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
11 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were told seeing the NZ fiords by ship was an experience not to be missed and they weren't wrong. Truly wonderful and do it if you can. Absolutely breathtaking and better than those in Norway. Wonderful outdoor weather helped of course. We r two Australians in our mid 60s. One comedian onboard said he was 55 and the eldest of 7 children on the ship. Correct!. Most of the Australians had done the first part of the cruise in extreme heat over the top of Aus. We got on where they got off in Perth and headed down round the bottom of Aus to NZ where weather and seas are open to the extreme changes from the Antartic. We did have that cold breeze out at sea most of the time which kept people away from the pool and top deck but in ports we were very lucky. Note Feb. 2500 passengers on board mostly Americans and Europeans seeing the world and generally happy little vegemites considering they were very lucky able to do so. Always always in life there are those that just find fault in all but we find love in experiences. We enjoyed the variance and hearing about their homelands for a change. Someone told me they only write reviews if they are unhappy about something. Relate that this is a few reviewers opinion and we are all very different. Yes the ship is not new and yes in places is showing wear but she is kept spotless by incredibly hard working crew. There are discreet cleaners carrying little blue bags waving their disinfectant and polish everywhere. If people get sick it's because generally a passenger not wanting to miss out on his planned cruise has alighted with a bug and like planes they spread it no fault of the ship. There were people coughing and men particularly without using covering cloths. We managed to get off without a bug. As per most older ships yep showers are smaller with only curtains and no they don't supply condiments only liquid shower soap. I prefer my own. Our last cruise on this lovely size ship not too big not too small she had tea and kettles in room. I miss that soo much. I am one who just hates asking room service to walk a mile for a cuppa and also hate making myself look decent to find one. Every morning we chose to have breakfast room service such a luxury for me. We ordered tea and coffee same time which stayed nice and hot in their warmers. I am not sure what people expect food wise when I hear complaints. Truly. Blows me away. Service and food in Cascades was very good and varied. I was even asked if I was unwell the following night after they noted I didn't have sweets or was there something else they could get me. They as usual kept my bottle of wine nightly until finished for me. It was placed on table after I arrived. Love this service. We had lunches in Windjammer and a couple of dinners. Yes they do try to keep similar foods for those who prefer that. Lovely salads as condiments. The hoards at the daily burger pizza and chips bar. There is premade or make your own sandwiches with all types of bread. Always two soups and varied pasta or pie type foods. Wonderful varied steamed veg. For me I have a love for curries. Every day different and so tasty. Nightly they provided the cheese platter we always went inacquired at five and grabbed some on a plate to have with our wine on the deck. The grilled steak lamb salmon was incredible at night in there. Top quality and tender and done to your request. We found seafood prawns and mussels and most nights they seemed to have something as a theme. They had make your own pasta one night we were there and waffles to die for. Yes we also did the three specialty diners. For US75 each. Giovanies and Chops provided us a two table next to window lower lighting and rolling seas so ambiance yes. Izzumi no ambiance but Japanese food was a nice change. If you are on a budget in my opinion unless you want either of above don't bother. Spend the money on drinks. Drinks yes again in my experience always expensive on cruise lines unless you pay more for the all inclusive cruises. They do allow two bottles of wine only at your boarding port. All bags checked each other port just like getting on a plane so it will be confiscated until departure if you try it. I must admit. RCL this trip related how little people were using their bars and for some less enjoyment. Long cruise for as lot. About 8 days into our 17 day cruise they offered 10 drinks for US75 card. We purchased 2. Meaning for me I could enjoy a couple of usually 14US ea coctails daily for half price. My husband a beer drinker just used his normal seapass card for the cheaper option. Lager some bars only US5. I'm pretty sure people wary of the sell thing on these ships missed out because they weren't prepared to look or listen. I would suggest these excellent offers put there for our benefit be advertised in daily news letter. We found the nightly entertainment wonderful. From someone who has a husband who renegs at home on taking me for coffee! I Thankyou for the wonderful cruise happy entertaining staff and the ability to get taken out for Coctails dinner a show and oee the world. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Well, after reading some of the previous reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We only boarded in Fremantle, so can't comment prior to this, but we ( all five of us) had a great time. Yes, we had delayed boarding in Fremantle ... Read More
