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2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth ... Read More
This review is only about the ship as that is all we booked, love going away over the new year to a warmer climate so this cruise seemed ideal. We arrived at the cruise terminal along with a lot of fellow cruisers, check in was smooth but we were told to wait until the ship was ready for us (cabins need cleaning). There's not an awful lot at the cruise terminal so sat around waiting at least an hour then along came a member of staff with a megaphone, couldn't hear clearly what she said but caught we could board. We went straight to our cabin, which was ready (had not been told we could not) popped our bags in and went to go for lunch in the buffet restaurant, we were met by a cabin steward who rather rudely asked what we were doing and said we should not be here and showed us out of the corridor. Lunch was good, plenty choices and we had a wee wander around to get our bearings and then headed to our cabin. The cabin was average size for an outside on deck 3 forward, first time we had the bed at the window, which I quite liked. Lifeboat drill went quite smoothly then we were free to enjoy our cruise. As time went on we notice we always seemed to have a problem catching the waiters eye to get a drink order (was this because we had a drinks package) at least in the buffet restaurant anyway which was where we chose to eat all the time. The New Year celebrations were good, although it was the first time we had to buy our own drink to toast in the new year but did find they seemed to be short staffed, are they running the ship down before passing to Thomson, surely not as that would not be good customer satisfaction. Most of our fellow passengers we spoke to who had cruised with RCCI before said we had chosen the oldest ship of the fleet for our first cruise with them, but surely that should not matter. There just didn't seem to be the same welcome atmosphere you normally get all through your cruise. When it came to the end of the cruise we had to have our cases outside by a set time as usual, but we were running a little late, got cases outside our cabin only to find they were still there the next day - never had that before. So we had to take our own luggage off the ship and no one offered to help, that made us feel that we were just forgotten about and they were too busy getting ready for the next lot, never felt like that so much before, have noticed that the ships that are America run do seem to like you off the ship asap. Has it put us off cruising with RCCI, no - if the iterary is right we don't mind who it is with. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Having spent a great cruise in September on this ship we were really looking forward to this seven nighter in the Gulf. Check in was shambolic to say the least, evidently this was due in part to the Emirate ways rather than the usually ... Read More
Having spent a great cruise in September on this ship we were really looking forward to this seven nighter in the Gulf. Check in was shambolic to say the least, evidently this was due in part to the Emirate ways rather than the usually efficient RC way. Access to staterooms was swift, partly due to the ship overnighting in Port Rashid Dubai. The DL somehow received a community spirit bypass it seems, lack of ambiance and atmosphere, unusual from past experience. More morgue than lounge. Went to the MTD station at 13.00 to request a table for two at around 7.30 was informed we would be placed on a list, but told not to hope for a slot as we were fourth on list for such a request. One of our 2 suitcases failed to reach the cabin before we went to the lounge so had to go in shorts. Asked the Diamond concierge if she could reinforce our dining request and perhaps chase it up as eating at 20.30 our designated time, was out of the question. Thats your time dining not My Time. We were told that due to demand this could not be achieved that evening, but the Hotel Director, Peter Dimitrov came and spoke with us and arranged via the Food and Beverage officer John Hazzard to seat us at our requested time in Chops Restaurant. For which we were extremely grateful. Although we felt totally underdressed we were escorted by Fransisco ,The Dining room Manager, to chops and enjoyed the meal. We didn't feel out of place once seated as the restaurant was devoid of customers anyway. We were informed that the usual concession reduction for Diamond Plus members was not in force on this sailing, maybe this was the cause for lack of patronage. The atmosphere throughout the sailing after christmas eve was definitely not festive. Well not according to British traditions anyway. The crew and passengers carol singing in the centrum on christmas eve was well supported and