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9 Middle East Fitness Cruise Reviews

After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & ... Read More
After 7 days sailing around the GCC I would like to share my honest experience with you all.. Embarkation was fairly painless and the whole process took 30 minutes maximum, the huge let down was the disembarkation at Oman port & Dubai! Took 90 minutes to get off ship and was absolute chaos amongst the passengers, RC need to do something here or change ports as it is a huge negative and you lose too much time hanging around. Ship - Its old but still in fair condition and still a lovely ship, my only criticism is the sofas in schooner bar is like sitting on a park bench and the art work is from the 70's Cabin - Cabin is what you expect on a 10-15 year old ship, little worn and dated but found the bed to be comfortable and decent TV with English channels. Note - take adapters as it only has US / European plugs & hairdryer is terrible. Dining - AMAZING! Much better than Anthem of the Seas. The main dining room was one of our better meals and cant praise waiter - Karandeo & Marie enough! Fantastic work and 10/10 for service. Entertainment - Overall 5/10!! Motown singers however where fantastic and deserve a 10/10, for the rest of the shows it was average if I'm honest. Entertainment leader (Talita?) was very good and put on a fantastic show (Battle of the Sexes & another)! She had us all in stitches. Service - Service around ship was extremely good, with the exception of main customer service desk on level 4!! The manager had a stinking attitude when we complained about our room and requested to move. This did put a huge negative spin on our vacation, and did question my next booking with RC in 2020. Excursions - N/A we did our own so cant comment. Gym - Very good and on par with the larger ships. Overall I liked the ship but I prefer the larger / newer ships if I'm been honest. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast ... Read More
Review MSC Fantasia Dubai/Abu Dhabi etc..... We had a standard balcony cabin on deck 13 and it was one of the better cabins in terms of design compared to P&O, Carnival etc. The bathroom had no shaving mirror but hey! Breakfast buffet on deck 14 was the same every day but offered good choices. The only omission was that there was no mushrooms and to make toast you had to queue to use one of those very old and tatty dreadful toast conveyer belts machines (absolutely rubbish). Lunch also offered a wide variety of food and you could have lunch in the Red Velvet restaurant if you so fancied. The buffet on deck 14 could be manic with people of certain nationalities pushing and shoving as if the food was going to run out! There was a distinct lack of patience and manners and it did feel awkward sometimes with passengers reaching over you to scoop up food. On sea days the top sun decks became incredibly overcrowded as everyone was on board at once. It was almost impossible to walk the decks such was the mess of sun loungers with those dreadful orange towels packed tightly together. I'm sure this is a serious health and safety risk because if there was an emergency there would be no escape. The theatre entertainment was the best I have witnessed on any ship and was incredibly varied. All the shows had a bit of risqué which added to the spectacle and each one of the shows was highly entertaining in their own way without dragging on too long. The evening music and entertainment in the lounges was again magnificent and top class. Too often evenings on cruises are a bore fest but not with MSC. The thought that went into each part of entertainment was amazing and there was a wonderful atmosphere around the entire ship up until the early hours. The tours on this particular cruise were good value. The cabin boys and staff in general were graceful and well mannered although the reception staff could be very inpatient and seemed to be set at the default state of "the customer is always wrong" The drinks packages are good value especially if you upgrade your package from say 'Cheers' to the top package on embarkment. The internet is a waste of money and I repeat a waste of money! Even the top plan is very very slow and the data allowance is rigged. Most smartphones have apps running in the background and even if you know this and switch them off you still end up using €35 just loading 2 Google pages. I can not stress how poor the internet is and how quickly you lose the data allowance even if you 'log off'. When your data runs low (which is very often) you are offered a further 'Top-Up' which gets eaten up in 2 emails. The worst thing is when the ship resets its internet and your allowance (which can be €35) is simply wiped off! then you are directed to reception who immediately assume you have used your data up in the way intended and talk to you like you have no knowledge of the internet and how it works. They will never believe you are in fact right EVER and they waffle on about data allowance etc until you get fed up and leave. So you have been warned! Don't be tempted to use the internet allowance plans! All in all a very beautiful ship which comes at a great price with amazing itineraries. Happy sailing!!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2017
