14 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Caribbean - All Cruise Reviews

We typically cruise with RCI but this was the worse cruise on that we have been. Most of the staff did not seem passionate or very friendly (except the "Washie-Washie" lady that was stationed at the entrance of Windjammer). The ... Read More
We typically cruise with RCI but this was the worse cruise on that we have been. Most of the staff did not seem passionate or very friendly (except the "Washie-Washie" lady that was stationed at the entrance of Windjammer). The mattress needed replaced and the toilet backed up 5 times ( nothing on our end caused, no pun intended). The food was unimpressive. Nothing "wowed" us about this cruise, also the ship needs updating. How about some ground rules for the hot & heavy guest, gay or straight, save making out for your room not the pool, apparently not everyone enjoyed it as much as they did. Dinner in the main dining room was unimpressive. The food was average and the staff could have been more engaging and helpful. Two of the shows were crude. It would be great if the cruise line would pair up table guest with people that actually had common interest. We were very disappointed this time! Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
We took this cruise as a long weekend getaway. I have sailed on one other cruise with Royal Caribbean from San Juan, and it was great. This cruise, however was extremely disappointing. We ordered a Royal Refreshment drink package ... Read More
We took this cruise as a long weekend getaway. I have sailed on one other cruise with Royal Caribbean from San Juan, and it was great. This cruise, however was extremely disappointing. We ordered a Royal Refreshment drink package for my husband, which is to include soda, specialty coffees, non-alcoholic cocktails, etc. However, we were informed after boarding that the package included soda only (Classic package). When going to guest services, the manager was extremely rude and basically said "Sorry, but you paid $106.00 for the soda only package". We had to pay full price for the drinks that should have been included. Upon returning home I have verified the e-mail receipt, which indeed states that the other package was purchased. On the second day of the cruise we had breakfast at the Windjammer, which was absolutely terrible. Passengers were complaining, but the overall attitude of the staff was uncaring and rude. The next day we chose to have breakfast in the main dining room, but apparently everyone else wanted to avoid the Windjammer after the experience from the day before. There was a line going fully down the hall of people waiting for tables. The DR staff was not equipped to deal with this, so the service was very slow. Entertainment was completely lacking on this ship, and what they did offer was sub par. It definitely did not have the "wow" factor that Royal Caribbean offers to its customers. Although there were a few nice staff members, most of them just didn't seem to care about anything, and were rude to everyone. There was clearly a morale problem going on. I don't know if Royal Caribbean is doing major budget cuts or if the problem is just with this ship, but I know that I will not be booking my next cruise with this company. Read Less
Sail Date November 2016
Embarkation was flawless, from the time we arrived to the port until we were on board only 15 minutes. This is our 21st cruise and 4th on Royal and we felt that it just didn't live up to the normal Royal Caribbean standards. Our cabin ... Read More
Embarkation was flawless, from the time we arrived to the port until we were on board only 15 minutes. This is our 21st cruise and 4th on Royal and we felt that it just didn't live up to the normal Royal Caribbean standards. Our cabin was an aft balcony on deck 8, no issues here beautiful balcony no noise nor movement and steward did a great job. Dining at Minstrel was also good due to our waitress Denisse who did a very good job however we heard many complaints throughout the tables regarding their service or food,however we were treated well. We did the Chefs Table which we always do and it was great however we never received our invitation or details and when we called to inquire we were told systems were down just to go to the Colony Club at 6:30. The bar service was awful not because of the bartenders but because of lack of them. You could see frustration in their service and thrown together drinks and I saw absolutely no servers walking around selling drinks..ever! At the muster drill I approached the crew member and requested to stand in front due to claustrophobia and was told sharply to just follow the passenger in front of me and once they tracked everyone they would allow me to go inside and this never happened and I was stuck in the crowd ready to faint as I have in the past. I noticed several shattered windows on the ship which made the ship seem unkept. Casual passes past the crew rarely said hello without us saying it first. I felt most crew members seemed overworked ,short handed and agitated to be bothered The only stop we made was in Cozumel which we did not participate in any excursions and stayed on board and there wasn't enough to do for passengers staying on board. We stopped for a few margaritas at Rita's Cantina and were not impressed. Walking in the waiter acted like we weren't even supposed to be there as we were greeted with " what do you need? ". I responded "are you open"? Yes I felt like we were bothering him and we only wanted a couple drinks and an appetizer but he and the bartender seemed more interested taking care of the young girls gathered at the bar as opposed to the 50 something couple looking for a quick drink. Mostly our. Dissatisfaction with the cruise was due to lack of staff and crew attitude. We actually waited 40 minutes at the pool bar to get 2 drinks and I think that is unacceptable service. I love Royal Caribbean and plan on continuing to sail with them however, this cruise was very disappointing Passengers were of great diversity ranging from young singles to multigenerational families and of multiple nationalities and there were not a lot of kids on board however it was a cruise that sailed while they are still in school. We felt comfortable in all areas of the ship. I do think Royal should not allow female passengers to wear thong type swimsuits in the public pool area. I am not a prude but I do feel that there were several swimsuits that were not suitable for a family atmosphere. Top decks unused to be the spot for topless sunbathing and I think over revealing suits should also be restricted to certain decks. I heard many complaints from passengers both male and female of different ages complaining about it as well. Just not appropriate in a family atmosphere. I didnt appreciate standing behind a woman in a thong in line for food. I have seen this on other Royal ships as well and didn't care for it. I'm cruising with them in September on another ship and I'm hoping they will be more impressive or I just might go back to Princess and Holland for future cruises Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
First time cruising, had no idea what to expect other than what I read extensively online. We traveled with a couple that had cruised RC once before so we are not Diamond+ or anything like that, just regular people on vacation, I believe ... Read More
First time cruising, had no idea what to expect other than what I read extensively online. We traveled with a couple that had cruised RC once before so we are not Diamond+ or anything like that, just regular people on vacation, I believe they were considered Gold status. Tampa port seemed seamless, no hassles with anything. We stayed at the beautiful Floridian Hotel the night before and had maybe a 15 minute ($25) cab ride. We were in boarding group 11, friends were in boarding group 4 as they were repeat customers. You know what? We all got on the boat, don't worry about the group you are assigned. Maybe 20 minutes after them we were onboard. Ship was beautiful, clean and well maintained from what I could tell. We had cabin 9038 which was a perfect location and very well maintained. Bed was super comfortable and nothing appeared rundown in appearance as others have mentioned. Louis was our room attendant and he was also great, took care of the room at least twice a day and we never saw him. Like a ghost that cleans up after me. Never wanted for anything. We visited all common areas available to the regular cruiser. Casino was a little smoky at times and did notice the smell by the Centrum so I would not be pleased if my cabin was close to that area. I am a smoker so was pleased to find smoking indoors along with the easily accessible outdoor area. I was concerned I would be off in a dark corner away from all the action but enjoyed the ability to see the fun around the pool from the smoking section. MDR My Time Dining we arranged online before the cruise and linked two reservations to the same dinner reservations without a problem. Richard and Glenn, amazing servers and we were thrilled to have them the entire time. Could not have asked for better servers, got us everything and anything we asked for even cheesecake when it was no longer on the menu. Just amazing. Food we thought was very good, talked to people who claimed Chops is the way to go but I got the same Surf and Turf in the MDR for $35 upcharge which is what you pay at Chops and my husband didn't have to pay $35 also for me to get my special meal of choice. Windjammer was good for buffet, felt horrible for the staff on the first day as a Health Inspection caused a delay in serving lunch by about an hour.They got hit hard when it finally opened and ran out of food and silverware and had to deal with insanely crabby people yelling at them for things beyond their control yet still were professional and helpful. Even with people yelling they needed hot dogs at them waving empty buns. Seriously, first day of vacation ship hasn't left the dock and people are angry over hot dogs. Only complaint about food was the lack of late night choices. Park café open until 2:00am some days but limited selection. What we had was good but limited. Room service was OK ordered it once and took about an hour for spinach artichoke dip and was nothing to brag about. Limited choices and tv ordering system did not work the entire cruise. I should mention here we did notice an unusually high amount of older people on this cruise. Maybe the time of year we went, maybe the ship we chose but I would say maybe half were senior citizens. Very few kids also so I would not say this is a "kid friendly" ship even though there are kids activities. We did not book any excursions for Key West, we did end up renting an electric car at the dock and had a blast. We did book through RC the Monster Jeep Tour in Cozumel. Book this excursion if you are even thinking about doing it. Brand new air condition Jeeps, limited to about 20 people, delicious lunch on the private beach and worth every penny. We were a little hesitate as the cost was more that most other excursions but we all agreed highlight of our trip. Jesus and Angel were great guides. This is a newer excursion with RC I believe 2-3 months they have been doing it and there were people on the dock telling us they wanted to do this but it sold out so do not hesitate! Book it! We saw two different comedians, they were good but nothing spectacular. Enjoyed the guitar player in the Pub and the Schooner Bar was fun but did get a little tired of hearing the piano player reminding us he worked for tips. Julie at the Schooner bar fantastic bartender, noticed the Solarium and Pool/Sky bartenders were not very fast or especially friendly but we got drinks without too much of a wait. Basil the Sky/Pool Server was excellent, very attentive and made sure we had what we needed at all times. Nightclub was also fun but missed the 80's night and Michael Jackson night as we were too tired to stay up for that. Centrum had fantastic music every time we walked past. We had a very late afternoon flight so we were one of the last to get off the ship, friends had an early flight so they were one of the first. They got off the ship as soon as they could with express departure and were through customs and at the airport in about 30 minutes. We waited in the customs line longer than 30 minutes but we were in no hurry but others were getting cranky. I am currently on a "Cruise High" and talked my husband into taking the kids early 2017 and am looking at Freedom Class ships as I feel they will have more things to do on a bigger ship, especially the ice rink. Read Less
