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

we generally had a great time. We were 2 families in 3 cabins (one suite and 2 hump balcony cabins). Our friends had their 2 kids (1adult and 1teen) in the suite were at the extreme rear of the ship and experienced a rocky trip for the ... Read More
we generally had a great time. We were 2 families in 3 cabins (one suite and 2 hump balcony cabins). Our friends had their 2 kids (1adult and 1teen) in the suite were at the extreme rear of the ship and experienced a rocky trip for the first week. We on the other hand had cabin 9594. It was right in the middle of the ship very close to the staircase and centrum. It was very roomy and had an oversized balcony. Our lovely cabin attendant got us a deck chair which I enjoyed relaxing in with a book. I would choose this cabin again. It actually has the potential to have an adjoining room. . We loved the chefs table and most of the fine dining, especially izuma and chops grille. We also did the mystery dinner which was fun. We had the wine package, which had limited choices so wouldn't do that again. Wine is ultra expensive and poor choices. The cocktails were pretty good and not bad value. The staff were all friendly. The best captain, very social. The cruise director was a bit sleazy but the activities guy was great. The girls were also great fun and enjoyed a chat. There is a lack of swimming pools on this ship and the when it was hot it wasn't tempting to get in with so many others. The spa service was good but expensive and I was given a 60 minute facial/ massage when I'd paid for 75 minutes. I did give feedback twice on this however never heard back. The shows were good and we were entertained, but we didn't expect Broadway. Dancing with the stripes (with crew ala dancing with the stars) was really good but the centrum for the heats meant we couldn't see most of it. The finale was good. Anzac Day was reverently remembered by crew and passengers and the people onboard paid respect in the hundreds by attending one or both services. Two up even got a go. More evening fun games and entertainment for families would be great, the times we had these were packed and the most fun we had. Bingo was fun but very expensive. The shore tours were avoided due to the cost. We arranged our own and had great times in port. The tender ports were well organized and we had no issue either side in any port. Our cruise card was ocasionally charged with purchases we didn't make so you need to check on the TV every now and then. The bed was comfy, we asked and received extra pillows and a cushion top for our bed. We tipped extra (additional to pre tips) our cabin attendant and the waiters in Cascades as they were great and attentive. We had towel characters made many evenings and our cabin was always meticulous. I would cruise RCI again but I think it could be a while. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
We are struggling with the negative reviews posted about this ship and the staff. We wonder if they were on a different ship to us! We had a totally different experience. The crew were great, from the captain down, restaurant staff were ... Read More
We are struggling with the negative reviews posted about this ship and the staff. We wonder if they were on a different ship to us! We had a totally different experience. The crew were great, from the captain down, restaurant staff were efficient and friendly, both in Cascades and Windjammer. Food in both was tasty and varied. We tried the speciality restaurants and yes the Italian and chops grille were superior but then they are catering for far fewer guests so you can't compare the two. Seem to remember reading that the tea and coffee were luke warm. Can't speak about the coffee as we only had coffee from Lattetudes, but the tea we had from the Windjammer and the Park Cafe were certainly hot enough. Being Poms we know about our tea... Entertainment was varied and plenty of it, the cruise director, Ken, was fantastic and the captain, Captain Sindre was a real star. A medical emergency on board (not ours) was handled very efficiently without any fuss. The ship ran like a well oiled machine, very impressive. We would definitely cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
Our family of five recently returned from cruising on Radiance to New Zealand, had a great time and hope this review is helpful to other cruisers. We flew into Sydney the night before departure to avoid any flight cancellations/delays and ... Read More
Our family of five recently returned from cruising on Radiance to New Zealand, had a great time and hope this review is helpful to other cruisers. We flew into Sydney the night before departure to avoid any flight cancellations/delays and stayed at Glenferrie Lodge in Kirribilli. As a larger group of travellers we found it was not easy to get accommodation without getting multiple rooms at considerable cost. Kirribilli accommodation was recommended on the boards here at cruise critic and Glenferrie was easy to find and came with high recommendations. It did not disappoint, booking over the phone was easy and the rooms were exactly as described, clean and comfortable. We prebooked Airport Shuttle North (at the recommendation of the staff at Glenferrie) for our airport transfers. They were there waiting for us on arrival, the driver was friendly, helpful and quickly delivered us to our accommodation The next morning, after an all inclusive hot buffet breakfast, we walked a short 200m to the ferry wharf for the 5min ride to Circular Quay and the OPT where our ship was waiting. We were travelling with friends (another family group) and decided to drop our luggage and explore the harbour. Bags were quickly taken care of and when we returned about 2pm to board were greeted with friendly, helpful faces and embarkation was quick and simple. Late lunch in Windjammers (not overcrowded at this time) and then off to our cabin where our bags were waiting. The ship's decor and facilities were well maintained and clean at all times. Windjammers buffet can get busy but we were always able to find a seat (sometimes all 9 of us together). The food there was always of a good quality and variety although it rarely changed from day to day so that at the end of the 13 days it was a little underwhelming. Cascades dining room was again very elegant and the food of a very high standard with a good selection to choose from and changed every day. Park cafe has a great selection of food for the small area it is in and the standard high. BBQ's on deck are fabulous, an aussie male's dream, the ribs are to die for. The Boardwalk hotdogs aren't bad, good for an afternoon snack. We tried most of the paid for restaurants and found them all to be of a very high standard. Highly recommend Chops Grille, Giovanni's, Izumi and Samba Grill (9 courses of meat is a huge effort and the salads are really yummy). Rita's is more like takeaway than fine dining but was freshly made, tasted good and the most expensive thing on the menu was only $2.95 We also did Chef's Table and are so glad we did. Chef David presented each dish with good humour and an obvious love of his craft, it looked amazing and tasted better. The wines were varied in variety and country of origin and all were good. $95 sounds expensive but it is actually outstanding value for money. We had a great night with good company. At this point I will say that the staff are RCI's real assets. All staff that we encountered, cabin stewards, wait staff, bar staff, entertainment staff and officers all were friendly, helpful, fun and efficient. Nothing was too much to ask and we loved that they got our aussie sense of humour. Entertainment was varied and 'entertaining', we enjoyed the shows, movie selection was good and theme nights were interesting, loved the staff participation in the 70's night as the "Willage People". Some small negatives were that the coffee is really bad. we love our coffee and the stuff that is served up is not good. The main dining room and speciality restaurants coffee is a little better but not much. The coffee in Latte-tudes is disappointing to have to pay $4 plus, depending on what you order and $1 for an extra shot is a little rude. Photo's on board are rediculously priced $25 each or $100 for up to 4 photos with a free presentation folder. The quality was good but not at that price, and we don't seem to get the better valued packages that they get in the US. The free drinks in the buffet are very watered down, really weak iced tea and weak lemon squash with hardly any fizz. The paid for soda package at over $100 each for our 13 night cruise could only get us Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and sometimes, if we were lucky, Fanta. I know that other ships have soda fountains with dozens of flavour choices. Royal advertises the package with the special cup for Radiance in Aust but fail to tell you the limit of choice here. These negatives are only small in the big scheme of things and only my personal opinion, we still had a great time and would definitely cruise with RCI again. The ports were amazing and shuttles/tenders well organised, though RCI tends to only give info on their own shore tours. There are many just as well organised and better priced private tour companies on offer too. A little research before your cruise can get you a better deal and although the ships tours promise not to leave you behind if they are late, the private companies usually know the cruise scheduled departure times and get you back on time anyway. I guess it means taking a chance but we had no problems. Most ports needing shuttles to town (Dunedin, Wellington) are provided by the ports at a cost of $10 return but Royal do not tell you this until you arrive at port. Lastly the weather. We could not have had better. The Tasman sea between Aust and NZ was almost as flat as a pancake on both forward and return journeys. Each port day was sunny and warm, and the seas very smooth. Our one sailing day between Wellington and Tauranga was overcast and the sea a bit rough but that was the worst of our trip thankfully. Can't wait for our next adventure. Enjoy Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
We live in Lakes Entrance in Victoria, so decided to drive up to Sydney with a stop over in Goulburn on the way. It worked out better than travelling to Melbourne and flying up to Sydney. We were travelling with our 3 cruise mates who have ... Read More
We live in Lakes Entrance in Victoria, so decided to drive up to Sydney with a stop over in Goulburn on the way. It worked out better than travelling to Melbourne and flying up to Sydney. We were travelling with our 3 cruise mates who have cruised with us before. Although a lottle squished for room, it was good fun just getting there!. As we have cruised with RCL 3 times before, we had an easy run through customs etc, and were quickly on board, and to the Wndjammer for lunch. We cruised to New Zealand, and visited Millfor, Doubtful and Dusky Sounds. The weather in the Tasman Sea was very calm, with just a gentle swell, which is unusual. Once again The Radiance didn't disappoint and is a lovely ship. My mate and I love the pool tables, and played on them daily. Amazing how the computer keeps them steady no matter what the ship does. A lot of the crew were still on the ship from when we cruised last year, and remembered us! We asked if the same waiter was on the ship, and managed to enjoy a table in the dining room looked after by "Fireman" and his new assistant Mitchelle. They looks after us like royalty, and the head waiter, took particular interest in one of our party who had a very restrictive diet, and managed to come up with a wonderful meal for her which wasn't on the menue. We found all the staff wonderful, and exceptionally friendly and helpful. I have read other reviews that have said the opposite, and I can't understand how that could be so. We loved the food in the dining room, as well as the Windjammer. The only complaint we had was that our stateroom was very noisy. After complaining about this it seemed that we had a waiters station in the dining room above us, and the noise was really bad. Don't know what they do up there! Guest services tried to help us, and security asked them if they could keep the noise down, but it wasn't much help. They kept in touch with us, but sadly couldn't move us to another stateroom. They have offered us some compensation for the inconvenience, which was good. We know never to have that stateroom again! The rest of the ports were great as well. We didn't use any of the ships tours, and prefered to organise them ourselves. We have travelled to NZ several times, so we didn't find it difficult. The weather for the whole cruise was fantastic, and we were kept up to date by the captains daily broadcasts. He is a great bloke with a wonderful sense of humour. There was a fantastic group on board called Rockport, who played all the old Rock and Roll, and songs from the 60's and 70's. I think that they were better than the headliner acts, which although we didn't go to all the shows, were a little weak, except for Danny who could play any instrument you can name, sing dance and tell jokes. It's not fair that one man can have so much talent. There were plenty of things to do, and all in all, we had a fantastic time. We are looking to cruise again next year, and our preference would be the Radiance, but not in the same stateroom! Well done RCL, and the wonderful crew of the Radiance of the Seas.   Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
This was our second cruise on The Radiance of the Seas. It was a 7 day cruise from Sydney to Newcastle, Hobart and Melbourne. The ship was as lovely as the first time we sailed her 14 months ago and we enjoyed this cruise even more. ... Read More
This was our second cruise on The Radiance of the Seas. It was a 7 day cruise from Sydney to Newcastle, Hobart and Melbourne. The ship was as lovely as the first time we sailed her 14 months ago and we enjoyed this cruise even more. Boarding was a breeze. We arrived after 2 pm and basically walked straight on and to our cabin. We had eaten before we boarded as we knew the buffet would be crowded and we wanted to avoid this. We actually didn't eat in the Windjammer at all during the cruise, so we can't comment about the food there. We ate in the main dining room, three specialty restaurants and the Park Cafe. All the meals were excellent with the specialty restaurants being exceptional - both in food quality and service. The fact that Royal Caribbean has changed their smoking policy and now does not allow smoking on balconies is WONDERFUL. This is the first cruise (in 3) with RC where we could make full use of the balcony and leave our door open to let fresh air into the room. In fact I think there were less smokers overall on this cruise and it was easy to avoid the smoking areas. Our cabin was spacious and quiet. Our steward was friendly and efficient. The pools and pool areas seemed fairly busy but it didn't affect us as we didn't use them. There were plenty of other activities to keep you busy. We went to talks, trivia, and other events as well as simply relaxed and socialised with people we met. It was an exceptionally friendly and happy cruise. The staff around the ship were generally very friendly and the Activities staff were great. Amy is a wonderful Cruise Director and helped foster this happy, friendly atmosphere. She was hilarious when hosting the "Love and Marriage" show - better than most comedians I have seen. We also enjoyed the Crown & Anchor events. They were well organised, well catered and we were made to feel valued as repeat cruisers. The shows were fine and it was never a problem getting a seat. The one we enjoyed the most was Patrick Mc Mahon (singer and guitarist) who was very talented and engaged the audience and engendered a great atmosphere in the theatre. All the ports were good. In Newcastle we wandered around and walked to Fort Scratchley. There was no queue to get the shuttle buses. In Hobart we caught the ferry to MONA. It is the most amazing building and museum and worth a visit to Hobart just to visit this attraction. Melbourne is beautiful (I am biased!) and we caught the tram into the city and walked around Southbank. We had beautiful weather in all 3 ports. My only slight disappointment on this cruise was with the fitness classes. On my 4 past cruises I have always done the morning "stretch" classes as well as the Abs classes. I intended to do the same on this cruise. However the stretch class was only 20 minutes and this made it not worth the effort of getting up early to attend. It has usually been 30 minutes. Secondly the Abs class was too hard and I hurt my neck on the first day and couldn't go again as I didn't want to risk any more discomfort. I think that this class was only suitable for men as it was comprised of mainly sit-ups. I am pretty fit and have always been able to do this class on other cruises. I think it needed much more variety of excercises. But it certainly didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the cruise. The Radiance is a light, airy and lovely ship. Everything is spotlessly clean and well maintained. It did not feel crowded and we never had to queue for anything. We had a wonderful cruise and I hope to travel on her again sometime in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I met my wife many years ago on two cruises (!) and since 2010 we have now been on 7 mostly RCL . This is going to be an extremely positive report so stay with me. First of all wee have to accept that not all people see things the same ... Read More
I met my wife many years ago on two cruises (!) and since 2010 we have now been on 7 mostly RCL . This is going to be an extremely positive report so stay with me. First of all wee have to accept that not all people see things the same way on even travel at the same time /staff. However................... If you take the classic RCL features on their ships (centrum layout etc) and so on I guess you look at the food and staff and the particular layout of a given ship . We have been on Splendour of the seas and Voyager 3 times. I won't go on Voyager again because the others are proving so good. Radiance has a great RCL layout with the notable areas being the Centrum with lots of areas off this (rather small) area. Talking about small.....if you have a 90000 tonne ship ....it's a way to keep it personal by have smaller areas. The Centrum has a coffee shop/internet (x2), dance floor, lifts, customer service and areas off this including deck 6 which is just above the theatre but also has a piano bar and the Colony Club at the stern. Timber and glass abound. We were in 9571 (deck nine) close to the centrum. And there's the entertainment which was the best so far. Quality show or broadway style acts. And a Cinema although we didn't go. Nor the tavern or speciality restaurants. I was impressed that our lifeboat supervisor told some to be quiet. Like it. (are these people rude or just stupid) And then there's the wonderfully friendly Amy ....Cruise entertainment Director. Wonderful. Approachable. When i had to leave urgently...... she hugged me. And then there's the senior staff. Introduced in the stern Colony Club ...they came across as proud and professional. I couldn't help noticing the pride as the Captain turned to them and watched their speech. I hope they forget about him in RCL and let him run this ship and cruise the seven seas!! The general crew are a mix of Asian, Phillipino and Indian and in many cases treated you with personal recognition and consideration. Cabin steward Percy, Robert and Austin (mispelt),Donal, Rexel in restaurant and the senior restaurant door staff are remembered. So, there you have it. It could be downhill for me from here . I'm apprehensive about other ships. How could they live up to this at this price. Maybe. Very maybe. You see ....it's not just the ship that counts. Not just the staff and that definitely counts but it is the confidence and friendliness that courses down from the Captain. Captain Peterson. And Amy. I want to live at sea. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was our sons Make A Wish,,, He always wanted to go to Australia. The food was amazing and the waiters gave you their undivided attention.. Kids adored them... We had balcony and ill tell ya once you do that you never will go back to ... Read More
