1,600 Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Reviews

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
My wife and I were celebrating our 25 years of marriage with the third of three RCCL cruises within the last nine months. We had spotted this itinerary of 12 nights in the British Isles and Ireland, and thought how nice it would be to ... Read More
My wife and I were celebrating our 25 years of marriage with the third of three RCCL cruises within the last nine months. We had spotted this itinerary of 12 nights in the British Isles and Ireland, and thought how nice it would be to visit Scotland, in particular. We had not cruised on Brilliance before, but had done trips on sister ships, Jewel and Serenade. Boarding/check-in in Amsterdam was probably one of the easiest we have ever done in 40 cruises. The problem was the gauntlet of sales crew between the dock and the ship, pushing everything from drink packages, restaurant specials, facials, massages etc. I t was like getting off of the ship in Barbados. That was not impressive. The stateroom was ready as advertised at 1:00 p.m. As soon as we walked in, the smell of the sewer system in the toilet/washroom was ridiculous. The cabin attendant came, washed and sprayed again, but had to call a plumber. Eventually the smell subsided until later in the cruise and it came back again. Again, the stateroom attendant had to take the same actions as on day one. Also we were told that our cabin was noticeably warmer in the middle of the night when we said how uncomfortable it was, because the line has instituted a rotating policy which raises the temperature to save energy. On one occasion we had to leave the door open to get some sleep. We were not amused or impressed. When we asked the attendant if he had forgotten to leave the shampoo, conditioner and lotion, as is always done, he replied that company policy at RCCL was that unless we had 340 loyalty points with Crown and Anchor, (even though were are Diamond Plus status) there would be no no shampoo, conditioner or lotion given. That may be written somewhere, but we had never heard of it. Makes RCCL look pretty cheap and classless. When we asked about a bathrobe that we have always had, we were told that since we asked, we could have one each. But if you do not ask, it will not be provided. So far, Day 1 not so impressive. We had been given onboard spending credit, and wanted to check the account on the TV. "Sorry that technology does not exist on this ship, but you can go and stand in line at Guest Services to have a copy printed out". Now the the line has decided that Guest Services is the best place to add the noisiest place on the ship; the Centrum. Morning Zumba classes, Evening rock bands and lord knows what else during the rest of the day. You literally have to yell to heard at Guest Services. Not bright. Do not choose your your cabin too close to the aft elevators if you retire early. Showtime ends at 11:30 p.m.To add insult to injury, after spending 25 minutes in the line, on two occasions, I was given another passengers account information, and had to go back again. Again, not impressed. The offers to sell us "special things" continued every day. We were informed that part of RCCL staff training and contract renewal states that the line is less interested in servers, and more interested in sales people. That is certainly obvious. With regard to food, the Windjammer buffet started out very well early in the cruise, but was less impressive in its choices as the cruise went on. But, in fairness, it was superior to the dining room. On its best night, the Dining room food quality was average. Up until now, if you did not like any of the daily offerings on the menu, there was always the fallback standards of steak, chicken and/or salmon. Well, not anymore. Forget about the salmon. The Assistant Head Waiter made it clear that we were not getting salmon. Unfortunately, his delivery needs work. When one person at the table said they would like salmon, in a frustrated tone our fearless head waiter huffed and said "why don't I just bring everyone salmon." Not everyone is cut out for sales, I guess. Because of the mediocre offerings in the dining room, we went to Chops and Giovannis three times, without the promotion. Which reminds me that someone should keep an eye on the differences between what the RCCL website says and what is practiced on the ship. The website offers what amounted to a three for the price of two restaurant deal, on the condition that your first night had to be taken on the first or second night of the cruise. When we talked to staff, we were told that that was not actually true, and we could have gone whenever convenient. Not impressed. When we filled in our mid-cruise "How is everything Survey" we shared some thoughts. We then received, on the second to last day, a letter offering a future cruise saving certificate. Don't get me wrong. They did not have to do this, and I know it. However, this is where we have another example of the difference between pretender to excellence and a real contender. The certificate was for a new cruise within the next 12 months. A quick check of our C&A file would reveal that we already have our next two sailings booked in May and September 2020. Considering that I am still working and have restraints on my vacation times, the offer is more frustrating than pleasing. The same applies to a Casino letter we received with the same conditions. The old saying that its the thought that counts does not apply here. As a final farewell, for the first time, we decided to purchase the airport transfer tickets, only to find that they had not put my luggage on the truck, and thus made me chase someone down at the airport, since the ship had no one there to help. Luckily the supervisor from Inter-Cruises was excellent and went above and beyond to help. Having said all of this, I must distinguish between the Corporate policies in Miami of RCCL which are tarnishing the image of the line, and the dedication of many of the on-board staff, who work hard and do what they can to help and make the thought of returning more palatable. The dining room waiters, the stateroom attendants, the Concierges in the Diamond and Diamond Plus Lounges made the difference. And less the HQ staff tries to take credit, forget it. Their policies have staff reminding at all chances to remember the number ten, as if it is the be all and end all. Miami needs to focus on defining how much is enough. This incessant nickel and diming of passengers is a reflection of what I see as a major malaise of our times. It is ruining the industry. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose the itenirary British Isle mostly for Scotland which is rarely offered and thought the ship would be as good as same category ships ie loved Jewel and Serenade. Not problem at embarkation in Amsterdam although very annoying ... Read More
