226 Sydney (Australia) to Australia & New Zealand Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Due to time restraints the Radiance of the Seas was the only cruise available for our dates. We cruised with another couple which made the experience enjoyable however we were disappointed with several aspects including the need for the ... Read More
Due to time restraints the Radiance of the Seas was the only cruise available for our dates. We cruised with another couple which made the experience enjoyable however we were disappointed with several aspects including the need for the ship to be refurbished. One concern was that children were sitting on bar stools in the Champagne Bar - this should be an 18 years and over area. We felt the hard working crew made up for the lack lustre look of the ship. Our cabin attendant and dining room waiters were brilliant which did enhance our experience We only had four port days for an eleven night cruise, one of which was cancelled due to poor weather. It was disappointing that an alternative port was not offered. The alternate program offered to compensate for the extra day spent at sea was minimal. The adults only pool was depressing. The entertainment on the whole was of a high standard. We felt that responsible serving of alcohol was lacking which at times made it uncomfortable for other passengers. After experiencing other cruise lines I would be hesitant to rebook with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
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
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities ... Read More
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities in both the North and South Island, including all day to view the three South Island Sounds (Dusky, Doubtful and Milford) before heading back to Sydney. I arrived on the sidewalk at the Overseas Cruise Terminal in Sydney at 11:10 and was seated for lunch in Chops Grille at 12:20. I had purchased the new KEY program which brings certain perks formally reserved for those with many cruises in their portfolio. It included a good internet package (which I was already going to purchase) and also included priority boarding to tender ports. Unfortunately, did not get to use that much… I had a balcony cabin on the 7th deck at the front of the ship. Maria was my cabin steward and after a five-minute introduction and chat, I was on my way to 12 wonderful nights under her care. There is a lot of storage space in the cabin, and as a solo traveler I didn’t use most of it. There was enough room under the bed to store my suitcases, and I used the in room safe. The refrigerator wasn’t very cold, and even after having maintenance look at it, no improvement. Maria kept my room stocked with ice and made sure the turn down service was done while I was at the late seating dinner. Let’s get the “bad” out of the way. We started with ports on the North Island. A major storm formed at the lower part of the South Island about Day 4. The captain was in contact with the weather services and informed us an itinerary change might be necessary. Yes, that is what happened. We did not visit Dunedin or any of the Sounds. We detoured between the North and South Island, and also missed the makeup port of Picton due to bad weather. However, the makeup port of Wellington greeted us (unexpectedly for them) on a brilliant, warm, non windy Sunday morning and rolled out the red carpet of hospitality to ensure Radiance passengers had a wonderful experience in Wellington. The Zealandia nature park there is like stepping into Jurassic Park, and it did not disappoint as part of a ship’s excursion. Ron, our park guide, was fantastic. When the captain announced our itinerary would change, I heard grumblings amongst some passengers. However, later some of those grumblers had watched the weather forecast themselves, or their families had contacted them because the forecast made international headlines. The captain was visible every morning around the Café Latte-tudes coffee bar area to personally discuss concerns with the passengers. I saw him speak on the phone to a family member, assuring them their loved ones would be taken care of with safe passage, albeit a significantly revised itinerary. Way to go Captain Espen Been!!! Now that more sea days were added to our itinerary, the Cruise Directors staff stepped up and ensured there were activities throughout those days. There were several movies in the large performance theater so hundreds of passengers could enjoy them, dance lessons in the Centrum, extra musical entertainment throughout the day, etc. etc. Speaking of musical entertainment, Ron Kingston was a featured performer in the Quill and Compass Pub every night. He was amazing in his ability to connect with the audience and sing a variety of songs for all ages and from different cultures (American, Australia, New Zealand, British). It was kind of like a Piano Man singalong but with his voice, personality, and his guitar skills and unique sound system that really make the room rock. Was my go to event before bedtime. I signed up for the late dinner seating (8 pm) and requested to be seated at a large table. It did not disappoint. I’ve met Aussie friends for life. The food was very good, and by the second night my dinner cocktail was waiting for me upon arrival. There is an “upsell” for the high end steak and lobster dinners. Several table mates ordered the grilled lobster and were very pleased with it. The waiter and assistant waiter at table 505 were outstanding! A few nights I wanted to attend the 9 pm dance parties, and the staff at table 505 made sure my dinner was out in time for me to join in on the fun (I did skip dessert those evenings). I just told them when I was seated and they took care of the rest! The Radiance public areas look very good. The wait staff in bars and lounges were excellent. I discovered Angela in the Champagne Bar who makes an outstanding personalized espresso martini, which I enjoyed pre-dinner each evening. Simon in the Schooners Bar took good care of me during trivia events. And the bartenders in the Colony Club and the Centrum Lobby Bar on dance party nights never disappointed. There was a 50s/60s dance party, a 70s dance party and an 80s dance party on this cruise. Also a Dancing with the Stripes dance contest, where passengers selected at random are paired with crew members and the onlookers vote on the winners. The presentation of the flags from all employee nations onboard is not to be missed in the Centrum the last afternoon at sea. The casino on this cruise was totally nonsmoking, so I played there a few nights. Overall, I was even on the slot machines and roulette table, but the casino was empty most nights. Friendly, competent group of employees, however. This was cruise #13 for me, on various lines and itineraries. I had a wonderful time on the Radiance as a solo traveler, but I didn’t come for the floating theme park experience found on larger vessels. I came for the fun and the companionship of Aussies and others. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it’s an 18 hour flight from Dallas, Texas, and I’m from North Carolina, so it may be some time before I’m back. Getting off the ship was a breeze, as I had the KEY package with a special program for the last morning. My bags were tagged differently and waiting for me in a designated area when I disembarked after a KEY breakfast in the dining room. I was staying on in Sydney for more time Down Under, so I didn’t feel rushed and took my time getting off the ship. As an aside, after the cruise ended, I did return to New Zealand on my own to experience the Fiordlands National Park and Milford Sound. Spent the night in Milford Sound on a vessel and tour operated by Real Journeys out of Queenstown NZ. Excellent weather….worth every dollar! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I went on this cruise with a group of 10 friends. The ship, cabin Stewart, wait staff were awesome as was the entertainment. The food in the restaurants and cafes was just awful. Cold, tasteless and low quality. I literally starved ... Read More
I went on this cruise with a group of 10 friends. The ship, cabin Stewart, wait staff were awesome as was the entertainment. The food in the restaurants and cafes was just awful. Cold, tasteless and low quality. I literally starved when onboard. I ate off ship every chance I had. We had to order everything at once and the courses were pushed at us so we hurried. Except for after dinner coffee, good luck getting it. Even the bar drinks were bad but expensive. We were bombard every dinner with selling the dinners. The photographer interrupted us eating each time and was pushy. Since we had a big group it was fine getting photos taken then the last 2 nights all of a sudden we had to break into 2 groups, no large groups allowed??? At the start of the booking the rep put my birth date in the system wrong so I could never log in. After months of calling they finally realized the problem and in fixing it deleted my roomate and all they're excursions with discounts! When I called twice asking them to restore my roommates excursions and honor the price they said it's not their policy to do that, too bad. I had an awesome onboard credit I was told I could use on ship but it disappeared and guest services was no help when me I got My bill. They asked me if I had proof! It was showing online when I left for the trip. My friends had a horrible excursion guide in one port, had no clue what he was doing, couldn't answer questions, just dropped them places. Another one of their excursions, the guide didn't know they had to return to the ship by a specified time. My friends finally told her, she called her office and they told her to head back. The ship had to wait for them. Like I said the ship was nice, our cabin great but the food was disgusting and RC customer service is nonexistent. I'm hoping to NEVER do another Royal cruise. I have cruised since the 80s on many lines and have experience on what to realistically expect. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself ... Read More
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself with plenty of choices (although getting a seat could be somewhat difficult)or if you wanted something a little more special the Cascades main dining room did lunch with menu choices. There was plenty of entertainment and activities going on and you could do as much or as little as you wanted to do. The staff/crew were as always working hard and were very polite and friendly, they always seemed to find the time to have a little chat, and made you feel so special. The port days were good and some lovely places were on our itinerary, with the choices of booking a trip or Making your own way round. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it ... Read More
I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it very annoying that I'm being solicited during a meal to buy a specialty dinner. It's very disruptive to the dining experience and this seems to be the new practice on cruises now, which is not acceptable. I did not find the on-board entertainment to be very good. After a few nightly shows, I gave up and quit going. The Diamond Club Lounge was always so crowded with no seats and way too hot that I had to take my cocktails and food to the adjacent lounge to enjoy. I visited the spa for a pedicure and the pedicure chair with the massage jets was broken, but the nail tech didn't inform me until I asked her to turn the jets on, then she said they weren't working. By this time, I'm already in the process with polish removed and feet soaking. The manager of the salon was of no help and when I got back home, I contacted RCCL. They said they have no control over Canyon Ranch Spa because it's a separate company and I should contact them. So much run-around only to find out that RCCL doesn't take responsibility for their spa. So, ladies, beware! The ship excursions have become so outrageously expensive, so I book most tours on my own. I did take two ship excursions and they were enjoyable. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was a nightmare. At the beginning of the cruise, I had my power strip confiscated and they promised it would be in a certain area in the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, which it wasn't. So my disembarkation was delayed because they couldn't find the confiscated items table. A very helpful New Zealander staff woman helped track it down for me, and I was very grateful. I've noticed negative changes in RCCL my last couple of cruises, but this was the worst cruise ever! So this is the end of my cruising with RCCL. They are a garbage cruise line and I will now be going to other companies for my vacations. I'm a solo traveler, so I always have to pay double to cruise. After 19 cruises, they've lost my loyalty and my revenue stream. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even ... Read More
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even less time. All staff from the Captain to cleaners were very polite and would chat happily, were always attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The ship was great, comfortable, lovely big windows. The cabin was an inside one and while small, especially the shower, we had everything we needed. I am not sure I would have liked a room that size with more than two people though. We had all our meals in the Windjammer and certainly had nothing to complain about, plenty of choice. Our waiters got to know us and brought us drinks as soon as we sat down. Plenty of activities for everyone though we had gone to rest and relax so didn't take part in lots of things. I have to confess that I wasn't so impressed with the shows. A couple of comedians were quite crude and not appropriate for family shows. The dances and singers were good, as was the ventriloquist and hypnotist. My only real complaint was that everything that happened in the centrum was so loud you couldn't hold a conversation. We got off a tour bus one day that stopped a few hundred metres from the ship and you could hear the noise as soon as the bus doors opened. The ports were good and we did go ashore in Akaroa, Wellington and the Bay of Islands. Great sailing through the Fiordland sounds. We are both keen to go on another cruise and would certainly look at this ship first. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
I loved New Zealand, scenery was beautiful, that was the only good part of my trip. This ship is old, smelly & tired looking. The water slides & climbing wall advertised were only open for an hour once a day on port days and an ... Read More
I loved New Zealand, scenery was beautiful, that was the only good part of my trip. This ship is old, smelly & tired looking. The water slides & climbing wall advertised were only open for an hour once a day on port days and an hour twice a day on sea days so it was near impossible to use these amenities unless you wanted to line up for a couple of hours for one go - not my idea of fun. My two teenage girls were bored out of their mind for the entire trip. There’s little for kids to do on this ship. The food was not good at all. The restaurants that you pay for were very good but the buffet was absolutely shocking, same food every day & not great at all. If I knew how cramped our balcony suite would be we would have paid extra for two suites. I was stuck sleeping in an extremely uncomfortable pull out lounge for 10 days which left me with neck that I was unable to turn to the right & a sore back. The actual beds were not much better. After having traveled on cruise ships in the past I was really looking forward to watching some shows however they were boring & clearly aimed at older people, not families. I was distraught when I walked into a poorly identifiable glass wall right next to some revolving doors on deck 12. It was a clear hazard yet the ships health & safety officer ridiculed me despite having to spend the whole morning with the doctor with suspicions of a concussion, a black eye and serious swelling - management Just didn’t care. I love cruises & New Zealand was great but I will never travel on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way ... Read More
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way cruise from Sydney to Auckland. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, first cruise to NZ and the biggest ship we have been on. We flew into Sydney, the day before the cruise departed, just in case of airline delays or cancellations. We boarded at 11.30 am and in our cabins by 3.00 pm. There are 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian in our family, so as soon as we were onboard, we went to see one of the head waiters in the Colony Club, to explain our dietary requirements. All our breakfasts and lunches were in the Windjammers Buffet and all our dinners were in Cascades. Cascades wins hands down in the “fine dining” department and their vegan meals were delicious and plenty of it. The vegans were usually given 2 or 3 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts each, just to ensure there was enough choice. The omnivores were also taken care of. Prawn cocktails, crumbed prawns, lobster tails, escargot, Rib eye steak, sirloin steak, fillet mignon, rack of lamb, venison, pork loin chops. Sometimes I had 2 entrees and 2 mains. Sometimes the steak was too chewy, so I ordered more prawn cocktails. The Cascade waiting staff were great and Cascades is the only place where soft drinks are free. The alcoholic drinks are expensive (about 50% more than P&O Aust and Carnival Aust) because all prices onboard are in $US. The drink price also includes an 18% gratuity, but you won’t see this itemised on your receipt. A few prices; beers $7.75-$8.50, base spirit and mixer $9.50-$11.50, cocktails $11-$16, the “cocktail of the day” is always $10, glasses of wine $9-$16 USD. I bought the Deluxe Beverage and Surf and Stream (1 device) Package about 2 months before the cruise date when a special offer was emailed to me. It cost me $82.80 AUD per day. Once onboard, the Deluxe Beverage was $70 USD per day and the Surf and Stream (1 device) was $29 USD per day. The internet speed was good, but there were times when we were out of satellite range and no service. The beverage package supplied me with bottled water, cans of soft drink, real coffee, not to mention the alcohol. The entertainment ranged from OK to very good. The juggler, ventriloquist, the boy band, the impressionist and comedians were very good. The big production shows were about average. Windjammers closes at 9.00 pm, so if you want some supper after the show, the food is limited to The Boardwalk Doghouse or the Park Café located in the Solarium. Both close at 2.00 am. The Park Café has sandwiches, wraps, rolls, pies, sausage rolls, salads and desserts and it was all good. Now for the one negative part of this review, photographers. They are everywhere. At the top of every stairway in every entrance, on every boarding ramp, in every dining room, I even found one in my soup. An 8x10 inch photo is $20 USD. I suppose they are a necessary evil and help subsidise my fare. This was a good family cruise and I will cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge ... Read More
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge and free drinks added each day! If we had known that we would not have paid for the drinks package! However, there is continual pressure to up-sell to speciality dining and thankfully we had two occasions to do so because the main dining food was very average and lacked imagination and flavour. I resorted to 4 starters on several evenings rather than face another main meal. Wine service was non-existent due to the absence of sommeliers so our waiter and assistant struggled to keep up with service. Food arrived lukewarm... very disappointing! Radiance probably has the best Centrum experience around with all decks being able to look down and participate in whatever was going on below! However, try finding a seat!... RCI has now taken over a huge chunk of the coffee bar lounge with a Future Cruise office plus, don't expect china cups these days... paper carry-outs! contrast that with Celebrity's La Bachio, the most popular relaxing area for most people! The two re-fits didn't seem to include soft furnishings such as the chairs and carpets in the Champagne Bar which really have seen better days! However, as I said, it was a very happy cruise with friendly officers and staff and a new Captain who actually sang to us at the welcome meeting! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are easily accessible and navigate due it's simple layout. When she was launched she was the most advanced cruise ship on the waves but now, as lovely as she is, she is starting to look a little tired. Despite this, the service is 100% and in keeping with RCI's usual standard. My wife and I would not hesitate to sail on her again if the opportunity presents itself. NZ, as usual, was a pleasure to visit with every port offering a warm welcome and a myriad of shore activities to undertake. Would recommend shore excursions to Hobbiton, Rotorua, Rangitoto Island. Also, as Auckland is very much an America's Cup town, sailing on one of the two Americas Cup Class yachts berthed a Viaduct Harbour (near the Maritime Museum) is certainly a highlight! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. ... Read More
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. The cruise was quite good. Pros included just about everything in NZ. Certainly a lovely destination. Wellington, Picton, Dunedin and Milford Sound were brilliant. The cruise buffet at the "Windjammer' café was very good (but a little crowded). A constantly varied menu with a good choice. I can't recall anything bad about eating there. The headline shows were very good as too the cruise Director, John Blair. He was extremely entertaining and so was his Neil Diamond tribute show. Cons were that the cruise was in reality, just like a floating RSL (which everyone said wasn't the case). The day revolves around eating and in the evening there are shows. The shows overall were quite ordinary (except for the headline performances of which there were only two). The main dining room was bad. The menu didn't really change from day 1. We had breakfast there three times. Each time we ordered a different breakfast combination and each time we got exactly the same breakfast? Other downsides were the small bathrooms, tiny showers, terrible TV choices, limited movie selections at the very tiny cinema (a tip is to get there an hour early for a seat). We had a cabin with a balcony towards the front starboard side on level 9 which provided us with shore views at every port which was nice. The shops were selling $100 watches from Costco for $700 and even with their so-called sale offering 75% discount, you were still getting ripped off. As it was our first cruise we can't really compare it to anything else but strangely enough, despite all the shortcomings, we quite enjoyed the experience but would probably try another cruise line for a better comparison. One last point, we booked through a company called Cruise1st and they were pretty ordinary. Great from a sales point of view but from there on, customer service was non-existent. We ended up going to Royal Caribbean US for a variation and they helped us. My advice would be to deal directly with the cruise line? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
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
Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and ... Read More
Chose this cruise to enable my 91-year-old mother to enjoy a scenic area via a cruise ship. Started off with an excellent transfer from the airport to the ship and embarkation with mother in a wheelchair. Did not have to wait in line and the porters were very helpful in organizing our luggage and then getting Mum onboard the ship. Our cabin was not ready so the porter took us to the cafe where Mum transferred to a seat. He provided us with clear directions on where to get the elevators as Mum cannot use the stairs. Dining. Had a continental breakfast in our cabin most mornings which was always delivered promptly. However, every day there would be something missing from our order - not enough to call them back but just to annoy you. For example, no milk for the cereal only yoghurt or no sugar for the coffee. We had lunch at the Windjammer Cafe most days and found this perfectly acceptable. There was a good variety of food offered with some staples (burgers, hot dogs) and an assortment of hot and cold dishes. The food and beverage service staff were friendly and helpful. We had dinner in Cascades - the main dining room - each evening. We had wonderful meals every night with plenty of choices offered. Our waiters - Regan and Hasin - were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble. We would arrive of an evening and find a glass of wine waiting for us. Regan would then go through the menu and provide recommendations for each course. One night I could not decide between 2 dishes so he bought me both!! As a person with a life-threatening allergy Regan's attention to detail was very reassuring. Beverages. Decided very quickly on day one we would get the deluxe beverage package and wish we had pre-purchased which offers a substantial saving. The main reason we chose the package was the convenience - with Mum having limited mobility it would have been tiresome to go up to the 11th floor everytime we wanted a drink (tea, coffee, water) outside of meal times. We are not big drinkers - enjoy a glass of wine with our lunch and dinner, a coffee/tea during the day, water when going on shore and a nightcap - but we felt that having the package encouraged you to drink more than usual. I would like to see different levels of drink packages with some alcohol included. Currently, it is an all or nothing package and does not fit with "responsible serving of alcohol". Bar staff were friendly and we did not have to often wait to be served. I would single out Alex in the Champagne Bar for his attentive service for Mum. Enrichment activities. These were few and far between with next to nothing being offered on this cruise for discerning travelers. I am used to cruising where we would have at least one lecture offered every day on a wide variety of topics so I was very disappointed. The climate change lecture was OK. The commentary provided whilst in Milford Sound was informative. Entertainment. This ship offers the usual activities you expect on a cruise - gym, cinema, trivia, karaoke, game shows (adult and child versions) towel folding craft, etc. There were 2 theme parties on this cruise - a 70s night and Halloween. Both nights encouraged guests to dress up with prizes awarded. We quickly learned to avoid activities that involved the Cruise Director and/or Activities Director. Found both John and Katrina to be very superficial with little interest in the guests. There was a variety of performances in the evening - some good, some ok, some bad - depending on your preferences. We thoroughly enjoyed Monique Montez, Rock Rhapsody -songs of Queen and the highlight was the final act Dean Atkinson a ventriloquist and comedian. Very, very funny show so ended on a high. Ports. Enjoyed doing my own discovery in the ports. Was very surprised to have to pay to get the shuttle bus into Dunedin with no opportunity to walk from the ship into the local village. This has never occurred on any other cruise for me and I certainly think people should be warned. I have safely managed to walk through "working" ports through most of the Mediterranean with no ill effects so am not sure why this could not be done in NZ. The shore excursions offered by RCI were very expensive and I heard mixed reviews from other guests. I found it interesting that RCI only provides soft drink and a quick snack (which was whisked away very quickly) for Cruise Critic "Meet and Mingle" parties. On other cruise lines, we have been provided with champagne, wines and nibbles served on trays by the food and beverage staff members. I think because it was held the way it was that people did not feel inclined to get to know each other which was a pity. My major gripe is the disembarkation and final transfer to the airport. We paid RCI for a private transfer (at $80) BUT got put on a bus (advertised onboard for $30) and then dumped at the airport. NO WHEELCHAIR ASSISTANCE which was why I had booked the private transfer. This was both disappointing and stressful for both of us and really put a dampener on the holiday. It seemed that RCI could not wait to be rid of their guests and was a very different experience to our first day so therefore I could not recommend RCI for anyone with mobility issues. All in all, for what we paid, I was happy with the cruise. The constant "up-selling" all over the ship was a major irritant and detracted from our holiday. Not sure if I would use RCI again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Embarkation not to much of a problem. Everything went down hill after that. Service at the bars extremely slow gave up waiting after 10 mins of being ignored while bar attendents having private conversation. Cabin very small bed extremely ... Read More
Embarkation not to much of a problem. Everything went down hill after that. Service at the bars extremely slow gave up waiting after 10 mins of being ignored while bar attendents having private conversation. Cabin very small bed extremely uncomfortable to the point of not being able to get a decent sleep food very poor standard deserts tasteless enertainment a shambles and of very poor standard constantly being pushed to pay over the top amounts to participate in activities on board that are for the most part free on other cruise lines shore excursions prices were daylight robbery at best $278 us if booked through the ship $99nz if you booked online with the tour company on shore missed a lot on shore due to the terribly bad organization involved in getting of board had to pay for shuttle bus to get from the ship into the town . We got into wellington at 1pm by the time we got on the shuttle and into the city it self it was 2.30 the shuttle had two stops one at either end of town not close to much at all last shuttle back to the ship was at 4.30 an absolute waste of a stop didnt give you any time to explore and see much at all went to the murder mystery dinner a complete waste of money and time nearly 2 gours before dinner served food was awful service very slow whole night very badly organized will not come back to this cruise line unless significantly raise their standards also didnt accept my credit card which created some problems they need to inform you at time of booking if they dont have the facility's to accept all credit cards had to pay the over the top fees the on board atm charged to withdraw cash to pay onboard account wont be back they need to retire radiance of the seas and give the crew a refresher course in hospitality something a lot of them were sadly lacking Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to see the Sounds. This was my third time on Radiance. Embarkation was super smooth and quick. We had checked in and were on the ship within 15-20 mins. Our room was ready at 1pm as per usual. On this cruise we chose interior cabin which I am not overly used to as I like a Balcony however worked out great as it was so cold, rough and windy for most of the cruise that we never would have benefited. After leaving Sydney we encountered a low pressure system which we were stuck in for the next two sea days. Whilst it did not bother me in the slightest several guests remained in their cabins the first few days and I am told some even got off and flew home once we reached NZ. The top deck was closed most of the first two days as was the pools and promenade deck. To be honest the ship handled the swells very well which ranged between 6-10m at one point. Day 2 was the evening we had our first formal night and 70's night. My only grip was having a theme night on formal night as it meant getting dressed up twice. The 70's night was VERY tame as I think most passengers were suffering sea sickness and this was the night of the biggest swells. My wife and I seemed to be the only ones who went all out in our costumes. When we arrived closer to the NZ coast the weather improved which enabled us to enter Milford Sound which was AMAZING. It was also freezing cold. It was everything I had hoped. Doubtful Sound was also beautiful but even more cold and we even had light snow flurries. That night was Halloween and the turnout in the Centrum was huge. The ship was well decorated and many people got dressed up for the occasion. Again the Bride and I went all out and won a best dressed prize which was nice.....more alcohol. Our first real port was Dunedin. We wanted to do the Gorge train however it had already booked out unless you wanted to book thru the ship and I was not prepared to pay double the price of what you pay when you book direct with Dunedin Railway. Instead we chose to go on the Seasider which was a 90 minute trip along the coastline. The scenery was amazing and I highly recommend this trip. You can also book direct with Dunedin Railways. Day 6 saw us arrive in Wellington. We decided to stay on the ship and enjoy a bit of quietness plus arriving at 1pm and departing at 8pm did not offer much to do. Day 7 we arrived into Picton and wow it is a pretty little port. We took the Marlborough Flyer which is a 1903 built steam train up to Blenheim which is the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Rather than do any wine tours (remembering we had a toddler) we simply potted around town.That night we went to the Love and Marriage Game show as we put our little man in the nursery for the first time. The staff were great and he had them all to himself. For the 3 hours he was there it cost us $24 US which was worth every cent. Being on our Honeymoon we were selected to take part in the game show which was a real hoot and yet another prize of a bottle of wine. Day 8 was our first of two sea days heading back to Sydney. We again encountered rough swells and the pools and decks were closed but not as rough on the way over. This was also our second formal night followed by the Rock party which was a lot of fun and also attended by many. Day 9 was our last sea day and finally some calm seas. In terms of food we had the 3 specialty dining package and we ate at Chops which was superb as well as Samba Grille and Izumi which were also fantastic. We only ate in the MDR once as we found the food in Windjammer to be excellent and more than enough. To be honest we found our one meal in the MDR to be just average and even below the standard of Windjammer. Late night snacks such as pizza, pies and subs were all from the Solarium Cafe. We also ordered room serice one night which was excellent value and for a flat fee of $7.95 we ordered as much as we wanted and we did not hold back. The chicken tenders, quesadilla, burger and Philly cheese sub were all yum. We had the deluxe drinks package and on this cruise i tended to find that the drinks seemed to be far more watered down than previous cruises but nothing stopping you going back for more. We also purchased the streaming internet package and found it worked really well 99% of the time. Due to the little fella we did not really see any shows except Love and Marriage game show and the ventriloquist at the farewell party who was very very funny. The bands on the ship were great and the activities seemed fitting for the clientele although the timing of some things could have been better. In summary we had an amazing trip. Radiance may be approaching 20 years old but you would never know it. She is in beautiful condition throughout. All the staff we encountered were wonderful. I cannot think of one staff member who was not happy, friendly and polite. I would highly recommend this itinerary and ship if you are thinking of visiting the Sounds Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
A birthday party that started badly with a three hour entry. A casacade dining experience where we couldnt sit with birthday group. Poor restuarant food so paid extra for dinners. Public areas were so brightly lit and loud. I never ... Read More
A birthday party that started badly with a three hour entry. A casacade dining experience where we couldnt sit with birthday group. Poor restuarant food so paid extra for dinners. Public areas were so brightly lit and loud. I never found a nice quiet place with a musican to sit and relax. Entertainment was the best part of the cruise. Dining staff in main restuatant were ran off their feet as were. Many bar staff. We waited for half an hour to get some beer. Thet could have seperate lines fir cocktails and beers. Glass walls were nice and i enjoyed leaving from circular key. The arrival back to sydney and our departure went smoothly, though again the breakfast was so poor , i was very much surprised. The hash brown tasted like flour not potatoe and scrambled eggs were hard. The tomatoe was fine. The toast was cold and the tea was bitter. Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We just got off an 8 day cruise on Radiance from Sydney. It was an ok cruise, but just run of the mill. Service was ok, but not great. We pay attention to details and this cruise is one more example of a gradual deterioration in value ... Read More
We just got off an 8 day cruise on Radiance from Sydney. It was an ok cruise, but just run of the mill. Service was ok, but not great. We pay attention to details and this cruise is one more example of a gradual deterioration in value for RCL cruises. They used to be top notch, but no longer. Don’t get me wrong, we had a good time and enjoyed it, but the cost cutting is showing through loud and clear. Everywhere you turn, they are trying to charge you for something else. Specialty restaurants used to be what cruising was all about and was included. Not any more...they want $35 per person and it is NOT worth it. Try eating a desert on RCL. There is so little sugar in it that it is tasteless. We had blue berry muffins each morning and there was NEVER more than one blueberry in any one muffin. I can’t even figure out how they do it! The drink packages are absurdly expensive. You would have to drink 12 or 15drinks a day just to break even. MAybe some people drink that much but to do it day after day would be close to impossible for a reasonable person. You used to have two great shows every night on a cruise. Most were theatrical productions worthy of an off broadway show. Now, it is a lame production of no value and little quality or some one person act of dubious quality. In fact, some nights ther was nothing. What were we paying for? RCL seems more interested in putting money in to huge ships where you can stand in line all day rather than into actual amenities meaningful to cruisers. On this last cruise we were supposed to sail on 3 consecutive cruises on the Radiance. But they cancelled the middle cruise due to mechanical issues . They refunded our money and gave us a free future cruise, but refused to pay expenses for us to stay in Sydney until our next cruise or pay for airline fare home. Cheap and unsatisfactory. We love cruising and always enjoy cruises plus we are Diamond. However we will soon be looking at other lines where the value is greater. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We were not disappointed with Radiance, despite it being billed as everyone's favourite ship. My preference is still Quantum class, however for a short break we were not disappointed. The cabin was immaculate with everything you ... Read More
We were not disappointed with Radiance, despite it being billed as everyone's favourite ship. My preference is still Quantum class, however for a short break we were not disappointed. The cabin was immaculate with everything you would expect in an Owner's suite and more. Dining was excellent, but not better or worse than any other RCI ship we have sailed on. Really enjoyed the main dining room, Giovanni's and Chef's table and would recommend them to anyone. The best Concierge lounge of any of the ships we have sailed on. The entertainment was very good and certainly a better standard that we experienced on HAL and Carnival. For a shorter cruise for just the 2 of us, it was excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. On the downside, Radiance is starting to show its age in comparison to the newer ships especially on the outside, It's in dock getting an azipod repaired this week, so hopefully it will get a coat of paint to hide some on the rust spots. We cruise RCI because the blend of dining and activities suits us and every cruise we have done delivers a consistent experience. This was no different, however I do wish they would be a little more adventurous with the wine list. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We selected RCL because we’ve sailed with them in the past & liked the Sydney roundtrip to NZ itinerary. We felt the cruising would be relaxing & a good change from our earlier busy Australian driving adventure. In retrospect ... Read More
We selected RCL because we’ve sailed with them in the past & liked the Sydney roundtrip to NZ itinerary. We felt the cruising would be relaxing & a good change from our earlier busy Australian driving adventure. In retrospect we feel we should have chosen to fly to NZ, hired a car or done a bus tour in order to see more of this lovely country. The voyage to & fro consumed a total of 4 days on the Tasmanian Sea. Add to that the other sea days so because we didn't particularly enjoy the cruise that time was wasted as well. Our initial impression of the ship was disappointment, it looked tired, windows needed a scrub, areas needed a paint touch up. Some of the furniture looked tired. Some areas, restrooms there was a noticible mildew smell, every time we entered the area leading to the Schooners lounge & specialty restaurants this smell was more pronounced. Another unpleasant odour was on our 8th floor stateroom level. For the first few days we had to walk through an area of a sewage smell coming from one of the cabins. (There was no other way to the staircase) I mentioned this to the Stewart & he minimized our comment however on about the 3rd day there was a suction vacuum or dryer?? coming from the ceiling in this exact area. There were other areas that had a mildew smell but not as pronounced as the areas mentioned. With any of the sea days usually there are some activities & music around the central pool area. On some days the ship was rolling or weather was overcast but even on sunny afternoons when it was pleasant the hot tubs were filled with children (no parents) & a family movie was playing on the large screen. 1 day I counted 9 kids & 2 adults in the hot tub.There seemed like a large # of visible children even though it was not a school holiday. There was a kids area but it seemed like the parents preferred to have them in the adult areas in the afternoon. I’m sounding like we don’t enjoy kids & that’s not true. Smoking was confined to the Port side but that is a useless restriction with sea wind. We would love to find a smoke free cruise-(spoken from ex smokers). We did the anytime dining & generally we experienced very little wait time however we ended up @ tables for 8-10 people & often people were being seated @ different times. The meal was rushed, over in an hour, food was mediocre, dining room loud, lighting bright & the room seemed like a convention milieu.it was not a pleasant dining experience. We solved this by purchasing dining for $30pp pp/night in specialty restaurants. It took us a while to do this but out of 11 meals, 3 were perfect. Large windows providing beautiful ocean & sunset views, subdued lighting, excellent attentive service, relaxed milieu, delicious food. The daily itinerary was not all that interesting. There was the usual Trivea, art auction, towel folding dance lessons all held indoors; on deck there was not much I can recall. We did go to a sushi making class in the Japanese restaurant. It was fun, we all made a large plateful of different rolls which was neatly packaged for us to have for later. The downfall of this is that we learned it cost $30pp usd. The class was 2 hours after we had breakfast. It was in the last day of our cruise and we were dining @ 6pm so we didn’t want to fill up on sushi. So a waste for us however our Stewart seemed pleased to accept our 2 offerings. The evening entertainment didn’t offer too much variety. There were 1 hr shows @ 2 different times, music in the foyer, an Irish Pub or a piano bar. We always liked the humour of Danny the talented piano player. The usual shopping frenzy in the last days was ok, not much variety but good for the US cruisers shopping in their USD. We cannot recommend sailing on the Radiance and or on this Itinerary. The ship is tired looking, it diesn’t offer much in the way of good dining other than if you pay extra & entertainment is minimal. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We booked this cruise over a year ago and wanted to see the natural scenery of New Zealand. Our cruise took us to Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Auckland and The Bay of Islands. Embarkation and disembarkation was ... Read More
We booked this cruise over a year ago and wanted to see the natural scenery of New Zealand. Our cruise took us to Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Auckland and The Bay of Islands. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant and each time we did not spend more than 10 mins. We had a grand suite and an excellent suite attendant. Having a Grand suite did have its advantages and there were several facilities , parties and private dinning areas etc. The breakfast served in the speciality restaurants was super and the choice of breakfast was there for you and served to your table as well. We took the opportunity to request an Asian breakfast and within a short time it was served up to us. The waiters all went the extra mile and the WOW factor was very evident on many occasions. The speciality restaurants were of high quality and the shows on board got better each night. The Captain was very proactive and mingled with the passengers almost very day at some activity or the other. Cruise Director and staff were good and kept everyone on their toes through out the cruise. on the downside some of the cruise excursion were very expensive and did not hear a lot of positive feedback on it. the Internet was expensive but at times was very slow( to be fair during sea days during the crossing from Australia to NZ and back). All up very good resulted in another cruise being booked to Europe this time Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
This cruise was about experiencing a wide range of ports in Australia and New Zealand. The itinerary achieved this goal beautifully. The concierge club provided lots of fun while chatting with fellow cruisers. This carried over as we ... Read More
This cruise was about experiencing a wide range of ports in Australia and New Zealand. The itinerary achieved this goal beautifully. The concierge club provided lots of fun while chatting with fellow cruisers. This carried over as we saw these same people at activities throughout the ship. The fellow cruisers were very friendly resulting in a very pleasant experience. Overall, the staff were very courteous and attentive. The greeters and the servers even at the Windjammer welcomed us personally and were eager to fulfill requests that might occur to us. The Headliner shows were quite good and added to the enjoyment of the cruise. The musician's were of excellent quality throughout the ship. We especially enjoyed performances when they showcased their work in the Colony Club. The pianist in the Schooner Bar was very entertaining making for pleasant listening at the end of the evening. The one negative was insufficient space in the Concierge Club and the Diamond Club for the evening cocktail events. They were very crowded. People would show up as much as an hour in advance in the Concierge Club to obtain seats. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
It was part of a package deal with Indian Pacific Rail trip, time in Sydney and able to cruise to home port (Darwin). We have mostly cruised with Princess line and therefore found RC to be lacking in the little things that you miss, ... Read More
It was part of a package deal with Indian Pacific Rail trip, time in Sydney and able to cruise to home port (Darwin). We have mostly cruised with Princess line and therefore found RC to be lacking in the little things that you miss, like moisturizer, having to ask for soaps, bottles of shampoo and conditioner. Cannot fault cabin steward nor dining room staff in their attendance to their duties. Food was reasonable and with extensive choices and would probably say that the dining areas were considerably larger than some of the Princesses. Attention to the staff's diligence of the prevention of Norovirus must be complemented. Staff were efficient in handling the embarkation in Sydney and disembarkation in Darwin. Poor introduction to Brisbane but this is not the ships fault but maybe Brisbane Port needs to put a little more into the welcome of the larger ships. Highly efficient handling of passengers with tendering at Yorkes Knob. We did not attend too many of the activities as they seemed geared towards the selling of products. Ship also appeared to handle the helicopter evacuation of a passenger efficiently and gave us something to talk about. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to see more ports in Australia. We were not disappointed. The Great Barrier Reef was the highlight. So was holding a Joey. The cruise staff was entertaining and friendly. Shout out to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to see more ports in Australia. We were not disappointed. The Great Barrier Reef was the highlight. So was holding a Joey. The cruise staff was entertaining and friendly. Shout out to Bradley of the cruise staff and shout out to Kevin Philips who entertained us in the pub every night. The cruise director ( Gordon) sang on the last night of the cruise. He was fantastic! I wish he would have sang sooner in the cruise and more often. He has a great voice. The Australian people are so considerate and kind. We met many couples who were also taking the next cruise form Perth back to Sydney. If this cruise is offered again I would highly recommend it for those that want to see the western, northern and eastern past of Australia. Bali was a bonus. Lovely culture. Amazing temples. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
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

Find a Radiance of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click