This was our sons Make A Wish,,, He always wanted to go to Australia. The food was amazing and the waiters gave you their undivided attention.. Kids adored them... We had balcony and ill tell ya once you do that you never will go back to any other kind of room. Our son was in the teen club and we never saw him,. He had a blast. He made a ton of friends. He has cancer so I was nervous leaving him alone but hes 17 and the kids took to him and he had a blast each night. My daughter is 9 and went into the camp and she too had a blast. She didn't even want to hang with us. There were so many fun activities they did with the kids. She was never bored and she made so many friends. The boat was clean. The workers were friendly. There was so much to do. The shows were great, Best part was The cruise director and the captain were challenged to a cake decorating contest with the head pastry chef. Hysterical.... Our room was spacious and immaculate.. ANd when the kids were in their groups it was nice to have some nice alone time with the hubby, The pools were great, The kids water slide was fun, I even went on it !... I could go on and on... we truly loved Australia. ANd we loved this ship. There were no bad things to report. The elevators were a tad bit slow but who cared we were on vacation. The views from the balcony were breath taking.. I just cant say enough... We had the best family vacation we ever had. Best ship.. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Just a word of warning this review is quite long, but if you're interested in a detailed account I might be able to provide some good insights. I've just returned from my first ever cruise with a party of 8 including my ... Read More
Just a word of warning this review is quite long, but if you're interested in a detailed account I might be able to provide some good insights. I've just returned from my first ever cruise with a party of 8 including my boyfriend, MIL, family and a family friend, and we had a wonderful time. It was a great experience for a party of first time cruisers. We got to the ship at about 1:30 on departure day, and the line looked long but moved quickly. It would be no small task to get 2,500 passengers onto an international ship, and we were very impressed with the process. We were greeted by lots of smiling crew members, set up our folio easily and in about 40 minutes we were at our room meeting our Stateroom Attendant, Tarfiq (who was amazing! More on that in a bit). About 10 minutes after that we were enjoying our lunch and views of the harbour from the Windjammer cafe. What a life! Tarfiq, our Stateroom Attendant, was wonderful! We were delighted to learn that he would be servicing our room TWICE a day, not once as we expected, and he did this without fail. He was quick to learn our names and was always friendly if we saw him in the hall, often asking how our trip was going and making sure we were having a laugh. He was very attentive of our needs, never disturbing us if our Do Not Disturb card was in the door slot. On day 3 of 4 I left a note asking if we could please have 2 more harder pillows if they were available, but if they weren't not to worry (and I did not expect them to be) but at the next service there they were on the bed. We enjoyed the towel animals that were left every few days, always decorated with our sunglasses. Fabulous service! The Stateroom was actually bigger than we expected it to be. There's a lot of storage space, including floor space in the cupboards for suitcases if you wish to use it (we chose to keep ours out in the corner). The bed was very comfortable and pleasant to sleep in, and our port hole was massive, so it was nice to wake up and see the port we were in on shore days. There's a 2 person couch, a small stool-sized coffee table and a TV mounted to the wall near the surface of the dresser. We usually had our TV on in the background when we were getting ready to go out (usually on Parks and Recreation) but there are informative channels with information on the cruise if you wish to watch it and we also got signal of both channel 7 and 9, so we could catch up on the tennis, cricket and snippets of the news when we wanted a few minutes of downtime. The bathroom is SMALL but got the job done. It's hard not to flood the bathroom when you have a shower, but there's a drain for the excess water, and it gave us a good laugh. Use the bathmat and you'll be fine. And make sure you push the toilet flusher in hard and hold it down for 3 or so seconds or the toilet will not flush (learnt this the hard way). The bathroom was an experience in itself, but to be honest if you're going to be too fussy about these components of the room this holiday's probably not for you. Get out of the room and explore the ship! Our dining experience was amazing! We dined every night at Cascades with the MyTime dining option. Every night except night 2 we were seated at the same table and our wait staff, Pely the head waiter and Raju the assistant waiter, were phenomenal! Their energy was always exciting and they made us feel welcome each evening. Our chosen drinks were brought to us without us even having to order them and we were offered several rounds of bread. We were allowed to order what we liked off the menu (mains as entrees, entrees in main sizes as mains, sides of other dishes to accompany the entree, side dishes of vegetables to accompany the mains). One evening we let Pely know we were itching for a dish that wasn't on the menu, and the next evening it was prepared by the chef just for our table. No request was too much to ask and the level of service was unlike anything we've experienced. There was no need to eat at Windjammer or the specialty dining options and we knew we were getting the best at Cascades. Although we had an 8:15pm booking each night, we were told by the wait staff to arrive at 7:30pm and we would be seated soon after, which would allow us to get the same table each night. All nights except night 2 we did this and we waited no more than 15 minutes to be seated. Breakfast at Windjammer is sufficient with more variety offered than in the dining room and for lunch Windjammer and Park Cafe have everything you need. The food is great and rotated often with lots of variety - both hearty and lighter options. For 2 of the days on our cruise they also put on a barbeque which was delicious! The onboard activities and shore visits are what you make of them and there's everything you need to tailor your holiday to your needs. There's plenty for kids and teens to do (although our party was all 18+ so we had no involvement in these). If you're into fitness the Shipshape Centre is great with plenty of cardio and weights machines as well as a big floor space area where classes and seminars are run. They provide clean towels and a drinking water fountain. There's also a walking track on deck 12 and when it's quiet you can make good use of the stairs in the forward lobby. The pool was relaxing but it's a very popular area so the deck chairs are often taken quite early. If you just want to lay out go up to deck 12 (quieter, better sunlight) or deck 5 (little sun exposure but very quiet). Drink waiters are buzzing around the pool area to take drink orders. If you choose to go to the bar at the Pool Deck on 11 or Sky Bar on deck 12 you can be waiting quite a while during busy times. You can always get a drink from Centrum deck 4 or the bars on deck 6 which are very quiet during the day and take it up with you to get around this. A movie screened on the outside screen everyday and most days there were activities on the Pool Deck starting around 2pm. The Outsiders Duo playing on the Pool Deck provides great, light afternoon entertainment. Before dinner we enjoyed having a drink at Centrum on level 4 where there was always musical entertainment. We also enjoyed the pianist in the Colony Club in the evenings who took requests and also let guests come and sing with him. I caught 2 of the after dinner shows, some people in my party caught more of them. They're always enjoyable - a great way to unwind and relax - and we're amazed at how the performers do what they do and make it look so easy with the motion of the ship! The evening activities with the Cruise Director Amy and her crew provided us with some great laughs. We didn't have a lot to do with Amy - we were usually more spectators in the activities although her Zumba class was excellent and a lot of fun - but we found her to be pleasant, very energetic, good at getting the crowd going and when we did see her she was very polite and happy to have a quick chat. The Activities team have certainly got spunk and energy. In terms of onshore activities, we stuck to doing our own thing and had an amazing time! At Noumea we got a taxi to the Aquarium and walked along the beach. The Aquarium staff called us a taxi back and then we walked around the city centre and did a bit