Sail Date: February 2019
Since our cruise on Seabourn we have become very spoiled, but my husband is a "prog" fan and was thrilled to take this cruise with some of his favorite artists. I hadn't been on a Royal Caribbean ship for at least 10 ... Read More
Since our cruise on Seabourn we have become very spoiled, but my husband is a "prog" fan and was thrilled to take this cruise with some of his favorite artists. I hadn't been on a Royal Caribbean ship for at least 10 years and it hasn't gotten any better. We left from Tampa for this 5-day cruise and because of fog we weren't allowed to embark until 7:30 that evening (instead of 10:30 that morning). This was a charter of the entire ship so all information came from the charter. With 2400 people arriving at once it took a few hours to board everyone but it went pretty smoothly. The cabin was small as expected, and worn. We did find adequate storage for our clothes and luggage, but it was difficult to turn around in the bathroom and navigate the cabin. Because of the abundant music schedule we were unable to eat in the dining room, and the Windjammer was great for breakfast but as a vegetarian I found it difficult to find enough options for lunch and dinner and ended up eating a lot of salads with cheese. The fitness center has wonderful views and is laid out well, and there was enough equipment for a good workout although there were no weight benches or TRX machines. One thing I do love about the RC ships is the solarium pool, the quiet area where you can get away from the hubbub of the main pool. On this cruise the main pool was converted to a stage anyway so it was great to have the solarium. Some notes for the Cruise to the Edge - if you like progressive rock this is the motherlode, apparently (according to my husband who is an aficionado of the highest order). Due to the delays of embarkation there were schedule changes that made it difficult to plan, and the bands were plagued with equipment malfunctions and performance delays. But it was a great time, with great people and despite my complaints here we did have a great time. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a family cruise for my siblings and our spouses. We chose RCL because we wanted a short cruise out of Tampa and this ship had a better overall rating with the competitive Carnival Cruise. Chose an inside stateroom and was ... Read More
This was a family cruise for my siblings and our spouses. We chose RCL because we wanted a short cruise out of Tampa and this ship had a better overall rating with the competitive Carnival Cruise. Chose an inside stateroom and was surprised how roomy it felt. Didn't even fill up the drawer space. Making the beds with rounded corners makes a big difference. The only thing small was the bathroom. Not a fan of the shampoo/conditioner, but brought my own as I knew that combination leaves my hair a tangled mess. Our last RCL cruise was about 15 yrs ago with our last 2 experiences with RCL as negative ones. During that absence, we cruised on several other lines, including Celebrity, their sister line. This cruise wiped out our previous bad cruises with RCL and was exchanged with wonderful memories. We arrived at the port around 12:30 and embarkation took maybe 10-15 minutes. We are Diamond members, but other family members who were not had similar timing. We were not allowed into our rooms until 1:30, which gave us time to have a relaxing lunch in the Windjammer. That first lunch experience was the best I had for the whole cruise. since they offered chilled mussels, shrimp, scallops, crab claws, and crawfish. I thought it was the start of glorious seafood munching for the cruise. Alas, that was the only lunch that would offer seafood options. We chose My Time dining and asked for standard seating at 7:15 for a table for 8. but after the first night, we asked if we could make it earlier so we could make the shows. Our request was granted. Our servers were Neel and Juan and they were very attentive, though timing between courses was glacial! There's no reason to wait 30 minutes after the entree plates are cleared to serve dessert. Overall enjoyed the appetizers and the entrees with the exception of the NY strip steak which was tough. Split breakfast dining in the MDR and Windjammer and had good experiences with both. Just wish one of the options could have been steak and eggs. However, they did an excellent job of fried eggs in both locations. All lunches were at Windjammer. They always had a good selection of salad offerings and had regular options for Indian dishes. They also had pizza (great the 1st day, but doughy thereafter), hamburgers that were light brown, and all beef hot dogs. Desserts never looked appealing to me, but I'm a bit picky on that. However, the ice cream was great and seemed like a rich custard. Had a chance to talk to the Windjammer chef and he explained if the pizza tastes doughy to ask for a fresh pizza as it was probably sitting there for a while and lost its crispness. Take the time to check the evening offerings at Windjammer - one night they were making fresh crepes with fresh fruit, chocolate, and whipped cream options! As we've gone to each of the ports on this cruise several times, we did not do any excursions. Instead, we made use of the vacant hot tubs, steam room, and sauna. Very relaxing. Saw two of the production shows - great singers but the dancers weren't always on the same beat. Saw the hypnotist show but felt at least half of those hypnotized were just going along with it as their reactions didn't always match his commands. The other show was a Rock and Roll Tribute band called Private Stock (http://privatestockband.com). They are excellent musicians, per my DH who is a drummer, and really do well mimicking the styles of famous bands. This was our first experience with the Diamond Lounge and other Diamond privileges. We've done Concierge class on two other lines, and this line