46 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Canada & New England Cruise Reviews

Our cruise was very nice. St. John's NB should not be a stop. There just isn't enough there to warrant a full day. Could be skipped altogether. Bar Harbor and Halifax were outstanding ports. Did not see the colors we thought ... Read More
Our cruise was very nice. St. John's NB should not be a stop. There just isn't enough there to warrant a full day. Could be skipped altogether. Bar Harbor and Halifax were outstanding ports. Did not see the colors we thought we would. Maybe too late? or the colors just weren't there this year. Our cabin steward, Nazario, was outstanding. Really on top of things and went over and beyond service. This ship definitely has a problem with its toilet backups. The 7th deck had a block of cabins that always had toilet problems as did many of the public restrooms. The food in the main dining room was very very good as was the service. The waiters and waitresses all made you feel that they enjoyed serving you. They were friendly and happy and we really thought they went out of their way to give you excellent service. We had a mix up on dining schedule, but we were happy with the 5:30 pm. time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Food during main dining and at Windjammer was at best average. On past cruises dinner selections and food were above average. Toliets in stateromm did not work 3 of the 7 days (over 40% failure). One day our side of ship had toliet ... Read More
Food during main dining and at Windjammer was at best average. On past cruises dinner selections and food were above average. Toliets in stateromm did not work 3 of the 7 days (over 40% failure). One day our side of ship had toliet issues on all floors. Feel the $8.00 dollars a day for soda beverage package is to expensive (There is no soda charge on Disney cruises) Shore excursions were fine. Embarking and disembarking were extremely easy. Enjoyed the nightly shows. All the good things were overshadowed by item detailed above. This cruise was at best a notch above poor. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Only a couple of things on this cruise annoyed me. I understand that people do travel in groups. Does this mean that they are entitled to "save" a bunch of seats in the theater. We arrived early to pick our seats, but were ... Read More
Only a couple of things on this cruise annoyed me. I understand that people do travel in groups. Does this mean that they are entitled to "save" a bunch of seats in the theater. We arrived early to pick our seats, but were told that seats were saved. Another annoying thing is for a person or persons, who arrive late to join up with their group, to ask us to push down to other seats. I am a tiny person, and I arrive early enough to pick a seat where I can see the stage. This might be a difficult thing for RC to control, but perhaps a suggestion in The Compass can be made to be considerate of other passengers and not hog the seats. I am taking off one "circle" in the rating because of this. We were celebrating a special anniversary (50 years), and my husband and I decided to take this cruise as we had sailed on a RC ship before and had a very good time. We, as having sailed RC before, were invited to a cocktail party to meet the Captain and his staff. I cannot say enough good things about "Hello Clo" our cruise director from Ireland. She must have had a career as a stand-up comic before because everything that came out of her mouth was hilarious. One evening she dressed up as Sonny (as in Sonny and Cher) for disco night. I really would have liked to have seen more of her. It was great to wake up in the a.m., put on the TV and listen to her tell about the day's activities. Great job, Clo. As I was having some medical issues, we decided not to take any of the tours as I felt I might not be able to walk well enough. Bar Harbor and Arcadia were a wash out because of the very, very dense fog surrounding the ship. One of the tendered ships was lost in the fog for about one hour until it was found tied up to a buoy. Glad I was not on that excursion. The Captain needless to say stopped the trip because of the danger and sailed on to St. John. I loved when there was an excursion on land because it was like having the entire ship almost to ourselves. This was especially true in the Solarium. Days when everyone was on board tended to be very crowded, but people graciously shared their tables in the Windjammer Cafe. I guess they had no choice. We struck up some good conversation that way. The food in the main dining room was delicious and plenty of it. You could always ask for more or they even offered you more. I am not a steak lover, but ordered it anyway one night as nothing else appealed to me. Well this strip steak was medium rare as I ordered it and was delicious. I really could not see going into one of the other private restaurants and pay an outrageous price for something that I could have for free in the beautiful main dining room. Our head waiter and his assistant (cannot remember their names) were great Their initials were D and S. The "S" I think was for Stephen. Another good server was Marius. His wife, Elena I believe, was a head waitress in the main dining room and both were from Romania. We had a 6:00 p.m. "My Dining Time" reservation every evening. I recommend doing this. The meals did seem a little rushed, but so many other people were going to dine there after us that I can see why they were rushed (or should I say instead super efficient). The rack of lamb on a bed a mashed potatoes was very good too. The theater entertainment was for the most part very good. I loved the juggler, and the comic from Boston had the audience in stitches. Every sentence produced a roar of laughter. This comedian put on two shows the same evening that were different. I don't particularly like juggling, but this guy (I think his name was Scott or Scottie Cavanaugh) was so very funny. He came back on a second night with a different show, and the audience loved him. The ship orchestra was fantastic. All in all it was worth every penny for this trip. The Brilliance is so beautiful with all of its glass and beautiful decorating. The crew was always polite and willing to help. We had a very good time. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We started our cruise by arriving in Boston 2 days early. Thoroughly enjoyed Boston, walked the Freedom Trail and stopped at several pubs along the way. We had dinner at the Union Oyster House and it was very disappointing. High prices ... Read More
We started our cruise by arriving in Boston 2 days early. Thoroughly enjoyed Boston, walked the Freedom Trail and stopped at several pubs along the way. We had dinner at the Union Oyster House and it was very disappointing. High prices and poor quality of seafood. On Sunday, we left our hotel at 10:15 in downtown Boston, took a short cab ride, walked right up to check in and were on the ship by 10:50. Smoothest embarkation ever. This was our 50th cruise. The service on the ship was exemplary. From our stateroom attendant to our (my time dining) waiter and assistant waiter (we were fortunate enough to have the same each evening), the Diamond Lounge were wonderful. The food in the MDR was quite good. We had excellent Prime Rib and the Lobster was good as well. The ports were great. We were so very disappointed that we had to skip Bar Harbor because of fog. Nothing you can do when its weather related. No cruise is perfect – After 50 cruises, we know that you be a fact. We are Diamond Plus and took advantage of the BOGO on the first night of the cruise and went to Chops. Unfortunately, my filet was very over cooked (requested medium and received well done) and our waiter had a bit of snippiness about him. The rest of the meal was mediocre at best. If I had paid $70 for the dinner, we would have been extremely disappointed. We had dinner reservations at Giovanni’s, however, based on our experience at Chops cancelled them. As Diamond Plus, we are given 3 free drinks between 5:00pm and 8:30 pm daily at several of the bars on board. We went to the Schooner Bar at 7:30pm and ordered 2 drinks. The bartender gave us 3 receipts showing the free drinks, instead of two, so I left a tip on two of the receipts and not the third. The bartender never did explain to us why 3 receipts instead of 2. The next morning we checked our online account, to see that we were charged $24.00 for 3 drinks with a $4 tip. I went to Guest Services and explained they were drinks bought during the cocktail time and was told “no” you bought your drinks at 7:30pm outside the timeframe. I reminded the agent that the cutoff time was 8:30pm. Next he said, you signed for 3 drinks at $8.00 each and left a $4 tip. I told him we didn’t. So it became a standoff. I asked to see the receipt for the drinks. He showed me the receipt and said “there’s your signature” you owe $28.32. BUT it wasn’t my signature nor my husband’s signature. I was told it would be put into dispute and they would work it out during the cruise because the receipt was signed. So I asked that they pull up another receipt and compare our signatures and it wasn’t our signatures. Finally, the supervisor came over and told me the amount would be removed immediately. I was happy they resolved the issue but that took all of 30 minutes plus. One other point, if you like to have a cocktail or two, expect to pay a lot of money. Two martinis cost $34 with tip. That was the last 2 martinis we purchased on the ship. Took advantage of the Diamond Club and when we wanted to have a couple of beers did it onshore. Much cheaper. If we didn’t have status, there is no way we could afford to sail on RC. The casino had machines that had to be at least 20 years old. I wanted to gamble, but at least a quarter of the machines didn’t work. Those that were of a newer vintage, had a waiting line. Disembarkation was very good which we appreciated as it was 34 degrees in Boston that morning. We have made our next 2 future cruises and they are not on RC. Going on Celebrity and Norwegian. All drinks included in price and price is approximately $150 per person more than what we paid on RC. We are going to put off sailing on RC until they get more realistic about their cruise and beverage prices Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We are seasoned cruisers, having over 25 cruises through a couple of decades. Brilliance of the Seas has many positives. We particularly enjoyed that (1) it had a Gluten-free ‘island’ in the Windjammer buffet; excellent to the point ... Read More
We are seasoned cruisers, having over 25 cruises through a couple of decades. Brilliance of the Seas has many positives. We particularly enjoyed that (1) it had a Gluten-free ‘island’ in the Windjammer buffet; excellent to the point that we ate two meals a day there; (2) the staterooms were clean and tidy (thanks to Paul the attendant); (3) it had a good music combo Divas Duo, who played a variety of song-types, permitting us to dance swing, salsa, foxtrot, Slow Nightclub,etc.; (4) it had dance music in the ‘rotunda’ (aka, the Centrum) routinely, so that many guests could watch the couples’ dancing without going to a ‘bar’; (5) it had a one-week Thermal Suite package which we used daily; (6) for the time of year (mid-October), we had great weather; (7) in St. John’s the museums, street art work and pedicabs were great; (8) Nine Stones Massage in Portland was the best of any we’ve been to for a hot stone massage; (9) the Maritime Museum, Citadel, the boardwalk, and old churches in Halifax were fantastic; (10) the classical piano/string group [from the Ukraine?] was quite good; (11) they had the best-ever gluten-free toast in the main dining room, would routinely substitute/add a baked potato, had escargot and creme brûlée on the menu every day; (12) the photographers were outstanding (such as Danillo and Aylaya [?]) and great fun to work with, having a variety of photo ‘stations’ every night and many different poses suggested. Compared to ‘back home,’ the photo package is a great deal; (13) the juggler-comedian was surprising good; (14) the movie theater with current movies [e.g. Jurassic Work] was a nice touch; (15) ‘Hello Clo’ was the best—and funniest— cruise director we’ve ever experienced; (16) having the performance band play a “Big Band” hour in the Centrum was great [but way too much swing and little foxtrot and waltz]. Negatives were few. Boston Port (not the ship) insists that all non-Americans (even with a green card) show up at 6:30am on disembark day. This was a slow, delayed, arduous process for many—over the decades have never seen so bad of any American port. RCL said this was a problem for all cruise lines at Boston. We suggested that they have sit-down areas to avoid the long line—which can be difficult physically for many—and they said they would look in to it. To avoid crowds and waiting in line, its better to go to the early show and dine later if you are doing “My Dining” flexible dining. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
