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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We are just back from a great week on Splendour 8/27 from Venice. The ship is in very good condition and has had a refit recently. We did not visit Turkey because of the troubles there recently but instead went to Dubrovnik, very pretty ... Read More
We are just back from a great week on Splendour 8/27 from Venice. The ship is in very good condition and has had a refit recently. We did not visit Turkey because of the troubles there recently but instead went to Dubrovnik, very pretty port. Our inside cabin 2547 was excellent value, we booked this cruise late and did not have a lot of choice and since we have already had 3 cruises this year with RCCL in January/February on Radiance and Majesty we were very happy with the midship location of the cabin, our cabin steward Chris was very accommodating, he fetched me feather pillows and always changed our ice a few times a day. nothing was too much trouble to him. Dining Room....we had second sitting on deck 5 table 139, we had excellent table mates 4 from England 2 ladies from New York and my daughter and I from Scotland. Our waiter was very nice, bus boy was not!! but this did not spoil our dining. Food is always the same, after 33 cruises with RCCL it gets a bit tiring, they need to change the menus more, there have been a few changes over the last few years, but I guess there is something for everyone. Windjammer..... this has been remodeled since our last cruise on Splendour 3 years ago, always lots of choice and no complaints at all. Solarium cafe... over til 2am serving pizza burgers hot dogs, fries etc... I found the food to be always fresh and well.....cant really go wrong with this kind of fast food. Bars... Solarium barserver Marcos is an absolute gem, he is so courteous and polite, always had a smile..and served a damn good Mudslide!!! Schooner bar is pretty cool too, only minus there is smoking but I guess it has to be allowed somewhere on board. Theatre productions..not bad, but could be better Concierge Lounge on deck 7...a welcome addition to Splendour, this facility is very recent but they are making arrangements to have a permanent lounge on deck 9 in the near future. Angelo, our concierge(and also Guest relations) was a darling, we know him from Radiance and had a fabulous time in his company, also had a wonderful crowd in the lounge for the entire cruise. We have no complaints about check in at Venice, all went very smooth and we were in our cabin by 12.30, had only carry on luggage so no wait for suitcases to arrive. Leaving the ship on Sunday was very good, we had white/blue no 1 tags but did not actually leave the ship til after 9am, caught the free shuttle to PzRoma and then the #5 bus to the airport. Our Hotel in Venice the day before the cruise was excellent too.. Hotel Bel Epoque, 1 stop by water bus from Pz Roma, then a very short walk to a beautiful hotel, our overnight stay cost 85euros I booked it through venere.com no problems at all would thoroughly recommend this hotel That's about all I can say on this vacation, our 32nd with RCCL, we are back home to rest up until our next back-to-back on Radiance out of Fort Lauderdale on 11/25. Read Less
Sail Date August 2006
Myself and my wife arrived at Marco Polo airport around mid day on Friday the 30th of June off a flight from Leeds Bradford airport which is in the North of England. The journey into Venice was easy and hassle free. We used the bus service ... Read More
Myself and my wife arrived at Marco Polo airport around mid day on Friday the 30th of June off a flight from Leeds Bradford airport which is in the North of England. The journey into Venice was easy and hassle free. We used the bus service and this was direct to Venice, took about 20 minutes and was air conditioned at a cost of 3 Euro. The bus stops in the Piazzale Roma and thats where the "fun" starts. Unless you take a water taxi, you will have to walk to your hotel. Ours, fortunately was only around 400 yards away so we decided to walk. The bridges, although picturesque are not easy to cross with heavy suitcases. Add to this a 90 degree heat and it makes for a tiring journey ! Our hotel was the Palazzo Odoni which I would strongly recommend (www. Palazzoodoni.com) We spent 3 days and 2 enjoyable nights in Venice and will probably re-visit Venice for a longer period in the near future, especially considering it is only a 2 hour flight for us. Try taking a water bus which travels the full length of the Grand Canal (and back if you dont wish to get off) for 5 euros. Compare this to a gondola ride. The people we were to share our dinner table with told us they took a gondola ride and 30 minutes cost 120 euros. The only downside of the Venice break was that I watched England get knocked out of the World Cup by Portugal and the bar I watched it in was full of Portuguese supporters (where had they come from???). Getting to the ship was difficult! First of all, the trek back to the Piazzale Roma. We then looked for a public bus to take us to the dock, but unfortunately, none run. None of the RCI literature that we received mentioned the fact that there were shuttle busses (although I seem to think that these are mainly there for disembarkation). There were no taxis parked so we decided to walk. If anyone else follows suit, do NOT take the first left once over the bridge out of the Piazzale Roma even though it has a sign pointing to the dock. This is NOT for the cruise ships. The second turning takes you to the ship but it is a longish walk on very poor pavements (or sidewalks as you people refer to them). It took about 25 minutes from the Piazzale Roma. We headed for the huge vessel with Splendour of the Seas emblazoned on the side thinking this was an appropriate action, only to reach what we thought was the embarkation area, to be told to head to the other side of the dock to drop off the luggage and proceed to the embarkation terminal. The luggage drop off procedure was straight forward the check in procedure was OK (although we had to fill in forms that we had already completed on-line) and a coach took us to the ship. The cabin was ready even though it was only 1pm but the luggage did not arrive for another 3 hours. This was actually 4 hours faster than our last RCI cruise on the Enchantment. OK now for a review of the ship: Cabin  inside cabin Deck 3. Big enough, very comfortable beds, good air conditioning. King and I Dining Room  Excellent food, great choice, adequate portions (if you cant make up your mind between two dishes, get them both!) very friendly service though it was a lot slower than the Enchantment. We sat down at 9 pm for dinner and were there until 11:30 on a couple of occasions. Though this is not a criticism as I like a leisurely dinner others may not like to hang around for 2.5 hours. Windjammer  Good choice of food (we used this a few time for lunch) but getting a table is a bit like Mission Impossible. Viking Crown Lounge  excellent with great service and great views. Other bars OK. One slight complaint is the fact that 15% is automatically added to ALL bar bills, even soft drinks, and then a space is left on the bill to add your own gratuities! Also, cheapest bottle of wine was $20 plus 15%. In the UK I could by 6 bottles for that. Entertainment  terrible. Magician on the first night was OK. Beatles tribute band from Croatia or somewhere like that were desperate. Some African group swinging heavy balls around on pieces of rope and banging them on the stage to make a drum sound were even worse and these were the best 3 acts! When I tell you that the love and Marriage (for you UK readers this is the equivalent of Mr and Mrs) was the highlight of the week, then I think you will understand that the shows in the theatre are not worth watching. However, we do not cruise for the entertainment so it did not spoil the holiday. Excursions  Athens. Driving into Athens can only be described as bedlam. Acropolis is covered with scaffolding so doesnt look at its best. The planned stop at a pottery/souvenir shop for 20 minutes is a bit of an insult but no doubt RCI get a decent back hander from the shop owners. Kusadasi  Trip to Ephesus is definitely worthwhile. When the coach gets back to the harbour, it stops outside a Carpet/souvenir shop (how convenient). I would suggest you walk the 10 minutes back to the ship, perhaps stopping off at one of the harbour side bars and sample a few glasses of the local beer (Efes). A real bargain at 1.5 euros for a pint (20oz for our American readers) and guess what, no 15% added to it. Crete. What a horrible place this is if you do not take an excursion which we, unfortunately decided not to do. As the ship leaves there at 1 pm there is not enough time for the independent traveller to go anywhere apart from Iraklion (sp?) and this is like a building site. On the way out of Crete, we ended up sailing into 60 mph winds so all of the sun chairs were locked away in case of injury caused by flying metal! Corfu. Tremendous place but I am biased as we holiday there on a regular basis. As our American friend at the dinner commented, Corfu was how they imagined real Greek Islands to be. Colourful, deep blue seas, small white houses built into the mountain sides. Corfu Town itself is a very impressive place with tight cobbled streets. Although the excursions are quite expensive, they are probably decent value for money, especially for American travellers who have come over 3,000 miles and may not see these places again. It is worthwhile to have the guide and to get the information on the trip. One final gripe, be prepared for the tannoy announcements in your cabin (or stateroom as RCI like to call them) on the morning of disembarkation from 6 am onwards. This does get slightly annoying if you are not getting off the ship until 10 am and are hoping for a lie in before the journey home. Anyway, if you want any further information, drop me an Email. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
Our trip began with a three night stay in Venice (booked by myself) at Locanda Ca Le Vele, which was a completely lovely experience in every way. I can't say as much for getting there from the airport, which was confusing, due to a ... Read More
Our trip began with a three night stay in Venice (booked by myself) at Locanda Ca Le Vele, which was a completely lovely experience in every way. I can't say as much for getting there from the airport, which was confusing, due to a combination of sweat, fatigue, and lack of direction. The Italians could use some signs at the airport as well as at Piazalla Roma. That said (you have to mention the bad here as well as the good) we ADORE Venice and will go back to stay for a much longer time. The Cruise: We took the vaporetta (water bus) from our hotel to Piazalla Roma and FINALLY located the free shuttles to the ship port. There we had to drag our luggage all over the place till we located the baggage check area for RCI. Free of bags, the rest of check in was smooth and we were aboard by 1pm, within an hour of our arrival at the dock. CABIN: The ship was clean, albeit older, and the rooms were quite nice, including the noticeably new bedding. Our cabin steward, Wyan, was pleasant and accommodating as stewards have always been on our cruises. We had a Junior Suite, which is slightly larger than a Veranda(balcony)room, and has a bathtub. DINING: The Windjammer food was monotonous, but if you stuck to marinated foods, salads and sandwiches, you could avoid the pitfalls of overeating buffet mystery dishes, smothered in sauces. That's my secret to staying slim while cruising. That said, the King and I dining experience was very nice and the food was always good. Our server, Dinesh was an absolute LOVE in every way, going out of his way to make sure we had everything and more that we wanted. POOLS: Get your seat early! The outside chairs fill up after 9 and there's only the upper decks or the Solarium. The Solarium pool was my favorite place throughout the trip. The water was always the right temperature and although it was warm, it was always tolerable for me compared to baking in the hot sun. It was seldom crowded and there were no kids running around to interrupt the peaceful atmosphere. Swimming there after dinner was heavenly. Mom and I loved it! ENTERTAINMENT: The second night we attended the Beatlemaniacs show, and while the music was mildly entertaining, I was glad when it ended. That was the only show we attended, although I did hear horrendous singing by a lounge act one evening while browsing through the photo gallery. We don't cruise for the entertainment, thankfully. PORTS: The ports were all nice, although not exceptional, except Corfu. Corfu was an absolute delight. Crete, I could have lived without and I suggest that they change to Mykonos or Santorini instead. In Ephesus we had a private tour arranged with Levent(lost his name, but it's in the boards under Destinations-Ephesus)and a wonderfully knowledgeable lady named Hulye met us at the dock and took us to Ephesus in an air conditioned van. It was very pleasant and she was extremely educated in the history of the region. We had an unseasonably cool morning so all was comfortable till near the end of our tour, when she sidetracked us to a pottery factory where they were obviously wanting to sell us something, and then on to a rug factory where they attempted to ply us with tea and snacks in order to show us rug after rug. By that time we were exhausted, it was very hot outside and we just wanted to be on our own, but felt a bit like captives. I would definitely mention to Levent that you would like to SKIP the factory tours-unless you want to buy local pottery and rugs. Seeing the way things were made was somewhat enjoyable, but less so because we KNEW we would have to hear a sales pitch afterward. We paid $55 pp for 5 of us and tipped $10 each for this private tour. It was worth the money to avoid being herded like cattle around historic sites. Debarkation in Venice was tedious, to say the least. They called a color/number and when you went down, you had to stand for almost an hour in line to board the shuttle buses that took you to baggage claim and customs. SLOW, SLOW SLOW. The airport was again chaotic as we had to keep our bags with us till our flight check in time came up-in 2 hours! We had hoped to be able to check in and leave our bags while we went into Venice for a couple of hours, but were unable to do so as they would NOT check our bags till our flight check in opened. In spite of the travelling inconveniences, this was a very successful and enjoyable vacation for us, my husband and son, and my parents who joined us for Venice and for the cruise. If I can suggest ONE and only ONE thing it's PACK LIGHT! I would say skip the formal wear and bring ONE small rolling case and one carry on that's light and easy to carry. There are no door to door taxi's in Venice...unless you pay $100 for a water taxi directly to your hotel. All that aside, Venice is magical! I dream of living there one day. Read Less
