Royal Caribbean

Radiance of the Seas meets passenger feedback


Radiance of the Seas is on her way to Australian waters. Fresh from a multi-million dollar makeover, this ship which entered service in April 2001 and carries 2112 passengers will be followed by her sister ship Rhapsody of the Seas.

Due to arrive in Sydney on the morning of 15 October, she will be the biggest ship based in the region and she will stay here until early April 2012. As well as a 34-night circumnavigation of Australia Radiance of the Seas is offering weekend getaways of 2 nights, 14-night and 16-night cruises to New Zealand and trips to Hobart and Melbourne.

The refit of Radiance has been based on passenger requests, say the owners the Royal Caribbean line. Those who have travelled before on this vessel can expect to find staterooms for singles, new dining venues, an English Pub, an outdoor movie screen, improvements in the lounges and a new Royal Babies and Tots Nursery. And all the carpets and soft furnishings have been replaced.

These new restaurants include a Samba Grill where the Seaview Grill was. Offering different meats, all carved at the table and South American specialities like the caiparinhas (one of my all-time favourite cocktails since I first visited South America) which promises to be a favourite. The Chef’s Table will be a venue seating just 14, offering a five course meal with wines to compliment the food. On a similar theme Rita’s Cantina will offer Mexican cuisine – and another South American favourite, the Margarita – no cover charge and no reservations.
If you prefer Japanese the Izumi will be more to your taste. Here they promise traditional Japanese food, including sashimi. Or you may find Giovanni’s Table with it’s focus on the food of Tuscany is more your thing. And when you just feel like being casual there’s the new pub or the Park Cafe.
Can’t imagine getting around all these restaurants in a week – let alone a weekend taster – and I haven’t even mentioned the hot dog House…. you can see I enjoy my food.
I’m looking forward to visiting this ship when she comes our way… and I hope many of my clients will take advantage of her long stay in our waters!
Pic is of the Radiance in dry dock in British Columbia, Canada where many ship fitouts take place.

Blogging along

Sometimes it can be difficult to find something to write about when all the news seems to be depressing… so this afternoon I informed myself by reading some of the blogs from cruise directors and others – they are all on the Reading list.
One of the most interesting is Cruise Diva – she is certainly up to date on all the news and if you want to keep up to date she does it all for you – as she says. She has just announced a blog by Royal Caribbean so I’ve added it to my reading list.
Royal Caribbean have a ship being built known as Project Genesis which will no doubt be the first to have a park in the middle – modelled on New York’s Central Park. More than 25o staterooms will overlook the park which will be on Deck 8 of the 16 deck ship. The park will be used for street performances and other activities. Novel idea and one I will look forward to hearing more about.
This is just a quick blog as I must get back to my reading… will update you more soon.
By the way my honeymooners headed off to Mexico and by now will be enjoying themselves hugely I am sure as businesses open again and the country gets back to normal.
If you want to find out about a cruise do drop me an email – travel@travelchoice.com.au anytime. If I don’t have the answer I’ll find it for you

Rhapsody of the Seas


The first feature we are shown on Rhapsody of the Seas are the floor to ceiling windows and canopies on the 10th and 11th floors. Branded by the Royal Caribbean International Cruise line as one of their Vision ships – this is why. What better place to take a photo of the Sydney Opera House or The Sydney Harbour Bridge than on a towering ship docked at Sydney’s Circular Quay’s International Terminal.
Today I joined a group of other travel agents on a tour of this ship. These tours give travel agents a first hand look at the cabins and suites and all the facilities.
The day began with grey clouds frowning over the Harbour Bridge but by mid-morning the sky was smiling and the sun was shining. The city looked as if it had been polished for the ship’s visit.
Our tour of the Rhapsody of the Seas, which carries 1998 passengers, is 78,000 tonnes, was built in 1997 and re-furbished in 2007 took us to:

  • a rock climbing wall,
  • one of the biggest dance floors I have seen on a ship in the Shall We Dance ballroom,
  • a theatre that seats 870 and is the focus of evening entertainment by visiting performers and the ship’s own production company,
  • a child focussed centre with a kids room, a video games room and an over-14s ‘night club’
  • a large casino,
  • a large Day Spa with an Eqyptian theme and a hairdressing salon with big windows to the sea,
  • a fitness centre that also looks out to sea
  • four flexible conference rooms.

