Video: How to not get seasick on a cruise

In:
05Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Going on a cruise vacation but worried that you might get seasick? Fear not friends, because we have some easy steps to follow to avoid getting the least bit motion sick.

A lot of first time cruisers are worried they might get seasick on a cruise. In reality, getting seasick does not occur all that often and more than likely you will be fine without doing anything.  But if you are worried about the possibility and want to be armed with the right ways to combat this form of nausea, we have some easy to follow tips in this new video.

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: What do you do to avoid getting seasick on a cruise?

Kayak Adventure at CocoCay excursion review

In:
04Feb2019
By: Ric Ross

Growing up in Florida, I’ve been canoeing a few times, but I’ve never been on a kayak before. Some of my former co-workers used to go kayaking a lot, and I thought I might enjoy that. When I saw a Kayak Adventure excursion on Coco Cay, I booked it hoping to find out if kayaking around the Florida mangroves would be something I could spend my weekends doing.

I almost don’t want to mention the start of the adventure being the very tedious tender process from ship to Coco Cay. However, I will mention it in the context of Royal Caribbean addressing this low point in the experience. Royal Caribbean is almost done with building a pier large enough to accommodate two ships simultaneously as part of the Perfect Day at Coco Cay project. I enjoyed my time on Coco Cay. Getting me on the island faster will let me enjoy it even more.

The tour group met near Coconut Willie’s at a shack set up to rent floats and lockers. I signed the waiver and rented a locker to store my towel and other belongings. Because I registered for the tour by myself, I was given a one-seat kayak while most other people on the tour were given two-seat kayaks. I would be providing all the power and all the steering on my own. After we all donned floatation vests and picked out our paddles, we got some paddling and steering instructions. Our guide also gave us tips on how to get back into the kayak if it flipped. He said with no wind out today, if someone flipped in their kayak, they were trying to flip it. We were ready to drag the kayaks off of the beach and into the water.

​​​​Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour

Now in a kayak for my first time, our tour guide led us out into the shallow water around the beach. The water was surprisingly clear. As we paddled out, we saw the grass growing out of the sandy floor. Our guide encouraged us to reach in and pick up a conch if we saw one. Some people picked up a conch shell that turned out to have a hermit crab inside. I spotted a few fish swimming in a school along with sponges.

Once we paddled out farther from shore, our guide got into the water and picked up a small starfish for the group to pass around. A short distance away, we saw a slight disturbance in the otherwise smooth water. We were told it was a shark, but a harmless one — probably a nurse shark. Our guide got back in the water after he spotted a much larger starfish. He picked that one up and passed it around. The outside felt like spiky concrete. I’m surprised the animal can move with a body so hard and seemingly inflexible like that. It was also very heavy for its size, which is probably due to it having such a dense exterior.

After getting a ways from shore, all the while still in water that could not have been more than five feet deep, our guide noticed a jellyfish in the water. I looked around and saw a couple of other jellyfish in that area. That one I didn't need to pick up; it could stay in the water. While paddling out to the undeveloped part of Coco Cay, we could see the construction equipment behind some trees that let us know this part of the island would be developed as part of the Perfect Day at Coco Cay project.

With almost no wind that day, the water was very smooth and easy to see through, except for one moment when the surface of the water started boiling. We could see little fish coming up to the surface in a frenzy. I joined a couple in a two-person kayak and one of the other solo kayakers paddling like mad out to the disturbance to get a closer look. The fish, or maybe the shark feeding underneath them, must have seen us coming. Once we got within ten feet of the rippling action, it all subsided and the water returned to calm.

Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour

Approaching the southern tip of the island, we made a turn back to the shore and pulled our kayaks up onto the beach. We all got into the water and relaxed for a bit before getting back in the kayaks. On my way to shore, I spotted a sea urchin next to a rock (another creature I knew better than to pick up). While sitting in the water just a few feet from the beach, a couple of fish swam up to me and investigated the area. They were the largest fish I had seen on the tour, but even they could not have been more than eight inches long. I also spotted a striped fish about an inch and a half long staying in close proximity to the shelter of a rock with a big hole in the side. He let me get pretty close before he’d duck into the hole. Then if I stopped, he swim back out again keeping one side of his body up against the rock. If I took a step, he’d dart back into his hiding place. It was adorable and felt like something out of Finding Nemo.

