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464 Splendour of the Seas Cruise Reviews

Although I had cruised with Disney Cruise Line before, to me, this was my first cruise. The purpose of this vacation was to celebrate the completion of my MBA at 42 years old. In general, the experience was superb. We visited 8 ports of ... Read More
Although I had cruised with Disney Cruise Line before, to me, this was my first cruise. The purpose of this vacation was to celebrate the completion of my MBA at 42 years old. In general, the experience was superb. We visited 8 ports of call and I can write a book about each of them. All of it positive. The crew on the ship was amazing - in general, this experience was one of a kind and one that I will remmeber forever. Due to a restricted budget, I only took 3 shore excursions, Athens, Santorini and Ephesus. I wish I would have been able to take more excursions, however, I cherished the time spent walking around on my own. The ship had lots of entertainment, great music and drinks - dinner every night (late dinner) was fabulous and we met wonderful people from Switzerland. I believe we made friends for life. This cruise is well recommended to anyone that is looking forward to see other cultures and experience what life was in the past - the highlight of it for me was to walk in Ephesus, in the Virgin's Mary home... it is a blessing to be able to walk those precious path that carry so much meaning to me. I took a private tour for this portion of the trip, it was same money than the cruise shore excursion but with just 4 people... It was worth it as we even had lunch in typical Turkish restaurant. The company is Ekol Travel - they were wonderful. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We started off our trip with 2 day Pre-cruise stay in Venice. We stayed at the Plaza Bembo, which placed us walking distance to many shops, eateries and sites. We had to take the water taxi to the hotel. PROS: Nice hotel with ... Read More
We started off our trip with 2 day Pre-cruise stay in Venice. We stayed at the Plaza Bembo, which placed us walking distance to many shops, eateries and sites. We had to take the water taxi to the hotel. PROS: Nice hotel with beautiful views and rooms. Breakfast buffet nice, but only pastries, cold meats/cheese and juice. Location is good for walking around and close to vaparetto station. CONS: No one to help us with our luggage. We traveled with my Mom who is 75+ and she has a bit of trouble walking up stairs. This hotel is located on the third floor of a building with other businesses on the first and and second floor. The Lift is small and slow. It was either us or our bags at a time, as the Lift could hold both. So it took a while to get our luggage up top and then we had to get it to our rooms. No porters or help with luggage at all. Getting the luggage back down the stairs and to the Vap again 2 days later was just as tiring. Nice hotel, but I won't do this again. The cruise itself was great and the ports of call wonderful. What we really enjoyed was that this was a Member's Cruise and offered lots of great amenities for C & A members. We are Diamond Plus and received really nice logo gifts each day, free jewelry classes and they gave us a free excursion on our day in Ephesus. The only negative thing was that the Splendor of the Seas is old and in need of a dry dock. I do believe it is scheduled for one. Hopefully they will update it and add a few specialty restaurants. PORTS: Venice--Love the Gelato! We took the Vap to Burano and Murano. Prices for souvenirs we a lot less in Burano. It was such a nice city, not as crowded and overrun like Venice. We stopped for lunch at a nice family-owned restaurant, where the lasagna was the best I've ever eaten. Yummy! Kotor--Nice, we walked around the Fort and shopped at the stores and boutiques. Athens--Okay, we've been here a few times. Went took a cab and went shopping by the Acropolis. We even took time to have a nice Greek lunch...it was delicious. Kusadasi--We toured the city of Ephesus and enjoyed a nice lunch at the Paradise Bay Resort. It was a nice place and the tour was great. Bodrum--This was our first time in Bodrum, Turkey. Not much to do but walk around and shop. We didn't like the way they tried to deceive people with the currency exchange. They tried to say the Euro was same as the USD, which was not correct, therefore we didn't buy much there. Santorini--We like this port. Its one of the nicest Greek lsle. Have to tender here, and ride up the cable car to the top. Mykonos--We really wanted to take the ferry to Delos, but we didn't have enough time before the ship was leaving. Next time we will go straight to the ferry instead of walking around. The ship didn't stay in port long enough to do both. Croatia--We didn't take any excursions...just walked right off the ship and walked around the market square and the pier area. Please note that they wont take Euro in Croatia, only their money...worth a lot less than the Euro. We used the local bank machine and it worked out fine. Disembarkation was quick and uneventful. We had a early 10am flight out of Venice and were able to walk off the ship at 7:30am. We arrived at the airport with plenty of time to make our flight. Overall, this was a wonderful Med Cruise with more ports than any cruise we have been on. Total of 8 ports of call in one cruise. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary and could not find a better cruise/cruise line. The ports were fabulous, and the perfect 10 weather (cloudless), added to the immense enjoyment that we experienced. Ship, food, crew, & dining ... Read More
We celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary and could not find a better cruise/cruise line. The ports were fabulous, and the perfect 10 weather (cloudless), added to the immense enjoyment that we experienced. Ship, food, crew, & dining room staff were top notch. The venues for nighttime enjoyment were plentiful and exciting and it goes with out saying that having the cruise director & his staff involved during the 2 at sea days was quite a bit of fun and very entertaining. We will definately cruise with RCI once again. The only real negative was the price we had to pay to go from the ship to Venice on the 5th & 6th of Sept while we were in port. In order to see as much of Venice that we could, we left the ship at 1 pm on the 5th,and since there was NO transportation provided by RCI UNTIL 4:35 pm, we had to pay for a private water taxi, 26 Euros. That was not fair. Also,taking the 1st shuttle in to Venice on the 6th,(PROVIDED BY RCI) was much too high, $20 PP. & that transportation was, in our opinion, way out of line. One suggestion we would make is that on the days that the tenders are in service, it would behoove one to get up early and get the FIRST tender ticket in to the port thereby maximizing ones time in the port. Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
My sister and I, who have taken over 150 cruises (together or with our spouses) over the years, just returned from a 10 night cruise to the Greek islands out of Venice. We sailed on the RCCL Splendour of the Seas. I had read reviews ... Read More
My sister and I, who have taken over 150 cruises (together or with our spouses) over the years, just returned from a 10 night cruise to the Greek islands out of Venice. We sailed on the RCCL Splendour of the Seas. I had read reviews from others about the state of the ship and knew it would be going into drydock in November for refurbishment. You could see the signs of wear and tear but it has been well maintained so there were no problems. They are apparently adding some additional staterooms and changing the uppermost lounge into two restaurants (Chops and a Japanese restaurant) which will be nice. They are also upgrading the computer system, etc. There was only one dining room and the buffet on this ship, so it will be nice for future cruisers to have more choices. The food in general was okay, but not great. However, the service was excellent throughout the ship. Constantin, the gentleman who seated us in "anytime dining" each night, was gracious, kind and helpful. We had several different waiters, but thought that Awa (pronounced Ava) and Samantha were wonderful and very efficient. Awa always took the time to give advice on the upcoming port and transportation choices, etc. But the most impressive person in the dining room was Hans, the Head Waiter. In all the years we have been cruising, we have never seen a Head Waiter who does more or cares more about his customers. He was constantly moving around the room, taking orders if needed, busing tables, making sure you had everything you needed, and if time permitted, telling a joke or doing a magic trick. We learned that he has been working on cruise lines for 28 years, and that he loves what he does -- you can certainly see that is true. We are leaving on another cruise next week (I know -- two cruises back to back -- but that is the way it worked out this year), but I doubt there will ever be another Head Waiter as efficient, helpful and considerate as Hans! Our room steward was great as well: Oleg began our cruise by making sure he introduced himself, got acquainted with us and our needs, and continued to take excellent care of us and our stateroom. Finally, our favorite bartender was Danielo in the Schooner Bar. What a smile! He and David, the other bartender on duty, were both great and we had one drink before dinner each night to chat and meet our fellow cruisers. We also met and liked Bruno, Drago and Bruno's girlfriend, Marcella. All wonderful people. The ports were all excellent. My sister and I don't usually take tours, and this cruise was no exception. We typically take a taxi around to see the sites, then stop to walk a bit and maybe have lunch, before returning to the ship. In several ports, the cruiseline provided bus transportation into the town area which was nice. In Athens, we had a taxi driver named "Nick the Greek" so if you can find him, you'll be sure to have a great tour and lots of insight into the inner workings of Athens and Greece in general. Just ask for him at the terminal building where all the taxi drivers are. Embarcation was less pleasant than disembarcation which went smoothly. We were required to walk quite a ways from where the water taxis dropped us off (even though we had requested a wheelchair for my sister) to the terminal building. We then asked again for a wheelchair, but there were none to be found. My sister sought and found a chair to wait while I stood in line. I am also handicapped, and was told to stand in a certain shorter line, but still had to wait about 45 minutes for them to take care of just a few passengers. When we got on, we suggested that they create a separate line for handicapped people, since we had people on crutches, with casts on the legs, etc., all standing in that line and waiting. They assured us they would try to make a change. All in all, it was a good cruise, and the ports were fabulous. Personally, I liked Santorini the best -- so picturesque and lovely on top of the mountains. The ride up the mountain was enjoyable and I took several great photos as we were ascending. You can also go up by donkey or even walk if you are ambitious. If you go on this ship soon, please say hello to all of the people I have mentioned, and tell them the recommendation came from one of the two sisters that were traveling together! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
We had previoulsy sailed on the Legend of The Seas so knew exactly what to expect from its sister ship The Splendour. We choose our cruises based on the itinerary rather than the ship as we have found regardless of the ships facilities we ... Read More
We had previoulsy sailed on the Legend of The Seas so knew exactly what to expect from its sister ship The Splendour. We choose our cruises based on the itinerary rather than the ship as we have found regardless of the ships facilities we spend most of our time either exploring ports or lying on a sun lounger on sea days. Embarkation was painless, we arrived at 1600 and were in our room by 1630 with our bags delivered 20 mins later. Disembarkation was the same - went to our assigned lounge at 0835 and were off by 0850. The Splendour is due a refit next month and I hope they update the style of the cabins as while they are perfectly functional the decor is out dated and a little dreary. The ship is in good condition by enlarge and is very clean, however towards the end of the cruise many of the pieces of equipment in the gym were out of order and there were a lot of sun loungers with broken straps. We found the food to be of the normal standard expected on RCI ships (better than Princess imo), the food in the Windjammer was of decent quality if a little repetitive. Where possible we ate in the dining room for breakfast/brunch and lunch which we enjoyed much more as it is a less chaotic environment. Food in the King & I dining room was good aswell but I felt the menu was a little over complicated at times with there being numerous occassions where I and many table mates reverted to the 'safe menu' of chicken or steak. All staff we encountered were pleasant and helpful, we arent the most demanding of passengers and treat the crew as we like to be treated so we had no problems. Entertainment wise we found the 'guest' acts to be excellent - excluding the magic act which was brutal, and the acts by the ships dancers to be poor. Cruise Director (such a over elaborated title) was fine - loved himself but in my experience they all seem to be huge fans of themselves regardless of how good or bad they are at the job. Despite other comments in the reviews we found the price of alchol to be as expected and cheaper than what we would pay in a city bar or nightclub, perhaps this is relavtive to where you come from etc. Cocktail of the day for example was $5.95 + 15%. We choose not to do any excursions through RCI as we generally find the price of them to be exorbent and involve spending too long sitting on a coach or being brought to shops etc that we have no interest in visiting. Normally we book excursions independantly but on this occassion all ports were DIY'able (Venice, Kotor, Kusadasi, Bodrum, Santorini, Mykonos & Split...no point reviewing these as the ship is going to South America shortly). We had a terrific time and would have no hesitation in sailing on The Splendour again, just bear in mind the size of the ship prior to booking....if the ship is the destination for your holiday then this may not be the one for you as it lacks the facilities of other larger class ships. Cant understand some of the other reviews being so negative, perhaps expectations set too high - this is RCI not Cunard or Oceania and service levels vary accordingly as does price!! Read Less
Sail Date September 2011
Check went very well as did the flight transfers, full marks for that and we were on board by 1pm. Don't let your travel agent advise you to lett RC book your flights, they manage to get you on the mos inconvenient flight from the ... Read More
Check went very well as did the flight transfers, full marks for that and we were on board by 1pm. Don't let your travel agent advise you to lett RC book your flights, they manage to get you on the mos inconvenient flight from the most inconvenient airport however! The ship is tired, and due a refit, but that aside some good and bad points... Dining room service was great, but food was unimaginative, sometimes tepid by the time it got to you. We can't think of one memorable meal. Very uninspiring and very disappointing. I was even compelled to order the Fillet for a surplus payment of 15 dollars and frankly a hamburger from MacDonalds would have been more enjoyable. The drinks menu across the whole of the ship was fine, and priced pretty much like an other cruise line however, if you try and order a drink from the staff in the main theatre or the Top Hat lounge be prepared for a long wait. This is the only cruise ship that we had to go look for a waiter! Normally they swamp you , but not on this ship. Why? Essentially this smaller vessel is over crowded, some 2200 passengers, and poor front of house ratio of staff to passengers. This was very evident when it came to sea days, again this is the only cruise where we had to work hard to get a sun deck chair. Interestingly the next class of ship in RC is bigger but has the same number of passengers as Splendour. We had booked a Grand Suite, the room was a bit tired, but clean and cabin steward was excellent, a nothing to much effort attitude. The big snag was GS are on deck 8, just below open deck 9. Late at night, the staff move all the chairs and tables around and you hear every bang, thump and screeched as the furniture is dragged across the deck. Have an extra drink to help you sleep through it! -:) On a positive note...other cruise critics had suggested the Pursers office staff were unhelpful, in fact we found them terrific. Our dining staff were fun and should take no responsibility for the dull food. The itinerary was stunning, a must do for cruisers. The Spa and Gym are small, but service fine. The evening entertainment is mixed, the outside guest appearances were original and fun, the in house production team, well, we have seen better. But a the end of that day, we didn't let any of the negatives affect what was a good break with some great destinations. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We recently returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas leaving from Venice, Italy. Our ports on the eleven day cruise were Croatia, Athens and the Greek Islands. The staff of Splendour were beyond fantastic! Every single ... Read More
We recently returned from sailing on the Splendour Of The Seas leaving from Venice, Italy. Our ports on the eleven day cruise were Croatia, Athens and the Greek Islands. The staff of Splendour were beyond fantastic! Every single person we encountered were friendly and very helpful. The ship was extremely clean and organized. I had read it was somewhat old and looking it's age but we saw virtually no evidence of this. We had selected the 6:30pm dinner time but really only ate in the King and I dining room a couple of times preferring the Buffet. After sightseeing all day we were pushed to get back to the ship and cleaned up by 6:30pm. The buffet allowed us to eat when it was convenient for us. The food was very good and there was a large selection to choose from. We always sat in the same section because our waiter Nickson was wonderful and such a pleasure to talk to. Everything on Splendour ran very smoothly and the staff had customer service in place like none other. I would highly Royal Caribbean and we will definitely sail with them again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Having read a number of reviews we were a little worried about our trip on Splendour of the Seas but having returned I was wondering if I had been reading about a different ship. We did the Greek Isles and Turkey cruise with a selection of ... Read More
Having read a number of reviews we were a little worried about our trip on Splendour of the Seas but having returned I was wondering if I had been reading about a different ship. We did the Greek Isles and Turkey cruise with a selection of excellent stops. We booked our own flights to Venice from Dublin and thankfully had done a bit of research on how to go from the airport to Venice then onto the terminal. We took the bus at �5 each to the Plaza Roma then put our luggage into the left luggage in the square which is beside the people mover as we were there very early. We had read there was a transfer bus but couldn't find it. We used the "People Mover" which is a tram system from the square to the terminal. One piece of advice is to push your luggage under the barrier before you scan your ticket (�1) as the barrier closes very quickly. When we got off at the other end there was a Royal Caribbean courtesy bus to take us the short distance to the ship. We walked it on the way back to the people mover and it only took six minutes. Once on board we were surprised how nice it was and how friendly the crew were. We had booked an outside state room with a drop down Pullman bed for our daughter which I could have comfortably slept in. We went for a walk around the ship and could see very little wrong with the ship apart from some of the chairs etc and I mean very few which had seen better days. Going out of Venice was lovely as you move so slowly to the open sea and from then until the end it was a fantastic holiday. I think Kotor in Montengro was my favourite port as it was so scenic and friendly. The only port we used an organised trip was Athens as there was a taxi strike but everywhere else we did our own thing at a fraction of the cost of the RCL trips. The onboard entertainment was very good but don't be expecting a Broadway show. They also filmed some of the shows which you were able to watch on your cabin TV. The food was of a very high standard as was the service. We went for the 6.30pm sitting which was ideal and although there were supposed to be three formal nights it wasn't rigidly enforced. The buffet style dining in the Windjammer was also very good and we used it one night when we decided not to use the King & I dining room. If you were up early enough you could also get breakfast in the main dining room when you got tea, coffee etc served at the table. As I said before it was a brilliant holiday but one of my main complaints would be the additional 15% which is added to every drink bought at the bar on prices which were already dear enough to start with. We also avoided buying of the wine list as they were quite expensive instead they did offers during the trip at the bars. You were allowed to buy these and take them to the dining room. One other tip is if you dock at the new port in Mykonos and use the RCL bus they charge $10 return to the town but the local bus which stops right beside the ship is �3.20 return. Another plus point was that as we were getting an early flight back from Venice we were able to hold onto our luggage on the last night walked off ten minutes after we docked leaving us plenty of time to get to the airport.All in all a great holiday and would have no hesitation travelling with RCL again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We had a 10 night cruise on Splendour and contrary to what we had read we had a fabulous time. The food was excellent in both the Windjammer and the King and I, One night our steak was not cooked as we had asked and they changed it ... Read More
We had a 10 night cruise on Splendour and contrary to what we had read we had a fabulous time. The food was excellent in both the Windjammer and the King and I, One night our steak was not cooked as we had asked and they changed it immediately. We had complimentary laundry as a waiter accidently dripped some water onto my husbamnds trousers. It was nothing but we had 10 items cleaned ans pressed. (Great) The ports of call were fabulous. we looked up how to do Athens by bus and train and got to the Acropolis there and bach for 2Euros 40 cents, then 12 Euros to go in. Well worth the climb a breathtaking view.Mykonos and Santorini were fantastic Islands. I would recommend anyone to go. The whole trip ran smoothly getting on and off the ship was a breeze. Yes it is looking a little tired around the edges but they are sending it for re-furbishment later in the year so that should take care of any little things. We still found it very clean and a tidy ship. Overall we had a fabulous time and we would recommend this cruise highly. Enjoy if you go. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
A bit of background first We have done 4 cruises now, first time with Royal Caribbean all other cruises were with Ocean Village, which we loved, so we can only compare with one other cruise line that sadly does not exist now. We are ... Read More
