1,621 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We chose a cruise to Cozumel/Key West and shortly after booking the itinerary was changed. We ended up going to Key west/Nassau/Coco Cay. We did not want to go to Nassau as we had been there so many times before. The change was made months ... Read More
We chose a cruise to Cozumel/Key West and shortly after booking the itinerary was changed. We ended up going to Key west/Nassau/Coco Cay. We did not want to go to Nassau as we had been there so many times before. The change was made months ago, and had nothing to do with recent virus concerns. We tried to get them to let us change to another cruise or to give us an onboard credit but our requests were refused. If we wanted to change the cruise we would lose our deposits. So we went on with the trip and enjoyed it anyway. The food was pretty good. Our dining room server was a highlight. He was fantastic. Our cabin steward was ok. He got a little irritated that my friend and I asked him to split our beds apart. Never had that happen before. We weren't as pleased with the entertainment as we have been on past cruises. The comedian was pretty funny and the impersonator was good. The trivia is something we always enjoy but didn't so much this time. We did a Highlights of Nassau tour and it wasn't worth the money or time. We should have just stayed on the ship. We enjoyed our day in Key West but it was crowded. We got a South Beach cabana at Coco Cay and we had a good time there. Our attendant was very good. I got sick with a stomach virus toward the end and had to spend the last day of the cruise in my room. They gave me free room service and called often to check on me. I went to the infirmary and they treated me well. Read Less
Sail Date March 2020
This was our 5th cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas and we were very disappointed. The MDR experience was terrible. The quality of the food was not good and serving roasted turkey any night is just plain cheap food and on our 5 night ... Read More
This was our 5th cruise on the Brilliance of the Seas and we were very disappointed. The MDR experience was terrible. The quality of the food was not good and serving roasted turkey any night is just plain cheap food and on our 5 night cruise it was offered twice. The menu choices have decreased and the items are mostly just plain cheap food. What everyone has always looked forward to was LOBSTER night and forget that there is not one. They offer a salmon ever night and it is the worst salmon I have ever tasted. Serve at least Norwegian if not Alaskan but the cheap farmed salmon they served is bad and way over cooked. During my 5 nights in the MDR the only thing I would say was really good was the escargot, that they do well. The Windjammer did have some pretty good food. The burgers are done the way they should be and the pizza is not bad. The choices are very good for breakfast and lunch and we cruised thru a few nights after dinner and it is probably a better choice than the MDR for dinner. We attended 4 nights of the main event shows and only one was acceptable. They are still doing a production show that they did 5 years ago, time to move on. We had booked another cruise on the Brilliance for this December and will go thru with it in hopes they get there game together. I feel that the Captain needs to get his Ship together and take care of business. Never did see him about the ship yet when we sail on Celebrity the Ship's Captain was always visible and even at the Dock at each port to welcome everyone back on board. Read Less
Sail Date February 2020
We live nearby but hadn’t cruised this ship since 2014. Booked it only 90 days out and ended up with an inside cabin as it was the only available Accessible. The deck 4 location was convenient to dining and Centrum. The ship was easy ... Read More
We live nearby but hadn’t cruised this ship since 2014. Booked it only 90 days out and ended up with an inside cabin as it was the only available Accessible. The deck 4 location was convenient to dining and Centrum. The ship was easy to board and mostly easy to get around even on Day 1. The staff are all pleasant and cheerful although not overly so. We enjoyed the cruise overall. The dining room staff and the food were excellent although the buffet in the MDR at breakfast and lunch was a bit ho-hum the menu items we tried were all good. Maybe because it’s an older ship the internet was slower than any prior Royal cruise I’ve experienced and the app and tv are not interactive so you cannot see your folio in real time. You can see the Daily Activities and deck plans and if you have restaurant reservations they show up in your calendar. Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 ... Read More
We are loyal to RCCL. We are beyond Diamond Plus and we like the deck plans on the Freedom and Voyager Class ships. Had on a gown and matching stiletto heels for formal nite and we had photos taken at three stations. Out of 15 pictures not a single one was a full length photo. Just waist up. These are STUPID photographers if they can't get formal photos from head to toe. What was the point of wearing a gown? If we need to request full length then post it!! We are sick of three nites of RCCL song and dance crew. Once or twice is sufficient. We have seen all the moves and putting on a different costume doesn't improve a thing. Add some other entertainers and variety. The live orchestra is to die for. This is the only line that continues to have the orchestra and they are pure talent. A joy to listen to. Best loyalty program on the seas. The Diamond lounge has no equal in the ships and lines that we have sailed. RCCL made extra provisions when they found that they had a larger number of this class of passengers and provided extra lounge space. Well done. The sizing in the shops is ridiculous. We find this on each ship. Lots of XL, 2XL and S sizes but a M or L are nearly non existent. This is on the first day so it is not that they are sold out for the sailing. They just don't bother to update the supply for each crew. We no longer book NextCruise. The deposit and the lack of flexibility for making a change has let us know they only want our money not to accommodate loyalists. The RCCL phone app is a joke. We tired for three days to bring up our stateroom account and could never get it to work. It is no longer accessible from the TV. We also could not get our internet package without going down to IT to have them fix it. That all needs some serious work. We think the food if good, plenty of selection and always restocked. If I had any complaint it would be that this smaller ship offers fewer soup choices than the larger ships. The dining room experience was great. We chose MyTime and never waits for more than a couple minutes. Menu options for dinner continues to shrink. Fewer choices. Very disappointed that I was charge an additional gratuity in the dining room for ordering the lobster for dinner. First NO LOBSTER on formal nite, which is poor on RCCLs part. I chose to pay an extra $30 for one small tail. Then they tagged on an 18% gratutity to it. That is obscene. I already paid for dinner and a gratuity I paid extra for the small tail and then to insult you with a tip to boot is beyond stupid RCCL. Embarkation and disembarkation was seamless and efficient. We had not issues with getting on or off at ports of call. Easy and organized. Staterooms on this era of ship as well as the Freedom Class era of ships is much more generous for storage. There are sufficient drawers, shelves and cupboards to store your items. No the case once you hit Oasis or above class. Cabins got smaller on the larger ships and the elimination of closet and drawer/shelf space is very obvious. We do have an issue with the new beds. The supports make it very difficult to store a suitcase under the bed. Then they store linens in bags under there as well. Seriously RCCL what do you expect us to do with our large bags? We have small complaints as you can see but we will still sail again. Booked for March! Read Less
