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Knightyme23

Brilliance of The Seas

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Hi. I recently started sailing with royal Caribbean within the last year.  I am a carnival convert.  Im really glad I made the switch.  I've been on two Royal Caribbean cruises so far. I have the Adventure of the Seas booked and ive heard nothing but great things about the ship as well as the itinerary.  I've been on the Enchantment of the seas earlier this year and the Allure of the Seas just last month. I really enjoyed them both.  I ultimately am an itinerary cruiser however since Royal Caribbean has so many ship sizes, I honestly would like to cruise on at least one ship from each class. With that being said,  just yesterday I booked a cruise on the Brillance of the Seas. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me anything about this ship or cruising from Tampa.  I really enjoy the podcast as well as the blog.

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We did Jewel (sister of Brilliance) out of Tampa last Thanksgiving and live in Tampa so have sailed from there a few times. (Also sailed Vision a semi-sister of Enchantment and Allure so we have some common comparisons).

 

If you have any specific questions let me know, some general thoughts though.

 

We really liked Jewel (booked on Brilliance for Springbreak 2016), it felt much more similar to Enchantment than Allure though. Similar layout with the Centrum and then the lounges/bars going back from the Centrum towards the big lounge in the stern.

 

Pool tables and Miniature golf were nice "extra" activities that Vision did not have (not sure if Enchantment has them since she is a little bigger than Vision).

 

Not as much to do as Allure but still plenty to keep you occupied and for us a much more nautical and intimate feel than Allure.

 

In regards to Tampa, the port is much smaller than Canaveral/Lauderdale so its generally fairly quick to get in and out. Just two cruise terminals if I recall correctly and they are both right across the street from the parking garage if you are driving or about 20-30 minutes from the airport. The terminal is in "downtown" and the highway from the airport to downtown has been a mess for the last few years while it gets redone. I imagine you would be arriving during the late morning or early afternoon so traffic shouldn't be awful.

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We did the Legend out of Tampa years back. It was a great port to cruise out of and a very scenic departure. Unfortunately, I can't comment on the ship, yet, as I don't sail on her until July 2015, although I'll be on her sister, Jewel, in January.

 

Kris

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I just booked Brilliance for Jan out of Tampa..couple of questions.

 

Freestyle coke machines on this one?

 

Is there an outside eating area at all?

 

You mentioned its 20-30 mins from the airport? Do you know if the hotels around the port, would offer shuttle service, or can recomend an hotel that offers free shuttle service as I will be arriving the day before my cruise.....

 

Thanks is advance!

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Havent been on board Brilliance so I cant answer specifically on the freestyle and outside eating questions but I think the answer is no on the first, yes on the second.

 

Also have not stayed at any of the downtown hotels since I am local, but given that the port is in downtown/next to the convention center I am pretty sure there are options galore, the hyatt for example is pretty much walking distance from the terminal.

 

Will see If I can pull up any specific recommendations when I get home.

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When we went on the Legend years ago out of Tampa, the DoubleTree offered a shuttle to/from the airport and to/from the port.

 

I'm on the Jewel this January and have read there are Freestyle machines onboard.

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Yeah..I found that out...:( So I am trying to think, when you want a soda or Powerade or juice etc, they give it to you in a glass or plastic cup, or do you still have a sepecial mug if you have one of the drink packages?

 

I also found out, that the windjammer does have an outside area to eat at the back of the boat which is awesome!

 

Best deals for rides from airport to port appear to be taxi....capped at a max of $25 each way.

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We were still given the cups to use on Vision with the drink package, even though there were no freestyle machines.

 

We were told you "had" to bring the cup to the bar to get it filled that they would not give you a plain cup with soda. Cant remember if anyone actually tested to see if that was true or not though. My beverages were not served in the freestyle cup so my memory is at times hazy :)

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ok..good to know. They are handy for sure, and while I will miss the freestyle machines, they will come in handy during the mornings when I need lots of powerade and  juice to replenish me. It is usually back in the room before lunch and not needed again untill the next morning as my drinks from then on out are all served in the  nice glasses...lol

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