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Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and the porters were very helpful in organizing our luggage and then getting Mum onboard the ship. Our cabin was not ready so the porter took us to the cafe where Mum transferred to a seat. He provided us with clear directions on where to get the elevators as Mum cannot use the stairs. Dining. Had a continental breakfast in our cabin most mornings which was always delivered promptly. However, every day there would be something missing from our order - not enough to call them back but just to annoy you. For example, no milk for the cereal only yoghurt or no sugar for the coffee. We had lunch at the Windjammer Cafe most days and found this perfectly acceptable. There was a good variety of food offered with some staples (burgers, hot dogs) and an assortment of hot and cold dishes. The food and beverage service staff were friendly and helpful. We had dinner in Cascades - the main dining room - each evening. We had wonderful meals every night with plenty of choices offered. Our waiters - Regan and Hasin - were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble. We would arrive of an evening and find a glass of wine waiting for us. Regan would then go through the menu and provide recommendations for each course. One night I could not decide between 2 dishes so he bought me both!! As a person with a life-threatening allergy Regan's attention to detail was very reassuring. Beverages. Decided very quickly on day one we would get the deluxe beverage package and wish we had pre-purchased which offers a substantial saving. The main reason we chose the package was the convenience - with Mum having limited mobility it would have been tiresome to go up to the 11th floor everytime we wanted a drink (tea, coffee, water) outside of meal times. We are not big drinkers - enjoy a glass of wine with our lunch and dinner, a coffee/tea during the day, water when going on shore and a nightcap - but we felt that having the package encouraged you to drink more than usual. I would like to see different levels of drink packages with some alcohol included. Currently, it is an all or nothing package and does not fit with "responsible serving of alcohol". Bar staff were friendly and we did not have to often wait to be served. I would single out Alex in the Champagne Bar for his attentive service for Mum. Enrichment activities. These were few and far between with next to nothing being offered on this cruise for discerning travelers. I am used to cruising where we would have at least one lecture offered every day on a wide variety of topics so I was very disappointed. The climate change lecture was OK. The commentary provided whilst in Milford Sound was informative. Entertainment. This ship offers the usual activities you expect on a cruise - gym, cinema, trivia, karaoke, game shows (adult and child versions) towel folding craft, etc. There were 2 theme parties on this cruise - a 70s night and Halloween. Both nights encouraged guests to dress up with prizes awarded. We quickly learned to avoid activities that involved the Cruise Director and/or Activities Director. Found both John and Katrina to be very superficial with little interest in the guests. There was a variety of performances in the evening - some good, some ok, some bad - depending on your preferences. We thoroughly enjoyed Monique Montez, Rock Rhapsody -songs of Queen and the highlight was the final act Dean Atkinson a ventriloquist and comedian. Very, very funny show so ended on a high. Ports. Enjoyed doing my own discovery in the ports. Was very surprised to have to pay to get the shuttle bus into Dunedin with no opportunity to walk from the ship into the local village. This has never occurred on any other cruise for me and I certainly think people should be warned. I have safely managed to walk through "working" ports through most of the Mediterranean with no ill effects so am not sure why this could not be done in NZ. The shore excursions offered by RCI were very expensive and I heard mixed reviews from other guests. I found it interesting that RCI only provides soft drink and a quick snack (which was whisked away very quickly) for Cruise Critic "Meet and Mingle" parties. On other cruise lines, we have been provided with champagne, wines and nibbles served on trays by the food and beverage staff members. I think because it was held the way it was that people did not feel inclined to get to know each other which was a pity. My major gripe is the disembarkation and final transfer to the airport. We paid RCI for a private transfer (at $80) BUT got put on a bus (advertised onboard for $30) and then dumped at the airport. NO WHEELCHAIR ASSISTANCE which was why I had booked the private transfer. This was both disappointing and stressful for both of us and really put a dampener on the holiday. It seemed that RCI could not wait to be rid of their guests and was a very different experience to our first day so therefore I could not recommend RCI for anyone with mobility issues. All in all, for what we paid, I was happy with the cruise. The constant "up-selling" all over the ship was a major irritant and detracted from our holiday. Not sure if I would use RCI again.

Pleasant for the Price

Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review by KatielouAustralia

8 people found this helpful
Trip Details
Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and the porters were very helpful in organizing our luggage and then getting Mum onboard the ship. Our cabin was not ready so the porter took us to the cafe where Mum transferred to a seat. He provided us with clear directions on where to get the elevators as Mum cannot use the stairs.

