Mostly good....but....room for improvement

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Cruises: 1 cruise (first)
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 20

Overall rating:

4.3 out of 5
Brilliance of the Seas

5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip)

Sail date: December 01, 2018

Ship: Brilliance of the Seas

Cabin type: Balcony

Cabin number: 7142

Traveled as: Singles/Friends

Reviewed: 2 years ago

Review summary

I liked the cruise; I was a single cruiser and purchased my trip at the 'buy one get one 1/2 off' deal. Pricey, but the best way to get a cabin with a balcony; so worth it. The line at the latte concession was always long, and a 10-15 minute wait was common. For a ship the size of Brilliance of the Seas, two or three latte stands would have been a lot better. Also, if you buy the non-alcoholic drink package, you will have even more waiting: your get your Cokes at the bars, and you will wait behind all those getting drinks, and probably tipping more, so you are the lowest priority and will often have a long wait. I would not buy that package again as the buffet opens at 7:00 usually, and is open until 9:00pm, and only closed for a couple of hours during the day for changeover. You can go in there and get as much cola as you want and put it in your own cup. They need cups with chips in them, and unattended drink stations like Carnival. Other than those minor annoyances I liked the cruise and would use RC again.

Embarkation

5 out of 5
Well organized other than confusion about baggage, so I kept mine with me.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Food was very good; if there had been a better way to get your drinks from the non-alcoholic drink package, and better espresso service, it would have been 5.

Windjammer Cafe

4 out of 5

The food here was very good and the service was exceptional. However, the lower rating was based on seating; there isn't nearly enough and there could be if the tables were smaller. There are many, many, couples on cruises and there are very few tables for two. There were a lot of tables for six, with only two or four people at them; I would get rid of nearly all the tables for six and replace them with tables for two, that can always be put together to accommodate larger groups.

Lobby Bar

4 out of 5

Lobby bar was nice; not nearly enough seating as many nice music venues were there.

Minstrel Dining Room

5 out of 5

Food and service here were excellent but as a single traveler it was a lot less fun to be there; went one night.

Cafe Latte-Tudes

3 out of 5

Nice employees and really great lattes; the only reason it got a low score was because there are usually only two employees and one espresso machine, and even though there is a bar within about 30 feet, they serve alcohol which makes the lines even longer. In the morning expect to wait 10-15 minutes for a latte. She ship needs a minimum of two espresso bars.

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Not much for singles, and some of the listed activities, like 'meet and greet' thinks had no attendees, and no sponsorship from the ship.

Logo Souvenir Shop

2 out of 5

Poor selection, especially common sizes. Bought a hooded sweatshirt and was glad I did as some nights and disembarkation were very chilly.

Casino Royale

2 out of 5

Didn't stay long; very smoky, and it appeared that there were no winners. Waste of money.

Entertainment

4 out of 5
Group dances were fun; didn't see shows but enjoyed all the music around the ship. TV was HORRIBLE! Great reception but appeared to be recordings running over and over, and mostly old, old, sitcoms. There were about 20 channels and 9 of them were ads to buy things from the gift shop or to buy additional cruises. Three sports channels, and a couple of kids channels. Renting a movie was outrageous at $11.99. Bring your own DVD player and DVDs.

Library

2 out of 5

Not maintained, few books, bring your own.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Staff was excellent. Very friendly and accommodating. My room steward was really good, and the buffet staff was responsive and excellent.

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
There were always employees around constantly cleaning things up and picking up after rude guests.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Believe it or not, the cabin was larger than I thought from looking at its photos. I brought magnetic hooks to hang some things and that kept it even tidier. There was a love seat in my room but it was very dilapidated and I used it to store things on. Bed was very comfortable, and the having the balcony was great; a quick run through the buffet, and walking down from deck 11 to deck 7 was perfectly fine, and enjoying many of my meals on the balcony was great. I probably would never opt for a less-expensive inside cabin; rather have fewer trips and better accommodations.

Ship tip

Be prepared for lines at bars to get non-alcoholic drinks, and even longer for espresso drinks.

Ports of call

George Town, Grand Cayman

4 out of 5
Several passengers did not leave the ship at this port; some because they had been there before, but some because the ships can't dock. The ships anchor out a ways to protect the reef, so you have to take a tender to the dock; a bit choppy and scared some off. It was a short trip and was really fine. A lot of shopping there; mostly jewelry and junk souvenirs from China. The ship has a 'class' with a very disorganized entrance with aggravated several passengers. Those who managed to come in the right door, from the four options got nice bags and coupons, those who came in any of the other three doors did not; the coupons were mostly useless anyway, as you got way better deals bargaining on your own. Rum distillery was fun and included a great tasting.

Cozumel, Mexico

4 out of 5
I don't like aggressive vendors who blatantly lie about what they carry just to get you into the store. Tacky souvenir vendors were mostly rude and not helpful. Went on the chocolate factory tour which was good and very informative.

Disembarkation

2 out of 5
Although this was organized, those of us who carried our own luggage were lined-up on an outside deck! It was 48 degrees and very uncomfortable cold. The lines through customes were also somewhat disorganized and TSA had two doors open, and if you took the one to the right, you skipped the lines to have bagage checked and went right tot the agents! Ooops.
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