On December 11, 2010, Brilliance of the Seas left Rhodes, Greece on a 6-port cruise to Alexandria, Egypt, and other stops around the eastern Mediterranean and experienced very high seas and 80mph wind gusts. At around 2:15 AM, it is reported that in a cluster of ships rushing to enter the port of Alexandria, a freighter turned in front of the Brilliance of the Seas, forcing the ship's captain, Erik Tengelsen, to slow below the 9 knots necessary to maintain her stabilizers' function. Brilliance of the Seas started to heel port and starboard violently. Passengers reported that they were thrown out of beds; furniture and unsecured objects tossed and slid about their staterooms. Two grand pianos broke free and were demolished during the incident. Windows and mirrors were smashed, and the spa basins were damaged. A reported 138 passengers needed medical treatment for their injuries, the most serious of which were two guests that sustained broken bones. The heeling incident lasted several minutes, after which the Captain acknowledged that it had been a "horrifying experience." Captain Erik reported to news outlets that he was taken by surprise at the force of the storm when, he said, weather reports leaving Rhodes only forecast winds at 45 knots (52 mph) with gusts of 50–60 knots (58–69 mph). It is for that reason that many passengers felt the Captain and Royal Caribbean were partly responsible for the horrifying heeling incident that passengers were subjected to, since they knew well in advance what the potential for trouble was. The next morning, Royal Caribbean International announced through its crew that a $200 per-stateroom refund would be given. Following a brief, but vocal outrage by passengers, Royal announced that on top of the $200, passengers could also expect a full refund of each passenger's stateroom fare. A lawsuit brought by the husband of Barbara Davey, a Scottish woman who fell into a coma three days afterwards and later died, claimed that her death had been caused by head injuries sustained during the incident.
In July 2005, Royal Caribbean was plagued by a controversy that involved the disappearance of one of their passengers, George Allen Smith. Smith disappeared on July 5, when the Brilliance of the Seas was between Greece and Turkey.