We went on the sister ship a few years ago The Jewel of the Sea and it was beautiful ship as is the Brilliance, so we thought we would try them again. We liked the ship and the buffet setup better than most other ships as they have ... Read More
We went on the sister ship a few years ago The Jewel of the Sea and it was beautiful ship as is the Brilliance, so we thought we would try them again. We liked the ship and the buffet setup better than most other ships as they have individual stations for each type of food, avoiding long lines and getting to the end of the line and deciding you should have waited for another selection. Their web site we used to book the cruise and get boarding passes, etc. was also horrible and was hard to maneuver, even for me a retired computer engineer. The initial required safety muster station drill, was ridiculous. They did not tell us it was outside and it was freezing. We stood there for about 45 minutes freezing under the life boats and the echo was so bad we could not understand a word. Unfortunately, this trip was quite a bit less enjoyable largely due to the really bad food and relative lack of coordination. When you go on a New England cruise you expect a lot of good sea food.We have done this trip before on Princess and did get lobster, clam chowder, etc. Not only was there no clam chowder, but we had a west coast lobster tail only once for dinner. You could order lobster for an extra charge of of $29.00 in the dining room. Even in the specialty restaurant it was $21 in addition to the charge of $30 to eat there. The food selections were marginal and of poor quality, and the soups were horrible, tasteless and like dishwater. The tours were good, but somewhat cancelled out by the disorganized bus boarding procedure. Rather than boarding by group, all hundreds or more waited in one humongous line. Additionally the staterooms were the smallest we have encountered on any other cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
Just off BOTS (10/11/15). I was on a 7 night cruise to New England/Canada with stops in Portland, ME/Bar Harbor, ME/Saint John, New Brunswick/Halifax, Nova Scotia. Embarkment went very smoothly (until their computer system went down). ... Read More
Just off BOTS (10/11/15). I was on a 7 night cruise to New England/Canada with stops in Portland, ME/Bar Harbor, ME/Saint John, New Brunswick/Halifax, Nova Scotia. Embarkment went very smoothly (until their computer system went down). We arrived at 11:30, dropped luggage and were through security within 15 minutes. We then waited in line approximately 30 minutes to get our Sail Pass cards and right when we reached the desk their computers went down. This delay lasted about 20 minutes and then they were back up and we were on the ship. We had lunch in the Windjammer and our cabin was ready by 1:30PM. I found everything on BOTS to be clean and service was exemplary. Every employee I met greeted me and everyone was very friendly. The ports of call were all unique in their own way - Bar Harbor being my favorite stop. We did miss the peak fall colors by about a week (just starting to turn the week of Oct 4-11). We did not do any official ship excursions. I contracted ahead of time with private tour operators and we did see much more than most others that did ship excursions. The food on the ship was very good. We did dine at specialty restaurants two of the nights - We did Chops on the first night and it was excellent. Our steaks were done perfectly and all sides, salads and desserts were exceptional. Well worth the $$$ (they do run specials the first couple of nights). I also ate a Giovanni's which was equally as good. The pasta and shrimp were first-rate as well as the service. Again, worth the $$$ spent. There were many activities on board which we did participate in - trivia, the Quest, shows, etc. I would recommend this cruise and I would again cruise on BOTS. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
I was very hesitant about this cruise after reading others reviews about this being a "training" ship for the staff, poor service given and poor food choices. We have cruised at least a dozen times but this was our first RCCL. It ... Read More
I was very hesitant about this cruise after reading others reviews about this being a "training" ship for the staff, poor service given and poor food choices. We have cruised at least a dozen times but this was our first RCCL. It will not be our last either as I had read others say. I consider myself to be very picky but will have to say, I did not have the same opinion as some previous negative reviewers. I found the food in both Windjammer and Main Dining Room to be very good with plenty of choices and for the most part all service was excellent!!! Of course, there are always some employees that stand out from the rest!!! We also enjoyed all the entertainment on board each evening as well as activities during sea days. Our cabin steward was great and all of our needs met!! It bothers me a great deal to see how some people speak to the servers and those that work on the ships. In my opinion they work very hard and some people expect way too much from them. The cruise director was absolutely wonderful and more engaging than most on previous cruises we have been on. She had a great personality!! In short, don't hesitate to book this ship!!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Having sailed Royal Caribbean twice before, but almost 10 years ago, I expected the special first class treatment I received those times. This cruise was a huge disappointment though, as Royal Caribbean nickel-and-dimed the passengers ... Read More
Having sailed Royal Caribbean twice before, but almost 10 years ago, I expected the special first class treatment I received those times. This cruise was a huge disappointment though, as Royal Caribbean nickel-and-dimed the passengers beyond belief with extra charges and upgrades to everything, and some of those were rip-offs as well, like the Premium Wine Package two of my friends purchased for $57.00 per day only to learn none of those premium wines were ever available. However, they could get "above" premium wines for an additional $3.00 charge per glass. The Internet service was only sold in packages of $20 per day. You could not pay by the hour. On the last day when everyone was complaining because they wanted to print their boarding passes for the flights home, the ship finally offered a 3-hour Internet package...for $15.00. This is ridiculous in a world where almost everybody, including the tour buses had free WiFi. The food, something I always associated with cruising, was cafeteria grade at best in the main dining room and buffet. Of course you could go to one of four "specialty" restaurants where there was actual good food for an additional charge ranging from $25 to $75 per person. Another woman couldn't get a glass of unsweetened iced tea after day 3 because, as she was told, they vendor didn't deliver any premade unsweetened tea. She had to fuss to get someone to make a cup of tea and pour it over ice. This is not good. There was also a noticeble change in the level of customer service. Anyone going to Guest Services with a problem or complaint was treated like a bother and very rarely received satisfaction. One woman carried her passport, cash and jewelry around for the entire week because the safe in her room was broken. She lost half of her first day waiting for repairs that couldn't be done, then was told there were no replacements and it was suggested that SHE was the one who broke it even though the lock didn't work from the first day. The ship (Brilliance of the Seas) is the same one i sailed on a decade ago and it has had zero upgrades since. The carpets and upholsetry are clearly worn and there is a musty odor in most of the hallways. A few of the dining room chairs actually broke. The stateroom attendants, probably the best part of the staff, worked hard at cleaning and keeping things neat and clean, but there is only so much they could work with. I will say the shore excursions were great. If you take this cruise, I would highly recommend seeing Portland and Kennebunkport in Maine and do take the 6 1/2 hour tour of Saint Johns, The Bay of Fundy and the reversing Rapids in New Brunswick. Another winner tour was in Halifax Nova Scotia with the Titanic burial area of the cemetary. I did expect that I was paying for a great mode of transportation though with excellent food and service. that was not the case. Believe it or not, alrthough this was a cruise through lobster territory, no lobster was offered at dinner until multiple complaints were made the first three days. One more thing, the two showtimes were scheduled to conflict with dinner seatings, so I never saw one headliner show all week. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
The embarkation process was probably the smoothest of our 30+ sailings. The ship was great. Very clean and the staff overall were fantastic; always personable and cheerful. We originally had My time Dining, we did not go the first ... Read More
The embarkation process was probably the smoothest of our 30+ sailings. The ship was great. Very clean and the staff overall were fantastic; always personable and cheerful. We originally had My time Dining, we did not go the first night as we ate at Izumi's. We found that everything was just as good as it was on the Serenade. Christian our server, was very attentive and professional. We totally enjoyed the dining experience. The second evening we had reservations for My Time Dining at 7:45, evidently so did thirty other couples. Unlike the Serenade, there was only one line. The Serenade offered a line for those with reservations and one without. We finally got seated about 8:10. We sat and waited, seems we became invisible once seated. After about 15 minutes, I went and spoke with Maitre' D. Totally unorganized. Being terribly disappointed, we proceeded to the the Minstrel Main Dining Room, had our My Time Reservations changed to Traditional Dining, seated at 8pm each evening. Our wait staff were friendly enough, however, our table mates were not so friendly. Yogesh, the waiter and Ivanna, the assistant were okay. After the second evening of our traditional experience, we decided to forego the dining room and ate the remaining nights in the Windjammer. Have to admit the food in the Windjammer was very good. Only one evening did we have a problem, none of the staff could find butter! Several folks were asking the same question "where's the butter?" We did experience Chops, which was good. I'd say excellent, however, though the steak was tender and well prepared, there was little flavor. Our server Norberto was excellent, very attentive and really made the experience great. Let me express for a bit our displeasure with the Chops Grille Host. Not sure how he got promoted to this position. We arrived for dinner, he matter of factly led us to our table, gave us menus and left. Never stopped by to see how our dining was going. We're not looking for entertainment, but when we went up to Izumi's, we were cheerfully greeted, thanked for choosing Izumi etc etc etc. Obviously we were not the only one's, one couple after dining called for the manager; there quite a heated exchange. Enough said, the food and service was good. Our cabin, 8654, was more than adequate and John Griffeth, out stateroom attendant took great care of us. Our port stops were good and the weather was great. Disembarkation was as easy as embarkation, US Customs was a breeze. I'm sure I could nit pick about a few soiled spots on carpets or dirty tables in the dining areas, but if we had 2500 people walking through our house every week for 52 weeks, we'd have dirty areas too! One last note, the Diamond Lounge is by far the best perk ever. Wonderful staff, wonderful atmosphere and overall our favorite before dinner spot. Loved the Brilliance. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
