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9 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill ... Read More
The good things about this ship: Room is of good size with plenty of sorage space. We were lucky to choose a balcony at the very back of the ship with enough space for a table, 3 sitting chairs and two lounge chairs. The Chops Grill on this ship was my best dining venue on all my cruiselines and I've taken mostly more upscale than This one. Should I end up on another RCCL voyage And it's at par to this one I will spend most of my meals there. Excursions (Persian Golf cruise) were great and affordable. The ship is retiring in a few weeks! And now for the not so good news. Oftentimes we could smell the sewage on most of the starboard side of the ship. Fortunately our area was spared, but for most people it definitely was a nuisance. Our toilet system broke down on every single day, although we never used anything but tissue paper as what was asked. They came twice in the week to the entire mechanism but it work for maybe an hour ans would break up again. We ended up using the public toilets most of the time. Aside from Chops Grill, food is very dissapointing, but then, I am accustomed to better cruiselines. Level of service in restaurants vary a lot, this is especially true in the Windjammer Cafe where you do not have an assigned waiter. This is the first time in all my cruises that I was not able to get a table for 2. Those are very rare so don't even hope for it. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
This was our 4th cruise with RCL and one we embarked on with some concerns after reading the ship reviews here. We've only sailed on bigger ships before so again had concerns that we might not like the smaller vessel. We had no need to ... Read More
This was our 4th cruise with RCL and one we embarked on with some concerns after reading the ship reviews here. We've only sailed on bigger ships before so again had concerns that we might not like the smaller vessel. We had no need to worry as our cruise was 1st class from start to finish. Ship was spotlessly clean, and whilst it doesn't have all the facilities of its newer and bigger sisters, it lacked nothing essential for a 7 day stay. Embarkation was smooth at Dubai as expected as was our disembarkation on our return. Cabins were ready at 1pm and our junior suite was all we needed, albeit a little smaller than we are used to. Our stateroom attendant, Raj, was very attentive throughout the cruise. We chose to eat in Windjammer as it gives us the flexibility we like. We were impressed with the quality and variety of the food all week and only struggled a couple of times to get tables, particularly on our day at sea. Staff were great - very helpful and cheerful. We used RCL for 3 excursions in Muscat, Abu Dhabi and nighttime in Dubai, all of which were excellent. So, overall the 4 of us had a great time! Read Less
5 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: March 2016
Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may ... Read More
Some of the reviews for the Splendour remind me a bit of reviews I read about Monarch of the Seas a few years back just before it was sold. The Monarch proved to be a well-run happy ship and the same was true of Splendour. The ship may not be the newest or biggest but it’s well-maintained and the crew is still 100% committed. Fares are very competitive so if you pay $500 for a 7 day cruise in reasonably exotic waters you can’t expect the experience you might get on, say, Seabourne. What we got was honest value and a very pleasant cruise. Embarkation was good, possibly because we arrived at about 12 Noon and had completed all the online check-in documents. We were quickly aboard, said hello to our steward Annie, dropped our bags and headed for the Windjammer which I found surprisingly quiet for an embarkation day. Food everywhere, while not the best, was more than adequate with plenty on offer in the Windjammer and reasonable variety in the dining room where our waiters Maria and Maricel made every evening an event. We were travelling light but managed to make a fist of Formal nights. A jacket and tie was enough to avoid you feeling uncomfortable. We took the occasional breakfast and lunch in the MDR too. Options were reasonable. Some of the secondary dining locations such as the dog house and Park Café offered variety as did the enthusiastic ice cream lady on the pool deck. We had an inside (3081) and crowded in a third adult – my son. Not as nice as a balcony but it wasn’t exactly hardship either. The TV showed some watchable films – Ant Man, Jurassic Park, National Lampoons Vacation etc. they came on a loop and I think we eventually saw them all. Not sure what German guests were making of continual repeats of Allo Allo though! There was just about enough room for us to organise things. There was plenty of