354 Sydney (Australia) Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We love the Radiance and cruised on her in 2015 and then Nov/Dec 2018. In 2015 we thought the food was ordinary to say the least but our latest cruise (2018) the food was excellent and so was the service. She is a lovely light and airy ... Read More
We love the Radiance and cruised on her in 2015 and then Nov/Dec 2018. In 2015 we thought the food was ordinary to say the least but our latest cruise (2018) the food was excellent and so was the service. She is a lovely light and airy ship. We loved her glass floor to ceiling windows in the Windjammer and her lovely open air dining area at the back of the Windjammer. We also loved sitting in the Colony Club and looking out the back of the ship but the problem was the lovely leather seats had lost their support and you kept sliding off the seat! (Not good "duty of care" for cruises with bad backs) The other problem was that the awful Art Auctions had taken over the Colony Club for their paintings and so seating became limited. Not impressed to say the least. The difference in on-sell between the two cruises was probably the thing that hit us in the face the most. 2015 it was just sailing day and a little the day after and from time to time from the excursion officer. But 2018 it was on the whole time and they had a table set up, for the whole cruise, in the buffet trying to sell drinks and restaurant packages. They had a captive market as it was just where the crew stood to give you the handwash before you entered the Windjammer. Our cabin was clean and well maintained the only exception were the pillows.. lumpy and laundered a few too many times... and the hard bed. We wondered if they were new beds as we found our mattress touched our suitcase on (2018) cruise where there was good clearance the previous cruise. There is a need to keep day to day programme fresh and think up some new activities and bring in some new nightly stage entertainment, especially for the "loyal" repeat cruisers! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good ... Read More
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good selection of books to read, but you need to go as soon as you can. I didnt partake in the entertainment offered just wanted to relax and veg out. I would recommen a cruise to anyone wanting to relax or you can do everything on offer your choice. We did a couple of excursions but prefer to do our own and see exactly what we want rather than be with a large group. The food in the buffet area has a lot of verity hot,cold and the best salads, nice cakes for a late night snack if you can fit it in after dinner, love the movies on the deck its lovely to see the stars when you are at sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The pro's: Embarkation and Disembarkation- the fastest, easiest ever in 30 cruises ! Food- excellent, some of the best meals ever Restaurant Service- excellent Room Steward- excellent Ship- very good layout, easy to get ... Read More
The pro's: Embarkation and Disembarkation- the fastest, easiest ever in 30 cruises ! Food- excellent, some of the best meals ever Restaurant Service- excellent Room Steward- excellent Ship- very good layout, easy to get around, still in very good shape for its age Bar Service- excellent Ship staff- all were very good, friendly and very helpful RCCL excursions- excellent, very organized Theatre shows- ship band was fantastic as were the entertainment brought on board (see below) Rooms- very clean, nice rooms considering the ships age (see below) Negatives: Casino- the slot machines were all very old, not much variety Theatre Shows- we found the RCCL singers and dancers to be only average Room- *see below OK, now for the biggest issue we had. This is really a double edged sword and it is to do with our room. Let me begin with our desire to have a nice big balcony, on the port side for the sailing counter-clockwise around New Zealand. For this it was amazing !! we had a fantastic view of the snow covered mountains and great views for most of the cruise. For this we booked room #7094, so all seemed good. This was until we found out that there is some sort of either dance party or live band every night of the cruise in the main attrium until 11:45pm and even midnight a couple of the nights. LOUD !!!!!! Now, I'm all for a party/dance etc but, when some of the mornings that you need to be up before 6am for excursions it was tough trying to get a good sleep. To be fair, we would have had no problem if the parties ended by 10pm and I think that is reasonable for everyone. There are so many other venues they could have had the late night dances in. Even the disco on the top deck (no rooms anywhere near) had nothing planned for several of the nights. I find it hard to believe RCCL hasn't done anything about this because we weren't the only ones that felt this way. Overall we had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat......just next time we would have our room in a better location. If considering this ship or cruise go for it !! You won't be disappointed. This would have been a solid 5 stars without the noise. I'm attaching pictures of the balcony and room as when I was searching before we left I really couldn't find many. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
boarding and disembarking was so easy,with helpful staff.cabin was clean, tidy, airy and cabin staff excellent.however,fridge didn't work, and no-one interested in replacing it. the ship itself requires maintenance,with stained ... Read More
boarding and disembarking was so easy,with helpful staff.cabin was clean, tidy, airy and cabin staff excellent.however,fridge didn't work, and no-one interested in replacing it. the ship itself requires maintenance,with stained carpets,faulty wiring,discoloured glass,chipped furniture etc.by comparison,the food and dining in both the windjammer and cascades was first class, with fine food accompanied by dedicated staff being the highlight of the trip.as for entertainment, there wasn't any.the acts at the aurora were amateur at best, and cringeworthy at worst.the ships venue bands were terrible, and barely understandable.the ship's venue and games hosts tried hard,and made the sea days enjoyable.the service throughout the ship was good as it gets, always with a smile or joke.the costs aboard were consistent with other cruise lines, i.e., exorbitant, but allowed for.all in all, a bit disappointing.6 out of ten.by the way, the free coffee onboard is the worst cruiseline coffee ever. by the end of the trip,most people were drinking tea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Sydney port was fantastic with emabarkation n disembarkation so fast n smooth. Everyone raves about Radiance cant see why. 11 night on a ship with not enough to do. Cabins old n need a big over haul. Dining room food n staff very good ... Read More
