33 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean Cruise Reviews

We chose this cruise because we were travelling to Europe and thought it best with 2x children to do a cruise rather than Eurail with our limited time. Lots of people recommended Royal Caribbean as the ship to cruise with if you have ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we were travelling to Europe and thought it best with 2x children to do a cruise rather than Eurail with our limited time. Lots of people recommended Royal Caribbean as the ship to cruise with if you have children. However, I found that since we were out of the US and European school holiday times, there wasn't much catering done for the children, in that no-one in their age group were at the Kids' Clubs and so the kids were left to their own devices to entertain themselves. I found the ship itself to be a bit old and tired; I was more than happy to get away from the smell of damp, wet, mouldy carpet because of the constant leaks that seemed to occur. (Not very reassuring when you're at sea to have a leaky ship!) I was really discouraged to find that the itinerary ports of call (Rome, Pisa, Florence) were actually 1.5 to 3 hours away from where the ship docked, and if you travelled with the RC bus, they were charging us US$200 (minimum) for our family, just to get to these destinations (this didn't include a Tour - just transport). I also found the staff on board who were on wages (Guest Services and Shore Excursions), were rude and unhelpful, whilst the staff who were on contract couldn't do enough for you. It was evident in the attitude who was on which tier! My preference is to tip AFTER I have received a service, and not have it automatically built in to my Yoga class or Beauty treatment; when I am quoted for a service and then have VAT added on plus the tip it comes as a bit of a shock - not to mention the conversion rate from US$. Not everyone deserves a tip! I am not totally convinced that it was good value for money. We paid a lot to go on this cruise (and our gratuities were automatically added into the fees when we initially paid) but there were a lot of hidden extras that I didn't bargain for. It was our first time cruising, so maybe this was just a lesson we needed to learn. I am also still undecided as to whether or not I would go on another cruise. I was a bit shocked that a ship which can carry 2,500 people (and we were at capacity) had only a small 16+ indoor pool, another small Main Pool and then a Toddler's wading pool. It felt like people soup those days we were At Sea. Maybe next time I would consider a newer ship and a different cruise company??? Having said that, the Minstrel Dining Room and the Buffet Dining were great - I think there was food available nearly 20 hours a day! Although I found our Family Room too cramped with 4x people in there, Ana our Stateroom Attendant did an awesome job cleaning 2x a day! I was also very glad when we were traipsing around Rome & Athens in the heat, surrounded by millions of other tourists, that we had chosen to do a cruise (rather than Eurail and hotels) so we could escape back to the ship for a bit of sanity! Read Less
Sail Date September 2017
This was our 12th and probably last cruise on RCL. we have cruised 14 times, including 5 times on the Brilliance of the Seas. Overall, the decline of Royal seems precipitous. As their ships get larger, everything else seems irrelevant. ... Read More
This was our 12th and probably last cruise on RCL. we have cruised 14 times, including 5 times on the Brilliance of the Seas. Overall, the decline of Royal seems precipitous. As their ships get larger, everything else seems irrelevant. We had an enjoyable three days in Barcelona prior to the cruise. Embarkation was fairly quick, as we are Diamond members. I would note that overall, they seem to have cut a lot of staff who served the passengers, in many areas of the ship. We had a deluxe balcony cabin, which although comfortable, hasn't changed since our first Brilliance cruise in 2004. They still have an actual curtain, instead of a door on the shower. We were lucky in our cabin steward, Martin. He was great and probably the hardest working person on the ship. Food - This is the biggest problem area with RCL. To put it bluntly, outside of the specialty restaurants, the food is generally lousy, both in the dining room and the windjammer. We have been on three Royal caribbean cruises in the past 12months on widely different ships, (Grandeur, Harmony and Brilliance), and the food quality is the same, bad. There several evenings when nothing really appealing was available. I understand that because of the larger number of British people some of their type of food was on the menu. But the options for most American passengers were very limited. Shore Excursions Our primary reason for taking this cruise was the chance for my wife to see Spain, France and Italy. The best excursion we took was with a company called Roman Limo in Rome. We were a group of eight and had a wonderful guide, Giovanni who was a real hero, especially in dealing with our group. The excursion in Nice was somewhat of a waste, since it was only a bus ride, with a stop in a small little village of no great interest instead of Nice itself. The RC excursions we took in Florence, Sorrento, and Ravenna were ok, but because of time limits, we couldn't see that much. I was sorry that this cruise stopped in Montenegro, instead Dubrovnik. Other than a scary mountain ride, there didn't seem anything worth seeing that justified a stop there. In a word, it was a wasted port. We only saw one or two of the shows, since our dining time conflicted with show times that we could have stayed up for. Our group is older, and some have mobility issues. We were good and tired after a day of touring and in bed earlier than we usually would at home. I am sorry to have to write such a negative review, but Royal Carribean seems to have deteriorated in most areas to the point that we are done with them. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
This was my first time cruising the Mediterranean and my 3rd cruise with RCI. The embarkation process was quick, considering how many people were checking in at the same time. We were on the ship in about 45 minutes. The cabin was as ... Read More
This was my first time cruising the Mediterranean and my 3rd cruise with RCI. The embarkation process was quick, considering how many people were checking in at the same time. We were on the ship in about 45 minutes. The cabin was as expected, however the beds were quite old and not as comfy as previously experienced. We had a pipe burst under the floor on the second day, and the staff could not have been more helpful and apologetic, and fixed the problem very quickly. We ate in the main dining room every night but 2, and the food and our waiters were amazing. One night we ate at the Windjammer, not very impressed but enjoyed breakfast there every morning. The other night we ate at Giovanni's Table, nice meal, but no better than what we got in the main dining room. The entertainment in the evening was very lacking, we had a magician who was good and a juggler/comedian who was good but only went for 25 minutes. Otherwise, the shows were individual singers, tango dancers and the production shows were also just singing and dancing. The ports were fabulous, we did RCI tours at all but 2 (Mykonos and La Spezia) and they were all well organised, well informed tour guides and we were given enough time to see all we needed to. Mykonos was easy to wander around without a tour, and at la Spezia we were able to get a boat to take us to the Cinque Terre. The other ports visited were Cannes, Rome, Athens, Santorini and Valletta. Disembarking was a breeze, we were told a time to be ready to leave and from that time we were off the ship and collected our luggage in 10 minutes. Taxis were readily available to take us to the hotel in Barcelona. I would cruise on Brilliance again, though hopefully the mattresses will have been replaced by next time. Read Less
Sail Date August 2017
We chose this cruise for the specific itinerary and were not disappointed - we got pretty much what we expected. The ship is in great condition and very well maintained (replace the dartboard, though!). Service was generally friendly and ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the specific itinerary and were not disappointed - we got pretty much what we expected. The ship is in great condition and very well maintained (replace the dartboard, though!). Service was generally friendly and on point, food was good-but-not-great (the steakhouse isn't worth the extra money, although it is nice for a change of pace - the Italian restaurant is a cheaper/better option). We don't cruise much, but when we do we avoid being nickled-and-dimed and managed to do so here without much trouble. The drumbeat to sell you stuff (who buys art on a cruise ship?) is pretty relentless, but easy enough to avoid. Wish they had more space set aside selling stuff people might actually need, such as forgotten item replacement, rather than all of the space reserved for jewelry and all manner of tacky garbage - although I'm sure they make scads of money on that. We wanted an itinerary that hit Barcelona AND the Greek isles - not an easy feat if you look at a map - but they did it. They chickened out of Ephesus because of perceived unrest and added Mykonos, which I could have done without, but the rest of the stops were solid. We did not book any cruise excursions, finding we could get more value (and fewer people!) going with private operators (or on our own in certain cases). Royal Caribbean has done a good job freshening up this ship. It's older, but it's still got it where it counts. I'd sail aboard it again in the right itinerary. Read Less
Sail Date July 2017
Thought I would share my experience and my thoughts on this Ship. This was our fourth cruise with Royal previously been on Oasis, Freedom and Anthem. The cruises were all previously in the Caribbean so when we booked we wanted to see how a ... Read More
Thought I would share my experience and my thoughts on this Ship. This was our fourth cruise with Royal previously been on Oasis, Freedom and Anthem. The cruises were all previously in the Caribbean so when we booked we wanted to see how a Med cruise would differ and also this being a slightly smaller Ship than we have been on before. Heres my summary and observations Boarding the Ship was really quick we arrived around 10.30am and were straight on the Ship within 30mins. We had packed our swim stuff so went straight up to the pool. We purchased the deluxe drinks package and started to make full use of it with a Mojito cocktail. We were in the staterooms by around 1 -1.30pm and bags were delivered around 5pm. We had a balcony room 8582 and Shaun our attendant introduced himself and over the 12 days was great with all the different towel art that was created. State room was good, plenty of wardrobe space and plenty of storage. Was very central on ship so was close to elevators. Pool area As expected on sailing days it was busy and beds were reserved when folk went off wandering for ages. However could always find one on the upper deck. On port days the pool was much quieter and could always head up and find a spot close to the pool. The wait staff were fab and were always asking if wanted a drink. Negative point would be it was a salt water pool however we had goggles and that sorted out the issue however a few did complain that it hurt their eyes. There were 3 pools Kids pool with a slide, this slide was not open all day on port days, the 2nd was the main pool which as I said on sailing days got busy and the third was the solarium indoor pool for adults only. Luckily we had fantastic weather I am not sure whether they would have let kids in the solarium pool if the weather had been bad. Food We purchased the 3 restaurant offer which was $75 which entitled you to 3 visits to the other restaurants. Main Dining room - Rostun and Zilong our waiters were fantastic and were always there with our drinks order before we arrived and were great with my daughter nothing was too much trouble. Food quality was good and if there was something that didn't quite hit the spot then they would change it straight away. Chops Grill - We went there twice, the Filet Mignon