3 stars out of 5, I would say.: Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by Cap'n Bligh

Brilliance of the Seas 3
Cap'n Bligh

Overall Member Rating

3 stars out of 5, I would say.

Sail Date: April 2012
Destination: Europe - Western Mediterranean
Embarkation: Dubai
Our last cruise with RC was about 11 years ago on the Splendour of the Seas- then a new ship.

We enjoyed the cruise, but felt a bit disappointed overall. Mainly, I suppose, because standards were lower than the last time. We had no real interest in the ports other than getting to see Petra. Our main reason for the cruise was the two day stop in Alexandria, where we have a relative staying at the moment.

So, good points:-

Nice cabin with a small but adequate balcony. (Knowing we were in hot countries made a balcony seem a good idea.)Very good cabin attendant.
Lots of free tea/coffee/squash available.
Public areas good and not too crowded considering the ship was full; mind you, it was good weather, so lots of people spent time outside.
All staff seemed helpful and efficient.
Excellent transfers to and from the ship- "seamless" would be an appropriate term.
Windjammer food fine; cafeteria type basis but works well. Pretty good selection More though both wife and I felt many sweets were a bit insipid.
Cruise Director's camp humour was charming.
Entertainment good.
Modern engineering means a very quiet ship, with only very mild vibration- more towards the stern.

Not so good points:-
Cabin Air Con- seemed barely able to keep up with daytime temperatures of 30 degrees.
Restaurant food, to be honest, pretty poor. Never really more than warm, and not exciting presentation. Nowhere near as good as last time.
Restaurant service haphazard at times and our waiters seemed a bit rushed: odd as 8 guests on our table never once appeared for a meal- must have used the Windjammer all the time. I don't blame them!Our assistant waiter seemed unable to tell the difference between requests for red and white wine!
Daytime activities a bit limited; plenty of things to do, it seemed at first sight, but when one looked closely, not quite as much as one might think.
In my view, the bar/wine prices are extortionate; maybe this is how RC really make their money? i.e. Offering a good base-price then shoving on lots of extras. Remember all bar prices have a 15% gratuity added too. So, about US$ 7 for less than a pint of beer, and remember they buy liquor in bulk and, I believe, at duty free prices!
Usual expensive excursions. (But we only did one, so that is voluntary.)
Expecting you to pay $125 for a tour of the bridge, the galley and engine room!!!!
Why the need for salt-water pools? The Chief Engineer said that they can make 1,700 TONS of fresh water a day! (Though they don't need to.)
I really don't like the way RC make their passengers responsible for their staff's salaries: we paid our waiters' gratuities in full, despite having given up on dining in the main dining room.
The risible "art" on sale.
Sad that staff members ask, to your face, for an "excellent" rating when one sends in feedback. Less

Published 05/09/12

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Port and Shore Excursions

Dirty and dusty- cruise staff warned us not to go out at night, but honestly, we felt completely safe as a couple, even in in the darkest backstreets near the port. Unaccompanied young women are subject to endless hassle, and, it must be said, what would be construed in the UK as sexual assault. (e.g. Men pinching bottoms and fondling breasts.) Sadly, this is part of Arab male "culture"- if that is the correct word to use. Now, post fall of Mubarrak, police are less evident on the streets.

This place is a DUMP! (As is Sharm) (But then it is purely there to get people bussed to Luxor.) WHY do Americans pay a taxi driver $50 for a trip to town that a local would pay 50 cents for? No wonder the Egyptians love tourists! (Both my children have studied in Eqypt, so we know what the rates are.) I think people were shocked by the filth and squalor, but having known Egypt for a bit now, We were expecting it!
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