The Brilliance of the Seas surprised us as we are used to cruising on smaller ships. I found the ship to be clean in all respects and modern. The cabin was nice , much the same as we normally take. It was towards the rear of the ship on deck 8 port side and was far enough from any possible noise. It was clean and the cabin steward was very attentive. Checking in and boarding the ship was easy , although the airline SAS had managed to lose our luggage which were not to turn up until we arrived in Stockholm on the third day of the cruise. The staff at the passenger assistance were most helpful and gave us T shits and toilet bags to use.Luckily we had delayed baggage insurance and were able to purchase some shirts. We will be traveling the day before the cruise in future.
Pssenger equal mix of US/UK, Spanish , Italian and German/French/Israel.Not too many announcements and you can turn them off.
The boat drill was uneventful.The ship left on time for Stockholm. We took the second sitting dinner which at 8.30pm is a little late and just a tip more and more people are doing the anytime dining which meant we only had four and eventually on day 4 six people at an 8 person table. The food at dinner is good - I was surprised better than Princess who we have sailed with the last two years. The waiters are attentive and pleasant - the only minor complain is the lack of originality in the starters and the pushing of the extra filet minon dish for $40 !!!
For breakfast we ate in the Windjammer buffet restaurant and I must say this was the most pleasant surprise of all. From what I had read it was hard to get a seat but we never had a problem - ship was full- even on days at sea.
The food in the windjammer is good and fresh.We ate breakfast once in the main dining room and this too was good.
Lunch is a little more crowded but still not so much as you couldn't get a table.We ate lunch again once in the main dining room and it was very nice.
During the day there are varied activities although a bit limited in scope. Avoid the rip off Bingo and annoying lady running it. We like trivia but found it always started late and the entertainment staff were not too enthused by running it.
Of the bars - The Schooner is underused and has a musty smell - the only place on the ship . The TV bar was closed a lot of the time and the Colony is quiet but passable.
Entertainment - The entertainment in the main Centrum was good each night , with an emphasis on south American music which was good.The Centrum although vertically impressive is not big enough on deck 4 to hold these events and got very crowded.The bar staff in the Centrum bar were the best on the ship.
The piano player in the schooner bar was awful , out of tune and very loud and the classical trio always looked miserable.The Mexican band was very good and the other band were ok.
The show lounge covering two decks is the only part of the ship that looks dated and worn. The shows were varied - Abba MAX was great and so was a juggler and comedian and Russian show but the tango shows were an assault on the ears. The sound system is terrible and needs replacing.Casino still has smoking and you can notice.
The excursions were good , although tip at all the ports except St Petersburg the hop on hop off local bus comes right to the ship and is cheaper.Easy getting on/off the ship which was a pleasant surprise.
I would recommend this ship and itinerary although 2 days in St peters burg would be better and ditch Tallinn.
Just be warned quite a few young kids which surprised us and lots of crying!
Mini golf was good not sure value of rock wall or b ball court.
Overall worth the money and Royal Carribean have definately improved their product since we last cruised with them 7 years ago.
Best Thing - Ship and ports
Worst - Show Entertainment