Brilliance of the Seas was well Brilliant

Discussion in 'Royal Caribbean' started by cgolf, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. cgolf

    cgolf DIS Veteran

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    We just got off a 4 night on the Brilliance and it was definitely one of our best cruises. We generally do longer trips, but limited vacation forced us into a shorter cruise.

    First the ship, Brilliance reminded us of our favorite ship the Disney Magic. It is very well laid out and everything is easy to get to. We really liked the Centrum area, and how you could view the shows there from multiple levels. The Solarium was great, liked that it was covered so that it wasn't as cold as on other ships during the winter cruising season. Overall the ship was very clean and seemed well maintained, minus partially losing power during debarkation, not sure what happened. The music in the stateroom hallways was a nice touch that we were used on DCL. We had a front facing oceanview room and really liked the size of the room and the view out the front of the ship. Just a personal opinion, but I hope Royal goes through with a smoke free casino, or puts doors on it or figures out a way to better contain the scent. At times the smell will get into the centrum area even up on the floor above.

    The entertainment on the ship was pretty good. We are still adjusting from the DCL style shows to Royal's. Do still really like the live band Royal uses. The comedian was pretty good and while he used vulgar language, it was part of the act, not just to try and be funny buy saying a swear word. I have to give a shout out to the Kronos Band. These guys were amazing, great lead singer and guitarist. Cruise ship singers usually don't suck, but really don't make you put them down as a must see activity, these guys were a must see activity. We skipped the cover band main stage performance to catch their time in the centrum.

    The food in the MDR and Windjammer was overall very good. I did the gluten free thing and never went hungry. The only complaint we would have is more options for less adventurous eaters. Even the basic menu included sauces that my wife was not a fan of. She did have the chicken one night that wasn't cooked quite right. Of course the deserts could be better, but for some reason this is a trend we have noticed on cruise ships. We did miss the Pavlova we had on the Freedom. We didn't do any of the specialty dining options. We really loved the outdoor seating for Windjammer, missed this on the Freedom.

    The service was very good. Our drinks in the MDR were always full and our food was paced very well so we never had a really long meal, we did my time dining. Our room steward was super friendly and did a great job on our room. Also want to note that pretty much all of the staff on the ship were very friendly and would say hi. The staff seemed to be very happy, it isn't something that can really be faked. The staff was equal to what we have had over on DCL.

    The embarkation was so easy, we got to port at 10:55ish and was on the ship in under 10 minutes. Lines like DCL can learn something from RCCL. debarkation was good too despite the partial power outage on the ship. The only thing at Tampa that sucks about Debarkation was that the porters could skip the big line and go right to the front of the line for customs. When we got closer we saw the porters had access to 3 customs agents and the big line only one. This isn't a RCCL issue, but a port issue that really is not fair.

    The 10 for 75 drink card was offered on day 3 giving us 2 days to use it. Even though this was a 4 night cruise, I wouldn't call it a booze cruise. Yes there were some that drank too much, but it didn't impact our cruise and wasn't very obvious.

    For those with kids we didn't look at the kids clubs so don't know how they compare to DCL.

    Overall this cruise slots in somewhere in my top 5 cruises. We have found a class of ships on RCCL that we really like. Really hope they get the 2020 itineraries out for them so we can book another cruise.

    Let me know if anyone thinks this should land on the DCL forum as a comparison thread for some to see.

    @Dug720 you were so right this is an awesome class of ships:)
     
  2. Dug720

    Dug720 DIS Veteran

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    Glad you enjoyed it!! I am a big fan of the Radiance class! Stuff to do while still feeling like I was on a ship (as opposed to a floating mall or amusement park). I love the forward-facing rooms!! :) I had 7500!
     
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  4. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review. Never been on Radiance class but have heard good things. How did you find a 4 day cruise? We're considering one end of the summer on Mariner. Do they have a show every night? Did you get off the ship at the ports? (not sure where you went...which is funny as for us, it's more about the ship than the ports ). Your kids were kept busy? Ours don't go to the kids club either but enjoy the ship amenities and activities.
     
