Monday, July 4, 2016

Ohhhh...... The beautiful Brilliance of the Seas!!

Sometimes you just gotta get out of Dodge! Most people go away for a weekend, but Hey...when a weekend won't do...., I say GO on a 6 week trip, starting with a 2 week Transatlantic! ( I've never been known to do things the easy way!)
I seemed like a good idea to jump on a ship out of Tampa...Just a 45 min drive, and end up 2 weeks later in Barcelona Spain! The Brilliance of the Seas was available so why not!

 It only looks like I was ready!
happy trails to me...or as they say in the cruise world....Smooth sailing Matey!

Embarkation was easy.... Joel looks a little shellshocked, but hey.... lets just say that I'm a happy camper!!!

 Getting on the ship was easy in Tampa..15 min from start to finish and we were on the ship an having lunch!  Love the windjammer for lunch on the first day... feels like we've REALLY arrived!

                                        By 1pm we were in the room and awaiting our luggage!

After the dreadd lifeboat drill, we were on our way to Barcelona!

                                                      Nothing better than an AFT Selfie!
                                            well.... maybe if we had a drink in our hand!

The brilliance has a beautiful centrum....No aerial shows though.....very disappointing!

                                  However.....I found a lovely location to just while away the time!

                                                                      What a view!

                                     Sea days are awesome for just hanging around.... 
And admiring your toes!

We loved the shows!

                                                          Aren't the colors beautiful!

 Sometimes it's just fun to take pictures from different Angles!  Looking down gives me a thrill!

Vintages wine bar is a great place to sit and people watch! one even knows you're looking!

                                   All our best buddies! We met every night for fun and frolic!!!

                                         More selfies! After all....there were 8 days at sea!!
                                                We had to entertain ourselves somehow!


                                    Sunsets are always awesome..... and the view isn't bad either!!

                                  Celebrating with friends! We are soooooooo crazy sometimes!!!
                                           ( you have to be crazy to spend 8 days at sea!!!!)

Eating lunch in the outside dining area! This is what makes the Radiance class ships so special!


The pool was always the center of outside activities.

Relaxing in the lounge....During the 8 days we were at sea, ( do you sense a theme here? grin) we relaxed in just about every lounge on the ship!

The R bar....So fun to sit and watch the shows and dance to live bands!

Why I think we even sat up here one day and had a drink or two....
( 8 days IS a long time!)

We did stop in Puerto Rico for a lovely day of sightseeing!
We negotiated a cab tour for 20 USD  pp... Cabs are waiting just outside the port.  Always negotiate for price.....

Sailaway from Puerto Rico was a fabulous celebration!  Free drinks, live music, and wonderful friends to share it with! Thank you Royal Caribbean!!!

But.......for the next 8 days I amused myself each afternoon by painting Etigami postcards and giving them away....

We finally made it to Gibraltar! Can you just sense the excitement!!!

we took a cab tour, so easy to do....just walk off the ship, and they are all can pay in Euros, pounds, or Gibraltar pounds. I think they even took American dollars! 
It worked out to 25 USD pp....

Malaga was the next stop and we took a tour to the Alhambra.... what an amazing place, and a highly recommend tour for this port!  This was a private tour as the ship did not offer a tour to this beautiful place!

We finally disembarked in Barcelona, where we spent 2 days touring around...just loved seeing the Sagrada  Familia...if you decide to go, buy your tickets in advance....otherwise, you may not get in.
they are easily bought online....

A glorious view from the terrace...Thanks Dave and Brenda!!

lunch with our cruise buddies!

After our time in Barcelona, we rented a car and tooled around Europe....
Driving around Europe was an amazing adventure! If we can do it...anyone can do it!!!

Ending up in Istanbul before flying home....
But in the month in between.....we....

Tasted wine and ate lots of yummy food!

fooled around in Pisa
( thank goodness we were there to keep it from falling!)

Drank wine on a picnic in Italy...glasses not needed! Where there's a will there's a way!

Joel pumped the wine from a barrel...Honest!

Spent 2 days in Arles France

Where Van Gogh painted, we walked the Van Gogh trail!

Visited the hall of mirrors in Versailles

picnicked along the Seine  on my birthday

visited Monet's gardens

acted crazy in Quimper France

And by the way..Quimper is a cute little town....unspoiled and undiscovered....Very near Breast, if you ever have a port stop there....

Drank lots of coffee and ate as many chocolate croissants as we could! 

Our 6 weeks ended too soon..... and we returned home with so many memories....
Is it too soon to go back yet???