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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Royal Caribbean does not disappoint! This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean and although this ship was significantly smaller, it was very well cared for and the crew was awesome! To try and present the most thorough and helpful ... Read More
Royal Caribbean does not disappoint! This was my second cruise with Royal Caribbean and although this ship was significantly smaller, it was very well cared for and the crew was awesome! To try and present the most thorough and helpful review, I will cover all the main areas. CABINS: We had an interior cabin and considering the amount of time we spent in the cabin (the 3s's: shower, sleep, and you know the other one!) it was suffice. The beds came as a king size despite us requesting in the reservation to have it as two twins. No worries though because our room attendant took care of it prior to us going to the room for the night. We had two instances of the toilet backing up (through no fault of our own) but a mechanic came within a couple hours to fix the problem. There was plenty of storage space and overall a good bet for the money. FOOD AND DINING: We opted for My Time Dining and it worked out great! Although it's not made clear that you have to make dinner reservations on that day for that evening's dining. There is only a certain time window you can make the reservations (which are not good on days the ship is in port), or you can make them when the dining window opens (6:30). I liked the flexibility of My Time Dining and I also liked the opportunity to meet more/different people by dining with a new crew each night. You also had the option to have your own table if there were two or more of you. The food selection was good and there was plenty to go around. If not, just order more! The Park Cafe was a good spot for salads/wraps/sweets and there was plenty of water/tea/lemonade available for free. The all-inclusive drink package was not a good deal for us as we rarely drink alcohol and there was enough free liquid to go around. The drink specials of the day were interesting and for $7 you get to keep the glass. One thing I noticed in the main dining room is when we ate early, we felt rushed to hurry up and leave before the next seating comes. The later seating the waiters seemed a little more relaxed and sociable. ACTIVITIES: Bingo and Karaoke were big on our list. The shows were "OK." The performances put on by the cruise and activity directors were good! The all white pool party was fantastic! As well as the 70s show! Anthony was the cruise director and he and Michelle were great! Full of energy and a lot of fun. Icy the Bingo Queen, Enzo and Orlando both know how to entertain the guests and are pros at getting the crowd involved! There was certainly something for everyone on the cruise from fitness to dancing up a storm until the early morning. SPA: We utilized the spa quite a bit and overall I would say this wasn't one of my best experiences. The acupuncture was good and did pass all the hygiene and cleanliness tests! The massage and facial was not so great. Neither was the nail service I received. The same individual did all the services and I believe she was so tired, stressed and overworked that it poured over into her performance. She was running almost 30 minutes behind on the appointment so it was rush me in the room then rush through the massage and facial, and rush out to take care of the next client. The massage techniques and pressure was one of the best, but her stress level was transferred to me and I could never fully relax. In addition, the running track is above the spa, so you constantly heard the "thump, thump, thump" of people running. That is a poor design for the cruise ship and Royal Caribbean should really look at changing the design if they want people to truly enjoy the tranquility of a spa setting. When I got my nails done, the technician did not use the proper techniques (on more than one occasion) and also deeply cut my finger with the nail file (continuous bleed). Needless to say, I was not pleased and couldn't leave fast enough. I spoke with the manager about my experience and she was more than willing to work out some type of compensation. I had one more service, the detox, and it was great! The technician (not the same as above) was thorough and knowledgeable and was able to answer all my questions. One thing to keep in mind is these spa employees work long hours every day and I heard several of them complain they didn't feel well yet couldn't get a day off. There were several people that were "put off the ship" because they were hurt or couldn't keep up with the level of clientele. Day 2 of the cruise the fitness classes were all cancelled because the fitness person hurt his knee. The attitude and atmosphere in the spa was drastically different (declined) on Day 5 than it was on Day 1. PORTS: This cruise took us to Split, Kusadasi, Santorini, and Katakalon. The stops were nice but unfortunately we were caught up in the tourist trap. We were duped into buying jewelry in Kusadasi sold as Zultanite but when I got home and had it tested by a gemologist it was nothing but glass worth nothing. Buyer beware of the taxi men taking you to Ephesus with convenient stops along the way to Zirve Rug and Galata jewelry store. Our experience at Zirve was nice, the workers were knowledgeable and friendly, and we even got a chance to see the rug making process. We spent a good 3 hours there and the guy was very patient the entire time I guess so though because he made a killing off us! I opted to have the purchases delivered. I have not received them yet so the jury is still out on this company. The rugs were extremely nice and good quality, but I still think I paid way too much for them. We did get a traditional Turkish meal freshly made though! As far as Galata, the gold is beautiful but I would stay away from buying any gemstones or diamonds there. They are overpriced and unless you have a tester with you, I wouldn't take the chance on them being real. All friendly people everywhere we went, but they also target tourists for a living and they are good at what they do. Experts in their field! The same goes for "genuine fake" purses or anything else. Enjoy the sights and the food but unless you are an expert in jewelry, rugs, or know exactly what you are looking for, I would enjoy the experience but keep your money in your pocket. Or decide a set amount you are willing to spend and don't budge. They will offer "payment plans" or even take you back to the ship to get your credit card all so they can make their money. Overall this was a great vacation and gave me a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle. We were able to meet people from all over the world, and by the end of the cruise we formed bonds with some pretty awesome people! Royal Caribbean held to their high standard of customer service and went above and beyond to rectify any issues. I am already looking to see when I can book my next cruise with them!   Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean, and although not as enjoyable as the last, we still had a good time. This time the excursions were mixed - with the docents being anywhere from engaging to barely understandable. We stayed in ... Read More
This was my 3rd cruise with Royal Caribbean, and although not as enjoyable as the last, we still had a good time. This time the excursions were mixed - with the docents being anywhere from engaging to barely understandable. We stayed in Venice a couple nights ahead of the cruise, making sure to choose a hotel not more than 2 bridges from Piazelle Roma - where the transportation can be arranged to the ships.Carrying heavy luggage over those bridges was very difficult. There are steps over these bridges, no ramps. I don't know how anyone with much of a handicap can make it around this old city. Regardless, Venice is something not be missed. Bring your insect repellant if mosquitos like you - I'm sure glad I had mine! We used the Vaperettas and didn't do the gondola thing. Make sure to visit the Rialto Bridge and market! The fish market and fruits are not to be missed! Sharing a bag of cherries with my husband was a highlight to be sure. There was many little alleyways to get lost in all over Venice, so just make sure to get back to the Grand Canal and you can find your way back home. When it was time to head to the ship taking the People Mover was a bit of a challenge, and we hadn't understood the directions, and nearly went back towards the city of Venice again.We even paid twice, and they man refused to refund the money after misdirecting us. Oh well...glad it was only a few Euros a piece! Boarding the ship was a breeze. And our stateroom was ready quickly, and our baggage delivered promptly. I had the cabin decorated for my husband's birthday, and it looked nice. We ate lunch in the Windjammer, and shortly thereafter had the muster drill. We weren't required to wear life-vests, and I was happy to take part in the drill. We needed to change tables frequently ,and we'd not been matched well to our dinnermates. I enjoy meeting new people, but that has to be the case in return. Fortunately, the head waiter let us move around a bit, and we finally settled on a mostly empty table with a sweet young military couple who were the same ages as our youngest children. We also ate breakfast in the main dining room so as to meet more people. Meals were not very impressive. Sure, the staff was very attentive, but the food just not memorable. They did accommodate my gluten sensitivity with fresh gluten free bread, and that was quite appreciated. Otherwise, the food was just okay. All around the table seemed to have the same impression as I did. Our cabin was quite nice, but the deck an issue. Right above us they wheeled heavy carts with noisy wheels day and night so we thought herds of children or buffalo were running upstairs. Truly, they need to fix these carts and provide different wheels, because this took away from our sleep and was a distraction from peace and quiet. Our first stop was in Split, Croatia. It was hot. Not much to do there other than take the tour of the castle, and although they are now part of the European Union, they are not ready to accept Euros. So, we simply exchanged Euros for Kunas. The guide was warm and friendly at this port. Next stop was Ephesus, Turkey, and we saw the ruins which were phenomenal. Again, quite hot! And the ruins were very crowded. The walk was mostly downhill, and fortunately, that's where we picked up our buses. Water had been provided for us on this excursion, along with a little evil eye. Then we headed to lunch in a nearby town, and that was quite refreshing. The food was delicious and plentiful. We shopped a little bit, and then off to a carpet demonstration... Okay, it was interesting to see how they make the rugs, but the salespeople can be intense. A warning, do not ask for prices unless you want to be hounded the entire time. One poor couple was followed out the door of the store with another rug held out by a salesperson. Apparently this is an art the government is concerned about dying so they have a school where they teach young women to make these rugs. We're talking tying over 500 knots per square inch! My back hurts just thinking about it! Then we were off to Santorini Island via ship tender and boarded a bus. The postcard view pictures you can take from Fira and Oia are breathtaking! Truly! All the blue domed churches open but one day a year according to the Saint they are named after. The shops were fun, but time too short to shop around. (My husband would disagree lol!). We saw rooftop cylinders and apparently they have little power to generate hot water. Be careful about buying capers here, as my jar was not properly sealed and leaked all over the place. We did also go to a wonderful wine collective in Oia, and had the opportunity to taste white, red, and super sweet wine with cheeses and olives...This was about 10am in the morning, and people were all drinking and enjoying the view. I'm not sure what we'd do on the island for longer than a day or so. Everything must be imported here but tomatoes and wine. We took a cable car ride down the island to the tenders to head back to the ship. Riding down the cliff on a donkey was not something I was willing to do. Next we went to Olympia, Greece. What will I remember most? The cicadas! WOW! Deafening creatures in the trees were unreal. The ruins of the original Olympic events were interesting to see, but the tour guide had such a thick accent! We could understand just a portion of his presentation. I loved posing at the marble starting blocks for the races, and found the museum there amazing! A word of caution here...do not dare try to POSE in front of anything in the musuem and have a picture taken. I don't know why they get so angry, but they do. I understand no flash photography, but not the posing issue. Anyhow, my favorite part was the statue of Hermes. They have many partial statutes which are missing limbs, etc., but it was still fascinating to see what remains, and what thus far they've unearthed. Pottery, statues, masks, etc. Afterwards we were taken to Apollo Jewelry. Obviously, there is some connection here between the guide and the shop owners. Okay, so I bought a silver laurel wreath here for 10 Euros...but a couple stores down was a shop where the owner had a little studio where he made his own unique pieces and they were very kind non-pushy people, and took American currency with ease. Oh, almost forgot, delicious frozen coffee drinks in a little store with free internet is across from Apollo Jewelry. On the road to Olympia you can see them growing lots of corn, melons, and tomatoes. Olive trees too. We stopped back in the village close to the ship's dock, and I HAD to have a Greek Salad. Feta, olives, olive oil, tomatoes and super yummy! Little street urchins there beg for money, and my husband gave up a Euro to one, BUT they are NOT hungry! We tried to feed them as they persisted begging, and they threw the food in the garbage can right in front of us and some other tourists from the UK! So, it's a scam. They wanted my coke and $ not food. I think not...A hungry kid I'd feed, but these children were not hungry -they just appeared to be that way...We also walked to the beach, and took a few pictures there from the rocks. Back to the ship itself...The crew was certainly pleasant enough. The condition of the ship was clean. The shows were some better than others. My biggest beef was probably not being able to obtain a lounge by the pool as people grab them up and just pretend as if they're being used. There needs to be better oversight here. The internet, which I wish I didn't need, was awful. Apparently it's a new company which promised better results, but honestly it was faster the last time we sailed RC 4 years ago. The cruise directors were fun and engaging. We didn't participate in most of the pool events. I think the sun just drained us, and we were happy to head off to bed for the next day's adventure. This time I also purchased the photo package ahead of time. What a fantastic deal! Do it! $199 for ALL the pictures is a bargain compare to $20 each. The photographers were wonderful aboard this ship, and we have many great memories of our cruise experience for a album. For some reason they chose to have one of the formals nights a day after a port visit, as opposed to a day at sea. This to me was nuts. I'd rather have a day to relax before dressing up. And speaking of dressing up, I was disappointed to see so many people underdressed. At least I think they were underdressed. Some wearing shorts - yes even in the dining room! Maybe I'm getting old, or am just old-fashioned - I don't know - but I enjoy seeing people dressed up on formal nights, and think it's all part of the cruise experience. To me this is a deterioration of the environment, and I'm sure people will disagree with me, but this is my opinion, and I stand by it. Disembarking was efficient. Our baggage handling at Venice Airport, apparently not....there were 6 families on the flight from Venice whose luggage was mishandled. That airport was a challenge, and there was no help despite our efforts. Our boarding gate was moved with little notice, which is not fun when you don't speak the language. So, while I'm typing this from home,I expect my bag is leaving Venice today, and will be home tomorrow night. I hope it has a nice safe flight with my gowns and all my other dresses and souvenirs. In terms of transportation to and from Europe we used Choice Air this time around. The price was better, but the seats home awful. I asked for aisle for my 6'4" hubby, I always do. We were stuck in the middle seats, and not able to do much of anything about it. Just a lesson learned next time I will be much more direct to get what we need! Until we sail again... Read Less