steak was amazing. The service was ok, the second time we went we felt rushed. Giovannis Table - Went once food was good, not sure it was that much different than the main dining room however it was a change of scenery. Windjammer - This is the buffet restaurant breakfast, lunch and dinner were served. Quality was really good loads of choice, could always get a seat and staff were fantastic. Café - Solarium - Try the beef rolls absolutely amazing. Entertainment Each night you receive a Compass which details what's happening the next day. The first night I think it was there was a silent disco, such a good laugh surprised they only had this once on the cruise. Entertainment during port days versus sailing days differed with much more on sailing days (obviously more people on the Ship). There were the usual things we have seen on other Ships Belly Flop Competition, Worlds Sexiest Man etc, various quizzes in the Schooner bar. Then there was the main show in the theatre which ranged from magicians to singing again good family entertainment. The entertainment staff work extremely hard to make sure you are enjoying / joining in. I have a couple of points however during port days there was hardly anything previous Ships have even shown a movie around the pool. There were hardly any Family activities to do together. At night the continual use of the Centrum which is a too small area for some of the shows such as the 70s night. The under use of the Colony Club such a big area with a dance floor but seemed to be used for just game shows or karaoke. Schooner Bar which has been on a the cruises before but this was the best one I have seen. Amanda the Irish singer was fantastic and Carlos the waiter was very friendly. Overall the entertainment was good but I think there could be small tweaks which could improve it. Also got sick of hearing about Art Auctions... Final point was the Casino, on previous cruises my husband has enjoyed the Poker competitions and these were advertised daily however every time he turned up and this was both Daytime and Evenings the casino said they didn't have enough people to play. Due to discussions with other people it became apparent that we probably could get a few people together however the Casino done nothing to encourage a game. Kids Club My daughter is 7 and the last two cruises went to Adventure Ocean and didn't want to go back...this time however we put her in the 2nd day and she loved it. The staff were really friendly and it was a great way for her to make friends. The schedule looked to have a good mix of activities from sporting to creative. Activities Rock climbing wall was available at certain times so we had a go on the last day which was good. Mini Golf - again a good family laugh Staff The one things that sticks out to me on this Ship was how friendly everyone was it was really like a mini village. Everyone was chatty from staff to other cruisers. All the staff seemed to genuinely want to do a good job and chat. Ports / Excursions The first port of Cannes was changed to Toulon, so we stayed on the Ship. Pisa - We wandered of the Ship and went round the town, we had already been to Pisa and so was not worried about seeing again the Port was great. Rome - Again with a 7yr old we decided to chill on the Ship rather than go into Rome which we have already seen. Athens - We purchased the hop on/off bus ticket from the Ship we probably could have gotten a cheaper ticket as there were tons of buses outside the cruise terminal. Athens was hot and to be honest once we saw the Acropolis we just wanted back to the ship. Mykonos - We booked the family beach trip the guide was amazing and the after tendering in the port area was stunning my favourite part of the trip Santorini - We didn't book anything instead tendered in and then got the cable car to the top at Fira, done some shopping and had lunch was fab Valletta - This was a surprise to me such a historical and stunning location again done our own thing, we found the elevator around 500m from the port and went up and took you to main centre. Had a look around then back to Ship. We tried to have a few hours/half day of the Ship with a 7year old I knew she would get bored and also with the heat it gave us the best of both worlds. Overall - My daughter rated it 10/10 and I would rate it the same. There were a few tweaks I think Royal could make but they weren't major issues. We have booked to go back to the Med next year and can't wait :). The Ship was spotless and the staff amazing. Compared to the other 3 we have been on, yes there are a few less things to do and the ship is smaller but for us we loved it. Cheers Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We selected this cruise because of the long list of ports of call. The opportunity to visit so many countries and still have a few days to relax at sea was very appealing and the cruise did not disappoint. Our favorite destinations were ... Read More
We selected this cruise because of the long list of ports of call. The opportunity to visit so many countries and still have a few days to relax at sea was very appealing and the cruise did not disappoint. Our favorite destinations were Rome and Santorini, where local guides did an amazing job introducing the history and culture in a fun and friendly way. The shore excursion team provided great service and offered a lot of choices for experiences at each port. We traveled with our teen daughter who was less than satisfied with the teen offerings, but still found lots of ways to stay busy during sea days. While the ship is showing it's age, the crew did their absolute best to keep the ship clean and to make sure that we were comfortable and entertained. Highly recommend the ship and itinerary for anyone looking for a family friendly way to get an introduction to the history and culture of the Mediterranean. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
We started in Barcelona for three nights before embarkation, I highly recommend this because there is so much to see here. Getting on this ship was smooth and we quickly got to our Family cabin in front of the ship. This room was oddly ... Read More