storage. The shower curtain could have been a bit more generous but it’s a small grumble. A better bet was to head for the pool deck to see some blockbusters on the big screen including Everest, A Walk in the Woods (Bill Bryson) and The Walk. Blankets were provided. Entertainment looked adequate too although the only time we went to the main theatre the lighting of the acrobats seemed to be out of synch. Acrobatics and shows in the Centrum were better I thought – especially the Beatles tribute bend who were excellent. Ports of Call were unusual. We took a dhow up the fjords at Khasab which was really pleasant. We got to see dolphins following the boat and had 30 mins in which to swim off Telegraph Island – and get ashore to see the ruins of the old British telegraph station. In Muscat we walked around the town under our own steam. It was reasonably interesting. We managed two half days of rain there which was unlucky given they get 12 days of rain all year. In Abu Dhabi we visited Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque which was very impressive, The visit to the Heritage Village was cancelled because of the Red Bull Air show which was disappointing. The alternative offered – a coach tour of Yas Island wasn’t as attractive. For the last day the ship docked back at Dubai. Since we had a few days booked in Dubai after the cruise we took the opportunity to stay aboard which was a relaxing end to the trip. To be honest, I wonder why I go sometimes. I tend to stay in insides, never go to the shows, don’t drink, don’t pay for speciality dining, don’t gamble, don’t use the spa or gym or climbing wall or mini-golf and only take a few excursions. Despite that I enjoy being on ships and the Splendour was a nice ship to be on. It says a lot for the commitment of the crew that they kept standards sky high just a few weeks before the ship is sold to Thomson. Read Less
10 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am we ... Read More
This was our first experience of cruising so we had mixed feelings once we started to read the reviews but I suppose you can't please all of the people all of the time. We were met at the airport and because of the time of day 8:00am we were taken to a lovely hotel for breakfast and whilst there we completed our paperwork in preparation for boarding the ship. That was effortless and then a short journey to the ship we were told that our cabins would be available in a couple of hours but all facilities were open for us to use so again that was fine. We really enjoyed our holiday, the food was first class, our cabin 2004 was adequate clean and plenty of wardrobe and drawer space, we had an ocean view but with a pothole so it was a little dark. The staff were friendly and very obliging and nothing was too much trouble. We ate every night in the King & I restaurant and had no problem booking a table and the food was excellent. The Windjammer at lunch time was always extremely busy and there was a window of 1.5hrs 12:30-2:00 when it was very chaotic and tables were very difficult to get. We had one day at sea which was difficult with 2000 people all using the ships facilities they were strecthed to the limit with people having to sit on the deck floor as all sunbeds were full. Drinks packages we bought the package before we started our holiday all I would say is if you are not sure if it's for you there's no hurry as you can purchase on board the only stipulation is when you buy it it has to be for the rest of your holiday eg buy Wednesday you would pay for 5days. Water, juice,coffee and tea are free from drinks stations. If you don't want to go on trips you can do your own thing and there are free buses from the ship to take you into the resort. There was plenty of entertainment choices from line dancing to quizzes during the day if that's your thing and the evening could easily be enjoyed going to a show or just relaxing in one if the bars. Read Less
6 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before ... Read More
I have just returned from my 6th Cruise and 2nd with RCI. I chose this cruise mainly for the Price and Destination offered and all in all was very good value for money. Splendour is nearly 20 years old and on its last season before transferring to Thomson (where it will greatly improve their fleet). Some people mentioned it was tired looking but i didn't think this was the case. The Staff in general were extremely helpful,fun and hard working. Our BA Flight arrived in Dubai before 0800 so we were met on arrival and transferred to the Le Meridian Hotel over the road from the airport for breakfast and to complete the check in procedure which took about ten minutes. We were then transferred to Port Rashid and was onboard by 11am and our stateroom was ready about 1pm. We had full use of the ships facilities as soon as we got on board. Our Cabin 3031 was a Category N Inside Stateroom and