I chose this ship and date because it was convenient to my home in Tampa and my fiance, traveling in from Ireland, only had nine days of holiday available. My only other choice was Carnival which has never appealed to me. Most of my nine cruises have been on Holland America, which is my line of preference for mass market travel. We didn't spend much on this five nighter to Cozumel and Grand Cayman and I feel we got what we paid for but no more. Overall it was an good first time on RCCL, but HAL is my go to cruise line simply because the ships are "classier."
Arrival and boarding went smoothly and we were aboard within an hour of arrival at the pier. Traffic was well controlled since there were three ships leaving the same day, including ours. Rooms were available two-three hours after boarding. Brilliance sailed on time.
We chose to have most of our meals in the Windjammer Cafe. We had breakfast and dinner once each in the main dining room, both meals were sparsely attended. We wanted to do something different for both meals and the service was excellent. We had one dinner in Izumi, the Asian-style restaurant on Deck 12. We had planned on dinner in Chops Grille the night we left Grand Cayman but my fiance had developed a terrible headache and decided he wasn't up for it. Overall, the food was like most any on a mass market ship--hit and miss. Nothing was inedible, but the salads were a snooze and some items needed seasoning. I understand that ships probably don't want to season too much, but salt and pepper was lacking in a lot of it. Various melons, pineapple, and bananas were mostly the only fruit offerings in the Windjammer, along with apples and oranges. I guess berries, kiwi, and grapes were too expensive to offer. The melons were all ripe and sweet, but I noticed that at each meal there were served differently. Sometimes peeled, sometimes not. Sometimes cut in chunks, sometimes not. It just struck me as funny. Several Indian/South Asian dishes were offered often and there were eggs and omelettes cooked to order. On alternate days, stir fries and Mongolian Barbecue dishes were cooked to order. I don't think anyone could fault the variety offered in the Windjammer.
We had an obstructed-view balcony room on deck seven. On researching after we returned, most balcony rooms are about the same size, 179 square feet with a 41 square foot veranda. The verandas are big enough for two chairs and a small cocktail table. This was the first OV room I have cruised in. The obstruction was an extended roof over the deck below, meaning you could not look down and see anything but the roof. I can live with that kind of obstruction. As on most ships, there are two beds which can be joined to make a bed that is not quite king size but bigger than a queen. There was adequate storage cabinets and a floor to ceiling closet, divided in the center by shelving. There are two 110 volt outlets and two 220 volt outlets at the desk and a shaver outlet in the bathroom. There are plenty of mirrors in the room, including two full length. A single sink vanity in the bathroom with one medicine cabinet with ample space for toiletries and a shelf under the sink/vanity combo. A shower with curtain completes the bathroom fixtures. There is also a small settee in the room which may or may not fold out into a bed. If it is a bed, I think it would only be suitable for a child.