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

This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for ... Read More
This was our first cross ocean repositioning cruise. The opportunity to visit Sydney/New Zealand again, see French Polynesia for the 1st time and wind up in Honolulu was the attraction overcoming the twelve sea days. Had prepared for stormy weather in New Zealand, but were surprised by the rainy, windy weather most of the way to Tahiti. Sea days from Bora Bora to Hawaii were sunny and warm allowing for sunbathing and deck walking. My sister and brother-in-law joined us on this cruise. Embarkation started out with a short walk from our hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal. The door alarms were having difficulties. Many loud sirens and announcements ensued to immediately vacate the building. These were ignored and check-in continued through the din. My four-plug power strip was taken away at the security check along with many others. Was surprised, as it had not been a problem for past cruises. Heard later that power fluctuations on board had caused a power strip to catch fire, resulting in the ban. No notice in advance from Royal Caribbean. The Radiance is older, but we felt that all the areas we visited were well maintained and quite clean. Our cabin was 1556 on Deck 10. For those researching in future years, there were three formal nights. Days 2, 8 & 16. Enjoyed the main dining room most nights. Our waiter and assistant waiter from Indonesia were excellent and very enjoyable. Head Waiter was quite nice and dropped by for a chat each night. Different menus were provided for each of the eighteen nights – no repeats! A number of standard offerings offered every night of course. Tahitian-themed dinner leaving Papeete was our favorite. Also enjoyed nights at Chops Grille, Giovanni’s, Samba and the Chef’s Table to break things up a bit. Entertainment in the main showroom was fine, but a little sparse with the long stretches between ports. Only two production shows during the cruise. Cruise Director Cuddy Cudworth was enthusiastic and worked hard to entertain. We really enjoyed the Sunny Duo – Ukrainian Violinist and Guitar player in the Schooner Bar along with the other music around the ship. To help get us through the stormy sea days, the night time entertainment did a number of matinee shows in the main showroom. Movies were also scheduled in the main showroom each afternoon. The little Cinema was swamped with customers most of the days. Overall service on board was very good to excellent. Kristina in the Schooner Bar took great care of the four of us. Would probably not do this cruise again, but had enough adventures and new experiences to make the one time memorable! Ports/Excursions Sydney – attended the Handa Opera West Side Story musical on the harbor. Great production and amazing singing/dancing in a great setting. Also visited the Sydney WildLife Zoo and had dinner at Aria. Picton – rainy day. Did the Queen Charlotte Sound cruise, visited the Vines in Blenheim and walked around Picton for a bit. Not much open on Easter Sunday. Wellington – nice day. Full day Lord of the Rings Tour was excellent. River Anduin, Isengard, Rivendell and "Get off the road" filming sights plus an excellent lunch. Tahiti – snorkeling tour, walking around downtown Papeete and sunset catamaran tour. Moorea – Motu Picnic Lunch included snorkeling with stingrays & sharks – very enjoyable. Bora Bora – booked Patrick’s tour with Maohi Nui. Incredible snorkeling outside the reef with lots of sharks and colorful fish. More great snorkeling inside the reef with stingrays and sharks. Amazing Polynesian lunch followed by a fire dance. Highly recommend this tour. Honolulu – did the Little Circle Island Tour. Good way to leave the ship a little later and bridge the gap to hotel check-in or flight departure. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way ... Read More
We are a family of 6 and wanted to do a January cruise around New Zealand. Statistically, January should give us some smooth sailing across the Tasman and fortunately it did. Radiance Of The Seas were offering some good prices on a one-way cruise from Sydney to Auckland. This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean, first cruise to NZ and the biggest ship we have been on. We flew into Sydney, the day before the cruise departed, just in case of airline delays or cancellations. We boarded at 11.30 am and in our cabins by 3.00 pm. There are 2 vegans and 1 vegetarian in our family, so as soon as we were onboard, we went to see one of the head waiters in the Colony Club, to explain our dietary requirements. All our breakfasts and lunches were in the Windjammers Buffet and all our dinners were in Cascades. Cascades wins hands down in the “fine dining” department and their vegan meals were delicious and plenty of it. The vegans were usually given 2 or 3 entrees, 2 mains and 2 desserts each, just to ensure there was enough choice. The omnivores were also taken care of. Prawn cocktails, crumbed prawns, lobster tails, escargot, Rib eye steak, sirloin steak, fillet mignon, rack of lamb, venison, pork loin chops. Sometimes I had 2 entrees and 2 mains. Sometimes the steak was too chewy, so I ordered more prawn cocktails. The Cascade waiting staff were great and Cascades is the only place where soft drinks are free. The alcoholic drinks are expensive (about 50% more than P&O Aust and Carnival Aust) because all prices onboard are in $US. The drink price also includes an 18% gratuity, but you won’t see this itemised on your receipt. A few prices; beers $7.75-$8.50, base spirit and mixer $9.50-$11.50, cocktails $11-$16, the “cocktail of the day” is always $10, glasses of wine $9-$16 USD. I bought the Deluxe Beverage and Surf and Stream (1 device) Package about 2 months before the cruise date when a special offer was emailed to me. It cost me $82.80 AUD per day. Once onboard, the Deluxe Beverage was $70 USD per day and the Surf and Stream (1 device) was $29 USD per day. The internet speed was good, but there were times when we were out of satellite range and no service. The beverage package supplied me with bottled water, cans of soft drink, real coffee, not to mention the alcohol. The entertainment ranged from OK to very good. The juggler, ventriloquist, the boy band, the impressionist and comedians were very good. The big production shows were about average. Windjammers closes at 9.00 pm, so if you want some supper after the show, the food is limited to The Boardwalk Doghouse or the Park Café located in the Solarium. Both close at 2.00 am. The Park Café has sandwiches, wraps, rolls, pies, sausage rolls, salads and desserts and it was all good. Now for the one negative part of this review, photographers. They are everywhere. At the top of every stairway in every entrance, on every boarding ramp, in every dining room, I even found one in my soup. An 8x10 inch photo is $20 USD. I suppose they are a necessary evil and help subsidise my fare. This was a good family cruise and I will cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge ... Read More