A bit of background first We have done 4 cruises now, first time with Royal Caribbean all other cruises were with Ocean Village, which we loved, so we can only compare with one other cruise line that sadly does not exist now. We are both in our 50's, not into dancing the night away or drinking lots. Go on cruises to visit a variety of countries and like the ease of unpacking just once. We had a lovely time with RC and the ports of call have been great, this is just a diary of what we did and how we felt about our holiday. Would we return to RC, maybe, maybe not, might try other companies as well. East Med Itinerary August 2011 Sunday 14th Aug-Packed in the morning and set off at 2pm, on the way saw a car catch fire-one of the most awful things I have ever seen! As the lady pulled over to the hard shoulder the flames engulfed the car, I couldn't look, hubbie said she and a young girl got out safely. Then an accident on jun. 5-6 of M25 slowed us down. Arrived at APH by 3,30ish the on bus to North Terminal to Sofitel Hotel, relaxed. Out to Easyjet in evening to book priority boarding as I was fretting about getting pushed etc. when getting on plane. Ate at Giraffe (lamb burger & BBQ chicken wrap) picked up stuff for breakfast juice and pastries back to room by 7.30pm. Arranging to get up at 5.30am. Monday 15th Aug- Very hot & sunny/no wind. Travel to Venice, Slept ok was up at 5am, boarded plane at 8.50am that went ok. Arrived Venice at 11.30am (hour ahead) onto coach and processed onto ship, needed more people showing you where to go-no one there just followed other passengers! Fairly quick processing then went to cabin and onto Windjammer for some lunch. Decided to set off into Venice at 2pm, still no cases, but had change of clothes in hand luggage so changed and set off. RC were running a shuttle boat after 4pm till 10pm at $20 each, but we went to the people mover and onto the vaperettos (18 Euros each for a 24hr pass)as we have used these before. Got off at Academia stop and wandered the back streets then over to St Marks Square & walked to Rialto bridge, was going to wait for darkness (photo would have been nice) but sun very late setting and we were very tired after early start. Got back to ship 7pm approx, so had missed our first night of dining (our time was 6.30pm!) so went to Windjammers after a shower and then to the 42nd Street Theatre for "Welcome Aboard show" at 8.15pm, lots on Italians onboard-show was poor, included shadow puppetry which I haven't seen for years, was a little old hat, too much talking about what was happening during the week etc, very little "entertainment". No one serving drinks before or during show. Walked around top deck before back to cabin 10pm-knackered! Tuesday 16th Aug-Very hot & sunny/no wind. Half day Venice. Up at 7am, awake at 6am! Had breakfast then walked to people mover & vaperettos (had a 24hr ticket) 8.30 ish up to St Marks Square, lovely and quiet. Queues already at Basilica, but we had pre-booked online (1euro) also pre-booked Doges Palace tickets too (made good use of our limited time) so after a quick rekkie of entrances we entered the Basilica (opens around 9.45am)-a little disappointed, lots of gold but dull & dark. Spent about 20mins in there then onto Doges Palace, again straight in skipping queues. The palace is well worth a visit spent a good 2hrs in here, very pretty and interesting. Headed back to the ship walking some of the back streets, back onboard about 12.30pm, went to eat-so had everyone else! No seats wandered the Windjammer like many other people waiting for a seat, finally got one and there was a BBQ going on outside to so had some meat from that-lovely-watched sail away, great atmosphere lots of dancing & singing, once out of Venice we had a lifeboat drill, took ages as some people were missing, strange we didn't have to wear our life jackets, on our others cruises we had to put them on. Relaxed on deck 4 before returning to cabin to get ready for 1st formal night. The evening was lovely, great company on our table although Hubbie hated wearing tux in such hot weather! He changed straight after dinner then we watched "Soul Satisfaction" in theatre-very good. Two shows one at 7.15pm and one at 9.15pm. Again only about 2 staff serving drinks before show and no one during show-missed getting a drink. Returned to cabin 10.20pm and to find a towel rabbit on bed-pretty. Wednesday 17th Aug- Very hot. Half day Kotor. Up around 7.45am, leisurely start, do miss not having kettle/coffee in room. Hubbie not feeling well, bad stomach cramps, I had breakfast then onto top deck for photos as we sailed in to Kotor-very nice-Hubbie came on trip as it was too late to cancel & we would lose our money unless he visited doctor, so he struggled on. At 12.30pm met in Top Hat for tender in, travelled to Budva (approx half hour) had a short guided tour and time to wander before returning to Kotor. Had another guided tour of Kotor checking out the Maritime museum and churches. Hubbie really struggling so headed back to ship soon after tour finished. Went to Windjammers at 5.25pm found out it closes at 5.30pm and doesn't re-open till 7pm! So didn't get anything to eat, other people moaning at staff. Went to cabin to relax as very hot, went back to Windjammers at 7pm so Hubbie could choose what he wanted, as stomach still unsettled. Then onto top deck to watch sailing out & sun setting, nice & quiet very enjoyable. There was one show tonight but we did not go, it was the incredible world of magic and illusions at 8.15pm. Coffee then bed around 10.30pm. Thursday 18th Aug- Hot & sunny Day at Sea. Awake at 8.15am, although watches go forward one hour so it was 9.15am. Went to shower while Hubbie went to find sunbeds, no water pressure/no shower! So joined Hubbie on deck, Windjammers very busy for breakfast, a few arguments over sunbeds during the day too, people taking other peoples while they were off eating or whatever. Stayed on deck till 4pm before getting ready for 2nd formal night in the King & I. Evening meal okay-lobster sauce, duck/beef some portions were very small, others were enormous, didn't make any sense. Saw a bird resting on the ships railings, must have been tired. The entertainment in the 42nd Street was a violinist string virtuoso Vincenzo Gentile, it seemed a little strange and a lot of people walked out. We stayed and enjoyed it even though we are not into the classics/orchestras, a few more staff tonight serving-so got a drink early! Two shows tonight one 9.15pm the other 11.00pm. Booked the Athens museum trip tonight, they were not running the transfer to Athens on your own or we may have done that. Noticed all food places closed by 9.30pm, think you could get burgers/chips etc in Solarium, or room service I suppose-just not used to using room service, Hubbie wanted cheese & crackers/coffee but didn't bother. Friday 19th Aug- Extremely hot/sunny. Athens. Awake at 6.30am, had breakfast in King & I, strange arrangement so much space not being used, we were just using one side of the dining room. Onto our tour of Athens museum & the Plaka, spent about 1 ½ hours at the museum, I really enjoyed it. Then a quick drive around the sites of the city(we had done Athens 2 years ago) before getting ¾ hour shopping time in the Plaka, not long enough really, but got a taste of it-we hadn't visited the museum or the Plaka area before, so would have liked more time to shop! Back to ship by 1.15pm-lunch in Windjammer, not too busy today, but Hubbie complained about a dirty glass he had (he never saw it at first, I pointed it out). Phoned Mum & then sun bathed till 5pm. Left Athens a bit late, casual dress for dinner tonight, had a lovely brie & asparagus tart, crab/shrimp salad and a trio choc dessert. In evening watched "The Adjustment Bureau" in 42nd Street at 8.15pm, quality not great but okay, strange no staff in serving/offering drinks. Cabin & coffee (we were on the same floor as the coffee shop so got it on the way back to cabin) There was a monkey towel in room-very nice. There was no show till 10.45pm tonight, too late for me as up early for trip tomorrow. Saturday 20th Aug- Very, Very Hot! Kusadasi. Awake 7am, trip to Ephesus started at 9.15am. Have been to Ephesus 2 years ago, but not done terraced houses. Ephesus is still wonderful, a marvellous site and the terraced houses did not disappoint! We didn't go to the craft exhibit at the end of the tour, just told guide we wanted to go off on our own into Kusadasi town. Wandered towards Pigeon Island, found somewhere to have a drink & snack on the way, it was a lovely walk although extremely hot! Back to ship about 3pm, had a drink & went to the jacuzzi to cool down & relax, thought the pools were a little small for swimming in although I am not a great swimmer. Hubbie not feeling great again today, he had a constant running nose, wasn't sure if it was a cold or "hay fever" type thing! Relaxed back in cabin as too hot outside, before dinner at 6.30pm, casual night again. Then went to the show at 9.15pm "Dancing Thru the Movies Show"-very good, there was another showing at 11.00pm. Back to cabin about 10.30pm. Sunday 21st Aug- Extremely hot! Bodrum. We were going to lie in but I woke at 7am and we were walking in to Bodrum by 9.15am. We had found out a shuttle boat (not run by the ship) would be running from port to town but we couldn't find it-later found out we were too early! And looks like it only runs once every few hours. Walked to the castle, they only take lira for entrance fee so Hubbie found an ATM to get some, did wonder afterwards if they would except a credit card-but too late-Castle well worth a visit, it took a good few hours to wander around and had some lovely views. Tracked the shuttle boat to the nearby harbour, but next one wasn't for near 2hrs, had just missed one! So after a drink of cold beer we walked backed to the ship slowly, a delicious cake helped me along the way. Back in cabin around 3pm, Hubbie still not feeling great, felt very hot so relaxed in cabin had coffee/cookie mid afternoon. Down to dinner at 6.30pm, the waiters sung to us tonight, very enjoyable. We did not go to the show tonight it was Mario D'Andrea guitarist entertainer, there were two shows one at 9.15pm and the other 11.00pm. Watched the sun go down and back to cabin as tour starts at 7.15am tomorrow and Hubbie not feeling well! Monday 22nd Aug- Hot & sunny Santorini. Arranged to have room service breakfast as Windjammers does not open till 6.30am and felt it would be too rushed for us. Although we couldn't have cooked breakfast as not available till 6.30am! As it was, we never got it till 6.30am and we got the cooked breakfast, plus fruit instead of a fruit yogurt-but it was enjoyable-and we had been able to shower etc while waiting. Onto tender just as the sun was rising over Santorini, beautiful. We visited Oia first, pretty little village then on to Santo winery, another enjoyable place and to see the local farmers bringing their grapes in to the winery was great, we even got to try some of the wines (liked the dessert wine best!) with nibbles as part of our trip. Then it was on to Fifa the main town, where the guide left us to wander and enjoy this beautiful place. Had a drink in a cafe overlooking the bay and wandered the many shops before heading to the cable cars, only 2 ships in so the queue was short, the cable cars travel very fast! We were ready to return to the ship about 2.30pm & get a drink and something to eat. A few hours relaxing on deck & enjoying the view before dinner at 6.30pm. Then it was the "Ballroom/Musical Show" in the theatre at 9.15pm, it was also on at 11.00pm. Bed at 10.30pm. Tuesday 23rd Aug-Very windy/hot & sunny Mykonos. Slept soundly, up at 7am, slowly got ready. We would have tendered in today, but the captain had got a mooring as the wind was really bad and thought tendering would be dangerous. I think this happens a lot; it does not say on their itinerary about strong winds and we may not tender though, and as the dock is a fair distance from the town (no path to walk on either) they run buses for passengers, but, it costs $10 each! For as many trips as you want, I felt that was very expensive, especially as if we had tendered it would have been free, alright the waves were bad but it was another expense we were not expecting. Mykonos is ALWAYS windy so it's something to be aware of. Think a Thomson ship didn't stay as they felt it was too rough so their passengers didn't even get off their ship, so it's difficult to argue the toss, just felt it was very expensive for the shuttle buses. Mykonos is not very big and is easily walked once there, we walked to the windmills and around the pretty streets, popping our heads into a couple of small churches on the way. Sadly did not see the pelican, although some fellow passengers saw him later in the day. Back to the ship late morning for coffee on a very windy deck! Tried to find a spot out of the wind for a bit of sunbathing but was not easy to do. Got very red-think more wind burn than sun burn! Dinner at 6.30pm, waiters sang again tonight. Then at 9.15pm we watched the "Crazyeehorse Show" very good acrobats, very supple! The same show was also on at 7.15pm. Bed around 10.30pm. Wednesday 24th Aug- Warm/sunny Day at Sea. Awake just before 8am. Hubbies lip had swollen up overnight, he is never usually ill can't understand what's causing his problems-is it a cold or reaction to the sun/heat. While he visited the doctor I watched the towel animals demo, it was good fun and hopefully I can try one or two. Hubbie got some balm for his lip, doctor had nothing else she could give & she wasn't sure what was the cause, so, we decided to stay out of the sun and next tried our hand at napkin folding, Hubbie was the only man there but again it was a laugh and I very proudly made a bird of paradise, a rose, a boot plus a few others, for