My wife and I have just returned from the above cruise and wish to make the following observations and conclusions. We are seasoned cruises having sailed with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed our holidays. I cannot understand why the pricing policy is so unfair so much so that I got the immediate impression of being ripped off at every hands turn.
I feel that in today's world communication is very important and whether travelling from various parts of the globe to this location all one wants to do is send a brief email to family intimating safe arrival etc. but on 'Radiance' the one off charge of forty dollars for Internet connection is absolutely ludicrous. Why not charge customers a small activation fee and operate a pay as you go system. Other companies allow this but this is just example of the ripped off scenario.
Being a smoker I have in the past been able to buy a carton of cigarettes at a discounted price but all that was available in the shop was a small amount of menthol types. I expected to purchase the occasional pack in bars and was appalled to be charged ten dollars. I thought by buying a 200 pack would be discounted but again the rip off merchants came in and charged one hundred dollars which is shocking.
The 'My Time' experience was an absolute disaster. The definition of anytime, freedom or my time means you dine when it suits but not on this ship, one needs to make a reservation which means that you dine with virtually the same people every evening and this becomes boring and uninteresting resulting in limited conversation. One of the advantages of this dining type is meeting other guests, forming relationships thus adding to the overall enjoyment of the holiday. I attempted to change my reservation time and spoke to the Maître D’ but he intimated the only time available was 7.45pm.for the entire cruise.
I have cruised for over twenty years and this is the first ship without laundromat facilities resulting in having to pay for washing and pressing clothes. Yet another example of cruisers having to pay for facilities that should have been provided.
In my experience there has always been a late theatre show but 8.15pm was scheduled throughout the cruise and because of the only available reservation dinner time of 7.45pm we could not attend. It did not suit us to go to the earlier 6.15pm show. I spoke to Steve Davis the cruise director and he said they received complaints about late shows and decided to bring them forward. He intimated that the average age of cruisers was seventy five which I couldn't agree with and felt he was out of touch with the majority of cruisers I spoke to who wanted a late show.
On Carnival ships they have oasis pools. They are quite small and the temperature is warm and very pleasant. The solarium on Radiance is much larger and grander but no one swam in the pool the first week because the temperature was sub-zero. Midway through the second week the water was heated which I thought rather strange or another cost cutting exercise. The ship's interior was quite cold on occasions and the 'Movies under the Stars' on the sun deck was deserted in the evenings because of cold conditions. On one occasion a cartoon was filmed. The cinema was out of action for at least a week.
More often than not in an effort to find suitable evening entertainment we would return to our stateroom but the television programmes were poor. TCM movies largely consisted of old movies but of course we could have purchased movies but again another example of having to fork out money when you easily have provided a decent free channel. We paid good money to come on this cruise and got nothing in return other than good food and friendly staff but it could have been so much better.
I awoke early one morning about 3am and felt like a coffee and went to The Windjammer ‘24 hour’ coffee station only to find the urns had been switched off. Some evenings there was a floor show in the centrum area. Now this area is quite small and the surrounding seats were pushed back and patrons sat on steps and hung over balconies to view the activity which was totally useless. Why they didn’t use the area in the colony club where everyone could have been seated I do not know.
In conclusion in management terms this is the worst ship I have been on and it is very unlikely will cruise with them again. The decision to operate a non-functional 'My Time' dining greatly impacted on us and the reluctance not to have a late show meant that entertainment after dining was somewhat limited unless one goes to other bars to hear someone singing.
I felt greatly let down by the attitude of management and attempted and raised my concerns to guest relations and the Cruise Director but all efforts proved fruitless. I cannot over emphasise my disappointment of this cruise.
It was quite spacious but the fridge never cooled
We travelled into town and it was a lovely city.