Visit our travel agent friends at MEI Travel

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 4 - Super Bowl Sunday

In:
14 Feb 2022

Our last day on Brilliance of the Seas is also Super Bowl Sunday.

While we had excellent weather the first three days of the cruise, today started off notably worse. Clouds, wind, and a lot of ship movement.

I guess the motion got to me, because I woke up feeling nauseous. I tried my best to fight it off by getting up and walking around to get some food and fresh air.

Unfortunately, I was still not feeling great, so I went back to my room to sleep it off.  Finally, I gave in and took dramamine, which did the trick. There's no shame in knowing your limits.

Luckily, the weather improved steadily as the day progressed. By the afternoon, the sun had come out and it warmed up nicely.

If you're wondering what it's like to be on a cruise ship for the super bowl, there's a few different super bowl themed events onboard, such as trivia.

The bulk of the events are really around game time, where the game is shown in various venues:

  • Royal Theater
  • Pool deck
  • Pub
  • Schooner Bar (one television in there)

Royal Caribbean bought the rights to the game and halftime show, but not the commercials.

In the theater there is dry snacks, such as popcorn and potato chips. 

Park Cafe offers its usual assortment of food, plus popcorn, hot dogs, tacos and more.

Most people were in the pub or Royal Theater. The chillier weather outside made the pool deck less popular, although there were blankets you could borrow.

It was fun seeing all the fans getting into the game, although I think most people were watching since it was the super bowl.

After the game, we had a few drinks around various bars before calling it a night since we have to get up early.

It was a fun cruise, and I think Brilliance shines with good live entertainment and lots of pool deck space.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Costa Maya

In:
13 Feb 2022

The port of call for this cruise brings us to Costa Maya, Mexico.

Brilliance of the Seas was scheduled to dock right around 8am, and all aboard wasn't until 4:30, giving us a full day of fun on shore.

We docked on schedule and the gangway opened up shortly thereafter. 

Coming into this cruise, I had no plans for what to do in Costa Maya.  I usually visit Maya Chan beach resort, but I'll be going there next month when we visit on Wonder of the Seas.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Steve Wilson stopped at Costa Maya the day before us while sailing on Adventure of the Seas and was going to try an all inclusive beach resort in downtown Mahahual (that's the name of the village Costa Maya is near) that advertised itself as limiting the amount of guests.

Along with my friends onboard Brilliance, I decided to give this place a try.

To book a spot, you have to email Jamie via his website.  A few emails and a PayPal deposit, and we were all set.

Jamie's at The Blue Reef Hotel is a short 8 minute or so taxi ride from the port area.

The Blue Reef is a hotel situated on the beach, and Jamie's is essentially the restaurant's operation that extends onto the beach. Judging by the neighbors, a lot of other hotels seem to be doing the same thing.

We got to the beach a little after 9am, and were greeted by Martín, who took us to our beach chairs situated under a large tent/palapa. 

Much like every other all inclusive I've been to, there is a primary waiter you deal with that takes your drink and food orders.

Your admission gets you access to the beach, as well as everything on the drink and food menu. 

The hotel has a rooftop pool that Martín told me was also open for our use.

 

The ocean is quite shallow near the beach, which makes it ideal for wading. There are nets set up around the beach to limit the amount of sea grass that comes ashore, which has been a real problem over the years for Costa Maya and Cozumel.

Luckily, the sea grass was not bad today with very little washing ashore.

The service was great, although it did not hurt that there was just one cruise ship in port. We rarely had to wait to get an order.

The food had your typical Mexican fare of quesadillas, fajitas, tacos and more. 

There was also plenty of Mexican beers, margaritas, and beach-approved drinks.

Overall, I really liked the service and the food was great. It was the sort of relaxing beach day I think most people could hope for in a shore excursion visit.

In the afternoon, we struck up a conversation with Karla, one of the restaurant's partners, who also operated another bar and hotel closer to the cruise port.

Karla invited us to come check out her bar before we went back to the ship and even arranged for taxis to bring us over. 

Her bar is a very short walk from the cruise terminal, located just down the main street near the fake Mayan ruins you see as you exit the port area, and then a left turn.

We walked into Catrina and found a very large pool with lounge chairs, next to the bar and restaurant.

We topped off our afternoon with drinks and laughs before we had to head back to the ship.

In all, it was a very satisfying day in Costa Maya and I think a good time was had by all.

Back onboard the ship, all the fun in the sun required a shower and nap. There are few gratifying feelings as a post-shore excursion nap on a cruise ship.

We departed Costa Maya, although I can't tell you when or how it was since I was asleep.

After I woke up, I decided to go to the Windjammer for dinner.

After dinner, I spent a little time in the casino. I would have spent more time, but we must have left lady luck back in Costa Maya.

I rounded out the evening in the pub, listening to Jimmy play songs for a few hours. He's not only very talented, but goes hours without a break.

Tomorrow is our last day onboard and it's also Super Bowl Sunday!

Stray Observations

The casino is offering squares to bet on for the Super Bowl.

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

In:
12 Feb 2022

I couldn't have asked for better weather on our sea day, as we spent the first day on Brilliance of the Seas traversing the Gulf of Mexico.

I got up at 8am, and went right to the pool deck to grab a table where I could work on some blog posts.  There was just the right mix of sun, breeze, and temperature.

Royal Caribbean's Chief Meteorologist James Van Fleet shared a great forecast for our sea day.

As the day went on, the temperature started to climb a bit, but in the shade it could sometimes feel a little chilly. 

I had some toast and smoked salmon for breakfast from the Windjammer.

I had no plans for the day, so I walked around the ship a bit more to check out more of what was happening around it.

There were plenty of activities offered, from the water slide to rock climbing, bingo, a stretch class and more. 

For lunch, I thought about going to the main dining room, but I first went to see what the Windjammer had. Sure enough, I never left because it was a great mix of choices.

I especially liked the fajitas bar, as well as burger bar.  There was even turkey burgers and grilled barramundi if you wanted something other than beef.

I took my food to the outside seating in the Windjammer, which was glorious.

After lunch, I took a walk through what used to be Rita's Cantina.

Brilliance of the Seas used to have a Mexican specialty restaurant called Rita's Cantina, located to the side of the Windjammer. It served your basic Mexican food, and also had a bar to enjoy various Mexican drinks, such as margaritas.

The first time I sailed on Brilliance I ate here, and was disappointed with it, so it never was much of a favorite for me.  Over the years, it faded away, and is now just a Mexican themed part of the Windjammer seating.

I stopped by guest services onboard, and they told me there are 1190 passengers on this sailing.

Right around 1pm I contemplated what to do next, and taking a nap won out. 

I headed back to the pool deck to check out cocktails trivia, where all the questions were about drinks and cocktails.

Tonight was "dress your best", so I went back to my cabin to change.

There was a general trivia event at the Schooner Bar. Here's a question to challenge yourself: how many hearts does an octopus have?

At 5pm there was a top tier Crown and Anchor event for Diamond Plus and Pinnacle members.

I always try to attend these events, because I think it's important to attend events Royal Caribbean does to recognize loyalty.

Dinner tonight brought me to Izumi.

I had originally gone to take advantage of my Diamond Plus buy one get one offer, but I learned Izumi wasn't included with it. Oh well, you don't have to twist my arm to enjoy a meal at Izumi.

During the meal I walked outside to enjoy another perfect sunset at sea.

After dinner, we headed up to the Viking Crown Lounge. On Radiance Class ships, the bar actually spins.

We rounded out our evening in the pub enjoying Jimmy, who I've usually seen performing at Captain Jack's at Perfect Day at CocoCay.

Tomorrow we will be in Costa Maya.

Stray Observations

Brilliance of the Seas has self leveling pool tables, but the seas have been so smooth it's impossible to tell if they are operational or not.

Guest Services told me there are 1190 passengers onboard.

I stopped by Adventure Ocean and they said reservations were not required since there are not many kids on this sailing.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

In:
11 Feb 2022

Our live blog is back with a cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas for a 4-night sailing from Tampa, Florida.

Brilliance of the Seas side docked

Brilliance of the Seas restarted cruises from Tampa in December 2021, and I've been eager to get back onboard a Radiance Class ship. I really enjoy the layout of these smaller ships. I'm often asked which is my favorite small ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet, and Brilliance is always my answer.

