12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been on our bucket list and this cruise seemed perfect. We have been on Radiance two other times so we knew the ship quite well so it was like coming back to an old friend. Needless to say, ... Read More
Seeing Australia and New Zealand has always been on our bucket list and this cruise seemed perfect. We have been on Radiance two other times so we knew the ship quite well so it was like coming back to an old friend. Needless to say, getting to Perth takes some effort. 14 plus hours to Sydney from Los Angeles and then 5 more hours from Sydney to Perth. I was surprised how inexpensive the flight was on Virgin Australia to fly over 5 hours to Perth. Definitely less expensive than flying across the United States. We stayed at the Parmelia Hilton, which was well located to see Elizabeth Quay and the shopping district. We had two nights and a full day to see Perth and the surrounding area (Freemantle). We did the Hop on Hop off around Perth then took the train down to Freemantle, had lunch and then toured the prison, well worth the effort. Embarkation was quite easy and we were on the ship within 20 minutes of arriving at the port. It was hot, so nice to get on board and have a nice lunch in air conditioning! Cabin: We booked this cruise over a year ago while in the Baltic on the sister ship Brilliance. We booked a Junior suite on Deck 10, because of the good price and the length of the cruise. (Always nice to have a little extra room on a long cruise.) Our room was well located, was clean and neat, and obviously had been refurbished when the ship had its overhaul a few years ago. It was easy to walk up one flight to the windjammer or catch an elevator to the lower floors. We absolutely had no complaints about our accommodations. Now, for those not familiar with the Junior Suite category, the storage is amazing. It is really the only category with an actual "walk in" closet! Food: I have read some reviews that have already been filed and I have to disagree with some of the conclusions vis a vie the food reviews. We have been on about 20 cruises, mostly with RCI but we have done two Princess and two Disney cruises as well. We found the food in the Windjammer to be good for both breakfast and lunch (never had dinner in the Windjammer but friends we met did and they were complimentary of both the variety and quality of food for dinner). The breakfast omelets were quite good, with little wait time. I did miss my regular pork breakfast sausages we get in the Caribbean and other locations, but I understand we were in a different part of the world, but they did do both American and English bacon. The choices seemed to me to be good and equivalent to other RCI cruises we have experienced. I found the quality good, considering that they are cooking for over 2,000 people! As an example, the hamburger patties at lunch seemed to be thicker than I remember and the cooks were doing them in batches so that they were constantly adding newly cooked, hot hamburgers to the bar. I found the hot dogs much better than I remembered, both in taste and they were kept warm on a rotating grill. Either I am easily pleased or those who didn't like the food are not experienced cruisers or have unrealistic expectations. I guess if you want to experience Crystal, Silverseas etc. you might get "different" selections or better presentations, but you will pay over twice as much for the experience. In general, the breakfasts and the dinners in the main dining room were good. For us, the company at dinner is one of the reasons we cruise. Meeting new people and sharing experiences of the day are one of the highlights. We were very lucky to have 4 British couples at our table who were all nice and provided great conversation and humor during dinner. Generally dinner was good and up to what we have experienced in the past, with two exceptions. No lobster night, AND more importantly, no steak as one of the every night options. For some reason, when RCI cruises in this area of the world, steak in not part of their every night menu, unlike when in North America or Europe. I missed that option when the nightly offerings didn't tickle my fancy. One of the issues for me, and this is a personal issue, is I do not eat a lot of fish and there seemed to be many fish options on both the appetizer and main selections each night. But that said, the quality was generally fine and when it wasn't, our waiter brought us a new or different entre. Someone was "complaining" in another review I read about the hand sanitizers in the Windjammer and I was amazed when I read the comment. I found the folks who have the thankless job of trying to make people clean their hands as they enter the restaurant both enthusiastic and diligent in doing this task. By the way, if people were better at doing it themselves, they would only need the machines and not have to make staff stand there and force it on the cruisers! It's an "us" problem not a "them" problem! Service: I found the service really good from almost everyone I encountered on this cruise. Staff seemed to be making a little extra effort to be both friendly and