Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day Five - Sea Day

In:
31Jan2019

Today was our final day on board Brilliance of the Seas as we sailed back to Tampa, Florida.  It’s always sad on the final day of the cruise, but I’m excited I’m staying on board for the next sailing too!

This morning we slept in a little took things at a slower pace, since we had nothing really planned.  We ended up skipping breakfast, just too much food and needed a break from it. 

The pool deck was very busy this morning selling $10 t-shirts, bags, etc.  Also, everyone was trying to get that last bit of sunshine before we returned to Florida.  Hillary and I just spent the morning in the solarium; I really like how the pool water is heated.  The Brilliance only has 3 total hot tubs, so it’s usually hard to find one that’s not packed.  So we settle for the heated pool!  I should mention the pool water is salt water, so be sure to rinse off when you get out, I learned that one that hard way. 

Since we were getting closer to Florida the conditions were starting to turn and the temperature was dropping.  I decided to head back to the room around 2pm to start the ever dreadful packing since I’m changing cabins on the next sailing. 

After packing I went down to the pub to relax with a pint or two.  When I arrived I was the only person in the pub, but a few moments later it was packed.  I was thinking, what is going on?! They were having a singing game and I stayed to listen for a while.  Nice to see they have mid-day entertainment for those looking to get out of the sun. 

Evening on board was full of shopping, looking at the cruise photos they took.  We used our two free Diamond Plus coupons for 8x10’s on formal night.  Without a coupon they are $20 or the 5x7 are $10. 

 

Dinner tonight was again in Giovanni’s Table, our waiter invited us back with 30% off cover charge.  Since it was the last night, I thought it would be fun to enjoy some amazing Caymus wine.  I purchased the bottle at Vintages with our drink package discount of 20% off. 

Our meal was outstanding; I can’t say more positive things about Giovanni’s on Brilliance.  Once again they did family style dining and brought out all the options.  I finally had to say, please no more food! Hillary went with the fish and I took a bite and loved it, so fresh.  Her mom ordered the Chops Grill lobster; I know it was a small upcharge, around $15.  We ended up staying a little over two hours tonight, but it was one memorable meal. 

Final Thoughts

Brilliance of the Seas is a great ship if you aren’t looking for a mega ship with a lot of options on board.  This sailing was very relaxing, not a lot of lines at any of the bars.  The VOOM Internet worked well, the first day I was having some issues staying connected but it seem to fix itself.  I know many were wondering if they have the freestyle coke machines, they still don’t off this on Brilliance.  The coffee shop was very busy every morning; they did move things along very nicely but plan on waiting 10-15 minutes. 

This will be the end of the live blog; I hope you enjoyed the five days of coverage.  If you have questions feel free to comment below and I’ll respond! 

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day Four - Grand Cayman

In:
30Jan2019

Today was our second port stop in Grand Cayman.  We arrived a little later than I thought we would at 10AM.  Due to the change in our schedule we were on the back side of the island.  This is a tender port, so you have to take small boats into the island.  

Before we went to bed last night we placed the room service card outside our door for breakfast.  Many options on the menu that is included at no charge, so we took advantage of our large balcony.  If you want bacon or anything “warm” it is an upcharge of $7.95. 

Hillary and I were here a few months ago on Adventure of the Seas, so we decided to stay on board and enjoy the ship.  Our first stop was actually the gym to burn some calories off and I’m happy to report all the equipment is brand new. 

Most of the day I just lounged around the pool deck and took advantage of my drink package.  I was surprised to see how many people stayed on board, the pool deck wasn’t packed but every chair taken.

I decided to surprise Hillary to a spa treatment, so I used my Crown and Anchor discount of 20% off and made her appointment.  She was so surprised, and reported back it was a great experience.  To avoid the end “up-sell” she said she just left the room after getting dressed. 

We hung out on the pool deck until 3PM, but I noticed they never played any live music today, I suppose since it’s a port day.

