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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

We have sailed with Princess before and all the experts have Princess as a grade above Royal Caribbean but after this cruise we would find it hard to tell them apart! We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of call and we love ... Read More
We have sailed with Princess before and all the experts have Princess as a grade above Royal Caribbean but after this cruise we would find it hard to tell them apart! We booked this cruise primarily for the ports of call and we love Venice! We flew into Venice on the morning of departure with no delays and were taken by transfer to the ship and boarded with minimal fuss or delay.We had booked a junior suite which had new fixtures and fittings during the recent refit.There was plenty of moving about space,large balcony and loads of cupboard space. The ipad was a good addition and made keeping track of expenses very easy. The room was very clean and our cabin steward was polite and efficient and a genuinely nice guy.The towel animals were a laugh and any problems we had were quickly resolved.Bed was very comfortable.We did notice the noise coming from the open deck above us but it didn't keep us awake or greatly annoy us. The Windjammer cafe was in a great location overlooking the front of the ship.The food,in the main,was good and plentiful. Seating was a problem at busy times when everybody wanted to grab a bite before getting off the ship, but always got a table within a few minutes.The main dining room served a good variety of food to a decent standard and we liked the location, with the expanse of glass to the ocean.We also ate at Izumi and Chops Grille which were both excellent. Had fantastic steak and dessert to die for! The shows were of a better quality than we had experienced on Princess, with the headline act of the Beatlemaniacs really getting the crowd going! The ship resident cast/dancers were of a decent standard and worked really hard. We did not spend much time in the bars/casino later at night so cannot comment. The one disappointing attraction was the much hyped aerial shows in the centrum. We just didn't think they were anything spectacular and certainly didn't offer the WOW factor they had stated. The big screen on the open deck was also rarely used and could have had shows or films on during the day and evenings. We had one sea day near the end of the cruise which was a great relaxing day and had no trouble getting sunbeds. Staff were friendly in the main, and most tried hard to make it a good experience. The disembarking was easy and we ended our holiday with a couple of nights we had sorted ourselves in Venice. Overall though, we had a great cruise and loved the ship! Looking forward to next one already! Read Less
Sail Date September 2012
We started this trip with a week off the boat in Tuscany (4 days) and 3 days in Venice (the embarkation port), so by the time cruise rolled around, we were ready to relax a bit. We were in a Junior Suite that had seating and a nice ... Read More
We started this trip with a week off the boat in Tuscany (4 days) and 3 days in Venice (the embarkation port), so by the time cruise rolled around, we were ready to relax a bit. We were in a Junior Suite that had seating and a nice private balcony. The room itself was clean and well appointed. The iPad was convenient for keeping track of our account. We had late seating dining which seemed typical (in my limited experience). The food was good and varied. The wait staff were very attentive and personable. The cafe type restaurant (The Windjammer) wasn't real popular with my group. Luckily we found that the formal dining room was available for breakfast every day, so we took advantage of that. A lot more quiet and less of a feeding frenzy then the other spot. The entertainment was good. Great musicianship onboard. While we are more of the "grab a book and read for an hour" types, it seemed that for people that liked to dance and imbibe a bit more, there were ample opportunities to do that. It seemed that that there were plenty of options for all types on board. It seems that from some reviews, there are those that expect a high-class type experience on cruise ships. I don't see it that way. We travel a lot in the US and abroad and have stayed at everything from the spartan to the stuffy. I would say that the cruise experience falls somewhere in between. Make the most of it, be flexible, don't expect the Savoy and have fun! Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
Being a first time cruiser, my expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised and had a very relaxing vacation. The cabin was nice and had much more room for storage than what I'd expected with large closets and a vanity with ... Read More
Being a first time cruiser, my expectations were low and I was pleasantly surprised and had a very relaxing vacation. The cabin was nice and had much more room for storage than what I'd expected with large closets and a vanity with drawers/cabinets and good space in the bathroom for toiletries. Our favorite part was the balcony. Lots of room and quite nice to watch docking from. We enjoyed the food and the variety of guests on the ship with an extremely good meal at Chops. We only had two disappointments -the entertainment was not exactly what we were looking for. The ship had great bands in the lobby/pool areas, but the main entertainment fell a bit short. We saw the dancing/singing "movies" show along with the Beatles and the acrobats and the only one we really enjoyed was the Beatles. Just not our style of entertainment. The other disappointments were the ports. Santorini and Turkey offered more to see, but Bari was a disappointment and I wished we'd just stayed on the ship that day and perhaps we should have researched excursions bit more in advance as we were looking for more active excursions and these were more relaxing islands- not a bad thing, just looking for a bit more variety to do. It seemed like the Europeans were looking for the beach/relaxation where the people who traveled much further were looking for the activities/history things to do. I was surprised after losing my swimsuit in port on day that the ship had very limited shopping on-board. The staff couldn't have been better and the ease of travelling from the check-in/check-out and excursions really were amazing. I will cruise again as it was a great way to see lots of ports at a more superficial level, but if you want to see more of the culture and people, a day in port is hard to fit in a lot of experiences. Only advice....know what you want beforehand, but I had a very fun and relaxing vacation and had a very enjoyable experience on the ship. Read Less
Sail Date August 2012
We had a great time on our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. As we were in a Junior Suite, the priority embarkation process was smooth and impressive. We were impressed also with our suite, which was furnished well and had an iPad and ... Read More
We had a great time on our cruise on Splendour of the Seas. As we were in a Junior Suite, the priority embarkation process was smooth and impressive. We were impressed also with our suite, which was furnished well and had an iPad and refrigerator with mini bar, and tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom, which had a bathtub and shower, was adequate for our needs and the towelling bathrobes were a nice touch. The steward did a great job of meeting our needs with ice buckets etc. Food & Drink - We were generally very satisfied with the quality of food, so much so that we didn't even look at the specialty dining options. The MDR served up some nice dishes, but on a couple of occasions we felt there wasn't enough variety. The Windjammer, where we had breakfast and lunch most days, was great, with a huge variety of hot and cold food. The Solarium cafe was great for soups and salad at any time of the day. We had bought the soda packages prior to sailing and wished we hadn't bothered. It was an unnecessary expense, as hot and cold drinks were freely available there. Could have made a big saving there! Entertainment - On the whole we enjoyed it. As with everything, some activities and shows were better than others, but the team worked hard to keep everyone entertained. One criticism however would be that the teen club activities were almost non-existent. This would put our family off re-booking this holiday. Our kids like activities. They don't like to hang around in corridors or play arcade games all day. Excursions - We loved the itinerary and the excursions we took. The weather was a bit extreme while we were in Greece though, so we didn't do a trip to Athens, preferring to stay on board that day. Santorini is a must! It is stunning. Corfu shopping was good, but next time I would get the local bus instead of paying $10pp for the shuttle bus. A word of advice if on the ship's excursions in Kusadasi - You do NOT have to go to the carpet shop at the end of the excursion with them, although the guide implies it is part of the excursion. We just said no thanks to that bit, and walked back to the ship. I didn't go on holiday to buy a carpet, so I wasn't going to waste my (or anyone else's) time with this. Other people we met said they didn't realise they could say no, and had felt uncomfortable and pressured by the hard sell in the carpet factory at the end of the trip. The ship is docked just a couple of hundred yards away. If you don't want to go, don't! The ship itself was just a nice size for us, and it was beautiful and clean. We don't like the mega-ships. They are just too big and impersonal for our liking. Splendour was just the right size for our needs. The pool area however was a bit overcrowded. We felt like sardines there. I really don't like the way the sunbeds are all touching each other. I'd like a bit more space, but we had a large balcony to retreat to, so it didn't spoil our sunbathing time. The Solarium pool was nice for a couple of hours in the evening too.There is a wide range of nationalities on Splendour, so the announcements during entertainment etc. are repeated in 3 languages. It's a bit annoying sometimes. We opted for Mytime dining, and we ate at different times most nights, depending on what entertainment we wanted to see that night. It was nice to sit with different people at dinner, but having the option of meeting up with new friends in the Windjammer if we preferred. I know that some people are loyal to a cruise line and aren't interested in experiencing others once they have found one they like. We like to experience different things, so our next cruise may not be with Royall Caribbean. It was nice to get the double C&A points for the Junior Suite though, and if we do return, it will be a bonus. We would research the children's activities first though, because Splendour didn't live up to our expectations in that department. Read Less
Sail Date July 2012
This was our first cruise and we were a bit worried about how we might be affected by sea sickness as well as the problem in Greece. The reviews we read were mixed some worrying ones about the cabin size (as there were 4 of us in a JS) and ... Read More