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting ... Read More
We choose this cruise to see India. The ship is very tied and rusting , worn carpet , wooden seats in the dinning room with joints coming apart. The crew do try very hard and give u 110% in effort. The entertainment director is getting away with being payed for sitting on his backside all day. the onboard day time entertainment was non exsistant compared to other cruise lines.There was more entertainment to be found in the casino than over the whole of the boat. The nightly shows in the theatre where great if u where in a nursing home and had not seen any entertainment for a while, really who do they think they are giving us a acrobat show which a 11 year old could perform. Every night at dinner it was a toss of a coin to see if ur drink order would arrive in 30 minutes or under or would arrive at all. The cabin steward did a fantastic job and congratulations to him cabin 9131. The food was the same day in and day out, the quality of food okay but not outstanding. When u travel aqua class and have your own designated dinning room u don't expect to have to wait up to 3/4 hour for a table.The cruise would have been excellent if I had traveled in a inside room, but having table for aquas class I was very disappointed and will never cruise with celebrity again. No one even wants to listen on board when u are offering constructive criticism. Felt very let down and ripped off. Read Less
Sail Date January 2017
Chose this cruise for the unusual ports and had a super cruise with Celebrity last year. The cruise was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Joining the ship was smooth and easy. Dubai was the first stop and good to visit the ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the unusual ports and had a super cruise with Celebrity last year. The cruise was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. Joining the ship was smooth and easy. Dubai was the first stop and good to visit the one time, enjoyed the hop on hop off bus and visited the mall, marina and the Burj Khalifa. The water fountain show at night and the tower lighting show were impressive. Arrived in New Mangalore, India and Celebrity did not manage the disembarkation at all well. A queue that stretched throughout the ship and it took an age to get off. Then to find that this was a coal port, and very dirty. To combat this water wagons were driving up and down the roads dropping water which had little effect other than to make a black slush underfoot. New Mangalore did not have much to see other than a market and some temples. I don't think this port is suitable for a cruise ship! Goa was a little better with some nice beaches around 50 mins drive in a taxi, beach bars supplied beds free if you bought food or drink and the locals were quickly roused to sell us the usual Indian wear. Slightly intense and annoying but expected. Mumbai was a complete farce with Celebrity messing up the immigration by missing off a vital stamp from the card. It took just under 2 hours to sort which was stressful and in one case upsetting for those concerned. We missed our trip and after considerable lobbying they finally agreed to put a further coach on for the 13 people concerned. No guide only a 'stand in' local chap who tried his very best. The trip meant we missed a few sights and a train trip and being we had looked forward to it as the highlight, it was a big disappointment. After further discussion Celebrity refunded the trip cost and offered a free meal in the Tuscan Grill restaurant. A fair offer but it could not take away the disappointment of a missed opportunity. As one passenger has already pointed out, we could not enter Oman due to 30 mph winds. The captain had delighted in telling passengers earlier that he could maneuver the ship in winds of 30 mph...a shot in the foot :>). Sad to miss the Oman stop altogether. Then the fun and games started again with Celebrity messing up the immigration one last time. An announcement out of the blue at 10pm that all passengers would have to leave the ship immediately to collect their passport and hand in person to Abu Dhabi immigration. Then they announced that there was no need to proceed immediately and it was ok to watch the show and visit afterwards. So we proceeded from our meal to the show and as we arrived