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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

So to start with the transfers were all good and well organised as you would expect, food was good to very good and a lot of the staff very friendly. I am not keen on the over bearing style that some adopted but I recognise some people ... Read More
So to start with the transfers were all good and well organised as you would expect, food was good to very good and a lot of the staff very friendly. I am not keen on the over bearing style that some adopted but I recognise some people like this. However there was some buts-the first is that it was expensive, $15 for a cocktail $10 for a beer (approx £10 and £7 respectively), they took any wine you bought on the ship, including from arranged trips to vineyards and confiscated it until the end of the trip like you were school kids! On "my dine" you can go to one restaurant but to visit others you pay $30 per person per night other than the buffet. The second "but" was that the dress code was largely ignored so that on the formal night, we were all dressed up in long dresses and tuxes and queued with an American family in jean shorts who almost ridiculed us for taking it too seriously. We really enjoy the sense of occasion and to see everyone dressed up, as we have on all the P&O cruises we have been on, so this wide spread disinterest was for me a real disappointment. You could basically dine anywhere wearing anything and truthfully felt a bit of the odd one out dressed up :(. The trips were good but they tried to fit in too much shopping so that a trip to Olympia was an hour in the ruins and then half an hour shopping in souvenir shops, literally up the road, so to be honest it would have been more appropriate to let people choose what they wanted to do, as we saw only a small part of Olympia. This pattern was repeated on all the trips we went on. All in all it is unlikely we would choose Royal Caribbean again, I loved the reasonable priced P&O cruises where 2 years ago we were paying £4.50 for a cocktail and £3.0 for a beer, you had a fridge in your room and you could have a glass of wine while getting ready, without being told off! and enjoy dressing up and having real cruise experience. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
price and destinations, excellent in all respects. Boarding process smooth, staff friendly, rather severe no brought on board alcohol, one bottle per person would have been nice for sundowner drink rather than fairly costly bar prices. ... Read More
price and destinations, excellent in all respects. Boarding process smooth, staff friendly, rather severe no brought on board alcohol, one bottle per person would have been nice for sundowner drink rather than fairly costly bar prices. Port process excellent, food excellent. Only negative was plate piling other guests who seemed to believe each meal was going to be their last for a week! Would like to see better fitness centre and steam sauna facilities single sex but that is a minor criticism. The ship was well maintained and the cabin service excellent and unobtrusive. It was our first experience of royal caribbean, having previously done a NZ origin P&O cruise which was no where near the same standard. We look forward to our next cruise from UK P&O which we understand to be of a much higher standard than the NZ option carrying ( and damaging) their name. Recommend the Med trip to fellow kiwis as a great way of covering many cities in a relaxed mode. Read Less
Sail Date May 2015
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ... Read More
This was my fourth RCL cruise and I saw huge drops in all areas for quality. First we waited over 2 hours to check in in Boston. Having checked in there with Holland America I could see they only hired 50% of the staff, for a larger ship. I spoke to one of the check in agents, who are contract employees, the same ones work for all the cruise lines, He said yes Royal Caribbean will never hire enough people. I have not been on an RCI ship in about 7 years and I will never go on one again. For one thing the quality of the food has really dropped. No high cost food items at all. All the supposed desserts are just Jello and Cool Whip made into a Mango Slice. Dinner is still decent but lobster only one night on a 2 week cruise? No smoked salmon offered on the breakfast buffet, you can order it in the dining room. Breakfast in the dining room has a breakfast bar for cereals and fruit, This eliminates wait staff. Everything on the buffets are totally low cost food items. No waffles for sit down breakfast? First I will say we are not Diamond or Diamond Plus, all the revenue for the cruise seems to be going to give them special perks. We had an outside cabin and when we showed up there were no toiletries. Just one bar of soap. I asked our cabin attendant and he said that he could get some for the suites for us. So now we have to pack our own lotion? The bridge director was a total joke. He was very hard of hearing and couldn't understand what anyone said. The first lesson day he was totally unprepared for the lesson or the game. He kept telling us that someone from the cruise line was supposed to be there to set everything up. They didn't. Also they did not offer free shuttles to go into port. The shuttles are now a money making operation for RCI. Plus on one port the city offered free shuttles but we were not told about them and told that we have to pay for an RCI shuttle. By the way they do offer free trips in to town for the crew. The television is horrible, no news channels for most of the trip and no printed newspaper. If you like good food eat at Giovanni's every night. Great value there. Plus the crew is wonderful. They work very hard and under all this cost cutting it must be tough. Lots of them have been there over 10 years so they don't have a lot of options to switch to another cruise line. Read Less
Sail Date April 2015
Where to start with this review. There were some things that were very wrong, but always like to start on a positive note. Please bear with me, this review could be quite long and comprehensive. CHECK IN As usual on a cruise, ... Read More
Where to start with this review. There were some things that were very wrong, but always like to start on a positive note. Please bear with me, this review could be quite long and comprehensive. CHECK IN As usual on a cruise, this was painless, surprising really as Santos is pretty chaotic, and there were 3 cruises checking in at the same time. As previous travellers with Royal Caribbean we had priority check in. The friends we were travelling with did not. However when our friend, who is Brazilian, asked if they could check in with us as we had not cruised from Brazil before, and did not speak Portugese , there was no problem at all and we were on board and in the buffet eating and drinking just over an hour later. Full marks for this. Disembarkation also was quick and efficient, Santos again totally chaotic but that is not the fault of the cruise line. CABINS As tends to be usual if checking in relatively early, the cabin was not ready. They became ready about 2 pm which allowed us time to eat lunch. We had booked balcony cabins, one of the type that had previously been an outside cabin, but had a balcony added on the latest refit. Unless you can afford suites, cabins on cruise ships are all pretty similar. This one was a reasonable size, queen bed (which we in the UK would call a king - 6ft wide), with a little cabinet each side, this was the width of the cabin. It had a little desk/dressing table, plus room for a small arm chair. So a reasonable size, and sufficient hanging space, although less drawer space than some cabins we have been in. Enough to manage though. A hair drier is provided and it was a pretty good one. The bathroom was small, and the one thing we didn't really like was that the shower had a curtain rather than a door. These curtains never quite close properly, and tend to stick to you when showering, but the size of the bathroom didn't allow for a door. The shower cubicle was quite small, we are not huge but only just managed to fit. All was spotlessly clean though, but after cruising for the last 12 years, have never yet come across one that wasn't. The balcony was a reasonable size, with a chair and table. STAFF Unfailingly polite, patient, helpful and lovely people. As always. Again, have never sailed on any ship, or any cruise line, in any area where they were not. All did their jobs to a high standard, some way over and above. Cannot and never would fault the staff on a cruise ship. They work very hard. On this particular cruise, the majority of the customers were South Americans, very few English speakers. Because of this, the Officers decided to put on a private lunch for the English speakers, which they themselves attended. The idea was that, since there were so few of us, it would be nice for us to meet so we would recognise each other as we went around the ship. The lunch was delicious, and the Officers were interesting to talk to. We thought this was a really nice touch which we all appreciated. FOOD This is, after all, one of the main components of a cruise. We have sailed with Royal Caribbean, in the Caribbean geared to the American market, and were not overly impressed. The menus were not innovative, and portions much too large. On the other hand, in Europe, geared to a European market, it was noticeably better. The same applied to this cruise. The food was excellent, in all of the eating areas whether buffet style, or formal dining. We did not partake of any of the paid for dining. The one thing Royal Caribbean does well is desserts which are both delicious and varied. This cruise was no exception. THE SHIP This is a really nice ship, not too big, about 1800 or so passengers. On this voyage it wasn't full so there was plenty of space for everybody. It was never a problem finding a sunbed. As is usual on most cruises the place everybody heads for is around the pool but even here, it was never packed. It was easy to find your way around, and had sufficient of the usual shops, and special 'sale' days of various items, bags, perfume, jewellery and the like. The prices were actually quite reasonable as well. This ship has a solarium with a pool and hot tub and comfortable sunbeds. It was a really pleasant place to spend time as we had a couple of cool days where it wasn't warm enough to sit outside. Again, there were always beds available, it never appeared to be packed. Beyond this area was the gym and spa. The gym (not that we used it) had lots of equipment, and the spa the usual treatments with prices pretty similar to most cruise lines. Beyond the spa, right at the back of the ship was a sunbathing deck, not very large, but quite private and fairly quiet away from the hubbub of the pool area and games. This is one of the nicer ships we have been on but have read that from summer 2016 it has been sold to Thompson and will be sailing in the Mediterranean. ENTERTAINMENT Not bad, but having to entertain people who spoke several different languages is not easy. The singers and dancers were excellent and the visiting entertainers were pretty good as well. They didn't have the big production shows that Royal Caribbean are noted for but this is a relatively small ship nowadays for this company. We went to most of the shows and were