both the towel & napkin folding we were given leaflets to take home. The crew did a parade of flags on the pool deck so we watched that in the shade before having lunch in Windjammers. Hubbie found a shady spot & watched the crew vs. passengers volleyball while I took a dip in the Solarium jacuzzi, tried the pool in the Solarium but it was very cold! Later in the afternoon met up for a coffee before getting ready for formal night number 3, this time Steve on our dinner table was not feeling well but he got through dinner before returning to his cabin. While Hubbie went to change after dinner I watched the sun going down and to my surprise saw dolphins (approx 15) cross in front of the ship, other passengers saw them too and we were all very excited, just a fantastic memory-wished Hubbie had seen it to. Went to 42nd Street theatre to watch "Abba Max" show at 9.15pm, that was a good hearty sing along show. The same show was on at 7.15pm too. Back to cabin, had to put watches back one hour. Thursday 25th Aug- Very hot & sunny Split. Awake at 6.30am and got ready-doing our own thing today so no rush. Walked in to Split old town, about 10 mins. all flat. A lovely town with lots of old character, walked to the main square & went into tourist office, they had a mapped walking tour we could do on our own, or with a guide so we gave it a try on our own. Well worth getting the free map to help make the most of the town. Very hot top end of the 90's found some shade half way round & phoned Mum, Hubbie changed some money to Kuna so we could get something to eat & I could visit the cathedral, don't seem to like Euros. Had a lovely lunch of strudel and iced coffee before buying gifts for family back home, once we finished our wanderings of the old town came out the Silver Gate to a fruit & veg market, quiet large and certainly worth a wander. Back to the ship before starting to pack some of our things. Dinner at 6.30pm Steve's cold was a little better but his wife had it now, waiters sang to us again, took photos of our waiters and gave out our pre-paid "tip" vouchers-strange they were already assigned to certain members of staff like head waiter, waiter, assistant waiter and room attendant-would have preferred to give nothing to head waiter but couldn't see any other option. Said our goodbyes to staff & fellow passengers before watching our last show in the theatre "Los Pampas Gauchos", very good. Two shows on at 7.15pm other at 9.15pm. Took lemonade (no orange) and some cookies back to room for breakfast, because again we were up early & Windjammers didn't open till 6.30. Put cases out and finished packing most hand luggage. Bed at 10.45pm. Friday 26th Aug- Hot & sunny Returning home. Up at 6.30am but had a restless night. Checked bill that came under door at 6am then got ready to meet in 42nd Street by 7.45am, some left at 7.15am how they would have got on for breakfast I don't know. After picking up our luggage in the terminal had to ask where we went next, no one directing, a walk to the buses waiting with our cases in tow was unexpected, how elderly people manage heavy awkward cases on their own? We were at the airport by 8.45am our flight was not till 12.15pm and we couldn't book our cases in till 10.15am, so sat outside (only place there was a seat) with the smokers till it was time. Once bags checked in joined long queue through security-everyone uses same queue, just had time to go to loo & grab a bottle of water before boarding started at 11.45am, a little late taking off about 12.30pm and a short delay in landing-think it was a heavy rain shower-before picking up car and braving the M25. Back home after very heavy traffic about 4.45pm, had a take-away for tea before crashing in the chair. Positives Ship runs smoother/quieter than OV. Free soft drinks available all day. Room service-if they get it right! Great staff. Itinerary ran on time mostly. Lifts to the different decks were fast. Free ice cream. Food good-could have been better in main dining room. Negatives RC website very difficult to navigate. Cabin smaller, bathroom very small. No kettle or fridge in cabin. Flying Easyjet-luggage limitations lower than most other airlines, plus no seat allocated. Windjammer did not have enough seating for everyone. Formal nights in hot weather. Windjammers not open early enough or for long enough. Transfer to/from airport was not clear; staff were there but only offered help if you asked. Expensive shuttle bus transfer in Mykonos. Smoking in casino-although we never used casino we had to pass through it to get to the theatre sometimes. Entertainment was poor to start with, improved as the week went on. Lack of waiters at beginning of week, improved as week went on. Dining Options Windjammer Breakfasts One day 6.00am -11.00am (Athens) Six days 6.30am-10.30am On sea days 7.30am-11.00am Afternoon arrival in Kotor 7.30am-10.30am Lunch Seven days 12.00 noon-3.00pm Three days 11.30am-3.00pm ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Every evening 7.00pm-9.30pm. (Starboard-not sure if this means starboard side of ship only-half of cafe) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- King & I Breakfasts Three days 7.00am-8.30am Three days 6.30am-8.30am One day 7.30am-9.00am One day 8.00am-9.00am One day 9.30am-1.00pm brunch One day 9.30am-12.30pm brunch -------------------------------------------------------- Dinner 6.30pm-last seating 9.30pm -------------------------------------------------------- Solarium snacks only Four days 5.30am-6.30am One day 5.30am-6.15am Two days 6.00am-7.00am Three days 6.30am-7.30am Two days 11.00am-7.00pm Two days 11.30am-7.00pm One day 1.30pm-7.00pm Two days 2.00pm-7.00pm Four days 3.00pm-7.00pm Ten days 9.30pm-2.00am One day 9.30pm-11.30pm Ten days 3.30pm-5.30pm --------------------------------------------------------- Room Service 24hours listing the open times like this has made me realise how confusing opening hours were, you need to read you cruise compass each day to get the timings of the food places-that was not always possible if you had gone out and not taken it with you. ----------------------------------------------------------- Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
Jet2 flight out of Manchester to Venice was arranged by Ideal Cruising and was efficient at both ends, comfortable and on time. We bought sandwiches and drinks at Boots in Manchester Airport as we use Jet2 often and find this the best ... Read More
Jet2 flight out of Manchester to Venice was arranged by Ideal Cruising and was efficient at both ends, comfortable and on time. We bought sandwiches and drinks at Boots in Manchester Airport as we use Jet2 often and find this the best value. Venice was hot and I was worried about there being no information provided from the agent regarding transfers to our hotel. I've been to Venice several times. so we opted for a water bus as it's the best introduction to Venice, which still charmed me completely, as always. Hated dragging cases through hot streets but husband had checked location of hotel on Google Earth and we found it easily. Unfortunately we had been allocated a room in the annex which was some distance away. The Hotel Torino was booked by the agent and had good reviews and was in an ideal location but the room we got was on the fourth floor with no lift and a terrible smell came from the air conditioning. We went back to the main hotel and complained and were allocated a room on the third floor of the annex which was 'tired' but clean. We had a lovely evening and a meal in a quiet square and slept well. Yet again having to drag cases to the water bus stop in 89 degrees the next morning was exhausting. Embarkation at the port was reasonably efficient and we were delighted with the ship and the inside stateroom on deck 3. The informal buffet lunch was impressive and the variety and quality of food remained good throughout the cruise, although we were appalled at the cost of wine in the dining room. No house wine being available for purchase with the evening meal. All staff were diligent and friendly, particularly our head waiter and room attendant. We did all exploration of the ports of call independently and cheaply. Split in Croatia was charming but we had visited Corfu before and just wanted to remain relaxing on board, Chania in Crete was a great port to wander round but we remained on board on the Athens day as we had already visited the Parthenon and we were enjoying the ship so much. Mykonos was lovely and much smarter than we had found it 8 years ago. We had drinks in a bar right on the water front overlooking Little Venice. A bit expensive but the perfect memorable location. Santorini was by tender which was very efficiently done. We used the modern cable cars to get up the cliff face and took a local bus to the beautiful town of Oia, which is essential as it is the Santorini of our dreams and not the main town which I found disappointing. Unfortunately the queue for the cable cars was too long and we wanted to return to the ship for lunch so we descended by 600 steps. Don't do this! We had to pass over 100 very sad mules and donkeys who are forced to take heartless visitors up and down all day in incredible heat. This depressed me because intelligent young people were using them while most of the middle aged and old folk were appalled by the sight of them obviously suffering. I had spoken to many people to try and discourage them and had some success while others seemed oblivious. We did all exploration of the ports of call independently and cheaply. The last port was Katakolon in Greece, a pleasantly situated small town by which you can visit Olympia. We did this by a modern train for 10 Euros return and the site at Olympia was beautifully situated amongst trees with Columns and ruins. The evenings on board were relaxing and we particularly enjoyed the piano bar where a first class pianist/singer entertained us. We went to 3 shows in the theatre and enjoyed the 2 with the ships own entertainment staff who were excellent. We opted for an early disembarkation because of our flight time and were able to walk off the ship with our luggage after an early breakfast, completely trouble free. The pursers desk gave us helpful information regarding the arrangements. Venice airport was very busy and we queued for some time to drop off our luggage but the airport was classy and we enjoyed the smart shops and bought excellent sandwiches for the flight home which was again comfortable and efficient. We can't wait to sail with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have recently returned from a delightful 10 night Greek cruise on the Splendour of the Seas. We have cruised four times, this was our second time with RCCL. We originally booked a Junior Suite, but after quite a bit of ... Read More