We started in Barcelona for three nights before embarkation, I highly recommend this because there is so much to see here. Getting on this ship was smooth and we quickly got to our Family cabin in front of the ship. This room was oddly shaped but roomy. There was a storm the first night, so instead of Cannes our first port was Toulon, France. Not my first choice, but we made the best of it by taking an excursion to Aux du Provence. We loved all the ports we went to, and did each port differently. We did the on board excursions with Toulon, Athens, and Santorini. We got an independent excursion for Pisa. Followed a Rick Steves Guidebook for Rome. And did Malta and Mykonos on our own. The excursions we bought from the cruise line were horrible. My favorite guide by far was the independent guide we got for Pisa. He was very funny and knowledgeable. The worst was the guide we had for Athens, She was like a strict school teacher snapping at us as a group and chastising us constantly. My biggest complaint is the way the RCL do the excursions. The cruise line makes it sound like the first people off the ship are people that bought the excursions from them. Not true at all, here's what happens. They tell you to meet at the theater give you a number and have you sit as a group. We were waiting as long as an hour in this theater for us to be dismissed to get on the busses. (whenever we were on our own we could walk right off with no waiting, even when we were tendered) The food was pretty good, I enjoyed almost everything I got/ordered. We had excellent servers and managers making sure we were well feed and happy. Once my wife got a liquid creme brulee and chocolate covered strawberries were waiting for us in our room sent by the restaurant manager. We had two bbq's on the pool deck, one for the 4th of July and the other for the last day at sea. Basic bbq like hamburgers, grilled chicken, and sausages, but enjoyable. The buffet always had a lot of choices and changed daily. I had bought the 16 drink espresso coffee card from online. I had learned the hard way that this is 16 SMALL coffees. I ordered a large coffee the first day and they punched three holes on my card. The Entertainment was hit or miss. The two magic acts we saw were very amateur, the juggler and the mime were very good. Good thing I like Harry Potter, because it seemed that part 1 and 2 deathly hallows was all that was playing. The tv in the rooms seemed to only play the same two episodes of Mike and Molly. Disembarkation was smooth and easy, we kept our bags and walked right off the ship. All in all I had a great time and mostly loved the ship and the cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
The first time that we take a 2 weeks off vacation in my entire life and nothing better that doing it in the Mediterranean. Registration at the Port in Barcelona took longer than expected, our suggestion, the earlier the better. The ... Read More
The first time that we take a 2 weeks off vacation in my entire life and nothing better that doing it in the Mediterranean. Registration at the Port in Barcelona took longer than expected, our suggestion, the earlier the better. The schedule, locations, attractions and visuals are breath taking. A must do cruise. Watch the costs of the Shore Excursions... you may get carried away and they are not cheap at all. Zadar Croatia... not worth spending money on shore excursions nor Kotor Montenegro. Doing it on your own is best as you have the flexibility. Nice Villefrance, Rome, Salerno, Amalfi Coast - outstanding locations that you must see. The tour guides add a tremendous value to the experience. Wear comfortable shoes as you will do your cardio workout on those. The views of Amalfi Coast are out of the world. The english speaking capability of the tour guide that handled group 12 in Amalfi Coast was questionable. We could barely understand him. But the views were Outstanding. Not a trip to do with kids, as they will not enjoy it and you wont either. Saw parents with small children.... if you do, leave them at the Kids Program in the Ship. The evening shows were not worth my time in them. Just stayed for the last one. Music was good, but after 7th day, we started to hear the same music again particularly Tropical Jam (I am a latino). This latin group looked really tired in general. Only the lady would smile ocassionally when singing... the others... nothing. The pool areas are clean, but the Solarium Pool may need some maintenance particularly underneath the first step once you enter the pool. Look underneath and you will notice oxidation stains in both sides. The showers expelled urination smell at noon time, so maybe period cleaning thru the day would work or simply pour some bleach ocassionally on the floor of the showers. The quality of the meals in the main dining room were not to my satisfaction, just visited it twice and that was enough. The Izumi Experience was great. The service attendant Pena was Outstanding...Always smiling friendly and willing to serve. The Manager Lofti - my God the guy is everywhere there is food moving around and always asking how is the service.... really committed to serve. The Attendant on the Diamond Lounge was great. Very resourceful person. The service there was excellent. Read Less
Sail Date June 2017
Loved the itinerary of .Nice, Rome, Florence, Venice, Almalfi, Croatia and Montenegro. Few sea days which makes me happy. We also spent 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise. The food and entertainment were wonderful ...no ... Read More
Loved the itinerary of .Nice, Rome, Florence, Venice, Almalfi, Croatia and Montenegro. Few sea days which makes me happy. We also spent 3 days in Barcelona before the cruise. The food and entertainment were wonderful ...no complaints. Customer service by one particular man named Jose from Portugal was fabulous. He was efficient and went beyond the call of duty. Service was with a smile at all times. Loved the entertainment especially the group called graffiti classics. They were outstanding musicians and very entertaining. The magician was okay and the tango dancers were onderful. I enjoyed the variety if vegetarian foods in the windjammer but the dining room didn't gave many vegetarian dishes, We did private excursions of our own and that wirked very well. The spa was over priced. A mani pedi cost 142 American ....over 200 Canadian. Quite outrageous. Also a 18 or 20 percent gratuity was included. Never again! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