This is a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise with just one port stop in Costa Maya.

Since the cruise departs from Tampa, I'm able to drive to the port in just about an hour travel time from my home in the Orlando area.

Of course, I took my pre-cruise Covid test two days ago and it came back negative.  I used the at-home test that Royal Caribbean accepts, and it couldn't be easier. No waiting, and the entire process took 20 minutes from start to finish, and I never had to leave my desk.

Since I booked this cruise only a few weeks ago, check-in times were limited by the time I went to get one.  At first I had a 1:30pm check-in time, but I managed to subsequently get a 1:00pm check-in time.

Read more7 things worth checking again on a Royal Caribbean cruise

The drive to Tampa was uneventful and I parked via the valet parking option. $80 total, and I get to drive right up to the terminal and hand my keys to the attendant and be on my way.

As expected, they were enforcing the check-in times and I entered a line for the 1:00 check-in time.  Luckily, it moved very quickly and I completed the entire check-in procedure in under 30 minutes.  In fact, I spent more time waiting to get through the line outside than the actual check-in procedure.

I boarded Brilliance of the Seas and headed right away to the Windjammer for lunch.  I hadn't eaten lunch yet, so I figured for the benefit of the entire ship it was a good idea to eat before I got hangry.

I love the outdoor seating in the Windjammer on Brilliance of the Seas at the back of the ship.

The staterooms opened up right around 1:30pm, so I went down to my room to drop off my stuff.

For this cruise I'm booked in a Category 2M - Spacious Ocean View Stateroom.

I haven't stayed in an ocean view cabin since Majesty of the Seas in 2017, and I was pleasantly surprised how much living space there is inside.

The distance between the couch and the bed is substantial. The room is anything but cramped.

After catching up on some blog posts, I realized I hadn't finished the muster drill, so I went to complete that.

I had done the first two steps (watch the safety video and listen to the emergency siren) while I was still at home, so all I needed to do was go to my muster station to check-in.  

I then walked around Brilliance of the Seas a bit to explore a bit. Being back on a Radiance Class ship, it was an adjustment after so many significantly larger cruise ships, but it felt like being home and the ship looks great.

Sail away was at 5pm, and I headed to one of my favorite Brilliance of the Seas secrets: the helipad.

We had a beautiful day to sail out of Tampa, with temperatures in the low 70s, no clouds, and a very light breeze.

We even saw a few dolphins as we departed.

When your ship departs Tampa, it takes a few hours to exit the harbor, as you travel towards the ocean and finally make it to the ocean when you pass under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

In the time before we made it to the bridge, I decided to stop at Izumi for "pre-dinner" and get some sashimi to hold me over until dinner.

I was able to walk in without a reservation when they opened and get a table.

After I finished my sushi, I enjoyed a beautiful sunset on the pool deck.

Roughly two hours after we set sail, our ship passed under the Sunshine Skyway bridge.

Dinner brought me and some friends onboard to Giovanni's Table.

Food was great, and the pasta of the day had a spicy flavor to the sauce.

We concluded our evening with music in the King & Country pub.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

Stray observations

The water bottles on Brilliance have these aluminum water bottles with a screw top. 

The stricter face mask protocols are still in place on Brilliance of the Seas. One policy I noticed that I had never seen before was you had to mask up when ordering at the bar outdoors.

I had heard from other guests they were expecting around 1300 passengers on this sailing, but I'll need to go to Guest Services and verify the number.

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

In:
19 Jan 2020

Alas, it is the last day of the cruise and while the final day of a cruise is always a tough pill to swallow, my thought is it is still a day on a cruise and next week when I am at home, I would love to have a full day and night on a cruise.

We slept in and awoke to a rather gray day outside.  It seemed today's weather would be dominated by clouds, wind and some rain.

Since we had a late start to the day, we grabbed coffee at Cafe Latte-Tudes while a towel folding demonstration took place in the Centrum.

We walked through the Centrum shops to check out the merchandise, and ventured outside to confirm that it was indeed a dreary start in terms of weather.

At noon, the Royal Mystery escape room game was held in the Colony Club.  This is a complimentary puzzle game where teams compete to complete a series of clues and puzzles to discover at the end who is responsible for a theft.

This is the second time we played this particular game (first time was on Harmony of the Seas) and our team did significantly better.  In fact, we figured it all out and won!

I had hoped to eat lunch at Izumi one last time, but they were not open for lunch.  We decided to have lunch in the Windjammer instead just to mix things up.

After lunch, I tried mightily to do a bunch of things and take advantage of our final day onboard, but a nap sounded like the most amazing thing possible so I relented and took a glorious nap. 

When I awoke, the weather started getting better and some sun even started coming out.

Dinner tonight was at 7:30pm, so I decided to take advantage of my unlimited dining package and grab sashimi at Izumi for "pre-dinner".

After dinner, I went to the R-Bar in the Centrum to get a drink since I had not been to this bar yet.

Dinner was back at Giovanni's Table, and I had a second go-around with eggplant parmigiana.

Looking back on the cruise, we had a wonderful long weekend and exactly what I was looking for onboard.  

The crew onboard are some of the best in the fleet, and it shows in the fact so many crew members have been on Brilliance for years.  It astounds me how much crew turnover and transferring around occurs with crew, but Brilliance seems to be the exception.

I was very happy with our room selection, and I though the unlimited dining package was worth the extra cost.  I definitely got my moneys worth out of it.

I do feel obligated to mention the ship's wifi was downright awful the last two days.  It was serviceable in the beginning, but today even basic web browsing ground to a halt and proved a challenge. 

We had a great time on Brilliance, and I am now even more excited to come back onboard in October for our next RoyalCaribbeanBlog group cruise to Canada and New England!

Thank you for following along with our live blog. It is always so much fun to share my cruise with all of you, so thank you for providing me this opportunity.

Our next live blog will be in March on Harmony of the Seas!

Cruise Compass from this sailing can be found here.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 3 - Cozumel

In:
18 Jan 2020

Our only port visit on this sailing brings us to Cozumel. Our ship arrived around 8am, and we planned to get off the ship right at 9am.

Without children, getting ready in the morning was pretty easy and we were ready to walk off right at 9am.  

Prior to the cruise, we booked day passes to the El Cozumeleno resort, so we took a taxi to the hotel.  The ride was about 10 minutes, and we checked-in quickly and easily.

 

I had booked this daypass because I really loved it the last time we visited in 2018, so I wanted to see if it held up.

We got seats at the pool, and it turned out to be a phenomenal weather day. Partly cloudy skies, plenty of sun and low humidity.

The staff was super attentive, and really enjoyed our time relaxing at the pool, eating plenty of food and drinks.

Between the great weather, great service and great offerings, I really enjoyed our visit and think it was another home run.

We left the resort around 4pm and took a taxi to La Mega supermarket to pick up my favorite food to bring home: tortilla chips.

I know it sounds crazy, but tortilla chips in Mexico taste so much better, so I bought 3 bags for about $1.50 and will enjoy them long after this cruise is over and done with.

We got back to the ship right at 5pm and it was time to shower, power nap, and get ready for dinner.

Our pre-dinner drink stop was the Starquest bar on Deck 13 in the Viking Crown Lounge.

Dinner tonight was in Chops Grille, and I really enjoy their appetizers especially.

After dinner, we decided to enjoy music in the Schooner Bar.

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

In:
17 Jan 2020

Our first full day on Brilliance of the Seas started off with a bit of sleeping in, but not too much.  It pains me to sleep too much on such a short cruise, but then again, relaxing comes in many forms.

We had a light breakfast in the Windjammer, which was really about having an excuse to go to my favorite spot on the ship, the outdoor dining area on the back of the ship.

We also made a pit stop at Cafe Latte-tudes for coffee.  Since I have the Deluxe Beverage Package and my wife has the Refreshment Package, premium coffees from here are included.

After breakfast, we decided to lay out a bit in the Solarium.  The Solarium on Brilliance is my favorite across the fleet, and we manged to get two lounge chairs partially in the shade.