not particularly disappointed. The band that played in the central area were very good, but the single acts scattered around the ship were not so good, and there weren't many of them. DRINKS Oh dear. This is where Royal Caribbean are going to run into serious problems, many people were complaining and some of the staff we spoke to about it were very unhappy. When we embarked, in the buffet area were some folded card bar menus. On one side, was listed a few cocktails, and some beer prices. The price of the cocktails was quoted as $12 each. We have always been used to paying 15% gratuity on top, thus making the price of a cocktail almost $14, expensive by anyone's standards. On the other side of the card was the list of the various drinks packages they offer. We, and I suspect many others, spent some time mentally working out how much their bar bills were going to cost at the prices quoted for cocktails, and in desperation bought a package - which were expensive, but were quoted with gratuity included. As we had quite a large on-board credit as part of our cruise price deal, we decided against the packages. On the first night we went into the bar, and expected to see a comprehensive list of drinks, all the different cocktails, spirits, wines etc. as we have always been used to. Oh no. All there was available was a small card, again with about a half dozen cocktails and some beers listed. When we asked was this all that was available the staff told us, we could have any cocktail we wanted, or any spirit, or glass of wine. However, we had no idea how much the spirits were, or the wine, and all this pre-supposed the customer would have a mental list of all cocktails that existed in the world to be able to ask for one. After much discussion, as I didn't like the sound of the cocktails on the menu, I asked for a Sea Breeze since I am familiar with this. When it came, did it cost $12 plus gratuity? No it did not. It cost $11 and no gratuity. That was the first time I ordered it, the second time I had one it cost $11.50. We called one of the staff over and asked what was going on. Apparently, they have to know every cocktail that exists, and what the price is. They are supposed to know all the spirits available and how much they are. Except that the customer doesn't know before they order how much their bill will be. Very unsatisfactory when not using a package. Gratuity? No - that is now included (except on cruises for the American market, who expect to pay a gratuity!) On the first bar menu all the customers come across, in the buffet area when they first embark, there is no mention on the cocktail menu side of the price list that gratuities are included. No mention at all of the cost of other drinks, except beer. Thus designed to lead people into thinking that their drinks will be very expensive so buy a package. One of the staff told us that this has been designed specifically by 'Miami' to push people into packages. We believe that this is next door to deception and can't see how they will get away with it with European Law. The only thing I can say is that it created a great deal of hilarity for us every time we got a bill to see what price they decided to charge that night!!! Frankly, full marks to the staff for the way they handled it, they must have been extremely frustrated. DINING ARRANGEMENTS Our cheap agent purchased package did not allow us to have fixed dining, we were enforced onto 'My Time' dining, which actually suited us as early dining was a bit early for us, and late a bit too late. Well it would have suited us if it had worked. Oh dear, Royal Caribbean you have got this very wrong, at least you did on this cruise. You need to take lessons from Norwegian who have flexible dining worked out very efficiently. This is how 'My Time' dining worked, or rather did not work for us. On the first day, we went to the booking desk to reserve a time. We asked for 9 pm. We are told, 9 pm is not available, it will have to be 10pm. OK first day maybe we have left it a bit late. Next morning we presented ourselves at the desk opening time. No 9 pm dining available, only 10pm. So we asked why this was since we were first there. It turned out that, all the 7.30 dining slots had been taken, for the whole week, and once those diners were in, well they couldn't turn them out. Well not until 10 pm as that was when second dining started. Excuse me, 7.30 and 10pm dining. Isn't that fixed dining? This is not how flexible dining is supposed to work. We were not happy and complained, to no avail. In fact, the only staff member we encountered who was not smiling and friendly was the person who manned the 'My Time' dining desk. And who could blame him. We were told we could turn up at 9 and see if they had a space. On a couple of occasions we did and eventually got in once at 9.30, and 9.45. The only saving grace was that we got the same server most of the time. A wonderful Polish lady, Ewa who gave over and above every time we came across her. OTHER ASPECTS Cannot comment on anything else as we did not partake of the pool activities, shore excursions, children's clubs, transfers etc. The pursers desk, on the few occasions we needed them were helpful. SUMMARY On balance, setting aside the negative issues raised which we were able to laugh about, this was a cruise we very much enjoyed. The itinerary was great and all the people we met were wonderful. Just get a grip of the drink arrangements and dining. One disappointment afterwards was the form for evaluating the cruise. The company have gone paperless so you are supposed to receive this by e-mail. We had booked as two separate couples, and neither of us received one. We were sorry about this because there were one or two staff members who had far exceeded their job description and we would have liked to have praised them to the company by name. Would I sail with Royal Caribbean again. Until they have their drinks policy and dining arrangements sorted out, then no. Otherwise yes, depending on what price I could get for one of their cruises, they tend not to be one of cheaper ones on the market. The problems we encountered didn't spoil it for us because we are positive people generally who can see the funny side of things, even when they are going wrong. We see any travel as an experience and understand that things often do go wrong. However, these are policies, being implemented by the Head Office, upon clients, and more importantly, on staff who neither like, nor agree with them. This is no way to run a business. Let's hope the negative feedback that Royal Caribbean have been receiving will make them re-think and look at what other cruise lines are doing, very successfully. Read Less
Sail Date February 2015
We (my wife and I) have chosen now for several years this late (November) cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean with the Splendour ots and were so far always lucky, to enjoy a few late warm days - this was also the case this year. We stayed ... Read More
We (my wife and I) have chosen now for several years this late (November) cruise to the Eastern Mediterranean with the Splendour ots and were so far always lucky, to enjoy a few late warm days - this was also the case this year. We stayed before the cruise at a Mestre Hotel (Hilton Garden Inn), which is perfectly located for the Cruise Port in Venice. A ride is offered by the hotel for a reasonalble price, taking you to the port in 10 minutes. One could even take a public bus to Piazzale Roma in walking distance to the ship. The embarkation at around noon - we are diamond members - was very effective. Entering the ship we were looking fo a welcome drink, but Royal Caribbean obviously has disestablished this nice welcome touch. Food: The breakfast at the Windjammer offered a nice selection of different styles (European, American and Asian), but at peak hours (especially on early port arrival days) it was quite crowded. Therefore we prefered to take our breakfast in the Diamond Lounge with less variety but much less crowded. We normally do not have lunch. For dinner we had selected late seating (to be able to enjoy the early evening in the Lounge) and were placed at a table with an other couple, which allowed a relaxed conversation. The selection of meals was very good, always different meats, fish or vegetarian. Normally I take soup before the entree but e. g. the french onion soup or the Minestrone was not that good as I know it from former cruises. The waiter and assistant waiter tried to do their best, they were quick and serving the entree for us 4 always at the same time even when we had 4 different choices. We were surprised, that the head waiter did not show up once during the whole cruise. May be, the automatic tipping demotivates some staff members? Ports: Leaving Venice through the Canale Giudecca, passing close by St. Marks Square and Cathedral is always a special moment - who knows, how long this will still be allowed? The secont port on our cruise was Kotor. The route through the Fjord and narrrow channels into the bay of Kotor is amazing. Kotor itself is like a remnant of former times, a small city with complete city walls extending up to steep surrounding mountain slopes. Museums, churches, forts, the time is too short to see all the sights. The prices there are very reasonable. Next port was Korfu, an island in the Ionian sea. A quite large old town with massive fortifications has lovely narrow lanes with souvenir shops, Cafes and Restaurants. Athens offers beside the famous ancient temples, stadiums and museums a nice downtown area with a flea market and nice restaurants. Somehow one feels, however, the miserable economic situation of Greece, a lot of beggars and unemployed people populate the streets. The Southern- and Easternmost Port of our journey was Mykonos. This is the most stereotype place of Greece I know, with the white houses and blue doors and windows and the series of windmills. A ship arriving there, makes this port immediately crowded so that you rather think you are in a sort of Disneyland. The degree of popularity of this touristic destination has brought prices up, so that it was by far the most expensive place of our cruise (even more expensive than Venice!). Returning home, a stop in Argostoli on the island of Kefalonia was intended. Strong (yet warm) winds did not allow us to dock there. Instead, we continued the cruise to Dubrovnik, where we had an unexpected port day on the last day of our cruise. The disembarkation in Venice and the journey home (just 3,5 hours by car) was as smooth as the embarkation and we have another lovely cruise to the Eastern Medierranean in our memories. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
We just went on a cruise to the Greek Islands as well as Montenegro and an added bonus of Croatia. We arrived in Venice, Italy one day before the cruise & stayed at the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal (arranged through Royal Caribbean). ... Read More