a further announcement said all those on deck 2 must proceed to immigration immediately. So off we went and queued once again with those who had woken up with children and the infirm etc. We got back just before the end of the show only to here that we need not have gone to immigration until after the show!!! So you see it was a real farce, you couldn't make it up. Some people were shouting at officers looking down on the queue from the deck and there was some loud booing and shouting at the end of the show when the cruise director said 'these things happen sometimes' not the best choice of words and he left the stage rather quickly. The cabin, dining, bar and other staff as always were excellent and could not do enough. The shows I have to say were of west end theatre quality in my opinion which was why it was so annoying to miss the last one, I am told it was superb. We did enjoy the cruising and the staff, food and shows were great. On a 30th wedding anniversary it was just so disappointing with the repeated immigration faux pas. This was due to the handling of disembarkation which has to be attributed to Celebrity I am afraid. This was not the high standard that we enjoyed last year on the 'Reflection' and I have written to Celebrity who replied and told me of their concern and how sorry they were. Celebrity said they were sorry for the experience and that was all. I might try PO cruises for the next one then as they may appreciate our custom a little more :>) Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Flew from Leeds Bradford with Thomson Airways. Reasonable check in. No quibbles over weight of hand luggage. Nearly six hours flight in cramped conditions. No inflight entertainment nor meals available on these flights. Tried a snack ... Read More
Flew from Leeds Bradford with Thomson Airways. Reasonable check in. No quibbles over weight of hand luggage. Nearly six hours flight in cramped conditions. No inflight entertainment nor meals available on these flights. Tried a snack "Croque Monsieur" - plastic rubbish. The cigarettes and tobacco that I wanted were not available on either flight, despite being advertised in the brochure. Arrived Sharm el Sheikh on time but had quite a wait at cruise terminal (shed) while paper work processed. Deluxe cabin on deck 9 was very comfortable but had not been refurbished, although I understand that it was due to be after we left. We had our own tea/coffee facilities anyway. The weather was cloudy most of the week but that was not a problem for us, but sun worshippers were disappointed. The entertainment was ok with an enthusiastic team of average singers and dancers. We spent a lot of time in the Horizons Bar which was very civilised with a fantastic duo who produced some beautiful sounds. The staff throughout the ship were superb and nothing was too much trouble for them. We ate one breakfast in the cafeteria and that was enough. The food was cold and the atmosphere similar to Macdonalds. Hundreds of square metres of carpet have been laid throughout the ship, but it takes more than new carpets to rebrand the ship Platinum. After that we had all our meals in the main Restaurant. The food was good. The ship docks at Aqabar for two days. If you want to go to Petra get off the ship on the first day, go into town, and there are dozens of taxi/travel agents who will arrange a trip on your second day for a fraction of Thomson price. The same applies for the Luxor excursions. Get off the ship on your first day at Safaga, go into the Duty Free Shop and there is a guy there who speaks excellent English and he will organise your excursion. The Airport at Sharm is an absolute joke. Although warned about liquids everyone was going through with bottles of water. The Departure Lounge was a nightmare. Thousands of people crammed in together, inadequate seating and facilities. A shambles. Read Less
Sail Date January 2013
My friend with whom I have traveled many times told me she had booked a trip on the Ocean Princess and would I like to accompany her. I checked the website and told my husband in complete dismay that the trip was TWENTY-EIGHT days. He ... Read More
