1. Home
  2. Cruise Reviews
  3. Brilliance of the Seas
We traveled last summer on a three week European vacation with three boys (7, 9 and12). When we were planning the trip we didn't find many posts from families with kids (I am assuming that we are a busy group!) so we wanted to share our very positive experience with others who might be interested in doing the same and could benefit from our planning efforts. Travel itinerary - (3 days in Paris and 12 day Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruise) •3 days in Paris (Novetel Paris les Halles) Nice room - great location - reasonable price!(all the following Paris excursions (except Muse Clues) were booked through http://paris.conciergerie.com we also purchased combo transit passes through the conciergerie to get to all of the different destinations via bus or subway) - Wed morning - arrived - Wed evening - underground to Eiffel Tower (it was an adventure for us and the kids to navigate a subway in a foreign language but one we enjoyed) - Thurs morning - Louvre (Muse clues tour) http://www.parismuse.com/seminars/meet-all-louvre.shtml we highly recommend the Muse clues tour of the Louvre. It was one of our favorites. We had been there pre-kids and learned so much more about the museum/history on the tour than we did visiting on our own. We didn't think anything was sinking in with the kids but more than 6 months later the kids recognized artifacts being discussed in school as ones we learned about on the tour! We did Notre Dame and a sight seeing bus after the Muse Clues tour - Thurs evening - Dinner Cruise down the Seine - We all enjoyed the cruise. Relative to other potential Paris cuisine, the food was o.k. but the view and the experience was the advantage! Overall it was much more engaging for the kids then the other dining options. - Friday all day - Disney Paris - This was really easy to get to via the underground and was a nice relief for the kids after days of site seeing. - Sat morning - Versailles...well...not really a morning activity...we missed a connection on the train and didn't make it to Versailles until late afternoon! NB: Careful to get on the right train for this one! - Sat evening - Overnight train from Paris to Barcelona (this was also a highlight of the trip - I was a bit worried since we booked too late to get on the nicer overnight train but overall it was great experience with the kids. We had to transfer trains at a stop in Spain and we had hot chocolate and croissants for breakfast -the kids loved it). We booked this online via http://www.raileurope.co.uk However, this was only because we did it so last minute that there were no tickets available outside of booking via the European reservations. We had to have these shipped via friends in the UK that forwarded them to us. • 12 day Royal Caribbean Mediterranean (Greek Isles) cruise (we stayed in a suite which gave us access to the concierge club - that was very nice and also a highlight! We met wonderful people and really enjoyed the service - Great job to Ivan and Norman! Port stops and excursions: - Villefranche (Nice) France - we stayed at the Villfranche beach and bought a beach umbrella for $20. We ate lunch on the beach and let the kids play - very low key but the kids seemed to need it. - Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy info@touringinrome.com Maurizio Nataloni +39 347 759 1219 (Pisa then Florence) - We took our obligatory picture of the leaning tower of Pisa and then went on to Florence to see the David. We would recommend that you book museum passes in advance to see the real David. Maurizio was able to help us get in to see it but we should have booked in advance. We were able to see all the sites and still had time to meet up with friends for a quick gelato and some champagne! - Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - info@touringinrome.com Maurizio Nataloni +39 347 759 1219 (Rome) Similar to our experience in Florence, we did not book in advance to see the Vatican. After seeing the David we were very interested in seeing more of Michael Angelo's work but unfortunately the lines were too long. In retrospect we should have purchased tickets online before we left to ensure we were able to see the Sistine chapel http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets. (Don't forget women need to cover shoulders and knees in the Vatican). We ate lunch at a small restaurant right around the corner from the Trevi fountain, unfortunately we can't remember the name but the food, service and wine were all good and really stood out. Rome was one place I would want to go back to see again. Very nice. - Santorini, Greece - www.santorinisailing.com Best of the trip! Highly recommended! Being on the small boat exploring beaches was a nice break from driving around seeing ruins via a van and the kids really appreciated it. The crew was wonderful with the kids, they stopped so the kids could swim and jump off a rock wall, the food was great and everyone enjoyed the trip....well...we shared the boat with two honeymoon couples - I am not sure if we aided or abetted with their family planning! - Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey - We used a Royal Caribbean boat excursion, a 1/2 day trip to the Virgin Mary's house and then the ruins. Afterward, we took the kids back to the boat to let the kids play in the kids club and we went back out to shop. - Piraeus (Athens), Greece - www.toursofathens.com Dennis(Dionisis) Kokkotos. Dennis got us to the Acropolis before the crowds and although it rained in the afternoon we were still able to fit in all the sites. We especially enjoyed the off the beaten path home style Greek cooking. We tried everything and enjoyed! - Naples (Pompei/Amalfi Coast) Italy - info@smiletravelcarsorrento.com - Similar to Athens, Mimmo got us to Pompei before the crowds/heat and then to the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento area where we met friends, went to a small pier to let the kids swim, enjoyed a late lunch and beautiful scenery before heading back. - Barcelona, Spain - flight home! All of our private tour drivers showed up on time, spoke excellent English, were knowledgeable about the sites and really made our travel experience amazing! We would recommend each and every one of them. In addition to this, before we left we created a treasure hunt for the kids where they had to discover hidden clues at each step of the trip. As we went from stop to stop we secretly collected candy from all the different countries to create the "treasure". Once they had collected all of the clues the last clue led them to the hidden candy "treasure". That way we were able to sneak in some facts about the places we visited and it also added some intrigue and fun! I would be happy to share the treasure hunt story and clues if anyone is interested. Thanks again to all of the wonderful people who helped us create such a wonderful family memory!

Europe with three young boys

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review by famof3boys

Trip Details
We traveled last summer on a three week European vacation with three boys (7, 9 and12). When we were planning the trip we didn't find many posts from families with kids (I am assuming that we are a busy group!) so we wanted to share our very positive experience with others who might be interested in doing the same and could benefit from our planning efforts.



Travel itinerary - (3 days in Paris and 12 day Royal Caribbean Mediterranean cruise)



•3 days in Paris (Novetel Paris les Halles) Nice room - great location - reasonable price!(all the following Paris excursions (except Muse Clues) were booked through http://paris.conciergerie.com we also purchased combo transit passes through the conciergerie to get to all of the different destinations via bus or subway)



- Wed morning - arrived

- Wed evening - underground to Eiffel Tower (it was an adventure for us and the kids to navigate a subway in a foreign language but one we enjoyed)

- Thurs morning - Louvre (Muse clues tour) http://www.parismuse.com/seminars/meet-all-louvre.shtml we highly recommend the Muse clues tour of the Louvre. It was one of our favorites. We had been there pre-kids and learned so much more about the museum/history on the tour than we did visiting on our own. We didn't think anything was sinking in with the kids but more than 6 months later the kids recognized artifacts being discussed in school as ones we learned about on the tour! We did Notre Dame and a sight seeing bus after the Muse Clues tour

- Thurs evening - Dinner Cruise down the Seine - We all enjoyed the cruise. Relative to other potential Paris cuisine, the food was o.k. but the view and the experience was the advantage! Overall it was much more engaging for the kids then the other dining options.

- Friday all day - Disney Paris - This was really easy to get to via the underground and was a nice relief for the kids after days of site seeing.

- Sat morning - Versailles...well...not really a morning activity...we missed a connection on the train and didn't make it to Versailles until late afternoon! NB: Careful to get on the right train for this one!

- Sat evening - Overnight train from Paris to Barcelona (this was also a highlight of the trip - I was a bit worried since we booked too late to get on the nicer overnight train but overall it was great experience with the kids. We had to transfer trains at a stop in Spain and we had hot chocolate and croissants for breakfast -the kids loved it). We booked this online via http://www.raileurope.co.uk However, this was only because we did it so last minute that there were no tickets available outside of booking via the European reservations. We had to have these shipped via friends in the UK that forwarded them to us.



• 12 day Royal Caribbean Mediterranean (Greek Isles) cruise (we stayed in a suite which gave us access to the concierge club - that was very nice and also a highlight! We met wonderful people and really enjoyed the service - Great job to Ivan and Norman!

Port stops and excursions:

- Villefranche (Nice) France - we stayed at the Villfranche beach and bought a beach umbrella for $20. We ate lunch on the beach and let the kids play - very low key but the kids seemed to need it.

- Livorno (Pisa/Florence), Italy info@touringinrome.com Maurizio Nataloni +39 347 759 1219 (Pisa then Florence) - We took our obligatory picture of the leaning tower of Pisa and then went on to Florence to see the David. We would recommend that you book museum passes in advance to see the real David. Maurizio was able to help us get in to see it but we should have booked in advance. We were able to see all the sites and still had time to meet up with friends for a quick gelato and some champagne!

- Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy - info@touringinrome.com Maurizio Nataloni +39 347 759 1219 (Rome) Similar to our experience in Florence, we did not book in advance to see the Vatican. After seeing the David we were very interested in seeing more of Michael Angelo's work but unfortunately the lines were too long. In retrospect we should have purchased tickets online before we left to ensure we were able to see the Sistine chapel http://biglietteriamusei.vatican.va/musei/tickets. (Don't forget women need to cover shoulders and knees in the Vatican). We ate lunch at a small restaurant right around the corner from the Trevi fountain, unfortunately we can't remember the name but the food, service and wine were all good and really stood out. Rome was one place I would want to go back to see again. Very nice.

- Santorini, Greece - www.santorinisailing.com Best of the trip! Highly recommended! Being on the small boat exploring beaches was a nice break from driving around seeing ruins via a van and the kids really appreciated it. The crew was wonderful with the kids, they stopped so the kids could swim and jump off a rock wall, the food was great and everyone enjoyed the trip....well...we shared the boat with two honeymoon couples - I am not sure if we aided or abetted with their family planning!

- Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey - We used a Royal Caribbean boat excursion, a 1/2 day trip to the Virgin Mary's house and then the ruins. Afterward, we took the kids back to the boat to let the kids play in the kids club and we went back out to shop.

- Piraeus (Athens), Greece - www.toursofathens.com Dennis(Dionisis) Kokkotos. Dennis got us to the Acropolis before the crowds and although it rained in the afternoon we were still able to fit in all the sites. We especially enjoyed the off the beaten path home style Greek cooking. We tried everything and enjoyed!

- Naples (Pompei/Amalfi Coast) Italy - info@smiletravelcarsorrento.com - Similar to Athens, Mimmo got us to Pompei before the crowds/heat and then to the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento area where we met friends, went to a small pier to let the kids swim, enjoyed a late lunch and beautiful scenery before heading back.

- Barcelona, Spain - flight home!



All of our private tour drivers showed up on time, spoke excellent English, were knowledgeable about the sites and really made our travel experience amazing! We would recommend each and every one of them.



In addition to this, before we left we created a treasure hunt for the kids where they had to discover hidden clues at each step of the trip. As we went from stop to stop we secretly collected candy from all the different countries to create the "treasure". Once they had collected all of the clues the last clue led them to the hidden candy "treasure". That way we were able to sneak in some facts about the places we visited and it also added some intrigue and fun! I would be happy to share the treasure hunt story and clues if anyone is interested.



Thanks again to all of the wonderful people who helped us create such a wonderful family memory!
famof3boys’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Rates
Service
Free Price Drop Alerts
Get Royal Caribbean Brilliance of the Seas price drops
250,000+ people have entered their email