Just returned from the 12-night Dubai/India/Muscat/Dubai cruise on Brilliance of the Seas and thought we would share our experience.
We thoroughly enjoyed the ship and the itinerary. Nice mix of sea days and ports. India was dirty and polluted as expected but we had a great time at every stop. Plenty to see and do. The ports are not the prettiest by any means and can be a little inconvenient getting in and out, but maybe that will get better if they start getting more cruise traffic. Oman was beautiful - clean, easy to get around and the friendliest people we have come across in a long time. The Grand Mosque is a must see! Dubai has become our favorite city abroad - can't say enough good things about it. Pricey to be sure, but you have to pay to play...
We have been on every Radiance class ship and Brilliance was very nice. With one notable exception the staff was outstanding. One RCCL staffer thought it appropriate to belittle and insult us (and many others) for showing up at the wrong place to collect our passport/visa info, even though the letter from RCCL(that we ALL had in hand) had directed us there. Anyway, no complaints overall. The captain was quite amusing.
Two thumbs up for the SeaView Cafe - the Italian fare was outstanding. We went there almost every day. The dining room food was pretty much the same old thing. A fairly boring menu with average food. Would those of us that have cruised on RCCL all agree that the food quality has declined significantly over the past 10 years?? We tried Chops for the first time on this cruise and liked it so much we went back a second time. A little confusion as to who was supposed to be our waiter with a subsequent delay in service, but it was quickly sorted out and made right. The fillet was one of the best either of us has ever had.
I was very disappointed that there was no caviar to be had at the champagne bar this cruise. Apparently this ship had a small outbreak of the n-virus on the previous trip (according to comments from 3 different staffers) and they were being exceptionally cautious and clean. We were jokingly calling it the Disease of the Seas, but only because there were so many sick, coughing, sneezing people on this cruise. No fault of RCCL of course, as that is an airborne issue. We were very impressed with the level of effort they put forth to keep the ship clean.
This was our first-ever aft cabin. We have mixed opinions on it. The more-than-180-degree view IS awesome, as is the hypnotic view of the wake. Also very nice to be able to look UP and see the sky at night, as well as the vastly increased quantity of sunshine during the day. The larger balcony and lounge chairs are an added bonus. The downside? Noise - the prop wash/wake are loud and you can hear the clattering of dishes coming from the SeaView Cafe right above. You will also smell the SeaView (not so bad really) and the distinct odor of fried foods that wafts up from below as the exhaust from the kitchen comes up from deck 5 below. Take a stroll around to the rear of the ship on deck 5 and you can 'smell' and hear it for yourself. The sound is actually louder on your balcony because it reverberates off of the roof and wall behind. I missed being able to look straight down at the water gliding by and the calm and quite of a regular side cabin.
The ship overall and our cabin were very clean, again with one notable exception. Our carpet had food and gum smashed into it all over the place. Either replace the carpet or dig out a cleaner. It was disgusting. Also, why doesn't RCCL clean the gum off of the decks or paint over it? Are we the only ones sickened by it? And being avid non-smokers we sure wish RCCL would prohibit smoking on balconies. If you get stuck with smokers right below and beside you as we did it is very annoying.