Dining. Had a continental breakfast in our cabin most mornings which was always delivered promptly. However, every day there would be something missing from our order - not enough to call them back but just to annoy you. For example, no milk for the cereal only yoghurt or no sugar for the coffee. We had lunch at the Windjammer Cafe most days and found this perfectly acceptable. There was a good variety of food offered with some staples (burgers, hot dogs) and an assortment of hot and cold dishes. The food and beverage service staff were friendly and helpful. We had dinner in Cascades - the main dining room - each evening. We had wonderful meals every night with plenty of choices offered. Our waiters - Regan and Hasin - were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble. We would arrive of an evening and find a glass of wine waiting for us. Regan would then go through the menu and provide recommendations for each course. One night I could not decide between 2 dishes so he bought me both!! As a person with a life-threatening allergy Regan's attention to detail was very reassuring.

Beverages. Decided very quickly on day one we would get the deluxe beverage package and wish we had pre-purchased which offers a substantial saving. The main reason we chose the package was the convenience - with Mum having limited mobility it would have been tiresome to go up to the 11th floor everytime we wanted a drink (tea, coffee, water) outside of meal times. We are not big drinkers - enjoy a glass of wine with our lunch and dinner, a coffee/tea during the day, water when going on shore and a nightcap - but we felt that having the package encouraged you to drink more than usual. I would like to see different levels of drink packages with some alcohol included. Currently, it is an all or nothing package and does not fit with "responsible serving of alcohol". Bar staff were friendly and we did not have to often wait to be served. I would single out Alex in the Champagne Bar for his attentive service for Mum.

Enrichment activities. These were few and far between with next to nothing being offered on this cruise for discerning travelers. I am used to cruising where we would have at least one lecture offered every day on a wide variety of topics so I was very disappointed. The climate change lecture was OK. The commentary provided whilst in Milford Sound was informative.

Entertainment. This ship offers the usual activities you expect on a cruise - gym, cinema, trivia, karaoke, game shows (adult and child versions) towel folding craft, etc. There were 2 theme parties on this cruise - a 70s night and Halloween. Both nights encouraged guests to dress up with prizes awarded. We quickly learned to avoid activities that involved the Cruise Director and/or Activities Director. Found both John and Katrina to be very superficial with little interest in the guests. There was a variety of performances in the evening - some good, some ok, some bad - depending on your preferences. We thoroughly enjoyed Monique Montez, Rock Rhapsody -songs of Queen and the highlight was the final act Dean Atkinson a ventriloquist and comedian. Very, very funny show so ended on a high.

Ports. Enjoyed doing my own discovery in the ports. Was very surprised to have to pay to get the shuttle bus into Dunedin with no opportunity to walk from the ship into the local village. This has never occurred on any other cruise for me and I certainly think people should be warned. I have safely managed to walk through "working" ports through most of the Mediterranean with no ill effects so am not sure why this could not be done in NZ. The shore excursions offered by RCI were very expensive and I heard mixed reviews from other guests.

I found it interesting that RCI only provides soft drink and a quick snack (which was whisked away very quickly) for Cruise Critic "Meet and Mingle" parties. On other cruise lines, we have been provided with champagne, wines and nibbles served on trays by the food and beverage staff members. I think because it was held the way it was that people did not feel inclined to get to know each other which was a pity.

My major gripe is the disembarkation and final transfer to the airport. We paid RCI for a private transfer (at $80) BUT got put on a bus (advertised onboard for $30) and then dumped at the airport. NO WHEELCHAIR ASSISTANCE which was why I had booked the private transfer. This was both disappointing and stressful for both of us and really put a dampener on the holiday. It seemed that RCI could not wait to be rid of their guests and was a very different experience to our first day so therefore I could not recommend RCI for anyone with mobility issues.

All in all, for what we paid, I was happy with the cruise. The constant "up-selling" all over the ship was a major irritant and detracted from our holiday. Not sure if I would use RCI again.
KatielouAustralia’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Service
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Cabin Review

Spacious Ocean View Balcony
Cabin 2B 9070
Cabin was clean and comfortable. Whilst it was called "spacious" it was just an ordinary sized balcony cabin to me. Not sure how much difference there is between balcony and spacious balcony.
Bed linen was only changed once during our 9-night cruise. Towels were changed daily. Bathroom amenities are very poor. You are only provided with soap and then a combined shampoo/conditioner in a dispenser on the wall. No shower gel or body lotion.
Deck 9 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins