|The indoor pool on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas.|
|The Pacifica, live theatre on the ship.|
This is an older ship that was built in 2002, renovated in 2013. Many new updates will be completed in 2015.
|The health club on the ship.|
Walking through the ship we find areas that should be renovated to update the décor, although there are few areas showing any signs of wear and tear. The obvious diligent and regular maintenance are clearly evidenced in all areas.
|The views from the treadmills.|
The design is excellent, in that it’s easy to find the elevators, and maneuver from one area to the next without aimlessly wandering around as we’ve done on a few prior ships.
|The deck where many passengers take long walks.|
The cabins are smaller by approximately 15 square feet as opposed to other cruises we’ve booked in the past and future. At 179 square feet for an E1 category Balcony Cabin, the square footage difference is negligible based on its creative design. We don’t find ourselves feeling cramped at all.
|The outdoor pool.|
We each have our own closet and share a series of shelves for the folded items. There are numerous drawers we haven’t needed to use. The bathroom is surprisingly sufficient with shelf space and a roomy medicine cabinet. The shower is adequate, although water may quickly accumulate on the floor if the shower head isn’t angled correctly or the water pressure is too high.
|Alternate view of the pool.|
The bed is comfortable with good covers and pillows. After Gerald, our conscientious cabin attendant, cleans the room, replaces towels, empties trashes, restocks coffee, and tea supplies, we find the cabin comfortable for sleeping and for the few hours we spend inside each day.
|Ship equipment on display near the elevators.|
The common areas of the ship are appealing and comfortable with adequate seating and close proximity to an ice machine and complimentary coffee, tea, juice, and water. Each morning, as we worked on our posts, we’ve lounged in the area adjacent to the Windjammers Café with a full wall of windows for sea watching and wide padded chairs at tables for four with soft music playing in the background.
|Viking Crown Lounge on the 13th floor.|
As this familiar area has become more familiar, we find ourselves feeling as if we’re in the living room of a home we’re renting, content, as we could possibly, be. The only difference is that from time to time, people stop by, sit in the extra chairs at our table and chat with us which is always enjoyed and appreciated.
|View from the Viking Crown Crown Lounge.|
As soon as they leave our table, I’m quickly back at work striving to complete the posts we’ve scheduled for upload through the end of the cruise on September 14, 2014.
|The ship’s superstructure.|
We’ve included photos of the main live theatre here today, we’ve yet to watch any of the evening entertainment although we watched a matinee with an Irish comedian on Saturday.
|Cute waiter in the lounge.|
We’ve heard tepid reviews as to the various evening shows. Without 8:00 pm dinner reservations, we usually don’t leave the dining room until 10:00 pm or later, when table sharing often precipitates delightful conversations.
|Mannequin of a boy fishing.|
|Another mannequin fisherman.|
Nor have we yet to watch a movie in either the outdoor or indoor theatres when we’ve already seen all the movies they’ve shown. Too cold outside, no one appears to spend time at the pool although numerous guests have frequented the hot tub, not necessarily our thing.
|The Centrum, or atrium of the ship.|
The service aboard the ship is exemplary from what we’ve experienced. From the beverage staff in the Windjammer Café to the tech guy, to the customer service desk, to dining in the specialty restaurants, everyone is knowledgeable, gracious, and eager to please.
We’ve asked for very little; a credit for US $399 when I couldn’t get online; the three occasions when the tech guy assisted me (he was unable to get me online on the ship’s WiFi); Gerald, our cabin steward, for extra pillows for our cabin; and Anthony, the thoughtful maître d’ who’s assisted with my special diet. They’ve all been thoughtful and kind.
|Vitality at Sea Spa.|
The quality of a cruise is also subject to the ease with which passengers are able to disembark the ship at various ports of call. It’s been seamless on this ship, allowing passengers to quickly get off and back on the ship.
|Solarium Park Café.|
There are several items for which passengers incur additional costs while cruising including cocktails, sodas, specialty coffees, teas and bottled water (the ship’s water is safe to drink), specialty restaurants, WiFi, spa services, and personal training.
|The Solarium Park Café fresh display all included in the cruise fare.|
As on most ships, there is a medical clinic on board with a physician and a few nurses. Unless an illness is a shipborne illness, there are fees to see the doctor, often quite expensive which may or may not be reimbursed by insurance.
|The view across the Centrum.|
We’ve never visited an onboard doctor although we were required to see him (at no expense) when we boarded the Carnival Liberty in Belize in April 2013, when security confiscated our bag of vitamins and we were nearly arrested.
|The Casino Royale which we don’t visit other than for an upcoming Slot Pull.|
They confiscated the duffel bag with the sealed, labeled bottles of vitamins and minerals asking the ship’s doctor to declare if they were in fact vitamins or dangerous drugs. Luckily, the doctor was equally appalled as we were, over the fuss made over the vitamins and he encouraged the security officers to let us and our vitamins be reunited. It took 24 hours to get the vitamins back. For details of this story from April 10, 2013, please click here.
|King and Country Pub, with a cost incurred for all beverages.|
Overall, we’d rate this ship an 8 out of 10, only due to the WiFi issues, the lack of quality food in the main dining room, and the fact that certain areas are outdated.
|The “authentic” English pub as shown above.|
Would we book a Royal Caribbean cruise in the future when Celebrity is our first love? We already have done so. Currently, we have two Royal Caribbean and two Celebrity cruises booked into the future, in each case based on good past experiences and the convenience of the itineraries based on our choice of preferred locations at the time.
Yes, there are other cruise lines we’ve yet to experience in our travels, such as the highly regarded Princess and Holland America lines. Perhaps in the future, our itinerary will encourage us to do so.
Until then, as always, we’ll continue to “love the one we’re with.”
Photo from one year ago today, September 11, 2013:
Due to technical difficulties, we were unable to post on this date one year ago while we were in Kenya.