Brilliance of the Seas
The second of the four Radiance-class sisters, the 2002-built, 2,112-passenger Brilliance of the Seas just got a little brighter after a 2013 face-lift, and now offers more dining choices and entertainment options than ever before. Compared to the biggest ships out there, this one feels mid-size, which is great for anyone who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by a vessel carrying two or three times as many passengers.
What We Love
Cruises Out of Barcelona: Brilliance summers in the Mediterranean, offering 12-night voyages that call on highlights of Italy, France, Croatia, and Greece round-trip from beautiful Barcelona, where you really should stay for a few days before or after your cruise.
Acres of Glass: This floating glass palace features floor-to-ceiling windows in many of the public spaces, as well as glass elevators for sweeping views of the sea and approaching ports of call.
Best Known For
Restaurants Galore: Choose from eight dining venues including Rita’s Cantina for Mexican food, Izumi's pan-Asian fare and sushi, Giovanni’s Table for family-style Italian, and Chops Grille for steaks and seafood.
Entertainment Extravaganza: In addition to the sprawling casino and large multi-level theater for Broadway-style shows, there are 16 bars and lounges, including an English-style pub, a 1960s-style bar, a sports bar, the nautical-themed Schooner Bar, and a lounge with self-leveling pool tables.
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Who It's Best For
Families: Plenty of spaces are geared toward adults, from the spa and solarium to the many entertainment venues and intimate alternative restaurants, but kids are catered to as well. There’s a nursery for the youngest (6 months to 3 years), a playroom for those ages 3 to 11, and a teen center for youth 12 and up. And don't forget the kiddie pool with waterslide, video arcade, climbing wall, mini-golf course and the half-basketball court for all ages.
Couples: Particularly during non-school breaks, Brilliance is a great option for couples of all ages who crave romantic dinners and a variety of evening entertainment, including the new wine bar, the top-deck Starquest nightclub, and aerial performances in the towering Centrum atrium.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Cozy Cabins: With standard inside and outside cabins measuring just 164 to 167 square feet and bathrooms the size of closets, you may want to seriously consider a cabin with a balcony for the extra space.
Heidi Sarna is a Singapore-based contributor to ShermansCruise who has also written for Condé Nast Traveler and USA Today.
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Brilliance of the Seas at a Glance
- Line: Royal Caribbean
- Class: Radiance
- Number of Passengers: 2112
- Ship Size: Large
- Launch Date: 2002
- Refurbish Date: 2013