May 1, 2012
Brilliance set sail on 11- and 12-night Baltic and Northern Europe cruises from Harwich. The fate of Jewel of the Seas, which is stationed in Harwich this summer, has not yet been announced.
According to the line, pre-season updates to the ship will include a large outdoor cinema screen; new speciality sushi, steakhouse and Mexican restaurants; a traditional English pub; and flat screen TV's in all cabins.
RCI's latest announcement follows news that the 137,308-ton, 3,114-guest Adventure of the Seas will join the 154,407-ton, 3,634-passenger Independence of the Seas in Southampton in May 2013.
Adventure of the Seas will sail a series of 7-, 12-, 13-, 14- and 16-night cruises to the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, Iceland, the Baltics and the Canary Islands, mixing it up with Independence's summer schedule, which also includes voyages of varying length to Norway, the Med. and the Canary Islands.
Royal Caribbean first based a ship, the 2,435-passenger Legend of the Seas, in the U.K. in 2005; since then, the line has steadily increased capacity, regularly introducing more and larger ships on a seasonal basis. Year-round cruising, however, has been less than successful: This year, having dabbled for two seasons in winter voyages to the Canary Islands, the line pulled Independence of the Seas from Southampton for the chillier months and put the ship in the Caribbean.
--by Jamey Bergman, Cruise Critic U.K. Web Content Producer