I will bring out both the good parts and problems this ship has when you sail on it.
Pros: 1. The ship was old but really clean. They shampooed rugs outside cabins every day.
2. The Itinerary was excellent. Venice, Montenegro, Ephesus,Bodrum,Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Split were wonderful choices for ports that provided great options. We felt the food was pretty good, have not experienced anything better on the past few cruises we sailed on.
3. Our Cabin Stewart, Head Waiter, and Assistant Waiter did a wonderful job.
4. Cabin was slightly bigger than most (had an inside because we use the ship like a floating hotel and don't spend enough time in it to justify high end cabins.
5. The orchestra at the large auditorium was just excellent, a few of their
guest entertainer (singer & violin player) did a nice job. Music throughout the ship in small areas was also very good. The crew director was also very good
6. Embarkment and Disembarkment went well.
Cons: 1.The pursers office was virtually helpless except for a couple of people.
They dealt with the internet problems and gave some credit for lost time. They would ask the few that knew something if there was someone up front that could give an answer. Otherwise, they would go to the back for several minutes to try to answer your questions or problems. On girl could only give you a statement, and if you wanted something else she would tell you to get back in line because she was new. We pre-paid gratuties and got the envelopes but no vouchers for the recipients. We asked for them and they said they had to be with the envelope (which they weren't) so took about 10 minutes to reprint them. The purser next to us had someone complaining after we had and while we waited was back with reprints in a couple of minutes. Apparently it was just another thing our purser didn't know what to do and was in the back trying to get someone to show her how. Two days before departure I told the head purser that the printer for the internet wasn't working several times and they should have someone check to see that they would function correctly because several people who were already frustrated with the internet service and printer would be losing minutes and others no computers due to other passengers being tied up on them and her response was asking me to go up and try to print something and if it didn't work just let them know. We had transfers to and from the ship and when we arrived someone from RCI kept all the paperwork and we had no voucher for returning to the airport. We asked for a duplicate and at first the purser said just go out to the buses and they will take you. She said we were on a list. I asked to see the list and she said "oh it isn't on there" you have to call your travel agent because I didn't do it directly thru RCI. We showed her with our confirmation that we had paid it and it showed that on RCI's confirmation. The usual I'm sorry but you have to call your travel agent. I'm telling you it was a nightmare dealing with them. I approached one of the officers in another area because no one with any authority was ever at the office when we presented questions or problems. He said that was ridiculous
and said to go back in three hrs. and it would all be sorted out. They said no one had contacted them. Many times they just had 1 or 2 people at the desk and the lines grew to up to 15 people on certain occasions when we were there.
2. The Windjammer was way too small for the 2100 guests that occupied the ship. We always got up early and always got a seat but just a little later it had all kinds of guests searching for a table to no avail. We heard people that went on tours or just off the ship complaining because they didn't have time to eat breakfast. In the regular dining room (The King & I), they had very limited hours and they didn't fit well to cope with the overflow in the Windjammer. This was especially true on days when people had tours with the ship.
3. Our service from our waiter at the 6:30 P.M. dining was terrible. There was always the statement that I try hard for you and we have someone from the head office that is making changes that don't work and that is holding your dinner up. Finally, about the 4th night one couple at our table were just getting up to leave and magical they said it was now coming. It was 8:10 P.M. by that time. Every evening we were held up after dinner with the waiter telling us how hard he was working for us and how was he doing. Then the last 3 or 4 nights we started hearing about how he needs an excellent rating on our survey form at the end and how he also depends on gratuties. Most of us thought that was totally unprofessional (have never hear anything like that on our previous 11 cruises on various cruise lines). Our head waiter was all over the waiter on getting the dinners earlier for us and it improved. Finally I brought up the talk about constant highest rating and needing gratuties and he said he would address it and I'm sure he did. He said it goes on their record for something like that but it was well warranted. No one at our table wanted anyone to lose their job but hopefully a skilled talk and reprimand by his head waiter will make him a better waiter so he can keep his job.
4. The main stage perfomers from the ship were not up to what we have seen on other ships but the band was great as I said earlier and was unbelievable in the way they melded in with the guest performers.
5. First, there was no one ever stationed at the internet cafe to talk to resolve any questions. You always had to call the purser desk or go down to them. The first few days, many went away frustrated because to enter the internet the screen said to hit either the spacebar or enter. Everyone I saw (like myself) thought they weren't working. You pay $100 for 250 minutes and no one to help, finally on the 2nd day when I was trying to get on I heard a gentleman telling a frustrated lady to hit left click on the mouse and sure enough it worked. The internet was extremely slow (like on most ships) but once you were in it would lock up on passengers and you couldn't get out so finally the word got around that when this happens you hit control, delete, and capital letters. That usually worked. I tried to print something on three or four days but the printer would read maintenance required. That is why I asked the purser desk to make sure the computers that did work would be able to print. When my wife and I went to print our boarding passes there was frustration in the air. Problems with the printer. It took us 80 minutes to finally get them printed because after entering all the information it was so slow that it said your time had expired and you would have to re-enter everything again after the 4th try we finally got through and then printed it.
6. The final blow was for those who had transfers to the airport. As expected our names were not on the list in spite of being assured that they were. They had numerous others that had no listing. The young lady checking was just writing cabin numbers all over her list and said go to the buses. Now a last adventure. People that were scheduled for buses before us were still trying to get on the two buses they had. It was a mad scramble but first you had to put your own luggage in the compartment under the bus. It goes from one side of the bus to the other and whether you are 5 or 85 it is up to you to get it on the bus. No driver help and of course no one from the "Splendor of the Sea" to put people or luggage on the bus.