Overall very good experience. Food quality was great, 6 of 8 shore excursions very good, and crew staff dedicated to quality service. Ships entertainment is weak and certainly below average for Royal Caribbean standards. The headliner ... Read More
Overall very good experience. Food quality was great, 6 of 8 shore excursions very good, and crew staff dedicated to quality service. Ships entertainment is weak and certainly below average for Royal Caribbean standards. The headliner acts were very disappointing this time. Ports of call were fine but we had three days at sea. Two back to back on return. Would like to have had fewer days at sea or spread out more. Pass on Ravenna, Italy port of call or stay on ship. Very industrial port with little to do. Not too impressed with Venice, Italy either but may have been related to our excursion choice. Would have liked to spent these two ports of calll time in Kotor Montenegro and passed on Ravenna and Venice, Italy. Kotor Montenegro is truly the gem of this itenerary. Overall, prepare to walk lots and enjoy the beauty that is waiting for you! Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
It has always been a life-long "bucket list" dream, to visit Italy. This cruise provided me the opportunity to see many of the sites in Italy that I've always wanted to see and also added a few stops that I would have ... Read More
It has always been a life-long "bucket list" dream, to visit Italy. This cruise provided me the opportunity to see many of the sites in Italy that I've always wanted to see and also added a few stops that I would have never considered that were fantastic (example - Montenegro). While we opted for shore excursions through an outside Vendor, everything worked smoothly. A very thoughtful itinerary with the opportunity to see so very much. We also LOVED seeing Barcelona for a weekend before we sailed. Our service in the dining room was perfect. We had an 830 seating and we loved our table (so nice to make new friends) and the food was good. Dessert was better. :) Our only issue was with logistics as we arrived. They changed (upgraded) our room at check in and some how that information had a hard time going to all the appropriate areas. It took a while to straighten out. We will always remember our time on the Mediterranean. Read Less
Sail Date May 2017
An incredible experience for a Mediterranean cruise! Though the Brilliance is older and smaller than most of the ships that we sail, we found it a perfect choice for a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. The size allowed for a more intimate ... Read More
An incredible experience for a Mediterranean cruise! Though the Brilliance is older and smaller than most of the ships that we sail, we found it a perfect choice for a 12 day Mediterranean cruise. The size allowed for a more intimate experience and it was nice to see fellow cruisers that we had met throughout the ship. The staff were all extremely friendly and helpful across the board. Our dining staff went out of their way for us and our room steward was always attentive. The cruise director, Chloe was the best that we ever had. Her energy and humor made the cruise fun for everyone. The entertainment was different but there was a great variety that appealed to a wide variety of passengers. We really enjoyed the nightly shows and the daytime offerings that we took advantage of. We would said the Brilliance again, even if it were in the Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date October 2016
My wife and I enjoyed a 12-day Mediterranean cruise on the Royal Caribbean (RC) Brilliance of the Seas ship in September of 2016. The cruise included the ports of Barcelona, Cannes, Cinque Terre, Rome, Athens Ephesus, Santorini Island and ... Read More
My wife and I enjoyed a 12-day Mediterranean cruise on the Royal Caribbean (RC) Brilliance of the Seas ship in September of 2016. The cruise included the ports of Barcelona, Cannes, Cinque Terre, Rome, Athens Ephesus, Santorini Island and Malta. This review focuses on the ship experience (not the ports or excursions) and answering some of the questions we had when we were planning for this cruise. ARRIVAL. We arrived at the Barcelona port around 11:30 am for a 5:00 pm ship departure. As you approach the boarding facility they take your large bags. You can keep your carry-on bag if desired. We had a priority check-in pass arranged by our travel agent so our wait in line was pretty short. At the check-in desk they issue a SeaPass card that allows credit charges on the ship and is your off-on the ship identification. We boarded the ship just before noon. Our large bags arrived to the hall outside our stateroom around mid-afternoon. If your bags are late in arriving, check up and down the hall before calling in. One of our large bags was placed in the hallway about five doors down. STATEROOM. We booked a Deluxe Ocean View with Balcony stateroom (#9014). We were concerned about not having enough storage, but it was surprisingly adequate. The stateroom was a masterpiece of storage and functional efficiency. The closet had two clothes-hanging areas separated by 7 storage shelves. The “living area” had a small 2-person sofa with a small but very heavy oval table. Across from the sofa is a built-in desk with chair and three drawers on each side of the chair. The desk has a 2-prong and a 3-prong electric outlet. These are the only outlets in the room. So, we requested an extension cord with power strip that then gave us three more outlets for charging smartphones or powering hair dryers. It’s not a bad idea to bring your own extension cord and power strip since the ship probably doesn’t have one for every passenger. The outlets are standard USA AC current that did not require adaptors. There are also two European outlets. The desk area includes a mini bar, small flat-screen TV and a cabinet that houses three