helpful. The cruise director and the activities manager were front and center every day and were both enthusiastic and good at their jobs. I found other higher ranking cruise staff to be both more visible around the ship and engaging with the cruisers. Our cabin attendant was great and so were our waiter and his assistant. No one I encountered seemed to want to "dump" an issue on others rather than helping out themselves. this hasn't always been the case on other cruises. Entertainment: Ok, this is one area where RCI gets a "mixed" review from me. I generally like to have dinner and then see a show in the theater. Unfortunately, there were a number of times where the show for the late seating was actually before dinner and I was forced to choose between going to the lounge to have a drink with friends or go to the show. The drink won out! Also, the RCI "singers and dances" may have been the least talented I have encountered on an RCI ship. Other than their lack of singing ability, the staging was very odd at times with the costumes and the music not matching the scenery etc and the choice of music quite odd at times. Many of the other efforts, headline performers, the band in the Colony Club (one of the best I have ever experienced on a cruise, man could they do Santana!), the 70's party and the British v. Aussie music battle were very good and a lot of fun. The tango performance was really entertaining as the lead couple were quite good. I did not participate in any "enrichment" because there simply wasn't any!! I found the whole ship to certainly be up to my standards. I realize that this is one of the older ships in the fleet, but I really do like this class of ship and I did not find it "old" or run down as some have said in other reviews. The centrum was well appointed as were the Colony Club, the Schooner Bar and the crown. Again, I'm not sure what people expect, and I sometimes think I was on a different cruise when I read other reviews. I am both an experienced cruiser and I expect good value for my cruising dollar and this cruise did not disappoint me in any way. The destinations were fantastic (Melbourne, sailing the fiords, Dunedin, Akoroa, Wellington etc were great!) , we had good weather most of the way and got to see a lot. When on a long cruise like this, you have to understand that there are only so many breakfast, lunch and dinner offerings and at some point, things will repeat. and, just like at our homes, some things will break down, need attention or repairs. The real questions is how the staff responds to these issues. These ships spend almost all their time sailing, not in a ship's garage getting repaired so stuff happens. I would sail this ship again, with this crew again and most certainly with RCI again. Thanks for a great cruise and taking me to a lot of places I would not have otherwise gone! Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2016
I have Cruised on this Ship a few times now and i have found it to be always top class, a lot of the credit goes to the Ships management team, Hotel Director Robert Taggart is truly outstanding and his leadership skills reflects on what a ... Read More
I have Cruised on this Ship a few times now and i have found it to be always top class, a lot of the credit goes to the Ships management team, Hotel Director Robert Taggart is truly outstanding and his leadership skills reflects on what a cruise ship should be like. Radiance is one of those Ships that caters mainly for couples of all ages which is great if you want to get away from the kids for a while, there are so many little nookes and crannies on board that it is easy to find a nice quiet spot to relax away from the crowds, I fortunately have access to the Consierge and Diamond Clubs which is a bonus.I have always found the Staff on the Radiance very helpful and relaxed compared to some of the larger ships, the dining options are excellent and they also have a great Windjammer Buffet. Read Less
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This is the second leg of our travel around the whole of Australia, the demographics for this leg were a little younger and there were not many children under 17, (Approx 15). Since we were doing a back to back cruise, we arrived in ... Read More
This is the second leg of our travel around the whole of Australia, the demographics for this leg were a little younger and there were not many children under 17, (Approx 15). Since we were doing a back to back cruise, we arrived in Fremantle on Radiance OTS, we self explored Fremantle and loved it, we took the train into Perth, and it too was great. This cruise visited Esperance, Adelaide, and Melbourne, all providing their own unique insights into Australian life. After leaving Melbourne (late at night) we had to divert our course and travel up the Australian Coastline to avoid a severe whether system a decision which was not taken lightly by not only the Captain but also the Royal Caribbean management in Miami, which meant our cruise was going to miss out on seeing all the Sounds of the south New Zealand, and four other ports of call. The next day the captain gave his usual 12 noon update