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146 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Splendour is a reasonably small ship but I found this a good point. It still took us a few days to find out where everything was! Staterooms were small but had ample storage room for 2 people and the bed was big and comfortable. The only ... Read More
Splendour is a reasonably small ship but I found this a good point. It still took us a few days to find out where everything was! Staterooms were small but had ample storage room for 2 people and the bed was big and comfortable. The only thing lacking was decent toiletries - just 2 bars of soap and a shampoo dispenser in the shower, so take anything else you need! The choice of meals in the main dining room was ample and changed every day. Sometimes it was difficult to choose and when the meal came it was always delicious and well presented. If anything was not right the waiters would soon sort it for you. We breakfasted in the main dining room too. You might as well be waited on if it doesn't cost any extra, in my opinion! We tried the Windjammer for a buffet lunch and there was plenty of choice but it was sometimes hard to find a table. In the evenings we we went to some of the shows and they were entertaining. Our favourite place was the Schooner piano bar. We also tried the casino and this was best on formal nights when they had a no smoking policy. All in all we had a really great holiday and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My wife and I booked this trip a few months ago when we knew we could get away. The embarkation port and the ports of call drew us to the Splendor of the Seas. While not new to cruising this was my first taste of RCI (my wife's ... Read More
My wife and I booked this trip a few months ago when we knew we could get away. The embarkation port and the ports of call drew us to the Splendor of the Seas. While not new to cruising this was my first taste of RCI (my wife's second). I had read some of the previous reviews that weren't glowing but I just figured that it was just a bit of grumbling. I decided to just see what was in store for us. Embarkation- This has to be one of the best experiences we have had getting on a ship. We stayed in Venice for three days before the cruise and decided to take the bus to the city and the people mover to the ship. The bus is excellent, don't waste your money on a ground cab and only take the water taxi if you want to experience the views or are mobility challenged. The cost is 6 Euros (5,50 if you purchase it online before arrival) and it takes you right to Piazzale Roma. From there you can walk to your hotel if you are staying in the city or take the people mover to the ship. The people mover is located in Piazzale Roma between the two car parks on the northwest corner of the square. There is a sign out front that says People Mover. There will be a long line in front of the entrance, don't get in the line it is for the baggage check to the airport. Just work your way through the line into the entrance. The cost is one euro and it takes you fairly close to the port entrance. There is still a bit of a walk to the ship but is not obtrusive if you are able to walk (if you stay in Venice you have to be mobile). Once in the port the luggage drop off is not in the building that you go to check into. It is to the north of that building. They don't have any signs saying this and you will find out just before you get to the terminal. Save the walk and just go to the building on the right of the terminal and drop off your luggage. The Ship- While not new the ship is fairly well maintained with only some signs of wear and tear. The layout is not what I was used to as the Windjammer buffet is at the front of the ship with no Lido deck at the stern. Not a large problem but I have become accustomed to grabbing a coffee and muffin first thing in the morning and sitting out side by the rail watching the world go by. This is the first ship of all the cruise lines we were on that didn't have this feature. Maybe some of the mega ships from the other cruise lines no longer have this feature in their designs, but I won't be cruising on those. I have not been on RCI before as about the time I started cruising, the Voyager series was just coming on line and I didn't want to be on a ship with 4000 plus passengers. I can guarantee that I will never get on the Oasis class. This ship is much better as its passenger count is around 1800. Not overly crowded but big enough for a good sized theatre. There is a good mix on young to old passengers on this ship with an average around 40. On Holland America or Cunard the average age is close to death and MSC or Carnival it is closer to puberty. On this ship there is a bit of life but no wild loud drunks. The passenger mix is just that, a mix. I heard five or six different nationalities onboard with the largest contingent being British. Most things are announced in English (the shows, general announcements, games etc.) They do make follow up announcements in Italian and Spanish. The activities staff is very fluent in more than one language, at a trivia game our host was flipping between English, German and Italian for all of us playing the game. It hasn't been the pain that it was when we were on a MSC cruise where they had to make announcements in five languages for everything. Food & Drink- The ship has many pluses and minuses in this field. First the good- There are many stations available all over the ship for snacks to full meals during the day. Also the drink stations are placed all along deck 9 and stocked with water, unsweetened ice tea and two fruit juices. The last two are a welcome sight as many ships are not making available other beverages outside of designated meal times. The Windjammer does not employ the irritating practice of serving you everything for the first two days to prevent the Norwalk virus. You are able to serve yourself right from the get go; greatly appreciated. Our dining staff in the King and I dining room were exemplary. Now the bad- The Windjammer buffet looks good with different food stations but just doesn't work in practice. First there are no trays to put your food on so you end up either walking around with one plate with everything piled on or you make separate trips. Either way, by the time you sit down for your meal it will be cold. My first meal in the King and I dining room was ok but nothing to write home about. The prime rib had no flavour and was served with a boiled new potato that was served like a baked potato. My wife loves the cold soup appetizers that are offered at dinner. Her first one was a watermelon soup, I asked how she liked it and she responded with a "meh, it was just blended watermelon nothing more." Now I don't eat these soups so I can't comment, but she does and apparently the higher end ship lines do a much better job (HAL, Cunard, Princess etc.). Fortunately the meals improved as the week went on, I did notice that some of the entrees repeated on different days but my wife's cold soup appetizers were much better. I was pleased that escargot was on the first formal night menu, and it was great. The only thing that I missed was the lobster dinner. I would have also liked to have a little more mediterranean fare on a mediterranean cruise. -The first night in the King and I dining room the wait staff will ask if you would like Evian or carbonated water; they made it sound like this the only choice, it isn't. Just ask for tap water if you don't want to pay for your water. Your waiter won't ask again. Cabin- This review is only for our cabin only as we have no experience with any other cabins on the ship. We booked an inside cabin hoping for an upgrade but without previous sailings we didn't expect to receive one. We didn't, our cabin was #2015. It is by far the smallest cabin we have ever had on any ship. The bed was configured as a double, but unless you really have to sleep with your significant other, ask to have them separated. Together the room only affords one access aisle to the bed and either you climb across the bed if you are on the wall side or you have the aisle in between the two separate beds allowing both easy access to both. The washroom in the cabin was equally small; you end up sitting side-saddle on the toilet as there is no room for your knees if you tried to sit straight on. The shower is also small, on the faucet side it is at its widest but narrows toward the back. With the curtain pulled across you end up with it stuck to your body, there is no way around that. I just stopped using the curtain as there is a drain just on the other side of the shower lip. Not too much water ended up on the floor if you are careful. The furniture in our cabin was worn, one drawer front was partially detached but it wasn't one we were using so it didn't pose a problem for us. There is a very small table/stool in the cabin, if you like room service this is what you would have to use. My wife generally likes breakfast in the cabin but didn't use it as it would be too cramped to eat in our cabin. There is a nice flat screen mounted on the wall that cantilevers out, probably the best setup we have seen. The selection of channels is limited but it was nice to have TCM for quiet evenings in after hectic days. There were two things about our cabin that couldn't be resolved. The first is the strong smell of old tobacco. The second was a loud buzzing sound while in motion. Our cabin steward valiantly tried to use spray deodorizers and an electric de-ionizer to remove the smell to no avail. I knew we would get used to the smell but it was still very present right to the end. If you are very adverse to any tobacco smell do not take this cabin. The humming sound can be quite noticeable at night. My wife and I both wear earplugs when we sleep (so we don't have to hear each other) so the noise wasn't a problem for us, but when I awoke and took the plugs out I really heard it. Ports- This cruise is very busy with the ports of call. On the seven day cruise there is only one day at sea with five ports visited. All ports are docked except for Mykonos which is a tender. Most of the ports are very close to the town so transportation is not necessary. The only two that are a bit of a distance are Athens (there is a bus to the metro right at the port) and Dubrovnik is a bit of a way from the old city. The ship offers a shuttle for ten dollars at all ports but it really is not necessary. Summary- The cruise was more than adequate for our vacation. The shows were OK and the ships ports of call were good. For the right price I would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We flew into Venice mid-morning and were immediately directed by a snake of RC staff to the coach for transport to the Cruise Terminal. The transfer took about 20 mins. On arrival we left our cases to be taken on board and headed into ... Read More
