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Old December 14th, 2005, 06:44 AM
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Default brilliance of the seas

Sailing Feb 3 on Brilliance.Has anyone been on this cruise? Aruba-Panama-Limon-Cayams.I've been to Aruba by air and know most of the island,and have been to Cayams on Carnival Victory,but the other ports are new to me.
Thanks
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Old December 14th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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We leave a week from Friday for that cruise (Christmas and New Years). Instead of Cayman though we are in Key West (which I prefer more). In Cayman-you can do snorkeling, Sting Ray City (dont miss this if you like snorkeling), beach time, shopping (however port gets jammed if there are a lot of ships). In Panama we signed up for an eco cruise on the lake. We looked at the train ride too, but it was too long. We have an almost 4 yr old and an infant so we had to find tours that he would like and sit through. Its also very very hot and humid down there so that was a factor with the baby. In Costa Rica we are doing the train, bus, boat tour. Another short one and will let us see some things. Plus my son loves trains.

I will try to remember to post about our trip when we return. If I forget, email me or repost asking about it!

alison
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Old December 14th, 2005, 09:28 AM
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We did this cruise last March on The Brilliance.

Aruba was a good looking Island. Fairly clean, although the local post office was not up to US standards in terms of cleanliness, (the lobby looked more like a vestibule in a flop house than a government office). We did the "Fun Cruise & Beach Tour" offered by the ship. Lots of rum early in the morning, good sightseeing. After the excursion we did some shopping and ate lunch ashore. We also went to dinner @ El Gaucho. Good steaks lots of food. The taxi ride was very reasonable. And, we felt fairly safe on the island. Despite the apparent malfeasance and incompetence of the Aruban authorities in the wake of the Natalie Holloway fiasco.

The Panama Canal was incredible. There was great viewing from many vantage points throughout the ship. Once through the canal and onto the lake, if you had booked an excursion you tendered to shore and left on your excursion. We did the "Gamboa Ariel Tram" It was ok. While we were on our excursion, the ship moored on the lake for a bit, then turned around and went back thru the canal and docked @ the Cristobal pier. After your excursion you will be returned to the ship @ the pier. Not much there, some tourist trap type shops. The city surrounding the pier was a real slum. I'd recommend taking a shore excursion in Panama. Also, read "The Path Between The Seas" before you sail to get a good history of the building of the canal.

Puerto Limon is one of 2 major cities in Costa Rica. We did the Tortugero Canals excursion there. It was a very nice boat trip through some very beautiful nature preserve type area. Basically, we were on the morning trip here, they bussed us out into the country side, put us onto boats then the boat trip returned us to near where the ship was docked. We disembarked, the next excursion boarded and they traveled back towards where we had originally boarded the boats, then they were bussed back to the ship. Costa Rica is basically nothing more than rain forest & banana plantations. I can't comment on any other excursions as everyone we knew onboard was on the canal tour. The city of Puerto Limon didn't look like a place to do any sight seeing, or wander without an armed escort.

Grand Cayman is very nice. A clean port of call where you can wander and shop comfortably. It gives you the feeling that tourists are relatively safe, at least as safe as in any city in the US. We went snorkeling, then did some shopping and ate lunch before returning to the ship. I've been here several times and I always enjoy Grand Cayman.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 05:52 AM
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Default brilliance of the seas

Thanks for your info.Did you like the ship?I saw her last year in San Juan and was impressed. We were on the MSC Lirica which is a story all it's own.In Panama,we might try the train ride to the west coast if it isn't too long.I have heard limon can be a little shakey,but will try to keep an open mind and open eyes. I hope everyone going before us has a great time.
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Old December 15th, 2005, 07:41 AM
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You can check out what excursions are offered (they may change before your trip) on RCI's website. The train ride that they offer now is over 5 hrs long. Thats too long for us with a baby (she would be easy though) and a 4 yr old!

alison
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Old December 15th, 2005, 08:01 AM
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Yes, we did like the ship. It's laid out very well, and has some wonderful public spaces. I enjoyed both Chops & Portofinos the food was very good and the ambiance was wonderful. The self leveling pool tables, and the bars back in that area were very relaxing places to gather to listen to music or chat with friends. The spa area was very nice, particularly the steam room complex which looked out over the ocean through large windows.

Unfortunately, I tend to compare all of Royals ships to The Enchantment which has been my favorite so far. I thought Enchantment had a very bright and airy feel due in large part to the skylight at the top of the Centrum which went through the pool deck allowing sunlight to flood the decks below. Brilliance doesn't have this feature and seems somewhat darker as a result. Also, I didn't particularly appreciate the mobile, or sculpture or whatever it was that was hanging from the ceiling practically filling the Centrum. But that's just one mans opinion, and very often what one man sees as a pile of rubbish another man sees as art. Overall I thought it was a very nice ship, and I'm sure you will enjoy traveling onboard her
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Old December 15th, 2005, 10:51 PM
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Hi merrimac1. My name is Sue, I will be on this cruise with you, My husbands name is Joe.

PLEASE Email me as soon as possible and I can tell you about what some of us have planned once on board. There are 24 others that have sign up for a party that RCCL throws for us. We all would like to welcome you into our group. When you Email me, I will fill you in.