Sail Date January 2020
Positives first: Ther food was good! I have no complaints about quality and taste and variety of food. The ship itself I had no problems with except the elevators don't work well and the ship really is in need of a refurbishment. One ... Read More
Positives first: Ther food was good! I have no complaints about quality and taste and variety of food. The ship itself I had no problems with except the elevators don't work well and the ship really is in need of a refurbishment. One small kiddie waterslide is so slow people stopped on it. It could be improved. I like the tall atrium and I like this size of ship. I just wish the cruise lines still gave some love to this type of ship, but they seem to be forgotten or used strictly for staff training for the bigger boats. If that was the case, our service quality made sense. Just wish they would warn you, AND garnish less in gratuities to make up for it. Service was the worst of any cruise ever. Made me realize how critical service really is to your experience. Toiletries and availability of forgotten items was abysmal. If you don't want to give away razors and dental floss for free, at least have more of these types of things for sale in the shops. Also, no hair conditioner? The 2in1 stuff is not sufficient for people with longer hair. Terrible. The choice of gift from Santa was horrifying. Messy and toxic. I don't want my kid tearing apart a fossil dig kit in my little cabin or making slime with borax powder! Who decided that? Worse than no gift. I cruised RCCL for Christmas of 2003 and the captain gave us all beautiful wheeled duffel bags. RCCL has really really come down in quality, I have to say. I really want to start a loyalty program with a cruise line and was hoping RCCL would be the one, but not after this cruise. Too many corners cut! Named this boat Walmart of the Seas. You have to check out pool towels with your Seapass card under threat of a $25 charge if you don't return them. Stupid. Just let people use the pool towels with no hassle OMG. If its that big of a deal, get smaller cheaper towels. Waiter spilled a dessert on my son who was in a tuxedo on formal night, Christmas. Didn't even offer to dry clean his jacket. I was mortified. We hadn't done our formal photos yet. Waiters clearly don't know their way around the kitchen/supplies. Couldn't get chocolate milk for our kids until the last night when I saw another waiter with it and pointed it out. They were constantly "shopping" our food and misdelivering it. Our room service order for Christmas breakfast was forgotten and then when I called at the end of our window to ask about it, they LIED saying it was because our cabin was too far away from the kitchen. It finally came 20 minutes later with NO SUGAR for the coffee and brie in the omelette which my husband hated. Who puts brie in an omelette? It has a bitter rind that is not good. Hair dryer was BROKEN in the cabin, and waiting for a replacement made us late to dinner. Just felt like everything that could have gone wrong, went wrong. The activities I wanted to do were either all full or really really lame and I was in tears by Christmas bedtime regretting my choice to spend the holiday on this boat. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise to celebrate my father's birthday and mine. I was surprised by how many other people on the cruise shared a Christmas Eve birthday with my dad. It made it even more fun. I have no idea if anyone else has a ... Read More
We chose this cruise to celebrate my father's birthday and mine. I was surprised by how many other people on the cruise shared a Christmas Eve birthday with my dad. It made it even more fun. I have no idea if anyone else has a Christmas birthday because there was no Happy Birthday singing in the MDR on Christmas Day. I don't know if it was because they were instructed not to, or because they just didn't know. Anyhow enough about my reasons, and more about the experience. I would certainly take another cruise on the Brilliance, and wouldn't mind it being another Christmas Cruise. It was the most festive Christmas. I had a wonderful time. I will explain the "4" rating which is only for minor bumps in the road. We arrived in Tampa on Sunday 12/22 and had a lovely dinner at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. We stayed at the Hampton Inn/Home2Suites a few blocks from the port. It was so close, we almost could have walked. I wish the hotel offered a park & cruise package. I didn't see one offered, but do know that other guests from the hotel did take a shuttle to the port. There is a lot of fun stuff to see in Tampa. I wish we had arrived a day earlier so we could have enjoyed the city. It was by far the easiest embarkation I have ever experienced. It took no more than 20 minutes from the time we parked our car to the time we set foot inside the ship. A quick trip up the elevator to the Windjammer and we had our first meal. We explored for a few minutes before the announcement that cabins were ready at1:00 if not a few minutes before. Dropped our stuff and headed out to explore. While not the largest ship, there was plenty to do. I enjoyed the smaller more intimate feeling of the ship. Crew: Not knowing the expectations of others, I am completely surprised by other reviews that talk about disinterested staff and lack of enthusiasm. Everyone we encountered was helpful, friendly and enthusiastic. We felt so welcomed by everyone. Lots of great holiday music and a festive attitude all around, from guests and crew members alike. There were quite a few crew members trying to get people to purchase dining packages, but they were very polite and didn't push the issue if you told them no. Cabin: Cabin was a balcony cabin on the 7th deck pretty close to the Centrum (7594) Travel companions in 7592. Cabins felt pretty small, but we had a nice size balcony which was enjoyed more frequently than I usually enjoy it on a cruise. If you have room in your luggage and don't mind bringing them, you might want to bring a few extra hangers if you are an overpacker or like to have all of your clothes hanging. There is not much storage space. Being so close to the Centrum, it was a bit loud at night. We were generally out and about most nights until after Centrum activities were over, except the first night when the seas were a little rough. If you are a light sleeper or noise bothers you, I would advise to find a cabin a bit further away from the action. Casino/Centrum: I didn't notice the smoke smell from the Casino in the Centrum, but it was absolutely suffocating once in the casino. I couldn't walk through the casino. I had to either go up a deck or down a deck and walk to the forward stairs or elevators if I needed to get from an area aft of the casino on Deck 6 to an area forward of the