This was the only way we were going to experience New Zealand and the itinerary was excellent! We are now Diamond Class mostly from cruising with sister company Celebrity and it did make a difference with speedy boarding, our own lounge and free drinks added each day! If we had known that we would not have paid for the drinks package! However, there is continual pressure to up-sell to speciality dining and thankfully we had two occasions to do so because the main dining food was very average and lacked imagination and flavour. I resorted to 4 starters on several evenings rather than face another main meal. Wine service was non-existent due to the absence of sommeliers so our waiter and assistant struggled to keep up with service. Food arrived lukewarm... very disappointing! Radiance probably has the best Centrum experience around with all decks being able to look down and participate in whatever was going on below! However, try finding a seat!... RCI has now taken over a huge chunk of the coffee bar lounge with a Future Cruise office plus, don't expect china cups these days... paper carry-outs! contrast that with Celebrity's La Bachio, the most popular relaxing area for most people! The two re-fits didn't seem to include soft furnishings such as the chairs and carpets in the Champagne Bar which really have seen better days! However, as I said, it was a very happy cruise with friendly officers and staff and a new Captain who actually sang to us at the welcome meeting! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are ... Read More
This was our 6th cruise with RCI (just made Diamond status) and 2nd on Radiance of the Seas. Were keen to sail on her again after our first trip to NZ. IMHO Radiance is just the right size for a cruise ship and all parts of the ship are easily accessible and navigate due it's simple layout. When she was launched she was the most advanced cruise ship on the waves but now, as lovely as she is, she is starting to look a little tired. Despite this, the service is 100% and in keeping with RCI's usual standard. My wife and I would not hesitate to sail on her again if the opportunity presents itself. NZ, as usual, was a pleasure to visit with every port offering a warm welcome and a myriad of shore activities to undertake. Would recommend shore excursions to Hobbiton, Rotorua, Rangitoto Island. Also, as Auckland is very much an America's Cup town, sailing on one of the two Americas Cup Class yachts berthed a Viaduct Harbour (near the Maritime Museum) is certainly a highlight! Read Less
Sail Date January 2019
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the ... Read More
I chose this cruise for the deal & the opportunity to revisit the South Is & the Fjords which are amazing, the weather was perfect, raining enough for the waterfalls to be running & the weather cleared as the ship entered the Sounds. Embarkation was a breeze, 1pm & straight onto the ship in 15 mins, disembarkation was a bit slower but easy enough, off the ship by 0830 after a hearty breakfast in the MDR. The transit across the Tasman Sea & return was smooth, the weather was perfect all the way until Day 8 when the wind & sea swell picked up as the ship headed up the west coast. Food & Bev; i enjoyed breakfast in MDR each morning, lunch was usualy a snack in the Park Cafe which was mainly meat, salads & fruit, occasional visit to the Windjammer which provided plenty of variety but i don't think it was fresh by the time i got there around 145pm (avoiding peak hour), the Park Cafe is a better choice. Dinner was mainly in the MDR, here the dishes were a bit mixed, some nice, other's were sometimes overcooked (e.g. the fish), but overall happy with meals in MDR. The service by staff was great in the MDR very willing to please, if not happy with meal just ask for a replacement which they readily provide. The price of Alcohol drinks is a rip off, $13 USD for a glass of Cab Sav, go figure, make sure you take onboard the max. alcohol you are permitted. The drinks packages don't interest me, i have the occasional coffee or coke, water you can refill at the drinks terminal around the ship, just fill a glass & pour into your container to fulfil health requirements by not putting your bottle directly onto water tap. Entertainment: the music around the ship was very good, 4 piece contemporary band & usual piano, guitar man in the pub, guitar & violin playing the Jazz Standards, the 2 piece Dance group. The theme nights went well, the 70-80s night & the Almost NYE party in the Centrum were good fun. The production shows in Aurora were the Piano Man & the City of Dreams, the former a bit tired the latter was a very enjoyable show. The Singers, Dancers & Show Band were excellent, they played the American Songbook in the Colony Club showing how polished they were with Count Basie style ensemble pieces. The featured artists ranged from poor to excellent for me, with plenty in the middle such as comedians etc. The Michael Jackson Experience was great, the audience could not get enough of TJ Capolla as MJ, he works hard & deserves credit for a entertaining show. Plenty of movies around the ship, top deck, the Cinema & Aurora Theatre. Plenty of dance classes to attend & learn some new moves, salsa, samba etc. The Cruise Director John Blair i liked a lot, I thought