10 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Reviews for Senior Cruises to Baltic Sea

Ports were excellent.. Very friendly staff. If you like an adults only pool, they have a solarium for adults and free access to showers, sauna and steam room ( you have to pay on the big ships). Shore excursions from RCCL were best in ... Read More
Ports were excellent.. Very friendly staff. If you like an adults only pool, they have a solarium for adults and free access to showers, sauna and steam room ( you have to pay on the big ships). Shore excursions from RCCL were best in Russia. Used another tour company in Estonia and only had 6 which was great compared to the 30 who were on the one offered by RCCL. Also no audio devices given on Stockholm or Copenhagen tours by RCCL so hard to hear the tour guide when you have 30-40 people so that was frustrating at times. Be prepared to pay $10.00 to $20.00 US for shore transportation in all ports if you go out on your own.(7 ports). Hop on Hop off bus available ship side at Helskink, Stockholm and Copenhagen. The entertainment in the the theatre was top notch for a medium size ship. Best I have seen for this size ship. Main dining room food continues to disappoint. Dining room staff excellent service. Windjammer lunch was excellent.We had spacious cabin 8054, so much room. The ship hasn't been refurbished for awhile and definitely needs some updating. Still overall had a lot of fun. Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
We chose this cruise because of the ports we would visit , especially St Petersburg . Having read a lot of reviews on the Brilliance of the Seas , I wasn't sure what to expect but we were so pleased with the entire trip . We ... Read More
We chose this cruise because of the ports we would visit , especially St Petersburg . Having read a lot of reviews on the Brilliance of the Seas , I wasn't sure what to expect but we were so pleased with the entire trip . We travelled with our daughter & son in law and everyone had a great time ! Our embarkation & disembarkation went very smoothly with no problems . I like how they are allowing each deck to have a specific time to board so there is no guessing as to how long you might be standing in line . The ship itself is one of the older ones but she is a Grand Old Lady & doesn't show her age much . Entertainment was very enjoyable . We only missed one night at the theatre but the rest were simply amazing . Our cruise director was extremely good at getting audience participation & did a marvelous job wherever he was . Of course being Canadian , as we are , made it even better . We went to several of the game shows in the Colony Club & they were hilarious ! Our cabin attendant , Veronika , was such a pleasant lady and was always there for us if we had a problem . The cabin was kept very clean and the towel art she left for us in the evenings was delightful . I asked for ice one day and after that, there was a bucket of ice every time we went back to the cabin . My husbands luggage did not arrive in Amsterdam with us and we had to file a lost claim at the airport . Once we boarded the ship, Guest Services kept us informed as to where it was and while in Skakum, our first stop , the luggage arrived . Veronika had told us to go down to Guest Services and see what they could muster up for our first formal night at sea as that was only our second night and my hubby had no clothes to speak of . A tailer came up , measured my husband and later he was back again with 2 full sets of tuxedos , including shoes if he needed them . This was free of charge and I thought this was pretty amazing ! Service was extremely good wherever we went onboard , Staff seemed happy and were always smiing ,which to us says a lot of how they feel about their jobs . The shore excusions with the ship were ok . We used a Russian companyy for our 2 day St Petersburg tour ; TJ TOURS , & cant say enough good things about the tour .You can book the tour directly on their website . Guide Demitri spoke very good English and the the driver did an amazing job of getting us through the streets . Our van was small and we only had 15 people : great for seeing the points of interest . They took care of visas etc before we arrived so had no problem getting off & back on the ship . Although the Hermitage Museum was closed on Monday, we were able to get in there for a tour . Lunch was very interesting , although you paid for it yourself but was quite cheap by uur standards . Our only complaint about the tours to other cities was that in Stockholm, our tour with the ship was not good . The guide said very little other than telling us where we were going to stop & how long we had ; no explanations about anything of interest that we passed by. The driver was terrible; he didnt seem to know the streets very well and we drove past the castle 5 times while he tried to find the right streets to turn on . The Cruise itself was most enjoyable and we arrived back in Amsterdam sorry to have to get off so soon. Thank you , Brilliance & your crew !! Read Less
Sail Date July 2018
One must remember the price point for selecting a cruise. Our service was excellent. The food was very good and beyond my expectations. Room service was prompt and friendly. Our ship was full. I was amazed at how quickly we were able to ... Read More