This was our first cruise and we were a bit worried about how we might be affected by sea sickness as well as the problem in Greece. The reviews we read were mixed some worrying ones about the cabin size (as there were 4 of us in a JS) and food (a vegetarian and non-fish eating 'fish are friends not food' among us). On the other hand we've also read good reviews and reassured by the blog about the refurbishment of the ship. Booking: We booked on RCI website and prebooked a few excursions,mainly to spread the cost so that we don't have a huge bill on board! We had one of the soda fountain package and one of the water package (handy for excursions). We ordered and received the luggage tags in plenty of time. We arranged our own flights via Alitalia and booked our hotels directly and through Booking.com for a few days in Bari before and after the cruise. The price including flights on RCI website was quite expensive by comparison. We also used the RCI webchat facility on their website for other questions and this was efficient and helpful e.g. for dietary requirements, cabin size and currency / visa info. On the day of departure our check in at the port was at 2.30pm (departure at 8pm). There there was RCI staff everywhere to help us and the check in was 5-10 minutes only. Our photos were taken but this seems to be a a problem area as the cards keeps malfunctioning during the cruise so we keep having to get new photos taken (maybe the effects of the good food were affecting our faces :) Because of this and inaccurate bills we spent a lot of time at guest services during the cruise! The ship looks a bit dated on the outside as when we arrived the MSC DIVINA (which was bigger & recently launched in May) was in the next dock so the immediate comparison is less than favourable. However, inside the Splendour it is amazing, everything looks new thanks to the recent refurb! Our room JS 8020 was a good size but a bit compact for 2 adults and 2 teenagers. There was a double bed (that can be split up to 2 singles) and a comfortable sofa bed. The latter was opened up every evening and folded away in the morning by the attendant. There was no dividing curtain to divide the areas even though this was shown in the online picture. The balcony has a round table and 2 chairs and we could've done with 2 more for when we had room service breakfast. There were 2 armchairs and 2 footstools in the room as well as the sofa bed which gets in the way when the bed is open and not needed. There were a lot of storage space, more than enough for all of us. There was a minibar with soft drinks and a selection of minibar snacks and biscuits. There were enough clothes hangers but we had brought extra for the formal wear. We also used the cleaning offer of $25 for a bag of clothes on day 3 of the cruise (but you need to ask the attendant for a special bag to use) There were a lot of activities available and we tried the yoga classes which was good way to start our morning but there were only 2 sessions on the whole cruise. The spa and gym was small, we used the package of $99 for 3 x 15 mins treatments and on the day in Venice there was an offer of $129 for full massage and facial. The treatments were fairly basic (compared to normal salon treatment) and at time seems like the therapist were just (albeit politely) going through the motion. Our room attendant ( Gar) was a kind, attentive and observant guy who is not only hardworking (keeping a room tidy with 2 teenagers is a challenge) helpful and talented - we were delighted by the towel monkey, elephant and pig sporting our daughter's sunglasses! In the restaurant, we had a 6.30 seating and was lucky to have lovely dinner companions from Wisconsin. The menu choices were good and our waitresses Kelly and Hunriye were so helpful. The former is the happiest person we've ever met! We had the Maine lobster one evening at $28 but well worth it!! Excursions: We prebooked the Corfu Dassia beach and it was very well organised and worth the money. The hotel manager was there to greet us and we were shown a reserved section of the beach with sunloungers and sun umbrellas enough for the whole party. This included a soft drink each and the tour guide stayed close to make sure to help if we need it. The next excursion we pre-book was cable car in Croatia which was again well organised and informative. It gave us an excellent view of Dubrovnik and time to shop for souveniers in the town. We even had time for a quick lunch and the prices in the shops were reasonable. The day of Mykonos and Athens were swapped around due to problems with strong wind preventing the ship from going there on the day planned. In Athens we shared a minibus organised by another party and we visited the Acropolis and the tomb of unknown soldier. The Parthenon and Acropolis is a must see if you visit Athens but there is not much else to see in the time available. We didn't visit Mykonos as the tender was quite choppy in the strong wind but people who did go onshore seemed to have coped well with it. In Venice, most of the people left and there were no organised excursion for those who's leaving in Bari like us. Outside the ship, we took a shuttle bus to the port office (nearly ended up leaving on the wrong bus as directed by the staff who thought we were leaving). At the port, there is a train /People mover at Euro 1 each or water taxi of Euro 15 each. We took the former which was long queue and had to put up with a lot of tour groups who queue jump! Also, this delivers us only to a train station and we then have to queue for another ticket for a water taxi to San Marks square at Euro 6 each. However, this is the scenic route to San Marks square and was definitely worth the effort! On the way back, we took the direct water taxi to the port at Euro8 each. We feel that RCI really let us down in Venice as it just docked there for us to figure out how to go around ourselves (the only staff on the bus with us was very friendly on the ship but jumped the queue and ignored us, presumably because she was off duty and going shopping in Venice) Entertainment The shows were good and we enjoyed most when we can although felt very nervous for the aerial performers as they look terrified most of the time! Dining and paparazzi: On our day of boarding, we encountered the paparazzi experience when we were ORDERED to stand together by a wall for a photo to record our cruise start. After this shock and delay we headed to the Winjammer for lunch and was told that it's closed even though we were assured on check in that lunch would be available there. We had to search around and found that the only place open was the Hot Dog bar (no vege option) and the Ben & Jerry where we got charged for ice cream and drinks as only cookies and cakes are included. This was disappointing start as being our first cruise we didn't know much about the ship schedule and it made us cautious as to what else is chargeable. All the staff seems to assume we've been on a cruise before and left us to figure things out which can be nice but in this case was not really... Our dinner seating at 6.30pm allowed us to see the show straight after and since most departure is by 4pm, suits us well as we're not use to eating so late. The menu choices was varied, our vegetarian daughter preferred Windjammer most nights and you can check the menu beforehand to decide on the night. However, on two occassions in the King & I, this was marred by the same 'paparazzi' ordering us to stop eating and at one point he told my husband not to put his arm around his daughter for the photo! This is very rude & disruptive so we asked the waitress to request them not to disturb our dinner again. We enjoyed having our photos taken most times but not with mouthful of food, perhaps between courses would've been better. The speciality dining we tried was Chef's table (AMAZING & DELICIOUS experience!!!) which took about 3 hours and Chops Grille which was included in the package. The food in the latter was also v.good and the service was excellent. We didn't try Izumi as it was included but with extra charges. We used the Viking Crown lounge a lot as it is a relaxed and quiet area for post dinner conversations and cocktails with our new friends. The disembarkation in Bari was smooth as we've arranged a shuttle bus from the Sheraton Nicolaus (free of charge) to collect us. The port shuttle bus was $10 each and we didn't see any taxis around so a lot of the others who disembarked were left standing around in the hot sun waiting for a taxi. Overall an excellent ship and itinerary, a few staff needs further training but we highly recommend it to first timers! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have just returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas and found that most of the lovely Fillipino waiters are not there anymore. They now have waiters that only seem to be attentive on your last night of cruising. Once upon a ... Read More
We have just returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas and found that most of the lovely Fillipino waiters are not there anymore. They now have waiters that only seem to be attentive on your last night of cruising. Once upon a time when entering the restaurant you were guided to your seat and a chair pulled out for you, but not anymore. You walk in pull your own seat out and place your own napkin on your lap and a wait. We have cruised over 40 times and can see the difference, and the cut down of staff. We were eating our breakfast on our last day and seen a young female waitress clear a table then pick up the used napkin and wipe the table down with it very hygienic I must say. Food was mediocre and repetitve the same deserts each day in the Windjammer. The good points the ship has been re fitted and our cabin was spotless with new fittings and fixtures. The beds very comfortable. The cabin well insulated against noise from your neigbours cabin. We had a balcony which was wonderful to sit and watch the world go by. The Ship was full of Italians and Spanish and very unruly children playing in the lifts. Its the only ship we have been on that has accomadated so many children. The Greek islands were wonderful as was all the other ports of call. We made our own way around the ports as the ships excursions were expensive compared with the local buses and taxi's. Drinks were expensive too, a bottle wine was $38 and 15% added to each drink. $8 for a glass of wine plus the 15%. If you like a drink or two or three give this ship a miss. Overall I would say this cruise ship is not the usual standard that we used to get on board anymore. Would I sail again on the Splendour? No we would not. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I was quite concerned before we started our cruise after reading recent reviews like: "Food was mediocre". I was ready to pack army rations as it was our first time with Royal Caribbean. Luckily we must have boarded "the ... Read More
I was quite concerned before we started our cruise after reading recent reviews like: "Food was mediocre". I was ready to pack army rations as it was our first time with Royal Caribbean. Luckily we must have boarded "the other "Splendour of the Seas ship. Everything worked like clockwork. Diego, our state room attendant, must have been hiding under the bed to clean our room about 4 times a day. First night, after driving over 400 miles from Vienna (secure parking provided by RC in front of the departure lounge), we were tired and ate in the Windjammer cafe. What a pleasant surprise! As two professional couples - used to good food standard, we pre-booked my time dinning. After our first night experience we returned back to the Windjammer cafe again and again for tasty meals and pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. Thanks to Andrew, who was keeping his sharp eye on the restaurant, it was always spotless and efficient. Team in the kitchen brought us variety of freshly made, first class restaurant food, like olive tapenade, prawns, smoke salmon salad, artichoke hearts , baked garlic, fresh pasta. Beef bourguignon tasted like Julia's Child recipe, not to mention chocolate cakes and lemon tart with strawberry caulie and warm chocolate. We were pleasantly surprised by freshly prepared variety of food during Italian night, Greece night and Edwin's perfect Indian curries selections. Lovely Tatiana kept offering nice wine. OK, there was no lobster, but for those who didn't notice there was a market crash few years back and lot of things changed since then, unemployment is much higher . Only complain - RC should put bigger tags on meals or provide free reading glasses for travellers to notice lovely constantly changing food variety. Royal Caribbean thank you for great experience. We will come again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My 75 year old husband and myself-70-booked another cruise with RC having enjoyed the Western med last year on the Adventure of the Seas. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and this didn't disappoint. I always search for a ... Read More
My 75 year old husband and myself-70-booked another cruise with RC having enjoyed the Western med last year on the Adventure of the Seas. I chose this cruise because of the itinerary and this didn't disappoint. I always search for a bargain and booked a few weeks before complete with flight as my husband likes to have everything organised for him.This holiday is primary his holiday as my main holiday is a skiing. The flight to Venice from Gatwick was on time and the transfer to the port efficient-our check in was quick and we knew to go straight to the Windjammer for lunch without waiting for our luggage to be delivered to beat the crowds..We were a little apprehensive as our cabin was on deck 3 with an outside window-we did wonder if the window would be just a port hole but it was a good size -great to sleep with the curtains open and the light of the moon shining in at night.The cabin was a reasonable size with plenty of storage-it had been refurbished-we were able to watch the Diamond jubilee events on the TV although there was no inter active TV which we found useful last year. As a couple we like different things from a cruise-I was swimming early every morning before attending the stretch and fab ab classes-I took part in the Zumba exercise class at the poolside-all were free. The pilates and yoga needed to be paid for so I didn't take part in those.I also attended the Italian classes on 2 afternoons which were very entertaining and informative. I made use of the library on deck 6 and changed the books which I brought with me.My husband used the week to relax and attended no classes but we both enjoyed the entertainment. We didn't go ashore at Bari but thoroughly enjoyed the visits to Corfu and Mykonos-we took the short organised tours to Athens and Dubrovnik-both were excellent and our tour guide in Athens gave us good insight as to the history and the current political situation. The ride in the gondola in Dubrovnik gave us a fabulous view over the town. We found that 2 organised excursions was sufficient. There did seem to be a problem with the wi-fi (this was second hand as we didn't use it. We enjoyed the wide variety of food offered and ate in the Windjammer for breakfast and lunch daily-plenty of choice -healthy or calorific if required.I always aim to return the same weight as I was at the beginning and I did just that-the exercise did it!! We enjoyed the formal dining -our waitresses,Ttatiana and Juliana were real characters -we enjoyed the dining room staff and kitchen staff 'strutting their stuff' although if you don't buy into that sort of thing it may not suit you.Our table companions were all very pleasant and it was interesting to exchange stories from other countries.Our cabin man,Ronaldo was also very helpful and obliging at all times.We had paid out gratuities in advance but added to the envelope for those 3 members of staff ( and I was the original Scrooge) There are times when the organisation may feel a bit like a military exercise but to move so many people off on on the ship it needed to run smoothly. I am quite surprised at the previous negative reviews-I felt that the amount paid for what we got was excellent value for money.A couple we spoke to were actually comparing this cruise against a much more expensive one-if you want more then you need to pay the higher prices!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
we sailed with 2 teenage sons from Venice on the Splendour in late June to the Eastern Med. Our only prior cruise was some years ago in the Western Caribbean on the Explorer, without the children, and i really enjoyed that, despite my ... Read More
we sailed with 2 teenage sons from Venice on the Splendour in late June to the Eastern Med. Our only prior cruise was some years ago in the Western Caribbean on the Explorer, without the children, and i really enjoyed that, despite my previous perceptions that cruises were for 'old folks". Now that I am an 'old folk" age 58, I guess I fit right in ! The Splendour is smaller, which has two advantages: first, embarking and disembarking is MUCH quicker. Second, and this is a perception, it may not be true, it seems that the ratio of space to passengers is better on the smaller ships than the larger ships. The ship was full, but much less crowded that the Explorer was, also full. The staff was friendly and helpful without exception.Food was OK, not anything really special, but very acceptable and we all found something to enjoy at every meal ( we did not try the speciality restaurants, as they are VERY expensive for travellers from South Africa due to the exchange rate). Entertainment was apparently also OK- my oldest boy, age 17, had a ball- a week-long party ! the younger boy, 16, was less happy, but not due to anything about the ship, rather unhappy at the cruise itself as he does not like having to do what is scheduled if he wants to do something else.I don't drink alcohol, and looking at the prices i am really glad i don't. i am sure that even by US standards the prices are VERY high- a cruise may be a very good time to take a break from alcohol- call it a Lent substitute- but the drinks prices are eye-watering ! Ports on the cruise were good- just research the shore excursions very well- many are not worth it, just going ashore and making your own way around is as good. Do however try the Kayaking in Dubrovnik, if you have at least some level of fitness- its great, and take your snorkel/goggles with. Mykonos -you don't need to take a tour- just go ashore- the town ( a real tourist trap, but photogenic) is right at the port, as is a small beach. Corfu, Bari, Athens are all great- in Athens, if you go to the Acropolis in summer, go EARLY, its very FULL, very Hot. we took advantage of the late-departure option, an extra cost but worth it as our flight was only at 1800. we stayed on the ship, ate and swam and had the ship to ourselves until new passengers started boarding at 1200. (we did however have to vacate the stateroom by 0900, but they have a facility to keep your airplane hand luggage safe until you leave- latest at 1530.) Lastly, 3 items: 1. we had a stateroom with a balcony- for the Med its worth it if you can afford it, as you pass lots of islands and the view is nice- we did not in the Caribbean, as there is less to see in the day or night. 2. smoking- while RC has a policy of only allowing smoking on one side of the ship , and then only in the open area on deck, i still feel that it is too generous- smokers should be banned to the very upper deck, in the front of the ship, where they do not disturb anyone. Also, the casino allows smoking, so don't go through there- not sure what you do if you want to gamble and not smoke- i guess the two vices go together ! 3 Food_ relax and enjoy it- it has to cater for all tastes, so it is never going to be gourmet cuisine, at least not in the main dining areas, but its is perfectly acceptable, well presented, and tasty. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My husband, myself took our three granchildren on a cruise in June to give them a new experience. They are one of 13 and twins of 15 all girls. We hoped there would be something for us all to enjoy. On arrival to Venice from Heathrow a ... Read More
My husband, myself took our three granchildren on a cruise in June to give them a new experience. They are one of 13 and twins of 15 all girls. We hoped there would be something for us all to enjoy. On arrival to Venice from Heathrow a rep was there waiting and without any trouble boarded a coach to take us to the port where the ship was waiting. The embarkation went very smoothly. We had cabins opposite one another 6032 and 6031 great cabins in a nice quiet part of the ship we were never disturbed. Our attendant was brilliant and kept the cabins immaculate. We liked the idea of the Windjammer eating informally although every night we all dressed up anyway. Several nights we also ate in the King and I, we had paid our gratuities beforehand which enabled us to eat at any time, but you still need to book each night before if you want to get a certain time, as it is always full. Food was varied and plentiful, lots of choices all day long. I had chosen the soda packages for the girls and the husband and these really were not need as there is free lemonade, tea, coffee, water all day long. I also ordered a water package which once again you do not need. I did not order a wine package for myself, but had a glass of wine when I wanted one... tip ask for the one on special offer each night as it is half the price! There was something to see every night in the theatre, some good, some not so good. The swimming pools are fairly small so did not have a chance to swim. Plenty of sunbeds although close to one another. The best thing of the trip was going to sleep and waking up in a new place. We did not take any of the tours on offer as most were much cheaper if you did them yourself. It would have cost 50 US to take us into Corfu by ship coach when the local bus is there and cost us 7euros! we walked back just a ten minute walk. Mykonos get off the ship and walk to the right through the shops you then come to a nice beach where we sunbathed and a drink at the cafe there. Because Dubrovnik old town was far from the port we did take the bus and knew then what time we had to spare without any hassle getting back. Athens we took a taxi to the train then to the train to the Colliseum which was easy. On Disembarkation, come out and wheel your suitcases where you will find water taxis if you do not want to use the shuttle bus back to the airport. Instead of waiting there for three hours, we took a guided trip from a water taxi around Venice (he even stopped while we got postcards) then took us all the way to the airport, where once you get off the taxi is a 10 minute walk to the terminal. It was a lovely trip, ate far too much but thoroughly enjoyed it all, a great experience for us all. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
This being my 4th RCCL cruise I was very disappointed. Having been told that the Splendor the Seas was being renovated and balconies added I was shocked to see my cabin the size of a closet. The new balconies were on deck 6. With the ... Read More