My first stop after cleaning up for the night was the diamond lounge up on deck 13.  I wanted to see what menu they had, since a few new options have been showing up across the fleet.  They did have the new menu so it’s nice to see Royal Caribbean adding more options to happy hour. 

 

Tonight I decided to have dinner in the main dining room.  I noticed the new modern looking chairs they added during her dry dock last year.  Our service was really great, they knew we did not want a very long dinner so the keep things moving.  I was happy to come back to the dining room and surprised they had the very French onion soup served in Chops Grill. 

The main event tonight was the 70’s disco party in the Centrum at 10pm.  I was surprised to see how many people came out tonight.  The party was so much fun, I think it’s been my favorite event all cruise.  I was out dancing having fun with the cruise staff and even ran into the cruise director Chris!  I also noticed many of the passenger dressed up in 70’s theme attire. 

 

After the party it was time to wind down and call it a night.  Tomorrow is our last day as we make our journey back to Tampa, Florida. 

 

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day Three - Cozumel

In:
29Jan2019

Today was our first port of call in Cozumel, Mexico.  We arrived at 8am and I was surprised to see Mariner of the Seas docked next to us, as she’s usually just in the Bahamas. 

We arranged to do the Cozumel Bar hop yesterday via email with the owner, since we had a flop in our schedule.  The cost for this five hour tour is $57 per person.  That includes a tour guide, a driver, transportation around the other side of the island and a welcome shot at the four bars, and a t-shirt. 

The name itself sounds like a crazy bar hop for hours, I suppose you could make it that.  But its more about seeing a side of the island with no Wi-Fi, no electricity and always closed at sunset.  We also learned how it’s helping the sea turtles lay eggs due to no lights on at night, and they just finished a very successful season. 

Each stop you get 50 minutes to explore, have lunch or order a beer.  The beers were $3-$4 at each stop and lunch was $11-$13 at each stop. You do need to meet the driver downtown, so a taxi was $3 per person to the downtown area.  Once it's over, they return you to the ship.  

It was really fun having a group of 12 friends with us on the hop.  I liked spending more time with everyone and laughing over some beers in Mexico. 

If you are looking to do something in Mexico that’s more budget friendly, I would not recommend this option.  I spent around $100 on lunch, beers, etc combined plus the cover charge of $114 with two adults. 

All aboard was 5:30PM and we were dropped off a little before 5pm and took some group photos at the Cozumel sign.  It was such a fun day and I’m really happy I got to experience the stop with this group. 

Back on board

Most all of our group decided to get some sleep from all the fun in Mexico.  I pushed through and hung out in the Schooner Bar mainly just for he views enjoying coffee.  I love how large this venue is on Brilliance of the Seas, and great views for sailaway. 

Hillary woke up around 7pm and we enjoyed the ship, listening to music.   It seem like a lot of people were still tired from Mexico all day.  The group went to the main dining room for dinner, but Hillary and I just opted for the Windjammer.  I went with the sampler platter and tried everything! I liked being able to eat in 15 minutes and not having a long dinner and we were back on our way.

We didn’t see any shows or even the pub singer tonight, we decided to call it at 9:30pm.  I did not nap, so I was pretty beat.  Not to worry, tomorrow we have a full day in Grand Cayman. 

 

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day Two - Sea Day

In:
28Jan2019

Today was our first sea day and I’m happy to report I slept in until 9am!  Well ship time 9am, still shifting time zones.  The weather today was very poor, high winds and rain.  Due to the weather being so poor the captain decided to change the order of our ports.  We are now doing Cozumel first tomorrow and then Grand Cayman.  No impact to our cruise, Royal Caribbean just finding the best weather and headed that direction. 

The Solarium was the popular place today since it was covered and warm.  I spent majority of our day in the solarium hot tub.  As the day went on they actually closed the top decks due to the bad weather.  The ship was also really rocking; the captain said we have 50mph wind. 

