We are seasoned cruisers, having over 25 cruises through a couple of decades. Brilliance of the Seas has many positives. We particularly enjoyed that (1) it had a Gluten-free ‘island’ in the Windjammer buffet; excellent to the point that we ate two meals a day there; (2) the staterooms were clean and tidy (thanks to Paul the attendant); (3) it had a good music combo Divas Duo, who played a variety of song-types, permitting us to dance swing, salsa, foxtrot, Slow Nightclub,etc.; (4) it had dance music in the ‘rotunda’ (aka, the Centrum) routinely, so that many guests could watch the couples’ dancing without going to a ‘bar’; (5) it had a one-week Thermal Suite package which we used daily; (6) for the time of year (mid-October), we had great weather; (7) in St. John’s the museums, street art work and pedicabs were great; (8) Nine Stones Massage in Portland was the best of any we’ve been to for a hot stone massage; (9) the Maritime Museum, Citadel, the boardwalk, and old churches in Halifax were fantastic; (10) the classical piano/string group [from the Ukraine?] was quite good; (11) they had the best-ever gluten-free toast in the main dining room, would routinely substitute/add a baked potato, had escargot and creme brûlée on the menu every day; (12) the photographers were outstanding (such as Danillo and Aylaya [?]) and great fun to work with, having a variety of photo ‘stations’ every night and many different poses suggested. Compared to ‘back home,’ the photo package is a great deal; (13) the juggler-comedian was surprising good; (14) the movie theater with current movies [e.g. Jurassic Work] was a nice touch; (15) ‘Hello Clo’ was the best—and funniest— cruise director we’ve ever experienced; (16) having the performance band play a “Big Band” hour in the Centrum was great [but way too much swing and little foxtrot and waltz].
Negatives were few. Boston Port (not the ship) insists that all non-Americans (even with a green card) show up at 6:30am on disembark day. This was a slow, delayed, arduous process for many—over the decades have never seen so bad of any American port. RCL said this was a problem for all cruise lines at Boston. We suggested that they have sit-down areas to avoid the long line—which can be difficult physically for many—and they said they would look in to it.
To avoid crowds and waiting in line, its better to go to the early show and dine later if you are doing “My Dining” flexible dining.