had sufficient wardrobe and storage space and 2 very comfy beds. We ate most nights in the King and I restaurant, on my time dining, which i pre booked in advance before leaving the Uk and had a table for 2 every night with no problem. The Formal nights aren't anything to get hung up about, we were planning on going to the Windjammer on the Formal nights as packed a jacket but no tie or tux but the waiter said it is no problem, so we went to Formal night in trousers jacket and shirt. We used the windjammer for lunch and breakfast, at times it was chaotic as so many people were eating here and you would get your food(which there was a great choice) then struggle to find a table to sit at. The entertainment was ok, not really my thing and as we ate late the only show we went to watch was the Beatles tribute band, who were brilliant,then up to the Disco in the Crown Viking Lounge. The night we departed Muscat there was a Middle East deck party which was ok,there was a belly dancer and after 3 middle eastern songs it kicked into full Ricky Martin and US/UK artists songs but everyone had a good time. The Drinks package i pre purchased in uk at approx £28 a day for the Select Package,this entitled us to Beer,Wine by the Glass and Soft drinks and non alcoholic cocktails....my only frustration with this is no one actually explained which beers were included so each time to make sure i didnt get charged i asked is this included in the package. The cheapest Wine was approx $9 per glass and Beer about $6 per drink which you would have to pay an 18% gratuity charge on top so i think i got my moneys worth just....if you have the drink package you also have to pre pay your gratuities for the cruise which i did as i cant be doing with tipping. The Excursions offered by RCI were not cheap either.... KHASAB-We decided to do the Dhow Cruise,RCI wanted £47 pp for a half day tour, i booked it in advance locally for 25 Euros and our boat had shade and 14 people on board(all from our ship and included fruit,water,tea,coffee) the boats used by RCI had over 100 people on and had no shade upstairs. I know we had the best deal MUSCAT-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port but a 2 hour(if you don't get off) bus tour at over £40 wasn't great value in my opinion. Muscat itself is only about a 20 min walk from the Port to the Souk anyway. ABU DHABI-We did the Big Bus Tour,it was the same price booking direct or via RCI so we used RCI,we were picked up from the Port and after doing part of the Red route(where the headphone jacks didn't work) we jumped on the Purple bus to visit Yas Island(with a tour guide no headphones), after 5 hours in total when we got back to the red route we took the shuttle bus back to the Port, but this was great value for money and well worth it, as so much to see in Abu Dhabi DUBAI-We decided we wanted to visit Burj Khalifa the tallest building in the world so pre booked before leaving the Uk for about £25 ourselves. We got a taxi from the Port which was approx 60 AED (you have to pay a 20AED surcharge leaving the Port which is included in the fare) and to get back to the Port we only paid 30 AED. It was well worth the trip to the 124th floor and the amazing views,entrance is via the Dubai Mall which is massive! I have a few gripes with Royal Caribbean, they are very sell sell sell....trying to sell you upgraded drinks packages,trying to sell their Asian and Steak restaurants at a huge supplement,trying to sell you a tour of the ship to the galley,the bridge etc,always pushing the Spa,the Large Screen showing activities from the Cruise Director was always a sales pitch and was repeated about 5 times on the bounce before they would switch it off, the annoying jazzy,piano,light drum music that had no lyrics played around the pool that no one has ever heard of and the very expensive wifi rates. Lots of people use wifi now and i'm sure if they dropped their prices a little they would sell more. After 4 days of no contact from the outside world we decided to go for it....$20 per day for 1 device and 50% off for a 2nd Device...so $30 per day (the small print says once taken it has t be for the duration of the cruise...so couldn't use it just for 1 day) and i only really wanted it to be able to do my online check in for my return flight the day before flying home. Oh and No bottled water...unless you paid for it or upgraded your drinks package! Disembarkation was painless, we were told to meet in the showlounge at 6am (Breakfast was available before) and were called by Number and taken to the Terminal where our bags were waiting for us, we were then transferred to Dubai airport with no problems. The Food was good,not spectacular but nice all the same and the King and I Restaurant was good for a 3 course evening meal. Windjammer buffet had plenty of choices but limited seating at times and there was also a burger/hot dog eatery and