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Suzie500k

Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean June 19th 2004 Review~

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Brilliance of the Seas Mediterranean June 19th 2004 Review~

 

We booked (by ourselves) 2 days pre-cruise in Barcelona,,I loved it,,toured Las Ramblas, La Sagada Familia and shopped around Placa de Catalunya, well worth arriving a few days ahead.

If you have never been to Europe, take this cruise,,It’s GREAT~Day 1..Embark took 10 minutes ( all info at finger tips and filled out) max..easy..by 12pm on way to Windjammer, (of course)..lunch food was good..generally the same each day but a lot of variety...checked out the ship, fitness center,,we have been on Brilliance before,,so we are familiar with the layout...almost everything was open and running...pools, hot tubs, steam room..after flying from West coast needed a bit of each. Luggage was by cabin before 5pm,,fastest I have ever gotten it,,we ate dinner in the Minstrel dinning room, had the 9pm seating...(seating are 6pm, 6:30pm, 9pm & 9:30 pm (lots of posts on boards, no big deal to us) ship was very pretty and clean,,I noticed different art-work on the Brilliance,,from when I sailed it in the Southern Caribbean..Day 2..Captain announced the night before swells over 3 meters @ Villefranche,,so were docked at Cannes instead,(many tours cancelled) a friend pick us up and gave us a wonderful tour of Cannes, Monte Carlo & Monaco plus perfect lunch/afternoon at his home in Menton, France~.weather was perfect,,in fact the weather was perfect EVERYDAY...Day 3 ~Livorno Italy,,took ships tour,(excellent guide Trudy),as Florence is 90 minutes from port,,loved Florence,, great shopping, food,,and historical beauty...toured the highlights,,then of course pizza and shopped,,used fitness center,,steam room,,and dinner in dining room was good,,,Day 4 Civitavecchia.. Rome is 90 minutes from port,,as Livorno I suggest take a tour private or via ship..this tour was just Ok,,Rome is big and crowded but full of history ..in addition to the ships tour we took the open air bus, you can catch it near the Vatican & only 1.30 EURO ,good overview of all the sights,,loved the Colosseum,,and toured the Vatican..it is special...men,,you cannot wear shorts,,(even though its warm in June/July) ladies cover your shoulders,,too tired for dining room,,it’s a port intense cruise,,and I’d rather see Europe than eat..(in the dining room) we ate there only 4 times of 12 nights, ate in the Windjammer,,we loved the pasta bar..and the food was excellent, you see a lot of people eating there as the tours are very tiring, you will see many of the ships staff as well..take this cruise when your young~Day 5 At Sea and did we need it, a few chair hogs,,but overall seating was available by the pools and in the Solarium,,(excellent place to relax) I will take this time to say the staff was above expectations, friendly & helpful, excellent service in the Windjammer, in our cabin, dining room, and each place we were on the ship, service was superb...Day 6 Mykonos,,Greece, I loved Mykonos, its hard to describe,,near paradise, great jewelry stores perfect weather, great food...you take a short ride from the ship to town, can walk to see all there, I didn’t like the ship charging $8 RT from shuttle to the some towns, great day in Mykonos, could have stayed a week,,,Day 7 Santorini,,,you must pay RCI $8 RT (or $7 at the cable car window) to take the cable car up the vast cliffs, or you can walk or ride a donkey, they smelled AWFUL..the view is lovely of the ship as you ride up the cable car, Santorini is what you see in pictures but don’t believe a place so beautiful really exists,,perfect day,,weather,,,people,,back to ship,,to cool off,,,eat,,,,Day 8 Piraeus Greece..Athens,,,we took a cab toured the city,,to Acropolis, Plaka (shopping district)..and new Olympic venues (long way to go for August)...city is crowded, rather dirty but interesting went to the Magic show at night not very good but we stayed...Day 9 At Sea relaxing & lots of activities, pool was busy lots of fun great weather 85 ish~ went to formal dinner, had great table-mates (10).......Day 10 Messina, Italy,,We took the ships tour to Taormina,I suggest taking this tour (or to the volcano,,many loved it also) another place out of a postcard wonderful village great people great food super shopping handbags,,wine, try the gellato (ice cream) another place I could have stayed went to the show @11pm it was the RC Singers and Dancers, “Turn the Beat Around”,,saw similar on other ship,,,just as bad,,left after 2nd song as much as I hate to walk out of a show sleep seemed better..Day 11 Naples, Italy.....took the ships tour to the Amalfi Coast its breathtaking many curves in the road through many villages had a delicious lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Amalfi Coast shopped in Sorrento along the way,,very pretty (many went to Capri said it was nice stores like Rodeo Drive) I preferred our tour, tour guide was Aldo excellent guide very professional. Day 12 Disembark,,ship arrived early,,we were off ship by 8am,,very quick,,I suggest do not take ship transfers to airport,,a pain in the butt,,take a cab you will have plenty of time to get to the airport,,our flight left at 11:30am. The Barcelona airport was fine, no problems, lots of stores. Can you tell I like to shop?