We chose the itenirary British Isle mostly for Scotland which is rarely offered and thought the ship would be as good as same category ships ie loved Jewel and Serenade. Not problem at embarkation in Amsterdam although very annoying feeling besieged by staff selling ALL they could think of prior to us stepping on ship. Upon entering our balcony stateroom, the smell of sewer was so strong and the preview of 12 days amora to come. Not only our cabin but public toilets were often as bad. For our 25th anniversary my husband had pre-ordered 2 champagne and 2 wines to be deivered in the cabin prior to our arrival. NO BOTTLE in sight, we had to chase them for delevery. His surprise to me was ruined. The shock was to be told that we no longer have BASIC ameneties (hotel basic) no shampoo, conditioner or body lotion and 1 soap. In the shower is a dispenser 2 in 1 shampoo and body soap!!!!! Technology is backwards on the ship, no access to your account so line-up at guess services for a copy. But twice, my husband was given a copy of another stateroom....confidentiality? The dining room staff was good but food not at par. They even removed the salmon option when nothing is attractive. I will skip many bad experiences of this cruise to skip to the very bad ending. For the first time after 40 cruises we bought a transfer to the airport by bus. Once at the airport, only 1 out of 2 suitcases made is and NO ONE from RCCL to handle this. Thanks to Welma of Intercruises at the airport who took charge and texted at the port to find our luggage to be put on the next bus . Brilliance was less that Brilliant at this time. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
This cruise was the third leg of a 4-leg trip including a land trip across Austria and Switzerland, a river cruise on Avalon from Switzerland to Amsterdam, this Baltic cruise, and then 4 extra days in Amsterdam. All 4 legs were great, ... Read More
This cruise was the third leg of a 4-leg trip including a land trip across Austria and Switzerland, a river cruise on Avalon from Switzerland to Amsterdam, this Baltic cruise, and then 4 extra days in Amsterdam. All 4 legs were great, although admittedly we were a bit weary by the time we checked into for the Baltic Cruise in Amsterdam (which was about two blocks and a very short cab ride from the river cruise in Amsterdam, VERY convenient transfer!). The process checking in (we already had our sail passes) was VERY convenient and quick and could not have been better. The transition from river to ocean cruise was so easy and the terminal was so easy for this cruise! I booked this cruise to see bits of Scandinavia and the Baltic Sea area in a convenient way (just the highlights). Like all cruises, you only see so much in a port day (or two in the case of St Petersburg, Russia) but we felt like we saw and did many things even given the nature of cruises, and we were satisfied that we had a good sampling of Denmark, Estonia, St Petersburg, Helsinki, Stockholm and, including the extra 4 days we did separately, Amsterdam (all travelers should definitely spend extra time in Amsterdam before, after, or both if they take this cruise). All in all the itinerary was very good, and we actually enjoyed having the 4 sea days to relax, especially at the beginning and end of the cruise. I've cruised before, and have sometimes booked excursions in advance, before sailing, but this time I actually research everything and booked ALL the excursions in advance. I was very glad I did, and we ended up paying much less that way (and we didn't spend any time in lines at the excursion desk). I will probably do that at all times in the future (they can always be cancelled onboard as long as the cancellation period is met). We were satisfied with all the excursions and felt that we maximized our time in each port. They do seem expensive, but for the entire trip, for two people, with all the excursions we wanted, we spent about an extra $1000. Since the cruise itself was quite cheap (I booked early on a different site and got a good deal) it all worked out well. The biggest kudos to Royal Caribbean was the customer service. I have to say that EVERYONE was very helpful and friendly. We didn't ask for a lot, but when we did, everything we needed was taken care of quickly and well. The excellent customer service made up for a few things that were a little less than great. The food was good, overall, although I wouldn't say fabulous, and the choices were very helpful. We enjoy the late dining period (8:30) because we spend a lot of time at the gym and in the spa and don't like to rush for dinner. The show times forced us to see the show at 7 pm most of the time, but it still worked out. The food choices were better at the buffet a Windjammer but we don't like the crowds so we usually dined at the main dining or a specialty restaurant (we booked the 3-dinner package in advance). We personally choose room service for breakfast most days (the continental is free) but did enjoy the buffet for that on sea days. Our waters (Juwan and Anniket) were outstanding and we enjoyed our dinner partners we met and ate with on some nights. We thought the shows were terrific and offered talent and variety. We saw all but one of them and enjoyed them all. Keeping them less than an hour is perfect so we can see the show, eat dinner, and not have to rush or stay up too late. I love the gym and spent a lot of time on the treadmill (or walking the promenade decks) watching us sail. The main thing we spent money on (beyond the excursions) was the spa (3 massages each) and although the massages aren't "great" they were adequate. They are expensive but if you book in advance and/or book carefully to take care of "specials" for multiple massages the helps (and my medical insurance pays back $60 for each massage, so that helped too). We also buy the thermal suite all-cruise pass and we spent lots of time in the heated marble chairs, steam rooms and saunas. Very relaxing, if expensive. It also kept us away from the crowds. We were in a ocean view cabin just below the promenade deck (it was on deck 4) and it was perfect for us. Would love to have had a balcony but it wasn't worth the extra cost (especially in the Baltic Sea). The porthole