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

My 1st cruise on Radiance of the Seas and probably the last time unless Royal Caribbean Cruises, make some big changes with the food, staff, entertainment, decor and the cabin Television entertainment. I enjoy the Diamond Club the ... Read More
My 1st cruise on Radiance of the Seas and probably the last time unless Royal Caribbean Cruises, make some big changes with the food, staff, entertainment, decor and the cabin Television entertainment. I enjoy the Diamond Club the most. The entertainment onboard was not that good plus I have seen the same onboard staff productions that many times I don't go anymore I wish they would do something new. They didn't have that many activities that passengers could take place in. The ship is sad, the staff is sad, furniture is sad old and shabby, there is dusty old plastic flowers, plants and trees all over the ship. There didn't seem enough staff to look after the passengers needs, public bathrooms look untidy most of the time with overflowing bins and paper all over the floors. Service in the Diamond Club was fantastic and my cabin Steward was fantastic as for everyone else not that good everyone seemed sad. Windjammer Cafe on Easter Friday ran out of fish, they only had one tray of fish for all the customers that wanted to eat fish on Good Friday. Sad of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We booked this cruise as we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, my husbands 60th birthday and my 55th birthday all within that 1 week. In 2012 we cruised on Oasis of the Seas out of Florida which was absolutely fabulous and ... Read More
We booked this cruise as we were celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary, my husbands 60th birthday and my 55th birthday all within that 1 week. In 2012 we cruised on Oasis of the Seas out of Florida which was absolutely fabulous and then cruising on Radiance of the Seas was a bit disappointing. The ship was showing it's age. The mattress was comfortable but the room could do with a bit of an update. The staff we fantastic from the cabin crew to reception to dinning everyone. I had booked a tour of the kitchen but found out that I needed enclosed shoes for the tour. I tried to purchase some sneakers or any form of enclosed sure from the ships shop but couldn't get any. I went to reception to see if they had any ideas and this fabulous lady at reception after several unsuccessful attempts to find me a paid of enclosed shoes in the Lost & Found section she went above and beyond to help me by offering me her work shoes. She had them delivered to my room once she finished her shift. I was so appreciative of what she did to help me out that I gave her a personal recommendation and when I returned her shoes to her after the tour I enclosed a $20 tip for her kindness. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
Although I have cruised with Royal Caribbean many times, this was my first time on this class of ship ............ and it was a very pleasant surprise. Non of this being on the inside looking in as with Royal Caribbean's more recent ... Read More
Although I have cruised with Royal Caribbean many times, this was my first time on this class of ship ............ and it was a very pleasant surprise. Non of this being on the inside looking in as with Royal Caribbean's more recent ships but instead it was very much a case of being on the inside looking out to sea. The first thing that stikes you as you enter the ship is the very high and light Centrum/Atrium. Beautiful. It is also so easy to find your way around as it seems everything branches out from the Centrum. All the public rooms are attractive if not strikingly beautiful. However, at the time of this cruise the Radiance of the Seas is looking a little tired and overdue a major overhaul. I had been staying with friends in Sydney for 6 days prior to boarding after a long but comfortable flight from the UK on a QANTAS A380. The embarkation process in Sydney was very smooth. I arrived at the terminal at 11:30hrs and was aboard by noon. The cabin was ready to occupy by 13:00hrs. Soon after entering the cabin, Giri the excellent Bedroom Steward came along and introduced himself. The baggage arrived quite promptly too just an hour or so later. Throughout this cruise I chose to take breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer. Seating was never a problem with the weather being warm thoughout it was possible to sit outside and eat, so liberating a lot of the inside seating. The range of food on offer for both breakfast and lunch could not be faulted although if I was to be picky, why was Bread Pudding the hot dessert so often? Dinner was always taken on table 411 of Cascades Restaurant on the late sitting. There was only 4 of us on a table for 10 as the late sitting was under subscribed whereas the main sitting was packed out. Our waiter (Deb Biswas) and asst. waiter (Roland) made an excellent team. Deb in particular was so very friendly and helpful plus had an excellent sense of humour. The menu every night was more than adequate with good options & choices even if the presented food sometimes lacked the original sparkle of what was expected. The steaks in particular were rather disappointing and quite tuff with the need to return them on a couple of occasions. I never felt the need to use any of the supplement themed venues for dinner. Every sea day without fail I took my exercise on the Deck Five wrap around promenade by walking for a minimum of 95 minutes or a minimum of 15 laps. The only time I used the well furnished gym was to walk through it to get the the sauna/steam room facilities in the changing room. One of the bigger negatives about this cruise was the fact the sauna/steam room facilities were never fully operational from the start of the cruise to the end. There was not a day that passed when either the steam room or the sauna was not working and on several occasions neither were working. No matter how many times I and numerous others reported the problem the situation never changed. I got onto first name terms with the spa manager, a lovely lady from South Africa, because she started asking me for my feedback on the situation. It seemed that every time she reported a problem a technician would come and report that everything was then working fine when in fact they were not. A case of the lights were on but nobody was at home I think. In the end she offered to me the pay to use Thermal Suite for free ....... only for that too to fail. I felt so so sorry for this lady that in the end I made a complaint to Customer Relations, supporting all the actions the spa manageress had taken, but I never did get a reply to that report. The biggest negatives of this cruise were the activities and entertainment. Although the production shows, all 3 of them, were excellently executed and performed with certain exceptions the guest entertainers and musicians were by far the worst I have experienced on any cruise. Although I do not expect sophistication to be a part of cruise line entertainment I do expect to be treated like an adult. In most cases on this cruise I thought the guest artists would have done better being childrens entertainers. Having said that, when a guest entertainer was good they were oustandingly good. To name them, Will Martin a young talented guy from New Zealand and The Aussie Boys. I was not very impressed with the Cruise Director as I am sure she felt she was the star. There is only a certain number of times that I can hear "I am Amy, you are awesome!" before I start to groan. This was not a port intensive cruise with there being only 6 ports of call over 16 days. I booked only 2 shore excursions, one in Airlie Beach and the other in Benoa, Bali. I had planned on booking more excursions ahead of the cruise but unfortunately Royal Caribbean raised the prices in the UK by between £10 and £20 per excursion just a few weeks before departure making them far too expensive in my opinion. In Airlie Beach I did the Crocodile Safari excursion which was 7/8 hours long. The quality of this excursion was very high and generally very interesting with great guides/hosts. But good value for money it was not at over £110 per person. In Bali I did the 'Balinese Way Of Life' excursion which was 9 hours long. The quality of this excursion was again very high and the guide very interesting and informative. On this excursion the value for money was far better as it was just £65. In all the other ports of call I had done my own research and printed off maps and self guided walking tours which turned out to be successful. On disembarkation day I did my own thing and took my luggage off myself. The whole process was very well handled and there were no delays. I had booked a comfortable if not luxurious hotel for 4 nights in Perth (Sullivan's Hotel) which was perfectly positioned between Kings Park and the Swan River. I had booked my own private transfer from Freemantle to Perth although Royal Caribbean offered this service at a slightly higher price also which could have been booked onboard. So to summarize. This cruise and itinerary should have been rated as outstandingly good if it were not for some important failings. The crew on the Radiance of the Seas are probably the happiest and friendliest I have encountered on any cruise. Radiance of the Seas is a beautiful ship but in need of a bit of TLC and has some serious maintenance issues. Besides the problems with the toilet flushing system and the never fully functional sauna/steam room facilities, quite often several of the lifts were not funtioning. The food on this cruise was generally very good but could never be described as excellent. It was the entertainment that was the biggest disappoinment when I had expected better. Thank goodness for the Aussie Boys, Will Martin and production show cast because the rest were cr ....... not at all good. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
This was our first time doing a back to back cruise, making a total of 4 cruises that we have now done. Cruised in January starting off with a 7 night cruise to Tasmania, back to Sydney then off to the South Pacific islands for 11 nights. ... Read More
This was our first time doing a back to back cruise, making a total of 4 cruises that we have now done. Cruised in January starting off with a 7 night cruise to Tasmania, back to Sydney then off to the South Pacific islands for 11 nights. RC made the process of arrival back in Sydney for the second cruise easy. The first cruise was more of a last minute decision for us, in order to join a married son and his wife for a few days together. The second cruise to the islands had been booked many months earlier. So we had different cabins and had to change cabins and decks. We could leave our clothes hanging in the wardrobe for a staff member to move for us, and just pack up all our other belongings. Of course, if would have been much easier had we been staying in the same cabin. As the first cruise was in Australia only and the second sailing out of Australia, we had to get off the ship to go through Customs. But thankfully, we did not have to line up with everyone else and we were put through very quickly. This was our first time on the Radiance. We enjoyed our cruises, as we believe a cruise or any holiday is what you make of it and your attitude. But we would not choose to cruise on the Radiance again. Our first RC cruise was on the Voyager of the Seas, and we preferred that ship. Didn't like the layout of the Radiance, you have to walk through the shop area to get from one end to another on that deck and it is small and quite claustrophobic. The layout of the Voyager is so much better. Didn't like the adult pool area, they say the top ceiling windows can be opened, but they remained shut and the area always seemed to have a very stuffy and stale smell about it. So used the other pool area where everyone else was. Voyager's adult area seemed a lot better. Staff were great, food was also mostly great. Entertainment was hit and miss. We had about 4 nights of fantastic entertainment for the 18 nights. One of the entertainers, who we had seen on the Voyager, and also seen many years earlier was performing again, and he is fantastic! Patrick McMahon is really worth watching, if you get the chance, don't miss him! Gym area not as good as Voyager. No tv screens or music to exercise to, you have to bring your own. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