Since we were in the Solarium already, we ended up having lunch in here again.  They open at noon and people were lined up today for the roast beef! I went with the same lunch, I just wish the salad bar had ranch!

Since the weather was getting so poor we decided to head in early afternoon and make our first trip down to the pub.  I always seem to forget about the pub on Brilliance because it’s down on deck 4 beside the casino.  Made some new friends at the bar and enjoyed a few pints.

Tonight was formal night so most men were wearing pants and a jacket and ladies in their cocktail dresses.  I actually saw very few ties, so it was more like business attire than formal night.  We took advantage of taking photos and all the back drops and plan to use our Crown and Anchor perk to get two for free. 

We ended up sititng down at the R Bar for awhile, they were playing some weird games with solo cups and straws.  I thought this was strange being formal night vs having live music.  I suppose they were on break for an hour and they were doing the games to entertain people.  Once the music came on Hillary and I got up and danced. 

Dinner tonight was back in Givoanni’s table, though tonight it was just Hillary and I.  I had asked them last night to save some of the lasagna from lunch for me.  This is something on their lunch menu but not on their dinner.  They brought me out like 2lbs of lasagna! No way I was finishing that much, but it was so good.  We were only in the restaurant for a little over an hour tonight.  After eating all the pasta we decided to skip dessert, just couldn’t handle it.  That of you wondering the charge is $30 + 18% per person. 

Tonight we ended up in the silent disco at 10:30, it was fun since I was with a group of 10 friends.  Though the club was very empty maybe 20 people attended.  We had a blast singing away.  Around midnight we decided to get some pizza and call it a night.  I was surprised to find they also had a nacho bar open.  The late night food is in the solarium on Brilliance of the Seas. 

Tomorrow is our first port of call in Cozumel, Mexico.  I’m happy to report, I’m doing something brand new! Stay tuned…

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day One - Embarkation Day

In:
27Jan2019

Cruise day has finally arrived! I was sailing with my fiancé and her family.  They live around 25 miles from the port so we all took a quick uber to the port around 11AM.  I did notice pretty long lines at check-in but it was the peak hour to arrive to the ship. 

I spent most of the morning just walking around exploring the ship, that excitement of it finally being cruise day.  I was wondering if I’d see anything new since Brilliance went into dry dock last year, but everything looked the same. Living on the West coast we were still struggling with the time change, so our first stop was actually the coffee shop on board. 

 

It’s been almost a year since I’ve sailed on Brilliance of the Sees so it was awesome to get back to the ship.  Many of the same crewmembers are still on board.  First things first was a glass of Champagne.   In my previous sailings, Chandon brut is $2 up charge from the drink package, however they have lowered the cost and it’s included in the beverage package now.

Park Café opened at noon, that’s a food option in the solarium vs the windjammer.  They have salads, roast beef sandwiches, and pasta salads.  I really recommend if you can wait until noon to have lunch to eat here.

At 1PM our cabins open, I had mentioned in the preview post that I had a balcony on the hump, 7108.  Well I can report our balcony is huge! In fact, it’s larger than my aft balcony I had last year.  I just wish I had a lounger, but I do love being the first room in the hallway. 

Dinner tonight was in Giovanni’s Table; we had a table for eight.  The server brought everything out family style, so our only decision was the main course.  I just love dining here, the food is outstanding and to be able to sample everything on the menu is pretty awesome! With a table this large dinner did take three hours, once I asked if they could speed up the service.  We had a few prior birthdays so the waiter brought out some cake with their names on the plate.

Overall the dinner was outstanding, best steak in the high seas if you ask me.  I loved it so much, I’m going back tomorrow night!

After dinner we did some dancing up in the night club, but it was empty.  I didn’t stay too long and called it a night.  Tomorrow is our first sea day, so looking forward to exploring Brilliance of the Seas. 