Weather-wise, it was a bright and sunny day, although temperatures were not very warm. The Cruise Compass said the high temperature today was 73 degrees Fahrenheit, but I am not sure about that.

We spent the rest of the morning lounging and chatting, and enjoying a light breeze.

Around noon, the ocean started getting a bit rougher.  It is not too bad at all, with just enough motion to be noticable but not that we are walking from side to side of a hallway.

Lunch brought us back to Izumi, and I went for sushi, yaki udon and a miso soup.

I thought I was going to explore more of the ship after lunch, but my body was begging for a nap, so I decided to head back to the room for some sleep.

I felt better once I woke up, and headed to the Schooner Bar for Disney Trivia.  They played songs from Disney films and you had to guess the name of the song and the name of the film.  

Tonight is formal night, so we headed back to the room to get ready for this evening's festivities.

After getting dressed, I headed down to NextCruise to book this same sailing for next year. I was able to sit down without a wait and book the same room that we have from this sailing too.

I noticed the sun was setting, so I went up to the pool deck to enjoy another great sunset.

I stopped by the Concierge Lounge to check things out. As a Diamond Plus guest, I am able to gain access to the lounge, in addition to the Diamond Lounge.

Prior to dinner, I enjoyed live music in the Schooner Bar.  They have a great strings ensemble on Brilliance that we have seen over the last few years. 

Dinner tonight was in Giovanni's Table.

The service was fantastic and the food was equally good. I went with my favorite, eggplant parmigiana, and it did not disappoint. 

After dinner, it was show time in the Pacifica Theater with Now and Forever.

This is a medley of Broadway hits from a variety of shows. Lots of energy in tonight's show.

Tomorrow we will be in Cozumel.

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day 1 - Embarkation Day

In:
16 Jan 2020

It's cruise day, and time for our next Royal Caribbean cruise to kick off with a 4-night Western Caribbean cruise on Brilliance of the Seas.

Brilliance sails out of the Port of Tampa in the winter, which is about 80 miles from our home.  This means we can easily drive over to the port the day of the cruise.

After dropping our kids off at school, we hit the road to get to the port.  We arrived a few minutes before 11am, and boarding had already begun.

One thing I always do when parking at the Port of Tampa is to take advantage of the valet parking option.  The cost is $80 versus $60 for standard parking, and valet is so much more convenient (especially on disembarkation day).

Check-in was a breeze and we went from curb to onboard in probably ten minutes.  Not bad for a port without expedited arrival.

Once onboard, we decided to begin taking advantage of our Unlimited Dining Package and eat lunch at Chops Grille. 

The lunch menu at Chops is smaller than at dinner, but features the highlights from the dinner menu.  

I went with the wild mushroom soup and burger, with a side of mac and cheese.  Great way to kick things off.

By the time we got out of Chops, our staterooms were ready right at 1pm.  

We booked a Junior Suite on Deck 10 for this sailing.  As I recall, the price of a Junior Suite was not much more than the price of a balcony, so I decided to go for it.

The best part of a Junior Suite is all the extra space you get, so there is less shuffling around.  

I also really like the look of the room, with the dark woods and nice finishes.  The room looked great, and I am pleased with my choice.

Next up, we walked around the ship to check things out.  Being our fourth time on Brilliance, there were not many surprises, but it is always good to get your bearings and see where everything is onboard.

Muster drill is fairly early (3:30pm), and luckly our muster station is at Chops Grille.  I love any muster drill where I can sit down.

After muster drill, it was time for sailaway.  I opted to go to the helipad at the front of the ship for the amazing vantage point it offers.

You can access the helipad on Radiance, Voyager and Freedom class ships, and is one of my favorite Brillaince of the Seas secrets. On Brilliance, go to the outside deck on deck 5, and walk forward.  

We had fabulous weather for sailaway, with partly sunny skies and comfortable temperatures.

After sailaway, we headed back to the room to shower and change for dinner.  

As we got ready for dinner, it was also time to watch the sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge.

The sailing under the bridge is always very cool, but this evening we also had one of the best sunset sky colors that I have ever seen.

I went up to the front of the ship to enjoy the best view of the sailing under the Sunshine Skyway Bridge I have ever seen because of the combination of the sky colors and the spectacle of going under the bridge.

