Our family of seven just returned from a trip of a lifetime. We sailed on Splendour of the Sea out of Venice, Italy on June 3rd. This was the first time for our family for cruising and it has made us all believers.
We arrived in Venice a few days before we sailed having a wonderful time exploring the city. We made reservations at a small hotel called Antiche Figure in the Santa Croce area. The hotel was wonderful, the staff was more then helpful with restaurant suggestions and arranged for a boat to transfer us to the cruise ship dropping us off right at the pier where the Royal Caribbean porters unloaded our bags and processed them to the ship.
The beauty of Venice is just getting lost and exploring, which we did but, a good map is highly recommended. While in Venice we took a tour with Avventure Bellissine Tours. The tour consisted of a two hour walking tour of the city with a guide and a Gondola ride. Some of the restaurants that we enjoyed were LaZucca and Refolo all in the Santa Croce area. The food was outstanding and the pizza at Refolo was exceptional.
Our time for boarding the ship was 2:00 p.m. and the check in was as smooth as could be. We all explored the ship to get oriented and when we got back from the muster our bags were delivered. Some of the recommendations on the site were helpful. The shoe bag to hang on the bathroom door and extension cord were the most useful.
We had a 6:30 dining time which was ideal. We had a wonderful team taking care of our dining needs. Viviana and Alexandra were terrific and made our dining experience so enjoyable. We were so glad to have the earlier dining time. At first we were afraid that it might be to early with all of our tours, but, it worked out fine and we had plenty of time to enjoy the shows and activities that the hip had to offer. The trivia competition in the Schooner Lounge with Lee was a lot of fun.
The two days that we had at sea were great. The first day we had beautiful sunshine and pool time. They had great activities planned around the pool which was a lot of fun. Our Grandson took advantage of the Explorer Club that they had on ship. The activities that they had pplanned for the kids were great. Star war Light Saber games, Pirate games and many projects. He went nonstop and enjoyed every minute.
Our final cruising day, we experienced a lot of wind, so it made sitting out at the pool a little challenging, but the cruise crew arranged a lot of activities for us to participate in to keep us busy.
The day o f departure, I woke up early and stepped out on the balcony and the ship was pulling into the Venice area and it was magical. The sun coming up and seeing all of Venice and the skyline was beautiful. Disembarking went without a hitch. We had arranged for a Royal Caribbean transfer to the airport. We left the ship at 8:00 a.m. and made our 11:40 flight without a hitch. The airport was a little crazy and the lines were long, but once you get thru security everything went without a hitch.
As I stated in the beginning. This was our first cruise, so I have nothing to compare this cruise with. But, we had the best time, we ranged in age from 6 to 60 and there was something for everyone. The ship was well maintained, clean. The food was great, we are all home now going on diets to undo the damage for all the good food and drinks.
The only complaint that my adult children had was the wi-fi and computer center on the ship. The computers were very slow and they had a difficult time getting things to download. They used the internet cafe's at all of the ports to get caught up. But, my feeling is you are on vacation, just unplug and relax. I can highly recommend sailing on the Splendour and using any one of the companies that we used for the private tours.