casino. I didn't notice too much smoke in any other area of the ship. Dining: The Windjammer food was pretty tasty. It is what it is so there's not much to say. The Unlimited Dining Package was not applicable for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day because they had special holiday menus. Not being able to use the unlimited package for two nights made it inefficient to purchase a package. We dined in Chops on the first night of the cruise. Had a wonderful server, Viseli (sp?) from Turkey. He has a wonderful personality and is a top notch server. I had the goat cheese salad, which is a classic I always look forward to when I go to Chops. It did NOT disappoint. My father said his filet was tough, which is so unusual for a filet. I had the same thing, a petite filet, and mine was just fine. We had breakfast in MDR on the first morning at sea- Day 2 of the cruise/Christmas Eve before we headed out. Both of us had Eggs Benedict. It was loaded with spinach. If you like spinach, you would love it. If you don't, you may need to deconstruct. There was easily enough spinach on one half of my husband's breakfast to make a small salad. Our first night in the MDR on Christmas Eve was good. Food was better than I have had in a while on some of Royal's ships. Christmas Dinner was edible, but that's about it. The Caesar salad was watery and the lettuce was not crisp. The turkey dinner was supposed to have stuffing/dressing which was nowhere to be found. The roasted root vegetables included beets which tasted like the dirt from which they were dug up. The turkey was decent. The mashed potatoes edible and the other vegetables were fine. Night 4 was in Giovanni's Table. Our server was a bit rushed, despite the fact the restaurant was practically empty the entire night. I don't think more than 4 table were sat during our entire meal. The food was good. I very much enjoyed my bucatini with Bolognese sauce. By far the best part of my meal. The tiramisu was enjoyable. Night 5, the final night, we returned to Chops. I had the petite filet again which was just as enjoyable as night 1. The rest of the family had the rack of lamb. They all report that it was exceptionally good. Plenty of entertainment on the ship. I found the production shows to be a little lacking in terms of talent, but the entertainers were engaging enough. Lots of activities to keep everyone from children to the aged entertained. We very much enjoyed the entertainer in the King & Country pub, where we spent the majority of our evenings. Without fail, that venue gets more and more crowded as the week goes on no matter which ship we sail. Service was great everywhere we went. Ports and Shore Excursions: We had two ports- Key West and Cozumel. We purchased the Conch Train Tour through the Shore Excursions department with Royal. It was by far the most disorganized and unenjoyable experience we had- not the tour itself which was redeemed by a fabulous driver on the Conch Train. His name was Wilson. But getting off the ship and into town was a complete disaster. Whoever had the "paddle" to lead us off took off really fast and no one knew where to go or how to get off the ship for the tour. Our group was separated into several small splinter groups as people tried to figure out what was going on. We were given stickers for the regular trolley tour and told we had to get in the trolley to be taken into town for the tour, despite the fact there were conch train vehicles coming to the pier to pick up folks. Our group was separated into at least 3 groups to get into town. Once in town, we had to ask others where to go to get on the Conch Train. There was no direction whatsoever. Once we finished the tour, we were told we could take a trolley back to the ship but were not told that we had to go to a different location to be taken back to the ship, which was about 3 blocks from where we were dropped off when we first go into town. Would recommend you just do your own thing in Key West. Tours were a debacle. Did our own thing in Cozumel. Had brunch at Palmera's and shopped for some souvenirs. None of the bumps in the road were enough to spoil the cruise but they did bring my overall rating down a touch. The biggest problem with the shore excursion. I would definitely go on the Brilliance again. If you are looking for a great way to spend Christmas with the family without the stress of cleaning and prepping for visitors, this is the way to go. Brilliance was BRILLIANT. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it was a four night cruise leaving front tampa which is the easiest port for us, because it was a Christmas cruise that still gets us home for the big day! From the very beginning it was one pleasant experience ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it was a four night cruise leaving front tampa which is the easiest port for us, because it was a Christmas cruise that still gets us home for the big day! From the very beginning it was one pleasant experience after the other. We found the entertainment to be great and plentiful. Our room steward was super, always keeping us with a bucket of ice from the first day. The food was great for the most part. Our last cruise was on the Princess line and we think their food was better but we never went hungry! The waiter was great and fast and knowledgeable. The ship was beautiful and very clean. It was a smaller ship which we actually prefer. The boarding process was smooth and efficient and the key program streamlined everything as promised! It was wonderful lying poolside in the warm sunshine listening to Christmas music. The staff truly made us feel like there was no where they’d rather be than partying with us! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Brilliance of the Seas 12-7-14-2019 I will try to make this review as short as possible while covering a variety of relevant points most cruisers are concerned with. After 29 cruises and years of sailing the “Mega Liners”, the ... Read More
Brilliance of the Seas 12-7-14-2019 I will try to make this review as short as possible while covering a variety of relevant points most cruisers are concerned with. After 29 cruises and years of sailing the “Mega Liners”, the wife and I decided to switch things up and take a journey back to where our cruising adventure began years ago, a smaller ship. After reading a variety of reviews we took the plunge and booked RCCL’s “Brilliance of the Sea” out of Tampa from 12-7-14 2019. In short, overall the Brilliance of the Seas met and at times exceeded our cruising expectations. Port of Tampa: Traveling to the port was easy; however, there is a significant amount of road construction so make sure you plan accordingly if driving to and from your cruise. While traveling was relatively easy, once at the port we were very disappointed with the lack of organization concerning baggage drop off prior to RCCL’s main terminal for passenger check in. Port agents would not allow anyone into the terminal until bags were checked with porters; however, the porters were few and far between. After 20 minutes of “Porter Searching” with many frustrated and unhappy people, we finally found a porter willing to take our bags. Once our bags were taken, check in at the RCCL desk was flawless, putting us on the ship within 15 minutes. Once on the ship we were quickly greeted by RCCL staff and were encouraged to explore the ship until our room was ready at 1:30. Although