Sail Date July 2006
SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS. We recently returned from a seven-night Croatia and Greek Islands Cruise on board the Splendour of the Seas. The itinerary included the ports of Piraeus and the beautiful ports of Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik. The ... Read More
SPLENDOUR OF THE SEAS. We recently returned from a seven-night Croatia and Greek Islands Cruise on board the Splendour of the Seas. The itinerary included the ports of Piraeus and the beautiful ports of Mykonos, Rhodes and Dubrovnik. The cruise departed and returned to the port of Venice. We had chosen the air/sea option, flying from Manchester airport (United Kingdom). At the airport, Royal Caribbean Representatives were on hand to answer any last minute questions. The flights to and from Venice, departed on time, they were charter flights and were comfortable but the food served during both flights was poor. On arrival at Venice airport, again there were a large number of RCI Representatives to direct passengers, after they had claimed their luggage on to the waiting coaches for the short transfer to the port of Venice. At the docks, luggage is checked in for the cruise at an out-building and passengers then walk to the terminal building a short distance away for check-in. Even though there were large queues for check-in these moved swiftly due to the efficiency and professionalism of the staff on duty. If passengers check-in in advance by the Sea Pass system on line, the process is even swifter. After check-in and security procedures, passengers then board another bus that takes them to the ship. If passengers have mobility difficulties, the port of Venice is not sympathetic to those guests with special needs or those with walking difficulties. The Splendour of the Seas has now been in service for 10 years. Despite its age, the ship is very well maintained and is spotlessly clean throughout. Seating I n public rooms is comfortable and cabins though compact have all the necessary facilities to match any four-star hotel on land. The one drawback is that they do not have refrigerators, but ice buckets are replenished twice daily during cabin servicing. The beds are really comfortable. The staff on board are friendly and eager to please. Food in the main restaurant is well presented, varied and served by a staff who take pleasure in their work. They will go the extra mile to cater for any special requirements and to satisfy guests needs. The restaurant itself is bland and lacks character and warmth. In the less formal, buffet style restaurant, whilst the standard of food and presentation has greatly improved since our last cruise on this ship, the food does become repetitive. There is only the availability of the basic fruits, very few exotic fruits such as mangos, papayas etc. The choice of cheese is limited. The selection of breads and desserts is excellent. Fruit juices are noticeably watered down and again limited in selection. A number of self-service vending machines were out of order for the duration of the cruise. Entertainment on board was poor. The Production Shows were very loud and certainly not of the standard expected. During the 1st show, some 28 people walked out of the theatre, which was never full, during the show. On one particular night there was no professional show or individual headliner entertainment. The three items on offer to guests were a game show, Karaoke or a Greek Party. If we had wanted to see a Love and Marriage Game Show, we could have watched one on television at home. If we had wanted Karaoke, we could have visited the local pub. A Greek Party Night  not everyones cup of tea. The musical and vocal groups on board were good. There are far too many on-board unnecessary announcements for Bingo, Art Auctions etc, creating a sort of holiday camp atmosphere rather than the ambience of a Four- star cruise ship. The entertainment programme lacked focus and direction. There are numerous bars throughout the ship, serving reasonably priced drinks. The drinks were well presented and full of flavour. Prices on board as in $ USD. Be aware, especially guests from the United Kingdom. Royal Caribbean asks on the form that you sign and present to them for on-board credit, if you wish them, to convert, at the end of the cruise, your total billing from $ (USD) to £ (GBP). We said no, but they did it anyway, but will change this on demand. They convert at the Royal Caribbean Rate and not at the current bank rate. Thus the difference in the Royal Caribbean Rate and the then bank rate at the time, for my account was $30.00 (USD) in their favour. Guests should note that on this itinerary, first seating dinner is at 6.30pm and second seating is at 9.00pm. The show for second seating guests usually commenced at 11.15pm, although on two occasions, second seating guests had pre-dinner shows. Another thing to watch out for is that no two ship clocks on board show the same time, some were up to three-quarters of an hour out. I reported this twice but nothing seemed to be done about it. With years of experience behind them, Royal Caribbean offers and provides a good cruise experience for the masses. If you require individuality and a more personal level of service with finesse, you will probably be disappointed. This seven-night loop cruise is an ideal way to visit the Eastern Mediterranean, and provides a good experience for the monies paid. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We were on the Splendour sailing on June 25th for 7 days traveling from Venice-Athens-Mykonons-Rhodes-Dubrovnik-Venice. We would rate our trip as a positive experience, enjoying the ports and the activities on the ship. We arrived the ... Read More
We were on the Splendour sailing on June 25th for 7 days traveling from Venice-Athens-Mykonons-Rhodes-Dubrovnik-Venice. We would rate our trip as a positive experience, enjoying the ports and the activities on the ship. We arrived the night before the cruise and stayed at Casa Rezzonico, a small B&B that was perfect for one quick night. We had time to roam around Venice for a few hours in the morning and picked our luggage up at the hotel at 1PM to start our journey to the ship. RCCL does not give travelers much information on how to make it to the ship if you don't use their transfer service so I did some independent research on CC to find the best way there. We decided to walk it. We are a husband/wife 44/42 traveling with two 18yr old boys. It was a very hot walk and took us approx. 15 minutes to reach Piazzle Roma and another 20 minutes to get to the port area. We accidently made a wrong turn towards the port following a side that said "passenger terminal". That was the first left, do not take that street, you need to take the 2nd left to actually reach the cruise terminal. The sidewalk ends as you make your way there and you have to intersect with some traffic. A security officer checked our cruise tickets and guided us to the proper luggage drop off location. There was a RC rep there who told us where to go for embarkation procedures. It's upstairs in the yellow terminal building, Costa uses the same building. Embarkation was done by floor (we had aft cabin 6122) there was also a line for people who had filled out there sail pass but we did not see this until after we had checked in. The line moved extremely slooooow but very cold water, lemonade and cookies were being served to the guests. After finishing there we moved over to the security screening and passports were collected after going through security. You then walk downstairs and get onboard a bus that will take you over to the ship. There was no line up at all to get on the ship, sail & sign photos were quickly taken and we were on our way to our cabin. Our cabin was made up into 2 beds even though I designated that I wanted them as one bed on our online registration. I met our cabin steward just outside and she quickly fixed the problem. We had great service from her, she was quiet and efficient with service twice a day. I can't say the same for our table service--it was just terrible. We had table #107, late seating. After the 2nd evening our head waiter had been "quarantined" to his cabin for the next 5 days never to be heard from again. His name was Enrique. The assistant waiter Antonio was just plain horrible. After serving us 1 roll each he only served the other tables in his area. This was every night at dinner. We constantly had to ask for our sodas and he never cleared the dishes when we were finished with the courses. We were seated at table for 10 and about mid week one of the British ladies at our table complained to the table captain who then served us himself for the rest of the week. After Enrique took "sick" they had given us to the waiter next to our table and I think it was just more than he could handle. Dinners were taking well over 2 hours to finish. All the other diners were finished with their meals when we were just being served the main course. Others CC'rs that we knew on board though had good dining experiences so I do think ours was a unique situation. It was nice to have Monday as a day at sea as we were still catching up on some sleep time. DH went to the adult pool area which was nice and quiet, not busy and plenty of loungers available. They do not open the retractable roof though so it remains pretty hot in solarium area. Staff was very prompt on getting the underage kids out of this pool area when they tried to use. The pizza & burger area is back here as well. Food here was very bland and not so great. Even my son complained that it wasn't very good. Next day was our day in Athens. We joined another CC family on a private tour. Athens has been having trouble with public demonstrations and this day was no exception. We (and the ship excursions as well) pretty much got stuck in traffic for quiet a bit of the time. We made it to the Acropolis just fine but had a hard time making it to other sights. We did make it to the Temple of Zeus, the Olympic Stadium and the Plaka. Found that the Plaka was a lot of junky tourist shops and not worth the effort of going there. I did enjoy the ancient ruin sights, they are well worth the visit. It was very hot but we were lucky in that a good wind was blowing that day that help to keep us cooled off a bit. We hired a guide at the entrance, she charged 60 E for the 7 of us. Very reasonable. One comment that we kept hearing and we were making ourselves was that we could not understand why the day in Athens was so short. RC needs to extend the day there, you arrive at 12 and are out of there at 7PM. Not enough time. The ship travels at such a slow speed overnight after leaving Athens and gets to Mykonos at 8AM the next day. I really enjoyed our day at Mykonos. We booked the ship's tour to Delos at 8:30 so we could get an early start. We found our guide to be a bit trying so we ditched her about 1/2 way through and went on our own. We wandered the ruins and museum until our group departed at 12:30. We had to wait for the group to return together so that we could get our transport bus pass back to the ship. The tour guide holds the tickets hostage until after you get back from the excursion. Ridiculous. We then had a lovely day wondering the small tiny streets of Mykonos. We got some great photos of the area. Wandered to little Venice for lunch and ate outdoors to a great view-very nice. I really liked this area. Beautiful flowers overhanging everywhere. We hopped on board the shuttle bus at 4:30 with our tickets from the mornings excursion-no problem. We had prepurchased international cell phones through Mobal and gave one to our son & his friend so that they could wander the ports without us. They worked perfect and it was easy to make sure that they had made it back to the ship each time. We had dinner onboard that night. Next stop was Rhodes. I had prebooked a rental minivan with Rodos cars so that we and our CC friends could join us. We drove to Lindos, which was very easy to find. The car rental company brought the car right to the port and all we had to do was to lock it up and drop the keys through the car window when we were finished. Very easy and it was nice to take the day at our pace. We finished it off by looking around Old Town and having lunch there. Lots and lots of tourist type of shops. It's an easy walk back to the ship. At this point I was pretty tired of tourist shops although I loved all the leather sandel shops that were around. Friday-Day at Sea. Thank God. After 3 days of back to back ports we needed a rest. Spent the day leisurely at the solarium, having a nap, playing bingo and trivia games. I also had gone to the scrapbooking class on the previous sea day, they did not have another one on Friday even the Luca thought they would. Saturday-Dubrovnik. After so many ports of tourist traps, we decided to book a last minute excursion. Kayaking. I'm glad we did it as it was nice to get out on the water and do something besides walk everywhere. We kayaked for about 3 hours all together with a swim and snorkel stop along the way. Little did we know that we would be passing a nude beach/rock area as well. We had approx. 15 minutes to make a mad dash into the city walls after we finished kayaking to take a few pictures. It looked beautiful from the water and the little we saw of the inside. Wish we would have had more time. The teens had decided they would just wander around for the day but ended up being quite board here. My son told me today that he wished he had done the kayaking with us. For those who like to kayak though-they are sit on tops, no sea kayaks so we were a bit disappointed. Then back to Venice, disembarkation went very smooth. We had requested an early time as we had a photography shoot booked for 9AM from our hotel and needed to get there ASAP. We self carried our luggage to speed the process along and it worked just fine. There was no mad rush of people that you seen in the states. After leaving the terminal we looked to the right and saw the free shuttle bus to Piazzale Roma. I'm wondering if they run that same service for embarkation as well. We were not aware of it. The shuttle got us to the P. Roma by 8AM and we took the Vaporetta to our hotel. Dining room food, we are not gourmet eaters by any means, we found the food to be just average. My son tried several of the fish dishes and especially enjoyed the Chef's recommendation of the cod to be very good. Steaks were hit and miss as to the "doneness" of them. If you ordered medium often time is came out well done. The biggest surprise was when about 1/2 of our table ordered the pear appetizer expecting a fresh 1/2 pear and we basically got a dish that was like cold pear soup. My husband and son both rented tuxes after we got onboard the ship. There is a tailor who sets up a table with flowers near the dining room on Sunday night who can help you with the order. I'm glad we did it as I now have some great photos of both of them all dressed up. Photos on board were fine, I liked the casual shots they did with the white background. They were fun and not your typical cruise shots. My son and his friend did get kicked out of the disco the first night because I had their cards punched so that they could not order drinks. 