of shopping before returning to the port and doing most of our shopping there. You'll need French Pacific Franks for Noumea. AUD or USD are both fine for Mystery Island and Isle of Pines. Mystery Island is small so you can walk around the whole island and the water is beautiful, warm and crystal clear. I had my hair braided by a local and 3 of us split a lobster for lunch, which was freshly cooked and we were all fine. This is a good island to get some of your smaller souvenirs such as bracelets. At Isle of Pines we caught a bus tour run by a small local company. It was exactly the same as the one that RCCL organises, but these had to be cancelled because of local bus strikes. It was $25pp for 2 hours and we saw a lot of the island that we would have missed otherwise. The bus driver was reliable and had a working mobile phone, and even if something had gone wrong at the time of the tour (11:30am) we would have had time to work out how to get back to the port. We got back at about 1:40ish and had time to get lunch from one of the local marquees (I had 2 crepes and my boyfriend had chicken, rice and papaya salad - both great and thoroughly cooked) and a swim in the ocean, which again was crystal clear and beautiful. You need to take the Tender boat to Mystery Island and Isle of Pines, but you usually don't have to queue too long and it's a 5-10 minute ride there and back. In terms of drinks packages, we were fine with the Soda Package which we purchased on day 1 for the special price of US$60 (roughly US$7.50 per day). Unless you're a big drinker, you might not get your value out of the alcoholic beverage packages. The basic beer, wine and mocktail package is US$45 per day. Drinks can be easily bought and added to your account for payment at the end of the cruise. If you're capable of carrying your own bags and aren't taking a RCCL arranged transport option upon departure, take the express departure option. You're the first to depart, it's quick and easy, and from lining up to shore (including going through customs) it took about 20 minutes. Overall I highly recommend anyone to try cruising at least once in their lifetime and this 8 night cruise was the perfect first cruise experience. For those choosing what cruise company to go with, I think you're going to get a great experience with RCCL. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
I have just returned from the 8 nights on Radiance from Sydney to Newcastle, Brisbane and Airlie Beach. I was travelling with my mother and, next door, my sister and her husband. The dancing started at the Sail Away Party and continued ... Read More
I have just returned from the 8 nights on Radiance from Sydney to Newcastle, Brisbane and Airlie Beach. I was travelling with my mother and, next door, my sister and her husband. The dancing started at the Sail Away Party and continued all voyage! The entertainment team usually started it off by getting everyone up for a few fun group dances like the YMCA, Macarena, Saturday Night Fever and other fun line dancing types and then people all continued on from there. We danced almost every night in the Centrum because they had a few properly advertised ( in the daily newsletter) and organised theme parties( where you dressed up if you wanted) and on other nights they had a duo playing who did some good dance numbers. The disco was lively most nights with plenty of people dancing. ( Other ships like Voyager, Jan. 2013 had the most dead disco ever.) Only real complaint was because we had 740 children on board and they took over the tiny little main pool, chased each other around, divebombed, dived ,kicked water, climbed up on top of the railing at the steps and jumped in etc splashing everyone. All this happening at peak times when adults were just trying to cool off in the water or lie in the shallow area. I am a school teacher so didn't hesitate( pleasantly) to point out to children the signs saying no diving, jumping etc. All chn. seemed surprised to hear it. Please Radiance staff police pool behaviour because it really puts me off what was a great ship otherwise. Newcastle had beautiful surf beaches, the first one only 10 minutes walk from bus drop-off, large free enclosed ocean pool only a 5 min. walk from that. Brisbane. We were not warned by RCL that our berth was so far out of town so our large party of local relatives who turned up to see us and take us sight-seeing were miles away at the wrong (P&O) wharf. Two carloads then tried to find our ship but got lost and had to go back. It cost our party of 4 approx NZ$130 for a taxi,water ferries and then the A$12 shuttle each back from town instead of just being picked up by car. Airlie Beach. Lovely day. The local life-guard at the man-made lagoon told us we could swim at the beach within the very large jelly-fish net protected area just 2 minutes walk from behind the shuttle drop off point. We had a lovely swim there! Unfortunately the Shuttle-bus drivers told everyone else that no-one could swim at the beaches, so we were the only ones!   Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
As a family of 5, we were very anxious and nervous about our first trip by cruise to the South Pacific, I had nothing to compare this trip to, so I had to read the reviews and listen to people who had been on a cruise. I want to write ... Read More
As a family of 5, we were very anxious and nervous about our first trip by cruise to the South Pacific, I had nothing to compare this trip to, so I had to read the reviews and listen to people who had been on a cruise. I want to write this review in a manner that will assist the average person who works hard and wants great value for money and a wonderful experience with your family. We got a room 3628 G and 3630 G on Deck 3 with a large Port Hole, absolutely loved it, you can look out while lying in your bed and view the ocean, a balcony for us was not needed, even our friends who had a balcony, stated that they would prefer the Port Hole, it was much larger than we thought it would be. Cabins were very nice and the room attendants were fantastic, even though we had paid our tips, we gave him a little extra, you had no choice due to his hard work, really the only benefit of paying the tips and gratuities before hand was the My Time Dining, that really wasn't a big deal. The dining staff across the whole ship were absolutely fantastic and anyone that complains about them think they are their personal servants, they were absolutely fantastic and that was worth paying the tips before hand so they all get a share. The ship was cleaned spotless, considering the number of people on board, maintenance work and cleaning never stopped including the pools every second night. Food, wow, every one was complaining about the amount of food which was in abundance and worth every cent. We were lucky to have beautiful weather, we would just look out into the ocean and that in itself was the best distressing experience you can get. Entertainment was ok, but could have been a lot better, there was an American Comedian, who was anything but funny, the shows start almost the same time as the movies and unfortunately the movies were boring, many people were of the same opinion, but the ship sort of made up for the lack lustre entertainment. They have a lot of quizzes and RSL type shows, that I thought were well below the standards of this ship. Ok for excursions on the Islands, unless you have more money than know what to do with it, enjoy being robbed, but for those who have a budget, you can do the same tours and more with the locals, by the way, the locals are more shrewd and cunning when it comes to money and how to play the game, so do not think that without your money they will starve, 4 ships a week land on most of these Islands. For a family of 5 we would save about 350 bucks if not more by doing our own tours, the ship will tell you that we would leave without, but I assure you no one on our trip got left behind. Purchase your snorkels and water shoes prior, they will be the most essential part of the trip. Do not over pack, we took 5 bags, we probably used 3. The staff were a reflection of the Radiance, I'm referring to the grass roots staff, I have never been called Sir, so many times in my life, I had to keep telling them not to "As I work for a living" they were fantastic. All in all, we had the best holiday ever, the ship was just magnificent (in our opinion), I honestly cant wait to book another holiday, anyone that complains excessively is probably spoilt. In regards to the Islands, we loved Isle of Pines, Mystery Island, Port Vila and Noumea, we did not like Lifou as much, due to the amount of coral every where in the water, our water shoes got shredded. On Isle of pines, you can honestly enjoy yourself on the beach where you get of, you will hear about the Aquarium they have, which was $25 each for a 10 minute drive (local price) you will see the same thing at that beach. Mystery Island, you cannot go wrong on that Island, it is the smallest and just snorkel anywhere. Port Vila make sure you visit The Blue Lagoon and the Cascades Waterfalls WOW, magical and worth the $25 entry fee. Noumea has about 300,000 inhabitants and the people are quite arrogant, I assure you a lot of people on the cruise had the same experience. The best part of the trip was the lack of technology, no phones, computers, by the way only get Wii Fii if you need it, it is not cheap and doesn't work that well. We loved it, I hope that this info helps those in doubt, Enjo. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was my 2nd cruise and the first withRCI. Getting on board was well organised - especially compared to my first cruise where it took 6 hours! A clean, modern ship but obviously older. Maintenance on board was excellent. Staff were ... Read More
