Experience of a Lifetime!

Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review to Europe - Northern Europe

Cruises: 4-6 cruises
Reviews: 2
Helpful Votes: 36

Overall rating:

4 out of 5
Brilliance of the Seas

14 Night Baltic (Amsterdam Roundtrip)

Sail date: May 01, 2018

Ship: Brilliance of the Seas

Cabin type: Inside

Cabin number: 8501

Traveled as: Couple

Reviewed: 3 years ago

Review summary

This was an incredible cruise with so many amazing stops. It is a very, very busy cruise because of all of the ports, so one has to be energetic to get through it. We were on information overload before it ended. All three stops in Denmark are very easy to do on your own as the towns are so close to the ship and very walkable. Skagen is an excellent place to rent a bike and is very flat. Helsinki and Stockholm are also places that would be easy on your own, although we did tours. I highly recommend no tour in Tallinn so that one has time to really take it in and enjoy. Splurge on St. Petersburg and Berlin - these are once in a lifetime places. Really amazing cruise that took us to so many places - loved it!

Embarkation

5 out of 5
The ship had been in dry dock, so they pushed back boarding time. The computers were down, so that delayed more. Then they shuffled us from room to room, with a wait each time. It was about 3 hours before we actually boarded. Slow and tediuos.

Ship experiences

Food and Dining

4 out of 5
This was our 6th cruise and the food/drink were as expected, no more, no less.

Onboard Activities

4 out of 5
Average for the smaller size ship. I really liked our cruise director and activity director.

Entertainment

3 out of 5

Service and Staff

4 out of 5
No complaints, but not outstanding.

Ship Quality

4 out of 5
Ship was clean. We love this style ship and have been on quite a few with very similar design.

Cabin / Stateroom

2 out of 5

Ship tip

Beautiful smaller ship (2500 passengers). It's not brand new and there aren't endless activities. You will be disappointed if that's what you expect. My husband and I love the smaller ships and less activity so it was perfect for us.

Ports of call

Amsterdam, Netherlands

5 out of 5
We did an excursion with airport drop off. We went to Zaans Schans, which is a park with old, working windmills and little houses from the 18th century. They all have shops or make chocolate or other items. There is a clog factory/shop, too. We loved it and wish we could have spent a full day there. It is a pretty setting with goats, sheep, and chickens, too. Loved it - great way to end our vacation.

Skagen, Denmark

5 out of 5
We rented bikes and road to Grenen. Great weather to start and then turned very windy/rainy/cold. We were drenched by the time we got back to town, but it was definitely worth it! The ship was close enough for us to change our clothes and bike back into town to shop. Later in the day it cleared up and the sun was out. We had a delicious hot dog from a food truck - no, I mean, really, really delicious (we had heard about them online). Not many souvenir shops in town. The little shop at Grenen has items that the others don't (like little paintings I wish I had bought).

Aarhus, Denmark

5 out of 5
We thought about going to the old town, but decided to just walk around. Old town is walkable from the ship, but it is a little distance. Parts of town are busy and parts are nice and quite - pedestrian streets. We went into two old churches and the viking museum. Everything is walkable. .

Tallinn, Estonia

5 out of 5
Loved, loved, loved!!!!! We did a short excursion, but wish we had not so that we could have had more time in the old town. It is amazing, beautiful, and just lovely! I want to go back and spend several days. Just loved it!

St. Petersburg, Russian Federation

5 out of 5
Our ship docked for 2 days in St. Petersburg. The first day, we did an excursion to Moscow via high speed train. It was expensive but really worth it. We did not get to see everything on the original itinerary because of the presidential inauguration, but it was still well worth it. We saw so many things and got so much information. We had a boat ride so that we could see sites from the river, as well. We saw St. Basil's (amazing), the Kremlin, Gorky Park, The Ministry of Defense, Christ our Savior Cathedral, Red Square, and so much more. It was incredible. On the second day, we toured St. Petersburg and saw the Peter and Paul Fortress with many stories as well as a few other sites, including Church of the Spilled Blood (a little disappointed because it's under renovation, but still stunning and amazing to see). In the afternoon, we did the excursion that allowed us to shop on Nevsky Prospect. It was a very busy two days, but just incredible. We loved every moment. FYI Russians DO smile!

Helsinki, Finland

5 out of 5
We had a wonderful tour guide who told us all about life in Finland. We saw the Rock Church and then went to the Winter Wonderland ice bar for a shot of vodka and time to spend there. We chose to do the husky sled ride which is extra and a bit expensive, but lots of fun. Enjoyed the day.

Stockholm, Sweden

4 out of 5
Our tour guide was just ok. We toured the old town, Sigtuna, and saw the Vasa warship. The Vasa warship, especially, was incredible, but I wish we had more time there. We felt rushed all day, but still enjoyed it.

Rostock (Berlin), Germany

5 out of 5
We took the bus ride to Berlin on the 20th Century Experience tour. We saw the Berlin Wall remains, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and Charlotttenburg Palace, to name a few. Our guide was very informative. We had a delicious lunch and snacks on the bus each way. Wonderful day.

Copenhagen, Denmark

5 out of 5
We took the ship shuttle into town and then walked to Tivoli Gardens. It is a small amusement park from the 1800's that was Walt Disney's inspiration for Walt Disney World. It is quite small and got very busy as time went by. We spent about 2 hours there and then walked back to the city center. There aren't very many souvenir shops, but lots of designer stores. We went to Nyhavn, which is very picturesque, but very busy. It was a really, really lovely day.

Disembarkation

5 out of 5
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