Just Off the Brilliance

2 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
My wife and I just returned on the Brilliance to Miami from an 11 day Eastern Caribbean cruise on Friday. I'm posting this in response to a couple of messages that I read before we left regarding food mostly, but also service.
Unless you are accustomed to eating in six star restaurants every night, you should not be dissapointed with the food. We thought that the quality and selection of food was exceptional. If by chance, you received something that did not appeal to you, another choice was always offered and quickly brought to the table. The only complaint that I could come up with was the quality of the bacon in the morning in the Windjammer(more fat than meat). Otherwise, the food and service was better than I remember from 8 previous trips on RCI. Our waiter, Anshuman, and his assistant, Kerwin, could not have been better. The room attendants, Henry and Oscar, handled the room in a very professional way. (We were in an inside cabin on deck 10(1003) which seemed larger than some I remember in the past. I could even turn around easily in the shower.) I should note this quality of service occured even though it seemed that the number of rooms that they had to cover was a real test for them. A little cost savings going on? The entire staff from the cruise director, Peter, on down were ever helpful and always giving you a "hello" with a smile no matter where or when you met them.
I won't go into details of the rest of the ship because too many before me have exposed on the brilliance of the Brilliance.
Go and enjoy! Ken Craig
East Coast, USA
3,120 Posts
Joined Nov 2002
As one of those who has "exposed on the brilliance of the Brilliance," I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your cruise. My husband and I also found the food to be good rather than great, but thankfully we weren't expecting more than that for the price we paid.

I second Ken: Go and enjoy!


Read my 2/6/04 Brilliance review

Infinity in...

Brilliance 6/05
Infinity 12/04
Brilliance 2/04
Adventure 11/03
Brilliance 2/03
Grand Princess 3/02
Dawn Princess 11/01
Ocean Princess 5/00
West Springfield, MA USA
29 Posts
Joined Dec 2002
Ken, we were on the the same sailing of the Brilliance and thought everything was wonderful. Couldn't have had a better vacation. Our dinner in Portofino's was extraordinary! Well worth the extra charge too.

441 Posts
Joined Feb 2001
Thanks alot for your review. I am on the May 26th Brilliance in Europe and we are taking a large group most of whom have never cruised. I was really concerned when reading all of the mostly negative reviews of RCL and Brillance lately so it was refreshing to hear your comments.


Carnival Jubilee 5/94
Disney Magic 5/01
Star Princess 5/03

Carnival Conquest 12/03
RCCL Brilliance 5/04
289 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
I'm happy to read your positive review of the Brilliance, I'm sailing on her 10 day Panama Canal 1/14/05 with two girlfriends. I was beginning to get nervous after reading so many negative reviews. The guality of the food has gone down but as long as the food ie edible and my cabin is cleaned while I'm at the pool I'll be a happy cruiser.

Happy Cruiser
Brillance of the Seas Panama canal Jan2005
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Sovereign Jan 1996 and November 1991
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tehachapi,ca, usa
3,691 Posts
Joined Sep 2000
It's good to hear a positive report. Over the past few months there has been some disturbing stories about food and service. Thanks.

6,509 Posts
Joined Apr 2001
Same thing happened with my Vision cruise a few years ago. I read horror stories, such as "shoot the chef". The dining room experience couldn't have been better. I remember at one lunch in the dining room (I prefer dining room to Windjammer on RCI cruises) and remarked to a table mate that I was surprised how good the food was. He replied that he wasn't that impressed but he was from New Orleans and used to the finest cuisine. Then he dug into his bacon cheese burger!

Norway - 2/97;Leeward -12/97;
Grand Princess - 1/99; Leeward - 6/99; Dawn Princess - 11/99;Vision of the Seas - 6/00;Carnival Victory - 9/00; Zenith - 10/00
Mercury - 3/01; R1 -7/01; Grand Princess - 11/01; Majesty of the Seas - 12/01; Norwegian Star - 3/02;
Carnival Triumph - 7/02;
Maasdam - 11/02; Holiday - 12/02; Millennium - 4/03; Carnival Victory - 7/03; Zaandam - 8/03; Zuiderdam - 10/03; Enchantment of the Seas - 1/04; Galaxy - 3/04
Cumberland, ME
152 Posts
Joined Feb 2001

Check other posts from those who complain. They complain about everything. So their complaints mean nothing to me.

