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Brilliance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
1,553 reviews

A fun 5-day getaway

Review for the Western Caribbean Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas
2-5 Cruises • Age 60s

Rating by category

Value for Money
Public Rooms
Fitness & Recreation

Additional details

Sail Date: Apr 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 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.

Cabin Review

Our cabin, a junior suite, was spacious and comfortable, definitely worth the upgrade from a traditional balcony. Mattresses were very firm, almost too firm, so a pillow-topper would have been a nice option. Bath in ours had a shower/tub format which was much roomier than others we've had on other cruise lines.

Port Reviews

Grand Cayman (Georgetown)

Rent a car or hire a driver to take you around the island. 7 Mile Beach, the Turtle Farm, "Hell", Blow Holes, all worth the drive. Great beaches, snorkeling/diving. There's more to the island than shopping jewelry stores.


We took a cab to San Miguel, the only town on the island, much better than stopping at the pier shops.

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