1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
I went on this cruise with two other girls and we shared a cabin (see cabin review below). I have been on 17 cruises (this being my 7th RC) so, of course, came in with preconceived ideas of what the service, food, entertainment and spa ... Read More
I went on this cruise with two other girls and we shared a cabin (see cabin review below). I have been on 17 cruises (this being my 7th RC) so, of course, came in with preconceived ideas of what the service, food, entertainment and spa experience should be. Pros of cruise: Ship was clean and appeared to be newly refurbished. Giovanni's Table (Italian specialty restaurant) was phenomenal. Cons of cruise: Layout of ship - It honestly feels like they tried to cram every "Royal Caribbean" type experience onto the boat making the boat feel cramped and not logical. There were very few, if any, stretches of inside space to walk (e.g., you would have to walk through the casino to get to one floor of the theatre, or walk through the solarium to get to the spa). Service - Too few bartenders! RC needs to keep up with the beverage package trend and have more bartenders and more bars open! It was stressful waiting to get a bartender's attention and it made other passengers frustrated to be standing so long to get a drink. It was some of the slowest bar times I have experienced. Plus, there were several bartenders that lacked any type of urgency. In fact, one bartender at Vintages (wine bar) was on the phone for several minutes while 5 people waited to be helped. It was very odd behavior. We just kept looking at each other like "is this really happening?". Running out of items - They ran out of Titos several times during the cruise (HOW does that happen?)! They ran out of lobster bisque and mushrooms in the mushroom risotto. At the pub on board, they ran out of limes and couldn't make several of the drinks because they "didn't have the ingredients". Again, HOW does that happen? Spa experience - My girlfriend paid for a pedicure (which is around double than you would pay in the states) and by that night, the polish had already chipped. To charge $70 for a pedicure, they should be using top of the line polish. Also, my other girlfriend wanted a 90 minute deep tissue massage (ran around $200). The spa manager was so incredibly pushy to book the appointment with her... even offering different ways my friend could do her hair for formal night (to save time so that she could get the massage), then offered free hot stones for the massage and then flat out just asked for the room number so it could be booked. I was so turned off that I decided to wait until the next day to book a massage (which I never did). When my friend returned from the massage, she was upset. She was called back 15 minutes late, the masseuse made up the room infront of her (it was still unmade from the previous guest), gave her a 75 minutes massage (versus 90), never did the hot stones and didn't do a deep tissue massage. My friend was so upset that she talked to the manager who helped rectify it. After seeing how pushy the spa manager was and seeing how upset my friend was about her experience, I decided to not pursue getting a massage on board and instead got one when I arrived home. Food - I feel like RC puts way more effort into their specialty dining restaurants than they do in their MDR. I get that people pay for the specialty restaurants but also feel like the food in the MDR should still be top notch. Plus, there didn't seem to be many daytime food options. I never saw Rita's Cantina open... and then they only had the Windjammer and Park Cafe open for breakfast/lunch. Yes, you could go to the MDR for those meals but when we tried breakfast there, it was disappointing and not many more options than in Windjammer. Overall, the ship was crammed, service inconsistent and they ran out of things... why would I book again? Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and it was a MUCH better experience than we had on the Majesty of the Seas back in October 2016. This time we left from Tampa, which was very easy to get to. Our check-in time was 10:30-2:30 ... Read More
This was our second cruise with Royal Caribbean and it was a MUCH better experience than we had on the Majesty of the Seas back in October 2016. This time we left from Tampa, which was very easy to get to. Our check-in time was 10:30-2:30 and we arrived around 11:30. There is a drop-off area or you can go directly to the parking lot and bring your luggage in that way. If you are going to drop off and you don't see an opening, continue all the way to the end and you will most certainly find a spot to drop off. Unlike the Miami port, the parking is UNCOVERED and you have to PAY UPFRONT which was $60.00 for our trip. I mention this because I was going to give all the bags at drop off, but I decided to keep our carry on which held our cash and credit cards so I was able to pay. Also, if you are dropping someone off and proceeding to parking you do a sharp LEFT at the end of the drop off area and turn LEFT at the BLUE shed. The sign is obstructed by trees and we missed it the first time around. Checking