cruise critics highly discourage passengers getting on the ship from immediately going to the buffet (WindJammer Cafe) we have always found this information wrong, so, rather than exploring the ship we headed to the buffet where the Brilliance exceeded our expectation. The large dining area is very clean, well maintained and provided ample amount of seating with the buffet offering a wide verity of salads, carved meats and a verity of ethnic and American offerings. During the cruise, breakfast stations included everything from cereals, fruits, lox and cooked to order eggs and omelets. Lunch on the other hand offered a different verity of foods each day to include burgers, pizza, steaks, pasta fish and great ethnic dishes. The WindJammer continued to impress offering a different food theme night for each night of the cruise including; Mexican, Seafood (outstanding) Asian and Chinese. Several important notes about the WindJammer café; hand carved meats were offered during all serving times which we found quite impressive. Next service was outstanding, seldom did we ever have to get our own drinks and used plates were quickly removed by respectful attendants as soon as you finished your meal. While buffets are not for everyone, RCCL exceeded our expectations with the WindJammer Café’. During our cruise we also used the “My-Time Dinning” program in the main-dining room. Here we found the menu to be limited. The food was cooked to order and overall “good;” however, service seemed to be slow. The Brilliance of the Seas offers the typical pay restaurants (Chops, Geovanni’s and Asian) however having taken many cruses over the years, we have found these specialty restaurants to provide excellent service and specialty menu items; however, overpriced therefore we choose not to participate so we can’t adequately provide an evaluation of these services. The Ship: Brilliance of the Seas is and extremely beautiful and well-maintained ship for her age. After cruising new “Mega Ships” for years, you can understand our hesitancy to book such an old ship; however, we were not disappointed. Entering the Brilliance, one immediately encounters a magnificent 12 story atrium complete with stage, grand piano and six glass elevators. In our case the atrium was decorated with a beautiful Christmas theme including a two-story Christmas tree. Touring the ship found some typical RCCL lounges including the Schooner Bar, Crown and Anchor, Sky Lounge and the Colney Club. Although these are typical lounges offered by RCCL each was very well furnished, maintained and clean that provided relatively quick bar and table service by friendly staff members. There are additional bars and lounges found on the Brilliance; however, although we found them to provide excellent service, they lacked modern amenities such as large screen TV’s. The pool area does have a large outdoor TV screen where sports and movies are shown each night. Brilliance does have three pools with hot tubs, one for adults, one for all cruisers and another children’s pool with slides. Several things need to be pointed out here. The Brilliance of the Seas is a smaller ship so understandably pools are smaller. Also, interestingly the hot tubs although the water is hot, they do not have any bubbles, essentially making you feel like you are sitting in a hot bathtub. (Not sure if this was intentional or maintenance issue, but every tub removed the button that activates the bubbles) Other typical attractions offered by the Brilliance of the Sea included; Putt, Putt Golf, Basketball Volley-Ball courts, and Shuffleboard. Room: 8540 (Balcony) Here we must say we were very impressed on server levels. Understanding this ship is aged, it offered more storage than any other ship we have been on including the “Mega Ships.” The Brilliance offers plenty of storage space for cruisers should it ever embark on a 14-21-day cruise. Room amenities were updated, clean with standard flat screen TV. The standard balcony had plenty of room with two chairs and a coffee table which we used quite often. Simply stated, overall, we found the Brilliance of the Seas to be a beautiful, modern, well maintained ship offering most things cruisers are seeking. Entertainment: Here the Brilliance of the Sea did not exceed our expectations. The Brilliance of the Seas offered six nights of main theater shows with only four nights of only “Good” entertainment which included a Comedian, Broadway Show, musical impressionist and the Farwell show. The other two nights were just sad! Instead of an “Welcome Aboard Show” on the first night of the cruise Brilliance of the Seas had a comedian who sorely disappointed everyone. The next night was a “Tribute to the band Journey.” To say this show was sad would be an understanding, in-fact by the end of the show, 70% or the audience walked out making us almost feel sorry for the performers. Other entertainment offered on the Brilliance was very substandard included Aunt Betty’s 80’s Rock Band and solo Guitar hits. As far as entertainment, Brilliance of the Seas and RCCL really missed the mark and must step up and provide better quality entertainment. Itinerary: The Brilliance of the Seas included four islands on the cruise; Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Costa Maya and Belize. It is interesting to point out, the only island the Brilliance of the Seas docked was Costa Maya. All other islands required guest tendering with Belize requiring a 45-minute tender ride to and from the ship. Several significant passenger complaints were issued concerning fees associated with port charges and reimbursement and safety issues getting on and off tenders due to rough waters. Typical tours are offered by Brilliance of the Seas consisted of RCCL to and from the ship transportation with guarantee the ship won’t leave without you should your tour be delayed for any reason. On our cruise this guarantee was enforced as a tour was significantly delayed and the Brilliance of the Seas waited for their return before setting sail. De-embarkation: The average passenger age for our cruise had to be approximately 68-70 years old. Much to our surprise, 60-70% of the passengers chose to walk off the ship during disembarkation. As you can imagine, lines were long and due to the early hour passenger attitudes were poor; however, Brilliance of the Sea staff did a great job of maintaining order and directing the crowds. When it was all said and done all walking passengers were off the ship within 40 minutes. Final thoughts: Brilliance of the Seas is a wonderful ship that provided a great value and a vacation experience. The cruise Director and staff went out of their way to make sure each cruiser had a wonderful time. On the other hand, while most people take the opportunity to review the ship, I think it is only fair to also note and review some passenger’s behaviors. Here I must say we were often disappointed by fellow passengers’ grumblings, trivial complaints and sometimes disrespect for cruise staff. Sadly, at one point when a cruise staff waiter inquired if they could get anything else for passenger, the passenger is over-heard saying “yes, you can get away from me.” Simply put; unacceptable! I would submit to each cruiser, just because ones on vacation doesn’t give them the right to treat staff members disrespectfully. Put yet another way; act like adults and treat others the same way you would want to be treated. As for the complainers, as with anything, if you’re looking for something to complain about, it won’t take you long before you find it. Just a small point for all to ponder, I am reasonably certain most of us can remember how you felt when our employer/boss treated us disrespectfully, was over critical or complained about how you did your job. Again, Brilliance of the Seas is great vacation option for all. While its size keeps it from competing with the amenities offered by Mega ships, it clearly offers great vacation, value, service while providing a wonderful experience for all ages. Happy Cruising! Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We went on this cruise to help a good friend of ours celebrate her Birthday. We managed to keep it a secret and totally surprised her and it was awesome. The cruise was wonderful and we had a really great time. I love the fact that ... Read More
