Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by Brent Thomas: Unforgettable experience
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We are a family of 6 - Grandma (who celebrated her 80th on the 7th), twin girls (who will be 21 on the 22nd), our 16 year old son and us. We flew out on Sunday 4th April in the evening which got us into Dubai at 8am. I had read about the staging process so decided to do a bit of sightseeing before getting to the ship in the early afternoon. I arranged for a car & driver to meet us at the airport. I would highly recommend the company we used which I found on the Internet. It was mystiqueluxury if you google them. They were extremely responsive when dealing with them on-line and their service didn't falter when we arrived. We booked a 3-4 hour tour for 560AED in a GMC Yukon which was large enough for all of us and our luggage. Our driver Mark was extremely personable and his manager Shehan took the time to check that we were happy. So much so, we also used them in the afternoon when we arrived back in Dubai. This time they booked us to go up the Burj Kahlifa (so we didn't need to More
pay the exorbitant on the day prices) and a tour of the "Old Town". On arrival at the docks, we were processed quickly and our bags arrived in our staterooms shortly after we had lunch. In Muscat we booked to go on the "Mystical Oman" tour as the cost of doing it on our own was more expensive than the ships tour. It was very good. In Fujairah we decided to take the shuttle into town ($10 return) which was a mistake. They took us to a shopping centre where we were hounded by taxi's - had a coffee and then returned to the ship. In hindsight, mystiqueluxury did offer to send Mark over to dive us around. His charge for this would have been 700AED - which isn't bad if there are 6 of you. In Abu Dhabi I booked another car and driver using face-book (now that's a first for me!). The company was called Connection Chauffeur. Again, google should be able to find them. This cost us $84 for 3 hours which we increased to 4 hours during the tour. Ahmed was our driver - really nice guy and did us proud. We didn't book anything in Bahrain - and left it too late when we decided we should! That said, we decided to try our luck with the taxi's.. we agreed a price of 70BHD for a 4 hour tour. He wanted 80 - we wanted to pay 60 so we met midway. Our driver this time was Jeff (or Jafer). What a lovely guy - we had a great morning with him. His taxi number I think is is 2457.
So, those were our tours now back to the ship.
Cabin (stateroom). My wife and I had a double, Grandma on her own down the corridor and our 3 children next door. I would say the cabin size was adequate - no more than that. Our stateroom attendant (Carlos) took care of us and didn't complain about the mess our offspring made!
Food. We were on the 2nd sitting with "My Time Dining". We were all impressed with the quality of the food and service from our waiters (Yusof & Ediz) was impeccable. It would however have been nice to have been on a larger table to socialise. We had breakfast in the main restaurant and lunched at the Windjammer. The choice at the latter was very good and breakfast was breakfast.
Bars. I guess it is down to the strong dollar but I thought their prices were on the high side. Service was sometimes slow but this isn't a complaint.
Entertainment. We all enjoyed the shows but I know this a a personal opinion. It was great to hear live music in each of the bars. We didn't use the disco.
Pool. Too crowded and very difficult to get sunbeds as many were "reserved". RCI need to police this better. People would place towels on beds from 7am onwards which isn't good for those who abide by these rules.
Summary. We all had a fantastic holiday and would like to cruise again. Things I would check before we do this again are- drink prices (or all inclusive option), cabin size, availability of guest speakers, size of ship (think I'd prefer something smaller). Less
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