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

We chose this because of the ports and the fact that we could circumnavigate Australia, go to Indonesia, and also visit New Zealand. We are also Diamond members. The quality of the food was far inferior to that we have enjoyed on previous ... Read More
We chose this because of the ports and the fact that we could circumnavigate Australia, go to Indonesia, and also visit New Zealand. We are also Diamond members. The quality of the food was far inferior to that we have enjoyed on previous cruises. The attitude of the guest service people was abrupt and not helpful. This ship needs a serious shake up of the attitude of folks behind the front desks. The food service, bar service, and our room attendant were very good, and the Diamond Concierge was excellent. The Diamond lounge was very nice with good food and beverages and service. We are very disappointed to discover the changes in attitude of RCCL. It used to be, they would take care of you, now they don't seem to care. When we very nicely expressed these sentiment to the Next Cruise people, the comment we received was, "We hear this a lot." They didn't ask why we felt this way or probe any further. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in ... Read More
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in Sydney the day before as we always do and stayed in Pitt street. AS the Ovation OTS had taken our port spot we actually had to tender to get on the ship, which was a new experience. I had no issue as we were first on board. We had cabin 1094 deck 10 Junior suite and i will talk about that later. The ship is getting on a bit and looked just a bit tired in some places but well maintained and clean. We had My Time Dinning and we always enjoy it. I thought the food overall was very good with just a few issues like main course dried out a bit sometimes but it was all good. We did not go to windjammer for dinner but our friends did and said there was a steak station where you could go up and order a steak. This was a great idea, they loved it and 1 of those ship personality things. We went to 3 payed dining places Samba, Choppes and Giovani's which we bought a 3 package for $75 US. They were all good but nothing like nor anywhere near as good as when Portofino's used to be on Voyager of the seas. That was the best. As cruise companies do it is always cut back cut back, and as we had been to these places before we noticed some things available before our now not. The Diamond Lounge was just amazing with the concierge JD and staff making this the best Diamond lounge we have ever visited. I hope someone from the cruise companies read these reviews because let me say the cost of drinks on board ships in becoming pure madness.. About $14 US or $19 AUS for a glass of wine or cocktail is madness. $7.50 US for beer of $10 Aus. I have to say if i was a first time cruiser i would not return for a second. We are lucky we are Diamond members and get some drinks included otherwise i would stop cruising as it is getting to it's pricing limits. I noticed that a lot of people do not drink like they used to particularly when i can get a better quality wine in a pub for $8AUS. Radiance had a big issue of getting people off the ship, it was never easy and always took hours. The Radiance was a very happy ship, the staff were happy and very willing to make sure you enjoyed the cruise. Overall we enjoyed it but did not drink much lol Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
I will try to keep this as short as possible, although I could write a book about it. Faulty plumbing in bathroom making terrible noises throughout the day. Flooding of floor of cabin from outside source. Cabin change to so called ... Read More
I will try to keep this as short as possible, although I could write a book about it. Faulty plumbing in bathroom making terrible noises throughout the day. Flooding of floor of cabin from outside source. Cabin change to so called upgrade that was really a category downgrade. New cabin had permanent black ring in toilet from wearing out of porcelain and bathroom lights flickered off and on incessantly. 40th anniversary cruise with 3 other couples. Couldn't dock safely in Cairns because of weather and ocean conditions. Port Hedland and Geraldton complete wastes of time and money. Absolutely nothing to see or do there. Must be because they are cheap places to dock. Food in Windjammer can be summed up in one word. STEW. They call it many different things but it's all stew. Food quality in general, adequate but nothing spectacular. Staff and crew were quite friendly and efficient for a less than adequate ship. Given $300 as difference for so called upgraded cabin and 20% off for the next two years on RCL cruises. AS IF WE WOULD BOOK ANOTHER ONE. Royal Caribbean in general is cutting corners wherever they can . It absolutely shows. We are at Emerald level of cruising with them and oh how they have gone downhill. Australia is beautiful but the cruise in one worked SUCKED. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were travelling to Australia from the Uk and to cover the most areas decided to do three back to back cruises covering Australia and New Zealand. We are Diamand Plus members of RCL Crown and Anchor society with over 25 cruises ... Read More
We were travelling to Australia from the Uk and to cover the most areas decided to do three back to back cruises covering Australia and New Zealand. We are Diamand Plus members of RCL Crown and Anchor society with over 25 cruises completed with them and up until now have always found the service and quality to be excellent so had no qualms about booking with them again. We did travel on the Navigator last October on a Trans Atlantic cruise and noticed a steep decline on the quality and variety of food but thought that was just a blip but unfortunately that is not the case.Dining especially in the main dining room has sunk to the level of a two star hotel with little choice. Gone is the Lobster, Quality steak, Duck, Beef Wellington,Prawn cocktail etc and instead we have Irish stew, beef stew, chicken, Curry poor quality strip steak which you could not even cut let alone chew and lots of bulk but no quality.and mostly served cold This is fine if like some you just ladel everything on a plate and scoff the lot but that is certainly not fine dining as it used to be on RCL.. The ship is tired and a lot of the furniture and fittings are worn out and damaged , seats in the theatre are worn damaged and thread bare which is common throughout the ship and lots of rust showing on painted surfaces. Tendering to board the ship was slow and tedious and robbed us of two free days to explore Sydney on change over days instead the day was spent going round in circles owing to poor organisation. The excursions were grossly overerpriced and shore excursuions team poorly organised and did not know anything about the destinations we were visiting they were only interested in selling. We were made to wait endlessly to get ashore and independant travellers always got off ahead of ship excursions. Overall RCL is spending millions on bigger ships but have totally forgotten the customers that are paying for them and should return to their previous standards before they look elsewhere. Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We were first time cruisers and only did the back to back because of the itinerary. Back to back was Australia top end & New Zealand, was sick and tired of constant up selling, the put the drinks prices up mid cruise by around 12% ... Read More
We were first time cruisers and only did the back to back because of the itinerary. Back to back was Australia top end & New Zealand, was sick and tired of constant up selling, the put the drinks prices up mid cruise by around 12% probably due to the bars being almost empty after 10.30pm. Took ages to get onboard & kicked off at 8.15am. Excursions were vastly overpriced. Food in the windjammer wasn't bad but main dining room was basically the same food with a different name, the waiters constantly hassled you to leave good survey results as it would cost them money in their salaries. Cabin boy challenged us as to why we had opted out of automatic gratuities as they had given him a list of "offending cabins" as apparently they work for an agency that only pays them a pittance & RCI seem to think that on top of the £000's you pay them for your holiday you have to also pay their staff! Ship was ok but could do with a tidy up. Tendering to ages to get onshore if you had not booked a trip with them. Would we cruise again- probably not, would we go with RCI- definately not! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Very easy ship to get around. most of the staff are very polite & helpful, like anything there are always a few who are the exception. The company should address the smell at the stern of the ship, seems like a vent for drains(or ... Read More