Sail Date April 2016
We only booked this cruise to go to Key West. The weather prevented us docking. It was too many days at sea and RC never offered my compensation onboard for the extra day on the ship. The food was good but the desserts were awful. I ... Read More
We only booked this cruise to go to Key West. The weather prevented us docking. It was too many days at sea and RC never offered my compensation onboard for the extra day on the ship. The food was good but the desserts were awful. I think they need some new recipes! I'll never take another cruise from Tampa because there were too many residents of the Villages and they "hogged" all the seating facing the centrum and even saved extra seats with their canes so no one could sit! We enjoyed the Giovanni's restaurant. The food was authentic northern Italy but the waiter was not into his job. Many of the onboard activities overlap so you can't do both. The ship's furnishings are showing some wear in the rooms and in the lounge tabletops. Room service was very prompt. I wished the Lattitues coffe bar could just serve some regular coffee to have with the free desserts (that aren't easily recognized as free). Casino doesn't feel very user friendly for newbies. We went for free lessons and the staff said there was no such thing. very smokey, if it was smoke free I'd stay longer. This was our 4th cruise and not the best. Read Less
Sail Date January 2016
We flew into Tampa the night before our sailing, wanting to see a little bit of Tampa for the first time since we moved away from there years ago. With that in mind, I'd booked a room at the Starwood-owned Le Meridien in downtown. ... Read More
We flew into Tampa the night before our sailing, wanting to see a little bit of Tampa for the first time since we moved away from there years ago. With that in mind, I'd booked a room at the Starwood-owned Le Meridien in downtown. It's built into the old federal courthouse building, and keeps a lot of the features from the original building and is decorated in a mid-century modern style. The overall effect is really slick, and the price was comparable to the other hotels in the immediate area. We'll be back there again in a heartbeat, though perhaps in a different room - the one we were in (231) was right across from the staff's entrance to the kitchen, and while the sound insulation between the rooms was excellent, I can't say the same for that between the room and the hallway. There was a fair amount of clinking dishes, and conversations in the hall could have been in the room with us. Additionally, a company had rented the outdoor pool area for their holiday party, and that being right outside our window ensured we wouldn't be going to bed early. Neither of those kept us from enjoying our stay, and since this is a Starwood hotel, the bed was one of the beloved Westin mattresses. If you've slept on one, you know, and if you haven't, you need to. The next morning, we caught an Uber to the cruise terminal. Which terminal, though? Nothing on our SeaPass, reservation documents, or anything else told us which cruise terminal to go to. I had to get on the port's website and find on their schedule which one we were supposed to go to. RC uses two terminals, and if you pick the wrong one, they're not close to one another. It's normally a five-minute ride, but we had to dodge a Christmas parade, so it took a little longer and cost a little more. Even though we arrived about thirty minutes after check-in began, we only had to wait maybe ten minutes from arrival to walking onto the ship. Terminal 3, where we were, is a touch confusing on arrival and looks dingy until you get through security and into the main check-in area. Once there, it's modern and clean, but that first impression is not great. Finally, we're onto the ship. This was our first time on a Radiance-class ship. Our last two were on the Freedom, so this was a nice chance of pace. First order of business was to make our way to the Solarium, and we took the scenic route to check out the ship on the way up. First impressions are very good. Compared to the Freedom, the Brilliance is just more luxurious-feeling. Richer. Warmer. That sort of thing. The public areas are more spread out so you don't have everyone on the ship crowding the same two or three parts of the ship. Sort of like the ship was laid out with guest comfort in mind more so than corralling us into constant upsells. The ship's starting to show its age in a number of areas though, from flaking paint to rust stains to fraying carpet. More immediately, the Solarium feels like an actual solarium rather than just another pool area. It's a place I went often because I wanted to be there, rather than somewhere I went because the main pool was too loud and busy. It never felt crowded, and only once was I not able to find a couple of deck chairs. The water wasn't cold, wasn't warm, it was just right. It's also salty. I wish I had remembered that before I jumped in and got a sinus-full. There's a small cafe area right there, which is nice for when I don't want to brave the Windjammer, and while the selection there isn't great, it's enough to hold a person over until the next