We flew into Venice mid-morning and were immediately directed by a snake of RC staff to the coach for transport to the Cruise Terminal. The transfer took about 20 mins. On arrival we left our cases to be taken on board and headed into Venice for a few hours sight-seeing. The "People Mover" is very close to and visible from the Cruise check-in terminal. It is a monorail which takes you direct to Venice in less than 5 mins at 1 Euro for a single trip. When we returned the queues had died down and check-in was a cinch. We were on the ship within 10 minutes. We went straight to our cabin and collected our cases which were in a pile outside as we were near the elevators were they had been left for later transfer to cabins. This was our 3rd cruise and our first with RC after 2 Princess cruises. The cabin was smaller than expected and had no fridge which surprised us. There was no draw space in the cabin except small draws in the table suitable only for underwear. The balcony was also very small. The bathroom was ok but the shower was very weak. The TV was very good and the bed was comfortable. We went down to the Schooner bar and signed up for the Premium Drinks package. At $55 per person per day for all soft drinks from the fountain, beers, spirits, cocktails and house wine we reckon this saved us a fortune when you take drink prices into account. $6 for a beer, $7-10 for a cocktail and $8 for a glass of house wine - all plus 15%. This package is valid in all bars and restaurants within the ship. If you are not a big drinker it may not be worthwhile for you. I have mixed feelings about the bars. The Schooner bar was very pleasant but there were problems. 1) There was often no waiter service in the afternoon. 2) When you have gone for a quiet drink after a hot day ashore you often find yourself invaded by a host of quizzers for the trivia most of whom make a lot of noise and don't even buy a drink. 3) The bar is not of a sufficient size for the amount of people wanting to frequent it in the evenings. The Viking Crown lounge at the top of the ship was a bit of a disaster staff-wise. it was staffed by a girl who had been in the job for less than a week and was clueless and a very arrogant unhelpful bartender. Most of the advertised late night events never seemed to materialise in this bar. The pool bar was ok during the day but there was only one evening event here in 7 days. There was generally something going on in the atrium all evening but very little seating available. As a holiday-only cigar smoker I was very disappointed to find that the only place you can smoke cigars is on one side of the ship on some decks outside in wind-tunnel. I didn't bother but it did somewhat take the edge off my evenings. I will stick to Princess in future where most ships have a cigar bar / Speakeasy. FOOD. I though the Windjammer buffet was excellent although we often found it difficult to find a table between 9 and 10 for breakfast. Afternoons were better. Never used it in the evenings. The King and I dining room was our evening destination. We were on 9 pm sitting which I wouldn't do again as everything has either finished or is packed out by the time you have eaten. However, the food and service were excellent. The only criticism I could level here was that sometimes the food was not as hot as it might have been by the time you got it. Some people on Premium drinks packages have said they had trouble getting wine served in the dining room but we had no such problem. The bar waiter was always within sight and was very efficient. There was also often a risotto demo or BBQ on deck late morning which looked good. The Chops Grille was ok but not $30 better than the food you have already paid for. The ship itself was very well decorated after it's recent refurb. Entertainment : We never visited the Top Hat bat or the Theatre so I can't comment. The entertainment in the Schooner Bar was all very good I thought. The band in the Atrium was poor and the poolside entertainment ranged from puerile to nauseatingly naff. Staff - Service Apart from a few abrupt or just deadpan members of staff service was superb in all areas. Disembarkation was very easy and well-organised. I preferred Princess marginally in all departments except that RC do not constantly try to sell you stuff. It's there if you want it but no hard-sell like Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We have sailed with Princess before and all the experts have Princess as a grade above Royal Caribbean but after this cruise we would find it hard to tell them apart! We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of call and we love ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess before and all the experts have Princess as a grade above Royal Caribbean but after this cruise we would find it hard to tell them apart! We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of call and we love Venice! We flew into Venice on the morning of departure with no delays and were taken by transfer to the ship and boarded with minimal fuss or delay.We had booked a junior suite which had new fixtures and fittings during the recent refit.There was plenty of moving about space,large balcony and loads of cupboard space. The ipad was a good addition and made keeping track of expenses very easy. The room was very clean and our cabin steward was polite and efficient and a genuinely nice guy.The towel animals were a laugh and any problems we had were quickly resolved.Bed was very comfortable.We did notice the noise coming from the open deck above us but it didn't keep us awake or greatly annoy us. The Windjammer cafe was in a great location overlooking the front of the ship.The food,in the main,was good and plentiful. Seating was a problem at busy times when everybody wanted to grab a bite before getting off the ship, but always got a table within a few minutes.The main dining room served a good variety of food to a decent standard and we liked the location, with the expanse of glass to the ocean.We also ate at Izumi and Chops Grille which were both excellent. Had fantastic steak and dessert to die for! The shows were of a better quality than we had experienced on Princess, with the headline act of the Beatlemaniacs really getting the crowd going! The ship resident cast/dancers were of a decent standard and worked really hard. We did not spend much time in the bars/casino later at night so cannot comment. The one disappointing attraction was the much hyped aerial shows in the centrum. We just didn't think they were anything spectacular and certainly didn't offer the WOW factor they had stated. The big screen on the open deck was also rarely used and could have had shows or films on during the day and evenings. We had one sea day near the end of the cruise which was a great relaxing day and had no trouble getting sunbeds. Staff were friendly in the main, and most tried hard to make it a good experience. The disembarking was easy and we ended our holiday with a couple of nights we had sorted ourselves in Venice. Overall though, we had a great cruise and loved the ship! Looking forward to next one already! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We started this trip with a week off the boat in Tuscany (4 days) and 3 days in Venice (the embarkation port), so by the time cruise rolled around, we were ready to relax a bit. We were in a Junior Suite that had seating and a nice ... Read More
We started this trip with a week off the boat in Tuscany (4 days) and 3 days in Venice (the embarkation port), so by the time cruise rolled around, we were ready to relax a bit. We were in a Junior Suite that had seating and a nice private balcony. The room itself was clean and well appointed. The iPad was convenient for keeping track of our account. We had late seating dining which seemed typical (in my limited experience). The food was good and varied. The wait staff were very attentive and personable. The cafe type restaurant (The Windjammer) wasn't real popular with my group. Luckily we found that the formal dining room was available for breakfast every day, so we took advantage of that. A lot more quiet and less of a feeding frenzy then the other spot. The entertainment was good. Great musicianship onboard. While we are more of the "grab a book and read for an hour" types, it seemed that for people that liked to dance and imbibe a bit more, there were ample opportunities to do that. It seemed that that there were plenty of options for all types on board. It seems that from some reviews, there are those that expect a high-class type experience on cruise ships. I don't see it that way. We travel a lot in the US and abroad and have stayed at everything from the spartan to the stuffy. I would say that the cruise experience falls somewhere in between. Make the most of it, be flexible, don't expect the Savoy and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Being a first time cruiser, my expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised and had a very relaxing vacation. The cabin was nice and had much more room for storage than what I'd expected with large closets and a vanity with ... Read More
Being a first time cruiser, my expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised and had a very relaxing vacation. The cabin was nice and had much more room for storage than what I'd expected with large closets and a vanity with drawers/cabinets and good space in the bathroom for toiletries. Our favorite part was the balcony. Lots of room and quite nice to watch docking from. We enjoyed the food and the variety of guests on the ship with an extremely good meal at Chops. We only had two disappointments -the entertainment was not exactly what we were looking for. The ship had great bands in the lobby/pool areas, but the main entertainment fell a bit short. We saw the dancing/singing "movies" show along with the Beatles and the acrobats and the only one we really enjoyed was the Beatles. Just not our style of entertainment. The other disappointments were the ports. Santorini and Turkey offered more to see, but Bari was a disappointment and I wished we'd just stayed on the ship that day and perhaps we should have researched excursions bit more in advance as we were looking for more active excursions and these were more relaxing islands- not a bad thing, just looking for a bit more variety to do. It seemed like the Europeans were looking for the beach/relaxation where the people who traveled much further were looking for the activities/history things to do. I was surprised after losing my swimsuit in port on day that the ship had very limited shopping on-board. The staff couldn't have been better and the ease of travelling from the check-in/check-out and excursions really were amazing. I will cruise again as it was a great way to see lots of ports at a more superficial level, but if you want to see more of the culture and people, a day in port is hard to fit in a lot of experiences. Only advice....know what you want beforehand, but I had a very fun and relaxing vacation and had a very enjoyable experience on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We had a great time on our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. As we were in a Junior Suite, the priority embarkation process was smooth and impressive. We were impressed also with our suite, which was furnished well and had an iPad and ... Read More
We had a great time on our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. As we were in a Junior Suite, the priority embarkation process was smooth and impressive. We were impressed also with our suite, which was furnished well and had an iPad and refrigerator with mini bar, and tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom, which had a bathtub and shower, was adequate for our needs and the towelling bathrobes were a nice touch. The steward did a great job of meeting our needs with ice buckets etc. Food & Drink - We were generally very satisfied with the quality of food, so much so that we didn't even look at the specialty dining options. The MDR served up some nice dishes, but on a couple of occasions we felt there wasn't enough variety. The Windjammer, where we had breakfast and lunch most days, was great, with a huge variety of hot and cold food. The Solarium cafe was great for soups and salad at any time of the day. We had bought the soda packages prior to sailing and wished we hadn't bothered. It was an unnecessary expense, as hot and cold drinks were freely available there. Could have made a big saving there! Entertainment - On the whole we enjoyed it. As with everything, some activities and shows were better than others, but the team worked hard to keep everyone entertained. One criticism however would be that the teen club activities were almost non-existent. This would put our family off re-booking this holiday. Our kids like activities. They don't like to hang around in corridors or play arcade games all day. Excursions - We loved the itinerary and the excursions we took. The weather was a bit extreme while we were in Greece though, so we didn't do a trip to Athens, preferring to stay on board that day. Santorini is a must! It is stunning. Corfu shopping was good, but next time I would get the local bus instead of paying $10pp for the shuttle bus. A word of advice if on the ship's excursions in Kusadasi - You do NOT have to go to the carpet shop at the end of the excursion with them, although the guide implies it is part of the excursion. We just said no thanks to that bit, and walked back to the ship. I didn't go on holiday to buy a carpet, so I wasn't going to waste my (or anyone else's) time with this. Other people we met said they didn't realise they could say no, and had felt uncomfortable and pressured by the hard sell in the carpet factory at the end of the trip. The ship is docked just a couple of hundred yards away. If you don't want to go, don't! The ship itself was just a nice size for us, and it was beautiful and clean. We don't like the mega-ships. They are just too big and impersonal for our liking. Splendour was just the right size for our needs. The pool area however was a bit overcrowded. We felt like sardines there. I really don't like the way the sunbeds are all touching each other. I'd like a bit more space, but we had a large balcony to retreat to, so it didn't spoil our sunbathing time. The Solarium pool was nice for a couple of hours in the evening too.There is a wide range of nationalities on Splendour, so the announcements during entertainment etc. are repeated in 3 languages. It's a bit annoying sometimes. We opted for Mytime dining, and we ate at different times most nights, depending on what entertainment we wanted to see that night. It was nice to sit with different people at dinner, but having the option of meeting up with new friends in the Windjammer if we preferred. I know that some people are loyal to a cruise line and aren't interested in experiencing others once they have found one they like. We like to experience different things, so our next cruise may not be with Royall Caribbean. It was nice to get the double C&A points for the Junior Suite though, and if we do return, it will be a bonus. We would research the children's activities first though, because Splendour didn't live up to our expectations in that department. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