he handled the CD position very well, farewelling passengers as they disembarked was a nice touch. Excursions & Ports; the ports are all great, we got off the boat & wandered around the ports at our own pace, the Excursions from the boat are too expensive for me, you can book ahead for train trips at Picton & Dunedin. In Wellington we were lucky to see the Terracota Warriors ( at least about 30) at the Te Papa Museum. The ship is 17 yrs old being refurbished just a few years ago. I enjoyed the ship, its easy walking from the front to the back of ship, staff are always wiping down the handrails & cleaning the ship. The Solarium is an adults only area with a pool & spa, you can get a meal almost all day & night here, nice area to chill out. The gym is very good, all the equipment works & a good area for a stretch. The Centrum is the central place for most entertainment due to cool conditions on top deck. Plenty of sport facilities from basketball, mini golf, climbing wall. The only enrichment was a talk from a Parks Ranger when the ship was at the Sounds, unfortunately for me i could not make out much of what he was saying even in the lecture in Aurora, i'm sure he had plenty of interesting stuff to talk about. A fellow passenger i spoke to was very dissapointed there were no Bridge games, she advertised it on the "whats on" board but got only one person interested for a game. The Vitality Spa provide a much needed massage & a $50 voucher appeared in our room by about day 4, my companion enjoyed the massage & treatment. The Cruise Critic meeting went well, CD John conducted this with soft drinks & snacks provided, a 10 min mix & mingle was fun, 1 min talk then move to next & so on, a good way to find someone who lives in an enjoining suburb as it turned out. The Crown & Anchor meeting in the Colony Club was ok, the usual Captain & Crown & A speak. I thought the captain was invisible with this exception, i dont recall seeing him around the ship at all, ( i did not get to Dancing with the Stripes). The staff were excellent, guest services, cabin steward, dining room staff, very happy with everyone i came into contact with. The Parade of Flags by all the 37 (?) nationalities on the ship was a blast, pictured below. This is my 7th cruise with RC & i have enjoyed them all, would i go again ? yes, I'm a cruise junkie, enjoy meeting people from all walks of life & different places. Value for money RC suits my budget, but I would chose a more modern ship & try to avoid aft cabins if possible. Ovation is only 2 yr old with all the bells & whistles, Explorer & Voyager have the Ice Skating shows. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely ... Read More
We enjoy being away at this time of year. This is our favourite ship as it is not too big. The crew are very friendly and helpful. This ship is showing signs of ageing but this does not take away from the experience. We met some lovely people and really there was nothing to complain about. We did not have a meal in the mdr we did not like. As neither of us walk very well we were taken on board by wheelchair and it only took 20 minutes to be on the ship and likewise on our return a very efficient service. We had a cabin at the rear of the ship which was a mistake really. The balcony was great as it was sheltered and large enough for a table and two chairs plus two loungers, but it was a long walk to the lifts. We booked a grand suite for the beginning of December 2019 to New Zealand and got a great offer on board with the Next Cruise people Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, ... Read More
We like the Radiance and got a suitable deal. We have been to the islands many times so the ship was the attraction rather than the destinations. The weather was mixed and this was given as the reason for the slow tendering processes, although it seemed that too few tenders were being operated. The ship is still in good shape and lifts operated well. The decorations for the festive season were fantastic and the cruise director, John, and his team did a great job. He is one of the best that we have seen and he even did an afternoon tribute to Neil Diamond which was very good. The general shows were a mixture of very good to moderate but the movies were very limited and repetitive. The overall presentations for Xmas, New Year were wonderful. Few complaints about the food in any of the restaurants although a little repetitive. However, have to congratulate the wait staff who are all great, cheerful and willing to serve. These Filipino and Indonesian waiters are a great advertisement for cruise lines, including RCCI.We always had pre-dinner drinks in the diamond or concierge lounges and the waiters soon got to know us. These lounges are great draws for RCCI. Disembarkation was fast, ahead of time, and plenty of taxis at port. Read Less
Sail Date December 2018
We were not disappointed with Radiance, despite it being billed as everyone's favourite ship. My preference is still Quantum class, however for a short break we were not disappointed. The cabin was immaculate with everything you ... Read More
We were not disappointed with Radiance, despite it being billed as everyone's favourite ship. My preference is still Quantum class, however for a short break we were not disappointed. The cabin was immaculate with everything you would expect in an Owner's suite and more. Dining was excellent, but not better or worse than any other RCI ship we have sailed on. Really enjoyed the main dining room, Giovanni's and Chef's table and would recommend them to anyone. The best Concierge lounge of any of the ships we have sailed on. The entertainment was very good and certainly a better standard that we experienced on HAL and Carnival. For a shorter cruise for just the 2 of us, it was excellent and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone. On the downside, Radiance is starting to show its age in comparison to the newer ships especially on the outside, It's in dock getting an azipod repaired this week, so hopefully it will get a coat of paint to hide some on the rust spots. We cruise RCI because the blend of dining and activities suits us and every cruise we have done delivers a consistent experience. This was no different, however I do wish they would be a little more adventurous with the wine list. Read Less