Well, after reading some of the previous reviews, I wonder if we were on the same ship. We only boarded in Fremantle, so can't comment prior to this, but we ( all five of us) had a great time. Yes, we had delayed boarding in Fremantle whilst the ship was sanitized because of the gastro virus, but I'd rather late getting on board that sick! Once on board, we found our stateroom on deck 4 to be clean, and our stateroom attendant was fantastic. No towel animals thou, not sure why. There were some precautions in place, such as no self serve in the Windjammer and we couldn't play pool :( but we understood why, and respected that they didn't want anyone to be sick. We found the staff from ships officers to cleaners to be just as friendly, helpful, and accommodating as ever, in fact our head waiter in the dining room went out of his way to supply something that my wife had asked for, which they made specially for her. We also had one member of our party who required a very special diet, and they made her a special meal every night. That's service. I would agree that the ship is looking a little shabby, and I noticed that the floors in the Windjammer and some other public areas were not spotless. The tendering in Cairns was probably the biggest complaint that we would have. Some local ferries were used as they were in Bali, but for some reason it took way too long to get off and back on the ship. The ferries seemed to sit forever to get to the ship, and ages to pull away. Something was obviously wrong, and RCL needs to look at that. The restrictions on serving yourself, pool etc were lifted half way through the cruise, which was good. No one in our party were sick, and as far as we were concerned , the virus was gone. Shore excursions were very expensive, and being in US$ makes it all the more so. $20 US for a very short bus trip to the tourist center in Darwin was a bit rich! The only other negative comment would be about the movies at the Cinema. Some were from the 90's! Plus the TV had the same show running over and over. I know that they want you to order their movies, but at $almost $12 US who would bother. Shorly $5 would be enough? It was a great trip, and very relaxing for us all. There was one exciting time in the Gulf of Carpanteria when a helicopter was brought in to evacuate a very sick person. Not sure how the patient fared, but hopefully OK. We have another trip booked next year on Voyager, and looking forward to that. I understand how it would be terrible to be sick, but otherwise each trip, cruise or otherwise, is what you make it. I choose to make it as good as it can be. Read Less
Sail Date: March 2015
Just returned from the New Zealand cruise on the Radiance, the cruise was wonderful and the only fault I found was the treatment of their Crown & Anchor members who have obtained "Top Tier" status. We reached this level last ... Read More
Just returned from the New Zealand cruise on the Radiance, the cruise was wonderful and the only fault I found was the treatment of their Crown & Anchor members who have obtained "Top Tier" status. We reached this level last year aboard the Liberty and were treated to a very welcoming "Top Tier Party" where drinks and canapes flowed freely - lasted for almost an hour with sincere attendance by staff for the whole time, a really memorable experience. RCI were genuine in rewarding our loyalty - we felt like we had 'made it" We received our invite on the Radiance but when we got there it appeared to be a very cheap affair - the canapes were served buffet style and you had to chase a waiter to get a glass of 'watered down' white wine - good luck trying to find a red wine. The speech by the C&A Manager was more concerned with selling upcoming cruises rather then how important our loyalty to RCI was. After this speech, at the 30 minute mark, the waiters could not be found so 80% of the people left. All in all a rather tawdry affair compared to the one on the Liberty. Hopefully the Radiance's offering was an aberration and not the norm as it did not truly show RCI's respect of our loyalty, as we had come to expect from earlier treatment. We have booked a cruise with RCI next February on the Radiance - lets see if they lift their game by then. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2014
Embarkation at Fremantle did have a queue, but we didn't notice the delay while we chatted to other passengers. Relax and enjoy the start of a holiday! Radiance did seem to have more space per passenger as we were told and only ... Read More
Embarkation at Fremantle did have a queue, but we didn't notice the delay while we chatted to other passengers. Relax and enjoy the start of a holiday! Radiance did seem to have more space per passenger as we were told and only appeared crowded during breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer at peak period. We really enjoyed the cruise and the ambience on board. There was a real mix of nationalities on this cruise, with roughly one-third Australian, British and American. Very rough, as there were many Canadians as well as a handful of some French, Swedish and other nationalities on board. The Schooner Bar was always full but the Colony Club seem very under utilised. When activities were held there, we seemed to be rushed or pushed out immediately afterwards. Hey, if you have a lot of people in a venue who are ordering drinks, why move them on? For