April 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas
1st Cruise - Great Expectations - Great Time
This was our first cruise and we boarded with no real expectations other than to have fun and relax. The ship was great, it was festive and clean, and the cabin (balcony) and staff were very curteous and helpful. The trip was entertaining and enjoyable. The cons were: There was a tight window to get to the pools early in the morning or around dinner in the evening. At all other times there were no chairs available or movement space in the pool to enjoy. The dinning room meals were close to two hour events (made reaching the show seating difficult at times). Long periods between courses (appetizer, main course and dessert). Most of the staff struggled with english and some rude guests often made the situation worse and uncomfortable. Disembarking for excursions was tedious (felt like we were kids back in grade school). First you have to meet here and then move as a group to there (staff stood in the halls to make sure you stayed with the group). Once given the okay, then as a group you followed your leader like baby ducks until you reached the pier. The pros were: When you could find space, the experience and facilities were excellent (very plush and relaxing). Plenty of activities to do and keep you busy. The food selections were wonderful. My wife is a vegetarian and we always struggle with selections for her, However, this cruise always had a variety for her to choose from, and she was in heaven throughout the trip. The type of dining and styles were a definite plus, with the formal night being a big hit all around. The nightly shows (vegas style) and the casino were fantastic, we looked forward to each evening onboard. We will definitely book another cruise as our vacation. You cannot beat the value and return for your money. Just be smart and be sure to pay attention to the timing and anticipated crowds on your selection. We are in our mid-fifties. The (<40) crowd is to loud and obnoxious most of the time. The (>60) group does nothing but complain and gripe about everything. The (<30 with kids) refuses to control or correct them and elects to get drunk so they wont have to deal with it. We went right after spring break (far less kids). The majority onboard were seniors (which works out better for the evenings). The rest were around our age bracket and we met some really nice people.
We will be cruising again in the future. Especially now that we know what to do.