shelves and a safe. The TV offered CNN and BBC news channels and a few other stations as well as a nifty GPS map of the ship’s travel route throughout the cruise. The bed is a King with rounded corners which could be split into two twin beds. It accommodates luggage storage underneath. On each side of the bed is a small nightstand and lamp. There is a heavy sliding curtain that can be drawn to separate the living area from the bed area to help prevent light intrusion from the earlier riser. The bathroom is “cozy” and strictly a one-person-at-a-time operation. The shower area is a partial circle with a curtain and has a detachable shower head. The water flow and temperature were very adequate. The sink area has decent storage for toiletry essentials in one overhead cabinet in the left corner and a storage shelf under the sink. The toilet is a standard vacuum-type. Since the shaver-only power outlet in the bathroom won’t allow powering a hair dryer, you have to dry hair with the ship’s hair dryer in the desk area or power your own. I found that my hair dryer’s flat cord would allow the bathroom door to shut on it so I was able to dry hair in the bathroom with the door closed by plugging it into the extension cord from the desk outlet. The balcony has a sliding door, a table and two chairs. Travel irons are prohibited and there was no place on the ship that provided self-ironing. Only paid pressing service was available ($3.99 for a long-sleeve shirt). So it’s wise to bring non-iron synthetic clothing that minimizes packing wrinkles. Also pack a spray bottle of Downey wrinkle remover. I used this product on my white dress shirt for formal night and it worked great. The stateroom attendant is on duty throughout the day and evening and will supply extra towels, extension cords, ice, etc. upon request. All in all, the stateroom was very functional for two adults. FOOD. The Windjammer cafeteria offers a wide variety of entrees, salads, burgers, hot dogs, and deserts throughout the day and evening. The food is good but not great. Standard hot and cold breakfast items are offered. Scrambled eggs dry out pretty quickly so waiting until a fresh batch is available or getting a fresh made-to-order omelet assures fresh eggs. The dining room fare was also good, some items very good, but also not great. The cows from whence the strip steaks originated likely had not seen a kernel of corn in their diet. Our waiters were excellent. Using room service on days with early-departure excursions allows for a good breakfast without the long trip to the cafeteria. ENTERTAINMENT. The entertainment in the Pacifica Theater was pretty good most nights and suitable for families. A parental advisory was given on the daily schedule sheet for one show that was a little mature for sub teenagers. The shows last about 45 minutes. POOL AREA. The outdoor pool area is adequate on excursion days, but is crowded on at-sea days. You have to get out early to get a lounge chair. The pool also has a large HD screen that shows movies at certain times of the day. CURRENCY. All ports and the ship conduct business in Euros. We brought about 300 Euros with us, but needed about 300 more to cover various purchases and also tipping of our waiters and stateroom attendant in cash. The ATM won’t take American Express cards, but would take Visa and Mastercard. You can also convert US dollars to Euros at the service desk at the going conversion rate. Overall, the Mediterranean cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas ship was an enjoyable vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Ship was clean and well maintained. Cabin was small. There was mold in the air duct of the bathroom & shower head had a leak squirting out water off the side. We were in a balcony on deck 8 (cabin 8526). We've cruised on 3 ... Read More
Ship was clean and well maintained. Cabin was small. There was mold in the air duct of the bathroom & shower head had a leak squirting out water off the side. We were in a balcony on deck 8 (cabin 8526). We've cruised on 3 different cruise lines, all balcony cabins; and this was, by far, the worst cabin. Food, I'd have to give a grade of D. Only the specialty dining was good. On the last night I was so tired of the main dining room food, I splurged on the $16.50 charge for a filet from Chops Grill ordered from the main dining room menu. It didn't even come close to how Chops prepared it. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY on ordering specialty dining food from the dining room - they do NOT know how to prepare it. In fact, our waiter explained "we are only responsible for the service, not the food" as an apology to the overall food quality. Windjammer food was typical buffet food. Overcooked and kept warm under lamps, poor quality. Best kept secret: Do breakfast or lunch at Park Cafe ... you can get a warmed breakfast sandwich or a freshly toasted bagel for breakfast and a hot sandwich & small variety of salads or bagged chips and avoid the crowd without overeating. Service was fantastic. Everyone was more than accommodating and tried their best to meet your needs. I'd give service a grade of A. Ports: We chose this cruise based on the itinerary (France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Malta) to order to see lots of places of interest. This one offered the best variety. Excursions: Cruise line excursions are expensive and overpriced for what you get. I recommend you search TripAdvisor.com and get private tours. We were able to go get private tours cheaper when divided between another couple than if we purchased through the cruise line for a group of 50. We have never regretted our private tours. We cruised on Princess (twice), Celebrity and Royal Caribbean. RC would be my last choice. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
This was a really good cruise, with outstanding ports. I appreciated the meeting cruisers from numerous countries, and of all ages. There were lots of families, and children seemed to have a great time. Entertainment was generally good, ... Read More
