Good size ship; Great ports; Fantastic Show; Wonderful experience would repeat this cruise.

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Mediterranean

Cruises: 7+ cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 33

Overall rating:

4.5 out of 5
Verified Review
Brilliance of the Seas

12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles (Barcelona Roundtrip)

Sail date: August 17, 2017

Ship: Brilliance of the Seas

Cabin type: Oceanview

Cabin number: 3610

Traveled as: Family (older children)

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

Civilized clientele. Guessing 50% Europeans (mostly British), 40% Americans and Canadians. 10% from other continents. Mostly couples and young families ages 30s-60s. Some young kids but not too many for an August sailing. I would do this cruise or a similar one again.

Embarkation

4 out of 5

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
Great buffet. Restaurants options and service were also good.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
The kids loved the rock climbing walls. I like the fitness center clean and good size. The main pool was very small and will be very crowded on sea days.

Entertainment

5 out of 5
The variety of shows offered on this cruise were excellent. I especially loved the Tango and acrobat shows.

Children's Programs

3 out of 5
It's probably okay for younger kids. But my tweens find it boring. They are happier hanging out around the ship.

Service and Staff

5 out of 5

Ship Quality

5 out of 5
Good size ship. Unlike mega ships the public areas will not be too crowded which makes cruising alot more comfortable. No too many long lines. Public areas are nicely designed and are well kept.

Cabin / Stateroom

5 out of 5
Convenient cabin location. Clean and comfortable. Large window made room much more comfortable.

Ship tip

I've been on the new Anthem ship and it was super crowded all of the time. There were crazy lines for everything. I booked this cruise mainly for the port of calls. Brilliance is a smaller and older ship and less crowded fewer lines for everything which make the whole cruising experience much more pleasant.

Ports of call

Barcelona, Spain

5 out of 5
One of my favorites cities... so much to do and eat! My top picks.. Sagrada Familia; Magic Fountains of Montjuic (free); La Pederer (Casa Mila); Music Palace; Parc Guell; Barcelona Cathedral & Gothic Quarter; Monserrat Mountains (day trip). And if you have more time... Barceloneta beach front; Palau Guell; Casa Batllo; Las Ramblas; Arc de Triomf /Parc Ciutadella; Placa Espanya/Arenas Mall. And if you have even more time... Parc del Laberint d'Horta (Maze park); CosmoCaixa science museum (under 18 free. otherwise 4€). Agbar Tower/Glories Mall. Aside from all the sightseeing make sure you make plenty time for tapas and cafes!

Cannes, France

4 out of 5
Easy to get around, you don't need any tours here. Walk to the old town for scenic views. Bring a towel to hangout on the beach with the locals. On the main street Rue Meynadier there's a Carrefour market as well as few nice bakeries and sandwich shops.

La Spezia, Italy

4 out of 5
LaSpezia -Florence is too far away. But you can easily catch train from LaSpezia Central station to Pisa (Pisa S. Rossore station is the closest. Train schedule check trenitalia.com/tcom-en). About 5€ each way. Trip takes about an hour each way. Cinque Terra villages are also another option by train that is not too far away.

Civitavecchia (Rome), Italy

5 out of 5
Due to the distance from port and size of Rome booking a tour is recommended. I did a tour with Shorebee/civitatours.com. Great prices and the guide was fantastic. Picked up and drop off by the port. My complaint about Rome is it's always hot and crowded. We've all tried 100 kinds of pizzas... but I have to say the sausage pizza at the Melograno cafe next to the Trevi Fountain is like nothing I've ever tried.

Piraeus (Athens), Greece

4 out of 5
Athens- there are lots of hop-on hop-off buses waiting by port parking to take you to town. I did a tour with Piraeus Express Bus. The guide was great. View from the Acropolis is amazing. The walk up and down is very slippery because it's all marble. Best to get your Greece souvenirs in Athens because the prices are much higher in the islands.

Mykonos, Greece

5 out of 5
The pretty streets and the ease of getting around, as well as it's proximity to perfect beaches makes this my favorite island to wander and party. Walk to the windmills and then take the local bus at Fibrika bus station which make stops at several beaches (Ornos/Agios Giannis) that are only about 20 minutes away. 2€. mykonosbus.com

Santorini, Greece

4 out of 5
If you are going to the picture perfect Oia (a must!), best tip is after you get off the tender there is a company right there (aegeantraveller.gr) that sells boat tickets 15€ and take you to Oia which also include bus transportation back to Fira. This way you don't have to wait for the small cable to go up to Fira (or take the donkey or hike the 587 steep and smelly donkey path) and then have to take a taxi (25-30€ one-way) or bus to Oia.

Valletta, Malta

4 out of 5
I went to the blue grotto and fishing village with a local tour. The fishing village was old and the market is basically a flea market that also sells fish. I didn't like it. Blue Grotto was nice and it's a good ideas to bring towels to take a dip in the clear water. Hop-on hop off seems to be a decent option in the capital Valetta. Too hot to walk around for too long.

Disembarkation

3 out of 5
I was leaving towards the end and there were not lines getting off. However the taxi dispatch by the Barcelona port was horrendous. Even though there were plenty of taxis waiting... they were assigned one by one and I waited 45 minutes to get on one which could be totally avoidable if services at the taxi port were better organized.

Traveler Photos

Magic Fountain of Montjuic Montserrat Church in Fira Lots of sad looking donkeys on the path up/down town of Fira The Music Palace The Change of the Guards at the Parliament is interesting. I think it's hourly. The Pantheon Highly recommend the sausage pizza at Melograno cafe by Trevi Fountain View from top of old town Park Giardini Pubblici
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