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Catnip

Review of Brilliance 3/29-4/9

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It was my 2nd year in a row on Brilliance. It is a lovely ship and they have kept up her appearance well since last year. The cruise director, a British guy named Peter, was the BEST cruise director I have had in all of my 26 cruises. I thought he was so funny! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] Some CD are pretty corny, but he was great.

I arrived at the Miami airport around 10:00 am and as soon as I got my 2 suitcases, I hopped in a cab and was at the pier by around 10:30. Pretty quick & easy.
They held us in a holding area and then we went through the securty and into the main terminal to check in. Easy going and I was the very first passenger on board!
We were not allowed to check into our cabins until 1:00, so I had to drag my carry-on's with me around the ship. Lunch in the Windjammer was served at 12:00. I went down to my floor at 1:00, but the fire doors were still closed. People were getting somewhat anxious to get to their cabins, and around 1:15, some of them stormed the fire doors & charged down to their rooms, which were ready. Mine, however, was not. I was finally able to get in my cabin about 1:30.

My biggest complaint about this cruise was the cabin steward. He was the worst in all my years of cruising. He never came to introduce himself or his partner. For the first 2 days, I left him notes of things I needed (ie: an extra towel each day, extra copy of Cruise Compass, etc). After the 3rd day, I had to hunt him down to request a bath robe. I only saw him and never his partner the whole 11 days. He would typically not even clean our cabin until after 1:00 each day and after 9 pm each evening. Not that this is a huge deal, but it was a major change since last year. However, I talked with several other people and they all said they had great cabin stewards. Maybe mine was either new, lazy or both!

Food in Windjammer was ok and we ate lunch there everyday. (pizza was not good. Not enough sauce and toppings--in my opinion) They ran out of lemonade 3 days before the end of the cruise and ran out of punch on the last sea day.

Out D/R waitress and assistant waitress were fantastic! The best ever! Very friendly and fun. THe food in the D/R was better than last year, but cost-cutting measures were obvious. A few nights, there was nothing on the menu I wanted, so I ordered the dreaded RANCH STEAK! I was surprised to find it tasty and cooked exactly how I ordered it. The garlic butter on top was yummy! No mints in a bowl on the way out of the D/R like in past years..........

We did enjoy trivia almost each day. Production shows were ok, but my favorite was a fantastic violinist nmamed Gary Lovini from the UK. He was fantastic!

All in all, a great cruise. I would say that RCCL needs a little work in the housekeeping dept and the timliness of getting cabins ready each day.

Hope this wasn't too long!! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea" (Calypso)

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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Catnip, thanks for your review of our cruise, sorry we didn't get to meet up with all you lollygaggers!
Our cabin experience was almost the same, I could not tell you our attendants name, he never introduced himself to us either! (But we had some other issues, see my post regarding our cabin : share my excitement) I never knew why the fire doors where closed on the first day, [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_confused.gif[/img] we opened them and went to our cabin and dropped off our carry on's.


We too enjoyed the violinist, Gary and also enjoyed Marty Allen. The rest was lame at best.

Soveriegn 92 E. Caribbean
Majesty 95 W. Caribbean
Granduer 97 E. Caribbean
Rhapsody 00 Mexico
Vision 02 Alaska
Radiance 03 Panama Canal
Brilliance 3/29/04



Radiance of the Seas/Panama Canal 10/18/2003
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img] Are we there yet?
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

My bags are always packed!
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;3;29;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img] Brilliance 3/29/2004

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justcruzin,
What was your opinion of the food in the Windjammer and the D/R? And weren't we lucky to have such good weather and calm seas?

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea" (Calypso)

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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DR food was OK to good, Windjammer was good but poor selections at times. Service in both DR and Windjammer is a whole other issue.

Yes we were lucky for such good weather and calm seas...call us crazy but just once we want to experience rough seas! All our cruises have been smooth as a baby's behind!

Soveriegn 92 E. Caribbean
Majesty 95 W. Caribbean
Granduer 97 E. Caribbean
Rhapsody 00 Mexico
Vision 02 Alaska
Radiance 03 Panama Canal
Brilliance 3/29/04



Radiance of the Seas/Panama Canal 10/18/2003
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]Are we there yet?
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=ff00ff&cdt=2003;10;18;20;00;00&timezone=GMT-0800[/img]

My bags are always packed!
[img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=800080&cdt=2004;3;29;17;00;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img] Brilliance 3/29/2004

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Catnip, you're review was just right! Not too long and not too short. I like reviews where everything isn't great. You just got to the point. Thanks!