meal. Before too long, we got the word that our cabins were ready, so we headed downstairs to check it out. The sole reason we wound up on this cruise in the first place was that I had been toying around on the RC website and found, less than six months from sailing, an aft cabin available. I've never had one, and I've only heard good things, so I booked us into room 8172, which is just portside of center. After walking what felt like a half-mile of hallway (this was perhaps the only downside of an aft cabin - you're walking half the length of the ship anytime to go to or leave your cabin) we found it to be pretty much like any other balcony cabin with a sheet of plywood masquerading as a bed, though in fairness we had slept on that Westin mattress the night before so that can't have helped our perception. The balcony has two chairs, two lounge chairs, and a small table, and it's roughly three times the size of a standard-issue balcony. The view off the back of the ship really is something else. Some quick math tells me the horizon from deck 8 is roughly 12 miles away, so that 180 degree view gives you 226 square miles of ocean to look at whenever you like, and a great view of about half the sky as well. Well, once you're at sea. At that moment we could see the industrial side of the port of Tampa, which isn't on a single postcard anywhere for what I assume are obvious reasons. Anyway, I get the aft cabin love now. I don't know if I'd go out of my way to get another one, but I get it. It's just a really long walk down the hall that does get old after a while. It's quiet down there, though. No one's walking past your cabin at the end of the hall unless their cabin is down there as well. Being down there landed us the nicest, friendliest, just all-around best stateroom attendant we've had yet, so that's another plus. Eventually we set sail, and it takes a long time to get out to the ocean proper. We watched some of the sailaway from the upper pool deck, and some from our balcony. I saw us pass under the Sunshine Skyway bridge at 6:30, well after sunset with the bridge lit up, from our balcony and got one of my favorite pictures I've ever taken. Later, we went up to the Windjammer for a late dinner, and I was pleasantly surprised. Normally I view a trip to the buffet with about as much enthusiasm as I reserve for the dentist, and the Windjammer is typically no exception. The variety of food here was much more than I expected, though. The layout was better, too. There weren't the usual chokepoints. Seating was plenty adequate, especially when you add in the seating in Rita's Cantina and beyond, on the rear of the ship. Even that late, none of the items were running out and tables were quickly cleared and cleaned. So far, so good. After that, it was back to the Solarium until bedtime. Day two found us in Key West, a port I've somehow managed to miss until now. We didn't have an excursion planned, we just walked around all day, saw the things to see, and decided that if Key West is that hot in December we do not need to be there in July and have altered our eventual retirement plans accordingly. We stopped off at a bakery called French Croissant (Croissants de France if you're fancy) for a quick bite, and quite frankly, you should too. Otherwise, the line to take THAT picture at the southernmost point was really long and the Hemingway house is a cash-only $16 apiece to enter and he was never really my favorite author anyway so we passed on that as well, and had a pretty good day just walking around. For the most part, Key West didn't seem special enough to me to make it a standout destination, but we'll be back anyway, if only to snorkel. Back on the ship, we ordered room service for dinner and ate in our room like hermits. Speaking of room service... Some time ago, we figured out that you can just have room service bring breakfast to you in the mornings and you don't have to get presentable, fight crowds, or even get up and walk farther than your door. It was even better when ordering was made available through your TV. The entire interactive system through the TV wasn't working until the evening of day two, and I could never get anyone to pick up the phone when I tried calling room service. Luckily the door hangers for breakfast room service were still working. Less luckily, room service managed to mess up our orders every single time. Things were left off the order, other things we didn't order were added, orders came a lot later than promised, and just little things like that. When something was left off it was things like creamer, which kind of defeats the purpose when now I have to run upstairs to the Windjammer to get some creamer to make the coffee drinkable, because the drip coffee RC uses is, let's be fair, kind of terrible. One morning they forgot to bring bellinis, marking the first time a cruise line has turned down the chance to sell an alcoholic drink to someone. In fact, after the third day when I had to run up to get the creamer, we gave up on room service altogether. It was some uncharacteristically bad service on an RC ship, happened enough that couldn't have been a one-time fluke, and room service was the one way the staff let us down this trip. Oh, and our honey-stung chicken was so overcooked that it was more rightly called honeystung jerky. Room service that night was what you might expect to get at an Applebee's if you walked in five minutes before closing. Day three was a cruising day, which for us usually means trivia in the bars - my wife is present obsessed with winning an RC highlighter, and I do not understand it any more than you do so don't ask - and the like, or reading by the pool, and just taking it slow and easy. It's a vacation, after all. Dinner was the Windjammer again, because we couldn't really tell if Rita's was open or not, and Giovanni's and Chops were both booked. The main dining room was having formal night, and neither of us packed formal, so our