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

Sailed from Sydney 1st Nov 2015 on Radiance of the seas. From the Uk so this was an expensive holiday when the flights were taken into account. We last cruised with RCI in 1998 and were v disappointed that their standards had slipped so ... Read More
Sailed from Sydney 1st Nov 2015 on Radiance of the seas. From the Uk so this was an expensive holiday when the flights were taken into account. We last cruised with RCI in 1998 and were v disappointed that their standards had slipped so far. Good points:- the cabin was spacious, the external window a good size; the public areas welcoming and the atrium impressive; gym well equipped. Large tables facilitated meeting some great people-this made our holiday. Not so good:- dining and entertainment more the level of a three star hotel - not quite good enough. Not enough production shows (2 only in 16 nights) rest being comedians, jugglers, mind readers etc of limited appeal/talent. We thought speciality restaurants well below those on other ships - note they offered lots of deals on board to get you to go! Bad points:- We felt as if RCI's objective was to squeeze as much money out of us as possible, not provide a good experience. Eg an impressive list of day time activities but an awful lot involved money - attended a seminar on lower back pain which involved NO discussion but a hard sell of expensive shoe inserts. Truly awful:- we travelled a long way to see Aus/NZ so we were appalled how difficult it became at times getting on/off/from/to the ship. Two egs. Before we got to Akoroa were told customers on trips would get priority on tenders so others would be after 9am. We had a private trip at 9am so made sure we got the first tender ticket (at 7:15am) only to find we were then called at 7:30! Not able to validate but we wondered whether this was to scare you into buying their trips? Then at Dunedin involved a wait of up to one hour to get the return shuttle. Customer Services told us that this was not in the control of the ship. I have since emailed Dunedin Visitor Centre who told me they frequently get complaints about the shuttles but these ARE organised by the cruise ships. You will have to decide who you believe. The ship was battling Norovirus and we have tried not to let this influence our judgement although it did of course affect our enjoyment. It should be said though that general cleaning standards were certainly not as expected. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Having sailed in Nov 2013 on ROS from Sydney to Perth circumnavigating the top of Australia we were excited to sail on her again this time from Sydney to NZ and onwards to Perth. We had loved the ship in 2013 but alas only two years later ... Read More
Having sailed in Nov 2013 on ROS from Sydney to Perth circumnavigating the top of Australia we were excited to sail on her again this time from Sydney to NZ and onwards to Perth. We had loved the ship in 2013 but alas only two years later this ship has become very shabby and not at all well maintained. In 2013 the crew were led by a great Captain and officers who were always visable and even participated in water volley ball competition with the guests on a special Melbourne cup BBQ on deck celebration where the Captain was actually cooking behind the BBQ This time the captain and senior officers were invisable. The 2013 crew were happy and obviously loved their jobs whereas the 2015 crew were over worked and most struggled to give even a cheery morning greeting. The major factor due to the overworked and dispondant crew on this trip appeared to be the presence of Norovirus on the ship. All crew had to work extra hours helping out in The Windjammer and Park Cafe as passengers were not allowed to self service, to try and help contain the Norovirus. Hence passengers had to form orderely queues at each food and drink station and be served by junior officers, entertainment and activity staff all of whom had to also do their regular duties. It was a case of all hands on deck and teamwork but it was obvious after 16 days they were all waning. The ship had arrived into Sydney on 01 November and we we were advised by email that there was delayed boarding due to the ship having to undergo intense deep clean as there had been a Norovirus outbreak on the previous cruise. It was obvious that despite the deep clean the ship still contained the Norovirus. I presume the crew had worked extra hard on the previous cruise, again on ours and it when we disembarked in Perth the ship once again had to undergo a deep clean and fogging, meaning more work for the crew once again. Our main concern was the lack of information provided by the captain who never once offically advised that there was an outbreak of Norovirus on board. It was obvious that there was an outbreak due to all the extra precautions and indeed the crew quietly confirmed that Norovirus still remained. If the captain had made daily announcements advising the number of sick on board,other passengers would of perhaps taken the situation more seriously. Despite the signage around the ship passengers were still filling their water bottles from the water dispensing machines and I even witnessed some pasengers not washing their hands after washroom breaks. Being a Platium Crown and Anchor passenger and loyal to the RCI Brand this experience was very disappointing and forces us to reconsider sailing with RCI in the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We left Sydney, and had 11 days on the ship, before getting off in Bora Bora. (the cruise continued another 6 days to Hawaii). The weather wasn't good, which couldn't be helped. The food was very good and we made friends with ... Read More