example, the musicians who we at the back watching during one of the "game shows" could have come back to play for half and hour while the atmosphere was good. A staff member advising there would be a DJ in the Stardust Lounge did not encourage everyone in the Colony Club to rush off there. Most would have wandered off to bed. If the musicians had played on for a while, we would have remained too, and ordered another cocktail. What was disconcerting were the big events in in the small Centrum. It was a great place to start but the event should have boogied on to the Colony Club for the night. Having the Guest Relations desk right there was difficult as one could not hear the staff due to noise from the entertainment. We felt there could have been some better placement of the various desks. We certainly noticed cutbacks in the lack of bar staff. Those who were there were great, but few and far between. In every bar we had to go up to the bar to order, and usually waited to take our drink back with us. Saying that, in the Colony Club in the late afternoon there were few of us, but the bar staff did not come to take orders. They stood and talked together and only returned to the bar when we went up there. Our waiter, Sang, in the dining room was fantastic and was more than eager the assist. He made our evening meal a pleasure and often ended the night with his magic tricks, to our delight. Our inside cabin was more spacious than expected and really well fitted out. Back to the old shower curtain though. There was so much storage we didn't fill it up. We also had a fantastic cabin steward in Dyaz, who really looked after us. Cut backs were again noticed with no amenities at all, apart from shampoo on the shower wall. We were prepared for that though, and took our own conditioner and body lotion. The solarium was the best place as it was not hot and humid at all. Park Cafe was really good and became quite busy in late evening. There is also a hot dog stand outside Windjammer, but I never actually saw anyone there. It opened late too, but did not have coffee. Did anyone ever order a hot dog? The tables around there were also not used a great deal, even with breakfast overflow. There seemed room for a few more tables and needed a reason for people to congregate there. What a waste. Give me Johnny Rockets anytime in preference. The extravaganzas really should not continue. They look great but people don't want to eat a lot around midnight. We were distressed by the amount of food being scraped into bins at the end of the dessert extravaganza. Looks superb but no one likes waste. We pitied the chefs who took so long to bake and prepare food that was trashed. The production shows were enjoyable and all the visiting highlight entertainers were very good. Overall though, this is a lovely, relaxed ship and we had plenty to do if we wanted to. Swim, play mini golf or table tennis, see a movie, play cards, read and relax. (Please turn off the big screen by the pool on wet, cold days when no one is there. It is odd, as we are asked to conserve power and turn off lights in our cabin.) Good food and good company, that is what makes a good holiday experience. Port calls and tenders were handled really well. We have no complaints at all, although as pre ou sly mentioned, we did notice the cutbacks.   Read Less
12 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We chose this cruise almost exclusively because of the itinerary. This was our 18th cruise, but only our second on RCL. Our first RCL cruise was in 2005. We hadn't been back to RCL since then because of a disappointing dining ... Read More
We chose this cruise almost exclusively because of the itinerary. This was our 18th cruise, but only our second on RCL. Our first RCL cruise was in 2005. We hadn't been back to RCL since then because of a disappointing dining experience. Our 2005 evaluation was confirmed on this cruise. We had great service in the Cascades dining room, in the Schooner bar, and from our state room attendant. The service in the Windjammer was good, but not exceptional. In general, I found the quality of the entrées in the Cascades dining room to be poor. Meat entrées included "strip loin" (which I found to be very poor quality cut), a very inferior New York strip, a very disappointing pork loin, and a breaded Chicken Marsala - with no sauce. If you wanted a good quality New York strip or lobster tail in the Cascades dining room there was a significant up-charge. On at least one occasion I found myself ordering a vegetarian entrée, because there were no meat entrées that I trusted. Food in the Windjammer, was better (great hamburgers and hotdogs) but generally unremarkable, and repetitive. We experienced significant shore excursion disembarkation delays on two consecutive days. We found the ship to be in generally good shape considering it's 16 year old age - but a little tired in places. Most of the other guests with whom we struck up conversations were, like us, Celebrity and/or Princess fans who had chosen this cruise, only because of the itinerary. Disembarkation was probably the smoothest we have ever experienced. We had a great time, but the disappointing dining experience was a significant detracting factor. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We were so excited to be taking a 17 day cruise in Australia but the disappointment started before we left the USA. We chose "My Time Dining" (hint: NEVER DO THIS) and made reservations on-line for all 16 nights. About 3 weeks ... Read More