Sail Date July 2013
Splendour of the Seas - June 15 - June 22, 2013 Entered Service: March 31, 1996 Completed a 45 million dollar revitalization on 11/25/11. Ports of Call: Venice Italy, Dubrovnik Croatia, Corfu, Santorini, Athens and Katakolon Greece, ... Read More
Splendour of the Seas - June 15 - June 22, 2013 Entered Service: March 31, 1996 Completed a 45 million dollar revitalization on 11/25/11. Ports of Call: Venice Italy, Dubrovnik Croatia, Corfu, Santorini, Athens and Katakolon Greece, Venice Italy We left Atlanta on the late afternoon of Wednesday June 12th flying on Delta direct to Venice Italy. We booked our flights through Kayak.com back in September of last year. This was the first time using Kayak and I highly recommend them. We were able to fly Business class for just a little more than the price posted on Delta's website for coach. The Kayak website actually links you directly to the airlines website to book your flight. Very easy. Our flight time direct to Venice from Atlanta was listed as nine hours and forty-five minutes but we made it in nine hours flat non stop. A long flight but overall we found the Delta service great. We were on a Boeing 767ER both ways. With the nine hour flight time and the six hours difference in time between Atlanta and Venice, we arrived at the Marco Polo airport at 8:30 AM on Thursday morning June 13th. I had ordered a car service from Venice Group Services. http://www.venicelimousinerent.com We were staying two full days in Venice prior to our cruise so we needed a way to get ourselves and luggage to our hotel. Prior to leaving I had looked at all options for transportation from the airport to the Piazzale Roma (bus and taxi area) in Venice. The Piazzale Roma is the closest that one can get car or bus wise to Venice. Options other than hiring a car service: Taxi - Cost about 40 euros from the information that I read Water Taxi - Cost is around 100 euros and up. Bus - 6-7 euros We wanted something easy and it was. The driver met us just outside of luggage claim and we were on our way. The cost was $50.00 and well worth it not to hassle with carrying luggage on the bus which is by far the least expensive option to get to the Piazzale Roma. There are a few more options out there but the above seem to be the most popular. As mentioned earlier, the Piazzale Roma is the closest one can get to Venice with car, bus or train. The Piazzle Roma bumps into the Grand Canal. When choosing a hotel for our two night stay, I kept this in mind. I wanted a hotel that would be easy to carry luggage and get to the people mover on cruise morning. For those that prefer a hotel in other areas of Venice such as near the San Marco or Rialto area, a private water taxi or Vaporetto would be the answer in place of carrying your luggage over a large number of small but many bridges and their many steps. Our hotel for the two nights was the Hotel Papadopoli. I checked it out and the reviews were very consistent on this being a nice hotel and it met the criteria of being very close to the Piazzale Roma. We only had one bridge to carry luggage over. Looks much easier than it is when carrying multiple pieces of luggage and trying to dodge others walking over the bridge. We booked directly with the hotel. http://www.mgallery.com/gb/hotel-131...on/index.shtml Our room overlooked the Tolentini Canal. Cost of room averaged about $350.00 a night U.S. We were traveling during high season for Venice and we had a standard room. The room while a little smaller than we are used to here in the U.S was very nice and clean. The bathroom was much larger than I expected. The room rate included wireless and breakfast for two mornings. The breakfast by the way was very good. Plenty of options as they tried to have something that would appeal to the many different nationalities staying at the hotel. The hotel had a really nice bar in the lobby. The bar was actually a nice place to have drinks prior to dinner. We did this both nights. They also have a person playing the piano. Very relaxing after a hard day sight seeing and a nice way to start the evening. Our room could be noisy at times. Especially early in the morning but overall it wasn't bad and we would stay at this hotel again with no hesitation. The staff was very accommodating. We really did not sleep at all on the flight over even though it was an overnight flight. Once arriving in Venice, we were able to get an early check-in at the hotel. Our room was ready at 11:00. We decided to grab a quick shower and find lunch. I was told that the worst thing to do after a long flight was to lay down and take a nap. We decided to press through the day and stay awake. That was very good advice. As stated above we spent two days in Venice pre-cruise. After lunch on the first day we decided to buy a 36 hour Vaporetto pass. This was much less expensive than purchasing single tickets and you can ride as much as you want getting off and on at different areas around Venice. The Vaporetto is the same as a city bus here in the U.S but's on the water. We decided to take the Vaporetto around to San Marco Square which is basically the entire route around the Grand Canal. It was very relaxing which is what was needed after being up all night and trying to push through the day. We saw many sights around Venice which IMHO is one of the most unique and beautiful cities in the world. One suggestion that I forgot to make at the beginning of this review. Along with researching your cruise here at Cruise Critic, pick up the Rick Steeves books and videos on the locations that you plan to travel. A good source of information IMHO. We also visited St. Mark's Basilica - Cost was free to enter but there are additional costs once inside if you want to see places other than the main part of the church. They do not allow photos once inside. There was a very long line to enter St. Mark's but it moves very quickly but it is out in the direct sun. Also they don't allow bare shoulders or knees showing. I had on shorts but they did not say anything as they just about covered my knees. Women seemed to have more issues here than the men. If you do not have the correct clothing, they will sell you a cover up for one euro. I saw people exiting the church handing their cover ups to those that they felt would have an issue getting in with their dress. Prior to leaving I read on the Cruise Critic Italy boards that there was a transportation strike planned for Friday June 14th. It did happen. The Vaporettos only ran during rush hour in the morning and afternoon of that day. In the end this was a good thing. We set out from our hotel on foot. We were about a thirty to forty-five minute walk to the Rialto Bridge and San Marco square. This enabled us to see the real Venice and something that I highly suggest. Do not sit on a Vaporetto all day as you only get a small piece of Venice. Walk the streets. You will not get lost. There are signs everywhere stating one of three things. Per Rialto, Per San Marco or Per P Roma. Depending on where you're headed, those arrows will get you there. Dining in Venice: We really did not plan our places for dining prior to leaving. We wanted the flexibility to choose where and the time. The hotel was very good at giving suggestions to some of their favorite places. They were spot on each time. I suggest asking the locals as they know the best places to eat. For lunch each day we chose pizza and it did not disappoint. For dinner we were wanting pasta as either of us are not huge seafood fans. Again we had a great dinner both times and the service matched that. Overall on this cruise we found the locals in every place visited to be very nice and helpful. Language was not an issue. Just about everywhere we went, everyone spoke English. Venice can be expensive. Remember that everything has to be basically hand delivered as there are no trucks or cars. Supply boats are brought in through the canals and off loaded. Items then have to be hand trucked to each business. My final thoughts on Venice in a moment. Next up was cruise morning. We awoke and decided to head over the the cruise terminal at around 10:30. We checked out of our hotel and then headed back over the one bridge. The bridge led us back to the Piazzale Roma and then to the people move. The people mover is a small train that takes you closer to the cruise terminals. The cost is one euro and tickets can be purchased at the people mover terminal. Now this is the area that some might not agree with me but I will never take the people mover to the cruise ships again. I was told that it was not a long walk once you exited the people mover terminal and that's true depending on where your ship is docked. There was supposed to be a shuttle running to take passengers and their luggage to the cruise terminals. There was not one running when we were there. Our ship was docked at one of the terminals that was farthest away from the people mover. In the hot humid Venice sun carrying luggage (yes it was on wheels) was not my idea of fun. It was a good twenty minute walk and by the time we reached the cruise terminal we were in a full sweat. Next time I will spend the money to take a private water taxi to the cruise area. After we boarded the ship, we later stood at the top overlooking the same area that we had walked earlier and many did not look happy as they were making their way to the terminal. The Norwegian Jade passengers had an even further walk as their ship was docked behind us. Once arriving at the terminal, they had one line for those with tags and a line for those without. We had tags and you work your way up to the guys taking your luggage and loading it on a belt to go through the scanner. At this point you take the escalator up and follow the signs to check in. They do have Priority check-in for those in suites, Diamond, D+ and Pinnacle. Check in was easy. We were issued board pass #1 and they started boarding shortly after. Once at the terminal, it was a piece of cake. Getting there was not as fun. My final thoughts on Venice. She is a beautiful city that has to be experienced to be appreciated IMHO. She has a lot to offer and is a unique place. Cruising out of Venice down the Grand Canal provided by far the most beautiful sail away that I have experienced. We will be back again. Now I will spend a little time talking about the Splendour. Our last cruise was on the Celebrity Reflection. We had an outstanding time on that cruise. We did find ourself comparing things on this cruise verses the Reflection. Not the ships themselves but the other areas. It's hard not to do. The Splendour along with her sister Legend are the two smallest ships in the RCI fleet coming in at around 70,000 tons. We chose this cruise for three reasons. Size of ship, itinerary and length of itinerary. This was only a seven night cruise which we needed this time around. The Splendour underwent a major 45 million dollar revitalization in fall of 2011 and she looked great. I saw no real wear and tear on this ship at all. RCI added a Chops Grille and Izumi restaurant in the Viking Crown lounge. Don't worry, they reconfigured the lounge and there is still a very nice Viking Crown lounge with outstanding views. RCI also added the nursery, big screen system by the pool, Park Cafe, Way Finder System, Wireless Internet and the new R-Bar in the Centrum. The crew on board was great with the exception of the Guest Services desk. They did not seem like a happy bunch at all and I never saw the desk busy. Saw very few officers around the ship which was the opposite of Celebrity where they were everywhere every day. The ship also added the new Centrum entertainment Aerial Show. This happened on three nights. A different short show each of the three nights. Here is the show from the first night. http://cruisingator.smugmug.com/Trav...5717&k=mxD65QD Something different and nice to see that RCI is trying to be different from their competitors. Also, there was live music all over the ship. Out by the pool, in the Centrum, different bars, etc. The Viking Crown turns in the dance club in the late evening. RCI also added a Diamond and Concierge lounge by taking in part of the Top Hat lounge on deck five forward. This was somewhat of a disappointment as they were not able to put up complete walls to separate from the Top Hat lounge and if there was any type event going on in the large lounge, it was very noisy in the Concierge lounge. The one area of the ship that we enjoyed was the Park Cafe. This was also added during the revitalization. On boarding day very few knew of this area and most head to the Windjammer. It was very quiet back on the first afternoon. The only real difference that we noticed in the menu was the roast beef sandwich was pork tenderloin or at least it was on the days that we ate there on this ship but it was still very good. It is located inside of the solarium. Pool area. One night on the big screen they showed The Wizard of Oz. One thing that I did pay attention to as I don't really care for the big screens on a ship. I never noticed the volume to be loud. They showed movies in the evenings and during the day they showed music videos but the volume was never loud when I was out there and turned completely down when the band was playing. The Splendour does have a nice big outdoor promenade deck. Something that is going away on most of the new builds. This was very nice in the evening to walk out at sunset along with being down near the water. The R Bar was an addition when the ship was revitalized. It is located on deck four in the Centrum. There was a band here every evening prior to dinner. I noticed two different bands here during the week. We enjoyed coming here for a drink but one major complaint for me was the number of announcements. Why have a Compass if you have to tell us every hour what is going on? On Celebrity there is one announcement a day and that is at noon from the Captain. This was annoying and when we were sitting at the R-Bar the speakers were directly above us and it was loud. The announcements were done in several different languages so it was never a short announcement. For this cruise we chose cabin #8010 which is a Grand Suite on deck #9. Without a doubt this was by far the noisiest cabin that we have ever had on a ship. It was located directly under the pool deck and directly above our cabin was the outdoor Windjammer seating area. It usually started about four in the morning with the crew cleaning the deck and moving chairs around. Then when the WJ opened it was a constant sound of walking and chairs being moved back and forth. We have had cabins located directly below the pool deck before and have never had this issue. We also missed Celebrity's non smoking policy. Our neighbors on this cruise smoked out on their balcony all the time. While they had every right to do this and we knew this going in, it still was annoying to have the smell linger and linger. We also missed the no smoking policy in the casino. The ship