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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.

Brilliance of the Seas, New England and Canada

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by JCMass.

Trip Details
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.
JCMass.’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9574
Cabin D1 9574, plenty of room for two people, lots of storage. Everything worked great no problems, no real signs of wear on anything. Two chairs and a table large enough to have a meal on out on the balcony. The cabin is right near the Centrum, very little noise from the events there at night, and easy to get around the ship. Since it is the first cabin next to a hump cabin, your neighbors to the right can see most of your balcony from theirs. It might work very well if you are traveling with others.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews