March 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas
Departure: Boarding the ship was well organized with short lines during even the peak boarding time. Personnel friendly and efficient and wished everyone a happy voyage.
Accommodations: Our shipboard accommodations included a room with large porthole and proved spacious for two. Bathrooms size efficient but manageable. Comfy mattress--much better than many hotels we have stayed at. Room very clean, airy and well ventilated. Third deck accommodations were relatively motionless even in moderate seas. Woke up to wonderful sunrises a number of times.
Service: Service from the crew was top notch ranging from the cabin attendant to the head waiter at our formal dinner seating. Friendly, sincere service to a person. The five day trip was without worry. Enjoyed speaking with attendants regarding their backgrounds, what they like about serving aboard a cruise ship, and how difficult it sometimes is to be away from their families for months at a time.
Food: Incredible selection in the buffet style Windjammer restaurant that was open nearly all day for drop in dinning. Menu included new items daily. We were assigned an 8:30 p.m. dinner seating--the first was at 6:30 p.m.--which was perfect for us since we were still digesting a late lunch or snack. Each couple of tables had a head waiter and assistant who tended to every need. If a guest was interested in a couple of entres they made it so. Very attentive to guest needs and aimed to please. Entre selection changed nightly...and it was fun to try all of the selections. Take the galley tour if you want to see a behind the scenes look at preparing food aboard such a large ship.
Entertainment: A wide variety of entertainment venues were available every day ranging from live music on a number of decks and eateries, the central area of the ship that highlighted all 13 decks of the boat, and nightclubs and pool areas. It was great fun. Comics, jugglers, movies, and guest reviews made the trip memorable.
Island Hopping: Our trip included a visit to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. The stop at Key West was a bit short and really precluded visitors from soaking in much of the island lifestyle. The stop at Cozumel was great. If shopping is your bag don't miss the shopping seminar held the sea day prior to the stop. The merchandise director is a great resource in steering you to the best stores with the best merchandise all at duty free and tax free prices. If shopping isn't your bag then there are a variety of shore excursions that include snorkling, swimming with dolphines and turtles, etc. You will have only time for one of these excursions and maybe a bit of shopping to fill out your eight-hour stay in Cozumel.
Sea Days: Actually a great, relaxing part of the cruise. Plenty to keep you busy, very relaxing and a wonderful view from all decks.
We loved this trip and look forward to another voyage.