*** Ports and times may change pending unforeseen circumstances***
Brilliance of The Seas
This ship is a classic. Just the right size and modern enough for our first Full Ship Charter. True, it doesn't have an ice skating rink or wave rider but we don't think you'll miss it. Not a mega ship but that's not a bad thing. You get more personal service on a smaller ship and because the staff doesn't have to service 4,000 plus passengers, everything is at a more relaxed pace. Less lines, less stress, more time to socialize and this ship is first class Kool inside. More wood, brass, neon, brighter colored carpets, wider halls than the mega ships. You're gonna love it.
The port is on the East Tampa shore. Surrounded by 3 hotels, an aquarium, a civic center, restaurants with plenty to do right at the port. The port itself is small by our past mega ship standards because no mega ships can come into this port and it's only a 2 ship port. Each ship has it's own terminal. The terminals are very clean, bright colors, organized, very uncluttered with more staff than needed. A good change. Similiar to our old Port Canaveral terminal but with half the passenger crowd. Guess we forgot how unstressful it was to board a 2100 passenger ship versus a 4,500 plus passenger ship. Remember, we also have the whole terminal too for handing out our welcome packets, selling raffle tickets, etc. This will be a breeze with no big crowd and no mix of general public passengers.
If your driving to the port: Directly across the street from the terminal (about 300 feet) is a covered parking garage for $15 per day or an uncoverd parking area for $50 per week. I did see some motorhome space but will have to check into that a little later? Plenty of car drop-off parking just a 2 lane width from the terminal entrance. Once at the terminal entrance, check your luggage outside with the RCCL porter, hop on the upstairs escalator and your at check in. I must say, very simple and getting off this ship, getting your luggage and a taxi was a breeze too and your just 15 minutes from the airport or 300 feet from your car. About as easy as you can get.
Should you arrive early in Tampa, there is plenty to see and do. Home of the Tampa Bay Buckaneers pro football team, this town is PIRATE CENTRAL!. The football stadium is only a few blocks away from the terminal and a few hundred feet from our hotels.Maybe we'll get lucky and their will be a game on Sunday before the cruise? There's even 2 old style pirate sail boats docked just two hundred yards from our ship. As we just signed this ship contract a few weeks ago, we have lots of research to do about Tampa, Harley shops, restaurants, bars, things to do but I see much more potential than Port Canaveral for entertainment if that's what your after and it's not too big a town to be intimidating for me..and I'm a country boy. We'll be working on the Tampa details for the next several months. Watch for the updates in future newsletters.
Both Saturday & Sunday prior to the cruise there will be well over 1,000 anxious HSR participants gathering at our host hotel to get re-acquainted with past HSR crewmembers and make new friends. You might say this is where the party starts! If you are arriving early and want to join them on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday before the cruise sails. Be ready to book your hotel when we announce our choices per email newsletter. When announced, our selected hotels normally sells out in 2 days. Please remember, this is our 1st full ship charter..the biggest and best HSR rally cruise yet. Rooms will go super fast when the newsletter goes out and registration begins. All our listed hotels will have transportation available to the ship which will be less than 1/4 mile. Again, when booking one of our preferred hotels you must mention you are with the High Seas Rally when you book a room or most likely they will tell you they are sold out. Visit our Travelin Ways page for Hotel info.
ON THE SHIP
Monday- Ship departs at 4:00pm
Be on the ship by 2:00 p.m. Passenger loading generally begins at approx.10:45 a.m. If you want to avoid the lines you should board between 11:30 and 1:00 p.m. The good part is everyone in those lines are now our biker friends so it's now just another place to meet and talk with friends. So, arriving early has no downside anymore. We will personally greet you before you board the ship and hand you your welcome packetts after you check in. Once aboard, find your room, look around and if you're hungry go to the Windjammer Café to begin a week of all you can eat 24/7. Watch the sunset and blue water as we leave the coast.Our introductory giveaway show is later that evening where we'll briefly go over the upcoming week events and hand out BIG cash and prizes. There will be 2or more areas on the ship available to view the giveaway shows so don’t miss them!! Take a minute and check our HSR ship TV channel 42 for activity times. Be sure to scout the ship later that night.
Tuesday- Our first day out will be a Day Cruising at Sea More Games and activities announced later
If indeed we do have some form of vendor displays on the ship they will be promoted. Lots of biker games, events, fun and socializing will be happening. By now you probably made more new friends than you ever have at a rally and it’s only your first full day. Don’t miss the Belly Smacker Contest! Buy your Poker Walk and Biker Bingo cards,Debbie's Dialysis Fund Cash tickets and check our HSR TV schedule. Check out the ship - casinos, bars, spas, gym, restaurants, pools, etc. HSR special events will be added to the schedule later.
Wednesday - Grand Cayman- 7am-5pm on shore 10hrs. Much more info later on all our shore stops!
Lots to do onshore here and for the first time instead of the usual 6.5 hrs we have 10 hrs to do them. Plus, for the first time all our RCCL booked shore excursions are all private to HSR passengers. If you’re into water activities Grand Cayman has it all. From submarines to snorkeling and everything in between. Grand Cayman has some of the clearest water in the Caribbean and don't forget to stop by one of the top rated beaches in the world,7 mile beach. Swimming with the stingrays, the turtle farm and Eden Rock dive center are highly recommended. Check out our Shore Excursion page for all the fun island excursions you can book through RCCL once your cabin is paid in full. You can also rent scooters here! It’s a very friendly simple island to scoot around. Just remember they drive on the wrong side of the road so wear your helmet with the horns and you’ll get some respect.
When you go a shore, Just look for the High Seas Rally welcome banners. Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville is directly to your right about 150 yards and that's the big HSR party spot with plenty of room for dancing and a water slide. Also look for our welcome banners another 50 yards and you'll pass Hard Rock Cafe, then the Harley shop for some great deals on Harley merchandise for our group. You can also visit the town of Hell here. Yeah, it’s a real place with t-shirts and a post office to prove it. Send a postcard to your love ones from HELL. Lay on the white sands of 7 mile beach, visit the turle farm, swim with the stingrays, etc.
Thursday - Cozumel, Mexico. 11:00am-10:00pm--11 hrs Much more info later on all our shore stops!
What can you not do with 11 hrs onshore? Shopping,excursions, water fun and party time! Cozumel is also a very excellent spot for snorkeling, scuba, parasailing, swimming with the dolphins or just enjoying the beach. Your dollar is worth more in Mexico and if you don’t mind bartering there are deals to be had. Men, grab the women’s credit cards, there are jewelry shops everywhere! Or if you men want to make up for something you did earlier, this is the place.
The Senor Frogs party helps you forget that you just maxed out your credit card. It’s a raucous high energy Mexican party. There is lots of dancing and playful fun and the staff keeps it goin' non-stop. True Mexican party flavor. Then there's another Jimmy Buffett's for our private party. This place is beautiful and right over the water. If the water is calm, you can snorkel, parasail and snuba right off their party deck. Both parties are awesome and there are plenty of taxis to get you back to the ship. We will be announcing another beach party location soon.
Friday - Cruising at Sea--Games and activities announced later.
Saturday it's KEY WEST! 10:am till 8pm --10 hrs. Again, we are just in the beginning stages of setting up this stop.
This port is new for our rally and will be developed over the next few months. We expect a very big day here with Harley rentals, parties and excursions. We are one of the very few ships to get shore time after 6pm at Key west. So we changed the shore hours instead of leaving at 6pm, we're staying to watch the famous Key West Sunset. If you're having too much fun here and miss the ship..at least you're in the U.S. now.
Sunday - Day at Sea More Games and activities announced later
Check our HSR TV schedule. Topless Man Contest, last full day of vendor exhibits and our Grand Prize giveaway show/ Debbie's Dialysis Fund auction. This day is so chocked full of things to do you won't know where to start. We're giving away a $20,000.00 CASH grand prize to 1 luicky winner by just drawing from your cabin #'s and we’ll split another $50,000 in cash and prizes plus the Debbie's Dialysis Auction.. Hang out with your new friends, collect phone #’s adn e-mails, see the ship's nightly show and enjoy the people.