We did enjoy our cruise to NZ and I would highly recommend this itinerary. I would advise to be careful of your choice of ship if you are travelling with children. This was our first Royal Carribean cruise and I was a little disappointed. The staff were wonderful and I could not fault the service, however the lack of entertainment relevant to anyone under the age of 60 was an issue for us. The ship, whilst very clean, is also looking quite tired. The food was good with many options available in the Windjammer. The dining room food was also good, if you were okay about the wait. We felt Radiance is a ship more fitting for adults. The glass elevators were lovely and the view out to the ocean from just about anywhere on the ship was lovely. There is a lot that was great with the cruise, but equally a few negatives for us as a family.
5 out of 5
Embarktion was simple and smooth. We were able to board the ship long before our scheduled time which was great!
Food and Dining
4 out of 5
We found the main dining room to be very slow, three courses on one evening took 2 hours. This was just too long a wait with the children, so we then opted to eat most meals at the Windjammer. The staff in both the main dining room and Windjammer were fabulous.
3 out of 5
The rock-climbing wall and mini golf were thoroughly enjoyed by both adults and children. The main swimming pool was great when it was warm enough and the kids enjoyed the small waterslide. The Solarium we found to be very very hot as they kept the roof closed the entire cruise. This also caused a very strong chlorine smell which was quite overpowering.
2 out of 5
The entertainment was lacking in our opinion. There was very limited "family" entertainment. If you enjoy orchestral music and line dancing, Radiance is for you! We also found trivia, karaoke etc to be on very late at night. Once kids club closes at 10:00pm that meant bed time for us, which resulted in us missing a lot of the planned activities. The shows in the theatre were of a high standard and the special guest performer Monique Montez was fabulous.
5 out of 5
Our children love kid's club. The staff were absolutely brilliant and the activites seemed to entice them back day after day.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
We could not fault the service or staff. Our room attendant was very thorough and the bar and wait staff were always polite, remebering our names and drinks of choice, which made us feel quite special.
4 out of 5
The ship layout was great. We found it easy to navigate our way around and it was always very clean. The interiors are looking very tired though and could do with some modernisation in my opinion.
Cabin / Stateroom
5 out of 5
Our cabin was on deck 4, the first cabin beside the Atrium. It was perfectly placed! There was some concern that our cabin may be quite nosiy during enterainment in the atrium, but to us it was sound proof and didn't cause any issues. We were very close to the dining room, lifts and bars. I would highly recommend this cabin to anyone and wouldn't hesitate to book it again. The convenience of being the first cabin was great! We didn't ever have to walk the long corridors to find our room after a big night at the Champagne Bar :)
I truly believe this ship is more focused upon the senior cruiser (60+). We often found the other passengers to be quite intolerant of our children, despite them being very well behaved. Admittedly, we took our kids out of school for this trip, so the numbers of families onboard were probably limited. Perhaps the destination (NZ) was also more appealing to the elderly?
We had a great time mostly due to the wonderful staff. I would book Radiance again it it were just my husband and I, but I wouldn't take the kids.
It was absolutely beautiful cruising out of Sydney Harbour. With all the icons of the bridge, the opera house and luna park, it really is a sight to see! If you haven't cruised out of Sydney Harbour, it needs to be added to your bucket list.
We booked the hop-on hop-off bus once we got off the ship . It was a great way to see the touristy desinations in Dunedin. We enjoyed this Port. It was quite a historical place with plenty of character. My muscles are still sore from climbing the world's steepest street!
Bay of Islands was lovely, despite bad weather. We walked to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and paid $40.00 per adult entry fee. The children were free. We saw the Maori traditional dance and song performance. It was very entertaining. After touring the grounds, we caught the shuttle into Pahia and then the Ferry over to Russell. We had lunch at the pub and then caught the Ferry back to tour the markets and souvenir shops. We found transport to be very reliable and well planned in Bay of Islands. It's very easy to do you own thing here with free shuttles etc.
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