window was quite large and I spent lots of time looking out (and didn't have to worry about closing curtains except in port). We found it to have adequate room and we were comfortable (we prefer the beds split to give more room). The bathroom was outdated and sometimes smelled bad, and this is clearly an older ship that is getting a bit worn, so that was a negative, but other than that all was fine. Our cabin steward (Nick) was great :) More on that in the cabin part. Overall we thought this cruise was a very good value for the money, but we do warn cruisers to research and plan carefully, and be judicious with your money while onboard. Unless you plan to drink or use the Internet all the time, avoid the all-cruise packages (they are very expensive). We drank some, but avoided most of the extra costs onboard (except the spa, which we admit we probably spent too much money on). If you're not careful you'll owe a fortune after 12 days on the ship. Just make sure you read and research, and think about what you really want and need. We would recommend this cruise to others, but book ahead for excursions and other extras if possible (but don't buy the expensive beverage and internet packages unless you really need them). Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
We chose this ship based on the fact that it had the ONLY embarkation point from Amsterdam. We were on the 12 night Baltic cruise and the ports were fine it was the ship that was awful! When we had the safety drill, the crew penciled ... Read More
We chose this ship based on the fact that it had the ONLY embarkation point from Amsterdam. We were on the 12 night Baltic cruise and the ports were fine it was the ship that was awful! When we had the safety drill, the crew penciled in who was in attendance (I know that they have electronic devices that can check in). The rooms, while quite beautiful in a 1940's way have no updated electronics. The TV's are all old and the 3 movies replay after 4 days. How many times can you watch "a dog's life?" The food was good although there was no variety in the menu. Day after day the same foods were offered in the main dining room as well as the Windjammer Buffet. The evening entertainment was not professional at all except for the 'special' entertainers that made a one day appearance. The bathrooms need to be updated as well as the electronics on board. All in all I would recommend the excursions but definitely NOT this ship! The enrichment class was only 40 mins & I got the feeling that everyone in attendance would have loved more. Read Less
Sail Date July 2019
So, we just got back from our cruise with a preschooler and an infant, and thought I'd pass along some pros/cons/tips for the Brilliance of the Seas, 12 Night British Isles Cruise. I wish I knew then what I knew now, so hopefully ... Read More
So, we just got back from our cruise with a preschooler and an infant, and thought I'd pass along some pros/cons/tips for the Brilliance of the Seas, 12 Night British Isles Cruise. I wish I knew then what I knew now, so hopefully this helps anyone interested. Booking I chose to book with AAA and there really wasn’t anything good about that experience. I would definitely go straight to Royal Caribbean based upon my experience. In short, I ended up having to do A LOT personally to correct my travel agent’s mistakes, in addition to paying more for my trip, along with poorer service than just going direct to RC. Here are some of my lessons learned: • Don’t buy travel insurance UNTIL you check with your credit card company you are planning on using for the cruise. Even after bringing up my card’s benefits to my travel agent, she still talked me into buying the insurance through RC. When I called my credit card to double check and found out that my coverage was all that and better, it was too late to cancel. • Get your flight through RC if possible. Even if you are going in a day early, if you are in a foreign land, this will give you the peace of mind that both your luggage and you get to the ship on time, or be covered if not. • Definitely double check with the airline directly after booking the flight through whomever you use. We called to confirm and found out they had all of us in separate rows, even thought that violated the airline policy due to the ages of some of our travelers. I have to say, United Air stepped up and helped us correct what our travel agent messed up. • Understand the trade-offs between booking a “Guaranteed” room as opposed to one through the current sale. This was not explained well to us and we went with the Guaranteed Room. This meant we paid less in the front end. However, we were put on a bottom floor and missed out on the bonus cruise dollars, that would have made up for that savings we saw from the guaranteed booking. If you are planning on spending some money on the boat, its better to shop the sales. • Get the balcony of you can afford it. The lock is up high, out of reach of children, and if safety is still a concern, have the room attendant remove the outside furniture. The added storage space for strollers and such alone is worth it! Aside from the fact you will wish you had it when you’re on board. • Oh, and if you are traveling with small children, be sure to tell the folks before your international flights. You will get to board early no matter your assigned group. Excursions • There’s a lot of interesting stops along this cruise, and I feel the ship excursions are the way to go (as opposed to looking to alternates offered from different sources), especially when traveling with children and after a decent amount of online research. • Children 3 and under are free for excursions. There definitely were some excursions where both the adults and children were better off with the kids at the Royal Tots and Adventure Ocean, but the fact you didn’t pay extra was cool when we chose to bring them along. So be sure to book them along with yourself, even if you are unsure, at the time of your excursion booking. • Book your excursions in advance. They often come at a discount and sometimes the popular ones do fill up by the date of that particular stop. I’d even go so far as to say even if you’re on the fence about one, still book it in advance. Of course, do your research, but the fact of the matter is, you will likely want to do it when that date comes along and better to have paid less and be assured a space. You can always cancel up to 48 hours prior to the excursion. • The downside of the excursions RC offers is that are still done by a 3rd party. So, if you have a problem, RC will