We left Sydney, and had 11 days on the ship, before getting off in Bora Bora. (the cruise continued another 6 days to Hawaii). The weather wasn't good, which couldn't be helped. The food was very good and we made friends with some really nice people. The staff was wonderful, but there wasn't enough to do on the ship. There is a theater which held a couple of hundred, but there are 2500 people on the ship, so you couldn't get in. They would have a dance party that would end in 30 minutes, just when everyone was having fun. It seemed most activities were centered around selling you something. We felt nickled and dimed constantly. One other thing...We were sold adjoining balconies with our friends.... Bait and switch. Our rooms were next door, but didn't receive the balconies we were promised upon purchasing. Our friends had an obstruction right in their balcony view, which we had made sure none of us would have before booking....again bait and switch!! All the cruise line could say is "I'm sorry". Bottom line, "I'm sorry"...we will not be cruising on this cruise line again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Until this cruise, I would have rated Royal Caribbean as my favorite line. We took back to back cruises from Sydney, circumnavigating Australia and visiting Bali and New Zealand. We were on the ship a total of 33 days. Embarkation was ... Read More
Until this cruise, I would have rated Royal Caribbean as my favorite line. We took back to back cruises from Sydney, circumnavigating Australia and visiting Bali and New Zealand. We were on the ship a total of 33 days. Embarkation was easy and efficient. We had traveled on this same ship in 2005 and it was elegant. Now it is sadly dated. Carpets and furnishings are shabby to the point of looking unclean. Plumbing problems persisted in many private and public areas throughout both cruises. Cabin mattresses were thin and uncomfortable. When we asked for an egg crate, we were told there were no more available. Room steward was wonderful. Main dining room food was appalling. Definitely the poorest selection and quality of any ship I have ever cruised. The dining room staff were fabulous and tried their best to help us find selections we were happy with. We were told that if we criticized the food on the post cruise survey by RC, the wait staff evaluations were dinged as it is their job to see we are pleased. How unethical! The wait staff neither buy nor prepare the menus or food yet they are held accountable. Bad corporate practice. Menus for the second cruise were a repeat of the first cruise which was a big disappointment. Excursion choices were EXCELLANT and we had many wonderful experiences. For many of them,however, we had too short a time. We had a choice of sightseeing or having lunch but there was not time for both. Consequently, on most excursion days, we ate breakfast and not again until dinner. When one of our excursions was cancelled, the staff from the excursion desk worked hard to see we got our second choice. There are no laundry facilities onboard and ship laundry is prohibitively expensive.$1.95 for a pair of socks!! Really?? Even the "bag of laundry" special is $30 and washes only underwear, nightclothes, shorts and shirts. And the "bag" is tiny. We were on the ship 33 days and traveled half way around the world. We needed clean clothes! Our room steward provided extra hangers and we hand washed our clothing. We started calling our room the laundry room. I know that ships attempt to entice you to spend more but the constant push to try to persuade us to utilize the specialty dining and/or the spa became uncomfortable. We called it running the gauntlet when we went to the Windjammer Buffet. The absolute worst was the entertainment. With a couple of exceptions, the acts were more than terrible. Just bad. Embarrassingly bad. Walk out of the theater in the middle bad. And again, they were mostly repeated on the second cruise. I love live entertainment and I have always loved the entertainment on a ship but these selections were very poor. While I would consider another cruise with RC, I would try to find the itinerary I want on any other cruise line first. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Frist time on Radiance and have to admit why people rave about this ship it is in desperate need of a refurb We had a balcony cabin on deck nine which was ok but the balcony ?? well all I can say is when you are sitting out on the balcony ... Read More