We were also invited to view all the suites from the luxurious Royal Suite with its white grand piano, marble bar and huge sitting room to the interior staterooms with all the comforts
of an elegant hotel room. In between there are Family Suites, Ocean View Staterooms, Balcony Staterooms – all offering TV, telephone, private bathrooms and room service.
Our visit included lunch on board in the Edelweiss restaurant. Meal options include fine dining, casual dining and buffet-style restaurants, a pizza paarlour and an ice cream bar.
There are 21 ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet – this is just one of them.
Tomorrow the Rhapsody sails for New Zealand. Later this year she will once circumnavigate Australia – one of the most popular cruises.
If you would like to find out more about this ship’s itineraries – or others in the Royal Caribbean’s fleet – please contact me… I’d love to tell you more.
See the Gallery of photos of the Rhapsody of the Seas
martin@travelchoice.com.au

Ships in your port

Bit late this week – at this time of year the ports are so busy with cruise ships. Today I have spent 5 hours on a ship’s visit on board Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas . This is what travel agents do in order to check out the ships without actually sailing on them and it gives them an opportunity to look at the different types of cabins and the facilities on board. More about that to come in the posting on Rhapsody of the Seas.
If you were watching on
11 January
Rhapsody of the Seas sailed in and out of Hobart
12 January
Nautica sailed in and out of Hobart and Sun Princess arrived and left Melbourne.
13 January – today
Rhapsody of the Seas is in Sydney until tomorrow 14 January – she sails at 6pm.
Silver Whisper has sailed into Hobart and will sail again late today.
15 January
Silver Whisper sails into Melbourne leaving the same day
17 January
Silver Whisper will arrive in Sydney, stay overnight and sail for Hong Kong next day
Pacific Sun will arrive and depart Brisbane
18 January
Pacific Dawn sails into Sydney leaving the same day
19 January
Dawn Princess will arrive in Sydney and leave again.

Cruise Greenland, Iceland and Norway or take a break in South East Asia

Take a week to gather your thoughts before you get into 2009 and join Legend of the Seas which is cruising out of Singapore visiting Phuket, Thailand, Langkawi, Malaysia and back to Singapore starting at the end of this month (Jan.2009)!!

For $1,899.00* you can escape and enjoy the luxury of this Royal Caribbean ship. Included is a return economy airfarewith Singapore Airlines from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Adelaide, accommodation at the Novotel Clarke Quay Singapore and 4 nights onboard.
Interested? If you can’t make the Jan 23 cruising, the ship leaves Singapore again on 27 January – and then again in November and December 2009.
Please email me, martin@travelchoice.com.au and I will send you more info.

Maybe you prefer to plan ahead. Have you always wanted to explore the fjords of Norway or are you fascinated by Greenland or Iceland? The Oriana (pictured) is cruising from Southampton on 29 June this year, cruising first to Ireland, then on to Greenland, Iceland and Norway, before returning on 17 July.
The 19 night cruise package includes return economy airfares with Singapore Airlines from Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth and one night’s accommodation in the Crowne Plaza, St Pauls, London with English breakfast… Fares start at $7929*. I’m happy to give you more info, just email me – martin@travelchoice.com.au.
*Conditions apply.

Rhapsody of the Seas arrives in Sydney 13th Dec’08

Royal Caribbean International’s Rhapsody of the Seas entered service in 1997 and has berths for 2,000 passengers in 1,000 cabins, 229 with balcony and 14 wheelchair-accessible. She is here for the ’08-09 cruise season (as she was last year) and offers itineraries to New Caledonia, New Zealand, the Great Barrier Reef, Tasmania, two circumnavigations of ASustralia and a departure cruise (April) to Hawaii, and thence to Vancouver. Royal Caribbean (RCCL) has made a strong commitment to the Australian market, setting up an office here this month. As competitors to Princess Line it is conceivable we will see more RCCL sailings from and around Australia in the future. RCCL’s fleet are all large resort ships and have a reputation as suitable for active couples and families, as they provide plenty of physical activities, including simulated rock-climbing – and on some ships ice-skating – facilities on board.