138 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Transatlantic Cruise Reviews

It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only ... Read More
It was our 50th anniversary and we thought a repositioning cruise would be a great experience. On previous cruises we have always eaten in the dining room for all our meals. We found the food to be cold. My omelets were incomplete, only half of my omelette had filling in it. We tried it again when we gave our review on the ship and they asked us to try breakfast again. The food was still cold. The windjammers breakfast was much better. We only ate dinner in the evening. We had great table mates and enjoyed there company. The food was just adequate. Some nights I couldn't find something to eat. When my husband ordered beef bourquinion he had 3 small chunks of beef. In the Centrum the chairs were ripped. My husband ordered an anniversary surprise for me and only half of what was supposed to come was missing. They did not have it aboard the ship. Our daily compass had incorrect information On the front it said casual dining and in the center it stated formal attire. Half the guests showed up formal and half casual. The activities schedule was the same activities at the same time. The activities were very one note. If you had early dining you missed activities. They also had last minute changes in the shows. Our tour guide on one of the cruises left passengers behind and we missed more than half of our tour Thank goodness one of the onboard next cruise employee was with us. She was appalled that we were left behind with the employee. They only refunded half of our tour money because they said we saw half of tour. The eating outside the windjammer was stained and dirty. Alot of chipped paint was noticed. We have been on Royal Caribbean ships before and enjoyed them. We did not enjoy the Brilliance of the Sea and would not recommend this ship and this experience left a bad impression for us to cruise again with Royal Caribbean. In the past we always enjoyed our experience. This cruise was for a special occasion and it spoiled our experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
We love long cruises with lots of sea days and this cruise did not disappoint. We sailed from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, seeing ports that we had yet to visit. The 8 sea days to begin the cruise were a wonderful way to really relax and kick ... Read More
We love long cruises with lots of sea days and this cruise did not disappoint. We sailed from Tampa Bay to Amsterdam, seeing ports that we had yet to visit. The 8 sea days to begin the cruise were a wonderful way to really relax and kick off our month long vacation. We have sailed a lot on RCI, have attained Diamond Plus status, and really do like the Radiance Class ships in Royal's fleet. There were LOTS of experienced cruises on this sailing as over 900 passengers of the 2000 on board were either Diamond or Diamond Plus level on RCI. Rather than wait until the cruise to deal with this large number of elite members, Royal communicated with us weeks before the cruise to let us know that they were going to use the Colony Club as their evening venue for the Diamond lounge event. Royal did a great job organizing and delivering the service that elite cruisers want. Cudos to RCI for making what could have been a difficult situation work smoothly. Our Balcony Cabin on Deck 9 was in great shape and our room steward was attentive, friendly and engaging in our many conversations with him. In fact, both my wife and I found the entire staff (our waiter Mary, our assistant waiter and most other staff we interacted with) went out of their way to be both friendly and accommodating to our needs. Service could not have been better throughout the 15 day cruise. The entertainment was also diverse and well presented. The RCI singers and dancers were as good as any group we have seen on our many cruises and the cruise director was engaged and seemed to really care about the quality of the performances. The food was varied, presented well and seemed a bit better than some of our other cruises. We went to Chops Grill twice on the cruise and it did not disappoint. RCI delivered a great experience over the two weeks of the cruise from embarkation to getting off the ship (It took us less than 1/2 hour to walk off, get our luggage and clear customs in Amsterdam!) Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We ... Read More
This was our third crossing and thoroughly enjoyed the Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Sea conveniences as well as the fantastic attitude of the ship's staff. We sailed form Tampa to Ireland and Belgium and ended in Amsterdam. We stayed on the ship back to back on the Baltic cruise visiting Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Russia and Amsterdam. Total of 28 days. The Atlantic crossing was dampened by the overcast and cool weather however the Baltic region temperatures were comfortable for May. One of our daily favorite times is the My Time dining option sharing a table with others and having world topics as conversation. We bid on a Jr Suite for the second leg of the cruise which made that part very comfortable. Having a walk in closet and approx 300sf with chairs and a couch, the area was perfect for relaxing. We achieved our Dimond Plus status and are looking forward to our next cruise in March out of Dubai. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more ... Read More
