Activities Galore on Radiance of the Seas
It only took one voyage on the Radiance of the Seas cruise ship but Kate Hunt from Cruiseabout Auckland is now hooked on cruising.
After arrival at Sydney airport and then a short coach transfer journey to Circular Quay, we were ready for our cruise check-in. The process was much quicker and simpler than I had expected, and extremely well organized. There was time for a quick group photo, before stepping onto this magnificent looking boat, the Radiance of the Seas.
My first impression as I entered this boat for the first time was WOW! The décor is contemporary, but very elegant, with a nine deck high atrium lobby which has glass-walled elevators. As we made our way to our cabins we passed many a passenger who had quickly settled in to cruise mode, sprawled out on a deck chair with cocktail in hand.
Our cabin was located on the 10th deck, complete with a balcony. I thoroughly recommend the balcony cabins as well worth the often minimal price difference to upgrade. The cabin was a generous size and appeared even more so with the gorgeous sea view from the floor to ceiling glass slider.
A spot of lunch at the self serve, buffet style Windjammer Café was next on our agenda before taking time out to explore this magnificent boat. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of food at the Windjammer Café, as there was a huge selection to cater for all tastes & diet restrictions. I noticed quite a few plates piled high, with many guests coming back for seconds.
What to do next? As with all Royal Caribbean cruise ships, the activity choices were endless. Grab a pool towel perhaps and head towards the main pool area on deck 11, listen to the variety of poolside music or watch a movie whilst sampling the “cocktail of the day”. There are two swimming pools on board Radiance of the Seas, a large outdoor pool with poolside movie screen and a pool located in the solarium (a kids free sanctuary) that can be covered by a glass dome ceiling for indoor use.
For those feeling energetic and wishing to burn off those lunch calories, there is the very impressive 43-foot rock-climbing wall to conquer. There is also a 9 hole miniature golf course. The first afternoon on board the boat is also a good time to pop into the Radiance Fitness Centre to meet your personal trainer and sign up for the many seminars and classes on offer. Perhaps even to visit the Radiance Day Spa to book a treatment or two.
In the evening we headed for dinner in the Cascades dining room. This is a la carte dining and the food was very good. A varied menu complete with kangaroo steaks, if you so desired. After dinner it was time to head towards the ship’s highest deck to wave goodbye to Sydney, as the Radiance of the Seas majestically sailed out of Sydney Harbour. The ship regularly cruises Australia and we had amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House as we slowly sailed on by.
So many evening shows to choose from! I managed to see the Late Night Adult Comedy show, located in the 3 level Aurora Theatre, before retiring to the cabin. For those who wished to party all night, there is the Starquest nightclub on deck 13, and the Casino Royale is open throughout the night for a spot of gambling.
As the ship slowly increased it’s speed as it headed out to sea, I was very surprised to notice that unless you happened to pass by a window, it was very easy to forget that you were actually sailing at all! It felt very calm and pretty much motionless. The only items moving were the two very expensive, self-levelling pool tables!
After a wake up coffee sitting outside on our private balcony, and a buffet breakfast at the Windjammer Café, it was time to head to the shops. Fantastic shopping! Plenty of well priced watches, jewellery, evening bags and more to be had.
The kids are also well catered for on board this cruise ship, with a wide variety of Kid Clubs and activities. The Aquanaut Centre (for ages 3-5yrs) is quite a large, brightly coloured room with planet of toys etc to keep the younger kids entertained.
The slightly older kids aged 6-8yrs have their own area in the Explore Centre and those aged 9-12yrs have their own area too, at the Voyager Centre. The Optix Teen Centre is strictly for children aged 13-17yrs. It has it’s own teen nightclub, movie screening area and computer stations. There is an Adventure Beach especially designed for the kids, which includes a splash pool complete with water slide. For those fancying a game of a game of basketball or volleyball, there is also a sports court onboard.
That night we went to see the musical show “The Piano Man “ in the Aurora Theatre, and what a great show! We managed to recognize a few of the very multi-talented crew amongst the cast too.
This was my first cruise experience aboard a 4-star cruise ship and I had such a great time! Never a dull moment, there is so much entertainment and great food available at any time throughout the cruise. Even though it happened to rain all day on day 2, no-one seemed to care - fortunately a fantastic cruise holiday is not weather dependant.
For more information on cruise holidays aboard Radiance of the Seas please contact a Cruiseabout cruise specialist or call on 0800 22 11 00.