This was my 2nd cruise and the first withRCI. Getting on board was well organised - especially compared to my first cruise where it took 6 hours! A clean, modern ship but obviously older. Maintenance on board was excellent. Staff were superb. It must be hard living at the same place you work and working a split shift 7 days a week. Our cabin was very tidy and well thought out. I especially liked the placement of mirrors where it was possible to see all angles and the back of yourself! I didn't have a problem with lighting, probably because we were cruising in summer time hours so getting ready was always done with natural light available. The bed was comfortable. The bathroom was small but that is what I would expect on a ship. There was plenty of shelving and a bathroom cabinet to store your toiletries. Entertainment was good. Like all cruises, you can do as much or as little as you like. We found the Colony Club at the stern to be a quiet place to relax or read a book away from crowds during daylight hours if you didn't want to be in the confines of your cabin. Gym facilities were excellent. We had breakfast and lunch most days at the Windjammer and dinner in the Cascade Dining Room. The waiting staff at both establishments were very professional and friendly. We found the Park Cafe in the Solarium to have food that most resembled cafe food - a variety of wraps, paninis, sliders, and cake items were available and very delicious and made a nice lunch. The Windjammer can be very noisy as it is the place of choice for families. We definitely preferred the Cascade Dining Room in the evening. Room Service was quick. We only ever asked for tea or coffee with a couple of cookies (the cookies are amazing!) and it was always delivered promptly. Our only minor complaint was that there were no self-serve laundries on board and it cost $25 to have a smallish bag of laundry washed and folded. The laundry took 24 hrs to be returned. We would have preferred to do our own. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was our first cruise ever and wanted to get away for Christmas - just the two of us and have to say I found from the very start the ease of booking, pre information and every other part of it very professional and informative. We ... Read More
This was our first cruise ever and wanted to get away for Christmas - just the two of us and have to say I found from the very start the ease of booking, pre information and every other part of it very professional and informative. We travelled by air to Sydney. The embarkation was very quick and simple with little or no queues. We got our Seapass card and we were away - through Customs/ immigration and we were on the ship. Once there, our cabin was ready and was very clean and sufficient room - but not really cramped at all. We had a balcony with a double glazed sliding door. Two chairs and table the balcony which was clean and tidy. We opted for the Our Time dining, and used the Cascades dining area as a base, however got the dining package where we were able to utilise all the Speciality restaurants which we preferred. We found Cascades very 'busy' and was the first time we had seen food from the servery brought over to us with a plastic lid - similar to what you would expect to see in a hospital. The service there was very quick, but found that it did not suit my own expectations. We did make use of all the other Dining areas on every night, and cannot commend them highly enough. Each had their own special feel to them and were fantastic. The only thing I would comment on in a slightly negative way was the Izumi (Japanese) restaurant where the food was excellent - but atmosphere was lacking. We would recommend the dining package so you have options of in our opinion exceptional restaurants. The only one that was lacking was Rita's Cantina - Mexican, which was a little average - but don't think it was part of the dining package. Of course the best value has to be the Windjammer - where food is excellent and available at most times of day with a massive selection. Entertainment, I found that the snippets of the shows somewhat average with a comedian receiving little or no laughter. I walked out on the Aussie Boys show as I did not find it good use of my time and were again very average (in my opinion). The guys that were excellent were Gordon and Andrew (Entertainment managers? - Ive forgotten their official title/position) and were excellent value and comic who looked after many of the Trivia evenings and random ship entertainment - they had excellent personalities and wooed the crowds. Excursions, -- Very good, I was very sad to read another comment on here about disabled persons on the cruise and their ability to use the Tenders etc. and was offended by the writers attitude. Its called Patience and be thankful for good health yourself. Disembarkation, - Very organised, quick and efficient, and were met by a pre organised transfer coach to the airport which was good value Overall - Fantastic ship, Fantastic crew and highly entertaining and professional Captain. Yes we have booked again. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
I arrived work weary to the Cruise Terminal at Sydney to board Radiance of the Seas ready for the holiday of a lifetime with two of my three children and my mother. I have saved for a long time for this vacation and will be still paying ... Read More
I arrived work weary to the Cruise Terminal at Sydney to board Radiance of the Seas ready for the holiday of a lifetime with two of my three children and my mother. I have saved for a long time for this vacation and will be still paying it off for a long time to come yet, so I was determined to have a good time...... What followed were experiences that I shall always remember, and people I will never forget, crew and fellow cruisers, some for the right reasons and some not so much ;) What I do know is that in terms of environment conducive to fun and relaxation, Radiance of the Seas had it all. There were many places to find people and socialise as well as private and peaceful nooks and crannies, as you'd find on any ship that size. I particularly appreciated the freedom to roam anywhere on the ship and do whatever you chose to. This ship certainly accommodated for the needs and wants of the nights owls and early birds amongst us. The Starquest bar was a favourite for me, not just because of its late bar ;). During the day, it was the quietest lounge on the whole ship and unstaffed, and by midnight, it transformed Cinderella-like into a busy nightclub and then back again. The food was out of this world, the amount, the quality, the service and the standard. Having two hungry teenage children with me, and as a single working mother, the variety of food on offer was a dream. Taking the time to dress up for dinner as a family each night was a really special time together. Before I knew it, I had ceased to remember what day or date it was, it was simply Day 3,4,5 of the cruise and away from it all. The shows were a pleasure and an exquisite delight to the senses. Colourful and musical. I am in awe of people with talent like that. The crew and the service was outstanding. I met many warm, authentic, and interesting crew members, each and everyone efficient and hardworking any morale amongst crew seemed really healthy from what I saw. Main high point - being on the ocean and having the bonus of good weather and a full moon as well as all the above. The morning of departure found me with a lump in my throat, sad to leave but so happy for the good times we had and the precious memories that will always stay. If I can ever afford a holiday again, it will be on a boat of some size, somewhere. This is my perspective :) Louise   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
This was my first cruise on any ship and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in any way. The size of the Radiance just blew me away, it looked like a building when I first looked in its direction. We boarded at 11:30 and it ... Read More
This was my first cruise on any ship and I am happy to say that I was not disappointed in any way. The size of the Radiance just blew me away, it looked like a building when I first looked in its direction. We boarded at 11:30 and it really wasn't a long process. We were up on deck 11 at the Windjammer just after 12pm. We were allowed access to our cabin on deck 9 fairly early, which was good to be able to drop our carry on bags off and go explore the ship. Our cabin steward Renato was just amazing. It seemed like he just worked around the clock. Our room was always clean and refreshed. Our waitstaff in the Main Dining Room, Fanderson and Regan were so friendly and attentive. We ate there every night except two. Food, food and more food!!! Great quality and so much variety. They even had a poolside bbq on two occassions and a late night chocolate buffet. We didn't try the specialty restaurants as I was with my mother who is not that fond of a lot of meat and the one place I wanted to try was Samba Grill. I heard good reports from other passengers, so I will try it when I cruise with my husband and kids. There was always plenty of entertainment, my favourite being the live band in the Centrum and the violinist/accoustic guitar duo. I can't comment on the kids side of things, as mine were not with me but plenty of passengers told me that they have barely seen theirs as they were off having too much fun to stay with their parents. Overall, there is nothing I can complain about with this ship. My only complaint (and not related to RCI)would be with some surly passengers that thought they could barge past others to the lifts or the buffet lines but I suppose you get that everywhere you go. I can't wait for my next trip!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We flew over from Perth and stayed a couple of days in Sydney. We boarded the ship at 11.30 with our friends Dave and Michelle and we had no problems it was effortless; we were all on board and at Windjammers before 12.30. We had lunch and ... Read More
