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Cruise Ratings
Sail Date: November 2017
Wanted to try a smaller ship, have been on Oasis and Freedom, so thought a transatlantic on this size ship would be interesting. The ship is perfect size, no lines to stand in, indoor heated pool and enough activities to keep you busy. ... Read More
Wanted to try a smaller ship, have been on Oasis and Freedom, so thought a transatlantic on this size ship would be interesting. The ship is perfect size, no lines to stand in, indoor heated pool and enough activities to keep you busy. Food was good and service was great. Another thing about taking a two week cruise is most of the passengers are older and very few children. Makes for less noise in the dining rooms and the pool area.The Brilliance of the Sea is about 15 years old but has been taken good care of and has several neat features; such as a small cinema and plenty of glass to make it seem larger than it is.The crew seem to enjoy their job and everybody we came in contact with was friendly and helpful.We had our luggage carryon and were able to disembark quickly and avoid the lines of people waiting for their luggage. Tampa is a good place to cruise from and the only drawback is larger ships can not pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge . All in all we were completely satisfied and have already booked another cruise on same size ship Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Barcelona departure on a 14 day crossing to Tampa. Excellent food, lots of daytime events, good evening entertainment. The ship is large enough to have many things to do but not so big as to be lost in a flood of humanity. Several ... Read More
Barcelona departure on a 14 day crossing to Tampa. Excellent food, lots of daytime events, good evening entertainment. The ship is large enough to have many things to do but not so big as to be lost in a flood of humanity. Several shows, including two musical/dance acts, comic, ventriloquist, tenors, "Sammy Davis" type Las Vegas show, and an unbelievably funny juggler. The Captain and crew were extremely friendly and welcoming. Not many kids on the trip, probably due to the length of the cruise and school schedules. More older people and a pretty good mix of US/Canadians and Europeans. Most of the port visits were excellent opportunities to see historical cites of the Portuguese and Spanish empires. A historian provided hour-long presentations on the port cities and what to do/see/visit. The port call list originally included San Juan, PR, but was replaced due to the extensive hurricane damage. The substitute port, Basseterre, St. Kitts, was a disappointment, with three cruise ships overwhelming a squalid little town in sore need of revitalization. If your trip includes a visit there, take a trip anywhere else on the island and stay out of the town. A historian provided hour-long presentations on the cities We used the "My Time" meal schedule and it gave us more flexibility on our dinner time. Never used the main dining room for lunch. The all-you-can-drink booze package for the trip of this length was super expensive and only the most hard-core drinker could justify the expense. An option for a 10 drink card was better for us. In addition, a dining option permitted use of the speciality restaurants for four visits a reasonable price. The three formal nights included one Captain's reception but the suggested attire (tux/suit) was widely ignored. I would do this again but not more than about every five years. I understant Royal Carribbean has a strong loyality program so I will check this out for the future. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first Transatlantic cruise! We had done a back to back and really enjoyed both! Highly recommend! After the Med. Cruise this was a great way to relax, DANCE, and unwind. Really liked the fact we had 25 hour days instead of 23 ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic cruise! We had done a back to back and really enjoyed both! Highly recommend! After the Med. Cruise this was a great way to relax, DANCE, and unwind. Really liked the fact we had 25 hour days instead of 23 hour days! We made a lot of great friends and had some new experiences. The crew on the Brilliance was amazing. Everyone seemed so happy to be working on this ship. I would say that 95% of the crew and passengers were happy and fun to be around. A very rare thing these days. We have already booked another cruise followed by a Transatlantic for 2018 and we can't wait! If you haven't tried this, and you have the time...go for it. The weather was great, sea was calm...we danced every night! The bands were great. Brilliance is a great size ship and we highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I have never been to Spain! (sounds like a great song lyric) This was such a great deal, and the itinerary couldn't be beat. The staff was fantastic, from the MDR to the Room Steward (thank you, Joseph, for all the hard work)., to ... Read More