18 year olds are allowed in the disco whether they can drink or not so I had a little discussion with the pursers office over the incident. They apologized for the inconvenience and the kids did not have any trouble getting in again. They did find it a little boring on the ship though. Too old for the teen club and too young for the adult scene. It's a tough age. They did meet up with some other guys their age from around the world and enjoyed their company for the rest of the cruise. I went to the shopping talk and bingo on the first day at sea and attendance was very low. I was surprised there were so few people at bingo. Maybe it picked up during the week, not sure as that was the only time I went. The ship never seemed to be crowded and in fact seemed very quiet. I also hit the slot machines in the casino and won a little money,staying ahead. We did go dancing one night after dinner and enjoyed the band and the dancing. There was a hula hoop contest-so practice up people! We were return visitors to Royal Caribbean but did not go to the party. They did deliver our book bags to our cabin the next day since we did not attend. I did like the coupon books and used several of them during the voyage. Entertainment-was OK. The music was good, dancers good. Magic show was very amateurish and we were very disappointed that there was no comic act during the cruise. We also had a violinist one night. I would give the entertainment a "D" grade beyond the ships bands, orchestra and dancers-they get a "B". Another aspect that I really enjoyed on the ship was the number of international guests. 6 of the guests at our table were from Great Britain and we thoroughly enjoyed meeting everyone. One last note: We traveled light on this ship. First time for me to try this on a cruise. I really did not want to lug tons of luggage around with us as we stayed in Italy for an additional week after the cruise. We used the laundry services onboard and found the service on this to be excellent. I just wish the Royal Caribbean would see the light and start putting in self service laundry rooms like Carnival. Overall, we really enjoyed our Eastern Med cruise. The 7 days was just right as it allowed us time to spend a week in Italy afterwards. My heart now belongs to Venice! Ciao! Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
We just got back from a seven night Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Splendour of the Seas. I was nervous about the trip as I couldn't find any reviews of the cruise (except for one very negative review). However, my concerns were ... Read More
We just got back from a seven night Eastern Mediterranean cruise on the Splendour of the Seas. I was nervous about the trip as I couldn't find any reviews of the cruise (except for one very negative review). However, my concerns were unfounded as the trip was wonderful. There was plenty to do--even for our two children, 13 and 11. The food was deliciously prepared and presented--even the girls had no problem choosing something to eat. The stops were magnificent--out of Venice, to Athens, Myknons, Rhodes, Dubrovnik (Croatia), and back to Venice. The stop in Mykenos was by far our favorite--we even took a taxi to a beach, and spent the day on the Mediterranean. We also loved Dubrovnik, although there was a major glitch at the port getting everyone off and onto the dock (we tendered there). We personally had no problems (we were very fortunate), but there were a number of very disgruntled travellers when we finally left port (1 1/2 hours late). The crew works very hard to make the trip pleasant. The ship is also very clean (which is a big deal to me), and the twice daily stateroom service is much appreciated. The live shows were outstanding--there was a Big Band show that we loved so much we saw it twice in one night. There was also a Motown group that was out of this world! They were absolutely fantastic--the audience was on its feet! I have no reservations about recommending this cruise. The scenery is absolutely spectacular, making this a once in a lifetime trip. My only complaint is that the cruise line makes you pay for the shuttle service into the cities, when you dock. It is $4 per person, per trip ($8 round trip, per person). This seems very unnecessary and even trite, considering how expensive this trip is. Also, embarkation seemed chaotic and disorganized. This needs work. Disembarkation was very smooth and went without a hitch. Read Less
Sail Date June 2006
Overall, this was our best cruise to date. We have taken three cruises and this one had the highest overall rating for the total experience. Ship: We found the ship to be very well kept, clean and modern. The overall passenger ... Read More
Overall, this was our best cruise to date. We have taken three cruises and this one had the highest overall rating for the total experience. Ship: We found the ship to be very well kept, clean and modern. The overall passenger demographics was quite evenly mixed which was a pleasant surprise. Not very many kids, but some. Overall a wide range of ages. About half of the passengers were from the US. Large contingent from UK and Australia. The Internet consoles were new and modern, but some of the connectivity was poor. They charge $0.50 a minute, so be careful, you may waste a lot of money. I recommend using Internet in port which can be as low as 5 euros for a full hour. Very minimal smoking on this ship which was very nice. Pretty much only areas was Schooner bar and the casino and fortunately not many smoked in casino. Entertainment: Not bad. Overall I think the sign and dance troupe were one of the best I have seen on a cruise ship. The comedian was not very funny and most of the vaudeville stuff was entertaining. Nothing was Vegas class, but overall the quality was decent and most people were entertained. Overall, the ports were pretty active and the ship kept everyone pretty busy, so there is little time to be bored. Staff: Generally, the entire staff constantly go out of the way to make the cruise exciting and fun. They are always working hard to meet your every need or request. No complaints here. Ports: Think HOT. Any later than the end of the May and these ports would be so hot, I would not want to visit. Most ports were upwards of 35 degrees Celsius at mid day. Most of the tours will I give you a bottle of water, but make sure to take extra. The ship will charge you $2 a bottle and you cannot get bottles of water on your coke card. Greece: Corfu is a beautiful island. Take some time to explore the countryside and relax. The wine tasting tour is nothing more than getting a glass of cheap local wine with your lunch. Enjoy the tour of the island, dont go for the wine tasting. Athens does not have much to do outside of visiting the Acropolis. But dont miss the Acropolis  this is a sight to see. Save your shopping for Turkey. There are some stores in Greece, but nothing special and no special deals. Turkey: This is the place to buy your souvenirs. If you pay any more than 50% of what their first offer is, you got ripped off. Kusadasi is where you can buy $15 Louis Vuitton imitation purses, $75 Patek Phillpe watches and $5 Lacoste polo shorts. A very fun and beautiful place. Definitely take the tour of Ephesus  it is an ancient city not to be missed and is simply amazing. Worth every penny. Food: The food was good, but not the best we have had as far as cruise ships go. Nothing to complain about, it just was not the best to date. The main dining room service was nice, but many of the wait staff had difficulty with English, despite their experience in working on the ship for 8 years! The pizza in the solarium was fair  nice when you needed a late night snack, but nothing to write home about. There will be 2 formal nights. We dressed up, but many people dont dress as fancy. Very few people actively dressed down, but there were a few. Most people seem to have fun dressing to the nines. Breakfast and lunch in the main dining room will be the same for the entire cruise. The coke card at $42 is a ripoff for adults. You would have to drink at least 6 sodas a day to break even  I dont think people can really drink that much soda. The wine package is overall a savings  but you still have to pay gratuity and VAT tax. But in the end, if you want to have a bottle of wine every day with dinner, this will definitely save you a few bucks. They had great coffee on the ship  Royal Caribbean blend of Seattles Best which many passengers went out of the way to compliment. Cabin: we had a junior suite which was quite spacious and had a lot of storage. The extra room and balcony eliminated any sense of claustrophobia and it was relaxing. Most of the furniture is new and the bedding is new. I found the air conditioning to be adequate on the ship unlike some older Carnival lines that we have taken which have been very humid and warm. Our cabin steward was attentive and helpful. On the first day, he ensured we had extra pillows (feather, my preference) on the bed and and egg crate foam on the top to make it softer. I think the junior suite is great value for the very reasonable cost. The bathroom was a little outdated, but very functional. Low water pressure, but plenty of hot water on demand. No outlets in room! Actually there is one by the desk  so dont plan on plugging anything in except your hair dryer. The one in the bathroom is in the ceiling and marked electric razors only. They give you bars of soap and a body wash dispenser in the cabin, but no shampoo or conditioner. Bring your own if you need it. Embarkation and debarkation: was a breeze. One of the fastest I have seen. I really did not feel we had to wait around to board or depart. When we arrived in Venice, we had booked the $30 transfer with the cruise line. They picked us up right from our flight, put us on a bus and took us to the terminal. They had nice cold lemonade in the terminal and we had to wait about 2 hours to board, but it was not too bad. Our flight got into Venice about 9 AM, and I think we boarded the ship by 11:30 or 12:00. Once on board, we grabbed a great lunch in the Windjammer and our room was fresh and ready by 1:00. Our bags were practically at our room by the time we finished lunch. It was nice that on the day of departure, we could leisurely eat breakfast, go back to room, grab bags and leave. We did not have to wait for hours to depart in a common lounge. A lot of people stress before the cruise about embarkation and debarkation and overall this is not something to worry about for this cruise. Getting to our hotel: We stayed at the Sofitel in Venice. We took the free shuttle from the cruise ship terminal which runs to Piazzo Le Roma. We then walked from the bus yard to our hotel about 100 yards away. We found the Sofitel to be very nice and very convenient for spending an extra day in the city post the cruise and then easily returning to the airport. Overall we paid around 247 Euros for one night which seemed to be a good deal given what we heard others paying. Deck activities: A lot of people played put-put golf, wall climbing and other activities, but I found it so windy, that it was often uncomfortable. We ended up spending most afternoons in the solarium which we found to be very comfortable, sunny, but without the wind or extreme sun. Venice: If you want to buy Murano glass, visit the factory which is neat on the island of Murano, but dont buy anything there. Everything will be at least 50% cheaper in the main shops of Venice. You can easily get back and forth between the islands for about 10 euros on the water taxi. You actually can eat reasonable in Piazzo Marco  just choose the lunch specials for a fixed price. Dont choose a-la-carte, you will pay a fortune. We only spent one day here, but that was fine for us. You can easily see the whole city in one day, although some may want to spend two to walk through it at a leisurely pace. Leaving Venice: This was a piece of cake. We walked about 100 yards from our hotel, hopped on the blue bus that runs every hour to Marco Polo airport for 3 Euros each. Some people choose to get ripped off by taking a 100+ Euros water taxi. Dont do it. Read Less
Sail Date May 2006
Took RCI Splendour of the Sea for a 5-day cruise out of Galveston. It was excellent. Seas were as smooth as glass. Ship much better than I expected based on previous review comments about the age. Day 1 at sea extremely windy - spent ... Read More
Took RCI Splendour of the Sea for a 5-day cruise out of Galveston. It was excellent. Seas were as smooth as glass. Ship much better than I expected based on previous review comments about the age. Day 1 at sea extremely windy - spent deck time in the solarium and away from children (children have to be 16+ to be in solarium area). If children do get in, eventually RCI will ask them to leave or you can go get a RCI employee and notify them of the children. Must admit it is nice to enjoy a pool that is probably not 50 percent urine with the water. Cozumel is still being tendered in and quite frankly, not worth the bother to get off the ship. Went to a snorkeling area called Uba beach and rented clear kayaks - lots of fun. Shopping was the same old stuff you see at every other port. Unless you are a big drinker and just have to visit places like Carlos & Charlies & Senior Frogs - would skip Cozumel. Tendering out is fine and quick. Tendering back to the boat is long, hot and they definitely OVERLOAD the tender which is very unsafe. Costa Maya unbelievably beautiful. Amazingly unspoiled and pristine beaches. Water/sand color is magnificent. Yes the vendors sell the same stuff but somehow I enjoyed buying from them more ... some of the locals just seemed more sincere than those in the bigger ports. You simply have to see it before the developers turn it into another Playa del Carmen, Cancun or Cozumel. Cruise staff very polite, fun and accommodating. Everything was fantastic. Breakfast buffet in Windjammer always good -- lunch was average but then I'm not a big buffet person - usually not too many "healthy" choices on buffet lunches. Dinner in the dining room was excellent every evening. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
RCCL let us start our cruise in Key West instead of Galveston. Nice smooth boarding which was a pleasant surprise since getting the alternate port set up with RCCL had not been smooth until we found an internet agent who knew the rules for ... Read More
