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For our 50th Anniversary we wanted to take a Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise from Tampa to Barcelona; with a Back-to-back from Barcelona to Venice to Barcelona. We've been on this particular cruise several times and just enjoy this area. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and we packed a lot of memories into these 30 days. Each day we tried to do something that we had never done before -- that was challenging on the days that it was too windy or cold to go out on deck. We played pool by the Colony Club and marveled at how we could sink EVERY ball with one shot (sometimes we sank all the balls before we even hit them.). It was a little rough once in a while and that helped the balls go to the far corners. We played Trivia, went to the shows, played cards with friends, went to Karaoke, hung over the rails at the Centrum to watch the dancers and the programs, read as much as we could, and ate at every opportunity (we actually concentrated on walking more on this trip so we went home lighter than we had started). There was always something to do. We had several exceptional crew members: Michael (our steward); Noel, Inuit and Irish in the main dining room; and Susie in Future Cruise Planning. One area of discontent for me personally was in food selections -- keep in mind that I am diabetic and have food allergies so my choices are always limited because of the situation. I asked Chef Gabrielle on the second day in the Windjammer if he could provide Sugar Free Pudding or Sugar Free Jell-O on the dessert bar -- Sugar Free cookies or cake don't count because carbs from flour and fat convert to sugar. It is possible that the cooking staff is not aware that "low-fat" and "lite" are not the same as Sugar-free. Those selections were never offered on the entire cruise. There were also a few issues with the menu items being mislabeled in the Windjammer. My main dining room choices were usually salmon and vegetables because the menu was heavy on shellfish additives (even Caesar Salad has anchovies in the dressing). Our head waiter, Noel, was very good at warning me what was appropriate to select. He was more careful than some have been because his little boy has severe food allergies also, and he knew what the dangers were. We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers that travel exclusively on RC. Even with that consideration, we received no introduction to the Diamond Lounge or the amenities there -- our keys didn't work until two days before the end of the cruise. We would have much preferred free Wi-Fi in exchange for the offered 6 drinks a day (not everyone does drink so why not offer a choice) . Other aggravations were created when the booking arrangements from Tampa Airport to the Hotel were messed up -- no one came to pick us up as arranged and eventually we found that the name of the hotel had been changed. The hotel was very nice and accommodating after we had been checked-in. By the time we left for the ship on the next morning, we were ready to relax and rest -- but we spent another hour at the terminal trying to get through the lines. When we departed the ship at the end of a 30 day cruise, there was no one to pick us up and take us to the hotel. We waited over two hours for our transportation before one of the young men secured a cab for us. The next morning when it was time to go to the airport for the return trip home -- there was NO TRANSPORTATION AGAIN to get from the hotel to the airport and we had to pay $55 euros for a cab. That is really unacceptable for a company that prides itself on "customer service". Our loyalty Ambassador was condescending when we couldn't understand her directions. The Centrum really isn't the place to position the Loyalty areas, customer service, or cruise planning. It is impossible to hear anything with the loud music in the foreground. We have already planned two more cruises, and it would be wonderful to find that some of these issues have been attended to by the time we embark again.

Part 1 of Our 50th Anniversary Cruise.

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by mlncarr

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Trip Details
For our 50th Anniversary we wanted to take a Transatlantic Repositioning Cruise from Tampa to Barcelona; with a Back-to-back from Barcelona to Venice to Barcelona. We've been on this particular cruise several times and just enjoy this area. This was a trip of a lifetime for us and we packed a lot of memories into these 30 days.

Each day we tried to do something that we had never done before -- that was challenging on the days that it was too windy or cold to go out on deck. We played pool by the Colony Club and marveled at how we could sink EVERY ball with one shot (sometimes we sank all the balls before we even hit them.). It was a little rough once in a while and that helped the balls go to the far corners.

We played Trivia, went to the shows, played cards with friends, went to Karaoke, hung over the rails at the Centrum to watch the dancers and the programs, read as much as we could, and ate at every opportunity (we actually concentrated on walking more on this trip so we went home lighter than we had started). There was always something to do.

