Brilliance of the Seas

Royal Caribbean ends lease and formally purchases Brilliance of the Seas


In SEC filings,Royal Caribbean announced it had refinanced its deal in place for Brilliance of the Seas by terminating the lease and buying the ship outright for $275 million.

Royal Caribbean leased the ship when it was built back in July 2002 under a 25-year operating lease.  The move today eliminates that lease obligation by purchasing the ship.

Royal Caribbean funded the purchase through drawings under their revolving credit facilities.  Royal Caribbean also indicated they will not recognize any gain or loss in connection with this refinancing deal.

Brilliance of the Seas makes maiden cruise to Tampa


Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas made her inaugural cruise from Tampa, Florida on Saturday and is the ninth ship in the fleet to call Tampa home.

Brilliance of the Seas took her 2,100 passengers on a Western Caribbean cruise itinerary that will visit Key West, Cozumel, Grand Cayman and Roatan, Honduras.

When Brilliance of the Seas returns to Tampa next week, it will begin a series of four- and five-day cruises with ports of call in Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico.

Brilliance of the Seas will offer cruises from Tampa through May 1.

The Tampa Tribune reports to celebrate her first cruise, the Tampa Port Authority arranged a tour of the 12-story Radiance-class ship for authority board members and news reporters.

Royal Caribbean plans to deploy a second ship in Tampa for Caribbean cruises next year.

Royal Caribbean impacted by government shutdown


The shutdown of the United States government that began today at midnight has had a lot of effects throughout the country, including a Royal Caribbean cruise.

USA Today is reporting that cruise passengers aboard Brilliance of the Seas that had booked an excursion to Acadia National Park in Bar Harbor, Maine were turned away due to the shutdown. Royal Caribbean had to cancel all of its excursions to national parks.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez elaborated on what the cruise line is doing instead, "We were able to come up with some alternatives in order to accommodate those guests that had booked excursions to the national park."

Some other options offered include the Mount Desert Oceanarium or going on a schooner sail.

Martinez indicated the cruise line will monitor the shutdown situation and make whatever changes are necessary for upcoming cruises.

Royal Caribbean cancels Brilliance of the Seas cruises to Quebec


Royal Caribbean announce it is cancelling its three cruises in Quebec, Canada for Brilliance of the Seas.

Port of Quebec spokesman, Anick Métivier, commented on the decision, "This is a repositioning of the ship that the cruise line has decided to do.  Cruise lines reposition their ships generally based on fluctuations of the international market, and it is beyond our control."

As a result of the cancellation, the Port of Quebec has downgraded its projections for cruise passengers for the year from 117,500 to 111,000.  Despite the cancellation, this will still be the second best cruise season ever for Quebec.

Two other Royal Caribbean ships are still planning cruises to Quebec.  Explorer of the Seas will be arriving in Quebec from September 18 to 20, 2013 and another visit planned in 2014.  Legend of the Seas will make her inaugural visit to Quebec in 2014 as well.

Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas finished 3-week refurbishment


Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas has finished a $30 million drydock refurbishment that added a number of amenities first developed for Oasis-class cruise ships.

Brilliance of the Seas refurbishment added a lot to the ship, including doubling the amount of dining options onboard.  The new restaurants include the Italian trattoria, Giovanni’s Table, the exclusive multi-course Chef’s Table. Guests can expand their palettes at a multitude of other dining venues including Royal Caribbean’s signature Izumi Asian Cuisine, Park Café and Rita’s Cantina.

In addition, the five-story Centrum has been transformed into a spectacular new space featuring the Centrum experience, which includes the addition of the 60’s-inspired R Bar as well as a multitude of entertainment experiences including enriching daytime activities, dazzling nighttime entertainment and a new high-flying entertainment experience where aerialists glide through the vertical space of the atrium.

Royal Caribbean also added 

  • Concierge Club for suite guests
  • Diamond Club for Crown & Anchor Society loyalty program members
  • A new English pub
  • Royal Babies and Tots Nursery
  • Wi-Fi access throughout the ship
  • flat-panel televisions in all staterooms
  • Outdoor LED movie screen on the pool deck
  • interactive digital way-finding system

Brilliance of the Seas will be able to show off her new "toys" this summer when she begins sailing from Harwich, England.  Once there, Brilliance of the Seas will offer Northern European cruises to destinations such as Copenhagen, Denmark; Stockholm, Sweden and Helsinki, Finland.

