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

I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it ... Read More
I am a loyal cruiser with RCCL & Celebrity. I was shocked and very disappointed with my experience on board this ship. Radiance was supposedly refurbished in May 2016. The food was okay. Nothing special or outstanding. I find it very annoying that I'm being solicited during a meal to buy a specialty dinner. It's very disruptive to the dining experience and this seems to be the new practice on cruises now, which is not acceptable. I did not find the on-board entertainment to be very good. After a few nightly shows, I gave up and quit going. The Diamond Club Lounge was always so crowded with no seats and way too hot that I had to take my cocktails and food to the adjacent lounge to enjoy. I visited the spa for a pedicure and the pedicure chair with the massage jets was broken, but the nail tech didn't inform me until I asked her to turn the jets on, then she said they weren't working. By this time, I'm already in the process with polish removed and feet soaking. The manager of the salon was of no help and when I got back home, I contacted RCCL. They said they have no control over Canyon Ranch Spa because it's a separate company and I should contact them. So much run-around only to find out that RCCL doesn't take responsibility for their spa. So, ladies, beware! The ship excursions have become so outrageously expensive, so I book most tours on my own. I did take two ship excursions and they were enjoyable. Embarkation went very smoothly. Disembarkation was a nightmare. At the beginning of the cruise, I had my power strip confiscated and they promised it would be in a certain area in the cruise terminal at the end of the cruise, which it wasn't. So my disembarkation was delayed because they couldn't find the confiscated items table. A very helpful New Zealander staff woman helped track it down for me, and I was very grateful. I've noticed negative changes in RCCL my last couple of cruises, but this was the worst cruise ever! So this is the end of my cruising with RCCL. They are a garbage cruise line and I will now be going to other companies for my vacations. I'm a solo traveler, so I always have to pay double to cruise. After 19 cruises, they've lost my loyalty and my revenue stream. Read Less
Sail Date February 2019
This was our first cruise leaving from Australia in the past we have only been on Disney cruises. I was so disappointed. It was a cruise during the school holidays so I thought that it would be aimed as families with plenty of activities ... Read More
This was our first cruise leaving from Australia in the past we have only been on Disney cruises. I was so disappointed. It was a cruise during the school holidays so I thought that it would be aimed as families with plenty of activities as there was a number of sea days. I was wrong it was aimed at retirees. Due to the cyclone there was no real activities at Arlie beach to go and see the reef the reason we went on the cruise. RCL was aware of the problems before we sailed but didn't bother to make a change to maybe cairns so we at least would have had a chance to see the reef. It ended up being an expensive trip to Newcastle and Brisbane. The food was boring especially if you wanted something after 9pm. We tried room service that was a huge mistake a simple request for 2 items from their menu was impossible for them to get right, we asked for a burger it arrived so undercooked we could have chased it around the room. We rang and asked for one that was cooked and this time it arrived stone cold. The attitude and lack of care was surprising. The only thing staff were interested in doing was upselling. Never again. Even though Disney is more expensive we will save up and go with them. Embarkation and disembarkation was very smooth which is the only thing that I feel they did well on the cruise. The ports of both Brisbane and Newcastle look shabby and uninviting. If we want to have a sustainable cruise ship tourism business in Australia we really have a long way to go. The service on the ship was very much a situation of I will help you when I can be bothered and unprofessional. It seemed like the crew on this ship were over it and just wanted to go home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
As an avid Cruiser I thought this was a nice way to get to Freemantle. Thisturned out to be: . After contacting your Head Office in relation to the ‘Soda Package and ‘Dairy Free diet’ only to find neither were acceptable. See ... Read More
As an avid Cruiser I thought this was a nice way to get to Freemantle. Thisturned out to be: . After contacting your Head Office in relation to the ‘Soda Package and ‘Dairy Free diet’ only to find neither were acceptable. See the following: . This has been the ‘Worst Cruise’ I have ever been on! (I have been on all the major Cruise Lines) . Why do you charge US Dollars when we were in Australian Waters? . I followed all the recommended instructions for a ‘Dairy-Free’ Diet, only to find the Chef had trouble accommodating me. Being ‘dairy free’ is not a life choice for me, it is a medical requirement. . Soda Package – not acceptable when told I could have ‘LEMON, LIME & BITTERS’, to then have every Bar argue that ‘Bitters’ was alcohol and not allowed (even though I had asked the Bar Manager, Drinks Manager, Client Relations, Food & Beverage Manager), the last straw was when the whole Ship ran out of Bitters??? I was offered 3 glasses of wine to have with my dinner till this was replenished only to find Bitters never did arrive, I was then offered a bottle of wine (I have never felt so angry and humiliated in my life), to think I actually PAID for this Package and had to continually beg to get it. . Entertainment – POOR – really bad ‘Times for Show/Entertainment’ . Limited activities for ‘Age Group’ . This information will be put on ‘Cruise Critic’ as I feel the public have a right to know of the issues I experienced, it was embarrassing and disappointing . I will not be recommending this cruiseline to any of my friends . The one & only saving factor was that the ‘Staff’ were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date February 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
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
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
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
Cruise needs to their homework. Customer service training required. Attention to detail required when detailing with: . Customers, . Food preparation, . Cleaning . Giving out information. Undertook Back to Backs. 8 ... Read More
Cruise needs to their homework. Customer service training required. Attention to detail required when detailing with: . Customers, . Food preparation, . Cleaning . Giving out information. Undertook Back to Backs. 8 Deaths on the Cruises. Witnessed Extremely Poor handling of the deceased. Helped other passengers with health problems and reported areas of concerned. (Dust and Asthma related Problems). Cleaning in cabins and common areas were not done to required standards. Staff stated they had rectified problems but hadn't. When shown and confronted with situation staff purged themselves further. Shore excursions were designed as profit based for the ship. Very over priced. Quality and value for money was found on shore and through Government Tourist agencies. Shore excursion staff do not know very much about Australia and its surrounds. Food in Dining room was limited and was not up to required Food and Health standards. Off food, stale food, over cooked or under cooked food was served. Even off milk was used for tea and coffee. Entertainment needs to suit the respective customers. It didn't. Observed vast quantity of passengers walking out of theatre in disappointment too often. Alleged Comedians in particular. Queen tribute was an absolute joke. Australian British tribute on level 4 is out of date - not researched correctly and poorly handled. Entertainment has not changed for at least four years. Observed better entertainment of other Royal Caribbean ships from other Countries ports, especially from the United States. Barbies are not longer allowed on the cruise. Was informed that Australian Border Forces instructed this could not be done. When informed that Border Force has no delegation for food serving, Management came clean admitted information supplied was incorrect and advised it was a decision from Miami. Each section on the Cruise have targets to meet in selling and raising funds for the company. Bonuses are given to staff who can raise the most. (Charts for Dining Staff were discovered on level 5 whilst passport inspections were undertaken). Money for value - very poor. Very Disappointed Passenger. Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
AFTER having driven all over AUSTRALIA my wife and I thought it would be nice to circumnavigate AUS by water and have a relaxing time NO Departing Sydney our first port of call was Brisbane (so far so good ) If you wanted to go ... Read More
AFTER having driven all over AUSTRALIA my wife and I thought it would be nice to circumnavigate AUS by water and have a relaxing time NO Departing Sydney our first port of call was Brisbane (so far so good ) If you wanted to go ashore it cost $25 pp for the shuttle bus. We have never had to pay for shuttle bus transfer on any of the other ships we have sailed with NOW if they put 1500 people ashore @$25pp that Equates to $37500 to travel only 17klm At Cairns the cost was $20pp At Darwin the cost was $20pp At Porthedland the cost was $15pp The food on board was terrible.there were no greens to speak of,some beans which were cold in the salad section the food was only warm and by the time you got back to your table it was cold. no carrots (except grated in the salad section). no pumpkin no peas. The boiled potatoes were cold and as big as cricket balls The left over food seemed to be recycled into some sort of hash and dished up the next night and called something else The dessert consisted of watermelon rockmelon pineapple and moose cakesand if you didn't like that you had a choice of pineapple watermelon moose cakes and rockmelon The fruit salad consisted of chopped up watermelon rockmelon and pineapple and sometimes they had some little dishes of jelly We went one night into the dinning room for dinner thinking it may be a little better NOT SO the food was cold by the time it was served and I have dined in quieter country pubs which served 10 times better meals There was no cold water at the hand basin in the cabin,I reported it several times but nothing was done about it they just made some lame excuse and said it was because we were in the tropics(crap) The toilet paper was so thin you had to fold it about four times to stop your finger going through If you wanted a nice relaxing time around the pool and have a quiet conversation that was ok until they brought on the band which was so loud you had to shout at the person you were with so they could hear you. hence we had to move to a quieter area to have a decent conversation Everything was charged in American dollars even though we were in Australian waters $3.50 american for a 500ml bottle of water on board when we could buy a 24 pack of 500ml water ashore for $6.50 aud I must say the staff were excellent except for one grub of a drink waiter in the pool area The entertainment was good some great shows The cabin although small was very neat and tidy and the cabin person was very obliging and curtious SO FELLOW TRAVELLERS BEWARE CARNIVAL CRUISES It was the general concensis of everyone to whom we spoke to on board about which I have complained that they were in total agreement with us Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
Wished to undertake the cruise with elderly mother. The cabin was in disrepair, headboard was detached, the curtains torn but otherwise clean. The couch in the room was stained and dirty. The same can be said of the chairs in the ... Read More
Wished to undertake the cruise with elderly mother. The cabin was in disrepair, headboard was detached, the curtains torn but otherwise clean. The couch in the room was stained and dirty. The same can be said of the chairs in the main dining room, ditto for the carpets. The food was very disappointing hence the weight loss - the same 3 fruits were available for breakfast the whole cruise, the ship had an Indian "chef" - there was the usually American fare - there was bland poorly cooked Indian food. The trouble is that was it. We had trouble with dining times - we were told by 3 staff we could not change the assigned time of 5.30 pm we eventually spoke to the restaurant manager was surely and rude and despite point out the documentation that we had booked in for 'any time' dining- he then blamed our travel agent. The food was in general overcooked with the exception of the asparagus which was cooked perfectly. The specialist restaurants with the exception of the chop grill were not worth paying the extra. the "entertainment" was amateur theater standard. The cruise director seemed to spend his day making boring, poorly produced videos of interviews with fellow crew members. They should be embarrassed. As regards the side trips these were poor value for instance in Bali we paid for a trip that was largely about trying to sell us overpriced jewelry or other items. When we hit Geraldton - we were unable to go ashore as there were only 4 tenders, it was very disappointing. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
We chose this cruise as it covered both Australia and New Zealand.We had booked 18 months ago.As the flights were so long from the UK we travelled business class so it was a costly holiday.We had travelled with RC three times and have been ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it covered both Australia and New Zealand.We had booked 18 months ago.As the flights were so long from the UK we travelled business class so it was a costly holiday.We had travelled with RC three times and have been on over 30 cruises. Everything on the ship was shabby and dirty and looked in disrepair.The food was mediocre and badly cooked.We were amazed how much stock ran out early on in the cruise.The daytime activities were not for us as we prefer more talks about countries we are visiting rather than childish competitions.Why were there no lectures about aborigines or maoris or anything about wildlife in the area.Some of the evening entertainment was very good but there were a lot of repeats.The television and films shown were appalling and totally unsuitable for the age group. The change of itinerary was devastating for most of us but we accepted that safety must come first but the handling of the situation by management was diabolical.All they are bothered about is getting as much money out of us as possible.We have contacted the CEO about our dissatisfaction but he is not interested and did not reply personally.Their attitude about us missing so many ports and having 10 days at sea out of 16 is we should read the terms and conditions. What really got to us was the grand ceremony of lighting the Xmas Tree and the goodwill to all when we were not even given a free glass of wine.The atmosphere on board was extremely miserable but the senior officers and management showed not one bit of sympathy and some were very rude.We also found the Customer services and shore excursion staff to be very lacking.Do they not realise the importance of looking at the customer's face when answering a question? The cabin stewards and waiters worked tirelessly and tried hard to be cheerful.Standards on this ship were much lower than we had experienced on the Rhapsody earlier this year and we were given a port tax refund for a missed port and a discount on a further cruise for not being able to go round Cape Horn so why was this not applied on the Radiance when we missed out on so much more.RC will definitely have lost repeat customers due to this fiasco. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the ... Read More