After our rest, we got back into the kayaks and made our way along the shoreline back to our starting point. Our guide called out some stingrays, but they weren't near me. I might have seen the tip of a stingray’s wing, but it was so quick, it may have just been the seagrass moving. I did spot a much slower-moving creature. I looked down to see a sea cucumber plodding along a grassless patch leaving a trail of compressed sand excrement behind him.

Our final wildlife encounter was with the least predictable of all the animals in the water — the fellow resort guest. Even seeing a squadron of kayaks approaching, almost no one made any attempt to get out of the way. Two ladies in their 60’s saw me heading towards the beach, then turned their back to me and walked right into my path as I made my wobbly return to shore. I called out “sorry, I don’t really know how to steer this thing.” They looked up and took two steps to the side.

I pulled my kayak up to beach, returned my paddle and life vest, and retrieved my towel from the locker. I was pretty beat after an hour or more of paddling, and at that point I just wanted a shower. I’m glad I tried kayaking. When I return to Coco Cay, I might do some other activity so I can experience more of the resort. After the fun I had on the Kayak Adventure, I would kayak again, but I’d prefer to get a second person to join in.

When a cruise ship docks at a public port, you have the option of booking excursions through the cruise line or through an independent tour operator. Because Royal Caribbean owns and operates Coco Cay, all the excursions are organized by the cruise line. This means that the Cruise Planner is a one-stop shop for all the excursions and activities at the resort.

The Kayak Adventure on its own is $43, but it can be purchased as a Kayak Adventure and Snorkel Combo for $72. If you opt for the combo, when you check in for the Kayak Adventure, you'll be given a wristband. Show that wristband at the snorkel shack after your kayak tour, and you can pick up snorkel equipment to use for the rest of the day.

Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour

Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour

Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour snorkel

Royal Caribbean Coco Cay Kayak Adventure tour

Have you been kayaking on Coco Cay? Have you done any of the other excursions on the island?

10 Ways to Save Money on Your 2019 Royal Caribbean Vacation

In:
04Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Are you looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise in 2019 without breaking your budget?  This post is aimed at helping you figure out ways to budget for the vacation to save money! To help you get the most out of your vacation dollars, we’re here with 10 money-saving tips for your next Royal Caribbean cruise.

Regardless of your budget, it is never a bad idea to consider ways to save more money. Some may find cutting spending onboard is the only way to make a Royal Caribbean cruise financially viable, while others may find cost savings a means of affording more to do onboard (or a second cruise).

Here are some of our recommendations for saving money on your 2019 Royal Caribbean cruise vacation.  Not all of these strategies may be for everyone, but the hope is at least one (if not more) will result in more money in your pocket and that generally makes everyone happier.  

10. Bring your own soda, water, juice or wine

Did you know that Royal Caribbean allows its guests to bring a limited quanity of wine or non-alcoholic beverages on their cruise?

Wine

Guests may bring up to two bottles of wine per stateroom on embarkation day. Each bottle of wine may be up to 750ml in size. Do not put the wine in the luggage you hand over to the porters on embarkation day.

Wine lovers will be able to bring a couple of bottles of their favorite wine on their cruise at a savings compared to purchasing the wine onboard.  Moreover, bringing your own wine means you will save money on your total bar tab during your cruise.

My favorite aspect of bringing your own wine is if you do not finish the bottle of wine, Royal Caribbean can store the wine for you and deliver it another restaurant at that time.

It is important to be aware that Royal Caribbean will charge you a corkage fee for personal wines opened at any restaurant or lounge onboard.  Even with the corkage fee, you will still save a significant amount of money compared to purchasing a bottle of wine onboard.

Guests are prohibited from bringing alcoholic beverages onboard any cruise ship, with the exception of being able to bring two bottles of wine per stateroom.

Non-alcoholic beverages

Yes, you can now bring small quantities of non-alcoholic beverages in a carry-on or hand luggage onboard only on boarding day. 

Specifically, non-alcoholic beverages brought onboard may not exceed 12 standard (17 oz) cans, bottles or cartons per stateroom. Distilled water or specialized beverages such as, milk for medical purposes, dietary or infant use, are permitted.

9. Pre-purchase a specialty dining package

Specialty restaurants are an optional way to gastronomically indulge while on your Royal Caribbean cruise, and these days, it seems like specialty dining has never been more popular.  If you have your heart set on trying out places like Sabor, Izumi or Chops Grille, you should consider buying a dining package to save money overall.

