Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas sails with just over 2,100 passengers at double occupancy and had its maiden voyage in 2002. So, the cruise ship is older and smaller than the enormous modern ships we’ve seen launched in the past several years.
The ship has a fiercely loyal following, though, as many cruisers prefer a more affordable and intimate old-school cruising experience. Brilliance of the Seas sails short cruises (four and five days) from Tampa, and the ship is particularly ideal for families traveling with kids.
Brilliance of the Seas features a range of cabin categories to accommodate families. The Family Ocean View staterooms have 265 square feet, twin beds that convert to a Royal King, sofa bed, bunk beds in a separate sleeping area, and a sitting area. The two-bedroom family suites offer two bathrooms (one has a master with tub that is good for giving baby a bath), a living area and balcony. The ship also has an Owner’s Suite and Royal Suites that can fit anywhere from four to eight passengers.
Brilliance of the Seas shows recently released movies. We saw “Dunkirk” and “Thor: Ragnarok” on our cruise. The ship has a cool indoor cinema with 40 seats offering matinee and evening movie times. The indoor theater also hosts teens-only movie events (with youth program chaperone). You’ll get movies on the big screen poolside at night. Have a family movie night or send the kids off on their own.
Royal Caribbean’s Adventure Ocean youth program onboard Brilliance of the Seas offers age-appropriate group activities for multiple age groups. Aquanauts (3 to 5), Explorers (6 to 8), Voyagers (9 to 11), tweens (12 to 14) and teens (15 to 17) all have programs administered by expert counselors. We saw kids bonding immediately with new friends as they roamed the ship, played in the pool, ate together in the buffet and played pick-up hoops and other games like ping-pong.
Kids also get their own separate hangout areas onboard.
The Royal Babies and Tots program serves ages 6 months to 3 years with space for parent-child interactive play time. The ship offers group babysitting at a nursery. Group and in-cabin babysitting is available for a fee.
Brilliance of the Seas has a sports court with a half-court basketball setup that also is used for soccer contests and other competitions. The ship has a fun and challenging nine-hole mini-golf course that is ideal for family competitions.
A gentle water slide is open frequently during the cruise. While it’s not a long and wild ride, it’s a fun way for kids to cool off and enjoy slide time. At the base of the slide is a small pool and splash zone. The area features a technicolor sea snake and tiny dolphin-shaped slide, making it a fun area for parents to splash around with the kiddos.
John Roberts is a freelance writer and operator of InTheLoopTravel.com. He writes about cruising and active travel, highlighting how people can connect with the world and other cultures through rewarding travel experiences.
Photo Credit: Ahecht via Wiki Creative Commons 4.0