options were down to about one. At some point we found ourselves in the cinema watching the latest Mission Impossible movie, and let me just say, that is one nice theater. It's two stories high, with stadium seating, a bright projector, and a fairly solid sound system. I know a person wouldn't typically go on a cruise to watch movies, but this setup is pretty nice. There are roughly 60 seats so it can fill up quick. Keep it in mind for a sea day or a rainy port day. Speaking of rainy port days, day four in Cozumel. We'd gotten a call the previous evening letting us know our snorkeling excursion was being delayed four hours so maybe the weather would improve from the rainy conditions. So we sat in our room that morning, looking out at the rain that had been with us since the night before. It kept coming down harder. And harder. And harder. Eventually, the rain was coming down so hard that not only could we not see the ships docked at the main pier (we were up at the older International pier), we could barely see past the ferry that was docked right next to us. Not long after that we got the expected call that our snorkeling excursion was cancelled outright, which was a real bummer especially considering we'd been lugging our own gear with us through three airports by that point, but the weather was so bad that even if it'd cleared up, the water would have been too cloudy to see anything anyway. And it did clear up, so we struck out to at least poke around the tourist shops right at the pier to see what hidden tacky treasures we could find. So we're heading back to the ship and the bottom falls completely out of the sky again, and the looks on everyone's faces that we met walking up the stairs to our cabin actually made it worthwhile. We dried off and got ready for dinner at Giovanni's Table. We'd eaten at Portofino when that was still around, and I really liked it. If I'm eating Italian, I don't want some variation on "red sauce and noodles" which is what much of Giovanni's menu used to look like. Now that Portofino is all but gone, RC has integrated not just some of the dishes from Portofino but also a lot of the feel of the food into Giovanni's. Dinner that night was far and away the best we ate all week. I had the mozzarella in carrozza, and my wife had the scallops. She seemed to enjoy hers, and mine was just excellent. For the pasta course she had the risotto and I had the gnocchi in lamb sauce. I've had the risotto before when it was a Portofino offering, and you can't go wrong there. The gnocchi was good but not great. The lamb, which tasted like it had been slow-roasted, was a little chewy, like it was roasted at too high a temperature. The flavor was good, so maybe it's worth revisiting on a future trip. Our main courses were the filet mignon, which I'm told is exactly like a filet mignon you would get at any good steakhouse (and likely came from Chops next door), and the veal fagottini, which was excellent. It's veal tenderloin, sliced thin and folded over mushrooms, prosciutto, and a little provolone, and mine came with some of the same barolo reduction/au jus that came with the filet. Dessert nearly burst us, and I will say that they have tiramisu figured out. Just an excellent, excellent meal overall with excellent service and excellent wine. Did I say excellent? The atmosphere in Giovanni's is a little on the generic side, and it can get noisy when all the tables are full. A person might find themselves listening to the full-throated and disagreeable political opinions of someone sitting on the complete opposite side of the restaurant if one is unlucky. Even so, it's likely going to be a stop on every cruise we take from now on. After that we waddled to bed at the rear of the ship, so full of food I'm certain the front popped out of the water a little. Day five was another sea day, and it looked a lot like the other sea day, except with packing. That night was the first and only time we had dinner in the dining room. I have nothing against the main dining room, really, it just often works out that we either have other plans or don't feel like getting dressed up. The food was good but not spectacular, and the service was just fine. The first time we did MTD as opposed to early or late seating, we were sort of assigned this large table for eight, and we ate with different people every night, and it was actually pretty nice. Ever since then, though, we've always been given a table for two and I kind of miss the revolving cast of tablemates that we had gotten before. Later that night we hit up the Majority Rules game, which was something new and fun to do. At this point, the usual staples (Love & Marriage, Quest, 70's Disco Party, etc.) have just been done so many times with the same schtick that I can't really get enthusiastic about them anymore. This was different. Different is good. Still didn't win that highlighter, though. The next morning, after breakfast in the dining room, we parked ourselves in the theater to wait for our number to be called. We sat in the balcony because to get to the main level of the theater on the Brilliance, you have to go through the duty-free shops, and the hall through there is narrow and all clogged up that morning. No one was upstairs. If we weren't flying out in the afternoon, we'll usually do the self-disembarkation and be on our way before the sun's up, but since our flight wasn't until 2 there wasn't really any reason for all that. It all went really quickly and we were off the ship almost an hour ahead of schedule...until we got to customs. I counted all of three customs officers to clear an entire ship, so that took about as long as you'd expect. But after that, the airport transfer bus was ready to go and dropped us off right outside the ticketing counter. Good thing we'd booked the transfer too, because it looked like a good two-thirds of the ship was waiting in the taxi pickup area. Overall, the whole process was as smooth as you could hope for. Since our goal for this cruise was to try out an aft cabin and get enough points to jump up to the next C&A level, it was an unqualified success. But even with the rain washing out our one excursion, it was a lot of fun and I'd do it again. Will do it again, I should say. Read Less