My friend with whom I have traveled many times told me she had booked a trip on the Ocean Princess and would I like to accompany her. I checked the website and told my husband in complete dismay that the trip was TWENTY-EIGHT days. He said, "Go. Go. Have a good time." And to show what a great guy he is, I was gone for our 25th wedding anniversary, and he gave me the trip as a gift. I can't begin to describe what a wonderful time it was. The Ocean Princess is a smaller ship and seeing so many people so often made it seem like one big family. The ports of call were wondrous. I did very little homework in preparation for this trip, so seeing the Lost City of Petra in Jordan and Luxor, Egypt with no expectations made it more amazing for me. Almost all of our ports were Princess Excursions and they were all well done. The staff of the ship could not have been better. I even got a haircut in the salon and swear it was one of the best haircuts of my life. We had many sea day, and the ship planned so many fun events. I joined the pop choir and had so much fun. I love to sing, and we performed at one of the last shows. I also feel that seeing the Middle East in this way was safe and educational. I had such a fabulous time that I booked a trip for my husband and I while on the ship for our 26th wedding anniversary. We are sailing transatlantic this October from Northhampton to Fort Lauderdale. My husband loves history and we will take the Princess excursion of Normandy. We also both love the sea days and cannot wait to see what Princess has planned for us this trip. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
It's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying a cruise on this beautiful ship. Well maintained, easy to get around, cabins with good storage space - this ship will not disappoint. Our sailing, from Barcelona to Dubai, had several ... Read More
It's hard to imagine anyone not enjoying a cruise on this beautiful ship. Well maintained, easy to get around, cabins with good storage space - this ship will not disappoint. Our sailing, from Barcelona to Dubai, had several highlight ports. The port of Aqaba was near Petra and Wadi Rum, so most all passengers took an excursion or two. Getting on and off the ship was a breeze, with none of those usual bottlenecks and confusion that sometimes occur. The Brilliance provided shuttle service for most of the ports, which made it easy to go off on ones own. In Eilat, the shuttle service took passengers, at no charge, to a shopping mall and beaches. Dining on the Brilliance did have a couple of flaws and some highlights. The highlight for us was Breakfast. The baked goods offered - breads, muffins - were exceptional. There was even a chocolate breakfast with a chocolate banana bread that was die for. The breads at all the meals were admirable. However, the dinner menu and the food served were at times rather ordinary. No one will go away hungry, for there is always something to please the palate, but after the first week of our cruise, the food did go downhill. We tried Chops, the specialty restaurant. Our suggestion would be to save your money. Our filet minions was grizzly and the food was like from a 1960s restaurant. Too much cheese and rich stuff over everything - ruining (at least for us) some of the dishes served. Service on the Brilliance was excellent, as one would expect it to be. We liked that up at the Windjammer buffet, servers came around and offered to bring drinks to ones table. Our cabin steward and the wait staff in all the dining venues were excellent. Be aware that there is no more shampoo, conditioner or lotion provided to cabins other than suites. Bring your own. There is no more chocolates on the pillows or lobster or lamp chops. But there is a beautiful experience on a lovely ship. Our vacation was enhanced by the ports and the Suez Canal and an almost daily trip to the well equipped gym. As is usual on a cruise, some of the shows were better than others, but still a nice way to spend 45 minutes before or after dinner. RCCL did have lecturers on board who talked about a variety of subjects and were of excellent calibre. We wish we could go around again. It was a wonderful cruise!!! Read Less
Sail Date November 2011
Day 1 - Embarkation is really quick and easy in Barcelona. I have done it twice and it has taken less than twenty minutes to get on the ship both times. Lunch at the Windjammer before mid-day! Had a good tour of the ship before muster, ... Read More
Day 1 - Embarkation is really quick and easy in Barcelona. I have done it twice and it has taken less than twenty minutes to get on the ship both times. Lunch at the Windjammer before mid-day! Had a good tour of the ship before muster, which did not include those dirty life-jackets that no-one wants to drag over their head. We watched a quick change show called Flash & Fever, which wasn't very good. My Time Dining was smooth and efficient and it was an all round relaxing first day. Day 2 - A strange noise in our cabin kept us awake most of the night, and although we told the front desk, they said call us when it happens again, which wasn't particularly helpful. However, full English breakfast at the Windjammer (including nearly cooked sausages!), was followed by the Crown & Anchor talk where we won a lint roller in the raffle. Yes, a lint roller! Gordon the cruise director comes from a small village a mile or so away from us in England so we had a bit of a chat. We did the afternoon quiz with a nice couple from Minnesota - it was too cold to relax on the top deck. It was formal night so we dressed up to watch five minutes of a "Broadway" show. The dinner was however great, although the lobster appears to have shrunk to shrimp size and has been re-named shrimp. Day 3 - The strange suction noise was back, which prompted DW to have another little chat with the front desk. This time they said that as soon as we heard it, whatever time, to call and they would send someone to sort it out. I staggered out of the gym like I had done 15 rounds with Iron Mike before breakfast wondering whether 15 minutes of looking at exercise machines should really be that tiring. We went to see "Gotta Dance", 'a nice family film' in the movie theatre, but most of the day was spent reading in the Solarium wondering what real sunshine felt like. Bruce Parker, the Motown singer, was great and so was dinner. No sooner had we got into bed and the noise was back. This time a plumber came immediately and sleep was restored. Day 4 - Actually went on one of the scary gym machines today. Fortunately paramedics were on hand to helicopter me to the Windjammer for breakfast. Went to a pyramids lecture in the theatre that, with the lights on, looks a bit like our village hall - except not quite as smart. It really needs refurbishing RCI. Erky from Turkey did his "Who Wants To Be A Royal Caribbeanaire" quiz, and I have to say he was hilarious. I couldn't believe RCI have been lucky enough to have this guy for seven years and he isn't even assistant cruise director. Easily the most talented cruise staff member we have ever come across. Watched another movie; something with Eddie Murphy in, before an afternoon beer and a quiz. The entertainment for this evening was Tommy Bond, a superb pianist. Now I don't want to sound like a bit of a heathen, but I felt under-whelmed - there are plenty of talented musicians in the band, to have one as a headline act was a little like watching a recital. Just my personal opinion, but I don't think it was good enough for a cruise ship - he was, but not as a show. Day 5 - Alexandria, Egypt day. We had arranged a tour to Cairo with Ramses via the Roll Call board on Cruise Critic. Three couples joined us for a trip that cost literally half what the cruise line were charging. Sammo, our guide, was great, and despite a false dawn, where the captain explained we may have to go to Port Said and delay the stop for a day, off we set at around the speed of light on a motorway journey of around three hours. Before we knew it the fog had been replaced by smog and the pyramids were in sight. They are of course magnificent, but I couldn't help but pay closer attention to school-kids running up and down them, trashy tourist camel rides, hawkers, and poor little kids trying to sell us postcards for, "One dollar mister." As the world's most precious monument to history I couldn't help but think it should be given to someone who would look after it better like UNESCO. The Sphinx was perhaps more impressive, although a lot smaller than I expected. Obligatory tourist photos of a strategically placed hand patting said Sphinx or holding up the Great Pyramid were taken before a trip down the Nile on a Faluka to the Hard Rock Cafe, where we had lunch, before a quick trip to the papyrus factory and the night race back to the ship. Interesting Fact: Cairo has no traffic lights and no traffic jams. Day 6 - The rowing machine was broken in the gym, which ruined all my plans for a six hour marathon work-out, so I was restricted to fifteen minutes of standing around the water cooler before racing to the loungers to stare at the sun for the morning. It was handbags at dawn in some cases, as chairs mysteriously had towels strategically wrapped around them even before the towel station opened. Went to the main restaurant for lunch, which made a pleasant change - the salad on offer was superb. Watched the Russell Crowe movie "State of Play" in the cinema. It was another formal night and although I didn't see it on the menu I did walk past a mirror and noticed that they did indeed lobster on the ship. We joined up with another couple to win the Mind Quiz in the Colony Lounge. The canvas wallets will be treasured forever. Day 7 - Suez Canal day. Undoubtedly the best day of the cruise - which included sunbathing, leaning over the balcony rail for several hours and waving to Egyptian soldiers on manoeuvres, all to the back-drop of an excited Captain Zinny, who was completing his collection of the world's seven great canals, and told us everything we wanted to know ($500,000 for our ship to go through). The day it took to go through the canal in line with a convoy of ships through a night and a day was the best cruise experience I have had. Christopher Caress, the hypnotist was the evening's entertainment - having never seen this sort of