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

An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was ... Read More
An excellent cruise. Wonderful crew and great friendly staff. Ship layout was good and the lifts were fast and regular. Shopping was fun and there were many bargains on board. Duty free shopping at the Yellow shop in Vanuatu was unbelievable. Food was great except for main dining room (level 4) where I found it wanting, Steaks were over cooked even when replaced and the Roast Lamb on the last night was as tough as old shoe leather.Service in the main dining room however, was good. Windjammer was one of the best on-board buffets I have seen. Food was varied and excellent quality, stewards and wait staff were a happy bunch and service was great . Visiting Noumea on a Sunday is a waste of time. Almost everything is shut in the city. Entertainment and shows on board were first class. The Freddie Mercury shows were great . Steven Larkins earned every second of three standing ovations. Belinda Marks was also great entertainment. The on-board dancers were exceptional. Embarkation and disembarkation was very efficient as was the tendering process at a number of ports. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities ... Read More
I booked this March 23, 2019 cruise for the itinerary. I’m an American, and I’ve always wanted to see New Zealand and thought a cruise with many ports of call on a 12-night cruise would be a good introduction. Ports included cities in both the North and South Island, including all day to view the three South Island Sounds (Dusky, Doubtful and Milford) before heading back to Sydney. I arrived on the sidewalk at the Overseas Cruise Terminal in Sydney at 11:10 and was seated for lunch in Chops Grille at 12:20. I had purchased the new KEY program which brings certain perks formally reserved for those with many cruises in their portfolio. It included a good internet package (which I was already going to purchase) and also included priority boarding to tender ports. Unfortunately, did not get to use that much… I had a balcony cabin on the 7th deck at the front of the ship. Maria was my cabin steward and after a five-minute introduction and chat, I was on my way to 12 wonderful nights under her care. There is a lot of storage space in the cabin, and as a solo traveler I didn’t use most of it. There was enough room under the bed to store my suitcases, and I used the in room safe. The refrigerator wasn’t very cold, and even after having maintenance look at it, no improvement. Maria kept my room stocked with ice and made sure the turn down service was done while I was at the late seating dinner. Let’s get the “bad” out of the way. We started with ports on the North Island. A major storm formed at the lower part of the South Island about Day 4. The captain was in contact with the weather services and informed us an itinerary change might be necessary. Yes, that is what happened. We did not visit Dunedin or any of the Sounds. We detoured between the North and South Island, and also missed the makeup port of Picton due to bad weather. However, the makeup port of Wellington greeted us (unexpectedly for them) on a brilliant, warm, non windy Sunday morning and rolled out the red carpet of hospitality to ensure Radiance passengers had a wonderful experience in Wellington. The Zealandia nature park there is like stepping into Jurassic Park, and it did not disappoint as part of a ship’s excursion. Ron, our park guide, was fantastic. When the captain announced our itinerary would change, I heard grumblings amongst some passengers. However, later some of those grumblers had watched the weather forecast themselves, or their families had contacted them because the forecast made international headlines. The captain was visible every morning around the Café Latte-tudes coffee bar area to personally discuss concerns with the passengers. I saw him speak on the phone to a family member, assuring them their loved ones would be taken care of with safe passage, albeit a significantly revised itinerary. Way to go Captain Espen Been!!! Now that more sea days were added to our itinerary, the Cruise Directors staff stepped up and ensured there were activities throughout those days. There were several movies in the large performance theater so hundreds of passengers could enjoy them, dance lessons in the Centrum, extra musical entertainment throughout the day, etc. etc. Speaking of musical entertainment, Ron Kingston was a featured performer in the Quill and Compass Pub every night. He was amazing in his ability to connect with the audience and sing a variety of songs for all ages and from different cultures (American, Australia, New Zealand, British). It was kind of like a Piano Man singalong but with his voice, personality, and his guitar skills and unique sound system that really make the room rock. Was my go to event before bedtime. I signed up for the late dinner seating (8 pm) and requested to be seated at a large table. It did not disappoint. I’ve met Aussie friends for life. The food was very good, and by the second night my dinner cocktail was waiting for me upon arrival. There is an “upsell” for the high end steak and lobster dinners. Several table mates ordered the grilled lobster and were very pleased with it. The waiter and assistant waiter at table 505 were outstanding! A few nights I wanted to attend the 9 pm dance parties, and the staff at table 505 made sure my dinner was out in time for me to join in on the fun (I did skip dessert those evenings). I just told them when I was seated and they took care of the rest! The Radiance public areas look very good. The wait staff in bars and lounges were excellent. I discovered Angela in the Champagne Bar who makes an outstanding personalized espresso martini, which I enjoyed pre-dinner each evening. Simon in the Schooners Bar took good care of me during trivia events. And the bartenders in the Colony Club and the Centrum Lobby Bar on dance party nights never disappointed. There was a 50s/60s dance party, a 70s dance party and an 80s dance party on this cruise. Also a Dancing with the Stripes dance contest, where passengers selected at random are paired with crew members and the onlookers vote on the winners. The presentation of the flags from all employee nations onboard is not to be missed in the Centrum the last afternoon at sea. The casino on this cruise was totally nonsmoking, so I played there a few nights. Overall, I was even on the slot machines and roulette table, but the casino was empty most nights. Friendly, competent group of employees, however. This was cruise #13 for me, on various lines and itineraries. I had a wonderful time on the Radiance as a solo traveler, but I didn’t come for the floating theme park experience found on larger vessels. I came for the fun and the companionship of Aussies and others. I would do it again in a heartbeat, but it’s an 18 hour flight from Dallas, Texas, and I’m from North Carolina, so it may be some time before I’m back. Getting off the ship was a breeze, as I had the KEY package with a special program for the last morning. My bags were tagged differently and waiting for me in a designated area when I disembarked after a KEY breakfast in the dining room. I was staying on in Sydney for more time Down Under, so I didn’t feel rushed and took my time getting off the ship. As an aside, after the cruise ended, I did return to New Zealand on my own to experience the Fiordlands National Park and Milford Sound. Spent the night in Milford Sound on a vessel and tour operated by Real Journeys out of Queenstown NZ. Excellent weather….worth every dollar! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself ... Read More
The Radiance of the Seas is a lovely ship, there was plenty going on with trivia and activities. The choices of dining experience for lunch and dinner were up too the individual you had the choice of the Windjammer buffet a help yourself with plenty of choices (although getting a seat could be somewhat difficult)or if you wanted something a little more special the Cascades main dining room did lunch with menu choices. There was plenty of entertainment and activities going on and you could do as much or as little as you wanted to do. The staff/crew were as always working hard and were very polite and friendly, they always seemed to find the time to have a little chat, and made you feel so special. The port days were good and some lovely places were on our itinerary, with the choices of booking a trip or Making your own way round. Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even ... Read More
My friend and I both near 70 have just cruised from Sydney to Auckland for 10 nights and what a wonderful time we had. embarkation was very quick and we were onboard in about 35 minutes - the only queuing we did, disembarking took us even less time. All staff from the Captain to cleaners were very polite and would chat happily, were always attentive and nothing was too much trouble. The ship was great, comfortable, lovely big windows. The cabin was an inside one and while small, especially the shower, we had everything we needed. I am not sure I would have liked a room that size with more than two people though. We had all our meals in the Windjammer and certainly had nothing to complain about, plenty of choice. Our waiters got to know us and brought us drinks as soon as we sat down. Plenty of activities for everyone though we had gone to rest and relax so didn't take part in lots of things. I have to confess that I wasn't so impressed with the shows. A couple of comedians were quite crude and not appropriate for family shows. The dances and singers were good, as was the ventriloquist and hypnotist. My only real complaint was that everything that happened in the centrum was so loud you couldn't hold a conversation. We got off a tour bus one day that stopped a few hundred metres from the ship and you could hear the noise as soon as the bus doors opened. The ports were good and we did go ashore in Akaroa, Wellington and the Bay of Islands. Great sailing through the Fiordland sounds. We are both keen to go on another cruise and would certainly look at this ship first. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. ... Read More