Sail Date March 2018
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to see more ports in Australia. We were not disappointed. The Great Barrier Reef was the highlight. So was holding a Joey. The cruise staff was entertaining and friendly. Shout out to ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary. Wanting to see more ports in Australia. We were not disappointed. The Great Barrier Reef was the highlight. So was holding a Joey. The cruise staff was entertaining and friendly. Shout out to Bradley of the cruise staff and shout out to Kevin Philips who entertained us in the pub every night. The cruise director ( Gordon) sang on the last night of the cruise. He was fantastic! I wish he would have sang sooner in the cruise and more often. He has a great voice. The Australian people are so considerate and kind. We met many couples who were also taking the next cruise form Perth back to Sydney. If this cruise is offered again I would highly recommend it for those that want to see the western, northern and eastern past of Australia. Bali was a bonus. Lovely culture. Amazing temples. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I only have a few complains One I have is with the room service. When did RCL start charging for room service? Eight dollars a pop for ice tea to be delivered is way out of bounds! I understand how that can be abused, however there ... Read More
I only have a few complains One I have is with the room service. When did RCL start charging for room service? Eight dollars a pop for ice tea to be delivered is way out of bounds! I understand how that can be abused, however there needs to be a happy median. The shows mostly started at 6:30, that was too early for us, as we had the dinner seating at 8:00. The next shows time was 8:30. A few jokes were made that for the guests age ( over 70), that by 10:00 most were asleep! The shore excursions were few and far between as we went to some hole in the world places! They should SKIP Port Hedron and spend a night in Perth, which we did not get to see! The lectures on the boat were horrible to non-existent! All she did was read from her screen, and offered nothing else. I remember a time when locals were offered a meal and invited on board to tell their story. For someone visiting Australia for the first time that would have been nice! Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
The circumnavigation of Australia and South New Zealand was awesome. Each port was different and offered a lot of variety. So itinerary awesome Dining: Main dining room ok but not great. Some nights I had trouble choosing from the ... Read More
The circumnavigation of Australia and South New Zealand was awesome. Each port was different and offered a lot of variety. So itinerary awesome Dining: Main dining room ok but not great. Some nights I had trouble choosing from the menu. The steak was thin and not very tender. Service good and sometimes great! Windjammer good but inconsistent with offerings particularly for breakfast. Specialty restaurants were very good especially chops. Centrum: There were frequent "seminars" using a very loud mike that you could hear at some distance. Of course it was an effort to sell you something. They need to be moved to a separate room so that the Centrum can be a gathering place where people can chat. The other Centrum programs were fine. The sales seminars disturbed the game playing area, library etc. on all the upper decks. Smoking: The smoke frequently drifted inside particularly on the 11th floor and into the hallway as you entered the Windjammer. The Boardwalk also affected. Disembark: Very slow when tendered. Overall a great cruise but the above issues need to be addressed. Read Less
Sail Date February 2018
I choose to do this crusie as I wanted to do my own thing for Christmas and New Years. The Interna Stateroom was fantastic couldn't fault it in anyway except the fridge didn't work but I didn't need to use it. The ... Read More
I choose to do this crusie as I wanted to do my own thing for Christmas and New Years. The Interna Stateroom was fantastic couldn't fault it in anyway except the fridge didn't work but I didn't need to use it. The embarkation and the disembarkation was the smoothest run part of the cruise. Unfortunately they Port disembarkation was a disaster, at Arkura we waited 2 hours for the tenders to pick everyone up it was freezing cold and were not offered an explanation as to why we waited so long. The dinning was fantastic and the service was by far the best you can get. The Entertainment was not good at all the singers couldn't sing and this made it hard to listen to. Although they did have a couple of good performances in the theatre that were great. In all this was a great cruise for me as a first in 26 years but I think I will look at going on another cruise with anther cruise liner next time Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
We wanted a short cruise in order to relax before the stresses of Christmas. We certainly found the right one to do it! Although we left Sydney late, due to someone being disembarked because of illness, the cruise was very relaxing, ... Read More
We wanted a short cruise in order to relax before the stresses of Christmas. We certainly found the right one to do it! Although we left Sydney late, due to someone being disembarked because of illness, the cruise was very relaxing, exactly what we needed! The only "bad" thing was our room steward who was either new or very disorganised, as our room, some mornings, took a long time to be made up. Wait staff and the concierge in the Diamond club were excellent, our evening waiter was great, but his assistant not so good, and the Chef's Table staff very absolutely wonderful! We expected Adelaide to be extremely hot, listening to the weather reports, but Adelaide was kind to us, and provided beautiful weather. Melbourne had its usual unpredictable weather, but was kind to us. Hobart had the best weather, a cool morning which turned into a magnificent day! Overall a very relaxing time, exactly what we wanted! Read Less
