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Funny how we had come across this cruise. This was a post retirement cruise originally booked on a 22 day Holland American TA which cruised through the Mediterranean and ended in Rome. Back in August we were advised that the Oosterdam's repositioning itinerary was switched to an Alaskan location and they offered to switch our booking with our discounted fare intact to a different ship. What we couldn't agree on what was the difference in accommodations from a private balcony aboard the Oosterdam to a Lanai (Balcony on shared deck) on the Westerdam. As it was we were left scrambling to find a new cruise with a different cruise line. Royal Caribbean most nearly duplicated the lost itinerary and it was only a couple of months prior to sailing as we started exploring airfares that my wife expressed an interest in a TA. It hit me then that the Brilliance was repositioning to Barcelona and was the same ship that we had been booked for the trip to the Med on. My wife admitted that she was concerned about the length of the TA and the number of sea days but after awhile she really grew to enjoy them and their relaxed atmosphere. Our longest voyages prior had all been 7 day trips. Sometimes it made getting off on excursion days debatable... (But make certain you get off the ship at least). It was a fantastic trip and if you have the time a really great way to enjoy a cruise ship and an affordable fare. We were cheated out of nothing regarding ship entertainment or food. If anything there seemed to be less pressure to buy drinks and what not. Overall a very relaxed atmosphere on board. If I had to list a problem, and certainly this was nothing that RCCL could have done anything about were the seas. Across the mighty Atlantic there is a great variety of weather to be encountered. We had a couple of rough days, nothing really dramatic just enough to make you a little unsteady on your feet with the winds out on the open deck strong enough to push you around a little. I learned two valuable tips though on this cruise that I would like to share. First thanks to all the Cruise Critic members. You're posts and tips are invaluable to the less informed cruisers. One night while perusing our roll call one of the members advised that he was giving up his aft cabin on Deck 9 as he was switching to a different cruise. I jumped at the opportunity, logged onto the RCCL website, found the cabin, contacted a RCCL travel agent and for just a couple of hundred dollars more had upgraded to the slightly more spacious aft cabin with the larger balcony and wake view. This only happened due to staying informed here on Cruise Critic. I responded to another post on Cruise Critic. A group of experienced cruisers who had cruised together previously had arranged to have a table in the MDR late seating together. A late cancellation opened a couple of spots and the post was asking if anyone wanted to join them. We took a chance and how fortunate we were. It was a delightful group of RCCL Diamond Plus members who sort of took us under their wings. But it was the diversity of their life's and backgrounds that made dinner such a fun experience each evening as we shared our days and our stories and our enjoyments with each others. We left having felt after 14 days we had made friends for a lifetime. So the next time you cruise, instead of leaving it up the Maitre D', try your own little social experiment and put yourself a large table together made up from the many fine folks of Cruise Critic. Be certain to change seats every evening, just to break things up and enjoy the best two hours of every day. All it takes is one person requesting the cruise lines to "link" your reservations and can be handled quite easily. Trust me, it is one thing you will never regret doing. This was supposed to be a review of our voyage on the Brilliance of the Seas and has turned into a review of Cruise Critic but it was only through CC that our stay aboard the Brilliance turned as memorable as it was. Overall our voyage was most definitely worth awarding Five Stars.

Our First Trans-Atlantic

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by McBlaze911

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
Funny how we had come across this cruise. This was a post retirement cruise originally booked on a 22 day Holland American TA which cruised through the Mediterranean and ended in Rome. Back in August we were advised that the Oosterdam's repositioning itinerary was switched to an Alaskan location and they offered to switch our booking with our discounted fare intact to a different ship. What we couldn't agree on what was the difference in accommodations from a private balcony aboard the Oosterdam to a Lanai (Balcony on shared deck) on the Westerdam. As it was we were left scrambling to find a new cruise with a different cruise line.

Royal Caribbean most nearly duplicated the lost itinerary and it was only a couple of months prior to sailing as we started exploring airfares that my wife expressed an interest in a TA. It hit me then that the Brilliance was repositioning to Barcelona and was the same ship that we had been booked for the trip to the Med on.

My wife admitted that she was concerned about the length of the TA and the number of sea days but after awhile she really grew to enjoy them and their relaxed atmosphere. Our longest voyages prior had all been 7 day trips. Sometimes it made getting off on excursion days debatable... (But make certain you get off the ship at least).

It was a fantastic trip and if you have the time a really great way to enjoy a cruise ship and an affordable fare. We were cheated out of nothing regarding ship entertainment or food. If anything there seemed to be less pressure to buy drinks and what not. Overall a very relaxed atmosphere on board.

If I had to list a problem, and certainly this was nothing that RCCL could have done anything about were the seas. Across the mighty Atlantic there is a great variety of weather to be encountered. We had a couple of rough days, nothing really dramatic just enough to make you a little unsteady on your feet with the winds out on the open deck strong enough to push you around a little.

I learned two valuable tips though on this cruise that I would like to share.

First thanks to all the Cruise Critic members. You're posts and tips are invaluable to the less informed cruisers. One night while perusing our roll call one of the members advised that he was giving up his aft cabin on Deck 9 as he was switching to a different cruise. I jumped at the opportunity, logged onto the RCCL website, found the cabin, contacted a RCCL travel agent and for just a couple of hundred dollars more had upgraded to the slightly more spacious aft cabin with the larger balcony and wake view. This only happened due to staying informed here on Cruise Critic.

I responded to another post on Cruise Critic. A group of experienced cruisers who had cruised together previously had arranged to have a table in the MDR late seating together. A late cancellation opened a couple of spots and the post was asking if anyone wanted to join them. We took a chance and how fortunate we were. It was a delightful group of RCCL Diamond Plus members who sort of took us under their wings. But it was the diversity of their life's and backgrounds that made dinner such a fun experience each evening as we shared our days and our stories and our enjoyments with each others. We left having felt after 14 days we had made friends for a lifetime. So the next time you cruise, instead of leaving it up the Maitre D', try your own little social experiment and put yourself a large table together made up from the many fine folks of Cruise Critic. Be certain to change seats every evening, just to break things up and enjoy the best two hours of every day. All it takes is one person requesting the cruise lines to "link" your reservations and can be handled quite easily. Trust me, it is one thing you will never regret doing.

This was supposed to be a review of our voyage on the Brilliance of the Seas and has turned into a review of Cruise Critic but it was only through CC that our stay aboard the Brilliance turned as memorable as it was. Overall our voyage was most definitely worth awarding Five Stars.
McBlaze911’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9658
How many ways can you describe the roughly 14 different classes of cabins aboard most of them which are laid out in almost the same 185 square foot cubic space. It was an Aft cabin with a much larger balcony. Loved it.
  Brilliance of the Seas Deck Plans