Being our first cruise it did take a few days to settle in and 'get it'. Boarding in Sydney was a breeze and we were on board having lunch in under 30 minutes and our bags didn't take much longer to get to the room. The cruise was quite good. Pros included just about everything in NZ. Certainly a lovely destination. Wellington, Picton, Dunedin and Milford Sound were brilliant. The cruise buffet at the "Windjammer' café was very good (but a little crowded). A constantly varied menu with a good choice. I can't recall anything bad about eating there. The headline shows were very good as too the cruise Director, John Blair. He was extremely entertaining and so was his Neil Diamond tribute show. Cons were that the cruise was in reality, just like a floating RSL (which everyone said wasn't the case). The day revolves around eating and in the evening there are shows. The shows overall were quite ordinary (except for the headline performances of which there were only two). The main dining room was bad. The menu didn't really change from day 1. We had breakfast there three times. Each time we ordered a different breakfast combination and each time we got exactly the same breakfast? Other downsides were the small bathrooms, tiny showers, terrible TV choices, limited movie selections at the very tiny cinema (a tip is to get there an hour early for a seat). We had a cabin with a balcony towards the front starboard side on level 9 which provided us with shore views at every port which was nice. The shops were selling $100 watches from Costco for $700 and even with their so-called sale offering 75% discount, you were still getting ripped off. As it was our first cruise we can't really compare it to anything else but strangely enough, despite all the shortcomings, we quite enjoyed the experience but would probably try another cruise line for a better comparison. One last point, we booked through a company called Cruise1st and they were pretty ordinary. Great from a sales point of view but from there on, customer service was non-existent. We ended up going to Royal Caribbean US for a variation and they helped us. My advice would be to deal directly with the cruise line? Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas 9 night cruise to NZ South Island 28 October 2018 This was our honeymoon cruise for myself, new bride and almost 2.5yr old toddler. I chose this cruise I have never done the South Island and have always wanted to see the Sounds. This was my third time on Radiance. Embarkation was super smooth and quick. We had checked in and were on the ship within 15-20 mins. Our room was ready at 1pm as per usual. On this cruise we chose interior cabin which I am not overly used to as I like a Balcony however worked out great as it was so cold, rough and windy for most of the cruise that we never would have benefited. After leaving Sydney we encountered a low pressure system which we were stuck in for the next two sea days. Whilst it did not bother me in the slightest several guests remained in their cabins the first few days and I am told some even got off and flew home once we reached NZ. The top deck was closed most of the first two days as was the pools and promenade deck. To be honest the ship handled the swells very well which ranged between 6-10m at one point. Day 2 was the evening we had our first formal night and 70's night. My only grip was having a theme night on formal night as it meant getting dressed up twice. The 70's night was VERY tame as I think most passengers were suffering sea sickness and this was the night of the biggest swells. My wife and I seemed to be the only ones who went all out in our costumes. When we arrived closer to the NZ coast the weather improved which enabled us to enter Milford Sound which was AMAZING. It was also freezing cold. It was everything I had hoped. Doubtful Sound was also beautiful but even more cold and we even had light snow flurries. That night was Halloween and the turnout in the Centrum was huge. The ship was well decorated and many people got dressed up for the occasion. Again the Bride and I went all out and won a best dressed prize which was nice.....more alcohol. Our first real port was Dunedin. We wanted to do the Gorge train however it had already booked out unless you wanted to book thru the ship and I was not prepared to pay double the price of what you pay when you book direct with Dunedin Railway. Instead we chose to go on the Seasider which was a 90 minute trip along the coastline. The scenery was amazing and I highly recommend this trip. You can also book direct with Dunedin Railways. Day 6 saw us arrive in Wellington. We decided to stay on the ship and enjoy a bit of quietness plus arriving at 1pm and departing at 8pm did not offer much to do. Day 7 we arrived into Picton and wow it is a pretty little port. We took the Marlborough Flyer which is a 1903 built steam train up to Blenheim which is the heart of the Marlborough wine region. Rather than do any wine tours (remembering we had a toddler) we simply potted around town.That night we went to the Love and Marriage Game show as we put our little man in the nursery for the first time. The staff were great and he had them all to himself. For the 3 hours he was there it cost us $24 US which was worth every cent. Being on our Honeymoon we were selected to take part in the game show which was a real hoot and yet another prize of a bottle of wine. Day 8 was our first of two sea days heading back to Sydney. We again encountered rough swells and the pools and decks were closed but not as rough on the way over. This was also our second formal night followed by the Rock party which was a lot of fun and also attended by many. Day 9 was our last sea day and finally some calm seas. In terms of food we had the 3 specialty dining package and we ate at Chops which was superb as well as Samba Grille and Izumi which were also fantastic. We only ate in the MDR once as we found the food in Windjammer to be excellent and more than enough. To be honest we found our one meal in the MDR to be just average and even below the standard of Windjammer. Late night snacks such as pizza, pies and subs were all from the Solarium Cafe. We also ordered room serice one night which was excellent value and for a flat fee of $7.95 we ordered as much as we wanted and we did not hold back. The chicken tenders, quesadilla, burger and Philly cheese sub were all yum. We had the deluxe drinks package and on this cruise i tended to find that the drinks seemed to be far more watered down than previous cruises but nothing stopping you going back for more. We also purchased the streaming internet package and found it worked really well 99% of the time. Due to the little fella we did not really see any shows except Love and Marriage game show and the ventriloquist at the farewell party who was very very funny. The bands on the ship were great and the activities seemed fitting for the clientele although the timing of some things could have been better. In summary we had an amazing trip. Radiance may be approaching 20 years old but you would never know it. She is in beautiful condition throughout. All the staff we encountered were wonderful. I cannot think of one staff member who was not happy, friendly and polite. I would highly recommend this itinerary and ship if you are thinking of visiting the Sounds Read Less
Sail Date October 2018
We spent a couple of weeks exploring Auckland, NZ and New South Wales before boarding the ship in Sydney, Australia. The CC Roll Call Group met for a pre-cruise dinner in Sydney the night before embarkation. We stayed at the Amora ... Read More
We spent a couple of weeks exploring Auckland, NZ and New South Wales before boarding the ship in Sydney, Australia. The CC Roll Call Group met for a pre-cruise dinner in Sydney the night before embarkation. We stayed at the Amora Jamison Hotel, which was very nice and convenient for walking our suitcases to the ship, followed by a very easy embarkation. I should say that we had terrific weather throughout our stay, both on land and during the 17-day cruise. The CC roll call group was the best we've ever experienced. There were various activities and tours organized ahead of time, with spreadsheets to keep us all organized. Everyone we met was so friendly -- it made for a very positive cruise experience. Onboard the Radiance OTS, the staff was very hard-working, keeping everything clean. We had the best stateroom attendant, who was great at satisfying our every request, as well as keeping the cabin immaculate. The food and service were great in both the Main Dining Room and in the Windjammer buffet. We ate all dinners in the MDR (early dining) and really enjoyed the daily chats with our 6 tablemates and the servers. The Windjammer staff was always attentive, assisting with trays if the floors were a bit slippery, or serving coffee/tea/water at the tables. We did not use the Specialty restaurants. The Activities Director Alex and staff member Sophie were always around and tirelessly worked to make our vacation a great one. Their enthusiasm and friendliness was very much appreciated. The shows in the Aurora Theater were well done, and the theater is nicely arranged to allow everyone a good view. Also the shows & games in the Colony Club were very entertaining. Ports of Call: Picton NZ: Picton's shore excursions seem to center around winery tours, but since my DH is a non-drinker, that didn't appeal, so we just wandered around the town for the few hours we were there. Wellington NZ: We had pre-arranged a Walk Wellington tour, which was very interesting and well-paced. Afterwards, we explored the Te Papa museum, also very interesting. Papeete Tahiti: The roll call had organized a Full-Island Tour with Dave's VIP tours in a 10-seater van. The tour was great, but the van was a bit cramped with 9 adult passengers. Bora Bora: The roll call had organized a 3/4 day Lagoon tour in outrigger canoes, with beach luau-style lunch, with Patrick's Tours. It was a great day, and we saw lots of fish, swam with sharks and rays -- a fabulous experience. Sea days: Always lots to do, if you wanted, or you could just relax. The M&M was very well attended, on the first sea day. We swam in the pools, played mini-golf, made $11 on the slot machines, walked the jogging track and the stairs, used the gym, line-danced, did the daily Suduko puzzle from the Library, relaxed by the pool or on our balcony and ate a lot! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