Very easy ship to get around. most of the staff are very polite & helpful, like anything there are always a few who are the exception. The company should address the smell at the stern of the ship, seems like a vent for drains(or similar). Embarkation was a bit of a pain but not too bad, some people seem to think that 2000+ passengers can be magically transported to a ship anchored in the middle of the harbour in a matter of minutes, plenty of whingers that seemed to think that they knew how to arrange things a lot better. Food was excellent, in the free areas as well as specialty restaurants. Shows were quite entertaining, not great but good. Live music, both classical & modern was played by very talented musicians. Shopping items seem to be no great bargains, cigs & alcohol very cheap but all other items seem pretty close to retail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Off to a bad start, as we had to tender out from White Bay to the radiance, very slow process in the HEAT! Once aboard there was a noticeable difference between the radiance and the voyager (we went on VOTS last year) Having four 17-19 ... Read More
Off to a bad start, as we had to tender out from White Bay to the radiance, very slow process in the HEAT! Once aboard there was a noticeable difference between the radiance and the voyager (we went on VOTS last year) Having four 17-19 year olds with us in 2 families, and travelling out of school holidays what a bliss! No DreamWorks characters or ice skating rink we really didn't miss. Radiance is a pretty ship, and although we had to line up to book into our MyTime dining times for the length of the cruise (even tho our TA spent ages with RCI on the phone prior to book each night this was not adequate), we really never felt like we had endless lines as we did on the Voyager (and we were almost at capacity). The only problem was the waiters asked us quite a few times about specialty restaurant bookings, but I feel they are made to do this and they stopped after we said we love the food and service in the MDR so why pay for something else? The service was the best we have experienced, and when there was a few passenger come down with the gastro a few days out, the staff stopped self service straight away, 2 days later all good. They really take hygiene seriously. The Solarium pool was nice, but to be honest, I found it too hot in there! As a result, I didn't swim once. The Café around the pool had great food though, so we would sometimes grab a bit and take it away. Cookies YUM! The Starbucks has AWFUL coffee, OMG why can't they get some decent coffee beans and baristas on these ships! We couldn't wait to get ashore in NZ for our coffee fix. My friend had brought her trusty Maccona with her and that was a desperate measure some mid-mornings. The entertainment was fabulous, except the magic show, that was the worst I have ever seen. We scheduled our sea days going from trivia to trivia, playing pool on the funky table that stays level in the waves. Some of the staff were very comical and we had some great laughs! We loved the Putt Putt too. I really liked the Colony Club, great views over the ocean at the rear of the ship. We organised our own shore excursions. Just a word of warning about these. If a tender port, might be best to bite the bullet and get the ships tour to get preference getting ashore, we spoke to people who missed their tour and lined up for tender tickets from 7am! Otherwise your own tours will be fine with walk off ports. Our balcony cabin was nice, but smaller than we had on the Voyager. The other thing I REALLY MISSED on the radiance that the Voyager had was a proper cold fridge! The cabin had a thing that looked like a fridge but was called a "cooler" and didn't chill anything. also a KETTLE!!!! No kettle as in the Voyager, and I really missed my morning cuppa tea on the balcony. I guess we could have got room service, but the timing can be wrong with that. The ship was extremely clean and the staff are absolutely perfect with smiles on their faces even when they have worked so hard for 7-8 months straight. We found the bar service a little slow at the Schooner Bar....resorting to getting our iced water or soft drinks from the Casino as that bar was quiet. Had 4 bottles of wine allowed for 2 cabins, so didn't but much drinks, except a few glasses of white wine that were about $9, and tasted fine. We won trivia one day and got a bottle of French Champagne! Elizabeth the CD was quirky and weird at first, but we ended up warming to her, and looking forward to laugh at her style of presentation. \one of the English girls that took Trivia and a host of other activities was so funny we nick-named her Miranda from the Brit comedy...can't remember her real name! Some of the other nationality presenters had thick accents that were a little tricky but that added to the fun. Splashed out and bought myself a Citizen watch that I had priced prior to the trip and was good value, the sales girl also adjusted it for me for free, unlike jewellers at home. I wasn't really impressed with any of the photos, I prefer candid shots, although my friend bought 5 photos of her family. Can't wait until the next one! Oh....and the shower curtain YUK! minor annoyances can be overlooked (: Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Radiance is a good, well-maintained ship, and the crew mostly does a good job onboard. We enjoyed our time, food and related service were better than good and quite satisfactory. Ports and itinerary were well chosen. Cabin was good (could ... Read More
Radiance is a good, well-maintained ship, and the crew mostly does a good job onboard. We enjoyed our time, food and related service were better than good and quite satisfactory. Ports and itinerary were well chosen. Cabin was good (could use more 110 outlets), steward was excellent. There apparently was a very small norovirus outbreak, and the crew went way above and beyond to nip it quickly. BUT ... We selected this cruise in part because of its embarkation/debarkation at Circular Quay in the vibrant heart of downtown Sydney. RC chose instead to move us to an industrial warf on the other side of the harbor and tender us to the ship anchored in the bay. All this so they could place their new Quantum ship at Circular Quay. This decision might have been of benefit to the 4000 people on their new boat and their corporate bottom line, but it was terrible for us, and was really a bait and switch. Cost us $150 in taxi fares to get to/from, ands the process was HOT, unorganized, and VERY time consuming. Further ... AND PAY ATTENTION HERE ... RC created a hard wall between its first level people and management that prevented any complaint from being heard, either before, during, or after the trip. That tells me they simply don't care, and that if anything starts to go wrong with your experience, too bad. One other critique ... Radiance was lousy at tendering. We missed a scheduled your because it took us three hours to get off the boat. So, mixed bag, and my recommendation is that there are other choices out there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose rci because we have been with other cruise lines and thought it might be worth a try. The ship itself is ok. If you like a floating ATM. Eg, a $4.50 bag of maltesers, $12.99. A $4.50 toblerone, $29.00. Even the people who ... Read More
We chose rci because we have been with other cruise lines and thought it might be worth a try. The ship itself is ok. If you like a floating ATM. Eg, a $4.50 bag of maltesers, $12.99. A $4.50 toblerone, $29.00. Even the people who serve you know it's over the top because they tell you the price before they ring it up. There is to much hard selling, everywhere, if I wanted people annoying me trying to up sell me I would have gone to bali, or my local shopping centre. The food is ordinary. Even in the specialty restaurants, exept Izumi, thats pretty good. Don't change money on the ship, they will tear into you at an unbelievable rate. Between the two of us they were taking $27.00 a day for gratuities. We don't mind paying our way, but this company will rip into you at every oportunity. They don't tell you that you can opt out of the gratuities and just pay the people you want to pay. Schooners bar had a horrible stink to it, like a sewage leak. The floors and walls seem very thin and you can hear your neighbors stomping around, especialy from those above you. Embarkation was a disaster. But not as bad as the safety drill where we all had to go to our muster station and do the life jacket drill. Instead of opening one door in each area and scanning our cruise cards as we passed through single file, they opend all the doors and then went around with pen and paper taking peoples names. Orderly was never going to happen. We spent the next four hours waiting in sydney harbour while they called people over the pa to do the drill. The captain was very good, and straight up and down and the balcony room was good as well apart from the noise. All the interesting things happen in the centrum, but it has very limited space. I have never known a cruise line to make such little use of the top deck. Would we sail with rci again? No. You can do the same cruise with other companys for probably $500 less. Personaly I think P&O have it all over them. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We travelled to Sydney to board the Radiance for a 12 day cruise around New Zealand on 28/1/17, having booked the cruise approx 9 months previously via the local Flight Centre with Circular Quay being the boarding point. On 25/1/17, I was ... Read More
