Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by Thegoonerarsenal
- Sail Date: November 2016
- Destination: Australia & New Zealand
The boarding process was very easy and quick with no problems at all. This was a good start, just what we were expecting from our first trip with RCI. We have previously sailed with 4 other cruise lines.
The ship was of reasonable standard, but not the best we have been on, some areas looked tired whilst others such as the Centrum looked impressive. We expected more from our cabin which was very basic. No extras or niceties such as dressing gowns or slippers, or lotions etc. We were in a balcony room on the 8th level, so we're expecting something better than just average.
Food was generally reasonable but not exceptional, but we had very good service from our table staff.
We did a lot of research prior to our trip, and spent a long time organising our own trips and excursions as we knew the offered excursions were very expensive. We managed to arrange similar tours at a third of the cost from most ports.
The South of Australia ports and that part of the holiday went without any problems and was very enjoyable. We hired a car in Esperance and spent the day touring beaches and parks and it cost half the price of the ships cheapest excursion.
Upon leaving Melbourne it was very obvious we were not sailing in the direction of New Zealand but nothing was said by the captain or anybody else. It was the next evening after a day at sea that the entertainment manager informed the audience prior to a stage show, that we would not be going to the Sounds or the South Island and would be having an additional 2 sea days. No apology no explanation, nothing, just dismissed out of hand as if it was no big deal. To many of us on board, this was to be the highlight of the cruise and so you can imagine the disappointment.
We had to cancel pre booked tours and try and arrange additional tours for the new ports. No help was offered, no free internet access and all we were told was that they would assist with phone calls if required.
We lost a whole day sailing in the sounds and 4 ports, and were offered 2 new ports in the North Island and Newcastle in Australia, nothing of comparable value or interest to what we were expecting. No compensation or recompense was offered or suggested.
After a couple of days we were told it was due to bad weather and was for our own safety, yet we know other ships still entered some of the ports we should have visited. It was also quite ironic that upon visiting Auckland divers worked on the stability issues on the ship. Very coincidental.
The extra days at sea were boring to say the least. The film showings were repeated, and the only entertainment was quiz shows and dancing. No lectures or anything stimulating. 4 days at sea when you know you should be visiting exotic locations was too much. The complete lack of understanding and empathy from the senior crew was unbelievable. Holiday of a lifetime ruined and it was a case of 'don't worry, there always another time' unfortunately for most of us we may not get another chance as the cost and time of distance to travel will be prohibitive.
Why were we not offered recompense for the lack of ports visited and distance travelled? and why were we not offered anything other than 'read the small print' for not fulfilling our expected itinerary? Shame on you RCI.
Quite honestly the port of Newcastle was an insult in comparison to where we should have gone, it is not a regular port for cruise ships to visit and the quality of trips offered was of a very poor standard, and inflated cost. It was a captured market and was exploited to the full by the excursions team. Again shame on you RCI.
Would we travel with RCI again, what do you think?
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