Brilliance of the Seas was the second ship in Royal Caribbean's Radiance series, a collection of ships prized for the way their design takes full advantage of the ocean views that make cruises so special. The sea is visible from so many points on the ship thanks to the over three acres of glass that take the form of two-story windows, glass enclosed elevators, a retractable glass roof, and over 700 balcony staterooms. Depending on which itinerary you choose, you might be enjoying views of the Aegean as you tour the Greek Isles or soaking up the midnight sun during summertime cruises through Scandinavia. Come fall, the ship sails west to offer Canadian cruises launching in Boston before heading south to spend the winter sailing the western Caribbean.
Beyond its innovative design, the ship is known for the impeccable service provided by everyone from the waitstaff to the spa attendants as well as the exciting entertainment options that travelers have come to expect from Royal Caribbean. The ship offers four cabin types - Suite, Balcony, Outside View, and Interior. Adjoining cabins are available for large groups, and Spa Staterooms are ideal for those who plan to enjoy one or more treatments in the Vitality at Sea Spa. Regardless of which stateroom you choose, you will have access to 24-hour room service, daily housekeeping, and nightly turn-down service.
As on most cruises, dining options abound on Brilliance of the Seas where you'll find everything from classic American comfort food alongside dishes from around the world. The Park Café located in the Solarium is a great place to grab a quick bite or tropical cocktail while sitting by the pool. The Windjammer is a popular buffet dining option that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Next to that, you'll find Rita's Cantina, which offers familiar Mexican favorites and inventive margaritas. If you're after a truly special meal, plan to should set aside the three hours required for the five-course dining experience at Chef's Table where you'll be attended to by a sommelier who will provide a wine pairing for each course.
The assortment of activities available on Brilliance of the Seas means that you can create the vacation experience and schedule that works for you. During the day, you might be perfectly content to lounge poolside, but if you want a little more excitement, you won't have to look far. Want to meet some of your fellow passengers? Enter a belly flop contest, join a bingo game, or take a line dancing class. Interested in expanding your horizons? Sign up for a class on travel photography or wine tasting or attend one of the educational lectures on topics related to your ports of call. If you're just looking for some fun in the sun, head to Deck 13 to take advantage of the waterslides, mini-golf and rock-climbing wall. At night, you can find live music and dancing the ship's nine-story atrium or see a production in the ship's theater, Center Stage. You could also make your way to the upper deck where you can take in a film without leaving the hot tub.
Deck 12 is the place to go when you're ready to get your sweat on. That's where you'll find the onboard fitness center as well as an outdoor jogging track and sports courts. The fitness center is fully equipped with the cardio and strength training equipment you need to stay fit on vacation. You can also sign up group classes like cycling, Pilates, and yoga.
One deck below the fitness center, you'll find the Solarium, an adults-only space that is popular on every Royal Caribbean cruise. The Solarium pool is decidedly more laidback than the outdoor pools, so it's a great place to relax and enjoy the ocean views through the towering windows.
Adjoining the fitness center is the Vitality at Sea Spa where guests can book a full range of spa treatments including Microdermabrasion Oxygen Facials and Elemis Aromatherapy Stone Massages. In addition to plenty of treatment rooms, the spa facilities include a thermal suite with heated tile loungers, a rain shower, and an aromatherapy steam room. If you're after more than just a little relaxation, you can also book advanced med-spa services like Botox, and cellulite reduction treatments. Other services available at Vitality include teeth whitening and acupuncture. There is also a full-service salon where you can get a mani-pedi or blowout before a special night out.
Whether you're in the market for a piece of statement jewelry or just looking to replace a forgotten toothbrush, the shops aboard Brilliance of the Seas have got you covered. From Royal Caribbean-branded merchandise to designer handbags and Swiss watches, the ship's boutiques have plenty to offer. Kids will love the Pets at Sea shop where they have the chance to create a plush pet, complete with an outfit and accessories. Most of the ship's boutiques are located in the nine-deck Centrum, which is at the heart of the ship. Thanks to the price match guarantee and the fact that everything is tax- and duty-free as long as you're at sea, you can shop 'til your heart's content with no fear of regret.
As is the case on most Royal Caribbean ships, Brilliance of the Seas is incredibly welcoming to children of all ages. The center of the action for the youngest cruisers is the kids club, known as Adventure Ocean, which is located on Deck 12. There you'll find a large playroom where even the youngest babies can hang out alongside a parent. It's also where you'll go to sign kiddos up for one of the three age-based programs available for cruisers aged 3 to 17. Adventure Beach, also on Deck 12, is an aqua park complete with a pool, water slide, and splash pad. Teenaged cruisers love Optix, a space where they can hang out, dance, play video games, or engage in organized activities.
Brilliance of the Seas features the Royal Caribbean's signature Casino Royale, where cruisers can try their luck at their favorite game of chance. The casino is fully stocked with video poker, close to 200 slot machines, and plenty of table games sure to please players of all interests and abilities. Guests who want to learn a new game or improve their skills can sign up for complimentary lessons on games like blackjack and poker. More experienced players may want to register for one of the regularly scheduled tournaments. Whatever your level of gambling experience, as long as you're at least 18, you can get a little taste of Vegas at sea.