7 Sydney (Australia) to Hawaii Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
we stayed in Sydney the night before the cruise. I was amazed just hoe close to the pier we actually were. On the day of boarding we had plans to look around the rocks markets as we were told we couldn't board until our cabin level ... Read More
we stayed in Sydney the night before the cruise. I was amazed just hoe close to the pier we actually were. On the day of boarding we had plans to look around the rocks markets as we were told we couldn't board until our cabin level was called which wasn't until about 15.00. We took our bags to the pier at about 11.30 and were suddenly whisked along with everyone else and ended up being on the ship by 12.30. We were quite happy with that. We went to see our cabin and found that they had put us 2 single women who had specifically asked for single beds into a double cabin. We were asked how we wanted the room planned and when we came back after lunch were happy to see the room had been rearranged exactly how we wanted it. For the next 5 day until Picton the weather was pretty rough. As for indoor activities there was not a lot to do. Only what they had planned for a normal day. They had a picture theatre that only held 40 people. If you didn't get there first you didn't see it until the afternoon and that was if you stood out front half the day. it was suggested on more than 1 occasion by many people that if they had played the move in the theatre a lot more people could have had something to do, or even had a few more screenings through the day.The service from all the staff i had to deal with was absolutely fantastic. Everyone we had to deal with was pleasant and polite. Our cabin steward was so happy and helpful. We had My Time Dining and found the food choices excellent and the wait staff very good. We also dined at a couple of the speciality restaurants where we found the food and the prices very good. The entertainment was not what i expected.They advertise that they have broadway like shows but through the whole 18 days all they had were singers, magician a hypnotist and a couple of comedians. Totally annoyed by that. Overall i enjoyed the cruise but i think 18 days is way to long especially with so many days at sea with bad weather and not much to do. The only real fault with the cruise was the fact that the public toilets were always not working or closed for repairs most of the time. Overall the ship and all the staff made for an exceptional Holiday. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
This was our third cruise on the Radiance. We had a very sociable and energetic Cruise Critics group which made for a most enjoyable cruise. Embarkation - Although passengers were given different boarding times depending on the deck ... Read More
This was our third cruise on the Radiance. We had a very sociable and energetic Cruise Critics group which made for a most enjoyable cruise. Embarkation - Although passengers were given different boarding times depending on the deck on which their cabin was situated, it seems that this was ignored by many passengers and certainly not enforced by RCCL. It took a little over an hour to embark but our luggage arrived without delay. Service - as usual, the staff were fantastic. We had excellent service from our dining room stewards and cabin steward, all of whom were anxious to please and could not do enough for us. We liked the way that care was taken to ensure that we were seated with the same waiters every night even though we had My Time Dining. Itinerary - We thoroughly enjoyed all the ports of call and the leisurely nature of the cruise and highly recommend it. We did not take any shore excursions organised by the ship, preferring to take the excursions organised by Cruise Critic members. Picton – we did a Marlborough winery tour which was most enjoyable ($65). Included was a visit to the Makana Chocolate Factory where we were able to sample and buy from their expensive but delicious range. We stopped for lunch at the Allan Scott Winery which was extra. Wellington – having visited Wellington before, we spent the day at the Te Papa Museum, where we took a tour for about $7 and then attended the Gallipoli Exhibition which was fabulous and highly recommended to anyone with an interest in World War 1 history. The exhibits were created by the Weta Workshop (which works in the film industry) and were incredibly life like. We were told that this exhibition will be open for 4 years. Papeete – we joined other Cruise Critics members at the Intercontinental Hotel (an inexpensive taxi trip away) where we purchased day passes which were 12,820 XPF (about $75) per person and included an excellent lunch. We spent the day swimming, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and sipping cocktails as the sun set. A magical experience. Moorea – is beautiful. We took one of Albert’s island tours again organized by a Cruise Critics member. I purchased some very reasonably priced Tahitian pearls in the local market. Bora Bora - was jaw droppingly gorgeous. We took Patrick’s tour, also organized by a Cruise Critic member, at a cost of about $125 per person, but worth every cent. We went on motorized outrigger canoes carrying about 12 people, first to an area