First Cruise for 2018 - Cruise 14 & 15 Radiance of the Seas

The next big adventure is onboard the class namesake Radiance of the Seas. Last year I sailed on her slightly newer sister ship - the Serenade of the Seas. It's one of Royal Caribbeans smaller ships, but with over 2000 guests, she is still a big ship.

The Serenade is one of my favourite ships. There is a level of intimacy you just don't find on Royal Caribbeans larger floating villages. So I imagine Radiance will be its equal in this regard. But there are other factors to what makes a great cruise. I will just have to wait and see how this one shapes up.

Itinerary - CRUISE 15

  • Auckland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Bay of Islands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Tauranga ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Wellington ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Akaroa ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Port Chalmers (Dunedin) ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • Dusky, Doubtful and Milford Sounds ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Melbourne ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Port Kembla ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
  • Newcastle ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
  • Sydney ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

Itinerary - CRUISE 14

  • Sydney ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Noumea ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จ
  • Mare Isle ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จ
  • Lifou Isle ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡จ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Suva ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ
  • Lautoka ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ
  • ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Vav'U ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด
  • Nuku'Alofa ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด
  • ๐ŸŒŠ๐ŸŒŠ
  • Auckland ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

Finally, one of the best rewards I can get.  ย 

Finally, one of the best rewards I can get.


Some big milestones on these cruises. I will reach 364 points. That means I get another milestone "brick" (an etched glass block). 

But the biggest reason to celebrate, and one that will have a rather large effect on all future cruises. At 340 points you gain access to "single supplement fare reduce to 150%" no more double fares for me ๐Ÿค˜๐Ÿผ.

Click below to become a patron and get your monthly postcard.

Brisbane - Port Review

or as most of the Aussies say, "nothing to see here, stay on board!"

This morning we sailed into the beautiful port of Brisbane, but as we are a larger ship (exceeding 270m and too tall to sail under Gateway Bridge) we are unable to berth at Portside Wharf, so instead we are berthed at the Port of Brisbane located at Fishermans Island. A charming little port with spectacular views of Moreton Bay. 

I should be honest here, I have been to Brisbane enough times that I don't really need to get off the ship. And judging by the numbers still on board (I have never seen so many people stay on board a ship in port) many others think similarly. 

But good news...

Brisbane has finally decided to build a terminal which can accomodate some of the worlds larger cruise ships. Quite frankly this can't be soon enough for Brisbane, with more and more larger ships being built Brisbane needs facilities to accomodate them, closer to the heart of town. Maybe in a few years, more people will get off the ship and enjoy the sights of Brisbane and it's surrounds.

reviewChrisports, brisbane
Reservation schmesaration!

News Flash - Your reservation is almost meaningless. 

Photo by Oko_SwanOmurphy/iStock / Getty Images

If anything this year of cruising with Royal Caribbean has taught me, your reservation is almost meaningless . 

From shows, to dining, excursions, your room, ports of call, to even the whole cruise. Royal Caribbean can and will cancel your reservation for what ever operational reason they have at their disposal. They donโ€™t do this out of vindictiveness or a desire to mess with their guests. Iโ€™m sure they would love to honour all reservations.

But things on board change. It could be weather related, infection control, lack of staffing, lack of supplies, or some other operational issue. 

What happens when something is cancelled? 

If you paid, your money will be fully refunded. (This is different to if you cancel, in that case they keep some of or all of the money ๐Ÿ‘‹ ๐Ÿ’ฐ. Iโ€™m not sure what the difference is ๐Ÿคจ, but there it is).

Sometime though the left and right hands donโ€™t know what they are doing so a visit to Guest Services may be required to get the refund.  

In the case of cruises, RCI will offer some form of compensation (often a choice) that they deem somewhat appropriate. There is almost no arguing, discussion, emails, pleas, threats from lawyers or anything that will fix or change this. This is the situation. So deal with it. 

What can you do? 

I suggest a zen Buddhist approach.   Leaf ๐Ÿƒ on the river. You can get angry ๐Ÿ˜ก, rant and rave, ๐Ÿคฏ and all you are doing is risking heart attack and at best getting apologies ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ.    

Photo by dam_point/iStock / Getty Images

I know itโ€™s infuriating. But there's a 99.99999% that the poor person you are talking to is not responsible. Walk away, breath, reassess and find the positives in the cancellation. Money saved, sunset can be seen now. Less solar damage to your skin, whatever it is. Just know that you will likely experience a cancellation, or 2, or a dozen with Royal Caribbean (Personally Iโ€™m at 4 various cancellations in 6 months, and I'm fairly concerned that I will have another whole cruise cancellation or 2 over the next 12 months). 

Ultimately you will have 2 choices. Keep cruising with Royal and, when they are thrown, roll with the punches. Or quit Royal and find another cruise line. (Not that I know if they are any better or worse).   

faq, q&aChrisreservations, zen, procedures
FAQ - What do I do onboard?
Explorer Seattle - Seattle 2017 Champions

Explorer Seattle - Seattle 2017 Champions

One of the most common questions I get from those who I meet is, "What do you do all day?" I have a few answers for that, but one of my favourite things to do onboard is trivia. Basically Royal Caribbean is a non stop triviathon. 

And then they have the big trivia competition. The Progressive Trivia. The big glorious trivia competition where the prizes are next to meaningless trinkets and if you are lucky terrible champagne. 

Opening 2017/18 Australian Season Champions on board Ovation of the Seas

Opening 2017/18 Australian Season Champions on board Ovation of the Seas

Honestly I don't know if the prizes are worth the heartache. Actually let's be honest, they aren't. But winning progressive trivia has let me meet some fabulous folk, (and I will not insert anything saying that is a pretty sweet prize because that would just be corny and ๐Ÿคฎ). But I have enjoyed meeting and playing with these guys and gals.