship also had guest speakers about Alaska and even Mountie from Canada who explained his past jobs and what the Royal Canadian Mounted Police was. The outdoor pool was unusable as it was too cold outside. The Solarium I do have to say was very nice. It was nice and warm in there with lots of seating and great pools. Service was 5 stars. Didn't experience one person who didn't say hello. The gentleman who would remind you to use hand sanitizer at the entrance of the Windjammer knew our family by day two and even personally escorted me to my family if we were separated. We didn't get anything like that on our past cruises. Very friendly staff and my teen son had a blast at the teen club (16 year old). Would I sail on the ship again? Yes, but not if it's more money than for say Celebrity/Princess/HollandAmerica. We sailed this ship for value, as we could get two rooms for the price of one than on other cruise lines. Would I hesitate to do Royal? Ish.. Depending on price, but lately, our only cruise booked on Royal is the Empress OTS since we got a good deal. We had a much better food wise experience on Carnival, but I would definitely choose Royal's larger ships over Carnival. It all depends on you! I can't wait to sail back in Alaska. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
My husband and I cruised on the Radiance of the Seas in May/June 2016 for our Honeymoon. We had rented a car the previous day and made the drive from Anchorage to our port in Seward (about 2 hours w/o stops). The rental car location had a ... Read More
My husband and I cruised on the Radiance of the Seas in May/June 2016 for our Honeymoon. We had rented a car the previous day and made the drive from Anchorage to our port in Seward (about 2 hours w/o stops). The rental car location had a shuttle that took us all directly to the RCI guest check-in and delivered our luggage to the security area for us as well. We arrived at our cruise port around 2PM and everything was fairly easy to navigate. We walked inside and there were a bunch of people around directing everyone to specific lines to check-in and the process went smoothly. We were on the ship in no time. We went straight to our room, which was already prepared for us, to drop off our bags and change before exploring what the ship had to offer. The crew checking us in at the ship were very friendly and helpful as well. I hadn't been on a cruise in almost 10 years and this was the very first cruise experience for my husband. I loved the "modern" touches with the touch-screen ship navigation that was located on each floor that allowed you to search for different rooms, activities, restaurants, etc. I thought that was a great addition and certainly made things easier for many guests. The elevator service was terrible. We found ourselves taking the stairs majority of the time because of how slow the elevators were. It was expected on the first and last days of course, but at 6:30AM in the morning? Kind of ridiculous. There was even a button missing from the push-button panel, which was totally unacceptable and dangerous especially if there were young children around. Our room was like any cruise ship stateroom - small, but manageable. Plenty of storage for our clothes in the closets (I loved that they had shelves as well) and even some extra space in the desk area. Opting for a room with a balcony on a cruise through Alaska is a MUST! The scenery is absolutely breathtaking and being able to sit outside your own room and read a book while looking at a glacier...you can't find that anywhere else. We had a king size bed and the mattresses were okay, but the pillows were horrendous and totally flat. I found it to be very uncomfortable at times, but there was obviously nothing I could do to change it, so I just had to deal with it. Bad? Yes. Impossible? No. Although the room was nice, our bathroom shower and toilet were probably the most aggravating part of our trip. We had a problem with our toilet failing to flush or continuing to run on the 4th day, and from that point on, we had an issue every day until we got off the ship. I had to call maintenance several times (they always responded and took care of the problem within 30min.) and there was even one day that apparently they did repair work to a pipe underneath our room without telling us and we only found out because of the brown/yellow water coming out of both the shower and sink (lasted for almost 24 hours). I had to shower and thought the water was running clear, but when I dried off, my towel had yellow stains all over it - it was disgusting. Thankfully that issue was fixed that day, but it was still gross. Aside from that, we had a fantastic stateroom attendant who always took great care of us and left us extra towels every day after we only asked once. He was the best! We had breakfast/lunch/dinner most days at the Windjammer Cafe just because it was easiest and most convenient to grab something quick. They usually had a good variety of food choices (anything from pizza and pasta to chinese food, soups, and tater tots) and the tables were always cleaned. I really liked that there was someone handing out sanitizing wipes or solution as soon as you walked through the door as well. We did go to the more formal restaurant a couple of nights to enjoy a nice sit-down dinner by ourselves, which was great. The food was well made and the staff were very attentive. The chocolate mousse cake I had the first time was to die for! We didn't get a chance to do any on-board activities, since we were usually at port and out on excursions, so I can't comment on any of that. Also, we planned all of our excursions ourselves as well and did not book through the cruiseline. As for the ports: Hubbard Glacier Amazing. Our Captain actually turned the ship around a full 360 degrees about 4 or 5 times so everyone had a chance to see from no matter where you were on the ship. Our stateroom neighbor informed us that he was actually on the same cruise the week before and they only did a quick turn and left - we lucked out! I guess a lot has to do with the weather and water conditions as well. Juneau About 5 eagles greeted us by flying past our balcony windows as we docked in Juneau - quite the welcome. Busier city, lots of touristy stores as soon you walk off the ships dock, and tons of transportation options in that area as well. We were docked directly in front of the Mt. Roberts Tramway station - you could pay a small fee to take a ride up the mountain, but we passed. We took a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier and did the mile (round-trip) hike to the glacier and falls. Totally worth it. We also did the Juneau Dog Sledding tour excursion and our guide met us right at the dock, making it very easy to return to the ship at the conclusion. We had lunch at the Red Dog Saloon - cool experience, but I personally thought the food was like any chain restaurant you'd find near you (I had a cheeseburger and fries, so maybe that's why?). Skagway Adorable little town. One of my favorites on our trip. It reminded me a lot of an old western movie with one main street running through the town and boards for sidewalks. There are some great little stores along the main strip and we even got to have lunch at the Skagway Brewing Company. PACKED with people and lines waiting outside, we got there just in time. Good food, good drinks. We did the Grizzly Falls Zipline Adventure excursion - AMAZING. Who knew Alaska had rainforests?? Again, meeting our tour guide was simple. The drive to the ziplines was about 30min. give or take. The trains for the Yukon Rail excursion were parked right next to the ship, so it made it very easy for anyone on that trip to hop right on. Icy Strait Point (Hoonah, AK) Very small town. I want to say our tour guide told us maybe 800-900 people total? Icy Strait now has a dock making it much easier to get on and off the ship rather than being tendered. You have to walk through the new guest center and out to the tour area to meet your group. We took a 5min. drive to the whale watching boat and soon enjoyed a couple hours on the water in search of whales. We saw humpbacks, seals, porpoises, and even an otter swimming next to our boat. Before getting back on the ship we did a short hike through the forest, which was very peaceful and had a quick bite to eat at the guest center restaurant. They had a cute spot out back with a built-in fire pit. We were watching a large seal pop his head out of the water near the dock for about 10min. too. Ketchikan My other favorite port on our cruise. What I liked most about Ketchikan was both our kayaking trip and Creek Street. We were met by our guide at the dock for kayaking around 9AM, drove to a more private area of the town about 15min. away, and spent almost 2 hours out on the water. we were lucky enough to see about 30 bald eagles circling overhead, a few harbor seals (one even swam next to our kayak), tons of starfish and jellyfish, and even had the very first Orca sighting of the summer! Incredible. Creek street was the other highlight for us. I adored the old, rustic charm and the stores were great! We found some great artwork and carvings that we couldn't resist. Inside Passage We didn't get off the ship for the day, but instead were graced with the most beautiful, Alaskan send-off. The scenery through the Inside Passage is phenomenal and we spent most of our day just sitting on our balcony taking in as much of nature as we could being this was our last day. We even saw some porpoises swim by. This Alaskan cruise was well worth it and we were actually quite sad to go home and have to say goodbye to such an amazing place. All in all, we had a great experience on our trip and wish we lived closer so we could go back more often! Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
Nice variety of age group and onboard activities. My husband and I traveled with our boys 18 and 21 years old. Our cabin was midship, so very convenient. The guest services desk and excursion desk are in main lobby, where bands often ... Read More
Nice variety of age group and onboard activities. My husband and I traveled with our boys 18 and 21 years old. Our cabin was midship, so very convenient. The guest services desk and excursion desk are in main lobby, where bands often play, very very difficult to hear when speaking to guest services or excursions. GS is 24/7 so you can find them at quieter times. Shore excursions desk has limited hours, especially when you are in port. We wanted "my time" dining, however they said we did not request it, so we were assigned 530pm seating, table for 4 near, waiters station and kitchen...totally unacceptable to us. The next morning, Shamus, dining room manager called us and found us another table for 4 which was great. It was nice, just the 4 of us so we could talk about our day and activities and what we were going to the next day. Even though you are on an Alaskan cruise, you do not get fresh fish, it comes in from Miami. Our drinks were always waiting at our table when we arrived. We took southbound trip and got a very close view of Hubbard Glacier, it was 2-3pm and a sunny day. We were all surprised how close the captain was able to get to the glacier. I guess the northbound trip arrives Hubbard glacier around 9am and weather often not too good that time of the day. We LOVED the helicopter ride to Meade Glacier, best part of trip. Not many whales to see, we saw no bears. Loved Icy Strait Point, the boys rode the zip line twice. Interesting story how this small community built up a place for cruise ship to stop, very quaint. Unlike the other ports of jewelry and t-shirt shops.., Our cabin steward was excellant. We found the ship safe, clean and well maintained. I took the all access tour of ship, through the kitchen, bridge, laundry, waste and crew dining and quarters...all very clean and neat. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This cruise was an amazing deal! I only had 1 week vacation, so a 5 night cruise fit our schedule perfectly. We live close to Vancouver, it is a very convenient port for us to cruise out of. I was interested to see Prince Rupert as the ... Read More
This cruise was an amazing deal! I only had 1 week vacation, so a 5 night cruise fit our schedule perfectly. We live close to Vancouver, it is a very convenient port for us to cruise out of. I was interested to see Prince Rupert as the US/CDN exchange rate is quite high right now, a port in Canada would be a better value for us. We stayed at a 'stay and cruise' hotel in Burnaby. You can park your car for free for 1 week. We caught the skytrain from the hotel to the cruise port (cost is $4 one way per person). We were able to board the ship by noon, we arrived at the cruise port at 11am. There is a large intake room for people, not to long of a wait really-complimentary snacks and water. We had smooth sailing all the way to Ketchican. We did get drenched on our shore excursion there. We went on a rainforest, totem pole tour-totally enjoyed learning about the areas from our tour guide/naturalist. We ate at the 'Fish House'-it was recommended by our tour guide. As we were wet and cold, we enjoyed the wood stove and quickly dried out and were revived by the fish & chips. Ketchican is a good port for souvenir shopping. There are 4 Tongass shopping stores-if you can't find a souvenir there, I'm not sure you could find it anywhere! In Prince Rupert we went on a city tour including the railway and museum. Informative and a nice way to see the city (big town really!) PR is a fairly new port. The tours were all sold out (including Grizzly bear reserve, flight seeing etc.), so book early if you are interested. I did enjoy the Radiance of the Seas. our room was 7092, 2 doors away from the central atrium/elevators. I loved the convenience and didn't mind all the music/activities at all. One of my favorite spots for a drink was Café Lattetudes-they had starbucks drinks-chai tea latte! caramel Frappuccino! We had 'my time' dining, we were in a separate dining area than the grand room. We had great tablemates (hi Kelly & Allen!), the service was OUTSTANDING-TY Purmana & Alexander. The food was terrific and plentiful. If you have a favorite don't hesitate to ask for doubles! They even made key lime pie at our request! Our last night of dining we had the delight of seeing mini dolphins swimming in the wake of the ship..They were there for about 5 minutes..so fun, and so CUTE!. Disembarkation was quick! We didn't need to fill out any paperwork or show an ID. Grabbed our luggage and away we went to the skytrain! (note there is no elevator at the skytrain entrance close to the cruiseport) Overall very fun cruise, great value, good food, beautiful fresh air. Read Less
Sail Date May 2016
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent ... Read More