I have just been on the most amazing cruise on the Radiance of the Seas from Sydney, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii, over 17 nights - departing on the 17th of April 2018. I cannot speak highly enough of everything about the cruise. 1. The ... Read More
I have just been on the most amazing cruise on the Radiance of the Seas from Sydney, Australia to Honolulu, Hawaii, over 17 nights - departing on the 17th of April 2018. I cannot speak highly enough of everything about the cruise. 1. The staff were brilliant - they could not do enough to help in everyway possible. 2. The food in all restaurants was just amazing with the quality and choice being 1st class at all times. 3. The entertainment was incredible with nightly shows in the Aurora Theatre being of top class. 4. The daily activities organised were wonderful with something for everyone, or you could do nothing if you wished! I have read some bad reviews recently about the Radiance and wonder if these people were talking about the same ship that I was on. There are no holes in the carpets, the food was not edible etc...………..!!! Thank you to Royal Caribbean, the crew and all involved in giving me the holiday of a lifetime. I know I speak for many on board that we didn't want to get off - just keep cruising! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We booked this cruise over a year ago and wanted to see the natural scenery of New Zealand. Our cruise took us to Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Auckland and The Bay of Islands. Embarkation and disembarkation was ... Read More
We booked this cruise over a year ago and wanted to see the natural scenery of New Zealand. Our cruise took us to Milford, Doubtful and Dusky Sound, Dunedin, Akaroa, Auckland and The Bay of Islands. Embarkation and disembarkation was brilliant and each time we did not spend more than 10 mins. We had a grand suite and an excellent suite attendant. Having a Grand suite did have its advantages and there were several facilities , parties and private dinning areas etc. The breakfast served in the speciality restaurants was super and the choice of breakfast was there for you and served to your table as well. We took the opportunity to request an Asian breakfast and within a short time it was served up to us. The waiters all went the extra mile and the WOW factor was very evident on many occasions. The speciality restaurants were of high quality and the shows on board got better each night. The Captain was very proactive and mingled with the passengers almost very day at some activity or the other. Cruise Director and staff were good and kept everyone on their toes through out the cruise. on the downside some of the cruise excursion were very expensive and did not hear a lot of positive feedback on it. the Internet was expensive but at times was very slow( to be fair during sea days during the crossing from Australia to NZ and back). All up very good resulted in another cruise being booked to Europe this time Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
My husband and I have cruised about 175 nights with RCL and have also cruised with Celebrity, NCL, Oceania, and Olympia. We chose this cruise because Australia was on our 'bucket list' and we love the RCL Radiance class ships, ... Read More
My husband and I have cruised about 175 nights with RCL and have also cruised with Celebrity, NCL, Oceania, and Olympia. We chose this cruise because Australia was on our 'bucket list' and we love the RCL Radiance class ships, including the Brilliance and Jewel. We had been to Sydney 2 years ago so we arrived only 1 day before the cruise. Embarkation and disembarkation went very smoothly. However, this was the first time that the ship's Doctor met with groups of 15 - 20 passengers to emphasize the need for strict adherence to sanitation guidelines before we checked in. We were very fortunate to have a minimum of rain - afternoon rain in Bali - and calm seas for the entire cruise but it was very hot even for Floridians like us. Usually we would have a relaxing breakfast and lunch at the Park Cafe near the Solarium pool. We prefer to eat light so we generally avoid the Windjammer buffet. The Park Cafe beef sandwich with au jus plus potato salad is our favorite boarding-day lunch. We were very satisfied with the menu selections and service in the main dining room, where we had a table for 2 but we also ate at Chops (3x) and Giovanni's (2x). Both had excellent food. Lamb at Chops or Oso Bucco at Giovanni's is our favorite. Service and atmosphere was much better at Chops. We expect a calm, quiet atmosphere when we visit an up-scale restaurant so we were disappointed with both of our experiences at Giovanni's. Our tours and ratings: 1 (regret), 2 (needs improvement), 3 (good), 4 (better), 5 (best) Brisbane Sights & Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (3) The guide narrated the drive through Brisbane but we were on our own at the Sanctuary. There were numerous signs and 'you are here' maps so I guess we really didn't need a guide. Folks who wanted a photo holding a koala were disappointed that there was not enough time. We saw numerous sleeping koalas (it was mid-day) and fed kangaroos. There was also a good variety of other native animals and birds in a zoo environment. Great Barrier Reef (5) We were picked up at the ship & taken directly to a pontoon that had snorkeling equipment (no extra charge), changing rooms and cafeteria (lunch was provided). This was much better than having to first take a tender to shore. A glass bottom boat and viewing area was also available and there was plenty of time to do everything: snorkel, glass bottom boat, and lunch. The water was less clear due to a recent storm but this was still an awesome experience not to be missed. Darwin (2) Our tour to Litchfield Park to see termite mounds, etc. was cancelled because the road washed out so there was no way to get there. We were offered 10% discount but since this was a last minute cancellation, the tours we were interested in were all sold out so we took the shuttle into Darwin where there wasn't much to see or do. We visited the Chinese temple and shopped for gifts. Balinese Way of Life (4) The visit to Penglipuran Village was the highlight of this tour. The guide described customs regarding ancestors, assignment of living areas and garden/livestock areas as we strolled along the walkway of an occupied home. Then at noon, chanting began over the village loud speakers. We had free time at Kehen Temple but this would have been more impressive if the guide had gone with us to explain the various aspects of the temple. Also, visits to the gold, silver, batik and painting galleries could be improved with explanations/demonstrations of how the goods are made and information about the artisans. As it was, these visits were mostly shopping stops. We had a delicious lunch at a very clean restaurant overlooking the volcano (socked in by fog) before fending off vendors on our way back to the bus. We had dressed for the heat and were very chilly at the restaurant. Historic Port Hedland (1) The microphone on the bus didn't work and the guide was so soft spoken that we couldn't hear even though we were sitting in the 3rd row from the front. We were surprised when we were dropped off in town to make our own way back to the ship and had to walk about 5 blocks in the heat to get the ship shuttle. There were not enough buses so we had a long wait. RCL gave us a full refund for this tour. Geraldton (4) Strolling the waterfront walkway with its Emu Egg sculpture and unique rubic cube restrooms is definitely worthwhile. The quality of the Museum exhibits - no entrance fee - was a pleasant surprise. There were informative Enrichment Lectures by Jane Orr: Australia's Most Famous Bushranger; Great Barrier Reef; Australian Flying Doctor Service; Aboriginal Art, Dutch East Indies; Gold, Diamonds, Opals, and Pearls. We enjoyed listening to Sweet Sounds featuring Ievgenila on violin and Dmytro on piano however their repertoire was limited. Another favorite was Kevin Phillip who played guitar, usually in the Pub. Kevin did a great job of engaging his audience. The headliner and production shows were typical of what we have found on most other cruises except for the Allure, which had amazing shows. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
Chose this cruise because we had never cruised to Adelaide before. Travelled in a Grand Suite with my wife and adult sister, we also has long time friends on board. Stayed in Sydney for three days in an apartment at Darling Harbour so ... Read More
Chose this cruise because we had never cruised to Adelaide before. Travelled in a Grand Suite with my wife and adult sister, we also has long time friends on board. Stayed in Sydney for three days in an apartment at Darling Harbour so no stress with flight times. Had a great time exploring the many attractions on ond off the water, had a great burger at Betty’s Burger near the convention centre and very nice Mexican lunch at El Comedos in the Rocks area. On the morning of the cruise caught the ferry from Barangaroo to Circular Quay, a short stroll to the OPT. Even though we had priority boarding we arrived at 09:45 expecting to drop off our bags and go get a nice cup of coffee (ship coffee is normally horrendous), there was very few passengers so dropped off our luggage and were whisked through check in ending up on board at just after 10 o clock, a quick tour of the ship as this was our first time on Radiance then a lunch at Windjammers where we caught up with our friends. Staterooms were made accessible right on the dot of 1 pm so a quick unpack then a further look around. I thought Radiance was looking pretty good for her age the only bits that looked worn was our balcony which was in a good need of a repaint and new furnishings. The Grand Suite was very nice, clean and in good repair with plenty of space for three adults, the layout was similar to the Grand Suite in Legend but slightly more modern furniture, the balcony on Legend however was much superior being almost twice the width and flooring made of synthetic planking rather than the painted metal of Radiance. My sister slept on the Sofa bed which she said was very comfortable, it was a pull out type rather than foldout and was prepared each evening an put away each morning. We hardly saw our stateroom attendant as we spent little time in our room but he kept the cabin and bathroom spotless and well stocked with towels, we referred to him as the silent cabin ninja, when we did run into him he was friendly, personable and courteous. We had our first dinner in Chops Grill which was lovely, booked the “first night done right package” which was good value. Most other meals we took in Cascades restaurant with MyTime dining, the second evening had long lines to get in and bookings seemed to be quite confused but that was sorted out and had no problems after that, we decided to keep the same time and table for the rest of the cruise, our waiters Samuil an Roy were wonderful. Did the Chefs Table one night and it was fantastic the food was beautifully cooked and presented and the wines exceptional, the sommelier Albert was the standout though well versed in his craft and very engaging and funny, a great night. The only bar we frequented was in the concierge lounge so of course we were well looked after there. Hobart was as always a great port arriving almost in the Center of town, due to the quite short docking times my sister and I took a ships tour to Port Arthur and a wildlife park, highly recommended although time at Port Arthur was a little short, glad we had a ships tour as we got back late. Adelaide, overnight stay, Port is quite a way out of town with few facilities and the train was out of commission due to track works so a shuttle bus to the city was provided $AUD10 return or free if a senior. I don’t understand why one of the car rental companies didn’t either set up a temp shop or arrange to drop of a car at the dock they would have made a killing. Once we got into Adelaide we hired a car and visited the beachside at Glenelg, Hahndorf and Mclaren Vale wine district. Melbourne, we were pleasantly surprised by how good the Port looked, there has been a lot of waterfront development since our last visit where it was an ugly working port, now it is quite inviting with Cafés and restaurants. All in all a great cruise, we loved the public spaces on Radiance and all the open glass views. Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good ... Read More
NZ cruise south and north island, ports had lots of things to see and do, food on board was delicious . Had dinner in the Italian restaurant one night and the food was the best, Thoroughly enjoyed it Also found the library had a good selection of books to read, but you need to go as soon as you can. I didnt partake in the entertainment offered just wanted to relax and veg out. I would recommen a cruise to anyone wanting to relax or you can do everything on offer your choice. We did a couple of excursions but prefer to do our own and see exactly what we want rather than be with a large group. The food in the buffet area has a lot of verity hot,cold and the best salads, nice cakes for a late night snack if you can fit it in after dinner, love the movies on the deck its lovely to see the stars when you are at sea. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, ... Read More
What great cruise, this was my 4th Cruise n Groove and 40 cruises this was one of the best. Wonderful check in, got to my cabin in 20 minutes. The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient. Ship is 16 years old but well maintained, refurbished 2011. This cruise I pre paid or the ultimate dinning and the unlimited drinks packages, well worth getting, great value. The entertainment was what it was all about. Main acts were great, bands all over he ship in all bars and venues all day. Loved Marcia Hines, Mi Sex, Boney M, Kc and The Sunshine band. Roy Orbison and Elvis, ECT. Food was fantastic, in the ultimate dinning package you had unlimited access to all speciality restaurants. All were a great experience, excellent service and amazing food.Main dinning room was ok. the real stand out was the Windjammer Bistro for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Very thing was fantastic, excellent friendly service, he staff were fantastic. Bar staff unbelievable remember your name and your drinks friendly, efficient,seldom had to wait long for a drink even under pressure. first time I tip bar staff. Cabin 3043 interior was clean and ok for one as you did not spend much time in your cabin on this cruise. Cabin steward IUKE did a great job very friendly a pleasure to talk too. Having spent the last 11 years cruising the world, I am fussy, and no mug. I dot have a single complain well done Royal Caribbean Cruises Getting of the ship was just wall off with your bags no fuss. Good internet anywhere on the ship, pre paid. Read Less
Sail Date October 2017
I had traveled from the fjords of Norway to the shore of the Dead Sea by car, air, and rapid train, but 2017 was my very first cruise. As a one-time rail pass holder, my vision of traveling was to hop on and off of trains every few days or ... Read More
I had traveled from the fjords of Norway to the shore of the Dead Sea by car, air, and rapid train, but 2017 was my very first cruise. As a one-time rail pass holder, my vision of traveling was to hop on and off of trains every few days or so. So when friends asked me to join them on their cruise to New Zealand, I wasn't sure what to expect. I wondered if the pace would be too slow or if the food would be good. My fears about my decision to cruise left me after the first hour on board. From the time that I stepped foot on board until the morning I departed the ship, the crew and staff aboard the Radiance of the Seas did everything possible to make me feel that they were there to make my vacation perfect. Instead of fearing hours on a ship with nothing to do, I was so busy on board that I looked for spare time so that I could read a chapter or two of the half dozen books I brought along with me. At dinner, my waiter and his assistant waiter looked after me as though I were a favorite cousin, while my cabin attendant greeted me every evening and brightened my day with towel animals and a copy of the next day's activities (The Compass) left on my bed. The entertainment score (my score) runs from "just okay" to "very good." Had I not had many experiences to enjoy first-rate broadway quality shows in the U.S. and all over the world, my entertainment score may have been higher. In any event, from the excellent meals to the art auctions, trivia games, and exciting shore excursions, cruising with Royal Caribbean opened my eyes to a new way of vacationing. Read Less
Sail Date March 2017
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
We chose this cruise as it fell over our holiday time. I have to say we had a teriffic time and we are already thinking of booking another. Our cabin was great, we had the biggest window ever! There was plenty of wardrobe and ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it fell over our holiday time. I have to say we had a teriffic time and we are already thinking of booking another. Our cabin was great, we had the biggest window ever! There was plenty of wardrobe and cupboard space. Our room attendant was teriffic - the cain was always clean & tidy. I'm pleased we had the drinks package - although my liver now needs a decent break! The only let down was being limited at dinner to either the Restaurant or Windjammer restaurants. Of course we could have paid more and gone to specialty restaurants - it was our choice not to but if we had of realised this at the start of the cruise maybe we would have got the package. However, saying that the main restaurant is fabulous with an ever changing menu. I'm not a soup person but I couldn't get enough. Overall we had a wonderful time & really enjoyed our time on Radiance of the Seas. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