RCCL let us start our cruise in Key West instead of Galveston. Nice smooth boarding which was a pleasant surprise since getting the alternate port set up with RCCL had not been smooth until we found an internet agent who knew the rules for getting it done. We were also initially pleased with the move up to deck 8 from deck 7 in spite of not seeing much difference in the cabins. Then we found out that the cabin on deck 8 was near the stern instead of the middle of the ship. We were told we had to live with the change. We had to endure far more engine and prop noise then we would have in the center of the ship. As a couple with about 30 cruises behind us this was not so much bad as disappointing. What was bad was: The mattresses in the cabin were lumpy and stained. It took five days of complaining to get new ones which were harder then the floor. Considering how nearly useless the purser's staff was with the mattresses we just did not bother to complain about the dirty black bottom edge of the shower curtain. Who inspects the cabins. Our room steward seemed to be trying hard but without support there was little he could do. Speaking of support we wrote an email to RCCL customer support over a week ago and the only response we have to date is a form saying don't email us again as it 'may' delay our looking into your complaint. We offered to send high quality digital photos. The food was fairly decent and the ports were nice. In fact the only reason we selected this transatlantic was that it ended in Lisbon. Based on the poor experience with the balcony cabin it is likely to be a very long time before we book another RCCL ship. How sad since the Celebrity division has been more then satisfactory for us. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
Background Information - This was our first cruise. Our party had 4 people in it. 2 adults early 40s, 1 15 year old, 1 11 ¾ year old Travel To Port of Embarkation  We arrived from Milwaukee at 12:15pm, leaving Milwaukee at 6:30am via ... Read More
Background Information - This was our first cruise. Our party had 4 people in it. 2 adults early 40s, 1 15 year old, 1 11 ¾ year old Travel To Port of Embarkation  We arrived from Milwaukee at 12:15pm, leaving Milwaukee at 6:30am via Northwest. There is a station with cruise lines where you check in right by the baggage pick up area. You give them the vouchers if you paid for the transportation between the airport and the port. They said the buses run every 30 minutes. We waited 1 hour and 15 minutes for a bus that was fully loaded when it arrived but they squeezed us in. The bus was in a very bad state and had a horrible odor coming from the bathroom on board. CLUE #1: Take out some comfortable clothes from your luggage before you put on the bus as it may be a long time until you see your luggage next. We didnt and were sorry. WE put our luggage on the bus at 1:45pm, arrived at the port around 3:30pm where they unload and deliver your luggage to your room. CLUE #2: Check in looked to take most folks 5 minutes. We had a very old woman check us in and it took her 30 minutes. She screwed up the room keys putting the charging on the kids cards and not ours etc. We mentioned this in the cruise survey that she needs a new job. Funny, when we leaving to go home we saw her wondering around the customs area looking just as confused. CLUE #3: They make you do a MUSTER drill that takes like 30 minutes or more to complete. If you are afraid of tight spaces or crowds wait until the very last minute to go up the the deck to do this. This was a horrific experience for me as you are packed liked sardines together with life jackets on all on the same deck for a long time until everyone on the ship is accounted for. This means if the ship holds 1500 people all 1500 hundred are on the same deck at one time and are checked in on a clipboard. ISSUE #1: When they let us off this deck we went back to our rooms to take the life jackets off. We kept seeing folks trip in front of us and decided to watch were we were stepping so we did not trip too since the crowd issue had already become a problem during the muster drill. These folks were tripping over our luggage!!!! It was around 5:30pm. We were very upset as our formal clothes were being stepped on by tons of folks. This was happening with Royal Caribbean personnel standing 5 feet away. I guess they were focused on keeping the folks moving rather than our stuff getting trashed. We stopped up everyone and picked up the 7 pieces of luggage being tripped on and took them to our room OURSELVES.  Stateroom  My husband and 15 year old son stayed in one Oceanview room and me and my almost 12 year old stayed in another Oceanview room next to them. They did not adjoin. We were on the 3rd deck rooms 3518 and 3520. The rooms were tiny, but we read they would be. The mattresses were uncomfortable, but we read they would be as well. " CLUE #4: If you are traveling as a family and do not have adjoining rooms, bring walkie talkies OR get keys to each others rooms. We probably spent 20% of our time aboard ship looking for one another.  Ship Info  If you are into swimming this is NOT the ship for you. They had 2 pools. One that was salt water and could only be used at certain times with kids and was small AND one that was on deck 9 outside that was as small (maybe 40 ft by 25 ft) that hundreds of folks tried to flock around. I never was able to get close enough to even put my foot in with all the small children and sunbathers in their. It was disappointing. My kids put their swim trunks on ONCE in the 5 days.  Dining  We ate breakfast in the Windjammer daily. Yes  the scrambled eggs were running as listed in many of the reviews. The omelets however were great and prepared fresh. The juice was less watered down then the reviews said they would be. We had late seating and ate in the King and I. Our servers were WONDERFUL (Joliet and Jose). The food was great as well. You can get doubles on any of the items. My 15 year old ordered 2 prime rib dinners. CLUE #5: They do not enforce the dress code in the King and I. For our family this was a blessing. CLUE #6: Pictures they take will be found on deck 6 for purchase. We did not find them until the last day of the cruise as they kept saying to view them, just not where they were located.  Activities  Well there were some. My 15 year old NEVER let up with how bored he was and how much he hated being on the ship. They had mini golf on the ship, but it was windy and too frustrating to even try. They had a rock climbing wall that was open less than 5 hours of the entire cruise of 5 days. They have a gym  but they would not allow our 15 year old in stating he had to be 16. He is not into sunbathing  thus he sat in the very tiny ocean view room watching tv. Our almost 12 year old mingled and played video games in an area of probably 8 ft by 12ft most of the time. He too complained of being bored, but much less than his older brother. He met up with some other kids and basically you saw the kids walking around the ship in packs. " "Children's Clubs  they had them, but really only kids that were much younger seemed to have organized activities. 12 and older, were bored. Service  TOP NOTCH. They staff on this ship treat you well. Leo and Jan in the Schooner bar quickly became our favorites. Even walking by they would say hi to you by your first name. They were personable and very, very good to us. Our room attendant as well was great. His name was Renard. We had brought soft sided coolers with us; including a 12 pack of beer in each of them in our luggage. Some folks said it would get confiscated and to hide it in your rooms as the attendant would take it as well. Not only did we get it aboard, BUT our attendant filled our coolers with ice while we were out to keep our beer cold. He also made the famous towel art  which was a highlight of our day to come and see. Entertainment  The shows were ok. Not great and not bad. There was a juggler act, dancing act, singing act and newlywed game show. We also did Bingo to break up the day. The Art shows really gagged my husband. If you go on this cruise line you will see why when you watch a few. Shore Excursions  Since this was a first time to Cozumel we did not organize any. We took a taxi in and walked around. There is a time share that is right where you depart the boat. If you get asked to go to it when walking the streets take them UP on it. They pay for your taxi ride back, give you free drinks, food and use of their beach and you are minutes from getting on the boat again. Do this before 1pm or they stop the tours. Costa Maya  we paid for a beach party and snorkeling $120. For this money we were to get an hour of snorkeling for 4 people. We got 30 minutes (they count the time it take to drive in the boat 5 minutes each way as time towards the hour). If you are doing the math we are still 20 minutes short. All I can say about that is their watches run differently out there if you get my drift. The beach party was to come with all the drinks you wanted, use of beach chairs, nachos, a main course meal for each of us and a locker. Oh yeah and a clean bath room. Well, we used the beach chairs  each drank one beer because the place looked filthy and a mixed drink was out of the question. So was eating any food they were making. It was gross. The bathroom initially was clean, but soon became filthy with no toilet paper. The lockers we had to argue about for 15 minutes to use and we had to give $5 with the promise we would be reimbursed. We had to argue to get our $5 back as we has expected based on all the rest of the scam. The name of the place was Quintos or Cuintos&& Just for my misery, our 15 year old son wanted to ride a jet ski. We negotiated 30 minutes for $40. Of course, the watch was running on Costa Maya time and he was on the jet ski 20 minutes. Disembarkation  This was done well. You had to have your bags out in the hallway by 10:30pm packed the night before you got off the boat. This was done very efficiently. " "Summary  We wanted to take a cruise for years and scrimped and saved until it was something we could afford to do as a family. We are thankful for the fulfilling this dream with our children. The food was wonderful and there was ample time to relax and that was very much appreciated. I think if we did this again we would need more ports as that was our favorite thing to do OR a ship with more water activity areas. We heard time and time again, folks saying that they had cruised on other cruise lines and the service from the staff was the best they have ever had. I have to believe that as we felt like ROYALTY even with the blundered luggage issue. BON VOYAGE to our new friends at Splendor of the SEAs: Jan, - Czech , Joliet, Jose, Leo and Renard. Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We are retired and this was our 9th cruise and first transatlantic. We rented a car to get to Galveston from Gulfport MS rather than drive our own vehicle and then flew from Lisbon to NO to get home. We stayed at the Days Inn in ... Read More
We are retired and this was our 9th cruise and first transatlantic. We rented a car to get to Galveston from Gulfport MS rather than drive our own vehicle and then flew from Lisbon to NO to get home. We stayed at the Days Inn in Galveston..clean, inexpensive and across the street from Hertz which made it easy to return our rented car. We then took a taxi to the pier. Now for the cruise. In a word, GREAT! We had booked an inside a few months prior and then were upgraded to an ocv a couple of weeks before sailing. Didn't think it would matter but, yes, we did enjoy looking out, even if just to check the waves! The food and entertainment on this cruise far exceeded our past cruise experiences which have included CCL, NCL, X and RCI. We requested a table for two as we were boarding and were assigned a great table in a good location. Our waiter and his asst were the best, as was our room attendant who on day one separated our beds (more room that way) and added a foam pad to each at our request. We'd read from past cruisers that the beds were very uncomfortable but future crosiers need not worry as one of the dry-dock upgrades immediately following this cruise was to be new bedding throughout! The entertainment was just fantastic. Bear with me while I do a run-down! Day 1 - comedian Steve Brunner Day 2 - Glen Smith..piano player and singer and add in fiddle player! Day 3 - singer Dolores Park Day 4 - juggler Michael James Day 5 - RC singers and dancers Day 6 - A Artistry of Florescence followed by Los Pampas Gauchos Day 7 - singer Michel Bell Day 8 - comedian/ventriloquist Michele La Fong Day 9 - RC singers and dancers in by far their best of two shows! Day 10 - magician John Westford Day 11 - violinist Hana Starosta Day 12 - Farewell show with comedian Jason McPherson I can only say WOW to this line-up and congratulations to the powers-that-be who amassed it!!! As for onboard activities, there were some and we did attend a wine tasting, a couple of cooking demos and an art auction but mainly we did our own thing..read, played cards and just relaxed. Now for the ports! Key West - took the 'Conch Train tour' which was okay. Nassau - walked around town and bought a few last minute items we'd forgotten. Bermuda - what a beautiful place and a first for us. We bought the unlimited bus and ferry ticket and rode all over all day. Would love to go there for an extended stay some day. The Azores - interesting, clean and friendly folks. Again took a on hour 'train' tour through some lovely parks and then, again, just walked around the town. Lisbon - We stayed there for 4 days before flying home. That would be another review in itself other than to say I wish we'd made it 2 instead of 4 as we were ready to come home. This is my first 'official' review and I hope I have not been too wordy! We are planning a westbound transatlantic on CCL's Liberty in November. They will have a very hard act to follow! Read Less
Sail Date April 2006
We went on a 4 night cruise out of Galveston. Embarkation was simple. We used Lighthouse cruise parking, which I HIGHLY recommend. They were helpful and waiting for us promptly when we returned. This was my first cruise, but I went with ... Read More
