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We chose this cruise because we were travelling to Europe and thought it best with 2x children to do a cruise rather than Eurail with our limited time. Lots of people recommended Royal Caribbean as the ship to cruise with if you have children. However, I found that since we were out of the US and European school holiday times, there wasn't much catering done for the children, in that no-one in their age group were at the Kids' Clubs and so the kids were left to their own devices to entertain themselves. I found the ship itself to be a bit old and tired; I was more than happy to get away from the smell of damp, wet, mouldy carpet because of the constant leaks that seemed to occur. (Not very reassuring when you're at sea to have a leaky ship!) I was really discouraged to find that the itinerary ports of call (Rome, Pisa, Florence) were actually 1.5 to 3 hours away from where the ship docked, and if you travelled with the RC bus, they were charging us US$200 (minimum) for our family, just to get to these destinations (this didn't include a Tour - just transport). I also found the staff on board who were on wages (Guest Services and Shore Excursions), were rude and unhelpful, whilst the staff who were on contract couldn't do enough for you. It was evident in the attitude who was on which tier! My preference is to tip AFTER I have received a service, and not have it automatically built in to my Yoga class or Beauty treatment; when I am quoted for a service and then have VAT added on plus the tip it comes as a bit of a shock - not to mention the conversion rate from US$. Not everyone deserves a tip! I am not totally convinced that it was good value for money. We paid a lot to go on this cruise (and our gratuities were automatically added into the fees when we initially paid) but there were a lot of hidden extras that I didn't bargain for. It was our first time cruising, so maybe this was just a lesson we needed to learn. I am also still undecided as to whether or not I would go on another cruise. I was a bit shocked that a ship which can carry 2,500 people (and we were at capacity) had only a small 16+ indoor pool, another small Main Pool and then a Toddler's wading pool. It felt like people soup those days we were At Sea. Maybe next time I would consider a newer ship and a different cruise company??? Having said that, the Minstrel Dining Room and the Buffet Dining were great - I think there was food available nearly 20 hours a day! Although I found our Family Room too cramped with 4x people in there, Ana our Stateroom Attendant did an awesome job cleaning 2x a day! I was also very glad when we were traipsing around Rome & Athens in the heat, surrounded by millions of other tourists, that we had chosen to do a cruise (rather than Eurail and hotels) so we could escape back to the ship for a bit of sanity!

Good but not great

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by RachelleOz

Trip Details
We chose this cruise because we were travelling to Europe and thought it best with 2x children to do a cruise rather than Eurail with our limited time. Lots of people recommended Royal Caribbean as the ship to cruise with if you have children. However, I found that since we were out of the US and European school holiday times, there wasn't much catering done for the children, in that no-one in their age group were at the Kids' Clubs and so the kids were left to their own devices to entertain themselves.

I found the ship itself to be a bit old and tired; I was more than happy to get away from the smell of damp, wet, mouldy carpet because of the constant leaks that seemed to occur. (Not very reassuring when you're at sea to have a leaky ship!)

I was really discouraged to find that the itinerary ports of call (Rome, Pisa, Florence) were actually 1.5 to 3 hours away from where the ship docked, and if you travelled with the RC bus, they were charging us US$200 (minimum) for our family, just to get to these destinations (this didn't include a Tour - just transport).

I also found the staff on board who were on wages (Guest Services and Shore Excursions), were rude and unhelpful, whilst the staff who were on contract couldn't do enough for you. It was evident in the attitude who was on which tier!

My preference is to tip AFTER I have received a service, and not have it automatically built in to my Yoga class or Beauty treatment; when I am quoted for a service and then have VAT added on plus the tip it comes as a bit of a shock - not to mention the conversion rate from US$. Not everyone deserves a tip!

I am not totally convinced that it was good value for money. We paid a lot to go on this cruise (and our gratuities were automatically added into the fees when we initially paid) but there were a lot of hidden extras that I didn't bargain for. It was our first time cruising, so maybe this was just a lesson we needed to learn. I am also still undecided as to whether or not I would go on another cruise. I was a bit shocked that a ship which can carry 2,500 people (and we were at capacity) had only a small 16+ indoor pool, another small Main Pool and then a Toddler's wading pool. It felt like people soup those days we were At Sea. Maybe next time I would consider a newer ship and a different cruise company???

Having said that, the Minstrel Dining Room and the Buffet Dining were great - I think there was food available nearly 20 hours a day! Although I found our Family Room too cramped with 4x people in there, Ana our Stateroom Attendant did an awesome job cleaning 2x a day!

I was also very glad when we were traipsing around Rome & Athens in the heat, surrounded by millions of other tourists, that we had chosen to do a cruise (rather than Eurail and hotels) so we could escape back to the ship for a bit of sanity!
RachelleOz’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
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Cabin Review

Cabin 3508
Even though it was a family room, it was quite cramped for 4x people. However our Stateroom Attendant was awesome and did a great job servicing our room 2x a day.
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Port & Shore Excursion Reviews