Just got back from 16 days on the Brilliance. Our stateroom was so tired. Furniture was scuffed, needed replacing or refurbished. The bathroom had an odor we couldn't identify, sort of like mold. The main dining room needs more variety. Food was mediocre. Some of the entertainment was good, other so-so. I had a good time, but I began to feel like I was in steerage, no amenities in the stateroom. No lotion in the bathroom, no pen and paper in the desk. But what I did like was the amount of storage. Large closet with shelves for shoes, etc. Vanity had six nice sized drawers. The bathroom had one mirror that opened so one could see the back of their hair. The mirrors over the vanity opened up for storage. The stewards, waiters, all the folks serving our needs were excellent and wanted to please. Ports were excellent. The captain plotted course to avoid hurricane Florence entirely. The overall feeling was that Royal Caribbean is cutting expenses to the bone. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
We are Diamond members with RCI so have quite a few cruises under our belts. The service on ALL RCI cruises are beyond expectations. They really go out of their way to earn your loyalty. Have to say that the food quality and variety ... Read More
We are Diamond members with RCI so have quite a few cruises under our belts. The service on ALL RCI cruises are beyond expectations. They really go out of their way to earn your loyalty. Have to say that the food quality and variety have greatly improved over time - thanks to honest and vocal guests. We've also enjoyed their entertainment immensely on this particular cruise. However, the background music on the casual dining area can be improved. Would be nice if some of the background music played is representative of the itineraries or ports being visited i.e. this itinerary should play some Spanish/Irish/Celtic music. There was a Irish band & dancers on the port however with the cooler/windy weather, most passengers just walked by them. The disembarkation process was unpleasant in that the port is still not up to efficiency standards required for processing 2,000+ passengers. Recognize this is not the cruise line's responsibility, however the port infrastructure is just not there to have a more organized process i.e. process wheelchair passengers separately, etc. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I ... Read More
I wished to go on a TA going west and after careful consideration I opted for a 16 day trip on Brilliance of the Seas. It left from Amsterdam, visited four ports in Ireland and one in the Azores before a seven day / night crossing. I was in stateroom 3042 (outside view). I was happy with it. I also elected Anytime Dining. I usually ate late, as I hate fighting crowds for either dinner or the showroom. I made a reservation a few times, but was seated without a wait after 8:00 p.m. Mike, the cruise director, and his staff were excellent. The number of sea days meant a number of activities were scheduled. I especially enjoyed The Brilliance Race and the morning game shows. There were lots of trivia sessions, as well as some traditional party game activities. Music on the ship was great, coming from a duo, a guitar player, and a trio of string instrument players (violins and piano). The quality of the shows varied from fantastic (hand shadows, AbbaMax, pickpocket) to weak (the first production show, the comedy magician). I found all three production shows lacking to some degree. This was not the fault of the singers and dancers; the blame goes to whoever created it. Food quality was mixed. The Windjammer breakfast and lunch selections had a minimum of variation from day to day. Breakfast pastries were limited to sticky buns, and even they vanished during the crossing. I heard rumors that the shipment of yeast the ship expected to take on in the Azores did not arrive (thus forcing the bakery to make cuts) but I can't verify that situation. Dinner was generally good, though some nights it wasn't exciting. The menu overdosed on items available at all dinners with fewer daily selections than I was used to. The food was fine, with some dishes being better than others. I went to the mystery dinner one night. The cast needed work in learning the script. They also resorted to shouting. The food quality that night at Giovanni's was fantastic. This was my first sailing as a Diamond member. Due to the large number of Diamond and above passengers, events were held in both the Diamond lounge and the Colony Club. Lines formed an hour before opening. I went a few nights, but cocktail parties are not really my thing. Weather was mixed, from cold in Ireland to warm / hot in the Azores and during the crossing. However, it did not rain anywhere I went. I would do this trip again. The price was good, and the Air2Sea price of a flight from my home of Las Vegas to Amsterdam was an astonishingly low $290.85. The length was a bit long, but I had a great time. Read Less
Sail Date September 2018
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May ... Read More
