Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by amberlstrong: Great Multi-Family Cruise
Overall Member Rating
Great Multi-Family Cruise
Destination: Western Caribbean
Honestly, after reading some of the reviews, I was a little nervous. This was our 6th cruise, 3rd with kids (of which we had sailed on Disney with them). But, I can honestly say I don't know what anyone has to complain about. We had excellent service, quality of food and overall a wonderful time. Of course no vacation comes without any sort of hiccup, but you have to go with the flow and most importantly, treat people properly. When you tip in advance, people really do go above and beyond.
Boarding was fast and easy. We were on the ship and at the pool by 11:30 am. Make sure to carry on or wear your bathing suit, especially if you have kids with you. It is hard for them to wait around for the luggage to be delivered.
We had connected balcony rooms on the 7th deck. While we could connect the rooms inside, this class of ship cannot remove the dividers on the balcony. But it really was not an issue. We could still see each other and easily talk to each other. More
Yes, the rooms are small. And compared to Disney, not as family-friendly, but I'm not sure that anything would be. There was just one bathroom with a shower, and the pull down bed above the king bed was a little odd, but it still worked.
We got the premium beverage package. We got multiple bottles of water and sodas as well for the kids with our package, which was great. Like I said, tipping was key for us. We tipped the bartenders at the pool first thing in the morning and we had excellent service all day - second to none.
The pool deck was small, but never felt overwhelmingly crowded. The kids liked the water slide. It would have been nice if it was open longer, but it seemed to be run by the kids club staff during the off hours of the kids club. We thought the pool water was a bit cold, and the kids mostly stayed in the hot tubs anyway.
We purchased the unlimited picture package as well since we had such a large group. It was worth it for us, but definitely better to buy online in advance if you can.
We did the 5-night, and it really only had one formal night, with the rest of the nights being casual. There was one 70s night, though it didn't seem that most people dressed up for that. I do recommend the Thriller dance classes and performance - though you have to dress as a zombie that night so that may impact one of your outfits.
The kids - aged 5 to 9 - loved the shows, especially the juggler. We did the late dinner and I'm not sure I'd do that again because when the time changed, we really weren't eating until 11 at night our time. We did get them room service while we showered to help tide them over.
The kids club was great. I think the Disney one overwhelmed them, but this one was the right size and they begged to go every day. The staff was very engaged and knew all of their names. The only thing to consider is they do split the kids 3-5 from the 6-11 group. My daughter was okay with that and they let one of our friends play down with her. But keep that in mind as they may want to be with an older sibling and can't. She loved watching Frozen during the late-night session; and asked to stay even later.
We went to the Caymans and Cozumel. For the Caymans, we all took a shuttle to Calico Jacks and spent the day there, on 7-mile beach. This was great for us; easy too. We rented chairs and ate at the restaurant. Very low-key.
For Cozumel, we did the Playa Mia all inclusive option. The pool area was great, especially for the younger kids. The beach area was pretty crowded. One nice couple gave us their umbrella, which you have to pay for otherwise. Again, we pre-tipped the waiter and had excellent drink service on the beach. The kids loved the water activities. The food was okay, but I've never really had great food in Mexico.
The biggest issue for us on our trip was that our daughter fell on the playset at Playa Mia. She just dropped from the monkey bars too close to the edge. She gashed the back of her head pretty badly. Playa Mia has a medical team there and wrapped her head up. They encouraged us to go to the hospital, but luckily there was a medic from RC Liberty of the Seas who said our boat would be able to help her so we just went back to the ship. We had amazing service for this. My daughter's whole head was wrapped up and as soon as we checked in, they whisked us like VIPs to the medic. Lucky for us, it opened 1 minute from our arrival and we got seen very quickly. We didn't need stitches, luckily. The dr just glued it shut. And, they didn't charge us for this since it was part of a ship excursion. Of course we would have paid anyway, but this was one less stresser for us. She couldn't swim the last day, but we did plenty of other things - mini golf, etc, to pass the time.
The kids actually loved to watch the silly adult activities at the pool - bellyflop, sexy leg, they laughed so hard at all of these.
Our wait staff at dinner was also incredible. We ended up adding 3 people to our table and they did this very quickly for us. The waitress Alla was so attentive to the kids; she even got my picky son to eat all of his food - he even gained weight on the cruise, which is quite a feat!
I'm probably forgetting lots of other details, but I hope this is helpful to someone!
Overall, I do recommend this ship. It's not as large as some others, but I think it's quality, not quantify that matters the most. Less
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