We travelled to Sydney to board the Radiance for a 12 day cruise around New Zealand on 28/1/17, having booked the cruise approx 9 months previously via the local Flight Centre with Circular Quay being the boarding point. On 25/1/17, I was formally notified by Royal Caribbean via email that the boarding would occur via White Bay and tendering to the ship from there, that it "may take a little longer" and giving allocated boarding times depending on what deck your accomodation was on. Well, as far as I can tell, Royal Caribbean were not honest with their information or the way they informed the passengers on this cruise. The boarding from White Bay - which is a container port, with very poor facilities surrounded by what looks like waste ground and it not adequate for the purpose of having 2,500 passengers board a cruise ship - lasted in excess of 3 1/2 hours of what I can only describe as hell!!! On arrival at White Bay, passengers were ferried on a hot bus to a piece of waste ground with a large, hot tent with a never ending queue of people being processed before being loaded onto another bus to a building with more never ending queues, leading to a hall filled with cheap bendy plastic chairs to wait. Whilst waiting passengers were given a stale muffin and a printed leaflet from Royal Caribbean "apologising for the inconvenience", to then join more queues, getting on another bus to the quay, then a tender to the boat. During this torture passengers were subjected to being given "attention/direction and guidance" by a crowd of Royal Caribbean employees - over-enthusiastic, smiley people who were just simply very loud and annoying!!! We felt very sorry for those passengers who were either aged/mobility challenged - it was terrible to see them subjected to this inexplicably overlong boarding process in a hot, stuffy environment. Once on board, there was no recognition given to what the passengers had had to endure to get there, not compensatory drink/voucher for a free drink/food - Nothing!!! This was definitely a sure fire way to rile approx 2,500 passengers all in one go!!! THEN, we were informed that we would have to go through the same process on our return to Sydney - it was a horrible thought to have hanging over your head for 12 days, let me tell you. I have been on a number of cruises in the past, but never been subjected to such an arduous, totally disgusting and inhuman way to just board a ship. Royal Caribbean gave no explanation to passengers for their decision to organise boarding this way (the fact that their prize ship, the Ovation was docked at Circular Quay on the same day may have something to do with it being a financial decision???). Royal Caribbean should have been paying me to have to undergo this terrible service!! Many passengers expressed that they would never cruise with Royal Caribbean again throughout the cruise because of their boarding/disembarking ordeal - and we totally agree. Royal Caribbean need to take a leaf out of Celebrity's books - the overall standard of just about everything on their ships far outweighs Royal Caribbean, particularly their communication regarding the passengers experiences, standards of food, activities, entertainment, acknowledgement of their staff's hard work/standard of service - so I know what cruise line I will be praising and booking further cruises with in the future. The standard of the cruise itself was very average - the live entertainment was very average, activities were poorly planned and executed at times, activity choice repetitive, food provided in the Windjammer of average quality and all plates, bowls, cups were plastic!!! Plus always having to circle and circle again to find an empty table. The My Dining system used on this cruise was absolutely ridiculous - it defeated the purpose of having the option of being able to "choose" when you wanted to eat as I found out after boarding that the RC system encourages passengers to block book reservations for the whole cruise via the RC website prior to boarding. This leads to passengers who were not aware of this system (me) being left with the only option of dining late every night. There was also a lot of pressure from this system for passengers to dine on large tables with other parties - not what our group of 4 wished to do, and we were not alone. We took this issue up with the Cascades Dining Room Front Desk person (I felt sorry for her, as this system was very difficult to administer and people were constantly frustrated by having to wait whether they had a reservation or not!), finishing up with having to make a block booking for 7.30 pm for the whole cruise and cancelling for when we made a decision to try a signature restaurant. This system has no "My Dining" choice about it and I admire the Dining Room Staff for the job they do under this system. It would be better to do it the Celebrity cruise line way - also called My Dining. Passengers can make a reservation one day ahead only - that way ALL passengers get a chance to "choose" the time they want to dine. We experienced poor preparation for some classes held by the entertainment crew - dancing lesson showing how to do a beginner waltz - music totally inappropriate for this resulting in participant couples charging around the floor at a rate of knots trying to keep in time with the music, being very confused and then provided with a 30 second piece of music to practice with instead, as the instructor didn't have any alternative music. The tendering from the ship to Akaroa was long and frustrating for passengers - this was not helped by no announcements made by staff via the loudpspeaker as to why there was a hold up other than "the sea is a bit choppy" - followed by prolonged silence! It also appeared to me that the attending crew were instructed not to say anything when passengers complained or insisted that they needed to get off because they had a tour booked - very frustrating. Found out afterwards that there was a hydraulic fault at one of the ship's tendering points, so it could not be used - why didn't staff just announce this?? The band who played on the open deck every afternoon, played the same style of music every day, at the same loud volume - very boring. There were quite a few broken chairs in the cinema which stayed broken the whole cruise. Couldn't get adequate information prior to the cruise about the Beverages Packages either via their website or sending emails with our questions. Found out what we wanted to know after we boarded (the type of wine we prefer would still incur extra cost!!!) - decided not to purchase the Beverage Package (would have cost approx $1,500 AUD for 2 people, & there is only one alcohol beverage package on offer), paid as we went and saved ourselves heaps. The disembarking process took a little less time than boarding. We were allocated group 20 to disembark at approx 9.20 am - had we not impulsively joined the long queue snaking down the stairs waiting to board the tender from group 16 at approx 9 o'clock, we were at real risk of not being able to the airport to get our flight back to Melbourne at 1.30 pm the afternoon - this again caused a lot of angst, pressure and resentment that practically all the passengers on the ship I spoke to, like ourselves, had booked the cruise in the belief that boarding would be via Circular Quay and no-one had any idea what the result of being moved to White Bay would mean - it was much more than "inconvenient", it was dishonest in the way Royal Caribbean communicated this with passengers, disrespectful to have not compensated passengers in some way for their treatment towards us and, I would suggest, has resulted in a significant number of people vowing never to cruise with RC again!!! I completed the RC survey emailed to us when I got home - have had no response to date, but given past experience with the management of Royal Caribbean, I shouldn't be surprised. It wasn't long ago I saw newspaper advertisements by RC boasting that they had been voted the Number One Cruise Ship in Australia!!! I just wonder who they canvassed to get that result! Not Happy, Royal Caribbean - you get a No from Me!! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The worst cruise that we have ever had----they use the word "ROYAL "In their trade name ,the word Royal invokes class --this company definitely doesn't have class ,none. To start, we where staying in a hotel 15 mins. from ... Read More