This was our 8th cruise with various cruise lines so it is easy to compare. Firstly we received an email 2 days prior to our departure to say there had been gastroenteritis on the ship so our embarking had to be put back due to the extra cleaning required which is fair enough, but on arrival at the terminal there were so many people waiting we stood in line for approx. 1 1/2 hours, then to be told our luggage would possibly not be delivered to our room until 9.00pm that night. Also that our room would not be available until 4.00pm. When we finally got to our cabin area on deck 8 all we could smell was like diarrhoea. The buffet dining in Windjammer was handled by the staff for the first 3 days due to the gastroenteritis which made for more waiting. One staff member told us that 95% of the guests on the previous voyage were over 75 years of age. This is definitely a cruise ship for the Elderly. On the 4th day I got what looked like a long hair in my mashed potato, on showing it to the Maitre De he took it from me and said don't worry it is just a bit of string?????? The quality of the food was pathetic in both the Windjammer and Cascades. Seems most of it had been pre cooked and frozen. Entertainment was the same as we had seen on this same ship 15 months prior so it was boring for us. The use of the Atrium for entertainment is a joke as one has to be crammed in to be able to see anything and stand for hours. Why they don't use the Theatre is a mystery to us. I would say 50% of the staff were happy to be there and the other 50% wishing they were not there as was obvious my their sad or grumpy faces. Our room was regularly not cleaned until late in the afternoons. We had the same towels for most of the cruise. The outside and windows of the ship were all dirty. I tried to clean our balcony glass but it was so inbuilt with salt and dirt it was impossible with just water. Our refrigerator did not work at all. Never again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I have just returned from the above cruise and wish to make the following observations and conclusions. We are seasoned cruises having sailed with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed our holidays. I cannot understand why ... Read More
My wife and I have just returned from the above cruise and wish to make the following observations and conclusions. We are seasoned cruises having sailed with other companies and thoroughly enjoyed our holidays. I cannot understand why the pricing policy is so unfair so much so that I got the immediate impression of being ripped off at every hands turn. I feel that in today's world communication is very important and whether travelling from various parts of the globe to this location all one wants to do is send a brief email to family intimating safe arrival etc. but on 'Radiance' the one off charge of forty dollars for Internet connection is absolutely ludicrous. Why not charge customers a small activation fee and operate a pay as you go system. Other companies allow this but this is just example of the ripped off scenario. Being a smoker I have in the past been able to buy a carton of cigarettes at a discounted price but all that was available in the shop was a small amount of menthol types. I expected to purchase the occasional pack in bars and was appalled to be charged ten dollars. I thought by buying a 200 pack would be discounted but again the rip off merchants came in and charged one hundred dollars which is shocking. The 'My Time' experience was an absolute disaster. The definition of anytime, freedom or my time means you dine when it suits but not on this ship, one needs to make a reservation which means that you dine with virtually the same people every evening and this becomes boring and uninteresting resulting in limited conversation. One of the advantages of this dining type is meeting other guests, forming relationships thus adding to the overall enjoyment of the holiday. I attempted to change my reservation time and spoke to the Maître D’ but he intimated the only time available was 7.45pm.for the entire cruise. I have cruised for over twenty years and this is the first ship without laundromat facilities resulting in having to pay for washing and pressing clothes. Yet another example of cruisers having to pay for facilities that should have been provided. In my experience there has always been a late theatre show but 8.15pm was scheduled throughout the cruise and because of the only available reservation dinner time of 7.45pm we could not attend. It did not suit us to go to the earlier 6.15pm show. I spoke to Steve Davis the cruise director and he said they received complaints about late shows and decided to bring them forward. He intimated that the average age of cruisers was seventy five which I couldn't agree with and felt he was out of touch with the majority of cruisers I spoke to who wanted a late show. On Carnival ships they have oasis pools. They are quite small and the temperature is warm and very pleasant. The solarium on Radiance is much larger and grander but no one swam in the pool the first week because the temperature was sub-zero. Midway through the second week the water was heated which I thought rather strange or another cost cutting exercise. The ship's interior was quite cold on occasions and the 'Movies under the Stars' on the sun deck was deserted in the evenings because of cold conditions. On one occasion a cartoon was filmed. The cinema was out of action for at least a week. More often than not in an effort to find suitable evening entertainment we would return to our stateroom but the television programmes were poor. TCM movies largely consisted of old movies but of course we could have purchased movies but again another example of having to fork out money when you easily have provided a decent free channel. We paid good money to come on this cruise and got nothing in return other than good food and friendly staff but it could have been so much better. I awoke early one morning about 3am and felt like a coffee and went to The Windjammer ‘24 hour’ coffee station only to find the urns had been switched off. Some evenings there was a floor show in the centrum area. Now this area is quite small and the surrounding seats were pushed back and patrons sat on steps and hung over balconies to view the activity which was totally useless. Why they didn’t use the area in the colony club where everyone could have been seated I do not know. In conclusion in management terms this is the worst ship I have been on and it is very unlikely will cruise with them again. The decision to operate a non-functional 'My Time' dining greatly impacted on us and the reluctance not to have a late show meant that entertainment after dining was somewhat limited unless one goes to other bars to hear someone singing. I felt greatly let down by the attitude of management and attempted and raised my concerns to guest relations and the Cruise Director but all efforts proved fruitless. I cannot over emphasise my disappointment of this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date February 2016
