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Just came home following a week's cruise of the Middle East with Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas. This is my 4th cruise with them but sadly it may be my last. The ship is lovely not as modern as some of the newer ships but this is to be expected. Our inside cabin was lovely no complaints, more room than some other cruise lines and we loved our large kingsize bed, very comfortable. Three ports of call were very interesting,Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We did not do a trip on our first port of call Fujairah because I had read reviews before going on trip which advised there was not much to see, instead we took the free shuttle bus into the local town to visit an indoor shopping centre to but a scarf to cover my head for my visit to Muscat mosque - TIP * the scarf was not expensive but women bring something with you from home to do this then you do not have to get off the ship. The other 3 ports of call were great especially the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi it was fantastic, to visit this women are given a long black dress to go over their clothes and a larger black scarf to cover their heads - this is mandatory not matter how covered up you are - the over dress is very long so if you are short you could take a black belt to stop you tripping up. When we were in Dubai we visited the Burg Kalifa great fun and recommended. The only problem the 4 of us had with the ship is their drink prices I will list a few for you to compare and have used a currency converter to show them in GB pounds - bottle of budweiser $6.00 or £3.85, bottle of strongbow $6.50 or £4.17, a cocktail I enjoyed Lava Flow $8.00 or £5.13 and a small glass of sparkling wine cost $7.00 or £4.50. My friend bought a glass of house wine with her evening meal in the restaurant and it cost over £10 a glass! The only other gripe we had was the lack of atmosphere around the pool, background music was too quiet to hear unless you had a sunbed around the pool, very difficult to get - and not much fun and games happening which we usually enjoy. The evening entertainment was ok not brilliant, a man who impersonated Elton John was great and we enjoyed the magician and 2 acrobats, but the main show Tango In Buenos Aires was not our cup of tea and we did not go to the last show BUT this is a personal opinion other people raved about the Tango show. We all loved the holiday, the ship, the staff are brilliant, but spent a fortune on drinks and felt ripped off. One last thing I had my teeth whitened on board, happy with result but my bottom gums got burnt and hurt for most of the rest of the cruise. They say it is 100% safe but it is not, when I went back the Manager was lovely and gave me a 50% discount on my treatment, I could not buy any gum numbing gel on board and just had to put up with the discomfort, I also could not brush my bottom teeth because it made my gums bleed. I have enjoyed my 4 cruises with Royal Caribbean but will probable look for future cruises with ships who offer all inclusive or lower alcohol prices.

Enjoyable Holiday

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by GLENDA RAINBIRD

Trip Details
  • Sail Date: November 2011
  • Destination: Middle East
  • Cabin Type: Interior Stateroom
Just came home following a week's cruise of the Middle East with Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas. This is my 4th cruise with them but sadly it may be my last. The ship is lovely not as modern as some of the newer ships but this is to be expected. Our inside cabin was lovely no complaints, more room than some other cruise lines and we loved our large kingsize bed, very comfortable. Three ports of call were very interesting,Muscat, Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We did not do a trip on our first port of call Fujairah because I had read reviews before going on trip which advised there was not much to see, instead we took the free shuttle bus into the local town to visit an indoor shopping centre to but a scarf to cover my head for my visit to Muscat mosque - TIP * the scarf was not expensive but women bring something with you from home to do this then you do not have to get off the ship. The other 3 ports of call were great especially the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi it was fantastic, to visit this women are given a long black dress to go over their clothes and a larger black scarf to cover their heads - this is mandatory not matter how covered up you are - the over dress is very long so if you are short you could take a black belt to stop you tripping up. When we were in Dubai we visited the Burg Kalifa great fun and recommended.

The only problem the 4 of us had with the ship is their drink prices I will list a few for you to compare and have used a currency converter to show them in GB pounds - bottle of budweiser $6.00 or £3.85, bottle of strongbow $6.50 or £4.17, a cocktail I enjoyed Lava Flow $8.00 or £5.13 and a small glass of sparkling wine cost $7.00 or £4.50. My friend bought a glass of house wine with her evening meal in the restaurant and it cost over £10 a glass! The only other gripe we had was the lack of atmosphere around the pool, background music was too quiet to hear unless you had a sunbed around the pool, very difficult to get - and not much fun and games happening which we usually enjoy.

The evening entertainment was ok not brilliant, a man who impersonated Elton John was great and we enjoyed the magician and 2 acrobats, but the main show Tango In Buenos Aires was not our cup of tea and we did not go to the last show BUT this is a personal opinion other people raved about the Tango show.

We all loved the holiday, the ship, the staff are brilliant, but spent a fortune on drinks and felt ripped off. One last thing I had my teeth whitened on board, happy with result but my bottom gums got burnt and hurt for most of the rest of the cruise. They say it is 100% safe but it is not, when I went back the Manager was lovely and gave me a 50% discount on my treatment, I could not buy any gum numbing gel on board and just had to put up with the discomfort, I also could not brush my bottom teeth because it made my gums bleed.

I have enjoyed my 4 cruises with Royal Caribbean but will probable look for future cruises with ships who offer all inclusive or lower alcohol prices.
GLENDA RAINBIRD’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Rates
Service

Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom
Cabin Q 4555
Great cabin no complaints, larger than some ships, plenty of storage space, take some extra hangers.Shower room small but expected, no toiletries except shampoo in a dispenser and soap. No chocolate on pillow any more. Great service from cabin boy.
Deck 2 Inside Cabins, Outside Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Dubai
    Great port had a bus tour around which gave a good idea of scale of place. Visited shopping mall with the indoor snow area, took great pictures of my husband with a snowman behind him (through a viewing window). Burg Khalifa great and worth a visit. One more thing we booked a evening meal in the Burj al Arab for a one off experience. I loved this it was on my 'bucket list'. Taxi very cheap there and back, meal and drinks very expensive but worth it for a look on how the other half live. Meal, one bottle of budweiser and one cocktail came to about £250 per couple. I know this is outrageous but it was the only time we will ever spend so much on a meal. One TIP if you go they charge about £10 for a bottle of water, our waiter poured our first glass without asking us and we assumed it was free and had more - £20 for 2 bottles of water!!!! what a shocker. Another thing we dressed up to the nines but other people looked like they made no effort but they were probabley millionaires and did not have to if you go dress up if you are like us make it a special night to remember.
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