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Radiance of the Seas – Sydney to Hobart 24-31 October 2016 We enjoy doing short local cruises. Always something new to see and no passports or long flights to worry about. Embarkation – We received an email two days before departure “During Radiance of the Seas’ last sailing, a small number of guests onboard experienced gastrointestinal illness. In an abundance of caution, we are conducting enhanced sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any further illness. Due to the additional sanitizing, the check-in appointment times for your voyage have been rescheduled.” This was fine by us – we did not wish to become ill and were happy with whatever they could do to help us, the other passengers and crew to remain healthy and stop the spread of illness. We had flown to Sydney so we arrived around 11.00am. We always train it from the airport and walk from Circular Quay. We decided to see if we could drop of our suitcases, however when we got there we could board straight away around 12.30pm. The queues were not very long so we were on board in about 15 minutes. We were advised our rooms would not be ready until 4.00pm and our suitcases would not be available for some time after that. They arrived around 6.00pm not too bad. The wait with our carryon bags was a bit of a nuisance but we survived. Cabin 9060 – Superior Balcony Cabin. All good – a few things missing on the first day or so however with all the extra work the staff had to do it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Our only complaint was the “cooler” which never worked the whole time. We did mention it and they supposedly checked it but the water on the bench was colder than in the “cooler”. No big deal just a waste of space if they don’t cool anything. The cabin is the normal design. King bed, plenty of hanging space, plenty of drawers and shower curtain which sticks to your butt if you get too close! Our cabin steward “Girlie” was great. We always put the sign out to have our room done when we left for breakfast and it was usually done when we returned. No problems at all. We had towel animals on the bed a couple of times. Main Dining Room – we ate here most nights. Food good and waiters excellent – sorry forgot their names. I ordered pasta one night and it was a bit bland the waiter was happy to replace it without any worries. Windjammer Café – we ate breakfast and lunch here most days. Plenty of variety and what you expect from a buffet of such a large size. Not a lot of waiters in attendance but we always managed to get one eventually. They had to clean tables as well so they were very busy. Chops Grille – we celebrated hubbies’ birthday here. He was embarrassed with the singing happy birthday and a slice of cake for him! I loved it. The food was very nice although we found his slice of cake very dry. Everything else was delicious. Beverage Package – hubby had purchased his when they had the “select package”. They kept trying to get him to upgrade but as he said he only drank beer so why pay more? I purchased the new package on board. Ok we both like a drink, I like the fresh orange juice and coffee as well. We find it easier than signing for every drink and know where we stand with our bill. Entertainment – Tango Buenos Aeries, we have seen it before and loved it as much this time as we did last time. There was a display of tango dancers by the main couple and their son also great to watch. The Aussie Boys were fantastic – must admit I like to see the local entertainers on board. Great show and had everyone tapping away with them. One other show with the RCI Singers and Dancers – I always love their shows so am probably a bit biased. We did miss the singer Charlie in the Pig and Whistle Bar. He would pack the bar every night – not much entertainment in this bar at all. Very disappointing. The man playing the piano was good however he didn't interact with people. Staff – most important of all – we had no problems with any of them and found them all to be extremely helpful and polite. The Cruise Director – Steve (I think!) always funny and said hi if he passed you onshore or on board. The wait staff and bar attendants were always attentive and helpful. Ship - clean and tidy - always plenty of staff to assist. Ports of call Melbourne - we don’t book shore excursions from the ship very often. In Melbourne, we went to the Arts Centre which have free exhibits – one of which was “Kylie on Stage” – even hubby enjoyed this. I also did a guided tour $20 which was fabulous. We saw three rehearsals and went through several different theatres. Well worth the money and highly recommended. Next was the museum. Always things to see. Then onto the National Gallery of Victoria – free exhibition “Italian Jewellery Bulgari Style” wonderful – drool marks on all the windows! So, lots to see and do in a proximity. The exhibits are always changing so next trip will probably go to the same places and see what is new. Hobart – we caught a bus to the “Cascade Brewery”. Beings “oldies” we received a discount so the cost was only $25 each. Book online as they get extremely busy. We got off one stop early and walked through the “Cascade Gardens” absolutely lovely. Up a slight hill but if you are reasonably fit it is an easy walk. The tour itself if you can’t do stairs then you would not be able to do this. Also, you need long pants and closed in shoes. We loved the tour very informative. You get 5 samplings at the end of the tour – so as I am not a beer drinker gave my tokens to some young guys who were happy to receive them. Think they were some crew members off the ship. Port Kembla – Well what a welcome “the Gong” put on for us! They did themselves proud. There were helicopters flying overhead, an old plane, jet skis – although I thought they were far enough away they were moved on by the police. I believe there was also whale sightings which I missed. There were two tug boats – one with their water cannons going for ages, lots of people lining the shore waving and boats. There were shuttle buses to take us into Lang Park where there was a small market. The Mayor of Wollongong met all the buses and got on to welcome everyone. There was also a great Harley-Davidson rally of around 2,000 bikes. Great display. We also walked up to the lighthouse not far with the beach below. Lovely view. The “pièce de résistance” for us was our tour of the Port Kembla Steel mill. I arranged this privately and it was fabulous. The gentleman who took us Craig did it on his own time as there were no tours running on that day. So informative, he gave us so much information and was so interesting to see the steel being poured into great long slabs and then cut. Very hot and you need to be relatively fit as to get into the building you have to walk up four flights of metal stairs. You must be dressed in long pants, enclosed shoes and they give you goggles, a flouro shirt, safety helmet and gloves to wear. We even received a piece of metal as a souvenir. Disembarkation - easy we always do a walk off. We went upstairs for breakfast early. When we tried to go down in the lift with our luggage that was our only problem – we did what all cruisers do in this situation took the up lift and then went back down. Walk to Circular Quay and train to the airport. Apologies if this is too long or too many pictures!

Relaxing Cruise to Hobart

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by happychris52

9 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Radiance of the Seas – Sydney to Hobart 24-31 October 2016

We enjoy doing short local cruises. Always something new to see and no passports or long flights to worry about.

Embarkation – We received an email two days before departure “During Radiance of the Seas’ last sailing, a small number of guests onboard experienced gastrointestinal illness. In an abundance of caution, we are conducting enhanced sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any further illness. Due to the additional sanitizing, the check-in appointment times for your voyage have been rescheduled.”

This was fine by us – we did not wish to become ill and were happy with whatever they could do to help us, the other passengers and crew to remain healthy and stop the spread of illness.

We had flown to Sydney so we arrived around 11.00am. We always train it from the airport and walk from Circular Quay. We decided to see if we could drop of our suitcases, however when we got there we could board straight away around 12.30pm. The queues were not very long so we were on board in about 15 minutes. We were advised our rooms would not be ready until 4.00pm and our suitcases would not be available for some time after that. They arrived around 6.00pm not too bad. The wait with our carryon bags was a bit of a nuisance but we survived.

Cabin 9060 – Superior Balcony Cabin. All good – a few things missing on the first day or so however with all the extra work the staff had to do it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Our only complaint was the “cooler” which never worked the whole time. We did mention it and they supposedly checked it but the water on the bench was colder than in the “cooler”. No big deal just a waste of space if they don’t cool anything. The cabin is the normal design. King bed, plenty of hanging space, plenty of drawers and shower curtain which sticks to your butt if you get too close! Our cabin steward “Girlie” was great. We always put the sign out to have our room done when we left for breakfast and it was usually done when we returned. No problems at all. We had towel animals on the bed a couple of times.

Main Dining Room – we ate here most nights. Food good and waiters excellent – sorry forgot their names. I ordered pasta one night and it was a bit bland the waiter was happy to replace it without any worries.

Windjammer Café – we ate breakfast and lunch here most days. Plenty of variety and what you expect from a buffet of such a large size. Not a lot of waiters in attendance but we always managed to get one eventually. They had to clean tables as well so they were very busy.

Chops Grille – we celebrated hubbies’ birthday here. He was embarrassed with the singing happy birthday and a slice of cake for him! I loved it. The food was very nice although we found his slice of cake very dry. Everything else was delicious.

Beverage Package – hubby had purchased his when they had the “select package”. They kept trying to get him to upgrade but as he said he only drank beer so why pay more? I purchased the new package on board. Ok we both like a drink, I like the fresh orange juice and coffee as well. We find it easier than signing for every drink and know where we stand with our bill.

Entertainment – Tango Buenos Aeries, we have seen it before and loved it as much this time as we did last time. There was a display of tango dancers by the main couple and their son also great to watch. The Aussie Boys were fantastic – must admit I like to see the local entertainers on board. Great show and had everyone tapping away with them. One other show with the RCI Singers and Dancers – I always love their shows so am probably a bit biased. We did miss the singer Charlie in the Pig and Whistle Bar. He would pack the bar every night – not much entertainment in this bar at all. Very disappointing. The man playing the piano was good however he didn't interact with people.

Staff – most important of all – we had no problems with any of them and found them all to be extremely helpful and polite. The Cruise Director – Steve (I think!) always funny and said hi if he passed you onshore or on board. The wait staff and bar attendants were always attentive and helpful.

Ship - clean and tidy - always plenty of staff to assist.