advising us what had happened over night and that they were working furiously to find some alternate ports to call into. Were we disappointed, yes, but safety must always come first, even though there were quite a few people complaining and trying to organise a meeting to demand their money back for not visiting these ports. The following day we were all advised that arrangements had been made to visit Auckland and Tauranga New Zealand and Newcastle Australia. Everyone who had booked a ship board excursion to the other four port were refunded their monies within 48hours. The entertainment and activities were all amended due to an extra day at sea to include many of the request from passengers. If you like food then the Radiance OTS is your ship, there are many Specialty restaurants to choose from and our favourite is Izumi's they have sushi to die for. Chefs table, Giovanis, Chop's Grill and Samba Grill were also first class. This is the second time on the Radiance OTS and not many people went to these specialty restuarants this time around, we can only put this down, agian, to the demographics of the passengers. We had an inside cabin which is great if you like to sleep in a little, as there is no light coming in from any windows. The standard dinning room offers excellent al-a-cart food, do the my-time dinning option and ask to share your table, that way you will meet a wide variety of people, and maybe like we did, meet some new friends to share the experience with. During our first port of call into New Zealand, we became aware of how bad the actual storm was that we sailed around was, with reports from local people stating reports of waves as high as the 8th floor or 11 metres. More evidence that the captain made the right decision. I can highly recommend Royal Caribbean's Radiance of the Seas, the service is first class, and if you talk to the crew and take an interest in them, as they have been away from their families for up to 6 or 8 months at a time, they will in turn do what ever they can to make your time on board that little more special. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2015
Cruising from Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand and fly home was something my friend and I have wanted to do for a long time. Although we very much enjoyed the cruise I think on hindsight we would have preferred to fly to Sydney and ... Read More
Cruising from Fremantle to Sydney via New Zealand and fly home was something my friend and I have wanted to do for a long time. Although we very much enjoyed the cruise I think on hindsight we would have preferred to fly to Sydney and cruise back to Fremantle as there were restrictions on our shopping due to baggage limit on flight home. This cruise was advertised as a seniors cruise and I can understand now the attraction although just a senior myself. I think I would have seen under a dozen children and only during the day at meal times. The Radiance of the Seas, what a ship to start cruising on. we loved every aspect of it. We found it a very clean ship, with people working around the clock to keep it that way. Although 2500 passengers plus crew there was never a moment we felt crowded except maybe when there was an event held in the Centrum where we had to jostle for a position on one of the overlooking decks. We selected My Time Dining which we found suited us better. We got to meet and eat with so many lovely people at a time that suited us. We did have most breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer Café but preferred the Cascades Dining Room in the evenings being able to dress up occasionally before the shows. We found it not necessary with additional costs to eat in any of the other restaurants as both the café and Cascades had a range of delicious foods to whet the appetite and being a 17 day cruise always appeared very fresh. Ah, so much food! Maybe good for a special occasion. There was plenty to do if you wanted, good lectures with interesting subjects but was also quite pleasant to sit back and enjoy. My favourite place supping coffee at Lattitudes. The staff including the entertainment crew were very pleasant and seemed to enjoy doing there jobs especially the Cruise Director. Such a funny man and between him and the Captain, kept us well entertained. Most of the shows and we went to them all were well orchestrated but there were a couple of boring ones where they looked just as bored. Definitely more than half were geared up for the seniors, so thought would have gone into that considering the age group on board. There was plenty of entertainment for the younger ones or young at heart too. Early in the cruise, seating was quite difficult in the theatre but as days went by it seemed you had your session, your chair and sat by the same people. I think the biggest problem on the whole cruise were the public toilets where they were continually out of order. Which wasn't very pleasant at all. Especially those near the dining room. Ports: Esperance - Been there before but went ashore and shared a car with a couple of American people we met online and travelled in convoy with 4 other cars around. They were amazed