We have recently returned from a delightful 10 night Greek cruise on the Splendour of the Seas. We have cruised four times, this was our second time with RCCL. We originally booked a Junior Suite, but after quite a bit of research on the CC forums, we changed our booking to a Grand Suite (8008). We took a BA flight from Heathrow to Venice. Once we arrived at Venice we were whisked off in a coach to get our first view of the Splendour. As a Londoner, it was a thrill to be in the sun after enduring an appalling summer at home! As suite guests we were shown to a desk to pick up our sea pass cards - there was no queue whatsoever - we saw the queue with what looked like hundreds of people as we passed through to embark. This was the first of many times we were thankful of the suite perks available. We had no idea what time we were allowed into our suite, but we went straight to deck 8 and found our suite to the right of the lifts. I had reservations about the ship as there are more negatives than positives on CC, especially as there are planned refurbished works going ahead in a few months. As we opened the door to the suite, we knew all our reservations and concerns could be forgotten as this was a fantastic suite!!! There were three fluffy towelling robes in the bathroom and two more in the wardrobe, along with three pairs of the 'one size fits all' slippers. The bathroom had plenty of towels for all of us. We found everything to be clean and tidy, with no more wear and tear than would be expected. The balcony was extraordinarily large with three chairs and a table. More than enough wardrobes, drawers and hangers for the three of us. As we were leaving the suite to look around the ship we met George, our stateroom attendant. He is such a lovely chap, friendly and professional and he will be the person I will miss most now we are home as everything was perfect each time we went back into the suite! Each night we all had chocolates on our pillows. A bowl of fruit and a complimentary large bottle of Evian water was left for us. Another day a cheese plate was on the counter. The next day a bottle of champagne. My daughter loved the cookies that she found that had been left for her on another afternoon. Walking around the ship I kept wondering how so many people found fault with it. I could see no more wear and tear than we did with the Brilliance last year. One does not expect the ship to look as if it's just come out of refurbishment as you step on as people are using it. Each time we were in a port something was being painted somewhere inside and out. The cleaning was a continual job. The only mess that could be found was what was left by diners in the Windjammer - it does amaze me how much food and mess each guest can pile up in such a short space of time! Once we had finished with the Muster Drill (which coming from a grey and colder climate was almost unbearable in the Venice sunshine) we went to our suite and unpacked and started our holiday! For a smaller ship, we were surprised at the larger swimming pool compared to the Brilliance. It was at this point we all decided we preferred this ship to last year. The overall feel of the ship was more to our liking. The Brilliance (in our opinion) was a small ship trying to be bigger. The Splendour was just perfect for us. Apart from sea days around the pool (which is crowded on most ships), we never felt crowded. After a fun afternoon we got ready and went to dinner. After last year crammed into an ocean view stateroom, the space in the suite was fantastic. At allowed my daughter and husband privacy from one another. Much better than last year where one of them always seemed to be in the bathroom!!! We had booked MTD and after many attempts (the RCCL website is sometimes slow and unresponsive) we booked dinner on a table on our own for 7.30pm each night. Booking a set time each night in advance was much better than last year where we just had MTD and tried to get a table for a particular time each night. This year there were nights when we wanted to eat later and as we already had a table booked for 7.30 there seemed more flexibility. We chose to sit on our own as we like to eat at our own pace and sharing a table sometimes means rushing or waiting when we do not want to. In addition to this, some nights this was the only time we saw our daughter! We had a lovely table and found the dining staff to be attentive, humorous and friendly. Again we preferred every aspect of the dining experience on the Splendour compared to the Brilliance. Some posts had made us nervous as the suites are under the Windjammer / pool deck and there were complaints of chairs scraping noises etc. I am VERY noise sensitive and cherish peace and quiet. Apart from the white night / pool party evening (a late night for everyone and noise ended at 1am, which was to be expected), we did not notice any night time noise whatsoever. By the time we went to bed, the sea was the noisiest thing out there. Every morning I woke to see the sunrise (so beautiful it moved me nearly to tears some mornings) and was on our balcony (so handy having the Windjammer and pool deck above, so I could nip up for a coffee and sneak it onto the balcony without making it in the room and waking up my husband and daughter). In the mornings there was a certain amount of noise but not so much if you were in the room with the balcony door closed. It never woke my husband or daughter once. We ate every night in the MDR. We ate lunch every day in the Windjammer. One can always find something to eat in the Windjammer, a table is usually the hardest thing to find. For lunch the food is great, we do not like buffet evening meals, so could not pass comment as to what they serve as we did not see. Other guests we spoke to had tried there for dinner and had not liked it. But that is their opinion. I like peace and quiet for breakfast, but our daughter loves the hustle and bustle of the Windjammer, so we did have a lot of breakfasts there. The whole idea of grabbing food and waiting for each other to arrive back so we can eat together is not for me. I don't like hot food going cold, so each time we had breakfast there I ate the cold choices. One morning we tried the MDR for breakfast. My husband had French toast, which he said was far better than the Windjammer and even my daughter had to admit that the hot food was better in the MDR. A few mornings I got my own way and had breakfast on our balcony - now THAT was five star. As suite guests you can order anything from the MDR menu as long as the MDR is open at the time. My husband said the eggs Benedict was superb and I had a mushroom omelette on one occasion that was simply perfect. Each time the food and drinks were perfect and as ordered and nearly to the minute on time. Very early on we met with Rahim, our concierge who was such a nice man. This was to be his last cruise on the Splendour as he has been promoted to one of the two concierges on the Allure. We took advantage of the concierge lounge before dinner and was thrilled when we had a galley tour in a small group and a bridge tour on our own. My daughter and I also went on a behind the scenes tour of the stage and dressing areas, which we also enjoyed. The priority tender was handy as was the personal escort off the ship on the last day. Basically no queuing as a Brit is always a bonus. The other perk we liked was the guarantee of seats in the main theatre. We seemed to be constantly rushing everywhere, so at least we knew we could get into the theatre just before the performance and we would get a seat together. People started to take their seat half an hour before the show started and at that time we were still eating. We preferred the entertainment staff on the Brilliance as we had the pleasure of Gordon and Cuddy. This year the Gaucho and Crazeehorse acts were terrific. My only complaint on this holiday was with the excursion department as there was a terrible mix up on our last port day and our trip was cancelled and not only were we not advised but nearly ended up in a winery rather than a beach trip! We found this cruise to be one our favourite holidays and cannot wait to book our next one. But as they say - one you go Grand Suite - you never go back!! Read Less
Sail Date August 2011
We have cruised before, with My Travel and Thomson - never had any issues with them. This was our first cruise with RCI. Only booked it coz of the ports of call, not the cruise company. The ship itself is fantastic and so are the ... Read More
We have cruised before, with My Travel and Thomson - never had any issues with them. This was our first cruise with RCI. Only booked it coz of the ports of call, not the cruise company. The ship itself is fantastic and so are the majority of the crew - the issue we had is with RCI themselves... Our biggest complaint would be about the cost of drinks - $8 for a pint of lager, which included a 15% gratuity, cheapest bottle of wine? White Zinfandel - in Tesco £5, on this ship $31 plus 15% gratuity. They put a 15% gratuity on everything you purchase! RCI are a complete rip-off!! Why don't they do an all inclusive drinks package on all ships? We later found out that the 15% gratuity actually forms part of your server's wage... If they don't meet their target then all RCI pay them is $50 a month, I know they get free bed and board but.... We pre-paid our tips (£70 EACH!), thinking we'd get vouchers to tip who we wanted... Oh no, they are for the cabin cleaner and the head waiter, waiter and assistant waiter of the formal dining room (would they really get £140 in tips between the 4 of them? Doubt it) - we only went there 3 times coz the food was terrible, on the times we did go (coz we felt we should and the menu looked ok), the food was luke warm and not much of it - so why would we tip the waiters that we barely knew? Breakfast in there was just as bad. Obviously we gave them the vouchers as we had already paid for them. My advice, aside from don't cruise with RCI? Don't pre-pay the tips and when you get onboard, go straight to the pursers desk and tell them to the remove the daily tip charges for all people in your cabin - they will add a daily charge of $11.25 pp if you haven't prepaid tips. If you do this, at least then you can tip who you want and how much you want - lessons learned there for us. If we had known we could do this, then we would have done. We ate mainly in the Windjammer Restaurant where food varied every day and was hot - breakfast was great in there too! It's buffet style for breakfast and dinner but that didn't bother us. The shower wasn't great - no water pressure and a shower curtain 3 inches too short, so the bathroom flooded every night. Other than that the room was great and our cleaner, Ron, was brill - used to make us animals out of towels... If this had been our first cruise, it would probably put us off doing another one. We have one booked for later this year - not with RCI!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
The first day was embarkment in the Venice port. It was smooth but there was some wait. But all in all I thought fine. It did take 6 hours to get my luggage and I had jet-lag and wanted to go to bed. We then wondered the ship and were very ... Read More
The first day was embarkment in the Venice port. It was smooth but there was some wait. But all in all I thought fine. It did take 6 hours to get my luggage and I had jet-lag and wanted to go to bed. We then wondered the ship and were very excited. Our cabin was very clean and spacious enough for me and my daughter. Our stateroom attendant Robert was Excellent!! We then went out exploring Venice. Absolutely breathtaking (teared up). The next port I believe was Montenegro where we walked up the hill 1350 steps I heard someone say. It is a breathtaking town of stone and narrow streets, we loved it!! Back on the ship for dinner. I thought the food was fantastic on the ship. Next we travelled to Turkey, Greece and Croatia. Athens was not overly impressive as everyone at our 630 dining time thought as well as myself. I would book a private tour here and go on your own on your own time. Santorini and Mykonos were unbelievably beautiful. Both ports are easy to do on your own. We booked a private tour in Ephesus which we loved. Very lovely in Bodrum as well. It was nice returning to the ship each afternoon as we walked Allloooootttttt!!!!!! The ship personal were always friendly and helpful. I believe the last port was Croatia, Split. I think we were just exhausted by then because we didnt really find anything there that stood out to us. This one I might suggest the ship tours outside the city to their national park. I would do that if I were to do this again, as the town was just ok to us. As far as the Splendor of the Seas ship. I thought it was clean. We never got sea sick. The sleeps were great. I used the gym 3 times and went to a spin class that was really good (and I teach spin)- it was good!! We used the spa and got facials etc. I dont think I would recommend a facial as it was not up to the standards of my city but you never know unless you try it. The buffet was incredible. Great selection of food. I had a coffee each morning at the Seattles Best which is on the ship. Again, the staff was incredible. Our servers in the restaurant went above and beyond their duty and so did our stateroom attendant. The shows were pretty good too. We enjoyed them. One of them even got a standing ovation. All and ALL this was a fantastic cruise with marvelous ports to see. I would highly recommend this!! Trip of a lifetime for us!! Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Our biggest complaint was the cost of drinks. We bought the 7 day wine package in excess of $200+. Then found an additional 15% gratuity was added. To compound this we had pre paid gratuities and found part of this was for our table wine ... Read More