outshines them. In the morning they had fruit, pastries, smoked salmon, and other chilled options. The coffee machine there makes espresso, cappuccino, and regular coffee with foaming milk, and hot chocolate and tea options. Mornings only saw 1-2 others. Evenings never had more than 16. Food in the evenings consisted of wonderful petite fours, fresh fruit, veggies, cheeses, thinly sliced French bread with brie or salami, and 3 hot appetizers. Beverages included beer, wine, sodas, hard liquor, hard cider, and champagne. Once you return a second time the bartenders are ready to offer you what you had the previous night. This lounge overlooks the outside pool so it had great sailaway views. We had the opportunity to chat with the head chef and his second in command a couple of times in the lounge and I asked if there was any chance we could have sea bass one night for our table. With 2-days notice, we did receive it. That was not a regular menu offering that night. I was also told by the Windjammer manager that we could make a special request there with 2 days notice, but I did not follow through with that option. We were never at a loss to find something to do on the ship and with so many items so close together, it sometimes meant we missed something we wanted to do but couldn't due to the timing. Debarkation was a breeze. We were one of the last scheduled to leave. We went to the MDR at 8:15 and the continued to serve us until 9:00 even though the dining room closed at 8:30 for food service. A special kudo for our cabin attendant, Jackson. When we went to breakfast after we left the room, I realized I'd left a sweater in the room. Despite the fact that the room had already been stripped of all linens and towels, he was able to track down my sweater in just a few minutes. Overall, it was a great cruise. We had to switch the two ports because of weather conditions, but only had minimal issues with the ship rocking and rolling. Enjoyed the evening band options, trivia, and dancing in the Centrum. Staff always were smiling and helpful. Will definitely cruise RCL again though we didn't book on the ship. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
This was a 4-night cruise from Tampa to Cozumel. It happened to be over a (federal) holiday weekend, so it was completely sold out. This was our second cruise with RC, the first was on an oasis class ship. Embarkation was so easy we ... Read More
This was a 4-night cruise from Tampa to Cozumel. It happened to be over a (federal) holiday weekend, so it was completely sold out. This was our second cruise with RC, the first was on an oasis class ship. Embarkation was so easy we couldn't believe it. We arrived early in our time slot and we were on the ship in less than 10 minutes. Our cabin was great. We had a balcony on the 9th deck, aft, and we could see the bridge. They waved sometimes. Our room steward, Amelia, was wonderful. She kept everything nice and made sure we had everything we needed. Almost every part of this ship had a great view. The only place we went that didn't was the sports pub, and they had lots of games on televisions. We did not go to the casino, although it always seemed busy. The whole ship was busy. The pools were impossibly crowded, as were the pool bars, and we had to wait for the hot tubs every time we went. However, there were so many deck chairs all over that is was always easy to find a place to lounge and read, in the sun or in the shade. The quality of the food was very good, and service was friendly. We ate in the dining room for most meals, with an occasional snack at the Park Café and some room service. The quality of dining service was not as high as we expected. Waiters in the dining room seemed unable to accommodate any requested deviation from the standard menu (e.g. no gravy, leave off the whipped cream, etc.) They also brought my husband the wrong dessert once. When we ordered coffee with dessert, it always came late. Once we ordered room service and they didn't bring utensils. Maybe this was to be expected when they serve so many, but it wasn't an issue on our last ship. Cozumel was fun. We did not book an excursion, we just walked off the ship and took a taxi ($8) to shop downtown. They really want you to taste the tequila everywhere, so we had a nice time. T-shirts and trinkets were cheaper at the shops by the port, but the tequila selection was better downtown. It was very easy to take a taxi back to the ship, there were taxi stands every 50 yards. We enjoyed everyone we met at breakfast/lunch, where they tend to seat everyone in groups, and the various trivia events held at different bars were really fun. This was a casual ship, and people were pretty laid back. The seas got a little rough on the way home. There were no glasses sliding around on tables or anything, but for most of the way back from Cozumel, you definitely felt the motion of the boat at all times. They never slowed down enough to use the stabilizers. It didn't stop us, but the dining room was pretty empty that last night and there were sea sickness bags placed all around the ship for people to use. Also, the solarium pool closed due to waves. We had a pretty good time, but we're going back to oasis class after this one. Or maybe to Celebrity. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
The comedian was really not funny both times we saw him. The ship is so small that you can’t get away from the smoky casino . The staff was nice and always helpful. The shower being an older ship has a shower curtain so a lot of water ... Read More