Sail Date December 2015
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean and our first repositioning cruise. As Floridians, we usually sail from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale. We found the embarkation process in Boston to be fine. The port was ... Read More
This was our second cruise on Royal Caribbean and our first repositioning cruise. As Floridians, we usually sail from Jacksonville, Port Canaveral or Fort Lauderdale. We found the embarkation process in Boston to be fine. The port was easy to find and the drop off seamless. The registration line was long for non-pinnacle or diamond members and we waited in line to register for more than 45 minutes. One of our traveling companions required a wheelchair assist and unfortunately she was made to wait an additional 45 minutes for to board. Once on board we were greeted with a glass of champagne and directed to the Windjammer Lounge for lunch. We were pleased that we were able to go to our cabin by 1:30 pm. Itinerary - This cruise began with three days at sea followed by visits to St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Barbados, Aruba, Curacao followed by three more sea days. Loved the ports of call but I wished that we had been able to stay in Curacao (my favorite port) more than just 6 hours. We took bus tour excursions in St. Kitts, Barbados and Aruba. The excursions were good and just long enough to give us time to to explore our ports of call and taste the local beer before re-boarding. We did not book excursions in St. Lucia or Curacao and those stops ended up being my favorite because we were able to explore the neighborhoods, taste the local beers and delicacies and mingle with the islanders. In St. Lucia we took the short walk to the IGA Supermarket for Banana Ketchup (really delicious) and only available in St. Lucia. Cabin - We were is stateroom 7064 which is an obstructed balcony stateroom. The obstruction was minimal and our view was not impaired (I do not need to look down). As with real life, you cannot choose the individuals in the adjoining cabins so I will not say more :) I was surprised by the amount of storage space in the cabin. Our cabin steward Marius did a great job and we looked forward to seeing him every day. This cabin is above the clubs and lounges on Deck 6 but we did not have any noise problems during the cruise. Dining - By far, the food was the worst part of this cruise. The food was overcooked and over salty. The menus did not vary much from day to day. The silver lining is that I did not gain an ounce after 13 days. We ate at both Giovanni's and Chops Grille and were very disappointed with both. I felt as though I was taken advantage of and will never book a specialty restaurant on Royal Caribbean again. Do yourself a favor and save your money. Oh and don't get me started about the coffee at dinner before dessert. My advice is that you order it with your meal if you want it before the end of desert. I would like to thank Paula for taking such good care of me after the first two days and keeping me adequately caffeinated. With regards to the Anytime Dining option...plan on it being a nightmare unless you plan to eat before 5:30 or after 8:30 pm. Long lines and overwhelmed matre d's. Activities - There was an adequate number of activities available. Loved the progressive trivia, captain talks, demonstrations, classes, mini-golf, rock climbing wall and fitness center. The best thing about this ship is that you are able to walk around Deck 5 completely which my husband and I enjoyed twice a day - every day. The fitness center was wonderful and had enough equipment so that we never had to wait. I really enjoyed the Ladies Pampering session in the Spa that was free. With all this being said, I was so grateful for the availability of Daily Mass. Thank you Father Connolly. Entertainment - The shows were great but the late show was way too crowded. We adapted our schedule to allow for the first show. The entertainment was well rounded and offered something for everyone. My biggest disappointment was with the RC singers...whoa, the volume needs to be toned down because the beautiful voices turned into screeching and screaming..very painful to listen to. During our cruise the outdoor screen did not work (no sound). I was amazed that no one could fix it. We really enjoy watching movies and sports events under the stars and were disappointed that this was not available. The movie options in the cinema were awful. All science fiction, adventure and sad drama. It would have been nice to have a light comedy selection for sea days. Loved the pool table! On Being non-Platinum --- Expect to be treated as though you are second class. Nothing to entice me to sail again. I felt slighted. All and all - It was okay...did not knock my socks off. Read Less
Sail Date October 2015
My husband and I booked this trip as a birthday get a way for me. We had a balcony cabin on the bump out on deck 7 and our room steward was awesome. Her name was Lissett and on day one she gave us her card and said you will probably not ... Read More