This being my 4th RCCL cruise I was very disappointed. Having been told that the Splendor the Seas was being renovated and balconies added I was shocked to see my cabin the size of a closet. The new balconies were on deck 6. With the new balconies the cabin size was reduced to a smaller size. There were three draws and a cubbie hole. The beds were the size of a junior bed that a child coming from a crib would be put into. They took out the double couch and there was no mini bar. The bathroom had a shower curtain instead of the sliding door. The water from the shower sprayed all over the floor. The Food was mediorce. Repeated selections and poor choices. Lobster was extra for $28.95. On the other ships it was a free choice on the captains nights. The theatre entertainment was lovely, however the centrum group sang and played older boring music for couples to dance. Only one night was fabulous and that was motown all the way. The crew at Guest Relations were fabulous. Could not do enough for us. The dining staff also terrific. The ship was smaller than I am used to. It holds 1900 passengers and a crew of 750. There was no center promenade and very few shops. To sum up this critque I would not recommend this ship. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
After reading a zillion average reviews of this cruise online we were in for a suprise! Our whole cruising experience was really tooo good to be true. The ship is small but comfortable, the food was delicious especially in the formal ... Read More
After reading a zillion average reviews of this cruise online we were in for a suprise! Our whole cruising experience was really tooo good to be true. The ship is small but comfortable, the food was delicious especially in the formal dining room each night and the crew was remarkably alert, efficient, friendly and super helpful. The cleanliness on board the ship was stellar as was the entertainment and the public areas in the ship. My 9 year old son enjoyed the adventure ocean program a lot... The people in charge did a good job as he was thrilled with whatever they did there each day. The pool area used to be really crowded but then there's a choice one has of either swimming in the solarium or the outside pool area. Embarkation and disembarkation was smooth... with no glitch what so ever. We are vegetarians and the staff did make an extra effort to serve us what we could eat. Thank you so much.The deserts on board can rival the best patisseries anywhere in the world. The menu had its bit for everyone: sugarfree for the heath conscious, vegetarian for the vegans, italian for the most loved cusine of the world i guess and lovely wines suggested to compliment each food each day. Loved how they served the deserts with a shot of coffee. Also There was a lot going on, on the ship at different times of the day and night. Lots for everyone to do. With the ports of call being so exciting there was a lot one can do in a day on port and onboard the ship.... really loved everything about the whole experience. Before boarding on each port, they had cold water being served to us just before we board which was really nice. Attention to detail was very good. The shows were lovely especially dancing thru the movies. great foot tapping music.Really enjoyed the shows. Our room attendant was very friendly and super helpful. My son adored the towel animals he put in our cabin almost each night. Thank you so much for the effort. The room service was prompt and efficient. Please do try the pizzas. They are yummy! Our cabin was so comfy and the ship so smooth that each morning we used to get up to notice that we had already docked on the port! No sensation of movement at all. The flat tv in the room had limited but sufficient channels. No ipad in the room yet but we didnt seem to miss that at all. The onboard photographer was very cheerful and always ready to click us at any given time. The captains dinner was very well planned and the suprise of the champagne glass was nice. The shops onboard did truly have a better deal than a lot of stuff on port or land. Picked up a few knicknacks from there. We were so happy with our experience that we cant wait to board our next cruise which will hopefully be the Royal Caribbean. Very very impressed! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
I found the splendour of the seas a disappointment quite frankly as we had sailed last year on adventure of the seas so we were probably looking forward to the same level of cleanliness ,we were sorely disappointed.The decks were wet and ... Read More
I found the splendour of the seas a disappointment quite frankly as we had sailed last year on adventure of the seas so we were probably looking forward to the same level of cleanliness ,we were sorely disappointed.The decks were wet and slippy most of the time with no staff around to mop up.The level of commitment was just not there as it was on the adventure !I found the staff very lackadaisical.The windjammer food that we were so looking forward to again was unimaginative and seemed to forget about the English palette,and it just wasn't so beautifully laid out like it was on the adventure.We normally like to just go up into the windjammer a few times a day just to see the amazing array of food,we just didn't find this worthwhile as the food was the same every day!And seemed to cater more for the Latin and Asian palette more than anyone else.Not everyone is a fan of spicy foods.Not asking for anything fancy but a shepherd's pie was on the menu only once,it wouldn't harm them to put on a bit of steak pie or roast chicken for a change.On saying that the room service food was amazing which we didn't find out until the last few nights,when we were hungry enough to try it.It came fast and efficiently.The staff were mainly Latinos ?and Caribbean.Friendly enough but not quite up to the scratch of the staff of the adventure.Who seemed to clean from morning to night.There was one good restaurant on board the grille,where the steak was the best I've ever tasted you do pay one set charge in here but you get a three course meal here.And Errol our waiter was so friendly. The room we had was clean and lovely balcony ,but the people (families) next to us were far too noisy,screaming and shouting at their kids all day long and then from six every morning!I think its diabolical putting a couple in between families.We paid a lot of money for this what we thought would be a special cruise.The only special parts of the cruise were trips to Monaco and the wonderful island of Capri which we managed to travel to on our own steam (much cheaper)not with the ships excursions.Altogether great cruise but ship needs pulled up a lot.Bars were good cocktails not too dear.Latino entertainment again in one bar !But the other bars were nice and had great ships entertainment great soul singing band in the theatre one night and great band called the reef riffs go boys ! You done well.Try another ship next time I will read reviews beforehand though. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My family & I had a wonderful recent holiday on the Splendour of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean Cruises. We travelled as a family of 4 in one cabin (2 children aged 6 & 9). And my mother & father in law in another cabin. The ... Read More
My family & I had a wonderful recent holiday on the Splendour of the Seas, with Royal Caribbean Cruises. We travelled as a family of 4 in one cabin (2 children aged 6 & 9). And my mother & father in law in another cabin. The cabin's were surprisingly spacious, we had an interior stateroom, (room 739) and my in law's a beautiful outside stateroom. The only problem with either of the rooms seemed to be that the AC, in the outside stateroom did not function all the time. The choice of dining options, and variety had enough to satisfy even the fussiest of child eaters. (we chose a flexi dining option). The entertainment, that we saw was very good, I would hesitate to say excellent, but it is difficult to cater with such a range of nationalities on board. The entertainment hosted by 'Bill' the cruise director, some may describe as 'cheesy', however, we found the best way to enjoy it was to join in the fun, you are on holiday after all. The hot dog bar was a particular hit with my 9 yr old daughter & my father in law. The big screen by the pool showing all the live football from the Euro 2012 tournament was a bonus. Ports of call were good, particularly Kusadasi, the port for the ancient city of Ephesus. We were very disappointed with the shore excursion to Ancient Olympia. This was the only excursion we did having already found our way around all the major sites on our own at previous ports of call. We thought we may learn something with an official guide. We felt the tour was rushed, (we tendered at Katakolon, which the ship does not normally do) I believe the fact we tendered and the fact ours was the last tender ashore, made the trip more rushed that it normally would be. The guide was informative on the coach, & I'm sure she would have been at Olympia, if we could have kept up with her or had we been able to hear her through head sets provided. They were useless. She admitted halfway through as a means of hurrying us along, that we had to get to the museum by a certain time as it closed at 3pm. We did not even get time to take the photos we wanted. The fact we paid 70+ Dollars for this trip per person, did not help, as at all the previous ports of call we had done everything at a fraction of the price on our own. We were also advised by the shore excursions desk, that taxis were hard to come by at Katakolon, however even though we were the last tender off, there was a queue of taxis waiting. So we felt a little mis-led. After complaining we were eventually refunded 15% of the excursion fee by the shore excursions desk, although initially they did forget to deduct it from the bill. My advice is if you are confident enough to explore any of the destinations on your own do it, if you have that in you, you may feel ripped off going on an excursion where you are herded around like sheep. All that said it did not detract from a wonderful stay aboard the Splendour of the seas. Unfortunately we on return from our stay, all 6 of us have developed serious throat & lung infections that we have been to the doctor for, initially when we took the children we were just told it was a summer cough, but 10 days on and several fevers, aches, pains, sleepless nights and hot & cold sweats later we are seeing the doctor for a second opinion. This is no normal summer cold. It would be interesting to know if anybody else on board has had similar symptoms since they returned from a recent cruise. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
My parents organized this trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband and I brought our two children, ages 9 and 12, and my brother and his wife brought their two children, ages 3 and 5. Some aunts and uncles came, and my ... Read More