enjoyed by all. Unfortunately that atmosphere did not go beyond christmas eve. In fact it all went pretty much downhill from that point. The major disappointment expressed by the uk guests was a lack of a traditional christmas dinner. My idea of a traditional christmas dinner would be, Roast Turkey, with roast potatoes and vegetables accompanied Brussel sprouts and some form of forcemeat or bread based herb stuffing followed by christmas pudding and cream. The dining room menu for christmas eve displayed the above selection which we thought unusual, but Christmas day it was changed. Possibly by the chef, who I think was American. Obviously the American christmas dinner is a totally different concept to an English one. Turkey day in the States being one month prior. Fortunately my wife and I attended the Galley tour and Brunch at 11.30 which was a tremendous value for money experience. The choice of food and presentation was excellent, and we supposed that this extravaganza would be emulated during the formal evening. Sadly not. At dinner, We had the lobster bisque soup to be followed what we assumed would be the turkey christmas dinner. Not so. In fact we left after the soup and made our way to the windjammer which we learned was offering a proper christmas dinner. The entertainment on board was pretty slack, one night for a Beatle tribute band and mediocre entertainment all round. The Top Hat club offering Bingo and Who wants to be a millionaire the theatre with the same old Love and Marriage game perhaps they could consider resurrecting Take the Money or The generation game. The same old questions and the same carefully rehearsed answers, all for a bottle of Champagne. Arial displays in the centrum and the obligatory 70 s night with the same old lame YMCA gang strutting their stuff. We were fortunate enough to have spent 6 nights prior to the cruise itself in a resort on the Palm in Dubai and knowing what I know now would rather had spent another 7 days at that resort, than have endured that dour cruise. Very disappointing all round. There were a number of guests doing a back2back and were saying that for the two weeks, taking in Christmas and New year the price was outrageous to say the least. Having completed the survey via email received today, I'm afraid that the ambiguous questions don't really reflect on the cruise just undertaken. 7 nights cruising the Gulf of Oman will definitely not be on my list of things to do next year. Maybe its time to start looking further afield, to step up to Celebrity or maybe to take advantage of some of the other highly recommended cruise lines such as Princess or MSC. We have been loyal to royal but this experience overall has not been up to the usual high standards. This is no reflection on the staff or crew who carried out their duties well but as a general concern for maybe a mistake being made by RCL to stay out of the Gulf and concentrate on the Caribbean and the cash cow Asian markets. This ship is leaving RCL and evidently going to TUI Thompsons. It might be suitable for the shorter runs and the Butlins mob. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Splendour of the Seas is a fabulous shop and a real credit to Royal Caribbean. Such a pity she is being sold on April 2016. She is has the most wonderful crew, spotlessly clean and great food. Never once did we struggle to get a ... Read More
Splendour of the Seas is a fabulous shop and a real credit to Royal Caribbean. Such a pity she is being sold on April 2016. She is has the most wonderful crew, spotlessly clean and great food. Never once did we struggle to get a table in The Windjammer restaurant or wait to get served at a bar. Cabin 8588 was on the aft. Spotlessly clean and very quiet. Bath with shower and plenty storage space in this Junior Suite. Two armchairs with footstool and sofa by the window. Huge balcony with table and two chairs, and two sun loungers. Wifi signal strength was very good and is offered as a daily package. Ports of call were good. Khasab in Oman - we chose to do the Dhow Cruise shore excursion into the Oman Fjords. A four hour trip where we walked round from the pier. Very clean and spacious dhow...cushions on the deck. Served Arabic sweet tea, fruit, dates and plenty soda and water. Trip into the fjord took about 30 mins. A real escape from tourism, the dhow dropped anchor for an hour to allow those to swim from the back the opportunity in 2m of water. Anchored next to a small island. We then set off in search of dolphins, and were not disappointed. They swam alongside and pranced, teasing us closeby. Take some warm clothing as well as your swimwear, gets a little chilly on the return journey. Muscat, Oman - stroll along the cornice to the soukh. Second visit to this wonderful place. A real assault on the sense, the hussle, bussle and smell of