We just went on a cruise to the Greek Islands as well as Montenegro and an added bonus of Croatia. We arrived in Venice, Italy one day before the cruise & stayed at the Hotel Monaco & Grand Canal (arranged through Royal Caribbean). The hotel was definitely a 4 star hotel with fabulous views of the Grand Canal. Upon arrival our rooms were not ready so the concierge suggested we take a tour of the Murano Glass Factory. Once we arrived we were given a private tour of the factory as well as the "museum" and were able to see how the glass is made. If you are ever in Venice this is definitely worth the trip. Upon completion of the tour we did the "usual tourist stops" in Venice & had lunch & dinner in St. Mark's Square. Venice is definitely a beautiful city & worth a visit in your lifetime. The following morning we were met by a RCCL representative & she had a water taxi ready to take us directly to the ship. Check in could not have been easier as we were upgraded from a Junior Suite to a Grand Suite the day before we left & we were onboard & having lunch within 20 minutes start to finish. The Splendour is a very beautiful, yet small ship. She was updated a few years ago so you can see small touches of her updates (new speciality restaurants, digital signage, etc). We had a set dinnertime & the waitress & assistant waiter could not have been better. Unfortunately as far as the Windjammer Café for breakfast & lunch I was a bit disappointed as the food was a bit bland & at times cold (I am not one that likes to complain but felt that this is an area that RCCL can improve on). In addition, the entertainment was hit or miss (not sure if since this is an older ship the singers & dancers are not the "top notch" of the line). With the revitalization of the ship aerial shows have been added a couple of nights in the Centrum (this is definitely something to see as it is different than the theatre shows). Since we had the Grand Suite we were given access to the Concierge Lounge. The Congiere (Mahmoud) is definitely an asset to RCCL & any problems or concerns we had were addressed right away. Mahmoud was able to schedule us having dinner with the Captain one night in the main restaurant as well as a Bridge Tour the last day of the cruise (both added bonuses). Another shout out was Jardel Garcia (Senior Guest Services Officer). At the beginning of the cruise I was having issues with my room key being de-magnetized the first 3-4 days & finally he was able to send somebody to re-program our door & all was resolved. Jardel was always on top of us having a good time & anytime we walked by Guest Services he was waving & making sure all was okay. Embarkation could not have been easier. Since we had pre-arranged flights & transfers to the Marco Polo Hotel through RCCL we were off the ship by 7:30 AM & the airport by 9AM. In summary, I had Greek on my bucket list & was finally able to live one of my dreams by visiting the Greek islands. All in all, this was a fabulous cruise with an added bonus of being able to go to Dubrovnik, Croatia. I ill definitely sail with RCCL (I am a Diamond with RCCL) & have been spoiled in a Grand Suite. Read Less
Sail Date November 2014
Our experience with Royal Caribbean and the Splendour of the Seas was impressive given it was our first cruise. I have traveled to Europe a number of times but doing so on a ship was the best given you unpack once and you have a floating ... Read More
Our experience with Royal Caribbean and the Splendour of the Seas was impressive given it was our first cruise. I have traveled to Europe a number of times but doing so on a ship was the best given you unpack once and you have a floating hotel. The best part was the ship and its crew. We never had any issue with personnel. They were always very helpful and accommodating. They always went out of their way when we asked for anything. The captain of the waiters we made friends with and he was always personable and great to see and shared some jokes with. The food was always gourmet and if something wasn't quite right, like a steak overdone or otherwise, they were very happy to accommodate us. The main restaurant (King & I) was the best for food. Although the buffet in the Windjammer was very good especially for breakfast offering many selections. And it was quick and plentiful. One benefit that the ship offered the night before were the programs on the destination we were about to visit. Lots of good info about the culture and areas we visited. We even won a door prize which we cashed in for a leather jacket at the Turkish bazaar. The weather for October was perfect. It was some what cool in the morning in the northern cities and very warm in Turkey. Nonetheless, it was for the most part perfect weather. There was no stopping the entertainment. Something was always going on whether it was bands playing music in different parts of the ship or the main theater which hosted Broadway like performances. Our room 7085 was for three and it was plenty big even though it was a room without a view, we could always turn on the flat screen TV and see a live video of the outside. I especially liked the bathroom shower since the water flow was fast and intense if I wanted it that way. It was also very roomy for storage. There was plenty of space to unload our bags and toiletries. We appreciated the woman who always made our bed. We would also make animals out of towels and one night we were greeted by a Bat on a hanger with my sunglasses which was impressive. I believe they even provided a class on how to make different animals with towels. What was very nice was the visit to the pool bar at the end of a day after a all day tour. They offered a book of drinks you could choose from and have plenty of drinks while watching folks jumping around the pool. The wait time for a drink varied but it was always reasonable And if you didn't want to stay outside, there was pool for adults indoors which was excellent. The ship was not a super sized ship but it was very comfortable to stay on and board every day with minimal delay. Overall i would recommend this ship to anyone. And I would go on again if the opportunity came about. it was relaxing and added entertainment during the cruise and to our touring at the sites we visited. I would recommend it to couples and families with older children. All of the stops were great. And don't miss Santorini, Greece and Venice, Italy. We can't wait till our next cruise on the Serenade of the Seas visiting the European Baltic states.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
This was my second time on Splendour. The last time was 5 years ago so she has had a refurbishment since then. We thought she looked good for her age and we had no compplaints about the cleanliness aboard. This was a last minute bargain ... Read More
This was my second time on Splendour. The last time was 5 years ago so she has had a refurbishment since then. We thought she looked good for her age and we had no compplaints about the cleanliness aboard. This was a last minute bargain of a cruise so for what we paid we really cannot complain. We had an inside cabin on deck 7, cabin was fine but I do not like inside cabins. My other complaints are my dislike of the large screen by the pool. It goes from dawn to dusk and we found it very intruding. After one day by the pool we moved to sitting on the aft deck. Also quite a few badly behaved children by the pool, parents clearly not bothered and neither were the RCI crew who I noticed stood and watched including a small boy who climbed on top of the hot tub and jumped in , not once but many times. Food in the main dining room was good, and excellent service from our 2 waiters.Disappointed in the food from park cafe this time especially the breakfasts. We loved pre dinner drinks in Viking crown lounge, Gabriel and kenisha made fabulous cocktails. We did buy the premium drinks package but it annoyed me that you could drink as many bottles of beer as you wanted but were not allowed a can of coke or any other soda.The coke from the fountain was ghastly, it ruined the taste of the bacardi. Loved the sailaway from Venice and enjoyed all ports of call. I would go on RCI again and especially a smaller ship but I am afraid have been spoilt by the standard on Celebrity Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. ... Read More
We have sailed with RCI a number of times, normally on the larger ships. We decided to try the Splender of the Seas because of the itinerary, despite it being much smaller than we were used to. What a disappointment this ship was to us. Firstly, we found it very noisy whenever any music was being played or the so called entertainers were on, either in the Centrum or Schooner Bar, The volume was just too loud, you couldn't hold a conversation or hear yourself yourself think, and we're not old fuddy duddies either, we're in our mid 50's. The R Bar was very under used, the bar itself was rarely open when we went in after dinner unless it was going to hold bingo or adult karaoke, we thought they cold have used it more for the quizzes they insisted on playing and left the Centrum area for those of us who wanted a quiet drink. The only place you could have a fairly quiet drink was in the Viking Lounge, unless they decided to play the disco music really loud, as they did on a couple of occasions. We were unlucky to have bad weather for most of the week, which meant there were more passengers trying to stay dry in the Solarium area or around the ship in generally. As a result, the areas quickly became untidy and scruffy looking. There didn't seem to be enough staff in general to clear plates, glasses etc, even the bar staff were in short supply, something we've not come across before. It was more noticeable in the pool areas, particularly on the last day as this was a cruising day and the weather was being kind. The addition of the big screen has added to the noise levels in my opinion, the ship seems to be becoming more of a party ship. We were on My Time dining for four nights. The first night (Saturday) was very disappointing, but after that it was very much improved and back to RCI standards. We went to Chops Grill two nights, no complaints about the food at all, although the service suffered when a very large group came in and it was all hands to the deck to the detriment of guests already dining. We only went to the Windjammer once at night and that was more than enough, the choice was very poor, unless you liked fast food, certainly not as good as on previous ships they really need to improve this. We had a really big cabin, one of the ones with a picture window, as a result we didn't miss the balcony at all. We were on deck 8 near the centrum lifts, although very noisy when you opened the door, the soundproof was very good and no noise penetrated through. The only down side was the noise sometimes from the pool deck if someone was running around late at night. Although we still enjoyed our holiday, we wouldn't go on a ship without the Royal Promenade again. To us the bigger ships suit us better because of the space, and we did speak to other guests who felt the same as us, but I'm sure there were plenty of guests who had a blast this is just my own opinion of our experience. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
We had a fabulous time! Loved that we were upgraded.....our cabin was beyond words! I will say though that this ship is rather small.....not like our most recent cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Our room steward was fantastic as was the ... Read More
