Number of Cruises: 4
Cruise Line: Royal Caribbean
Ship: Brilliance of the Seas
Sailing Date: October 4th, 2004
Itinerary: Western Mediterranean
My partner and I took the October
4th Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas out of Barcelona.
We arrived in Barcelona 3 days prior to the cruise and found a nice hotel convenient for both the beach and the main attractions. We thoroughly enjoyed those 3 days in Barcelona. Be prepared to eat late however- most restaurants did not open till after 8pm and it was not unusual for people to be eating well past midnight. Quite a shock to out systems.
We arrived at the Port early, around 11.30am and within 35 minutes we were on board sitting in the lounge with a nice cold drink in our hands. At 1pm our cabin was ready and within an hour our luggage was outside our cabin door.
WE had an inside cabin and it was spacious and very comfortable. Lots of storage room and the beds were very comfortable. Given the fact that we seemed to be in the cabin only about 8 hours each night, an inside cabin was more than sufficient and cost effective.
The ship is absolutely wonderful. I cannot start to explain the beautiful decorations and lots of open glass. My suggestion is that you will not find anything anyweher much better than this ship.
The food in the Main Dining room was o.k. I would say it was about the same as you would receive and expect in the restaurant of a 3/4 star hotel. There was nothing wrong with the food, it was plentiful and there were several choices. Having said that it did lack a little imagination and very little spice....bland would be the word. We ate lunch and breakfast a few times in the Windjammer- lots of variety and very good.
We also paid the additional $20 to eat at both of the Theme restuarants. These were excellent...if the food in the main dining room was as good as this- then RCL would be the leader in cuisine.
Complaints are few. Having to pay for coffee at the coffee shop and pay for bottles of water and soft drinks was annoying. Nearly everyone we spoke with found this annoying and a bit cheap....most of us agreed that RCL should charge a bit more for the cruise and give these FREE. It is an irritant which they would do well to resolve.
The service throughout the ship was nothing short of superb.
The ports of call were great and the fact that we were late in the season meant that we actually docked in a few places where we were meant to Tender. That was a GREAT BONUS. This was especially true in Venice where we berthed just a short walk from all the major sights.
Let me say, that this was the best vacation we have ever had...and we can strongly recommend this trip to anyone wanting to see Europe and the Med in luxury.
WE are now looking for a cruise with more Greek content, so that we can see Turkey and Greece as well as Italy, France and Spain. We are saving our pennies...