I have never been to Spain! (sounds like a great song lyric) This was such a great deal, and the itinerary couldn't be beat. The staff was fantastic, from the MDR to the Room Steward (thank you, Joseph, for all the hard work)., to Guest Services, to the Entertainment. This was the most amazing trip of my life, to date. There was some wear on the upholstered chairs in the Colony Club, but other than that the ship looked absolutely fine. Where else can you see a juggler, a ventriloquist, singers, dancers, pickpockets and the like without getting in your car and dealing with parking, etc.? I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this vacation, and especially having lunch with the Activities staff along with other solo cruisers. I did make suggestions to add more gluten-free options in the dining venues, as well as low sodium. I would definitely go again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was our first experience of Royal Caribbean but sadly, very likely to be our last. Embarkation and disembarkation went quite quickly and smoothly but that is about it for the positives. We did not choose or cabin as it was part of a ... Read More
This was our first experience of Royal Caribbean but sadly, very likely to be our last. Embarkation and disembarkation went quite quickly and smoothly but that is about it for the positives. We did not choose or cabin as it was part of a package deal but found it to be one of the smallest inside cabins we have ever had, very cramped. It was not very clean and obviously had not been hovered in a while as various items found on floor and in draws (hairgrips, buttons etc). The lack of complimentary toiletries was appalling, not even a shower cap ! Our bedding was not changed at all and turndown service was almost non existent. The food overall was poor and lukewarm and service in the main dining room slow. We felt a general lack of enthusiasm and disinterest from most of the staff. We booked two shore excursions on board, The Kennedy Space centre experience was very good from start to finish, but the New York Hop on/Hop off bus trip was terrible with nobody about to ensure safety or transport back to the ship. Might as well have saved money and booked it on line privately. Not much going on in the way of activities for a transatlantic cruise with several days at sea and sadly the entertainment (apart from the Ice show) was very poor. If I did a transatlantic again (this was my second) it would not be with Royal Caribbean on this ship. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
If you want to eat after 10 in the evening and want more then a roll or a burnt pizza. Entertainment was a joke the cruise director needs replacing. Example colouring by numbers as an afternoon entertainment. The cruise seemed to ... Read More
If you want to eat after 10 in the evening and want more then a roll or a burnt pizza. Entertainment was a joke the cruise director needs replacing. Example colouring by numbers as an afternoon entertainment. The cruise seemed to concentrate on people who were returning customers rather then new. Formal nights were a joke, you got dressed up to walk into the dining room for your evening meal which you had done the night before. no captain, no entertainment, nothing special at all. did not bother after the 1st one. If you Smoke you are normally allowed to smoke in casino. Not on this ship on formal days all day, weather was bad so could not go up on deck and had to use cigar room which had such poor extractors and stunk, In the casino ashtray was a floor standing one which staff emptied out the ashtrays from the slot machines into and never got emptied all day. Everyone i spoke to and me included had charges for services not used added to bills. AFter 8 days at sea managed to get 3 hours in Boston. Management of Immigration was a joke we should have been first a 6.30 with people on excursions ( instead approx 1500 in gue, emigration delayed .with people queuing for 3 or more hours, will not go on but all i will say is i saw people crying with boredom, This cruise turned into a prison sentence. so will i use again never twice crew members maimed to music on the bridge on the promenade and that was about as lively as it got. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
After several cruises with Royal Caribbean and some prior with Fred Olsen, we have been disappointed and probably will not go with RC again. Service is poor and standards are dropping, see details below: 1 Chops Grille for lunch, poor ... Read More
After several cruises with Royal Caribbean and some prior with Fred Olsen, we have been disappointed and probably will not go with RC again. Service is poor and standards are dropping, see details below: 1 Chops Grille for lunch, poor menu selection, average quality. No sides of vegetables ? 2 No room safe, asked at customer service (twice), eventually turned up after 3 days. It then stopped working on THREE ocassions, complained at Customer Service, response poor and no manager available, showed complete lack of interest. 3 Enquired about transfers from ship to hotel and transfer to airport following day arranged by Royal Caribbean, again not really interested in helping me and made a bland statement that it would be sorted on day of disembarkation. (total lack of information) 4 Main Dining Room - repetative menu with little change. 5 Disembarkation at Miami (total chaos), no help from RC staff on shore who did not have any information and even sent us to wrong bus pick up point. 6 We were intending to book another cruise on board but after several cruises with RC have now decided to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Have been on a few other different cruise lines. This was our first on Royal Caribbean. Our cabin steward was brilliant. He informed me that they, and a few other, direct customer facing employees are not paid at all by the cruise line. ... Read More
