This season, Brilliance of the Seas is coming to Australia for the first-time. While the Radiance Class ship isn’t as new as Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas that will also be sailing around Australia, it still has plenty to offer.
The Australia-bound ship is also a little smaller than the other Royal Caribbean homeporting ships, with a capacity of 2543 passengers. For some this could prove a positive, as the ship is less crowded and a slightly more intimate sailing experience, however, still has the entertainment and activities you’d expect from Royal Caribbean.
Furthermore, despite the ship being more than 20 years old, it was refurbished in 2013 and again in 2018, it maintains a more modern feel than you might expect.
At a glance
- Brilliance of the Seas arrival in Australia, with a new homeport in Sydney, creates an interesting spot in the market for cruisers, and it will all depend on perspective. The ship is older and smaller than the Royal Caribbean ships that Australians are used to, but it’s also less crowded and more intimate. At around half the capacity of Quantum of the Seas and Spectrum of the Seas, there’s a chance to enjoy the fun of a Royal Caribbean ship with much less crowded venues and activities.
- If you value the variety of entertainment and activities of a Royal Caribbean ship, but aren’t the biggest fan of its crowds, then Brilliance of the Seas will be perfect for you.
- It’s worth noting that Brilliance of the Seas is at a similar price point to Quantum of the Seas and Ovation of the Seas, but with less dining and entertainment options. However, if there’s an itinerary that particularly suits you and you’re drawn to the idea of less crowds, Brilliance provides a great option for sailing this summer.
Things to do on Brilliance of the Seas
- Brilliance of the Seas has all the action and excitement you’d expect from a Royal Caribbean show, starting with a 12-metre rockclimbing wall, a free-to-use mini golf course and an arcade, well stocked with iconic games like Pacman and Guitar Hero.
- While the kids are playing games, adults might choose to go the Vitality Spa, where a huge range of treatments and services are available, complete with salon and even a teeth whitening bar.
- The main pool is a constant place of excitement, with a live band and a range of staff-led events and contests.
- For those looking to keep busy there’s plenty to partake in between dance classes, fitness classes, a latin fiesta, special game shows and trivia, outdoor film nights, pool and disco parties, art galleries, jewellery making, cooking classes, pickleball and more.
- Babies and Tots program: Brilliance of the Seas has trained youth stuff who run activities for those aged from six to 36 months. The programs aren’t included in the cruise but aren’t overly expensive.
- Adventure Ocean: Kids from three to 11 can join the Adventure Ocean program, with more specific age offerings for three to five year olds, six- to eight-year-olds and nine- to 11-year-olds. Adventure Ocean is included in your cruise fare, but fees apply if you want your kids to stay after 10pm.
- Teen lounge: Brilliance of the Seas has a teen lounge focused on ‘almost adults’ getting to plan out their own days. They can either join pre-planned activities or simply hang out in the space, which has plenty to do. The teen lounge is included in the cruise fare.
- Free dining: There isn’t a huge range of free dining on Brilliance of the Seas. For classic cruise eateries there’s the main dining room, a buffet at Windjammer Cafe and the salads, sandwiches and other basics of Park Cafe.
- For specialty dining there’s the Latin cuisine of Rita’s Cantina, the Asian fusion of Izumi, the steakhouse at Chops grille and contemporary Italian at Givoanni’s table.
- Those looking to splurge can try the Chefs Table dining experience, which involves an intimate meal led by the head chef, who will take you through five courses. Expect dishes like scallop carpaccio, filet mignon with truffle potato puree, yuzu vinaigrette with crispy quinoa and more.
Bars and lounges
- What the ship maybe lacks in dining range, it makes up for with nine different bars and lounges spread across the vessel.
- If you want to dance then take yourself to the Viking Crown Lounge or the Colony Club. The Viking Lounge will start with live music in the evening and the 93-person spot will generally continue the energy until around 2am. The Colony Club begins a bit more casually with plenty of seating for casual drinking, but will often pick up into a dance floor.
- For a more club-based atmosphere, Starquest Nightclub on deck 13 is a hub of nightlife, with dance classes in the day and DJ’s at night.
- You can head to the Schooner bar and its maritime decor for the entertainment of a pianist and sometimes a Latin Guitarist. There are more 35 European beers on tap at King Country, R Bar is a casual 1960s themed speakeasy and Bombay Billiard Club has a couple of pool tables and game machines.
Staterooms and suites
- Brilliance of the Seas has three categories of staterooms, interior, exterior and balcony. As well as a range of staterooms that have room for a third or fourth cruiser. If you’re travelling with a family you’ll want to try to plan and book ahead to get a larger, family room. Balcony Rooms are split into deluxe and superior, with superior offering a bit more room and a bigger balcony.
- There are four categories of suites, Royal Suites, Family suites, Owner’s Suites and Grand suites. Grand suites are the smallest available but still have spacious rooms and living areas with an attached balcony. Family suites have two bedrooms and bathrooms and have bathtubs rather than just showers. The owner’s suites have more room, including a jacuzzi tub and a vanity with double sinks. There’s only one Royal suite on the ship, offering the most expansive accommodation available onboard.
- Current shows: The original production of Tango Buenos Aires sweeps guests into the fast-paced world of tango. Guests can expect a show driven by dance and passion, with feet stomping rhythms throughout. The ship is also running Now and Forever, where guests will hear their favourite Mamma Mia classics. Centre Stage is another original production, showcasing a range of genres of music and dance from jazz to rock and swing.
Brilliance of the Seas deck plans
- Brilliance of the Seas has 13 decks.
- Key things to note is the Spa and Fitness centre is up on deck 12, as well as a running track and all of the kids and teens clubs. Deck 13 is home to the Starquest Nightclub, Concierge Club and Viking Crown Lounge.
- Deck six has the Pacifica Theatre and the Cinema, as well as the Casino and most of the specialty dining options.
- The Minstrel dining room is on decks four and five.
- Download the full deck plan below.