frankinsense. Some beautiful cashmere pashminas available but haggle. Not as many bargains anymore. Abu Dhabi - shore excursion to the Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit. Slightly underwhelming for around $100 dollars each. Yes we got to see the track, the podium, the control room and the other sights. But when it is desolate with no cars and no interactive material it can be a drag. Lots of this is what happens when...down to your imagination. Quite a contrast to somewhere like the Charlotte Motor Speedway in the USA which is an all singing all dancing experience. Dubai - plenty of regulated taxis outside the terminal. A cab to the Dubai Mall was around 50 dirhams or £10. For a 30 minute journey very reasonable. We decided to go later in the day to catch the fountains. Unfortunately the 6pm show was cancelled due to high winds apparently, barely a breeze was to be felt ! Some shopping in the mall and a cab back. We booked this cruise independently, choosing to fly in the night before and stay in a hotel close to the airport. Le Meridien Hotel and Conference Centre. Those who were on a package with RCCL were also taken here and provided with breakfast and and then taken to the ship around 11. Personal preference. Nice to see Royal Caribbean still offering the fillet steak option in the main dining room for a surcharge. $20. Cooked to perfection, it is something that brings us back to this cruise line over and over again. And nice to turn Diamond Plus too ! ;) Entertainment was variable. Some better than other, The Beatles Tribute Band were excellent. Read Less
3 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by ... Read More
After reading a few negative review about The Splendour Of The Seas we were beginning to regret booking our cruise. Yes the Staterooms are small, but what do people expect! This was our 15th Cruise and we have had larger Cabins but not by very much. Other reviewers complained about the food however we found a good variety of food which was always served hot in both the Windjammer and the Dining Room. Check-in was flawless, less than 5 minutes and we were onboard. The King and I freestyle dining worked very well for us, we never waited more than couple of minutes to get a table and we found the staff very willing to please. The entertainment could have been better but we thoroughly enjoyed the guy in the Schooner Bar who was a very capable pianist and singer catering for all sorts of musical tastes. Overall we had a relaxing and enjoyable time and wouldn't hesitate about doing this cruise again. Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. ... Read More
We decided not to travel far this Christmas, being a UAE resident boarding the cruise on Dec 19th was easy as it was a simple taxi journey from home which was very convenient. Suite check in was fine just a short queue which took approx. 15mins. Luggage arrive very timely about half an hour after we arrived in our room 8070 JS. The Suite was smaller than what we are used to having just been on the Allure of the Seas around the Med, so next time for 3 adults I will book a suite and an additional room. The ship is quite dated but I found all the rooms, common areas etc clean but the ship does show its age in some areas. The shows were not great as was the karaoke due to very limited entrants so we skipped the entertainment after giving it 20 mins or so. Schooner bar was the busiest bar on the ship with great entertainment from 10pm with a chap who played Piano, there was a carol service in the auditorium on Christmas eve which was well attended but the ship is too small for large crowds but it was well planned and delivered. Although there was one large Christmas tree, a bit of holly in the main dining room and a nice nativity display I thought the ship could have been decorated more to make the atmosphere more 'Christmassy'. Did not bother with the Windjammer or for fee restaurants, we dined very well in the King and I on deck 5, we had a fabulous service from Devkumar and his team. Food variety and quality was fine although I must admit and agree looking at other reviews the US Christmas dinner is not the same as the UK. The casino is ok quite small with no bar, drinks service can be slow. Viking lounge was ok again quite small and the only area to host a nightclub which did not allow under 18's in after 11pm so as a parent of a 17 year old we struggled to find somewhere decent after 11pm, the schooner bar is always packed. Bar service through the day was hit and miss I was not sure which bars were open or closed, generally I think the bars lacked staff, wait time was quite long on many occasions particularly in the Casino and the Schooner. The mix of nationalities was good, lots of Europeans, we met some very nice people some who had cruised often and some first timers. As long term residents in the Gulf we did not get off the ship for excursions so I can not give comment in this area. I was happy with the cruise generally but pleased we did not travel to far to embark, for me the Mega ships are far more fun but the gulf cruise was adequate for a short local break. We are now moving to platinum members of RC but on reflection I am not sure what it means, the welcome back party was rubbish and I am yet to see any decent fare reductions for future cruises or any tangible benefits, going forward I am going to keep an open mind as to who we cruise with rather than build up points with RC. Read Less
