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Brilliance of the Seas Review

4.0 / 5.0
Editor Rating
1509 reviews
8 Awards

First European Adventure / Honeymoon Cruise!

Review for Brilliance of the Seas to the Western Mediterranean
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salgaz
First Time Cruiser • Age 60s

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Additional details

Sail Date: Jun 2010
Cabin: Interior Stateroom

Sandy and I were married 1 week before the cruise here in Australia. This was our dream honeymoon. One of the best parts of the trip was in the planning. We joined Cruise Critic and met up on-line with some great people. Now our friends. Here we joined up and made private tours in most ports. We did no Royal Carribean tours. Take the time and research private tours. You will not regret it. I have included in this review, contact names for those we recommend in each port.

We did not expect to see the whole of Italy in one cruise, but we did see as much as we could in 12 days.

Travelling from Australia, via Hong Kong and Zurich we finally arrived in Barcelona the day before the ship was to leave port.

Cabin Review

Interior Stateroom

Cabin M

Port Reviews

Cannes

At Cannes the ship was tendered. TIP!!! Line up early and get early tender number. It is worth the wait. We had tender ticket #2 and were off the ship quickly and with no fuss. We did hear that some people did not get off the ship until noon. Much too late and too much time lost. So line up early for number!

We organised a group of 8 and booked with Revelation Tours. http://www.revelation-tours.com/ Our guide for the day was Michelle. Cost for 8 for full day was 600 euro or 75 euro each. No deposit needed with Internet booking. Great value really for full day.

We wanted to see Monaco and Monte Carlo. After that we wanted to get off the beaten track to old villages. We loved the old towns of Eze and St Paul. We saw as much as we could in the time we had. Spare time in Monte Carlo to walk around and have lunch. Views over Monaco were fabulous!

Made it back to port at Cannes after drive through Nice. No time to stop as we had to make the tenders to the ship.

Florence (Livorno)

For the 3 ports of Florence, Rome and Naples we again booked private tours for 8. This time we used All Around Italy. http://www.allarounditalys.net/ each port cost again Approx 600 euro for 8 people.

TIP!!! Book with these guys. Fabrizio is the owner and our driver for Rome and Naples. Great value and excellent service. You will not be disappointed. Our driver today was Alberto. Very friendly and knew what he was talking about.

The port of Florence has nothing. Drove for 30 minutes to Pisa. If there was no leaning tower, there would be no Pisa! Time for photos and coffee break.

On to lookout over Florence. Magnificent views of city and countryside. We were dropped into the city of Florence and got crash course in history etc. Castles, churches, castles and churches. Lunch was in local Restaurant with excellent wine and food! Time for shopping and Gelato.

Visit to Statue of David was highlight!

Rome (Civitavecchia)

Rome in a day! Yes, but only just. So much to see and so little time.

Fabulous Fabrizio met us at the port. He is such a character! He really made the tours special with his own style and flair. TIP! When you book with him, ask for him personally to be your guide. You won't be disappointed.

From the port to Rome took about 90 minutes, so you must pre-book somehow to get there.

In Rome we pre-booked with Fabrizio a guided tour of the Vatican Museum. We each pre-booked tickets to Vatican and Colosseum and pre arranged times. Fabrizio will help you organise times etc.

High lights included... Vatican, Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain. Lunch at small pizza place recommended by Fabrizio.

Busy busy day but we survived!

Fabrizio drove home for a sleep and we cruised down to Naples

Naples

Fabrizio was up at 4.00am and drove down to Naples to meet us on time!

Another fine hot day greeted us as we drove down the Amalfi Coast. 1st stop was at a wood working workshop just before Sorrento. Must see! Drove through to Positano. Amazing views! Must be seen to be believed!

Lunch in very nice restaurant up on the mountain overlooking the town of Positano. Bets food of the whole trip was here!

Visit to Pompeii was again organised with Fabrizio to have private tour. Well worth the extra money to have private tour.

Finally a nice drive back to Naples and we had to say goodbye to Fabrizio.

Venice

We arrived in Venice at noon and had 24 hours to explore... and sleep...

I recommend that you buy from the ship, port transfers for Venice, Dubrovnich and Corfu. Well worth the money spent to get to each city and attractions.

Ship transfer took us to Vaporetto station. From there you catch Vaporetto to Venice or Murano or wherever!

Spent afternoon strolling around Venice and trying to find way around. It doesn't matter if you get lost... Just follow signs on buildings back to San Marco Square. We went on Gondola with group of 6 from the ship. Cost about 15 euro each for 40 minutes.

We stayed on for dinner in Venice and strolled back to transfer and to ship by 10.00pm. Just got dark by then!

Next morning walked off ship to transfer shuttle to vaporetto station. Today we went to Murano. Visited Glass blowing factory and demonstration. Free! Walked around and had coffee again.

TIP!!! In Murano we bought boxes of small sweets made of glass. These proved to be very popular souvenirs back home. Everyone wanted some...

Dubrovnik

DUBROVNICH...

Ship transfer took us to Old town and wall entrance.

We walked the wall. To go all the way around would take at least 90 minutes or more with stops for photos etc. TIP!!! Don't forget the water!

After the wall walk we strolled the old town. We had heard of the old Pharmacy run by the Francisan Monks. Wife bought special Magic anti-aging Rose cream. Not sure if it works yet! Ouch!

From the bus stop we continued to walk up main road towards lookout. Follow the road and look out for signs to Car park. From here there are the best views back to the Old wall and NO tourists. Walked back towards bus and strolled through old houses. Found our way to cove set amongst the cliffs. Beautiful spot for a swim. Even without towels! Hot hot hot! Walked back towards bus and found out of the way restaurant with best views in town! Spent an hour here for wine and admire views.

Finally had to make way back to bus for transfer back to ship.

CORFU...

Transfer took us to old town. Wandered around old fort and amongst ruins etc. Coffee stop and lunch in town. Browsed and shopped for hours.

Would recommend a tour to beach with snorkeling. Not much to see in old town.

Clothes are cheap and you can haggle with store owners.

Back to ship for 2 days at sea before reaching Barcelona again.

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