The worst cruise that we have ever had----they use the word "ROYAL "In their trade name ,the word Royal invokes class --this company definitely doesn't have class ,none. To start, we where staying in a hotel 15 mins. from the port--left the Hotel at midday got on the ship at 5.15pm.,,five an a quarter hours to embark RCL decided it was a good idea to have two of their ships in port at the same time so the Radiance was anchored out in the harbour so you had to be ferried to the ship. In the lines of people trying to board [2500 ] there where elderly folks with Zimmer frames and walking sticks waiting in the heat ,34 degrees ,---over five hours to board ,shame on you RCI ,shame on you and your greed.-----Disembarking wasn't much better , the ship anchored again and we had to be ferried to the terminal. Balcony Stateroom 1020----No stationary, no robes , no slippers , no daily paper , no mini bar , no day cushions , no individual shower gels/shampoo , and that all important chocolate on your pillow at night not there [ not that your hungry , but. ]---and the chair at the dressing table, the top edge wasn't just worn , it was filthy ,I was able to scrape the filth off with a knife . You are paying for these "luxury's"---greedy, greedy company---no class----We did get robes after asking the stateroom attendant. The Ship---Everything was plastic---plastic plants , not even a fresh flower display in the atrium, plastic plates and glasses in the Windjammer [ Lido ] restaurant ,Solarium plants ,plastic. Food in the Cascades dining room, disgusting badly presented and for the most part unappetising ----lunch was always better than dinner , for dinner MacDonald's would have been a better choice . Dinner times you are requested not to wear shorts or tee shirts in the dining room , Huh ,completely ignored and NEVER enforced not even on formal nights---so disrespectful. And the things that matter when cruising such as afternoon teas on sea days . Being greeted with face towels and water when returning to the ship after excursions . A little light classical music in a quite area [ quite area , huh ,not on this ship ] in the evenings or after dinner . Smoothies at breakfast . No self service launderette .The nibbles you get when having a quite drink such as peanuts and small canapé's don't happen , all the things that make cruising so special----You , we , us , have worked hard all our lives and want to be made to feel special on an expensive cruise--RCI will not make you feel special. Gratuities---This greedy company charges on average $1 more per person a day than other , better ,cruise lines on Stateroom bills [ $13.95 ] and 18% on all drinks and bar bills other line are around 15% and they have the nerve to say that you can pay your Gratuities up front---could someone out there explain to me how that you can pay a TIP before receiving a service ?---Just walking round the outside on the promenade deck cheap PLASTIC sunbeds not a steamer in sight--this ship felt more like a ferry , in fact I have been on better ferries. Positives [ You have to find some ]--Our stateroom attendant was first class[Elmer]---the ships dancers and singers are very good and did some excellent shows----the desk staff where excellent in particular the Portuguese guy who helped with a problem and the Italian Restaurant [Giovani's ]was pretty good too . Itinerary was great. Think carefully about traveling with this Greedy Greedy company. RCI you have no class --none. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We chose this cruise because it was the perfect back-to-back with our New Zealand cruise. The ship needs to be dry docked, despite it purporting to have done it in 2016. The sofa in my cabin was ripped, and the bed was seriously old and ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was the perfect back-to-back with our New Zealand cruise. The ship needs to be dry docked, despite it purporting to have done it in 2016. The sofa in my cabin was ripped, and the bed was seriously old and sway-back. The public restrooms were constantly dirty with wet floors. I think the ship is woefully understaffed (not that the staff wasn't doing their job). The staff was also constantly selling. Every night our waiter was pitching specialty restaurants, special events, and other profit centers. Since we were on the ship 20 nights, it got pretty old very quickly. For disembarkation, we were notified a few weeks ahead (after final payment) that the port was changed from Circular Quay to White Bay, requiring tendering. Since we were on the next cruise, we thought it would not present a problem. It took 3 hours to return to the ship because of disarray on RCCL's part. This experience will seriously influence my decision whether to cruise or not with RCCL in the future. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have cruised 25 times - on Oceania, Cunard, Princess, Celebrity and Ncl. This was our first time with RC , only went to be with family for 8days ,3 ports and 5 sea days from Sydney. I don't normally do cruise reviews as they ... Read More
We have cruised 25 times - on Oceania, Cunard, Princess, Celebrity and Ncl. This was our first time with RC , only went to be with family for 8days ,3 ports and 5 sea days from Sydney. I don't normally do cruise reviews as they have always been tops. RC is way down on quality ! Firstly, the worst ever dining experience for dinners in the main dining room -Cascades. Our entire table was disappointed with the meal quality - sometimes not hot, wrong description on menu, very bland and often tasteless ! They have an Aussie chef, is that why the food is so poor ? Every other cruise, every meal we have enjoyed no matter what we ordered, not on this cruise. Complaints to the Matre de were as if he could not care less ! They can't even supply in your cabin writing paper nor a pen. No bathroom products only soap. The worst elevator service , seemed to be endlessly waiting ,then when it comes and it's at the other end it's gone by the time you can notice which elevator is indicated. Many afternoons shocking loud loud music echoing through the lobby chamber to all floors - bad luck if you're trying to relax.. The card room is badly located in the open adjacent to all the lobby noise. Why the cutlery sets rolled up in a napkin with only a knife and fork, but do not include a spoon ? If you're lucky you will eventually the location of spoons elsewhere. We always enjoy the Magicians ,but this one , he does about 4 tricks in one hour - it is all so drawn out and boring . I give the cruise 2 stars , one for the staff who are mostly good,the window cabin was comfortable and most of the shows were good. Overall it's a 3 star experience at a 4.5 star price ! You've lost us, Royal Caribbean ! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We have done 4 cruises with RC in total. Our first family cruise was on Radiance in 2012, and we loved it - amazing food, great atmosphere. So when we booked a family cruise for our parents 50th anniversary, we chose Radiance again, to ... Read More
We have done 4 cruises with RC in total. Our first family cruise was on Radiance in 2012, and we loved it - amazing food, great atmosphere. So when we booked a family cruise for our parents 50th anniversary, we chose Radiance again, to find many changes - not for the better. The 2 couple cruises we did were no better - we will be trying other cruise lines. FOOD: 2012 food was incredible - huge selection, very high standard, special events such as fruit carving and chocolate showcase evening. Not in 2017 - the smaller selection in the buffets is bland and the same every day for the entire cruise. One night, I ordered Key Lime pie - which had zero lime flavour. When I spoke to the chef who prepared it, he said he had never tasted KLP, and had no idea what it should taste like! 5 years ago, when the staff were celebrated on the last night, the chefs filled the huge staircase - now there are 16. One exception - Chef's Table is still at the high standard it has always enjoyed. PUBLIC AREAS If you want to party - fine! However, in the evenings, there are ZERO quiet places in the ship where couples or families can talk, play cards, etc. All areas such as library, card room etc are subject to extremely loud music / activities from the Centrum. All areas such as Colony club have loud music and activities. Half of the enclosed pool/solarium area is noxious with cigarette smoke, and too cold / windy to sit in cooler weather anyway. Worst of all, the smoking zone is close to one of the only areas young kids can go to swim with the family. PHOTOGRAPHY Considering the ludicrous prices charged for ship's photography, which costs RC next to nothing to produce, the quality of the photographers is dismal. The pics produced by the roaming photo staff in dining rooms etc were for the most part worthless - over exposed faces, dark backgrounds, bad background choices, poor framing and poor composition of couples/groups. For the more planned photo offerings, the backdrops such as ocean views etc were always set up in the most difficult and annoying locations, such as right in the middle of the walkway from a major staircase to a busy lounge