We went on a 4 night cruise out of Galveston. Embarkation was simple. We used Lighthouse cruise parking, which I HIGHLY recommend. They were helpful and waiting for us promptly when we returned. This was my first cruise, but I went with a party of 10, and everyone else had sailed Carnival previously. We had a large interior stateroom on deck 6 in the middle. I was so afraid that the room would be too small. The room was just fine. It was small, but it had a good feel to it. The bathroom was bigger than I thought it would be. It's bigger than the one in our RV. The most impressive thing is how well designed the room is. Lots of storage. The beds were comfortable. There was a blow dryer and safe in the room. I took my own air freshener, and I'm very glad I did because it is such a small area. Service was absolutely wonderful! Our stateroom was kept immaculate, and cleaned twice daily. On the third day we noticed that the toilet seat was kind of loose. It was annoying but I chose not to say anything, heck we only had one day left. Well, we left for dinner and returned to find a new toilet seat along with our made up room. I could not figure out how our stateroom attendant would have noticed that??? And how did she get it replaced so quickly! But she did. Dining room service was also top notch. Food was good. Some things excellent, some okay. But that depends on taste. I loved the maui maui tempura and the tiger shrimp. We liked the Windjammer best for breakfast. Honestly, we never did lunch because we ate so much for breakfast and we had to have room for dinner. Just outside the windjammer was a frozen yogurt stand. I highly recommend you try it. It was really good. Room service was okay. They kind of screwed up our order once but that's okay because there was no way we could have eaten all 6 plates of food anyway. :) LOL Cozumel was hit hard by the hurricane, just like everyone has said. My husband and the guys did the jeep/snorkel excursion. They liked it. They got to see all around the town and see how bad the damage was besides just at the pier. I was disappointed in the shopping. I did more shopping on the boat than I did on land. It was fun to see Cozumel, but I'm not sure I will go back. We really enjoyed the bars. There was a lot of live music. The service was A+. The casino- well, we learned by the end of the first day to stay out of there. It's hard to win. I only swam in the solarium. It was less crowded and peaceful. Very nice. There was motion on the boat. The first day I wasn't sure how well that would go over with me. I had a patch on. I thought the motion was more obvious when I was sitting still in a chair. Otherwise, after the first night I hardly noticed it. We had a full boat but it never really seemed crowded. The shows were pretty good. My favorite was the comedy the first night. Overall, I was very impressed with RCI and plan to cruise again with them. My family agreed that next time will definitely be RCI, if possible. Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
We traveled from Wichita, Kansas, approx. 660 miles. We stayed in Dallas the first night then onto Galveston. I traveled with DH, DD (22), DD (17), DD friend (17), DS (15), DD (10). We had an Aft JS 8084, 3 kids were in a superior Inside ... Read More
We traveled from Wichita, Kansas, approx. 660 miles. We stayed in Dallas the first night then onto Galveston. I traveled with DH, DD (22), DD (17), DD friend (17), DS (15), DD (10). We had an Aft JS 8084, 3 kids were in a superior Inside (8079) and the 17 year olds were in a closet interior (8555). We arrived in Galveston, very overcast, windy and sprinkling. Getting into the terminal was fine. There were Plenty of porters. We went thru security, it was very easy. I didnt need to take off jewelry or belts. I also had a cooler full of pop and water and they never looked at it. Check in was very fast. No waiting in lines, plenty of staff waiting to help. We went to our rooms and they were ready. It was approx. 1pm. I had ordered decorations and a cake for the 17 year old since this was her graduation gift. Her room looked great!! We were so happy with our suite and will never sail with out a aft JS. The only thing we were disappointed in was the bed. We asked for an egg crate mattress to be put on it and when we came back from the muster drill it was done. Every night we had a new towel animal. We rarely saw our room steward, but he did a fine job. We went up to the Windjammer and had lunch. It was too windy and wet to be outside so we all hung around in our suite. It was very comfortable since most of it was covered. Muster drill went off with out a hitch. The staff was very professional, not the usually silliness that you see in Muster drills. We went upstairs for the sail away and people were dancing with the staff to the music from the band. It was a typical reggae band, nothing too exciting. The dining room was beautiful very open feeling. The whole ship seemed easy to navigate and was very open feeling. Our waiter was James and our assistant was Monique. James was very serious about his job and didnt joke around at all. Monique seemed shy and didnt interact with us much. Their service was very professional and we were well taken care of. They always brought the 10 year olds dinner early so that she could go to kids club and not have to sit through an 1 ½ hour dinner. The bar service was supplied by Dejan. He brought us a new shooter every night in a souvenir shot glass. We collected all 5. We ordered for the 17 year olds and he never questioned their age since we paid for them. The first day at see was spent sunning. The wind was unbelievable and they closed the upper deck for sunbathers. It was too dangerous as the loungers were flying all over the place. We found a less windy place on deck 9 outside the spa. There was not bar service or music so we did miss that part. We had a beautiful sunset on the balcony and had fruit and cheese plates sent to the room to enjoy with our snuck on Long island ice teas. First port was Cozumel. We tendered in and it was very fast. We were anchored close to the International Pier. We split up our group and two went for Massages at Bare Foot in Cozumel. My husband had a shiatsu massage (she walked on his back for thru 20 min. My 22DD had her first massage and loved it. I took the other three kids and too a taxi to Blue Angle Dive Shop. The taxi was paid for by the Dive shop. Luis was our guide. They just had us get in the water in front of the shop. We swam against the current for approx. ½ mile. It was very difficult for my 10yo DD. Her snorkel didnt fit well so she was spitting and sputtering. I had her hold on to my life jacket and I drug her the entire way. Then the guide had everyone turn around and head back. I got out with my daughter. The reef was very disappointing, it was gone. We saw many small fish and a few medium ones. The hurricane really destroyed the reef. We got this trip as a freebie from our TA, so it didnt cost anything, thank God, because I would have upset had I paid for it. We then took a taxi to Paradise beach. The cost was 15$. When we arrived at noon the place was packed. We couldnt fine 7 chairs anywhere. We walked up the beach and found seven chairs but it was at San Franciscos beach. We were told if we ate and drank there, there would be no cover charge. The drinks were strong and the food was good. We all had quesadillas, and they were delish. They took very good care of us. They also had a pool that we all used. We took two taxis to the International pier (12$ each). The shops were nice. They were definitely trying to get the best price but we felt our bargaining went well. Several items that started at $100 we got for 28 to 30$. We bought clothing, jewelry, and Mexican souvenirs. We tendered back with out delay. The evening was spent at dinner and the show. The show was typical ship show. Some talent was better than others. We were entertained but not amazed. My DD and I went to the casino and did well on the slots. We went to bed winners. We went to bed the next 2 nights losers!! Costa Maya was cancelled. The captain attempted to dock three times but the waves were too big and the port authority sent us away. So we had a nice day at sea. The wind wasnt bad and we got plenty of sun. We went to Quest and thought it was funny. I cant tell you the details because you have to experience it yourself. I can tell you that I didnt know that adults could act so silly just to win a stupid key chain!!! My 10 yo DD loved the kids program. She went to it everyday and came home with a pillowcase and scarf and several trinkets to reminder of her fun. My 15yo DS finally agreed to go to the teen disco the 4th night and had a blast. He went again the last night and got home at 3 am. He had a lot of fun and wished he had gone earlier in the trip. He got kissed too!! The last day at sea was cold and windy. We tried to layout but the temperature kept dropping. So we shopped on board and found great deals on liquor. The casino was a no no since I was way behind!! The lobster at dinner was the best I have ever had on a ship. Usually it is dry but this was cooked just right. It was served with garlic shrimp and steamed vegs. The escargot were ok, not the best I have had. Dejan brought more shooters for everyone and off to the show. Disembarkation was very quick. We signed up for the Express disembarkation so we were ready to walk off the ship at 7 am. It was crowded on deck four and for about 15 minutes we felt like sardines. Once the line moved we went right thru customs, no questions asked. We loved the ship, the crew and the food. They were wonderful professional people. We would sail the Splendour again!! . Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
Background information: 34th cruise, mid-40s married couple with two college-age daughters along. Live near Galveston. Travel information: Since we were already at the Galvez Hotel in Galveston for a friends wedding, we booked the ... Read More
Background information: 34th cruise, mid-40s married couple with two college-age daughters along. Live near Galveston. Travel information: Since we were already at the Galvez Hotel in Galveston for a friends wedding, we booked the Cruise-package there and utilized their free parking and transfers. Excellent idea, I highly recommend this! Embarkation: Platinum members, so checking in took about 3 minutes! Stateroom: Since this was a short cruise, we never opt for a higher category cabin. Our cabin was small but functioned perfectly. Excellent menu of TV stations. A/C was great, bed was hard. Ship Info: The ship was fine. Does show some age, but that was to be expected. Easy layout, very similar to other RCCL ships we have been on. Dining: Second seating table 002. We were not impressed with the food. It was ok, just never had a meal that made us go WOW! Ate pizza, burgers and dogs during the day  they were pretty typical cruise food. Activities: These were standard just like every other cruise weve been on. Casino got lots of donations! Service: Cabin steward was sufficient. Didnt see him often, but for the most part he did a good job. Had to track down beach towels for shore excursion, but other than that, he did an OK job. Dining room waitress was awkward and asst. waiter was inept. Had to track down Asst. Head Waiter for help! Filling water glasses isnt rocket science! Room service was 30 minutes late on 2 of the 5 days we left out Breakfast menus? Pool bar waiters were plentiful and bartenders were friendly. Wait staff in Windjammer were very helpful. Shore excursion: Catch the Wave Snorkel Safari in Cozumel: this is not a luxury vessel as advertised. There are no hot/cold showers. There wasnt enough snorkel equipment for everyone. There is no towel service. There is no A/C. The bar and buffet were nice. Reefs are slow to recover from Hurricane Wilma. Uvero Beach Break in Costa Maya: great excursion. Nice beach, air-conditioned bus ride. Just as promised. Disembarkation: Disembarked ship 20 minutes ahead of the schedule, but stood in a long customs line in the terminal. Took another hour to get out of that! Summary: This was a relaxing vacation. Our group of friends had many fun moments. We enjoyed the 12 hole miniature golf and utilized the spa several times. Realizing that being on a cruise beats being at work any day&.there really wasnt anything about this cruise that exceeded our expectations. It was fun and relaxing, but nothing spectacular! Read Less
Sail Date March 2006
I just got back last night. Overall, it was a nice vacation, but very disappointing in some ways. Some of it was RC fault and some is probably mine. BOARDING -- We flew into IAH on Friday night and stayed at the Doubletree, which is set ... Read More
I just got back last night. Overall, it was a nice vacation, but very disappointing in some ways. Some of it was RC fault and some is probably mine. BOARDING -- We flew into IAH on Friday night and stayed at the Doubletree, which is set up with RC. We got up in the morning and got on the bus to Galveston. Bus ride was nice and quick - just over an hour. I think we lucked out. The boarding was really really fast. I was impressed with how quickly everyone was processed, through security and boarded. We got off the ship a little bit late (30 min.) but fairly easily and the shuttle got to the airport terminal timely. FOOD -- This was very disappointing. The Windjammer was a huge let down. The food was often cold and not all that great. I do not expect to get the best food ever from a buffet, but at least keep it hot or at least very warm. And what was with those horrible eggs? I have never seen eggs so runny. The only thing that saved me was the omelette station - except the men at the station could not understand anything I said to them. Also, the beverages were very inconsistent. The orange juice was often watered down and the lemonade was usually incredibly sweet and overly tart. Maybe they could taste the stuff before they give it to us. In the King and I (formal Dining Room), I thought that the service was fairly good. No complaints there at all - except one night almost everyone at our table received different menus with different items excluded-very confusing. The food was ok-nothing great. Steak always over cooked, which reminds me - the meat carving station in the Windjammer usually had very very low quality dry meat. The head waiter was kind of a freak. He always would come over and act like a lion or sing who let the dogs out. I think he thought we were laughing with him, but it was more like at him. ROOM -- We had an Ocean View room and it was fine. The bed was ridiculously uncomfortable. I slept better on the lounge chair by the pool. Our stateroom attendant was great - Leon. We always had fresh ice and always found ways to take care the room without running into him. He got a great tip. ENTERTAINMENT -- This was hit and miss. Some was good and some was not so good. The Love and Marriage was funny. Battle of the sexes was really bad. The singers and dancers did a nice job. The comedian was not that funny. Overall, I was really tired of every host or MC doing that "let me hear you... oh no, I am sure you guys can do better than that..." Maybe if they gave us something to clap or cheer about more, we would be more excited. The music was good. My only problem was that the pool band took so many breaks. They were on break more that they performed. I love the steel drums - can't get enough. The man and woman who performed at the Captain's reception and often in the Centrum were nice. It would have been even better if they knew more than just those six songs that they performed over and over. Pool games were fun and entertaining. It is amazing what people will do for practically nothing when on vacation. PORTS -- Cozumel: Tendering took longer than I would have liked (pier is in really bad shape). We had to wait 30 minutes to get off ship and almost an hour to get back on. Downtown and some beaches seemed to have made great progress after Wilma. Costa Maya: Beautiful port - plenty to do. Majahual was fun. Liked it even more than Cozumel. Mexico overall: I was really frustrated with the fact that you can not use prepaid calling cards (even international cards) at the pay phones. I guess they want the money spent there - not back home. The problem is, I don't think I should have to pay $1.50/minute. Oh well, you live and you learn. Another issue: why is so hard to get a Corona? It seemed like everywhere I went, all they had was XXs. That was weird to me. OTHER -- The Solarium was a complete waste of space in my opinion. They was a retractable roof, but only opened it the day we got on and off the ship. I would have loved to enjoy the Solarium on the sea days. I am sure it would have reduced the over crowding at the main pool as well. The pizza there was good though. Fitness room was good. They had a nice selection of cardio machines and free weights and other weight machines. I was able to work out a few days. The casino was fine. It had a good variety of games. My wife was really upset with a pit boss and complained about him because he was very rude to her. The bars were good and gave many diverse places to hang out and have a cocktail. OVERALL -- I guess this ship was not for us. We were much happier on the Adventure of the Seas (2002). We probably won't go on another ship smaller than Adventure. Hopefully the food has not deteriorated on all of the RC ships. We will definitely have to hedge our expectations going forward. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Ok here is the skinny... BOARDING: We arrived in Galveston at 1 so went and ate at FISH TALES on the sea wall in Galveston... Great food. Got to the ship around 2:15 or so and were on within 30 minutes... Very easy... DINING: ... Read More