My husband and I booked this trip as a birthday get a way for me. We had a balcony cabin on the bump out on deck 7 and our room steward was awesome. Her name was Lissett and on day one she gave us her card and said you will probably not see me again but let me know if you need anything. She was efficient and timely in performing her duties and left us towel animals on 2 nights (I still like this after 12 cruises...lol) She also brought us ice after I left a sticky note asking for it...all in all she was awesome and Royal needs to hold on to her as she is a wonderful reflection on them. Our cabin was 7592 and we liked the larger balcony and the room was quite adequate for the two of us. The cabin is starting to show wear. The couch slopes to the right and there were some stains on the carpet. The biggest issue was the toilet did not like to flush all the time...it would eventually flush but this was an issue multiple times. In speaking with others most had the same issues with the plumbing and Royal needs to fix this ASAP! This is a deal breaker as far as re-booking the brilliance ever again for us. Room service was slow. The food in main dining room was just ok..we went the first night and asked for the same table for the week at the same time (we had anytime dining) we were told it was taken care of but when we returned the next night we were told we did not have a reservation by the same man who said he would take care of it for us originally....huh...they did find us a table but we decided to skip the dining room for the rest of the cruise...we were not impressed by the menu but hubby did enjoy the dinner rolls very much....preferred the wind jammer as the variety was better...odd huh? There was a Seaview café on the Radiance of the seas (above the windjammer...which was a sandwich and fries place included in your fare) on this ship is an Asian place that charges extra for food. Not enough to break you but I missed the seaview café and the reubens. Also they added a Rita's Cantina that charges extra for nachos, quesadillo's, etc. (spelling) and nachos...I remember this as the old hamburger hot dog place and it used to be included... The biggest down fall was we bought the mocktail version package which was $19.00 per day on board and included soda, small bottled water, juices, and special coffees and teas. EVERY time I asked for a virgin mixed drink (pina colada my favorite) the bar tenders gave us an attitude...especially at my husbands favorite schooner bar...big time attitude...once in the theatre pre bingo (which was cancelled due to not being able to get the machine running) the bar tender went in the back room and was thowing pans and silverware and I heard some one remark "that's not right"...not sure if they were referring to me asking for a froo froo cocktail or to what the bar tender could of been doing to my drink!! When he brought it out, I apologized, took the drink back to my cabin and dumped it out!!!! Another time when leaving the ship for Cozumel I asked for a small bottled water at the bar in the windjammer who said I needed to ask the host at the front who said I need to get it at the gang way when departing. Upon departing I asked for the water and was told they only had the large bottled waters at $4.50 each...odd they had the small ones at Key West when we departed there. All in all the ship is aging and needs revamped and the bar tenders need to be more respectful of passengers who are paying a lot of money for the packages and should be able to get what they paid for without an attitude. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Carnival cruise line seemed like a 5 star resort after this. My room smelled like vomit, and there were horrible noises coming from floor below like someone was killing or torturing a dog. camping out in a sleeping bag in the woods is more ... Read More
Carnival cruise line seemed like a 5 star resort after this. My room smelled like vomit, and there were horrible noises coming from floor below like someone was killing or torturing a dog. camping out in a sleeping bag in the woods is more comfortable then the bed. Got the drink package that included everything. all i wanted in the morning was a good bloody Mary. they were terrible the mix had sugar in it. many guests i spoke to couldn't stand them. the drinks were really strong to the point they didn't even taste good. ship overall smelled like mold. one elevator wouldn't open on a certain floor. the help at the shore excursions just shrugged when you asked them to recommend one. the entertainment sucked no shows or comedy really, only thing good on the cruise were the people i met. food not that great. watched some lady fall in dinning room not a single staff member went to see if she was ok (def broke her nose). until her husband started yelling. they didn't even offer her a chair to sit in. only thing i did like was i didn't have to wait to get on or off ship except going thru customs Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Brilliance of the Seas--March 5, 2015--Balcony 9532 Deck 9, cat E2 My time dining Out of Tampa This is our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise. Embarkation.....was the fastest of any cruise we have been on. No hastle, no waiting, no ... Read More
Brilliance of the Seas--March 5, 2015--Balcony 9532 Deck 9, cat E2 My time dining Out of Tampa This is our 4th Royal Caribbean cruise. Embarkation.....was the fastest of any cruise we have been on. No hastle, no waiting, no muss no fuss. Getting off the ship almost as fast. That was the good. The Room.....This was probably the most cramped balcony room we have ever stayed in. Literally could not get into the closet and go to the bathroom without crashing into doors. If one was in the closet the other had to wait until the door was closed and the other person out of the way. Hardly room to go by the bed to the balcony. Speaking of the balcony...really? They could not put up a partition in between ours and the one next to us? You will see what I mean when I put up the picture. So if you want to sit on the balcony without your neighbor DO NOT get this cabin. Room Steward...was very friendly and took good care of our room. Tipped him on the first day and had fresh wine glasses every day. Did some neat towel art. This ship.....was taken in for a retro fit a few years ago. And like some others the center stairway is now gone in the atrium area. This ship they elected to clear out the entire way up to the ninth floor to give it the feeling of more