My parents organized this trip to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. My husband and I brought our two children, ages 9 and 12, and my brother and his wife brought their two children, ages 3 and 5. Some aunts and uncles came, and my 21-year-old cousin, for a group of 15 people. This cruise turned out to be a great way to entertain all those people of different generations. We had opportunities to do things together, but it was also easy to split up and do things in small groups or individually. Our kids did not use the children's program a lot, but when they did go they enjoyed it. The staff seemed to do a good job of making the kids feel comfortable and have fun. My 12-year-old could have joined the teen club, which concerned me a bit because the 12- to 17-year-olds were all combined for this trip. She preferred to be with her family or read on a deck chair, so she never joined the teen club. Our room, a balcony room on deck seven, was bigger than I expected, clean, and fairly quiet (we were about halfway down the hall from the Centrum.) One relative on deck eight was annoyed by noises from the pool deck above late at night. I loved having a balcony and spent a lot of time sitting out there, reading or enjoying the view. We also brought a travel clothesline and used the balcony to dry laundry and swimsuits. We splurged and put our kids in a separate room across the hall. If all four of us had been in the same room, it would have been very crowded. The interior room seemed to be a mirror image of the balcony room, only a tiny bit smaller. The food was good and there was plenty of variety. I only had one dish that I disliked (greek salad) and one dessert that I didn't like enough to eat the extra calories (I think it was the savarin.) My brother and I shared the platinum wine package and we enjoyed all the wines that we tried. It was $225 for seven bottles. My husband and I tried the main dining room for breakfast once, but the service was ridiculously slow. I didn't mind waiting for my food, but 20 minutes to get my tea is not okay. After that we ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer and all dinners in the main dining room. We occasionally had snacks from the hot dog stand or the Park Cafe. The entertainment varied a lot. I found the music in the Centrum to be pretty awful, both in choice of music and in level of performance. The singers and dancers in the theater were very talented, doing acts that were cheesy but fun. I was very disappointed in the aerial show in the Centrum because they did not use aerialists, just the dancers from the theater. Mostly they were strapped into harnesses and waved their arms and legs gracefully while the stage crew moved them up and down, or they bounced around on bungee cords. The gym was a decent size, with a nice mix of equipment. I never used the spa, but my mom had her hair done one day and it looked great. The pool areas could get crowded but the only day we had trouble finding chairs was the at-sea day. In general the ship was very clean and the staff was friendly and helpful. I'll review the port separately but they were great! Sailing in and out of Venice was wonderful. Such gorgeous views! Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We have returned from sailing the Greek islands with the Splendour and was a little disappointed with the standards of the ship. We have sailed with her before and found the standards have really dropped in the restaurants. Mediocre food ... Read More
We have returned from sailing the Greek islands with the Splendour and was a little disappointed with the standards of the ship. We have sailed with her before and found the standards have really dropped in the restaurants. Mediocre food in Main restaurant and repetitive in the windjammer. I was really surprised that their is smoking allowed in the casino, we walked thru unknown and finished gasping for air by the time we got out the other side so if you like a gamble and don't smoke you need to go in with a mask. Drinks a very expensive as they also charge extra 15% on all drinks. Good side is we had a great cabin on deck 6 with a balcony which was awesome. If you need a quite hour that's the place to sit. The ship was full of Italians and Spanish so was quite noisy and some very rude. If you book on deck 6 6958 be prepared to walk a distance to your cabin it was like a maze the first few days. The cabin was very small but very quite too. It has just had a makeover so looked new and smart with a nice comfy bed and new bed linen. Staff did not seem as friendly as the norm for RCI. Last time the waiters had time time to chat show tricks etc but not this time they were busy rushing around the restaurant it looked as if they had cut staff to a minimum, We did get a cracking deal to go on this ship but don't think we would sail on her again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2012
We took this cruise in May 2012. Not wanting to use Royal Caribbean flights due to them not being direct to Venice we made our own arrangements. A week before our holiday the flight was cancelled and we had to fly out 2 days early and ... Read More
We took this cruise in May 2012. Not wanting to use Royal Caribbean flights due to them not being direct to Venice we made our own arrangements. A week before our holiday the flight was cancelled and we had to fly out 2 days early and spend the time in an area about 15 mins out of Venice itself. From the main Venice bus station we used the people mover to get to the port. It costs 1 euro each and you need the first stop for the port. From there we dragged our luggage about a mile towards the ship where we were stopped and told we had to leave it at a building we had already passed so we trundled back again. On the way to the ship we had passed at least 3 RC employees and none of them told us we were going the wrong way! We had booked one of the new balcony cabins that have been added during the refit. It was nice and new obviously but smaller than balcony cabins we have had in the past. The balcony itself was reasonable with nice new table and chairs. Bathroom small as you expect but well laid out with plenty of storage. We ate mainly in the windjammer and this was very busy at peak times. It was a case of grabbing a table and taking it in turns to go and fetch food. Plenty of choices but by the end of the week it was starting to feel a bit repetitive. We had paid $55 per day each for the all inclusive drinks package. In the whole week, eating both lunch and dinner in the Windjammer were were only asked 3 times if we wanted drinks. Shows were fairly good (if you like that sort of thing). We mainly used the Centrum and the Schooner bar. Pianist in the bar (Anselmo Boles)was a joy to listen to and by mid week he had got to know his regulars and built up a nice repartee with them. One thing we missed was a quiet bar where we could have a drink without too much noise. There just didn't seem to be anywhere. We found some of the staff a bit over the top. Cruise director was American and seemed very false in his bonhomie. On our first day as we approached the Windjammer one female member of staff stopped us and said, in a very silly childish voice, "Is it rumbly tummy filly time?"...........i looked behind me to see if we had somehow acquired a 3 year old child! Over the last 15 years we must have taken at least 20 cruises but never before with Royal Caribbean. I'm not sure we would use them again due to the disembarkation process. In all my time i have never ever been thrown off a ship at 8am! We have always been able to stay on the ship until it was time to leave for the airport, even if that was mid afternoon. We did have an option to pay to stay on, at $35 each, but there is no way i would pay that. It seems as though once the cruise is over they cant wait to get rid of you! They will probably say this is so that the ship can be cleaned but if other lines can manage this while still having passengers aboard why cant they? Our flight was not until 6.30pm so we had all day to kill.We had already "done" Venice so wandering around there all day didn't really appeal but we had no choice. A long trek to the people mover again. If you have cases and want to leave them somewhere turn left out of the people mover exit and you come to a left luggage shop. 5 Euro per case for the day. Taxi to the airport from the port is 45 Euro. From the bus station in Venice it's 5 euro on the bus. Buses run every 20 mins and take about 35 mins. If you choose Splendour for your holiday - enjoy your cruise! :-) Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We booked this cruise because of the ports and the week my wife had off from graduate school. We have been on 4 cruise lines and previously liked RCCL for Europe. This time there was a big difference. The layout of the ship with the ... Read More
We booked this cruise because of the ports and the week my wife had off from graduate school. We have been on 4 cruise lines and previously liked RCCL for Europe. This time there was a big difference. The layout of the ship with the interactive locator screens strategically located plus the diagram of the ship by the elevators was great. The entertainment was better than average too. The balcony on the back of the ship worked out better than the small add-on balconies on the sides. The bad news is that the service and food SUCKED! Unlike Princess there are only busboys at the Windjammer which at times was overcrowded. The breakfast and lunch at the buffet was of an inferior quality. Even the cakes were made from cheap mixes.I suggest that you bring an oven glove with for the self serve hot food so you don't get burned from the heat lamps that are directly on the serving utensils. For dinner in the dining room there was no Lobster dinner or decent steak unless you wanted to pay extra. Even the extra cost restaurants have a cover charge plus ala carte pricing. For anytime dining if you have a reservation you may be seated with people who are finishing their dinners or people are added on to your table when you are ready to order dessert. bar service. If you want a drink you must go to the bar and order it. No one comes around in the theater or on deck during the day. The new I-Pads that were supposed to be in the room were not there and the TV was not interactive either. If you are gold or above there is a coupon boom in your room but watch out for double charges on the buy one get one drinks. My biggest complaint besides the food is the guest relations desk. I had to go there 5 times the last night and the morning we were leaving to get my bill straightened out. We pre-booked some excursions that were prepaid 2 months ago but RCCL cancelled them at the last minute because of low numbers of sign ups and I couldn't get anyone to credit my account. My credit card was already billed 2 months ago but no one knew what they were doing. Announcements are made in several languages and they do have 3 Cruise directors, English, German and Italian. Although I don't speak Italian he was the most charismatic of the 3. The casino was not very large and there was no craps table but plenty of machines. I didn't see anyone winning so I didn't play. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
We have recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. We did have an enjoyable vacation due to the wonderful ports the ship sailed to, we sailed from Venice to Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik ... Read More