We had a fabulous time! Loved that we were upgraded.....our cabin was beyond words! I will say though that this ship is rather small.....not like our most recent cruise on Navigator of the Seas. Our room steward was fantastic as was the personnel in the concierge lounge. Waiters at the main dining room were not like others we had enjoyed in the past. Seems like a lot has changed in there....including quality of the food, atmosphere, waiters attentiveness. Missed the good old days of cruising! Itinerary was fantastic! and the weather could not have been better for mid October. All in all we'll stay loyal to Royal.....but maybe on a slightly bigger ship next time! Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Myself and my mother had been on river cruises before, but this was a first on the sea. The embarkation and disembarkation in Venice was like clockwork. We had stayed one night in Hotel do Pozzi in Venice which was perfect and centrally ... Read More
Myself and my mother had been on river cruises before, but this was a first on the sea. The embarkation and disembarkation in Venice was like clockwork. We had stayed one night in Hotel do Pozzi in Venice which was perfect and centrally located. We were originally down for My Time Dining for the full week, but it took so long to have dinner the first night that we opted for the Windjammer after that. I don't know where the people who make up the horror stories about the Windjammer are from, but we found it fine. A good selection of food every evening. Yes, occasionally it could be crowded, but in that case, we just went for a drink and came back later. We tried one dinner and one lunch in Chops and were delighted both times. Having read reviews on Cruise Critic I was expecting a lot more from the Park Cafe than it delivered. Food-wise, the Windjammer had much fresher items. As another reviewer mentioned, the big screen on Deck 9 is very intrusive and I don't know if anyone was ever actually watching it. The pools, toilets and all the public areas were very clean and constantly being monitored. There were very few children on our trip, since it was during term time, but for those that were there, there seemed to be a packed schedule for them. The Bingo was a particular rip-off. It wasn't cheap to play and no-one ever managed to find out how much we were playing for. I found the host Orlando's snide anti-gay ('I love you/hate you Orlando') agenda rather tasteless. We went with the Royal Replenish beverage package and I feel we got our money's worth. The frozen non-alcoholic cocktails and the lattes/cappucinos were lovely. We got into a routine of getting our water from the bar before bedtime. We didn't use the big soda glasses. They seem quite childish to me and I was not going to carry one round the ship all day. We left ours in our cabin when we left. Our room steward was lovely, as were all the staff we encountered. We noted particular kindness being shown to elderly or less mobile passengers by a large gentleman of South Pacific island appearance. I did not get his name. We did not use any of the ship organised tours, preferring to either organise our own trips online, or just take the local hop-on, hop-off. Overall, I would not be put off going on a cruise again. It's quite a cost-effective way to travel. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let me put this is perspective - this is our first experience of RC and we had quite high expectations. The transfer to the ship, the cabin service and cleanliness was very good. What wasn't good was arriving to board the ship with ... Read More
Let me put this is perspective - this is our first experience of RC and we had quite high expectations. The transfer to the ship, the cabin service and cleanliness was very good. What wasn't good was arriving to board the ship with just around 800 americans wearing large ID badges from Meyer Electrics as this was their reward package for contractors spending so much money with the company. Little did we know that the ID badges never left them ( even on the tuxedos of those few that managed to get out of their jeans) and we ended up feeling imposters in a works outing every night of the cruise. We also came to the conclusion having talked to a number of them that this wasn't a one off and this is how numbers are made up. For us the constant shouting and whooping was more than we could bear and we had to resort to paracetamol most nights. My partner even asked one of them to stop insisting that everyone stand up in the bar one night to be met by a round of cheers by other passengers. The food in the main restaurant was prepared to high standards but unfortunately not to a high temperature and on one night food had to go back twice as VERY cold. Staff dealt with it very well but it never reached anything other than warm. We were looking forward to the casino - we are not gamblers but were looking forward to letting our hair down but were surprised how light headed we became as a result of the thick smoke. Our clothes really smelt of smoke and we had to keep coming out for air as it was too much to bear. What we would say is check your arrangements for transfer to the airport as we asked twice and were advised that we should get on a bus to find purely by chance that our "private transfer" was in fact a mercedes taxi and we nearly missed it. The weather became quite inclement and the Captain made every effort to avoid turbulence which meant that we missed one port but stopped off at another. There was one particularly outstanding member of staff in the R bar who stood out. Her name was Mabelli and she is very professional, always smiling and ran the bar to very high standards. Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
Let’s just start by saying The Splendor of the Seas is not one of the new mega ships. She’s a fine old girl who’s starting to show her age. Having previously sailed on Rhapsody of the Seas several times, my wife and I knew what to ... Read More
Let’s just start by saying The Splendor of the Seas is not one of the new mega ships. She’s a fine old girl who’s starting to show her age. Having previously sailed on Rhapsody of the Seas several times, my wife and I knew what to expect. Splendor was built in the mid 90’s and had a face lift in 2011, but, she’s still about 20 years old. RCCL tried to retrofit her to have more balcony’s, specialty restaurants and things cruisers are expecting, but, she’s still an older vessel so passengers will just have to deal with it. Our cruise departed Venice on Oct. 11th with stops in Croatia, Turkey and Greece and finally back to Venice. We chose this cruise because of the itinerary and were glad we did. Most of our previous cruises have been to the Caribbean and this cruise offered something a little different. Most of our fellow cruisers on this ship were a little older and the sea day activities were a little tamer. There was a group of exchange students from the US that were attending a Theater Program in Tuscany. Their presence enhanced the trip by sharing their talents whenever possible. At one point one student played the piano while another sang, they were just as good if not better than the onboard talent. We booked our Airfare thru RCCL and ChoiceAir, there was some apprehension due to reviews of Aer Lingus I read online, but, everything went according to plan. All our flights were on time and connections went smoothly. We took the public bus from the Venice Airport to Piazzale Roma, and then hopped on the people mover to the ship. Our trip originated in the Midwest so bringing a couple of bottles of wine with us was not an option, but, there is a Coop (Italian Grocery Store) right by the Piazzale Roma so we picked up 4 bottle of wine (2 per stateroom) and headed to the ship. Cost for this was 6 Euro each for ATVO bus, 1.3 Euro for People mover and 20 Euro for the wine. Time from airport to ship with the stop at Coop about an hour, ‘Piece of Cake’ even if you don’t speak Italian. The ship, while showing its age, still has everything you need to have an enjoyable time. We boarded, dumped our bags in our room and headed to the Park Café to grab a bite. Previous experience with boarding day crowds at the Windjammer makes the Park Café the best option (hint hint). Our room was an interior room and had everything we needed, the bathroom is small and there’s a limited amount of counter space, but, we really didn’t plan on spending that much time in the room anyway. I’m not going to bore readers with way Royal Caribbean schedules meals (my time, buffet, specialty restaurant or conventional dinning) that’s all listed on their website. Let me say the service by the staff was acceptable at all times, we opted for My Time dining with different wait staff every night, so there was little personal interaction with our servers. I thought with My Time dinning the service might be compromised a little due to the fact that you don’t tip your server directly, but, service was fine. Food on board is typical cruise fare. The kitchen is cooking for over 2000 people, with varied tastes and tolerances so it’s not going to be 5 star dinning. There are different dishes every night, with choices for just about every palate. I read other reviews that said that the food was terrible and uneatable, I wonder how much weight they gained eating this terrible and uneatable food… Our first stop was Dubrovnik, Croatia; it’s a very cool old walled city with streets that just call to be wandered. We took a cab from the ship (10 Euro per car), walked the city, bought some Grappa, had a nice meal and then headed back to the ship. If you want to walk the wall the cost is in Croatian Kuna, they don’t take Euro for this, but, do accept credit cards (I think it’s a Government thing). Everywhere else they do take Euro. Next was Kusadasi, Turkey, let’s start by saying at no time did we feel threatened or in danger. We walked the streets, browsed the bazaar, interacted with local citizens, shopped and even sampled local food without incident. As in any city, you have to be aware of your surroundings, but, everything was fine. We took an excursion from the ship to see the ruins of Ephesus, and then to Selcuk to visit the Virgin Mary’s house. Not really sure if it’s her house, but, it’s a good story anyway. Our bus got into a minor fender bender on the way back and we had to sit thru a rug demonstration with the hard sale afterwards but, it was still well worth the cost ($80 each). The activity director told everyone that while shopping not to accept the asking price. They suggested offering half the asking price and moving from there. Common sense dictates that the vendors know this and just double the price. Here’s a suggestion, just offer what you feel is a good price, if the vendor doesn’t accept, just walk away. If it’s acceptable to them they will call you back. If they don’t call you back, don’t worry, there will be another vendor with the same ‘treasures’ a few stalls away. We decided to walk the donkey trail in Santorini and this might have been a mistake. With Donkey comes Donkey droppings and it was aromatic and somewhat slippery. We had no accidents on the way up or down, but, did see some other cruisers that had their pants ‘sprayed’. Once at the top of the hill the views were very nice, we did some wandering and found a pretty good Gyro shop. Forget the sit down restaurants and enjoy the local Gyro’s. You’ll save a few Euro and they are very good. My wife and I enjoy winery tours so in Olympus we took the Little Train Tour with a stop at a local winery. The train is just a cart that’s pulled by a truck that looks like a train engine, here’s a place to save the 6 Euro each and just go buy a bottle of wine at a restaurant and people watch. The train is lame and the winery is in the middle of nowhere. There is no tour and all you do is stand and wait for the next train to take you away. Getting off the ship was a breeze, we rolled our suitcases to the people mover and headed out. We had decided to stay in Venice an extra night and explore the city. We dropped off our bags at a storage place right next to the people mover (they were only 6 Euro per bag) and took off. Venice is a very walkable city with signs pointing to San Marco, Rialto, etc. Lots of leather shops, pizza pannini places and bars. We found a nice little wine shop off a main drag and settled in with a group of locals drinking Prosecco, Soave, and eating cheese, lunchmeats and olives. The last bus out of town was about 9:00 so we hopped the bus and headed to our hotel. Our hotel was close to airport and offered free transfer. This was our 20th cruise and one thing we found was things do sometimes go wrong, but, we don’t let those things ruin our time. Sometimes the food isn’t the best, so we eat when we’re in ports, or the room might not be large, so we snuggle, the whole idea is to have fun.   Read Less