at the vastness and lack of traffic around. Adelaide - Been before but did our own thing. Melbourne - Stayed on the ship except for a quick visit to the Chemist close by. New Zealand: Beautiful. Loved the place. First ever visit and did the ships tours to all 4 destinations. Expensive but feel we got good value, though we probably would have done just as well in port booking locally. Definitely got the urge to go back and do a land tour one day. I must mention, the tour we did in Wellington - Lord of the Rings & Weta Workshop Tour - WL50 was advertised as "Guests will experience minimal walking over varied surfaces, grass, paved, concrete and loose metal". Be prepared, at the beginning of the tour up Mt. Wellington there was a lot of up and down steep hill walking that my friend was unable to access that particular area and the location of the filming of Lord of the Rings. There is no evidence of there having been any filming, just the particular part of the wood and supposedly recognisable trees. (I have not seen the movies). I think our favourite tour and well recommended was the 'Marlborough Maori Cultural Highlights - PI07' in Picton which gave us all a good insight into learning and preserving the Maori tradition by visiting a local village. I did feel that, everywhere you went on board, there was the hand out for you to spend as many dollars as you could afford, be it photos which were continually displayed, to activities on board. The shopping area and items were very expensive although 'Duty Free'. Make sure you take your own personal items i.e. bathroom products, sun blocks, general headache tabs etc. All in all I we had a fantastic cruise and given us the urge to keep cruising. We would definitely recommend it and a real learning curve but being my first cruise I am unable to compare with any other cruises or cruise ships. I would do this one again but there is a big world out there. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2014
We chose Radiance because we thought it would provide a great holiday for adults and kids alike, without being too kid focussed (we were prepared to put up with our own kids but didn't want too many other kids around!!!). We also knew ... Read More
We chose Radiance because we thought it would provide a great holiday for adults and kids alike, without being too kid focussed (we were prepared to put up with our own kids but didn't want too many other kids around!!!). We also knew that being a longer cruise, there wouldn't be as many kids. Our family suite was fantastic and even though some people say the balcony is too small, it didn't bother us. It was great being near the lifts and only one floor down from the Windjammer and pool deck and two floors down from the Kids' Club. There were a couple of nights where the noise from the Centrum was quite loud (entertainment usually finished by 11) but ear plugs fixed that (and kids didn't seem to notice). We choose set time dining (6pm) which was great with our kids, who would run off to kids' club afterwards. Also had the same fantastic waiters each night - Sachin and Roshan - who looked after our Coeliac daughter very well. There were a lot of older people on the cruise, which was OK, although they did seem to settle in the Solarium from dusk 'til dawn and we never once got a seat in there. Entertainment was good. We did theatre shows, trivia and bingo (daggy but fun). Ports were great, especially Bali and Airlie Beach (Ocean Rafting and snorkelling). Next cruise I would stick with RCI. Probably going to try Quantum of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2013
When you are looking for a trip to fill a few bucket list items, this one will do nicely. My wife and I had a number of things we wanted to do in our travels, and going to Australia and New Zealand were near the top of our list. Not just ... Read More
When you are looking for a trip to fill a few bucket list items, this one will do nicely. My wife and I had a number of things we wanted to do in our travels, and going to Australia and New Zealand were near the top of our list. Not just for the travel (24 hours in the air going and 17 in the air coming back - not including layovers), but to see a little bit of the countries and meet the people were a few of our bucket items. Seeing the wildlife and giving a koala a "hug" was near the top of my wife's Australia and New Zealand lists. Looking at the Southern Cross, penguins, kangaroos, and kiwis were included in my list. We checked them all off. We started our trip from China. China, Texas that is. Then it was a short drive to Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) in Houston, Texas to start the journey. We had been warned to arrive three hours early given that it was an international flight and you had to have your "visa" in order to board a plane to Australia. We had obtained ours via the internet several months earlier and we were set to go. We booked to fly premium economy via Qantas. We found out that our first and third legs going to Perth, Australia would be in economy as there was no premium economy available on those two legs. After a pretty tight and crowded flight (aboard a Bombardier CRJ-700 (CR7) V1) from IAH to LAX, I was ready to get off of that plane. It was a bit over 3-1/4 hours, but at 6'4" in height, there was insufficient seat room in the economy class rows. Ouch, my knees were sore. You have to change terminals on arrival at LAX to catch the international flight. We flew to LAX because I wanted to fly on an Airbus A380. Qantas was the first airline that has weighed our carry-ons. I had my cameras, lenses, and medications along with electronics and other items I did not want in checked luggage. I was over their 7 or 8 kilogram limit. But they handled it well. I was asked to place some of the items in bags they provided and then I took those with me onboard. The premium economy on the A380 was great. I would book it again if I took a flight of eight hours or longer without even giving it a second thought. I might have to blink if it was four to eight hours, but I would lean toward paying again. It was 16 hours and 50 minutes from LAX to Melbourne, Australia. Melbourne, being a port of entry, you should give yourself at least 2 ½ to 3 hours to clear through Australian immigration and customs. Even though this was an intermediate stop, we had to go through immigration, collect our bags, go through customs, recheck our bags, and make it to the next flight. We were told that this was just a short movement of luggage, but don't believe that one. Give yourself some time to get around the airport. Currency changing in the airport is expensive. We chose to use a credit card that did not charge for the exchange. We went to an off airport exchange in Perth to convert USD to AUD. No exchange fees. But you did have to shop the rate. Melbourne to Perth is a 4-hour plus trip. But at least it was on an aircraft that had some leg room. We arrived on a Thursday before the cruise’s Saturday departure to have a look around Perth and the Swan Valley. The general look of the vegetation was similar to the Hill Country of Texas and out toward San Angelo. Dry. The Swan Valley had a lot of wineries and irrigation. It was a bit greener. The people of Perth we met and talked to were all friendly. Be aware that the prices of meals can get pretty pricey... even in the Hungry Jack (Burger King). We visited the Caversham Wildlife Park in Whiteman Park Great experience with kangaroos and koalas. While it was a "mere" 24 kilometers from downtown Perth, it took 50 minutes to drive there. If you are used to covering land in a hurry, ala Texas, get ready to at least double all of your driving times. The drivers around us were all very courteous. We drove over to the Indian Ocean and waded in (bucket list), but it was cold water. While we were in Perth, we stayed at the Fraser Suites. They are a first rate group of people. We had a great room overlooking the Swan River. We were on the 17th floor. The view at night was simply gorgeous. The late afternoon and early morning views weren't half bad as well. Saturday morning saw a number of skulls and boats being rowed by teams. The river was calm and peaceful. On Saturday we brought our rental car to the lot in Freemantle. Embarkation didn ot have any "speed lines" for suite guests or Diamond Club members. This was different than our prior cruises and not what we have come to expect from RCI. After checking in to get our Sea Passes, we officially began our "cruise vacation" onboard the Radiance of the Seas. We had been on a sister ship and had the general layout in our minds. Normally we stayed in interior staterooms on the 7th or 8th decks. However on this cruise, our 40th wedding anniversary, we wanted a balcony and after a few rounds of change that room, ended up in cabin 1034 (a grand suite). What a great room. After having spent so many nights in 154-176 sq. ft. rooms, being in a Grand Suite (387 sq. ft., balcony 93 sq. ft.) was really an experience in cruising. You could dance in the room, literally. The balcony was great. It had two upright chairs, a lounge chair, and a small round table. Given that we were going to be on the ship for 17 nights, we thought we would use a balcony. We did. I saw a few whales, dolphins, seals, and penguins from our balcony. We had constant seabirds with the ship throughout the cruise. We did not really look around in Freemantle. Our first port that we toured was at Esperance, WA. It was a small town, but those who went into town had a nice time. We took the ship's tour to the Cape Le Grand National Park. We had the opportunity to stop at two white sand beaches and the WA re-creation of Stonehenge. It was a full scale replica of England’s Stonehenge as it would be if it were completed. An interesting look as cattle walked around in the nearby fields. With the exception of a few brief times and as the Radiance crossed the Tasman Sea, we were in constant view of the coasts of Australia or Tasmania or New Zealand. This was quite a difference from Caribbean cruising. In Adelaide, SA we rented a car and drove up truly twisted and winding mountain roads to the Gorge Wildlife Park. If you want to hold and “hug” a koala bear, this park has set times when they make some of their koalas available for visitors to hold