Port Canaveral, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa. All are cruise ports within are relatively short drive via automobile at 70+ miles per hour. A different story when travelling at around 22 knots in a massive cruise ship. Each port of embarkation yields slightly different routes and itineraries under the shared name of ‘Western Caribbean’ cruise.
We’re just over a week away from a five night Western Caribbean cruise out of Tampa on board Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. The last minute price for this cruise has dropped to as low as $179 per person for an interior stateroom or $35.80 per person per night.
This five night Western Caribbean itinerary embarks from Tampa, Florida at 4pm on Saturday, December 7, 2013. After spending Sunday at sea, rounding the western tip of Cuba, Brilliance of the Seas makes its first of two port calls at Georgetown, Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands.
The ship stays docked in Georgetown from 7am to 3:30 in the afternoon. Grand Cayman is all about the water surrounding the island and not so much the land the island is made of. The thing to do is visit Stingray City Sandbar. This is an opportunity to swim up close and personal with stingrays in their environment. Although you can use U.S. dollars in Georgetown, the official currency is the Caymanian Dollar (KYD). One Canadian dollar is currently valued at .77 KYD.
The following morning, Brilliance of the Seas moves a little further west and docks at Cozumel, Mexico. The ship will remain at the Mexican island resort area from 10am to 7pm.
Wednesday is another full day at sea as the ship makes its way back across the Gulf of Mexico. Brilliance returns to Tampa on the morning of Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7am.
As mentioned, an interior stateroom, based on double occupancy, can be had for as low as $179 per person. This price does not include the $65.76 per person in government taxes and fees. With all the taxes included, a couple could pay as low as $486 total to take the cruise. For just $20 more per person, the cruise can be upgraded to an Ocean View room.
Brilliance of the Seas is one of four Radiance Class ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet. She made her maiden voyage in July, 2002 and is a medium-large sized ship by today’s standards. Brilliance has a gross tonnage of 90,000 and is 962 feet or 292 metres long. There are 12 decks accessible to the capacity 2,501 passengers. 848 crew members are on board to make everything run smooth.
Brilliance is the second oldest of the Radiance Class of ships. All four are nearly identical and the first was Radiance of the Seas, put in service in 2001. Brilliance was followed by Serenade of the Seas in 2003 and Jewel of the Seas in 2004.
The Small Print
·Because of the nature of last minute deals, the pricing printed here is fleeting and could change at any time.
·Prices are in Canadian dollars.
·Most meals are included in a typical cruise price but DRINKS ARE NOT!
·Also not included are gratuities.
·Cruise pricing does not include air fare, ground transfers and hotel accommodations before and after the cruise.