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Pooch

2 cruise options - opinions please?

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Retiring in January, we want to take our 2 adult children on a cruise to celebrate.  It’s my retirement and I want to go to Key West so that has to be part of the itinerary.  We will book grand suite or above.  Looking for February-April 2021.

First option is a 7 day on Rhapsody out of Tampa stopping at KW, Cozumel, Costa Maya & Grand Caymans.

Second option is a 5 day on Brilliance also out of Tampa stopping at KW and Cozumel.

We’ve been to Costa Maya and Cozumel and have no problem going back.

Looking for opinions on the ships mostly.  Room/balcony differences?  Suite perk differences?  Which ship would you choose and why?

Going stir crazy at home. Need to plan a vacation!!!

Thank you all and be safe!

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I’m sorry, you are always so generous with your thoughts and opinions but why do you like Radiance class over Vision?  What are the differences?  I am actually leaning toward Brilliance but my opinion doesn’t mean much given my experience.  
We’ve been on Empress, Majesty and Mariner.  Hubby thought Mariner was kinda big without any gain over the 2 smaller.  We got lost a few times & it was a long walk to our room.

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I just prefer the configuration with the Windjammer in the aft as opposed to it all the way forward.  The Radiance class is really an elegant class of ships - smallish sleek and very classy.  Lots of natural wood.  The biggest reason that I don't prefer the Vision or smaller class ships is b/c we usually book suites and the suites on the small ships are all the way forward - inconvenient and subject to motion, IMO.  I  much prefer suites in the center of the ship which is why I rarely go above a JS on any of the Vision class ships.  The cabin are also a bit larger on Radiance class vs Vision class.

I know exactly what you mean about getting lost and having to backtrack.  It used to happen to us all the time when we first started cruising.  I think you get better at navigating the hallways once you have had to take the walk of shame a number of times.  LOL  That's another reason why cabins midship are more convenient....less distance to walk if you go the wrong way !!

Your opinion is always important and as you cruise more, your experience will make your opinion even more valuable !!!  I have been on over 40 cruises and while some have been better than others, I have never been on a bad cruise.  The truth is, we have cruised more on Grandeur of the Seas than on any other Royal Caribbean ship and Grandeur is a Vision class ship....so I do not DISLIKE Vision class ships, I just prefer the Radiance class.

The good news is....there is no wrong decision here !  Good luck

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Just my 2 cents and with 2 bucks more you could get a mall coffee at Starbucks (if they are open)  I understand that you are gifting this cruise for your children, but how old are they?  Is Rhapsody going to be "TOO BORING" once the sunsets or on a sea day?  

My assumption is you are driving or flying into Tampa since your moniker states you are from CT.  Are you going to add on to the trip for a few days, or are you just flying in and out for the cruise?

IE we sailed on Enchantment.  It was a port intensive cruise that included KW.  Basically flew in and out.  Would never sail on her again out of Miami.  However, when she repositions to Baltimore we would reconsider sailing on her.  No air fare issue bc we live in No Va.  Plus, we love Baltimore Inner Harbor and would stretch it out for a 4 night/5 day cruise into a 7 day by staying the night before and after there.

These things would be part of my decision.  

FWIW we travel with friends and family on cruises often.  The rule of thought has always been, we meet for dinner and do excursions together, otherwise on sea days you are on your own until dinner.  See above regarding would it be too boring on sea days?

 

 

 

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My “kids” are 35 and 30 so as long as we have a sports bar, pool bar, room service for the 30 year old, we are good!  The 35 year old lives in Orlando so we’d fly in the day before, stay at our favorite hotel there & drive down for the cruise. We did this a couple of years ago when we cruised just with her.  We want to take both this time so our son would fly down with us.

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I would than look at how long you would be in KW if that is your number 1 port and what day of the week..  

For ex.  Does the Rhapsody dock at 9 and stay until 6 on a Tuesday, whereas, the Brilliance docks at 8 and leaves at 4 on a Sunday.  You could find that you have less "true" time in KW.

We liked KW.  Did not do the famous pic in KW (southernmost point) bc the line was a block long.  Just did the see it, been there and keep walking.  

We did eat at Blue Heaven in KW.  Def. go. https://blueheavenkw.com/

You have to try their Pie.  Look at the background, you can see a hand.  Yep, it is that tall.

 

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