Sydney port was fantastic with emabarkation n disembarkation so fast n smooth. Everyone raves about Radiance cant see why. 11 night on a ship with not enough to do. Cabins old n need a big over haul. Dining room food n staff very good however the Windjamer was same n same not enough variety. Sevice was always great n friendly, although some of the staff in the Windjamer are rude Eg; while docked some dolphins were alside the ship n people with kids running to have a look the staff members comments were very disrespectful. The staff dont understand that not all people can see sea life every day some dont even see the ocean for years or not in a life time. I felt for them n i should of spoke to the staff member n explained that Australia has people that have never seen the ocean or animals. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I went on the Bravo Cruise, to experience the musical entertainment program, including numerous renowned performers, all of whom were absolutely wonderful in every way. I was able to go on this cruise because of the special reductions ... Read More
I went on the Bravo Cruise, to experience the musical entertainment program, including numerous renowned performers, all of whom were absolutely wonderful in every way. I was able to go on this cruise because of the special reductions ofrered in the month prior to sailing. As a solo traveller, it became affordable. However, there were numerous disappointments and overall expectations of the sailing experience were not met. Although this is a charter cruise, there were certain cuts made to amenities and basic offerings which I found unacceptable. As far as toiletries go, only small rounds of soap were provided, and absolutely nothing more. There was an empty mini-bar, with not even water provided. Bottled water had to be purchased at USD2 per bottle. Any coffee from a coffee machine was regarded as 'specialty coffee' and had to be purchased, a regular size costing USD3. Cleanliness of the cabins and general condition left a lot to be desired. It was not uncommon to receive badly worn and marked towels. The interior of the wardrobe had badly soiled and unswept carpet. The floor beneath the dresser was dirty on arrival and remained so throughout the trip. Public areas of the ship are generally better maintained, although much of the main resturant seating is badly marked and due for re-upholstering. The standard of food offered just makes the 'fair' grade, and nothing more. Service varies by section of the main restaurant, some staff being properly trained but the majority being very poor at their job and often quite arrogant as well. Their focus is on selling the extra packages, for dining in specialty restaurants and drink packages. There was incessant repetition of these offers which waiting staff are keen to sell in order to get recognition in some form. They were also not backward in reminding the customers to tip at the end of the cruise. The organisation of the daily headliners concerts was an absolute disgrace. People were expected to queue for up to an hour and a quarter on average before gaining access to the main theatre. Then there was rush to get seats and keep seats for others. No attempt was made by the organisers to accomodate mobility impaired customers; they were expected to queue along with everyone else. Once inside the theatre, the waiting time before a performance was usually at least 45 minutes. Surely for cruises such as this, seating for the shows could be pre-organised ( just as for dining preferences- early or late sittings) and allocated on the basis of date of booking, where possible allowing for individual preferences as to fron or back stalls or circle. During the day, when a variety of musical performances were offered in different areas of the ship, there was always a rush for seating and never sufficient for those who wanted to attend. Concerts in the ship's atrium area (The Centrum) were always packed and many people had to try to find seating on the decks above, overlooking the atrium. The acoustics, however, were not conducive to this being a great solution. One had to spend a lot of time just trying to get a seat for a performance, or standing space in some cases. Additional seating for the number of people attending the most popular events has to be addressed as a priority. The most positive comment I can make about this cruise line is that boarding and disembarkation are very well organised and flow smoothly. Would I go on this cruise again? No, not unless significant changes were made. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, ... Read More
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, refurbished 2011. This cruise I pre paid or the ultimate dinning and the unlimited drinks packages, well worth getting, great value. The entertainment was what it was all about. Main acts were great, bands all over he ship in all bars and venues all day. Loved Marcia Hines, Mi Sex, Boney M, Kc and The Sunshine band. Roy Orbison and Elvis, ECT. Food was fantastic, in the ultimate dinning package you had unlimited access to all speciality restaurants. All were a great experience, excellent service and amazing food.Main dinning room was ok. the real stand out was the Windjammer Bistro for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very thing was fantastic, excellent friendly service, he staff were fantastic. Bar staff unbelievable remember your name and your drinks friendly, efficient,seldom had to wait long for a drink even under pressure. first time I tip bar staff. Cabin 3043 interior was clean and ok for one as you did not spend much time in your cabin on this cruise. Cabin steward IUKE did a great job very friendly a pleasure to talk too. Having spent the last 11 years cruising the world, I am fussy, and no mug. I dot have a single complain well done Royal Caribbean Cruises Getting of the ship was just wall off with your bags no fuss. Good internet anywhere on the ship, pre paid. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them ... Read More
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them again. Specialty dining was excellent in Chops and Sabatini's, but over cooked in Samba. Really enjoyed the Mystery Diner Theater although it was the same scenario as previous ones. Papeete excursion was very poor and selection throughout was not very appealing. Alaska excursions seemed overpriced.Great whale experience in Icy Strait Point. Right at the ship in port. WOW!!! Hawaii was nice, but again the excursions lacked inspiration and many were sold out prior to boarding, bummer.Nothing offered for B2Bers in Vancouver. Seemed like a lost opportunity. Disembarkation and Embarkation at both Honolulu and Vancouver were nightmare's. Poor organization on RCCL and bad operations by Customs and Border from both US and Canada. Memorable trip for many reasons. Glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