Have been on a few other different cruise lines. This was our first on Royal Caribbean. Our cabin steward was brilliant. He informed me that they, and a few other, direct customer facing employees are not paid at all by the cruise line. They rely on tips for their "wages". Ours was definitely worth his tips. Embarkation was very smooth - don't listen to those that say it wasn't. We bought a package and only ate in the speciality restaurants.Whilst the food was generally of a high standard it wasn't really to my taste. I preferred the food in the Windjammer Cafe. As others have mentioned I did find the lack of toiletries and tissues surprising. That is the first cruise line I have encountered a lack of those things. Contrary to what others are saying - there was plenty to do. Quizzes, lectures, dancing, shows, ice shows etc. What more do you want! To the people that complain about lack of smoking space and then complain about the cigar room "stinking!" - what planet are you on! That's what non smokers put up with all the time. Not our best cruise ever. But that's because of penny pinching by Royal Caribbean. But would I take another cruise with them - yes. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: November 2017
This was a cruise from southhampton to USA. The embarkation was poor at southamption as to waiting times which was due to the way the queues are organised. The arrival at Boston took a minimum standing time of ... Read More
This was a cruise from southhampton to USA. The embarkation was poor at southamption as to waiting times which was due to the way the queues are organised. The arrival at Boston took a minimum standing time of two hours to get off ship with queues stretching more than double the length of the ship to go through US customs; customs were quick; therefore the delays are down to RC. Similar delays were also on final embarkation of the ship. Again this was down to RC and not as claimed by RC due to port and customs. There is plenty of senior staff going around the ship checking on front of house staff and service. Front of house staff and their service was generally very good and the amount of senior staff are not required as standing around on phones/discussions do not assist the front of house staff or the service. More front of house staff and less senior staff would improve the passenger experience. i.e. there was a problem at the promanade cafe which saw 4 senior staff on phones and in discusions with each other. The addition of two front of house staff to serve the customers, then the kitchen could not keep up with the customers queues better if the seniors had actually joined the front line staff and back room to improve the service. Similarly the windjammer, certain dishes were not available for 15 minutes and front line staff having to complain on behalf of passengers. What dishes there were available e.g, sausages you could not get a knife through the middle and the ends were worse, this cannot be edible. At this time there was 3 senior staff checking the service in the windjammer. Possibly checking the product that was being served and assisting with service would have improved the customers experience. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We chose this cruise because the other (Jewel) transatlantic 's destination was Puerto Rico. We were stuck with the dates. Entertainment during the long cold crossing was far below our expectations. Nothing at all of intrest. We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because the other (Jewel) transatlantic 's destination was Puerto Rico. We were stuck with the dates. Entertainment during the long cold crossing was far below our expectations. Nothing at all of intrest. We appreciated the ice skating show and some evening events. Not all. By far The television showed the same programs on and on... Day by day. Library was almost empty. But....there was a movie shown on the deck every evening....in the Northern Atlantic in November !!!! Not a soul watching but still....every evening There were two or three sunny days. That gave work to the three life-savers in full red regalia standing watch over empty pools. Public spaces were overcrowded since no one could sit outside. We recommend the two waiters of the concierge lounge. Chop's grill was the worst. An example of total incompetence. On two occasions we abandoned our table there to revert to the main sell-service restaurant Read Less
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