Sail Date December 2017
Chose this cruise because it sailed around both Islands. I have never been to the South Island before. I caught up with Mum in Tauranga. A cousin in Wellington and a brother Christchurch. I love Wellington. The South Island is ... Read More
Chose this cruise because it sailed around both Islands. I have never been to the South Island before. I caught up with Mum in Tauranga. A cousin in Wellington and a brother Christchurch. I love Wellington. The South Island is amazing to see, different scenery to the North and in some ways a different culture. The South Island appears to be More English in culture. The ship itself, does need refurbishment and the showers are smaller than other cruise lines. Overall the food was good. We chose MyTime dining, not knowing that even with that you could book a definite time for each evening of your cruise. We were considered walki ins and therefore missed out on the formal nights. Carnival Legend sails between the US and Australia and manages to deal in AUD, but yet Royal Caribbean can’t do that and everything in in the USD and the exchange rate on the ship is abysmal. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We love the Radiance and cruised on her in 2015 and then Nov/Dec 2018. In 2015 we thought the food was ordinary to say the least but our latest cruise (2018) the food was excellent and so was the service. She is a lovely light and airy ... Read More
We love the Radiance and cruised on her in 2015 and then Nov/Dec 2018. In 2015 we thought the food was ordinary to say the least but our latest cruise (2018) the food was excellent and so was the service. She is a lovely light and airy ship. We loved her glass floor to ceiling windows in the Windjammer and her lovely open air dining area at the back of the Windjammer. We also loved sitting in the Colony Club and looking out the back of the ship but the problem was the lovely leather seats had lost their support and you kept sliding off the seat! (Not good "duty of care" for cruises with bad backs) The other problem was that the awful Art Auctions had taken over the Colony Club for their paintings and so seating became limited. Not impressed to say the least. The difference in on-sell between the two cruises was probably the thing that hit us in the face the most. 2015 it was just sailing day and a little the day after and from time to time from the excursion officer. But 2018 it was on the whole time and they had a table set up, for the whole cruise, in the buffet trying to sell drinks and restaurant packages. They had a captive market as it was just where the crew stood to give you the handwash before you entered the Windjammer. Our cabin was clean and well maintained the only exception were the pillows.. lumpy and laundered a few too many times... and the hard bed. We wondered if they were new beds as we found our mattress touched our suitcase on (2018) cruise where there was good clearance the previous cruise. There is a need to keep day to day programme fresh and think up some new activities and bring in some new nightly stage entertainment, especially for the "loyal" repeat cruisers! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
The pro's: Embarkation and Disembarkation- the fastest, easiest ever in 30 cruises ! Food- excellent, some of the best meals ever Restaurant Service- excellent Room Steward- excellent Ship- very good layout, easy to get ... Read More
The pro's: Embarkation and Disembarkation- the fastest, easiest ever in 30 cruises ! Food- excellent, some of the best meals ever Restaurant Service- excellent Room Steward- excellent Ship- very good layout, easy to get around, still in very good shape for its age Bar Service- excellent Ship staff- all were very good, friendly and very helpful RCCL excursions- excellent, very organized Theatre shows- ship band was fantastic as were the entertainment brought on board (see below) Rooms- very clean, nice rooms considering the ships age (see below) Negatives: Casino- the slot machines were all very old, not much variety Theatre Shows- we found the RCCL singers and dancers to be only average Room- *see below OK, now for the biggest issue we had. This is really a double edged sword and it is to do with our room. Let me begin with our desire to have a nice big balcony, on the port side for the sailing counter-clockwise around New Zealand. For this it was amazing !! we had a fantastic view of the snow covered mountains and great views for most of the cruise. For this we booked room #7094, so all seemed good. This was until we found out that there is some sort of either dance party or live band every night of the cruise in the main attrium until 11:45pm and even midnight a couple of the nights. LOUD !!!!!! Now, I'm all for a party/dance etc but, when some of the mornings that you need to be up before 6am for excursions it was tough trying to get a good sleep. To be fair, we would have had no problem if the parties ended by 10pm and I think that is reasonable for everyone. There are so many other venues they could have had the late night dances in. Even the disco on the top deck (no rooms anywhere near) had nothing planned for several of the nights. I find it hard to believe RCCL hasn't done anything about this because we weren't the only ones that felt this way. Overall we had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat......just next time we would have our room in a better location. If considering this ship or cruise go for it !! You won't be disappointed. This would have been a solid 5 stars without the noise. I'm attaching pictures of the balcony and room as when I was searching before we left I really couldn't find many. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them ... Read More