Brilliance of the Seas 2019 Live Blog - Michael's Cruise Preview

In:
23Jan2019

It’s Michael Poole back for another live blog and I could notbe happier as my 100-day "dry dock" is finally coming to an end! 

This time I am going to be sailing on Brilliance of the Seas, out of my old stomping grounds in Tampa, Florida.  Sadly, I can no longer walk to the ship from home, so I’ll making the 2,000 mile journey from Southern California to Tampa Friday night. 

Why I booked this cruise?

I have sailed on Brilliance a few times before; in fact this will be my 6th sailing on her.  I have really grown to love this ship. Sure, it is a smaller ship than the newer ships, but I tend to appreciate all the ocean views more as I get older.  

Wait, did I just say that? 

I am actually sailing on two sailings in a row, though the live blog will just cover the first leg sailing January 25th.  The second sailing is Royal Caribbean Periscoper’s annual groups cruise sailing on January 31st.  So I am calling this sailing the pre-group cruise!

Ports of call

This is a 5-night Western Caribbean sailing going to Cozumel, Mexico and Grand Cayman, plus two sea days. 

For Grand Cayman I actually do not have any plans as of now.  I was here in October on Adventure and visited the Royal Palm, so I might go back. 

For Cozumel, I will be exploring one of my favorite restaurants on the water – more to come on that!   Not the most exciting plans for my port days, but I’m really looking to relax on this sailing. 

Cabin

When I originally booked this sailing, I booked the solo inside cabin.  Brilliance of the Seas has three cabins for solo cruisers at a discounted rate. 

As life events happen, I was able to make it work for my fiancé to join me.  So I switched to an ocean view balcony on deck 7, cabin 7108.  This cabin is right at the start of the hump and the deck plans show a larger balcony, so I’ll see if that’s the case soon!

Drink Package

Since I am on Brilliance for two sailings, I decided to pass on the drink package the first cruise.  I mentioned previously “as life events happen”, 2018 I moved across country for work and a few months later relocated again.  So after living in 3 different homes, across the country move, I decided to treat myself and YOLO buy it! Not really worried about breaking even or not, just want to relax poolside and have zero worries in world. 

What’s Next

On Saturday, January 25th, I will be boarding Brilliance of the Seas. 

Each day I will upload photos and content around my experiences on board.  I will do my best to bring you unique things I see around the ship, drink specials, etc. 

I will also be posting pictures on my Instagram account across both sailings.  Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have throughout the live blog. See you at sea!

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Sea Day

In:
30Sep2018

The last day of our cruise is here, and it means a day at sea.  Sea days are sometimes chock full of activities, events and parties.  Our sea day was more of a “let’s recuperate” kind of day.

We woke up right on time and at first I thought I was ready to get my day started with the same vigor and enthusiasm from day one. It became quickly apparent that would not be the case.

We had breakfast at Chops Grille, and it was just as good as when we ate there on day two.  

Right after breakfast it was time for our bridge tour, which is a perk of being a Diamond Plus/Pinnacle guest.  

My wife had actually never done a bridge tour before, so we opted to go for it.  

It is fascinating to be up on the bridge and see not only how the ship operates, but get one of the best views available onboard.  

A bridge officer talked about the basic bridge operations, how the crew conducts their work and showed us some of the controls.

After the tour, we found a couple of lounge chairs by the pool and I indulged in a much needed, and satisfactory nap.  That decision to catch up on sleep really helped my energy levels for the rest of the day.

For lunch, we headed to Izumi.

Another great meal, and luckily the warm house sake was back in stock, which meant I could get it as part of the drink package.

After lunch we managed to find two lounge chairs in the Solarium and spent our afternoon relaxing by the pool on a great weather day.

After a relaxing day by the pool (and hot tub), we grabbed a few drinks before dinner.  

Dinner this evening took us back to Chops Grille.  The service was great tonight and I only ordered the tuna tartare for my appetizer and entree. Yes, it was that good.

