Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Caribbean - Western

Third Mate

4-6 cruises


Helpful Votes

5 out of 5

Wonderful family cruise

Sail Date: April 09, 2016

Reviewed: 6 months ago

Traveled As: Large Group

Room Type: Oceanview

Took this cruise with my husband, in-laws, and my brother and his family.  I've cruised several times on the west coast, but this was my first time to Florida and the Caribbean.  Everything about this trip worked out perfectly.  We all got to Tampa the night before and stayed at the Tahitian Inn, which I would recommend.  It was $150/night, they picked up my brother's family at the airport, we parked our car there for free, and their shuttle took us to the port the next day. Rooms were fine, they have a nice pool with a bar, and the restaurant served an excellent breakfast.  There's even a Starbucks next door.  Embarkation was a breeze, I've never seen it go that quickly.  It actually made me nervous that we were doing something wrong and would get sent back to the beginning, but no, we were on the ship in about fifteen minutes from when we were dropped off.

We ate in the Dining Room each night.  The only glitch in the plans I'd made was that they lost the reservations I had made before the cruise so we had to eat at 5:30, but that turned out to be a good thing as we were done with dinner in plenty of time for the 7 o'clock shows.  I always laugh when I see people complain about the food on cruise ships, and wonder where they usually eat.  I've never had a bad meal on a ship and this was no exception.  Our servers were Jaromy and Raveen and we had such a good time with them every night.  They really made it special for us.


We didn't do a whole lot of activities onboard, we watched the musical shows and comedy acts, the Love and Marriage and Battle of the Sexes game shows were hilarious, and the music and dancing in the Centrum were excellent.  My inlaws enjoyed the movie theater, and we watched about half of the James Bond movie out by the pool one night.  Played mini golf and ping pong.  Spent a little time in the casino--my husband and mother in law spent a lot of time there and actually came out ahead--a lot of people complain about the smoke, but I didn't find it bothersome.  If you like a late night snack, they serve food late in the solarium.  Mostly I relaxed.  I did get the internet package, I signed up for it onboard and got a discount so it's better to wait.  The service was okay, but too slow for videos. 

We carried our luggage off ourselves and were off the ship and on the road by 7:30. All in all it was a perfect vacation.

Cabin / Stateroom
We were at the front of the ship on deck four, it was a convenient location close to the elevators and relatively quiet. We were directly below the promenade deck and I wondered if we would get noise from it. We did hear them washing the deck and moving chairs but only after about 8 am and there was never any noise at night. I was pleased with the size and layout of the room.
Embarkation and Disembarkation
Ship Quality
Destinations and Excursions
Service and Staff
Food and Dining
Tampa, Florida
Key West, Florida
For Key West, I booked the Conch Train and Aquarium tour, at $30/pp it was actually cheaper than buying it independently. I wish we'd had more time in Key West, it looks like a fun place, the tour was interesting, saw a lot of beautiful buildings and lots of chickens running around. The aquarium was small but nice, we got there when they were feeding the stingrays and I got to feed one, too. We ate conch fritters and key lime pie.
Cozumel, Mexico
In Cozumel, we took a cab to Paradise Beach since I had seen so many positive reviews. Honestly, they didn't do it justice, it was an amazing day. Can't recommend it enough. The cab ride was $15 each way, admission and water sports for two people was $42 and we spent $40 on lunch and drinks. Everyone there was friendly and helpful. We had chairs in the shade under the coconut trees, food and drinks were brought right to us there, bathrooms were nice. We went snorkeling for the first time, I didn't expect to see much since it's a busy beach but there were so many beautiful fish (and some really ugly ones) rays, crabs and conchs, too. We got there early, shortly after it opened at nine. By the time we left at two it was starting to get hot and crowded. Bring water shoes if you go there, the beach is sandy but as soon as you get in the water it's very rocky. Oh one funny thing--do not try to bring fruit off the ship. They actually have fruit-sniffing dogs who will find it and they'll take it away.

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