Last spring break, my family took a vacation aboard the Brilliance of the Seas. We had been on a Royal Caribbean cruise before but it had been many years since our last experience with the cruise line. I was traveling with my mother and my son.
Details of the Cabin
My mother must stay in a handicap accessibility room. Our room, Cabin 4008, was very spacious with plenty of room for everyone. My mother and I each had own own twin bed and my son had a bunk bed which left room for a chair underneath. The bathroom was quite large to accommodate the use of a walker or wheelchair. There was also plenty of storage space in the closets found beside the twin beds and in the closet in the vanity.
All three of us found the beds to be very hard and not at all comfortable. After two sleepless nights, my mother requested a different mattress. We were provided a foam topper for the mattress which moved around when you got on the bed by sliding off the side.
On the second day, the restroom had an EXTREMELY unfriendly odor. Everyone sort of held their breath as someone else opened the bathroom door. We would quickly run in the door and shut it so the entire cabin did not begin to smell badly. Upon request, the cabin was provided with air freshers that really did not assist with the issue. We did find that by the 4th night, the smell had disappeared.
The access to the restroom was extremely difficult to manage for my mother. Not pictured here was a half moon hump that led from the bedroom portion to the restroom portion of the room. Because the ramp was not straight on but curved down on each side, it made it very difficult in a rocking boat to manage with a walker without the walker teetering. For someone using a walking, a teetering walker is no good!
The Good (There was no bad!)
While on board, we regularly reviewed the Cruise Compass to see what entertainment was available for the day. This ship had so many offerings it was amazing. The night’s entertainment provided by outside entertainers was fantastic. We had a show with singers, magicians, jugglers, beat boxers and even a comedian. They were truly fantastic shows! By the end, the shows were instead performed by the in-house performers and were not quite as great. In addition to the nightly entertainment, we enjoyed the extras they had during the day such as the movies offered at the theater, the $1 mimosas at the casino and even had a great time running around the ship enjoying the scavenger hunts.
While we were on board, we had great food selections. There were foods my son enjoyed nightly and the cuisine changed daily. For those who are picky eaters, the menu did include features such as grilled chicken nightly. We ate so much food! I never missed the opportunity to have one of the great meals they offered.
My only complaint was on the day we arrived. The sit down restaurants are not available with service yet so you must go to one of the buffet offerings. When we arrived, we had my mother’s walker with us. In addition, she also was in a scooter. With two large pieces of equipment, maneuvering the buffet was quite a challenge. In addition to the equipment, the seating in the buffets are first-come, first-serve. It feels like the Indy 500 as people zoom past you grabbing up any free table they can find as quickly as possible. In addition, I just really hate a buffet. I have never cared for them with one exception… the one onboard the Disney Cruise Line (DCL) on cruise arrival day. (The buffet on that day for the DCL has mounds and mounds of fabulous seafood!)
Overall, the cruise was very nice and relaxing. Despite the issues we had, we did book a cruise for this year while we were still on board that cruise!