As part of a long planned holiday to Australia to celebrate a big anniversary we decided that to cruise part of the trip in order to catch up with old friends and see new places.
We know the southern half of Australia fairly well, but had never cruised the Top End, having long wanted to see Darwin. Once flight were organised, and family friends contacted, we looked for a cruise that might fit the bill. We settled on Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas, embarking in Sydney early in October.By the time we joined the ship, we had already had 3 weeks in Australia on a fairly hectic schedule, so looked forward to having more time to relax.
We joined the ship on a very wet day, but were swiftly on board as we are fortunate to find ourselves Diamond members.It was rather a disappointment not be offered a welcome aboard drink, and we were surprised to find that this line would not allow us to bring even a single bottle of good Australian wine on board.
Our balcony cabin was pleasant, nicely furnished, and had a lovely balcony with ample room for table and chars. We were provided with lovely fluffy robes and a nice range of good toiletries.
Our vivid impression was of a large, comfortable, spacious ship, solidly built along traditional lines. We loved the open views and lovely vistas provided by the acres of windows, glass sea-facing elevators and lovely glass staircase.
There was never an impression of being just a couple among 2500 fellow passengers, as there was always plenty of space, even round the pool on sunny days. There was no scramble for deck chairs, or tables at meal times, and all organisation seemed to be fairly well done.
Meals in the main Cascades restaurant were mass-catering average, but the speciality restaurants were excellent, varied, offering beautifully presented and delicious dining at a fairly modest $120 each.
Entertainment was absolutely first class, with many varied local acts performing, as well as good productions shows, great live music in several venues and lively daily activities.
We did not take part in expensive ship tours, as in most ports it was easy to e local transport or walk to make the most of a visit, and it was very pleasant to sample local foods and drink
we had 2 cabins, by choice, starboard 7514 on Sydney to Fremantle sector, port 7014 on Fremantle-Sydney Both were the first balcony cabins on deck 7. The cabins were quiet, apart from the occasional, barely heard sound of rehearsal going on in the theatre below. The balcony was described as partially obstructed, but we found that no to be much of a disadvantage, as the curved bulkhead provided shelter from the wind when weather was poor. Since the cabins were at the furthest extremity, cabin service was often very delayed, and room service always arrived cold.