After dinner, we decided to savor our last few hours left on the ship with some bar hopping.  Having the drink package makes trying out different bars a little more interesting.

Overall, I really liked our time on Brilliance. In fact, it may have been the best of the three times on her and it has earned a special spot in my opinion on favorite ships.  While it may not have the overwhelming amount of activities and things to do that the new ships offer, it is a really fun cruise and for these long weekend sailings, a perfect length.

We actually booked another sailing on Brilliance for in 2019 as an excuse to get back onboard.  It remains to be seen if we will keep that booking, but I would love to sail on her again.

Thank you to everyone for following along and being a part of the live blog.  It has been a great pleasure sharing this sailing with all of you.  My next live blog sailing will only be a short six week wait when we board the brand new Symphony of the Seas!

Stray Observations

  • Rita’s Cantina does appear to be no more.  We stopped by the location and while the area still has the decorations and look of the restaurant, I could not find any menus or anything of that nature.

  • There was some definite “motion in the ocean” this morning.  Nothing intolerable, and by lunch the waves had calmed down some.
  • Brilliance of the Seas has its own escape room game, which is held in the Colony Club.  There is no cost to it, and it is the same game we played on Harmony of the Seas (in the On Air Club, not Escape the Rubicon).

  • A very depressing cake.
  • The self-leveling billiards table are not functional (as in they do not self-level).
  • There was leftover merchandise in the Centrum Shops from Brilliance’s Baltic season with deep discounts.
  • Someone asked for drink prices, and here is a look at the Schooner Bar menu.  I feel this is pretty exemplary of the drink prices onboard




Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Cozumel

In:
29Sep2018

Our one and only port stop brings us to Cozumel, Mexico and a day filled with sun, fun and plenty of guacamole.

Brilliance of the Seas was scheduled to dock in Cozumel at 8am, although local time is an hour behind, so we decided to sleep in a bit and get off the ship at 10am our time.  Most of the shops and restaurants do not really open until 9am local time.

We skipped breakfast onboard and grabbed coffee from Cafe Latte-Tudes.   

Getting off Brilliance of the Seas was a breeze, with no wait at all.  

We caught a cab and headed to downtown San Miguel for some drinking and eating.

We arrived downtown right around 9am, and a lot of the spots had not opened up yet so we started off our downtown adventure at a bar near the plaza area of San Miguel.

After one drink, we headed over to Casa Cuzamil, which is a bar and restaurant that serves breakfast, cocktails and even some food.   I had visited Casa Cuzamil on a previous cruise to Cozumel, but wanted a place with breakfast and lunch, as well as alcoholic drinks.

The best part of Casa Cuzamil is the fact theiy have a rooftop bar with lots of shade, a great breeze and even a hammock.

We spent probably more time there than we originally intended but it was so darn relaxing and cool on that roof that we hung out there for quite a bit.  Heck, I would not have minded spending a few more hours there.

After plenty of drinks and some light eats, we took a quick walk to my favorite spot to eat in Cozumel, Comida Caseras Tonita.

I have been here a number of times and in my estimation it is the best example of authentic Mecxican food at a reasonable price. Today's lunch did not disappoint.

We made a pit stop on our way back to the ship at La Mega supermarket for some souvenirs and food for home.

Back on the ship, it was time to cool down in the Solarium Pool.

After a refreshing afternoon in the pool, it was time for a great sailaway from Cozumel and getting ready for dinner.

We booked Izumi for dinner and it was surprisingly very crowded. By the time we left, there were no tables left open.

After dinner we headed down to the Pub for another great set of music.

Stray Observations

  • Bubba Gump Shrimp has been added to the Cozumel port stop area.
  • Overall, Brilliance is immaculately well-kept.  Ship is clean, well-maintained and not showing any signs of aging.
  • Here are the water slide hours
  • I have been fairly impressed with the ship's internet.  It is not as fast as some of the other ships in the fleet, but it has been quite responsive and I have generally not run into extremely long load times or disappearing internet signal.  

