Happily Surprised: Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by cdscooby1
Overall Member Rating
Destination: Western Caribbean
The boat itself was redone recently and looked beautiful. The entertainment staff was funny and nice. The 70's dance party in the Centrum was very crowded but lots of fun and laughs. I especially enjoyed the kids dancing in the elevators. The pool area was nice but of course there are the chair savers as every cruise has. The pool deck enforcement More people did nothing about it. Hint if it's just a towel sit down and take the chair. The last morning at sea I was up on the pool deck by 8:20 AM and there was hardly any chairs left. I watched people stop by for 5 minutes and put magazines etc on the chairs to make them look taken only to disappear for 2 hours. I will say the one thing I missed on this ship was a promenade. The Centrum seemed to tiny for the shows they put on. I did not like being on a higher floor and looking down I prefer to be part of the party. The Centrum for these shows was always packed.
The Casino was horrible. I did not run into one person who won anything. I tried a few tables and lost, same with the slots. We pretty much just avoided it and judging by the lack of crowds in the casino most people stayed away. Another problem was the smoke from the casino drifted up throughout the boat at night so the entire boat smelled as if someone was smoking. I thought they would have had better ventilation for the smoke.
My twins are 13 so they went to the teen club. They enjoyed themselves but felt that they did not have many planned activities for them. They were a small group of kids and seemed to all get along very well. For 2 thirteen year olds to say they felt under supervised that kind of tells you something about the teen club. I understand they are older but they still need someone around to make activities happen or they become bored and then they get into trouble. Thankfully besides dancing in the elevators frequently they were all good kids.
The Dining Room was blah. The food was flavorless and boring and service was very slow. We opted to eat in the Windjammer on 2 nights just to get a better selection of food. Unfortunately we decided to eat in the Main Dining Room on the last night and my kids said it was the best night in the Windjammer. They had make your own pizza stations as well of lots of other things. The Park Cafe was great for lunch and late night snacks. They do have the roast beef sandwiches there but having traveled on the Oasis twice the Oasis has a better Roast beef sandwich. I don't know why but it's better.
Some of the elderly people were annoyed with the children running around on the ship. As a Mom I heard the comments and kept quite. I thought all the kids on the ship were very well behaved. I think some people are just cranky. As for the comment someone left about the Gumbas who were loud from NY or NJ ha ha they were a very large obnoxious group from Tampa. I was stuck with them everywhere I went for the first 3 days. They drank to much and were loud and rude and very obnoxious. We even had the displeasure of having them with us in the Muster drill and that is why it took so long because they would not shut up. Thankfully on day 2 at least half of them disappeared and then by day 3 we didn't see any of them. We were hoping they got off the boat. Anyway my point was don't assume because they were loud and obnoxious and had Northern accents that they were from NY or NJ, they were from the Tampa area. They screamed it at least 100 times the first day back and forth across the boat.
All in all I would say this was a great cruise. I wish it had lasted longer. I was worried after reading some of the reviews that it would not be a good fit for my family. Everyone had a great time and would love to go back. Less
Cabin review: 1550
Fabulous cabin. This cabin had plenty of room for my family of 4. The bathroom has 2 double sinks and a bathtub with plenty of cabinets to store items. The suite has 3 closets to store items and the bar has cabinets with drawers in it as well. The suite has a nice TV and a stereo system with surround sound. The couch was pulled out every night for my kids who said it was comfortable and looked to be queen sized. The balcony was amazing. Table and chairs with a lounge chair. We were pretty centered on the ship and in both ports we docked with a view of the dock. The only complaint I would have is there was no light outside on the deck that I could find. I would book this cabin again.