One must remember the price point for selecting a cruise. Our service was excellent. The food was very good and beyond my expectations. Room service was prompt and friendly. Our ship was full. I was amazed at how quickly we were able to exit and enter the ship. Also, there was so much room on the ship that seating was never a problem. Every employee on the ship was incredibly cheerful and helpful. If I wanted more luxury, then I would pay for it. This Baltic Sea Cruise was priced very well. Of note, was the size of the stateroom balcony. Chairs and a nice sized table with room to move around. Take some binoculars. It was interesting to see how active the Baltic Sea is with barges and various ships/boats. I am a happy customer! (The cruise route starting in Amsterdam was an extra bonus. I loved that. Great city choices to visit.) Read Less
Sail Date June 2018
RCCL has been our favorite among the five different cruise lines we have traveled. We were not disappointed on this cruise. Food in the dining room was outstanding. For casual dining we loved the Solarium with the sun, pool and food ... Read More
RCCL has been our favorite among the five different cruise lines we have traveled. We were not disappointed on this cruise. Food in the dining room was outstanding. For casual dining we loved the Solarium with the sun, pool and food court. Ship is mid size and easy to find one's way around. Evening shows were top notch; especially liked the singer Romano from Italy. The Graffiti Group surprised us as their name did not indicate just how talented they were. We had cool and rainy weather so did not use the outside parts of the ship as we have on other cruises. We took independent tours in each port and found of them to be very enjoyable. In Iceland and the Faroe Islands we booked ahead of time (Geoiceland and 62 Degrees North). In Bergen, Alesund and Geiranger we simply joined a tour at the pier. Were disappointed in only 1 1/2 days in Iceland. The second day ended at 12:30 and we would have liked a full day there. Could have eliminated Alesund as there is nothing there. Cruise ships are new to this port and there is no shopping and little to see. Enjoyed a trolley tour in Bergen and a small boat trip in Geiranger. During our days at sea we would have enjoyed more crafts in appropriate settings. The card making class was held in the bar with no room to work. We traveled with another couple and did play a lot of cards. Work out area is adequate; amazing how few people were using it when I was. Too cool for pool use. Enjoyed the music at the small bars and the Centrum. My wish...that cruises could be smoke free! Read Less
Sail Date July 2015
This was our second cruise; the first was with Olsen. We thought the much more modern Brilliance would be better. Embarkation was reasonably easy and straightforward. The first night we ate in the Minstrel restaurant; MyTime dining ... Read More
This was our second cruise; the first was with Olsen. We thought the much more modern Brilliance would be better. Embarkation was reasonably easy and straightforward. The first night we ate in the Minstrel restaurant; MyTime dining however was a bit fraught, and we had a job to get seats. The food was OK, but service very average. From then on, we went to the Windjammer. I soon found that RC don't cater for diabetics. Apart from one or possibly two "sugar-free" desserts, there was nothing aimed at diabetics. Food was very salty, too - as bad as sugar for diabetics. I ended up complaining, but that didn't help much. My blood sugar was all over the place, varying from 3.1 to 17! Very bad. I had told them in advance that I was diabetic and needed a fridge and sharps bin. I had to get the steward to fetch the latter items for me specially. I met one particularly bad event with food. They put out large bowls of mashed potato. One night, I took some, and discovered it had something like tabasco sauce in it. No warning! Next night there were two separate bowls, one without a label. It looked like it had peas in it. When I started to eat it, I discover that it had mussels in it. Now I hate mussels; but what if I had been allergic to seafood? I could have been seriously ill. TOTALLY UNPROFESSIONAL! Likewise, shore trips did not take account of insulin users. With the clock two hours ahead, and my wife needing trips with easy walking, we found ourselves confined to morning trips mainly - and these started as early as 8 a.m., making it difficult to manage my insulin regime. Furthermore, trips were poorly described. Don't trust the walking symbol! In Skagen, there is only one trip with the 'easy' symbol, so we picked it. When we got the tickets, we discovered the statement: "Guests with limited mobility should not select this tour." A bit late when you've bought the tickets! Unacceptable and again, UNPROFESSIONAL. We found that public seating areas were insufficient for the number of passengers, so had to spend more time in the cabin than should have been necessary. And that raised another problem. Before the end of the cruise we both had nasty coughs, and I especially was (and still am) very