Brilliance of the Seas Review
- Pros: Good dining for line's pricing, particularly at Windjammer and specialty restaurants
- Cons: Air quality is smoky throughout ship despite smoking restrictions
- Bottom Line: This comfortable, midsize ship is a good choice for theme cruises or short itineraries
Brilliance of the Seas Overview
Brilliance of the Seas is the second Radiance-class ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet. The ship's mediumish size -- it holds some 2,112 passengers at double occupancy -- allows cruisers to feel they have the best of both worlds: a vessel with ample activities and crew who provide attentive service. The latter is definitely noteworthy on Brilliance: room attendants, entertainment staff, spa attendants and waiters are particularly approachable and helpful.
As with all ships in the Radiance series, passengers are never at a loss for a view: the ship's stunning nine-story central atrium is surrounded by glass, and elevators face the outside. Nearly every public area has a stunning view. Brilliance is suitably named, as the design of the ship is innovatively designed to be easy to navigate. The plethora of outdoor features, such as the rock climbing wall and mini-golf course are easy to find and no reservations are required.
Ship venues are generally not congested. Even the most crowded venues -- poolside in the afternoons and Windjammer during lunch hours -- generally have available seating.
Brilliance of the Seas Fellow Passengers
Passenger demographics vary by the time of year and itinerary. In general, older Gen X and younger baby boomer passengers are in the majority on the ship. Families with children are in the minority year-round, but are more common during winter and spring breaks on the Caribbean itineraries and during the summer for Mediterranean voyages.
Brilliance of the Seas Dress Code
The dress code on board is usually "cruise casual." In the evenings, approximately 10 percent of passengers wear jeans, but most wear khakis and casual dresses. Expect one formal night on which most men wear suits and women don cocktail dresses, with only a few opting for tuxedos and long dresses. One "smart casual" dinner night brings out the dress slacks and blouses. Baseball caps, swimsuits, tank tops, T-shirts and shorts are never allowed in the restaurants in the evening.
Brilliance of the Seas Gratuity
Each passenger (of any age) on all Royal Caribbean cruises is automatically charged $13.50 per day (or $16.50 per day for suite passengers). Gratuities can be prepaid or will be added to the passengers' SeaPass accounts while onboard. Passengers can modify or remove their gratuities by visiting the guest services desk onboard. An 18 percent gratuity is automatically added to all beverage tabs. In addition, passengers who select the My Time dining option must pre-pay gratuities.