We have just returned from our very first, and most likely our last, cruise, following this dreadful experience. We travelled from Sydney on the 1st November and arrived in Perth, via New Zealand, on the 16th November 2015. The ship was ... Read More
We have just returned from our very first, and most likely our last, cruise, following this dreadful experience. We travelled from Sydney on the 1st November and arrived in Perth, via New Zealand, on the 16th November 2015. The ship was the Radiance of the Seas, operated by Royal Caribbean (RC). What a massive disappointment. Meet and greet staff at the terminal were rude and/or completely absent on arrival for embarkation. The Radiance of the Seas was basically a one star hotel standard whilst RC charged five star prices for everything. Enteritis had been prevalent on the cruise immediately prior to ours. The ship could not have been cleaned thoroughly as the virus broke out again within 3 days of our embarkation affecting, reportedly, 500 people. A number of cabins suffered from effluent being discharged into their cabins via the shower or the toilet. This happened on a number of floors and often more than once in the same cabin. Not good when enteritis abounds. The ship was extremely tired. The carpets were shabby and dirty throughout the ship. Many of the chairs and sofas in the cabins and public areas were threadbare. Safety was an issue, in my opinion. At the safety drill at the commencement of the cruise, life jackets were not required to be taken to the venue. The life jackets were not in the place in the cabin where the sign indicated they would be. This could have been disastrous had we needed to locate them in an emergency. A handrail around the upper deck was painted during the voyage and a sign informing “Do Not Touch – Wet Paint” was displayed whilst the ship was actually sailing. Long distances between the restaurant and the centrum did not have a handrail available. This was particularly important during the rolling seas experienced crossing the Tasman. Some wardrobe hinges were broken, no catches to stop the doors (including bathroom) banging and drawers opened and closed of their own accord when the ship rolled. Charges were astronomical for very ordinary products. Cheapest plonk wine was US$36 per bottle. Coffee, following the evening meal, was charged for. Drinks packages were available at US$42 each person – individual packages were not available if you were travelling with your spouse or partner. No tea or coffee facilities available in the room. The only water in the room was bottled and kept in a fridge that was warm. Despite paying for gratuities up-front on booking, “to safe the hassle when aboard”, all services in the bars and restaurants were subjected to a further “Service Charge”. Double dipping in other words is my judgment. Service was poor because of the lack of staff numbers. Many waiters did their best but appeared untrained. Senior staff were sometimes rude. There was apparently discord among the senior staff, one of them claiming the stewards hadn’t received a salary increase for six years. This is not what passengers want to hear, or be affected, by staff discontentment. Wifi costs were approximately £10 per day. The entertainment varied between amateur local church hall standard at the beginning of the cruise to very good at the end. Inconsistent. Misinformation causing confusion amongst passengers. The daily “Compass Sheet” stated the cruise was on its final day 7 days before it actually was. The TV channels with information on disembarkation and safety were not as stated on the sheet. The TV remote worked when it wanted to! Room Service was a joke. The earliest was 30 minutes from ordering with the longest being 1 hour and 40 minutes. I spoke with over 100 passengers, many of whom had over 20 cruises under their lifebelt and all were agreed it was the worst one they had ever been on and advised us not to judge all cruises on this one. An American travel agent told me he was removing RC from his list of suggested cruise operators to his clients. For many people this was a holiday of a lifetime. Unfortunately it was but for all the wrong reasons. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Having cruised several times a year for many years this was the most expensive cruise we have been on and should have been the experience of a lifetime. However it proved to be the most disappointing cruise ever. What was wrong? How do ... Read More
Having cruised several times a year for many years this was the most expensive cruise we have been on and should have been the experience of a lifetime. However it proved to be the most disappointing cruise ever. What was wrong? How do I start? Well, the cabin with a balcony was clean though a bit worn. There were no complimentary toiletries or tissues and the toilet paper was so thin you could see right through it! There were no coffee making facilities or chocolates [not that we needed them] on the pillow and no surprise of finding the lovely animals made of towels waiting on the bed for us. There was no ice or drinking water left in the cabin and no ironing facilities - only if you paid for it! The Cascade Restaurant served cold food despite the fact that we reported it on our first night and a meeting was arranged between us and our friends with the beverage and restaurant manager who then asked the Chef to meet with us. It was not until the third evening when the Maitre 'd was made aware of it that there was any difference, and, he accompanied every dish that was served to our table to ensure it was hot enough and if it was not, he returned it to the kitchen. Twice, the food came not cooked through! The restaurant closed at 1pm and so if you did not want an early lunch [ater a big breakfast eating again before 1.30 - 2pm is rather unreasonable] lunch had to be in the buffet, where again the food was not always hot. Also when the ship was affected by an outbreak of the Norvo Virus, no one was permitted to touch the plates, cutlery or serving spoons which is totally understandable, but they did not staff it adequately so we had to queue at every possible food point which meant eating a cold meal. Additionally, the coffee served on board was undrinkable, it was vile. Although they acknowledged there was a problem with the coffee, they did not provide passengers with a token to enable them to get perhaps one decent coffee a day from the Starbucks on board. The Norvo Virus - whilst I am sure they dealt with this as best as they could, there was often no soap in the dispensers in the public toilets and the bannisters, tables and anything else that could be touched was always wet and sticky. The entertainment was a huge disappointment. There was only two ship singers and dancers shows in the entire 16 days. The other evenings had a couple of other very good entertainers but there were too many so called comedians which I am sure only appealed to the