November 2014 - Brilliance of the Seas to Caribbean - Western
As a first time cruiser, I would say this was a great experience. The ship was well kept along with our stateroom being cleaned twice a day. The selection of food in the main breakfast/lunch area was good. The quality of free beverages could have been better (juices, lemonade). I would suggest purchasing a beverage package and be intentional about your daily consumption to get your money's worth. I purchased the base package because I am not a drinker. It was sufficient (soft drinks, specialty coffee, non-alcoholic beverages from the bar, etc.). Dinner in the main dining room was good. The overall quality of the food was great. Service was pretty slow on the first night. However, conversation with the people at your table helped to serve as a distraction. The shows were okay. The 70's party was great! The only issue I had was the smoke coming from the casino area, at times, it was overpowering and it traveled to the public areas above and below. Although, you pay daily gratuity for the entire trip. It is a strong expectation to use the envelopes at the end of the trip to tip directly. If you desire, you can opt out of paying the daily gratuity rate at the service desk and tip your service workers directly. There is a downside to this approach. The wait staff in the main dining area (breakfast/lunch) are excluded unless you tip them the day before you depart. Overall, I would definitely booked again with Royal Caribbean.