Ok here is the skinny... BOARDING: We arrived in Galveston at 1 so went and ate at FISH TALES on the sea wall in Galveston... Great food. Got to the ship around 2:15 or so and were on within 30 minutes... Very easy... DINING: 3 out of 5 stars, basically comparable to Bennigens or Friday's. Any of the dining options were tasty. **AVOID** biscuits and gravy at the windjammer for breakfast... I don't know what the problem was there but 2 days in a row they were cold. ENTERTAINMENT: Pretty good. The main shows were enjoyable and there was always something to do onboard. I myself did not do a lot a my goal was to relax and not try to hit everything on the itinerary. PORTS: - Playa Del Carmen - This place is beautiful and tendering was a breeze. We did the beach break and in hind sight I would have just went and found a beach to sit on. For 40 bucks plus the price of a meal, I did not drink 40 bucks worth of drinks. Money wise you can fare better buying drinks and food on any of the other beaches. The shopping is typical Mexico shopping, all the shops are duplicates of each other. All prices are negotiable, if not, move to another shop. - Costa Maya - A port built by the cruise lines... First thing you do, get a ride and leave the main shopping area as this is shopping for cruisers only and prices on stuff is far cheaper out side of here. Go to Mahajual (spelling?) It is a fishing village but we found dresses for our daughters for half price of what they were at the main port or in Playa Del Carmen for that matter. Summary - Both ports are beautiful and offer as much or as little as you want to do. THE SHIP: A lovely ship. The colors and decor are very muted. Just much more refined than the last boat I was on which was the Ecstasy. All of the art deco and loud colors on that boat were not relaxing. This ship just had a relaxed feel which was lacking on the ecstasy. THE EXIT: This was about average as compared to my last experience, we were off of the ship around 10 and though customs by 10:30. I do like that now CUSTOMS and IMMIGRATION are the same person. This helped keep things moving at a decent pace. The exit is all in your frame of mind.. if you are in a hurry to get off you will be frustrated. If you get up, have some breakfast, coffee, etc... The time will go by a lot easier.. This is not the wordiest of reviews but some things you have to just find out. There is nothing I would you must avoid other than the ART AUCTIONS. We made the mistake of going to one on Carnival, the same company is on Royal Caribbean, I found the experience to be annoying and boring. We did not make the same mistake on this cruise. Just have a good time and don't worry about doing everything on the daily compass... Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
The service by Royal Caribbean is excellent. Very friendly, courteous, and diverse staff. The formal dining room staff and food was really great. The food in the Windjammer Cafe was basic and best for just a quick bite or snack. I ordered ... Read More
The service by Royal Caribbean is excellent. Very friendly, courteous, and diverse staff. The formal dining room staff and food was really great. The food in the Windjammer Cafe was basic and best for just a quick bite or snack. I ordered room service once and received the wrong food and spoiled salad dressing. The delivery person was good, but the food itself was disappointing. Breakfast in the formal dining room was better than the cafe. We had a large outside stateroom, which was more than sufficient for our time at sea. We liked the large window. The decor was nothing like the picture at the Royal Caribbean website. We experienced little rocking at level 3, mid-ship. Our room was near everything, but still quiet. Maid service was excellent. Our favorite area was the Solarium. We really enjoyed the quiet in the late morning and early afternoon. The warm saltwater pool is refreshing and there was no worry about getting too much sun. Our two ports of call were Cozumel and Costa Maya. Cozumel is still recovering from the hurricane last year. We had a wonderful time snorkeling and doing snuba through Mayan Paradise Tours. I highly recommend them to anyone interested in snorkeling or snuba. Costa Maya was my favorite. A beautiful, small, tropical place with white sand and clear water. We really enjoyed the tour of the Chacchoben Ruins that we booked online at chacchobenruins.com. It was a small group and the guides David & Carolina provided a ton of Mayan historical information. We chose Galveston Limousine for our shuttle transport from/to Houston (Bush) Airport. They provided good service and are less than the shuttle associated with the cruise line. Overall it was a great trip and I'd sail again with Royal Caribbean. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Overview  I love it! My only regret is that Im not still there. This was a five day cruise from Galveston TX, ports were Costa Maya and Cozumel. This was a working vacation as I had two days of professional training while we were at sea, ... Read More
Overview  I love it! My only regret is that Im not still there. This was a five day cruise from Galveston TX, ports were Costa Maya and Cozumel. This was a working vacation as I had two days of professional training while we were at sea, but did get to enjoy the ports. Dining - Service and cuisine were great. Sure there were things that I didnt care for, but attributed it to my tastes. I didnt go hungry and was usually too full to do much else afterwards. I know when we disembarked on the last day, my clothes were a lot tighter than they were 5 days earlier. Breakfast at both the dining room and windjammer were good. Eggs at the Windjammer should be avoided as they are runny. Everything else there was good. Of course the dining room food seemed to be better, just depended on if you were in a hurry or not. Service in both places was excellent, no complaints. I dont know about food at the Solarium as I didnt get a chance to try it. I I cant say anything about the spa as I didnt have time to enjoy it. My sister in law did and must have enjoyed it as she purchased several items after her afternoon there. Pools  I was able to spend some time at both pools and enjoyed the Solariums pool much better. There was not anything wrong with the outdoor pool, Im just cold natured and loved the warm water in the Solarium as well as the fact that children werent allowed. It was peaceful and wind wasnt blowing, Public Rooms - The Splendour is a beautiful ship. It did take several days of our five day cruise to figure out where everything is. We did attend the disco night in the Viking Crown Lounge which was a lot of fun. They served drinks in plastic glow cups. My favorite place to be was the Schooner bar. Of course the setting, quietness, and very nice bar tender had much to do with it as well. I didnt try the Champagne bar after I decided the Schooner bar was my favorite. As this was a working cruise for me (two days of a conference) I didnt get to play as much as other cruisers. I did go up and see the rock climbing wall and the golf course. I heard some say that due to wind, the wall was closed one evening. The Casino - Im not a gambler. This is due to the fact that I dont know whats going on and I dont have any luck with slot machines. Normally, what I put into slots, stays. This time was a little different. I played Jacks are better as Ive been learning to play poker with my family. Any way, I was able to play for over an hour and only spent $20. For me this is good!. I also learned how to play the game. Now maybe I can get some of my money back from my family. LOL Cabins  We were in 3016, an ocean view room. The room was nice, and comfortable. We had plenty of storage space. We were concerned being on a lower deck but probably fared better than some due to high waves during the first day of the cruise. Many were sea sick. It was a gentle rolling for us. At times the ceiling creaked but on the way back we didnt hear it anymore. I was a little concerned as we were located under the King and I but there was no noise problems. Our cabin service was a little disappointed as I was hoping for those extras you read about. I tipped our steward extra but our ice bucket wasnt filled constantly as some have said. We had to call to get more ice. Ill say that those ice buckets on the ship do not hold much ice and melt quickly. When we called for ice, they brought it in a larger plastic tub that the tub of beers come in. Oh well, we survived. We were treated well, and the staff were very nice. Entertainment  Our Cruise director Drew Divine was wonderful. He was often around and never doubted that he was trying to make the cruise enjoyable. The first show we attended was on day one. It was the comedy show of David Morgan & Chucky. Ok, this was a grown man with a puppet and I thought how lame. But it was so funny! I highly recommend seeing this act. Now I wish I had purchased the CD from the gift shop. Tip  if you do get to see this act, volunteer! The other show we attended was the Quest. Drew was there for this one. All I can say is you HAVE to attend this show. You may find yourself laughing in the isles. Oh, and play along! Dont worry if you dont have but two in your party, more than likely those around you will want to join in and youll have no problem forming a group. Dress Code  We brought formal wear for the one formal night (a five day cruise). The rest of the time we wore casual as did most others. Sure, youre going to have some people that dress up more, and some that dress more casual but no one seems to mind. There are no fashion police. I wish I had brought more T shirts to wear. I took care of that by purchasing some for myself at the 2 for $20 sale. Gratuities -. This was our first RCC cruise and had been used to Carnivals policy of automatically adding gratuities to your sea pass. We decided to tip with the envelopes instead of automatic. As we had known to bring plenty of small bills, this was no problem. Dont forget to tip the room service staff! The envelopes that you receive for tipping are of our dining room waiter, assistant waiter, room steward, and head waiter. Internet  This was important to me as I did not bring my children and wanted to stay in contact with them, as well as my office (Im in private practice). What I learned is not to bring my lap top with me again for a cruise. I did so I could check email, and down load photos. Ill bring extra memory cards for the camera and use the ships internet facilities instead. Life will be less complicated. I say this as first I had to register on the ships internet, then go down to the pursers desk and rent a WiFi card. You only have to rent one if you dont have WiFi of your own. It was $50 for the five days. Well, then you only have certain places on the ship that this will work; mainly the middle of the ship areas. So, Im walking around with my lap top, trying to get to a place I can use the thing. This is time consuming and I would rather use my time enjoying myself than trying to find a way to contact my office and kids. I would not hesitate to cruise again on this ship. Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
This was our second cruise and as with the first, didnt want to get off!!! Theres nothing like a few days of papering to get the nerves back in line. Here are a few areas of our trip that might be of interest. I booked our cruise ... Read More