New Zealand and Australian passengers. Also the timings of the shows were dreadful, instead of having two shows in an evening so that both dinner sittings could attend after they had eaten, they were at a time where if you had 8pm dining, you had to leave what you were doing early, still un-showered and in your day clothes/swim suits and take a rush shower and change before you rushed into dinner. This was particularly inconvenient on the days we were in port. The day time entertainment was equally un-appetising and appeared to use the passengers as self entertainment. The cinema was so small that if you did'nt get there an hour before the start of the film there was no seat and instead of transferring a film into a larger lounge or the theatre on bad weather days when at sea they still showed it in this small space and, believe it or not showed a film up on deck when there was no one there and it was raining or so cold you could not sit and watch it! The life boat drill was carried out without passengers having a life jacket and some of us [a few were elderly or had walking problems] were made to stand in an area without seating for a very unreasonable length of time. Every shuttle bus from the ship to a reasonable area in port had to be paid for - a new experience for us! Worst of all, one day in port we tried to pay for goods and withdraw money from our travel money card [which is a card you load in £sterling and withdraw in the currency you require]. On line the card showed a healthy balance, but on trying a transaction it showed "insufficient funds". It transpired that immediately we stepped on board, our gratuities were stripped from this card [we made the mistake of linking our on board account with the travel card instead of a debit card] and were held somewhere on the cloud because it did not show this amount as being deducted when we looked on line. As we did not wish to pay gratuities in this way we asked for it to be refunded, which it was on paper but not put back onto the Travel Money Card and this left us being able to add funds to it because once the funds were cleared it is as if the card is cancelled. This took three days to sort out and was a nightmare! Most passengers were complaining about any of the things outlined above but adding insult to injury, we received a call yesterday from Royal Caribbean in response to a letter we had sent. They stated that they had no knowledge of a Norvo Virus on board, that there was no log of our complaint regarding food being made whilst on board and they offered £125 towards another RC cruise. Meanwhile the friends who were with us received an email in response to the letter they had send offering them £235 each, again towards another RC cruise. I do not think I could ever recommend anyone to a Royal Caribbean cruise let alone book another one. Good luck to anyone who is looking forward to theirs. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
As a guest on that cruise I can confirm that conditions were extremely poor. the ship was rife with nova virus ( the first time we sailed in to port flying the yellow quarantine flag) 50% of people I met on the cruise went down with the ... Read More
As a guest on that cruise I can confirm that conditions were extremely poor. the ship was rife with nova virus ( the first time we sailed in to port flying the yellow quarantine flag) 50% of people I met on the cruise went down with the virus or food poisoning. the staff were sullen an unhelpful and I got the impression they wanted off the ship as much as we did. Perth came as a great relief. Over all the ship was dirty, little wonder there was so much sickness. this was my 10 th cruise with RCCL an sadly it will be my last. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We embarked late due to norovirus in the previous cruise , allowing time for a deep clean. All this was to no avail , within 3 days passengers were being taken ill with norovirus. The staff were constantly cleaning hand rails and ... Read More
We embarked late due to norovirus in the previous cruise , allowing time for a deep clean. All this was to no avail , within 3 days passengers were being taken ill with norovirus. The staff were constantly cleaning hand rails and chairs and the buffet was not self service which resulted in some chaos and long queues for drinks. This ship is tired. The chairs are worn and need to be replaced. The sun beds have no cushions and are uncomfortable. The cinema needs a makeover, it was one of the few things to do on sea days and always full with people sat on the steps The same old films were repeated often and were not all suitable for the age of the cruisers. The cruise director should note animated films are not generally suitable for older cruisers.There were very few children in this cruise. The activities were more suited to a holiday camp , as was the female assistant cruise director . The itinerary was excellent and was the saving grace of this cruise hence the title " it was better to arrive than to travel " The staff were working extra shifts and were under pressure due to the virus but the management was poor. I would not recommend this ship to anybody. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
We have traveled with RCCL numerous times and always considered them to be one of the better cruise lines. So when we sailed on the Quantum in the spring and found the dining room service and the food below what we had come to expect we ... Read More
We have traveled with RCCL numerous times and always considered them to be one of the better cruise lines. So when we sailed on the Quantum in the spring and found the dining room service and the food below what we had come to expect we thought it was a one of. However having spent 32 days on the Radiance of the Seas I now think that the WOW experience RCCL keeps talking about is WOW can it get any worse. This ship was dirty, the cabin bathroom odour was terrible, nothing in the cabin worked properly, so we had maintenance in daily. The meals in the main dining room on an evening were nothing short of pathetic, and the buffet was definitely quantity not quality. The best complimentary meals were breakfast and lunch in the dining room and room service otherwise if you want what used to be classed as normal you now pay extra at a specialty restaurant. To add to this the noro virus was rampant ( which my wife and two other guests at our table fell victim to) for most of the first 16 day leg and part of the second leg, so the staff had to work extra hours serving in all the normally self serve areas. The entertainment barring 2 or 3 acts were the worst we have seen on any of the cruise ships we have been on. The large outdoor screen is nice as long as you don't want to hear what is happening. The table tennis tables are located outside in high traffic areas, obviously its more a matter of saying we have these facilities onboard but can you use them properly? Tenders were so bad you would think this was something new and Port Hedland is a great place to stop if you want to watch the ships being filled. On the positive side the climbing wall and staff were great. I don't think I have ever heard so many past RCCL cruisers say that they would not be using Royal again and new cruisers saying this is not for me. With so many other cruise lines to choose from RCCL will not be my first choice in the future. We have never been so glad to get off a ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
