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939 Royal Caribbean Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it had an itinerary that covered a lot of our bucket list. We were not disappointed; the ports of call were wonderful. Embarkation was seamless; we were on the ship in 10 minutes after arriving at the dock. The weather in Lauderdale was beautiful but that quickly changed after the first day at sea. Unfortunately we were unable to get much time on deck unless we were bundled up in winter gear. By the third sea day the winds continued to increase and we were experiencing high swells. The doors to the deck were sealed and the "white" bags were strategically placed around the ships. Fortunately none of us got sick thanks to Bonine, no nausea at all and we continued to enjoy the food and dining venues. After six days at sea, we were happy to reach land (Punta del Gada, Azores) and from there on, we were kept very busy moving from port to port. Except for a very cold, windy and rainy day at the beaches of Normandy, all other port days were gloriously beautiful. We had two private tours (Azores and Cork, Ireland) arranged through our CC thread; and due to time constraints, we felt more secure taking two ship's tours (Beaches of Normandy and the Keukenhoff Tulip Festival in Amsterdam). We did DIY in Brugge, Brussels and Copenhagen. Again, what wonderful ports they all were. We had My Time Dining and never had a wait since I had previously made reservations on line. Food in the Dining Room was great some nights, other nights it was just fair. To be honest, I'm not that fussy as long as I don't have to cook and serve a meal. We pretty much had the same two waiters depending on which table we were at. Both were very attentive; no complaints there. The food in the Windjammer was good, varied and plentiful. Didn't know what to choose each day. We had lunch in the dining room a few days, which we really enjoyed. We at at Giovanni's Table one night and while my cruise mates raved about it, I thought it was just okay and not really worth the up charge. Speaking of up charges, RCI was relentless in hawking the pay dining venues. Could have done without that. Speaking of up charges, that is why I did not rate this cruise a 5. It seems as though everything that used to be included in the price of your cruise, now has a charge and doesn't come cheap. You want to learn to make cupcakes - you pay $25 for that class. You want to take a wine tasting class - another up charge. Pilates, Yoga, Spinning - more charges. The ship was very clean and well kept. She is holding her age well. The "free" activities during sea days could have been better and more of a variety . There was plenty of trivia, dance classes and karaoke. The cruise director, Carly, and her staff were wonderful and tried really hard to be accessible and available to everyone. The enrichment classes were not to our liking and we had little interest in them. Debarkation in Copenhagen was just as smooth as embarkation and were were at our hotel by 8:30 AM! I wouldn't hesitate to do another Transatlantic in the future. All in all, it was a great cruise with very few disappointments. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times ... Read More
First and foremost, my rating was based on the itinerary and ports of call. They were all beautiful, extremely cultural and lots of fun. Celebrity is usually our cruise line of choice but we have sailed on Royal Caribbean several times with the last sailing in 2014. Oh, how times have changed. We noticed a definite decline in service due to a reduction in staff in every department. Our stateroom attendant had no assistant, there wasn't a constant bathroom attendant in any of the "public" bathrooms, therefore the floors were always a mess especially under the men's urinals. I understand talking to my wife that the women's bathrooms were just as bad. You are asked to save water by using the same bath towel, but the attendant can use several towels to make animals that are placed on your bed at night (How much sense does that make?) And, no more chocolate on your pillow. Bar service could be extremely slow depending on where you were at. Our first night in the Main Dining Room, my wine was served in a dirty wine glass by a server who blamed the bartender for pouring it into a dirty glass (In my restaurant, they both would have been in trouble. The bartender for pouring it and the server for serving it.) There are no longer suggestions of what wines to pair with the nightly entrees, there are no vintages listed on the Wine List and no more sommeliers roaming the floor offering their expertise. My suggestion if you are to eat at the Windjammer Buffet and desire a cocktail, wine or beer, stop at a bar on the way before you get there. The staff in the buffet has been decreased greatly and consequently has forced each of them to do double and triple duties, therefore you may not get your drink until after you have eaten. By the way, if you have missed a particular dinner in the Main Dining Room, no worries, it will be served eventually in the buffet. Drink prices we noticed have also doubled in price. Also, be aware that drink packages have to be bought in tandem. If one of you buys a package,(and to avoid any shenanigans) the other person in your stateroom has to buy a package of their choice as well. The theatre is not used as much as it should be for large extracurricular shows and demonstrations, instead, the Cruise Director has chosen to use the Centrum Bar on Deck 4 which does not have the capability of hosting large numbers of guests which forces a great many of us to view what's going on by leaning over the railings on Deck 5 thru Deck 10. What an inconvenience that is. The nightly newsletter called the "Compass," that was delivered to each stateroom always showed the casino winnings up to that point. No more. Nobody was winning. On a 16 night cruise, that's ridiculous. The slots were tight, tight, tight. We also noticed a difference in the staff's attitudes on board. Not as many friendly and smiling faces as we remembered. Let us hope that this isn't contagious throughout the Royal Caribbean brand. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We always choose our cruises based on the itinerary and this cruise was no different. We liked the idea of a transatlantic for the relaxation, and were delighted to find that combines with access to 2 of our bucket list areas of the world ... Read More
We always choose our cruises based on the itinerary and this cruise was no different. We liked the idea of a transatlantic for the relaxation, and were delighted to find that combines with access to 2 of our bucket list areas of the world - Normandy Beach and Flanders fields areas of the world. We took RC shore excursions to both areas. The Normandy beach tour was excellent and very moving, and 12 hours long with a long drive. We walked around a German battle area about Omaha and Utah beaches with bunkers and bomb craters still intact. Then we went down to Omaha beach where had a short time to walk on the beach and see the memorials there. Very moving. Lastly we went to a museum for lunch and several hours. This part of the trip was a bit disappointing and we would rather have spent more time at Omaha Beach. That said, there were 2 highlights. We were able to go down into the actual german bunker that Rommel used during the invasion which was quite fascinating, and we finished the day with a heart wrenching short video about the war and invasion. The Ypres (Flanders Fields) tour was superb. Our guide was born there in 1942 and spent his career removing and detonating mines - from Europe the first 20 years or so, then the middle east. Amazingly, they are still finding unexploded ordinances and bodies in the fields today - a hundred years later. We saw a couple of British military cemeteries and the place where the poem was written. We had free time in Ypres to wander the beautiful town & the was museum. You would thing Ypres had been built in the middle ages, which it was, but what you see is the recreation after it was totally destroyed in the war. Other ports - Azores & Cobh Ireland were beautiful and I would love to return to either. Amsterdam - The tulips were in season and we went to the Kuekenhof festival which was amazing! The only comment I have on that shore ex is that 2 hours is NOT enough time to take it all in. Main dining room - since the last time on this ship they changed to a one page dinner menu which included dessert choices. We did not like this at all. It presented much more limited selections and reduced the elegance of the dining. We did learn later that some of the things we missed (cold soups) were really available, you just had to know to ask for them. Again, this was a change we did not like. Service was excellent however. Entertainment was excellent and there was a fabulous lecturer who covered the history of the areas we were going to visit. As usual, RC tries to sell sell sell and it got old fast. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was all that we expected. Calm seas virtually all the way. Only a couple of days with choppy seas. Average age of passengers was high but it meant all activities was almost always available. We absolutely loved the sea days, made the ... Read More
It was all that we expected. Calm seas virtually all the way. Only a couple of days with choppy seas. Average age of passengers was high but it meant all activities was almost always available. We absolutely loved the sea days, made the trip with it. Loved seeing only ocean for 6 days. The itinerary was great. Enjoyed the various stops and sights along the way. It's great to see places one would normally not even have though of. We will most definitely be returning to some of the cities we visited. The Serenade of the seas is might not be Royal Caribbean's biggest ship but it has enough to keep us busy for the 16 days. Playing miniature golf on 5m waves was an experience. Playing pool while the ship moves around the table is something extraordinary. The table and balls might be 100% level but your not. The staff was great. Will do another one soon. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
My parents invited my husband and I to take this transatlantic cruise with them. This was the 4th cruise we had been on and the first transatlantic. Like the first cruise on Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas back in 2010, the Vision ... Read More
My parents invited my husband and I to take this transatlantic cruise with them. This was the 4th cruise we had been on and the first transatlantic. Like the first cruise on Royal Caribbean Voyager of the Seas back in 2010, the Vision was a fabulous experience. While a smaller (and older) ship, it was pristine and immaculate and the layout was great. Easy to get around, lots happening everywhere (you could not get bored on this ship!), and outstanding service. I have to admit that when I saw the ship docked in Galveston, I thought "oh my, this looks old and outdated" as we had been on the Coral Princess about 5 years ago (to Panama) and that ship was the same age as Vision, but it was horribly run-down and smelled awful (mold, wet shower curtain) in the hallways and staterooms). But once we boarded the Vision, we saw this was a beautiful ship, our room (standard with balcony) was clean and sparkling, and the common areas were all updated and well maintained. The food was not as good as I recall on the Voyager, but better than Princess (besides the Coral Princess in 2015, we have been on the Emerald Princess back in 2011). The Windjammer Buffet was great - many healthy options and wide variety. The dining room was mostly quite good but a few items were sub-par (cuts of meat quality in particular). Dining room staff was outstanding and bent over backwards to make sure we were happy, same for our stateroom attendant. All in all, this is a good size ship (2,000) and I would definitely recommend for an older clientele - not much for children here but definitely caters to the older (75+) crowd. Note that I gave a "3" for entertainment. The reason is that I'm 56 years old and one of the youngest on board - the entertainment (shows, music venues) was definitely geared toward the 75+ age group with ballroom dancing, classical music, and lots of Frank Sinatra. Not my cup of tea, but the majority of passengers loved it, so if you like that type of entertainment, this ship is for you. I also want to give kudos to the Cruise Director's staff. Cruise Director Steve Davis was the BEST - a true performer and "people person" all round. His Activities Manager Talita was also fabulous, along with Stephanie and Jakob. They were all very visible and engaged with the passengers throughout the entire cruise (like on the Voyager but unlike Princess, where you never knew who the cruise director was or even saw him/her). Quite an obvious difference in the way this position/department is viewed by Royal Carribbean v. Princess. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Vision of the Seas – Transatlantic – April 16th 2017 Overview A wonderful crossing for the second year in a row. We love the Vison Class ships. They have a very friendly staff in all parts of the ship. The food was very good the ... Read More
Vision of the Seas – Transatlantic – April 16th 2017 Overview A wonderful crossing for the second year in a row. We love the Vison Class ships. They have a very friendly staff in all parts of the ship. The food was very good the entertainment was mostly excellent. Embarkation We stayed at the Tremont Hotel in Galveston. It’s a marvelous old hotel located very close to the port. We didn’t go to the ship until close to 1 p.m. and were able to board quickly and head to the room Cabin – Ocean view 3628 Adequate size for us to store all our stuff. We chose to have the bed separated into two singles as it made the layout a lot friendlier with access to the window. There is no comfortable place to stay in the room for any length of time (so we didn’t). Cabin steward was OK (nothing extraordinary) On Board Nit-picks first – The music played on the ship was on a loop that ended up playing the same music at the SAME TIME every day! C’mon man! That’s just lazy. They had a shortage of martini glasses on the ship (yes you read that right). One night they served our martinis in wine glasses. Very weird (and unprofessional) The good- The Schooner Bar is our favorite before dinner place. An awesome bar! Food in the MDR was very good as well as the service. The solarium was our sea day hangout! Food in the Windjammer was good, but the same every day. Food in the Park Café was exactly the same limited menu every single day. We did not go to a specialty restaurant Entertainment on board was typical cruise ship stuff. The headliners were generally good, I am not a big fan of the ships singers and dancers, but they were ok too. The best was the Piano headliner Brook Aehron who was fantastic and then he brought on flutist Jaymee Coonjobeeharry who provided on of the best onboard shows I have seen! There was also a guest speaker talking about spying which I attended but it was only mildly interesting Ports San Juan – got off and looked around, had a beer and did some shopping and went back to the ship. Been there many times Porto Delgada – We took a ships tour to Crater Lake. We don’t often take the ships tours anymore, and now I remember why. You have to go to a meeting place and follow in a nice little line behind the girls with the sign and find your bus. I much prefer booking a trip on my own BUT this excursion was pleasant and the island is very nice! Sea Days! – HEAVEN! Malaga – (Spain Rocks). We took the shuttle to town (5 Euros return). Walked to the cathedral and went on the big Ferris wheel (again) for the views (20 euros) and had some a nice cold beer. Alicante – What a great place! Everything is close to the port. We walked around town, saw the old church and had something to eat and drink. Lots and Lots of restaurants! Palma. – A big rainstorm, We stayed on the ship. (It was $20 return for the shuttle! Ridiculous!) Barcelona – Straight to the airport this year. We were there last year for a few days. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Sailing from Galveston is always very convenient and this itinerary was perfect! The ship was in very good condition considering its age. The captain and the crew were very friendly and very helpful. The food was delicious! We had a Grand ... Read More
