Just the Facts:
Ship: MSC Meraviglia, first of its own MSC class @ 176,000 tons.
Sailing: January 16, 2022 - 4 day cruise - Sailing out of Port Canaveral
Captain: Masimiliano Rossi Cruise Director: Sarah Rossi
Ports: Port Canaveral, FL - Nassau Bahamas - Ocean Cay, Bahamas
I am sailing with the Dear Wife, a rarity of late. We have a premium balcony and beverage package so a fun short get away cruise. This is my 6th cruise on the MSC Meraviglia, my 15th MSC cruise, and my 171st cruise overall.
Sunday, January 16, 2022
Just the Facts:
Saturday, January 8, 2022
Brilliance of the Seas Cruise Review
Ship: Brilliance of the Seas, RCL Radiance Class, Launched Dec. 2001 @ 90,000 tons.
Sailing: January 8-12, 2022 - 5 day cruise - Sailing out of Port of Tampa, Florida
Ports: Tampa, FL / Cozumel, Mexico / Puerto Maya, Mexico / Tampa, FL.
Day One -- Saturday -- January 8th, 2022 -- Port of Tampa — EmbarkationThis is the overall easiest embarkation day I have ever experienced (other than the 2nd leg of a B2B cruise) in my long history of cruise travel. The day began about 8:30 am at the Florida Villa when I began packing for my cruise. I have plenty of time as boarding doesn’t even begin for the Brilliance until noon and it’s less than an hour's drive to the port in Tampa. Although I have cruised from Tampa in the past, this is my first time driving to this port. I left the Villa about 10:30 am and arrived at the Channelside Parking Garage ($48) by 11:30 and literally walked across the street to the port terminal. Very few were in line and most were early and sent to designated holding lines to wait for their assigned boarding times…I walked directly to the entry. After a brief health screening, it was to security for bags and carry-ons. Then to the Royal Caribbean agents for the last health screening and boarding identification. Never had to stop and went from station to station with ease. Within a few minutes of completing the process, they opened the ship at noon and I went aboard. Cabins were to open at 2:00 pm but since I rolled my bag on I wanted to drop it off…luckily my cabin was ready so I stayed and unpacked. I love my balcony upgrade location on deck ten forward. Just one deck below the Solarium, Swimming Pools, and the Windjammer buffet. I had a nice lunch: Steak, Prime Rib, and Stir-fried Vegetables in the Windjammer, then went to set up my internet Wifi on deck 4 (15% discount today). Boat drill is super easy, just watch the video on the Royal Caribbean App, then go to your Muster Station and have your card scanned. Easiest boat drill of the three lines I have sailed since the restart. After relaxing in the cabin/balcony I went down to the Solarium and had a snack…a nice roast beef sandwich on a roll. I went to the Solarium Bar to inquire about the perks for Diamond+ as I know they have changed…we now get five drinks per day, any time of the day, loaded on our Sign & Sail card. No longer unlimited drinks at the D+ lounge, but seems fair enough to me. Glad I inquired early as I had two Welcome Cocktails with Marsha at the Solarium Bar. I have heard from a source that there will be less than 900 guests, but we will know soon after sail away. It makes it very nice for the guests who are on board. The Carnival Pride sailed away at 5:00 pm and we followed about 15 minutes later. It was very nice sailing away from the port at sundown. I went up to the Diamond Club located on Deck 13 in the Viking Crown Lounge. They have a very nice Hors-d'œuvre Bar (they serve you) and Cocktail Service. Yes, they serve from your 5 daily drinks. I enjoyed two Cosmopolitans as we approached and sailed under the famous Sunshine Skyway Bridge (photo above). I was nicely lit up at night. I have now sailed under it more times (3) than I have driven over it (2). About 7:15 pm I went down to the Windjammer for dinner. I had a nice Salad, Baked Potato, and a wonderful thick Prime Rib that I had cut at the Carving Station and then grilled on the hot grill in the Burger/Deli section. They did a perfect grill over an open flame for me, it even had ideal grill marks…perfect and delicious. I splurged with two pieces of pie for dessert: Key Lime and Boston Creme. I then retired to the cabin to watch the Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles football game. It was a great and easy embark day on the Brilliance of the Seas.
Food in the Windjammer - especially the Grilled Prime Rib
Vintages Bar, Bartenders, and the Regulars…
Production Show: Center Stage
Cozumel Port Day
Costa Maya Port Day