Originally we chose this cruise because of a crew member who was trying to get on it. He didn't... but we were booked. The plan was to disembark in Amsterdam, spend 17 days on the ground and sail back on Mariner of the Seas on May 7th. She was heading to drydock but the leg was canceled and she went to drydock early. So... we flew into Tampa the night before. Easily and efficiently boarded the ship. We were in our cabin by 1:30pm after eating lunch and having a cocktail. Our first order of business was to order our dinner wines. It was not as easy as in times past because ordinarily if you create your own package of over 6 wines, a discount is given. Not this time. Well... eventually but anyway. Our experience in the RCCL main dining rooms have not been the best but this ship was an absolute exception! We also usually eat just the two of us, but this time we joined another table. We had amazing food, spectacular service and great fun with new friends. Quite honestly, we missed every show. We got dressed up for dinner each night and with the late seating (8:30), we visited the Diamond Lounge first. Nights one and two we went upstairs but it was SO crowded we couldn't find a place to sit! The concierge helped to book our dinners so that was a great help. The next night or so, we tried the Colony Club for cocktail hour(s) but could not get served. We ended up at Schooner Bar with Mr. Wilson and Milica. Wow! Those two and the guests that gravitated toward the bar each night made the whole trip! Excellent service... friendly... made us feel like family! We had VERY rough seas and missed two ports (Waterford and Dublin). Though we were disapponted, we got an overnight in Cobh. That was FUN! The train is just off the ship and took us into Cork... the big city. The port town of Cobh is adorable! People friendly, pubs fun and we even did the Titanic Experience (not a great idea when doing a TransAtlantic). Our cabin steward was amazing. Took care of our every need. We didn't spend much time in the room but we couldn't always see he had been in to straighten up and provide us with information. We did the Chef's Table which was fun! Food great, presentation perfect and wine well paired. The only thing that was slightly sad was in the end, politics came up and that's not the best idea... it made for a quick ending to an otherwise special evening. This cruise went above and beyond the normal cruise. It is evident the crew consider each other family and have created quite a sense of teamwork. For me, even with the missed ports, it was a 10 out of 10 experience. We did not want to disembark today!!! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really ... Read More
We had a wonderful time on board of The Brilliance of the Seas, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Tampa to Amsterdam. Our cabin was really nice and more spacious as we would have thought and was kept tiptop by the crew. Dining was really good (too good, according to the weight I gained.. and I did a daily work-out in The Gymnasium!!) Grace and Dmytro served swiftly, kind and patiently at our table and the menu was really superb, compliments to the Chef and his crew two. We had some meals at The Windjammer Café and that was really good too, but sometimes it is hard to find a nice table. We really enjoyed the entertainment on board. There was a 9 man band with 4 fabulous vocalists, lots of nice other live music during the day. Some shows, like the juggler, were not our cup of tea but other guests seem to have enjoyed these shows also. Because of the weather we had to change the route and two ports (Waterford and Dublin) had to be canceled. We went off the ship for a nice walk in Porta del Gado on the Azores. We have spend two days in Cork and we have visited the town on one and made a short bus tour across the island the other day. We had always thought a cruise was boring and we were scared to get seasick. We had a pretty rough ride according to the captain but except for a less steady walk, we really enjoyed our days at sea. After 15 days we have arrived in Amsterdam and...we have booked another transatlantic cruise in 2019 with Royal Caribbean from Barcelona to Miami. Traveling with a cruiseship to or from the US is so much relaxter than traveling by plane, no jet lag! Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean ... Read More
The transatlantic cruise was on my wife's bucket list. 8 days of open ocean until we hit the Azores. A bit long, but put a couple books back on the shelf after reading them during the crossing. The refrigerator in our superior ocean view with balcony never got fixed the whole cruise even though we let the stateroom attendant know about it. Schooner bar was staffed with two competent bartenders, Oldemar and Meliza. They kept us lubricated under the Deluxe Beverage Package. The revamped menus were okay, nothing special. The food tasted okay, nothing special. Only one Tarantella that I could recall. Although, we did the Chef's Table one night which was superb! The Azores shore excursion in Ponta Gorda was a bust. The whole island was fogged in. The tour guide was kind enough to show the picture on her phone as we made each stop to see Sete Cidades and tell us that was what we would have seen. The orchestra onboard was outstanding, especially the drummer. We left Ponta Gorda and enroute to Ireland, the Captain made the decision not to put into Waterford or Dublin because of a winter storm kicking up waves of 15 meters or more. Darn, that's why we came. To his credit, he put together an informative PowerPoint presentation in the theater to explain his reasoning with weather charts, navigation charts, meteorological forecasts and the like. Everyone in attendance applauded. As a token, he offered to overnight in Cork so we could have two days there. I commend his decision in the interest of safety. We left Cork and in two days we arrived in Amsterdam. We took the shore excursion to the Keukenhof Tulip Gardens with airport drop-off. Beautiful gardens at their peak, only so for a short window in the spring. But we weren't departing, so at the airport, we grabbed a taxi to the hotel where we spent two nights in Amsterdam before heading home. This was the first time in 17 RCCL cruises I've used Air2Sea to make flight arrangements. I'll just say, I am going to do so from now on with the deal we got for the trip home. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