We flew over from Perth and stayed a couple of days in Sydney. We boarded the ship at 11.30 with our friends Dave and Michelle and we had no problems it was effortless; we were all on board and at Windjammers before 12.30. We had lunch and went and did our own thing leaving our friends to enjoy looking around ship. We were in a Balcony Stateroom on deck 9, it was always clean and tidy thanks to Darwin our room attendant. Loved all the island stops as we enjoy our snorkeling. Would be nice if the ship stuck to the adult only rule in the pool and kept the kids out of the licensed areas after 10.30pm at night. I did ask Amy Fickert (Cruise director) why they didn't enforce these rules, she said it was not up the ship staff but the parents to enforce it, what a cop out. Some of the shows were 13+ and 18+ but still the parents ignored this and brought them along. I thought the cruise director on our previous cruise on Voyager (Graham Seymour) was much more entertaining and made it very clear that the adult only shows were adult only. Re: The islands I can recommend the Amadee Island tour in Noumea as it was a full days entertainment including a huge buffet lunch. Villa, Vanuatu was good for duty free shopping. Isle of Pines very scenic and we did the snorkeling at the natural aquarium tour well worth the $25pp. Mystery Island tiny, but different with some good snorkeling spots on the eastern side of the Island. Lifou snorkeling was not as good as the other Islands and the fish were a little aggressive.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We are just back from yet another perfect RCCL cruise on board the Radiance! Because we enjoyed our journey from Sydney to Hawaii so much last year, we were anxious to see if this shorter cruise would be as good! Well no need for concern ... Read More
We are just back from yet another perfect RCCL cruise on board the Radiance! Because we enjoyed our journey from Sydney to Hawaii so much last year, we were anxious to see if this shorter cruise would be as good! Well no need for concern as it was just excellent! We boarded at 11am and it encountered no queues and went straight to the Windjammer for early lunch. We then decided to go for a walk around the Quay, and were back around 2pm and went straight to our room! We were on Level 9 in a balcony! Our steward, Elmer, did a wonderful job every day of maintaining our cabin. We booked late dinner and had a table just for 2, as per our request, with waiters Levison & Ronald, who greeted us with smiles and couldn't do enough to please us. Our food was exceptional with the most tender meat I've ever had on a cruise ship! Dinner nightly was always a highlight of our day! My husband snorkelled at each port, booking all 3 tours through the ship. Each went smoothly with no complaints. Can't wait to cruise again with RCCL - especially now that smoking will no longer be permitted on balconies. Excellent decision....nothing worse than having a smoker next door and being smothered in smoke in our cabin, which has blown inside! We book a balcony cabin to enjoy fresh air - not smoke!!! Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
We have just returned from a 10 night South Pacific Cruise on Radiance. We stayed in a Balcony stateroom which was compact, but extremely well designed to maximise all available space. We were easily able to unpack our entire (overpacked!) ... Read More
We have just returned from a 10 night South Pacific Cruise on Radiance. We stayed in a Balcony stateroom which was compact, but extremely well designed to maximise all available space. We were easily able to unpack our entire (overpacked!) suitcase into the wardrobe and cupboards, and store our suitcase under the bed. Our stateroom attendant (Antonio) did a wonderful job keeping our room meticulously clean on a daily basis, and was always seen with a smile and a friendly "hello". His towel animals were most appreciated. :) We chose "My Time" Dining and the food selection and quality was superb. Our waiters were polite, efficient and friendly and our food was always served in a professional and timely manner. Other members of our travelling party (of 6) made use of 4 of the specialty restaurants on board and were blown away by the exceptional quality of the food. They even went on to say that it was some of the best meals that they had ever eaten! The ship was clean, modern and lovingly decorated for Christmas with trees and gingerbread houses. The ports of call exceeded our expectations. Excellent snorkelling was found on Lifou and Mystery Island, and all the beaches were lovely with their turquoise waters and white sand. The Mele Cascades in Vila were also a highlight. We organised our own excursions as we found it was cheaper and more convenient to do it this way. We have cruised with Royal Caribbean on 4 other occasions, and although this was a smaller ship (other trips included Freedom and Voyager) it was a most enjoyable holiday. Kudos to all the wonderful staff and crew. Your warm and welcoming manner helped to make our holiday most enjoyable.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Ship December 2013 to South Pacific Islands We checked in prior to our check in time around 2:00pm from Circular Quay, Sydney. The check in process was very quick and we were issued our set ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Ship December 2013 to South Pacific Islands We checked in prior to our check in time around 2:00pm from Circular Quay, Sydney. The check in process was very quick and we were issued our set sail pass. There is also a Tourist Tax Refund Counter to claim tax for items purchased over $300 in a single receipt. Once on board the cruise ship we were allowed to go to our rooms, which was already ready. Our room numbers were 4512 and 3625. We had a large ocean view stateroom, 4512 and a interior stateroom, 3625. Both rooms were alike except the ocean view room had a window. I was impressed with the room size as it was not as small as expected. The bathroom and room was very clean throughout our stay as the room is cleaned twice a day. The shower cubicle was suitable for us but can be small for people on the larger side. We headed to the Windjammer restaurant for lunch which serves buffet most of the day. This is a buffet restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner. The food at the restaurant was good with a wide variety of food and desserts. You can also go for dinner to the Cascades restaurant that serves a three-course meal. Cascades also serves breakfast and lunch though we never ate breakfast or lunch at this restaurant. Most dinner meals at Cascades were good. There is also Park Café, which is a snack bar that serves breakfast, lunch and late night snacks. Also recommended if you don't want to eat big meals. The staff at most of the restaurants and throughout the cruise ship was very helpful and friendly who are always willing to go the extra mile and make your stay very comfortable. Windjammer and Park Cafe serve complimentary variety of teas, hot chocolate sachets, instant coffee, ice tea, lemonade, orange, strawberry and kiwi juices. Soft drinks and alcohol will be charged. Soft drink costs US$2.50, passion fruit and lemonade US$4.50, cocktails range from approx. US$7.00 to US$12.00, espresso at Cafe Lattetudes is US$2.50. You are allocated an itinerary/Cruise Compass in your room daily advising what activities are schedued the next day and information regarding the Ports you will be visiting. You can decide what activities you will like to do. I enjoyed most shows I attended at the Aurora Theatre. Certain shows should have an age restriction as many children attended the comedy show, which has inappropriate language. The gym is spacious and has ample equipment. There is also a salon and spa. The spa can be a bit expensive as they charge a further 18% service charge. I used the gym almost throughout my cruise. There is also mini golf, rock climbing, basketball, soccer, self -leveling billiards, darts, cinema and club. I went to the club on the 13th deck but did not enjoy the music. Deck 4 Centrum has live music and also a drinks bar. Deck 5 has duty free shops. Almost every day there is a sale for certain items/ shops but it’s a one-day sale for most items/ shops. There are pools for kids and adults. There is also about three Jacuzzi's. The pool had lots of chlorine on certain days. Some people can be selfish and spend a long time in the Jacuzzi. There was never a time where the pools and Jacuzzi was overcrowded that we could not get in. We were allowed to get off at all the ports, Isle of Pines in New Caledonia, Mystery Island in Vanuatu, Vila in Vanuatu, Lifou in Loyalty Island and Noumea in New Caledonia. Visas for New Caledonia were not required. We were randomly selected to bring our passports to the custom officials on the morning of us disembarking for the port, Noumea in New Caledonia. They only verified our names and looked at our photo. They did not ask for proof of visa. I think they do this random check to make sure the cruise liners are doing their checks prior to allowing people to board the ship. Some of the islands the boat docks at the port whilst others dock in the middle of the sea and tender boats take you to the islands. It’s cheaper to book tours in advance on the Internet prior to departing or at the port. Booking on the cruise ship can be very expensive. Try and not take lots of formal and smart casual clothes, as sometimes you don’t use all the clothes. They have a dress code for each night i.e. casual, country attire, smart casual, formal, 70’s disco wear, 50’s and 60’s rock n roll night, island wear, white wear nights. The cruise director Amy and activities manager Gordon were excellent entertainers. We paid our gratuities in advance but were given envelopes on the last night to put in monies for staff that we thought deserved extra for excellent service. The cleaners seem to be the lowest paid. All staff definitely receives a base salary but staff will tell you they only work for tips, which is not true. The gratuity is divided amongst all staff members based on their rank/ position. The more senior you are the larger gratuity will be paid to you. On your last night and day when you farewell your goodbyes the staff that gave you exceptional service look a bit sad as they expect extra tips. You will also be given a survey to complete about the cruise ship and staff to rate your experience. Its best to specify names of staff that gave you good service as this assists them in getting promotions and move to higher pay progressions. We had a very smooth sailing cruise, as none of us got seasick. Overall, I definitely will recommend the Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas cruise ship and will definitely be booking another cruise holiday with RCC liner.   Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
