March 1st Brilliance Review with pictures

197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
a couple things to note with this review...
1) this is only my second review so bear with me
2) I was traveling with a friend and her mother
3) this was my 4th cruise overall but 2nd with RC
4) I've only ever been on 5 days on RC and 7 days on other cruise lines
5) other 2 cruise lines are Princess and Carnival
6) this was my first spring cruise. all others were in early July
7) I like food! I just really enjoy trying things but not every picture I have was MINE (just fyi )
8) I probably wouldn't go on another cruise during spring break simply because the drunk idiot college kids were so rude (no offense to those who behaved but you were few and far between) but will absolutely go on another cruise.

If you were on the cruise and you happen to be in a picture, I apologize. I don't post pictures of myself or the people I'm traveling with and I didn't intentionally take pictures of other people.
so here we go...

Day 1 - March 1st Brilliance of the Seas from Tampa
We flew in direct from Raleigh, NC and landed in Tampa at approximately 10am. The flight was easy and no issues with luggage. We figured we would have to kill some time at the dock but wanted to be there early vs late just in case the flight got delayed somehow. We took a taxi from the airport ($25 flat rate) and it took about 25 minutes or so. My only complaint here is that there were 3 of us and we had 3 large suitcases. There was also an older couple standing next to us going to the same location. The taxi attendant shoved us into a car vs the minivan that was also sitting there and put the couple in the minivan BUT our luggage did fit and it wasn't that big of a deal.
We got to the port and found a luggage porter there to meet us. He took our luggage and we went up to check in. We didn't wait for even a second. It was UNBELIEVABLE! We literally walked onto the ship. We were on the ship by 10:45am. We were honestly expecting to wait at the port before being allowed on but didn't have to do that. From now on, I will get there that early because it was so easy and we didn't have to fight through the crowds of people. After looking around for a few minutes we went right to the Windjammer buffet to eat and sit down until the ship left.
I didn't take any pictures of the buffet food but don't worry...I have pictures from the MDR from every night. The food was decent but nothing spectacular. I was pretty hungry so it didn't matter though really. I had a nice large salad - decent toppings, ok dressings some fish that was really good and some vegetables. There was also a pasta dish that was really good. The desserts were also pretty good. Sorry I don't remember specfics but that isn't a problem for MDR.

to be continued...
197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
Day 1 cont.

After we ate, we wandered around for awhile and then found lounge chairs on deck 12 overlooking the water and sat down to relax. We weren't allowed in our rooms until 1pm so we figured a rest would be nice. it was kinda cold sitting there as there was a nice breeze and we were in the shade but I had a sweatshirt and was ok. i believe that i actually fell asleep for a few minutes so i obviously was comfortable. at about 1pm we went down to find our room 9558.
room was a decent size with a balcony (superior stateroom I believe). this is my first time with a balcony and it was nice...but i honestly don't think i would spend the extra money for it. i didn't use it that much and don't think it's worth it.

well, I had planned on finishing day one but I have to get back to work so maybe i'll be able to do it later
Beaufort, SC
160 Posts
Joined Sep 2004
Subscribed Sailing on Brilliance in two weeks. Can't wait to see the rest of the review!
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Plant City FL
109 Posts
Joined May 2011
Thank you for writing a review on the Brilliance. I have not seen too many of this ship. We are going on the April 17th cruise. I didn't even think about the spring break possibility. Our spring break here was last week, but it could be other areas spring break still in April. Hopefully it's not to crazy since our 9 year old will be with us.