I was quite concerned before we started our cruise after reading recent reviews like: "Food was mediocre". I was ready to pack army rations as it was our first time with Royal Caribbean. Luckily we must have boarded "the ... Read More
I was quite concerned before we started our cruise after reading recent reviews like: "Food was mediocre". I was ready to pack army rations as it was our first time with Royal Caribbean. Luckily we must have boarded "the other "Splendour of the Seas ship. Everything worked like clockwork. Diego, our state room attendant, must have been hiding under the bed to clean our room about 4 times a day. First night, after driving over 400 miles from Vienna (secure parking provided by RC in front of the departure lounge), we were tired and ate in the Windjammer cafe. What a pleasant surprise! As two professional couples - used to good food standard, we pre-booked my time dinning. After our first night experience we returned back to the Windjammer cafe again and again for tasty meals and pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. Thanks to Andrew, who was keeping his sharp eye on the restaurant, it was always spotless and efficient. Team in the kitchen brought us variety of freshly made, first class restaurant food, like olive tapenade, prawns, smoke salmon salad, artichoke hearts , baked garlic, fresh pasta. Beef bourguignon tasted like Julia's Child recipe, not to mention chocolate cakes and lemon tart with strawberry caulie and warm chocolate. We were pleasantly surprised by freshly prepared variety of food during Italian night, Greece night and Edwin's perfect Indian curries selections. Lovely Tatiana kept offering nice wine. OK, there was no lobster, but for those who didn't notice there was a market crash few years back and lot of things changed since then, unemployment is much higher . Only complain - RC should put bigger tags on meals or provide free reading glasses for travellers to notice lovely constantly changing food variety. Royal Caribbean thank you for great experience. We will come again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My 75 year old husband and myself-70-booked another cruise with RC having enjoyed the Western med last year on the Adventure of the Seas. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and this didn't disappoint. I always search for a ... Read More
My 75 year old husband and myself-70-booked another cruise with RC having enjoyed the Western med last year on the Adventure of the Seas. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and this didn't disappoint. I always search for a bargain and booked a few weeks before complete with flight as my husband likes to have everything organised for him.This holiday is primary his holiday as my main holiday is a skiing. The flight to Venice from Gatwick was on time and the transfer to the port efficient-our check in was quick and we knew to go straight to the Windjammer for lunch without waiting for our luggage to be delivered to beat the crowds..We were a little apprehensive as our cabin was on deck 3 with an outside window-we did wonder if the window would be just a port hole but it was a good size -great to sleep with the curtains open and the light of the moon shining in at night.The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of storage-it had been refurbished-we were able to watch the Diamond jubilee events on the TV although there was no inter active TV which we found useful last year. As a couple we like different things from a cruise-I was swimming early every morning before attending the stretch and fab ab classes-I took part in the Zumba exercise class at the poolside-all were free. The pilates and yoga needed to be paid for so I didn't take part in those.I also attended the Italian classes on 2 afternoons which were very entertaining and informative. I made use of the library on deck 6 and changed the books which I brought with me.My husband used the week to relax and attended no classes but we both enjoyed the entertainment. We didn't go ashore at Bari but thoroughly enjoyed the visits to Corfu and Mykonos-we took the short organised tours to Athens and Dubrovnik-both were excellent and our tour guide in Athens gave us good insight as to the history and the current political situation. The ride in the gondola in Dubrovnik gave us a fabulous view over the town. We found that 2 organised excursions was sufficient. There did seem to be a problem with the wi-fi (this was second hand as we didn't use it. We enjoyed the wide variety of food offered and ate in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch daily-plenty of choice -healthy or calorific if required.I always aim to return the same weight as I was at the beginning and I did just that-the exercise did it!! We enjoyed the formal dining -our waitresses,Ttatiana and Juliana were real characters -we enjoyed the dining room staff and kitchen staff 'strutting their stuff' although if you don't buy into that sort of thing it may not suit you.Our table companions were all very pleasant and it was interesting to exchange stories from other countries.Our cabin man,Ronaldo was also very helpful and obliging at all times.We had paid out gratuities in advance but added to the envelope for those 3 members of staff ( and I was the original Scrooge) There are times when the organisation may feel a bit like a military exercise but to move so many people off on on the ship it needed to run smoothly. I am quite surprised at the previous negative reviews-I felt that the amount paid for what we got was excellent value for money.A couple we spoke to were actually comparing this cruise against a much more expensive one-if you want more then you need to pay the higher prices!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My family & I had a wonderful recent holiday on the Splendour of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean Cruises. We travelled as a family of 4 in one cabin (2 children aged 6 & 9). And my mother & father in law in another cabin. The ... Read More
My family & I had a wonderful recent holiday on the Splendour of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean Cruises. We travelled as a family of 4 in one cabin (2 children aged 6 & 9). And my mother & father in law in another cabin. The cabin's were surprisingly spacious, we had an interior stateroom, (room 739) and my in law's a beautiful outside stateroom. The only problem with either of the rooms seemed to be that the AC, in the outside stateroom did not function all the time. The choice of dining options, and variety had enough to satisfy even the fussiest of child eaters. (we chose a flexi dining option). The entertainment, that we saw was very good, I would hesitate to say excellent, but it is difficult to cater with such a range of nationalities on board. The entertainment hosted by 'Bill' the cruise director, some may describe as 'cheesy', however, we found the best way to enjoy it was to join in the fun, you are on holiday after all. The hot dog bar was a particular hit with my 9 yr old daughter & my father in law. The big screen by the pool showing all the live football from the Euro 2012 tournament was a bonus. Ports of call were good, particularly Kusadasi, the port for the ancient city of Ephesus. We were very disappointed with the shore excursion to Ancient Olympia. This was the only excursion we did having already found our way around all the major sites on our own at previous ports of call. We thought we may learn something with an official guide. We felt the tour was rushed, (we tendered at Katakolon, which the ship does not normally do) I believe the fact we tendered and the fact ours was the last tender ashore, made the trip more rushed that it normally would be. The guide was informative on the coach, & I'm sure she would have been at Olympia, if we could have kept up with her or had we been able to hear her through head sets provided. They were useless. She admitted halfway through as a means of hurrying us along, that we had to get to the museum by a certain time as it closed at 3pm. We did not even get time to take the photos we wanted. The fact we paid 70+ Dollars for this trip per person, did not help, as at all the previous ports of call we had done everything at a fraction of the price on our own. We were also advised by the shore excursions desk, that taxis were hard to come by at Katakolon, however even though we were the last tender off, there was a queue of taxis waiting. So we felt a little mis-led. After complaining we were eventually refunded 15% of the excursion fee by the shore excursions desk, although initially they did forget to deduct it from the bill. My advice is if you are confident enough to explore any of the destinations on your own do it, if you have that in you, you may feel ripped off going on an excursion where you are herded around like sheep. All that said it did not detract from a wonderful stay aboard the Splendour of the seas. Unfortunately we on return from our stay, all 6 of us have developed serious throat & lung infections that we have been to the doctor for, initially when we took the children we were just told it was a summer cough, but 10 days on and several fevers, aches, pains, sleepless nights and hot & cold sweats later we are seeing the doctor for a second opinion. This is no normal summer cold. It would be interesting to know if anybody else on board has had similar symptoms since they returned from a recent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My parents organized this trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband and I brought our two children, ages 9 and 12, and my brother and his wife brought their two children, ages 3 and 5. Some aunts and uncles came, and my ... Read More