This was a special cruise to Maine and Canada, 9 days total, instead of the usual 7 day cruise. We choose it because of the longer length, but also because we can drive to the port of Boston in about 45 minutes. We enjoy driving to ... Read More
This was a special cruise to Maine and Canada, 9 days total, instead of the usual 7 day cruise. We choose it because of the longer length, but also because we can drive to the port of Boston in about 45 minutes. We enjoy driving to Maine, the idea of cruising sounded very appealing. My husband and I are in our 60’s, and we were among the youngest people on this cruise. We arrived at the Black Falcon pier an hour later than usual, we got an e-mail stating that boarding would be later because their was an inspection of the ship scheduled. We tried to arrive after boarding had begun, still we found a long line when we arrived. It moved but we have never encountered a long line here before. Still we were on the ship in less than an hour. Platinum status helped to put us into a very short line to check in. We dropped our carry on luggage in our cabin, and headed to the Windjammer for lunch. There was a huge crowd mostly just sitting, and not a seat to be had. We wandered around till finally someone decided to leave a table. The older crowd seemed to eat their lunch and then just sit there waiting for the cabins to be open. Many still had luggage with them, it was quite a scene. The cabins opened soon after, and after unpacking and a typical muster, we were looking forward to a nice dinner. We made reservations for the first night of MTD by calling Royal Caribbean weeks before the trip. The website was’t working as usual. We were scheduled for 5:45, we wanted later but was told those times were full. This usually means a short wait, passing those who did not make reservations. What we encountered was a huge line and complete chaos in the dining room, and a very stressed crew. It seems that that Royal Caribbean had accepted far too many reservations for the early time putting the ship into a terrible situation, and many of those without reservations showed up early besides. At dinner we were again wondering had we made a mistake. We headed to the show, and had to sit separately the huge crowd from dinner was now at the show. This was turning into an ordeal, much different from other cruises. Once on the ship there was no problem making reservations for dinner at the times we wanted, 6:30 or 7:00pm. I spoke to the crew who told me they were sorry about the first night, but they tried very hard to accommodate the huge crowd that showed up at 5:30. Once the crew was in charge of their own reservations the problem was solved. We also had no problem with seating at the show after the first night. The Windjammer was great for the rest of the week, we sat in the outside area in the back while the weather was warm in Maine, and inside as it got cooler. The food was very good, the staff was excellent. I know others have talked about cutbacks, the only one I noticed here was that the scrambled eggs appeared to be made from powdered eggs, both the taste and texture were poor. They will make eggs to order a much better choice. We throughly enjoyed our meal in Chops, though I do agree the tables by the window are too close together for comfort. The food in the Dining room was mostly very good. The Tandoori chicken was a disappointment, one of favorite Indian dishes was tough. The roasted chicken was tender and delicious. The fish and shrimp dishes were very good. The homemade breads were excellent, along with the deserts. Though the crew seemed to be rushing around more than usual, it was less relaxing here than even the Windjammer where we had dinner one night. Our cabin Steward Rosa was excellent, she kept the cabin spotless, was always very pleasant, took care of our few requests, and happy was to see us when we saw her in the hallways. She was also expert at towel animals. The weather was perfect the entire cruise, we enjoyed the balcony, on sea days. After a stressful beginning to the cruise we began to relax, and enjoyed the pampering of the crew, who were excellent all over the ship. My husband used the fitness center quite often, it was not crowded and the staff there were helpful and friendly. I enjoyed the stretching class, and walking with “Clo” the Cruise Director. Though I never made her 8:15 am walk, I did the two afternoon walks including the “Walk for Wishes” I know they are planning to end this charity walk, but it is still going strong on the Brilliance. Clo was great throughout the cruise, she seemed to be everywhere, very friendly. She led the Meet and Mingle, there were over 90 of us on the roll call, and it appeared most showed up. The have eliminated the gift for everyone, I have four of the little notebooks myself. But there were many more door prizes, bottles of wine, a dinner at Chops, and pens and tote bags. My husband and I liked the change. We enjoyed the production shows and the comedian juggler. The Tango show is spectacular. We loved all the ports, three stops in Maine, and three more in Canada. Charlottetown a favorite is a beautiful city easy to walk to from the ship. There were two tender stops, both right into town. Only in Halifax did we have to take a free 5 minute shuttle. Also the perfect weather added to our enjoyment. No excursions this trip, we just enjoyed the areas we could walk to. We are not fans of the new “enhancements”. The centrum’s new look is full of neon lights, no library, and the sitting area’s are much smaller. Cabins have been put into all the niches. The few shelves of books in Latitude’s is a poor substitute for the library. The new decor is the champagne bar is garish, compared to the old look. Instead of jazz and classical piano in the centrum during the day there was a 70”s rock group. The ariel show in the Centrum is very difficult to see unless you are the lower levels, and only on one side. We attended one night, we didn’t bother for the second show. They say they are trying to make the Radiance class more like their other ships, but that is the reason we like it because it is not like the other larger ships. We have booked another cruise on the Serenade for next year. Boston, is a port we can drive to so we have tried just every cruise that includes it as a starting or stopping point. We are happy they are bringing another ship here. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
We were told to show up between 1 and 4 because coast guard was conducting an inspection. We had a rental car and dropped off our bags with one of the baggage valets at the port around 10:15 am, tipped her and off we went to return our ... Read More
We were told to show up between 1 and 4 because coast guard was conducting an inspection. We had a rental car and dropped off our bags with one of the baggage valets at the port around 10:15 am, tipped her and off we went to return our rental car at the airport and continue sight seeing. From the airport we took the T to the pier in time for the harbor tour. It was a gorgeous day. After than we did the hop on/off bus. We had used a Groupon. After we got on the bus that was to bring us close to the pier, but this driver drove us right to the front door (around 2:45). The terminal was empty and we were on board in no time. BTW, the check in person said everyone was boarding at 12, so much for the delay. We went straight up to WJ. It was okay. We got down to our stateroom 8168 wraparound aft which was lovely. The safe was locked open and the TV remote was missing. A remote was brought in at night and they fixed the safe the next day. Tashia our attendant was very attentive and great personality. The halls seem to always have had a sewer smell. Toward the end of the cruise, there was some type of “spill” in the cabin across the way, and we had commercial fans blowing on the carpet for a couple of days. This cruise had come in after a transatlantic and many brits stayed on board. The average age for this cruise I would say was in their 70s. But the passengers on this cruise really stayed up late, as I was out till almost midnight myself most nights and the schooner and King Pub were always crowded as was the casino. Clo, was the cruise director. She is a great gal from Ireland. I’m not sure if it is the reason, but it seems a lot of the entertainers were from Ireland or UK. Which made the entertainment pretty awesome. Really enjoyed the sing-alongs in the Schooner with Manda. Even the production shows and guests were all very good. Every single trivia was packed with not a seat to be found. Of course the ones Clo hosted herself were so much fun. They were quite hard and I consider myself a pretty good trivia player. We had MTD and never had a problem by just walking up ranging from 5:30 to 8:00. I found it odd the WJ closes at 8:30 pm., so the latest dining would be MTD which goes until 9:30pm Food was okay, not great. Since it was very port intensive, we ate lunch off most of the time. And we got spoiled with the local clams, lobsters and salmon. They didn’t even serve Lobster on this sailing. The tendering was a true disaster. Luckily we weren’t rushing off for anything too much. And anything we did book on our own, we booked for a late tour. I highly recommend that. It was nice being able to pop onto my cell phone as so many of the front end ports were still in the U.S. I had a very bad experience with the staff member and the very top manager tried to make it right but I wouldn’t hear of it, as I do have plans to elevate the way in which I was spoken to. Frankly there are some staff that just do not belong working with people. This representative practically ruined my vacation and her boss was quite upset with her. What goes around, comes around. I will never sail this ship ever again, as long as this person is working on it. The mid-September sailing was clearly not a foliage cruise. So next time, I’d book maybe mid-October. That was somewhat a disappointment. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
BACKGROUND: My wife and I are both retired and are Platinum level on several cruise lines. This was our 2nd RC cruise and we thought we’d try a Canada/New England cruise. For this review, I decided to give each component a “1” to ... Read More
BACKGROUND: My wife and I are both retired and are Platinum level on several cruise lines. This was our 2nd RC cruise and we thought we’d try a Canada/New England cruise. For this review, I decided to give each component a “1” to “5” number grade with “5” being excellent. * BOSTON: We purchased a “Cruiseport, hotel stay and parking” package from STAY123.com and arrived at the Holiday Inn Express (Boston St) in Boston the day before the cruise. The room was adequate, the price was amazing, the breakfast was very good, the staff was helpful and the hotel is next to a mall that has a grocery store plus 2 restaurants. The complimentary shuttle took us to the pier at 2:00 PM and we were given tickets and a number to call for a shuttle after the cruise was over. Hotel + staff = 5 * EMBARKATION: RCL notified us by e-mail and texts to NOT board before 1:00 PM because the ship was coming off a Trans Atlantic reposition. We took the 2:00 PM shuttle from the hotel to the pier so by the time we got to the ship, the lines were gone and we breezed through with no problem – there wasn’t even a person to “check” our wine. The cabins were ready so we dropped off our carry-on bags and had lunch at the buffet. Bada bing, bada boom. Embarkation = 5 * THE CABIN: We were on Deck 8 aft cabin 8156 – three decks directly below the buffet. The balcony cabin was adequate as was the actual balcony. The bed was comfortable and the TV was large enough BUT the choice of channels was pretty meager. I know most people like to unplug for a vacation but I like to know what’s going on in the world – my bad. As usual the closet doors open toward the bathroom door so you have to maneuver around to get stuff out. The bathroom was adequate and we followed other posters advice and brought over sized clothes pins to put on the bottom of the curtain to keep it in place HOWEVER the shower curtain was replaced midway thru the cruise with a longer one so we didn’t need the clothes pins PLUS the curtain didn’t cling to us. The shower had great water pressure but was a tad small. The actual toilet area was small – but adequate. We had no noise or cigarette smoke problems, there was no heavy foot traffic and there were NO kids running in the hallway at all. Our room steward Tosha (Tow shuh) was superb. She was very pleasant and helpful we gave her extra money on day 1 and day 8 and our only request was that she keep our ice bucket be filled when she cleaned the cabin. She also spoke English well with a nice Jamaican accent so there were no communication issues. Cabin = 4.5, attendant = 5 * THE FOOD: We had anytime/your time dining but ate most meals at the buffet and sometimes sat in the outdoor area at the stern of the ship. * MDR: We made our only appearance at the MDR on formal nights and even though we had made reservations, the line for dinner was like waiting in line to buy concert tickets. The food choices were good, the food was better than expected and the service was efficient and timely. Waiting in line = 2.5, Food = 4 * Buffet: Once we found the best times to eat, things were fine. Sometimes you have to hunt around for what you want since BUT once you found out where stuff was, it was pretty much a certainty it would always be found there. Some offerings on the buffet were just OK while others were very good (like the Indian food) but seafood, veggies, salads & fruit were my mainstay anyway and I never walked away hungry. Made to order omelets in the morning were among my favorites. 4 * Bar service: We brought two bottles of wine aboard and we bought a few drinks onboard. Our bar bill was about $20. 3.5 * Room service: Never used it. No rating * Soda/drink packages: Never used them. No rating * SHORE EXCURSIONS: More info for each is in the Shore Excursion Reviews * Portland: Docked right in the center of town. Four ships total in port. * Rockland: Tendering port and wasn’t too bad thanks to the calm seas. We were the only ship that day. * Bar Harbor: Another tendering port which was OK thanks to the calm seas. We were the only ship that day. * Halifax, Nova Scotia: Docked at the commercial pier. We booked the ship’s “Duck Harbor” tour. Four ships total in port. * Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island: We booked the ship’s “Bus tour and stroll” excursion. We were the only ship that day * Sydney: We booked the ship’s “Bell Museum and Baddeck” tour. We were the only ship that day. * OTHER SERVICES/MISC: * Internet: We opted out of any purchase. May folks just waited until they went ashore to use the many wi-fi connections that were available. No rating * We didn’t use the Spa although I used the gym in the early afternoons of sea days so I had no issues with finding an open T-mill, elliptical or life cycle. The treadmills, elliptical and pedal machines were in great shape and the weight machines were primo. 5 * We didn’t buy any photo packages and ignored most photographers who tried to snap our pix. No rating * We attended the welcome back party and were treated to several rounds of drinks…free booze…how can you go wrong? 5 * We didn’t go to the casino. No rating * Cruise Director and staff were often seen before shows in the Stardust Theater and around the ship. Nice people without being annoying. 4.5 * We used Passengers’ Service & Shore excursion desk and the staff was courteous and professional. 5 * The boutiques/stores had their usual “sales” which were mostly for jewelry, old stock and watches. We only bought a few trinkets for folks back home. 3 * We attend the Broadway Musical show at the Pacifica Theater and found it entertaining. 4.5 * Solarium was a GREAT place to relax and even grab some sandwiches, salad and cookies. 4.5 * DEBARKATION: We ate our breakfast and then waited in the Centrum area on deck 5 until they called our tag number to get in the final line (which was rather long) until we finally left the ship. It wasn’t a nightmare at all – the customs people were on the ship taking forms and checking passports just before we got to the “doink” machine that checked our sea passes for the final time. After that we called for the shuttle to bring us back to the hotel to pick up our vehicle and head home. 4 * OVERALL: What a great time – FABULOUS weather for all 9 days, good cabin with superb service, great itinerary, calm seas, lots of food and good value for the price but as usual it ended all too soon. It was also great to start off with $250 OBC from our RCL VISA card points which we put toward the ship shore excursions. The ship never felt crowded. Just don’t wait until “rush hour” to eat or go to the shows. We’re already booked on the Grandeur for a 10 day Caribbean cruise in April of 2016 and are very much looking forward to it. I would recommend this ship & itinerary and give it an overall rating of 4.9 Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Embarkation was smooth for us, but debarkation was a headache every time, but especially for leaving the last day which dragged on for an hour. Many times at port the lines were very long down a narrow hallway next to cabins. The lines ... Read More
Embarkation was smooth for us, but debarkation was a headache every time, but especially for leaving the last day which dragged on for an hour. Many times at port the lines were very long down a narrow hallway next to cabins. The lines at tendered ports were even longer. Food and dining experience was the most disappointing. We had such high expectations based on our last cruise with another cruise lines. From the beginning we wanted to make a set dining reservation, but were told we could not. I booked the cruise over a year before sailing, so I could not understand why we couldn't settle the dining issue in the beginning. I tried numerous times throughout the year, to no avail. So we ended up in the Minstrel Dining room at a terrible table. The traffic by the wait staff was so distracting. They were staging right beside our table and one time a plate of food was nearly dumped on one of our table mates. One waiter came by pushing a cart of food at a high speed making beeping sounds! We complained every night and got moved around to different tables. One or two nights we were happy, but mostly got moved to other high traffic areas. The food was disappointing too. It was pretty tasteless and uninteresting. As I remember the food from our last cruise, we enjoyed every bite. This food was like eating at a Ryan's Steakhouse. Just mass produced and bland. We stayed on Deck 4 which is the best place for access to the Centrum and Guest Services. It was a very convenient location. However, during the night they were working up on deck 5 right above our heads. It woke us up most nights. We were also unhappy that the arrangement of the furniture blocked our view out of the large window. I would have enjoyed sitting by the window in the mornings drinking coffee. Our toilet also whistled and sang which was a little distracting. The common areas of the ship were nice and the pool area was generous and attractive. We also enjoyed the entertainment provided. Excursions - We booked our excursions online before the cruise. There was one that we could not get at the desired time and were told to go ahead and book it at 8:00 and check at the excursion desk when we got on board to get it changed to 12:15. So that's what we did. We checked every day and could never get it changed. It was the day before the excursion that we were told they would put us on a waiting list. WHY were we not told that earlier? We finally cancelled that excursion and took another one. The excursions we did were great! The only problem we really had was with the booking agents. Overall, I would not cruise with RC again unless it was a fabulous price to a place that I am dying to see. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Best to begin with a positive - stops were quite enjoyable and onboard entertainment was excellent. Beyond these not much was above average. The ship is not impressive by any standard of appearance excellence, yet from a functional view ... Read More
Best to begin with a positive - stops were quite enjoyable and onboard entertainment was excellent. Beyond these not much was above average. The ship is not impressive by any standard of appearance excellence, yet from a functional view the ship performed well (got to all points safe). Downside began during boarding when we had to stand over 30 minutes (insufficient seating) waiting to board. Email to travelers advised processing at 12:00 and boarding at 1:00. Someone should have thought through seating needs if travelers showed at 12:00. First two dinners my wife received the incorrect meal; first time I had to share mine with her so she could eat with the group. Dinner table was right at the entry to Mistrel (dining room) where all traffic in and out passed, including wait staff getting food and returning dishes. Table placement prevented seeing or engagement in any ‘cook/wait staff’ dinner entertainment – very sad. Purchased the full internet package (full access the entire cruise – excellent package) it was down several hours. Breakfast in main dining, at times, presented and tasted as if out of a box - ready to warm and eat; except items were served less than warm. We bought a 3 night Specialty Dining package online before boarding the ship, Giovani’s, Chop’s and Izumi for $55 pp. We made reservations before boarding. Reservations at Giovanni’s and Chops went well. Izumi’s told us the reservation we made was before they open; found out after calling to confirm - no one called us; imagine the displeasure had we showed at our reserved time to a closed restaurant. We like this package, have purchased it on other RC cruises so we knew the drill at each restaurant; or thought we did. At Izumi’s we discovered instead of a set amount of money for dinner we would only receive a 20% discount. At that point we were so irritated with Izumi’s we left the restaurant – clear to all our displeasure. To a positive, Giovanni’s was excellent; exactly what the cruise traveler expects and pays to receive. Chop’s was less so; food was excellent but the dining environment was poorly managed. Tables for 2 were stacked against a beautiful window in such a way that only one guest could see the beautiful sunset. And, to compound the disappointment the tables were unreasonably close (literally inches apart) to to each other. To make my point, when the waiter took the order for the couple seated next to us his derriere was almost in my wife’s face. Flabbergasted at this error, I picked up our table and chairs and moved them - said nothing to the staff, my actions communicated volumes. All of the above was communicated to ship staff. Some were addressed others received no interest despite communication from the ship that ‘they want to know complaints’. Most shortcomings were explained as ‘the staff is new and this is like a training cruise’. Holy mackerel what a statement to give to the customer who paid full price expecting a trained crew and a well-appointed ship. From my perspective, few of the failings were due to a lack of training, merely poor thinking. To lay the onus on the staff was poor form, every failure had a management component, including the technology issues. Sure nature creates havoc and things break but to tell the customer he/she is buying 24 hour connectivity one better be prepared to delivery or else compensate for downtime; doing neither merely leaves the customer irritated. Read Less