What should have been the trip of a lifetime for my husband's 70th birthday ended up a total disappointment for us both. We were told Royal Caribbean would provide an amazing experience, instead we felt we were on a second rate ship ... Read More
What should have been the trip of a lifetime for my husband's 70th birthday ended up a total disappointment for us both. We were told Royal Caribbean would provide an amazing experience, instead we felt we were on a second rate ship offering a second rate cruise. We were warned by email that embarkation in Sydney was delayed as the ship was being "deep cleaned" owing to onboard norovirus. As we are aware that this is a common problem on cruise ships we were not unduly worried. Little did we know that the virus would persist for virtually the whole cruise. Crew were rostered to help out in the Windjammer, serving food and giving out plates and cutlery, as well as having to fulfil their other duties. Hardly surprising that they sometimes looked gloomy. And why allow people, complete with rucksacs, to use the food serving area as a thoroughfare? The library remained closed, apart from a very short period, and paper quizzes were all but restricted. There were constant reminders to wash hands and use the anti bacterial gel, not to mention endless wiping down of handrails, but tables in Lattitudes were left cluttered with used cups etc and I had to ask more than once for tables to be wiped both here and in Windjammer. We were frequently urged to hold on to the handrails owing to rough seas but this was not only unpleasant because they were constantly wet and sticky, they were also slippy. Regardless of the norovirus, the ship looked dingy and neglected. Rust was in evidence in many areas and furnishings looked tired and worn. Carpets in corridors and in Windjammer were only superficially cleaned and dust and debris was in evidence along the edges. Our cabins, initially a family sized ocean view and for the second half of our back to back cruise, a balcony, were adequately cleaned. Towels and linen were changed regularly but carpets and surfaces were neglected and the same flakes of paint remained in exactly the same place on our balcony floor even after we were warned it was to be washed. So many of the little touches which make cruising a fun experience were missing. What is Royal Caribbean hoping to achieve by removing towel "sculptures" from cabins, and chocolates at turn down? What happened to complimentary toiletries? No shower gel, body lotion, cotton buds, shower cap etc etc. Why the charge of $35 for lobster in the main restaurant, Cascades? And what happened to petit fours with coffee? In fact, the food was little more than satisfactory and after 32 nights, repetitive. As someone who doesn't eat sweet desserts, I found the fruit plate boring. What about seasonal fruit? And in the Windjammer, the fruit was cut into such large chunks I had to use a knife to cut it again. Kippered herrings, on the breakfast menu, were available only once during the whole cruise and forget Afternoon Tea, it's no longer an option. Tours are always expensive when bought onboard and there was a distinct lack of information for the independent traveller, not even a map, and port talks encompassed more than one destination in one talk - confusing. Sea days proved a challenge as either activities clashed or there were long periods of very little to do.There was no tv movie channel unless you were willing to pay and the onboard movies, shown in a tiny cinema or on the poolside screen, were either inappropriate for the demograph of passengers or dated. There were very few children onboard and Batkid, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Tomorrowland did not appeal. Seabiscuit and Pirates of the Caribbean, Curse of the Black Pearl were typical of the films on offer. In fact, the entertainment in general was mediocre, except for one or two more notable acts - the Argentine Tango, Queen tribute act, a magician/comedian. And what a total rip off the wifi package is. Buying minutes is not an option. We needed to keep in touch with our daughter and aged mother and were forced to take the package at a cost of $20 per day - extortionate. Yes, we could have spent time on port days contacting home but we like to make the most of the limited time ashore. Our choice I know, but $20 per day?! No ship laundrette meant washing had to be done in a small basin or sent to the ship's laundry. We finally succumbed (32 nights remember) - big mistake. What goes in to the water onboard who knows, but two white cotton t shirts came back dirtier than they were when sent, one with stains, and both had an orange hue. To be fair, RC did refund the cost of the laundry but I am left with two unwearable t shirts. There was the odd glimmer - the crew, for the main part, remained cheerful and dedicated and were obviously doing their best in difficult circumstances to carry out the policies imposed on them by RC. Ferdinando, Maria, Glen and Susanna were outstanding in Cascades and our table was treated to complimentary wine on one occasion. Whilst the ship was deep cleaned (and fogged) yet again, in Perth, back to backers were offered a free trip and picnic lunch. A nice gesture but the cynic in me says RC wanted us all off the ship and out of the way. For us, sorry Royal Caribbean, we spent a considerable amount of money on a very disappointing, never to be repeated experience. We'll stick with Princess. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
On Day 1, the ships daily paper "Cruise Compass" promised "the most amazing cruise vacation of your life". Err....No. Actually it was almost the worst in 34 years of cruising. Notwithstanding the poor weather for ... Read More
On Day 1, the ships daily paper "Cruise Compass" promised "the most amazing cruise vacation of your life". Err....No. Actually it was almost the worst in 34 years of cruising. Notwithstanding the poor weather for two-thirds of the trip (over which RCI has no control), our experience of this cruise was largely disappointment; the same goes for the majority of other passengers that we spoke to. I have travelled with many different cruise companies over the past 34 years (Azamara, Princess, Cunard, Thompson, Costa, MSC, Star Cruises, NCL, Island, etc.) and with one exception this was the least good. RCI's primary intent seems to be to extract as much money as possible from customers from the minute they step on board, rather than striving to give them the best possible vacation experience. The sense of disappointment was accentuated because this was marking the occasion of my 60th birthday - we travelled a long way and paid a fair amount of money only to be let down. We had so many issues that I am not going to cover them all in this review. We spent far too much of our vacation at the Guest Services desk trying to sort out problems - there was a complete absence of concern or apology from the staff. Given that many passengers were seasick as a result of the ship wallowing in only moderate swell, because the stabilizers weren't deployed, it is obviously that RCI puts profits before the safety and comfort of passengers. Here is a small selection of problems we experienced: The ship has an outbreak of Norovirus on the previous voyage ("Gastro Intenstinal" infection as RCI euphemistically called it) which delayed our boarding and resulted in restrictions throughout the voyage - no self-service at the buffet, etc. The staff had to work extra hours and were clearly tired and dispirited, but that doesn't excuse the poor service and poor attitude