Sea ViewsFrom President and COO, Adam Goldstein

Sea Views Blog with Adam Goldstein

Brilliance of the Seas

It was a traumatic weekend for our guests and crew onboard Royal Caribbean International‘s Brilliance of the Seas.  A storm of great intensity affected a considerable portion of the Eastern Mediterranean, with serious impact on land and at sea.  Based on numerous conversations with Bill Wright, our SVP Marine Operations, prior to his leaving for Malta to meet the ship on Tuesday afternoon, as well as with Lisa Bauer, our SVP Hotel Operations, the following is our update as of Monday night Miami time. 

During Brilliance of the Seas’ approach to Alexandria, Egypt, early Sunday morning, eight days into the sailing, the ship experienced extreme wind and sea conditions, including heavy seas and 70 knot winds, nearly double what had been forecasted. The combination of the wind and sea conditions resulted in some episodes of significant listing within the span of a few minutes.  While the ship is built to withstand such extremely rare occurrences, the experience was nevertheless frightening for those onboard.

 Approximately 60 guest injuries were reported, the most serious of which were two guests with fractures. The medical facility onboard is fully operational and our medical team is diligently caring for guests.

The severe ship movement caused damage to some public areas and a loss of electricity in some staterooms. Aesthetic damages to the ship’s interior have caused the closure of three public venues for the remainder of the sailing: the beauty salon, video arcade and disco. There has been no impact to the ship’s operating systems or engines and the ship continues to be fully seaworthy.

Because of the inclement weather, Brilliance of the Seas was unable to call in Alexandria, and instead proceeded to the next port of call, Valetta, Malta, where it is arriving Tuesday morning at 7:00 a.m. local time. The ship will conclude its sailing in Barcelona, Spain on Friday, as scheduled. Subsequent cruises will sail as scheduled and the ship will not require a dry dock, as repairs are underway.

As a gesture of goodwill, and to thank guests onboard Brilliance of the Seas for their understanding during this difficult situation, Royal Caribbean International has provided guests with an onboard credit, as well as a full refund of their cruise fare paid for the sailing.

I want to send my thanks to the crew of Brilliance for the tireless efforts during all of this. They have gone without sleep in order to provide the best cruise possible for our guests during times of less than positive circumstances.

Royal Caribbean understands that this has been a frightening experience for our guests and crew, and our officers and crew onboard Brilliance of the Seas will make every effort to ensure that the remainder of the cruise is as enjoyable as possible.

Brilliance of the Seas is sailing on a 12-night itinerary that departed Barcelona, Spain with scheduled port calls in Sicily (Palermo), Italy; Athens (Piraeus) and Rhodes, Greece; Alexandria, Egypt and Valetta, Malta. 

On behalf of my colleagues at Royal Caribbean International, I sincerely apologize that our guests onboard Brilliance of the Seas suffered such a direct impact from the storm.

We would also like to share this video of Captain Wright expressing our concern and further discussing details of what happened from an experienced marine operations perspective:

19 responses to:
“Brilliance of the Seas”

  1. David Norcross

    I’m sure it was very traumatic on board the Brilliance during the rough seas. RCCL is the best fleet on the seas and I’m sure everything was done to keep the passengers and crew as safe as possible. Keep on sailing and I’ll try and catch up with you!

    • Adam

      Thank you for your kind words David. Our passengers’ safety is our number one priority and we will try and make the rest of their journey as safe and as comfortable as possible so they can get home.

  2. David & Pam Lewis

    Thank you Adam Goldstein for your post. We wish to congratulate Royal Caribbean International on the professionalism and sensitive release of this information about the incident with the Brilliance of the Seas. My wife and I just completed the same 12 day cruise on the Brilliance on December 5 (the exact cruise directly preceding the one that that Mr. Goldstein describes in his blog). We wish to confirm that the Captain and crew on that ship were beyond excellent! We thoroughly enjoyed our 12 days and wish to express our personal confirmation that if one had to experience the unexpected and unplanned weather conditions that they just passed through, there would is no better qualified crew to be in control of such situations than one could find on the Brilliance of the Seas! The Captain and staff that just passed through this difficult situation, from our experience, are the best and speaks well of the training and caliber of the personnel under the Royal Caribbean International flag. We are very satisfied Royal Caribbean customers and will be planning more cruises with Royal in the near future.