We were so excited to be taking a 17 day cruise in Australia but the disappointment started before we left the USA. We chose "My Time Dining" (hint: NEVER DO THIS) and made reservations on-line for all 16 nights. About 3 weeks before we left the reservations for 2 of the 3 in our party were cancelled without any notice from RCL. Apparently they felt it appropriate for my wife to dine alone every night. After a few calls I was able to re-establish the reservations, They tried insisting that my requested time was no longer available. Needless to say, I was not happy and they finally relented and gave us the requested times. While we encountered MANY disappointments, the staff were NOT one of them. Our cabin steward, waiters,bartenders and casino employees were FABULOUS. RCL should be glad they have employees that care about their customers because I am beginning to question if management does. Dining was a disaster virtually every night. We had a 6:30 PM reservation every night. Many nights that was inexplicably changed on the slip delivered to our stateroom. Often to 6:15, then we were told we were late when we arrived at 6:30. Note, no one could/would explain why the time changed or why we weren't given some notice. The Maitre d was rude and insisted that we abide by the time assigned. Cabin - we were in Cabin 1052, a Grand Suite on the port side on Deck 10. The suite was very typical for RCL and was in good shape with a decent balcony. You should note that the stateroom has no balcony privacy due to the curve of the ship and the large stateroom just behind this one. NOISE is a problem in this stateroom. While close to the Centrum, we did not have an issue with noise from the entertainment. We DID HAVE A PROBLEM with the decision to clean, move and drop the pool lounge chairs on Deck 11 AFTER MIDNIGHT directly above some of the most expensive cabins on the ship. Our neighbors complained and the noise stopped for 2 nights. On the very last night of the trip they chose to start cleaning at 3:04 AM, I know because I woke and couldn't get back to sleep due to the noise. I am not a light sleeper, this is a problem RCL needs to address. Food - was standard for RCL but frankly, the menu in the main dining room continues to deteriorate. While we enjoyed our meals, the quality and selection is not great. The Windjammer is becoming the equivalent of a cheap buffet with very mediocre quality. Entertainment - was some of the best we have seen in over 15 cruises. The RC Singers and Dancers put on a series of premiers and they shined. Very high quality across the board for entertainment. Itinerary - We were excited to be able to see much of the southern portions of Australia along with New Zealand. Unfortunately, Mother Nature did a number on us and we had to cancel the entire southern island of New Zealand. While I recognize that this was a necessary decision, there was so little information given that many, many passengers felt betrayed. The addition of 2 sea day and 3 replacement ports was less than ideal. In fact, many of the Australians on board found the addition of Newcastle as almost insulting. While it was an interesting little town, there really wasn't much to do for the passengers. In fact, RCL only had a total of 4 available excursions. It seemed poorly planned and executed. All in all, we thoroughly enjoyed Australia and some aspects of the cruise but, frankly, we are reconsidering our loyalty to RCL. For reference, we are Diamond Plus level CAS members Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This year was a bad one for me and my husband, after he had major caancer surgery. However because of some good news we decided fairly late to taake this cruise as we could get on in WA and just fly home from Sydney. As a consequence we ... Read More
This year was a bad one for me and my husband, after he had major caancer surgery. However because of some good news we decided fairly late to taake this cruise as we could get on in WA and just fly home from Sydney. As a consequence we had to take a grand suite (not difficult), and we certainly enjoyed it ! Embarcation: Took a little longer than I was expecting, as we had to wait for our number to be called before going through Customs, but fairly painless. No Champagne on arrival (I thought we got it last time on RCI but maybe we didn't). Lunch in the Windjammer forgettable, the seating area too small thanks to Izumi taking up space, and Ritas not usable at times! The suite was spacious, but a little shabby --- try changing the colours RCI, but service there terrrific, and we didn't fill all the available clothes space. Bed wonderful, but the bath without grab rails was dangerous! Television channels abysmal -- no BBC CNN and sometimes no Sky! and continual repeats on other channels. The BIG plus was the Concierge lounge, as we didn't do much on shore days, as we had been to most of the ports before, and the purpose of the cruise was RELAXATION. Entertainment in the theatre NOWHERE near as good as on previous RCI cruises. The dance troop looked little better than amateur and costumes tatty! Dining in the MDR --- too early at 5-30 but I like fixed dining, and our table mated were fun, service good , BUT food mediocre. No lobster night (had to pay extra) and wine prices horrendous.(thank goodness for the Cocierge Club) Disembarkation: Wonderful, as mh husband was having back problems, ao was taken off in a wheelchair to the bus to airport 10/10 Read Less
