It was the best of cruises and the worst

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Contributor Level: Deck Hand
Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 3

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Sail Date: December 01, 2013
Ship: Brilliance of the Seas
Cabin Type: Suite
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 4 years ago
It was the best of cruises and the worst

It was like someone had rented a beautiful decorated and clean ship and lower staff but did not know how make a successful cruise experience. They should take a trip on the horrible Carnival line to learn how to create an experience. Most of the daily events were pitches for products for sale. Missing were the great little time filler events like napkin folding, ice sculpture, magic show for kids etc.

I am in marketing for years and even then the sales events were overkill. The goods was a good bit over priced even for a cruise ship, I needed to replace a pocket comb, the cost was $5.59 It was stamped Sassoon but was the 10 combs for a buck quality.

We attended the art auction, it is hard to believe that people were actually paying thousand of dollars for these signed prints. We left about half way through, I have 16 famous artist signed prints already at home so I know a little about the art pricing.

We did not meet the Captain but the lower staff said he was really nice. Somehow we missed the notice about the Suite members meet the Captain cocktail party.

There was a unannounced change in the tipping process. The ships web site had information of only of the old process. The old process was for tipping a envelopes showing suggested set amount (about $15.00 -$20.00 per traveler) for each server, cabin attendants, dining room waiter, dining room waiter sassistance and dining room area supervisor. It seems people did not tip enough. No longer are the tipping amounts voluntary.

Now the tips are automatically charged to the travelers charge card. The traveler is not told the amount of this tip charge.

Before going to bed on the last night I went to the service desk and stood in line to see our bill. Finally when I got to the desk I was told that our statement would be put in our cabin tonight and most likely it was waiting in our cabin now. No bill was in our cabin. The next morning still no bill. In the

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
First three days of the 5 day cruise the dining room food was outstanding. Most notable was the Prime Rib and Roasted Duck. The remaining two days the food was very good. The upper buffet was outstanding every thing from hot dogs to excellent Angel Hair Spaghetti Bolonaise.


1 out of 5
The daily newsletter was filled with the stuff to sell. The real entertainment events were only in the 3 inch in center of the middle fold. We missed two of the five shows because of this poor communication. Entertainment events should be on the front page. This is one of the reason we took the cruise. Most of the daily events were selling something. The smallest amount activities of any ship I have taken.
The entertainers were very good. but they were put on a plain bare stage with no background. The magician (called a slight of hand artist) was given a card table and fuzzy overhead screens, to see his excellent close up works. The stage set up looked like some ladies weekly meeting who did not understand presentation.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Strange the lower staff an assistance were excellent and went out of their way to be helpful. But the upper staff in all areas of the ship seemed to look to avoid helping. They were very proper (Sir and Of course) but hard to catch their attention for service. This happened over and over. Like the last meal in the dining room we were quickly served our desert (ice cream mostly melted) the table staff disappeared. The people at our table was wondering about coffee with our desert. We saw our head waiter chanting with the other staff in the back alcove under the stairs. After a bit he came out and stood three tables away. He seemed to be staring in space. We waved but no respond. I finally stood up and waved. He came over and asked how can he help. I said I would like a coffee. He said Yes sir 1 coffee coming and started to leave. Everyone at our table spoke up, said they also wanted coffee. The desert dish were cleared and then the coffee was served. Moving us out for late setting?

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
The Ship was spotless. The cleanest cruise ship of over 12 cruises and four lines.
The ship decorations were outstanding. The cruise was smooth with only a little (hardly noticeable) sway on the way back from Cozumel to Tampa.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Suite was clean and well decorated. The balcony was nice but not as private as I would have liked. It is sad the the new rules as of Jan 1 will not allow smoking on the balcony. This will cut out cruises for many smokers.

Pros: The ship was spotless

Cons: The upper staff

Recommends Brilliance of the Seas? No.

Was this review helpful? 8

Leave a Comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

* is not a booking agent or travel agency, and does not charge any service fees to users of our site. Our partners (travel agencies and cruise lines) provide prices, which we list for our users' convenience. does not guarantee any specific rates or prices. While prices are updated daily, please check with the booking site for the exact amount. is not responsible for content on external web sites.

Back to Top