Frist time on Radiance and have to admit why people rave about this ship it is in desperate need of a refurb We had a balcony cabin on deck nine which was ok but the balcony ?? well all I can say is when you are sitting out on the balcony watch out for paint flakes falling into your breakfast and varnish of the handrails flying into your coffee .The bathroom is tiny and the shower miniscule with a shower curtain , at over $500 per night I did expect something better. The food was good and the service from dining staff was great same could not be said for some of the bar staff . Stateroom attendant Armando was fabulous , shows were good usual sort of stuff but fine Getting a coffee at Lattetudes was a marathon and served in paper cups no table service Shore excursions were good but we did have a problem at Vanuatu we were on a snorkel excursions but when we jump into the water everyone was getting stung so it was stopped ,full credit to RCI a full refund was credited that afternoon even though it was not there fault So overall not the best cruise but ok would certainly not cruise on the Radiance again Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
From the time we boarded it seemed the company's idea of everything being extra this extra that was annoying and to say the least offensive and costly as other passengers commented. Anyone who has cruised before would be highly ... Read More
From the time we boarded it seemed the company's idea of everything being extra this extra that was annoying and to say the least offensive and costly as other passengers commented. Anyone who has cruised before would be highly disappointed in this ship. The crew to customer ratio a joke. All the crew (not Administration) worked very hard with sometimes upset passengers over the incompetence of the management on board. The food was average and not to a high standard and the drinks alot of the time watered down with not enough crew to service the customers. Having said that the cabins were clean as was all common areas. New Years was a let down with swing and jazz being played to the lead up to midnight with those still awake from that had customers looking at each other saying this is rubbish. Christmas meal was a joke it was supose to be traditional but no sight of ham turkey pudding ect as was the absence of decorations in the dining room both occasions were a real disappointment I guess Royal Caribbean don't celebrate these occasions as expected and promised. Amy the cruise director seemed to think everyone was american and as everything american it was in your face and obnoxious and just added to the Aussie lack of enjoyment. Everything was steered towards line dancing And Amy never made herself known to the customers except at show times very poor. There seemed no end of talk about how poor the administration on the boat was with customers complaining of the lack of service and communication from administrators on board a lot of people said they wouldn't cruise with this cruise liner again. I could go on and on about how poor management was on board but I will leave it there. I do praise the non management staff who carried the responsibility and abuse from some passengers who were upset. They did a fantastic job in conditions not of there doing. WELL DONE TO YOU With all issues being finance ect (they cut you off without notification) Read Less
Sail Date December 2014
Lovely ship, we had a medical evac by helicopter, I think it was day two!! Which all went well, we then had another medical emergency, therefore needed to get to Noumea,so off we went at 24 knots and racing which did not make for smooth ... Read More
Lovely ship, we had a medical evac by helicopter, I think it was day two!! Which all went well, we then had another medical emergency, therefore needed to get to Noumea,so off we went at 24 knots and racing which did not make for smooth cruising and we arrived at Noumea about 2am for a medical evac. We were able to disembark at 8am for our day in Noumea which was my husbands 60th birthday and he had a game of golf, taxi ride from the ship on a challenging golf course which was a great time. We arrived back at the ship to a birthday decorated cabin, although this was an extra payment well worth it for a special birthday which we celebrated at Chops Grille which was a cover charge payment but well worth the treat as we liked it so much we went back. Dining room and Windjammer were always good choices as they are always on all ships I would say. Bar service on this ship was atrocious unless you were a young lady you would always be served first. Guests entertainers were above average but ship dancers and singers are more like high school musicals only not even that standard. We enjoyed our cruise as we always do. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I have just returned from a 17 night cruise to Australia and New Zealand. I have travelled with Royal Caribbean before and have always been very happy but this time I was glad to get home ! Unfortunately, mother nature wasn't kind to ... Read More
