Departed Port Liberty on Sept 21st for a 10 day cruise to Quebec City stopping at Portland, ME, Bar Harbor, ME and the Canadian Maritimes. This was the largest ship we had sailed with, the largest prior was 1200 passengers. Brilliance of the Seas was selected based upon the ports of call. The ship had just completed its repositioning from Denmark. We had seating at the first sitting for dinner, 5:30 PM which was a little early when returning from long shore excursions.
Traveling with another couple, we began dinner by first ordering from the wine list. Our first three selections were not available. Reason given was the repositioning passengers had consumed all those bottles and the replacement container had not arrived from Miami. We ordered by the glass that evening and the wine both red and white not much better that a $6.95 local bottle of table wine. The next evening we looked at the "wine package" that was offered for sale. Of the eight types of reds, 3 were sold out. Our wine problem was solved after dining at two of the specialty restaurants aboard, the Chops Grille and Portofino. At both the food was excellent and they had their own wine list not available in the main dining room. We copied the numbers down of the wines we liked and when back dining at our table in the main dinning room, had our waiter go down to the Chops Grill or Portofino for our wines. Our waiters in the dining room were excellent. Unless changes are made, skip the wine packages. Main dining room food was only average, nothing to look forward to. Asked for olive oil to dip bread in and a medium store type bottle with label was placed on the table. Sorbet not available after the caesar salad and before the entre.
We ate most of our breakfasts and lunches in the Windjammer Cafe. Food there was only FAIR and the same every day as far as we could tell. Layout of the Windjammer has everyone criss-crossing one another to get from one food station to another. After several days found where the quesants and salmon were hidden. Food very boring. Small bottles of both red and white wine were available for US$6. each, airline quality, and the caps were almost impossible to remove. This was noted by another reviewer. A number of other passengers who were frequent travelers with Royal Caribbean Lines had the same opinion of the food quality aboard.
While the ship was VERY clean, one thing we noticed as seasoned seafarers was the lack of Purell sanitizers. There were some around, some worked and some didn't and at first when returning to ship from being ashore, none were available. Some later appeared. None when leaving the public restrooms aboard. Shore excursions need a major overhaul. Long expensive trips and saw very little except in Portland and Bar Harbor where the tour were excellent. One of our buses in the Maritimes held over 80 passengers. We arrived at the featured site of visit only to find 9 other buses discharging passengers. Never did get in the attraction. Enjoyed the Maritimes, but when we go back again, will either rent a car or have a private driver\guide.
In summary, ship was too large for our enjoyment. Ship was clean, staff at all levels was excellent. Food and wines need MAJOR review by senior management.