SDT

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Oops! I forgot to add that they didn't have macaroons every day in the Windjammer, either!
Bummer......they are so excellent! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif[/img]

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea" (Calypso)

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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Catnip, you probably didn't see your "steward team" because they were on the other end of the ship trying to handle their 35 - 40 cabins. Luckily we were able to at least see our steward almost every day. That didn't mean that the cabin was cleaned before 1:00 in the afternoon, we were just lucky to have an aft cabin and they had to go back there to get linens or towels from time to time. You've also got more nerve that my DW and I, even though we were very dissatified with the food in the dining room, we didn't go quite as far as ordering ranch steaks.
You're also lucky you had Marty Allen, we didn't have anyone that I had ever heard of for our so called "Headliner Showcase". Glad you had good weather and a good cruise.
Stretch
Stretch

AAYE PARANDAA!

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]Stretchcrawler@yahoo.com[/email]

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Stretch,
I knew you would not beleive I was forecd to order the ranch steak! [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img]
However, to be fair, I was surprised to find it not like the bottom of my shoe at all. It was ok and the tons of garlic butter I had on top was good. (I did order double the butter!) I felt quite safe from vampires those 2 evenigs!
I just felt sorry for the room steward, as one night it was almost 10:00 before he was done with our room. Somehow, this new system of theirs is not working very well. I wonder why they changed it? Before, as you know, my cabin steward would be done with our room always by 10 am and then again when we were at early seating for dinner.
We are booked on a 10-day Caribbean cruise for next April 1 on the Summit. Have you decided on switching lines for your next cruise?

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea"

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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Those poor room/cabin/suite attendants. We had a great attendant, she was working her butt off. I saw her more than once with sweat beading on her forehead. RC sent out a note saying suite guests would have 24hr. attendant, and the cost was going to $5.75/person-day.

I think we bash on the wrong people here. We gladly paid the $5.75 and she was well worth it. Who cares what time your room gets made up??? I keep hearing "who spends time in their room anyways". This poor woman had to put up with all kinds of rude, overly demanding, messy people, and she did it as part of her job.

I still feel the service was great. Sure we would have loved to get to know her better, but she had a job to do.

The problem lies in those rude, demanding slobs that take up all the attendants time. aka your fellow cruisers. Stop bashing the poor attendants they have NOTHING to do with any of this.

We have booked our third time on Brilliance for next year, and we are looking forward to it.


Cheers,

Paul & Vickie

[img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/anims/food1/cheese.gif[/img] [img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/others/mixed3/palm2.gif[/img] [img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/anims/human/handanim.gif[/img] [img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FF0000&cdt=2004;3;29;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img]

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What do you mean that RCL sent you a note saying the cabin stewart would be 5.75 pp a day? Was that added on to your stateroom account or was that the tip you were now supposed to leave?
Just Curious

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In the Compass on Brilliance it said that the tip for suite guests is $5.75 per person/per day. We were in an E-1 so it didn't apply to us, but I am glad someone else brought that up. We were sort of wondering if that is the new tip amount fleet wide, or just on Brilliance with their new steward "system"? [img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

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Our experience on the Brillance was great!! Our Cabin steward was absolutly FANTASTIC he was playfull and attentive,we had no problems with whatever request that we made and we made a few,Troy was the best steward we ever had. He was so good that when we went to St.Lucia he was meeting his wife who is pregnant myself and 3 other cabins traveling with us made our own beds that day and told him just to change our towels so he could spend time with his wife,and other people we did not know did the same. Overall I thought the entire staff was extremly friendly. The food was pretty good but,I can agree with catnip that some nights the choices were just not there.Portifino's and Chops were great. I would not hesitate to sail on the Brillance again.

Mike

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Paul,
I certainly wasn't "bashing" my room steward. I actually felt sorry for him being there till after noon everyday and well after 10pm each evening. Something is wrong with this "new" system. In my past 26 cruises, it has never been like that. That is what I was pointing out, and Stretch's review of the cruise before our was the same thing.
He either needed more help, or fewer rooms to clean. I never saw his "helper" the whole 11 days.
Just my opinion........

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea"

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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And additionally, catnip. We were on the 3/19 sailing of Brilliance, the 10 day in between Stretch's and yours. I am still curious about this new suite tip amount.

Our room steward on Deck 8, was terrible, but also, obviously, extremely overworked. I complained directly to him, and he explained how busy and stressed he was. We just sort of let it go. Our neighbors on the other hand called the hotel manager to complain. I came back to our cabin to hear them yelling out on their balcony. Apparently they were out on their lounge chairs and the room steward came into clean and locked the sliding glass door, thereby trapping them out on the balcony. They passed me their room card over the railing to let them back in.

She was sure it was revenge of the room steward, I think it was just inattentativeness and a really busy schedule.
[img]http://messages.cruisecritic.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
Thanks for the review, catnip.

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Like I said it's the officers and managers that are doing this to you not the attendant.

My bed was made every day, cleaned every day, new towels everyday????

I still for the life of me do not understand what you all think was taken away from you????

What else did you want the attendant to do??

I guess I just dont get it.

Cheers,

P&V

[img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/anims/food1/cheese.gif[/img] [img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/others/mixed3/palm2.gif[/img] [img]http://w1.511.telia.com/~u51102888/anims/human/handanim.gif[/img] [img]http://escati.linkopp.net/cgi-bin/countdown.cgi?trgb=000000&srgb=00ff00&prgb=FF0000&cdt=2004;3;29;17;0;00&timezone=GMT-0500[/img]

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Paul,
I guess on my original review I should have stated that my biggest complaint was with the new cabin-cleaning system & partner team system (not with the overworked cabin attendant).
Nothing was "taken away" from us, except for the timliness of getting the cabins cleaned. I know most everyone isn't in their rooms much, especially on port days. But I have a handicapped mother, who would like to go back to the cabin after breakfast or late morning & sit down for a bit & read. In the past 20+ years of cruising, the cabins were generally cleaned by 10-11 am and the room stewards out of there. Also, in the evenings, they typically in the past were finished cleaning rooms by 8-9 pm. Not so with this "new" system.
Our room steward seemed very stressed out and certainly not as friendly and happy as we have seen in our past 25 cruises.
That's all I was commenting on. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on this one....

"To live on the land...we must learn from the sea"

(26 prior cruises. Nobody cares, so why list them all?)

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We were also on the 3/29 sailing and we couldn't have asked for better service throughout the ship from guest relations, wait staff, room service and our cabin steward.

I guess I don't get it either. Our room was cleaned, we got fresh towels and our bed made up, what more could we want. Our attendant was wonderful. We always saw her and she always inquired if there was anything she could do for us. We even got those much coveted towel animals. What if all passengers required that their room be made up between 10-11Am and 9-10PM. That is impossible and a little needy IMHO. And Rhody, what you and your friends did for your cabin steward was wonderful!!

We wouldn't hesitate to cruise again with RCL. The Brilliance was outstanding. Can't wait to sail her again.

Deb and Ed



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Catnip,
We were looking at Celebrity for our next cruise but I've read that they were going to change their menus in the fall. I figure since they're owned by RCI, that they'll have their own version of the Royal Ranch Steak, possibly calling it the Brand "X" Filet. (Tongue in cheek here). Seriously, I think that Princess will be our next choice. By then though, who knows what will happen in this industry.
Stretch

AAYE PARANDAA!

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]Stretchcrawler@yahoo.com[/email]

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That would be too bad if Celebrity downgrades their meals. We were on two cruises with them out of San Francisco last year, and the food was delightful. Nancy

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My wife and I were alson on the 3/29 sailing of the Brilliance for our honeymoon. EVERYTHING was wonderful. We didn't have a problem with our cabin steward. Anthony had our room made up everyday by the time we got back from lunch and the beds turned down by the time we got back from dinner. He went out of his way to get extra ice for us on port days. My wife needed ice for a cooler to keep her insulin cold. He was also accommodating to let us drop of her medication in the room at 11:00 when we boarded the ship. We never saw his sidekick, maybe he had the other half of the hall.

Chops was absolutely the best meal we had the whole trip, and I would highly recommend it to anyone.

The ship was beautiful, staff extra friendly, and was a wonderful honeymoon. We're just sad to be back to reality. We had sleet and snow in Tennessee yesterday, what a change!!

Scott & Becky

Noordam 8/89
Imagination 3/97
Destiny 3/99
Triumph 4/00
Brilliance 3/04

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