It was a great time. All the staff where so nice. We love the size of this ship. Easy to get to know everyone. We where in cabin 9050 which said it had a 25% obstruction from a window cleaning ladder.It was not bad and did not obstruct our ... Read More
It was a great time. All the staff where so nice. We love the size of this ship. Easy to get to know everyone. We where in cabin 9050 which said it had a 25% obstruction from a window cleaning ladder.It was not bad and did not obstruct our view too much.But the divider between cabins had a big gap so we could see the people next to us if they where on their balcony. The cabin was a great size and we booked this cruise late so not many to choose from. But this would not be my first choice. The food was good, shows where OK the smaller ships don't tend to have the best acts.Room attendant did a great job. I think all the staff work so very hard. We did miss two ports in Ireland due to a storm, but it was very nice of Royal to give us a voucher for money off our next cruise. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage ... Read More
We received a letter to arrive at the terminal after 1 PM......checked that morning on the roll call when anyone got on board.....shortly after 11AM-off we went. Easy. Went to the Windjammer for lunch. Rooms were ready by 1:30. Luggage arrived later in the afternoon. We did MTD. We are Diamond and they offered the Colony as the overflow lounge. We went around 6,after the early eaters left, so we could find a seat. Cocktails and appetizers, then we would go to the show or movie at 7, dinner to follow. We meet some very nice people at cocktails and dinner. Service was very good at both places also. Enjoyed dinner every night but 2 in the dinning room, once in the Windjammer and once at Chops. The first 8 days were sea days and the weather was wonderful. We had a cloudy day in the Azores where we took a private tour arranged with other cruise critic followers. The weather got cool, windy, rainy and the boat rocked! The captain told us we would miss East Dunsmore/Waterford, have an extra sea day and to to Dublin before Cobh/Cork. The winds were hurricane range! Lots of broken dishes that night in the dining room! We rocked and rolled! Then the next day the Captain said we would be skipping Dublin and staying in Cohn/Cork where it was a protected harbor for 2 days to keep everyone safe. Oh well.....it happens-and you go with the flow. Because it was a 15 day transatlantic, there were only 18 kids on board. All the staff were friendly and helpful! The ship was going into dry dock after our cruise, but we enjoyed her. Spent a couple of afternoons in the hot tubs, walked the outside track on 12 a lot, used the work out room, watch a movie in the theater, saw most of the shows, read lots of books and had a very relaxing cruise. Meet a lot of veteran transatlantic cruises and we can see why-would definitely do this again! Had our last breakfast in the MDR because we weren’t scheduled to leave until 8:30. We took the ship’s transfer to the airport where we found the luggage there before checking in. Our flight was after 2PM and it was an easy way to go. Read Less
Sail Date April 2018
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and ... Read More
We chose Royal Caribbean for the destinations and the wonderful crew onboard. We have sailed RCC many times, and for the money they offer the best value and Crown & Anchor Club benefits. The crew is always very good, and helpful, and on this cruise we would like to recognize our Concierge, Amit; the concierge club bartender, Juliana; our dining room server, Dharia; and the fourth floor bartender, Wagner. We also enjoyed seeing Capt Nillsen again, who happened to be the Captain of Monarch of the Seas, which was our first cruise in 1994. Due to his experience and talent as the captain of our ship, we had a smooth uneventful trip. The tours offered at each port helped us to see the desired highlights of each port we visited. The only negative comments we have regarding the cruise were the coffee (rumor has it you once offered Seattle's Best, which is the bets), the slowness and spottiness of the internet reception, and the age of the furnishings on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was ... Read More
We cruise with RCCL a lot. This cruise was not quite up to the usual standard. The ship had quite a few minor cosmetic issues as well as some mechanical ones ... some of the touch screens didn't function as designed; hot water was not "quite" hot in the room, and varied in temperature during the shower; the tv was mounted in such a way that it had to be moved every time we wanted to open one of the cabinets; and the hallway to our cabin smelled of urine for most of the trip. The dining experiences in the specialty restaurants were good. SERVICE in the main dining room was excellent, but the atmosphere was "off". The lights were bright, there was much hustle and bustle and noise and rushing around ... NOT the "elegant dining experience" promised throughout the marketing materials. It felt very much like being in any casual dining restaurant in the states ... even on "formal" nights. That was sad. This being transatlantic, we were looking forward to what lectures and learning opportunities would be on board. We were hugely disappointed. The "destination lectures" were all about Spain ... after the fact ... and the speaker was less than professional. There was a doctor who did a couple of presentations on aging (a very popular topic!), but he was in a conference room that was over-filled, so we were not able to actually listen to him. There was an excellent speaker on thieving ... although his presentation needed a bit more organization. With a few really outstanding exceptions, the staff on this cruise just didn't seem to have their hearts in it. The shops were never re-ordered in two weeks, so once you had been through them, there was nothing new to see ... and things stayed in the same spots throughout the cruise so it didn't even generate any interest in wandering through to see new displays. The merchandise, for the most part, is just "ordinary dollar store" stuff ... and even then they didn't have some useful items ... We were especially disappointed that my husband's "Crown & Anchor Society" status was incorrect on his SeaPass ... which meant that none of the "perks" were available to him ... and no one could fix that. It also seemed that no one really knew what was going on. For example, I went to redeem one of my free drinks ... and was told by the bartender that what I wanted was not available on the program. I argued, he looked it up ... and gave me a drink. ;-) Another example; we pre-purchased a dining package, and found that there was a wine discount after we had been there two days. Sometimes they applied it, sometime they didn't ... and no one could explain why ... There was also not enough information about the ports ... admittedly, the port stops happened very early in the cruise, so there was not too much time, but the map/handout about the port did not offer any USEFUL information, if you were not shopping for jewelry. Which we were not. We will cruise RCCL again, and hope that this cruise was just an anomaly ... Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Wanted to try a smaller ship, have been on Oasis and Freedom, so thought a transatlantic on this size ship would be interesting. The ship is perfect size, no lines to stand in, indoor heated pool and enough activities to keep you busy. ... Read More
Wanted to try a smaller ship, have been on Oasis and Freedom, so thought a transatlantic on this size ship would be interesting. The ship is perfect size, no lines to stand in, indoor heated pool and enough activities to keep you busy. Food was good and service was great. Another thing about taking a two week cruise is most of the passengers are older and very few children. Makes for less noise in the dining rooms and the pool area.The Brilliance of the Sea is about 15 years old but has been taken good care of and has several neat features; such as a small cinema and plenty of glass to make it seem larger than it is.The crew seem to enjoy their job and everybody we came in contact with was friendly and helpful.We had our luggage carryon and were able to disembark quickly and avoid the lines of people waiting for their luggage. Tampa is a good place to cruise from and the only drawback is larger ships can not pass under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge . All in all we were completely satisfied and have already booked another cruise on same size ship Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I choose this cruise because of the price, the itinerary, and I'd never cruised on RC before. And I won't be back. RC- if you do NOTHING else, you must institute a seminar for First Time RC Cruisers ONLY. Have one per each 5 ... Read More
I choose this cruise because of the price, the itinerary, and I'd never cruised on RC before. And I won't be back. RC- if you do NOTHING else, you must institute a seminar for First Time RC Cruisers ONLY. Have one per each 5 days at sea. (Let's face it - the longer the cruise, the older the passenger, the more we need review!) This seminar should be all about the loyalty program. During this seminar, you should treat us like were were Platinum, and then tell us how we get to be like that on every RC cruise! Explain all the levels and what they mean, etc. Raffles do seem to be good, too! Jim and I kept running into places we couldn't go (breakfast in Chops Grille?!?!) or perqs we couldn't get and we had NO IDEA what Diamond Plus meant or how to get it!! There were MANY other little things (two levels of approval to get Housekeeping to bring me some lotion; uncharging for everything; no chocolates on the pillow). The Brilliance is in great need of updating. My sink was broken and there were large divots in the wall. And why did I have to hear my neighbors flush their toilet, sing, or turn on their TV? Oh wait, here's another: The enrichment activities that I attended were great! BUT they were led by fellow passengers and apparently RC didn't do anything to compensate them. That's rude. RC could offer them dinner in Chops or one of the other eat-for-fee places. I thought that was so cheesy. I gave them 3 stars because their were things that were out of their control and, more importantly, there were some amazing, fun, outrageous, beautiful, hysterical (I participated in The Quest.), great times on this vacation. we did have some really fantastic times!!!!! And the cabins were considerably bigger than those on the Princess ships we know. On a brighter note, we'll be doing the Panama Canal on March with Princess. I called them. They still do pillow chocolates and every cabin gets lotion, bath gel, shampoo. and conditioner in their own private little containers. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Barcelona departure on a 14 day crossing to Tampa. Excellent food, lots of daytime events, good evening entertainment. The ship is large enough to have many things to do but not so big as to be lost in a flood of humanity. Several ... Read More