in to the ship was quick and easy. Be sure to have both your picture ID and passport to make things go smoothly. Once onboard we were able to immediately go to our room even though it was stated that the room would not be ready until 1:00. Windjammer, the buffet style dining room was open and ready to use along with most bars as soon as we boarded the ship. Our stateroom was 7124 which had a balcony view and we are glad we got a balcony room and will continue to do so from now on. When we initially purchased our tickets the room was described as an "obstructed view". However, the view was fine. There was a covering that covered the life rafts which did not affect our view at all. We had more than enough room. The muster occurred about 3:15 and our room designation was G14 which was located in Giovanni's Table (restaurant) on the 5th level. It was much easier and simple compared to the last cruise. We purchased the deluxe drink package and found on the first day that there was a LOT of waiting to be done to get any beverages. Wait staff was minimal. The one negative about the bars is that people randomly approach the bar and there is no rhyme or reason who gets served next. Most bartenders do not ask, "who's next". You can be standing at the bar a good 10-15 minutes before you get a beverage. The one changed that was noticed from our last cruise is that fountain drinks now have to be obtained at the "thirst quencher" station in the Windjammer or at any bar. On our last cruise there were fountain dispenseries scattered throughout the ship and was self-serve; this is no longer the case. Our first day at sea was uneventful. We took part in BINGO which was fun. Card purchases are as follows: $29.00 for 3 cards, $39.00 for 6 cards, $49.00 for 9 cards and $69.00 for 12 cards. If purchase Royal Caribbean's version of a scratch off (4 for $20.00) you can double your package. It was our first time playing BINGO and the first time we played just 3 cards to get our feet wet. When BINGO came back around on the second sea day we played 13 cards; still didn't win. There is a cinema onboard which is nice. Space is limited so it is first come first serve. The ship also includes a U-shaped putt putt golf course, rock climbing, a basketball court, a kids pool, the general outdoor pool and the adult solarium pool. We were very impressed with the Windjammer and all the food that was available. Much better than on the Majesty of the Seas. The Windjammer also included outdoor seating which is nice. Once we got to Mexico we decided to rent a car. Alamo and Dollar Rent A Car were located at the end of the pier. We rented a cheap sub compact with ran us $122.00 USD for the day. We drove around the island, but wasn't too impressed with what we saw. The water is definitely beautifu, however, the beaches that we saw were not that great. We went to Chen Rio and Bonita Beach; both did not look anything like the photos we saw on google. We got back early and had cocktails at the R-Bar. Overall, the ship was in beautiful condition and the service was great. We did not travel with children. Since we live in Florida, we did not venture around Tampa as we have been there a few times before. Disembarkation was so so smooth. We chose self assist disembarkation, which was to begin between 7:45-8:15. Disembarking occured on level 4 in the Minstrel dining room. We got down there at 6:55 and there was already a line. It was very organized and by 7:30 we were walking off the ship. Customs was easy and quick. Make sure you have your SeaPass when you leave the ship and your photo ID and passport when going through customs; it makes it a lot easier. We would definitely go on this ship again, however, not necessarily back to Cozumel. We weren't too impressed with that city. Actually, when it was time to leave we were kind of sad. We had a great time and even though there were many many people it didn't really feel cramped (except at the bar). One indulgence we did was sit on the deck on the 12th level at the bow of the ship as we were underway. There was a nice breeze so it wasn't too hot. We went from 4-6pm. Note: the STARBOARD side of the ship is the designated smoking side of the ship. So if you don't smoke, it would be best to get a room on the PORT side of the ship; with that being said, even though the balconys are no smoking, people do smoke; though it isn't as strong as the STARBOARD side. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
Embarkation was fast and easy. We really enjoyed all of the entertainment on this sailing. Jimmy Hopper was the Headliner and he’s the best singer that we’ve seen on any ship. We dined at Giovanni’s and Chops and had ... Read More
Embarkation was fast and easy. We really enjoyed all of the entertainment on this sailing. Jimmy Hopper was the Headliner and he’s the best singer that we’ve seen on any ship. We dined at Giovanni’s and Chops and had great food and service at both. We ate at the Windjammer for dinner the other 3 nights and the food was delicious. Ship has a fantastic, easy to navigate layout. We are used to larger ships but really enjoyed this class of ship for my husband and I. Less kids on this ship and the shows had a more “grown up” vibe. We really enjoyed all of the trivia activities and found that they were much more challenging than on other ships. Not many perfect scores on this sailing. Schooner bar is very spacious on this ship and it’s almost always easy to find a seat. The only issue we had was with our cabin which I outlined below. Guest services team took care of us though. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