This was a really good cruise, with outstanding ports. I appreciated the meeting cruisers from numerous countries, and of all ages. There were lots of families, and children seemed to have a great time. Entertainment was generally good, but not always outstanding. Evening meals in the dining room were fantastic. I did feel that RC nickeled and dimed us for extras. Shuttles, etc. to get into town from the port was an unexpected cost. No free laundry facilities, but I should have known that. Coming from the U.S., we enjoyed the sea days early on (as opposed to at the end). This allowed us to get over jet lag, and enjoy all the fabulous destinations. Venice, Croatia, and Montenegro were great! The day in Rome was long (and hot). Don't miss Pompeii or the Amalfi coast. I wish we could have spent more time in France. We will definitely cruise with Royal Caribbean again!!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
First time cruisers, 40th anniv from S.A. Travel agent recommended Brilliance. Stayed in Barcelona 2 days Mariano Cubi, lovely hotel but tiny double bed. Embarkation quick and very organized. Helpful, obliging, friendly staff from cabin ... Read More
First time cruisers, 40th anniv from S.A. Travel agent recommended Brilliance. Stayed in Barcelona 2 days Mariano Cubi, lovely hotel but tiny double bed. Embarkation quick and very organized. Helpful, obliging, friendly staff from cabin attendant, to pool, to dining rooms and customer care. Huge variety of food on offer on buffet, snack bar and formal dining room. Beautifully presented and readily available. Full drinks package for my husband and beverage package for me. Could have done without mine as there was iced tea, flavoured water, lemonade, tea and coffees available free all day. Beautiful balcony cabin 8516 with ample storage cupboards and shelves on dresser and in bathroom. Shower is tiny! Cruise compass gave daily activities from early till late. I took the "all access tour" of laundry, kitchens, engine room, bridge, staff areas which was very interesting but very expensive. Tender to 2 ports ran efficiently and smoothly. Shore excursions booked from the ship very expensive. Did research beforehand and booked our own. Did lots of "hop on hop off" buses to get a general view of each city. There is a putt-putt course, rock climbing wall, table tennis, billiards, plenty on offer. Gym fully equipped. Entertainment was good but not wow. Singing, dancing, tenors, magician, comedy. Disembark went smoothly. Security excellent, cleanliness excellent, loved every minute of our 1st cruise. Need to start saving for our next cruise! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
Overall this cruise was excellent. The overriding factor were the staff who were very helpful and always happy - we had no trouble at all with them and respected their positions with a civil and courteous approach, this was reflected with ... Read More
Overall this cruise was excellent. The overriding factor were the staff who were very helpful and always happy - we had no trouble at all with them and respected their positions with a civil and courteous approach, this was reflected with a very high standard of service. You do need to do your research before you embark. It can be difficult to find some information. Things to take - European sockets/leads for mobile phones. We did not use RC internet packages at all, no need, mobile coverage was good apart from sea days and we used wifi hotspots ashore. You do not need towels they are provided. Bring shower gel/shampoo. The cabins are a little small but more than adequate, I am 6 foot and with my medium sized wife and granddaughter of 7 had no trouble in this particular cabin. Yes the shower is small but what do you expect, if you take turns it is fine. We had a tv (near perfect reception all the time (watching Olympics!)), fridge - which we did not use, wardrobes and cupboards were great. There is a laundry facility - one shopping bag full for $30 - I washed the occasional t shirt and trunks and dried on the balcony. Don't go for beverages package - coffee, tea, juices are free - maybe go for the booze package - the variety is good! Food - we ate in Minstrel Dining Room which was excellent for us, we got dressed up into casuals (trousers and short sleeved shirt) - can be a little time consuming eating 3 course meal but socially good fun. The alternative is Windjammers - dress code relaxed(shorts and T shirt), variety of food excellent but can be busy. We had 2 formal nights, I wish I took a suit but wore jacket and tie which was OK. You don't need to attend these formal events but it is often nice for the ladies/girls to dress up and a good photo opportunity with a tan! If you still do not like these dining options you can opt for the speciality places, Chops Grille, Giovannis, Cantina or Izumi but they are extra £35 per person. Entertainment - we were pleasantly surprised, the nightly shows were pretty good and worth attending. We didn't use the casino or other bars/nightclubs - by 10 o'clock we were ready for bed! The shore excursions can be expensive but if the weather is hot they save time and energy - we were back onboard by 1/2 pm so only 4 hrs max ashore. Go alone you can save a lot of money. Of course if there are some places you have already visited then stay onboard, as its practically empty! We did get the visit to Santorini cancelled as the predicted weather precluded boat (tender) operations - nothing you can do about that. But it was our wedding anniversary! We did get to Kusadasi - no problems at all there. The cruise in general is what you make it - you can do next to nothing and lie sunbathing drinking cocktails by the pool watching the coast go by. You can totally immerse yourself into the games, quizzes, onboard entertainment shows, casino, formal dressing up nights - it really is up to you. We had a 7 year old and she loved the kids activity clubs, we even felt confident enough to leave her there and go ashore. (It's all free!). The rock climbing wall was great fun, the pools are OK but can get a little crowded. The gym is above average and there are all sorts of free sessions available as well as the spa for massages etc - just be careful as of course they will try to extract money from you for 'special massage treatment' or