The comedian was really not funny both times we saw him. The ship is so small that you can’t get away from the smoky casino . The staff was nice and always helpful. The shower being an older ship has a shower curtain so a lot of water on the floor every time you shower . Won’t go on this ship ever again very disappointing . One stop on our 4 nights . Cozumel was great did an electric bike tour and then a trip to the best place on the island Panchos. Food is great and the margaritas are delicious and strong . Food in the cruise was typical RC food . The first night the salmon was dry and the chicken Marsala was over done . People at our table returned several meals . Lunch in the dining room was fantastic . It was in all disappointing though it is too small . Game shows and entertainment in the centrum couldn’t accommodate everyone . The colony club is great wish they used it instead of the centrum . Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
Overall, we we disappointed in this cruise for a number of reasons, but basically it was just a lot misses instead of hits. 1. The food was sub-par. The selection was very limited, no ethnic or even particularly flavorful foods in the ... Read More
Overall, we we disappointed in this cruise for a number of reasons, but basically it was just a lot misses instead of hits. 1. The food was sub-par. The selection was very limited, no ethnic or even particularly flavorful foods in the MDR. My Cesar salad was wilted and warm one night because it had been on a tray with hot foods. The carbonara pasta wasn’t even close to a traditional carbonara recipe. The desserts were bland, and weren’t worth the calories. Windjammer was perfectly acceptable for a buffet. Latitudes had a hard time keeping up with customer orders, and had a very long line. 2. Service overall wasn’t great. After our second night kept waiting for more than 15 min to get our dinner served, we asked for a different table and a different dinner team. The spa kept me waiting for more than 30 min after the scheduled start time of my massage. There was table service one night at the pub, but the next night there wasn’t. 3. The spa experience wasn’t great. The treatment room wasn’t dark. They didn’t offer me tea, water, etc. I had to ask where to go to change into a robe. The blanket in the treatment room was so thin I felt uncomfortable. The massage table wasn’t heated. The therapist was very nice, and did what she could, but I won’t book another spa experience on Brilliance again. 4. The room was comfortable and clean - we had a spacious balcony, room 9618. The attendant did a great job cleaning. But the TV was broken and the remote didn’t work so the only way for me to turn it off was to unplug it. The safe in the room stopped working after day 2. 5. The entertainment was hit or miss. On previous cruises, we’ve found the piano bar in the schooner lounge to be very good, but on this trip we were occasionally flinching during the performance. 6. Activities- we had very rough seas on the last day at sea (obviously not their fault!) but rather than coming up with a new set of indoor activities, they just cancelled the outdoor activities. As a result, the schooner bar (and the rest of the ship) was full of bored, cranky kids. There wasn’t anything to do, or at least, not that we could find. 7. We booked an excursion at Cozumel, to go to Playa Mia. They changed the time the night before the excursion, and moved it up a hour (leaving at 0845 instead of 0945). I had booked the later departure time because I didn’t want to get up early, so I ended up paying more money to take a cab. When we got there, we found there was a lot more to do than was advertised, which would have been good to know in advance, as more of our party would have come. I will not be booking another trip on Brilliance, and if my next cruise on Adventure isn’t a significant improvement, we won’t be going on another RC cruise again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose this cruise because we wanted a quick winter escape and airfare to Tampa was relatively inexpensive. It ended up being a great choice because the weather was outstanding, the seas relatively calm and the cruise enjoyable. ... Read More
We chose this cruise because we wanted a quick winter escape and airfare to Tampa was relatively inexpensive. It ended up being a great choice because the weather was outstanding, the seas relatively calm and the cruise enjoyable. Traveling were my husband, daughter and her husband, and college age son. The night before we stayed at the Hampton Inn Ybor City which was very accommodating. They shuttled us to and from the pier and stowed our luggage until our late flight home. I chose spacious balcony rooms on Deck 9 because my son was bunking with us. He slept in the upper berth; he said it was fairly comfortable and it didn’t block any pathway or extend over our sleeping area. We also got Voom+Stream for 2 devices. We never streamed but the WiFi was ok, occasionally we had a problem switching devices. I purchased BOGO dining and both Chops and Giovanni’s were outstanding. The dining room was just ok. We did My Time Dining and I highly recommend reserving a time through the Cruise Planner before sailing. The ship was full but never felt crowded. We tried to participate in a lot of activities and attend the shows. Schooner Bar was our hangout spot for family games and trivia. Also really liked Puzzle Break, and the Quest Game. Especially enjoyed Kenny James (Rock the Boat fame) and the production shows. We always attended the 2nd show and was surprised how few people were there. I read a lot of reviews about cigarette smoke from the casino but I didn’t find this bothersome at all. I didn’t even find the casino that bad. Surprisingly, I thought the smoking area on the pool deck was the worst. Excursions were good. Wish we had more time in Grand Cayman. We did Stingray City and snorkeled with Captain Marvin. In Cozumel, we did Cozumel Trikes, an island tour on three-person motorcycles. It was a blast seeing the island this way. Since we had a late flight, we did regular debarkation, had breakfast in the dining room and got off as late as we could, around 9:30 am. By then, the ship was fairly empty so luggage was easy to find. As I mentioned, Hampton Inn held our luggage until our flight home but I did notice a sign at the pier offering to stow luggage too. Read Less