Sail Date October 2014
I was a solo traveler but never felt alone. The Splendour staff was welcoming and accommodating. On the first night (I ha "My Time Dining) I was seated at a table with 6 wonderful people. However, later that first night, I went to the ... Read More
I was a solo traveler but never felt alone. The Splendour staff was welcoming and accommodating. On the first night (I ha "My Time Dining) I was seated at a table with 6 wonderful people. However, later that first night, I went to the Top Hat Lounge for a game and saw 2 smiling people and asked if I could join them. After getting to know them, they said theit 6:30 dining table in the main dining room had an empty chair so I found myself spending my evenings with all these wonderful people. My stateroom was on the second level, room 2542 and it was lovely and an easy 2 flights up and down for eveNing meals. I went on a private excursor of Kotor and the area with a couple I met through Cruise Critic, and the Ship's excursion for Athens that included climbing to the Acropolis and then 3 hours of shopping time in the Agora. That excursion was fine except for the 3 hours in the shopping area. Ithe was a complete tourist trap and I was almost mugged. I also learned the meaning of the phrase "Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts." I had found my way back to the meeting place and plopped down at a table where I heard others speaking English. Suddenly the waiter was pouring water from a large bottle into a glass and and someone else was sliding a basket of bread onto the table. I didn't even think about it until I got the check which included €3 for the bottle of water and €1 for the bread! Embarcation was quick and easy after a mildly long hike pulling luggage and I was thankful that it was not raining or any hotter than it already was. I suppose I should be thankful that Royal Caribbean ensures the safety of its cruisers by scanning bags and people every time people returned to the ship after being in ports. The food was very good in the main dining rooms, so-so in the Windjammer Cafe, but excellent in Chops where I ate one night and had one of the best meals of my life. Entertainment was fine but not spectacular. However the company I was keeping made up for that and my evenings were very enjoyable. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
I totally agree with previous review. I will never sail on another ship larger than splendour of the sea, in the last twelve months I sailed on msc divina and msc preziosa they are not in anyway as friendly as a smaller ship like ... Read More
I totally agree with previous review. I will never sail on another ship larger than splendour of the sea, in the last twelve months I sailed on msc divina and msc preziosa they are not in anyway as friendly as a smaller ship like splendour. they are like cities as ships of splendours size are like villages , you get to see and meet more people , and the staff have time to talk to you. splendour is old but she has class plus she has had a refit since I was last on her and it has done her wanders will certainly be booking her again . ps I took the all you could drink wine package but unless you can drink from dusk to dawn I would not bother and im a good drinker, Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
We have just returned from a week's cruise with Royal Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We found the ship was kept very clean and lounges, bars and restaurants were bright and inviting. We had previously checked reviews ... Read More
We have just returned from a week's cruise with Royal Caribbean and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We found the ship was kept very clean and lounges, bars and restaurants were bright and inviting. We had previously checked reviews online prior to our cruise and criticism had been levelled at the food quality. This was certainly not the case, the food in all eating areas was of good quality and freshness. Our stateroom was bright, airy and clean. The bed was comfortable and the room had plenty of storage space. The shower was on the small side, but that is the same on all ships. We enjoyed the itinerary, Mikonos was a delight, Kotor and Argostoli were interesting to do your own thing and discover the towns. The only downside we experienced was a noisy cabin, the music coming from the centrum until the early hours of the morning kept us awake. Our advise would be to carefully select your cabin, be sure to be at least 12 cabins away from the open centrum area on any deck. Read Less
Sail Date September 2014
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to ... Read More
Booked a fly cruise and my companion has walking difficulties.The airport assistance was fantastic. Boarding Royal Carribbean was not easy as there was no assistance at the port. Throughout the cruise the staff were unsure of how to accomodate people with walking difficulties and often at ports , lifts were closed, at dining venues there were steps and stairs and even to be photographed with the captain at his welcome aboard evening , all guests had to negotiate the stairs up and down the main staircase in the Centrum. The main dining room was very grand and the service was good. The food however was poor and very disappointing. Only a three course meal offered. All meals were plated with no service of additional vegetables or sides. The food was often only just warm and the signature dessert, creme brulee, the same offering every night, was more like a wet blancmange with no cracky sugar topping. The sugar was wet and had dissolved on the top and a single slice of cold banana had sunk into the mess. I've had better in my local pub! Being adventurous , I thought I would sample chef's watermelon and raspberry soup served with a Mojito Foam. Big mistake! The 'foam' only appeared when I moved the spoon through the soup and was so off putting that I could not bring myself to eat it. Honestly I thought someone had spat in my first course. The windjammer buffet style restaurant provides a wide selection of food , including breakfast, and we often had better quality food here. The cooked dishes such as the fish pieces were left to stand and had gone a bit dry. The main problem here was the use of only plastic plates, cups and bowls. The thick plastic does not retain any heat therefore the food gets cold quickly, and to drink a morning cup of tea from plastic picnic wear is just not up to standard. If you are prepared to pay extra the food in the Chops Grille $30 per person per night extra then you will get the service and food quality that has been the standard of the many other cruise companies we have experienced. The wine list on board was extensive but the prices started from $33 a bottle. This is a little more than other cruise liners and so if you enjoy 'fine dining' this may add quite a bit to the overall cost of your holiday. Also to be noted are the charges for extras such as any classes, yoga, morning stretch etc. Other enrichment activities included things like 'adult belly flop competition'. Some how I have difficulty seeing this as 'enriching' . Another disappointment was the lack of a laundry room or any fascility for ironing. There is no trouser press in the room and the only way to have an item pressed is of course to pay! For this you must think in advance and put your ironing out 24 hours before.   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
This was our first cruise and we found the experience amazing Boarding of the ship was a breeze being on board 20 mins after arriving at the Port We where in room 7078 the state room being very nice The food excellent and all staff ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we found the experience amazing Boarding of the ship was a breeze being on board 20 mins after arriving at the Port We where in room 7078 the state room being very nice The food excellent and all staff being professional friendly and obliging If you are going on this cruise for the entertainment on board be warned that most of this is by the crew and although they try hard is pretty corny, Did not worry us as there is plenty of other things to do Drinks are a bit on the expensive side but what the heck you are on holidays The only negative comments I would have is the cost of the WiFi being close to $ 200 US for the cruise Remember you are at sea and its not really reliable The second negative they have signs around the place informing everybody that holding of deck chairs is not allowable ,this is nonsense and is not policed get there early if you want to lay wound the pool which is very small in regards to the WiFi we instead waited till in each Port where there is ample Free Wi Fi We went on Three of the land tours all being good and no complaints All in all we will travel with RCL again and I would recommend this cruise to anyone Bill & Sue   Read Less
Sail Date August 2014
We had such a great time, this has been our families favorite cruise. We recently went on NCL Epic and thought that cruise would be better than this one because of the ship size but the service and the food on this ship made it a better ... Read More
We had such a great time, this has been our families favorite cruise. We recently went on NCL Epic and thought that cruise would be better than this one because of the ship size but the service and the food on this ship made it a better cruise. The port stops were great, we did a couple excursions to the beach. On the days we didn't take the excursions the tender always docked near shopping and restaurants. Our room steward was awesome, our nightly waiters Daniel and Ikatut were amazing they really went above and beyond to create a 5 star dinning experience every night. The food was mostly really good and the buffet food stayed the same mostly but was delicious as well. Staff on this ship were amazingly kind. embarking was a breeze and went very quickly and disembarking was really quick and organized as well. Loved the whole experience! Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
My husband and I were very disappointed in the Royal Caribbean cruise. We spent more to go on RC then we have on other cruises because we thought it would be a better experience and better everything. Nothing was better, and in many ways ... Read More
