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146 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Where to start with this review. There were some things that were very wrong, but always like to start on a positive note. Please bear with me, this review could be quite long and comprehensive. CHECK IN As usual on a cruise, ... Read More
Where to start with this review. There were some things that were very wrong, but always like to start on a positive note. Please bear with me, this review could be quite long and comprehensive. CHECK IN As usual on a cruise, this was painless, surprising really as Santos is pretty chaotic, and there were 3 cruises checking in at the same time. As previous travellers with Royal Caribbean we had priority check in. The friends we were travelling with did not. However when our friend, who is Brazilian, asked if they could check in with us as we had not cruised from Brazil before, and did not speak Portugese , there was no problem at all and we were on board and in the buffet eating and drinking just over an hour later. Full marks for this. Disembarkation also was quick and efficient, Santos again totally chaotic but that is not the fault of the cruise line. CABINS As tends to be usual if checking in relatively early, the cabin was not ready. They became ready about 2 pm which allowed us time to eat lunch. We had booked balcony cabins, one of the type that had previously been an outside cabin, but had a balcony added on the latest refit. Unless you can afford suites, cabins on cruise ships are all pretty similar. This one was a reasonable size, queen bed (which we in the UK would call a king - 6ft wide), with a little cabinet each side, this was the width of the cabin. It had a little desk/dressing table, plus room for a small arm chair. So a reasonable size, and sufficient hanging space, although less drawer space than some cabins we have been in. Enough to manage though. A hair drier is provided and it was a pretty good one. The bathroom was small, and the one thing we didn't really like was that the shower had a curtain rather than a door. These curtains never quite close properly, and tend to stick to you when showering, but the size of the bathroom didn't allow for a door. The shower cubicle was quite small, we are not huge but only just managed to fit. All was spotlessly clean though, but after cruising for the last 12 years, have never yet come across one that wasn't. The balcony was a reasonable size, with a chair and table. STAFF Unfailingly polite, patient, helpful and lovely people. As always. Again, have never sailed on any ship, or any cruise line, in any area where they were not. All did their jobs to a high standard, some way over and above. Cannot and never would fault the staff on a cruise ship. They work very hard. On this particular cruise, the majority of the customers were South Americans, very few English speakers. Because of this, the Officers decided to put on a private lunch for the English speakers, which they themselves attended. The idea was that, since there were so few of us, it would be nice for us to meet so we would recognise each other as we went around the ship. The lunch was delicious, and the Officers were interesting to talk to. We thought this was a really nice touch which we all appreciated. FOOD This is, after all, one of the main components of a cruise. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean, in the Caribbean geared to the American market, and were not overly impressed. The menus were not innovative, and portions much too large. On the other hand, in Europe, geared to a European market, it was noticeably better. The same applied to this cruise. The food was excellent, in all of the eating areas whether buffet style, or formal dining. We did not partake of any of the paid for dining. The one thing Royal Caribbean does well is desserts which are both delicious and varied. This cruise was no exception. THE SHIP This is a really nice ship, not too big, about 1800 or so passengers. On this voyage it wasn't full so there was plenty of space for everybody. It was never a problem finding a sunbed. As is usual on most cruises the place everybody heads for is around the pool but even here, it was never packed. It was easy to find your way around, and had sufficient of the usual shops, and special 'sale' days of various items, bags, perfume, jewellery and the like. The prices were actually quite reasonable as well. This ship has a solarium with a pool and hot tub and comfortable sunbeds. It was a really pleasant place to spend time as we had a couple of cool days where it wasn't warm enough to sit outside. Again, there were always beds available, it never appeared to be packed. Beyond this area was the gym and spa. The gym (not that we used it) had lots of equipment, and the spa the usual treatments with prices pretty similar to most cruise lines. Beyond the spa, right at the back of the ship was a sunbathing deck, not very large, but quite private and fairly quiet away from the hubbub of the pool area and games. This is one of the nicer ships we have been on but have read that from summer 2016 it has been sold to Thompson and will be sailing in the Mediterranean. ENTERTAINMENT Not bad, but having to entertain people who spoke several different languages is not easy. The singers and dancers were excellent and the visiting entertainers were pretty good as well. They didn't have the big production shows that Royal Caribbean are noted for but this is a relatively small ship nowadays for this company. We went to most of the shows and were not particularly disappointed. The band that played in the central area were very good, but the single acts scattered around the ship were not so good, and there weren't many of them. DRINKS Oh dear. This is where Royal Caribbean are going to run into serious problems, many people were complaining and some of the staff we spoke to about it were very unhappy. When we embarked, in the buffet area were some folded card bar menus. On one side, was listed a few cocktails, and some beer prices. The price of the cocktails was quoted as $12 each. We have always been used to paying 15% gratuity on top, thus making the price of a cocktail almost $14, expensive by anyone's standards. On the other side of the card was the list of the various drinks packages they offer. We, and I suspect many others, spent some time mentally working out how much their bar bills were going to cost at the prices quoted for cocktails, and in desperation bought a package - which were expensive, but were quoted with gratuity included. As we had quite a large on-board credit as part of our cruise price deal, we decided against the packages. On the first night we went into the bar, and expected to see a comprehensive list of drinks, all the different cocktails, spirits, wines etc. as we have always been used to. Oh no. All there was available was a small card, again with about a half dozen cocktails and some beers listed. When we asked was this all that was available the staff told us, we could have any cocktail we wanted, or any spirit, or glass of wine. However, we had no idea how much the spirits were, or the wine, and all this pre-supposed the customer would have a mental list of all cocktails that existed in the world to be able to ask for one. After much discussion, as I didn't like the sound of the cocktails on the menu, I asked for a Sea Breeze since I am familiar with this. When it came, did it cost $12 plus gratuity? No it did not. It cost $11 and no gratuity. That was the first time I ordered it, the second time I had one it cost $11.50. We called one of the staff over and asked what was going on. Apparently, they have to know every cocktail that exists, and what the price is. They are supposed to know all the spirits available and how much they are. Except that the customer doesn't know before they order how much their bill will be. Very unsatisfactory when not using a package. Gratuity? No - that is now included (except on cruises for the American market, who expect to pay a gratuity!) On the first bar menu all the customers come across, in the buffet area when they first embark, there is no mention on the cocktail menu side of the price list that gratuities are included. No mention at all of the cost of other drinks, except beer. Thus designed to lead people into thinking that their drinks will be very expensive so buy a package. One of the staff told us that this has been designed specifically by 'Miami' to push people into packages. We believe that this is next door to deception and can't see how they will get away with it with European Law. The only thing I can say is that it created a great deal of hilarity for us every time we got a bill to see what price they decided to charge that night!!! Frankly, full marks to the staff for the way they handled it, they must have been extremely frustrated. DINING ARRANGEMENTS Our cheap agent purchased package did not allow us to have fixed dining, we were enforced onto 'My Time' dining, which actually suited us as early dining was a bit early for us, and late a bit too late. Well it would have suited us if it had worked. Oh dear, Royal Caribbean you have got this very wrong, at least you did on this cruise. You need to take lessons from Norwegian who have flexible dining worked out very efficiently. This is how 'My Time' dining worked, or rather did not work for us. On the first day, we went to the booking desk to reserve a time. We asked for 9 pm. We are told, 9 pm is not available, it will have to be 10pm. OK first day maybe we have left it a bit late. Next morning we presented ourselves at the desk opening time. No 9 pm dining available, only 10pm. So we asked why this was since we were first there. It turned out that, all the 7.30 dining slots had been taken, for the whole week, and once those diners were in, well they couldn't turn them out. Well not until 10 pm as that was when second dining started. Excuse me, 7.30 and 10pm dining. Isn't that fixed dining? This is not how flexible dining is supposed to work. We were not happy and complained, to no avail. In fact, the only staff member we encountered who was not smiling and friendly was the person who manned the 'My Time' dining desk. And who could blame him. We were told we could turn up at 9 and see if they had a space. On a couple of occasions we did and eventually got in once at 9.30, and 9.45. The only saving grace was that we got the same server most of the time. A wonderful Polish lady, Ewa who gave over and above every time we came across her. OTHER ASPECTS Cannot comment on anything else as we did not partake of the pool activities, shore excursions, children's clubs, transfers etc. The pursers desk, on the few occasions we needed them were helpful. SUMMARY On balance, setting aside the negative issues raised which we were able to laugh about, this was a cruise we very much enjoyed. The itinerary was great and all the people we met were wonderful. Just get a grip of the drink arrangements and dining. One disappointment afterwards was the form for evaluating the cruise. The company have gone paperless so you are supposed to receive this by e-mail. We had booked as two separate couples, and neither of us received one. We were sorry about this because there were one or two staff members who had far exceeded their job description and we would have liked to have praised them to the company by name. Would I sail with Royal Caribbean again. Until they have their drinks policy and dining arrangements sorted out, then no. Otherwise yes, depending on what price I could get for one of their cruises, they tend not to be one of cheaper ones on the market. The problems we encountered didn't spoil it for us because we are positive people generally who can see the funny side of things, even when they are going wrong. We see any travel as an experience and understand that things often do go wrong. However, these are policies, being implemented by the Head Office, upon clients, and more importantly, on staff who neither like, nor agree with them. This is no way to run a business. Let's hope the negative feedback that Royal Caribbean have been receiving will make them re-think and look at what other cruise lines are doing, very successfully. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
Let me put this is perspective - this is our first experience of RC and we had quite high expectations. The transfer to the ship, the cabin service and cleanliness was very good. What wasn't good was arriving to board the ship with ... Read More
Let me put this is perspective - this is our first experience of RC and we had quite high expectations. The transfer to the ship, the cabin service and cleanliness was very good. What wasn't good was arriving to board the ship with just around 800 americans wearing large ID badges from Meyer Electrics as this was their reward package for contractors spending so much money with the company. Little did we know that the ID badges never left them ( even on the tuxedos of those few that managed to get out of their jeans) and we ended up feeling imposters in a works outing every night of the cruise. We also came to the conclusion having talked to a number of them that this wasn't a one off and this is how numbers are made up. For us the constant shouting and whooping was more than we could bear and we had to resort to paracetamol most nights. My partner even asked one of them to stop insisting that everyone stand up in the bar one night to be met by a round of cheers by other passengers. The food in the main restaurant was prepared to high standards but unfortunately not to a high temperature and on one night food had to go back twice as VERY cold. Staff dealt with it very well but it never reached anything other than warm. We were looking forward to the casino - we are not gamblers but were looking forward to letting our hair down but were surprised how light headed we became as a result of the thick smoke. Our clothes really smelt of smoke and we had to keep coming out for air as it was too much to bear. What we would say is check your arrangements for transfer to the airport as we asked twice and were advised that we should get on a bus to find purely by chance that our "private transfer" was in fact a mercedes taxi and we nearly missed it. The weather became quite inclement and the Captain made every effort to avoid turbulence which meant that we missed one port but stopped off at another. There was one particularly outstanding member of staff in the R bar who stood out. Her name was Mabelli and she is very professional, always smiling and ran the bar to very high standards. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let’s just start by saying The Splendor of the Seas is not one of the new mega ships. She’s a fine old girl who’s starting to show her age. Having previously sailed on Rhapsody of the Seas several times, my wife and I knew what to ... Read More
Let’s just start by saying The Splendor of the Seas is not one of the new mega ships. She’s a fine old girl who’s starting to show her age. Having previously sailed on Rhapsody of the Seas several times, my wife and I knew what to expect. Splendor was built in the mid 90’s and had a face lift in 2011, but, she’s still about 20 years old. RCCL tried to retrofit her to have more balcony’s, specialty restaurants and things cruisers are expecting, but, she’s still an older vessel so passengers will just have to deal with it. Our cruise departed Venice on Oct. 11th with stops in Croatia, Turkey and Greece and finally back to Venice. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and were glad we did. Most of our previous cruises have been to the Caribbean and this cruise offered something a little different. Most of our fellow cruisers on this ship were a little older and the sea day activities were a little tamer. There was a group of exchange students from the US that were attending a Theater Program in Tuscany. Their presence enhanced the trip by sharing their talents whenever possible. At one point one student played the piano while another sang, they were just as good if not better than the onboard talent. We booked our Airfare thru RCCL and ChoiceAir, there was some apprehension due to reviews of Aer Lingus I read online, but, everything went according to plan. All our flights were on time and connections went smoothly. We took the public bus from the Venice Airport to Piazzale Roma, and then hopped on the people mover to the ship. Our trip originated in the Midwest so bringing a couple of bottles of wine with us was not an option, but, there is a Coop (Italian Grocery Store) right by the Piazzale Roma so we picked up 4 bottle of wine (2 per stateroom) and headed to the ship. Cost for this was 6 Euro each for ATVO bus, 1.3 Euro for People mover and 20 Euro for the wine. Time from airport to ship with the stop at Coop about an hour, ‘Piece of Cake’ even if you don’t speak Italian. The ship, while showing its age, still has everything you need to have an enjoyable time. We boarded, dumped our bags in our room and headed to the Park Café to grab a bite. Previous experience with boarding day crowds at the Windjammer makes the Park Café the best option (hint hint). Our room was an interior room and had everything we needed, the bathroom is small and there’s a limited amount of counter space, but, we really didn’t plan on spending that much time in the room anyway. I’m not going to bore readers with way Royal Caribbean schedules meals (my time, buffet, specialty restaurant or conventional dinning) that’s all listed on their website. Let me say the service by the staff was acceptable at all times, we opted for My Time dining with different wait staff every night, so there was little personal interaction with our servers. I thought with My Time dinning the service might be compromised a little due to the fact that you don’t tip your server directly, but, service was fine. Food on board is typical cruise fare. The kitchen is cooking for over 2000 people, with varied tastes and tolerances so it’s not going to be 5 star dinning. There are different dishes every night, with choices for just about every palate. I read other reviews that said that the food was terrible and uneatable, I wonder how much weight they gained eating this terrible and uneatable food… Our first stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia; it’s a very cool old walled city with streets that just call to be wandered. We took a cab from the ship (10 Euro per car), walked the city, bought some Grappa, had a nice meal and then headed back to the ship. If you want to walk the wall the cost is in Croatian Kuna, they don’t take Euro for this, but, do accept credit cards (I think it’s a Government thing). Everywhere else they do take Euro. Next was Kusadasi, Turkey, let’s start by saying at no time did we feel threatened or in danger. We walked the streets, browsed the bazaar, interacted with local citizens, shopped and even sampled local food without incident. As in any city, you have to be aware of your surroundings, but, everything was fine. We took an excursion from the ship to see the ruins of Ephesus, and then to Selcuk to visit the Virgin Mary’s house. Not really sure if it’s her house, but, it’s a good story anyway. Our bus got into a minor fender bender on the way back and we had to sit thru a rug demonstration with the hard sale afterwards but, it was still well worth the cost ($80 each). The activity director told everyone that while shopping not to accept the asking price. They suggested offering half the asking price and moving from there. Common sense dictates that the vendors know this and just double the price. Here’s a suggestion, just offer what you feel is a good price, if the vendor doesn’t accept, just walk away. If it’s acceptable to them they will call you back. If they don’t call you back, don’t worry, there will be another vendor with the same ‘treasures’ a few stalls away. We decided to walk the donkey trail in Santorini and this might have been a mistake. With Donkey comes Donkey droppings and it was aromatic and somewhat slippery. We had no accidents on the way up or down, but, did see some other cruisers that had their pants ‘sprayed’. Once at the top of the hill the views were very nice, we did some wandering and found a pretty good Gyro shop. Forget the sit down restaurants and enjoy the local Gyro’s. You’ll save a few Euro and they are very good. My wife and I enjoy winery tours so in Olympus we took the Little Train Tour with a stop at a local winery. The train is just a cart that’s pulled by a truck that looks like a train engine, here’s a place to save the 6 Euro each and just go buy a bottle of wine at a restaurant and people watch. The train is lame and the winery is in the middle of nowhere. There is no tour and all you do is stand and wait for the next train to take you away. Getting off the ship was a breeze, we rolled our suitcases to the people mover and headed out. We had decided to stay in Venice an extra night and explore the city. We dropped off our bags at a storage place right next to the people mover (they were only 6 Euro per bag) and took off. Venice is a very walkable city with signs pointing to San Marco, Rialto, etc. Lots of leather shops, pizza pannini places and bars. We found a nice little wine shop off a main drag and settled in with a group of locals drinking Prosecco, Soave, and eating cheese, lunchmeats and olives. The last bus out of town was about 9:00 so we hopped the bus and headed to our hotel. Our hotel was close to airport and offered free transfer. This was our 20th cruise and one thing we found was things do sometimes go wrong, but, we don’t let those things ruin our time. Sometimes the food isn’t the best, so we eat when we’re in ports, or the room might not be large, so we snuggle, the whole idea is to have fun.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have just returned from a week's cruise with Royal Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We found the ship was kept very clean and lounges, bars and restaurants were bright and inviting. We had previously checked reviews ... Read More
We have just returned from a week's cruise with Royal Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We found the ship was kept very clean and lounges, bars and restaurants were bright and inviting. We had previously checked reviews online prior to our cruise and criticism had been levelled at the food quality. This was certainly not the case, the food in all eating areas was of good quality and freshness. Our stateroom was bright, airy and clean. The bed was comfortable and the room had plenty of storage space. The shower was on the small side, but that is the same on all ships. We enjoyed the itinerary, Mikonos was a delight, Kotor and Argostoli were interesting to do your own thing and discover the towns. The only downside we experienced was a noisy cabin, the music coming from the centrum until the early hours of the morning kept us awake. Our advise would be to carefully select your cabin, be sure to be at least 12 cabins away from the open centrum area on any deck. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I am not an avid cruiser (I am more of an all-inclusive resort slug) but have done cruises in the past. I appreciated foxtraveler’s detailed review here on CruiseCritic so I will try to return the favor. I preprinted our boarding ... Read More
I am not an avid cruiser (I am more of an all-inclusive resort slug) but have done cruises in the past. I appreciated foxtraveler’s detailed review here on CruiseCritic so I will try to return the favor. I preprinted our boarding paperwork and had put the tags on our bags back at home. When in Venice, I bought two bottles of wine and brought them on board with us (you are limited to 2 bottles and only on the day of departure). We got to the cruise terminal around 11:30 am, thinking we’d miss those waiting when it opened at 11 but before the last minute stragglers came in. We breezed through. Check-in was simple and organized. We were told the rooms would be ready by 2 so we went to lunch in Windjammer (buffet). We then toured the boat and by then, the rooms were ready. We were on Deck 7 with a balcony. With just myself and two teen daughters, it was a little cramped. I couldn’t imagine sleeping 4 people in that room. The room attendant made up the pull out bed every morning and evening so we would have more room. Sheila was always pleasant and helpful. There is a TV in the room that has CNN International, a music/video channel, a channel that explains the next port, a channel that pitches other ships, a channel that shows the view of the boat from the front. There’s other channels but that’s all we put on. We had MyTime dining so made reservations each day for the next day. We tended to go around 7 or 7:30 and had very little problem getting the time we wanted. Only mess-up was the last night when we requested a particular waiter. The woman at the desk shuffled people around so we could sit in his area, but when we went at our scheduled time, we were taken to a totally different area in the back by the kitchen. Evidently, another family slipped in earlier and took our table. Staff was accommodating and moved us to an area up front by the window. Didn’t get our waiter, but got to experience another set of waiters and another view of the dining room. None of us liked eating at the Windjammer where we tended to do breakfast and lunch. We went because it’s completely a buffet, so we could get in/out quickly