My wife and two of our friends were excited to get back on the Brilliance of the Seas. We live in the Tampa area and we have sailed on Brilliance (and sister ships) many times. I'm happy to report that Royal and the Brilliance crew did many things well on this first cruise, but our experience in Chops and one of the nights in the main dining room were very frustrating.
First the positive things.... as a health care professional, I was very pleased with how the health protocols were handled. We truly felt safe on the ship. Although the ship is old, our balcony cabin was very clean and everything seemed to work well, except the A/C. Overall the staff seemed very excited to be sailing again and they were very upbeat and eager to please. The shows were excellent and we were especially pleased that the production show (which is sometimes weak at best) was excellent. Overall the music and all of the entertainment was very good. The Windjammer food has definitely improved. Many new selections and the food and service there was excellent.
A few negative things.... On our first night we went to Chops specialty restaurant. It was a disaster. We waited 2 full hours for our main course and for 3 of us the food was cold. We quickly ate our desserts and finally got out of there in 3 hours total. What was most frustrating to us was there was absolutely no interest in service recovery. We told the maitre d and she just said sorry and nothing else was mentioned. It seemed like all of the guests were having a bad experience. Also mentioned it to a food service Director who was there on our way out and he said it shouldn't have been like that. In the past they would have offered us another night or offered to comp the meal, but I felt there was no interest on their part. As we met people on the ship, it seemed that everyone was having bad dining experiences. Service in the dining areas seems to be a problem right now. Maybe the dining staff weren't ready to start? Also, the ship was very warm in certain areas and many people were complaining about the AC.