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For Thanksgiving, for my birthday, vacation with my Mom. Dining was a relaxing and very enjoyable experience in the Minstrel Dining Room. Our Franklyn and Oleksander were terrific and provided wonderful service, kindness and patience at dinner time for the end of our day. The food was delicious! On a 1-10 scale, I would give each of them an 11. The food in the Windjammer was very good and I loved the ease of dining there. Room service was good; the food good -- $8 per trip, too much. The music and entertainment were wonderful, especially the Villa Nella trio. ********************************* The afternoon before the cruise began, I happened to check my emails, and there was one from RC saying not to be at the port terminal to board before 2pm. Originally, as always, boarding is supposed to be at 12. And that is what my daughter had planned with her work for time off to drive us the hour to the port. So with that email, she had to change her work schedule to accommodate RC's last minute notification. Arriving at the terminal, no one was available to wheelchair my Mom onto the ship even though I had called RC a week and a half earlier to order that service. We spent 20 minutes with a private vendor to rent a walker and got onto the Brilliance at 3:25pm. Then we had to wait outside on the deck for 20 minutes to go through the mandatory muster drill. It was after 4 before we or anyone, could go into the ship. After quickly checking the room out, we went to the Windjammer to get a snack. They were closed. We were referred to Rita's Cantina, walked all the way there (Mom is 92 and uses a walker), got there, they said there were only drinks available, no food. By that time, we were really hungry, almost 5:00 and asked where we could get food. No one seemed to know anything ( really???? this is the first embarkation any of the crew has been involved in?) Finally, someone said to go to the Cafe by the Solarium, so got there at 5:00 and there was a very long line of hungry people!! By the time we got to order, we were told no more grilled sandwiches and they were closing!!! About that time a manager finally came around and after a few more minutes, the lights were turned back on in the grill area and platters of cold sandwiches were also brought out. So Embarkation was a disaster with many excuses and poor management on RC's part. Birthday decorations(not free)... in the room when we arrived, not till after 4:00 because of the delayed boarding. The wine and chocolate-covered strawberries were not there when we arrived. I did not know about them. When I found out from my daughter who ordered them, I called the ship operator... excuses... "would be delivered the next day". When we returned from dinner about 9:30 that night, full of dinner and dessert, there was a bucket with champagne and the strawberries. I don't like champagne - and my daughter knows that and ordered wine. We were way too full for the strawberries then. Next day IN THE MORNING, wine was delivered in a bucket of ice. Come to find out, my daughter had called to complain about the champagne and strawberries not being there when they were supposed to have been, when we first entered the room. I do not know about anyone else, but I certainly do not drink wine in the morning. All of this fiasco just serves to irritate the gift giver and the recipient, on top of the expensive cost of all those items. ********************************* The cabin steward whose name I will not give on this public forum smiled each time we saw him (not many). However, he never offered a bucket of ice to keep in the room for ice water, etc. I had to ask, and then remind. My Mom and/or I stayed in the room some as she was not up to par a couple of the first days. The steward barely stepped into the room when we were there and I had to ask for each "thing" to be done, empty the garbage (lots of kleenex :), another wash cloth (only 1 left a couple of the times), and so on. He would empty the room garbage and then not go into the bathroom to empty that garbage. If RC would just leave plastic trash bags, I would have done it myself. [ The room was very neat, I might add, as I had unpacked and put everything away the first morning, so there was no reason for him to not enter.] *********************************** The port at Roatan should be eliminated. Nothing there. Just shops at a pier with very over-priced souvenirs and 1 restaurant on the 2nd level which is inaccessible to someone unable to use the stairs. The bar/grill on the ground was nice, drinks were priced right. A skewer of shrimp, good but not worth the $18 ! Definitely get something else to eat. A number of people seemed to enjoy the zip line. But that was pretty much it. Key West, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.... I don't know, probably very nice. But I found quiet spots on the ship to enjoy some much deserved relaxation and reading and enjoying the beautiful weather. Mom rested, read, played her games, and watched a little TV. Oh and we shopped on the RC :) Some nice things and good bargains. And we enjoyed the staff and drinks in the Casino Bar on 6. My mother loved talking with Michael about the Philippines when she had lived there many years ago and he was very kind to my Mom and seemed to enjoy talking with her as well. Another bartender Oleksander (sp?) was very pleasant as well and he and Michael made the very best frozen peach daiquiris! What a tasty way to cool off in the afternoon and then listen to the classical music of the Villa Nella trio. And somehow I was very lucky and won at one of the slot machines! (one time only :) This is my 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean. None of the other cruises had any issues, and this particular vessel is the same as the Transatlantic almost 2 years ago, so I felt comfortable going on this ship again and bringing my Mom this time. I had never intended to use another line, but after the experiences this last week, I will definitely try another line. TIPS: Do not prepay gratuities. I would have well-tipped those that did the good jobs and less or not at all to the one who did as little as possible. Do not buy the alcohol package unless you really drink a lot. I mostly did it for the convenience of not having to sign each time I ordered a drink. But for around $760 for 2 people.... totally not worth it. My suggestion would be for the cruise lines to come up with a smaller package for those of us who may want 1-2 drinks a day, if that much.

Very disappointed ... many excuses

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by amstar23

1 person found this helpful
Trip Details
For Thanksgiving, for my birthday, vacation with my Mom.

