1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and ... Read More
Trans-Pacific cruise as ships relocated to US Northwest. Normal RCI quality, i.e. excellent food and quality staff. We we disappointed that Rita’s restaurant has been closed as we used to enjoy sitting out eating guacamole / chips and sharing the grande margarita with friends (it would be nice to be able to get a pitcher of margaritas for sharing but bartender thought it was mitigate over-serving issues that have happened). The ports were only ok, generally a little on the boring side but guessing due to the last ship of the season. The ship was good shape although showing signs of external wear Horrible cabin location, it’s beneath the Windjammer and Izumi speciality restaurant. The room sounds like you’re in a bowling alley due to the carts in the restaurants above running over the stippled tile in the kitchen areas. It does subside around midnight until around 4:30 am, currently 4:21 am and the banging has started. Called several times and restaurant manager did state they would try to mitigate noise, unfortunately to no avail. Asked to be moved but was not accommodated although RCI did give coupon for small discount on future cruise. VOOM on this cruise was marginally above worthless. Using SpeedTest by Ookla, download speeds ranged from a high of 1.5 mbps down to a non-functional low but averaged at 0.55 mbps across the multiple occasions that I tested. Onboard Tech stated that it speeds is up to 4 mbps, subject to weather and sea conditions but even docked with clear skies the speeds were typically sub 1 mbps. Be warned, no refunds or recourse from RCI for poor VOOM service Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of ... Read More
ok!! here are the pros cabin comfortable. food in dinning room good. staff in most bars great, very friendly, coffee shop guys fantastic. entertainment ok, some great acts, ( Freddy show ) some a bit ordinary. plenty of activities going on if you want to participate OK!! now the cons. the ships billing system is a nightmare, they add cost and credit cost all the time. very hard to understand. I spent severial days visiting guess services trying to understand. travelling with us a friend who is a finance manager and accountant was dumbfounded. so just be careful!!, an example I paid my bill second last night, then on my final statement, they had a charge of $100USD for pool towels. now we only used them 3 times and returned every time back too counter. so with another visit to guest services, they credited the towel without a murmur. i just wonder how many people just pay it??? dining room staff not that great, seem to be more interested in cleaning tables than serving the guess, we where always having to ask for drinks, if we could find our waiter. windjammers average, tend to a bit the same if I ever cruise again I will look at other companies. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half ... Read More
My husband and I were on the recent reposition cruise from Australia to Honolulu. We usually love RC and are Diamond (now Diamond Plus) members. This ship is in a run down condition. One of the main elevators was not working over half the time causing a log jam at the elevators. In our cabin, the sink was cracked, and hot water was seldom available. Rust was prevalent almost everywhere. There was not enough room for the Diamond and up members. In order to find seating, one had to be at the longe at least an hour early. The food is getting worse and worse over the years. The same items were on the menu night after night. And to our dismay, they ran out of vanilla ice cream in the WindJammer. On the plus side, we seemed to have a new mattresses. Our neighbors, however had an old one and were very uncomfortable. Overall, we were very disappointed in a cruise we had been looking forward to. We will be trying other cruise lines in the future. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: April 2019
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for ... Read More
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for stormy weather in New Zealand, but were surprised by the rainy, windy weather most of the way to Tahiti. Sea days from Bora Bora to Hawaii were sunny and warm allowing for sunbathing and deck walking. My sister and brother-in-law joined us on this cruise. Embarkation started out with a short walk from our hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The door alarms were having difficulties. Many loud sirens and announcements ensued to immediately vacate the building. These were ignored and check-in continued through the din. My four-plug power strip was taken away at the security check along with many others. Was surprised, as it had not been a problem for past cruises. Heard later that power fluctuations on board had caused a power strip to catch fire, resulting in the ban. No notice in advance from Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is older, but we felt that all the areas we visited were well maintained and quite clean. Our cabin was 1556 on Deck 10. For those researching in future years, there were three formal nights. Days 2, 8 & 16. Enjoyed the main dining room most nights. Our waiter and assistant waiter from Indonesia were excellent and very enjoyable. Head Waiter was quite nice and dropped by for a chat each night. Different menus were provided for each of the eighteen nights – no repeats! A number of standard offerings offered every night of course. Tahitian-themed dinner leaving Papeete was our favorite. Also enjoyed nights at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, Samba