We were looking forward to a fun, party type atmosphere like we have had recently on Explorer, Rhapsody and Celebrity Solstice. Those ships had dancing almost every night to a really uptempo band playing great dance music and there was either a party in the public area or the nightclub was pumping.
This voyage had a largely young to youngish age group looking to have fun at night but the Radiance only had four fun parties over the 14 night trip. The Phillipino band continually played boring, old fashioned music which only one or two couples would dance to so everyone would melt off early to bed. I have never spent so many cruise evenings watching movies!
Loved Zumba with Sophie on sea days but I wish that the gym instructors taking Fab Abs and Total Body Conditioning would not push everyone do endless repetitions of the same movement using the same bodypart over 1 to 2 minutes. I ended up with painful inflammation of the shoulders and upper arms which gradually subsided with rest - my gym Les Mills in Auckland never make you overuse one area and they change to a different exercise far more frequently.
Aloyiuis was a great cabin attendant. All was ship shape.
No excursion necessary to have a lovely day at the beach. We caught the bus from the terminal especially for cruise passengers which dropped people at various stops along the waterfront for A $12? each and included pickups every half hour back to the terminal.Lemon Bay and Anse Vata beaches were clean with clear calm water - terrific swimming.
Another gorgeous beach right beside where the tenders drop you, locals selling plenty of food and souvenirs. Do visit the quaint and charming church up on the hill - a pleasant walk.
We did a ship tour to a resort and enjoyed a Fijian style buffet lunch, swimming, walking along the beach and kayaking which was all included. Great entertainment from the Fijian firewalkers and dancing.
There were plenty of tours being offered at the tents right beside the gangway as you walked off the ship. For A$30 each we were driven to the First Landing Resort and spent time snorkeling the reef (which was way out but had colourful coral and many pretty fish )and then driven back a few hours later.
Surprisingly there were no tour operators at the wharf or indeed anywhere in town so anyone who hadn't booked a ship's tour was queued up in the town's streets and eventually bundled by a local co-ordinator into any car, which often was not a real taxi. All we had to go by was a handout suggesting places to go and their approximate taxi fare.
We had a scary experience when our 'taxi' turned out to be just a private car with a driver who couldn't speak any English. We wanted to go snorkelling and had read reviews about good snorkeling at Keleti Beach and it was listed on the handout as one of about 12 destinations so we showed him the map. He drove many kilometres off the roads and was going to leave us stranded down a dirt foot track on a deserted stretch of beach nowhere near cars, taxis, buses ,shops or any civilisation at all. We wouldn't have been able to get back to the ship. We told him to take us back and luckily we met up later with other passengers whose driver spoke English and they said to follow us to the Keleti Beach Resort where we joined their group and had a lovely time snorkeling in beautiful rock pools.
We enjoyed a wonderful 40 minute walk around the base of Mount Maunganui which is only 5 to 10 minutes walk along the pretty harbour beach from the ship. Many other passengers walked up to the summit which only takes 40 to 60 minutes. The lovely, white sand, surf beach on the other side of the isthmus is gorgeous too and a very popular holiday spot.