After having cruised a number of times on board MSC Cruises, I was really looking forward to my first cruise ever on board RCI. It happened to be on board the Brilliance of the Seas, at a 7-nights cruise departing the 5th of Dec 2011 from Dubai, visiting Fujairah (very boring), Muscat in Oman and Abu Dhabi.
I have decided to make this review short, and I have to say that we (my wife and I) were very pleased with the RCI product. All (at least almost all) of our expectations were exceeded. And we will certainly return to this professional company!
* All of the staff on board were very professional and friendly.
* The ship itself was very nice in most aspects (and the size of it was perfect...as we try to avoid really big ships). OK, the sun deck was really too crowded the whole day we spent at sea, that day was not very enjoyable.
* The food presented to the passengers during breakfasts/lunches/dinners a.s.o., in the Windjammer buffet restaurant as well as in the main dining room, was nicely presented and tasted mostly very good.
* Most of the evening shows were very elaborated, with a large number (approx 20) of powerful musicians and dancers. Most of the soloists were great - especially the look-a-like Elton John singer/piano player!! However, the Supremes show we found too lame.
Finally, I have to mention that I got ill the first day on board (diarrhea & vomiting), however - this was NOT at all caused by anything at the ship! Unfortunately, when we arrived to our hotel the night before the ships departure, at 3:00 AM (in the middle of the night), I - without using my tired brain at all - drunk one glass of tap water (i the room of our 5-star hotel in Dubai). Crazy! Why did I do that?!
Well, as a result of this I was isolated in our cabin (a nice Superior Oceanview Stateroom with balcony on deck no. 9) for 2 whole days and nights.
However, even if this was very sad, I was very impressed by the help and assistance I was given by the staff at the hospital on board. They, together with the guys working centrally in the room service department, really followed me up in a mostly professional way! The last day of the cruise, I even received a "personal" letter from the Guest Relation Manager on board who said how sorry they were that I hadn't been able to enjoy the cruise, and that the RCI will contact me within the period of some weeks with some kind of a compensation (i.e. if I understood it right, some discount when booking a new RCI cruise in the future). Very professional, I must say!
Both my wife and I love good food (and everything belonging to it :-), as much as we also love exercising in the gym.... Regrettably, I only had two real dinners in the main restaurant on board during this week. And I lost a total of 3 kilo's during the cruise... (ha, ha). And I did not get the chance to leave the ship at all during our two days stay in Muscat (Oman).
Anyway, as I said already: I was really impressed by the RCI cruise product, as well as the Brilliance of the Seas itself and the sympathetic crew on board.
We will certainly return to Royal Caribbean International :-)