Perhaps you might find this last post in my Brilliance of the Seas review the most helpful in deciding if this ship is the right one for you. Just with any vacation, there are pros and cons. Hopefully, the pros outweigh the cons. Read ahead to find out how each weighed in from our 4-Night Western Caribbean voyage.
- All of our clothes were put away neatly because the closets had plenty of hangers and shelves.
- All of our belongings to had a place since there was plenty of storage space.
- The shower head in shower was adjustable, which was great for my 6’5″ tall husband.
- There was a curtain to separate the “living space” from the “sleeping space” in the room. Having the curtain came in handy when my daughter and I were getting dressed, especially when my husband was in the room.
- I was able to leave my hair dryer at home because one was provided. It was also pretty powerful, so it didn’t take me a ton of time to dry my long hair. Read my blog to learn about what items to leave at home when packing for a cruise (here).
Spaces on the Ship
- The pool deck bathrooms were clean and well-maintained.
- It was nice sitting on the lounge chairs up on the sundecks after dinner. While some cruise lines stack their chairs at night, Royal Caribbean leaves their chairs out for guests to enjoy.
- We rarely got turned around because it is easy to navigate on Brilliance of the Seas. Sometimes on other ships, it took us the entire week to learn which direction was forward and which was aft.
- The beds were comfortable, so I slept well!
- There was plenty of seats on the pool deck. With a large group of 10, it was never an issue finding seats so we could all sit together.
- Everyone enjoyed the Rock-climbing wall, sports court, and mini-golf.
Dining and Beverages
- The desserts were great, and there were plenty to choose from!
- Our wait staff was entertaining while we were waiting for our food, which helped keep the younger kids busy.
- I loved all the options for breakfast in Windjammers.
- The crew was friendly and welcoming. We did not encounter one single unfriendly crew member. In fact, they were more than willing to help us when one of our friends’ daughters got lost and we could not find her.
- We felt that the entertainment was good, especially the live Brilliance of the Seas Orchestra.
- You can get a reduced deposit and a higher OBC when you book on the ship. Because of this, we booked a 7-night cruise on Harmony of the Seas for October 2019!
- Thanks to a $10 shop sale, my daughter bought herself a clutch for formal night which matched her formal dress.
- Our balcony was spacious, which included two chairs and a table with plenty of standing room.
- Our cruise got started quickly because the boarding process was simple and quick. Disembarking was simple as well.
- We did not feel out of place on formal night because almost everyone on the ship was dressed up.
- Even though the beds are comfortable, they are shaped oddly (rounded at the bottom). My husband is tall, so he didn’t sleep well because his feet were hanging off the end of the bed.
- Speaking of the beds, they were too close to the ground, so there was no suitcase storage for larger suitcases. My daughter’s suitcase was the only one that fit under the bed. But luckily there was a ton of closet space, which had enough room for our other two suitcases.
- The sheer size of the shower and bathroom were tiny, which made it difficult to get dressed in.
- I really needed to charge my devices, but unfortunately, there were no USB plug-ins. There were also only two American outlets in our stateroom. None of the outlets were close to the bed, so I had to charge my phone from across the room, as well as guess what time it was when I woke up.
Spaces on the Ship
- The atrium (Centrum) was very small, so it was crowded during certain events, which made it hard to find a place to sit.
- Unfortunately, the Centrum on Brilliance of the Seas was extremely smoky after 8:00 at night on the first night. Because of this, I could not enjoy activities there because of my sensitivity to smoke.
- Unlike other ships where the smoking section is upstairs from the pool, the smoking section on this ship is next to the pool, so walking through it to get to Windjammers was the only way around it.
- The pools on Brilliance of the Seas were small and crowded, which was a problem when you have a 4-night cruise with only one port day.
- While there were amenities for young children, there weren’t very many, so we have concluded this is a ship geared towards adults.
- If you are short, you probably won’t enjoy seeing a movie in the Cinema because the railing blocked the view of the screen. The seats were pushed back from the railings, so when you sit in the seats, you are looking through the railing.
- The Arcade was a waste of money. One example is when we were not able to finish our air hockey games because the game would time out. Then, when we went back to use the rest of our credits on our last night, the puck was missing, so we didn’t even get to play and wasted our credits. There was nobody around to report it to and it was our last night, so it was time for bed.
Dining and Beverages
- To my surprise, there were no self-serve soda stations on Brilliance of the Seas. Not-to-mention, one side of Windjammers’ soda counter was out-of-order, so the lines were always long on the one side that was in working order. I suggest Brilliance of the Seas getting the Freestyle machines, like Oasis of the Sea, so we don’t dehydrate on our vacation!
- Where some cruise lines offer free room service, you have to pay for room service on Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. For us, this was fine, but we did miss ordering the late-night snacks on Disney Cruise Line after we were settled in.
- There are not food and snack options at all times of the day. Therefore, we found ourselves searching for food for the kids in the middle of the day.
- As with most cruise lines, the drink package is expensive, so we paid a la carte. It would be nice to have drink packages that come with a limit to drinks, for example, 5 drinks per day plus a bottle of wine package, or 10 drinks per day, etc.
- Unfortunately, only one appetizer, entree, and dessert changed on the menu in the Main Dining Room each night. Therefore, the rest of the menu stayed the same. I would loved to have seen a little more variety on the menus.
We felt the food in main dining room was bland, lacked presentation, and was redundant, while ice cream was not always available on this ship the way it is on others.
- There was no formal way of communicating with your party while on the ship (no app, no portable stateroom phones). This ended up being a HUGE PROBLEM when one of the younger kids was lost and we could not find her.
- Having our room serviced is important to us. Unfortunately, our room was not turned down for two days. Also, we only got a towel animal ONE night, which was very sad for us. For one, we needed fresh towels and secondly, we love seeing towel animals each night. When we brought it to guest services attention, they apologized and things got better.
- Parking at the port was confusing, so it would be helpful if Royal Caribbean re-wrote the parking instructions on their website for the Port of Tampa. We ended up carrying all of our luggage over 1/2 a mile from the parking deck to the terminal. Had we known it was that far away, my husband would either have dropped us off then parked, or paid to park at the terminal.
Please remember these are my opinions and may differ from others. While smoking inside the ship completely bothers me to the point it could ruin a planned night out on the ship, others might not mind the smoke. I hope you found this series helpful and hope you will subscribe to my blog and share it with your friends and families.