act before I enjoyed it. It may even have been genuine. Gordon did the Love and Marriage show a little later, which was just as much fun as usual. Day 8 - Aqaba, Jordan day. A regret was that we did not go to Petra. Everyone that did go said it was a fantastic experience. We made do with a trip into the coastal resort, which was a bit rubbish, and a day of sunbathing and reading on the boat. Fortunately, I had the gym to myself - it is a shame no-one saw me bench double my body weight. Day 9 - Safaga, Egypt day. When looking out at the port, there were lines of Saudi traders with carts full of what appeared to be junk. It was interesting watching them, and a little sad too. Thirty-something coaches departed for Luxor and several more were lined up to take us to Safaga, an Egyptian beach resort. Except they didn't. We arrived at a Holiday Inn some miles down the road and taxi drivers began in earnest. Everyone got back on the coach and returned to the ship. I spoke to the front desk who arranged for a disgruntled Gordon to tell everyone over the ship's tannoy that the coach trip were not exactly as described to them! Another day in the sun, reading, beckoned. There wasn't too much arranged on the ship and the Big Band experience in the theatre held no interest for us. However, this was our wedding anniversary so we decided on a trip to Chops Grill. Having only experienced premium dining on Carnival before I can sadly report that it was not even a close contest. The food was good, so was the service, but the ambience, experience, food quality and presentation, simply could not match that offered by RCI's rival. Oh, and the cheapest wine was $35, an absolute rip-off. Day 10 - Today began by working up a sweat going to the gym again, we prepared for another day of sunbathing. This time in 40 knot winds, which was a little unfortunate. Tonight was another formal night, which featured a Celine Dion impersonator. Now I wouldn't accept a five pound note to watch the Canadian warbler if she was performing in my garden shed, so I won't be a fair judge, but those that like that sort of stuff said Tracy from Coventry was great. I had given up on the lobster by this stage, but the lamb was very nice. The Battle of the Sexes game show was fun, and I was quite chuffed with myself for winning the sports trivia quiz on my own against six strong teams, ha! Day 11 - Apologies if this report gets a little samey here, but it was another windy day in the sun with little to do aboard. The evening was much better though. Martin Brock, a 24 year old Danish magician offered a youthful alternative to the usual fayre offered by his colleagues and peers. And tonight was the night I got to see RCI's famous Quest game. To this day, I still don't know whether I found the sight of people running around with false teeth dripping with octogenarian saliva in their hands, and 70 year old men in bras and lipstick, the funniest thing I will ever see, or the most disturbing! Day 12 - The six pack was coming along nicely, so a Windjammer fry up was well earned. Today's highlights featured Dollar Origami with Erky, who had us in fits while showing us how to make a T-shirt out of a dollar. Blew the '70's music trivia quiz by a point, and another glorious wallet went begging. Doh! The evening show was the East Coast Boys, a tribute to Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Even if you didn't like them, this was top drawer stuff. The best show of the trip. It was also the '70's Disco Party, which was fun. We visited the Starquest Disco afterwards, but I think it was a bit late for the premium age guests, and we skipped passed the tumbleweed before retiring. Interesting Fact: Somali pirates have no chance whatsoever against a cruise ship, but the captain will keep you well informed and make you feel part of the action, as it were. Day 13 - The regulars applauded as I entered the gym today. Ten minutes on the cycling machine and the staff were asking for autographs. And off to the Windjammer we go. My friend at the omelette station had been enjoying miscommunication contests for much of the cruise, but today I got what I ordered; a shame really, I was enjoying the unpredictability of it all. Today was the 'prove we've been on holiday to everyone at home day' as we attempted roasting our bodies in the glorious sunshine. Lunch at the main restaurant was followed by some more Dollar Origami with Erky - I think we were his groupies by this stage! Won the Staff trivia quiz afterwards, and I can assure you the caps will be treasured forever. Not so successful at the Beatles Trivia, and wasn't really into the Tango headline show, although everyone said it was great. It was really windy on the top deck so we just had to go to the pool party. And it was indeed amusing in an existential fashion - we just wanted to see how hard people would try to enjoy themselves. Day 14 - By now I was institutionalised. Up on top deck walking around at 5am waiting for the gym to open before two breakfasts: One on my own, and an official one with DW. Another sunny day, but without so much wind. I went to the Dubai lecture and walked out after learning the lecture had only skim-read the Penguin Introduction to Arab Folk once. A guy we had done a few of the quizzes with won $2,000 at Bingo that day, and we were most pleased for him. The Farwell Show featured aerial acrobatics that put all bar one of the previous shows to shame. Gordon belted out a couple of tunes and it was a very good show. A really nice thing was seeing everyone finding the friends they had made on the trip and exchanging phone numbers etc. It was a really nice last night all round. Day 15 - Up early and allegedly in the first bunch off the ship. It was chaos. The immigration officer was not on board to stamp passports, and although the staff did their best, they really were not prepared. A lot of old people were getting very fed up. We eventually found our way off the ship - it was not signed, so we visited several decks, and made our way into the hangar style luggage scrum. Our bags were supposed to be among the first out, but came out about an hour later. When we eventually waved our goodbyes to the ship we raced off to a whistle stop tour of Dubai before our long and tiring journey home. Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas: A tired and in some places tatty ship that is contrarily well maintained and good looking - If that neat contradiction makes sense. The pool area was too small for the number of passengers. The theatre is in desperate need of refurbishment. The Windjammer, conversely, looks as good as new and the main areas were all fine. The Seaview Cafe was shiny, as was the foyer. Having said all that a Thompson ship was parked behind us at Safaga and it could have fit into one of Brilliance's lifeboats, and the QE2 was docked behind us at Dubai and that looked like a dinghy. The Experience: This was most certainly a cruise for the oldies, but oldies are more fun that youngsters so we had a great time with people twice our age. My 3* rating for this cruise is not meant to sound harsh, I genuinely don't know how everyone has a five out of five experience on every different ship, with different weather conditions and different ports every time. This was a thoroughly enjoyable trip on a perhaps once great ship, with superb staff and incredible ports of call for history buffs, if you like that sort of thing. Classic Cruise Tip: If you are going on a transition cruise and want a balcony to enjoy the sun, before you go make sure you want to be Port or Starboard. We were lucky to have the sunshine all day every day. Erky's quiz question: How many Teets does a dog have? Answer: 42 Teeth. Yes, teets, that's what I said. Read Less
Sail Date January 2010
We are well seasoned cruisers and have sailed on several different cruise lines. We were introduced to Crystal the year after they began service. We have been on Crystal 19 times, on all three ships (although the Harmony does not sail ... Read More
We are well seasoned cruisers and have sailed on several different cruise lines. We were introduced to Crystal the year after they began service. We have been on Crystal 19 times, on all three ships (although the Harmony does not sail for the general populous anymore). The ships are beautiful, the wait staff incredible and the entertainment top notch. The food is not my favorite because I am not a foodie, and I like rather plain stuff. My husband, on the other hand, loves it. One person mentioned that the food was not very good. That is not the norm. Also, they were usually make anything you want at any time. There are a few things they ask you to order the day before. To those who have only been on once, try again. They are wonderful to return cruisers. They also have the most loyal staff you can ever imagine. The "bus boy" on our first cruise had worked his way up to Matre'D on our last. They have to treat their employees well to inspire that kind of loyalty. This means the staff treats the guests really well. Do not be scared of the age range. One person commented the average age was 70+. I cannot imagine. We travel with any one of a dozen couples and have for years, and none of us are close to 70 (ok, maybe 1 or 2 are) and we never have trouble finding people in our age group, or even younger. Oh, and we work for our money, not the other way around, as do most of our cruise buddies. It is true that the average net worth of Crystal Cruisers is higher, but to me that is a benefit. I am too old to appreciate the 20 somethings on Carnival.... Read Less
Sail Date July 2009

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