The destinations and sea days appealed to us. Having cruised the radiance many years ago, we had no qualms of using the ship again. Our first encounter with our cabin came as a shock with worn and badly patched curtains and an over all ... Read More
The destinations and sea days appealed to us. Having cruised the radiance many years ago, we had no qualms of using the ship again. Our first encounter with our cabin came as a shock with worn and badly patched curtains and an over all shabbiness. The smell coming from the drains was terrible, our wonderful room steward was unable to help with the smell, the origin of the odour became evident when, whilst taking a shower, I found myself in almost ankle deep backflow from the drain. The bathroom was soon flooded with the terrible odour even worse! Someone was sent to work on the problem, however the odour was ever present. During some rough seas, we were awoken with drawers and cupboard doors flying open and shutting. This too was fixed with maintenance putting Velcro on the doors and drawers. But not till the following day after we had a sleepless night! The public bathrooms were not kept to the same standard of cleanliness, in fact, were quite filthy! We noticed that many cut backs had occurred such as body lotion and conditioner, both of which I had not taken having assumes that as all previous cruises, these were supplied. The crew from the captain down were fabulous . Drinks are over priced, and many of the shows were suitable for children's parties. So thanks to Radiance, cruising is now off our agenda, after all, who wants to spend 18 days on a 2 star ship! Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We were advised by our travel agent to take a relocation cruise to enjoy a lot of extra cruising time, plus the bonus of having a few days in Hawaii before flying home. Sounded like a great idea. My daughter and her husband, both aged in ... Read More
We were advised by our travel agent to take a relocation cruise to enjoy a lot of extra cruising time, plus the bonus of having a few days in Hawaii before flying home. Sounded like a great idea. My daughter and her husband, both aged in their 20s joined us. We had only done one other cruise which was fabulous. Royal Carribbean was sold to us as a 'cut above' and more pitched to adults than families with young children. The reality was that it was an old, but well-maintained ship, only 2 main restaurants (all speciality restaurants at additional cost), plus very little to do on seagoing days. History of WWII talks, religious philosphy, learn to play bridge were the highlights of the daily activity. We felt that the whole cruise was clearly geared towards the elderly. While there were younger folk on board and there was an ongoing Michael Jackson dance contest, but even the evening concert entertainment was geared towards 'seniors'. No waterslides, and none of the onboard activities that you see in the glossy brochures (our fault for not checking more closely). The situation was made worse when rough weather closed all outdoor activity. No pools, no outdoor movies. We slept and read a lot, which was relaxing, but the 'wow' factor was certainly missing and I felt sorry for my daughter and son-in-law who spent most of their time sleeping or reading. Even internet connection wasn't available for a few days while in transit. Disembarkation was so poorly managed, that many passengers were getting angry/anxious about getting off the ship. Despite allowing 5 hours from arriving in port to get to the airport (30 minute drive), we would have missed our flight, had it not been delayed by 2 hours. The ports of call were great, but next time, we'd choose to fly to island resorts, rather than sit in a floating nursing home for 21 days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest ... Read More
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest packages and now even ship tours. The other regular thing that seems to be the norm is price increases and it never ends. We were on this ship in Feb and did the Galley tour with lunch It was a good tour and we had lunch at chops grille. As we were on with friends we decided to do it with them and of course it was more expensive, less time and no chops Grille but just in the dinning room and it was about 10% more expensive than Feb. Overall however, great cruise, staff were excellent, Cruise Director and staff the best I have ever had. The food was great, and yes drinks expensive still however I did notice cocktail of the day went from $12 US to $8 US this cruise which was something anyway. The loyalty program is fantastic as we are Diamond Plus members. Room was all good and our Room attendant Janna was awesome. I have to admit my bucket list included a trip to Tahiti islands and Hawaii. If you are into water sports you will love them but apart from that they are super expensive and not a lot to do. After Tahiti I thought Bali was heaps cheaper and just as good I did my Pearl Harbor tour so I was happy. Now comes the BUT !!! Twice in 2 cruises now we have caught the dreaded Cold/Flu. I recall 1 staff member saying they had it for 15 days which would make me believe there is a big chance staff are spreading it. Both my wife and I were as sick as could be and she had 2 visits to the doctor which is a very expensive exercise. I was in bed almost the whole time from Bora Bora to Hawaii. We do cruise a lot but I am now starting to re think" is it really worth it" ? We paid a lot for this cruise and we spent at least a quarter of it sick and add to that the $330 AUS in doctors fees and it leaves a sour taste I know it is the luck of the draw in most cases and if you do not get it Great !! We enjoyed everything apart from the doctors bill and being sick Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our ... Read More