but only when we found a table. The space is much smaller than the crowd that tries to go there, especially on port days. The staff works hard to clear tables and make space, but they can’t perform magic or push lingering people to give up their space. We didn’t do any of the specialty restaurants as I didn’t want to pay for them. As to the food itself, we found it just fine. My vegetarian daughter found plenty of choices and we all enjoyed the assortment of fruit. You could get water, tea, coffee and lemonade during the meals and help yourself to a dispenser by both pools. I did buy the beer/wine package since I didn’t want to stress on whether I needed that “one more glass of wine”. It included tips so it made it easy for me. I wish RCI had different combination of packages as my other daughter wanted the upscale coffee selections but it was bundled with soda and bottled water (water on the ship is safe to drink and on the islands, we would just pick up a few bottles for that day and bring back on board whatever we didn’t consume). Instead, I let her purchase them individually for $3.50-5.50. Another reviewer said they had trouble getting beverage service but I did not but then I usually just went to the bar and got a glass of wine to take back to the room. We weren’t impressed with the shows and only went to a few of them. We are really not into Celine Dion nor Frankie Vaile music so we skipped those shows. The aerlists in the Centrum were okay but nothing that you had to rush to go watch. For the last night they brought in shadow artists which was quite unique and captivating. Yes, the Cruise Director was Italian but spoke wonderful English and had quite the charming personality. On to the ports: Sunday: Kotor, Montenegro: We walked around on our own and tried to go up to the top of the fort. It costs a few Euros so bring coins. I have a fear of heights so only made it 2/3 way up. My youngest daughter went up and took photos. Monday: Corfu, Greece: Since I wasn’t up to two days in a row of wandering about, I booked a tour. We did the Achilleion Place, Perama and Old Town. The whole town was crazy crowded. My daughters loved the palace and while on the tour it was packed, we had time before we had to board the bus to go back through the rooms and gardens and look closer. As we did the island tour, the streets were crowded so the bus lumbered on. We passed Mouse Island but the bus couldn’t or wouldn’t stop for us to take photos. The bus had to stop and wait for a plane to take off (the runways are very close to the road). By the time we got to Corfu Town, we didn’t have much time left to explore so we walked about and in/out of shops. Another family toured the fort that was there (it costs a few euros). Tuesday: Athens. Did the ship’s excursion of a city bus tour and a stop at the Acropolis. We found our tour guide’s English difficult to understand. The guides seemed to like to find trees for shade and have us stand there while they jabbered on. I had purchased a guide book and read about Athens that morning so rather than looking at a tree, we ditched the guide and walked around on our own. We met up with her at the appointed time to board the bus for the rest of our tour. The bus then took us through the city and stopped briefly at the site of the Olympics then back to the terminal. On that particular excursion, there was little opportunity for shopping. RCI has a Taste of Athens tour that adds in the shopping experience but is 7 hours in length. Wednesday: Mykonos. At the advice of foxtraveler, we had an early breakfast (much quieter that way) then got off the ship before the town woke up. There were young adults hanging around. I suspect they hadn’t been to sleep yet. We walked up to the windmills and took some beautiful photos. The walkways are narrow and it’s easy to both get lost and also find yourself back to the shore. We paid 18 Euros each to take a water ferry over to the island of Delos. There is a 5 Euro entrance fee but for whatever reason, a crew member gave us free passes to get in. We were all fascinated by the ruins. While we didn’t have a tour guide, there were signs posted around to read about some of the structures and there is a museum you can walk through to see the statues that they are trying to preserve. The ferry brought us back at 12:30 so we wandered around looking for lunch. Then we just shopped until it was time to board the ship. Thursday: Argostoli, Greece. My plan was to find a taxi to just drive us around. Instead, we found a couple of tour companies passing out brochures. I found one through Avalon Kefalonia Travel Services that took us both to the Melissani Cave and to the top of Myrtos Beach where we could take incredible photos. I paid for that trip then since we had an hour, we walked around the town. There is a street where all the shopping is off the main square. At the appointed time, we boarded a 52 passenger bus who took us around the island on very windy roads. Our tour guide was a delightful gentleman from Whales who entertained us with stories about the island. Highly recommend that tour. They dropped us off at the cruise terminal in plenty of time. Back on board, as predicted the main pool is crowded and it’s difficult to find lounge chairs. I tended to hide inside on my balcony or sit on Deck 5 looking out the window. With two teens, they can’t be without social media for long so we bought the unlimited Internet package. It is $189 and limited to one device at a time. Since I had cruised Royal Caribbean before, I had a discount that helped. Special surprise was that since I prepaid the tips for the MyTime dining, it also included the tips for the cabin person. I gave her extra money anyhow. My challenge was getting us from the ship to our hotel in Venice. For those going straight to the airport, there is an ‘excursion’ where you can check your bags through. There is a people mover at the cruise terminal that takes you to the bus/train terminal. With our 27” bags and our carry-on’s, I wasn’t up for that plan. As you depart the ship, there are stations set up to book water taxi’s. I was told 80 Euros was the minimum charge and I didn’t know what my options were. I paid with a credit card, was assigned a taxi number, then rolled our bags for a several minute walk to the water taxis. I’m still not sure what was the best thing to do. In summary, we had a pleasant experience. I’m sure if we had gone in the off-season with less people we would have enjoyed it more. We were all impressed with the pleasantness of the crew and the organization of getting on and off the ship both initially and for each port – they certainly know how to manage the crowds. I booked this cruise only because I had wanted to see the Greek islands. I’m now actually considering another cruise since I find them a good way to sample a lot of places that I want to go in a short amount of time without the hassle of packing and repacking.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
Just back from a 7 night cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. This was my first cruise and I was so looking forward to it. I had a great time and would cruise again but I was also disappointed. I was looking forward to the two formal ... Read More
Just back from a 7 night cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. This was my first cruise and I was so looking forward to it. I had a great time and would cruise again but I was also disappointed. I was looking forward to the two formal nights as I am right into fashion and was looking forward to getting all dressed up and seeing all the fashions. Alas, this did not happen. On the first formal night we had dinner early in the windjammer and then went to get ready for the show. On entering the show in all our finery I felt so stupid as looking around Iw as surrounded by people dressed in jeans, shorts and t shirts. After the show I went down to our cabin and got changed as I couldn't see anyone who had made an effort. There were a few who had long dresses on but not much. On the second formal night I didn't bother and went out dressed in jeans and I was so grateful as again nobody had made the effort. I feel that some sort of policy should be in place. Some people were very very casual and wore the same clothes all week! Entertainment was very poor. If it wasn't for the excellent singer/piano player in the piano bar we would have been lost. The shows were very amateurish and most things that were on were only on for an hour or so. I was expecting cabaret that lasted for a few hours, tribute nights, perhaps karaoke. Karaoke was on for half an hour one night next night semi final half an hour and then the final an hour. Equipment was awful. Didn't have an up to date system and didn't have the songs people were requesting. The presenter couldn't even sing! Deck three outside cabin. Excellent. Found out from friends that an inside cabin the exact same is £800 cheaper. A lot money to pay for a window! Even after all my moans I did enjoy it, food was excellent cabin was excellent and the staff were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
The cruise was short, only 7 days to visit Brazil, Uraguay & Argentina which meant 3 stops and only 1 full day in Beunos Aires. Annoyingly RCI had altered the itinerary cutting out the overnight stop in Argentina and trying to book ... Read More
The cruise was short, only 7 days to visit Brazil, Uraguay & Argentina which meant 3 stops and only 1 full day in Beunos Aires. Annoyingly RCI had altered the itinerary cutting out the overnight stop in Argentina and trying to book shore excursions was frustrating as they only became available at a very late stage despite requests to confirm with RCI over a long period prior to the website being finally amended. To compensate this lengthy fly/cruise from the UK, we added 4 days in Rio and 2 at the end in Sao Paulo. The Splendour being one of the oldest in the fleet was cosy by modern standards but thanks to it's refit offered all the facilities associated with the new monstours albeit in a limited fashion. We are Diamond Club members and as this was geared to the Brazilian market found only a handful of other members, 15 in total of which only 6 had English as their first language the remaining South Americans spoke very precise English and joined in excellent repart each evening prior to Dinner. Our Diamond Concierge Aline Aruajo was wonderful and most helpful in every way. Our balcony cabin on Deck 6 was one of those remodelled to accomadate the extended add on balcony and was perfect for comfort and location. Dinner was taken as our choice, My Time, but due to the language problems with other crusers [95% S American] we ended up on a table for 2 each evening at our preferred 8:00pm slot. Food was excellent with plenty of choice and the service quick as we didn't have to wait for a large number of guests to be served at the same time. Entertainment was geared in Portuguese with occasionally the Cruse Director [Michelle] asking if she needed to speak English. We saw a couple of shows including the Samba main production which was very colourful. Quiz shows with Sergio were in both languages and as usual good fun. Shore excursions : Punta del Este- Guided tour of the posh residential areas and a visit to the main beach, dropped off for an hour to shop not a lot on offer. Take Dollars as the Uraguayan peso is a closed currency. Beunos Aires : The highlight of the trip! Tour of the main areas including the palace [Evita balcony scene] the independance square, Eva Perons grave in magnificent cemetry and finally the Bocca area with the street dancers--excellent day trip. The evening we booked the Tango show in the City Centre theatre through RCI which was fantastic. We did the shorter version without dinner but included free wine/beer/soft drinks. The show lasts for an hour and twenty minutes continuously detailing the evolution of the Tango up to the present day. If this was shown in London's West End or on Broadway it would fill every performance as it was on our visit in BA. Montivideo: Not a lot to see, main square that we circled twice very slowly then stopped for photos for 20 mins! Tour of the residential areas and park followed by long drive down the coast. We enjoyed Rio prior to the cruise taking in the usual tourist spots and our last days in Sao Paulo did the usual last minute shopping. Excellent all round trip but a long way to go for just a 7 day cruise 4 of which were sea days. Only blot was Santos port which for emvarkation was a nightmare with 5 other ships all trying to funnel through a congested area with little information available, the port authority is to blame not RCI as it's out of their control. Read Less
Sail Date March 2014