area. TOURS 1. HAHNDORF Guide on the bus had a very strong accent, difficult to understand, and kept forgetting dates, names and other info about the tour destination. Often she would just ramble off into stories that had nothing to do with the tour. The tour description said: "Treasure a leisure day exploring Hahndorf", suggesting a full day in town...The stop in town was less than 2 hours - much shorter than the drive one way, and allowed time to eat in the very busy and slow restaurants or to sightsee - but not both. The tour needed to leave earlier and return later, which was possible based on the timing of other tours that day. 2. DANDENONGS "COUNTRYSIDE, BIRDS & VINTAGE TRAIN (PUFFING BILLY)" (Expectation: When I visited the Puffing Billy with my mother in the past, we were taken on a walk around the surrounds of the stations to hear native birds, explore the rainforest etc, before a long ride through the forest on the steam train). Bottom line: This ended up being a US $450 / AUD $600 family trip for a 25 minute train ride! The gory details: The guide for the day, Helmut, when he gave information at all on the bus trip to the Dandenongs, was simply reading from an ipad, and kept dropping the microphone too low for us to hear. We arrived 45 minutes before train was due to depart, but were not told this. We were taken to the platform, given our tickets, and then sat in the stationary train staring at each other for 45 minutes waiting to depart, when we could have been walking in the nearby forest or enjoying morning tea in the cafe. The train finally left, and we rode to the first station (there are 5 in total). We were then ordered off the train, and loaded back on the tour bus, where we sat for 30 minutes staring at each other again. We then drove IN THE BUS following the train to the next 2 stations. No information was given. (It turns out we were looking for the only passenger smart enough to stay on the train !) There was no refreshment or lunch stop - not even a bottle of water. We then drove bak to Melbourne (almost an hour) while the guide sat and looked out the window, givng no history or info at all. When asked "Where are we; what's happening..?" the answer was simply "We are going back to the boat." The a passenger asked to be dropped off in Melbourne City. So ON AUSTRALIA DAY, the bus drove (into traffic gridlock and closed streets due to pubic holiday and parades) in Melbourne CBD to drop him off, then we sat for another hour in the traffic. Still no information was given at any time. (Any Aussie on the bus could have given a better commentary, with info about Melbourne, Governor Philip, Australian history etc, than this guide. We arrived back at the ship 6 hours after we left - from a 25 minute train ride, 45 minutes sitting in a station, 30 minutes sitting in a bus going nowhere, 60 minutes in traffic we were not supposed to be in, and 3 1/2 hours of staring out the bus window at the Melbourne Freeway - no water, no toilet breaks, no commentary. ...and when we lined up with the other passengers from that day to complain to RC guest services, they tried to offer a 10% discount on the cost of the tour! Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
From the moment I embarked, I realized this ship was in desperate need of a makeover. Not just the very dated decor in the public spaces and the tiny balcony suite, but the kitchen as well. The food in Cascades, the main restaurant, is ... Read More
From the moment I embarked, I realized this ship was in desperate need of a makeover. Not just the very dated decor in the public spaces and the tiny balcony suite, but the kitchen as well. The food in Cascades, the main restaurant, is dreadful -- the worst I've ever had on a cruise. Last night I sent back the foul tasting horseradish crusted salmon, and the chicken dish that replaced it was rubbery. This morning the hot tea I ordered at breakfast was tepid and I sent it back. The cream of wheat had to be sent back twice ... the bowl and spoon came back hot the second time but it took a third attempt to heat the cereal. The lunch buffet in Windjammer, - set up in stations - is unappetizing to look at, let alone try to swallow. I've resorted to sloppily cut up fresh fruit -- even the cookies are tasteless! The roiling ride from Sydney to Hobart was difficult enough.. not the cruise line's fault, .. but the smell of vomit and feces in some of the hallways is gross and unacceptable. They did put out vomit bags by the staircase on each level, but it wasn't exactly pleasant to walk into a ladies room in the spa to an overwhelming stench.. I discovered the source when lowering the toilet lid to flush... and found vomit all over the back of the toilet.. apparently missed by the housekeeper who cleaned the front. Dirty dishes linger on empty tables... this ship is not sanitary! Wipes from a pile of containers get handed out entering the dining room.. though nicer Purcell dispensers are elsewhere on board. The first night at sea the surf was rough and the boat roiled and rolled. Worst of all, the creaking in my cabin and that is a friend on another deck, was so loud it was untenable and I thought the ceiling was going to cave in. The staff is very nice and accommodating but the on board conditions make me wonder how I'll manage for 6 more days in Australia plus a back to back 12 day jaunt to New Zealand. I signed up for this cruise because a good friend was going and the itinerary was appealing ..I have been on many cruises on other lines and have never had a problem, but a low end ship like this is an expensive and terrible disappointment on a trip across the globe. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Here's the feedback I gave Royal Caribbean on this cruise: The ship is beautifully designed with lots of natural light. There also seems to be more public space than Voyager, resulting in less queues and a much less crowded feel. ... Read More
Here's the feedback I gave Royal Caribbean on this cruise: The ship is beautifully designed with lots of natural light. There also seems to be more public space than Voyager, resulting in less queues and a much less crowded feel. I continue to find the pressure selling of everything from art to shoe inserts and supplements annoying. It's not a 'seminar' if it's really just another attempt to sell me something. It's a promotion. The techniques used for selling in the art auction are, in my opinion, highly unethical; give people a bit of alcohol and generate some mildly hypnotic frenzy. I believe this selling method would be prevented if you tried it in Australia. The stateroom was beautiful but dusty and the carpet was full of grit (sand?). The mattress was firm but okay however the pillows had been compressed to pancakes of filling with no loft or support. Perhaps take a look at the Ecodownunder brand of pillows; they come with a side zipper so that the filling can be restored or replaced. The food was outstanding (much better than Voyager) and the staff were exceptional. Sad to see Starbucks coffee has replaced good coffee and that staff have been directed to make more than one cup from a filled espresso cap. The coffee is really awful and the filter coffee in the restaurants is not much better. Fortunately this cruise had three Australian destinations; I wanted to bring coffee back on board! The chef's table was exceptional in terms of both food and service and I would highly recommend it to anyone travelling on the Radiance but why were we subjected to a very loud rehearsal right outside the dining room?! Our host apologised and told us it would only be another 20 minutes but it went on for another hour and half, and some of it was not pleasant to listen to. If you're going to charge $85 and promote something as an exclusive event then surely a quiet room is not an unreasonable expectation. The on board entertainment team are talented and joyful but why are the women put in those terrible, tired wigs? They look ridiculous and detract from the professionalism of the shows. Sad to see that two of the shows (City of Dreams and Tango) have been around since at least 2012! Isn't it time for something new? Also, can someone fix Melissa's sound please. I appreciate she has a big voice but putting echo on it and turning the volume up made it deafening. The gym is possibly one of the best at sea with beautiful views and great equipment. Good to see some free exercise classes being included in the program but why charge for the others? Surely free yoga is not a hard thing to offer. P&O now also provide a private yoga mat delivered to your room for anyone wanting to do their own yoga on deck (I packed my own mat knowing you didn't provide them). Sad to see that the jogging track still includes an unpleasant smokers area! Who wants to run through cigarette smoke! Given the diminishing number of smokers you might like to consider moving all of them to deck 5. It was also disturbing to see a smokers area right next to the pool where so many children are playing. Although this area is outdoors, the overhead