  5. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

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    Nice review. We sailed Brillance on a repo cruise from Boston to Tampa a few years ago, and this July we will sail on her for a Baltics cruise.
    Denise
     
  6. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    Nice review. Now I am almost sad we cancelled a cruise on the Brilliance last year (we ended up on the Vista... No regrets at all but... still :) ) ...

    What is the "The 10 for 75 drink card" ?
     
  7. cgolf

    cgolf DIS Veteran

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    Our daughter who grew up on DCL ships has decided not to follow us to RCCL now that she is in college, so unfortunately I don't know anything about the kids clubs. We stopped at Cozumel and got off the ship for 30 minutes to go to a couple of shops that interested us.

    There was a show every night, a welcome aboard show, a show with different musical tunes, a cover band from Canada, and the last night show. Very different from DCL, but not bad.

    In general we like the ship time the most, but do have some favorite ports.
     
  8. cgolf

    cgolf DIS Veteran

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    It is 10 alcoholic drinks for 75 bucks, of course with the autogratuity added to that price.
     
  9. mevelandry

    mevelandry DIS Veteran

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    And how do you get that card? Can you split it within your cabin or does it have to be 1 per person?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. Frozen2014

    Frozen2014 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the response. Our kids had no interst in the kids club either, which was good with us as we took vacation to hang out as a family. Great to know there were still daily shows. We love the 'dinner followed by a show' experience.
     
  11. cgolf

    cgolf DIS Veteran

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    The card let's you get drinks for anyone. They will put it in the Cruise Compass letting you know when it will be available. On our 2 RCCL cruises, they were available sometime around mid cruise. Once available you can buy them at any of the bars onboard.
     
  12. disneybass

    disneybass There's a great big beautiful tomorrow shining at

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    We did a 5 day on Brilliance a couple of years ago and doing another one this October. My favorite ship so far, love all the glass and ocean views everywhere!
     
  13. cherokeemamma

    cherokeemamma DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review! We have only sailed DCL and this Oct are sailing on the Brilliance. I honestly was starting to regret my decision.
    I have a couple of questions (thanks in advance)....I just discovered that room service has a fee now. Can you explain how this works?
    Also, the beverage cards/fees. We are not drinkers and I found an $8.50 pp/pd Classic Soda package. Is there a X number of sodas per cruise card? Does these type packages include the gratuity?
    Sorry for so many questions and I realize you may not know the answers...I appreciate any advice you may have.
     
  14. trvlgirlmq

    trvlgirlmq DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the review. We are booked on Brilliance for a British Isles cruise June 2019. We have only sailed Carnival so it will all be new. I've got 2 teens who also don't like clubs so I am hoping the weather is good enough to do the rock wall a few times. We were lucky and snagged one of the big ocean views on the front of deck 8.
     
  15. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

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    With the soda card you get unlimited soda and gratuity would be included in the purchase price. For room service the basic items are still free, the cost is for cooked items. The menu shows which is which.
    Denise
     
  16. mkh531

    mkh531 Mouseketeer

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    Do sodas include seltzer? Not every place does and it’s the only soda type beverage we drink when not mainlining coffee.
     
  17. mjosburn

    mjosburn Earning My Ears

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    I was so excited to read your post. My husband & I sailed with Carnival for our honeymoon years ago, & now since 2012, we're about to go on our 5th DCL cruise. We've never sailed with Royal Caribbean, but we live less than 30 minutes from the port in Tampa. When we see cruise ships docked there, we talk about going from there since it's so close. My husband's 50th birthday is in November, & he has been wanting to go to Key West. A surprise cruise from Tampa to Key West aboard the Brilliance sounds perfect!
     
  18. Denise W

    Denise W Disney Veteran

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    Sorry I never asked about seltzer. The section on the website that talks about the soda package may have the information.
    Denise
     
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