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Brilliance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1516 reviews
3 Awards

Brilliance of the Seas - Central America/Panama Canal

Review for Brilliance of the Seas to the Panama Canal & Central America
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Paula H
First Time Cruiser

Rating by category

Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Mar 2007
Cabin: Junior Suite

Our 17th cruise with RCCL and our longest one ever! Also our first time on a Radiance Class ship. We did our own air and hotel arrangements into Miami. Embarkation - no problems. Our hotel check-out was 11AM, got a taxi to the cruise terminal and were on the ship eating at the Windjammer by 12:15. Food - We likes having many choices on board and used them all. Our favorite was going to Chops (twice) and Portofino's (once for dinner and again for the Murder Mystery Dinner, which was a lot of fun). These restaurants are top notch and are a great dining experience. We also enjoyed the Dining Room, but with all the cruises we've done, the menus can get a bit old. We had three meals in the Seaview Cafe and they were very good: pizza, pasta and panini's - seemed like they were a bit disorganized and slow, but nothing to cause any big problems. We used the Windjammer most days for Breakfast and Lunch; the omelette stations were good and we were satisfied with the choices and quality of the food. Used Room Service twice and it was fine both times (just continental breakfast and a snack). Entertainment - We really enjoyed all of the entertainment, especially Tango Buenos Aires, Jay J Downs (bought his CD) and Renato Pagliari (what a showman!). They also had "Herb Reed of the Original Platters" - they had a lead singer who was fantastic and the group of 4 gave an excellent show. The Royal Caribbean Singers and Dancers were the best we had ever seen, and we've seen a lot of duds in the past! We also enjoyed the Colony Club (I was a Karaoke Idol Finalist! - ha!), the Disco Inferno Party in the Starquest and many other events the ship had to offer.The Ship Itself - It is a beautiful ship and all the glass made it very different and offered panoramic views, as compared to the other ships we've been on. It did need some paint and repairs, but they were not major items - I probably only noticed them because I have to do building upkeep and self-inspections as part of my job! We had a Junior Suite, which had a walk-in closet and was very spacious. We really enjoyed our cabin and reading on the balcony - so peaceful! The sea would just lull you to have a little nap in the afternoon! CC Meet & Mingle Party - We had a great group of people on the Boards, and many of us actually had met for drinks on sail-away day at the Sky Bar. The party was very well attended, about 40 people. They served fruit juices and canapes. Our CD, Ashley, made a short speech and several other Crew Members were there as well. They had door prize drawings - I won the CC Computer Mouse! It was a very nice event and I met several more members of CC that day. They also had a ship's photographer take a group photo, which I purchased a few days later in the Photo Gallery - a very nice memento. PORTS OF CALL – Labadee – It was a beautiful sunny day with light clouds. It was perfect beach weather. The snorkeling was terrible because the water was so murky, but we did get some good exercise swimming out to the sunken plane wreck. Then we enjoyed the outdoor bar-b-q and some swimming/relaxing like everyone else! Aruba – we booked the “Mi Dushi” snorkel tour based on CC reviews, especially when people posted that they had fewer people on board than the ship’s tour. Wrong! They took in a group from a convention, and we were all stepping over each other. But I will give it the good points it deserves – the last 2 snorkel spots were some of the best we’ve ever done, the catered lunch was excellent, and the free-flowing premium drinks were all included. I guess once everyone had enough to drink, the close proximity didn’t matter so much! Curacao – we did the RCCL Scuba Tour where you did not have to be certified. It was very interesting and they gave the proper training for someone (like me) who had never scuba dived before. The Panama Canal – This is what we all came for! Taking the advice of many posters, we stayed in our room and just had coffee while taking photos and videos of the approach. Also got lots of cool photos of the Coral Princess making her way into the lane to the right of us. Then we remained on board and had primo spots to go back through the locks at noon. Weather was great – no rain or intense heat – so we relished the experience of going through the locks and witnessing one of the engineering marvels on our planet! We did some shopping at Panama City and had some local beer while watching the dancers later that day. Costa Rica – We booked Oscar Brown Tour (#1) again following CC advice. We had a nice young lady as our tour guide (there were 7 of us), and the banana plantation was a highlight of the trip. We did expect to see more animals during the Tortuguero Canal ride, but it was still an enjoyable experience. Our lunch at the restaurant overlooking the town and the ship as it sat in the pier was excellent. Disembarkation & Post Tour - We were off the ship only about 20 minutes later than the paperwork estimated. However, there was a screw up at the terminal and it took over an hour to get our luggage! Some people were getting pretty pissed. We were going on an Everglades Tour thru RCCL and they assured us the tour bus would wait, which it did. The tour was nice – we had done a similar one about 4 years ago with the airboat ride. It was unusually chilly, but we got to see several gators anyway. All in all, it was a wonderful trip and we are very glad we cruised on the Brilliance!

Cabin Review

Junior Suite

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