I was invited to join a friend on this cruise and thought the two ports looked interesting. I am a Platinum member on Princes cruises so i am an experienced cruise goer. First the embarkation was a complete mess. took the service ... Read More
I was invited to join a friend on this cruise and thought the two ports looked interesting. I am a Platinum member on Princes cruises so i am an experienced cruise goer. First the embarkation was a complete mess. took the service person almost 45 minutes to find our cabin information. Finally was able to broad the ship but our cabins were far from ready. We were told not until 1. We had to drag our personal belongs around the ship. the cabin was dated and dirty by the time we were aloud in. Found dust on the desk and someone else credit card. the buffet was nasty with little choices and nothing was marked properly. Tables were always dirty and the service was awful. no one came around to offer coffee refresher. Entertainment was miserable. Did not even know the cruise staff and usually on Princess you know everyone by name within the first day. Had a hot stone message and it was so bad! All she did was rub hot stones on my back. never asked if the pressure was okay. Worse experience and a total waste of money Poor service!!!!! people who worked on the ship barely spoke to you. I would never travel on Royal Caribbean again and i would never recommend this cruise line! Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
Dining Room's menu selections were good, food was very good (only criticism would be shrimp cocktail was waterlogged) dining room staff was very attentive. Windjammer food selections were varied and plentiful and staff was efficient. ... Read More
Dining Room's menu selections were good, food was very good (only criticism would be shrimp cocktail was waterlogged) dining room staff was very attentive. Windjammer food selections were varied and plentiful and staff was efficient. Enjoyed many shows in Pacifica Theater (loved Jimmy Hopper's show), trivia games in Schooners and social events. Loved Cayman Highlights shore excursion, our guide Joe was awesome and very informative. Cozumel Panoramic Tour shore excursion was much less interesting, we were taken for a tequila tasting at Mi Mexico Lindo Tequila which was fine. We then purchased tequila which we found out once home was very overpriced, Royal Caribbean should know better. Wish there was more time on shore at both ports of call. We have joined the Crown & Anchor Society and with only 3 nights we were given priority embarkment and quite a few discounts to be used on board. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
First this ship is beautiful and has everything a cruiser would need. We had a balcony room and there was enough room for the three of us (myself, my husband and our granddaughter). We took a five night cruise (6 days). Sailing day and ... Read More
First this ship is beautiful and has everything a cruiser would need. We had a balcony room and there was enough room for the three of us (myself, my husband and our granddaughter). We took a five night cruise (6 days). Sailing day and cruise day were just amazing. Those two days were packed full of things to do.... but it went downhill from there. After the first couple of days, activities seemed to taper off, leaving large periods where there was just nothing to do that wasn't a sales pitch. Seriously for large blocks of time it was seminars in the spa or something in the Casino. The last cruising day there was nothing after 3:00 (except spa and casino) until 8 when they had a dance party in the Colonal Club. There was very little to do before 3 as well. It just seemed like the activities ran out of steam after the first cruising day. I would also recommend that shore excursions not be booked through this cruise line. I booked three shore excursions on-line and two of them were canceled when I arrived. I had booked the Discover Cayman and underwater boat tour that would have also taken us to see the dolphins. This tour was canceled because they said it would be too hard to see things on the boat, but I notice that snorkeling and other underwater activities were not canceled. When we arrived the water was clear as a bell. As you know booking on the ship is much more expensive than booking when they have a sale so we were stuck with a less satisfying tour for more money. No one at guest services or shore excursions seemed to care. They did offer a 10% discount but I thought that it should have been at least 20% to cover the extra cost and our inconvenience. Then our tour of Tampa and airport transportation was canceled. Thank goodness for Lyft, but it did leave us sitting at the airport for five hours with nothing to do. The staff at shore excursions and guest services made it clear that they didn't really care, it was our problem. With the lack of activities and canceled shore excursions, just know that once you get on the ship, they have your money and don't really care about much else. The two tours we did (one we had to pick because our first was canceled) take seemed like a low key sales pitch to buy products at the places we went too. We had breakfast in the Windjammer (again great the first day but slowly went downhill), Lunch in the Windjammer (great) and dinner in the main dining room (excellent). The Solarium was breathtaking. I just wonder if other cruses just seem like a big sales pitch. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