Barcelona departure on a 14 day crossing to Tampa. Excellent food, lots of daytime events, good evening entertainment. The ship is large enough to have many things to do but not so big as to be lost in a flood of humanity. Several shows, including two musical/dance acts, comic, ventriloquist, tenors, "Sammy Davis" type Las Vegas show, and an unbelievably funny juggler. The Captain and crew were extremely friendly and welcoming. Not many kids on the trip, probably due to the length of the cruise and school schedules. More older people and a pretty good mix of US/Canadians and Europeans. Most of the port visits were excellent opportunities to see historical cites of the Portuguese and Spanish empires. A historian provided hour-long presentations on the port cities and what to do/see/visit. The port call list originally included San Juan, PR, but was replaced due to the extensive hurricane damage. The substitute port, Basseterre, St. Kitts, was a disappointment, with three cruise ships overwhelming a squalid little town in sore need of revitalization. If your trip includes a visit there, take a trip anywhere else on the island and stay out of the town. A historian provided hour-long presentations on the cities We used the "My Time" meal schedule and it gave us more flexibility on our dinner time. Never used the main dining room for lunch. The all-you-can-drink booze package for the trip of this length was super expensive and only the most hard-core drinker could justify the expense. An option for a 10 drink card was better for us. In addition, a dining option permitted use of the speciality restaurants for four visits a reasonable price. The three formal nights included one Captain's reception but the suggested attire (tux/suit) was widely ignored. I would do this again but not more than about every five years. I understant Royal Carribbean has a strong loyality program so I will check this out for the future. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
-- Chef's table was awesome, best food experience ever. - all staff was friendly and very helpful. - loved it so much rebooked in April for Galveston to Barcelona. Only wish it were on the Brilliance. - Most of the ports ... Read More
-- Chef's table was awesome, best food experience ever. - all staff was friendly and very helpful. - loved it so much rebooked in April for Galveston to Barcelona. Only wish it were on the Brilliance. - Most of the ports were great to walk around in even great if you did not book any excursions. - Staff planned activities kept you as involved as you wanted to be. - Cabin was nice, a little dated but very clean. Our housekeeper was amazing. - Food was good, sometimes the listed dinner was not exactly what was served but it was still good. - Windjammer was always crowded but they always had plenty of food and it was kept clean - it was amazing to see how they kept refreshing all the food section, would close down for one meal and be ready for the next within 30 minutes. Great job Brilliance! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Love transatlantic cruising for the opportunity to "unplug" and truly relax. We started in Barcelona which was interesting this year due to the demonstrations over the secession movement. We had a challenge getting to our hotel ... Read More
Love transatlantic cruising for the opportunity to "unplug" and truly relax. We started in Barcelona which was interesting this year due to the demonstrations over the secession movement. We had a challenge getting to our hotel because of blocked roads. We had to walk the last half mile to the hotel with all of our luggage. Also witnessed a huge demonstration/rally in Cathedral Plaza....many thousands of people! No problems getting to the ship the following day. We stopped in Cartagena, Malaga and Funchal Madeira before crossing to St Kitts and then into Tampa. The Brilliance of the Seas is a nice size ship. The cabins are clean and decent size. Food was plentiful and good. The main dining room staff are always great. Manuel was a great waiter...been working on ships for many years....great stories to tell. Adrian is a great bartender in the Schooner Bar. Did not love the majority of the entertainment this year. The tenors show (Fourever, I think) was GREAT. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This transatlantic cruise consisted of port calls at Cartagena, Malaga, Funchal and St. Kitts. There were nine sea days including five in a row while doing the actual crossing. This was a nice mix of sea days and ports. Many have ... Read More