space but it does not cut it. The center, called the Centrum is really cramped with stage for performers, a bar across the way and chairs all around there is then a small area left for dancing. Coming down from the ceiling they have this aerial lift that they use to bring performers down or swing around on like a circus ole type thing. Really not worth the time and cost for this as two times they could not use this feature because of ship movement (by the way this was one of the smoothest cruises I have ever been on). The one time I did see it in action was kind of boring. I did not get what they were trying to accomplish getting unhooked then dancing? Entertainment.....was good, the Motown show was Excellent! Other performers were good also. Dinner.....Had to make reservation as we had MY time Dining. Then after making them had to wait in a long line anyway probably because others ahead of us did not know they had to make them, so we never were seated in our time slot. This really made no sense. On another cruise line they call it Anytime dining, you simply go in when you want and if you can be seated they will and if not you get a buzzer to notify you when a table is ready. Rarely we had to wait longer than a few minutes. The staff at dinner always seemed behind the eight ball. Always rushing to serve and clear. Sometimes we waited up to 10 minutes before anyone came to the table. The same for clearing dishes. They seemed very unorganized or just short handed. One night we left before they even asked if we wanted coffee or desert as we sat with dishes piled on the table. Waiters were friendly though, but really understaffed or not trained properly. We had to ask for water repeatedly. I know that is being picky but that rarely happens on a cruise. Food was average. Not bad not really outstanding either. Specialty dining....just a note as we decided not to partake. Thought the up charge was very high. Chops $35 pp and Giovanni's $30 pp. PLUS if you wanted a lobster tail or a rib-eye steak an additional $18-21? What??? Desserts.....nothing that was memorable. They were ok. Probably better for us. Wine Bar.....had a great experience there. Very attentive and friendly behind the bar. Though one night we could not get an appetizer as they ran out and they never were replenished?.... oh well. Same thing happened in another spot... The Cantina.....where you can get a margarita, drinks and some food items (all pay for off a menu). Well they had a buy one get one starting at 4 or 5 pm. One guy behind the bar and a very long line. Some were ordering for more than one person so had to wait for them to mix all these special order drinks. Then to top it off, a guy ahead of us wanted some chips and salsa. The guy behind the bar did not even lift his head and said, no food right now. What??? He was working alone so there was no one to get the food. After a few people walked away p-o’d he explained someone was on a break. The chips were $2.25 they could have kept some in the bar area? They had to go to the kitchen to get them. Really, most Mexican restaurants you go to give them to you free when you order a drink. Sound like the Wine bar? In review.....We certainly had a great time as we always do on a cruise as we went with a large group this time. If you let the small stuff get in the way then you will not. We just probably won’t go back to RCCL. And I feel it is taking the lead on pay as you go. Read Less
Sail Date March 2015
We took our first cruise ever in January 2015. We were on the Brilliance of the Seas and were not really sure what to expect. We travelled in a group of 12 mixed ages and nationalities (Brits and Americans). We arrived at Tampa and was ... Read More
We took our first cruise ever in January 2015. We were on the Brilliance of the Seas and were not really sure what to expect. We travelled in a group of 12 mixed ages and nationalities (Brits and Americans). We arrived at Tampa and was instantly impressed by the size of the ship. We booked our drinks packages in Tampa then boarded the ship. The whole process was quick and painless, and we went straight to our cabin, which was a deluxe balcony cabin. We were all next to each other so this worked really well. We met our room attendant fairly soon asfter we had unpacked and she was amazing for the whole trip. That evening we went to the Minstrel restaurant, and were blown away by the food and the service. We had Dujon as our waiter and Paul as our drinks waiter. They were both amazing and made our cruise so enjoyable. They were so helpful when it came to choosing our food and drink. they were both really funny and it was great to get to know them. Our group were pretty loud at points and they were always respectful when they were asking us to be a bit quieter! We mainly had breakfast in the Minstrel as well, the Windjammer was fine, but the Minstrel was fantastic. When we were at Sea we spent most oif our time around the pool and hot tub areas, watching the football on the big screen. The atmosphere was great (as was the weather for January!) We also used the gym and spa - I had a manicure which was great - obviously more that you would pay normally but enjoyable all the same. We stopeed at Grand Cayman where we went to Stingray City which was GREAT! The trip was booked in port and was a great way to see the Island. In Cozumel we booked Jeeps and expolored the Island - again a great experience. I cannot praise the staff enough they were all amazing and the bar tender in the Casino makes teh best Whiskey Sours!! Iwould thoroughly reccommend this Cruise for first - timers. I would also reccommend paying extra for the Balcony room as these were lovely. We have already booked our next Cruise with RC on the Independence for January 2016, so we hope that the Cruise will be as good as this one. Read Less
Sail Date January 2015
Brilliance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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