We have recently returned from a Mediterranean cruise on board Splendour of the Seas. We did have an enjoyable vacation due to the wonderful ports the ship sailed to, we sailed from Venice to Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik which were all fabulous places. We stayed in Venice overnight pre cruise in the Hotel Caprera which is a 3 star hotel close to the train station. It was spotlessly clean,and the front desk staff were very helpful, the room was quite tiny but was ok for one night. In Bari we took a taxi and visited the old town which is beautiful. We also did some shopping on Via Sparano which is a lovely pedestrianised street in the newer part of the city. In Corfu we took a taxi from the ship to the town which was EUR10 for 4 people and then we strolled around the town for an hour or so and then took a taxi to the beach at Dassia and paid EUR3 each for beach beds and umbrellas. The taxi driver took us to a beach club which had a lovely swimming pool and we were right on the beach, it was a little stony in the sea but lovely to swim in. We hired him for an hour and a half and he charged us EUR50. In Mykonos we took a taxi for 4 and went to Paradise Beach for the day, the taxi cost EUR20 and we took the local bus back which was about EUR3.50 each. We did some shopping in the town for a couple of hours and then walked back to the tender after watching a beautiful sunset in Mykonos harbour, it was beautiful. We stayed on board in Athens as we had been there a couple of times. In Dubrovnik we took the shuttle from the ship to town and then privately took a glass bottomed boat trip around the city walls and to a little island, it lasted 45 minutes but I would not recommend it as there was no commentary on board and we had been told there wold be. The town of Dubrovnik is extremely beautiful. Splendour of the Seas itself was a disappointment, we have previously sailed on Adventure, Navigator and Liberty of the Seas and they were much more impressive ships. The air conditioning in our stateroom could not be turned off, it was very noisy and very strong, we had a deluxe stateroom with balcony. Our stateroom attendant taped over it as it was so strong my sinuses got infected but he could not completely cover it as it would have been dangerous. The ship had been renovated last November but they did not replace the stateroom furniture, the drawers were shabby and stained on the inside. The bathroom was quite tiny and had a shower curtain rather than a door on the shower. The interactive TV did not work, we could not access our account on line or view excursion packages. Our friends had paid for a Junior Suite, it was much smaller than the Junior Suite on either Adventure of Liberty. It was also under the pool deck and the noise of deckchairs scraping the floors started at around 6am and it was impossible to sleep beyond that. We could hear the noise of the deckchairs also and we were two floors below the pooldeck. All 6 of us found the air conditioning very uncomfortable. Some of the corridors on the 7th and 8th decks smelled musty and damp and we spoke to one couple who said the carpet in their stateroom was wet and they had asked to be moved, they were reaccommodated in a suite and were very happy with that. The crew on the ship were lovely and extremely helpful, our dining waiter Malcin and assistant waiter Mustafa in the King & I were terrific as was Carolina our wine waiter, she was fabulous, always smiling and looked after us so well. Amy in the Spa was great, I had a wonderful manicure! Yosef our stateroom attendant was also terrific, he did a wonderful job every day. The food in the Windjammer was extremely disappointing at lunchtime, there were the usual salads which were fine but the chicken was all thighs and drumsticks and extremely tough, the burgers were like frozen burgers. The catfish was inedible, cooked in a batter and tough brown fish. The selection was very poor. They did a barbecue on deck on the last day which was lovely. We were disappointed with the food in the King & I also, again the chicken was tough, the minute steaks were like cardboard, the selection was disappointing. The fish was overcooked and small portions. No lobster dinners, Royal Caribbean seem to have stopped the lobster night. The vegetable selection was good and nicely cooked. We ate in Chops Grille one night and the food there was lovely. The entertainment in the Schooner Bar was great, Anselmo was terrific on the piano and we went there most nights and had great sing songs. The other entertainment on the ship was a bit disappointing, the atrium does not have the same wow factor as the boardwalk on the bigger ships, we missed the parades. We did not get to use the casino so I cannot comment on that but it did not have a bar, we used to enjoy drinks at the casino bar on Adventure of the Seas. Royal Caribbean had a drinks package which was not offered on their website only on board, it seems to be on trial on a few ships. It was USD385 plus tax for the week per person and included cocktails, most premium liquors, sparkling wine, and wine by the glass. We thought this was good value. We did have a lovely holiday because of the ports and the crew on the ship but I would not sail on Splendour of the Seas again. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
The May 5th, 2012 sailing of the Splendor of the Seas was our first cruise on RCCL, as well as our first cruise in Europe. The cruise ports of call were Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik, and we choose it for price and the ... Read More
The May 5th, 2012 sailing of the Splendor of the Seas was our first cruise on RCCL, as well as our first cruise in Europe. The cruise ports of call were Bari, Corfu, Mykonos, Athens and Dubrovnik, and we choose it for price and the itinerary. We flew into Milan and took the train to Venice. Venice is lovely, but not easy to get around since there are no roads. We took a water bus to St. Mark's Square from the train station and had to drag our bags through the very busy square and down a four foot wide "street" to our hotel. Venice was jammed with tourists since there were a number of ships in port. To get to the port the next day we dragged our bags to the Blue Line water bus which took us to the port. The walk to the check in area was long and there were no porters or luggage carts. Check in took about 45 minutes. The ship - The ship seemed in good shape but did feel like an older ship. We have been on some of the older Carnival ships from the 1990s and it reminded us of one of those. I did not see any wear or tear or dirt anywhere. We loved the solarium, although since it was chilly outside it was often crowded. Unfortunately, the no children under the age of 16 policy in the solarium pool was not enforced. The other areas of the ship were pretty standard. The interactive flat screen TVs around the ship were great and lead you to the nearest restroom and provided access to the Cruise Compass. There is no self-service laundry. Fellow passengers - The passenger makeup was about 70 percent European with a lot of Brits, Italians and Germans. The balance of the passengers were Americans, Canadians, Brazilians, etc. Most people were over 45 years old. The announcements were given first in English. Our cabin -- We had an outside on deck two forward. It was not huge but it seemed like the carpet and drapes had been replaced and perhaps the bathroom had been updated. The bed was fairly comfortable. The flat screen TV had a station that showed some CBS programs. There were no IPads, nor interactive TV. I never even knew what the room service menu was. The bathroom was nice and I loved the little drawer to store small toiletries. Water pressure in the sink was very weak but the shower was fine. There was plenty of storage and we did not even fill all the drawers. The lack of a refrigerator was a major downer and the drapes could have been more light blocking. The main problem we had with the cabin was the lack of soundproofing. We could hear the people next door, people in the hall and doors slamming all night long. On Toga Party night the people next door came in at 4am and continued to talk for over an hour! This was the day before the 8am arrival in Corfu. In another review someone said that the air conditioning was too loud. In our cabin we found the fan to be too soft to block out the noise. Thank goodness we brought a sound machine. A note about cabin locations: The cabins anywhere near the Centrum are very noisy due to the music, aerial shows and dance parties that go to midnight. In addition, they rehearsed the aerial show in the afternoons. The music was so loud it drowned out the trivia questions in the Schooner Bar. If you like to nap or go to bed early avoid these cabins. Dining -- We were so tired from jet lag and touring so we only ate in the main dining room a few times. Dinner was nothing special and the portions were fairly small. The buffet food was not too bad and they did have theme nights (Indian, Chinese, Mexican, etc.) to add some variety. As with any buffet some of the selections were poor such as the ribs I tried to eat but gave up due to the lack of meat. The problem with the Windjammer Cafe is that it was too crowded at peak times and it was difficult to find a seat. The Park Cafe was a good place to grab a wrap, salad or sandwich and we went there many afternoons to get a drink and cookies or cake. The hot dog house was underutilized. Maybe Europeans do not like hot dogs? We did not try any of the specialty restaurants. Entertainment -- I thought most of the shows in the main theatre were very good, particularly the Three Tenors and Ballroom Fever. At the end of the week the shows are at 7:15pm and 9:15pm, the earlier time is a pre-dinner show for the late seating people but we went to the buffet and attended the early show even though we were main seating. The rest of the entertainment was pretty standard. We did not go to any late night game shows or parties as touring Europe was tiring and we were asleep by 11pm. The Aerial Shows in the Centrum were not that great because the performers did not do much, the music was too loud and it was hard to see. Service and staff -- Service in the dining room was good and we even found it too attentive at lunch. The waiters tried to keep up with the dirty dishes in the Windjammer Cafe but did not succeed at times due to the crowded conditions. Our cabin steward never introduced herself the first day but kept the cabin tidy. There was a wonderful lady who was always at the entrance to the Windjammer who wore a themed costume every night and smiled and said hello to everyone. The cruise director seemed a little "too corporate" in his tone but we did have a nice conversation with one of his staff members who was from Croatia. The port lecturer had terrible delivery and it seemed like he had never even been to the ports. He kept saying the same phrases, such as "once again", over and over and gave no personal recommendations. Ports of call -- Our favorite ports of call were Corfu and Dubrovnik. I highly recommend the panoramic tour of Corfu since it is very scenic. We never saw Corfu town due to lack of time. In Dubrovnik we took the cruise shuttle to the old town and walked the city walls (not free) on our own. In Bari we took the ship's tour to Alberobello, which was interesting. From Piraeus we took the hop on bus to the Acropolis which was very crowded. In Mykonos we just looked around on our own. There is an internet cafe just as you enter the waterfront which we used. The end -- Disembarkation was stress free until we got off the ship. We had a late morning train ticket to Milan from the Venice Santa Lucia train station. There are two ways to get to the station; walk a mile to the people mover (1 Euro) which lets you off at Piazzale Roma then cross over an arched bridge with a number of steps, or take a taxi (18 Euros) to Piazzale Roma and then cross over that same danged bridge. We choose to take the people mover and were worn out when we got to the train station. I was longing for the easy access that the port of Miami provides at that point! Milan was buzzing with activity near the Duomo but the highlight was a trip to Bellagio and Lake Como. This was actually the most scenic location of the entire trip. Highly recommend. Read Less
Sail Date May 2012
Having cruised with RCCL a couple of times before I was expecting a lot better than what we got. First the ship: Cabins are of reasonable size and have plenty of storage space, have just been refreshed with new carpets flat screen TVs etc ... Read More