Our biggest complaint was the cost of drinks. We bought the 7 day wine package in excess of $200+. Then found an additional 15% gratuity was added. To compound this we had pre paid gratuities and found part of this was for our table wine waiter!! Thus being charged twice for being served our wine. They put a 15% gratuity on virtually everything you purchase. Over the past few years we have noticed that an extra 15% being added onto virtually everything you purchase. Be careful - RCI standards are slipping and are becoming a rip-off!! We ate on second sitting (9pm) in King and I. Our waiters were excellent BUT service form the kitchens was appalling. It was often 11.15pm before we had finished and by this time many of the evening entertainments were finished. Many nights it was after 10pm before we even had our starter. At least one of our group each night had to send food back because it was only just warm. The Head waiter was a complete waste of time. We asked to see the Maitre'd who tried to fob us off. Eventually we arranged a meeting with a senior officer and things did improve - so it could be done. We ate breakfast and lunch in the Windjammer Restaurant which was buffet style. The choice was wide and varied and the quality was generally very good . Many of us felt it surpassed that offered in the King and I. Embarkation at the start and end of the cruise was excellent and well organised. Apart from the senior dining room staff all other were excellent and very courteous. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
My aunt, mom and I planned this trip to meet my cousin who had been studying abroad in Spain and to see as much as the Mediterranean as possible. This was my mom and I's 4th cruise; however, we have always cruised smaller, older ships ... Read More
My aunt, mom and I planned this trip to meet my cousin who had been studying abroad in Spain and to see as much as the Mediterranean as possible. This was my mom and I's 4th cruise; however, we have always cruised smaller, older ships so I can't compare to the newer, larger ships. We didn't pick the cruise for the ship anyway, but for the ports. The Splendour had a wonderful port schedule with a lot of time in each of the ports. Our sailing was July 3 - July 15. We arrived in Venice 2 days prior to our cruise. Our plane got in at 9 am which was wonderful for avoiding jet lag. We went right to sight seeing by jumping in getting lost in Venice. We really just wondered around town after checking into our hotel the Allogi Barbaria. The hotel is more a B&B and isn't what you'd call a romantic or memorable place to stay. However, it was certainly functional and you couldn't beat the price in Venice (100 Euro a night for 4 of us). The location is nice and off the beaten path so away from the throngs of tourist. More on Venice in our Port Review. We used the Vaparetto to get to the ship on embarkation day. Easiest embarkation ever! I was able to carry my luggage on (one wheeled carry one and one shoulder bag type carry on). We got to the ship around 3:00 and there was no line at all. Right after boarding the ship, we started to encounter what made this cruise special -- THE STAFF! The staff was absolutely fantastic. From our room steward who always had a kind word for us, to the cruise director's staff who we got to know fairly well even though we aren't huge "joiners," to our waitstaff in the main dining room. Our waitress, Vivianna, was truly a joy! In addition to being a genuinely nice person, she did a fantastic job with her recommendations every night for dinner and hints for the port the next day. She even let Lisa practice her Spanish each night - so she was able to learn another accent and dialect. Even the crew who checked us back onto the ship after port days remembered us after the first port. As I mentioned, we like the smaller ships, and that certainly was true on this ship. The pool did get crowded on sea days, but you could always find a deck chair when you needed one. What surprised us was how empty the evening shows were - this was certainly a first for us. We chalked it up to the busy port schedule, but it was still a surprise. The shows were all good - not the big productions I read about on the larger ships, but entertaining and the perfect length for me - about 45 minutes. We attended trivia every night (and were first losers most nights and never the winner). This was a really fun activity and evidently our cruising had a bunch of trivia buffs since we had to move from the Schooner bar up to the Viking Crown and then to the Top Hat because our crowd was so big. I did utilize the fitness center. It was fine for a smaller ship. My only complaint was the temperature- it was warm in the fitness center on the verge of uncomfortable. It was also fairly crowded every time I was in there. I never had to wait, but one of the sea days I was there around 5:00 PM and others had to wait (I got the last elliptical). The track was nice to use, but really only feasible in the morning and evening (I took many walks around it late at night) as there were just too many people and deck chairs during the day. Disembarkation was just as easy as embarkation. We took advantage of the walk off option and did just that....walked right off the ship and to the people mover. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
Just come off an 11 night west med cruise on Splendour of the seas. We booked RCCL as so many friends recommended them and route really appealed to us. On arrival ( ordered taxi from San marco airport to dock for 44euro) very easy ... Read More
Just come off an 11 night west med cruise on Splendour of the seas. We booked RCCL as so many friends recommended them and route really appealed to us. On arrival ( ordered taxi from San marco airport to dock for 44euro) very easy check in and cabin ready much earlier than anticipated.HOWEVER...... We booked a large family outside stateroom for us two and our kids aged 7&10. The cabin was the same size as my parents cabin for two people, and the major shock was the pulldown bunks ABOvE the double bed! My husband couldn't sit up in the bed with the bunk down and you had to slide in and out the foot of the bed like a worm! We complained bitterly and were told our expectations were too high, it was our travel agents fault ( btw Thomas Cook were absolutely useless in the whole booking but that's another story) , there was no other available cabins and no one else complained. The only thing we could do, which we took upon ourselves to do was to re jig the room, turned the double bed around and put one bunk mattress on the floor. We had even less space in the already bijoux cabin. The cabin attendant was nigh on useless, only 3 "towel animals" out of 11 nights, two of those after bitterly complaining. Our toilet broke 10 out of 11 nights and outside our cabin was a constant sewage smell. Pursers desk were absolutely useless. Didn't know answers to what you asked, and often guessed incorrectly giving false information. The entertainment was disappointing, no real "big shows" and what there was seemed to dry up by 10 pm with only piano music or an empty game show/quiz afterwards. Some very big plus points though..... The food was AMAZING ! Ate on my time dining every night, table 169 where Dorin and Fernando were the two nicest people you could wish to meet. They bent over backwards. And a big round of applause to Hans the head waiter who balanced the dining room with precision, and Constantine the maitre d who knew everyone by name. The shopping area was also great, although often overpriced but run by the lovely Karen who put big smiles on our faces . Kids club very good, although surprised to see different age groups had same activities. My son adored it in there and we couldn't pride him away! The only thing that was silly was the timings, you had to get kids at 10 pm bu show finished at 10, or just after, so you had to leave a grew minutes early to get upstairs in time. Some other timings of restaurant hours was a bit odd too. Breakfast in king and I finished at 8.30 am, I was just waking up - I was on holiday after all ! And you couldn't get buffet dinner until 7pm, but kids club started again at 7 so couldn't feed kids before hand unless you chose burger or pizza from solarium - didn't pay good money for 11 nights of junk food. Entertainment staff were very good with guests and Abel was brilliant. On the whole it was nice, but as advised by the chief purser our expectation was too high......hmmm thought that's why we booked royal carribbean! Wish we had known about cabin layout in advance we would have booked a balcony room or suite, an missed the odd touches here and there, I.e chocolates on pillows and fancy towels. I agree with other reviews about prices of drinks on board and transfers, very very expensive and often quite cheeky. Do trips yourself, just as easy and a tenth of the price. I'd go with Royal Caribbean again, but in a higher grade room and with my eyes wide open. Read Less
Sail Date July 2011
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean on several occasions and although I enjoyed this 10 nighter out of Venice on Splendour of the Seas I would say there were a few disappointments. Getting from the airport to the ship should have been ... Read More
I have cruised with Royal Caribbean on several occasions and although I enjoyed this 10 nighter out of Venice on Splendour of the Seas I would say there were a few disappointments. Getting from the airport to the ship should have been pretty easy, take the AVTO bus which now costs 5 Euros per person to Piazalle Roma then pick up the free shuttle to the dock and check in. Wrong - no shuttle seemed to be available, so we made our way on the peoplemover at the train station thinking that the shuttle must picking up from there. Wrong again. We had to drag our suitcases quite a distance in the midday heat along with all the other cruisers who tried to catch the (non existent) shuttle. Check in was okay but not nearly so well organised as other cruises I have done. Stateroom was excellent as usual, food was adequate but not exceptional, service on board was good, but not exceptional, entertainment was good but again nothing exceptional. Drinks were pretty expensive at $7.99 for a beer and they seem to have invented a few new charges that I don't remember having paid for before. We used the shuttle bus from the port into Mykonos and also Corfu and were horrified that a bus journey lasting less than 5 minutes cost $10 per person. We took a local Crete bus into Chania which was about the same distance and it only cost 2 or 3 Euros.We had elected to pay our gratuities in dollars at the end of our cruise and discovered that the £58.58pp that we would have paid at time of booking was now $97.50pp, checked the exchange rate at Guest Relations Desk, $1.49/£1, so a mysterious discrepancy of about $10pp that no one seemed to have an explanation for and quite frankly had no intention of finding out about. The person on the desk just kept on asking us if we wished to pay and completely blanked any questions I had, so I paid and thought I would write a letter of complaint to the company. I have since read a few Customer Complaint reviews and now realise that it would be a complete waste of time as Royal Caribbean do not appear to be very helpful with regard to complaints.Over all we enjoyed our 'unexceptional' cruise but I don't think we'll cruise with Royal Caribbean again. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Our family of seven just returned from a trip of a lifetime. We sailed on Splendour of the Sea out of Venice, Italy on June 3rd. This was the first time for our family for cruising and it has made us all believers.We arrived in Venice a ... Read More