We went on this cruise to help a good friend of ours celebrate her Birthday. We managed to keep it a secret and totally surprised her and it was awesome. The cruise was wonderful and we had a really great time. I love the fact that we can now drive home in a few hours from all ports in Florida. Royal Caribbean has been our main cruise line since 1999. The ships are always very clean and nicely decorated for any occasion. This one was decorated for Christmas and it was beautiful. Royal Caribbean never ceases to amaze me with the entertainment or excursions they are always top notch. Food is always very good weather you eat in the windjammer cafeteria or the main dining room. They also have specialty dining which we frequent quite often. Services are always great as they always seem to have a very nice crew. I have never been disappointed in a Royal Caribbean Cruise and look forward to others we have booked. . Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We were a big group of kids and adults and overall we had a great time. Embarkation was smooth - we arrived early and were waiting in the terminal before boarding. Once we got on it was onto the Windjammer for lunch before a quick nap ... Read More
We were a big group of kids and adults and overall we had a great time. Embarkation was smooth - we arrived early and were waiting in the terminal before boarding. Once we got on it was onto the Windjammer for lunch before a quick nap in our stateroom. Cabin was to be expected - inside cabin, felt a little small, but we didn't spend much time there. Our steward was amazing. Dining was great. We ate at the windjammer for breakfast and MDR for dinner.. lunch we were typically out in the ports of call so didn't eat on the ship. The two sea days we did lunch at MDR and Windjammer. When you have kids they really cater to you and your experience.. anything the kids want they do their best to get! Food was good, no 'fake meat' steaks, we had multiple appetizers daily. Windjammer was always good, unless you are very picky there is something for everyone. Entertainment and activities were basic - did not enjoy the Journey tribute too much; mainly because I don't know most of their songs. The comedian was decent, the motown performer was good (we had seen him on previous RCL cruises) and the production shows were good. Because it is a small ship we weren't expecting much; on a bigger ship this caliber of shows would have been disappointing. We booked all of our excursions separately - however the biggest complaint of the cruise was that we had to tender in 3 of the 4 ports. This made getting on and off the ship extremely frustrating. There was significant miscommunication on when and where to line up from the tender; the crew couldn't get their stories straight. Coming back from Cozumel we were on the last tender and from the time we lined up to the time we stepped foot back on the ship it took us 1hr and 45 minutes. This was ridiculous! Other tenders took 15-30 minutes. On disembarkation we wanted to walk off the ship with our luggage. Again, there was miscommunication on when and where to line up for this group; we were stuck in an elevator bay while people were moving but not us.. we were told we were in the right place.. until finally one crew member had to move us to get into the line where we really were supposed to go! Overall, operationally they seemed pretty disorganized. All in all, a good trip without some issues here and there.. for the price we paid, it was well worth it. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
Biggest factor was price balcony cabin for under 2000. Most of the crew acted like this was their first cruise inefficient and slow and many mistakes. Music was the wrong era for the age group on the ship. Shows were not that good most ... Read More
Biggest factor was price balcony cabin for under 2000. Most of the crew acted like this was their first cruise inefficient and slow and many mistakes. Music was the wrong era for the age group on the ship. Shows were not that good most people walked out on Absolute Journey they were terrible. Both Comics were good and Finis ? was great. I could not get over on one show night they showed a movie no live show not even a bad one. Tendered into Cozumel never have before a real mess took over an hour to go 2 miles from ship to dock. Only one crew member scanning sail pass disembarking and embarking took forever line kept backing up on tender and had to stop to let them catch up. Waiters got the dinner order wrong several times. Family in the cabin above me must have been dribbling bowling balls complained but got no relief. Cabin 9240 Only crew member that was efficient was our room steward very good. During announcements in the public area the music was not shut off during so could not be heard. Had purchased the Key was supposed to get priority service. During the checkin we were told because of the Key our room would be ready as soon as we boarded not true all the room corridors locked down. Didn't need VIP treatment during shows room not full. Priority disembark was told to go to Main dining and wait to be led off during the hour and half wait I asked several crew members if we were going off first and they said yes would be shortly as we watched lines of people leaving the ship finally I found an officer to complain to and he led us to ramp only an hour late so another untruth. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
For 20 years high Seas Rally has used RCCL only. When your the best why look elsewhere? In the dining room we had Made Dinata and Polvin Vaz as our wait staff. How absulutly wonderful they were. After dining with them once, we ... Read More
For 20 years high Seas Rally has used RCCL only. When your the best why look elsewhere? In the dining room we had Made Dinata and Polvin Vaz as our wait staff. How absulutly wonderful they were. After dining with them once, we requested them every evening. One eveing they we full and we had to be seated elsewhere. Oh my gosh you could tell the difference. Made and Polvin were outgoing, kind, attenative, funny and very attenative to details. They helped make this cruise outstanding. I feel that all the staff were very friendly. I think they like our full chartered group of bikers. While on board, we were able to attend the taste of royal. What an outstanding wonderful lunch experience that was. I would encourage everyone to try this. My only request is to let us know what restaurants the food come from. I already booked another cruise on the Harmony of the Seas and want to know where to dine from the food we had at the Taste of Royal. Overall, I love RCCL and have no desire to try another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date December 2019