not provide a refund. They will inform you they will pass it along to the excursion company, but that’s the extent of their “help”. They are NOT your advocate. We had an issue on one and still haven’t heard anything, 3 weeks after the cruise. With that said, I think more often than not, you will have a good experience. Just recognize RC assumes little to no responsibility when you have problems on an excursion. Child Care / Children’s Programs • I can’t say enough good things about my experience with Royal Tots and Adventure Club. My preschooler loved it and we felt very secure with their care for our infant. • I was a little scared about the hours and the available spaces getting filled prior to our cruise, since you couldn’t do any pre-booking for those services. However, there turned out to be no need for concern. They have this down and it is really easy to use. Go to the open house on your first day on board and get it set up. There will be space for your child on this particular cruise. • Order diapers, wipes and baby food ahead of time to be delivered to your room. Call RC directly to do this. This service is buried in their website and is glitchy from my experience if you try to do it online. The reps on the phone are, by and large, super helpful and will get it done for you. And if you get someone from RC on the phone who seems reluctant or unknowing about this service, politely end that conversation and call back later. You will get someone who can and will help you. But the fact of the matter is it will save you a ton of luggage space and their costs aren’t much different than a target in the States. Dining • I thought the dining room was top notch and the buffet was hit or miss. My Time Dining was the way to go. But go ahead and book times in advance if you have a handle on your schedule, even with the MTD. There’s a lot to be said for having the same attendants through-out. And if your waiters seem a little off that first night, don’t give up on them. They’re in the dining room for a reason and will get to know your family and take good care of you. • Definitely book a specialty dining package in advance. If you’re on a cruise for this long, you are going to want some variety. And even with the sales you will see once on board, it will never be as cheap as it is before the cruise. I didn’t get to go to the Giovanni’s or Chefs table, but Chops Grille was awesome, and they were great with the kids. We also went to Izumi, but I did not like the food or the service. Here they tell you to bring your kids, but from all appearances they really don’t want you to. Once we were seated we rarely saw our waiter and he was curt and unhelpful when we did see him. And he was the waiter featured on the videos about the restaurant on the boat! And when it came down to it, the sushi was just not good. So the service definitely wasn’t something I would say I would put up with for the food. • If you have interest in the Mystery Theatre Dinner, book it in advance. It will not be available when you’re onboard. Plan for an adult dinner that night if you decide to sign up. Get the kids an earlier meal and then take them to the childcare for a couple of hours. We didn’t do this but wish we had. The Spa • I’ve been to the spa several times on different cruises and talked to a few different travelers about their experiences on RC, and the consensus is it’s just OK. Here again, buy in advance to get the savings if you want it, but temper your expectations. Massages aren’t great, and they will try to sell you the lotions when you are done. • In fact, there’s a lot of hard selling and up selling going on at the spa. For instance, if you want a steam in addition to your massage (like you would get at a typical on land spa), you will pay extra. • In our case they really pushed this “great consultation” from a trainer who will develop a diet and fitness plan for you for around $50 for a couple. In short, it was an hour high-pressure sales pitch with a guy trying to sell us seaweed pills, who would not discuss diet and exercise, and who wouldn’t take no for an answer. We had to just get up and walk away. My advice is don’t expect to find anything better (or even close to as good) for your health on the boat, than you would find through true health professionals back on land in the US. • Prices are likely more expensive when compared to spas you have been to in the past, so just recognize that higher price is not indicative of the quality of service. You pay a premium bc your trapped on a ship with no other offers. That doesn’t mean you won’t find the masseuse you’ve been waiting for all your life. I just wouldn’t get your hopes up. Stores • Although this is a British Isles cruise, don’t expect to see anything from the British Isles in the cruise shops. We were surprised to see only Baltic and Russian souvenirs in shops, even on the special sales days. It was explained to us that this is because the ship spends most of its time in the Baltic and only goes to the British Isles once a year. • Don’t believe the cashier that you can send your EU tax reimbursement form from home. You cannot. Global Blue informed me of this when I inquired once back in the States. You need to go through 2 lines at the Amsterdam airport to receive a refund and be prepared for a circus. So, if you want that money, plan to get that done before you get on your plane. • Be careful about the digital photo package. We bought it and still don’t have our pictures. I’ve called and emailed Royal Caribbean numerous times, and they tell me it is a third party who does that, and they have no control. And the third party is virtually impossible to get ahold of, and pretty nasty when you do. They do not have an email or direct line you can contact an actual person. I’ll update this part once it is resolves, but it is a problem with Royal Caribbean and their complete decentralization of everything. I have found accountability is scarce with RC when something goes wrong. Id say buy the actual pics if you really want to, but definitely stay away from the digital packages. Royal Caribbean in General • I think there’s two types of crew members on Royal Caribbean ships. Those who bend over backwards for you, and those who will do anything to avoid helping you. No in between. I never heard more people telling me that’s not their job and that they don’t know who can give me the answer. Even on postage to send a postcard! So, remember, if someone doesn’t help you, come back later and a different person will. This may be personality driven as different people connect with different people. So, you may have a good experience with someone I had a bad experience with. I think the main thing to keep in mind, don’t get upset when this happens bc it will happen, just try someone else later. It will work out:) Read Less