I've been on two other Royal Caribbean ships and let me tell you that this has been the worst. All the good impression that the other two cruises had made the splendour of the seas just washed them away. Almost all the passengers are ... Read More
I've been on two other Royal Caribbean ships and let me tell you that this has been the worst. All the good impression that the other two cruises had made the splendour of the seas just washed them away. Almost all the passengers are Brazilians and I guess that is why all the activities are in portuguese and makes it impossible for people who speak another language to participare in. As well as it is very difficult to to communicate with most of the staff on the poolside bar and windjammer caffe. The staff basically discrimanate you for not speaking their language, the ignore you whenever you want to order something or they tell you that they are running out of products in order to get rid of you. At the Windjammer caffe the staff never come to take your drink order, and they leave the dirty dishes pile up on your table and when they see you getting up the staff comes and then cleans everything up. The only polite staff were the staff at the King and I for dinner time. As well as the staff at the excursion desk were helpful although for the excursions they told me to be there at 9:15 because the tour would start at 9:30 we ended up leaving the ship at 10 so we ended up losing like half an hour or even more of our tour! In my opinion I believe that if you are already paying for a trip and you are choosing a well known cruise line so that you can have a good time and make the best of your vacacion I think that they should expand their knowledge and help everyone aboard the ship to feel welcome. Since it is an American Cruise line I would also suggest having more english speaking staff members. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
This was a decent cruise. I am from the USA and I was disappointed that Royal Caribbean did not inform us that a $160 per person tourist visa is required to even board a plane to travel to Brazil. We found out at the port that a $160 per ... Read More
This was a decent cruise. I am from the USA and I was disappointed that Royal Caribbean did not inform us that a $160 per person tourist visa is required to even board a plane to travel to Brazil. We found out at the port that a $160 per person reciprocity fee is required for Argentina. The crew was great as usual. The room and ship were comfortable. There were about 28 out of 2000 passengers that spoke English. The majority of the cruisers were from Brazil, I found the fellow passengers to be extremely friendly. The cruise staff all spoke English and all of out tour guides on the excursions spoke English so language was not an issue. The food wasn't great like eating at Ryan's or Golden Corral for 7 days. There were also lines for the Windjammer cafe. This was my first time experiencing lines for food on a cruise. In the end this was an efficient and affordable way to visit three countries in South America so I would recommend the cruise despite some of the flaws mentioned above. Read Less
Sail Date January 2014
Let me start of by telling you this was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. This was my husband and my eighth cruise, but only the second with our children. We took a 10 year break in cruising to have our kids, currently ages 8 and 4. ... Read More
Let me start of by telling you this was our first cruise with Royal Caribbean. This was my husband and my eighth cruise, but only the second with our children. We took a 10 year break in cruising to have our kids, currently ages 8 and 4. Our first cruise with the kids was on HAL, to the Norwegian Fjords, in Jul. Overall, we had a great time. We had great ports; great weather and the kids loved the kids club. That said, we did encounter a few problems along the way, mostly with our cabin. Transport: While we are Americans, we are currently living in Germany and chose to drive to Venice. We drove out the afternoon before the cruise and spend the night at a small hotel just outside of Venice. Saturday morning, we left the hotel about 1000 and had an easy 45 min drive to the cruise terminal. RCCL had a drive up luggage drop and then directed us to parking. Venice Port Authority has four parking lots around the terminal and offers parking for 95 Euro’s for the week. We parked the car and had a very short walk to in process the cruise. There was almost no line, so we had our pictures taken and were on board within minutes. A quick stop to get wrist bands for the kids and we were off to the Park Café for lunch. After lunch, we had a short wait until our cabin was ready. Our Cabin: I had splurged this trip for a Deck Seven (7638) Cat D1 Aft Balcony. I was really looking forward to our cabin and our balcony. Unfortunately, our cabin turned out to be a major disappointment. We found the cabin easily, open the door and were immediately hit by the strong stench of what I thought was mildew. My husband thought it was more a cigarette smoke smell. This presented a major problem. I suffer from allergies and asthma. We immediately opened the balcony door and tired to air the cabin. We reported the problem to the steward, who promised to reclean the cabin and spray down all surfaces. When his efforts did not help the situation, we reported the issue to guest services, who organized having the cabin deep cleaned while we were in Split . Over the next 5 days, the smell dissipated (we kept the balcony door open at all times), but I was forced to use my inhaler quite frequently and had breathing difficulties throughout the trip. I loved our balcony, but other than that the cabin was a great disappointment. Split (Tender Port): Tender dropped us about a 10 min walk from town. The old city was beautiful and fascinating. I wish we had more time. The kids loved having an ice cream, while walking the promenade and the fortifications were very interesting. Our only purchase was some fresh lavender balls we used to try to control the stench in our room. We hope to visit again. Kudasasi: We arraigned a private tour to Ephesus. The company picked us up about 30 mins after the ship docked. We had a private van for the four of us and the company provided carseats for the kids. Ephesus was amazing and the Terrace Houses were a must see. Being on a private tour allowed us to keep our own pace, not have our kids annoy other folks and saved money. We were also able to avoid the craft display. Our tour lasted 3.5 hrs and that was the right amount of time. Our 4 year old fell asleep in the van on the way back. After a quick Turkish coffee and some Turkish Delight, we returned to the ship. Mykonos: We really wanted to visit Delos, but not with the ship. We were quite disappointed when we docked to find out that we were on the far side of the port, with no sidewalks and a 35min walk to town. RCCL arraigned buses to run from the ship to near the city (still a 10 min walk) for $8 a person, but failed to tell anyone there was a Sea Bus that ran on the hour for 2 Euro per person that would drop you off in the middle of town. After our bus ride, walk, we purchased Ferry tickets to Delos and had a short wait for our ferry, which let us walk around Mykonos and buy some pastries. The Ferry was fun and Delos was amazing. Delos is very different from Ephesus, but well worth the trip. The kids elected to stay on the ship, having seen enough ruins the day before. We hired a local guide on the island for $10 per person. He was very informative on the history of the island, excavations, and lifestyle of the previous inhabitants. I just wished we had more time, 2.5hrs was not enough. Argostoli: The weather was a bit cold and rainy, so we chose to make a short venture of this port, while the kids had a short break in kid’s club sessions. We hoped off and found some hot chocolate, croissants, and coffee. The main part of the town is about a 15 min walk from the ship. It is not nearly as pretty or as historic as the other stops. Dining: We really enjoyed the main dining room. We had My Time Dining but had made a standing reservation at 1800 for a table for four. We had a wonderful waiter and steward, who provided great recommendations and extra options for the kids. The food was good, better than we had expected. The staff also sped up dinner for the kids, who do not really enjoy long events, and would give us a short break to run them up to the kids club before our main course. In addition, to four nights in the MDR, we had one night in Izumi, one night with Chops and one night at Chef’s Table. I would do the Chef’s Table again in a heartbeat. The meal was wonderful and the company exceptional. It was a true treat. As for Izumi and Chops, for me Izumi was just ok, nothing exceptional. As for Chop’s, the steak was excellent, the venue nice, but the rest was only ok. On HAL, we had used the Pinnacle and Tamarind, almost every night, if we did Splendor again, I would return to Chef’s Table, but skip the other two. Other impressions: The Windjammer Café is poorly designed and does not have enough seating. Also, being forward, it is a logical place to want to sit and watch the water, when raining or cold, but can only seat 500 of the 1800 on board. We also felt the ship lacks indoor quiet areas to read and relax. This might not be a terrible issue in the summer or warmer climates, but our cruise was in November. We missed a "crow’s nest” type location where we could read or watch the water. It also presented a challenge to find someplace to hang out when the smell of our room was too much for me. Disembarkation: Was easy, we were in Group 4, we had to wait a few minutes in the Theater before being directed off the ship. The first groups departed about 0735, we left about 0745 and had our bags and were at our car before 0800. Adventure Club: My kids love the Adventure Club; so much so, they begged to go to the sessions. My daughter passed on swimming in favor of staying at the kids club. Our daughter would watch the clock, counting down the minutes until the activities started and demand to have one of us take her. They both really enjoyed the games, arts and crafts, toys, movie nights and other activities. Additionally, the staff was excellent and very engaging. A few annoyances we had were with baggage delivery, strollers in the hallways and diapers in the pool. Maybe it is RCCL, but I’m used to my bags being delivered to my room, on this cruise, all the bags for our area were piled near the elevator and we were expected to identify them and drag them to our room. We also had several parents that chose to store their strollers in the hallways (passageways), one family with a double stroller, made it impossible to pass and presented a hazard. Lastly, is more of a policy enforcement, there were several families with children in diapers using the pool. There are signs posted indicating that diapers were not allowed in the pools and it was in the daily bulletin, but the policy was never enforced. Cruise Critic: We had a nice get together on Day 3. It was lovely to meet Ship’s Cat and several others. RCCL put on a nice spread of snacks and drinks. The Cruise Director hosted the event and had a small gift for each of us. Overall: We had a good cruise. If our cabin had not smelled so bad, I would have called it a great cruise. Splendor is a nice ship, with a good staff and is not showing her age. The few things, I dislike about Splendor would likely be different on another RCCL ship. The kids loved the kids club, which gave us time to relax and enjoy the sights. I would consider RCCL again, mostly because the kids loved the activities.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
First off, this was not only our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean, it was our first time cruising full-stop - so I have to be careful not to mix up my perceptions of cruising as a whole, with my opinions of this particular ship. My ... Read More
