Problems create disappoinment

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Experience: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 4

Overall Rating:

2 out of 5
Verified Review
5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)
Sail Date: January 30, 2016
Ship: Brilliance of the Seas
Cabin Type: Balcony
Cabin Number: 8652
Traveled As: Singles/Friends
Reviewed: 2 years ago

This was a girl's cruise with a group of friends that was booked last summer. First, I will say that the ship itself was fine and I loved the atrium area which was lovely.


The trouble actually started with our booking through .  We booked in mid-August when was offering a deal that included a $100 OBC and a $150 Excursion credit for our balcony staterooms.  Somehow, my friends were given their proper credits but I only received the $150 excursion credit although the bookings were done on the same day for the exact same cabins which were just a few doors apart.  I spend hours on the cruise ship trying to get this fixed to no avail.


As far as the ship crew went, I think that this must be one of their less experienced crews and that they need to be a bit better trained with respect to customer service.  The only exception being the folks who staffed guest services although they could never solve the issues.  My belief is that this is probably the less experienced crew as this ship is one of the smaller, older ships out of Tampa and expect RCI is smart enough to use the best crew on the new mega ships leaving from the east coast (Oasis/Allure/Quantuum).


Although booking about six months in advance, we could only get My Time Dining.  Surprisingly, this ship on has ONE dining room!  We could not get seated the first night until 8:30PM and when trying to get an advanced reservation the next night for either a party of 8 or 2 tables for 4 (even tried any other combination) we were told that 8PM would be the earliest.  Same for any other night as RCI had allowed some people with My Time Dining to book online in advance of the cruise.  Our party of 8 booked this cruise using 3 different "vendors" (one being directly with RCI) and none of us were advised we could pre-book our dining times.  The fact that other people were able to do this meant that there really wasn't available openings prior to 8PM for anyone else. The maitre'd was extremely rude and refused to help.  We did engage Zeynel with My Time Dining who was able to get us a table for 8 at 7:15PM every night starting on the 3rd night. 


Our cabin steward was somewhat efficient although he didn't speak English & we had a hard time communicating.  You have to request ice on this ship and it took several attempts before we were able to get ice in our cabin. Our friends with the same steward asked for wine glasses on several occasions and never got them.


The food was fair at best. 


This experience will send me back to my preferred cruise line (Princess) and will gladly drive to another port to get a better ship.


Food and Dining

1 out of 5
Fair at best and some portions in MDR small. I am not a big eater so no problem for me.


5 out of 5
Loved some of the music. Listened to Kronos in the atrium several times. Great group. Also had fun watching the "Quest" on the final night.

Service and Staff

1 out of 5
Maitre'd incredibly rude & some of wait staff less than pleasant. Steward did not speak English & hard to communicate.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Clean cabin and ship seemed to be clean as well although captain did advise there was a bit of gastro intestinal issues on board.

Cabin / Stateroom

3 out of 5
Cabin was clean but a bit tight. Good storage. Mattresses have seen better days.

Ship Tip

Apparently people with My Time Dining can book a time PRIOR to boarding the ship. If you want to eat at a decent hour you NEED to do this!

5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Was this review helpful? 4

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.

Other Reviews Of This Sailing

* 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