Royal Caribbean offers on most, if not all, of its cruise ships specialty dining packages, where guests can dine at 2, 3, 4, or 5 specialty restaurants during their cruise for one low cost. The advantage is these packages cost less than trying to book the same restaurants individually.  Of course, you could forgo specialty dining completely and really save some money, but there is no reason to not save some cash when checking out these favorites.

Your best bet is to purchase the dining packages on Royal Caribbean's Cruise Planner and to read the terms and conditions of how they function.  There is no question these packages will save you money on specialty dining, provided you were planning on eating out while onboard in the first place.

8. Do most of your drinking on shore

In our experience, Royal Caribbean's drink prices are about what we pay for drinks at many restaurants on land, but there is no question you will save money by drinking at the ports of call you visit compared to onboard.

Bars and restaurants at the ports your Royal Caribbean ship will visit regularly offer cheaper drink prices for beers and cocktails and that can mean big savings if you can wait to enjoy some drinks when on land, compared to on your ship.

Depending on your itinerary, this strategy may be more lucrative than others, but it is a good way to indulge in your favorite mixed drink or cerveza for a lower cost.

7. Look for drink specials onboard

If you are going to enjoy a few cocktails onboard your Royal Caribbean ship, you can avoid paying top dollar for them. When looking at Royal Caribbean drink prices, many guests base their math of whether a drink package makes sense off the regular price for drinks, but in reality, there are drink specials all around the ship that bring that price down.

One of the best ways to get a deal on a cocktail is to order the drink of the day.  The drink of the day is a select cocktail that changes every day, which has about a 20% discount on it and is available from most bars onboard.  You can just ask the bartender or waiter what the drink of the day is and take advantage of those savings.

In addition, individual ships will run their own bar specials, like 2 for 1 deals, drink combo deals and other happy hour discounts.  The exact details of a drink special will vary from ship to ship, and sailing to sailing, but it is important to understand that they exist.  

To find drink specials, consult the Cruise Compass for some advertised deals, as well as walk around bars and look for posted signs.

6. Use credit cards before your cruise

Personal fiscal responsibility aside, proper use of a credit card can definitely save you some money on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Royal Caribbean has its own branded Visa credit card, which allows guests to earn points that can be redeemed for onboard credit on future cruises (as well as other rewards too).

For each purchase made with the credit card, you can earn points that can be redeemed for onboard credit or even free cruises.

Of course, there are lots of other credit cards out there with various reward programs that can help offset the cost of your cruise.  Credit card reward programs with cash back bonus are popular options. Regardless of which card you use, if you can manage to pay off each month's balance on time, you ought to be rake in the credit card rewards quickly, which can go towards paying for the cruise, or the various costs associated with the cruise (new clothes, airfare, hotels, etc).

5. Book shore excursions on your own

At each port of call you visit, Royal Caribbean will offer plenty of shore excursions to consider, however you might look past those excursions to save more money.

While Royal Caribbean's shore excursions offer convenience and reliability, they tend to cost more and (arguably more importantly) involve larger groups that move at a slower pace.  Instead, consider booking shore excursions on your own.  This will likely save you money, or at the very least offer you more variety in options available as well as customization in what you see and do.

In many ports, you can skip booking an excursion all together and simply walk off the ship and start exploring the port.  Taking a taxi into town, walking the streets and discovering things around you are at the core of what makes port days so much fun. 

If you are looking to book a shore excursion on your own, we recommend planning it out before your cruise.  This will give you time to consider all options, research the tour operator, and find the best prices.

4. Book spa treatments on port days

Royal Caribbean's Vitality Spa is the perfect place to relax, enjoy a treatment that is customized for you and feel rejuvenated.  While the spa is a magical place for those looking to relax, it can also be expensive.  The key to saving money on the spa is to wait for port days to book a treatment.

The spa is open everyday of your cruise, but on days your cruise ship is docked in a port, they will often run much better deals to convince guests to stay onboard and indulge in a treatment.  The Vitality Spa is a business, and when the ship is in port, most guests are off the ship exploring, which means the spa is not nearly as busy.  As a result, they will run different specials that are more lucrative than normal to get folks to book something and stay onboard.

You can inquire about port day specials at any point in your cruise at the Vitality Spa desk and see if it looks like a good deal to you.  Often, the port day spa specials are the best overall values found in the spa.

3. Put your phone into airplane mode

This tip has more to do with not incurring a large bill when you get home.  These days, a smartphone is as essential to bring on a cruise as sunglasses or your passport, but if you do not prepare your device properly, it could cost you a lot of money.