Port and Shore Excursions
Nachi Cocom Beach Club
We felt completely taken advantage of. First off the club is run down, not like the pictures at all. We got there early to make sure we got an umbrella covering at the beach. There was exactly one (1) family there before us. Our waiter took us to the other side of the beach far away from the pool almost at the end of the club by a deserted building. I asked to go closer and he said No this is where you are supposed to be, OK, he then introduced himself as Carlos, then Jose, then Eddie. (I think you can see where this is going). He brought over 2 men who tried to up sell us on jet ski's, banana boat rides etc. We declined for the moment and our waiter was not happy so he left. Our waiter never smiled and had a snarl on his face the entire time we were there. The beach was filled with seaweed and very run down looking. After about 30 minutes I asked the waiter to bring us 3 bottled waters which he delivered to us 20 minutes later. My husband ordered a pina colada and felt there was no alcohol in the drink. We asked our waiter who's name has changed to Joseph about food. Joseph tells us it's 40 minutes away. Finally the club was starting to get more crowded. I went searching with my son for a store and found a man selling rafts for rent at $7.00 each. I thought rafts were included? The trampoline in the ocean was $25.00 per day for children under 12 and they had one family raft for $40.00 per day for rent. I thought the prices were very high. We then return to ask our waiter again about food. This time he is very annoyed that I asked again and he says 40 minutes. OK, I asked you 40 minutes ago and 40 minutes are up. We are hungry. 20 minutes later the people next to us ask our friendly waiter for food. He replies to them 40 minutes. They say "well didn't you say that a long time ago we are hungry". He then disappeared, muttering in Spanish. About 20 minutes later another waiter comes through giving everyone menus. Finally we can eat. The menu has prices. At first glance we see $22.00 for cheese sticks. What, then we realize it is in Pesos. As we start to talk to people everyone is confused because food is supposed to be included. 30 minutes later Joseph, our nasty waiter comes back. The people next to us ask about the menu and food. Joseph tells them that you have to pay for food on the menu or you wait for the buffet. The buffet is included and not ready yet. We all decide to wait for buffet. Joesph leaves again. Another 20 minutes goes by and we have a group of about 40 people on the other side of us. Their waiter starts taking food orders from them and tells them to order 1 appetizer 1 entree and 1 desert per person from the menu. We are very confused! I go up to the bar area and ask when is the buffet coming out so we can eat. The man at the bar says there is no buffet you order from your waiter. I told him the waiter told us we had to pay for service but the buffet is free. The bartender asks who our waiter is and I tell him I think it is Joseph. He rolls his eyes and tells us to go back and he will help us. I go back and we wait another 20 minutes for Joseph to show up. I tell him we would like to order food. I also tell him there is no buffet. Joseph says OK one appetizer 1 entree 1 desert what do you want. We start to order and I ask for 3 cokes in a can. Well that was obviously the wrong thing to ask for. Joseph gets very upset and nastily asks me why you want soda in a can, that boat you come from tell you not to drink our water? I reply actually no they didn't I prefer a can and that is what I would like. Joseph then starts yelling at me that we paid a lot of money to come to Nachi cocum and I insult them with asking for a can. I explain again to Joseph why I want cans and he gets very very angry. Joseph then tells us how dare I ask for a can they use good water. I say Ok but I just always prefer a can. Joseph then tells us I am wrong and that he only gives bad water to people who ask for bottled water and cans, that is how they get them back for insulting them. Joseph then leaves. WHAT did he just threaten us???? Here we are in Mexico with 2 children and this guy who has been nasty to us for no reason the entire time threatens us, you have to be kidding me. I want to leave, my husband wants to eat. We move up to the pool area which has cracked glass tables and the hot tub is not working, and I go to use the dirty bathroom (so glad I had purell with me). While I am gone Joseph brings my husband 3 cokes in glasses. We do not dare drink them. Finally after 30 minutes another waiter brings us our food, the order is wrong but we are very hungry. I give that waiter a $5 tip since he is friendly and nice. We finish eating and want to leave ASAP. My husband goes and asks for a cab. The woman in the office tells him we have to ask our waiter to get it for us. My husband explains to her we don't want anything to do with our waiter, he is the reason we are leaving that he has been rude and nasty to us and even threatened us with dirty water. The woman says OK.nothing else. REALLY???? Suddenly Joseph appears and says I will get you a cab. Five minutes later we walk outside and Joseph is standing there smiling with his hand out for a tip. You have got to be kidding me, he expects a tip! We got in the cab and left. Never ever again will I step foot in that place. Stay away. Save your money and be safe. You do not need to be threatened in Mexico. The place is run down and the management obviously does not care how the staff treats their customers. It might have been good at one time but it was a horrible experience for my family. The Management should have addressed the situation when my husband explained that we wanted to leave. Obviously this waiter has had problems with other people considering the man at the bar rolling his eyes when I asked for the buffet. They don't care, they just want your money. STAY AWAY!!!
City Trolley / Conch Train Tour
The Conch train was very informative but a little bit boring. Our tour guide was very into the trees and landscape of the island. I have been on this tour before and it was better the last time I took it. When going past the Hemingway house all our guide said was this is the famous Hemingway house. Really nothing else, what about all the 6 toed cats? I really think it was just our tour guide and this is a good way to see the island. Also total chaos trying to get onto the conch train. Basically wait in a line and they would load you up. They obviously did not have enough trains and we waiting 1 hour to get on a train. There was only 2 ships in port and I can't imagine how long it would take on a busy day.
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