Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by curly4dana: Brilliance of the Seas - Pacific Coastal
Member Since 2003
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Brilliance of the Seas - Pacific Coastal
We sailed for 10 days on the brilliance of the seas. It was our first cruise on a vision or radiance class ship. Although she is a beautiful vessel, we are spoiled by the size of the voyager class ships and all that they offer.
The handicapped cabin balcony on deck 7 had an obstructed view due to the lifeboats being underneath us. It was difficult to see the transit of the panama canal and we had to go either up a few decks or down to the helipad to watch it. The cabin, itself was nice, because it is twice the size of a regular cabin in the e-2 category. The meet and mingle the next day was great because there were so many of our cruise critic friends there. They served lovely canapes and soft drinks and gave out nice prizes.
Our waiter and assistant waiter, although friendly, did not provide the type of service we are used to from rci. We were served last and in most cases our waiter was "in the weeds". He also made me feel badly if i didn't like something he More served, which was quite often. The food was just not the best we've had on a cruise. It was often bland and not all that appetizing. It did have it's moments, but not often enough to be memorable.
Our cabin steward was basically non-existent. He took hours to bring ice and we just never saw much of him, unlike our friends that had a great steward and great service. When our steward did appear, he did not speak english very well and we had difficulty communicating. His personal hygiene left a lot to be desired as well.
When it was time to head out to the pool, we had a lot of trouble getting a lounge chair. unless you were able to get up around 8am and stay in the chair, you had to wander around for quite a while to find a chair. They were jammed together so closely that to get in the chair you had to climb onto it. We had to get up earlier than usual just to be able to get a chair in the sun. We also watched a man in the solarium pool, which was beautiful by the way, make an elderly woman get up because she was sitting in his "saved" chair. Amazing, but true.
The shows were great. They had a broadway production that was just fantastic. the singers and the dancers were very professional and we were very surprised. We were told the first show wasn't as good, but we were delighted with the one we saw. The rest of the crew aboard the ship was lovely. They were attentive and very professional as well as very courteous. Try to meet rusty in the champagne bar...he is GREAT!!!!!
Our panama canal tour was delayed because of another ship that arrived late and the train left with them instead of waiting for us. We were refunded immediately for our trouble, but we didn't get to take the ocean to ocean train tour that we'd been looking forward to for so long. It was disappointing for all of us to miss that. In grand cayman, the ship anchored out and we had to tender over to the island. There weren't the long lines we imagined. In fact it went rather smoothly and was fun. None of the ports were terribly difficult to get off the ship or back on the ship. The exception would be puerto cristobal in panama. The line on deck 4 was very long to get off the ship as was the line to get back onboard the ship.
We hit very rough seas leaving costa rica. On the voyager class we never felt a bump, but on this ship we rocked and rolled all night. Many people were sick that night and didn't make it to dinner. We did wake to much calmer seas the next morning.
All in all we had a nice cruise, but we will probably stick to the voyager class ships for comfort and the amenities available. The best part of our cruise was meeting our cruise critic friends! We will never cruise without hitting the cruise critic boards again. It was such a fabulous thing to board a ship and already have friends on board with you! It was truly the highlight of the cruise. So, if you enjoy a more intimate ship, the brilliance is for you. Smaller ship and less going on than when we were on the explorer. If you can deal with the service not being as great as it could be then the brilliance would be for you. We are spoiled having been on the explorer first. again, all in all it was a relaxing voyage. that's why we travel, after all, isn't it? Less
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