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Royal Caribbean InternationalBrilliance the Seas ReviewPanama CanalMark

Age: 32

Occupation:Engineer

Number of Cruises: 2

Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean

Ship: Brilliance of the Seas

Sailing Date: January 23rd, 2006

Itinerary: NOT FOUND

Royal Caribbean International
Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review
Panama Canal

Mark

My girlfriend and I went on the 11-day to the Panama canal. Overall we had a great time and the service was fantastic. Warning to younger/active people: The demographic of people on the ship is an older crowd (most people were in the "retired" bracket). I suppose not many people our age have the time and/or means to afford such a long cruise. After 11:00, we pretty much had the ship to ourselves, but often we were wishing there were more younger people around, especially in the disco which was virtually empty most nights.

The ship itself is quite incredible. The decor is very nice without being too overstated. There is plenty of room for everyone with the following exceptions: Some long lines in the Windjammer Cafe at peak meal times, poolside chairs on sunny days can be hard to come by and seats at some of the shows/events can be hard to find, especially earlier in the evening.

I thought the food was decent. Everything was quite tasty, but nothing that is going to change your life. I found the desserts to be excellent and the main dishes were hit and miss although there was at least one dish each night that I thought was excellent.

The sushi served in the Windjammer for dinner was quite creative and tasty considering no raw fish was used. Sushi snobs may want to skip it, but I certainly enjoyed it. As I mentioned, buffet lines can get long during peak hours. My girlfriend and I tended to stay one step behind everyone in order to avoid them and it worked out great.

The itinerary was also very enjoyable. The only problem we ran into was that many of the excursions which were of an active nature (biking, kayaking, etc.) got cancelled due to lack of interest. Not a huge problem, but we were left a little disappointed a couple of times. Definitely go snorkeling in Aruba and check out the locks in the canal. Definitely the highlights of the cruise.

We skipped the entertainment every night. Based on what we heard through our floor (we were right above the theater and could hear the performance as we were getting ready for dinner each night) and saw on the TV (they replay the previous night's show sometimes) we didn't miss much. I don't want to give a totally negative impression because I think the entertainment was geared for the older generation and from reviews we heard around the ship, the older folks seemed to like it. The other events were quite fun to do and watch and the cruise director staff did a fantastic job throughout.

The gym and spa were great for being on a ship. We thoroughly enjoyed using the facilities. We chose not to do the "all you can drink" soft drink package. Water, iced-tea, lemonade and coffee are always available (juice during breakfast time) and soft drinks are $1.73 ($1.50 plus 15% gratuity) at the bar, so you can decide based on that. Alcoholic drinks were not as outrageously priced as I would have thought, ranging from about $3.75 for a domestic draught beer to $6.00 for a mixed drink. Those are normal bar prices where I come from.

Overall, I'd definitely sail Royal Caribbean again, although I'd go on a shorter/more accessable cruise that would better suit the amount of activity I'm looking for.

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