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our waiter and assistant waiter, Anil and Diana (Liying). They were a delight. Our cabin attendant, Butu, was also very friendly and kept surprising us with towel animals. The service aboard ship from all the crew was exceptional. As this was our 4th cruise we can only compare the entertainment with the others we experienced and this was by far the best. The comedians, jugglers, bar music, singers, dancers, and crew shows were outstanding. Our favorite shows were headlined by Contempo, two extremely talented singers from Australia. Wow!, they were amazing. Coming in at second place was everyone else, (however, one was a very distant second) almost all, very professional. Steve Davis and his staff deserve a lot of credit for keeping us entertained. Much of the time we were racing from bow to stern to engage in various games and activities, the most common of which was Trivia contests. If I had to offer one suggestion to the activities staff it would be to make absolutely certain of the answers to the trivia questions. There were numerous questions that had more than one correct answer which caused much confusion. Some of the same questions were asked at different sessions. The food; plentiful but not up to the level we had experienced on other cruises. Cuts of meat were sometimes tough and gristly. It was exorbitant to have to pay considerably extra to order "specialty" meals or eat in the restaurants other than the Cascades dining room and the Windjammer. Drinks (other than complimentary iced tea or lemonade) were outrageously expensive, $8+ for a Bud Light.! Mixed drinks for $14 was out of our price range, Ironically, room service was free so you could have a meal and glass of water delivered to your cabin, but you were charged if you opened the bottle of water in your mini fridge. Huh??? Our in-room safe malfunctioned, thankfully at a time we were able to get a security person to open it. This has happened several times to us on various vacations, once requiring the safe to be drilled open. Something to think about if you are disembarking and trying to catch an early flight. We always recommend that the safe be opened the night before to avoid a long delay. Little things that can be so easily corrected are often neglected. Walking the upper deck (day 1) we noticed that the basketball net was nothing but a frayed piece of string that was hanging from the hoop. What would it cost major cruise line to make sure that at the start of every cruise there was a useable net? Not a single air hand dryer was functional in the lavatories. Why have them? Why post on the Compass that saving of seats at the Aurora Theater was strictly prohibited when it is commonplace with no one monitoring the seating? We saw people put water bottles at seats to save them for numerous friends. Mini golf was all but impossible due to the rips and tears of the golfing surface. All in all, the ship needs a face lift to take care years of use and some rust spots. Some passengers complained about leaks and water coming from burst pipes. That is not a minor thing. Always a highlight is the opportunity to meet people from distant lands and this cruise offered that in spades, with many from all over Australia. They were all friendly and except for us being separated by a common language there were wonderful conversations. It was often difficult to understand the "lingo" of Aussies but we loved the interaction. They probably thought the same about us Americans. Lots of memories, a once in a lifetime trip we will treasure. Looking forward to our next cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - ... Read More
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - corridors smelt musty and rooms were drab with brown curtains and dated timber furniture. Our particular stateroom also had a bad drainage smell which maintenance crew were unable to rectify - overall this ship needs quite a bit of work in and around the staterooms however the common centrum areas were generally bright and modern and provided a good escape from the rooms. Quality and abundance of food throughout the ship was excellent as were the efforts of waiters and all activities staff. Captain was particularly personable and always willing to greet guests and particpate in oboard activities where possible. All in all good value for money and would cruise again only being more particular in checking on levels of fitout and recent refurbishments before booking any particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As I'm US-based, I chose this cruise as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit several Australia cities and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. While it was not at all Royal Caribbean's fault that Cyclone Debbie devastated our ... Read More
As I'm US-based, I chose this cruise as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit several Australia cities and snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. While it was not at all Royal Caribbean's fault that Cyclone Debbie devastated our port at Airlie Beach, the value of this cruise diminished significantly in light of the cancellation of the GBR Shore Excursion. This was a great disappointment. A second item on the bucket list, was to hold a koala. As it turns out, the laws in several Australian areas have recently changed to disallow this. Only one port on our itinerary would have allowed this (Brisbane). Sadly, I did not find out about that exception until we had already passed that port, and visited TWO animal sanctuaries: one at Newcastle and one in Sydney. The cruise itself was almost as expected. I was surprised at the number of upcharges for specialty restaurants. I'd not encountered that level of surcharges for activities and other items with Royal Caribbean previously. Brunches, Galley Tours & murder mystery dinner theaters - all required extra $$. I applaud the activities director, as despite numerous sea days, each day was packed with assorted things to do that appealed to all tastes. Well done. Having had the prior pleasure of cruising in a family suite in Norwegian Epic's "Haven", I was anticipating service somewhat akin when I booked an Owner's Suite for my two adult daughters and me. It was the last suite available at the time we booked. Not so. I saw our room attendant a grand total of TWO times for the entire cruise. Once at boarding, and once near the end. We're not very demanding travelers and had no need to ring for him, so that may account for some of it, but we traveled similarly in Norwegian and were always pleasantly surprised by our cabin steward's extra touches. On Radiance, towel animals greeted us only twice. We enjoyed the suite guest's ability to have breakfast in Chops Grille, but arrived one morning 45 minutes before the stated closing time, to find the restaurant closed with no explanation and no note in the Daily compass. That said, Royal Caribbean consistently meets expectations with respect to food quality, so breakfasting in Windjammer was not a bad fallback position. I traveled with Travel Interest Group of 14, and so booked a private Hunter Valley Wine excursion in Newcastle. That option was brilliant. Organizing my own excursion allowed me to combine winery and distillery tastings along with cheese, chocolate & High Tea, rounding the day off with a guided visit to Blackbutt Reserve which was top-notch. Highly recommend. The Whitsunday snorkel at Airlie Beach was disappointing. Don't do it. We took the ship's tour to the Gold Coast in Brisbane and enjoyed our shopping day, but would gladly have traded that to have had what we now know is a vanishing ability to cuddle a koala. The spa folks were friendly, informative and customer service-oriented. Highly recommend. Overall, compared to other cruises, I would rate the Radiance and this itinerary in particular, as "above average." Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was our first cruise leaving from Australia in the past we have only been on Disney cruises. I was so disappointed. It was a cruise during the school holidays so I thought that it would be aimed as families with plenty of activities ... Read More