19 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
I'm glad they are putting the Radiance of the Sea to dry dock. It need some sweet loving care. We toured around the top end of Australia. Australia is known for crayfish (lobster) and yet, we were not offered surf or turf or ... Read More
I'm glad they are putting the Radiance of the Sea to dry dock. It need some sweet loving care. We toured around the top end of Australia. Australia is known for crayfish (lobster) and yet, we were not offered surf or turf or beef Wellington in the main dining. If you wanted anything like that you needed to order through speciality restaurants. The wifi costs $270 US dollars for a 16 night cruise. It was reliable but slow. I needed it because I needed to stay in contact with family. They do not have a self serve laundromat on board and the laundry costs were high. The entertainment was great. Tha staff was excellent and went out if the way to help. The embarkation and disembarkion was well handled. Shore excursions were excellent. Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Recently completed a Top End Australia 16 night cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The staff were good in all areas and we made some good friends and met some nice people, included some CC roll ... Read More
Recently completed a Top End Australia 16 night cruise on the Radiance of the Seas. Overall we thoroughly enjoyed the cruise. The staff were good in all areas and we made some good friends and met some nice people, included some CC roll call members with whom we enjoyed a day out. The itinerary was good with the exception of Port Hedland which was of little interest to most people and had little to commend it as a port of call for a cruise ship. Bali was cancelled due to security concerns and replaced with an extra day at Cairns where we could happily have seen even more time. All the local guides at the ports of call were very helpful. The ship is a little tired but we knew this in advance and it is soon due for a refit. So why only an average rating? The food was only average at best but the main problem was the impression that profit was the main concern. The wifi at $20 per day for a slow intermittent service is ridiculous, the cost of excursions is exorbitant as is the cost of shuttle buses. If a company advertises Brisbane on the published itinerary the passengers should be taken to Brisbane, not charged $25 for a shuttle bus. Also most so called seminars were an excuse to sell over priced hair and fitness products etc. The products sold in the constant shop 'sales' are mostly cheaper in my local shopping centre. We always pick cruises by the itinerary and so may choose RCL in the future and would take the above points into account when deciding if the price was right but they would not be the first choice. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our 3rd Cruise on Radiance but Abit of a disappointment still a great ship but in desperate need of an over haul .The majority of the staff excellent especially cabin crew ,rooms always perfect ,not sure why but we had no towel animals in ... Read More
Our 3rd Cruise on Radiance but Abit of a disappointment still a great ship but in desperate need of an over haul .The majority of the staff excellent especially cabin crew ,rooms always perfect ,not sure why but we had no towel animals in our cabins for the whole cruise . Crown and Anchor did not fulfill all the things they were supposed to do we are Emerald but quite afew things missing .There had been an outbreak of novo virus on previous cruise but no indication of it on ours but afew things were closed like the library and pool tables but things which made money seemed to be kept open . I think the Cruise Director and his staff not up to the usual standard so maybe this added to the cruise not being up to usual standard .Also drinks prices are now way too expensive I think Royal Caibbean needs to serious look at what they are providing there is a lot of competition out there and with the dollar much lower it is beginning to make it more expensive to book their cruises . Majority of shows very good especially The Aussie boys the third time we have seen then and still fabulous . Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2018
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was ... Read More
We chose the cruise for the itinerary and just assumed that everything else would be OK, as Royal Caribbean is a known brand name. Unfortunately, not so. The standards of service and food were poor, The quality of the food was acceptable (but by no means notable), but having it served up in pretty much the same way every single day was monotonous in the extreme. We could not wait to get off and have a decent meal. Cabin was smaller than expected, but acceptable. Activities were pretty much zero. There were quite a few quizzes, and luckily both I and my travelling companion love quizzes! Before we boarded we had joked about napkin folding, but it proved to be the most interesting activity on board (not that we went - but it was fun to joke about). Unless you gamble, which is what I guess RC want you to do. Entertainment was not up to much. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
We've now traveled on 5 different cruise lines and thought Royal would be our home line, but they've disappointed us both our last 2 cruises. Start with the good. -Our room steward was great, they always work so hard. ... Read More
We've now traveled on 5 different cruise lines and thought Royal would be our home line, but they've disappointed us both our last 2 cruises. Start with the good. -Our room steward was great, they always work so hard. -Our waitstaff were very good. -Absolutely loved the ports in New Zealand! Every port in New Zealand had volunteers in port and around town helping to make sure you got where you wanted to go. Free shuttles into the towns, were great, way to make folks feel welcome New Zealand. I'd love to go back there! -Dunedin train trip was fantastic with beautiful scenery, great volunteers that go out of their way to make sure you enjoy your day. The lunch and wine were very nice!!! -In every port there were nice places to shop minus the multitude of junk shops and ship sponsored jewelry shops. And, really nice places for lunch or dessert! And talk about great fresh seafood, yum! - Best cruise directer ever! Bad, All are policy issue that I'm sure are management directed. 1.) Please stop pestering us at every single meal to buy water, buy the wine deal, the champagne meal, the drink deal, the specialty dinning, the chef deal, tour deal, sparking water, lunch deals, pictures, pictures, again with a lower priced meal deal, everyday it was something more. Very, very annoying!!! In every nook and cranny they came pestering you about more. 2.) Extremely harassing picture folks in your way through the halls, blocking the stairs, blocking the entrance to the dinning room to the point that I felt rude just trying to get from one place to another. They went so that they would take hold of your arm to stop you even after you said no thank you. Calling after you if you walk by, I mean yelling down the hall "hey you". 3.) More and more venues outside the dining room pestering you to buy their services to the point that I was uncomfortable walking by. 4.) The ship needed a good cleaning, it was very dusty in the public areas. The beautiful wall of windows outside the champagne bar were never wash through out the trip to the point that you could barely see out them. 5.) Our bathroom in our cabin was in need of minor repair, but it gave the feel of a 2 star motel, this could not be handled by the steward. 6.) This was the least entertaining of entertainment on any cruise. Several were very good, but centrium entertainment very very repetitive and extremely loud even on the upper levels you couldn't get away from it. I used to love Royal, but we'll go elsewhere even after diamond. Very sad. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2017
When one contracts for a cruise we expect, at a minimum, two important things. First we expect a reasonable level of safety be provided throughout the cruise, and second we expect professionally run tours to enhance the experience of ... Read More
When one contracts for a cruise we expect, at a minimum, two important things. First we expect a reasonable level of safety be provided throughout the cruise, and second we expect professionally run tours to enhance the experience of visiting new places. My wife and I recently returned from two back to back cruises on Royal Caribbean, around Australia and New Zealand and we experienced neither. My entire professional life was spent in the area of public safety, 45 years in the fire service, fifteen of these with the New York State Fire Marshall’s Office of the Fire Protection and the final 7 years as Director of Building Codes and Enforcement for the State of New York. I believe my experience quantifies me to comment on the lack of safety of the tenders, small boats, contracted for passenger shuttle in Bali, Indonesia. Our ship, Radiance of the Seas, did not dock in Bali, these tenders were used to ferry us to the dock and back to the ship, on what should have been a thirty minute trip. These enclosed boats held 90 passengers, had one exit, were powered by up to eight 300 Hp. Gasoline powered out board engines, they reeked of gasoline fumes. Some of us spent an hour circling waiting to get back on the ship, one spark and we would have been incinerated. Indonesia has one of the worst records in the third world countries. I considered this to be one of the most dangerous environments have ever been in. When I complained about the lack of safety of these tenders to Philip Ashcroft, the Hotel Director of the Radiance, he said both he and the Captain Severre Ryan did not like the tenders also and were going to make their feelings known to management. Even though I left my business card I never heard another thing about it. On over half of our tour busses the PA systems did not work so we could not hear the tour guides comments. On our overnight tour from Milford Sound to Queenstown, New Zealand we spent over twenty hours on the bus in two days and were only allowed 6 hours sleep in the hotel in Queenstown. Another example of poor planning, we could have rejoined the ship in Akaroa instead of Dunedin and had a pleasant 3 day trip instead of the two day ordeal we experienced. The food in the dinning room was good and above average. Our servers were attentive and personable. We enjoyed our meals because of the servers who were always watching to see if we needed anything and we even got extra servings without asking or sometimes we got samples to taste. Our cabin person was average although when I was quarantined he was always there to see to my needs. We think that the center atrium of the ship where on the bottom they had entertainment every day/evening made it difficult to rest/veg out in the library, sitting area, card playing, etc... Read Less
16 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
This was supposed to be a holiday of a lifetime to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. 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 ... Read More
This was supposed to be a holiday of a lifetime to celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary. 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? Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2016
We chose this cruise so we could visit Australia and New Zealand in the one trip. From the moment we stepped on board yes just through the doors it was sell, sell, sell. Please let people board and get their bearings if you want to book a ... Read More
We chose this cruise so we could visit Australia and New Zealand in the one trip. From the moment we stepped on board yes just through the doors it was sell, sell, sell. Please let people board and get their bearings if you want to book a meal in one of the restaurants or in the Spa it's quite easy it doesn't need to be constantly in your face on boarding as they are still doing it every day of the cruise. We had constant problems with the key cards not working in the cabin door and the safe in the room wouldn't lock and had to be fixed twice. The room was very tired looking especially the sofa which we never used as it actually looked dirty I think it was just old. The shower curtain looked old and had a pink hue to it as if it needed a good clean I would like to think these are cleaned after every cabin change but it didn't look that way. Also the towels were changed as often as you wanted but were very thin and often frayed around the edges. There are 2 fantastic pool tables on board that move as you play but keeps the table straight but there were only 2 cues for 2 tables and one of the ends kept coming off one of them. My husband and several other people complained and kept being told new ones would come at the next port but never did. They ship still held pool competitions and half way through the cruise it was down to one cue my husband went to customer services to complain and still no other cues were provided by the end of the cruise. The windjammer food was fine and plenty choice but breakfast and lunchtime was terrible trying to get a seat and then only one of you would have to go for something to eat while the other kept the table. A few times we sat in the dining place just after the windjammer I think it's called Rita's cantina but it's very dirty on the floors and window ledges and the chairs are all stained which doesn't look nice and the tables are never cleared. This is not the staffs fault there just is not enough of them to keep it all clear however hard they work. Also when tables are cleaned there is no spray used and the same cloth is used over and over this seems to counter act the fact we all have to use wipes to clean our hands on the way in, well most of us as we did see people refusing the wipes and being let away with it! Unfortunately we ran into a storm and could not visit the Milford Sounds and 4 other places in New Zealand which was very disappointing I know this was no ones fault but Mother Nature but we were then stuck on the boat for 4 days with not a lot of information being given as to where we were going and for 12 hours we were cruising with no where to go waiting of head office telling the captain where we were going to be able to visit. The ports we did visit 2 in New Zealand and Newcastle in Australia certainly did not make up for the ones we missed. Shame on you Royal Caribbean not even a sorry or maybe slightly cheaper trips off the boat as a goodwill gesture. Be wary when spending a lot of money on a day trip as all but 1 of the trips we went on were not organised very well as when you got off the bus it wasn't clear wether we waited for someone to take us or went ourselves and then when it was all made clear we were rushed around everywhere there was never enough time to look at everything you were supposed to. The trips actually felt like a rip off the time you were in places it was all rush rush no time for a coffe in places just back on the bus. The entertainment on ship was not the best especially the comedians the 2 different comedians we went to watch were so bad lots of people walked out something I am not proud of doing but they really were that bad. Also the centrum in this ship is far too small you could never get a seat when there was entertainment on and when you did everybody would hover waiting to get in to the seat which didn't make it a pleasant experience. The sun beds on the boat were tied together so getting on and off was hard work especially watching older people trying to do it as you had to climb on from the bottom as there was no room between the beds so you really were up close and personal to your fellow traveller! This was supposed to be the holiday of a lifetime for me and my husband and we will probably never get to visit Australia/New Zealand again but so much was not good on this cruise (the weather I know is not Royal Caribbeans fault) if we could go back we certainly would not use this company again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2015
Our experience echoes earlier reviews. Embarkation at Fremantle was delayed due to cleaning operations and once on board, self-service in the food/beverage areas was suspended resulting in seemingly endless queuing. We too were ... Read More
Our experience echoes earlier reviews. Embarkation at Fremantle was delayed due to cleaning operations and once on board, self-service in the food/beverage areas was suspended resulting in seemingly endless queuing. We too were disappointed that the ship’s management failed to provide passengers with any updates of the extent, if any, of an on-board outbreak of norovirus. This was our third cruise on the Radiance of the Seas and we too noted how shabby, dated and just plain grubby the ship had become since our earlier cruises. Our stateroom attendant did a fabulous job of the day to day making up of our room but, beyond his control, our bathroom developed a serious plumbing leak that also impacted the adjacent stateroom. From the state of the badly repaired bathroom tiles it was obvious that this was a pre-existing/on-going issue. Mid cruise, fumes entering our stateroom from maintenance elsewhere on the ship caused headaches and nausea forcing us to relocate from our deck 10 junior suite to an inside cabin on level 3. Again not a reflection on our stateroom attendant but the state of the ship in general, I espied a cockroach in our stateroom. An unsolicited offer of a voucher for a discount on our next cruise to compensate us for these inconveniences failed to materialise. We have, in the past, been big fans of Café Latte-tudes but on this voyage the coffee was undrinkable. Further, apparently Cafe Latte-tudes only sells Tazo tea and Tazo English Breakfast tea was unavailable for the entire duration of the cruise – only fruit teas or cloying Earl Grey, no thanks. Given the plethora of complimentary quality English Breakfast tea available around the ship, this was a truly ‘Fawlty Towers’ scenario. We were surprised to discover, in fact, that the best tea and coffee available on the ship in this instance was from the self-serve machine in the Diamond Lounge. One positive note, Giovanni’s specialty restaurant was once again a major highlight of our cruise. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
On Boarding found no hot water in our cabin this went on for 3 days sewage smell in cabin Made our room very hard to spend any time in cabin had to purchase our own can of glen 20 to combat the smell As out line in other reviews ... Read More
On Boarding found no hot water in our cabin this went on for 3 days sewage smell in cabin Made our room very hard to spend any time in cabin had to purchase our own can of glen 20 to combat the smell As out line in other reviews staff were directed to serve food after a out break of gasto prior to our boarding so food was severed cold in the windjammer restaurant There was no were to get coffee until 6.30 as all closed down you could dial room service if it turned up Tenders at Cairns was a complete mess after obtaining tickets at 8am got of ship at 1145 missing our tour Have just heard another ship has the gastro out break makes you wonder if Royal Caribbean is the company to sale with Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: March 2015
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Carribean Cruise lines in an owners suite. The overall experience on this cruise was poor due to numerous factors unlike the other 2 cruise which where magnificent but they were on the Rhapsody of the ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Carribean Cruise lines in an owners suite. The overall experience on this cruise was poor due to numerous factors unlike the other 2 cruise which where magnificent but they were on the Rhapsody of the Seas. The owners suite had problems from day 1. (A) luggage was delayed getting to the suite by several hours and on enquiring several times re our priority check in with our luggage was informed its on its way.so priority luggage to the suite is not a priority to RCL. (2) Bathroom hot water was non existent for 6 hours so showered in cold water. (3) Cabinet doors and wardrobe doors have no magnetic keepers so doors and drawers swung to and fro at sea creating a unacceptable noise at night, I rectified this problem by wedging cardboard in the drawers and doors. (4) television programs are all taped and repetive for a 17 day cruise unless in port. (5) television programming bombards you with RCL excursions and Pay More Cruise options. (6) the glass sliding door to the balcony would not lock and slid back and forth, I called house keeping to fix the problem but was informed it could not be repaired so had to use the child lock system which was only explained by the maintanance crew member. (7) unless you read the compendium in the suites you will not be informed of your entitlements as a owners suite guest and will be charged additional. (8) be aware of paying for anything in advance as money is not credited back for up to 90 days if you cancel or change your mind. (9) you are enticed to buy additional cruises on board with offers of cheaper rates or specials which can be purchased at your own travel agent with better prices and options. (10) the on board shops are basic and highly priced. 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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