We just finished 12 days on the Brilliance touring Northern Europe (Aug. 27-Sept. 8), and it was GREAT. Brillance is a beautiful ship full of wonderful surprises! Of course this review is my personal opinion and I have read others that harshly critique some things such as too smoking in bar and dance areas being a problem for non-smokers, cabins being to small, and crew being new and inexperienced. These things were not a problem for us. We are non-smokers and really never noticed too much smoke. We thought the cabin was comfortable and we had a large balcony. It's true that the buffet dinning was busy but we were always able to find pleanty of food and a table. Sometimes things are not perfect but that's life....it's all in your perspective...we enjoyed our time on the Brilliance and hope you will too.
And we just finished the transatlantic crossing on this ship. I really couldn't find a whole lot to find fault with, either, PamK. With regard to the smoking, there were smoking areas (like the Schooner lounge) and non-smoking areas. Ok, so you had to walk thru the Schooner to get to the Colony club, but the ventilation was good enough that the room wasn't filled with smoke. Believe me, I would have noticed having severe asthma. We found the crew extremely friendly, always willing to give away a smile and a pleasant greeting. On the rare occassion I visited the Windjammer, I actually didn't look for a place to sit by myself. Part of the fun of cruising is being able to meet so many new people. I found that most folks are willing to let you join them, and will engage in conversation. Our only problem was bar service. We were 2 women traveling together. In each bar, we waited as much as 1/2 hr to get served while those around us were being served. The only exception to this was Myra. If she saw us, whether together or individually, she immediately came over to see if we'd been waited on yet. Needless to say, by the end of the week, she'd earned herself an additional tip.
Sounds great.......we're sailing 1/24/03 for 10 days. Can't wait. I heard some negative things about the entertainment. How did you find it? We were on the Explorer 12/1/02 and the entertainment was wonderful so I'm getting a little disappointed now after reading some other posts about the Brilliance entertainment on other sites.
Thanks, glad to read some positive reports! I'm on the Brilliance for March 17th, actually booked it before they decided to make it a CruiseMates Cruise! I have asthma, too and the smoking comments always interest me. I have yet to have a serious problem with smokers and I've sailed on ships where other nationalities were in the majority, smoking still wasn't an issue.
I travel alone and have never found a problem with finding a place to sit in buffet areas. Because I'm alone when I walk into a bar area for my before dinner drink, I catch the eye of one of the waiters before I sit down. Looking forward to my Brilliance cruise!
We were on Brilliance for the northern Europe on 8/3 and enjoyed every aspect of the ship. The crew was most helpful and friendly. I found only the Schooner to be loaded with smokers. Smoking was also prevalent at the Colony Club bar, but really did not affect he other sections of the club. Wait till you see the Centrum and experience the glass elevators facing the water, lovely!!