Butlins at Sea
Margaret Tait | April 16, 2018 | Royal Caribbean International | Radiance of the Seas
It has to be said, from the start, that this ship did not measure up in most ways to our idea of a really good cruise. I had wheelchair assistance to go through embarkation and was pleased to be taken right on to the ship. However, as we went up the gangway and were just about to enter the ship we were confronted by a member of staff trying to sell us a drinks package. We asked if we could be allowed on to the ship first, which eventually happened, but from then on it was the ‘hard sell’ on drinks, meals, beauty, etc.
We had a very nice cabin, on a corner, so a larger balcony. However, none of the usual ‘frills’ of other cruise ships, no tea/coffee maker, no toiletries, and no chocolate on the pillow at night! The food could not really be faulted, both in the buffet restaurant and the dining room, and the service everywhere was excellent.
However, it was the general noise that spoiled the ship for us. The Centrum, which as the name suggests, dominates the centre of the ship, seemed to be filled with noise most of the time, loud music especially. It was difficult to find a quieter place in any of the bars, as loud music was the norm. and even at the pool, if one found a quieter space nearby, a film was put on or an exercise class of probably about 10 people seemed to need music blaring out over the entire area. Even the supposedly quiet space of the Solarium could have noisy kids jumping in and out the pool (rules did not seem to apply anywhere on this ship).
The ‘formal’ evenings were a joke, a large number of people did not even seem to change never mind dress formally or even smartly. The second one was a little better.
Why bother to make formal evenings if the majority of people don’t want them? It would save some people packing dinner suits and evening wear when travelling halfway around the world than finding it not really necessary.
The condition of the ship was, generally, poor. Our balcony had rust everywhere, every nut and bolt in the ceiling beams were very rusty, and the balcony rail had not had a lick of varnish in a long time. The balcony floor was also badly in need of attention, and I would certainly not go onto it in bare feet.
We had travelled from UK to take this cruise, so we made the most of it, and have to compliment the staff overall. Our cabin steward was superb, we loved his artistry with our towels, and the dining room waiters were very attentive and pleasant. Thankfully we had excellent dining companions which made for pleasant dinner times. The organised tours were very good, well organised and interesting.
Sorry, we did not really enjoy the rest of the ship.
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