Dream vacation after doing the first leg in 2008. Menus didn't change much in 39 days in the Main Dining Room. Fish was disappointing, bland and mushy. Steaks were poor quality on the Sydney to Honolulu leg , so never tried them again. Specialty dining was excellent in Chops and Sabatini's, but over cooked in Samba. Really enjoyed the Mystery Diner Theater although it was the same scenario as previous ones. Papeete excursion was very poor and selection throughout was not very appealing. Alaska excursions seemed overpriced.Great whale experience in Icy Strait Point. Right at the ship in port. WOW!!! Hawaii was nice, but again the excursions lacked inspiration and many were sold out prior to boarding, bummer.Nothing offered for B2Bers in Vancouver. Seemed like a lost opportunity. Disembarkation and Embarkation at both Honolulu and Vancouver were nightmare's. Poor organization on RCCL and bad operations by Customs and Border from both US and Canada. Memorable trip for many reasons. Glad we did it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest ... Read More
As per normal boarding was easy and well organized. While there are parts of the ship that do need some attention I have to say it was a great cruise. Of course the norm now is to smash you at every turn with drinks packages, Rest packages and now even ship tours. The other regular thing that seems to be the norm is price increases and it never ends. We were on this ship in Feb and did the Galley tour with lunch It was a good tour and we had lunch at chops grille. As we were on with friends we decided to do it with them and of course it was more expensive, less time and no chops Grille but just in the dinning room and it was about 10% more expensive than Feb. Overall however, great cruise, staff were excellent, Cruise Director and staff the best I have ever had. The food was great, and yes drinks expensive still however I did notice cocktail of the day went from $12 US to $8 US this cruise which was something anyway. The loyalty program is fantastic as we are Diamond Plus members. Room was all good and our Room attendant Janna was awesome. I have to admit my bucket list included a trip to Tahiti islands and Hawaii. If you are into water sports you will love them but apart from that they are super expensive and not a lot to do. After Tahiti I thought Bali was heaps cheaper and just as good I did my Pearl Harbor tour so I was happy. Now comes the BUT !!! Twice in 2 cruises now we have caught the dreaded Cold/Flu. I recall 1 staff member saying they had it for 15 days which would make me believe there is a big chance staff are spreading it. Both my wife and I were as sick as could be and she had 2 visits to the doctor which is a very expensive exercise. I was in bed almost the whole time from Bora Bora to Hawaii. We do cruise a lot but I am now starting to re think" is it really worth it" ? We paid a lot for this cruise and we spent at least a quarter of it sick and add to that the $330 AUS in doctors fees and it leaves a sour taste I know it is the luck of the draw in most cases and if you do not get it Great !! We enjoyed everything apart from the doctors bill and being sick Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our ... Read More
Big plus--It offered more time at sea and visited ports on our "bucket list". This trip has lots of high points and some that were rather mediocre. The service was excellent and we became on a first name basis with our waiter and assistant waiter, Anil and Diana (Liying). They were a delight. Our cabin attendant, Butu, was also very friendly and kept surprising us with towel animals. The service aboard ship from all the crew was exceptional. As this was our 4th cruise we can only compare the entertainment with the others we experienced and this was by far the best. The comedians, jugglers, bar music, singers, dancers, and crew shows were outstanding. Our favorite shows were headlined by Contempo, two extremely talented singers from Australia. Wow!, they were amazing. Coming in at second place was everyone else, (however, one was a very distant second) almost all, very professional. Steve Davis and his staff deserve a lot of credit for keeping us entertained. Much of the time we were racing from bow to stern to engage in various games and activities, the most common of which was Trivia contests. If I had to offer one suggestion to the activities staff it would be to make absolutely certain of the answers to the trivia questions. There were numerous questions that had more than one correct answer which caused much confusion. Some of the same questions were asked at different sessions. The food; plentiful but not up to the level we had experienced on other cruises. Cuts of meat were sometimes tough and gristly. It was exorbitant to have to pay considerably extra to order "specialty" meals or eat in the restaurants other than the Cascades dining room and the Windjammer. Drinks (other than complimentary iced tea or lemonade) were outrageously expensive, $8+ for a Bud Light.! Mixed drinks for $14 was out of our price range, Ironically, room service was free so you could have a meal and glass of water delivered to your cabin, but you were charged if you opened the bottle of water in your mini fridge. Huh??? Our in-room safe malfunctioned, thankfully at a time we were able to get a security person to open it. This has happened several times to us on various vacations, once requiring the safe to be drilled open. Something to think about if you are disembarking and trying to catch an early flight. We always recommend that the safe be opened the night before to avoid a long delay. Little things that can be so easily corrected are often neglected. Walking the upper deck (day 1) we noticed that the basketball net was nothing but a frayed piece of string that was hanging from the hoop. What would it cost major cruise line to make sure that at the start of every cruise there was a useable net? Not a single air hand dryer was functional in the lavatories. Why have them? Why post on the Compass that saving of seats at the Aurora Theater was strictly prohibited when it is commonplace with no one monitoring the seating? We saw people put water bottles at seats to save them for numerous friends. Mini golf was all but impossible due to the rips and tears of the golfing surface. All in all, the ship needs a face lift to take care years of use and some rust spots. Some passengers complained about leaks and water coming from burst pipes. That is not a minor thing. Always a highlight is the opportunity to meet people from distant lands and this cruise offered that in spades, with many from all over Australia. They were all friendly and except for us being separated by a common language there were wonderful conversations. It was often difficult to understand the "lingo" of Aussies but we loved the interaction. They probably thought the same about us Americans. Lots of memories, a once in a lifetime trip we will treasure. Looking forward to our next cruise to the Southern Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - ... Read More