Sail Date September 2015
Embarkation was great because we got to the ship between 1 and 2PM and the crowd was already on board. No waiting in line. Quick and easy. Disembarking was easy too because we carried our own bags off and waited a bit for a taxi that we ... Read More
Embarkation was great because we got to the ship between 1 and 2PM and the crowd was already on board. No waiting in line. Quick and easy. Disembarking was easy too because we carried our own bags off and waited a bit for a taxi that we shared to the airport. The best parts of this ship were the great buffet and our inside cabin was a bit larger than I expected. The bedding was nice and the cabin steward did an excellent job. Also, the staff made a real effort to remember my name, even the karaoke leaders called me by name throughout the cruise after the first night (maybe my singing was that memorable?) The no-so-great? I was shocked that there were no laundry facilities on the ship. I packed a half a vacation of clothes expecting that I could do laundry on the ship for the second half. This ship has no laundromat. You can pay to have the ship do your laundry, but it was prohibitively expensive. I washed a few things in the sink and hung them to dry in the shower. The in-cabin T.V. service was horrible. The satellite feed was pixelated and the selection of channels was horrible. The worst part was that there were no movie channels and the pay per view movies were each $12 or $13 dollars. There were no free in-cabin movies. There is a nice stadium seating movie theater on the ship and we saw "Ghostbusters" one evening. The best part about the T.V. was it was a flat screen that could be flat against the wall or swung around to face the beds. We used it all night on the bow camera screen that gave us a view of when the sun came up and the weather outside. Also nice that we could monitor our shipboard expenditures right on the T.V. screen. The shops were pretty standard fare, but I think they were a bit more expensive than on other cruise lines. We didn't get to the variety show and there was an outside movie screen, but it was too cold to enjoy. Also, I think they were playing football games most nights on the outside screen. I cruise to get away from football. ;-) The first night we ate dinner in the dining room. It was slow and noisy. When we discovered that they served the same meals in the buffet, we ate all our subsequent meals in the buffet. All in all, a nice cruise, but I will probably go back to Princess.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was my first trip to Canada and New England and also my first time on Brilliance. It was a very rainy and cold cruise but I did manage to get lovely days each time I had an excursion planned. The ship is very nice, clean and the staff ... Read More
This was my first trip to Canada and New England and also my first time on Brilliance. It was a very rainy and cold cruise but I did manage to get lovely days each time I had an excursion planned. The ship is very nice, clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint was with the porter staff at check in. I purchased the transfers from the airport. I have cruised many many times and I have never ever had to be responsible for my own luggage once it was placed in the bus. RCCI always took care of it. Not this time. They made us take our luggage off the bus and get in line and wait for a porter to place it in the metal cages. Of course, the porters were all focused on the cabs coming in and we ended up waiting a long time just to get into the terminal. When we complained to a RCCI official looking person, he looked at us like we had two heads. Once that mess was taken care of, check in was a breeze and I was on the ship in a jiffy. The staterooms were available at 1 pm. My stateroom attendant was Idewa. He was amazing mysteriously appearing out of no where whenever I was going into my stateroom. My room was always clean and he left me towel animals several nights. I always had the ice I requested. The dining room menu is getting kind of old. Although the food was excellent, I have had these same items on every ship I go on. I think they need to change up the menu more often. I had my time dining and was never at a loss for table companions and dinner conversation. I also ate in the windjammer which was disappointing to me. They did have a terrific stir fry dish they would prepare for you but it was every night. Much of the other food was overcooked and much of the chicken dried out. It was not aesthetically pleasing to look at. I found lunch in the dining room and Park Cafe to be the best places to eat. The entertainment was good, not great. I had already seen Bobby Arvon on another ship so I didn't bother to go to that show and the one production show featuring Broadway tunes was not good at all. Brad Cummings, the ventriquilist, was the best show of all. I was still laughing the following day. They had aerial shows scheduled but had to cancel one of them due to rough seas - understandable but never saw it rescheduled as promised. I think the cruise director and her staff need to do a better job with other activities on board. There's lots of trivia but not much of anything else. A few bingo sessions, dance lessons, spa seminars and that's it. The love and marriage game is also getting old. Surely they can put their heads together and come up with some different group games. There was no quest and nobody does the horse racing any more. Thank goodness I'm an avid reader. I was, however, very impressed with the drink and lounge perks the diamond and above members received. The diamond lounge was nice and staff very accommodating. They had munchies and drinks every night from 5-8:30 and if you couldn't get there, you could always get your drink perks at any bar on board. Continental breakfast and real ground coffee was provided every morning.Well done, RCCI. I did 2 shore excursions through RCCI and I was very satisfied. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and provided a terrific experience. My only complaint would be that we did not get enough time in Kennebunkport. There's way too much shopping to do and not enough time. All in all, I had a great time. If you only focus on the complaints, you fail to experience a great vacation. It's what you make of it.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Recently returned from our Canada/NE cruise on Brilliance of the Seas out of Boston. This was an anniversary cruise for my husband and I, both in our 40's, to have a relaxing trip without the kids. This was ideal for us as we are ... Read More
Recently returned from our Canada/NE cruise on Brilliance of the Seas out of Boston. This was an anniversary cruise for my husband and I, both in our 40's, to have a relaxing trip without the kids. This was ideal for us as we are about 40min from Boston, so very easy on and off ship. Arriving at terminal in Boston and getting on was a breeze, arrived around 11 and were on the ship and exploring in no time. Beautiful ship, well maintained, great size I feel, haven't done one of the larger ships yet but the idea of cruising with 6000 passengers seems like it would be overwhelming. This cruise was clearly for the 65+ crowd and it showed in activities and entertainment offered. We were among the youngest on ship, but again made for a relaxing cruise. CABIN Our cabin, 7506, was great, nice and clean an our room steward Simon was very nice and always kept it clean. Bathroom was small and shower was tiny, not that I need a large shower but had a hard time shaving. It's a small circle shower area and was just enough for us, if you are a larger person you'll have a hard time. Bed was very comfortable, tons of storage for everything. Not too much noise from theatre below, sometimes could hear the music. Also, this cabin says it's an obstructed view, the only thing I could tell why it was because window is set back a bit further from the actual siding of the ship. No obstruction I could see. And on the map it looks like you're right next to a set of stairs, but it's crew stairs and we never heard anything from it. DINING We never made to the main dining, we chose My Time dining but every time we went by dining room there was a line waiting to be seated. And we prefer to not dress up for dining, we like to be casual and comfortable in our jeans on vacation. We mainly ate in the windjammer café instead. The lay out is awful, because there's not set beginning or end to each food station, people would walk aimlessly about and just walk right in and out of lines. Again, people can be rude but just the lay out didn't lead to a clear path of where to go. Food was OK, never changed though. Same things for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Not much variety at all. Had an egg station for breakfast where you could get eggs made anyway you like, that was good. Lunch and dinner had pizza station where you make you're own pizza and they cook it. Dinner had a stir fry station every night, which I enjoyed. But never any variety to foods offered, desserts as well weren't that different. Did not like that you had to ask for teas or coffee, there are 2 coffee/tea stations near by but not in windjammer that you can make you're own. Also, they have drinks already pre-poured for you to grab. Had many cups lined up uncovered and poured out who knows how long ago, just thought that was unhealthy. Did try the Park Café which is in the solarium. They have a few sandwiches, snacks premade behind a counter you have to ask for. I didn't care for the 2 sandwiches I had, my husband only liked the cheese panini sandwich they had. Also there's a station where someone makes you a salad but you can just walk a few feet to windjammer and make your own so I didn't understand the point of that. We did go to IZUMI and it was FANTASTIC!! Service was great and food was excellent!! It's a shame it's hidden at the back of the ship, hard to get to. The night we went it was pouring and the only way to get to it is by walking on deck outside but a waiter meet us as we were getting ready to walk outside and he brought us through the crew passage so we wouldn't get wet, they did this for everyone coming and going that night. Can't say enough good thing about food and service there. We also did room service and was disappointed they don't offer meals from main dining room they claim to on website. Didn't not see a disclaimer saying only available on select ships when I saw that you could order off main dining menu. But food was good, burger and pizza was better there than at buffet. ACTIVITIES/ENTERTAINMENT This cruise was clearly a 65+ crowd and it showed in the activities offered and the night life. My husband and I are not crazy party people but if we were, we wouldn't have found anything on this cruise. They latest we stayed out was around 11ish watching karaoke