12 Night Mediterranean Featuring Venice (Barcelona Roundtrip) Sail Date: October 30, 2010 Ship: Brilliance of the Seas Cabin Type: Oceanview Traveled As: Couple Reviewed: 7 years ago
This was our 1st cruising experience. I think a 12 day cruise on our 1st try was a little too much. We did not have enough time at our ports. We went on three tours. One in Florence, one in Rome, and one in Naples. The Florence tour was horrible. The tour guide was not properly prepared microphone didn't have batteries and mostly talked about her families activites not to mention many of the tourist in our group were extremly old and probably should not have been on the tour in the 1st place. Our tour guide in Rome was excellent we each had individual radio ear receivers and she had a PhD in arciology. Our tour in Naples was ok we had radio ear receivers but again there were many elderly couples on the tour who could barley walk which slowed the process down. Of course this caused the tour to be cut short without seeing everything because there is limited time.
Becareful of cruising days. We had two days in a row after our last port to cruise back to our starting port. It was two days two long......just wanted to get home by then.....
Food and Dining
5 out of 5
Except for the Windjammer buffet issues the food was great other then the "my-time" dinning not really being any time. They always wanted reservations and somehow we always got stuck with around 7:30 which made it unrealistic to attend most of the shows.
3 out of 5
For a couple in our early 30's who are not gamblers, drinkers, or partiers there really wasen't much for us to do. The shows were ok although we have high expectations having gone to many broadway productions.
Service and Staff
5 out of 5
Except for one rude staff member who worked in the sea view cafe' the staff were friendly and nice.
3 out of 5
The ship was nice but there was way to many smoking areas and the breakfast buffet was a constient mess. Never enough seating and was a little dirty and gross with the way people took food and the cleanliness of the tongs.
Cabin / Stateroom
3 out of 5
They were fine. Nothing magical. Stateroom attentent really didn't go out of her way to make our stay special.
Neat little walled in area of the city. Small streets lots of shops...basically a tourist trap though. Don't worry about the exchange rate and having more buying power because the shops and reasturants just hiked up thier prices to coincide with what tourist were willing to pay for in other areas like venice or rome! So it's and ok place...won't get any deals here......and kind of a tourist trap. Little to no ancient history.
Took about an hour by bus from the port to get to Florence. Our tour here stunk! But the little areas and shopping was great! Really enjoyed the place. We will go back for a longer period of time by ourselves. My wife had some black truffle pasta which was to die for!
Don't Miss: The dome and black truffle pasta
Very similar experience to Dubrovnik. It was a nice little city with lots of great shopping and little resturants but a total tourist trap. Don't expect any deals here. It was worth it to visit the "old fort" but sad to see the shanty town made of corrigated metal at the base of the old fort.
Don't Miss: the backliva
Had such a great time although it took about an hour and a half bus ride from the port to Rome and then the same back again. Because of the shortness don't set your heart on really going into anything like the colessem. Just not enough time. My wife and I will be back again by ourselves for a longer period of time.
Don't Miss: The local little PIZZA shops
Great place.....make sure to know exactly where the cruise ship shuttle boat is going to pick you up...will save yourself from some trouble. We were dropped off at a different location than from where we were later to be picked up and cause a little panic later in the evening upon our return. The cruise ship map and the tour guide maps are inadequate. Buy yourself a good map at one of the tourist venders. You will thank me. Otherwise just don't be afaid of being lost the entire time there. Once we understood we would be lost we kind of enjoyed ourselves a lot more. Eat something....anything from any of the small shops....to die for...
Don't Miss: The rosotto......the best we ever had!
Naples was so conjested with traffic and was dirty. We took the Pompi tour which was great and then went back to Naples and walked around a little. Had a street which was very long with tons of shops....great shopping of so inclinded but there were husselers everywhere trying to sell knock off items. Get's old real quick!
Don't Miss: The pizza magareta was to die for....the best I have ever had!
Now to be fair it was kind of raining and a little misserable but this port is extremly small. My wife and I who are americans felt a little uncomfortable walking through the open market area because it was extremly middle eastern populated and my wife with blonde hair stood out like a sore thumb. Nothing happend but we were aware and very unconfortable.
Don't Miss: Must have a local crepe'
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