Sailing from Galveston is always very convenient and this itinerary was perfect! The ship was in very good condition considering its age. The captain and the crew were very friendly and very helpful. The food was delicious! We had a Grand Suite which was wonderful. Lots of extra drawers and space with a spacious balcony. The ship doesn’t have all the ‘bells and whistles’ like the much larger ships but there was always plenty to do. The entertainment was very good, especially the concert pianist and the young flutist. We ate mainly in the dining room and had My Time Dining. Perfect service and very good food. We also ate in Chops 2 nights and it was excellent. For lunch we ate in the dining room, the Windjammer, and the Solarium All very good! We had access to the Concierge Lounge which was always a fun place to go and meet old and new friends. The Concierge, Ryno, was excellent! It was a GREAT cruise! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage ... Read More
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage arrived later in the afternoon. We did MTD. We are Diamond and they offered the Colony as the overflow lounge. We went around 6,after the early eaters left, so we could find a seat. Cocktails and appetizers, then we would go to the show or movie at 7, dinner to follow. We meet some very nice people at cocktails and dinner. Service was very good at both places also. Enjoyed dinner every night but 2 in the dinning room, once in the Windjammer and once at Chops. The first 8 days were sea days and the weather was wonderful. We had a cloudy day in the Azores where we took a private tour arranged with other cruise critic followers. The weather got cool, windy, rainy and the boat rocked! The captain told us we would miss East Dunsmore/Waterford, have an extra sea day and to to Dublin before Cobh/Cork. The winds were hurricane range! Lots of broken dishes that night in the dining room! We rocked and rolled! Then the next day the Captain said we would be skipping Dublin and staying in Cohn/Cork where it was a protected harbor for 2 days to keep everyone safe. Oh well.....it happens-and you go with the flow. Because it was a 15 day transatlantic, there were only 18 kids on board. All the staff were friendly and helpful! The ship was going into dry dock after our cruise, but we enjoyed her. Spent a couple of afternoons in the hot tubs, walked the outside track on 12 a lot, used the work out room, watch a movie in the theater, saw most of the shows, read lots of books and had a very relaxing cruise. Meet a lot of veteran transatlantic cruises and we can see why-would definitely do this again! Had our last breakfast in the MDR because we weren’t scheduled to leave until 8:30. We took the ship’s transfer to the airport where we found the luggage there before checking in. Our flight was after 2PM and it was an easy way to go. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean ... Read More
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean view with balcony never got fixed the whole cruise even though we let the stateroom attendant know about it. Schooner bar was staffed with two competent bartenders, Oldemar and Meliza. They kept us lubricated under the Deluxe Beverage Package. The revamped menus were okay, nothing special. The food tasted okay, nothing special. Only one Tarantella that I could recall. Although, we did the Chef's Table one night which was superb! The Azores shore excursion in Ponta Gorda was a bust. The whole island was fogged in. The tour guide was kind enough to show the picture on her phone as we made each stop to see Sete Cidades and tell us that was what we would have seen. The orchestra onboard was outstanding, especially the drummer. We left Ponta Gorda and enroute to Ireland, the Captain made the decision not to put into Waterford or Dublin because of a winter storm kicking up waves of 15 meters or more. Darn, that's why we came. To his credit, he put together an informative PowerPoint presentation in the theater to explain his reasoning with weather charts, navigation charts, meteorological forecasts and the like. Everyone in attendance applauded. As a token, he offered to overnight in Cork so we could have two days there. I commend his decision in the interest of safety. We left Cork and in two days we arrived in Amsterdam. We took the shore excursion to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens with airport drop-off. Beautiful gardens at their peak, only so for a short window in the spring. But we weren't departing, so at the airport, we grabbed a taxi to the hotel where we spent two nights in Amsterdam before heading home. This was the first time in 17 RCCL cruises I've used Air2Sea to make flight arrangements. I'll just say, I am going to do so from now on with the deal we got for the trip home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May ... Read More