So this cruise was a repeat cruise that we did back in 2016. Then it was our 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean. We loved it and so when i saw the same cruise ports I booked it. We tried different things on this cruise this time. My best ... Read More
So this cruise was a repeat cruise that we did back in 2016. Then it was our 2nd cruise with Royal Caribbean. We loved it and so when i saw the same cruise ports I booked it. We tried different things on this cruise this time. My best memory of Brilliance of the Seas was the food. First night we did Giovannis. So so good. We were very happy especially since my husband didn't like it when we were on Grandeur of the Seas. We did Chops the 2nd night and it was nice but for me nothing to write home about. I think it was because Giovannis blew me away the night before. 3rd night we just did the Windjammer. So on the 4th night we finally went to the dining room. We are not fans of the 8 pm sitting. This is twice now that we got it and I feel like they rush us in comparison to 5:30 or 6pm dining. I am not a fan of the new menu. I don't mind ordering my dessert with my dinner but before the bring you dessert they should offer you coffee! I asked another couple about that and they said they just asked for it ahead of time. Lesson learned I guess but it just didn't use to be that way. Dinner in the dining room just felt rushed. The internet on this ship was not the best. While in port in Cozumel it didn't work at all. I was told because we were next the Majesty of the Seas the internet didn't work. We had decided to stay on the ship that day and I had to ask for a refund of that day because no where in their information about VOOM internet did they say that if we are parked next to another ship you won't be able to connect. I am guessing they are assuming that you will get off the ship on port days and not notice. On this cruise it was the first time cruising in the month of September. It was still VERY hot and humid which put a damper on our cruise. Some people mainly Floridians like the weather but it was little to hot. I wanted to spend more time in Key West walking around but it just wasn't possible. Now let me make myself clear this is NO WAY Royal Caribbean fault or do I use this as an excuse to give them an OK cruise. It just was an OK cruise. My room stewardess was great. The waitress in Giovannis was very nice but other then that nothing else WOWed me. I can't forsee switching from Royal Caribbean just yet, but it has been on my mind. They are starting to lose some of the small touches that won us over. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: September 2018
We have cruised several times before, all on Carnival. This time we wanted to try a different cruise line to compare. Not that this cruise was bad but Carnival has more shows, more options for eating and not rice cream stations. This ... Read More
We have cruised several times before, all on Carnival. This time we wanted to try a different cruise line to compare. Not that this cruise was bad but Carnival has more shows, more options for eating and not rice cream stations. This shop has one ice cream station and is closed half of the time. The Wind hammer cafe is good but only 100% opened during peak hours. Quantity of shows seem to be limited compared to Carnival. Ice and Water stations were scarce rarely had cups at them and we’re out of ice several times. Sign on the machine said do not use water bottles... not sure how else you were supposed to get a drink(luckily I brought a blender bottle that I used every day). All in all was an OK cruise but I am probably one of the few folks who prefer Carnival over RCL... and my wife and I do not even drink. ;) Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: September 2018
First of all, i am new to cruising, having only 1 previous trip on Carnival. I chose this cruise because it fit my schedule. After booking i became concerned after reading reviews complaining of poor food quality, smoky casino ... Read More