This was our second cruise and as with the first, didnt want to get off!!! Theres nothing like a few days of papering to get the nerves back in line. Here are a few areas of our trip that might be of interest. I booked our cruise on the Internet as it was easy, cheapest prices, and we actually had our documents before others that had used travel agents. Drove from OKC to Galveston the day before embarkation and stayed at the Holiday Inn On The Beach. Had a great view of the beach and ocean, room was adequate, but the smoke smell was a little strong for a non-smoking room. Best part was dinner at Landrys, which is within walking distance of the hotel. The hotel overbooked their shuttle so we didnt get on when scheduled but after a little encouragement the hotel paid for a taxi to the port. We wanted to walk thru the Stand District before boarding and didnt want to wait for another hour for the next overcrowded shuttle. Left the luggage at the port and walked the Strand District which was very relaxing after a stop at Starbucks. Upon arriving at the terminal we were onboard in 22 minutes from front door to ship. Went straight to our room where our luggage was waiting for us. Room was interior J room on the 7th level. Of course it was small but very well planned out. Loved all the storage in the medicine cabinet. Shower is miniscule but functional if you dont mind a shower curtain plastered to your behind. Storage is terrific and they provide quite a few hangers in the large closet area. We had one LARGE suitcase that didnt fit under the bed so had to store it in the closet which was a pain. Beds were fair but could have better mattresses. Dont forget your NON-ELECTRIC clock as there isnt one in the room and the only plug in is far away. In fact, bring an extension cord and a power strip to plug in your camera and other items. We took a small fan to keep the air moving and to make some noise. However, we didnt hear a thing the entire cruise from neighbors or people going down the hall. The ship is older and smaller but youd never know it. Everything is well kept, clean and colorful. I dont need millions of dollars of artwork on my cruise ship, just casual elegance. The Splendour was a good match for us. No crowds, lines, etc Grabbed a Seattles Best coffee on the 6th level first thing in the morning and hit the solarium for a quiet morning of reading and relaxation before heading to the ports or pool area each day, giving my wife time to wake up slow and get ready for the day. Traveling without kids sure can be fun!!! This was a first for us!!! Cozumel got creamed by the hurricane but is rebuilding. Not sure how long it will take the vegetation to come back but it was devastated!!! Tendering in didnt take long. Grabbed a taxi right across the street from the port and went to Paradise Beach. Taxi was $13 US. Have small bills ready. Paradise Beach was terrific! No pressure from the waiters but good service. Did a little snorkeling around their area where my wife saw a 5-foot barracuda. Naturally I was looking the wrong way! Took a taxi back to the port where we did some shopping, starting at the south end and working our way north back to the port. Just missed the tender and had to wait for another. Between waiting in line, and waiting on the tender took us 70 minutes in the hot sun. This was certainly the low point of the cruise. Costa Maya was decent. Spent a couple hours in port then decided the Splendour was better. Laid by the pool and watched the Big Screen on the Carnival Liberty, which was, parked right next to us. Food was pretty much average across the board. Dinners on the Disney Wonder were amazing compared with this food. Was especially bummed out with the desserts. On the Wonder I had a different, WONDERFUL cheesecake each night to look forward to. On Splendour the desserts were mostly beautiful but tasteless European type desserts. Service was fantastic and we were very well taken care of. How can they serve average food in such an incredibly beautiful dining room with such great service? Entertainment on the Splendour was pretty good. My wife talked me into going to the Newlywed game type affair and I laughed and laughed. We dont gamble (because I NEVER win!!!) but walked thru the casino a few times. Much more crowded than I thought it would be and the smoke was terrible. Only place on the ship I noticed smoke. Last night with the group from South America wasnt too great but by then I was already starting to realize our time of pampering was about over. The last morning we got up and had a very nice leisurely breakfast. Found a comfy place in the solarium to relax and wait for our tag color to be called. From ship to street only took 26 minutes. Found our luggage easily and the line for customs/immigration moved pretty fast. Would recommend the Splendour very highly and would definitely take her again!!! Read Less
Sail Date February 2006
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas Jan 26-30, 2006. Embarkation: First I would like to say that sailing from Galveston is a breeze. If you are within driving distance of Galveston, Texas, it is great not to have to deal with the ... Read More
Royal Caribbean Splendour of the Seas Jan 26-30, 2006. Embarkation: First I would like to say that sailing from Galveston is a breeze. If you are within driving distance of Galveston, Texas, it is great not to have to deal with the airports! There is lots of parking available. This time we parked in Parking lot D and the cost for parking for a 5-day sailing was $45.00 paid in advance. They have a shuttle that will take you to the ship with luggage or without if you drop off your luggage in advance. Boarding in Galveston was smooth. They have a separate check in line for Platinum and Diamond past passengers and they have a separate line for handicapped. Cabin: We had an oceanview cabin on this cruise on deck 6. It was midship and very convenient to the elevators and stairs and it was just around the corner from the Seattles Best coffee shop! The window in this cabin was huge! I missed not having a balcony&but this was the next best thing! The cabin has a small desk and chair and even a small loveseat and table. The bathroom had a lot of storage inside the mirror and a caddy in the shower area for more storage. The room also has a safe (no charge) and an ice bucket that the cabin steward always kept full. This category does not have a refrigerator. They provide a hair dryer&but never enough outlets so be sure to bring an outlet strip and extension cord to plug in your curling iron, cell phone, digital camera, video camera, cd player etc&&&.I would also recommend a small flashlight so you can find the bathroom at night in the very dark cabin! Also, always remember to bring a travel size clock since there are no clocks in the room. Food: There was always plenty of food available. On the first day the Windjammer buffet stayed open until 4:30 pm with lunch and then the Solarium grill opened at 5:30pm. The first night we were tired and our luggage did not arrive right away. Be sure to have anything you may need in the first few hours in your carry on. On a few of the nights we went to the Windjammer for the dinner buffet and found that it was very good and there were waiters to pick up plates and stations that were both carving meat and cooking to order fajitas or crepes on different nights. As good as the dining room is&the Windjammer dinner buffet on Royal Caribbean ships is a well-kept secret&..until now&&. They offer pretty much everything that is on the dining room menu and it is plentiful, fresh, you can dress however you like, and it is a whole lot quicker than the dining room and of course there is no surcharge to eat there. I am a traditionalist and have been on many, many cruises, &but even I can see the benefits to this more casual style. They also offered a grill area by the Solarium pool that had pizza and burgers and fries. This ship does not have any alternative surcharge restaurants&except the Seattles Best coffee shop and Ben and Jerrys ice cream shop. The ship: The Splendour of the Seas is a great size at 70,000 tons&.easy to get around and easy to get to know. The ship is clean and well kept. The lounges are nice&.they try to keep the smokers separate&..it doesnt work in the Schooner Bar, it was too small and smoky for me. It worked better in the Viking Crown because it is a bigger area. The main pool area is very nice, it has the shallow ledge around the pool, which is nice to sit out in or walk in to cool off. This ship has a small work out area and a nice sauna and steam room in the ladies locker room. The spa is rather large and has many treatment rooms. We got a good work out just walking around the ship on the upper deck in the wind. Be sure to bring a jacket with a hood or a headband so you will be able to tolerate the wind if you want to take walks. Cozumel: We were really glad that the ship was going to Cozumel. This is one of my favorite ports and I was anxious to see what is going on there. This port has come a long way in the recovery after all they have been through. I have seen pictures that were taken in the days just following the hurricane and I can tell you what I saw on January 28 was a miracle! They have made this port spot clean in the shopping area with new paint, new foliage, new roofs etc&. it looks even better then before! Now dont get me wrong&.they still have a lot to do with the piers and hotels that were destroyed but for what a tourist will do for a day from the ship the tours and shopping are up and running. The ships are tendering into town. Our ship tendered in to the Punta Lagosta pier and we exited out of the port area right across for Carlos and Charlies which is up and running. They are using the very large 2 level tenders so they can transport a lot of people at a time and it seems to run smoothly and is a quick ride. We spent our day shopping with lunch at Casa Dennis and then took an afternoon boat through Dive Paradise with divers and snorkelers. It was a great day. I could really see the devastation of the piers from the dive boat trip. It is still hard to imagine (even though I saw it with my own eyes) that the whole International pier is gone! This is the pier that the Carnival ships all dock at and there was a huge shopping complex on this pier&&&it is all gone,(for now). This island is resilient and is bounding back. They need the support of tourism and the ships. Check out www.diveparadise.com for any snorkeling or diving excursions that you may be interested in. The owner has been a friend for many years and can use our support. If you have any questions, or need help planning your cruise, I would happy to assist. Email me at C2Cmarci@yahoo.com Bon Voyage Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
This was our first cruise so I have nothing to compare this with. My sister is a seasoned cruiser and she recommended RC and this ship. Overall, our experience was quite positive. We are early 50s with no children. We just wanted a nice ... Read More
This was our first cruise so I have nothing to compare this with. My sister is a seasoned cruiser and she recommended RC and this ship. Overall, our experience was quite positive. We are early 50s with no children. We just wanted a nice long weekend of pampering. Embarkation was a breeze. We arrived about 1 pm and only spent a short time on line before we boarded. Our balcony stateroom was quite roomy with enough space for all our things. Our cabin attendant Jose was quite attentive and did a great job. Meals in the dining room were all great. Our waiter did a fine job of recommending particular dishes and we were never disappointed with these choices. Food in the Windjammer Cafe is typical buffet style fare - nothing exciting but adequate when you are in a hurry or just want to be more casual. The midnight buffet was worth staying up for -- even if just to see the display. They served shrimp, caviar, decadent desserts and pastries, etc. Shows in the evening were fine -- not Broadway caliber but entertaining. During the day there was always something to do (cooking class, bingo, poolside games, etc.) The ship is 10 years old so there are signs of age, but nothing that detracted from the experience. The center atrium and general layout of the ship is beautiful. Easy to find your way around. Cozumel was our only port and it was disappointing. It still shows signs of devastation from Hurricane Wilma and it will be a while before the lush tropical foliage is back to where it should be. We didn't have great weather during the entire trip so that hampered things a bit too. Overall, we had a fine experience on RC and would cruise with this line again. It was a great value for a long getaway weekend. We waited til the last minute and were able to get a great deal on a balcony cabin. If your dates and times are flexible, there are good deals out there. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Just returned from a four-day cruise on the Splendor of the Seas to Cozumel. My husband and I loved this ship. It did not show wear like you would think being 10 years old. It is very easy to navigate, and the covered pool in the back of ... Read More
Just returned from a four-day cruise on the Splendor of the Seas to Cozumel. My husband and I loved this ship. It did not show wear like you would think being 10 years old. It is very easy to navigate, and the covered pool in the back of the ship was very useful when the weather was bad. I liked the layout of the pools in comparison to those on past cruise ships. The spa facilities were very enjoyable, very serene and spacious. They had a deck area off of the spa that you could enjoy. The evening entertainment was very good especially the formal night and the last night of the cruise. Evening meals in the formal dining room were very good. Omelet station in the morning was also very good. Inside cabin bed was very comfortable, though the room in general surprises you when the door is first opened. We had plenty of room but my husband said from now on give him at least a porthole. He needs to see daylight. We were very happy with this cruise line and will be return guests with Royal Caribbean in the future. This was our third and our favorite cruise. Enjoyed Cozumel shopping and the beach. The remnants of the hurricane are still evident but it was fine in spite of the destruction and rebuilding. The people are great there and we had a very good day in Cozumel. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
Just back from a 4 night shortie aboard Splendour of the Seas to Cozumel and back to Galveston, Jan. 16th  20th. We followed a cold front into the Gulf and half the ship ended up green around the gills. Fortunately, neither my husband ... Read More
Just back from a 4 night shortie aboard Splendour of the Seas to Cozumel and back to Galveston, Jan. 16th  20th. We followed a cold front into the Gulf and half the ship ended up green around the gills. Fortunately, neither my husband nor I are bothered by rough seas. Our first night out was accompanied by 22 waves and 70 mph gusts. She was a rockin and a rollin. My husband, on a triple dog dare, went into the spa pool alone. No other guests in the solarium. It looked like a pan of dish water sloshing around like mad and per his diving watch was a chilly 72 degrees. You could see the bottom of the pool going up and the water would spill over the side coming down. It was hilarious and he enjoyed the thrill but apparently the ship staff thought the pool, in fact both pools indoors and out, should be closed, because the water was evacuated that night and the nets put over the pools. They didnt open again until we docked in Cozumel. We sailed out of the front at dawn and got our first look at what the hurricane left of beautiful Cozumel. The pour trees! All stripped and just budding back out. Looked like stilts sticking out of the ground. Some hotels we remembered from last time were completely gone, only foundations left. But the people havent changed. Reconstruction going on at a furious pace. It will be no time until things are normal again. Due to the high winds our day in port, most water sport excursions were canceled but our 2 bus loads of Passion Island visitors voted to go on, so we went out to the island with determination. It has been considerably damaged (mostly trees, and all the little buildings were blown away) but the restrooms and kitchen and cabana have been rebuilt and the buffet was fantastic as well as the beverages/open bar. Our guide Alex made us all feel like old friends and did his best to make the visit a good one in spite of the high winds that blew the stinging sand on our legs. The usually azure crystal clear water there was sand churned by the wave action so it was not as spell binding as it usually is, but we are determined to return again the next sail. The rest of the day was spent eating a little Cozumel Cerviche Mixto, Wonderful! Octopus and all! The sail back home was uneventful as the weather goes. Peacefully calm and enjoyable. As usual, the staff and service aboard was as we have come to expect from RCCL ships, impeccable! The food did not disappoint, however, the entertainment is much better on the longer cruises. All in all, another wonderful interlude with RCCL. Youll love the elegance of Splendour as much as Rhapsody. She is a fine ship. But we are determined to make it a 7 day at least from now on. Four days is just not nearly enough, rough weather included. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