Sail Date June 2019
We wanted to see the Hermitage again so decided on this cruise as a good way to do that. It also allowed us to see most of the northern European capitals. Overall it was a great cruise with no major complaints so do not read too much into ... Read More
We wanted to see the Hermitage again so decided on this cruise as a good way to do that. It also allowed us to see most of the northern European capitals. Overall it was a great cruise with no major complaints so do not read too much into the minor problems we encountered. First the good news. We thought the food was very good in the main dining room even if some of the choices were less than inspiring. Biggest complaints were the covering on the beef wellington was soggy and the pasta with the shrimp scampi needed flavoring. One suitcase was delivered to our room with a wheel broken which they fixed in a day. (When we got back to the states it was missing completely and the airline replaced the whole thing). The ship is spotlessly clean and there are hand sanitizers everywhere. The staff was flawlessly friendly, even the customer service people. There was a wide variety of entertainment at night and I especially enjoyed the Four Season Tribute group. One last positive note is that we were surprised that the ships tours were about the same price as those from other companies. We did do a private tour from another company to get a full day at the Hermitage and Marina Wilson did a very good job giving us what we wanted. We had an oceanview cabin and really enjoyed the large window. We normally get a balcony but early June in northern Europe is just to cold to enjoy a balcony. Now for the few bad items. We were disappointed that the head waiter interrupted our first meal to push the special dinner show for $80. I am pretty sure he gets a commission for anyone that signs up but the intrusion was not appreciated. I had two small problems with the casino. They have special times where the 6:5 BJ table is a $3 minimum. I bet $3 and hit a Blackjack but they only paid me $3 instead of the almost correct $3.50 since they had $.50 chips on the table. When I pointed it out to the dealer he said the sign said that a $5 bet got paid $6. I pointed out that the sign said the table paid 6 to 5 and that I should get at least $3.50. It had no effect on the dealer. The other problem was the BJ tournament. The rules for the tournament clearly state that rebuys are $20 instead of the usual $25 fee. On the last day I wanted to do a rebuy and they said it was $25 and that the $20 rebuy was only good on the same day even though that is not what the rules state. As far as the cruise itself I thought that there were too many days at sea. I also don't understand why they do not visit Oslo instead of Skagen, Denmark. There is very little to see in Skagen and Oslo is not that far away. Several of the tours were less than inspiring (admittedly they are private contractors working for the cruise line). One tour did not offer headphones and it was hard to hear what the guide was saying sometimes. Another one was a 2 1/2 hour tour with no scheduled bathroom stops. After 6 people complained he finally made a special stop. Now for the ship itself. One of the biggest problems is what they call the Centrum. It is an open air area open to most of the 12 floors of the ship. They have chairs on each floor and frequent entertainment near the customer service desk. The problem is the noise is almost unbearable. There are also very few places where you can find a quiet space. The best two are the Starquest area on the 13th floor (when it is available) and the far rear of the ship on floor 6 (when they are not having special events in the area). I was a little disappointed in the fact that quite a few of the windows are fogged up due to bad seals. It would not take a lot of effort to replace those. Also the seats in the cinema are very worn out and it is hard to sit on some of them for a 2 hour movie. And lastly, the hot water in the shower was too hot. There was no way to take a "cool" shower since your choice was hot or hotter. Again keep in mind that most of these complaints are very minor compared to the overall pleasure we had on this cruise. Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Extraordinarily interesting ports with Sea Days perfectly interspersed to rest for exhausting shore excursions. Seas were calm; chilly but sweaters and light jackets sufficed. The Brilliance although not new was well laid-out and never ... Read More
Extraordinarily interesting ports with Sea Days perfectly interspersed to rest for exhausting shore excursions. Seas were calm; chilly but sweaters and light jackets sufficed. The Brilliance although not new was well laid-out and never felt crowded. Solarium was especially comfortable with additional food choices (great quick roast beef sandwich) Smaller, quieter dining area also available in casual dining. Main dining room was excellent for breakfast lunch and dinner. RC's Shore excursions were remarkably good---especially the "Soviet Experience" in Estonia. Entertainment was unexpectedly good. The most outstanding thing about this was the crew. I've been on 12 cruises - and this staff was the best ! Waiters, guest relations, shore excursions- all could not do enough for you. We found "the key" worthwhile. No embarkation lines, wonderful embarkation lunch at Chops and final breakfast at Giovanni's. Internet worked well and was included in key. Everyone looked forward to the Captain's messages --informative but always amusing. Highly recommend both this itinerary--and the Brilliance Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
Arrived 2-days early in Amsterdam for departure on May 19. needed more time there since Amsterdam has many, many sites to see (advance reservations a must for popular sites). Excellent TRAM system with a cheap 24-hour pass can get you ... Read More
