Scenic Serenity Aboard Radiance of the Seas
The cruise advice from Angela Hunt of Flight Centre Napier, who enjoyed 2 fabulous days aboard the Radiance of the Seas - just do it!
I was happy enough with an ocean view but being able to sit outside on my balcony having a morning cuppa and watching the ocean go by was fantastic. And sitting there in the evening with a cocktail was even better!
But I’d better start at the beginning. Check-in is a very easy and relatively quick process. Once you have checked in and headed to your cabin to “Ohh” and “Ahh” over having a balcony, head out and explore the ship. It is a great time to do it as the music is pumping up on the pool deck creating a great vibe, and people are wandering around doing the same as you (and having a cocktail or two already)!
There are some quiet spots you can find to sit in and have a drink and read a book if you want. This was good to do because, as with many cruises from Australia, we weren't sailing until 10pm that night, so even though we could have gone off the ship and explored Sydney, I would rather stay on board and have the whole cruise experience start as soon as you arrive.
There is so much to see up on the main pool deck. Not only is there the main pool where everything happens, but there is a rock climbing wall that towers 200 feet above the sea, kids play area with water slide and basketball area, and there is also a video arcade with lots of cool games for kids and adults alike – they even have Pac-Man!
So after taking in the sights and feeling a little more at home finding my way around, we organized to meet in the Atrium for pre-dinner drinks. As you'd expect from a Royal Caribbean cruise, this in an amazing space which goes up almost all of the floors of the ship with balconies overlooking the middle so that you can peer over and see what is going on down below.
Sitting in the Atrium with a cocktail and listening to the live music and laughing at the antics of the Cruise Director getting everyone up on the dance floor to partake in the game just seems the quintessential cruise experience. You don’t have to take part in any of the activities, you can just be a spectator and still not feel left out.
I think cruising is what you make of it – you can be all in and try everything, or you can just chill out and relax and find a quite spot and recharge your batteries. There are quiet cafés to sit in, an extensive library, a small English pub with international beers available, deck chairs up on the main deck in quiet areas, the adults only Solarium open 24 hours, as well as lots of other little bars and nooks and crannies where you can be immersed in the environment without having to be in the thick of it.
Then on to dinner and wow what a choice! The dining experiences are wide and varied, from the main dining room where the meals are complimentary to the numerous speciality restaurants where you pay a small fee for the experience. The meals are amazing, from kangaroo steaks to beautiful fresh salmon in the main dining, to the speciality restaurants such as the Samba Grill where you can eat all the meat you want until you burst for $30. I would highly recommend trying these restaurants whilst on board as they are fantastic value.
For a special occasion you can also reserve the Captains Table for around $160 per person for 16 people including the Captain, and have an amazing silver service dining experience.
After dinner the choice is unlimited. Head up to the main pool deck for music and dancing or try your hand in the Casino where you can get complimentary gaming lessons. Find a quiet spot in one of the numerous bars such as The Champagne Bar, The Schooner Bar, head to the Bombay Billiard Club with two self-levelling pool tables, or Singapore Sling for a drink by the same name. This is the great thing about being on a cruise ship - you can be where it is all happening or you can feel like you are on your own private ship!
The cabins are a good size; there is a sofa in some of them that fold out to make another bed. The bathrooms are small but functional with a reasonable size vanity and have very good light. There is a huge amount of storage with drawers and a wardrobe, so on a cruise of several nights I would recommend unpacking to help make it feel like your bedroom at home – only in a different part of the world, and with a balcony!
Even though you can hardly feel the movement of the ship, you should have an amazing night’s sleep as the bed’s are really comfortable, and you can hear the sea outside your window lulling you into dreamland.
Part 2 of Angela's blog is coming tomorrow...
For more information on cruise holidays aboard Radiance of the Seas please contact a Cruiseabout cruise specialist or call on 0800 22 11 14.