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Lynnees

Brilliance - June 19 - Med.

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Just a quick note to say that we thoroughly enjoyed this cruise. We certainly started right with an upgrade at the pier from a D1 to a Grand Suite. It was great!!

 

The food was vastly inproved from our January cruise on the Serenade. The service in the dining room was great. The menu is quite limited but everything we ordered was good. (Even my shrimp cocktail every night).

 

We were booked on private excusions with others we had met on here and they were all very good. The only problem we ran into was for the Rome excusion when 3 people didn't show up. Certainly made it more costly for us, but we felt it was well worth it.

 

That's it for now. But if there is anything else I can add just let me know.

 

Marilyn

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Just a little more information about this cruise. I can't emphasize how much we enjoyed this cruise. We met some really great people. Our tablemates were very nice and most of those we met while on tours were charming.

 

We particularly enjoyed the tour of the Amalfi Coast. It was absolutely beautiful. The people with whom we took this tour were really pleasant. In fact, we hope to keep in touch with B & B (you know who you are) and perhaps travel together at another time.

 

We used http://www.seesorrento.com whom I would highly recommend from Naples to do Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast. The guide was great. He was very knowledgeable and comical.

 

For Florence we used http://www.florencetour.com - the arrangements had been made by someone else and we were shared with 3 other couples. It makes it a more reasonable price of course.

 

We did a shared tour of Rome as well using http://www.benvenutolimos.com again a company I would recommend. The only problem we ran into here was because the person who organized it arranged for a family of 3 from another ship to join us. They didn't show so it became rather costly for us to split two ways. However, even with that, we wouldn't have missed it.

 

Marilyn

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Marilyn

Glad you had a nice time, we are booked for this same cruise in August. Your guide in Naples, is he the one that takes you to his family restaurant? We are booked for Pompeii and Amalfi with RCCL but begining to wonder if We should take a private tour.

Also, what was it like dissembarking? Did you manage to get a taxi outside to take you to the airport quickly? We have to be at the airport by 10 am, do you think this is doable.

Thanks Alison

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Disembarking was a snap. We were off the ship and at our hotel by 8 AM. There are no customs or anything so you just go into the big room and pick out your luggage and away you go.

 

Mind you, in saying that, we ran into our tablemates that night in Barcelona and they had a really hard time getting a cab. They left quite some time after us.

 

If you have an early plane you won't have any problem getting to the airport. Just make sure they know on the ship so that they give you one of the first couple of colours for your bagage.

 

I prefer the private tours. Yes, the one in Naples took us to his family restaurant, which was on the side of the mountain. Absolutely beautiful. The food was great, although I couldn't eat much. I had a bit of vertigo so I knew I couldn't eat much. I would recommend the private tour over the ships tour. For one thing, the buses can't go where the vans and cars go. That makes a really huge difference.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Marilyn

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Thank you Marilyn, will make sure we get the early labels.

I am a bit concerned about the restaurant, we are not big eaters, and I would hate to be sitting in the restaurant for a long time. I heard that you can opt for the lighter menu, but still you seem to be there for ages. what is your opinion on that?

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They will take about an hour at the restaurant. The one we were at did serve the "lighter" meal. I liked the way they served. There were about 6 or 7 (maybe more) different platters served one at a time. You just took what you wanted. If you didn't want anything off a particular platter (I don't like squid so I didn't touch the pasta and squid) you don't take any. You can eat as much or as little as you want.

 

The restuarant and it's location were gorgeous. It is really a stop of it's own and I would highly recommend it. You can take pictures and just gaze up and down the mountain.

 

There were only our group and the other van there, it's not huge so you arn't going to be part of a "crowd". It's extremely enjoyable.

 

The driver is very knowledgable as well and will stop anywhere you want to take photos.

 

Marilyn

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Marilyn,

 

We will be on the Brilliance in September. How early did you arrive at the port in Barcelona and what time are you able to board?

 

Also, did you use your bank card in the ATM's in Europe and if so, was the exchange rate decent?

 

We have booked a number of private tours and will do Venice, Corfu and Dubrovnik on our own. Only 8 weeks until we cruise-can't wait!

 

Thanks for your information.

 

Gayle

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Hi, We arrived at 9:00AM. Not so much choice as necessity. We took an overnight train from Paris to Barcelona and it arrived at 8:30 AM. There was nothing else for us to do but go straight to the port. However, we were allowed to board by 11 AM, which is the earliest we've ever been allowed. There are chairs and they provide water and cookies so no big deal to waiting.