My parents organized this trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband and I brought our two children, ages 9 and 12, and my brother and his wife brought their two children, ages 3 and 5. Some aunts and uncles came, and my 21-year-old cousin, for a group of 15 people. This cruise turned out to be a great way to entertain all those people of different generations. We had opportunities to do things together, but it was also easy to split up and do things in small groups or individually. Our kids did not use the children's program a lot, but when they did go they enjoyed it. The staff seemed to do a good job of making the kids feel comfortable and have fun. My 12-year-old could have joined the teen club, which concerned me a bit because the 12- to 17-year-olds were all combined for this trip. She preferred to be with her family or read on a deck chair, so she never joined the teen club. Our room, a balcony room on deck seven, was bigger than I expected, clean, and fairly quiet (we were about halfway down the hall from the Centrum.) One relative on deck eight was annoyed by noises from the pool deck above late at night. I loved having a balcony and spent a lot of time sitting out there, reading or enjoying the view. We also brought a travel clothesline and used the balcony to dry laundry and swimsuits. We splurged and put our kids in a separate room across the hall. If all four of us had been in the same room, it would have been very crowded. The interior room seemed to be a mirror image of the balcony room, only a tiny bit smaller. The food was good and there was plenty of variety. I only had one dish that I disliked (greek salad) and one dessert that I didn't like enough to eat the extra calories (I think it was the savarin.) My brother and I shared the platinum wine package and we enjoyed all the wines that we tried. It was $225 for seven bottles. My husband and I tried the main dining room for breakfast once, but the service was ridiculously slow. I didn't mind waiting for my food, but 20 minutes to get my tea is not okay. After that we ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and all dinners in the main dining room. We occasionally had snacks from the hot dog stand or the Park Cafe. The entertainment varied a lot. I found the music in the Centrum to be pretty awful, both in choice of music and in level of performance. The singers and dancers in the theater were very talented, doing acts that were cheesy but fun. I was very disappointed in the aerial show in the Centrum because they did not use aerialists, just the dancers from the theater. Mostly they were strapped into harnesses and waved their arms and legs gracefully while the stage crew moved them up and down, or they bounced around on bungee cords. The gym was a decent size, with a nice mix of equipment. I never used the spa, but my mom had her hair done one day and it looked great. The pool areas could get crowded but the only day we had trouble finding chairs was the at-sea day. In general the ship was very clean and the staff was friendly and helpful. I'll review the port separately but they were great! Sailing in and out of Venice was wonderful. Such gorgeous views! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We are a married gay couple kind of travel addicts and we love cruising. First I have to say that these Itineraries from Brazil are amazing/interesting, we visited Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Buzios, Ihla grande and ... Read More
We are a married gay couple kind of travel addicts and we love cruising. First I have to say that these Itineraries from Brazil are amazing/interesting, we visited Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Buzios, Ihla grande and Ihlabela and enjoyed every single port of call. When this ship is in its Brazilian season, of course is aimed to the brazilian market and Portuguese becomes the main language on board but this was not a problem, we could get information in English all the time. I must said that Brazilians are a very relaxed cruise passengers that really know how to have Holiday, parties until late night, late dinners, so funny the brazilian activities (in portuguese) but we could always understood a little. I would recommend to have holidays like brazilians. Having cruised in the Vision of the Seas three years ago in our honeymoon we knew a lot about the "Vision Class" ships for this reason we were so looking forward to our Brazilian/South American Cruise in the renovated Splendour of the Seas and we definitely enjoyed the Ship and the Itinerary. I just have to say that the renovation of this ship is totally successful, the new bathrooms, the renovation of the furniture in the cabins make it look like almost totally a new ship, having an Ocean View cabin, we had enough space for both of us. Also the new additions in the ship: specialty restaurants like Izumi and Chops Grill and the Chef's Table experience, the Board Walk Dog House, Cafe Lattetudes makes the dinning experience more diverse. The Chefs Table Experience is a must and is really enjoyable and the food there was amazing. The main dinning room and the Buffet restaurants were OK for the standards, but the service I would say is one of the best we have got in a royal caribbean cruise. The new Atrium in the ship and the aerial performances are really good, and there is always something happening in there, the new atrium design gives a very special vibe to this area on the ship. In general, we loved the ship after this renovation and loved the brazilian cruising style, loved the ports of call and is a good way to get an small taste of South America and a lot of brazilian culture Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We've fallen in love with cruising and both agreed that another Mediterranean cruise was a perfect way to celebrate. Partly because this would allow us to visit Germany and Paris beforehand. The pre-cruise travel was extraordinary but ... Read More
We've fallen in love with cruising and both agreed that another Mediterranean cruise was a perfect way to celebrate. Partly because this would allow us to visit Germany and Paris beforehand. The pre-cruise travel was extraordinary but not the point of this review so I'll move on. We took the overnight (sleep) train from Paris to Venice. It arrived just after 9:00 a.m. We saw the ship as we came across the bay into the station. Getting to it was not as easy. The easiest way would probably be to take a water taxi to the cruise ship terminal but we are strong bodied and cheap, so we walked across the bridge to the people mover (one euro). While the people mover took us closer to the ship, we still had a ten to fifteen minute walk (with our luggage) to get to the cruise ship terminal. However, once in the terminal (after 10:00), RCI moved us through very quickly and efficiently. Once on-board we enjoyed the buffet and toured the ship. We had never been on the Splendour before. Our favorite ship is the Radiance size and the Splendour felt small to us. In several places it felt congested and crowded, specifically in the Windjammer and several areas around the Centrum. The food on the ship was good, although often uninspired. The variety of dishes offered was fair to good but not as broad as we have found on other ships. The had a theme in the Windjammer quite often; I especially enjoyed Indian night. The gym was very small but the steam and sauna were one of the best maintained I've ever experienced. The entertainment was overall very poor, pathetic magicians. The two worthy guest entertainers I will need to add later (I hope I can edit this). We were docked in Venice overnight, so we headed into Venice. Some other folks we had meet on Cruise Critic went with us to Venice, the Story (a multimedia play). It was fun and we recommend it. The ports of call made this cruise the wonderful event it was. Our favorites were Kusadasi and Split. In Kusadasi we had booked a private tour with MilaTour (recommended by Rick Steves) and toured Ephesus including the Terrace Houses. If you ever get the chance you must go! In Split we booked a ship excursion to Krka National Park. This was extraordinary. We booked this on-board because it is quite a long drive. The roads were very good and I'm not sure if we were to do it again we wouldn't book a private tour and have more control over our time. The drive was about two hours and we spent about three and a half hours at the park. We would have enjoyed a private tour and gone to other sections of the park. The views were stunning and everyone who sees our pictures is impressed. Overall, I highly recommend the cruise because of the ports but the ship itself is not one that I think I would book again. There are so many other RCI ships that we enjoy more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My sister and I, who have taken over 150 cruises (together or with our spouses) over the years, just returned from a 10 night cruise to the Greek islands out of Venice. We sailed on the RCCL Splendour of the Seas. I had read reviews ... Read More
My sister and I, who have taken over 150 cruises (together or with our spouses) over the years, just returned from a 10 night cruise to the Greek islands out of Venice. We sailed on the RCCL Splendour of the Seas. I had read reviews from others about the state of the ship and knew it would be going into drydock in November for refurbishment. You could see the signs of wear and tear but it has been well maintained so there were no problems. They are apparently adding some additional staterooms and changing the uppermost lounge into two restaurants (Chops and a Japanese restaurant) which will be nice. They are also upgrading the computer system, etc. There was only one dining room and the buffet on this ship, so it will be nice for future cruisers to have more choices. The food in general was okay, but not great. However, the service was excellent throughout the ship. Constantin, the gentleman who seated us in "anytime dining" each night, was gracious, kind and helpful. We had several different waiters, but thought that Awa (pronounced Ava) and Samantha were wonderful and very efficient. Awa always took the time to give advice on the upcoming port and transportation choices, etc. But the most impressive person in the dining room was Hans, the Head Waiter. In all the years we have been cruising, we have never seen a Head Waiter who does more or cares more about his customers. He was constantly moving around the room, taking orders if needed, busing tables, making sure you had everything you needed, and if time permitted, telling a joke or doing a magic trick. We learned that he has been working on cruise lines for 28 years, and that he loves what he does -- you can certainly see that is true. We are leaving on another cruise next week (I know -- two cruises back to back -- but that is the way it worked out this year), but I doubt there will ever be another Head Waiter as efficient, helpful and considerate as Hans! Our room steward was great as well: Oleg began our cruise by making sure he introduced himself, got acquainted with us and our needs, and continued to take excellent care of us and our stateroom. Finally, our favorite bartender was Danielo in the Schooner Bar. What a smile! He and David, the other bartender on duty, were both great and we had one drink before dinner each night to chat and meet our fellow cruisers. We also met and liked Bruno, Drago and Bruno's girlfriend, Marcella. All wonderful people. The ports were all excellent. My sister and I don't usually take tours, and this cruise was no exception. We typically take a taxi around to see the sites, then stop to walk a bit and maybe have lunch, before returning to the ship. In several ports, the cruiseline provided bus transportation into the town area which was nice. In Athens, we had a taxi driver named "Nick the Greek" so if you can find him, you'll be sure to have a great tour and lots of insight into the inner workings of Athens and Greece in general. Just ask for him at the terminal building where all the taxi drivers are. Embarcation was less pleasant than disembarcation which went smoothly. We were required to walk quite a ways from where the water taxis dropped us off (even though we had requested a wheelchair for my sister) to the terminal building. We then asked again for a wheelchair, but there were none to be found. My sister sought and found a chair to wait while I stood in line. I am also handicapped, and was told to stand in a certain shorter line, but still had to wait about 45 minutes for them to take care of just a few passengers. When we got on, we suggested that they create a separate line for handicapped people, since we had people on crutches, with casts on the legs, etc., all standing in that line and waiting. They assured us they would try to make a change. All in all, it was a good cruise, and the ports were fabulous. Personally, I liked Santorini the best -- so picturesque and lovely on top of the mountains. The ride up the mountain was enjoyable and I took several great photos as we were ascending. You can also go up by donkey or even walk if you are ambitious. If you go on this ship soon, please say hello to all of the people I have mentioned, and tell them the recommendation came from one of the two sisters that were traveling together! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We had previoulsy sailed on the Legend of The Seas so knew exactly what to expect from its sister ship The Splendour. We choose our cruises based on the itinerary rather than the ship as we have found regardless of the ships facilities we ... Read More
