Splendour of the Seas Cruise Review by Julie Entwistle: FIRST TIME CRUISERS NOT SOLD ON CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEA
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FIRST TIME CRUISERS NOT SOLD ON CRUISING WITH ROYAL CARIBBEA
This was our first cruise so we were not sure what to expect. I hope to give some useful information to others considering this cruise.
Activities - there just isn't enough going on during the day. The theatre showed a movie on the first day only and then nothing, it was closed during the day. A daily movie would certainly help pass the time. Bingo at 3.30 (minimum 22 dollar fee) was about all, except the Art auctions every day where you could watch everyone NOT buying any art.
Gymnasium - this is small and unless you go in the morning or afternoon you will not be able to use any of the equipment.
Eating - the Windjammer cafe was good with an excellent choice however be warned at breakfast it is jammed and we often had to take our food outside onto the pool area and eat in the chilly windy weather. We did discover however that you can have breakfast in the formal dining room (between 6.30 - 9.00 which was a little early for us) or you can have it More delivered to your room free of charge after 7.00 am.
Lunch was not a problem and there was plenty of room during the long sitting. You can also go into the formal dining room for a "30 minutes express lunch sitting" or eat in the inside pool area (although this tended to be burgers, hot dogs and fries).
King and I dining room - we chose the second sitting (9.00 pm) and this is too late, particularly when you have been trying to fill your time during the day - also we missed a lot of the evening entertainment. The formal nights are not really formal, don't think you need a jacket, tie, dress etc. I wore trousers and a blouse, my hubby wore a shirt and trousers just as on the other nights. Food at night is fantastic and service is really good.
Cabins Don't use the water provided as they charge you $5 per bottle. At the pool area there is a machine providing ice water and coffee all day and night. Just get a glass of water to take to your room
Bars The Schooner Bar was were we spent most evenings as the other area Top Hat Lounge was permanently empty, just a few couples dancing. What a shame they could have made much more of this space - dancing classes or shows. We had the Cocktail of the Day at $6 but after a few days were getting suspicious that there wasn't actually any alcohol in these. I switched to a rum based cocktail and this confirmed my suspicions. The cocktails are in a large plastic tub in the kitchen which is ready made up, presumably with little or no alcohol. So if cocktails are your thing, go to the bar yourself and watch the waiter making one up for you - I can recommend the B52s !
Entertainment Again we were disappointed with this - 2 x "reps shows", a magician and a comedy singer. My husband enjoyed the Beatlemania show though.
All in all we felt the company were always trying to get more money out of you, even the daily talks about the ports of calls were laced with shopping tips where you could spend your money or organised excursions which cost a fortune. We always did our own thing and there was little information about this.
Ship itself felt just the right size for us, the cabins were spacious and there were plenty of opportunities for eating and drinking. I don't think we would use Royal Carribean again, but we will try cruising again but in a warmer part of the year.
Happy Cruising! Less
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Cabin review: Splendour of the Seas 2602
Cabin was spacious but noisy being at the end of a corridor next to the hull. 2nd deck meant when the ship was docking we were subject to a juddering motion.
Port and Shore Excursions
On disembarkation - you are given a coloured tag on your last day with your time for disembarkation which you need to put on your luggage and put your luggage out the night before. You can change your tags for another time which we did. We waited after breakfast in our alloted area (theatre or top hat lounge) they call your colour and you get off, go into the terminal and collect your luggage. Then there are taxis to take you to wherever, or the shuttle bus to take you to the bus station. We decided to walk to the bus station as the line was long, it took about 8 minutes, we bought a ticket to Marco Polo for 2.5 euros each and in 20 minutes we were there.
WARNING - when collecting your bag do check the label (you have space to fill in your name and address and phone on the coloured labels) as we picked up someone else's bag which was the same as ours and didn't realise til we got to the airport!
If you have a late flight you can stay on the ship for the day but you have to pay $34 each, which includes lunch.
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