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Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by Plane Guy

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Brilliance of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas
Member Name: Plane Guy
Cruise Date: March 2014
Embarkation: Tampa
Destination: Western Caribbean
Cabin Category:
Cabin Number: 4580
Booking Method:
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Member Rating   3.0 out of 5+
Dining 2.0
Public Rooms 4.0
Cabins 5.0
Entertainment 3.0
Spa & Fitness 5.0
Family & Children Not Rated
Shore Excursions Not Rated
Embarkation 4.0
Service 2.0
Value-for-Money 2.0
Rates Not Rated
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Ship Facts: Brilliance of the Seas Review (by Cruise Critic!) | Brilliance of the Seas Deck Plans
No so Brilliant

Cruise date 20 March 2014: Our cruise got off to a bad start before we even got to the ship. The RCCL "Access Department" blew it. They never recorded our special needs requirements after receiving faxes and phone calls. Once onboard Guest Services was extremely slow to respond. It was not my fault their own people failed to do their job prior to our arrival. Totally unsatisfactory. It's fairly obvious to me RCCL does NOT want special needs people onboard.

Bar Service: Mixed drink quality really varied widely between the different bars. There seems to be no quality control or standardization. Best Bloody Mary's was the Centrum R Bar. The most consistent bars were the Schooner Bar and the King & Country Pub. Overall best drinks and service was "Mickey" and "Alex" in the King & Country Pub. The Pool Bar was extremely poor and the others were nondescript.

Drink Package & Bar Info: Not worth the money. Bar service in most areas is slow. It hard to full utilize the package when you can't get served. There is only one bar open in the mornings and that is at the Pool and it opens at 9 AM. (Their Bloody Mary's sucked.) Most bars open late and close early as well. Only a couple open on port days and they are not "convenient" to get too. Additionally they had movies on the "Big Screen" in the pool area at 9 PM each night. The bar closed at 8:30!!! Really??

Food: After all the good things I heard about RCCL and their food, I have NOTHING positive to say. I guess that was from the good old days. They had the worst breakfast buffet I've ever seen. No temperature control and they even ran out of silverware one morning leaving people standing around with full plates waiting. They don't even cook fresh hamburgers and hotdogs for lunch. They are precooked, overcooked, dried out, and lifeless in pans on the steam tables. Additionally, I have NEVER seen so much under cooked pasta in my life. I understand al dente, but raw, hard, and chewy I totally understand too! We laughed one night when one of the premier dinner menu items was described as being "al Dente"!! We assumed it would be pasta served right out of the box!

The Main Dining Room early service was slow at our table (475). We were the first in and last out and missed two shows because of the slow service. They also had issues getting the right food to the table. We had order errors EVERY night. Unacceptable. We did have one exceptional server named Dino. He was fast and very nice. Oh, and one other tidbit: NO MIDNIGHT BUFFET. The main buffet closes at 9 PM and if you want something to eat later, its room service with a $4 surcharge plus 15% gratuity. There were two small food venues open late but they were always packed with kids. And for the record, I am involved with the food service industry so I know what food preparation, presentation, and service is all about.

CREW: With few exceptions, the crew could have cared less. They went about the motions of their jobs and that was about it. If they took care of your issues then fine, if not, that was fine too. They seemed to be very unmotivated and unsupervised. It was fairly obvious they aren't at all worried about losing customers. Even Guest Services never called us back like they told they would after we reported a couple of recreational equipment problems we encountered. A couple of them we spoke too hat spoke with us even stated they regretted leaving their old cruise line for RCCL.

SHIP: The ship is nice and bright and basically clean. The décor in the Schooner Bar area and the Windjammer area was very nice. We did notice that is did take a while for empty glasses and trash items to get picked up. Sometimes it was difficult finding a clean table in the Centrum R Bar. Most common restrooms were clean.

Elevators: I had to make this a separate item. We spent a good bit of the cruise time waiting for an elevator. Since my wife is handicapped, we had no choice. The glass elevators in the Centrum were nice but just didn't handle the demand. Additionally, unsupervised hoards of kids ran rampant throughout the ship and ALWAYS punched all the floor buttons both in and out of the elevators. They stopped at every floor, every time... When it did go down a floor or two without stopping applause would break out! So we were not the only ones frustrated with the elevator situation. Oh, and they even put the day of the week on an elevator floor panel. That would be a very informative thing IF they would change them all daily!!

Overall: This was my first and probably last cruise on RCCL. Besides the poor service, I didn't particularly like the overall motif of the ship. When we boarded we were greeted by the Upscale Trio playing the theme song of the movie Titanic in the Centrum and that pretty much set the tone for the cruise. There was never an upbeat attitude about the ship. Their attempts at high energy entertainment fell short of the mark. I could of just as well rented a room at a local rest home and probably had more fun. So, if you're into bad to mediocre food, drinking a glass or two of wine which you brought with you, peace and quiet, sitting around your cabin, and catching up on your nap time, then this ship is perfect for you.

Bon Voyage!


Publication Date: 04/01/14
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