First off, this was not only our first time cruising with Royal Caribbean, it was our first time cruising full-stop - so I have to be careful not to mix up my perceptions of cruising as a whole, with my opinions of this particular ship. My husband and I are both in our early thirties and not many of our friends or family have cruised so neither of us were entirely sure what to expect – but both being ocean lovers we were sure we would take to life at sea – and we were right. From embarkation right through to disembarking, the service and organisation on board was beyond efficient, professional and reassuring. Everybody seemed to know exactly what they were doing and did it with a smile. Our cabin attendant was cheerful and chatty, whilst our waiter was such a genuine and friendly chap that we swapped email addresses and remained in touch long after the holiday. Our cabin was an E2 grade balcony. Although our first impression was that it looked very small, actually there was plenty of space for everything and we would happily book the same grade again. The balcony was a good size – just a shame about the smoke drifting over from the balcony next door. The evening entertainment and activities weren’t really for us, although we did take in the caberet show, feeling that we should experience at least something. The performers were talented but it was a little too ‘Butlins’ for us, and napkin folding and line dancing hasn’t really ever been our thing – but each to their own, and if you don’t want to join in there is always somewhere else to go. The food was fabulous with a capital F. Every meal we ate in the main dining room was of the most outstanding quality, and the breakfasts and lunches that we took in the Windjammer restaurant were obviously more modest in presentation but of no lesser quality. I don’t normally have an enormous appetite but by the end of the cruise I could barely do up the zip on my formal dress. Whoops! We took the complimentary kitchen tour and it was remarkable to see quite how many people contribute to get those mouth-watering dishes to the tables and made us appreciate the food even more. We loved the outdoor movie screen – watching The Wizard of Oz out in the middle of the ocean was magical – and would have liked a few more ‘old’ movies rather than the kids films that were generally shown, but we understand that the ship needs to cater for families. Overall we had a great time and although we are now ready to try different cruise lines to find the one that suits us best, we wouldn’t rule out cruising with Royal Caribbean again – particularly if we have a family in the future.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
We have just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Splendour of the Seas sailing from Venice. First of all I will mention the very good things on this cruise. embarkation was first class and on the ship in record time. The Windjammer food ... Read More
We have just returned from a 7 night cruise on the Splendour of the Seas sailing from Venice. First of all I will mention the very good things on this cruise. embarkation was first class and on the ship in record time. The Windjammer food was excellent and catered to all needs. Dining room was, in our opinion OK. As usual steak every night in different forms. For the formal night we had 2 large shrimps, which the head waiter said gave more meat than lobster? The problem we unfortunately had on our table was that our waitress had a new assistant, and he was not very helpful in that she did most of the work, thereby forgetting orders etc. Entertainment was good and the ships singers and dancers very good. The staff were first class and very helpful. The ship was spotlessly clean. There was music in the centrum every evening and people really enjoyed themselves. Unfortunately on this trip we encountered very bad weather with very high winds and rain. The Captain could not dock in Livorno because he said the pilot could not get on board, so we made for Toulon. This is where there was a problem in that people on the ship for the second time were not catered, so it was a scramble to find things for all the passengers to do bearing in mind that you could not go on deck because of the weather. The thing that surprised us the most were our cabins. We have cruised on lots of different lines, always in balcony rooms and they have all in all been much the same, but not on the Splendour. This is where apparently it was refurbished. We found that this room was smaller than normal, had no fridge because "fridges were not on this floor". No sofa, coffee table. No cupboards just cubby holes. On entering our room we found on the very tiny desk, coca cola cans, bottles of water and nibbles. There was no room to put these in the cubby holes. If we wanted ice we had to request it. Our room steward was superb and did everything he could to help us. When I went to Guest Services, they said they would sort out the problem and sent us up a bottle of wine "for the inconvenience". I have been on many Royal Caribbean cruises, but on this cruise the cost cutting was very apparent.   Read Less
Sail Date November 2013
After a fantastic first cruise, also with Royal Caribbean, we almost couldn't wait for this one. We indeed had a fantastic holliday. The splendour was not as great as our previous ship (the Navigator), but still very good. The ... Read More
After a fantastic first cruise, also with Royal Caribbean, we almost couldn't wait for this one. We indeed had a fantastic holliday. The splendour was not as great as our previous ship (the Navigator), but still very good. The personel was good but did not deliver the prommissed wow. They were polite and did their job fine, though. A problem with the ship itself was the deckplan. We love to enjoy the piano-music in the Scoonerbar, while drinking a cool cocktail. The position of the scoonerbar was directly next to the center, one deck above the R bar. The music of the entertainment in the Center was really loud and was programmed at the same time as the pianist. The result was that, unless you had seats directly around the piano you couldn't even listen. The activities on board of the ship were also not for "people like us". We are a young couple (round 30 years old) but the activities seemed to be especially for people around 50 years. In our first (and next) cruise we did not experience this at all. The singers and dancers of the ship were really good. Strong voices, fine shows. The food quality was good, but we missed the extra's from the Jade-cafe. Embarkation from Venice was great. The cruiseport is very easy to find and everything goes fast. And when the ship is leaving you have this wonderfull view of Venice! The shore excursions were fine with one exception: At Katakolon (Olympia) we had a very grumpy guide who didn't like her job at all, was terrible in organising things on the site, was rude to some people and made some major historical mistakes in her story. On the other hand, in Santorini we had the best excursion (and guide) ever! I doubded if I should rate the Splendour "Average". But when I look at the overall picture, it was really a good cruise. We have enjoyed every minute and would book it again. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
Our recent cruise on Splendour was very pleasant overall, with some disappointments. Embarkation was speedy and smooth. The sail away from Venice really is quite spectacular. We chose to stay on our balcony as it was a little bit chilly ... Read More
Our recent cruise on Splendour was very pleasant overall, with some disappointments. Embarkation was speedy and smooth. The sail away from Venice really is quite spectacular. We chose to stay on our balcony as it was a little bit chilly on deck. It was beautiful. The ship is looking good for her age and is well maintained. Everything was sparkling and showing little sign of wear and tear. We thought the food was of a good standard generally, and we rotated between the MDR, Windjammer, and Chops Grille - which was truly outstanding, both in terms of quality of food and service. The service in the MDR lacked a little enthusiasm we felt, but we still enjoyed dining there. We only dined there on 3 evenings as we went to Chops and the Windjammer twice. We preferred a Windjammer breakfast or Room Service breakfast to that in the MDR. The Solarium was a favoured spot for us during the day, but as expected on a winter cruise, it could be busy. They also allowed children in the Solarium pool which wasn't a big deal, but could be rather noisy at times. It was a bit cold to be in the outdoor pool though, so I think allowances were made. We stayed in a Grand Suite and had mixed feelings about it. Not sure that we would do it again on this class of ship as the suite perks (or lack of) don't justify the high price. The suite itself was very nice, with lots of storage space and a large balcony with comfortable furniture. The bathroom was spacious and the shower pressure was great. The bed wasn't as comfortable as on previous cruises, but it was OK. The iPad was useful for keeping an eye on our account. We discovered we had been overcharged, and this was quickly rectified at Guest Services. It was very noisy overhead at night and in the morning, but this can be quite a common complaint with suites being on the floor under the pool. We didn't make any special requests to the Concierge, as we had booked our dining arrangements and excursions prior to sailing. We did pop in occasionally to the Concierge Lounge for our complimentary evening drinks and nibbles, but the service was very slow, so there wasn't much opportunity to have more than 2 drinks before dinner. Certainly not enough to justify the money we paid. The Concierge was so-so. We were given priority tender tickets for Santorini, but when we went down to disembark, there was no priority boarding, so the tickets were useless. We were however offered a tour of the Bridge, Galley and Backstage Theatre, which was very interesting. We still don't know where the Suite seating in the theatre was, but we had great seats on the 2 evenings we went to see a show, and they were in a great location, so there was no need to utilise that particular perk. The specialty coffees in the Lounge were nice. If you like a lovely spacious room with nice little touches and decent toiletries, that may be enough of a perk for you to pay the inflated price, but if you enjoy taking advantage of a full range of Suite perks, you won't get them on Splendour. The entertainment was a bit hit or miss, as usual. We spent less time than we normally do in the theatre and Top Hap Lounge (although the Concierge Lounge is actually just a partitioned off part of the Top Hat Lounge. We had a lovely time, with several highlights, but felt we had paid way over the odds for what was provided. Will go back to the bigger ships which offer more suite perks, and for some reason are less expensive (perhaps because there are more of them?). The added 22% Italian tax which was added to every purchase onboard meant that the shops were deserted. Even the 50% sales weren't worth bothering with. The sales assistants looked very bored indeed. They must lose a lot of business when they don't have Turkey on the itinerary to avoid this huge tax. Read Less
Sail Date October 2013
This was our first RCCL cruise at Diamond Level. The diamond concierge and club were very nice to have. The Splendor is smaller and older than many of our previous sails. However, the amenities met our needs for this trip, ourselves and 2 ... Read More
This was our first RCCL cruise at Diamond Level. The diamond concierge and club were very nice to have. The Splendor is smaller and older than many of our previous sails. However, the amenities met our needs for this trip, ourselves and 2 adult children. The balcony stateroom seemed a little smaller than we remember. The bed and pillows were less comfortable. Storage was more than adequate. The size of this ship made it easy to get everywhere and stairs were the obvious choice. There was no obstructed view in the theater. This is the first time that MTD (my time dining) worked for us. Our table was by the window, also a first, and didn't require a wait. Staff was professional and efficient. We found the food a little more creative than previously. Appetizers, salads and entrees were good, but deserts were lacking. One complaint we had regarding food service was that upon returning to the ship in the late afternoon, there were no places to get a late lunch or snack(Hot dog stand concept was good, but closed when we needed it). When open, some of the venues were understaffed (Park Cafe) to accommodate the number of people in line. We chose this cruise for the itinerary and were not disappointed. We don't typically take shore excursions but prefer to venture out on our own. *Split: Interesting to walk around. We enjoyed local wine, bread and cheese purchased as the farmers market. *Kusadasi: we had toured Ephesus previously so this trip we walked through the bazaars in the morning and after lunch took part in a shore excursion to the Turkish Bath *Mykonos: we took a taxi to a small private beach recommended by the cruise staff and ate lunch at a local taverna which was only average and expensive. Overall Mykonos was not our favorite port. *Argostoli: we arranged a private excursion with Sea Kayaking Kefalonia and had a great time kayaking through caves along the west coast of the island. Our guide was terrific and this was probably the highlight of our trip. We enjoyed the cruise staff and participated in many of the activities on board. In particular we appreciated elements of the entertainment and food that reflected the region we were sailing in (Belly dancing class, brief language classes, Gyros sandwiches made poolside, and LaMusica that incorporated opera into their contemporary presentation, etc.) Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