which was about 4 1/2 feet deep, just inside the reef, to swim with reef sharks, sting rays and many tropical fish. Even non- swimmers were able to join in the fun here. Patrick’s staff were very attentive and took care to ensure that even the non- swimmers had an opportunity to touch a sting ray and observe the sharks. We then went to a coral garden where it was much deeper. We went to Patrick’s private motu for a Tahitian luau lunch which was very good. Patrick even performed a fire dance for us. The scenery on the way to and from the motu was wonderful. Everyone I spoke with said that this tour was the highlight of the trip and it is highly recommend to both swimmers and non- swimmers alike. We took our own snorkeling equipment and reef shoes. A word of warning – the washroom on the private motu was very rudimentary and the toilet didn’t flush most of the time and there was no running water for washing hands! Dining - Meals in the main dining room were nicely presented but, in our view, somewhat bland. Windjammer had many different types of food on offer, but was fairly repetitive. I enjoyed the breakfast buffet and the fact that you could have eggs cooked to order, but found the food at lunch time very average. We never had dinner there. Izumi and Giovanni’s were very good. Samba, whilst good, was not really to our taste - too much meat. We dined twice at Chops Grill. On the first occasion the steward mixed up my steak with the larger steak ordered by my husband; this was unsatisfactory since we prefer our steak cooked differently. On the second occasion we had a very nice dinner. Unfortunately Chef’s Table was disappointing. This is marketed as a premium experience, however, the food, whilst good, was served lukewarm and at least some of the wine was less than premium. No menu was provided until we requested it and we also had to request teaspoons with our coffee. Little things but we expected better. RCCL ultimately responded to the criticism in an appropriate manner for some of the group. However, it is unlikely that we will return. Murder Mystery Dinner at Giovanni’s - the food was good and hot, and it was an entertaining evening, however, in my view it is somewhat overpriced at $55 per person. We did not dine at Rita’s Crab Shack, the somewhat bizarre reincarnation of “Rita’s Cantina” and we did not observe or hear of anyone else who dined there either. The prices and the fact that it is partly open to the weather (which wasn’t favourable a lot of the time) may have deterred passengers. This and the hot dog café are both poorly utilized spaces. The Ship - Radiance is a beautiful ship and overall, it is clean and well maintained. However, I am sad to report that it is looking a little tired in some areas. We noticed the change between our first cruise on Radiance in 2011 and now. For example, some chairs were heavily stained and looked quite grotty, in particular in the Champagne Bar. Carpets need replacing in some areas and the cabins are looking a bit dated. We had a balcony cabin on Deck 7 which was pleasant and comfortable, but the balcony was not private because the “stripes” and frosting on the screen between our cabin and the next had deteriorated. Also, rust was visible on some superstructure visible from the balcony. Storage in both the cabin and bathroom is good even for a longer cruise. Others have commented on the tiny showers and sticky shower curtains! On every cruise we have noticed a few more cutbacks. Now dressing gowns are not provided, unless requested. Radiance has serious plumbing problems. Our toilet was not working on the first day and then intermittently after that. Two out of three public toilets were not working outside the main dining room for several days. It was a similar experience elsewhere on the ship. Cruisers need to be aware that the view from some of the balcony cabins on Deck 7 is limited by the canopy over the life boats below. This means that you cannot look down at the sea immediately below. We tried on several occasions before we left and upon embarkation to upgrade our cabin, but RCCL refused unless we paid about $1500 more, even though there had been a considerable price drop and we had paid many hundreds of dollars more than superior cabins were selling for at that time. RCCL should not discourage repeat clients from booking early and should apply the same more generous booking conditions to Australian passengers that are applicable to US passengers. We will consider booking with other cruise lines, which have more generous booking conditions to Australian passengers in future. Laundry - There is no self-service laundry facilities on board. Every 5 days or so passengers are given the opportunity to have a bag of washing done for USD30. This has increased from USD20 since our last cruise on the Radiance in 2013, which I think is a bit steep. This is a “wash and fold” service and does not include shirts, dresses etc. which are itemised separately. Entertainment - Unfortunately the first 9 days of the cruise were cold, windy, rough and often wet. The decks were sometimes closed. However, there was limited entertainment offered during the day. The evening entertainment was varied – some of it was very good and some of it not to our taste. The same “Broadway” type shows have