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Tampa and we wanted to just get away for a week. Embarkation was easy, because we are Emerald and can bypass some lines. We had a large balcony stateroom, which was fine....except for the filth ... Read More
We chose this cruise because it sailed from Tampa and we wanted to just get away for a week. Embarkation was easy, because we are Emerald and can bypass some lines. We had a large balcony stateroom, which was fine....except for the filth on the sheer drapes at the balcony door. They were grimy and actually crunchy to the touch. We were Anytime Dining, since we had booked fairly recently. Luckily, we chose to eat in the specialty dining rooms for three nights, so we had 3 excellent meals. The Asian restaurant, the steak house and the Italian restaurant all had wonderful food and excellent service. Service in the MDR was also excellent, but the food was spotty. We actually ate upstairs at the buffet on the last night and found it to be very good. Breakfasts and lunches at the buffet were very good: many choices, including lots of fresh salads for lunch. Coffee onboard was excellent. We booked no excursions, as we've been in the western Caribbean many times. Truthfully, we were sadly disappointed overall with the RCCL on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
Embarking and disembarking on this ship were very well organized and went quickly. The ports of call on this trip were excellent. We got to stay overnight in Lisbon, Portugal which gave extra time to see the area. It was our first time ... Read More
Embarking and disembarking on this ship were very well organized and went quickly. The ports of call on this trip were excellent. We got to stay overnight in Lisbon, Portugal which gave extra time to see the area. It was our first time in all of the ports except Barcelona where we departed from. Cartagena felt very safe to walk around to all of the main historic sites which were not far from the dock Malaga and Seville were excellent stops. One of the most beautiful scenic stops was Ponta Delgada in the Azores. This is a must see, and we were fortunate to have good weather. This is a very nice size ship, one of our favorite with a lot of windows including glass elevators facing the ocean. All of the crew that we interacted with were very friendly. The food was very good and we got to experience Chops and Giovanni's which were both top shelf. The entertainment on this trip were the best ever; we are still talking about it and listening to the CD's that we bought on board. Jimmy Hopper a singer/entertainer from Vegas, The Barricade Boys who had the most incredible harmony and Mary-Jess, an incredibly talented young singer. I would make this exact trip again in order to see more things in the ports. Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
sorry to say the service and food at the main dining room was very very poor the daily activities seemed for nursery tots.The music and singers around the ship were made for nursing home entertainment.They sang and played the same ... Read More
sorry to say the service and food at the main dining room was very very poor the daily activities seemed for nursery tots.The music and singers around the ship were made for nursing home entertainment.They sang and played the same things all through the crossing. Now to say that the royal caribbean dancers and orchestra were very good as always.Their shows were very good. The movie theater is very poorly kept most of the seats are broken.The food at the windjammer was much better and for the first time in our 25th cruise we never went back to the dining room,The maître d was very rude to us made us feel very uncomfortable so with that and being the food and service was so poor we decided not to return during our crossing.This is what we saw and felt I am sure not everyone felt this way though the majority if people I spoke to on board were complaining about the food ,service and extreme bordom, Read Less
Sail Date November 2019
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our ... Read More
As I much prefer the smaller ships, this was a perfect fit. The Brilliance is in good shape overall. We were in a Grand Suite. Our room was clean and in wonderful condition. Our cabin steward, Luis, was attentive to all and any of our needs. The concierge, Amit, was very helpful in all facets especially with getting off the ship quickly at the ports of call and disembarkation. As for the food. Having been on many RCCI cruises, I feel the quality of the food has slipped considerably. While the service in the main dining rooms is superb, the food is below standard. The Windjammer is same old same old. The rest of the crew was awesome. Good entertainment, happy staff overall. The ports of call were great, however too much in a short period of time. A bit exhausting if you have never been to Europe and want to see as much as possible. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
This cruise had good reviews but now I realize the reviews are from Royal Caribbean lifers. FYI if you have kids the ship attracts a majority of older people. There was only 1 main dining room aside from the buffet. I felt pressured to pay ... Read More
This cruise had good reviews but now I realize the reviews are from Royal Caribbean lifers. FYI if you have kids the ship attracts a majority of older people. There was only 1 main dining room aside from the buffet. I felt pressured to pay extra to eat at the specialty dining rooms because the salespeople were always standing at the entrance to the buffet. Cleaning was poor, I found false eyelashes on my bed when we checked in. They hide the vegetarian and Indian menus in the main dining room. You have to ask if there are any other menu options. Our server asked us to give them good reviews which made us uncomfortable. The chef and the cooks somehow made everything taste similar. On the bright side we didn't gain any weight. Our rooms smelled musty. The first night I could not sleep, there was a terrible noise possibly from the engine. The second night about 6 of us stood in the hallway talking about the noise. The ship sent someone to investigate and it got better. We were on level 3. Entertainment was good except for the jugglers which were silly and boring. Overall do not recommend. One of our excursions was cancelled and the staff at the excursions desk was very helpful. I also found the staff to be more into talking to each other than into helping us. The guys pushing the coffee cart kept power walking by us without a word. It took me 2 days to realise they had coffee and tea and I could ask them to stop by my table. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
If you want to pay a lot for a low-cost rip-off cruise in a dated ship and very few activities - this is the ship for you. Six 1 liter bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. We were on a family vacation (4 families with young kids) and ... Read More