Specifically chose this cruise as a means of visiting French Polynesia (Tahiti, Morea and Bora Bora). Booking, registration and embarkation all handled with ease - somewhat disappointed with the tired and dated condition of stateroom - corridors smelt musty and rooms were drab with brown curtains and dated timber furniture. Our particular stateroom also had a bad drainage smell which maintenance crew were unable to rectify - overall this ship needs quite a bit of work in and around the staterooms however the common centrum areas were generally bright and modern and provided a good escape from the rooms. Quality and abundance of food throughout the ship was excellent as were the efforts of waiters and all activities staff. Captain was particularly personable and always willing to greet guests and particpate in oboard activities where possible. All in all good value for money and would cruise again only being more particular in checking on levels of fitout and recent refurbishments before booking any particular ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in ... Read More
I have come to a couple of conclusions and the first one is that everyone has a different cruise depending on who you come into contact with and every ship has it's own personality. This is my journey on this trip. We arrived in Sydney the day before as we always do and stayed in Pitt street. AS the Ovation OTS had taken our port spot we actually had to tender to get on the ship, which was a new experience. I had no issue as we were first on board. We had cabin 1094 deck 10 Junior suite and i will talk about that later. The ship is getting on a bit and looked just a bit tired in some places but well maintained and clean. We had My Time Dinning and we always enjoy it. I thought the food overall was very good with just a few issues like main course dried out a bit sometimes but it was all good. We did not go to windjammer for dinner but our friends did and said there was a steak station where you could go up and order a steak. This was a great idea, they loved it and 1 of those ship personality things. We went to 3 payed dining places Samba, Choppes and Giovani's which we bought a 3 package for $75 US. They were all good but nothing like nor anywhere near as good as when Portofino's used to be on Voyager of the seas. That was the best. As cruise companies do it is always cut back cut back, and as we had been to these places before we noticed some things available before our now not. The Diamond Lounge was just amazing with the concierge JD and staff making this the best Diamond lounge we have ever visited. I hope someone from the cruise companies read these reviews because let me say the cost of drinks on board ships in becoming pure madness.. About $14 US or $19 AUS for a glass of wine or cocktail is madness. $7.50 US for beer of $10 Aus. I have to say if i was a first time cruiser i would not return for a second. We are lucky we are Diamond members and get some drinks included otherwise i would stop cruising as it is getting to it's pricing limits. I noticed that a lot of people do not drink like they used to particularly when i can get a better quality wine in a pub for $8AUS. Radiance had a big issue of getting people off the ship, it was never easy and always took hours. The Radiance was a very happy ship, the staff were happy and very willing to make sure you enjoyed the cruise. Overall we enjoyed it but did not drink much lol Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
Very easy ship to get around. most of the staff are very polite & helpful, like anything there are always a few who are the exception. The company should address the smell at the stern of the ship, seems like a vent for drains(or ... Read More
Very easy ship to get around. most of the staff are very polite & helpful, like anything there are always a few who are the exception. The company should address the smell at the stern of the ship, seems like a vent for drains(or similar). Embarkation was a bit of a pain but not too bad, some people seem to think that 2000+ passengers can be magically transported to a ship anchored in the middle of the harbour in a matter of minutes, plenty of whingers that seemed to think that they knew how to arrange things a lot better. Food was excellent, in the free areas as well as specialty restaurants. Shows were quite entertaining, not great but good. Live music, both classical & modern was played by very talented musicians. Shopping items seem to be no great bargains, cigs & alcohol very cheap but all other items seem pretty close to retail. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Off to a bad start, as we had to tender out from White Bay to the radiance, very slow process in the HEAT! Once aboard there was a noticeable difference between the radiance and the voyager (we went on VOTS last year) Having four 17-19 ... Read More