Before your ship is ready to sail away, be sure to put it into airplane mode, which disables your phone's ability to use a cellular signal.  The reason you want to do this is once your cruise ship leaves your home country, your phone will look for a signal outside the regular cellular network and connect to the ship's cell tower, which is known as roaming.  Roaming means you are out of network, and will result in high fees for pretty much anything you do that uses the cellular signal.

You should place the phone into airplane mode, and then be confident in using your phone for taking photos, playing games or even connecting to the ship's WiFi without fear of a monster bill later that month.

2. Skip the souvenir glass

Imagine this: you are on the pool deck, enjoying another beautiful at sea and suddenly you see a drink station set up with the cutest glowing/flashing/colorful glasses.  They are cool looking and the drink inside looks even better, but you are better off asking for that tasty cocktail sans souvenir cup.

The souvenir cups are nice, but it tacks on a few extra dollars to the cost.  You can ask for the same drink without the souvenir glass/mug/pineapple and save on the cost of the drink.  This saves you money, but you still get to enjoy drinks by the pool.

1. Use a travel agent

The best way to ensure you are getting the lowest price on your Royal Caribbean vacation is to use a travel agent. Regardless of if this is your first or fiftieth cruise, a travel agent is a worthwhile "investment," and the best part is they are free to use!

Travel agents provide great service to folks looking to take a Royal Caribbean cruise because they are keyed in on the latest promotions and they can be your best advocate for finding promotions that help you, not just the day you book but every day until final payment.

A good travel agent will be able to assist with the booking process, and give you every single permutation of pricing to figure out which itinerary, stateroom or promotion makes the most sense for you.  I cannot count the time I have saved by having the travel agent jump through the proverbial hoops for me to figure out what is the best deal for my family.

The reality is you only stand to benefit from using a good travel agent, both in convenience and time saved.

Your thoughts

Do you have any of your own money-saving strategies when on a Royal Caribbean cruise, or perhaps saving for a Royal Caribbean vacation? Disagree with any of our tips? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Royal Caribbean UK is looking to pay someone to cruise and share the fun on social media

In:
04Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean is looking for British or Irish citizens to become a Shore Explorer Apprentice and explore the world from a Royal Caribbean cruise and get paid a six figure salary for the work!

Royal Caribbean is looking for a new employee to sail round the globe, documenting their experiences on social media.

The role is open to British and Irish citizens aged 21 and over, and to apply you simply need to post an "extraordinary travel story, video, or image" on Instagram via Instagram stories, IGTV, or an Instagram post tagging @RoyalCaribbeanUK and #ShoreExplorer before the end of the day on March 1 2019.

The 20 Finalists will be announced on March 15, 2019 on the website and Instagram, and the overall winner will be informed by the Promoter via Instagram message by April 5, 2019 or as soon as practicable thereafter if a review is required.



View this post on Instagram


Today is the day!! @royalcaribbeanuk have just opened applications for an epic new role: the #ShoreExplorer Apprentice-ship programme. It's a search similar to the internship which ran two years ago and completely changed my life, taking me on some incredible adventures! The successful candidate will have the opportunity to seek out & test extraordinary shore experiences in the most jaw-dropping destinations across the globe - including Alaska, Japan, Dubai and the Caribbean - while getting paid equivalent to a 6 figure yearly salary. I am also happy to announce that I will be one of the judges and one lucky candidate will be accompanied by myself on part of their extraordinary journey around the world. Head over to the @royalcaribbeanuk page or search #ShoreExplorer for all the details on how to enter. Good luck! T&Cs apply. Visit @royalcaribbeanuk for more info.

A post shared by ʀᴜss ғʀᴀɴᴄɪs (@russ_francis) on

The Winner must be able to travel between May and August 2019 for at least three and up to four consecutive weeks if required to do so.  The winner will be able to visit

  • Perfect Day at CocoCay
  • Alaska, USA
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Norway
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Osaka, Japan

Royal Caribbean Post Round-Up: February 3, 2019

In:
03Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Happy weekend! We hope you are in the midst of a wonderful weekend full of friends, fun, and plenty of things to do to pass the time between cruises.  We have a summary of all of this week's Royal Caribbean news in case you missed any of it!

The big Royal Caribbean news this week was Royal Caribbean's announcement of the name for its second Quantum Class cruise ship.

Odyssey of the Seas will be the cruise line's 27th ship in the fleet and will debut in the fall of 2020.

Odyssey will sail from the United States, and Royal Caribbean has promised more details about Odyssey of the Seas later this year.

Royal Caribbean News

Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast

The 287th episode of the Royal Caribbean Blog Podcast is now available and this week, friends join Matt to share a review of Independence of the Seas.

Rafael and Alanna are back from their Independence of the Seas cruise and they talk about how their first "big" Royal Caribbean ship sailing went.

Please feel free to subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and head over to rate and review the podcast on iTunes if you can! We’d appreciate it.

Royal Caribbean Around the Internet

Disney Cruise Line Blog shared a review of the Westgate Cocoa Beach Resort.

New York Times shared how cruise lines are using technology to add a personal touch.

Miami Herald wrote about new clean fuel regulations for cruise ships, including how Symphony of the Seas complies with the law.

Eat Sleep Cruise reviewed a balcony stateroom on Mariner of the Seas.

Mirror wrote about Royal Caribbean's plans to open private islands around the world.

Tom Loves Cruising shared a review of Independence of the Seas.

Departure Lounge shared cruising tips from a Royal Caribbean expert.

Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship and sail from United States

In:
01Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Royal Caribbean cut the first piece of steel for its second Quantum Ultra Class ship and announced the name will be Odyssey of the Seas.

The steel-cutting ceremony was held at the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany. Odyssey of the Seas will be the 27th ship in Royal Caribbean's fleet. Steel-cutting is the traditional beginning of formal cruise ship construction.

Odyssey of the Seas will debut in the fall of 2020 and sail from the United States.  Royal Caribbean will reveal further details "later this year."

Odyssey of the Seas will be Royal Caribbean's second Quantum Ultra Class ship, and she follows sister vessel Spectrum of the Seas.  Spectrum will debut in April 2019 and depart immediately to Asia.

Royal Caribbean President and CEO Michael Bayley hinted that Odyssey of the Seas will visit the UK when she launches, and would not be headed to China like the last couple Quantum Class ships.

Friday Photos - February 1, 2019

In:
01Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Friday is here, and whether the groundhog sees his shadow or not tomorrow, we have some great Royal Caribbean cruise photos to share with all of you.  

We kick off this week's edition with a beautiful photo of Harmony of the Seas in Labadee by twangster.

Next up is a photo of Navigator of the Seas in Curacao by Heidi.  

Here is an artsy shot from Majesty of the Seas. Photo by Jean Francois "Jay" Bekono.

Bob Carpenter sent this photo of him and his wife celebrating their 20th Royal Caribbean cruise in Labadee, with Oasis of the Seas in the background.

Jenn Ullram captured this photo of Explorer of the Seas, as seen from the Maritime Museum in Bermuda.

We head to Norway for our next photo, with a shot from Serenade of the Seas by Pat & Sharon Patterson.

Jonathan Quealy provided this photo of Anthem of the Seas passing under the Verrazano Bridge in New York Harbor.  

Thank you to everyone for sharing their great cruise photos with us! If you want to share your own favorite Royal Caribbean photos, use this form to send them in! Have a great weekend!

Royal Caribbean offering Kids Sail Free offer during month of February

In:
01Feb2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Kids Sail Free offer is back, with Royal Caribbean's February sales offer, in addition to 60% off the second guest.

Royal Caribbean is also offering additional instant savings on cruises booked this weekend during the Score More Savings event.

Cruise must be booked between February 1 – 4, 2019 and applies to select sailings departing on or after March 1, 2019.

The offer includes:

  • 60% off cruise fare of second guest booked in the same stateroom as first full-fare paying guest, and 30% off cruise fare for third guests and higher booked in the same stateroom as the first two qualified guests.
  • Kids Sail Free
    • Provides free cruise fare for 3rd guests and higher who are 12 years old or younger on select 4-night or longer Alaska, Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, CaribNE, Coastal, Cuba, Europe and Hawaii sailings departing between March 1 – December 15, 2019.
    • Offer excludes Spring Break sailings (Sailings between March 16 – 30, 2019), Holy Week/Easter sailings (Sailings between April 13 – 22, 2019) Summer sailings (Sailings between May 15 – August 31, 2019) and 2019 Thanksgiving sailings (Sailings between November 23 – 30, 2019).
  • Up to $100 onboard credit per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $25 for Balconies and $50 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 OBC for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $100 for Suites
  • Score More Savings offers up to $150 instant savings per stateroom determined by category booked and sailing length:
    • Sailings 5 nights or less, $25 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $50 for Balconies and $75 for Suites
    • Sailings 6 nights or longer, $50 savings for Interior and Ocean View, $75 for Balconies and $150 for Suites