My husband and I were very disappointed in the Royal Caribbean cruise. We spent more to go on RC then we have on other cruises because we thought it would be a better experience and better everything. Nothing was better, and in many ways this trip was far worse that the other cruises we’ve taken. nothing special. Also, the guides on the expensive shore excursions were more interested in taking us to shopping places then to the ruins that we paid to go see. We purchased the premium drink package and the bartenders were very slow, never enough of them, could never find a waiter/waitress to serve drinks, the dining room never knew what went with the package - which water we got, whether other coffee drinks went with it - overall very disappointing. It was expensive to purchase and then we always had to chase down someone to give us a drink. Not what I would have expected. We paid more to go on a RC cruise line and expected more, but all we got was less of everything. I would not recommend RC to anyone. Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
I am not an avid cruiser (I am more of an all-inclusive resort slug) but have done cruises in the past. I appreciated foxtraveler’s detailed review here on CruiseCritic so I will try to return the favor. I preprinted our boarding ... Read More
I am not an avid cruiser (I am more of an all-inclusive resort slug) but have done cruises in the past. I appreciated foxtraveler’s detailed review here on CruiseCritic so I will try to return the favor. I preprinted our boarding paperwork and had put the tags on our bags back at home. When in Venice, I bought two bottles of wine and brought them on board with us (you are limited to 2 bottles and only on the day of departure). We got to the cruise terminal around 11:30 am, thinking we’d miss those waiting when it opened at 11 but before the last minute stragglers came in. We breezed through. Check-in was simple and organized. We were told the rooms would be ready by 2 so we went to lunch in Windjammer (buffet). We then toured the boat and by then, the rooms were ready. We were on Deck 7 with a balcony. With just myself and two teen daughters, it was a little cramped. I couldn’t imagine sleeping 4 people in that room. The room attendant made up the pull out bed every morning and evening so we would have more room. Sheila was always pleasant and helpful. There is a TV in the room that has CNN International, a music/video channel, a channel that explains the next port, a channel that pitches other ships, a channel that shows the view of the boat from the front. There’s other channels but that’s all we put on. We had MyTime dining so made reservations each day for the next day. We tended to go around 7 or 7:30 and had very little problem getting the time we wanted. Only mess-up was the last night when we requested a particular waiter. The woman at the desk shuffled people around so we could sit in his area, but when we went at our scheduled time, we were taken to a totally different area in the back by the kitchen. Evidently, another family slipped in earlier and took our table. Staff was accommodating and moved us to an area up front by the window. Didn’t get our waiter, but got to experience another set of waiters and another view of the dining room. None of us liked eating at the Windjammer where we tended to do breakfast and lunch. We went because it’s completely a buffet, so we could get in/out quickly but only when we found a table. The space is much smaller than the crowd that tries to go there, especially on port days. The staff works hard to clear tables and make space, but they can’t perform magic or push lingering people to give up their space. We didn’t do any of the specialty restaurants as I didn’t want to pay for them. As to the food itself, we found it just fine. My vegetarian daughter found plenty of choices and we all enjoyed the assortment of fruit. You could get water, tea, coffee and lemonade during the meals and help yourself to a dispenser by both pools. I did buy the beer/wine package since I didn’t want to stress on whether I needed that “one more glass of wine”. It included tips so it made it easy for me. I wish RCI had different combination of packages as my other daughter wanted the upscale coffee selections but it was bundled with soda and bottled water (water on the ship is safe to drink and on the islands, we would just pick up a few bottles for that day and bring back on board whatever we didn’t consume). Instead, I let her purchase them individually for $3.50-5.50. Another reviewer said they had trouble getting beverage service but I did not but then I usually just went to the bar and got a glass of wine to take back to the room. We weren’t impressed with the shows and only went to a few of them. We are really not into Celine Dion nor Frankie Vaile music so we skipped those shows. The aerlists in the Centrum were okay but nothing that you had to rush to go watch. For the last night they brought in shadow artists which was quite unique and captivating. Yes, the Cruise Director was Italian but spoke wonderful English and had quite the charming personality. On to the ports: Sunday: Kotor, Montenegro: We walked around on our own and tried to go up to the top of the fort. It costs a few Euros so bring coins. I have a fear of heights so only made it 2/3 way up. My youngest daughter went up and took photos. Monday: Corfu, Greece: Since I wasn’t up to two days in a row of wandering about, I booked a tour. We did the Achilleion Place, Perama and Old Town. The whole town was crazy crowded. My daughters loved the palace and while on the tour it was packed, we had time before we had to board the bus to go back through the rooms and gardens and look closer. As we did the island tour, the streets were crowded so the bus lumbered on. We passed Mouse Island but the bus couldn’t or wouldn’t stop for us to take photos. The bus had to stop and wait for a plane to take off (the runways are very close to the road). By the time we got to Corfu Town, we didn’t have much time left to explore so we walked about and in/out of shops. Another family toured the fort that was there (it costs a few euros). Tuesday: Athens. Did the ship’s excursion of a city bus tour and a stop at the Acropolis. We found our tour guide’s English difficult to understand. The guides seemed to like to find trees for shade and have us stand there while they jabbered on. I had purchased a guide book and read about Athens that morning so rather than looking at a tree, we ditched the guide and walked around on our own. We met up with her at the appointed time to board the bus for the rest of our tour. The bus then took us through the city and stopped briefly at the site of the Olympics then back to the terminal. On that particular excursion, there was little opportunity for shopping. RCI has a Taste of Athens tour that adds in the shopping experience but is 7 hours in length. Wednesday: Mykonos. At the advice of foxtraveler, we had an early breakfast (much quieter that way) then got off the ship before the town woke up. There were young adults hanging around. I suspect they hadn’t been to sleep yet. We walked up to the windmills and took some beautiful photos. The walkways are narrow and it’s easy to both get lost and also find yourself back to the shore. We paid 18 Euros each to take a water ferry over to the island of Delos. There is a 5 Euro entrance fee but for whatever reason, a crew member gave us free passes to get in. We were all fascinated by the ruins. While we didn’t have a tour guide, there were signs posted around to read about some of the structures and there is a museum you can walk through to see the statues that they are trying to preserve. The ferry brought us back at 12:30 so we wandered around looking for lunch. Then we just shopped until it was time to board the ship. Thursday: Argostoli, Greece. My plan was to find a taxi to just drive us around. Instead, we found a couple of tour companies passing out brochures. I found one through Avalon Kefalonia Travel Services that took us both to the Melissani Cave and to the top of Myrtos Beach where we could take incredible photos. I paid for that trip then since we had an hour, we walked around the town. There is a street where all the shopping is off the main square. At the appointed time, we boarded a 52 passenger bus who took us around the island on very windy roads. Our tour guide was a delightful gentleman from Whales who entertained us with stories about the island. Highly recommend that tour. They dropped us off at the cruise terminal in plenty of time. Back on board, as predicted the main pool is crowded and it’s difficult to find lounge chairs. I tended to hide inside on my balcony or sit on Deck 5 looking out the window. With two teens, they can’t be without social media for long so we bought the unlimited Internet package. It is $189 and limited to one device at a time. Since I had cruised Royal Caribbean before, I had a discount that helped. Special surprise was that since I prepaid the tips for the MyTime dining, it also included the tips for the cabin person. I gave her extra money anyhow. My challenge was getting us from the ship to our hotel in Venice. For those going straight to the airport, there is an ‘excursion’ where you can check your bags through. There is a people mover at the cruise terminal that takes you to the bus/train terminal. With our 27” bags and our carry-on’s, I wasn’t up for that plan. As you depart the ship, there are stations set up to book water taxi’s. I was told 80 Euros was the minimum charge and I didn’t know what my options were. I paid with a credit card, was assigned a taxi number, then rolled our bags for a several minute walk to the water taxis. I’m still not sure what was the best thing to do. In summary, we had a pleasant experience. I’m sure if we had gone in the off-season with less people we would have enjoyed it more. We were all impressed with the pleasantness of the crew and the organization of getting on and off the ship both initially and for each port – they certainly know how to manage the crowds. I booked this cruise only because I had wanted to see the Greek islands. I’m now actually considering another cruise since I find them a good way to sample a lot of places that I want to go in a short amount of time without the hassle of packing and repacking.   Read Less
Sail Date July 2014
On arrival to ship embarkation was swift and fast once aboard our cabin was not ready this was not a problem as we had packed swimgear in our bags and made our way to the pool,to our amazement the pool was closed and we where unable to use ... Read More