and feed leaves to them (bucket item for wife). The koalas are well cared for and protected by the keepers. This was a fun trip. Again, make sure you understand if you are going to drive around in this area, it takes substantially more time to drive from place to place in Australia in the locations we were driving. The ship docks at the end of a rail line to the northwest of Adelaide. Give yourself time to get back to the ship… or get ready to find your way to Melbourne in two days to rejoin. We then headed to Melbourne SA. We took another ship excursion that included riding on a narrow gauge steam train called “Puffing Billy”. This was a good sightseeing run through the local countryside. We enjoyed this as well. It was then out of Australia and across the Tasman Sea. We were told that our crossing was quite unusual in that the seas were almost “flat” for this area. No complaints from us on calm seas. It made for enjoyment watching the sea and listening to books on tape. It was relaxing and tranquil. When we arrived at New Zealand, it was via our entry into Milford Sound. This is one of three “sounds” that the ship entered on our way to Dunedin, NZ. A few passengers were let off for their excursion overland through the Southern Alps to rejoin the ship at Dunedin. The sounds were beautiful with occasional glimpses of the snow capped peaks in the “Southern Alps”. It was a truly great time to have a balcony room. The port side was the best side for touring the sounds. It kept you looking toward the snow capped mountains. We arrived in Dunedin, NZ and once again took one of the ship’s excursions. This time we went to a farm to ride the 8-wheeled Argos to a couple of beaches. We did this as a lark just to do something different. We were taken to a couple of beaches to view New Zealand fur seals, yellow-eyed penguins, and a small fairy (or blue) penguin. It was fun. The bus driver took us on a trip along the ridge of the main hill overlooking parts of the bay system and other farms and coastlines. We then traveled to Akaroa, NZ. This is a port that is about 50 -60 kilometers from Christchurch, NZ. We took a ships tour to a Maori show in Christchurch. It was entertaining. We ate at the wildlife preserve where the Haka ceremony was conducted. Then it was off to drive around downtown Christchurch to see some of the destruction from the 2011 earthquake and a brief look into the botanical garden. They are still building and condemning damaged buildings. It was a hard hit for Christchurch. We then headed back to Akaroa to rejoin the Radiance and head to Wellington, NZ. The ship stayed in Wellington until midnight. It had been a long time since we had been in a port after dark. It was a change. Plus, it was not that many hours to sail to the port of Picton, NZ the next day. In Wellington, we took an excursion that started out at a botanical garden for morning tea. We then headed on a detour and watched a graduation play by a local class of a college students studying Maori culture. It was not part of the planned tour, but it was interesting. We got to see another Haka dance. Then it was back to Wellington for the city and maritime museum. This was a nice museum. From here we went back to the ship, changed gear and returned to downtown Wellington to shop for souvenirs. We noted that the stops on this cruise were lacking in the traditional Caribbean “tourist shops” that carried junk souvenirs. We had to hunt for a few magnets and postcards. There were some nice shops in Wellington for jewelry and Maori crafts. The next morning we were in Picton, NZ. This was the only port where we made a trip to a winery. We could have gone to any number of wineries at all of the preceding port stops that we had made. Not being big into wine, we ventured into other excursions. A few friends made a winery at every port. They enjoyed this. Well, we made it to the Marlborough Valley. It was a huge stretch of grape vines, wineries, farms, and producers. Our group went to the Spy Valley winery. We took a tour of a very modern facility. They grow their own grapes and produce wine solely from their own grapes. It is family owned. They selected four wines for us to sample. My wife, not being a drinker, and I found the same wine to be very tasty and have been looking for it in the US since our return. I may have found some, but until I get a case or two, I will keep it to myself. Sorry, my wife really liked it. Their other wines were not to our liking. This is not to say they were bad, we just did not like them as much. The ship then headed for Sydney, Australia. The crossing saw a little bit of rain and cloudiness. The swells were running a bit larger than the first crossing due to a weather front. However, it was still very tolerable. We had been in worse in the Caribbean. Sydney was a beautiful city. The ship docked right across Circular Quay from the Sydney Opera House. It was a great location to view the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. I didn’t mention life on the ship itself as I wanted to do that in one place. We enjoyed the ship, the crew, and the entertainment. The Captain was probably the most outgoing and