Dinner this evening is in Izumi.  I, for one, can never get enough sushi and I love the sushi at Izumi!

After dinner, it was time for evening entertainment in the pub.

Tomorrow is a sea day.

Stray Observations

  • There are a bunch of fans in the casino that I never recall seeing before.
  • There are interactive games via the app now available on Brilliance.
  • To my delight, the area above the Centrum on Deck 12 is open once again to guests. The Loyalty Ambassador is now located here, and indicated to me this area has reopened as of a few months ago.
  • There appears to be a WiFi receiver in our room

Brilliance of the Seas 2020 Live Blog - Cruise Preview

In:
13 Jan 2020

Our next RoyalCaribbeanBlog live blog is ready to roll, as I return for a long weekend aboard Brilliance of the Seas.

Photo by Michael Poole

Sailing out of Tampa, Florida, I am headed onto one of my favorite ships in the fleet for a 4-night Western Caribbean sailing to the warm waters of Mexico.  Each day, I will be LIVE blogging to share with you what Brilliance of the Seas has to offer.

I have sailing this ship and itinerary a few times already, and it has become a sort of annual winter tradition to sail on Brilliance out of Tampa in January or February. And like other Brilliance sailings I have taken, grandma has graciously volunteered to watch my kids so my wife and I can enjoy a cruise alone.

The Cruise

Photo by Earl McGrath

For the last few years, I have elected to take these 4-night sailings on Brilliance of the Seas because they span a long weekend, sails from a port that is just about an hour from my house, and visits Cozumel.

With Royal Caribbean offering new ships that are larger and large, as well as refurbishing existing vessels with new whizbang offerings, it is sometimes nice to work in a "classic cruise experience," and I feel Brilliance of the Seas is one of the best in this department.

I think Brilliance of the Seas has the best Solarium in the fleet, as well as some great bars and lounges.  Moreover, it still offers some great specialty dining options as well (three specialty restaurants).

Our four night Western Caribbean sailing will depart on Thursday, January 16 and take us to one port, Cozumel, Mexico.

Stateroom

Photo by Royal Caribbean

We reserved a Junior Suite on Deck 10 for this sailing. We booked this cruise about a year ago, and I recall the price difference between a balcony and a junior suite being a reasonable difference, so I went for it.

Since it is just my wife and myself, a junior suite is ample space for what we need. Moreover, I am a fan of moving up to a junior suite if the price difference is not too great.

Itinerary

This cruise has just one port stop, Cozumel, so we are headed back to a day-pass resort that I really enjoyed: El Cozumeleno

When I visited El Cozumeleno last time, I really thought they offered a great value and a very competitive offering. My wife has not been to this resort, and I would love to go back again to see if it is still as good as I recall.

The weather forecast looks great for our day in Cozumel (mid 80's and partly cloudy), so I think it would be the perfect way to spend the day.

I would be remiss if I did not also mention on the taxi ride back to port, I will make a pit stop at a local supermarket to pick up tortilla chips because the chips in Mexico are so much better than what we have at home.

Dining Plans

On this cruise, we decided pick up the unlimited dining package because the price was reasonable. For just $90 per person, we can enjoy dinner at a specialty restaurant each evening, plus 2 sea day lunches and lunch on embarkation day.

There are three specialty restaurants on Brilliance: Chops, Giovanni's Table and Izumi.  To quote Billy from CruiseHabit.com, I can eat $90 worth of sushi alone.

I also elected to purchase the Deluxe Beverage Package for this cruise. I think the drink package works well for the way I like to cruise and with two sea days, it seems like an easy way to break-even on the investment.

What's Next

Our Brilliance of the Seas cruise begins on Thursday, January 16th, and I will be sharing the details on the blog, as well as across my social media channels.  Be sure to follow me on FacebookInstagram and Periscope for live updates throughout the day.

I invite you to share in this experience with me, by posting in the comments for any blog post questions and comments you may have.  I try to make these live blogs as interactive as I can, so I want everyone to feel welcome to share their thoughts.

Thanks for reading all of this and welcome aboard our next fun live blog experience!

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

In:
31 Jan 2019

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! 

Subscribe to Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog