I am tempted to rant, specifically because in dealing with the customer service AFTER my cruise, it was an insulting experience, but I will keep it as unbiased and neutral as possible. I sailed with Carnival and Princess prior to Royal Caribbean, and I would say that my experience on this ship was Carnival quality for more expensive prices.
It's tough not to have a good time on a cruise. Regardless of the ship, there's generally a lot to do, and things have to go completely wrong to have a BAD time. That being said, one can't help but keep in the back of your mind the $$ you paid, and compare to other cruise lines.
Old, musty, and dirty. Ours still had some young girl's hair clip in the shower when we came in. On our balcony there was this long, black hair that was stuck to the post that holds up the glass. Again, not the end of the world, but for what you are paying, more is definitely expected. The curtains are old and browning (they should be More
white). Just not top notch.
Don't even bother bringing formal wear. I saw jeans and hoodies, and Under Armor T-Shirts. Dress code is not enforced at ALL. Also, no such thing as midnight buffet on this ship (maybe once per cruise they do it). "SeaView Cafe" is what is open from 9-2am, and the menu is... "limited" to say the least (just chicken tenders and fries, and burgers).
The pool is mobbed all day. The other option is the "Adults only" solarium, that generally has more children in it than adults, and the main pool closes at 8:30pm, as does the bar at the pool. Best bet is to claim your spot early in the morning by the pool and hold it all day. They don't enforce the 30 minute hold rule, either. In fact, there are very few rules they actually DO enforce, aside from making sure to charge you for EVERYTHING.
Bring CASH. There is a $6.00 "convenience charge" to obtain chips from your card. I wonder who exactly is convenienced by it? Since everything else is cashless, and they're not even giving you cash, it's just a ripoff. Also, blackjack is 8 decks, not 6, so I really didn't play long.
5. Buffet (windjammer cafe):
Food is random... you will have chocolate bread pudding with cheeseburgers and crepes... There is no rhyme or reason to their selection of food at all.
The theater is always empty, because the shows are geared specifically for retirees. There were 2 comedians, one was used twice, and their performance was 20 minutes. the rest were music performances like "The Platters" and other broadway style performances. Again, the performances were good, but they only cater to retirees, who make up far less than half the ship.
Prepare to pay for everything. I know it's like that every cruise, but for some reason this seemed different. There are gratuity charges on everything (even things that weren't served), so it was a full time job checking on everything I purchased or tried to obtain.
All-in-all, I would not go with RCCL, just go to Princess for a much better experience, and if you don't want to spend the money, go to Carnival or Norwegian. RCCL is definitely not worth the money, and you will get better value from a lower tier cruise line.
**Also, if you want to do fitness classes, you pay for those too, and I would use private shore excursions. The tours get packed with people, and we used private excursions and had smaller groups. Less
Brilliance of the Seas Cruises to the Southern Caribbean