If you want to pay a lot for a low-cost rip-off cruise in a dated ship and very few activities - this is the ship for you. Six 1 liter bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. We were on a family vacation (4 families with young kids) and booked a cruise via an agent (who was supposed to help find the right ship) on a home for the elderly cruise with cheap food, very little activities and dated design. If it was not a multi family trip I would have just disembarked with my family on the third day and fly back home. I would have never believed i am boarding a low cost rip-off cruise where if you want to have something eatable for dinner you must pay extra. We had several main complaints - Food - huge amount of low quality food, no proper salads, no health food, very very disappointing!! you have healthier food at McDonald's. Agent in Israel - not nice and not informative. would not help or give basic detail on the ship (like the type of electric sockets in the room, activities... we will definitely take the time to give them the worst review online once i am done with this survey to warn others). Up Sales - 6 bottles of water for 39 USD?? come on. we don't consume much sugar and do not drink fuzzy drinks, so only water which came at an insane cost. video arcade that charges 2 USD per game - no wonder it was empty the entire trip. The rooms were not clean - mainly under the beds, the railing of the balcony door, minibar in both rooms was not cooling. at that point we got tired of complaining. Pools - very small pools with one small pathetic water slide. no indoor kids pool for colder days. our neighborhood pool has more facilities and a private pool at home is bigger. Activities - no real activities for kids, no space for the kids to play next to the parents while the adults are having a break. in general, handling the kids on the cruise was a nightmare, we were lucky we brought our own games from home. Some good things - Service was very good especially from the dinner restaurant staff. the crew is well organised and managed. The experience with them was so bad, i prefer to spend my money somewhere else. SO SO VERY DISAPPOINTED!! Royal Caribbean may have got us tricked and got our money this time, but we will learn for the future and not trust this company again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2019
We choose this cruise because the dates coincided with when we needed to be in florence for a wedding. The cruise ended on a sunday and the wedding was the following Wednesday so it was an easy way to kill 2 birds with one stone. We felt ... Read More
We choose this cruise because the dates coincided with when we needed to be in florence for a wedding. The cruise ended on a sunday and the wedding was the following Wednesday so it was an easy way to kill 2 birds with one stone. We felt it would be a Cliff note version of Italy with the cruise and then go to Florence for the wedding and more time to explore the Tuscan region. The service on the ship was good...both housekeeping and our waiters in the dining room were very good. However...i did not like that at the majority of the cruise, staff was always trying to upsell us to their other restaurants...a murder mystery tour etc. And I believe the food was much better with our last Royal Caribbean cruise...probably 10-12 years ago. The dining room food was just ok..) We booked one ship excursion to Monte carlo and the tour lady was very informative. However...one 4 some of the bus was late getting back to the bus (even after the tour guide preached and preached to be on time.). The tour lady kept waiting for them until finally one of our group asked her to quit penalizing the rest of us and to move on. which she reluctantly did. that was the only ship excursion we booked...the rest we booked through a private tour excursion company...way better for the price. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary, it was a 10 night from Amsterdam to Barcelona, seeing great ports, La Coruna, Bilboa, Porto, Lisbon, Cartagena and Lisbon. we spent 2 days in Amsterdam in Hotel Il Fiore, which was a good ... Read More
we chose this cruise because of the itinerary, it was a 10 night from Amsterdam to Barcelona, seeing great ports, La Coruna, Bilboa, Porto, Lisbon, Cartagena and Lisbon. we spent 2 days in Amsterdam in Hotel Il Fiore, which was a good choice, embarkation was very smooth, with no delays. we bought the 2 night dining package prior to boarding, and we had an all inclusive drinks package. we stayed in Balcony cabin 9516, which was great, loads of room for everything, with good wardrobe space. the room attendant Manny was great, not intrusive, but really friendly and efficient. we ate in the main dining room most night, bar 2, where we ate in chops grille and izumi. the dining room was a nice space, not too crowded or noisy, we had flexible dining , which was perfect for us, and no problem any night getting a table for two, which we prefer. the cruise ports were lovely, but the weather was very unpredictable, and we had a few nights where the swells were very large, with warnings from the captain to be careful on the stairs etc.. leaving Amsterdam was incredible, going through the locks, and it was 3 hours before we were in the open sea. a word of caution to those considering travelling this route, very windy weather seems to be the norm, we were disappointed with the weather in general. this is obviously not the fault of the cruise line, there was also a storm in Ibiza, so we were unable to leave the ship there. the staff were extremely friendly in general , with a good atmosphere on board. i would definitely recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
A very good experience. The ship is well laid out and there was always a free sun bed. The steam room and sauna are good - perfect to unwind after a day of sightseeing The itinerary was 1st class and evenings were very enjoyable ... Read More
A very good experience. The ship is well laid out and there was always a free sun bed. The steam room and sauna are good - perfect to unwind after a day of sightseeing The itinerary was 1st class and evenings were very enjoyable because onboard entertainment was very strong. Manda the pianist is wonderful and the ship also had a very strong enrichment lecturer on board, daniel rossall Valentine who gave excellent destination talks on Bilbao Lisbon and barcelona. The food and restaurant service were very good and the cruise was well organised Staff are friendly and very eager to please Only criticisms are : no comedy shows onboard and children are allowed to spoil performances as the rules are not enforced. On 2 occasions live performers were distracted by a child dancing on the front row. This requires action by royal Caribbean Will definitely sail with royal Caribbean again Read Less
Sail Date September 2019
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the cost. Usually cruise Celebrity but the cost for this was less for equivalent sailing. Our status with Celebrity transferred over to Royal and was a great benefit for us. All the ports ... Read More
We chose this cruise for the itinerary and the cost. Usually cruise Celebrity but the cost for this was less for equivalent sailing. Our status with Celebrity transferred over to Royal and was a great benefit for us. All the ports were great and crew was excellent. We only did two excursions and they were arranged privately. Did a tour in Tallin, Estonia and a 2 day tour in St. Petersburg, Russia. Other ports were Skagen and Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland. We began and ended in Amsterdam. For the ports - do your research. The transfers were expensive and not always necessary if you like to walk - and not always a long walk. Some of the areas were a short distance from the dock. The Brilliance was very shiny and new in most of the public areas. The Schooner Bar and Colony Club were very dark and reminiscent of an older type of ship decor. The cabins are in need of a redo. Food is very subjective. Meat ordered medium rare was usually overcooked and replaced. Other dishes were good and bad. I never went hungry! Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