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May 7th. She was heading to drydock but the leg was canceled and she went to drydock early. So... we flew into Tampa the night before. Easily and efficiently boarded the ship. We were in our cabin by 1:30pm after eating lunch and having a cocktail. Our first order of business was to order our dinner wines. It was not as easy as in times past because ordinarily if you create your own package of over 6 wines, a discount is given. Not this time. Well... eventually but anyway. Our experience in the RCCL main dining rooms have not been the best but this ship was an absolute exception! We also usually eat just the two of us, but this time we joined another table. We had amazing food, spectacular service and great fun with new friends. Quite honestly, we missed every show. We got dressed up for dinner each night and with the late seating (8:30), we visited the Diamond Lounge first. Nights one and two we went upstairs but it was SO crowded we couldn't find a place to sit! The concierge helped to book our dinners so that was a great help. The next night or so, we tried the Colony Club for cocktail hour(s) but could not get served. We ended up at Schooner Bar with Mr. Wilson and Milica. Wow! Those two and the guests that gravitated toward the bar each night made the whole trip! Excellent service... friendly... made us feel like family! We had VERY rough seas and missed two ports (Waterford and Dublin). Though we were disapponted, we got an overnight in Cobh. That was FUN! The train is just off the ship and took us into Cork... the big city. The port town of Cobh is adorable! People friendly, pubs fun and we even did the Titanic Experience (not a great idea when doing a TransAtlantic). Our cabin steward was amazing. Took care of our every need. We didn't spend much time in the room but we couldn't always see he had been in to straighten up and provide us with information. We did the Chef's Table which was fun! Food great, presentation perfect and wine well paired. The only thing that was slightly sad was in the end, politics came up and that's not the best idea... it made for a quick ending to an otherwise special evening. This cruise went above and beyond the normal cruise. It is evident the crew consider each other family and have created quite a sense of teamwork. For me, even with the missed ports, it was a 10 out of 10 experience. We did not want to disembark today!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really good (too good, according to the weight I gained.. and I did a daily work-out in The Gymnasium!!) Grace and Dmytro served swiftly, kind and patiently at our table and the menu was really superb, compliments to the Chef and his crew two. We had some meals at The Windjammer Café and that was really good too, but sometimes it is hard to find a nice table. We really enjoyed the entertainment on board. There was a 9 man band with 4 fabulous vocalists, lots of nice other live music during the day. Some shows, like the juggler, were not our cup of tea but other guests seem to have enjoyed these shows also. Because of the weather we had to change the route and two ports (Waterford and Dublin) had to be canceled. We went off the ship for a nice walk in Porta del Gado on the Azores. We have spend two days in Cork and we have visited the town on one and made a short bus tour across the island the other day. We had always thought a cruise was boring and we were scared to get seasick. We had a pretty rough ride according to the captain but except for a less steady walk, we really enjoyed our days at sea. After 15 days we have arrived in Amsterdam and...we have booked another transatlantic cruise in 2019 with Royal Caribbean from Barcelona to Miami. Traveling with a cruiseship to or from the US is so much relaxter than traveling by plane, no jet lag! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was a great time. All the staff where so nice. We love the size of this ship. Easy to get to know everyone. We where in cabin 9050 which said it had a 25% obstruction from a window cleaning ladder.It was not bad and did not obstruct our ... Read More
It was a great time. All the staff where so nice. We love the size of this ship. Easy to get to know everyone. We where in cabin 9050 which said it had a 25% obstruction from a window cleaning ladder.It was not bad and did not obstruct our view too much.But the divider between cabins had a big gap so we could see the people next to us if they where on their balcony. The cabin was a great size and we booked this cruise late so not many to choose from. But this would not be my first choice. The food was good, shows where OK the smaller ships don't tend to have the best acts.Room attendant did a great job. I think all the staff work so very hard. We did miss two ports in Ireland due to a storm, but it was very nice of Royal to give us a voucher for money off our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
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 ... 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 ... 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
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 ... 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
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)., ... 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
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
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
Sail Date November 2017
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