Arrived 2-days early in Amsterdam for departure on May 19. needed more time there since Amsterdam has many, many sites to see (advance reservations a must for popular sites). Excellent TRAM system with a cheap 24-hour pass can get you near most sites. As a newly minted RCI Diamond cruiser, we enjoyed the expedited check in and especially the evening free happy hour in the Diamond lounge where we met fellow cruisers to learn of their experiences over a cocktail or glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres. Also open 24/7 for premium coffee as well as breakfast snacks each morning. One complaint is there were so many Diamond cruisers on this voyage, they had to open the adjacent lounge to handle everyone and the bar service was slow. To RCI's credit, they did load 3-free drinks per day on your card which you could use during happy hour at any bar (No specialty drinks) to help draw down the crowd at the Diamond lounge. Food was OK and we enjoyed MYTIME dinning where we tried to get the same waiters each night. Entertainment was OK, but nothing special when compared to the Oasis class ship venues. RCI shore excursions were expensive so we followed advice on CC and booked in advance online two tours through TJ Travel, the major 2-day tour in St. Petersburg (most excellent) and 5-hour Stockholm (OK but wished we had more time at the VASA museum). Another complaint about RCI is they announced a week before departure the RCI tours would disembark first before the private tour groups, thus delaying the private tours for a time, but all seemed well in the end..... Read Less
Sail Date May 2019
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
We chose this cruise as it left from Tampa, and had Georgetown, Grand Cayman as one of the two ports on the itinerary, Cozumel being the other. It was our first experience with Royal Caribbean, and we're already looking for other ... Read More
We chose this cruise as it left from Tampa, and had Georgetown, Grand Cayman as one of the two ports on the itinerary, Cozumel being the other. It was our first experience with Royal Caribbean, and we're already looking for other cruise options from this line. Our embarkation in Tampa was a breeze--covered parking garage right across the street (they do have a drop-off area if you don't want to tote your bags that far). Check in was quick and efficient. We were on board in mere minutes. Only small carry-ons are allowed including rolling suitcases, anything larger must be checked, something we didn't learn until we arrived, but our suitcase was delivered earlier than the posted 7 pm. The Windjammer Café was open for buffet lunch with a huge array of choices. All crew members we encountered were friendly and helpful. Our room steward was very attentive but not intrusive. Our best experience was in Chops, the steakhouse restaurant. Oleksandr was a terrific server, memorizing our drink preferences from the first night. Pool chairs are hard to come by, and the promised "no holding chairs" was not enforced which was disappointing. We dined only once in the Main Dining Room, it was okay, but my pancakes were a bit dry and rubbery. Service was attentive there, too. We chose the Ultimate dining package (5 dinners/2 lunches on at-sea days) and were content with Windjammer for breakfasts and lunches. We also purchased the deluxe beverage/internet package we well. Drinks were well made, with a huge variety of options, including a "drink of the day". Drinks on their own are typical of a major resort, so thin $12-15 range, possibly more. Entertainment was way too loud--if you have a microphone, you don't need to shout in order to be heard. We avoided many venues because of the loudness. Revoiced was one show in the Theater that we caught the end of, 5 guys with amazing harmonies and voices. It's worth it! Other games trivia, music trivia, couples games, were held at various days and times and venues. We didn't book any shore excursions in either port, preferring to get a cab to 7-Mile Beach from the pier in Georgetown Grand Cayman, and a cab to San Miguel in Cozumel. Shopping in both ports is a jewelry-lovers dream, but shop around. One of us did take advantage of a spa special one day, but was disappointed that the " from $99 massages" was only on the RCCL website, there was no massage at that price, even on port days. I had planned to massages using on-board credits, but that got eaten up by the higher prices, so I had to choose the special which was a "full body massage", mini-facial, foot and hand massage, (which I found odd to be listed separately!),and a scalp massage (again listed separately). I've read other reviews complaining about smoke, but only found it in the smoking areas which were few, and by Schooner's Lounge, but that was by the Steakhouse, so it could have been a venting issue. Otherwise, it was not smoky at all. There are two pool areas, with the Solarium being limited to 16 and older, so you avoid the joyful squeals of younger kids. The other "family pool" also had a water tube ride, which looked fun for the kids. There's also a video arcade, mini-golf, basketball court, kids club, teen club, and a night club at the top of the ship. The on-board shopping area wasn't large, but it had about half of the space devoted to jewelry. Don't expect to find a mini-drug store, so pack essentials and other needs/wants as there's not much to purchase if you forgot something. We would book again, but Cozumel might become a "stay on the ship day", as we've seen what we wanted and are not into Mexican ruins, scuba/snorkel excursions. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My husband and I wanted a short, relaxing vacation, and this one definitely met those goals. We stayed in Stateroom 1060, a Grand Suite. It had an oversized balcony with a table that seated 4 and two lounge chairs. We have stayed in 2 ... Read More
My husband and I wanted a short, relaxing vacation, and this one definitely met those goals. We stayed in Stateroom 1060, a Grand Suite. It had an oversized balcony with a table that seated 4 and two lounge chairs. We have stayed in 2 Grand Suites on different ships, so we knew what to expect with the room itself, but really enjoyed the larger balcony. It was a little noisy being so close to the stairs, elevator, and Centrum, but we knew that ahead of time and packed a small fan to use as white noise at night. No problems sleeping! The room location was so convenient being so close to the stairs, elevators, and to the spa, gym, etc. We would definitely pick this room again! We bought the couples pass to the Thermal Spa and really enjoyed that as well. A lot of my time was spent reading a book either on our balcony or while laying on one of the heated stone beds in the Thermal Spa. We also pre-purchased a two-night specialty dining package. We chose Chops and Giovanni's and will definitely do them again. They were both delicious! We chose to stay on the ship at our one stop since we had visited there on a previous cruise. I went to the spa that morning and saw a cheaper special posted on their white board than had been advertised in the Cruise Compass for that day, so I booked an appointment - $105 for a 50-minute Relaxation Special. Included a foot massage, eye treatment, and upper back/neck/shoulder massage. And as with all our previous cruises with Royal Caribbean, the service was excellent everywhere we went! We would highly recommend! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Jeff and Mariappan were our waiters in the Minstrel Dining Room. They were very courteous, kind, and attentive. Jeff made great recommendations every evening and Mariappan was great at personalizing our experience each time. Minstrel ... Read More