been presented for many years now. It would be helpful if a list and time of the shows was published on RCCL’s website. There is already provision for this, but no information posted. This would assist passengers in making reservations for dinners. It is surprising that the “Broadway” type shows were not repeated on other nights of what was a long cruise. The “enrichment lectures” were non – existent with the exception of one or two given by volunteer passengers. The “health” presentations, held it seemed on a daily basis in Centrum, were a thinly disguised attempt to persuade passengers to part with their money for expensive spa treatments and products. I was impressed with RCCL’s recognition and commemoration of ANZAC Day (the Australian/NZ Memorial Day) and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings. The night before ANZAC day a red poppy was left on the pillow of passengers and both a dawn service and later service were attended by the ship’s officers and passengers. It seemed fitting that we should be commemorating the Gallipoli landings in a ceremony held at sea. RCCL made breakfast available in the Windjammer earlier than usual to accommodate those who attended the dawn service. Well done! Disembarkation – Guest Relations would not sell us transfers to the airport as we had a 12.30 domestic flight and they said that they could not guarantee that we would make the flight. So we had to carry our substantial luggage through US Customs and off the ship ourselves. We had no difficulty in getting a taxi and we made it to the airport by 8.00am! All in all, this was a very enjoyable cruise with beautiful ports and a great group of people, but Radiance deserves some money spent refurbishing her so that she shines once again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Our first RCI cruise and it was overall pretty excellent. * Radiance is a beautiful ship, with lovely accommodation and public areas * Embarkation in Sydney was easy and well organised * Food in the dining room was excellent. * ... Read More
Our first RCI cruise and it was overall pretty excellent. * Radiance is a beautiful ship, with lovely accommodation and public areas * Embarkation in Sydney was easy and well organised * Food in the dining room was excellent. * Giovanni's, Chops and Izumi were fantastic, Samba Grill not that good. * Alcoholic cocktails are mostly made from pre-mixed juices - not very good. P&O's hand crafted cocktails are far better. * Wine choices in the wine & dine package were good, and the wine package was easy to access everywhere * Bar service at the pool bar was abysmal - we were overcharged, not served in order, and the availability of beers (on the menu) was sporadic. * Entertainment was ok - the ship's band was particularly poor, so every sail away party was boring. The hypnotist and Tango shows were great. * The ports of Picton, Wellington, Moorea, Bora Bora, Papeete and Maui were wonderful. * The excursion staff and information presentations on the ports were terrible - I knew more from a few guidebooks and tripadvisor * The dining room staff and our room steward were all wonderful, as were the staff in the Quill & Compass * the spa staff are unfortunately very focussed on upselling products - not a relaxing way to end your massage (and spa prices were overpriced) * the disembarkation process was a mess, people everywhere with no signage directions or on-ground staff. The line for the taxi rank was in the hundreds, yet there was limited management of process. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
hey guys! a few weeks ago me and my family (me 14, my sister 9, and my parents) just returned from an 18 night cruise on the radiance of the seas. since i am a teenager i found myself coming to the teen club quite often, and a lot of my ... Read More
hey guys! a few weeks ago me and my family (me 14, my sister 9, and my parents) just returned from an 18 night cruise on the radiance of the seas. since i am a teenager i found myself coming to the teen club quite often, and a lot of my time was spent there with the great new friends i made. Let me stress this, the teen club has to be one of the funnest places on the ship, i have made so many memories with so many great people i met there and i will cherish those special memories forever, if you are a teenager and wondering if you should go to the teen club or not, i will say you defiantly should go because you will have the time of your life there its indescribable how much of an amazing time i had, just go the first night and you will be fine, as everyone is the 'new kid' that nigh. This is my second cruise on this ship (radiance of the seas) and it is was wonderful. I will be posting a review of this ship over the next few days and maybe pictures (if i find out how to post pictures), when i have time to write about my time on the ship, and i apologise if its not great as this is my first review. And feel free to ask many questions about the ship and everything, and since there isnt much information about the teen club feel free to ask me anything about it as i went there everyday for 18 days and i do know a lot about it and the ship as this is my second long cruise on the radiance. Hope you enjoy and that i can inform you with information about it if you need. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