and the Chef’s Table to break things up a bit. Entertainment in the main showroom was fine, but a little sparse with the long stretches between ports. Only two production shows during the cruise. Cruise Director Cuddy Cudworth was enthusiastic and worked hard to entertain. We really enjoyed the Sunny Duo – Ukrainian Violinist and Guitar player in the Schooner Bar along with the other music around the ship. To help get us through the stormy sea days, the night time entertainment did a number of matinee shows in the main showroom. Movies were also scheduled in the main showroom each afternoon. The little Cinema was swamped with customers most of the days. Overall service on board was very good to excellent. Kristina in the Schooner Bar took great care of the four of us. Would probably not do this cruise again, but had enough adventures and new experiences to make the one time memorable! Ports/Excursions Sydney – attended the Handa Opera West Side Story musical on the harbor. Great production and amazing singing/dancing in a great setting. Also visited the Sydney WildLife Zoo and had dinner at Aria. Picton – rainy day. Did the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise, visited the Vines in Blenheim and walked around Picton for a bit. Not much open on Easter Sunday. Wellington – nice day. Full day Lord of the Rings Tour was excellent. River Anduin, Isengard, Rivendell and "Get off the road" filming sights plus an excellent lunch. Tahiti – snorkeling tour, walking around downtown Papeete and sunset catamaran tour. Moorea – Motu Picnic Lunch included snorkeling with stingrays & sharks – very enjoyable. Bora Bora – booked Patrick’s tour with Maohi Nui. Incredible snorkeling outside the reef with lots of sharks and colorful fish. More great snorkeling inside the reef with stingrays and sharks. Amazing Polynesian lunch followed by a fire dance. Highly recommend this tour. Honolulu – did the Little Circle Island Tour. Good way to leave the ship a little later and bridge the gap to hotel check-in or flight departure. Read Less
14 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: April 2019
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was ... Read More
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was unbelievable. Food was great except for main dining room (level 4) where I found it wanting, Steaks were over cooked even when replaced and the Roast Lamb on the last night was as tough as old shoe leather.Service in the main dining room however, was good. Windjammer was one of the best on-board buffets I have seen. Food was varied and excellent quality, stewards and wait staff were a happy bunch and service was great . Visiting Noumea on a Sunday is a waste of time. Almost everything is shut in the city. Entertainment and shows on board were first class. The Freddie Mercury shows were great . Steven Larkins earned every second of three standing ovations. Belinda Marks was also great entertainment. The on-board dancers were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient as was the tendering process at a number of ports. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 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
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2019
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and ... Read More
Set sail for Noumea, Isle of Pines and Mystery Island. On the second day a passenger had a medical emergency requiring the ship to divert course to Brisbane. Due to this our itinerary was updated and we would be at sea an extra day and miss out on Mystery Island. The captain did have pretty good communication regarding this, but we were disappointed as we were keen on Mystery Island. The ship itself I think was renovated somewhat recently. The main areas were quite nice. The balcony we had was a bit dated. The cabin was clean and nice. We didn't have any expectations of the ship, it being our first one. The food in the Windjammer was often very good and varied. The pizzas were quite basic; i'd steer clear. Each night had a different them which was nice as well. The pools, particularly the solarium, were good. My only complaint is that people would take up the deck chairs just sleeping. There are signs saying that items will be removed after 30 minutes, but this didn't happen. With all the chairs with items on them and the lack of people, I'm sure the owners were elsewhere on the ship. The hot tub rules also said that 15 minutes is the most you should be in there. People would often stay in for 30+ minutes keeping others from using it. Noumea was our first port. We didn't do any shore excursions, just went for a walk. The city was a let down. Very run down and expensive. If I were to go again I would get aboard the hop on/hop off bus and explore outside of the city. I think it was $30 USD pp. Isle of Pines was a bit better as it had nice beaches and water. The tendering process was a bit annoying but that's alright. The activities staff were very nice. We attended basically every general knowledge trivia and pub quiz on board and had fun with those. The drinks and services on board are in USD. If you were to get the basic alcohol package (cocktails and drinks up to $12) you will have a selection of about 20 different cocktails. The more premium cocktails are nearing $18. I am pretty sure that In my cruise planner prior to the trip the alcohol packages were in AUD, but then on board they were the same price but in USD. So if you want to drink; pre purchase. They do have a boarding special but even with that you are better off purchasing in AUD. The headliner acts were quite good. We had an illusionist, comedic juggler and some shows by the ships dancers and singers. They were all worth a watch. I do wish that the ship played more movies in the cinema throughout the day. Often we had gaps or 2-3 hours where there weren't any activities we wanted to go to. If the ship played movies constantly in the cinema we could have seen a film. I think they played maybe 2-3 a day in there. The gym looked a bit dated. The equipment certainly was a bit older, but worked fine. Would be nice if it was organised according to muscle group. At the end of the day we paid $1100/pp for a balcony and $250 was spent onboard via drinks. That's a fairly cheap holiday for 8 nights. If I were to cruise again it would be to NZ for better ports and on a newer/bigger ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: February 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
6 Helpful Votes
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
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 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
4 Helpful Votes
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
1 Helpful Vote
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
3 Helpful Votes
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
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the Sounds. Embarkation was a breeze, 1pm & straight onto the ship in 15 mins, disembarkation was a bit slower but easy enough, off the ship by 0830 after a hearty breakfast in the MDR. The transit across the Tasman Sea & return was smooth, the weather was perfect all the way until Day 8 when the wind & sea swell picked up as the ship headed up the west coast. Food & Bev; i enjoyed breakfast in MDR each morning, lunch was usualy a snack in the Park Cafe which was mainly meat, salads & fruit, occasional visit to the Windjammer which provided plenty of variety but i don't think it was fresh by the time i got there around 145pm (avoiding peak hour), the Park Cafe is a better choice. Dinner was mainly in the MDR, here the dishes were a bit mixed, some nice, other's were sometimes overcooked (e.g. the fish), but overall happy with meals in MDR. The service by staff was great in the MDR very willing to please, if not happy with meal just ask for a replacement which they readily provide. The price of Alcohol drinks is a rip off, $13 USD for a glass of Cab Sav, go figure, make sure you take onboard the max. alcohol you are permitted. The drinks packages don't interest me, i have the occasional coffee or coke, water you can refill at the drinks terminal around the ship, just fill a glass & pour into your container to fulfil health requirements by not putting your bottle directly onto water tap. Entertainment: the music around the ship was very good, 4 piece contemporary band & usual piano, guitar man in the pub, guitar & violin playing the Jazz Standards, the 2 piece Dance group. The theme nights went well, the 70-80s night & the Almost NYE party in the Centrum were good fun. The production shows in Aurora were the Piano Man & the City of Dreams, the former a bit tired the latter was a very enjoyable show. The Singers, Dancers & Show Band were excellent, they played the American Songbook in the Colony Club showing how polished they were with Count Basie style ensemble pieces. The featured artists ranged from poor to excellent for me, with plenty in the middle such as comedians etc. The Michael Jackson Experience was great, the audience could not get enough of TJ Capolla as MJ, he works hard & deserves credit for a entertaining show. Plenty of movies around the ship, top deck, the Cinema & Aurora Theatre. Plenty of dance classes to attend & learn some new moves, salsa, samba etc. The Cruise Director John Blair i liked a lot, I thought he handled the CD position very well, farewelling passengers as they disembarked was a nice touch. Excursions & Ports; the ports are all great, we got off the boat & wandered around the ports at our own pace, the Excursions from the boat are too expensive for me, you can book ahead for train trips at Picton & Dunedin. In Wellington we were lucky to see the Terracota Warriors ( at least about 30) at the Te Papa Museum. The ship is 17 yrs old being refurbished just a few years ago. I enjoyed the ship, its easy walking from the front to the back of ship, staff are always wiping down the handrails & cleaning the ship. The Solarium is an adults only area with a pool & spa, you can get a meal almost all day & night here, nice area to chill out. The gym is very good, all the equipment works & a good area for a stretch. The Centrum is the central place for most entertainment due to cool conditions on top deck. Plenty of sport facilities from basketball, mini golf, climbing wall. The only enrichment was a talk from a Parks Ranger when the ship was at the Sounds, unfortunately for me i could not make out much of what he was saying even in the lecture in Aurora, i'm sure he had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about. A fellow passenger i spoke to was very dissapointed there were no Bridge games, she advertised it on the "whats on" board but got only one person interested for a game. The Vitality Spa provide a much needed massage & a $50 voucher appeared in our room by about day 4, my companion enjoyed the massage & treatment. The Cruise Critic meeting went well, CD John conducted this with soft drinks & snacks provided, a 10 min mix & mingle was fun, 1 min talk then move to next & so on, a good way to find someone who lives in an enjoining suburb as it turned out. The Crown & Anchor meeting in the Colony Club was ok, the usual Captain & Crown & A speak. I thought the captain was invisible with this exception, i dont recall seeing him around the ship at all, ( i did not get to Dancing with the Stripes). The staff were excellent, guest services, cabin steward, dining room staff, very happy with everyone i came into contact with. The Parade of Flags by all the 37 (?) nationalities on the ship was a blast, pictured below. This is my 7th cruise with RC & i have enjoyed them all, would i go again ? yes, I'm a cruise junkie, enjoy meeting people from all walks of life & different places. Value for money RC suits my budget, but I would chose a more modern ship & try to avoid aft cabins if possible. Ovation is only 2 yr old with all the bells & whistles, Explorer & Voyager have the Ice Skating shows. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2018
