17 Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Entertainment Cruise Reviews

The only reason I went on this ship was to be part of the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. Whilst a regular on Princess and Celebrity, this was my first taste of the Royal Carribean fleet. I had heard mixed opinions from friends, most ... Read More
The only reason I went on this ship was to be part of the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. Whilst a regular on Princess and Celebrity, this was my first taste of the Royal Carribean fleet. I had heard mixed opinions from friends, most of whom did not place the Radiance in the WOW category. So I went with less than high expectations. How wrong I was. The ship is older and smaller than the mega vessels floating around. But I was really impressed by the leadership of eh captain and officers. They run a tight ship, so to speak. Cleanliness was of very high importance. Everywhere, all day and night, crew members were washing, polishing, scrubbing. Our hands were sanitised so many times they began to be squeaky! But from the beginning. Check-in was smooth and painless. We were on board at 11 am. The upstairs Windjammer Cafe was in full swing with a really good selection of food. Alas, no cabins were open until 2 pm so there was a bit of hanging around! My stateroom was a Royal Suite on deck 10 which was all one could ask for. Well laid out, large balcony, good quality furniture and fabric, coffee machine (with poor US coffee) However, one brickbat was that there was no walk-in shower, and you had to clamber into the bathtub to have a shower. Quite an ordeal for some passengers. There were no grip rails to hang on to either. Dining was extensive. As well as the Windjammer, the main dining room was Cascades which was fine but nothing to rave about. Dining times were fixed at 5.30 and 8.30 and you could not change. The Italian restaurant, Giovanni's Table had food to die for. Faultless and the wine list was pretty good as well. Other specialist eateries were Chops Grille, Izumi Asian eatery and a host of casual cafes. For a ship this size, it had excellent choices. Bars were good too. The champagne bar was a bit of a misnomer as it served nearly everything else but. The schooner bar and colony club had great ambience. The casino was vast, but on our trip, the players were vastly outnumbered by the croupiers. Staff were obviously very well trained, friendly and genuine. As this cruise sailed from Sydney, there was no expectation of tipping, so the service was sincere and not in the quest for the dollar! Being a suite guest, there was a wonderful private Concierge club with an open bar, and special arrangements for dining in special areas. Officers were evident and approachable, not like on many other ships. As I stated before the reason we went on this ship was because it was a charter for the Bravo Cruise of Performing Arts. 35 acts, ranging from a full orchestra, string quartets, trios and duets, soloists, choirs. Music from go to woe everywhere on the ship. And what was so nice was that you could hear cabin attendants and cleaners humming opera as they went about their work. This voyage on the Radiance was outstanding., Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
First, New Zealand is beautiful and well worth the effort to get there but the radiance of the seas is sub par. Furnishings are dated & many are in dis repair. For example, the first chair I sat in in the Colony Club was broken & ... Read More
First, New Zealand is beautiful and well worth the effort to get there but the radiance of the seas is sub par. Furnishings are dated & many are in dis repair. For example, the first chair I sat in in the Colony Club was broken & cabinets in our cabin were chipped. Also the seal on our portal showed a lot of rust. We went to the Quill & Compass for a drink & they did not have the first two beers on the menu my husband tried to order & I asked for a special Bloody Mary , also on the menu, but the bartender couldn’t make that either. The food in Cascades was just barely adequate. The one bright spot was the Chefs Table which was most enjoyable. The side trip in Dunedin was a mess. The first part on the Taiegori rail road was pleasant but the city tour was disappointing. The driver would not take us by the famous octagon & we also had only a half hour in the museum. Some one finally asked the driver to go back by the train station so we could at least see the outside. The entertainment on the ship was a cut above a high school production. And the chairs in the Aurora Theater were also worn. The “comedian” whose show was called Identity Theft was particularly lame. One other positive was the spa. I had an excellent facial from Paula from Spain & a nice shampoo from Mariya from Bulgaria. However when I went into the rest room the very tiny sink was also chipping & rusted. We are frequent/seasoned travelers. This was our first cruise on Royal Caribbean and it will be our last. I talked to other passengers who felt the same way. Read Less
Sail Date November 2018
First time ocean cruisers and it probably be our last. Travelled Royal Caribbean – Radiance of the Seas. No complaints with either the food or the room. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, outdoor experiences were not available for the ... Read More
First time ocean cruisers and it probably be our last. Travelled Royal Caribbean – Radiance of the Seas. No complaints with either the food or the room. Unfortunately, due to rough seas, outdoor experiences were not available for the days across to New Zealand and a day returning to Australia. Oh well, plenty to keep you entertained within the ship. The infrequent and non-current movies. The organised activities (Halloween for one) for 2000 odd people in the ‘Centrum’ (small central foyer of the ship). There was the talk from Adam Houlahan (which I’m sure the company did not vet prior to him presenting, and I hope he wasn’t paid). The up-sell was constant and off-putting for a ‘relaxing’ holiday. The cost of alcohol was excessive considering we were in international waters and not subject to duties. One Crown lager stubbie equated to $13.90 Aus once their 18% gratuities were added. I was really impressed, when I delivered to Guess Services on our departure, valuable jewellery from the previous room occupant, which had been left in our safe and had only been discovered. No receipt was given for the property handed in, and when asked for one, the request was denied. I advised the guest service officer that I required one as I did not want to be investigated/blamed when the owner attempted to locate their property. A few days after the cruise, I followed up with Royal Carribeen about the jewellery. There was no record of me handing it in and they could not describe the items I had given. Hmmm. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and ... Read More
This was our 6th Alaska cruise, 2nd on ROTS last being in 2014. I will start with the good and then the not so good. First of all, there isn't too much that can be better than the scenery and wildlife between Vancouver BC and Denali National Park. We couldn't have asked for better weather. The seas were calm. In Ketchikan and Icy Srtait we just walked around, having done a number of excursions on past cruises. Ketchikan was extremely busy with 4 ships in port. However we did enjoy walking around and enjoying the shops. We took the bus into the town of Hoonah, not much to see there. We saw a Totem carver and enjoyed his story about his carving. Juneau is probably our favorite Alaskan port. We always do the whale watching, Orca lodge salmon bake and on occassion Mendenhall Glacier. We are never disappointed with this excursion. We saw a number of humpback whales and eaglees soaring near our boats. In Skagway, we took the train up to Fraser BC and then boarded the bus for a trip to the beginning of the Yukon, on the way back we stopped for a lunch consisting of bison chili and then walked the suspension bridge. We did encounter some fog and rain on the way to Fraser but the weather cleared before arriving. We opted for a two night land tour folling the cruise and it was teriffic. We left Seward for Denali National Park, with a short stop in Anchorge. Our tour director Lori was amazing, she kept us entertained the entire two days. Lori was extremely patient with all of the questions that anyone had. W were overnight at the Denali Park Village. The loaction was amazing, our room looked out a river behind the lodge. There were several dining venues available, gift shops and outside entertainment. Next morning we got on a bus for the Denali History Tour. We made three stops throughout the park for some short lectures and then at the parks visitor center for lunch. We were very lucky to have great weather because we got to see MT. Denali two days in a row, something Lori said didn't happen very often. Next we rode to Talkeetna where we boarded the Wilderness train to Anchorage. That was a wonderful ride in a domed railcar.Our last night was at the Marriot, it was within walking distance of quite a few sites. Now for the not so good. The ROTS is in need of a physical makeover, it showed a lot of wear and tear. The food in both the Windjammer and MDR were just fair, but we weren't there for the food. The music in the atruim was too loud, you couldn't have a conversation with anyone in guest services. The entertainment was mediocre. Any of the ships crew we interacted with were great, especially our cabin attendant and MDR waiters. If we were to visit Alaska again via a cruise, we might try a Celebrity ship.One last note, on other Alaska cruises, we did not remember all of the small out of control childern running amok on the ship or on excursions. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We would highly recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone. Their staff are highly trained and see to your comfort and individual needs above all else. Always friendly and courteous no matter how long of a day they have had. They make you feel ... Read More
We would highly recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone. Their staff are highly trained and see to your comfort and individual needs above all else. Always friendly and courteous no matter how long of a day they have had. They make you feel a part of the family! Always something to do on and off the ship, always helpful in Guest Services and just overall a great company to take a cruise with! Food well prepared in an excellent and clean environment! Everyone went out of their way to make sure we had the best experience ever and we did! Keep you informed of everything going on and changes that are made when necessary. We felt very pampered. The games were funny and there was always something for everyone to do. Had to make time to rest - there was so much to do and see. Cruise tours were the best! We can not say enough about our great experience! Read Less
Sail Date May 2018
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good ... Read More
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good selection of books to read, but you need to go as soon as you can. I didnt partake in the entertainment offered just wanted to relax and veg out. I would recommen a cruise to anyone wanting to relax or you can do everything on offer your choice. We did a couple of excursions but prefer to do our own and see exactly what we want rather than be with a large group. The food in the buffet area has a lot of verity hot,cold and the best salads, nice cakes for a late night snack if you can fit it in after dinner, love the movies on the deck its lovely to see the stars when you are at sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I’ve been on about 13 cruises most of them over five weeks long but, never having cruised with Royal Caribbean, I thought the special Bravo cruise on Radiance of the Seas would be an ideal cruise with which to start. However, I will not ... Read More
I’ve been on about 13 cruises most of them over five weeks long but, never having cruised with Royal Caribbean, I thought the special Bravo cruise on Radiance of the Seas would be an ideal cruise with which to start. However, I will not be cruising with Royal Caribbean again. There are far better cruise lines now operating. 1. On the website for this cruise was notice to book seats in the theatre on-ine, in advance (something I have not had to do for any other cruise). Having spent half an hour searching for this facility, I called RC only to be told it was not necessary to book seats on this cruise. Why was this advice on the website ? 2. Embarkation was excellent. 3. The cabin itself was sadly lacking – no conditioner, no body lotion, no shower cap, no bath robe, no pen, no paper, no information compendium, no television programme, no chocolate on turn-down. 4. The food in the dining room was very bland, with limited choice and only three courses. 5. There is limited variety in the Windjammer and it’s scattered all over the place which necessitates visiting several different areas to get one meal. 6. Plastic plates and tumblers is unacceptable on a “luxury” cruise ship. 7. Excellent table service was provided in Windjammer. 8. There is only a very small café open after the late theatre performance which is inadequate. 9. The performances were excellent. 10. The venues for the performances were appalling. a. The theatre is too small for the numbers which necessitates queuing for at least one hour prior to the start of a performance. b. The Centrum is not a venue but little better than a lift lobby where only a very limited number of people can view the performances. There are nowhere near enough seats. c. The Colony Club is a lovely venue but way too small which necessitates arriving at least one hour before the start of a performance to get a seat. Even then, only those in the lower area can view the performance. d. The location of the stage area in Schooners is not ideal as only the few people nearby can view the performance and people are constantly walking through the area. 11. The programming left a lot to be desired especially in the Colony Club. When an afternoon performance finished at 4.30 pm and trivia in Schooners Bar started at 4.30 pm, it necessitated those in the Colony Club wandering through Schooners Bar to exit thereby disrupting the trivia. No excuse for bad programming. 12. Having to queue to get a seat in the theatre is really unacceptable and especially when you cannot choose which performance to attend. However, for the first five nights this queuing was achieved without fuss. 13. On the fifth night, a supposed “officer” and another woman decided to direct the people in the queue to where they could sit. There was no necessity to direct the queue and certainly no necessity to be officious. 14. Appallingly, the woman was so full of the ‘flu, she could barely speak, and should most definitely have been isolated in her cabin – not spreading germs amongst the passengers. This was sheer irresponsibility. There is absolutely, categorically no excuse. 15. Disembarkation was very efficient. 16. Radiance of the Seas is badly in need of major refurbishment in all areas. She should not be hosting the Bravo cruises as the venues are completely inadquate and detract from the enjoyment of the performances. 17. Was advised by Royal Caribbean that a survey would be emailed. It did not arrive. For the cost of this cruise, I could have seen about ten full performances, had reserved seating and not had to queue. Certainly would not have been subjected to an officious staff member spreading germs amongst attendees. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, ... Read More
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, refurbished 2011. This cruise I pre paid or the ultimate dinning and the unlimited drinks packages, well worth getting, great value. The entertainment was what it was all about. Main acts were great, bands all over he ship in all bars and venues all day. Loved Marcia Hines, Mi Sex, Boney M, Kc and The Sunshine band. Roy Orbison and Elvis, ECT. Food was fantastic, in the ultimate dinning package you had unlimited access to all speciality restaurants. All were a great experience, excellent service and amazing food.Main dinning room was ok. the real stand out was the Windjammer Bistro for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very thing was fantastic, excellent friendly service, he staff were fantastic. Bar staff unbelievable remember your name and your drinks friendly, efficient,seldom had to wait long for a drink even under pressure. first time I tip bar staff. Cabin 3043 interior was clean and ok for one as you did not spend much time in your cabin on this cruise. Cabin steward IUKE did a great job very friendly a pleasure to talk too. Having spent the last 11 years cruising the world, I am fussy, and no mug. I dot have a single complain well done Royal Caribbean Cruises Getting of the ship was just wall off with your bags no fuss. Good internet anywhere on the ship, pre paid. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
The Cruise Director, Steve Davis, was over the top good. Still can't believe he taught 40 passengers to do Michael Jackson's Thriller zombie dance, which they actually performed to the music as a coordinated group in costume and ... Read More
The Cruise Director, Steve Davis, was over the top good. Still can't believe he taught 40 passengers to do Michael Jackson's Thriller zombie dance, which they actually performed to the music as a coordinated group in costume and makeup in the central plaza on the last night. Bravo. I liked the ship's performance of Piano Man in the theater. They had an outstanding pair of tenors. The Brazilian Tango dancers were also great. The food in the Cascades Dining Room was OK with only one miss. Don't order pasta. Orecchiette was not served fresh, being dried out and rubbery around the edges. The waiter knew it wasn't right too. He always asked how everything was except on this one night. Took advantage of a $50 off certificate in the spa and wish I hadn't. Had the 50-minute Swedish, the most basic of massages which every therapist should have down pat. Mine didn't. Barely touched my feet and didn't do my arms and hands at all. It's not like I have an icky skin condition or something like that and of course I showered before hand. What she did do felt like it took very little effort. Maybe she was only half awake at 8 AM, I don't know, but it was annoying to have to pay a forced gratuity for this poor performance at 18% of the pre-discounted price. The embarkation in Honolulu was torture. We stood in a line that snaked around a humid space for about an hour or so for no apparent reason before they let us in to the air conditioned space for check-in. Surely they realize that if you book a room the day before, then you have to check out by 11 or 12 on the day of departure and since there's nowhere else to go with your luggage in hand, they'd better be ready to start boarding at noon. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
We had never been to Hawaii and decided to take this cruise that left from Honolulu and went to 5 islands in Hawaii. We went two days early and stay on the big island and went to see The Punch Bowl and found my husband cousin on the MIA ... Read More
We had never been to Hawaii and decided to take this cruise that left from Honolulu and went to 5 islands in Hawaii. We went two days early and stay on the big island and went to see The Punch Bowl and found my husband cousin on the MIA wall during WWII. The next day we went to Pearl Harbor. It was amazing and very emotional. We stay over night on two of the Islands. The ship was very maintained and our cabin was very nice. The entertainment was some of the best we have seen. Our waiter, assistant waiter was excellent and after the first night remember our names and what wines we drank and the food was wonderful. I like to have room service every morning while my husband goes to the main dining room. Each island we took a excursion that was booked on the ship. All of then was great but I enjoyed the waterfalls the best. One of the nicest thing about this ship is the captain was out and about a lot. He joined in on some of the entertainment which makes you feel special because he always would stop and speak to you. All of the crew was very friendly and helpful. We would differently recommend this cruise and destination to everyone. We have two more cruises both for this year and two more both so far this next year. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our ... Read More
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our waiter and assistant waiter, Anil and Diana (Liying). They were a delight. Our cabin attendant, Butu, was also very friendly and kept surprising us with towel animals. The service aboard ship from all the crew was exceptional. As this was our 4th cruise we can only compare the entertainment with the others we experienced and this was by far the best. The comedians, jugglers, bar music, singers, dancers, and crew shows were outstanding. Our favorite shows were headlined by Contempo, two extremely talented singers from Australia. Wow!, they were amazing. Coming in at second place was everyone else, (however, one was a very distant second) almost all, very professional. Steve Davis and his staff deserve a lot of credit for keeping us entertained. Much of the time we were racing from bow to stern to engage in various games and activities, the most common of which was Trivia contests. If I had to offer one suggestion to the activities staff it would be to make absolutely certain of the answers to the trivia questions. There were numerous questions that had more than one correct answer which caused much confusion. Some of the same questions were asked at different sessions. The food; plentiful but not up to the level we had experienced on other cruises. Cuts of meat were sometimes tough and gristly. It was exorbitant to have to pay considerably extra to order "specialty" meals or eat in the restaurants other than the Cascades dining room and the Windjammer. Drinks (other than complimentary iced tea or lemonade) were outrageously expensive, $8+ for a Bud Light.! Mixed drinks for $14 was out of our price range, Ironically, room service was free so you could have a meal and glass of water delivered to your cabin, but you were charged if you opened the bottle of water in your mini fridge. Huh??? Our in-room safe malfunctioned, thankfully at a time we were able to get a security person to open it. This has happened several times to us on various vacations, once requiring the safe to be drilled open. Something to think about if you are disembarking and trying to catch an early flight. We always recommend that the safe be opened the night before to avoid a long delay. Little things that can be so easily corrected are often neglected. Walking the upper deck (day 1) we noticed that the basketball net was nothing but a frayed piece of string that was hanging from the hoop. What would it cost major cruise line to make sure that at the start of every cruise there was a useable net? Not a single air hand dryer was functional in the lavatories. Why have them? Why post on the Compass that saving of seats at the Aurora Theater was strictly prohibited when it is commonplace with no one monitoring the seating? We saw people put water bottles at seats to save them for numerous friends. Mini golf was all but impossible due to the rips and tears of the golfing surface. All in all, the ship needs a face lift to take care years of use and some rust spots. Some passengers complained about leaks and water coming from burst pipes. That is not a minor thing. Always a highlight is the opportunity to meet people from distant lands and this cruise offered that in spades, with many from all over Australia. They were all friendly and except for us being separated by a common language there were wonderful conversations. It was often difficult to understand the "lingo" of Aussies but we loved the interaction. They probably thought the same about us Americans. Lots of memories, a once in a lifetime trip we will treasure. Looking forward to our next cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Twice I received escargot that were COLD, no cheese for Caesar salads, most cooked foods well done. I asked waiter for medium rare and he said only well done or medium. The medium was well done. Dining room needs a new head chef. ... Read More
Twice I received escargot that were COLD, no cheese for Caesar salads, most cooked foods well done. I asked waiter for medium rare and he said only well done or medium. The medium was well done. Dining room needs a new head chef. Waiters are verg good but that little extra step needed to make the food great. I would hire the head chef currently on the Celebrity Infinity. Windjammer same food every day. Mongolian night big misnomer. Food cooked in a fry pan. It should be called stir fry night. Nice ship, needs a little up keeping. Some furniture well worn. Really liked the game areas around the sip. Card room, library, computer areas. Big plus. I do miss the mini bars, snacks in the ships store should be an embarrassment for the price. A small bag of M&Ms is $13.95. I would call that extreme pricing. Great trip on the top end. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We have cruised 25 times - on Oceania, Cunard, Princess, Celebrity and Ncl. This was our first time with RC , only went to be with family for 8days ,3 ports and 5 sea days from Sydney. I don't normally do cruise reviews as they ... Read More
We have cruised 25 times - on Oceania, Cunard, Princess, Celebrity and Ncl. This was our first time with RC , only went to be with family for 8days ,3 ports and 5 sea days from Sydney. I don't normally do cruise reviews as they have always been tops. RC is way down on quality ! Firstly, the worst ever dining experience for dinners in the main dining room -Cascades. Our entire table was disappointed with the meal quality - sometimes not hot, wrong description on menu, very bland and often tasteless ! They have an Aussie chef, is that why the food is so poor ? Every other cruise, every meal we have enjoyed no matter what we ordered, not on this cruise. Complaints to the Matre de were as if he could not care less ! They can't even supply in your cabin writing paper nor a pen. No bathroom products only soap. The worst elevator service , seemed to be endlessly waiting ,then when it comes and it's at the other end it's gone by the time you can notice which elevator is indicated. Many afternoons shocking loud loud music echoing through the lobby chamber to all floors - bad luck if you're trying to relax.. The card room is badly located in the open adjacent to all the lobby noise. Why the cutlery sets rolled up in a napkin with only a knife and fork, but do not include a spoon ? If you're lucky you will eventually the location of spoons elsewhere. We always enjoy the Magicians ,but this one , he does about 4 tricks in one hour - it is all so drawn out and boring . I give the cruise 2 stars , one for the staff who are mostly good,the window cabin was comfortable and most of the shows were good. Overall it's a 3 star experience at a 4.5 star price ! You've lost us, Royal Caribbean ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Here's the feedback I gave Royal Caribbean on this cruise: The ship is beautifully designed with lots of natural light. There also seems to be more public space than Voyager, resulting in less queues and a much less crowded feel. ... Read More
Here's the feedback I gave Royal Caribbean on this cruise: The ship is beautifully designed with lots of natural light. There also seems to be more public space than Voyager, resulting in less queues and a much less crowded feel. I continue to find the pressure selling of everything from art to shoe inserts and supplements annoying. It's not a 'seminar' if it's really just another attempt to sell me something. It's a promotion. The techniques used for selling in the art auction are, in my opinion, highly unethical; give people a bit of alcohol and generate some mildly hypnotic frenzy. I believe this selling method would be prevented if you tried it in Australia. The stateroom was beautiful but dusty and the carpet was full of grit (sand?). The mattress was firm but okay however the pillows had been compressed to pancakes of filling with no loft or support. Perhaps take a look at the Ecodownunder brand of pillows; they come with a side zipper so that the filling can be restored or replaced. The food was outstanding (much better than Voyager) and the staff were exceptional. Sad to see Starbucks coffee has replaced good coffee and that staff have been directed to make more than one cup from a filled espresso cap. The coffee is really awful and the filter coffee in the restaurants is not much better. Fortunately this cruise had three Australian destinations; I wanted to bring coffee back on board! The chef's table was exceptional in terms of both food and service and I would highly recommend it to anyone travelling on the Radiance but why were we subjected to a very loud rehearsal right outside the dining room?! Our host apologised and told us it would only be another 20 minutes but it went on for another hour and half, and some of it was not pleasant to listen to. If you're going to charge $85 and promote something as an exclusive event then surely a quiet room is not an unreasonable expectation. The on board entertainment team are talented and joyful but why are the women put in those terrible, tired wigs? They look ridiculous and detract from the professionalism of the shows. Sad to see that two of the shows (City of Dreams and Tango) have been around since at least 2012! Isn't it time for something new? Also, can someone fix Melissa's sound please. I appreciate she has a big voice but putting echo on it and turning the volume up made it deafening. The gym is possibly one of the best at sea with beautiful views and great equipment. Good to see some free exercise classes being included in the program but why charge for the others? Surely free yoga is not a hard thing to offer. P&O now also provide a private yoga mat delivered to your room for anyone wanting to do their own yoga on deck (I packed my own mat knowing you didn't provide them). Sad to see that the jogging track still includes an unpleasant smokers area! Who wants to run through cigarette smoke! Given the diminishing number of smokers you might like to consider moving all of them to deck 5. It was also disturbing to see a smokers area right next to the pool where so many children are playing. Although this area is outdoors, the overhead cover means that smoke drifts along the deck and the smell reaches the solarium. Disgusting. Loved the cruise director's 'Thriller' classes and the final performance and also his 'great debates'. Pity the arts and crafts isn't a bit more challenging and interesting and I've often thought it would be good to see a dedicated craft room with kits available at reasonable prices so that guests could head there when it was open and find something creative to do. I've been to land based resorts that have similar and they work well. The space can be used for dedicated classes and also for self-directed craft activities. Perhaps different tables for things like jewellery making, plaster art, colouring in etc? This would also give crafty guests the opportunity to interact. Great to see the photographers have been taught to be less pushy since my last cruise with you. We bought a couple of lovely photos of the two of us and didn't feel pressured to either have more photos taken or to purchase more than we wanted. The onboard shopping experience continues to disappoint. RC once had a strong reputation for good shopping but the prices, once conversion rates are taken into account, are no better than onshore and there's some very serious issues with the way jewellery and watches are described and represented to customers. The various raffles had poor quality prizes and were clearly just a marketing tool to gather customers. The souvenirs in the shop were of good quality and probably a bit on the expensive side, but still appealing. It was great to see the inclusion of products by indigenous Australian artists. It's a pity they didn't get any mention in the Australia Day activities. The tipping policy continues to be a source of annoyance for Australian customers with lots of objections to the automatic deductions for those that didn't prepay. Once again, in Australia you'd be required to include this as part of the total price. You wouldn't be able to induce people with one price and then add a tipping surcharge without permission. The main reasons people are giving for switching to Princess over RC is the difference in tipping policy and the use of Australian currency when they are departing from Australia. I was particularly annoyed that even though I was paying $13.50 per person per day I was still hit with an enormous surcharge by the already expensive day spa. We only had one treatment there and then made arrangements for treatments on shore because the cost was around half. The pressure selling of products following treatment was also annoying. We took two shore excursions. Both involved too much time on the bus and not enough time at the destination. It would be useful if you put time estimates in the descriptions to help manage expectations. The trip to Hahndorf included a very loud and talkative driver (even though there was an onboard tour guide) who used his microphone to regale us with trivia questions, Dad jokes and stories about other countries where he's been a bus driver. I wanted to hear about Adelaide, not his personal adventures. He seemed to be allergic to any amount to quiet and the volume on his microphone was excessive, so we were all tired and annoyed following an hour and a half the Hahndorf and an hour and a half back again, particularly when we had so little time in Hahndorf. The Hobart trip was better with an excellent driver/commentator with good knowledge of the area's history but with only half an hour at the Botanic gardens this was little more than a toilet stop. Once again, knowing how much time was allocated to each activity would have avoided disappointment. The annoying thing about the Hobart trip was that there was ample time available. It was obviously a cost issue that resulted in the too-short stay at the gardens. Had I known I would have made my own onshore arrangements by taxi. It wouldn't have cost much more for the two of us and we could have actually seen something of the famous Botanical Gardens. There was a strong smell of sewerage near the entrance to the Colony Club for the whole of the cruise. This dissipated somewhat when you entered the room but remained strong enough that we couldn't stay there for any length of time. I suspect some kind of leak or ventilation problem. In spite of your marketing, around $13 per day for basic internet access is not a great deal. Princess has free internet. The arrangements for disembarkation on this trip were a nightmare. Due to the arrival of Ovation we were anchored in the harbour and tendered off. While guests were all given luggage tags and allocated departure times, there was no way for staff to verify who was entitled to be tendered and this resulted in many people lying to staff and queueing for earlier boats. The result was a time lag and a back log of angry customers, including many that missed trains home. I would recommend issuing tender tickets with luggage tags to prevent this. As an example, we were told we would be tendered off around 9.00am but in fact didn't get on a tender until 10.15 and didn't reach the terminal until 10.45. On arrival, the terminal at White Bay was a large temporary marquee which was supposed to be air conditioned but was, in fact, stiflingly hot. Passengers sitting and waiting for transfers were extremely uncomfortable. I was also concerned for the welfare of RC staff left standing in full sun in the middle of a heat wave. They should have at least had umbrellas. If asked about cruising I'd be inclined to recommend Princess over RC. I think Radiance is possibly the most beautifully designed ship given the sloped windows and the abundance of natural light, but the constant pressure selling, the tired traditional entertainment and activities, the gouging prices for the spa, the annoying tipping policy, the currency conversion hassles and the lack of free wifi all give Princess the edge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for ... Read More
Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for a 14 night trip from Sydney around New Zealand and back again. Stopping in about 8 ports and doing day trips in each port. I have previously taken my family on other cruises, such as Carnival Spirit, and while the ships are near identical in size and similar in structure this is where the similarities end. To be fair for those who have never sailed before the Radiance has had a recent refurbishment in mid 2016 and is of a reasonable fitout standard, so for first timers don’t despair, but do hang onto your wallets! Yet the biggest difference between Royal Caribbean and Carnival is attention to detail, particularly the part where they try and fleece you for every dollar you have. From the minute you step aboard, to the minute you walk off 14 nights later the staff are at you constantly to pay more. This philosophy is ingrained into everything they do, from the ship layouts, to the port destinations, and the day trips. To start with the Radiance is nearly identical in size and shape to the Carnival Spirit, expect on the Radiance they pack in an extra 400 passengers. These passengers have to go somewhere, and that’s probably an extra 120 rooms, with only about 6 floors of cabins that’s about 20 more rooms per floor. So consequently your rooms end up about 50% smaller to accommodate the extra guests. Yep smaller room, smaller balcony, smaller bathroom and so on. The refit in 2016 has taken the Radiance up to a reasonable standard in look and feel. Not as nice as the Carnival, but acceptable. However in the refit they added a host of speciality dining rooms. This effectively is a “pay to eat” scenario, where in turn they have removed additional “free” dining experiences. The net result of this is almost all of the dining options are extra. Also that then effectively locks this area of the ship off to those who do not wish to pay. This was certainly not the case in Carnival where only one or two speciality dining rooms existed. To add to this they also have the unusual habit of closing the bistro early and forcing people who (for example) want something outside of hours (say an evening coffee) to go and pay for it in the “specialty café”. Then there is the crew, who have been instructed at every turn to push sales. Sales of shore trips, sales of internal trips, sales of drink offers, sales of everything you care to name. It gets to the point where you dread seeing a crew member because you just know they are going to push something on you. After this you have them cutting corners on shore trips and docking. Instead of going into the main port of the city, in most cases Royal Caribbean opted to stay outside of town in a commercial dock and then charge you a bus fair ($15 USD per person) to get into town. Or the other fun one was charging me $160 USD for a trip to the Cadbury Factory (fun trip) but was advertised on the door at only $40 USD ($55 NZD). Yep a whopping four times the price! When I complained I was told it was not their problem and I should call their help line if I had an issue. I complained again, and again, and was eventually offer a 20% rebate on the price. Now I fully expected they to make a profit on the day trips, that is their business. But they are booking 100s of these trips, and the door price (even have a pic of it) is $55 NZD (about $40 USD) for the family and I was charged $160 USD. On top of that they didn’t even book the tickets for my $160 USD, they just dumped us at the door and told us to sort it out ourselves. Had to wait over an hour because they didn’t book the tickets. Regrettably the Cadbury Tour was not a unique experience. The bus trip to Christchurch (this time stopped 2 hours outside of town) was a rough as guts bus ride into Christchurch, where you got 30 minutes for essentially a toilet break before turning you around and racing back to the ship. So much for Christchurch, all I have is pictures of the toilet… With their attention to fleecing you of your money, their small rooms, and poor ship layout I would strongly suggest you book with someone else. New Zealand is lovely, the people are great, and the place is so much fun to see, such a pity we went with Royal Caribbean. Oh as for those “Specialty Dining” options, we did try one, it was very disappointing, a specialty steak place and I have had better steaks from Aldi, this was full of fat and sinew, very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Cruise needs to their homework. Customer service training required. Attention to detail required when detailing with: . Customers, . Food preparation, . Cleaning . Giving out information. Undertook Back to Backs. 8 ... Read More
Cruise needs to their homework. Customer service training required. Attention to detail required when detailing with: . Customers, . Food preparation, . Cleaning . Giving out information. Undertook Back to Backs. 8 Deaths on the Cruises. Witnessed Extremely Poor handling of the deceased. Helped other passengers with health problems and reported areas of concerned. (Dust and Asthma related Problems). Cleaning in cabins and common areas were not done to required standards. Staff stated they had rectified problems but hadn't. When shown and confronted with situation staff purged themselves further. Shore excursions were designed as profit based for the ship. Very over priced. Quality and value for money was found on shore and through Government Tourist agencies. Shore excursion staff do not know very much about Australia and its surrounds. Food in Dining room was limited and was not up to required Food and Health standards. Off food, stale food, over cooked or under cooked food was served. Even off milk was used for tea and coffee. Entertainment needs to suit the respective customers. It didn't. Observed vast quantity of passengers walking out of theatre in disappointment too often. Alleged Comedians in particular. Queen tribute was an absolute joke. Australian British tribute on level 4 is out of date - not researched correctly and poorly handled. Entertainment has not changed for at least four years. Observed better entertainment of other Royal Caribbean ships from other Countries ports, especially from the United States. Barbies are not longer allowed on the cruise. Was informed that Australian Border Forces instructed this could not be done. When informed that Border Force has no delegation for food serving, Management came clean admitted information supplied was incorrect and advised it was a decision from Miami. Each section on the Cruise have targets to meet in selling and raising funds for the company. Bonuses are given to staff who can raise the most. (Charts for Dining Staff were discovered on level 5 whilst passport inspections were undertaken). Money for value - very poor. Very Disappointed Passenger. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
This was a 'performing arts' cruise with a stunning array of talented performers. All performers gave it everything they had and mixed freely with passengers. Unfortunately the joy of experiencing their performances was ... Read More
This was a 'performing arts' cruise with a stunning array of talented performers. All performers gave it everything they had and mixed freely with passengers. Unfortunately the joy of experiencing their performances was overshadowed by the need to queue for up to 2 hours for the main theatre to ensure you got a seat, even though you were allocated to that particular show. Passengers were allocated to late show/early dinner or early show/late dinner on embarkation with no option for changing, however some dishonest passengers used a scam of double-dipping to get them to the shows they wanted and leave other genuine audience members with nowhere to sit. Cruise staff did not do anything about this until the second last night! The problem of overcrowding and queuing for almost everything - coffee, lifts, shows, bars, seating in Windjammers took the glow off everything else. Our balcony cabin was great, kept well & everything worked. Staff were all friendly, polite & helpful. Staff in Cascades dining room were excellent although the food served did not match its description on the menu - very disappointing. Overall impression was that the ship was overbooked for the facilities available on board. There was an emphasis on making as much money as possible from drink, food, spa & outrageous internet packages, as well as jewellery, watches, clothing, cosmetic & NZ souvenir sales. The focus of the cruise was performing arts but a lot of performances took place in Centrum where there was never sufficient seating, even when using seats on upper decks. Unfortunately the gastro bug hit on Day 2. This meant no more self-service in Windjammers. Barriers went up & all food was served by staff, leading to queues at all counters. Meals became a chore instead of enjoyable. Excursions in Mare & Noumea were appropriate and excellently handled by all staff involved. Embarkation & disembarkation both were handled smoothly and with happy smiles. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
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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