Ports of call

Melbourne - we don’t book shore excursions from the ship very often. In Melbourne, we went to the Arts Centre which have free exhibits – one of which was “Kylie on Stage” – even hubby enjoyed this. I also did a guided tour $20 which was fabulous. We saw three rehearsals and went through several different theatres. Well worth the money and highly recommended. Next was the museum. Always things to see. Then onto the National Gallery of Victoria – free exhibition “Italian Jewellery Bulgari Style” wonderful – drool marks on all the windows! So, lots to see and do in a proximity. The exhibits are always changing so next trip will probably go to the same places and see what is new.

Hobart – we caught a bus to the “Cascade Brewery”. Beings “oldies” we received a discount so the cost was only $25 each. Book online as they get extremely busy. We got off one stop early and walked through the “Cascade Gardens” absolutely lovely. Up a slight hill but if you are reasonably fit it is an easy walk. The tour itself if you can’t do stairs then you would not be able to do this. Also, you need long pants and closed in shoes. We loved the tour very informative. You get 5 samplings at the end of the tour – so as I am not a beer drinker gave my tokens to some young guys who were happy to receive them. Think they were some crew members off the ship.

Port Kembla – Well what a welcome “the Gong” put on for us! They did themselves proud. There were helicopters flying overhead, an old plane, jet skis – although I thought they were far enough away they were moved on by the police. I believe there was also whale sightings which I missed. There were two tug boats – one with their water cannons going for ages, lots of people lining the shore waving and boats. There were shuttle buses to take us into Lang Park where there was a small market. The Mayor of Wollongong met all the buses and got on to welcome everyone. There was also a great Harley-Davidson rally of around 2,000 bikes. Great display. We also walked up to the lighthouse not far with the beach below. Lovely view. The “pièce de résistance” for us was our tour of the Port Kembla Steel mill. I arranged this privately and it was fabulous. The gentleman who took us Craig did it on his own time as there were no tours running on that day. So informative, he gave us so much information and was so interesting to see the steel being poured into great long slabs and then cut. Very hot and you need to be relatively fit as to get into the building you have to walk up four flights of metal stairs. You must be dressed in long pants, enclosed shoes and they give you goggles, a flouro shirt, safety helmet and gloves to wear. We even received a piece of metal as a souvenir.

Disembarkation - easy we always do a walk off. We went upstairs for breakfast early. When we tried to go down in the lift with our luggage that was our only problem – we did what all cruisers do in this situation took the up lift and then went back down. Walk to Circular Quay and train to the airport.

Apologies if this is too long or too many pictures!
happychris52’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9060
Cabin 9060 – Superior Balcony Cabin. All good – a few things missing on the first day or so however with all the extra work the staff had to do it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Our only complaint was the “cooler” which never worked the whole time. We did mention it and they supposedly checked it but the water on the bench was colder than in the “cooler”. No big deal just a waste of space if they don’t cool anything. The cabin is the normal design. King bed, plenty of hanging space, plenty of drawers and shower curtain which sticks to your butt if you get too close! Our cabin steward “Girlie” was great. We always put the sign out to have our room done when we left for breakfast and it was usually done when we returned. No problems at all. We had towel animals on the bed a couple of times.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Hobart
    Hobart – we caught a bus to the “Cascade Brewery”. Beings “oldies” we received a discount so the cost was only $25 each. Book online as they get extremely busy. We got off one stop early and walked through the “Cascade Gardens” absolutely lovely. Up a slight hill but if you are reasonably fit it is an easy walk. The tour itself if you can’t do stairs then you would not be able to do this. Also, you need long pants and closed in shoes. We loved the tour very informative. You get 5 samplings at the end of the tour – so as I am not a beer drinker gave my tokens to some young guys who were happy to receive them. Think they were some crew members off the ship.
    View All 158 Hobart Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Hobart Cruise Port Review
  • Melbourne
    Melbourne - we don’t book shore excursions from the ship very often. In Melbourne, we went to the Arts Centre which have free exhibits – one of which was “Kylie on Stage” – even hubby enjoyed this. I also did a guided tour $20 which was fabulous. We saw three rehearsals and went through several different theatres. Well worth the money and highly recommended. Next was the museum. Always things to see. Then onto the National Gallery of Victoria – free exhibition “Italian Jewellery Bulgari Style” wonderful – drool marks on all the windows! So, lots to see and do in a proximity. The exhibits are always changing so next trip will probably go to the same places and see what is new.
    View All 217 Melbourne Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Melbourne Cruise Port Review
  • Sydney (Australia)
    We didn't do an excursion however we love Sydney. So much to see and do in close proximity. Catch a ferry to Manly, Watsons Bay, Luna Park, Taronga Zoo, Parramatta and so many other places to go on one ticket. Or just walk around Circular Quay to see all the entertainers, Opera House, walk the Harbour Bridge or go shopping.
    View All 660 Sydney (Australia) Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's Sydney (Australia) Cruise Port Review