Chose this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. Loyal Royal Caribbean diamond member. The cabin was as expected. Very clean. The bathroom sink had shallow cracks in it. The shower faucet had obviously been repaired but not ... Read More
Chose this cruise for the itinerary which was excellent. Loyal Royal Caribbean diamond member. The cabin was as expected. Very clean. The bathroom sink had shallow cracks in it. The shower faucet had obviously been repaired but not well. There was a sharp hole in the left side handle. On the right side we had to learn how to manipulate the handle to get enough hot water. They did send the plumber in good time to replace the side with the hole. Dining was disappointing in the main dining room for the evening meal.. Not a lot of variety and the food was not much better than a local restaurant. No lobster for a twelve day cruise. The Windjammer was pretty much the same. Breakfast in the dining room was the same every day. Nightly entertainment was excellent. One complaint - one night no entertainment at all. Casino very smokey. The waiters and room attendant were excellent. The ports and excursions were excellent. I feel that loyalty benefits are eroding. They are selling the key instead of treating loyal members who have spent a lot of money cruising with them to more benefits. I also think they are lowering quality in the dining room in the hopes of selling specialty dining. Read Less
Sail Date August 2019
We have just returned from 12 night Baltic Trip from Amsterdam and can honestly say we enjoyed every single moment.We normally sail with Celebrity and while there are some differences the customer service provided by each and every ... Read More
We have just returned from 12 night Baltic Trip from Amsterdam and can honestly say we enjoyed every single moment.We normally sail with Celebrity and while there are some differences the customer service provided by each and every person on this ship more than made up for it.The staff are outstanding in every area. The atmosphere on the ship they created as a consequence was tangible. We pre booked all our excursions with the ship...the 2 day trip in St.Petersburg is worth every penny and the city itself is stunning although I would caution that they are 2 long days from 7.00am to 5.00pm and 1.5 days might suit some people more. Skagen was a wonderful surprise as cruise books advise there is little there but it is in fact a beautiful stop over.Helsinki bike ride is excellent for cycle enthusiasts and there is a free shuttle which we were not told about at the port. Tallinn, Copenhagen and Stockholm are very manageable alone.In Stockholm we had the service of Alex , a local taxi man who dropped us at The Vasa and Abba museums, collected us for drop off at the old town and then brought us back to the ship.(mobile no.0046736422255).He charged €75 euros for our family of 4 adults for doing all of that.Not to be missed on the top deck is the 4 hour sail out from Stockholm. The scenery is stunning.The Baltic cities particularly Copenhagen are very expensive so we didn't but buy a lot. Tivoli gardens is worth the entrance cost though without the rides as the gardens are beautiful. We took the 3 day speciality dining package which was excellent value particularly as we did not have a drinks package and enjoyed 40% discount on all wine bought there without a limit on the bottle numbers purchased.We also bought drinks cards at day 7 for $75 dollars plus 18% service for 10 drinks.The drinks package at the outset is very expensive and the cruise is very full on so it is not worth the cost as you will not have time to consume the number of drinks required to even break even. The activities including Murder Mystery night are great fun.The shows are not as good as Celebrity due to the fact that this is a small older ship and probably doesn't attract the big names.They are however enjoyable particularly the guest appearances. This trip was excellent value for money and I will look at Royal Carribbean again. I am no longer a committed Celebrity cruise due to the outstanding service. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Our cruise began in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal was wonderful. They had water bottles, wine, and cans of soda for sale to bring onto the cruise in your carry-on at a very reasonable rate. My 8 year-old daughter ... Read More
Our cruise began in Amsterdam and the Amsterdam Cruise Terminal was wonderful. They had water bottles, wine, and cans of soda for sale to bring onto the cruise in your carry-on at a very reasonable rate. My 8 year-old daughter absolutely loved the Adventure Ocean Kids Club. The activities ranged from sports activities, arts & crafts, and organized games. The counselors did an amazing job motivating and engaging the kids in the games and making everyone feel included. The Ports were wonderful! Our three stops in Scotland included Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow. As guests returned to the ship in Inverness, RCCL arranged to have a fantastic Scottish Dance Troupe accompanied by a bag-pipe player, an accordion player, and a singer aboard to perform prior to departure. We had two days in Dublin, Ireland, a stop in Guernsey, Holyhead Wales, and Dover/Canterbury, England. One recommendation that I have is to look to 3rd party companies for excursions because RCCL doesn't offer many excursion options due to the limited sailings on this itinerary. The food in the main dining room was delicious however each night there were only 3 new courses that alternating with the 4 offerings that remained the same on the menu; in the past there was more variety. The WindJammer seemed to have a diversity of food options and theme nights that would have been welcome in the main dining room especially on a 12-night cruise. We used the 6:45 Adventure Ocean pickup & our waitstaff ensured that our daughter’s meal was expedited while our meal was served at a normal pace. We also dined in Chops. Our filets were cooked to perfection but we were disappointed that they no longer have the tator tots. We absolutely love Izumi’s and decided to take the sushi making class. The class was a blast and we made a California wrap, a Spicy Tuna roll, a Shrimp Tempura Roll, and shrimp sashimi. I highly recommend this class. A big disappointment was the amount of cigarette smoke that filled the atrium at all hours of the day from the Casino. People were consistently allowed to stand in both entrances while smoking & facing the atrium. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
Brilliance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabin 4.0 N/A
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness & Recreation 4.5 N/A
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursions 4.0 N/A
Enrichment Activities 3.5 N/A
Service 4.0 4.3
Value for Money 4.5 N/A

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