This was our first cruise leaving from Australia in the past we have only been on Disney cruises. I was so disappointed. It was a cruise during the school holidays so I thought that it would be aimed as families with plenty of activities as there was a number of sea days. I was wrong it was aimed at retirees. Due to the cyclone there was no real activities at Arlie beach to go and see the reef the reason we went on the cruise. RCL was aware of the problems before we sailed but didn't bother to make a change to maybe cairns so we at least would have had a chance to see the reef. It ended up being an expensive trip to Newcastle and Brisbane. The food was boring especially if you wanted something after 9pm. We tried room service that was a huge mistake a simple request for 2 items from their menu was impossible for them to get right, we asked for a burger it arrived so undercooked we could have chased it around the room. We rang and asked for one that was cooked and this time it arrived stone cold. The attitude and lack of care was surprising. The only thing staff were interested in doing was upselling. Never again. Even though Disney is more expensive we will save up and go with them. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth which is the only thing that I feel they did well on the cruise. The ports of both Brisbane and Newcastle look shabby and uninviting. If we want to have a sustainable cruise ship tourism business in Australia we really have a long way to go. The service on the ship was very much a situation of I will help you when I can be bothered and unprofessional. It seemed like the crew on this ship were over it and just wanted to go home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise for the destination 'Whitsundays' but due to Cyclone Debbie we weren't sure if we'd be going there or not and In the end we did. Newcastle, we didn't get off as the excursion we selected ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the destination 'Whitsundays' but due to Cyclone Debbie we weren't sure if we'd be going there or not and In the end we did. Newcastle, we didn't get off as the excursion we selected wasn't on their system yet was advertised on the brochure. Enjoyed getting used to the ship as it was first time on this cruise line. Due to high swells we stayed in port overnight and headed off early morning heading for Airlie Beach. We didn't do an excursion as the affordable ones were booked out by the time we found out we were actually stopping there so we strolled around town and checked out the local markets, all in all was a great day spent in Airlie Beach. Next Stop was Brisbane, went to Australia Zoo and had a fantastic time. Will definitely be going back to visit the Zoo, amazing place. The journey was around an hour in a coach from an unattractive dock but didn't bother me. The 'All Access' tour was a waste of money compared to Carnivals, First stop was the Bridge, no Captain around but ok, checked out the garbage room, laundry, alcohol and got cut short as the galley was busy and was given a noose at the end, sorry a piece of rope to tie knots ha! Carnival was more value for money, more areas, photos with captain, sample plate sent to room as a thank you and glass of wine. The ship, had an interior room, size was good, liked the curtains to shut off sleeping/living areas, beds were uncomfortable to other cruise lines I've used, bathroom was smaller than a Carnival interior room I've had. I feel the double lounge took some space that could have been used in the bathroom. Steward was wonderful, room was done twice a day, always had clean linen, can't fault that. Dining room wasn't crash hot, ended up spending 5 of the 8 nights eating in Windjammer where the food was great for all meals. Comparing Radiance to Carnival Spirit, i'd prefer Spirit over this ship any day. If you felt like an ice cream after the show (if you went) you were out of luck as it's behind closed doors in Windjammer, Spirit has Lido that was open when food service was over so you could still sit and have a pizza and ice cream 24hr if you felt like it. Shows, these were different, liked the idea of the orchestra but not a fan of the shows so didn't end up going to them all, they just weren't fun, Spirit is 100% better for entertainment. Elevators, hopeless, there's around 5 near Centrum that are always full with walkers so you're better off taking stairs or heading down the front of ship and using ones there. Salon, lovely staff, great service. Shops, sell the same old 'cruise' junk as other ships. Not a fan due to US dollars, may travel again if the destination was good but would pick Carnival over Radiance any day. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
We have cruised nearly 40 cruises. 7 on Royal Caribbean. We traveled as a couple. We are from Boston area and are 69 years old. The ship is showing its age in some places. Windows in common areas were filthy when we departed and were ... Read More
We have cruised nearly 40 cruises. 7 on Royal Caribbean. We traveled as a couple. We are from Boston area and are 69 years old. The ship is showing its age in some places. Windows in common areas were filthy when we departed and were never cleaned during the trip. Rust areas are visible on the outside of the ship. We were in cabin 2016. Cabin was very disappointing. Porthole for a window. 2nd level elevator lobby was always very cold. You feel like your not part of the ship. Storage was adequate. Bathroom was small but functional. A lot of bad smells at times in the bathroom. The cabin steward was excellent. Dining was very disappointing. The Windjammer Cafe buffet food was OK. There coffee was undrinkable. There orange juice was a disgrace. It was nothing more than orange colored water. Had to get coffee and orange juice at the Park Café, which had the only good coffee and juice, and carry it to the Windjammer. For the many of us who don't want a sit down lunch, the hours the Windjammer are open is a real problem. On sea days they open from 12:00 to 3:00 PM. They close and re-open for high tea at 4:30 PM. The problem is that the burgers, pizza and ice cream are in Windjammer and you can't get at these. I have never been on a ship that doesn't have access to these items at all times. This only left the Park Café with a very limited menu with one server and the Boardwalk Dog House (Total waste of space. Would be better with some other items such as