Above: The main counter.
Below: The bar.
The menu is displayed on panels.
Above: A guest-designed individual pizza.
Below: The Chef's Favorite grilled panini.
A bowl of pasta with garlic bread.
The Cruise Compass on Brilliance of the Seas lists the Seaview Cafe as a “snacks” venue. However, that is a misleading categorization. The Seaview does offer light meals but it is no poolside hamburger bar. Rather, it is a charmingly decorated venue with a relaxed and congenial atmosphere. More importantly, it is a venue where freshness is king and guests have wide latitude in designing their meals.
The Seaview is in an out of the way location. It is at the stern of the ship on the starboard side in back of the sports complex. High on Deck 12, it offers great views. But you have to go outside to get to it. And since there is nothing else in the area, most guests have no reason to pass by there. Consequently, most guests probably do not even know it is there.
Still, the Seaview does have a substantial following. During my cruise on Brilliance, it was always full for lunch even on sea days when the weather was not particularly nice. On port days, there were always people in the Seaview as soon as it opened.
The atmosphere undoubtedly contributed to the Seaview's popularity. It is casual and relaxed. As a result, many guests would linger at their tables to chat after finishing their meals. Others, interested in a quick meal, would eat and go. As will be discussed further below, the Seaview is all about tailoring the experience to what you want.
The first choice a guest has to make is whether to sit inside or outdoor. The Seaview has outdoor tables some of which are under an awning while the remainder are in the open by the ship's rail. Thus, if you want to be in the fresh air and/or sunshine, the Seaview can accommodate you.
Alternatively, there are tables inside. The interior of the Seaview resembles the club house bar at a yacht club. On its wood paneled walls are half hull models and photos of sail boats. Nautical memorabilia fills display cabinets and covers the wooden shelves. Natural light and panoramic views flow in through the floor to ceiling windows on the starboard side.
When you enter the Seaview, you immediately encounter the menu suspended on three panels over the counter that runs half way along the interior wall. Once you decide what you want, you give your order to the staff member stationed near the door and then sit down at one of the tables. The staff member brings your meal to you when it is ready.
The Seaview's menu consists primarily of Italian-inspired dishes. There are pizzas, pastas and paninis. Within each category, the menu presents an extensive list of ingredients which can be used to style the dish to your taste. Alternatively, you can order one of the house combinations.
The individual size pizzas are the stars of the show. They are prepared ala minute and so have all the warmth and flavor of pizza right out of the oven. Since you specify the toppings, your pizza is built to suit your tastes. There is no need to compromise here.
Along the same lines, the paninis benefit from being freshly made. The bread is warm, toasted yet not hard. The “Chef's Favorite” combination had fresh tomato, capers, and fresh onion to accent the flavorful smoked salmon.
The Seaview offers six types of pasta and you have the choice of eight different sauces. Once again each order is prepared individually when the dish is ordered. Each order comes with a piece of fresh garlic bread.
For something to drink, the Seaview has a separate bar counter that offers domestic and imported beers and wine. It also has coffee and soft drinks such as soda and lemonade. Bottled and tap water are available.
The staff of the Seaview was friendly each time I visited. They also remembered my preferences from one visit to the next.
Sadly, the Seaview Cafe is a vanishing species. As part of a program to bring some of the popular features developed for Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas to the rest of the Royal Caribbean fleet, Brilliance is scheduled to undergo a major revitalization in the Spring of 2013. When sister ship Radiance of the Seas went through this process, the Seaview was replaced by the Samba Grill. Chances are that it will also disappear from the other Radiance class ships when they go through their planned revitalizations. However, at least for the moment, the Seaview continues to thrive on Brilliance of the Seas (and also on Jewel of the Seas).
The Seaview is open for lunch on sea days and remains open through the afternoon. On port days, it usually opens at four in the afternoon. There are also evening hours each day. There is no charge for the food at the Seaview Cafe.
Cruise ship dining review - - Royal Caribbean - - Brilliance of the Seas - - Seaview Cafe