Hope it was a great trip!
South Carolina
3,246 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Thanks for posting this. I am looking at the Brilliance and there are few reviews.
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Gettysburg, PA
2,210 Posts
Joined Dec 2000
Thank you for your Brilliance of the Seas photo review. Since you "like food!"...hope you got a chance to go to Park Cafe and Giovanni's Table...also...on our recent RCCL cruises, we've noticed that the basic pasta sauce in the buffet is very good...the rest of the buffet has been just okay...but the Park Cafe certainly makes up for that.
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197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
I will be able to post much longer tomorrow or later today but to answer a few questions you guys had so far...
yes, there will absolutely be pictures. I had a mishap when I was writing that first part and while trying to add the pictures lost all of what I had written so had to start over...then had to go to work. but I have lots of pictures!
i did go to park cafe a couple times, sorry no pictures of that bu I will talk about it, but did not go to Giovanni's.
I'm so happy that people are interested in this review. I couldn't find much on this ship either which is why I decided to write this review

I promise I'll do more soon!
Niagara Falls, Canada
440 Posts
Joined Nov 2011
We are going on our 1st RCCL cruise in October....on the Brilliance so I am really looking forward to the remainder of your review. Have enjoyed it so far! Thanks!
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Upcoming cruises: April, 2018--Southeast coast to the Bahamas Cruise aboard the Grandeur of the Seas
October, 2018--Repositioning cruise aboard the Serenade of the Seas
265 Posts
Joined Apr 2013
My family and I will be on the same cruise,with my 5 year old granddaughter. I really think Spring Break will be over for the most part. I was on Brilliance in February. Wonderful ship! Please join our Roll Call.
582 Posts
Joined Jun 2013
Originally posted by Dunfer
My family and I will be on the same cruise,with my 5 year old granddaughter. I really think Spring Break will be over for the most part. I was on Brilliance in February. Wonderful ship! Please join our Roll Call.
Was on December 16th loved the brilliance. Great Food in Dinning Room I did not even see a drunk but I was never in the bar or at the pool. Youngest couple I met were married 30's from England. I will wait till Spring Break is over to go again. Loved Key West take the counch train. Very educational,l had a wonderful tour operator named Ken second generation Floridian.
2,887 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
So excited to see another review on The Brilliance. We can hardly wait till our cruise. Looking forward to all the info and pictures that you will be sharing!
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The question to ask yourself before you close your eyes tonight is:
"Did You Make A Difference Today?"


Hackettstown, NJ
1,362 Posts
Joined Sep 2013
Looking forward to reading the rest of the review. We just got off Brilliance this morning... and I'm debating whether to throw together my own review.
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2,887 Posts
Joined Jul 2005
Originally posted by nolesrule
Looking forward to reading the rest of the review. We just got off Brilliance this morning... and I'm debating whether to throw together my own review.

Please do!!! Would love to hear about it and also photos....Hope you had a wonderful time!
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The question to ask yourself before you close your eyes tonight is:
"Did You Make A Difference Today?"


197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012

this is room 9558 taken from the balcony inward. it had A LOT of closet and drawer space which was really impressive, especially because there were 3 females in the room
due to limited space in the room itself we decided to unpack all of our clothing and store the suitcases under the beds. there is actually room for 2 large suitcases under a bed. we have to lift the bed up and shove quite a bit but it fit.
the bathroom is about the same size as any other room i've ever been in. i didn't go in any other room on this specific ship though, so i'm just speaking generally. shower is tiny as always but the showerhead was height adjustable which was a godsend (i'm pretty tall) as I don't enjoy squatting while washing my hair.
i slept on the pull out couch. it basically just unrolls so it's a mattress on the floor. it wasn't overly comfortable but wasn't awful. it was short but wider than the regular beds. our room steward never folded it back into a couch which was fine with me so i'm assuming that's their normally policy unless you request otherwise.
our room steward wasn't great. he did a good job cleaning and such but he tried to rush us out of our room the first night. I know he was trying to do his job but we had the 8:30pm dinner and were getting ready still. AND we got 2 towel animals the whole trip...that was something I was actually really annoyed with. i know it's silly but i look forward to seeing those every night.
197 Posts
Joined Apr 2012
we went up to deck 12 or maybe it's considered 13 to watch as we sailed away. it was a pretty great view point but VERY windy.