First of all, i am new to cruising, having only 1 previous trip on Carnival. I chose this cruise because it fit my schedule. After booking i became concerned after reading reviews complaining of poor food quality, smoky casino affecting other areas, staterooms that never got cool, uncontrollable water temperatures and unfriendly bartenders. As a new cruiser i was quite worried that i had made a mistake booking this ship. However, i am very pleased to say i encountered None of those things. The ship is beautiful inside and out. Artwork abounds and the public spaces felt classy and refined. The musicians in the bars enhanced the elegance atmosphere. This was a trip for just my wife and i to enjoy nearing retirement. I booked a Junior Suite #1078. It was wonderful. Huge walk in closet, full bath, and more than enough space to move around and enjoy our cruise. We spent a few hours a day just relaxing there. I bought both the drink package and the 3 night dining package. We enjoyed excellent service at all the bars and only on the final night of our cruise did one of the bars run out of Red Stripe ( wife's favorite). We dined at Izumi the first night. I like sushi and have tried it many places. But i have never had any as good as what was served here. I was very impressed. We also love a great steak and Chops delivered. Our Fillets were tender and delicious. As good as anything we have had at our favorite steakhouses. Giovannis was less than stellar. My wife did not like her salad and my grilled prawns were nothing better than what i can make for myself at home. We also enjoyed the main dining room on 2 occasions. As expected it was not as good as the specialty restaurants, but we had no complaints of poor food or service. We would have been happy eating here all 5 nights. The service was very good at all the restaurants. Our server at the MDR was especially friendly. We had no excursions planned, but at Key West we decided to take the Trolley tour. Great way to briefly see the island highlights. We hopped off at the last stop on Duval Street and walked back to Mallory Square, having a few drinks on the way. We also enjoyed Kermit's key lime pie on a stick. At Cozumel we took a cab to the Money Bar where we had some drinks. Our server brought some pieces of bread so we could toss crumbs to the tropical fish. Very entertaining. From there we went to Paradise Beach for more drinks, fantastic Spicy Beef Tacos, and walking in the surf. I can completely understand the frustration of those who were inconvenienced by the departure and arrival at 2 different terminals. But we used a car service and a taxi service so we were not affected. Again, this was meant to be a relaxing experience for us. We enjoyed our room, the indoor bars, the Casino and all the dining. We had such a lovely experience on the Brilliance we were not ready to leave. I would not hesitate to sail this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date: September 2018
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I ... Read More
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I was in stateroom 3042 (outside view). I was happy with it. I also elected Anytime Dining. I usually ate late, as I hate fighting crowds for either dinner or the showroom. I made a reservation a few times, but was seated without a wait after 8:00 p.m. Mike, the cruise director, and his staff were excellent. The number of sea days meant a number of activities were scheduled. I especially enjoyed The Brilliance Race and the morning game shows. There were lots of trivia sessions, as well as some traditional party game activities. Music on the ship was great, coming from a duo, a guitar player, and a trio of string instrument players (violins and piano). The quality of the shows varied from fantastic (hand shadows, AbbaMax, pickpocket) to weak (the first production show, the comedy magician). I found all three production shows lacking to some degree. This was not the fault of the singers and dancers; the blame goes to whoever created it. Food quality was mixed. The Windjammer breakfast and lunch selections had a minimum of variation from day to day. Breakfast pastries were limited to sticky buns, and even they vanished during the crossing. I heard rumors that the shipment of yeast the ship expected to take on in the Azores did not arrive (thus forcing the bakery to make cuts) but I can't verify that situation. Dinner was generally good, though some nights it wasn't exciting. The menu overdosed on items available at all dinners with fewer daily selections than I was used to. The food was fine, with some dishes being better than others. I went to the mystery dinner one night. The cast needed work in learning the script. They also resorted to shouting. The food quality that night at Giovanni's was fantastic. This was my first sailing as a Diamond member. Due to the large number of Diamond and above passengers, events were held in both the Diamond lounge and the Colony Club. Lines formed an hour before opening. I went a few nights, but cocktail parties are not really my thing. Weather was mixed, from cold in Ireland to warm / hot in the Azores and during the crossing. However, it did not rain anywhere I went. I would do this trip again. The price was good, and the Air2Sea price of a flight from my home of Las Vegas to Amsterdam was an astonishingly low $290.85. The length was a bit long, but I had a great time. Read Less
Brilliance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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