Our family of seven just returned from a trip of a lifetime. We sailed on Splendour of the Sea out of Venice, Italy on June 3rd. This was the first time for our family for cruising and it has made us all believers.We arrived in Venice a few days before we sailed having a wonderful time exploring the city. We made reservations at a small hotel called Antiche Figure in the Santa Croce area. The hotel was wonderful, the staff was more then helpful with restaurant suggestions and arranged for a boat to transfer us to the cruise ship dropping us off right at the pier where the Royal Caribbean porters unloaded our bags and processed them to the ship. The beauty of Venice is just getting lost and exploring, which we did but, a good map is highly recommended. While in Venice we took a tour with Avventure Bellissine Tours. The tour consisted of a two hour walking tour of the city with a guide and a Gondola ride. Some of the restaurants that we enjoyed were LaZucca and Refolo all in the Santa Croce area. The food was outstanding and the pizza at Refolo was exceptional. Our time for boarding the ship was 2:00 p.m. and the check in was as smooth as could be. We all explored the ship to get oriented and when we got back from the muster our bags were delivered. Some of the recommendations on the site were helpful. The shoe bag to hang on the bathroom door and extension cord were the most useful.We had a 6:30 dining time which was ideal. We had a wonderful team taking care of our dining needs. Viviana and Alexandra were terrific and made our dining experience so enjoyable. We were so glad to have the earlier dining time. At first we were afraid that it might be to early with all of our tours, but, it worked out fine and we had plenty of time to enjoy the shows and activities that the hip had to offer. The trivia competition in the Schooner Lounge with Lee was a lot of fun. The two days that we had at sea were great. The first day we had beautiful sunshine and pool time. They had great activities planned around the pool which was a lot of fun. Our Grandson took advantage of the Explorer Club that they had on ship. The activities that they had pplanned for the kids were great. Star war Light Saber games, Pirate games and many projects. He went nonstop and enjoyed every minute.Our final cruising day, we experienced a lot of wind, so it made sitting out at the pool a little challenging, but the cruise crew arranged a lot of activities for us to participate in to keep us busy.The day o f departure, I woke up early and stepped out on the balcony and the ship was pulling into the Venice area and it was magical. The sun coming up and seeing all of Venice and the skyline was beautiful. Disembarking went without a hitch. We had arranged for a Royal Caribbean transfer to the airport. We left the ship at 8:00 a.m. and made our 11:40 flight without a hitch. The airport was a little crazy and the lines were long, but once you get thru security everything went without a hitch.As I stated in the beginning. This was our first cruise, so I have nothing to compare this cruise with. But, we had the best time, we ranged in age from 6 to 60 and there was something for everyone. The ship was well maintained, clean. The food was great, we are all home now going on diets to undo the damage for all the good food and drinks.The only complaint that my adult children had was the wi-fi and computer center on the ship. The computers were very slow and they had a difficult time getting things to download. They used the internet cafe's at all of the ports to get caught up. But, my feeling is you are on vacation, just unplug and relax. I can highly recommend sailing on the Splendour and using any one of the companies that we used for the private tours. Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Having sailed with Royal Caribbean twice before, we felt that we could trust them to deliver a cruise around the Greek Islands. Deliver they did! The only down side of the holiday was the non direct flights from Birmingham via ... Read More
Having sailed with Royal Caribbean twice before, we felt that we could trust them to deliver a cruise around the Greek Islands. Deliver they did! The only down side of the holiday was the non direct flights from Birmingham via Dusseldorf to Venice that RCI had organised for us. This wasn't indicated to us when we booked. Had we known, we'd have plumped for flights from Manchester which were direct. The flights however were smooth and efficient, courtesy of Lufthansa. Having read reviews that Splendour was showing her age, we were a little worried, but we needn't have been. Apparently she's having a refit in November. OK, some of the soft furnishings are a little tired, but the ship sparkled and work had obviously been done in some places. Our interior Q grade cabin on deck 2 was standard for RCI, but no flat screen TV or mini bar. Everything worked and was spotlessly clean. We ate in the Windjammer buffet restaurant most nights (much quieter that at breakfast or lunch). The food was of excellent quality with theme nights - the Fish night on day 8 was fantastic. The King & I dining room was OK and due to our table for 2, service was quick and efficient (and extra portions if we wanted it!) The itinerary was excellent, with Split, Mykonos and Santorini were our favourites. Well done Royal Caribbean!! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
After cruising on Oasis of the Seas last year we did not know what to expect from this smaller ship. We could not choose our cabin when booked the cruise on line so we had to have the guaranteed cabin option.The allocated cabin was ... Read More
After cruising on Oasis of the Seas last year we did not know what to expect from this smaller ship. We could not choose our cabin when booked the cruise on line so we had to have the guaranteed cabin option.The allocated cabin was extremely small.We complained but the ship was full and we could not be changed. The food either in quality and quantity was good and RC always caters for all sorts of tastebuds. The dinning service @ the King and I we found although very good to be slow (specially for bigger tables). We had to tell the waiters that we want to be finished by a certain time for the shows otherwise you will miss it. Another thing that we missed from previous cruises was the chocolates on your pillow before going to bed... The activities were well planned and could always find something to do or...just find a quite spot to relax. However we had a wonderful time and the ports called were just where we wanted to go specially Santorini and Mikonos. By the way, remember if you miss your favourite soft drinks (diet Coke, Tab, sprite0, etc) you can buy them on the ports of call and bring them to the ship - (only spirits and alchool will be confiscated).Enjoy cruising as much as we do! Read Less
Sail Date June 2011
Our cruise started in Venice (stayed overnight and disembarked the 2nd day), went to Kotor, Montenegro; then Athens, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Bodrum, turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; and finally Split, Croatia. ... Read More
Our cruise started in Venice (stayed overnight and disembarked the 2nd day), went to Kotor, Montenegro; then Athens, Greece; Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey; Bodrum, turkey; Santorini, Greece; Mykonos, Greece; and finally Split, Croatia. The ports of call were really great -- some I would not visit if I were planning a land trip, but very interesting and nice to visit and I am glad we got the chance to visit them all. The weather was gorgeous throughout -- some drizzling rain at times, but was quick to pass, and happened most often in the afternoons after we had come back to the ship anyway and were leaving port. Getting to the ship was not confusing, but the RCL folks were not very helpful. After we got off the plane (after flying red-eye), we saw a woman carrying an RCL clipboard, so we asked her what the best way of getting to the ship was. She said she did not have any spaces available on the shuttle, but the taxis would get you there for 15 euros/ppl -- we were traveling with 6 people. We had done some homework beforehand and read about the ACTV (bus) that goes to Piazzale Roma (the fare increased to 5 euros by the time we went) and asked her about it, so she directed us to the electronic ticketing machine that did not have english written on it, so we were a little confused when we did not see what we thought was the correct fare or the Piazzale Roma written on it. Ended up finding a ticket booth with a live person behind it to buy the tickets. We felt the RCL representative was not very helpful -- it's not like she had slots and we refused to take the shuttle. She told us the most expensive way to get to the Docks. Once we were at Piazzale Roma, there is a free shuttle bus to the cruise terminal (we had asked in advance what to do once we got there, but some people were clueless and the buses are not terribly well marked). The ship itself is an older ship, but I've never been on one of the newer ones anyway, so I didn't know what we were missing in terms of the new fancy restaurants, water slides, etc. Besides, once the ship was moving, it got a little chilly/breezy up on deck for me anyway. It was clean, the crew was painting the railings and trim, which was fine. Rooms were standard, and dining room standard. Didn't feel too crowded, at least not like the Carnival cruise we were on to the Caribbean 2 years ago. The staff on the ship, like the woman at the airport, was hit or miss. the Pursers were not very helpful -- did not know how to catch the prepaid shuttle bus at the end of the trip, for example. Our stateroom attendant was good and our dinner dining staff was great. The food was so-so. I thought there would be much more seafood -- after all, you're in the Mediterranean! I thought we would have an abundance of seafood -- fish, at least? Instead, they never have sea bass, though it's on the menu. And one lunch on the sea day, we ordered the trout and got salmon. When we asked about it, the chef said that a trout is a baby salmon -- what? When we were still confused, the head waiter came and said that "they're the same color anyway" and walked away. No appologies, no offer to order anything else. Even our own waitor had said that a trout and salmon were 2 different fish! We were very turned off, and she was a HEAD waiter, too! So the food was only so-so. The breakfasts were actually pretty good -- and I've always hated breakfast foods. The Windjammer was better for breakfast than the King and I Dining Room. The entertainment was good overall, but only a few were great. Maybe part of it is because we felt very young on the ship -- lots of older folks. They even had a 40's and 50's song night! We didn't know many of those songs, but they did a good job. The sea days were okay. definitely needed them to recup after running around for a few days. I was turned off that activities now required a fee -- scrapbooking was $5 for this packet, $10 for that, and if you wanted it for free, you had to stay the entire 40-45 minutes time and show her a completed layout before you left. Otherwise you'd be charged $5 for the packet. And the 2nd sea day, scrapbooking, even to sit and continue to work on the layouts you already did -- not getting new material -- or watching other people work on their layouts were $10. If you were there, they charged you. Jewelry making was almost as bad -- the first one was free, and the 2nd one was $10, but they let you stay and watch for free -- you just didn't get a kit to make the jewelry. I've never been on a cruise ship where even the arts and crafts cost you money. It felt too much like they were out to get your money. I was also put off by the transportation fee -- getting to Venice from the docks, you could either walk (which I imagine would've taken you a bit of time) or you paid $15 for the RCL shuttle -- or in Mykonos, they docked at the Cruise line docks, about 1 mile away from the town. It's walkable, but if you're dropped off somewhere and have no clue where you're going, you are more likely to cough up the money ($10/pp) to just get there in one piece. If we had tendered, it would've been free, like the other cruise lines in Mykonos. we were the only ones to dock. The actual process of disembarking the ship was well-organized -- much better than Carnival! The only problem was that no one directed us where to go AFTER we left the ship. there were no signs or people directing us where to go. And we pre-purchased RCL's transfer back to the airport! No one seemed to know or care where we were supposed to go. Disappointing. One last note: if you're prone to seasickness, May was a fantastic time to go -- I can get pretty bad seasick, and I was fine, and my mom, who ALWAYS gets seasick did fine without any meds or bracelets or ginger tabs or anything! I've heard that other times of the year are not so calm, but May was PERFECT! Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We sailed on Splendor on May 2 for 11 Night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise. While the ship does need updating, it was clean and the public areas were in good shape. Our cabin showed its age, and it had a small, old model TV that was ... Read More