Dining was a relaxing and very enjoyable experience in the Minstrel Dining Room. Our Franklyn and Oleksander were terrific and provided wonderful service, kindness and patience at dinner time for the end of our day. The food was delicious! On a 1-10 scale, I would give each of them an 11.

The food in the Windjammer was very good and I loved the ease of dining there. Room service was good; the food good -- $8 per trip, too much. The music and entertainment were wonderful, especially the Villa Nella trio.

*********************************

The afternoon before the cruise began, I happened to check my emails, and there was one from RC saying not to be at the port terminal to board before 2pm. Originally, as always, boarding is supposed to be at 12. And that is what my daughter had planned with her work for time off to drive us the hour to the port. So with that email, she had to change her work schedule to accommodate RC's last minute notification.

Arriving at the terminal, no one was available to wheelchair my Mom onto the ship even though I had called RC a week and a half earlier to order that service. We spent 20 minutes with a private vendor to rent a walker and got onto the Brilliance at 3:25pm. Then we had to wait outside on the deck for 20 minutes to go through the mandatory muster drill. It was after 4 before we or anyone, could go into the ship.

After quickly checking the room out, we went to the Windjammer to get a snack. They were closed. We were referred to Rita's Cantina, walked all the way there (Mom is 92 and uses a walker), got there, they said there were only drinks available, no food. By that time, we were really hungry, almost 5:00 and asked where we could get food. No one seemed to know anything ( really???? this is the first embarkation any of the crew has been involved in?) Finally, someone said to go to the Cafe by the Solarium, so got there at 5:00 and there was a very long line of hungry people!! By the time we got to order, we were told no more grilled sandwiches and they were closing!!! About that time a manager finally came around and after a few more minutes, the lights were turned back on in the grill area and platters of cold sandwiches were also brought out.

So Embarkation was a disaster with many excuses and poor management on RC's part.

Birthday decorations(not free)... in the room when we arrived, not till after 4:00 because of the delayed boarding. The wine and chocolate-covered strawberries were not there when we arrived. I did not know about them. When I found out from my daughter who ordered them, I called the ship operator... excuses... "would be delivered the next day".

When we returned from dinner about 9:30 that night, full of dinner and dessert, there was a bucket with champagne and the strawberries. I don't like champagne - and my daughter knows that and ordered wine. We were way too full for the strawberries then.

Next day IN THE MORNING, wine was delivered in a bucket of ice. Come to find out, my daughter had called to complain about the champagne and strawberries not being there when they were supposed to have been, when we first entered the room. I do not know about anyone else, but I certainly do not drink wine in the morning. All of this fiasco just serves to irritate the gift giver and the recipient, on top of the expensive cost of all those items.

*********************************

The cabin steward whose name I will not give on this public forum smiled each time we saw him (not many). However, he never offered a bucket of ice to keep in the room for ice water, etc. I had to ask, and then remind. My Mom and/or I stayed in the room some as she was not up to par a couple of the first days. The steward barely stepped into the room when we were there and I had to ask for each "thing" to be done, empty the garbage (lots of kleenex :), another wash cloth (only 1 left a couple of the times), and so on. He would empty the room garbage and then not go into the bathroom to empty that garbage. If RC would just leave plastic trash bags, I would have done it myself. [ The room was very neat, I might add, as I had unpacked and put everything away the first morning, so there was no reason for him to not enter.]

***********************************

The port at Roatan should be eliminated. Nothing there. Just shops at a pier with very over-priced souvenirs and 1 restaurant on the 2nd level which is inaccessible to someone unable to use the stairs. The bar/grill on the ground was nice, drinks were priced right. A skewer of shrimp, good but not worth the $18 ! Definitely get something else to eat. A number of people seemed to enjoy the zip line. But that was pretty much it.

Key West, Cozumel and Grand Cayman.... I don't know, probably very nice. But I found quiet spots on the ship to enjoy some much deserved relaxation and reading and enjoying the beautiful weather. Mom rested, read, played her games, and watched a little TV. Oh and we shopped on the RC :) Some nice things and good bargains.

And we enjoyed the staff and drinks in the Casino Bar on 6. My mother loved talking with Michael about the Philippines when she had lived there many years ago and he was very kind to my Mom and seemed to enjoy talking with her as well. Another bartender Oleksander (sp?) was very pleasant as well and he and Michael made the very best frozen peach daiquiris! What a tasty way to cool off in the afternoon and then listen to the classical music of the Villa Nella trio. And somehow I was very lucky and won at one of the slot machines! (one time only :)

This is my 4th cruise with Royal Caribbean. None of the other cruises had any issues, and this particular vessel is the same as the Transatlantic almost 2 years ago, so I felt comfortable going on this ship again and bringing my Mom this time. I had never intended to use another line, but after the experiences this last week, I will definitely try another line.

TIPS: Do not prepay gratuities. I would have well-tipped those that did the good jobs and less or not at all to the one who did as little as possible. Do not buy the alcohol package unless you really drink a lot. I mostly did it for the convenience of not having to sign each time I ordered a drink. But for around $760 for 2 people.... totally not worth it. My suggestion would be for the cruise lines to come up with a smaller package for those of us who may want 1-2 drinks a day, if that much.
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Cabin Review

Cabin 7550
Very nice cabin. Obstructed view was that of the top of the rescue boats, but the top was level with balcony floor, so you couldn't look over the balcony directly into the water, but a little further out. For the $$ saved, it was worth it. Still a beautiful view.
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