We elected to go back on Radiance as my daughter had extensive surgery this year and needed a break and what better break than on the high seas on our favourite ship. We always review to keep the RCL reviews current and to help ... Read More
We elected to go back on Radiance as my daughter had extensive surgery this year and needed a break and what better break than on the high seas on our favourite ship. We always review to keep the RCL reviews current and to help provide tips on what to expect. Embarkation - Late, not RCL fault Norovirus outbreak. Crew were amazing as were check in staff, explained everything. Embarkation and state room access were later than usual but RCL provided updates to all to ensure minimum disruption. Rooms - We decided this time to try an inside cabin, why, cause we booked so many cruises this year on various RCL ships :) We were suitably impressed clean, neat, tidy. In fact our cabin steward was exceptional in every way, would run to open doors, nothing was an issue for him. So if you book Room 9001 or have booked Anak Arinata will most definitely deliver excellent service. There is a safe, plenty of cupboard space, refrigerator for use onboard. Great Room. Guest Services - Amazing staff. Now considering what they have to deal with from thousands of passengers I could not fault them at all. Smiles, friendly courteous. If you need to get signature pins, get a copy of your invoice (called Folios on board) or need any help adaptors access to rooms etc, they are most helpful. Now on embarkation the book in staff used to punch your sea pass card, this time around they didn't however Guest Services were able to do it onboard. So keep your lanyard in your carry on luggage and head straight to them, then you lanyard is sorted and you are free to enjoy your cruise. Restaurant - Now you have Cascades and Windjammer. Cascades is formal dining and Windjammer casual buffet style. When any sickness is onboard Norovirus or the such like crew have to serve you. Whilst some people found that irritating I for one was grateful they took the time to serve and stop the spread of germs. Hygiene is a must and wash stations are provided all over the ship. Windjammer staff were friendly, lots of variety to choose from and caters for special diets such as lactose intolerant gluten free etc. Cascades dining room is now on Level 5, its used to be Level 4 so My Time has swapped levels. We were seated in Level 5 2nd seating as we find this allows us to catch the show before dinner which suits our plans so 2nd seating is 8pm. Our dining room attendants were OUTSTANDING, they made us feel special and boy did they deliver service. The table was immaculate, they knew the menu options and ensured that we had a fantastic culinary experience throughout the duration of our stay. Server Mrworawit and Assistant Server Agung were so polite, they made us feel so welcome each and every night. They went out of their way to ensure our dining experience was exceptional. We are back onboard soon so hoping to have them again on same table. Not only do you make lovely dinner companions from fellow guests but you find that the crew become like your family, always there to ensure you are looked after 10/10. Head Waiters - Ferit Acikoz was outstanding, he came to check on us often to ensure all was well. He wasn't our Head Waiter however as we are frequent cruisers and he has gotten to know us, he made sure that we were welcomed back onboard. He remembered my daughter had surgery so went out of his way to ensure table access was okay for her. As I said once onboard they never forget a face and you become like family to them. Officers - Some cruises I have found a lack of interaction with officers, not this cruise. Michael head of hotel services presented various talks which I found very informative and he had a great sense of humour. He has no hesitation in answering any questions and is very approachable. The Captain OMG great value, between Michael and the Captain the cake off competition is hilarious. If you get a chance go and watch it. When you are a Crown & Anchor member you will get invited to private parties with the officers, we didn't go this time due to too many onboard activities that we couldn't find the time. Next time we will make sure we attend, they are great little get togethers and you have the change to interact and find out about officer life onboard. Gym - I am a bit of a gym junkie so if you like to keep fit, there is lots to do. The staff provide classes throughout your cruise and if you are like me I just hit the treadmill. The views are amazing from the gym ocean ocean and yes more ocean. Whats not to love. There are towels provided, wipes and there is a water bubbler inside the gym. Toilets are situated just outside and once you have worked up a sweat its a short walk down to get a drink from the park cafe or dip in the adults only solarium. Cruise Director - He was very approachable had a great programme of various activities and actively got involved. He and Michael can be seen training in the gym some evenings. If you see them there challenge him to some push ups, Michael is helping him to get fit & why there isn't a passenger v cruise director gym competition? Only saying. Seriously though there are so many things to do onboard its a choice as to what you want to take part in or not. Facilities - All venues onboard are immaculate, the ship is old so don't complain and winge about a spot of rust or carpet frayed slightly. Its a ship that hardly every docks and the maintenance staff do a fantastic job of keeping her looking fabulous. Theatre & Shows - Now we had a great time with the showtime experience. The guest performers were however for us a let down, comedian was not funny, and the Aussie Boys sorry didn't cut it for us, their voices just weren't the best. The Tango dancers however were awesome and everyone I spoke to loved their performance and the onboard dancers and singers were great. There are 2 shows, so we made sure we made the show before dinner use your cruise compass to plan your day and you won't miss out on activities. Shopping - we didn't do much shopping however the staff and amenities are there to cater for everyone, the seapass card is charged and is added to your account (folio) which is delivered to your room at the end of your stay. Keep your receipts and check off against your folio, easy process. Disembarkation - Hate it, only because we never want to get off. The process is simple you can walk off yourself with luggage or indicate which is your preferred method. We normally walk off however this time due to my daughters surgery we chose to have our luggage taken off for us. Fill out your luggage tags attach them to your case and leave them out before 2300hrs the night before. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Radiance of the Seas – Sydney to Hobart 24-31 October 2016 We enjoy doing short local cruises. Always something new to see and no passports or long flights to worry about. Embarkation – We received an email two days before ... Read More
Radiance of the Seas – Sydney to Hobart 24-31 October 2016 We enjoy doing short local cruises. Always something new to see and no passports or long flights to worry about. Embarkation – We received an email two days before departure “During Radiance of the Seas’ last sailing, a small number of guests onboard experienced gastrointestinal illness. In an abundance of caution, we are conducting enhanced sanitizing onboard the ship and within the cruise terminal to help prevent any further illness. Due to the additional sanitizing, the check-in appointment times for your voyage have been rescheduled.” This was fine by us – we did not wish to become ill and were happy with whatever they could do to help us, the other passengers and crew to remain healthy and stop the spread of illness. We had flown to Sydney so we arrived around 11.00am. We always train it from the airport and walk from Circular Quay. We decided to see if we could drop of our suitcases, however when we got there we could board straight away around 12.30pm. The queues were not very long so we were on board in about 15 minutes. We were advised our rooms would not be ready until 4.00pm and our suitcases would not be available for some time after that. They arrived around 6.00pm not too bad. The wait with our carryon bags was a bit of a nuisance but we survived. Cabin 9060 – Superior Balcony Cabin. All good – a few things missing on the first day or so however with all the extra work the staff had to do it was nothing we couldn’t handle. Our only complaint was the “cooler” which never worked the whole time. We did mention it and they supposedly checked it but the water on the bench was colder than in the “cooler”. No big deal just a waste of space if they don’t cool anything. The cabin is the normal design. King bed, plenty of hanging space, plenty of drawers and shower curtain which sticks to your butt if you get too close! Our cabin steward “Girlie” was great. We always put the sign out to have our room done when we left for breakfast and it was usually done when we returned. No problems at all. We had towel animals on the bed a couple of times. Main Dining Room – we ate here most nights. Food good and waiters excellent – sorry forgot their names. I ordered pasta one night and it was a bit bland the waiter was happy to replace it without any worries. Windjammer Café – we ate breakfast and lunch here most days. Plenty of variety and what you expect