This transatlantic cruise consisted of port calls at Cartagena, Malaga, Funchal and St. Kitts. There were nine sea days including five in a row while doing the actual crossing. This was a nice mix of sea days and ports. Many have commented on the extremely loud volume of music at all locations and I found this to a problem as well. The Centrum events and the evening movie on the deck were the worst offenders. Distorted and almost painful. The Windjammer, Schooner Bar, Main Dining Room and Colony Club were extremely brightly lit, which made those areas much less pleasant than if the lighting was softer. It seemed they were maybe running out of some items and decided to wait until they returned to the US before replacing them. There were only two choices in the small cold cereal boxes at breakfast in the buffet and the bulk cereals seemed somewhat stale. Beer was two months past the expiry date and coffee was not hot. The string trio in the Centrum and Schooner Bar was fabulous and all appreciated their music. Sea conditions were extremely smooth for this crossing and even the captain commented that it was not even necessary to deploy the stabilizers much on this cruise. This is a nice size ship to do a crossing on and I would like to do some more with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This was our first Transatlantic cruise! We had done a back to back and really enjoyed both! Highly recommend! After the Med. Cruise this was a great way to relax, DANCE, and unwind. Really liked the fact we had 25 hour days instead of 23 ... Read More
This was our first Transatlantic cruise! We had done a back to back and really enjoyed both! Highly recommend! After the Med. Cruise this was a great way to relax, DANCE, and unwind. Really liked the fact we had 25 hour days instead of 23 hour days! We made a lot of great friends and had some new experiences. The crew on the Brilliance was amazing. Everyone seemed so happy to be working on this ship. I would say that 95% of the crew and passengers were happy and fun to be around. A very rare thing these days. We have already booked another cruise followed by a Transatlantic for 2018 and we can't wait! If you haven't tried this, and you have the time...go for it. The weather was great, sea was calm...we danced every night! The bands were great. Brilliance is a great size ship and we highly recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
This is our 25th cruise, 4th transatlantic cruise and 4th with Royal Caribbean. Smooth seas all the way, we were sorry to not stop in San Juan and RCI substituted St. Kitts. This sailing on Royal Caribbean felt like being in economy ... Read More
This is our 25th cruise, 4th transatlantic cruise and 4th with Royal Caribbean. Smooth seas all the way, we were sorry to not stop in San Juan and RCI substituted St. Kitts. This sailing on Royal Caribbean felt like being in economy class on the airlines. A noticable decrease in food quality plus they have cut, cut, cut the ships staff in all areas from house keeping, dining room and windjamer, to all other areas of the ship. RCI has dropped from one of our favorites to a least favorite. RCI is charging extra $ for everything possible and unless you are diamond class or higher you feel like and are treated like a second class person. The atrium continues to be a noise problem as Very Loud is the standard for all entertainment. RCI continues to allow smoking and a person can just sit down and smoke without playing any machines!. Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
I have never been to Spain! (sounds like a great song lyric) This was such a great deal, and the itinerary couldn't be beat. The staff was fantastic, from the MDR to the Room Steward (thank you, Joseph, for all the hard work)., ... Read More
I have never been to Spain! (sounds like a great song lyric) This was such a great deal, and the itinerary couldn't be beat. The staff was fantastic, from the MDR to the Room Steward (thank you, Joseph, for all the hard work)., to Guest Services, to the Entertainment. This was the most amazing trip of my life, to date. There was some wear on the upholstered chairs in the Colony Club, but other than that the ship looked absolutely fine. Where else can you see a juggler, a ventriloquist, singers, dancers, pickpockets and the like without getting in your car and dealing with parking, etc.? I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of this vacation, and especially having lunch with the Activities staff along with other solo cruisers. I did make suggestions to add more gluten-free options in the dining venues, as well as low sodium. I would definitely go again! Read Less
Sail Date November 2017
Funny how we had come across this cruise. This was a post retirement cruise originally booked on a 22 day Holland American TA which cruised through the Mediterranean and ended in Rome. Back in August we were advised that the ... Read More
Funny how we had come across this cruise. This was a post retirement cruise originally booked on a 22 day Holland American TA which cruised through the Mediterranean and ended in Rome. Back in August we were advised that the Oosterdam's repositioning itinerary was switched to an Alaskan location and they offered to switch our booking with our discounted fare intact to a different ship. What we couldn't agree on what was the difference in accommodations from a private balcony aboard the Oosterdam to a Lanai (Balcony on shared deck) on the Westerdam. As it was we were left scrambling to find a new cruise with a different cruise line. Royal Caribbean most nearly duplicated the lost itinerary and it was only a couple of months prior to sailing as we started exploring airfares that my wife expressed an interest in a TA. It hit me then that the Brilliance was repositioning to Barcelona and was the same ship that we had been booked for the trip to the Med on. My wife admitted that she was concerned about the length of the TA and the number of sea days but after awhile she really grew to enjoy them