we received from staff. There were quite a few people in "lock-down" in their cabins for 72 hours as a result of becoming ill; the outbreak was kept under control but not eliminated. Judging by the unsanitary practices of both passengers and staff that we witnessed, this was no great surprise. We had a 4 gang extension lead ("power bank" to use the American term) confiscated before boarding due to a recent change in policy, which was not communicated to us beforehand (we did get an email the day before as the check-in time was delayed, so it could have been communicated then). We were put on a table of 4 with non-English speaking passengers on the first evening despite asking for a table of 6 to 8 - three quarters of the guests were British, Australian, American or Canadian and there was a lot of table space on second sitting so this is really inexcusable. One of our mattresses was so worn out that it was at least 2 inches below the other and my partner had a sleepless night followed by days of sciatica as a result- it was a long saga to get it changed during which we had heated arguments with members of staff. Despite the ship undergoing a deep clean, there was paperwork from the previous cruise on the floor of the stateroom. My shoe was broken following a trip on an exposed carpet join plate, the shoe and accompanying paperwork to get is repaired was lost for 20 hours. We had random towel selections for the first week and didn't get the proper paperwork delivered to the cabin (mid-cruise survey, invite to Crown & Anchor party, etc.). We were given the wrong menus at dinner. My partner was given a birthday "cake" which was actually just one of the desserts on the menu that evening with a name written in chocolate on the side - the wrong name. It took nearly 2 hours to have breakfast in the Cascades restaurant, the service was so slow. Some food items ran out of stock on Day 5 of the cruise. It was impossible to get a steak cooked to order (even in a speciality restaurant) - it was either badly overcooked or undercooked. Worse still, I was served badly undercooked fish. We had hot food delivered on stone cold plates. Getting certain items - like smoked salmon to go with bagels - was like getting blood from a stone. We witnessed a head waiter haranguing staff in the dining room in front of passengers. It took 4 visits from members of staff, and forms to sign, to get the battery changed in the room safe - ludicrous. The music around the pool area was so loud that we had to shout at each other to have a conversation from adjacent sun loungers and it was completely impossible to listen to an audio book - there was nowhere else quieter to go as it was too windy to sit out on the upper decks. The entertainment was mainly out of a 1950's holiday camp - endless Bingo, "The World's Sexiest Man", belly flop competition....oh pleeease.. seriously? The ship's officers were completely invisible; the entertainment staff were only visible during the activities they were running - the exception being the ballroom teaching couple Andrew and Rhonda who were out and about every evening, to their credit. The Activities Manager had such a shrill, heavily accented voice that it was like listening to a shrieking Harpy. When she started yelling on the microphone, many passengers left the lounge. We made the mistake of sitting for a free studio photographic session despite the fact that the prices of the packages weren't given to us beforehand (and we did ask), only to discover that the cheapest package was $550 on special offer. Seriously? The handrails in the corridors were cleaned up to 4 times a day yet the arms of the sun loungers weren't cleaned for the entire voyage. Waiters in the bars and lounges were few and far between, and seemed more interested in chatting with each other in groups of 2 or 3 rather than serving customers - so why the steep 20% gratuity? We were told that RCI had pulled its best staff off the ship to go on the newer vessels, so there were a lot of new and inexperienced staff on board. Boy, ain't that the truth... If RCI are going to run the Radiance of the Seas as a training vessel, it should pitch prices accordingly, not charge top dollar for an old ship with inexperienced staff and second-rate entertainment. Many of the carpets were worn, the exterior handrails badly in need of varnishing...the whole ship is in urgent need of a refit (which we understand is scheduled for May next year). If this ship has a Quality Assurance Officer, he or she should be sacked. This was our third time on Royal Caribbean - and most likely our last unless the itinerary of a future RCI cruise is not offered by any other cruise line, it's an exceptional bargain, and it's on one of the newer ships. QUALITY OF FOOD The food quality was acceptable but lacked variety, was bland, and was often poorly cooked. There were no real "luxury" items on the menu unless one paid to go to a specialiity restaurant. The Menu descriptions were misleading - e.g. something described as a "tart" was actually a mousse containing NO pastry. Apparently the Head Chef has absolutely no say in the menu, ingredients, etc. as these are dictated by Head Office in Miami. So really he is just a glorified Kitchen Manager. The staff in the Windjammer didn't even know what the food was that they were serving. ENTERTAINMENT The best show was the Tango Buenos Aires performance. However, knowing something about Argentine Tango I have to say that this was far from the best show I have seen. The stand-up comedians were pretty dire. The singers and dancers all got on the ship at Sydney so they spent most of the cruise in rehearsals - there were only 2 real production shows in 16 nights. SHORE EXCURSIONS Cannot comment - the shore excursions were so outrageously over-priced, we made independent arrangements. We had to pay for the port to town transfers... ONBOARD ACTIVITIES Yes there was plenty of choice - but trivia quizzes and bingo are not really our thing... SUMMARY It was like the Beach Boys' song "Sloop John B" Let me go home Why don't they let me go home This is the worst trip I've ever been on Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
My wife and I had planned what we thought was a holiday of a lifetime a cruise which took in destinations in both Australia and New Zealand and I have to say from the outset that these countries which promised so much did not disappoint, I ... Read More