We had several exceptional crew members: Michael (our steward); Noel, Inuit and Irish in the main dining room; and Susie in Future Cruise Planning.

One area of discontent for me personally was in food selections -- keep in mind that I am diabetic and have food allergies so my choices are always limited because of the situation. I asked Chef Gabrielle on the second day in the Windjammer if he could provide Sugar Free Pudding or Sugar Free Jell-O on the dessert bar -- Sugar Free cookies or cake don't count because carbs from flour and fat convert to sugar. It is possible that the cooking staff is not aware that "low-fat" and "lite" are not the same as Sugar-free. Those selections were never offered on the entire cruise. There were also a few issues with the menu items being mislabeled in the Windjammer.

My main dining room choices were usually salmon and vegetables because the menu was heavy on shellfish additives (even Caesar Salad has anchovies in the dressing). Our head waiter, Noel, was very good at warning me what was appropriate to select. He was more careful than some have been because his little boy has severe food allergies also, and he knew what the dangers were.

We are loyal Royal Caribbean customers that travel exclusively on RC. Even with that consideration, we received no introduction to the Diamond Lounge or the amenities there -- our keys didn't work until two days before the end of the cruise. We would have much preferred free Wi-Fi in exchange for the offered 6 drinks a day (not everyone does drink so why not offer a choice) .

Other aggravations were created when the booking arrangements from Tampa Airport to the Hotel were messed up -- no one came to pick us up as arranged and eventually we found that the name of the hotel had been changed. The hotel was very nice and accommodating after we had been checked-in. By the time we left for the ship on the next morning, we were ready to relax and rest -- but we spent another hour at the terminal trying to get through the lines.

When we departed the ship at the end of a 30 day cruise, there was no one to pick us up and take us to the hotel. We waited over two hours for our transportation before one of the young men secured a cab for us. The next morning when it was time to go to the airport for the return trip home -- there was NO TRANSPORTATION AGAIN to get from the hotel to the airport and we had to pay $55 euros for a cab. That is really unacceptable for a company that prides itself on "customer service".

Our loyalty Ambassador was condescending when we couldn't understand her directions. The Centrum really isn't the place to position the Loyalty areas, customer service, or cruise planning. It is impossible to hear anything with the loud music in the foreground.

We have already planned two more cruises, and it would be wonderful to find that some of these issues have been attended to by the time we embark again.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9548
The cabin had some new additions since last time -- the center curtains were back again to section off the sleeping area (we like that a lot). The balcony was great when we could use it -- having that option in port was always entertaining. We got to watch the lifeboat drills and all the dock traffic from our balcony. Our steward provided great service -- ice every day, extension cords for my husband's C-Pap machine, and a great sense of humor. Michael could always redirect us when we were making the wrong turn from our stateroom.

Next time we'll probably book a junior suite to see what they are like.
  Brilliance of the Seas Deck Plans

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • City Tour
    We had an excellent guide who had lived in Barcelona for years. He was quite interesting as he told us about the historic significance of attractions, the back story of the Familia Sagrada, the Gaudi homes, etc. We had a great time wandering around the downtown square by the cathedral -- sampled the chocolate from the little specialty shop, took phots of the architectural details, listened to the bands, etc. It was a long trip and we were really tired by the time we got back to the ship. Good trip!
    View All 252 City Tour Reviews
  • Ibiza
    We went ashore with friends and explored the old town. Climbed up to the fort and the cathedral, took lots of photos, visited with locals to find out how they manage to maneuver the ups and downs of the streets EVERY DAY. There are no fat people in Ibiza. There were lots of historcial markers with information about the different attractions -- we really enjoyed a nice walk about the town.
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  • San Juan
    San Juan is a great place to just walk ashore and stroll around the area. We had been there before so this time we did it on our own.
    View All 3,803 San Juan Cruise Port Reviews
    View Cruise Critic's San Juan Cruise Port Review