This was a cruise we picked for our 30th anniversary. My wife wanted to see a volcano, I wanted to experience a longer cruise and we both wanted to see Hawaii. It was a perfect cruise for us! For background, we are fairly recent cruisers with our first cruise being on the Monarch for our 25th anniversary. This Hawaiian cruise was our 8th cruise, all being with RCI except one with Disney. For this cruise, we spent 4 nights at a resort on Oahu and took a cab to the port. Embarkation was fairly easy but the wait was longer than on our previous cruises, but not an unrealistic one. It was a little hap-hazard in how the lines would snake but the staff was friendly and everyone was in a pre-cruise euphoria. I’ll say that the cruise terminal was large, not that modern and no-thrills. Once on board, we went to our cabin and dropped off our luggage. We had cabin # 7658 which was a balcony cabin located in the aft quarter on the starboard side. The first thing that hit us was a sewage smell in the hallway to our room, which put us in a foul mood (we experienced this on Enchantment before as well). Once inside, the cabin didn’t feel as large as what we had on Freedom or Oasis but was probably larger than Enchantment. The balcony was funny. It was a double-deep balcony, being about 6’ deep. However, only about 3’ of it had a divider between our neighbors’ balconies, so any of our cruise mates could easily peak into our room. That we didn’t like at all. Also, this was an older ship and our balcony had parts of rusted metal visible and beat-up flooring. Our cabin did have lots of storage, which was a pleasant surprise. We found the bed to be very hard, the pillows flat and the refrigerator didn’t seem to work. The room was clean though and didn’t have that bad smell that was in the hallway. After that we went to the Windjammer and were underwhelmed there. I think there was only one protein offered at the buffet, except for their always available hamburger and hotdogs. Selection was minimal we thought. Our impressions grew more positive after each day. The first 5 days of the cruise were port days and we had an excursion lined up on each of them. We had incredible times! On the ship, we had a great time with our table mates at the main dining room for suppers. The staff on the ship was great, and while the ship was showing its age, many of the public spaces had a very comfortable, warm feeling to them. Of the RCI ships we’ve been on, we like the Schooner Bar on Radiance the best. Also, the Colony Club was very nice and the Solarium and spa areas were top notch. Each day on the ship made it feel more like home to us. We knew that this would be an older-person's cruise, and it was. There were many in the 50 to 70 year-old category but a fair amount of 30 to 50 year olds. The kids club had only 20 kids registered. This ship wasn't a golden girls cruise though and adults were older but active in general. Still, there were more than a few people snoring away at the seats in the Centrum or the Schooner Bar during the afternoon. This cruise had 100 or so members of a square dancing club and also maybe 200 hearing impaired cruisers on a group cruise. The ship did well to accommodate them by giving the square dancers places to practice and by having closed captioning and general assistance to those in the hearing impaired group. Most of the shows and events had an ASL interpreter and there were event a few ASL classes offered. I don't think the staff was coached on ASL as I didn't see any of then sign even a basic "thank you". That would have been a welcoming touch to all those on board who were hearing impaired. While the strength of this ship for us were the staff, overall ship cleanliness and the ambiance of many of the public spaces, the negatives for us were the generally low food quality, the mediocre entertainment and the slightly beaten-up condition of the ship in various spots. On cruises, we typically have dinner at the MDR and have most other meals at the buffet and this cruise was no different. What made our dinners at the Cascades dining room great was our tables mates, who we loved talking to (all are very experienced cruisers with a couple being on a back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back Radiance adventure). MDR food was fine, nothing top shelf but no duds either. The service was very good and the venue was beautiful. We had breakfast once at Cascades but the eggs were powdered and the toast was actually very crusty, like it was sitting out for more than a few days. We left and went up to Windjammer. We only did one specialty dining and that was at the Samba Grill, which we have never experienced before. The food was very good but we wouldn’t call it a top shelf experience. The location is funny and the tables were very close together. Service was efficient but seemed a little scripted and impersonal. At Windjammer, the selection did develop over time. There were always Indian food and British food it seemed and I was very happy the day that BBQ chicken was offered. We really enjoyed the Park Café at the solarium as it offered a good assortment of sandwiches and treats in a very relaxing environment. Entertainment is a hard thing to review because it is very subjective. I am not enthralled by song and dance shows and a majority of the evening events were just that. I saw 2 comedy shows and one was quite good but another fell very, very flat (at this show, the audience actually heckled the comedian, something I have never seen on a ship before). We like relaxing at poolside but on Radiance the poolside movie screen wasn’t working right (to compensate, they offered free in-room movies). Other entertainment was the Quest and the Love and Marriage show, both of which were great as always. Of course, there were various trivia contests on the ship and there were a few enrichment talks that reviewed Hawaiian history. The Centrum is often the hub for activities like cake decorating, musical performances, lectures, dance events and so on. However, there is limited viewing space on the floor or on the decks above. Still, the staff does a great job utilizing this space and there is enhanced sound and lights that really help add excitement. For us, we loved the first 5 port days as our “let’s explore Hawaii” time. The remaining sea days were our time to relax. It was a perfect vacation for us. Yes, we felt the age of the ship at times and, compared to Freedom or Oasis, the entertainment was very junior varsity, but as I mentioned the staff was super and many parts of the ship had a level of comfort that just can’t be easily explained. I won't review all the excursions we did but only one would I call "average" and the rest were above average. This was a our first trip to Hawaii and the weather was perfect, so it isn't hard for us have fond memories of our trips. I will give one shout out to the Body Glove catamaran excursion we did. The staff was great, they had prescription snorkel goggles on hand and we saw dolphins, whales, sea turtles and more. Would we go again? That is a tough question. For the right price we would. We won't be able to afford another Hawaii trip and Alaska trips are even more, so I don't think we'll be on Radiance again. Still, we would love to go back on this thoroughly relaxing ship some day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
This is our third cruise, all with Royal Caribbean, and first time on the Radiance. We had never been to Hawaii and with some extra vacation time accrued needing to be used up, we decided to make good use of it by doing a 19 day land-sea ... Read More
This is our third cruise, all with Royal Caribbean, and first time on the Radiance. We had never been to Hawaii and with some extra vacation time accrued needing to be used up, we decided to make good use of it by doing a 19 day land-sea vacation combo. Cliff Notes Version of My Review: Overall, I really enjoyed the cruise. I did not allow some aggravations to dull my, otherwise positive, experience. Even hubby was able to internally resolve (somewhat) his few disappointing encounters so much so that HE was the one who initiated a NextCruise booking for Fall 2017. We were fortunate to have upgraded to a guaranteed balcony stateroom without additional cost and even more grateful that it was located on the 9th floor closer to the aft of the ship. We've never had an outside balcony so it was quite a treat despite the cabin's less than spotless upkeep by our attendant. Like many have pointed out, the ship is really wonderful with a lot of glass in public spaces for viewing the scenery outside. Radiance is quite spacious for not being among the largest in RCL's fleet though it definitely looked like she was in dire need of dry-dock repairs which was scheduled immediately after our cruise; but not so run-down that I couldn't see how beautiful she was beyond the grime, faulty toilets, and a broken anchor, to name a few. The Cruise Compass was chock-full of activities every day that we couldn't