from a buffet of such a large size. Not a lot of waiters in attendance but we always managed to get one eventually. They had to clean tables as well so they were very busy. Chops Grille – we celebrated hubbies’ birthday here. He was embarrassed with the singing happy birthday and a slice of cake for him! I loved it. The food was very nice although we found his slice of cake very dry. Everything else was delicious. Beverage Package – hubby had purchased his when they had the “select package”. They kept trying to get him to upgrade but as he said he only drank beer so why pay more? I purchased the new package on board. Ok we both like a drink, I like the fresh orange juice and coffee as well. We find it easier than signing for every drink and know where we stand with our bill. Entertainment – Tango Buenos Aeries, we have seen it before and loved it as much this time as we did last time. There was a display of tango dancers by the main couple and their son also great to watch. The Aussie Boys were fantastic – must admit I like to see the local entertainers on board. Great show and had everyone tapping away with them. One other show with the RCI Singers and Dancers – I always love their shows so am probably a bit biased. We did miss the singer Charlie in the Pig and Whistle Bar. He would pack the bar every night – not much entertainment in this bar at all. Very disappointing. The man playing the piano was good however he didn't interact with people. Staff – most important of all – we had no problems with any of them and found them all to be extremely helpful and polite. The Cruise Director – Steve (I think!) always funny and said hi if he passed you onshore or on board. The wait staff and bar attendants were always attentive and helpful. Ship - clean and tidy - always plenty of staff to assist. Ports of call Melbourne - we don’t book shore excursions from the ship very often. In Melbourne, we went to the Arts Centre which have free exhibits – one of which was “Kylie on Stage” – even hubby enjoyed this. I also did a guided tour $20 which was fabulous. We saw three rehearsals and went through several different theatres. Well worth the money and highly recommended. Next was the museum. Always things to see. Then onto the National Gallery of Victoria – free exhibition “Italian Jewellery Bulgari Style” wonderful – drool marks on all the windows! So, lots to see and do in a proximity. The exhibits are always changing so next trip will probably go to the same places and see what is new. Hobart – we caught a bus to the “Cascade Brewery”. Beings “oldies” we received a discount so the cost was only $25 each. Book online as they get extremely busy. We got off one stop early and walked through the “Cascade Gardens” absolutely lovely. Up a slight hill but if you are reasonably fit it is an easy walk. The tour itself if you can’t do stairs then you would not be able to do this. Also, you need long pants and closed in shoes. We loved the tour very informative. You get 5 samplings at the end of the tour – so as I am not a beer drinker gave my tokens to some young guys who were happy to receive them. Think they were some crew members off the ship. Port Kembla – Well what a welcome “the Gong” put on for us! They did themselves proud. There were helicopters flying overhead, an old plane, jet skis – although I thought they were far enough away they were moved on by the police. I believe there was also whale sightings which I missed. There were two tug boats – one with their water cannons going for ages, lots of people lining the shore waving and boats. There were shuttle buses to take us into Lang Park where there was a small market. The Mayor of Wollongong met all the buses and got on to welcome everyone. There was also a great Harley-Davidson rally of around 2,000 bikes. Great display. We also walked up to the lighthouse not far with the beach below. Lovely view. The “pièce de résistance” for us was our tour of the Port Kembla Steel mill. I arranged this privately and it was fabulous. The gentleman who took us Craig did it on his own time as there were no tours running on that day. So informative, he gave us so much information and was so interesting to see the steel being poured into great long slabs and then cut. Very hot and you need to be relatively fit as to get into the building you have to walk up four flights of metal stairs. You must be dressed in long pants, enclosed shoes and they give you goggles, a flouro shirt, safety helmet and gloves to wear. We even received a piece of metal as a souvenir. Disembarkation - easy we always do a walk off. We went upstairs for breakfast early. When we tried to go down in the lift with our luggage that was our only problem – we did what all cruisers do in this situation took the up lift and then went back down. Walk to Circular Quay and train to the airport. Apologies if this is too long or too many pictures! Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This is our first time cruising with RCI and the 2nd cruise for most in our group. We travelled with our 3 children aged 15, 13 and 9 years and the children's grandmothers. We absolutely loved this cruise and cannot speak highly ... Read More
This is our first time cruising with RCI and the 2nd cruise for most in our group. We travelled with our 3 children aged 15, 13 and 9 years and the children's grandmothers. We absolutely loved this cruise and cannot speak highly enough about it. I loved the itinerary - the ports we visited were all fantastic. The entertainment was top notch - there was a different show on every night ranging from music and dancing shows to comedians and stage singers. The entertainers would change at each leg of the cruise where new ones would board the ship. The singers in the bars and public areas were wonderful also - very talented. My favourite was Charlie Jourdan who mainly entertained in the Quill and Compass pub - this guy could sing anything and could change his voice to sound like the original artist of the song he was singing...amazing. The Cruise Director, Steve, was unbelievable - he had so much energy and I was convinced that he worked 24 hrs/day. He did a wonderful job introducing the entertainers and organising activities and concerts for the guests and staff to participate in. He was also very informative and organised discussions/debates covering several different and interesting topics. I feel that Steve was responsible for making this cruise thoroughly enjoyable for everybody in our group. The Captain was also very engaging and hands-on - he was involved in a lot of the organised activities, had a great sense of humour and it was obvious he was highly respected by the crew. Every day at midday he would give an update over the PA system on our current position and weather conditions. We tried to attend all the activities the Captain was involved in as you knew you were guaranteed to have a good laugh such was the nature of his personality. The food in the Windjammer was fantastic - consequently we dined there most evenings. We purchased a dining package enabling us to dine in the 3 specialty restaurants - Samba Grill, Giovannis and Chops Grille - these restaurants exceeded our expectations and were all great - make sure you try them if you ever cruise on the Radiance. Our Stateroom Attendant, Orlando, was great - our kids loved him and he went out of his way to make sure we were happy and everything was OK - we would look forward to coming back to our rooms in the evening to see what towel animal awaited us - very exciting!!! Being a Transpacific Cruise of 18 nights there were understandably a lot more adults than children. Our children had a great time though - and there was plenty going on to keep them entertained. The vibe onboard also seemed different to the last cruise we did through the South Pacific - I assume it's because it was a longer cruise and we were travelling to a different destination - there was a lot of excitement and anticipation throughout the whole cruise. Loved the 'crossing the equator' ceremony - very entertaining and lots of fun. A lot of people were actually quite sad to see the cruise come to an end. The ship does look a bit worn in places, eg, carpet, furnishings, etc, but this doesn't detract from it's beauty and after it's refurb it will look amazing again. Thank-you RCI - I'm sure we will be cruising with you again in the future. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We chose this particular cruise as it left from Sydney, Australia. We had both wanted to see Australia and this was a way to see just a small potion of Australia with a cruise to other destinations thrown in as well. New Zealand, French ... Read More
We chose this particular cruise as it left from Sydney, Australia. We had both wanted to see Australia and this was a way to see just a small potion of Australia with a cruise to other destinations thrown in as well. New Zealand, French Polynesia, and ending in Hawaii. With the idea of staying in Hawaii for several days. It would be three vacations rolled into one big trip. Our stay in Sydney afforded us a small view of what Australia was about. We did a lot in just 5 days with tours that were 12 to 14 hours each day and we same a great deal, but barely scratched the surface. Sydney was, I believe the best for a short stay, an interesting and vibrant city. Embarkation was the smoothest we have ever experienced boarding any cruise. The disembarkation in Hawaii was a complete and utter disaster on RCCL's part. It was the most and utterly confused process I have ever witnessed on any other RCCL ship or other cruise line. To long for any details, suffice to say it was terrible. The ship it self was in need of a refurbishment, which was scheduled when the ship arrived in Vancouver. Our cabin was good and the attendant was outstanding. Food was okay but tailored to the Au. and Asian taste.. Over all the cruise was outstanding from a travel point and ports of call. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We left Sydney February 18 and returned February 25, 2016. This is my 3rd cruise but 1st on Royal Caribbean. We booked Delta from MYR to SYD, NEVER again as they delayed, rebooked, stranded, and the list goes on. BUT, once we got to the ... Read More