creams etc The photo facility is daylight robbery, these guys will pop up at meal times and when you are going ashore, print the pictures off and charge extortionate prices. We waited till the last day and bought a couple of the pictures but found mobile phone pictures more than adequate (you can always bring a proper camera!). The only real downer we had was joining the ship - the ship comes in for one day (generally) and disgorges passengers early in the morning and embarks new ones in the afternoon - we had to wait/queue for about 2 hours at the terminal/jetty to embark as we were late getting there because of (unusually heavy) traffic; get to the ship early is the advice I think. Getting off was fine, we got to the airport early (9am) for our flight to London, you can stay on the ship longer - for a fee. Or you could get one day/night in a hotel and explore Barcelona? I would definitely recommend Royal Caribbean - we are already looking at our next one! Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
We booked this cruise for our anniversary and chose it almost exclusively for the ports. After reading the reviews I was a bit apprehensive and found that, unfortunately, they were mostly accurate. First, embarkation was smooth-no ... Read More
We booked this cruise for our anniversary and chose it almost exclusively for the ports. After reading the reviews I was a bit apprehensive and found that, unfortunately, they were mostly accurate. First, embarkation was smooth-no issues. We had a balcony room which was fine-no real issues. The speaker in the room was broke but that didn't bother us at all. The water was ALWAYS warm however, no way to get a glass of water or take a cool shower but also not a major deal. Our stateroom attendant, San, was very nice and efficient. We found the food to be good to above average. Good selection but it is obvious they are cutting corners from the past-no lobster (unless you pay $34.95) or shrimp cocktail. There was always something there to like so impossible to go hungry. We got breakfast room service a few mornings to avoid the buffet rush and although the eggs were a bit watery and the toast was always hard it was fine. Not much they can do about toast-by the time it's delivered is impossible to stay soft and warm. They always showed up on time and were polite. Our waiters, Joe and Anok, were great. Always friendly and efficient-really made the cruise more enjoyable. I got the drink package so dealt with bar personnel often. The folks in the Centrum, Manny, Alexandra, Olga and a fourth guy whose name escapes me were excellent. However, personnel at the pool bar really didn't seem to care too much about anything and the guy who works in the Cafe Latitudes was AWFUL. The first time I went for a drink he had me sign (only person to do so) I assume as the keypad asks if you want to add an additional gratuity-which were already pre-paid with the package. I declined and he was an absolute jerk after that. Lucky if he even nodded in your direction-zero manners of courtesy. Gave me a hard time one night as the drink package tag was a bit worn-reminded me of the soup nazi from Seinfeld and looked like him too. A major issue were the teenagers running through the ship pretty much all the time, or hanging in packs on the stairs and sliding down the railings while straddling them-not hygienic AT ALL. We were in the Colony Club one night with a lady singing-when a group came running through she stopped in the middle of her song and politely told them to walk and she got a very loud and long round of applause from the entire room-nearly everyone mentioned it and had enough. One night while my wife and I were in the centrum with a large group of people someone spit, yes spit, from a floor high above and got her on the dress. Not just a little bit mind you, a large disgusting blob. I ran upstairs but they were gone-pretty safe to assume it was one of the teens. While we were going up so she could change I ran into the Captain and told him of the problem. He told me he was going to contact Security and check the cameras and I gave him my information-never heard a single work back from him or anyone-pretty poor customer service especially for a platinum member who has spent thousands on RC. Manny in the Centrum bar got us a free dry-cleaning certificate, real good guy and the only person who went out of his way on this issue, but the folks at guest services put "drink spilled"-not sure if this was intentional or a misunderstanding. Ports were all good with the exception of Crete which we were re-routed to due to poor weather in Santorini-nothing RC can do about this so no problems. Excursions were good. A couple of the guides, Rome, Ephesus and Pisa/Lucca were excellent. The one in Malta was disinterested and they had boat problems but he was OK. The woman for the Seyennes village tours was real bad. Left everyone as soon as the bus parked-didn't see her again until we boarded-gave little or no information during the bus ride. When I asked her info about a church she asked where I was from, when I told her the US she said, and I quote, "I am sorry but I laugh everytime someone tells me they are from the US, you are all just immigrants". And she works for tips! Info for folks-the arrogance of the majority of French and Spaniards was pretty evident on the ship. Not sure why, cultural perhaps, but they would cut in front of you in lines, push through constantly. I was run into from behind while standing in the art gallery nearly knocking me over and when I turned to confront the person, assuming it was a male, there was a French woman who just continued on without so much as an excuse me. A group of Spaniards would place towels on numerous chairs in the Solarium EVERY day first thing in the morning and keep them there all day even though they were rarely there. Chairs are at a premium-pretty inconsiderate but nothing was every done. All in all it was a good cruise due to the ports but it is pretty evident RC is no longer in a class above others-pretty average. Read Less
Sail Date August 2016
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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