advertised as having ship wide wireless. Our cabin was about 50 yards away from the RCI On-Line area on the same deck and it would not work in our cabin. If I walked down to the RCI On-Line it worked fine and was surprisingly quick. Kind of annoying. Don't count on it to work in your cabin. The Cruise Director and Activities Director were annoying on this cruise. The CD reminded me of a used car salesman. His morning show was a complete joke. The Activities Director was loud. Annoyingly loud. Again, this is where we kept comparing RCI to Celebrity. None of this kept us from enjoying the cruise but it was easy to notice. The food on this ship was some of the best that we have experienced on RCI. We had MTD but never made it once to the MDR. We always book MTD just in case we decide at the last minute to dine in the MDR. We dined three times in Chops and it was without a doubt the best food and service that we have experienced in Chops on any ship. We also enjoyed the VCL menu two nights. Service here one night was not up to par but the food very good. We used room service a good bit including one night for dinner on the balcony. It was quick and hot food was hot but they usually screwed something up on about every order. Finally the Windjammer. We ate here once for breakfast and dinner and twice for lunch. By far the best experience in the WJ in a LONG time. Especially after cruising the two Oasis class ships. Plenty of variety and the food was good. As good as buffet food can be. Entertainment - We only went to one show but left after about twenty minutes. To be honest, after experiencing the entertainment on Oasis and Allure it's hard to sit through the shows on the smaller ships. Add to that we were usually tired from the day in port. I do know that they had entertainment all around the ship. Plenty to do if you wanted it. Our first port of call was Dubrovnik in Croatia. Prior to the cruise I had no idea if we would enjoy this port but it was one of our favorites. A very beautiful area. The locals were very nice. We had four other ships in port that day. Three were docked at the port and one (Costa) was anchored closer to the old town. The port handled the three ships well. Old town itself was a little more crowded near the Pile gate of the old town. Actually a little crazy in this area. A LOT of tours from all the ships in one area but it soon cleared out and things were a little calmer once we started the climb. On this cruise we decided to book all of our excursions though RCI. We found that easier. For Dubrovnik we chose "Walking the City Walls" tour. It's basically a walk on the wall around the old town of Dubrovnik. It does require a LOT of steps so one needs to be prepared. Wear comfortable shoes. I actually saw one lady walking these in heels. She was struggling to say the least. I would estimate that we climbed well over 500 steps throughout the walk. The first set of steps was 78 up to the first level. It was a good workout but well worth the views. For this tour were bused from the port and after about a 15 minute drive started the tour by taking the time to climb up above the old town to get some nice shots of where we would be walking. Overall we enjoyed Dubrovnik. We will be back next year on our next cruise to Europe and will plan to try something different than the Old Town excursion. We chose to do a panoramic tour of Corfu for this port of call. It was about a four-five hour excursion by bus to various places around the island and probably one of the most boring. The tour guide on our bus tried to be interesting but we listened to information about olives for over an hour while riding around through Corfu. Ask me anything about olives and I can tell you. Of course we did hear about the history of the island and other interesting information also but the boring stuff outweighed the interesting. I looked around the bus towards the end of the cruise and there were more heads bobbing back and forth than were awake. If I were to return, I would simply take the cruise line shuttle to town for the day and have lunch. This area looked nice as we drove through it. The island itself was beautiful. RCI only offered four excursions here. It was a short call. We were only here until 3:00 and had to be back on board by 2:30. There is really not much more to tell about this port of call. Next port of call was Santorini, Greece. This turned out to be another favorite port. We would have loved to have had more time here. We arrived at noon and left at eight o'clock. This was our only tender port. All cruise lines must use the ports tenders due to local unions. We had a total of four ships in port this day. We chose to do a tour of the town of Oia with a stop along the way at a local winery. This turned out to be a very nice tour. Those who were on tours were given priority tendering before they allowed the other passengers to disembark. Oia is a beautiful little town with amazing views. I wish that we had a little more time here. We will be back in Santoriini next year and plan to take the local bus over to Oia from Fira to spend more time here. Fira Santorini, Greece There are three ways up from the tender area for those not taking tours and wanting to visit Fira which is the town above where the cruise ships drop anchor. 1. Tram that holds 36 people at a time. Tickets can be purchased at the tram center. 2. Walk up or down the trail which I was told takes about 30 minutes 3. Ride a donkey up the trail. I understand that they do not take you down. We chose to ride the tram down. We received a ticket from our tour operator as part of our tour price. No way would I ride the donkey. We smelled them before we saw them. I also would not want to walk as you are on the same path as the donkey's and I understand that they leave little presents up and down the walking path. We were a good ways away from the walking path and could smell them. Not sure I would want to be that close up and personal with them. We had four ships in port so we watched our time as I have read here on CC that the wait times could be up to an hour and a half wait to ride the tram down. We only waited about ten minutes top to get on the tram. Overall this was one of our most favorite ports of call. We had lunch at a restaurant in Fira overlooking the caldera and cruise ships. Absolutely beautiful. For the stop in Athens, Greece we decided to book the Acropolis tour. This was the main focus of our stop in Athens. We booked a city highlight tour with a stop at the Acropolis. I booked the earliest tour available and after seeing the crowds at the Acropolis as we were leaving around 1:00, I'm glad that I did. It was busy when we arrived but crazy busy when we left. There were five cruise ships in port and the main focus of this port of call is always a visit to the Acropolis. Just riding through Athens, we did not care for the city. It looked very dirty. Graffiti was everywhere. The Acropolis was nice to see once but for us it is one of those been there and done that things. Our last port of call was Katakolon Greece. The main importance of this port is a visit to the home of the first Olympic games in the town of Olympia. We decided for this port that we would not book an excursion and make it more of a ship day. We used this more as a lazy day to rest and take it easy. Visiting Olympia did not interest at all. We did leave the ship to have lunch at a little Greek cafe on the waterfront and then walked around for about an hour before heading back to the ship. This was the only port where it was really HOT. 95 degrees that day with a hot sun shining down. We arrived back to Venice and the ship was ready to debark the guests who chose to carry their own luggage off of the ship by 7:00 AM. We were part of that crowd. We were off the ship in a matter of minutes. Guests doing the self debarkation debark the ship on deck one. There is no customs or immigration in this port. Once we left the ship, our driver picked us up at the terminal to take us back to Marco Polo airport. We had a 10:55 direct flight back to Atlanta on Delta. Marco Polo is a small airport but it was busy. We were lucky to have booked Business class so we were able to skip the long check in lines. Security was basically the same as we have here in the states. The only place that we had to show our passport was once we were ready to head to the gate to board the flight. Quick and easy. The flight home was about ten and a half hours. Uneventful. We also had a very short wait to clear customs and immigration at the Atlanta airport. All in all it was an outstanding trip. The main reason that we enjoyed this trip so much was the ports involved. Venice, Dubrovnik and Santorini were outstanding. The other ports were nice but did not stand out like the other three. We have decided that we will stick to Celebrity for our next few cruises. We just saw more changes or cutbacks if you will on RCI since our last cruise which was on the Jewel in April of 2012. I know that all cruise lines make cuts but Celebrity is still new to us. Also, the things that we found better on Celebrity for us is the smoking policy, very few announcements, overall better food and fewer kids. We will be coming back to Europe next June on the Equinox for 13 nights and will visit some of the above ports again. Some of the areas that stood out on the Splendour. The ship itself. It was well cared for which I have come to expect from RCI and the new enhancements were very nice. The crew was outstanding with the exception of the Guest Services staff. Always said hello and had a smile. The shore excursions were very organized and always left on time. No major complaints and nothing that would keep us from having a great time. I would cruise this ship again. She was perfect for this itinerary. I also have a review on the Royal Caribbean main board with many photos.http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1871707 Also photos of the trip can be found here: http://cruisingator.smugmug.com Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We sailed on the Splendour of the Seas on the 8th June, its quite weird to think that we too, was in cabin 2531, just like the previous reviewer, how mad is that. Our 7th Cruise with RCI,2nd time on the Splendour, celebrating our 30th ... Read More
We sailed on the Splendour of the Seas on the 8th June, its quite weird to think that we too, was in cabin 2531, just like the previous reviewer, how mad is that. Our 7th Cruise with RCI,2nd time on the Splendour, celebrating our 30th Wedding Anniversary, with no recognition from RCI at all. Not even a card or anything, we did 3 cruises last year, very dissapointed, we was told that they just don't bother with that kind of thing.Cruise was good, food better in the Windjammer than the main dining room, service not so good in the main dining room, 2 months ago RCI decided to start adding gratuites to every-one's bill, instead of the option to pay the staff yourself at the end of the cruise. A lot of people decided to have this removed off their bill. Place we visited, was, SPLIT/CROTIA TURKEY ARGOSTOLI MYKONOS ETCARGOSTOLI trip with RCI. had to beg for the Air Con to be put on, but driver wanted to save fuel, all of us extremely hot, not good. All staff are excellent, except we had Sissy, the waiter in the dining room at night time, very rude, management had to have a word, as others on our table for 10 complained. Overall, we love RCI, and this ship, but feel if RCI don't acknowledge their returning guests, then maybe its time for us to cruise with someone else, inside cabin on deck 2, the least they could have done was give us a window, for cruising 4 times since last year, there was loads of cabins available 1 month before we sailed, they sold them all off cheaper, you get what you pay for with RCI, and that's it, no extras. Splendour is better than the ships with the royal promenade, smaller is better, might try one more cruise with them, and then try someone else, sorry the review Royal Caribbean isn't a little better, from your returning guests. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Having really liked Venice two years ago, we thought that we'd go to differnt ports on a RCL ship again. This time we went to Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Split and Argosotli. All were interesting and different (look for the ... Read More
Having really liked Venice two years ago, we thought that we'd go to differnt ports on a RCL ship again. This time we went to Kusadasi (for Ephesus), Mykonos, Split and Argosotli. All were interesting and different (look for the parallel st behind in Argosoli) but suffice to say that it was really an interesting trip. Since this is a cruise ship review, I'll leave the ports at that. I've been on Voyager twice and Dawn Princess and really liked this ship in it's size and layout. Typical RCL which means quite good in most things but it would be so much better if they........... * Stopped this US gratuity thing at every turn. * Altered US style training that includes false sounding dinner recommendations. * Cloned that wonderful 'Mercedes' cruise director especially if the quality of entertainment is included. * Brought the food up just one notch. AND most of all, if they started realising that lifeboat drill needs to be taken seriously with strong command and organisation. This is not just about getting to your station & lifejacket....it's also an opportunity to control the crowd and demonstrate the crews strength and competance. Heavens knows they will need it if trouble occurs. Our station had 20 year old girls clowning around. I didn't see our officer and marking off was desultry. My complaint was taken although I was amazed at a very nice officer saying that they couldn't be rude to passengers. Having said that .....I feel that most cruise lines are probably the same although we had a mush better drill and explanation on Dawn Princess. I notice the Ratings below don't put a level for Safety. I'd certainly go RCL again and offer the above hoping that small things changed could make a bigger impression. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We travelled with our three adult children and picked the Splendour because of the schedule and itinerary. We were looking for a 7 night itinerary which included both Santorini and Athens. Splendour fit the bill. We knew a little about ... Read More
We travelled with our three adult children and picked the Splendour because of the schedule and itinerary. We were looking for a 7 night itinerary which included both Santorini and Athens. Splendour fit the bill. We knew a little about Royal from cruising Celebrity and will include comparisons in this review. We stayed two nights pre-cruise at the Hotel Gardena, which was very pleasant with a canal view and convenient to port. We took the People Mover and port shuttle and were dropped off right where we deposited our luggage. We were pleased to see refreshments in the terminal and were checked in by 11:30. Our Celebrity level translated to Diamond status. We hadn't expected to be greeted with a welcome drink, but were offered rum or regular punch. We headed to the solarium and Park Cafe which would become my "go to" places just as the Aqua spa had been on Celebrity. I did check out the Windjammer in search of honey stung chicken which was not there, but which was available from room service. (I had spent a lot of time on the Cruise Critic RCI and ports boards.) Cabins were open promptly at 1. First we went to our children's room, a large interior on 8 which had plenty of storage. (This sailing was very popular and triples were scarce.) Our cabin was one of the balconies which had been added to deck 6 (E1). We had booked a balcony guarantee and were quickly assigned this cabin. No other balconies opened up. Having seen all the storage space in the inside cabin (which was a quad), we were surprised to find only 3 desk drawers and 3 shelves. Fortunately, there was plenty of closet space and we had packed lightly. For a longer cruise, storage space might be a problem but, for us, everything fit. We asked our stateroom attendant to remove the items from the cash bar to reduce the clutter. Having only cruised Celebrity, we noted the absence of a refrigerator and toiletries. We did receive plush robes which we had not expected and a coupon booklet and welcome gift. (The coupon book compared with Celebrity's had much less Internet time and no laundry or dry cleaning, but we did get free photos which was great.) Boarding day and the one sea day of the cruise were our main times on the ship since the itinerary was port intensive. I never had a problem finding a chaise at the solarium and enjoyed the pool and sauna. I was not accustomed to signing up for towels and missed having beach towels delivered to the cabin on port days. There was much of the ship left unexplored: I never went to the main pool area although I understand there was a bar-b-que and paella demo poolside which I might have liked; we went to the Diamond Lounge rather than any other venues; I didn't have a chance to check out the mini golf or rock climbing. We did go to most shows and I particularly enjoyed the Emperors of Soul. As the CD kept reiterating, there was a lot of energy on the ship. Cruisers were international and seemed younger than on Celebrity. We had MTD and ate in the MDR every night except the night we went to Chops. Our waitstaff were excellent. I always found something of interest on the menu although the menu was less varied than Celebrity. I particularly enjoyed the nightly escargot and chocolate sensation. Chops had good quality steak and a delicious goat cheese souffle, but wasn't as special as Murano or Tuscan Grill on Celebrity ( although it was also less expensive.). I also enjoyed food from the Park cafe, Dog house, and cafe Latitudes. I didn't eat at the Windjammer or have a chance to try Izumi. We usually had lunch in port and the one sea day went to the MDR. I used room service twice ( the menu was more limited than on Celebrity), but I did get to try the honey stung chicken. There were two Crown & Anchor events and the Diamond Lounge was a real plus with a continental breakfast and nightly hors d' oeuvres. The concierge was a help with tender tickets and printing out account info and boarding passes. Unlike Celebrity, cabin mates are not assigned the same level of benefits meaning that one person might be allowed into the Diamond Lounge and the cabin mate not. We booked independent tours in every port except Santorini which we DIY quite successfully. I was pleasantly surprised to find cool beverages when returning to the ship even though there were no cool washcloths as on Celebrity. The Splendour was in excellent shape and well maintained. There seemed to be plenty going on onboard. The Venice sail away was spectacular. To my relief, smoking was not an issue. Our cabin attendant and waiter were both excellent. While Splendour lacked some of the touches of Celebrity like cloth towels and fresh flowers in the bathrooms and, of course, pillow chocolates, it provided a solid and enjoyable cruise experience. I found that there were more similarities between Royal and Celebrity than differences.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
We received this cruise as a gift. We were hesitant about how we would like being help captive on a boat with 3,600 other people. We are an active family -- our lives don't revolve around eating -- so you can see that we figured out ... Read More
We received this cruise as a gift. We were hesitant about how we would like being help captive on a boat with 3,600 other people. We are an active family -- our lives don't revolve around eating -- so you can see that we figured out that cruising isn't for us. We did not enjoy standing long buffet lines waiting to eat mediocre food. We thought of the ship as a floating cafeteria. The pools are useless -- they are tiny and always filled with people. The decks get very slippery and I fell twice, both with plates of food in my hands. That ruined my trip for me as I was sore the rest of the time. The service and the shows were 5+ stars.....and that's all I can say positively about this cruise. We spoke to the cruise director briefly and he suggested we consider cruising again but on a smaller ship, with less time getting to our destinations (2.5 days from NYC to Grand Turk). As far as the Splendor goes, we loved that we could just drive to NYC and hop on the ship! The decor is tacky but you soon get used to it. Our cabin was huge, it was a basic oceanview on the lowest level of the ship. Impeccably clean, plenty of space, and a hot high-pressured shower. The food was mediocre except for their desserts. Chocolate bar...amazing. My kids hated the kids club, they went for one hour and busted out. They really forgot to make a plan to cater to 11 year olds. The most awesome thing my kids wanted to do was go to the 12 year old club at night -- they were not allowed in. My kids had nothing to do for 5 of the 8 days of cruising.   Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
After many cruises under our belt, we thought we knew what to expect. Usually a jaw dropping Broadway type show the first night,2 or 3 dining rooms, rows of photographers set ups, several dance floors/music venues, noise in the hallways ... Read More
After many cruises under our belt, we thought we knew what to expect. Usually a jaw dropping Broadway type show the first night,2 or 3 dining rooms, rows of photographers set ups, several dance floors/music venues, noise in the hallways and of course lots of food and crowds.We were pleasantly surprised that we loved the smaller ship. It only took us a few hours to see the difference. It was certainly less travel time to move around the ship. There wasn't the barrage of photographers asking for pictures every few steps. Instead, they were just there and available if we wanted a picture. How refreshing. The cruise directors were involved in the entertainment. Since we were able to meet them personally, we thoroughly enjoyed the shows. The Magic Rush show was exquisite. It wasn't your average magic show. The couple were champion ballroom dancers that incorporated amazing costume changes throughout the show. Don't miss it. The aerial performances were spectacular. All in all, less quantity but much more quality. They did so much more on a small scale. Our room was quiet and we love the interior room because it allows us to take a nap during the day if we want. There was plenty of space and large closet. The mirror and lighting over the desk was great for me to get ready while DH was in the bathroom. The room was clean and comfortable and the steward right on top of keeping the room neat.We opted for anytime dining, but soon discovered that we needed to make a reservation for dinner time for the rest of the cruise. We were always seated at a table of 8 for a 7pm dinner with our other traveling couple. We enjoyed meeting new people and most nights had great conversation. If you prefer seating alone, I would recommend just booking your dining time before the cruise. Another great point is that the menu listed the Gluten Free and vegetarian options. Since GF is necessary for me, it really took the worry out of the meals. I was able to always ask for the GF options at the buffet as well. I never got sick and there was plenty to choose from.Our only disappointment was the music. We are dancers. We like everything from two step, Latin to ballroom. There were 3 bands. Two only played Latin music. They sounded almost exactly the same. The other tried to play a variety, but the play list was limited and they played exactly the same songs every night. There was not enough variety. Also the only dance floor used was the Centrum (Atrium). The floor there was extremely sticky and limited space. The Top Hat lounge had a dance floor really...with wood but they never used it. It didn't stop us from dancing at the Centrum every night, but we would have enjoyed a great band on a real dance floor.We did not take any excursions through the ship. We like small personal tours. My DH did buy the soft drink pass at 50 Euros. Not that pricey for him since is a Coca Cola addict. I did not purchase the drink pass. I just purchased a drink when I wanted it. A glass of wine or bottle at dinner when we wanted. We did not dine in the Chops dining room. Regarding the port and transport: We stayed in Venice in the Dorsoduro District for 2 nights before the cruise at the Locanda San Barnaba B&B. Wonderful area, hotel everything. We used the Al Laguina boat there but opted for a more expensive water taxi directly to the ship for embarkation. It was awesome and worth the money. We pulled up right to the pier and a Royal Caribbean attendant was there to take our bags. After 10 cruises, this process was the easiest. Plenty of personnel, hardly any waiting. So easy. I think our taxi dropped us off about noon and we were on the ship about 12:15.Also leaving the ship was quick and easy. We walked right off at our time, found our bags and left. Took the people mover. That was a little bit of a bottle neck to get tickets and get on with our luggage and navigating around other passengers with their luggage as well. It still moved fine. When we got off, we went downstairs and around the corner where we stored our luggage for 7 Euros a bag for the day (till 9 pm). It was directly across from the buses. Don't cross the bridge.We bought a 1 day Vaporetto pass and went across the street to catch the boat. One more lovely day walking the streets of Venice.Looking back, the well worked staff was always very friendly and helpful. My DH enjoyed the tease from Enzo, one of the cruise directors who was a fun character. He also had fun dancing with his partner, Alsy (not sure of the spelling). That was also the cause of the teasing. We joined a few on deck exercise/dance routines. We loved the dance class from Magic Rush. Would have loved to paid for private classes from them. Overall, the Splendour of the Seas gave us great memories of a wonderful cruise! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
I have only been on one other cruise which was in the Caribbean and that was many years ago. This cruise was very good with only a couple of things I did not like. First the good: The ship was wonderful, the staff from room attendants, ... Read More
I have only been on one other cruise which was in the Caribbean and that was many years ago. This cruise was very good with only a couple of things I did not like. First the good: The ship was wonderful, the staff from room attendants, to food service people were great. The room we booked was perfect. I have never been much of a boat person and came prepared for the worst with see sick meds, but only needed it once mostly for nerves. We were on the top deck at the very back of the boat, don't remember the room number but it was 8086. Excellent room with a balcony and we got great views any time of day or night, The food was very good and selection was nice was well. For what we got I thought the price was fair. The on board shops were OK, not a huge selection but this is not a huge ship. I bought some clothes and jewelry which I thought were pretty good deals. We ate in the restaurant all but 2 nights where we went to two of the pay extra places. The best was Izumi, which is an Asian/ sushi restaurant. The food was excellent but the best part was the waiter Rosanno who made the evening special. I like spicy food and he went to the kitchen and made 3 types of wasabi with different levels of hot that were incredible. He also talked about where he grew up, his life and was interested in us as well. We had a great time I would give this place a 5 star rating. We did not book any of the off shore excursions mostly because we thought they were to expensive. I think this was the case except for our stop in Turkey, where it might have been worth the money to visit, as time was short. The other ports were very nice. We stopped in Split Croatia, Kusadasi Turkey, Mykonos Greece, and Katakolon Greece (Olympia). We had two days at sea as well. If you take this cruise there are excursions at all stops but I cannot comment on them as we did not use any. I will say that unless you want a guided tour the stop in Katakolon Greece can be made special depending on how adventurous you are. We decided to rent a car from Avis and drive the 30 minutes to Olympia and see the sites our self. The drive was very easy and we paid with gas 65 euros for 5 people. This was far less expensive then the boat sponsored tour. We had to pay for our entry into Olympia bit it amounted to 15 - 20 euros per person. If we had went by bus we could not have found a great restaurant in town called the Aegean which on Trip Advisor I rated a 5 star, it was incredible. Over all the cruise was very good except for a couple of things. First when you get on board you are given the option of getting unlimited drink stickers on your ship credit card (which by the way I don't really like because the cost can really add up if you don't watch it). I don't drink a lot so I chose the water/ soft drink option which was I think about 7.50 USD a day. My wife who likes to enjoy wine and drinks with dinner wanted to get the sticker for Alcohol which was 50.00+USD per day and they would not give it to her since I had taken the non-alcohol sticker saying we might cheat. That was not presented to me when I opted for the non-alcohol sticker. So I think that is a ploy to get couples to pay more then need be. Also tips are included on all food/ drink purchases even you don't want to pay as much as they say you have to pay, don't remember the exact percent but over 10% and less then 20%. I think I don'w want to remember because I believe in tipping based on service, and I feel I am a generous tipper not apposed to giving 20% with good service. I am sure the web site explains all this but like most people I don't really read all the fine print because if you disagree and don't sign you don't go. These were the only real issues I had and I know they are not big issues but that is all I could come up with, so over all this was a very good cruise and I would cruise with them again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
Returned last week from my Greek Isle Cruise with Royal Caribbean. I'll start with the ship first then move to the ports of call. Embarking was easy, except you have to take your luggage across the street then walk back over to the ... Read More
Returned last week from my Greek Isle Cruise with Royal Caribbean. I'll start with the ship first then move to the ports of call. Embarking was easy, except you have to take your luggage across the street then walk back over to the port to check in. The rooms were ready right when I boarded which was around 2:30 local time. I had an inside cabin on deck 2 the room was very comfortable with lots of storage. Overall the ship was clean and they had coffee, lemonade, tea, apple juice etc out at all times. I felt like the food was just ok. The food in the Windjammer Cafe never seemed to be very hot, just warm or less than warm. The main dining room food was hot but I guess I expected the options to be more gourmet. They were kind of run of the mill. I did try some different things, like Lobster Bisque and Duck and they were just ok. The best thing I had was the filet, very tender and yummy. Even the desserts were just ok. I went to several shows and they were great the dancers were very impressive. The belly flop contest was a hoot. The acrobatic show in the Centrum the last night was very impressive too.To the ports of call, I did a shore excursion in every port except Katakolon. I was happy with the shore excursions except I wish we would have had more time in Oia, the tour guide told us the best views were at the end of the town and that takes 20 mins. to walk down there and then 20 mins. back and we only 40 mins. total in Oia. So we got to walk down the pathway take photos and walk back and barely made it back to the bus. Personally I could skip the winery and spend more time in Oia. I read several reviews how hard it was to take the cable car down to the ship. There were three ships in port that day. We did have to stand in line apprx. 30 mins or so but the line moved quickly. In retrospect I wish I would have done my own thing there and been able to spend more time in Oia maybe having lunch up there. I wasn't sure if the Oylmpic Village in Katakolon was going to interest me but it was very interesting and there is a museum too. 9 euros for the museum and village. We took the 7:45 shore excursion to Athens and arrived at the Acropolis before it got really busy, when we left it was getting packed and hot. Overall it was a great vacation. Would have liked the food to have been a little better and more time in Oia which is the main reason I took this cruise to begin with. I went one day early and stayed in Venice, very nice place. I booked a reservation for St. Mark's Basilica online "skip the line" for 1.70 euro and walked right in no standing in line. If you buy anything in Venice I think they have a tendancy to "short change" tourist. It happened to me a couple times and my friend said they did it to her too. Ciao!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2013
This is our second cruise with ROyal Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Venice per cruise. This was perfect. We arrived at the terminal at lunch time, it was very busy and we has a long queue. There was some confusion also when we tried to ... Read More
This is our second cruise with ROyal Caribbean. We spent 2 days in Venice per cruise. This was perfect. We arrived at the terminal at lunch time, it was very busy and we has a long queue. There was some confusion also when we tried to board, as the number on our card was different to our booking. We had booked a D1 balcony on deck 7. We were very lucky to have been upgraded to a junior suite on deck 8! What a bonus as this is only our second cruise! The room was lovely, a great size for the 2 of us. Our first cruise was on the Independence with our children. We travelled alone this time..we enjoyed the itinerary, and we were fairly lucky with the weather. The whole of Europe ,s weather was a bit unsettled in May, and we has a couple of cloudy/windy days, however overall it was line and we were able to enjoy the decks, even on sea days. Ports of call- no trips, did own thingSplit- nice place. We walked miles, very nice place.Kussadasi- again walked. No trips as we have already been to the ruins at Ephesus. As always find the pressurised selling of Turkish shop keepers very annoying! The du free shop at the port here was very cheap.Mykinos- lovely white washed Greek island, nice shopping.Kefelonia- hired push bikes and managed about 15 miles to burn of a few calories. Pretty place.The ship is the smallest in the fleet, a very diff end experience to our last. We found the entertainment poor. The best nights were the ships own entertainment team nights. They were all excellent. We loved the disco themed night in the centrum, we ate in the king and I on second sitting. This was a little too late for us really, I would prefer to eat around 8 pm, however then you would miss the shows which are planned around the sitting times. First sitting was slightly too early! The food was excellent, plenty of choice, waiters were great, always smiling. During the day the was plenty of seating on deck. Not keen on the pool band. Indy had a great band called rock the boat, this one was not a patch on them. Cruise director James was good, he was also on Indy on our last cruise- many of the same jokes, but very enthusiastic. Ship was lovely and clean, did not show signs of it,s age. We met some very nice people, from all over the world. Thou rally enjoyable and relaxing holiday which was ideal for us as a couple, but out teenage kids would have been board rafter the Indy. Disembarked at Venice, very easy. Own transport (bus) to the airport. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
This was my first cruise. Didn't know what to expect but reading sites like this really helped. We flew into Venice from the USA (Chicago) on the day of embarkation and so that meant that we've been up for close to 24 hrs in real ... Read More
This was my first cruise. Didn't know what to expect but reading sites like this really helped. We flew into Venice from the USA (Chicago) on the day of embarkation and so that meant that we've been up for close to 24 hrs in real time. Registration was fairly simple. We boarded the ship around 11:30 AM so our room wasn't ready yet but the bar was open on deck 9 and we hung out there. The Windjammer dining area opened up around noon and we grabbed something to eat. I was worried about the quality of the water on the ship but was relieved to find out it tasted great and so didn't have to purchase bottled water. Afterwards, we went to our room and took a short nap. Remember the bottled water and canned sodas in your room are not complimentary. A liter bottle of water was like $5.50 and canned soda was about $2.50.Pros:- Rooms were clean-Housekeeper checked room multiple times throughout the day-Lots of activities on board -Food was average to above average. We tried the My Time Dining in the King and I dining room a few times but found we liked the buffet style dining at the Windjammer better because it was just more convenient.-Not a lot of beverage choices if you don't buy purchase the soda or alcohol package. Mornings had cofffee, tea, orange juice, apple juice and water. Lunch and dinner had lemonade and a flavored water (Mio, crystal light). Would have been nice to have juice for lunch too.-Staff was pretty nice. Cons:-Everything closes up by 2 AM. Meaning you couldn't get a snack or beverage/water until 6:30AM. There are people from all over the world with different sleep patterns so it would have been nice to at least have a station where you can dispense juice and water 24/7. My suggestion is to get a water bottle and fill it up in case you get thirsty in the middle of the night. Or I suppose you can drink the water from your bathroom sink.-Excercise room was pretty small and hours were limited also.-Dining staff in the Windjammer wasn't very serviceable. They were very good at clearing the tables but did not seem to want to offer other services like getting beverages. If I wanted a beer or soda, I'd either have to go order one from the bar outside the dining hall or try and flag one of the staff members. Sodas and alcohol beverages are not serviced inside the the Windjammer. I had the alcohol package and wanted to make use of it during all my meals. I don't recall being asked once if I needed anything. My thought was maybe it's not part of their job to be of service in the Windjammer but rather to be just bus boys.-Chops Grille: Made reservations there and arrived at designated time; 8:30. Was escorted to table by host and sat there for about 15 minutes before anyone came by to greet us and give us menus. Took another 10 more mins before water came and poured us some water. By the time the waiter came by to ask for our order, it was a little after 9:00. By the time appetizers came out it was about 9:30. Main course was probably 15 minutes after. The food was excellent. We ordered a couple of appetizers each. I guess I just felt like the service was really slow and the waiters weren't very attentive. We (2 people) spent about 2 hrs in their for our meal. Maybe some people enjoy the slow service but it's not for me.Ports: My suggestion is to do some research and do it on your own instead of purchasing the excursions through the cruise line. This will save you a lot. Most of the ports are pretty small towns and you can explore it by yourself. Dubrovnik and Santorini have buses you can take to get around. The only port where I thought it was wise to get a guide/driver was in Athens because it's so big. You can hire a taxi in Athens to drive you around for cheaper than the excursions, especially if you have 2 or more people in your group. My friend and I were approached by a taxi while walking to the metro train. He took us to 4-5 different spots (Acropolis, Plaka, Stadium, some mountain overlooking the city, parliament) for 30 euros each.Overall I enjoyed the cruise but would probably try another cruise line on my next cruise just to see the difference. Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
My husband and I sailed on May 18th out of Venice. It was my husband's first cruise and my second. Overall, we had a great time. Embarkation was straight forward (we took the people mover from Piazza Roma directly to the cruise ... Read More
My husband and I sailed on May 18th out of Venice. It was my husband's first cruise and my second. Overall, we had a great time. Embarkation was straight forward (we took the people mover from Piazza Roma directly to the cruise terminal stop for a 1 euro)and we arrived in time for lunch on the first day. We brought two large water bottles and two bottles of wine and both went through completely fine.We did not purchase any of the drink packages (I remember spending a lot of time researching this), which I was glad we didn't. Each morning orange and apple juice are provided along with Seattle's Best coffee (excellent coffee!), an assortment of tea, filtered water, and hot chocolate. Lunch and dinner there would be lemonade and fruit juice. My husband had a beer or two a day (around $6 - $8 per beer and he would typically get Sam Adams or Sierra Nevada). Overall the food was great. I enjoyed the Windjammer for lunch and breakfast. We did assigned seating at the King & I and found it to be fun sitting with people and listening to everyone's adventures during the day. You could tell RCI tried to match the dinning table according with your age group (mid 20's - early 30's), which was appreciated. We met a few other younger couples on the ship (we felt the average age was around 50 or so).The service was fantastic. We had terrific waiters (Cesear and Ibrihim) and a fantastic, cheerful stateroom attendant (Lucee).Evening entertainment was a little hit and miss with our age group. The pub trivia, Love & Marriage, and listening to Jonathan Ansell from the English band G4 were my favorite evening activities. Disembarkation went smooth. We were assigned an 8:30am departure time (you could leave earlier if needed). Not all of our luggage arrived when we got off the ship, but after waiting for 5-10 minutes it arrived and we took the people mover back to Piazza Roma (we got there around 11:00am). We stayed an extra night in Venice after the cruise and wished we would have booked our flight on the day of disembarkation. We had spent 3 nights in Venice prior to the cruise (love the city - it's so romantic and unique) but felt the last night was not really needed as the hotel next to the airport (Hotel Park Annia) was expensive ($250/night) plus we felt 3 nights prior was the perfect amount of time.We loved the ports of call (all except for Argostoli) and like that RCI's primary language to speak announcements is in English. Our favorite stops were Santorini, Dubrovnik and Athens. We ended up purchasing the cruise coach bus transportation to Corfu and Dubrovnik for $14/person round trip. In hindsight, we could have saved money there had we been more adventurous (FYI - Dubrovnik you can take bus #1,#1a, or #1b to the city center and Corfu the city bus is #16). Note the ship does not have any croatian kunas to exchange, so you need to do this in Dubrovnik.All in all, I would recommend this cruise to everyone 18+ (we didn't see very many kids on the ship). Read Less
Sail Date May 2013
My family and I live in Long Island, New York, and over the last 17 years, my husband and I have lived in 4 different countries and traveled with our children to Australia, Asia, and Europe. We have cruised before in the Caribbean, and ... Read More
My family and I live in Long Island, New York, and over the last 17 years, my husband and I have lived in 4 different countries and traveled with our children to Australia, Asia, and Europe. We have cruised before in the Caribbean, and through Hong Kong, Singapore, and Vietnam. Our children are now 11 and 8, and are very well traveled, having been to Iceland, Spain, Germany, Austria, the above-mentioned places in Asia and Australia, and all over the United States. With this trip, they can now add South America to their list of travel experiences. When we arrived in South America, we did some pre-cruise traveling, but stayed the night before the cruise at the Sheraton WTC in Sao Paulo. The hotel is attached to a mall and a lovely food court with many restaurants is directly accessible from the lobby. After being charged very high prices from hotel pick up services, friend of ours recommended Evolution Taxi Services. Their prices were almost half of the hotels, and even though the embarkation pier in Santos is very hard to find, the driver was very good-natured about finding it, and very excited to have gotten us their in plenty of time to go through the boarding process. After getting to the pier, there was a fairly lengthy wait for people who were not Gold Members of Royal Caribbean, but luckily, since we had booked an Owner's Suite and are Gold Members, we were able to have priority boarding. At that time, they took our passports, to be returned at the end of the journey during the immigration process upon the return to the port. The boarding information we were given said that we could board between 1:00 pm and 3:30 pm. However, we arrived a little after 11:30 am and were able to board the ship. All of the bars were open and they were already serving a buffet lunch, although the rooms were not accessible until 2:00 pm. As stated, we were in an Owner's Suite. All of these suites are named after famous artists. Ours was the Matisse Suite. We had a similar suite on our Asia cruise on the Legends of the Sea (same class as the Spendour). The suite is very large, double the size of a regular state room with an over-sized balcony with two lounge chairs. There are two televisions in the Suite, one in the bedroom and the other in the separate living area. The separate living area had a pull out couch, on which our children slept comfortable. The bathroom as a bidet to accompany the toilet, a stand alone shower, a Jacuzzi tub, and a double sink with medicine cabinets. The bedroom contained a king size bed with two nights stands, a dresser, a vanity with a large mirror with a cabinet behind it, and a small magnifying mirror. It also had a large 4 drawer dresser, 16 with additional drawers located throughout the cabin. The closet was double wide with plenty of hangers. The only problem we had with the suite is that it was located under the main Windjammer buffet dining room, and set up of the Windjammer began in the middle of the night. There was a lot of things rolling, slamming and banging over our heads from very early in the morning, around 4:00 am. We questioned why they would located the better cabins below such a noisy area. However, it in no way took away from our experience, other than a little loss of sleep. The room also was equipped with an ipad that had all of the daily cruise activities on it, along with any information you may need. In the way of dining, the ship has, the above-mentioned buffet dining room, the Windjammer Cafe, the King and I, more formal dining room, and two specialty restaurants,Chops Grill (a steak house) and Izumi (a Japanese place). They also have a hotdog place and a healthy cafe in their Solarium, along with a Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Shop (Starbucks and Ben and Jerry's are not free, nor are the two specialty restaurants. There is also a bar menu in the Top Hat Lounge, and small snacks are available in the concierge lounges after 5:00 pm, if you have access. The Windjammer has a breakfast and lunch buffet daily, and serves the same food every day. This got a little boring after a while, but, you are so busy, you don't notice. In addition, every day poolside, they made paella in a 3 foot in diameter skillet over a barbecue, each day was a different kind, and the line was always around the corner. You can also eat lunch at the King and I dining room, if you choose. We went to the King and I dining room every night except the last night for dinner at our designated "our time dining" time. Really you only had two choices, 7:30 pm and 9:30 pm. We chose 7:30. You are assigned to the same table every night and you have the same waiting staff. If you have already purchased soda and drink packages, there is no additional charge unless you buy wine that is not included in your packages. Soda packages are reasonable, around $35 for unlimited soda for the entire trip. The alcohol packages was $55 each a day for unlimited drinks, as long as they were not high end champagne or, again, expensive wine. The food at the King and I changes daily and is decent. They had many soups and pasta dishes, along with duck, chicken, and steaks. If you would like lobster or more expensive cuts, you can purchase them. The only disappointment that we had there was when I ordered escargot and was served scallops in an escargot pan. When I pointed it out, they said "Yes, we have no escargot on this trip," which they never told me. Had I been allergic to sea food, this could have been a problem. Escargot are usually garden snails, not sea snails. I thought it odd that they tried to pass off scallops for snails, when they look nothing alike. However, all of the other experiences there were great. They had an extensive kids menu of chicken fingers, grilled cheese, pizza, hamburgers, macaroni and cheese, and pasta, including french fries fruit and shakes for dessert. The desserts for adults were lovely and included, flan, creme brulee,chocolate mousse, lots of cakes, etc. Chops Steak house charges $30 a person for unlimited food. We went there the last night of the cruise. The food was excellent. My son said it was the best steak that he ever had. They had many cuts and a choice of three sauces, including hollandaise. The offered lots of sides, such as spinach, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and a cheese potato, which was heavenly. Izumi Japanese Restaurant was also very good. We went for lunch and the prices were a la carte, and around $5 to $8 depending on the dish. They had many different types of rolls and raw sushi, and a great chicken dish that my son also loved, and he is a picky eater. They also had great Saki Specialty Martinis which were very, very good. The smaller cafes are also great to have a snack. However, the hot dogs, served German, Italian, or Coney Island style,come on huge rolls and are very, very filling. The healthy cafe serves wraps, chopped salads, stuffed hot pockets. They also serve pizza from noon t0 3:00 pm. However, pizza is available through room service 24 hours a day, as well as anything else that they serve. In addition to the dining facilities, the ship has many other things to offer. They have the 42nd Street Theater, which has nightly shows, a pianist and a tango show were among the highlights. The ship also has the Schooner bar where you can relax and play trivia, the Top Hat Lounge, where you can grab a snack or play bingo (although, we never saw many people there), and they have a casino. The casino has roulette, black jack, Caribbean stud poker, and holds daily Texas Hold 'em Tournaments. They also have all of the usual slots and a daily lottery. Of course, you can always hang out in the lounge in the Centrum of the ship with the panoramic elevators and the duty free shops. They even had an aerial show in that area one night with artists swinging from the top of the atrium. Spectacular. In addition to the above, they had daily pool side aerobics or dance classes, including belly dancing. They also had "sexiest man" competitions, ice sculpture demonstrations, karaoke, family ping pong tournaments, and family pool games. There is also a full gym facility, sauna and steam room available, along with miniature golf (silly on a windy ship) and a 10 meter (30 foot) rock climbing wall, and shuffle board. A jogging and walking track is located on the uppermost deck. The Splendour also has an Elemnis Spa, where you can get any service you like. I got the Ioni and a seaweed treatment, both are for detoxification. They are expensive, but you can get deals if you go at the right time. They canceled one of my treatments one day, and they offered me a 20% discount for a different treatment for the inconvenience. They also sell some nice products. On to the pools. The pools, in my view are disappointing. There is a small outdoor pool with an attached kiddie pool with a hot tub on each side. For a cruise that fits 2000 people, the pool is too small. They have a second pool inside their Solarium (an indoor area) but children are not permitted to swim in this pool, and it is not any larger. I feel, instead of the 9 hole miniature golf that they have on deck ten, a family pool with slides and spraying water would be better. They kids got bored of the crowded pool very quickly, as it was so full of adults, it was uncomfortable for them. For the kids, they do have a kids club. However, although the staff their speaks English, they do not translate the group activities into English. My daughter went once and didn't want to go back because she couldn't communicate with any of the other children there at the time that she went. We saw a lot of things going on with the kids club though; pirate parades, face paining, etc. The boat has a small arcade, but it is costly. The average game costs a dollar, and my kids went through a lot of money very quickly. They enjoyed the bingo greatly, and they always love to play trivia in the Schooner Bar. The staff on the boat was excellent, with the exception of our room attendant who I felt was mostly indifferent. The concierge was from Mexico and took care of our every whim. One waiter remembered that my daughter liked cherries and scoured the boat for more for his section because he had run out and knew we would be there. Another Guest Services staff member promised my kids extra Easter treats if they came back the next day and could remember her name. She purposely took her name tag off and waited for just them to come. I saw her put the tag on after they left, so I know it was just for them. All of the staff spoke English, and although Royal Caribbean warns you that they trip will be in Portuguese, everything was always translated into English and Spanish, regardless of the activity. We had no problem communicating for the entire trip. For shore excursions, we chose the following: Punta Del Este, Uruguay (our first stop): We chose a city tour. Unfortunately, it is a small city, and there is not much interesting to see there except for "The Fingers" which is a sculpture that sticks out of the sand in the beach. There are Sea Lions there, but they did not offer a tour to that part of the area which was disappointing. The tour also included two hours of shopping, which we felt was way too much so we walked back to the pier (5 blocks) and had lunch at a great little place right at the end of the dock. The waitress spoke English and we had some great wine and a lovely lunch. Buenos Aires, Argentina: (our second stop): On the first day we stayed on the boat into the evening took the night tour to the Tango Show offered. The show was awesome, however, the food included was near inedible. We were very disappointed in the "Tourist Trap" type cuisine, but very happy with the show. On the second day, we took the city tour. It visited Eva Perone's grave, which was very interesting, lots of local building and markets, etc. We had a great time, but, having learned, we skipped the lunch included and found our own place. We had a great lunch at a real Argentinian steak place which had the best buffet I've ever had and all the meat you could eat (and brick oven pizzas) Montevideo, Uruguay (our third stop): We again, chose the city tour. This tour was quick, as they do not dock for long. We saw some interesting things, but the best was not in the tour. When you get off the bus at the pier they have a "Port Market" with tons of meat restaurants. We chose one and had the best mean that we had had on the whole trip. It was a true local experience and less than 2 minute walk from the ship. And so, it was time to leave. After one more day at sea, we were finally back in Santos. The disembarkation process was horrendous. We waited on line for over 1.5 hours to have our passports returned and go through Brazilian immigration. There is no special priority for Gold Members in this process, and the Brazilian had only 3 officials to check out hundreds of people. It was brutal. After, you were spread out into lounges to wait to be called for disembarkation (your luggage tags were given a number the night before). The ship took forever to be cleared, but finally we were called and we had no trouble finding our luggage and hiring a taxi to take us back to Sao Paulo. We could have chosen to take a city tour here as well, as our flight did not leave until late, but we were kind of "city toured-out", and we relaxed again at the Sheraton for the afternoon until getting Evolution Taxi to take us to the airport. In summation, we had a great trip. The boat was very modern. Each floor had a digital map and display on it to find your way around and see available activities. The pool had a huge video screen above it and played music videos all day and night long. The service was spectacular, the food was good, and the people were lovely. We loved seeing the beautiful South American countries we visited and enjoyed experiencing the culture. The room was unbeatable for a family of four and the price of $5600 for the family was very reasonable. I recommend this cruise for all, whether you speak Portuguese or not, it will make no difference. Bon Voyage! Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to ... Read More
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to the ship/airport is a comfortable 2 hr drive . However, all it takes is a little fog or an accident and the drive can be 4 to 6 hrs. Frequently passengers who arrange their own transportation miss the ship. Therefore, the ship transfers($25 each way) are the way to go. The ship was renovated this past year and is in excellent shape. Everything is new including cabins, restaurants, public spaces and even the theatre. So don't be scared by the year it was built. The Royal Family suite is really an amazing cabin. The LR has a full size couch (Q size bed) and seating for 7 adults. The MB faces the LR with sliding privacy glass doors for privacy. Its the size of almost 2 cabins with private bath with tub. The MB and LR both have sliding glass doors to access a large balcony. The second BD is a standard inside cabin with 2 beds that can be combined and one bunk bed. It also has a small private entry way and a full bathroom for BR#2 and LR guest. It can accommodate 7 but 5 is the way to go. 5 is also the minimum to book this cabin. Its location is mid ship and ideal. The RF Suite also gives you access to the concierge lounge with perks like reserved seating at shows, early disembark at ports regardless on your tour times, special behind the scene tours of the theatre, kitchens, bridge and more. The best is everyday between 6:30 and 10 you can have free cocktails (top brands included) and appetizers in the concierge lounge. So a couple of before dinner drinks at 6:60 and a couple after dinner drinks at 10 make it very enjoyable. They are very particular about bringing in guests that are not in your suite. The concierge who sits in the entrance of lounge knows all his suite passengers and will escort any visitors out of the lounge. My sister stayed in a standard balcony cabin below us and their cabin was well appointed too and rather spacious with lots of closet space. Being a seasoned traveller, the cabins on this ship are larger. The food was not great, but acceptable. The steakhouse 'Chops" was great. The shows were fine with a cirque de soleil style show atop the atrium enabling guests on every floor to view the show. The ship was 90% brazilian. There were only 100 english speaking passengers on board. Special get together sessions were help for the english speaking guests. The brazilians are really friendly and courteous. The staff were also very accommodating. 35% are brazilian and the rest were primarily from the Philippines and India who are super friendly. The seas tend to be rougher than normal and a steady breeze. A little cool in March. All in all great cruise, great times and fun had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to ... Read More
We sailed out of Santos (2 hr drive from Sao Paolo) to 2 ports in Uruguay that were really fun. We went on to Buenos Aires where the ship overnighted enabling us to go out to a tango show and came back to Sao Paolo. The drive from and to the ship/airport is a comfortable 2 hr drive . However, all it takes is a little fog or an accident and the drive can be 4 to 6 hrs. Frequently passengers who arrange their own transportation miss the ship. Therefore, the ship transfers($25 each way) are the way to go. The ship was renovated this past year and is in excellent shape. Everything is new including cabins, restaurants, public spaces and even the theatre. So don't be scared by the year it was built. The Royal Family suite is really an amazing cabin. The LR has a full size couch (Q size bed) and seating for 7 adults. The MB faces the LR with sliding privacy glass doors for privacy. Its the size of almost 2 cabins with private bath with tub. The MB and LR both have sliding glass doors to access a large balcony. The second BD is a standard inside cabin with 2 beds that can be combined and one bunk bed. It also has a small private entry way and a full bathroom for BR#2 and LR guest. It can accommodate 7 but 5 is the way to go. 5 is also the minimum to book this cabin. Its location is mid ship and ideal. The RF Suite also gives you access to the concierge lounge with perks like reserved seating at shows, early disembark at ports regardless on your tour times, special behind the scene tours of the theatre, kitchens, bridge and more. The best is everyday between 6:30 and 10 you can have free cocktails (top brands included) and appetizers in the concierge lounge. So a couple of before dinner drinks at 6:60 and a couple after dinner drinks at 10 make it very enjoyable. They are very particular about bringing in guests that are not in your suite. The concierge who sits in the entrance of lounge knows all his suite passengers and will escort any visitors out of the lounge. My sister stayed in a standard balcony cabin below us and their cabin was well appointed too and rather spacious with lots of closet space. Being a seasoned traveller, the cabins on this ship are larger. The food was not great, but acceptable. The steakhouse 'Chops" was great. The shows were fine with a cirque de soleil style show atop the atrium enabling guests on every floor to view the show. The ship was 90% brazilian. There were only 100 english speaking passengers on board. Special get together sessions were help for the english speaking guests. The brazilians are really friendly and courteous. The staff were also very accommodating. 35% are brazilian and the rest were primarily from the Philippines and India who are super friendly. The seas tend to be rougher than normal and a steady breeze. A little cool in March. All in all great cruise, great times and fun had by all. Read Less
Sail Date March 2013
We are both over 65 and have cruised several times After a 3 hour drive from Carinthia in Austria we arrived in Venice, checked the baggage, parked the car and boarded quickly and smoothly The port and boarding staff were all extremely ... Read More
We are both over 65 and have cruised several times After a 3 hour drive from Carinthia in Austria we arrived in Venice, checked the baggage, parked the car and boarded quickly and smoothly The port and boarding staff were all extremely friendly - Royal Caribbean deserve credit for the competent organisation After a quick snack in the Windjammer, we toured the ship and immediately noticed the benefits of the refit Some of the busy design and color combinations clash rather badly, something that could have been avoided with a bit of care Our Stateroom was clean and ready on time and was well cared for by the ever present friendly cabin staff We used most of the public areas, in particular the Library, Solarium and the Gym The Windjammer was where we took breakfast and the choice was always more than ample, for dinner, My Time dining in the King And I The food was good and never had a problem finding a suitable selection Listening to almost all our fellow cruisers they seemed to find sufficient activities to have fun The Theatre productions were sadly not up to the usual Royal Caribbean standards, but the entertainment around the ship was very lively Whether or not you took the ship's tours there was always advice and help offered by the excursions or information desks We did the ship's tour on Santorini, otherwise we did our own thing Bari was not ideal stop, in Italy on Sundays there is not a lot to do in the towns as almost everything is closed The other ports Corfu, Kusadsi, Santorini and Katakolon all have their specific interests and are well catered for by the ship's excursion desk One needs to do your homework beforehand to decide what the ports have to offer and how one wishes to explore them To avoid any unpleasant surprises it is recommended to take tours in non EU countries or places where one is not accustomed to the culture Again getting on and off the ship in all the ports was well organised and without incident Leaving the ship was also properly handled and a priority departure was made available for anyone requiring to disembark early This was a relaxing cruise and except for what appeared to be slightly stressed out staff in some areas it could not be seriously faulted To please around 2000 passengers 24 hours a day is no easy job Read Less
Sail Date November 2012
We sailed with Splendour on 20 October 2012. Flying in from London we were delayed so opted for a road taxi from the airport as we were cutting it fine. Cost was 50 euros and it takes about 15 mins in good traffic. The ship is in good ... Read More
We sailed with Splendour on 20 October 2012. Flying in from London we were delayed so opted for a road taxi from the airport as we were cutting it fine. Cost was 50 euros and it takes about 15 mins in good traffic. The ship is in good condition. So clean and staff are polishing all the time. Cabin 8542 was a nice size. A little bland for a suite. A few touches would have made it feel special. Windjammer is far to small for the number of people on the boat. We shifted our day so we ate at 10 and then 2 to beat the rush. The food is fine. A little repeatative but there's lots of it. One complaint we had compaured to other cruises is that the windjammer shut at 3.30 before opening at 6 and shutting again at 9. Between then or after then you had the Park Cafe in the Solarium which offers very limited fare. Basically salad, soup or a beef roll and some cakes and cookies. Again repeatative. I also really dislike queuing for something small like a cookie. Just put them out. It would take a lot of burden off the staff. Entertainment was fine. Not our cup of tea but you can always find somewhere to sit in the alternative. Main restaurant had good food and service. The pastry chef on this book is amazing. The best I've ever experienced. Back in Venice we paid 80 euros for a water taxi to st marks square. the water bus is cheaper but its the experience you pay for really. Overall we had a great time. I wouldn't sail on the splendour for a longer cruise. The food and queuing would frustrate me. But for 7 nights it was a great hop on hop off ship. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My husband and our families (parents and sisters) traveled on the Splendour of the Seas on 10/20/12 and we couldn't have had a better time on our cruise. The ship was amazing. The refurbishment was well worth it and almost ... Read More
My husband and our families (parents and sisters) traveled on the Splendour of the Seas on 10/20/12 and we couldn't have had a better time on our cruise. The ship was amazing. The refurbishment was well worth it and almost everything looked new or recently updated. The best part about it was our rooms. Our room and our sisters' room were located on deck 7 and they were full ocean view rooms, with floor to ceiling windows. Our room, 7066, was quite a bit larger than our sisters' room, as well as our parents' balcony rooms located down the hall. It almost felt like the size of a suite, without the hefty price. We definitely lucked out. We had a theory that these rooms were new (a row of 5 rooms, on decks 6 and 7) because they were the only window rooms on the entire deck (all of the others being balcony rooms) and they were so spacious. Just a theory though, not sure if this is correct. The activities on the ship were so much fun, mainly due to all of the cruise/activity directors. We participated in British trivia, music movie trivia, the adult quest game show, the white party, the 70's dance party, and the battle of the sexes game show. All of them were so much fun! We also saw most of the shows in the 42nd Street Theater (very comfy seats!). We thought all of the performers were very entertaining (particularly the band covering ABBA songs and the gentlemen performing hits from the 1950's and 1960's). The food was excellent on board. We ate in the King & I Dining Room every night for dinner (we had My Time Dining, but we reserved a table for 8 every night at 7pm prior to boarding). It all worked out great. The Windjammer offered a huge selection for breakfast and we mainly ate lunch (if we weren't exploring a town) at the Park Cafe in the Solarium or the hot dog stand. Both were delicious. Since my husband and our families had only cruised once before, and not with RC, we were surprised to see the variety of free drinks available. Coffee, tea, hot chocolate, water, lemonade, iced tea, apple juice, orange juice, and fruit punch were always available, which we all loved. The ports were wonderful. We stopped in Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens, and Dubrovnik. We didn't do any shore excursions through RC because we're not a fan of large groups; instead, we planned private tours prior to leaving for the trip. The timing was nice for these ports too because for two of stops, we didn't dock until the afternoon, which allowed us to sleep in a bit. Overall, I would highly recommend this cruise. My husband and I are in our 20's and we enjoyed it just as much as our parents who are in their 50's. We can't wait to cruise with Royal Caribbean again! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
This is the first time I have cruised with Royal Caribbean after reading a couple of reviews I was not sure what to expect, I choose this cruise for the ports of call rather than the cruise line, also I was bringing my Mum with me, as she ... Read More
This is the first time I have cruised with Royal Caribbean after reading a couple of reviews I was not sure what to expect, I choose this cruise for the ports of call rather than the cruise line, also I was bringing my Mum with me, as she has never cruised before. I booked one of the new E1 Grade Balcony cabins on deck 6 and booked 6568, this is a midship cabin on the Starboard side, I was very impressed with the cabin, new fixtures and also new carpet, flat screen TV, the bathroom was more of a wet room, but very functional, I would also add that having the beds in a twin configuration did not limit the space in the cabin, like it has on other cruises i have been on. So where to start: The Ship The Splendour has just been through a multi million pound refurb and it shows, the cabins were really good, the ship was really clean and had a new feel to it, when you come on board you enter into the Centrum which is amazing, the ship in general is great with a good mix of bars and eating venues, I didnt try the speciality restaurants, but they did look nice, but we did eat in the Windjammer and also the King and I dining room. The spa and also the Solarium are both really nice and well furnished, one thing i would say about the design of the ship is that considering there are 2500 people on board you dont feel it, the only time it felt a little crowded was on the sea day when everyone was trying to get a bed by the pool. The Food: Now this was a bit hit and miss, now in general the food was good, but there was the odd evening where the food was not as hot as i would have wished, the second formal night i had the black angus steak, which you would have thought would be good, but i was mistaken, it was just not good, the NY strip i had the next night was much better, i also thought the choice in the dining room was slightly limited. Now the Windjammer however i thought in some ways had a better choice and also was good for service, now the only thing i would say is that at times it was very crowded and was hard to get a table, but normally you will be able to slip onto a table with ppl as generally ppl are happy to share. Shore Excursions: Dont bother, quite frankly the person in charge was more interested about telling you about the shopping of each port rather than the actual attractions, we went to the port talk before Bari on the sunday, now the person in charge focused on the shopping more than anything else, one thing to be aware of if in Mykonos you want to go and see Delos then YOU NEED TO BOOK THE ROYAL EXCURSION, this we only found out when we got to Mykonos and found out that the last ship to the island left at 11am, this was not mentioned in the port talk. Bars: The schooner bar is by far the best place to chill out and listen to Juanito who is an awesome pianist, apart from that, the Top hat Lounge has kareoke and also events going on most evenings, or if you fancy partying late into the night then the Viking Lounge becomes a night club until 2am. There is also the Centrum with live music and events going on all the time. Ports of Call Bari Corfu Mykonos Athens Dubrovnik All can be done on your own with a map and some info from the tourist office near the ports, Athens is the only place where a shore excursion could be a good idea, but there is a subway and also a good bus link from the port area in Piraus, there are also taxis where if you are more than two people having a chat and negotiating a price for a private tour could be worth doing. In conclusion i would cruise with Royal again the Vision class are nice and not to big, also you do not feel much movement at all there were only the odd occasions where i thought, hmmm we are definitly moving, on the way to athens we did bounce a bit, but i did not feel like i was in a tumble dryer. The only i would add is to watch your on board spending, as if you drink a bit then getting a drinks package would be a good idea in retrospect i wish i had done this! Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Splendour is a reasonably small ship but I found this a good point. It still took us a few days to find out where everything was! Staterooms were small but had ample storage room for 2 people and the bed was big and comfortable. The only ... Read More
Splendour is a reasonably small ship but I found this a good point. It still took us a few days to find out where everything was! Staterooms were small but had ample storage room for 2 people and the bed was big and comfortable. The only thing lacking was decent toiletries - just 2 bars of soap and a shampoo dispenser in the shower, so take anything else you need! The choice of meals in the main dining room was ample and changed every day. Sometimes it was difficult to choose and when the meal came it was always delicious and well presented. If anything was not right the waiters would soon sort it for you. We breakfasted in the main dining room too. You might as well be waited on if it doesn't cost any extra, in my opinion! We tried the Windjammer for a buffet lunch and there was plenty of choice but it was sometimes hard to find a table. In the evenings we we went to some of the shows and they were entertaining. Our favourite place was the Schooner piano bar. We also tried the casino and this was best on formal nights when they had a no smoking policy. All in all we had a really great holiday and I would recommend it. Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
Overall we were impressed by the splendour of the seas and the cruise in general The good points Good size ship - easy to move around and not too many crowds The variety of activities - something for everyone Cleanliness - cant be ... Read More
Overall we were impressed by the splendour of the seas and the cruise in general The good points Good size ship - easy to move around and not too many crowds The variety of activities - something for everyone Cleanliness - cant be faulted Food - great quality and loads of variety (we didn't eat in windjammer that often as buffet isn't our choice ) Stateroom staff - did a fantastic job - look out for the animals in your room Most of the ports - great selection The overall organisation of moving people on and off - never a problem getting on or off in ports Centrum shows - good standard - well beyond what u expect on a ship Choppes - if you don't think it's worth the extra spend think again - it was fantastic Izumi - great for a change from the king and I My time dining - king and I - well worth picking and choosing when we ate and who with - all requests for a table for two were met All "front of house staff" waiters, activities, day spa, gym Meeting people and making new friends The not so good Outdated forced fun activities - seriously whilst they try to offer something for all some of the activities should be retired - just how many times is a belly flop competition funny? Bari - poor port of call - nothing really to see once you visit the basilica RCL shore excursions - good price but we found the Corinth canal and Corfu in particular to be poor standard - we did our own things after two bad days out and enjoyed them way more Stateroom furniture - whilst the ship has been refurbished - including new bathrooms the furniture needs to go ours had many chips and scratches with drawers sticking - it needs to be replaced to bring in line with the rest of the ship Over zealous security team - found many of the security team to be unfriendly and borderline rude - they have an important job but they still need to remember they are part of customer service Limited "how to cruise" information. Whilst the compass news gives information on daily events there is very little information on the ways of a cruise - we found out more by trial and error and fellow customers than we did the information from RCL (eg if you buy a bottle of wine and don't drink it all they will store it for you for another night - great if you are a small group or don't drink much) Everything comes at a cost - sure u can eat and drink with what's in your fare but if you want anything else it's $$$$ And finally - those damn photographers at every turn (at a tour cost of $249 on our cruise) not everyone needs a bad cheesy superimposed photo taken at every meal, boarding, disembarking or toilet stop. You try look cheery after 30 minutes carrying luggage through Venice and then almost an hour of checking in, inspections and questions on initial boarding - the last thing you want is a camera stuffed in your face - we would have bought "no paparazzi" tshirts if we could. Overall we really did enjoy our first cruise. The not so good above didn't change that - but they are just our thoughts on what could be better Would we cruise again? Absolutely. With RCL? Of course Read Less
Sail Date October 2012
My wife and I booked this trip a few months ago when we knew we could get away. The embarkation port and the ports of call drew us to the Splendor of the Seas. While not new to cruising this was my first taste of RCI (my wife's ... Read More
My wife and I booked this trip a few months ago when we knew we could get away. The embarkation port and the ports of call drew us to the Splendor of the Seas. While not new to cruising this was my first taste of RCI (my wife's second). I had read some of the previous reviews that weren't glowing but I just figured that it was just a bit of grumbling. I decided to just see what was in store for us. Embarkation- This has to be one of the best experiences we have had getting on a ship. We stayed in Venice for three days before the cruise and decided to take the bus to the city and the people mover to the ship. The bus is excellent, don't waste your money on a ground cab and only take the water taxi if you want to experience the views or are mobility challenged. The cost is 6 Euros (5,50 if you purchase it online before arrival) and it takes you right to Piazzale Roma. From there you can walk to your hotel if you are staying in the city or take the people mover to the ship. The people mover is located in Piazzale Roma between the two car parks on the northwest corner of the square. There is a sign out front that says People Mover. There will be a long line in front of the entrance, don't get in the line it is for the baggage check to the airport. Just work your way through the line into the entrance. The cost is one euro and it takes you fairly close to the port entrance. There is still a bit of a walk to the ship but is not obtrusive if you are able to walk (if you stay in Venice you have to be mobile). Once in the port the luggage drop off is not in the building that you go to check into. It is to the north of that building. They don't have any signs saying this and you will find out just before you get to the terminal. Save the walk and just go to the building on the right of the terminal and drop off your luggage. The Ship- While not new the ship is fairly well maintained with only some signs of wear and tear. The layout is not what I was used to as the Windjammer buffet is at the front of the ship with no Lido deck at the stern. Not a large problem but I have become accustomed to grabbing a coffee and muffin first thing in the morning and sitting out side by the rail watching the world go by. This is the first ship of all the cruise lines we were on that didn't have this feature. Maybe some of the mega ships from the other cruise lines no longer have this feature in their designs, but I won't be cruising on those. I have not been on RCI before as about the time I started cruising, the Voyager series was just coming on line and I didn't want to be on a ship with 4000 plus passengers. I can guarantee that I will never get on the Oasis class. This ship is much better as its passenger count is around 1800. Not overly crowded but big enough for a good sized theatre. There is a good mix on young to old passengers on this ship with an average around 40. On Holland America or Cunard the average age is close to death and MSC or Carnival it is closer to puberty. On this ship there is a bit of life but no wild loud drunks. The passenger mix is just that, a mix. I heard five or six different nationalities onboard with the largest contingent being British. Most things are announced in English (the shows, general announcements, games etc.) They do make follow up announcements in Italian and Spanish. The activities staff is very fluent in more than one language, at a trivia game our host was flipping between English, German and Italian for all of us playing the game. It hasn't been the pain that it was when we were on a MSC cruise where they had to make announcements in five languages for everything. Food & Drink- The ship has many pluses and minuses in this field. First the good- There are many stations available all over the ship for snacks to full meals during the day. Also the drink stations are placed all along deck 9 and stocked with water, unsweetened ice tea and two fruit juices. The last two are a welcome sight as many ships are not making available other beverages outside of designated meal times. The Windjammer does not employ the irritating practice of serving you everything for the first two days to prevent the Norwalk virus. You are able to serve yourself right from the get go; greatly appreciated. Our dining staff in the King and I dining room were exemplary. Now the bad- The Windjammer buffet looks good with different food stations but just doesn't work in practice. First there are no trays to put your food on so you end up either walking around with one plate with everything piled on or you make separate trips. Either way, by the time you sit down for your meal it will be cold. My first meal in the King and I dining room was ok but nothing to write home about. The prime rib had no flavour and was served with a boiled new potato that was served like a baked potato. My wife loves the cold soup appetizers that are offered at dinner. Her first one was a watermelon soup, I asked how she liked it and she responded with a "meh, it was just blended watermelon nothing more." Now I don't eat these soups so I can't comment, but she does and apparently the higher end ship lines do a much better job (HAL, Cunard, Princess etc.). Fortunately the meals improved as the week went on, I did notice that some of the entrees repeated on different days but my wife's cold soup appetizers were much better. I was pleased that escargot was on the first formal night menu, and it was great. The only thing that I missed was the lobster dinner. I would have also liked to have a little more mediterranean fare on a mediterranean cruise. -The first night in the King and I dining room the wait staff will ask if you would like Evian or carbonated water; they made it sound like this the only choice, it isn't. Just ask for tap water if you don't want to pay for your water. Your waiter won't ask again. Cabin- This review is only for our cabin only as we have no experience with any other cabins on the ship. We booked an inside cabin hoping for an upgrade but without previous sailings we didn't expect to receive one. We didn't, our cabin was #2015. It is by far the smallest cabin we have ever had on any ship. The bed was configured as a double, but unless you really have to sleep with your significant other, ask to have them separated. Together the room only affords one access aisle to the bed and either you climb across the bed if you are on the wall side or you have the aisle in between the two separate beds allowing both easy access to both. The washroom in the cabin was equally small; you end up sitting side-saddle on the toilet as there is no room for your knees if you tried to sit straight on. The shower is also small, on the faucet side it is at its widest but narrows toward the back. With the curtain pulled across you end up with it stuck to your body, there is no way around that. I just stopped using the curtain as there is a drain just on the other side of the shower lip. Not too much water ended up on the floor if you are careful. The furniture in our cabin was worn, one drawer front was partially detached but it wasn't one we were using so it didn't pose a problem for us. There is a very small table/stool in the cabin, if you like room service this is what you would have to use. My wife generally likes breakfast in the cabin but didn't use it as it would be too cramped to eat in our cabin. There is a nice flat screen mounted on the wall that cantilevers out, probably the best setup we have seen. The selection of channels is limited but it was nice to have TCM for quiet evenings in after hectic days. There were two things about our cabin that couldn't be resolved. The first is the strong smell of old tobacco. The second was a loud buzzing sound while in motion. Our cabin steward valiantly tried to use spray deodorizers and an electric de-ionizer to remove the smell to no avail. I knew we would get used to the smell but it was still very present right to the end. If you are very adverse to any tobacco smell do not take this cabin. The humming sound can be quite noticeable at night. My wife and I both wear earplugs when we sleep (so we don't have to hear each other) so the noise wasn't a problem for us, but when I awoke and took the plugs out I really heard it. Ports- This cruise is very busy with the ports of call. On the seven day cruise there is only one day at sea with five ports visited. All ports are docked except for Mykonos which is a tender. Most of the ports are very close to the town so transportation is not necessary. The only two that are a bit of a distance are Athens (there is a bus to the metro right at the port) and Dubrovnik is a bit of a way from the old city. The ship offers a shuttle for ten dollars at all ports but it really is not necessary. Summary- The cruise was more than adequate for our vacation. The shows were OK and the ships ports of call were good. For the right price I would cruise on this ship again. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We flew into Venice mid-morning and were immediately directed by a snake of RC staff to the coach for transport to the Cruise Terminal. The transfer took about 20 mins. On arrival we left our cases to be taken on board and headed into ... Read More
We flew into Venice mid-morning and were immediately directed by a snake of RC staff to the coach for transport to the Cruise Terminal. The transfer took about 20 mins. On arrival we left our cases to be taken on board and headed into Venice for a few hours sight-seeing. The "People Mover" is very close to and visible from the Cruise check-in terminal. It is a monorail which takes you direct to Venice in less than 5 mins at 1 Euro for a single trip. When we returned the queues had died down and check-in was a cinch. We were on the ship within 10 minutes. We went straight to our cabin and collected our cases which were in a pile outside as we were near the elevators were they had been left for later transfer to cabins. This was our 3rd cruise and our first with RC after 2 Princess cruises. The cabin was smaller than expected and had no fridge which surprised us. There was no draw space in the cabin except small draws in the table suitable only for underwear. The balcony was also very small. The bathroom was ok but the shower was very weak. The TV was very good and the bed was comfortable. We went down to the Schooner bar and signed up for the Premium Drinks package. At $55 per person per day for all soft drinks from the fountain, beers, spirits, cocktails and house wine we reckon this saved us a fortune when you take drink prices into account. $6 for a beer, $7-10 for a cocktail and $8 for a glass of house wine - all plus 15%. This package is valid in all bars and restaurants within the ship. If you are not a big drinker it may not be worthwhile for you. I have mixed feelings about the bars. The Schooner bar was very pleasant but there were problems. 1) There was often no waiter service in the afternoon. 2) When you have gone for a quiet drink after a hot day ashore you often find yourself invaded by a host of quizzers for the trivia most of whom make a lot of noise and don't even buy a drink. 3) The bar is not of a sufficient size for the amount of people wanting to frequent it in the evenings. The Viking Crown lounge at the top of the ship was a bit of a disaster staff-wise. it was staffed by a girl who had been in the job for less than a week and was clueless and a very arrogant unhelpful bartender. Most of the advertised late night events never seemed to materialise in this bar. The pool bar was ok during the day but there was only one evening event here in 7 days. There was generally something going on in the atrium all evening but very little seating available. As a holiday-only cigar smoker I was very disappointed to find that the only place you can smoke cigars is on one side of the ship on some decks outside in wind-tunnel. I didn't bother but it did somewhat take the edge off my evenings. I will stick to Princess in future where most ships have a cigar bar / Speakeasy. FOOD. I though the Windjammer buffet was excellent although we often found it difficult to find a table between 9 and 10 for breakfast. Afternoons were better. Never used it in the evenings. The King and I dining room was our evening destination. We were on 9 pm sitting which I wouldn't do again as everything has either finished or is packed out by the time you have eaten. However, the food and service were excellent. The only criticism I could level here was that sometimes the food was not as hot as it might have been by the time you got it. Some people on Premium drinks packages have said they had trouble getting wine served in the dining room but we had no such problem. The bar waiter was always within sight and was very efficient. There was also often a risotto demo or BBQ on deck late morning which looked good. The Chops Grille was ok but not $30 better than the food you have already paid for. The ship itself was very well decorated after it's recent refurb. Entertainment : We never visited the Top Hat bat or the Theatre so I can't comment. The entertainment in the Schooner Bar was all very good I thought. The band in the Atrium was poor and the poolside entertainment ranged from puerile to nauseatingly naff. Staff - Service Apart from a few abrupt or just deadpan members of staff service was superb in all areas. Disembarkation was very easy and well-organised. I preferred Princess marginally in all departments except that RC do not constantly try to sell you stuff. It's there if you want it but no hard-sell like Princess. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Our cabin was wonderful - very spacious, plenty of storage. Our Cabin Steward was friendly, accommodating and super efficient. We found the ship to be clean and well cared for. The shows in the main showroom were well done, full of ... Read More
Our cabin was wonderful - very spacious, plenty of storage. Our Cabin Steward was friendly, accommodating and super efficient. We found the ship to be clean and well cared for. The shows in the main showroom were well done, full of energy and well suited to the clientele. Loved the idea of the "big screen" for outdoor movie but never actually sat out to watch one. Main dining room was super efficient and staff was very friendly. Menu and meals were good - nothing really outstanding but always good. The dining experience was made great because of our table mates! We had a table for 10 and it turned out to be perfect! Ourselves and the couple we were travelling with, 4 women from Australia and a couple from Ecuador. We arrived strangers but departed friends! The roast beef sandwiches in the Solarium were the best! Bailey's Shiver is my new favorite after dinner cocktail! Guest Services personnel were extremely helpful - even assisted with contacting an outside tour agency when then ship itinerary had to be changed at the last minute. Boarding and departing, simple and efficient. Enjoyed the formal nights (2). The Captain's "cocktail party" was just so-so but likely the only way to introduce him to 1700 passengers! It is a shame that seating at the Captain's table is now a "pay" activity rather than by invitation or request. Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
Splendour of the Seas Ratings
Category Editor Member
Cabins 4.0 4.1
Dining 3.0 4.0
Entertainment 4.0 3.5
Public Rooms 4.0 4.3
Fitness Recreation 4.0 3.8
Family 4.0 3.8
Shore Excursion 4.0 3.7
Enrichment 1.0 3.4
Service 4.0 4.3
Value For Money 4.0 3.9
Rates 4.0 4.2

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