1 Helpful Vote
Sail Date: December 2015
Dubai Airport , 300 passengers going through passport control in lines was slow mainly due to the fact staff leaving their booths for a walk about . A private taxi collected us from Dubai Airport and transported us to Dubai cruise ... Read More
Dubai Airport , 300 passengers going through passport control in lines was slow mainly due to the fact staff leaving their booths for a walk about . A private taxi collected us from Dubai Airport and transported us to Dubai cruise terminal ( have proof of your booking handy to get through port security gate) at terminal building met by porters who are eager to take your luggage inside for expected payment ,after a couple of hours were were eventually processed (even though we had completed our administration on line) boarded the ship, pay particular attention to the Deck number of your stateroom ,your sea pass card has only the last 3 digit on it. We were on any time dinning visited the King & I restaurant once , the waiter and his assistant both introduced themselves as it was our first night we enjoyed the meal, we took all our meals in the Windjammer self service restaurant ,breakfast you could order omelets or fried eggs,lunch/dinner was varied 3-4 hot soups in various colours ? Salads cheeses soft tomatoes and a carvery, as week progressed seemed to be lots of mixtures of stews the food was OK,table staff were helpful and the wine waiter was not over bearing in selling . Entertainment was average choreography seemed out of sync with singers and dancers, sound was poor if not inaudible, we did go to an international karaoke competition it was dire & the compère was even louder ,they had aerial artists in the centrum pretty good but you can only bounce and spin for so long (15 minutes). Ship security staff only one member checking passengers off the ship when in port. Ports of Call Khasab, 8km from the port .We had booked trip on a Dhow arrived on the pier with many passengers all standing about in the hot sunshine, totally disorganised eventually groups made there way to other end of the pier to board the boats .the trip up the fjords was different no greenery and small fishing community’s who do not like tourist we stopped so some of the passengers could go swimming. Muscat. x 2 days(Via Royal Caribbean) We had purchased Big Bus Tours Tri City Ticket , Hop on hop off bus in the port for the city tour the buses were extremely busy and you might not get a seat if you got off ,we stopped at the beach and visit the local cafés/ shops due to confusion about what currency they would accept we decided to catch the next bus out . Second day we went a bus tour which included a visit to a 5 star hotel for afternoon tea. Abu Dhabi UAE (one day) City tour and Grand Mosque with beautiful Islamic architecture has the second largest (70m x 60m) hand made Persian carpet in the world. Dubai , Hop on Hop off bus tour to Palm island and visited the lost chambers aquarium which was very busy. Disembarkation on the last day was a lot quicker ,unless your on board account had not been settled. Dubai Airport ,departure through passport /imagination was slow at the desk no communication just a curt room 4 (notice other passengers being sent to rooms) official behind his desk looked at us and passports stamped returned passports and we at another desk official stamped passports and we were through to security the experience was nothing like the happy smiling face's of official photographs , if Dubai want to encourage tourism have to send officials on a customer care courses .Large shopping mall with a variety of food outlets and shops. If I returned I would like to spend a couple of days exploring Dubai before joining the ship Overall enjoyed the Arabian Gulf holiday. Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
I have been cruising for over 20 years and my cruise with RCI is without doubt the worst I have ever been on. First the good points: the ship was clean and the staff very friendly and accommodating. The bad points: I booked ... Read More
