Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Other (Asia/Africa/Middle East)
Ship: Brilliance of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Traveled As: Couple
Reviewed: 8 years ago
This was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean on the Brilliance of the Seas. It was definitely a step up from previous cruises we have taken. It was only the third cruise with the Middle East itinerary, so there are still a few kinks to be worked out. The food on board was marvelous. However, the timings were difficult to keep up with. Once you found the food, it was great. RCI offers an unlimited soft drinks package, and we definitely got our money's worth out of that. However, when we preferred cocktails, we had to flag down the servers or go to the bar ourself. I suppose they saw the refillable mug, and thought we didn't need anything else.
This cruise itinerary lets people know that the Middle East does offer some interesting places to visit for reasonable prices. Dubai & Abu Dhabi are large, vibrant cities with a variety of activities to offer. Muscat & Bahrain are much smaller and more quaint. Of course, there was shopping EVERYWHERE! If I was planning it, I think I would've rather seen Doha, Qatar instead of Fujairah, UAE.
The season for this cruise is limited to the winter months. Most of the cruisers were from the UK and definitely enjoyed escaping the harsh winter they were experiencing. For the most part, the Middle East offers a mild climate from January through March/April. You can relax in the sun by day and party in the variety of venues offered at night. The few days that it was overcast and cool, we sat out in the solarium where it was warm and tropical. Others used those days to get pampered in the spa.
If I had it to do over again, I would definitely check out RCI's cruises in this area.
Pros: Ship atmosphere and attentive service;
Cons: Docks were all "working docks", not like Caribbean where you could just get off and start exploring each port.