We had previoulsy sailed on the Legend of The Seas so knew exactly what to expect from its sister ship The Splendour. We choose our cruises based on the itinerary rather than the ship as we have found regardless of the ships facilities we spend most of our time either exploring ports or lying on a sun lounger on sea days. Embarkation was painless, we arrived at 1600 and were in our room by 1630 with our bags delivered 20 mins later. Disembarkation was the same - went to our assigned lounge at 0835 and were off by 0850. The Splendour is due a refit next month and I hope they update the style of the cabins as while they are perfectly functional the decor is out dated and a little dreary. The ship is in good condition by enlarge and is very clean, however towards the end of the cruise many of the pieces of equipment in the gym were out of order and there were a lot of sun loungers with broken straps. We found the food to be of the normal standard expected on RCI ships (better than Princess imo), the food in the Windjammer was of decent quality if a little repetitive. Where possible we ate in the dining room for breakfast/brunch and lunch which we enjoyed much more as it is a less chaotic environment. Food in the King & I dining room was good aswell but I felt the menu was a little over complicated at times with there being numerous occassions where I and many table mates reverted to the 'safe menu' of chicken or steak. All staff we encountered were pleasant and helpful, we arent the most demanding of passengers and treat the crew as we like to be treated so we had no problems. Entertainment wise we found the 'guest' acts to be excellent - excluding the magic act which was brutal, and the acts by the ships dancers to be poor. Cruise Director (such a over elaborated title) was fine - loved himself but in my experience they all seem to be huge fans of themselves regardless of how good or bad they are at the job. Despite other comments in the reviews we found the price of alchol to be as expected and cheaper than what we would pay in a city bar or nightclub, perhaps this is relavtive to where you come from etc. Cocktail of the day for example was $5.95 + 15%. We choose not to do any excursions through RCI as we generally find the price of them to be exorbent and involve spending too long sitting on a coach or being brought to shops etc that we have no interest in visiting. Normally we book excursions independantly but on this occassion all ports were DIY'able (Venice, Kotor, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Santorini, Mykonos & Split...no point reviewing these as the ship is going to South America shortly). We had a terrific time and would have no hesitation in sailing on The Splendour again, just bear in mind the size of the ship prior to booking....if the ship is the destination for your holiday then this may not be the one for you as it lacks the facilities of other larger class ships. Cant understand some of the other reviews being so negative, perhaps expectations set too high - this is RCI not Cunard or Oceania and service levels vary accordingly as does price!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
A bit of background first We have done 4 cruises now, first time with Royal Caribbean all other cruises were with Ocean Village, which we loved, so we can only compare with one other cruise line that sadly does not exist now. We are ... Read More
A bit of background first We have done 4 cruises now, first time with Royal Caribbean all other cruises were with Ocean Village, which we loved, so we can only compare with one other cruise line that sadly does not exist now. We are both in our 50's, not into dancing the night away or drinking lots. Go on cruises to visit a variety of countries and like the ease of unpacking just once. We had a lovely time with RC and the ports of call have been great, this is just a diary of what we did and how we felt about our holiday. Would we return to RC, maybe, maybe not, might try other companies as well. East Med Itinerary August 2011 Sunday 14th Aug-Packed in the morning and set off at 2pm, on the way saw a car catch fire-one of the most awful things I have ever seen! As the lady pulled over to the hard shoulder the flames engulfed the car, I couldn't look, hubbie said she and a young girl got out safely. Then an accident on jun. 5-6 of M25 slowed us down. Arrived at APH by 3,30ish the on bus to North Terminal to Sofitel Hotel, relaxed. Out to Easyjet in evening to book priority boarding as I was fretting about getting pushed etc. when getting on plane. Ate at Giraffe (lamb burger & BBQ chicken wrap) picked up stuff for breakfast juice and pastries back to room by 7.30pm. Arranging to get up at 5.30am. Monday 15th Aug- Very hot & sunny/no wind. Travel to Venice, Slept ok was up at 5am, boarded plane at 8.50am that went ok. Arrived Venice at 11.30am (hour ahead) onto coach and processed onto ship, needed more people showing you where to go-no one there just followed other passengers! Fairly quick processing then went to cabin and onto Windjammer for some lunch. Decided to set off into Venice at 2pm, still no cases, but had change of clothes in hand luggage so changed and set off. RC were running a shuttle boat after 4pm till 10pm at $20 each, but we went to the people mover and onto the vaperettos (18 Euros each for a 24hr pass)as we have used these before. Got off at Academia stop and wandered the back streets then over to St Marks Square & walked to Rialto bridge, was going to wait for darkness (photo would have been nice) but sun very late setting and we were very tired after early start. Got back to ship 7pm approx, so had missed our first night of dining (our time was 6.30pm!) so went to Windjammers after a shower and then to the 42nd Street Theatre for "Welcome Aboard show" at 8.15pm, lots on Italians onboard-show was poor, included shadow puppetry which I haven't seen for years, was a little old hat, too much talking about what was happening during the week etc, very little "entertainment". No one serving drinks before or during show. Walked around top deck before back to cabin 10pm-knackered! Tuesday 16th Aug-Very hot & sunny/no wind. Half day Venice. Up at 7am, awake at 6am! Had breakfast then walked to people mover & vaperettos (had a 24hr ticket) 8.30 ish up to St Marks Square, lovely and quiet. Queues already at Basilica, but we had pre-booked online (1euro) also pre-booked Doges Palace tickets too (made good use of our limited time) so after a quick rekkie of entrances we entered the Basilica (opens around 9.45am)-a little disappointed, lots of gold but dull & dark. Spent about 20mins in there then onto Doges Palace, again straight in skipping queues. The palace is well worth a visit spent a good 2hrs in here, very pretty and interesting. Headed back to the ship walking some of the back streets, back onboard about 12.30pm, went to eat-so had everyone else! No seats wandered the Windjammer like many other people waiting for a seat, finally got one and there was a BBQ going on outside to so had some meat from that-lovely-watched sail away, great atmosphere lots of dancing & singing, once out of Venice we had a lifeboat drill, took ages as some people were missing, strange we didn't have to wear our life jackets, on our others cruises we had to put them on. Relaxed on deck 4 before returning to cabin to get ready for 1st formal night. The evening was lovely, great company on our table although Hubbie hated wearing tux in such hot weather! He changed straight after dinner then we watched "Soul Satisfaction" in theatre-very good. Two shows one at 7.15pm and one at 9.15pm. Again only about 2 staff serving drinks before show and no one during show-missed getting a drink. Returned to cabin 10.20pm and to find a towel rabbit on bed-pretty. Wednesday 17th Aug- Very hot. Half day Kotor. Up around 7.45am, leisurely start, do miss not having kettle/coffee in room. Hubbie not feeling well, bad stomach cramps, I had breakfast then onto top deck for photos as we sailed in to Kotor-very nice-Hubbie came on trip as it was too late to cancel & we would lose our money unless he visited doctor, so he struggled on. At 12.30pm met in Top Hat for tender in, travelled to Budva (approx half hour) had a short guided tour and time to wander before returning to Kotor. Had another guided tour of Kotor checking out the Maritime museum and churches. Hubbie really struggling so headed back to ship soon after tour finished. Went to Windjammers at 5.25pm found out it closes at 5.30pm and doesn't re-open till 7pm! So didn't get anything to eat, other people moaning at staff. Went to cabin to relax as very hot, went back to Windjammers at 7pm so Hubbie could choose what he wanted, as stomach still unsettled. Then onto top deck to watch sailing out & sun setting, nice & quiet very enjoyable. There was one show tonight but we did not go, it was the incredible world of magic and illusions at 8.15pm. Coffee then bed around 10.30pm. Thursday 18th Aug- Hot & sunny Day at Sea. Awake at 8.15am, although watches go forward one hour so it was 9.15am. Went to shower while Hubbie went to find sunbeds, no water pressure/no shower! So joined Hubbie on deck, Windjammers very busy for breakfast, a few arguments over sunbeds during the day too, people taking other peoples while they were off eating or whatever. Stayed on deck till 4pm before getting ready for 2nd formal night in the King & I. Evening meal okay-lobster sauce, duck/beef some portions were very small, others were enormous, didn't make any sense. Saw a bird resting on the ships railings, must have been tired. The entertainment in the 42nd Street was a violinist string virtuoso Vincenzo Gentile, it seemed a little strange and a lot of people walked out. We stayed and enjoyed it even though we are not into the classics/orchestras, a few more staff tonight serving-so got a drink early! Two shows tonight one 9.15pm the other 11.00pm. Booked the Athens museum trip tonight, they were not running the transfer to Athens on your own or we may have done that. Noticed all food places closed by 9.30pm, think you could get burgers/chips etc in Solarium, or room service I suppose-just not used to using room service, Hubbie wanted cheese & crackers/coffee but didn't bother. Friday 19th Aug- Extremely hot/sunny. Athens. Awake at 6.30am, had breakfast in King & I, strange arrangement so much space not being used, we were just using one side of the dining room. Onto our tour of Athens museum & the Plaka, spent about 1 ½ hours at the museum, I really enjoyed it. Then a quick drive around the sites of the city(we had done Athens 2 years ago) before getting ¾ hour shopping time in the Plaka, not long enough really, but got a taste of it-we hadn't visited the museum or the Plaka area before, so would have liked more time to shop! Back to ship by 1.15pm-lunch in Windjammer, not too busy today, but Hubbie complained about a dirty glass he had (he never saw it at first, I pointed it out). Phoned Mum & then sun bathed till 5pm. Left Athens a bit late, casual dress for dinner tonight, had a lovely brie & asparagus tart, crab/shrimp salad and a trio choc dessert. In evening watched "The Adjustment Bureau" in 42nd Street at 8.15pm, quality not great but okay, strange no staff in serving/offering drinks. Cabin & coffee (we were on the same floor as the coffee shop so got it on the way back to cabin) There was a monkey towel in room-very nice. There was no show till 10.45pm tonight, too late for me as up early for trip tomorrow. Saturday 20th Aug- Very, Very Hot! Kusadasi. Awake 7am, trip to Ephesus started at 9.15am. Have been to Ephesus 2 years ago, but not done terraced houses. Ephesus is still wonderful, a marvellous site and the terraced houses did not disappoint! We didn't go to the craft exhibit at the end of the tour, just told guide we wanted to go off on our own into Kusadasi town. Wandered towards Pigeon Island, found somewhere to have a drink & snack on the way, it was a lovely walk although extremely hot! Back to ship about 3pm, had a drink & went to the jacuzzi to cool down & relax, thought the pools were a little small for swimming in although I am not a great swimmer. Hubbie not feeling great again today, he had a constant running nose, wasn't sure if it was a cold or "hay fever" type thing! Relaxed back in cabin as too hot outside, before dinner at 6.30pm, casual night again. Then went to the show at 9.15pm "Dancing Thru the Movies Show"-very good, there was another showing at 11.00pm. Back to cabin about 10.30pm. Sunday 21st Aug- Extremely hot! Bodrum. We were going to lie in but I woke at 7am and we were walking in to Bodrum by 9.15am. We had found out a shuttle boat (not run by the ship) would be running from port to town but we couldn't find it-later found out we were too early! And looks like it only runs once every few hours. Walked to the castle, they only take lira for entrance fee so Hubbie found an ATM to get some, did wonder afterwards if they would except a credit card-but too late-Castle well worth a visit, it took a good few hours to wander around and had some lovely views. Tracked the shuttle boat to the nearby harbour, but next one wasn't for near 2hrs, had just missed one! So after a drink of cold beer we walked backed to the ship slowly, a delicious cake helped me along the way. Back in cabin around 3pm, Hubbie still not feeling great, felt very hot so relaxed in cabin had coffee/cookie mid afternoon. Down to dinner at 6.30pm, the waiters sung to us tonight, very enjoyable. We did not go to the show tonight it was Mario D'Andrea guitarist entertainer, there were two shows one at 9.15pm and the other 11.00pm. Watched the sun go down and back to cabin as tour starts at 7.15am tomorrow and Hubbie not feeling well! Monday 22nd Aug- Hot & sunny Santorini. Arranged to have room service breakfast as Windjammers does not open till 6.30am and felt it would be too rushed for us. Although we couldn't have cooked breakfast as not available till 6.30am! As it was, we never got it till 6.30am and we got the cooked breakfast, plus fruit instead of a fruit yogurt-but it was enjoyable-and we had been able to shower etc while waiting. Onto tender just as the sun was rising over Santorini, beautiful. We visited Oia first, pretty little village then on to Santo winery, another enjoyable place and to see the local farmers bringing their grapes in to the winery was great, we even got to try some of the wines (liked the dessert wine best!) with nibbles as part of our trip. Then it was on to Fifa the main town, where the guide left us to wander and enjoy this beautiful place. Had a drink in a cafe overlooking the bay and wandered the many shops before heading to the cable cars, only 2 ships in so the queue was short, the cable cars travel very fast! We were ready to return to the ship about 2.30pm & get a drink and something to eat. A few hours relaxing on deck & enjoying the view before dinner at 6.30pm. Then it was the "Ballroom/Musical Show" in the theatre at 9.15pm, it was also on at 11.00pm. Bed at 10.30pm. Tuesday 23rd Aug-Very windy/hot & sunny Mykonos. Slept soundly, up at 7am, slowly got ready. We would have tendered in today, but the captain had got a mooring as the wind was really bad and thought tendering would be dangerous. I think this happens a lot; it does not say on their itinerary about strong winds and we may not tender though, and as the dock is a fair distance from the town (no path to walk on either) they run buses for passengers, but, it costs $10 each! For as many trips as you want, I felt that was very expensive, especially as if we had tendered it would have been free, alright the waves were bad but it was another expense we were not expecting. Mykonos is ALWAYS windy so it's something to be aware of. Think a Thomson ship didn't stay as they felt it was too rough so their passengers didn't even get off their ship, so it's difficult to argue the toss, just felt it was very expensive for the shuttle buses. Mykonos is not very big and is easily walked once there, we walked to the windmills and around the pretty streets, popping our heads into a couple of small churches on the way. Sadly did not see the pelican, although some fellow passengers saw him later in the day. Back to the ship late morning for coffee on a very windy deck! Tried to find a spot out of the wind for a bit of sunbathing but was not easy to do. Got very red-think more wind burn than sun burn! Dinner at 6.30pm, waiters sang again tonight. Then at 9.15pm we watched the "Crazyeehorse Show" very good acrobats, very supple! The same show was also on at 7.15pm. Bed around 10.30pm. Wednesday 24th Aug- Warm/sunny Day at Sea. Awake just before 8am. Hubbies lip had swollen up overnight, he is never usually ill can't understand what's causing his problems-is it a cold or reaction to the sun/heat. While he visited the doctor I watched the towel animals demo, it was good fun and hopefully I can try one or two. Hubbie got some balm for his lip, doctor had nothing else she could give & she wasn't sure what was the cause, so, we decided to stay out of the sun and next tried our hand at napkin folding, Hubbie was the only man there but again it was a laugh and I very proudly made a bird of paradise, a rose, a boot plus a few others, for both the towel & napkin folding we were given leaflets to take home. The crew did a parade of flags on the pool deck so we watched that in the shade before having lunch in Windjammers. Hubbie found a shady spot & watched the crew vs. passengers volleyball while I took a dip in the Solarium jacuzzi, tried the pool in the Solarium but it was very cold! Later in the afternoon met up for a coffee before getting ready for formal night number 3, this time Steve on our dinner table was not feeling well but he got through dinner before returning to his cabin. While Hubbie went to change after dinner I watched the sun going down and to my surprise saw dolphins (approx 15) cross in front of the ship, other passengers saw them too and we were all very excited, just a fantastic memory-wished Hubbie had seen it to. Went to 42nd Street theatre to watch "Abba Max" show at 9.15pm, that was a good hearty sing along show. The same show was on at 7.15pm too. Back to cabin, had to put watches back one hour. Thursday 25th Aug- Very hot & sunny Split. Awake at 6.30am and got ready-doing our own thing today so no rush. Walked in to Split old town, about 10 mins. all flat. A lovely town with lots of old character, walked to the main square & went into tourist office, they had a mapped walking tour we could do on our own, or with a guide so we gave it a try on our own. Well worth getting the free map to help make the most of the town. Very hot top end of the 90's found some shade half way round & phoned Mum, Hubbie changed some money to Kuna so we could get something to eat & I could visit the cathedral, don't seem to like Euros. Had a lovely lunch of strudel and iced coffee before buying gifts for family back home, once we finished our wanderings of the old town came out the Silver Gate to a fruit & veg market, quiet large and certainly worth a wander. Back to the ship before starting to pack some of our things. Dinner at 6.30pm Steve's cold was a little better but his wife had it now, waiters sang to us again, took photos of our waiters and gave out our pre-paid "tip" vouchers-strange they were already assigned to certain members of staff like head waiter, waiter, assistant waiter and room attendant-would have preferred to give nothing to head waiter but couldn't see any other option. Said our goodbyes to staff & fellow passengers before watching our last show in the theatre "Los Pampas Gauchos", very good. Two shows on at 7.15pm other at 9.15pm. Took lemonade (no orange) and some cookies back to room for breakfast, because again we were up early & Windjammers didn't open till 6.30. Put cases out and finished packing most hand luggage. Bed at 10.45pm. Friday 26th Aug- Hot & sunny Returning home. Up at 6.30am but had a restless night. Checked bill that came under door at 6am then got ready to meet in 42nd Street by 7.45am, some left at 7.15am how they would have got on for breakfast I don't know. After picking up our luggage in the terminal had to ask where we went next, no one directing, a walk to the buses waiting with our cases in tow was unexpected, how elderly people manage heavy awkward cases on their own? We were at the airport by 8.45am our flight was not till 12.15pm and we couldn't book our cases in till 10.15am, so sat outside (only place there was a seat) with the smokers till it was time. Once bags checked in joined long queue through security-everyone uses same queue, just had time to go to loo & grab a bottle of water before boarding started at 11.45am, a little late taking off about 12.30pm and a short delay in landing-think it was a heavy rain shower-before picking up car and braving the M25. Back home after very heavy traffic about 4.45pm, had a take-away for tea before crashing in the chair. Positives Ship runs smoother/quieter than OV. Free soft drinks available all day. Room service-if they get it right! Great staff. Itinerary ran on time mostly. Lifts to the different decks were fast. Free ice cream. Food good-could have been better in main dining room. Negatives RC website very difficult to navigate. Cabin smaller, bathroom very small. No kettle or fridge in cabin. Flying Easyjet-luggage limitations lower than most other airlines, plus no seat allocated. Windjammer did not have enough seating for everyone. Formal nights in hot weather. Windjammers not open early enough or for long enough. Transfer to/from airport was not clear; staff were there but only offered help if you asked. Expensive shuttle bus transfer in Mykonos. Smoking in casino-although we never used casino we had to pass through it to get to the theatre sometimes. Entertainment was poor to start with, improved as the week went on. Lack of waiters at beginning of week, improved as week went on. Dining Options Windjammer Breakfasts One day 6.00am -11.00am (Athens) Six days 6.30am-10.30am On sea days 7.30am-11.00am Afternoon arrival in Kotor 7.30am-10.30am Lunch Seven days 12.00 noon-3.00pm Three days 11.30am-3.00pm ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Every evening 7.00pm-9.30pm. (Starboard-not sure if this means starboard side of ship only-half of cafe) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- King & I Breakfasts Three days 7.00am-8.30am Three days 6.30am-8.30am One day 7.30am-9.00am One day 8.00am-9.00am One day 9.30am-1.00pm brunch One day 9.30am-12.30pm brunch -------------------------------------------------------- Dinner 6.30pm-last seating 9.30pm -------------------------------------------------------- Solarium snacks only Four days 5.30am-6.30am One day 5.30am-6.15am Two days 6.00am-7.00am Three days 6.30am-7.30am Two days 11.00am-7.00pm Two days 11.30am-7.00pm One day 1.30pm-7.00pm Two days 2.00pm-7.00pm Four days 3.00pm-7.00pm Ten days 9.30pm-2.00am One day 9.30pm-11.30pm Ten days 3.30pm-5.30pm --------------------------------------------------------- Room Service 24hours listing the open times like this has made me realise how confusing opening hours were, you need to read you cruise compass each day to get the timings of the food places-that was not always possible if you had gone out and not taken it with you. ----------------------------------------------------------- Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
The first day was embarkment in the Venice port. It was smooth but there was some wait. But all in all I thought fine. It did take 6 hours to get my luggage and I had jet-lag and wanted to go to bed. We then wondered the ship and were very ... Read More
The first day was embarkment in the Venice port. It was smooth but there was some wait. But all in all I thought fine. It did take 6 hours to get my luggage and I had jet-lag and wanted to go to bed. We then wondered the ship and were very excited. Our cabin was very clean and spacious enough for me and my daughter. Our stateroom attendant Robert was Excellent!! We then went out exploring Venice. Absolutely breathtaking (teared up). The next port I believe was Montenegro where we walked up the hill 1350 steps I heard someone say. It is a breathtaking town of stone and narrow streets, we loved it!! Back on the ship for dinner. I thought the food was fantastic on the ship. Next we travelled to Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Athens was not overly impressive as everyone at our 630 dining time thought as well as myself. I would book a private tour here and go on your own on your own time. Santorini and Mykonos were unbelievably beautiful. Both ports are easy to do on your own. We booked a private tour in Ephesus which we loved. Very lovely in Bodrum as well. It was nice returning to the ship each afternoon as we walked Allloooootttttt!!!!!! The ship personal were always friendly and helpful. I believe the last port was Croatia, Split. I think we were just exhausted by then because we didnt really find anything there that stood out to us. This one I might suggest the ship tours outside the city to their national park. I would do that if I were to do this again, as the town was just ok to us. As far as the Splendor of the Seas ship. I thought it was clean. We never got sea sick. The sleeps were great. I used the gym 3 times and went to a spin class that was really good (and I teach spin)- it was good!! We used the spa and got facials etc. I dont think I would recommend a facial as it was not up to the standards of my city but you never know unless you try it. The buffet was incredible. Great selection of food. I had a coffee each morning at the Seattles Best which is on the ship. Again, the staff was incredible. Our servers in the restaurant went above and beyond their duty and so did our stateroom attendant. The shows were pretty good too. We enjoyed them. One of them even got a standing ovation. All and ALL this was a fantastic cruise with marvelous ports to see. I would highly recommend this!! Trip of a lifetime for us!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Just come off an 11 night west med cruise on Splendour of the seas. We booked RCCL as so many friends recommended them and route really appealed to us. On arrival ( ordered taxi from San marco airport to dock for 44euro) very easy ... Read More
Just come off an 11 night west med cruise on Splendour of the seas. We booked RCCL as so many friends recommended them and route really appealed to us. On arrival ( ordered taxi from San marco airport to dock for 44euro) very easy check in and cabin ready much earlier than anticipated.HOWEVER...... We booked a large family outside stateroom for us two and our kids aged 7&10. The cabin was the same size as my parents cabin for two people, and the major shock was the pulldown bunks ABOvE the double bed! My husband couldn't sit up in the bed with the bunk down and you had to slide in and out the foot of the bed like a worm! We complained bitterly and were told our expectations were too high, it was our travel agents fault ( btw Thomas Cook were absolutely useless in the whole booking but that's another story) , there was no other available cabins and no one else complained. The only thing we could do, which we took upon ourselves to do was to re jig the room, turned the double bed around and put one bunk mattress on the floor. We had even less space in the already bijoux cabin. The cabin attendant was nigh on useless, only 3 "towel animals" out of 11 nights, two of those after bitterly complaining. Our toilet broke 10 out of 11 nights and outside our cabin was a constant sewage smell. Pursers desk were absolutely useless. Didn't know answers to what you asked, and often guessed incorrectly giving false information. The entertainment was disappointing, no real "big shows" and what there was seemed to dry up by 10 pm with only piano music or an empty game show/quiz afterwards. Some very big plus points though..... The food was AMAZING ! Ate on my time dining every night, table 169 where Dorin and Fernando were the two nicest people you could wish to meet. They bent over backwards. And a big round of applause to Hans the head waiter who balanced the dining room with precision, and Constantine the maitre d who knew everyone by name. The shopping area was also great, although often overpriced but run by the lovely Karen who put big smiles on our faces . Kids club very good, although surprised to see different age groups had same activities. My son adored it in there and we couldn't pride him away! The only thing that was silly was the timings, you had to get kids at 10 pm bu show finished at 10, or just after, so you had to leave a grew minutes early to get upstairs in time. Some other timings of restaurant hours was a bit odd too. Breakfast in king and I finished at 8.30 am, I was just waking up - I was on holiday after all ! And you couldn't get buffet dinner until 7pm, but kids club started again at 7 so couldn't feed kids before hand unless you chose burger or pizza from solarium - didn't pay good money for 11 nights of junk food. Entertainment staff were very good with guests and Abel was brilliant. On the whole it was nice, but as advised by the chief purser our expectation was too high......hmmm thought that's why we booked royal carribbean! Wish we had known about cabin layout in advance we would have booked a balcony room or suite, an missed the odd touches here and there, I.e chocolates on pillows and fancy towels. I agree with other reviews about prices of drinks on board and transfers, very very expensive and often quite cheeky. Do trips yourself, just as easy and a tenth of the price. I'd go with Royal Caribbean again, but in a higher grade room and with my eyes wide open. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean on several occasions and although I enjoyed this 10 nighter out of Venice on Splendour of the Seas I would say there were a few disappointments. Getting from the airport to the ship should have been ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean on several occasions and although I enjoyed this 10 nighter out of Venice on Splendour of the Seas I would say there were a few disappointments. Getting from the airport to the ship should have been pretty easy, take the AVTO bus which now costs 5 Euros per person to Piazalle Roma then pick up the free shuttle to the dock and check in. Wrong - no shuttle seemed to be available, so we made our way on the peoplemover at the train station thinking that the shuttle must picking up from there. Wrong again. We had to drag our suitcases quite a distance in the midday heat along with all the other cruisers who tried to catch the (non existent) shuttle. Check in was okay but not nearly so well organised as other cruises I have done. Stateroom was excellent as usual, food was adequate but not exceptional, service on board was good, but not exceptional, entertainment was good but again nothing exceptional. Drinks were pretty expensive at $7.99 for a beer and they seem to have invented a few new charges that I don't remember having paid for before. We used the shuttle bus from the port into Mykonos and also Corfu and were horrified that a bus journey lasting less than 5 minutes cost $10 per person. We took a local Crete bus into Chania which was about the same distance and it only cost 2 or 3 Euros.We had elected to pay our gratuities in dollars at the end of our cruise and discovered that the £58.58pp that we would have paid at time of booking was now $97.50pp, checked the exchange rate at Guest Relations Desk, $1.49/£1, so a mysterious discrepancy of about $10pp that no one seemed to have an explanation for and quite frankly had no intention of finding out about. The person on the desk just kept on asking us if we wished to pay and completely blanked any questions I had, so I paid and thought I would write a letter of complaint to the company. I have since read a few Customer Complaint reviews and now realise that it would be a complete waste of time as Royal Caribbean do not appear to be very helpful with regard to complaints.Over all we enjoyed our 'unexceptional' cruise but I don't think we'll cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
We sailed on Splendor on May 2 for 11 Night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise. While the ship does need updating, it was clean and the public areas were in good shape. Our cabin showed its age, and it had a small, old model TV that was ... Read More
We sailed on Splendor on May 2 for 11 Night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise. While the ship does need updating, it was clean and the public areas were in good shape. Our cabin showed its age, and it had a small, old model TV that was somewhat limited on channels. There was no channel with continuous information and maps on our location, and no bridge information channel. Cabin storage was very good. There was no Specialty restaurant. Windjammer layout is very poor and the various food bars were confusing. People were going both ways at many counters, along with breaking in line for whatever they wanted. Quality of the food was OK, but was not as good as we have had on other RCCL and Celebrity cruises. King & I Dining Room was nice, but we were disappointed in the food. No lobster tails or really good quality beef served and appetizers like Escargot were only served once. Again while food mostly OK in the Dining Room, it was below what we have had on other ships. Here is a warning for your clothing planning. All RCCL pre-cruise documents state that there will be 2 formal nights on the eleven night cruise. Wrong! After we were on board, we found out there would be 3 formal nights. RCCL should correct that and stick to 2 formals. We tried My Time Dining for the first time. We went about 8:00 to 8:15 each night. It was like going to a regular restaurant, with Waiters in various stages of dining service to their assigned tables. Sometimes service fast and other times it could be too slow. My wife and I asked to be seated with some other people, but they always put us at a table for 2. During our dinners, we had no live music until we were almost ready to leave, and there were no special waiter parades, events, etc. The Entertainment staff and programs could have been better. During the late afternoon and early evening, there was some time with no music in any lounge. We attended several special events or shows, that started late and the lounge was so dead that a lot of people left before the staff showed up to start the activity. There was also only one full blown Production Show with all the singers and dancers. In Athens we took ship's 7 hour Taste of Athens excursion. With all the protests and strikes, we did not want to risk other options. That worked well. Excellent guide and a positive experience. There was a protest in town that cut into our 3 hrs. free time, but it was nice to have time for lunch and shopping and still have safe ride back to the port. In Kusadasi, we used Ephesus Shuttle for tour of Ephesus area (Excellent - reviewed on another Board.) In Split there was a good walking tour available in the Palace. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
This was our first time on a cruise and in the Mediterranean. It just seemed like the best way to get to many of these fantastic ports and it turned out we were right. With the jam packed schedule for the cruise, it was actually more work ... Read More
This was our first time on a cruise and in the Mediterranean. It just seemed like the best way to get to many of these fantastic ports and it turned out we were right. With the jam packed schedule for the cruise, it was actually more work than I thought. We relaxed on the ship and ate great, but it seemed that close to every day we were at a different port with so much to do and see. We burned through a lot of shoe leather and saw some amazing sites that will last a lifetime. We also snapped over 1,500 photos on this trip.The food was pretty good. Basically, there are two options to eat, the Wind Jammer (buffet) and the King and I (plated). The Wind Jammer usually had the same menu. We primarily ate breakfast here for a hearty meal before going out. Lots of eggs, bacon, sausage, yogurt, cereal and fruit. A few variations, but mostly remained the same. It was good food too. The Wind Jammer also has sandwiches, salads and other hot options for lunch and dinner. We ate in the Wind Jammer a couple of times when we didn't feel like getting dressed up or eating at our specific time. Also, a nice change to eat a large salad as your meal.The King and I we mostly ate at for dinner. This is where we did the formal and casual nights. The servers are very good and professional. Every night there were different meals to choose from and I was never disappointed. Sometimes there were small portions, but we learned quickly to order an extra appetizer or even another main course. We had a great table of other young couples and young people, which made for good conversation. The desserts were usually phenomenal.Breakfast at the King and I was okay. The options were nothing spectacular, mostly eggs, bacon and toast. No eggs benedict on the entire ship! With a Suite, we did have the option of dining in our room. We ordered breakfast a couple of days we needed to get up early and dinner on 2 occasions when we just wanted to be alone. The breakfast in room worked out great. I think we order 3 or 4 times and each time they got the order somewhat wrong, but nothing that ruined the meal. We actually ate dinner on our balcony one night, which was quite pleasant. We tried to hit the gym a couple of times there. It's a decent gym to hit key muscle groups and we liked running around the outside track on the top floor. The steam and sauna rooms were also a nice touch. We even did the rock wall which was both fun and challenging.All in all, we had an incredible time. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We flew in the 21st April the before the sailing on the 22nd April, and stayed at the Popodopoli hotel very close to the Piazzale Roma. It was a great location and approx a 20-30 min walk to St.Marks Square.Sunday 22 AprilWe were going to ... Read More
