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A quick run-down of our activities for others looking for information: Two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Regina in Barcelona, used the HoHo bus around town, Wayne rode the Aerial Tram across the bay, loved the Market Building; spent a lot of time strolling down Las Ramblas and savouring the sights and sounds of lovely Barcelona. No problems with anything. Boarding the ship was a breeze; we had cabin D1 9256 and everything was spot-on; excellent stateroom attendant - Thomas. Took advantage of the "laundry bag" service on Day 5. We had very calm seas and Captain Zini went out of his way to sail close to Stromboli and another volcanic island. Announcements were pertinent and not annoying. CD Gordon was terrific; shows were good; and Gordon came to our M&M and valiantly answered lots of questions. An medical emergency required the Captain to pull into the Bay of Palermo for over an hour or so around 9:00 one evening. Those of us in the Diamond lounge had a great time with our fabulous and very perky Hostess/Bartender Angela in the evenings on Deck 13. There were three formal nights; my DH wore his tux and I wore gowns. We ate at Portofino twice and once at Chops - prefer Portofino but both great. Ports of Call: Cannes: we opted for the beach and strolling around town. Took the free shuttle from the ship to the entrance to the port. Had a wonderful time; water was at least 85. Beach was public so no charge. Ate lunch near the beach and then strolled thru town. Lots of activity with a fresh market going on and tons of little stores to browse thru. Florence: we took the ship excursion "Florence on Your Own" and left around 8:15. The guide provided lots of info on the inbound trip. After walking us from the bus to Piazza Croce the guide indicated our meeting point for 3:30. Fortunately we pre-booked our tickets for the Accademia (David) and for the Medicini Chapel; by-passed line-ups. A highlight was the Duomo Museum directly across the street from the Duomo - the real panels from the doors are in the museum also Michaelangelo's unfinished Pieta. In the Medicini Chapel are two incredibly beautiful sculptures by Michaelangelo - Dusk and Dawn and Day and Night. Florence is very easy to walk around. We had time for the museums, a light lunch, walking to and around the Pont Vecchio and a bit of shopping. Civitavecchia: since we spent a week in Rome two years ago, we decide to forgo the trip in to the City. We went to the Beach (free) and then strolled around the town. Farmers market was underway with wonderful displays of produce; saw a bit of the old city below grade which has a glass surface you can look through (really neat!). Very much enjoyed our time there. Naples: we were in Pompeii two years ago so we wanted to visit the Museum in Naples. Took a taxi from the pier. After walking thru the Museum which has a bas relief of all the uncovered areas of Pompeii as well as some huge frescoes taken from the walls of homes we wandered thru Naples. My DH took the underground tour which lasted about an hour; the first excavaions date back 5000 years. The Greeks dug deep into the ground to carve tufa stone blocks to build Naples city walls and temples. Since it was Sunday many stores were closed and the city was calm and pleasant to stroll around. The first sea day was a wonderful break from sightseeing. Venice: sailing into Venice is truly incredible - the views are awesome. The trip from the pilot station to the dock takes about an hour and you get a chance to see so much of the city; the water taxis, gondolas, etc. After docking we took the ship water shuttle to St. Mark's ($5.00 each way per person) so we could start sightseeing. We went to the Naval Arsenal in our quest to see one of the famous lions of Delos. We sat at a little cafe in Campo de Arsenal to enjoy a cold drink while viewing our lion. Throughout the afternoon we walked in and out of the little streets on our way to St. Mark's. There is so much beautiful in Venice; just walking around is worth the trip. We bought 24 hour water taxi tickets for 16.50 Euro each and went back to Piazza Roma by water taxi. It is a longish walk back to the ship from the Piazza Roma (about 20 minutes) and not well marked however we did just fine. The next day we took the ship shuttle to St. Mark's then hopped on the water taxi to go to a few places we wanted to visit using the water taxi as a HoHo Bus. At Campo Rialto we spent some time at the fish market and produce market as well as meandered around the tiny streets. Finally we headed back for the ship by water taxi. We bid Venice a final farewell from our balcony as the ship slowly sailed away. Venice is a must see. Dubrovnik: This was a pleasant surprise - the bay is beautiful and the old city so charming. We took the ship shuttle to the city and started by climbing the wall -- wow -- the views are amazing both of the city and the Sea. The walk is very good exercise with all the steps along the way. We then went into the main square and headed for the marina to sit in a cool place with nice cold drinks. People were very nice and we did fine without any local currency. The town is easy to walk around with interesting shops and restaurants everywhere. Corfu: Decided we wanted one more swim in the Med. so we finally convinced a taxi driver to take us to a local beach (15 Euros); entrance fee 1.5 Euros each. Had a lovely time there for a couple of hours and then the driver came back to pick us up; another 15 Euros and we were at the main square in town. Enjoyed several hours strolling around the town and picking up a few mementos before walking back to the ship (mistake!); we should have taken a taxi. It was a very long, hot walk. Two more seas days passed by all too quickly. Post-cruise we flew to Frankfurt and had a limo arranged to take us to Mainz, Germany where we stayed at the Hyatt for two nights. Mainz is a lovely little town on the Rhine. My DH rented a bike and went cycling along both sides of the river. We visited St. Stephan's church with its' Marc Chagall windows and did lots of walking around the old city with tons of interesting buildings, shops and restaurants. We flew AirCanada direct back to Ottawa. Thankfully our points enabled us to book Executive Class for all the flights so we had the fully reclining beds and use of the Executive lounges at the airports. Overall the trip was an amazing experience; the cruise was perfect and the ports of call all exceeding our expectations.