We departed Galveston on 01-02-2006 for our first cruise. We chose this particular cruise because it was an internet special and included air and transportation from Seattle WA. My wife and I are hooked on the cruising experience!!!!. ... Read More
We departed Galveston on 01-02-2006 for our first cruise. We chose this particular cruise because it was an internet special and included air and transportation from Seattle WA. My wife and I are hooked on the cruising experience!!!!. Although this was our first cruise we felt as though we were veterans thanks to the great info provided by this forum cruisecritic.com. We did not keep a diary, however, I will do my best to recount our vacation as I attempt to relive it in my mind over and over again on a daily basis. The ship was beautiful, not too large or too small. Although I have read it was an older ship relatively speaking, my wife and I found it both opulent and well maintained. We checked into our small inside cabin and found it quaint and very cute. It was small but not a problem. The only issue we had with the cabin was that the mattresses were thin and could have been more comfortable. One of the comments we left on the accommodations were that a cheap fix would be to place the new space age foam toppings over the existing mattress. I shall not go over the dining day by day but will give a brief synopsis. We found the food at the Windjammer, particularly on embarkation, to be cold to luke warm. We only ate there at breakfast on occasion other than embarkation for lunch (food was cold then). Most lunches were eaten at port or at the Solarium. I thought the sandwiches there were great with the pizza being so so. French fries seamed to be some sort of pressed potato string and were not that good. Cannot comment on the hot dogs or hamburgers. Food in the King and I ranged from great to good. Prime rib and roasted fillet were excellent on the first two nights. The middle of the cruise seemed to wane a little as far as taste and quality with it picking up at the end. Entertainment was good to very good. I did not care too much for the revues that most posters seem to enjoy in that thematic dancing and singing for the sake of putting on a show is not my idea of entertainment. I found the other shows very good to almost excellent as far as comedians and singers. Our itinerary included Cozumel, Costa Maya, Belize, Ocho Rios Jamaica, and Grand Cayman. We booked excursions on the ship in Cozumel (horseback riding), Belize (Lamanai river tour), and Jamaica (Dunns Falls and Green Grotto Caves). Best of them was Lamanai in Belize an all day adventure. I would highly recommend Dunns River Falls but the Green Grotto Portion was not that great. Horseback riding was OK but did it more to please my wife. Favorite port was Grand Cayman, it is more civilized but also more expensive. Least favorite was Costa Maya and particularly the village of Majahual. While this place may have once been a fishing village it is now a home to vendors selling the same thing over and over. It go kind of tiring saying no thanks every few yards. Some people may enjoy that type of interaction but count us out. Duty free prices for liquor on the ship were great, better than most ports. The shopping area had different sales every day, the last day being sales on cruise line wear with some pretty nice polo shirts. The staff on the cruise were GREEEEEEEEAT!!!!!!! Our cabin steward was absolutely wonderful. Our dining room waiter Wilbert, from Costa Rica was the best as well as Arturo the Assistant Waiter. Our Head Waiter, Kumar, from India was also conspicuous and attentive throughout the cruise. It was sad to leave these find people as they were our family for the ten days we were there. The only issue we had as far as friendliness with the crew was the captains party. The captain and senior staff were evidently hobnobbing elsewhere as we were not greeted by them on entrance. All in all my wife and I would book this cruise over and over again. It made such an impression on our lives and the memories will hopefully be indelible. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
An awful, beautiful cruise... I've never done anything like this before so please be gentle with me. Aside from a general review of the cruise, I will try to answer questions I had and could never get answers. I sailed with my ... Read More
An awful, beautiful cruise... I've never done anything like this before so please be gentle with me. Aside from a general review of the cruise, I will try to answer questions I had and could never get answers. I sailed with my wife and this was to be our 10th Anniversary/Deferred Honeymoon. We have sailed out of Galveston once before on Carnival's Ecstasy in December 2003. Naturally, we did a lot of comparing and I will try to share what we felt was significant. The awful part of the review refers to the fact that once we were aboard my wife promptly became ill. She had picked up a bug from our granddaughter before we left, it seems. It would bother her the whole cruise. As a result, we missed several shows and activities as well as formal night. Oh well, there is always next cruise. Arrival and boarding- We have learned to park at EZ Cruise parking as the absolute best option available. We booked on the internet and 30 minutes after turning into their parking lot (about 1:00 PM) we were aboard the ship. Arriving early, check-in was just a stroll through the appropriate areas, validation of our documents, issuance of our onboard ID and on to the ship. Absolutely NO hassles of any sort. It was after 5:00 PM before our luggage arrived but we were prepared for that having dressed comfortably for the drive from Forney. Before sailing- The cruise was scheduled to depart at 6:00 PM. Arriving as early as we did left us time to wander around and acclimate ourselves. We found the ship well laid out and easy to navigate. The cutaway deck plans and models in the elevator lobbies simplified the process of locating things wonderfully. We finished our tour of the ship and had a light lunch from the buffet in the Windjammer Cafe. The selection was excellent, the food was well-prepared and beautifully presented and everything we tried was delicious. I will say that the roast beef they were carving was a little too done for my taste but that is just a personal taste issue. We returned to our cabin to check on our luggage and that is when I lost my wife. The "BUG" put her to bed and she would spend most of the cruise there. Fortunately, she gave me leave to go out after she was settled in so life went on. My problem at this point was that there really was nothing to do but eat and drink...and I'm not much of a drinker. Take something to read if you board very early. The Stateroom- We had an Oceanview stateroom on the port side. It was small at just over 160 sq ft but well laid out. There was plenty of storage and it was easy to use. One problem we had was storing the two large suitcases we took. They ened up taking one side of the closet. Fortunately, it was a spacious closet. I can't say the same about the head (read bathroom). It was very small. Strictly a one person affair unless someone is in the shower. Then two people fit nicely. Be warned, the beds are hard and uncomfortable. My wife spent enough time in bed to make a definitive judgement on that. Additionally, many other people I talked to had the same complaint. And that is the only serious complaint we had about the whole cruise. Really BAD beds. Sailing- We left Galveston in a cold drizzle with building winds. Within a short time the weather deteriorated to a 3.5 gale with 8-12 foot seas. I felt the ship handled this weather very well. She was substantially more stable than Carnival's Ecstasy in similar seas. The real problem was the wind. At 20-30 mph it severely limited use of the exposed deck areas. The ship has excellent wind and spray shields protecting most of the deck areas but it was just too much even then. The wind persisted until Thursday and made most on deck activities impossible. The cookout scheduled around the pool for Wednesday night was moved indoors but they held it Thursday when the weather was very nice and the seas were calm. Bars and Entertainment Facilities- We were very impressed with all of these. I found the Schooner Bar the first night and it was my favorite place to hang out. It was comfortable, the service was excellent and the live music was great. Additionally, they had CNN International on all the time it seemed. Not that I cared what was happening in the world but for those that do... The 42nd Street Theater where the production shows are performed was a marvel. I don't think I have ever been in a theater with better sight lines. There is not a bad seat in the house. Seating was well spaced so you could move around if you wished with no danger of stepping on anyone. All of the above also held true for the Top Hat Lounge where there was live music of different sorts each night for dancing. The Casino was also an excellent facility. There was one crap table, several blackjack tables with different versions (mostly based on number of decks in the shoe) of the game, several sorts of poker and an enormous selection of slots. One thing that struck me about the Casino was how quiet it was. I liked that a lot. I also appreciated that the noise did not spill out into adjacent areas. The Schooner Bar opens directly into the Casino but you would never know it from the noise levels. I made several hundred dollars on the slots so maybe I am not totally impartial. There really isn't a lot to say about the King and I Dining Room. It was elegant, service was superb and the food was very good. The menu seemed a bit on the plain side (no lobster) but everything I had was good to excellent. The Chicken Marsala was just perfect. Desserts were a bit uneven but when they were good they were very good. The Windjammer Cafe, forward on deck nine was really very nice. I am an early riser and had coffee and pastry there every morning to start my day. It was the sort of place were people felt free to relax and I met several interesting people on my morning trips. This also allowed me to take coffee and pastries back to my wife so she didn't miss everything. it also gave us a handle on how her day would go. I have read reviews critical of the Windjammer but I can't agree with them...except about the scrambled eggs on the buffet. They really are undercooked when first put out. The Solarium is the location of the enclosed pool and fast food grill. Aside from the smell of chlorine being a bit strong at times this was a great facility. But, the hot tubs stay full until very late. The pizza from the Solarium was great. I liked it much better than the famous pizza on Carnival. Not as many selections but an overall superior product. The burgers, hot dogs and fries were also good but nothing to write home about. The main pool was essentially abandon due to weather until the last day so not much to say about that. I will say that there was never any shortage of deck chairs on this cruise. It should also be noted that there is now a Seattle's Best Coffee shop onboard. I had heard so many complaints about the coffee this came as a pleasant surprise. In fact, they now serve Seattle's Best coffee throughout the ship. No more bad coffee and that was great to me. Cozumel- The place was just devastated by the hurricanes. The piers are still out of commission. Several ships were in port and all were using water taxis. I didn't mind this as I really am an "old salt" but my wife didn't enjoy the rides. The RCCL taxis went into the pier in front of downtown and the shopping is all located in what is essentially a large pedestrian mall. Prices seemed lower than our last visit but they weren't as eager to bargain. The new catch phrase is "almost free" but almost still isn't. I heard many people complain about excursions being cancelled because of the high winds. A word of warning. Apparently, the ATMs ashore are still a hit or miss proposition. Take enough money with you because the cycle time to go back to the ship can easily exceed an hour or hour and a half. I enjoyed the rides but hated to lose the time involved (yeah, voice of experience speaking). I did note that while everyone returning was screened nothing was confiscated or really even check. I sat off the metal detector going back the first time but they just waved me on aboard. Just in case anyone was curious. Staff and Service Personnel- Overall, I was very impressed. Everyone was polite, friendly and helpful with one notable exception. Our stateroom attendant was the best. He made sure we had ice for my wife the whole time. He even brought us a second ice bucket. I could say good things about the dining room staff all day, just great people. No one pushed us to buy drinks. They were offered but never in a pushy manner nor excessively. The bartenders in the Schooner Bar were consummate professionals...even lighting cigarettes for ladies and men. As a measure of how impressed I was, I tipped well over the guidelines and went back to the Schooner Bar to tip my bartenders (as I had come to think of them) at the end of the trip. The problem we had was with the Purser's Desk. Everyone I spoke to there had relatively poor command of the English language. This cause us a small problem with the gratuities but it was manageable, just annoying. Overall- I had a great voyage on The Splendor. She is a fine ship and, I felt, in excellent condition given her age. We would be pleased to sail on her again. My wife's problem was not RCCL's fault. She still managed to enjoy herself even though she was sick. I would go back just for the Eggs Benedict in the main dining room myself. Read Less
Sail Date January 2006
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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