My review sounds a little negative but but all in all it was a great cruise and we had an awesome time. There was a very important lesson learned thou. That lesson is to research your cabin on Cruise Critic before booking. We booked pretty ... Read More
My review sounds a little negative but but all in all it was a great cruise and we had an awesome time. There was a very important lesson learned thou. That lesson is to research your cabin on Cruise Critic before booking. We booked pretty late and took the one suite that was left. Well it was still available for a reason. We have been on the Radiance before and really like the ship. If you book on deck 10 be sure and make sure that you are not Unser the pool deck. Make sure that any room on any deck is far far far from the Grand Atrium. We sailed on Dec 23rd from Sydney to Vanuatu and New Caledonia. Check in was easy and efficient. This was our first trip to Vanuatu or new Caledonia. This was an awesome itinerary and I highly recommend it. We booked a couple of tourers through the ship and we booked a day in Port Villa with a private tour company that I found on Tripadvisor. The canoe trip up the Riri river was awesome. The tour in Port villa was booked with Atmosphere tours and was fantastic. We had our own private van and guide for less than what the same trip would have cost if booked on the ship. The ships crew, as always were great for the most part. If you like strong drinks and great bar tenders they can be found. I won't say where but a hint is that it's very close to Italian food and steak. Our room was horrible (1052) Cabin was absolutely terrible. There were several parties in the Grand Atrium that went on until 12:30 in the morning and there is no way that anyone is going to sleep in that suit before then. It is the second door from the atrium so the party is literally right out side of the door. On top of that it is located under the main pool (just a little inboard of the Ping pong table) deck so when they start dragging pool chairs around at 12:30 in the morning you hear every bit of it. The wash down hose is connected to a 1/4 turn ball valve located directly above the room that some one closes to fast an hammers the system causing a Big Bang sound in the room from about 12:30am to 3:30am. There were a couple plumbing problems. Once the toilet overflowed sewage into the bathroom. The thing that pissed me off most was that when I called suite maintenance (three times) I was told that every one was busy right now but that they would get to it when they had a chance. HELLO! There is sewage backing up into my room and you will "get to it when you have a chance"? We spent a boat load of money to have a nice suite on this cruise and felt kinda ripped off.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
It wasn't the worst cruise I have been on but not in the top 10 either. I know that the group of passengers travelling at the same time is just luck if you get a great bunch of people on board. The holiday started to go down hill ... Read More
It wasn't the worst cruise I have been on but not in the top 10 either. I know that the group of passengers travelling at the same time is just luck if you get a great bunch of people on board. The holiday started to go down hill from day one. I booked a grande suite and placed an order on line for a Christmas tree, goodies basket and champagne for my cabin - well they never turned up. My cabin steward was just ok....can't really blame her as it looked like she had a pack of grots in the Royal suite that kept her running from dawn to dusk. The worst thing was the location of my cabin. Right on the hump so no privacy on the balcony at all, as I could see all cabin balconies all the way up to the bridge. It was directly opposite the games room and open to the centrum. I could sit inside my cabin on the lounge and hear every show in centrum, so no going to bed prior to midnight. No afternoon nap either as the kids discovered the games room and I heard every game of poker/snap/scrabble etc played. The icing on the cake was some little shite came aboard with a flu virus which proceeded to spread through the ship and contaminate. It was the gift that kept on giving and lasted for 2 weeks post cruise. I had been on the Radiance before and prior to this cruise it was on the top of my best 10 list. The ship was looking tired, the staff numbers appeared lower, as the table waiters had more tables to look after, it was impossible at times to get waiter staff around the pool, no flowers on the dining table, had to ask for a soup spoon as you were just given a desert spoon. It lacked the RCI polish. Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Almost 4 hours - seriously, that is how long it took us to complete the boarding process on Radiance of the Seas on 20th October in Sydney.The Sydney Terminal is undergoing redevelopment and that added perhaps ten minutes to the usual ... Read More
Almost 4 hours - seriously, that is how long it took us to complete the boarding process on Radiance of the Seas on 20th October in Sydney.The Sydney Terminal is undergoing redevelopment and that added perhaps ten minutes to the usual boarding time. The rest is all down to Royal Caribbean - it was nothing short of complete mayhem. Firstly the on board camera broke down and hundreds of passengers came to a standstill for more than an hour while that was repaired - is there only one camera to record guest ID on Radiance? We lined the length of the deck and back again (another 45 minutes) before ID photos were taken. We entered the ship on Deck 5 where less than friendly staff gave us Indonesia Visa applications which had to be completed and handed in with our passports for photocopy. There were hundred before us, we stood and shuffled for a further two hours. As it later became apparent, none of this had to be done on boarding, but it was more convenient for ship management for it to be done that way. Too bad for the passengers, most of whom were elderly and suffering from the usual aged related conditions. There was little seating or water, and no food, which. seriously compromised the health of diabetics and arthritics. At no time was a general apology made to the passengers. Very poor guest relations all round. I have completed on line feedback and written separately to RCI , it will be interesting to see if they care enough to respond. This cruise was booked out early by people who had saved for a long time to enjoy it. This bitter experience actually upset many for days, specially those who were unable to move well and suffering physically. We hardly saw an officer for at least a week, most unusual. As for the rest, pretty ship, nice cabin, great food and very good MDR staff. Windjammer crew were short on numbers but tried hard, the only bright light there was the little greeting guy in a different hat each day. Very happy to have a Catholic priest on board, this is something new for for us on RCI and a very welcome addition. The entertainment was repetitive everywhere. Showtime Guest artists were good, one was outstanding (Danny Elliott, he was superb). The Show Band is good, too loud though, and there was too much time allotted to the singers and dancers. Costumes were great.. I won't book Radiance again. Keen to try Voyager again, loved her last year and the recent refurbishment looks awesome. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
As this is a critic site I will address the most critical issues, however the ship itself is fabulous. It has the WOW factor, although evidence of wear is showing throughout the ship, and handles the seas wonderfully. This was our 17th ... Read More
As this is a critic site I will address the most critical issues, however the ship itself is fabulous. It has the WOW factor, although evidence of wear is showing throughout the ship, and handles the seas wonderfully. This was our 17th and 18th cruise (we also were staying on from Fremantle back to Sydney-17 nights). The initial embarkation on the 20th Oct was a nightmare. The first day of our holiday WAISTED, not a good way to start. As mentioned in other reviews, on the same trip, those with mobility problem, as my wife has, were completely ignored in relation to seating etc. Also, months prior to embarking, a special request was made for a refrigerator to keep our medications. Our drinks fridge wasn't working and still not when we disembarked 33 days later. We did receive very small medication fridge some14 days after embarking & making another request. Upon booking the cruise some 6 months earlier, we asked about gratuities which we had to pay up front. We were told to inform the guest services desk which we did on that first day after boarding, and were told it would take about 14 day to be processed back to our account. After several visits to the desk starting at Fremantle (day 16) we informed them that payment had not been received, would they please check. The short story is that still now, after 38 days and counting there has been no return. We did pay tips to those who gave us excellent service so in fact to date, we have paid at least double gratuities on our trip. The same scenario now goes for the second leg from Fremantle to Sydney, heaven help how long that will take. To further infuriate the matter, we had five other couples travelling with us who all are going through the same process. It is ironic that they can charge you and have the provisional charge against your banks credit card within a day or two, however this doesn't happen in the reverse direction, especially in these days of technology. Other matters brought up by our fellow travellers was the lengthy periods between changing bed sheets and especially in one instant a very mouldy shower curtain. Other cruise lines have laundries available to wash and iron clothing which is essential on longer cruise ventures such as we had. The laundry service available does add a substantial cost to the overall price of the holiday. I suggest while cruising from Australian Ports, Royal Caribbean should cater more toward the Australian market in issues such as currency, tipping. It is also very evident that any additional service, particularly to do with transport services to destinations from wharf to town were severely overpriced in comparison to other cruise lines using the same services. Maybe better negotiation is required to get the passengers the best deal rather than pocket the profits themselves. Our fellow travellers and ourselves were on a lower deck toward the starboard aft where late nights and early mornings were noisy, seemingly a workshop or similar below, as well as a very loose heavy gate/door catch banging in time with the roll of the ship. Royal Caribbean will need to show that they care for there passengers more than the obvious money grabbing venture that they displayed. Lucky we don't play the Casino! We will go back to our previous cruise line where we have excellent loyalty benefits and better priced trips.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Decided to try Radiance after sailing with other lines.  Beautiful ship although extremely crowded. Great dining and service. Also recommend package for specialty restaurants but be wary that in the Japanese Izuma although you pre-paid, ... Read More
Decided to try Radiance after sailing with other lines.  Beautiful ship although extremely crowded. Great dining and service. Also recommend package for specialty restaurants but be wary that in the Japanese Izuma although you pre-paid, you will be slugged a $5 cover charge and your choice is limited to $15. After that, you pay through the nose. The Chef's Table was really great and worth the money. Highly recommended. Verandah cabin satisfactory although bathroom very small and still with a tiny shower and curtain.  Wonderful service from our cabin steward. Public rooms very good. Entertainment ok but nothing to rave about. Big negative - on this trip there were hundreds of children many of whom were not supervised undisciplined and unruly. Perhaps there should be a limit on the number as is on some cruise lines. We even had to call security when young teens were rumbling, wrestling at the dining table and racing through the diners. This ruined the trip for many adults. Likewise, a pool attendant/ security lifeguard is recommended for the swimming pool for the same reason. For families - go for it - but if you are mature or a honeymooner then try a more sedate ship.   Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We were looking forward to a special repositioning cruise from Sydney and New Zealand to Hawaii. We got short changed. Embarkation was handled pretty well, and we boarded early because of a morning rain. I was stopped by security due to ... Read More
