Brilliance of the Seas

Royal Caribbean cancels February 23 sailing of Brilliance of the Seas due to fog


Due to heavy fog in the Tampa Bay area, Royal Caribbean has canceled the already delayed February 23 sailing of Brilliance of the Seas.

Photo by Dustin Fox

Royal Caribbean notified passengers on the scheduled sailing their cruise would not occur because of the existing delay and anticipated upcoming delays with additional fog.

Royal Caribbean will provide each guest a full refund of the cruise fare as well as a future cruise certificate worth 25% of the cruise fare paid for the February 23rd sailing.

Brilliance of the Seas was scheduled to return to Tampa yesterday but heavy fog at sea prevented the ship from entering the port.  Royal Caribbean originally postponed the start of cruise to February 24 but the additional delay forced Royal Caribbean to cancel the sailing all together.

Fog delays Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas return to Tampa


Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas was delayed returning to her homeport of Tampa, Florida today due to heavy fog.

Brilliance of the Seas was due to arrive at the Port of Tampa this morning but the ship ran into thick fog in the Gulf of Mexico, making the return to Tampa Bay unsafe.

Brilliance of the Seas is about four hours away from Tampa and surrounded by fog.

As a result of the fog, Royal Caribbean has pushed back the next cruise's embarkation by one day to tomorrow.

A Royal Caribbean issued a statement “Because of the current Coast Guard advisory, and the uncertainly of when Brilliance of the Seas will arrive to Tampa, we have decided to delay boarding for your cruise until tomorrow."

The fog not only caused a delay in the returning passengers getting off the ship but also delayed the subsequent cruise for passengers eager to begin their cruise vacation.

As a gesture of goodwill, and to thank guests for their understanding, Royal Caribbean will provide each stateroom with an onboard credit. Additional details regarding the onboard credit will be provided to guests tomorrow.

UPDATE: The February 23rd sailing has been cancelled.

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.