January 2015 - 5 Night Western Caribbean (Tampa Roundtrip) Cruise on Brilliance of the Seas
A dream of a first cruise
Eight of us traveled on this cruise to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary. I cannot imagine a more enjoyable trip. Whether relaxing by the pool, enjoying the bar games in the Schooner lounge, or wandering the streets of Cozumel with tips from the ship's publications, we were never steered wrong.
Our dining staff - Cassandra and Roy - made every dinner a smooth and professional operation. Any glitches were quickly and humorously rectified, and once they'd figured out that we're a playful group, they were happy to play along and turn the tables on us from time to time.
Special mention should be made of the Turtle Encounter and Island Tour excursion in Grand Cayman. The trip to Hell wasn't something we looked forward to when we scheduled it, but it turned out to be an amiably cheesy tourist trap that was worth a half hour of shopping and photography before hitting the turtle facility. I can't emphasize enough how professionally run and interesting this facility is. They've released thousands of turtles into the wild over their existence, and their concern for the well-being of the turtles shows through in every part of the tour. Holding a turtle the size of a large pizza and tickling it under the chin to calm it was an experience I never imagined. The shark feeding - and the comedy routine that went with it - were both worth seeing and hearing. If you have smaller children, the swimming 'playground' will certainly keep them occupied for the hour or so of free time you'll have after the tours are through, If you can float with a vest on, you'll be better off going to the beach and getting a snorkel, mask, and buoyancy vest and going for a swim off the beach. The lagoon is full of turtles and tropical fish, and they're not hard to get to or find. HIGHLY recommend this excursion.