that had 5 people get up to sing. They had 2 pool tables on board that are self-leveling so we played pool a lot. The cruise director was non-existent, did not see or hear her hardly at all. We did a cruise on NCL and throughout the day you'd her the cruise director make morning announcements, talk about up coming activities, and was just always visible. Hardly ever heard any announcements at all on this cruise, missed not hearing what the weather was going to be like in the next port, or what activities shouldn't be missed. We did try to go to a couple of the shows but they were not that good I felt. And I felt they really let the passengers down when they had their acrobatic act get canceled. I totally understand they had to cancel because we were in a nor'easter but clearly they knew well before performance that it was going to be scratched, felt hey should have made that announcement. They have this act in the main atrium of the ship so there's like 7 floors of people huddled around the small openings trying to get a peek. They had dancers and a singer come out, perform one song and dance with everyone jammed along railings trying to get a look, then they say aerial act is canceled due to bad weather causing ship to rock, understandable, but that was it! They walked away. They had all these people right there, the least they could have done was dance a few numbers. All in all a very quiet cruise. Every crew member we saw always said Hi and had a smile to offer. Although it was a nice cruise ship not sure if I'd go on RCL again. I like the more casual feel NCL has and the activities and entertainment they have to offer. Maybe it was due to older crowd, they geared everything towards that but don't know if I'd want to take the chance with taking my kids. And again, not a fan of formal nights etc. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our 11th cruise and our 2nd with RCI. Dining: First, the good: The food in the dining room was comparable to other cruise lines and the presentation was good. The bad: While the main server was excellent, his assistants limited ... Read More
This was our 11th cruise and our 2nd with RCI. Dining: First, the good: The food in the dining room was comparable to other cruise lines and the presentation was good. The bad: While the main server was excellent, his assistants limited English posed a problem with almost anything you asked for. She couldn’t multi-task making the main server do all the work. The ugly: The buffet closes at 9:00 and then your only options are very limited. You can’t get a fresh burger or fresh pizza and when I asked the omelet man for a fresh ham/cheese omelet, he told me to get one of the pre-made ones. Dining options are very limited. Food in the buffet is lukewarm and usually dry. Entertainment: The good: The violinist blew us away. What a talent! The one comedian was excellent as was the juggler. The bad: The only entertainment in the evenings was in the main theater. If you didn’t want to see another production show, you had no options. The ugly: My DH is sometimes confined to his room due to health and yet the tv has no movies and shows the same episode of the same show over and over. We saw the same “King of Queens” episode every day, several times a day. The movie screen out by the pool only showed three movies. Dr Zhivago, a very old movie; Despicable 2, a kids movie on a cruise with all adults and “About Time”, the only decent one. If you aren’t going to have other entertainment at night, at least have decent movies as an option. Worse: all the entertainment in the centrum. You have this large disco and other venue areas, but instead you schedule all the participant entertainment in this small confined space where only a few can participate. This is where the 50’s party, the 70’s disco party, the Bollywood lessons and about everything else was held. Seating is very limited and the rest fight to see over the heads of others. Forget about getting on the dance floor as it only holds about 20. Room: The good: We had a handicap accessible room which was large and easy to maneuver. The shower was large and had a very convenient stool. The bad: The automatic door was the only way to open the door from outside and the switch kept the door open for about 60-90 seconds. This was great if no one was in the room, but if someone was in bed or in a state of undress, anyone could look into your room. The ugly: mold in the shower on the grout. Tendering: Only good. They did a great job with tendering. Pools & hot tubs: The good: NONE; The bad: everything. The ugly: none of the hot tubs had jets that worked. The night before a sea day, we went up to get in the hot tub. The two hot tubs in the open area were roped off. The heated pool in the solarium was drained and being cleaned. That left one very small hot tub with no jets. We got in and were joined by two very nice ladies. Within a few minutes, 4 women came and asked “how much time do you have left on your 15 minutes”. We asked what she was talking about and she pointed to the medical advice about no more than 15 minutes and asked again. We stated we had just got in and she said “fine, we’ll time it from 15 minutes from now” and they proceeded to stand there and watch the time. Not relaxing at all. Now don't get me wrong, I can have fun on any cruise as long as it doesn't sink. But I felt there was much lacking that would not take much to fix. Get the jets in the hot tubs fixed. Don't close them the night before a sea day when you can stay up and relax. Get some decent movies on the tv and especially on the big movie screen and lastly, use the disco or another venue where everyone can participate in the fun without getting hit in the head.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was our first cruise on a large ship and overall, I'd recommend Royal Carribean. It was a very well appointed ship and met our expectations for a midprice cruise line. The cruise ran very smoothly from check-in to check out. ... Read More
This was our first cruise on a large ship and overall, I'd recommend Royal Carribean. It was a very well appointed ship and met our expectations for a midprice cruise line. The cruise ran very smoothly from check-in to check out. Staff was very competent if not as highly refined as one might expect on a high end, luxury class ship. Food was plentiful and about what we expected -- not the kind of cruise where we'd go back just for the food, but perfectly adequate. Service by the key staff was outstanding, including stateroom attendant and waitress in the main dining room. All ports were well worth visiting and ship excursions were fairly priced, smoothly run, and well received by all passengers we spoke to. The stateroom was larger and nicer than we expected (Deck 9 balcony). We had plenty of room for ourselves and for all of our belongings and were very content to relax right in our stateroom when we wanted to get away from the crowds because it was so comfortable. Showers are small as with most cruise lines so if you're a particularly large person, do keep that in mind. On board entertainment was fine, though not spectacular. A comedian one night, a pretty amazing juggler one night, a cross-over violinist (think Yanni) another night -- all quite good but certainly not recognizeable names. The on-board cruise line singers and dancers that were featured on 2 nights were not quite as good as we might have expected but what they lacked in raw talent they certainly made up for with energy and stage personality. Casino looked very nice (though we don't gamble). Specialty restaurants reportedly good though we didn't eat in them. On board activities ranging from dance classes to state-of-the-art gym, to wall climbing, miniature golf, etc. etc. etc. were well done. There's a very nice pool with a large screen TV where movies and sporting events are shown nightly. Also a beautiful indoor cinema theater, separate from the main theater. A very nice indoor pool. Great spa. Photographers on board -- might seem intrusive but if you just say no thank you they back off. There's an on-board art auctioneer that I don't think has anything to do with the cruise line itself but contracts with cruise lines to do their thing on board and I would say stay clear of them. Whether they are or not, they come off as smarmy bait-and-switch artists who pay more attention to sales pressure antics than true understanding of art and representation of artists. They are easy to avoid! One more note: Their website is very challenging to use -- not at all intuitive when you try to find dining options or shore excursions. For shore excursions -- look up the name of the port, not the name of the ship or the particular cruise itinerary -- you won't find it there. And call them if you're confused about dining options. The best one: "Dine when you want" has to be reserved in advance but that is not at all clear from the website. I was surprised and disappointed that no packet of documents came from them in advance of the cruise. I thought they might include a list of "to do's," a packing list, etc. but no such thing came. The e-mail that does come has a link to "What To do Next" in tiny print that looks like a disclaimer in the middle of a long, detailed document. Other passengers who'd cruised on other cruise lines agreed R.C. has one of the worst web sites . I'm sure there are more luxurious and less luxurious cruise lines but for us -- Royal Carribean seemed a very good compromise and a very good value and I'm happy to recommend them. The itinerary was very nice. Second or third week of October is your best chance of seeing great leaf colors. In Portland - "The Best of Portland" tour was quite enjoyable even though we don't usually do big bus tours. Good guide and you'll see everything you want to see and still have some time to walk around the Old Port before you have to reboard the ship. In St. John, the most beautiful site seeing is along the coast to the Bay of Fundy and particularly the Fundy Trail (which closes the second full week of October so plan accordingly). Tour buses can't take you there. You can do it by rental car but we did a private taxi tour (you'll find several reviews for them online) and, while more expensive, wouldn't do it any other way if we had it to do over again. You can fit 4 or 5 in a taxi so if you find people you want to tour with and share the cost, its actually cheaper than the cruise excrusion. In Bar Harbor -- you can the entire town by walking and if you want some history -- take the 30 minute trolley tour for $10 but I highly recommend going to the Acadia National Park. We did it by bike -- strenuous but unbelievably beautiful. If you can't do it by bike, try a carriage ride or private taxi. Big tour buses really canj't get into the nicest areas. Finally, in Halifax, there are "best of" tours that people seemed to be happy with but no one had the experience we did with another private taxi tour. I highly recommend the drive out to Lunenberg, through Chester, Mahone Bay, a lobster lunch and on to Peggy's Cove. Bus tours only go to Peggy's Cove which is tiny and, on its own, probably not worth drive. As the last stop on the "full loop" of the south shore coastline, definitely worth a visit though. Beware of whale watch tours in Bar Harbor. It's a 40 mile boat trip each way through often rough seas and can be cold -- and you may or may not see whales. We had some pretty disappointed folks on our cruise who spent their day on that particular excursion. People liked 3-lighthouse tour (there's a bus version and a cruise version). The Schooner ride is pretty touristy -- lots of people packed on board and the boat is not the most beautiful or best maintained in the world.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Boston embarkation was super easy. Arrived at 10:45 am and was onboard by 11 am. Staterooms were ready by 1:15 pm. Luggage arrived by 4 pm. Lunch was available in Windjammer starting at 11 am and Park Cafe near solarium at 1 pm. Specialty ... Read More
Boston embarkation was super easy. Arrived at 10:45 am and was onboard by 11 am. Staterooms were ready by 1:15 pm. Luggage arrived by 4 pm. Lunch was available in Windjammer starting at 11 am and Park Cafe near solarium at 1 pm. Specialty dining was fantastic. The Minstrel Main Dining room food was disappointing. My time dining worked great – our longest wait to be seated was less than 10 minutes, but we booked all reservations in advance via RCCL website. Cabin storage was fine. Closet had ample storage and luggage was stowed under the bed. We did take a power strip and used it at the desk. Bathroom has a shelf below sink and storage behind mirror. Shower was small. We avoided the shower curtain issues by using binder clips – great advice from previous cruisers. Hump Cabin 8588 (E1 Balcony) has a pie shaped slightly larger balcony and was conveniently close to elevators, Centrum and most dining. You could hear music and activities from Centrum each night until 11:30 pm. If you are sensitive to noise, take earplugs. Cabin 8586 had a huge balcony. Cabin 8590 had a tiny balcony. The Casino smelled heavily of smoke so we avoided the area when possible.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Loved our cruise, embarkation in Boston was fast and organized. We got an inside cabin, first time in 20 years. this was a last minute vacation so there wasn't much to pick from for cabins. We thought it was just fine. I would do an ... Read More
Loved our cruise, embarkation in Boston was fast and organized. We got an inside cabin, first time in 20 years. this was a last minute vacation so there wasn't much to pick from for cabins. We thought it was just fine. I would do an inside cabin again without any reservations! The best part of cruising is meeting new people. We find it interesting to hear their story and we heard lots of them thru the week. This was only our 2nd RCCL cruise, we've been on NCL 12 times so we are familiar with NCL ways. I do love NCL freestyle dining. It also worked the opposite, people we talked to that always are "Loyal to Royal' don't like the freestyle dining so it's personal preference. I didn't like the food on RCCL. The buffet had the same stuff every day and there was pretty much nothing I Iiked. The burgers looked like they had been cooked for months. They had ice in the lettuce???? I asked why and they said to keep it cold but it also keeps it watery. I didn't like the cattle call of the MDR and service was slow. We ate at the Park Cafe alot but to be on a cruise and eating a grilled cheese sandwich for supper wasn't my idea of great dining, even tho it tasted fine. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was a typical RCI experience on this seven day cruise from Boston to Halifax, St John NB, Bar Harbor and Portland ME, and back to Boston. Seas were flat, sun shone most of the trip, and was in all respects the typical RCI cruise ... Read More
This was a typical RCI experience on this seven day cruise from Boston to Halifax, St John NB, Bar Harbor and Portland ME, and back to Boston. Seas were flat, sun shone most of the trip, and was in all respects the typical RCI cruise experience - nothing special, nothing added, nothing omitted, from usual RCI standard. This was my first cruise as a Pinnacle Member and I got quick VIP treatment in the departure terminal in Boston. I was in fact the only Pinnacle on this trip and so got good and responsive treatment by all throughout the cruise, but no "upgrade" as the suites were sold out as was the entire ship except interiors. Concierge Lounge is an amenity that all Diamond Plus, Pinnacle and Suite guests greatly appreciate, and the Concierge Arius, was excellent. Both lounges - Concierge and Diamond, have been recently relocated as part of the :"revitalization", to the Viking Crown. Revitalization includes the elimination unfortunately of the formerly popular, and free, Seaview Café, replaced by Izumi, a new Solarium Café, other new (fee required) restaurant's, additional cabins tucked here and there (resulting in greater crowds especially in the DR), and an Aeriel Show in the Centrum. Library has "disappeared", replaced by two cabinets of "Swap" books in the back of a lounge. Two cabinets does NOT make a Library. Aeriel show a great disappointment as most people stand on the various Centrum balconies for 30+ minutes to be able to "see it", and (believe it or not) it lasted SEVEN minutes. A waste in my book. Captain was very loath to share information it seemed. Never told us course, speed etc. as we left port. Port information available consisted of nothing more than shopping maps. When we arrived in Halifax with five other ships, it was almost impossible to get information about port shuttles etc. except by going out onto the pier and asking local authorities. Food and Entertainment was typical RCI, off of their usual menu which I think I know by heart. Food however was not as well prepared as my recent trip on Oasis, although the menus are of course, the same. Both Production Shows were new to me, and they did have a good comedian as opposed to the usual very poor one presented at the Welcome Aboard Show. The Top Tier party, usually looked forward to by many, has no degenerated into nothing more that a sales talk and a choice of three different, previously prepared, cocktails. Neither Captain nor Hotel Director made an appearance. Reception for Suite and Pinnacle members was nice however. All other ports were OK and have been reported on my many. Disembarkation in Boston easy, and I was off ship about 0730 Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I've cruised RC, three other times, so I'm not new to their cruise line. Embarkation was smooth and easy. Hardly any wait at all. My luggage was delivered to my room in a timely manner. What bothers me, is that I had frayed ... Read More
I've cruised RC, three other times, so I'm not new to their cruise line. Embarkation was smooth and easy. Hardly any wait at all. My luggage was delivered to my room in a timely manner. What bothers me, is that I had frayed towels every day. I had towels that at home, you would probably use as rags. Most of my towels had long threads hanging off of them. My room attendant also stopped giving me bath mats, and instead just left a towel. Mat mats are in short supply? My cabin was very noisy early in the morning. It sounded like someone was moving furniture around. I had an ocean view cabin on the 4th deck - room 4503. I found the quality and variety of the food in the Windjammer to be going down. The only lettuce there ever was, was iceberg. For those of us, who watch our weight, there was one fish selection only, and the serving sizes were extremely small. I realize that some people give up their healthy eating while on vacation, but there are those of us who DON'T!!!! It also had to ask most days of the week for Cheerios. They did have them, but for some reason they were holding back on them. I had a great waiter in the dining room, Dino. I asked for a piece of fish and asparagus every night, along with fresh fruit for desert. He saw to it that I was a happy camper.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Prior to the cruise, there weren't any email communications/updates from the cruise line. It felt as though I wasn't sure the reservation existed until I did the online check-in. I guess I expected some email reminders or ... Read More
Prior to the cruise, there weren't any email communications/updates from the cruise line. It felt as though I wasn't sure the reservation existed until I did the online check-in. I guess I expected some email reminders or countdowns, etc. The cruise was certainly for the retired crowd. There were very, very few people under 60 on the cruise. Because of this (I’m guessing), everything closes early, about 12-1am. FIRST DAY On first day, you’ll probably have to wait for your stateroom if you board early. If so, go get lunch in Windjammer while you’re waiting. Windjammer will be very busy around this time, but you can eat out by Rita’s Cantina if it’s nice weather. It’s actually a much better option if the weather is nice! The mandatory drill is at 4pm, so plan things around that. In between lunch and the drill, try to find out when the formal nights are, and when the specialty plates are being served in the main dining room. It’s good to know when the formal nights are so you can book spa treatments (hair styling or shave) on formal nights. Similarly, you’ll want to know when the special plates are being served in the main dining room because you don’t want to have a reservation for a specialty restaurant when they’re doing something special in the main dining room (lobster night). The Guest Services desk should be able to give you all this info, but don’t take “We’re not sure yet” as the answer. Tell them you need to know to plan your spa and specialty restaurant reservations. You might have to push a little because they’re quick to give the easy reply that doesn’t really answer your question. But why wouldn’t they know this well in advance? You could also find out when they’re doing tours of the ship (if any – I didn’t see any on my cruise), and what type of entertainment is playing, and where it’s playing. It’s fun to be on deck for the “Sail Away Social” with a drink for the departure. However, get your drink at one of the inside bars, because they’re less busy than on the deck bars and may have quicker service. If you find out what other entertainment options are playing during departure, you may prefer the classical violin music (Schooner Bar), or Rock music (on the deck), or dance music (in the Centrum). You can also make your reservations for the spa based on what you’ve planned for the week (i.e. if the men want to get a shave, or if the ladies want to get their hair done, before the formal nights). However, do your mani/pedis on land before the cruise because I’m sure it’ll be way less expensive on land. This would also be a good time to make reservations for the specialty restaurants, assuming you’ve already found out when the specialty plates are being served in the main dining room as mentioned above. More advice below on that… There were rough seas on my cruise, which meant for a lot of rocking. Not much you could do about that. The ship had to stop for a few hours for the storm pick up ahead of us. It was OK after that. DINING Dining is the biggest reason I’m drawn to cursing as my vacation choice. In my opinion, the purpose of the cruise is to treat yourself, and indulge in great food. I book cruises because I love the excellent food, but I was seriously annoyed, if not disgusted, that Izumi and Rita’s had a la carte pricing and NOT a cover charge (as advertized online when I booked). Chef’s Table, Chops Grille, and Giovanni’s were still cover charges, gladly. This meant that Izumi and Rita’s had prices on the menu, which basically meant you would pay for each item you order from the menu. The prices were quite expensive too, even for a NYC resident like myself. I was looking forward to trying out Izumi and Rita’s, but not when I can get the same food for the same price on land! Because of this, 50% of my specialty restaurant options were effectively no longer of value to me. Sorry to say it folks, but this change in pricing put a HUGE damper on my trip. And now for the rest of the dining experience… We ate in the Windjammer every day, and the main dining room several times. We also ate at the Chef’s Table, Giovanni’s, and Chops Grille, but as I mentioned above, not at Izumi or Rita’s, even though I would have liked to. The first two nights of “My Time” dining had very long lines and waits, even with reservations. To avoid this, you could take advantage of the discounts they offer (20% off) if you eat in one of the specialty restaurants on the first night. You could also avoid the lines if