get to all of them. There were the usual and expectedly funny staples of any cruise itinerary including the Quest, Love and Marriage, and the Belly Flop Contest. The production shows and headliners were fantastic for the most part. Food was predictably plenty as customary. We ate mostly at the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch, then split our time between the MDR and specialty venues with our 5-night specialty dining package splurge, all of which were great, but not necessarily exceptional. Service was where she really did shine though there were a few that were forgettable. Our MDR waitstaff were awesome, solicitous, and self-deprecating. Thank you, Regan, for your great efforts and regularly reminding us to fill out our post-cruise survey for you and Alfredo–10 of which is the highest and 8 being the lowest on the scale (which progressed to 10 as a high and 10 as the low on our last night of the cruise). Gotta love your initiative! There were two barristas at Latte-tudes who were very friendly, no matter how frantically busy they got. Even though we had to seek out the WOW factor at the Windjammer, we were able to connect with some wonderful waiters who elevated their jobs above and beyond simply bussing tables. We booked our own excursions so can't comment on the ship's offerings other than to say that they tend to be more expensive than we have the budget for so we opted to seek out independent tours or rented a car to really see what the different islands had to offer. In the end, I give it a 4-star review but I suppose it could have easily been a 3.5 if there was such an option. To be fair, the best barometer of how well my experience turned out to be, is the fact that I really wasn't ready to leave. Just one more day, please. Extended Version: (AKA, I can go on and on if you have time or just skip the subjects you want to look at.) PLANNING: We booked this cruise 400+ days prior. As in the past, I booked with a major cruise TA. I have heard of so many people having great experiences with TA's who "do all the work for you." I've decided that one has to give up perks and incentives to get that elusive special service. It isn't so much a complaint as it is a fact and the reality that I still have to do my due diligence to get the best product for my money. Since I like to "plan" it wasn't such a hardship and actually gave me something to look forward to as I waited for the BIG DAY to arrive. On the other hand, if you're reading this and you know of a GREAT TA who works with an agency that also offers great perks and incentives, I'd love to hear about it. TIP: If you don't ask, you don't get. Don't hesitate to ask for an upgrade even if it is past the final payment date. A price drop occurred after the 90 day prior-to-sailing window that offered a Guarantee Balcony for just a little bit less than what I had already paid for my Oceanview cabin. My TA was able to make this trade for me, albeit I didn't get a refund for the difference. But RCL gave me an upgrade to my upgrade of a Superior Oceanview instead of the original Deluxe Oceanview Guarantee initially assigned to me. From a location standpoint, portside cabin 9244 was perfect. EMBARKATION: We were warned by email and texts that the check-in process will not begin until 12:30 pm because Radiance had to undergo a complete inspection by CBP and USCG after her season in Australia so we arrived at 1pm. My overall impression of the process from curb to gangway was that it seemed somewhat disorganized and lengthy at 1-1/2 hours of waiting in line through security, check-in, and the final bottleneck just before the bridge where the ship security staff took our photos for identification. This is different from our past experience at Port Everglades where the photo ID was taken at the time of check-in. We took it in stride, blessed to have this opportunity. TIP: We learned that the car agencies do not offer courtesy shuttles to the port. Our cheapest route was to take Roberts Hawaii at $8/pp if reserved online to shuttle us from the airport to Pier 2. Once inside and past security, if you find a shorter line, take it. Don't follow like sheep. Until they figure out how to do their jobs, the port staff directs you to a line based on your status unless you have specific high-priority boarding. But in the end, no one really verified who was who. SHIP: Prior to the Radiance, we have only been on the Freedom Class of ships and were dazzled by their size and onboard amenities so I read as much as I could about this smaller ship and kept an open mind. Objectively, she is a beautiful ship with so much glass to view the outside. I'm not sure why some people consider her dated though she is definitely deserving of some TLC and her scheduled dry-dock before starting the Alaska Season will hopefully address a lot of the wear and tear we noticed throughout the ship. It is also well laid-out and didn't really take much time to orient ourselves, yet, not so small that I felt confined. In fact, there were areas of the ship that I never managed to make it to during our 11-night itinerary. There is one venue that I thought seemed oddly out of place. The Samba Grill is located just above the Windjammer on Deck 12. You reach it by going outside to the sports deck or by stairs from the aft open air dining area of the Windjammer. There are also no adjoining restrooms up there so you have to go outside and back towards the elevators–inconvenient, as was the case when we went there to have dinner one night. It was a cold, windy, and drizzly walk. TIP: On the plus side, we found that outside dining area on the back of the Windjammer was less congested and a great place to sit down and eat a meal (unless it's in Alaska...maybe not so much). CABIN: With 5 sea days to enjoy, we really were excited to have a balcony and an unexpectedly larger cabin than anticipated. Never mind that our cabin steward could have been a little more meticulous with his housekeeping skills. Yes, it did bother me that the cabin–while tidy–was dusty, fingerprints from the previous guests still lingered on the glass doors and a few other places, and greasy film on the balcony glass dulled my view of the sea. On the other hand, our bed was made morning and night. The bathroom was wiped down and cleaned daily. I also did get a few paltry towel animals out of the deal. I decided to let it go as best I could because we got to crack the door open so we could listen to the ocean and allow some fresh air in while we slept. We got to see some amazing sunsets without leaving our room. We saw the passing ocean, the islands, and Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge at Sunrise. Yeah. It was still perfect. DINING COURTESY VENUES: I mentioned at the beginning that food wasn't exceptional. By no means was it either inedible. It just wasn't as spectacular as I remembered from our previous two cruises. So much so that by the back half of the cruise, I was content to eat their surprsingly decent burgers every day for lunch at the windjammer and skipped the nightly desserts at the MDR. The Park Cafe is really just a very scaled down version of the Windjammer. The Boardwalk Doghouse was ok. I think you have to be a hotdog lover to appreciate it. I heard some people rave about it and some said it sucked. Cafe Latte-tudes was a go-to hangout for us. The scones and cheesecake popsicles are always a great stand-by. The coffee is not brewed. They use their espresso machines so if you're not into strong coffee, they will have you bouncing off the walls. The MDR turns into the Brasserie for breakfast and lunch. We went there once and the food was on par in quality as the Windjammer but limited to what was on the menu and some waiting since it's full-serve dining. TIP: I love the fact that the Windjammer cooks are more than happy to put your bread bun on a grill or your sliced bread freshly toasted if you don't like it straight out of the bag. DINING