We left Sydney February 18 and returned February 25, 2016. This is my 3rd cruise but 1st on Royal Caribbean. We booked Delta from MYR to SYD, NEVER again as they delayed, rebooked, stranded, and the list goes on. BUT, once we got to the ship, the cruise was magical. So if you fly, take Quantas or Virgin Australia as these are the dominant carriers there. My daughter turned 16 and we went to celebrate her birthday. I figured in the next years to come I may not have her time as she will be working, dating, etc, so now was my chance and it was a good choice. We were on the 9th level in the middle with a balcony overlooking the waters. Most excellent! The crew was phenominal as we were greeted by the ship director when entering, and waving to the staff when exiting. Let me mention the staff that scored a 10+...Alfred-commander, Mario-bar server, Inezbio (I apologize I misspelled your name)-room housekeeper, Hubart-waiter, Steve-cruise activity person and our favorite, Dante-our server on deck 4 early dining. The ship was clean and easy to find where your going with well placed signs and helpful staff. We enjoyed room service, always on time, and tea on our balcony every morning, very relaxing. The planner paper was circled with events we wanted to attend daily from movies, bingo, pool, music, shows, comedy show, a tango spotlight dance (most excellent), jewelry shows and give aways, retail sales, makeup discounts and fun learning stuff. Every morning was a tv morning show with Steve who is a hoot. He made everything fun. The service in the dining room is beyond compare. I felt like we were in a ritzy mansion with servers who became like family because of their professional but friendly personalities. When the cooks and wait staff went up on the stairs and sang to us, we gave the heart sign to Dante and Hubart and they saw us in the back and signed it back to us, how awesome! Dante made a rose and candle out of a cloth napkin and gave it to my daughter for her birthday while the staff sang, it touched her heart. The food was plenty and much to choose from. It was well displayed and yummy. We never had to wait to eat like prior cruises. The room was always clean, even our shoes were lined up when we returned, and the towel animals very enjoyable. The excursions were good too. In Sydney we toured the city, the bus driver, Jack was very informative and fun. He went out of his way to accommodate us. We saw the Opera House, Mrs Mckrackens chair, the town at the Rocks and more. In Melbourne, we went on the Puffer Billy. In New Castle there is a coach trip to see the sights. All good and not confusing. This was an older adult cruise with very few children and even less teenagers if any. I spoke to several disabled people on board who was happy with the accommodations provided for them as well. The prepared the night before we left so we could get up, shower and go without looking for everything at the last minute, its all about planning so you get every minute of your trip organized and get the most in that you want without disruption. I wished we had more time and we would have went to New Zealand too, but had to return because of school. This was a fabulous ship, staff, and we would do it again! Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
OK, lets get the negative things out of the way. Yes, the ship is due to be refurbished. Here's a few things I noticed: * Scratched and/or frayed furniture in cabins and public areas * Stiff doors and drawers in the cabin ... Read More
OK, lets get the negative things out of the way. Yes, the ship is due to be refurbished. Here's a few things I noticed: * Scratched and/or frayed furniture in cabins and public areas * Stiff doors and drawers in the cabin * A vague odour in the bathroom and some corridors which I got used to very quickly * A whole seat missing in the cinema * Rust spots on the balcony Sounds bad? Not really. She is due for drydock in May so these are the sorts of things I would expect to see on a ship at the end of its 5-year maintenance cycle. The majority of the ship is in immaculate condition and is very comfortable. The layout is excellent and it's definitely become one of my favourite ships. Service was brilliant in the MDR and specialty restaurants although I thought the Windjammer was a little understaffed. Food was mostly excellent but the buffet breakfast was a little below my expectations. The only negative experience was breakfast in the MDR - slow, crowded and average food. Our stateroom attendants went out of their way for us on a number of occasions and were very friendly. I thought the entertainment staff were excellent and daily activities were well run. I love trivia games and on one sea day there were five spread evenly across the day. The shows in the theatre however were below average. In summary, any minor maintenance issues the ship is suffering are more than made up for by the overall quality of the ship and it's crew. Definitely a ship I will look at choosing again. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
This was our first ever cruise, it won't be our last! We got on the ship at 1130 am and the boarding process was easy, efficient and very quick. We had a good look about the boat then relaxed while everyone else boarded. Our balcony ... Read More
This was our first ever cruise, it won't be our last! We got on the ship at 1130 am and the boarding process was easy, efficient and very quick. We had a good look about the boat then relaxed while everyone else boarded. Our balcony room was very pleasant. Nicely made up, the size of an average hotel room, plenty big enough for the two of us. We did have one day where the toilet was blocked, but we reported it and it was fixed instantly ! We found the food in every restaurant to be excellent . We had two vegetarians with us and never had a problem at any meal . The food is presented so well and the windjammer had an enormous selection of everything all the time, it really was amazing. The staff were very efficient and very happy everywhere we went. We probably only got to half the entertainment available during our 10 night stay but it was really good! Steve Davis the entertainment director was incredible at his job. A really nice guy that never seems to sleep , and puts 100% into the program, hats off to him and the team, they were so entertaining! We found the days off the boat were organised very smoothly, disembarking etc, it's all just so easy. There's always so much to do and plenty of time and places to relax too. I would recommend Royal Caribbean to anyone that wants to cruise. We did the east coast of Australia and it was fabulous. We have every intention of booking another one . Well done Radiance of the Seas, excellent cruise Our only small gripe was the pool was much smaller than we had imagined but it was never too busy to get into anyway. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
Background We took this itinerary for the Great Barrier Reef experience. We had only been on Voyager before. I travelled with my husband and 16 y/o daughter. Embarkation We travelled to the OPT by train and arrived at 1100hrs. We ... Read More
Background We took this itinerary for the Great Barrier Reef experience. We had only been on Voyager before. I travelled with my husband and 16 y/o daughter. Embarkation We travelled to the OPT by train and arrived at 1100hrs. We were on board by 1120hrs. It has been the same for our previous two cruises from the Sydney OPT. The Radiance She is truly a remarkable mid size ship. We could see the sea from most places and it didn't take long to get from one place to another. It never felt crowded. There has been much talk about the ship being "dated" or "tired". I will have to disagree. Sure, there are some structual cosmetic issues however, you would expect this on any ship of this age. The ship is kept meticulously clean generally. I was amazed at this. Cleaning was done around us with a smile and a salutation. No mess on the pool deck on this ship! Activities There was so much to see and do that we had trouble choosing. History talks, bingo, trivia, karioke, and dancing in the Centrum. Loved the 70's night and the Rock night, not to mention the tropical party on the pool deck. Lots of different types of music to enjoy around the ship. My toes were forever tapping. Service Can't fault the service. The staff are genuinely friendly/talkative and seem to enjoy their job. This attitude is rolled over to the passengers who were also very friendly and talkative. We met so many interesting people from various countries and learnt alot. I was continually asked if I wanted a drink. If so, there was no wait time. We didn't do a drink package and had no regrets. It was the right decision for us. Nothing was too much trouble, even at the guest services desk which had minimal waiting time. Our stateroom attendant, Manuel, (not an automatic car :-), supplied us with ice twice a day and was a wealth of knowledge. Shore excursions We had booked a Great Barrier Reef (GBR) ship tour for our first port stop of Airlie Beach. At Cairns we had booked the ships