Brilliance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
1,567 reviews

Brilliance of the Seas still getting it done!

Review for the Western Caribbean Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas
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2-5 Cruises • Age 50s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 2015
Cabin: Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony
Traveled with children

My wife and I (both 50) cruised April 20-26 (Mon-Sat) out of Tampa on Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas with stops in Grand Cayman and Cozumel. We flew direct from Manchester NH to Tampa on Southwest. Our flight landed on time at 11:40am and by 12:30 PM we were at the terminal. $25/20min cab ride from airport to Cruise Terminal. This was our 4th ever cruise all the others being on Carnival ships and our first cruise out of Tampa. I will say while the cruise was 95% full (Northeast spring break for schools) this was the most organized, stress less check in and boarding we have ever encountered. Whole process took about 15 minutes and we were on the ship. Ship is older than some of the bigger RCI ships but the only way you would notice that is by the décor.

ACTIVITIES: This ship had 3 pools. In the stern where the play zone was there was a 2 ft. deep kid’s pool with slide. This was located where the basketball/volleyball/soccer (all same area) playground was. Right above this kid’s pool was the rock climbing wall and the miniature golf course. Even though this was spring break week there were not as many kids on board as anticipated. We had 3 kids under 10 traveling in our group and they tried the ‘kids’ club on the first day but there just weren’t enough kids to hold their attention. Never played mini golf but those who did say it was challenging as of course the ship is rocking a little. Also, a shuffle board area on the port side of ship and a ping pong area on the port side of ship. Rock climbing only seemed to be open between 3-5pm. Did shoot around on the basketball court and between the wind and the motion of the boat it was quite a challenge.

Mid-ship is the main pool where there is a huge flat screen showing TV shows/movies/sports at various times. This is also where the live band plays during the day. It is typical salt-water pool found on most ships about 6ft deep which chairs all around. Also 2 hot tubs and a shower and of course the ’pool bar’. The deck above this area is also where you will find many chairs for sunbathing and another bar ‘sky bar’. Bars had waiter service all though it seemed more prevalent on the pool deck 11 than on deck 12 where we did most of our sunbathing. Bars close around 7pm. Right off the main pool area you walk toward the bow and enter a climate controlled atrium where the adult’s only pool is (18 and over). This pool is a little smaller than the main pool but same depth and it also has a hot tub and shower. Atrium lets in plenty of light and the chairs in this area have nice cushions. Most of chairs are in shade as sunlight that comes in mostly contained to the pool itself. Area has its own bar and also has a snack area with salad bar and sandwich/deli area for light fare/lunch during the day. One day they had a carving station with roast prime rib which was terrific. This food station closes around 6pm. On the 12 deck at the very front of the ship is the gym. Decent size with about 15 weight machines, 12 treadmills 10 different types of elliptical machines. All surrounded in glass so you can see ocean in front of you while working out.

Cabin Review

Deluxe Ocean View Stateroom with Balcony

Cabin E2

ROOMS: Rooms are dated but everything was clean and working properly. We booked only one month out and because ship was full had a porthole cabin on the 3rd level (3512) which is in bow of ship. No motion sickness issues. This was the lowest room we have experienced as all other cruises we were on level 8 or higher. Room was small but they make good use of what space they have. A surprisingly large closet area where you can hang just about everything you have packed. They provide good hangers which hold slacks and shirts all in one. This helps make up for fact that there are only 6 drawers for storage that are only about 10 inch wide and 6 inches deep. There is flat screen TV approx. 27 inch. There is also a safe which can fit a full size iPad but would not accommodate any but maybe the smallest of laptops. There was plenty of lighting when you put it all on. Also plenty of mirrors to check yourself out in when preparing for dinner. Bed was 2 twins pushed together to form oversized queen. Bed was firm and OK, pillows were mushy and not to my liking. They even squeezed in a love seat and tiny coffee table which for me doubled as an ironing board which they don’t provide (no irons either).

There was a shelf right below porthole which was perfect for storing your luggage, we fit all 3 pieces there. Missed having balcony on this cruise to hang the wet stuff out on to dry. Shower was tiny and at 5ft 11in could not bend down to pick up dropped soap. Shower head was movable (up and down) and could be detached and become hand held which was helpful. Water was always hot and the water pressure was good, better than some hotels I have been in. Vanity was small but was helped out by a shelf right below it to hold your toiletries etc. They do provide you with a hairdryer. As on all cruises toilet is based on vacuum system and is loud when flushed. But if you close lid and flush it helps mitigate noise. Even though we had neighbors did not hear the noise of their toilet flushing the whole week. Low rooms are generally better for minimizing motion of ship. Also decks 4 and 5 on this ship were where all the indoor dining, bars, casino etc. were located so was easy access for us for that. Outdoor activity on decks 11-13 required an elevator ride. We never had to wait long for an elevator so that was not an issue. Rob our cabin steward did a great job all week keeping the room clean and even got a burnt out light bulb changed immediately.

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