We recently cruised out of Venice aboard the Splendour on a 7 day itin. Stops were Croatia, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Argostelli. All in all we had a great experience both on the ship and at most stops. Ship is in good condition and has ... Read More
We recently cruised out of Venice aboard the Splendour on a 7 day itin. Stops were Croatia, Corfu, Athens, Mykonos and Argostelli. All in all we had a great experience both on the ship and at most stops. Ship is in good condition and has been updated in many areas including the new big screen over the pool area. Staff was very friendly. We have been on RC 12x and as Diamond cruises we generally have some good comparitives so I will focus on those. Highlights: Casino staff was the best we have seen - very friendly, very attentive and truly made our gaming time fun. Viking Crown lounge turns in to a club everynight and lots of fun up there. Food quality was very good. Also did the Chef's Table and it was exceptional. Very good food and wine pairings. We were in room 8502 - very good repair and spacious. Room attendant was excellent and room was always promptly prepared and cleaned. Ports are generally great stops (see negative on Mykonos below). Misses: Main pool bar can be difficult to get a drink without going to the bar - and sometimes that was a 30 minute wait. They need to staff with more than two bartenders at peak times. Also, pool waiters were hit and miss - a couple of really good ones (Robe and Ivan) and then some not so attentive ones. Mykonos was a dissappointment. We waited over one hour to get a taxi - and never got one right off the docks at the taxi stand. there are only 33 taxis on the island so it just is not condusive to 2500 people visiting at once. Solve your transporation needs before you get there because you will miss the island otherwise - as we did. Gave up and got back on the ship. All in all a good cruise and i would do this ship and itin again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2013
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean, and although not as enjoyable as the last, we still had a good time. This time the excursions were mixed - with the docents being anywhere from engaging to barely understandable. We stayed in ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean, and although not as enjoyable as the last, we still had a good time. This time the excursions were mixed - with the docents being anywhere from engaging to barely understandable. We stayed in Venice a couple nights ahead of the cruise, making sure to choose a hotel not more than 2 bridges from Piazelle Roma - where the transportation can be arranged to the ships.Carrying heavy luggage over those bridges was very difficult. There are steps over these bridges, no ramps. I don't know how anyone with much of a handicap can make it around this old city. Regardless, Venice is something not be missed. Bring your insect repellant if mosquitos like you - I'm sure glad I had mine! We used the Vaperettas and didn't do the gondola thing. Make sure to visit the Rialto Bridge and market! The fish market and fruits are not to be missed! Sharing a bag of cherries with my husband was a highlight to be sure. There was many little alleyways to get lost in all over Venice, so just make sure to get back to the Grand Canal and you can find your way back home. When it was time to head to the ship taking the People Mover was a bit of a challenge, and we hadn't understood the directions, and nearly went back towards the city of Venice again.We even paid twice, and they man refused to refund the money after misdirecting us. Oh well...glad it was only a few Euros a piece! Boarding the ship was a breeze. And our stateroom was ready quickly, and our baggage delivered promptly. I had the cabin decorated for my husband's birthday, and it looked nice. We ate lunch in the Windjammer, and shortly thereafter had the muster drill. We weren't required to wear life-vests, and I was happy to take part in the drill. We needed to change tables frequently ,and we'd not been matched well to our dinnermates. I enjoy meeting new people, but that has to be the case in return. Fortunately, the head waiter let us move around a bit, and we finally settled on a mostly empty table with a sweet young military couple who were the same ages as our youngest children. We also ate breakfast in the main dining room so as to meet more people. Meals were not very impressive. Sure, the staff was very attentive, but the food just not memorable. They did accommodate my gluten sensitivity with fresh gluten free bread, and that was quite appreciated. Otherwise, the food was just okay. All around the table seemed to have the same impression as I did. Our cabin was quite nice, but the deck an issue. Right above us they wheeled heavy carts with noisy wheels day and night so we thought herds of children or buffalo were running upstairs. Truly, they need to fix these carts and provide different wheels, because this took away from our sleep and was a distraction from peace and quiet. Our first stop was in Split, Croatia. It was hot. Not much to do there other than take the tour of the castle, and although they are now part of the European Union, they are not ready to accept Euros. So, we simply exchanged Euros for Kunas. The guide was warm and friendly at this port. Next stop was Ephesus, Turkey, and we saw the ruins which were phenomenal. Again, quite hot! And the ruins were very crowded. The walk was mostly downhill, and fortunately, that's where we picked up our buses. Water had been provided for us on this excursion, along with a little evil eye. Then we headed to lunch in a nearby town, and that was quite refreshing. The food was delicious and plentiful. We shopped a little bit, and then off to a carpet demonstration... Okay, it was interesting to see how they make the rugs, but the salespeople can be intense. A warning, do not ask for prices unless you want to be hounded the entire time. One poor couple was followed out the door of the store with another rug held out by a salesperson. Apparently this is an art the government is concerned about dying so they have a school where they teach young women to make these rugs. We're talking tying over 500 knots per square inch! My back hurts just thinking about it! Then we were off to Santorini Island via ship tender and boarded a bus. The postcard view pictures you can take from Fira and Oia are breathtaking! Truly! All the blue domed churches open but one day a year according to the Saint they are named after. The shops were fun, but time too short to shop around. (My husband would disagree lol!). We saw rooftop cylinders and apparently they have little power to generate hot water. Be careful about buying capers here, as my jar was not properly sealed and leaked all over the place. We did also go to a wonderful wine collective in Oia, and had the opportunity to taste white, red, and super sweet wine with cheeses and olives...This was about 10am in the morning, and people were all drinking and enjoying the view. I'm not sure what we'd do on the island for longer than a day or so. Everything must be imported here but tomatoes and wine. We took a cable car ride down the island to the tenders to head back to the ship. Riding down the cliff on a donkey was not something I was willing to do. Next we went to Olympia, Greece. What will I remember most? The cicadas! WOW! Deafening creatures in the trees were unreal. The ruins of the original Olympic events were interesting to see, but the tour guide had such a thick accent! We could understand just a portion of his presentation. I loved posing at the marble starting blocks for the races, and found the museum there amazing! A word of caution here...do not dare try to POSE in front of anything in the musuem and have a picture taken. I don't know why they get so angry, but they do. I understand no flash photography, but not the posing issue. Anyhow, my favorite part was the statue of Hermes. They have many partial statutes which are missing limbs, etc., but it was still fascinating to see what remains, and what thus far they've unearthed. Pottery, statues, masks, etc. Afterwards we were taken to Apollo Jewelry. Obviously, there is some connection here between the guide and the shop owners. Okay, so I bought a silver laurel wreath here for 10 Euros...but a couple stores down was a shop where the owner had a little studio where he made his own unique pieces and they were very kind non-pushy people, and took American currency with ease. Oh, almost forgot, delicious frozen coffee drinks in a little store with free internet is across from Apollo Jewelry. On the road to Olympia you can see them growing lots of corn, melons, and tomatoes. Olive trees too. We stopped back in the village close to the ship's dock, and I HAD to have a Greek Salad. Feta, olives, olive oil, tomatoes and super yummy! Little street urchins there beg for money, and my husband gave up a Euro to one, BUT they are NOT hungry! We tried to feed them as they persisted begging, and they threw the food in the garbage can right in front of us and some other tourists from the UK! So, it's a scam. They wanted my coke and $ not food. I think not...A hungry kid I'd feed, but these children were not hungry -they just appeared to be that way...We also walked to the beach, and took a few pictures there from the rocks. Back to the ship itself...The crew was certainly pleasant enough. The condition of the ship was clean. The shows were some better than others. My biggest beef was probably not being able to obtain a lounge by the pool as people grab them up and just pretend as if they're being used. There needs to be better oversight here. The internet, which I wish I didn't need, was awful. Apparently it's a new company which promised better results, but honestly it was faster the last time we sailed RC 4 years ago. The cruise directors were fun and engaging. We didn't participate in most of the pool events. I think the sun just drained us, and we were happy to head off to bed for the next day's adventure. This time I also purchased the photo package ahead of time. What a fantastic deal! Do it! $199 for ALL the pictures is a bargain compare to $20 each. The photographers were wonderful aboard this ship, and we have many great memories of our cruise experience for a album. For some reason they chose to have one of the formals nights a day after a port visit, as opposed to a day at sea. This to me was nuts. I'd rather have a day to relax before dressing up. And speaking of dressing up, I was disappointed to see so many people underdressed. At least I think they were underdressed. Some wearing shorts - yes even in the dining room! Maybe I'm getting old, or am just old-fashioned - I don't know - but I enjoy seeing people dressed up on formal nights, and think it's all part of the cruise experience. To me this is a deterioration of the environment, and I'm sure people will disagree with me, but this is my opinion, and I stand by it. Disembarking was efficient. Our baggage handling at Venice Airport, apparently not....there were 6 families on the flight from Venice whose luggage was mishandled. That airport was a challenge, and there was no help despite our efforts. Our boarding gate was moved with little notice, which is not fun when you don't speak the language. So, while I'm typing this from home,I expect my bag is leaving Venice today, and will be home tomorrow night. I hope it has a nice safe flight with my gowns and all my other dresses and souvenirs. In terms of transportation to and from Europe we used Choice Air this time around. The price was better, but the seats home awful. I asked for aisle for my 6'4" hubby, I always do. We were stuck in the middle seats, and not able to do much of anything about it. Just a lesson learned next time I will be much more direct to get what we need! Until we sail again... Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Having really liked Venice two years ago, we thought that we'd go to differnt ports on a RCL ship again. This time we went to Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Split and Argosotli. All were interesting and different (look for the ... Read More
Having really liked Venice two years ago, we thought that we'd go to differnt ports on a RCL ship again. This time we went to Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Split and Argosotli. All were interesting and different (look for the parallel st behind in Argosoli) but suffice to say that it was really an interesting trip. Since this is a cruise ship review, I'll leave the ports at that. I've been on Voyager twice and Dawn Princess and really liked this ship in it's size and layout. Typical RCL which means quite good in most things but it would be so much better if they........... * Stopped this US gratuity thing at every turn. * Altered US style training that includes false sounding dinner recommendations. * Cloned that wonderful 'Mercedes' cruise director especially if the quality of entertainment is included. * Brought the food up just one notch. AND most of all, if they started realising that lifeboat drill needs to be taken seriously with strong command and organisation. This is not just about getting to your station & lifejacket....it's also an opportunity to control the crowd and demonstrate the crews strength and competance. Heavens knows they will need it if trouble occurs. Our station had 20 year old girls clowning around. I didn't see our officer and marking off was desultry. My complaint was taken although I was amazed at a very nice officer saying that they couldn't be rude to passengers. Having said that .....I feel that most cruise lines are probably the same although we had a mush better drill and explanation on Dawn Princess. I notice the Ratings below don't put a level for Safety. I'd certainly go RCL again and offer the above hoping that small things changed could make a bigger impression. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We travelled with our three adult children and picked the Splendour because of the schedule and itinerary. We were looking for a 7 night itinerary which included both Santorini and Athens. Splendour fit the bill. We knew a little about ... Read More
We travelled with our three adult children and picked the Splendour because of the schedule and itinerary. We were looking for a 7 night itinerary which included both Santorini and Athens. Splendour fit the bill. We knew a little about Royal from cruising Celebrity and will include comparisons in this review. We stayed two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Gardena, which was very pleasant with a canal view and convenient to port. We took the People Mover and port shuttle and were dropped off right where we deposited our luggage. We were pleased to see refreshments in the terminal and were checked in by 11:30. Our Celebrity level translated to Diamond status. We hadn't expected to be greeted with a welcome drink, but were offered rum or regular punch. We headed to the solarium and Park Cafe which would become my "go to" places just as the Aqua spa had been on Celebrity. I did check out the Windjammer in search of honey stung chicken which was not there, but which was available from room service. (I had spent a lot of time on the Cruise Critic RCI and ports boards.) Cabins were open promptly at 1. First we went to our children's room, a large interior on 8 which had plenty of storage. (This sailing was very popular and triples were scarce.) Our cabin was one of the balconies which had been added to deck 6 (E1). We had booked a balcony guarantee and were quickly assigned this cabin. No other balconies opened up. Having seen all the storage space in the inside cabin (which was a quad), we were surprised to find only 3 desk drawers and 3 shelves. Fortunately, there was plenty of closet space and we had packed lightly. For a longer cruise, storage space might be a problem but, for us, everything fit. We asked our stateroom attendant to remove the items from the cash bar to reduce the clutter. Having only cruised Celebrity, we noted the absence of a refrigerator and toiletries. We did receive plush robes which we had not expected and a coupon booklet and welcome gift. (The coupon book compared with Celebrity's had much less Internet time and no laundry or dry cleaning, but we did get free photos which was great.) Boarding day and the one sea day of the cruise were our main times on the ship since the itinerary was port intensive. I never had a problem finding a chaise at the solarium and enjoyed the pool and sauna. I was not accustomed to signing up for towels and missed having beach towels delivered to the cabin on port days. There was much of the ship left unexplored: I never went to the main pool area although I understand there was a bar-b-que and paella demo poolside which I might have liked; we went to the Diamond Lounge rather than any other venues; I didn't have a chance to check out the mini golf or rock climbing. We did go to most shows and I particularly enjoyed the Emperors of Soul. As the CD kept reiterating, there was a lot of energy on the ship. Cruisers were international and seemed younger than on Celebrity. We had MTD and ate in the MDR every night except the night we went to Chops. Our waitstaff were excellent. I always found something of interest on the menu although the menu was less varied than Celebrity. I particularly enjoyed the nightly escargot and chocolate sensation. Chops had good quality steak and a delicious goat cheese souffle, but wasn't as special as Murano or Tuscan Grill on Celebrity ( although it was also less expensive.). I also enjoyed food from the Park cafe, Dog house, and cafe Latitudes. I didn't eat at the Windjammer or have a chance to try Izumi. We usually had lunch in port and the one sea day went to the MDR. I used room service twice ( the menu was more limited than on Celebrity), but I did get to try the honey stung chicken. There were two Crown & Anchor events and the Diamond Lounge was a real plus with a continental breakfast and nightly hors d' oeuvres. The concierge was a help with tender tickets and printing out account info and boarding passes. Unlike Celebrity, cabin mates are not assigned the same level of benefits meaning that one person might be allowed into the Diamond Lounge and the cabin mate not. We booked independent tours in every port except Santorini which we DIY quite successfully. I was pleasantly surprised to find cool beverages when returning to the ship even though there were no cool washcloths as on Celebrity. The Splendour was in excellent shape and well maintained. There seemed to be plenty going on onboard. The Venice sail away was spectacular. To my relief, smoking was not an issue. Our cabin attendant and waiter were both excellent. While Splendour lacked some of the touches of Celebrity like cloth towels and fresh flowers in the bathrooms and, of course, pillow chocolates, it provided a solid and enjoyable cruise experience. I found that there were more similarities between Royal and Celebrity than differences.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This is our second cruise with ROyal Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Venice per cruise. This was perfect. We arrived at the terminal at lunch time, it was very busy and we has a long queue. There was some confusion also when we tried to ... Read More
This is our second cruise with ROyal Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Venice per cruise. This was perfect. We arrived at the terminal at lunch time, it was very busy and we has a long queue. There was some confusion also when we tried to board, as the number on our card was different to our booking. We had booked a D1 balcony on deck 7. We were very lucky to have been upgraded to a junior suite on deck 8! What a bonus as this is only our second cruise! The room was lovely, a great size for the 2 of us. Our first cruise was on the Independence with our children. We travelled alone this time..we enjoyed the itinerary, and we were fairly lucky with the weather. The whole of Europe ,s weather was a bit unsettled in May, and we has a couple of cloudy/windy days, however overall it was line and we were able to enjoy the decks, even on sea days. Ports of call- no trips, did own thingSplit- nice place. We walked miles, very nice place.Kussadasi- again walked. No trips as we have already been to the ruins at Ephesus. As always find the pressurised selling of Turkish shop keepers very annoying! The du free shop at the port here was very cheap.Mykinos- lovely white washed Greek island, nice shopping.Kefelonia- hired push bikes and managed about 15 miles to burn of a few calories. Pretty place.The ship is the smallest in the fleet, a very diff end experience to our last. We found the entertainment poor. The best nights were the ships own entertainment team nights. They were all excellent. We loved the disco themed night in the centrum, we ate in the king and I on second sitting. This was a little too late for us really, I would prefer to eat around 8 pm, however then you would miss the shows which are planned around the sitting times. First sitting was slightly too early! The food was excellent, plenty of choice, waiters were great, always smiling. During the day the was plenty of seating on deck. Not keen on the pool band. Indy had a great band called rock the boat, this one was not a patch on them. Cruise director James was good, he was also on Indy on our last cruise- many of the same jokes, but very enthusiastic. Ship was lovely and clean, did not show signs of it,s age. We met some very nice people, from all over the world. Thou rally enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was ideal for us as a couple, but out teenage kids would have been board rafter the Indy. Disembarked at Venice, very easy. Own transport (bus) to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was my first cruise. Didn't know what to expect but reading sites like this really helped. We flew into Venice from the USA (Chicago) on the day of embarkation and so that meant that we've been up for close to 24 hrs in real ... Read More
This was my first cruise. Didn't know what to expect but reading sites like this really helped. We flew into Venice from the USA (Chicago) on the day of embarkation and so that meant that we've been up for close to 24 hrs in real time. Registration was fairly simple. We boarded the ship around 11:30 AM so our room wasn't ready yet but the bar was open on deck 9 and we hung out there. The Windjammer dining area opened up around noon and we grabbed something to eat. I was worried about the quality of the water on the ship but was relieved to find out it tasted great and so didn't have to purchase bottled water. Afterwards, we went to our room and took a short nap. Remember the bottled water and canned sodas in your room are not complimentary. A liter bottle of water was like $5.50 and canned soda was about $2.50.Pros:- Rooms were clean-Housekeeper checked room multiple times throughout the day-Lots of activities on board -Food was average to above average. We tried the My Time Dining in the King and I dining room a few times but found we liked the buffet style dining at the Windjammer better because it was just more convenient.-Not a lot of beverage choices if you don't buy purchase the soda or alcohol package. Mornings had cofffee, tea, orange juice, apple juice and water. Lunch and dinner had lemonade and a flavored water (Mio, crystal light). Would have been nice to have juice for lunch too.-Staff was pretty nice. Cons:-Everything closes up by 2 AM. Meaning you couldn't get a snack or beverage/water until 6:30AM. There are people from all over the world with different sleep patterns so it would have been nice to at least have a station where you can dispense juice and water 24/7. My suggestion is to get a water bottle and fill it up in case you get thirsty in the middle of the night. Or I suppose you can drink the water from your bathroom sink.-Excercise room was pretty small and hours were limited also.-Dining staff in the Windjammer wasn't very serviceable. They were very good at clearing the tables but did not seem to want to offer other services like getting beverages. If I wanted a beer or soda, I'd either have to go order one from the bar outside the dining hall or try and flag one of the staff members. Sodas and alcohol beverages are not serviced inside the the Windjammer. I had the alcohol package and wanted to make use of it during all my meals. I don't recall being asked once if I needed anything. My thought was maybe it's not part of their job to be of service in the Windjammer but rather to be just bus boys.-Chops Grille: Made reservations there and arrived at designated time; 8:30. Was escorted to table by host and sat there for about 15 minutes before anyone came by to greet us and give us menus. Took another 10 more mins before water came and poured us some water. By the time the waiter came by to ask for our order, it was a little after 9:00. By the time appetizers came out it was about 9:30. Main course was probably 15 minutes after. The food was excellent. We ordered a couple of appetizers each. I guess I just felt like the service was really slow and the waiters weren't very attentive. We (2 people) spent about 2 hrs in their for our meal. Maybe some people enjoy the slow service but it's not for me.Ports: My suggestion is to do some research and do it on your own instead of purchasing the excursions through the cruise line. This will save you a lot. Most of the ports are pretty small towns and you can explore it by yourself. Dubrovnik and Santorini have buses you can take to get around. The only port where I thought it was wise to get a guide/driver was in Athens because it's so big. You can hire a taxi in Athens to drive you around for cheaper than the excursions, especially if you have 2 or more people in your group. My friend and I were approached by a taxi while walking to the metro train. He took us to 4-5 different spots (Acropolis, Plaka, Stadium, some mountain overlooking the city, parliament) for 30 euros each.Overall I enjoyed the cruise but would probably try another cruise line on my next cruise just to see the difference. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to ... Read More
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to the ship/airport is a comfortable 2 hr drive . However, all it takes is a little fog or an accident and the drive can be 4 to 6 hrs. Frequently passengers who arrange their own transportation miss the ship. Therefore, the ship transfers($25 each way) are the way to go. The ship was renovated this past year and is in excellent shape. Everything is new including cabins, restaurants, public spaces and even the theatre. So don't be scared by the year it was built. The Royal Family suite is really an amazing cabin. The LR has a full size couch (Q size bed) and seating for 7 adults. The MB faces the LR with sliding privacy glass doors for privacy. Its the size of almost 2 cabins with private bath with tub. The MB and LR both have sliding glass doors to access a large balcony. The second BD is a standard inside cabin with 2 beds that can be combined and one bunk bed. It also has a small private entry way and a full bathroom for BR#2 and LR guest. It can accommodate 7 but 5 is the way to go. 5 is also the minimum to book this cabin. Its location is mid ship and ideal. The RF Suite also gives you access to the concierge lounge with perks like reserved seating at shows, early disembark at ports regardless on your tour times, special behind the scene tours of the theatre, kitchens, bridge and more. The best is everyday between 6:30 and 10 you can have free cocktails (top brands included) and appetizers in the concierge lounge. So a couple of before dinner drinks at 6:60 and a couple after dinner drinks at 10 make it very enjoyable. They are very particular about bringing in guests that are not in your suite. The concierge who sits in the entrance of lounge knows all his suite passengers and will escort any visitors out of the lounge. My sister stayed in a standard balcony cabin below us and their cabin was well appointed too and rather spacious with lots of closet space. Being a seasoned traveller, the cabins on this ship are larger. The food was not great, but acceptable. The steakhouse 'Chops" was great. The shows were fine with a cirque de soleil style show atop the atrium enabling guests on every floor to view the show. The ship was 90% brazilian. There were only 100 english speaking passengers on board. Special get together sessions were help for the english speaking guests. The brazilians are really friendly and courteous. The staff were also very accommodating. 35% are brazilian and the rest were primarily from the Philippines and India who are super friendly. The seas tend to be rougher than normal and a steady breeze. A little cool in March. All in all great cruise, great times and fun had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to ... Read More
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to the ship/airport is a comfortable 2 hr drive . However, all it takes is a little fog or an accident and the drive can be 4 to 6 hrs. Frequently passengers who arrange their own transportation miss the ship. Therefore, the ship transfers($25 each way) are the way to go. The ship was renovated this past year and is in excellent shape. Everything is new including cabins, restaurants, public spaces and even the theatre. So don't be scared by the year it was built. The Royal Family suite is really an amazing cabin. The LR has a full size couch (Q size bed) and seating for 7 adults. The MB faces the LR with sliding privacy glass doors for privacy. Its the size of almost 2 cabins with private bath with tub. The MB and LR both have sliding glass doors to access a large balcony. The second BD is a standard inside cabin with 2 beds that can be combined and one bunk bed. It also has a small private entry way and a full bathroom for BR#2 and LR guest. It can accommodate 7 but 5 is the way to go. 5 is also the minimum to book this cabin. Its location is mid ship and ideal. The RF Suite also gives you access to the concierge lounge with perks like reserved seating at shows, early disembark at ports regardless on your tour times, special behind the scene tours of the theatre, kitchens, bridge and more. The best is everyday between 6:30 and 10 you can have free cocktails (top brands included) and appetizers in the concierge lounge. So a couple of before dinner drinks at 6:60 and a couple after dinner drinks at 10 make it very enjoyable. They are very particular about bringing in guests that are not in your suite. The concierge who sits in the entrance of lounge knows all his suite passengers and will escort any visitors out of the lounge. My sister stayed in a standard balcony cabin below us and their cabin was well appointed too and rather spacious with lots of closet space. Being a seasoned traveller, the cabins on this ship are larger. The food was not great, but acceptable. The steakhouse 'Chops" was great. The shows were fine with a cirque de soleil style show atop the atrium enabling guests on every floor to view the show. The ship was 90% brazilian. There were only 100 english speaking passengers on board. Special get together sessions were help for the english speaking guests. The brazilians are really friendly and courteous. The staff were also very accommodating. 35% are brazilian and the rest were primarily from the Philippines and India who are super friendly. The seas tend to be rougher than normal and a steady breeze. A little cool in March. All in all great cruise, great times and fun had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We sailed with Splendour on 20 October 2012. Flying in from London we were delayed so opted for a road taxi from the airport as we were cutting it fine. Cost was 50 euros and it takes about 15 mins in good traffic. The ship is in good ... Read More
We sailed with Splendour on 20 October 2012. Flying in from London we were delayed so opted for a road taxi from the airport as we were cutting it fine. Cost was 50 euros and it takes about 15 mins in good traffic. The ship is in good condition. So clean and staff are polishing all the time. Cabin 8542 was a nice size. A little bland for a suite. A few touches would have made it feel special. Windjammer is far to small for the number of people on the boat. We shifted our day so we ate at 10 and then 2 to beat the rush. The food is fine. A little repeatative but there's lots of it. One complaint we had compaured to other cruises is that the windjammer shut at 3.30 before opening at 6 and shutting again at 9. Between then or after then you had the Park Cafe in the Solarium which offers very limited fare. Basically salad, soup or a beef roll and some cakes and cookies. Again repeatative. I also really dislike queuing for something small like a cookie. Just put them out. It would take a lot of burden off the staff. Entertainment was fine. Not our cup of tea but you can always find somewhere to sit in the alternative. Main restaurant had good food and service. The pastry chef on this book is amazing. The best I've ever experienced. Back in Venice we paid 80 euros for a water taxi to st marks square. the water bus is cheaper but its the experience you pay for really. Overall we had a great time. I wouldn't sail on the splendour for a longer cruise. The food and queuing would frustrate me. But for 7 nights it was a great hop on hop off ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This is the first time I have cruised with Royal Caribbean after reading a couple of reviews I was not sure what to expect, I choose this cruise for the ports of call rather than the cruise line, also I was bringing my Mum with me, as she ... Read More
This is the first time I have cruised with Royal Caribbean after reading a couple of reviews I was not sure what to expect, I choose this cruise for the ports of call rather than the cruise line, also I was bringing my Mum with me, as she has never cruised before. I booked one of the new E1 Grade Balcony cabins on deck 6 and booked 6568, this is a midship cabin on the Starboard side, I was very impressed with the cabin, new fixtures and also new carpet, flat screen TV, the bathroom was more of a wet room, but very functional, I would also add that having the beds in a twin configuration did not limit the space in the cabin, like it has on other cruises i have been on. So where to start: The Ship The Splendour has just been through a multi million pound refurb and it shows, the cabins were really good, the ship was really clean and had a new feel to it, when you come on board you enter into the Centrum which is amazing, the ship in general is great with a good mix of bars and eating venues, I didnt try the speciality restaurants, but they did look nice, but we did eat in the Windjammer and also the King and I dining room. The spa and also the Solarium are both really nice and well furnished, one thing i would say about the design of the ship is that considering there are 2500 people on board you dont feel it, the only time it felt a little crowded was on the sea day when everyone was trying to get a bed by the pool. The Food: Now this was a bit hit and miss, now in general the food was good, but there was the odd evening where the food was not as hot as i would have wished, the second formal night i had the black angus steak, which you would have thought would be good, but i was mistaken, it was just not good, the NY strip i had the next night was much better, i also thought the choice in the dining room was slightly limited. Now the Windjammer however i thought in some ways had a better choice and also was good for service, now the only thing i would say is that at times it was very crowded and was hard to get a table, but normally you will be able to slip onto a table with ppl as generally ppl are happy to share. Shore Excursions: Dont bother, quite frankly the person in charge was more interested about telling you about the shopping of each port rather than the actual attractions, we went to the port talk before Bari on the sunday, now the person in charge focused on the shopping more than anything else, one thing to be aware of if in Mykonos you want to go and see Delos then YOU NEED TO BOOK THE ROYAL EXCURSION, this we only found out when we got to Mykonos and found out that the last ship to the island left at 11am, this was not mentioned in the port talk. Bars: The schooner bar is by far the best place to chill out and listen to Juanito who is an awesome pianist, apart from that, the Top hat Lounge has kareoke and also events going on most evenings, or if you fancy partying late into the night then the Viking Lounge becomes a night club until 2am. There is also the Centrum with live music and events going on all the time. Ports of Call Bari Corfu Mykonos Athens Dubrovnik All can be done on your own with a map and some info from the tourist office near the ports, Athens is the only place where a shore excursion could be a good idea, but there is a subway and also a good bus link from the port area in Piraus, there are also taxis where if you are more than two people having a chat and negotiating a price for a private tour could be worth doing. In conclusion i would cruise with Royal again the Vision class are nice and not to big, also you do not feel much movement at all there were only the odd occasions where i thought, hmmm we are definitly moving, on the way to athens we did bounce a bit, but i did not feel like i was in a tumble dryer. The only i would add is to watch your on board spending, as if you drink a bit then getting a drinks package would be a good idea in retrospect i wish i had done this! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
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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