Having cruised with RCCL a couple of times before I was expecting a lot better than what we got. First the ship: Cabins are of reasonable size and have plenty of storage space, have just been refreshed with new carpets flat screen TVs etc although they don't seem to have any interactive components in them, there were also no IPADS which were supposed to have been installed during the refurb. Public areas are adequate without being anything too flash. Casino reeked of smoke so didn't go near that Service: Mostly OK apart from the Guest relations front desk staff who seem hopeless. I have read recently about the cruise industry trimming budgets for staff training and that certainly seems to be the case here. Food: Run of the mill boring menus produced by head office in Miami.Salad bar in the main dining room at lunch time is very good. Chops grill was very good. Wine is very expensive. Entertainment, Rubbish, I am sure I had seen the same shows on other RCCL boats a few years ago. The cruise director seemed to have absolutely no charisma about him, told the same jokes I had heard years before as well, the whole entertainment package seemed stale and uninviting.  There seems to be an insistence on this boat for having a loud band play in the centrum most nights until at least 12am. Our cabin was near the centrum and as a result we could not sleep or even sit in our cabin and watch TV with out hearing this loud out of key so called band. We made complaints to the guest relations desk staff who didn't seem to care, the Cruise director also didn't seem to care and even walked off while we were talking to him ! Not good and not acceptable RCCL! We were finally moved to a new cabin on the third night of our cruise which made the rest of the cruise tolerable, but surely if you have paid for a cabin you have the right to be in that cabin without having to be bombarded by the so called entertainment, it was even suggested to us to go to the solarium as it was usually quieter in there ( it wasn't) and anyway we paid for the room so should be able to use it ! Overall the boat is okay, probably better sized cabins than on newer cruise ships, entertainment is rubbish and food is ok without being anything to write home about. Read Less
Sail Date April 2012
We are a married gay couple kind of travel addicts and we love cruising. First I have to say that these Itineraries from Brazil are amazing/interesting, we visited Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Buzios, Ihla grande and ... Read More
We are a married gay couple kind of travel addicts and we love cruising. First I have to say that these Itineraries from Brazil are amazing/interesting, we visited Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Buzios, Ihla grande and Ihlabela and enjoyed every single port of call. When this ship is in its Brazilian season, of course is aimed to the brazilian market and Portuguese becomes the main language on board but this was not a problem, we could get information in English all the time. I must said that Brazilians are a very relaxed cruise passengers that really know how to have Holiday, parties until late night, late dinners, so funny the brazilian activities (in portuguese) but we could always understood a little. I would recommend to have holidays like brazilians. Having cruised in the Vision of the Seas three years ago in our honeymoon we knew a lot about the "Vision Class" ships for this reason we were so looking forward to our Brazilian/South American Cruise in the renovated Splendour of the Seas and we definitely enjoyed the Ship and the Itinerary. I just have to say that the renovation of this ship is totally successful, the new bathrooms, the renovation of the furniture in the cabins make it look like almost totally a new ship, having an Ocean View cabin, we had enough space for both of us. Also the new additions in the ship: specialty restaurants like Izumi and Chops Grill and the Chef's Table experience, the Board Walk Dog House, Cafe Lattetudes makes the dinning experience more diverse. The Chefs Table Experience is a must and is really enjoyable and the food there was amazing. The main dinning room and the Buffet restaurants were OK for the standards, but the service I would say is one of the best we have got in a royal caribbean cruise. The new Atrium in the ship and the aerial performances are really good, and there is always something happening in there, the new atrium design gives a very special vibe to this area on the ship. In general, we loved the ship after this renovation and loved the brazilian cruising style, loved the ports of call and is a good way to get an small taste of South America and a lot of brazilian culture Read Less
Sail Date March 2012
We had an aft cabin on deck 7. We were really looking forward to this since we had never booked an aft balcony. I couldn't find much information before we left about the aft balcony. We wanted it because we knew it was a bigger ... Read More
We had an aft cabin on deck 7. We were really looking forward to this since we had never booked an aft balcony. I couldn't find much information before we left about the aft balcony. We wanted it because we knew it was a bigger balcony and we could enjoy seeing where we've been. On our second day (a day at sea) we noticed black ashes on our towels on the lounge chairs as well as on our table (between the chairs). I initially thought that people on the top deck were smoking on the rear of the ship and their ashes were being dropped on our balcony. As the day went on though, we had more and more ashes. We finally figured out that it was coming from the smoke stack on the ship. We reported it to the Purser's and the agent looked at us like we were crazy. She said that no one else on the aft ship had reported anything (which is entirely possible, since it seemed that we were the only ones who actually used our balcony) and she had no idea what it could be. She said she could send someone out to look at it. They had scheduled someone, but they never showed up. On the 5th day, someone actually showed up and she said that they had never had this problem before, however, as my husband continued to question her she finally admitted that it "could" be coming from the smoke stack. What really aggravated us was the fact that everyone tried to deny that they had ever had this issue come up before. It was clear that it was the smoke stack because on the days that the wind blew in a different direction we had no ashes. On our last day, someone from customer care called and said that she had left a previous message for us (although we didn't have any messages). She had indicated that they hadn't had this problem before but was willing to give us a credit on a future cruise. Since we didn't know when we would be sailing again she offered us a $100 discount for this cruise. What annoyed us more than anything was the denial by all staff. If they would have just told us that this was a drawback to an aft cabin, we would have accepted that, but the fact that everyone acted like this had NEVER happened before really irritated us. It was not our objective to receive any compensation, just an acknowledgement that this occasionally occurred and explanation of why. On a positive note, we LOVED our stateroom attendant and wait staff. Every time we ran into any crew members, they were always very pleasant. The food in the Windjammer cafe was almost always the same. That was a disappointment. The menu in the dinning room was the same everyday, except for a different flavored "pancake of the day." This was fine for us because we LOVED the french toast and omelettes. The food in the dinning room for dinner was good and offered a good variety. We felt VERY rushed to get off the ship on the last day. We got to port at 0530 (30 minutes early) and it was a very loud. The ship vibrated strongly as it felt that we came in and turned ourselves completely around. If the arrival hadn't woken us up, the numerous announcements made over the intercom definitely would have. We had asked previously if we could take our time getting off the ship, as we had no immediate plans for the day, and we were told that we had to pay to stay later than our departure time (which was assigned at 7am -- the first assigned departure). So, we left at our assigned time. Thankfully our local hotel checked us into our room at 0830 - that would never happen stateside. So, overall we had a great vacation and enjoyed our ports of call. We were a little disappointed with Royal Caribbean (we had sailed with them before with no issues). We were happy to learn that the ship was going to dry dock after our cruise, a little updating would help spruce it up. We liked the fact that it was a smaller ship and we were able to recognize crew members and get familiar with them, however, a larger ship does offer more amenities and more to do. Again, we couldn't have asked for better stateroom attendants and waitstaff. Read Less
Sail Date October 2011
My review of the Splendour may be irrelevant since hours after we disembarked, she was taken to Cadiz for the refurb, but I think my review may be helpful for those interested in sailing with RCCL for the first time. We sailed out of ... Read More
My review of the Splendour may be irrelevant since hours after we disembarked, she was taken to Cadiz for the refurb, but I think my review may be helpful for those interested in sailing with RCCL for the first time. We sailed out of Venice on Oct 17, 2011, for what amounted to be a transition cruise as the ship was sailing to Spain to be refurbished. The Splendour is among the oldest and smallest in the RCCL fleet, and the company felt it was time to spruce her up. Our Captain mistakenly joked during his welcome speech that they were extending the ship and many passengers aboard were concerned. There seemed to be a consensus among those I spoke with that Splendour was the perfect size. It will definitely benefit from new carpets, flat screen tvs, and alternative dining venues, but in terms of passenger capacity and easy of navigation around the ship, she is absolutely wonderful just the way she is. He did clear up his little joke during a chat with the passengers in the centrum on the second sea day. The ship will remain the same size, and that alone encourages me to sail her again once she is back on the seas. Embarkation in Venice was...interesting. I'd gotten some bad info about how to get to the ship. Many people had mentioned a shuttle that picks RCCL passengers up in Pizalle Roma. This was not the case. You had to board the "People Mover" which is a light rail type tram that carries your from Piazalle Roma to the edge of the port. To board the "People Mover" enter the building next to the luggage storage place on the bridge side of the square. Buy a ticket from the automated machines (there is no customer service agent to help, you just have to figure it out) then take the elevator or escalator up one floor to board the tram. Get off at the first stop, THEN there was a shuttle bus to the port, but at that point you are so close by that most people walk. Another alternative is the water taxi which picks up and drops off at St Marks. It will take you to the pier. We took it from the pier to St Marks and walked back, so I can't give details on how to do it in reverse, but it is a nice ride along the same route the ship will take sailing out of the city. When we arrived at check in, it was not busy, but the building is large and there are no signs to direct us. There were plenty of RCCL staff around, but they seemed much more interested in talking to each other than in helping to answer questions. I know it was the end of a long season for many of them and they were all looking forward to getting through this one final week of dealing with us, but I got annoyed quickly both because I'd had little sleep for the previous two days getting to Venice and because it happened over and over and over. We arrived in the building and had to interrupt a private conversation between 2 RCCL employees (who