Jungle train, Kuranda and Skyrail tour. Our final tour in Port Douglas was to be the ships Island Getaway, the lower isles, inner reef, to maximise our snorkeling time. The day before Airlie Beach we were informed by Royal that the GBR tour out of Airlie Beach may be cancelled. I should mention here that we had beautiful sunny, hot weather with high humidity for the entire cruise except for a 5 minute downpour in Cairns and some rain overnight whilst at sea. The same day, Cruise Whitsundays, cancelled the tour due to rough seas in the outer reef. Not even the locals could access the outer reef in the previous two days. We knew when we booked that it would be cyclone season and may not get to the reef. Regardless, we were disappointed, mainly because all the GBR tours further up were fully booked. We were resigned to another cruise to the GBR next year. The only excursion with only 5 seats available for Airlie Beach was the Crocodile Safari. So I booked that on the spot. We got to see crocs in the wild, had an Aussie BBQ, with damper and billy tea for afternoon tea and a tour of the wetlands. Only trouble was, the monsoon season was late and there was not too much to see. No cyclones either so we have to be grateful. The funniest part was the outback dunny. I think some of the international tourists were shocked. It had a button to push for a flushing "sound " however it was a septic tank, LOL. Once back on the ship we had a message saying that Royal had sourced an extra GBR tour out of Port Douglas and we had first preference. YEAH! Quickly booked this tour and cancelled the low isles tour. I later saw for myself that the "island getaway" was less than half a kilometer from the tendered ship! Phew! The Cairns excursion was wonderful. We got some amazing pics of the Radiance atop the Great Dividing Range. The GBR tour by Quicksilver out of Port Douglas exceeding my expectations. The trip out and back on the catarmaran was smooth and magical on the top deck. We went to the Agincourt ribbon reefs on the very edge of the GBR where it drops off to 3000 ft in depth. From the pontoon, where the catamaran docks they have a submersible boat that explores different reefs to that where you snorkel. Here they explain by commentary the different corals and sea life that you will see whilst snorkeling. I was in awe and couldn't wait to get to the surface and start my adventure. I do suggest you do the submersible first, however, even I was impatient to get started snorkelling once on the pontoon. They also have a marine biologist tour in a different area for a fee, however, didn't do this. Maybe next time. Snorkelling the reef was amazing. The coral types and colours and the marine life was fabulous. Truly one of the seven natural wonders of the world. All my family loved it. We had two small tendering issues. In Airlie Beach we were one hour late for our Crocodile Safari after waiting in the auditorium for 90 minutes. Not sure what happened here. We also had an extended wait time in tendering back to the ship in Cairns. All the excursions returned at the same time and it looked as if the ships tenders could not assist due to rough seas. We had to wait for large private charters. It wasn't fun in the heat and humidity. Dining We had My Time dining at 1800hrs each night except the first night where we wanted to do sailaway on deck and my teenager wanted to go register for the teen club. I enjoyed the food very much. I was particular in what I ordered. I was also careful not to overeat during the day and quite looked forward to dinner. Suthakar and Brendan did a wonderful job looking after us, thankyou. The service was prompt and the meals were hot. We were out of there to do other things within an hour or so. Even though I did not eat dinner in the Windjammer, I checked it out after reading various opinions on CC. I was impressed with their pasta station and overall food selections. Many were also available in the MDR. We ate breakfast each morning in the Windjammer except for one morning where we ate in the MDR. No food issues from me... Teen Club Our daughter checked in on the first evening. We hardly saw her after this. Mind you, this could have something to do with the nice young man she met whilst there ;-) Seriously though, there was lots for her to do and she had a great time with scavenger hunts, games, tournaments, discos and arcade fun. Entertainment I found most of the headliner shows really enjoyable, however, the Radiance dancers in the production shows were not up to scratch in IMHO. Not sure if it was the choreography or the varying expertise of the Radiance dancers. I found both Radiance singers were very good as were some of the sets. Headliners Brett Thomas, comedy and vocals Groove Line, Motown, funk singers/dancers Danny Elliott, multi instrumentalist and vocalist Nikki Bennet, cabaret diva Phoenix, psychological illusionist and mentalist The Australian Beatles Sam McCool, comedian Production shows Tango Buenos Aires City of dreams Piano Man I thoroughly enjoyed Tango Buenos Aires due to the amazing dancers from Argentina. I also found Phoenix very entertaining and enthralling. Disembarkation We chose to do express walk off. No problems at all. Summary It's unanimous that we all had a wonderful time on Radiance with the highlight being the Great Barrier Reef. Thankyou RCI for arranging that extra tour! We enjoyed ourselves so much that we booked another cruise next year to do it all again :-) Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
My wife & I cruised on Voyager of the Seas last year and we had heard so many good reports on the Radiance that we just had to try her out. What a wonderful ship she is, a nice size, crewed by a fantastic group of people. On arrival ... Read More
My wife & I cruised on Voyager of the Seas last year and we had heard so many good reports on the Radiance that we just had to try her out. What a wonderful ship she is, a nice size, crewed by a fantastic group of people. On arrival at the OPT at 12:00 pm our bags were dispatched and we went through all checks without a hitch and boarded within 20 minutes, cabin was ready at 1:00 pm and bags arrived by 3:00 pm. Balcony cabin 7598 is mid ship adjacent to the Centrum, when we were allocated this cabin we were worried that noise from the late night activities could be a problem as we are both light sleepers. Not a worry, shut the door and all you could hear was the water and wind through the balcony door. The big advantage of this cabin was it's position mid ship, we had one day which was a bit up and down and when you watched the bridge from the balcony you could see a great variation in it's position in regards to the horizon, we did not suffer from this movement. The bathroom was as on the Voyager with ample room in the shower for my 85 kg frame, plenty of space for toiletries and never a shortage of hot water. Just make sure that the shower curtain sits within the lip of the shower recess. The Captain, Goran Peterson led by example. Whenever we met in the public areas he would always stop for a brief chat. His presentation in the Aurora Theatre to the guests was fantastic. He talked about his career, the company, the ship and presented a great slide show which lasted 75 minutes, he had the audience enthralled. We have been on cruises where the Captain would just sit next to a group of officers on the stage and just refer questions to them while he sat upfront and middle like a pompous boffin. The Cruise Director, Steve Davis certainly lived up to his reputation, great presenter, singer and dancer, he could easily be the main act any time, his rendition of "Shout" was crazy. His versatility really came out when he called for volunteers from the guest to rehearse for Michael Jackson's "Thriller Dance". All the kids practiced during the week and on the last night he led their performance dressed up as Halloween like figures in the Centrum (Tell Steve to move up the Aurora so we can ALL see them.) Food was delicious, choice in Windjammer was fantastic, especially for somebody who has to keep a tab on weight.For the reason just given we only ate in the dining room once. The food and service was first class but as stated we opted out for lighter fare. We had four sea days on this voyage and on each of those days we attended lectures presented by Dr. Gary Lee who is a lecturer at Sydney University on health and and the human body, excellent presentations. The entertainment in the Aurora Theatre each night was the best we have seen on board any ship, very smooth and slick and the resident orchestra were amazing with their versatility. Disembarking to tenders for shore excursions on Lifou and Isle of Pines was streamlined and no holdups were encountered and our return to Sydney where we had an express walk off with our luggage was hassle free which is more than can be said by some other lines. We always choose cruise that depart and return to the OPT where we can have a 10 minute stroll to Circular Quay station hop on the train and be home in 60 minutes. This is also a great option for those who wish to travel to the airport as a direct service travels through Circular Quay train station for about $23 P.P. My only grievances are: Unlike the Voyager we did not have tea making facilities in our stateroom, sorely missed late at night and that bloody dona, great for Alaska but totally overweight for the tropics, Some nights the sheet is not enough and the dona too heavy. Thank you RC for another enjoyable cruise, looking forward to our next cruise with you. Read Less
Sail Date January 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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