We were looking forward to a special repositioning cruise from Sydney and New Zealand to Hawaii. We got short changed. Embarkation was handled pretty well, and we boarded early because of a morning rain. I was stopped by security due to my dangerous item - - a musical instrument! At 65 years old, holding a SEALED musical instrument, is hardly a dangerous item. A didgeridoo. The instrument was seized by security and when I asked to speak with the Security Director at 7:30 p.m. on embarkation day, I was told that "he's gone to sleep". WHAT? A security director has "retired for the evening" on embarkation day?? I kept asking continuously to Guest Services and to anyone who could help, and after 3 days, he telephoned me that security was keeping the musical instrument. As we expected on embarkation, the rooms were not ready, but would be ready about 1:30 p.m., and they were. The tours "excursions" were absolutely a terrible experience. We had booked on Royal Caribbean's website before sailing, and they showed a Lord of the Rings tour with photos of the hobbit homes. What we received was a 2 mile walk in the mud and muck through a public forest/park. No hobbits. No homes. Nothing. Several cruisers that were on our tour said that they felt cheated. Don't take this tour! The Dining Room waiter, back waiter and head waiter absolutely saved our holiday. Glenn in Chops Grille was outstanding. Our stateroom attendant Eligio was wonderful - greeting us by name, and making us a towel Kangaroo that I wanted. These folks saved our holiday!! The ship is showing her age, even though she has recently undergo a refit. The ports in New Zealand and French Polynesia were pretty good. Bora Bora was magical and was enhanced by our taking a Cruise Critic tour. NO ONE from the ship could compare to Patrick's tour company in Bora Bora. Disembarkation was a nightmare. We had a ship's tour planned to go to Pearl Harbor and then the airport. I received my suitcase, but my wife's suitcase was not in our assigned area. I was sent to return to the primary baggage area by the ship's agent, but was stopped by local police. I FINALLY was able to get into the baggage area and reported the loss. We were panicked by fearing that our tour bus would leave us, and there was no ship's representative to assist us to assure us that we would not be left behind. The food and entertainment was what your expect from Royal Caribbean. The Activities Manager was superb. The cruise director was lacking. We were VERY happy and impressed that the ship celebrated ANZAC Day with 2 ceremonies. As noted by other CC members, the children and teenagers were out of control. They pushed all of the elevator buttons (what's new, eh?) and ran around through the hallways at all hours. Despite the "threat" that the ship would enforce it's under 18 year old curfew, there was no indication that it did so. In summary, we are glad to have seen Australia and New Zealand, but disappointed in the Lord of the Rings tour. The highlight was our Dining Room waiters and the Cruise Critic tour. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
I will start out by saying I have cruised 130 nights of which 41 has been on RCCL 32 Nights has been on Voyager and the last one was, Feb 2013 and now 9 on Radiance. We have booked another 62 nights with RCCL over the next 18 months. I ... Read More
I will start out by saying I have cruised 130 nights of which 41 has been on RCCL 32 Nights has been on Voyager and the last one was, Feb 2013 and now 9 on Radiance. We have booked another 62 nights with RCCL over the next 18 months. I hope what we experienced on Radiance is not a sign of the times as the 62 days will be cancelled. However at this time we believe RCCL is the best value around. We arrived at the Sydney dock at 11.30. Our boarding time was 11 and they have staggered boarding times by deck. Disaster ,everyone seemed to arrive at 11 and it was madness but this was not the fault of RCCL. Boarded the ship and while waiting for the cabin to be ready we looked around the ship. I will say it is a pretty ship, lots of lights , wood and some nice venues and looking forward to the cruise. The cabin was ready and we went and settled in, it had a big balcony all good so we thought ! First night out we went to dinning room, Deck 5 cascades My time dining. We went to our table 595 and were met by 2 of the most outstanding staff on the whole ship Andy and Ronald. We had our grand Kids with us and they made them feel really special. 2 nights later I had a phone call from dining and asked if we minded moving tables that night as we were 7 on a table for 10 and they had a booking that night for 9 and wanted to use the table. I said no problem However the table we were moved to was just plain terrible, service was really bad and it seemed they were going through the motions. The next day my wife rang and said are we going back to table 595 and that is when it went really down hill. The operator was very rude and my wife was told that we booked a time and not a table and we would be put where they want to put us which was to be the bad table .We did not go back to the dining room until the second last night and were put on 595 which was good The food in all venues we visited was just outstanding, best ever While all this was going on the ship had some rough seas and our cabin was terrible, it moaned groaned rattled and a constant tap , tap, tap all night long drove us mad. Other some other people we spoke to had similar cabin issues so it seems there could be an issue. On top of that our cabin steward was the worst I have had, not until day 6 did he wipe down the balcony table, some other people we spoke with said there cabin was not serviced for 2 days and when they asked why not they were told " I forgot " The ship I called the trivia capitol because everything was trivia, trivia trivia Venues were poorly utilised in my view particularly when you have loud music playing in the centrum which travels up to all decks but in a venue designed for it there was generally Trivia !! Not all but a lot of staff seemed to be going through the motions and we got the feeling at times we were imposing. Some were very friendly and that is the Aussie way but some were drab Based on other cruises I have done from RCCL we felt that they were around 50+ staff short At times there were no drink waiters , at venues and the same at the Buffet. My wife ordered a bottle of wine in the buffet and it took 20 plus minutes to arrive and clearly they did not want to get it I guess this is what happens when you down grade the buffet and increase the specialty dining venues Sail away parties were just terrible and worst experienced For us it was not our best cruise but I am sure first timers would have loved it Exiting Sydney terminal was very fluid, easy to get off the ship Now I am a smoker and always get a balcony for that reason. However as of January 1 -2014 no more smoking on balconies. During the cruise I was abused by a lady in the next cabin for smoking but I always do not smoke if someone is on the balcony. What she failed to do was not leave her cabin door open all day and all night it is a no no on a ship. Then I was down wind from her balcony and it was other people up wind who were smoking and there smoke was going into her cabin Apart from that all she would have had to do was knock on my door and say Hey smoking effects me would mind not smoking when we are on the balcony instead of ranting and raving like an idiot So now I can't smoke any longer on the balcony I will now start complaining about getting into lifts and suffering from women who ware heavy make up [ it effects mu sinuses badly ] then stop drinking on the ships as I do not drink and can't stand the smell of people who reek of alcohol or who act like idiots My point here is that when you are on a ship sometimes everything is not perfect and you have to accept some things and roll with the punches a bit. It seems I have to accept things but others will not   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Have sailed before in the European waterways (Scenic - 200 guests) and the Mediterrean (Oceania- 600 guests). Decided to do Royal Caribbean at the last minute as wanted to experience a large ship (2300 guests approx) in comparisson to ... Read More
Have sailed before in the European waterways (Scenic - 200 guests) and the Mediterrean (Oceania- 600 guests). Decided to do Royal Caribbean at the last minute as wanted to experience a large ship (2300 guests approx) in comparisson to smaller ships. Would always take the smaller ships and did not like the South Pacific compared to where have been before. I understand that having so many guests to feed that meal times have to be allotted, we found this to be of an inconvenience as lots of entertainment that we wished to attend was actually on at the time of our dining. Many were not repeated at another time for us to attend. Our past experiences have been that you dine when suits you. Cabin was comfortable and clean, we were on the 3rd floor with a sea view window. Bathrooms very small with a corner shower but with excellent HWS. Staff were very helpful if asked a question, but not over friendly. Meals in Windjammer Cafe were acceptable, but used lots of processed meats which is not acceptable. No nice grilled chicken breasts or sliced cold meats that were not pre processed. Dining room for evening meals was acceptable but so much better on the last 2 nights. The company want you to go away with a good impression, so what you rememeber is what you last ate or did before you disembark. Not what was offered at the beginning. There was a considerable difference between the beginning and the ending. Not good enough. Also on the South Pacific Cruise you have to remember that you have 2 full days and 3 nights at sea before you leave the ship for the first time and the same on the return journey. Weather off the coast of NSW not all that good, there was lots of sea roll and by the 2nd night, more that half the ship was ill with motion sickness. Not many guests attended the Captains Cocktail, why not hold it on another night, so that all guests can attend. Other thing was the "stabilisers" should have been put out on the first night, guests comforts come first, not the companies profits. On the return journey the "stabilisers" were used this time, so that you would remember a smooth sail into Sydney Harbour. After we reached the Islands, and guests had recovered from motion sickness, then gastro struck the ship. Guests were not advised of precautions to take until the 2nd day, not good enough. Should have been announced as soon as it confirmed that gastro was lurking around the ship. On the first day, staff were trying to clean handrails, tables etc with bleach discreetly, but as soon as they saw someone watching what they were doing, they would stop. Guests should have been told then, not the next day as that may have saved a lot more guests from suffering. Hand wash bottles should have been at the entrances to all lifts all the time, as we did not see the inside buttons of any lift get bleached at any time. Tenders to and from shore were very good if you left and returned early. I believe that some were a bit slow returning mid afternoon. Dis embarkation was a shambles. You had the choice to depart early and take your own luggage. Had to wait too long to disembark and there was no clear line of who was first in line, should have been more controlled as ship staff not required as you took your own bags. Once got to Immigration services it was fine. Just getting there was the problem. Fitness centre was excellent with lots of equipment and provided additional classes, some at cost though. The only problem I found with the fitness centre was that the air conditioning was not sufficient. The room was too warm, regardless if you were in there at 6am or 10am.There were no opening windows either. Should have been much cooler in the fitness centre. Plenty of towels were provided for gym use. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Long queues at check in process. Currency on board is in US$ for any cash payments. My time dining was mostly good although some disappointing dishes. Layout of the Windjammer cafe needed improvement with traffic jams at meal times. ... Read More
Long queues at check in process. Currency on board is in US$ for any cash payments. My time dining was mostly good although some disappointing dishes. Layout of the Windjammer cafe needed improvement with traffic jams at meal times. Breakfast choices excellent but room for improvement for lunch. Park Cafe food mostly dry and ordinary apart from sirloin beef slices with salads. The centrum area in centre of ship funnels through most decks and is unbearably noisy at times. This spoils the library and card room areas where guests should be able to 'get away from it all'. The stateroom with balcony was a good size. Bathroom was small and limited toiletries provided. A considerable charge to have something ironed. Phone and wifi charges horrendous. Shop area was claustrophobic and understaffed No decent walking track around boat for exercise. Solarium nice and some good areas for children. The ships shows were enjoyable. The best thing about this cruise were the excellent staff. A daily gratuity is charged on booking but guests were encouraged to tip more on every occasion! Worst thing about this cruise was the long wait (45 min +) to talk to anyone at Royal Carribean.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Cruised 12 times - first time with RCCL - for a trial. BOARDING Boarding at Sydney was slow. Bags didn't get to the room until 5.30 during the drill. Very surprised with the age group on board 70-90 with Scooters, Wheelchairs, ... Read More
Cruised 12 times - first time with RCCL - for a trial. BOARDING Boarding at Sydney was slow. Bags didn't get to the room until 5.30 during the drill. Very surprised with the age group on board 70-90 with Scooters, Wheelchairs, walkers and sticks. Daily Medical Emergencies with most ports somebody being loaded off. Also wheelchairs were allowed on Tender Boats!! NORO VIRIS AND HEAVY BRONCHITIS COUGHING Noro viris was on board and the coughing progressed throughout the ship by day 16. SMOKING POLICY BE WARNED. RCCL told us that their is no smoking in the Staterooms - Port or Starboard side. So when I smelt smoking coming into our Junior Suite Cabin I reported it straight away. RCCL allow smoking on all Balconies - port and starboard sides. They deliberately omit stating Balcony smoking is allowed. Would not have booked we we had known this. RCCL SHIP OF CUT BACKS No Toiletries in Cabins (only in our Junior Suite) No Pen or Paper. No Chocolates on pillows. Windjammers closes at 9pm. No Lobster Night and no Baked Alaska Night. DINING ROOM FOOD Meals are very fancy and most nights it is a process of elimination (prefer Princess Food and Celebrity) Head waiters and staff are very paranoid if you don't finish your meal. They want to increase their ratings. Most nights I was questioned why I hadn't finished my meal. This happened to all on our table. DRINKS PACKAGES Not good. (Celebrity and Princess better) No coffee cards available and not part of any of their packages. No non - alcoholic options other than a SODA package. ENTERTAINMENT Main Productions - well..... - back to the bar!! Orchestra was excellent. Most guest entertainers were much better. CABINS Originally booked Balcony E2 #7092 we were shocked with the small size and small bathroom. Bed was very hard. Junior Suite was available 1546 (midship) Manager Nilsen Santana offered it for $600 USD - we did not hesitate - A TERRIFIC ROOM!! BACK TO CELEBRITY AND PRINCESS (GENERAL CONSENSUS ON BOARD)   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our 12th cruise and first with with RCCL (Age: early fifties). This was a 16 night itinerary. Port Hedland iron ore tour was a 1 1/4 hours endurance test of babble from the tour guide onboard a bus - we were expecting to actually ... Read More
This was our 12th cruise and first with with RCCL (Age: early fifties). This was a 16 night itinerary. Port Hedland iron ore tour was a 1 1/4 hours endurance test of babble from the tour guide onboard a bus - we were expecting to actually go into the mining area). End result was paying $69 USD for a BHP BILLITON cap. This is only a re-fuelling stop for the ship. Also Airlie Beach should be discontinued from itineraries. There is nothing there and the shuttle dumps you at a boring market. Cairns or Port Douglas would be much better choice. Also Brisbane port is way too far out from the CBD to bother venturing in (50 mins) . Radiance had large disabled contingent (scooters, wheelchairs, walkers, walking sticks) which increases the chance of catching gastro intestinal illness/flu/viruses as well as slowing down the movement around the ship considerably. Tenders were also slowed down as a result. Normally wheelchairs are not allowed on tender boats but were being allowed on this cruise causing delays. The lifts were slow and overcrowded due to age group and shortage of lifts. Also noticed increase in tattooed persons onboard where previously this was not seen and considered bad taste. Smoking was allowed on balconies which if known about we would not have booked a cruise with RCCL (smoke wafted in from other balconies and was intolerable). Main dining room meals were too fancy generally and didn't seem to cater for the Australian market. RCCL need to simplify dish offerings and focus on high quality meal basics. Escargot were on the menu every night. The low fat dishes often had cream and high fat ingredients. Also chargeable food items have now appeared on the main dining room menu which has never occurred before on other cruises. The DOGHOUSE seems a waste of space and under utilised. Again this is not suitable for the Australian market. Rita's Cantina and Izumi were not patronised during the day indicating a lack of interest in paying for these restaurants and taking up valuable space. Drinks packages are poor especially for non-alcoholic (CELEBRITY cruises have far superior drinks packages). There were no coffee packages or cards available either. Brewed coffee is undrinkable so it is off to Latte-tudes at $5.50 USD a pop for a coffee with a reasonable strength. The buffet (WINDJAMMERS) closes at 9.30 pm which is very unusual as most ships offer some late night buffet. The Park Cafe makes a weak attempt at late night snacks with a minimal pizza ingredient offering (corn kernels, broccoli & cauliflower ?). There should also be a fesh juice and smoothie bar around pool area. Production shows seemed weak and 1 show especially had dancers out of synch and vocals were hard to understand. Couple of the singers looked like cabin attendants. They need a higher costume budget for production shows. They also need to reference PRINCESS cruises production show standards. The orchestra was of a very high standard .The headliner acts were mixed (some awful and others very good). Staff doing tired old 'If I were not upon the sea' routine and not very well either. Need more enrichment lectures and less infantile activities- they seem to cater to low intellect groups (belly flopping ?). The astronomy lectures (Noleen) were very good. The destination lectures need to have more interest value to engage passengers - not just boring names and dates. Captain was very good and informative throughout the cruise and had a good sense of humour. Officers and most staff were also friendly. Bobby the cruise director arrived on board 7 days late (Darwin) . He was very professional and not patronising like some . There was an overall sense of budget cut backs: (no lobster night,no toiletries (balcony or lower), no pen and pad in cabin, no pillow chocolates, pool towels have to be signed out and in with a threat of $30 cabin charge for non-return) . There is a sense of bullying about gratuities with RCCL which other cruise lines have recently backed away from in Australian market. RCCL still want Australians to be American. Overall the ship looks tired in spots - visible rust and outdated colours on open deck areas particularly. Promenade is a good wrap around deck but needs chair cushions for comfort. There are some well presented public areas (e.g. colony club, theatre ). The GYM was well appointed. There is nothing outstanding with RCCL to seduce us back onboard again. Looks like back to CELEBRITY and PRINCESS cruises to show how it is done..   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Please let me start my review by saying that Radiance of the Seas is a beautiful ship and our dissatisfaction with our most recent cruise with RCL had nothing to do the ship. We have cruised 13 times with RCL, this had to be worst food ... Read More
Please let me start my review by saying that Radiance of the Seas is a beautiful ship and our dissatisfaction with our most recent cruise with RCL had nothing to do the ship. We have cruised 13 times with RCL, this had to be worst food we have experienced in the formal dinning room on any cruise line. Even the Windjammer Buffet and room service food were the worst we have ever had. We have been cruising since 1992 and we have slowly watched the cruise line industry including RCL slowly degrade the food and entertainment to cut costs. The only option we had on this cruise was to eat 5 nights out of 10 in one the optional restaurants to get a decent meal. Which means we had to pay extra for a good meal. The entertainment was lousy, with napkin folding and dance lessons as the most exciting thing to do on sea days. I arranged to have wine, champagne and strawberries delivered to our balcony cabin on different nights throughout our cruise and not 1 order was delivered correctly. By the 5th night RCL had shorted me 1 bottle of wine and 1 bottle of champagne which took me 4 nights to get corrected. I had already paid for these items. If RCL does not want returning customers we will spend our money with another cruise line. We have cruised with: RCL, Holland, Celebrity, Princess, and NCL. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
Read my closely paragraph first! 'It sounds like I have had a fair whinge, and yes I probably have on reflection, but it wasn't all that bad, it just wasn't as lively and entertaining as other cruises. In spite of the ... Read More
Read my closely paragraph first! 'It sounds like I have had a fair whinge, and yes I probably have on reflection, but it wasn't all that bad, it just wasn't as lively and entertaining as other cruises. In spite of the often bad publicity surrounding Carnival Cruise Lines, we have found their cruises to be far better for our age group.' Overall we had a great holiday and it's hard to beat a cruise package for convenience, variety and value. We're a family with two teenage children and the first thing we noticed when stepping on board was the disproportionally large number of over 60's compared to previous cruises. The indoor pool looks great, but unless you have grey hair, you'll be out of place here. The outdoor pool area is typical of most ships, however once the sun goes down, it's pretty much a ghost town in these areas, which I think is somewhat reflective of the older crowd. Similarly, the inside venues tend to be more sedate when compared to previous cruises. The night shows were just ok, again probably geared more for an older crowd. They had a hypnotist show twice and it was fantastic! The teenage kids club isn't as well organised as other cruises, but our kids were able to hook up with other kids and mostly did their own thing throughout the cruises duration. Food was as expected, however I would rate the buffet quality below that of others, it was pretty much the same stuff each day with subtle variations, ie beef stew, beef burgundy, beef curry etc! By the end of it, we were over it. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
My husband and I had never cruised before, always dreamed about it so this cruise was to be our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other. We chose Radiance of the Seas as it was the only cruise ship actually sailing on the date of ... Read More
My husband and I had never cruised before, always dreamed about it so this cruise was to be our 25th wedding anniversary present to each other. We chose Radiance of the Seas as it was the only cruise ship actually sailing on the date of our anniversary, from a nearby country. Our first impression of the ship was it was huge and really beautiful inside and out. Our cabin was bigger than I expected and had a lot more cupboard space than we thought we would have. Booking in and getting on board was a real breeze and crew were so pleasant and helpful. There were all ages on board, families, honeymooners, couples, elderly, teenagers. Now I know there are different strokes for different folks, so this is what we thought about the cruise. Before going on board we had spoken to many people that had been on cruises but none of them had been with Royal Caribbean and everyone had given us very positive feedback about their cruises. So yes, we probably had very high expectations. WE bought the dining package for $75 to eat at (Giovannis, Izumi, Chops Grill and Samba) and bought a soda package, which I would highly recommend to purchase to anyone. The reason we took this cruise was for our 25 anniversary. Our TA told us they would make a huge fuss about our anniversary as she had informed them about it. We informed our stateroom attendant the day we arrived and asked him to make that day special for us (which he did not). The morning of our anniversary came and went and nothing happened it was just like any other day. In the late afternoon went down to Guest relations and mentioned to them and informed them we would be eating at Samba Grill (we chose this speciality restaurant to celebrate our anniversary as we have a similar restaurant to that in Auckland and go there on very very special occasions (21st etc). Guest relations informed us they would advise the manager of Samba Grill and they would make a fuss. We had our meal and no mention of a celebration at all. So you can imagine this had been a very average day out at sea for us. I was totally disappointed, we had saved so long for this day and this occasion and it turned out to be just a normal day out at sea. Tracy from Guest Relations tried to rectify things once she heard about our disappointment (bless her), but we will never get that day back. The manager from Samba Grill a few days later phoned and apologised and said he wanted to apologise personally and he would meet us at Izumi that night, well he was a no show and the day before getting off the cruise he phoned again and blamed the manager of Izumi for not letting him know we were there (poor excuse as I informed him what time we would be eating at Izumi). He could probably hear my anger by this time and said he would come and apologise personally this being the last night of our cruise, remembering our anniversary was on 3 night of cruise and this was 11th night of the cruise. He came and apologised but once again blamed the manager from Izumi. I found the other speciality restaurants Giovanni's, Izumi and Chops Grill the food was above average and would highly recommend them and would definitely give them a 9 out of 10 for food and service. Samba Grill well I would give them a 2 out of 10 for service and food and not just because our experience with them left a bad taste in our mouths (excuse the punn), service could have been better and food as well. One thing I found I couldn't sleep at night as our air conditioning was too hot. We called maintenance in and they came immediately, but said it was at it's coolest, so I just had to suffer in silence. Now I know this sounds like a very negative review, maybe our expectations were to high. We met with other cruisers and made friends with them and all had been on previous cruisers with P & O and other liners and said they were disappointed in the amount of activities whilst at sea and felt that they should of had less activities whilst we were on shore (of course they understood people remained on the ship but seemed to have more activities when we were on shore than when we were out at sea.) When getting drinks at certain places we found that the bar staff seem to have the attitude they were doing you a favour (not being friendly like the staff at Windjammer) We found the staff at Windjammer really cheerful and helpful. These friends who have something to compare this cruise to, have said they were very disappointed in Radiance of the Seas in their organisation, activities and the friendliness and cheerfulness of the staff. The one couple had been on Rhapsody of the Seas previously and found this cruise to be a real downer. We did some shore excursions and found it to be very well organised. This was our first cruise ever, would we cruise again? Hell yeah, but not sure it would be with Radiance of the Seas. See what I mean about a mixed bag!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Embarkation was wonderful. Most of us were members of Crown and Anchor so were able to board immediately. We had been told we could board at 1:30pm according to our cabin, but with this and the other 2 cruises i have been on (not as a ... Read More
Embarkation was wonderful. Most of us were members of Crown and Anchor so were able to board immediately. We had been told we could board at 1:30pm according to our cabin, but with this and the other 2 cruises i have been on (not as a member), you pretty much board as soon as you arrive, so get there around 11am. You can then board and go straight to buffet lunch on the ship while your cabin is getting ready. Staff were very helpful and friendly. We had a few that weren't members in our group of 18 but they let them board with us through members area. The ship was beautiful, very similar to Rhapsody. You think when you board these huge ships you'll get lost, but everywhere you need to be is pretty central and very easy to find. We had a Balcony cabin and really enjoyed this. Rooms were smallish but with enough storage etc to get by. My 20 year old son stayed in our cabin, and at first we thought he would have to use sofa bed which was very uncomfortable and made it hard to move around cabin without treading on him, but we soon realised we had a bunk over our bed which our steward pulled down and made up, but others we were travelling with didn't have this, so its worth asking when you book if you have 3 in cabin as Sofa is a pain in butt. Shower was tiny, and water goes everywhere when you shower, take a couple large bull clips to peg at bottom of shower curtain to stop it blowing in on you. Our steward Ketut was lovely and very helpful, and most staff were helpful but communication was not so good and service was very inconsistent across the ship. The sailaway party was much anticipated, as we had experienced these on Rhapsody and P&0's the Jewel, and they were great, lots of atmosphere, entertainment and much merriment. This was non existent on this ship. To get a drink was a major challenge as there was not enough bar staff. This improved the next afternoon as we think they picked up more staff in Newcastle. My partner and son got the premium drinks package which was $55 a day and covered beer, wine, spirits and cocktails. only problem was you had to buy it for the whole trip, so $55 a day for 5 days. i think they got their moneys worth most days haha. Again though there was miscomunication as staff told us everyone in cabin needed to buy the package each, which i didnt want to do as a minimal drinker. Other staff said differently which meant some in our group had to then go and change thier packages and get reimbursed, very confusing! I also kept getting conflictual info from my steward, and casino staff had no clue what was going on! We ate in the dining room 2 nights then gave up and went to buffet because the service was so bad. Consequently i didnt tip any of them, just our steward and diffrent waiters. Guest services staff were lovely and very helpful. The Buffet food was lovely, and changed daily for lunch and dinner. I did try the restaurant once more for breakfast but i had to send back my Eggs benedict as the sauce tasted bad. 2 in our group ordered the classic breakfast but they 'ran out' of Bacon, although the buffet magically had it! They also ran out of Jim Beam the first day, Baileys the third day and ice cream as well. Entertainment was fairly good. The comedian the first night was not good and lots walked out. Marty Coffey was great as was the hypnotist. Some great shows not to be missed were love and marriage show, and the Adult Quest scavenger hunt, both hilarious! We had one wet day and went to the cinema but it was packed, they did put another movie on in the large auditorium later though so that was good. Formal night was fun and the last night of the cruise they had a 70's farewell party. Music was good but it was meant to start at 9:30pm but didnt kick off until 10:30 so lots went off to bed or to pack. They give you a time to get off the ship but if like us your not getting picked up till later - 10am for us, you can hang out on ship till they kick you off and have breakfast, drink coffee etc. They dont advertise this, same as they dont tell you you can get on ship earlier, but you can do this, and its been the same on all the cruises i have been on. We had a great time, and as there were 16 of us we made our own fun as well, i was just disapointed in the service a lot of the time. The nightclub was a fun place with a good atmosphere and the young ones travelling with us went up there every night and loved it Room service was a nice added extra and is free up till midnight, but some staff hard to understand and vice versa probably, so you might not get exactly what you ask for! Beds were comfy and made fresh each day. Not a lot of noise where we were mid ship, but my brothers room right near elevator was noisier but it didnt bother them. If your prone to motion sickness keep up your tablets, but the larger ships you really dont feel a lot of movement, depending on where you're going Sadly on our cruise a young man with a disability had to be medi vacced by chopper from the ship. Communication from the crew was good during this time and let everyone know what was going on. Price wise for drinks i think the RC ships are very reasonable. $5.50 for a beer, $7.50 for a cocktail of the day in a RC glass to keep. We did find the drink of the day, whilst the same named drink, seemed to change ingredients or levels of ingredients from bar to bar and some tasted bad!If you drink spirits they make them very strong and i often had to get a coke etc on the side to dull it down. Great if you want to get drunk haha. As we only went for 5 days we didnt try the specialty restaurants but our friends did and you can get a package to try a few of them. They loved the Mexican one and the CHops Grille. Buying a decent coffee was a challenge as it was always so busy and the standard inconsistent, some days was gorgeous, some days awful. When you first get on you will be hammered to buy drinks and restaurant packages but i guess its easy enough to say no We had a wonderful time but not sure i would sail on Radiance again. I have booked an 11 night cruise for next year on Rhapsody and a short cruise on Celebrity Solstice. Join the Crown and Anchor society while your on, so your next RC cruise you get benefits, like express embarkation and vouchers in your room for various things Take the time to dress nice formal night and get a photo, they are lovely souvenirs Hopefully this has been a helpful review. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date February 2013
Cruise December 2012 Radiance of the seas, destination 11 nights ,noumea This was our first cruise, I am a seasoned traveler and work in the customer service field, I have done this for 30 yrs, Embankment was easy and smooth , got ... Read More
Cruise December 2012 Radiance of the seas, destination 11 nights ,noumea This was our first cruise, I am a seasoned traveler and work in the customer service field, I have done this for 30 yrs, Embankment was easy and smooth , got into room about an hour after we boarded , our bags came to the room about 8.00 pm, the stateroom we were in was a surprise very well appointed and clean. Met our cabin attendant , friendly little fellow and made us feel at home. They put on lunch while in port at sydney , lunch was at the windjammer and it was a buffet , on offer was roast beef and veges or you could have cold meat and salad . Went for a walk and checked the ship out , at the back of the ship is the golf course/ putt putt . Got some great pix's with the Harbour bridge and opera house in the background , set sail about 6.30 pm with the sun setting there is no better port in the world than sydney harbor going to the heads to enter the ocean. Restaurants...Summary of where we ate and quality. Windjammer... is casual fair and there is no dress code, nice buffet food , an assortment of salads , roasts , pastas, fast foods eg burgers, Indian . Quality is ok , but by the end of the cruise all the food taste the same. Chefs Table...great experience , great food and wine.. Worth the $180 dollars not going to go in to detail , you need to try it for your self. Chops grille...great steaks , and service, great value. Izumi... Sushi fair..did not go there for dinner but did talk to people who did , they said it was fresh and a good dining experience . Samba grille ...Brazilian food , lots of different meats offered . Giovani's Italian .... Great Italian food , and lots of it.. Great value . Cascades dinning... Good menu, great service , my time dinning is a good option here but they mainly cater to groups of people sitting together. waited to be seated one nite an I was wearing shorts , they saw me standing there for twenty minutes , when they went to seat us they informed me of dress code, long pants... Not happy , told them what I thought and stormed off.. Went to guest relations desk and complained and they sorted . Islands... Isle of Pines...beautiful place , snorkeling is the go here. Lots of fish to look at, take an under water camera. We took our own snorkel gear from home , you can purchase gear on board or rent on the island. They cook fresh lobster on the island close to where you get off the tender, $ 20 will get you a half a lobby and some salad, we bought some and ate it on the beach .. Awesome. Mystery Island ......again beautiful place, lots snorkeling places.markets to do some shopping but pretty much all the same stuff on offer. Champagne Bay......this was a great place to snorkel,, some markets and lobster again to eat.. Tours also on offer Vila ......did the cascade waterfalls tour here , worth the 25 minute walk up hill, good shopping and the cheapest we saw. Lifou......old churches here to look at and snorkeling is goog also Noumea......shops all closed because we arrived on a Sunday , waste of a day.. Tours here on offer. $ 10 round city tour ,included is all day pass , good value Summary of Ship and staff...and overall experience The ship is beautiful and kept very well maintained and clean. Service on the ship could be improved, not enough staff is evident , example of this can found at latitudes where you can buy cappuccino and lattes , 9 time out 10 there was a line up , while one person made the coffee any cafe worth it's salt has two people making coffee . My tips were paid up front , but I tip if the service is out standing , no matter where you travel if you tip you get a better experience , and this was the case on the ship with bar staff.. Pick a bar staff person that is working at the same bar all the time,Hit them with a twenty dollar tip straight away.. You will be happy you did... If you don't like kids cruising is not for you.. They are every where. It seems parents believe that ship staff become surrogate parents once on board.. Next time I cruise I am taking a pram.. It also seemed to be a ticket to be an idiot abroad. And if you think I am being a bit unfair , I don't care , they had to empty the pool three times because it was defalcated in . Got to give the teenagers a wrap , they were very respectful.. This just happened while I have been writing this review , (10:12 a.m. EST) -- A 1-year old child was evacuated from Royal Caribbean's Monarch of the Seas on December 21 after falling from deck to another. Service levels are average , being an an American company I expected excellent service that beat its rivals .. Talking to other cruisers who have done more cruising than me they said they were disappointed also with the service levels and activities compared to Princess cruises . We enjoyed the cruise and the weather was not kind but overall it was great experience . I will not do another 11 nighter , we will try a shorter cruise before we make our minds up about cruising . Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
We boarded the Radiance of the Seas on the 30th December for a 10 day cruise around the South Pacific. We were informed that the weather was bad in New Caledonia so we would not be sailing to the Isle of Pines or Noumea.....The ship stayed ... Read More
We boarded the Radiance of the Seas on the 30th December for a 10 day cruise around the South Pacific. We were informed that the weather was bad in New Caledonia so we would not be sailing to the Isle of Pines or Noumea.....The ship stayed in Sydney Harbour for 2 days then sailed on the 1st January, so the first 5 days were at sea.....We loved the cabin, the service and the food in all the restaurants was amazing... The activites were either mindless or badly organised or overcrowded. It was like a floating RSL/holiday camp...bingo and gambling or moronic childish games organised by condescending staff who treated us like sheep. The pool was overcrowded, where guests left their towels on the sunbeds all day...reminded me of Benidorm .....or the travel agent sketch by Monty Python! I would love to have enjoyed the beauty salon but found the prices ridiculous, twice the price and the staff must be on commission as they sold lotions and potions to everyone who made an appointment. I gave up on using the internet as this was so overpriced...the families with young kids on facebook must have had a nightmare.... In hindsight maybe Xmas holidays is not the best time to cruise, the fact that the 3 on shore visits were not fantastic.....Vila Vanuatu for example......dreadful, humid and dirty & not enough time to hire a car etc, in fact information was limited on excursions..... Thank God for the Theatre Shows and the great Dining...... Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Embarkation at the Overseas Terminal in Sydney was chaotic, absolutely no organisation and people lined up for ages just to drop bags. Something needs to be done about this. Got a gastro virus three days out and quarantined for two days ... Read More
Embarkation at the Overseas Terminal in Sydney was chaotic, absolutely no organisation and people lined up for ages just to drop bags. Something needs to be done about this. Got a gastro virus three days out and quarantined for two days due to something I had eaten, missed Milford Sound and Dunedin. What a good start. Tendering in Arkaroa was painful with passengers standing in the blazing sun waiting and waiting for tenders to take them back to ship. The waiting staff need more training. Some were great but others were appalling and rude to boot. For instance, an ordered breakfast, after waiting for half an hour and everyone else had finished, came incomplete so I asked if I could have what I ordered. When he finally came back with the missing sausage he said "I hope you're happy now"! Excuse me! I still seethe reminding myself of this aside. Plates were never cleared away in a timely manner, a real irritation of mine. Hot water served in a teapot and 15 minutes later a teabag is offered!!! Ship had too many passengers. Children took over all activities and every pool area even the solarium. There was nowhere to get away from them. Never travel during school holidays unless you have children in tow. Passengers without children have no rights to peace and quiet? I never saw crew sanitising any part of the ship during the two weeks on board. Passengers were not encouraged to sanitise their hands prior to eating in the top floor of the main dining room. Buffet staff did enforce this. As a result my husband and I caught a bad virus and its been two weeks since we got off the ship and we are still not 100%. This is the first time on many cruises we have actually been ill, we are always very careful but still succumbed to Radiance's bugs. Maybe more cleaning would be in order. What a whine...sorry but this was our fourth cruise with RCL and I have always recommended them to friends. Is the service poorer because we are Australian and they think we don't notice bad service well they are wrong. Read Less
Sail Date February 2012
It has always been my dream to visit Australia/New Zealand and now I'll be on the Radiance with its floor-to-ceiling windows to view the stunning scenery. My DH & I flew from Vancouver to Sydney direct on Air Canada...17 hrs ! ... Read More
It has always been my dream to visit Australia/New Zealand and now I'll be on the Radiance with its floor-to-ceiling windows to view the stunning scenery. My DH & I flew from Vancouver to Sydney direct on Air Canada...17 hrs ! But we survived, thanks to the seatback television. Upon arrival, we were met by the RCI cruise line rep & arrived at the cruise terminal 20 minutes later. Trains are also available to Circular Quay. It's about a 2 block walk on even pavement to the cruise terminal. Airporter buses will also take you to the cruise terminal. If you don't see a longshoremen to hand over your luggage, go the the tent which will be on the far right side of the long line. Day 1 Sydney, Australia Muster drill is at 4:15 pm, no life jackets required. All the entertainers onboard are from Australia. Tonight, it's comedian Martin Ralph. Most showtimes are 7 pm for 2nd seating guests + 9 pm for 1st seating guests. If you eat in the Windjammer which doesn't open till 6:30 pm, you'll see the 7 pm show, then eat dinner. The shows are all 1 hour. Cruise director is Bill Brunkhorst from New Jersey, USA. They show the same movie all day long in the cinema or the Aurora Theatre, showing at 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm & 10 pm. They also have movies on the Poolside big screen. But most days, it was too cold to watch a movie there. Tonight's movie is 'Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides'. Dining times are 6 pm + 8:30 pm. Windjammer is open for dinner from 6:30 -- 9 pm. My Time dining is 5:30 -- 9:30 pm. It's highly recommended to pre-book your dining time online if you don't want to wait for a table. You can also specify if you want to sit with others or just by yourselves. I requested a table for 2 and we were seated at the same table every night with the same waiters, so that was nice. Specialty restaurants open for dinner from 6 -- 9:30 pm. Now that Radiance has the dining packages, they don't offer reduced prices for the specialty restaurants anymore, except for embarkation day where dinner is 20% off. New Zealand is 2 hours ahead of Australia, so you will be turning your clocks back. Day 2 -- at sea - Formal Captain's Welcome Aboard reception, Production Showtime 'Piano Man' ( great show ). Cinema -- Battle Los Angeles, Aurora Theater & Poolside -- The Help Day 3 -- at sea -- Smart Casual Headline Showtime starring Steven Fisher King ( excellent ) Cinema -- 'Soul Surfer', Aurora Theater -- 'The Adjustment Bureau' Day 4 -- Milford, Dusky + Doubtful Sound -- Casual Headliner Showtime -- Bernard Walz ( good ), Cinema 'Thor', Aurora Theater & Poolside'Green Lantern' It was very windy in Milford Sound with a couple of beautiful waterfalls. I could only stand to be on deck for 15 minutes before I retreated to our stateroom balcony, bundled ourselves in our winter coats & bathrobes to watch the scenery. Day 5 -- Dunedin, New Zealand -- Casual Aurora Theater -- 'Cars 2' Headliner Showtime 'John Taylor + Cherry' Illusionist ( just average ) Dunedin is a working port & you cannot just walk out of there. There is a shuttle available at $ 8 NZD each way. Travel time to the city center is 25 minutes.' Here we took the Taieri Gorges Railway tour for $ 199 USD. It includes morning refreshment of a shortbread cookie, coffee, tea or orange juice. Lunch is a vegetarian lunch box with a small salad, small wrap, cheese & cracker, a kiwi fruit that was very difficult to eat with the flimsy spoon that was provided. Wine was also provided with lunch. If you don't drink wine, be sure to ask for something else to drink, like a soda pop, water or juice because no alternative was offered. Also, later in the afternoon, you'll be asked if you want a beer ( already included in price ). You can drink as many as you want. We saw llamas ( white & black ), lambs, sheep, horses. The water levels were pretty low so the gorges didn't seem that spectacular. There are 2 stops along the way. Both are shopping shops for local handicrafts. The prices are quite reasonable. The 2nd stop has more locally-made fashions. At the end of the trip, you can either disembark at the train station & make your own way back to the ship or stay on the train & it takes you directly back to the ship. The quarantine control in New Zealand is very strict. They do not allow any food products to be taken ashore. Only water in sealed, unopened bottles is allowed ashore. They do have Quarantine officers checking as you disembark the ship. In some ports, they even had a dog sniffing your bags. Day 6 -- Akaroa, New Zealand -- Casual Production Showtime 'City of Dreams' ( quite good ) Poolside 'Zookeeper' Akaroa is a tender port. If you are not on a cruise line tour, you'll need a tender ticket. But if you depart the ship before 8:30 am, you won't need a tender ticket. Akaroa is a quaint seaside village which is 90 minutes from Christchurch. There is a free shuttle from the pier to the city center. There are also many tour operators lined up on the pier for day trips, scuba/snorkel tours. We just walked into town, about 20 minutes. If you want a cheap snack or souvenir, head to the Four Square supermarket in town. Later that afternoon, we were napping in our stateroom when we felt a violent shaking. I was too sleepy to worry about it but later the Captain announced that there was an earthquake in Christchurch. An hour later, there was another shaking. Thankfully, all the guests that went to Christchurch on tours that day returned safely & we were only 30 minutes late departing Akaroa. Quite scary, though ! And the following week, they had another earthquake !. Day 7 -- Wellington, New Zealand -- Smart casual Headliner Showtime 'Flyright Brothers' sing the blues ( not my cup of tea ) A pedestrian path was created in 2010. Follow the signs as you exit the cruise terminal. It's about a 20 minute walk to the city center. They also have a shuttle bus for $ 8 NZD each way. You can also use the internet $ 2 NZD for 15 minutes & make phone calls from the cruise terminal. Here we did the 9 am Cable Car + Zeelandia Sanctuary. There is also a 12 pm departure. I chose the 9 am 'cause I didn't walk to be too hot walking around in the afternoon. However, it was still cool in the morning & the animals & birds weren't really out & about yet. We were given a 2 hour guided tour, then only 10 minutes to browse the exhibition & gift shop ( wished we had more time here ). Then at the cable car, it only runs every 10 minutes, so you much be proactive & ensure you get on the next car that comes, otherwise, you'll miss out on the time at the top of the cable car ( lots to see & do here...gardens, observatory etc ) but you'll only have 45 minutes here. The main shopping street was bustling with people. One thing I found disturbing were children playing musical instruments in the streets. Were they really begging or just doing it for pocket money ? Day 8 -- at sea -- Christmas day -- Formal Santa & Mrs Claus arrived by tender at 9:45 am. All kids 17 + under received a gift. Afterwards, anyone who wanted a photo with Santa could also do so. Day 9 -- Napier, New Zealand -- Casual/White Headliner Showtime 'Amber Jade' Instrumentalist ( quite good ) Cinema 'Fast Five', Poolside 'Burlesque' There is a free shuttle into Napier to the Visitor Center. We loved shopping in Napier, quite inexpensive compared to the other ports. You can also visit the Aquarium gift shop for inexpensive souvenirs. Day 10 -- cruising Volcanic White Island -- Smart Casual Headliner Showtime 'Jennifer Green' a tribute to Shirley Bassey ( excellent ) Cinema 'Arthur', Poolside 'Grease Sing-a-long' Cruising Volcanic White Island approx 3 -- 6 pm. Very interesting. Day 11 -- Tauranga, New Zealand -- Casual/70's Headliner Showtime ' Bob Howe' Guitarist ( excellent ) Cinema 'Rango', Poolside'Smurfs' In every port, there'll be at least one Starbucks & that's where you'll have free wireless internet ! Yippee ! Very easy to walk around here if you don't want to take excursions to Rotorua ( 90 minutes travel each way ). Day 12 -- Auckland, New Zealand -- Casual Headliner Showtime 'Sean Laughlin' comedic juggler ( neither funny, nor juggles much; don't waste your time ) Cinema 'Love, Wedding, Marriage', Poolside 'Camel Cowboy' We were docked at Queen's Wharf which is a working port. You cannot walk around here. You must take the free shuttle which drops you at the port gate. From here, you can walk to the city center easily. Day 13 -- Bay of Islands, New Zealand ( tender port ) -- Casual/50's & 60's Tender takes approx 25 mins to the pier, free shuttle to town, can walk entire town in 20 minutes. Can also take day tours to a winery or ferry to Russell. Headliner Showtime 'Tango Buenos Aires' ( excellent, must-see ! ) Cinema 'Limitless', Poolside 'Grease Sing-a-Long' Day 14 -- at sea New Year's Eve -- Formal Headliner Showtime 'Fabba' ( tribute to Abba, excellent ! ) Cinema 'Something Borrowed', Poolside ' Kangaroo Kaos Documentary' Make a Cake Challenge ( hilarious ) At dinner in the dining room, they had hats & noisemakers for everyone. Starting at 10 pm, all the lounges had New Year's Eve parties. At midnight, Captain Sindre did the countdown in the Centrum, then balloons & confetti fell from the ceiling and free champagne was flowing. Day 15 -- at sea -- Casual Headliner Showtime 'Grant Galea' ( good ) Cinema 'Super 8', Poolside 'Vertigo, U2 in Concert' Day 16 -- Sydney, Australia -- Casual Headliner Showtime 'Ian Cooper' violinist ( excellent ) Cinema 'Soul Surfer', Poolside 'Captain America', Aurora Theater 'Crazy, Stupid Love' If you are disembarking the ship today, you can only do it from 10 -- 11 am. There's a free shuttle that goes around the CBD ( Central Business District ), route 555 every 15minutes. Take it from Stand E at Circular Quay. Last shuttle returns at 3 pm on regular days or 6 pm on public holidays. Paddy's market is the place if you like flea markets. We walked through Hyde Park and saw & heard a kookaburra. Brought that song from grade school to mind 'kookaburra sitting in the old gum tree...' Day 17 -- Sydney, Australia -- disembarkation Everyone will be off the ship by 9:45 am. Enjoyed our cruise minus some frustrations with the Guest Relations staff. In the Windjammer buffet, every day they have an Asian, Indian, make your own pizza, stations. In the morning, they have congee; lunch, make your own soup etc. I saw many gluten-free, sugar-free options, not so many fat-free or vegetarian labelled options. At tea time, they have scones.l Read Less
Sail Date December 2011
I booked this cruise as i was looking as a short cruise i could do while i am in AUSTRALIA and as never tried RADIANCE before i found this quite good. PRE CRUISE I flew from LONDON to ABU DHABI and had a 2 day stopover there as i ... Read More
I booked this cruise as i was looking as a short cruise i could do while i am in AUSTRALIA and as never tried RADIANCE before i found this quite good. PRE CRUISE I flew from LONDON to ABU DHABI and had a 2 day stopover there as i wanted to go to DUBAI mainly to see the great ship QE2 there. I booked a hotel close by and could see her out my bedroom. It broke up a very long flight. i then flew to MELBOURNE to visit a couple of friends i had met on a cruise to AUSTRALIA in 2005(sadly the ship's engines had a problem)and we were stuck in EGYPT for a week. i STAYED IN melbourne for 8 nights i always use BOOKING.COM as i always get good prices and do not have to pay till i get there. "SLEEP AND GO" was my hotel in MELBOURNE. Then i flew MELBOURNE to SYDNEY and stayed in a HOSTEL(I had my own single room) there was a bunk bed and bathroom,free wi fi and continental breakfast. Sadly my time in SYDNEY we had quite a bit of rain! EMBARKATION i left the HOSTEL at 10am and got the train to CIRCULAR QUAY, there were lifts at the station so carrying luggage was easy. When i got off at CIRCULAR QUAY it was only a few steps to the dock. My luggage was taken away, they changed the check in a few times as we were not leaving till 10pm. 4pm,2pm then 11am. But the ship had arrived a bit late and passengers were still getting off. So 1130 we started moving, as i was a PLATINUM MEMBER(over 30 nts cruising) i got a faster check in. the lady checked me in quick but forgot to give me a card to get onto the ship so i had to go back to get it. After the usual embarkation picture i went onto the ship. As the cabins were not ready till 1pm i went to the buffet. i was one of the 1st to go there and it was deserted, later it got quite full. CABIN After the lunch buffet i made my way to deck 10 to my cabin 1604 at the aft end. I loved the balcony it was quite long with 2 loungers and 2 chairs and a table. we were allowed to smoke out the balcony but i had to ask the steward for an ashtray. I saw a utube video of these cabins and sounded like the bathroom was a bit small but it was better. I had a lovely double bed it was very comfortable. a sofa which surprisingly was not that soft. I tried the tv but could not get it to work properly so called maintenance. they came quickly and spent 30mins taking the wire out and redoing it. if someone else had nmy cabin, whatever happened? the mini bar only had soft drinks and snacks and no ice you had to ask the steward to do that! LIFEBOAT DRILL We did this at 5pm despite not leaving till 10pm it didv not take long and did not have to take out life-jackets. RESTAURANTS As it was a short cruise i did not bother trying other restaurants as they were all full and had to pay extra. a shame as i would like to see what i thought. I had 1st sitting i guess i must have asked for a large table as it was for 10! I sat there on my own and waited! and waited!! finally a young man sat with me, he said the others went to the SAMBA GRILL. He only came as he changed from 2nd sitting to 1st otherwise i would have been on my own. ( i wonder if they would have sat me with someone else,I BET NOT!) The menu was very varied and i loved all of the food. I looked at the WINE LIST no carafe's of wine and the cheapest was $7 for a glass. I ordered a beer instead, but the waiter gave me someone else's card when i returned as i could not get into my cabin he did not seemed to be bothered. After that i did not bother ordering anymore. ENTERTAINMENT I went to both shows one was a LAS VEGAS STYLE with singers and dancers and the other was TANGO BUENOS AIRES also very good. It was never full and could easily get a seat. PORTS OF CALL As it was a cruise to nowhere we stopped nowhere in fact we only got out 42 miles enough to open the shops and casino. SHOPS I thought they had a pretty good choice of things. i like souvenirs with items of the ship and found quite a few. also ships models seems to be on most of the ships which i love. MEET AND GREET As it was a very short cruise i was surprised that they had a roll call for it. They had a sailaway meet but only a few turned up and i did not want to miss leaving port and the fireworks. the 2nd was the next day as was much better attended.I sat down and for the most part i was ignored(A GREAT SHAME) THINGS TO DO They had a rock climbing wall, i loved watching them go up but it was very scary looking. i missed the MINI GOLF but tried it the day we left and enjoyed that. LIBRARY This is the smallest library i have ever seen on a cruiseship for a large ship i was a bit surprised. FUTURE SALES Other lines like NCL really push these incentives to book a cruise onboard. But royal carribean did not, in fact you had to make an appointment to see someone. there was a way to get them to call you on the interactive tv but i made 2 requests and they did not even bother to call! DISEMBARKATION I was asked when i wanted to leave the ship i said 9am not wanting to rush. I had decided to [ pay by credit card i had to tell them i wanted the tips added to my bill. I got up early to get up the front(LIKE TITANIC! i like this idea!) Then had breakfast leaving my belongings in my cabin and shut the door. I still had not got the bill. I asked the steward and he said he would put mine on the door. i returned from breakfast to find no bill and my cabin wedged open by the steward. With all my belongings there for anyone to help themselves to. I had to queue up at the reception and wrote a complaint about the steward. I then realised my ipod touch had gone missing! i dropped it on the mini golf and some thoughtful person must have handed it in, i did not expect to get it back. AFTER CRUISE After leaving the ship i made it back to the hostel for another 2 nts in sydney before i flew home. ALL IN ALL The cruise was good only made one really good friend and not sure if i will do the RADIANCE AGAIN! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas personal review. 16 night cruise sailing out of Sydney 18th December 2011. Embarkation 12noon. Arrived at Sydney's International Passenger Cruise Terminal located at the Rocks area (near ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas personal review. 16 night cruise sailing out of Sydney 18th December 2011. Embarkation 12noon. Arrived at Sydney's International Passenger Cruise Terminal located at the Rocks area (near Circular Quay), to be met with long lines of passengers waiting to board and go through security. Baggage taken to the drop off point and we seemed to join the line at a break point in the line, as instructed by a guy giving out health slips to fill in. Time from arrival by taxi, to boarding the ship, approximately 50 minutes. Radiance of the Seas has recently gone through a multimillion dollar refurbishment of the public areas and staterooms in May-June of 2011. The main public areas located on deck 6 are extensive and spacious, giving three separate entertainment and bar venues in a line. Indeed there are numerous bars located throughout this cruise liner, certainly drinkers are very well catered for on this ship, nobody should go thirsty cruising on this lady of the seas. We never found it difficult to find a relaxing seat to enjoy a tipple or, to sit and just read a book on a sea day. Occasionally the Colony Club was a tad cold with the air conditioning, as this is where all the main cocktail parties were held, when chocker bloc with bodies in the Colony Club the temperature was just right. So this is why when not fully occupied, I guess this room was set to be cooler than the other excellent venues. Overall though, the whole ship seemed to be at an excellent temperature to enjoy this luxurious ship. This is Radiance of the Seas first season sailing out of Australia and, I consider it to be the best overall luxury ship currently located here for the Australian summer season and in the main the Australian market. The staterooms are spacious, bright and well designed to give a good feel. The beds have rounded corners, again I suspect, to give that extra feel of space. I'm 5'10 and always my feet were hanging over the end of the bed. Nevertheless, an idea that made the cabin feel bigger than it actually was, although I would have preferred a full length bed. The mattress's had a comforter on top and this helped with a softer feel than those without. Pillows are supplied in two size heights, one firm, and one softer. The bathroom is tiny and the shower the smallest I have encountered in 20 years of cruising. I think that some larger framed individuals would find it a challenge to squeeze into these shower cubicles. If you have a balcony cabin, either forward or towards the aft, you will not be able to view the length of the ship at anytime, as at mid-ships it has been designed with a curve that overhangs the decks below. This prevents you seeing what a monster length this ship has and unlike some ships when you view the internal corridors you feel, wow what a length, with this one, you feel you are on a much smaller ship than what you actually are. I personally liked the effect on the corridors but would have preferred to be able to see both the bow and towards the stern from my balcony. But as they say, you just can't have it both ways. The food in the Windjammer both for breakfast and lunch was always plentiful and fresh, along with being extremely appetizing. At breakfast the choice was excellent, with both English, Continental and American sausages on offer. With lean back bacon on offer as preferred by the English and Australian guests, along with the fattier streaky, crunchier type bacon as taken by our American cousins. Eggs of all types we freshly cooked to order and, on the three occasions that I was tempted to throw caution to the wind, mine were cooked to perfection. A very full and outstanding quality breakfast was available each and every day of our 16 day cruise. Outstanding is the only word to describe this breakfast and one has to compliment the Radiance of the Seas for achieving such constantly high quality of food, day in and day out. Lunch in the Windjammer again was of an extremely high quality, with the hot plate dishes and variety changing daily. Along with the roast meat choice, this again, was always immaculately cooked and served to you by a delightfully helpful chef. The vegetables also changed daily along with the choice of European/ American and or, Asian/Indian type dishes, again, absolutely outstanding. Always hot, always fresh and never left to go dry or cold. My only little crib, as if I only say the good things about this, you would all feel I have been paid to write this for Royal Caribbean, is the fact that at lunchtimes only one type of sliced bread is offered, which you could make a sandwich with. Yes, there are also available two types of small cob style rolls, but, these are small and are ideal to accompany soup but, not ideal for a lunch roll. The bead was also the very hard full wheat type, not enjoyed by most European/ Australian palates. So a plain brown or multi grain full size sliced bread would have been a welcome change, in which to fill and make a sandwich. Also the cooked meats offered, were a mortadella, cooked thinly sliced ham and processed sliced chicken these three never changed or varied. Every day it was the same selection which made you feel that the food was always the same. Which as indicated here, it most certainly was not. Both the variety of cooked food and hot plates did change daily but the cold selection was always the same. But please this is the only negative I could find with my Windjammer experience. In the main evening restaurant Cascades, again the food was of a very acceptable standard. Although I did find that on level 4, the main dining option floor for first or second seating, the food was cooked and presented much better than that of level 5, the my time dining option. Both floors have their own kitchen and different chefs in both, for us, as we experienced 9 days down and 7 up, although the food served and being offered was identical, both the quality and standard were simply miles apart. We also found that the service on level 4 was of a much higher standard than that offered on level 5. Our conclusion on this is that level 4, each waiter gets to keep their own tips/gratuities unlike level 5, the My Time Dining option. On this level you may get a different table on a regular basis and therefore the cruise line distributes the tips on level 5 equally to all waiters. Hence they know if they provide you with a bad service they will still get their share of all the tips given automatically by guests, unlike level 4, where if they don't perform you can revoke your gratuities. This proving, that by keeping control of your gratuities you will receive a better service during your cruise. Cruise lines sailing regularly out of Australian ports have started to include tipping in your cruise ticket price and listing the cruise as no tipping required. We should not allow or encourage the cruise lines to do this, as clearly our experience shows here, that by keeping control of your tips/ gratuities you will receive a better overall cruise service experience. Officers and Crew: All crew were delightful and helpful. That being your cabin steward/ dining room waiters and any other service provided to you onboard. The officers on this ship remained mainly behind the scenes, as if they didn't want to mix with the riff-raff, me and you. The front desk/hotel reception staff were all manned by low ranking 1 bar officers. But in reality, I wouldn't call them a real officer, I think they are given the rank to do the job not because they deserve it. Some on the desk were kind and very knowledgeable but most were completely hopeless and useless with their knowledge and understanding of the real world. For example if you wanted to change currency from AU$ to NZ$, firstly this ship has a company policy to change your money to the US dollar then into the NZ dollar, hence charging you a whopping 20% commission level. When asked if they doubled charged you for commission exchange rates some of the front desk couldn't understand the question. Although clearly they were charging you a double rate commission. Only one person out of the 5 on the desk knew that in reality, you were being double charged, but its company policy. Some of the front desk staff also treated you with contempt and insolence, always agreeing with you and yet failing to resolve any issues that you may have. They would not act upon your request unless you made a stand and demanded to see a more senior officer, which produced results, whilst our experience on other ships was a more helpful and obliging front desk, this one thought they were far superior to any of the guest they were supposed to be serving. The entertainment whilst we were onboard was some of the best overall we have experienced whilst at sea. I managed to see all but one of the shows in the Theatre and enjoyed each and everyone. Normally you get a couple of duff shows during a 14 night cruise but this one excelled my expectations. The onboard speciality restaurants seemed to be well patronized although I only experienced the Chops restaurant twice on our 16 night cruise. Both times the meals were excellent and the quality equal to that you would receive in such places as the fine dining room of the Versace hotel on the Gold Coast. The steaks were some of the tenderest I have ever eaten, they simply just melted in your mouth. A truly wonderful experience whilst at sea, everyone should do it at least once on a cruise on this ship. The ship only marketed itself as a 4* cruise ship and as such I think that it probably exceeded that in many ways. So, overall, I cannot say they did not live up to my expectations apart from:- I do have issues with Royal Caribbean as we paid some $9150 for our cabin and yet 12 weeks prior to departure they were selling Balcony cabins for a low $4500, which makes your blood boil when you know, everyone is treaded the same no matter which fare you choose. But for cruise lines to reduce the fare to such an extent does create problems which I will not go into here. Long-term cruises will know what I am talking about and as such and due to our recent experience of being physically assaulted by a fellow passenger on this cruise, whilst being seated in the main dining room, I will never be returning to another Royal Caribbean ship, or indeed, any cruise ship that discounts their product down to such a degree as was available on this particular cruise. The ship did take the assault seriously and gave a notice to the offending passenger, but for me, that was simply not good enough, the offender should have be put off the ship and the very next port and not allowed to continue his journey albeit under an expulsion/good behaviour notice order issued to him. Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
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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