Our impression of the ship was very positive. Despite it's December listing incident where it was damaged, it looked teriffic. We were in the Family Oceanview cabin #8000 which sleeps six for the three of us. We loved all of the space. The beds were comfortable.
We are big fans of the Windjammer. The way it is set up is perfect, prefilled tall cups of lemonade were the best, plenty of good food to choose from! The salad bar was terrific except people were frequently dripping the salad dressings into each other.
Our son (age 6) was always happy to go to Adventure Ocean. The staff was first class, always had excellent learning activities each day. Family activities were held once or twice a day. There were only seven children in Adventure Ocean and they all got along well. The staff is really amazing. They understand kids, like them and know how to keep them busy. Graham was the manager and was professional yet fun. The facilities for the kids are just fantastic. We left them with a nice tip and recommend people tip them even though it is not required. They deserve it! One complaint though- the video arcade leads to the entrance of Adventure Ocean. The games are turned on max. volume and some of the games are not kid friendly with suggestive characters and violence. They also were making repairs in there during our cruise and the industrial odors were noxious. Just wish we weren't forced to go through there.
Our servers were absolutely amazing. They were attentive, knew the menu, bent over backward to please us and gave us extra dishes to sample. We tipped them extra. RCI's menu is truly wonderful. It amazes me how they can offer so many choices each night. For some reason on this cruise I was on a fish kick. I ate fish nearly every night and was amazed at the variety of ways they prepared it. The quality of the fish was first rate. My husband ate lots of beef and was always pleased with it. The new children's menu is a mom's dream come true. Plenty of healthy choices!! My son loved his food in the dining room. Kid friendly- yet healthy! Way to go RCI!!! Five stars for wonderful dining! It was one of our favorite parts of the cruise.
We enjoyed the Cruise Director- Gordon. He was lots of fun. The entertainment was terrific! So many wonderful shows, I'll just mention a few- Tracey Chield singing Celine Dion was tops. The McDonald Brothers were excellent. The East Coast Boys and Enrico Cifiello were fabulous. The singers and dancers of the Brilliance were great of course! It was all wonderful. Missed a few shows after busy touring days though.
I enjoyed the Thermal suite immensely. Paid $138 for the 14 night cruise and it was worth it. Spent at least an hour each day there relaxing and I recommend spending the extra money to use it. I used the gym once but mostly enjoyed the walking track in the mornings in the fresh air.
We met many wonderful people through cruise critic. Mostly an older crowd since it was a repositioning cruise- very international. Were annoyed with the people who reserved deck chairs when signs everywhere say it is not allowed.
Cabin steward was a sweetie and very responsive to our requests. We were very pleased with all of the service we received on the cruise.
We enjoyed the lectures and I had fun at the dance classes. Oragami classes were taught by a very impatient woman who kept getting annoyed with people. We loved the game room and had a lot of fun playing games after dinner. We enjoyed the ping pong and mini golf. The kid's swimming area and slide were fantastic! Kept our son happy when the weather warmed up. Sailing the Suez Canal was a fantastic experience. Loved the captian's interview on the tv about the canal. Good lecture about the canal too.
Alexandria- in light of recent anarchy in Egypt we consider ourselves very fortunate to have had a safe time. Took our son to see the pyarmids with a private company "American Star Travel." Long day, lots of driving though.
Aqaba- the most amazing travel day in my life! Petra is in a league all it's own. You must see if you haven't. RCI tour was perfect. Had a fabulous day.
Safaga- Used "American Star Travel" again. 3 hour drive each way to and from Luxor. Saw the Valley of the Kings and Karnack Temple. Incredible experience but tiring. Took our son with us on both Egypt tours, but left him onboard for Petra. DO NOT MISS PETRA!! I've been to 30 countries and it was one of the top place I've been to.
We would love to sail on Brilliance again. The staff, food, entertainment, facilities were all five stars! Thank you RCI for an incredible family vacation. We loved it all!! Please people- tip the staff extra until they get their raises. They deserve more!