4 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
We chose the Brilliance of the Seas because we are loyal to Royal and we live only 3 hours from Tampa. We arrived at the port around 12:30 the day of the cruise and the parking and embarkation was incredibly smooth. We were in our room ... Read More
We chose the Brilliance of the Seas because we are loyal to Royal and we live only 3 hours from Tampa. We arrived at the port around 12:30 the day of the cruise and the parking and embarkation was incredibly smooth. We were in our room dropping off our stuff and visiting the Windjammer in record time. We fell in love with the Windjammer's open area toward the back. You can actually sit outside and relax and take in the sites in an open area. This should be on all Royal Caribbean's Ships. We opted for an interior cabin on the 9th deck. Our room was spacious, with lots of storage and very quiet. Our cabin steward was attentive and thorough. On our first night, we dined in Chops. The meal and service was incredible! We attended all the shows in the Pacifica theater and loved every performance The comedian had us rolling in our seats. We also thoroughly enjoyed the performance of Kenny James. If you ever have the opportunity to see Kenny James, take it. We have been to Grand Cayman and Cozumel many times, so we just opted to walk around and do a little shopping. Our cruise was fun, relaxing, entertaining, and we would most definitely go on the Brilliance of the Seas again. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: January 2019
What you need to do before you book is read the small print! The additional gratuities and the cost of drinks were excessive. Our trip to Chichin Itza (our main objective) proved to be a five hour round bus trip for only one and a half ... Read More
What you need to do before you book is read the small print! The additional gratuities and the cost of drinks were excessive. Our trip to Chichin Itza (our main objective) proved to be a five hour round bus trip for only one and a half hours on site. We would like to have spent much longer at the Mayan Ruins which we found to be stunning. Our guides for the day were enthusiastic, well informed, friendly and helpful. The lunch provided was inedible. We found the on board entertainment was poor. We would not recommend this cruise to anyone. The cabin and dining room staff were exceptional. The food in the main dining room was very good, however, the buffet, where we ate breakfast and lunch, we found to be generally cold. Our cabin, nice as it was, was extremely noisy to the point that we felt we were sleeping in a bowling alley. It is most unlikely, after this experience, that we would consider ever doing this again. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2018
The staff was amazing - so helpful and caring. Entertainment always awesome on RC! Food was outstanding - only complain is they brought us too much good food. We also have a food allergy and they totally took care of us. Room was ... Read More
The staff was amazing - so helpful and caring. Entertainment always awesome on RC! Food was outstanding - only complain is they brought us too much good food. We also have a food allergy and they totally took care of us. Room was small, but lots of storage. Only real complaint is only two electrical outlets in the cabin - needed more or a power strip. Our originally planned excursion was cancelled and they immediately credited us and put us on a new excursion. The entertainment staff make the trip just so much fun, they work so hard to make sure we are laughing all the time. We did a holiday cruise, and there were lots of big family and small children - might avoid that next time lol. But ship was nicely decorated and lots of Christmas activities to enjoy. If you do take a holiday cruise, pack all your obnoxious holiday clothing we didn't bring anything and felt pretty plain, so go all in and enjoy the tackyness! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2018
We do love RC but this last cruise is making us not want to cruise again...at least with them if they don’t change smoking area.. the ship stunk of cigarettes, even by the main pool! In the central stage area inside...smoke filled areas ... Read More
We do love RC but this last cruise is making us not want to cruise again...at least with them if they don’t change smoking area.. the ship stunk of cigarettes, even by the main pool! In the central stage area inside...smoke filled areas from Casino (which we only walked through)by Sunday we had it! The so called couch bed for granddaughter blocked the path to the bathroom! Departure was ok after I had to walk across from parking lot in the rain...WHY no overhead or cover area from your parking lot? Not to mention dangerous walk area. Felt like we were at a crowed hotel...with children running was almost knocked over 2xs..and not supervised.. elevators took forever. Weather was cool no ones fault... seems their are more interested in upgrading your dinner options than anything. First day tried to book a future cruise to be handed a flyer and said check it out... and brushed off, not a nice gal... there were times we needed help to find NO one to ask... All though I felt the wait staff worked very hard to deal with so many people, full ship, just surprised at the tourists so pushy and rude...not all but maybe because it was a holiday cruise. Sorry to have a less than stellar review but I will try and forget. Read Less
Brilliance of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.2
Dining 4.0 3.8
Entertainment 3.0 3.7
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.5 4.1
Family 3.0 4.1
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.8
Enrichment 3.5 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.5 3.8
Rates 4.0 4.0

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