Tomorrow is our last day, and it is a sea day. 

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 2 - Sea Day

In:
28Sep2018

The second day of any cruise is my favorite day of the sailing because it is the first full day onboard and it is usually the sort of day you think about all the time in the days, months and years leading up to your cruise vacation,  Embarkation day is wonderful because it is the start of your cruise, but there is so much going on.  When day two is a sea day, it is usually a day full of fun and activities that really sinks in that “I’m on a cruise!” mentality.

We woke up earlier than I expected (PSA: be sure to turn off your daily alarms on your phone before going on a cruise), but took things easy as we rolled out of bed.

For breakfast, we decided to take advantage of our suite benefits and head to Chops Grille.  Each morning, Chops offers a breakfast for gold SeaPass card guests that is a fantastic alternative to the main dining room.

I wanted to stay on the lighter side of things and went with smoked salmon on a bagel, while my wife went with french toast. My salmon was excellent!

After breakfast, we headed to the Schooner Bar for a round of morning trivia. 

Considering our team consisted of just me and my wife, we did pretty darn well, scoring 12 our 20.  I could not remember that Fleming discovered penicillin and struck out on the trick question if giraffes have more bones in their neck than humans (same amount of bones, giraffe neck bones are just bigger).

After being denied a trivia championship, we took a walk around the promenade deck on deck 5.  Today was a wonderful sea day, with no waves in the ocean, no motion to be felt and nothing but sun and a few passing clouds.

We made our way to the helipad on the front of the ship, which is a great little hidden secret about Brilliance of the Seas.  It is usually open throughout the day, and a great spot to enjoy the view.

At 11am was the suite guests reception in the King & Country Pub.  This was a thank you event for suite guests that included a visit by the ship’s Captain, as well as plenty of complimentary alcohol and quick bites to eat.

Since we have the Ultimate Dining Package, lunch at a specialty restaurant is included in our package benefits so we headed up to Izumi.

Izumi is priced a la carte, so you get a per-person stipend.  Our waiter told us we would have a $35 limit with the package, and was quite creative in the math to make our purchases work.

We ate with a few friends from RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com, so we got to see quite a few dishes.

I started off with a miso soup and poke tuna taco.

One of our friends had the tuna wasabi, and I had instant sushi envy.

For our main course, I went with a sashimi combination plate and my wife chose the hot rocks with steak.

One of our dining colleagues chose the spicy ramen soup with pork.  He said it was a lot of food (nearly overwhelming).

Feeling very full from our lunch, I really wanted to relax by the pool.  We got changed in our room and then headed down to the Solarium.

As you might expect, the Solarium was crowded, but after two to three laps, we managed to grab two lounger chairs.

It was a great afternoon of pool time, drinks and even a coveted nap.

Around 4pm, it was time to head back to the room and get ready for our evening activities. 

After getting ready for the evening, we grabbed some pre-dinner drinks and then headed to the the theater to catch the Broadwway tribute show.

We have seen this show before, but it was a great performance of favorite showtunes across a variety of Broadway shows.

Dinner tonight took us to Chops Grille, which was packed for formal night.

The food was great, although our service was a bit slow. Nonetheless, it was a great meal.

After dinner we went to the most crowded Pub I can recall being at in recent memory.   It was great to have a ton of energy with every song.

Stray Observations.

