We took this cruise in May 2012. Not wanting to use Royal Caribbean flights due to them not being direct to Venice we made our own arrangements. A week before our holiday the flight was cancelled and we had to fly out 2 days early and spend the time in an area about 15 mins out of Venice itself.
From the main Venice bus station we used the people mover to get to the port. It costs 1 euro each and you need the first stop for the port. From there we dragged our luggage about a mile towards the ship where we were stopped and told we had to leave it at a building we had already passed so we trundled back again. On the way to the ship we had passed at least 3 RC employees and none of them told us we were going the wrong way!
We had booked one of the new balcony cabins that have been added during the refit. It was nice and new obviously but smaller than balcony cabins we have had in the past. The balcony itself was reasonable with nice new table and chairs. Bathroom small as you expect but well laid out with plenty of storage.
We ate mainly in the windjammer and this was very busy at peak times. It was a case of grabbing a table and taking it in turns to go and fetch food.
Plenty of choices but by the end of the week it was starting to feel a bit repetitive.
We had paid $55 per day each for the all inclusive drinks package. In the whole week, eating both lunch and dinner in the Windjammer were were only asked 3 times if we wanted drinks.
Shows were fairly good (if you like that sort of thing). We mainly used the Centrum and the Schooner bar. Pianist in the bar (Anselmo Boles)was a joy to listen to and by mid week he had got to know his regulars and built up a nice repartee with them.
One thing we missed was a quiet bar where we could have a drink without too much noise. There just didn't seem to be anywhere.
We found some of the staff a bit over the top. Cruise director was American and seemed very false in his bonhomie. On our first day as we approached the Windjammer one female member of staff stopped us and said, in a very silly childish voice, "Is it rumbly tummy filly time?"...........i looked behind me to see if we had somehow acquired a 3 year old child!
Over the last 15 years we must have taken at least 20 cruises but never before with Royal Caribbean. I'm not sure we would use them again due to the disembarkation process. In all my time i have never ever been thrown off a ship at 8am! We have always been able to stay on the ship until it was time to leave for the airport, even if that was mid afternoon. We did have an option to pay to stay on, at $35 each, but there is no way i would pay that. It seems as though once the cruise is over they cant wait to get rid of you! They will probably say this is so that the ship can be cleaned but if other lines can manage this while still having passengers aboard why cant they?
Our flight was not until 6.30pm so we had all day to kill.We had already "done" Venice so wandering around there all day didn't really appeal but we had no choice. A long trek to the people mover again. If you have cases and want to leave them somewhere turn left out of the people mover exit and you come to a left luggage shop. 5 Euro per case for the day. Taxi to the airport from the port is 45 Euro. From the bus station in Venice it's 5 euro on the bus. Buses run every 20 mins and take about 35 mins.
If you choose Splendour for your holiday - enjoy your cruise! :-)