We went on the Brilliance of the Seas last year and I fully support your idea of trying to find fellow passengers to share your excursions with and 'go it alone'. Royal Caribbean are a great cruise line BUT the price of excursions is beyond belief! There were a lot of Americans on the cruise and they seemed to go on every possible excursion.
One other thing, the service was superb but the final day of the cruise was somewhat marred by constant reminders on the tv in cabin and public address systems regarding tipping. Please disregard the amounts recommended and tip for the service you feel you have received. Although you may well have pre-paid your gratuities. I realise that the 'reminders' were targeted at the American passengers who are perhaps more accustomed to tipping but this did cause offence amongst the British passengers.
Enjoy your cruise - it's a wonderful itinerary and in the words of our fellow passengers the ship is 'awesome!
Thanks - still no luck with fellow passengers to share trips so we are going to book privately. Looking forward to it.
I noticed, too late, that the recommended tips have been prepaid. If I'd realised then I would have opted out of this arrangement and paid as I thought appropriate and deserved. I hope we don't get hassled for any additional tips!!