We flew in the 21st April the before the sailing on the 22nd April, and stayed at the Popodopoli hotel very close to the Piazzale Roma. It was a great location and approx a 20-30 min walk to St.Marks Square.Sunday 22 AprilWe were going to take the people mover from the Piazzale Roma to the cruise ship, but we noticed RCI was arranging free shuttle busses every 30 mins to the cruise ship, so we took advantage of that.Embarkation was very efficient and there was no queues and we where onboard by 1pm. Although having to show my passport 4 times to get on the ship was a bit much. We only moved about 10 foot and was asked to show it again!We had an Oceanview Stateroom and it was nicely appointed. The bathroom was looking tired and is in need of the refit, which is planned for November, but everything worked as it should do, so no real complaints.I have to say for a ship that is 15 years old, she is looking in great shape.The public areas where always very clean.The Staff on board the ship from the Captain down to the cleaners always polite, friendly and acknowledged you.We did My Time Dining which worked really well for us, and I must just give Mihai & Catalin a special mention, as they have been our best waiter & assistant waiter that we have ever had! A great efficient team and both very funny!The entertainment on board was on the whole good. The lounge and bars had some great bands.The main shows could be a little bit hit or miss, but they seem to cater for a wide age range, which was good for this ship!My only complaint I would have is that they need to enforce the No Under 16's rule in the solarium pool. This was rarely enforced and the quiet atmosphere which is what you would normally expect was ruined by screaming kids. On challenging the pool attendants about it, the answer was "what can I do!"Suffice to say I told him how he could ask them to get out if they were under 16! Amazingly it worked! Its Not rocket Science! Lets hope they remember to keep asking them to get out if they are under 16! This was our first time on such a small RCI Ship and we were a little apprehensive about it. I'm glad to report that we need not have worried, as by the end of the trip, we all agreed that it was one of the best ships we have sailed on. Read Less
Sail Date April 2011
This was our first cruise experience with RCI. Our party of four have just returned from enjoyable med cruise from Venice to Greek Islands and Turkey. We have cruised twice previously with NCL. The positives first: Having checked in on ... Read More
This was our first cruise experience with RCI. Our party of four have just returned from enjoyable med cruise from Venice to Greek Islands and Turkey. We have cruised twice previously with NCL. The positives first: Having checked in on line before leaving UK,boarding was simply and quick. Cruise staff on board were helpful and pleasant. The two waiters on our table in King & 1 dining restaurant were absolute gems. A comedy duo who provided great entertainment to our table of 8 diners for the entire week. Very attentive. Maitre D' was more than accommodating in our dining requirements. The food was good, with choice of 5 or 6 dishes for each course. Breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer provided plenty of choice for all tastes and the food was good. It inevitably became busy and peak dining times and table space was sometimes difficult to find, but did not prove too much of problem. Our outside cabin was clean and had a large double bed, and large window and mirrors which made it very bright. Our cabin attendant made up towel animals and hung them from our cabin mirror (wearing a pair of our sunglasses)whilst we were at dinner, and making our towels into two heart shape swans for our wedding anniversary was lovely. Negatives: The lack of nicely presented complimentary toilets was also lacking. Small piece soap was provided and pump of shower jel on shower wall did not make up for this little touch, which is a minimum requirement of even a small 3 star hotel. The bar drink prices were exceptionally expensive. The cocktails contained more ice than alcohol and were expensive for what they were. We therefore ensured we limited the funds we were prepared to pay out for these. Shore excursions were also very expensive, so we did our own getting around. Overall we had a great cruise. Would we go with RCI again? Yes. Read Less
Sail Date September 2010
We booked our own flights to Venice as RCI flights are expensive and inconvenient. Embarkation was very easy and efficient and we were able to have lunch in the windjammer before going to our cabin. As it was a special birthday we ... Read More
We booked our own flights to Venice as RCI flights are expensive and inconvenient. Embarkation was very easy and efficient and we were able to have lunch in the windjammer before going to our cabin. As it was a special birthday we decided to book a balcony cabin. The cabin was very nice, if a little tired. However, when we went out onto our much looked forward to balcony, the passengers in the adjacent cabin were chain smokers and their smoke drifted over to our balcony and even invaded our cabin. Therefore we had to keep our balcony door closed all of the time and were unable to make use of the balcony when our neighbours were on theirs. We were really disappointed. We understood that cabins were non-smoking. I suffer from asthma and found it really uncomfortable. At no time during the booking process were we informed that passengers could smoke on their balcony. On the other parts of the ship smoking was restricted to one side. Why could this not be the case with balconies and this be made clear at the time of booking. We have cruised with RCI 4 times now, 3 times on the Splendour, and have always had a lovely experience. However, little things like no chocolate on your pillow when you retire at night, no cold drinks whilst you waited to embark after visiting ports, extortionate drinks prices etc have made us review whether or not we will cruise with them again. One night our cruise newspaper delivered to the cabin was in German !! All in all we felt that RCI's high standards had dropped - very sad. Read Less
Sail Date August 2010
We had an totally enjoyable and worry-free cruise tour with Royal Caribbean on our recent July 2010 trip! This was our first cruise tour and we did not know what to expect. I must say that the entire experience was great and we would ... Read More
We had an totally enjoyable and worry-free cruise tour with Royal Caribbean on our recent July 2010 trip! This was our first cruise tour and we did not know what to expect. I must say that the entire experience was great and we would definitely book a cruise tour with RCI again. The tour started in Milan where we were promptly greeted by RCI representatives in the baggage claim area of the Milan Malpensa airport. We were quickly escorted to an air conditioned van with two other members of the tour and driven about :30 minutes to the hotel that overlooked Lake Maggiore in Stresa, Italy. We met our tour guide, Annamaria, at the hotel and she provided us with information about the next few days and our land tour itineraries. The hotel was very nice (the Hotel Bristol)and comfortable. The only complaint was that all of the tour members were placed on the first floor with a somewhat obstructed view. We wished that RCI would have offered an option for a better room, but the air conditioning worked great and the hotel was a 4-star right on the lake. We toured the lovely town of Stresa and our guide escorted us to a gorgeous botanical garden by boat where we spend the second morning. That afternoon, we visted Isole Bella and had a great dinner on the Isole Pescatore on Lake Maggiore. We left the next morning for an hour or so drive to beautiful Lake Como where we took a boat ride on the lake and saw magnificent estates owned and occupied by the rich and famous. It truly was breathtaking. We then got on the bus that afternoon and drove to Venice. We arrived in Venice in the late afternoon and we all were so happy to be there and see this vibrant and lively ancient city! We went to dinner at a fine restaurant close to St. Mark's. Unfortunately, the rooms had very poor air conditioning and Venice was experiencing a heatwave so none of us slept well. The rooms of the hotel were all recently renovated but the air conditioning simply didn't work. It was the Hotel Bellinni and all of the guests were complaining about the lack of decent air conditioning. The next morning we had a great tour of St. Mark's and the Doge's Palace where we walked over the Bridge of Sighs. We then got on a water taxi and spent some time in Murano and went to a great glass factory where we saw an awesome demonstration and I ended up spending some serious money on a beautiful champagne service set from Murano. After we left Murano we water taxied back to St. Mark's square and had lunch and from there we took another water taxi and arrived at the cruise pier. RCI had all of our luggage transported from the hotel directly to the ship so we simply arrived and checked in. Check-in was very easy and quick. I was greatly impressed with the Splendour. Although she is far from new, she is in great shape. The crew and staff are very proud of this ship and she must have been recently renovated (newer carpeting for example) because she still looks great. The customer service from the wait staff in the dining room, the bartenders, cabin stewards and others we encountered were wonderful. RCI is a very well-organized line and truly understands its business. The ports that we visited were varied and excellent. We visited Dubrovnik, Croatia and took a nice excursion of the old city. It was a very interesting port and the excursion was by boat and we had a very good tour guide. The next port was Mykonos, Greece where we did a boat tour to the Island of Delos. We returned and had a great lunch in Mykonos and strolled around that beautiful city for a few hours. It truly is a beautiful place and was a lot of fun to see. Next was Kusadasi, Turkey where we took an excursion of Ephesus. This was a fascinating ancient site and we enjoyed this excursion very much. Turkey was quite beautiful. The only negative was the people. They were very pushy and although I wanted to spend more time browsing around the city, we went back to the ship to avoid the very pushy vendors that wouldn't leave you alone. Santorini, Greece was the next port. We decided to rest that day and didn't go on any excursions, but it was a very pretty port to look at from the ship. The last stop was Corfu, Greece, which was my favorite port on the cruise. Corfu is a stunningly beautiful island. We went on the Achilleon Palace excursion that took us to the far side of the island where we saw some incredible natural sites. Corfu is magical. Regarding the cruise itself, we had very good meals on the Splendour. Our wait staff (Lavinia and Thomas) were excellent and the food choices were very good. The food was always fresh and well-prepared. We didn't have a bad meal on the ship. The shows were fine, although the early show didn't start until 9:15 so we only saw a few of them. This particular cruise had many port stops so we generally went to bed early so that we could get up early and get out and see the ports. The drinks were very expensive. A mediocre glass of cabernet was $12, which is almost twice what it should have been. That's really my only negative comment about the cruise. RCI doesn't allow you to bring or drink your own bottles of wine on board and they really sock it to you on the alcohol prices. The cabin was very nice. We had a junior suite that was a nice size with plenty of storage. We also had the laundry done when we got on the ship and it was all returned the next day and they didn't lose anything. We also transferred an airport transfer back to the Venice airport and RCI handled that very efficiently. All in all, this was a great trip that we truly enjoyed. We would definitely use RCI again and don't hesitate to book a trip on the Splendour! Read Less
Sail Date July 2010
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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