 

We used our brank card twice near the end for Euros. (had to pay for all private tours in cash and, since 3 people did a no show for one tour, it was more costly that we anticipated). We had to pay in US and then the bank converted it to Canadian dollars, so it was more costly for us. The first one, in Mykonos, Greece, charged us more than the second one. However, it still wasn't too too bad.

 

Oh, I would check about that if you haven't already. Most private tours require being paid in cash.

 

Marilyn

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I should have done this earlier, but, better late than never.

 

The Brilliance is a gorgeous ship. We were much happier with this cruise than our Serenade cruise in January.

 

On the first evening we ate in the Windjammer. This was mainly because we were waiting for a table change. We had been booked at a table for 10 although we had asked for nothing larger than a table for 6. We were changed the next day.

 

We were booked for the early seating. As it turned out, they had 4 seatings. 6:30 - 7:00 - 9:00 and 9:30. What time you were depended on what deck you were on. We were on deck 5 so we had 7 PM. This was ideal for us because it gave us more time for a rest once we returned from sightseeing, especially in Italy.

 

We liked the way the seating was arranged. It gave the waiters and assistants more time with their tables and we were able to get to know them much better. On the Serenade, we found the waitress was so rushed, we didn't even get to know her name.

 

Although the menu is not as extensive as it used to be, we enjoyed everything we ate. The various beef dishes were very good. I was able to have a shrimp cocktail every night. As a matter of fact, our waiter stopped trying to give recommendations for the appietizers and just started bringing me a double shrimp cocktail.

 

We had no problem getting drinks served at the dinner table. The bar waiter remembered my drink and my name from the first night on. This is the type of service I remember from years ago. I hope it continues.

 

We also ate in Chops one evening with the group we had been touring with that day. It was fantastic.

 

Marilyn

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Marilyn

 

How nice to read a positive review on the BOS ;) It is the ship I want to try next,when the funds are available :D

 

My son and I found the steak better on the Splendour on the Med better than the NOS on the W.Carib.although RCCI say it is all supplied by the same company.As we don't eat seafood,the beef dishes are important to us.

 

My worry on the BOS is,would there be enough to keep my 15 yr old son happy,strangely enough,he was bit bored on NOS but enjoyed the Splendour.

Perhaps it was because their were more from UK on Med.cruise.Did you find there were a lot of British on your cruise?

 

Regards

Liz

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There were a real mix of people on this cruise. A lot were from the US, quite a number from Canada and a lot of Europeans, including Brits. I was surprised at the number of kids onboard. I hadn't expected that. It's not a complaint mind you, I was just surprised. We saw them playing basketball, and doing all sorts. I don't know about most days because this cruise is so port intensive, and the majority of the people get off for the day that I'm not really sure what was planned for the kids during the day.

 

The only day other than sea days, that we were on early was the day in Athens. We were only off for part of the morning because we didn't like Athens. We spent the afternoon on the ship, but there just weren't that many onboard during the day.

 

We did see a lot of kids that would be around your son's age, so, if he isn't too shy he would be able to find others to chum with I would think.

 

We were told that there were so many complaints about the food (in particular through CC) that they had finally increased the food budget and that was why we were getting better food. I don't know if that was the truth or not, but the food certainly had improved.

 

The salads were the only downfall. They only had one salad choice (which really isn't a choice, is it) at each meal. We had beef most meals as well as never had a problem with anything.

 

Something else that has changed since our last cruise, whenever I asked for a change or something on the Serenade I was turned down. In particular, I had asked for a shrimp cocktail on the second night. I was told I couldn't have it. On the BOS shrimp cocktails were available everynight. Actually, there was an alternative menu which didn't vary, but it had the shrimp cocktail on it.

 

I liked the changes. Even when we went to the Welcome Back Party it wasn't the crappy champagne they used to serve. It was what ever you wanted.

 

Marilyn

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Thanks Marilyn for your quick reply.

 

My son is a bit shy....but don't tell him I said that ;) But even so he does mix well and even now is still in contact with his friends from the Med. cruise last year,including some from USA.But sadly on the NOS he seemed to be on his own and I think it put him off cruising a wee bit,although he did say recently he would do the Med.again but a different ship,so maybe the BOS will be the one for us.

 

So glad to hear the food has improved with RCCI.We were so disappointed on the NOS with the Dining room food after having had lovely food on the Splendour.

 

The ports aren't too important to us,living in Europe,the one I really want to see though is Venice and we always enjoy visiting the South of France.

 

Thanks again

Liz

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