wheezy. I discovered on my return, and visiting my GP, that I had a chest infection. He said that this is common with people returning from cruises, and generally due the poor quality of aircon air. The only cabins, as I understand it, with opening windows, are balcony cabins. So, be warned! Drinks - even soft drinks - were very limited, unless you pay extra, at exorbitant rates. A 1 litre bottle of water cost me $7.08; and as well as passengers being told that it is "not recommended" to drink the tap water, with many people filling bottles from the cold water dispensers, notices went up saying "Due to public health concerns, it is NOT PERMITTED to refill bottles from these dispensers." Nevertheless, many guests did. I would guess that the dispensers were filled with tap water...... Returning from every shore excursion meant going through airport-style security again. Slow, and, given our shore pass electronic tickets which bring up our photos, an unnecessary inconvenience. But of course, how else could they enforce their "no food or drink to leave or be brought on board" rules? The cabin was OK, decent size. Ship's condition was average; some rust about, maintenance going on all the time on automatic doors etc. Cleanliness...average. Shows: we only attended the end of cruise show. We thought it rather poor. Overall, we felt that RCCL are mainly interested in extracting every last dollar and cent, rather than giving good experience to its guests, and would not cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2015
First time cruisers but we felt well researched and organised our own shore excursions. More relaxed than expected, only two formal dining nights, very few dinner suits seen and some guests ignoring dress suggestion altogether. Main ... Read More
First time cruisers but we felt well researched and organised our own shore excursions. More relaxed than expected, only two formal dining nights, very few dinner suits seen and some guests ignoring dress suggestion altogether. Main Minstrel restaurant friendly service, food good quality, small portions but encouraged to order extra courses, some failures of cooking so not fine dining but excellent range of choices. Main effort seems to have been made on the entertainment which was excellent with six resident performers in lounges, nine piece theatre orchestra, singers dancers and many guest acts almost all of top quality. Cabins bigger than expected (cheapest outside), kettle provided so UK travellers can take their favourite tea bags! (Cartons of milk on cereal bar at breakfast can be taken to cabin and kept in mini bar fridge). Beds comfortable and well serviced by cabin attendant. Two bottles of wine allowed to be brought on board which can be taken to dinner with no corkage charge. Drinks at posh hotel prices but happy hours at various bars between approx 3pm and 8pm. (e.g. 2 Margaritas for £10) Negatives: Charging $14 (nearly £10) for a litre bottle of mineral water is obscene Lots of pressure to spend money in shops/spa/speciality restaurants/with photographer/on ship organised excursions. Not much of an enrichment programme on sea days, quizzes and a few amateur lectures, but physical facilities of ship good e.g. mini golf, solarium pool. Overall thoroughly enjoyed the trip and staff were very well organised at every point. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Overall, this was an outstanding cruise! The various ports we visited ( Copenhagen, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Skagen) were far beyond our expectations. St Petersburg was definitely the highlight of this cruise. We ... Read More
Overall, this was an outstanding cruise! The various ports we visited ( Copenhagen, Tallinn, St. Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and Skagen) were far beyond our expectations. St Petersburg was definitely the highlight of this cruise. We used a private tour company (Red October) and we were extremely happy with guide and driver...Dimitry and Uri. We highly recommend the RC excursion to the Russian Performance of Song and Dance. The Brilliance is a beautiful ship. Our junior suite cabin was great and the cabin attendant did an outstanding job. The Diamond Lounge was great and the concierge, Derick Martis, was the very best compared to our prior cruises. The food on this ship in the main dinning room was the worst we have experienced. People at our table were opting for the Windjammer instead. I should mention that the Black Berry Transport company in London did a terrific job! Always on time, efficient and very reasonable. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
Went to the Baltic in June 2014 from Harwich. Pluses: Boarding - Fine; Cabin - fine Staff excellent; Food - good but not outstanding - have had better variety of other cruise lines. Ports of call - very good except for Visby - no ... Read More
