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Brilliance of the Seas Review

Brilliance of the Seas
Brilliance of the Seas

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Brilliance of the Seas
4.0 / 5.0 Cruise Critic Editor Rating
to book


Good dining for line's pricing, particularly at Windjammer and specialty restaurants


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


Passengers 2,501
Crew 848
Passenger to Crew 2.95:1
Launched 2002
Shore Excursions 630
Sarah Wyatt
Cruise Critic Contributor

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.

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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.


Included with your cruise fare:

  • Meals in the Minstrel Dining Room and Windjammer Marketplace buffet, as well as snacks and meals at the Park Cafe; also continental breakfast choices from room service
  • Main theater shows and entertainment
  • Most daily activities and events, unless otherwise noted
  • Use of the fitness center (excluding most classes)
  • Use of the rock climbing wall, Sports Court, mini-golf course and kid’s water slide
  • Adventure Ocean Kids Programs until 10 p.m.
  • Gratuities, only if you booked your cruise in Australia and New Zealand in AU and NZ dollars

Not included with your cruise fare:

  • Daily gratuities ($14.50 per person, per day for Junior Suites and below; $17.50 per person, per day for Grand Suites and above)
  • Room service (except complimentary continental breakfast)
  • Drinks, excluding water, tea (including iced tea), coffee, lemonade and selected juices from Windjammer Buffet
  • Most specialty dining
  • Gratuities (18 percent) added to all specialty dining, beverage, spa and salon purchases
  • Spa and salon treatments and services
  • Activities like bingo, arcade play, arts and crafts classes, alcohol tastings, sushi demonstrations and casino gaming
  • Most fitness classes
  • Programming in Adventure Ocean after 10:00 p.m.
  • Internet access and packages
  • Shore tours
  • Photo and art purchases onboard

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.

Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Dress Code

Daytime:The dress code on board is usually "cruise casual" and you'll see plenty of T-shirts and shorts.

Evening: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.

Not permitted: Baseball caps, swimsuits and tank tops are never allowed in the restaurants in the evening.

For more information, visit Cruise Line Dress Codes: Royal Caribbean.

Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Awards

Cruisers’ Choice Awards

2017 Best for Embarkation
2017 Best for First Timers
2015 Best for Embarkation

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Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas Member Reviews

Brilliance of the Seas
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Again, Brilliance of the Seas is great vacation option for all....Read More
Brilliance of the Seas
Sail Date: Apr 2019
We had a very nice cruise on Brilliance of the Seas. Crew staff was outstanding friendly. Very food food, fine entertainment, peasant trip....Read More
Brilliance of the Seas
Sail Date: Jan 2019
We chose the Brilliance of the Seas because we are loyal to Royal and we live only 3 hours from Tampa....Read More
Brilliance of the Seas
Sail Date: May 2018
I was pleasantly surprised with Brilliance of the Seas. The ship is just the right size for my parents and I (with just about 2000 passengers)....Read More

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