On arrival to ship embarkation was swift and fast once aboard our cabin was not ready this was not a problem as we had packed swimgear in our bags and made our way to the pool,to our amazement the pool was closed and we where unable to use it.Then we where able to go to our cabin at 2pm first thing that amazed us was the standard of the fixture and fitting's they where very badly worn and ill fitting.We where still prepared to overlook this and the dirty window which you could barely see through,and the thread bare shower curtain which soaked the floor everytime you showered.Then we opened the drawers to place clothes in and to our amazement they were filthy I was going to place a towel down then put my clothes on top but we said no lets go to guest services,whilst standing in the cue there was a lady very angry because the rooms have no mini fridge the R/C girl behind the desk was so rude to her I couldnt believe my ears.We got another staff member who was just as bad he broke me off midsentence saying "well you are not getting an upgrade"to be honest that hadnt even crossed my mind.They got the room recleaned saying we will keep in touch we never heard from them again.The window was never cleaned. The first night we cued for 40mins outside the King and I until we left and went to the windjammer.We where amazed how the windjammer did not serve food until 7pm every night which if you had young children might be a little late.Compared to other R/C ships the range of snacks available during the day is very poor and limited this really needs to be addressed.We had a soft drinks package and my husband got up in the windjammer to get us drinks there was nowhere availabe he was told to sit down and wait to be served we sat through 4 meals with no drinks as service was very poor.The food was also not piping hot which I dont enjoy my husband became ill during the cruise.We are crown and anchor members with entitlements when you use the sea pass card firstly there was nowhere to check the bill until we recieved on the last day but we had told the bar man to apply the savings he said it was saying that discounts had been applied so as we thought when bill arrived they hadnt we went to guest services again and had to argue to get the discounts applied!!!! We did the Santaroni tour with R/C which I feel was very overpriced we got a cablecar ticket for coming down by the time we arrived the cue was so long we had to walk down the steps or we might have missed the boat you could defnitately do this trip a lot cheaper yourself.We did Croatia cable car trip with R/C we enjoyed it but again you could probably do it a lot cheaper on your own.The olympia site ourselves by going into the local town catching a bus trip 8 euro return giving you 2 and half hours at the site then 6 euro entrance fee it still worked out alot cheaper than R/C charge.The entertainment on the first and last night was awful but the other shows where great and centrum show was wonderful. Overall we had a good holiday and we loved the ports of call but I would not book this ship again.We have travelled with R/C before and it fell below our exoectations we will be trying other cruise liners as the standard has slipped. Read Less
Sail Date June 2014
Just back from a 7 night cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. This was my first cruise and I was so looking forward to it. I had a great time and would cruise again but I was also disappointed. I was looking forward to the two formal ... Read More
Just back from a 7 night cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. This was my first cruise and I was so looking forward to it. I had a great time and would cruise again but I was also disappointed. I was looking forward to the two formal nights as I am right into fashion and was looking forward to getting all dressed up and seeing all the fashions. Alas, this did not happen. On the first formal night we had dinner early in the windjammer and then went to get ready for the show. On entering the show in all our finery I felt so stupid as looking around Iw as surrounded by people dressed in jeans, shorts and t shirts. After the show I went down to our cabin and got changed as I couldn't see anyone who had made an effort. There were a few who had long dresses on but not much. On the second formal night I didn't bother and went out dressed in jeans and I was so grateful as again nobody had made the effort. I feel that some sort of policy should be in place. Some people were very very casual and wore the same clothes all week! Entertainment was very poor. If it wasn't for the excellent singer/piano player in the piano bar we would have been lost. The shows were very amateurish and most things that were on were only on for an hour or so. I was expecting cabaret that lasted for a few hours, tribute nights, perhaps karaoke. Karaoke was on for half an hour one night next night semi final half an hour and then the final an hour. Equipment was awful. Didn't have an up to date system and didn't have the songs people were requesting. The presenter couldn't even sing! Deck three outside cabin. Excellent. Found out from friends that an inside cabin the exact same is £800 cheaper. A lot money to pay for a window! Even after all my moans I did enjoy it, food was excellent cabin was excellent and the staff were excellent. Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
This is a long review, but it is for two itineraries on one ship. We did back to back cruises on the Splendour (7 nts/7 nts) - so visited all destinations in the Mediterranean that the ship sails to. Review, for ease of evaluating, will ... Read More
This is a long review, but it is for two itineraries on one ship. We did back to back cruises on the Splendour (7 nts/7 nts) - so visited all destinations in the Mediterranean that the ship sails to. Review, for ease of evaluating, will be in form of Ship, Embarkation/Departure and then itinerary overview, with tips for each section included. Note: This is the last season for the Splendour in Europe....it will go to South America in November and then move to Dubai. Another ship will take its place for this itinerary. Note: For a more English speaking passenger cruise, take the trip in June and early July. After that period more Italians and Spanish speaking passengers arrive. In fact, the shift is quite large as the Cruise Director informed us that he (English Speaking) is replaced by an Italian Cruise Director in July. So based upon the experience you desire, choose accordingly. Splendour - a very intimate feeling ship, has been recently renovated so all areas are nicely kept to include the Cabins. We were upgraded to a junior balcony suite on the 1st cruise that had Athens in the ports of call and a standard balcony cabin on the following week. Both very comfortable and quite accommodating......for the balcony we were put on the left (port) side of the ship and it did not disappoint to see the sites when pulling in. We used My Time dining so we could adjust the week to fit the ports of call and allow us to have food on the stop and then eat later once back on the ship. We never felt crowded at all except out around the pool. The Viking Crown Lounge area now shares the space with the two specialty restaurants, so you lose the great views from on top.....other than that a very nice ship, crew and amenities. Tips.... If you have My Time dining and have a special section you want to sit in, we recommend some planning to determine when you'd like to eat and booking the week once on board....we did the 2nd week and it worked out well for getting the table by the window and the Outstanding Waiter Stojan. The Park Cafe makes a great salad and also the Main Dining Room on sail days offers lunch and has a great Salad Bar, good menu and very light crowd. So it 's a great place to avoid the Windjammer lunch crowds and keep the ship feeling intimate. Tips...we brought our own hair dryer as the one provided requires you to hold down the button on the grip to keep it on. Made it much easier for spouse to dry her hair. Also there are two European plugs (& 2 US plugs) so we brought adapters, giving us 4 plugs to use for our electronics and personal care products. Embarkation - the ship normally clears customs early and begins letting people on about 11am and total check in time was approx 20 minutes and we were on the ship and walking about. Cabins don't normally become available till 1pm for checking in....also since a smaller ship, the crew uses the same elevators as guests to bring the bags up.....so you may see your bags and take them to your room. Tips...There is a Duty Free shop in the terminal and the ship will allow you to take two bottles of wine and one bottle of liquor per person into your room....a GREAT DEAL. You buy and then clear security and once on the other side of security you pick it up from the shop and simply walk aboard.....saved us significant costs as we just mixed drinks in our room and took them around the ship. Tips. The check in gets extremely crowded right before boarding as all are coming back from site seeing.....if you want to see Venice do so early in the day; come to the terminal and drop off your luggage, get your SeaPass cards then walk to the front of the dock and take the Alilaguna boat into Venice ( St Marks Square) and then back to the port. It is 15 euros round trip and very convenient for site seeing. Departure - very simple and took us less than 10 min when called to get off, get our bags and head off to the train. There is a people mover train - for 1 euro you can get a ride over close to the train station from the port. Also if you want to get off on the first group you can simply keep your bags in your room and then just exit the ship with your bags..... Excursions and Ports Kotor, Montenegro - the ship comes into a 'fiord' and is very spectacular....so have your camera ready and get up on the deck. Be advised the 1st entry point is not the picture spot it is the 2nd entry point where it gets very tight, the ship will blow it's horn and then turn right......it is approx 20 min from 1st to second spot. In the city we were on our own and went into the old city and walked the old fort stairs up the side of the mountain to overlook the port. A must do....go early before it gets hot and will take approx 1.5 hours for a round trip. Take your time as it is a good climb and costs 3 euros per person so bring exact change or small coins.....they do not have the ability to break large bills. Tip. Ship tenders here so you have to get Tender Tickets which are passed out at the Top Hat lounge......get there approx 30 min early and stand by the right entrance. The person should come and set a chair right in front of the door and pass out the tickets. Many folks come into the lounge and sit and wait.....then when the person comes in they call everyone out to get in line......this becomes a zoo. Corfu, Greece - ship had shuttles into the town square where we just walked around, shopped, had lunch and went into the old fort for pictures. Athens, Greece - used ship excursion to go to the Acropolis and see the sites with many, many folks doing the same thing. Was a very good tour but it is quite crowded on the hilltop and after a while we just left the group and walked around on our own. From the dock it is 6 kilometers to the Acropolis and takes approx 30 min given the traffic. If you are doing any shopping recommend doing so in the city or by the excursions as there is not much at all by the port. Recommend an excursion here as getting off and walking around will not be of value. Mykonos - AWESOME. We tendered here and took the 1st tender (no tender ticket required for early tenders) and walked the city while all the shops were still closed and the city was waking up. It was spectacular....once the city and shops opened it took a completely different and busy appearance. Here just walk about and get lost on the streets and make sure you make your way to the bus circle and the 24-hour bakery which was fantastic for cheap eats and desserts......Wow! Tip: Get off early and walk about when nobody is on