snacks in the Solarium area. All in all i was very pleased with this cruise, to get flights,transfers,meals and a cruise for a week for £600 with gratuities was brilliant, a 5 night holiday in Dubai with no food would cost you more and you also get to see so many interesting places. The highlight for me was Khasab seeing the Omani Fjords and the dolphins swimming alongside our Dhow and Abu Dhabi, every building is bigger or more ecentric than the last...oh and the fantastic weather which was 80-85 degrees every day. The ship was very good, a smaller ship compared to most now at 70,000 Tonnes but was full of hardworking and joyful staff. I would definitely use RCI again Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great ... Read More
This was our 10th cruise, 3rd on this class of ship and 3rd with Royal Caribbean. This cruise may have started on a tired outdated ship but there was nothing else tired about it except the passengers who seemed determined to have a great holiday. You should be proud of your staff, they were hard working, friendly nothing too much bother. Ok the theatre show, with exception of Beetles tribute were not brilliant but the other locations around the ship were brilliant. Great musicians and singers made for a party every night. Food was good, waiters and unusually head waiters determined to make sure you enjoyed what was offered and happy to change if you didn't. Cabin stewards and not only your own so nice and cabins kept immaculately. I just wish the cruise lines would take on board that there is a place in the market for these smaller ships. We don't all want massive ships and bigger is not always better. So please replace this ship with an updated version. Gripes - usual. Drinks extortionate as were excursions. No tea coffee toiletries supplied. No fridge. So come on RC, build a new small ship, sort out the things noted above and increase size of inside staterooms and their bathrooms, and you would continue to have a loyal following. And thanks fellow passengers for making this one of our best cruises ever. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. ... Read More
This was our second Royal Caribbean experience the first being the Voyager of the Seas in November last year. The Splendour of the seas is smaller and older. Smaller need not an issue but there are signs of aging in parts of the ship. The Stateroom was a little jaded as were some of the public areas. Having said that the service was excellent as was the food. The entertainment was just about OK but the speakers, who gave briefings on the destinations, need to be changed or given training in public speaking. The facts may have been interesting but the delivery was flat, monotone and dull. This seemed to suit many in the audience who soon fell into a restful sleep. The deck pool and wirlpools were fine but on sea days you had to be up early to get a sunbed and up very early to get one in full sunlight. The staff did try and impose the rule that "a sunbed could not be reserved (with a towl etc.) for more than half an hour" but they were fighting an uphill battle. There was also an indoor pool that was actually better for swimming. We mainly judge by comparison which is why this ship doesn’t score to highly. But is this was the first time that I had stepped onto a cruise ship I would have been very impressed. Especially considering the price we paid. Return BA flights from Heathrow, seven night’s full board accommodation with more food than anyone could eat with visits to some interesting and exotic locations and all this for just seven hundred quid. The only question is “how do they do it?” Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: February 2016
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, ... Read More
We were cruising as a family with young kids. We were expecting sun, good food, relaxing time at the pool and of course some new cities to see. This time we almost got all that we wanted -that isn't so great as NCL, with as old ship, managed to provide us earlier everything expected, and even more! Main feeling we got, was that for some reason, organization lacks communication; there was lot's of hassle with beverage packages, stateroom and dining arrangements – too often the answer was that ask somewhere else. There were still few bright stars who made our day several times, thanks to them! Food was pretty average, based on earlier experience we were expecting more. Meat dishes weren't so amazing, bread selection was narrow and fruit offering was always pretty much the same. Windjammer as an environment was rather stressful: it was too full or closing or partly closed with fences. We would have also appreciated more flexibility with dining hours; now it was impossible for example to have a proper early dinner with the kids. Select beverage package was also causing lot's of questions; for example one day sparkling wine