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Brilliance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1521 reviews
3 Awards

Itinerary Amazing, Ship Disappointing

Review for Brilliance of the Seas to the British Isles & Western Europe
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AndrewOu
10+ Cruises • Age 30s

Rating by category

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Value for Money
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Dining
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Entertainment
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Additional details

Sail Date: May 2018
Cabin: Ocean View Balcony

My wife and I paid for the amazing opportunity to see the British Isles in a whirlwind tour, and every port was an amazing experience with so much to see. But while on board the ship I was reminded, that while this was the most expensive cruise I'd ever paid for (per night price) that money definitely didn't seem to go into the ships amenities or entertainment.

Onboard:

Things you should do:

Cabin Review

Ocean View Balcony

Cabin 6D

The room itself was fine. Same twins pushed together for a king like everyone else. The couch was small and does not pull out, this room only fits 2 people. There was a curtain that can be drawn across the room to separate the couch from bed, and I believe in other rooms the couches do pull out to fit more than 2 people in the room.

Small vanity for makeup which my wife likes, but the bathroom area was small even by cruise ship standards, and the shower curtain was ineffective from preventing the entire bathroom from flooding whenever we took a shower. The drain was poorly positioned so we had to mop up water all over the floor daily.

Balcony view was obstructed by a ceiling below, preventing being able to look down at the sea, only options were up or out which did diminish the enjoyment of the view a bit.

There is a small empty mini-fridge that was nice to keep drinks cool, and our room steward was attentive and quick on his feet, having the room turned around in no-time whenever we left.

Port Reviews

Edinburgh (South Queensferry)

I have been to Edinburgh before, and I highly recommend going to the royal mile and seeing the epicenter of the city. There is a shuttle from the port that offers roundtrip tickets for 6 pounds. Since we'd done that before, we went to the Edinburgh Zoo to see Pandas and Penguins. It is an amazing zoo, and my description can't do it justice. Took us our entire day to truly walk around the whole thing, and it was excellent. (Built on the side of a hill, you will be walking a lot and uphill half the time, so plan accordingly.

Greenock (Glasgow)

Porting in Greenock, most people take shuttles in to see Glasgow, but my wife and I our golfers, and we wanted to play on a Scottish course, so we booked a tee time at The Greenock Golf Club, and if you golf this was an amazing experience. Not 5 minute taxi ride from the port, this small unassuming club is a pleasure to play at, rolling through the hills of Greenock are beautiful greens, and elevation changes that will probably make you want to throw a club (they have club and cart rentals available). The members are also exceedingly friendly, and while we had a drink after our round, came over and introduced themselves and offered us a tour of the club house.

Dublin

Dublin is a big city with so many things to do. I enjoyed buying the hop on/off passes for a day and getting a full tour around the city for a relatively inexpensive price. Went and did the Guinness brewery tour which is impressive,and you can save almost 50% if you book online. Went to a local brewery "JW Sweetman" and had the best beer I've ever had in Europe, highly recommended. Booked dinner at "Celtic Nights" which reminded me of a Hawaii luau I once went to: packed full of culture, but not a local in-sight except for those performing. That being said, it was entertaining, and irish folk songs and step dancing is enjoyable (food was nothing to write home about, but that's not why you're there). WE do regret not being able to go to "An Evening of Food, Folklore, and Fairies" It sounded amazing, but it was booked up well in advance. Another tip is to try and order taxis ahead of time when getting off the ship: the taxi line can be long and slow to move.

Jail Tour is dark and depressing but worth it to truly learn Irish history. Trinity Library is a quick tour, but gorgeous. Gin Palace is a fun place to stop for a drink and a bite if you like Gin, and their food is surprisingly good.

Holyhead

Free shuttle into the center of town. Went and saw an old church right off the bus stop, and then saw a small craft fair behind the church with locals selling random items. Wife bought a painted rock of an arch. Didn't do much more in this port except pub hop, went to Stanley Arms, Gleesons, and Georges. All were good pubs with small beer gardens, with Georges having on that looked out over the road and into the port.

Cobh (Cork)

Booked a tour through Paddywagon to the Blarney castle and to Kinsale. About 1/2 the price of those sold through the ship. Blarney is beautiful and could easily spend the whole day walking around the gardens and through the grounds. The stone will take you at least 45 minutes of line waiting to kiss if you want to do that. (Earlier you get there the quicker it'll be) Kinsale is a small tourist town, stopped just long enough for lunch and quick shopping. (Wife had a Beer from local Kinsale brewery, it was excellent)

Didn't have time to go to Titanic museum, but that is another main attraction in this port.

St. Peter Port (Guernsey)

Weather was bad, and clearance took much longer than expected. Didn't get on shore until 1pm because we were tendering and very backed up. Slightly ruined some of what we had planned to do, so we walked around the town, had lunch at The Boathouse (food and service were not that good). Relaxed and had a drink at Terrace Garden Cafe with great views and nice place to sit when the weather is good.

Dover

Taxis 8 pounds to the center of town, bus 6 pounds for RT ticket. Friendly volunteer welcome guide right at the bus stop. Went to the museum with the oldest known boat still in existence. Was given a map and did the historic walk downtown. Town overshadowed by the castle whenever you look up gives a feudal feeling to the whole experience. Highly recommend the castle tour, large castle grounds, a lot to see. Finished off at a bar called "The Mash Tun," by far our favorite bar of our whole trip. Friendly locals who were regulars having a pint and relaxing, were very welcoming to 2 random Americans who came in. Happy to talk with us and share stories, and you could feel the love and care the owners put into their bar. At the end of the day watching the white cliffs fade into the distance as the ship sales away, is an amazing sight.

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