I have just returned from a 17 night cruise to Australia and New Zealand. I have travelled with Royal Caribbean before and have always been very happy but this time I was glad to get home ! Unfortunately, mother nature wasn't kind to us far s the weather was concerned. It was cold, wet and very windy. My main "gripe" about this cruise was the entertainment - or lack of it ! I have been on several cruises with Royal Caribbean and have never been disappointed but this time it was dreadful. The CD, Amy, seemed more interested in herself than arranging anything "interesting" for the passengers. The was was NO pool deck entertainment. The one day where the DJ played music on the pool deck people were dancing and generally enjoying themselves - an hour later it stopped. A fellow passenger went to ask why and was told he had been told by Amy to stop ! Her side kick Andrew was rude and obnoxious to passengers - patronising was top of his list. The quiz nights are not worth mentioning - people who knew the answers to the questions were correct were told they weren't. The CD staff were far too young and inexperienced to cope. They had no idea how to deal with passengers of all ages. There was certainly no respect. The shows were poor and I - amongst others - walked out of a number of shows. The entertainer Benny J - a juggler was absolutely terrible, a 3 year old could have done better. Organising shore excursions was another disaster waiting to happen. The organisation was unreal. People sat in the Theatre waiting to go and none of the stadd knew what to do. Even when the ship had tendered, we walked and walked around the ship until somebody realised where we hd to go. I have never, ever experienced such chaos. You would have thought they were doing it for the first time. Disembarking the ship was no better, but by this time we were used to lack of organisation. As I had not been given a ticket for my Airport shuttle Bus (I was told I didn't need one) I sked one of the crew members where to go. She told me to speak to the "lady outside". When I asked her she said the bus hadn't arrived yet and to wait (in 37 degrees heat). i asked again and again but got the same answer. In the end, my gut feeling me to go to the coaches already lined up waiting and lo and behold, the bus that hadn't arrived yet was ready to leave for the Airport. Thank goodness for my gut feeling .... The dining room staff and cabin attendants were - as always magnificant - nothing was too much for them and I appreciate everything they do. This includes, of course, bar attendants and the like I wasn't the only one disappointed with this cruise. There were a lot of unhappy people around who were all geared up to write poor reviews. Those who were travelling withRC for the first time said they wouldn't travel with them again. RC seriously need to do something about their entertainment programme and staff. I have booked to go on another RC ship in November and hope everything will be OK next time !! Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
Faulty Towers on the high seas the conclusion was that we were wanting a family vacation for Christmas but got a poor and mediocre one as well very expensive . If we had gone to Hayman island Resort in the Whitsundays for a week for the ... Read More
Faulty Towers on the high seas the conclusion was that we were wanting a family vacation for Christmas but got a poor and mediocre one as well very expensive . If we had gone to Hayman island Resort in the Whitsundays for a week for the monies spent we would have had great holiday. Royal Caribbean Radiance of the seas is not worth the monies that we spent plus ancillary & on board drinks, freshly squeezed juices US$12.00 .Café buffet food for breakfast and lunch was extremely of poor quality, burnt toast sitting under heat lamp hard as a rock, scrambled eggs pre-mix from large tetra pack, buffet breakfast soft boiled eggs overcooked and cold, the hot buffet most food items were not hot. Drink station in the Windjammer served juice concentrate terrible ,percolated coffee is barely drinkable, tea bag are of poor quality Jane had to use several to get any flavour for a tea . Breakfast when open in Cascades renamed Brasserie 30 was good at times if you order cooked breakfast it was served hot,but otherwise of the same quality. Specialty restaurants which we paid extra fees for three persons were somewhat better Izumi was the outstanding one with Japanese fusion inspired, Giovanni's the Italian restaurant was also second best, the food was good for Italian food on a ship, Chops Grille which they call the finest steak on the high sea in the brochure was mediocre unable to cook our steaks the fillet Mignon medium came well done, and the rare fillet Mignon came medium but the least inspiring experience was the Samba Grill the food was mediocre and our son love the light seating our table for table service with different colours light. We had problems with our stateroom as we first came on board, the cleanliness and maintenance was poor, the toilets were not working for three days in a row but the problem was attended promptly, fecal smells were permeating throughout most of decks. The ship Radiance of the seas is need of a good refurbishment , the only thing