Beautiful Ports, Unremarkable Ship

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Transatlantic

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Review: 1
Helpful Votes: 15

Overall rating:

3.8 out of 5
Brilliance of the Seas

15 Night Spain & Azores Transatlantic (Barcelona To Tampa)

Sail date: November 03, 2019

Ship: Brilliance of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 2021

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 1 year ago

Review summary

The ports made the cruise worthwhile. The ship was rather unremarkable. Would cruise again from Barcelona on a more interesting ship.


5 out of 5
We purchased The Key, so embarkation was easy and we were greeted with a lunch from Chops Grille while our carry on luggage was watched.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

3 out of 5
Serious lack of variety in MDR and buffets. Sometimes there would only be one or two new entrees at dinner in the MDR. Desserts were often missing high quality ingredients, often using artificial whipped topping. Ice cream machines were well maintained and soft ice cream was good. Specialty restaurants lacked any culinary creativity and simply were not interesting. Steak house, Italian, Sushi... Zzzzzzz

Onboard Activities

3 out of 5
Trivia was fun. Karaoke was too competitive. Views aboard ship were excellent. Activities in atrium were unremarkable except for 70’s disco party. Library was nothing more than a cupboard. Pool was too small but outdoor pool was not used often due to cold temperature outside. Solarium was disappointing due to small pool and kitschy decor. Hot tubs all had nonfunctional jets.


3 out of 5
Stage shows were short, trite and seemed like they were phoned in. Comedian was mediocre but two singers, Jimmy Hopper and Mary-Jess Leaverland were talented and excellent. Pianist at Schooner bar was excellent but had a limited repertoire. Highlight of the cruise was when featured singers Jimmy and Mary-Jess sang at the Piano Bar for fun. Spontaneous and well done!

Children's Programs

My child is 25 and wasn’t on the cruise

Service and Staff

5 out of 5
Service was excellent. Waiters, cabin personnel and guest relations people responded immediately to concerns.

Ship Quality

2 out of 5
Tired old design. Allegedly refurbished in 2018. Little evidence of it. Dated layout. So little to discover. However views of the sea were excellent from Colony Club.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5
So small it seemed like a crew cabin with carpeting. Old furniture. Air conditioning didn’t work and shower wouldn’t drain. Both issues addressed immediately by maintenance and resolved.

Ship tip

Nice ship for beginning cruiser or short trip. Not interesting for long trip. Also many passengers were obsessed about their RCCL loyalty status. Very off putting.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
No excursion but we stayed there for two days before cruise and it is a breathtaking city

Cartagena, Spain

5 out of 5
Beautiful architecture and museums.

Malaga, Spain

5 out of 5
Lovely walking city.

Cadiz (Seville), Spain

5 out of 5
Just strolling the streets was a pleasure

Lisbon, Portugal

5 out of 5
Loved the land/water tour. Another great walking city.

Ponta Delgada, Azores

4 out of 5
Less interesting but quaint and more rural

Tampa, Florida

5 out of 5
We live here


4 out of 5
Leaving the ship was dicey and disorganized even with an escort from The Key. Luggage was found quickly and we just took an Uber home
Was this review helpful? 15

1 Comment

Leave a comment

Remember: Be polite and respectful. Our diverse community is home to members with different opinions and a broad range of cruise experiences.

Other reviews of this sailing