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We cruised on the Brilliance on December 24, stateroom 1064, from Tampa. We have taken this Christmas cruise before, and while first time cruisers were probably satisfied and thrilled with the cruise, as former guests, we found some things lacking. In talking with fellow cruisers, we found we were not alone in observing subtle cutbacks and downgrades. It's unfortunate that we came away not completely satisfied with Royal Caribbean because we enjoy being at sea on Christmas and this cruise is convenient for us since we live within forty five minutes of the port. First, we must say that the refurbishing of the Brilliance is great. We took note of many upgrades in décor. Secondly, we thoroughly enjoyed our cabin, having stayed in this configuration before. The housekeeper was pleasant and efficient. We were surprised, however, when we asked for an additional bottle of water on the last day of the cruise (not the Evian, just the ordinary drinking water), we were told we had to buy it from our minibar. Our biggest disappointment was dining. Actually, it was more like "eating" than dining since, at our later seating, the wait staff seems to be in a hurry to get the dining room cleared. The dining room is extremely noisy, and the servers are bustling around and seem impatient. We were not given the opportunity to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail and conversation with out tablemates before being handed a menu and almost at the same time being asked to order. Food was hurriedly placed in front and hurriedly whisked away after taking the last bite. It was rush, rush, rush. At one meal I ordered escargot and when the dish arrived, I requested a seafood cocktail fork. Our server sent the head waiter to our table and he told me I could use the dinner or salad fork -- that there were no seafood forks and hadn't been any for twelve years. He got quite loud and verbal about my request, and after he left the table, our six tablemates commented on his actions. Food in general, while tasty and attractive, was rather ordinary, and we decided that this was by design to drive the guests to the specialty restaurants. Most entrees came with mashed potatoes. Same ones, night after night. Boring. Actually, the best item on the menu seemed to the chilled soups. They were inventive. New to us, was having to pay extra for steak or lobster and on top of it, having to pay a gratuity. As one diner at our table said, "They're nickel and diming us here." Is Royal Caribbean beginning to cater to the first time cruiser who will not have the higher expectations as will the former guests? Did Royal Caribbean think we wouldn't notice these differences? We did, and we found other guests mentioning the same thing. Even Santa had been downgraded! He used to arrive in a motorboat over the horizon. He now comes down on an elevator. Bah, Humbug! Having said all of this, we plan to take this cruise again Christmas 2015 --- but with lower expectations.  

Is Royal Caribbean Lowering Standards?

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by robintry

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: December 2014
  • Destination: Western Caribbean
  • Cabin Type: Owner's Suite - 1 Bedroom
We cruised on the Brilliance on December 24, stateroom 1064, from Tampa. We have taken this Christmas cruise before, and while first time cruisers were probably satisfied and thrilled with the cruise, as former guests, we found some things lacking.
In talking with fellow cruisers, we found we were not alone in observing subtle cutbacks and downgrades. It's unfortunate that we came away not completely satisfied with Royal Caribbean because we enjoy being at sea on Christmas and this cruise is convenient for us since we live within forty five minutes of the port.
First, we must say that the refurbishing of the Brilliance is great. We took note of many upgrades in décor. Secondly, we thoroughly enjoyed our cabin, having stayed in this configuration before. The housekeeper was pleasant and efficient. We were surprised, however, when we asked for an additional bottle of water on the last day of the cruise (not the Evian, just the ordinary drinking water), we were told we had to buy it from our minibar.
Our biggest disappointment was dining. Actually, it was more like "eating" than dining since, at our later seating, the wait staff seems to be in a hurry to get the dining room cleared. The dining room is extremely noisy, and the servers are bustling around and seem impatient. We were not given the opportunity to enjoy a pre-dinner cocktail and conversation with out tablemates before being handed a menu and almost at the same time being asked to order. Food was hurriedly placed in front and hurriedly whisked away after taking the last bite. It was rush, rush, rush.
At one meal I ordered escargot and when the dish arrived, I requested a seafood cocktail fork. Our server sent the head waiter to our table and he told me I could use the dinner or salad fork -- that there were no seafood forks and hadn't been any for twelve years. He got quite loud and verbal about my request, and after he left the table, our six tablemates commented on his actions.
Food in general, while tasty and attractive, was rather ordinary, and we decided that this was by design to drive the guests to the specialty restaurants. Most entrees came with mashed potatoes. Same ones, night after night. Boring. Actually, the best item on the menu seemed to the chilled soups. They were inventive. New to us, was having to pay extra for steak or lobster and on top of it, having to pay a gratuity. As one diner at our table said, "They're nickel and diming us here."
Is Royal Caribbean beginning to cater to the first time cruiser who will not have the higher expectations as will the former guests? Did Royal Caribbean think we wouldn't notice these differences? We did, and we found other guests mentioning the same thing.
Even Santa had been downgraded! He used to arrive in a motorboat over the horizon. He now comes down on an elevator. Bah, Humbug!
Having said all of this, we plan to take this cruise again Christmas 2015 --- but with lower expectations.
 
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Cabin Review

Owner's Suite - 1 Bedroom
Cabin OS 1064
This cabin is quite spacious and very comfortable.
Deck 10 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins