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  Cruise Ship Reviews : Royal Caribbean International (RCL) Reviews

RCL Brilliance of the Seas reviews

RCL Brilliance of the Seas reviews

Average customer rating:
    3.92 / 5

Average Rating based on 5 Reviews:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 4.804.80
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 3.603.60
EntertainmentEntertainment = 3.003.00
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 4.004.00
Food QualityFood Quality = 4.804.80
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 4.004.00
SpaSpa = 2.502.50
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 2.502.50
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 4.404.40

RCL Brilliance of the Seas itineraries and information

safetynet-57 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 55
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 55
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
SpaSpa = 33
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 22
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Brilliance of the Seas is not a ship with the bells and whistles ., March 19, 2016
Reviewer: safetynet-57

Pros: With friends made all the difference on this cruise.

Cons: Spring breakers in March.

Date of cruise: March 7, 2016

Departure port: Tampa

Region visited: Caribbean - Western

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 8144

Our eleventh cruise on a much smaller ship at 90,000 tons. The Brilliance of the Seas is not a ship with the bells and whistles but it did meet our expectations with regards to cruising with friends. With four couples trying to plan around a work schedule and limited vacation time we scheduled the 5-night cruise out of Tampa with two ports.

We traveled from S.C. to Wildwood, Fla., for a one-night stay than on to the port the next morning. We use Parking Doctors which we were very pleased with. Drop off at the port and pick up both met our expectations with them.

Boarding the Brilliance was a breeze, arriving around the port at 11 a.m. and was on the boat within 20 minutes. Note that the Brilliance was the only ship in port at this time. Porters grabbed our bags as soon as we arrived at port. Than it was up the escalator to check-in to get the sea passes.

Here’s what we like and disliked about the cruise.

The likes.
Food was good in the Windjammer Café and the Minstrel Dining Room. We ate at Rita’s Cantina for nachos that were very good but there is a cost of $4.50 for the nachos. We liked much of the entertainment on board. The Quest Game on the last night of the cruise was just outrageous and funny the spring breakers did make this game fun.

The Band in the Centrum “Kronos” was one of the best I have ever heard live. I think they were a hit with everyone on board. All are very talented. The helipad was open and you could walk out to it in the very front of the ship, we took nice pictures there. The comedian was funny that told jokes in the Pacific Theater and the ventriloquist doing songs was excellent. We loved the Solarium area pool. Very quiet and relaxing area.

The month of March is Spring Break and there was lots of Spring Breakers on board. Some drank too much and got out of hand, word was some were jumping from balcony to balcony and were kicked off the boat in Cozumel, which they deserved no doubt.

No banana daiquiris at all on this boat. We have cruised with Carnival and NCL and they do have that flavor on board. There was a lack of bar attendants walking around to take orders for drinks. The towel police was too aggressive: one tried to take our towels while we were in the pool swimming, even with our books and bags on the chairs. People do have to leave for bathroom breaks and such at times.

The TV account in the room was always out of service so daily I had to go to the front desk to get my updated invoice. Chops Grill was a disappointment at a $70 surcharge a couple, I don’t know why Royal can’t do ribeye steaks, my New York strip steak was a little overcooked and that made it tough to eat.

The Band in the Centrum area -- we watched one night from the floor above across from Next Cruise office. I did not like the fact the young lady working in the office after it closed had a fit because we moved some of the chairs out of the room to the balcony overlooking the Centrum to watch the band.

In summary I thought this was a great cruise. The couples we were with made it more so. No, this ship does not have the wow factor, it’s a basic cruise but you can have fun with the game shows and excursions and being with friends. I would not do Brilliance again.

rdun41251 saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 44
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 33
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
An exceptional cruise, with fantastic ports of call on a great ship, June 27, 2013
Reviewer: rdun41251

Pros: A good value cruise on well appointed vessel with excellent service

Cons: The apparent increase in the number of zones where smoking is allowed

Date of cruise: June 1, 2013

Departure port: Harwich

Region visited: Scandinavia

Cabin category: Balcony

Cabin number: 7082

Good for children: Yes

Booking and Boarding Process: Our reservation was made by phone with RCL seven days prior to the sail date. We took the option of a guaranteed balcony stateroom combined with compulsory My Time Dining and prepaid gratuities. We were advised the number of our deck 7 stateroom some 48 hours prior to sailing. This stateroom had a slightly restricted view in that the lifeboat cover/canopy prevents viewing the ship side, this was not a great issue for us.

The car park in Harwich is served by an efficient free shuttle bus service. From dropping off our luggage in the car park to boarding the vessel took less than 30 minutes onboard by 11:30 a.m.)

General remarks: This was our third cruise on the BOS and we were greatly impressed by the upgraded Centrum area and the future introduction of high wire acrobatics within this is zone will be a spectacular sight.

The addition of the dedicated Diamond lounge is also a significant improvement to those frequent cruisers eligible for entry. The addition of the extra specialty "pay for use” dining outlets made little difference to our overall cruise experience/enjoyment as we very rarely use these.

Our only two concerns were the apparent increase in the number of areas where smoking is now allowed and the almost constant badgering to spend, spend, spend on RCL extras (photographs, shuttle buses, spa treatments, specialty dinning, tours, additional activities and finally “additional gratuities in excess of pre-pay".

The smoking issue is now the most likely reason we shall stop cruising. Around the world, shore establishments have an almost blanket ban on smoking. Can cruise ship designers not incorporate totally segregated areas where those who wish to smoke can do so without causing inconvenience and potential health issues with their fellow passengers? Even the crew in large numbers can now be frequently sighted smoking on the deck of the galley on deck 5 (something I have never seen before on any cruise.)

The entertainment was somewhat varied ranging from average to excellent. The cruise director we found somewhat ineffective but his staff were top class and provided good service throughout the cruise. The pre-port information given by RCL as per normal consisted in the main to flogging their port tours and very little assistance or information being given to those not booked on organized tours.

Communications/Internet: Despite recent massive improvements in satellite communications, RCL continue to grossly overcharge for telephone calls and absolutely appalling internet service.

Onboard the PA is now used much as it was in the 1960’s at Butlins holiday camps to encourage guests to participate in organized events. A manic person booming “bingo, bingo, bingo!” and repeated calls to attend the ridiculous art auctions I personally can do without.

Stateroom: Deck 7 balcony was very much as expected with no recent upgrades or changes to the decor or furnishings. The sofa bed continues to lose its shape and the back cushion now has such a slope it is almost impossible to sit upright.

Dining Experience: We utilized the Windjammer for most lunches and found the food to be rather bland and boring, with very little real choice and the quality was that of a relatively low cost cafe. Limited selection of fresh fruit, poor quality salad and cheese that was more fit for mouse traps. Fresh milk cartons were replaced by open jugs of some kind of milk with four days of the cruise remaining, a perfect way to spread germs, and for the final two days, the ship apparently ran out of butter and we were offered margarine at the dinner table. How far will the now blatantly obvious cost-cutting by RCL go?

There has been a definite deterioration in the quality of food provided in the Windjammer over the last few years and the overcrowding at busy times is just crazy. Leave your table unattended to get a second course and the table is cleared with new faces as sitting at your place by the time you return.

As a result of our late booking we were required to take the option of “My Time Dinning.” We made an inquiry on the first day and found that by choosing their quiet time of 5:45 to 6:30 p.m.we were seated with no waiting period and at a table size of our choice. If, however you turn up at a busy time, you do have to “line up” and wait to be seated at a table.

Congratulations to Mohit, Denisse and Nische for their outstanding attention and service in delivering a dining experience well above our expectations -- a definite WOW).

We generally use the Park Cafe for breakfast preferring the slightly healthier option this supposedly provides. For some unknown reason, breakfast cereals were not available in the Park Cafe on this cruise which was a bit of a disappointment especially as these were noted as the first item on the menu board.

Gratuities: A rather thorny subject, despite prepaying gratuities, despite paying a further 15 percent service charge on all drinks, despite a line being added to receipts for even further gratuities, gratuity envelopes are still delivered to all staterooms with the obvious inference that yet a further additional donation is expected. When are cruise companies going to come clean and admit that gratuities are in fact used as a supplement to crew wages and to incorporate these into their wage structure and thus ultimately to the cruise price quoted at the time of booking? Leaving “true gratuities” only to be given as a "gift” for exceptional service where this is deemed appropriate by the recipient of the service.

Cruise Itinerary: This was the main reason for booking this particular cruise. I am very pleased to report with the exception of Gothenburg all other ports lived up to and exceeded our expectations.

Copenhagen: A great port of call, relatively easy to walk ashore and lots to see and do, just not enough time to do it all. Managed to see the changing of the guard at the Royal Palace and took endless pictures of a wonderful city.

Stockholm: Again a great port of call, the walk into the city center took us around 20 minutes and there were great sights to see and things to do.