the streets except the locals....what a wonderful city. Do not eat by the water, go back in the village as the food is much better and 40% cheaper.....and more a local feel. Argostoli, Greece - did the ship Excursion that included the Melissani Cave and Monastery.....the monetary was so-so, but the cave was very nice. Then the tour took us around the island for some spectacular views and an awesome beach view. There were friends on the boat who took a taxi to the beach and an island tour.....not sure of the cost but that is an option as well. Dubrovnik, Croatia - visiting the Old Town and walking the city walls is a must. The Old Town is a 15 minute drive from the port, so we booked the ship's transfer there & back but explored the Old Town on our own. It is an amazing city, especially when you think about how recently they were affected by war. Walking the city walls allows a chance to see not only the spectacular views, but get an idea of what life is like for the locals. Other passengers did a private taxi tour and said it was well worth the cost. Kusadasi, Turkey - we booked a private tour for Ephesus and had a fantastic day. With only three of us plus our guide, we could linger as long as we wanted at various places in the ruins while the larger tour groups were being hurried through. Don't miss the Terrace Houses...apparently the large groups don't get the chance to go inside, but they were a highlight of our day, seeing the restoration of 6 homes complete with mosaic floors, artwork and even central heat! It does get very hot, & there isn't much shade, so wear sunscreen & a hat, bring water & maybe even an umbrella for shade! Tips from the crew & others: Shopping in Kusadasi is an experience - don't buy at the shops nearest the ship, prices are better further in. Haggle for price - heard you should be willing to walk away several times before getting their best price. If looking for Turkish carpet, do your homework before you sail. It's almost impossible to work a good deal in such a short time, but even worse if you don't know what to check for quality. Santorini, Greece - this is a beautiful island - but transportation is challenging. We tendered in and as all of the towns are at the top of high cliffs, you get to the top by either cable car, on a donkey or climbing the steps to get to Fira. From there, to get to Oia (the picturesque town), you either take a bus, taxi, or hike 6 miles. OR you can do what we did... We booked a 3hr private boat tour which picked us up at the waterfront below Fira, took us to the volcano, swimming in hot springs, swimming in a bay at a neighboring island, dropped us off at the waterfront below Oia, then picked us up a few hours later to take us back to Fira to meet the ship's tender. We did have to climb steps to get up to Oia, but it only took 15-20 minutes. Others we spoke with later said they had to wait 45 min - 1hr in the hot sun waiting to take the cable car back down. The private tour was definitely the way to go. You can also hire a boat just for the transfer to & from Fira/Oia to avoid the cable car lines. Worth the cost! Katakolon - we had private transportation to & from Olympia and were very glad we did so. Our driver helped direct us once we reached the site. Recommend you do the museum first, as it helps to see what artifacts came from Olympia then be able to imagine them in the temples once you get to the ruins. The site was super crowded with 3 cruise ships in town. We explored on our own using a map from the ticket office and the signs, and felt like we had a good understanding of the place. Passengers who booked ship excursions felt crowded and rushed. Had lunch at a small taverna in Olympia, where there are also plenty of shops. You can also shop or grab a bite to eat in Katakolon.   Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
Arrived at Manchester airport at 5am to absolute chaos at the Jet2 desks. Had checked in on line, so presumed it would be plain sailing ... wrong! The line stretched back almost to the doors. There was no indication as to whether the queue ... Read More
Arrived at Manchester airport at 5am to absolute chaos at the Jet2 desks. Had checked in on line, so presumed it would be plain sailing ... wrong! The line stretched back almost to the doors. There was no indication as to whether the queue was for check in or baggage drop off. It finally transpired that checking in on line was the worst thing to do, as the baggage drop off line was 4x as long as the check in queue. After finally dropping off my bag I saw an RCL rep standing at the bottom of the escalator but all she did was point me towards the next nightmare ... security. This was so busy that people with flight times of 6.20am or earlier were being 'fast tracked'. When I finally got to the desk I said to the security officer 'You're busy today' to which she replied 'This is a good day, if it was bad you'd be in the car park'. I got to the departure gate just in time for boarding at 6.20am, a full hour and 20mins after arriving without any time for using the Ladies, having a sit down or look round duty free. The flight was as pleasant as could be for someone who doesn't enjoy the process and after a late take off (25 mins) we arrived in Venice on time, courtesy of a helpful tail wind. The RCL reps at Venice airport were friendly and well organised and we were soon on our way to the ship. You had to unload your own luggage at the port though, which I'm not used to. Anyway, went towards the Emerald check in and was soon being processed. The last time I cruised (2yrs ago on Jewel to the Baltics) I used my debit card for onboard spend. However, this time they wouldn't accept it, so set up a cash account for me, didn't make any difference really as I didn't intend spending anything on board, but just couldn't understand the change. Boarded the ship and as the cabins weren't ready went up to the Park Cafe for lunch. There was a good selection of sandwiches, pre-made salads, choose your own salad ingredients, fresh whole and chopped fruit and cakes/cookies. I ate most of my meals there throughout the trip, as the Windjammer is far too small, (capacity 500 when the ship holds almost 4x that). There isn't much variety and the quality wasn't as good as Jewel (can't understand wny Splendour earns a 'best food' mention on CC - presume it must be for speciality restaurants?) After lunch I found my cabin without too much trouble (there was a time when you used to be escorted there, though that's long gone, along with lots of other touches that made the experience just that little bit more special) I was lucky enough to be in a Junior Suite and was pleasantly surprised. I had a little a parquet floor just inside the door, carpet in the rest of the room, a bathtub with a shower over, complimentary Vitality toiletries, a coffee maker, flat screen TV, iPad, sofa and 2 chairs, and a table and 2 chairs on the large balcony. Overall the decoration and cleanliness were good, though there were signs of wear and tear (laminate coming off one of the drawers and bathroom mirror losing some of its silvering) As I was travelling alone there was more than ample room and must say it has spoiled me for future trips, I usually have a balcony cabin but appreciated the little touches and extra space. As it was hot I had a shower and relaxed until the mandatory safety drill at 4.30pm. In between I met my cabin steward (Bablee from Mauritius) The drill was held on deck in the blazing sunshine yet on Jewel it was held in the Theatre, a much better option. When we were dismissed by the Captain I returned to my cabin until dinner. I was on a table of 10 and thoroughly enjoyed the company. The Head and Assistant Waiters were both from the Philippines. Service was competent if a little lacking at times, due to the workload RCL expects of its staff. I wouldn’t consider myself a fussy eater but was frankly disappointed by the standard of food in the MDR. There was also no regional food, which I had particularly been looking forward to as I enjoy Greek and Eastern Mediterranean dishes. Lobster and filet mignon are still available but at an extra cost, rather than being on the standard menu. This is yet another example of declining standards, it’s just a pity the overall cruise cost hasn’t reduced to reflect the downgrading. A table mate went to Chops Grille one night but said the standard of food was not appreciably better than the MDR and certainly not high enough to justify the extra fee. There was not enough to do onboard the ship during the day. There was no guest lecturer, which on a cruise around the Greek Isles is frankly laughable and a missed opportunity. Neither were there any local entertainers. The ship spends 6 months of the year in Brazil and I felt this was reflected in the timings of events. On the last 2 nights there was an aerial display in the Centrum. However, it took place at 10.45pm. This was especially baffling as on the last night your cases had to be outside your cabin door by 11pm! There was also an issue regarding timings in port. On the occasions when we had to tender it seemed as though the crew had never done this before. They had guests who were not on tours waiting in one of the lounges. Then they started giving out tickets at the door, meaning that people sitting down for sometimes up to an hour were now at the back of the queue. When we were cleared by the authorities it took up to an hour to get off, and you only had a finite number of hours there anyway. Overall the process was very poor. I didn't do any organised tours as I had thoroughly researched the ports (courtesy of CC member reviews) Kotor was OK. Walked up the city walls for 3 euros. The path was uneven, with loose stones, no safety rails and a gradient of at least 1 in 10 (health & safety nightmare). Would have preferred to miss this port and have an overnight in Athens instead, as there was far more to see there and not nearly enough time to do it in. Corfu was lovely. Piraeus is 45mins from Athens which isn’t RCL’s fault but as I said I would have preferred an overnight there. Mykonos was spectacular, though the ferry back from Delos was horrendous. There was a very strong wind and the boat bobbed around like a kitten in a washing machine on the fastest spin cycle. I’m not religious but made sure to light a candle when I arrived back on dry land, seeing as how I didn’t think I would live to see it again! Kefalonia was also lovely, very hot but offset by a strong breeze. The sea day back to Venice was tough as there wasn’t enough to do onboard. Early disembarkation (7.30am) with efficient baggage claim and transportation to airport. However, we arrived there at approx 8am for an 11.25am flight and the check in desks don’t open until 2hrs before the flight so a lot of sitting around on cases as there aren’t enough chairs and sweating as the air con didn’t seem to be working. The flight took off late and we arrived back to torrential rain and thunderstorms in Manchester. All in all I had a good time, met some lovely people and saw some wonderful places. However, overall I was disappointed in the ship's food and entertainment and feel perhaps it’s time to look at another cruise line as on this occasion RCL certainly didn’t justify the cost of my cruise (over £2,500) Read Less
Sail Date May 2014
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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