were sitting at a table at the entrance, clearly they were the greeters) to ask which way to go. Then we got to the next station and the man was just standing there staring off into space. I felt like I had to wake him up from a dream to ask him where to go. Then, after having our passports checked 4 times in the space of about 50 yards, we finally had our cruise cards and made it through security. The next step was to board an elevator to get to the ramp that would take us to the ship. The elevator filled up quickly, yet the RCCL employee who was standing in the door of the elevator to keep the door open was also staring out into space, and I finally had to say, "Excuse me, we are full" before she came back to the present moment and let our elevator ascend. Once we boarded the ship, we were handed the usual pile of flyers encouraging us to check out the spa etc (but no champagne, no beverage of any variety) and then we were set loose without any instruction. Since no one mentioned NOT going to our cabin (no one told us anything about where to go), we took the elevator to Deck 7 only to find the fire doors shut and another RCCL employee standing there looking dazed. Here was our conversation: "It looks like we can't go to the cabin yet." "No, the cabins will be ready around 1 o'clock" "Okay,so where would you like us to go?" "Oh, you can go anywhere." "Is there someplace where we can get something to eat?" "Yes." "Can you tell me where that is?" "The Windjammer Cafe" "Can you tell me what deck that is on?" "It is Deck 9" "Thank you." It was like pulling teeth to get the information out of her. Maybe I am just used to sailing on cruise lines that give you too much information. I am normally herded (and frequently escorted) from the time I board the ship right to the cafeteria or directly to my cabin. And because it is day one, I appreciate the assistance because despite this being my 14th cruise, it was my first time on this ship, and my first time using this cruiseline. I wanted to do things the way they wanted it done, but the RCCL way seems to be to either expect that you already know what you are doing, or to just let you grope blindly along? Sorry to be so disparaging, but it was a very poor first impression. Luckily, things improved from there. Our cabin Steward, Oleg was very nice. He found our one missing piece of luggage on the first day and often checked in with us in the halls when we were coming and going. He made us several creative towel animals and despite the fact that RCCL has ended the chocolate on the pillow routine, one night we returned to find mini snickers there, a special treat. Likewise, our diningroom team of Soner and Marino were always quick and efficient with dinner. Soner also made sure to check in with us on the food. He told us what he thought the best dish of the night was and he really wanted to know what we thought and he was determined to have everything be right for us. Marino was excellent about keeping my water glass full ( I drink a lot of water) and he always offered extra bread to the table. The cruise director was Bill Bruckheimer, an American. I think it was my first CD from the USA. He seemed very pleasant on announcements and on the TV, though we never met him in person. There were actually several members of the staff from the USA which (in my experience) is unusual. Both the staff and the passengers were an extremely diverse group. Our cabin was 7588, a D2 balcony. It was larger than expected, and we enjoyed breakfast on our balcony one morning which is my favorite thing to do on a cruise!!! We were in a perfectly central location, but unfortunately on the "northern" aka less sunny side of the ship as we headed west across the med. The food onboard was pretty average, though I'd say dinner in the Windjammer was the best meal. Entertainment was decent to poor-Rat Pack show was good, comedian/impressionist was poor. The song and dance numbers were average. Our first port was Dubrovnik. The cruise line offered a shuttle that cost 10 Euro per passenger for unlimited back and forth trips, but honestly, who is going back and forth more than once? I had been told it was too far to walk, but it was really only a little more than 2 miles each way to the old town, so I could have easily made it. There is also a public bus which picks up/drops off right in front of the port gate. The old town was not terribly crowded despite the cool but sunny day. We were rather late in the season (Oct 18) but I was glad not to be there in the height of the tourist crunch. I think large crowds would seriously detract from the enjoyment of this World Heritage Site. Next was a sea day. I got some exercise running around the jogging track on Deck 10. I appreciated the fact that the track circumnavigates the entire deck and doesn't cut it short, so that 4 laps equals one mile. Many ships are short changing those of us who like to take a run in between luscious desserts! The next port was Malta. It was fantastic, my favorite stop. We walked into Valletta from the ship. I'd read a lot about the "steep climb" up to town, but it is all steps and there are plenty of places to stop and take in the views, so we skipped the taxis and the horse drawn carriages and hiked our way up. I recommend it. It wasn't that difficult. The town is a very neat grid full of interesting sights and history. We got in town early when it was still quiet and poked around before the crowds arrived. Later in the day we took a taxi to Mdina, the medieval capital of Malta. It is much smaller than Valletta and well worth a look, and it is only about 15 mins drive away. Next day was at sea. It was windy and the ship rolled quite a bit. I suffer from extreme motion sickness, so in addition to taking some pills, I hung out in the centrum (mid ship, deck 4) most of the day because it helps to be on a lower deck and in the middle of the ship. Later in the day, the movement died down and I attempted to work out in the gym (it was too windy to be on deck 10 to jog). Unfortunately, the gym on this ship is quite small and all the machines were full. I do not know if there are plans to improve the gym during the refurb, but I hope so! Our next port, was Cartagena, Spain which was a place I had trouble finding any info on during my internet search. It was wonderful. The Roman Theater that was uncovered in the late 1980s was fantastic, and the old castle which has been turned into a museum on the history of Cartagena was interesting. The town has numerous lovely public parks, a wide open waterfront area, and a large pedestrian main street. The old bull ring is still in the process of being refurbished, but it looks like little has been done and perhaps the money has run dry, but a lot of money has clearly been spent sprucing up this port and it is nice to walk around and enjoy. Our final stop was Gibraltar, but it was a bit of a disappointment. We arrived on a rainy Sunday, and much of the town was shut down including the war tunnels in the rock. I decided to hike up (all the way from the ship to the top of the rock). The Mediterranean Steps which actually wrap around the most southern portion of the rock were the best part of my hike, but not for the faint of heart. It is a long steep climb with extreme drop off, but also fantastic views. If you are not interested in sweating that much, either take a minibus/taxi tour, or ride the cable car up and walk down. If you plan to take the cable car both ways, note that aside from the view you will only see the monkeys without walking to one side of the rock and or the other. By the time we woke up on Monday morning to disembark the Splendour in Malaga, Spain, work had already begun. The pool deck was ripped up and the boutique shops had already packed up all their goods. I'm sure the ship will look fantastic when it returns to service and I'm so glad that it will remain small and intimate. Aside from my concerns about the questionable customer service of some of the staff, I will consider sailing on her again. However, for anyone considering trying RCCL for the first time, I'd say stick with your favorite line. I'll be going back to Celebrity because despite being under the same company umbrella, Celebrity just does a much better job form customer service to the little details. I think RCCL has sacrificed too many of the little things that make a cruise special to keep me as a customer. 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Sail Date October 2011
We've fallen in love with cruising and both agreed that another Mediterranean cruise was a perfect way to celebrate. Partly because this would allow us to visit Germany and Paris beforehand. The pre-cruise travel was extraordinary but ... Read More
We've fallen in love with cruising and both agreed that another Mediterranean cruise was a perfect way to celebrate. Partly because this would allow us to visit Germany and Paris beforehand. The pre-cruise travel was extraordinary but not the point of this review so I'll move on. We took the overnight (sleep) train from Paris to Venice. It arrived just after 9:00 a.m. We saw the ship as we came across the bay into the station. Getting to it was not as easy. The easiest way would probably be to take a water taxi to the cruise ship terminal but we are strong bodied and cheap, so we walked across the bridge to the people mover (one euro). While the people mover took us closer to the ship, we still had a ten to fifteen minute walk (with our luggage) to get to the cruise ship terminal. However, once in the terminal (after 10:00), RCI moved us through very quickly and efficiently. Once on-board we enjoyed the buffet and toured the ship. We had never been on the Splendour before. Our favorite ship is the Radiance size and the Splendour felt small to us. In several places it felt congested and crowded, specifically in the Windjammer and several areas around the Centrum. The food on the ship was good, although often uninspired. The variety of dishes offered was fair to good but not as broad as we have found on other ships. The had a theme in the Windjammer quite often; I especially enjoyed Indian night. The gym was very small but the steam and sauna were one of the best maintained I've ever experienced. The entertainment was overall very poor, pathetic magicians. The two worthy guest entertainers I will need to add later (I hope I can edit this). We were docked in Venice overnight, so we headed into Venice. Some other folks we had meet on Cruise Critic went with us to Venice, the Story (a multimedia play). It was fun and we recommend it. The ports of call made this cruise the wonderful event it was. Our favorites were Kusadasi and Split. In Kusadasi we had booked a private tour with MilaTour (recommended by Rick Steves) and toured Ephesus including the Terrace Houses. If you ever get the chance you must go! In Split we booked a ship excursion to Krka National Park. This was extraordinary. We booked this on-board because it is quite a long drive. The roads were very good and I'm not sure if we were to do it again we wouldn't book a private tour and have more control over our time. The drive was about two hours and we spent about three and a half hours at the park. We would have enjoyed a private tour and gone to other sections of the park. The views were stunning and everyone who sees our pictures is impressed. Overall, I highly recommend the cruise because of the ports but the ship itself is not one that I think I would book again. There are so many other RCI ships that we enjoy more. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
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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