Helsinki: This is an OK port, but looking rather rundown in places, quite picturesque in parts but do please beware of pickpockets in the city center. The Rock Church is a must see.

St. Petersburg: An absolutely fantastic port of call. It is compulsory when going ashore to take a tour unless you have a full Russian entry visa. Due to our late booking we were unable to book any tours with the local tour companies. We heard nothing but glowing reports of the tours by Alla and Denrus, our two half day tours with RCL were also very good and surprisingly quite cost effective (most probably due to the very high excellent completion from local tour companies.)

Tallinn: A fantastic port, very close to the cruise berth and well within walking distance, around 10 minutes and you enter the town walls. It is a medieval town with a fantastic maritime museum. (Bargain of the cruise at £4)

Gothenburg: This is a port where transport is definitely required to travel to the city. The cruise terminal consists of a small fabricated hut in the middle of an industrial complex with almost nothing to see or do locally, other than a to visit the local Volvo car museum!!! Due to the rather restricted time in the port, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., this is not an ideal port of call and one where there is a definite need to get ashore as quickly as possible. Having said that, there is not too much of interest to see in the city center. We took a boat tour from where the shuttle bus dropped us off which was good value. After this we took a short walk around the large shopping center before returning to the ship feeling rather let down with Goteborg.

Overall, the cruise was very enjoyable and on reflection probably reasonable value for the cost. I would be prepared to pay a slight premium to the initial cost of the cruise to regain all the small extras that have been gradually lost which make a cruise “a very special type of holiday”

naughtyhady saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 44
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 44
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
Overall experience was great, we difenitely will recommend it to our friends, January 15, 2012
Reviewer: naughtyhady

Pros: Housekeeping service, children's pool and main lobby entertainment

Cons: Cabin size and layout, unprofessional photographers

Date of cruise: January 3, 2012

Departure port: Dubai

Region visited: Middle East

Cabin category: Outside

Cabin number: 3578

Good for children: Yes

Good for teenagers: Yes

Brilliance of the Seas is overall a wonderful cruise that everybody enjoyed very much. The food was outstanding and the service was very good. We do recommend this cruise to everyone wants a real good cruise experince.

ruthieal saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 22
Fitness CenterFitness Center = 33
Food QualityFood Quality = 44
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 22
SpaSpa = 22
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 44
The ship was a little boring but the ports were great, September 8, 2010
Reviewer: ruthieal

Pros: The ports traveled to

Cons: Not much doing on the ship

Date of cruise: July 6, 2009

Departure port: Barcelona

Region visited: Europe

Cabin category: Outside

Good for teenagers: Yes

I loved all the places we went to but on the days at sea there was little to do. The entertainment was just okay.

dorijo saw things this way:
Value For MoneyValue For Money = 55
Cabin DesignCabin Design = 33
EntertainmentEntertainment = 44
Food QualityFood Quality = 55
Ship MaintenanceShip Maintenance = 55
Specialty RestaurantSpecialty Restaurant = 33
Staff and ServiceStaff and Service = 55
Had a great 12-night cruise in a balcony cabin, wonderful weather and ports, September 1, 2010
Reviewer: dorijo

Pros: We loved the ports on this cruise, we like the size of this ship

Cons: The cabin location was the worst we ever had on a ship

Departure port: Barcelona

Region visited: Mediterranean

Cabin number: 7092

The cabin (7092) was next to the Atrium therefore the music every night, three floors below, didn't end until 1 a.m. and was heard in the cabin like it was in the room. There was nothing to be done about it. The balcony was huge but you could only see forward not aft.

Loved everything else about this ship and had sailed it before, but would never recommend a hump cabin which is what it is called as it juts out from the ship because of the elevators and is right next to the Atrium midship. Some ships do not have music at night in the atrium but this one did and it was very loud.

The service and food for "Anytime Dining" was excellent and we requested the same waiter and time every night and were accommodated. We really like the size of the Brilliance and the Jewel; you tend to meet the same people several times during the cruise. The buffet dining in the Lido was excellent also with the separate stations so never a line.

This was a cruise to Egypt, Sicily, Malta, Cyprus, Rhodes, Athens ... all roundtrip Barcelona. It was an excellent itinerary. We especially liked Eygpt. I usually use the spa but this itinerary was so busy I didn't have the chance.

The ship was very clean and well kept and the crew was very pleasant. We had no sickness aboard which is very important to us lately. We spent a day before and a day after in Barcelona on our own. We did take some ship's tours and they all were very good and worthwhile.

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