We sailed on Splendor on May 2 for 11 Night Greek Isles & Turkey cruise. While the ship does need updating, it was clean and the public areas were in good shape. Our cabin showed its age, and it had a small, old model TV that was somewhat limited on channels. There was no channel with continuous information and maps on our location, and no bridge information channel. Cabin storage was very good. There was no Specialty restaurant. Windjammer layout is very poor and the various food bars were confusing. People were going both ways at many counters, along with breaking in line for whatever they wanted. Quality of the food was OK, but was not as good as we have had on other RCCL and Celebrity cruises. King & I Dining Room was nice, but we were disappointed in the food. No lobster tails or really good quality beef served and appetizers like Escargot were only served once. Again while food mostly OK in the Dining Room, it was below what we have had on other ships. Here is a warning for your clothing planning. All RCCL pre-cruise documents state that there will be 2 formal nights on the eleven night cruise. Wrong! After we were on board, we found out there would be 3 formal nights. RCCL should correct that and stick to 2 formals. We tried My Time Dining for the first time. We went about 8:00 to 8:15 each night. It was like going to a regular restaurant, with Waiters in various stages of dining service to their assigned tables. Sometimes service fast and other times it could be too slow. My wife and I asked to be seated with some other people, but they always put us at a table for 2. During our dinners, we had no live music until we were almost ready to leave, and there were no special waiter parades, events, etc. The Entertainment staff and programs could have been better. During the late afternoon and early evening, there was some time with no music in any lounge. We attended several special events or shows, that started late and the lounge was so dead that a lot of people left before the staff showed up to start the activity. There was also only one full blown Production Show with all the singers and dancers. In Athens we took ship's 7 hour Taste of Athens excursion. With all the protests and strikes, we did not want to risk other options. That worked well. Excellent guide and a positive experience. There was a protest in town that cut into our 3 hrs. free time, but it was nice to have time for lunch and shopping and still have safe ride back to the port. In Kusadasi, we used Ephesus Shuttle for tour of Ephesus area (Excellent - reviewed on another Board.) In Split there was a good walking tour available in the Palace. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
I will bring out both the good parts and problems this ship has when you sail on it. Pros: 1. The ship was old but really clean. They shampooed rugs outside cabins every day. 2. The Itinerary was excellent. Venice, Montenegro, ... Read More
I will bring out both the good parts and problems this ship has when you sail on it. Pros: 1. The ship was old but really clean. They shampooed rugs outside cabins every day. 2. The Itinerary was excellent. Venice, Montenegro, Ephesus,Bodrum,Athens, Santorini, Mykonos, Split were wonderful choices for ports that provided great options. We felt the food was pretty good, have not experienced anything better on the past few cruises we sailed on. 3. Our Cabin Stewart, Head Waiter, and Assistant Waiter did a wonderful job.4. Cabin was slightly bigger than most (had an inside because we use the ship like a floating hotel and don't spend enough time in it to justify high end cabins.5. The orchestra at the large auditorium was just excellent, a few of their guest entertainer (singer & violin player) did a nice job. Music throughout the ship in small areas was also very good. The crew director was also very good 6. Embarkment and Disembarkment went well.Cons: 1.The pursers office was virtually helpless except for a couple of people.They dealt with the internet problems and gave some credit for lost time. They would ask the few that knew something if there was someone up front that could give an answer. Otherwise, they would go to the back for several minutes to try to answer your questions or problems. On girl could only give you a statement, and if you wanted something else she would tell you to get back in line because she was new. We pre-paid gratuties and got the envelopes but no vouchers for the recipients. We asked for them and they said they had to be with the envelope (which they weren't) so took about 10 minutes to reprint them. The purser next to us had someone complaining after we had and while we waited was back with reprints in a couple of minutes. Apparently it was just another thing our purser didn't know what to do and was in the back trying to get someone to show her how. Two days before departure I told the head purser that the printer for the internet wasn't working several times and they should have someone check to see that they would function correctly because several people who were already frustrated with the internet service and printer would be losing minutes and others no computers due to other passengers being tied up on them and her response was asking me to go up and try to print something and if it didn't work just let them know. We had transfers to and from the ship and when we arrived someone from RCI kept all the paperwork and we had no voucher for returning to the airport. We asked for a duplicate and at first the purser said just go out to the buses and they will take you. She said we were on a list. I asked to see the list and she said "oh it isn't on there" you have to call your travel agent because I didn't do it directly thru RCI. We showed her with our confirmation that we had paid it and it showed that on RCI's confirmation. The usual I'm sorry but you have to call your travel agent. I'm telling you it was a nightmare dealing with them. I approached one of the officers in another area because no one with any authority was ever at the office when we presented questions or problems. He said that was ridiculous and said to go back in three hrs. and it would all be sorted out. They said no one had contacted them. Many times they just had 1 or 2 people at the desk and the lines grew to up to 15 people on certain occasions when we were there.2. The Windjammer was way too small for the 2100 guests that occupied the ship. We always got up early and always got a seat but just a little later it had all kinds of guests searching for a table to no avail. We heard people that went on tours or just off the ship complaining because they didn't have time to eat breakfast. In the regular dining room (The King & I), they had very limited hours and they didn't fit well to cope with the overflow in the Windjammer. This was especially true on days when people had tours with the ship.3. Our service from our waiter at the 6:30 P.M. dining was terrible. There was always the statement that I try hard for you and we have someone from the head office that is making changes that don't work and that is holding your dinner up. Finally, about the 4th night one couple at our table were just getting up to leave and magical they said it was now coming. It was 8:10 P.M. by that time. Every evening we were held up after dinner with the waiter telling us how hard he was working for us and how was he doing. Then the last 3 or 4 nights we started hearing about how he needs an excellent rating on our survey form at the end and how he also depends on gratuties. Most of us thought that was totally unprofessional (have never hear anything like that on our previous 11 cruises on various cruise lines). Our head waiter was all over the waiter on getting the dinners earlier for us and it improved. Finally I brought up the talk about constant highest rating and needing gratuties and he said he would address it and I'm sure he did. He said it goes on their record for something like that but it was well warranted. No one at our table wanted anyone to lose their job but hopefully a skilled talk and reprimand by his head waiter will make him a better waiter so he can keep his job. 4. The main stage perfomers from the ship were not up to what we have seen on other ships but the band was great as I said earlier and was unbelievable in the way they melded in with the guest performers. 5. First, there was no one ever stationed at the internet cafe to talk to resolve any questions. You always had to call the purser desk or go down to them. The first few days, many went away frustrated because to enter the internet the screen said to hit either the spacebar or enter. Everyone I saw (like myself) thought they weren't working. You pay $100 for 250 minutes and no one to help, finally on the 2nd day when I was trying to get on I heard a gentleman telling a frustrated lady to hit left click on the mouse and sure enough it worked. The internet was extremely slow (like on most ships) but once you were in it would lock up on passengers and you couldn't get out so finally the word got around that when this happens you hit control, delete, and capital letters. That usually worked. I tried to print something on three or four days but the printer would read maintenance required. That is why I asked the purser desk to make sure the computers that did work would be able to print. When my wife and I went to print our boarding passes there was frustration in the air. Problems with the printer. It took us 80 minutes to finally get them printed because after entering all the information it was so slow that it said your time had expired and you would have to re-enter everything again after the 4th try we finally got through and then printed it. 6. The final blow was for those who had transfers to the airport. As expected our names were not on the list in spite of being assured that they were. They had numerous others that had no listing. The young lady checking was just writing cabin numbers all over her list and said go to the buses. Now a last adventure. People that were scheduled for buses before us were still trying to get on the two buses they had. It was a mad scramble but first you had to put your own luggage in the compartment under the bus. It goes from one side of the bus to the other and whether you are 5 or 85 it is up to you to get it on the bus. No driver help and of course no one from the "Splendor of the Sea" to put people or luggage on the bus. Read Less
Sail Date May 2011
We first flew to Milan for a couple of days. Then took a ~2 hour train to Venice, seeing the landscape on the way. It was beautiful and very interesting. You need to book seats in advance through Euro Rail.Spent a day and a half in ... Read More
We first flew to Milan for a couple of days. Then took a ~2 hour train to Venice, seeing the landscape on the way. It was beautiful and very interesting. You need to book seats in advance through Euro Rail.Spent a day and a half in Venice prior to boarding in case there was a rail strike or some other disaster. Did not want to miss the ship. On return, we spent a few more days in Venice and loved it. Stayed at the Best Western Olimpia Hotel which we highly recommend for both location, price, hotel staff, and amenities (very large free continental breakfast--they even packed a "to go" breakfast on the last morning since we were leaving very early). It is very close to Plaza Roma. Free shuttle bus to the ship. Major water bus stop. We bought passes both times for the water bus (price based on how many hours you wish). Jump on/jump off any time to go anywhere. The canals at night are particularly beautiful. Just riding around was fun. We bought our first pass at the train station and took the water bus 1 stop to Plaza Roma. Saved lugging our luggage up and down the stairs over the canals to get to the hotel. Highly recommended. Even though luggage has wheels, it is not easy to bump up and bump down. You could always tell the guests arriving who had not taken the water bus and walked! They were hot, sweaty, and bedraggled. Every single group said "never again" and went off to get their pass.There is also a bus from Plaza Roma to the airport which leaves on a good schedule. We took it at 4:40 a.m. since we had an early flight. Very easy and only cost 3 euros each when purchased. We had been quoted 5 euros earlier and thought that was a bargain compared to a taxi or other means of transportation.Splendour of the Seas is a nice ship. We had the 2 bedroom 2 bath family cabin with balcony. It is going into dry dock this fall for a retrofit. As we understand, they are cutting the ship in the middle, adding more space (not sure if it is just cabins or what), and redoing everything. Although the ship was full, there was plenty of public space to move around.The only tour we booked in advance was Athens (see port review) as we felt the other ports were rather small and we wanted to be flexible. Some of our group hired taxis to see specific things, got on a short ship tour last minute, or just walked (and walked!) around. Each port was different which made it nice. Weather was perfect. No rain. Sometimes in the afternoon, it was warm. We cannot imagine doing this in the heat of summer. May is the perfect time! Read Less
Sail Date May 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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