We have just returned from our cruise on the Brilliance.
We had flown overnight from London and had booked in for the morning at the Premiere Inn Dubai Airport (excellent and very good staff), We made our own arrangements to get to the port by taxi.
Embarkation in our opinion was very smooth and fast and we had a wander round the ship to get our bearings whilst waiting for our luggage. We didnt have much of a wait and our room attendant Franky was a nice young man. After our luggage arrived we had a shower and went to the Minstrel for dinner (we were 'My Time Dining') it was a bit chaotic with people queueing.This was the only night that we experienced this and we found the food wonderful, great steaks and our Waitress and Assistant Waitress deserve a big thank you, Alejandra and Asa who we built up quite a rapport with. Lovely girls and so attentive and good sense of humour. Only downside I would say are the price of the drinks, RC need to look at this and the 15% on top simply isnt on.
We went to the 'Windjammer' for breakfast and although it was very busy we never failed to find a seat. The food was excellent and yes there was a smell of food cooking, but they cooked the omelettes while you waited and where there is food there is an aroma, but no unpleasant smells. The staff were again excellent, nothing too much trouble and asking if you wanted more drinks. We appreciated the 24hr drinks being available for free, water, juice, teas and coffee. Waiters also walked around with iced tea and lemonade also free. We didnt use Chops Grille or Portofino as we were more than happy with the Minstrel. We always booked our time for the next day when leaving dinner the night before. Not a problem to do this we think.
The shows were good and we enjoyed them, didnt go to the magician but heard from others it was good.
Our cabin was compact and we had a balcony, disappointing when we discovered we were in container ports but didnt spoil our holiday or us using the balcony. Franky kept the room in excellent condition and the shower room/toilet was cleaned twice daily. Toiletries would have been a nice touch of course.
We didnt disembark at Fujairah as we had read on here that there wasnt much there. On our first day in Muscat there was a strike with the workers on the port so we didnt dock until after lunch instead of 9am. However we had planned a trip on our own --- Marks Tours which we booked online. Would certainly recommend them, Hamhed our tour guide was excellent. We went to the mosque and fort, museum, fish market and drove us along the conriche, did offer to drop us at the shops but we declined as I have a knee problem and couldnt walk any further!! Mosque in Oman was wonderful and I preferred this one to the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi Im afraid.
In Abu Dhabi we went independently to the Grand Mosque (by taxi)really enjoyed seeing it and also went to the Emirates Palace which was a lovely experience. Didnt go to the Marine Mall again just due to immobility!
As we have stayed in Dubai a couple of times before we stayed on board for the day in Dubai and enjoyed relaxing around the ship.
Disembarking from the ship went very smooth and quick and we found a taxi to take us to our hotel in Dubai.
We received a daily bulletin every night from our room attendant telling us what was happening every day also there was a daily schedule on the television by James the Cruise Entertainment Director who along with Cuddy told everyone what was happening with times and places to be. Also James and Henrik the ships Captain gave a good view of Abu Dhabi and their experiences of days out, very helpful and informative.
We would certainly use RC again and yes maybe there was some paintwork needed touching up but everything else more than made up for it I can assure you.
Many thanks to Henrik and his crew and again a special mention to Alejandra and Asa our waitresses and to Franky our room attendant.