FEE BASED VENUES: Hubby and I purchased a 5-Night Specialty Dining Package before the cruise. I do think that it was worth the $100/pp we paid for it. There are some caveats. It did not include the Chef's Table and, surprisingly, Rita's Crabshack. The former being too expensive at $90/pp while the package only allots $30 value per venue and the latter is something of a mystery. I don't think that I ever saw anyone order anything from that station other than beer or wine. I did notice a daily special of "surf & turf" burger and chips for $11 which I wanted to try but never got around to. It also didn't include Mystery Dinner Theatre at $65/pp which I would have gone to as it featured (at least in this cruise) a post-show dinner offering at Giovanni's Table which we really loved and visited twice. I guess they classified it as entertainment instead of dining. I also thought I would love Samba Grill but I didn't. As my trusted MDR waiter warned me, there's a lot of meat and I don't know why that didn't register in my head. My steak and potatoes man enjoyed it but I don't eat steak or lamb though there was a bacon wrapped chicken and pork loin. In fact, the best dishes are in their appetizer bar. Next time, I'll skip the skewered meat. That said, I'm not sure it's still worth the cover charge. Chops Grille was great though I stuck to the shrimp entree on the menu. Giovanni's Table was our favorite. It's claim to fame is the Tiramisu and there's no doubting that. Izumi was awesome but it's a la carte so plan to spend a little bit more above the $30 allotment. We skipped the dessert to keep the overage down and went to the Windjammer for some sweet treats instead. TIP: For those who said that the cover charge at Chops and Giovanni's allows you to order as much as you want, that is not the case. On this sailing, we were told that each additional main entree we selected was $10 more. Is it a new policy across the board or a new thing just on this ship? To be fair, we're not the type to eat "everything off the menu" but there was a dish or two we wouldn't have minded trying out between the two of us. BARS AND GAMBLING: As much as I would like to say I drank like a fish, I didn't. Sadly, I have a really poor alcohol absorbtion and, for that matter, we don't imbibe much so the drink packages would have been a losing situation for us. The house always wins so we skipped the casinos but if you want better odds, I'd say go to Royal Bingo! ENTERTAINMENT AND ACTIVITIES: One of our biggest concerns is the possibility of not having much to do during extended sea days as this is a repositioning cruise. I was wrong. At least, not with this particular sailing. The cruise director and his staff certainly put together a pretty comprehensive list of things to do and see for guests. There was even a three-part event called Great Debates where Steve, the CD, focused on serious topics to add a little reality check to your vacation like the issue of Death Penalty. TIP: With so much to do, I noticed that a lot of people, myself included, carried around a cruise compass along with a tablet or smartphone. On day 9, the lightbulb came on and I started taking a snapshot of the back page schedule so I didn't have to drag around that piece of paper. Duh! SERVICE: Without a doubt, the crew of any cruise ship works harder than anyone I am aware of on land. They work 12 hour shifts every day with minimal time off until they buckle that airplane seat belt on their way home. Waitstaff and housekeeping are tip-wage earners and we are happy to do auto-gratuities when we book a cruise. However, my biggest "concern" (I won't call it the other "c" word) was the hit and miss service. Hubby wasn't happy to learn on Day 2 that we were charged for two shore excursions we didn't sign up for and, though he let that slide, he was no longer willing to play after a second charge was added to our seapass account for the two dining packages that we had already paid for months ago. Finding two erroneous charges and the added inconvenience of dealing with it–not once but twice–in my opinion is a service issue. Unfortunately, neither guest services nor the C&A "Loyalty Ambassador" viewed it that way and offered us a bottle of wine a a "gesture of good will" which we declined. Also,during the first few days of sailing, it seemed that some of the staff were a bit sluggish and unengaged though I sensed a greater degree of effort on their part as the days went by. As much as we loved eating at the open-air dining area of the Windjammer, we had to finally give it up after the third day when we realized that the server assigned to that station hardly sought out guests to see if they needed anything else. Our cabin attendant, though friendly and brisk with his chores, made me want to ask someone if I could switch attendants with the other steward a few doors down whom I noticed wiped down the door knobs every day and carried a squeegee in his trolley. It certainly gave new meaning to RCL's current ad campaign, COME SEEK, because we had to actively look for the WOW, which we did. We just didn't expect to chase it. PORTS AND EXCURSIONS: We didn't partake of the ship excursions. However, these are what we did with our port stops: Oah'u - Since embarkation is out of Honolulu, we arrived a day early and rented a car, then headed to Pearl Harbor and visited the Arizona Memorial and Battleship Missouri in the morning. After checking in at the Coconut Waikiki for our night's stay, we walked down towards Waikiki Beach and strolled along Waikiki Drive before enjoying a relaxing dinner and Mai Tai at the Hula Girl Resturant inside the Outrigger Hotel. The following morning, we woke up and treated ourselves to an early 5am drive to Leonard's for malasadas! Maui - We rented a car and headed south towards Wailuku on a mission to find a place called Home Maid bakery that sells malasadas then looped our way past Kahului and back towards Lahaina. We stopped at Olowalu Beach to do a little snorkeling since we brought our gear with us. When we had our fill of that, we headed back and checked out Old Lahaina and picked up a few more souvies before tendering back on the ship for the night. At 2:30 the following morning, we took a tender back into town to pick up our rented car that we left in a paid lot and made our way to Haleakala Summit for the most worthwhile sunrise show. Kauai - Our port time here was curiously short (8am-3:30pm). And because we had to tender, it made it even more challenging to do much beyond the excursion that we had booked through Kauai Photo Tours. This was a fantastic tour and grateful to a Cruise Critic member for suggesting it. Our guide selected some camera-worthy locations that were off-the-beaten-path we would likely not have seen if we had selected a ship tour. Hawai'i - I admit that the Big Island is our favorite. Honolulu was a busy, urban area. Old Lahaina in Maui just felt kitschy to us. Everywhere in Kauai was beautiful but pretentious with its high-brow residents dotting the island. Kona seemed more low-key and mellow. It is also a great starting point for the Island. We actually did a 5-day pre-cruise stay here and toured much of the island in our rental car. We went on a snorkeling tour with Wahine Charters who took us south to the Captain James Cook Monument. The boat captain stopped midway to let us swim with dolphins nearby before heading towards Kealakekula Bay where we got up and close to the most amazing coral reef and incredible array of tropical fish. During our stay, we drove up to the Mauna Kea Visitor's Center, checked out the white, green, and black sand beaches of the Big Island, did an abbreviated tour of Volcanoes National Park (due to fog, rain, and limited visibility), ate most of our meals at L & L (a Hawaiian chain of restaurants featuring local favorites like kalua pork, macaroni salad, and spam misubi). You know what they say, "When in Rome..." TIP: if you have the room, bring your