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Sail Date: November 2017
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and ... Read More
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and on this cruise we would like to recognize our Concierge, Amit; the concierge club bartender, Juliana; our dining room server, Dharia; and the fourth floor bartender, Wagner. We also enjoyed seeing Capt Nillsen again, who happened to be the Captain of Monarch of the Seas, which was our first cruise in 1994. Due to his experience and talent as the captain of our ship, we had a smooth uneventful trip. The tours offered at each port helped us to see the desired highlights of each port we visited. The only negative comments we have regarding the cruise were the coffee (rumor has it you once offered Seattle's Best, which is the bets), the slowness and spottiness of the internet reception, and the age of the furnishings on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
This is our 25th cruise, 4th transatlantic cruise and 4th with Royal Caribbean. Smooth seas all the way, we were sorry to not stop in San Juan and RCI substituted St. Kitts. This sailing on Royal Caribbean felt like being in economy ... Read More
This is our 25th cruise, 4th transatlantic cruise and 4th with Royal Caribbean. Smooth seas all the way, we were sorry to not stop in San Juan and RCI substituted St. Kitts. This sailing on Royal Caribbean felt like being in economy class on the airlines. A noticable decrease in food quality plus they have cut, cut, cut the ships staff in all areas from house keeping, dining room and windjamer, to all other areas of the ship. RCI has dropped from one of our favorites to a least favorite. RCI is charging extra $ for everything possible and unless you are diamond class or higher you feel like and are treated like a second class person. The atrium continues to be a noise problem as Very Loud is the standard for all entertainment. RCI continues to allow smoking and a person can just sit down and smoke without playing any machines!. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
I choose this cruise because of the price, the itinerary, and I'd never cruised on RC before. And I won't be back. RC- if you do NOTHING else, you must institute a seminar for First Time RC Cruisers ONLY. Have one per each 5 days at ... Read More
I choose this cruise because of the price, the itinerary, and I'd never cruised on RC before. And I won't be back. RC- if you do NOTHING else, you must institute a seminar for First Time RC Cruisers ONLY. Have one per each 5 days at sea. (Let's face it - the longer the cruise, the older the passenger, the more we need review!) This seminar should be all about the loyalty program. During this seminar, you should treat us like were were Platinum, and then tell us how we get to be like that on every RC cruise! Explain all the levels and what they mean, etc. Raffles do seem to be good, too! Jim and I kept running into places we couldn't go (breakfast in Chops Grille?!?!) or perqs we couldn't get and we had NO IDEA what Diamond Plus meant or how to get it!! There were MANY other little things (two levels of approval to get Housekeeping to bring me some lotion; uncharging for everything; no chocolates on the pillow). The Brilliance is in great need of updating. My sink was broken and there were large divots in the wall. And why did I have to hear my neighbors flush their toilet, sing, or turn on their TV? Oh wait, here's another: The enrichment activities that I attended were great! BUT they were led by fellow passengers and apparently RC didn't do anything to compensate them. That's rude. RC could offer them dinner in Chops or one of the other eat-for-fee places. I thought that was so cheesy. I gave them 3 stars because their were things that were out of their control and, more importantly, there were some amazing, fun, outrageous, beautiful, hysterical (I participated in The Quest.), great times on this vacation. we did have some really fantastic times!!!!! And the cabins were considerably bigger than those on the Princess ships we know. On a brighter note, we'll be doing the Panama Canal on March with Princess. I called them. They still do pillow chocolates and every cabin gets lotion, bath gel, shampoo. and conditioner in their own private little containers. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was not ... Read More
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was not "quite" hot in the room, and varied in temperature during the shower; the tv was mounted in such a way that it had to be moved every time we wanted to open one of the cabinets; and the hallway to our cabin smelled of urine for most of the trip. The dining experiences in the specialty restaurants were good. SERVICE in the main dining room was excellent, but the atmosphere was "off". The lights were bright, there was much hustle and bustle and noise and rushing around ... NOT the "elegant dining experience" promised throughout the marketing materials. It felt very much like being in any casual dining restaurant in the states ... even on "formal" nights. That was sad. This being transatlantic, we were looking forward to what lectures and learning opportunities would be on board. We were hugely disappointed. The "destination lectures" were all about Spain ... after the fact ... and the speaker was less than professional. There was a doctor who did a couple of presentations on aging (a very popular topic!), but he was in a conference room that was over-filled, so we were not able to actually listen to him. There was an excellent speaker on thieving ... although his presentation needed a bit more organization. With a few really outstanding exceptions, the staff on this cruise just didn't seem to have their hearts in it. The shops were never re-ordered in two weeks, so once you had been through them, there was nothing new to see ... and things stayed in the same spots throughout the cruise so it didn't even generate any interest in wandering through to see new displays. The merchandise, for the most part, is just "ordinary dollar store" stuff ... and even then they didn't have some useful items ... We were especially disappointed that my husband's "Crown & Anchor Society" status was incorrect on his SeaPass ... which meant that none of the "perks" were available to him ... and no one could fix that. It also seemed that no one really knew what was going on. For example, I went to redeem one of my free drinks ... and was told by the bartender that what I wanted was not available on the program. I argued, he looked it up ... and gave me a drink. ;-) Another example; we pre-purchased a dining package, and found that there was a wine discount after we had been there two days. Sometimes they applied it, sometime they didn't ... and no one could explain why ... There was also not enough information about the ports ... admittedly, the port stops happened very early in the cruise, so there was not too much time, but the map/handout about the port did not offer any USEFUL information, if you were not shopping for jewelry. Which we were not. We will cruise RCCL again, and hope that this cruise was just an anomaly ... Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: November 2017
This transatlantic cruise consisted of port calls at Cartagena, Malaga, Funchal and St. Kitts. There were nine sea days including five in a row while doing the actual crossing. This was a nice mix of sea days and ports. Many have ... Read More
This transatlantic cruise consisted of port calls at Cartagena, Malaga, Funchal and St. Kitts. There were nine sea days including five in a row while doing the actual crossing. This was a nice mix of sea days and ports. Many have commented on the extremely loud volume of music at all locations and I found this to a problem as well. The Centrum events and the evening movie on the deck were the worst offenders. Distorted and almost painful. The Windjammer, Schooner Bar, Main Dining Room and Colony Club were extremely brightly lit, which made those areas much less pleasant than if the lighting was softer. It seemed they were maybe running out of some items and decided to wait until they returned to the US before replacing them. There were only two choices in the small cold cereal boxes at breakfast in the buffet and the bulk cereals seemed somewhat stale. Beer was two months past the expiry date and coffee was not hot. The string trio in the Centrum and Schooner Bar was fabulous and all appreciated their music. Sea conditions were extremely smooth for this crossing and even the captain commented that it was not even necessary to deploy the stabilizers much on this cruise. This is a nice size ship to do a crossing on and I would like to do some more with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2017
Love transatlantic cruising for the opportunity to "unplug" and truly relax. We started in Barcelona which was interesting this year due to the demonstrations over the secession movement. We had a challenge getting to our hotel ... Read More
Love transatlantic cruising for the opportunity to "unplug" and truly relax. We started in Barcelona which was interesting this year due to the demonstrations over the secession movement. We had a challenge getting to our hotel because of blocked roads. We had to walk the last half mile to the hotel with all of our luggage. Also witnessed a huge demonstration/rally in Cathedral Plaza....many thousands of people! No problems getting to the ship the following day. We stopped in Cartagena, Malaga and Funchal Madeira before crossing to St Kitts and then into Tampa. The Brilliance of the Seas is a nice size ship. The cabins are clean and decent size. Food was plentiful and good. The main dining room staff are always great. Manuel was a great waiter...been working on ships for many years....great stories to tell. Adrian is a great bartender in the Schooner Bar. Did not love the majority of the entertainment this year. The tenors show (Fourever, I think) was GREAT. Read Less
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
-- Chef's table was awesome, best food experience ever. - all staff was friendly and very helpful. - loved it so much rebooked in April for Galveston to Barcelona. Only wish it were on the Brilliance. - Most of the ports were ... Read More
-- Chef's table was awesome, best food experience ever. - all staff was friendly and very helpful. - loved it so much rebooked in April for Galveston to Barcelona. Only wish it were on the Brilliance. - Most of the ports were great to walk around in even great if you did not book any excursions. - Staff planned activities kept you as involved as you wanted to be. - Cabin was nice, a little dated but very clean. Our housekeeper was amazing. - Food was good, sometimes the listed dinner was not exactly what was served but it was still good. - Windjammer was always crowded but they always had plenty of food and it was kept clean - it was amazing to see how they kept refreshing all the food section, would close down for one meal and be ready for the next within 30 minutes. Great job Brilliance! 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
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