Off to a bad start, as we had to tender out from White Bay to the radiance, very slow process in the HEAT! Once aboard there was a noticeable difference between the radiance and the voyager (we went on VOTS last year) Having four 17-19 year olds with us in 2 families, and travelling out of school holidays what a bliss! No DreamWorks characters or ice skating rink we really didn't miss. Radiance is a pretty ship, and although we had to line up to book into our MyTime dining times for the length of the cruise (even tho our TA spent ages with RCI on the phone prior to book each night this was not adequate), we really never felt like we had endless lines as we did on the Voyager (and we were almost at capacity). The only problem was the waiters asked us quite a few times about specialty restaurant bookings, but I feel they are made to do this and they stopped after we said we love the food and service in the MDR so why pay for something else? The service was the best we have experienced, and when there was a few passenger come down with the gastro a few days out, the staff stopped self service straight away, 2 days later all good. They really take hygiene seriously. The Solarium pool was nice, but to be honest, I found it too hot in there! As a result, I didn't swim once. The Café around the pool had great food though, so we would sometimes grab a bit and take it away. Cookies YUM! The Starbucks has AWFUL coffee, OMG why can't they get some decent coffee beans and baristas on these ships! We couldn't wait to get ashore in NZ for our coffee fix. My friend had brought her trusty Maccona with her and that was a desperate measure some mid-mornings. The entertainment was fabulous, except the magic show, that was the worst I have ever seen. We scheduled our sea days going from trivia to trivia, playing pool on the funky table that stays level in the waves. Some of the staff were very comical and we had some great laughs! We loved the Putt Putt too. I really liked the Colony Club, great views over the ocean at the rear of the ship. We organised our own shore excursions. Just a word of warning about these. If a tender port, might be best to bite the bullet and get the ships tour to get preference getting ashore, we spoke to people who missed their tour and lined up for tender tickets from 7am! Otherwise your own tours will be fine with walk off ports. Our balcony cabin was nice, but smaller than we had on the Voyager. The other thing I REALLY MISSED on the radiance that the Voyager had was a proper cold fridge! The cabin had a thing that looked like a fridge but was called a "cooler" and didn't chill anything. also a KETTLE!!!! No kettle as in the Voyager, and I really missed my morning cuppa tea on the balcony. I guess we could have got room service, but the timing can be wrong with that. The ship was extremely clean and the staff are absolutely perfect with smiles on their faces even when they have worked so hard for 7-8 months straight. We found the bar service a little slow at the Schooner Bar....resorting to getting our iced water or soft drinks from the Casino as that bar was quiet. Had 4 bottles of wine allowed for 2 cabins, so didn't but much drinks, except a few glasses of white wine that were about $9, and tasted fine. We won trivia one day and got a bottle of French Champagne! Elizabeth the CD was quirky and weird at first, but we ended up warming to her, and looking forward to laugh at her style of presentation. \one of the English girls that took Trivia and a host of other activities was so funny we nick-named her Miranda from the Brit comedy...can't remember her real name! Some of the other nationality presenters had thick accents that were a little tricky but that added to the fun. Splashed out and bought myself a Citizen watch that I had priced prior to the trip and was good value, the sales girl also adjusted it for me for free, unlike jewellers at home. I wasn't really impressed with any of the photos, I prefer candid shots, although my friend bought 5 photos of her family. Can't wait until the next one! Oh....and the shower curtain YUK! minor annoyances can be overlooked (: Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand without the hassle of driving. It is also cheaper this way as NZ is very expensive. Much cheaper to cruise and do local tours. This cruise is charged in US$ and tours are ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I wanted to see New Zealand without the hassle of driving. It is also cheaper this way as NZ is very expensive. Much cheaper to cruise and do local tours. This cruise is charged in US$ and tours are expensive. Careful selection of your cabin is essential because noise from the engines has to be blocked out with ear plugs, however; the vibration cannot. Lower aft is a big mistake. Deck 4 has the Windjammer Aft and Aurora Theatre forward . I would now plump for Deck 9 mid-section. We went to 6.30pm My Time Dining. When we asked to change tables, there was no problem. We had excellent service and had no complaints. I don't think the Speciality Dining is worth doing. The Windjammer had a lovely bow deck and we'd sit out there with cheese and biscuits and a bottle of wine on ice. Unfortunately, the weather isn't always kind in NZ, so take a few wraps. The AC is also at a low temperature. The next cruise will include more wraps and woollies ! The 70s Night was the most fun. Australia Night was more like British Night, hardly anyone dressed up and very few Australian groups featured. A lot of hard selling on this cruise. The Art Auction and photography were always being promoted. The Champagne Lunch was a big disappointment but they refunded our money. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth with disembarkation being sped up by customs visiting us on the ship to get that all organised before reaching the dock. We ate a few meals in the main dining room using mytime dining and had ... Read More
The embarkation and disembarkation were smooth with disembarkation being sped up by customs visiting us on the ship to get that all organised before reaching the dock. We ate a few meals in the main dining room using mytime dining and had no issues as my son and I were more than happy to share with others. The staff were all incredibly friendly and made sure that we were always well looked after. We didn't do any shore excursions as they seemed very expensive although after trying to organise tours in port myself I would probably book excursions in future. I would have liked to purchase more of the photos but the price of them is exhorbatant, which makes no sense as once the photos are printed they are no good to the ship if not purchased and the expense has already been laid out. Overall we loved our time on Radiance of the Seas and if we can ever afford it will definitely be doing it again Read Less
Sail Date December 2016
Radiance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 4.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 3.5 3.8
Enrichment 2.0 3.5
Service 4.5 4.4
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates N/A 4.3

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