own snorkeling gear and a good underwater camera. It doesn't have to be a GoPro but you just can't expect a "waterproof" smartphone case to be truly waterproof as learned the hard way by some gals in our group who lost two iPhones as a result of using LifeProof cases. I use Watershot Splash camera housing and it has not failed me yet. It is specifically designed for use with iPhones for underwater snorkeling and diving use. ADDITIONAL TIPS AND SURPRISES: Go prepared. Taking that northbound Honolulu to Vancouver repositioning cruise was worthwile. It also gets cold if you plan to take a trip up to Mauna Kea or Mt. Haleakala. Since this is a Spring sailing, as the ship continues northbound, the temperatures also start to drop. Bring a lightweight but packable down jacket. Seriously. A pleasant surprise! If you have a celebration going on during your cruise, note it on your booking. Not only did I get a happy birthday song from our waiters but I came back to our stateroom one day to a gift certficate from the Spa for $50 off any service. NEXTCRUISE: We got past our hiccups and booked another cruise and took advantage of the NextCruise booking incentive. I overheard a couple say that the starting $50 OBC wasn't worth it. I disagree. We decided to defer using our OBC for the sailing we had chosen instead of using it during this cruise. There is a fine print, of course. But if you plan to cruise again, it is worth it. Sign up for an appointment early though. I noticed that the appointment book fills up fast. You can check current promotions and future sailings online for free before you talk to an agent. Just remember that if you choose to use your OBC at the time you book it on the ship and decide later that you want to cancel this NextCruise booking, you will lose your deposit. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We had been to Hawaii 4 years ago and did this cruise on the Rhapsody, so wanted to do it again. There was a bit of a delay getting on the ship with long lineups for each C&A category. Our inside cabin was mid ship and 3rd level ... Read More
We had been to Hawaii 4 years ago and did this cruise on the Rhapsody, so wanted to do it again. There was a bit of a delay getting on the ship with long lineups for each C&A category. Our inside cabin was mid ship and 3rd level which we picked in case the 5 sea days were rough (which they were not). This was our 3rd time on this ship and 2nd since its last refit, so no surprises. Our cabin was quiet with cabins above and below. Entertainment such as the headliners and ship production group was okay, not great, as shows seemed a little dated. Enrichment series on Hawaii was very good with a great speaker with personal experience. We had main dining option and our meals were good. I have to say the best thing about this ship is the crew. The captain and senior management are always out and about connecting with passengers, and that goodwill carries down to the room steward and other staff. We enjoyed all the ports and found things to do in each port, even though we had been to most before. I plan on taking another cruise from Hawaii to Vancouver, and I would do it on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
Having sailed twice on Brilliance of the Seas, which on both occasions were great cruises. Going on this we decided to cruise on Radiance of the Seas, yes, the ship is in need of some TLC as rust, frayed carpets and damaged furniture was ... Read More
Having sailed twice on Brilliance of the Seas, which on both occasions were great cruises. Going on this we decided to cruise on Radiance of the Seas, yes, the ship is in need of some TLC as rust, frayed carpets and damaged furniture was evident however these problems did not detract from the overall experience we had, All the staff were keen and tried their hardest to make our trip a memory not to forget. The food in both the Windjammer and main dining room was up to the normal RCI standard and most times enjoyable. Like most things you cannot please everyone all the time so some meals were a little lacking. The only real issue we had was the cleanliness of Ritas Cantina (crab shack) where the tables were not clean and usually sticky and the floor have food scraps and spilt liquid left for many days and even a request to staff did not improve the situation (we just used a napkin as a tablecloth) As with shore excursions on most cruise lines these are greatly overpriced, so we do not book these and arrange our own. A little bit of homework can be done to find tours and greatly reduced prices before you leave home. The cabin was the standard design with not a lot of room but the cabin was in need of some very basic maintenance but again did not ruin our cruise. Activities were the run of the mill things however most of the main entertainment in the Aurora Theatre was to say the least outstanding. A good spread of artists etc. Overall would recommend Radiance to friends as the experience was a happy one Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our third Royal Caribbean cruise, and we chose it because of the itinerary. We wanted to see more of Australia than just Sydney or Melbourne. The cruise itself was wonderful with lovely staff and friendly cruisers. Granted, ... Read More
This was our third Royal Caribbean cruise, and we chose it because of the itinerary. We wanted to see more of Australia than just Sydney or Melbourne. The cruise itself was wonderful with lovely staff and friendly cruisers. Granted, most people are of the "nearly dead" category, but we still met some great people. We loved the extra activities onboard during the sea days (water color, port talks, dancing lessons, jewelry making, scrapbooking, knitting group). Our day cruising the fjords was absolutely beautiful. But the tours were very expensive and unorganized. Don't do a tour in Wellington. It's an easily walkable city and the museum is great (and free!). We did the farm tour in Akaroa because I wanted to see a sheep sheared. While that was fascinating, the owner of the farm talked way too much. In Dunedin we arranged a tour on our own, and I was very nervous about them getting us back in time. It ended up being a fabulous day, and I will book tours on my own again!! (We saved $100 each compared to a similar tour that the ship offered, and it was a small group with a fabulous guide.) In Melbourne we did a free walking tour (like the one we did in Sydney before the cruise). There isn't much in Adelaide, so we did the wildlife park tour to Cleland Park, which was great. Esperance was a dilemma because the only thing I could see to do was to go to the beach, and that tour was expensive. But, we did it, and I'm glad we did. We went to 2 beaches which were beautiful, and since it was a terribly hot day, the cool water was refreshing. (Stonehenge was stupid. I still don't get it.) Lastly, we chose to do the 6 hour tour of Perth before being taken to the airport. While the river cruise was nice, we had just gotten off a cruise ship!! The rest of the tour was driving around and around the same city, and stopping for 1/2 hour for a FAST lunch. I'm not sure why the rush, but it was a bit disappointing. I agree with some of the other reviewers that the ship needs a little TLC, which it is supposed to get soon. There were people continuing on to do the next cruise, and I don't think I could do that--too little room in the cabin and not enough quiet places to go to. The food was great. We treated ourselves to one night at Chop's, which was delicious. However, there was not much variety on the menu (lots of lamb), and some nights it was "guess I'll have the salmon again." I have to say some of the entertainment was great (the band and cruise singers and dancers, and the guest pianist and cellist), but there were a few nights we walked out because the "entertainment" was so bad. While I loved the cruise and what we saw, the agent we used with Royal Caribbean was useless. Our past cruise (New England in Oct 2015) had been a disaster with Royal cancelling on us FOUR times in the last 2 weeks before the cruise. We were promised champagne and strawberries on both cruises, and they never appeared. The agents were not helpful with plane reservations or anything extra. It was "we have your money, thanks." I won't be seeking out another Royal Caribbean cruise. Too bad. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Overall, this was a great cruise because of the itinerary and lots of friendly passengers! We are frequent cruisers...27 with RCL....have been on most classes of ships, and this was a good size for the itinerary. But as others have ... Read More
Overall, this was a great cruise because of the itinerary and lots of friendly passengers! We are frequent cruisers...27 with RCL....have been on most classes of ships, and this was a good size for the itinerary. But as others have said, it was dated, needs a redo of furnishings...especially in some public areas as they were "shabby". Our corridor always smelled unpleasant, our cabin smelled musty and the bathroom smelled like mold. Our cabin was always clean, our steward, Ed, did a good job of bringing us ice, etc. We booked a 10 person table at dinner in the MDR, we (4 of us) were the only ones at the table for the whole cruise. There was a "10" next to us with only 4 people, too. Wish they had put us together! We wanted to meet some fun people! Our wait staff, Franklin and Roi were top-notch, and Head Waiter Sheryl took care of a gift wine snafu, that lasted a few days, for us. We had an issue with one of the shore excursions at Port Douglas....it advertised CapeTribulation as part of the tour. ( The only reason we took that was for Cape Tribulation). Not only did we not get to Cape Tribulation... it was not even MENTIONED! Our tour guide left us ( about 12 of us) with instructions to be on a bus at a certain time. We were early, expecting her to meet us and go back as a group....45 minutes later we decided to get on a bus by ourselves and head back. We were scolded for being late.... she had left everyone when we got there and didn't tell anyone. Needless to say there were other unhappy participants. In contrast, the excursion to the Australia Zoo was fantastic....great guide...we were there for 5 hours, but knew where she was at all times....and she had a head count and graciously handled the lone person who was very late and had to be found on the property and told it was time to leave. We would recommend this over the shorter 3 hour excursion; 5 hours still wasn't enough time to catch the show and see everything. My scuba divers were very impressed with the excursion at Cairns...the dive boat was great, the staff very knowledgeable ( my divers are master & rescue diver qualified) and safe. The dives were fantastic...there were good guides and dive masters...they would recommend this operation to anyone. Food was pretty standard....glad there was a Park Cafe and enjoyed the Brazilian Restaurant... everyone should try it. Overall our service was good...but, as someone else said, the senior staff at the Windjammer really didn't seem to care like the ones on other ships...and that was surprising. We would go on this ship again, but it would not be our first choice.... Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
I very much like Radiance of Seas ship, is a lovely ship and prefer this siz of larger Royal Caribbean ones. On this cruise were quite a few noisy children running up and down stairs - where were parents? Plus loud pre teens yelling at ... Read More
I very much like Radiance of Seas ship, is a lovely ship and prefer this siz of larger Royal Caribbean ones. On this cruise were quite a few noisy children running up and down stairs - where were parents? Plus loud pre teens yelling at each other from centrum on different levels. I believe Security Staff should take care of incidents such as this. Only went couple times to Theatre for shows as not into Comedians. Production Shows excellent as was Tango Show. Service onboard very good. Only activity went to was Diamond Club for Happy Hour drinks and Breakfast which was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
As a couple on our first ever cruise we really had nothing to compare it to so there definitely were a few surprises along the way. We had the most amazing time on our cruise to the South Pacific. The service on Radiance of the Seas was ... Read More
As a couple on our first ever cruise we really had nothing to compare it to so there definitely were a few surprises along the way. We had the most amazing time on our cruise to the South Pacific. The service on Radiance of the Seas was impeccable, from the moment we lined up to check in to the minute we left and I really do believe it was the staff who made the trip. The ship itself is fine. She is an older ship and I thought that the décor, while clean and nice and despite a refurbish, was a little outdated. However the amount of things to do and places to eat is amazing. We spent all of our first day exploring and to be honest by the end of the cruise I think there were still a few places I never got to explore. The food is great and we ate in the MDR as well as Chops Grill and Giovanni's. We went to the Windjammer for Breakfast and Lunch and sometimes went to the cafe near the Solarium. The entertainment was fantastic some nights and just good others, but it didn't stop us going. However we found it was the one-off events that were the most fun - the belly flop contest, bingo, the BBQ on the pool deck, the Love and Marriage show. These events were generally run by the Cruise Director, Joff, and his staff and they were great fun. These events usually attracted more people too. Our ports were beautiful and we did some of the ships excursions and some of our own. The ship's excursions are over rated and extremely expensive. The one thing I can absolutely RAVE about thought was the staff. I don't care if it's because they work for tips or whatever... THEY ARE FANTASTIC. From our cabin steward Virna who looked after my extremely sea sick husband for the first two days (including sitting with him while I went to get some dinner for myself on the third day), to our drinks waiter Pande who offered to show us around his home town in Bali when we next go, to the medical nurse who cared for my sick hubby with no attitude about it just being sea sickness. They are all HARD WORKING, WONDERFUL people. Radiance of the Seas is a great ship for first time cruisers. You can learn a lot about what you would and would not like on a cruise by sailing her. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
Our group of 14 enjoyed the 12 night New Years cruise on Radiance. The main restaurant staff made our holiday very attentive and entertaining which is more than could be said about the pool bar staff. They were slow,disinterested and ... Read More
Our group of 14 enjoyed the 12 night New Years cruise on Radiance. The main restaurant staff made our holiday very attentive and entertaining which is more than could be said about the pool bar staff. They were slow,disinterested and sometime a little rude. Our cabin attendant was excellent and respected or privacy. The entertainment in the main theater was good with an excellent backing band but other venues were ordinary,not a lot of guest interactions like we experienced with Graham Seymour on our previous NY cruise on Rhapsody. The land tours were well operated and enjoyable. Overall the ship looks tired with rust showing,tiles missing around the pool and balcony wooden rails missing, its in need of maintenance and dry dock. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
Our party of 14 enjoyed a 12 night cruise to Vanuatu and had a great time. New Year's Eve was fantastic , we did the previous New Years cruise on Rapsody of the Seas which was a little better,the party on the pool deck was topped ... Read More
