Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by cruzin_ga_gal: Brilliance - a great change from the Caribbean!
Overall Member Rating
Brilliance - a great change from the Caribbean!
Destination: Canada & New England
This was the last cruise that DH and I planned together before he passed away in May. We had originally scheduled this cruise for 9/29, but found out after planning that we were going to be grandparents again on 9/26. Figuring that the original date was too close to the baby coming, we rescheduled for week of 10/20. That said, this was a solo cruise for me.
I flew into Boston on the day of sailing. I arrived at 12:30 and took a taxi ($30) to the terminal. Most of the guests must have been early, as the terminal seemed deserted. I checked in, went straight to my room to drop my hand carried bags and went looking for lunch. I had peaked in the windjammer and saw that it was packed. Remembering that there was a Park Café, I checked and it was nearly empty. The Park Café is always mentioned as a great place for lunch, but either people are not reading the reviews, or they forget about it, as I had been several times for lunch (love the salad - always fresh) and it More was never busy.
The ship is very nice, but I won't review as my thoughts will just be redundant of all the accolades from the previous member reviews. The reviews on the MDR are both good and bad. I think the food was good. There were no particular meals that hit me as outstanding, but it is good, plentiful, and always served with a smile.
Our sea day was cut short and we headed straight to St. Johns due to a medical emergency. I had later heard that the ship was charged an additional $70,000 for the early berthing and time at port. It is good to know that a passenger's health took priority over cost to RCCL. It does make one consider the steps RCCL takes for the safety and well being of it's passengers and it's comforting to know that they would go above and beyond for a passenger. Good call Captain Steig!
Disembarkation was quick. Although they call by tag number, by the time the first tag is called, all the luggage is set up warehouse style by number. it keeps the flow smooth, but all people called, move in at once to their number, causing a back up. Although I had a 12:30 flight out of Boston, I was off the ship, baggage in hand, in a taxi ($25 - no Ted Williams Tunnel toll) and at the airport by 10am. I was able to get an earlier flight and was back in Atlanta by 12:45.
Overall it was a great cruise. The ship's wear and tear is not as noticeable as some make it seem, but then again, there was too much to see and do to worry about a stain on the carpet. As long as the beds were comfortable (which they were) and the stateroom stayed clean (which it did), I was happy. Less
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The walk to the back of the ship is long - I definitely got a work out for the week going back and forth. There were two bathrooms, one off the main area with shower and one full off of the "main" bedroom with full tub. Both bedrooms are without windows. The second bedroom has a closet and desk/make up area full size bed and nightstands. The main bedroom has the bathroom, closet, desk/make up area, two nightstands, safe and flat screen tv. What I've never seen on an RCCL cruise before was the addition of an alarm clock. This worked as a nice nightlight waking up. The main area has a table and chairs, living room area, and counter with ice bucket and coffee maker on one side, and the flat screen tv on the other. There is an awkward porthole window behind the tv, that is covered with a non opening curtain. There are sliding glass doors going out to the balcony. It is not a very bright stateroom. The balcony is smaller than I would have imagined being on the fan tail of the ship. It is not wrap around and the space is smaller due to the curve of the ship. The room is to hold 8, but I think it would be tight.
Port and Shore Excursions
Acadia National Park
This was a combination, Acadia National Park, Cadillac Mountain and lobster lunch. The views from the top of Cadillac Mountain were awesome. Acadia National Park was open and we were told that due to the many entrances to the park, it was never fully closed due to the shutdown.
This was a combination tour of Peggy's Cove and Titanic cemetery. Peggy's Cove is a very picturesque fishing village. There is nothing to do there except to take pictures. The excursion spent too much time here and not enough in the Titanic cemetery.
Getting back on the bus in Peggy's Cove, there was too much confusion of where people were sitting. The guide was very school marmish telling people where to sit. We were all adults, but I felt that it wasted time, while people played musical seats and were chastised by the guide.
The Titanic Gravesite is interesting. The gravesites are shaped in the form of a bow of a ship. It is sad to see so many still unnamed dead. I would have liked to had more time to read more of the gravestones.
If one has never been, LL Bean is the place to see. It is larger than any Bass Pro Shop, REI or Dicks that I have ever seen. It also has many vintage LL Bean gear on display. The area surrounding the LL Bean store was my favorite. I was able to shop, go to Customer Service and ship home for free. The other stores in the area are typical mall stores. The only thing that I didn't like about this was the bus took off and left passengers to sit in the cold to wait for the return back to the ship.
Other than the Bay of Fundy there really isn't a lot to do in this city.
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Vacation of a Lifetime
Lacked the wow factor.
A huge disappointment.