My husband & myself took my brother on his first cruise...he has an intellectual disability & was very excited. We had no trouble at all boarding & were on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at the OPT! I suppose being ... Read More
My husband & myself took my brother on his first cruise...he has an intellectual disability & was very excited. We had no trouble at all boarding & were on the ship within 10 minutes of arriving at the OPT! I suppose being Gold C & A helped, we were ushered straight to the front of the queue for check-in! We had plenty of time to wander around the ship & familiarise ourselves with all the beautiful areas inside. The Radiance is beautifully fitted out & impressed us all. Our cabin wasn't available till 1pm, so we wandered on up to the Windjammer buffet. The food was fresh & plentiful & we enjoyed a relaxing lunch & afternoon overlooking Sydney harbour....spectacular. There was a delay when we sailed....a medical emergency evacuation & the Captain kept us fully informed about what was happening. The sailaway party was great & we headed out with the most magnificent sunset! Our cabin, with a balcony on Deck 9 was great, but a bit tight for 3 of us, using the sofa bed option. If we did it again the Pullman bed stored in the ceiling would be a better option. The cabin was well fitted out, with plenty of storage areas. Under the bed was a great place for our empty suitcases! Our cabin steward, Mohamad, was a delight. He looked after us brilliantly & was very caring & aware of my brother's disability. The level of cleanliness & personal hygiene is very high, encouraged by all crew with hand sanitisers at all food stations, at every entry to the theatre & in all public toilets onboard.. There were no outbreaks of novo virus or flu etc during our cruise either, so most must have been following crew instructions. A couple of past reviewers commented on the large numbers of people with disabilities onboard & the increased threat of disease being spread....we certainly had a great time, saw many others that were elderly or with disabilities & they all had a ball too. As stated earlier there was no outbreak of disease onboard, so not sure what was meant by these comments. The shows were great. The Fab 4 did a great job & we all enjoyed their show. The Buenos Aires Tango show was also fantastic & a credit to the Radiance's singers & dancers. The trivia competitions were great fun & we attended most of them. Our favourite pastime was the mini golf. The boys spent many an hour up there, having a lot of fun. Disembarking was quick & easy, no complications & we were off the ship again wtihin 5 minutes! Luggage was waiting for us...no hassles at all! I am booked on the Radiance again in Nov 2014 & can't wait. She is a beautiful ship & I cannot recommend her & RCI any higher!   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
A couple in our early 30's this was our first ever cruise. Boarding- Arrived at midday (boarding for our deck was from 11:30) and stood in line for around 20 minutes prior to checking in which was a very easy process. Cabin- We had ... Read More
A couple in our early 30's this was our first ever cruise. Boarding- Arrived at midday (boarding for our deck was from 11:30) and stood in line for around 20 minutes prior to checking in which was a very easy process. Cabin- We had a superior balcony and it was very nice. Cabin was actually larger than I thought it might be, and it had plenty of good storage. One complaint was the way the cabin (door, cupboards, bathroom) creaked and groaned anytime there was any movement of the ship, the noise was loud enough to be heard even with earplugs, and as a light sleeper I did not sleep well the entire trip. Bathroom small but functional however it did have a sewerage smell the entire trip. Food- Was on the whole very good. A couple of MDR dishes were a little disappointing and the Windjammer lunch selection didn't excite me. Windjammer breakfast was great, and Park Cafe lunch was good for lighter options too. We ate one night at Chops Grille and it was fantastic, the best steak I have ever eaten. Entertainment- I thought was all very good. The two production shows, Piano Man and Tango Buenos Aires were both excellent, the Beatles tribute was not our thing (it was just 4 guys singing beatles songs, we walked out halfway through), the comedian was ok and the comedy juggling was excellent. Staff- All friendly and helpful. Ship- Radiance is a beautiful ship. Even with a full load and 300 kids it never felt crowded and there was always somewhere to sit for a drink, at a restaurant or by the pool. The only chaos was sea days in the Windjammer for lunch, I don't know what happens to normally polite people, but all you can eat buffets send people into a food crazed frenzy. The public areas were very well laid out and were all in good condition. Negatives- One 'specialty' coffee shop which always had a long line and the coffee was pretty average anyway. I know Americans love their filter coffee but maybe cater for Australian tastes? Always long waits for a drink at the pool bar and sky bar. Overall- We had a great time and will definitely be cruising again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Just got back from a 5 night cruise on Radiance. Food was fabulous especially the WIndjammer buffet - much better than Windjammer on Rhapsody when I cruised on that ship in 2011. Entertainment was fabulous. The shows were very good but ... Read More
Just got back from a 5 night cruise on Radiance. Food was fabulous especially the WIndjammer buffet - much better than Windjammer on Rhapsody when I cruised on that ship in 2011. Entertainment was fabulous. The shows were very good but the entertainment in the centrum was even better. Lots of fun and plenty of opportunity to participate. Very well run by the cruise director. Loved the cake-making competition which the captain competed in and won! Very funny! The negatives: room service breakfast was very hit and miss. Coffee sometimes only luke warm, some items ordered did not turn up, only one butter and one jam provided with 2 slices of toast, a bagel and a bread roll, took up to an hour to arrive after you place the order. We stuck with it for all mornings because of the convenience but I'm sure the quality of breakfast food would have been much better at the Windjammer. Dining room service was excellent. Food was very good. Did not have to wait to be seated - we were on My Time dining. Lighting in the cabin (we stayed in an owner's suite): this was woefully inadequate. Nowhere near bright enough in any part of the cabin to be able to put on make-up. When there was enough daylight I say at the table in the dining area of the cabin with a small hand mirror and opened up the blinds as wide as possible. Not really satisfactory at all. I found a similar problem on Rhapsody - not quite as bad as Radiance. There needs to be a fluro light somewhere in the cabin - preferably in the bathroom - so you can see what you are doing when putting on make-up. I found this absence of good task lighting a real problem. The toilet got blocked somewhere up the line which stopped our toilet from working. We reported the problem with our toilet and heard nothing back for some time and then suddenly about 2 hours after we reported it we heard out toilet suddenly flush and all was well again. Didn't like the fact that no-one told us how long it was going to take for the toilet to be operational again. Despite these problems we loved the cruise as everything else was just so good. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
As this was our first cruise we decided 5 nights would be a good amount as a 'sampler'. Well, we wanted to stay longer. We were impressed with the level of service, and all staff members were so courteous. We had a fabulous room ... Read More