and their relaxed atmosphere. Our longest voyages prior had all been 7 day trips. Sometimes it made getting off on excursion days debatable... (But make certain you get off the ship at least). It was a fantastic trip and if you have the time a really great way to enjoy a cruise ship and an affordable fare. We were cheated out of nothing regarding ship entertainment or food. If anything there seemed to be less pressure to buy drinks and what not. Overall a very relaxed atmosphere on board. If I had to list a problem, and certainly this was nothing that RCCL could have done anything about were the seas. Across the mighty Atlantic there is a great variety of weather to be encountered. We had a couple of rough days, nothing really dramatic just enough to make you a little unsteady on your feet with the winds out on the open deck strong enough to push you around a little. I learned two valuable tips though on this cruise that I would like to share. First thanks to all the Cruise Critic members. You're posts and tips are invaluable to the less informed cruisers. One night while perusing our roll call one of the members advised that he was giving up his aft cabin on Deck 9 as he was switching to a different cruise. I jumped at the opportunity, logged onto the RCCL website, found the cabin, contacted a RCCL travel agent and for just a couple of hundred dollars more had upgraded to the slightly more spacious aft cabin with the larger balcony and wake view. This only happened due to staying informed here on Cruise Critic. I responded to another post on Cruise Critic. A group of experienced cruisers who had cruised together previously had arranged to have a table in the MDR late seating together. A late cancellation opened a couple of spots and the post was asking if anyone wanted to join them. We took a chance and how fortunate we were. It was a delightful group of RCCL Diamond Plus members who sort of took us under their wings. But it was the diversity of their life's and backgrounds that made dinner such a fun experience each evening as we shared our days and our stories and our enjoyments with each others. We left having felt after 14 days we had made friends for a lifetime. So the next time you cruise, instead of leaving it up the Maitre D', try your own little social experiment and put yourself a large table together made up from the many fine folks of Cruise Critic. Be certain to change seats every evening, just to break things up and enjoy the best two hours of every day. All it takes is one person requesting the cruise lines to "link" your reservations and can be handled quite easily. Trust me, it is one thing you will never regret doing. This was supposed to be a review of our voyage on the Brilliance of the Seas and has turned into a review of Cruise Critic but it was only through CC that our stay aboard the Brilliance turned as memorable as it was. Overall our voyage was most definitely worth awarding Five Stars. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
Chose this cruise to top up cruise points. Main dining room food was the best I have had on RCCL for the last 3 cruises. CHOPS specialty food and service was superb Govani's left a lot to be desired with both the food and the ... Read More
Chose this cruise to top up cruise points. Main dining room food was the best I have had on RCCL for the last 3 cruises. CHOPS specialty food and service was superb Govani's left a lot to be desired with both the food and the service. Steak was burned, then the replacement was raw so had to send back a third time. Seafood gave the impression that it was a leftover. Our waiter made me fell like he wanted us to eat up and leave - like you would in a cheap diner. Also took an inordinate amount of time to serve coffee when it was requested. Definitely not do another trans-Atlantic. My best memories of an RCCL cruise ship was cruising on Oasis class ALLURE OF THE SEAS. I felt that Brilliance of The Seas was getting a bit tired looking and was in need of a refit. For example several chairs in the main dining room where not only thread bare, they had ware holes on the edges with frayed threads. All in all, I felt the crew was better than the ship. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
This was a last minute decision that provided a super bargain. The ship was great and we had great service on this repositioning cruise. The entertainment was fabulous. There were plenty of opportunities to get involved. Good shore ... Read More
This was a last minute decision that provided a super bargain. The ship was great and we had great service on this repositioning cruise. The entertainment was fabulous. There were plenty of opportunities to get involved. Good shore excursion options. The ship stopped at good ports of call. The only negative for this trip was the quality of the food. We travel because of the need for relaxation and for the total travel experience. Overall, Royal Caribbean (RC) provides for those needs. However, we have noticed a considerable deterioration in the quality of the food on the voyages with this last cruise being the poorest quality we have experienced on RC. The quality of service remains exemplary in all areas. The institutional style food in the dining room left a lot to be desired. There was little flavor in many of the dishes. Room service food was the poorest I have experienced anywhere in my International travels. Read Less
Sail Date April 2017
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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