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I just got home from a wonderful cruise of 5 days western on the Brilliance it was a solo and I had cabin 4587 a solo cabin which I was a little apprehensive when I booked but truthfully it was all a single cruiser needs. everything was in the perfect place it didn't bother me that there was no light or window to see out never gave it a second thought . The 2 1/2 hour drive was a pleasure and that's hard to say  after all it is I-4 .Smooth sailing till the fiasco of road work in O town arriving in Tampa was another story after the sign on I-4 telling you to get off here you are on your own through Ybor city you can see the ships but have a hard time getting to them after 5 turn arounds a police officer sitting on the side of the road began to remind me of an owl on a fence I swear he was laughing at me I spotted one of the private lots directly across from the ship maybe 2 blocks I had spoken to my TA about them and she said go for it after all they were 30.00 cheaper then at the ship and I was getting tired of being law enforcements enertainment I could almost hear benny hills music playing as I went past them.this lot is a family owned business the greeter said park there pointing to a great spot in the front he said lock it and keep your keys without warning he scooped up my luggage and put it in his very modern van and away we went 2 mins later I was tipping the porter and in less then 3 mins I was walking the plank onto the ship room key in hand and it wasn't 1045 yet I tried to get to 11 to the windjammer but the hoardes of hungry Vikings frightened me so I went to the park café and a couple fresh kemmelwerks  yea  no crowd the café is hidden and not easily spotted by the nubes I have not sailed this class before but I have a new love the schooner is huge I have never seen one this big great service fine piano the only minus is the casino smoke dominates everything it amazes me that these magnificent ships can be completely refurbed every 5 years new rooms put on new restaurants put in but they cant figure a way to vent the casino to the outside instead of the smell throughout the whole ship the crew on this ship are one of a kind I have been on a lot of royal cruises and never felt so genuinely welcome and appreciated I did not attend any shows frankly there not my thing I watched the movies nightly poolside and absolutely enjoyed the football games sunday and Thursday  this is more my speed and by the second night the kiddee mobs were in full swing and even that didn't bother me this cruise was spot on in every way except the food in windjammer breakfast  was outstanding eating on the outside dining area was a treat watching a new day begin then there was lunch pan after pan of slop pork chops so dry they were inedible same old mashed potatoes watery gravy two tables full of cheese and fruit which was very fresh the chicken wings yuck skin soft and slimey  BUT something new was added really good hand formed burgers cooked to perfection on fresh baked buns with every topping imaginable what an improvement and it was available lunch and dinner the entire cruise in a section called American now for the other big plus Brilliance has no sorrentos so I went to the park café once again pizza was created there and very well NOT one bit like the soggy crust under done saints awful cheese all new cheese sauce toppings and a great crispy crust is it new York or new jersey I think not but it is a pleasure to eat and worth waiting in line for I also noticed they no longer cook it on the pizza pans and sits there till they serve it which was why the crust was always soggy they now have racks in the serving area and the moment it comes out of the kitchen it goes right to the cooling rack obviously royal has people reading these blogs they are are improving and in a big way no longer the p poor school lunch room  of old and I sent corporate a thank-you for the improvements the fish they pile into those pans are seldom edible fish can not sit it dries quickly they made a salmon fillet encased in a puff pastry excellent but the five other fish dishes were awful I suggested that rather then offer a dry piece of meat like top round at the carving station when is the last time you saw a rib roast or tenderloin now they dropped to the cheapest piece of meat available it should be served immediately not left under a heat BUT seafood cooks super fast shrimp scallops salmon branzino can be cooked most all seafoods can be cooked to order very fast salmon a little butter minced garlic some shallots or lemmon grass bingo a fine meal I heard many seafood requests cod is a favorite oh well off the food this ship is an older royal masterpiece meticulously maintained combine it with the best crew I have run into yet and the attention to detail is obvious I recommend this to everyone its not the symphony the oasis and not even the freedom but if you want the true traditional cruise with PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES  try Brilliance you wont be disappointed CRUISE ON MY FRIENDS ps the red velvet cupcakes are for Sweety







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