Our party of 14 enjoyed a 12 night cruise to Vanuatu and had a great time. New Year's Eve was fantastic , we did the previous New Years cruise on Rapsody of the Seas which was a little better,the party on the pool deck was topped off by passing one of Vanuatu active volcanos in the early morning. Our dining room waiter was superb as was our cabin attendant. Unfortunately the pool deck bar staff appeared as if they didn't want to be there, very slow and a little rude. The day time entertainment was ok and not as well organised as on Rapsody. The ship itself needs some Maintenace and dry dock, looking a little tired. Overall a great cruise. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
First time on Radiance and it is a nice ship but is tired and needs to tidy up. Broken furniture in lounges and cracked floor tiles are common. The thick growth on the hull below the waterline (visible from the tender) was another ... Read More
First time on Radiance and it is a nice ship but is tired and needs to tidy up. Broken furniture in lounges and cracked floor tiles are common. The thick growth on the hull below the waterline (visible from the tender) was another indication that a dry dock and spruce up is needed. Bar service was good, some bar tenders better than others. Dinner in the MDR was overwhelming crowded, noisy and service was nothing more than adequate. Add whistles to the tables on NYE and it was torture. Ended up paying for speciality dining or going to the buffet for some peace over dinner. Cabin was small, especially for a quad, smallest I have ever stayed in. Shower was suitable for someone the size of a pretzel only. I found myself wedged against 2 walls trying to wash myself. Embarkation, disembarkation was smooth. Miss 11 happily spent time in kids club, Mr 13 was expected to utilise free play area (Optix) with teens up to 17. He found this intimidating and rarely (never?) went. RCI need an alternative for younger teens (or something else for older teens). Guest entertainers were entertaining without being overly memorable, kind of what you expect on a cruise. The use of US$ on cruises leaving Australia needs to be mentioned as it makes the cruise less value for money. Being organised before the cruise we were aware of this and pre purchased on board credit. Talking to some others the use of US$ came as a shock. If RCI want the Australian cruise market, they have to use AU$ on board. Bigger cabins, program for young teens, AU$ and more relaxed dinning and we would go again, otherwise there is better alternatives for families. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
18th Cruise in our mid 50's. 2nd time on Radiance. All previous reviews made us uneasy about boarding especially regarding Norovirus. Goods News - Norovirus was gone (OPP1 - Green) The ship does need drydock and is booked in ... Read More
18th Cruise in our mid 50's. 2nd time on Radiance. All previous reviews made us uneasy about boarding especially regarding Norovirus. Goods News - Norovirus was gone (OPP1 - Green) The ship does need drydock and is booked in for MAY 2016. Ship appears to be dirty mainly because of old upholstery and carpets worn and dirty looking. Hull is in desperate need of repainting. Additionally, the pool deck areas are very tired and faded looking. At night she does look lovely inside and around the ship especially in the Centrum area. Cabin 9202 (D1) Balcony. The cabin was very dusty and dirty upon arrival. Called supervisor to clean room before entering. Bathroom had a very musty smell and the toilet blocked and didn't flush several times during the cruise. RCCL acted very quickly to all complaints and gave us a 20% refund on the total of the amount of our cruise. Dining at night in Cascades was very good. Food was of a high standard. If by chance you didn't like your meal they would change it immediately. Also special requests were always met with no fuss. Sandeep and Ken were exceptional waiters. Royal Replenish Drinks package is very good value for non drinkers. Freshly squeezed juices from the Solarium (carrot, apple, beetroot etc) were included in this package as well as espresso premium coffees . Entertainment was very good and full on every night. Joff the Cruise Director was genuinely very friendly and approachable. Captain Goran was one of the most visible and friendly captains that we have every met. He had plenty of time to speak to you. He also appeared on the morning show with Joff almost daily. Look forward to boarding again in 5 weeks time (8th Feb, 2015) Diamond Lounge was rocking every night with lots of friendly people although the drinks service was unusually slow. Diamond concierge woman did not perform well - don't expect any service from her. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our first time on a Royal Caribbean ship. The cruise was very enjoyable but very disappointed with Christmas Day as this was the main reason for doing a Christmas cruise. The main meal was served Christmas Eve with the Ham, ... Read More
This was our first time on a Royal Caribbean ship. The cruise was very enjoyable but very disappointed with Christmas Day as this was the main reason for doing a Christmas cruise. The main meal was served Christmas Eve with the Ham, Turkey and plum pudding and Bon Bons. Christmas lunch was very ordinary with no ham, turkey or anything special. Hams and turkey was served other days during the cruise and it was a pity they didn't keep one for Christmas lunch. The church service held was also flat as the Priest did not lead the carol singing. I am sure there would have been at least a dozen professional singers on board who could have led the singing. Santa did come to the 500 children on board with them all going up onto the stage and having their photo taken with Santa and a present given to them by the ship. This was very nice. We have never cruised with so many children before but they were all well mannered and seemed to enjoy their time on board. Embarking and disembarking went smoothly. I liked the idea of being able to take off our own luggage. No hold up with customs at all. The day trips to Islands were good. We were not told any information about Champagne Bay which was such a lovely beach with lots of shade. Swimming and snorkelling was so much better than Isle of Pines. Stalls everywhere and fresh crayfish cooked. It looked appealing but we didn't take any money ashore as thought it was not much there and more like Mystery Island. Children were singing to the guests as they went on and off the tenders. Felt disappointed as had no change to give them. At Vila, Vanautu I took a tin of formula for the children of outer Islands that were hit badly by the cyclone last year and do not have any cruisers dock. A Doctor was just outside the gates receiving any donations people brought for them. They were so grateful. When we told him what we wanted to do on the Island he said Joey here would look after us. He was waiting for four people who had prebooked him. Four of us joined them and cost us $35 each for 6 hrs tour around. The secret Garden was lovely and worth seeing as the Islanders put on a dance and showed us their customs and then walked through the Gardens. Joey took us to a place where they roast coffee and of cause sell cups of coffee. He also took us to a beach and then into town to look around. The alcohol is so cheap there so the best place to buy duty free. Noumea was very dry, very expensive and not really enjoyable. The dinners at night were good but not quite the standard of Princess. No Lobsters, or Bom Alaska on formal night. The staff were excellent and always pleasant and helpful. The balcony cabin we had was comfortable but I don't think I have ever seen such a small shower on any cruise ship I have ever sailed on. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
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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