My wife and I had planned what we thought was a holiday of a lifetime a cruise which took in destinations in both Australia and New Zealand and I have to say from the outset that these countries which promised so much did not disappoint, I would thouroghly recommend these countries to anyone everything about them is just fantastic. The only problem was Royal Caribbean International ship the Radiance of the Seas, I have cruised with five cruise lines and this was by far the worst experience I have ever encountered. The whole essence of this ship was to extract ever last penny that they could from a captive audience. On the plus side the cabin was spacious but not comfortable and the cabin and dining room staff were very good. The rest was so poor. The food was very average and as my wife said I cook better than some of the meals provided. Breakfast was a disaster one morning I ordered shreaded wheat and I was brought grits, I explained this was wrong and both the waiter and the supervisor insisted this was shreaded wheat, I called the maitre d' and he sent back what I was given and I finally got the shreaded wheat. Two days later I ordered shreaded wheat and it arrived, I sat for 15 minutes and the waiter came to take my plate away and I stopped him and explained I was still waiting for the milk for the breakfast. The menus were very limited and the general consensus of other passengers particularly those who had travelled previously with Royal Caribbean stated they had never experienced such a drop in standards. Water was $6 a bottle, the wines and spirits were extortionate as were the excursions. We met a couple on their first cruise who said they will not cruise again, I told them that this was not representative of cruises and it was by far the worst cruise we have ever undertaken and if it was our first cruise we would have been of the same opinion. The ship suffered in excess of 200 cases of norovirus and the ships surfaces were constantly wet from washing down. The entertainment was typical of cruises but it is sad to report that the talent show performed by guests had a couple of acts that were better than that offered by the ship. We wrote a review and my wife stated not to insult us by offering something off our next cruise as this wasn't going to happen, she even went as far as stating if they offered us a free cruise we would decline. I have written this review for two reasons, one to wake up the management of Royal Caribbean International as to the poor product they are selling to an unsuspecting public and secondly, to warn anyone contemplating cruising with this company what they may let themselves in for. Read Less
Sail Date November 2015
Very hard boarding,we were herded like cattle,arrived at port 11.30 am,told to go away and come back at 2.pm, when on ship, most of staff knew nothing, tried to book a tour at desk ; just looked at us and said nothing, he had no idea what ... Read More
Very hard boarding,we were herded like cattle,arrived at port 11.30 am,told to go away and come back at 2.pm, when on ship, most of staff knew nothing, tried to book a tour at desk ; just looked at us and said nothing, he had no idea what tours were, I asked him did he know what he was doing, with no answer, they were adding on extra costs to our account, we were always checking our account, when we were going ashore by tender, we were told to go to deck 6 and get a ticket and wait in the colony,then told they had no more tickets,so go down to deck 3, when we got there, they said where are your tickets, some were told to go back to deck 6 and get a ticket. At end of cruise, settleing our bill was a night mare, we waited in line for one and a half hours to settle our account, they had only 2 people at the customer service desk, the line of people went half way down the ship, the Captain was very rude and arrogant, I saw water on the floor outside the grill & compass bar, and told the Captain as he was walking by and all I got was a grunt, really the Radiance of the seas needs a over haul, I have always praised the Royal Caribbean, having sailed on the,Brilliance, Legends and Allure but this was the worst. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Our 17 night cruise on Radiance Of The Seas was ruined by 5 days of flooding in our stateroom (caused by plumbing problems). During this time we had limited access to room facilities whilst a number of inadequate attempts were made to try ... Read More
Our 17 night cruise on Radiance Of The Seas was ruined by 5 days of flooding in our stateroom (caused by plumbing problems). During this time we had limited access to room facilities whilst a number of inadequate attempts were made to try and solve the problem. This ruined our once in a lifetime Cruise which had been arranged to celebrate my wife’s retirement. During the five days the smells and airborne dust/bacteria resulting from attempts to dry the carpets with an air blower caused itching/sore eyes and throat. This was made worse when some form of disinfectant was used to disguise the smell. I asked that the Medical officer be informed as I was worried about the effect on our health but there appears to have been no action taken. I paid numerous visits to the Guest Relations desk to complain and was told that there was nothing more that could be done owing to all staterooms being occupied. On the evening of the 23rd February I arranged a meeting with the Guest Relations Manager and advised him that the situation was so bad I was considering leaving the ship at the next port of call (Melbourne). He told me that he was not aware that the problem had occurred for so long as it had only been reported/logged on the computer system on the 21st February 2014. I explained the actual diary of events which is as follows : 19th Feb – We reported wet carpets and damage to one of our bags (left on the floor) to our stateroom attendant. The maintenance department was called and an air blower was used to help dry the carpets. This caused a foul atmosphere and we noticed our eyes/throats were irritated. The settee was moved to give better access to the carpet but this effectively blocked off the room and we had to spend nearly all of our time out of the stateroom. This was probably a benefit as it would have been impossible to use the room because of the high volume of noise from the air blower. 20th Feb – The problem occurred again but with more flooding than before. As with the day before, the air blower was used without any attempts being made to try and find out where the water was leaking from. Again we had restricted access to our stateroom. I complained to staff at Guest Relations staff but they said there was nothing more they could do. 21st Feb – Same problem again. I visited Guest Relations twice and told them I wished to make a formal complaint. I told them I was worried about the airborne bacteria/smells resulting from use of the air blower and was told there was still nothing they could do other than to arrange for the carpet to be changed? I asked for the Medical Officer to be informed as I considered the attempts to solve the problem were causing a health hazard. As expected, the carpets were not changed, which is just as well because the water leakage problem had not been solved. We had restricted access to the stateroom. 22nd Feb - Same problem again. I visited Guest Relations and complained again as the situation was worse. In addition to the carpets being soaked the toilet/shower area was flooded and we need to wear shoes to enter. It was like a paddling pool. The air blower was operating and there was some form of disinfectant being used which irritated our eyes/throat even more. We had limited access to the stateroom because of the air blower and settee which blocked off the room. 23rd Feb - Same problem again. Complained to Guest relations in the morning and asked for a meeting with the Guest Relations Manager. This was arranged for 8.00 p.m. During the meeting I was told that someone was leaving the ship on 24th Feb and that we would be moved to this room in the afternoon/evening. A 30% discount off our next Cruise was offered as recompense for the “inconvenience” we had suffered. I consider this to be totally inadequate. 24th Feb – Our luggage/belongings were moved to the vacant cabin and we moved in at 8.00 p.m . As a matter of interest, we were appalled at the condition of the balcony. It was dirty, stained and had loose paint peeling from over the balcony. Still awaiting a response/apology from Royal Caribbean   Read Less
Sail Date February 2014
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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