Radiance of the Sea to New Zealand

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Radiance of the Sea to New Zealand is the trip that I planned to go on over Christmas and New Year for no other reason than to be totally spoilt and to get out of cooking yet another Christmas lunch.  With adult children they all seem to want to still come home for Christmas and sit back while I do all of the work.  This Christmas just past I thought it would be the ideal time to cruise with each of the kids going to their respective in-laws for lunch.

What happens on the Radiance of the Sea?

I decided on New Zealand for a 16 night 17 day cruise of both the North and South Island.  I was blown away on the beauty of the ship and rode with my eyes shut as I entered the lifts that looked directly over the sea as I was ushered to my cabin on the 9th floor.  I was met by my cabin stewart John who did everything possible to ensure that I had beautiful crisp linen on my bed.  Every evening when I entered my cabin after a night of either dancing or going to watch a show I was greeted with a clever sculpture of an animal made up of my towels and washers.

The dining experience was one of the best that I have ever had with meals to tempt the fussiest of eaters.  I choose the dining room where each night I was assigned our own waiter and assistant waiter and I met an array of travelers from all over the world.  The cruise was out of Sydney Australia but had people join the cruise from all over the world. You could of chosen to have a restaurant package that included, Chef’s table where he married up the wines to go with every course, go to a steak, Japanese or even Italian restaurant for a small price.

Who would normally go on the Radiance of the Sea?

Radiance of the Sea to New Zealand I laughed and dined with a large number of diners swapping tales of what happened during the day and what activities that they had sometimes tried for the first time.  I liked the idea of learning the Salsa and of course you need not worry if you were short of a male partner as there were plenty of people willing to enjoy the fun while at the same time learn a new social skill.

We were initially at sea for 3 days before we went to first Dunedin and had a wine and a few beers at the local pub.  This in itself was one of the best ways to find out from the locals about their town and hear the many stories of their homeland.

We then headed off to Midford Sounds which I had always wanted to visit, I was told by another passenger that there are only a few really good days to view this area as it is renowned for the mist to roll in and it can rain and be miserable but the day we visited it was postcard perfect with waterfalls that you got so close you were lightly sprayed and mountains that had snow on the caps and were reflected in the glass like waters.

There was a touch of romance on board as the Captain stopped so close to the waterfall you could almost touch it.  Little did passengers know that this was the place that an actual wedding was taking place on the top deck with the incredible waterfall in the background.  To have all of this on a perfect day will give the bride and groom beautiful photos to look back upon over the years.

Most of the trips on Radiance of the Sea stop overs involved the ship being docked which means easy access to the waiting shuttles to ferry the passengers into town.  Some of the ports visited were having up to 2 ships a day visiting and especially since Christchurch is still rebuilding it’s township since the earth quake in March and September 2011.

The influx of passengers meant some towns were having their Christmas early to accommodate the visiting ships to fully utilize the eager spending passengers.  A few of the smaller places such as the Bay of Islands had tenders to ferry you from the ship to the dock.  On the day that we visited it was pouring with rain but it didn’t dampen any ones spirit.

Radiance of the Sea to New Zealand On board there were a mixture of families, couples and singles but being Christmas there were lots of excited kids especially when Santa arrived by boat with gifts for all of the Children.  There was also carols sung along with jazz bands playing on Christmas eve keeping the kids up so that it would get them tired enough to sleep.

New Years Eve was filled with excitement with Radiance of the Sea had all the whistles, bells, clackers and hats on the dining table in readiness for the new year.  After dining with my new friends we headed off to the Champagne bar to listen to music and chat.  The captain himself came down to countdown the seconds of the new year and when he did confetti fell from the ceiling of the auditorium.  The mood on the boat was fun and uplifting as strangers wished you a happy New Year.

I danced to the early hours at the disco and had a fabulous night.

Seeing the crew everyday you do form a bond with them especially when you ask about their families as some of the staff have not been home for more than 6 months or more, and believe it or not you will have your favorites and will get a tear in your eye when it is time to go home.

Going on the Radiance of the Sea is a must do cruise ship that has something for everyone of any age.



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