pizza, burgers, fries and ice cream.) which had 3 or 4 types of hot dogs or sausages and one server to fill the needs of the ship. This was compounded when in port because they never opened the Windjammer for lunch. People returning from shore or excursions during peak hours of 1:00 to 4;00 PM looking for food were faced with long lines in the 2 limited venues. The Windjammer Café has very limited seating and uses all the adjoining restaurant spaces to pick up the large crowd that eats there, The problem is that you usually end up being for from the buffet itself. Service for coffee is not sufficient. Table clearing was slow and poorly done. A quick swipe with a wet cloth was usual. It wasn't uncommon to have to request a table to be cleaned again because of left over food and liquid still on table. They had some type of major construction going on in the Windjammer. This shouldn't be going on during a cruise. The Cascades main dining room for dinner has issues as well. It is so bright in there that it feels like day time. There are no sommeliers. Waiters serve the wine. They don't even have you try the wine when the bottle is opened. What ever happened to the last formal night with fillet mignon and lobster. If you want either you need to pay around $20 extra. The menu sometimes lacks very good choices. The normal standard every night menu isn't that good. The Cesar salad was terrible. The steak was tough. The whole experience has gone down hill and is not up to the standard that we are used to on Royal Caribbean. The service was very good at the table. Entertainment was average for the usual dancing and singing shows. Comedian was good. Didn't see any of the other guest entertainers. Casino was excellent. Lively and with proper minimums for cruising. Blackjack had many $6 minimum tables and I'm happy to say, "NO AUTOMATIC SHUFFLING MACHINES". The Diamond Crown & Anchor club is the best I've experienced. Their free cocktail time is from 4:30 to 8:00 PM. It includes a hot & cold snack bar. The hostess was excellent and attentive. The drink servers were always available. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
RCCL standards seem to grow less each year. This was part of back to back cruises to a part of the world I had never visited. The ship is tired needs some refurbishment. As a Diamond Plus member I was surprised to find no diamond section ... Read More
RCCL standards seem to grow less each year. This was part of back to back cruises to a part of the world I had never visited. The ship is tired needs some refurbishment. As a Diamond Plus member I was surprised to find no diamond section for breakfast in the dining room and therefore no specialty coffee available unless I paid for it. I had to negotiate with one of the head waiters who arranged this for me but I had to ask for him every time to get my morning latte. Maybe a little thing but another indication that the so called perks of the loyalty program are being eroded. Shore excursions on the whole were expensive and a lot of time was spent on buses transporting people to the various venues with little actual time at the venue itself. In fact in Wellington the bus driver left us to make our own way back to the ship. Very unprofessional. Never happened to me before on any shore excursion. All shore excursions were rushed due to the ship docking a long way from any intended venues. Christchurch, in particular, was very disappointing. We missed Dunedin due to weather conditions, this was beyond the control of the cruise line but meant yet another sea day. Entertainment was the usual standard fare some very good, some ok and some below par. I agree with other reviews in that the constant pestering to upsell is very annoying. Samba Grill was an interesting experience. Service excellent but wouldn't bother with it again. The murder mystery is a rip off. Very amateurish and the price we paid was not value for money. Would have done better just to go to Giovanni's for a regular dinner. Do not bother with this. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
Cruise #14 with Royal, 5th cruise on Radiance, this was our first ship! Boarding was a breeze, cabin very Aft, (7676) would do it again, attendant extremely good as usual, something about these guys. You want a happy day, talk to yr ... Read More
Cruise #14 with Royal, 5th cruise on Radiance, this was our first ship! Boarding was a breeze, cabin very Aft, (7676) would do it again, attendant extremely good as usual, something about these guys. You want a happy day, talk to yr attendant these guys never stop smiling. We had 8, yes that's right 8 children on board, the rest were mainly senior citz's!! Americans, French, German, Europeans, English & a smatter of Aussies! We even found most too old even for us. Watch out for those scooters. Oh, the Solarium, with all the more senior people on board, forget it, they pack it out.. Food wise, it was basically high standard, but repetitive of other cruises, we had my time dining, usually around the 8pm mark, always got seated. Had a 4 pack special of the specialty restaurants, only used 3, got sick from Izumi so will be very wary if we ever use them again!! We did seem to frequent Windjammer which we never thought we would never do but we found they had a special on every night that was cooked on the spot, Moroccan, Mexican, Asian..... Extremely refreshing compared to the high class rich food elsewhere, will do that again! Plus you could find a seat, some nights were packed. Entertainment/shows, well, one or two were good, few crew ones, they just seemed to bounce around, no meaning to them. Ports were good, we done our own thing & always found tours half the price of Royals, but you have to watch timing, you're late, you get left behind!! Otherwise service was exceptional & the friends we made were exceptional. You make the cruise to be what you want, don't like it don't sail. We are Diamond Plus, thus the upstairs lounges were open to us & very comfortable, plus the odd perk here & there, but owing to the amount of Pinnacles, Diamond Plus & Diamond members on board, we were told we had to loose out on some of our seating & daily tendering priorities, that was for Pinnacles & Gold Card suite passengers only !! If you have a rewards scheme & can't fulfil it, why advertise it, if its good for one, its good for all, sore point, sorry! We booked on board for the next kids holiday times in 4 weeks, so now looking forward to the Explorer of the Seas & then another on the New Years cruise, Voyager (again) Also looking at Celebrity mid year, yeah, we like cruising, it sure settles the nerves, good lines, good people, food, service, cabins etc etc etc.. Happy sailing!! Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
I had traveled from the fjords of Norway to the shore of the Dead Sea by car, air, and rapid train, but 2017 was my very first cruise. As a one-time rail pass holder, my vision of traveling was to hop on and off of trains every few days or ... Read More
I had traveled from the fjords of Norway to the shore of the Dead Sea by car, air, and rapid train, but 2017 was my very first cruise. As a one-time rail pass holder, my vision of traveling was to hop on and off of trains every few days or so. So when friends asked me to join them on their cruise to New Zealand, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wondered if the pace would be too slow or if the food would be good. My fears about my decision to cruise left me after the first hour on board. From the time that I stepped foot on board until the morning I departed the ship, the crew and staff aboard the Radiance of the Seas did everything possible to make me feel that they were there to make my vacation perfect. Instead of fearing hours on a ship with nothing to do, I was so busy on board that I looked for spare time so that I could read a chapter or two of the half dozen books I brought along with me. At dinner, my waiter and his assistant waiter looked after me as though I were a favorite cousin, while my cabin attendant greeted me every evening and brightened my day with towel animals and a copy of the next day's activities (The Compass) left on my bed. The entertainment score (my score) runs from "just okay" to "very good." Had I not had many experiences to enjoy first-rate broadway quality shows in the U.S. and all over the world, my entertainment score may have been higher. In any event, from the excellent meals to the art auctions, trivia games, and exciting shore excursions, cruising with Royal Caribbean opened my eyes to a new way of vacationing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
The public areas of ship were well maintained, crew very friendly and helpful. Suites were adequate but a little tired looking. Itinerary around NZ was good and the sail through the Sounds was truly stunning. Entertainment generally ... Read More
The public areas of ship were well maintained, crew very friendly and helpful. Suites were adequate but a little tired looking. Itinerary around NZ was good and the sail through the Sounds was truly stunning. Entertainment generally good and the cruise director, Joff, was brilliant. Biggest complaint about this cruise was the cost of everything on board, especially bottled water. I have been on a few cruise ships and the bottled water has always been given freely, so to be charged £3 for a bottle was a no go for me, it was also frowned upon to refill bottles from water fountains! Alcohol, speciality restaurants, tours and everything else was also very expensive. We generally 'did our own thing' at ports. If prices were more reasonable, I'm sure guests would spend more. Also please stop pestering us at every single meal to buy water, buy the wine deal, the champagne meal, the drink deal, the specialty dinning, the chef deal, tour deal, sparking water, lunch deals, pictures, pictures, again with a lower priced meal deal, everyday it was something more. Very, very annoying!!! In every nook and cranny they came pestering you about more. (I copied this bit from another review but agree entirely with it, as soon as we stepped on board, we were pestered!) If I travelled on this ship again it would only be because it was the only ship going to some place that I wanted to visit. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
After making the final payment on our Cruise we were informed that we would board the Ship in Sydney Harbor via tenders instead of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. We were told to arrive at set times based on the deck our cabin was on and ... Read More
After making the final payment on our Cruise we were informed that we would board the Ship in Sydney Harbor via tenders instead of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. We were told to arrive at set times based on the deck our cabin was on and that the process from arrival at the terminal to ship would be a minimum of 1 hour. We'll Royal Caribbean was correct on that estimate as we finally boarded the ship after a 4 hour process on a very hot day. Our Sail time was 6:30 PM. I was looking forward to seeing the Opera House and Harbor Bridge departing the harbor When our Tender pulled up alongside the ship the sea was rough and many Royal Caribbean crew members were there to assist us as we boarded. At 6:30 PM many of us on the top deck watched Royal Caribbeans newest ship the "Ovation of the Seas" sail out of the Harbor. I realized then that Royal Caribbean had decided to treat us as 2nd class passengers behind their "Ovation" Passengers. We did not get under way until after dark while we were eating dinner. (Other reviews on this site also mention the long Tendering Process). The Port we were most looking forward to was Cains as we had booked a tour to swim the Great Barrier Reef. After arriving in Cains we were advised that due to rough seas the Tending Process would be delayed for an hour. Having a Ocean View room with a Balcony I can tell you the seas were a lot rougher when we boarded the ship in Sydney. About 15 minutes later we were notified that all Great Barrier Reef excursions were cancelled. 15 minutes after that we were notified that we would not even tender into Cains. So much for waiting a hour to to look again at the situation we were soon underway. (Not sure if Royal Caribbean compensated any passengers I can tell I was not compensated) If it was too rough to tender due to seas in Cains, Royal Caribbean should never have allowed tender operations boarding in Sydney but again as with moving our embarkation point it was beneficial to Royal Caribbean and not their passengers. When we exited the ship at other ports (with the Exception of Darwin) it was a true Military Operation "Hurry Up and Wait". What Royal Caribbean does not tell you is that at many of the ports if you want to go to town you have to pay for it at your own expense. On day 14 of the Cruise my wife got sick and was confined to her cabin. We were told that after arriving in Perth (end of our cruise) we would be the last to leave the ship and that our baggage would be hand carried off with us. This turned into a "Fubar" as we were asked why we had not put our baggage out in the hall the previous evening and why we were still in our room when our deck should now be clear. (Quite sure may other passengers were sick and read a previous post that after the ship left Perth that many passengers were sick and had to leave the ship at various ports. Royal Caribbean should make their Slogan: You can sail on a Better Cruise Line, but you Can't Pay More. Had my travel agent contact Royal Caribbean after we got home, Royal Caribbean pretty much told me to "Pack Sand". Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Twice I received escargot that were COLD, no cheese for Caesar salads, most cooked foods well done. I asked waiter for medium rare and he said only well done or medium. The medium was well done. Dining room needs a new head chef. ... Read More
Twice I received escargot that were COLD, no cheese for Caesar salads, most cooked foods well done. I asked waiter for medium rare and he said only well done or medium. The medium was well done. Dining room needs a new head chef. Waiters are verg good but that little extra step needed to make the food great. I would hire the head chef currently on the Celebrity Infinity. Windjammer same food every day. Mongolian night big misnomer. Food cooked in a fry pan. It should be called stir fry night. Nice ship, needs a little up keeping. Some furniture well worn. Really liked the game areas around the sip. Card room, library, computer areas. Big plus. I do miss the mini bars, snacks in the ships store should be an embarrassment for the price. A small bag of M&Ms is $13.95. I would call that extreme pricing. Great trip on the top end. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
As an avid Cruiser I thought this was a nice way to get to Freemantle. Thisturned out to be: . After contacting your Head Office in relation to the ‘Soda Package and ‘Dairy Free diet’ only to find neither were acceptable. See ... Read More
As an avid Cruiser I thought this was a nice way to get to Freemantle. Thisturned out to be: . After contacting your Head Office in relation to the ‘Soda Package and ‘Dairy Free diet’ only to find neither were acceptable. See the following: . This has been the ‘Worst Cruise’ I have ever been on! (I have been on all the major Cruise Lines) . Why do you charge US Dollars when we were in Australian Waters? . I followed all the recommended instructions for a ‘Dairy-Free’ Diet, only to find the Chef had trouble accommodating me. Being ‘dairy free’ is not a life choice for me, it is a medical requirement. . Soda Package – not acceptable when told I could have ‘LEMON, LIME & BITTERS’, to then have every Bar argue that ‘Bitters’ was alcohol and not allowed (even though I had asked the Bar Manager, Drinks Manager, Client Relations, Food & Beverage Manager), the last straw was when the whole Ship ran out of Bitters??? I was offered 3 glasses of wine to have with my dinner till this was replenished only to find Bitters never did arrive, I was then offered a bottle of wine (I have never felt so angry and humiliated in my life), to think I actually PAID for this Package and had to continually beg to get it. . Entertainment – POOR – really bad ‘Times for Show/Entertainment’ . Limited activities for ‘Age Group’ . This information will be put on ‘Cruise Critic’ as I feel the public have a right to know of the issues I experienced, it was embarrassing and disappointing . I will not be recommending this cruiseline to any of my friends . The one & only saving factor was that the ‘Staff’ were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We're to begin, the boarding was the first disappointment, so looking forward to boarding at circular quay with the bridge and the Opera house within touching distance. No, we had to make the trip right around to other side to board ... Read More
We're to begin, the boarding was the first disappointment, so looking forward to boarding at circular quay with the bridge and the Opera house within touching distance. No, we had to make the trip right around to other side to board the tender. What a mess that was in the heat, basically took us all day. Then on board the pressure started to buy drinks and specialty dining where ever we went. The cabin was basic and very small, wet floor where the previous guest had flooded the carpet at the entrance. Staff bought blow heater to the cabin to dry it out which took 2 days. So many things missing, no shampoos, shower caps, bath robes, fringe not cold (really why bother) no chocolates on the turn down. Any time dining means that, surely, turn up and get any table that is available, oh no after first day we were badgered by the checkin staff to make a booking and then it had to be at their time not ours, really!! The food in main dining room was poor compared to other cruise ships we have been on, ( not RCI ) to give example, ordered Caesar salad which only had cos lettus and chunks of bread when we asked wait staff to explain lack of dressing egg anchovies and Parmesan cheese they said did not have. Anyway after my main cause came so did a new Caesar salad with the ingrediants except the parmazan cheese which they did not have on the ship. The steaks were either well done or medium, could not get medium rare or rare. Had to ask for extra vegetables as very few served with main meal. Overall it was same same average food. No effort was even made for gala nights, just more of the same nothing special so why bother having a Galla night. Breakfast in main dining rooms was hopeless, one morning it took 40 minutes to get our Breakfast. Had to constantly try and get staff attention for coffee and if you were lucky you were offered bakery goods. Windjammer was not much better lots of mass produced uninspiring food. Defiantly need a new desert chef on board he has no imagination and only knew how to make very unappetising cakes. Not enough wait staff to clean the tables. AND the so called coffee was not drinkable surly it can not cost that much more to offer drinkable coffee, not dish water. Overall very disappointed. The wait staff on the whole do the best they can but management needs to do their bit to bck them up, they get the brunt of all complains and they take it personally when it is out of their control . We enjoyed the floor shows most nights, though the singers need learn to sing together otherwise it ends up a screaming match. No happy hour was another great disappointment we have always had them on other cruise ships we have used. Gratuities are over the top, in fact we refused to pay them, we did our own tipping were it was merited, isn't that what tipping is about, you tip for that special service?? As for the itinerary it was disappointing to miss Cairns but it was felt it was due to ship not wanting to pay for docking that we could not stop as a tender. I hope this was just a roumour and RC are not that stingy. Did not enjoy the tenders though and will double check next time to make sure we do not go one cruises with so many tenders. RC make it worse by charging to use tender at some ports. Our group felt it was unorganised ship with Management needing to take control. And a final word could the captain PLEASE learn to speak clearly could not understand a word and therefor most people just stopped listening. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
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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