Welcome aboard shipmates. I"m writing this review on behalf of my Wife Sue and myself Dave. Both in our 60s we only took to cruising 3 years ago and have up until now logged up 5 cruises, 3 with RCI,including Independence, Navigator and Brilliance. 1 on Arcadia(P&O) AND 1 on Ocean Village 2, and we have no doubt in our minds that Royal Caribbean are by far our favourite. This review concentrates on the 14 night repositioning cruise of Brilliance of the Sea from Barcelona to Dubai via Alexandria, The Suez Canal, Aqaba, Safaga finally Dubai.
Although not as big as either Independence or Navigator, Brilliance exudes an impression of being a large ship due to the expansive use of glass on the exterior. There are many activities to join in including some that we tried: Golf: Brilliant but don"t expect any Golf buggies, there are none. Basketball: Yes, wrinklies can have a go at this. Jogging Track: We used this facility every morning with out fail, walking of course and please be ware, there are some passengers that actually use it to run. Dancing: Lots of opportunity to do this, unfortunately my dance teacher told me I could have been a brilliant dancer except for 2 things. My Feet. Rock Climbing: Did I do it? What with no Sherpas, you must be joking. Drinking: Yes this is a facility and we took advantage of the numerous bars. Really, Brilliance is a Brilliant ship. The service from all members of staff was exemplary from, and special praise goes to the staff in Windjammer. Thanks everybody.
The shore excursions were well worth the money. We went on the El Alamein trip because my Dad served there during the war (I think he was Rommel"s Ratman)well he was in the Desert Rats. The Suez canal transit was the highlight of the cruise for me. We also visited Petra, brilliant but didn"t go ashore in Safaga has we had already been on a Nile cruise.
The flight to Barcelona from Heathrow was with British Airways and it"s no wonder the cabin crew are always going on strike if they have to fly in those antiquated aircraft. With broken seats, surly crew and food which you wouldn"t feed to a dog we were glad to get off. The flight back with Emirates was great.
We paid the extra to have a Balcony cabin, in fact we have never cruised in any other type of cabin so cannot justify how good or bad our cabin was, all I can say is that it fulfilled all our needs. Most days we eat in the Windjammer, a pleasant, comfortable dining area with so much choice you really were spoilt.On the formal evenings we did eat in the main dining room but far preferred Windjammer. The entertainment was OK, but we didn"t go on this cruise for the entertainment, we tended to make our own talking with fellow passengers. Disembarkation in Dubai was carried out with the efficiency you come to expect from RCI.