Brilliant Brilliance Cruise

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by tomko2

Trip Details
A quick run-down of our activities for others looking for information:
Two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Regina in Barcelona, used the HoHo bus around town, Wayne rode the Aerial Tram across the bay, loved the Market Building; spent a lot of time strolling down Las Ramblas and savouring the sights and sounds of lovely Barcelona. No problems with anything.
Boarding the ship was a breeze; we had cabin D1 9256 and everything was spot-on; excellent stateroom attendant - Thomas. Took advantage of the "laundry bag" service on Day 5. We had very calm seas and Captain Zini went out of his way to sail close to Stromboli and another volcanic island. Announcements were pertinent and not annoying. CD Gordon was terrific; shows were good; and Gordon came to our M&M and valiantly answered lots of questions. An medical emergency required the Captain to pull into the Bay of Palermo for over an hour or so around 9:00 one evening.
Those of us in the Diamond lounge had a great time with our fabulous and very perky Hostess/Bartender Angela in the evenings on Deck 13.
There were three formal nights; my DH wore his tux and I wore gowns.
We ate at Portofino twice and once at Chops - prefer Portofino but both great.

Ports of Call:
Cannes: we opted for the beach and strolling around town. Took the free shuttle from the ship to the entrance to the port. Had a wonderful time; water was at least 85. Beach was public so no charge.
Ate lunch near the beach and then strolled thru town. Lots of activity with a fresh market going on and tons of little stores to browse thru.
Florence: we took the ship excursion "Florence on Your Own" and left around 8:15. The guide provided lots of info on the inbound trip. After walking us from the bus to Piazza Croce the guide indicated our meeting point for 3:30. Fortunately we pre-booked our tickets for the Accademia (David) and for the Medicini Chapel; by-passed line-ups. A highlight was the Duomo Museum directly across the street from the Duomo - the real panels from the doors are in the museum also Michaelangelo's unfinished Pieta. In the Medicini Chapel are two incredibly beautiful sculptures by Michaelangelo - Dusk and Dawn and Day and Night. Florence is very easy to walk around. We had time for the museums, a light lunch, walking to and around the Pont Vecchio and a bit of shopping.
Civitavecchia: since we spent a week in Rome two years ago, we decide to forgo the trip in to the City. We went to the Beach (free) and then strolled around the town. Farmers market was underway with wonderful displays of produce; saw a bit of the old city below grade which has a glass surface you can look through (really neat!). Very much enjoyed our time there.
Naples: we were in Pompeii two years ago so we wanted to visit the Museum in Naples. Took a taxi from the pier. After walking thru the Museum which has a bas relief of all the uncovered areas of Pompeii as well as some huge frescoes taken from the walls of homes we wandered thru Naples. My DH took the underground tour which lasted about an hour; the first excavaions date back 5000 years. The Greeks dug deep into the ground to carve tufa stone blocks to build Naples city walls and temples. Since it was Sunday many stores were closed and the city was calm and pleasant to stroll around.
The first sea day was a wonderful break from sightseeing.
Venice: sailing into Venice is truly incredible - the views are awesome. The trip from the pilot station to the dock takes about an hour and you get a chance to see so much of the city; the water taxis, gondolas, etc.
After docking we took the ship water shuttle to St. Mark's ($5.00 each way per person) so we could start sightseeing. We went to the Naval Arsenal in our quest to see one of the famous lions of Delos. We sat at a little cafe in Campo de Arsenal to enjoy a cold drink while viewing our lion.
Throughout the afternoon we walked in and out of the little streets on our way to St. Mark's. There is so much beautiful in Venice; just walking around is worth the trip. We bought 24 hour water taxi tickets for 16.50 Euro each and went back to Piazza Roma by water taxi. It is a longish walk back to the ship from the Piazza Roma (about 20 minutes) and not well marked however we did just fine. The next day we took the ship shuttle to St. Mark's then hopped on the water taxi to go to a few places we wanted to visit using the water taxi as a HoHo Bus. At Campo Rialto we spent some time at the fish market and produce market as well as meandered around the tiny streets. Finally we headed back for the ship by water taxi. We bid Venice a final farewell from our balcony as the ship slowly sailed away. Venice is a must see.
Dubrovnik: This was a pleasant surprise - the bay is beautiful and the old city so charming. We took the ship shuttle to the city and started by climbing the wall -- wow -- the views are amazing both of the city and the Sea. The walk is very good exercise with all the steps along the way. We then went into the main square and headed for the marina to sit in a cool place with nice cold drinks. People were very nice and we did fine without any local currency. The town is easy to walk around with interesting shops and restaurants everywhere.
Corfu: Decided we wanted one more swim in the Med. so we finally convinced a taxi driver to take us to a local beach (15 Euros); entrance fee 1.5 Euros each. Had a lovely time there for a couple of hours and then the driver came back to pick us up; another 15 Euros and we were at the main square in town. Enjoyed several hours strolling around the town and picking up a few mementos before walking back to the ship (mistake!); we should have taken a taxi. It was a very long, hot walk.
Two more seas days passed by all too quickly.
Post-cruise we flew to Frankfurt and had a limo arranged to take us to Mainz, Germany where we stayed at the Hyatt for two nights. Mainz is a lovely little town on the Rhine. My DH rented a bike and went cycling along both sides of the river. We visited St. Stephan's church with its' Marc Chagall windows and did lots of walking around the old city with tons of interesting buildings, shops and restaurants.
We flew AirCanada direct back to Ottawa. Thankfully our points enabled us to book Executive Class for all the flights so we had the fully reclining beds and use of the Executive lounges at the airports.
Overall the trip was an amazing experience; the cruise was perfect and the ports of call all exceeding our expectations.
tomko2’s Full Rating Summary
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Cabin Review

Cabin 9256
Corner Aft Cabin -- terrific for viewing ports of call.
  Brilliance of the Seas Deck Plans