  • The main pool was back in service all day today.
  • There is a crew of contractors working to upgrade the WiFi infrastructure on the ship.  I spoke briefly to them, and they indicated that the upgrade was more about better WiFi coverage rather than faster speeds.
  • The guests in this stateroom were quite creative with their stateroom door decorations.
  • In terms of maximizing my drink package benefits, so far I have been succesful in "breaking even" on my investment. Two drinks between breakfast and the afternoon, two drinks at dinner and two drinks after dinner, combined with a coffee or two and bottles of water and the drink package math makes a lot of sense.
  • It seems to be hit or miss when it comes to wait staff to take drink orders on Brilliance. Just one waiter came by in the afternoon to take our drink orders inthe Solarium and the Pub waiters tend to stay behind the bar. Meanwhile the Schooner Bar has waiters roaming all over the place.
  • Chops had the red velvet cake on the dessert menu
  • Our stateroom attendant really went to to town with our anniversary decorations tonight.

Tomorrow is our only port of call, and it will take us to Cozumel, Mexico.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Tampa

In:
27Sep2018

Our Brilliance of the Seas cruise is here! No matter which Royal Caribbean sailing we happen to book, I always get super excited for the start of the vacation and this is no exception.

Living in the Orlando, Florida area, we opted to drive to the Port of Tampa in the morning.  My in-laws came over to take care of the children while we were away, and we hit the road right at 9:15am.

We reached Tampa at about 10:15, although had to make a pit stop to pick up a forgotten toiletry item.  We arrived at Port of Tampa in Terminal 6 at 10:45am.  We valet parked the car ($80 total cost) and went through the check-in procedure.  To my amazement, boarding had already begun!

Onboard Brilliance of the Seas, it felt so gratifying to be back on Brilliance again.  There was a bit of line at the Centrum elevator area, so we walked up one deck to deck 5 and then walked forward through the Centrum Shops.  The forward elevator banks were not busy at all, so we headed straight up to the pool deck.

We started off our cruise with some drinks at the Solarium Bar.  We have the Deluxe Beverage Package on this cruise, so expect a trend of drink photos coming you way.

The Windjammer was listed to open at 11:30am but it was open when we walked by at 11:15 or so.  My cruise tradition of lunch at the Windjammer continues!

After lunch, we decided to relax in the Solarium until our staterooms were ready at 1pm.

We are staying in a Grand Suite on Deck 10 and it is a great size for just the two of us. In fact, it is a lot of space and I was quite happy with our decision once we stepped foot inside.

A pleasant surprise in our room was our travel agent surprised us with an anniversary decoration package.  

There was also a surprise gift from Crown and Anchor Society as well.

In the afternoon we decided to hang out by the Solarium Bar, primarily since it was much cooler temperature-wise in there compared to the main pool.  

Speaking of the main pool, the entire day the main pool was closed for maintenance. Not sure what was going on, but they were working on it much of the time.

Muster drill seemed a bit earlier at 3:15pm, with sailaway immediately following at 4pm.  It was a glorious day weather wise, but also quite warm if you stood in the sun. 

As afternoon turned to evening, we headed down to the King & Country Pub to enjoy some live music from the pub singer.  Due to the football games later tonight, the pub singer was on early.

A little after 6pm, we headed back outside to enjoy one of the real highlights of sailing from Tampa which is going underneath the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

We walked around Brilliance to check out more of the venues.  The nice thing about Brilliance of the Seas is despite her size, there are lots of great venues to enjoy and it seems like there is something happening.

Dinner tonight took us to Giovanni's Table.

I noticed there was a serving of roasted garlic and olives that came with the bread, which was new to me.

For my entrees, I chose the eggplant parmigiana and the branzino fish.

Both were good choices, but I have to give the edge to the eggplant parm.  In fact, on the "old" Giovanni's Table menu the eggplant parm is an appetizer, whereas here it is an entree.

Stray Observations

  • The WiFi login screen seems to be an updated user interface.  A bit more modern in its look.
  • The new Royal Caribbean app is available on Brilliance, although its functionality is mostly limited to being able to browse the Cruise Compass.
  • Here is a look at the Concierge Lounge, which is quite a bit larger than I was expecting.

  • Darts are available to play in the Pub. I am not very good at darts.

Tomorrow is a sea day and a day full of plenty of fun....and cocktails.

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