wasn't included and next day it was, one day it was also charged as prosecco without notice. Shows and entertainment were mediocre. Some of the dancers were good, some weren't. We felt that content was bit too much targeted to older and British audience; Beatles, quizzes about kings of the UK, old movies etc. Kids activities however were awesome and basically that was the most important one for us! We booked one shore excursion which was arranged by Arabian adventures and that one was great! Otherwise we went to see ports on our own and had really nice days. During the last night there was one final letdown; we went bed early to get a good sleep before the flight. Around 3AM they however started to roll big and heavy metallic luggage containers out from the ship with huge bangs. The noise was insane and it lasted for rather long time. Our cruise wasn't too bad. If it would have been the first one, we maybe could have been even happier. But as NCL set the record so high earlier, we were expecting more. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good ... Read More
We booked with Virgin, so two nights in a hotel The Hilton Ras Al Kahimah which was a great way to start a holiday. On arrival at the port terminal we were greeted by long queues, in fact we queued for an hour and a half, not a good start. However once aboard we found our cabin reasonably spacious, okay it was a bit larger than expected but not at all bad size wise and very clean with plenty of wardrobe and drawer space. So off to the bar for a drink, thank goodness we were offered a drinks package with our "state room". The bar prices were a bit steep and most people took a drinks package once they saw the prices of the drinks. The first nights dining service was okay with it seems everybody finding there feet. After a couple of nights we found one particular table with exceptional waiting staff and kept that for the remainder of the cruise. The trips, the trips were let us say pricey and because of the ports of call it became obvious that without going on them you were a bit stuck, although to be fair Muscat was walkable and Abu Dhabi and Dubai you could get taxis, but to get into places like the Burj Khalifa you had to have a booking and this only came with an organised tour. Wi-Fi was expensive and I believe Royal Caribbean missed a trick here as free Wi-Fi would have given them free publicity via social media, then again maybe that's why the make it expensive. The pick up from the ship was a bit chaotic to say the least but that was down to Virgin as no time was given for our pick up and the coach driver did not make himself obvious once we left the departure hall, in fact a few people did finish up on the wrong coach and at the wrong terminal once they reached the airport. We enjoyed the cruise although we have been on better, but sometimes you just have to make the best of things. So to finish off, staff great, fellow guests, mostly great, food good maybe not great, the ship a little tired but as it's been sold to Thomson I suppose that's to be expected. Read Less
Sail Date: February 2016
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower ... Read More
First cruise with Royal Caribbean and on this experience not keen to return. Embarcation was ok for us as we were early though it took some time for luggage to arrive The ship is a good size but we had plumbing problems in our shower and found our cabin]which had a balcony to be very basic in its furnishing and tight in space. Assumed that since it has been sold there has been little outlay in replacing curtaining etc. but the problems in the Windjammer at breakfast and lunch must have other reasons. There seemed to be a strange lack of consistency in the layout of the food at breakfast and it was difficult to find things like honey and some cereals. Lunch time could be really busy and the constant messages over the tannoy telling people to move from the table when finished made for a less than relaxing experience. Dinner in the main restaurant was ok but nothing stood out. The starter portions when prawns or other seafood were very small and the desserts were average. Service was fine and there was a constant flow of staff clearing up but at the self service meals the layout seemed to cause chaos with too many people milling about trying to find what they were looking for The evening shows were again mixed with nothing exceptional. There was an aerial show in the atrium which was better on one occasion than the other when there seemed to be technical problems. Most of our excursions were either included in our package or booked ourselves and we were happy with most aspects. The ship organised tour in Muscat was good. Not nearly, as good as Princess in terms of entertainment or food. Read Less
Splendour of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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