We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way cruise from Sydney to Auckland. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, first cruise to NZ and the biggest ship we have been on.
We flew into Sydney, the day before the cruise departed, just in case of airline delays or cancellations. We boarded at 11.30 am and in our cabins by 3.00 pm.
There are 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian in our family, so as soon as we were onboard, we went to see one of the head waiters in the Colony Club, to explain our dietary requirements. All our breakfasts and lunches were in the Windjammers Buffet and all our dinners were in Cascades. Cascades wins hands down in the “fine dining” department and their vegan meals were delicious and plenty of it. The vegans were usually given 2 or 3 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts each, just to ensure there was enough choice. The omnivores were also taken care of. Prawn cocktails, crumbed prawns, lobster tails, escargot, Rib eye steak, sirloin steak, fillet mignon, rack of lamb, venison, pork loin chops. Sometimes I had 2 entrees and 2 mains. Sometimes the steak was too chewy, so I ordered more prawn cocktails. The Cascade waiting staff were great and Cascades is the only place where soft drinks are free.
We had 3 consecutive exterior cabins on deck 3, 2 had an inter-connecting door. We were directly below the Cascades Dining Room on Deck 4, but there was no noise coming through. The aircond was quiet and had an adjustable control. There were 2 European (230V) and 2 USA (110V) power points, but no USB sockets. A hairdryer was supplied. The bathroom had lots of mirrors and a wall cabinet. The shower had a 2 in 1 shampoo/conditioner dispenser and tablets of soap were provided.
There is a 2 seater sofa and coffee table in each cabin. The furniture was in fair condition.
Sydney in summer is just perfect.
We walked around this hilly city. Lots of Scottish history and has the steepest street in the world.
A long journey in the tender, 25-40 minutes. Not much in Akaroa, population 600. We caught the bus to Christchurch and well worth the 90 minute journey. We booked the bus independently so we had no priority with Royal Caribbean to get onto the tender; So we got up super early to get on the first tender.
Small picturesque town with limited shopping, bars and cafes.