As this was our first cruise we decided 5 nights would be a good amount as a 'sampler'. Well, we wanted to stay longer. We were impressed with the level of service, and all staff members were so courteous. We had a fabulous room attendant, nothing was too much trouble. And we had the same waitstaff each night in the MDR, and they were lovely and friendly, greeting you by name. Cannot fault the service. I needed to print an email and they went to no end of trouble at Guest Services to see that I had what I needed. There was plenty to do, but it does take a while to wind down firstly and to explore the ship. We had a pretty lazy first cruise and didn't participate in much of anything except people watching. We didn't catch a show which I regret, nor see a movie, except in our room. We found there was a wide cross section of ages, although there were more elderly people than I anticipated. We chose the 8:30pm dining session and the first night we were at a table for 10. The other diners were fairly quiet and didn't converse with us so we requested a table for 2 for the remainder of the nights. This suited us much better. The food in the MDR was of excellent quality and it was all served very expediently. I was surprised some people didn't take formal night seriously, which is a shame to bring down the tone of the night. To me it was fun dressing up. We had a meal in Chops Grille on the final night which was superb. My only regret was that 4pm hot dog that spoilt my appetite. Windjammer Cafe is OK, I'm not a massive buffet fan, I soon get sick of the food and the circling. We had breakfast in our room one morning (no extra charge) and we really enjoyed that, although the room service menu isn't extensive. We did order the fruit and cheese platter on a couple of afternoons to enjoy in our balcony (more on that later) with a bottle of wine that can be ordered via your TV! My only disappointment was the extraordinary cost of the spa treatments. I was presented with three products at the end of my facial and it was basically a 'given' that I was going to purchase. The product alone was $318. They tried it on again with our couples massage, presenting us with product at the conclusion of the treatment, but I wasn't having a bar of it. I think the only other factor was the number of jacuzzi's on board. One day the weather wasn't so great and we felt like hopping in the jacuzzi. They were all full and we got sick of waiting for some selfish folk to get out. The shopping was nothing to rave about and we didn't buy anything at all. We did purchase some of the professional photos though. All in all we loved the experience and would go again. We did feel some movement the first night that made us a little uneasy, but we soon got used to the motion of the ship, and in fact I found it quite soothing in the end. Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
Just returned 2 days ago from the top end cruise with Radiance of the seas. It was exceptional in customer service, entertainment and facilities. I travelled with my teenage daughter, there was plenty to do for children they were well ... Read More
Just returned 2 days ago from the top end cruise with Radiance of the seas. It was exceptional in customer service, entertainment and facilities. I travelled with my teenage daughter, there was plenty to do for children they were well catered for. We spent most of our time at the pool, in the buffet, at shows, and climbing the stairs of 13 floors going to various activities. As we travelled outside school holidays there was less than 30 children on the ship. On the other hand it was a very geriatric cruise with regular 90th birthday celebrations posted in the daily cruise compass newsletter. Most of these retired people were very rude and thought nothing of pushing in on queues and bumping you. Very rude at the buffets also. In the last week I was well over dodging walking frames and stuck behind wheelchairs and motorized scooters. Yes really. It took forever to get on and off tenders and transfer buses as this lot were unfit and overweight. A few were polite fit and well dressed. The rest just old bogans. Apart from that gripe the staff were brilliant I didn't see any eye rolling. Just slick and professional, the American based liner knows how to treat customers and how to throw great parties. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Flew into Sydney from the UK the day before and stayed at the Sofitel Wentworth. The next day walked from the hotel with our cases to the quay which took 15 mins stroll downhill to board the ship at 11.30 am.The bags were taken from us and ... Read More
Flew into Sydney from the UK the day before and stayed at the Sofitel Wentworth. The next day walked from the hotel with our cases to the quay which took 15 mins stroll downhill to board the ship at 11.30 am.The bags were taken from us and we were able to board straight away as we are Crown and Anchor members. We waited in the Solarium and had something to eat in The Park cafe until our cabin was ready at 13.00. We were 2nd dinner seating at Cascades on a table for 10 sitted with other British couples age 50-70. The standard of food was identical to other RCI cruises in that considering the large amount of passengers nearly 2800 on board the food was reasonable and the level of service by all crew was exceptional. The speciality food package of 60$ each was excellant value and worthwhile. we eat in Giovanni, Brazil Samba and chops Grille. Other cruise reviews for this same cruise mentioned the amount of immobile passengers which I noted was a very small percentage compared to other cruises taken in USA and Europe. At no time were we personally delayed by a fellow passenger on a zimmer frame, wheechair or walking stick. Their comments are totally unreasonable and unfriendly. The cruise director Bobby led a willing and friendly team including the captain and fellow crew members interacting with the passengers to provide unfortgetable and entertaining activites on sea days . Sydney Recommend a ferry trip to Manley 15$ each return- although beware of the Manley flys everywhere. Leaving Sydney sailing past the Opera House and Harbour Bridge be on deck with the video camera to record this spectacular sight. Brisbane Ship docks at Fisherman Island Grain terminal 30 mins drive to Brisbane. No public transport available . Shuttle ship transfer 24$ each return. Get off at Elizabeth street beside the Treasury Casino. Flyers for River boat tour with www.rivercitycruises.com.au handed out. Boat departs 10 mins away beside Ferris wheel South Bank parklands jett A. Informative 90 mins cruise with free light snacks on the 1030 dept. Adult 25$ each Afterwards walk to city centre to browse the shops. Free Wifi in food mall basement adj to Tourist Information. Airlie Beach Tender operation to shore on catamaran. Shuttle transfer modest charge although walk only 10 mins along the coast line, very hot so take hat and water. Flea market on Saturdays and Cruise ships days. Some restaurants have free Wifi ;Carters restaurant not good bandwith. Take swim wear and towel from ship to swim in Lagoon. Swimming at sea not recommended due to Jelly fish. Darwin. Planned to use Hop on bus from ship but only 2 arrived to ship which we missed and so walked into town along new new walkway past Parliament house.Found hop on double decker bus in town 35 $ each return bus to ship taking in coastal view and 2 museums. Military museum recommended 14$ each entry fee, Free wifi in cafe. Hop on old corperation buses. Another bus company Turtle buses only single decker $25 not sure if it went back to the cruise ship. Bali All passengers regardless of going ashore have to pay 25$ visa for Indonesia which is debited to ships cruise account Passports handed in on ship and stamped by Australian customs on board. Large Catamaran tender passengers to shore. Recommended to take ship excursion tour as taxi's are expensive and unreliable as traffic is chaotic. Port Hedland Refueling stop, home of Iron Ore , everything coloured in rust. Free shuttle transfer to small town as docked in commercial port area. Free wifi at Sea farers in centre of town and also tourist information. Not alot to see, small musuem, friendly folk in the flea market and art gallery. For Woolworths take the second bus stop before going back to the ship. Gearaldton Tendering with ships boats to shore. Nice walk along the front to town, Wonderful free but donations welcome in the Museum. Perth- Freemantle Disembarkation. Recommend not to wait for taxi as there is very few available and long queues in the sunshine waiting up to 2 hours. The journey time from Freemantle to Perth airport is 45 minutes away, use the ship transfer. It is about the same cost and no waiting around. The train station is quite a walk across a pedestrian bridge, from the ship I observed 100's of passengers struggling with luggage. From previous experince the trains are quite small and not recommended to travel with luggage.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Leaving from Sydney is one of the highlights of this cruise. Both times we have been very fortunate having great weather. Becoming a loyalty member after the first cruise allowed us a very 'quick' embarkation on this cruise. All ... Read More
Leaving from Sydney is one of the highlights of this cruise. Both times we have been very fortunate having great weather. Becoming a loyalty member after the first cruise allowed us a very 'quick' embarkation on this cruise. All staff and cabin crew were attentive, polite and extremely helpful. I cruised with my husband, brother and one of my sons. We decided as a group that a balcony cabin was a 'must'. The ship is easy to get around, having been on the Radiance before, meant this cruise was a breeze!! The food, amazing!! The shows were of high quality and there was plenty of activities. Our cabin steward was helpful and very friendly. Dining / wait table staff were great. Our next challenge is deciding which ship to do the next cruise. We are looking at around the bottom and NZ. Both the Radiance and the Voyager do this cruise. Can I get some feedback from other follow cruisers please??? Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
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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