Recently repaired Brilliance of the Seas has amended its Sydney to the Pacific islands 8-day itinerary on April 4 and will now set sail for Hobart on April 7 instead.

“Additional work on Brilliance of the Seas is in progress,” operator Royal Caribbean International said. “The original cruise has been adjusted to a 5-night sailing to Hobart. 

“Our guests and travel partners are being notified of the update and compensation options directly.” 

Brilliance of the Seas had developed a technical issue with its propulsion system on its previous itinerary. That required the ship to sail at a slower speed. 

As a result, Brilliance did not make its scheduled itinerary calls to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. It arrived back in Sydney early, on Tuesday, March 26. It then headed straight to Newcastle for repairs

The cruise scheduled to depart on Saturday, March 30, was cancelled. Guests were offered compensation because of the change. 

Extra repairs needed

Brilliance remained at the Port of Newcastle for the next week as it underwent repairs to the Azipod propulsion system. But passengers then received a statement from the line.

“While repairs for the technical issue that we encountered on one of our previous sailings was completed, during routine testing, we discovered that we’re going to need some extra time to get the ship ready for our guests. 

“As a result, today’s Brilliance of the Seas 4 April 2024 sailing will now set sail on Sunday, 7 April 2024 as that is the earliest date we are able to secure a terminal in the Port of Sydney.

“We are terribly sorry for this last-minute change. We understand this news is disappointing, but we hope your guests will join us on the alternate itinerary we have planned.

“All communications have been sent overnight to affected travel partners with guests scheduled to sail.”

Compensation correspondence from Royal Caribbean.

Passengers disappointed

Passengers expressed their disappointment in a Facebook forum.

“I’m literally (on) the way to Sydney and get an e-mail trip to the islands canceled offering 5 days to Hobart leaving Sunday! Not happy very p***** off ! Very bad form from Royal Caribbean,” said one.

Asked one mum: “Will Brilliance actually sail on Sunday? I just don’t want to wait in Sydney with my three kids to then be told on Sunday that it’s not sailing. If it’s not sailing then I want to know today so I can try and arrange an alternate holiday for my kids.”

Responded another: “What a mess, feel so sorry for people getting caught up in this. If it was me, I’d be demanding a full refund (with some future credit as well) and I’d arrange an alternate holiday. Waiting around in Sydney (especially with the bad weather forecast) isn’t going to be much fun.”

And finally: “To be honest 14k that I paid to go on this cruise with my family to spend 2 days in Hobart is not worth the money. Unfortunately is a cancellation by us and I’m assuming if most people are going to cancel they won’t be going. I would imagine it will then cost them too much to take us.”

  • At the time of writing, Thursday afternoon, Cruise Mapper had Brilliance of the Seas leaving Newcastle for what appeared to be sea trials. She returned to Newcastle Harbour and was last positioned there Friday morning.
Brilliance heads into Newcastle for repairs. Photo: Royal Caribbean Australian Cruisers, Dylan Steel
Brilliance heads into Newcastle for repairs. Photo: Royal Caribbean Australian Cruisers, Dylan Steel