We have just returned from a FANTASTIC 7 night Western Med cruise on RCI Splendour of the Sea. There were 5 in our party,2 over 60's (grandma+grandad),2 late thirties( mum+dad) and our 10 yr old son.
We flew into Bergamo(Milan) with Ryanair and as the flight arrived late at night we spent our first night in Bergamo. The following day we got the train from Bergamo to Venice( with 1 change at Brescia).The journey was very straight forward and at approx 20 euro per person each way was very reasonable.We enjoyed the day in Venice and stayed the night before the cruise at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Quarto D'Altino, approx 15 mins outside of Venice by train. We would definitely recommend this hotel for anyone travelling by train as it was located directly behind the( very quiet) train station.It was a very high standard of hotel and cost 100 euro per room which included breakfast.
On the morning of the cruise we got a taxi direct to the port for 60 euro. We arrived at 11.00am and checked in immediately and were on board within 20 minutes. Although our stateroom was not available until 1.00pm we had a good look round this beautiful ship and had lunch in the Windjammer before it got too busy.When we went to our stateroom at 1.00pm we were really impressed that all our luggage had been delivered.
We were in an inside stateroom which was more than adequate for the three of us.Although some aspects of the stateroom were very dated such as the tv,the safe and no fridge we found it very comfortable. We set sail on time and the trip down the Grand Canal was breathtaking and is definitely recommended for all.
The Splendour of the Sea is not the largest or newest ship we have been on but it is by far the friendliest. We found the ship to be just the right size and very traditional in her layout and design.The centrum had great seating areas for people watching.One of the main assets of the Splendour is her staff in particular the Cruise Director, Jill Tasker and her team.Our son decided to collect Vitality rewards(ship shape dollar) which meant the whole family joined in with activities such as line dancing, walk a mile,fun fitness, bean bag tossing and even napkin folding!! Although we have been on four previous cruises we have never participated in this way and think that the friendliness and enthusiasm of the staff really encouraged us.
We really enjoyed the food on the Splendour. We ate in the dining room every night mainly because of our fantastic waiter Milane Melo who made our meal times even more enjoyable.Our only criticism of the dining room was the lack of smaller tables.Most tables were for 10 so we ended up with 5 spare seats.This suited us fine but may not suit others. We had no problems with the Windjammer although at peak times could be very busy.The midnight chocolate buffet was amazing!!! not to be missed.
Our son really enjoyed the kids club and again found the staff here to be amazingly enthusiastic and full of fun. He enjoyed the activities they arranged particularly the late night parties and Halloween parade. The adventure ocean is not as large as on other ships but the kids seemed to really enjoy it.
We only went to a couple of the shows so can't really comment too much however the final farewell show was the best we had ever seen and really captured the atmosphere onboard.
For us the itinerary was great, it suited all ages. We did not arrange any Royal Caribbean excursions and found that it was easy enough to see places independently. In Dubrovnik and Corfu we got the shuttle bus ( $10 return per person,tickets onboard)from the port to the center. In Santorini we got the cable car and in Kusadasi it was a straightforward walk into town. Although we did not want to leave, disembarkation was very easy.We had chosen 8.30am and were off with our luggage by 8.45am.We got the free port bus to Piazza Roma( this was a little chaotic and waited for about 20mins to get on a bus).
Overall we had a FANTASTIC cruise.Yes the ship is dated in parts but this should not put anyone off experiencing the Splendour. We would definitely choose this ship again.