I have been cruising for over 20 years and my cruise with RCI is without doubt the worst I have ever been on. First the good points: the ship was clean and the staff very friendly and accommodating. The bad points: I booked flights and transfers through RCI. On arrival in Dubai the RCI staff were disorganised & we were passed from one member of staff to another. Finally we were put on a coach to a hotel for breakfast. At about10.30 am we were taken to the ship where we had to wait until gone 13.00 to get into our cabins, which was understandable, but we couldn't get any form of refreshments until that time either. On the return, we had to leave our cabins at 08.30 & we were taken straight to the airport. I had a 6 hour wait in the airport, other guests had longer. The cabins were clean & the steward was very good. I had an outside cabin & there was no fridge, drink making facilities or toiletries. There was a good choice of food and it was of a reasonable quality except there was no where to eat after about 11 pm. In the self service restaurant you had to eat off plastic! The Christmas dinner was nothing special although they did give us a 3 inch candy stick! Entertainment was generally poor and the internet useless. Customer service after the cruise has been useless. A lot of apologise but no action - offered a voucher for 150 towards a future cruise, as if I'd cruise with them again! Read Less
2 Helpful Votes
Sail Date: December 2015
Check in was longer than usual as queues had built up but we were very pleased with prompt arrival of bags. Interior cabin 6111 was clean, comfy and very quiet at night. We had towel animals and a very friendly cabin steward. ... Read More
Check in was longer than usual as queues had built up but we were very pleased with prompt arrival of bags. Interior cabin 6111 was clean, comfy and very quiet at night. We had towel animals and a very friendly cabin steward. Interesting mix of nationalities on board... The most varied we have ever experienced in 9 cruises. This made for lots of interesting conversations but the downside was that the 8.30 sitting in King and I was empty a lot of the time. We never sat on a full table and had to move to get people to chat to. Ports were excellent. Loved our Dhow trip in Khsab... Book it privately and you get an amazing morning with dolphins swimming alongside.. Thanks DONNA! I recommend visiting the mosques in Muscat and Abu Dhabi but make sure you are respectfully covered ladies or you will have to wear a provided outfit! The shows were good but they need to keep backing lower as the superb voices of singers were drowned out at times. Lovely ports, slow speed of ship so very gentle. Warm pleasant temperatures. Lovely cruise! Read Less
Sail Date: December 2015
I have recently returned from a cruise to Oman & the UAE on Splendour of the Seas. I would start by saying that my previous cruise experiences have been on Norwegian and I much prefer their freestyle mantra. While a small ship I ... Read More
I have recently returned from a cruise to Oman & the UAE on Splendour of the Seas. I would start by saying that my previous cruise experiences have been on Norwegian and I much prefer their freestyle mantra. While a small ship I though overall for it's age Splendour of the Seas looked in good condition in the public areas though I felt that in the lesser traffic areas (like the corridors and stairwells for cabins on lower decks) it looked pretty tired. Embarkation was a complete nightmare - I had completed all required paperwork online because that was recommended to speed up check in, but when I got to the port at 1:30pm I lined up for 2 hours before getting checked in. In previous cruises I have never spent more than 20 minutes in line. I understand that I am not an RCL member so was waiting in the longer line but it was a bit ridiculous, more staff would have streamlined the process and perhaps a line for those who hadn't bothered to complete their forms in advance as those were the ones that held it up for everyone else. Dining wise I only ate in the Windjammer purely because as a solo traveller I preferred not to sit with a table of 8-10 in the King & I, this highlighted my preference to travel with NCL where I could sit at a table of 2 in the main dining room at any time of my choosing. The food at the beginning of the week was good but towards the end it felt like some of the meat was being recycled into stews and didn't taste great. Food was lukewarm unless you got there right on 6:30pm for dinner but the variety of food was fine. Entertainment was dreadful, aside from the aerial show which was good but incredibly short I felt the standard was well below what I have seen on other ships. There weren't any fantastic theatre shows to speak of and some of the singers struggled to stay in tune. Port wise it baffled me that the ship spent 2 days in Muscat but only 1 in Abu Dhabi when there is so much more to see there. Muscat was a good port though. Khasab