Went to the Baltic in June 2014 from Harwich. Pluses: Boarding - Fine; Cabin - fine Staff excellent; Food - good but not outstanding - have had better variety of other cruise lines. Ports of call - very good except for Visby - no fault of RCCL - torrential rain. Minuses: Main complaint was incessant noise. Guest services and shore excursions desk situated next to Centrum. Very loud entertainment there meant great difficulty speaking to and hearing staff. We do like to go and have a drink in a bar after dinner and have a conversation with other cruisers - that is impossible on "Brilliance". Every bar has amplified music making conversation difficult without shouting. So called "piano bar" involved a female entertainer with amplification - surely unnecessary. In the "English pub" crowded with guests watching the world Cup - a guitarist blasting out at great volume - no chance of hearing commentary. Only response from cruise director was that the musicians take periodic breaks when it would be quieter. This is no criticism of the entertainers - but lack of a quiet area sutiable for conversation. The lack of a quiet bar spoiled my experience of the Brilliance and would not sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
This cruise was my retirement trip. After 37 years as a police officer I felt I owed it to myself. Seeing that this cruise originatted in Copenhagen (my wife's grandmother is from there) and went to Norway (my grandparents are from ... Read More
This cruise was my retirement trip. After 37 years as a police officer I felt I owed it to myself. Seeing that this cruise originatted in Copenhagen (my wife's grandmother is from there) and went to Norway (my grandparents are from there) selecting it was a no-brainer! We spent a few days in Copenhagen before the cruise. A beautiful city. I think my wife and myself were the only ones not riding bicycles! The ship left on Saturday the 25th. We had been upgraded to a junior suite so check in was quite easy. It took a total of 20 minutes from the time the taxi dropped us off at the pier till we boarded. Our cabin was ready about 1:00 pm. It was spacious and clean. Our cabin steward introduced herself to us and we were off to sxplore. I'm used to cruising on Voyager class ships and above so I was afraid that Brilliance would seem small. I was happily mistaken. Although the set-up is different I never noticed that this was a smaller ship. It had everything her larger sisters had except the ice-rink. At dinner that night we meet our table mates. There was Josh and Becky from the U.K., Michele and Mona from New Jersey, and Sandra from Germany. It was a pleasure dining with them! The food was all right. I can't say it was outrageous. The waiter and the assistant waiter were attentive but lacking in personality. I would have to give the dining experience a "B-". If it wasn't for our table-mates we would have eaten in the Windjammer more. Speaking of the Windjammer, the food there was just okay. Most days we ended up sitting outside. Glad the weather was always cooperating. The ports we visited were all beautiful. Oslo, Stavinger, Alesund, Geiringer, and Bergen. We wanted to keep the excursions short so we only took the city tours that were at the most 3 hours. The only exception was when we were in Alesund we booked the Path of the Trolls Tour that was about 8 hours long. Unfortunatley I was unable to take the tour due to a bout of the noro-virus! I just stayed in the cabin all day doing what the noro-virus makes you do! My wife came down with it the next day but she didn't miss any excursion. We were out of commission one day each. If you're going to be sick, you might as well be sick on a cruise ship! Getting back to the shore excursions, they were all well organized and well guided. The weather could have been better but it seems that every time we got off the bus the skies would miraculously clear up! There is something that impressed me about Copenhagen and all the Norwegian cities we visited: there was always a "7-11" nearby! That kept me from getting homesick! I have to mention my favorite place aboard Brilliance. It was the Hollywood Odyssey nightclub which doubles as the cigar lounge. Every night I'd go there for a cigar and cognac served by my new best friend Radu! Usually I'd be the only one there, but a few times I was joined by Jim and Gunther from Germany. Radu always made you feel welcome. He'd clip and light your cigar for you and always see to it your drink was full. It was always a good way to end the day. In the past we've only taken Caribbean cruises. They seem to have more of a "party" type atmosphere. This cruise was more of a laid back, sightseeing trip. Not better or worse, just different. The food could have been better and I would have liked it if we didn't get sick, but all in all not a bad trip! Disembarking was a snap. We caught a cab to the airport and before you know it (about 10 hours later) we were home, looking forward to our next vacation. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We had a wonderful time on our July 13, 2012 cruise. Previous reviews have covered many aspects of the Brilliance of the Seas. I found those reviews so helpful I would like to add additional information. The ship was in fine shape. ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on our July 13, 2012 cruise. Previous reviews have covered many aspects of the Brilliance of the Seas. I found those reviews so helpful I would like to add additional information. The ship was in fine shape. Sure its 10 years old but still is wonderful. It is scheduled for refurbishment next year. Our two previous cruises within the last year have been on Oceania (Marina) and we knew we are somewhat spoiled, but we felt for the money spent on this cruise and what we saw that it was a wonderful decision to sail Brilliance of the Seas. We began by spending 2 nights in Amsterdam taking a train from the airport to Central Station which was very easy. Then we walked only a few blocks to our fabulous Marriott Renaissance Hotel. Excellent service at the hotel, and fabulous, not overpriced restaurants just 1 block away for dinner. Van Speyk for Dutch and French flavors and Ritorante Savini for Italian food. We enjoyed exploring the city, visiting the newly renovated Maritime museum (Scheepvaart Museum), canal ride, and to top it off a visit to Ann Frank's house. If going to Ann Frank purchase tickets over the internet early on so you don't have to wait in line. It cost us 15 euros for a taxi to the port. It is very close but a lot of traffic and would have been a difficult walk. Priority boarding around 12:30 due to Platinum status. People we met on the ship told as they waited 1 ½ hours to board without priority. Pros for Brilliance - Activities and excursion were very punctual. No waiting. - Service was excellent. - Specialty restaurants were wonderful. - Cabin was fine. - Casino had a very good payout ratio on the slots. - Breakfast and Lunch (only open 2 days) had a buffet in the center for a quick meal that was good or you could order from the menu and also access the buffet. - Entertainment on the ship was good. - Dining room breakfast hours adjusted for early excursion departures. Cons for Brilliance - Charges for many things that used to be included like fresh squeezed orange juice. - Buffet had plenty of fresh food but very crowded for tables and no really good sliced meats, hamburgers etc. - Dining room only open 2 days for lunch. - Do not publish a daily sheet with the latest news. - Cabin in TV was not flat screen and very tiny. - The interactive room service menu did not work. - Servers in dining room were waiting on too many people. Excursions We did four excursions and I was satisfied with them even though they were expensive. Royal Caribbean had their act together with very little waiting in the lounge at the designated time to meet for the tour, buses were new and very comfortable, guides were excellent. Bruge Sightseeing full day with canal ride and lunch. Lunch was served with 3 drinks which could consist of 2 glasses of wine or soda and coffee. Food was at a local restaurant right in the heart of town, turkey with an apricot sauce for the main dish. It did rain off and on and part of the canal ride so had to hold an umbrella to stay dry. The plus was if we hadn't booked an excursion we may have stayed on the ship due to the weather and we would have really missed seeing a wonderful place. We had 2 hours on our own to explore the town after lunch and 1 hour before lunch. Beaches of Normandy. We might the right choice doing this through the ship. We met another couple that rented a car and never did find their way to the battlefields or cemetery. The tour was excellent. The museum was fascinating. The only negative was the lunch in the museum. Too many people in a banquet room and duck was served that was very small portion and a big line at a too tiny salad bar. It would have been better not to have included lunch and we could have bought our own lunch at the museum in one of the two restaurants. Flam Railway - Beautiful ride on a nice train. Waffles and strawberrys stop not needed. Too crowded and not good. I didn't like the way we had to line up to catch the train . The day we were there we could have done on our own. If another ship had been in town it would not have worked . Geiranger Fjord Panorama. One of the best excursions we've ever done. The scenery was beautiful. Tour very well organized and they really covered the area. People from our ship that thought they could book a tour when they got off the ship discovered that they were sold out and missed out on a highlight of the cruise. They other stops we did on our own and this worked out well. There was a free shuttle in Bergen to the city center which was close to the library which had free internet. We loved exploring the market area and eating in a local restaurant. Paid $52 for two bowls of fish soup for lunch at a local classy restaurant but we wanted to have one meal in a restaurant in Norway and felt it was worth it. Still cheaper than a tour. We had a plane to catch at 10:50 when we arrived back in Amsterdam so we did the ship transfers which were not expensive ($32 each) and they even delivered our luggage directly to the airport. This was an experience that we will never forget. The best part was interacting with local people who discussed their grandparents experiences during WWII, and the amazing scenery in Norway. It rained off and on, common for the area creating beautiful waterfalls. Even nicer than what we saw in New Zealand. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
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

Find a Brilliance of the Seas Cruise

Easily compare prices from multiple sites with one click