we generally had a great time. We were 2 families in 3 cabins (one suite and 2 hump balcony cabins). Our friends had their 2 kids (1adult and 1teen) in the suite were at the extreme rear of the ship and experienced a rocky trip for the ... Read More
we generally had a great time. We were 2 families in 3 cabins (one suite and 2 hump balcony cabins). Our friends had their 2 kids (1adult and 1teen) in the suite were at the extreme rear of the ship and experienced a rocky trip for the first week. We on the other hand had cabin 9594. It was right in the middle of the ship very close to the staircase and centrum. It was very roomy and had an oversized balcony. Our lovely cabin attendant got us a deck chair which I enjoyed relaxing in with a book. I would choose this cabin again. It actually has the potential to have an adjoining room. . We loved the chefs table and most of the fine dining, especially izuma and chops grille. We also did the mystery dinner which was fun. We had the wine package, which had limited choices so wouldn't do that again. Wine is ultra expensive and poor choices. The cocktails were pretty good and not bad value. The staff were all friendly. The best captain, very social. The cruise director was a bit sleazy but the activities guy was great. The girls were also great fun and enjoyed a chat. There is a lack of swimming pools on this ship and the when it was hot it wasn't tempting to get in with so many others. The spa service was good but expensive and I was given a 60 minute facial/ massage when I'd paid for 75 minutes. I did give feedback twice on this however never heard back. The shows were good and we were entertained, but we didn't expect Broadway. Dancing with the stripes (with crew ala dancing with the stars) was really good but the centrum for the heats meant we couldn't see most of it. The finale was good. Anzac Day was reverently remembered by crew and passengers and the people onboard paid respect in the hundreds by attending one or both services. Two up even got a go. More evening fun games and entertainment for families would be great, the times we had these were packed and the most fun we had. Bingo was fun but very expensive. The shore tours were avoided due to the cost. We arranged our own and had great times in port. The tender ports were well organized and we had no issue either side in any port. Our cruise card was ocasionally charged with purchases we didn't make so you need to check on the TV every now and then. The bed was comfy, we asked and received extra pillows and a cushion top for our bed. We tipped extra (additional to pre tips) our cabin attendant and the waiters in Cascades as they were great and attentive. We had towel characters made many evenings and our cabin was always meticulous. I would cruise RCI again but I think it could be a while. Read Less
Sail Date April 2014
After lots of planning, we left Sydney on RCL's Radiance of the seas. We had travelled on this ship last year around the pacific with the same friends, and knew what a great ship the Radiance was. We even had the same stateroom ... Read More
After lots of planning, we left Sydney on RCL's Radiance of the seas. We had travelled on this ship last year around the pacific with the same friends, and knew what a great ship the Radiance was. We even had the same stateroom (4557) which is near the centrum, and a good spot to be. We left Sydney, with a warning from the captain that it was expexted to be quite rough outside the heads, and to take precautions. He was right, and we were in the Windjammer restaurant, when the ship started to move quite a bit, and plates, drinks and everything not tied down ended up on the floor! The first officer told me later that there were 10 meter swells, and they closed the port after we left. Two members of our group were a bit crook, bit the others were fine. Anyway, the rest of the trip was smooth sailing, and that was soon forgotten. New Zealand ( Picton and Wellington) was great, but a bit cold. Tahiti was fantastic. The water was 29 C, and we swam with the sharks and Stingrays and had a great time. Service on the ship was top notch, and the food in the dining room was great. One of our party had specific dietry requirements, and she had lots of variety. The entertainment was also great, with some standouts. We had ANZAC day on the ship, and this was handled very well, with hundreds of people at the dawn service. There were quite a few sea days on this cruise, and we enjoyed every one of them. Lots or little to do, and it's your choice. We were never bored, and made to feel very special. The Captain was great, and had a fantastic sense of humour. The "Captains Corner" was a real laugh as well as being informative. This is the 3rd time we have cruised with "Bobby" as the cruise director. He's a great bloke, and like all the ship's officers, always happy to stop and have a chat. To sum up, it was a fantastic trip on the Radiance, and we were sad to leave, even if we had 5 days in Hawaii. Well done RCL, and the fantastic crew of the Radiance. Saving up the pennies to do it again. Read Less
Sail Date April 2013
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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