This was only the second time my husband and I have cruised, both times with Royal Caribbean. After a fun and amazingly carefree vacation we're already planning our next cruise!
We stayed in a large ocean view stateroom, which seemed huge compared to the interior room we had on our first cruise, which, admittedly, was on a smaller ship. The room was classically done in blues, reds and rich dark wood. We were perfectly comfortable returning to our room in the afternoons to rest. I had always heard the rooms on cruises are so cramped that you stay out of them for as long as possible--not the case!
We enjoyed the food so much on our first cruise with Royal Caribbean and weren't disappointed on Brilliance of the Seas. My husband preferred the main dining room while I loved the buffet at the Windjammer Cafe. I felt they had more variety, including a focus on different international food (Greek, Indian, Caribbean, etc.) each night, and almost the exact same offerings as the main dinning room. When reading reviews of the food on other cruise lines I saw the phrases "cafeteria-quality" and "about the same as Golden Corral" used a lot. In my opinion, the food in the Windjammer is far above either of these descriptions! However, I did enjoy the excellent chopped salads in the main dinning room at lunch. I would recommend making reservations each day before for dinner in the dinning room if you are doing My Time Dinning. We found ourselves eating late on several nights because we hadn't made reservations in time.
The service of the staff isexcellent! Everyone is friendly and greets you with a smile. I was especially impressed with Louisa, in the dinning room, who only served us once but remembered our names and said hello each time she saw us. My husband was particularly impressed in the diversity of the staff and crew. It was amazing to hear our waiter speak to us in English and turn to the next table and speak in French!
The majority of our fellow passengers were much older than us: retired couples who have been cruising for years. However, we were on the cruise to relax, not party, and we appreciated the opinions of these experienced cruisers' about ports of calls, other cruise lines, etc. Everyone was friendly and willing to chat, whether at dinner or by the pool.
I do have to say that I was disappointed in the entertainment in the theatre: a comedian with bad impressions and outdated jokes and a singer that didn't hold my attention for very long. However, the juggler was kind of neat and the "Love and Marriage Game Show" that we caught on our cabin TV made us chuckle.
We often drifted out of the theatre to enjoy the music and dancing around the ship. The multi-story Centrum was a beautiful location with different singers and bands throughout the evening. We danced here several times--waltz, swing, cha cha--and my husband was tickled that so many people were able to watch from the different levels of the ship. We got many compliments for the rest of the cruise on our dancing!
The Centrum also hosted choreographed aerial performances the second and last night of the cruise, which included elaborate costumes, an impressive singer and entertaining acrobatics. The captain's welcome was also held in the Centrum on formal night, along with complimentary champagne. It was an elegant way to kick-off our cruise.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience and we're hooked on cruising and Royal Caribbean!