Brilliance of the Seas helps open new cruise terminal in Guadeloupe


The Port of Guadeloupe (PAG) opened its new cruise terminal at Pointe-à-Pitre this past Wednesday and celebrated with a ceremony that involved Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas.

Brilliance of the Seas' arrival launched the 2012-2013 cruise season for the Caribbean island.  

The ceremony was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony by Thémine Gil, chairman of the Board of PAG, with its director general Laurent Martens present along with Brilliance of the Seas' Captain.

The new port terminal cost 1.4 million euros and the capacity of the terminal was increased to 2,000 peope with luggage space doubled and new better defined pedestrian paths created.  In addition other amenities were added including a bar and local crafts village.

The improved cruise terminal will hopefully improve tourist numbers for Guadeloupe.  Management expects its traffic to grow by 50% for the new seas, with more than 80 calls planned and Royal Caribbean is one of the companies calling upon the island.

Tropical Storm Leslie cancels Royal Caribbean cruise ship stops


Reports from passengers aboard Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas are that due to Tropical Storm Leslie, Jewel of the Seas will not call on Newfoundland on Thursday.

The ship's captain indicated to passengers that Jewel of the Seas will go around the storm and go instead directly to Boston. Jewel of the Seas is making a trans-Atlantic crossing from Iceland.

In addition, Brilliance of the Seas is doing its part to avoid Leslie and will skip the Faroe Islands and proceed directly to Iceland.

These changes have not been formally announced by Royal Caribbean yet but the reports are coming from passengers aboard the respective ships.

Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will make 40 cruises to Europe in summer 2013


Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas and Splendour of the Seas will make a total of 40 cruises throughout Europe, with 41 stops in the summer of 2013.

Brilliance of the Seas will depart out of Harwich, England to ports in Northern Europe and the Baltic Sea with 12 night itineraries.  Meanwhile, Splendour of he Seas will offer seven-night cruises to the Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean out of Venice, Italy.

Brilliance of the Seas will begin its summer season on May 15, 2013 and will offer eight trips to and from Harwich to scales and in Copenhagen Stockholm, Helsinki, Tallinn, Gothenburg and St. Petersburg where it gets a night.

Splendour of the Seas, which was upgraded in November 2011 with new amenities from the Royal Advantage program, will start its summer season on May 5 with a six-night cruise from Barcelona to Venice with a stop in Marseille, Florence/Pisa and Rome (Civitavecchia).  The ship will offer four itineraries, two in the Greek islands, one in the Greek Islands and Turkey, and another in the Greek Islands and Croatia.

Royal Caribbean ships will dock in Norway despite strike


Royal Caribbean has said that Vision of the Seas will dock in Bergen, Norway and Brilliance of the Seas will dock in Flam, Norway this morning as planned, despite a strike by pilot boat skippers in Oslo.

The strike is expected to spread across Norway by Thursday.

Royal Caribbean spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez issued a statement regarding the situation, "Both ships are expected to depart their ports of call today as scheduled. However, we are currently preparing contingency plans in the event the strike continues and either ship is unable to make their next scheduled port of calls in Norway."

The strike comes at the peak of the Norwegian fjord sailing season and threatens to disrupt the tourists coming to see them.

Vision of the Seas is scheduled to call to Geiranger, Norway, on Thursday, May 31, then spend Friday, June 1, at sea and conclude its sailing in Oslo, Norway, on Saturday, June 2.

Brilliance of the Seas is scheduled to call to Bergen, Norway, on Thursday, May 31, spend Friday, June 1, at sea and conclude its sailing in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on Saturday, June 2.

Brilliance of the Seas coming to Tampa in 2013


Royal Caribbean will send Brilliance of the Seas to Tampa in 2013-2014, replacing Jewel of the Seas.

Brilliance of the Seas will offer four and five-night western Caribbean cruises with stops in Cozumel, the Cayman Islands and either Key West or George Town.

Prior to arriving in Tampa, Brilliance will enter drydock in May 2013 and be revitalized to give it a major refurbishment including New onboard dining and entertainment options, revitalized staterooms, and other amenities including Wi-Fi, digital way-finding systems and an outdoor LED video wall.