friendly captain we have come across on any trip. He took part in the Liar’s Club contest. He was walking around the ship and visible a lot. We talked to him several times and he was engaging and funny. We hope to see him again in the states. Our Cruise Director, Bobby Brown, was also pleasant and congenial. We spoke to him almost every evening following the shows in the main theater. He has a great sense of humor. We look forward to seeing him again. Speaking of entertainment, this ship had probably the best line of dancers we have seen on any RCI ship. They were all very talented and did a great job. They were full of energy and let the passengers know they were having fun on stage. The singers included two very talented singers. The other two singers weren’t that bad either. They all had fun entertaining. Some of the other talent brought onboard was outstanding. We did not miss bout one show in 17 nights. We had a bit of trouble with understanding one comedian, but it was a language difference. We speak English, and he was English with a heavy accent. Our Australian dinner mates did not have a problem understanding him. We should have asked them to translate for us. We had a great table in the dining room. We were next to the Captain’s table and we had a great group of table mates. One couple from Tennessee, one couple from the Sydney area, one couple from the Gold Coast of Australia, and one couple from Texas. We had a great time exchanging tall tales, bear stories, and fish tales. We looked forward to the great companionship every night at dinner. We were almost always one of the last tables to leave the dining room. We wouldn’t mind cruising with any of them again. It was a hoot. The meals included a lamb course at every dinner. This was understandable given the passengers were mostly Australian and English (UK). I would have liked to have seen a few more variations on beef dishes, chicken dishes, and even pasta dishes rather than the standby four on the everyday menu. We were limited by not eating lamb. Of note was that one of the meals involved kangaroo. It was actually very good. Our Sydney friends accused us of eating “Skippy”; however, I just scratched behind my ear a little and hopped on my way. We enjoyed the meals and dining experiences with others. As a suite passenger and a Diamond Club member, we had access to two separate concierge lounges. We really enjoyed being able to come in before dinner each evening for drinks and canapés. The staffs in these areas were very cordial and helpful. Refreshments were first rate. We love the Diamond Lounges that are showing up on even the smaller RCI vessels as they come out of overhaul. Getting off of the ship was easy. We were staying an extra night in Sydney so we caught a cab to our hotel. It was the Sir Stamford Circular Quay. This is a very nice Hotel. We were in a suite that was spacious and comfortable. It was also within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay (ferries to other harbor locations), and botanical garden. We enjoyed our brief stay in Sydney. We caught the double-decker open topped bus that went through Sydney on one route and on the second route went out to Bondi Beach. We took both. You can get off and get on as often as you please. It had earphones to listen to the recorded tour information. Note to self, if you do this again, put on your sunscreen. The next day we were off to the airport and on the return flight to LAX and then on to IAH. We left at 3:00 pm on November 27 and got to Houston at 6:15 pm… November 27. Warp speed, nope…just major time changes. It took about 17 hours going back home. We hope to be cruising again in the near future. RCI is still one of our cruise lines of choice.   Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2013
We embarked on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on Radiance of the Seas around the bottom end of Australia and the southern island of New Zealand. I'd never been on a cruise before, so wasn't sure what to expect. Well, all ... Read More
We embarked on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on Radiance of the Seas around the bottom end of Australia and the southern island of New Zealand. I'd never been on a cruise before, so wasn't sure what to expect. Well, all I can say is that it was magnificent from start to finish. I am now a devout cruiser and question the sanity of anyone who isn't!! We went in a balcony room, approximately mid-ship. I loved Radiance, and having been on a few different ships now, I can still say she's brilliant. Not too big, not too small. The ship was a floating palace, the service was second-to-none, the food was great (and PLENTIFUL *OMG*). On top of all this, almost every day you woke up somewhere new! I thought I would dread the days at sea, stuck on a boat with nothing to do. In the end, it was almost the opposite. There was so much to do (or not do) that I think I almost preferred the leisure and total relaxation of the sea days, over the port days! I'd definitely recommend this cruise   Read Less
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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