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely ... Read More
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely people and really there was nothing to complain about. We did not have a meal in the mdr we did not like. As neither of us walk very well we were taken on board by wheelchair and it only took 20 minutes to be on the ship and likewise on our return a very efficient service. We had a cabin at the rear of the ship which was a mistake really. The balcony was great as it was sheltered and large enough for a table and two chairs plus two loungers, but it was a long walk to the lifts. We booked a grand suite for the beginning of December 2019 to New Zealand and got a great offer on board with the Next Cruise people Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, ... Read More
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, although it seemed that too few tenders were being operated. The ship is still in good shape and lifts operated well. The decorations for the festive season were fantastic and the cruise director, John, and his team did a great job. He is one of the best that we have seen and he even did an afternoon tribute to Neil Diamond which was very good. The general shows were a mixture of very good to moderate but the movies were very limited and repetitive. The overall presentations for Xmas, New Year were wonderful. Few complaints about the food in any of the restaurants although a little repetitive. However, have to congratulate the wait staff who are all great, cheerful and willing to serve. These Filipino and Indonesian waiters are a great advertisement for cruise lines, including RCCI.We always had pre-dinner drinks in the diamond or concierge lounges and the waiters soon got to know us. These lounges are great draws for RCCI. Disembarkation was fast, ahead of time, and plenty of taxis at port. Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
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
8 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 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
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2018
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly ... Read More
We have just completed the cruise and groove ( Elvis Tour) and was disappointed with it. We booked this cruise way back when it was first advertised. Our statement of account was issued on 19.8.17 from Helloworld Carindale. That is nearly 15 months before the embarkation date. From meeting lots of people and talking, we found out that those lots of people all got upgraded. Especially the two ladies in cabin 3016, who got upgraded to an ocean view cabin. Why is it good enough for some to get upgraded, and not good enough for some others to not get upgraded. I would think that if you booked over 12 months ahead that those people would be the first to get chosen. Sadly and very unfortunately on our part we didn’t get upgraded. We think this is very unfair. Please tell me how the system works and which people you choose to upgrade first. The entertainment of the artists was fantastic. I was disappointed with the organising of the venues. We had early dining and late show, and when you went to other venues you just could not get in due to the amount of people.The dining menu hardly changed and some people sent meals back as they weren’t cooked properly. If you happened to go for a late night feed, all there was to offer was hotdogs and pizzas.We have travelled other cruise lines and you can just about get anything to eat till early hours of the morning.The staff in the dining room were polite and very, very helpful, they were great. When it came to the activity programs delivered to your cabin each night,there should be more clear information.It showed a sushi class and my wife went and later next day she was charged something like $33, so for people with poor eyesight you couldn’t see the little $ sign. When complained about it my wife was told she should have booked, but we said where does it say to book. They could not answer that question. One last complaint, I did not like crew members coming around trying to sell you food or drink packages while you are having your meal, and also in foyers, it was annoying. I am sorry to say but I don’t think we will return to Royal Caribbean cruising in the future, unless better deals are made. Read Less
9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: October 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
8 Helpful Votes
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
6 Helpful Votes
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
4 Helpful Votes
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
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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