you eat during the last sitting, which is 8pm I think. Specialty restaurants were fast to book up, but when we were there, there were lots of tables open, which was confusing. Make your specialty dinner reservations early, but make your reservations for nights towards the end of the cruise. I recommend this because eating in the specialty restaurants during the early part of your trip makes the food in the main dining room look poor in comparison to the amazing food in the specialty restaurants. Save the best for last, if you can. As I mention above, try to find out when there are special plates being served in the main dining room (you don’t want to be in a specialty restaurant on lobster night). Don’t forget; you can order multiple items on the menu, so don’t be afraid to try several things. I suggest making your dinner reservations earlier in the evenings, unless you don’t mind eating (a lot of food) at a later sitting. I prefer to not sleep on a full stomach. Give your poor body some time to digest all the food you’re about to eat. The chefs table was very well done. When you arrive, you’re greeted by a crew member (they'll recognize you by face and address you formally by last name the entire dinner). You wait in a small private room with the other guests, and are given a glass of champagne. You're seated at your assigned spot, and you chat with the other guests. Formal dress is requested, so if it's not a formal night, it will be a third formal night you'll need to pack for. You get a five-course meal with excellent wine pairings with each course. The chef will explain (very quickly, unfortunately) how the dishes are prepared. Be ready to listen carefully, because the chef’s accent can be difficult to understand because he speaks so quickly. The first course was a jumbo shrimp and salmon, followed by scallops, followed by soups, followed by Kobe beef, and ended with peach desert and side of wonderful chocolates. We ate at Giovanni’s on another night, and didn’t think anything could beat it, until we ate at Chops Grille on another night. They were both absolutely amazing. I have 4-5 bakeries within a few blocks of my apartment in NYC, and Chops Grille had the best Red Velvet cake I ever tasted, and I’ve tasted some great Red Velvet cake. Windjammer was buffet, and it was good on first and last day. The other days were good also, but not as good as first and last. I suppose you have good and bad days everywhere. FYI; the orange juice in the Windjammer is not orange juice; it’s concentrate. Gross. Because seating can be sparse at times in Windjammer, eat out by Rita’s Cantina because the view is great on nice weather days, and there is usually seating readily available. The Windjammer crew was pretty attentive to the guests, but the drink bar attendants weren’t friendly, and sometimes rude. For instance, I was getting wine with lunch one day, and I accidentally knocked over a wine glass (this happened primarily because there are no trays, so you need to carry your plate, drink, flatware, and personal belongings, etc. to your table). When I knocked over and broke the glass, the attendant just looked at me and didn't do anything, almost as if he expected me to start cleaning it up. I would have, but he didn't even offer me a paper towel. I’m in the service industry, and that response was completely unacceptable. If a guest accidentally knocks something over, you do whatever you can to make sure they don’t feel bad about it. I was also unpleasantly surprised that the fresh juice bar was only open for a limited amount of time in the mornings, and on one day, they ran out and closed early. Not sure how this can happen on a cruise. It was annoying because I paid for the drink package. BTW; the Park Café (in the Solarium) has salmon, bagels, and cream cheese each morning. This is not available in Windjammer. ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT The classical guitar was absolutely fantastic. The guitarist was in Schooner Bar when I checked it out, and the ambiance there made the music even better. On another night, big band entertainment looked like it would have been nice to dance to, but I got there too late. Temperature (a singer and 3-person band) was excellent. The main singer was an entertainer at heart and I could have listened to him all night. I saw the aerial acrobatics in Centrum. It was cool, and different, but still not my cup of tea. The piano player/singer was not good I’m sorry to say… The string quartet was also nice if you like classical music, which I do. It was very relaxing. The late nice dance option was totally empty every night, which was depressing, and meant we stopped trying after 2nd night. However, the bartenders and DJ were always a blast to hang out with in the empty bar! One-on-one entertainment! We went to the later seating of the shows in the theater, and it was hard to get seating. I think that’s because all the older guests went for earlier dining, and went to the later show after dinner. Therefore, the later shows were packed, unlike what the daily program suggested. EXCURSIONS We thought we heard announcements that excursions were all booked up, but I later found out that they weren't. It made me wonder if they made those announcements to spur bookings. Excursions were expensive for what you were getting. We went on the Halifax Titanic tour, and the tour guide was great. However, there absolutely wasn’t enough time in the museum. I only saw about 50-60% of what was available to be seen, and had to rush out without even seeing the gift shop. The guide explained everything we were seeing while on the bus, and did a very good jog explaining the Titanic graves. BTW, the tipping etiquette for tour guides is 10-15% of the tour price, if you’re happy with the guide. I’m sorry to say the St John was disappointing, even though the tour guides were fun. We did the Scenic St. John tour. We could have saved the $50 each and just walked around town. They brought us to the Reversing Falls Rapids. It was nice, and somewhat interesting, but the backdrop was a HUGE power plant, which killed the scenery. I would have rather taken a cab to the museum, and then go to the Old City Market to walk around. The Old City Market had some really cool stuff, and GREAT food. Definitely check it out. We had great weather in Bar Harbor, and it was beautiful town. We didn’t do an excursion, and I’m glad we didn’t. We walked around, browsed the shops, and ate at an AMAZING restaurant named Paddy's Irish Pub & Restaurant. Best clam chowder! We didn't even get off the ship in Portland due to lack of interest. Weather was great, so a sailboat trip may have been nice, but it’s hard to guess the weather. Nonetheless, it’s a depressing day since it’s the last day, so maybe an excursion would have been nice, but they were expensive, so I guess it depends on your energy levels. CABIN Our cabin was smaller than other rooms in same class (class “H”) by 20 sq ft. Not sure why our cabin was so much smaller, and there was no notice about it. I only found it out because our travel partners were in adjacent room. The bathroom smelt mildew; not terrible, but noticeable. The shower was tight. I'm 5'11", 170lb male, and if the shower was any smaller, it would have been too small for me. It makes me feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. The shower curtain didn't reach ground, so a lot of water sprays all over the bathroom floor. Also, the rim at the bottom of the shower was very low, which made it even easier for water to spray on the floor. Make sure you put down a floor towel. The showerhead was a misty spray, as opposed to a stream, which was a little annoying. There was good closet and drawer space. We couldn’t find channel guide, and there was no iron. The cabin steward was good. And BTW, the tipping etiquette is $3 per day per person. I wish I found that out before I went on the cruise, because I under-tipped the steward. Oops… Sorry Mark… OTHER I got the Premium liquor package ($55/day), but it doesn't include items in mini bar or room service. The bars make measured drinks, which means the drinks aren’t strong at all. I would've been annoyed if I had to pay for each drink. Most, if not all, of the drinks were under $10, which is what the package covers. The Ultimate drink package (one step up, for an additional $10) would have also allowed you to get premium coffee, premium tea, sparkling bottled water, and fresh squeezed orange juice. It would have been worth the price with 1-2 lattes a day, and a fresh squeezed orange juice at breakfast (because as I mentioned, the OJ is concentrate otherwise). When you start the cruise, pick a bartender, and tip that one so you can get speedy service from him/her during the rest of your trip. They’re pretty responsive to tipping passengers. They'll also provide a heavier pour sometimes. Although you prepaid tips, an extra $1-2 a drink will go a long way when you need speed things up during busier days. Cash tips are even better. For the shopping on board: the brands on the ship are ok, but not spectacular. The only benefit is not paying duties/taxes, so don’t plan on any great deals other than saving on duties and taxes. The shops on the ship sell pretty cheap (as in quality, not price) goods. The prices are incredibly inflated, so they offer big discounts throughout the cruise to spur buying. There were raffles that felt like a racket because the prize was a free fifth item if you buy four other items. THAT was the raffle prize; a free 5th item after buying 4 others. The same thing happened with the artwork. They gave a seminar that imparts value for the artwork, then offers a discount if you “buy today.” For instance, they were selling paintings that “would normally go for $750-$1250 each”, but they’ll sell them to you for $350 each, or $950 if you buy five. Are you serious? Maybe I just wasn’t a fan of the art? I got really annoyed by a towel attendant (male, Eastern European) at the pool one day. When I was done with my towel, I wanted to return it to them instead of leaving it on the deck for them to pick up. When I asked the attendant if this is where I can drop it off, he didn’t even reply, and just rudely pointed to a basket. Again, I’m in the service industry, and he could have just said “Oh thank you sir. You can just place in that basket.” Instead, I felt treated as if I was an annoyance. I just wanted to help… The photographer on board was good and took great pictures, and had great energy. The down side is that the prints were $24 a print for 8x10 and $14 (I think) for 5x7. I had tons of my own digital pics (as does everyone else), so I’m surprised they cost so much. They should lower these prices to make the option more appealing, especially since they throw out the prints if they're not purchased. There's no laundry avail to guests. You can have wash and fold laundry done on board for $30 a bag, and it’s a pretty small bag. The bag should take 24-48 hrs. They’ll allow pajamas, pairs of socks, shorts, swimwear, t-shirts, and underwear only. The bag would probably fit a pair of shorts, a few pairs of underwear and socks and 2 t-shirts. You can also do the laundry per item cost (not cheap). You can also get items dry-cleaned. That should take 24hrs, or you can do express service for 50% extra. PUBLIC SPACES Seating in Centrum was sparse at times, especially when the entertainment was good (Temperature). The gym is very good, which is important when you’re eating and drinking whenever you’re NOT in the gym! I wish they had heavier free weights, but the machines were pretty good, and covered the basics. It wasn't crowded whenever I went, but I think that’s because of the demographic on board. Their "library" was two bookcases. They call it a "nook". It is not a “library.” Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Brilliance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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