was good for me because I booked a Dhow Cruise but to be honest if you hadn't booked a shore excursion through the ship then this port would be a complete waste of time, there was little to no representation on the pier from the locals and of course no taxies so you really had no option to explore other than via the ship's tours. Information about the ports within the cruise compass newsletter was minimal and my observations of information being provided by Guest Services and Shore Excursions staff was that they also were not particularly knowledgable on the ports we were visiting. When I got off in Khasab to go on the shore excursion there was a complete lack of organisation and staff, only 1 person handing out stickers for multiple tours and it was only by luck that I noticed a local holding a numbered sign for my tour across the other side of the pier - no announcements, loud speaker, nothing. The tour itself was excellent though. I chose an interior cabin which for the price was fine but I regretted my choice to go on the 3rd deck which was directly underneath the casino and the main atrium bar - it was like having someone move house above my head every night all night. I didn't request a move because I got it at a very cheap price so I completely accept that I wasn't in a position to negotiate a better room. Air con in the room didn't work properly, even when set to the warmest it could go it was absolutely freezing - I asked for it to be fixed and was told that the person who had stayed in that room the cruise prior had said it was too hot so it had been made colder, it was never fixed and I slept in long pants and a jumper to stay warm. The shower had the opposite problem even at it's coolest setting it was almost too hot to stand in. When I tried it on the first day at a mid-range temperature it nearly burnt me - but I guess at least I was always sure of a hot shower which sometimes you don't get on ships. Staff in general didn't seem excited or happy to be onboard with the exception of the housekeeping/room attendants who were all very lovely. While I am sure it would be have been better if I was in the main dining room not once in 6 days did anyone ever ask me if I wanted to order a drink, not in the Windjammer, or the pool deck, nowhere - it kind of surprised me. Both times I needed to see Guest Services I had to line up for over 30 minutes however that may have been more to do with the people in the line and their line of questioning than the staff themselves, but while the staff helped me with what I needed they never smiled or seemed welcoming. I disembarked a day early in Abu Dhabi so disembarkation was obviously a whole lot faster for me than embarkation. Overall it was just an "okay" trip, not one I would talk about for weeks after or be recommending to my friends and family. Read Less
Sail Date: November 2015
Started the cruise after a 4night stay in Mestre Venice embarkation excellent balcony cabin midship on deck 6 plenty of hanging space but no drawers or shelves for clothes. Drinks expensive so took a package for one (surprising as in the ... Read More
Started the cruise after a 4night stay in Mestre Venice embarkation excellent balcony cabin midship on deck 6 plenty of hanging space but no drawers or shelves for clothes. Drinks expensive so took a package for one (surprising as in the past all cabin occupants had to have one.) We knew about the drinks policy but managed to get a bottle of gin and a bottle of brandy on board in our suitcase. As RC have no tea/coffee making facilities in the cabins we use room service each morning for our wake up brew this year we asked for a kettle and received one on day 3 so could brew our own as required. Food on board was very good but not usually hot service good buffet which we rarely use was the best I have seen on a ship(we have done 11 cruises on different lines) Entertainment with the RC singers and dancers was poor but entertainment brought onboard was good although some nights we struggled to decide what to see on others we had little choice lots of daytime entertainment from bridge to crafts, dance lessons to keep fit sometimes a little holiday campish like the belly flop competition and the sexiest male but you could avoid this if you stayed away from the pool area area. Excursions desk not much help if you wanted to see somewhere on your own took one with the ship to Jerusalem and Bethlehem rather expensive at approx 139$ each we were rushed around for 5 hours Jerusalem was excellent but Bethlehem was a complete disappointment would have been much better to take a taxi arround Jerusalem and enjoy it at leisure Finally disembarkation was excellent for our 3night stay in Dubai Read Less
Splendour of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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