Radiance of the Seas Cruise Review to South Pacific - Australia

Contributor Level: Purser

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

2 out of 5

High Hopes but too many tags

Sail Date: February 26, 2015

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Traveled As: Couple

Room Type: Balcony

While I do like to cruise, I will be more discerning on our next cruise. The ship was fine, the crew were great, the captain was a true professional and did an excellent job keeping us out of Cyclone alley. Where the problem lay was the 'extras.'  Used to be that when you cruised a 'small' upcharge could grant you access to the special dining rooms, now that charge is substantial. In addition, if you did pre-book the special dining, it is quite irritating to see the dining packages 'discounted' onboard. One dining venue was a la carte - after you were seated you got to see the prices (but they do not tell you this when you book it online.) Drink packages were obscenely overpriced, but then so were the drinks. We drank lots of water. We noticed that the once filled lounges were sparsely visited and the casino was empty most of the time. Many other passengers on our cruise said they abhorred the nickel and diming and in protest did not buy drinks or gamble - it showed. There was lots of confusion over the Wine packages, which were unavailable just weeks prior to the cruise suddenly and then being sold at check in. We are not big drinkers, but we just could not see spending that kind of money on drinks we could never drink in a day. The people I really felt sorry for were the wait staff, it was not their fault a glass of wine was $12-19 per glass, but they bore the brunt of the non-drinking because as a result they got no tips.

Trivia games were popular as were the cultural talks and the art classes. Many of the 'games' were not geared to our group's age and the music, oh and sometimes the music drove us to our rooms - again probably an age thing, but most of us would have much preferred classical, country or what is now referred to a classical rock. We hated the rap and other 90's noise. We did find good music sometimes, but you never knew. We did have some fun, we met some wonderful new friends onboard. The Chef's Table was a great experience; the food and wines were wonderful.

The odd choice of stopping in an industrial port was interesting - if you wanted to see ore dug from the ground I guess it was OK. Most of the ship seemed to be Australians which was fine by us. With the political unrest and recent troubles in Indonesia we chose not to disembark at Bali, where the ocean waters were filthy with trash. The highlights were the stops at Airlie Beach, Brisbane, Darwin, Port Geraldton, and Perth. More excursion choices would have been nice.

I wonder if too many passengers knew that the room stewards gets paid ONLY the gratuities per room - no hourly wage and they share that with all the other non-seen crew. Our room steward told us that they work every day for seven months with no day off.  I left with a bad taste in my mouth for Royal Caribbean. If you knew that you will be spending an extra $2000 or so onboard maybe it would have helped me in my planning.

Ship Quality
needed some work, our stateroom had torn curtains, broken lights, rust on balcony
Food and Dining
dining was OK, but I was expecting more
Service and Staff
The captain was superb, the dining wait staff seemed to be bullied by management, but still were very attentive to us passengers. The Cabin stewards are way overworked, but do so with a smile on their face.
would have like more comedians and magic, and maybe skits or variety show
Children's Programs
Why are children on a cruise? The few on ours were put ashore for vandalism to the ship
Onboard Activities
should be allowed to be altered to 'fit' the passengers. We had fun with most but it was obvious that the trivia and some music choices were for the 20 something crowd, not the 50-80 year olds on our cruise.
Destinations and Excursions
Port Hedland? reallly? who came up with that one. Most the other destinations were great, but too little time to do everything and excursions were too short.
Cabin / Stateroom
Tip the Cabin Steward more than the required amount they deserve it and it is the only pay they get. This balcony extends farther than most which is nice, but you can be seen by all the other balconies so be aware. Very comfortable bed. Several lights and plugs are broken and the curtain is tearing.
Sydney, Australia
Night at the Opera (had to arrange tickets for this myself)
Brisbane, Australia
hard to choose, too many great things and not enough time to see them all
Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia
whitsunday flying tours (you may have to arrange on your own)
Darwin, Australia
Benoa, Bali, Indonesia
too dirty and scary for me.
Port Hedland, Australia
unless you really like red dirt
Geraldton, Australia
enjoyed the historic town, but not enough time to roam around it
Fremantle (Perth), Australia
great place, see the parks, take the ferry between Freemantle and Perth, the free buses are wonderful way to see both towns


Chef's Table is the best thing on this ship. The destinations aside from Pt. Hedland were great; wish there had been more time to explore them. Not enough excursions, but that may be because of the short time you are in port.

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