BOGO and Kids Sail Free are combinable with each other as well as with Score More Savings, promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers, Free Upgrades, Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Score More Savings is combinable with promotional OBCs, NextCruise offers, Instant Savings, restricted discounts (for example, Seniors, Residents, Military), Promo Code driven offers and Free Upgrades but not combinable with Crown and Anchor discounts and Shareholder Benefits. Offers are not combinable with any other offer or promotion, including, but not limited to, Standard Group, Interline, Travel Agent, Travel Agent Friends and Family, Weekly Sales Events, Net Rates. Promo Code driven offers are based on select ships and sail dates and must be applied at time of booking, limit one promo code per booking. 

Offer available to residents of United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and select countries in the Caribbean. 

Video: 3-night Royal Caribbean tips and tricks

In:
31Jan2019
By: Matt Hochberg

Have you ever taken a quick three-night weekend cruise? We have a brand new RoyalCaribbeanBlog video filled with tips for anyone taking these quick cruises.

Royal Caribbean offer some great three-night sailings that are wildly popular with guests who want to enjoy a short cruise vacation that provides a break from the daily routine without a huge investment.  If you are considering one of these short sailings, check out this video that is filled with important things to know about short cruises!

And if you love this video, we have lots of other great cruise videos to watch on our Royal Caribbean Blog YouTube Channel!

By the way, have you subscribed yet? Be sure to subscribe to our channel and never miss a single episode!

So check out the video and then let us know: What is your best tip for a quick three-night cruise?

Brilliance of the Seas Live Blog - Day Five - Sea Day

In:
31Jan2019
By: Michael Poole

Today was our final day on board Brilliance of the Seas as we sailed back to Tampa, Florida.  It’s always sad on the final day of the cruise, but I’m excited I’m staying on board for the next sailing too!

This morning we slept in a little took things at a slower pace, since we had nothing really planned.  We ended up skipping breakfast, just too much food and needed a break from it. 

The pool deck was very busy this morning selling $10 t-shirts, bags, etc.  Also, everyone was trying to get that last bit of sunshine before we returned to Florida.  Hillary and I just spent the morning in the solarium; I really like how the pool water is heated.  The Brilliance only has 3 total hot tubs, so it’s usually hard to find one that’s not packed.  So we settle for the heated pool!  I should mention the pool water is salt water, so be sure to rinse off when you get out, I learned that one that hard way. 

Since we were getting closer to Florida the conditions were starting to turn and the temperature was dropping.  I decided to head back to the room around 2pm to start the ever dreadful packing since I’m changing cabins on the next sailing. 

After packing I went down to the pub to relax with a pint or two.  When I arrived I was the only person in the pub, but a few moments later it was packed.  I was thinking, what is going on?! They were having a singing game and I stayed to listen for a while.  Nice to see they have mid-day entertainment for those looking to get out of the sun. 

Evening on board was full of shopping, looking at the cruise photos they took.  We used our two free Diamond Plus coupons for 8x10’s on formal night.  Without a coupon they are $20 or the 5x7 are $10. 

 

Dinner tonight was again in Giovanni’s Table, our waiter invited us back with 30% off cover charge.  Since it was the last night, I thought it would be fun to enjoy some amazing Caymus wine.  I purchased the bottle at Vintages with our drink package discount of 20% off. 

Our meal was outstanding; I can’t say more positive things about Giovanni’s on Brilliance.  Once again they did family style dining and brought out all the options.  I finally had to say, please no more food! Hillary went with the fish and I took a bite and loved it, so fresh.  Her mom ordered the Chops Grill lobster; I know it was a small upcharge, around $15.  We ended up staying a little over two hours tonight, but it was one memorable meal. 

Final Thoughts

Brilliance of the Seas is a great ship if you aren’t looking for a mega ship with a lot of options on board.  This sailing was very relaxing, not a lot of lines at any of the bars.  The VOOM Internet worked well, the first day I was having some issues staying connected but it seem to fix itself.  I know many were wondering if they have the freestyle coke machines, they still don’t off this on Brilliance.  The coffee shop was very busy every morning; they did move things along very nicely but plan on waiting 10-15 minutes. 

This will be the end of the live blog; I hope you enjoyed the five days of coverage.  If you have questions feel free to comment below and I’ll respond! 

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