new in our stateroom was the flat screen TV. The experience that we had was very disappointing due the fact our concerns were not address straight away and the guest relations Manager just paid lip service to us and ignored us, the Hotel Director would not see us either and front office Manager. We couldn't wait to get off the ship on Sunday get our flight back home spoke to several other passengers on bus for the transfer Sydney Airport who had similar concerns and some stated that we would not cruise again with Royal Caribbean . For my view point has a hospitality professional and having worked on cruise ship, they were no standard, no discipline on board especially for safety at sea during our drill, none of the senior officers could be seen during the busy periods, service was not provided, items on menus and wine list were missing or out of stock such champagnes and wines, security was extremely poor, rowdy drunk teenagers and adults on board. Read Less
Sail Date December 2013
Boarding was easy and painless. Our bags arrived about three hours after we'd boarded and we were able to access the cabins from 1pm. There was a cyclone heading towards Noumea - 2000km away - so rather than leave Sydney where the ... Read More
Boarding was easy and painless. Our bags arrived about three hours after we'd boarded and we were able to access the cabins from 1pm. There was a cyclone heading towards Noumea - 2000km away - so rather than leave Sydney where the majority of passengers lived, the ships stayed in Sydney harbour for 3 days. The ship could easily have left port and stopped off Byron Bay or Newcastle and waited for the cyclone to pass (as it did). But instead the Captain and crew (not from Sydney) decided to stay in the harbour. That decision meant we lost 2 entire days of sailing, missed two ports and basically spent almost the entire cruise at sea. Moral of the story: don't sail from Sydney during cyclone season (November - February). Of course it worked out conveniently for the crew who got to see the Sydney fireworks. The ship is vast, beautiful and immaculately clean. The cabin was nice - bigger than we'd expected. But we had kids upstairs that liked jumping off the beds and running around the cabin which was incredibly noisy and even earplugs couldn't block it out. I'd avoid deck 9 which is under the suites where families have room for their kids to run around! We did the restaurant package which was great - Izumi was beautiful sushi and sashimi, Samba was more meat than you could handle but delicious, Giovanni's was classic Italian, and Chef's table was generous glasses of wine with beautiful food all introduced by the chef and sommelier - a great night. That said, the food in the dining room was excellent every night so you wouldn't need to do the dining package to get great food. Windjammer cafe was also excellent - we liked breakfast up there because you could go out onto the deck and eat in the fresh air. We also took the wine package but drinks on board are very reasonably priced so I wouldn't recommend doing this. The tendering for Champagne Bay - our first stop - was an unmitigated disaster. Queues for tender tickets stretched twice around the centrum and there were arguments about people pushing in. At no point did staff attempt to organise anything or announce anything. After 5 days of being stuck on the ship everyone was stir crazy and the Captain and crew should have organised it better. Champagne Bay was a beautiful location - we snorkelled and took a walk through the jungle to the other side of the bay where we found a little "resort" (read: a few huts that serve beer) where we chatted with locals and had another swim. Port Vila was much easier to get on and off. We enjoyed the local French Patisserie and then went across to Iriki Island to hang out there by the pool and beach and have lunch. Lifou was pretty - basically just a beach and some lovely coral on the other side. But the coral won't be there for long with all the cruise ship passengers smashing through it, standing on it, breaking bits off. And of course there were no guidelines issued by the cruise line. Information about the ports was non-existent. And given we only stopped at three they could have made a LOT more effort there. They had some guy giving lectures about the South Pacific but they were nothing short of woeful - the worst possible powerpoint presentations imaginable. And he waffled on about Tectonic Plate theory for ages rather than talking about local culture or the ports themselves. We thought the Cities and Tango shows were really just fantastic. Great productions with really high quality performers. They had very little decent entertainment in the day - and the pool was completely overrun by teenagers and the water looked positively grungy after a few days. All in all, it could have been a great cruise but the decision to stay in Sydney for 3 days just meant we were stuck at sea for way too long with not enough to do. Read Less
Sail Date December 2012
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

Find a Radiance of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click