 

We had a trip of a lifetime, the crew was excellent,,the mix of passengers was very nice,,a fun crowd, overall..polite and friendly...nightlife~ship was clean,,pools open 24 hours, overall food good (really good in Windjammer) (not too good at the Seaview Grill, just ok) perfect weather.. Complaints, internet was SLOW (terrible)~no ½ and ½ ..for the Seattle Best coffee,,(Explorer has real ½ and ½).and in my opinion the shows were lousy...many seemed to agree, this is a pricey cruise save your $$...I suggest booking your excursions online before you cruise... ..Overall few complaints in contrast to the wonderful compliments.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to write your review. I'm glad you had a good time. You've further whet my appetitie for my Med cruise next year. ;)

 

 

 

"Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking."

-Marcus Aurelius Antonius

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thanks so much for the review. i am seriously thinking of booking this cruise or the 7 day splendour med cruise for next year! need to decide soon which one

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Thank you for a great review. We are booked for Med Cruise on Brilliance June 5, 2005.

How bad was the airfare to Barcelona? RCI said it would cost $1149.00 for each of us with transfers. We only live 200 miles from LAX. Thank you ahead of time for your info.

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Thanks for the review. We're taking the Venice cruise next year and I've been looking at the Greece cruise for a future trip. Sounds like it's one to put on the list.

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coloblu,,the price RCI quoted you is good in my opinion,,we paid $1075pp American Airlines..and i looked and looked,,with no transfers,,which are approx $80 for 2 more $$...i wasn't sure if was the time of year (june),,or olympics or both,,i think the time of year,,as in i see prices for about $700 in MAy 05'...you will love the cruise,,we are looking to go again in 06'...

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Thanks for the review. Definitely looking forward to our cruise next year :D.

 

Colorblu - we're on the same cruise!! Stop by our roll-call and meet your fellow cruisers - ROLL CALL LINK . We got a good group started.

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Suzie500K One question. How can seating times for dinner be 6, 6:30, 9 and 9:30. Are times changed on a daily basis. I'm sailing on the Brilliance in Jan and wa told that late seating is 9.

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coloblu,,the price RCI quoted you is good in my opinion,,we paid $1075pp American Airlines..and i looked and looked,,with no transfers,,which are approx $80 for 2 more $$...i wasn't sure if was the time of year (june),,or olympics or both,,i think the time of year,,as in i see prices for about $700 in MAy 05'...you will love the cruise,,we are looking to go again in 06'...

 

 

Suzie500k, Thank you for all your info. I did talk to my TA and she was saying the same thing. I hope we can find them cheaper. We would like to fly in 2 days early.

Thank again, ColoBlu

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the 6pm dinner was on deck 4 minstrel, then the 6:30 when to deck 5 minstrel

the 9pm when to 4 (6pm were done by then) the 9:30 when to deck 5...we were at 9pm,,but only went 4 times,,rather spent time in ports,,and enjoy other ship amenities,,enjoy suzan

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Thanks So much for the review. We are departing Barcelona on Aug 30th with the exact same itinerary. I was wondering how in the world we would be ablel do all the shore excursions and get back in time for dinner. Were you just exhausted after every shore excursion? It sounds that way if you only ate in the DR 4 out of 12 days. Also, by chair hogs, you mean you couldn'nt get by the pool? Last question, ...:) Were there a lot of children on this cruise?

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wandalou,,yes,,many excursions were 9 + hours,,and we enjoyed every second,,we liked to go to the gym,,sauna, etc..since we got back to the ship about 5-6..and wanted to relax for a few before dinner,,we ate in the Windjammer,,it was very good,,and very relaxing..there were many kids on the 6/19 med cruise,,i was surprised,,so many brought kids,,I will mention, in my opinion ,,I think kids enjoy a Caibbean cruise more,,the sights of Italy & Greece,,were not to exciting to some,,however the children were overall very well behaved..Enjoy~

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Suzie500K - Thank you so much for a frank and wonderful review of your cruise. I am on BOS Oct.5th, also a 12 night cruise out of Barcelona, except ours stops in Venice for 2 days. Good to know NOT to take a tour in every port and become exhausted with too much info and sightseeing.

Just one question - we have always taken RCI's bus transfer to the airport and been very frustrated with the disorganization and long lineups. Would you happen to remember what the cost of a taxi to the airport from the pier, was?

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the taxi is about 22 Euros if I remember correctly..but i feel a better bet than the RCL transfers..they were unorganized~~ enjoy,,we are looking for the June 2006..schedule,,cannot wait to go again,,one hint,,if you see when shopping.. items, handbags, jewelry,,etc,,buy them,because you will be sorry you didnt when you get home,(I could kick myslef for not buying the wallet to match my handbag),,I have seen nothing comparable in USA as lovely as that in Italy and Greece..better stuff that piggy bank..

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Suzie - Thanks for posting your concise and informative review. Good to see you enjoyed it. Some good pointers for our Brilliance cruise later this month.

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