My Email address is: Watermanfunari@aol.com

I am glad I saw your post. We do not have that much more time untill we sail, it is coming up fast.

Talk to you soon

Sue + Joe
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Old December 16th, 2005, 04:32 PM
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(merrimac1) Hi Patrick, Thanks for Emailing me.

I tried to Email you back from that address that you sent me one from. But it did not go through.

Is this your regular Email address?

Please try to Email me back again or send the right Email to me.
Watermanfunari@aol.com

I need to tell you the details of the party, but I don't think I can say the link on these boards, for they do not like to have us post other boards on here.

So as soon as you read this try to Email me again, so I can get your correct Email address this time.

Thanks so much.

Sue

(The Email that won't work is fixitright123@comcast.net)
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Old December 16th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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We were on the Brilliance last year for the Panama canal. It is a beautiful ship. One feature we liked is the little cinema. It is on deck 6 near the casino. Made it nice for sea days. Enjoy your cruise.
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Old December 17th, 2005, 10:07 PM
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This itin & ship is a 10! Don't miss the private steam room area & Chops & Portofino. The club was also fun. Really think this was a great trip--except we went Easter week which was not the best time to cruise! The Panama Canal even without the full transit is awesome Strongly rec. you get off & take an excursion.. Path Between tyhe Seas really gives a great history & perspective even if you skim it...
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Old December 19th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: brilliance of the seas

Quote:
Originally Posted by merrimac1
Sailing Feb 3 on Brilliance.Has anyone been on this cruise? Aruba-Panama-Limon-Cayams.I've been to Aruba by air and know most of the island,and have been to Cayams on Carnival Victory,but the other ports are new to me.
Thanks
We, too, are sailing Feb. 3rd. I know that Sue contacted you about signing up for a Meet & Mingle. Check with her for the details and join us.
M
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Old December 19th, 2005, 08:31 PM
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Default brilliance

Thanks Bloomie did get in touch with Sue ,hope to see you on the cruise , we are on 7 with a balcony , not sure which cabin yet.
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Old December 19th, 2005, 10:20 PM
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Hi Marcia, (Bloomie)

Hi Patrick, I just sent you another Email, I hope you get it.

Tell Denise I hope she is feeling better, get that ankle back in shape quick.

Also what is your sister and brother in laws names? I forgot to ask you.

Talk later

Sue + (Joe)
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Old December 21st, 2005, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: brilliance

Quote:
Originally Posted by merrimac1
Thanks Bloomie did get in touch with Sue ,hope to see you on the cruise , we are on 7 with a balcony , not sure which cabin yet.
Glad you got hold of Sue...hope you signed up. We are on Deck 9.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 05:30 PM
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Hi Bloomie,
Aren't you glad your not on deck 8 For all I know my balcony could be under you know what.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 04:11 PM
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Hi Patrick, How is Denise's ankle?
Hope she is doing good.

We are still 2 people short of having RCCl give us a party. I hope that you can get on to the other boards that I told you about and sign up for it, if the 4 of you sign up we will then have enough people for the party.
It will be great fun to meet everbody.

Hope you all have a great Holiday.

Talk later

Sue + (Joe)
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 07:01 PM
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I will ditto Sue's request to sign up and give us the 25 people we need.
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Old December 27th, 2005, 05:46 PM
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Just returned from the Panama cruise threw RCCL. We did the Panama Grand Tour and we loved it. The locks are breath taking. I am going to post pictures in the furture and a review (small one) Have fun
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Old January 1st, 2006, 08:52 PM
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Happy New Year Everyone

Merrimac1, hope now that the Holidays are over, you can post more.

Watermanfunari@aol.com

Just Email me again and I will remind you of the site that Marcia (bloomie) and I are on, so you can start to talk to everyone on there.

Our party through RCCL is now offical. So by going on the other site and signing up they will Email you an invite right away. You can sign your friends up also and they will get an invite also. If they don't have an Email address, then they can use yours.

Have a safe and Healthy 2006 everyone

Talk soon

Sue + (Joe)
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 04:58 PM
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Default brilliance change of itinerary

Does anyone know why the itinerary was changed for feb 3 panama canal. Seems likea lot of criss cross from Aruba to Caymans to Miami. I was looking forward to more time in Aruba.
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Old January 3rd, 2006, 11:10 PM
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Hi Patrick, I know, I am so mad that they cut aruba short, that is my favorite place to go.

It seems that we are the only sailing that has changed. I am wondering if there was to many ships at the same port, and they had to tell us not to show up that day. I don't think we will even get a straight answer from RCCL. Did you have a TA book your cruise for you? Didn't they let you know about the change before final payment? I knew, but decided to stick it out. I think I woud be happy just to be on a ship, even if we never went to a port, lol.

*** Take note of this date: The offical party is on Sat. 2/4/06 at 11:15AM in the Hollywood Odyssey. Make sure to make time to go. Do not book and spa treatments for that time frame.

****Remember to go on the CC site and register for the Meet & Mingle so you can get your invitation to the party. Sign your Sisiter and her hubby up also, so they can join us too.

Can't wait to meet you all.

Talk soon

Sue + (Joe)
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