We have been on Brilliance twice and loved it both times. Booked third Brilliance cruise while onboard.

You will love the brilliance.

Paul & Vickie

Farifield, Ct, USA
27 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I hate to be a dissenter as I know some on these boards take a negative review of anything the wrong way. Although the Brilliance is a beautifull ship, the wait and stateroom staff VERY GOOD, IMHO the food in both the WindJammer and Minstrel was poor. The appetizers in the Minstrel were fair to good, however, with one exception, the main course was was fair at best and mostly less than that. I do not expect 4, 5 or 6 star cuisine, however I do feel there is MUCH room for improvement. Food in the Windjammer did not fare much better. Perhaps I am spoiled by loftier expectations set by Celebrity.

Portofinos and Chops were both excellent, food and service both and deserve recognition as such.

With all that said, it did not detract from an absolutley marvelous cruise, as it is always what you put into it that measures your enjoyment.

Would I go on RCL again, yes, however, it will be secondary to Celebrity and based purely on 'bargains'.
79 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
Whew!!Thanks for the positive review!!!
We are on the Brilliance for the 3rd time August 6 for a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. I've always loved Brilliance & thought the food was fine. After reading some of the recent reviews, I thought they might be serving prison grub!

Brilliance- Mediterranean- Venice
Sonoma, CA
6,680 Posts
Joined Mar 2003
And I never knew that Beef Wellington, steak, lobster and lamb were prison food. .We've been on almost 40 cruises, and nothing is as good as it used to be, including us. We thought the food was delicious. Go and enjoy.
Longwood Florida
2,037 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Nancyquilts:
And I never knew that Beef Wellington, steak, lobster and lamb were prison food. .We've been on almost 40 cruises, and nothing is as good as it used to be, including us. We thought the food was delicious. Go and enjoy.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I may have been at Chops or Portifinos the evenings they served "Beef Wellington." We got a strange dish called "pork Wellington." It was rather tasty, but the economies are obvious. It also used to be that if nothing else appealed, you could always get a sirloin. It was no great shakes, but it was a basically tender and flavorful piece of meat. I am afraid the "ranch" "steak" reminded me more of college dorm food than something from a cruise line.
I remember when Carnival used to sell the "we've got the fun" stuff. Well, now RCI seems to be doing that. I can't blame them. It worked for Carnival. I was just amazed that the food on Carnival's Pride was far and away much better than anything on RCI. So while Carnival has been busy adding really good food, RCI has been adding belly flop contests.

Work like a dog. Live like a pauper. Save all your money. Then Cruise!
2 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I actually had beef wellington on the brilliance and it was very good. Besides Royal Caribbean, I've sailed on Carnival, Holland America, and Cunard on the QE2. Carnival would never be my choice again.
Smarr, Ga, U.S.A.
1,471 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
Neither did I expect 5 star food, but I was at least expecting the 3.5 - 4 star food we enjoyed last year. This was not the case.
Lamb Shanks in a thick sauce is not the same as Lamb Chops or Rack of Lamb.
Pork Wellington or as we called it "Hot dog in a donut" is not the same as Beef Wellington, and the infamous Ranch Steak is not the same as the Strip steak that had been offered as an alternative. The appetizers were tasty and the soups were very good. The deserts were also quite good, but the main courses in the Minstrel were just plain dissappointing. Sorry if this offends some people, but it's a fact. We also felt that since the reduction of staff, that the service in the Minstrel was also sadly lacking when comparing to our previous cruise. This has absolutly nothing to do with the beauty of the ship, the fantastic people that work on the ship or the ship's staff. It is a reflection of the current trend that RCI's Corporate management has taken to fill up the ships and keep their costs at a minimum, but still maintaining the mirage of what cruising used to and should be like.


Carnival Celebration 08/97
Carnival Fantasy 02/99
RCI Explorer 05/02
RCI Brilliance 04/03 The Barcrawler Legend Begins
RCI Brilliance 03/04 The Return of the Barcrawlers
2005 Princess or Celebrity TBD

email address: [email protected]
Longwood Florida
2,037 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
Bravo Stretch! I agree 100%
We are here to share information. If some things have gone downhill, I would rather find out before I put my money down. If you enjoy ranch steak, have two! Good health to you! You can even have mine

Work like a dog. Live like a pauper. Save all your money. Then Cruise!