The ‘approachable’ captain of Brilliance

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The Traveling Tightwad (my son, Geoffrey Templeman) and I took the 14-night repositioning cruise of Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas in October-November ’03. The route was from Barcelona to Miami via Málaga, Lisbon, the Canary Islands and St. Maarten (Dutch West Indies).

We heartily endorse the comments of ITN readers Frank and Bev Stokes (Oct. ’03, pg. 40) and would like to add some more plus advice for future passengers.

For once, we had a captain who was most approachable and agreeable. He spent a whole afternoon in the theater giving us information about the ship and answering our many questions. Also, he and the staff captain often ate at the Windjammer Deck Café, where, incidentally, we ate breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between during the whole voyage; the variety and quality of food was remarkable.

Frankly, we had trouble accessing the ship’s Internet. It took us 15 minutes to log on and send two e-mails. Cost: $7.50.

We felt the ship’s library was a joke — five paces wide, five paces long. Four chairs outside and two tiny tables. In three days the shelves were bare. Passengers were on the honor system — you could keep the same books the whole voyage so long as you returned them before you disembarked.

Now for some details.

The Tightwad made our reservations five months early and took out insurance. We were on Deck 4 in Category G. Our room was splendid, with a window almost four feet in diameter. The cruise cost was $900 each including taxes, booked through www.cheaptickets.com (or phone 800/471-8029).

The total airfare, from Los Angeles to London on Virgin Atlantic (a superb flight — wonderful food) and from London to Barcelona on a commuter plane, was $390 per person! This was done through www.orbitz.com (where we were able to get a good rate on the one-way tickets we needed on Virgin).

In Barcelona, the Tightwad booked us for four nights in two fine hotels, Abba Sants and El Presidente. The weekend rates were $100 per night for two persons, including deluxe buffet breakfasts you wouldn’t believe.

LYDIA TEMPLEMAN
Gilbert, AZ

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

The Traveling Tightwad (my son, Geoffrey Templeman) and I took the 14-night repositioning cruise of Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas in October-November ’03. The route was from Barcelona to Miami via Málaga, Lisbon, the Canary Islands and St. Maarten (Dutch West Indies).

We heartily endorse the comments of ITN readers Frank and Bev Stokes (Oct. ’03, pg. 40) and would like to add some more plus advice for future passengers.

For once, we had a captain who was most approachable and agreeable. He spent a whole afternoon in the theater giving us information about the ship and answering our many questions. Also, he and the staff captain often ate at the Windjammer Deck Café, where, incidentally, we ate breakfast, lunch, dinner and in-between during the whole voyage; the variety and quality of food was remarkable.

Frankly, we had trouble accessing the ship’s Internet. It took us 15 minutes to log on and send two e-mails. Cost: $7.50.

We felt the ship’s library was a joke — five paces wide, five paces long. Four chairs outside and two tiny tables. In three days the shelves were bare. Passengers were on the honor system — you could keep the same books the whole voyage so long as you returned them before you disembarked.

Now for some details.

The Tightwad made our reservations five months early and took out insurance. We were on Deck 4 in Category G. Our room was splendid, with a window almost four feet in diameter. The cruise cost was $900 each including taxes, booked through www.cheaptickets.com (or phone 800/471-8029).

The total airfare, from Los Angeles to London on Virgin Atlantic (a superb flight — wonderful food) and from London to Barcelona on a commuter plane, was $390 per person! This was done through www.orbitz.com (where we were able to get a good rate on the one-way tickets we needed on Virgin).

In Barcelona, the Tightwad booked us for four nights in two fine hotels, Abba Sants and El Presidente. The weekend rates were $100 per night for two persons, including deluxe buffet breakfasts you wouldn’t believe.

LYDIA TEMPLEMAN
Gilbert, AZ