    • Adam

      David and Pam, thank you so much for your kind words. We take a lot of pride in the professionalism our crew puts forth on every cruise that sets sail as well as the extensive training our crew undergoes. We are glad the two of you enjoyed your experience on Brilliance of the Seas and we look forward to seeing you in the future.

  3. Jacqueline Condie

    It sounds to me like RCCL is doing everything it can to “make things right” with your onboard guests. Nobody should fault you for Mother Nature’s handiwork, but we can, and should, commend you for how deftly you handled the aftermath. Kudos.

    • Adam

      Thank you for the kudos, Jacqueline. We try and offer each cruiser the best experience onboard our ships as possible, and when Mother Nature steps in it can sometimes make our job of doing that much more difficult. We are just glad that everyone is safe and sound and we’ll do everything in our power to make sure their journey home is as comfortable as possible.

  4. Virginia Lee

    Reminded me of rough seas on the Brilliance last November crossing from Naples to BCN. Those are really troubling and unpredictable waters. Last night of the cruise, we limped in to BCN seven hours late. RCCL is an amazing line; respond to their customers. Hey, blame Mother Nature, not RCCL! Crazy weather happens

    • Adam

      Virginia, Mother Nature as well as rough waters are two unpredictable elements within our business. Thank you very much for your warm words and we hope to see you back onboard again soon, hopefully without the rough waters!

  5. Shaun Veerasawmy

    Good Day Mr Goldstein,

    Thank you advising on both guests < Officers, staff and Crew and I would like you to share my congratulations to the entire team as I know how trying these situations can be, but your staff always go above and beyond in these times.

    Please amek sure that all is rewarded for their hard work and contimued dedication to the company.

    • Adam

      It is much appreciated to hear those kind words, Shaun. On behalf of our entire team we thank you for your congratulations. I will let the crew of Brilliance of the Seas know how valuable they are to our company as they showed such dedication in this situation. We are just glad that everyone onboard is safe as they continue on with their cruise.

  6. Victoria Navas

    Buenos dias…. en encantaria recibir informacion para solicitar empleo…. soy terapeuta! trabajo en un spa

    • Adam

      Victoria, puedes encontrar más información acerca de las carreras aquí: Muchas gracias y le deseamos buena suerte!

  7. Kami zink

    Kuddos for running such a great company and taking care of your customers! Much better then Carnival, my husband and I sailed on them last year. They sent a ship out that had known problems and we broke down by Cuba, you know what they did for us they gave us our port fees back in on-board credits. We will NEVER sail on Carnival again! We sail every other winter so we will be going on RC for now on!

    • Adam

      Thank you very much for the kudos Kami! We look forward to seeing you onboard in the future.

  8. Elenor

    BRAVO! This is why I sail with RCCI — they’re a quality outfit! (Our next cruise is Barcelona to Ft Lauderdale; we just finished London to Boston.)

    Superb company!

    • Adam

      Thank you so much, Elenor. We hope you continue to enjoy our dedicated service to our cruisers and we look forward to seeing you in Barcelona!

  9. gary ross

    i dont think there should be any refund for passengers because that is mother nature no one to be blame for this .It is only fair if you refund the passengers then the crew should have a big bonus for all he hard work they did Royal caribbean is one of the best.

  10. Leo botton

    I comend not only the professionalisme of the whole crew, the way they hanled the whole ordeal, but also the bulders of such a magnificient ship that delivered such a well built sea worthy marvel.

    • Adam

      Leo, we are certainly lucky to have such an outstanding crew who was well prepared to handle such a difficult situation as well as a great ship. Thank you very much for the kind words and praise.

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