cover means that smoke drifts along the deck and the smell reaches the solarium. Disgusting. Loved the cruise director's 'Thriller' classes and the final performance and also his 'great debates'. Pity the arts and crafts isn't a bit more challenging and interesting and I've often thought it would be good to see a dedicated craft room with kits available at reasonable prices so that guests could head there when it was open and find something creative to do. I've been to land based resorts that have similar and they work well. The space can be used for dedicated classes and also for self-directed craft activities. Perhaps different tables for things like jewellery making, plaster art, colouring in etc? This would also give crafty guests the opportunity to interact. Great to see the photographers have been taught to be less pushy since my last cruise with you. We bought a couple of lovely photos of the two of us and didn't feel pressured to either have more photos taken or to purchase more than we wanted. The onboard shopping experience continues to disappoint. RC once had a strong reputation for good shopping but the prices, once conversion rates are taken into account, are no better than onshore and there's some very serious issues with the way jewellery and watches are described and represented to customers. The various raffles had poor quality prizes and were clearly just a marketing tool to gather customers. The souvenirs in the shop were of good quality and probably a bit on the expensive side, but still appealing. It was great to see the inclusion of products by indigenous Australian artists. It's a pity they didn't get any mention in the Australia Day activities. The tipping policy continues to be a source of annoyance for Australian customers with lots of objections to the automatic deductions for those that didn't prepay. Once again, in Australia you'd be required to include this as part of the total price. You wouldn't be able to induce people with one price and then add a tipping surcharge without permission. The main reasons people are giving for switching to Princess over RC is the difference in tipping policy and the use of Australian currency when they are departing from Australia. I was particularly annoyed that even though I was paying $13.50 per person per day I was still hit with an enormous surcharge by the already expensive day spa. We only had one treatment there and then made arrangements for treatments on shore because the cost was around half. The pressure selling of products following treatment was also annoying. We took two shore excursions. Both involved too much time on the bus and not enough time at the destination. It would be useful if you put time estimates in the descriptions to help manage expectations. The trip to Hahndorf included a very loud and talkative driver (even though there was an onboard tour guide) who used his microphone to regale us with trivia questions, Dad jokes and stories about other countries where he's been a bus driver. I wanted to hear about Adelaide, not his personal adventures. He seemed to be allergic to any amount to quiet and the volume on his microphone was excessive, so we were all tired and annoyed following an hour and a half the Hahndorf and an hour and a half back again, particularly when we had so little time in Hahndorf. The Hobart trip was better with an excellent driver/commentator with good knowledge of the area's history but with only half an hour at the Botanic gardens this was little more than a toilet stop. Once again, knowing how much time was allocated to each activity would have avoided disappointment. The annoying thing about the Hobart trip was that there was ample time available. It was obviously a cost issue that resulted in the too-short stay at the gardens. Had I known I would have made my own onshore arrangements by taxi. It wouldn't have cost much more for the two of us and we could have actually seen something of the famous Botanical Gardens. There was a strong smell of sewerage near the entrance to the Colony Club for the whole of the cruise. This dissipated somewhat when you entered the room but remained strong enough that we couldn't stay there for any length of time. I suspect some kind of leak or ventilation problem. In spite of your marketing, around $13 per day for basic internet access is not a great deal. Princess has free internet. The arrangements for disembarkation on this trip were a nightmare. Due to the arrival of Ovation we were anchored in the harbour and tendered off. While guests were all given luggage tags and allocated departure times, there was no way for staff to verify who was entitled to be tendered and this resulted in many people lying to staff and queueing for earlier boats. The result was a time lag and a back log of angry customers, including many that missed trains home. I would recommend issuing tender tickets with luggage tags to prevent this. As an example, we were told we would be tendered off around 9.00am but in fact didn't get on a tender until 10.15 and didn't reach the terminal until 10.45. On arrival, the terminal at White Bay was a large temporary marquee which was supposed to be air conditioned but was, in fact, stiflingly hot. Passengers sitting and waiting for transfers were extremely uncomfortable. I was also concerned for the welfare of RC staff left standing in full sun in the middle of a heat wave. They should have at least had umbrellas. If asked about cruising I'd be inclined to recommend Princess over RC. I think Radiance is possibly the most beautifully designed ship given the sloped windows and the abundance of natural light, but the constant pressure selling, the tired traditional entertainment and activities, the gouging prices for the spa, the annoying tipping policy, the currency conversion hassles and the lack of free wifi all give Princess the edge. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Reunion with Family from NZ and Canada . On boarding the ship no one was available to direct us to our cabin .No sign of any staff so different to any other cruises we have been on , On arriving to our cabin we unpacked our cases and ... Read More
Reunion with Family from NZ and Canada . On boarding the ship no one was available to direct us to our cabin .No sign of any staff so different to any other cruises we have been on , On arriving to our cabin we unpacked our cases and put one under the bed and the other on the two seater (lack of space for storing bags ) Paper rubbish under the bed and under the cushions on the 2 seater there was a woman's comb and assorted nuts etc. The bathroom continually smelt of stale urine and a constant sloshing of liquid in wall behind toilet bowl. The hallway had a smell of sewage . On our second night out from Sydney about 3am we were awoken from our sleep by a metal frame hanging on a heavy rope swinging back and forward banging against the ships side and on investigating through the porthole a flashing light also was flashing by the port . The general appearance of the Radiance was very tired looking . Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
We were really looking forward to our cruise and also taking my parents (one with a disability). Getting there and onto the ship was smooth and well organised. The staff were very friendly and helpful, in particular with my father who ... Read More
We were really looking forward to our cruise and also taking my parents (one with a disability). Getting there and onto the ship was smooth and well organised. The staff were very friendly and helpful, in particular with my father who needed assistance. Our cabins were a little dated, but clean and comfortable. Our first night was spoilt by some sort of hydraulic sound in our cabin, preventing us from sleeping for 3 nights. We were on deck 7 in cabin 7560. We had complained about it and on night 3 we had men in our cabin from 1-3am trying to sort the problem. Eventually it was sorted, but disappointing it took so long and that it happened. We also had a lot of noise from the centrum in our cabin as well. The food in both the buffet (Windjammer) and the dining room was absolutely fantastic. They had a great variety and it was very clean The staff in the buffet were brilliant and were happy to get food for my father so he didn't have to try and move around. Our 2 waiters in the dining room (Eric and Florencio) were also superb. We couldn't speak more highly of them. The activities were quite good and there seemed to be something for each age group and the shows were also pretty good. Getting on and off the ship for excursions were efficient if we docked, but the tenders were slow and tedious. I would go again, but I would make sure I asked for a cabin away from all the noise, this had the potential to ruin our holiday. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for ... Read More
Royal Caribbean is far too focused on your hip pocket and taking you for every dollar they can get. So save yourself a lot of frustration, and go with someone else. I took my family on the Radiance of the Seas with Royal Caribbean for a 14 night trip from Sydney around New Zealand and back again. Stopping in about 8 ports and doing day trips in each port. I have previously taken my family on other cruises, such as Carnival Spirit, and while the ships are near identical in size and similar in structure this is where the similarities end. To be fair for those who have never sailed before the Radiance has had a recent refurbishment in mid 2016 and is of a reasonable fitout standard, so for first timers don’t despair, but do hang onto your wallets! Yet the biggest difference between Royal Caribbean and Carnival is attention to detail, particularly the part where they try and fleece you for every dollar you have. From the minute you step aboard, to the minute you walk off 14 nights later the staff are at you constantly to pay more. This philosophy is ingrained into everything they do, from the ship layouts, to the port destinations, and the day trips. To start with the Radiance is nearly identical in size and shape to the Carnival Spirit, expect on the Radiance they pack in an extra 400 passengers. These passengers have to go somewhere, and that’s probably an extra 120 rooms, with only about 6 floors of cabins that’s about 20 more rooms per floor. So consequently your rooms end up about 50% smaller to accommodate the extra guests. Yep smaller room, smaller balcony, smaller bathroom and so on. The refit in 2016 has taken the Radiance up to a reasonable standard in look and feel. Not as nice as the Carnival, but acceptable. However in the refit they added a host of speciality dining rooms. This effectively is a “pay to eat” scenario, where in turn they have removed additional “free” dining experiences. The net result of this is almost all of the dining options are extra. Also that then effectively locks this area of the ship off to those who do not wish to pay. This was certainly not the case in Carnival where only one or two speciality dining rooms existed. To add to this they also have the unusual habit of closing the bistro early and forcing people who (for example) want something outside of hours (say an evening coffee) to go and pay for it in the “specialty café”. Then there is the crew, who have been instructed at every turn to push sales. Sales of shore trips, sales of internal trips, sales of drink offers, sales of everything you care to name. It gets to the point where you dread seeing a crew member because you just know they are going to push something on you. After this you have them cutting corners on shore trips and docking. Instead of going into the main port of the city, in most cases Royal Caribbean opted to stay outside of town in a commercial dock and then charge you a bus fair ($15 USD per person) to get into town. Or the other fun one was charging me $160 USD for a trip to the Cadbury Factory (fun trip) but was advertised on the door at only $40 USD ($55 NZD). Yep a whopping four times the price! When I complained I was told it was not their problem and I should call their help line if I had an issue. I complained again, and again, and was eventually offer a 20% rebate on the price. Now I fully expected they to make a profit on the day trips, that is their business. But they are booking 100s of these trips, and the door price (even have a pic of it) is $55 NZD (about $40 USD) for the family and I was charged $160 USD. On top of that they didn’t even book the tickets for my $160 USD, they just dumped us at the door and told us to sort it out ourselves. Had to wait over an hour because they didn’t book the tickets. Regrettably the Cadbury Tour was not a unique experience. The bus trip to Christchurch (this time stopped 2 hours outside of town) was a rough as guts bus ride into Christchurch, where you got 30 minutes for essentially a toilet break before turning you around and racing back to the ship. So much for Christchurch, all I have is pictures of the toilet… With their attention to fleecing you of your money, their small rooms, and poor ship layout I would strongly suggest you book with someone else. New Zealand is lovely, the people are great, and the place is so much fun to see, such a pity we went with Royal Caribbean. Oh as for those “Specialty Dining” options, we did try one, it was very disappointing, a specialty steak place and I have had better steaks from Aldi, this was full of fat and sinew, very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand without the hassle of driving. It is also cheaper this way as NZ is very expensive. Much cheaper to cruise and do local tours. This cruise is charged in US$ and tours are ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand without the hassle of driving. It is also cheaper this way as NZ is very expensive. Much cheaper to cruise and do local tours. This cruise is charged in US$ and tours are expensive. Careful selection of your cabin is essential because noise from the engines has to be blocked out with ear plugs, however; the vibration cannot. Lower aft is a big mistake. Deck 4 has the Windjammer Aft and Aurora Theatre forward . I would now plump for Deck 9 mid-section. We went to 6.30pm My Time Dining. When we asked to change tables, there was no problem. We had excellent service and had no complaints. I don't think the Speciality Dining is worth doing. The Windjammer had a lovely bow deck and we'd sit out there with cheese and biscuits and a bottle of wine on ice. Unfortunately, the weather isn't always kind in NZ, so take a few wraps. The AC is also at a low temperature. The next cruise will include more wraps and woollies ! The 70s Night was the most fun. Australia Night was more like British Night, hardly anyone dressed up and very few Australian groups featured. A lot of hard selling on this cruise. The Art Auction and photography were always being promoted. The Champagne Lunch was a big disappointment but they refunded our money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Our last cruise was over 25 years ago, and cruising has certainly changed since then. Everything about this cruise was superbly managed. Embarkation went very smoothly, and we were on the ship relaxing in no time. Hint: if you arrive early ... Read More
Our last cruise was over 25 years ago, and cruising has certainly changed since then. Everything about this cruise was superbly managed. Embarkation went very smoothly, and we were on the ship relaxing in no time. Hint: if you arrive early you can check your bags in early and then wander around Circular Quay until your allocated embarkation time. The ship is lovely. Very spacious, lots of windows to look out at the sea. It is a bit older, and doesn't have the amenities of the newer and bigger RCL ships, but is quite well maintained with only minor defects noticed. Service was fantastic all round. All the staff were happy and smiling, and greeted everyone they made eye contact with. Gede, the greeter in Windjammers, had a smile and joke for everyone. I Putu, Andre and Bernie (Schooner Bar) always remembered our names and made sure we had a drink. We purchased the ultimate drink package and had no problem getting our money's worth, even on port days. Hint: keep checking the online prices for the drink packages, dining experiences, and shore excursions before your cruise, as these prices change with the Australian dollar and are sometimes on sale. I think you can cancel a purchase and rebuy at the new price if a price does change. The only specialty restaurant we ate at was Chops Grille. We purchased First Night Done Right through the cruise planner at 50% off. Booked for 8:30pm for after Sail Away, so we didn't miss going through Sydney Heads. There was some confusion about which restaurant we were booked for, as the special deal stated that there would be a notice in our cabin upon boarding telling which specialty restaurant we had been allocated to, but there was no notice in our cabin. This took a bit of sorting out but we ended up in the restaurant we wanted anyway. The food and service was fantastic in Chops. After the first night we mostly ate at Windjammers. We had one dinner and one lunch at Cascades. The food and service was really good at Cascades but we preferred the informality at Windjammers. The food at Windjammers was good most of the time, with only the occasional miss. Plenty to choose from at all three meals. For some reason Rita's Cantina was not operating on this cruise, which I was a little disappointed about. I had a body exfoliation and massage package at the spa, which was expensive but very enjoyable. The spa rooms are nicely set up with floor to ceiling windows looking out to sea. Entertainment and activities were nonstop. There was always something to do, or you could do nothing and just relax. The best thing about the cruise was the organization. The staff always made everything easy. They never seemed to presume that you knew how things worked on a cruise ship. Every little detail was looked after. One such delightful extra was the serving of hot chocolate (spiked with Baileys, etc if you wanted) on the upper deck as we cruised through the NZ sounds on a cold and misty morning. A minor negative for me was an unpleasant odor in the Colony Club, which persisted throughout the cruise. But my nose adjusted to the smell after I'd been in there for a while. Most of the shore excursions we booked were really good. They are expensive but we preferred the certainty of knowing that if anything went wrong we would be looked after by the ship (missed ports, delayed returns, etc) However, one shore excursion we went on in Akaroa was less than ideal. It was advertised as wine, cheese, sheep shearing and sheep dog demonstration. It was an overly long drive to the winery for a couple of sips of wine, three slices of cheese and three crackers. I think there are vineyards much closer to the port that we could have been taken to. The farm visit was really good though. It was just too much time sitting in a bus and took over an hour longer that it was supposed to. Some of the passengers got very stressed about missing the last tender back to the ship (which wouldn't have happened anyway as it was a RC tour and the ship would have waited for us). This was a fantastic cruise experience all round, and I would not hesitate to recommend Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The whole experience was ruined by the constant upselling. Most activities were based on the ship selling something, but not for the enjoyment of the customers. The waiters too, were constantly trying to sell lunches and dinners time and ... Read More
The whole experience was ruined by the constant upselling. Most activities were based on the ship selling something, but not for the enjoyment of the customers. The waiters too, were constantly trying to sell lunches and dinners time and again. We went to the Chef's Table the second night which was very nice, but then found ourselves booked in for other nights which we didn't request. Nothing was offered on New Year's Eve apart from some music and balloons dropping - very disappointing. We were asked to order champagne early if we wanted it for NYE, otherwise there may not be enough for everybody. We were shown photos of four bottles; one being Moet & Chandon for US$82. My friend commented that it was expensive, considering we could buy it in Sydney for a LOT less. The waiter (this was in the Italian restaurant Giovannis) said that it was more expensive because it is the black label M&C (there are 3 types available: normal, pink & black), so we agreed to buy the bottle for NYE + booked Giovannis for NYE as we were told there would be a special menu. On NYE there was no special menu apart from a lobster tail added to the normal menu and a glass of champagne. We then asked for our bottle of M&C + they came up with a normal bottle. We explained that we had ordered the black label M&C as what was shown to us + explained as I have mentioned. They said there was no black label M&C on the ship and that all M&C were just normal bottles! This is false advertising and I don't appreciate liars and being taken for a ride which is how we felt. So we cancelled. This experience completely ruined our NYE evening. On another occasion we had booked the champagne lunch which was a tour of the kitchens and lunch for 4 January. When I phoned to check where we had to meet, the woman on the line said we were booked for the 5 January. I said no, we have a receipt here that says 4 January. She said they were booked out + had too many people. But we had booked days before + had a receipt! I then explained that we had booked the Chef's table for the 5 January + didn't want to have a champagne lunch the same day. She then said we could try and come on the 4th but it wouldn't be a pleasant experience as they had too many people booked + the 5th January would be more convenient for them!!! At that stage we cancelled both the Champagne lunch + the Chef's table. VERY DISAPPOINTING. Also when we tried to make a booking for dinner at the speciality restaurants there was never anybody there to take the call, even though in the leaflet we had it showed that we had until 5pm to make a booking. When I questioned this, they said Oh, they will be there later..... Also we didn't realise that everything would be charged in US dollars, and I think many people didn't realise this either. As we departed from Sydney to NZ and back we were in Australian waters and I would have thought that we would be charged in Australian dollars. This raised the bill substantially, especially as you have such a shocking rate of exchange. People should be aware of your shocking exchange rate. We found the food at the Chef's table and Giovannis and Chops Grill very nice, but we had to pay quite a lot for it. Samba grill was not a good experience; there is absolutely no atmosphere in the place; it needs renovation; is hard to find and we didn't like the food. The food which is offered at Windjammers and other outlets which comes with the ship package is not good - very cheap and ordinary. Entertainment was nothing special at all, especially for NYE. Even films were repeated on other days - one would think that you could get a different movie for each of the 11 days and not repeat any movies - they are not that expensive!! Our cabin + balcony were extremely small - when I say small, the balcony was literally as wide as the chairs on the balcony, so we had to climb over a chair to get to the other one. This is absolutely no exaggeration. So our experience was not a good one and hardly one I would recommend to anybody else. We met many people on board who felt the same way we did. We felt that the whole experience was about how much money you could make with as little outlay as possible. The waiters were all very friendly, but we had to wait a LONG time for food in the main dining room; whether the kitchen or the waiters were to blame for this we don't know. As the days went by the portions of food in the main dining room got less and less. At one time I ordered an eggplant dish as a main meal and it should have been a starter as it was about 4 spoonfuls. I come from a hospitality background and I never forget something one GM said. And that is 'The best food cost, is no cost'..... Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Selected this cruise due to holiday time available. Have done 20+ cruises previously ( mainly Princess and Celebrity). First and last time on old Royal Caribbean ships. No toiletries in bathrooms No drinks in fridge Luggage ... Read More
Selected this cruise due to holiday time available. Have done 20+ cruises previously ( mainly Princess and Celebrity). First and last time on old Royal Caribbean ships. No toiletries in bathrooms No drinks in fridge Luggage would not fit under bed ( a first) Decor nd tired. Ship not well maintained Service levels, especially in main dining room not satisfactory. My time dining chaotic every night Windjammer the smallest, darkest, and cramped space we have ever seen. Closes at 4.00pm for dinner prep, opening at 6.oopm. Very inconvenient for those returning from shore excursions wanting a snack. Dark atrium with inadequate seating in coffee bar and poorly placed shore excursion desk. Inadequate lifts, lots of waiting Specialty restaurants have very poor decor, not good value and allow unruly guests to continue making a ruckuss The most expensive shore excursions ever found on any ship Intrusive photographers Good aspects of cruise Great entertainment Best internet connectivity and speed ever experienced. I think this conveys our experienced views correctly Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Love cruising! The Radience is kept clean and the staff are happy and helpful, room clean and loved our free upgrade to the balcony, first time with a balcony and sitting outside reading was peaceful. The shows were great and loved the ... Read More
Love cruising! The Radience is kept clean and the staff are happy and helpful, room clean and loved our free upgrade to the balcony, first time with a balcony and sitting outside reading was peaceful. The shows were great and loved the comedian and magician. Love New Zealand and will keep going back. The private tours we did, so much cheaper than the ships tours, were fantastic. Main problem with dietary issues was the food, I can not have Guten or dairy. Could not eat most foods in windjammer as even the vegetables were cooked in butter. The cascades dinning the food was bland and the deserts boring, the chefs did not go out of their way to put flavour in after they took anything out that I can't have. Deserts were fruit, pavlova most nights, till I complained, then chocolate cake. Have been on NCL, Princess, P&O and even the Legend of the seas. They all tried really hard and the food was much nicer and variety of deserts. Legend of the Seas we ate in the windjammer every night with no issues, they even had desert available that was different most nights. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
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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