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Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review
4.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating
1,259 Reviews

Brilliant Return to RCL

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by mbleacher

4 people found this helpful
Trip Details
  • Sail Date: Sep 2016
  • Destination: Australia & New Zealand
  • Cabin Type: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

I have been punnishing RCL for 12 years, since they completely ignored my complaints about my experience on the Majesty of the Seas in 2004. This itinerary and my new bride was the only reason I decided to try them again. I wasn't expecting much since Radiance is an older boat without a recent refit. I must say we were pleasantly surprised with few exceptions.

The positives: The Solarium is a quiet oasis and there were no kids to be found. Sometimes on Carnival, they "say" no kids, but they don't enforce it. The only bad thing was squatters who leave their stuff on chairs longer than the time limit. This is not enforced. They should build in timers to the chairs that you have to set when you get up.

The spa: Great massage therapists for sure. Very professional and deceptively strong for their size. There's a steam room and they even have suites that are built for a couples experience. You can relax in the relaxation room, though they don't advertise you can go in there after you take a complimentary steam.

The dining room: Typical cruise fare with love infused. We ate at the specialty restaurant, and aside from the portions and flare, the main dining room was just as good. They didn't have one lobster night at all though, that was missed on an 18-day voyage. Even formal night was nothing special and we had 3 of them.

Cruise director staff: They really did involve the passengers, which was really appreciated. Though the karaoke machine was down for the first 5 days (I think maybe they just didn't want to use it?) it was very popular when they got it fixed. They put on a talent show of passengers, and they were all a LOT of fun. (I did Frank Sinatra). There was an Australian guy who did kind of a rap story poem that was like 5 minutes long and very fun.

Photo package: We got the photo package and all the photographers were great. Just fabulous. Hard working and fun. I don't know if they really were happy to see us, but they acted like they were.

Negatives:

-Despite having requested no alcohol in our cabin, it took 4 days to get it removed.

-Never got the extension cord or the distilled water for my CPAP machine, though I asked our cabin steward several times for it. Had to call him because we never saw this guy. That's one of our favorite things is feeling special because a good steward will make you feel special.

-Abandon ship alarm went off (For real) which was a malfunction, and though we went to our muster stations and missed the Blackjack Tournament, nobody seemed to care or offer any compensation. When you make a major faux pas like that, you could at least give a complimentary buy-in.

-Jerk tour operator in Moorea abused the reef sharks and Rays by throwing them on us and handling them roughly. We are animal lovers, but even people who didn't care about them agreed it was over the top.

Handicapped feature of the door pops it all the way open and leaves it open for a long time. So if you're standing there naked, you'd better hope someone isn't walking down the hall. You can't disable this feature.

We had a great time with our shipmates. It was a great cruise and RCL is our next cruise. They've won us back.


mbleacher's Full Rating Summary
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Onboard Experience
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
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Shore Excursions
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Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Cabin E3 7114

The cabin was pretty run-down and the handicapped features made it somewhat useful for someone in a full wheelchair, but a little uncomfortable for someone with just a cane or walker.


Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

Honolulu

HNL is HNL. We stayed a week before the cruise at the Marriott resort. Great hotel, lots to do. Right on Waikiki

Snorkeling

Awful tour guides abusing the wildlife for tourist entertainment. Literally throwing sting rays on people and kicking sharks. Foolish and cruel. Even after I told him to stop as it was freaking out my new bride, he kept it up. What a jerk.

View All 20 Snorkeling Reviews

Over the water bungalows, beautifu lagoon, just down from the Intercontinental. Nice people except for the French guy at the desk. Rude.

View All undefined undefined Reviews
Cable car

Took the bus over to the taxi stand. The bus was free to the taxis. Then we rented a taxi for $200 NZ to drive us around to all the spots. His name was Frank. Great guy. There were six of us in his van, so very cheap and he took us everywhere. Not a very big place, so it was maybe 3 hours. Then we took an uber back to the ship after dinner.

View All 31 Cable car Reviews
City Tour

Nice downtown area.

View All 33 City Tour Reviews
Lady Norwood Rose Garden

Flowers. Lots of them.

View All 10 Lady Norwood Rose Garden Reviews
Lord of the Rings Walking Tour

Went on our own to the shop. Nice gift shop and statues outside.

View All 21 Lord of the Rings Walking Tour Reviews
Pencarrow Station

Fun to ride and learn about stuff. Good gift shop at the top.

View All 6 Pencarrow Station Reviews
Te Papa Museum

Kind of boring for kids, but not expensive.

View All 28 Te Papa Museum Reviews
Island Tour

What a pit. Dirty and unfriendly for the most part. We went to the Intercontinental. They were rude there and unfriendly. Expensive and not worth the money. Ignore all that and enjoy the view. Just stay out of town. Ugh.

View All 49 Island Tour Reviews

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mbleacher
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