Jeff and Mariappan were our waiters in the Minstrel Dining Room. They were very courteous, kind, and attentive. Jeff made great recommendations every evening and Mariappan was great at personalizing our experience each time. Minstrel Dining Room was 5/5 but the buffet was just mediocre. We loved the washy washy lady! My mother-in-law and I had fabulous seaweed wrap massages and my husband enjoyed a nice Swedish massage. Marina and Rena were excellent. They made us feel relaxed and comfortable. We enjoyed the opportunity to rock climb as well! Wish there was more than 1 hot tub in the adult pool area. I wish the formal night photographers were more personable and that they had ample space so that we didn’t feel rushed and crowded. Many of the floors smelled like cigarette smoke so I wish there was better ventilation. I also think that the non-smoking area in the casino should have more slot machine options. Overall, it was still a great cruise and an excellent first cruise experience for my husband. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Took this cruise in celebration of our daughter's 40 birthday. Everything was perfect, with a few exceptions. Be aware that "Anytime Dining" does NOT mean that the time they schedule you for is confirmed. You MUST ... Read More
Took this cruise in celebration of our daughter's 40 birthday. Everything was perfect, with a few exceptions. Be aware that "Anytime Dining" does NOT mean that the time they schedule you for is confirmed. You MUST make a reservation or be prepared to wait. There was a child that could take control of the general intercom and interrupt cruise activities. This line is very conscious of precautions to limit norovirus, as there are hand cleansing areas throughout the ship, which was a comfort. Tendering was handled expediently, but be aware that when tendering, watch both your step and head. I have a bloody lump to support the precaution. Ship personnel were fast to my aid and it really was minor. Some of the theatrical shows were a little lame, but the big musical production was one of the best I have seen on a cruise ship. Drinks can be a little pricey, but the drink card should help the cost. We aren't too big on imbibing, but the little we did was costly. Unless you plan to do water sports, buy jewelry or drink, touring Grand Cayman was a waste of time and we were back on the ship in short time. Cozumel has a nice tourist area and, since we been to Cozumel many times, we kept our visit there. I was amazed that when buying Cuban cigars, the sellers want cash. Since we had just taken an island excursion and bought items and tips, we were low on cash, so the cigars were never bouught. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
I chose this cruise because I prefer the mid-size ship and length of cruise. Brilliance is in great shape. It's well appointed, very clean, with pretty decor. I loved the signature venues that Royal Caribbean is known for like the ... Read More
I chose this cruise because I prefer the mid-size ship and length of cruise. Brilliance is in great shape. It's well appointed, very clean, with pretty decor. I loved the signature venues that Royal Caribbean is known for like the Schooner Bar, the Windjammer Cafe, the Colony Club and the Viking Crown Lounge (though the Viking Crown Lounge's size was reduced to make way for other venues). I also enjoyed a quiet drink at the wine bar, and the English pub was a nice alternative to steal away for a quiet drink. For dining, the meals in the Windjammer were very good, and the service was excellent there. We were there for almost every meal. The only criticism I have is the coffee is really bad, but you can go to the gourmet coffee shop, and it's included in the drink package. I was looking forward to dining at Rita's Cantina, but it was closed, except they allowed Windjammer diners to use that lovely dining area. The main dining room was not impressive. The food was mediocre, and the plates were tepid at best. We paid an up-charge for the filet mignon, and it was very bland. The appetizers were paltry, i.e.shrimp cocktail. However, the french onion soup I enjoyed. The waiters at main dining room tried very hard to please, but it simply isn't like the old days of cruising where you actually looked forward to a leisurely meal there. I did enjoy the roast beef sandwiches at the Park Cafe in the Solarium. We had planned to try Giovanni's Table but just never got around to it. Regarding the bars, we purchased the full drink package, which was definitely a good idea for us. In general, the bar staff did not impress me especially at the main pool deck, where waiters were scarce (constantly we waited and wondered what happened to the waiter once they took our sea pass card) and the mixed drinks were barely stirred - even the frozen boat drinks - the run sat at the top of the glass. Also, the liquor was obviously not the best, especially when you compared to drinks at the schooner bar. Another thing I noticed at the pool area/bar is they didn't bother picking up empty glasses and cans much so the pool deck got pretty messy at times. Regarding entertainment, I was disappointed that we had no real band at the pool. I'm comparing this to a RCCL cruise we took last year to Bermuda where every day at sea we had a real band playing Bob Marley and similar tunes all day. This cruise it was mostly a DJ who took lots of breaks, and there was also a two-piece "group" where one played keyboard and one sang, which really resembled Karaoke. It was just o.k. I'm amazed that though we were in the Caribbean I heard no steel drum music or reggae on this cruise. The variety band that played in the Centrum was mediocre at best, though I did think the 60's, 70's and 80's theme was a great choice for the crowd. There was a wonderful 3-piece group playing classical music in the Centrum in the afternoons - I especially enjoyed the Strauss. I did not visit the theatre for the scheduled shows, so I can't comment there. The Schooner Bar trivia events lagged and were somewhat elementary. We did enjoy the casino black jack tables - the dealers were very good. I won a little money on the slots. Regarding our cabin, our junior suite was very nice and clean, and it didn't look dated at all, which surprised me given the ship's age. I loved the space and especially the walk-in closet. I've stayed in junior suites on two other cruises, and neither of those had as much space for clothes! Our cabin service was excellent - reminiscent of early days of cruising. Regarding excursions, we opted not to purchase for either port. We did our own thing. We had been to Cozumel and Grand Cayman before so we knew what to expect. In Grand Cayman, we took a short walk to Margaritaville Bar and it was a great atmosphere (there's a pool inside!), and the drinks and food were excellent. The service was great too. We had a wonderful table on the balcony, which overlooked the street and the harbor beyond. Then we shopped, which is always fun. Grand Cayman is an excellent port to visit - it's clean and the people are very friendly. Cozumel was a bust for us, as it stormed most of the day. We caught a break in the rain and walked down to the square just off the pier for a little shopping. The shop-keepers solicited us to visit their shops - it became annoying. I ultimately enjoyed shopping at Los Cincos Soles gift shop. They had a great variety at good prices and friendly staff. On the walk back to the ship, I noticed Senior Frogs was hopping with a live band outside. I wanted to stop there, but by then we were tired of fighting the rain. Embarkation and disembarkation was a snap! It's a quick drive from the Tampa airport to Tampa cruise terminal. The cruise terminal is prettier than Baltimore's for sure. I still think port of Miami is best aesthetically. All in all, I would sail from Tampa on Brilliance of the Seas again. I just wish they would step up their music! Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
My wife and I have taken this ship 3 different times and have usually found it enjoyable. I remember commenting to her the last time how good the food was in the main dining room for 4 of the 5 nights. This time around it was decent only 1 ... Read More
My wife and I have taken this ship 3 different times and have usually found it enjoyable. I remember commenting to her the last time how good the food was in the main dining room for 4 of the 5 nights. This time around it was decent only 1 of the 5. Salads and appetizers were fine but the main course was either just warm, tough, overcooked (steaks), little flavor or all of the above. We sent two dishes back but that didn't solve the problem.The service was very good with our waiter very nice. We chose "anytime dining" which means you had better make a reservation or you won't be seated anytime soon. We were seated in the same section each night at a table for two. I asked to have a table for two in the same waiters area but next to the window. After an explanation of why that wasn't possible I sat there and looked at that able sitting empty for 3 nights.The remainder of the cruise was just fine. Our balcony cabin (8052) was as expected. Clean and quiet. The Brilliance is not a huge ship which is part of the charm. We like to cruise out of Tampa because it is very easy to do so, chances are we will be on the Brilliance again. I just hope they get it together in a couple of ways. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
Parking at local parking lot on channelside in Tampa was easy and quick. Departure and embarkment was super slick. Lots of RC staff available to help. We had a very nice cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. Crew staff was outstanding ... Read More
Parking at local parking lot on channelside in Tampa was easy and quick. Departure and embarkment was super slick. Lots of RC staff available to help. We had a very nice cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. Crew staff was outstanding friendly. Very food food, fine entertainment, peasant trip. We enjoyed the Crème burlee for dessert each night - great! Sadly, no religious services of any type on Sunday, our first experience on a cruise for this. They did offer alternative lifestyles get-togethers daily?? No service might deter our traveling with RC next time. Smoke smell was not a problem except in the casino. Room was adequate, but small for three adults. Pull down bed from the ceiling was unacceptable so we pulled the mattress off and laid it on the floor, making getting to the bathroom an acrobatic skill. We will get a larger room next time with an additional bed. Ship seemed clean with the exception of; we opened the curtain in front of the bed for privacy and dust/dirt whatever came floating down. Billiard table was not leveling making it useless. Miniature golf was enjoyable and not crowded. Read Less
Sail Date April 2019
We chose as the dates were right, price was right and we only live 45 minutes from Tampa and so port was right. Great ship, lots to do, lots of bars, entertainment and loads of food! Only bad part was not enough for 12 and 14 year old boy ... Read More
We chose as the dates were right, price was right and we only live 45 minutes from Tampa and so port was right. Great ship, lots to do, lots of bars, entertainment and loads of food! Only bad part was not enough for 12 and 14 year old boy to do. They didn't want to go to the teen hangout and so got a bit bored at the day at sea but still had fun. Loved the food (Especially all the desserts)! Had a great day in Cozumel, we hired a private taxi as there were 6 of us, Tour Plaza. They took us all round the island and stopped at the chocolate factory (my kids favorite), tequila tasting (our favorite), mayan ruins and at a private beach club for lunch and a swim. Just wasn't enough time to enjoy the island enough. Our service on the cruise was excellent. We even coped with our cabin space (4 in a cabin was not exactly spacious but OK for 4 nights). Our waiters in the dining room were great and all went out of their way for us all. Particularly Kevin and Swapneel (I think shortened to Neil)! Would definitely go on another cruise with Royal Caribbean, just maybe with adults next time, or when my kids are a little older and will enjoy hanging out with teens more! Read Less
Sail Date March 2019
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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