“A+ for Ports, C- for Cuisine...”
Cruise review of Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas

CruiserTz Brilliance of the Seas 3 A+ for Ports, C- for Cuisine...
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As an experienced cruiser, I've raved about the fantastic food served on cruise ships in the past. However, in past 2 years, along with the economy, cruise food has gone downhill. No escargot, lobster or crab was seen. And, for the first time I noticed chicken and mashed potato as a main course....hmmmm. I could understand this on perhaps a 3-4 day quickie cruise. On a 12 day Mediterranean Cruise I expected gourmet in the main dinning room. We tried paying extra for the private dinning areas but were disappointed there as well. Basically, steak or pasta. Neither are considered gourmet nor are they creative. They are basic American cuisine.

Also, I felt the entertainment was poor, another sign that cruising is not what it used to be. At every moment, the cruise line attempted to sell you something, upgrade, buy, buy, buy. I understand now that if I wanted gourmet food and spectacular entertainment I'll have to pay much, much more. Like, in the $6K per person range, before shore excursions, wine, and extra's, and only on exclusive ships. Not really what I wanted to do....

On a more positive note, the Cruise Director was fantastic, the ports of call were extraordinary and the staff everywhere were well trained and friendly.

Brilliance of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
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Cabin review: Large Ocean View Stateroom

Perfect. Clean, comfortable, perfect for two. The cleaning staff could learn to stop yelling in the hallway. It went on every morning from 7:30 to 9:00. She was greeting everyone as they left their rooms, but it turned out to be obnoxious!!

Port and Shore Excursions

Loved Barcelona!!! Spent 3 days pre-cruise at the Hotel Colon in the middle of downtown. Spectacular location, friendly staff, shopping and dining within walkable distance. Don't miss the Flemenco at Tablao de Carmen. Phenomenal!! Las Ramblas was fun, even at night. Mind the information regarding pickpockets and you will be fine. Spend time at the Picasso museum, perhaps the largest collection anywhere. Loved, loved, loved this place!

Read 1,365 Barcelona Reviews
Actually, the Florence port is Livorno/Pisa. We hired a private driver independent of the cruiseline. (1/2 the price!) Stopped at Pisa for 1/2 hour, then traveled north to Cinque Terre. SPECTACULAR!!!! Cinque=5, Terre=lands. Five little Italian towns, tucked into the bays of the rugged coastline. Just 1.5 hours. Contact the highly recommended Alessandro Magelli at Linker Limousine for a fantastic, clean, professional driver. Lovely, quaint shops and villages. The real Italy. We will return!!! Alessandro and the driver knew the history and provided superb service.

Don't take the bus....Rent a 4-Wheeler!! We rode the gondola up into town, then walked to Moto Kostas in Fira. Much more intimate connection with the whole town...we went everywhere. Beach, vineyard, historal sites, Oia, etc. Definitely the way to go, if you are the adventurous type! Loved Santorini. Some of the best tomatoes on earth (were told the volcanic nature of the soil is the reason why), sumptious wine, superb people!!!

Published 11/17/10
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Brilliance of the Seas Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean
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